Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 44

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. — Pablo Picasso

This or That. Why stressed minds are more decisive. (This explains a lot about my decision making.)

Royal Ascot. Have Royal fever? The colors of Ascot are black and white, and this Aidan Mattox dress is so pretty and perfect for it.

Drink Up. The best price point for wine from someone who buys it for a living.

Florals for Spring. This Faithfull Selena floral dress and these floral embellished (but work appropriate) Anthro flats are so dreamy.

Equality of Thought. “No, not all women are Democrats.”  The female gender is not a political monolith, any more than the male one is.

Colored Tips. Need a polish that’s chic but still professional? Meet Jinsoon Moxie.

Fakery. Instagram’s wannabe stars are driving hotels crazy.

Perfection. These M.Gemi Medio flat sandals are perfect for summer and come in 13 colors.

No Kidding. Pregnancy discrimination is rampant inside America’s biggest companies.

I love nachos.  They’re my third favorite food after donuts and cheeseburgers.  So I was incredibly excited (and mildly terrified) to see Delish’s recipe for Foil Pack Chicken Nachos.

The cheese melts perfectly.  The chips crips perfectly.  It’s the next best thing to restaurant nachos. And you can make smaller portion sizes.  These are going to be dangerous.

{image found here; this post contains affiliate links}

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    40 comments

  1. Katy says:

    Thanks for the article about women being Republicans! I’ve been one my whole life but I’m mid30s now, live in the cool neighborhood in my very urban city, am a lawyer, stylish, etc. People are SHOCKED.

    June 19, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I was at an event this week and someone asked me who I worked for in D.C.. When I said that I used to work for a GOP member, a woman stormed off and returned saying she had to “compose herself” because she didn’t know how anyone could ever be a Republican. I often find myself asking Dems if they agree with 100% of what their party does, and wonder why Republicans don’t get the same privilege. And also, why, when the GOP does something I hate is the only appropriate response (in the eyes of Dems) to leave the party? Like, yeah, I’m totally going to abandon my party and leave it to the people who are ruining it, because that’s def. going to fix the problem.

      June 19, 2018/Reply
  2. Jess says:

    Agree! Love the women and being Republican article. I am also one, and proud of it. As the mother of a transracial family, when Obama won the presidency, I made all of my kids watch his coronation because it was important. Because I have black children, and because it was a big step for all black people. It was important even if I don’t agree with his politics.

    One day there WILL be a woman president. I firmly believe it. And whether I align with her politics or not, I will watch her coronation and be proud of the fact that a woman became president.

    June 19, 2018/Reply
  3. alyssa says:

    When I asked her if she regretted her vote for Mr. Trump, she replied: “Are you kidding? Business is booming, profit-sharing is up, we can give raises this year while also reinvesting in our business by purchasing some large machinery. The economy is doing great. We’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

    Aka who cares about the human rights violations? I’m making money.

    Of course women can be as terrible as men.

    June 19, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      This is really an unfortunate comment. Do I agree with her? No. But it’s just really unfortunate that when anyone tries to express a contrary political view, they’re reduced to being hateful and terrible.

      A good friend of mine voted for Trump, and it hurt me that she did. But under the Obama Admin she lost her husband’s business (because of a change in regulation in the energy sector), was forced to stop hiring new people at her business (because her health insurance costs went up 800%), and watched as her ranch manager’s wife was deported after nine years in this country. She honestly didn’t see how Trump could be worse. She doesn’t like him, will never understand why he claims to be a Christian, but wouldn’t have been able to vote for Hillary. From her perspective, I can see why she didn’t see it, even if I thought it was a bad choice.

      My point is, don’t assume that all Trump voters or all Republicans are terrible people. Because ostracizing and demonizing them is setting us up for more division, which will lead to more polarization, which will chase good candidates out of politics, and cause us to get even less done. Say you don’t agree, say you think she’s wrong, but her vote counts just as much as yours does, and if you can’t try to empathize with her a bit, you aren’t doing what needs to be done to prevent another Trump.

      June 19, 2018/Reply
  4. Jill says:

    “Coronation” is a strange word to use for the swearing in of an elected official?

    June 19, 2018/Reply
  5. KH says:

    second the republican women comment and article! I live in a very Democrat, urban city, in a very blue state. I’m also a lawyer, live in the “trendy neighborhood,” shop at Nordstrom, and sometimes eat organic food. People are shocked when I wear my NRA hat (also used to work for them) or Trump gear. I also like to think I’m normal.

    I wear my identity as a point of pride. We do exist.

    June 19, 2018/Reply
  6. MOnica T says:

    I found it humorous when the author talked about female politicians getting more laws on the books that protect women as not necessarily a good thing…it’s obvious to me that most of their male counterparts don’t give a crap about family leave or domestic violence or equal pay or access to birth control and family planning services. Heck they don’t even want a system in place where their subordinates can report and resolve sexual harassment and assault in their own hallowed halls!

    June 19, 2018/Reply
  7. Jo says:

    Great article about Republican women…like other commenters people are surprised I belong to that party.

    June 19, 2018/Reply
  8. anna says:

    That nacho recipe is dangerous. I don’t know whether to thank you or berate you for sharing it.

    Thanks for sharing that article about women being Republicans, too!

    June 19, 2018/Reply
  9. mallory says:

    sorry, but it speaks to the absolute immaturity of your entitled generation that anyone would even think about cutting someone off because they are Republican or because of how they voted. I find democrat/liberals in general, and esp. the millennial ones, to be the most close minded people who cannot even come close to accepting that other people may feel differently about something than them. The only “speech” any of them want to hear is that which resembles their own. It isin large part because of this attitude that DT won and will again.

    June 19, 2018/Reply
  10. E says:

    Mallory, for someone who is frustrated by closed-mindedness, your comment contains a surprising number of harsh generalizations.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  11. Jess says:

    I know about the word coronation! But I couldn’t figure out what else to call it!! Even when I was typing it I had visions of the British royal family!

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  12. Amy says:

    Instead of ‘coronation’ which is reserved for royalty, the word you’re looking for is ‘inauguration’ or to be colloquial the ‘swearing in’.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  13. Anna says:

    @Mallory, you speak to the immaturity and entitlement of millennials and liberals, yet you’re the one stereotyping an entire generation. If the media or my Facebook feed are any indication, the vitriol comes from all parties and age groups. You seem to only want to see one side of it. Further, if your statement were true, this blog’s readership would probably be cut in half since so may of us liberal millennials would not want to associate with a Republican former NRA-staffer like Abra. I’m a millennial and a liberal (and fwiw worked in Congress for nearly a decade) with friends on both sides of the aisle. I recognize that there are areas where we will never agree and many where we will. I also know that many of us care about the same things, even if our solutions to addressing them are different. I hope you’ll consider seeing the good out there. Democrat, Republican, millennial, Gen X, whatever, there are good and bad people, as well as people with good intentions who are misguided, but it is often the loudest who get the most attention.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  14. BigBosslady says:

    I really wish you would avoid discussing politics on the blog. Also, it’s sort of amazing to complain about how people are treating Republicans right now given the children being ripped away from their parents.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      And I, as a Republican, am just as outraged as any Democrat. It horrifies me that Trump has an R after his name. It horrifies me to see what is happening, I’m doing and have done all that I can inside my party and outside to see his ilk shamed and their victims aided.

      As for politics on the blog, I don’t think it hurts to remind anyone that women are not a monolith. That we expect to be talked to and politicked to like people with personal beliefs, not like ovaries with thoughts. That it’s shortsighted BS to say, “Well she’s pro-choice, so she’ll carry women” or “The candidate is a mother, so women will vote for her.” I didn’t agree with a fair portion of the views expressed in the article, but I know an ever growing number of Republican women who are afraid to talk about politics at all because they’re viewed as traitors for believing differently than the majority of women or are patronized as caring about only one or two issue sets.

      Every person has a right to his or her own beliefs. Every person has the right to disagreement. Every person has the right to have his or her voice heard. No one, in any party, should portray women as being one thing politically any more than we should have a standard of beauty we expect women to live up to, a preconceived notion of what makes one a woman, or stereotypes about women who work/women who don’t, women who have kids/women who don’t, etc..

      The article and my short comment wasn’t about how people are treating Republicans, it’s about a societal belief being foisted upon a large group of women that prevents us from moving forward politically and engaging in informed public policy decisions. Women who serve in government tend to get more done than men do, and that isn’t limited to women of just one party. Unless we break down this notion that women must be or must believe like a voting bloc, we’ll never get the best candidates or achieve the best outcomes, because 1/2 of voters won’t feel like their opinions are valued as individual beliefs.

      This is not a problem men have. Nobody’s walking around asking how we can get “the male vote”. They’re asking how they can get business owners, veterans, etc.. I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-gay marriage, I believe the U.S. has moral obligations to its citizens and the world, and a whole host of other “Democrat” ideals. I’m also a proponent of fiscal responsibility, smaller government, free trade, and other “Republican” beliefs. I don’t agree with my party 100% of the time, I bet you don’t agree with yours in lockstep either. The purpose of posting the article was to remind people that women can believe anything and identify politically in ways that don’t play into an easy, damaging narrative that holds all women back from full political equality.

      June 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Also, I keep it very politics light around here, despite the fact this is a HUGE part of my life. I do so in large part because I know how many readers work in politics and don’t want to deal with it in their personal lives. I also know how stressful politics is in general right now for people and don’t want to add.

      But I reserve the right to post article like this because we often discuss the need for all women to feel represented and equal. I find articles that spur discussion and thought especially valuable when it would be so much easier for the male jackasses who make political messaging decisions if we were just one Borg cube that thought the same way and believed the same things, preferably what men told us to.

      June 20, 2018/Reply
  15. Lindsey says:

    Mallory, get off my lawn.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  16. Opal says:

    I’m someone who has always been a registered Independent. I’m in a mixed race marriage and have a strong business career. It’s often presumed that I believe certain things. I’m womb to tomb pro-life. I have no problem with same-sex marriage. When I ask questions I’m called a hater, told that I only get my news from Fox (sorry, I don’t have cable), or called very racist names. I don’t vote with my reproductive organs. I don’t vote with my melanin. I use my brain to make my own decisions.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  17. M says:

    Anyone here going to weigh in about the pregnancy discrimination article? Has anyone else had to put up with discrimination?

    I’ve been on the receiving end of some nasty comments during my pregnancy and have really been gaslighted by my former bosses.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’ve never faced it personally (obvi), but I had a friend on the Hill who was told that she needed to be back before the end of her maternity leave or else she would be off promotion track. Her LD claimed it was because she would be missing a big professional event. But it wasn’t even like it was the last two weeks of her eight weeks, it was the third week of her leave. She didn’t come back, and left the office four months later, but it’s shocking how few Hill office offer paid leave (because they’re not required to) and how hostile people are about an employee being gone.

      June 20, 2018/Reply
  18. S says:

    61% of white women with college degrees voted for Trump. Maybe you are shocking minorities in some neighborhoods, but you have lots of company.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  19. S says:

    Also Belle, voting for Trump is not the same as voting for other candidates. This man waged an offensive birther campaign against our president. Saying hateful things is his style. Choosing to vote for that is a different choice than just voting for the Republican candidate. And I’m not even talking about Mueller and stuff pushed arguably by politics. I’m talking about the brirther campaign and the immigrant hate mongering Trump made his central messages. You can’t vote for that candidate and demand people treat you like you just voted for a naive GW Bush and his compassionate conservatism / nation building /free market philosophies. They are two completely different ball games. In voting for that, something broke that can’t be fixed. There’s a permanency to what happened that you can’t undo with wanting to. As much as I don’t want to disagree with your well meaning comments, I don’t think it’s possible to agree with you.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  20. Bigbosslady says:

    One of the things that’s amusing about the “I am upset that people assume that I will be a Democrat because I’m a woman!” Is that this election emphasized that white women will vote their racial interests over their gender interests. Even though women as a whole break Democratic more than men, white women will still vote for Republicans. So, congrats, Abra et al, people are getting a more accurate picture now!

    June 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Who gets to decide what a woman’s interests are? The woman in question. Not anyone else. And how simplistic to assume that an election is about being white or female, because if it were all that simple than the pollsters wouldn’t have gotten it so wrong. Must we all be treated as if we only vote based on the boxes we checked on a census form?

      Also, if you’re going to point fingers, at least get your facts straight. I voted against Donald Trump twice. I gave money to three other candidates, including Hillary. I pulled other GOPers out of Trump rallies and Trump fundraisers with my own two hands. If all you can see when you look at a Republican woman is the worst things you associate with her party, then you are no better than the worst elements of my party who can’t look at anyone different from them without focusing on the differences and judging based on them.

      But stand in judgment and point the finger, that tends to be a good look on people. And it’s definitely always successful.

      June 21, 2018/Reply
  21. Anna says:

    S, I can respect a person but not their choice. At the end of the day, our votes still carry the same weight at the ballot box, so it helps no one to demonize and marginalize the people with whom we disagree.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
  22. Jamie says:

    If you don’t line up with a party on 50% of issues, why would you ever want to identify with that party? Why think that you can “fix it from the inside”? I think your time would be better spent as an independent working to break our country out of the two party model.

    June 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Independent is too often a word for “I quit.” The system is not designed, in any way, for a third party. Everything is based on the two party system, and has been since the founding. So many efforts to form a third party or to crack that model have come to nothing. I’d have a better chance of taking back the GOP single handed.

      Recently, I sat down with a group of GOP friends, all of whom work in politics, we talked for hours about how we could get to a place where we believe in the party again. We all agreed, we’re not leaving. We outlived the neocons, we were this close to outliving the tea party, we’ll outlive Trump. I agree with the party more often than not (the party, not Trump), and it’s been made clear to me that I will never be welcome in the Democrat party (not that I was looking for quarter). You pick your side, you fight for what you believe is right, you don’t give up.

      June 21, 2018/Reply
  23. Bigbosslady says:

    Trump is the culmination of decades of bigoted dog whistling by the Republican Party. It just becomes unpalatable with him because it’s much more obvious. And I didn’t say that you voted for Trump, specifically, Abra, I said that people are grasping much more than they did before that white women will vote Republican like white men will, albeit in lower numbers. It’s true that people thought that having a viable woman on the ballot competing against an obviously bigoted and unqualified Republican candidate would make white women break for the Dems for the first time in modern history but it didn’t happen. And sure, a lot of Republicans are disgusted by Trump, but what about the rest of your party that doesn’t stand up to him? Is outright stealing a Supreme Court seat and driving an ugly agenda through Congress truly worth it? And what is it that is making you stay a Republican? How low do your taxes have to go? We’re not going to take away your guns.

    June 21, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      What happened to Garland was a travesty, and Scalia would have been the first one to say so. He would have told them to vote the nominee down if they didn’t like him, but that the President had the power to nominate whoever he wanted until the very last second he wasn’t the President anymore.

      As for people who don’t stand up to him in public, when they will in private, those people are cowards.

      And guns and taxes are not the only issues on the GOP platform. Though most days it can feel like it. My point was, and is, that if the Dems can’t find it in their hearts to create a little breathing room to work with establishment Rs, we’re screwed as a country. Just as we would be in the opposite situation. Empathy is not easy. It’s not easy for me to battle my own extended family and more conservative friends, but it has to be done. And it’s not easy for me to cut them some slack on why they voted the way they did, but it has to be done. Why? Because if we keep feeding the us vs. them monster, we’re just playing into Trump’s hands. He needs the division, he needs them to feel belittled and disrespected, he needs them to feel vengeful and vindictive. He can’t get shit done without it. He needs the people to feel they are victims of the other party, the media, and the institutions that build the government, so he can look like their vengeful crusader. But if we listen to them, and talk to them calmly, and acknowledge that many of them got a bad hand (but they aren’t the only ones who did), then maybe more people like Conor Lamb can get elected, and this won’t be for nothing.

      June 21, 2018/Reply
  24. TheLOOP says:

    I am a hardcore liberal but come on you guys, stop piling on Abra. If you think her disagreement with Trump or other factions of the Republican party means she should quit the party, isn’t that the same as liberals being told to leave America if they don’t like this administration? No, we are here and we are working and fighting from within. So is Abra. Being Republican doesn’t mean she always agrees or votes according to prevailing party line. The two party system is not ideal but it is way better than a multi-party system – I speak from experience. Also, it’s her page – she didn’t discuss politics, simply linked to a story. I do however have an issue with commentators who are sharing how everyone around them is shocked that someone educated, well-off and living in a trendy neighborhood can be Republican. I guarantee you, it’s not your education or your wealth that surprises us, the shock is because we are wondering in our minds – have I been interacting with a Trump supporter? Are you secretly racist? Xenophobic? Unfortunately, in today’s climate the default assumption is that if you are a Republican, you are a Trump supporter. Yes, there’s a big difference between the two but not many Republicans – unlike Abra – have been vocal about their disappointment with Trump so unless you clarify, you do run the risk of presumption.

    June 21, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Yes, it is unfortunate that this awful man has made the GOP synonymous with hate. (There was always an undercurrent, but one we were mostly able to dispel as a few awful people. But now, well post-charlottesville, we need a hard look in the mirror and good hard slap to follow.) And it is worse that so many won’t stand up to him or make excuses for him. They are complicit. It makes me truly sad.

      Thank you for your comment. It meant a lot.

      June 21, 2018/Reply
  25. Jessica says:

    I commend you, Abra, for standing up for what you believe in, not shying away from talking about those beliefs, and sharing them eloquently. That seems to be something that not many people can do these days.

    June 21, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thank you, I don’t mind a good debate. And I definitely understand why Dems are so angry (I’m fucking angry), but when they see showing these people a little bit of compassion as weakness or betrayal to their beliefs, it hurts me. Standing up to Trump means breaking down the lies he tells one by one. And the biggest one he tells is that we live in an us vs. them country where those who oppose him can’t get along with the people who do.

      June 21, 2018/Reply
  26. Bigbosslady says:

    As I said previously, Trump is just the culmination of the Republican playbook, he’s not an aberration. Please do not rewrite history so that Republicans can be innocents up until Trump was elected. The Dixiecrat revolution was due to racism. Massive resistance to Brown v Board was racism. The Silent Majority was racism. Reagan kicking off his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where civil rights activists were murdered, was racism. Talking about “welfare queens” was racism. As for our LAST Republican president, remember his campaign spread rumors that McCain had an illegitimate black daughter in order to win South Carolina, they pushed for homophobic voter initiatives to drive up turnout, they lied to get us into a war where over 1,000,000 people have died (and counting), they justified torture, people died after Katrina. I could go on. The point is, this isn’t a problem that started with Trump and the people who voted for him aren’t victims.

    June 21, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m not rewriting history. But I’m done having this argument. There is literally nothing I could say to you that will stop this from being contentious or end it in a productive manner. And it’s too bad. Whatever things you and I might agree on, I refuse to paint every person in either party with one broad brush and say, “To hell with them,” and that is clearly how you feel. I have not denied the xenophobia in my party, nor our flaws. But if you can’t even entertain the notion that there are good people, doing good work for America in the GOP, then I’m not going to keep pushing this boulder up the hill.

      June 21, 2018/Reply
  27. Shanghai says:

    Just wanted to chime in and say as a reader, I’ve always appreciated the balance you strike. You don’t post “too much” politics, I’m a Dem who doesn’t share many of your views, but respect your work, your brain, and the balance you’ve struck here. Keep it up and you do you! (and feel free to ban the comments who get too crazy).

    June 21, 2018/Reply
  28. Mel says:

    I used to be a republican because I believe in personal responsibility, small government and yeah, I like low taxes. I proudly never voted for Obama. I happily wore this as a badge of honor, qualified with “but socially, I’m a liberal and I’m trying to change the party from the inside.” That all a changed when I entered the workforce and saw just how weak the Republican Party is on the issues that affect me EVERY DAY. I fought a pay gap with no success. I saw fellow employees get harassed at work in a corporate setting, because they were women. FMLA violations unpunished. And of course, paid leave consequences.. That, and the dumpster fire that is the all male all white party leadership. I couldn’t do it any longer. Even if I don’t agree with the Democrats on everything, I think their vision of America is much more admirable. I’d rather pay higher taxes if it meant we don’t separate kids from their families at the border, women have full reproductive rights, had a president who treats women respectfully, etc. I’m done trying to change the party which is actively alienating women … and POC … and just about anyone who isn’t a white rich guy. I do think that women who support Trump in particular grew up in a world where mistreatmen/devaluing of women was normalized. Because if they really opened their eyes, and they’d see how his vision for the future will be detrimental to our daughters. And don’t give me “but the economy!” What good is a great economy of we don’t have the ability to totally benefit from it, or if our rights are less than a mans?

    June 22, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      These are all good points. I can’t tell you how it exhausts me that 17 years into being a Republican, I am treated less fairly by older male GOPers than I was when I was 18. I think then I was considered by some to be like a cute precocious kid, but once I didn’t marry when I was supposed to or have kids when I was supposed to, or identify myself as a feminist (fucking proudly), I started to get blowback. I won’t let these bastards keep me down, but I’d be lying if I haven’t thought about everything you’re talking about.

      June 22, 2018/Reply