owlmoose: (da - flemeth)
KJ ([personal profile] owlmoose) wrote2017-08-07 12:24 am

Semi-regular political linkspam: Take a moment to breathe edition

July was a busy time for me at work, and then I went on vacation, and as usual political events moved really quickly. It seems like years have passed since the last time I did one of these, although in reality it was just under a month. So it goes when you're on Trump time. But Congress is on its summer recess (mostly -- the Senate pulled a procedural trick to keep the chamber officially in session, so that Trump can't make any recess appointments; this isn't an unusual practice, though), and the big man himself is on a seventeen day vacation (because he's been SO HARD at work these last several months, you know), so maybe things will be a little quieter for a bit, and we can catch up.

It's nice to think so, anyway.

  • The big story on Twitter this weekend is an anti-diversity memo making the rounds internally at Google. The full text was leaked to Gizmodo; I'm not going to link to it, since it's 1. easy enough to find and 2. the same tedious MRA/alt-right bullshit we've all seen a million times about how women are too emotional to be good coders and "meritocracy" and why Google's REAL diversity problem is not enough Young Republicans (although Anil Dash's short version is pretty entertaining). However, I will link to this ex-Google employee's response, which is excellent. I also direct you to Dr. Nerdlove's Twitter thread on why "at least it's promoting discussion" is exactly the wrong response.

  • The Washington Post examines exit poll data from the last few president elections in search of "Trump Democrats" only to find that they basically don't exist. Most of the voters who switched from Obama to Trump were Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote for Obama. Yet another reason for the Democrats to stop chasing this demographic and focus on pleasing their actual base.

  • Speaking of, yet again more nonsense about the DNC/DCCC giving money as support to anti-choice candidates. Stop. Just stop. It's never helped us before and it's certainly not going to help us now. I will never forget how anti-choice Democrat Bart Stupak almost derailed the passage of the ACA by pushing for anti-abortion provisions. I don't believe in ideological purity tests, and I know that not every regions of the country is willing to elect loud and proud abortion activists. Candidates and elected officials can believe whatever they want, and take more moderate positions on the issue. But when it comes down to it, if you are a Democrat, you support reproductive rights. The end.

  • That said, I have a huge issue with purity politics in general. Bustle has a good article on why women politicians in particular are hurt by an insistence on ideological purity. I'm really ready to be done with circular firing squads now.

  • On the lighter side, sort of, it recently came out that Trump considered buying the San Francisco Giants back in the 1980s. Sports writer Grant Brisbee reacts with the appropriate levels of existential horror.

  • On the occasion of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller impanelling a grand jury, Vox presents a really handy explainer of the probe, what Mueller's authority is, and how the investigation might go.

  • Hey, remember back when we thought Trump's real endgame for his campaign was to launch his own TV network? Well, would you take a look at that.

  • Because of the time gap since my last post, I missed the rapid rise and meteoric fall of never-quite-officially White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (aka "The Mooch"). He'll be a great trivia answer in about ten years. Anyway, Jay Smooth had a great take on the whole thing.

  • The central topic of my last linkspam post was the Senate's continuing attempts to ram through some flavor of ACA repeal; as we all know, that didn't happen, in dramatic eleventh hour fashion. One of my favorite stories about that night comes from Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut, who shared his view from behind the scenes.

  • You may recall a senator with cancer who got a lot of attention for his last-minute no vote. I'd rather celebrate Senator Mazie Hirono, who flew to DC from Hawaii right after surgery for Stage 4 cancer, held the line on every vote, and gave a beautiful, impassioned speech.

  • Speaking of credit where credit is due, let's not forget two other Republican Senators who have stood firm against ACA repeal, almost unwaveringly from the beginning: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

  • Here's an interesting report on the number of Congressional challengers who have already filed to run in 2018 and comparing them to other elections at this point in the cycle. It's worth reading the whole thing, but the upshot is that, in wave elections like 2006 and 2010, opposition party candidates file early in considerably larger numbers than those from the party in power, usually about twice as many. This year? It's an order of magnitude. (209 Democrats vs 28 Republicans.)

  • In the interest of this post not being five million pages long, I'm not even going to get into the whole Donald Trump, Jr., saga, but I was amused in an eye-rolly sort of way by this report from The Hill that Junior is "miserable and can't wait for his dad's presidency to end". Join the club, kid. (Note, autoplay video at that link.). Also, from the BBC, an article on whether this might be the smoking gun, and whether a smoking gun is even enough anymore.

  • Finally. this article is a little older, but it's from the man who coined the phrase white fragility, and it is a very good examination of the subject. Every white person should read this essay with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
novel_machinist: (Default)

[personal profile] novel_machinist 2017-08-07 01:48 pm (UTC)(link)
"women are too emotional to be good coders"

WHAT? WOMEN INVENTED CODING. Women are the first pioneers of coding. Gods, like, I know that they don't use reality (Egypt was white, for example), but still.

You really hit on a lot with the DNC. I think that they feel like they have to court Republicans because they get out and vote and they, to some degree, UNDERSTAND that demigraphic more than the others. That means that they'll be fine throwing women, POC, and anyone in the LGBTQA spectrum under the buss.

And Senator Hirono is a big damn hero IMO.
sathari: (Waiting for ourselves)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-09 07:23 am (UTC)(link)
WHAT? WOMEN INVENTED CODING. Women are the first pioneers of coding.

QFT. I mean, seriously, Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and the West Computing Group would like a word. And anyone who would like to name more Women Who Built The Internet and Every Other Damn Thing... you know, I'm tempted to make a post at my journal for that.)

You really hit on a lot with the DNC. I think that they feel like they have to court Republicans because they get out and vote and they, to some degree, UNDERSTAND that demigraphic more than the others. That means that they'll be fine throwing women, POC, and anyone in the LGBTQA spectrum under the bus.

QFT yet again. I wish the DNC would have the sheer pragmatic demographic sense, never mind ethics and decency, to go in the other direction and declare themselves the party that believes in "inalienable rights"--- regardless of how you live, love, or look. Like, "Hey, if you believe that all human beings have rights, come under our tent!" because I think that is a much bigger tent than the subset of "white working-class" voters who can be peeled off.
lassarina: Fenris from Dragon Age 2, looking fierce. (Fenris: fierce)

[personal profile] lassarina 2017-08-10 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
The problem with not peeling off that subset, though, is the Electoral College, and it's just getting worse. You *have* to court those people, to some extent, because it is not mathematically possible to win the EC with just the coasts + Illinois + Minnesota.
sathari: (Flamethrower)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-10 06:36 am (UTC)(link)
The Electoral College and its cousin gerrymandering are definitely problems.

But I think the problem is that it's possible that the only way to court some of those people is expressly by excluding other demographic groups. They do not care what nice things you offer them, unless you are expressly not offering nice things to groups they do not like.

The ones who don't think that way probably do fall under the heading of "if you believe that 'inalienable rights' business in the Declaration of Independence, come sit here by us in the Democratic Party." (Hopeful thing I read in the NYT today: not only are the current administration's approval percentages dropping, including among those who identify as Republicans, but there's some indication that the reason their approval is as high as it is among Republicans is that there are Republicans following Joe Scarborough's lead and no longer identifying as Republicans at all. Even if they just sit out the next Presidential election out of refusal to vote for either Trump or a candidate that thinks people who don't look like them are people, and the Democrats do get their people out, that's game-set-match. Hence my focus on us casting as wide a net as possible.)

(Admittedly, some of the following is that I'm a liberal/civil-libertarian who's lived in red/swing states almost all my life, but I also tend to feel that for the Democratic party to embrace policies/a platform that will make it less safe for people who lean left (or more to the point who fall into those demographics outside "white working-class") to live in red states is going to exacerbate the "liberals/Democratic voters fleeing to the coasts" problem and make it harder to win the EC. Going for a short-term vote grab that pulls the party rightward--- especially on life-or-death issues like reproductive rights--- risks making things worse in the long run.)
sathari: (Smash patriarchy)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-10 10:00 am (UTC)(link)
Can I plaster this on the forehead of every BernieBro, and also of my well-meaning liberal friends who keep making noises about things like California seceding? Because, yes to all of it.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D YES, YES YOU CAN. I will MAKE FREAKING STICKERS TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR PLASTERING. I mean, if anything, we should be trying to build up some strongholds in some of those swing states--- not only for the sake of the electoral college, but for the more genuinely "liberal" to say nothing of ethical reason of giving queer/neurodiverse/otherwise non-conforming young people born into families that are not just "conservative" but toxically so somewhere more readily accessible to flee to. (Let's occupy Pennsylvania! ;>)

(Ugh. BernieBros. I cannot with BernieBros, and frankly I am not a fan of their ~fearless leader~ either. He's a little too much All About Him and not enough about We The People for me.)
sathari: (Complaints in the system)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-10 10:03 am (UTC)(link)
WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD. Voter suppression (and gerrymandering)--- protecting that fundamental right of citizenship--- is a fantastic tentpole for the Democrats.
lassarina: (Those With Power Use That Power)

[personal profile] lassarina 2017-08-13 11:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I agree with this, yes.
novel_machinist: (Default)

[personal profile] novel_machinist 2017-08-10 12:32 pm (UTC)(link)
You're very correct there. The problem is that we're not really in the same "reality" as each other anymore. The world they see and the world I see are so divorced from each other I don't know that it IS possible to bridge this divide.
sathari: (delusionary hell)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-11 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
...honestly (see above: liberal type who's mostly lived in red states), I'm not sure we ever really did. But we did at least used to have somewhat more agreement on the sourcing of (some) facts (i.e., who the "trusted" authorities were) and the loss of that is worrisome.
novel_machinist: (Default)

[personal profile] novel_machinist 2017-08-11 01:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, we could at least agree enough on the BIG issues. Now they just want to break up my marriage and make it so poor people die in the streets
sathari: (Captain logic)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-12 05:00 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, it's like I said above, there's a whole subset of this country that literally does not care what nice things they are offered (or denied), as long as people of whom they disapprove for whatever reason are denied as much as possible. And they don't care what they have to do, including getting in bed with an historically hostile foreign power, in order to deny Those Icky People anything nice.
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2017-08-09 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
what a good link roundup. And fuck yes to Senators Hirono, Collins, and Murkowski. (I love how they threatened Murkowski and she basically responded "fuck you and the party, I won a fucking write-in campaign, and also I control things you value so go fuck yourself.")

death to ideological purity squads, and also, that fucking google thing. As a lady in IT....I'm so lucky, SO LUCKY, that my team is half female and also that my male teammates have the appropriate "....fuck that" reaction to that thing, because i was not prepared to fight that fight, even if the correct fight is "Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, motherfuckers" mic-drop.
sathari: (Brain transplant no thanks)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-09 07:33 am (UTC)(link)
ILU. I love EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS COMMENT. (You have nailed Murkowski's badassery, and also I just want to say that I fucking love Susan Collins to ridic amounts.) (I expect women Democrats to be awesome.) (On which note I am getting tired of surprise random Nancy Pelosi hate.)

Your IT team rocks, and also I am laughing because I said exactly the same thing above about Lovelace and Hopper, with the addition of the entire West Computing Group for good measure. (We put humans in space because of genius African-American women mathematicians; whiny white boys who want to sit in their cubicles and write code all by their onesies and never have to see a human who doesn't look like them can go eat a stack of punch-cards.)
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2017-08-10 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
ICON. My goodness. Icon.

I mean, there are definitely things about both of them that have made me grind my teeth from time to time, but broadly speaking, if you gotta have an R after your name, be like them, please.

(oh, it's not random. She's a woman who held a position of power and thinks that she has the chops to keep it, which she does, except people are fuckers. See also: every piece of commentary regarding Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand or the aforementioned R senators....)

Yeahhhhhh. My team is the absolute best and we don't talk about it much but whenever it's come up, it's been very obvious that they are the Good Ones. (There's another team adjacent to us that I'm not sure knows they are definitely behaving differently with a female boss than they did with male bosses, but I see it and my coworkers see it, and I don't know what we're gonna do about it, but We Do Not Like and we are damn sure gonna do something. We were talking about the situation today within our team and I said "I mean, I don't want to make it about that--" and two of my coworkers interrupted me with "but it pretty clearly is about that." So. Yeah.)
sathari: (CFb4)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-10 06:55 am (UTC)(link)
ICON. :D :D :D :D Glad you like! (Here, have another one.)

Oh, yeah, I don't expect that I will be a zillion percent in agreement with any politician, but, damn, if those two were the norm for the Republican party I would have to have a good hard think every election cycle.

(Hah, good point about Pelosi, I was just surprised by the sheer level of vitriol I was seeing for the first time, even though I've been on a jillion Democratic/liberal org email lists ever since Bushreich--- I had somehow been left with the impression that she was pretty well liked in the party, sigh.)

Your team, I will say again, sounds AMAZING. And especially good on you for planning how to deal with shitty sexist crap in the workplace.
Edited (Icon) 2017-08-10 10:15 (UTC)
sathari: "My body, my sexuality, my uterus, my vagina, my morals, my life, MY choice (My body my choice)

[personal profile] sathari 2017-08-10 10:13 am (UTC)(link)
EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! YOUR ICON!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D And, yeah, I mean there will never be a politician I agree with always--- even if I were the politician, sometimes I'd have to lean on my constituents' side over my own preferences, because that's the job they elected me to do. (H/T to Sen. Murkowski for apparently making that point to President Scroob's face.)

Aw, thanks for the icon love! All of the ones I've used are gankable to the best of my knowledge--- and, naturally, I'm trying to trot out all the best ones now. ;)
lassarina: Leiliana from Dragon Age, looking alarmed (Leiliana)

[personal profile] lassarina 2017-08-13 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
It really, really does. There was one time when we got a resume where the person's "this is my project to show off!" was (to avoid specifics) basically the epitome of "white techbro does something that he clearly thought was THE COOLEST except oh my god why would you and more to the point why would you think that's a good representation of yourself for a resume??" We looked at it, looked at each other, and then my (straight, white, male) coworker said "uhhhhh, I don't....think this guy is gonna fit in here if this is what he's building" and I was like "oh thank God I don't have to be the one to say it."

(When I started, I, a white lady, was 25% of the diversity statistic of my team; I think it says a lot about my workplace that nobody ever gave me shit for it or treated me as less-than.)