All entries by this author

Truth is in the bubble

Dec 9th, 2017 12:35 pm | By

And then – more from the Times piece – there’s Trump’s way of evaluating fact claims.

In almost all the interviews, Mr. Trump’s associates raised questions about his capacity and willingness to differentiate bad information from something that is true.

Monitoring his information consumption — and countering what Mr. Kelly calls “garbage” peddled to him by outsiders — remains a priority for the chief of staff and the team he has made his own. Even after a year of official briefings and access to the best minds of the federal government, Mr. Trump is skeptical of anything that does not come from inside his bubble.

The hardcore Trumpists of course think that’s a good thing. His bubble is the best … Read the rest

Trains trains and trains

Dec 9th, 2017 12:10 pm | By

This is an ad (aka advert) but it’s a scenic ad full of Seattle and Seattle-area goodness plus trains so I like it. It includes those neon-green fuselages I’ve mentioned I frequently see rolling past.

H/t Dave Ricks… Read the rest

He dominates the landscape like no other

Dec 9th, 2017 11:34 am | By

Another huge Times piece – Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush, and Peter Baker on day-to-day Trump.

As he ends his first year in office, Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be president. He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton — as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur. Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.

Interesting. He’s right about that – he is a … Read the rest

Big stuff

Dec 9th, 2017 10:40 am | By

Trump went to Jackson. Trump read the words they wrote for him, and then added his own, more stupid ones.

In his remarks to assembled guests, Trump said: “The civil rights museum records the oppression, cruelty and injustice inflicted on the African-American community, the fight to bring down Jim Crow and end segregation, to gain the right to vote and to achieve the sacred birthright of equality.”

He said: “And it’s big stuff. That’s big stuff.”

Uh uh uh, big stuff, uh uh.

He doesn’t, of course, mean a word of the first paragraph. He likes the oppression, cruelty and injustice inflicted on the African-American community, and has done what he can to add to it. He has no quarrel … Read the rest

Punishable beliefs

Dec 8th, 2017 3:30 pm | By

Sometimes, I hear, people get reported to their employers for “transphobia” – but what exactly is “transphobia”? And why is it reportable? People don’t get reported to employers for misogyny do they? Not that I ever heard of. There has to be an action. People get reported for sexual harassment, but not for misogyny.

So, puzzling over these ambiguities, I hit the Google machine and found the Cambridge Student Union explanation of what transphobia is.

Transphobia has been defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as “the fear of or a dislike directed towards trans people, or a fear of or dislike directed towards their perceived lifestyle, culture or characteristics, whether or not any specific trans person has

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That’s just Harvey being Harvey

Dec 8th, 2017 11:29 am | By

The Times ran an immense piece Tuesday (really immense, it goes on for pages in the hard copy) on Harvey Weinstein’s complicity machine. Jaw-droppers abound. He had an elaborate web of people who threatened harm to any woman who dared try to report what he did to her. He befriended people high up in the Sleaze Media, who would pour sleaze on Weinstein’s victims. It’s bottomlessly disgusting.

Executives at Mr. Weinstein’s film companies who learned of allegations rarely took a stand, cowed by their volatile boss or worried about their careers. His brother and partner, Bob, participated in payoffs to women as far back as 1990. Some low-level assistants were pulled in: They compiled “bibles” that included hints on

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Bannon the shameless

Dec 8th, 2017 10:24 am | By

Bannon campaigning for – of course – Roy Moore a couple of days ago:

“Judge Roy Moore has more honor and integrity in that pinkie finger than your entire family has in its whole DNA,” Bannon said in his 30-minute speech at Oak Hollow Farm. “You hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam. Do not talk to me about honor and integrity,” he said, referencing Romney’s Mormon faith.

What? What?

I saw the clip on the news that evening, and was duly amazed. “While guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam”? Really? Did he simply forget that he worked for President Bone Spurs? Who stayed … Read the rest

Even though we had slavery

Dec 8th, 2017 9:41 am | By

Roy Moore has a history of running his mouth.

In 2005, Moore was interviewed by journalist Bill Press. During that interview, he argued that homosexuality should be illegal.

“Homosexual conduct should be illegal, yes,” he told Press when asked about his views on a contemporaneous Supreme Court decision. At the time, nearly half the country agreed; his campaign has not clarified whether he still holds this position.

But grown men perving on 14-year-old girls – that’s just fine. Fresh meat is the best, am I right?

A year ago, after Donald Trump’s election, Moore was askedat an event whether he believed that Obama was born in the United States.

“My personal belief is that he wasn’t,” Moore

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It’s not about unifying

Dec 7th, 2017 5:18 pm | By

Trump and his goons try to turn it around.

No, that’s not what’s happening. They’re refusing to join Trump because he is a racist himself, because he opposes civil rights himself, because he thinks there were good people “on both sides” in Charlottesville, because he refused to rent to black people in the 60s, because he was a birther, because he demanded the death penalty for the Central Park 5, … Read the rest


Dec 7th, 2017 1:45 pm | By

Trump is going to the opening of the Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, so John Lewis is not going. Brilliant. The noisy venomous racist toad is going, so the civil rights veteran is not.

U.S. Rep John Lewis announced Thursday that won’t speak at the opening of Mississippi civil rights and history museums, saying it’s an “insult” that President Donald Trump will attend.

The long-planned Saturday ceremony will mark Mississippi’s bicentennial of admission into the union. But what was intended as a moment of racial unity and atonement in the state with the largest share of African-Americans is descending into racial and partisan strife after Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant invited fellow Republican Trump to attend.

What an … Read the rest

Woopy goo

Dec 7th, 2017 11:58 am | By

And speaking of medical woo – Newsweek points out (as Jen Gunter has pointed out) that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is featuring an HIV skeptic at a conference next month.

As Joanna Rothkopf reported for Jezebel, a doctor named Kelly Brogan, who will be featured in January’s Goop summit (a ticketed event run by Goop that includes panels with health professionals and other “trusted experts,” as the site refers to them), published a since-deleted blog post with false claims contradicting proven medical knowledge. In 2014, Brogan, a private-practice psychiatrist based in New York, called the idea that HIV is the cause of AIDS a “meme”—a fleeting cultural concept or catchphrase passed around the internet—rather than the established fact that health

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An herbal sister-made salve

Dec 7th, 2017 11:34 am | By

Someone called Luna Love peddles her wisdom and spiritualityismness on Facebook. She has a long post titled How We Numb.

Today I had a medical practitioner cut a piece of my vulva off. I’m grateful she let me bring in my own holistic medicines into this strange and sterile environment to treat myself before and after the procedure.

They wanted to inject my yoni with lidocaine and numb the whole area. I said no. They wanted to clean me with something that was hot pink before they cut into me, I said no. Then they wanted to put some strange chemical filled substance on my yoni to stop the bleeding, which was profuse. I said no.

Ahhh…just two paragraphs … Read the rest

He clammed up

Dec 7th, 2017 10:54 am | By

Don Junior is refusing to answer.

In a closed-door interview with congressional investigators yesterday, Donald Trump Jr. refused to divulge the contents of a phone conversation with his father — that would be the president — that took place just after news broke of Trump Jr.’s now-notorious June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected lawyer. According to reports, investigators wanted to know whether Senior and Junior discussed what happened at that meeting and how they should respond to the news of it, but Trump Jr. cited attorney-client privilege and clammed up.

In an interview with me this morning, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) — the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which interviewed Trump Jr.

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Guest post: Never mind that Renoir said he painted with his prick

Dec 7th, 2017 9:38 am | By

Originally a comment by Tim Harris on Properly Appreciated.

I think that this curious refusal to recognise what is actually there in these paintings has a great deal to do with the long tradition of pretending that in ‘high art’ (in particular the ‘high arts’ of painting and sculpture) there is no real eroticism because the erotic (and dangerous) is somehow rendered innocuous and un-erotic by the ‘aesthetic’ values of the work, and that it is the aesthetic values only that the properly high-minded lover of the arts, schooled by Kant, is cognisant of. Never mind that Renoir said he painted with his prick. Never mind all those nudes, from Rubens to Goya and Manet. Never mind the obvious … Read the rest

Early warning signs

Dec 6th, 2017 5:01 pm | By

Read the rest

He should go back to making WWF videos

Dec 6th, 2017 4:16 pm | By

Not happy.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, there were harsh words for Mr. Trump from Palestinians agitated at the idea that they were being forced into another period of conflict.

“We will never allow East Jerusalem to be taken away from us,” said a retired farmer who gave his name as Abu Malik, 54. “Trump is a crazy man who knows nothing about politics. I think he should go back to making WWF videos, rather than making these dangerous decisions that will only bring more headaches and bloodshed to our region.”

Maysa Hanoun, 20, a student at Al-Quds Open University, said she believed recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would set off a third intifada. “He

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Properly appreciated

Dec 6th, 2017 1:11 pm | By

From another piece reporting on the Met and Balthus and the petition:

In a 2013 review of the Balthus show in The New Republic, critic Jed Perl called Balthus the “last of the mystics who transformed twentieth-century art.” Perl said mystics are “by turns revered, reviled, demonized, and ignored—and at one point or another in his very long career Balthus was regarded in all of those ways.”

Perl added that Balthus’s paintings of girls “have stood in the way of a full appreciation of his achievement.” He wrote that these works “can be properly appreciated only when we accept them as unabashedly mystical, the flesh a symbol of the spirit, the girl’s dawning self-awareness an emblem of the artist’s

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Hovering between innocence and knowledge

Dec 6th, 2017 12:54 pm | By

The Met on a Balthus exhibition in 2013:

Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations explores the origins and permutations of the French artist’s focus on felines and the dark side of childhood. Balthus’s lifelong fascination with adolescence resulted in his most iconic works: girls on the threshold of puberty, hovering between innocence and knowledge. In these pictures, Balthus mingles intuition into his young sitters’ psyches with an erotic undercurrent and forbidding austerity, making them some of the most powerful depictions of childhood and adolescence committed to canvas.

That’s a very Humbert Humbert sort of take. It frames the girls as budding prostitutes, gradually learning how to lure men. It also frames them as being all about sexuality and nothing … Read the rest

Trump says it’s the right thing to do

Dec 6th, 2017 12:19 pm | By

The confidence Trump has in his own judgement and rightness is astounding. He has no qualms about reversing decades of policy just because he glorious he thinks it’s an awesome idea.

President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.

“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Mr. Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be

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# of the year

Dec 6th, 2017 11:02 am | By

Trump won’t like this. Person of the Year:

First it was a story. Then a moment. Now, two months after women began to come forward in droves to accuse powerful men of sexual harassment and assault, it is a movement.

Time magazine has named “the silence breakers” its person of the year for 2017, referring to those women, and the global conversation they have started.

The magazine’s editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal, said in an interview on the “Today” show on Wednesday that the #MeToo movement represented the “fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by women and some men too.”

Well, it began with millennia of men groping and … Read the rest