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States are starting to recognize a third gender. Heres what that means for nonbinary youth.


When Davi, a 17-year-old in Oakland, California, found out that their true gender identity — nonbinary, meaning neither male or female — was finally recognized by the state, they felt a sense of relief.

“I will feel like I don’t have to explain myself all of the time,” Davi said. “I will be so grateful, and less tired.”

Nonbinary gender identity is not recognized by most states. Last June, Oregon became the first to recognize a nonbinary gender option on driver’s licenses. Since the bill passed, Washington, DC, and three more states followed suit: Washington, New York, and California, which became the first state to allow nonbinary residents to change their gender on all relevant legal documents, including birth certificates, to a gender-neutral option.

For nonbinary youth like Davi, that means nothing less than a shift from nonexistence to existence in the eyes of the law. “Most people have the privilege of feeling that,” said Davi. “[They] probably do not even think about that concept.”

For my project “Transcending Self,” I photograph and interview trans youth from around the world; what follows are excerpts from interviews with young people who specifically identify as nonbinary (or, occasionally, “gender-expansive”). I focused on the question of what it meant for them to have their gender legally affirmed by the government. The conversations have been condensed and edited for clarity.


Should Ivanka Be Indicted? Amy Wilentz on the case against the first daughter.


Jon Wiener: Ivanka is connected pretty directly to events at the center of the Russiagate investigations. Where do you think the strongest case could be made that she committed a crime?

Amy Wilentz: Possibly it’s the cover-up from the meeting on Air Force One after that fabled meeting in Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer. On Air Force One, the Trump team, including the president and Jared Kushner and Ivanka, crafted a message to the media saying that the Trump Tower meeting was largely about Russian adoptions and had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. Of course, we subsequently learned it was all about a promise of dirt on Hillary from the Russians. Ivanka was present at that meeting. She did tell Michael Wolff, the author of Fire and Fury, that she participated in that meeting only briefly and took a pill to go to sleep. That strikes me as too much honesty. When do you find a person in high office admitting that they took a pill to go to sleep? Only when they want to suggest they left a meeting very quickly, one that’s under investigation, because they needed their beauty sleep…

JW: There was another meeting where she did not take a pill to go to sleep: the one where they discussed firing FBI Director James Comey.

AW: Yes, and she was very supportive of that idea. Reportedly, she was worried, as was her husband, about Comey’s taking a look at various Kushner Company projects, as well as Trump Organization deals. They were frightened about that and she wanted to get rid of him.

JW: That seems very much like being part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice—if we believe that Comey was fired to stop him from investigating the president’s crimes—




IVANKA TRUMP IS the ghost of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation: She is connected, either directly or tangentially, to events at the heart of the probe, yet all but invisible to the public.

But as Mueller’s investigation broadens, the so-called first daughter is becoming a long overdue part of the bigger story of alleged corruption at the Trump Organization. Last week, we learned that the FBI is looking into the financing and negotiations surrounding her involvement with Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, which is home to an Ivanka Trump-branded spa. That inquiry may be unrelated to the Russia probe, but it should draw scrutiny to Ivanka’s business dealings and how they relate to her father’s political rise.

The mainstream press frequently describes Ivanka — who recently denied any collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians — as the head of a fashion company. Yet she was also a top executive at the Trump Organization and a hard-charging, and often quite effective, dealmaker for the real estate development company. Despite her entrenched role in the West Wing and status as one of her father’s most trusted advisers and emissaries on matters as wide-ranging as G-20 and the Winter Olympics, her identity — carefully curated on social media and through her press operation — hinges on issues such as female entrepreneurship, maternal leave, and being a mother to highly Instagrammable kids. It’s a persona that renders the media establishment and broader public largely incapable of considering that she might be a key player in the Trump-Russia narrative.

The first daughter has not merely developed some of her father’s Teflon quality; sexism and gender stereotypes have also worked in her favor. After all, who would suspect an ex-model, mother of three, and public champion of working women to be pulling the levers of power, calling the shots, and working alongside people like Felix Sater, a Russian-American businessman with reputed mob ties who served jail time for stabbing a man in a bar fight?

Mueller’s probe is scrutinizing Trump’s business transactions. Although we don’t know the full scope of the investigation, Ivanka was reportedly among just a handful of people with a role in foreign projects at the Trump Organization.


Millennials Really Hate the Republicans


Obviously, I am not in an optimistic mood today, but there are still at least theoretical hopes for the future, if there is a future. For example, there are the young people.

Women are more Democratic than men, and younger voters are more Democratic than older ones. The former has been true for decades, and the latter is a trend that’s at least 10 or 15 years old. But a new Pew survey using a huge sample to allow for insight into demographic details shows that the intersection of these two trends is staggeringly large.

Among millennials, which Pew identifies as people born between 1981 and 1996, men lean toward Democrats by 8 percentage points — far and away a bigger tilt toward Democrats than older cohorts of men. But millennial women favor Democrats by a staggeringly large 70-23 margin.

Fewer than one in four women born after 1980, the year Ronald Reagan was elected president, prefer the Republicans to the Democrats. And even the men show a significant preference for the Democrats. Now, it’s often said with some justification that people grow more conservative with age. Simple tax aversion would tend to move people in that direction. Studies that show fear is a common component in conservative views probably explain the rest of the drift. People in their teens and twenties often feel invulnerable, especially when compared to people suffering the ravages of middle and old age.

But, on the other hand, there are studies that show that most people never abandon the political views of their youth, especially if we’re not talking about political views they’ve simply inherited from their parents. There will no doubt be plenty of churn in how individual millennials view the world, but it looks locked in now that this will be a generation that strongly rejects conservative views on a host of issues.


Kamala Harris Is Dreaming Big


IT’S A COLD JANUARY NIGHT in D.C., and I’m at the Hart Senate Office Building, trailing U.S. Senator Kamala Harris into a conference room. Inside, a group of young Latino congressional staffers has gathered to meet the Democratic star from California. When she enters, flanked by aides, and dressed in a navy suit, matching ruffled blouse, black pearls, and stilettos that give her petite five-feet-four frame a few extra inches of height, the staffers immediately rise from their chairs.

Harris has an air of celebrity that, under normal circumstances, a freshman senator wouldn’t have had time to acquire. But this year has been anything but normal. She greets the 20-somethings as though they’re relatives at a family reunion: “Hi, everybody! Hi, guys!” Then she notices that one of the staffers is still seated, and her voice drops a full octave: “Stand up, man!”

“What’s your last name?” demands Harris.


“Thank you!” She shakes his hand. “Kamala Harris.” (That’s pronounced “comma-la,” by the way, and you’d better get it right.)

Harris is a courtroom litigator. This means that, although she is warm and funny, she is also comfortable with confrontation—at home with it, even—and a casual conversation can become a rapid-fire deposition without warning. But exchanges like this one are also tutorials. In Figueroa’s case: Here is how you greet an elected official. He’s going to need to know this, you see, if he runs for office, or applies to law school, or makes any of the life choices Harris expects of him.

She settles into a chair and tells the group—they are all policy fellows with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute—that, in her sophomore year of college at Howard University, she worked as an intern for the senior senator from California at the time, Alan Cranston. “So you’re looking at your future,” Harris says. “He was succeeded by Barbara Boxer, and I succeeded Barbara Boxer. So you neva know!”


Gavin Newsom, Californias lieutenant governor called the head of ICE an A-plus prick


California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) referred to the acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement as an “A-plus prick” in an email acquired by the apparent media arm of a Republican opposition research firm.

The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday that Newsom insulted acting ICE director Thomas Homan in an email sent to his sister that was acquired by NTK Network, a conservative news website created by the co-founder of GOP opposition research firm America Rising. NTK, an abbreviation for “Need To Know,” obtained the email sent from Newsom’s government email through a California Pulic Records Act request.

In the February 28 email, which Newsom sent to his sister Hilary, the lieutenant governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate cited ICE’s attacks on Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who came under the agency’s fire after warning residents of upcoming immigration raids.

“No doubt in my mind they will target us,” Newsom wrote. “The ice director is an a plus prick [and] this is a personal / political strategy, get ready.”

The state of California and the Trump administration have been locked in battle for weeks over the state’s so-called “sanctuary” laws that signal local law enforcement will not cooperate with the increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement. After the Justice Department sued the state for enacting sanctuary policies, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said the Trump DOJ had declared “war” against the state.


Finland is the happiest country in the world, says UN report


Finland has overtaken Norway to become the happiest nation on earth, according to a UN report. The 2018 World Happiness Report also charts the steady decline of the US as the world’s largest economy grapples with a crisis of obesity, substance abuse and depression.

The study reveals the US has slipped to 18th place, five places down on 2016. The top four places are taken by Nordic nations, with Finland followed by Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

Burundi in east Africa, scarred by bouts of ethnic cleansing, civil wars and coup attempts, is the unhappiest place in the world. Strikingly, there are five other nations – Rwanda, Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Central African Republic – which report happiness levels below that of even Syria.

For the first time the UN also examined the happiness levels of immigrants in each country, and found Finland also scored highest.

“Finland has vaulted from fifth place to the top of the rankings this year,” said the report’s authors, although they noted that the other three Nordic countries (plus Switzerland) have almost interchangeable scores.


the report


top 10

1. Finland (7.632)
2. Norway (7.594)
3. Denmark (7.555)
4. Iceland (7.495)
5. Switzerland (7.487)
6. Netherlands (7.441)
7. Canada (7.328)
8. New Zealand (7.324)
9. Sweden (7.314)
10. Australia (7.272)

Our SoS to-be is a POS who called his Indian-American opponent a turban-topper


A Republican congressional candidate and RNC committee member has personally apologized for a tweet his campaign sent out promoting an article that called his opponent a “turban topper” who “could be a muslim, a hindu, a buddhist etc who knows.”

Republican Mike Pompeo, who is running for a congressional seat in Kansas’s Fourth District, called State Rep. Raj Goyle on Thursday to offer his regrets for the offending post, Goyle told the Huffington Post. The apology was accepted. But Goyle, who seeks the seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), was not necessarily done re-litigating the matter.


Kansas GOP Candidate Links to Racist Blog


Republican congressional candidate Mike Pompeo apologized Thursday after his campaign posted on its Twitter feed and Facebook page a link to a blog that uses a racial slur to refer to his Democratic opponent and calls President Obama an "evil muslim communist USURPER."


Trumps New CIA Director Helped Oversee Controversial Torture Program, Wanted for Arrest in the EU

Gina Haspel was involved in the waterboarding of one terror suspect 83 times in a month, to the point where doctors had to revive him.


President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he had chosen Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the agency while her boss, Mike Pompeo, replaces Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Haspel’s legacy is marked by her time in charge of one of the CIA’s most controversial programs to boot ― the torture of terror suspects in the early fight against al Qaeda.

Working as a clandestine officer in Thailand in 2002, Haspel reportedly was involved in the interrogations of two suspects, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, several news outlets reported last year. The methods used against the men included waterboarding Zubaydah 83 times in one month, to the point where doctors once had to revive him, and ramming his head into walls. He lost sight in one eye.

The torture sessions were videotaped, and Haspel also allegedly played a part in the tapes’ destruction in 2005. The CIA has disputed this, saying the decision fell to Haspel’s boss at the time, Jose Rodriguez.

CIA agents were legally able to torture terror suspects in black sites across the globe until former President Barack Obama ended the practice via executive order in 2009.

“Ms. Haspel’s background makes her unsuitable to serve as CIA director,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Tuesday. “Her nomination must include total transparency about this background, which I called for more than a year ago when she was appointed deputy director. If Ms. Haspel seeks to serve at the highest levels of U.S. intelligence, the government can no longer cover up disturbing facts from her past.”


European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

Germany: CIA deputy Gina Haspel must face arrest on travelling to Europe


ECCHR’s legal intervention filed with the German Federal Public Prosecutor (Generalbundesanwalt – GBA) is aimed at securing an arrest warrant for CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel. Haspel was appointed to the post by President Donald Trump in February 2017. The information submitted to the GBA by ECCHR on 6 June 2017 documents Haspel’s role in the torture of detainees in 2002 at a secret CIA prison in Thailand. In the dossier, ECCHR argues that Haspel oversaw the daily torture of detainees at the black site in 2002 and failed to do anything to stop it.

“Those who commit, order or allow torture should be brought before a court – this is especially true for senior officials from powerful nations,” said ECCHR’s General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck. “The prosecutor must, under the principle of universal jurisdiction, open investigations, secure evidence and seek an arrest warrant. If the deputy director travels to Germany or Europe, she must be arrested.”

CIA Torture: Submission on Gina Haspel to German Federal Prosecutor (June 2017)


Joy Reid, right again



Were going to burn down your store!: Trump supporters caught on camera threatening CA bookstore


A pair of Trump supporters were caught on camera this past weekend issuing unhinged threats to a left-wing bookstore in Berkeley, California. The video, which was posted on YouTube by Berkeley’s Revolution Books, shows the Trump supporters coming into the store and confronting people working there.

The video begins with a woman Trump supporter asking a store staff member if she really thinks “I’m racist because I support our president?”

“Yes, basically, yes,” the staff member replies.

A male Trump supporter, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, called the staffer “commie scum” and told her that “we’re going to burn down your bookstore.”

The staffer informed them that she had video of them threatening to burn down the store and told them to “please leave” the premises.

“This is America, f*ck you!” the man shouted at her.


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