All entries by this author

The one guy who knows everything

Aug 24th, 2018 4:13 pm | By

Adam Davidson at the New Yorker explains why immunity for Weisselberg is such a big deal.

In late 2016, I had lunch with a former high-ranking Trump Organization executive, a person who said he was happy to share dirt on his old boss, but who confessed to not having much dirt to share. This executive wrote a list of people whom I might contact to find out about anything potentially illegal or unethical that Donald Trump may have done. At the bottom of the list was the name Weisselberg. “Allen is the one guy who knows everything,” the person told me. “He’ll never talk to you.” I have had nearly identical conversations with different people who work or have

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Violating the omerta

Aug 24th, 2018 11:10 am | By

The mob boss thing has not gone unnoticed. Jonathan Chait’s piece on it in New York magazine for instance, subtly titled “Trump Wants to Ban Flipping Because He Is Almost Literally a Mob Boss”:

The way a roll-up of the Gambino family, or any other crime organization, would work is that the FBI would first find evidence of crimes against lower-level figures, and then threaten them with lengthy prison sentences unless they provide evidence against higher-ranking figures in the organization. The roll-up moves from bottom to top. It would be extremely difficult to prosecute any organized crime if it were not possible to trade lenient sentences in return for cooperation.

In an interview with Fox News, President Trump offers his

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“Enquirer” is not quite the right word

Aug 24th, 2018 10:43 am | By

One reason Trump won.

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After a week of ferocious pushback

Aug 24th, 2018 10:19 am | By

However. Randolph County, Georgia, is not after all going to close 7 of its 9 polling places.

After a week of ferocious pushback — including two packed town-hall meetings in which residents berated local elections officials, as well as warning letters, threats of lawsuits by civil rights groups and national media coverage — county officials fired the consultant who came up with the plan.

Then on Friday morning, the Randolph County Board of Elections voted down the proposal to close seven of its nine polling locations, saying no changes would be made. The meeting of the two-member board lasted no more than five minutes.

“In the United States, the right to vote is sacred,” the board said in a

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Aug 24th, 2018 10:04 am | By

Things are speeding up.

Allen Weisselberg, longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has been granted immunity by federal prosecutors as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump‘s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, NBC News reported Friday, citing multiple people with knowledge of the matter.

Cohen admitted on Tuesday that he had facilitated unlawful payments to two women at Trump’s direction in order to keep unfavorable information about the president, who at the time was still a candidate, from becoming public. In a legal document related to the case, Weisselberg, who is referred to as “Executive-1,” is accused of instructing a Trump Organization employee to reimburse Cohen for one of the payments.

So that should … Read the rest

Guest post: Misrepresenting what is already an alarming situation doesn’t help

Aug 24th, 2018 9:17 am | By

Originally a comment by Bruce Gorton on The news has been all over South African media for months.

The thing with the farm attacks is that they are not particularly out of line with the general level of criminality within South Africa. The murder rate is very high no matter who you are, so it is actually more to do with the gross incompetence of our government than anything intentional.

It isn’t a matter of black people rising up against a past oppressor, it is a matter of criminals targeting the places where there is stuff to steal. The same level of brutality is unfortunately present within crime that hits informal settlements, business and suchlike.

With regards to the … Read the rest

Blowing past Charlottesville

Aug 23rd, 2018 6:10 pm | By

Stewart at Gnu Atheism:

If you haven’t been lurking in far-right groups in recent years, this may not have jumped out at you, but this Trump tweet is, in its signalling to the most extreme racist elements in society, a quantum leap more serious than just saying “on many sides” and “some very fine people” after Charlottesville. It is a dog-whistle of far more piercing intensity than anything we have yet heard from him.

That full Read the rest


Aug 23rd, 2018 5:15 pm | By

TIME’s new cover:

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The victims of the priests should watch out

Aug 23rd, 2018 5:11 pm | By

Lifesite News reports there’s a new Cardinal in Mexico who blames the victims of Catholic priests for what the Catholic priests did.

Reacting to the recent avalanche of reports of clerical sexual abuse around the world, a newly minted Mexican Cardinal has suggested that victims who accuse priests should be “ashamed” because they too have skeletons in their own closets.

Those who “accuse men of the Church should [be careful] because they have long tails that are easily stepped on,” said Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera according to a report in Crux.

Sounds like a threat.

“I’m here happy to talk about nice things, not about problematic things, it’s an accusation that is made, and in some cases it’s true,”

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Aug 23rd, 2018 12:59 pm | By

Oh god look at this cheap crook in action. Seeing it written down is bad enough but watching him saying it with his filthy lips is orders of magnitude more disgusting. This sleazy little hoodlum is the president of the US.

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Born in the wrong body

Aug 23rd, 2018 12:07 pm | By

Tanith Lloyd posted a letter to a friend who thinks trans women are women a couple of days ago.

I recently sent you an article by a lesbian who has been documenting homophobia within trans activism. You, my otherwise compassionate, patient and warm friend, replied with “sorry, not interested”. You told me that you didn’t want to read an article which referred to transwomen as ‘male’. You said that transwomen suffer from an “accident at birth” — transwomen are women born in the wrong body.

Seeing my principled friend (with a first-class undergraduate and a masters degree) actively adopt such a bizarre, anti-materialist and anti-scientific position really worries me. How can ‘you’ be ‘born into’ a body? You are a

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The mafia had “omerta,” and Trump has the NDA

Aug 23rd, 2018 11:41 am | By

More on Trump as mob boss:

Today, the president is testing the limits of his supporters’ moral flexibility yet again. Simply put, he has never sounded more like a mafioso than he did in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, reacting to a question about why Michael Cohen had turned on him:

Because he makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else. And one of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial, you know they make up stories, people make up stories. This whole thing about “flipping,” they call it. I know all about flipping, for 30, 40 years I’ve been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful, and

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Language more familiar to a police procedural

Aug 23rd, 2018 10:36 am | By

Trump’s mobster mentality is drawing attention.

President Trump on Wednesday praised his just-convicted former campaign chairman for refusing to “break” and cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, expressing appreciation for the personal loyalty of a felon found guilty of defrauding the United States government.

In a series of tweets the morning after an extraordinary day in which Paul Manafort, his former campaign chief, was convicted of tax and bank fraudand his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations he said were directed by Mr. Trump, the president appeared to suggest he was more concerned with the fallout for himself than with the crimes.

He compared Mr. Cohen unfavorably with

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The news has been all over South African media for months

Aug 23rd, 2018 10:14 am | By

Trump last night:

Bruce Gorton emailed me about it this morning and I requested and got permission to share what he wrote.

The point on farm deaths, according to AgriSA farm murders are at a 19 year low.

Even before that claims of “white genocide” have been considered largely the ramblings of a lunatic fringe within South Africa, considering how high the murder rate is generally.

Anyway it looks like it is in
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Let’s increase greenhouse gas emissions

Aug 23rd, 2018 9:30 am | By

Amid everything else we mustn’t lose sight of Trump’s dedicated work to make climate change worse faster.

Amid heat waves, wildfires, droughts and Arctic ice melt, President Trump has taken aim at the two central pillars of his predecessor’s ambitious efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. After proposing in early August to freeze a scheduled increase in fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, the Trump administration on Tuesday said it would seek to significantly weaken the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Because climate change is already so pleasant and healthy and salubrious, he’s working to intensify it and speed it up. Thanks, Don.

In taking on the Clean

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Aug 22nd, 2018 4:07 pm | By

I’ve been seeing tweets about this since Sunday but couldn’t find any reliable sources reporting it, until now:

The story:

Reports suggest that the women’s rights defender Israa al-Ghomgham and four other activists face execution. They’re currently on trial in front of a terrorism tribunal on charges including “taking part in protests”.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful young Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has enacted some high profile social and economic reforms in recent years. But

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Sewer rats

Aug 22nd, 2018 3:49 pm | By

This is monstrous even for them.

Vox comments:

This isn’t just an off-the-cuff Trump tweet; it’s from the official White House account and features official-looking video. It’s deliberate political messaging, meant to turn a case that had attracted nationwide attention for weeks into an opportunity to reiterate Trump’s very favorite rhetorical theme: that many immigrants, specifically unauthorized immigrants, are criminals who want to kill you.

The man arrested for Tibbetts’s

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No you’re ridiculous

Aug 22nd, 2018 2:48 pm | By

This is how shameless they are. The clip of Trump on AF1 saying to reporters he knew nothing about the payments to Stormy Daniels and they should ask Michael Cohen – that clip is available for anyone to see. The clip of Trump telling Fox News today that he made the payments himself is also available for anyone to see. That means he lied.

But here is Sarah Sanders, who calls herself “Christian” on her personal Twitter, lying to our faces. (It’s not that I think Christian is incompatible with lying, it’s that people like Sanders do and that’s why they call themselves that.)

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One strike and you’re out

Aug 22nd, 2018 12:54 pm | By

Another one of these Shut Up, Bitch items:

The news outlet Stuff reported on August 19 that “A company has pulled posters commemorating women’s suffrage after pressure from LBTGI youth groups who say the feminist blogger behind the poster campaign holds transgender exclusionary beliefs.” The feminist artist and writer concerned is Renée Gerlich.

The feminist blogger “holds beliefs” that some trans activists don’t like and therefore she must be entirely silenced in every medium and venue.

A non-political small business was engaged by Gerlich to put up some posters she had produced. In New Zealand cities, a large proportion of public and private billboard space available for publicity posters is owned or used by this company, called Phantom Billstickers. According

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Fresh fruit

Aug 22nd, 2018 12:27 pm | By

Stewart at Gnu Atheism:

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