All entries by this author

A bargain

Feb 14th, 2018 10:57 am | By

And speaking of trying to slash budgets for everything that’s not weapons or presidential travel while also pissing it away on graft and trumpian whims – Donnie’s Excellent Parade will cost between 10 and 30 million.

Trump’s military parade would cost between $10 million and $30 million, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on Wednesday.

Mulvaney offered the estimate during questioning at the House Budget Committee. He said the White House hasn’t yet budgeted for the parade and would either rely on Congress to appropriate funds, or use money that already has been approved.

“The estimates I’ve seen, they’re very preliminary, is between 10 [million dollars] and 30 [million dollars] depending upon the length,” Mulvaney said. “Obviously an

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Fiddling the expenses

Feb 14th, 2018 10:42 am | By

Trump’s proposed budget (which mercifully won’t get through Congress) slashes science and the arts and humanities, while in another part of the forest his hires steal public money in every creative way they can think of. The latest example:

Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin’s chief of staff doctored an email and made false statements to create a pretext for taxpayers to cover expenses for the secretary’s wife on a 10-day trip to Europe last summer, the agency’s inspector general has found.

Vivieca Wright Simpson, VA’s third-most senior official, altered language in an email from an aide coordinating the trip to make it appear that Shulkin was receiving an award from the Danish government — then used the award

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An embarrassing situation could quickly morph

Feb 14th, 2018 9:25 am | By

So Trump’s lawyer admits he paid Stephanie Clifford aka “Stormy Daniels” the 130k but says he wasn’t reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign. Ok but what about by Trump himself? That he doesn’t mention. Lawyers gonna lawyer.

Why, in his generosity, would Mr Cohen give $130,000 to Ms Daniels? The Wall Street Journal has reported that it was in exchange for a non-disclosure agreement about a decade-old affair between Mr Trump and Ms Daniels. Circumstantial evidence – that Ms Daniels had been in contact with media outlets prior to the transfer and has since gone silent – lends credence to this line.

But hey, maybe it was just a kind present from a nice man who wanted … Read the rest

A broad swath

Feb 14th, 2018 9:01 am | By

The world according to Trump – science and scientific research should Just Go Away so that we can spend more and more and more billions on guns and subs and planes.

The Trump administration wants to eliminate a broad swath of the nation’s climate change research infrastructure, including satellites, education programs and science centers.

Though it has little chance of being enacted, the Trump administration’s budget proposal unveiled yesterday targets hundreds of millions of dollars in climate science, renewable energy research and climate mitigation efforts across a variety of federal agencies, including NASA, NOAA, U.S. EPA and the departments of the Interior and Energy.

Because why try to slow and mitigate the effects of climate change? Why not just party … Read the rest

Truth is not in the White House DNA

Feb 13th, 2018 6:02 pm | By

Oh gee, poor White House, they’re all in a mess again because of Porter and Wray and why won’t it just stop? All they want is to be left in peace to take away Medicare and Medicaid and subsidies for health insurance and the EPA and food stamps and a few other tiny things.

The White House struggled Tuesday to contain a widening crisis over its handling of domestic violence allegations against a senior official, as it reeled from sworn testimony by the FBI chief that directly contradicted what President Trump’s aides had presented as the official version of events.

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the bureau had completed a background report on then-staff

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Meet Paul Nehlen

Feb 13th, 2018 4:59 pm | By

One of Trump’s new besties is a decidedly overt racist. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

A Republican challenger to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan drew international criticism over the weekend for tweeting an image that replaced the mixed-race fiancée of Prince Harry with a dark-skinned prehistoric Briton known as “Cheddar Man.”

As of Sunday afternoon, Paul Nehlen’s Twitter account had been suspended.

The provocation is only the latest for Nehlen, an outrage artist who has used this technique to help his campaign raise funds and in turn pay his wife a salary. Last month, Nehlen drew criticism for making anti-Semitic tweets and then posting the contact information of ordinary citizens who called and emailed to berate him.

In a tweet

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Hang on a minute

Feb 13th, 2018 12:16 pm | By

The sale is off for now, boys.

The fire sale of the Weinstein Company hit a last-minute snag on Sunday, when Eric T. Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, filed a lawsuit against the studio and its fraternal founders alleging that they repeatedly violated state and city laws barring gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and coercion.

Harvey and Bob were hoping to avoid bankruptcy.

But the final-stage talks came to a screeching halt on Sunday afternoon, according to the two people briefed on the process, as the investor group received word that Mr. Schneiderman was about to file a lawsuit based on an ongoing four-month investigation into the Weinstein Company’s internal dealings.

The lawsuit, which refers to Harvey Weinstein

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A loss for the human rights movement globally

Feb 13th, 2018 11:53 am | By

Amnesty International on Asma Jahangir.

“For decades, Asma bravely fought for the most disadvantaged people in Pakistan, often at great personal risk. She championed the cause of women, children, bonded labourers, religious minorities, journalists, the disappeared, and so many others. She confronted injustice wherever she saw it,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

Asma Jahangir began leading protests as young schoolgirl. At the age of 18, she fought for the release of her father, Malik Ghulam Jilani, who had been arbitrarily detained by the military government of Gen. Yahya Khan, leading to an historic Supreme Court judgment.

A lawyer by training, Asma Jahangir and her sister, Hina Jilani, established Pakistan’s first all women legal firm in Lahore. Their

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Least surprising news ever

Feb 13th, 2018 10:48 am | By

Eugene Robinson at the Post underlines what we’ve always known: Trump was always lying to his “base.” Of course he was. Trump is a corrupt real estate marketer who defrauds his contractors; what does he care about the working class?

Voters who thought President Trump would at least try to fulfill his populist, America-first campaign promises were cynically and cruelly deceived. Trump placates these supporters with rhetoric, distracts them with cultural warfare and encourages them to seek refuge in cultural chauvinism. What he doesn’t do for them is deliver.

Well he does deliver on the racist rhetoric and policies. Maybe watching people being deported is compensation enough?

So is there more money for everybody? No, not for programs that

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Watch: we will put these people down for you

Feb 13th, 2018 9:43 am | By

The awfulness of Sarah Sanders.

She dripped disdain.

She oozed contempt.

“If you were paying attention to what I just read to you . . .” she huffed, like an exasperated teacher reprimanding a classroom troublemaker.

No, worse than that, really. More like an angry prison guard. That horrible scowl of hers goes way beyond exasperated.

Watching the press secretary at Monday’s briefing, the words that came to mind were these: A new low.

Yes, a new rock-bottom from the podium at the Trump White House press briefing.

And that is really saying something, given the lying-from-day-one reign of Sean Spicer, along with Sanders’s own fulsome history of dissembling, and the 10-day flameout of Anthony Scaramucci last summer.

Not … Read the rest

Not July but March

Feb 13th, 2018 9:04 am | By

Oh look, Wray tells us that Trump and his gang have been lying about when they knew about Rob Porter.

Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, contradicted on Tuesday the White House timeline about the domestic abuse scandal involving Rob Porter, the president’s former staff secretary. Mr. Wray said that the bureau delivered to the White House a partial report on problems in Mr. Porter’s background in March, months earlier than the White House has admitted receiving the information.

In March. They’ve known for nearly a year.

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Blue apron full of holes and covered in cat food

Feb 13th, 2018 8:13 am | By

Of course. Trump and his gang want to get rid of food stamps and replace them with a box of “staples” of the kind that exclude all perishables i.e. fresh vegetables and fruit, milk, cheese, eggs – you know, anything you’d actually want to eat.

The Trump administration wants to slash food aid to low-income families and make up the difference with a box of canned goods — a change that Office of Management and budget director Mick Mulvaney described in a Monday briefing as a “Blue Apron-type program.”

“What we do is propose that for folks who are on food stamps, part — not all, part — of their benefits come in the actual sort of, and I don’t

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He wants the best for EVERYONE

Feb 12th, 2018 5:20 pm | By

These people.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was tasked Monday with explaining President Trump’s sympathetic comments about alleged spouse abuser Rob Porter. It went about as well as might be expected.

Sanders beat back one question after another about why Trump has suggested that Porter might be innocent but has said nothing about the domestic violence of which Porter stands accused. Then she was asked why Trump opted to go even a step further and wish Porter success in his career — a comment that seemed odd given that this is a man accused of horrible things.

Behold the spin:

“I think the president of the United States hopes that all Americans can be successful in

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Feb 12th, 2018 4:37 pm | By

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Too much spotlight

Feb 12th, 2018 12:33 pm | By

NBC News offers some explanation of why Rachel Brand has quit her job.

The Justice Department’s No. 3 attorney had been unhappy with her job for months before the department announced her departure on Friday, according to multiple sources close to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.

Brand grew frustrated by vacancies at the department and feared she would be asked to oversee the Russia investigation, the sources said.

The sources say the WalMart job had been in the works for some time.

As far back as last fall, Brand had expressed to friends that she felt overwhelmed and unsupported in her job, especially as many key positions under her jurisdiction had still not been filled with permanent,

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The crowd did, in fact, laugh

Feb 12th, 2018 11:42 am | By

Trump’s good friend Duterte has a new idea:

Addressing a group of former communist rebels on Wednesday, Duterte, who served as a city mayor before becoming president, appeared to encourage the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to target women in conflict.

“Tell the soldiers. ‘There’s a new order coming from the mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina,’ ” he said.

“If there is no vagina, it would be useless,” Duterte continued, according to local media reports, appearing to imply that women are useless without their genitals.

The president’s communications office included the comment in the official transcript from the event but replaced the word “vagina” with a dash.

Well I’m guessing he didn’t … Read the rest

Nothing but the best

Feb 12th, 2018 11:29 am | By

Scott Pruitt, destroyer of the EPA, is not stinting himself on luxury accommodations on the taxpayer’s dime.

Just days after helping orchestrate the United States’ exit from a global climate accord last June, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt embarked on a whirlwind tour aimed at championing President Trump’s agenda at home and abroad.

On Monday, June 5, accompanied by his personal security detail, Pruitt settled into his $1,641.43 first-class seat for a short flight from the District to New York City. His ticket cost more than six times that of the two media aides who came along and sat in coach, according to agency travel vouchers; the records do not show whether his security detail accompanied him at

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The men who rent the inside of women’s bodies

Feb 12th, 2018 9:29 am | By

Julie Bindel on charity organizations and prostitution:

Just when I thought my opinion of pro-prostitution lobbyists could not get any lower, I see a tweet by one about the Oxfam scandal: “Buying sex from professionals is not sexual misconduct and women in Haiti may well have been glad to get the sex work. I hate prissy Establishment fiddle-faddle implying ‘development’ workers are ethical puritans or saints.”

There you have it. The idea that the women involved in prostitution in Haiti are somehow benefiting from being bought and sold by the very men that are supposed to be helping them cope with their hellish existence.

Let us consider what this person is defending. Oxfam’s country director in Haiti, Roland van

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A reputation for speaking truth to power

Feb 11th, 2018 4:21 pm | By

The Times on Asma Jahangir:

Ms. Jahangir, a human rights lawyer, had a reputation of speaking truth to power and defending the weak and the marginalized, women and minorities against injustice. She gained international acclaim for being the voice of conscience in a country where liberal, secular voices have been continuously under threat.

She was the founding chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent group, and was a trustee of the International Crisis Group. She won several local and international awards and served as the United Nations rapporteur on human rights and extrajudicial killings.

Ms. Jahangir never minced words while defending democracy and human rights, despite threats to her life, both from military dictators and militants.

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We may do something in Moscow

Feb 11th, 2018 3:10 pm | By

Don’t forget, Trump knows nothing of Russia, never had any dealings with Russians, never did any business there, just dropped in for a few minutes to grope the pussies at the Miss Universe Pajjunt.

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