All entries by this author

Always worse than we know

Apr 22nd, 2018 6:11 pm | By

I never have understood that Trump insult “Sleepy Eyes” that he uses for a particular tv news host. Jim Wright has an explanation.

Another Sunday morning, another attack on the press from the President of the United States.

“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Fake News NBC just stated that we…”


Back up.

Sleepy Eyes?

Sleepy eyes? What? I asked (rhetorically I thought) my audience on Twitter, what does “Sleepy Eyes” even mean as an insult?


Sleepy Eyes Chuck of the Fake News? I said, “it’s like he’s tweeting really bad fanfic one line at time. Fifty Shades of Fly Hair Tiny Hands.”

Sleepy eyes.

Ok. Sure.

Except … well, I should have known better. Several readers pointed

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A threat to the Judeo-Christian way of life

Apr 22nd, 2018 11:50 am | By

Oh, great – religious war against environmentalists. Peter Walker on Facebook:

Dramatic day in Modesto. Speaking to several dozen farmers and ranchers, Ammon Bundy repeated many of the stories about Harney County and the Malheur Refuge that I’ve researched and found incorrect. But he also took a much more overtly religious approach. Federal “tyranny” seemed almost forgotten. Instead, much of his criticism was aimed at environmentalists (including some at length, personally, by name) who he said drive federal policy and represent a threat to the Judeo-Christian way of life. Those who he claims adopt a “Green” religion are a threat to humanity itself. Meanwhile, the environmentalists he mentioned were outside the door chanting and protesting. Overtly framing it as

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The cast is notably international

Apr 22nd, 2018 10:46 am | By

Laurence Tribe observed on Twitter that the cast of Casablanca included only two actors born in the US, which I found interesting.

I misspelled Henreid. At any rate, Tribe was making a point about immigrants, and a couple of people replied to pick nits and he deleted the tweet, but it was interesting and he was right. The foreign cast was notable at the time. Wikipedia:

The play’s cast consisted of 16 speaking parts and several extras; the film script enlarged it to 22 speaking parts and

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A tendency toward a corrupting belief

Apr 22nd, 2018 9:56 am | By

Jennifer Palmieri has an interesting take on Comey and what he did in 2016.

She’s never met him but they have mutual friends and a lot of DC overlap, since she was director of communications in the Obama administration and then in Clinton’s campaign.

I don’t harbor ill will toward him. Our mutual friends attest to his high character, and his book, A Higher Loyalty, shows him to be a thoughtful person, generous boss and a colleague who—despite being prone to bouts of self-absorption—seems able to laugh at himself. Even though he is a Republican, I have never thought that he allowed his personal political views to drive his decisions as FBI director. I also value Jim Comey’s adherence

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Not applicable

Apr 22nd, 2018 8:18 am | By

There are, we are told, two sides to every question. We must not, we are told, live in a bubble where we never encounter dissenting views. Free speech, we are told, requires inviting and welcoming every opinion no matter how distasteful or threatening.

I give you Great Hearts Monte Vista charter school:

A Texas charter school is apologizing after a teacher gave an assignment to an eighth grade American History class, asking students to list the positive aspects of slavery.

“When I first read it, I thought, this was b.s.,” said Great Hearts Monte Vista eighth-grade student Manu Livar.

Students in the class were supposed to complete an assignment on the “positive aspects” and “negative aspects” of the life

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Quietly removed

Apr 21st, 2018 11:37 am | By

The SPLC removed the list that included Maajid Nawaz as an “Anti-Muslim Extremist” (their words). The National Review has details…and so far no equivalent on the left that I can find seems to, which as Maajid frequently points out is pathetic.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has removed the “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” from their website after attorneys for Maajid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim and prominent Islamic reformer, threatened legal action over his inclusion on the list.

The report, which had been active on the SPLC’s website since it was published in December 2016, was intended to serve as a resource for journalists to identify promoters of hateful propaganda; but it included a number of liberal reformers such

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Yes but what did you FEEL?

Apr 21st, 2018 11:05 am | By

The Times suggests the Republicans may have made a booboo in demanding that Rosenstein hand over the Comey memos. All the memos have done is show that Comey has been consistent.

Democrats said the memos helped establish that Mr. Comey was not a disgruntled employee who made up stories about the president.

“Thanks @HouseGOP for urging release of the Comey memos!” Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, gleefully wrote on Twitter.

That made me laugh quite … Read the rest


Apr 21st, 2018 10:28 am | By

Funniest headline ever:

Trump won’t attend Barbara Bush funeral ‘out of respect’ for family, White House says

Aka he wasn’t invited and they had to explain it somehow, so they chose an absurd non sequitur. The usual form of “respect” in this sitch is to go to the funeral. The White House is saying that Trump’s presence at the funeral would be a token of disrespect. Why? Well because Trump is so disreputable.

But also of course there’s just the hilarious transparency of it – “They don’t want me there and it’s because I’m SO AWESOME I might spoil it for everyone else.”

President Donald Trump will not join first lady Melania Trump in attending the funeral services for Barbara

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No more thank you and sorry

Apr 21st, 2018 9:33 am | By

This is, in a way, small, but the sheer malice and hatefulness of it are huge.

BREAKING: Trump DHS has formally directed Citizenship and Immigration Services to remove all instances of “thank you” & “we regret to inform you” from denials of #immigration apps.

Not the most important immigration news happening today, but just thought you’d like to know.

Yeah that’s what we need – less “I’m sorry to … Read the rest

Guest post: Why Priss Choss is unlikely to say No

Apr 20th, 2018 5:38 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on So what does a British person look like?

I’m not an expert in British constitutional law, but I’m fairly confident that the Queen does not have the power to decide who will or will not succeed her, without an Act of Parliament. So any rumor about some secret decision to disinherit Charles shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Of course Charles could refuse to accept the Throne when the time comes, or officially relinquish his place in the line of succession. I’ve heard it argued over the years that he ought to do so because of his unpopularity and/or unsuitability to the job. And occasionally there’s a rumor that he will do so, and I … Read the rest

External standards

Apr 20th, 2018 1:58 pm | By

Comey was on the Colbert show the other day. The Times took some notes.

In recent days Trump has been furiously tweeting about Comey, even suggesting he should be put in jail.

Colbert asked him how he felt about Trump’s twitter insults.

Comey told Colbert that the episode seemed to reflect the reasons he decided to write “A Higher Loyalty”: to remind the country that it should not take the president’s public acts too lightly.

“My first reaction to those kinds of tweets is a shrug — like, ‘Oh, there he goes again.’ But actually then I caught myself and I said, ‘Wait a minute. If I’m shrugging, are the rest of the country shrugging? And does that mean

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Turn of the worm

Apr 20th, 2018 12:05 pm | By

You know how Trump treats even people close to him like shit? Maybe it’s going to bite him in the ass now.

For years, a joke among Trump Tower employees was that the boss was like Manhattan’s First Avenue, where the traffic goes only one way.

That one-sidedness has always been at the heart of President Trump’s relationship with his longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, who has said he would “take a bullet” for Mr. Trump. For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.

“Donald goes out of his way to treat him

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The President pointed his fingers at his head

Apr 20th, 2018 11:12 am | By

Chris Cilizza comments on some highlights from the memos:

3. “The conversation, which was pleasant at all times, was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear fashion…..It really was conversation-as-jigsaw-puzzle in a way, with pieces picked up, then discarded, then returned to.”

No observation anywhere in these memos rings truer of Trump than this one, which comes from the one-on-one dinner the two men at the White House eight days after Trump had been sworn in.

Watch any Trump press conference or speech and you are immediately struck by the massively haphazard nature of it. Trump can jump — as he did earlier this week — from his

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So what does a British person look like?

Apr 20th, 2018 10:43 am | By

Priss Choss met a woman in a receiving line and royally asked her where she’s from.

I met Prince Charles this week at the Commonwealth People’s Forum at which I was a speaker (on a day whose itinerary was entitled Politics of Hope: Taking on Injustice in the Commonwealth). It was part of the buildup to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, the summit of leaders of 53 countries representing more than 2 billion people.

I shook the prince’s hand with my right hand. In my other, I was holding a copy of an anthology, We Mark Your Memory: Writing from the Descendants of Indenture, in which I have an essay published. I told him that my mother was born

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Height clearance in submarines

Apr 20th, 2018 9:55 am | By

Reading the Comey memos this morning. Notice that they were no sooner handed over to Congress than they were leaked. So much for that whole pesky law and order idea that evidence from an ongoing investigation should not be handed over to Congress.

On page 3 the memo of the dinner for two begins. Comey reports that he had a chance to chat with the two servers before Trump got there, and that they were both retired Navy submariners and the three of them “had a fun discussion about height clearance in submarines.”

The conversation, which was pleasant at all times, was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear

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The stories John Barron told

Apr 20th, 2018 9:07 am | By

Investigative journalist Jonathan Greenberg tells a long detailed story in the Post about Young Donald Trump’s obsessive campaign to get himself onto the Forbes 400 list by means of prolific lies about how many $$$ he really had.

In May 1984, an official from the Trump Organization called to tell me how rich Donald J. Trump was. I was reporting for the Forbes 400, the magazine’s annual ranking of America’s richest people, for the third year. In the previous edition, we’d valued Trump’s holdings at $200 million, only one-fifth of what he claimed to own in our interviews. This time, his aide urged me on the phone, I needed to understand just how loaded Trump really was.

The official

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Make him an offer he can’t

Apr 19th, 2018 5:40 pm | By

Oh gawd these people. Rudy Giuliani has joined Trump’s “legal team.”

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a combative former prosecutor and longtime ally of President Trump, told The Washington Post on Thursday that he has joined the president’s legal team dealing with the ongoing special counsel probe.

“I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller,” Giuliani said in an interview.

What is this “negotiate an end” shit? It’s not a war, it’s not a strike, it’s not a boycott – it’s a criminal investigation, and suspects / targets / subjects don’t get to “negotiate … Read the rest

No daughters please

Apr 19th, 2018 12:02 pm | By

Now, we get why people prefer to have male children rather than female. It’s totally understandable. Girls are floppy and worthless, and they’re likely to turn out to be whores, and they’re a terrible drain on the wallet without giving anything back. If only humans could figure out a way to have male children exclusively.

A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India.

Yay! Now to get to no women at all.

Out of China’s population of 1.4 billion, there are nearly 34 million more males than females — the

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The president grew angry

Apr 19th, 2018 10:49 am | By

Speaking of Trump and tv and temper and tantrums

President Trump was watching television on Sunday when he saw Nikki R. Haley, his ambassador to the United Nations, announce that he would impose fresh sanctions on Russia. The president grew angry, according to an official informed about the moment. As far as he was concerned, he had decided no such thing.

It was not the first time Mr. Trump has yelled at the television over something he saw Ms. Haley saying. This time, however, the divergence has spilled into public in a remarkable display of discord that stems not just from competing views of Russia but from larger questions of political ambition, jealousy, resentment and loyalty.

Or, less tactfully, … Read the rest

He wanted to be seen as backing up a series of bellicose tweets

Apr 19th, 2018 9:40 am | By

Oh god. I suppose I knew this but seeing it spelled out is another story. Trump rushed to bomb Syria so that his tweets would be true.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged President Trump to get congressional approval before the United States launched airstrikes against Syria last week, but was overruled by Mr. Trump, who wanted a rapid and dramatic response, military and administration officials said.

Because he’s mentally a toddler. Rapid and dramatic=illegal and reckless and authoritarian.

Mr. Trump, the officials said, wanted to be seen as backing up a series of bellicose tweets with action, but was warned that an overly aggressive response risked igniting a wider war with Russia.

He wanted to be seen as backing … Read the rest