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Let’s All Remember That VP Mike Pence is Terrible and No, Would Not Be “Better” Than Trump

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In a world where politics are increasingly polarized, it makes sense that we’d pay more attention to the loudmouths and blowhards than we do to those who are more reserved and quiet in their delivery. However, it is precisely those people to whom we should be paying the most attention, because they are the most likely to further a hateful, hurtful agenda right under our noses.

This week’s issue of The New Yorker features a piece charting Vice President Mike Pence’s rise to his current position, called “The Danger of President Pence.” It specifically addresses those, on both sides of the aisle, who see Pence as a “better,” more “level-headed” alternative to Trump as they contemplate impeachment by saying no, on the contrary. Pence would be much, much worse, not only because of what he believes, or because of his already horrible track record as Governor of Indiana, but because of those to whom he is beholden.

Pence is still sexist, racist, and homophobic. And he always has been. 

The New Yorker recounts Pence’s time as Governor of Indiana and his path through Congress to Trump’s White House: a period that started with high hopes for Pence but, because of his political opportunism, ended with his practically being a pariah among conservatives, dashing his clear hopes for the highest office in the land and leaving joining the Trump ticket as his last, best chance at the national stage.

The problem isn’t that his beliefs ever shifted. Rather, he’s such a True Believer, and he’s so far right that he’s even further right than other politicians on the right. He will fight to the death for the rights of corporations and businesses, but has no qualms about throwing marginalized groups of people under the bus. So, Pence will break ranks with Republicans when, in his estimation, they’re not going far enough. What are they not going far enough about? Wanting to make women and the LGBTQIA community third-class citizens, for starters. The New Yorker reports:

Even as Pence argued for less government interference in business, he pushed for policies that intruded on people’s private lives. In the early nineties, he joined the board of the Indiana Family Institute, a far-right group that supported the criminalization of abortion and campaigned against equal rights for homosexuals. And, while Pence ran the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, it published an essay arguing that unmarried women should be denied access to birth control. “What these people are really after is contraceptives,” Vi Simpson, the former Democratic minority leader of the Indiana State Senate, told me. In 2012, after serving twenty-eight years in the legislature, she ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket with the gubernatorial candidate John R. Gregg, who lost the election to Pence. Simpson believes that Pence wants to reverse women’s economic and political advances. “He’s on a mission,” she said.

And then, of course, there’s the excerpt that The Guardian US‘ Jessica Valenti cited in the tweet above. It highlights just how dangerous Pence-As-President would be. Don’t get me wrong, Trump has done plenty of sexist, homophobic, and racist things, but I don’t think any of his opinions are that firm, which is what makes him dangerous. Trump is an opportunist, and a horrific, selfish, entitled human being who doesn’t care who he has to throw under the bus, so long as he’s guaranteed popularity and power.

Pence is dangerous, because these are things that he’s not only genuinely believed throughout his life, but that he’s actively worked toward achieving, and the only thing protecting us from that as President is Trump finding Pence’s beliefs and religion laughable.

It’s a truly frightening thought.

Pence has been bought and paid for by corporate interests.

While Trump supporters can attempt to comfort themselves in the wake of this horror show by telling themselves that they voted for Trump because he was “his own person,” a “maverick” who “isn’t part of the political establishment,” (maybe not, but he’s certainly a part of the capitalist establishment) Mike Pence also came with that package, and he is the exact opposite of that.

The New Yorker piece details Pence’s long and fruitful relationship with the Koch Brothers, owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the United States. The Koch Brothers are libertarians who don’t believe in any government spending (how would poor, widdle private companies get to make any money without being able to privatize everything?) and who now have Pence as a drone in their pocket to further their interests in government. It’s because of this relationship that we have seen some of the most heinous decisions made in government:

Senator Whitehouse, the Rhode Island Democrat, believes that the Kochs “will stick one hundred of their own people into the government—and Trump will never notice.” As a result, he said, “the signs of a rapprochement are everywhere.” Whitehouse continued, “One by one, all the things that Trump campaigned on that annoyed the Koch brothers are being thrown overboard. And one by one the Koch brothers’ priorities are moving up the list.” Trump’s populist, nationalist agenda has largely been replaced by the agenda of the corporate right. Trump has made little effort at infrastructure reform, and he abandoned his support for a “border-adjustment tax” after the Koch network spent months campaigning against it, and after Pence and Short discussed it privately with Charles Koch at a meeting in Colorado Springs this summer. Bannon’s proposal to create a higher tax bracket for citizens earning upward of five million dollars was dropped. The Kochs enthusiastically support the White House’s proposed tax-cut package, which, according to most nonpartisan analyses, will disproportionately benefit the super-rich. (The proposed elimination of the estate tax alone would give the Koch brothers’ heirs a windfall of billions of dollars.)

So we not only have Pence’s social beliefs to contend with, we have the fact that the rest of what he fights for is on behalf of corporations, not people. Actually, it’s not even on behalf of corporations in general, but the interests of one of the US’ biggest companies. Singular. He’s basically a Koch Industries employee.

Give the full New Yorker piece a read, and make sure you keep an eye on all the villains in this story, not just the loud ones.

(image: Shutterstock)

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angelchrys
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Hero-Princess-General Carrie Fisher Once Delivered a Cow Tongue to a Predatory Hollywood Exec - "She stood up for people."

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Even after her death, stories about Carrie Fisher’s feistiness and commitment to her causes continue to emerge. Heather Ross (maiden name Robinson), a screenwriter and producer who knew Fisher, recently shared yet another one, this time related to Hollywood’s epidemic of sexual harassment and assault.

(Content warning: Ross shares some pretty explicit details of her attack in the audio below, so only listen if you’re in the right place to hear those.)

Calling into KMXZ Tucson, Ross related a disturbing story of sexual assault by an Oscar-winning producer (not Harvey Weinstein), whom she chose not to name. After she escaped the car where he’d trapped her, she told her mother and some friends what had happened.

“Did anybody want to take action?” asked the hosts. “Did they want to go after this guy?”

“Carrie Fisher,” Ross replied. “A lot of people said, in the news after her passing, that she was like a mother figure, and she took care of people—which she did, and I was one of many. And when I told her about this—I sent her a message, I was like, ‘You’re never gonna believe what happened’—she was very protective of me, and more scared for my safety than anything.”

“And after that fear wore off, about two weeks later, she sent me a message online, she was like, ‘I just saw [blank] at Sony Studios. I knew he would probably be there, so I went to his office and personally delivered a Tiffany box wrapped with a white bow.’ I asked her, ‘Okay, what was inside?’ and she said, ‘It was a cow tongue from Jerry’s Famous Deli with a note that said, If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box!‘ And I about died.”

“That’s just how she was,” Ross said, “and I miss her dearly. She stood up for people … That’s what Carrie Fisher was. She spoke out, and she put things out there in your face.”

We’ll miss you forever, General.

(via Jezebel and Mashable, image: Amazon)

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angelchrys
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Jets Fan Who Stands For National Anthem Sits On American Flag

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This man at Sunday’s Patriots-Jets game respects the United States and its national anthem so much that he turned the country’s flag into a picnic blanket. Reader Marshall spotted the patriot, who is better than all of us, at the Jets’ stadium.

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angelchrys
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It's....it's almost like the issue at hand is *not* respect for the flag, but something else. Hmmmm.....
Overland Park, KS
deezil
12 hours ago
Shocking, I know.
deezil
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WELP.
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Black Panther Trailer: Ain’t Nobody Talk When T’Challa Talkin’ So Shut The F#% ^& Up

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The cook out is canceled. We’re all meeting up in Wakanda and the password to get in is having melanin. The new, I said the new official Black Panther trailer dropped. Shit so official it’s rocking whistles and black and white stripes. Shit so official, I pinned a co-work after watching it and a 3-count started.

Listen to me when I say, we got a glimpse of Wakanda, We got Ramonda (Angela the god queen herself Basset) in Wakandan wardrobe. Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) telling T’Challa, “I done seen gods, aliens, and things I can’t explain, but the shit y’all Wakandans on? This shit y’all Wakandans cookin’ up right here? What is in this? Oh my word, is that Gil Scott-Heron I hear?”

Yeah, Everett it is, cause only the hard shit is bout to happen right now when Marvel out here doin’ right by Wakanda (cause the consequences would be so dire). This shit looks luxurious, this shit looks Bobby Roode level glorious, Wakanda lookin’ like the future Black millennials people want right now. We’re seeing the King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is about to become but there’s fucking trouble cause Erik Killmonger aka N’Jadaka if you’re nasty (Michael B. Jordan) is out here trying to fuck up T’Challa’s reign. Kilmonger been out here trying to get revenge. Teaming up with Klaw. Visiting the MOMA, apparently? Then challenging T’Challa for the Black Panther title, in his own damn suit? Did this guy steal the gold Panther suit? That’s worse than stepping on someone’s Jays. You can’t be out here rocking T’Challa’s shit! The uncouth of it all!

Now, I’m no florist but if we look at the agricultural landscape of Waknada on more gain’…are we even kidding with the scenery here? The TLC waterfalls, the ones you are not supposed to be chasing are out here? Also, what are we even talking about with the technology Wakandans got technology that ain’t even out yet cause it’s exclusive. Wakandan exclusive.

Shuri is out here in the whip from Tron and I’m mad as hell cause all we got in America are those Jetson escalator walkways at the airports. The future sucks over here, man. Shit is pathetic. They even showed the fucking ancestral plane! Their spiritual world even better than our shit over here. I ain’t trying to see a preacher giving folks the holy ghost by nailing them with his coat, I want that Wakandan spiritual plane!


But back to this gangsta shit, *Sam Wilson hand rub* Yeah, I’m fucking with this Black Panther trailer because not only are they giving us T’Challa with the reverse stripper break away panther suit, they got the vibranium flowing too? They got T’Challa with the purple Bruce Leroy vibranium glow right out of the comic books. T’Challa got the Mace Windu bright lights? The purple blessings from Prince, if you will. You’re not messing with that shit. When a Black person rocks purple on their persons? It’s over. You’re done now. The vibranium ting go “skrrra pap pap ka ka ka skidiki pap pap and a pu pu drrrr boom SKYAA du du ku ku tun tun poom poom” ain’t no coming back from that.

Black Panther drops February 2018. I’m buying my first and only pair of Jordans (purple) to see this movie in them. It’s a must now. It’s only fitting. Long live the king, long live T’Challa.

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The post Black Panther Trailer: Ain’t Nobody Talk When T’Challa Talkin’ So Shut The F#% ^& Up appeared first on Black Nerd Problems.

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angelchrys
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Sorry, Jimmy Fallon, You Don’t Get to Take It Easy on Trump Because You “Don’t Really Even Care That Much About Politics”

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Jimmy Fallon appeared on NBC’s Sunday Today to discuss his new children’s book and the late-night landscape, and the subject of Trump inevitably came up. Host Willie Geist asked why Fallon hasn’t taken on Trump in the same way that other late-night hosts, such as Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, or Seth Meyers, have.

“It’s just not what I do,” Fallon said. “I think it’d be weird for me to start doing it now. I don’t really even care that much about politics. I’ve got to be honest: I love pop culture more than I love politics. I’m just not that brain.”

(As we all know, “I don’t really even care that much about politics” is the universal code for “I’m privileged enough that most political decisions don’t affect my daily life.”)

Geist followed up: “Do you ever feel pressure to talk about Donald Trump, or to go political? Do you hear that noise?”

“No, I mean, I think the other guys are doing it very well,” Fallon said. “Colbert’s doing great. I mean, that’s what he’s good at. He’s always into, like, political comedy. And I think when it’s organic, I’ll dip into it as well.”

“But I’ve always made jokes about the president,” he continued. “I’ve made thousands of jokes [about Obama]…But with Trump, it’s just like every day is a new thing. He gives a lot of material. A lot of stuff is hard to even make a joke about, because it’s just too serious.”

Honestly, this immediately set off my annoyance alarm. I’m generally with The New Yorker‘s Jia Tolentino on the election of Trump:

So Fallon’s abdication of responsibility immediately rubbed me the wrong way.

But on another level, I get where Fallon’s coming from. His comedy, unlike someone like Seth Meyers’, has never been sarcastic or scathing. On his six seasons of Saturday Night Live, Fallon most often played a goof, making funny voices and exaggerating; Meyers’ SNL repertoire, on the other hand, involved hosting “Weekend Update” segments with a knowing, mocking glint in his eye. Fallon’s talents aren’t naturally suited to ripping apart the logical fallacies of some idiotic legislation.

And there are legitimate questions about the value of satire when dealing with a post-truth president, who is so clearly beyond shame and so often beyond parody. Even The Onion struggles to lampoon Trump effectively. So it’s fair enough to ask whether Jimmy Fallon, with silliness as his personal brand, is well-suited to tackle a task that’s proven so difficult even for people with finely tuned political comedy chops.

But listen, Jimmy. We’ve got a president who’s attacking millions of the Americans who watch your show: people of color, women, poor people, Muslims, disabled people, queer folk, anyone who needs mental or physical health care, and all the many Americans who fall into multiple of those categories. That’s half of your audience, and Trump’s attacks on them are endorsed by the other half of your audience.

This horrifying situation demands a compassionate, principled response from an entertainer with a massive platform. You don’t have to copy Colbert’s format, or imitate Meyers’ style. You don’t have to address every nightmare act of this administration (because Lord knows there are so many). But you do have an obligation to mock the cruelty and ignorance that’s threatening your entire audience. Just look at how Jimmy Kimmel, who hardly qualifies as a razor-witted political analyst, took on the healthcare debate with heart and humor. You can highlight the important issues in your own style – and you are, quite bluntly, morally obligated to.

I know you wish you could afford to do light-hearted comedy that doesn’t offend anybody in power, and that doesn’t make anyone question their political views. I understand that you wish you lived under a different, less deadly, and less vicious president. (Hell, I wish I’d gotten to chill out in high school and college instead of growing up under a government that was waging unprovoked war, assaulting the welfare state, and violating the Geneva Conventions.) But as Gandalf the Grey said:

So sorry there, Frodo. You don’t get to opt out of the moral crisis you’re born into.

(Via The Hill; image via screengrab of Jimmy Fallon’s show on NBC Television)

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angelchrys
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Craft Brewers Hoping To Crowdfund $213B To Buy Anheuser-Busch InBev

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With Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors, Sapporo, and other beer behemoths snapping up craft brewers left and right, the Craft Brewers Association is asking why this acquisition spree can’t also go the other way, which is why it’s trying to crowdfund a mere $213 billion to buy AB InBev, and then do… something, maybe, with it.

The group says its “Take Craft Back” effort is aimed at buying AB InBev, which it claims has taken the independence of real craft brewers as well as stealing customers’ freedom of choice.

“Since 2011, Anheuser-Busch InBev has quietly acquired 10 small and independent breweries, but they won’t tell you that on their packaging,” said the face of the campaign, a guy named Andy who appears in a campaign video for the group, and is identified only as “an avowed lover of craft beer.”

“Big Beer creates an ‘illusion of choice,’ but we are presenting them with a reality check — and hopefully, at the end of the day, with a real check too,” Andy said.

On its campaign site, the group accuses corporate overlords at Big Beer of buying up all of certain hop varietals to keep it out of the hands of independent brewers, even though they didn’t need or use the hops.

In addition, Take Craft Back claims on its site that these major companies buy up craft breweries “left and right,” and then use their “sheer financial mass to make sure that independent craft brewers who refuse to sell out get pushed to the margins.”

As of Monday at about 1:45 p.m. ET, the campaign’s site indicated it had received $265,160 worth of pledges. The group says pledges will only be collected after all $213 billion has been secured.

Yes, this is all pretty clearly just a publicity stunt by the craft brewers, but what if — just, what if — every adult in the U.S. each contributed $1,000, and miraculously made this thing happen? What would AB InBev’s new owners do with their new purchase — Break it up? Turn the factories over to homebrew aficionados? Start releasing Bud Light that tastes like something? It would be madness… though it will never actually happen.

Even so, we’ve reached out to the Association to ask about its ultimate intentions if the impossible were to become possible. We will update if we receive a response.





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angelchrys
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