Here’s something you may have missed as the world has continued to crumble around you: a bill that would take away your internet privacy has reached the Senate floor. Very cute of our lawmakers to sneak in these lil’ easter eggs while we’re all distracted by a global pandemic.
The proposed bill is called the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act, aka the EARN IT Act. You may be looking at this and thinking, “I mean, eliminating abuse and neglect sounds like a good thing?” That’s true. This bill sounds nice. It markets itself as a bill that will help put an end to child pornography, which sounds awesome. But here’s the thing: the bill uses the fear of sexual exploitation and abuse to pass a law that will completely infringe on people’s privacy.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham, which is honestly the first red flag. The EARN IT Act, in practice, would eliminate end-to-end encrypted services. K, wtf are end-to-end encrypted services? Valid question. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a method of secure communication that prevents third-parties from accessing data while it’s transferred from one end system or device to another. In layman’s terms, it’s what keeps your conversations and data private and between you and the person you are communicating with online. Think of it this way: do you want the government to read through your DMs?
Decriminalize Sex Work, a national advocacy organization, made an animated short that breaks down why this bill is dangerous:
This isn’t the first bill of its kind. In 2018, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, collectively known as FOSTA-SESTA, was passed under the guise of cracking down on sex trafficking. At face value, FOSTA-SESTA is meant to stop sex traffickers from using the internet to conduct their heinous crimes. However, when you look more closely, you’ll see that it prohibits anyone from using the internet to advertise sexual services, including consenting adults who are trying to go about their business safely.
Many consensual sex workers use the internet to find and screen clients before meeting them, as well as a way to form community and check in with each other about which clients are safe and which are not. So, taking this resource away removed a safety net from sex workers. Sex workers have been put in harm’s way because of FOSTA-SESTA, and this could go even further with the EARN IT Act.
Think about it: if a sex worker’s client knows they could be caught by the authorities because the government is allowed to look at their private messages, they’re probably not going to be as willing to communicate with the sex worker prior to meeting and provide information to let them know they are safe and not a predator. Privacy violations like this leave sex workers without safety resources and push consensual sex work underground, making it much more dangerous.
But it’s not just sex workers who will be affected by the EARN IT Act. There are plenty of communications that should be kept private, like those between lawyer and client, therapist and patient, doctor and patient, etc. So many of our interactions are online these days, especially with quarantine, and many of those private conversations should be kept that way. Also, I don’t want people accessing my nudes for free!
Bills like this often pass unanimously because lawmakers don’t want to look like they’re easy on sex trafficking or child pornography. But the gag is that that’s not what these bills are really about. They’re about gaining access to private interactions so they can use them as proof to criminalize.
If you want to protect your privacy and the privacy of those whose livelihoods depend on it, call your senators and ask them to vote against this bill. And if you want to send them an email, here is a link to help you easily do that!
Protestors across the country have taken to the streets over the past two weeks to demand an end to police brutality. But exactly how do we do that? In an ideal world, police would simply stop brutalizing people, but as you may have seen from the countless videos of cops beating on citizens protesting that exact brutality, we are for sure not living in a world anywhere close to Utopia.
One proposed resolution that has entered the mainstream conversation is defunding the police. For many (read: white people) this is a new, and even confusing concept. You might be asking yourself what defunding the police would entail, and how it could work in a society that has yet to eradicate violence and crime. The idea of taking resources from the people whose job is supposed to be “to protect and serve” might make you question who would be there for you when you needed those services. These are valid questions and concerns, and they have answers.
Hi. When republicans want to defund things like food stamps they just call it tax cuts.
Happy to help.
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) June 9, 2020
Why Should America Spend Less On Policing?
In America, the government collectively spends about $100 billion on policing. On top of that, the United States spends about $80 billion on incarceration. That’s a *shit ton* of money being funneled into criminalizing and locking up our citizens. And there is a major racial disparity at play here. Black men make up about 13 percent of the male population, but about 35 percent of those incarcerated. Similarly, while Black women make up about 13 percent of the female population, 44 percent of incarcerated women are Black.
All of this is no coincidence. The entire concept of incarceration and policing was born out of racism and slavery in America. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, unless convicted of a crime. This made it so white slaveowners who were pissed they were losing slaves could still get that free labor by arresting and incarcerating Black people. Black people were targeted for petty crimes like“walking without a purpose” or “walking at night,” or homelessness.
Police have not just disproportionately targeted, arrested, and incarcerated Black people. They also murder them at considerably higher rates than white people. A Black person in America is 2.5 times more likely to be murdered than a white person. The demonstrations across the nation and world have brought necessary attention to the unjust murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by the police. But these two horrific killings were not isolated. The list of Black people in America that have died at the hands of police brutality is disturbingly long. Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Tony McDade, and many others make up a list that continues to grow without police accountability.
Given ample evidence that Black people’s encounters with police could be more likely to harm than protect them, an entire, marginalized group of our society left feeling unable to contact the police for their safety. That a collective $100 billion spent to “keep Americans safe” that excludes a huge portion of America. How is that fair and just? Spoiler alert, it’s not.
If we want to practice what we preach when we say that Black Lives Matter, then we have to fight for a society that spends its resources on protecting Black lives, and stands up when Black lives are being taken. Continuing to fund the police and giving them the means to take Black lives away from themselves and their families — whether it be by incarcerating them or killing them — then we are, with our action and our inaction, saying that Black lives don’t matter.
So, if we want to protect Black lives, we must, say it with me now: defund the police.
Defund Planned Parenthood: "We can't let the government subsidize murder!"
Defund police: Well hey now…
— The Betches Sup (@Betches_Sup) June 8, 2020
What Does “Defunding” Mean In Practice?
Defunding the police means diverting funds meant for police departments and reallocating them to social services that invest in communities subject to over-policing. What if 9-1-1 wasn’t the only number you could call when you needed help? What if professionals who were better trained to deal with moments of crisis and could help with de-escalation through nonviolent methods? What if asking for help didn’t have to mean dealing with the possibility of legal penalty? Sounds nice, imo.
View this post on Instagram
#linkinbio to the #googledoc featured here. The author’s intro is the very last slide. The author says not to worry about credit of the images, instead for us to focus on imagining living in this world together. I want to live in that world with y’all! Let’s prioritize reparations & black futures. Let’s embrace decolonizing so-called law enforcement and dismantling not only police, but also the prison-industrial complex that has wreaked havoc for far too long. #nooneisdisposable #buildbelovedcommunity #reparationsnow #allseedsusedtobefree this shit has gone too far.
For example, what if when someone needed to report an overdose, they were able to contact healthcare professionals who are trained to deal with substance use and overdoses could come to the scene and assist them without getting the law involved? Then, this person could get the care they need without the fear of being criminalized or even brutalized by police who see them as lawbreakers who deserve punishment. The failed war on drugs has shown us that criminalizing drug use has only exacerbated the problem, so really, leaving the police out of these types of situations would be beneficial.
This applies to various situations in which the police are called in to “help.” Traffic stops, people experiencing homelessness in need of assistance and/or housing, mental health crisis, and domestic issues to name a few.
Instead of giving so much money to police departments and entrusting them to better our communities with it, we could distribute funds to service workers who specialize in the different areas of social and safety services that could make more informed, less combative and violent decisions when working to de-escalate and resolves issues.
Cutting the budgets of police departments wouldn’t just mean being able to fund social and safety services. It would also mean being able to funnel more money into education, healthcare, and public programs at large.
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How do you want *your* money to be spent? a) spend it on police officers that continually abuse their positions and threaten public safety or b) spend it on welfare programs that have been systematically reduced I chose buses here because the amounts were so close but, you know, pick your thing! Want free school meals for every elementary school kid in New York? Cool, that only costs $39 million so you’ve got lots left over. Care about homelessness? Great, you could house 3,281 people for an entire year for this amount. You get the idea. As for the second image, at the protest last night, we chanted 𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘪𝘯 𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘢𝘳? 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦. The UK sells riot guns, teargas and riot shields to the US so we’re also deeply complicit in the violence that these officers inflict. Image 1 sources: New York City Comptroller, Annual Claims Report Fiscal Year 2018 + New York City Comptroller, Financial Outlook for the MTA, 2018 Image 2 sources: The Society for Healthcare Organization Procurement Professionals, April 2020 (this was a report about how prices have risen exponentially due to COVID-19 – these are the prices *after* those rises). Police equipment prices were hard to find. I found a public document where companies bid to provide riot gear for Columbus, Georgia police force in 2017 and used the averages of those bids except for the gloves where I averaged 3 online product listings. Will provide links in stories to all of this. I don't normally use hashtags but I want these images to end up in front of some police officers themselves so excuse me while I fuck with the algorithm a bit. #backtheblue #policelife #kag #kag2020 #lawenforcementfamily #policedepartment #blacklivesmatter #defundthepolice
“Police Reform” vs “Defunding the Police”
Police reform is a term that is thrown around when talking about how to address police brutality, and to be clear, that is different than defunding the police. This usually refers to the idea that we need to create more training programs that teach police how to de-escalate situations, provide them sensitivity and diversity workshops, and the like. This basically means giving police departments more money to teach them how to not be *checks notes* so violently racist that it results in the death of Black people? Honey, if they need extra training for that, I’m afraid it’s a bit of a lost cause at that point.
Reform also means creating more laws that would hypothetically stop cops from abusing their power, like banning the chokehold or making it illegal to shoot at a moving car. Sure, these things should be banned, but should we really be putting on energy into this kind of resolution when a huge part of this conversation is about how police aren’t held accountable? Last I checked, murder was banned too, but that hasn’t stopped them.
“iF we aBoLiSh thE poLiCe how wiLl wE sOlvE mUrDers?” White women with podcasts, Steven.
— Camilla Blackett (@camillard) June 8, 2020
Critics of police reform also point out that the Minneapolis Police Department — which the city has deemed so broken it cannot be fixed — had actually implemented numerous reforms meant to keep community members safe. George Floyd still died.
Now, maybe you or someone you know is upset by the idea of defunding the police because you/they think it’s disrespectful and wrong to take away the money they use to keep their department operating. (And because, yes, the end goal is to abolish the police.) Maybe you know a cop who you feel is a good person. You might have had good experience with cops and/or witnessed one/some do their jobs well. You might even be a cop and consider yourself to be a good one.
I believe that one, some, or all of these things can be true. But at the end of the day, cops have decided to be part of an oppressive system that historically and continuously targets, incarcerates, and murders Black people. People like to dismiss the idea that “cops are bad” by saying, “there are just a few bad apples.” I was reminded of the true meaning behind the “few bad apples” saying and how it actually contradicts this pro-cop line of thinking from a tweet my friend, comedian and writer Julia Claire:
Ah yes who among us could forget the famous adage "A few bad apples…" that has no additional words after it
— Julia Claire (@ohJuliatweets) June 2, 2020
The idiom tells us “a few bad apples spoils the bunch.” Claire points out that people defending “good cops” by co-opting the first half of the bad apples adage are completely ignoring the part where the barrel of apples is ruined from the rot that takes hold of the bunch.
Metaphors aren’t perfect, and man-built systems of oppression don’t operate in the same exact fashion as apples, but it’s worth noting that singular good qualities can’t save the ultimate ruin of the collective group, as the saying warns us.
The individual “good cops” you may know aren’t changing a system rooted in racism with their isolated acts of niceness. Some cops having moments of humanity doesn’t change the fact that in the grand scheme of things, police officers are killing Black people and not being held accountable for it because cops look out for their own. Don’t urge people to forgive the rot that has overtaken the barrel. It’s gross.
Being able to believe that the police will keep you safe is a white privilege. It’s time to stop basing our systems on the perspective and comfort white privilege provides. Defund the police.
If you would like to email your officials and asking them to defund the police, here is a link to help you do that.
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Images: Instagram: @Complex, Instagram: @queerappalachia, Instagram: @theunapologeticallybrownseries, Twitter: @ohJuliaTweets
I’m not sure whether or not this story can be categorized as good news or bad news. The limited nature of binaries fails us once again.
An…interesting new development in the history of Roe v. Wade has come to light this week, as a new FX documentary AKA Jane Roe about the woman known as Jane Roe was released. “Jane Roe” was the then-unnamed plaintiff in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. Jane Roe was Norma McCorvey. McCorvey herself never actually got an abortion, but for years after, she was a part of the pro-choice movement. Then, in the ’90s, McCorvey suddenly flipped her stance and began speaking out against abortion. She claimed to be “born again” as an evangelical Christian, even despite her identity as a queer woman. A real bummer that we ultimately did hate to see.
Turns out that change of heart — like many elements of the anti-abortion rights movement — was all based on a lie.
In the film, McCorvey reveals that her shift to pro-life ideals in the 1990s was all a farce, and that she only claimed to be anti-abortion because she was paid. Yay?.
In AKA Jane Roe, a documentary about McCorvey’s complex life, she reveals why flipped and started doing live speeches for anti-abortion groups. “I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money, and they’d put me out in front of the cameras and tell me what to say. That’s what I’d say. It was all an act. I did it well too. I am a good actress.” A tit for tat, as they say.
In the documentary, McCorvey wants to set the record straight while she has the chance — she passed away in 2017, before the movie was released. She says, “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, that’s no skin off my ass. That’s why they call it choice,” she said in her colorful “deathbed confession.”
Aside from the fact that it’s not just “young” women who need to end pregnancies, I can only hope my last words include the phrase “no skin off my ass.”
McCorvey’s shift to the opposing side of the abortion movement was disappointing, but it wasn’t random. In one of the interviews in AKA Jane Roe, McCorvey explains the resentment she felt towards the left-wing feminists who often looked down on her. They felt she was too uneducated to give public speeches, and instead wanted to use her as a silent symbol for the movement, without ever really treating her as wholly human. Naturally, McCorvey was turned off by that.
McCorvey was, in fact, uneducated. She came from poverty, and had endured abuse throughout her life. She represented the kind of woman who is often left behind in America, especially when it comes to reproductive rights. And yet, the leftwing feminists who fought for her still didn’t treat her with respect. In a sense, they used her too, just as the evangelicals did. So, I guess McCorvey went to the people who were going to pay her.
There’s a lesson here, that I *hope* we can remember. On the left, we often claim to be for the working class, but too often, that’s just symbolic. And that is how we lose their support.
People don’t want to be part of a movement that looks down on them. Why would they? Food for thought!
Image: mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com
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Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault.
We previously penned an article with the headline We Need to Talk About These Assault Allegations Against Joe Biden. One month later, here we finally are. Yay?
In recent weeks, woman named Tara Reade, who worked for Joe Biden when he was a senator in 1993, has come forward accusing the presumptive Democratic nominee of sexual assault, expanding on a previous claim that Biden had touched her inappropriately to allege he also pushed her against a wall and sexually assaulted her.
After remaining silent about the allegations for many weeks, Joe Biden this morning made a statement denying them.
In a written statement, Biden says that this incident “never happened.” The former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee also attempts to advocate for survivors of sexual assault, saying, “While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.”
Biden echoed the sentiments of the written statement in an interview on MSNBC, where he reiterated, “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened.” He also urged the National Archives to search through his Senate records to identify any complaint of misconduct, which Reade says she filed with the Senate in 1993.
Other Biden staffers at the time say they do not recall a complaint or ever discussing an issue like this with Reade. Reade’s motivations have been questioned because of past praise of Vladimir Putin.
So, Biden has graduated from ignoring the allegations to denying them. A bit derivative, but I’m glad he is addressing them now, as they are bound to come up in November. We all know Trump will bring this sh*t up, and Biden needs to be prepared for that. *Thinks about the inevitable moment when these two men go back and forth about their sexual assault allegations on the debate stage and voluntarily dissociates until 2021*
To recap, Tara Reade came forward with allegations of inappropriate touching from Biden back in 2019 when several women did the same. She spoke of incidents when Biden touched her neck and shoulders and made her uncomfortable. Reade has since elaborated on her story, and says Biden shoved her against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers without her consent.
Unfortunately, her story wasn’t met with much of the “believe women” and “all women should be heard” sentiment that the world claimed to adopt in the post #MeToo era. Not many major news outlets covered the story, people accused Reade of being politically motivated, and Biden himself remained silent while women like Nancy Pelosi and Stacey Abrams had to speak on the issue for him.
Not our best work as the party who claims to be champions of survivors, I’ll say that.
Perhaps the reason we finally saw some acknowledgment of these allegations this week are because of a) pressure from women’s rights groups pleading with the former vice president to make a statement before they had to publicly ask him to, and b), evolving reporting that suggests there is more evidence that can be investigated.
Originally, Reade’s brother and a friend who asked to remain anonymous were able to confirm that she told them about the assault after it happened. This week, two more people came forward to say Reade discussed the incident with them.
A former neighbor of Reade’s, Lynda LaCasse, told Business Insider, “This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it.”
Another source, Lorraine Sanchez, a former coworker of Reade’s, says she recalls Reade complaining at the time that her former boss in Washington, DC, had sexually harassed her.
Reade had also previously said that she had talked to her mother, who has since passed, about the assault. A newly surfaced video from 1993 shows a woman calling into “Larry King Live” to seek advice for her daughter who was having “problems” working for a prominent senator.
“My daughter has just left there after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all,” the woman says. “And the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
Reade told CNN that she is confident the voice in this video is her mother’s.
In his official statement, Biden called on the National Archives to release any existing complaint related to Reade’s employment, even as he continued to oppose requests to release other documents related to his years in the Senate, which are housed at the University of Delaware and not scheduled for public release until two years after he leaves public life.
When pressed by MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski about why he wouldn’t allow a search for any documents related to Ms. Reade at the University of Delaware, Biden — seemingly annoyed by the question — claimed that there wouldn’t be anything to find there. He also suggested that releasing the papers could result in the release of private, confidential conversations with officials that his political opponents could use to undermine his 2020 chances. Who, Donald Trump?! He would never!
So, as it stands, Biden denies the allegation, there are several people able to corroborate Reade’s story, but there isn’t any evidence being released that could verify her official complaint against Biden. Hopefully, we can move forward with this information and do a thorough investigation, as women and all survivors do deserve to be heard.
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As you may have heard, some people are getting sick of social distancing. Well, I mean, we all are, for the most part, but some people are so tired of it that they are gathering to protest.
Across the country last week, people gathered in places like Michigan, Ohio, and D.C. in protest of the shutdowns, aka breaking social distancing rules and sharing germs in the middle of a pandemic, all in the name of freedom and our right to hang out at Outback Steakhouse.
It’s important to note that a majority of Americans are not on the street violating social distancing guidelines to protest stay at home orders. Polling shows that most Americans are in favor of extending social distancing protocols as long as experts advise, and curves throughout the country show such measures are working.
In short, we have the right to gather and protest, it’s just not the wisest tactic right now, given the circumstances. And neither is reopening things. These are short term releases and solutions for a long time problem. While I understand people’s frustration and sympathize with those who need work to survive rn, it is hard to feel bad for some of the people who held up signs that were problematic at best, and absolutely toxic and f*cking stupid at worst. Here are some of the most unforgivable signs from the social distancing protests.
Ah yes, the best way to protect the vulnerable is to bring a child to a crowded space during a global pandemic.
The mental gymnastics for this is outside of my athletic abilities.
White people using references to slavery in the US to describe their current situation of politely being asked to stay at home for a bit? We absoluteeeeeeelyyyyyyy hate to see it.
Again. Let’s maybe not compare this to slavery.
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” – D*nald Tr*mp
Conservatives: Maybe you should have used protection
Also conservatives: pic.twitter.com/geelTRbE26
— The Betches Sup (@Betches_Sup) April 19, 2020
Liberty is kinda futile when you’re dead, no?
Well, in that case shut it down!!!! People are dying, but *this* woman wants a haircut!!!!
then pick up some scissors Karen! no one should have to risk their health and families for your bob upkeep https://t.co/Qap1RyBOgZ
— 🌘 STINK 🦇 (@cethsain) April 21, 2020
Op, looks like they’re down with socialism. Let’s draw up the paperwork and get this party started!
Well, thanks to #COVID19, the absurdity has now come full circle. After years of US right-wingers smearing Sweden as a radical feminist, globalist, cultural Marxist, Islamist-loving hellhole…Trump's MAGA army are now holding up signs reading "Be Like Sweden!" pic.twitter.com/7gkTW7ApfL
— Christian Christensen (@ChrChristensen) April 18, 2020
For anyone who doesn't think the protests are about privilege…#COVIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/PfAkCd6ZeG
— ProVaxx Mom says Stay the F home! 🏡👩💻 (@ProVaxx2) April 19, 2020
Just gonna leave this one here.
It's a wee bit ironic, he's in scrubs and she's hanging out the passenger side of her best friend's ride trying to holler pic.twitter.com/T2g2UeafA8
— shawn (@nwahs086) April 21, 2020
(Image: Alyson McClaren)
I never thought I would say this, but a new video has been released during the coronavirus quarantine that made me cringe even harder than Gal Gadot’s embarrassingly tone deaf “Imagine” sing-a-long. What on Earth could be more devastating than a bunch of rich celebs trying to heal everyone by singing off-tune in their mansions, you may ask? A senator making the most horrendous tuna melt sandwich I have ever seen on Instagram Live. That’s what, b*tch.
Okay. So. First, mentally prepare yourselves to be repulsed.
Great, now let’s dive into this nasty tuna melt disaster. Democratic senator Mark Warner of Virginia decided it was time for him to give back to the community by sharing a recipe from his past that he apparently still eats all the time. Great. How very wholesome. However, the “recipe” is for a tuna melt, which is honestly fine by me. I don’t mind a good tuna melt if it’s done right. This was not done right, fam.
First, let’s peep the caption:
My daughters won’t eat them anymore, and my staff tried to stop me from sharing this quarantine delicacy with the world. Fortunately for you, they were OVERRULED. So here it is, my soon-to-be-world-famous Tuna Melt.
A lot to unpack here. His daughters and staff had tried protest this abomination, but to no avail. As they say, if everyone who loves you tells you you’re making a bad decision, go ahead and go for it! Has been working for me re: my dating life for years! Also, absolutely obsessed with him calling this his “soon-to-be-world-famous Tuna Melt.” Gorgeous. No notes.
Now on to the actual recipe. Senator Warner’s first mistake is that he does not mix the tuna and the mayonnaise. Instead, he takes each slice of bread and just absolutely goes to town, squirting a mountain of mayo on each slice. It is…upsetting. White people: when will we answer to our sin of worshipping mayonnaise? Not soon enough.
Ok @MarkWarner we need to talk. That’s too much mayo dude. Where is Lisa? I love your effort…but…. https://t.co/Fnuvg5bHhQ
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) April 21, 2020
Next, the senator opens his can of tuna, which he notes is his preferred brand of Chicken of the Sea (he and Jessica Simpson both). Then he does.not.drain.the.tuna. Nope. He just scoops it right onto the bread. I…
Next up is cheese. This is fine. He chooses some mediocre cheddar, declaring proudly that he’s a “two slice man.” Whatever.
THEN. THENNNNNNN. This grown-ass man….puts his “soon-to-be-world-famous” sandwich IN THE MICROWAVE. Sir.
This man is claiming his sandwich should be world-renowned, and he is cooking it in the god damn microwave. Not even toasting his bread. He is microwaving tuna fish!!!! That is a war crime.
And this, my friends, is why going live on Instagram should be illegal.
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Images: Twitter(1) Instagram(1) Giphy(2)
Welp, after a truly wild primary season that started with approx. 666 thousand candidates of various backgrounds in the running, we have narrowed our option down to the old, white, Christian dude. What a breath of fresh air!
No matter your opinion on the man, Joe Biden is very likely to be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race, and humanity will be in much better shape if he beats Donald Trump. The good news is, Biden still has the opportunity to pick an exciting running mate.
Biden has already promised that he would be picking a woman as is vice-presidential nominee, both as a concession to disappointed progressives and to balance out his relentless straight-white–cis-maleness. Picks are typically announced around late June or July in the run-up to the Democratic National Convention (postponed to August this year), but given the extraordinary times and a campaign that could use a real shot of enthusiasm, we wouldn’t be surprised if the second name on the ticket drops sooner than expected.
Here are some amazing women on the shortlist:
Harris and Biden may have butted heads during the primary debates, but that’s all in the past. Harris was quick to endorse Biden early on, sparking early theories that she may top his VP shortlist. The California senator and former attorney general has name recognition, experience, and brings diversity to the table.
Plus, while she’s seen as a somewhat progressive pick, a lot of her politics are actually pretty moderate. For Biden, she could be the best of both worlds. Biden ran on being able to secure the Black vote during the primary, and having Harris as his VP could help him solidify that same strategy in the general election. Plus, Harris had a close friendship with Biden’s late son Beau — the two worked together frequently as attorneys. general.
And let’s be real, she’d add a much needed ~cool~ factor to Biden’s, uh, pretty straight edge image.
Liz! Liz! Liz! Warren and Biden certainly disagree on some things, but this could actually work in their favor. Warren is seen as a progressive, and Biden is seen as a moderate/centrist. If Biden wants to bring in Dems who are further on the Left, picking Warren as his VP could be a smart move. Plus, she has a plan for everything, and could be a very effective VP. Also, after endorsing Biden with a video, Warren told Rachel Maddow that she would say “yes,” to the question of whether or not she would accept the role of VP from Biden.
Judging by the complete lack of hesitation in her answer, it seems like something maybe she had already thought about. Makes ya think…
Abrams gained national attention in 2018 when she ran against Brian Kemp for the seat of governor in Georgia. The election was pretty controversial, since Kemp was Secretary of State at the time, meaning he got to oversee an election he was running in, something one could call a conflict of interest. Kemp ended up winning by a small number of votes, but that’s a whole other story. Abrams caught the attention of many Americans as she came close defeating Kemp in the red state of Georgia. She’s a captivating candidate, and she is a woman of color, which would, again, help with Biden’s saltine cracker image.
Klobuchar was quick to drop out of the race and endorse Biden back when Bernie was the frontrunner, making us wonder if she is working to get that VP spot. She and Biden also make sense as a team. They’re both moderates, yet they appeal to different demographics. Klobuchar has that Midwest vibe that does well with…Midwesterners, and liberal women across the country. She’s got a real moderate feminist energy, which appeals to white moms, AKA a big part of the voting pool. She’s well-liked amongst Dems, and people seem to enjoy her performances at debates. Especially her one liners that I am convinced she learned how to formulate at a $400 week long stand up comedy class at Caroline’s on Broadway.
Who? You may not recognize Whitmer’s name right away, but she has been in the news a lot lately. As the current governor of Michigan, she is receiving some criticism for her very strict measures for combatting COVID-19. People are pissed tf off about it, but as the saying goes…all press is good press. Plus, the main people she is pissing off are Republicans, so it could potentially gaining her some brownie points with Dems. She is def establishing herself as a woman in power who stands her ground, and there’s something to be said for that.
WILDCARD: Michelle Obama
Truly the only thing that could save 2020. And it’s not just pundits and stans fantasizing over a Michelle Obama vice presidency — the Bidens can’t resist the idea either.
“I’d love it if Michelle [Obama] would agree to it. I think she's had it with politics. She's so good at everything she does. That would be wonderful,” @DrBiden says when asked if the former first lady would consider being Joe Biden’s running mate. https://t.co/tAOTzVqh4T pic.twitter.com/DShgiFmj9D
— New Day (@NewDay) April 24, 2020
Jill Biden, wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee, said she would “love to see” former First Lady Michelle Obama join her husband’s ticket if she would agree to it. The former Vice President himself said he’d appoint Obama “in a heartbeat” but that he doesn’t “think she has any desire to live near the White House again.”
Well if Joe Biden doesn’t pick a woman, after all, it’s safe to say I have no desire to live near America again.
Images: Getty; Giphy
Whenever guidelines that only really work if we all follow them are put in place, there’s always that one bitch who thinks they are above it all and ruins it for everyone. Have I ever been this bitch? I mean, on a class field trip to D.C. where the chaperones said we’d all get ice cream at the end if we were well behaved, but then I went and tried to get a stranger to buy me a pack of cigarettes and got caught…sure. But, as a grown-ass woman during a pandemic when we’re being told to stay home so more people don’t die? Nah, I’m good there.
You know who’s not good, though? Ivanka Trump.
The federal government — you know, the one run by Ivanka’s dad — has urged people to refrain from any nonessential travel, but Ivanka didn’t seem to take that to heart when she traveled with her family from Washington to celebrate Passover in Bedminster, New Jersey.
New Jersey is one of the country’s hot spots for coronavirus, having the second-highest number of reported deaths in the country. So, while traveling there is still legal, it’s not exactly responsible.
Plus, when Ivanka travels, she has to bring Secret Service with her, and her trip requires local law enforcement to be on duty. So, she is forcing these people to work in a dangerous situation for her. Cute!
While Ivanka’s husband, White House advisor Jared Kushner, has returned to D.C., the rest of the family reportedly remains in New Jersey.
Wanting to spend a holiday with family is totally understandable. Shit, I wish I could see my parents right tf now. I miss them and want a hug from them to help me feel better during these trying times. But, I live in New York, the major hot spot for COVID-19, and traveling from here to go see them in Maine would be irresponsible and dangerous. So, I’m posted up in my tiny New York apartment with all four of my roommates.
It’s called civic duty, Ivanka, look it up.
Plus, Ivanka is a public figure, so she has a responsibility to set an example for the rest of the country — pockets of which are raging against their state’s stay at home orders. She seemed to acknowledge this last month when she tweeted “Social distancing saves lives!” and asked followers to “Please do your part. We are all in this together.”
In these toughest of times, America shows her spirit and strength. This will end and we will emerge stronger than ever before.
In the meantime, social distancing saves lives! Please do your part. We are all in this together. 💛
[Part 1] pic.twitter.com/iYzMunLJyO
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) March 30, 2020
It’s near impossible to convince people they should be staying home while refusing to practice that advice yourself. If they see leaders traveling, it will make them wonder, “Why shouldn’t I be able to, then?”
As we’ve seen from the protests in Michigan — where people are taking to the streets and demanding that businesses reopen — that people are already having a hard time understanding that it’s important to stay home. So, we need our leaders to, get this, *lead* by example. And traveling to one of the hot spots for a holiday doesn’t cut it.
Images: Giphy ( @election2016, @tkyle)
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