Stanford University professor Pamela Karlan testified in the impeachment hearing yesterday and she used Trump’s 13-year-old son to illustrate the limit of the President’s powers in comparison to a king.
Oh no! Leave the kids out of it! Don’t bully that child! How dare she! Wait, what did she say though?
That part has been lost in the midst of all this generated outrage by the GOP. Just so we’re all on the same page, this is the comment that has the Republican Party pretending to clutch their pearls and manufacture a story to distract from what’s really going on.
That’s it. That’s the whole quote. Now everybody from Melania to Kellyanne is pretending that’s the worst thing anyone has ever said about a child.
Remember when Sasha and Malia went on Spring Break and Sean Hannity pitched a fit because “we” had to pay for their security details while they go on vacation?
Remember when the Bush twins spoke out to defend Obama’s daughters because the right wing media brought them up too much?
Remember when America decided keeping kids in cages was the same as summer camp?
But “Trump can’t make his son a baron” is the line in the sand.
Y’all. Please don’t forget that the youngest Trump got his name from one of the characters Donald created in the 80s when he wanted to call the NY press and plant fake stories about himself. The only reason he stopped using “John Barron” as one of his pseudonyms is because he got sued and had to admit to using it in open court. He been bullying that child since before he was a zygote so the GOP can miss me with all the fake outrage.
Charge the NRA with murder in Colorado.
The NRA fought the weapons ban in Boulder, and won.
Ponder this timeline of events.
In 2018, the city of Boulder, Colorado passed an assault weapons ban in response to the shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School. The NRA, predictably, stomped, yelled, screamed, made bad faith arguments, and fought against that ban for three years. They finally succeeded a couple of weeks ago.
ICYMI: A Colorado judge gave law-abiding gun owners something to celebrate.— NRA (@NRA) March 16, 2021
In an @NRAILA-supported case, he ruled that the city of Boulder’s ban on commonly-owned rifles (AR-15s) and 10+ round mags was preempted by state law and STRUCK THEM DOWN. https://t.co/wmdhGG16pc
On Friday evening, a judge in the Centennial state gave law-abiding gun owners something to celebrate. He ruled that the city of Boulder’s ban on possessing and transferring commonly-possessed “assault weapons” and ten-round magazines was preempted by state law and struck them down. This was an NRA-ILA supported case.
The very next week, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa bought an AR-556, which he would not have been able to purchase under the previous ban, and then he murdered ten people on Monday. The response from the NRA? The usual junk about a well-trained militia.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. pic.twitter.com/eFBP2PTTUu— NRA (@NRA) March 23, 2021
I don’t have any interest in going back and forth about the right to have guns or what kinds of guns or how many guns or who should have access to them. The conversation goes nowhere and it’s a waste of energy. Instead, let’s talk about the argument that if someone is mentally ill and wants to kill a bunch of people, they’re gonna do it whether they have access to an assault rifle or not.
One: Mental illness isn’t an umbrella term to just slap on a mass murderer and say “well, he’s off his rocker, so what do you expect?” Millions of people walk amongst us with various mental illnesses and never have the urge to kill anybody, let alone ten people. I have depression and anxiety and the only person I want to kill is my shitty roommate….but I wouldn’t, because that’s wrong, and I’m not a violent person who would actually do anyone harm.
Two: Ease of access and operation is key. If you want to kill a lot of people, by far the fastest way to do it would be to build a bomb. But this is America — most of us are too lazy to look up how to do it and too dumb to actually put it together. If Mass Murderer is a function of Violent Tool plus Mental Illness, then everybody with a psychiatrist would be building bombs and blowing up the neighborhood. In comparison to bombs, guns are much easier to access and operate, so if you want to kill a lot of people quickly, go get yourself an assault rifle or something similar.
Three: Kind of part Two-B, but even if you do have the urge to kill a lot of people, unless you have access to a Violent Tool like a gun or a bomb, the urge alone isn’t enough to take as many lives as a gun would. People do use knives to commit murder, and you could make the argument that all of these mass shooters would take a knife to a public place and kill a lot of people instead. Your argument would be wrong because, again, knives take a lot more effort than guns and at a much greater risk to the murderer so the killing sprees would be far less frequent, but if you want to ignore that, fine. The deadliest mass stabbing in history took place in China in 2014 where 31 people were killed and 141 people were wounded. If you’re thinking “well your argument was just disproved,” here are two details that make it far less deadly than a mass shooting — 141 people were injured and didn’t die and there were 8 attackers. There are no mass shootings where there are almost five times as many injured victims as dead victims, and if 8 people with assault rifles went into a crowded train station to kill people, the death toll would be in the hundreds. In London back in 2017, three men killed 8 people and wounded 48. There were six times as many injured victims as dead victims, because you physically cannot kill as many people with a knife as you can with a gun.
So the argument that “killers will kill anyway” can be ignored. Yes, violent criminals will still be violent…but there will be fewer casualties. If I was in a public place with a vicious murderer intent on killing as many people as possible, I’d much rather take my chances running from a knife than a bullet. Every NRA enthusiast making the argument that “knives kill people too” would also prefer to run from a blade than a gun, but they won’t admit it out loud. Instead, they’re working as hard as they can to make sure the deadly weapon that is easiest to operate is also accessible for everyone. And they are murderers.
Hot Takes: Princess Meghan & Her Husband with Oprah
Meghan never said “they were racist” but we got it anyway.
1. Princess Meghan looks so cute pregnant — I loved her outfit.
2. Okay. I was tweeting all last night, so these are just more fleshed out observations to my gut reactions but basically it all boils down to the fact that Meghan Markle is a woman of color who was treated differently by the institution that is the monarchy (The Firm) because they’re not ready for brown folks in their dusty palaces. There are welcoming individuals in the family, but even they shouldn’t be given a pass because if you are warming to Meghan one-on-one but still allowing the antiquated “rules” of the British Family dictate your lack of response in defending her against the press, you are still at fault for what happened to her — I’m looking at you, Elizabeth.
3. The number of times Meghan (genuinely!) expressed her affection for Queen Elizabeth while she ain’t have say boo to say about anybody else? Yeah. She hates them. Phillip, Charles, William, Kate. She hates them all. But Meghan is way better than I am. The the British press said she made Kate cry, and nobody inside The Firm (what they call the institution of the monarchy) corrected them. In actuality, Meghan cried because of something Kate said leading up to the wedding. Everybody knew what happened, but nobody — including Kate — corrected the narrative for the press. Meghan wouldn’t say what the comment was to Oprah because she said Kate apologized, took accountability, and is a good person so this would only serve to damage her for no reason. I repeat: Meghan is better than me! I don’t care if you apologized later. If you let an entire country drag me for something you did, we are not on good terms, ever. I don’t care if The Firm told you not to say anything. I’m not protecting you to Oprah.
4. Meghan spent a lot of time not saying the thing we wanted her to say, that The Royal Family and/or The Firm treated her differently because she’s Black, but it all came out eventually anyway. This was the moment Black Twitter was ready to dump the rest of the tea in the harbor: the security detail. The royals get security detail, which makes sense. They’re vulnerable to wackos who want to kill them or criminals who want to kidnap them for ransom. Harry especially is vulnerable because he brought a Black woman to Buckingham, so his death threats were laced with racism toward his wife. While Meghan was pregnant with Archie, they told her Archie wouldn’t have security detail. This was essentially the conversation.
The Firm: Archie won’t have the title of a prince.
Meghan: Why not? Kate’s babies do.
The Firm: He just won’t.
Meghan: Well, I don’t really care anyway. That’s fine.
The Firm: And he won’t have security.
Meghan: What? Why!
The Firm: Because he’s not a prince, so he won’t need it.
Meghan: But he’s a member of the royal family and we are particular targets.
The Firm: Yeah but only princes and princesses get security, and since he won’t be a prince, he won’t really need that.
Meghan: Okay then make him a prince! Do the thing that gets us the security detail!
For some unnamed reason ::cough BLACK cough:: The Firm decided that Archie would not be a prince which not only canceled the security but also removed the need for other things Diana and Kate had done. When Meghan and Harry had Archie and didn’t do the whole “leaving the hospital photoshoot” the British press dragged her for refusing to do it, but she wasn’t even asked, because Archie wasn’t a prince. That photo-op is only for princes and princesses, but the Firm decided Archie isn’t a prince, so she wasn’t asked to do it.
Little things like that kept adding up. The Firm kept setting her up to be lambasted by the press but then refused to issue the most basic statements to defend her against criticism when The Firm created the situation for which she would be criticized!
5. The Firm is a jealous institution that doesn’t have the best grasp on its function in the modern age. The Royal Family only exists at the pleasure of the public. If public opinion in the UK ever dropped to such a level where there was widespread and vociferous animosity toward the monarchy, they would cease to exist. So, it would behoove them to try and be as popular as possible. The Royal Family needs to make people like them and its basically every member’s job to engender goodwill. They’re bad at it because of their archaic upbringing so far removed from the public. They can’t relate to regular people because of all the royal protocols that The Firm won’t revise because they’re more concerned with tradition than changing with the times to keep a positive relationship with the public.
Enter Diana. She was so naturally good at it and the Royal Family couldn’t take it. Charles was extremely jealous of the way the people responded to Diana and he tried to downplay her natural talents at relating to people. She would have wildly successful tours of the commonwealth and he would nitpick some inconsequential event that no one else cared about. Before Diana came along, Charles was seen as the most normal of the Royals and relatively well-liked, when compared to the rest of the family. Diana showed them what a popular Royal should be and they neither had the ability to thank her for making them popular nor the humility to follow her lead and seek her advice to make themselves more popular.
Enter Meghan. Same. Thing. Another “normal” person who was naturally warm and empathetic, who was not raised within the strict confines of an outdated institution, but she was also a marker of modernity: a divorcee with a career who wasn’t white. She was all over the press, so they kept her in the house for months at a time. They were warm toward her initially, and then she went to Australia on a tour and they saw how the public responded to her. Jealousy crept in and they couldn’t bear to be upstaged by a commoner who wasn’t an inbred white person.
6. The Diana parallels kept coming, but definitely when Meghan discussed contemplating suicide and how she felt like she couldn’t go to Harry because he had enough to deal with. She tried to seek help through the proper channels and she was denied. She felt like she should be a help to her husband, not a hindrance, and she felt embarrassed that she wasn’t strong enough to adjust to this new life or take the criticism from the press. It finally came to a head when she was to accompany Harry to an event and he said she wasn’t well enough to go. Meghan however felt she wasn’t well enough to be left alone, so they went, both of them holding on by a thread, white-knuckling it through the event with fake smiles plastered on their faces.
I’ve read, watched, and listened to so much about Diana (the single best series is probably by You’re Wrong About) and Meghan’s mental health struggles mirror Diana’s so closely. She too sought help and didn’t receive it. She was ashamed and no one was there for her.
The difference is Harry. Charles is a terrible person. Harry is the husband Diana hoped he would grow up to be. Diana went through it alone while her husband was having an affair with the true love of his life. Meghan went through it with Harry, who eventually gave it all up for her.
7. Harry said Charles stopped taking his phone calls. And that’s for the best because, I repeat, Charles is a terrible person. When Diana died, Charles forced Harry and William to walk in the funeral procession with him because Charles was afraid the public would boo him if he went alone. He used his children as human shields to protect him from a public who hated him. He’s never been a father to those boys and Harry will do better thousands of miles away from him. Harry also repeatedly stressed his admiration and affection for Queen Elizabeth — not a single word of praise for anyone else in the family. Oprah did her best to find out what was said and by whom on the topic of Archie’s skin color and how brown it would be, and Harry refused. This morning, Oprah said Harry didn’t tell her who it was, but he stressed that it was not Queen Elizabeth or her husband Phillip. So you know it was Charles, Kate, and/or William.
8. A lot can be said for marrying into a family and knowing what you should expect, but I believe Meghan when she said it wasn’t something she gave too much thought to, because she grew up in Los Angeles around celebrities. A lot of Americans figure the Royal Family is famous the way celebrities are famous, and it’s no big deal. Plus, celebrities don’t usually google each other when they’re dating, because they’re celebrities, and they know how gossip and tabloids are built on half-truths and outright lies. Harry was just another celebrity to her. Meghan would learn about and get to know Harry through Harry, not through what the public says about Harry, because that’s how she would want someone to find out about her.
Not until she was unexpectedly meeting Queen Elizabeth did she realize how wrong she was. Harry asked her in the car if she knew how to curtsy and she thought he was joking. Surely curtsies were for public appearances, and behind the scenes she was just Grandma Lizzy. No, she’s always The Queen. The Royal Family isn’t just a family that happens to be famous. They’re a thing wholly unto themselves that she really had no frame of reference for.
9. Meghan realized the bad press (with no correction from The Firm or the Family) would be her life from now on. The loneliness of being shut up in the house all the time because The Firm didn’t want her saturated in the press would be her life. The brand new treatment of her babies in contrast to Kate’s would be her life. So they asked to step down. There are Senior members of the Royal Family who work full time and Junior members who work part time. They still draw a salary and live on Royal properties, but they have a more private life and are only called upon when needed. As Meghan put it, “We weren’t looking to reinvent the wheel” because the positions were already there and other people were living those lives, but she was seen as wanting new and special treatment. They weren’t allowed to be Junior so they left. What other option did they have? She fell in love with a celebrity, who happened to be an entirely different type of famous person in a family she would never fit into living in a country that hated her with a child who wasn’t even getting security. So they left.
10. Harry really loves her and they look happy and comfortable together. Good for them. Best wishes to them and their new baby girl on the way.
11. We stan Queen Doria Ragland in this household and I’m mad she wasn’t invited to at least say hey or something.
Hank Aaron’s Guinness World Record
His record isn’t for what you think it is.
Baseball great Hank Aaron passed away today and I went into a quick dive into his life after reading this excellent write up by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
A Hall of Famer, Atlanta’s first professional sports star, and, in a soft-spoken way, an agent of change in the post-Jim Crow South, Aaron came to embody the city as he embodied the Braves.
Baseball’s all-time home run king died Friday at the age of 86, according to Channel 2 Action News and several reports. The Braves have not confirmed Aaron’s death.
“I don’t think too many people got a chance to know me through the years, and that was something that was my own doing, because I’m actually kind of a loner, a guy that has stayed to himself,” Aaron said in a 2006 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A lot of people thought they knew me, but they really didn’t.
“They pretend that they know me, but I travel alone. I do just about everything alone. I have associates, but I don’t have many friends. I would just want to be remembered as somebody who just tried to be fair with people.”
I grew up in a basketball and football household, but my dad kept up with baseball and I went to a handful of Braves games growing up. Hank Aaron was just kind of a vague figure in the back of my mind, someone I knew had a lot of home runs, but that’s about all I knew about the man. The AJC paints a vivid picture of a soft-spoken Black man in the Deep South navigating his way through baseball during the Civil Rights Era, and it’s an engaging read from top to bottom. This particular section jumped out at me:
Aaron had eight seasons with 40 or more home runs, the last coming in 1973, when he finished the year with 713 homers and an estimated 930,000 pieces of mail. Much of it was racist. There also were enough death threats for the FBI to get involved. Aaron received personal protection through the off-season.
That’s like 3,000 pieces of mail a day! I did a quick dive into it so let’s set the scene.
Babe Ruth played baseball from 1914 to 1935, and interestingly enough, while I most associate him with the NY Yankees, he started and ended his career in Boston. He set numerous baseball records (two of which still stand today) and in 1936, he was one of the inaugural five members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greatest sports heroes of all time, Trump gave him a Medal of Freedom in 2018, and the official candy bar of Major League Baseball bears his name (even though it wasn’t created for him, it became inextricably associated with him during the height of his fame). He also hit 714 home runs in his career, a record which stood for almost four decades until Hank Aaron came along.
By the early 70s, Hank Aaron had been quietly chipping away at Babe Ruth’s home run record for twenty years, first with the Milwaukee Braves and then in Atlanta when the team moved to Georgia in 1965. At the end of the 1972 season, Hank had 673 home runs, and for a player who already had eight seasons where he hit 40 or more home runs, it was assumed he would indeed break Babe Ruth’s record of 714 in the very near future. Baseball fans follow the game, so baseball fans were aware of Hank’s hitting stats. Racist America follows notable Black people, and this Black man putting himself within striking distance of a white man’s achievement made the country take note. The amount of hate mail spiked once non fans became aware of Hank’s threat to a record they didn’t even really care about until it was in danger of being broken by a Black player.
On July 21st of 1973, Hank Aaron hit #700 and he was receiving about 3,000 pieces of mail a day. The Braves hired a secretary just to handle Hank’s mail, and team management forbid him from opening his own letters to shield him from the vitriol.
The volume was so great that the Braves assigned secretary Carla Koplin to handle Aaron’s mail. That freed up his time but also shielded the legendary slugger from some of the vile remarks and death threats aimed at him. There were also some congratulatory letters and words of encouragement, but the negative comments heavily outweighed the positive and the Braves gave Aaron his own security detail.
“I was forbidden to open mail for two and a half years. I had a secretary that had to open all my mail and when the games were over with, I had to go out of the back of the baseball parks.”
When the season ended in October, Hank had 713 home runs, one shy of the record. The next six months gave racist America ample time to seethe and write. Hate mail turned to death threats and anyone remotely supportive of Hank was a target.
Lewis Grizzard, then sports editor of the Atlanta Journal, reported receiving numerous phone calls calling journalists “nigger lovers” for covering Aaron’s chase. While preparing the massive coverage of the home run record, he quietly had an obituary written, afraid that Aaron might be murdered.
(cont. Hank Aaron)
Hank Aaron made it to the 1974 season and broke Babe Ruth’s record in Atlanta on April 8th. Between July 1973 and June 1974, Hank Aaron received over 930,000 pieces of mail, the most ever for a private citizen, and a record that still stands today. When I saw that Hank Aaron had a Guinness World Record, I assumed it was for home runs, but his record was broken by Barry Bonds in 2007. Hank has a world record not for baseball, but for racism — America’s other great pastime.
Let’s retire the roast for RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Charge the NRA with murder in Colorado.
Hot Takes: Allen vs. Farrow
Let’s retire the roast for RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Hot Takes: Allen vs. Farrow
Charge the NRA with murder in Colorado.
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