All entries by this author

More grenade launchers for the cops

Aug 28th, 2017 10:36 am | By

Another step on the road to fascism.

The Trump administration plans to reinstate in full a program that provides local police departments with military surplus equipment such as large-caliber weapons and grenade launchers, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

Sure. Why would we not want a completely militarized police force? We have no history at all of cops abusing their power, so why not trust them with tanks, missiles, machine guns?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the changes to the program on Monday when he speaks at a Fraternal Order of Police conference in Nashville. It was not immediately clear why Mr. Sessions would announce changes to a Pentagon program, but he

Read the rest

No excuse for not realizing what kind of man he was

Aug 28th, 2017 9:50 am | By

Krugman calls it fascism.

Mind you he seems to think it requires some justification, while I think it’s obvious, but then he’s writing in the Times and I’m not.

Let’s call things by their proper names here. Arpaio is, of course, a white supremacist. But he’s more than that. There’s a word for political regimes that round up members of minority groups and send them to concentration camps, while rejecting the rule of law: What Arpaio brought to Maricopa, and what the president of the United States has just endorsed, was fascism, American style.

And fascism goes in stages; it’s not the full-blown thing from day one. Trump is getting steadily more horrific. That’s how this goes.

Maybe we’ll … Read the rest

Trump finds Inspirational Quotes

Aug 28th, 2017 7:29 am | By

Trump this morning. No tweets of his own yet, but he pointedly retweeted these three items.

DSouza was retweeting the Post:

Geddit? It’s not the far-right, it’s not white supremacists, it’s THE LEFT, just as he said at that press conference. There are no white racists, there are only Very Fine People; the bad people are all on the left.


Read the rest

They felt secure in their support

Aug 27th, 2017 3:57 pm | By

A few days ago the UN condemned Trump’s racist outbursts since Charlottesville.

Without mentioning Mr. Trump by name, a body of United Nations experts on Wednesday denounced “the failure at the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject and condemn” racist violence, saying it was “deeply concerned by the example this failure could set for the rest of the world.”

Mr. Trump’s wavering responses to the violence — he has blamed “many sides,” but also singled out the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups and white supremacists for condemnation — has roiled his administration, but also unsettled rights advocates around the world.

“We were shocked and horrified by what happened,” the committee’s chairwoman, Anastasia

Read the rest

23 voted against emergency funding for victims

Aug 27th, 2017 3:26 pm | By

A bunch of Texas Republicans voted against emergency funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy out there on that pesky godless elitist East Coast.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that hit New Jersey and New York in 2012, eight Texas Republicans voted against increasing flood insurance, and 23 voted against emergency funding for victims.

Both measures ultimately passed the House and Senate before being signed into law by President Obama. But the history of votes against flood insurance benefiting other needy states could come back to haunt Texas members of Congress should they have to apply for federal funding themselves after Hurricane Harvey. Projected damages from the storm could reach nearly $40 billion.

They can just have … Read the rest

This particular flood wasn’t because of the gays

Aug 27th, 2017 3:07 pm | By

From a year ago:

Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay religious lobbying group the Family Research Council, had his home destroyed by the massive flooding ravaging Southern Louisiana this week.

Although no one wants to celebrate a person losing their home, the destruction of Perkins’ house isn’t without irony, considering that he’s claimed in the past that natural disasters are God’s way of punishing an increasingly gay-friendly world.

So he asked himself what God was punishing him for, right?

Perkins was careful to point out that this particular flood wasn’t because of the gays, but rather an “incredible, encouraging spiritual exercise to take you to the next level in your walk with an almighty and gracious God

Read the rest

He sat in a red fire truck, too

Aug 27th, 2017 12:38 pm | By

Elizabeth Williamson at the Times on Pres-i-dent Trump and the babysitters.

The epigraph:

“You treat me like a baby! Am I like a baby to you? I sit there like a little baby and watch TV and you talk to me?”

— Donald Trump to Paul Manafort in “Devil’s Bargain,” by Joshua Green.

Why yes, Don, of course you’re a baby to us. You act like a baby. You talk like a baby, you have no idea how to think, just as a baby does.

He lives in the White House, where he gets two scoops of ice cream instead of one for dessert. He is commander in chief, eating “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” with the

Read the rest

Why Arpaio matters

Aug 27th, 2017 11:30 am | By

James Fallows on why the pardon of Arpaio is so bad.

[The] main difference was the nature of Arpaio’s crime. While he is not the first official whose offense involved abuse of public powers—from Nixon on down, others fit that category—his is the first case I’m aware of where someone is pardoned for using state power toward racist ends.

That description of Arpaio’s crime may sound tendentious, but it’s what his conviction amounts to. For details, I very highly recommend a Twitter chronicle put out last night by Phoenix New Times, which has been covering Arpaio for two decades. Over at least the past decade, state and federal judges—most of the latter appointed by George W. Bush—have

Read the rest

Goes to intent

Aug 27th, 2017 10:33 am | By

Business Insider argues that Trump’s pardon of Arpaio, coupled with his asking Sessions months ago if he could get the case dropped, undercuts the claim by Trump allies that he didn’t actually order Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, he merely expressed a hope.

When Trump allegedly asked Sessions this past spring whether it would be possible to drop the federal criminal investigation into Arpaio, Sessions told Trump such a move would be inappropriate, but that Trump could pardon Arpaio if he was convicted, The Post reported, citing three people familiar with the conversation.

Trump ultimately granted the pardon on Friday evening, sparking fierce backlash from liberals and some conservatives.

But some legal analysts also pointed out that

Read the rest

Sadist bros

Aug 26th, 2017 4:25 pm | By

It makes sense that Trump’s friendship with Arpaio goes back to their days as Birther Buddies. Of course it does. They bonded over malevolent destructive racism, Arpaio got busted for malevolent destructive racism, Trump pardoned him because he’s a fan of malevolent destructive racism.

They’re also both sadists who go out of their way to humiliate and harm people they dislike. Naturally they’re besties.

As Joseph Arpaio’s federal case headed toward trial this past spring, President Trump wanted to act to help the former Arizona county sheriff who had become a campaign-trail companion and a partner in their crusade against illegal immigration.

The president asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions whether it would be possible for the government to drop

Read the rest

Pardoning Joe Arpaio is a slap in the face to the people of Maricopa County

Aug 26th, 2017 4:01 pm | By

The mayor of Phoenix responds.

Read the rest

Guest post: Differentiating between learned and innate differences

Aug 26th, 2017 2:29 pm | By

Guest post by George Felis

As usual, the journalists and even the scientists themselves are either confused or simply deluded about what this research actually demonstrates. There is exactly NOTHING in this research that offers the slightest evidence that might differentiate between learned and innate differences, but the journos and even the researchers (who damned well ought to know better) just assume that this represents innate differences between the sexes. Human brains are shaped by an entire lifetime of experiences: all of our learning and interactions and socialization create and reinforce neural pathways. Given all the differences in how boys and girls are treated even from infancy — the very different worlds they live in and navigate — it would … Read the rest

Trump does not have the requisite respect for the rule of law

Aug 26th, 2017 11:45 am | By

Bob Bauer, who was a White House Counsel to Obama, wrote a Lawfare post Thursday about a then-potential pardon for Arpaio.

Any president considering a pardon in the normal course would solicit and make publicly available the recommendation of the Department of Justice. The Department, however—and here we are speaking specifically of Trump’s Department—secured the very conviction for criminal contempt that would be the subject of the pardon. Now, a president can ignore the departmental recommendation: The power is his, of course, and not the Attorney General’s.  But presidents are sensitive to the Department’s recommendations, and for good reason.  The pardon power sits uneasily with the belief that ours is “a government of laws, not of men,” and the

Read the rest

A government not of laws but of toxic narcissists

Aug 26th, 2017 10:15 am | By

A scholar of political institutions says how Trump’s pardon deviates from other presidential pardons.

It is hard to gauge the political fallout of the president’s decision — announced as it was late on a Friday night during an impending hurricane. Normally, though, as political scientist Jeffrey Crouch’s book on the pardon power makes clear, pardons are granted for two reasons: either to provide mercy or correct a miscarriage of justice, in an individual case; or on more general grounds based on public policy.

Trump’s doesn’t fit the mercy category very well, because of its haste and because of the lack of contrition.

(Further, in considering such petitions, “The extent to which a petitioner has accepted responsibility for his

Read the rest

The benign prerogative of mercy

Aug 26th, 2017 9:05 am | By

Adam Liptak in the Times reminds us that there’s nothing we can do about it. Ford’s outrageous pardon of Nixon taught us ancients that long ago.

But in the process the Times included an elaboration that is bleakly funny.

The courts, Congress and the public have few avenues to take action against a president who issues a contentious pardon. Legislation, for instance, is not an option.

“This power of the president is not subject to legislative control,” the Supreme Court said in 1866. “Congress can neither limit the effect of his pardon nor exclude from its exercise any class of offenders. The benign prerogative of mercy reposed in him cannot be fettered by any legislative restrictions.”

“The benign prerogative … Read the rest


Aug 25th, 2017 5:56 pm | By

This country has been pulled into the filth and it will never get all the way out. Never. This is terminal.

Read the rest

There is no law now

Aug 25th, 2017 5:45 pm | By

He did it. That racist lawless sack of shit pardoned Arpaio. Judges might as well not bother while he’s in the White House.

Arpaio, who was a sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona, was found guilty of criminal contempt last month for disregarding a court order in a racial profiling case. Arpaio’s sentencing had been scheduled for October 5.

“Not only did (Arpaio) abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” wrote US District Judge Susan Bolton in the July 31 order.

Including a federal judge, and that sack of shit in the oval office just endorsed him. It’s a dictatorship. A racistRead the rest

They feared for their shoes

Aug 25th, 2017 4:56 pm | By

Ah, the poor snowflakes of the far right don’t want to be wading through a sea of dog poop tomorrow. They’ve canceled the rally.

A right-wing group on Friday canceled a “freedom rally” it had planned for Saturday near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, removing one major source of feared violence for city leaders, though others remained.

The group, known as Patriot Prayer, instead planned a news conference at a park in the city on Saturday to explain what its leader Joey Gibson called the failure of police and elected officials to keep the group safe.

Safe from dog poop.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of people rallied raucously and danced against hate at City Hall. They

Read the rest

“Get the protester plow”

Aug 25th, 2017 4:31 pm | By

The grand old party.

Read the rest

Read it again

Aug 25th, 2017 3:36 pm | By

Ron Rosenbaum, a journalist who wrote a rather disorganized book about Hitler nearly 20 years ago, has a lot of scorn for Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem…but he also has a mistaken idea of its contents. Maybe if he’d read it more attentively he’d have less contempt for it.

I’d been asked to write an introduction to a fiftieth-anniversary edition of William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a longtime bestseller first published in 1961, a book that had shaped my and subsequent generations’ picture of Hitler and the war for some time thereafter. I don’t think I would have reread it if I hadn’t been asked by its publishers to contribute an introduction, but I

Read the rest