Category: politics Page 1 of 3

Violence Is First of All Authoritarian

Reading Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me – especially the essay “The Longest War” – has given me a different understanding of recent violent attacks like the murder of Sarah Everard and the Atlanta spa shootings. Thinking of these as lone attackers or isolated incidents is all wrong.

…violence is first of all authoritarian. It begins with this premise: I have the right to control you.

Murder is the extreme version of that authoritarianism, where the murderer asserts he has the right to decide whether you live or die, the ultimate means of controlling someone. This may be true even if you are “obedient,” because the desire to control comes out of a rage that obedience can’t assuage. Whatever fears, whatever sense of vulnerability may underlie such behavior, it also comes out of entitlement, the entitlement to inflict suffering and even death on other people. It breeds misery in the perpetrator and the victims.

As for that incident in my city, similar things happen all the time. Many versions of it happened to me when I was younger, sometimes involving death threats and often involving torrents of obscenities: a man approaches a woman with both desire and the furious expectation that the desire will likely be rebuffed. The fury and desire come in a package, all twisted together into something that always threatens to turn eros into thanatos, love into death, sometimes literally.

this city council election mailer we got today, omg. this fool thinks the BLM protests – just those! not even violence or “rioting” related to them! – is a sign that Austin is somehow worse off than 4 years ago. (not to mention the other dumb examples.) infuriating.

unsurprisingly blistering reaction to yesterday’s impeachment outcome from press around the world:

Trump, his followers and the majority of the Republicans are, together and wilfully, breaking down the foundations of democracy.

if you’re unhappy about the damage Senate Republicans are doing to our democracy, please consider doing something besides tweeting or blogging about it. sign up, pitch in $10, $25, or whatever you can. these nine deserve to pay the price in November.

Julia Ioffe says what I’ve wondered:

At any point during this process, Bolton could have just come forward and said what he knew. In front of the House, on TV, in an Op-Ed, anywhere. Instead, he’s doing what so many retiring Republicans do: the barest, coyest minimum to preserve a patina of credibility but without alienating the vast system of GOP money they rely on in retirement.

McSweeney’s: Dear Leaders of the World: Get Your Shit Together

It’s a hot mess & your policies are only making it hotter, so if you could stop burning the house down long enough for us to graduate into a world that isn’t a complete hellhole, that would be great.

The Perfect Impeachment Plan

this is it, Tribe’s got it:

The point would not be to take old-school House impeachment leading to possible Senate removal off the table at the outset. Instead, the idea would be to build into the very design of this particular inquiry an offramp that would make bypassing the Senate an option while also nourishing the hope that a public fully educated about what this president did would make even a Senate beholden to this president and manifestly lacking in political courage willing to bite the bullet and remove him.

one of the biggest bummers of the 2018 election results, despite the blue wave nationally, was the handful of truly great candidates in Texas that didn’t quite make it. Beto, obviously, but another was MJ. so happy she’s taking on that trash-bag John Cornyn

listening to them discuss the 2020 Dem candidates on Pod Save America this morning, I had a thought. I bet that nominee will end up running not against a divisive, unpopular, & ineffectual President Trump, but a less problematic (to many conservatives) President Pence ?

too real: SNL on anticipating a blue wave ?

wow, the Houston Chronicle endorsed Beto

“Kay Bailey Hutchison… once reminded [us] that Cruz would have to decide where his loyalties lay: with Texans or obstructionist ideologues. Six years later, it’s obvious he’s decided.”

disgusting. Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter

“Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.”

another day, another reason to love Beto

hilarious, Richard Linklater-directed anti-Cruz ad, “Tough as Texas?”. the last few words couldn’t be more perfectly delivered #ComeOnTed

WaPo: Vote ‘no’ on Kavanaugh

“He provided neither evidence nor even a plausible explanation for this red-meat partisanship, but he poisoned any sense that he could serve as an impartial judge.”

Heather Havrilesky, Mediocre White Man Falls Apart and Is Promptly Put Back Together:

“A woman who conducted herself in that manner couldn’t get an assistant-manager job at Forever21, let alone on the Supreme Court.”

I believe survivors.
I believe there’s got to be a better conservative nominee than this.
I believe I’ll work my ass off to elect Beto and defeat @TedCruz (& then you’re next, @JohnCornyn).

2/2: & at the risk of discouraging you: this is a long one, & hard to read at times. but if you truly wonder, “Why didn’t she say anything sooner?”, then this tragic story will 110% answer that question: What Do We Owe Her Now?

1/2: The Atlantic gives an overview of a key question intended to undermine the allegations against the nominee to a lifetime seat on our nation’s highest court: “Why didn’t she say anything sooner?”

The Onion, on Ted Cruz’s new look: “He’s honestly never looked better… Even with the stench of decomposition, most people we talk to remark upon how Sen. Cruz doesn’t make them feel as nauseous as he used to.”

…and the second: The Refugee Detectives – “Inside Germany’s high-stakes operation to sort people fleeing death from opportunists and pretenders”. no simple answers to tough, life-or-death problems

catching up on old issues of The Atlantic, a couple of really good articles from the April issue. first, The Last Temptation – the fascinating history & politics of Evangelical Christianity…

6%. tragic.

“With participation rates at such dire levels, politicians might be expected to try with equal urgency to boost voting. But at both national & Texas state level, the response from Republicans has been quite the opposite”


“The freedoms we have were purchased not just by those in uniform – & they definitely were – but also by those who took their lives into their hands riding those Greyhound buses, the Freedom Riders, in the deep south, in the 1960s”

from today’s Statesman:

We stand in solidarity today with the editorial boards of hundreds of U.S. newspapers defending the rigorous, truth-driven work by journalists & opposing Trump’s cynical efforts to dismiss that reporting as “fake news.”

that article by Stephen Miller’s uncle is great.

“Laws bereft of justice are the gateway to tyranny… the normalization of these policies is rapidly eroding the collective conscience of America.”

I’m volunteering on #TheLastWeekend before midterms. I want a blue wave, you want a blue wave, THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENS. not watching tweets or frowning at your computer screen. connecting with real people, in real life. this is it, let’s go.

I suppose there’s hardly a day that goes by lately where this couldn’t be said, but on this I cannot stay silent. Mr. Trump, sir, please shut the hell up before you ruin this for all of us.

“A frank and honest description of who [Sarah Huckabee Sanders] is and what she does would be much more harsh…” indeed.

“Then there’s Austin, which is totally crazy. If you walk from one end of downtown Austin to the other, you cross three different congressional districts” @TexasObserver, on gerrymandering ahead of Texas’ appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve racist districts

I know, it’s just one poll. but for Beto to be in “too close to call” range of Cruz? in mid-April? hell. yes.

(brb, getting some merch to help boost that name recognition)

The New Yorker: “There are lots of details and surprises to come, but the endgame of this Presidency seems as clear now as those of Iraq and the financial crisis did months before they unfolded.”

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