Notes and Comment Blog

Trump frustrated with that nice talented Mr Kim

Jul 21st, 2018 7:12 pm | By

Oh my what a surprise, North Korea is being difficult.

U.S. negotiators have faced stiff resistance from a North Korean team practiced in the art of delay and obfuscation.

Diplomats say the North Koreans have canceled follow-up meetings, demanded more money and failed to maintain basic communications, even as the once-isolated regime’s engagements with China and South Korea flourish.

Meanwhile, a missile-engine testing facility that Trump said would be destroyed remains intact, and U.S. intelligence officials say Pyongyang is working to conceal key aspects of its nuclear program.

Other than that everything’s marvelous.

The lack of immediate progress, though predicted by many analysts, has frustrated the president, who has fumed at his aides in private even as he publicly hails the success of the negotiations.

Why didn’t anyone warn him this would happen? Why??

Trump and his senior team “haven’t given up entirely” on the goal of full denuclearization, but they are worried, said one person familiar with the discussions.

Climbing down from earlier soaring rhetoric, Trump told CBS this week that “I’m in no real rush. I mean whatever it takes, it takes,” he said.

That more patient approach stands in contrast to earlier Trump administration demands for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program within a year.

In other words he’s telling brazen lies in an attempt to save face.

Many of the president’s top security and intelligence officials have long doubted that North Korea would live up to any of its commitments. But given the lack of options outside of the diplomatic realm, some analysts said a tolerant approach still provides the best outlook.

“I worry that Trump might lose patience with the length and complexities of negotiations that are common when dealing with North Korea, and walk away and revert back to serious considerations of the military option,” said Duyeon Kim, the Korea scholar. “Getting to a nuclear agreement takes a long time, and implementing it will be even harder.”

Trump lose patience with complexities? Surely not.

Another wall

Jul 21st, 2018 3:39 pm | By

Is Trump’s malign influence spreading?

A prominent international human rights activist has no idea if she’ll be able to attend an international conference in Auckland following lengthy delays with her visa.

Critics say Immigration New Zealand’s slow response to keynote speaker Gulalai Ismail’s application is shocking and embarrassing.

Why yes, it is – Gulalai Ismail of all people. She does brilliant work, she’s received international awards, she’s a star.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)  is meeting in Auckland in early August to discuss projects and policy. It campaigns against human rights abuses, particularly from religious influences, and has representatives at the European Union and United Nations.

Gulalai Ismail from Pakistan has been campaigning since she was 14 for girls’ rights to education and women’s rights. She has faced death threats and been attacked more than once, but continued her work from outside the country, Humanist Society of NZ president Sara Passmore said.

One of the girls whose rights to education she has campaigned for is Malala Yousufzai. I learned of her existence via Twitter the day Malala was shot – they were close and she was distraught. What on earth is NZ doing?

Ismail’s visa application was made after mid-April, but has not had confirmation it has been granted, and two Immigration offices had given contradictory answers about its status. Another board member had been denied entry, one was still awaiting an answer, and another was initially denied and only granted a visa after a lawyer interceded.

That last one was Leo Igwe.

All four do work to make their countries and the world a better place, and were all “heroes” in their own right. The response from Immigration NZ was a shock, and “embarrassing for New Zealand”, she said.

The Humanist Society of New Zealand will host the international assembly and has planned its own conference alongside, so union members can take part and be speakers.

A woman who campaigns for sex education in Uganda was denied entry because Immigration NZ deemed her at risk of overstaying, and a man who is part of a group starting schools in Uganda is still waiting to find out if he will be granted entry, months after applying. The idea the members would overstay here, when they were heavily invested in projects overseas was laughable, Passmore said.

Nigerian Leo Igwe​ just finished a PhD in Germany, and arrived in the country this week. He said he was not given a reason his visa was declined initially, but after doing extensive international travel it was a surprise, and he believes it is likely because he holds a passport from a poor country.

What Donald Trump elegantly calls a “shithole country.” He, a criminal and grifter, considers poverty contemptible.

“One of the major issues the world is facing today is religious extremism, and no other organisation I know has a mission that can help the entire world tackle this issue,” he said.

“I’m surprised that New Zealand has a policy that would be applied this way. Countries like New Zealand should not undermine the goals and mission of IHEU which is for the good of the world, by making it difficult for humanists from throughout the world to attend.”

Indeed. I seriously do hope Trump’s influence is not spreading.

His spiritual side

Jul 21st, 2018 11:56 am | By

Trump, it turns out, is a medium.

A few weeks ago, while posthumously honoring a World War II hero, Trump gave the man’s family a report on their departed loved one. He was “looking down from Heaven, proud of this incredible honor, but even prouder of the legacy that lives on in each of you. So true.”

A few weeks before that, at what was billed as a celebration of patriotism at the White House, Trump reported to the crowd that fallen soldiers are pleased with his economic policies and increases in the stock market. “Many of them are looking down right now at our country, and they are proud,” he said.

Sometimes, Trump pinpoints the location of the deceased, using some psychic GPS. At an outdoor Medal of Honor ceremony in May for soldiers lost at a battle in Afghanistan, Trump pointed at a location in the sky and said, “They are looking down right now.” A week before that, outside the Capitol, Trump pointed to a point in the sky over his head and told the family of a slain police detective: “So she’s right now, right there. And she’s looking down.”

Well, it’s scientific. They’re in a spot in the sky where they can hear Trump. Naturally they’re not in the sky above Indonesia or something – that would be silly.

Occasionally, something must get lost in the cloud and Trump receives a heavenly miscommunication. Speaking to a steelworker at the White House in March, Trump informed the man: “Your father, Herman, he’s looking down, and he’s very proud of you right now.”

“Oh, he’s still alive,” the steelworker said.

“Then he’s even more proud of you,” Trump said.

Wait what? He’s less proud when he’s dead? Is that orthodox theology? It seems kind of sad.

After a column of mine mentioned one of Trump’s conversations with the dead, I was contacted by Karen Park, a professor of theology and religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. “My sense is that this is what passes for spirituality for Trump — a world where imaginary dead white people take an elevator to a heavenly penthouse where they look down on him with approval,” she told me.

With approval and just a bit of envy, because his penthouse is nicer than theirs, heavenly or no heavenly.

Trump does allow that some people may not land in that gauzy heaven. In 2016 in Iowa, he threw a group of farmers a theological curveball after telling them they would be looking down happily after death. “We hope you’re looking down, anyway,” he amended.

Do we? Do we? Do we not rather hope they have better things to do than look down at Trump?

It’s the sense of entitlement

Jul 21st, 2018 10:55 am | By

Obama says men are just getting on his damn nerves now, ok?

Barack Obama thinks that more female leadership when it comes to social movements and governance will improve policies.

The former president of the United States said that “men have been getting on my nerves lately” and suggested that the solution might be to empower women, in a speech during a town hall meeting with young African leaders at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“Everyday I read the newspaper and just think like ‘Brothers, what’s wrong with you guys? What’s wrong with us? We’re violent, we’re bullying. Just not handling our business,’” Obama said. “I think empowering more women on the continent, that… is going to lead to some better policies.”

He’s not wrong.

Executive time

Jul 21st, 2018 9:28 am | By

Trump’s exciting week was exciting.

Executive time began early on Thursday, just after sunrise.

Feeling exasperated and feisty as he awoke in the White House residence, President Trump fired off his grievances on Twitter about how the media had been covering his Helsinki summit. And, refusing to be cowed, Trump gave national security adviser John Bolton an order: to schedule a second summit and officially invite Putin to visit Washington.

Because that’s what it’s all about – Trump’s mood, Trump’s need to ignore all advice and expertise, Trump’s image of himself as a dictator. They don’t like the way Trump dealt with Putin? Well he’ll show them: he’ll invite Putin over to do it even more so.

The trouble started Monday in Helsinki, though the magnitude did not set in for Trump for several hours. He stepped offstage after his 46-minute, freewheeling news conference alongside Putin — in which he seemed to accept Putin’s denial of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies — delighted with his own performance. The president felt he had shown strength, an impression buoyed by two friendly interviews he did with Fox News Channel personalities before boarding Air Force One to return home from the Nordic capital.

Because that’s how dumb he is – he thinks it’s a performance, like The Apprentice. He didn’t tremble or cry while standing next to Putin, but instead smirked and gloated, therefor he “showed strength” – and that was his one job. The substance of the meeting? What means this word “substance”? It’s not about the substance, it’s about the two dudes, and how they interact, and what Trump thinks their “relationship” is.

But roughly an hour into the flight, Trump’s mood darkened and grim reality set in as he consumed almost universally negative cable news coverage and aides began reviewing pages upon pages of printed-out statements from fellow Republicans lambasting the president.

So…he went into the thing having no idea that nearly everyone thought he was doing a rash stupid dangerous thing? Even though that was all over the news for weeks before the meeting? How is that possible? Does he clean out his brain with a fire hose every few seconds to make sure nothing stays there?

He called Reince Priebus to whine, he huddled with Sarah Sanders to plan a strategy.

Much of the initial scrutiny focused on Trump taking the side of Putin over his own intelligence community, so Trump and his aides first settled on the president’s sending a tweet that reiterated, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.”

So…he didn’t realize when he said it that it would not go down well to say on the one hand the intel people and on the other hand Putin? He didn’t understand that until he got on the plane? Again: how is that possible? It’s been under discussion almost since he took office, plus it’s kind of a core aspect of the job – working for the US government and people as opposed to working for Putin – so how could he have been confused about it?

Trump himself was flummoxed. He waxed on babbled about his impressions of Putin up close — strong, smart and cunning, in Trump’s assessment — and told associates that he viewed the Russian as a formidable adversary with whom he relishes interactions.

As if it’s a sport or a friendly competition. “Cool, he’s strong, smart, and cunning, just like me, so we can have a really fun match.” Great Russian Bakeoff.

He also was furious with the negative media coverage of a summit that he felt had been a clear success.

Based on what? The fact that the pee didn’t run down his leg and form a visible pool on the floor? The fact that Putin masked his contempt, sort of?

Or maybe he thinks they made Excellent Agreements in their 2+ hours alone together, but how can he expect anyone else to know that when there are no witnesses?

Well it’s the usual thing – he has no theory of mind. He’s more than dense enough to pride himself on holding a closed sekrit meeting with a murderous dictator and blame us for not knowing what went on in the meeting.

Trump further grumbled about the tough question he was asked by Jonathan Lemire, an Associated Press correspondent, wondering why that reporter had been called on rather than someone who might have asked an easier question.

Yeah, why didn’t they call on someone who would have asked what they had for their snack?

The president still was not satisfied. Later in the week, he told CNBC, “I had some of these fools from the media saying, ‘Why didn’t you stand there, look him in the face, walk over to him, and start shouting at him?’ I said, ‘Are these people crazy? I want to make a deal.’ ”

What deal? What deal? WHAT DEAL?

On Tuesday morning, Trump told friends he did not understand what the big fuss was about.

Which is why we didn’t want him doing it in the first place. He does not understand anything.

Then there was his cheerful enthusiasm for the plan to send Michael McFaul to Russia for questioning.

The episode revealed a naivete on the part of the president. White House aides fretted that Trump did not recognize the massive diplomatic and security implications of turning Americans over to an autocratic regime that jails and kills dissidents.

As well they might. He doesn’t understand even that, yet he holds a meeting with Putin alone.

All in all, a thrilling week for the novice president.


Jul 20th, 2018 6:00 pm | By

Kaiser Wilhelm II sounds familiar:

One of the few things that Kaiser Wilhelm II, who ruled Germany from 1888 to 1918, had a talent for was causing outrage. A particular specialty was insulting other monarchs. He called the diminutive King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy “the dwarf” in front of the king’s own entourage. He called Prince (later Tsar) Ferdinand, of Bulgaria, “Fernando naso,” on account of his beaky nose, and spread rumors that he was a hermaphrodite…

…One of the many things that Wilhelm was convinced he was brilliant at, despite all evidence to the contrary, was “personal diplomacy,” fixing foreign policy through one-on-one meetings with other European monarchs and statesmen. In fact, Wilhelm could do neither the personal nor the diplomacy, and these meetings rarely went well. The Kaiser viewed other people in instrumental terms, was a compulsive liar, and seemed to have a limited understanding of cause and effect…

…Wilhelm was a compulsive speechmaker who constantly strayed off script. Even his staff couldn’t stop him, though it tried, distributing copies of speeches to the German press before he’d actually given them. Unfortunately, the Austrian press printed the speeches as they were delivered, and the gaffes and insults soon circulated around Europe. “There is only one person who is master in this empire and I am not going to tolerate any other,” Wilhelm liked to say, even though Germany had a democratic assembly and political parties. (“I’m the only one that matters,” Trump has said.) The Kaiser reserved particular abuse for political parties that voted against his policies. “I regard every Social Democrat as an enemy of the Fatherland,” he said, and he denounced the German Socialist party as a “gang of traitors.”…

…When Wilhelm became emperor, in 1888, at twenty-nine years old, he was determined to be seen as tough and powerful. He fetishized the Army, surrounded himself with generals (though, like Trump, he didn’t like listening to them), owned a hundred and twenty military uniforms, and wore little else. He cultivated a special severe facial expression for public occasions and photographs…

…Wilhelm didn’t accomplish very much. The general staff of the German Army agreed that the Kaiser couldn’t “lead three soldiers over a gutter.” He had neither the attention span nor the ability. “Distractions, whether they are little games with his army or navy, travelling or hunting—are everything to him,” a disillusioned former mentor wrote. “He reads very little apart from newspaper cuttings, hardly writes anything himself apart from marginalia on reports and considers those talks best which are quickly over and done with.” The Kaiser’s entourage compiled press cuttings for him, mostly about himself, which he read as obsessively as Trump watches television. A critical story would send him into paroxysms of fury.

Wilhelm changed his position every five minutes. He was deeply suggestible and would defer to the last person he’d spoken to or cutting he’d read—at least until he’d spoken to the next person. “It is unendurable,” a foreign minister wrote, in 1894. “Today one thing and tomorrow the next and after a few days something completely different.” Wilhelm’s staff and ministers resorted to manipulation, distraction, and flattery to manage him. “In order to get him to accept an idea you must act as if the idea were his,” the Kaiser’s closest friend, Philipp zu Eulenburg, advised his colleagues, adding, “Don’t forget the sugar.” (In “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff writes that to get Trump to take an action his White House staff has to persuade him that “he had thought of it himself.”)

Spoiler: it didn’t end well.

More shunning

Jul 20th, 2018 3:38 pm | By

Max Dashu isn’t even the only one in the past week or so. There’s also for instance Nina Paley:

As a small business in Urbana, Arcadia has made the decision to cancel the Art Salon with Nina Paley event. We do this not to silence Nina’s art or her artistic voice but because this event is no longer about Nina’s art. There are many divided opinions regarding the topics that have arisen from Nina’s personal stances on certain issues. Our small business is not in a position to hold the forum for such a debate over these issues. Arcadia was formed to provide a unique and thoughtful space for families, creative exploration, and events in our Urbana community. It is regrettable that we must make this decision in this manner and we thank those of you who have come in and bought a coffee or drink and enjoyed the space with us and will continue to do so despite the issue at hand.

They don’t do it to silence Nina’s art or her artistic voice but they do it anyway. That is not, they imply, their goal, which is nice to know but it doesn’t change the fact that canceling her event does silence her art and her artistic voice in that particular place at that particular time.

And Ms Magazine joined the fad by deplatforming Meghan Murphy from an article for which they’d already interviewed her.

Why did they? Because Marina Watanabe told them of her putative “history of transphobia” and they squawked in fear and did what they were told.

Makes you wonder if Putin’s behind it.

Bit of a bizarre situation

Jul 20th, 2018 2:22 pm | By

Sian Norris explains that no, “fundamentally decent” men don’t murder women. You’d think that wouldn’t need explaining, but…

I’ve just killed my wife […] bit different for you tonight I expect. Happy New Year.”

These were the words of former Ukip-councillor Stephen Searle during a 999 call. Searle, 64, was this week found guilty of killing his wife, Anne. She was 62 years old.

He then quipped: “Bit of a bizarre situation but you know, never mind.”

How fundamentally decent of him.

The joke is even less funny when you realise that domestic abuse and fatal male violence are anything but bizarre in the UK.

Across the country, just under two women a week are murdered by their former or current partner. The National Crime Surveyrecorded that, in England and Wales, there are 1.2 million incidents of domestic abuse every year. The vast majority (89 per cent) of victims who endure sustained abuse (four or more incidents) are women. And the Counting Dead Woman project has so far estimated that 73 women have been killed by men in 2018 (this includes non-domestic violence related killings).

Well, look at it from the fundamentally decent guys’ point of view. Don’t these stats just show how annoying women are? Doesn’t that make it all explicable, however sad? Doesn’t it make it almost kind of…normal?

During the call, Searle went on to reassure the phone operative that it was safe for officers to enter his house, as “I’m not violent.”

Only to women he’s married to, which doesn’t count, because *cue annoying wife joke*

Fatal male violence isn’t a dispute that gets out of control. It’s a great myth that domestic abusers have no control over their behaviour. The very fact that women are most vulnerable at the point of leaving shows that it is losing control that abusers most fear. Murdering your partner is the ultimate act of control — not a loss of it.

And it’s not decent, either fundamentally or superficially.


Jul 20th, 2018 11:40 am | By

One ray of light in the stinking murk:

President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.

The F.B.I. seized the recording this year during a raid on Mr. Cohen’s office. The Justice Department is investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Prosecutors want to know whether that violated federal campaign finance laws, and any conversation with Mr. Trump about those payments would be of keen interest to them.

And the rest of us want to know all the “embarrassing” i.e. rapey or unfaithful or both news stories Trump used $$$ to conceal.

The recording’s existence further draws Mr. Trump into questions about tactics he and his associates used to keep aspects of his personal and business life a secret.

Doesn’t it just. This is what I want to know about. I want to see all the lying and concealment exposed, and all the pussy-grabbing and wife-abandoning made public.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed in a telephone conversation on Friday that Mr. Trump had discussed payments to Ms. McDougal with Mr. Cohen on the tape. He said the recording was less than two minutes long, said Mr. Trump did not know he was being recorded and claimed that the president had done nothing wrong.

It depends how we’re understanding “wrong.” Fucking around isn’t inherently wrong, but if it’s on the sly it arguably is. If Melania is and was and always has been fine with Trump using his penis on women who aren’t Melania (as it’s hard not to think she must be) then maybe he didn’t do anything wrong, but then why was he hiding it?

The Cohen investigation began with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. But as the Cohen case became increasingly focused on Mr. Cohen’s personal business dealings and his campaign activities unrelated to Russia, Mr. Mueller referred it to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who are now leading the investigation.

Trump can’t pardon his way out of that.

American embassy told to ostracize Obama

Jul 20th, 2018 10:51 am | By

This one is just breathtaking in its petty vicious mean loathsomeness. Brian Sokutu in The Citizen:

The Mandela 100 commemoration became a mini battlefield in the ongoing US political war this week, as the Trump administration ordered that Barack Obama not be given any assistance other than security arrangements by the American embassy in South Africa.

The high-profile visit by the former president was mainly arranged and coordinated by the Nelson Mandela and Obama foundations, with no assistance from the US embassy in Pretoria – a break from the diplomatic tradition of offering support to any visiting American leader.

None of the US embassy staff had to play any role due to “instructions by Washington” that Obama should not be provided any assistance, according to a highly placed source.

In the past, the US embassy has always provided full support to any visiting American leader regardless of party affiliation.

That hideous gas-filled bladder of a man isn’t good enough to serve Obama lunch.

I’m not a patsy, you’re a patsy

Jul 20th, 2018 8:01 am | By

Trump calls Obama a patsy for Russia and stupid.

President Trump said in a television interview broadcast Friday that President Barack Obama was “a total patsy” for Russia, as he touted his own efforts to forge a better relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

“Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia, is positive, not a negative,” Trump said during the interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” which was recorded Thursday shortly [before] the White House announced it was inviting Putin to Washington in the fall for another meeting with Trump.

He must have said that 40 thousand times by now. Yes, we know, a truce with a rival or even an enemy is often the best option. We get that. But a truce is not the same thing as an obsequious fawning craven submission.

Furthermore a negotiated truce conducted by informed experts is not the same thing as a private conversation conducted by an ignorant stupid headlong amateur.

Trump contended that he has been “far tougher on Russia than any president in many, many years, maybe ever.”

“Look at all the things that I have done,” Trump said. “Obama didn’t do it. . . . Obama was a patsy for Russia. A total patsy.”

Under the Obama administration, the United States issued multiple sanctions against Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Russia was also expelled from the Group of Eight forum during Obama’s watch.

Total patsy.

Why can’t he be stopped?

Jul 20th, 2018 7:04 am | By

Brennan pointed out the obvious on Tuesday:

John Brennan, former CIA director in the Obama administration, said Russian President Vladimir Putin likely recorded Monday’s meeting with President Donald Trump and will be able to use it against him in the future.

“I would find it unbelievable if they didn’t [record it] in some manner,” Brennan said Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I think whatever Mr. Trump said in that meeting with Mr. Putin is now memorialized on Russian tape and it will be used as necessary by Mr. Putin against Mr. Trump.”

Brennan added that the president was almost certainly told by members of the U.S. intelligence community prior to the meeting of the possibility that Russia would be recording their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki, Finland.

Quite; but he ignored them.

The level of crazed reckless grandiosity it takes to think You Alone can take on a task that complex and dangerous when that has never been the way it works is terrifying to contemplate. Presidents work with colleagues, they don’t try to pretend to be miraculous Lone Geniuses. This stupid stupid stupid man, this ignorant conceited rash lawless toxin of a man, alone among presidents in history thinks he can do everything by the sheer force of his…what? His incoherent repetitive babbling? His lunatic facial expressions? His repellent body language? His grotesque clumsy meaningless gestures? What? What makes him think he has anything useful to add, let alone everything?

Unless of course that’s not the issue because it’s simply that Putin has him by the testicles and is forcing him to do it.

Either way, why can’t they stop him? Why can’t someone force him to stop doing treasonous shit right in front of us?

Ohhh, so that’s what that means

Jul 19th, 2018 5:59 pm | By

It’s like the scene at the end of The Miracle Worker when Helen Keller suddenly at last understands what language is, except stupid.

For 14 seasons, Donald Trump hosted The Apprentice, the reality show that gave millions of Americans the false impression that he is a business genius. But it was only today, July 19, 2018, that he realized what the title of the show meant.

Speaking to a crowd at a White House event called Pledge to America’s Workers, Trump came across a line in the prepared text that included the word apprenticeships. Then he went off script: “That’s an interesting word for me to be saying, right? The Apprentice. I never actually put that together until just now,” he said.

All good

Jul 19th, 2018 5:53 pm | By

No automatic alt text available.

A proposal that was made in sincerity

Jul 19th, 2018 5:30 pm | By

Oh great, now Treason Don wants Volodya to come to his house for a sleepover in the fall, just in time to fuck around with the elections.

President Trump plans to invite President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to Washington for another meeting in the fall, officials said Thursday, even as Mr. Trump’s top advisers groped for details of what the two leaders discussed in their last meeting in Helsinki, Finland.

Mr. Trump’s director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, acknowledged frustration at being kept in the dark about the meeting, which included only the leaders and their respective interpreters. “If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted,” Mr. Coats said at a security conference in Aspen, Colo., “I would have suggested a different way. It is what it is.”

Well why is it what it is? Why can’t anyone do anything about this? Why can’t anyone stop him?

Meanwhile the White House is apologizing to Putin for turning down his totally reasonable request to be able to interrogate the ambassador and 11 others.

“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement.

“In sincerity”? Well sure it was – Putin would sincerely like to get his hands on people he considers troublesome to him. But who cares? Why is the White House press secretary burbling about Putin’s sincerity? Why is she kissing his bum? Why are her bosses telling her to do that? What is wrong with them all?


Jul 19th, 2018 11:39 am | By

I saw this tweet

so I looked it up. The Post:

House Republicans on Thursday approved a spending bill that excludes new money for election security grants to states, provoking a furious reaction from Democrats amid a national controversy over Russian election interference.

The spending bill passed 217-199. Democrats’ bid to add hundreds of millions more in election spending was rejected 182-232 — as Republicans were unmoved by Democrats floor speeches decrying the funding changes and chanting “USA! USA!”

At issue is a grants program overseen by the federal Election Assistance Commission and aimed at helping states administer their elections and improve voting systems; Democrats want to continue grant funding through 2019, while Republicans say the program already has been fully funded.

Let’s definitely err on the side of not spending enough, because hey it’s only elections.

Trump wants a second date with Pootie

Jul 19th, 2018 11:13 am | By

Oh well, no worries, call off the alarms: Putin is defending Trump from critics.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday defended Donald Trump from angry criticism following their summit in Helsinki, as the U.S. president called for a second face-to-face meeting with his Russian counterpart.

Mr. Putin, in his first comments in days, praised the Helsinki summit and said it led to some “useful promises.” Little more than an hour later, Mr. Trump tweeted that he wanted a follow-up meeting with Mr. Putin to work on the issues he said they discussed, including terrorism, Israeli security, nuclear proliferation and cyberattacks.

And handing US citizens over to Putin on request.

“It is important that a full-fledged meeting took place allowing us to speak directly, and overall it was successful.” Mr. Putin said.

For Putin.

In the days after the summit, both the Russian defense and foreign ministries said they were either ready to begin or already had started working on agreements hashed out between the two leaders, but neither offered any details as to what they were.

The Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov, speaking to Russian media, said earlier in the week that a number of oral promises had been made between the two leaders.

Which, if true, is of course deeply unnerving, since no one here has any idea what those “oral promises” were. Unless the spooks managed to put a wire on Trump without his knowledge, which I hope they did.

The real enemy

Jul 19th, 2018 10:10 am | By

Today in Treason Trump:

President Treason calls the news media “the real enemy of the people.”

These things happen

Jul 19th, 2018 10:00 am | By

Sympathies all around.

A former UKIP councillor has been found guilty of murdering his wife, after he had an affair with their son’s partner.

Stephen Searle, 64, strangled his wife Anne at their home in Stowmarket, Suffolk, on 30 December.

Searle had previously told a jury his wife had uncovered his affair with Ms Pomiateeva, who is the mother to at least one of their grandchildren, months before she died.

Following the verdict, former politician Bill Mountford told BBC Suffolk he still considered Searle “a friend”, adding “these things happen”.

Mr Mountford, who was leader of UKIP at Suffolk County Council when Searle was a councillor, said: “I still regard Steve as fundamentally a decent man who has found himself in circumstances beyond his control.

“I’m not condoning it in any way but I was very, very sad to hear of Steve’s conviction.

“I’m well aware domestic disputes can get out of hand but I feel equally sorry for both Steve and his now deceased wife.”

Yeah. It’s so sad for him, and she was probably a total bitch about it.

Should be unthinkable

Jul 18th, 2018 5:30 pm | By

Bad bad very bad.