ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



January 2017



What I’m Reading – January 8, 2017

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

The horror show of the incoming administration continues to unfold. The latest? Paul Ryan seeking to deny access to medical care to millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood. The misogyny is strong with that one.

Fight Back

  • “The use of the rule would not be simple; a majority of the House and the Senate would still have to approve any such amendment. At the same time, opponents and supporters agree that the work of 2.1 million civil servants, designed to be insulated from politics, is now vulnerable to the whims of elected officials.” House Republicans revive obscure rule that allows them to slash the pay of individual federal workers to $1 (by Jenna Portnoy and Lisa Rein, via @WashingtonPost)
  • “Call it what you want. I don’t care. Complain that we’re making shit about race — you know what? We are. Complain that we’re keeping the left from focusing only on class — yup, and proudly so. Complain all you want because I am not and will never be ashamed of focusing on the politics of identity. I will not feel a moment’s guilt for slowing this whole train down to make sure that everyone can get on and we’re on the right track. I will proudly own up to making shit hard for you.” Thank God For Identity Politics (by Ijeoma Oluo, via @ESTBLSHMNT)
  • “Paul Ryan said that he would roll defunding Planned Parenthood into the reconciliation bill that will also include repealing Obamacare. That it’s a reconciliation bill means that in the Senate, they need only 50 votes to pass it. Republicans have 52 seats. As Kylie pointed out, defunding both Obamacare and Planned Parenthood would be a double whammy for low-income women and could be seen as an attack on human rights.” The Nightmarish Last 24 Hours of GOP Politics, Summarized (by Dustin Rowles, via @Pajiba)
  • ““We have got just a tremendous number of calls to our office here and district offices concerned about this,” Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) said, according to Bloomberg News. Jones’ Communications Director Allison Tucker told ThinkProgress the congressman also received numerous emails and messages on Facebook from constituents.” Flooded with phone calls from voters, House GOP drops effort to gut ethics panel (by Kira Lerner, via @ThinkProgress)
  • “I hate to disappoint anyone, but the breaking point for me wasn’t the trolls themselves (if I have learned anything from the dark side of Twitter, it is how to feel nothing when a frog calls you a cunt) – it was the global repercussions of Twitter’s refusal to stop them. The white supremacist, anti-feminist, isolationist, transphobic “alt-right” movement has been beta-testing its propaganda and intimidation machine on marginalised Twitter communities for years now – how much hate speech will bystanders ignore? When will Twitter intervene and start protecting its users? – and discovered, to its leering delight, that the limit did not exist. No one cared.” I’ve left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators (by Lindy West, at The Guardian)
  • “These days everybody from left to right — from Dean Baker to conservative Arthur C. Brooks — addresses this breakdown of the labor market by advocating full employment, as if having a job is self-evidently a good thing, no matter how dangerous, demanding or demeaning it is. But “full employment” is not the way to restore our faith in hard work, or in playing by the rules or whatever. (Note that the official unemployment rate is already below 6 percent, which is pretty close to what economists used to call full employment.) Crappy jobs for everyone won’t solve any social problem we now face.” Column: Why we need to say goodbye to work (by James Livingston at PBS)

“Justice” System

  • ““[Cuomo] has rejected a groundbreaking and bipartisan fix to our deeply flawed public defense system and left in place the status quo, in which the state violates the rights of New Yorkers every day and delivers unequal justice,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.” New York governor celebrates New Year’s by denying effective counsel to the state’s poor (by Kira Lerner, via @ThinkProgress)
  • “According to the report, Dajerria Becton and her legal guardian, Shashona Becton, filed a complaint last month claiming that former Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt violated the teen’s constitutional rights through the use of excessive force and holding her without probable cause. The family is also saying that the city and the Police Department are responsible for her injuries by not training officers properly.” Black Teen Slammed to Ground at Texas Pool Party Sues Ex-Cop, City for $5,000,000 (by Breanna Edwards, via @TheRoot)
  • “Organized by the Arundel Bay Area Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc., “Race & the Law” was one of more than 225 similar events held around the country last year and more than 50 such events scheduled across the nation in the first three months of 2017. They are places where anxious black parents bring their children in hopes of preparing them for potentially fateful encounters with the police. They are, in essence, mini boot camps for children about how to be black in 21st-century America.” Black parents take their kids to school on how to deal with police (by Janell Ross, via @WashingtonPost)


  • “In the first half of the Sugar Bowl, ESPN’s Brent Musburger embarked on a bumbling broadcast booth thought experiment about Mixon. He called the punch “troubling,” an adjective the (relative lack of) severity of which would be better applied to his own words than Mixon’s actions, before wishing the running back luck in the NFL. In and of itself, the soliloquy was tone deaf, not to mention what Musburger didn’t say. He uttered not a word about Molitor, and it would have been so easy. He could have wished her well in her recovery, or acknowledged that the video of the punch, released in December, seemed to show both students’ anger issues. At the least he could have expressed hope that both had dealt with that anger and would move on healed from that night. But not a word.” Joe Mixon’s actions, and how we’ve viewed them, cast shadow over Sugar Bowl (by Joan Niesen, via @JoanNiesen)

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