Notes and Comment Blog


Where we are now

Jul 18th, 2019 10:27 am | By

Image result for this is klan country love it or leave it



The princess’s once-in-a-lifetime experience

Jul 18th, 2019 10:23 am | By

What I keep saying. Princess Ivanka’s silence speaks volumes.

Ivanka Trump wants it both ways.

Since joining her father’s White House as a senior adviser in early 2017, the first daughter has reserved the right to toggle between a strict and loose construction of her portfolio. When flashy opportunities arise—such as the chance to play diplomat with Kim Jong Un—the edges of her purview, which she often defines as “women’s economic empowerment,” become conveniently blurry. But when the issue du jour is particularly messy, she is quick to clarify its limits, thus absolving herself of accountability for problems that exist outside it. When The View’s Abby Huntsman, for example, asked Trump in February why she didn’t speak up about family separations along the U.S.-Mexico border, she objected that she is “not president of all women’s issues.”

But she totally does get to try to insert herself into a conversation among May, Lagarde, Macron and Trudeau as if she were somehow on the same level of the status chart as they are.

Both the border crisis and President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack are the kinds of events that many Americans feared, however vaguely, would take place in a Trump presidency. They also represent the kind of moment in which many people, reasonably or not, once assumed his elder daughter would intervene. As I wrote in April, the founding myth of Ivanka Trump is that she would prove a moderating force in her father’s White House. This myth was born, in large part, out of a collective assumption about how her status as a wealthy, liberal Manhattanite would affect the administration’s agenda.

I never shared that assumption, or even understood where it came from. She campaigned for him. What more do you need to know? She’s part of his administration; she intrudes on official events as much as she can get away with; she has stayed part of his administration through this whole shitshow. What more do you need to know?

She uses her putative portfolio as a shield.

The thinking, according to her current and former colleagues: You wouldn’t seek out comment from the presidential adviser Stephen Miller, who is closely associated with immigration policy, about, say, the White House’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Why, then, would you ask [Ivanka] Trump, if the issue doesn’t fall under her purview?

Because Stephen Miller is not Trump’s daughter and favorite child, and Ivanka Trump is. Because Miller is just another employee but Princess Ivanka is an illegal nepotistic corrupt family member. Because Miller doesn’t claim to be anything but a venomous racist, but Princess Ivanka does.

[Interjecting: it’s an annoying nuisance that pieces on Ivanka Trump call her Trump after the first mention even though they’re talking about her father at the same time. That’s stupidly confusing.]

At no time was this dynamic more obvious than earlier this month, when it was revealed that Trump, along with her husband and fellow senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had joined President Trump in meeting with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone, a conversation that included discussions about, among other topics, nuclear weapons. It is unclear, to put it mildly, how North Korea’s nuclear program dovetails with her work on women’s economic empowerment on the Ivory Coast, which her team insists is her biggest priority.

There was once a time when even if Trump was unable to succeed as a conscience-check on this White House, she wanted to seem like she was trying all the same. But as the events of recent weeks—her eagerness to participate in historic photo ops, her refusal to wade into things murkier—lay bare, even that pretense has dissolved. “Maybe she’s coming more to grips with the fact that she’s tied forever to everything that happens in there, and it’s not even worth trying to distance herself from it all anymore,” posited a second former senior White House official, who also requested anonymity.

Is she coming to grips with the fact that she’s a greedy corrupt narcissistic shit just as her father is?

Multiple people close to Trump have told me that she speaks of her time in the White House as “sand in an hourglass,” a race to “make the most” of a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” before it slips away.

Yeah, that’s what it’s all about, an Excellent Adventure for Princess Ivanka. I hope the hourglass falls off the desk soon.



Condemnations waste their sweetness on the desert air

Jul 18th, 2019 9:33 am | By

Condemnation was swift. Too bad it won’t stop him.

Democrats rushed to condemn Donald Trump after his supporters erupted into chants of “send her back” at the mention of Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, one of the targets of the president’s recent racist tweets.

The Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was one of the first to offer his support to Omar following the chants at the Trump rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night, accusing the president of “stoking the most despicable and disturbing currents in our society” and called him the “most dangerous president in the history of our country”.

Dangerous and destructive. This shit he’s stoking isn’t going to go away even if he vanishes in a puff of smoke right this minute.

Republican reaction to the moment in Wednesday night’s rally has been much less robust, with only a handful chiming in.

The former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld said he challenged “every Republican to watch Donald Trump’s rally last night, complete with chants of ‘Send her back’, and ask if that is the Party of Lincoln and Reagan we signed up for”.

Reagan? It’s not all that far from Reagan. Remember Bitberg?

The North Carolina congressman Mark Walker said he “struggled” with the “send her back” chant, downplaying the outburst by calling it “brief”. Walker continued: “Her history, words & actions reveal her great disdain for both America & Israel. That should be our focus and not phrasing that’s painful to our friends in the minority communities.”

So that’s an endorsement of Trump’s racist incitement then.

Going after the four Democratic congresswomen one by one, a combative Trump turned his campaign rally into an extended dissection of the liberal views of the women of color, deriding them for what he painted as extreme positions and suggesting they just get out.

“Tonight I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down,” Trump told the crowd in North Carolina, a swing state he won in 2016 and wants to claim again in 2020. “They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say: ‘Hey if you don’t like it, let ’em leave, let ’em leave.’”

He’s in his happy place. He loves doing this. He’ll never stop.



The scene drew reactions of shock and horror

Jul 18th, 2019 9:09 am | By

So we’re going for the full Nuremberg now. We knew he was planning to, but it still comes as a shock to see how far he will go.

Goaded on by the president, a crowd at a Donald Trump rally on Wednesday night chanted “send her back! send her back!” in reference to Ilhan Omar, a US congresswoman who arrived almost 30 years ago as a child refugee in the United States.

Trump used the 2020 campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, to attack Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – calling them “hate-filled extremists”.

Which is deeply ironic given how accurately that describes him.

The House voted to condemn his venomous “go back” tweets on Tuesday, so naturally on Wednesday he piled on the malevolent racist bullying and incitement, in front of a crowd and a host of tv cameras. This is where we are now.

“Let ’em leave,” Trump said of the members of Congress. “They’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it.”

He’s always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. He hates most of us. He could leave it.

Trump’s speech in North Carolina also included a professed exasperation with the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s name is hyphenated.

“No, no: I don’t have time to go with three different names,” Trump said. “We’ll call her Cortez. Too much time. Takes too much time.”

The scene drew reactions of shock and horror from across the political spectrum. “The bigoted mob chanting ‘send her back’ tonight is significant,” tweeted Walter Shaub, a former director of the US office of government ethics under Barack Obama.

“When you outdo [Richard] Nixon in repulsiveness, you’ve gone a long way,” said commentator David Gergen on CNN, a veteran of the Nixon and other Republican administrations.

“‘SEND HER BACK, SEND HER BACK,’ is ugly. It’s ignorant. It’s dangerous,” tweeted Joe Walsh, the conservative radio host and former Republican congressman. “And it’s un-American. It’s flat out bigotry. And every Republican should condemn this bigotry immediately. Stop this now.”

But not every Republican will; we’ve already seen that. Most of the Republicans in Congress won’t.

Nothing will stop him. Not the burning shame, not public opprobrium, not international disgust, nothing.



More of that

Jul 17th, 2019 5:09 pm | By

Great. Just great. Trump thinks it was a brilliant idea and he’s going to keep doing it because “election strategy.” We’re stuck in this hell forever, and the only thing that’s going to change is that it’s going to get worse.

President Donald Trump’s initial racist jab at a foursome of Democratic congresswomen came as a surprise — and not a pleasant one — to many of his aides, who began texting about how to defend their boss’ tweets minutes after he fired them off.

Three days later, the shock has faded and the tweet is being used to frame a long-term political strategy.

Trump views his attacks on the four congresswomen of color as an unbridled political success, people familiar with his thinking say, and plans to continue his efforts as he moves into a period of politicking.

“I’m not relishing the fight. I’m enjoying it because I have to get the word out to the American people,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “And you have to enjoy what you do. I enjoy what I do.”

He’s not relishing it, he’s enjoying it. Got that? Also, you have to enjoy what you do; it’s the law. If what you do is screech racist insults at women, you have to enjoy it.

Despite initial queasiness from some aides at the overtly racist implications of Trump’s attacks on the minority lawmakers, most now say the President’s tactic of tying the liberal “squad” to the larger Democratic Party is a winning tactic. Many have come to his defense, declaring him correct in his view that critics of the United States should move somewhere else.

And yet, Trump has been full of criticisms of the United States for years. There are things about it he wants to change. There are things about it progressive Democrats want to change. That’s permitted. We’re allowed to want to change things about our country, and the people in charge should not be telling us to leave.



Criminal contempt

Jul 17th, 2019 4:30 pm | By

 

Getting serious:

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for defying congressional subpoenas related to the U.S. Census.

The measure, which passed 230-198, was a response to the Trump cabinet members’ failure to produce documents requested by House Democrats as part of an investigation into whether the administration attempted to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census that would discriminate against racial minorities.

Which is to say, their refusal to produce documents requested by House Democrats.

Barr said Pelosi should have waited; Barr and Ross said the House was degrading the constitutional separation of powers. If they really want to talk about degradation I think they should look somewhere else.

Updating to add documents via reporter Zoe Tillman:



Entitled to say they are Wack Jobs

Jul 17th, 2019 11:59 am | By

Trump is, predictably, digging in. Game on! Let’s see how racist we can be before anyone will stop us! Yeeha!

He’s quoting a Republican senator.

Trump is planning to do more of this kind of thing at a rally later today.

Son Eric is helping.



Squaring impossibilities

Jul 17th, 2019 11:02 am | By

Feminism 101: include men.

So, curious, I looked up the women’s department online. First sentence on the home page?

The Women’s Department exists to advocate for women and non-binary students on campus.

Bolding theirs. But…why? Why can’t a women’s department advocate for women and leave it at that? Why does it also have to advocate for “non-binary students”? What is this constant attack on women for not “including” people who aren’t women?

They have a Women’s Room. It starts well enough, even if the idea of it does make me a bit queasy.

The Women’s Room is a designated women’s safe space. Located on the first floor of Union House, the Women’s Room is an autonomous place where women can feel comfortable and safe to be themselves without having to share the space with men or undergo male scrutiny. It provides a space for women to relax, talk to each other, collaborate, organise, discuss issues or read literature/brochures without embarrassment or self-censorship. It is a non-competitive and supportive space, as well as a great place to meet and get to know amazing women!

Or not such amazing women, because just saying they’re amazing doesn’t actually mean they are. But never mind that – at least they managed to get through a whole paragraph without telling us that the Women’s Room is an autonomous place where women can feel comfortable and also they have to include male people who say they identify as female. That’s refreshing.

But of course it doesn’t last. Paragraph 2 is about the availability of a fridge, lube and condoms, and other essentials. 3 is a one sentence welcome. 4 is…

Please note: the Women’s Room is a safe space. To make sure all women are safe and comfortable in this room, please note that transphobia, racism, ableism, classism, fatphobia and misogyny are not acceptable in this space.

Interesting that “transphobia” is the first item while misogyny is the last. But also – do they mean spoken aloud transphobia? Or transphobia within. Are women who don’t agree that men become women by saying so expected to self-exclude from the Women’s Room? Is there some kind of radar that knows how to detect that particular non-agreement?

Then we get a Do Not Assume and a Do Assume. Under the latter:

1. That all women are welcomed and valued in this space, including trans women.
2. That sex workers use this space and are entitled to respect.
3. That we welcome women of faith to use this space for prayer. Please be considerate where prayer practice may require silence.
4. That we all come from different backgrounds and we all have an equal right to the freedom to be self-expressive without fear of being uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe due to one’s gender assigned at birth, cultural background, age, mental/physical ability, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, gender expression, class.
5. That every one in this room is entitled to respect on the basis of the respect they extend to other perspectives and experiences.

So, it’s an autonomous place where women can feel comfortable and safe to be themselves without having to share the space with men or undergo male scrutiny, but on the other hand trans women are welcomed in the space. Also, we all have a right to the freedom to be self-expressive without fear of being uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe due to our gender assigned at birth or gender expression. So if a woman does feel uncomfortable and unsafe due to being a woman and noticing that there’s a man in the room designate for women? She has a right to the freedom to be self-expressive, but transphobia is not welcome. How, exactly, does that work?



How experimentation on Jewish triplets was going to look

Jul 17th, 2019 10:09 am | By

Speaking of adoptions and “carriers” and surrogates and the issues they present, there’s the story of the identical triplets separated at birth:

A feelgood news story from Reagan’s America becomes something much darker and more complex in this documentary from British film-maker Tim Wardle, who has built on the work of New Yorker investigative journalist Laurence Wright.

In 1980, three triplets, given up individually for adoption to different families 18 years before, were accidentally and ecstatically reunited by an extraordinary quirk of fate. It is as gripping as a first-contact sci-fi. They had had no idea of each other’s existence, and neither had their adoptive families.

David Kellman, Eddy Galland and Bobby Shafran became huge media stars: good-looking, smart, personable Jewish American boys who saw no reason not to enjoy the spotlight. They were on every TV show and newsstand and, for a Warholian 15 minutes, became America’s darlings. But then their adoptive parents angrily asked why they had been split up like this, robbed of much of their own existence.

Why? For research.

The awful truth is that the boys were separated deliberately, as were many other sets of adoptive twins (though no other adoptive triplets that we know about) at the behest of distinguished psychologist Peter B Neubauer, who had instituted a secret research project to get to the bottom of the nature-versus-nurture debate.

His findings were never published and the identities of the “private Washington charities” who bankrolled this creepy scheme remain a mystery. Why did Neubauer suppress his own work? Was it because, as a Swiss-born refugee from the Nazis himself, he became increasingly worried about how experimentation on Jewish triplets was going to look? Or was it that he worried that the results were slanted and valueless?

Or, hey, how experimentation on any triplets was going to look?



Censure passed

Jul 16th, 2019 4:54 pm | By

The House voted to censure Trump’s loathsome racist tweets.

The measure, introduced by Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., who was born in Poland, is titled “Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.”

It unfavorably compares Trump’s comments to those of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, who praised the impact of immigrants on the United States, and “strongly condemns” Trump’s language, stating that it has “legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

(And that’s not even all. It’s a gruesome abuse of power, and it’s misogynist, and it’s blatant bullying and incitement.)

“This is an affront to 22 million naturalized citizens who were born in another country,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a cosponsor of the measure, said of Trump’s tweets on the floor Tuesday. “It’s an affront to the hundreds of millions of Americans who understand and love how American democracy works.”

Mitch McConnell blathered about how we all have to elevate the discourse.

Pressed when he stopped short of calling the president’s attacks racist, McConnell said, “The president is not a racist. I think the tone of all of this is not good for the country.”

In response, Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News that McConnell is “complicit in advancing racism in America” for not criticizing Trump.”

“When you tell American citizens to go back to their country … that has everything to do with race,” she said.

And when you’re a birther, and when you take out an add to demand death for black suspects, and when you say “good people on both sides,” and when you have a history of racial discrimination in housing.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday that he didn’t consider Trump’s comments to be racist, and accused Democrats of trying to play politics against Trump with the resolution on the floor.

As opposed to what Trump was doing when he told the four women to get out of the country?



Make the toddler choose

Jul 16th, 2019 2:49 pm | By

On the border:

At a Border Patrol holding facility in El Paso, Texas, an agent told a Honduran family that one parent would be sent to Mexico while the other parent and their three children could stay in the United States, according to the family. The agent turned to the couple’s youngest daughter — 3-year-old Sofia, whom they call Sofi — and asked her to make a choice.

Sofi’s choice. Ironic, isn’t it. I don’t suppose the agent knew her name or knew of Sophie’s Choice.

“The agent asked her who she wanted to go with, mom or dad,” her mother, Tania, told NPR through an interpreter. “And the girl, because she is more attached to me, she said mom. But when they started to take [my husband] away, the girl started to cry. The officer said, ‘You said [you want to go] with mom.’ “

Marvelous, isn’t it? Pick out the youngest child and make her choose – so as to scar her for life.

Tania and her husband, Joseph, said they spent parts of two days last week trying to prevent the Border Patrol from separating their family. They were aided by a doctor who had examined Sofi and pleaded with agents not to separate the family, Joseph and Tania said.

But it’s our official policy to be as inhumane and cruel as possible, to discourage people from trying to escape to a better life.

Because the doctor made a huge point of it, in the end the family was allowed to stay together and they’re now with relatives in the Midwest…but Border Patrol did its best to wreck their lives.

The family fled Honduras after Tania witnessed her mother get killed. Her sister-in-law also was a witness and was later kidnapped, tortured and slain to keep her from testifying. The gang MS-13 then posted a note on the family’s door telling them they had 45 minutes to leave, Tania said. That’s when the family left to seek asylum in the U.S.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, an El Paso Democrat whose office assisted the family in its efforts to be removed from the MPP program, said she is asking DHS to investigate allegations that the Border Patrol planned to separate the family and asked a 3-year-old girl to pick which parent she would go with.

“It’s an outrage, and it’s absolutely horrifying that a toddler would be asked to choose between two parents. It was just stunning to me. It’s one thing to read about it; it’s another thing to actually hear a parent recounting the story firsthand in their own voice,” Escobar said.

H/t Rob



Eyes on the prize

Jul 16th, 2019 1:52 pm | By

Well at least Princess Ivanka is speaking out.

.

.

.

.

You didn’t believe me did you?

Ok but she said something yesterday, right?

I guess Princess Ivanka is very very busy.



It’s not good enough

Jul 16th, 2019 11:58 am | By

It just amazes me how cheerfully some men can dismiss women’s rights without pausing for even a second to remember that other people’s rights aren’t theirs to dismiss.

Actually we don’t “agree are the dreadful outcomes for trans men and women.” Too much of that is just automatic-pilot hyperbole, and much of the rest is discredited claims about the numbers. No, I don’t agree that trans people have it worse than everyone else, and so much worse that we all (except men of course) have to give up our rights.

“It’s not good enough to respond by saying ‘but women’s rights'”…says the man.

What do we have to do to make that good enough? Why isn’t it good enough? Why don’t our rights matter?

He doesn’t bother to say. Not his problem.



Absolutely immune

Jul 16th, 2019 11:16 am | By

Also Kellyanne Conway: she ignored a subpoena.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday said she was “taking one for the team” by defying a House subpoena compelling her to testify on her multiple violations of the Hatch Act.

“They’re trying to silence me and take away my First Amendment rights,” she said in an interview on Fox News of her decision to skip the House Oversight hearing for which she received a subpoena to attend. “I would be happy to testify, just so we’re clear. I have nothing to hide. I have done nothing wrong.”

It’s not a “First Amendment right” to use your job in the White House for campaign purposes, just as it’s not a “First Amendment right” to lie under oath or to commit fraud via spam.

Last month, Conway was cited by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency that oversees Hatch Act compliance, for multiple violations of the 1939 law that prohibits government employees from participating in political speech while performing their official duties. Conway was cited for speaking in her official capacity about both the 2020 election and 2017’s special Senate election in Alabama.

In a letter to House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Conway would be skipping the hearing. The Justice Department “has advised me that Ms. Conway is absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser” to Trump, he told the committee.

If that’s true (which of course is disputed) then it’s example #759,365 of how “checks and balances” are a joke. Congress is supposed to be able to oversee the executive branch, so if people like Conway have absolute immunity from being questioned about violations of law, Congress can’t do the thing it’s supposed to be able to do. Checks and balances? Not that anyone can see.



“Who are taking other people’s babies into custody”

Jul 16th, 2019 10:59 am | By

Uglier again.

This clip is shorter but the audio is much better and you can hear Feinberg’s questions as well as Conway’s replies.



Socialists! Abortion! Other random distraction!

Jul 16th, 2019 10:40 am | By

Republicans are rushing to condemn Trump’s racism no just kidding they’re amplifying it.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Tuesday responded to President Donald Trump’s racist tweets by suggesting that Democrats are baby killers if they support abortion.

Non sequitur much?

At a press conference at the Capitol, Republican leaders — including Cheney — refused to condemn Trump’s tweets which suggested that four Democratic congresswomen of color should go back to their home country even though all four are American citizens.

Instead of calling the tweets racists, Cheney branded Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ayanna Pressley (MA) and Rashida Tlaib (MI) as “socialists.”

Additionally, Cheney called the Democratic congresswomen “racist.”

She asserted that the congresswomen were “wrong that any individual seat at the table is only valuable, only legitimate if that person espouses some pre-approved set of beliefs deemed appropriate based on their religion, gender or race.”

And they’ve claimed that where, exactly? Don’t let the truth slow you down.



Suzanne Eaton

Jul 16th, 2019 9:59 am | By

Pro-tip: don’t be a woman. It’s dangerous.

Greek police have arrested a suspect in the murder of an American scientist who was found dead in an abandoned World War II bunker on the island of Crete last week.

The unnamed suspect is a 27-year-old Greek man who was brought in for questioning Monday and was later arrested after he “confessed his crime,” according to Maj. Gen. Constantinos Lagoudakis, director of Police General Directorate of Crete.

He murdered her why? Oh, you know, he wanted to use her, and that’s easier when they’re dead.

The suspect claimed that he spotted U.S. citizen Suzanne Eaton walking toward the Evelpidon monument during the afternoon of July 2 and, “motivated by sexual satisfaction,” hit her twice with his car to stop her, according to Eleni Papathanassiou, a spokeswoman for Crete’s police department.

The suspect claimed he put Eaton, who was apparently unconscious, in the trunk of his vehicle and drove to the bunker’s ventilation drain, where he raped her and abandoned her there, Papathanassiou said.

Now be honest: haven’t we all done that a few times?

Who was this woman a man so casually destroyed for a poke?

Eaton, a 59-year-old molecular biologist and mother of two, was attending a scientific conference held at the Orthodox Academy of Crete in northwest Crete when she vanished on July 2.

That’s who.

Can we hope she didn’t suffer?

An autopsy determined that Eaton died at noon on July 2. Her body showed signs of “a violent criminal act and possibly sexual abuse,” Lagoudakis said in his statement Tuesday. She had many broken ribs and face bones as well as multiple injuries to both hands, according to Papathanassiou’s statement.

A police source told ABC News that Eaton fought for her life when she was attacked by someone with a knife. Her body had substantial injuries from a blade that was “defensive” in nature, the source said.

All for a fuck.

Eaton was a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.

“We have come to know Suzanne as a lively and committed woman who made a decisive contribution to the development of our institute. Her sudden and untimely death is devastating for us all,” Michael Schroeder, director of the TU Dresden Biotechnology Center, said in a statement last week. “We will remember Suzanne as a remarkable person. We are profoundly saddened and speechless.”

She was also a professor at the Biotechnology Center of the Technical University of Dresden in Germany, known as TU Dresden.

“We were shocked to learn of the death of our dear colleague and friend, Prof. Suzanne Eaton,” Hans Muller-Steinhagen, rector of the TU Dresden, said in a statement last week. “We have lost an immensely renowned scientist and a truly outstanding human being.”

Because one random guy wanted “sexual satisfaction.”



Politically charged

Jul 16th, 2019 9:27 am | By

CNN is doing a live update thing on Trump and racism.

House Democrats said they are staying focused on their policy agenda and will call out President Trump’s tactics to “deflect” and divide the country.

Rep. Katherine Clark said at a news conference Tuesday Democrats are going to continue to speak out against racist attacks.

“This president with his racist attacks is showing us that he is not concerned with anything but further enriching those who are already rich and powerful. And his plan is to distract us, to divide us, so they can pickpocket us while we’re not looking,” Clark said. “That’s what we are speaking out against. This attack on American values, this attack on trying to be a country that is the United States of America, not the divided states.”

Well he does want to keep enriching those who are already rich and powerful, though not nearly as much as he wants to keep enriching himself. But let’s not treat the racism as a mere distraction: he wants to keep performing noisy belligerent ignorant racism from his platform as president of the US, too. It’s not a tiresome chore to him, it’s fun. He loves it.

Meanwhile the Republicans are trying to push it behind the door.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was just asked about President Trump’s racist tweets about four progressive Democratic congresswomen and those representatives’ response to the attacks.

McCarthy said the Democrats’ response has been politically charged.

Ah, politically charged; were they indeed. How very shocking. Of course it’s not at all politically charged for Trump to scream that they should get out of the country.

McCarthy says “We should get back to the business of America.” Certainly we should, but we can’t just ignore the Top Dog screaming racist insults from the podium over and over again.

Trump, meanwhile…

It’s not good for heads of state to tell citizens to get out. That’s not what Trump is supposed to be doing.

They were, and he does.



The Leave theory

Jul 15th, 2019 4:51 pm | By

The White House transcript of Trump’s racist bullying today:

Q    Mr. President, three of the congresswomen that you talked about were born in America.  (Inaudible.)  What were you talking about?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they’re very unhappy.  I’m watching them; all they do is complain.  So all I’m saying is, if they want to leave, they can leave, John.  They can leave.

But that’s not how that works. Legislators are allowed to want to change some things, to improve things. Legislators are allowed to point out things that are not good enough. That’s an important part of their job. They are not required to say everything is already perfect. They’re allowed to say some things are not good enough, and as a member of another branch of government, Trump has no business at all telling them they should leave the country if they don’t like it.

That is of course independent of the long ugly history of conservatives telling critics to love it or get out.

Now, you can say what you want, but get a list of all of the statements they’ve made.  And all I’m saying: that if they’re not happy here, they can leave.  They can leave.  And you know what?  I’m sure that there’ll be many people that won’t miss them.

Q    But they’re American citizens.  What do you make of the fact that they’re American citizens?

THE PRESIDENT:  But they have to love — they have to love our country.  They’re Congress people.  And I never used any names.  But these are people —

No they don’t. There is no “love” test for being a federal legislator.

And as for loving our country…what has Trump ever done in that line? He racially discriminated in housing early in his career. He’s stolen and cheated and lied throughout his career. He tried to get the Central Park 5 executed. He stoked birtherism against Obama. What has Trump ever done that indicates any genuine love of the country at all?

The reality is that he’s made many millions of us come closer to hating it than we’ve ever been. A state that can let a Donald Trump take power is a very broken state. I detest what he’s making us stand for, and so do millions and millions of other people.



Thinking about Feagaiga Stowers

Jul 15th, 2019 4:18 pm | By

Mata’afa Keni Lesa in The Samoa Observer:

The truth is this. We just cannot stop thinking about Feagaiga Stowers.

Having been chosen as Samoa’s flag bearer, this Pacific Games was supposed to have been her moment.

This is a young woman who has had to endure tremendous difficulties in her childhood, where she eventually entered the Samoa Victims Support Group, to end up where she is today. It’s an incredible story.

Indeed, Stowers meteoric rise has proven there is hope for everyone. And she’s done everything possible to be on top of her game, where she deserves to be.

This was until she stepped up on the weightlifting platform on Saturday where her hopes of clinching a Pacific Games gold – and that of a proud nation – were crushed by a fellow competitor, Laurel Hubbard.

Who, as we all know, is a man. This is cheating.

Hubbard does not belong in the women’s competition. As a transgender, there are only two ways Hubbard should continue to compete. Hubbard could either step up against the men or the organisers of the Pacific Games, or any competition Hubbard enters, should introduce a new division for transgenders.

We are talking about sports here. One of the values of sport is fairness. We cannot say that allowing a transgender to compete against women is fair. It is grossly unfair for women like Stowers, or all women, for that matter.

This is why we cannot stop thinking about Stowers and how gutted she must have been, at being denied the gold medal in the women’s 87kgs division by Hubbard, who lifted a total of 268kgs. Stowers lagged behind by seven kilos. Imagine that? Given Hubbard’s genes, think of how hard Stowers had to work to try and keep up. And she did. It’s an amazing achievement, still she lost the gold medal by seven kilos to a competitor who [is] technically a man.

Technically, factually, physically, literally a man. He’s a man who “identifies as a woman” but that’s not the same thing as literally being a woman, and pretending otherwise has a number of drawbacks, as we’ve been noticing for some time now.

Ironically when the kiwi athlete was asked about competing against women, Hubbard responded: “I think you have to be true to yourself.”

Really? Well why cannot Hubbard do us all a favour then, be “true to yourself” and compete in the division where Hubbard rightfully belongs? What do you think?

I’ll tell you what I think. I think that’s absolutely typical of the self-centered greedy smug indifference to the needs and desires of not-self that is so typical of this loathsome “movement.” You know what would be nice? It would be nice if people like Hubbard started “identifying as” decent people with an awareness of other people’s needs, and acting accordingly.