All entries by this author

A fire lit to hypnotize us

Nov 29th, 2016 3:14 pm | By

Rex Huppke at the Chicago Tribune also called Trump a liar.

On Sunday, the man who will soon lead this country tweeted a lie — a big, fiery one. It read: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

That statement is based on nothing. Actually, it’s based on less than nothing. Its origin is, roughly, this: A nobody Republican with zero credibility or evidence tweeted that 3 million people voted illegally; a conspiracy theory website reported on that tweet, taking it as fact; the president-elect, in need of a distraction, tweeted that information as fact with no citation, not that a

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Trump v the Constitution

Nov 29th, 2016 1:10 pm | By

The Times also reports on Trump’s jolly tweet about how he’d like to punish people who burn flags.

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Mr. Trump wrote in a 6:55 a.m. Twitter post.

Mr. Trump wrote the post shortly after Fox News aired a segment about a dispute at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, which removed the American flag from its campus flagpole after protests over his election victory; during one demonstration, someone burned a flag.

Ah, so that’s what he’s doing – watching Fox News and blurting out tweets in response to what he sees.

Even if Mr.

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Reporting on the L word

Nov 29th, 2016 12:40 pm | By

I mentioned that newspapers like the Times don’t call people liars lightly. For corroboration, here’s the Independent reporting on the very fact that the Times called Trump a liar.

The headline is: New York Times brands Donald Trump a liar

The New York Times has publicly accused Donald Trump of lying after he claimed millions of people had voted illegally in the US presidential election.

The New York Times used an editorial on Monday to attack Mr Trump’s claims.

In the piece, published under the byline of the paper’s Editorial Board, it said: “This is a lie, part of Mr. Trump’s pattern, stretching back many years, of disregard for indisputable facts.

“There is no evidence of illegal voting

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On the road again

Nov 29th, 2016 12:27 pm | By

He’s really doing it. He really is doing more rallies, even though the election is over – because that’s where he gets the instant gratification of people cheering him right in his face. It’s all he wants, along with the many many opportunities to boost his profits.

Donald Trump will once more feel the love that unexpectedly propelled him to victory over Hillary Clinton three weeks ago with a so-called ‘Thank You Tour’ of public appearances starting with a giant rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday night.

While there is so far no published tour schedule, the director of Mr Trump’s advance planning team, George Gigicos, has said that that the president-elect will be traveling “obviously to the states

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The L word

Nov 29th, 2016 9:51 am | By

The Times again says Trump has been telling lies, which is something newspapers don’t do lightly.

On Sunday, President-elect Trump unleashed a barrage of tweets complaining about calls for recounts or vote audits in several closely contested states, and culminating in this message: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

This is a lie, part of Mr. Trump’s pattern, stretching back many years, of disregard for indisputable facts. There is no evidence of illegal voting on even a small scale anywhere in the country, let alone a systematic conspiracy involving “millions.” But this is the message that gets hammered relentlessly

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The M word

Nov 29th, 2016 8:55 am | By

An unedifying protracted conversation on Twitter, started by someone I don’t know from Adam.

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There is no getting better

Nov 28th, 2016 6:27 pm | By

N Ziehl on coping with an apparent narcissist in the White House.

I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are trying to grapple with it for the first time because of our president-elect, who almost certainly suffers from it or a similar disorder. If I am correct, it has some very particular implications for the office. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) It’s not curable and it’s barely treatable. He is who he is. There is no getting better, or learning, or adapting. He’s not going to “rise to the occasion” for more

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Makeup to cover the bruises

Nov 28th, 2016 12:30 pm | By

News from Morocco:

Women in Morocco have reacted in horror after a programme on state television demonstrated how they could use makeup to cover up evidence of domestic violence.

The segment in the daily programme Sabahiyat, on Channel 2M, showed a smiling makeup artist demonstrating how to mask marks of beating, on a woman with her face made up to appear swollen and covered with fake black and blue bruises.

“We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life”, the host said at the end of the segment, broadcast on 23 November – two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Have the clip:

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Nov 28th, 2016 12:06 pm | By

There’s a thing called the Goldwater Rule which applies to members of the American Psychiatric Association; it says they can’t diagnose someone they haven’t personally evaluated.

The Goldwater Rule is published as an annotation in the Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry. I encourage you all to read the full text of the rule below, and keep it in mind during this election cycle, and other events of similarly intense public interest.

The “Goldwater Rule:”

On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his

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Aren’t all politicians?

Nov 28th, 2016 11:38 am | By

The Washington Post asked in late July Is Trump a textbook narcissist?

For the four days of the Republican convention, the word “narcissism” was never more in vogue, but what does the word actually mean? More importantly, what would it mean for America if one of the nominees for president of the United States is a narcissist? Aren’t all politicians?

The way Trump is? No, certainly not.

Arguably they can’t be, because politics doesn’t work that way. Trump’s election is an anomaly. People who put their own ego ahead of everything else are going to put people off, and their political careers won’t get off the ground. Trump is an “outsider,” which means he didn’t do any political work to … Read the rest

If he’s that out of control

Nov 28th, 2016 10:09 am | By

The Washington Post edges up to the task of discussing Trump’s pathological narcissism.

Trump’s frustration that he’ll be inaugurated despite having less demonstrated support than his opponent is the most likely explanation for his tweets. He’s clearly annoyed that Clinton agreed to participate in Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s efforts to review balloting in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states (an annoyance also made clear on Twitter). It’s remarkably similar to what happened when he lost the Iowa caucuses to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.): At first, he accepted the result as it was. Within a day or two, though, he began lashing out at Cruz, accusing him of stealing the vote in the state.

Of course, there’s no evidence that

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Verified? Really?

Nov 28th, 2016 9:47 am | By

The Washington Post dug into the likely source of Trump’s wild claim that millions of people voted illegally.

On Nov. 13, Gregg Phillips, a former Texas Health and Human Services Commission deputy commissioner, tweeted about there being 3 million votes that were cast by noncitizens.

Phillips hasn’t provided any evidence for that claim. InfoWars and Drudge picked it up, but Drudge labeled it a “claim.”

When Matt Drudge qualifies something with “Claim:,” it’s worth treating it with skepticism.

The rumor-debunking site Snopes looked at Phillips’s claim and found no evidence for it. (It also noted that Phillips has a history of implying that Obamacare will lead to the registration of millions of immigrants here illegally.) Phillips replied on Twitter,

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Live above the rest

Nov 27th, 2016 5:50 pm | By

New details on the conflicts of interest.

On Thanksgiving Day, a Philippine developer named Jose E. B. Antonio hosted a company anniversary bash at one of Manila’s poshest hotels. He had much to be thankful for.

In October, he had quietly been named a special envoy to the United States by the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. Mr. Antonio was nearly finished building a $150 million tower in Manila’s financial district — a 57-story symbol of affluence and capitalism, which bluntly promotes itself with the slogan “Live Above the Rest.” And now his partner on the project, Donald J. Trump, had just been elected president of the United States.

After the election, Mr. Antonio flew to New York for a

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With no evidence

Nov 27th, 2016 5:27 pm | By

The Times basically says that Trump is lying.

President-elect Donald J. Trump said on Sunday that he had fallen short in the popular vote in the general election only because millions of people had voted illegally, leveling his claim — despite the absence of any such evidence — as part of a daylong storm of Twitter posts voicing anger about a three-state recount push.

That’s a cautious way of putting it, of course, but their meaning is pretty clear.

The series of posts came one day after Hillary Clinton’s campaign said it would participate in a recount effort being undertaken in Wisconsin, and potentially in similar pushes in Michigan and Pennsylvania, by Jill Stein, who was the

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More Twitter lies from Trump

Nov 27th, 2016 4:33 pm | By

Trump has lit up social media again.

In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.

I offered him my quick thought on the subject:

What if we add the millions of people whose votes were suppressed in defiance

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Springtime for Putin and Rusheeyaaa

Nov 27th, 2016 1:13 pm | By

And speaking of those zany Russians…there’s the Holocaust-themed ice dance.

The wife of Vladimir Putin’s powerful spokesman has provoked outrage by performing a Holocaust-themed ice skating routine on Russian TV reality show.

Tatiana Navka, the wife of Dmitry Peskov, appeared on Russian reality show Ice Age and performed in the striped uniform of concentration camp victims complete with the yellow Star of David which Jewish people were forced to wear by the Nazis.

She and her ice skating partner, actor Andrei Burkovsky, smiled at the audience during the performance and appeared to mime shooting each other in one sequence.

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Trump is an honorary Cossack

Nov 27th, 2016 12:55 pm | By

Jeff Sharlet on Facebook:

Since Trump’s been made an honorary Cossack — by the St. Petersburg-area Irbis group — I thought I’d re-share my own encounter with a St. Petersburg Cossack — and his whip, and his gun.

This was in November 2013, at a secret meeting of Russian fascists to organize anti-LGBT violence to which I’d been invited by accident. I was reporting for GQ.

The Cossack will begin, he says, with history. “God sends Cossack souls through our blood,” he says. A voice that seems cultivated for menace. A barrel of dread. God sends Cossacks, yes, he says. They are his warriors.

Do not be frightened, he says. Cossacks are just. For instance: We will not rape

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Nov 27th, 2016 10:12 am | By

Trump gets angry at the news media when they publish unbecoming photos of him. In general I think people should not be attacked on the basis of how they look, but the thing about Trump is that he’s so very often making horrible faces in aid of making some horrible point. I don’t think the news media are stooping or being cruel when they publish photos of that kind.

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In the kitchen

Nov 27th, 2016 9:12 am | By

Terry Sanderson on Facebook from the Sunday Times, a story by Andrew Gilligan and Sian Griffiths:

The ringleaders of the “Trojan Horse” plot to impose conservative Islamic values on state schools in Birmingham are back in teaching, despite being banned from the classroom, an investigation by The Sunday Times has established.

Tahir Alam and Razwan Faraz are running informal classes — Faraz in a different city and under a false name.

An official report found Alam and Faraz were at the centre of “co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action” to introduce an “intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos” into schools in the city, with girls and boys separated, “un-Islamic subjects” such as evolution reduced or removed, and secular head teachers

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Behind him

Nov 26th, 2016 4:52 pm | By

Abigail Rockwell, granddaughter of the illustrator Norman Rockwell, points out the presence and positioning of a painting by the latter in the meeting between Obama and Donnie from Queens.

It’s the arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty.

A painting by Norman Rockwell was moved in the Oval Office for the first meeting between President Obama and Mr. Trump so it would hang over Mr. Trump’s shoulder. In the painting the torch of the Statue of Liberty is being repaired by five men, one of whom is an African-American. All of them are precariously roped to her flame.

Who moved the painting and why? It is clearly too small for that space; a larger landscape painting had hung there

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