All entries by this author

A free commercial

Feb 9th, 2017 10:43 am | By

Dayum, they just don’t get it, do they – they are not allowed to use the office to flog their merchandise. That’s forbidden.

Yet Kellyanne Conway did just that, on television.

Conway, speaking to “Fox & Friends” viewers from the White House briefing room, was responding to boycotts of Ivanka Trumpmerchandise and Nordstrom’s discontinuation of stocking her clothing and shoe lines, which the retailer said was in response to low sales and which the president assailed as unfair.

“I’m going to give it a free commercial here,” Conway said of the president’s daughter’s merchandise brand. “Go buy it today.”

They’re setting a new benchmark for shameless public corruption. “Hi, I work for the president of the US, go … Read the rest

The President had determined

Feb 9th, 2017 10:16 am | By

Amy Davidson at the New Yorker tells us that the core issue in the hearings on Trump’s ban is whether the courts or the people have any recourse when a president lies.

There was the ban, then the restraining order, then a request for an emergency stay of the restraining order.

The three judges on the appeals court—Michelle Friedland, Richard Clifton, and William Canby—wanted to know what, exactly, the emergency was.

As, I think, we all do. I for one want to know whether Trump even thinks there’s an emergency, or whether he simply thinks he needs to do something new and different rather the way a dog thinks this shrub needs a new spray of piss – to … Read the rest

Disheartening and demoralizing

Feb 8th, 2017 5:48 pm | By

Neil Gorsuch is not impressed by Trump’s repeated attacks on the judiciary over the past week. He had a meeting with Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Dem, today.

Trump on Wednesday morning declared that an appeals court’s hearing Tuesday night regarding his controversial immigration executive order was “disgraceful,” and that judges were more concerned about politics than following the law.

The remarks followed earlier tweets from Trump disparaging “the so-called judge” who issued a nationwide stop to his plan and saying the ruling “put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system.”

Blumenthal said Gorsuch, whom Trump nominated to the Supreme Court just over a week ago, agreed with him that the president’s language was out

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And give back those blankets, too

Feb 8th, 2017 4:35 pm | By

Another Donnie tweet, from later today. He seems to have…ah…missed the implications of the photo that goes with his link. He also left off a crucial word in the NBC headline.

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Nordstrom boom

Feb 8th, 2017 4:24 pm | By

From Gnu Atheism:

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Let’s get out of here, Turkeylegs

Feb 8th, 2017 4:18 pm | By

It appears that Trump really can’t read – not just that he doesn’t like to, but that he can’t.

It’s a pity he didn’t realize that makes him unable to do the job properly.

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Trump v Nordstrom

Feb 8th, 2017 12:01 pm | By
Trump v Nordstrom

Donnie from Queens tweeted four hours ago (so late morning in DC):

Yeah that’s a good look – the president of the US attacking a private company for not marketing his daughter’s merch to his liking.

But wait, there’s more. There’s worse.

The POTUS account retweeted it.

So it’s not just Donnie from Queens saying it, it’s the president of the US saying it, in his official role as president of the US.

Josh Voorhees at Slate says Trump may have just provided Nordstrom with the … Read the rest

The unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Feb 8th, 2017 11:30 am | By

The Times editorialists are blunt about the disgustingly sleazy plans of Melania Trump to use Donnie’s presidency as a money-attracting tool.

[A]ny veneer of plausible deniability about the Trump family’s greed and their transactional view of the most powerful job in the world was shattered this week by a defamation lawsuit the first lady, Melania Trump, filed…

…As a result of the report published in August, Mrs. Trump contends in the suit, her “brand has lost significant value, and major business opportunities that were otherwise available to her have been lost and/or substantially impacted.” The suit offers no specific examples of lost business opportunities.

The timing of the story was particularly injurious, according to the lawsuit, considering that Mrs. Trump

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Activism in action

Feb 8th, 2017 10:36 am | By

Here’s a video of the belligerent “protest” at (and of) the launch of the Vancouver Women’s Library the other day:

The very tall loud person demands what the library organizers have done to support sex workers.

The person in the orange toque says the organizers have been very violent and harmful.

The very tall loud person tears down a poster, and several people cry “Get out!” The very tall loud person does not get out.

About 2:40 The person with bangs next to tall loud says “No SWERFs! No TERFs!” The very tall loud person immediately shouts “NO FUCKING TERFS in this FUCKING NEIGHBORHOOD.”

Note: if I had been there, I would have started to find the very tall loud … Read the rest

More and better hacking

Feb 7th, 2017 5:28 pm | By

The Republicans are going full steam ahead on the voter suppression front, Ari Berman reports.

In a little-noticed 6-3 vote today, the House Administration Committee voted along party lines to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, which helps states run elections and is the only federal agency charged with making sure voting machines can’t be hacked. The EAC was created after the disastrous 2000 election in Florida as part of the Help America Vote Act to rectify problems like butterfly ballots and hanging chads. (Republicans have tried to kill the agency for years.) The Committee also voted to eliminate the public-financing system for presidential elections dating back to the 1970s.

Thirty-eight pro-democracy groups, including the NAACP and Common

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Lots of things are possible

Feb 7th, 2017 4:52 pm | By

The appeals court hearing on the restraining order on the ban (three levels, we can do three levels) is happening.

The broad legal issue is whether Trump acted within his authority in blocking the entry of people from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen, or whether his order essentially amounts to a discriminatory ban on Muslims. The judges must also weigh the harm the ban imposes, and whether it is proper for them to intervene in a national security matter on which the president is viewed as the ultimate authority.

It’s very unfortunate that we have an arrangement where one person is viewed as the ultimate authority on such matters, especially since – as we now realize – … Read the rest

Melania’s big chance to make $$$$

Feb 7th, 2017 3:39 pm | By

Melania Trump’s lawyers say she had an awesome opportunity to cash in on Donnie’s new job by promoting her brand.

An attorney for first lady Melania Trump argued in a lawsuit filed Monday that an article falsely alleging that she once worked for an escort service hurt her chance to establish “multimillion dollar business relationships” during the years in which she would be “one of the most photographed women in the world.”

Funny they should mention it, because in fact she’s not supposed to do that. It’s considered an eth-ics vi-o-la-tion.

The suit — filed Monday in New York Supreme Court, a state trial court, in Manhattan — against Mail Media, the owner of the Daily Mail, said the article

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Who needs schools when we have Fox News?

Feb 7th, 2017 3:22 pm | By

The Senate confirmed rich donor and ignoramus Betsy DeVos as education secretary this morning. Theocrat Mike Pence broke the tie.

For many in the education community, Ms. DeVos’s full-throated support for charter schools and vouchers — which allow students to use taxpayer dollars to pay tuition at private, religious and for-profit schools — is emblematic of a disconnection from the realities of the education system. Neither Ms. DeVos nor any of her children attended a public school.

David E. Kirkland, an education professor at New York University who has studied Ms. DeVos’s impact in Michigan, said he feared she could badly hurt public education across the country and pull resources out of schools in need of federal funding. “Her

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Putin is so sensitive

Feb 7th, 2017 11:20 am | By

Marc Bennetts reports from Moscow:

A woman in Russia faces jail after she posted a photograph online that showed her lighting a cigarette with a candle in a Russian Orthodox church.

The unnamed 21-year-old woman is the latest person to be charged under a law against “insulting the feelings of religious believers” that was approved by President Putin in 2013 after a protest in a Moscow cathedral by the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot. Offenders can be given three years in prison.

Putin the murderer made it a crime to “insult the feelings” of godbotherers. Misplace priorities much? It’s a considerable insult to the feelings of victims when you murder them, and their friends and families probably feel … Read the rest

What he does read

Feb 7th, 2017 10:12 am | By

People who know Trump say he won’t read anything that’s not about him – so it’s hopeless trying to get him to read, say, the Constitution, or intelligence briefings, or books about foreign policy or law or human rights or economics or history or anything else of that kind. But there are apparently a few exceptions, and one of them is InfoWars. That appears to be where he got his claim that news outlets are deliberately not reporting Islamist violence.

the kernel of the idea appears to have come from — or at least been propagated by — one of his favorite news sources: the conspiracy theory website InfoWars.

As @UrbanAchievr noted after Trump’s comments, InfoWars has been barking up

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Trump does his Goebbels thing

Feb 6th, 2017 5:03 pm | By

Now Trump is accusing the news media of concealing Islamist attacks.

Speaking to the U.S. Central Command on Monday, President Trump went off his prepared remarks to make a truly stunning claim: The media was intentionally covering up reports of terrorist attacks.

“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” he said to the assembled military leaders. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

What reasons? A secret hope to see Sharia become the law of the land?

It’s true, Philip Bump points out, that not ever terrorist … Read the rest

Energy in the executive

Feb 6th, 2017 4:19 pm | By

Even John Yoo, author of torture-approving memos in Bush’s Justice Department, thinks Trump is overstepping the limits on what presidents can do.

Article II of the Constitution vests the president with “the executive power,” but does not define it. Most of the Constitution instead limits that power, as with the president’s duty “to take care that the laws are faithfully executed,” or divides that power with Congress, as with making treaties or appointing Supreme Court justices.

Hamilton argued that good government and “energy in the executive” went hand in hand. In The Federalist No. 70, he wrote that the framers, to encourage “decision, activity, secrecy and dispatch,” entrusted the executive power in a unified branch headed by a single

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While Donnie was looking at window treatments

Feb 6th, 2017 1:00 pm | By

More from that Times piece yesterday on Trump’s sad awakening.

Cloistered in the White House, he now has little access to his fans and supporters — an important source of feedback and validation — and feels increasingly pinched by the pressures of the job and the constant presence of protests, one of the reasons he was forced to scrap a planned trip to Milwaukee last week. For a sense of what is happening outside, he watches cable, both at night and during the day — too much in the eyes of some aides — often offering a bitter play-by-play of critics like CNN’s Don Lemon.

And, of course, it doesn’t help that he’s willfully stupid and incurious. He seems … Read the rest

Dashing madly off in all directions

Feb 6th, 2017 12:35 pm | By

The Times tells us that Trump and his gang have in fact noticed that doing stupid things very quickly doesn’t necessarily work out well.

But one thing has become apparent to both his allies and his opponents: When it comes to governing, speed does not always guarantee success.

The bungled rollout of his executive order barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a flurry of other miscues and embarrassments, and an approval rating lower than that of any comparable first-term president in the history of polling have Mr. Trump and his top staff rethinking an improvisational approach to governing that mirrors his chaotic presidential campaign, administration officials and Trump insiders said.

Surprise surprise surprise – it’s not actually a … Read the rest


Feb 6th, 2017 11:35 am | By

The Speaker of the House of Commons has made a forthright statement on why in his view Donald Trump should not be invited to give a speech in said House. Spoiler: it’s because Trump is a bad man. Specifically, it’s because he’s racist and sexist.

“Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall,” Mr Bercow told MPs.

“After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.”

Parts of the Commons erupted into rare spontaneous applause in support of Mr Bercow’s statement.

The intervention will cause headaches in Downing

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