All entries by this author

He felt he had an obligation to do what was right

Sep 12th, 2017 5:11 pm | By

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been explaining to the assembled journalists what a dangerous criminal James Comey is and why the Justice Department should arrest him immediately.

The Justice Department should consider prosecuting former FBI director James B. Comey for actions that “were improper and likely could have been illegal,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday.

“I think if there’s ever a moment where we feel someone’s broken the law, particularly if they’re the head of the FBI, I think that’s something that certainly should be looked at,” Sanders said.

Mind like a steel trap, she’s got.

Asked to clarify, Sanders said this:

“Anybody that breaks the law, whatever that process is that needs to be followed, should

Read the rest


Rigging the panel

Sep 12th, 2017 4:30 pm | By

The Campaign Legal Center reports:

Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) learned through a response to a FOIA Request from Feb. 15, 2017 that an employee with the Heritage Foundation pushed back on naming a single Democrat to the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.

The employee wrote personally to Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushing back on even a single Democrat being named to the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity and discouraging the White House from naming mainstream Republican officials and/or academics to the commission.

You remember what this presidential commission is, right? It’s a faked-up pseudo-commission to dig up bogus “evidence” of massive voter fraud, so that Trump and his enforcers can get new voting restrictions passed that will keep … Read the rest



The SPLC demands a correction

Sep 12th, 2017 10:41 am | By

Hey, it turns out the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t like it when someone lies about them.

The SPLC is currently facing a coordinated attack by far-right extremist groups we’ve named as hate groups because they vilify the LGBT community, immigrants and Muslims. Their latest megaphone is none other than FOX News.

On the show The Five, the FOX pundits made the outrageous claims that we spend only $61,000 on legal work, that we, indeed, do “hardly any law,” and that we’re “laundering money.” Anyone remotely familiar with our work, including our tax returns and audited financial statements on our website, would know that these claims are false. You can read the full letter to FOX News demanding a

Read the rest


She was constantly harassed by Trump supporters

Sep 12th, 2017 9:47 am | By

A reporter who has the bad taste to be a woman reports on what it was like to cover Trump’s campaign while female.

During his campaign events, Trump often called out the news media, but he delighted in singling out Tur, publicly deriding her as “little Katy” and a “third-rate reporter.” Part of the animosity was in response to Tur’s (accurate) reporting about his behavior at rallies, which prompted him to threaten a boycott of NBC News and to demand an apology. (They settled things over the phone, although Tur is adamant that she did not apologize.) On one occasion, Trump went so far as to kiss her — an unwelcome and uninvited act — just before he

Read the rest


Eating your cake and having it

Sep 12th, 2017 9:25 am | By

Oh, huh. Guess who pays for it if Mar-a-Lago gets smacked by a hurricane.

The taxpayers.

In the first nine months of his term, America has gotten depressingly used to Donald Trump using his presidency to suck up money for himself. It’s not just the constant Mar-a-Lago trips. Foreign dignitaries are encouraged to stay at the president’s D.C. hotel. Hurricane Harvey photo ops are a chance to plug his latest shit hat. The Secret Service has spent so much money on Trump Tower in New York that the agency can’t even afford to stay there anymore.

But we didn’t know we were insuring his expensive resort.

[A]s the Huffington Post reports, any flood damage Mar-a-Lago sees will likely be

Read the rest


A dud aperçu

Sep 11th, 2017 4:50 pm | By

The profundity of Peter Boghossian.

The same people pleading to have honest conversations about climate change aren’t willing to have honest conversations about other issues.

That’s a strikingly stupid thing to say, especially for someone who actually teaches philosophy (despite not having a PhD in the subject) at a college. It’s so obviously something he doesn’t know and can’t know, and something that has pretty much zero likelihood of being true.

I mean, what – all the scientists who work in the field and would like people like Trump to stop lying about … Read the rest



It’s her hair

Sep 11th, 2017 3:59 pm | By

We’ve been hearing a lot about how Hillary Clinton should just sit down, just shut up, just go away. That thought has an oddly familiar ring to it, somehow…

There’s still a brutal fight, 10 months after Election Day 2016, for control of the narrative of what happened. On one side, you have Hillary and her supporters pointing to the media’s overt hostility, Russian interference, 25 years of Republican smears, James Comey’s ill-timed letter to Congress, and, last but not least, Bernie’s scorched earth war on the Democratic Party. There is a mountain of irrefutable evidence that these things happened and, combined, they cost Hillary just the tiny amount of votes needed to put Trump in office.

On the

Read the rest


The way they talk about girls and women is a little horrifying

Sep 11th, 2017 12:00 pm | By

David Simon, creator of The Wire, has a new series about the birth of the porn industry in the 70s.

Simon also has a lot to say about pornography. Whereas his critically lauded The Wire was ostensibly about the drugs trade in Baltimore but subliminally about race, The Deuce could be seen as ostensibly about the sex industry in New York but subliminally about gender.

Pornography “affected the way men and women look at each other, the way we address each other culturally, sexually,” he says. “I don’t think you can look at the misogyny that’s been evident in this election cycle, and what any female commentator or essayist or public speaker endured on the internet or any

Read the rest


Just 24,000? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?

Sep 11th, 2017 11:16 am | By

Trump reeeeeeeeeeeally wants to keep out some Mooslims. He gets to do that! He’s the top dude and he gets to!! No stinking lawyers should be able to stop him – they couldn’t build an ugly tower in Manhattan if they tried for a century.

So the Justice Department is pushing it.

The Trump administration is returning to the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn lower court rulings crimping the application of President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order.

Justice Department lawyers asked the high court Monday to allow authorities to keep up a block on many refugees covered by Trump’s ban.

However, the administration threw in the towel for now on efforts to insist that grandparents, aunts,

Read the rest


If you cut the funding, the disasters will stop

Sep 10th, 2017 4:51 pm | By

Hey, here’s an idea – let’s cut the budgets of disaster relief agencies. Disasters don’t happen, so why budget money to relieve them?

Numerous federal agencies targeted for major budget cuts or even elimination by the Trump administration are playing important roles in helping people recover from Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast. Many agencies in the budget crosshairs also are closely monitoring the path and intensity of Hurricane Irma and making preparations if the storm strikes the United States.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies have been responding to Harvey and could be sending staff to Florida later this week if Irma strikes the state. These same employees, as they provide vital services

Read the rest


I’m independent, you’re eccentric, he’s a raging psychopath

Sep 10th, 2017 11:11 am | By

Ah yes, let’s pretend Trump is an “independent” – as opposed to a ruthless self-serving shit.

President Trump demonstrated this past week that he still imagines himself a solitary cowboy as he abandoned Republican congressional leaders to forge a short-term fiscal deal with Democrats. Although elected as a Republican last year, Mr. Trump has shown in the nearly eight months in office that he is, in many ways, the first independent to hold the presidency since the advent of the current two-party system around the time of the Civil War.

Oh bollocks. All presidents quarrel with their own parties at times. What Trump does isn’t “independence” in that political sense, it’s just a mix of childish self-will and incoherence and … Read the rest



There’s a principle at stake

Sep 10th, 2017 9:19 am | By

Yes Irma is creating the predicted havoc in the Florida Keys and will go on to chew up the rest of Florida today and tonight and tomorrow, but never mind, Trump and his goons are still intent on destroying all federal efforts to deal with climate change, because hey, immediate profit for a few is far more important and valuable than the long-term survival of the environment we all depend on.

The news was hard to digest until one realized it was part of a much larger and increasingly disturbing pattern in the Trump administration. On Aug. 18, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine received an order from the Interior Department that it stop work on what

Read the rest


Don’t put money on that bet

Sep 9th, 2017 4:34 pm | By

Erm…

Do you think the New York Times hasn’t been told?

Everybody has the same risk of dying. Everybody without exception. The risk is 100% for every single person. No matter how few the carbs you eat…immortality is not an option.… Read the rest



Firepower cannot replace diplomacy

Sep 9th, 2017 4:18 pm | By

The Senate Appropriations Committee has issued a report criticizing the Trump administration’s proposed State Department budget for being too damn low.

The unusually harsh language appeared in the report attached to spending legislation for the State Department and foreign operations that totals $51 billion, roughly $11 billion more in funding than the administration had requested. The Trump administration had proposed a budget that slashed State Department spending for fiscal year 2018 by about 30 percent from the previous year.

Because Trump and his buddies are so thick they think we can do everything by shooting and bombing.

“On May 23, 2017, President Donald Trump submitted to the Congress the fiscal year 2018 budget of the United States government entitled,

Read the rest


Racing backwards

Sep 9th, 2017 11:53 am | By

People at the CIA say the agency is becoming more white, male, and Jesus.

For those who have worked inside the agency, the backtracking on diversity represents a threat to the workforce and national security, according to Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst who helped track high-level terrorist targets like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The agency needs employees from different backgrounds and orientations to effectively recruit agents abroad. “What if you have to recruit someone who’s gay and that’s the only reason they’re talking to you?” she asked.

“This isn’t just about today’s diversity issue. It’s about tomorrow’s lack of diversity that will erode the agency,” Bakos told FP. “You can’t hire someone who’s typically white American to walk

Read the rest


Dark posts

Sep 9th, 2017 11:14 am | By

Siva Vaidhyanathan explains why that story about the bot ads on Facebook is so worrying.

On Wednesday, Facebook revealed that hundreds of Russia-based accounts had run anti-Hillary Clinton ads precisely aimed at Facebook users whose demographic profiles implied a vulnerability to political propaganda. It will take time to prove whether the account owners had any relationship with the Russian government, but one thing is clear: Facebook has contributed to, and profited from, the erosion of democratic norms in the United States and elsewhere.

The audacity of a hostile foreign power trying to influence American voters rightly troubles us. But it should trouble us more that Facebook makes such manipulation so easy, and renders political ads exempt from the basic accountability

Read the rest


Surprise: a backstabber stabs backs

Sep 9th, 2017 10:40 am | By

The Republicans have learned what everyone else already knew – that Trump is a narcissistic psychopath who has no scruples of any kind. Trump does what Trump sees as good for Trump, period, end of story.

In agreeing to tie Harvey aid to a three-month extension of the debt ceiling and government funding, Trump burned the people who are ostensibly his allies. The president was an unpredictable — and, some would say, untrustworthy — negotiating partner with not only congressional Republicans but also with his Cabinet members and top aides. Trump saw a deal that he thought was good for him — and he seized it.

The move should come as no surprise to students of Trump’s long history of

Read the rest


Wrong but so cuddly

Sep 8th, 2017 5:56 pm | By

The Guardian hosted an email discussion of Freud and psychoanalysis between Frederick Crews and a psychoanalyst, Susie Orbach. The Guardian intro isn’t very cogent:

For a century or more, Sigmund Freud has cast a long shadow not just over the field of psychoanalysis but over the entire way we think of ourselves as human beings. His theory of the unconscious and his work on dreams, in particular, retain a firm grip on the western imagination, shaping the realms of literature and art, politics and everyday conversation, as well as the way patients are analysed in the consulting room. Since Freud’s death in 1939, however, a growing number of dissenting voices have questioned his legacy and distanced themselves from his ideas.

Read the rest


Priorities

Sep 8th, 2017 10:52 am | By

Josh Jackman at Pink News is outraged by the Daily Mail’s reporting on a prison rape.

The Mail is under fire after coverage of a transgender rapist.

(Note that very typical passive locution – “under fire” – without saying by whom. Could just mean by the author, but leaves the impression that the fire is general. Very sleazy.)

What happened was that a convicted rapist made unwanted sexual advances on fellow prisoners.

What the Mail Online did was mention her deadname, call her “a father,” and implied that her actions were down to the fact she has a penis.

Or to put it much less evasively than Josh Jackman does – a convicted rapist was housed with women prisoners … Read the rest



Because of the security nature of things

Sep 8th, 2017 10:14 am | By

Rush Limbaugh is leaving Palm Beach for Parts Unknown.

With his comments mocking Hurricane Irma as a liberal conspiracy theory still fresh, radio host Rush Limbaugh on Thursday appeared to surrender to reality, informing listeners that his program would no longer be able to air from his studio’s Palm Beach location, which is currently in Irma’s direct path.

“I’m not going to get into details because of the security nature of things, but it turns out that we will not be able to do the program here tomorrow,” Limbaugh said in a segment recorded by ThinkProgress. “That will be in the hands of Mark Stein tomorrow. We’ll be on the air next week, folks, from parts unknown.”

“It’s

Read the rest