All entries by this author

She was just kidding

Apr 16th, 2018 4:12 pm | By

I’m sure this is not at all sinister. Haley says there will be sanctions on Russia and Trump says nope there won’t.

Preparations to punish Russia anew for its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government over an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria caused consternation at the White House. Haley had said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that sanctions on Russian companies behind the equipment related to Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attack would be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

But Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them, according to several people familiar

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Apr 16th, 2018 3:54 pm | By

Erik Wemple at the Post says yes, it is sleazy for Hannity to be entangled with Cohen and Trump.

To understand from whom Hannity seeks legal advice, consider what Cohen once told a reporter who was preparing a hard-hitting story during the campaign on Trump and ex-wife Ivana Trump:

“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very f[–––]ing lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f[–––]ing disgusting. You understand

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Gasps in court

Apr 16th, 2018 3:24 pm | By

You couldn’t make it up.

Lawyers for Mr. Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, had sought to keep the identity of one of Mr. Cohen’s clients a secret in a court challenge of an F.B.I. search of Mr. Cohen’s office.

And the mystery client izzzzzzzzzzz

Sean Hannity.

[A]fter several minutes of back and forth between the government and Mr. Cohen’s lawyers, Kimba M. Wood, a judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered that Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, disclose in open court the name of a client in question, who turned out to be Mr. Hannity.

Before Mr. Hannity’s name was revealed in the courtroom, Mr. Ryan had argued

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A rogue element

Apr 16th, 2018 11:53 am | By

Nate Silver points out an aspect I would love to know more about. (I don’t suppose we ever will.)

Stephanopoulos doesn’t quite pose the “why not wait?” question directly to Comey, but Comey’s thinking seems to have been influenced by concerns that pro-Trump elements within the FBI would leak word of the Weiner emails to the media.

From the transcript where they’re talking about why he sent the letter about re-opening the emails investigation:… Read the rest

Another reporter falls out the window

Apr 16th, 2018 11:20 am | By

Oh gee golly I wonder what happened here: a Russian investigative journalist dies after falling from his fifth-floor flat.

Maxim Borodin was found badly injured by neighbours in Yekaterinburg and taken to hospital, where he later died.

Local officials said no suicide note was found but the incident was unlikely to be of a criminal nature.

However, a friend revealed Borodin had said his flat had been surrounded by security men a day earlier.

Total coincidence I’m sure. They were there to pick up cigarette butts.

Vyacheslav Bashkov described Borodin as a “principled, honest journalist” and said Borodin had contacted him at five o’clock in the morning on 11 April saying there was “someone with a weapon on his

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Save domestic violence!

Apr 16th, 2018 11:08 am | By

Barry Duke at the Freethinker reports:

The Croatian Government voted on Friday to ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, widely known as the Istanbul Convention– and thousands, egged on by the Catholic Church, gathered to protest, saying the move would pave the way to same-sex marriage and will give rights to transgender people.

Because…families can’t beat up family members? So they want to preserve and protect domestic violence? I have to wonder what life is like in their families.

The Convention, agreed in 2011, has now been ratified by 29 countries, including 18 European Union member states. The treaty aims to be an instrument in combating domestic violence

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A tremendous education

Apr 16th, 2018 9:06 am | By

Funny thing: I did a search of the Comey interview and the word “truth” appears 48 times. “Truth matters” appears 3 times.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Right at the beginning of your career, you’re involved in prosecution of major mafia figures. How does that form you?

JAMES COMEY: Well, it’s a tremendous education to get– a view inside La Cosa Nostra, the mafia, both in the United States and in Sicily. And to realize that the mafia is an organization like any other organization. Has a leader, has underlings, has values, has principles. They’re entirely corrupt. And it is the antithesis of ethical leadership.

But I didn’t know it at the time. But it was forming my view that the truth has

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Apr 16th, 2018 8:45 am | By

The Times has some highlights of The Interview.

Asked if he believes Mr. Trump is unfit for office, Mr. Comey was quick to say yes, but not for reasons of his mental state.

Instead, Mr. Comey called Mr. Trump “morally unfit.”

“A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it — that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” Mr. Comey said.

The Guardian also has a sampling.

Life in the Comey household must have been awkward after the election

Early in the interview, Comey said he

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Apr 15th, 2018 4:59 pm | By

This is…unsettling.

A BIT intimidating? She says in the next tweet it felt like a Sopranos Flashback moment.

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And she thought: “But they are all men!”

Apr 15th, 2018 4:33 pm | By
And she thought: “But they are all men!”

The Observer profiles the admirable Caroline Criado-Perez:

Two years ago, a young woman was running through London with her dog. Her route took her through Parliament Square, with the monuments of the establishment on all sides – legislature to the east, executive offices to the north, judiciary to the west and the church to the south. She ran past the bronze statues that lined her route, towering above her on their plinths: Nelson Mandela, Robert Peel, Disraeli, Edward Smith-Standley, Palmerston, Jan Smuts, David Lloyd George and the bronze of Winston Churchill. And she thought: “But they are all men!”

And because it was 8 March, International Women’s Day, and because the woman was the unstoppable feminist activist and campaigner 

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A high likelihood of rampant criminality

Apr 15th, 2018 3:46 pm | By

Adam Davidson at the New Yorker says the investigation of Trump is in the final stage. Bottom line: he’s a crook and always has been.

I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality. In Azerbaijan, he did business with a likely money launderer for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In the Republic of Georgia, he partnered with a group that was being investigated for a possible role in the largest known bank-fraud and money-laundering case in history. In Indonesia, his development partner is “knee-deep in dirty politics”; there are criminal investigations of his deals in Brazil; the F.B.I. is reportedly looking into

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A reprehensible outcome

Apr 15th, 2018 12:12 pm | By

The CEO of Starbucks has apologized.

The men, who have not been identified, were arrested on suspicion of trespassing. But Starbucks did not want to press charges and the men were later released, Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. of the Philadelphia Police Department said in a recorded statement on Saturday.

They were released at 1:30 in the morning. I think the arrest was about 5 p.m. – so that’s 8.5 hours sitting in jail.

The company apologized on Twitter Saturday afternoon. Later that day, while the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks was trending on Twitter, Kevin R. Johnson, the chief executive of Starbucks, released a statement in which he called the situation a “reprehensible outcome.”

Mr. Johnson said he hoped to meet them in

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The rabies miasm

Apr 15th, 2018 11:24 am | By

Dr Jen Gunter finds another jaw-dropper: a “naturopath” using “a remedy made from a rabid dog’s saliva” to fix aggression in a 4-year-old boy.

At first I asked if this was from The Onion, because honestly after reading I wasn’t sure.

But no, Dr. Zimmerman is really a naturopath and, well, this is how she summarized the problem…

This is a 4-year-old boy who is suffering from an inability to fall asleep at night, a fear of the dark, of wolves, werewolves, ghosts and zombies and who frequently hides under tables and growls at people. He is overly excitable and has a tendency to defiance. He was normal as a baby, not affected by sleep or temper problems.

Rabies-drool … Read the rest

When the stakes rise, self-examination diminishes

Apr 15th, 2018 10:27 am | By

Carlos Lozada at the Post reviews Comey’s book. He’s not besotted with him.

Running through the book, a sort of geek chorus, is Comey’s doctrine of “ethical leadership,” an often preachy and sometimes profound collection of principles that he believes should govern those who govern. “A Higher Loyalty” is the brand extension of James Comey: the upright citizen turned philosopher, the lawman as thought leader.

I’ve learned to be suspicious of people – or maybe I mean men – who need brand extensions or hope to be thought leaders.

Comey understands that side-by-side comparisons are not a true measure of leadership, that leaders should be assessed against their own best performances and highest aspirations. “Ethical leaders do not run

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Frenetic morning

Apr 15th, 2018 9:43 am | By


Main event:

So he wasn’t able to read the whole passage…or he read it and didn’t understand it.

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Unacceptable on every level

Apr 14th, 2018 6:16 pm | By

In more racism news – a boy gets lost on his way to school so he knocks on a door to ask for directions – and gets shot at.

When 14-year-old Brennan Walker missed his bus Thursday morning, he decided to walk to his high school in Rochester Hills, Michigan. But he got lost, so he knocked on a door hoping to get directions. Instead, he ended up running for his life as a man allegedly fired his gun at the black teenager.

Jeff Ziegler, a 53-year-old retired firefighter, was arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder and a felony charge of possessing a firearm for allegedly shooting at Brennan.

Authorities on Thursday responded to a 911 call

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Life in America

Apr 14th, 2018 4:54 pm | By

A couple of guys go to Starbucks to meet a friend. They asked to use the restroom and were told it was only for paying customers. (Fun fact: I’ve used the restroom at various Starbuckses without buying anything, and no one batted an eye.) They hung out quietly chatting while waiting for their friend, and then…the police arrived and handcuffed them and arrested them.

Lauren, who asked that her last name not be used, shot video of the two men being arrested at the Starbucks just before 5 p.m. on April 12. She said the incident began after the men asked to use the bathroom and were told that it was only available for paying customers, which Philadelphia

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A specific reason

Apr 14th, 2018 2:41 pm | By

Meanwhile everyone is cross with Theresa May.

Time and again at a press conference at Downing Street this morning the prime minister spelled out the strikes that took place overnight were limited, targeted and a response to the suspected use of chemical weapons in Douma.

With no clear indication of public support or consent, she time and again was at pains to say that she had authorised action for a specific reason – to punish President Assad for gassing his own people, as the government believes he has.

She will face an almighty row in the coming days over going ahead without consulting Parliament.

Her defence is that “security and operational reasons” meant the attack had to go ahead

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Parts but not the heart

Apr 14th, 2018 11:45 am | By

As suspected, Trump exaggerated with his “Mission Accomplished” tweet. Assad still has chemical weapons at his diposal.

President Donald Trump on Saturday declared “Mission Accomplished” for a U.S.-led allied missile attack on Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the Pentagon said the pummeling of three chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad government to use banned weapons against civilians if it chooses.

So it’s part of mission partly accomplished, but that doesn’t sound quite so perky.

Dana W. White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said that to her knowledge no one in the Defense Department communicated with Moscow in advance, other than the acknowledged use of a military-to-military hotline that has routinely helped minimize the risk of U.S.-Russian

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She was grazing her horses in a meadow

Apr 14th, 2018 9:28 am | By

Asifa Bano.

Asifa Bano was 8 years old and wearing a purple salwar kameez when she disappeared on Jan. 10.

A week later, on Jan. 17, her mutilated and lifeless body was found in a forest near Kathua in the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir. It was a mile away from Rasana, the village where her family was currently living.

Reports say she was abducted while grazing her horses in a meadow, taken to a prayer hall nearby, sedated for three days, tortured and brutally gang-raped. She was eventually strangled and hit on the head several times with a stone to ensure that she was dead.

On Wednesday, graphic details of the crime and its perpetrators emerged in a charge

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