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Guest post: Because governments don’t exist to make a profit

Feb 12th, 2017 5:35 pm | By

Guest post by Robert Ahrens.

A remark made on one of my posts, last night I think it was, caused me to stop and think about what your average American knows about being a government employee.

To start out, for those who don’t know me or haven’t checked my profile yet, I was a Federal employee for 42 years and 4 months. I served the US Army for four years, and the Food and Drug Administration the rest of the time, starting out as a mail & file clerk and ending up as a senior IT tech overseeing a group of contractors who kept the FDA desktops updated and secure.

Along the way, I worked with scientists, lab people, … Read the rest



From Howdy Doody to Bill O’Reilly

Feb 12th, 2017 4:29 pm | By

Trump still watches lots of tv, and no matter how often his people tell him it’s not a great idea, he goes on watching. I suspect he has to – I suspect it’s his life source. Not watching, for him, would be like a vampire seeing direct sunlight. He would fade fade fade fade pop – gone.

In the heat of the 2016 campaign, “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked Donald Trump whom he spoke to for military advice.

“Well, I watch the shows,” Trump responded. “I mean, I really see a lot of great — you know, when you watch your show and all of the other shows, and you have the generals.”

“I watch the shows.”… Read the rest



Strong words

Feb 12th, 2017 4:11 pm | By

Bernie Sanders today mentioned that Trump’s pants are on fire. Al Franken suggested he’s a hot dog short of a picnic.

Sanders made the charge on NBC’s “Meet the Press” as he attacked Trump’s travel ban — which faces a federal court challenge — and Republican plans to revamp the Affordable Care Act.

“We have a president who is delusional in many respects, a pathological liar,” Sanders said.

“Those are strong words,” moderator Chuck Todd interjected while asking Sanders whether he can work with a liar.

Yes of course they’re strong words, but seeing as how they’re obviously true, since Trump barfs out blatant lies on Twitter daily, so what if they’re strong words? Why should we tiptoe around … Read the rest



The White House has not provided “enormous evidence”

Feb 12th, 2017 11:50 am | By

Trump and his puppets are still telling lies about voter fraud.

White House adviser Stephen Miller doubled down on the Trump administration’s groundless claims of voter fraud in New Hampshire — and across the nation — during in an interview on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

Earlier this week President Trump claimed, with no evidence, that voters from Massachusetts were bused to New Hampshire to vote illegally.

That’s not a thing you just do – it’s not normal. It’s Hitlery. It’s what aspiring dictators do – they announce the whole thing is broken and corrupt and Only They can fix it.

On This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Miller, a senior White House policy adviser, to provide that evidence.

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The new Spicey

Feb 12th, 2017 11:30 am | By

The Times kindly collected their neighbors’ Trump-related segments in one article. Go New Yawk.

Rejoice therefore: there’s more Spicer.

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Trump is horrified that many refugees are from Syria

Feb 12th, 2017 11:20 am | By

He doesn’t get it.

That’s because they are refugees. Refugees don’t come from Sweden and Canada and Japan.

Let’s consult the UNHCR on this point.

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence

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The Alwaleed bin Talal Chair

Feb 11th, 2017 6:39 pm | By

Meet Jonathan AC Brown – the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and the Director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding.

Sarah Brown (no relation, I’m pretty sure) at Harry’s Place tells us what he’s been doing lately:

Brown has recently hit the headlines for defending the practices of slavery and concubinage in a lecture.  Like many apologists he borrows from discourses more usually associated with secular liberalism to soothe his listeners’ ears.  Some use the language of human rights and liberalism to defend illiberal practices. Brown disingenuously invokes postmodern relativist uncertainty to trivialise rape.  Here are some excerpts from his justification (taken from

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What It’s Felt Like

Feb 11th, 2017 4:14 pm | By

What It’s Felt Like Since The Election, by Michael Feldman:

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Vancouver Illiteracy Project

Feb 11th, 2017 3:04 pm | By

Meghan Murphy reports that:

The same anti-feminists who harassed, threatened, and intimidated women at the opening of the Vancouver Women’s Library last Friday came back last night and vandalized the building, which is a space shared by many local artists and artisans. These people are not only harming the library, as irrational and hateful as that is in and of itself, but they are jeopardizing the livelihoods of dozens and dozens of people, many of whom are working class and/or marginalized people.

Old school lefties used to call this kind of thing adventurism. By now it’s more like adventure tourism. It’s not any kind of politics, it’s just a pretext for being noisy belligerent assholes and, best of all, bullying … Read the rest



An infinite diversity

Feb 11th, 2017 12:11 pm | By

This is hilarious. It’s incoherent nonsense, but it’s also hilarious.

The modest title is:

What Does Multigender Mean? 10 Questions You May Be Afraid to Ask – Answered

Questions answered! Hooray! It’s always good to have an expert around.

There is an infinite diversity of genders in the world.

Each person has a totally unique interpretation and relationship with any gender they inhabit, and there are at least as many genders as there have been humans who have lived.

That’s drivel. It’s like saying each person has a totally unique interpretation and relationship with any soul they inhabit. It’s just a pointlessly elaborated version of the bromide “everyone is different” – which isn’t even all that true. Everyone is a … Read the rest



Neatly capturing the blithe, criminal ignorance

Feb 11th, 2017 11:22 am | By

Albert Burneko translates Politico’s somewhat tactful language about Trump’s surprise and distress about realizing being president is a hard job into language that is less tactful and more honest.

“Being president is harder than Donald Trump thought,” begins the article, neatly capturing the blithe, criminal ignorance that characterizes both Trump himself and the many dozens of millions of morons who thought he should be the leader of the free world.

Exactly what I thought. How could he not know it’s a hard job? How dare he go for it without knowing? How dare he be so reckless and so lazy and so entitled?

Our new president occupies a wild outer range of blundering, arrogant stupidity, far beyond that typically

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A jaunt for Eric

Feb 11th, 2017 10:11 am | By

Interesting – Eric Trump gets a publicly funded security detail when he travels to promote his profit-making business interests.

When the president-elect’s son Eric Trump jetted to Uruguay in early January for a Trump Organization promotional trip, U.S. taxpayers were left footing a bill of nearly $100,000 in hotel rooms for Secret Service and embassy staff.

It was a high-profile jaunt out of the country for Eric, the fresh-faced executive of the Trump Organization who, like his father, pledged to keep the company separate from the presidency. Eric mingled with real estate brokers, dined at an open-air beachfront eatery and spoke to hundreds at an “ultra exclusive” Trump Tower Punta del Este evening party celebrating his visit.

And we … Read the rest



Not that again

Feb 11th, 2017 9:16 am | By

Trump still has trouble staying on-topic.

On Thursday, during a meeting with 10 senators that was billed as a listening session about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the president went off on a familiar tangent, suggesting again that he was a victim of widespread voter fraud, despite the fact that he won the presidential election.

As soon as the door closed and the reporters allowed to observe for a few minutes had been ushered out, Trump began to talk about the election, participants said, triggered by the presence of former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who lost her reelection bid in November and is now working for Trump as a Capitol Hill liaison, or “Sherpa,” on the Supreme Court

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Verb tenses

Feb 10th, 2017 12:33 pm | By

Trump’s bonehead mistake about the New York Times article:

Oh Donnie Donnie Donnie. That’s not what it said. You changed one crucial letter, and it changes everything.

Here’s what the Times article actually said:

The concession was clearly designed to put an end to an extended chill in the relationship between China and the United States. Mr. Xi, stung by Mr. Trump’s unorthodox telephone call with the president of Taiwan in December and his subsequent assertion that the United States might no longer abide by the One

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Hey this is hard work!

Feb 10th, 2017 12:17 pm | By

Politico reports – in the least surprising news ever – that Trump is finding it all a bit of a struggle.

Being president is harder than Donald Trump thought, according to aides and allies who say that he’s growing increasingly frustrated with the challenges of running the massive federal bureaucracy.

How dumb do you have to be to think it would be an easy job?

And, for that matter, how dumb do you have to be not to look into the matter before deciding to go for the job?

In interviews, nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced

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You’re invited for a visit while no one is home

Feb 10th, 2017 12:08 pm | By

Now Theresa May is hoping Trump’s state visit to the UK can be sneaked in over a quiet weekend at the dog-end of summer so that no one will notice.

The US president’s controversial visit is now expected to run from a Thursday to a Sunday in late summer or early autumn, with officials trying to ensure that Trump is not in London at a time when parliament is sitting, in order to avoid a formal snub.

According to Westminster sources, a weekend visit at the very end of August or in September is now under discussion between the government, Buckingham Palace and the White House. A source described such a plan as “the preferred option at our end”. Parliament

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The real and grave threat Trump poses

Feb 10th, 2017 10:43 am | By

The Washington Post draws the link between Trump’s constant relentless lying and the obstacles he’s beginning to encounter in the courts.

(Three weeks in. It’s taken him only three weeks to get to this point.)

Trump’s defiance might work well as political theater, and there’s no denying that it made for an effective presidential campaign. But as a legal strategy, it’s already hitting roadblocks.

The first came last week, when a federal judge froze his controversial executive order shutting U.S. borders to refugees and migrants from seven mostly Muslim countries.

But the real blow came Thursday, when an appeals court upheld that freeze. In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

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Remarkably, Trump did not bother even to read the article

Feb 10th, 2017 10:13 am | By

Meanwhile Trump is using Twitter to appeal the court’s ruling.

Yesterday, right after the ruling:

This morning:

Och the puir wee bairn – he didn’t understand the thing he quoted. Elliott Lusztig elucidates:

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None dare call it treason

Feb 10th, 2017 9:49 am | By

So Mike Flynn chatted with the Russians weeks before he was part of the US administration.

Weeks before President Trump’s inauguration, his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, discussed American sanctions against Russia, as well as areas of possible cooperation, with that country’s ambassador to the United States, according to current and former American officials.

Throughout the discussions, the message Mr. Flynn conveyed to the ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak — that the Obama administration was Moscow’s adversary and that relations with Russia would change under Mr. Trump — was unambiguous and highly inappropriate, the officials said.

The accounts of the conversations raise the prospect that Mr. Flynn violated a law against private citizens’ engaging in diplomacy, and directly contradict

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The Government has pointed to no evidence

Feb 9th, 2017 4:57 pm | By

The ruling.

Go to page 26. Read:

The Government has not shown that a stay is necessary to avoid irreparable injury. Nken, 556 U.S. at 434. Although we agree that “the Government’s interest in combating terrorism is an urgent objective of the highest order,” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S. 1, 28 (2010), the Government has done little more than reiterate that fact. Despite the district court’s and our own repeated invitations to explain the urgent need for the Executive Order to be placed immediately into effect, the Government submitted no evidence to rebut the States’ argument that the district court’s order merely returned the nation temporarily to the position it has occupied for many previous years.

The

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