All entries by this author

To remove words such as “climate change”

Aug 25th, 2017 10:45 am | By

This happened.

On August 24, the Trump administration’s Department of Energy censored a Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science proposal from Dr. Jennifer Bowen, an associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

She posted a screenshot of the email on Facebook, writing, “This just happened. I’m just going to leave this here for people to ponder.”

In the email, Dr. Bowen was told, “I have been asked to contact you to update the wording in your proposal abstract to remove words such as ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change.’ This is being asked as we have to meet the president’s budget language restrictions and don’t want to make any changes without your knowledge or

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A tribute to Saint Francis

Aug 25th, 2017 10:20 am | By

Some far-right “activists” are holding a march tomorrow in San Francisco. The tricksters of San Francisco are responding with dog shit.

Hundreds of San Franciscans plan to prepare Crissy Field, the picturesque beach in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge where rightwing protest group Patriot Prayer will gather, with a generous carpeting of excrement.

“I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,” Tuffy Tuffington said of the epiphany he had while walking Bob and Chuck, his two Patterdale terriers, and trying to think of the best way to respond to rightwing extremists in the wake of Charlottesville. “It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn’t have to engage with

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Dog eat dog world

Aug 25th, 2017 9:30 am | By

Philip Bump at the Post has drawn up a master list of all the protections and rules Trump has undone.

We’ve seen most of them before but a master list is always good to have.


Revoked an executive order that mandated compliance by contractors with laws protecting women in the workplace. Prior to the 2014 order, a report found that companies with federal contracts worth millions of dollars had scores of violations of labor and civil rights laws.

Cancelled a rule mandating that financial advisers act in the best interests of their clients.

Repeal of a bill that mandated that employers maintain records of workplace injuries.

Rescinded an Obama effort to reduce mandatory sentences. Attorney General Jeff

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Willful defiance of a federal judge’s lawful order to enforce the Constitution

Aug 24th, 2017 1:39 pm | By

Noah Feldman at Bloomberg says pardoning Arpaio would be an attack on the judiciary itself.

Arpaio was convicted this July by Judge Susan Bolton of willfully and intentionally violating an order issued to him in 2011 by a different federal judge, G. Murray Snow.

The order arose out of a civil suit against Arpaio brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, accusing him of violating the law by detaining undocumented immigrants simply for lacking legal status.

Snow issued a preliminary injunction that ordered Arpaio to stop running so-called saturation patrols — police sweeps that essentially stopped people who looked Latino and detained those who were deemed undocumented. The basic idea was that the profiling, warrantless stops and detention were

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She described Trump as a generous, humble man of “character and integrity”

Aug 24th, 2017 1:06 pm | By

Who knew that Trump had a “spiritual adviser”? Let alone more than one, so that one among them is the chief. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a more of the earth earthy human. This is a guy who talks about “beautiful chocolate cake” in the same breath with missile strikes. But apparently he does.

Televangelist and pastor Paula White has known Donald Trump since the early 2000s, and she is thought to be the president’s closest spiritual adviser. She prayed at his inauguration, appeared with him when he signed his executive order easing restrictions on pastors engaging in politics, and told evangelical TV host Jim Bakker she is in the White House at least weekly these days. This

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They’re all gonna laugh at you

Aug 24th, 2017 12:48 pm | By

The Guardian collects some Trump covers:

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Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth

Aug 24th, 2017 12:24 pm | By

The Guardian reports that Exxon learned a useful trick from the tobacco business:

Read all of these documents and make up your own mind.

That was the challenge ExxonMobil issued when investigative journalism by Inside Climate News revealed that while it was at the forefront of climate science research in the 1970s and 1980s, Exxon engaged in a campaign to misinform the public.

Harvard scientists Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes decided to take up Exxon’s challenge, and have just published their results in the journal Environmental Research Letters. They used a method known as content analysis to analyze 187 public and internal Exxon documents. The results are striking:

  • In Exxon’s peer-reviewed papers and internal communications, about 80% of the
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An alternative politics of memory

Aug 24th, 2017 11:20 am | By

Richard Vallely in American Prospect notes that we could always start putting up statues to something else.

Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee have vanished from Baltimore and New Orleans. Chief Justice Roger Taney, who authored the truly infamous part of the Dred Scott decision, is gone from Annapolis. So many have come down—or are up for possible removal—that The New York Times posted an interactive map to chart them all.

But there is an alternative politics of memory that Americans can also practice, and it might help to keep fascists out of public squares and do something concrete, literally at the same time: honor Reconstruction. Remembering Reconstruction ought not to shunt aside the politics of Confederate memorials. Yet

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The mind totters

Aug 24th, 2017 10:33 am | By

Trump retweeted this.

He’s a grown man, and a head of state, and he retweeted this.

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His speech was without thought, it was devoid of reason

Aug 23rd, 2017 6:07 pm | By

Don Lemon is knocked sideways.

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All the finesse you’d hear in a middle school gym

Aug 23rd, 2017 5:35 pm | By

Hillary Clinton’s thoughts on being bullied on stage by Trump during the second debate:

“This is not okay, I thought,” Clinton said, reading from her book. “It was the second presidential debate and Donald Trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women. Now we were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces.

“It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, ‘Well, what would you do?’ Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he

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Could we please just stick to reporting what he said?

Aug 23rd, 2017 4:57 pm | By

Trump’s bestie the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal wants his reporters to report JUST THE FACTS dammit, like “Trump said some words this evening,” not this stinking opinion crap. Objectivity, god damn it!

[Gerard] Baker, in a series of blunt late-night emails, criticized his staff over their coverage of Mr. Trump’s Tuesday rally in Phoenix, describing their reporting as overly opinionated.

“Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting,” Mr. Baker wrote at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday morning to a group of Journal reporters and editors, in response to a draft of the rally article that was intended for the newspaper’s final edition.

He added in a follow-up, “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said

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One angry rant after another

Aug 23rd, 2017 12:31 pm | By

The Post has more on the horror in Phoenix.

Before the Gilded Nazi took the stage, four stooges told the audience that he’s a great, lovely, loving, spiritual guy who loves all god’s children. Then he made a liar out of all of them. (They were Ben Carson, a niece of Martin Luther King, Franklin Graham, and Pence.)

Trump spent the first three minutes of his speech — which would drag on for 75 minutes — marveling at his crowd size, claiming that “there aren’t too many people outside protesting,” predicting that the media would not broadcast shots of his “rather incredible” crowd and reminiscing about how he was “center stage, almost from day one, in the debates.”


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Aug 23rd, 2017 12:13 pm | By

The rise of fascism scores another victory.

A federal jury in Las Vegas refused Tuesday to convict four defendants who were retried on accusations that they threatened and assaulted federal agents by wielding assault weapons in a 2014 confrontation to stop a cattle roundup near the Nevada ranch of states’ rights figure Cliven Bundy.

In a stunning setback to federal prosecutors planning to try the Bundy family patriarch and two adult sons later this year, the jury acquitted Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart of all 10 charges, and delivered not-guilty findings on most charges against Scott Drexler and Eric Parker.

So there you have it. If you’re right-wing enough and white enough and male enough you can hold federal … Read the rest

Guest post: It was divisions in the country

Aug 23rd, 2017 11:17 am | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Trump whipped the crowd into fevered chants.

I will agree with Trump on one thing: he did not cause the divisions in the country. It was already existing divisions that he exploited to get elected. It was already existing divisions that led to so many Democrats not voting because they didn’t get the candidate they wanted.

It was divisions in the country that erected Confederate statues to clutter the landscape. It was divisions in the country that insisted on flying the Confederate flag, no I’m not a racist I just value my heritage, blah blah blah. It was divisions in the country that led to the bombing of abortion clinics and the killing … Read the rest

Trump whipped the crowd into fevered chants

Aug 23rd, 2017 7:59 am | By

Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman at the Times report that Trump blamed the media for the angry divisions in the country.

In an angry, unbridled and unscripted performance that rivaled the most sulfurous rallies of his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump sought to deflect the anger toward him against the news media, suggesting that they, not he, were responsible for deepening divisions in the country.

“It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions,” Mr. Trump said. He added, “They’re very dishonest people.”

“The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news,” he said.

Mr. Trump also derided the media for focusing on his tweets, which are his preferred form of

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The latest fascist rally

Aug 23rd, 2017 7:40 am | By

Chris Cillizza gives the flavor of Trump’s rally last night by listing 57 berserk lies, threats, dog whistles, self-flatteries, and random collections of words.

President Donald Trump went to Arizona on Tuesday night and delivered what has now become a trademark speech: Full of invective, victimhood and fact-free retellings of recent historical events.

I went through the transcript of Trump’s speech — all 77 minutes — and picked out his 57 most outrageous lines, in chronological order. They’re below.

1. “And just so you know from the Secret Service, there aren’t too many people outside protesting, OK. That I can tell you.”

That’s the very first thing he said. It’s not true. There were thousands of people protesting.


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Yet another fascist rally

Aug 22nd, 2017 5:22 pm | By

Trumpkin is in Phoenix for his “rally,” which starts in about half an hour. Many people there are dreading it; many are protesting it.

Large protests are expected near the president’s rally in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday night, his first such event since he drew wide condemnation for his comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., this month.

The rally, scheduled for 7 p.m. local time at the Phoenix Convention Center, is Mr. Trump’s first visit as president to Arizona, where he made fiery remarks on a signature issue — immigration — during his election campaign last year.

The state is home to high-profile supporters of Mr. Trump, like Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County who built

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They’re on non-speakers

Aug 22nd, 2017 5:02 pm | By

Trump and Mitch McConnell are not getting along at all.

The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with

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If it talks like an asshole and acts like an asshole…

Aug 22nd, 2017 3:47 pm | By

A Muslim Facebook friend of mine posts a lot of interesting questions and observations about religion and belief. He’s very non-literalist, but he gets a good many literalist responses. I’ve just been arguing with one such literalist (on a public thread). The literalist said:

It’s a basic rule of interpretation that you can distinguish between the timeless and spirit or divine intent of a verse and the verse’s literal sense.
This is neither apologetics not esotericism. It’s a basic principle of logic.
The quran says to use intellect almost 50 times. You’re supposed to reflect on it with reasoning and analysis.

It is apologetics of course. It’s the classic way to defend all the shitty things in the Holy Books. … Read the rest