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“Even a single page of bullet points on the country seemed to tax the president’s attention span.” September 15, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“A self-described “email prankster” in the UK fooled a number of White House officials into thinking he was other officials, including an episode where he convinced the White House official tasked with cyber security that he was Jared Kushner and received that official’s private email address unsolicited.”

“Among [McMaster’s] biggest challenges was holding the attention of the president. […] Trump had little time for in-depth briefings on Afghanistan’s history, its complicated politics or its seemingly endless civil war. Even a single page of bullet points on the country seemed to tax the president’s attention span on the subject, said senior White House officials.”

From August: “Residents told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that at least 100 civilians had been killed [by US-led airstrikes on Raqqa] since Sunday, with 55 civilians killed in the eastern neighbourhoods of Bedou and al-Sukhani on Monday.”

And my eleven-year-old asked me what that sticker meant, and what did it have to do with Trump, and weren’t we not supposed to use words like that.”

Meanwhile, when people were lining up for a Hillary Clinton book signing (starting the night before), she sent her staff to deliver them pizzas. Imagine having someone like that in the Oval Office. Imagine.

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Refugees, tomato raids, libertarian towns, and more August 8, 2017

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You can send a set of ITMFA pins to your Congressperson. Proceeds go to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the International Refugee Assistance Project.

“‘The refugee agencies didn’t really feel comfortable sending their kids anywhere,’ Adams says. ‘We needed to be that place for them.” It’s no coincidence that as Sullivan has established itself as the go-to school for refugees in the last couple of years, its academic standing has also risen.

“Airwars researchers estimate that at least 2,300 civilians likely died from Coalition strikes overseen by the Obama White House—roughly 80 each month in Iraq and Syria. As of July 13, more than 2,200 additional civilians appear to have been killed by Coalition raids since Trump was inaugurated—upwards of 360 per month, or 12 or more civilians killed for every single day of his administration.

“I was having lunch with Shonda Rhimes last week and a woman stopped at the table — well-dressed, probably in her 40s or 50s — and she said, ‘I just can’t leave this restaurant without telling you I’m just so devastated,’ and she just started to cry. I was on the other side of the table, or I would have done what I have done countless times since the election, which is just put my arms around her. Because people are so profoundly hurt.” The surreal post-election life of Hillary Clinton.

“Not only were the Hartes upstanding citizens with clean records, they were also both former Central Intelligence Agency officers. And they were not weed growers. Rather, the quick-trigger suspicion of law enforcement had snagged on — it would later turn out — tea leaves and a struggling tomato plant.

Initially, the city would impose property and sales taxes, but the property tax would ratchet down to zero over time. The business-friendly environment would draw new economic activity to Von Ormy, and eventually the town would cruise along on sales taxes alone.” Spoiler alert: it did not cruise. It crashed and burned.

“A Facebook group for Norwegians opposed to immigration was widely mocked after members apparently could not tell the difference between empty bus seats and burka-clad women.

Hillary Clinton’s lead is up to 2.2 million, and other politics news November 25, 2016

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From the Cook Political Report’s numbers as of November 22: HRC is up to 64,500,489 while Donald is only at 62,371,681.

Obama in 2012 clocked in at 65,446,032 — and there are still enough uncounted ballots in California that Hillary has a good shot at matching him.

So there’s that.

***

I knew about HRC making it easier for trans people to get passports, but I just now learned that she did a whole truckload of other things for LGBT people at the State Department. Making the passport office recognize the name you were married and/or civil-unioned under! Extending spousal benefits to the same-sex partners of American diplomats!

So many of us faffed around arguing over whether she was quick enough to make a public statement in support of legal same-sex marriage. When it was a symbolic move anyway, given that the decision had nothing to do with her. We should’ve been looking at her actions where she did have the power to change the lives of same-sex couples, because, guess what, she had our backs.

***

…and now I have a lot of terrible Trump headlines to unload.

Headlines that you wish were a joke: “Sane, Competent Official Uncovered on Trump Transition Team and Is Immediately Fired.”

The Trump Foundation’s self-admitted law-breaking .

Megyn Kelly opens up about the potentially-fatal level of harassment the Trump campaign sent her way. “We had security guards the whole year. I mean the threat level got so high that it was impossible not to take that seriously.”

A cohesive and source-link-filled history of rape allegations against Trump, up to and including the case that would have gone to trial next month if Jane Doe hadn’t dropped it because of, again, an unbearable level of death threats.

Law & Order: SVU keeps pushing back the airing of a Trump-inspired episode. “The first air date would have been just after the notorious Access Hollywood recording, in which Trump spoke of using his fame to make sexual advances on women, and just before the third and finale debate. The second back-pedaling for the episode came after numerous sexual assault allegations against Trump surfaced.”

“Starting when I was 15, my life was not my own. For years, I had no control over what happened to me. Being in the spotlight makes me wary and self-conscious again. I am overwhelmed with fear that an overzealous Trump supporter might take matters into his or her hands.

“Rightfully, the kids in York who chanted “white power” were suspended. But Bauman feels any anti-bullying initiatives in schools will be easily undermined, considering the biggest bully of them all is leading our nation.”

“What may seem like a dramatic rise in the number of hate harassment and hate incidents happening across the country in the wake of Tuesday’s general election is not in anyone’s imagination…A representative for one group, in fact, said the rise appears to be even worse that what was took place immediately after the terror attacks in 2001.

***

The Stein campaign has officially filed for the recount in Wisconsin. (Incidentally, so did the Rocky Roque De La Fuente campaign. Maybe they can split the filing fees.)

The WI Election Commission currently lists Trump as having 22,177 more votes than Clinton. For perspective, Jill Stein got 31,006 WI votes. “Unregistered write-in candidates” — there’s no breakdown, but some portion of this is Bernie write-ins — got 26,002.

Deadlines in Pennsylvania and Michigan are next week, and the Greens are still fundraising to cover the Michigan costs. If you’re in the US, consider slinging a few dollars their way.

“Bad news, you have to make phone calls” – Calling Your Reps Resource Masterpost November 21, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Who should I be calling?

For everyone in the US:

Find your specific district reps:

  • House.gov search page (House only; if your zip code spans multiple districts, this site will let you pinpoint the one you’re in)
  • Whoismyrepresentative.com (House and Senate; can’t narrow down results within a zip code; clean contact info pages, but check a rep’s website if you want to make sure you have their district/state office)
  • USAGov Contact Information (state governors, other local resources)

Okay, I have the numbers, give me some advice

What else can I do while I work up the nerve to make a call?

Tell me something good to end this post

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is 1.7 million and growing.

Keep that in mind any time someone tries to talk about Trump voters being a “silent majority.” They’re a minority. They only “won” because the Electoral College screwed us over (for the second time in five elections). We have more voters. Full stop.

Post-election huddle crosspost. November 10, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup, Personal.
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So. That happened.

Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump got the presidency.

I know a lot of people who are really scared right now. I know I’m scared. It’s horrifying to be faced with just how many people in your own country absolutely hate you and your family and your loved ones and other people like them. Or at the very least, who don’t appreciate that you exist, as real live people outside of political talking points.

Hillary appreciated it. She was with us. The fact that she never caused a revolution made a lot of people overlook the steady progress she’s been making for us all along.

She was with us as an undergrad, fighting to get more black students and faculty at her college. With us as a young lawyer, getting laws changed to make schools accommodate disabled children, founding the first rape crisis counseling hotline in her state, making sure low-income people could get attorneys over conservative outrage that they dared to serve gay clients. With us as first lady, winning huge victories for veterans’ mental health care and children’s health insurance and adoption for non-traditional families. With us as a Senator, co-sponsoring bills that expanded health coverage into Native communities, supported Afghan refugees, monitored everything from anti-Semitism to broadband access. With us as Secretary of State, making it easier for trans people to get the right gender on their passports, creating wide-ranging programs to support women around the world.

She can’t be with us as President right now. Neither can Bernie or Warren or Biden or either of the Obamas, or any of the other people we love. But when you look at everything Clinton’s done without ever holding that office — we can keep doing these things, guys. We can love each other and support each other and keep fighting for everything in reach.

We’re still with each other. Please hold that in your hearts.

Here’s a list of organizations that could use your help. The ones standing up for reproductive rights, for the environment, for our kids, against sexism, against police violence, against racism, against homophobia, for our future.

I love you all.

Monday Works Roundup, 11/7/16 November 7, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Walking into tomorrow (cover art | Miranda, Sparrow, Camellia, Jany, Patrick, Poe, Reseda, Kara Lynn | worksafe)
Autumn Gardening (wallpaper | Reseda, Camellia | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
…and how it harmed you (art | gem!Leif, gem!Thorn | worksafe)
Thorny Fanservice Meme (art meme | Leif/Thorn, Del, Kale | NSFW ish)
Year One (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Costumed in Ceannis (art | Violet, Rowan, Ivy, Holly | worksafe)
2016 sketchpile (sketches | ensemble | worksafe)

Fake News/Politics
Happy birthday, HRC (art | Hillary Clinton | worksafe)

Oz
Dorothy’s Menagerie (sketch | Dorothy, Toto, Eureka, Billina, Lion | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Red Bow Gives You Wings -preview- (art | HomuMado | worksafe preview, NSFW full size)

Steven Universe
Luchaquartzes (art | Amethyst, Jasper | worksafe)
My pretty bluebell doll (art | Blue Diamond/Blue Pearl | worksafe)
Got you a flower (art | Lapis/Peridot | worksafe)
Besuited Sardonyx (art | Pearl/Garnet, Sardonyx | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
I been runnin’ down the road tryin’ to loosen my load, got a world of trouble on my mind.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Meet the engineers who are going to help sort this mine collapse. The tiny, tiny engineers.

Political grab bag. (Grandkids, hotels, post-apocalyptic Elizabeth Warren, and more.) November 4, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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TDS flash-forwards to a pirate broadcast from the end of Trump’s first term. Desi Lydic is doing makeshift alleyway broadcasts with a rat, Ronnie Chieng moved back to China just in time to make millions off of Trump’s botched details…my favorite part is how Trump’s opponents have all been banished, but Elizabeth Warren is leading a group of rebels as “The Woman in the Woods.”

How many presidents had grandchildren when they moved into the White House? Given that more than 14,000 historians are members of the American Historical Association, and that genealogy has become an enormous hobby, you would think this would be an easy question to answer.” It’s not, but they’ve taken a shot at it. 3 of our last 6 presidents had them, and at least 12 out of the whole 44.

Consumer of orphan and puppy souls Hillary Clinton helps raise awareness about child trafficking in Haiti.”

Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.”

Surprising numbers of teenagers in Macedonia are getting rich quick…by writing fake Trump-related news stories and reaping the ad revenue.

Guess which employees is Trump refusing to pay this week! If you said “his own campaign pollsters,” you guessed right.

Trump hotels are taking a beating in the price wars. Beautiful schadenfreude.

“but what has Hillary ACCOMPLISHED?” #ImWithHer November 4, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Yeah, I’m gonna crosspost one more of these.

Because it’s an ugly sexist myth that Hillary Clinton has never gotten anything done, and Donald keeps saying it anyway, because he knows his supporters will never bother to look it up. (Also to distract from his own record of bankruptcies and lawsuits and not getting an Emmy.)

And even on the left, you get people saying “how can we trust Clinton, even if her positions sound good, how can we know if she’ll follow through?”

Gee, I dunno, maybe we can look at her forty-year track record and extrapolate from there.

(Buckle up, this one’s gonna get long.)

In fact, let’s go back farther, let’s look at Hillary Rodham the Wellesley undergrad, 1965-1969:

And then let’s talk about Hillary the law student, lawyer, and professor, with some First Lady of Arkansas thrown in:

Let’s talk about First Lady Clinton, 1993-2001:

HRC followed that by immediately getting elected Senator from New York, and then re-elected by an even wider margin, so she served from 2001-2009.

I’m just gonna focus on the 77 bills Senator Clinton sponsored or cosponsored that that became law (although she introduced more than 2000, so imagine what could’ve happened with a Democratic majority):

At this point she was also running for President, but in swept Barack Obama and charmed the hearts of America, so Clinton ended up serving as his Secretary of State from 2009-2013.

There’s no Big Flashy Showpiece you can point to from Secretary Clinton’s tenure. A lot of her diplomatic work was straight-up post-Bush-administration repair work and maintenance. A lot of it was, frankly, unsexy. No one writes breathless headlines about statistically-supported initiatives to distribute lifesaving low-pollution stoves.

Also, she didn’t singlehandedly bring peace to the Middle East. So, y’know, missed opportunity there.

But she was obviously doing something right, because Hillary Clinton had a 69% approval rating when she left the State Department in 2013.

A quick roundup of some things Secretary Clinton pulled off just fine:

People keep talking about how Clinton is, historically, one of the most unpopular presidential candidates. Those people usually don’t mention how, three years ago, she was the most popular politician in the United States.

And, look: no one is saying she’s only done good things. You can’t work this long in politics and expect to make only the right choices – follow only the strongest intelligence – back only the best policies. Reasonable people can find plenty to disagree with in her record. Plenty to criticize.

But when people try to claim she’s done nothing?

Or that she doesn’t have any consistent beliefs or principles – that her record doesn’t have constant themes that she’s been reliably standing for since the 1970s?

Hillary Clinton has made real, substantial progress for women’s rights.

Real, substantial progress for people with disabilities.

Real, substantial progress for the rights and protections of children.

Anyone tries to tell you otherwise, you laugh in their faces and start listing things. I bet you anything they run out of patience before you run out of list.

“In consultation with the team of Illuminati, demons and robo-Hitlers who have been supervising Hillary Clinton’s progress…” October 22, 2016

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The Onion: “Saying he hoped the Republican nominee could clear up the matter for American voters, moderator Anderson Cooper reportedly began the second presidential debate Sunday night by giving Donald Trump the opportunity to explain exactly what the fuck is wrong with him.”

A secret history of the truth about Hillary Clinton. (1980: “In consultation with the team of Illuminati, demons and robo-Hitlers who have been supervising Hillary Clinton’s progress thus far, her robotic shell is replaced with another, different one that does not wear glasses and is blonder. The people of Arkansas consider this an improvement, although they complain about its inability to bake.”)

The best of #TrumpBookReport. (“It took Low Energy Harry Potter 7 books to defeat Voldermort. Sad! I would have beat him in the first book!”)

Meanwhile, in Real News That Sounds Like A Joke:

“On Wednesday, Congress was so determined to pass a law to sue Saudi Arabia that it overrode President Barack Obama’s veto. But possible backlash against America had top Republican leaders looking for someone else to blame [September 30]. And they appear to have settled on Obama.”

A Trump-vs-Clinton history matchup, comparing what the two were doing in various years.

Video after Pence’s showing at the VP debate: “Trump never said that” intercut with times when Trump said that.

Best of Hillary Clinton on SNL October 19, 2016

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Some of the things I watched while waiting for tonight’s real-life final debate.

A Hillary Christmas: 2015!Hillary (Kate McKinnon) gets a time-and-space-crossing visit, as Amy Poehler and Tina Fey reprise their roles as 2008!Hillary and Sarah Palin.

Hillary Campaign Ad – HRC starts adapting Bernie’s policies…also his mannerisms, outfits, and hairstyle.

Hillary & Bernie Cold Open – towards the end of the primary contest, the candidates get drunk in a bar together, schmooze a bunch, and end up dancing.

Hillary Clinton Bar Talk – McKinnon!Hillary pours out her woes to a bartender…played by the actual HRC, who takes some ribbing with grace.

The Evolution of Hillary Clinton – NBC presents a montage of SNL’s portrayals of Clinton over the years.

Presidential Debate #1 – “He’s spent his life cheating middle-class laborers. Laborers like my own human father, who made, ah, I guess drapes, or printed drapes, or sold drapes, some’pm with drapes, and he was relatable, and I am, also, relatable!”

Presidential Debate #2 – “Get real. I’m made of steel; this is nothing. Hi, girls.”

I’ve watched that last one three times now. Already looking forward to how they’re going to salve the wounds this weekend.