All entries by this author

A reporter nobody ever heard of

Mar 15th, 2017 7:47 am | By

Someone leaked Trump’s 2005 tax return, minus all the informative attachments, yesterday. I think it was Trump who leaked it, since a hostile party would have included the informative attachments.

President Trump paid $38 million in federal taxes in 2005 on income of $153 million and reported a $105 million write-down in business losses, according to a copy of his tax return first revealed Tuesday night.

Trump paid an effective tax rate of 24 percent and saved millions of dollars in additional taxes by claiming the losses, according to the document, the first two pages of which were obtained by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston and first reported by DC Report, a nonprofit news site he runs,

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Mar 14th, 2017 3:50 pm | By

Ah Saudi Arabia.

They have invented a thing they call a girls’ council, which is apparently a place for men to show off their fashion sense.

See, it says Girls Council right there on the sign, so we can’t blame a faulty translation. There’s the Girls’ Council, and there are all the men, looking manly.

The male-dominated photos have been circulating widely on social media, after the meeting took place on Saturday.

It has been compared to another viral hit – an image of US President Donald Trump, surrounded by men, signing an abortion policy in January.

It’s a proud tradition, men deciding what women can and can’t do. Trump can barely write his own name, but he gets … Read the rest

No elected official may benefit from the lease

Mar 14th, 2017 3:26 pm | By

The owners of a popular wine bar in DC are suing Trump and his DC hotel.

Mr. Pitts and Ms. Gross claim that the Trump International Hotel, in the Old Post Office building in Washington, and the restaurants within enjoy an illegal advantage in the city’s restaurant market because of their association with Mr. Trump and that Cork has suffered as a result.

“We’re used to a lot of competition — it makes you better, faster, stronger — but the competition that’s coming from the hotel is not fair,” Ms. Gross said.

The wine bar, which serves more than 50 varieties by the glass, has hosted events for a variety of groups, including White House officials, members of Congress,

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38 new Trump trademarks

Mar 14th, 2017 10:19 am | By

China has cleared the way for Trump to provide pimping services there.

China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, paving the way for President Donald Trump and his family to develop a host of branded businesses from hotels to insurance to bodyguard and concierge services, public documents show.

Trump’s lawyers in China applied for the marks in April 2016, as Trump railed against China at campaign rallies, accusing it of currency manipulation and stealing US jobs. Critics maintain that Trump’s swelling portfolio of China trademarks raises serious conflict of interest questions.

Oh, sure, but nobody who can do anything about them will do anything about them.

If President Trump receives any special treatment in securing

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Somebody else’s babies

Mar 14th, 2017 10:10 am | By

The racists are, of course, feeling emboldened.

Senior Republican congressman Steve King has sparked a backlash on social media after tweeting his support for the Dutch anti-Islam politician, Geert Wilders.

“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” Mr King wrote on Twitter.

“We can’t restore our civilisation with somebody else’s babies,” he added.

That’s a pretty choice of phrase, isn’t it? “Somebody else’s babies.” It’s so tidily othering. We are we, and those other people we don’t like are “somebody else.” Who, exactly? Oh, you know. Them. Not-us.

Anthony Zurcher dares to call it white nationalism.

Congressman Steve King has a history of walking on the edge of white nationalist rhetoric, and on Sunday afternoon he once

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Trumpistanian whispers

Mar 14th, 2017 9:02 am | By

The Times reports from the hall of mirrors where it gets to correct the lies of Trump and Trump’s people about what the Times has reported in the past that Trump and Trump’s people are citing as justification for Trump’s lies about Obama’s dastardly wire tapps [sic] of Trump Tower.

Two senior White House officials suggested on Monday that President Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that President Barack Obama had tapped his telephone was not meant to be taken literally, arguing that Mr. Trump had been referring more broadly to a variety of surveillance efforts during the 2016 campaign when he made the incendiary accusation.

“He doesn’t really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally,” said Sean Spicer,

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Just a bit of an invitation, isn’t it

Mar 13th, 2017 5:10 pm | By

Here’s another:

H/t Stewart… Read the rest

Trolls in real life

Mar 13th, 2017 4:43 pm | By

Now this is familiar.

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Otherwise intelligent

Mar 13th, 2017 3:29 pm | By

Oh good lord.

At Pink News one Josh Jackman explains what women are.

There seems to be an epidemic of otherwise intelligent, respectful, feminist people suddenly blurting out that trans women “aren’t real women.”

*grits teeth*

One, he mentions two people (and things Germaine Greer said years ago); two is not an epidemic. Two, it’s neither stupid nor disrespectful nor unfeminist to say that trans women are not women in every sense of the word. Three, nobody “blurted out” anything; two women made reasoned arguments.

After that, Josh Jackman (I don’t dare say “he” lest I be accused of misgendering…them) gets down to the hard work of explaining why it’s wrong to say that trans women are not women … Read the rest

When women dare to spark

Mar 13th, 2017 12:27 pm | By

Now Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s daring to say that she thinks trans women are trans women has become a news item. I guess it’s shocking when women say things like “trans women are trans women.”

The LA Times tendentiously headlines:

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie angers transgender community

And the Motoons “provoked the Muslim community” and Charlie Hebdo “sparked outrage” and on and on it goes.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian novelist and outspoken feminist, drew criticism from transgender activists after suggesting that the experiences of transgender women are different from women whose gender was assigned female at birth.

Which is ridiculous, because of course the two sets of experiences are different. In other contexts that’s seen as the whole point.… Read the rest

Locked up for Holi

Mar 13th, 2017 11:21 am | By

Michael Safi reports from Delhi:

As India’s raucous spring festival of Holi approached this year, a memo circulated among two women’s dormitories at the University of Delhi.

Undergraduate women would be locked inside the student halls from 9pm on Sunday until 6pm on Monday, it read – well after most Indians had finished smearing each other in dye, dancing or drinking from cups of bhang lassi, a milky cannabis-based concoction.

The decision of the hostels highlights a darker side to one of India’s most joyous festivals: as inhibitions decrease, many women say the street harassment endemic to Delhi life also surges.

And naturally the solution to that is to imprison the women. Literally imprison them for 21 hours. Literally … Read the rest

It is amazing

Mar 13th, 2017 10:46 am | By

Donnie from Queens showing his usual dazzling self-awareness and insight.

Ah yes, he’s such an expert at avoiding rudeness. He’s so good at being nice. Du wut he sez, nott wut he duz.… Read the rest

The potential for surprises

Mar 12th, 2017 5:20 pm | By

Poor Angela Merkel. She has to go visit Trump on Tuesday. Yuck. I hope he doesn’t try to hold her hand.

German officials say the detail-oriented Merkel, 62, has been preparing assiduously for her trip to Washington.

She has watched Trump’s speeches and [pored] over his interviews, including a lengthy Q&A with Playboy magazine from 1990 in which he floats many of the controversial ideas he is now trying to implement as president, they say.

Members of her entourage have also analyzed Trump’s encounters with other leaders – including Britain’s Theresa May, Japan’s Shinzo Abe and Canada’s Justin Trudeau – and have had exchanges with some of their counterparts on how to handle the unpredictable former reality-TV star, the

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Penny wise

Mar 12th, 2017 4:54 pm | By

The health commissioner of Baltimore ponders what she would have faced if she had had no health insurance when she got pregnant.

Even though I’m a relatively healthy 34-year-old, I have several medical conditions that call for more frequent monitoring. My doctor recommended that I return every two weeks for a physical exam and ultrasound. Closer to delivery, I should plan to see him every week.

I didn’t hesitate to follow my doctor’s recommendations. I have excellent health insurance with no copay for doctor’s visits and a minimal cost for tests.

But what would I have done if I didn’t have insurance?

One obstetrician visit would cost $150. With an ultrasound each time, it would be $400. A Pap

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They are not an afterthought of nature

Mar 12th, 2017 12:29 pm | By

Margaret Atwood on The Handmaid’s Tale:

Over the years, “The Handmaid’s Tale” has taken many forms. It has been translated into 40 or more languages. It was made into a film in 1990. It has been an opera, and it has also been a ballet. It is being turned into a graphic novel. And in April 2017 it will become an MGM/Hulu television series.

In this series I have a small cameo. The scene is the one in which the newly conscripted Handmaids are being brainwashed in a sort of Red Guard re-education facility known as the Red Center. They must learn to renounce their previous identities, to know their place and their duties, to understand that they have

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She had to convince clients to respect her

Mar 12th, 2017 11:51 am | By

What happens when a man accidentally uses a woman’s name on the job?

Martin R. Schneider, an editor for the movie-reviewing site Front Row Central based in Philadelphia, realised men and women are treated differently in the workplace after he accidentally signed off on emails using his female co-worker’s signature

He tweeted the experience that made him realise women do not get the same respect in the workplace. The tweet that has been liked nearly 7,000 times and shared more than 5,400 times at the time of writing.

Mr Schneider, at the time working at another company, said that his colleague Nicole was getting criticism  from their boss for taking longer than he did on tasks that involved communicating

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Mar 12th, 2017 11:16 am | By

Saturday Night Live went after Ivanka Trump this time.

Yet again this weekend, “Saturday Night Live” trotted out Alec Baldwin doing a Donald Trump impression for its cold open. And yet again, that wasn’t even close to its harshest political sketch.

That distinction this week was reserved for “Complicit,” a faux Ivanka Trump perfume ad that is liable to really ruffle some feathers.

The basic idea is pretty clear: As an outspoken woman known to be very close to her father, she is complicit in the things Trump does — and for not doing something about them.

Daddy boasts of grabbing women by the pussy, Daddy calls Senator Warren “Pocahontas,” Daddy accuses Obama of a felony based on something somebody … Read the rest

She was opened to a certain level of hostility

Mar 11th, 2017 5:56 pm | By

Emma Brockes interviewed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a week ago for the Guardian.

Last year, at a writing workshop she was teaching in Lagos,

a young man rose to ask the famous novelist a question. “I used to love you,” she recalls him saying. “I’ve read all your books. But since you started this whole feminism thing, and since you started to talk about this gay thing, I’m just not sure about you any more. How do you intend to keep the love of people like me?”

Of people who are not sure about this whole feminism thing and this gay thing? Perhaps she has no such intention.

Adichie and I are in a coffee shop near her home in the

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Lego NASA Women

Mar 11th, 2017 1:03 pm | By

Via Heroic Women to Inspire Game Designers

Lego NASA Women:

AMAZING NEWS: It’s official — Lego NASA Womenhas been approved by the LEGO Ideas Review Board and will soon be a real LEGO set. Everything is AWESOME!!!

Designers at LEGO are already hard at work planning the set’s ultimate look and feel. Set creator Maia Weinstock will continue posting updates as they become available, so stay tuned… As ever, THANK YOU to everyone who’s supported and cheered for this celebration of all the women who’ve contributed to NASA History!

Update: For those asking, an on-sale date is not yet determined, but will be sometime late 2017/early 2018.

From the LEGO ideas blog:

Women of NASA

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Yer fired

Mar 11th, 2017 12:09 pm | By

So the Trump people solved the problem by firing Preet Bharara.

On Friday, acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente began making calls to 46 prosecutors asking for their resignations. Such requests are a normal part of a transition of power from one administration to another, and about half of the 94 Obama-era U.S. attorneys had already left their jobs.

But Boente’s call to Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, appears to have left some confusion in its wake, in large part because President Trump met with Bharara soon after the election and had asked him to stay on.

During Friday’s call, Bharara asked for clarity about whether the requests for resignations applied to him,

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