All entries by this author

Tell him you have other plans that day

Jan 30th, 2017 11:47 am | By

Shame on Theresa May.

(I’ve never liked that phrase – “shame on ___.” But I’m afraid it’s going to become indispensable in our new reality.)

She is refusing to tell Donald Trump to forget about that state visit. Well she damn well should tell him that.

US President Donald Trump’s planned state visit to the UK will go ahead no matter how many people sign a petition against it, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday.

More than a million people have so far called for the visit to be cancelled.

The petition, if accepted by Parliament, will force MPs to debate the motion: “Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom.”

However, Theresa

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Missing: checks and balances

Jan 30th, 2017 11:18 am | By

Remember the soothing murmurs before and even after the election that “checks and balances” would prevent Trump from getting away with authoritarian excesses? I do.

The Times points out the obvious fact that there don’t seem to be any.

By circumventing normal practices for formulating policies and their execution, the White House has created still-swirling confusion about whom the order targets and how it will be enforced. There is also ambiguity about the legality of the order, which the White House calls extreme vetting but which critics call a Muslim ban, and about how court challenges, already underway, will proceed.

For many abroad, the ban raised questions about how an American president could undertake such an action suddenly and

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Google resists

Jan 30th, 2017 10:59 am | By

Google is observing Fred Korematsu Day today.

Korematsu tried to enlist after Pearl Harbor, but instead he was interned. Today is his birthday and recognized as Fred Korematsu Day in California, Hawaii, Virginia and Florida.

The illustration, known as the Google doodle, comes a day after Google established a $4 million fund for the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR.

The ACLU has been one of the main organizations fighting Donald Trump‘s executive order to temporarily ban travel for immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — and temporarily halt the entry of refugees into the United States.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, whose

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Off with their heads

Jan 29th, 2017 4:29 pm | By

Kellyanne Conway thinks journalists who diss Trump should be fired.

Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, on Sunday continued the administration’s attack against the media by claiming that network television reporters and commentators who “talked smack” about Trump before the election should be fired.

“Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go,” Conway said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m too polite to mention their names, but they know who they are, and they are all wondering who will be the first to go. The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go.”

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An incredibly inclusive group

Jan 29th, 2017 3:58 pm | By

It turns out that we have it all wrong, the Trumpets are an incredibly inclusive buncha folks.

The White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day didn’t mention Jews or anti-Semitism because “despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN on Saturday.

Right down to the little children in Omaha who had to cut way back on candy for the duration.

Hicks provided a link to a Huffington Post UK story noting that while 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, 5 million others were also slaughtered during Adolf Hitler’s genocide, including “priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical

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Day 2 of the crisis

Jan 29th, 2017 3:09 pm | By

Again, Trump blames the media for reporting what he’s doing, and tells the lie that the media are lying.

With thousands of protesters marching outside the White House and thronging the streets of Washington and other cities, Mr. Trump late Sunday defended his order. “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” he said in a written statement. “This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”


While Mr. Trump denied that his action was targeted against Muslims, just hours earlier he made clear on Twitter that he was concerned about Christian refugees. Part of his order gives preferential treatment to Christians who try to

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If they don’t like their treatment, they should call Mr Trump

Jan 29th, 2017 2:53 pm | By

Some people have been able to escape Trump’s gotcha, thanks to a court order, but others have not. Dahlia Lithwick on some details:

The two named plaintiffs in a Massachusetts lawsuit, Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam, both associate professors at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, were also allowed to leave Boston’s Logan Airport Saturday night.

But that isn’t the case for Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz. The two young men, citizens of Yemen and lawful holders of U.S. green cards, were refused entry to the United States at Dulles Airport on Saturday, and are now trapped in what their lawyer described as “Tom Hanks limbo” at the Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia.

People were detained … Read the rest

Somebody with aptitude and conviction should be president

Jan 29th, 2017 11:21 am | By

What Trump found it worth saying on Twitter today, in the midst of the firestorm set off by his deranged ban on refugees:

One minute he’s throwing his toys out of the pram, the next minute he’s ruining the lives of thousands of people by signing a dictatorial order.… Read the rest

President Breitbart

Jan 29th, 2017 11:04 am | By

More on Bannon’s elevation:

President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum Saturday that removed the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers as regular attendees of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, the interagency forum that deals with policy issues affecting national security.

The executive measure established Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon as a regular attendee, whereas the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence will be allowed to participate only “where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

The two core experts are demoted while the loony neofascist amateur takes their place.

John McCain says it’s unprecedented. Not everything unprecedented is bad, but this? This is bad.

John Bellinger,

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Hit harder until success is achieved

Jan 29th, 2017 9:06 am | By

I think what Trump is doing with the ban order is a variation on the availability heuristic – on looking for your keys under the lamp post even though you dropped them 20 feet away, because the light is better under the lamp post. I think he’s thinking, stupidly, that if you’re just harsh enough, you will have Great Success in preventing terrorist incidents in your vicinity.

He’s also reasoning backward while dropping a slew of relevant details in the process. He’s reasoning from “people whose parents immigrated from Mooslim countries have blown people up or away in Paris and Brussels and London” to “therefore if we ban people from a few Mooslim countries, even though they’re not the relevantRead the rest

Government by trolls

Jan 29th, 2017 8:42 am | By

Steve Bannon on the National Security Council.

I wish that were a joke, but it’s not.

Trump has given Bannon a regular seat at the NSC, while making other people part-timers.

President Donald Trump granted controversial adviser Steve Bannon a regular seat at meetings of the National Security Council on Saturday, in a presidential memorandum that brought the former Breitbart publisher into some of the most sensitive meetings at the highest levels of government.

The president named Bannon to the council in a reorganization of the NSC. He also said his chief-of-staff Reince Priebus would have a seat in the meetings.

Trump also said the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the director of national intelligence, two

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Not so fast, Donnie from Queens

Jan 28th, 2017 7:10 pm | By

A judge has blocked part of Trump’s executive order.

A federal judge blocked part of President Trump’s executive order on immigration on Saturday evening, ordering that refugees and others trapped at airports across the United States should not be sent back to their home countries. But the judge stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s actions.

Lawyers who sued the government to block the White House order said the decision, which came after an emergency hearing in a New York City courtroom, could affect an estimated 100 to 200 people who were detained upon arrival at American airports in the wake of the order that Mr. Trump

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Fuck your “valor”

Jan 28th, 2017 4:44 pm | By

I just want to pause for a moment to point out what a disgusting photo this is. If they’d tried to put in every slap in the face to humane people they could think of, this is what they would have come up with.

 … Read the rest

Trump splits up families

Jan 28th, 2017 4:34 pm | By

Malala speaks up:

Malala Yousafzai’s statement on President Trump’s latest executive order on refugees:

“I am heartbroken that today President Trump is closing the door on children, mothers and fathers fleeing violence and war. I am heartbroken that America is turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants — the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair chance at a new life.

I am heartbroken that Syrian refugee children, who have suffered through six years of war by no fault of their own, are singled-out for discrimination.

I am heartbroken for girls like my friend Zaynab, who fled wars in three countries — Somalia, Yemen and Egypt

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Very nicely

Jan 28th, 2017 4:11 pm | By

Trump says his Nazi-style ban on refugees is working “nicely.” His stupidity is exceeded only by his callous indifference to the miseries of anyone who isn’t Donald Trump.

The fallout from President Trump’s temporary ban on refugees to the U.S. struck with full force Saturday, blocking some travelers from boarding their planes overseas, compelling others to turn around upon arrival in the U.S., and prompting customs agents at New York’s JFK Airport to detain at least a dozen people, including a former Iraqi translator for the U.S. military in Baghdad.

The growing chaos also sparked legal challenges, airport protests, condemnations from politicians and denunciations from advocacy groups.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Saturday tweeted an offer of support to those

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Maddow on Trump’s fascist move

Jan 28th, 2017 3:47 pm | By

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Slamming the border shut

Jan 28th, 2017 1:11 pm | By

The Times reports on the horrors Trump has unleashed.

President Trump’s executive order on immigration quickly reverberated through the United States and across the globe on Saturday, slamming the border shut for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Boston, an Iraqi who had worked as an interpreter for the United States Army, and a Syrian refugee family headed to a new life in Ohio, among countless others.

Around the nation, security officers at major international gateways had new rules to follow. Humanitarian organizations scrambled to cancel long-planned programs, delivering the bad news to families who were about to travel. Refugees who were airborne on flights when the order was signed were detained at airports.

Reports rapidly surfaced

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Complicity with evil

Jan 28th, 2017 12:48 pm | By

The fascists at work:

Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis stood directly behind their boss Friday, one man on each side, as President Trump announced an order that will ban half the world’s Shiite Muslims from entering the country for months.

“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States,” Trump said from his podium at the Pentagon. “We don’t want ’em here.”

Malevolent imbecile. Immigrants are already vetted. Nobody’s flinging the doors open to Islamist terrorists.

Pence nodded along to the words. It was just over a year earlier when he had called Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States “offensive and unconstitutional.” That was before

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Meanwhile, at State

Jan 28th, 2017 12:34 pm | By

Jon Finer in Foreign Policy on how Trump is already disabling the State Department.

It’s no surprise that political appointees are asked to leave, he says.

But what is happening these days at the State Department — where a slew of senior career diplomats and management professionals have been given the non-choice between resigning effective Friday and being summarily relieved of their duties and where several others have retired voluntarily — is different and could be damaging. These are not, for the most part, people who have any role in implementing signature Obama administration policies on which the new team has signaled a different direction, like the Iran nuclear deal, fighting climate change, addressing women’s issues globally, or managing

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The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

Jan 28th, 2017 10:16 am | By

Funny thing: Trump’s hot new immigration ban is illegal. It’s kind of odd that no one managed to tell him that before he announced it.

The Times explains how it’s against the law:

President Trump signed an executive order on Friday that purports to bar for at least 90 days almost all permanent immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Syria and Iraq, and asserts the power to extend the ban indefinitely.

But the order is illegal. More than 50 years ago, Congress outlawed such discrimination against immigrants based on national origin.

That decision came after a long and shameful history in this country of barring immigrants based on where they came from. Starting in the late 19th century, laws

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