The Trump administration has succeeded in its efforts to derail a U.N. resolution on rape as a weapon of war. The U.S. was threatening to veto any resolution that hinted at the necessity of abortion being available to the victims of this ongoing atrocity, and it won. The Security Council passed a watered-down version of the resolution, one that doesn’t allow for enforcement.
Red State conservatives may insist that the rest of us should keep aspirin between our knees and be forced to bear Divine Justice Babies when we don’t. They may refuse to provide cake or flowers for gay weddings, or even to attend. They may pretend that teens won’t do it if we just don’t tell them how. They may adopt the Church Lady posture if anyone mentions sex that doesn’t involve one man, one woman, the missionary position and a pulsing desire for more offspring . . . . But online search traffic from behind closed doors in Jesusland suggests that the bad, nasty sexual impulses that righteous believers are trying so hard to shut down may be their own. And if Google search patterns mean anything, they’re not succeeding too well.
The move to block congressional investigations into how security clearances were handed out at the White House is the latest effort by Donald Trump to assert the power to ignore both Congress and the law. Not only has Trump instructed Treasury Department chief Steven Mnuchin to ignore a legal request for his tax records, but he has also filed an entirely unprecedented lawsuit against a congressional committee to halt the release of his financial records.
If you’ve ever worried about the youth of this country not being engaged in politics enough, this story will offer some relief. High school students from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, tried to attend a discussion between Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Republican governor Matt Bevin, with the goal of covering it for their school paper. This should be a wonderful opportunity for the students, right?
Wrong. The students weren’t allowed in. As they report in their editorial, a man told them they weren’t allowed inside because they didn’t RSVP. Not to be deterred, they wrote an editorial called “No Seat at the Roundtable” instead. Surprising no one, it (rightfully) slams DeVos.
For 18 years, the New York Yankees have played Kate Smith’s 1939 recording of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at home games. They began the tradition after 9/11, and kept it going until this season, when they swapped it out for a different recording of the song. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the team made the switch after it learned that Smith had recorded a few shamelessly racist tracks from that era.
During World War II, with thousands of men shipping off to war, half a dozen all-female, instrumental big bands toured around America. It was a rarity in a musical world dominated by men and, for the most part, their stories have been erased or minimized in jazz history.
Jazz Night in America host Christian McBride has spent years tracing the history of some of these bands and notes that during this flourishing time for all-women groups, the 17-piece International Sweethearts of Rhythm had the most formidable level of popularity.