Comic for September 20, 2017

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:59 pm
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Question of the Day

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:00 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

Suggested by Shaker yes: "What food item do you really enjoy that others usually toss out without eating?"

The orange slices that often come on a plate as a breakfast garnish at diners.

High Enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton!

Sep. 19th, 2017 05:00 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

Hey, here's a neat story that was published today at CNBC! "Hillary Clinton's Book Is No. 1 on Amazon, Outselling Tom Brady and Stephen King." For real! Here's a screenshot and everything!

screenshot of CNBC headline with accompanying photo of Hillary Clinton smiling

Gee, it's almost like that insistent and ubiquitous narrative during the campaign that there was "low enthusiasm" for Hillary Clinton was bullshit, is bullshit, and will always be bullshit.

Just like a boring old neoliberal shill of a stupid broken record told ya.

[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
photos of caracal kittens

Caracals are a species of wild cats that can be found in the savannas of Africa and Central Asia. Their characteristic long ears will definitely charm you. The cute caracals and their even more adorable kittens are well known for their long ears that have a black tuft on their back. For some, this characteristic makes them seem more fierce, but for others such as their babies, it makes them look so lovely. They are nocturnal hunters in the wild and their biggest threat is the destruction of their habitat by humans.

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Tagged: caracal , photos , kitten

Earthquake in Mexico

Sep. 19th, 2017 03:45 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

Just 11 days after Mexico was hit by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake, which killed at least 98 people, displaced an enormous number of people, and left an estimated 2.5 million people in need of assistance, another 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit today, collapsing buildings and doing widespread damage that has left large parts of Mexico City without power. Many people have been injured, and there will unfortunately probably be a number of casualties.
The quake hit five miles (eight km) southeast of Atencingo in the state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles (51 km), USGS said.

Puebla governor Tony Galil tweeted that several buildings in the city of Cholula had been damaged, including churches whose steeples collapsed.

Several buildings in Mexico City collapsed, while swathes of the capital were left without electricity.

Video posted online showed slabs of concrete peeling from the facade of the labor ministry and plunging onto the street below amid clouds of dust.

...The quake shook the capital on the anniversary of the devastating 1985 earthquake which cost thousands of lives and destroyed many buildings in the capital.

Much of Mexico City is built on former lake bed, and the soil is known to amplify the effects of earthquakes even hundreds of miles away.

Just two hours and 15 minutes before Tuesday's quake, buildings across the city held practice evacuations drills on the anniversary of the 1985 quake.

I can't find the words to convey the sympathy I feel for the Mexican people affected by these back-to-back earthquakes and their aftershocks. Nothing feels sufficient. I am so sorry.

Please feel welcome and encouraged to use this thread to share recommended agencies doing earthquake relief and other ways to help. As always, let's keep this an image-free thread. Thanks.
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Toxic masculinity; misogyny; sexual assault; stalking; class warfare.]

Of all the horrideous post-election Reporter Ethnographies of the Mysterious Masculinity of the Rust Belt pieces, this might be the absolute shittiest, which is really saying something: "Why I Hitchhiked the Rust Belt in Search of the American Man" by Drew Philp at the Guardian.

There are abundant egregious failures in this piece — and I will leave it to you to tease out each and every one of them in their appalling abundance in comments, should you be so inclined — but there is no more execrable failure in the piece than its opening, in which is recounted a story of the writer and his accompanying photographer being picked up by a woman, who tells them of being "raped, beaten, left for dead" by an ex-husband who also killed their son in utero and continues to stalk her.

There is no follow-up to this story in the piece. No commentary on what that story, the story of an American woman whose life has been made a relentless misery by an American man, means for a piece in which two men are on assignment "in search of the American man."

That's because there's no room in this story for women at all. There never is.

There is never room for the women and children who are victims of the American man, and who are simultaneously victims of the class warfare and unregulated capitalism and union-busting and erosion of worker's rights and automation and wage stagnation and insufficient safety net by which many American men in the rust belt are victimized, too.

There is only room for the conjuring of our sympathies for men, by other men who escaped their fate — and deal with the trappings of their privilege by lionizing men of the lower classes with gilded patronization.

Daily Dose of Cute

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:30 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Dudley the Greyhound and Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt lying on the sofa beside each other
Tandem napping.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

We Resist: Day 243

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:15 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: The Latest on Mueller's Russia Investigation and Trump Is Cringingly Humiliating at the U.N.

As I mentioned yesterday, Republican healthcare access erosion is back, and the GOP Senate caucus is again trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

And Mitch McConnell is wasting no time in trying to ram it through, sans details or Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, to try to prevent us from having time to organize effective resistance for the third time.

Reuters reports: "U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday urged quick action on a recently introduced bill to repeal Obamacare and said it had a lot of support. The legislation by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy is 'an intriguing idea and one that has a great deal of support,' McConnell, a Republican, told the Senate. Lawmakers should act, because we know that 'our opportunity to do so may well pass us by if we don't act soon,' he said."

And the bipartisan bill to improve Obamacare is now dead.

This is a complete disaster in the making, especially with the "moderate" Republicans now looking more likely to support the new bill, despite the fact that it addresses none of their concerns. "Principles schminciples."—Every Republican ever.

Especially John McCain: "Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was one of three Republican 'no' votes in July that derailed the last GOP health care effort, said he might 'reluctantly' vote for the bill if his governor supported it. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, backed the legislation later that day."

You know what I'm going to say: MAKE YOUR CALLS.

But don't just listen to me. Listen to former vice-presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine.

If you need help resisting, head on over to the Trumpcare Toolkit.


* * *

This is just a real thing in the world:

As you may recall, this is the same shit Mike Pence tried to pull when he was governor of Indiana, and then claimed he didn't know anything about it when he got busted. (See section five here.)

Anyone who imagines that the Republican Party wants to distance itself from Trump is fooling themselves or is a rank liar. The Republican Party couldn't be more thrilled that Trump is ushering in authoritarianism and legitimizing propaganda. They can't fall in line fast enough.

* * *

Rosalind S. Helderman and Karoun Demirjian at the Washington Post: Senate Intelligence Committee Interview with Trump Lawyer Abruptly Canceled.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has unexpectedly canceled a Tuesday session to interview Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for [Donald] Trump's business and a close associate of the president.

The meeting was scheduled as part of the committee's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Cohen arrived for the interview with his attorney Tuesday morning, but left the closed door session after about an hour, informing reporters waiting outside that committee staff had suddenly informed him they did not wish the interview to go forward.

...Cohen had planned to tell the committee that he has "never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack or interfere with the election."
Sounds legit. Anyway, the reason that the committee declined to speak with Cohen today is because he violated an agreement not to speak to media ahead of his testimony by releasing a statement to the press this morning.

In a joint statement, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R) and Vice-Chair Mark Warner (D) explained: "We were disappointed that Mr. Cohen decided to pre-empt today's interview by releasing a public statement prior to his engagement with Committee staff, in spite of the Committee's requests that he refrain from public comment. As a result, we declined to move forward with today's interview and will reschedule Mr. Cohen's appearance before the Committee in open session at a date in the near future. The Committee expects witnesses in this investigation to work in good faith with the Senate."


* * *

Dan Alexander at Forbes: Eric Trump's Old Foundation Apparently Held Secret Event at Trump-Owned Golf Club. "The charity formerly known as the Eric Trump Foundation apparently held a secret event at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York on Monday, even though the Eric Trump Foundation remains under investigation by the office of the New York state attorney general. The charity, which was renamed Curetivity, is legally allowed to raise money as the investigation continues. But its choice of venue seemed to be an act of defiance. Eric Trump had previously falsely stated that his charity got to use his family's assets '100% free of charge,' but a June story in Forbes magazine debunked that claim and sparked a state investigation into the organization. It is not clear who will cover the costs for Monday's event." This whole fucking family. What a bunch of disgusting grifters.

Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump Officials Quashed Study Showing Refugees' Net Benefit to US. "Trump administration officials nixed a study that found refugees had brought in more government revenue overall than they had cost in benefits, the New York Times reported Monday. The White House was ultimately given a report that spelled out only the costs associated with refugees. It's unclear exactly who nixed the information from the study showing refugees' positive net fiscal impact on the country. The Times' report comes as the Trump administration determines how many refugees to accept in the coming year, ahead of an Oct. 1 deadline. Two people familiar with talks over the refugee cap told the Times that White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller had intervened to ensure that only costs associated with refugees, and not government revenues generated by them, were taken into consideration." That fucking guy.

And finally, a story of resistance that demands our solidarity: Sameer Rao at Colorlines: 6 California DREAMers Sue Trump to Block DACA Repeal.
A group of six California residents filed a federal lawsuit [Monday] (September 18) that challenges the Trump administration's plan to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Reuters reports that six adult plaintiffs, all of whom came to the United States as children of undocumented parents, filed a suit to stop DACA's repeal in U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of California just after midnight today. The complaint describes Trump's decision to end DACA as "a broken promise and an unprecedented violation of the constitutional rights of plaintiffs and other young people who relied on the federal government" to maintain the program.

That promise was made in 2012, when the Obama administration introduced the program. The complaint argues that it struck a bargain that allowed undocumented immigrant children to trust the government while building lives in the U.S.

...[Dulce Garcia, a San Diego-based lawyer who came to the U.S. at age four] and her fellow plaintiffs' lawsuit specifically accuses the government of being "motivated by unconstitutional bias against Mexicans and Latinos" to justify violating the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from self-incrimination (including, per the complaint, telling the federal government about your undocumented status in good faith) and the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs how federal agencies can propose and rescind policies.

These allegations feature in other lawsuits filed in the wake of the DACA repeal announcement. As The Hill reported, attorney generals from 15 states and the District of Colombia co-filed one such lawsuit on September 6. The Times reported four days later that California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota attorneys general submitted their own lawsuit, filed in the same federal court as a suit filed by the University of California.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?
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Posted by PZ Myers

Oh, my. Some researchers have discovered that pigments in tattoo inks can, over the years, wander out of the tattoo into places like lymph nodes. They have not, however, identified any danger or harm from this phenomenon. All I can muster is a weary, “So?”. This shouldn’t be at all surprising.

Next up: scientists will discover that the skin texture under your tattoo will change with age, that the shape of your body can distort the shape of your tattoos, and most horrifyingly, that people with tattoos have pigmented inks permanently discoloring their skin!


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