All entries by this author

Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear

Dec 10th, 2016 10:26 am | By

So, yeah, apparently it is the case that we have this rampaging idiot monster preparing to destroy everything because Putin put his elbow on the scale.

American intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald J. Trump, according to senior administration officials.

They based that conclusion, in part, on another finding — which they say was also reached with high confidence — that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.

In the months before the election, it was

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Listen up, Donnie

Dec 9th, 2016 5:56 pm | By

John Glenn didn’t agree with Trump on the flag:

 … Read the rest

The pile of rubble grows

Dec 9th, 2016 5:30 pm | By

News in Trump from the Times:

Rex W. Tillerson, the president and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, is the leading candidate to be Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, according to a person with direct knowledge of the search process.

Mr. Tillerson went to Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday to meet with Mr. Trump, who is said to be close to making a decision. Mr. Tillerson has been strongly recommended by a number of business leaders.

What does running an oil company have to do with being the country’s foreign minister?

And then there’s this questionnaire.

President-elect Trump’s transition team has circulated an unusual 74-point questionnaire that requests the names of all employees and contractors who have attended

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Bubble shmubble

Dec 9th, 2016 4:52 pm | By

Ah the old latte-drinking elitists trope – it just won’t go away, will it. Kevin Baker at the New Republic hates it as much as I do.

The most irritating media trope to emerge in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election is the idea that it was a rebuke to “condescending” liberals who live in our own “bubbles.” Steve Schmidt gave us a preview on MSNBC even before the race for the White House was decided. “The people who are for Trump are not embarrassed to be for Trump. This is a fiction of New York City,” the former Republican political consultant told us early on election night. “This is a fiction of the New York City, Acela Corridor

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Feathers in amber

Dec 9th, 2016 4:13 pm | By

Now we get to look at a dinosaur’s tail with feathers.

It’s a tiny dinosaur, the size of a sparrow.

Researchers described the remarkable specimen in a new study, identifying it as the first evidence in amber from a nonavian theropod — a meat-eating and feathered dinosaur that doesn’t belong to the lineage that led to modern birds. The remarkable preservation provides a snapshot of dinosaur biology that can’t be retrieved from the fossil record, and offers a rare glimpse of feather structures in extinct dinosaurs, which could help scientists better understand how feathers evolved across the dinosaur family tree. [Photos: Amber Trap Nabs Feathered Dinosaur Tail]


The findings were published online Dec. 8 in the

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Guest post: Etiquette for the server-diner relationship

Dec 9th, 2016 12:44 pm | By

Guest post by Josh Spokes.

As a former waiter of many years from greasy spoons to fine dining, my politics are entirely on the side of the serving class. Wait staff are regularly abused, and a tipping culture is merely cruelty and theft codified.

However, there are certain standards of service that wait staff at any type of restaurant should observe. They are not difficult, they are not demeaning, and when used correctly they make each party’s day nicer and more efficient. I find eating out so annoying anymore—and specifically because of wait staff—I avoid it. Here are the reasons.

1. We are in a customer-vendor relationship. You, “Justin,” are not my friend. That doesn’t mean we have an … Read the rest

But if you could see him with his eyes

Dec 9th, 2016 12:19 pm | By

Goldman Sachs. Clinton’s $200k fees for chatting to them over dinner probably cost her a good few votes, and certainly gave Donnie from Queens useful talking points, but now…well now is now, and all is transformed.

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name a top Goldman Sachs executive, Gary Cohn, to lead the National Economic Council, handing the Wall Street veteran significant sway over his administration’s economic policy.

The council includes the heads of various departments and agencies and works within the administration to coordinate economic policy. As director, Cohn would be in position to advise Trump as he attempts to fulfill some of his chief campaign promises, including lowering corporate taxes and rethinking U.S. trade policy.

And generally … Read the rest

Bullying is bullying

Dec 9th, 2016 11:09 am | By

Even some Republicans can still see that Trump is a bully. His personal attack on a working class guy in “flyover country” has not met with universal approval.

The Twitter message from the president-elect at 7:41 Wednesday night, and a second one urging Mr. Jones to “spend more time working — less time talking,” continued Mr. Trump’s pattern of digital assaults, most of them aimed at his political rivals, reporters, Hollywood celebrities or female accusers. On Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump used Twitter to assail Boeing for escalating costs on the development of a new Air Force One.

But rarely has Mr. Trump used Twitter to express his ire at people like Mr. Jones, the president of United Steelworkers

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Fewer, fewer

Dec 9th, 2016 10:27 am | By

Geert Wilders has been convicted of incitement.

Geert Wilders, the far-right politician who is seen as a likely contender to become prime minister when Dutch voters go to the polls next year, was convicted on Friday of inciting discrimination and of insulting a group for saying that the Netherlands would be safer with fewer Moroccans.

The three-member judiciary panel found that Mr. Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom, had violated Dutch law with his remarks on March 19, 2014, but it elected not to convict him of inciting hatred, and it imposed no punishment, rejecting the prosecutors’ request to fine him 5,000 euros, or about $5,300.

Mr. Wilders was found to have violated laws on

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Mo to women: You are the WORST

Dec 8th, 2016 5:26 pm | By

Via Ex-Muslims of North America on Twitter:

I found it on the holy internet:

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah b. Umar that the Messenger of Allah observed: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your

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Guest post: They are, in fact, louder than the rest of us

Dec 8th, 2016 4:39 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Refreshing, in response to Megyn Kelly on “political correctness.”

I understand how flyover country feels, how Republicans feel about this. And my general sense is that they feel they’ve been lectured to enough on how they’re supposed to speak and how things that were very innocuous or innocent over the past several years were spun back to them as you’re racist if you say that, you’re racist if you do this, things, you know, that are not racist. And so they’ve gotten their backs up

I swear, if I hear anything more about “how the middle of the country feels”, I might scream…vomit…fly into a rage. Why are we supposed to be taking … Read the rest


Dec 8th, 2016 1:27 pm | By

The Fox News person Megyn Kelly was on Fresh Air yesterday. She was surprisingly reasonable for a Fox News person.

As Donald Trump continues to court controversy via Twitter, Fox News host Megyn Kelly tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that the president-elect “really does need to be aware of the power that he has when he releases these tweets.”

Kelly felt that power firsthand in August 2015, when she pressed the candidate about his derogatory comments about women during the first Republican primary debate. Trump responded with a Twitter attack, which was quickly followed up by a barrage of insulting tweets and even death threats from his followers.

“What people don’t realize about Donald Trump — and

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More adventures of a bully

Dec 8th, 2016 10:25 am | By

Yesterday I posted about union leader Chuck Jones’s fact-checking of Trump’s claims about the Carrier jobs. From Danielle Paquette in the Washington Post two days ago:

Jones, president of the United Steelworkers 1999, which represents Carrier employees, felt optimistic when Trump announced last week that he’d reached a deal with the factory’s parent company, United Technologies, to preserve 1,100 of the Indianapolis jobs — until the union leader heard from Carrier that only 730 of the production jobs would stay and 550 of his members would lose their livelihoods, after all.

At the Dec. 1 meeting, where Trump was supposed to lay out the details, Jones hoped he would explain himself.

“But he got up there,” Jones said Tuesday,

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Add another fox

Dec 8th, 2016 10:03 am | By

Of course. Who better to run the Labor Department than the CEO of a fast food chain? CEOs are of course the people who are best placed to understand the needs of workers, and the least disposed to put profits ahead of workers’ need for a living wage. So well done, billionaire worker-cheating Donald Trump – you found such a CEO.

President-elect Donald J. Trump is expected to name Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive of the company that operates the fast food outlets Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. and an outspoken critic of the worker protections enacted by the Obama administration, to be secretary of labor, people close to the transition said on Thursday.

Mr. Puzder has spent his career

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Foxes in charge of all the henhouses

Dec 7th, 2016 4:56 pm | By

Some reactions to the nomination of Scott Pruitt to run the EPA, seen on Facebook:

Bernie Sanders:

When climate change is the great threat to our planet, it is dangerous that Mr. Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. Mr. Pruitt’s is not only climate change denier, but also someone who has worked with the fossil fuel industry to actually make this country more dependent on fossil fuels.

Robert Reich:

Pruitt is well positioned to help Trump dismantle the E.P.A. altogether. Like Trump, Pruitt doesn’t believe the federal government has a role in setting environmental policy.

Trump will be nominating the most radical right-wing cabinet in American history — including an EPA administrator who doesn’t believe

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A close ally of the fossil fuel industry

Dec 7th, 2016 3:44 pm | By

More draining the swamp, by spurning people who know anything about climate or the environment for head of the EPA:

President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.

Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every

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Dec 7th, 2016 11:27 am | By

Time’s choice of photo to illustrate its Person of the Year cover of Trump is interesting.

He…erm…usually doesn’t let it show.

But more seriously, what a surly bruiser he does look. He may be trying to look serious and grown up, but all he looks is hostile and belligerent. He’s making not duck-face but fascist-face.

Also notice the dig under his name.

Updating to add:

There are many valuable replies to Helen Rosner’s tweet, for instance pointing out the fiendish positioning of Trump’s head right under the M so that it makes horns. Rosner says the whole photo uses a very 1940s aesthetic.

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Triumph of the whatever

Dec 7th, 2016 10:57 am | By

Trump held another fascist rally yesterday.

President-elect Donald Trump continued his “Thank You” victory tour on Tuesday, making a stop in North Carolina to tout his national security agenda and formally introduce his pick for Defense Secretary, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis.

Speaking in Fayetteville, N.C., Trump called Mattis the “living embodiment of the Marine Corps motto” — Semper Fidelis.

“Mad Dog plays no games, right?” Trump asked, invoking the general’s nickname, and added that the country was fortunate “that a man of this character and integrity will now be the civilian leader atop the Department of Defense.”

The “civilian” leader whose career was in the military, which is not really what is normally meant by civilian … Read the rest

Including “and” and “the”

Dec 7th, 2016 10:24 am | By

Again a major newspaper calls Trump a liar in the headline as well as the body.


Carrier union boss: Donald Trump ‘lied his ass off’ about saving 1,100 jobs from moving to Mexico

They used asterisks in “ass” but not in “lied.”

Donald Trump lied about saving more than 1,100 Indianapolis manufacturing jobs from moving to Mexico, according to the boss of the company’s union.

Chuck Jones, leader of the United Steelworkers 1999 union who watched the president-elect give a speech at the air conditioning plant on 1 December, told the Washington Post that Mr Trump had inflated his victory.

He claimed to have “saved” over 1100, but it was really 800; the company confirmed that number.

In gratitude

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These bills punish women

Dec 7th, 2016 9:50 am | By

Ohio is super excited about our new Trump future.

Ohio lawmakers passed a bill late Tuesday that would prohibit abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected — at around six weeks, before many women realize they are pregnant.

If Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill, it would pose a direct challenge to Supreme Court decisions that have found that women have a constitutional right to abortion at least until the point of viability, which is typically pegged around 24 weeks. Similar bills have been blocked by the courts. Because of this, even many antiabortion advocates have opposed such measures.

But some Ohio Republicans said they were empowered to support the bill because of President-elect Donald

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