Six new cases

Jun 20th, 2020 11:13 am | By

Oops, what was that again about go to the Trump rally but wear masks but have a fabulous time but stay six feet apart but jump up and down and scream?

Wellllllll that’s ok, no problem, just whisk them away in a sealed box and never mention it again.

The important thing is, don’t let anyone in who hasn’t signed that waiver!

Jump into the volcano but do wear gloves

Jun 20th, 2020 10:56 am | By

On the one hand – wear masks, maintain distance, stay away if you’re at risk – on the other hand, have fun, knock yourselves out, MAGA. Clear?

Pam Bondi, one of Trump’s lawyers who served as Florida’s attorney general from 2011 to 2019, downplayed concerns by public health officials about today’s rally in Tulsa.

[That is: one of Trump’s lawyers, who served as Florida’s attorney general from 2011 to 2019. Trump doesn’t have several lawyers who served as Florida’s attorney general from 2011 to 2019. Commas exist for a reason, people.]

“We hope that people are going to stay socially distanced, are going to wear a mask, (use) hand sanitzer and be respectful of each other,” Bondi told the Guardian’s Oliver Laughland on Saturday afternoon.

NBC News reported on Friday that both Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, and the White House coronavirus taskforce’s response coordinator, Dr Deborah Birx, had raised concerns about the wisdom of such a large event in the middle of a pandemic that remains undefeated.

And no one paid the slightest attention.

No intention of resigning

Jun 20th, 2020 10:20 am | By

Oops. Trump tried to fire the SDNY prosecutor but he’s refusing to resign.

Attorney General William Barr’s declaration he replaced Geoffrey Berman of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York renewed the debate over the extent to which Barr is acting [i]n President Donald Trump’s interests rather than the nation’s. The office of Berman, who is refusing to quit, is leading a probe into Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and associates and has also indicted a Turkish state-owned firm involved in an Iran sanctions-busting case which Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised with Trump.

Scores of former Justice Department officials had already called for Barr to quit over a series of interventions that appear specifically designed to benefit Trump politically.

So Barr decided to give them more of the same. He really wants to trash his own reputation.

Last night Berman issued a statement.

It doesn’t get much more bizarre than that. “The Attorney General said I have resigned; I have not resigned.” Basically: you’ll have to drag me out.

Late on Friday evening — the traditional dumping ground for controversial news stories — Barr issued a press release announcing Berman’s sudden resignation that said that he would be replaced by Jay Clayton, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who has never served as a prosecutor.

On its own, Barr’s move was shocking since the Southern District of New York is one of the most prestigious and independent prosecutorial perches and typically handles highly sensitive financial, politically sensitive and terrorism cases.

On account of how a lot of sensitive financial and political stuff goes on in Manhattan. It ain’t Boise.

An already massive confrontation exploded further when Berman, in a stunning move, issued his own late-night statement rebuking Barr over his decision to oust him and refusing to go, arguing that since he was technically appointed by a panel of judges on an acting basis in 2018, Barr has no power to force him out and that he would continue to serve.

“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney. I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York,” Berman said.

“I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption,” he said. The chances of a new US Attorney for the Southern District of New York being confirmed much before the election seem slim and there is the possibility of legal battles over Berman’s tenure.

Even Bolton’s book gets a cameo.

CNN has reported rising tensions between Washington and Berman’s office, including over some cases including the indictment of Turkish bank Halkbank. In his new book, former national security adviser John Bolton said that Trump told the Turkish strongman he would take “care of things” when he had replaced the prosecutors in New York with his own people. The Justice Department and Berman did, however, bring a case against the Turkish bank in October 2019.

Let’s hope we can “take care of things” in November 2020.

Pence says we’ve always cherished the ideal

Jun 19th, 2020 5:33 pm | By

God what a tool.

Mike Pence declined to say the words “Black lives matter” during an interview with an ABC affiliate in Pennsylvania, instead saying that “all lives matter.”

“Let me just say that what happened to George Floyd was a tragedy,” Pence told ABC6 in Philadelphia, when asked directly if he would say that Black lives matter. “And in this nation, especially on Juneteenth, we celebrate the fact that from the founding of this nation we’ve cherished the ideal that all, all of us are created equal, and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And so all lives matter in a very real sense.”

Uh, sir, no, sir, that’s exactly not what we celebrate especially on Juneteenth, because it is not true that from the founding of this nation we’ve cherished the ideal that all, all of us are created equal, and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. That’s the whole point, you dumb fuck. Juneteenth celebrates the official end of slavery – of slavery. A nation that allows slavery is not one that cherishes the ideal of equality. It’s very much the opposite, sir. A nation that allows slavery is about as anti-egalitarian as it’s possible to be, short of making soup out of people. We allowed slavery until 1865, and after that we allowed something way too close to it for another god damn century. That’s the point.

Avoid crowds, or wear a mask

Jun 19th, 2020 4:59 pm | By

It’s a personal choice.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday she won’t be wearing a mask at the president’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday, calling it a “personal choice.”

So what if it’s a personal choice? What’s that got to do with anything? It’s a personal choice for people to cough in people’s faces on purpose, too, so what?

She said not wearing a mask still complies with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, telling reporters Friday that masks are recommended but not required. 

But since they are recommended (and I don’t think the CDC has the power to require people to wear things anyway), why not wear one? What is the purpose of the “personal choice” not to? The CDC recommends them for reasons, so why decide “Oh well I just won’t, it’s personal”?

That recommendation from the CDC reads, “Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public.” And the CDC also “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” 

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CBS News in an interview Friday that the best way to avoid spreading the virus “is to avoid crowds.” But for those who will not be heeding that piece of advice, he counseled, “wear a mask at all times.” 

And that’s not just to protect the wearer, it’s to protect everyone else too – so what right does Kayleigh McEneny have to make a “choice” not to wear one and thus increase the risk of everyone near her? What right does Trump have to do that?

Asked why not, McEnany emphasized it’s a “personal decision,” even though an indoor rally without much social distancing would qualify as a highest-risk gathering, according to the CDC. 

“It’s a personal decision. I am tested regularly. I feel that it is safe for me not to be wearing a mask. I’m in compliance with CDC guidelines, which are recommended but not required,” McEnany said. 

But recommended. Why just ignore the recommendation? Why substitute her judgement for theirs?

But the rate of daily coronavirus cases has been on the rise in Oklahoma. Attendees had to agree when they signed up for the rally that they bear responsibility if they fall ill from COVID-19 as a result of attending the event. In other words, they have to agree not to sue the campaign or any other entity.

Even Kayleigh McEnany.

You’re the ONLY 1

Jun 19th, 2020 4:05 pm | By

Huh. Don Junior is committing wire fraud.

You’re the ONLY 1 – except all the others who got the same text.

Norm Eisen also says – yep wire fraud.

  1. (AlanRosenblatt, Ph.D. []

No statues bruised in Nuneaton

Jun 19th, 2020 3:18 pm | By

So some people did protect a statue of a feminist woman writer (not exactly a poet), even though it didn’t actually need protecting. Story partially true. Literary Hub explains:

Worldwide protests ignited by the death of George Floyd have continued, including in Nuneaton, Warkwickshire, where a group of locals thought they were protecting a statue of George Eliot over the weekend.

Valiant defenders of this bronze effigy popped up following incidents in which Black Lives Matter supporters took down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader in Bristol and tagged a monument of Winston Churchill with the words “is a racist” in central London.

The people guarding the Eliot statue in Nuneaton were presumably operating on the assumption that Black Lives Matter protestors despise all statues as much as they hate police brutality.

An easy mistake to make. Here’s the deal: the problem isn’t the statue-ness, it’s the involvement in slavery or imperialist brutality or the like. George Eliot didn’t buy and sell slaves, nor did she admire or celebrate men who did.

George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, was one of the Victorian era’s great writers and a supporter of the anti-slavery movement. She had a long, epistolary friendship with Harriet Beecher Stowe and questioned the morality of slavery in her 1862 novel Romola.

She was way out on the left end of the Victorian political spectrum.

H/t Richard

Why Trump hires dumb as a rock people

Jun 19th, 2020 11:49 am | By

Reporter: Yes but why hire a team of rivals who are dumb as a rock, overrated, way over their heads, whacko, and incompetent?

KM: Wull sometimes those rivals prove those labels to be true.

Me: If they’re all that it’s bound to be obvious just by chatting with them for a minute, so…

Statue of feminist poet in peril?

Jun 19th, 2020 10:47 am | By


Right now in my home city (in the UK) the statue of a feminist poet is being torn down simply because she is white… all because a black criminal was murdered by a white cop in the USA. This madness is tearing society apart. It has to stop. 2/2

I tried Google News and Google – nothing. The closest Google can find to “white feminist poet statue torn down” is ” Bristol mayor: Colston statue removal was act of ‘historical poetry‘” from the Guardian…which is not close at all.

The conversation started with Annoying’s annoyance at me for tweeting that Trump is threatening protesters, because hey, he didn’t say a word about threatening them.

Right, and when a man says to a woman “I’m not going to treat you the way all those pussies you used to date did” she has absolutely no reason to think that’s a threat.

They have gallons of hand sanitizer

Jun 19th, 2020 10:13 am | By

It’s all just so bonkers.

President Donald Trump on Friday, gearing up for his first campaign rally in months in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, threatened any protesters who show up outside or try to disrupt the event, saying “it will be a much different scene” than how they’ve been dealt with in “New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis.”

“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

It wasn’t clear exactly what Trump meant or what he could do to carry out his threat, but he has taken an increasingly hostile tone towards protesters in recent weeks, this time putting “protesters” in same category as “anarchists” “looters” and “lowlifes.”

It’s a bizarre experience, seeing a constant stream of hostility and rage toward most of the population coming from the head of state.

Tulsa itself is taking its cues from Trump.

A curfew was imposed beginning Thursday night until Saturday at 6 a.m., according to Tulsa police, citing concerns abut organized groups coming to the city. After the rally, another curfew will be in place until 6 a.m. Sunday. The rally begins at 7 p.m.

Totally normal, putting curfews in place because the president is going to be in town.

Trump, in another tweet Friday, also said he views his rally in Tulsa as the re-launch of his reelection campaign, saying, “Big crowds and lines already forming in Tulsa. My campaign hasn’t started yet. It starts on Saturday night in Oklahoma!”

The rally is expected to draw as many as 100,000 Trump supporters, some of whom had lined up outside the 19,000-seat Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa, days before the rally.

Peak contagion! Awesome!

Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt backed the rally when he met with Trump at the White House Thursday at an unrelated event focused on government assistance for small businesses. Stitt assured that the rally would be safe even as the city’s health official has called an event like the rally “a huge risk factor” for spreading the coronavirus.

One wonders what Stitt was basing his assurances on. What does he know that the city’s health official doesn’t know? Some kind of magic shield around the Trump supporters?

Trump campaign spokesperson Erin Perrine told ABC News the campaign “takes the health and safety of rally-goers seriously and is taking precautions to make the rally safe,” including checking the temperatures of attendees and providing them with face masks and hand sanitizer.

Nope. Crowding thousands of people together at a rally can’t be “made safe” by masks and hand sanitizer.

A war of all against all

Jun 19th, 2020 9:20 am | By

Trump announces he will unleash violence on protesters.

President of the United States, here, threatening protesters with violence.

A genuine request for information

Jun 19th, 2020 9:07 am | By

John Cleese seeks information.

It’s like this, see – is the experience of being a woman inextricably linked to biology? Or is it just totally random and arbitrary and unpredictable?

Well honestly – what can having the biology of a woman possibly have to do with the experience of being a woman? I ask you.

It was a mistake

Jun 18th, 2020 6:43 pm | By

After that one I watched this one, on detransitioning.

Newsnight on the Tavistock

Jun 18th, 2020 6:42 pm | By

This is now available.

Oger tells “cis woman” to be careful

Jun 18th, 2020 4:04 pm | By

Oh look, more “cis white woman=bitch cunt whore,” this time from the proudly non-cis (but still white, which seems careless) Morgane Oger.

That cis white female pedestal you put yourself on is your cage.

Say what? We don’t put ourselves on it, and it’s not a pedestal.

We don’t put ourselves on it because we didn’t make ourselves either white or female, we were just born both. It’s not a pedestal because we are still objects of contempt or loathing or both.

Dear cis woman leveraging patriarchy for personal advantage, I beg you to be careful what you ask for.

Dear condescending man telling women what we are and what to say, I beg you to fuck off.

Do you see that these words come overwhelmingly from well-off white women who face few other barriers than their role in the patriarchy they uphold to not fall from their their place?

He includes a photo of Meghan Murphy to underline the point – oh yes Meghan Murphy rolling in the millions she makes from freelance writing and organizing.

He really wants everyone to agree that women are in fact not an oppressed class but a privileged dominant exploitative one…because we don’t agree that men like Oger are women just because they say they are. He thinks that white women don’t get to count as women because they are just too privilege, so they are cis women instead, which makes them oppressors. (Does Oger ever snarl like this about “cis black women”? Any bets?)

He rants about purity tests then captions a photo of Rowling with

Is that Super Rich Oppressed Writer, really dressing up transphobia as feminism?

Well, is that Super Male Oppressed Trans Laydee really dressing up misogyny as feminism? Yes, he is, and he’s an asshole.

When I read commentary like yours, I am reminded of all the times supremacist ideology like you are thoughtlessly amplifying with your words has resulted in immeasurable harm to whole communities because individuals wrap themselves around Purity and Supremacy to justify their exclusion of others on arbitrary grounds rather than on conduct or any other action.

Except that “exclusion” of men from the category “women” is not arbitrary grounds, any more than it’s arbitrary to exclude elephants from the category “insects” or grapes from the category “fish.” The words are human inventions but that doesn’t mean that what they name is either arbitrary or random.

I put Oger in the category “dim bulb.”

Legally of course

Jun 18th, 2020 3:08 pm | By

Maybe it’s all legit, I don’t know, but yes it does seem very odd for a young adult man to “adopt” a teenage boy (not that a teenage girl would look any better).

Anyway, the jokes are rolling in.

Of course Nestor is trending.

Looka my hunky son

Jun 18th, 2020 2:37 pm | By

Oh what was that about Matt Gaetz’s explosion of rage at Cedric Richardson for…what was it now? Worrying about the safety of black children while not asking Matt Gaetz for approval first? Something like that? How dare Richardson assume that Matt Gaetz doesn’t have any black children? Yes that was it.

Surprise revelation!

Erm. I hate to say it, but I don’t have to, because other people did.

Gaetz was 27? When the kid was 12? And Gaetz was single? Is that usual with adoptions?

Do single men in their 20s usually adopt teenage boys in the usual, parental sense of “adopt”? Wouldn’t appearances alone suggest that might be unwise? And then there’s the whole maturity issue. Are men in their 20s usually adult enough to be parents to teenagers?

It all seems deeply weird.

H/t Chris Tygesen

All but sunk

Jun 18th, 2020 11:49 am | By

One beneficial effect of the virus:

Carnival suffered losses of $4.4bn (£3.6bn) in three months, as the cruise company’s business was all but sunk by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revenues dropped to $700m from $4.8bn for the same March-May period in 2019, as bookings dried up and the corporation’s cruise lines suspended sailings after severe outbreaks onboard its ships.

These things just do not make sense in light of the climate catastrophe.

A Carnival Panorama cruise ship docks at Long Beach, California.
Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Ethics for toddlers

Jun 18th, 2020 11:34 am | By

But but but freedom, my rights, freedom to do whatever I want to wherever I want to including in a tightly enclosed space shared with hundreds of people 5 miles above the planet.

American Airlines has removed a passenger from a flight after he refused to wear a face covering in compliance with its Covid-19 safety policy.

Brandon Straka was asked to wear a face mask on Flight 1263 from New York to Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday.

When Mr Straka refused, he was asked to leave the flight, the airline said.

Mr Straka said there was no law that required him to wear a face covering on the flight.

Doesn’t matter. There’s no law that says you can’t play a trumpet on the plane either, but that doesn’t mean you can. Airlines get to make rules governing behavior on the plane and especially during the flight. This is just normal. You can’t go to a restaurant and take all your clothes off. You can’t go to a bar and throw tomatoes at everyone. You can’t go to a bookshop and sing the Marseillaise over and over. There’s an infinite number of things you can’t do in public spaces that are not against the law but are in violation of the rules that protect everyone else’s comfort, safety, ability to enjoy the public space in question, and so on.

While there is no federal law mandating masks on US flights, all major US airlines have been enforcing face covering rules for passengers and crew since mid-May.

And they get to do that. An airplane is not your living room.

Horrible & politically charged

Jun 18th, 2020 11:06 am | By

Trump is livid, LIVID, about all these crazy political Supreme Court justices. How can they be so political?! It’s an outrage!

There is already a conservative (or right-wing) majority on the court. Roberts voted with the liberals on the DACA ruling, and Trump clearly thinks that’s an outrage. It’s hilarious that he complains about “politically charged decisions” though (or that Scavino translates whatever scream of rage he uttered into that phrase), given how adamantly political his choices and the confirmation process have been.

Naturally several million people have tweeted the obvious reply.

He paused for an hour to breathe and then returned to the fray.

He’s already got his conservative majority.

Is he planning to kill one of the current justices?