All entries by this author

Trump thinks “Angela” is German for “bitch”

Jun 21st, 2018 6:00 am | By

There’s always worse to learn. Cast your mind back to the G7 and Trump sitting at the table scowling like a constipated goat at the adults trying to talk sense into him.

“It was at this point, towards the end of the summit, that Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada got together with some of the allies and really wanted to press Trump directly to sign the communiqué, that talked about the commitment to a rules-based international order. Trump was sitting there with his arms crossed, clearly not liking the fact that they were ganging up on him. He eventually agreed and said OK he’ll sign it. And at that point, he stood up, put his

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Today is World Refugee Day

Jun 20th, 2018 6:20 pm | By

I opened this story at the Huffington Post about Obama speaking up on Trump’s grab the children policy, and saw the subhead –

The former president calls out “the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms.”

I thought for a second about the phrase, which is a frequent trope in this story but also a literal statement – the children are much of the time literally ripped from their parents’ arms, and if they’re not it’s only because the parents are trying to minimize the trauma for the children so decide not to make it a physical struggle that they know they can’t win. The children are forcibly removed, and the parents would clutch them and resist if … Read the rest

Diddums doesn’t want to look weak

Jun 20th, 2018 5:24 pm | By

The squalor of it.

A senior administration official, after Axios asked whether Trump thinks the family separation issue is a political winner because it makes him look “hardcore” on the border:

  • “Not at all. He’s doing it to press the case with Congress. He’s moved personally, but also doesn’t want to look weak. He feels boxed in, is frustrated and knows it’s bad politics — but also understands it’s not a fight he can back down from.”

Right because that’s definitely the important thing – whether or not a stupid petulant cruel toad of a man “looks weak” or not. That definitely outweighs the anguish of infants and toddlers and children yanked away from their parents, and the anguish … Read the rest

A bible in every pot

Jun 20th, 2018 4:11 pm | By

Jesus and Mo on PatreonRead the rest

Set the oceans free

Jun 20th, 2018 3:42 pm | By

Also Trump wants to wreck the oceans. It’s not as if we need them for anything.

President Trump on Wednesday ended an eight-year-old policy to protect oceans, which was created as hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from a broken well, covering more than 65,000 square miles, killing untold numbers of wildlife and devastating fisheries in several Gulf Coast states.

President Barack Obama mentioned the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest and costliest oil spill in the nation’s history, in the second sentence of an executive order that detailed the first national ocean policy and called on federal agencies to work closely with states and local governments to manage the waters off their

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You never thank the kidnapper

Jun 20th, 2018 3:21 pm | By


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With the purpose of enlightenment

Jun 20th, 2018 12:21 pm | By

Stephen Miller is literally trolling us.

A seasoned conservative troll, Miller told me during our interview that he has often found value in generating what he calls “constructive controversy—with the purpose of enlightenment.” This belief traces back to the snowflake-melting and lib-triggering of his youth. As a conservative teen growing up in Santa Monica, he wrote op-eds comparing his liberal classmates to terrorists and musing that Osama bin Laden would fit in at his high school. In college, he coordinated an “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” These efforts were not calibrated for persuasion; they were designed to agitate. And now that he’s in the White House, he is deploying similar tactics.

Take the travel ban, for example. During Trump’s first week

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He’ll be doing something

Jun 20th, 2018 11:15 am | By

Trump now says, no doubt sullenly, that he’ll sign “something” to end family separations at the border.

He’ll do the least he can get away with, and meanwhile we’ll be accepting all the lesser evils because he made this one concession. If he does in fact make it.

Trump, whose administration weeks ago began separating hundreds of children from their parents at the border, did not describe the specifics of the order.

“I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat pre-emptive but ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

And the ogre strolled away, picking bits of human flesh out of his teeth.… Read the rest

He enjoys it

Jun 20th, 2018 10:01 am | By

Here’s a striking detail from a piece by Gabriel Sherman on rifts in Team Trump over the whole kidnapping babies thing:

Trump’s decision to double down on the family-separation policy is sowing chaos in the West Wing, two sources close to the White House told me. For the second day in a row, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders—already eyeing an exit, though not for months—did not hold an on-camera briefing with reporters. “She’s tired of taking on water for something she doesn’t believe in,” a friend of Sanders told me. “She continues to have a frustration that the policies are all over the map,” another person close to her said. “It’s not a good look for Sarah.” According to sources,

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Just sign on the line

Jun 20th, 2018 9:54 am | By

All they have to do is rescind the order. It’s on them.

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Tender age shelters

Jun 20th, 2018 9:31 am | By

It’s ok, the Administration is taking care of it.

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.

Why aren’t city leaders thanking Trump for the new jobs?

Decades after the nation’s child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to

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Bad to worse

Jun 20th, 2018 9:15 am | By

Jesus. My Twitter feed is filled to the rafters with grim news about the state-orphaned children including infants. That’s the algorithm because I was paying a lot of attention to it yesterday, but still, there’s so much of it. And it’s so god damn grim. The tent city being prepared on the Texas border where it’s going to be 106 F. today for instance.

I saw the clip of Corey Lewandowski jeering yesterday but I put off posting it.


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Among other desperate, crying mothers

Jun 19th, 2018 4:40 pm | By

The AP reports:

The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life.

So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for the United States.

Two months later, she sits in a federal prison south of Seattle. The boy, Abel Alexander, is in custody at a children’s home across the country in upstate New York. She has no idea when she might see him again.

“I still haven’t been able to talk to him,” Orantes told The Associated Press in Spanish as she wept through a telephone interview Monday from the prison. “The most difficult is

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The American government has unleashed terror on immigrants

Jun 19th, 2018 4:08 pm | By

Masha Gessen published this at the New Yorker way back on May 9th, and damn did she see what was coming.

Hostage-taking is an instrument of terror. Capturing family members, especially children, is a tried-and-true instrument of totalitarian terror. Memoirs of Stalinist terror are full of stories of strong men and women disintegrating when their loved ones are threatened: this is the moment when a person will confess to anything. The single most searing literary document of Stalinist terror is “Requiem,” a cycle of poems written by Anna Akhmatova while her son, Lev Gumilev, was in prison. But, in the official Soviet imagination, it was the Nazis who tortured adults by torturing children. In “Seventeen Moments of

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Guest post: To be allowed to be female in my own way

Jun 19th, 2018 11:55 am | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Adolescence is fraught with uncertainty and identity searching.

Claire believes that her feeling that she was a boy stemmed from rigid views of gender roles that she had internalized

I had a lot of gender problems myself as a teen. My parents had rigid ideas of what a person should be based on their external genitalia. So I endured endless years of Home Ec when I would rather have been in Chemistry and Physics. I wore pink as a little girl when I preferred green. I washed dishes after dinner while my brothers watched Star Trek or played cribbage with Dad…or got to do fun things like going out and helping with the … Read the rest

Beware the militant secularists

Jun 19th, 2018 11:28 am | By

Oh no, says Amrou Al-Kadhi at the Guardian, London Pride is not just corporate but also Militantly Secular.

Pride’s corporative makeover contributes to an image that I find politically troubling – that neoliberal ideology is the generator of LGBT rights. As a gay person of Muslim heritage, the inescapable secularism of Pride makes me anxious. When western capitalism is painted as a haven for gay rights, I experience a friction between the Muslim and queer parts of my identity. This is particularly sensitive in a context where, for instance, a large number of gay men in Paris voted for Marine Le Pen in 2017, persuaded by her rhetoric that Islam was a threat to civic liberties.

And last year’s

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Jun 19th, 2018 10:27 am | By

Trump crosses another line.

News outlets say that’s a lie; crime in Germany is down, not up.

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Child actors

Jun 19th, 2018 9:31 am | By

A new level of ugly:

In the flourishing world of baseless conspiracy theories, this one, part hoax, part smear, has been having its moment.

The idea that people whose experiences speak to some of the consequences of government policies are not to be taken at face value, and are actually “crisis actors” working for a nefarious purpose, has taken on particular prominence in the wake of mass shootings, such as those in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter on Sunday became the latest figure to spread a similar claim, as a guest on a Fox News show, when she charged that some of the migrant children who have been photographed in varying stages of

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The SPLC apologizes at last

Jun 18th, 2018 5:52 pm | By

Remember this from October 27 2016?

Another one of those mornings that starts with a horror in my news stream – the Southern Poverty Law Center branding Maajid Nawaz an “anti-Muslim extremist” in a new report/field guide. They also include Ayaan Hirsi Ali under that hateful umbrella, but it’s the inclusion of Maajid that dumbfounds me the most, seeing as how he is in fact a Muslim and is most explicitly and centrally anti-extremist.

In short, this pisses me off, big time. It pisses me off because it’s grossly inaccurate, and unfair to Maajid. It pisses me off because as he points out it puts a target on him. It pisses me off because the SPLC has done

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To raise a pious generation

Jun 18th, 2018 5:15 pm | By

Erdoğan could be our future.

Public schools are closing, on little or no notice, and being replaced by religious schools. Exams are scrapped by presidential whim. Tens of thousands of public teachers have been fired. Outside religious groups are teaching in schools, without parental consent.

The battle over how to shape Turkey’s next generation has become a tumultuous issue for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as he seeks re-election on Sunday in a vote that is shaping up as a referendum on his deepening imprint on the country after 15 years at the helm.

Mr. Erdogan has already chipped away at Turkey’s democratic institutions, purging the courts and civil service of suspected opponents, bringing the media to heel, and leaving

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