All entries by this author

And a little child shall barf on them

Sep 19th, 2017 10:08 am | By

Of course he does. Trump makes his debut at the UN by threatening to destroy North Korea while at the same time calling Kim Jong Un by a ridiculous childish nickname. We’re living in a serial titled The Giant Toddler Who Destroyed the Earth.

“We meet at a time of immense promise and great peril,” Trump said in his maiden address to more than 150 international delegations at the annual U.N. General Assembly. “It is up to us whether we will lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.”

Oops. That was “despair,” Don. Do more rehearsals. The world is not a car that needs repair; it’s a little more complicated than that.… Read the rest

You grab the eyeballs however you can

Sep 18th, 2017 4:53 pm | By

Frank Bruni is not amused by Sean Spicer’s gig at the Emmys.

[W]hat I and anyone else who tuned in to Hollywood’s latest self-congratulatory orgy on Sunday saw wasn’t good fun. It was bad news — a ringing, stinging confirmation that fame truly is its own reward and celebrity really does trump everything and redeem everyone.

Object of ridicule or object of reverence: Is there a difference? Not if you’re a household name, not if you’re a proven agent of ratings and not if you’re likely to deliver more of them. Our commander in chief took that crude philosophy to heart and rode it all the way to the White House. Sean Spicer took a page from the president and

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Confidence is high

Sep 18th, 2017 4:04 pm | By

Republicans are hoping to be able finally at long last to take health insurance away from millions of people. They’re wetting themselves with excitement, because it’s looking good!

Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress on Monday demanded that lawmakers wait to find out the budgetary and healthcare impacts of a new, last-ditch legislative effort by Republicans to repeal Obamacare before voting on it.

In their long-running war on former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, Senate Republicans are now proposing to replace it with a system that would give states money in block grants to run their own healthcare programs.

The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan fiscal analysis unit of Congress, said Monday it will make a preliminary

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Lunch break

Sep 18th, 2017 12:31 pm | By

So that’s hilarious.

It is every Washington reporter’s dream to sit down at a restaurant, overhear secret stuff and get a scoop. It rarely happens.

Still, everyone in town important enough to have secrets worth keeping knows that secrets are not safe on the Acela train and in Washington restaurants.

This is especially true in eateries next door to a major newspaper.

Yes, Ty Cobb and John Dowd, lawyers for President Trump, we’re talking to you.

But it’s too late now.

*stops reading in order to laugh*

Really? Really? Trump’s lawyers went out for munchies and talked loudly enough to be overheard? Really?

Together, they went for what appears to have been a working lunch at BLT Steak, 1625

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Shut up and laugh

Sep 18th, 2017 10:37 am | By

Oh, good, now we’re supposed to see Sean Spicer as a funny guy and his lying for Trump as just normal business.

When opponents of the president talk about “normalizing” an abnormal administration, they are talking about the sort of thing that took place onstage Sunday night at the Emmys: Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s first White House press secretary, showed up and made a joke about one of his false claims.

The night otherwise had been a showcase of Hollywood’s liberal leanings as applied to 2017. Stephen Colbert’s intro song and monologue sounded the alarm about global warming, Russian meddling in American politics, and police violence in cute but cutting fashion. “I’d like to vote for Selina Meyer, she’s

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Gauland’s German “we”

Sep 17th, 2017 6:14 pm | By

Stewart at Gnu Atheism on Facebook:

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Sep 17th, 2017 4:11 pm | By

If we wanted to have a white supremacy museum, where would we put it? Montgomery, Alabama would be a good choice.

It was at the statehouse in Montgomery that Jefferson Davis was first inaugurated as the president of the Confederacy in a bid to preserve the institution of slavery and in defense of the inferiority of the black race. It was here too, nearly a century later, that Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat, and a young Martin Luther King launched his first direct action campaign: The Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Indeed the official city seal tells some of this story in ironic juxtaposition, nesting its claim as “Cradle of the Confederacy” inside that of “Birthplace of

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Putting on his big boy global pants

Sep 17th, 2017 12:31 pm | By

Trump is off to the UN in the morning, because it’s General Assembly time.

…when Mr. Trump attends the first United Nations session of his presidency this coming week, all eyes will be on him as counterparts from around the globe crane their necks and slide through the crowd to snatch a handshake — and, in the process, try to figure out this most unusual of American leaders.

“The world is still trying to take the measure of this president,” said Jon B. Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and author of the speed-dating analogy. “For a number of leaders, this is going to be their first chance to see

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Fuctupmind indeed

Sep 17th, 2017 10:45 am | By

Another low achieved.

President Trump retweeted a meme on Sunday morning that showed him hitting Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ballprompting another round of outrage from critics who felt the president’s tweets had once again crossed the line.

The animated GIF spliced together a clip of Trump swinging a golf club with footage of Clinton falling, apparently edited to appear as though a golf ball had struck her down.

The image was originally posted as a reply to the president by a Twitter user named @Fuctupmind, whose bio consists of pro-Trump, anti-Clinton hashtags.

“Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary,” the user wrote in the caption.

Yes, that’s what the US head of state should … Read the rest

Behold a cauldron of violent vitriol

Sep 16th, 2017 4:48 pm | By
Behold a cauldron of violent vitriol

Janice Turner was there when Maria Maclachlan was attacked by “activists.”

When is it OK to punch a woman? I’ve pondered this question since Wednesday evening when I watched a 60-year-old in specs and sensible shoes called Maria being smacked in the face. Yet I learn from her assailant’s defenders that it’s fine. Punch harder next time, guys! Because “acts of physical violence against those who are systemically violent are self-defence”.

I was at Speakers’ Corner waiting, along with about 80 others, to learn the secret location of a meeting entitled, “What is gender? The Gender Recognition Act [GRA] and beyond”. It was all very cloak and dagger because the original venue, a south London community centre, had cancelled the

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The lie of the pink and blue onesies

Sep 16th, 2017 1:04 pm | By

Hadley Freeman wonders, as so many of us do, why shops sell clothes with pink butterflies on them for Girls and blue spaceships for Boys.

Too often, discussions of gender today, rather than expanding boundaries, only contract them. When people say they’re “non-binary”, it sounds to me more like they swallowed the lie of the pink and blue onesies. Because the point is everyone, really, is non-binary – no one’s a wholly pink butterfly or blue car onesie. We are all, to varying degrees, purple spaceship onesies – and, yes, that is the scientific term.

Gender stereotypes are too often confused with biology, and you hear this mistake being made as much on the left as you do on

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Uncontrolled abusive monster syndrome

Sep 16th, 2017 12:04 pm | By

It’s interesting how thoroughly terrible the protagonist of this character study is. The terribleness seeps everywhere and gets into all the corners and crevices and tiny little thumbtack holes. No possible terrible is overlooked.

Trump’s temper — honed over years as a public and political persona — hasn’t waned.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions bore the brunt of Trump’s most recently disclosed upbraiding. The New York Times reported this week that Trump, in front of multiple people, called his long-time supporter an “idiot.”

In the West Wing, Trump can be a temperamental commander-in-chief, prone to bursts of anger that dissipate as quickly as they came on. The rage is an extension of what many say they experienced on the campaign trail.

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He now thinks he was rushed into transitioning

Sep 16th, 2017 11:33 am | By

The Guardian shares a story of detransitioning.

Elan Anthony knows more than most about trans identity issues. Born a boy 42 years ago, he transitioned from male to female at 19 and then detransitioned to male three years ago. While his story is enlightening, it is also immensely challenging and it took him a long time and a lot of therapy to conclude that he had made a mistake.

He says – in the same paragraph – both that he believed he was female and that could never change, and that at times he wondered if he’d gotten it wrong and should actually be a man.

“I started to realise that I could have dealt with my own issues

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Dallas yesterday, Richmond tomorrow

Sep 15th, 2017 5:48 pm | By

A statue of Lee was removed from an eponymous park in Dallas yesterday, without incident.

The 14 foot- (4.3 meter) tall statue in Dallas of Lee on horseback riding with an unnamed soldier has been at a city park since 1936, with then President Franklin D. Roosevelt on hand for its dedication.

Workers in yellow vests took down the Lee statue and hauled it away on a trailer pulled by a pick-up truck, during an operation lasting about four hours, according to a Reuters Witness. Dozens of bystanders watched while police, including some officers armed with rifles, stood guard.

The park may be renamed.

Earlier this month, a U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who

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4 rules to help him not get fired

Sep 15th, 2017 4:21 pm | By

California Representative Ted Lieu wrote a memo to Steven Mnuchin.

 … Read the rest

Help from Fox and Friends

Sep 15th, 2017 3:32 pm | By

Trump probably got that stupid and venomous claim that the tube bombing was carried out by “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard” from Fox and Friends.

At 6:42 a.m., Mr. Trump tweeted that “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard” carried out the explosion, which left 29 people injured in the blast and ensuing panic. It was not clear where Mr. Trump had gotten that information, though 23 minutes earlier, “Fox and Friends,” a program Mr. Trump regularly watches, broadcast a report in which an outside security analyst said the London police probably already knew the identity of the attackers.

“Can someone tell Scotland Yard?” asked Brian Kilmeade,

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Different rules

Sep 15th, 2017 11:29 am | By

David Graham at the Atlantic asks a necessary question – why is Trump so speedy at jumping to conclusions about what he takes to be Islamist terrorism and so slow and cautious about a bit of white supremacist terrorism caught on video?

For the second time in a month, President Trump has rushed to condemn a terrorist attack abroad as the work of Islamist terrorists, speaking out before the facts are known even to local officials. Trump’s remarks came just a day after he once again insisted he was right to cast blame on both sides after violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. And they renew the question of why he is so quick to speak with such clarity in

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Thank you for mouthing off please stop

Sep 15th, 2017 11:07 am | By

Even Trump’s semi-friends, such as Theresa May, aren’t thanking him for his “proactive!” tweets.

British officials rebuked President Donald Trump on Friday for claiming that the individuals responsible for setting off explosives in the London subway had been “in the sights of” law enforcement who failed to be “proactive.”

Prime Minister Theresa May reproached Trump for his rhetoric in the wake of what police are investigating as a terrorist attack that injured at least 18 people.

“I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” she said. “As I’ve just said, the police and security services are working to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible.”

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Trump demands more toughness

Sep 15th, 2017 8:06 am | By

Trump is parading his id on Twitter again.

Must be proactive! he says – meaning, no doubt, that once someone is “in the sights” of Scotland Yard (actually MI5), that someone should be arrested and held indefinitely, no matter how slim or shaky the evidence. Never mind human rights, never mind the law, never mind probabilities: when in doubt throw people in prison and leave them there.

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A lot of people are saying

Sep 14th, 2017 4:53 pm | By

Trump has returned to his “both sides” vomit.

Mr. Trump was characterizing his side of a conversation on Wednesday with Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, during which Mr. Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican, said he confronted the president on his claim that “both sides” were responsible for the violence that followed a torchlight protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

“Especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the anti-fascist group that clashed with neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

But what you did not have was some … Read the rest