Amanda Marcotte for Salon.com, 25 April 2019

Marcotte calls presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg “the Christian right’s Kryptonite” and at first I thought she was going to anoint him the second coming of Senator Lindsey Graham but thank God no!

While the image some may have of white evangelicals is along the lines of illiterate snake-handlers, anyone who has spent time in the community will immediately realize that Buttigieg is, in nearly every way, their ideal man. He’s intelligent and educated, but in a way that reads as traditional and conscientious, instead of challenging or cosmopolitan — he seems like he was more interested in Graham Greene than Michel Foucault in college. He’s artistic, but not in an edgy way, with musical skills more appropriate for a chapel pianist than a rock band. He’s worked as a naval officer and is a devoted church-goer. He’s married to a beloved junior high teacher who tweets about their dogs.

Buttigieg is what most white evangelical couples dream of in a son — except, of course, that he’s gay and married to a man. And because of this, Buttigieg is able, both in his rhetoric and identity, to expose on a daily basis how the evangelical talk about “family values” is simply cover for their mysogyny and homophobia, and how evangelical “sexual morality” is just a weapon to terrorize anyone who isn’t a straight man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2020: The Race

So far, five Democrats have declared their candidacy:

  • Of the five, four are women. FOUR.
  • One mayor, Julian Castro, from San Antonio, TX, a state that is greatly impacted by the issues of the border wall. This Stanford grad delivered part of his speech in Spanish.

It is clear which groups are most angered by Trump.

We are outraged by the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and by the male posturing of the President and his enablers: Senators McConnell and Graham. By the hypocrisy of Senator Susan Collins.

Also clear: Democracy won’t die with Trump.

Stay tuned.

The Morning After: WOO HOO!!!

It’s November 7. And self is in a good place.

So different from the day after Election Day, November 2016.

So boo-hoo Florida went with de Santis instead of Gillum. (Slate Headline: Ron DeSantis beats Andrew Gillum in Florida After Boost from Racists)

And Beto came close but Texas hung on to Ted Cruz. (Cyrus McQueen: I can’t believe over 3 million people in Texas voted for Ted Cruz . . . that’s literally like choosing to eat a slug instead of a hot slice of pizza)

But now Mueller can unleash!

#bigmood

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

2018 Election: Never Forget

5:36 a.m. in Annaghmakerrig, self stumbled around the dark room, looking for her MacBook.

Open.

Beto O’Rourke down three points to Ted Cruz in Texas.

Upper Chamber of Maine legislature (Senate) flips to Democrats.

Real-Time Seat Forecast:

U.S. Congress: Democrats + 33

U.S. Senate: Republicans + 3


On Twitter, first tweet self read is from Karl Taro Greenfeld and he says : “. . .  seeing Nancy Pelosi . . . ”

What? What? We’re still in business?

Stay tuned.

Message from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee

  • The Supreme Court won’t fix gerrymandering soon, so it’s up to voters.

Charlotte Observer

Half of the officials who will take part in redistricting in 2021 will be elected this year, including governors who will have veto power over rigged maps.

This year, the National Democratic Committee is targeting:

  • 12 states
  • 10 governor’s races
  • 275 state legislative seats

Many of these elections are taking place in districts that are already gerrymandered, so Democrats are facing an uphill battle.

But the electoral fight IS winnable. It happened in Virginia and Wisconsin.

What do we want? We want “to see voters picking their politicians instead of politicians picking their voters.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Jay Parini, from the Introduction to the Penguin Classics Edition of TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, by John Steinbeck

Finished In the Lake of the Woods in the wee hours. Got back past 11 p.m. from the City, resumed reading and just could not put it down until she knew what became of the missing wife.

She then turned to the next book on her reading list, Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck. She’s still on the Introduction, by Jay Parini:

  • East of the Mississippi, the conversations he overheard usually revolved around baseball; west of the Mississippi, the topic was hunting. Even though this was the autumn of an election year — Kennedy versus Nixon — there was no rigorous political debate to be heard anywhere.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Week in the Life

Watched the RBG movie.

Only a week later, RBG would make the news again for a dissenting opinion: She and Sotomayor were the two dissenting votes when the Supreme Court of the United States voted that the baker in Colorado could refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Afterwards, people asked:

Why couldn’t they have gotten someone else to order the cake? The baker would never have known . . .

lol

Self would like to point out that on the basis of the cakes in the bakery (from TV clips), that baker is not particularly good at cake design. So, not much of a loss there (at least, not in her humble opinion). Self wants to offer to pay for a REALLY REALLY fabulous cake and send it to the couple. Even though, of course, the occasion now belongs to a distant past.

Then Kate Spade died.

Then she watched the testimony of the former President of Michigan State to a committee, and heard that Dr. Larry Nasser “volunteered” his services, therefore he never presented a medical bill, therefore there was no accountability either for what he was doing to the female athletes he examined.

One commenter on The Daily Beast pointed out that Dr. Nasser was doing pelvic examinations for ankle injuries. Self thinks that one of the reasons he operated so freely for so long was that Michigan State didn’t want it revealed he was providing all his services for free. And mebbe something about that struck them as mildly un-ethical? The tragedy was that Michigan State was so easily manipulated, when all they had to do was find a competent doctor who was not providing free services. Were they experiencing a budget crisis or what, for 20 years? Definitely the Michigan State president and the US Olympic Committee are culpable. For not just failing to provide oversight, but also for being so stunningly cheap that they thought of Dr. Nasser as a real find! (Well, he was a real find all right: a stalker in sheep’s clothing)

Then she watched Rose McGowan on Dr. Oz.

Then there was an election.

In San Francisco, the mayoral race was (and remains) tight: between a woman and a gay man.

Judge Persky was recalled, with votes in favor at 60%.

The day of the election, self was on the Stanford campus, attending a Feminist, Sexuality & Gender Studies event at Stanford. She learned a lot. Especially from that young woman who did a study of the number of abortion clinics in Texas, and showed that year by year the numbers declined, so rapidly that from a high of almost 300 in 2013, there are only a few abortion clinics operating today in Texas.

The night of the elections, self was so elated over the Persky recall that she stayed up all night, following tweets. In fact, it feels like she hasn’t slept since Tuesday.

Then she had to look up the term “carceral feminism.”

Then she read on Twitter that the recall will have a negative effect on “black and brown people.” (Count self in on one of those categories. Self is definitely not white) So nice to know self is part of that undefined sea of black and brown!

Then she heard Bernie Sanders was weighing in and self thought: No, go away Bernie Sanders.

Then a lot of judges weighed in and said the recall was a threat to judicial independence. Which Persky brought up himself. Which makes no sense because if there really was such a need for judicial independence, why are all county judges elected? Shouldn’t they be appointed?

Also, it’s interesting that most of the people who clamor the loudest against the recall result only spoke up after the fact, when the recall became successful. Which means there is nothing at all wrong with the process. Only, self guesses, the result.

Regarding “concerning blow to judicial independence” and how the recall effect is that now judges will feel “pressure.”

Since Persky was up for re-election in 2022, there was always that pressure. But what the recall did was save many victims who might have come before him between now and 2022. Because self has no doubt that had he remained in office four more years, Persky would have continued to sentence criminals with maximum leniency (especially if they were white Stanford males, like Brock Turner). Digression: Self read somewhere that Turner’s dad questioned why his son should be punished for “20 minutes of action.” Right? The apple does not fall far from the tree.

Then Bourdain died. Self was very, very sad. While he lived, she knew the world could not be a totally bad place, even under 45. Now another iconoclastic voice has been snuffed out, and self is really afraid for what will happen in 2020.

Then self learned from the news that Bourdain was dating Asia Argento, who was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. And Bourdain, bless his heart, spoke passionately on behalf of the #metoo movement.

What a loss. Mr. Sardonic, Bourdain, was 100% behind #metoo, we could have used more of him.

Then self discovered that Persky is a Stanford grad, so he and self have something in common. She loves the school because she studied Chinese there, and afterwards spent two years as a Creative Writing fellow. That Stanford Law School professor who led the recall movement made her feel truly, truly grateful and proud to be a graduate.

There was a tweeter who said that the Stanford law school professor had no credentials, and was not even a real lawyer. Good thing self checked and saw the tweeter had only 50 followers, she would have responded.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Turnout: England, 8 June 2017

The “youthquake” was a key component of Corbyn’s 10-point advance in Labour’s share of the vote — exceeding even Tony Blair’s nine-pont gain in his first 1997 landslide. No official data exists for the scale of this but an NME-led exit poll suggests turnout among under-35s rose by 12 points to 56% compared with 2015. The survey said nearly two-thirds of younger voters backed Labour, with Brexit their main concern.

— Alan Travis, The Guardian, Saturday, 10 June 2017

Danger!: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 3 May 2017

Signage, Cork:

DSCN1591

How will Brexit impact Ireland? No one knows for sure.

What’s next for America?

DSCN1114

Reading The Guardian, March 2017

As luck would have it, self began reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon:

DSCN1109

Self’s reading of THE DECLINE AND FALL gave self all sorts of premonitions.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Zoe Williams in The Guardian, 20 April 2017 (So déja vu)

  • As awful as this is, your despair will make it worse. — Zoe Williams, The Guardian

After watching (on Twitter) a broken-hearted spouse say good-bye to his partner, the policeman killed on the Champs Elysée (was it a week or two weeks ago, who can remember), and feeling like I am about to crack up (dispensing with “self” again — who knows, this may become a thing), I remember what grief I and probably 85% of the citizens of San Francisco felt after the Donald became SCROTUS.

What a bizarre situation to find ourselves in: when Theresa May called a snap election the question wasn’t even whether or not to despair. Obviously I’m in despair, and so are you. Just admit it. Rather, it was in the nature and extent of the despair. We have an unelected Conservative prime minister enjoying a lead in the polls that is higher for an incumbent than at any time since some younger voters have been alive.

Theresa May, the vicar’s daughter, was meant to be the George Washington of probity; her straightforwardness was putatively her redeeming feature, and here she is, doing the thing she has expressly been saying she wouldn’t do, ever since she’s been in post. The Tories have steered us straight into oncoming traffic, to the certain destruction of our international standing, the probable destruction of our prosperity, the possible destruction of our kingdom.

To cement which outrageous victory, they now want a rematch, only this time against an opposition with radical bearing and retail policies, the most unelectable combination imaginable. How can the Conservatives lose? Yet what breadth and depth of damage can they do if they win? Part of me wants to reconcile now to their victory, just so I don’t wake up on 9 June feeling 100 times worse than I did last 24 June after the EU referendum, 1,000 times worse than 9 November after Donald Trump’s victory, and a million times worse than I did after the 2015 general election, which now looks like an election picnic.

To all of which, I can simply say: I feel ya, Zoe Williams.

Stay tuned.

 

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