Ivanka Trump is Fake, Betsy DeVos’s Mess, and James Comey gets pwned (E22)

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We debrief on the House of Representatives vote to let Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sell our personal data. We talk about two troubling actions by Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education that has the potential to seriously screw Americans with student loans — and those about trying to get them. Finally, we’ll laugh at James Comey, and Alexis will discuss the Queer Dance Party she attended outside of Ivanka Trump’s house, and ask WTF has Ivanka Trump actually done for LGBTQ rights.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators, and tell them: I am concerned that Betsy DeVos will not obey the law and grant Public Service Loan Forgiveness to borrowers who’ve dutifully paid their loans and worked in public service for ten years. I want to know what you are doing to protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program? Has the Senator signed a letter or otherwise spoken out? This is a priority for me. 

Image credit: @lpritchard8 on Twitter

GOP Attack on Internet Privacy; Jay Clayton for SEC; Trumpcare Fails! (E21)

If you want to support the show, you can do so on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month and help us keep the show going! 

This week the Republican-led Senate voted on party lines to allow internet service providers to sell our private internet records. We talk about what we can do to stop this horrible proposal from becoming law, and why it matters. We also discuss the latest nomination to Trump’s Incompetent Cabinet, Jay Clayton, a lawyer who works at one of Wall Street’s favorite law firms, Sullivan and Cromwell.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Tell Congress: Our browsing histories are not for sale. Don’t let Comcast spy on us!
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators, and tell them: I am asking you to vote NO on the nomination of Jay Clayton to the SEC. We shouldn’t have a Wall Street lawyer running one of the regulators who oversee Wall Street. How does Senator _____ plan to vote on Jay Clayton? [IF THE ANSWER ISN’T NO:] I urge you to vote no.

Image credit: Christopher Sessums on flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Warrantless Wiretapping; Chase Strangio on Title IX and Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit (E20)

If you want to support the show, you can support us on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month and help us keep the show going! 

Donald Trump said that President Obama wiretapped him. Like most things that Trump says, that’s a lie. But the law that authorizes the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is up for reauthorization this year. We talk about why that matters, and what we can do about it. We also discuss how the Trump Administration wants to delay (and kill) a rule that helps prevent Wall Street from stealing your money through conflicted retirement advice.

Finally, we have a discussion with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio (@ChaseStrangio) about the legal details of Gavin Grimm’s case, the underlying law that protects him and other trans students (Title IX), and also get an update on the ongoing legal battle against the anti-LGBT bill HB2 in North Carolina. We also reminisce about how isolating it was to be young queer kids, and hope things are at least a little better for the young queers today.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Send a comment letter to the Department of Labor, telling them not to delay the rule that protects retirement savers from conflicts of interest.
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators (or your Representative), and tell them: I am very concerned about the reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA amendments act. My understanding is that this law put Congress’s stamp of approval on Bush Admin’s warrantless wiretapping program, and I do not believe that warrantless spying makes us any safer. In fact, it threatens the core liberties that this country should be the most proud of. So you should vote against it!

SUGGESTED READING:

Image credit: jeffschuler on flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mike Pompeo, Conflict in the Crony Cabinet (E19)

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On the eve of the first round of confirmation hearings on Trump’s crony cabinet, we’re going to talk about how few of the members of this billionaire cabinet have submitted their required financial disclosure forms. I thought billionaires were proud of their riches! What are they hiding? We’re also going to take a close look at Mike Pompeo, Trump’s nomination to lead the CIA. Finally, we’re also going to talk about how confused we are by some of Trump’s choices for the cabinet, and there inherent contradictions.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

TAKE ACTION:

  • Email your Senators to demand they reject Mike Pompeo for the CIA.
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators, and tell them: I am a constituent, and I’m calling to tell you how concerned I am that Mike Pompeo is being considered to head the CIA. Pompeo has repeatedly touted anti-Muslim rhetoric and peddled racist conspiracy theories​. He opposes the Iran Deal, which was struck to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and meant to stop a war. I’m asking you to reject Mike Pompeo as CIA Director.
  • Medicare for All Jan 20th day of Action!
  • https://www.freechelsea.com

SUGGESTED READING:

WHAT IS THE CRONY CABINET HIDING?

We are still, as of this podcast’s release, awaiting financial disclosures from Betsy DeVos (for the Dept of ED), Ben Carson (for HUD), Gen. John Kelly, Elaine Chao (for Transportation), Wilbur Ross (for Commerce)

THE RICHEST CABINET EVER:

Filled forms with Office of Government Ethics (you can see ALL the forms from cabinet nominees past and present here):

Trump’s Crony Cabinet and Chase Strangio on Gavin Grimm, HB2, Carrie Fisher (E18)

If you want to support the show, you can become a formal subscriber on our Patreon page for as little as $1 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month, and you’ll help us keep the show going! 

We dig further into Trump’s selections for his crony cabinet including Rep. Tom Price for HHS, and Vincent Viola for Army Secretary, both of whom have massive financial conflicts. Then, Alexis talks with Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU, about the ongoing disaster that is North Carolina’s anti-trans law HB2; Gavin Grimm’s pending Supreme Court case and its implications for LGBTQ rights; and an update on Chelsea Manning. And we also talk briefly about how sad we both are over the death of Carrie Fisher.

TAKE ACTION:

FOR FURTHER READING:

Credit where due:

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com.

#FreeBresha, Reparations in Chicago, and Social Movements as Collective Art Making: Mariame Kaba Interview (E17)

If you want to support the show, you can become a formal subscriber on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month, and you’ll help us keep the show going! 

Humorless Queers speaks to Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture), organizer, educator and curator. We discuss the #FreeBresha campaign, the fight for reparations in Chicago, the #Medicare4all campaign, art in social movements, and “social movements as a form of collective art making.”

Kaba has worked with young people for over two decades in various capacities (as a teacher, mentor and organizer).   In 2009, she founded Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a long term vision of ending youth incarceration. Her work has extended from the classroom, to community-based settings, and to the streets. She currently organizes with Survived and Punished.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

SUGGESTED DONATION:

Credit where due:

Image via sarah-ji on flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) (cropped)

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com.

Trump’s Cabinet of Horrors, Boston Spying, and the Electoral College (E16)

Humorless Queers tackle the horror show that is Trump’s choices for the cabinet, including Jeff Sessions for the Department of Justice, Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary, and Betsy Devos for the Department of Education. We also discuss the Boston police department’s plan to spend $1.4m on social media spying software. And finally, we’ll have an interview with the co-founder of DemocrEC.org, who are demanding that Republican members of the Electoral College honor the popular vote.

CITED ON THE SHOW:

SUGGESTED DONATION:

HUMORLESS QUEERS READING CIRCLE:

  1. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
  2. Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters. America in the King Era, 1954-1963

Credit where due:

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com.

2016 election post-mortem, and what we do now (E15)

Humorless Queers tackles post-election 2016. We talk action: What are we going to do now? And what is the future of surveillance and financial reform under the weight of a Donald J. Trump presidency? And we also dive into what just happened. How on earth did we get here? And how can we learn from this recent history?

LOOKING FORWARD: ACTION

THINGS WE CAN ALL DO RIGHT NOW

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HUMORLESS QUEERS READING CIRCLE:

  1. Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters. America in the King Era, 1954-1963
  2. Eric Foner: Reconstruction – America’s Unfinished Revolution

Credit where due:

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com.

Wells Fargo Scandal, and the Dangers in Election 2016 (E14)

This episode, we dive in to the Wells Fargo scandal, break down what happened and who’s to blame for the over 2 million scam accounts that Wells Fargo created for customers who never asked for them (and was then charged fees for those fake accounts). And during that segment, we’re going to tell you who Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren believes really needs to quit his job. 

After that, we’re going to take a brave look at the election. What is at stake? What are we thinking about? What do things like Deep State have to do with all of it? And why is Donald Trump especially dangerous if he DOESN’T want to govern?

And finally, we ask listeners what we need to do in order to battle the white nationalism that Donald Trump has emboldened — whether or not he wins. Send us your thoughts! info at humorlessqueers dot com.

Reflections on Orlando and the Questions Congress SHOULD be asking (E13)

Kade and Alexis discuss the tragedy in Orlando, the response from politicians, the failures of the FBI, the questions politicians should be asking vs the reaction they are having, and how proud we’ve been of the LGBTQ community’s response to this tragedy, including rejecting responding to bigotry with more bigotry and Islamophobia.

Further Reading / Mentioned on the Show:

So this is what it feels like to be terrorized

How to Help Orlando or LGBTQ Organizations:

Credit Where Due:

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com. And the font for our logo is by the graphic designer Marisa Passos.

Header image credit: photo by Alexis Goldstein of signs by Code Pink at the DC Vigil in DuPont for Orlando