politics

Biden Says Let’s Keep Marching

One of the things I’ll miss most about President Obama being in office is the obvious friendship, brotherhood, and admiration that exists between Obama and Biden.

Vice President Biden shared this today:

For eight years, I’ve had the privilege to stand with my friend and brother, to fight alongside him to make sure every single American has a chance to get ahead. I really mean it when I say Barack is one of the finest presidents we have ever had….
I’ve been so proud to stand side-by-side with Barack on our march toward a more perfect union. Let’s keep marching.

Read the entire lovefest on his Facebook page here.

feminism & equality, politics

Justice Sotomayor is Right.

When I saw the news of Alton Sterling being killed by police last night, I was reminded of a dissent I’d recently read by Justice Sotomayor. I have a feeling the story the police give about why they approached Sterling, and why deadly force was used and is okay, will not being something with which I agree. Extrajudicial execution is NOT OKAY and it’s against what we’re supposed to stand for as Americans.

Each time, this is heartbreaking, for every victim of this kind of treatment by police, and every black person who watches these things happen over and over and feels hurt, less welcome, less cared for, and that they are treated as less than fully American. It breaks my heart, and I’m watching from the view of being white. I can only imagine what it feels like from the other side, and it’s too much.

And I know there are police officers out there every day not doing these horrible things, but even when acting within the law, our punishments have gotten out of control. Expecting citizens to be okay with being stopped anytime and forced to answer to a cop for seemingly no reason is ridiculous. And decades long prison sentences for theft, in which no humans were harmed or threatened, are horrific. It’s stuff. But that’s a topic for another day.

###

On June 20, the Supreme Court’s decision in Utah v. Strieff weakened the Constitution’s protections against unlawful police stops. The ruling said that evidence found could be used in court if the officers found an outstanding arrest warrant during the stop.

Sotomayor’s dissent is not directly related, but there was a line that stuck out to me and following the Sterling story today reminded me I’d wanted to document it here so I’ll remember it later and forever.

Her dissent is powerful, smart, and important. Here’s a small piece:

By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged. We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. See L. Guinier & G. Torres, The Miner’s Canary 274–283 (2002). They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.
* * *
I dissent.

(Bolding mine.)

And this little bit again, just to make sure you didn’t miss it:

We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere.

The canaries in the coal mine. And we can’t breathe.

We’re lucky to have her on the Court.

  • Find SCOTUSblog’s coverage of the case here.
  • Grab a PDF of the official decision here.
  • Read The Atlantic’s recap and praise for Sotomayor’s dissent here.
politics, television, Uncategorized

Last Week Tonight on Congressional Fundraising

Last Week Tonight continues to do important work. In case I haven’t mentioned it enough times for you to remember that and/or you don’t have HBO and you keep forgetting to subscribe to their YouTube channel, HERE:

All together now: WTF?!

As a total government nerd (degree in it and all), I knew this, but seeing it in this neat little package was a nice reminder and I like that it’s information that can easily be shared with others. (Share it.)

We’ve got a problem, y’all, and our government needs fixing.

feminism & equality, politics

Justin Trudeau is pretty sure you won’t move to Canada (but watching this will make you want to).

Full text from the video interview (and more memes) here.

justin trudeau ryan gosling meme patriarchy vox

❤ ❤ ❤

funny, politics

A Trumpdate (Sorry)

This is hilarious and awkward and very amusing to me: The amazing story of Donald Trump’s old spokesman, John Barron — who was actually Donald Trump himself.

In the 1980s, when reporters called the Trump Organization to request an interview with the boss, they were sometimes referred to a spokesman, instead. That a busy and image-conscious executive such as Donald Trump would place a buffer between himself and the media was hardly unusual, but there was a twist: The spokesman, John Barron, was actually Trump, hiding behind a fake name.

Also, this by Nora Ephron on Trump from back in 1989 is interesting and informative, considering:

Here is what interests me about Donald Trump: He wants to be famous. He wants people to talk about him. He wants people to notice him. He wants people to write about him. He wants people to ask him for autographs and recognize him and invade his privacy; not that he seems to have any privacy; he doesn’t even seem to have a single solitary thought he manages to keep to himself, so perhaps there’s no privacy to invade. Perhaps that’s the secret. Who knows? It doesn’t matter. I tip my hat to Donald Trump, because except for the occasional churlish moment he seems to be genuinely enjoying the experience of fame in a way that no one in his right mind ever does, and the fact that he therefore seems not to have any sense or intelligence or taste whatsoever is beside the point. The man has adapted.

And this if my favorite kind of Obama, right after mega-nerd Obama:

feminism & equality, politics, world news

Trubama: I ship it.

Did you catch Canada’s Prime Minster Trudeau making the rounds with President Obama yesterday? They held a joint press conference that’s worth checking out:

Because I mean, it’s this guy:

Later in the day, they got dressed up for a State Dinner (and look at Michelle!):

And that’s when the Internet noticed their friendly relationship and #Trubama happened:

At the State Dinner they took turns giving toasts full of friendship and gentle ribbing and adorable smiles:

For more that will make you want to do heart eyes at PM Trudeau:
5 Reasons To Love Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau (ThinkProgress).

politics, youtube

Foreign Policy 101

This presidential primary hasn’t seemed to have spent enough time talking about the candidates and foreign policy as far as I can tell, and that’s a really key part of what a president does. Crash Course is great at explaining why it’s really important.