weekly yikes report for feb 4-feb 10

2019’s Black History Month has been wild.

Liam Neeson almost went on a racist revenge murder, but it’s okay cuz he only thought about it! Lesson learned. Definitely no rage or race issues there. Also Michelle Rodriguez says Neeson can’t be racist because of how he made out with Viola Davis once in a movie! Glad this discussion about racism and violence has now bled over to Rodriguez, who has a history of being problematic herself. Honestly, I hope this is a black hole that sucks in a whole bunch of racially insensitive celebs!

The top of the Virginia government establishment is crumbling thanks to blackface and other allegations. Pictures of Governor Ralph Northam have surfaced, and its ridic because we aren’t even sure whether he was in blackface or KKK robes. Also his lieutenant governor has sexual assault allegations that are pretty damning. All the people explaining Northam’s photo away are telling on themselves.

Gucci is getting attention for a sweater (a $890 sweater of course) that had a turtleneck that made you look like a fucking blackface performer. It seems like every couple months a huge fashion house gets caught doing something racist (Prada, most recently? I can’t keep up).

67% of the people filing for bankruptcy are doing so because of medical bills, a new study in the American Journal of Public Health has discovered. That’s over 500,000 people in this country per year who are financially screwed because of our dismal health care system. Medicare for All has to be something we are yelling for loudly. (via Boing Boing)

Former NYT editor Jill Abramson has plagarized the fuck outta her latest book, ironically titled Merchants of Truth. As where a lot of great drama starts, a reporter at Vice has a long string of tweets documenting all the work Abramson has lifted near wholesale from other publications. Not only that but she’s also gotten plenty of facts wrong, like calling the inimitable reporter David Farenthold a “young unknown.” She’s already gone on Fox News and other places to play down the accusations, saying the reporters at Vice are unhappy with how she covered them. Not, you know, that she’s actually stealing others’ work.

This woman teaches writing at goddamn Harvard, and she’s committing sins that would get you kicked out of your community college writing course. Hmm Daily posits that Jill’s upper echelon status means the plagarism rules don’t apply. When you have the big names on the resume and friends at influential places who will play down the accusations everything can be explained away!

And that should be enough to settle it. Famous writers are factories, and a factory can always find somewhere to dump its mess. The little people just have to live with being dumped on. 

Can a Journalist as Important as Jill Abramson Be a Plagiarist?
The Worst Thing We Read Yesterday™ by Tom Scocca

It’s been knowledge for a while now that the company who owns National Equirer, AMI, was paying to squash stories about Donald Trump, and continually publish stories like Hillary being sick to help Trump win. Now it seems that AMI is also trying to extort everyone’s favorite billionaire, Jeff Bezos! Bezos and his wife were in the news a couple weeks back for separating because he was cheating, and it seems AMI has quite a bit to do with this dissolution. National Enquirer had published a story about Bezos’ affair with another woman and threatened to publish his dick pics unless he backed off investigating them. Bezos took to medium to get in front of the story and publish the damn nudes himself. He also implies that the Saudi royal family is tied into this, which I totally buy since Jared and MBS are BFFs.

As much as Bezos has been derided (rightly; he is a gross billionaire robber baron), this was an extremely smart move on his part. Public sentiment is now clearly in his favor, and we were already accepting the man had an affair. Deciding to publish the photos and go public about his extortion attempt, Bezos is also highlighting all the people who have been bullied by AMI, but do not have the resources of an Amazon CEO to fight back. Kudos, dude.

As I write this Yikes (Sunday Feb 10th) Amy Klobuchar is announcing her presidency in a midwest blizzard. Trump is already making jokes about global warming since her announcement speech touched on climate change (as it should!) According to BuzzFeed, Klobuchar is abusive and aggressive towards staff, known for throwing binders and leaving aides in tears. I do wonder how many of these aides were males, or not used to blunt feedback from a woman boss. She has a very high turnover rate for employees, but I have to wonder if this behavior would get the same scrutiny from a primary candidate if they were male. I’ve heard those same types of stories about an extremely well known film producer who’s worked on some of the biggest movies ever, (including one of my all time faves 😑) and continues to do so! Anyway.

The 2020 candidate landscape is already fascinating. There’s an incredible number of women running, each with their own unique set of pros and cons. I should be more excited by the prospect than I am. Mostly because mainstream news coverage has become tiring. The “but her emails” song and dance all over again, but amplified exponentially. Media has one big sticking point for each candidate that has nothing to do with their qualifications or policy. To be fair, some of these issues are more nuanced than others in the problems they raise. For instance, I certainly don’t want to dismiss the backlash Elizabeth Warren has faced in the wake of her DNA test. But it is important to listen to the Native voices criticizing her. They are the people we have killed and pushed down for so long, their voices are the ones that matter. Trump and others continue to joke about her, and ultimately those Pocahontas comments suck up all the air in the room, creating an even more toxic environment Native people must live with.

Kamala Harris has a huge heap of issues to confront in her past as a prosecutor and DA. Her views on laws regarding sex workers and trans prisoners are frankly horrifying. But what is getting focused on right now? She’s a woman. She’s black.

(I am leaving Tulsi Gabbard out of this conversation mostly because I don’t consider her a serious candidate, but there’s plenty to discuss there!.)

People like to talk a lot about Kirsten Gillibrand as if she orchestrated a hit job on Al Franken to remove him from office. I love Franken & Davis as much as anyone, but it’s clear the man has hurt women and doesn’t properly understand boundaries. A person like that doesn’t deserve to be serving the public. Gillibrand understands that, which is why she has also been outspoken about the allegations against the president. I admire Gillibrand for standing up against an extremely well-liked public figure, and also Trump. She has other issues to work through, as a representative of a pretty rural part of upstate New York. Her views ten years ago on immigration and guns were shaped by the white farmers and blue collar workers she grew up with. It’s nice to see her be honest about these positions. Tulsi Gabbard has a similar issue with her history of anti-gay advocacy, and certainly people can change. Both women have sincere apologies and responses when confronted with their past. I think it’s crucial we a)keep a close eye on their voting record and b) see who backs their campaigns. Also, Gillibrand eats chicken weird so we gotta be suspicious!

The money candidates take in from special interests will give us the best sense of their true intentions. Keep that in mind as we survive a deluge of ads trying to pry into our hearts so we pick a side. There’s a long way to go until November 2020.

In My Favorite Congresswoman news: AOC could lose her seat in two years, thanks to redrawing of districts, gerrymandering, and establishment Dems who are shaking in their boots. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez is making C-SPAN Must See TV, grilling experts on campaign finance laws in Congress and plainly exposes how easy it is for our elected officials to take money and become indebted to special interests.

Here’s hoping AOC will win whatever seat emerges in the new district, or primaries Chuck Schumer and burns down the Dem establishment from the inside. 🔥🔥🔥

One of the worst things about this administration is that so many awful things are happening its hard to spread attention equally. The stupidest stuff ends up with the most coverage, while news like EPA inspection rates have hit the lowest in a decade (it ain’t cuz the earth is suddenly safer or cleaner!) snakes under the outrage radar (the outradar, if you will). I’d call this principle Trump’s law but a)he doesn’t deserve any more shit with his name on it and b)someone has surely named this phenomena already.

Our environment is at an extremely crucial point, and having an administration so entirely uninterested in curbing our emissions or thinking about what rising sea levels will do is a danger to the entire planet.

Gentrification is a snake eating itself: tech startup types are getting priced out of Oakland and LA thanks to high (lol) demand for hydroponic marijuana farms.