Pop Goes The Political Culture Week of June 18
By Rebekah Kuschmider, MPU Co-host
Happy weekend, folks. This week was kind of a shitshow and all of us at MPU are trying to move our pet topics to the top of the rundown so we can have our say on all the pressing issues like whether or not Michael Cohen is about to flip or how the House-passed budget and House-passed Farm Bill would cut off safety net programs for millions of poor people and what Trump and Putin will discuss at their upcoming meeting.
In meantime, here’s some of the lighter stuff and the news that’s not fit to ‘cast!
Why We Marched: Shit is not better at the border.We’ve had decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse coming from the White House all week but basically, they’re noise. Nothing anyone from the current administration says has any validity to me anymore. I’ve heard too many lies to give them the benefit of any more doubt.
There are still kids in custody and parents still do not have access to them. The agencies tasked with implementing the family separation policies do not have an mechanism in place for family reunification and they are floundering. The good news is that beginning in November 2016, when millions of people realized that the ascendence of Trump meant we would have to prepare for never before seen levels of civic engagement, we started to network. The Women’s March was the first of the organizing of resistance and since then cells of activists have been growing and responding as needed to each policy crisis. That’s why in the past two weeks, there has been concentrated efforts by civilians to undo some of the atrocities perpetrated on children by the Trump administration. Though social media, solid news reporting, and good old fashioned on -the-ground advocacy, concerned citizens have deployed millions of dollars and hundreds of volunteers to the camps where kids are been kept hidden from their families and are working tirelessly to make bond for people arrested for crossing the border without papers and then reunite the adults with their kids.
This is why we marched. This is why we signed up for mailing lists and text alerts. It wasn’t about a show of mass or a feeling of connection in an isolating age. It was so we would already be on the list in when the time came to step up.
If you’ve been part of the grassroots force helping with the crisis, thank you. If you haven’t been but are ready to join, here’s how you can get involved.
Catwalk to Nowhere: Noted fashionista and current First Lady Melania Trump decided what the border crisis really needed was a nice photo op where she showed she cared about the plight of the kids in government custody. It wasn’t a bad idea until she got dressed and left the house to catch her ride to Texas. She ruined everything by tossing on a lightweight jacket that said…well, you can read.
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) June 21, 2018
There has been far too much discussion about what was meant or not meant by this fashion statement but here’s the basic fact: there is no situation where that slogan would be appropriate for any First Lady to wear on her back. Period.
As for whether Melania knew what she was wearing or whether she just grabbed the nearest jacket when she left the house? Yeah, it was over 80 degrees in DC that day. She didn’t need a damn jacket. This wasn’t hanging by the door. It was in a closet and was part of an ensemble she or her stylist chose.
No Soup For You: The child internment camps and the callous fashion choices of this administration are making its friends and allies uncomfortable in the DC area. Secretary of Homeland Security Kierstjen Nielsen and C-minus Santa Monica Fascist Stephen Miller were heckled at two different Mexican restaurants. Politico did a big piece about how hard it is for Trump supporters to get a date in the city that went for Hillary by over 90 points. And last night White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia because the owner didn’t want her there. She tweeted about the experience on her official White House account, which is a despicable thing to do. Not because whining about restaurant service on Twitter is wrong. Everyone does that. Because using your platform as the spokesperson for the president to slam a business is despicable. Also illegal.
Sarah, I know you don’t care even a tiny little bit about the ethics rules, but using your official account for this is a clear violation of 5 CFR 2635.702(a). It’s the same as if an ATF agent pulled out his badge when a restaurant tried to throw him/her out. https://t.co/Fj6OfBAdew
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) June 23, 2018
I think former Rep. John Dingell had the best response to what Ms. Sanders had to say.
I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U? https://t.co/L2o6H2KXC2
— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) June 23, 2018
It ISN’T In the Enquirer: Remember how last week I was talking about AMI, the publisher of the Enquirer, buying up a bunch of other tabloids? And I was concerned because AMI is heavily biased in favor of Trump, even going so far as doing him favors like killing tell-all stories by his former mistresses?
Well, it turns out that the Enquirer is basically Trump’s personal tabloid and Michael Cohen has been vetting stories they print about the Gameshow Host in Chief for years. The Washington Post reported this:
“Since Trump’s become president and even before, [Pecker] openly just has been willing to turn the magazine and the cover over to the Trump machine,” said one of the people with knowledge of the practice.
During the campaign, “if it was a story specifically about Trump, then it was sent over to Michael, and as long as there were no objections from him, the story could be published,” this person added.
Much like wearing a coat that says “I really don’t care” is never appropriate for First Ladies, sending stories to the presidential allies for editorial approval is never appropriate for newspaper, even a shitty tabloid newspaper. This is a mind-boggling breach of typical journalistic practices and elevates the publication to something like state-run media.
I don’t mean to sound like a tinfoil hate wearing conspiracy theorist, but now that we know this about Trump’s relationship with some print publications, we should look carefully at ANY positive press he gets. There’s a better than zero chance that he hand a hand in making it happen.
Mona Lisa Smile: Beyonce and Jay-Z have ended the long debate about the validity of hip-hop and street inspired fashion as art forms. Done. Complete. The argument is finished and the Carters have won it. They put their music and their wardrobes in the Louvre and dared the entire history of art to make something of it.
Their new video Apeshit is set in the ultimate altar where art is worshipped and it’s like they busted down the doors and let their fan base see that the art and music they love has a place in the Louvre. Not only that, they gave their fans the keys to the kingdom of classical art by showing them that all art is beautiful and social and racial barriers to access the most beautiful objects of today and yesterday are artificial. Love the art you love. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not for you or not good enough. There is not “other” when it comes to art. There are just different artists with different eyes and ears telling the story of us all.
Tune in to the More Perfect Union podcast to hear more about the world we live in and tell you friends and family to check us out as well!