All entries by this author

Must be offensive

Feb 22nd, 2018 9:40 am | By

Oh god oh god oh god.

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Arm all the teachers

Feb 21st, 2018 3:42 pm | By

Trump held a “listening session” with survivors of school shootings, but judging by the reporting on Twitter, it was a sour joke – carefully packed with Trump fans, and no naughty rebels allowed.

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Because he sinks so low, so often

Feb 21st, 2018 3:03 pm | By

Margaret Sullivan, media columnist at the Washington Post, is disgusted at the things the Twisted Right is saying about the surviving students from Stoneman Douglas high school.

Here is the often-appalling pundit Dinesh D’Souza, outright mocking the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, after they showed their disappointment in a state legislature vote on assault weapons on Tuesday: “Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs.”

Recall for a moment: These are teenagers whose friends were brutally murdered less than a week ago.

D’Souza, who has a huge social-media following precisely because he sinks so low, so often, also tweeted out his cynical scorekeeping: “Adults: 1. Kids: 0.” And he took a shot at what he called

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Rapid response team

Feb 21st, 2018 11:26 am | By

I didn’t realize the Russian trolls had pounced on the Florida shooting that fast. The Times reported a couple of days ago:

One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

An hour.

So not only do we have a brain-fryingly stupid politics around issues such as gun control and abortion and women’s claim to be actual people, but also the brain-frying stupidity of our politics is like rotting meat to flies. We get the authentic stupid politics and then we get even more of it courtesy of Putin.

That is not fair.

The accounts addressed

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Which twin likes junk news the best?

Feb 21st, 2018 10:47 am | By

Twitter bot purge shock:

(It’s fun writing headlines that would have been gibberish 10 or 15 years ago.)

The hashtag #TwitterLockout has trended after an apparent purge of suspected malicious bots on the social network.

Dozens of users report having had their accounts suspended until they provided a telephone number which they then had to verify, to prove they were real.

Some members have raised concerns about their amount of lost followers, and claimed discrimination against right-wing political beliefs.

Is it the right-wing aspect or the deranged aspect? To put it another way, when so much right-wing pro-Trump discourse is batshit crazy and sounds like trolling whether it’s out of Russia or not, how can one tell whether it’s … Read the rest

Hijacked and exploited

Feb 21st, 2018 9:56 am | By

Trump’s pet ex-sheriff (who still calls himself “Sheriff” even though he’s an EX-sheriff), back from his Twitter suspension:

Really. Why would Florida students want gun control? What possible reason could they have to want fewer people wandering the landscape with an AR-15 and a backpack full of ammo? There surely is no such reason, therefore it must be Soros. Quod erat demonstrandum.… Read the rest

Not glib at all

Feb 21st, 2018 9:39 am | By

How graceful our new royal family is. Don 1 goes to visit survivors of the school shooting and grins like a partying frat boy for the cameras. Don 2 goes to peddle Luxury Properties in India and rejoices at the smiling faces of The Poor.

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, is in India this week to promote his family’s real estate empire and more than $1 billion worth of luxury Trump Tower projects in four cities, but he still had time to praise India’s poor for their smiles.

“I don’t mean to be glib about it, but you can see the poorest of the poor and there is still a smile on a face,” Trump said Tuesday 

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Florida to students: Nope, we don’t care

Feb 20th, 2018 5:37 pm | By

Florida legislators aren’t going to ban assault weapons just because a bunch of sissy kids think they should.

The Florida House rejects a motion to take up a bill banning assault rifles.

State Representative Kionne McGhee, a Democrat from Miami, asked for an unusual procedural move to consider his legislation, which had been filed earlier in the session but was never scheduled for a hearing.

“The shooting in Parkland demands extraordinary action,” Mr. McGhee said Tuesday on the House floor, as a group of Stoneman Douglas High students, who had previously arrived, peered down from the gallery.

The motion failed, 36 to 71, in a vote along party lines. At least one student burst into tears, Mr. McGhee said. One

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Feb 20th, 2018 5:16 pm | By

The tweet

The tweet in response

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Survivors watch Florida lawmakers vote down a bill to ban assault weapons

Feb 20th, 2018 4:59 pm | By

I wondered why Rob mentioned Dinesh D’Souza…then I saw that the latter was trending on Twitter, so I looked. Oh, that’s why.

The tweet he shared with that startling gloss:

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Soros did it

Feb 20th, 2018 4:32 pm | By

It turns out the whole thing is a left-wing plot to…um…to corrupt our precious bodily fluids? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely left-wing and a plot. And Soros.

Former GOP congressman Jack Kingston on Tuesday doubled-down on his inflammatory allegations that a group of school shooting survivors pushing for tougher gun laws are simply being used by left-wing political groups. Appearing on CNN, the Georgia Republican suggested that billionaire George Soros and other liberal activists had “hijacked” the “sorrow” of survivors of the Parkland, Florida, massacre, who in recent days have been helping organize a series of pro-gun-control protests.

“Do we really think, and I say this sincerely, that 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a

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The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Feb 20th, 2018 12:04 pm | By

Trump and Co want to ditch a law that protects birds. Yeah, who needs birds anyway?

The bird protection law—known officially as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—is more important now than ever. It protects more than 1,000 species of birds by making it illegal to kill or harm any birds not covered by permits.

Stripping the nation’s longest-standing bird conservation law of its authority to protect birds contradicts decades of bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats. If the law is decapitated by the Interior Department and by legislative proposals authored by Wyoming GOP Representative Liz Cheney, millions of our most iconic and beloved birds will be at huge risk.

The penalties under the bird protection law are critical

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Some were accompanied by rights campaigners

Feb 20th, 2018 11:34 am | By

Up for another Moral Quandary via Twitter session?

The BBC reported yesterday on the BAFTA awards and the MeToo Time’s Up campaigns.

Guests at the Bafta Film Awards showed their support for the Time’s Up and Me Too campaigns by wearing black and sending messages from the stage.

Virtually all the stars at the London ceremony were in black and some were accompanied by rights campaigners.

One of the few in a colourful dress was best actress winner Frances McDormand – but she told the ceremony: “I stand in full solidarity with my sisters.”

It’s all a bit knife-edge, isn’t it – movie stars all dressed up protesting and standing in solidarity with their sisters and stuff. A bit cringeworthy, … Read the rest

New charge

Feb 20th, 2018 7:10 am | By

Bloomberg reports:

An attorney who worked for a prominent law firm was charged with making false statements to federal authorities as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.

Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged Feb. 16 in federal court in Washington with lying to investigators about conversations related to a report he helped prepare on the trial of a Ukrainian politician, Yulia Tymoshenko. Van Der Zwaan was charged with a criminal information, which typically precedes a guilty plea.

Van Der Zwaan, identified on his LinkedIn page as an associate in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, was questioned regarding the firm’s work in 2012 on behalf of

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White House much relieved at mass shooting timeout

Feb 19th, 2018 4:24 pm | By

The slaughter of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school was a welcome relief to people at the White House, because it took the heat off them for a change. They’d been having a baaaaaad week until then. Whew! Thanks, 17 dead people!

One White House official said the shooting forced the White House to focus on critical and serious issues — like consoling the victims and trying to heal the nation — rather than getting bogged down in what they view as more trivial West Wing drama.

“For everyone, it was a distraction or a reprieve,” said the White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect internal conversations. “A lot of people here felt

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And Donald Duck will be giving a speech on constitutional law

Feb 19th, 2018 3:50 pm | By

This again.

The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is making what has been dubbed an unofficial visit to India to promote his family’s real estate projects. But he’s also planning to deliver a foreign policy speech on Indo-Pacific relations at an event with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Princess Ivanka sat in on that meeting with Abe at Trump Tower in November 2016, and she “sat in” for Daddy at the G20. Prince Jared is working to solve the slight problem in Israel/Palestine. Now Crown Prince Don 2 is giving a foreign policy speech in company with the Indian PM. They might as well invite random people off the street to do it. These people have no relevant … Read the rest

Not just yours, Don

Feb 19th, 2018 3:32 pm | By


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If not a Russian bot, might as well be

Feb 19th, 2018 12:17 pm | By

Three days ago Mary Beard mused aloud on Twitter.

And lo, there was a pile-on. (I read Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed a couple of months ago. I recommend it.) There are currently 828 replies.

She attempted to clarify her point many times but most of the pilers weren’t listening.

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Feb 19th, 2018 11:30 am | By

Newsweek reports:

White nationalist provocateurs, a pair of fake news sites, an army of Twitter bots and other cyber tricks helped derail Democratic Senator Al Franken last year, new research shows.

While everyone has been focused on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to support Donald Trump, the Franken takedown originated in—and was propelled by—a strategic online campaign with digital tentacles reaching to, of all places, Japan. Analysts have now mapped out how Hooters pinup girl and lad-mag model Leeann Tweeden’s initial accusation against Franken became effective propaganda after right-wing black ops master Roger Stone first hinted at the allegation.

A pair of Japan-based websites, created the day before Tweeden came forward, and a swarm of related Twitter

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Guest post: Let’s politicize the shit out of this

Feb 19th, 2018 11:15 am | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on No politics, please, we’re here to solicit $$$$.

Here’s what I want someone (well, someone other than me, someone with actual influence) to say after the next mass shooting:

The NRA and its lackeys don’t want us to talk about guns now. They say that would be “politicizing” this tragedy. And I say: yes, it would, and that’s exactly why we should do it.

“Politics” has come to be a dirty word, that brings to mind petty bickering and disingenuous posturing. But that’s not all that politics is. Politics is the means by which we, as a society, decide how to govern ourselves. It’s how we make changes that might prevent or … Read the rest