National Women’s March on Washington

Saturday was one of the most profound experiences of my life. It wasn’t merely the women that I met or the stories that they told me but more that so many women did whatever it took to travel to the nation’s capitol to make their voices heard.

You can read about some of the interviews I did by phone leading up to the march here.

For Susan McCool of Abilene, Texas, Election Day was a breaking point. The “almost 60”-year-old is one of very few Democrats in what she calls the ‘armpit of Texas.’ She told me by phone that her county was one of the top areas of the country that supported Trump.

Until this weekend, the most “activist” thing McCool had ever done was wear something special to a PTA meeting in protest of book bans — and once she proudly proclaimed at a Bunko meet-up that she was still a Democrat.

Raising two boys as a single mother left her little time and energy for activism, she said. Now, as a grandmother of an 11-year-old girl, she believes that speaking out is essential.

“I’ll be damned if my granddaughter has to go through any of that,” McCool said recalling what life was like when teachers couldn’t work if they were pregnant and women couldn’t serve in the church.

“I used Planned Parenthood then,” she said about the years she spent as a single mom. She had a hysterectomy but still wanted to make sure she was getting her annual exams. “I didn’t have the money nor could I take off, and they were open on Saturdays. So, if you did that, it was based on your income and I had a decent income, but I had two kids. So, I would volunteer back and work in there to pay for my annual exams.”

Read more of her story here.

Hope you enjoy the interviews!


The importance of the every-day protest: Mike Pence being booed edition

On a Friday night, Vice President-Elect Mike Pence took a break from leading Donald Trump’s transition team and went to see the critically claimed and Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton” on Broadway.

Apparently, when Pence entered the theatre for the show, he was booed by a lot of people, and the internet is loving it. Many people were shocked last week when Trump won the 2016 Presidential election, and they are not happy about Pence being in the White House either. The result is what happened in the video above.

You have to understand, Mike Pence is one of the least liked politicians in the country. In fact, his whole state hates him and was grateful to be rid of him. He caused far more harm than good that extended beyond hurting women, causing an HIV crisis and destroying the economy – all with his ideological governing. Since being elected as the VP, however, progressives have found little ways of reminding him that no one likes him.

This is one beautiful way. Neighborhoods in Northwest Washington are being flooded with pride flags and “Trust Women” signs and hopefully, his stay in Washington will continue to reveal that he’s not welcome.

For now, enjoy these boos.


This Little Guy’s Name is Hollis and He Wants to be a Policeman

Hollis2Tonight, I joined with hundreds of my fellow Washington, DC activists, in attending the National Moment of Silence (for Michael Brown).  I made my way through the crowd annoying everyone with my “excuse me” and “pardon” as I photographed every sign and as many determined activists as I could.

Toward the end, I walked by a family and overheard a tiny voice ask “Mommy am I going to get shot by the police?”

Everyone this is Hollis (who I photographed with Mom’s permission).  Hollis is in the first grade.  When he grows up he wants to be a policeman, but he doesn’t want to fight in the war because his grandpa fought in the war. And he doesn’t want to be a fireman because he doesn’t want to get burned.

How Hollis’s mom didn’t cry at his innocent question I’ll never know, because, truthfully, I almost did.

I have tried to stay level headed during the last several days and come to these rallies with an objective perspective only seeing the scene to capture and report it. But these moments bring down my wall of emotionless detachment. Sometimes there are no words, just sweet, innocent, smiling faces, and moms who live in fear. In that moment I saw both, and my heart wept.


Hacktavist Group Anonymous Releases Dispatch Tapes After Michael Brown Shooting

There’s something to be said for transparency and with the hacktavist group Anonymous that is exactly what we get. After the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, people took the streets in protest and the local police responded with violence and threats. Activist hacker group Anonymous appeared right beside them threatening to make a whole lot of information public if the police didn’t back down, and they are making good on their threat.

Released now are the police dispatch tapes discussing Michael Brown’s shooting, there’s no audio for the first minute, discussion of the shooting begins after 11 minutes. The tech site Mashable has confirmed with the St. Louis Police:

“Reached over email, St. Louis Police spokesperson Brian Schellman tells Mashable, “We are aware of this and are currently investigating it.”

Details for the recording present MANY questions:

9:35: “Ferguson has a… uh… is asking for assistance with cloud… crowd control [intelligible] officer involved, can I send one? … They just told me they needed assistance with crowd control in Canfield Green”

10:53: “1190…. He said there’s just a large group.. the original call was a [intelligible] just occurred and now they have a large group gathering there and she doesn’t have anything further…”

(writer’s note: Why is the crowd control called in before the shooting was?)

11:16: “Hey we just got another call stating it was uhhh… and officer-involved in a shooting there at Canfield Green in [intelligible] I don’t know who called it was called into my desk…”

11:27: “Ok… 2190… be advised, this uh… information came from the news.. so… I don’t know…[mumble]”
“Absolutely can I have another car go to Canfield…”

11:54: “We’re just getting information from the news and we just called Ferguson back again and they don’t know anything about it… so…”

(um… seriously?)

Around the 19 minute mark there seems to be a lot of clarification about information coming out of Canfield “down there in Ferguson.”

21:53: “2190 – I’m getting a request here in from my desk that they are requesting more cars. Do you want me to send more of YOUR cars?”

22:18: “2190 can you advice uh.. you know um.. they are asking the other radios now… so…”

23:42: “I don’t know if they need you, stand by and let me double check Jennings supervisor is the one requesting more cars and they’re getting cars coming at the other precincts now.”
“2190 if you’re with the Jenning’s supervisor now can you advise him they’re sending tag cars now.. do you want to disregard any other cars on our precinct?”
“2190 that’s clear. And don’t start adding the tag cars [intelligible]”

25:00: “Ok 2190 in reference to the K-9 now, we’re getting information now that Ferguson is supposed to have their K-9 and he’s supposed to be on scene do you still want to request one of ours?”

26:19: “2190 be advised that TAG is not responding YES they will call back and advise if and when they are responding.”

(Writer Note: I’m continuing to listen and find these but I have to change location folks are leaving the office but MoJo’s piece quotes this part in between where I stopped and when they switched over to the riot channel (but their time stamps are off):
43:55: “Attention all cars, be advised that in reference to the call 2947 Canfield Drive, we are switching over to the riot channel at this time . . .”



What Robin Williams Said He Hopes Heaven is Like Will Make You Cry

At the end of Robin Williams’s epic performance on James Lipton’s Inside The Actor’s Studio, Lipton asks Bernard Pivot’s infamous questionnaire.  The final question is “If heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you arrive at the gates?”  Here’s what Robin said:

The rest of the show is 1.5 hours of your life that you’ll be grateful you spent watching this. When I’m having a bad day I watch this and Robin made everything better. I wish he had something like that for himself to make him feel better.



President Obama Responds to Passing of Robin Williams

A tragedy even President Obama wanted to speak out about:

“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between.  But he was one of a kind.  He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.  He made us laugh.  He made us cry.  He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.  The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”

via release by the White House

Watch Robin Williams break down the last 10 years of politics (NSFW Language):



John Oliver Gets Help from Sarah Silverman in Crusade is Against Predatory Lenders

Many have tried – few have succeeded – to take out the predatory loan industry. These are companies that convince people who are desperate for cash to get by for a few days with a few hundred bucks typically advanced on a coming paycheck or a car title, but with like a 400% interest rate. John Oliver gets a little help from comedian Sarah Silverman who gives you a few other options instead of going to a Pay Day Loan shark.



9 Photos of the Secret Service Looking Badass

White House Photographer Pete Souza and his team are known for capturing some of the most remarkable moments of our time. They watch as major events stand on the welcome mat of history and with skill and talent, they bring to us the art of one brief moment. I watch the WH Flickr feed with a kind of childlike wide-eyed awe each time they upload new sets. But here’s a collection you’ll find funny. I guess Souza is taking a little enjoyment capturing some of these Secret Service agents.  Here are some of the best:


Everything is more badass in black and white.

white house secret service


Look casual? I can do casual.



Never let ‘em see you sweat.



I’m gonna open the hell outa that door.



This guy has a serious “Game Face.”



This ain’t no kickline.


These guys have seen the Hitchcock movie North by Northwest.



Bad guys can hide anywhere



BONUS: This is the shooting range for the Secret Service… I don’t know about you but I can barely see the targets. That’s hard core.


h/t The White House Photostream



Which is More Old Fashioned: Mad Men or Congress? Christina Hendricks Knows

Earlier this year, during President Obama’s State of the Union Address made a Mad Men reference that got him a lot of attention:

“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode.”

Well, now Funny or Die has an awesome new video up with Christina Hendricks of Mad Men talking about today’s modern offices