All entries by this author

Russian efforts to suborn such individuals

May 23rd, 2017 8:42 am | By

Meanwhile, as Trump struggles to act like an adult overseas, another intel official has said he was worried about the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia.

John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, said Tuesday that he became concerned last year that the Russian government was trying to influence members of the Trump campaign to act — wittingly or unwittingly — on Moscow’s behalf.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals,” Mr. Brennan told lawmakers. “It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the

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Trump says stop standing for the slaughter of innocent people

May 23rd, 2017 8:10 am | By

The Manchester bomb is of course a gift to Trump: now he can yell that he was right right right about keeping out all the Mooslims except the ones from Saudi Arabia and other not at all Islamist places like that.

“This is what I’ve spent these last few days talking about in our trip overseas,” Mr. Trump said after a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. “Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed. We cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people.”

As if everyone else were standing for it, and only Trump thinks we should make it stop. The problem is that it’s not easy to … Read the rest

22 killed 59 injured

May 23rd, 2017 7:28 am | By

From the BBC:

Twenty-two people, including an eight-year-old girl, have been killed and 59 were injured in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.

A man set off a homemade bomb in the foyer at 22:33 BST on Monday…

Armed police have arrested a 23-year-old man in Chorlton, south Manchester, in connection with the attack.

Mancunians did what they could to help:

As hundreds of people fled Manchester Arena following the explosion, taxi drivers began taking people to safety.

Driver AJ Singh said he tried to help wherever he could.

“I’ve had people who needed to find loved ones. I’ve dropped them off to the hospital. They’ve not

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Is there anyone Trump didn’t try to strongarm?

May 22nd, 2017 6:04 pm | By

It wasn’t just Comey that Trump tried to strongarm into squashing the investigation, the Post reports.

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who

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Years of misogynist Reddit posts

May 22nd, 2017 5:26 pm | By

Interesting. A New Hampshire legislator has resigned after being outed as one of those misogynist men who spend their free time talking shit about women on Reddit.

The beginning of the end for Rep. Robert Fisher, a New Hampshire state lawmaker, took root just three weeks ago, when an investigation by the Daily Beast chronicled in painstaking detail years of anonymous, “misogynistic” and “woman-hating” Reddit posts from the user pk_atheist.

It focused on the Red Pill, a popular online forum that describes itself a place to discuss men’s rights and male sexual strategy, where founder pk_atheist commented breathlessly. His words disparaged feminism, insulted women’s “sub-par intelligence” and called their personalities “lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day to

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May 22nd, 2017 3:54 pm | By

Another Bataclan?

The BBC reports:

Police are responding to a “serious incident” in Manchester amid reports of an “explosion” following a pop concert.

Witnesses reported hearing a “huge bang” following an Ariana Grande gig at Manchester Arena.

Network Rail said train lines out of Manchester Victoria station, which is close to the concert venue, were blocked.

Greater Manchester Police tweeted to urge people to stay away from the area.

I know where that station is. I got off one of the circulating buses there. I have friends in Manchester.… Read the rest

Screened for their loyalty to Trump

May 22nd, 2017 3:26 pm | By

Apparently Amy Siskind does a weekly list of things to keep an eye on in Life Under Trump. The one she did for last week has 105 items on it. 105 items! That’s a full-time job. I’m finding a lot I missed. Hoping to track down some of the more startling ones – like # 9:

9. NY Magazine reported that candidates for FBI director were being screened for their loyalty to Trump.

What? But according to Sally Yates the DoJ is supposed to operate completely independently of the Executive Branch…although how that is possible when the executive chooses the top people I don’t know. Our supposed “checks and balances” aren’t.

So here is NY mag on that subject a Read the rest

Yet another demonstration of disrespect

May 22nd, 2017 11:27 am | By

Now the Trump admin is trying to cut the Office of Government Ethics off at the knees.

The Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose any ethics waivers granted to former lobbyists who now work in the White House or federal agencies.

The latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand

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Just so you understand

May 22nd, 2017 11:10 am | By

Look at this imbecile.

After an appearance alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, President Donald Trump paused to push back against reports that he had disclosed highly classified information to the Russians.

“Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel’,'” Trump told reporters in Jerusalem. “Never mentioned it during that conversation. They were all saying I did. So you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the word ‘Israel’.”

He told them it using his tiny stunted repertoire of gestures – the pinch on “never mentioned,” the point on “during that conversation.” The two little hands pushing at the invisible barrier on “Never mentioned the word ‘Israel’.” The gestures always underline how stupid he … Read the rest

To enshrine a system of racially polarized voting

May 22nd, 2017 10:27 am | By

The Supreme Court has put the kibosh on North Carolina’s attempt to sort voters by race.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature unlawfully relied on race when drawing two of the state’s congressional districts.

The decision continued a trend at the court, where justices have found that racial considerations improperly predominated in redistricting decisions by Republican-led legislatures in Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina. Some involved congressional districts, others legislative districts.

The states had contended their efforts were partisan attempts to protect their majorities, which the Supreme Court in the past has allowed, rather than attempts to diminish the impact of minority voters, which is forbidden.

But the justices declared North Carolina had relied too heavily

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Mammy’s Cupboard

May 22nd, 2017 9:29 am | By

Another item for the Nice People files: Mississippi State Representative Karl Oliver.

Karl Oliver says that Louisiana leaders should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments and that he will do everything within his power to make sure that Mississippi does not follow suit.


A Mississippi state representative.

The post is now gone; it said:

The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, “leadership” of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power

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Magic moments

May 22nd, 2017 6:51 am | By

Keep pressing it. Don’t let go. Whatever you do, don’t lose contact. Grab it. Grab it hard. Grab it like a president.

Via the Post.

Updating to add one more, that captures his innocent awe and wonder:

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One orb to bind them

May 22nd, 2017 6:44 am | By

He put his tiny hands on it. He is their captive now.

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Ivanka is encouraged by Saudia Arabia’s “progress”

May 21st, 2017 5:25 pm | By

Princess Ivanka is doing her bit to patronize the people of Saudi Arabia, a Lady Catherine de Bourgh in stilettos.

Ivanka Trump brought her message of female empowerment Sunday to the world’s most repressive society for women, a place where women are not allowed to drive, must cover themselves from head to toe in public and require permission from a “male guardian” to travel outside their homes.

What “message of female empowerment”? Certainly not the one that says women should not have to deal with men grabbing them by the pussy and bragging about it to their bros. Certainly not the one that says powerful men who publicly call women names are misogynist shits. Certainly not the one that defends … Read the rest

Trump hopes to cut school lunch programs

May 21st, 2017 4:20 pm | By

Hooray for “populism.”

President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net.

Fewer protections for the poor, more money for the rich – that’s populism? What’s pop about it?

After The Washington Post reported some of the cuts Sunday evening, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Trump was pulling “the rug out from so many who need help.”

“This budget continues to reveal President Trump’s true colors: His populist campaign rhetoric was just a Trojan horse to execute

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Not here to lecture

May 21st, 2017 11:50 am | By

Trump gave his Talk to The Mooslims today, telling them he’s fine with the oppression of women as long as they don’t set off the odd bomb in places we Americans like to hang out.

President Trump sought to rally leaders from around the Muslim world on Sunday in a renewed campaign against extremism, rejecting the idea that the fight is a battle between religions even as he promised not to chastise them about human rights violations in their own countries.

“Go ahead! Violate all the human rights you want to at home! Just don’t do bad things to us. Do it to her, not to me.” Such a noble sentiment.

While Mr. Obama and President George W.

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76 feet of pro-slavery glory

May 21st, 2017 11:11 am | By

16 feet tall Robert E. Lee no longer towers over downtown Nawlins.

The New Orleans City Council had declared the city’s four Confederate monuments a public nuisance.

On Friday police cars circled the last one standing, the imposing statue of General Robert E. Lee, a 16-foot-tall bronze figure mounted on a 60-foot pedestal in the center of Lee Circle near downtown. Live news trucks were parked on side streets, and cameramen watched from the windows of nearby hotel rooms. The air was muggy and tense.

It’s a funny thing, but contemporary Germany doesn’t much fancy having giant statues of Hitler in downtown Frankfurt and Berlin and Heidelberg. It doesn’t see the period from 1933 to 1945 as a heroic age. … Read the rest

Dina Ali Lasloom

May 20th, 2017 5:23 pm | By

Speaking of Saudi Arabia and women…Human Rights Watch tells us about one:

A fleeing Saudi woman faces grave risks after being returned to Saudi Arabia against her will while in transit in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should ensure that Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, is not subjected to violence from her family or prosecution by Saudi authorities for trying to flee, Human Rights Watch said.

“Trying to flee” – that is what we in other countries know as traveling or emigrating.

On April 10, 2017, Saudi activists posted videos that appeared to show Lasloom at Manila’s international airport pleading not to be returned because she feared her family would kill her. The Saudi

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Donnie Twoscoops goes on a trip

May 20th, 2017 5:12 pm | By

Trump is a big hit in Saudi Arabia, because he’s suddenly developed an understanding of foreign affairs and mature skill at diplomacy.

Just kidding. He’s a big hit because he’s a cynical self-serving pig.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech that White House aides described as a call to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world to unite against extremism. One senior White House official said the president hoped to “reset” both the global fight against Islamist terrorism and his own reputation for intolerance of Muslims, which was fueled by his campaign call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” After taking office, Mr. Trump signed an executive

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A multi-directional cacophony of gleeful back-patting

May 20th, 2017 12:06 pm | By

Ketan Joshi on that non-hoax “hoax”:

There’s a multi-directional cacophony of gleeful back-patting ringing out across my Twitter feed at the moment. The outpouring of joy stems from an article published in Skeptic Magazine. Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay managed to submit a hoax article to a gender studies journal, and are hailing this as a profound, thermonuclear indictment on the entirety of gender studies, social science and the “academic left”. They wrote that:

“We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal”

Their article was initially rejected by

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