Friday News Bites: #DemDebate, Gun Violence and Analysis + More

Greetings, everyone. Before you get into your (hopefully lovely) weekend, why don’t we catch up on some of the news from the past week? We’ve got politics, LGBTQ+ news, and SCIENCE! We also have a shedload of funny tweets. Let’s get started:

Democratic Presidential Debate

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee, and Martin O’Malley had their first debate on Tuesday, moderated by Anderson Cooper.

Fact Check Time! For the most part, they weren’t too far off from reality.

At The Frisky, Robin Pennacchia has a roundup of 8 things Bernie Sanders did well. And after the debate, his campaign reports an increase in donations to the tune of $1.4 million. Not too shabby.

As usual, Twitter was on point with the jokes and commentary. Here are some of my favorites:

(Writer Daniel José Older was on point with the .gifs, is what I’m saying.)

(Writer Claire Willet had smart and funny commentary all night. Have you read her new book, The Rewind Files? It’s excellent.)

Some people talked about the marked difference between the GOP debates and this one.

Mike Huckabee continued to be a garbage person:

And others missed the presence of America’s Nutty Uncle, Vice President Joe Biden:

This one was my favorite though:

In Other Political News:

Here’s an interesting article that examines the “crackup” of the GOP, beginning with Nixon’s “Southern strategy.”

Hillary Clinton had an interesting interview with podcast Another Round, which has a lot of questions that aren’t usually asked of her. Namely, “Are in a position to tell people to go fuck themselves?”

President Obama recently interviewed author Marilynne Robinson, mainly because he wanted to and he can. It’s also very interesting.

Ex-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert will go to jail after lying to the FBI about hush-money — the money he used to keep people from disclosing his “misconduct” as a wrestling coach.

California has had a busy week:

Governor Jerry Brown passed a new law that prevents crisis pregnancy centers from offering misleading information, and that they must disclose if they have no medical professionals on staff. Brown also signed the California Racial Mascots Act, which prevents sports teams from using names like “Redskins.”

And California no longer allows concealed weapons on school campuses.

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a new gun control law “that would ask voters to strengthen the state’s gun laws by restricting ammunition sales, requiring owners to turn in assault-style magazines that have a large capacity and requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement.”

And Speaking of Guns…

Seems like every week there is a new, awful shooting to report. This week, I have two incidents on the same day, October 9:

One person is dead and three were wounded after a shooting at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

One person died and another was wounded during a shooting near Texas Southern University.

And the next day, a high school student in Great Falls, Montana was arrested after making threats about a school shooting.

People are also being shot on a weekly basis by toddlers. Yes, toddlers. But nooooo, people are “responsible” gun owners. /sarcasm

On a somewhat lighter note, students at the University of Texas protested the school’s concealed weapon policy by carrying around sex toys, in a campaign called #CocksNotGlocks. Amazing.

In Other News:

Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill has apologized for referring to slaves as “workers” in some of their books. They promise immediate revisions and supplemental lessons.

An increasing number of people would like to rename Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples Day,” which I support. But Popular Science has an additional suggestion: Let’s celebrate the colobus monkey. 

Colobus monkey

I am also okay with that.

The Feds arrested frequent Fox News “terrorism expert” Wayne Simmons for not actually being a former CIA agent. Way to be, dude.

Transgender Kroger employees are now fully covered under the company’s health insurance. Hooray!

October 11 is National Coming Out Day, and Facebook released some numbers that show a significant spike in LGBTQ+ people doing so.


Pluto continues to be awesome, and geographically, there’s a lot going on.

Scientists may have accidentally discovered a cure for cancer. (Way to bury the lede under all those tweets, Sara. I know. Sorry. But it’s early research yet!)

Not exactly a science story, in the strictest sense, but interesting all the same: The first legal abortionists tell their stories.


Sax player Steve Mackay of The Stooges has died from sepsis. He was 66.

Carey Lander, keyboardist and singer for the band Camera Obscura, died from cancer. She was only 33.

In Entertainment:

Playboy is nixing the nudity in their print magazine. Cue all the jokes about really reading it for the articles now.

The CW has canceled America’s Next Top Model after 22 cycles. Pour one out for your guilty pleasure.

Mattel hired actual feminists to help design their new DC Hero Girls dolls. Fancy that.

And finally, stories like this amuse me because That’s what you get for not really caring, motherfuckers: Showtime’s Homeland wanted some Arabic graffiti in the background of their location shots. Arabic artists took it upon themselves to say what they thought of the show: Homeland is racist.”

Thanks for reading. Until next time!

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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