All entries by this author

But we are waiting

Apr 16th, 2019 11:49 am | By

Dahlia Lithwick points out many things Trump has done in full public view that amount to the various kinds of wrongdoing Mueller’s team investigated.

There’s the alleged telling an official to close the southern border and promising a pardon in advance, there’s the lying about Wikileaks, there’s the spreading filth.

Last week, as professor David Rothkopf ably summarized here, Attorney General William Barr testified that he was able to be the arbiter of whether the president obstructed justice, which is actually not the case. He also reversed a long-standing Department of Justice policy to defend statutes because the president told him to. The treasury secretary has refused to abide by a law that on its face demands that

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Dry timber

Apr 16th, 2019 11:19 am | By

What may have happened:

A heritage fire safety expert has said his heart sinks and he fears for the worst every time he sees scaffolding on a historic building.

Stewart Kidd said all construction sites were inherently dangerous places, but the danger was so much higher in a heritage building.

“We’re talking about timber, we’re talking about very dry buildings because they are old, we’re talking about nooks and crannies, we’re talking about voids and ducts where fire can spread unseen and pop out a long way from where it started.”

He said data from Scotland suggested that about 8-12% of fires in heritage buildings occured when contractors were present.

“What we know is that any kind of hot

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Change of location

Apr 16th, 2019 11:02 am | By

That shindig with Jair Bolsonaro at the Museum of Natural History? It’s off.

Plans to honor Brazil’s far-right president with a black-tie gala at the American Museum of Natural History have been scrapped after a public outcry that saw New York’s mayor brand Jair Bolsonaro “a very dangerous human being”.

Bill de Blasio was among those to speak out after plans for the 14 May event emerged last week, claiming Bolsonaro’s “overt racism and homophobia” and his hostility to the environment mean it would be wrong for such a museum to host him.

Museum staff and scientists in both the United States and Brazil also blasted the decision to pay tribute to a rightwing populist who critics

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Red line

Apr 16th, 2019 6:02 am | By

Cue Trump screaming.

House Democrats issued subpoenas Monday for records from Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions, seeking information regarding President Trump’s business ventures as several congressional panels took steps to intensify their scrutiny of the president’s personal accounts and corporate dealings.

The subpoenas, first reported by the New York Times, were issued by the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees, which have been leading the Democrats’ probe of Trump’s finances. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, said in a statement Monday that Trump’s “potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern.”

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Profiles in cheating

Apr 16th, 2019 5:55 am | By

And the courage awards go to

Highly decorated track athletes Andraya Yearwood of Cromwell High School and Terry Miller of Bloomfield High School have been selected co-recipients of the 2019 Bob Casey Courage Award by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance.

And why are they “highly decorated”? Because they have male bodies but race against girls and so they win all the races. I’m not at all sure I consider that “courage”…

Both juniors, Yearwood and Miller are transgender athletes in girls track who have won individual Connecticut state track championships in multiple sprint events. Miller, who previously attended Hartford’s Bulkeley High School, recently won New England indoor track championships in the 55 and 300 meters.

Yes, of course they … Read the rest

Nail-biting in Trumplandia

Apr 16th, 2019 5:26 am | By

One for the “least worrying worry ever” file: some Trump people who talked to Mueller are in a sweat that Trump might get mad at them. Waa waa; we’re in a sweat that Trump might kill us all.

Of particular concern is how Trump — and his allies — will react if it appears to be clear precisely what specific officials shared with Mueller, these people said.

“They got asked questions and told the truth and now they’re worried the wrath will follow,” one former White House official said.

Some of those who spoke with Mueller’s team, such as former White House counsel Don McGahn, witnessed Trump’s actions up close and were privy to key moments in the obstruction

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The White House abruptly nixed the move

Apr 15th, 2019 5:36 pm | By

In other news – Trump does another disgusting thing.

For the first time in years, the United Nations’ committee on racism will not contain anyone from the U.S.

According to a report from POLITICO on Saturday, the White House blocked the renomination of human rights lawyer Gay McDougall, who had served on the committee since 2015. The White House has not announced why it failed to renominate McDougall, or why it opted not to nominate anyone else to the 18-member commission. POLITICO reported that State Department officials had already informed McDougall that she would be renominated before the White House abruptly nixed the move.

NOPE. No American on any stinkin’ international commission on racism on his watch. America was … Read the rest

Notre Dame des larmes

Apr 15th, 2019 4:53 pm | By

Neil Henderson shares some front pages.

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They are built, they get burned, they are rebuilt

Apr 15th, 2019 4:34 pm | By

More “it’s horrifying but it’s fixable and it’s not actually as horrifying as most of us thought” news: Sara L. Uckleman on Facebook, with a “please share”:

While what has happened to Notre Dame today has shocked me and moved me to tears more than once over the course of the evening, I’m finding that my background and training as a medievalist means I’m, overall, finding it a lot less devastating than many people.


Because I know how churches live. They are not static monuments to the past. They are built, they get burned, they are rebuilt, they are extended, they get ransacked, they get rebuilt, they collapse because they were not built well, they get rebuilt, they

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There will be nothing left

Apr 15th, 2019 11:29 am | By

A BBC reporter says it’s fully engulfed and there will be nothing left.

This is agonizing.… Read the rest


Apr 15th, 2019 11:02 am | By

The fire is gobbling it up as we watch. This is horrible.



The roof is gone. Fuckfuckfuck

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Apr 15th, 2019 10:49 am | By

Oh merde.


MERDE MERDE MERDE it’s reached the spire.

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4chan in the White House

Apr 15th, 2019 10:25 am | By

The BBC notices Trump’s targeting of Ilhan Omar:

On Monday Mr Trump stepped up his attacks against Ms Omar, calling her “out of control”.

He also said Mrs Pelosi “should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful US HATE statements Omar has made” before defending her.

Says the guy who has made more racist sexist appearance-ist statements than anyone can keep track of.

Also, … Read the rest

Revenue stream

Apr 14th, 2019 4:06 pm | By

Fox News is obsessed with Ocasio-Cortez.

A study found that the New York City Democrat was mentioned 3,181 times on Fox News Channel and its sister Fox Business Network during the six-week period of Feb. 25 to April 7, or just under 76 times a day. Not a day went by when she wasn’t spoken about on Fox.

The liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, which did the research, called it an obsession and said the first term representative has become the network’s latest bogeyman, “someone for hosts and guests to demonize, knock down and refer to whenever grievances need to be aired against the Democratic Party.”

I’m sure they’re professional about it though.

Tucker Carlson has called her

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On the ugliest corners of the Internet

Apr 14th, 2019 12:31 pm | By


As the world stared in wonder this week at the first image of a black hole, a new star was born here on Earth: Katherine Bouman, a 29-year-old postdoctoral researcher who developed an algorithm that was key to capturing the stunning visual.

On the ugliest corners of the Internet, however, this sudden fame for a young woman in a male-dominated field couldn’t stand. A corrective was quickly found in Andrew Chael, another member of the Event Horizon Telescope team, who, not coincidentally, is white and male.

On Reddit and Twitter, memes quickly went viral contrasting Bouman with Chael, who — per the viral images — was actually responsible for “850,000 of the 900,000 lines of code that were written

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Frankly, Chris

Apr 14th, 2019 11:33 am | By

Squalid Sarah Sanders pulls us down some more:

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday that she doesn’t think congressional Democrats are “smart enough” to review President Donald Trump’s tax returns should they succeed in obtaining the documents.

“This is a dangerous, dangerous road and frankly, Chris, I don’t think Congress, particularly not this group of congressmen and women, are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump’s taxes will be,” Sanders told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

Yes, that’s what the executive branch is supposed to do: go on tv to call the legislative branch stupid.

“My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes, and

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That easy

Apr 14th, 2019 11:14 am | By

The Far Corner Café:

Click to embiggen.… Read the rest

Trump’s lawlessness is intensifying

Apr 13th, 2019 4:02 pm | By

Jennifer Rubin says Trump has taken an impeachment-level lunge into abuse of power territory.

The abusing asylum-seekers as retaliation against sanctuary cities and Democrats in general was bad enough, but he didn’t stop there.

Making matters worse, we learned he allegedly told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to close the border despite concerns about the legality of doing so. He allegedly told McAleenan, who is now also acting secretary of homeland security, that he — Trump — would pardon him later if need be.

What?!? That’s the only sensible reaction for someone minimally conversant in the Constitution and the rule of law. This is the conduct of a movie mob boss, not a president. Trump is so

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And now it’s the tallest

Apr 13th, 2019 10:41 am | By

I wanted to post about this yesterday but I couldn’t find reporting that got all the facts in one place. The Guardian has collected them:

Democrats including leading candidates for the presidential nomination have fiercely condemned Donald Trump and other Republicans’ efforts to smear the Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, while urging other party leaders to do the same.

Attacks labeling one of two Muslim women in Congress as unpatriotic are “dangerous” and risk “inciting violence”, prominent progressives said on Friday, after Trump shared a video attacking Omar that included graphic footage of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Let’s not pretend that such things don’t risk inciting violence. We know they do.

Just last week, a Trump supporter in New York

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The Democratic party’s new intellectual center of gravity

Apr 13th, 2019 10:16 am | By

The pundits are declaring Elizabeth Warren irrelevant (after years of announcing she should run for president when she had only just started being a senator and was focused on that), but her ideas matter either way.

But since her initial announcement in December, Warren’s campaign has rolled out a series of detailed policy proposals in quick succession, outlining structural changes to major industries, government functions, and regulatory procedures that would facilitate more equitable representation in the federal government and overhaul the economy in favor of the working class. These policy proposals have made Warren the Democratic party’s new intellectual center of gravity, a formidable influence who is steadily pushing the presidential primary field to the left and forcing all of

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