Staunchly, vol. 102: Maliboo Radley


I just googled “fourth of july decor that isnt patriotic.” 

Have a great holiday. I’ll probably make a strawberry buckle. Our government puts kids in cages.


Listening to people talk about the debates reminded me how easy it is to have dumb opinions and share them like they’re smart ones. It’s going to be an exhausting seven months. In two sentences, here’s what I thought: Harris, Warren, and Castro won the nights. But Harris and Castro, contesting Biden and Beto respectively, had the only true moments of the debates, which I think speaks to how ready the party is (or should be) to cede political space and power to people of color with lived experiences that inform the very issues we are trying to fix. Was that a run-on? I don’t care anymore. That said, I’m a white woman who charges her crystals by the full moonlight and drinks celery water. I’m contractually obligated to vote for Marianne Williamson.


Why Are The Democrats’ Bad Men Refusing to Step Down? by Rebecca Traister (The Cut

“But it turns out that by simply putting their heads down, not caring much about their critics and discrediting their accusers, by being willing to undermine claims made against them on racial and gendered grounds, Democrats can keep their jobs through scandal too!”

It’s sickening how complicit Democrats are in propping up our own bad men, and how obstinate accused politicians are in the face of overwhelming evidence that they have behaved horribly. This is so fundamentally antagonistic to everything my party is supposed to stand for, but as I learned from my own truncated career in the Senate: Retention of power is both the principal strategy and the paramount value of the vast majority of politicians, regardless of party.

Latest sexual assault allegation against Trump draws muted political reaction by Colby Itkowitz ,

Emily Davies and Hailey Fuchs (Washington Post

These quotes from lawmakers like Senators Feinstein and Durbin and Rep. Jim Himes (who chuckled and sighed when asked about E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegation against Trump) are damning. Congressional Democrats: Only care about rape when it’s politically expedient. 

Should We Call Detention Centers Concentration Camps? by Julie Orringer (NY Times

Don’t let the headline fool you. This is actually a really thoughtful piece on perhaps a more fitting historical analog for the detainment camps at the border: the internment camps in Vichy France during World War II. Example: the Gurs camp in southwest France. Originally intended as a detainment camp for political refugees fleeing the Spanish Civil War, it was later used to intern thousands of German Jews under the collaborationist French government, many of whom died under the terrible conditions or were transferred to Auschwitz to be murdered. 

Comparing it to the current detainment facilities in Clint, Texas, Orringer writes: 

“At Gurs, women and children at least had beds or cots, and 'coverlets' that were 'sufficient in number,' while children in Clint have been sleeping on the floor in freezing cells, coverless, the lights kept on at all hours.”

So, uh, there’s that. 

Also read: 

-  An open letter from dozens of Holocaust scholars to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, upon its condemnation of Holocaust analogies to the border crisis. 

- The Holocaust survivor and widower who sought to understand Nazi doublespeak

- The story behind the photo of a migrant father and his daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande at the mouth of America in 2019

- “Let the Doctors In” 

- A list of things you can do to help the children at the border and other immigrants because Fuck ICE (please let me know if you have other suggestions) 

No Pride in Police, No Police in Pride by Christopher Joseph Lee (The Baffler

Important words on, among other things, the role the police and broader carceral state should play in Pride demonstrations (none). 

“Like the Stonewall Uprising and other clashes between queer people and state power, the struggle to remove police from Pride is also a struggle to define the priorities of the queer movement itself.” 

To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway failed Scout. by Ellen Ricks (LitHub

“How does a white man from New York City tell a Southern Gothic about a young girl growing up in the Depression Era South, a story inspired by the female author’s lived experience?

For Sorkin, it’s easy—you just silence her voice.” 

(In case you were wondering the official Staunchly stance on Sorkin remains: fuck that guy.)


A counterpoint to Judge Judy worship. A high school student discovers his school used prison labor. How to look like Instagram. Billy Porter at Pride. Ivanka Trump Is a National Embarrassment (I can’t stop watching the video). Like Ben, Birtherism is Back. And Marianne Williamson wants you to let the light in (to beat swine flu). 


This photo of Leo DiCaprio, first admiral of the Pussy Posse, Maliboo Radley, quality control inspector of all Victoria’s Secret body splashes (lifetime contract), taking a volleyball to the face: cured my depression, paid my taxes, cleared my skin, cleaned my apartment, wrote my eulogy, scouted me a 0% financing zero due at signing lease on a 2019 Kia Sorento, and in every possible way improved my experience of life on Earth.


Finally got around to starting The New Me by Halle Butler (I talked here about how Jia Tolentino’s review made me rush to buy it) and I’m hooked. It’s so dark and twisty. I laughed out loud at least five times by page 40.


I finally finished Chernobyl. It’s as funny and sexy as everyone says it is.



Kidding! It’s one of the most frustrating and upsetting programs I’ve ever seen. It’s powerful and rousing despite being pretty heavy-handed on the moral (lies are bad; lies kill), and expertly shot and styled. Now everybody, please go watch The Americans and let’s keep this convo about 1980s Soviet true-believers vs. regime skeptics going!