All entries by this author

Fastidious

Jan 28th, 2018 10:56 am | By

See update at the end.

They really do think they’re royalty.

Celebrity chef, activist, and Trump agitator José Andrés was reportedly asked to leave a party Saturday night because his presence was making First Daughter Ivanka Trump uncomfortable.

A party at a restaurant, not at someone’s house.

Former Mexican ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo said on Twitter Sunday morning that Andrés was in fact asked to leave because “his presence made Ivanka Trump uncomfortable.”

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Tongue in whose cheek?

Jan 28th, 2018 10:17 am | By

In the latest news causing SurpriseOMeters to break all around the world, Trump shyly confides that he’s not a feminist. My god who could have seen that coming?!

In an interview airing Sunday, Trump unapologetically told British journalist Piers Morgan that he is not a feminist.

Morgan, a former “Celebrity Apprentice” winner, tweeted: “BREAKING NEWS: President Trump has declared he is NOT a feminist.”

Morgan continued: “He tells me: ‘No, I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. I mean, I think that would be, maybe, going too far. I’m for women, I’m for men, I’m for everyone.’ “

He’s such a kidder. He’s for himself. He’s a Donald First guy.

He’s also, of course, stupid and uninformed. Being a feminist … Read the rest



Your sandwich awaits you

Jan 28th, 2018 9:52 am | By

Wanna sammich?

At 16 years old, Australian explorer Jade Hameister is the youngest person to ever complete the polar hat-trick by reaching the North and South Poles and crossing Greenland, but even she has to deal with loudmouth critics who have opined that her place is in the kitchen. In 2016, after the then-14-year-old become the youngest person to ski to the North Pole from outside the last degree of latitude (a distance of about 60 miles), she gave a TEDx talk in Melbourne in which she encouraged young women to embrace an adventurous mindset, and to resist societal pressures that discourage them from their ambitions. Male YouTube commenters took offense to Hameister’s message, as users flooded the page with

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A classic intent case

Jan 27th, 2018 11:46 am | By

Jeffrey Toobin says it’s all about intent. Intent cases are about what’s in people’s heads, what they knew and how that related to what they did. Selling stocks in your company? Fine. Selling stocks in your company when you know it’s tanking and others don’t? Fraud.

The issue of whether President Trump obstructed justice centers on his decision to fire James Comey, the F.B.I. director, last May. This is a classic intent case. The President clearly had the right to fire Comey, but he did not have the right to do so with improper intent. Specifically, the relevant obstruction-of-justice statute holds that any individual who “corruptly . . . influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or

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Corrupt intent

Jan 27th, 2018 11:35 am | By

Painter and Eisen on the whole obstruction thing.

Now there are reports that President Trump ordered the firing of Mr. Mueller last June. This is yet more evidence that the president is determined to block the investigation at all costs. It suggests Mr. Trump has something to hide about himself, his family or another associate. Therefore it goes to an element in any obstruction case, that of “corrupt intent” — whether a person’s actions were motivated by an improper purpose. An effort to fire Mr. Mueller would be particularly incriminating because it replicates the key moment when mere disgruntlement may have soured into illegality: Mr. Trump’s termination of Mr. Comey.

All of this is persuasive, but not conclusive,

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Nothing short of an atrocity

Jan 27th, 2018 10:54 am | By

God hates people, it seems.

The Taliban drove an ambulance packed with explosives into a crowded Kabul street on Saturday, setting off an enormous blast that killed at least 95 people and injured 158 others, adding to the grim toll of what has been one of the most violent stretches of the long war, Afghan officials said.

The attack came days after a 15-hour siege by the militants at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul that left 22 dead, including 14 foreigners.

Killed for what? A fascist theocracy.

The large casualty toll was another reminder of how badly Afghanistan is bleeding. Over the past year, about 10,000 of the country’s security forces have been killed and more than 16,000 others

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Putting out the hits

Jan 26th, 2018 5:07 pm | By

Foreign Policy reports that last June Trump’s lawyer told him that Comey had talked to other senior FBI officials about Trump’s attempts to pressure Comey, and that Trump has as a result made a concerted effort to discredit them.

President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific employees were likely to be witnesses against him as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two people directly familiar with the matter.

Not long after Comey’s Senate testimony, Trump hired John Dowd, a veteran criminal defense attorney, to represent him in matters related to Mueller’s investigation. Dowd warned Trump that the potential

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Press reports have danced to the Islamists’ tune

Jan 26th, 2018 4:25 pm | By

Chris Sloggett at the National Secular Society on the stupid attacks on Sara Khan.

Today the BBC’s headline about her appointment is: ‘Controversy over new counter-extremism tsar Sara Khan’.

Many of those who claim to speak for Muslims do not like Khan because she promotes a positive message. She encourages a degree of integration into British society. She says Muslims should obey the same laws as everyone else and cooperate with the British state. She has called for honesty among Muslims about hateful ideologies and intolerant practices which are specific to, or particularly prominent among, those who share their religion.

Her organisation Inspire encourages girls and women from Muslim backgrounds to be aspirational. It has done important work countering

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Extreme liberal

Jan 26th, 2018 3:23 pm | By

Here we go again – the UK government appoints a liberal feminist Muslim woman to head a counter-extremism campaign and news media on the right and left rush to say oh noes she’s a liberal, that will never do. The Guardian for instance:

The government has been criticised for appointing a divisive counter-extremism campaigner to lead a fresh campaign to stamp out radicalism in Muslim communities.

Sara Khan will lead the new Commission for Countering Extremism, the home secretary, Amber Rudd, announced, adding that Khan was “expertly qualified”.

The move was welcomed by some, including the former terror watchdog David Anderson QC.

However, the appointment of Khan, who is seen as being supportive of the government’s controversial Prevent programme

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How do we build Omelas, minus the tortured child?

Jan 26th, 2018 12:19 pm | By

Margaret Atwood on Ursula Le Guin:

A wealthy city sustained by the mistreated — this is what the ones who are walking away from Omelas are walking away from. My question was therefore: Where in the world could we find a society in which the happiness of some does not depend on the misery of others? How do we build Omelas, minus the tortured child?

Neither Ursula K. Le Guin nor I knew, but it was a question that Le Guin spent her lifetime trying to answer, and the worlds she so skillfully created in the attempt are many, varied and entrancing. As an anarchist, she would have wanted a self-governing society, with gender and racial equality. She would

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From the magic box

Jan 26th, 2018 11:41 am | By

Richard Wolffe at the Graun points out another cognitive deficit that hinders Trump.

Donald Trump has a problem with reality. To be specific, he has a problem distinguishing reality television from reality. With each passing news cycle, it’s alarmingly clear that he believes in his own character from the fantasy show known as The Apprentice.

Now, most viewers above the age of four have already figured out there’s a certain artifice to the world of TV. There’s the dramatic music and the heavy editing, the make-up and the lights, and of course the word “show”, which gives away the whole game.

But our commander-in-chief sees something else when he stares into the screen during his many daily hours of 

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He knows nothing

Jan 26th, 2018 11:13 am | By

Yasmeen Serhan at the Atlantic has more details:

Morgan tweeted triumphantly late Thursday night that “President Trump has publicly apologized for retweeting far-right group Britain First.” But when the preview came out Friday morning, it wasn’t quite that. The four-minute clip showed Morgan pressing Trump on his controversial retweets of the far-right ultranationalist British political group “Britain First” in November—a move that prompted outrage in the U.K., and a rare rebuke from Trump’s British counterpart, Prime Minister Theresa May. But Trump’s response was more deflection than admission.

Morgan: You retweeted an organization called Britain First, one of the leaders, three times.

Trump: Well, three times. Boom, boom, boom. Quickly. Yeah.

Morgan: But this caused huge, huge

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He would apologize, if only he could find the time

Jan 26th, 2018 10:47 am | By

Question of the hour: can Trump apologize? Answer: no. If he tried his head would snap off his neck and roll away.

The ineffable Piers Morgan asked him to in a cozy little chat they had.

In an interview with the “Good Morning Britain” television program, Trump was pressed by Piers Morgan, the presenter, about his November retweet of three videos by a far-right fringe party called Britain First. The retweets caused outrage in Britain and brought a rebuke from Prime Minister Theresa May, who described the president’s posts as “wrong.”

Trump said repeatedly Friday that he knew “nothing” about the group’s politics. He said the tweets showed his concern over the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.

His exact … Read the rest



Test flight

Jan 25th, 2018 6:24 pm | By

Trump did intend to fire Mueller. He tried to, but his lawyer said he would walk, so the tiny mind was changed.

President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.

The West Wing confrontation marks the first time Mr. Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel. Mr. Mueller learned about the episode in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.

Funny how Trump … Read the rest



Can we interest you in a toilet?

Jan 25th, 2018 6:02 pm | By

A fine fine story from the Washington Post:

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: The museum could not accommodate a request to borrow a painting by Vincent van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters.

Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the 1888 van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles, France, with his dog.

The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.

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The president had strong views on all of them

Jan 25th, 2018 2:20 pm | By

Speaking of Don and Terry…Bloomberg revisits their first meeting a year ago.

Over a meal of blue cheese salad and beef ribs in the White House banqueting room, Trump held forth on a wide range of topics. “The president had strong views on all of them,” recalls Chris Wilkins, then May’s strategy director, who was among the aides around the table. “He said Brexit’s going to be the making of us. It’s going to be a brilliant thing.”

Oh god oh god can’t you just see it? We’ve all been stuck next to that guy – the one who Holds Forth on a Wide Range of Topics that he knows nothing about. The pompous bore who thinks he has … Read the rest



Angus Deaton on absolute poverty

Jan 25th, 2018 1:45 pm | By

Speaking of poverty and inequality in the US and how that (along with other faults) makes us not a shining city on a hill – the US has a deep poverty problem.

According to the World Bank, 769 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2013; they are the world’s very poorest. Of these, 3.2 million live in the United States, and 3.3 million in other high-income countries (most in Italy, Japan and Spain).

But if you factor in needs, it’s even worse than that.

An Indian villager spends little or nothing on housing, heat or child care, and a poor agricultural laborer in the tropics can get by with little clothing or transportation. Even in

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“She likes me, she really likes me”

Jan 25th, 2018 1:22 pm | By

Trump in Davos is trying to convince us all that he and Theresa May are best friends, best best best best dear close intimate best friends. May is simply saying the UK and the US remain allies.

His elegance and cogency were as usual striking.

“We’re on the same wavelength, I think, in every respect,” Mr. Trump said. “And the prime minister and myself have had a really great relationship, although some people don’t necessary believe that, but I can tell you it’s true.” He expressed respect for Mrs. May, and said he thought “the feeling is mutual from the standpoint of liking each other a lot,” adding that the two were “very much joined at the hip” on military

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Shrieking banshees with snake-filled heads

Jan 25th, 2018 11:11 am | By

Missouri dude runs for nomination to Senate on Eww Feminism ticket.

Republican Courtland Sykes posted a statement to Facebook in response to questions about his stance on women’s rights. In the post, he said his wife had “ordered” him to respect women’s rights, but she knows that “I want to come home to a home-cooked dinner at six every night – one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives”.

The candidate expanded on what he expected of his daughters, saying he didn’t want them to grow up into “career obsessed banshees who forego home life and children and the happiness of family

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Not exactly

Jan 25th, 2018 10:21 am | By

Comey:

Russia threat should unite us, not divide us: “It’s not about Republicans or Democrats. They’re coming after America, which I hope we all love equally… And they will be back, because we remain…that shining city on the hill, and they don’t like it.” Me (Senate Intel 6/8/17)

Well, we don’t, really. One, we never were, because slavery and genocide just for a start, and … Read the rest