Notes and Comment Blog

Monkey wrench

Jan 18th, 2019 5:09 pm | By

They never talk. They talked.

In other words they’re saying they didn’t leak anything?


Jan 18th, 2019 5:01 pm | By

Oh  now what?

Trump on the majesty of God’s creation

Jan 18th, 2019 3:34 pm | By

Fresh from his attempts to get Congressional Democrats killed, Trump made a “surprise” video appearance at the pro-forced birth rally in DC today.

“When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, we see the beauty and the human soul and the majesty of God’s creation. We know that every life has meaning,” Trump said in his video, before listing his administration’s antiabortion actions and vowing to reject any legislation passed by the new Democratic-controlled House that “weakens” the campaign to prevent abortion access.

How would he know? He never has looked into the eyes of a newborn child; he has bragged about taking no care of his children when they were small, because that’s for bitches. Also “majesty of God’s creation” my ass. He doesn’t mean a word of that, somebody wrote it down for him and he said it in his head-jerking wheezing puppet way.

Meanwhile he’s still a crook.

The Administration leaked the commercial travel plans

Jan 18th, 2019 12:06 pm | By

Meanwhile Trump outdid himself in the Disgusting Prize competition. Nancy Pelosi’s spokesperson followed his race around the track.

They exposed the plan to travel via commercial flights. Trump’s petty rancid ego is more important to them than the safety of members of Congress doing their job in a danger zone. It’s astounding.

He should be impeached, arrested, and pushed into a vat of fermenting elephant dung, with high walls and no ladder.

Wolves are howling a hundred miles away

Jan 18th, 2019 11:13 am | By

He’s taking it well.

Multiple sources

Jan 18th, 2019 10:49 am | By

Okay so this is interesting – BuzzFeed reports that (Mueller has found that) Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress.


Chris Cillizza at CNN:

For much of the past 20 months, President Donald Trump and his administration have insisted that, for all of the smoke surrounding his 2016 campaign, there was no fire. A lot of people in Trump’s orbit engaging in conversations and relationships with Russian officials, but no evidence of collusion and certainly nothing that linked Donald Trump to any wrongdoing.

That very well might have changed Thursday night, with this report from BuzzFeed:

“President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.”


The BuzzFeed story also claims that Cohen confirmed this information to special counsel Robert Mueller after “the special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”

It’s hard to overstate what a big deal that is. No other major outlets have confirmed the BuzzFeed report. But if the BuzzFeed report is right, then the President of the United States directed an underling to lie under oath — which is, in and of itself, a crime.

And there are multiple sources – it’s not all Cohen, it’s also witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Giuliani can tell Fox News that Cohen is a liar until he’s purple in the face but it won’t matter because Cohen is not the only source.

“If true — and proof must be examined — Congress must begin impeachment proceedings and Barr must refer, at a minimum, the relevant portions of material discovered by Mueller,” tweeted former Attorney General Eric Holder. “This is a potential inflection point.”

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse agreed, tweeting, “If this is true, this is plain, slam-dunk, criminal obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. 1505, 1512), subornation of perjury (18 U.S.C. 1622), conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371) and likely aiding and abetting perjury (18 U.S.C. 2).”

The “if true” part is, of course, the key. BuzzFeed has put the credibility of its entire organization on the line here. To make an allegation that the President of the United States purposely obstructed justice in an investigation into Russia’s attempts to interfere in a presidential election is a massive deal — and the sort of thing that, if wrong, can do irreparable damage to a company’s reputation.

But if the BuzzFeed article is right — and one of the reporters who bylined the story insisted on CNN Friday morning that the information in the piece is “rock solid” and that the sourcing “goes beyond” the two sources cited — then this is the smoking gun (or at least a smoking gun).


In case you need some pointers

Jan 18th, 2019 9:44 am | By

The state of this.

Graham Linehan was not cautioned. The police came by for a chat because a couple of the usual Robespierres told them to.

This kind helpful fella even offers the aspiring Robespierres a model email they can send to the police about a guy having opinions on the internet.

Just imagine calling it “mutilation” to cut off healthy breasts or penises. “Gender confirmation surgery” is the correct ScienTific term and not at all loaded or political or shaped by a particular ideological fantasy. Similarly it is “height confirmation surgery” to have one’s healthy head or legs cut off.

And that nonsense is his only substantive point, the rest of it is all “inappropriate” and [unspecified] “harm” and “deserve” and “urge.” Censorship used to be made of sterner stuff.

An hour later, absurdly, he complained that Linehan had noticed.

Yes, it’s “a sad case” to notice some goon tweeting lies about you, but not at all a sad case to tweet lies about people in an effort to get tv networks to shun them.

California dreamin

Jan 18th, 2019 9:31 am | By

Golf balls. Didn’t think of that, didja.

Two years ago, a 16-year old diver named Alex Weber was swimming off Pebble Beach along the Pacific near Carmel, Calif. “My dad raised me underwater,” says Weber, and she means it. She’s a free diver: no scuba tanks; she just holds her breath. She was diving in a small cove and looked down and saw something weird. “You couldn’t see the sand,” she recalls, still sounding incredulous. “It was completely white.”

White with golf balls.

Pebble Beach isn’t near Carmel, it’s in Carmel – or, if you prefer, immediately adjacent to it, but both are small places. Of course Carmel is a town while Pebble Beach is a resort, but anyway, they’re cheek by jowl. You can walk up onto the golf course from Carmel Beach.

There were thousands of them. “It felt like a shot to the heart,” she says.

She was offended. Right then, she decided to haul them up. Thus began a Sisyphean task that went on for months: She and her father would haul hundreds of pounds of them up, and then of course more golfers would hit more into the ocean.

Not on purpose, but because the ocean is one big golf hazard. Pebble is a famous and popular course because it’s so challenging. All very well, but if they’re polluting the damn ocean, they should clean up after themselves.

Then she heard about a Stanford University scientist, Matt Savoca, who studied plastic waste in the ocean. She emailed him, and he came to look at her collection.

“Fifty thousand golf balls, just sitting in the garage,” she says.

Savoca was impressed. Weber recalls that he turned to her and said, ” ‘You should write a paper about this,’ and I was like, ‘Matt, I’m 16 years old. I don’t know how to write a scientific paper!’ “

So they worked together, which means he helped her haul tons of golf balls out of Carmel Bay. (It’s not the open ocean there, it’s a small bay; Carmel faces the bay and Pebble Beach is on the northern arm.)

Over two years, they found more than 50,000 golf balls. The source: five golf courses. Two along the coastline, and three up the Carmel River — those golf balls rolled underwater down the river to the ocean.

There are more than two along the coastline, so they weren’t even working the whole Monterey Peninsula. There are four Pebble Beach Company courses (or maybe 5, I’m not sure if Spyglass reaches the coast or not) and one municipal one. Lotta golf balls. Those other courses are on the open ocean, it’s only Pebble that’s on Carmel Bay.

In the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin,the team notes that golf balls are coated with a thin polyurethane shell that degrades over time. They also contain zinc compounds that are toxic. Savoca points out that the surf and currents act like a rock grinder and break down the golf balls. While chemicals from 50,000 or so golf balls will have only a small effect on the ocean, Savoca says they do degrade into microplastic pieces that marine animals could eat. The team also notes that there are lots of coastal golf courses around the world, so this may go beyond California.

Alex Weber, now 18 and a published author in a scientific journal, plans to apply to university to study marine science. In the meantime, she is still collecting, and keeping up her website. She says it is too bad the golf balls sink. If they floated, people would be shocked and outraged. “If a person could see what we see underwater,” she says, “it would not be acceptable.”

So what I want to know is, why aren’t the courses, or the parent company, simply required to clean up the golf balls? They make the big bucks by locating their courses on the ocean, so they can damn well clean up their toxic mess.

Trips to active war-zones are NEVER discussed in advance

Jan 17th, 2019 2:59 pm | By

The security breach aspect is getting attention.

Deer Nannsee

Jan 17th, 2019 2:26 pm | By

Sarah Sanders proudly (or embarrassedly but obediently) posted Trummp’s Big Boy ledder to that mean Nansee Pulowsee.

Look at that pile of dingoes’ kidneys. The Shutdown; the Strong Border Security movement; our Southern Border. It’s the letter of a childish idiot but they publish it as if it were the Gettysburg Address.

Trip’s off, neener neener

Jan 17th, 2019 2:13 pm | By

He thinks this is all a game.

President Donald Trump said Thursday he was denying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a military plane for a trip to Afghanistan that was set to begin in the afternoon, a tit-for-tat retaliation that deepened the divide between the leaders and brought the government no closer to reopening.

Pelosi had been scheduled to leave within the hour that Trump’s letter was made public, making for the awkward site of a large blue Air Force bus idling outside the Capitol as the implications of the President’s missive came into focus.

This is what it is to have a stupid malevolent narcissistic child in the executive role in government.

The administration “worked with the Air Force and (the Defense Department) and basically took away the rights to the plane from the speaker,” one White House official said.

Image result for brat

“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed,” Trump wrote Pelosi on Thursday. “We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.”

Later, Pelosi’s spokesman said the stop in Brussels was mainly to allow the pilot to rest and that Egypt was not on her itinerary.

“Excursion.” As many people are heatedly pointing out, it wasn’t an “excursion,” it was a visit to troops in a combat zone…which Trump exposed. The trip was classified.

Pelosi’s spokesman said the stop in Brussels was mainly to allow the pilot to rest and that Egypt was not on her itinerary.

Even though Afghanistan — an active US combat zone — was one of the countries on her planned itinerary, Trump suggested she fly commercial.

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” Trump wrote.

Right now I would like to jump up and down on his face wearing heavy boots with chains on them.

White House officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, began discussing canceling Pelosi’s trip early Thursday morning, according to two people with knowledge of how the day unfolded. Aides felt caught off guard when Pelosi publicly released her letter calling on Trump to postpone his State of the Union address, or deliver it in writing, and felt canceling the military air travel would be an ideal response.

How stupid can they be?! You’d think it was a fucking shopping trip. She was leading a Congressional delegation to visit troops in a combat zone. That’s not a junket or a treat or a perk, and it’s not something Donnie Heel Spurs looks good grabbing away out of stupid toddlery spite.

“The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted.

Oh, really? I thought it was to eat truffles and sip champagne in Monte Carlo.

Paweł Adamowicz

Jan 17th, 2019 10:51 am | By

I had jury duty Monday and Tuesday so I missed some headlines. I missed the very public murder of the mayor of Gdańsk.

The mayor of the northern Polish city of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, was stabbed on Sunday evening in an apparent assassination attempt in front of thousands of people during a charity concert.

Adamowicz, who has served as mayor of Gdańsk since 1998, was resuscitated at the scene and rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent five hours of surgery. Doctors described his condition as “critical” and “serious”.

And he didn’t make it.

Adamowicz is a powerful liberal voice in a country that has been governed by the rightwing Law and Justice party since 2015. He is best known in Poland and internationally as a staunch supporter of LGBT rights and the rights of migrants and refugees during a period of rising anti-migrant sentiment. “I am a European so my nature is to be open,” Adamowicz told the Guardianin 2016. “Gdańsk is a port and must always be a refuge from the sea.”

There were demonstrations.

In Gdańsk, thousands gathered for a minute’s silence at the statue of Neptune in the city’s Long Market, which also hosts the city hall, where Adamowicz served as mayor for more than 20 years. Adamowicz died after he was stabbed in the chest on stage at a charity concert on Sunday evening.

They were addressed by the European council president, Donald Tusk, a Gdańsk native, friend and longtime ally of Adamowicz. In an emotional address, Tusk addressed Adamowicz directly: “My dear Paweł, we are here with you today as your friends. You had to wait so long, until such a tragic moment, to see from up there just how many friends you have here in Gdansk.”

The assassination of Adamowicz, a six-term mayor who often mingled freely with the citizens of his city, sent Poland into shock. In Gdańsk, the city flag was lowered to half-mast and a mass was planned for later in the day.

Politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the stabbing, including the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, the interior minister, Joachim Brudziński, and other members of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS). Adamowicz was known as an opponent of PiS.

I suppose if someone murdered a popular lefty big city mayor in the US, the Trump gang would condemn the murder, but they wouldn’t mean it.

Avoid the right-hand lane

Jan 17th, 2019 9:14 am | By


Over two days in November, record-breaking heat in Australia’s north wiped out almost one-third of the nation’s spectacled flying foxes, according to researchers.

The animals, also known as spectacled fruit bats, were unable to survive in temperatures which exceeded 42C.

They plummeted out of trees by the thousand.

Last week, researchers from Western Sydney University finalised their conclusion that about 23,000 spectacled flying foxes died in the event on 26 and 27 November.

That tally was reached through counting by wildlife volunteers who visited seven flying fox camps following the heatwave.

There were only about 75,000 going in.

Flying foxes are no more sensitive to extreme heat than some other species, experts say.

But because they often gather in urban areas in large numbers, their deaths can be more conspicuous, and easily documented.

So we can assume it’s happening all over the place.

Be careful driving, the road is melting.

It’s real.

Also, a boxing glove

Jan 17th, 2019 8:39 am | By

Thieves fall out department. Cohen helped Trump rig polls, Cohen stiffed the people doing the rigging, Cohen kept some of the money Trump gave him to pay the poll-riggers…it’s grifters all the way down.

In early 2015, a man who runs a small technology company showed up at Trump Tower to collect $50,000 for having helped Michael Cohen, then Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, try to rig online polls in his boss’s favor before the presidential campaign.

In his Trump Organization office, Mr. Cohen surprised the man, John Gauger, by giving him a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and, randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter, Mr. Gauger said.

Cohen says nuh-uh, it was all by check. Whatever.

Mr. Gauger owns RedFinch Solutions LLC and is chief information officer at Liberty University in Virginia, where Jerry Falwell Jr., an evangelical leader and fervent Trump supporter, is president.

Liberty “University” is a bible college, not a university. It’s just another con game, using “God” instead of “Trump” as the draw.

Mr. Gauger said he never got the rest of what he claimed he was owed. But Mr. Cohen in early 2017 still asked for—and received—a $50,000 reimbursement from Mr. Trump and his company for the work by RedFinch, according to a government document and a person familiar with the matter. The reimbursement—made on the sole basis of a handwritten note from Mr. Cohen and paid largely out of Mr. Trump’s personal account—demonstrates the level of trust the lawyer once had within the Trump Organization, whose officials arranged the repayment.

And Cohen may have pocketed the leftover $37k.

In January 2014, Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Gauger to help Mr. Trump score well in a CNBC online poll to identify the country’s top business leaders by writing a computer script to repeatedly vote for him. Mr. Gauger was unable to get Mr. Trump into the top 100 candidates. In February 2015, as Mr. Trump prepared to enter the presidential race, Mr. Cohen asked him to do the same for a Drudge Report poll of potential Republican candidates, Mr. Gauger said. Mr. Trump ranked fifth, with about 24,000 votes, or 5% of the total.

It’s so Trumpy, isn’t it. Fix the poll so that he can seem more popular than he is, then parlay that popularity into…what we see now. Too bad for the countrty.

Who is it that’s unhinged, again?

Jan 17th, 2019 8:12 am | By

Our poor poor Countrty!

Well, it’s no wonder he’s too agitated to spel gud, the puir wee mon. He’s looking like a loser.

Make no mistake: Pelosi’s decision to disinvite Trump from delivering his “State of the Union” address to Congress is a total power play designed to remind Trump that a) Congress is a co-equal branch of government and b) his willingness to keep the government shuttered until he gets money for a border wall is going to have impacts on him, too.

Rat shan’t visit party.

Feminism must stop being about women

Jan 17th, 2019 7:38 am | By

Why do so many women keep buying into this line?

We can argue all day, but trans people are dying, and I don’t want to be part of a feminism that allows that to happen.

I haven’t watched the TED talk and don’t intend to, I’m just addressing that one sentence that Stonewall UK thinks is so convincing.

Why in hell does Milly Abraham single out feminism as somehow allowing trans people to die? And why does she announce that trans people are dying as if women were not dying? Why does she connect feminism to the death of trans people when lethal violence against women is so very common? Why does she make trans people the responsibility of women and feminism? Why any of this?

It’s like the Second Shelf bullshit yesterday, and the “Womxn’s March” bullshit also yesterday – why don’t people see it? Why don’t they see themselves telling women to be more “inclusive” while giving men a free pass? Why don’t they see that they are both re-upping the ancient tattered discredited idea that women are and must be the caring generous self-abnegating sex, and engaging in the ancient tattered discredited sport of bullying women because it’s so much easier than bullying men?

Oh no you don’t

Jan 16th, 2019 4:52 pm | By
Oh no you don’t

Aw no.

It says women’s march in the url, but…


THE MARCH – January 19

We kick off a the anniversary of the first Womxn’s March on Seattle with a RALLY. Hear from the region’s most powerful progressive womxn leaders as they speak about the greatest threats and most inspiring triumphs our communities have experienced in the past year. Af­­ter the rally, we will MARCH to Seattle Center, where we continue our day of service and learning. At Seattle Center, attend one of several “Activism 101” WORKSHOPS designed to energize, illuminate, and activate our marchers for the work to come in 2019 and beyond. See the most recent updates about the march on our website.

But it wasn’t the first Womxn’s March on Seattle – it was the first Women’s March.


Jan 16th, 2019 4:11 pm | By

This looks hopeful.

Maybe she just means she hopes Raif is released, as always…but then why mention the important meeting? More likely the important meeting was about some form of progress. So…here’s hoping.

The journalists were probably there for a reason.

Also on Facebook.


The art of the tough

Jan 16th, 2019 11:46 am | By

On the other hand, the chickenshit Republicans refused to tell Trump no he can’t lift sanctions on Oleg Deripaska.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday narrowly staved off an effort by Democrats to deal the Trump administration’s Russia sanctions policy an embarrassing rebuke.

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in a vote to enforce sanctions against the corporate empire of an influential ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but the effort fell three votes short of the 60-vote threshold required to advance the measure. The vote was 57-42, with one Democratic senator not voting.

Nothing at all corrupt about it though. No no no, perish the thought.

Democrats had urged the administration to delay its decision on the fate of the sanctions until the conclusion of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian meddling on behalf of Mr. Trump in the 2016 election, and whether Mr. Trump’s team assisted the Russians. Mr. Deripaska has emerged as a bit character in the story lines around the investigation as a result of his relationship with Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, who has been convicted and pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mr. Mueller’s team.

The sanctions were announced by the Treasury Department last April on Mr. Deripaska, his companies and those of other Russian oligarchs in retaliation for the Russian meddling in the presidential election. The announcement was touted as evidence that the administration was taking a tough stance against Moscow.

Tough stance! Tough stance! Very tough! Toughest stance in history ever, by very tough guy, being very tough!

Image result for trump tough

He couldn’t stand it when she had the limelight

Jan 16th, 2019 11:10 am | By

Oh, interesting. It’s the House Speaker who gets to invite the president to come on over and wow them with a State of the Union address. He didn’t think of that, did he.

As House speaker, it’s on her to extend the official invitation to the president to come into her chamber and present his State of the Union. On Wednesday morning, she told him he best reschedule.

“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to President Trump.

“Sadly” – nice touch.

The brilliance in her latest move is that nothing will enrage Trump more than having a nationally televised speech where he gets to talk for 45 minutes about himself and his administration’s accomplishments taken away.

(Pelosi did note later that Trump could still give the address in the Oval Office if he wants to.)

Just not at her house. Sorry, you horrible little thug, you’re not invited.

Trump also failed in an effort to sow discord in the House Democratic caucus. He thought he could go around Pelosi and invite some rank-and-file House Democrats who won in Trump districts to the White House for a shutdown chat on Tuesday. Pelosi says she gave them her blessing to go (reportedly saying, “They can see what we’ve been dealing with. And they’ll want to make a citizen’s arrest.”) The Democrats rejected Trump’s offer.

Jennifer Rubin appreciates Pelosi’s cunning plan.

To say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has mastered the art of dealing with President Trump would be a gross understatement. She fact-checked him in the Oval Office on live TV and passed spending bills to reopen the government, thereby reinforcing Trump’s responsibility for the shutdown. To top it off, she’s taking away the president’s TV. More precisely, in response to Trump’s nearly month-long temper tantrum, she has told him he won’t get his prime-time State of the Union address on Jan. 29.

In a letter to Trump, she writes, “During the 19th Century and up until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, these annual State of the Union messages were delivered to Congress in writing. And since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown.” She then explains that both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security, which are charged with security, “have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.” Given all that, we couldn’t possibly have the speech, she says.

Couldn’t possibly, my dear.

You wonder why in the world Democrats ever considered replacing her. She knows she has power, she willingly and skillfully deploys it, and, as she has said, as a mother of 5 children, knows how to handle a toddler’s meltdown. She also knows what Trump craves most — attention and TV cameras. (Remember, he couldn’t stand it when she had the limelight on Jan. 3 so felt compelled to enter the White House briefing room — but take no questions.)

No limelight for Donnie. Lots and lots of french fries but no limelight.