erinptah: (daily show)
"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.
erinptah: (daily show)
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."
erinptah: A map. (writing)

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 [video].

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.

erinptah: Hiding in a box (depression)

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.
erinptah: (Default)

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.

erinptah: (daily show)

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.

erinptah: (Default)

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.

erinptah: (daily show)
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.
erinptah: (Default)
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.
erinptah: (Default)

I always forget how much the Vice Presidential debates are 90% about the VP candidates talking up their running mates.

The first question should've been "tell us why you're proud to be running with [POTUS candidate]." Get all their talking points out of the way, then move on to "tell us why, if the president is incapacitated, you're qualified to step in."

-----

Trump stuff:

"...if you worked at a Trump casino, you were nearly 40 percent more likely to lose your job than if you worked at one of the others. [...] In head-to-head competition – with the same businesses in the same place and time, facing the same challenges – Trump’s casinos performed worse, on average, than their peers at creating sustainable jobs."

"Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents." Remind me why this isn't disqualifying?

"A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in Communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." Or this?

-----

Double standards:

"If Republicans were truly concerned with transparency, strengthening FOIA, and preserving federal records, they would be attempting to recover Secretary Powell’s emails from AOL, but they have taken no steps to do so despite the fact that this period — including the run-up to the Iraq War — was critical to our nation’s history."

-----

Clinton stuff:

The hit count on that post with a roundup of HRC's policy positions has reached Over Nine Thousand. Mostly on the strength of an early reblog by Diane Duane. I was mostly just hoping it would get through to a few people before getting lost in the general sea of political discourse, and then, yowza.

"Clinton has traveled the world advocating a better life for women in places where that concept wasn't even on the radar. She's pushed for paternity leave here in the United States, and became a symbol of women's rights and women's progress everywhere. Looking at Secretary Clinton and reading about her accomplishments, it's tough to think that it was just 100 years ago the U.S. elected the first woman to Congress. That 100 years later, she's our first female candidate for president to win a primary."

"In June 2010, as the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) notes, Secretary Clinton’s State Department began allowing transgender people to change passport gender markers with a physician’s certification that they had received 'appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.' For the first time, sex reassignment surgery (SRS) was not required to make the correction."

And I'll let Bernie have the last word:

"I ran as a third-party candidate. I'm the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. I know more about third-party politics than anyone else in the Congress, okay? And if people want to run as third-party candidates, God bless them! Run for Congress. Run for governor. Run for state legislature. When we're talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not time for a protest vote. This is time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of people to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be."

erinptah: (Default)

aka, a post I wrote for Tumblr and am cross-posting for reasons of multi-platform integration.

So I got tired of not seeing any news on HRC’s actual positions because every single media outlet is busy fact-checking Trump’s latest Twitter tantrum, and decided to look some up.

Also, tired of stories about 26-year-olds complaining that they can’t get behind Clinton because they don’t know what she stands for, and also have no idea who Ralph Nader is, even though these frickin’ kids are only two years younger than me and also Wikipedia exists

But anyway. Hillary Clinton! Actual positions!

Guys, there’s so much to love.

erinptah: (daily show)
Harriet Tubman: Civil War military operation director.

Deadshot Mary, real-life hotshot 1930s undercover detective.

I can't believe that, when I studied the House Committee on Un-American Activities in school, nobody ever mentioned to us that it was established by an actual paid KGB spy.

June 2016: “The sex of Jamie Shupe is hereby changed from female to non-binary. Notice of this legal change shall be posted in a public place in Multnomah County as required by law.”

"A leading news reporter for Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, has been 'overwhelmed' by the support he has received from his employers and the public since he revealed that he identifies as 'gender fluid.'"

"The quarantined area that Lazowski and Matulewicz created became a haven for Polish Jews, who could hide in Rozwadów under the cover of the fake epidemic without fear of the Nazis discovering them. All told, the doctors saved an estimated 8,000 people from being killed or imprisoned during their three-year campaign."

Graphic: Hillary vs. Trump on their law-breaking, relationships with shady parties, and general transparency.
erinptah: (daily show)
"Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live." Well, would you look at where the voter fraud is.

"Did one of Alma Powell’s donors ever ask for a better seat at a Powell-era function? Nobody knows, because nobody would think to ask. "

"We do not like Hillary Clinton, but not because she is woman, no no. We are young Americans with soft hands who do not think it is shameful to vote for a female who has never strangled a wolf."

"Hillary Rodham Clinton is a liberal Democrat on domestic matters, and Bernie Sanders is a socialist. They voted the same way 93 percent of the time in the two years they shared in the Senate." An analysis of the differences.

"Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump 'lacks the character, values and experience' to be president and 'would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.'"

"A former North Carolina staffer for Donald Trump's presidential campaign is claiming in a lawsuit that its then-state director pulled a gun on him and that senior campaign officials refused to do anything about it."

"When Trump wishes the Olympic team good luck, he’s tweeting from his iPhone. When he’s insulting a rival, he’s usually tweeting from an Android. Is this an artifact showing which tweets are Trump’s own and which are by some handler?" Detailed text analysis says...sure looks like it.

"Thirty times, they caught him. Trump had misstated sales at his condo buildings. Inflated the price of membership at one of his golf clubs. Overstated the depth of his past debts and the number of his employees. That deposition — 170 transcribed pages — offers extraordinary insights into Trump’s relationship with the truth."

"Tiny heart / Tiny hands / What kind of monster will not pay a children's band?"
erinptah: (Default)

“Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times. He asked, at one point, ‘If we have them, we can’t we use them?’... Three times, in an hour briefing, ‘Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?'”

"Donald Trump asking about nuclear weapons is the biggest red flag since Voldemort asked about Horcruxes as a teenager at Hogwarts."

"Fine, let’s stipulate that she’s a crook. That crook is all that’s standing between us and having President Donald Trump redefine the future of this country and of the Republican Party. Donald Trump is unfit for office."

If you want reasons to vote for Hillary instead of just against the apricot hellbeast, look no further than Michael J. Morell, former CIA deputy director:

I spent four years working with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, most often in the White House Situation Room. In these critically important meetings, I found her to be prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing to change her mind if presented with a compelling argument.

I also saw the secretary’s commitment to our nation’s security; her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and, most important, her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all — whether to put young American women and men in harm’s way.

Mrs. Clinton was an early advocate of the raid that brought Bin Laden to justice, in opposition to some of her most important colleagues on the National Security Council. During the early debates about how we should respond to the Syrian civil war, she was a strong proponent of a more aggressive approach, one that might have prevented the Islamic State from gaining a foothold in Syria.

I never saw her bring politics into the Situation Room. In fact, I saw the opposite. When some wanted to delay the Bin Laden raid by one day because the White House Correspondents Dinner might be disrupted, she said, “Screw the White House Correspondents Dinner.”

Or, to put it another way: "This is literally why we have a representative government. I know you don’t want to read long, boring things. So I do it for you, and I ask a bunch of smart people, and we come up with shit that works. Here’s my solution on energy. Here’s my solution on Wall Street. Here’s my solution on jobs. I have fucking binders full of this shit and you know it. I’m so fucking ready, America."
erinptah: (daily show)
And it's not just any performers Trump won't pay. It's adorable little girls. "In an article posted this morning, Jeff Popick, the man who wrote the song and the father of the youngest Freedom Girl, informed the Washington Post that he plans to sue Trump over promises Popick says were made and then broken by the campaign." Oh, and he's trying to stiff a hotel that hosted a campaign event, too.

A 74-page document that's nothing but links to terrible things Trump has said and done. And growing.

"The results of an online survey conducted by Teaching Tolerance suggest that the campaign is having a profoundly negative effect on children and classrooms. It’s producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported."

"While working on “The Art of the Deal,” Schwartz kept a journal in which he expressed his amazement at Trump’s personality, writing that Trump seemed driven entirely by a need for public attention. “All he is is ‘stomp, stomp, stomp’—recognition from outside, bigger, more, a whole series of things that go nowhere in particular,” he observed, on October 21, 1986."

On the flip side: "Clinton’s promise is a big one, but that doesn’t mean it’s an empty one. This morning, Moody’s Analytics released a report concluding that Clinton’s economic plan would create 3.2 million jobs and accelerate growth of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). By contrast, earlier this month, a similar (albeit contested) Moody’s analysis of Trump’s economic plan estimated that it would reduce employment (by about 3.5 million jobs), reduce economic output, and prompt a painful recession."

"It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor." The text" Someday a woman will be president." The year: 1995. How far we've come.

"I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?" This woman's strength is incredible. Dishonor and shame on anyone who attacks her.

I want to live in The Onion's uniferse: "Donald Trump reportedly threw himself on his bed Tuesday and asked himself 'Why can I never seem to say the right thing?' while weeping into his pillow."
erinptah: (Default)

From February 2013, right after Hillary left as SecState: "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most popular U.S. politician, surpassing fellow Democrats President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as well as leading Republicans, a national poll found."

This whole article on Clinton's leadership style is worth reading, but here's one of my favorite parts:

Laurie Rubiner, who served as Clinton’s legislative director from 2005 to 2008, recalls being asked to block out two hours on the calendar for “card-table time.” Rubiner had just started in Clinton’s office six weeks before, and she had no idea what card-table time was, but when the boss wants something put on the calendar, you do it.

When the appointed day arrived, Clinton had laid out two card tables alongside two huge suitcases. She opened the suitcases, and they were stuffed with newspaper clippings, position papers, random scraps of paper. Seeing the befuddled look on Rubiner’s face, Clinton asked, “Did anyone tell you what we’re doing here?”

It turned out that Clinton, in her travels, stuffed notes from her conversations and her reading into suitcases, and every few months she dumped the stray paper on the floor of her Senate office and picked through it with her staff. The card tables were for categorization: scraps of paper related to the environment went here, crumpled clippings related to military families there. These notes, Rubiner recalls, really did lead to legislation. Clinton took seriously the things she was told, the things she read, the things she saw. She made her team follow up.

"The claim that Hillary is innately dishonest is simply accepted as a given. [...] And yet here’s the thing: it’s not actually true. Politifact, the Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking project, determined for example that Hillary was actually the most truthful candidate (of either Party) in the 2016 election season. And in general Politifact has determined that Hillary is more honest than most (but not all) politicians they have tracked over the years."

"How can we reconcile the “unlikable” Democratic presidential candidate of today with the adored politician of recent history? It’s simple: Public opinion of Clinton has followed a fixed pattern throughout her career. Her public approval plummets whenever she applies for a new position. Then it soars when she gets the job."

So let's get her this job.
erinptah: (Default)
"What’s especially impressive about this is that despite not bothering with typical business expenses like “paying people who do work for you,” [Trump] still managed to go bankrupt running a business that involves customers giving you their money in exchange for nothing."

"Remember 2008, when the markets went from thinking housing debt was low-risk to thinking it was high-risk, and a global financial crisis was the result? [Trump's economic plan] would be like that, but much worse — US government debt is the very foundation of low-risk investments."

(On the very low chance that the mangled apricot hellbeast wins, the good news is, Cape Breton wants people.)

"This may not be surprising to anyone, but there is not a single county in the United States in which a minimum wage earner can support a family. Not one."

"The US nuclear weapons force still uses a 1970s-era computer system and 8-inch floppy disks, a government report has revealed."

A Ted Cruz ad featuring a formidable Hillary Clinton silencing male advisors with a single disapproving flick of her eyebrows while Huma Abedin stalks the room like a tigress. I have confidence in this team.
erinptah: (daily show)
Hillary has clinched the Democratic nomination, and I was not expecting to be this giddy over it, but, wow.

My first awareness of HRC was back when I was in elementary school, and she was First Lady. We have the same birthday, October 26, so I (read: my parents) sent her a letter about it.

And Hillary (read: someone in her communications department) sent a happy-birthday letter back. White House stationary, officially photocopied signature, the whole bit.

And that kind of ethos just seems to be a thing with her, on all levels. Whether it's a kid with no real political awareness or an activist trying to get her on their side in a push for genuine social change, she has somebody on top of it. (Compare the Sanders' campaign's fumbling at things as basic as trying to book a venue for a big event. There's no comparison at all when it comes to Trump's flaming trail of scams, bankruptcies, and incoherent shoestring of a campaign.)

She's not perfect. Neither was Obama. But on balance he's good, and so is she, and even though we've known for like a decade that women in general and Hillary in particular are viable US presidential candidates, it turns out that still hasn't taken the shine off.

She's got the nom. We're gonna get her in the office. We're going to have a one-two punch of precedent-shattering American presidents, and twelve (maybe sixteen!) straight years of a Democrat in the White House, and this is so exciting, you guys.
erinptah: (Default)
As the student body has been vanishing by stages every day this week, the newspaper delivery has stopped, and I'm stuck with my Times emails (and, of course, the fake news circuit) to keep me informed.

The hour has come to close some tabs, as I myself take off this afternoon :)

I'd watch this sitcom:

Sitcom's Precarious Premise: Being Muslim Over Here
By NEIL MACFARQUHAR
Published: December 7, 2006

The handsome, clean-cut young man of evidently Pakistani or Indian origin is standing in an airport line, gesticulating emphatically as he says into his cellphone, ''If Dad thinks that's suicide, so be it,'' adding after a pause, ''This is Allah's plan for me.''

As might be expected, a cop materializes almost instantly and drags the man off, telling him that his appointment in paradise will have to wait, even though the suicide he is referring to is of the career kind; he's giving up the law to pursue a more spiritual occupation.

The scene unrolls early in the pilot of a new Canadian comedy series called ''Little Mosque on the Prairie.''

Yet that fictional moment is an all-too-possible occurrence, as witnessed when six imams were hauled off a US Airways plane in Minnesota in November after apparently spooking at least one fellow passenger by murmuring prayers that included the word Allah.

''Little Mosque on the Prairie'' ventures into new and perhaps treacherous terrain: trying to explore the funny side of being a Muslim and adapting to life in post 9/11 North America. Its creators admit to uneasiness as to whether Canadians and Americans can laugh about the daily travails of those who many consider a looming menace.

''It's a question we ask ourselves all the time,'' said Mary Darling, one of the show's three executive producers and an American who has lived in Canada for the last decade. ''If 9/11 is still too raw, it might not work,'' she said.

There is the other side of that coin too -- what will Muslims think? -- which the show's creators usually summarize in one long sentence that mentions the uproar prompted by Salman Rushdie as well as the Danish cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad.

This concern stems from the almost automatic presumption that ''to look at Muslims in an entertaining way is going to be controversial because they will riot in the streets,'' said Al Rae, one of the show's writers, who noted that he does research by bouncing potential scenarios off cab drivers here. Or as Amaar, the young man detained in the opening airport scene, puts it sardonically, ''Muslims all over the world are known for their sense of humor.''

The strongest insurance against outrage from the faithful is that ''Little Mosque'' is the brainchild of Zarqa Nawaz, a Canadian Muslim of Pakistani origin whose own assimilation, particularly after she left Toronto for Regina, Saskatchewan, 10 years ago, provides much of the comic fodder.

''It rests on my shoulders to get the balance right between entertainment and representing the community in a reasonable way,'' Ms. Nawaz, a 39-year-old mother of four, said in an interview here. ''You have to push the boundaries so you can grow and evolve as a community.''

During one recent episode being filmed at a neighborhood swimming pool, two Muslim characters who are normally veiled leave the changing room to discover that a man has replaced their usual female instructor. The horrified women lunge for bath towels to use as temporary hijabs, or veils, to cover their hair.

Ms. Nawaz, veiled since she was in ninth grade, coached both actresses to be less relaxed. ''I didn't feel that they were panicked enough,'' she said. ''It's a big deal for a hijab-wearing woman to be seen without one.''

Ultimately the solution is found when, as the script describes, ''Fatima comes out dressed in the Haz-Mat Islamic swimsuit.'' The costume designer unearthed a swimsuit on the Internet from Jordan that covers her from scalp to ankle and had it shipped to Canada.

The struggle over what constitutes modest dress is central to the show. When a Muslim girl flounces into her immigrant father's presence with her navel showing, he recoils in horror, saying, ''You look like a Protestant.''

She counters, ''Dad, you mean a prostitute?''

He responds, ''No, I meant a Protestant.''

Ms. Nawaz's humor also emerges in the pool episode. Johnny, the male water aerobics instructor, is gay, and he pointedly says that the sight of the women's hair would not be the least bit arousing.

''I always try to start these debates in my community like: Does gay count? Do you have to cover your hair in front of a gay man?'' Ms. Nawaz said with a chuckle. (It is not the kind of question that arises in Muslim countries, where being openly gay is virtually out of the question; such behavior is punishable by a death sentence in some places.)

Fellow Muslims often dismiss her thoughts and questions as too outrageous, she admitted. ''But now I have a whole series to express them.''

Amaar, for example, is abandoning a law career to become the new imam, or prayer leader, in the small town of Mercy. His predecessor as imam preaches sermons like, ''First there was 'American Idol,' and now there is 'Canadian Idol.' All idols must be smashed.''

Ms. Nawaz wanted the show to look at how a native-born imam, exceedingly rare at the moment, might deal with issues differently from the standard imported imams. The actor who plays the young imam, Zaib Shaikh, is the only Muslim in the cast, although the creators said they had hoped more would audition.

Another episode focuses on the anguished debate among strict Muslim families about allowing their children to dress up and collect candy on Halloween, a Christian affair built atop a pagan festival. Most North American Muslims eventually compromise because the day has been drained of religion. ''Little Mosque on the Prairie'' turns it into ''Halal-oween,'' halal being the Arabic word for anything religiously permissible.

The sitcom grew out of the battle in Ms. Nawaz's mosque in Regina over whether women had to pray behind a partition, a heated controversy across the United States and Canada. She vehemently opposed the idea, ultimately making a documentary released this year called ''Me and the Mosque'' about the tug-of-war with her own imam as well as similar segregation battles in Chicago and West Virginia.

The documentary sparked her idea that all manner of tension between moderate and conservative Muslims -- one episode focuses on the partition issue -- would make both Muslims and non-Muslims laugh. There were 600,000 Muslims in Canada in the 2001 census, with the number now estimated around 800,000. Estimates for the American population are around six million.

In an earnest manner not atypical of Canadians, one goal of the show is to explain Muslim behavior, or at least make Muslims seem less peculiar, much as humor about Jews, Italians or gays helped those groups assimilate.

''On the news all you ever hear are voices from the extreme end of the spectrum,'' Ms. Darling said. ''This gives voice to ordinary people who look just like other ordinary people.''

With its small-town setting and affable cast of characters -- even a talk radio host who labels Muslims as terrorists comes across as rather lighthearted -- the show unrolls a bit like ''Mary Tyler Moore'' or some other 1970s sitcom. It is scheduled to start on CBC on Jan. 9, with eight episodes. More are under negotiation. Pitches will be made to networks in the United States in December, so at first only Americans in border states will be likeley to have access to it.

Test audiences have been somewhat divided, the producers said. Younger viewers, especially Muslims, tend to laugh openly with recognition. Others, particularly the older generation -- whether Muslim or not -- hesitate.

''Nobody has done a comedy about Muslims before, so they are not sure how to take it,'' Ms. Nawaz said. ''Some non-Muslims wonder, 'Are we allowed to laugh?' ''

---

(Alas, it's Canadian.) I'm not so sure about this movie, though, despite the crop of TDS associates in the cast. (Riggle, Rob, and the ever-entertaining Lewis Black.)

In the real world, Muslims are having actual, unfunny difficulties: charities being frozen without conviction and sometimes without charge. Faith-based initiatives, anyone?

Conan O'Brien appears to be taking a page out of Colbert's book in terms of audience interaction. It's not as intense, but rather than snap up a name mentioned on the show (such as DibsRegistry.com) and let it sit idle, his staff had not only grabbed HornyManatee.com, but was having fanart posted. Conan/manatee, OTP?

Hillary Clinton has a cool adviser. Sexy, smart, and savvy, but stays out of the spotlight. Shame.

The Onion is sharp today. Biting. I like it.

One last lol: Maureen Dowd's latest column is not as snazzy as the last, but the title - a play on a classic film - is worth sharing: "Will Hilzilla Crush Obambi?"

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Where the towels are oh so fluffy

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