All entries by this author

Greatest ever ever ever ever

Aug 2nd, 2017 12:59 pm | By

Another entry in the Great Book of Donald’s Lies:

On Tuesday, Politico got its hands on a previously unpublished transcript of Trump’s July 25 interview with the Wall Street Journal. In that interview, Trump makes a bold claim about his controversial Boy Scouts speech the day before. After someone from the Journal suggested that Trump got a “mixed” reaction to his speech, Trump — as he often does — seemed to overcompensate.

“I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,” Trump said. “So there was — there was no mix.”

Except a source for the Scouts said this

Read the rest

To strike good deals for the American people

Aug 2nd, 2017 12:38 pm | By

Trump reluctantly signed the Russia sanctions bill.

Trump’s reluctant signing of the legislation came nearly a week after it was approved by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority in the Senate and after a similarly large majority in the House. The president issued two statements outlining his concerns with the bill, which he called “seriously flawed,” primarily because it limits his ability to negotiate sanctions without congressional approval.

“By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

“Deals” – as if they’re arguing over the price of a set … Read the rest

Which twin has the dump?

Aug 2nd, 2017 7:06 am | By

The BBC asks, slyly, is the White House really a dump?

Why no, who said it was? Bette Davis?

Haha just kidding; of course not, it was Our Donnie, chatting to fellow bozos on one of his golf courses.

According to, Mr Trump has explained his frequent appearances at various courses across America to patrons by saying: “That White House is a real dump.”

It led Chelsea Clinton, who is more than a little familiar with the interior of the White House, to tweet: “Thank you to all the White House ushers, butlers, maids, chefs, florists, gardeners, plumbers, engineers & curators for all you do every day.”

So, is it really a dump?

Well, it certainly

Read the rest


Aug 1st, 2017 6:03 pm | By

Politico has the full transcript of Trump’s interview with the adoring Wall Street Journal. The Journal published excerpts, but the transcript was [gasp] leaked.

Trump, as always, babbles and thrashes from subject to subject and repeats himself repeats himself. He also gets very stroppy when anyone says anything hinting he’s not universally beloved.

WSJ: We were in West Virginia yesterday.

TRUMP: Oh, you did? Was that a scene, though? Huh?

WSJ: That was a scene, yes. (Laughter.)

TRUMP: Biggest crowd they’ve ever had. What did you think?

WSJ: I thought it was an interesting speech in the context of the Boy Scouts.

TRUMP: Right.

WSJ: They seemed to get a lot of feedback from former scouts and –


Read the rest

Who We Are

Aug 1st, 2017 4:52 pm | By

Benjamin Wittes quotes the Wall Street Journal:

The nation’s top narcotics officer repudiated President Donald Trump’s remarks about police use of force, issuing a memo saying Drug Enforcement Administration agents must “always act honorably” by maintaining “the very highest standards” in the treatment of criminal suspects.

Chuck Rosenberg, who as acting DEA chief works for the president, told agency personnel world-wide in a Saturday memo to disregard any suggestion that roughing up suspects would be tolerated. The memo came a day after Mr. Trump told a crowd of law-enforcement officers they shouldn’t be “too nice” when arresting “thugs.”

“The president, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by

Read the rest

She was shoved out of the room

Aug 1st, 2017 11:53 am | By

The State Department is sinking into a slough.

On the first Friday in May, Foreign Affairs Day, the staff gathers in the flag-bedecked C Street lobby of the State Department beside the memorial plaques for the 248 members of foreign affairs agencies who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A moment of silence is observed. As president of the American Foreign Service Association, Barbara Stephenson helps organize the annual event. This year, she was set to enter a delegates’ lounge to brief Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on its choreography before appearing alongside him. Instead, she told me, she was shoved out of the room.

Stephenson, a former ambassador to Panama, is not used to being

Read the rest

It’s so, Joe

Aug 1st, 2017 10:26 am | By

Joe Arpaio has been found guilty of criminal contempt of court.

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio committed a crime by defying a court order to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants, a judge ruled on Monday, in the latest rebuke for a once-popular politician who was voted out of office last year.

United States District Judge Susan R. Bolton found Mr. Arpaio, 85, guilty of criminal contempt of court, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Mr. Arpaio’s lawyers said he would appeal.

The conviction comes as sheriffs are under pressure to play a major role in the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown. The president has threatened to withhold federal funds from local governments that do not cooperate by holding

Read the rest

They wanted to be truthful

Aug 1st, 2017 8:42 am | By

What did he lie and when did he lie it?

Last night, Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Philip Rucker and Tom Hamburger broke the latest blockbuster story in this scandal, in which the president dictated a misleading statement about the nature of the fateful meeting his son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had with a group of Russians during the campaign:

On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump’s advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril.


Read the rest

Cetacean physics

Jul 31st, 2017 5:26 pm | By

Dolphins making bubble-rings.

H/t Dave Ricks… Read the rest

Not through freedom but through bondage?

Jul 31st, 2017 4:55 pm | By

The Freethinker editor Barry Duke shared with me this passage from E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime:

The scene is a New York meeting held by Emma Goldman:

Love in freedom! Goldman cried. Those who like Mrs. Alving have paid with blood and tears for their spiritual awakening, repudiate marriage as an imposition, a shallow empty mockery. Some of the audience, including Tateh, shouted No! No! Comrades and brothers, Goldman said, can you socialists ignore the double bondage of one-half of the human race? Do you think the society that plunders your labor has no interest in the way you are asked to live with women? Not through freedom but through bondage? All the reformers talk today of the white slavery

Read the rest

Freedom to starve

Jul 31st, 2017 4:34 pm | By

I’m reading a book by Cass Sunstein that starts by talking about “The Myth of Laissez Faire” (chapter 2): there is no such thing because property itself is based on a system of laws and enforcement, so the whole idea that government is an intrusion is nonsensical. I’ve always thought that, so I’m not finding much to argue with so far.

In the process he talks about a couple of Supreme Court rulings. The first is Adkins v Children’s Hospital of DC:

Facts of the case

In 1918, Congress enacted a law which guaranteed a minimum wage to women and children employed in the District of Columbia. This case was decided together with Children’s Hospital v. Lyons.



Read the rest

Guest post: Cooking the stats

Jul 31st, 2017 3:23 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Men work harder.

Number of hours worked does not necessarily correlate with how hard one works. And another thing – those numbers are very close together – it seems very likely that the variation around the mean is such that it may not be significant. Although I realize this is anecdotal evidence, I have never been in a job where the men worked more hours than the women. And my ex (as well as my current husband before he retired) put in substantially fewer hours per day/week/month than I did.

As for women taking off more time, that might be, but again, my own experience suggests that there may be more to this … Read the rest

Five Stages of White House Employment

Jul 31st, 2017 1:11 pm | By

Read the rest

Can you summarize the turmoil?

Jul 31st, 2017 12:56 pm | By

Amy Wang at the Post talked to an expert about what Kelly needs to do to make Trump’s operation less shambolic. This of course was before the news broke that Kelly has kicked Scaramucci out, so they had to add a bracketed update.

President Trump jolted the White House yet again Friday when he announced that he was ousting embattled chief of staff Reince Priebus, instead bringing into the role Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly. Immediately, Washington insiders contrasted Priebus with Kelly, a retired four-star general and reported disciplinarian who “won’t suffer idiots and fools.”

Oh yes? But he accepted a job working for the biggest idiot and fool most of us have ever … Read the rest

Bye Mooch

Jul 31st, 2017 12:11 pm | By

Whoopsy – Mooch is out.

President Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director, three people close to the decision said Monday, relieving him just days after Mr. Scaramucci unloaded a crude verbal tirade against other senior members of the president’s senior staff.

Not to mention just days after hiring him in the first place.

No chaos! Everything fine here! Very very presidential! Send some Boy Scouts!

Mr. Scaramucci’s abrupt removal came just 10 days after the wealthy New York financier was brought on to the West Wing staff, a move that convulsed an already chaotic White House and led to the departures of Sean Spicer, the former press secretary, and Reince Priebus, the

Read the rest

The fetus could get a lawyer

Jul 31st, 2017 12:03 pm | By

The AP reports news from Alabama:

A federal judge has struck down Alabama’s one-of-a-kind law that enabled judges to put minors seeking abortions through a trial-like proceeding in which the fetus could get a lawyer and prosecutors could object to the pregnant girl’s wishes.

Alabama legislators in 2014 changed the state’s process for girls who can’t or won’t get their parents’ permission for an abortion to obtain permission from a court instead. The new law empowered the judge to appoint a guardian ad litem “for the interests of the unborn child” and invited the local district attorney to call witnesses and question the girl to determine whether she’s mature enough to decide.

“…in which the fetus could get a … Read the rest

Men work harder

Jul 30th, 2017 5:30 pm | By

But then there’s Kevin Myers.

The Sunday Times has apologised for an “error of judgement” that led to the publication of a column which used anti-semitic tropes about Jews and argued women needed to “earn” equal pay.

The article by Kevin Myers about the BBC’s gender pay gap came from the Irish edition of the Sunday Times, but was published on the main website used by the UK based edition and its daily counterpart. It has since been removed and the publisher of both editions, News UK, is expected to launch an investigation into how the article made it through the newspaper’s editorial procedures.

In the article, Myers said that women were generally paid less because they were

Read the rest

T-shirts and mugs

Jul 30th, 2017 5:18 pm | By

A Sunday Times reporter went to talk to Richard Dawkins about all this no-platforming they get up to over there in Americaland.

He is in the news because, 10 days ago, a left-leaning Californian radio station suddenly “no-platformed” him. He had intended to speak in Berkeley, where he undertook graduate studies in the 1960s, but the event’s organisers cancelled his talk, citing his “abusive speech [against Islam]”, which had “offended and hurt . . . so many people”.

Dawkins insisted he had never spoken abusively against the religion, admitting that while he had called Islamism “vile”, Islamism is not the same as Islam. (In a 2013 tweet, he wrote that “Islam is the greatest force for evil in the world

Read the rest

Please don’t be too Trump-like

Jul 30th, 2017 12:27 pm | By

Not all cops are delighted by Trump’s advice to let suspects slam their heads into the cars as they’re being shoved in.

The criticism online started shortly after Mr. Trump’s comments, which came at an event in Brentwood, N.Y., which was intended to support the police in their fight against La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a gang that has been accused of several murders on Long Island.

After calling for more immigration officers to help arrest the gang members, Mr. Trump told officers, “Please don’t be too nice.”

“Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put your hand over” their head, he said,

Read the rest

In front of a mirror trying to project like Alec Baldwin

Jul 30th, 2017 11:16 am | By

Well I never expected to be knocked sideways by a piece in National Review, but that day has arrived. Kevin Williamson nails Trump by way of Glengarry Glen Ross.

Glengarry Glen Ross is the Macbeth of real estate, full of great, blistering lines and soliloquies so liberally peppered with profanity that the original cast had nicknamed the show “Death of a Fucking Salesman.” But a few of those attending the New York revival left disappointed. For a certain type of young man, the star of Glengarry Glen Ross is a character called Blake, played in the film by Alec Baldwin. We know that his name is “Blake” only from the credits; asked his name by one of the other

Read the rest