All entries by this author


Feb 10th, 2018 11:23 am | By

Fortune reports we’ve been downgraded, we who are Yanks.

While U.S. citizens could once claim to be part of the 9% of people in the world governed by a “full democracy,” they are now part of the near 45% who live in a “flawed democracy.”

That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, which downgraded the U.S. in their 2016 Democracy Index published Wednesday. The move puts the U.S. in the same category as Poland, Mongolia, and Italy.

The “full democracy” period must have been quite brief, since before the Voting Rights Act we definitely were not one.

What besides Trump makes us not one?

  • the electoral college
  • gerrymandering
  • voter suppression (made possible by the Shelby ruling)
  • money in
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Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?

Feb 10th, 2018 10:48 am | By

Trump today.

A response.

The Times on Trump and the Central Park Five in October 2016:

Donald J. Trump rarely apologizes. When it comes to the case of the Central Park Five, he has never even come close.

In 1989, after these black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were

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Pilgrimage and groping opportunity combined

Feb 10th, 2018 10:22 am | By

The BBC on #MosqueMeToo:

Egyptian-American feminist and journalist Mona Eltahawy first talked about her experience of sexual assault during Hajj in 2013.

She is behind #MosqueMeToo.

Muslim men and women from around the world started using the hashtag yesterday and in less than 24 hours it was tweeted 2,000 times.

It has gone on to become one of the top ten trends

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Feb 9th, 2018 3:50 pm | By

So much ordure hitting so many fans I need an omnibus post just to list it all.

Rachel Brand is leaving her job.

Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, plans to step down after nine months on the job as the country’s top law enforcement agency has been under attack by President Trump, according to two people briefed on her decision.

Ms. Brand’s profile had risen in part because she is next in the line of succession behind the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel’s inquiry into Russian influence in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump, who has called the investigation a witch hunt, has considered firing Mr. Rosenstein.

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Hello, Washington Post?

Feb 9th, 2018 12:28 pm | By

Here’s some striking dysfunction – Kelly holds a meeting with senior staff at which he tells them to lie about when he (Kelly) fired Porter. When he leaves the senior staff look at each other and go “Wow, that’s a big lie.” Two of them pick up the phone and call the Post.

The Post reports:

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly on Friday morning instructed senior staff to communicate a version of events about the departure of staff secretary Rob Porter that contradicts the Trump administration’s previous accounts, according to two senior officials.

During a staff meeting, Kelly told those in attendance to say he took action to remove Porter within 40 minutes of learning abuse

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We hope he has a wonderful career

Feb 9th, 2018 12:10 pm | By

Trump is feeling dismayed and ashamed that his administration hired a guy who beats up women.

Just kidding. He’s feeling the opposite of that. Out loud.

President Trump on Friday afternoon lavished praise on one of his former top aides, Rob Porter, who resigned earlier this week amid accusations that he physically, verbally and emotionally abused his two ex-wives.

“We wish him well, he worked very hard,” Trump said to a small group of reporters at the White House, providing his first public comments on the topic. “We found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well, and it’s a tough time for him. He did a very good job when

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On an index card please

Feb 9th, 2018 11:36 am | By

Well, this is what you get when you have a head of state who is

  • lazy
  • stupid
  • undisciplined
  • indifferent

You get a head of state who refuses to read intelligence briefings.

Trump has opted to rely on an oral briefing of select intelligence issues in the Oval Office rather than getting the full written document delivered to review separately each day, according to three people familiar with his briefings.

Reading the traditionally dense intelligence book is not Trump’s preferred “style of learning,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Good joke. “Style of learning” of course means “taste in tv channels.” Learning is not a thing Donald Trump does.

Soon after Trump took office, analysts sought to

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Control your bleeding, sluts

Feb 8th, 2018 5:34 pm | By

Talk about cruel and unusual

The Arizona Legislature is considering a bill that would provide incarcerated women with an unlimited supply of feminine hygiene products, including tampons, pads, cups and sponges.

Consider? As in, currently they limit them?

Currently, incarcerated women get 12 free pads each month. They must ask an officer if they need more, must pay for them, and may only possess up to 24 at a time. Unlike in other states, if they want tampons, they must buy them.

Ohhhhhh for god’s sake. Women can’t help how much they bleed. It’s not possible to control the flow to suit the number of pads available. Menstruating isn’t some whim that women have.

Numerous women testified how humiliating

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Punch and Bam Bam

Feb 8th, 2018 4:57 pm | By

Michelle Goldberg is forced to conclude that the Trump administration thinks violence against women just doesn’t matter all that much.

Even if you put aside questions of morality — which most people working for Donald Trump have already done — a staff secretary who can’t qualify for a security clearance because of his personal life is a serious security risk. Among other things, such a person could be subject to blackmail.

The staff secretary reads everything that goes to the president’s desk; it’s one of the most sensitive jobs in government. Rajesh De served as Barack Obama’s staff secretary from 2010 to 2012, after which he joined the National Security Agency as general counsel. “I was exposed to a

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Our sacred liberty to grope

Feb 8th, 2018 4:38 pm | By

You know how libertarians often seem like callous ruthless shits? Politico reports:

Three former employees of the famed Cato Institute say they were sexually harassed by Ed Crane, the 73-year-old co-founder and president emeritus of the think tank and one of the most recognizable figures in the libertarian movement.

The invisible hand up the skirt.

One former employee said Crane asked her to take off her bra. Another said he compared her breasts to pornographic images on his computer. A third said he sent her an email on breast augmentation. Crane also settled an additional sexual harassment claim by a former employee in 2012, her lawyer confirmed to POLITICO.

Oh, I beg your pardon, the invisible hand down the … Read the rest

Kelly knew

Feb 8th, 2018 11:20 am | By

Kelly knew about Rob Porter. He knew and did nothing; he didn’t care. Porter was unable to get a security clearance because of the allegations of violence toward women. The job Porter was doing absolutely requires a security clearance, because the Staff Secretary sees everything – all the security briefings and all the everything. Porter was doing the job without the necessary clearance, which he couldn’t get because his two former wives said he punched them. Oh and also? Hope Hicks was dating him, and she helped write the White House statement about his firing yesterday.

All totally fine, folks, just walk on, keep the sidewalks clear. Today is National Prayer Breakfast day, so Trump duly stood up and told Read the rest

To make Donald Trump feel big and strong

Feb 8th, 2018 10:50 am | By

More thoughts on Trump’s parade-envy.

We should note that while Trump was impressed with the Bastille Day parade he attended in France, he has been hoping for a military parade for a lot longer. As Trump told The Post before taking office a year ago:

“That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”

I remember that. I think I probably ranted about it here. I remember the disgust I felt.

The news of this urgent parade mobilization comes just after Trump complained at a rally that Democrats who failed to applaud sufficiently for him during the

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Hello stranger

Feb 7th, 2018 3:13 pm | By

Let’s have another feel-good story. You can’t have too many in the Age of Trump.

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Two minutes

Feb 7th, 2018 12:04 pm | By

It was reported last month that the Doomsday Clock has been moved up again.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced today that it has moved its Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes before midnight, citing North Korea’s recent tests of missiles and nuclear weapons and the world’s lack of progress in confronting climate change.

“In 2017, we saw reckless language in the nuclear realm heat up already dangerous situations and relearned that minimizing evidence-based assessments regarding climate and other global challenges does not lead to better public policies,” said Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin’s president and CEO in Chicago, Illinois. Last year the clock moved half a tick, from 3 minutes to 2.5 minutes before midnight; it has been

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Preparing for the fallout

Feb 7th, 2018 12:00 pm | By

The Trump administration doesn’t do a great job of vetting the people it hires. Maybe that’s because the Boss Man is such a rancid specimen himself that they want him to have company, or want him not to feel weird and out of step, or have no idea what a decent human being even is? Or maybe it’s because they prefer rancid specimens.

One of them has just quit because of embarrassing revelations.

A senior White House official announced Wednesday he is resigning following allegations by his two ex-wives of physical and emotional abuse.

The official, Rob Porter, served as the staff secretary and often controlled the paper flow to President Trump’s desk, along with his daily schedule. Porter also

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Higher education

Feb 7th, 2018 10:55 am | By

Oh, hell.

The contestants — all pledges of Cornell’s Zeta Beta Tau fraternity — called their secret, fat-shaming sex game the “Pig Roast,” according to the Daily Sun, Cornell’s student newspaper.

The rules were simple: Would-be brothers allegedly earned points for having sex with overweight women. If there was a tie at the end of the game, the victory went to whoever had slept with the heaviest woman. New members were told not to inform the women about the contest, according to a university report.

I’m so sick of meanness. If we could just do away with this kind of recreational meanness that would get rid of a lot of utterly pointless misery in the world. … Read the rest

They return

Feb 7th, 2018 9:56 am | By

I haven’t been paying attention to SpaceX and I had no idea they were doing this until Maddow showed us last night. I had a hard time believing what I was seeing.

Here’s how big they are:

Every time Elon Musk and SpaceX manage to land a used Falcon 9 rocket on one of the company’s two droneships, it’s a huge achievement. It’s pretty easy to see that getting anything into space and then back again is tough, let alone putting a tube-shaped rocket on a droneship the size of a football field in the middle of the ocean, but most of the pictures of SpaceX landings don’t give you a good sense of scale. It’s easy to look

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Look, Mommy, I’m saluting

Feb 7th, 2018 9:22 am | By

Trump as seen from the other side of the pond department: Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian on Trump’s childish/despotic desire for a Big Parade of Guns n Tanks.

He’d been nagging the generals about this for a while but, according to the Washington Post, he gave the order at a meeting at the Pentagon last month.

No need for us to deconstruct the motive behind this instruction. It came after Trump was the guest at France’s Bastille Day parade, where he stood at Emmanuel Macron’s side and watched tanks, gun trucks and column after column of starchly uniformed soldiers. “We’re going to have to try and top it,” Trump said afterwards. (The actual order to military chiefs

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A message from women

Feb 6th, 2018 4:53 pm | By

More from the Daily Mash:

Women tell everyone to just fuck off

H/t Stewart… Read the rest

Of course he does

Feb 6th, 2018 4:45 pm | By

Oh christ.

Trump wants a military parade.

President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.

Just like China! And Russia! And Nazi Germany!

Shows of military strength are not typical in the United States — and they don’t come cheap. The cost of shipping Abrams tanks and high-tech hardware to Washington could run in the millions, and military officials said it was unclear how they would pay for it.

And why would we do it? What for? It’s well … Read the rest