After watching Trump’s speech at the American Farm Bureau’s conference earlier this month, I got the bright idea to comment on the weekly going-ons of the administration (henceforth called “Them Lizards”). Check back each Thursday or Friday to get my take on recent happenings and whatnot. Or skip it—that’s cool, too.
Government Shut Down
Today, Trump spoke to the “March for Life” from the Rose Garden to make promises about his anti-abortion agenda, and to pray for them babies to garner base support. That would be newsworthy, I guess, if it didn’t take place during the first government shutdown fiasco since 2013. If lawmakers don’t pass a spending bill by 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Mick Mulvaney will blow up and you can bet your ass Twitter will be on fire.
If you’re confused as to why this is happening: First, Democrats want CHIP and DACA protection. The spending bill refunds CHIP, but doesn’t offer protections for DACA recipients or disaster relief. Basically, the Dems are doing exactly what the Tea Partiers did back in 2013 to force negotiations on the Affordable Care Act. It didn’t work then—they took a short-term political hit for the 16-day disaster—and were mostly fine by election year. Some Republicans are set to vote against the bill, though, so Democrats are holding the upper hand in negotiations. Oh, also, this holdout by the Dems is to ensure CHIP funding and DACA. So, you know, taking care of them babies rather than rescinding health care in ‘13. Big difference.
Christian Picciolini On NPR
This is a big topic, but as Picciolini gets more traction with his book called White American Youth: My Descent into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement—And How I Got Out, I’ve been drawn in by the amazing work his organization does and how important his voice is right now. Yesterday, NPR released an interview and podcast with Picciolini, where he describes his life as a teenage skinhead and ultimate exodus from the movement as he began rejecting hate. Picciolini’s take is important for a number of reasons. First, it affirms that people can change.
Fred Phelps’ daughter, Megan Phelps-Roper, left the Westboro Baptist Church and is now an activist against hate groups. My central problem with much of the left (again, y’all are my people!) is that we overwhelmingly and easily write shitty people off. We excommunicate racist, misogynistic people, choosing instead to call out and forget about them rather than confront and challenge hateful ideologies. Shows like W. Kamau Bell’s United Shades of America and Sarah Silverman’s I Love You, America are attempting the same work. I know that my pessimistic counterparts believe that we can’t change minds. Sometimes that’s true, and we can’t convert the truly horrendous.
But if we don’t want to even try—if we just prefer to write shitty people off—what in the Lord’s name are we fighting for? It sure can’t be equality, because true equality will never happen unless we reach across the aisle and confront people’s ideologies. By not making that leap, we’re preaching our gospels to the people that already believe it. That’s pointless, and that won’t change anyone’s mind.
Alabama’s Representative Race
Peter Joffrion is my pick for North Alabama’s 5th Congressional District in the House of Representatives race taking shape. Yes, I’m from District 4. A Democrat can’t win there. There, I said it.
District 5 is made up of Florence, Athens, Huntsville, Decatur, and other less monolithic cities that could carry this Democrat to a victory. His platform is great and you can read up on him or donate here.
Leave Nashville Alone, Amazon
Nashville made the finalist list of Amazon’s new headquarters’ location. The Nonprofit Quarterly published an article earlier this month that showed how secretive the “incentives” package was to bring Amazon to our city. Even members of the Metro Council, “who would have to approve an incentive package for Amazon,” haven’t seen the offer.
My opposition is, first and foremost, selfish. Have y’all been to Nashville? We don’t have a single reliable form of public transportation, and the average rent is $1,219. Two bedroom apartments are nearly $1,304. You mean to tell me that isn’t due to the ridiculous influx of carpetbaggers and booming job market? It took me an hour and forty-five minutes to get to Brentwood from East Nashville. Don’t at me. There are plenty of jobs in this town, overdeveloped and gentrified condos, and Amazon will just make that worse—because I guarantee the 50,000 jobs are not going to be filled by Nashville natives.
I won’t even get into the debate on Amazon as a shady company. I’m an avid Amazon shopper, and I resent it. Amazon doesn’t need a bigger share of the economy which they already dominate. And they sure as hell don’t need to clog up my public-transportationless roads and jack up our already staggering rent.
Check back next week for news and whatnot. Peace and blessings, tell mama and them I said hello.