All entries by this author

Some people are happy

Jan 31st, 2018 11:42 am | By

Al Jazeera gently points out mash notes to Trump’s speech from white supremacists.

White supremacists quickly took to social media to comment on the president’s comments, with many of them praising the characterisation of Americans as “dreamers”.

In a Twitter post, David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a racist organisation popular in the southern US for over a century after slavery ended in the 1860s, thanked the president.

Yes, some Americans Dream of a White Country.

During Trump’s electoral campaign in 2016, he came under fire for hesitancy to disavow Duke, who had pledged his support for the then Republican candidate.

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Wisdom digested

Jan 31st, 2018 11:20 am | By

John Crace at the Guardian does a Digested Read version of Jordan Peterson’s already brisk 12 rules for being like Jordan Peterson.

1 Stand up straight with your shoulders straight
Most lobsters are complete bastards left to their own devices. Most humans are complete bastards left to their own devices. This proves there is a God who wants us to have Order. Order is Masculine and Chaos is Feminine. Therefore to move towards Order, we all need to man up.

Order is Masculine and Chaos is Feminine except when it’s the other way around. Men are the rebels, the lone geniuses, the innovators, the disrupters, while women are the boring anal petty rule-followers and tidiers of messes who stay home … Read the rest

Immigrants bad, American bombs good

Jan 31st, 2018 10:36 am | By

Roger Cohen at the Times is scathing.

Trump portrayed a dark and menacing world in which immigrants, who stand at the heart of the American idea, were equated with gangs, murderous criminals and “horrible people.”

In his 80-minute speech, the word “woman” did not come up once. Other words or phrases never mentioned included “peace,” “human rights,” “equality,” “Europe,” “multilateral,” “civil rights” and “alliance.”

Those are all bad, liberal concepts, not fit for a Real Man™.

If there was a theme, it was the demonization of immigrants and of the rest of the world, combined with an exaltation of American might.

So pretty much a fascist-xenophobic type theme.

In perhaps his clearest signal of contempt for the views of

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Jan 31st, 2018 10:19 am | By

How did Trump’s big evening out go?

Greg Sargent at the Post says he lied a lot.

President Trump’s State of the Union speech is being widely described as an effort to move past the chaos, anger, polarization and divisiveness that have been unleashed by his first year in office.

Oh please. Don’t be ridiculous. If Trump wanted to move past the chaos, anger, polarization and divisiveness that he sprays all over us every day, he could just do that. He delivered a speech that Stephen Miller (no rose himself) wrote for him; it would be criminally credulous to treat anything conciliatory he said in it as meaningful.

The speech tried to “move past tumult,” proclaimed the front page

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State of the Union for sale for $35 & up

Jan 30th, 2018 5:00 pm | By


President Trump is seeking to parlay his first State of the Union address Tuesday into cash for his reelection campaign by offering supporters a chance to see their name flashed on the campaign’s website during the speech.

In a fundraising solicitation Monday, Trump offered those willing to pay at least $35 the opportunity to see their name displayed during a live-streaming of the address on the website.

“This is a movement,” the solicitation says. “It’s not about just one of us. It’s about ALL of us. Which is why your name deserves to be displayed during Tuesday night’s speech.”

The Web page to which the solicitation links offers donors the opportunity to contribute as much as $2,700 —

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Cheat here, cheat there, cheat everywhere

Jan 30th, 2018 4:27 pm | By

Donnie the Grifter:

Donald Trump says the Trump National Golf Club in Florida is worth more than $50m. Palm Beach County property tax appraiser Dorothy Jacks disagrees, saying the Jupiter course, where Trump plays when he visits nearby Mar-a-Lago, is actually worth $19m.

Oh burn. She’s dissing his valuable golf club resort luxury escape.

The president’s lawyers are now suing Jacks, saying her estimate and the nearly $400,000 property tax bill it generates are too high, even if her appraisal is only 40% of what the president listed in his 2017 financial disclosure form.

Oh so he’s saying it’s worse less than 50 million…and less than 19 million too. Or I suppose that it changes value depending on whether … Read the rest

Guest post: The females don’t stick around to make the Alpha sandwiches

Jan 30th, 2018 4:04 pm | By

Originally a comment by Anna Y on Top lobster.

Yet another guy who thinks he’s very “Alpha” spouting off about how all the feeeemales should be irresistibly attracted to him (and conveniently picking a species where this is the case; admittedly lobsters are a novel choice, normally this sort goes for lions; funny how no one talks about hyenas, or elephants, or bonobos, etc, with a female topped hierarchy). But, even accepting his premise that all women should be irresistibly (and exclusively) attracted to Alphas, I don’t think he’d like that in practice.

For one, in the animal kingdom, high status males don’t just magically spring forth full-formed: they rise up through the ranks by competing with other males, … Read the rest

A piety too many

Jan 30th, 2018 3:50 pm | By

No. I think this is completely wrong, however highminded it sounds.

Yes it does. The fact that the norms this POTUS flouts are the norms that say we should treat other people with respect and fairness and basic empathy does mean that we should not reward him with attention and deference. This POTUS is an evil bullying monster, and he should not be … Read the rest

“Get legal!!”

Jan 30th, 2018 3:28 pm | By

The shithole Trump has made:

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include strong denials from pro-Trump protesters of allegations they singled out dark-skinned individuals, as well as video links showing their interactions during a protest at the Capitol on Jan. 25.

Supporters of President Donald Trump singled out dark-skinned lawmakers, legislative staffers and children at the Capitol on Jan. 25 as they protested congressional efforts to pass immigration reform, according to staffers of the Arizona Legislature and two Democratic legislators.

Waving large flags in support of Trump while standing between the House and Senate buildings, the protesters, who were also armed, asked just about anyone who crossed their path if they “support illegal immigration.”

They called some

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Show your papers

Jan 30th, 2018 12:09 pm | By

Peak hate-mongering xenophobic immigrant-bashing racism?

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), an immigration hardlinerannounced this afternoon that he has asked the U.S. Capitol Police and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to check the identification of all State of the Union attendees and arrest any illegal immigrants.

Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.

— Rep. Paul Gosar

Why it matters: At least 27 members of Congress plan to bring immigrants with DACA or Temporary Protected Status as their guests to Trump’s address, per CNN.

He … Read the rest

Can we arrest him?

Jan 30th, 2018 11:06 am | By

NBC reports that Trump has A Plan.

Sources say that Trump has adopted a two-track strategy to deal with the Mueller investigation.

One is an un-Trumpian passivity and trust. He keeps telling some in his circle that Mueller — any day now — will tell him he is off the hook for any charge of collusion with the Russians or obstruction of justice.

But Trump — who trusts no one, or at least no one for long — has now decided that he must have an alternative strategy that does not involve having Justice Department officials fire Mueller.

“I think he’s been convinced that firing Mueller would not only create a firestorm, it would play right into Mueller’s hands,”

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Beautiful women that become a horror

Jan 30th, 2018 10:20 am | By

When you have an ego that blots out the sun, everything is for you and nothing is for anyone else. Other people owe you whatever you demand of them, and you owe no one anything. You are Just That Special.

Seven months before an alleged tryst with porn star Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump told radio host Howard Stern that he would give his pregnant wife, Melania, a couple of days — or maybe a week — to regain her model figure after giving birth.

“You know, Howard, she’s got the kind of a body and makeup where, about one day after the baby, it’s going to be the same as it was before,” Trump said during an appearance on

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Trump ignores another law

Jan 30th, 2018 9:46 am | By

The next item in the ongoing constitutional collapse here in the US is the Trump administration’s refusal to implement legislation that Congress passed by a massive majority.

The Trump administration has announced it will not impose additional sanctions on Russia, despite Congress passing a law allowing the President to do so.

With Monday the deadline for the White House to impose any new measures, the US State Department insisted the threat of sanctions was already acting as a deterrent.

The new sanctions would have required the US Treasury Department to penalise foreign governments and companies doing business with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.

The Trump admin says oh foreign governments and companies are already put off by the very … Read the rest

Our loathing of Donald Trump is not “bias”

Jan 29th, 2018 4:57 pm | By

This miserable louse

The day after he fired James Comey as director of the FBI, a furious President Donald Trump called the bureau’s acting director, Andrew McCabe, demanding to know why Comey had been allowed to fly on an FBI plane from Los Angeles back to Washington after he was dismissed, according to multiple people familiar with the phone call.

McCabe told the president he hadn’t been asked to authorize Comey’s flight, but if anyone had asked, he would have approved it, three people familiar with the call recounted to NBC News.

The president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser — an apparent

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Still enigmatic

Jan 29th, 2018 4:26 pm | By

The Atlantic too is puzzled by McCabe’s abrupt departure…or defenestration, as the url but not the title calls it.

McCabe was expected to stick around until March. Instead, he abruptly departed Monday, though he’ll still be collecting those benefits. The deputy director is taking what is ominously known as “terminal leave”—he has accrued enough leave to depart his post now but not officially retire until benefits vest.The reasons for McCabe’s abrupt exit are not clear, though. It’s not even clear whether McCabe’s exit came as a surprise to FBI insiders or not. Some reports say yes, while others say no. For what it’s worth, NPR’s Carrie Johnson said in December that McCabe might use accrued leave to depart before
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Top lobster

Jan 29th, 2018 2:41 pm | By

Julian Baggini has a droll review of a new book by Jordan Peterson on the 12 eternal truths or something.

It’s not difficult to see why Peterson’s rules sold in the online marketplace, where attention spans are short and repackaged clichés pass for original insights. In headline form, most of his rules are simply timeless good sense. “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)”; “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.” The problem is that when Peterson fleshes them out, they carry more flab than meat.

Actually I would say the problem comes before that, the problem is with his “rules” themselves. They’re too self-conscious, too composed, too pseudo-Chesterfieldish. Writing like that … Read the rest

The president’s interference with law enforcement

Jan 29th, 2018 12:30 pm | By

Jennifer Rubin says what we know, which isn’t much.

So what does this all mean? “If it turns out that McCabe was pressed to accelerate his planned early retirement by a month or so by Sessions or on behalf of Trump, this would strengthen the argument for a pattern of obstruction of justice,” constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe tells me. “But without proof of such pressure, this development isn’t likely to have major significance.”

The main job for Congress now is to find out what happened. “It’s entirely possible that this was entirely McCabe’s decision, but given the president’s calls for his ouster and his constant meddling with the FBI and DOJ, we need to hear answers immediately,” says

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Without any asterisks

Jan 29th, 2018 11:13 am | By

What about when artists have histories of abusing women? Should we care? Should museums care?

When the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery was preparing the wall text in 2014 to accompany an image of the boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., the museum decided to note that Mr. Mayweather had been “charged with domestic violence on several occasions,” receiving “punishments ranging from community service to jail time.”

Such context is common for controversial subjects in art. But far less so for artists themselves — centuries of men like Picasso or Schiele who were known for mistreating women, but whose works hang in prominent museums without any asterisks.

Now, museums around the world are wrestling with the implications of a decision, by the National

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McCabe is out

Jan 29th, 2018 10:07 am | By

It’s getting scary now. McCabe has resigned, and CBS says he was forced to. It looks remarkably like a scenario in which a corrupt and criminal president kneecaps law enforcement.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is retiring from the FBI, CBS News’ Pat Milton has confirmed.  According to Milton, a source familiar with the matter confirms that McCabe was forced to step down. He is currently on leave and will official[ly] retire in March.

That’s bad. If Milton’s source is right that’s baaad.

McCabe was under considerable scrutiny from Republicans, as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates continued. McCabe took temporary charge of the FBI after President Trump fired FBI

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The abuse was global

Jan 28th, 2018 4:44 pm | By

Anything for sport, right? Anything to win.

The Larry Nassar scandal is the biggest sexual abuse scandal in sports history. Nassar’s victims, who include some of the most famous female athletes around today, including Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney, outnumber the alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby combined. The abuse was global: he abused girls in London at the 2012 Olympics; at the Károlyi Ranch, USA Gymnastics’ training centre in Texas; at gymnastics meets in Rotterdam.

Over the course of the week-long sentence hearing, more than 150 women made impact statements in which they described lives crushed by trauma and shame. Shy little girls who briefly found self-confidence through sport became deeply self-loathing teenagers and adults

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