All entries by this author

She persisted

Oct 11th, 2019 8:22 am | By

The Guardian’s Julian Borger has background on Marie Yovanovitch:

Since leaving Kyiv, Yovanovitch has been on sabbatical at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, but is still a serving foreign service officer.

Her reported decision to appear seems to be in defiance of a block imposed by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, ordering state department officials not to give depositions to the congressional impeachment hearings. It is unclear whether the Trump administration will take further measures to try to stop her, in which case the Democrats running the House committees leading the impeachment investigation have signaled they are ready to issue friendly subpoenas.

First Pompeo yanks her out of Ukraine at Trump’s behest, … Read the rest

Good morning Ms Yovanovitch

Oct 11th, 2019 7:45 am | By

Oh hey – Marie Yovanovitch has arrived to testify. They failed to stop her.

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch just walked into the Capitol for her deposition in the House’s impeachment investigation.

No doubt most or all of her testimony will be kept secret at least for now, but their failure to stop her is itself of note.… Read the rest

The charming, reasonable response

Oct 11th, 2019 7:28 am | By

Kathleen Stock tells us:

So last night at the Philosophy Dept of @unimelb this talk happened; and this was the charming, reasonable response from protestors…

“TERF GRAVES ARE GENDER NEUTRAL BATHROOMS” – aka we piss on your graves, bitches.… Read the rest

Guest post: Just a feeling and not something you can see

Oct 10th, 2019 5:56 pm | By

Originally a comment by Artymorty on Decrease is a symptom of the thing decreased.

Did you see today’s article in the New Yorker by Masha Gessen about trans rights and the Supreme Court?

I greatly admire her writing about Russian politics and gay rights, but I think she’s very wrong about bathrooms and trans rights.

I became a journalist at a time when one was not supposed to cover issues that concerned one personally. The (very few) black reporters working in the mainstream media were not assigned to write about the civil-rights movement. Women were not assigned to stories on feminism. The handful of openly gay reporters were not allowed to write about gay-and-lesbian rights or the aids epidemic.

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When Bill met Roopy

Oct 10th, 2019 4:49 pm | By

“Attorney General” Bill Barr met with Rupert Murdoch last night; nobody knows what they talked about.

I’m sure it’s all very innocent. I’m sure Barr in no way tried to pressure Murdoch to make Fox even more slavishly adoring of Trump. I’m sure it’s entirely normal for an Attorney General to visit the boss of a notoriously political tv network, just to lift a few beers and shoot the shit.

Also, the Guardian tells us:

At least four national security officials raised concerns over the Trump administrations’ efforts to pressure Ukraine with a White House lawyer, the Washington Post reports:

The nature and timing of the previously undisclosed discussions with National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg

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Tens of thousands of people have fled

Oct 10th, 2019 4:23 pm | By

So, this is what Trump wanted? He’s happy? All going according to plan?

Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in northern Syria, as Turkish forces step up their cross-border offensive on Kurdish-held areas.

Turkish troops have encircled the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad and aid agencies fear the exodus could reach hundreds of thousands.

International clamour has increased for Turkey to halt the attack.

Turkey has defended its bid to create a “safe zone” free of Kurdish militias which could also house Syrian refugees.

Aw yeah, everybody has a right to create a “safe zone” in other people’s towns. Canada can create a “safe zone” by attacking Detroit and Buffalo because they are just … Read the rest

A bear lashing out at whatever’s around him

Oct 10th, 2019 11:18 am | By

Rebecca Solnit sees Trump as an enraged bear:

The chaos takes so many forms. Innumerable stories have made it clear that even the president’s own aides and cabinet members treat him like a captive bear or a person having a psychotic breakdown – like someone unstable who must be kept from harming himself and others. They have done that by heaping on the flattery, and by warping and limiting the information he receives, and often by doing their best to prevent his directives from being realized.

The New York Times recently reported on a March meeting about the border. According to aides, Trump “suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down”. When he was told

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Decrease is a symptom of the thing decreased

Oct 10th, 2019 10:00 am | By

How to create a market:

Market creation. First they say that gender dysphoria isn’t a mental health condition and then they say that mental health conditions and neuro-diversity are signs of being transgender. Then they teach gender ideology in schools and target ads to children on Youtube.

So gender dysphoria “may present” as depression, anxiety, doing badly in school, family quarrels, frustration, anger, not dating, feeling guilty or lonely or like a loser, sadness, anhedonia, diagnosis of borderline personality disorder or autism among other items, and feelings of decreased gender dysphoria.

So, basically, everything.… Read the rest

Whoever their Pollster is, they suck

Oct 10th, 2019 8:55 am | By

Aw, it looks as if Trump and Fox have quarreled. Donnie two hours ago:

From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews
Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days. With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme…….Court Justice & I turned him down (he’s been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!

First of all, it’s fascinating that he … Read the rest

600k just for the limos

Oct 10th, 2019 8:45 am | By

So Pence has government business in Dublin so he books himself and his retinue into Trump’s golf course on the opposite side of Ireland so that Trump can squeeze some more $$$$ out of his fun government job, and who pays for the extra travel between Dublin and Doonbeg? Trump? Pence? Hahahaha don’t be silly; we do.

Mike Pence’s controversial visit to President Trump’s resort in Doonbeg is slated to cost taxpayers $599,454.36 in limousine service alone, according to State Department contracts reviewed by CREW.

The choice to stay at Trump’s Irish resort in Doonbeg was both highly inconvenient, and extremely expensive. Located 181 miles away on the opposite side of the country from Pence’s meetings in Dublin, Doonbeg

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They didn’t help us

Oct 9th, 2019 6:15 pm | By

Trump saying it:

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They didn’t help us with Normandy as an example

Oct 9th, 2019 5:41 pm | By

Trump says it’s cool that he abandoned the Kurds to their fate because hey where were they on D-Day? Did they help save Private Ryan? Were they there next to John Wayne and Arnold Schwarzenegger? I don’t think so.

The US president told reporters that the Kurds “didn’t help us in the second world war, they didn’t help us with Normandy as an example – they mention the names of different battles, they weren’t there”, in a staggering comment following the signing of executive orders on the federal regulation at the White House on Wednesday.

“We have spent a tremendous amount of money helping the Kurds,” the president said. “They’re fighting for their land. When you say they’re fighting with

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Syrian Kurds under bombardment from Turkish jets

Oct 9th, 2019 11:52 am | By

Amy Siskind:

Our country is already an authoritarian state from a practical standpoint: one person is making all major decisions, both foreign and domestic. He refuses to follow the law or recognize the Constitution. So long as the GOP enables him, things will only get worse.

Indeed. This has been the case from the moment he took office. He does what he feels like and no one so far can stop him.

Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson:

Syrian Kurds under bombardment from Turkish jets urgently request air support from U.S. and “No fly zone” to protect civilians: SDF statement

Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin responds:

The US military has been ordered by President Trump

Read the rest

Creating a safe zone

Oct 9th, 2019 10:32 am | By

Turkey has accepted Trump’s green light to invade northern Syria.

Turkish warplanes have bombed parts of north-eastern Syria at the start of an offensive which could lead to conflict with Kurdish-led allies of the US.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was to create a “safe zone” cleared of Kurdish militias which will also house Syrian refugees.

The Kurds – key US allies in defeating IS in Syria – guard thousands of IS fighters and their relatives in prisons and camps in areas under their control and it is unclear whether they will continue to be safely detained.

Turkish ground forces have been massing on the border. The offensive was launched just days after President Donald

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Mr. President, you are not above the law

Oct 9th, 2019 10:19 am | By

Nancy Pelosi responds to the White House’s petulant “we won’t we won’t WE WON’T” letter yesterday:

“For a while, the President has tried to normalize lawlessness.  Now, he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue.  The American people have already heard the President’s own words – ‘do us a favor, though.’  The President’s actions threaten our national security, violate our Constitution and undermine the integrity of our elections.  The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law.

“This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers

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Confidence is high

Oct 9th, 2019 9:33 am | By

DOCTOR McKinnon is off to the races.

Final TT prep before worlds!! I head to Manchester tomorrow. I’m anticipating 500m and 200m TT PBs…and a new masters women 200m TT world record.

#rainbowfoxracing #rainbowfox #worldchampion #herthighness…

He’s anticipating a new world record. How can he be so confident? Could it be because he’s anticipating it in a women’s race?… Read the rest

That won’t help

Oct 9th, 2019 8:51 am | By

From the News from Siberia file:

Scientists in Siberia have discovered an area of sea that is “boiling” with methane, with bubbles that can be scooped from the water with buckets. Researchers on an expedition to the East Siberian Sea said the “methane fountain” was unlike anything they had seen before, with concentrations of the gas in the region to be six to seven times higher than the global average.

The team is doing research on the environmental consequences of permafrost thawing. You know the drill – permafrost melting, methane being released, permafrost melting faster, more methane being released, permafrost melting even faster, continue until everything dies.

And it’s not just the tundra, it’s also the ocean.

In 2017, scientists

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Performatively outraged

Oct 8th, 2019 6:02 pm | By

We won’t we won’t we WON’T.

In a performatively outraged eight-page letter to the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced that it would not cooperate with the body’s impeachment inquiry under the circumstances in which it’s being conducted. Or, well, ever.

The tone of the letter, attributable to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, is shouty, reading as a lightly lawyered digest of the president’s tweets. It accuses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic chairmen of three investigating committees of violating “the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent” in the way they’ve conducted the inquiry.

And compare Trump, who honors Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent in every way … Read the rest

Who is going to sign up with us?

Oct 8th, 2019 4:43 pm | By

Why Trump’s sudden Syria move was such a catastrophically bad idea:

As President Trump defends his decision to pull away some U.S. troops from Syria’s border with Turkey, the president’s former envoy for the fight against the so-called Islamic State is raising alarms about how potentially destabilizing the move can be for the region.

Brett McGurk, who resigned from Trump’s national security team in December and also served in the Obama and Bush administrations, tells NPR that Trump making such a drastic announcement shortly after speaking with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned a vital foreign policy decision into a potential crisis.

“Presidents do a lot of things, but the most consequential are decisions of war and peace

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The scramble and fallout from the call

Oct 8th, 2019 11:35 am | By

Apparently there was much scrambling.

Aides to President Trump scrambled in the aftermath of his July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s leader — both to alert lawyers of their concerns and to contain the damage, new CNN reporting shows.

At least one National Security Council official alerted the White House’s national security lawyers about the concerns, three sources familiar with the matter said. Those same lawyers would later order the transcript of the call moved to a highly classified server typically reserved for code-word classified material.

Wait a second. What kind of “concerns” are we talking about? Concerns about the criminality and treachery of Trump’s attempt to extort campaign interference from the president of Ukraine? Or concern about the … Read the rest