All entries by this author

Unable to rise to the occasion

Oct 24th, 2017 11:40 am | By

If Corker thinks all this, is he talking impeachment? If not, why not?

If they all think this, or if most of them think this, are they talking impeachment? If not, why not?

Sen. Bob Corker said a lot of things about President Trumpon Tuesday morning. The Tennessee Republican warned that Trump’s itchy Twitter finger could set off another world war. He suggested Trump is a liar. He said Trump’s legacy will be “debasing” America. He said Trump is not a role model for children. He declined to say whether Trump should be trusted with the nuclear codes. He said Trump’s conduct is “very sad for our nation.” He said Trump has “proven himself unable to rise to the

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The chief doesn’t just get up and run his mouth

Oct 24th, 2017 11:22 am | By

John McWhorter is hilarious.

Brian Williams: He’s quick to remind us that he went to the best schools.

John McWhorter: Umhm and he learned nothing in them.

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Who is the real lightweight?

Oct 24th, 2017 9:54 am | By

I guess Trump was feeling bored this morning? I don’t know why else he would decide to pick another fight with a Republican senator in full public view.

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A substantial process

Oct 24th, 2017 9:07 am | By

The check was in the mail! It was in the mail, I tell you! Ok it was in the mail after the story broke in the Post, but all the same it was in the mail.

The family of a slain US soldier has received their $25,000 personal check from President Donald Trump months after receiving a condolence call from Trump and being offered the money, according to an ABC11 reporteron Monday.

letter signed by Trump was also sent with condolences to Chris Baldridge, the father of Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, who was one of three US soldiers killed in Afghanistan when an Afghan police officer fired on them. The Taliban have since claimed responsibility.


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Oct 24th, 2017 8:06 am | By

Cooper, photographed by James Garnett.

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It has to stop

Oct 23rd, 2017 4:29 pm | By

Megyn Kelly sent up a rocket on the subject of sexual harassment at Fox this morning. The Post did a transcript.

On Saturday, the Times revealed yet another settlement, paid to dispose of a sexual harassment case against O’Reilly. Not a huge shock there, we already knew of five, thanks to a Times report in April. But this latest one was for $32 million. Reportedly paid directly by O’Reilly to Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl, right before Fox News renewed his contract.

Thirty-two million dollars. That is not a nuisance value settlement, that is a jaw-dropping figure. O.J. Simpson was ordered to pay the Goldman and Brown families $33.5 million for the murders of Ron and Nicole.

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Trump almost immediately replied

Oct 23rd, 2017 11:33 am | By

You know, if Trump actually intended his phone call to Myeshia Johnson to be consoling, as opposed to intending it as the performance of an irksome duty, then he would not now be brawling with her. He just wouldn’t. The intention to console or attempt to console or send a heartfelt message of intending to console would make subsequent brawling simply out of the question. Her grief would blot out his ego concerns, and that would be that.

So from his behavior now we can conclude that he never meant any genuine sympathy or kindness by the call, and that he was simply ticking off another presidential task that he doesn’t relish.

Chris Cillizza makes a similar point.

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Bespoke platitudes for the middlebrow

Oct 23rd, 2017 10:56 am | By

I’m reading Jon Ronson’s Shaming book so I’m reminded of Jonah Lehrer. Steven Poole wrote about his return last year.

The most vilified writer of modern times is back, and people are lining up to give him another kicking. Jonah Lehrer’s 2012 book Imagine: How Creativity Works was pulled from shelves after it was demonstrated to contain fabricated quotes purportedly from Bob Dylan and WH Auden. He subsequently admitted to plagiarising the work of others in his blogposts, while critics noted apparent plagiarism and disregard for facts throughout his published work. The pop-neuroscience whiz-kid had, it appeared, simply stolen or made a lot of it up.

Well, we are living in an era of post-truth politics, so why not

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Empty barrel yourself

Oct 23rd, 2017 10:27 am | By

It’s bizarre that Kelly refuses to apologize.

Newsweek reports:

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is demanding an apology for Florida Representative Frederica Wilson after “reprehensible” and “blatant lies” were spewed about her from the White House podium.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly falsely told reporters on October 19 that Wilson took credit for securing funding for an FBI facility, calling her an “empty barrel”—and did not retract his comments after a video from the building dedication revealed that Wilson did not do what Kelly said she did.

Kelly seems to have a very high opinion of his own honor, so wouldn’t you think he would see it as dishonorable to tell several lies about someone, have the … Read the rest

But if Harvey, why not Donald?

Oct 23rd, 2017 9:43 am | By

It ruined Harvey Weinstein (for the moment at least) but it hasn’t ruined Trump. Why is that?

As the aftershocks from Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct spread to other powerful men in Hollywood and media, a group of women for whom the allegations are “gross but familiar” are wondering if the fallout will reach an even more powerful man – the one in the White House.

During the course of his presidential campaign, more than 10 women came forward with accusations that Donald Trump had touched or kissed them without consent – something he bragged about on the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape when he said stars like him could “grab them by the pussy”.

A number of other

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Making women unmentionable

Oct 22nd, 2017 12:12 pm | By

Also in the Times – Andrew Gilligan:

The government has said the term “pregnant woman” should not be used in a UN treaty because it “excludes” transgender people.

Feminists reacted with outrage to what they said was the latest example of “making women unmentionable” in the name of transgender equality.

The statement comes in Britain’s official submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the UK has been a signatory since 1976. The UN treaty says a “pregnant woman” must be protected, including not being subject to the death penalty.

Yet in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office submission, Britain opposes the term “pregnant woman” because it may “exclude transgender people who have

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You can “know” and yet not know

Oct 22nd, 2017 11:26 am | By

Janice Turner in the Times considers knowing and not knowing. Albert Speer claimed not to know about the fate of all those evacuated Jews, but eventually he admitted “sensing” it.

[Gitta] Sereny replies: “You say you sensed something. But you cannot ‘sense’ in a void; ‘sensing’ is an inner realisation of knowledge. Basically if you ‘sensed’ then you knew.” Speer shakes his head and thanks God that Gitta was not prosecuting him at Nuremberg.

The same applies to that much-abused word “intuition.” Intuition is based on what we know, but in such a way that the specific sources aren’t clear to us. “Educated guess” is a much better way of saying it. Sereny is so right that you can’t “sense” … Read the rest

Respect for the office

Oct 22nd, 2017 10:21 am | By

Three times now.

The president of the United States.… Read the rest

A simmering resentment of civilians

Oct 22nd, 2017 10:16 am | By

People who research military-civilian relations were not universally thrilled by Kelly’s talk the other day.

Kelly’s defense of Trump — beginning with a vivid description of how dead troops make their way home — turned into a lecture on how Americans do not understand the military community’s sacrifice. And it alarmed some of those who study relations between the military and society.

Former senior officials such as retired Gen. David Petraeus and retired Adm. Mike Mullen have argued that divisions between troops and civilians can exacerbate misconceptions about post-traumatic stress and make obtaining civilian employment difficult for veterans. And they have championed efforts to bridge the gaps in understanding.

Kelly’s remarks work against those efforts, said Kori Schake, a

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Never mind

Oct 22nd, 2017 8:35 am | By

The WHO has changed its mind about Mugabe.

The World Health Organization has revoked the appointment of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador following a widespread outcry.

“I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns,” WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

He had previously praised Zimbabwe for its commitment to public health.

But critics pointed out that Zimbabwe’s healthcare system had collapsed under Mr Mugabe’s 30-year rule.

To say nothing of his dire human rights record.

The about-face will raise questions over the leadership of the WHO’s new director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The decision to honour Mr Mugabe is likely to have been taken several weeks ago, and at no

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They’re holding her hostage

Oct 21st, 2017 5:40 pm | By

Michelle Goldberg has more on the government’s effort to force a teenager to have a baby she doesn’t want to have.

In early September, a 17-year-old girl from Central America was apprehended trying cross the border between the United States and Mexico. After being taken to a shelter for unaccompanied minors in South Texas to await immigration proceedings, she learned she was pregnant. The girl, referred to as Jane Doe in court filings, was adamant that she wanted an abortion. Because of Texas’ parental consent law, she needed to go to court to get a judge’s permission, which she did with help from Jane’s Due Process, a nonprofit legal organization that provides representation to pregnant minors in Texas. Jane’s Due

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Only men have rights

Oct 21st, 2017 4:57 pm | By

Meanwhile Trump is getting his jollies by forcing women to have babies they don’t want to have.

Jane Doe is a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant detained in Texas who is 15 weeks pregnant and is seeking an abortion. The Constitution grants her that right, but the Trump administration is determined to subvert it as part of its war on women’s reproductive rights.

Late Friday, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled that the teenager must be allowed to have an abortion, but it gave the federal government until Oct. 31 to find her a sponsor so that the government itself does not have to arrange for the procedure.

She’s in Texas. Texas has passed a law outlawing abortion after 20 … Read the rest

Another one

Oct 21st, 2017 12:48 pm | By

Tariq Ramadan is accused of rape.

A rape and sexual assault complaint was filed on Friday in France against Swiss Islamist and Professor Tariq Ramadan by former Salafist Henda Ayari.

The complaint filed with the Rouen prosecutor’s office in northwestern France, by the Salafist turned secular activist, detailed criminal acts of rape, sexual assault, violence, harassment and intimidation, according to document reviewed by AFP.

The Liberators Association, which Henda Ayari is president of, said on Facebook that she was “a victim of something very serious several years ago” but did not reveal the name of her aggressor for safety reasons.

In her book “I Chose to be Free”, published in November 2016, she described her aggressor as Zubair.


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What military discipline in the White House sounds like

Oct 21st, 2017 12:12 pm | By

We worried from the start about Trump’s penchant for hiring military people for his top jobs. We were wary about the excitement when Kelly took over as chief of staff…but we were also so sick of Trump’s rages and tantrums and explosions that we perhaps hoped it was worth the risk.

It wasn’t. Masha Gessen does a great job of saying why. She argues that Kelly’s press briefing was like a preview of what a military coup here would look like.

First Kelly argued that people who criticize Trump don’t know what they’re talking about because they haven’t served in the military.

Fallen soldiers, Kelly said, join “the best one per cent this country produces.” Here, the chief of

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Speaking of character

Oct 21st, 2017 11:32 am | By

Bottom line: Kelly should have apologized to Representative Frederika Wilson the minute the video surfaced. He should have admitted that he badly misrepresented what she said and did at that FBI event, and did it in a damaging harmful way. He claimed she did bad, shocking things that she didn’t do, and he claimed that he and many others there were stunned, stunned by those things – those things that she didn’t do. He’s the White House chief of staff, he said those things about a Congressional representative (and by the way a black woman, and his boss has quite a record of publicly trashing black women), he said those things that are harmful to her reputation, and they were … Read the rest