All entries by this author

A very friendly conversation

Apr 30th, 2017 9:38 am | By

Trump continues his program of outreach to murderous autocrats by inviting Duterte to the White House.

The two leaders had “a very friendly conversation” in which they talked about the North Korea threat, according to the White House’s readout of the call. The two men, who have drawn comparisons for their tough rhetoric, also discussed the Philippine government’s fight against drugs.

What remained unmentioned, however, are the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users as part of the government’s drug war. Thousands have been killed by police and vigilantes since Duterte took office and vowed to eradicate his country’s massive drug problem. The rising death toll has drawn criticisms from international human rights groups, at least one of … Read the rest


Apr 30th, 2017 9:10 am | By

A young Canadian artist was about to have an exhibition of her paintings at a gallery in Toronto.

Visions Gallery had planned to showcase the work of Amanda PL, 29, a local non-Indigenous artist who says she was inspired by the Woodlands style made famous by the Anishinabe artist Norval Morrisseau beginning in the ’60s, with a focus on nature, animals and Indigenous spirituality.

But within hours of the gallery’s email announcement promoting the exhibit, there was a backlash, with people alleging that PL had appropriated Indigenous culture and art.

So the gallery canceled the exhibit.

Chippewa artist Jay Soule was among those leading the charge. He argues PL blatantly copied Morrisseau with virtually no regard for the storytelling behind

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It’s all about reversing the progress made

Apr 29th, 2017 5:20 pm | By

Make America great again: make sure our precious children have access to all the sugar and fat they want. That’ll show that uppity Michelle Obama for trying to make school food healthy.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 centered on cleaning up school food. Getting the act passed became a key focus of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to fight childhood obesity.

Now, the new USDA Chief, Sonny Perdue, is expected to put forward a new rule on Monday that will give schools “more flexibility in meeting federal nutrition standards for school lunches,” according to a new report in The Hill.

The law required the federal government to use recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to make

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Donnie whips them up again

Apr 29th, 2017 4:35 pm | By

A glimpse of hell.

Ah the dignity and strength of the furious pout with folded arms.

Yay the Nazi salute.

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Apr 29th, 2017 4:00 pm | By

Via Helen Dale on Twitter:

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Maybe discuss it with women first?

Apr 29th, 2017 3:49 pm | By

News from Jordan:

A law which protected Jordan’s rapists from punishment if they married their victims looks set to be scrapped.

The Jordanian cabinet revoked Article 308 on Sunday, after years of campaigning by women’s activists, as well as Muslim and Christian scholars and others.

The law had meant rapists could avoid a jail term in return for marrying their victim for at least three years.

Its supporters said the law protected a victim’s honour and reputation.

The victim’s “honour and reputation” shouldn’t be at issue anyway. It’s ridiculous. Imagine thinking someone whose wallet is stolen suffers damage to her honour and reputation.

And the rapist, blindingly obviously, should not escape punishment by further victimizing the victim. Imagine a … Read the rest

Guest post: Most people working today don’t remember how it used to be

Apr 29th, 2017 3:28 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Eliminate the safety regulations.

I wonder how the “let’s get rid of safety regulations” policy is going to go over with Trump’s presumed blue-collar, working man base

Most of the blue-collar workers that surround me are ecstatic about the idea. They have bought into the idea that these regulations are unnecessary, are telling them how to do their job, are keeping them from making better money…in short, they voted for Trump because of this sort of thing, not in spite of it. At a recent meeting of a group that benefits highly from OSHA regulations, they were all discussing how eager they were for OSHA regulations to go away.

I think the problem … Read the rest

The international project of flattering Ivanka Trump

Apr 29th, 2017 12:22 pm | By

Amy Davidson in the New Yorker looks at the abject process of paying homage to Princess Ivanka.

The international project of flattering Ivanka Trump—which some of the world’s most notable women, from Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, to Queen Máxima, of the Netherlands, engaged in at a panel discussion during the W20 conference, in Berlin, this week—does not always run smoothly. There was, first, the achingly obvious oddity of deciding that Trump, whose experience on the public stage largely consists of marketing her clothing and jewelry lines, and her efforts to get her father, Donald Trump, elected, was qualified to sit between Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and Chrystia Freeland, the Foreign Minister of

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A certain authenticity and willingness to engage

Apr 29th, 2017 11:58 am | By

The Times has a piece on ways Donnie has changed the presidency. This one made me laugh.

…he has cast off conventions that constrained others in his office. He has retained his business interests, which he implicitly cultivates with regular visits to his properties. He has been both more and less transparent than other presidents, shielding his tax returns and White House visitor logs from public scrutiny while appearing to leave few thoughts unexpressed, no matter how incendiary or inaccurate.

Ha! Doin’ it wrong, Donnie. You’re supposed to reveal the stuff relevant to the job and hide the inappropriate thoughts that lurk in the pestilent swamp of your mind.

Although Mr. Trump assumed that his experience in business and

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Among the likely winners

Apr 29th, 2017 11:37 am | By

Guess who would benefit from Trump’s (sketched) tax plan?

Oh darn you must have peeked. That’s right: it’s the man himself.

Among the likely winners in President Donald Trump’s tax-cut plan would be a real estate developer turned reality TV star who now happens to occupy the White House.

The one-page proposal released Wednesday seems sure to benefit the president’s businesses. It would eliminate the estate tax, repeal the alternative minimum tax that affects some affluent people, deeply slash corporate rates and reduce investment taxes — all of which could in theory benefit a billionaire real estate magnate like Trump.

It’s a sensitive subject for a White House that is telling Americans its proposed cuts to individual and corporate

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The worst 100

Apr 28th, 2017 4:03 pm | By

So about those “hundred days”…

David Leonhardt gives Donnie low marks.

No doubt, you’ve seen a torrent of coverage in recent days of the milestone. And while it’s certainly an arbitrary milestone, it’s also a meaningful one. Presidents are at their most influential in their early months, which makes that period a particularly important one for a presidency.

In other words the hundred days is an arbitrary number, but the first few months of a presidency, is not. Trump’s hundred, Leonhardt says gently, is the worst ever.

Trump has made no significant progress on any major legislation. His health care bill is a zombie. His border wall is stalled. He’s only now releasing basic principles of a tax

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Apr 28th, 2017 11:55 am | By

Trump has been giving a talk at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting. In that talk – on camera, with reporters present – he called Senator Warren “Pocahontas” again.

I am so sick of this trashy, vulgar, nasty, schoolyard-bully man.

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Eliminate the safety regulations

Apr 28th, 2017 11:06 am | By

I guess Trump thinks the Gulf oil spill was a nice jobs-creator, or something. He wants to encourage that kind of thing.

Just past the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Trump on Friday directed the Interior Department to “reconsider” several safety regulations on offshore drilling implemented after one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history.

Friday’s executive order was aimed at rolling back the Obama administration’s attempts to ban oil drilling off the southeastern Atlantic and Alaskan coasts. It would erase or narrow the boundaries of some federally-protected marine sanctuaries, opening them up to commercial fishing and oil drilling.

Because marine life, meh, who needs it, whereas oil – now there’s a … Read the rest

They won’t let him drive

Apr 28th, 2017 7:27 am | By

Reuters talked to Donnie and found out that he wants his old life back. We want that for you, Donnie! Do feel free to resign.

He misses driving, feels as if he is in a cocoon, and is surprised how hard his new job is.

President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters in an interview. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

He thought it would be easier. He thought it would be easier. Oh my god.

More than five

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Out the other side in excellent shape

Apr 27th, 2017 6:04 pm | By

Elsewhere today – Cassini took a deep breath and dove through the rings of Saturn.

In the wee hours of this morning, NASA established that Cassini had survived. Now the little craft has begun sending back a stream of images that are the closest look at Saturn’s atmosphere yet.

Cassini was launched in 1997 on a mission to explore Saturn and it’s various moons. Over the years, it’s sent back a massive amount of data, including the recent discovery that potentially microbe-friendly hydrogen is spouting from the icy moon Enceladus. But Cassini has come to the end of its fuel and is now beginning its grand finale mission in which it will dive between Saturn and its rings once

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He totally meant her voice

Apr 27th, 2017 5:17 pm | By

Poor Fox. They just can’t get it right.

Jesse Watters, the Fox News host who took heat this week for making a joke about Ivanka Trump that was criticized as lewd, said on Wednesday that he would be taking a family vacation until Monday. The move came just three days after his show began airing in a new high-profile time slot.

Mr. Watters, who denied that his comment about President Trump’s daughter was sexual, announced his upcoming absence near the end of Wednesday night’s edition of “The Five.” He will miss two days of the show’s first week in prime time after it took over the 9 p.m. slot from “The O’Reilly Factor,” and he will miss his “Watters’

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Managing him

Apr 27th, 2017 1:02 pm | By

Another piece on how Trump’s people have to manage him as if he were a volatile heavily-armed toddler.

As Trump is beginning to better understand the challenges—and the limits—of the presidency, his aides are understanding better how to manage perhaps the most improvisational and free-wheeling president in history. “If you’re an adviser to him, your job is to help him at the margins,” said one Trump confidante. “To talk him out of doing crazy things.”

Interviews with White House officials, friends of Trump, veterans of his campaign and lawmakers paint a picture of a White House that has been slow to adapt to the demands of the most powerful office on earth.

“Everyone is concerned that things are not running

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Beep beep

Apr 27th, 2017 12:07 pm | By

Trump is pining to break up the Ninth Circuit.

President Donald Trump is threatening to break up the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which blocked his executive order banning travel from several nations with large Muslim populations and restricted the acceptance of refugees.

Asked by the Washington Examiner if he had considered proposals to split the court, Trump replied: “Absolutely, I have.”

“There are many people that want to break up the 9th Circuit. It’s outrageous,” Trump told the website. “Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit. And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. Because they know that’s like, semi-automatic.”


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Judge not lest ye be judged

Apr 27th, 2017 11:27 am | By

Moses bites the bullet.

You can support J and M on Patreon.… Read the rest

He was arrested on charges of atheism and blasphemy

Apr 27th, 2017 10:43 am | By

Our dear ally Saudi Arabia

A  man in Saudi Arabia has reportedly been sentenced to death on charges of apostasy after losing two appeals.

Several local media reports identified the man as Ahmad Al Shamri, in his 20s, from the town of Hafar al-Batin, who first came to the authorities’ attention in 2014 after allegedly uploading videos to social media in which he renounced Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

He was arrested on charges of atheism and blasphemy and held in prison before being convicted by a local court and sentenced to death in February 2015.

The Saudi state plans to kill a man for not believing in a god and for rejecting Islam.

Under Saudi Arabia’s strict religious

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