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Shmontext

May 16th, 2018 11:51 am | By

The new Jesus and Mo:

J and M on PatreonRead the rest



Any inquiry you may be pursuing

May 16th, 2018 11:31 am | By

The Times on Trump’s oopsie:

President Trump’s financial disclosure, released on Wednesday, revealed for the first time that he paid more than $100,000 to his personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, as reimbursement for payment to a third-party.

That is, this is the first time Trump has admitted it to the feds.

Mr. Trump’s disclosure of the 2016 payment to Mr. Cohen raises the question of whether he erred in not reporting the debt on last year’s disclosure form. The document released Wednesday said that Mr. Trump was reporting the repaid debt “in the interest of transparency” but that it was “not required to be disclosed as reportable liabilities.”

Yet a letter accompanying the report sent to Rod J. Rosenstein,

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With omission under false statement liability

May 16th, 2018 11:07 am | By

This could get interesting.

SIREN: by disclosing Cohen debt on his just-released 278, Donald Trump just substantiated our @crewcrew criminal complaint that he should have disclosed it last year as well. Form is here https://oge.app.box.com/v/Trump2018Annual278 … and our criminal complaint is here

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Don’t forget the Tupperware

May 16th, 2018 10:56 am | By

Life in the US of A:

[Jessica] Mock was about to check out Sunday at the Publix near Lake Jackson when she realized she’d forgotten to pick up Tupperware. She left her cart in the lane to get some and found another woman trying to check out ahead of her when she returned.

The two argued, and the victim moved to a different lane. They both checked out about the same time and left the store only seconds apart. Before leaving, the victim used an expletive and said, “I’ll meet you outside.” Mock replied, “I’ll see you outside.”

The victim unloaded her groceries and returned her cart, running into Mock again along the way. Mock pulled a small handgun

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You’re asking about a private organization’s dealings

May 15th, 2018 4:37 pm | By

Vanity Fair asks: is China straight-up bribing Trump?

So it was a bit odd to see Trump pull a complete 180, suddenly insisting that the company and its 75,000 Chinese jobs must be saved, though to be fair, tweeting “Look, China just pumped $500 million into a Trump Organization project so I had to do them a solid” might not have gone over so well.

Oh, that’s right—according to multiple news outlets, the president’s total about-face on China came just 72 hours after the developer of a theme park outside Jakarta, known as MNC Lido City, with whom the Trump Organization has an agreement to license its name, signed a deal to receive $500 million in Chinese government loans,

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Wait – change of plans

May 15th, 2018 4:05 pm | By

North Korea appears to have sprung the trap on Trump.

North Korea is casting doubt on next month’s summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump over joint Air Force drills taking place in South Korea, which it says are ruining the diplomatic mood.

North Korea suggested that the drills were putting the proposed summit between Trump and Kim, scheduled for June 12, in jeopardy.

“The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities,” said KCNA, the North’s Korean Central News Agency.

Aw. Donnie was all excited about his Nobel Peace Prize.… Read the rest



It is obligatory for all women to wear high heels

May 15th, 2018 12:09 pm | By

Back in May 2015 I wrote this post about the Cannes film festival’s banning women from film screenings if they were not wearing high heels.

Annals of Gender Policing. Anna Merlan at Jezebel reports:

The Cannes Film Festival is reportedly not allowing women into screenings if they’re wearing flat shoes.

Into screenings. It would be bad enough if it were the Top Gala Codfish Ball, but it’s screenings. People go to screenings as part of their work, as well as for entertainment and enlightenment. The Cannes Film Festival is a professional event as well as social and festive and so on.

And then there’s the issue of what high heels are, which is a form of

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After the scores of deaths

May 15th, 2018 10:46 am | By

Meanwhile at the UN:

The United States blocked a United Nations Security Council statement drafted Monday that called for an independent investigation into Monday’s killing of at least 58 Palestinians along the Israeli-Gaza border. The deaths, alongside some 2,700 people who were injured, made Monday the deadliest day in Gaza since 2014. The protests erupted on the same day as the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem—a move that outraged Palestinians and many in the Muslim world. The statement, vetoed by the U.S., said in an initial draft: “The Security Council expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest. The Security Council calls for an independent and transparent investigation

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Hey, for $500 million it’s worth it

May 15th, 2018 10:15 am | By

Talk about leaving a trail

A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for a Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker.

“President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast,” Trump announced on Twitter Sunday morning. “Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

To think that was only two days ago. I wondered about it at the time but thought it was a brain fart via talking to someone; I didn’t consider the bribery possibility (or I … Read the rest



55 dead and 2,271 wounded

May 15th, 2018 9:04 am | By

MSF issued a statement on the bloodbath in Gaza yesterday:

MAY 14, 2018—As teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treat people wounded today in Gaza, Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, provided the following statement:

What happened today is unacceptable and inhuman. The death toll provided this evening by Gaza health authorities—55 dead and 2,271 wounded—including 1,359 wounded with live ammunition, is staggering. It is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time.

Our medical teams are working around the clock, as they have done since April 1, providing surgical and postoperative care to men, women, and children, and they will continue to do

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A short message on Facebook

May 15th, 2018 9:00 am | By

Not just trolling:

In December 2016 Diep Saeeda, an outspoken human rights activist from the Pakistani city of Lahore, received a short message on Facebook from someone she didn’t know but with whom she had a number of friends in common: “Hy dear.”

She didn’t think much of it and never got round to replying.

But the messages weren’t coming from a fan of Mrs Saeeda’s activism – instead they were the start of a sustained campaign of digital attacks attempting to install malware on her computer and mobile phone to spy on her and steal her data.

She got many more messages from that account, which pretended to be that of a young woman who worked for the … Read the rest



Irresponsible federal spending

May 14th, 2018 5:59 pm | By

Who cares about Ebola, anyway? Not Trump.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that a new Ebola outbreak has emerged in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — and thanks to the Trump administration, we are woefully under-equipped to deal with it.

Just as news broke about the resurgence of the deadly disease, the Trump administration made a series of moves that could severely hamper America’s capacity to respond to disease outbreaks.

Hours before the announcement from WHO, Trump called on Congress to rescind $252 million that had been set aside specifically for the purpose of dealing with Ebola outbreaks. The money was left over from the funds that Congress appropriated to fight the 2015 Ebola

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Can we do that?

May 14th, 2018 3:51 pm | By

And there was this today:

Ann Coulter retweeted with the question:

Geddit? She’s asking if we can shoot down people who try to cross the border (the one with Mexico of course – not the one with Canada! God no).… Read the rest



Liberals make good movies

May 14th, 2018 3:42 pm | By

This again. “It’s all the fault of you libbruls for thinking you’re so smart and being such smartybootses and making everyone else feel dumm. It’s nothing to do with money or power or hacking or bribery or lies or celebrity or misogyny or disenfranchisement or gerrymandering or the disproportionate clout of barely-populated states like Montana and Wyoming, NO, it’s all you liberals poncing around thinking you’re so so clever.”

I know many liberals, and two of them really are my best friends. Liberals make good movies and television shows. Their idealism has been an inspiration for me and many others. Many liberals are very smart. But they are not as smart, or as persuasive, as they think.

And a

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Ruthless simplification

May 14th, 2018 12:35 pm | By

Paul Waldman in the Post:

Monday marked the moment when the policy of the United States government toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lost all complexity, all ambiguity and all nuance.

On Monday, we were confronted with two sets of pictures. On one side, thousands of Palestinians gathering at the Gaza border to protest are being shot down by Israeli snipers. As I write, at least 43 people have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry; those numbers will undoubtedly rise.

On the other side, representatives of the Trump administration, including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, some Republican donors and a couple of evangelical megachurch pastors who have said vile, bigoted things about Islam and

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The appalling juxtaposition

May 14th, 2018 12:24 pm | By

Another side by side:

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What a glorious day

May 14th, 2018 10:40 am | By

While Princess Ivanka blesses the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, Palestinian officials say at least 52 people have been killed in protests.

At least 1,700 Palestinian demonstrators were also wounded on Monday along the border fence with Gaza, the Health Ministry reported, as the mass protests that began on March 30 and that had already left dozens dead erupted anew.

The Times juxtaposes the two:

Tens of thousands of Palestinians took part in the Gaza protests, which spread on Monday to the West Bank, where the focus was on opposition to the embassy move.

By 7 p.m., 52 Palestinians, including several teenagers, were dead and at least 1,700 were injured in Gaza, the Health Ministry said. Israeli soldiers

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Relax and lean into the strangling

May 13th, 2018 5:43 pm | By
Relax and lean into the strangling

Gail Dines also wrote, in the Guardian, about strangulation as sexy fun play.

Since the #MeToo movement, we’re learning just how many men seem to see choking women as a legitimate form of “sex play,” as it is often euphemistically referred to in porn.

Eric Schneiderman, New York State’s Attorney General, who announced he was pursuing a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein for what he described as “despicable” behavior, was just forced to resign after four women accused him of choking them, as well as other types of physical assault. Schneiderman disputed the allegations, claiming that he had only consensual sexual relations.

Is there also consensual stabbing, consensual shooting, consensual beating to a pulp?

In mainstream media targeted

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It is tantamount to torture

May 13th, 2018 5:32 pm | By

Kate Manne, author of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, in the Times Friday:

It doesn’t take much to cut off someone’s oxygen supply, or to restrict blood flow to and from her brain. Around 10 seconds of pressure on the carotid artery, either constant or intermittent, is usually enough to render the victim unconscious, and it requires less pressure than it takes to open a can of soda.

This act is often labeled “choking,” as it was in an article this week in The New Yorker, by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, in describing the multiple occasions on which Eric Schneiderman, New York’s former attorney general, allegedly assaulted women in this manner.

But experts on domestic violence don’t … Read the rest



Interesting choice

May 13th, 2018 4:02 pm | By

What could go wrong?

An anti-gay, pro-Trump pastor from Dallas will give the opening prayer Monday night at the introduction ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem. Pastor Robert Jeffress, a Fox News contributor and supporter of President Donald Trump, will add to the controversy surrounding the diplomatically awkward event.

Jeffress, who serves as an informal faith adviser to Trump, has maligned most world religions and condemned homosexuality, while on Fox he spouts biblical justifications for Trump’s agenda.

Sounds perfect.

Jeffress, who runs the First Baptist Dallas megachurch in Texas, has referred to both Islam and Mormonism as “a heresy from the pit of hell.” He believes Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are all cults, and that Catholicism

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