Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone's welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.
Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.
This Day in History
Monica Lewinsky Writes About Her Affair with President Clinton
After 10 years of virtual silence (“So silent, in fact,” she writes, “that the buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out? I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth”), Lewinsky, 40, says it is time to stop “tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”
The full story is available May 8 in the digital edition. Subscribe now. The magazine will be on national newsstands and available in an audio edition on May 13.
Clearing the Air
Maintaining that her affair with Clinton was one between two consenting adults, Lewinsky writes that it was the public humiliation she suffered in the wake of the scandal that permanently altered the direction of her life: “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”
Quick responseOn to other news
Lewinsky made a huge series of mistakes, from flashing her thong to shooting off her mouth to her erstwhile pal Linda Tripp. But it’s only fair to point out that the 42nd president of the United States, who took advantage of a lowly intern, is now hailed as a global statesman, while Lewinsky has been struggling to get by.
And that is the pattern in most political sex scandals: the man gets absolution and the woman suffers in obscurity.
So why is Lewinsky going public now? Well, she gets the nice hair-and-makeup spread in Vanity Fair. She tries to “bury the blue dress” and belatedly tries to salvage her reputation. Maybe someone offers her a cushy job.
7 Scary Facts About How Global Warming Is Scorching the United States
The new National Climate Assessment, being launched today by the Obama administration, is a landmark document.
It is a landmark because unlike the reports of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is written in plain language that ordinary mortals can understand. ("Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans." "Data show that natural factors like the sun and volcanoes cannot have caused the warming observed over the past 50 years.")
It is a landmark because unlike past National Assessments, this report is not being buried or ignored. Rather, President Obama is using it to launch a very impressive communications campaign aimed directly at Americans via one of their most trusted scientific sources, TV meteorologists.
But most of all, it is a landmark because it shows, unequivocally, that we simply do not live in the same America any more, thanks to climate change. It is a different place, a different country. Here are some of the most striking examples of how:
politics SPECIAL REPORT May 2014 The Snowden Saga: A Shadowland of Secrets and Light
Whether hero or traitor, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is the most important whistle-blower of modern times, one whose disclosures will reverberate for decades to come. With extensive input from Snowden himself, Suzanna Andrews, Bryan Burrough, and Sarah Ellison have the spy-novel-worthy tale of how a geeky dropout from the Maryland suburbs found himself alone and terrified in a Hong Kong hotel room, spilling America’s most carefully guarded secrets to the world.
A Banner Week for Trans RightsHeh I am picking up what she is putting down
Four years ago, a 14-year-old boy and his mother began fighting for his right to live like any other teenager. He was like his peers in many ways, except that his important papers, such as his birth certificate, marked him as female. Thanks in part to hormone therapy, friends and strangers alike knew him as the boy he really was.
But to the government, his school, and the medical system he was marked as a girl. Fortunately, he was luckier than most trans* youth in Croatia (“trans*” is used here to capture all the identities that fall outside traditional gender norms—read more here and here). His mother supported him and dedicated her life to fighting for her son’s right to live in accordance with his gender identity.
When the mother and son requested from authorities the change from “female” to “male” in all his documents, their requests were rejected. While Croatian law at the time mandated only that “appropriate medical documentation” was needed to change the gender marker, authorities freely interpreted “documentation” to mean proof of undergoing an irreversible, risky, invasive, sterilizing genital surgery.
The mother-son team lived through years of legal déjà vu, filing complaint after complaint, only to see them rejected. But then, in the same week India’s Supreme Court recognized transgender people as a third gender after over three grueling years in court, the boy got some good news. The Croatian ministry of public administration declared that the boy’s documents would finally reflect his true gender, making him the first person in the country to change legal gender without surgery.
How Do I Make My Boyfriend Listen?
Here we go. Most humans need a good listener in their lives. People want to be heard. Not distractedly half-heard and then interrupted, but heard. The desire to be heard is easily observed in small children, who magically turn into house-destructing demons the second you get on the phone, play Candy Crush, flip through a fucking magazine, etc. Kids who aren't heard are like dogs who don't get enough exercise. They will fucking shred the carpet to bits, if you let them.
In contrast, when you devote your full attention to a kid, and he or she suddenly realizes that you are really, truly paying attention, he/she will turn into a bouncy ball of entertaining brilliance. Which is amazing, unless it's not your kid and/or you dislike kids in general, in which case it's a fucking pain in the ass and you have to learn to ignore kids better.
Anyway. Same goes for human beings, right? But women, generally speaking (I KNOW YES I'M GENERALIZING I DO THAT), need a GREAT listener. We need to be heard, big time, or we droop and grow wilty.
And then there are smart women with lots to say who are also very sensitive and weird and analytical and incredibly talkative, who ALSO listen very closely. These women are often labeled "a little too intense." We think way too much, and slice and dice everything under the sun like a Ginsu knife that's been sharpened one too many times and is now capable of cutting a watermelon in half like it's made of crepe paper.
And while it's true that no one REALLY needs a knife that sharp, there we are, the sharpest fucking knives in the motherfucking drawer. I'm not saying we're geniuses, ok? We're just sharp sharp sharp and we want to cut and cut and cut until there's nothing left to cut. We do shut up sometimes. Sometimes we're downright quiet, and you can't get us to talk even if you try. But every now and then, we want to bring up tough, tangled, difficult situations and memories and experiences, and we want to slice and dice that shit up and shine a light on this or that and dig deeper and wonder and ponder and maybe even cry some tears over some dusty old loss or some injury or even something bad that happened to someone else.
Must Read Blog Posts
The Daily Wiki
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The precise length of the trail changes over time as trails are modified or rerouted. The total length is approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 km).[a] The trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The path is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships, and managed by the National Park Service and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in wilderness, although some portions traverse towns, roads and cross rivers.
The Appalachian Trail is famous for its many hikers, some of whom, called thru-hikers, attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season. Many books, memoirs, web sites and fan organizations are dedicated to this pursuit.
Something to Think about over
So it is with minds. Unless you keep them busy with some definite subject that will bridle and control them, they throw themselves in disorder hither and yon in the vague field of imagination... And there is no mad or idle fancy that they do not bring forth in the agitation. .Michel de Montaigne
Stupid Shit by LaEscapee
Um I'm not stupid but I do shit