All entries by this author

At the very top of the facade

Aug 17th, 2017 4:09 pm | By

Speaking of beautiful statues that are causing Donald Trump to mourn and pine when they are moved from one spot to another, a couple of Facebook friends have been reminding us of some that were demolished altogether decades ago. They adorned what was then Bonwit Teller at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street in Manhattan.

At the very top of the facade were limestone relief panels of two nearly naked women brandishing large scarves, as if dancing. The architects were Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore, super-traditional Beaux-Arts designers of mansions and clubs — a puzzling choice for a such an outré building. In time the reliefs would become a Bonwit Teller signature.

Beginning in the 1960s, a series of corporate

Read the rest


Geneva Convention? That’s for losers

Aug 17th, 2017 3:07 pm | By

Ok, here’s a new low. Trump has tweeted that we should commit a war crime to stop terrorism. (Joke’s on him: war crimes are terrorism.)

President Donald Trump appeared to cite an apocryphal story about an American general executing dozens of Muslim prisoners in the Philippines and defiling their bodies with pig blood in the wake of a deadly terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday.

After first condemning the attack and offering the United States’ support, the president said to “study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” an apparent reference to a debunked legend about World War I-era General John J. Pershing that Trump repeatedly recounted in his speeches on the campaign trail.

Read the rest


Guest post: The way traitors to the country were so heavily ennobled

Aug 17th, 2017 2:38 pm | By

Originally a comment by Freemage on An early Confederate rallying cry.

If you go to Gettysburg, they have a driving trail that you go along, through the fields. Dotted throughout are the usual monuments describing key battles, but there’s also a host of monuments built declaring when individual units first arrived (typically on the spot of their original location), the unit’s composition and then listing the casualties suffered by the unit.

These monuments appear to have been individually funded by different organizations dedicated to the memory of the units–which means that the Daughters of the Confederacy have been able to inscribe the Confederate memorials with phrases like, “The brave souls from Alabama.” My father-in-law lives in Baltimore, after growing … Read the rest



Stunned, despondent and numb

Aug 17th, 2017 11:40 am | By

The Times reported on the bleak mood among Trump’s people yesterday. (Sometimes urls are oddly…striking. “trump-charlottesville-military-jews-ceos.html” hmmmm yeah.) There’s a good deal of interesting information.

President Trump found himself increasingly isolated in a racial crisis of his own making on Wednesday, abandoned by the nation’s top business executives, contradicted by military leaders and shunned by Republicans outraged by his defense of white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Va.

The breach with the business community was the most striking. Titans of American industry and finance revolted against a man they had seen as one of their own, concluding Wednesday morning they could no longer serve on two of Mr. Trump’s advisory panels.

They’re good with the wholly “business can do no … Read the rest



A big future

Aug 17th, 2017 10:52 am | By

In happier news…

PPE at Oxford is what people do when they plan to go into Parliament.

Hitchens did PPE.… Read the rest



An early Confederate rallying cry

Aug 17th, 2017 9:56 am | By

Ok that email that Trump’s lawyer forwarded to like-minded right wing assholes – that’s what it was – a “hey guys looka this” among the prosperous conservative quisling set.

President Trump’s personal lawyer on Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.”

The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president’s legal team, painted the Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South’s rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” — was a reference to comments

Read the rest


The ascent of white supremacy, Day 5

Aug 17th, 2017 9:19 am | By

Eileen Sullivan at the Times analyzes Trump’s latest white supremacist rant.

Officials in several states have called for the removal of public monuments that have become symbols of the Confederacy.

The Twitter posts were the latest in his escalating remarks that critics contend validate white supremacist groups who led a bloody rally over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va. The proposed removal of a statute of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park in Charlottesville spurred the demonstrations.

Mr. Trump’s tweets came the morning after his personal lawyer forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that painted Lee in glowing terms and echoed secessionist sentiment from the Civil War era.

WHAT??

Oh, god, … Read the rest



Trump mourns the white supremacist statuary

Aug 17th, 2017 9:08 am | By

Trump has been outdoing himself this morning.

Yet another fascist rally, because we haven’t had enough fascist rallies yet. Yet another opportunity to worship the dear führer, because he can never have enough worship because he is so revoltingly narcissistic and needy.

Read the rest


He didn’t fire them, they quit

Aug 16th, 2017 4:46 pm | By

CNBC tells the story of how the CEOs decided to say bye-bye to Trump.

After President Donald Trump’s incendiary comments last weekend about the violence in Charlottesville, the three female CEOs on his Strategic and Policy Forum helped get the ball rolling about appropriate responses.

The question, as they saw it, was whether it was better to remain on the Trump forum, with the ability to influence the White House? Or did it make more sense to back away to show disdain for the president’s seeming support of white nationalists?

It would be several days before the full forum ultimately made a decision. But by Monday the CEOs of PepsiIBM and GM – Indra Nooyi, Ginni Rometty

Read the rest


Official talking points

Aug 16th, 2017 11:40 am | By

Yesterday evening the White House sent out its usual daily notes.

Every day, the White House communications office sends official talking points to Republican members of Congress. These communiqués help the GOP stay on the same page (and, in the Trump era, help the embattled president’s allies come up with arguments in his defense).

On Tuesday evening, a few hours after the president’s inflammatory press conference defending white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, the office issued an “evening communications briefing,” which was passed along to me by a Republican congressional aide. It encourages members to echo the president’s line, contending that “both sides … acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility.”

Oh yes. Driving a car at speed into a crowd … Read the rest



The first timbers fall

Aug 16th, 2017 11:34 am | By

I posted that collection of statements by departing CEOs just a little late: Trump has dissolved the councils.

President Donald Trump dissolved two of his economic advisory councils Wednesday after a rash of CEOs resigned in the wake of his response to a white nationalist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, that occurred Saturday.

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you all!”

He must be seething.

Trump’s tweet came just moments after two more executives announced their resignations from his Manufacturing Council Wednesday. Leaders of another council, called the Strategic and Policy Forum, said they were disbanding the body because the Charlottesville debate

Read the rest


They moved quickly and quietly

Aug 16th, 2017 11:03 am | By

Baltimore didn’t mess around. Last night it took down all its Confederate statues and carried them away. Boom, done.

Confederate statues in Baltimore were removed from their bases overnight by city contractors, who used heavy machinery to load them onto flat bed trucks and haul them away — an abrupt end to more than a year of indecision on what to do with the memorials.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, who made the decision Tuesday morning to remove the monuments overnight, watched in person as the four statues linked to the Confederacy were torn from their pedestals.

“We moved quickly and quietly,” the mayor said. “There was enough grandstanding, enough speeches being made. Get it done.”

Men are always standing … Read the rest



Seven so far

Aug 16th, 2017 10:54 am | By

Business Insider provides a rundown of all the CEOs on Trump’s manufacturing council and their statements [if given] on resigning or not resigning. Seven have resigned at this point. Several who are still on the council didn’t give statements.

I’ll share the leavers’ statements.

  • Ken Frazier, Merck,  left the council. “As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” he said in a statement.
  • Brian Krzanich, Intel, announced Monday night he would step down from the council: “I am not a politician,” Krzanich said in a statement. “I am an engineer who has spent most of his career working in factories that manufacture the
Read the rest


Put your foot down

Aug 16th, 2017 9:50 am | By

Nice.

Months before a man allegedly turned his vehicle into a weapon and plowed through a group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, an article that made the rounds in conservative media encouraged readers to do something similar.

Originally published by The Daily Caller and later syndicated or aggregated by several other websites, including Fox Nation, an offshoot of Fox News’ website, it carried an unsubtle headline: “Here’s A Reel Of Cars Plowing Through Protesters Trying To Block The Road.” Embedded in the article was a minute-and-a-half long video showing one vehicle after another driving through demonstrations. The footage was set to a cover of Ludacris’ “Move Bitch.”

Yeah, cool. Bitch didn’t move fast enough.

The article was published in

Read the rest


What to commemorate

Aug 16th, 2017 9:27 am | By

Now what about this whole history question, eh? Is Trump right that removing statues is an attack on history? No, of course not. It’s just as much “history” that a statue is removed as it is “history” that a statue is standing there or put up in the first place. We’re allowed to second-guess our ancestors about what we want to commemorate and glorify with a statue and what we don’t. Statues of Confederate generals send a message that we glorify people who left the United States in order to keep millions of people enslaved. Why the hell would we want to commemorate and glorify that now? Why shouldn’t we say oh hey Lee was defending the ability of … Read the rest



Guest post: This is Adolf

Aug 16th, 2017 9:06 am | By

Guest post by Stewart.Read the rest



He would descend the golden elevators

Aug 16th, 2017 8:32 am | By

His staff is “stunned,” we’re told. Really? Why? Did they think he was a decent or thoughtful or humane guy?

Of course they didn’t, but I suppose they must have thought he had enough self-control to hide quite what a foul mindless sadistic demon he is. I suppose they’re stunned that he blew the thing so wide open.

Multiple sources inside and close to the White House described the president’s senior staff as confused and frustrated, caught off guard by Trump’s decision to defend his initial response to the violence in Virginia.

He “went rogue,” one senior White House official told NBC News.

The president’s team had choreographed a plan: he would descend the golden elevators of Trump Tower and

Read the rest


The most disgusting public performance in the history of the American presidency

Aug 16th, 2017 8:22 am | By

David Rothkopf in the Post:

Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon gave the most disgusting public performance in the history of the American presidency. Framed by the vulgar excess of the lobby of Trump Tower, the president of the United States shook loose the constraints of his more decent-minded advisers and, speaking from his heart, defended white supremacists and by extension, their credos of hatred. He equated with those thugs the courageous Americans who had gathered to stand up to the racism, anti-Semitism and doctrine of violence that won the cheers and Nazi salutes of the alt-right hordes to whom Trump felt such loyalty.

He made it crystal clear, in case anyone hadn’t caught on yet, that the reason it … Read the rest



A president out of control

Aug 15th, 2017 6:22 pm | By

Stephen Collinson at CNN doesn’t mince words.

A combative and unrestrained President Donald Trump opened his authentic political soul, in possibly the most memorable news conference in presidential history, that is certain to become a defining moment of his administration.

It was supposed to be a routine event at Trump Tower in New York to tout the President’s infrastructure plan.

But the session quickly veered off course into one of the most surreal political moments in years as Trump unloaded about the fallout from the weekend’s protests by “alt-right” activists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Virginia.

Gesticulating with this right hand, Trump blasted what he called the “alt-left,” protested that he had already condemned neo-Nazis and parroted far-right talking

Read the rest


Excuse me, excuse me

Aug 15th, 2017 5:24 pm | By

The whole hideous thing, in case you want to consult it.

The “Nazis: bad or good?” part starts around 7:30.

The “both groups” part starts around 14:30.

There are way too many guest appearances by the word “harrible.”

Read the rest