I was going to start this post by saying it’s terrifying to be a woman right now, but then I remembered it’s terrifying to be anything but a straight white dude right now, so there’s that, I guess.

I knew I didn’t want kids, so I tried to get permanently sterilized the last time a Republican was in office, and couldn’t manage it. Too young, didn’t have kids, doctors wouldn’t do it. 🙄 I was in my thirties and Obama was in office before I could finally find a doctor I could talk into a sterilization procedure. And even then I had to sign a waver promising not to sue him “when” I changed my mind.

There are a lot of birth control options out there, but the way things are going? I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a permanent option. The way some of these bills are written outlaw all kinds of birth control – even IUDs.

Every day I wake up glad I had that shit sorted out permanently. Every single day.

There’s a few laws like this one ☝️☝️☝️ floating around various states’ congresses, too, laws criminalizing “false reports” of rapes. Which, y’know, on its surface sounds okay, right? Like, obviously it should be illegal to falsely accuse someone of rape. Sure. Except it already is? Making a false police report is already illegal. You don’t need an extra law for this.

Y’know, unless you’re one of these turds who think women just go happy-assing around falsely accusing men of rape eight times a day. Which is not a thing that happens, by the way. Rape is wildly underreported because it’s so damn difficult to get a conviction and the process is, itself, traumatizing. False rape accusations are pretty damn rare. This is not, as far as anyone sensible can tell, actually a problem.

What is a problem, what the point of these laws are, is a lot of men being super mad about women getting all uppity and thinking we ought to have rights and be treated like actual human beings, and maybe be able to get through a whole day without some entitled asshat groping us or harassing us at work, or catcalling us, or raping us, or telling us what we can do with our own damn bodies.

Look, I don’t know what to tell you. I hear a lot of centrists complaining about the emphasis on identity politics on the left. “It’s going to cost us the election,” they say. But in case you’re not aware, it is goddamn terrifying out here if you’re not a straight white man. Every single day I get up and read a new story about dicks in congress trying to take my rights away, about black women dying during childbirth because doctors won’t treat them as well as white women, about black guys getting shot in the street by cops, about brown kids getting ripped away from their parents and held in cells and dying preventable deaths because ICE assholes on the border can’t see non-white people as human, about LGBT+ people dying for any of a million reasons because straight people hate them, about non-white people losing their votes.

I am a straight white woman with a ton of privilege living in a fairly blue state, and I am out here scared to death of what these fuckers are going to do to me. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be LGBT+ and/or non-white right now. I’m amazed they’re leaving their houses and getting about their lives at all. All I want to do is hide under the bed until there’s a Democrat in office.

So you want me to trust a man in public office? Dude I don’t know. You’re asking for a lot. You want me to set aside identity politics, act like it’s not important? That’s crazy talk. Any Democrat is probably better than a Republican in office right now, and I guess I’ll have to vote that way regardless of who ends up getting the nod, but you better believe identity politics are at the top of my To-Do List right now. You better believe it’s at the top of a lot of To-Do Lists right now. Ignoring that and acting like it isn’t important is going to bite us right in the ass.

Whew. Vacation week. That means I finally have an opportunity to string together a few coherent thoughts that don’t have to do with marketing, reports, or what I’m putting on somebody’s social media platforms today. It’s been a busy couple of months.

At any rate. A few thoughts.

I am deeply concerned about the integrity of the 2020 elections. I think the Trump administration and its affiliates (guys like Rudy Giuliani) are already hard at work messing with the upcoming election. I think getting an honest election result will be a miracle. But it might happen. And if it does happen?

Then I’m even more concerned about the peaceful transfer of power from the Trump administration to whomever comes next.

But let’s do one worse: I think there’s a better than average chance that Trump wins in 2020. At least that means he has to leave in 2024, right? Well what on Earth makes you think that? Because it’s illegal for him to serve more than two terms? Since when has something being illegal ever stopped him?

Trump’s already sending up trial balloons about “coup attempts” and making “jokes” about being owed two more years due to the Mueller investigation. Let me remind you: first he “jokes” about something, then he gets serious about it, then he does it. That’s how Trump works.

Let me also point out that Trump is fighting Congress’ oversight authority harder than any president ever has before. He’s refusing to let staff answer subpoenas. He’s fighting investigations tooth and nail. Trump is a man who thinks that being president makes him a dictator, and he’s furious whenever he runs into a situation that doesn’t let him behave that way. That’s part of the reason why he’s so in love with executive orders. He gets to, in theory, just say a thing and make it happen.

Trump is a man who doesn’t just want to be a dictator. He believes he deserves to be a dictator. He believes that it is right and necessary for him to be a dictator. He desperately wants to be the United States’ Putin.

I realize that sounds like hyperbole, and that people don’t want to believe it. Americans – the ones who are against this sort of thing, anyway – are very committed to their “it can’t happen here” mentality.

It can happen here. It is happening here. Right now. You’re watching it happen.

But what do you do about it? Dude I don’t know. Call your electeds. That’s all I’ve got. Call them every day. Email them every day. Hit them up on Twitter and Facebook every day. Make a little morning ritual of it. Give yourself a half hour every morning to slide into the DMs of all your electeds and remind them that the current president of the United States is an actual criminal and for pity’s sake could they please grow a pair and do something about that?

Image credit: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore. Source and licensing.

The Mueller Report, as redacted by William Barr, is now available. It’s 448 pages long, and you can read it, well, basically everywhere, I think, but here it is at the Washington Post. (Also at NPR, in case you hit WaPo’s paywall.)

I haven’t had a chance to read the report and I’m not seeing many roundups of high points from news sources yet. I think the report just hit the web, so I assume it’ll take everyone a bit to get their reporting together.

A few things to know about the report, though:

  1. This version of the report was redacted by William Barr, who is a Trump flunky through-and-through, and who also has a history of covering up shady dealings for shady administrations.
  2. Trump’s attorneys got to see the report before anyone else did, along with the Trump administration and coverup artist Barr. They’re already out in full spin mode, lying their fool heads off and shoveling the bullshit just as fast as they can.

I’ll be back later on with links to good stuff when folks start issuing roundups and analysis of the report.

Updates (Added As I Find Them)

UPDATE: Okay, as of 11am (PST), it seems like the deluge of hot takes has slowed down a smidge. I’ve got some other stuff to handle, so I’m off for a bit. I’ll probably toss up a new post later this afternoon/evening with a roundup of (hopefully) some more nuanced analysis and commentary.

Let’s start off with two from NBC News.

The first one’s about Facebook. This is not surprising to learn, but it turns out Facebook was weaponizing all our personal information to bludgeon advertisers and app developers into playing nice with Facebook. SurprisedPikachu.jpg, right? Basically Facebook was all, “Hey, we have a metric shit ton of personal information we’ll give you… if you do what we want.” And what they wanted was more money and/or access to whatever data various apps were drumming up. If you didn’t do what they wanted, or didn’t spend enough in advertising, Facebook cut you off. Seems like they destroyed some businesses that way, too. Shocking.

The second one’s about all the White House officials who answered Mueller’s questions during his investigation. A (probably heavily and wrongly) redacted version of the Mueller Report’s supposedly coming out this week, and now White House folks are worried that all those questions they answered for Mueller because they thought we and/or their boss, Trump, wouldn’t find out, might get made public. Pardon me while I savor this schadenfreude.

The Daily Beast has a big expose on billionaire pedophile Jeffery Epstein and the semi-secret foundation he used to try to repair his reputation after we found out he was a giant pedophile. There’s all kinds of sordid, horrifying stories about Jeffery Epstein and the people he was friends with. Some of his friends include Trump, Bill Clinton, Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey.

Meanwhile, the Hill is reporting that Roy Moore, hate monger, alleged sexual assaulter, and known religious weirdo is leading the pack of potential GOP opponents of Doug Jones in Alabama. Because of course he is. WTF, Alabama, Moore is garbage, support better candidates.

And to wrap things up, the ridiculous conspiracy theories about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire are flying thick and fast and most of them are anti-Muslim, because we live in the darkest timeline and everything is going to hell in a handcart on greased rails. BuzzFeed News has a roundup of the bullshit.

This is an extremely Monday-ish Monday, y’all. I have, like, zero motivation today.

5 Things to Read Today

  1. William Barr has a history of covering stuff up for shady administrations. Just Security has a write-up of one of his other coverups. Read it here.
  2. The House subpoenaed Trump’s taxes, which they are legally allowed to do for basically any reason. Trump is refusing to comply. Politico has the story.
  3. A version of the Mueller Report redacted by William Barr (see first bullet) is coming this Thursday. Once it’s out, be sure to call your congressfolks and remind them that they are entitled to see an unredacted version and should demand to do so, and that the public should be allowed to see a version redacted by an unbiased third party (at least). Here’s the New York Times article about it.
  4. The Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire today, taking extensive damage. Sounds like they managed to save at least some of the art and artifacts, though. It’s goddamn heartbreaking to see all that history go up in flames. Vox article.
  5. Lifehacker has a pretty good “how to get started getting healthy” article today. Read it.

The Mueller investigation is kind of famous for not leaking, like, anything while they investigated. Until yesterday.

The New York Times broke the news yesterday evening that folks from the Mueller investigation disputed Barr’s summary and conclusions.

Not long after the Times broke the news, the Washington Post had a follow-up with more information. That is, “But members of Mueller’s team have complained to close associates that the evidence they gathered on obstruction was alarming and significant.”

This morning Jonathan Chait, of New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, is pointing out that it looks an awful lot like Attorney General William Barr is covering something up for Trump. And you might be tempted to think Barr wouldn’t do that because he’s definitely, eventually going to get caught. But Chait helpfully reminds us that Barr’s the guy who helped Regan’s bunch cover up Iran-Contra.

So, let’s review:

Donald Trump and his administration have lied and lied and lied. Trump’s administration is jam-packed with people who have all kinds of unsavory ties, along with plenty of folks who’ve been flat busted for various acts of corruption. The Trump administration has demonstrated on a daily basis that they can’t be trusted to tell you that the sky is blue. And if they do tell you the sky is blue, it’s only so they can distract you and pick your pocket while you’re not looking.

This is the administration that hired William Barr, a guy who was already famously involved in covering up for a crappy administration’s illegal actions, as Attorney General.

William Barr’s opinions about whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice were already quite well known, because he wrote a 19-page memo to the Department of Justice outlining how the president couldn’t be convicted of obstruction, before he was even appointed.

For all these reasons, and so very, very many more, we cannot take Barr’s word, or the Trump administration’s word, on anything. And most especially we can’t take it when it comes to the Mueller Report.

Image credit: Robert Mueller. (Source and licensing.)

Shaking hands with women

Counterpoint: Shaking hands with men, as a woman, is kind of gross and irritating because most of them don’t know how to do it and you end up with that limp-fish handshake. Ug.

Seriously, there’s nothing worse than shaking hands with a man who’s all like, “Oh no, it’s a girl, WHAT DO,” and gives you a floppy-assed, no-grip handshake. Like, do you not know how to shake a hand? Do you do this to other men, too? Did no one teach you how to do this?

It’s a pretty straight-forward process: firm – but not crushing – grip, quick shake, eye contact, smile, introduce yourself. The gender of the shakee doesn’t matter, so you can ignore that part.

I also find it irritating when a woman offers to shake your hand, and then doesn’t know how to do it right. If you don’t know how to do it, don’t offer it.

This seems to happen most often with middle-aged ladies, particularly those in professional, business-y jobs, like they saw men shaking hands and decided to do it too, but never bothered to figure out how.

Dude up there goes on to claim that women just hug hello anyway, so why bother to shake a woman’s hand, blahblahblah, because he’s just a garbage woman-hater, so his opinion on anything doesn’t count anyway, but I would like to point out that most women don’t just go around hugging random people hello. I’m sure there’s a few women out there who do that, but I think most of us save hugging hello for friends and family.