TOWOIT #63

March 20, 2017… Day #6o

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I think I will always be obsessed with government now, for the rest of my life, no matter what happens. They just cannot be trusted to hum along without our vigilance.

“What was Hillary Clinton’s role?”

—-Sean Spicer, spinning like a top after the FBI said it had been investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia since last July

Very important C-span stuff that all happened today:

  • At the House: Comey & Rogers go to public hearings about the Russia investigation
  • At the Senate: Gorsuch begins confirmation hearings for Supreme Court
  • At the White House: Amazing double-speak and doubling-down by Sean Spicer
  • At the State Dept: Press secretary grilled about China, Germany and the Koreas
  • Also at the White House: Trump meets with Iraqi Prime Minister
  • In Louisville, Kentucky: Trump holds yet ANOTHER “Maga Rally”

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Other things in the news:

Reuters and CNBC reported that Rex Tillerson will skip a NATO meeting in early April, and visit Russia in late April.

Retired North Carolina police chief Hassan Aden detained for 90 minutes at the border because of his name (He was actually told that it was because of his name).

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Ivanka Trump will get a West Wing office, security clearance, and a special communications device (??)

File this tragic injustice under Everything Is Political & Our Society is Rotten:

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you can guess the rest of that headline.

A friend snapped this in Seattle on her way to work this morning:

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New York Magazine headline: Trump said to have political aides monitoring the loyalty of cabinet secretaries.

Guardian headline: No African citizens granted visas for African trade summit in California

Women dressed as handmaids from the creepy feminist Margaret Atwood classic filed into the Texas legislature to sit silently in rows in the balcony.

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File under sign of the times, I guess:

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“Being white is a helluva drug”

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Questions reporters asked today (including some eye-opening and/or funny questions at the State Dept. press briefing–guys, we will NEVER live all this down):

Continue reading TOWOIT #63

TOWOIT #49

March 6, 2017… Day 46

This is going to be a blur. It’s Monday. A bunch of stuff happened. I can’t recount it all. Sean Spicer had an hour-long press gaggle off camera. His first audio-recorded press conference of any kind in seven days.

I went to Pramila Jayapal’s town hall after work and learned a bunch about how Congress works. Because I haven’t known what to do since the election, I try to just put my body places sometimes–marches, rallies, meetings. I also try to learn how things work, and sometimes those two things over lap like they did tonight. I learned what kind of things other people in the community are worried about, specifically. The place was packed with a big, vocal, boisterous crowd. It felt like church. It also felt like she was our gladiator. I remember criticism of her before the election. People said she wasn’t the real progressive in the race. She was faux-progressive, they said. Now she is this new congresswoman born unto these crazy times, and she seems to be rising to the challenge. I don’t think anyone is saying she’s not progressive enough now. Also, she talks like a regular person. I scribbled pages of handwritten notes throughout the town hall, so hopefully I will roust myself to backfill some highlights tomorrow (running on fumes).

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I was pleased when Jayapal staffers handed me Agree and Disagree signs. The line to get into the building was three or four abreast and went all the way around the block.
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Not far from where the Jayapal’s town hall was held, this was discovered on a fence and removed by police (this is still satire, for now).
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I’m exhausted, and this person already rounded up for me.

 

Listened to  Ana Marie Cox’s podcast interview with guest Ira Madison III. Ira is black, and he writes about film and television. It turns out I’ve been following him on Twitter for awhile. Ana Marie Cox is white. They seem to be friends in real life, and they had a long talk about race, inter-racial friendships, and what it’s like to be “the black friend.” Ira also touched on Get Out and “white liberal women,” and said something to the effect of how Hillary Clinton just needs to disappear forever, and reiterated a few times that 53% of white women voted for Trump. So this was no great reprieve for white women. But it was a good, warm conversation about uncomfortable things, and how it has to be ok to be called racist. It cannot be the end of the world. If you aren’t being called out for being racist now and again, you probably are too bottled up and not learning and not associating with anyone outside your own ethnicity bubble. And not having frank conversations about race.

I guess I just mention this to say, that it was somewhat cathartic after watching Get Out. 

Khizr Khan, a citizen for 30 years, canceled a trip to Toronto. He said his travel privileges were “under review.”

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Sean Spicer press gaggle, without Sean Spicer:

Continue reading TOWOIT #49

TOWOIT #37

February 22, 2017… Day 34

The Trump administration officially rescinds the Obama order that protected transgender students and allowed them to use whichever bathroom they were comfortable with. Word is that Betsy DeVos was against signing off on the change, but was steamrolled by both Sessions and Trump. Also that she was cut out of the conversation on the future of DACA, and is in general being marginalized as a weak woman.

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The press asked Sean Spicer about this issue, and also asked about whether cabinet members were tired of Trump micromanaging their hiring process.

We know Rex Tillerson didn’t get the second in command he wanted because of Trump. Headlines to the effect that alpha-male Rex Tillerson has been marginalized as Secretary of State and is looking for ways to “raise his media profile.” 

Pence went to that Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. He spoke and there were photos of him helping out with the clean up. The reactions are very mixed among liberals, with people wanting to approve, begrudgingly approve, warily approve, approve with qualifiers, be angry that he’s trying to take the photo op and look like a good guy, or just cynically say “looks like somebody is running for president against Trump.” 

CBS Headline: Dakota Pipeline Protesters Pray, Set Fires Ahead of Camp Closing.

Washington Post has been doing great work but writes a bad headline. The use of “female” as a standalone noun here seems unnecessary and dehumanizing. The fact that we are talking about Native Americans with their backs agains the wall just makes it that much more cringe-worthy. How about “woman” or “person”? Same number of letters.

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Badly done, WAPO

According to my role model, Rachel Maddow, Turns out that the Ukrainian oligarch guy in Vienna has been arrested on a SPANISH warrant, so Jeff Sessions has a reprieve on the whole “will he still prosecute for bribery” thing.

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Thank you, Maxine. I would not have wanted to miss that.

Kellyanne Conway’s recent absence from television noted. Last week we heard that a couple of shows didn’t want her anymore. She said herself that she was trying to be on TV less. And then today the scuttlebutt was that the administration didn’t want her to go on TV because she’d gone off message one too many times.

One hundred dorks in Minneapolis got “She Persisted” tattoos. 

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I prefer the hundreds of women who have got NC for Non-Compliant tattoos in the couple years since Bitch Planet came out.

President ignores large bombing in Pakistan, because the victims were brown Muslims. Underscoring the administration’s preference for white, Christian-ish victims. 

Republican Senator Susan Collins said she was open to demanding Trump’s tax returns as part of Russia investigation.

Republican congresspeople continued to have a bad time at town halls. Whether they attended, or whether a large room full of people shouted down a cardboard likeness.

A woman in my hometown is steamed because one of her senators is zipping through town but is only making time for a paid dinner. She made her complaint a post on Facebook and about six comments down, her landlord wrote “I’ll deduct the price of your ticket from next month’s rent. Just go!” 

Trappist-1 Solar System — NASA found seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a dim star 40 light years away! They could support life! The world let out a collective “holy moly” and it was just what we needed. Good to be reminded of how small we are and how big the universe is. Good to be amazed at what science can accomplish. The NASA press conference coincided with Sean Spicer’s daily White House press bitching.

White House press briefing without Sean Spicer:

Continue reading TOWOIT #37