Monday, February 29, 2016

Twitter on Leap Day

It was an extra-long February. First up, the never-ending election, which spent the month grinding through the early primaries and caucuses:

It doesn’t matter that one crank NYC businessman wants to deport millions of immigrants. What matters is that 30-50% of the GOP agrees. America contains an unusually robust population of authoritarian xenophobes. That, not Trump himself, is the Trump story.
David Roberts 

Trump wants to ban people based on their religion and kill families of those ACCUSED of terrorism but we need some real dirt on him.
Saladin Ahmed 

Whenever I see Killer Mike talk about Bernie Sanders, it makes me wanna vote for him. And by "him" I mean Killer Mike.
W. Kamau Bell

Trump's breakout moment as a candidate was calling Mexican immigrants rapists. Stop acting like racism didn't show up until David Duke.
Bree Newsome

One of the saddest things about Trump's fans is that they don't see his contempt for them. Millions of flies trying to get a spider elected.
Molly Manglewood ‏@undeadmolly 

Trump reminds me of when I was a kid, and how hard it was to effectively fight back against a bully. If I cared, he won. If I didn’t care, he’d keep at me till I did. If I went to his level, it was his level, so he was better at it than me.
Zack Handlen

Reminder: Cruz would be the most conservative GOP nominee ever – to the right of even Barry Goldwater.

Steven Rattner

For those of you playing along at home, "religious liberty" is a dog whistle for "white heterosexual privilege." #GOPDebate
Frank Conniff

Countries, like people, do extremely ill-advised things in conditions of high stress and uncertainty.
Clara Jeffery

Everybody calm down. You've had slavery, Jim Crow, lots of wars. This [election year] is nothing.
Dele Olojede

Some White people are "shocked" by Trump because they thought no matter what party or candidate, they all tacitly agreed to hide their racism. It's like he's airing their dirty laundry (well...for them; see, Black people already *knew*) and his fans are running around in dirty drawz.
Trudy ‏@thetrudz

Was on MSNBC, explaining that Trump doesn't need $ for ads because he gets so much free media, when they cut away from me to a Trump rally.
Nick Confessore

I like Bernie Sanders, and I agree with almost all of what he says. I loathe Donald Trump, and agree with virtually nothing that he says and when you say "If Bernie doesn't get the nomination I'll vote for Trump," please know that you are a big baby who doesn't care about real things.
Andy Richter

General election will feature a moderate Republican running against sentient rabies. The moderate Republican's name is Hillary Clinton.
Saladin Ahmed

If the Pope is going to say that Trump isn't Christian, he might as well also point out that most media coverage of him isn't journalism.
Frank Conniff

Watching the GOP trash fire would be a lot more fun if I didn't also have to live in the dumpster.
Joshua Parker @JRRParker

How is it possible that one party is posting photos of guns and taking away gluten-free meals while the other talks about intersectionality? Like, how are these two parties even attempting to pass as intellectual equals here? The mind legitimately boggles.
Sarah Mackey ‏@sarahjanet

If America was a person we'd all be talking in hushed tones about staging an intervention right now.
Tom Sutcliffe

Just realized the world feels about U.S. elections the way I feel about some of our states: they control my fate even though I have no say there.
Pat Thompson

Went to a Trump rally in New Hampshire this week. Hard to describe the vibe, but "what if the Nazis didn't care about fitness?" comes close.
James Adomian

Between Trump and Sanders I'm guessing what America really wants is this:

Alex Bowles

TRUMP: Ban all Muslims. Mexicans are rapists. Let’s do war crimes
SANDERS: Wall Street is bad
DC JOURNO: I literally can’t tell them apart
Chase Woodruff

America is looking more and more like Europe: a socialist and a fascist are winning the hearts of voters. #NHPrimary
Nikhil Goyal

The biggest lesson of how to be a good president is to time your presidency to an economic expansion you had nothing to do with.
Matt Bruenig

Cruz says Obama is abusing executive power with education regulations. But he would have the authority to torture.
digby ‏@digby56

Marco Rubio is like an over-trained spelling bee child.
Imraan Siddiqi

Y’know, even if you constantly phrase it as "SOME are worried about Clinton’s voice," you’re still reinforcing sexism. No one’s fooled.
David Roberts

The dominance of the donor class matters.


Don't harass me, Bernie fans. I'm UNFATHOMABLY LIBERAL. All you're doing is making me wonder why this great guy attracts angry people.
Rainbow Rowell

I think it's weird how much some people can love a candidate. The most I can ever muster is hope they don't turn out awful.
Greg van Eekhout

All you people griping about Iowa are just mad you have to care about the Midwest once every four years.
lyz lenz

The GOP runs most states and Congress and we’re debating how many progressives can fit on the head of a liberal pin.
David Roberts
Next, lots of thoughts about racism, white supremacy, and organizing against both:
We already know there is no precedent for GOP obstructionism on the Supreme Court nominee. But when racism is your reason, you don't need reasons.
Brittney Cooper 

We 100% need to criticize the lack of disabled characters and actors in films and awards, but we can do this without comparisons. I see "people talk about Black representation sooo much more!!" and "non-disabled actors playing disabled characters is JUST like blackface!" We don't need to appropriate struggles or histories. We don't need to play "who's more oppressed." We can advocate and fight without that. Don't begrudge each other representation. Don't set people of color -- especially Black people -- up as competitors.
Corinne Duyvis

"The civil war wasn't about black slavery, it was about economics." <-- how civil war is taught in US. (Black slavery was the economy.)
Bree Newsome

Diversity is not a substitute for justice. Diversity is not a substitute for justice. Diversity is not a substitute for justice.
Nikhil Goyal

Happy birthday to the Audre Lorde! What is your favorite work by this great poet and activist?

Writer's Relief

I'm pretty sure we've had an uptick in racist violence in this country, but it's hard to know for sure because the media is basically ignoring it. I know there are some folks who've been tracking the number of attacks committed against Muslims but it's really getting ignored and that's particularly disturbing when the news media is plastered wall-to-wall with coverage of anti-Muslim sentiment, normalizing it.
Bree Newsome

Situations can be "both/and," not just "either/or." (Wondering if there's something inherent in humans where others' paths bother us.) We can have our own spaces and advocate for greater diversity and inclusion. We can work toward change inside and outside of structures.
Ebony Elizabeth ‏@Ebonyteach

Odd that, of all the many politically incorrect things available to say, the right only wants to say the racist and sexist ones.
David Roberts

Americans like our racism symbolic rather than systemic. No red-lining bureaucrats for us, we want to see bad white people actively targeting a small group of sympathetic minorities with overt, plain-spoken prejudice.
Clay Shirky ‏

white+coloniser people SHOULD feel uncomfortable in discussions of race+imperialism. they should face the enormity of their crimes.

Life is too short to spend it trying to convince a racist society that Africans are human and wonderful. Be in the world and let it catch up.
Greg Carr ‏@AfricanaCarr

"We've made enormous progress in teaching that racism is bad. Where we have dropped the ball is in teaching people what racism actually IS."
Kellindo Parker 

Missed opportunity tonight [during one of the Democratic debates]: I would vote for whichever candidate pledged to never use or respond to the phrase "race relations."
jay smooth 

You cannot write the story of a slave and ignore slavery. Period. It is not something that needs to be done.

White people get to be thoughtful individuals and people of color get to be group votes.
roxane gay

Stop asking, "is this racist?" re: events in a nation that was socially and economically built on the enslavement of black people.
Bree Newsome

The myth of the superpredator drove not only huge increases in incarceration of children, but juvenile life without parole, and mandatory minimums. Hillary Clinton  spent months stumping for tougher sentences, citing the superpredator as justification. This was pure fear mongering, and completely undercuts her current attempt to posture as the lifelong champion of women and children.
Alan Mills 

So is monotony. Consciously aiming for a range of perspectives beats unconsciously repeating tired old erasures.
Saladin Ahmed

My 81-yr-old attorney father is helping a woman trying to apply for public housing, but she's having to explain 60s civil rights arrest. The public housing clauses under Bill Clinton have impact to this day. No one seeking housing should be worried about a 50-yr-old arrest.
Tananarive Due

An elder said something to me last night that's still ringing in my ears: "We need unity without uniformity."
Bree Newsome
Apple's fight with the FBI was good for a few tweets:
Republicans won't ask gun manufactures to do anything to prevent 32,000 deaths a year. But those iPhones, man.

Instead of going to war with Apple, perhaps the US gov should be asking Apple for help with securing its unencrypted communications.
Christopher Soghoian

We don't have a President Romney because a waiter filmed him saying outside of his 47% support the electorate were freeloading deadbeats. Every day, more examples of a pocket computer with a camera and networking shining a light on ugly truths. The FBI wants tools to stop it.
Matt Haughey
And this month, there were more tweets than usual about education in our country, the school-to-prison pipeline, and raising creative children despite it all:

I would rather teach at a school where the teachers enjoyed the kids and didn't wish for better kids ... teach the kids you have.
Dennis Dill 

A University of California graduate today pays in a year what I paid for four years at UC in '90s. What I paid in a year was more than '60s UC students paid in fees. UC was free in 1960s. There was $100 or so in annual fees (for student activities), plus books and lodging, both much cheaper then than now.
Robert Cruickshank 

So, I was a giant Edna St. Vincent Millay nerd in high school. If you aren't familiar with her: poet, playwright, essayist, muse, 1920s Greenwich Village bad girl, anti-war activist. Millay also grew up in poverty. Raised herself and her sisters while her mother worked to keep food on the table. Was an angry child. Listen to podcast about Millay's early life. Pay close attention to the parts about her school discipline issues. Then sit back, and think for a minute about what would happen to a little girl of color like that, today. It's probably not Vassar. How many little Edna St. Vincent Millays are we losing to the school-to-prison pipeline? What's more important? Discipline? Obedience? Or taking a troubled kid and helping them fulfill their promise?
Maggie Koerth-Baker

Look at the charter school descriptions for schools heading to low income areas sometime. Then look at the rules for juvie. Same thing. This myth that what low-income kids of color need is more discipline has fostered a return to methods straight out of Oliver Twist. Poor kids don't lack discipline. Poor kids lack resources. Resources that are key to their success.
Mikki Kendall ‏@Karnythia

When white saviorism meets white supremacist capitalism, you get self-righteous abuse of poor children of color.
TayGo ‏@taygogo

I think "personalizing" education in a standards based schooling environment is akin to thinking you'll get a customized meal at McDonalds.
The Education Dude

How to raise creative kids: replace Tiger Mom-like pressure to excel with an emphasis on joy and dabbling; ease up on practice.
Alfie Kohn
And several about sexism and gender oppression:
Lyn Never

Unless things change, girls will spend tens of thousands more hours than boys doing chores:

Melinda Gates

Girls can't do anything without others assuming it's for attention from boys and I'm so fucking tired of it.
Mädchen ‏@MadchenDeFrain

Scientists have discovered what causes Resting Bitch Face. I think the answer you're looking for is "sexism.”
Molly Hensley-Clancy

‏I hear so many dudes say they started seeing sexism when they had a daughter… WTF? Like your mother, wife, sisters & friends weren't human?
Anil Dash
There were several about one of my favorite positive subjects, building cities for people and sustainability, not cars:
We need the city to start telling people parking induces traffic when they call for more parking on every project.
Sonnapsidee ‏@mikesonn

"When we design [streets] with a mindset that forgives the driver, we fail to forgive everybody else.” - Charles Marohn
Strong Towns 

Four-way stop signs, which require motorists to approach each intersection as a negotiation, turn out to be much safer than signals.
Jeff Speck 

Trees should be valued as part of the key 'infrastructure' of a liveable city.
jennifer keesmaat
  ...which is related closely in my mind to climate change and sustainability:
"Years of painstaking organizing to drive sociopolitical change" never seems to get the nerds excited. The best way Bill Gates could use his money to produce action on climate is to get Democrats elected.
David Roberts

Worth noting that all gasoline cars are heavily subsidized via oil company tax credits and unpaid public health costs.
Elon Musk

NASA's ranking of the hottest months since records began in 1880
1) Jan 2016
2) Dec 2015
3) Oct 2015
4) Nov 2015
Bill McKibben

I am probably going to live to see solar become the cheapest source of electricity in the world. It’s pretty cool.
David Roberts

Reducing deforestation to zero can reduce global CO2 emissions as much as converting all the world's electricity to renewables!
Jon Foley ‏@GlobalEcoGuy

For economic and environmental sustainability, we need to tax short-termism to fund long-termism.

The hope that "innovation" or "someone in a garage" will solve climate change = the hope that no serious, systemic changes are required.
David Roberts

The costs of U.S. air pollution are huge ($131 billion in 2011) but, thanks to recent EPA regulations, falling. Air pollution regulations are some of the most cost-effective government measures that exist. Absolute open-and-shut case. But they aren’t discussed that way. Why? Because the costs fall on powerful constituencies and the benefits go to marginal, poorer constituencies. Powerful constituencies are able to amplify their position in the media and through access to lawmakers. Poor kids with asthma aren’t. So we end up with the absurd U.S. media framing: "environmentalists want more regulations but fossil fuel companies say they would destroy the economy." The regulations never destroy the economy. They never hurt it at all! The benefits wildly outweigh the costs. But the framing never changes.
David Roberts
And finally, the rest of the best, some of which provide comic relief.:

FACT: The phrase "wake-up call" has never been more popular, yet use of actual wake-up calls has declined precipitously.
Chris Steller

If America means anything, it means the freedom to tell authority figures to "fuck off" without being violently assaulted. The notion that the only proper response to authority is total submission is gaining creepy currency in the U.S. these days. Definitely a common response to police brutality. "The victim didn’t immediately and totally submit."
David Roberts

Justice [Clarence] Thomas’s first words from the bench in 10 years were about defending gun rights for domestic abusers.
Moms Demand Action

It seems no amount of fury about the gridlock caused by the structure of U.S. politics will cause people to heed structural explanations.
David Roberts

Working families need family-friendly policies in 2016.


Why would you think your insults would matter to me? I don't know you. You must have better things to do.
W. Kamau Bell [responding to a troll]

The people who are actually "taking your jobs" are the ones in suits telling you it's the Mexicans.
Jamie Kilstein

No other genre of music is categorized by its subject matter. Annexing political songs into their own shouty box makes them completely inaccessible.
Grace Petrie

We could be so much better if we were willing to consider that we might not be the best at everything and could learn from other countries.
Marco Arment

When trust in institutions degrades, authoritarianism flourishes.
Christopher Hayes

[The prisoners at Guantanamo] have been held in jail for years and years. They’re not super villains. They can’t melt through steel bars. America is so safe, but so terrified. Still not sure I’ve seen a convincing explanation for why.
David Roberts

Top two google searches in U.S. tonight: "where to buy guns" and "directions to Canada."

The thing with AFDC/TANF is that in a good welfare system, the number of people who get to that level is just not very big. You're asking AFDC/TANF to do way more than it is capable of doing, way more than last-ditch assistance does elsewhere. Consider a welfare terrain with a child benefit, free child care, and unemployment benefits with Active Labor Market Practices. How often does someone need TANF?
Matt Bruenig


m e g ‏@megmantis

A company that makes exactly zero profit but pays 1,000 people a living wage is immensely valuable.

"The Roberts court has made it easier to buy an election and harder to vote in one." – Seth Flaxman, Demos
Tim O'Reilly

Accidentally bought my kid Richard-Price toys. They're like Fisher-Price, but the tiny plastic men are alcoholic cops with terrible secrets.
Tim Carvell

The far Right has been better at mobilizing around fear than the progressive left has at creating an inclusive vision of the future.
Richard Florida

In our dreams, this is what public interest lawyers do.

In reality, this is what public interest lawyers do.

Alan Mills

To me, this is what Jesus was about: don’t calibrate your love based on [deserving] or analysis; humans are too flawed. Just love everyone. Too bad that never quite caught on.
David Roberts ‏

Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
making beauty,
& throwing it away,
& making more.
Tara Skurtu

The phrase: "Only God can judge me" allows people to do hideous acts because they believe the only being they have to answer to is an unseen force.
Stacey Patton

When you try to send your mom a cute text about the sparrows in your yard and it autocorrects "Sorrows are everywhere! They're gathering now."
Molly Priesmeyer

There is no set of laws/rules extensive & detailed enough to maintain a democracy when all its norms have been discarded.
David Roberts

The Way
That when you
On their side
Look like
A long way
Made out
Matt Haig

Less Glass-Steagall, more GRASS BEAGLE.
Molly Ball ‏@mollyesque

We should make a rule that if you want to be a pundit, you have to live outside of NY, DC, and SF for at least five years.
Nikhil Goyal

There's a real gap between people who want policy to allow everyone to fulfill their "God-given potential," and people who want policy to just even out material inequality as much as possible, purely for equality's own sake. There's overlap, but the gap, too.
Elizabeth Bruenig

How dare Beyonce bring symbols of past racial strife into popular music performance!!

Bob Schooley

One last thing: fundamental to the idea of copyright protection is that you can't copyright ideas, only the expression of them. If you could copyright ideas, nobody would be able to write anything. Ever.
Courtney Milan

There are two things in this world I never want to do:
1. go on a cruise
2. Hm. That's about it.
Molly Priesmeyer

Global success!
60% decline in malaria sine 2000.
6.2 million lives saved.
But still a lot to be done!
Erik Solheim

Mass media and pop culture are key to reproducing the hypercapitalist insanity that is literally destroying life on this planet.
Your Highness ‏@alwaystheself

Have you ever noticed how all religious and moral dogmas subtly promote fear and hatred of other dogmas that compete for their viewership?
L'Schmoo ‏@CrushingDonuts

"[sociological term] is a made up word!"
ohhh, buddy, wait until you hear the news about literally all the other words

Love that so many U.S. liberals consider the ability to reach across the aisle to Christian fascists a selling point. Don't get into fights with your friends on behalf of old white politicians who will never know your name.
Saladin Ahmed

‏The biggest threat facing American families is not ISIS, it's poverty and depression that's allowed to exist in a rigged economy.
Liam Young

I bet when she's drunk, Anne Geddes photographs babies in styrofoam containers of pad thai.
Julieanne Smolinski

When people ask me why I can't sleep, I'm like, "How CAN you sleep? Have you (figuratively) picked up a newspaper lately?"
Rainbow Rowell

"Bro" is not a slur, but that's a whole different story. If the worst name you get called on the internet is "bro"...well, that's privilege.

Here's an excellent XKCD comic on "like" and linguistic:

Babel ‏@Babelzine

Survey: Who does *not* view their email inbox a inescapable, looming source of guilt & dread?
David Roberts

We call communism a failure because most people living under it were poor and miserable. By that measure, capitalism is also a failure.
Saladin Ahmed

You are 5K times more likely to be killed by an American with a gun than by a jihadi in this country.  – Peter Bergen
CBS This Morning

I think Obama is the best President of my lifetime.
Frank Conniff

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