Somewhat Daily News for December 29, 2016

Well it would seem that the big news today is that of the sanctions placed on Russia as a result of their cyber activity. Above are the remarks by the President. The State¬†and Treasury Departments both also issued statements with the actions they’ll be taking. Additionally there was a joint statement made by multiple intelligence agencies. It’ll be interesting to see if Russia even cares and what will happen after January 20th but because this is how diplomacy works nowadays, we already have a response from the Russian Embassy in the UK:

But lets move on from the less James Bond-y news, shall we?

Gun News: Here’s what happens when you let the NRA write our gun laws. This is a great article by Rolling Stone magazine about stand your ground laws and “castle doctrine” and their many problems.

Scientology News: I don’t know if anyone else is into the new Leah Remini doc on A&E, Scientology and the Aftermath. I am. And after the most recent episode spoke on the forced abortions that they say occur, I went looking for a couple of articles and a friend put me up to a website called The Underground Bunker and I went on a nice deep dive into more of the world of Scientology. It was very interesting and this article in particular, about TMZs involvement. I never realized/cared about any connection they might have, and TMZ isn’t exactly a website I frequent. On the other hand, the Underground Bunker might be one I start to! I’m very intrigued.

And in more Fake Religion News: It turns out that fake religion goes quite well with Trumps brand of Fake Populism. Who doesn’t love a good televangelist? Take¬†me back to the good old days of Billy Graham doing the Invocation.

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And now, some Fake Philanthropy News:¬†Rumors of my philanthropy have been¬†greatly exaggerated. That first anecdote was quite telling if you ask me. I’m always leery of people eager for a photo op.

Finally, my podcast recommendation. The Girls Girls Podcast.

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The podcast itself is wonderful. It deals with all kind of issues/topics that have to do with women. They had a great episode on mental health and then followed it up with an equally great episode about big fat vaginas. The episode I’d like to recommend though, is the 9th, entitled Suck it 2016. I think the title sums up the episode quite nicely.

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Somewhat Daily News for December 28, 2016

It was actually hard to find diversity in the news today. I don’t know about you but my newsfeed was about 90% Israel/Palestine/Kerry. I do honestly wish I new more about the topic and I’m somewhat well versed in the history but probably not as much as I should be, all things being relative. Anyway, today was a good reminder to keep up and learn more! So lets talk about the news.

Israel Palestine News: This is just a few of the articles I read today regarding the news, Kerry defending a two state solution. Here’s the full transcript of his speech. Here’s the transcript of the UNSC Resolution on Israeli settlements. And finally, here’s an article about why Trump will be bad for Israel (as if Netanyahu doesn’t seem bad enough).

That did take up most of my reading today but I got a few other things in today.

Petition News: I’ve always wondered, how effective are those “We The People”¬†petitions? Do they ever get anything accomplished? With all the ones I’ve seen since the election, I have my doubts. The article does mention a few that have resulted in action (I’m sure Yogi Berra appreciated his Medal of Freedom), but more noticeable, why they don’t usually mean/do anything. What I found more interesting, was what people attempted to petition the white house for!

Fox Screws Up Again News: Good ol’ food stamps are in the news again, with claims of fraud at an all time high. Here’s the thing though, fraud definitely isn’t at an all time high in the world of food stamps.¬†Know where fraud is skyrocketing though? Banking. Business. Elections. Possibly a good idea to look there first?

Objectification News: I can’t say I’m an Ariana Grande fan. I couldn’t name a single song if you asked me (though I did like a Mariah Carey cover I heard her sing once. And enjoyed her on SNL). It’s a short article but it’s just a reminder that just because women talk about sex or maybe even dress provocatively, it doesn’t mean that should open them up to harassment. And it make me understand a little more why people like Jennifer Lawrence aren’t nice to their fans. You don’t need to be nice to me Jen, just keep making jokes about James from VPR and we’re cool.

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And finally, if you’re looking for a good podcast listen, may I recommend once again, Another Round. Out today is their interview with Susan Rice, Obama’s National Security Advisor.

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Somewhat Daily News for December 27, 2016

This may discredit me a little bit but I should be honest with you. I’ve never seen a single Star Wars movie. I know. It’s shameful really but at this point in my life, who knows. Space really scares me and I get panic attacks when I read about it so I’ve always been kind of scared to watch them. That said, I’m a huge fan of Carrie Fisher. I can’t say I knew much about her besides being in Star Wars, until I both heard her on Terry Gross a few years ago as a book of hers was coming out, and watched an interview with her on Ellen when her one woman show was coming out. I found her to be amazing. Her thoughts on mental illness, her comedy, just the way she spoke was just… it was different from everyone else. I really appreciated it. And I appreciated her. ¬†And to relate this to news, take a look at the politics of¬†Rogue One. And also, here’s one of her couple of interviews on Fresh Air with Terry Gross (this one from just a month ago) which is well worth a listen!

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And now, onto some news as we wrap up this shit-storm of a year!

He Brought it Up¬†News: I just can’t let Mr. Trump speak about how great his charity is, without noting that it’s not great. Not at all. Very bad. (to speak on his level). This article is a little old (pre-election) but it sums up quite succinctly, what is wrong with his foundation, and what little it actually does. And in other news, Mr. Trump¬†probably will be bringing up a lot more on Twitter in the future, which is really great. Just super.

Private Racist News: Basically, NY Developer Carl Paladino (and co-chair to the Trump campaign) is saying, I know I’m racist, but I didn’t want everyone else to know! But don’t worry Carl, we do.¬†And truly, it’s amazing to know how many white people feel this way. ¬†The only hope we have is that when people make their hate known, we shut it down. WE must¬†make it known that it is not acceptable. And to say “it’s just a joke” does not make it better.

Op-Ed News: I have mixed opinions on this article but I think it’s still worth a read. It’s about why we should Never Stop Yelling at Ivanka Trump. The reason I think it’s important to criticize her is because she’s never stood up to those being criticized. It would be one thing if she was a vocal opponent to bullying in its various fashions, but she has never once stood up for those being attacked by anyone in her party, or otherwise. She is an accessory to her fathers vitriol. Liberals don’t always need to be nice. There’s a difference between “going high” and literally bowing down to those spewing hate against what you believe in, and whether Ivanka believes in that hate or not, she is a part of it until she too, stands up against it.

And finally, in I Like Map News: This was a really interesting scroll through about pop cultrure throughout America and the cultural divide. Also interesting is how I fall in the list of shows I watch.

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Somewhat Daily News for December 22, 2016

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Well, we’ve got our President Elect talking about upping our nuclear arsenal so that’s always a good way to start a day! There’s a nuclear winter joke in there somewhere but I haven’t thought of it yet. But lets move on to some other news.

He’s Still Our President News: Before the President Elect screws everything up, at least we have a few more weeks of the guy who really exemplifies what a President is. And this guy, he’s just made it harder (hopefully really hard) to build a Muslim registry. Thank you, President Obama!

Climate Change News: While people still aren’t¬†believing¬†in it (and by people I mean idiots), a DC appeals court has now ruled that you can now sue those people for defamation when people call you fraudulent. Honestly, this seems like a very Trump response. Sure, you can sue them, do that. We still aren’t gonna believe it, but we respect your right to sue people at the very least. I am glad that the Judge ruled that saying climate scientists are wrongly, tarnishes their reputation and personal integrity. Though honestly, it only makes me respect them more. Stick to your guns, science!

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Art¬†News: So, some background. After the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, a lot of people looked at the City closing the Bell Foundry for code violations as an assault on artists. Really, it’s just an assault on shady landlords, at least in this case. The good thing is that new Mayor, Catherine Pugh has come out in support of more arts space saying that “Artists make a contribution… We believe that art is everything.” She’s now created a task force to find safe, cost-effective spaces for young artists to live. Baltimore is already pretty good at this with places like City Arts, and the newly created City Arts 2, but more spaces are always a good idea!

Op-Ed News: Just some reading that makes me happy to know there are people out there like me and my friends who can’t shake the dread and despair we feel since the election. Tweeting about nuclear weapons doesn’t really help either. And in a personal op-ed can I just add that if one more person says that the guy going into office in January would’ve won by 3 million if CA and NY votes weren’t counted – THEY COUNT! Those two states hold 18% of the entire US population. And the bigger problem is this…¬†The average electoral vote represents 436,000 people. In CA/NY/FL they represent 500,000 people. But in WY/ND/VE it’s closer to 150,000 per vote. And let’s not even talk about how they’re represented in Congress.

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Veteran News:¬†In order to create more transparency, the VA has agreed to start releasing their healthcare quality-of-care ratings. They aren’t great but I think this is a step in the right direction. And in many, they look like they are improving which is good to see. In the link you can also check our your state to see how they’re doing!

Do-Gooder News: Amazon is making it easier to donate with their Give Back Box program. I can dig it.

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And now, for my podcast recommendation of the week: I just recently started listening to the Buzzfeed podcast, Another Round with Heben and Tracy. Specifically, I’m recommending their podcast from last month, Another Round All Stars: Lit is Lit for some excellent reading recommendations!

Somewhat Daily News for December 21, 2016

Well, as they say, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life… and I’m feeling depressed as hell. But in the darkest days (literally, it starts getting lighter tomorrow, thank you sun!), I did still see the sweetest story today that warmed my heart to epic levels. Amy Schumer, you’re wonderful and amazing and your father is lucky to have a daughter like you. But lets move on to some real news, shall we?

Nepotism/Corruption News: The Trump sons are trying to sell access to their father through some kind of ridiculous fundraiser? Is that what you would call it? They’re trying to distance themselves but I think it’s pretty clear they knew what they were getting into. Thanks to the Center for Public Integrity for just straight up showing the business filing with their names right on the paperwork. Not for profit, my ass.

Strange Bedfellows News: I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Samantha Bee’s interview with Glenn Beck. I watched live and the interview stuck with me so much that I ended up being up hours after I should’ve gone to bed. I couldn’t shake it.¬†I want to believe that he’s this quasi-reformed man… and maybe I shouldn’t be this fatalist/catastrophe/sky is falling thinker, and heed his warning. But then I remember, all the Glenn Beck “sky is falling” crap, the sky wasn’t falling. Your rights weren’t going to change. Nothing hurt you when Obama was elected and throughout his terms. Further, his¬†media company still owns The Blaze, which means you still employ Tomi Lahren and Joe Walsh. So… how am I to believe he’s reformed, when he employs people like them? I think if he fired her it would go a long way for me, but then she’d just become a martyr to the Trump world. What he needs to do is remove himself from the company and speak out against people like them, not just to Samatha Bee. Untill he does that, his warning means nothing to me. I certainly don’t think I should go around yelling at Trump supporters about why they are terrible and make bad decisions, I try to be rational and explain but then my fatalist mindset comes back and I just want to scream – YOU SCREWED US ALL! Also, I think Glenn Beck looks like what Tim Allen looked like when he was transitioning to Santa Claus.¬†

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Congressional Approval News: If you think the senate not approving Merrick Garland is something, you should look at the over¬†50 other judicial appointments that the Obama administration tried to get through. Gotta love that Republicans complain about nothing getting done but are in fact the ones doing the nothing. Not only were they not voted in, they didn’t even get a vote! What kind of constitutional republic is this, anyway? The real problem here is that now, they will start appointing and not only will we be losing fair and balanced contenders to the Supreme Court, but we’ll also lose them all around the nation.

White Privilege News:¬†This article comes from Shaun King about white privilege in the form of prosecution and sentencing. The first story is highly disturbing but needs to be shared. It also bothers me that this happened over 6 months ago and I just heard about it. But these stories are many. I think the one we’ve all noticed is Dylann Roof and why he wasn’t charged with terrorism (thankfully he was convicted of a hate crime as part of all 33 counts he was convicted of). The fact though, is that the stories are everywhere. They aren’t even hard to find. And if you want more of a lesson, may I recommend watching 13th on Netflix, which is really just the tip of the iceberg. The stories are literally EVERYWHERE if you don’t have your head in the sand.

 

Finally, I’ve got a few miscellaneous podcasts that I think you should listen to/read, so here they are:

Ta-Nehisi Coates: I’m a Big Believer in Chaos¬†on Ezra Kleins podcast

President Obamas plans to Rehabilitate the Democratic Party on NPR

and while it hasn’t aired yet, I HIGHLY recommend listening to the Diane Rehm show on Friday for Diane’s last day. This lady is a national treasure and I will miss her on my airwaves (but the good news is she’ll be doing a podcast after she retires from her post at NPR, which is GREAT news!)

The End of an Era in Radio. We’ll miss you Diane!

And because what post would be complete without a video link, lets watch Leslie Odom, Jr. sing a song Sara Bareilles wrote when asked what Obama might be thinking about the current election and Donald Trump (it’s from October but I think it still resonates)

Somewhat Daily News for December 19, 2016

Well, today is the day. There are a lot of thoughts going through my head as the Electoral College moved to officially elect our next President. I feel fear, shame, anger, grief. Today is no better than Election Day. It hurts all over again. In light of that, us folks here at Somewhat Daily News would like to fill your feed with stories of good, and so today, that’s what we’re going to do!

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Bana Alabed and her brothers have been rescued/evacuated from Eastern Aleppo! She’s the little girl who has been tweeting about the daily atrocities being committed in the City. There are still many left in the war-zone, fighting for their lives, but I find comfort that these children were able to escape and I hope one day they can return to their country to rebuild what is left.

A Theater Company created a sensory-friendly production of A Christmas Carol. Leave it to the theater to be inclusive to all! I am familiar with theaters making accommodations to those in the hearing impaired community, and for people who have limited mobility, creating room for them in the theater, but creating a show to help those with sensory disorders, this is brand new to me and I love it! I hope that more theater companies do this! Theater should be a place for everyone.

After a British MP tried to block a domestic violence bill, people are now donating to Women’s Charities. Sure, domestic violence is a bad thing, and blocking the passage of the Istanbul Convention (which aims to tackle violence against women in a multitude of ways) ain’t great either. But the response has been a surge in donations to domestic violence charities such as Refuge and Nia (click the links to donate yourself).

A Marine with PTSD got a puppy and it’s basically what I would look like if I got a puppy for Christmas.

Now, if you want any more, this is a good place to start. We’ll go back to the real news tomorrow. But for today, let’s just enjoy non-political news and be happy!

Somewhat Daily News for December 15, 2016

Today’s post features such fun things as education (and lack thereof) news, Standing Rock news, Aleppo needs your help news, Amazon news and some sad news for the sports world. Enjoy!

  1. Education News: The Miseducation of Trumps Cabinet

    It’s interesting having a President and First lady who hold such a value in education.¬†The problem with the current President Elect, is that when you want to be the smartest person in the room, you have to dumb down the room. And that’s what we’re seeing in this cabinet. And in case you’re wondering why an education, or lack of one is important, I’ll direct you to an article from November, post election, about who voted for Donald Trump and why. I’d give you a hint but I bet you’re¬†educated¬†enough to know…

  2. Standing Rock News: It’s Still a Problem

    Yup. You thought it was over well, you’re about 25% right. Yes, the Army Corps said they wouldn’t grant the easement. And that’s great. But, then there’s the problem that Rick Perry, the guy who forgot to name the Department of Energy when listing off Departments to do away with, was just named as the President Elects pick for Energy Secretary. Any guesses what kind of fun conflict of interest Mr. Perry has going on? If you guessed that he’s on the Board of Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the pipeline, you’d be correct.12-15-16-3 Alice

  3. Freak You the F*ck Out News: Amazon Doesn’t Need People

    I have so many weird fears about drones and honestly, them delivering packages is the least of them, but it still bothers me for a multitude of reasons. That said, the last line about 7-11 delivering me slurpees and doughnuts does have me intrigued.

  4. Aleppo/Op-Ed News: What YOU Can Do

    Listen, what’s going on in Aleppo has been going on for quite some time now. Maybe you hadn’t heard about it, maybe you had but didn’t know where you stood. Maybe you didn’t think there was anything you could do to help. The thing is though, there are things you can do to help, so do them! This is a blog that I read that’s kind of morphed into a little more than a humble blog over the years, and they’re connecting people with the places to donate to this cause.

  5. Sad News: R.I.P. Craig Sager.

    I don’t know about you but I can’t think of a Jimmy V winners speech that hasn’t made me straight up sob. #NeverGiveUp #FuckCancer.

And finally, for some levity, my pod of the day goes to Young House Love Has a Podcast, and their episode about Christmas Decorating (#35 on iTunes). I think we all need some light hearted holiday fun for a minute or thirty.