All entries by this author

A dozen terminological inexactitudes

Jun 22nd, 2017 5:14 pm | By

The Times tallied up Trump’s lies at his “rally” yesterday.

President Trump returned to familiar rhetorical territory during a raucous campaign-style rally in Iowa on Wednesday night, repeating exaggerations and falsehoods about health care, jobs, taxes, foreign policy and his own record.

Other than that, it was all aboveboard.

He lied about all insurance companies fleeing Iowa. He lied about his glorious reign so far.

He exaggerated his legislative accomplishments.

Mr. Trump has signed nearly 40 bills into law, but it’s hard to argue, as he did, that any were “really big.”

The 14 bills rolling back Obama-era rules did signal a significant shift in regulatory policy, but are not considered major pieces of legislation. Three others named federal

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To promote a free press

Jun 22nd, 2017 4:56 pm | By

The Committee to Protect Journalists increases its Washington staff by one.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has created the new position of Washington Advocacy Manager to lead efforts to advance press freedom around the world with the U.S. government and other policymakers in Washington, D.C. Michael De Dora will be the first to occupy the post.

“The United States plays an important role in promoting and protecting press freedom worldwide,” CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch said from Washington, D.C. “It is imperative that press-freedom norms are respected here and serve as a benchmark for other governments. We look forward to increasing our cooperation with partners, policymakers, and lawmakers to promote and protect a free press, in the United States and

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So it was a threat then

Jun 22nd, 2017 1:50 pm | By

Trump tweeted today that nyah nyah he didn’t make any tapes of Comey haha fooled you.

Adam Schiff put out a statement saying what bullshit that is.

If … Read the rest

Few described him as frightening

Jun 22nd, 2017 1:25 pm | By

More from the Times on Darren Osborne.

He had family problems and was known by locals as belligerent and aggressive, with a drinking problem. He had Muslim neighbors, who described his behavior as fairly unremarkable, and his children had Muslim friends.

No one on the cul-de-sac in Cardiff, Wales, where Darren Osborne, 47, lived could readily explain what he is believed to have done: rented a van, driven it 150 miles to London and plowed into a crowd of Muslims as they finished prayers at the Finsbury Park Mosque early Monday.

Numerous residents here said that Mr. Osborne was often agitated, even disturbed, but few described him as frightening and none said he had expressed political sentiments, much less

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A raft in Hudson Bay

Jun 22nd, 2017 12:09 pm | By

Damn but misogyny is casual sometimes. Ben Mathis-Lilley lets it all hang out at Slate.

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff lost a special House election in Georgia on Tuesday to Republican Karen Handel. It’s the fourth high-profile special election Dems have lost since November. California Rep. Nancy Pelosi is the leader of the House Democrats. Should she be replaced, as some rabble-rousers are starting to suggest?

Oh yeah, obviously, because the Speaker of the House is to blame when a same-party candidate loses.

Reasons to put Nancy Pelosi on a raft in the Hudson Bay (metaphorically):

Ahhh fuck you, dude. That’s “metaphorically” the way “die in a fire” is metaphorically.

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He loved strolling in parks with his grandchildren

Jun 22nd, 2017 11:44 am | By

The man who died in the Finsbury Park terror attack died of injuries from the attack, as opposed to dying of whatever had caused him to collapse on the pavement before the attack. He was Makram Ali.

Makram Ali moved to Britain from Bangladesh when he was 10. He and his wife raised four daughters and two sons. He loved strolling in parks with his two grandchildren. His family was about to take a vacation in Canada.

Mr. Ali, 51, was returning from Ramadan prayers early Monday morning when he collapsed on a street in North London; he was known to have a weak leg.

First aid arrived, and Mr. Ali was receiving medical assistance. He appeared to feel

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Jun 22nd, 2017 11:07 am | By

Max Ehrenfreund at the Post says Republicans have had good success at putting a halt to current progressive policies but not so much at reversing them. I think the 1994 Congress did a fair bit of reversing, but that may be an exception.

Throughout the modern history of Congress, lawmakers have inexorably expanded progressive social policies, and while conservatives have successfully forestalled expansions to the social safety net, they’ve had very little success in reversing them.

Right now, however, Republicans have a chance to buck that trend, as they prepare legislation aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Senate bill released on Thursday, coupled with the House bill passed earlier this year,

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The Senate hates poor people too

Jun 22nd, 2017 10:25 am | By

The Times summarizes the Senate Republicans’ health insurance bill.

Senate Republicans, who have promised a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for seven years, took a major step on Thursday toward that goal, unveiling a bill to cut Medicaid deeply and end the health law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance.

The 142-page bill would create a new system of federal tax credits to help people buy health insurance, while offering states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment.

The Senate bill — once promised as a top-to-bottom revamp of the health bill passed by the House last month — instead

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Trump loves all people

Jun 22nd, 2017 10:10 am | By

In the least surprising news of the century, Trump told the people at his latest “rally” that he doesn’t want poor people working for him.

The US president told a crowd on Wednesday night: “Somebody said why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy? No it’s true. And Wilbur’s [commerce secretary Wilbur Ross] a very rich person in charge of commerce. I said: ‘Because that’s the kind of thinking we want.’”

Of course it is. He wants the kind of thinking that sees rich people as miraculous geniuses who deserve to be infinitely rich because of their massive talent and genius and hard work and genius and ontrapranooryal spirit. He wants the kind of … Read the rest

We don’t hafta if we don’t wanna

Jun 21st, 2017 5:57 pm | By

Remind us how Kushner managed to get a security clearance? And why he still has it?

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee want to see White House records on the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, his security clearance and his access to classified information.

In a letter to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, the oversight panel’s 18 Democrats question why Kushner’s security clearance hasn’t been revoked.

The Democrats say Kushner, one of President Trump’s closest advisers, had meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and the CEO of a Russian state-owned bank. They say he failed to disclose the meetings as he applied for security clearance and allowed administration officials to say he’d had no such meetings.

“It is unclear

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More beryllium for the people

Jun 21st, 2017 2:47 pm | By

I saw Senator Warren warning us about a Trump de-protection move.

The Hill has more:

[The] AFL-CIO, a leading labor group, fears the Trump administration is planning to roll back a hard-fought worker protection finalized under President Obama.

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) completed a review last week of a proposed rule that the Labor Department submitted on the occupational exposure to beryllium.

In January, just days before President Trump was sworn into office, the Obama administration issued a final rule reducing the permissible exposure limits

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Advanced displacement

Jun 21st, 2017 11:29 am | By

There’s this guy at a large Alabama high school who teaches AP (Advanced Placement) Economics and Government/Political Science. He has a summer reading list from which the students are supposed to choose one. Maybe they all have to read the separately listed John Stossel one? Not clear.

2014-2015: Summer Reading

No They Can’t: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed, John Stossel


•1.  SuperFreakonomics, Steven Levitt & Stphen Dubner

2.  Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions, Michael Savage

3. The Political Zoo, Michael Savage

4. The Enemy Within, Michale Savage

5. The Dynamics of Working-Class Politics, Michael Savage

6. Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama’s Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security,  Michael Savage

7. Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative

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Ford’s senior management were selected on their closeness to God

Jun 21st, 2017 10:11 am | By

Nothing like bringing an archbishop in to convince people to shut up about lethal corporate malfeasance.

Ford South Africa has been having a tiny issue over cars that burst into flames. (The Ford Pinto had that problem back in the 70s.) The family of a guy named Reshall Jimmy, who died in a Ford SUV that caught fire, have been battling Ford via social media.

Since his death over 50 Kugas have caught alight across South Africa with the National Consumer Commission placing the company under official investigation.

Police and private forensic investigators maintain that the fire was caused by an electrical fault behind the dashboard on the passenger side of the vehicle. Ford believes the fire started at the

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Felony Facebook posting

Jun 21st, 2017 9:18 am | By

The BBC reports a second arrest in connection with the Finsbury Park terror attack.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of posting an offensive Facebook post about the London Finsbury Park attack.

Police said a 37-year-old, believed to be the son of an owner of the Rhondda Cynon Taff company whose van was used in Monday’s attack, is in custody.

Richard Evans allegedly posted: “It’s a shame they don’t hire out steam rollers or tanks could have done a tidy job then.”


That’s a disgusting thing to say, and it should have been (and probably was) reported to Facebook, and Facebook should have removed it promptly and perhaps suspended the poster. But arrested?

It’s straightforwardly a … Read the rest

Guest post: Reading Whipping Girl 7

Jun 20th, 2017 3:41 pm | By

Guest post by Lady Mondegreen.

There are numerous parallels between the way trans women are depicted in the media and the way that they have been depicted by some feminist theorists. While many feminists—especially younger ones who came of age in the 1980s and 1990s—recognize that trans women can be allies in the fight to eliminate gender stereotypes, other feminists—particularly those who embrace gender essentialism—believe that trans women foster sexism by mimicking patriarchal attitudes about femininity, or that we objectify women by trying to possess female bodies of our own.

Last time, I looked at Julia Serano’s discussion of media depictions of trans people, specifically trans women. Today I’m going to finish up with chapter 2, which is mainly given … Read the rest

Guest post: Let’s hope they’re not zombies

Jun 20th, 2017 11:51 am | By

Originally a comment by A Masked Avenger on The Way Forward.

All this huggy-bear stuff is bullshit.

That said, there’s a point to bear in mind that stands out starkly to me as a former right-wing fundie. My therapist made the cogent observation that the attraction of zombie movies is that zombies represent what jingoists want the enemy to be: relentless, implacable, utterly non-human, incapable of reason, incapable of showing mercy and undeserving of mercy.

When the enemy is literally beyond the reach of reason, literally relentless in their efforts to kill you without mercy or quarter, then there’s only one thing you can do: either you shoot them in the head, or they eat your brains. Separation is … Read the rest

Guest post: Berating us, the “identities”

Jun 20th, 2017 11:39 am | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on The way forward.

Funny how much of this we hear, but few people point out that the women, people of color, and foreign-born citizens that Trump and his supporters hate (with a passion that exceeds anything I’ve ever seen from the other side) might be lost and afraid. That we might need some support. That we might need some sympathy. And that all of these pundits (I read tons of this) saying WE are the problem because of our “identity politics” and determination that we want to be part of the voice in this large, diverse, noisy country is the reason Trump won. I see tons of this on the so-called left, beating … Read the rest

Times when it’s all three

Jun 20th, 2017 11:33 am | By

Terry Gross talked to Roxane Gay yesterday.

GROSS: So when you were in college, you fell in love with theater. I guess earlier than that you fell in love with theater. You went to Yale, in part, because of their theater department. And you worked behind the scenes. Was that a way of being involved with storytelling and with people but also being kind of invisible because you were literally offstage?

GAY: Absolutely. It was a way of being a part of something because I’m not a joiner. I never was. And so I was never really interested in extracurriculars. I did them because that’s what you do to get into a good college. But theater is where I found

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Unidirectional loyalty

Jun 20th, 2017 10:24 am | By

Robert Reich on Trump’s insistence on loyalty at the expense of integrity:

Last Monday, the White House invited reporters in to watch what was billed as a meeting of Trump’s Cabinet. After Trump spoke, he asked each of the Cabinet members around the table to briefly comment.

Their statements were what you might expect from toadies surrounding a two-bit dictator.

“We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda,” said Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. “Greatest privilege of my life, to serve as vice president to a president who’s keeping his word to the American people,” said Vice President Mike Pence.

Reich points out that when he was sworn in as Clinton’s Labor Secretary he pledged … Read the rest

The way forward

Jun 20th, 2017 9:36 am | By

Guy Harrison on Facebook:

Please don’t hate, disown, or ostracize rabid Trump supporters. Yes, it may be necessary to maintain some distance for comfort’s sake. But if you turn your back on them you are no better than the Scientologists and Mormons who shun their friends and relatives for waking up. The most committed Trump supporters are lost and afraid, as we all are to some degree. That’s where their anger and prejudice come from. They aren’t aliens. They aren’t evil. And it’s not helpful to dismiss them as hopelessly crazy and stupid. Yes, they hitched their wagon to an incompetent lunatic of a leader, but they are still part of “us”. We are a bunch of inventive, neurotic

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