All entries by this author

He was having fun, they were having fun

Sep 15th, 2018 11:38 am | By

As the hurricane continues to dump rain on flooded North Carolina, Trump’s thoughts turned to

Trump, of course.

As Hurricane Florence continued its destructive path in North and South Carolina on Friday, President Donald Trump has reportedly been fixated on unflattering news reports about his response to Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico in September 2017.

That is definitely the most urgent concern here.

Trump has particularly been irritated by video footage of him throwing rolls of paper towels to a crowd of relief workers on the island, according to a Washington Post report published Thursday. Trump had characterized his gestures as good-natured, but the footage prompted accusations that Trump lacks empathy.

“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very

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And furthermore…

Sep 14th, 2018 5:46 pm | By

Isaac Chotiner’s Buruma interview is today’s news in Abusers’ Corner; yesterday’s was John Hockenberry doing his “This has all been so sad for me” thing in Harper’s.

He starts off by telling us everything we know about him, which is why I stopped reading it yesterday, gagging. He goes on to tell us about all his stuff in a storage unit now, how important he used to be, how sad, poor him.

Then he tells us his friends don’t shower him with affection any more.

I have also faced unrelenting anger from both male and female colleagues. Or, more common and more painful, I have faced their stony and, in my view, cowardly silence. Only one of my accusers

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Injecting nuance

Sep 14th, 2018 4:58 pm | By

Oh good, it’s The Return of Men time. Thank god; I was wondering how we’d get along.

Well before the world associated the phrase #MeToo with sexual assault, Jian Ghomeshi was a popular Canadian radio host and musician. In 2014 and 2015, however, he became the subject of numerous allegations of sexual assault, which included biting, choking, and punching women in the head.

But he got away with it.

Now, Ghomeshi has published a long essay in the New York Review of Books, titled “Reflections From a Hashtag.” In it, Ghomeshi aims to “inject nuance” into his story and says he has faced “enough humiliation for a lifetime” as a victim of “mass shaming.” He also claims to have

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But how trustworthy a magazine is it?

Sep 14th, 2018 11:45 am | By

Justin Weinberg at Daily Nous yesterday:

Scientific American is a monthly magazine aimed at popularizing scientific and technological findings. But how trustworthy a magazine is it?

This question is prompted by several articles that Scientific American has published on topics in philosophy. It is wonderful that the magazine’s editors recognize how much philosophy is relevant to science and scientific practices. But the quality of those articles has been questionable.

Yes, I’ve noticed that, for instance when they publish Michael Shermer pretending to be a moral philosopher.

The uneven quality of Scientific American articles on topics I am familiar with has led me to question its trustworthiness more generally. I know I’m not alone in that questioning.

As for the 

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Da stoolie is gonna squeal

Sep 14th, 2018 9:17 am | By

The Post reports:

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is pleading guilty Friday to two criminal charges under terms of a plea deal that includes his cooperation as a potential witness for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The decision by Manafort to provide evidence in exchange for leniency on sentencing is a stunning development in the long-running probe into whether any Trump associates may have conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Manafort’s defenders have long insisted that he would not cooperate with Mueller, and didn’t know any incriminating information against the president.

It’s ok though, what he’s pleading guilty to is minor:

A criminal information — a legal document filed by prosecutors to detail the

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Intellectual dark mansplaining

Sep 14th, 2018 8:47 am | By

Oh good GRIEF.

Why can’t seven guys team up to pronounce on gender? Why can’t six white guys plus one brown guy (see how woke we are?) tell us all what to think about gender and race, and charge money for it? Who doesn’t want to hear what all-male panels think about gender?

That’s the intellectual dark web. You can tell because it’s dark outside the window.… Read the rest

You went to Salisbury to see the clock?

Sep 14th, 2018 8:27 am | By


It’s like this: going to Salisbury to see the sights is plausible as part of an extended tourist adventure. I know this for a fact because I’ve done it myself – gotten a rail pass and run around visiting places for seven days. Salisbury was one of the places, and I wasn’t disappointed. But as a destination? On a one-day trip to London? Nah.

And now there’s Pyotr Verzilov. Masha Gessen at the New Yorker:

There is little I can say about the latest apparent poisoning in Russia that I haven’t said before. And before that. And more recently. That Russian enemies of the current regime are often killed, most frequently by poisoning, is now a

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Eric’s turn

Sep 13th, 2018 5:46 pm | By

These Trumps. Eric this time.

Eric Trump was talking up his father on Fox News on Wednesday morning when he was lobbed a friendly prompt from one of the network’s anchors.

During a segment that touched on Democrats’ calls for impeachment as well as the current success of the economy, “Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy brought up the perception created by both Bob Woodward’s new book and the New York Times’s anonymous op-ed last week that the Trump administration is in chaos.

But they sure are getting a lot done, Doocy smarmed.

Trump then launched into an attack in the second person about someone who writes a “sensational nonsense book” and is rewarded with a CNN appearance, before

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The Bad Man’s comments

Sep 13th, 2018 11:14 am | By

Trump’s self-obsessed lie about the death toll of Hurricane Maria is not going over all that well.

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Seen from the office

Sep 13th, 2018 10:24 am | By

Now to cheer us up…

That’s Lake Washington. It forms the eastern border of Seattle (and continues well past it north and south – it’s about 20 miles long) while Puget Sound makes the western border. The National Weather Service office is at NOAA, which is at the northern edge of Magnuson Park, which is a huge wildish heath that used to be a naval base. This is a view accessible to the public.

There’s a lot to like about Seattle.… Read the rest

Big shiny new houses

Sep 13th, 2018 10:11 am | By

The Times (NY) is doing a live update on the hurricane.

The storm is forecast to crawl inland, drenching a wide area with extremely heavy rains — 20, 30 or even 40 inches of rainfall are predicted in some spots on the Carolina coast. Places as far inland as Charlotte, about 150 miles from the coast, could receive more than 10 inches of rain. Learn more about why slow-moving hurricanes are so dangerous here.

It’s kind of hard to imagine 40 inches of rain.

President Trump on Thursday falsely accused Democrats of inflating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, rejecting a government assessment that the storm had claimed nearly 3,000 livesRead more

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The coastal region’s population and economy have boomed

Sep 13th, 2018 9:53 am | By

More on that whole North Carolina coast – climate denial – ignore the future tragedy:

The approaching storm almost certainly gained destructive power from a warming climate, but a 2012 law, and subsequent actions by the state, effectively ordered state and local agencies that develop coastal policies to ignore scientific models showing an acceleration in the rise of sea levels.

In the years since, development has continued with little regard to the long-term threat posed by rising sea levels. And the coastal region’s population and economy have boomed, growing by almost half in the last 20 years.

In other words state law has put a large number of people in harm’s way, because of pure obstinate fingers-in-ears Denial.


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Pass a law against heavy rainfall

Sep 12th, 2018 5:24 pm | By

Ah, North Carolina. Will you rethink at all?

In 2012, the state now in the path of Hurricane Florence reacted to a prediction by its Coastal Resources Commission that sea levels could rise by 39in over the next century by passing a law that banned policies based on such forecasts.

Policies like…saying no to new building on the beaches?

North Carolina has a long, low-lying coastline and is considered one of the US areas most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

Long, low-lying, and made even longer by the barrier islands.

But dire predictions alarmed coastal developers and their allies, who said they did not believe the rise in sea level would be as bad as the worst models predicted and

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Pattern recognition

Sep 12th, 2018 4:20 pm | By

Ah, this Mark Knight has a history with the racist cartoons thing. Imagine my surprise.

On Wednesday, the Herald Sun provided its response to critics of the cartoon by doubling down. The newspaper republished Knight’s Serena Williams image as part of a front-page montage of Knight caricatures — including of President Trump — with the headline “WELCOME TO PC WORLD” and the text: “If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed.” The cover includes the cheeky label “Satire Free Zone.”

In early August, for a cartoon about train-station safety in the Australian state of Victoria, Knight also faced ire for how

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What’s the politics of a hurricane?

Sep 12th, 2018 3:13 pm | By

If you were worrying about Hurricane Florence, about to dump 20 inches of rain on South and North Carolina, don’t: Rush Limbaugh says it’s all a ploy to big up climate change.

The right-wing radio host said during his show that hurricane forecasting has been amplified in order to convince people that climate change is causing greater natural disasters, noting how previous hurricanes are downgraded before they make landfall.

“These things have become very politicized as you know, folks. Hurricanes and hurricane forecasting is much like much else that the left has gotten its hands on, and they politicize these things. For those of you asking, ‘What’s the politics of a hurricane?’ Climate change is the politics of

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A different kind of destruction

Sep 12th, 2018 11:56 am | By

A defiant front page

Sep 12th, 2018 10:40 am | By

Now the Herald-Sun, the Australian paper that ran the strikingly racist cartoon of Serena Williams, is doing the free speech martyr act.

The Herald Sun newspaper has republished its controversial cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams on a defiant front page in which it attacked its critics and foreshadowed a future where satire is outlawed.

“WELCOME TO PC WORLD,” read the paper’s headline, over a collection of Mark Knight cartoons, including the depiction of Williams spitting a dummy and stamping on her racquet.

The cartoons are broad, yes, but they’re not racist. That one of Williams – we’ve seen those before.

“If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically

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An incredible, unsung success

Sep 12th, 2018 10:18 am | By

NPR does a fact check on that claim.

During an Oval Office briefing on preparations for Hurricane Florence, a reporter asked President Trump if there were lessons to be learned from the widely criticized FEMA response to Hurricane Maria last year in Puerto Rico. Trump’s response? In short: nothing to see here.

“The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did, working

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Heckuva job

Sep 12th, 2018 9:48 am | By

Hey it costs money to lock up more and more scary Mexicans illegal immigrants, and that money has to come from somewhere. Oh I know: take it from FEMA, they don’t do anything useful.

Newly revealed documents show the Trump administration took nearly $10 million away from FEMA and other federal agencies to apparently pay for immigration detention centers. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, the agency which FEMA is a part of, said under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from FEMA to immigration enforcement efforts.

CBS News’ Jeff Pegues reports the money in question was transferred back in August to ICE. A source at DHS tells Pegues the funds were transferred to

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Get a job! No not that job!

Sep 11th, 2018 3:59 pm | By

Interesting. We’re supposed to despise people who are on welfare because they should get a job no matter how scarce jobs are where they live or how young and dependent their children are or how hard they’re working in school to improve their chances of finding work…but also, it turns out, we’re supposed to despise people who do have jobs if the jobs are not posh enough for our refined tastes.

Former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens made headlines this holiday weekend after a New Jersey shopper snapped photos of him bagging groceries at a Trader Joe checkout line — then provided them to the Daily Mail.

Instantly, Owens — who played the Huxtables’ affable son-in-law Elvin on

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