Thursday, November 15, 2018

Is Facebook Worth It?

Today at Shakesville I wrote about the recent New York Times revelations on Facebook's behavior during and after the 2016 presidential election.

Specifically, NYT has reported that Facebook hired a PR firm to discredit those who criticized the company for allowing Cambridge Analytica to access (and then mis-use) Facebook users' personal information and that the company, which has existed since 2004, had no "policy on disinformation."

Given the diminishing public trust in Facebook, at what point will people begin to mass migrate from Facebook to other, more responsible, platforms?

Read the whole thing!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Riding the Blue Wave


As you no doubt know by now, Democrats will soon hold a majority in the House, somewhat ending one-party rule in the nation. I'm disappointed we didn't take the Senate as well, but that was always a long shot. Nonetheless, we had the largest gains in 40 years and I believe that's largely the result of the political labor, advocacy, and organizing of millions of marginalized people, primarily women.

Hilariously, religious freedom fighter Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in contravention of a federal court order, lost her re-election bid for county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky.

I will never not have schadenfreude when bigots lose.

Regarding Beto's loss in Texas to the unfathomably unlikeable and terrible Ted Cruz, this tweet sums up my thoughts pretty well:

When white men lose in politics, it seems like their loss is often framed as, in some way or another, actually a win. They're not automatically categorized as irredeemable losers who need to retreat from the public sphere forever. And yet, we still see regular media pieces demanding that Hillary Clinton Go Away.  There are regular think pieces on whether Nancy Pelosi should do the same, especially now that Democrats have won the House. And no such speculation for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, even though Democrats lost seats in the Senate? Mitt Romney gets no heat for running for Senate in 2018 after his big loss to President Obama in 2012?  And what about Bernie Sanders, who lost to the candidate who lost to Donald Trump? We're all just fine with him boning up to run again in 2020?

ANYway, multiple election contests still have uncertain results. In Florida, it was initially being reported that Republican Ron DeSantis had won, but now it seems to be headed for a recount. In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp is acting as though he's won, even though ballots remain uncounted, numerous irregularities were reported in the election, and Democrat Stacey Abrams has refused to concede. And, in Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has taken the lead for a Senate seat over her Republican opponent.

What I continue to find disturbing are the mechanisms of our political system - such as the Senate and Electoral College - that grant conservative, rural white people disproportionate political power over a more-liberal, more-diverse majority. For instance, the states in which voters have the most voting power as determined by the number of federal elected officials per adult population are Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Montana, and Delaware.

Given that the US Supreme Court majority very likely does not reflect the will of the majority on many important issues - such as economics, environmental issues, reproductive justice, and LGBT rights - the 2020 presidential election is going to be critical (I mean, in addition to the obvious critical necessity to remove Donald Trump and Republicans from executive power).   Two presidential elections in my lifetime have been decided by a conservative minority and the results for our nation have been largely disastrous, particularly with respect to George W. Bush's SCOTUS appointments and Iraq War and Donald Trump's.....*gestures wildly at everything*!

A successful 2020 Democrat candidate is going to have to be able to effectively withstand Trump/Russia/Wikileaks/social media hit jobs and carefully unite the smattering of coalitions who both form the anti-Trump resistance and have a lot of schisms with each other. Many of these schisms, after all, were leveraged for Trump's electoral college win and likely will be again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

2018 Midterms

I feel confident that the dozens of people who read Fannie's Room regularly have voted in the 2018 midterms already, or are planning on doing so. But, if you're able to, please vote!

I cast my ballot early this year, for Democrats across the board. I'm feeling anxious. Democrats have a lot of momentum, but there are so many forces against us: Republicans' consistent appeal to bigotry to win elections, voter suppression, possible rigging and Republican collusion, a mainstream media that still seems inept (at best) in its coverage of our reality show "leader," and more.

Anyway, I did the meme:

Go Abrams! Go Beto! Go Gillum! Go Sharice!

Who are y'all voting and rooting for?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Look At All These Ladies Singing To Each Other

If you don't ship Glinda and Elphaba are you really even queer?

 Just kidding.  Talk about stuff, or not. It's Friday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

MAGA Dipshits Try to Comey the Midterms

I think one of many mistakes one can make when trying to pay women to fabricate sexual assault allegations against a powerful white man is to assume that even actual commitment of sexual assault would destroy the man's career.

But, leave it to rightwingers, misogynists, and other variations of anti-feminists to use false sexual assault allegations in the most cynical, projection-laden way imaginable. They constantly accuse women of wantonly lying about rape just for the fun of destroying men's careers (or of being paid to do so), but they jump at any opportunity to do exactly that. To such people, women's bodies aren't attached to human beings, we're just weapons for men to use to take down this, that, or the other political opponent.

A lot of it, too, is a perverted reversal. Women are regularly denied career opportunities for reasons far less severe than "committed sexual assault." We're too ambitious, too difficult, to devoted to our families, too emotional, too aggressive, too passive, too passive-aggressive, and, well you get the point, all-around too female.

What's funny-sad is that a lot of Russian trolls seem to understand US political nuance much better than the typical MAGA dumbass who is so used to his rightwing white-man bubble that he doesn't realize how irrational his thinking process, such as it is, is.

After all, despite many men's apparent hyper-reactive fear of being falsely smeared by conniving women, it's their man Donald Trump who helped normalize the reality that even an admitted sexual predator, like say one who has admitted on tape to grabbing women by the genitals without their consent, can rise to the very tippy-top in this nation. 

You don't get to be on Team Trump n' Kavanaugh and then act like you give a fuck about women. Ever.

This cynical use of false allegations isn't going to "prove" that Democrats "don't care about sexual assault" and therefore depress voter turnout in the 2018 midterms. Rather, it's going to remind a lot of women of how desperately vile Trump and his fanboy club of deplorables are.

And yes, "Comey" is a verb now.