All entries by this author

Guest post: Australia’s role in the alliance

Oct 1st, 2019 9:28 am | By

Originally a comment by Roj Blake on Tiny favor, Scott.

Where do they get off? Why would they think Morrison has any interest in meddling with US internal affairs? Is Trump also asking other heads of state to wash his underpants, scrub his toilet, pick the nits out of his combover?

On December 27, 1941, Australian Prime Minister wrote in a “Letter to The Australian People” and published in that day’s Newspapers, “Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.” Although Curtin saw an equal partnership with the US, that has not always been the case. … Read the rest

Between folks within our community

Oct 1st, 2019 9:21 am | By

Even Adrian Harrop can see it.

I‘ve stayed out of a certain discussion today — if you know, you know. However, what I will say is that it’s so disappointing to see such disrespect & division between folks within our community. I hope that folks will, in the fullness of time, try to find some common ground.

There is always room for debate and disagreement. Everyone sees things through the prism of their own life experience, and often our individual “takes” will come into conflict with one another. But please — for want of a better expression — let’s try to keep it above the belt.

When folks make things personal, & make disparaging or disrespectful remarks about each

Read the rest

Outsourcing the investigation

Sep 30th, 2019 4:25 pm | By

The Post has more. A lot more.

Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

In other words the top law official is using the Justice Department as a personal weapon to defend Trump against all accusations, no matter how well-founded.

The direct involvement of the nation’s top law enforcement official shows the priority Barr places on the investigation being conducted by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, who has been

Read the rest

Heroes in the fight against something something something

Sep 30th, 2019 3:53 pm | By

Matt Lodder tweets:

Richard Dawkins is promoting far right, white nationalist, Christian crank conferences now. That’s what’s happening.

Also, Helen Pluckrose and her gang of bold warriors for intellectual truth are *speaking* at far-right, white nationalist crank conferences, in case any one still doubted the quality of their work and the rigour of their research.

The tweet is gone but

Pretentious postmodern nonsense is a serious menace in universities & contemporary culture. Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay & Helen Pluckrose are heroes in the fight against it. Hear them at the London conference on “Speaking Truth to Social Justice.”

They are thought leaders! Thought leaders of the finest kind!

H/t Screechy Monkey… Read the rest

Tiny favor, Scott

Sep 30th, 2019 2:47 pm | By

The headlines are piling up this afternoon (or evening or morning where you are).

Subpoena for Giuliani:

The Democratic chairmen of three House committees announced they have subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.

The former New York mayor has reportedly played a key role in trying to convince Ukraine to launch an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, a claim that Giuliani himself has confirmed in television appearances.

When pressed last week by CNN’s Chris Cuomo whether he urged Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, Giuliani eventually said, “Of course I did.”

And Cuomo’s eyes bugged out of his head.

Adam Schiff of the intelligence committee, Eliot Engel of the foreign affairs committee and Elijah Cummings of the

Read the rest

Books for the kids

Sep 30th, 2019 2:15 pm | By

Bolsonaro has a weird sense of humor.

Bolsonaro, an outspoken fan of the 1964-1985 military regime during which hundreds of political opponents were murdered and thousands more tortured, met with students at the gates of the presidential palace in the capital, Brasília, on Monday.

Video of the encounter shows one of the students saying, “Send a hug to my teacher.”

“You teacher is a leftist?” the president replies, as the crowd erupts with laughter.

“Tell her to read the book The Suffocated Truth. Just read it,” Bolsonaro says. “There are facts, not the blah blah blah of the left.”

The book he recommended was written by Col Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, who in 2008 became Brazil’s first military man

Read the rest

He doesn’t want to make his members cast unpopular no votes

Sep 30th, 2019 12:12 pm | By

Matt Yglesias at Vox reminds us why Congress isn’t getting much done (spoiler: it’s not because the Dems are “Do Nothing” as Trump keeps tweeting):

Both parties’ congressional campaign committees have polling that indicates the public is frustrated with Congress’ lack of progress on policy issues and therefore have adopted strategies centered on blaming the other party for inaction.

This theme recurs in recent Trump tweets on subjects ranging from China to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to nothing in particular, all of which repeat the phrase “Do Nothing Democrats.”

Under the circumstances, it’s worth emphasizing that this is simply false. House Democrats have passed a lot of bills, including conceptually ambitious legislation to curb corruption in politics and 

Read the rest

As you are

Sep 30th, 2019 7:55 am | By

A little McKinnon for refreshment after all that Trump on crack.


You: “I like dick”

Girl with dick says ‘Hey, wanna date?’
“Oh…no…I only like dick on guys”

Guy responds to date ad: ‘Sup girl’ …guy has a vagina
“Oh, sorry, I only like guys with dicks”

Both cases trans people are left in the cold. ‘Genital preferences’ are transphobic.

But not wanting to have sex with X isn’t phobia of X. We’re not obliged to want to have sex with anyone and everyone, with no preferences of any kind. McKinnon’s assertion makes nonsense of both heterosexual and homosexual – it asserts that we all have to be omnisexual. But we don’t have to. We don’t have to stop … Read the rest

The thumbs fly over the keys

Sep 30th, 2019 6:43 am | By

Trump raving on.

Twelve hours ago:

“State Department has stepped up Hillary Clinton Email probe.” @foxandfriends You mean the 33,000 Emails that she has deleted and acid washed so they can never be found, even though she said that all 33,000 pertained only to her daughter’s wedding, and her Yoga!

“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats can’t put down the Impeachment match. They know they couldn’t beat him in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, and they’re increasingly aware of the fact that they won’t win against him in 2020, and Impeachment is the only tool they have to get……..rid of Donald J. Trump – And the Democrats don’t care if they burn down and destroy this nation in the process. I

Read the rest

To infinity and beyond

Sep 30th, 2019 5:58 am | By

Say what? The Guardian:

Elon Musk has unveiled a SpaceX spacecraft designed to carry crew and cargo to the moon, Mars or anywhere else in the solar system and land back on Earth perpendicularly.

What are they talking about? SpaceX has as of now designed a spacecraft that can carry crew anywhere in the solar system? That’s nonsense.

In a live-streamed speech from SpaceX’s launch facility near the southern tip of Texas, Musk said on Saturday that the space venture’s Starship is expected to take off for the first time in about one or two months and reach 19,800 meters (65,000ft) before returning to Earth and landing.

So they’re working on being able to reach 65,000 feet and return. … Read the rest

Under federal protection

Sep 29th, 2019 5:45 pm | By

So, the whistleblower is under federal protection. I hope it’s the independent of Trump kind of federal, and not the other kind.

The intelligence whistleblower whose complaint on the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine triggered an impeachment inquiry into the president is under federal protection because they fear for their safety, “60 Minutes” first reported.

Why it matters: The letter from the whistleblower’s lawyer that the CBS News program first obtained outlining [outlines?] their concerns that the whistleblower may be identified. The lawyer specifically cites President Trump’s demand to know who gave the whistleblower the information and states that a $50,000 “bounty” relating to information identifying them has been issued by “certain individuals.”

The big picture: Trump 

Read the rest


Sep 29th, 2019 5:07 pm | By

Trump crazier than ever.

Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called “Whistleblower,” represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way. Then Schiff made up what I actually said by lying to Congress……His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber. He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason………In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally

Read the rest

If Democrats really wanted to understand the president

Sep 29th, 2019 12:45 pm | By

One Gregg Opelka in the Wall Street Journal:

If Democrats really wanted to understand the President, they would read Shakespeare’s King Lear. All the ageing monarch wants is to be loved and appreciated by his three daughters. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is / To have a thankless child,” he laments about his eldest, Goneril.

Trump is Lear, and the country is the king’s daughters. What wounded the king more than anything was filial ingratitude.

Er…no. That’s not Shakespeare’s play. “All the aging monarch wants” is everything – to quit being a king but to go right on getting all the perks and all the groveling, to get everyone to declare infinite love for him, to be … Read the rest

Off the books

Sep 29th, 2019 11:19 am | By

Oh did he now.

Business Insider:

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace said Sunday morning that top US officials confirmed President Donald Trump was working with more than one personal lawyer “off the books” to pressure Ukranian officials for damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden.

Wallace reported that in addition to his known personal lawyer, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has publicly admitted to his involvement in the matter, Trump has been working with the controversial legal team and married couple Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, who run a firm in Washington, D.C., to communicate with Ukraine.

And not to communicate with Ukraine about the weather or football or the wheat crop, either.

Trump was going … Read the rest

Oh no, there is no strategy

Sep 29th, 2019 10:21 am | By

That’s funny.

Trump and other aides are frustrated with Mulvaney because he did not have a strategy for defending and explaining the Ukraine call.

Actually it’s hilarious. The problem is not committing an outlandish crime grotesquely festooned with sub-crimes which are in turn festooned with more crimes – the problem is not having worked up a set of lies to deal with exposure of the outlandish crime grotesquely festooned with sub-crimes which are in turn festooned with more crimes. It’s all the fault of the guy who didn’t lie fast enough!

The tweet links to a CNN piece:

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is on shaky ground in the wake of a bad week for

Read the rest

Impeachment cold open

Sep 29th, 2019 9:41 am | By

Not their best ever, but still better than a poke in the eye.

Read the rest

Whether it’s Hunter Biden or Ivanka Trump

Sep 28th, 2019 5:32 pm | By

Sarah Chayes in the Atlantic on Hunter Biden’s legal and socially acceptable corruption:

The whistle-blower scandal that has prompted the fourth presidential impeachment process in American history has put a spectacle from earlier this decade back on display: the jaw-smacking feast of scavengers who circled around Ukraine as Viktor Yanukovych, a Moscow-linked kleptocrat, was driven from power. Ukraine’s crisis was the latest to energize a club whose culture has come to be treated as normal—a culture in which top-tier lawyers, former U.S. public officials, and policy experts (and their progeny) cash in by trading on their connections and their access to insider policy information—usually by providing services to kleptocrats like Yanukovych. The renewed focus on Ukraine raises jangling questions: How

Read the rest

Their emails have been “retroactively classified”

Sep 28th, 2019 4:36 pm | By

The Washington Post reports:

The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email, reviving a politically toxic matter that overshadowed the 2016 election, current and former officials said.

As many as 130 officials have been contacted in recent weeks by State Department investigators — a list that includes senior officials who reported directly to Clinton as well as others in lower-level jobs whose emails were at some point relayed to her inbox, said current and former State Department officials. Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations,

Read the rest

Anything Giuliani did should be praised, says Giuliani

Sep 28th, 2019 3:42 pm | By

At the Atlantic, Elaina Plott reports on a phone chat with Giuliani:

Even among the president’s closest allies, Giuliani is now the subject of scorn. When I reached him by phone this morning, following House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s release of the full whistle-blower complaint at the center of the Ukraine scandal, he was, put simply, very angry.

“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero,” Giuliani told me.

“I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government,” he continued, sounding out of breath. “Anything I

Read the rest

Shouting ‘SCUM! SCUM! SCUM!’

Sep 28th, 2019 12:18 pm | By

Woman’s Place UK has a statement on what happened around that meeting in Brighton Monday which they want us to share widely:

On Monday 23rd September, Woman’s Place UK held its 24th public meeting in two years: A Woman’s Place is at Conference. It was timed to coincide with the Labour Party’s annual conference and to publicise our manifesto which contains demands we believe would significantly improve the quality of women’s lives, as well as address the structural oppression and discrimination that we face.

Members of our local organising team liaised closely with the venue and made sure they were fully informed about our campaign, and that previous meetings had been protested.

We also liaised with the local police

Read the rest