All entries by this author

The biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning

Jan 26th, 2017 10:27 am | By

Aaron Blake at the Post does another annotated transcript, this time of the interview Trump did yesterday with ABC News, his first interview from Inside The House. It is, of course, astonishing. I saw a few clips of it last night, and was duly astonished.

This is one choice bit:

DAVID MUIR: Let me just ask you, you did win. You’re the president. You’re sitting …


DAVID MUIR: … across from me right now.


DAVID MUIR: Do you think that your words matter more now?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, very much.

DAVID MUIR: Do you think that that talking about millions of illegal votes is dangerous to this country without presenting the evidence?

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Oh well, it’s only the State Department

Jan 26th, 2017 9:26 am | By

Breaking news – senior people flee the State Department leaving it empty at the top.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.

Tillerson was actually inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land. I reported Wednesday morning that the Trump team was narrowing its search for his No. 2, and that it was looking to replace the State Department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has been in that

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Coral reefs and sandstone formations

Jan 25th, 2017 5:45 pm | By

And then there’s BadHombreNPS. (There’s a long list of them. Long and growing.)

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Redwoods and internees

Jan 25th, 2017 5:32 pm | By

More rogues on Twitter:

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Ka-ching ka-ching

Jan 25th, 2017 5:12 pm | By

Lying corrupt president announces plans to exploit his office to expand his business.

Only days after Donald Trump took the oath of office, the head of his hotel-management company outlined hopes for an ambitious expansion across the U.S., raising new questions about potential conflicts between his business and the presidency.

Trump Hotels Chief Executive Officer Eric Danziger suggested the company’s broad U.S. ambitions while saying it shelved plans for expansion in China, where the president’s comments have already led to rocky diplomatic relations.

“There are 26 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., and we’re in five,” Danziger said after a panel discussion Tuesday at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles. “I don’t see any reason that we

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Jan 25th, 2017 4:39 pm | By

The maquis is forming. There is a growing list of rogue Twitter accounts to do what the official ones can’t. The AltUSNatParkService one for instance:

The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised! Come for rugged scenery, fossil beds, 89 million acres of landscape

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Welcome to our new, terrifying reality

Jan 25th, 2017 12:00 pm | By

Phil Plait on Trump’s censorship of the science agencies:

Welcome to our new, terrifying reality: According to reports, President Donald Trump’s administration has ordered a media blackout of people who work at the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture.

He adds that he wants to be careful, and that this could be just a transitional move while the new administration gets sorted.

This may be true. BuzzFeed and the Associated Press, however, obtained internal emails from the EPA and USDA that indicate the new administration is gagging people at the two government agencies, forbidding them [to tweet], going on any social media, or issuing press releases about their science. The only news they are allowed

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Maybe they will, maybe they won’t

Jan 25th, 2017 11:13 am | By

In newer news – the Jaipur Literary Festival says it has not decided not to invite Taslima in future. It’s hedging. It hasn’t decided not to, it hasn’t decided not to not to – it hasn’t decided. Good that it hasn’t, I suppose, but really it shouldn’t be hedging. It should have told the “protesters” to take a hike.

Late on Monday evening, Festival producer Sanjoy Roy said in a statement: “They expressed their anger… I heard them out. Explained we supported minorities in every way. Underscored that we are a platform for all points of view. Agreed that we should consider their request not to reinvite them (Taslima Nasrin and Salman Rushdie).”

This led to speculation on the

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Taslima resists

Jan 25th, 2017 10:56 am | By

India Today has more detail on Taslima and the Jaipur Literary Festival.

After Bangladeshi writer and activist Taslima Nasreen’s impromptu session at the Jaipur Literature Festival drew a minor protest here, festival organisers said they will consider the protestors’ request of not reinviting her, a statement said.

“They expressed their anger…. I heard them out. Explained we supported minorities in every way. Underscored that we are a platform for all points of view. Agreed that we should consider their request not to reinvite them,” Sanjoy K Roy, Producer of JLF, said.

Protesting organisations including Rajasthan Muslim Forum, All India Milli Council, Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim Personal Law Board, had said yesterday that the writer, who has been living in exile

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But what do you mean by secularism?

Jan 25th, 2017 10:38 am | By

My dear friend Taslima showed up at the Jaipur Literary Festival on Monday, where the Times of India reported she woke things up.

Till Monday, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) was a largely tame affair. And then exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin made an impromptu appearance on the last day, immediately drawing protesting Muslim groups outside the venue.

Adding fuel to fire, the controversial author pledged her firm support for the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and underscored its importance in ensuring gender equality.

Nasrin questioned the secularism of Indian state which was sheltering fanatics who issued fatwas and set a prize for her head.

“Many Muslims do not want UCC but it’s urgently necessary for women’s rights,” said Nasrin,

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The Little Golden Book

Jan 24th, 2017 5:19 pm | By

Tim O’Brien made a thing:

 … Read the rest


Jan 24th, 2017 4:45 pm | By

I’m still in a rage about the gag orders, but there are still other matters to follow. There’s Eric Levitz on Trump staffers’ eagerness to report what a car crash their boss is.

The president is a 70-year-old child whose TV time must be closely monitored — because any news story that upsets his ego will trigger a temper tantrum followed by irrational demands that his indulgent, overwhelmed guardians will be helpless to refuse.

Or so Donald Trump’s aides keep confiding to the nearest available reporter.

On Sunday, one of the president’s confidantes told Politico that his staffers have to “control information that may infuriate him,” a task made difficult by the fact that the leader of the free

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But he believes

Jan 24th, 2017 3:55 pm | By

Trump the lying silencing liar claims to “believe” millions of people voted illegally, but since he’s a chronic liar, that’s not very plausible – and it’s also beside the point.

President Donald Trump believes millions of votes were cast illegally in last year’s election, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday, but he wouldn’t provide any concrete evidence for the claim, which has long been debunked.

“The President does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” Spicer said.

Pressed for what evidence exists, Spicer would say
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Trump tells everyone in reach to shut up

Jan 24th, 2017 3:38 pm | By

This is the worst yet. He’s imposing a gag order on federal agencies.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has moved to curb the flow of information from several government agencies whose mandate impacts environmental issues since last week, in actions that appeared designed to tighten control and discourage dissenting views.

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have seen directives from the newly minted leadership seeking to limit how they communicate to the public, according to multiple sources.

Who the FUCK does he think he is? What makes him think he gets to do that? What makes him think he has a mandate to … Read the rest

Guest post: A handful of people with malignant personality disorders

Jan 24th, 2017 12:47 pm | By

Guest post by tiggerthewing.

It is not the trans community as such who is isolating and marginalising women. Most trans people just want to blend into the background, and not be noticed.

But not the TransNarcissists. Oh, no.

Like a lot of other mutual-support communities I’ve been involved in over the decades, a handful of people with malignant personality disorders have taken over the microphone and tried to make the whole thing about them.

This inevitably leads to the implosion of the community, because they are loud, and manipulative, and not remotely interested in supporting anyone else.

It happened in the autism communities, it happened in the atheism communities, it has happened in the trans communities, and now they are … Read the rest

The inspiring example

Jan 24th, 2017 12:34 pm | By

Via Gnu Atheism:

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Jan 24th, 2017 12:14 pm | By

Another bad news:

The Trump administration has instructed officials at the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze its grants and contracts, a move that could affect everything from state-led climate research to localized efforts to improve air and water quality to environmental justice projects aimed at helping poor communities.

An email went out to employees in the agency’s Office of Acquisition Management within hours of President Trump’s swearing-in on Friday.

“New EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately,” read the email, which was shared with The Washington Post. “Until we receive further clarification, which we hope to have soon, please construe this to include task orders and work assignments.”

In other words … Read the rest

Invented facts

Jan 24th, 2017 12:03 pm | By

Yesterday Trump met with Congressional boffins, and he actually told them that illegal voters cost him the popular vote. That’s a fake news alternative facts lie.

Days after being sworn in, President Trump insisted to congressional leaders invited to a reception at the White House that he would have won the popular vote had it not been for millions of illegal votes, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Trump has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud caused him to lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, even while he clinched the presidency with an electoral college victory.

Two people familiar with the meeting said Trump spent about 10 minutes at the start of the bipartisan gathering

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What happens when the CIA briefs Trump?

Jan 24th, 2017 11:57 am | By

An item from a segment on NPR yesterday about Trump’s visit to the CIA.

STEVE INSKEEP: So how awkward is it that the new president has taken office – the new administration has come in – and there is still, so far as we know, an investigation of the president’s ties to Russia?

MARY LOUISE KELLY: It is awkward. And the latest twist is The Wall Street Journal reporting this morning that Trump’s national security adviser, Mike Flynn, is under a counter intelligence investigation because of suspected ties to Russia. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also investigating that very question.

So here – here is the question that another CIA veteran put to me after watching Trump’s speech this

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Trump grew increasingly and visibly enraged

Jan 24th, 2017 11:29 am | By

Last night the Post confided in us about what’s going on in Donnie’s office. He’s not happy. He’s surprised and upset that some of us think he’s terrible.  He’s surprised and upset that a lot of us think he’s terrible.

When he came back to the White House on Saturday after a nice soothing prayer meeting, he turned on the tv only to see news about the protests and the scanty turnout for his sacred inauguration.

As his press secretary, Sean Spicer, was still unpacking boxes in his spacious new West Wing office, Trump grew increasingly and visibly enraged.

Really?! How astonishing. He always seemed like such a reasonable, even-keeled, good-natured guy, one who would naturally expect to see … Read the rest