10 books for our current political moment

We can hardly predict what the next four years hold for us, but the signs are anything but encouraging. We need to steel ourselves for the fight ahead, learn from the past and find comfort and encouragement anywhere we can, including books.

Here is some recommended reading for your holidays that feels just right for our political moment: Continue reading “10 books for our current political moment”

Advertisements

Abandoning voters of color would be immoral and shortsighted

blm

As we survey the wreckage from the 2016 election, the lessons we draw will have implications for years to come. Everyone has a pet theory about why things went so terribly wrong for Democrats in a year when most thought victory was assured. The decisions made in the wake of this election will determine whether the left can stem the tide as Republicans now control the vast majority of state legislatures as well as the federal government. They will determine whether the Democratic Party will be a vibrant, relevant vehicle for implementing progressive policy in the future. They will determine how effectively we can fight in the meantime and protect the people who have the most to lose under a Trump presidency.  Continue reading “Abandoning voters of color would be immoral and shortsighted”

Weekend reading

trans-christopher-st-03

Photographer Mark Seliger captures the trans community of Christopher Street 

White man kills black teenager who bumped into him outside West Virginia store

Electoral college must reject Trump unless he sells his business, top lawyers for Bush and Obama say

Proposed bill would force Texas teachers to out LGBT students to their parents

How to help if someone is being harassed 

Democrats won the most votes in the election. They should act like it.

Weekend reading

ilhan-omar

Women of color notch historic wins around the country

Trump’s victory sends a disturbing message about sexual assault 

White women sold out the sisterhood and the world by voting for Trump

A list of pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-earth anti-bigotry organizations that need your support

9 independent artists donating proceeds to Planned Parenthood, ACLU and other important organizations

Here’s how you can become an abortion clinic escort

What it’s like canvassing in a swing state for Hillary Clinton

canvassers

This endless slog of an election can wear you down, especially with the avalanche of hatred Donald Trump has unleashed. It’s easy to feel powerless and discouraged.

I find one of the best ways to get some perspective is to get out and talk to voters directly rather than wallowing in press coverage. It gives you a mission and some agency and is a tremendously important part of winning an election. I spent last weekend in Reno going door to door for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates, and I wrote a piece about what that experience was like for Broke-Ass Stuart. 

“EXCUSE ME!”

I tense up as the tall gray-haired man wearing grandpa glasses yells to grab our attention and then stands a little too close for comfort. I was with 3 other women outside a Starbucks in Reno wearing Hillary Clinton t-shirts as we got ready to knock on doors and talk to voters. Outside of my Bay Area bubble, I realize I’m assuming random people (well, white men at least) are Trump supporters until they prove otherwise. I prepare myself for a possible lecture about how we shouldn’t whine about Donald Trump’s tape since we ladies all love reading 50 Shades of Grey so much.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday watch: Trump vs. Bernie

portraits

Every day we have the unfortunate experience of waking up and remembering that Donald Trump is the leading Republican presidential candidate. On the positive side, we’re seeing enthusiasm and energy behind Bernie Sanders and his message that is changing the debate and resonating with voters. It’s perfect time for comedians to seize on what makes these candidates frightening and endearing respectively, and Tony Atamanuik and James Adomian are doing an amazing job with Trump vs. Bernie.

The debates between the two comedians have grown from an event at the UCB Theater to a nationwide tour and multiple TV appearances.  I had the pleasure of seeing this brilliant performance in San Francisco. Their impressions are spot on, but they aren’t just imitating–they’re raising important issues of our day and exposing the depth of these candidates. Atamanuik in particular has an interesting technique as Trump, both satirizing him and stepping slightly outside the character to indict the culture that let Trump happen.

Watch the trailer below. If you’re in one of the cities left on the tour, I cannot recommend it highly enough. You can also watch their special on April 27th, and get the pointed satire and nonstop laughs that you need this election season.

Mark Pryor & the NRA: the scant reward for political caution

photo via viralread.com

There are certain issues and interest groups that politicians will bend over backwards to avoid upsetting. We all know from the abysmal state of gun laws in this country that the National Rifle Association is one of them. Think Progress reports on just what fealty to the gun lobby got Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR):

Last year, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) voted against a popular proposal to require people who purchase firearms online or at gun shows first complete a background check. On Tuesday, however, the National Rifle Association announced a $1.3 million ad buy in Pryor’s home state of Arkansas supporting Pryor’s Republican opponent Rep. Tom Cotton.

Last year, the Senate voted 54-46 in support of a proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases — which, in the anti-democratic institution that is the United States Senate, actually counts as a loss for supporters of gun reform. Pryor was one of four Democrats who opposed this proposal.

The Arkansas senator’s vote ran contrary to the views of his home state. A poll taken the month after the vote found that 60 percent of Arkansas voters support “requiring background checks for all gun sales, including gun shows and the internet.” The same poll found that 40 percent of voters said they were more likely to vote for Pryor if he supported expanded background checks, while only 34 percent said they were less likely to support him.

Continue reading “Mark Pryor & the NRA: the scant reward for political caution”