All entries by this author

The very first of these duties is to apply the law equally

Feb 16th, 2020 3:51 pm | By

Former DoJ officials issued a statement calling on William Barr to resign.

We, the undersigned, are alumni of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) who have collectively served both Republican and Democratic administrations. Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice.

As former DOJ officials, we each proudly took an oath to support and defend our Constitution and faithfully execute the duties of our offices. The very first of these duties is to apply the law equally to all Americans. This obligation flows directly from the Constitution, and it is embedded in countless rules and laws governing the conduct of DOJ lawyers. The Justice Manual — the DOJ’s

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Feb 16th, 2020 3:31 pm | By

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Which “desirable traits” are we talking about?

Feb 16th, 2020 11:42 am | By

Some commentary on that whole “eugenics would work” idea:

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Guest post: Even more dystopian than Brave New World

Feb 16th, 2020 11:18 am | By

Originally a comment by Claire on It would totally work.

The only way to do it is to emulate how we breed animals and plants for specific traits: you have to very carefully select for the traits you want and literally force them to breed. People wouldn’t have any choice on who to breed with or indeed whether to breed at all. And any inferior offspring would be killed. It’s even more dystopian than Brave New World.

Anyway, electing for high intelligence would probably be in contradiction to docility. In authoritarian regimes, killing off the intellectuals is fundamental for a reason. You can’t have a docile herd without it. And we are not naturally herd animals, whereas most domesticated … Read the rest

It would totally work

Feb 16th, 2020 8:17 am | By

I saw that “Dawkins” was trending on Twitter so I had to look.

But what is meant by “work” here? What is the “eu” in “eugenics”? What kind of “eu” are we talking about? What “facts” are we invoking?

He didn’t say. The tweet just stands alone, with nothing leading up to it and no elaboration following it. He did later respond to the fact that people … Read the rest

In exceptional circumstances

Feb 15th, 2020 5:42 pm | By

Even people who aren’t 100% “trans women are the most oppressed ever and you have to give them whatever they demand” are still desperately cautious about how much they’ll let women keep. Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian for instance:

When Nandy told a recent hustings that “trans women are women” there were whoops of delight. But ask around for women feeling alienated from Labour over this issue and they’re easily found.

Some are survivors of domestic violence who resent being told to “educate yourself”. Others are bewildered that decades of loyally knocking on doors seemingly hasn’t earned them the right to be heard. They long to hear someone defend what is still Labour’s official policy: promoting trans equality but

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Feb 15th, 2020 5:12 pm | By

Huh. Trump is basically invading US cities he considers insufficiently harsh to immigrants.

THE TRUMP administration will send specially trained officers from the southern border to so-called sanctuary cities to help with immigration enforcement operations in a clear escalation of President Donald Trump’s ongoing conflict with localities that limit law-enforcement cooperation with immigration authorities.

Not specially trained in the sense of being humane, scrupulous, cautious, but in the sense of being extra violent.

The officers will be sent by Customs and Border Protection, the agency which houses Border Patrol, to aid in arrest operations carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Operations will take place in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and

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Enough of us have had enough

Feb 15th, 2020 4:25 pm | By

Suzanne Moore in the Telegraph – the Telegraph, please note, not the Guardian, even though she’s a Guardian columnist. The Guardian must have refused to publish it.

I am well aware that Twitter is not the real world. But then nor is the Labour Party. Out of all the issues that might be bothering the leadership contenders – anti-Semitism, a reconnection with lost voters, a plausible response to Boris Johnson – instead, a bizarre set of pledges has been issued on trans rights.

Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey have signed it. It suggests the expulsion of “transphobic” members from the party and says that organisations such as Woman’s Place and the LGB Alliance, which are concerned to keep same

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Do they think he’s kidding?

Feb 15th, 2020 12:01 pm | By

Walter Shaub thinks Trump’s strong-arming of New York is not getting nearly enough attention.

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An eager accomplice

Feb 15th, 2020 11:18 am | By

Trump does think he is in effect a king. Someone surely must have told him that in fact the powers of a president are not those of a king, but he equally surely must have paid no attention.

And Barr is his enabler.

Barr was once seen as a potential check on Trump’s overt desire to take command of the justice department, deploying its investigators and prosecutors at his whim and his will. But this week, critics warn, the attorney general has been revealed as an eager accomplice in eroding norms meant to insulate the criminal justice system from political interference, threatening the bedrock principle of equality before the law.

I’m not sure who once saw Barr as a … Read the rest

Quick, grab his ph – dammit

Feb 15th, 2020 10:27 am | By

Whoopsie – this one he thumbed himself. Always a bad idea!

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Trump promises bigger crime spree

Feb 15th, 2020 7:01 am | By

U not a king though.

Not a king, and not even able to grasp that “his case of grievance, persecution and resentment” isn’t a compliment.… Read the rest

No Cheka, no Gestapo, no Stasi

Feb 14th, 2020 4:22 pm | By

More on Fair Cop:

Harry Miller was visited by Humberside Police at work in January last year after a complaint about his tweets.

He was told he had not committed a crime, but it would be recorded as a non-crime “hate incident”.

He hadn’t committed a crime, yet the plods “visited” him at work. No crime, but punishment anyway.

The court found the force’s actions were a “disproportionate interference” with his right to freedom of expression.

Mr Justice Julian Knowles said the effect of police turning up at Mr Miller’s place of work “because of his political opinions must not be underestimated”.

He added: “To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom.

“In this

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Sucked into the gender vortex

Feb 14th, 2020 3:12 pm | By

Janice Turner writes that Lisa Nandy brands herself as Labour’s truth teller:

Rational, grounded, fearless of factions, the only leadership candidate prepared to tackle the self-delusion and disconnect which lost four elections, she’d won many prospective votes, including mine. Until Tuesday, when Nandy signed up to a witch-hunt of thousands of (mainly female) party members, including me.

It’s that “expel the transphobic bigots” pledge, which Turner calls astonishingly totalitarian.

It not only demands signatories “accept there is no material conflict between trans rights and women’s rights” but says anyone who disagrees is a bigot. It names Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance as “hate groups” whose supporters are transphobic and must therefore be expelled.

News flash: not wanting to … Read the rest

They consider the matter closed

Feb 14th, 2020 2:34 pm | By

Trump will be blowing another gasket in 10, 9, 8, 7…


The U.S. Justice Department is closing its criminal investigation into whether former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lied to investigators about his communications with the media without bringing any charges against him, his attorneys announced in a statement on Friday.

In a letter his lawyers also released from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., prosecutors said that “based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”

Trump can always console himself by remembering he put McCabe through two years of hell and took away his pension.… Read the rest

To scrutinize

Feb 14th, 2020 11:48 am | By

More from the Barr is dirty files:

The New York Times is reporting that attorney general Barr has assigned an outside prosecutor to “scrutinize the criminal case” against Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser.

The review is highly unusual and could trigger more accusations of political interference by top Justice Department officials into the work of career prosecutors.

“Highly unusual” as in “unprecedented in living memory,” according to prosecutors Rachel Maddow talked to yesterday. This is not what the Justice Department is supposed to do. The fact that it’s doing it in a case that Trump has loudly and frequently bellowed about makes it all the more grotesque.… Read the rest

Behind his back they laugh at him

Feb 14th, 2020 11:26 am | By

I don’t think Bloomberg should be running, let alone elected, but he is in a good position to give Trump what he dishes out.

Trump knows that’s true and he hates it.… Read the rest

When you stop violating rights

Feb 14th, 2020 11:11 am | By

More on Trump’s attempt at extortion against New York:

On Thursday, Trump made a veiled threat toward the state of New York, home of multiple lawsuits against him, ahead of his meeting with New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D) to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s freeze on its “Trusted Travelers” programs for New Yorkers. The freeze was enacted last week in response to New York’s new law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and prevents ICE and CBP from accessing New York’s DMV records.

Trump denied that the decision was made out of political retaliation on Thursday, tweeting that Cuomo “must understand that National Security far exceeds politics.”

Then he added: “New York must stop all

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How shall we disguise the fix?

Feb 14th, 2020 9:40 am | By

One interpretation of Barr’s rebuke of Trump’s DoJ tweeting is that it’s a show of independence meant to disguise actual complete submission. The Washington Post offers a different take:

Attorney General William P. Barr pushed back hard Thursday against President Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department, saying, “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody,” an assertion of independence that could jeopardize his tenure as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

The DoJ is all in a swivet over the Stone case and Trump’s outbursts and the fact that it looks as if Trump is managing their every move.

People close to Barr said that in recent months he has become increasingly frustrated with Trump’s tweets about

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A disproportionate interference

Feb 14th, 2020 8:46 am | By


Police officers unlawfully interfered with a man’s right to freedom of expression by turning up at his place of work to speak to him about allegedly “transphobic” tweets, the high court has ruled.

Harry Miller, a former police officer who founded the campaign group Fair Cop, said the actions of Humberside police had a “substantial chilling effect” on his right to free speech.

Miller, 54 and from Lincolnshire, claims an officer told him he had not committed a crime, but that his tweeting was being recorded as a “hate incident”.

At this point in the story I always pause to think about the torrents of abuse that have been poured over women on Twitter, with neither the police … Read the rest