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Best known for representing mobsters

Jul 15th, 2017 5:20 pm | By

Trump’s re-election campaign has been paying Junior’s legal bills.

About two weeks before the release of emails showing Donald Trump Jr. seeking opposition research from attorneys representing the Russian government, his father’s reelection campaign began paying the law firm now representing Trump Jr. in the ensuing political and legal fallout.

new filing with the Federal Election Commission shows that President Trump’s reelection campaign paid $50,000 to the law offices of Alan Futerfas on June 26. That was around the time, Yahoo News reports, that the president’s legal team learned of a June 2016 email exchange in which Trump Jr., through an associate, solicited damaging information about 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.

Isn’t that…illegal? Isn’t it illegal to … Read the rest

The end of “women”

Jul 15th, 2017 4:41 pm | By

There’s a piece by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha about emotional labor. The title is


I have no idea what the second line, the one in parentheses, is supposed to mean.

Whatever it’s supposed to mean, I’m staggered before the piece even begins, by a throat-clearing that prefaces it:

Editor’s note: In this piece you may notice some departures from Bitch’s house style. This piece was edited according to the author’s specifications.

Femme: A person who has one of a million kinds of queer femme or feminine genders. Part of a multiverse of femme gendered people who have histories and communities

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Even a woman could do it

Jul 15th, 2017 11:09 am | By

Updating to add: it’s now being reported that there are rumors this is a falsehood, originating perhaps with Boris Johnson.

Some more banal sexism:

Philip Hammond has provoked bewilderment and anger with his suggestion that driving a train is so easy that “even a woman could do it”. Theresa May has done little for women’s rights but even she was shocked, slapping down her Chancellor with a curt remark.

Yet egregious as these ministerial reflections were – and we’ve had a few, in these grim Brexit times – they are not as out of tune with the age as we like to think.

[T]ake Wimbledon. Female players have complained that men are more likely to be

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Embedded in the routines and language of everyday life

Jul 15th, 2017 9:50 am | By

Deborah Cameron suggests a category of “banal sexism” for the background noise of stale jokes and insults about women that most people don’t even notice.

Sexism also has ‘hot’ forms, and those are the ones mainstream discourse finds it easiest to recognise and condemn. The western media have no difficulty in recognising the sexism of the Taliban and Boko Haram; the more liberal parts of the western media have no difficulty in recognising the sexism of Gamergaters and Donald Trump.  But what you might call ‘banal sexism’—ordinary, unremarkable, embedded in the routines and the language of everyday life—is a different story. It does often go unnoticed, and when feminists draw attention to it they’re accused of taking offence where none

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Where’s your sense of humor?

Jul 15th, 2017 9:14 am | By

Today in everyday misogyny:

Ahaha. Haha. So funny.

Woman 1: How can I get my stalker to lose interest in me?

Woman 2: Marry him.

Ahaha. Funny. Marriage=boredom; so funny, so fresh, so worth making a joke of stalking and its attendant terrorizing and violence.… Read the rest

Threat insult threat

Jul 14th, 2017 5:56 pm | By

Trump’s people.

The House Intelligence Committee has postponed the scheduled July 24 closed-door testimony of former Donald Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone in its probe of Russian meddling in the presidential election, Stone’s lawyer said Friday.

The lawyer, Grant Smith, said his client was notified by the committee late Thursday that his testimony would be delayed until after Congress’s August recess because the panel wasn’t ready.

Stone hurled insults at two Democratic members of the intelligence panel — threatening to sue one and calling another a “yellow-bellied coward” — during an appearance aired Thursday on Buffalo, New York-area radio station WBEN. Also on the program was former Trump campaign communications adviser Michael Caputo, who is scheduled to testify before

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Home addresses, phone numbers and places of employment

Jul 14th, 2017 4:48 pm | By


The White House on Thursday made public a trove of emails it received from voters offering comment on its Election Integrity Commission. The commission drew widespread criticism when it emerged into public view by asking for personal information, including addresses, partial social security numbers and party affiliation, on every voter in the country.

It further outraged voters by planning to post that information publicly.

Voters directed that outrage toward the Trump White House and the voter commission, often using profanity-laced language in the 112 pages of emails released this week.

Unfortunately for these voters and others who wrote in, the Trump administration did not redact any of their personal information from the emails before releasing them to

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Table for 4, no 5, no 6, make that 8

Jul 14th, 2017 4:04 pm | By

Now we’re up to eight (8) people at that convivial meeting in Trump Tower last year.

The revelation of additional participants comes as The Associated Press first reported Friday that a Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin said he also attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. CNN has reached out to Akhmetshin for comment.
So far acknowledged in attendance: Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Akhmetshin and publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting. A source familiar with the circumstances told CNN there were at least two other people in the room as well, a translator and a representative of the Russian family who had asked Goldstone to set up the meeting. The source

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Simply oblivious

Jul 14th, 2017 12:38 pm | By

David Brooks (“not always wrong”) on the moral vacuum of Trumps:

The Donald Trump Jr. we see through the Russia scandal story is not malevolent: He seems to be simply oblivious to the idea that ethical concerns could possibly play a role in everyday life. When the Russian government offer came across his email, there doesn’t seem to have been a flicker of concern. Instead, he replied with that tone of simple bro glee that we remember from other scandals.

“Can you smell money?!?!?!?!” Jack Abramoff emailed a co-conspirator during his lobbying and casino fraud shenanigans. That’s the same tone as Don Jr.’s “I love it” when offered a chance to conspire with a hostile power. A person capable

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Somebody said

Jul 14th, 2017 12:23 pm | By

Trump again casually told a random lie about a public official, for no apparent reason apart from floating malice and aggression. The Times put it more politely, as “falsely blames” and “wrongly blamed,” but what they mean is he lied and defamed.

Defending his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump wrongly blamed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for admitting the lawyer to the United States in the first place.

“Somebody said that her visa or her passport was approved by Attorney General Lynch,” Mr. Trump said Thursday at a joint news conference with President Emmanuel Macron of France. “She was here because of Lynch.”

And that “somebody” was Donald Trump, lying again.… Read the rest

Just another ex-spy

Jul 14th, 2017 10:54 am | By

Oh by the way there was someone else at that meeting.

The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and others on the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned.

The lobbyist, first identified by the Associated Press as Rinat Akhmetshin, denies any current ties to Russian spy agencies. He accompanied the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and Paul Manafort, former chairman of the Trump campaign.

Huh. Interesting. … Read the rest

You know, there are a lot of things

Jul 14th, 2017 10:33 am | By

On the plane over to Paris Trump talked to the reporters. They thought it was off the record until the White House asked why they hadn’t reported it. The Times shares the White House transcript along with some bits the White House left out.

Q When were you last in Paris? When were you last in France?

THE PRESIDENT: So I was asked to go by the President, who I get along with very well, despite a lot of fake news. You know, I actually have a very good relationship with all of the people at the G20. And he called me, he said, would you come, it’s Bastille Day — 100 years since World War I. And I said,

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Sessions preaches

Jul 13th, 2017 5:44 pm | By

The Federalist posted a transcript of Sessions’s theocracy please speech. It’s the usual collection of uninteresting bromides.

And of course it was faith that inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to march and strive to make this country stronger yet. His was a religious movement. The faith that truth would overcome. He said that we “must not seek to solve the problem” of segregation merely for political reasons, but “in the final analysis, we must get rid of segregation because it is sinful.” It undermined the promise, as he described it, that “each individual has certain basic rights that are neither derived from nor conferred by the state…they are gifts from the hands of the Almighty God.”

But of course … Read the rest

Sessions wants more theocracy please

Jul 13th, 2017 5:18 pm | By

Jeff Sessions gave a speech at the conservative Christian law firm the Alliance Defending Freedom, in which he promised new guidelines on “religious freedom.” We know what that means when someone like Jeff Sessions says it.

When the speech at Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty appeared on the Attorney General’s public schedule, it was cause for concern among LGBTQ advocacy groups and Democrats — many of whom issued statements questioning why Sessions would speak to what some call an anti-LGBTQ hate group due to its history of litigating against LGBTQ rights.

But after reading the transcript and learning of the Justice Department’s plans to create a new federal policy on protecting religious liberties and doubling

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Tough guy

Jul 13th, 2017 4:59 pm | By

Oh, well, Marc Kasowitz should have no trouble getting a security clearance now. Pro Publica follows up its own article:

Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal attorney on the Russia case, threatened a stranger in a string of profanity-laden emails Wednesday night.

The man, a retired public relations professional in the western United States who asked not to be identified, read ProPublica’s story this week on Kasowitz and sent the lawyer an email with the subject line: “Resign Now.’’

Kasowitz replied with series of angry messages sent between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern time. One read: “I’m on you now.  You are fucking with me now Let’s see who you are Watch your back , bitch.”

Just what you … Read the rest

He don’t need no stinkin security clearance

Jul 13th, 2017 11:45 am | By

Pro Publica reports that Trump’s lawyer for the Russia inquiries, Marc Kasowitz, doesn’t have a security clearance and doesn’t plan to get one. The trouble with that is that the investigation involves masses of classified material, which Kasowitz can’t see without a security clearance.

Several lawyers who have represented presidents and senior government officials said they could not imagine handling a case so suffused with sensitive material without a clearance.

“No question in my mind — in order to represent President Trump in this matter you would have to get a very high level of clearance because of the allegations involving Russia,” said Robert Bennett, who served as President Bill Clinton’s personal lawyer. Like many Washington lawyers, Bennett has held

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A decision of courage and fortitude

Jul 13th, 2017 11:11 am | By

Scott Pruitt wants to stage a “debate” about climate change, on the grounds that nobody has discussed the things that in fact many many people have been discussing in great detail for decades. Exactly like Trump, Pruitt is stupid and uninformed enough to think that if he is unaware of X that means X doesn’t exist. That takes profound stupidity and ignorance. It’s a pity that someone that stupid and ignorant, as well as ideologically opposed to environmental protections, is head of the Environmental PROTECTION Agency.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the early stages of launching a debate about climate change that could air on television – challenging scientists to prove the widespread view that global warming

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Alone and in pain

Jul 13th, 2017 10:30 am | By

In western Nepal:

Alone and in pain, Tulasi Shahi encountered a poisonous snake.

The Nepali woman had been banished to her uncle’s cowshed as per the “chaupadi” tradition, a centuries-old practice common among Hindus in the western regions of Nepal, though it was outlawed in 2005. Some communities there consider women “impure” while they are menstruating. These women are prohibited from daily activities and left isolated in sheds with straw floors for the duration of their periods.

The snake bit her on the head and leg.

Her family members tried to treat her with home remedies before taking Tulasi Shahi to a clinic near Dailekh, which did not have antivenin. Recent monsoon rains have flooded the area, making a

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Transfixed by displays of military power

Jul 13th, 2017 10:08 am | By

Trump is getting a little consolation for the difficulties of life as president. He gets to visit some soldiers and see some big guns.

Mr. Trump arrived in Paris just after 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, beginning his second European trip in two weeks. The visit was set in motion by a call Mr. Macron had made to discuss Syria, in which he invited Mr. Trump to Bastille Day celebrations on July 14. The president and the first lady, Melania Trump, landed at Paris Orly Airport on Air Force One to the reception of a 10-car motorcade.

Mr. Trump loves the trappings of the presidency, whether in the United States or in another country. That includes occupying the most prestigious

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Liu Xiaobo

Jul 13th, 2017 9:00 am | By

Liu Xiaobo has died in prison.

The Chinese Communist Party was once a party of conviction, with martyrs prepared to die for their cause, but it’s had nearly 70 years in power to become an ossified and cynical establishment. It imprisons those who demand their constitutional rights, bans all mention of them at home, and uses its economic might abroad to exact silence from foreign governments. Under President Xi, China has pursued this repression with great vigour and success. Liu Xiaobo is a rare defeat.

Beijing’s problem began in 2010 when he won a Nobel Peace Prize. That immediately catapulted Liu Xiaobo into an international A-list of those imprisoned for their beliefs, alongside Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi

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