Tag Archives: update

Weekend Update 3/19/2017: Support trans kids

Young girl holds say that says, “I'm the SCARY TRANSGENDER person the Media warned you about.”
“I’m the SCARY TRANSGENDER person the Media warned you about.” (Click to embiggen)
Since I spent the majority of Friday and quite a good chunk of Saturday at the hospital while my husband had surgery and then recovered, I didn’t pay as much attention to the news as I often do. Oh, I did wind up spending a lot of time trying to read news online, but I wasn’t really processing it. When I could concentrate, I worked on a short story that I need to send to a ‘zine editor before the end of the month. Turns out I was also distracted enough Thursday night that I made a rather serious error in Friday links.

One of the stories in my weekly round up of the news this week was: Here’s What Happened At The Parents Of Trans Kids Mardi Gras Float. Which is actually a quite heartwarming stories about the parents of a bunch of trans people who put together a float about how much they love their trans kids and rode Sydney, Australia’s Mardi Gras parade. I originally planned to include that link in the section titles “News for Queers and our Allies,” but I also sometimes have a separate sections for news pertinent to particular portions of the Queer Community. And this week there were a lot of links related to trans people. So I kept moving those links around.

Unfortunately, several of the news pieces this time were about trans people were about less than happy things. Anyway, somehow in the course of moving all the trans pieces together, then moving some of them to another section, then moving others to yet another section, I accidentally moved the happy story about parents who love and support their trans kids to the “This Week in Awful People” section and didn’t notice until today!

So if you haven’t yet, go click on that link and look at the cool pictures and read some good news!

Since we’re on the subject of people being supportive of trans rights: Joe Biden Slams Trump Administration for Rescinding Protections for Trans Kids. Go, Joe! Now there’s a man who knows how to be an ally!

“Instead of focusing on the fact that 40 percent of the homeless youth on the street are identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [and] rejected by their families out on the street, and what do we do about that, we’re now focusing on whether or not a transgender child, which bathroom they can use.” —form Vice President Joe Biden

And if Joe isn’t enough to convince you to support trans kids: Dear Cis People, Please Support Trans Kids

“In their most vulnerable and difficult stage of life, trans kids are not just facing opposition from their peers, but from the government, from society itself.”

Being supportive of your kid shouldn’t depend on whether your kid conforms to your pre-conceptions of the person or kind of person they should be. Antonia Elle D’orsay posted a great cartoon about this earlier in the month:


If you can, give a donation to: National Center for Transgender Equality. And if you want to help queer kids who have been rejected by their families and kicked out on the street : True Colors Fund or The Ali Forney Center are good places to start. Many communities have local programs focusing on teen homelessness and particularly queer teen homelessness, a quick Google search with the name of your city or town, and the words “queer teen homeless” should point you in the right way.

Weekend Update 2/11/2017: Cookies and retail realities

“Remember, sex is like a Chinese dinner. It ain't over 'til you both get yours cookie.” —Alec Baldwin
“Remember, sex is like a Chinese dinner. It ain’t over ’til you both get yours cookie.” —Alec Baldwin
I’m not terribly happy with yesterday’s edition of Friday Links. The biggest problem is that once work’s craziness ramped up midweek, I had neither the time nor energy to do my usual news reading. The only reason there were as many links as there were is because I spent several hours in a couple of waiting rooms on Tuesday while my hubby was getting tests run and consulting for an upcoming medical procedure. I had planned to spend the time writing, but I couldn’t concentrate when I tried to write. Surfing and reading was a lot easier.

I have been trying, since Inauguration week, not to let all the bad news related to Republicans, the neo-Nazi regime, and so forth dominate the links. But since my time was unevenly distributed throughout the week (and I was exhausted after each of my 10+ hour work days), I didn’t devote my usual time to specifically looking for cool links on other topics. Unfortunately today’s update ain’t gonna completely make up for that.

But! We do start out with something funny: Jezebel Investigates: How Are These Cookies Fucking?. Some organization promoting safe sex sent out cookies that seem to depict a pair of people having sex. But the author of the blog noticed that the position doesn’t look possible, let along comfortable. There’s a series of pictures as she draws the possible pieces of furniture that might be involved to get the couple into the position. It’s silly, but fun!

Some hopeful or uplifting news I missed this week: North Carolina governor: Repeal HB2 or we lose NCAA events for six years. And in North Dakota: Anti-discrimination bill fails again. And from the NFL: NFL warns Texas over “bathroom bill”: No Super Bowl for you!. People who want to restrict gay rights will argue that actions by groups like the National Collegiate Athletic Association and National Football League are unfair, or are imposing some sort of correctness, and so forth. But the truth is, it’s simply good business. I can cite polls taken all throughout last year showing that more than 60% of the U.S. population supports marriage equality, and a higher percentage disapprove of discrimination against queer people. But it’s even better than that: Poll: Majority of Religious Americans Support Gay Marriage.

“According to the poll, 42 percent of white evangelicals said they oppose allowing business to refuse services. Fifty-two percent of Mormons, 53 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 60 percent of Muslims, 63 percent of Hispanic Catholics, and 72 percent of Jews said they are against allowing small business the right to refuse services.”

So a majority of white evangelicals are still opposed to protecting our rights, but look at those other groups. Also, even among the white evangelicals, 42% oppose allowing businesses to discriminate against us! Groups and businesses such as the NFL are simply responding to the free market. They risk offending more customers and potential customers by remaining silent or supporting discrimination, than they do opposing it.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-21-31-pmUnderstanding retail realities fit into another story I didn’t link to this week: Donald got angry when the Nordstrom chain of stores decided to drop Ivanka Trumps line of apparel. Donald’s anger didn’t quite have its intended effect: After Donald Trump’s angry tweet, Nordstrom stock goes up. I’m going out on a limb here and thinking that stock investors aren’t doing this just to irritate Donald. And we’ll come back to that, but let’s look at what has come to light about the retail chain’s decision since the angry tweet: Wall Street Journal: Internal Nordstrom Data Show Sales Decline for Ivanka Trump Brand. The article says a 32% fall for the year, but other data indicates that it’s even worse, with a 63% drop year-over-year during the final three months of the year. And there’s more: Nordstrom Isn’t the Only Retailer Where Ivanka Trump Sales Are Tanking.

So it is clearly a business decision. Some of our allies are trying to take credit because there has been an organized #GrabYouWallet movement which started out as a few women angry about the “grab ’em by the pussy” tape last fall started asking people to boycott places that sold merchandise for Donald and his family. And it is certainly possible that the letters to the retailer influenced their decision. I think it is more likely that the information the #GrabYourWallet people shared, including about the shady business details involved in those clothing lines, contributed to the accelerated drop in sales (which had already been declining since at least the beginning of 2016).

And those sales were falling for non-political reasons: The Real Problem With Ivanka Trump’s Clothes, According to One Epic Tweetstorm. The tweet storm by Tribune Media Senior Editor Megan Carpentier, includes links to some business journal articles showing why several clothing lines, not just Ivanka’s, have been losing sales.

“This slate of mega-retailers has long been among the prime draws to the mall for middle-class women, offering apparel that they could easily mix and match into outfits for client meetings, kiddie birthday parties or date nights. But lately, they can’t seem to design clothes that women want to buy. In other words, people think their clothes are ugly.” —Washington Post article

And then Carpentier gives examples of how Ivanka Trump’s line has veered into even worse territory than the other brands. You need to go look just for some of the pictures!

Anyway, it’s hilarious that once again folks on the right are angry about businesses responding to the free market. I think Wall Street investors realize that a retail chain dropping an unprofitable line shows good business sense. And also, knowing how much positive publicity the chain is generating on social media for standing up to bullying can’t be bad for the store’s image!

A couple more things. The always clever and hard-worker Alvin McEwen over from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters has a nice op-ed up: Your Religious Liberty Doesn’t Give You The Right To Steal My Queer Tax Dollars. And this looks like it may be an interesting book: How I escaped being a right-wing extremist.

And let’s close with a music video! Goldfrapp – Anymore (Official Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Weekend Update 1/21/2017: Kind is the new sexy

Respect existence or expect resistance. (Kind is the new sexy) - click to embiggen.
Respect existence or expect resistance. (Kind is the new sexy) – click to embiggen.
Yesterday’s mostly trump-free Friday Links were a bit longer than my usual weekly round-up of news and interesting links, with about 90-links. That was without the 14 trump-related links in the companion Resistance Report post. My typical Friday round-up has either 60-some or 70-some links, if you want a comparison. I was not actively looking at the news, yesterday. For one, it was a pretty intense day at work, but I just knew if I started really checking the news I would just get depressed. And my occasional glances at Twitter throughout the day kept me in the loop enough.

Before I jump into any of the stuff that I’ve seen since posting yesterday, I have one link that I originally meant for January 13th’s round up, and then forgot again to include in this week’s, and we need good news among all the other stuff, so: This Ad Is Being Praised For Actually Portraying Diverse Plus Bodies. Go, read it! Look at the pics! Look at the ad. Yes, you can be a plus size woman and an athlete. You can be a plus size woman and beautiful. Visibility matters. And good on all the people who confronted Lane Bryant previously for it’s lack of inclusion.

Now on to other things. I was one of millions of people yesterday morning who unfollowed the official @POTUS and @VP twitter accounts, after following the accounts that Obama and Biden will be posting to now that they’ve left office: @BarackObamo and @JoeBiden. A few hours later, someone retweeted into my timeline someone else’s observation that Twitter had mysteriously reversed a lot of people’s unfollowing of the accounts that are now in control of the white nationalist administration. I checked my account, and yes! Those accounts had been added back to my following list! Twitter Forces Users To Follow POTUS Donald Trump On Twitter & People Are Freaking. Twitter has subsequently claimed that it was a glitch related to the process by which the accounts were archived and officially switched over with the change in administration.

I can see how that would happen. By law, things the president, veep, and administration officials write down in whatever medium are supposed to be archived by the National Archives and Records Administration, so they had to work with Twitter to come up with a process to archive everything about the accounts before they were turned over to the troompa loompa (can you imagine him on an angry middle of the night bender going through and deleting old tweets if they’d just turned the account over as is?). And the processes goals would have been focused on the legal archiving requirements, and not necessarily the experience of other twitter users who might had decided to unfollow just before the hand over. Still, I felt dirty seeing those accounts in my following list!

On the left, the crowd that came to celebrate the beginning of the Obama administration, on the right the crowd that came to the pre-inaugruation concert this year.
On the left, the crowd that came to celebrate the beginning of the Obama administration, on the right the crowd that came to the pre-inaugruation concert this year.
In other news, we’re seeing just how vindictive the people who like to call other people snowflakes can be: National Park Service knocks Trump on Twitter. Whoever was running the Park Service account (the park service is the agency in charge of the landmarks and adjacent federal property in D.C. and has long been the source of official crowd estimates of protests and other events), re-tweeting the viral image showing the pre-inauguration concert crowd n 2009, compared to the pre-inauguration concert crowd this year. Anyway, apparently a message went out to all Park Service employees ordering everyone who had access to government own accounts to stop using them and today the account has resumed operation after posting an apology.

Also the erasure of science and civil right initiatives has begun: Civil Rights, Climate Change, and Healthcare Were All Scrubbed from the White House Website.

While the Inauguration was very sparsely attended, the protest march today is a completely different matter Women’s anti-Trump march clogs Washington streets and Women’s March on Washington vs. Inauguration: March crowds take lead. So, protestors outnumber supporters significantly. But we knew that, since Hillary beat the troompa loompa in the popular vote by 3 million people. And there are marches and protest rallies happening simultaneously all over the country, with overwhelming crowds: In Chicago, a rally so big that the Women’s March is canceled.

I’ve been hearing people say that the protest marches don’t matter. They’re just symbolic and they don’t stop the trumpkin from signing executive orders that make it harder for low and medium income people to ever own a home. But here’s the thing: back in 1993 I heard people saying the same thing about the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Particularly pundits on the right were dismissive of the event, referring to participants as freaks and poorly behaved. It’s true that most of the congress critters and other politicians who aren’t actually involved in protests leave D.C. when they happen, avoiding being confronted by real people who disagree with them. But that 1993 march was not a failure. About 100,000 people showed up, marched, listened to speeches and so forth that day. And then they went back to their homes, but they did not go back to their old lives. People networked. They got inspired. They came back home and organized local groups to fight for queer visibility and queer rights in their own towns and states. There was a change in the mood of the community as the hope and expectations raised by the event began to filter out from the people who went, or the people (like me), whose participation was to help others afford to go. And thats exactly what the people going to the women’s march hope to do: Women’s March on Washington hopes to begin a movement.

Yeah, there’s a lot of symbolism and slogans: The Best, Nastiest Protest Signs From the Women’s March on Washington. But we can’t let it end with that. We won’t let it end with marches!

Here’s how we do it: brave hearts, everyone. And ROBERT REICH: TWELVE WAYS TO RESIST THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY. And The Most Useful Guide to Resisting Donald Trump: It’s the Tea Party playbook, minus the nooses. And if you feel a need to be in their face every now and then, you can buy things like the Fck Trump Button. Maybe not as cute as a pussy hat, but still good.

Before I turn things over the Stephen Colbert, there are still glimmers of hope that our democracy isn’t quite dead: Alabama Found Guilty Of Racist Gerrymandering By Federal Judge Favored To Be Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee.

Finally, this 14 minutes is definitely worth your time (and not just for Stephen’s tie jokes) Colbert Goes To Town On The Inauguration:

(If embedding doesn’t work click here.)

Oh, and for more on the tie, including photos showing the tape: This Is Still Embarrassing, Donald Trump – You haven’t stopped taping your tie together? Seriously?

Weekend Update 1/7/2017: Funeral for our favorite general and other stories…

I think we all could use a hug from Chewie...
I think we all could use a hug from Chewie…
As often happens, several stories came to my attention after I had posted this week’s Friday Links that I would have included if I could have. I don’t always do a weekend update post when they come along, but sometimes I don’t think a story should wait until next Friday. So here are a few:

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher were laid to rest this week. Carrie’s ashes were buried with her mother, in inimitable Carrie style: Carrie Fisher’s Ashes Placed in Giant Prozac Pill Urn. Yep, an urn designed to look like a giant anti-depressant. One of the other stories I saw (but now can’t track down) mentioned that in her home Carrie had some tiles on one kitchen wall that depicted prozac pills, as well. Carrie was outspoken about her mental illness and refused to be ashamed of it, so it seems fitting that she be laid to rest this way.

And while we’re remembering Carrie, here’s an article I wish I’d found earlier: The Tao of Carrie Fisher: 37 Great Quotes From the Actress and Author.

This next story requires a bit of context. So, every state has some members of the legislature who tend to embarrass and confound people, but I’m not sure anyone has a more eccentric legislator than Washington state Republican Senator Pam Roach. A recent story in our local Republican rag described her as “contentious, bipolar, unhinged, and crazy—and that’s by her fellow Republicans” and “a scheming, bumbling small-time villain in an early Coen brothers film. She’s a doting grandma and matriarch of a large family, but also a rage-fueled tyrant with a persecution complex and dozens of ongoing feuds.” She’s been banned from her own party’s meetings after many incidents of temper tantrums (including more than one in which she brandished guns in the faces of her own staffers).

She ran for a seat on a county council (which pays better than being a state senator) and narrowly won, so she’s stepping down from the Senate. Even though she is leaving, she is pre-filing a proposed law: ON HER WAY OUT OF THE WALEG, PAM ROACH AGAIN FOCUSES ON THE IMPORTANT STUFF: MANDATING CURSIVE IN SCHOOLS.

I don’t know if other states do this, but because the constitution mandates fairly short legislative sessions (which almost always get supplemented with special sessions because they never manage to finish the budget in the 60 days) our state has a process where legislators can file bills they want to be considered before they session begins. So this stupid proposal to force schools to teach children how to write in cursive will have to be assigned to a committee and given a hearing, even though the senator who filed it will no longer be a member of the legislature by the time the session begins.

This particular bill cracks me up because I’m a 56-year-old man who never learned how to write cursive. That’s correct. My mom taught me how to type when I was in grade school, right about the time that our school was just starting to have us practice making loops as the first stage of cursive writing. I can fake cursive writing. I visualize the letters and draw them, but it isn’t the same sort of process as printing. I can writing relatively fast, but it’s printing, not cursive. And I type at over 100 words per minute, so…

And yes, my signature is basically a scribble. But that’s also true of a lot of people who actually learned cursive in school.

So I guess this is the perfect farewell from a thoroughly unhinged legislator.

Meanwhile, it’s a Snowpocalypse: Snow, freeze-up to immobilize southern US before eyeing coastal Northeast and ‘Travel Nightmare’: Winter Storm Helena Wreaks Havoc on the South; Residents Told to Stay Home.

Here in Seattle we’ve been dealing with colder than usual temperatures for us, plus an intense flu epidemic, but rain and moderately warmer temps are on the horizon. So we don’t have to deal with horrible snow and ice making our roads impassible.

But I’m not allowed to critique other places having trouble with snow since we’re so bad at it here in Seattle.

I hate stories like this, but they’ve released the names of those killed in the tragic shooting yesterday: Victims identified after ‘crazy and cruel’ mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport that killed five, wounded six. There’s a news video that start playing automatically when you get to the page. It was recorded shortly after the shooting, and contains several claims which have since been corrected in later reports. I’m linking because this story has pictures of the victims, and I think it’s important to remember and honor those murdered.

Weekend Update: gunman stopped without a gun and other news

John Oliver and the Cookie Monster presenting news on "Last Week Tonight."
John Oliver and the Cookie Monster presenting news on “Last Week Tonight.”
Sometimes a story comes along after I posted Friday Links that I really, really, really wish I’d learned about a few hours early so I could share. Today I’ve got one that will give you a much needed laugh: SEX TOYS USED TO HELP CHASE OFF ARMED ROBBER AT SAN BERNARDINO SHOP. Go, watch the video! It’s hilarious and will make you feel good.

My favorite parts, from the security video: The moment the woman behind the register sees the gun, she starts angrily shouting at him. We can’t hear what she’s saying, because the security video has no sound, but look at her pound that counter! She is not taking this guy’s nonsense! Next! Next the other woman working in the shop saunters into the frame with her hands on her hips. I know that pose! She’s not panicking about that gun. That body language is all, “I do not have to put up with this!” The dildos don’t happen until he reaches across the counter to grab the woman, some how having no already discerned from their reactions that he is not intimidating them at all.

It’s only then that the second woman start’s thowing the dildos right at his head. And hitting!

But my favorite is some that’s in the news footage but no one comments on. This crime occurred at a quarter to ten on Wednesday night, right? Notice the sign on the door of the store: “Cashless Store After Dark. Credit, Debit, and Checks Only.” That should tell the robber that all the cash from the cash register has been put in a safe around sundown. By 9:45pm there is no cash in that register for them to give him.

Of course, what do you expect from a robber who isn’t paying enough attention to notice security camera outside the store, and puts his face mask on right in front of one? That isn’t a very high resolution pic of his face they got, but they did get it.

There’s also more serious stuff that we probably should be more worried about: China ‘seizes US underwater drone’ in S China Sea, China accuses US of ‘hyping-up’ seizure of underwater drone. If we’re going to be worrying about what China’s doing in international waters, we probably should be paying attention to things like South China Sea: Satellite images appear to show weapons systems on artificial islands, which the U.S. and other governments have been protesting for some time. But I’m a bit more concerned that Orange Julius Ceasar, a man who claims he’s so smart he doesn’t need intelligence briefings, is not only too dumb to spell unprecedented, but also thinks that sending angry tweets in the middle of the night to a country that has nuclear weapons is the proper way to conduct diplomacy: US President-elect Donald Trump misspells ‘unprecedented’ in a tweet on China, Twitter roars.

Meanwhile, Voting Rights Roundup: North Carolina Republicans execute legislative coup against democracy itself. Yep, North Carolina voters ousted anti-gay, anti-queer, anti-civil-civil-rights-for-anyone-he-pleases, as well as some of the more extreme members of the legislature, and what do they do? Hold a special session behind closed doors, pass a bunch of laws taking away the newly elected governor’s powers, have capitol police arrest protesting citizens and reports at the capitol, and get the outgoing governor to sigh these acts (that well may be unconstitutional) before the terms end. Lame duck politicians always try to rush things through before a change in administration, but usually never anything that is so blatantly not just an attack of the will of the voters, but an attack on the idea of voting itself (among the laws are changes to the election system in the state).

A lot of people are justifiably upset to the extent that it’s being revealed that Russia played in out recent national elections. But U.S. Republicans at both the state and federal level have been working diligently for years to purge voter rolls of voters likely not to vote for them, taking power away from elected officials, municipalities, and so forth when voters make choices they don’t like, and so forth. It’s not merely that the Republicans have been waging a war on queers, women, and people of color for years, but they’ve also been waging a war on our system of government itself.

But what else do we expect from a party that keeps equating having to treat other people with respect as being oppressed?

Thanksgiving with Grandma Wanda, and other news updates

If you haven’t seen this story, or the viral images of the wrong number text message that led to a Thanksgiving meeting of former strangers: a woman send Thanksgiving dinner details to the wrong number. The guy who gets it replies, “Who is this.” The woman says, “Your Grandma.” The guy sends a selfie, “I don’t think you’re my Grandma.” She sends back a selfie and apologizes for the wrong number. He jokes, “Can I still have a plate?” and she says, “Of course! That’s what grandma’s do, feed everyone!”

And they kept texting and she said she was serious he should come to Thanksgiving dinner, and he didn’t have local family, and then, well, this happened:

Thanksgiving with Grandma Wanda: Accidental Text That Was Meant to Be.

In other news, after the phenomenal crowdsourcing campaign, the Green Party in Wisconsin has filed for a re-count and a paper ballot reconciliation:

Green Party files for Wisconsin recount, audit.


Clinton campaign: We are taking part in the recount.

cw8d-5oxuaaglhhI admit, I was one of the people saying I didn’t trust the Green Party’s effort. After asking the world to donate 2.5 million so they could demand recounts in three states, they changed the small print on the fundraising page several times, and changed the goal they were asking for several times. The fine print was the sorts of disclaimers you would expect, in one sense: they couldn’t guarantee the recounts would happen; if excess money was raised the part would keep the money to promote “voter integrity options” that sort of thing. But the wording kept adding more loopholes.

But the thing was, the first filing deadline (Wisconsin) was Friday. They had exceeded the original ask significantly, and the clock was literally ticking down, and they had not filed a petition for a recount. It was at a point where the Wisconsin Elections Commission was making snarky comments on it’s website and twitter account, because the Greens kept blasting out more money beg messages but hadn’t filed: Wisconsin Elections Commission Basically Calling Jill Stein Out for Not Filing Recount Petition Yet.

So I don’t think I was being unreasonable (or mean) when I retweeted another editorial that made the observation that the Green Party money beg was starting to seem as if it might be a scam. The word “seem” was in the title, so even if you didn’t click through and read the piece, (which was nuanced and balanced) it should have been obvious that I was only claiming suspicion.

As I exchanged words with some others on twitter afterward, I repeatedly said that if the Green Party actually filed all three petitions before the deadlines in each state, that I would agree that they weren’t merely fundraising for themselves off the issue.

The party did file a petition in Wisconsin before the deadline (as the above headlines show), so that’s one down. I understand that the rules in each state about the petitions vary. And that sometimes an incorrectly worded form can cause a filing to be rejected. I don’t know if any of the remaining states have a process by which the initial filing can be amended or corrected after it is filed.

And heck, even the states don’t always know. The Wisconsin Elections Commission said they had their own lawyers double-checking the procedure while they were awaiting the petition. Turns out there’s a contradiction in the state law: one part says that the petitioner has to deposit money to pay for the recount when they file, another part says that the Commission has to give the petitioner an estimate of the cost of the recount after receiving the petition and the petitioner has to pony up the money within a very short timeline after getting the estimate. So, I understand that trying to make certain all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed means they can’t just slap down a petition right away.

Completely unrelated to all of this: while there are reasons to be skeptical about the vote count in some places, I’m not holding out a lot of hope that any of these recounts will change any results. Part of that is based on past experience. And the lack of clear evidence of wrong doing is the reason that organizations such as the Clinton campaign is loathe to expend the millions of dollars required for a recount. I’ve blogged more than once about the Republican gubernatorial candidate in my state several years ago who paid over a million dollars for a recount and audit, and succeeded only in discovering that there had been a total of four fraudulent ballots filed in the race–and all four had voted for him, not his opponent. So he and the party spent a lot of money to actually reduce their own vote count, and thus lose slightly worse…

“I really wish Jill Stein had not waited until after the election to be so concerned about a few thousand votes tipping the election to Trump” —@danpfeiffer
“I really wish Jill Stein had not waited until after the election to be so concerned about a few thousand votes tipping the election to Trump” —@danpfeiffer
But I have to agree with Dan Pfeiffer, if the Green Party had done what so-called third-parties used to do: endorse the major party candidate who supported most of their agenda (earlier in the campaign the eventual Green nominee had claimed she would endorse Bernie Sanders if Bernie got the nomination, and since Hillary’s voting record when they were both in the Senate matched Bernie 90+ percent of the time you’d think that would be close enough). I get it, when I was younger I used to think that what we needed was more active third parties. That was before I understood a couple of very important things: while the Constitution says nothing explicitly about parties, the way the electoral college is set up to elect presidents means that we have a Constitutionally-mandated two party system; and for most of history both major parties are coalitions of unofficial smaller parties already.

Anyway, I don’t think that recounts and audits are ever a bad idea. So even if these efforts don’t change anything, I’m glad that we’re going forward with at least one, and hope at least two more.

Weekend Update 9/2/2016: cute otters and delicious tacos

John Oliver and the Cookie Monster presenting news on "Last Week Tonight."
John Oliver and the Cookie Monster presenting news on “Last Week Tonight.”
The first time I did one of these weekend updates, it was because after I posted that week’s Friday Links (just before going to bed Thursday night), there had been a rather big development in one of the stories. Specifically, I’d posted at least one link about yet another planned anti-gay march being sponsored by NOM and some of the related hate groups. And that was the second year that the small number of people who showed up was significantly smaller than any previous year. The shocking development, for me, was that all of the the rightwing so-called news sites reported on the march truthfully, admitting that almost no one showed up and that support for the anti-gay cause was going away.

I didn’t intend this to become a weekly thing, but some how, at least a few times every month, something happens after I post Friday Links something turns up in my twitter timeline or on the news that I either really wish I had included, or that substantially improves upon something I did include. So, yesterday I linked to the story of Rialto, an orphaned sea otter pup found nearly dead on a beach several weeks ago, who has been nursed back to health at the Seattle Aquarium.

And how can you resist a baby otter?

Rialto learns to swim!

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Rescued sea otter pup, Rialto plays with a cone

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

I’m also sorry I didn’t include any links about Taco Truck Nation, because it is a perfect example of just how weird the otherworldly perspective held by supporters of the orange-skinner white supremacist buffoon are compared to the rest of us: Trump supporter’s ‘taco trucks’ remark draws mockery. Because people with a non-racist, non-fearful, non-xenophobic viewpoint just associate taco trucks with delicious food.

There are some potential economic implications of a program that somehow mandates a taco truck on every corner (which isn’t what they meant to say, but…), and the Washington Post looked into that: The national economic implications of a taco truck on every corner. The Federalist had a slightly different take: 7 Reasons America Needs A Taco Truck On Every Corner.

All I can say is, if a vote for Hilary is a vote for more taco trucks, I think she’s going to win in a landslide!