Notes and Comment Blog

Trump tosses a match onto the gasoline

Aug 17th, 2019 10:14 am | By

On today’s social calendar: a likely clash between Proud Boys and Antifa in Portland:

Portland is preparing for a large far-right rally on Saturday that may be the largest in a series of demonstrations that have descended on the city in the Trump era.

Police in the Oregon city are fearful of an outbreak of violence at the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally, which is targeted at Portland’s antifascist groups, who in recent years have clashed with rightwing activists in running street battles.

The protest has been promoted primarily by Floridian Joe Biggs, a member of the rightwing Proud Boys organization. Biggs is a combat veteran and a former employee of the conspiracy broadcaster Alex Jones’s Infowars network. He claims that up to 1,000 people from around the country will attend Saturday’s unpermitted event on the city’s waterfront.

In promoting the rally on social media, Biggs has brandished a Trump-themed baseball bat, appeared in videos wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Training to Throw Communists Out of Helicopters” – a reference to the Chilean Pinochet regime’s methods for executing dissidents – and has taunted antifascists, saying “You’re not gonna feel safe when you go out in public” and “I’m gonna stomp your ass into the ground, Antifa”.

Other rightwing groups have also said they are attending, or have been mentioned by Biggs and others, including “patriot movement” groups like the Three Percenters and the Oathkeepers, who often openly carry firearms at public events, and American Guard, who the Anti-Defamation League describe as “hardcore white supremacists”.

The rally has also been heavily promoted in conservative media outlets along with its underlying message – the claim that anti-fascist groups, known as “antifa”, are domestic terrorists.

So what does Trump do? He sends a tweet from Bedminster:

Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!

In other words he aligns himself with fascist groups gathering to set off violence. Is that sinister enough yet?

Round 2

Aug 17th, 2019 9:50 am | By

Trump and his enforcers continue his project to belittle the press.

The Trump administration has fired another shot in its war with the US press, suspending the credentials of Brian Karem, White House correspondent for Playboy and an analyst for CNN.

The 30-day revocation was announced on Friday and echoes hugely controversial action taken against CNN’s Jim Acosta in November 2018.

For Trump and gang it doesn’t really matter whether the revocation sticks or not, the point is to perform hatred of the press for the adoring crowds.

Karem had his pass suspended after an altercation with Breitbart reporter and former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka in the White House Rose Garden in July, around a “social media summit” convened by Trump and attended by some of his most ardent supporters. Both men attracted criticism for their behaviour.

If you’re masochistic enough you can watch the “altercation” here:

The Guardian continues:

In a letter to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, Karem’s attorney Ted Boutrous, who also represented Acosta, described the decision as “arbitrary and unfair” and claimed the White House had not spoken to a single witness seen on video “taunting and/or threatening Mr Karem”.

Boutrous argued that the White House’s decision “violates the first amendment and due process and is yet another example of this administration’s unconstitutional campaign to punish reporters and press coverage that president Trump doesn’t like”.

He added: “The president and his administration are fostering an atmosphere of hostility and violence towards journalists that cannot be tolerated and they are illegally using the credential process to stifle freedom of the press and to disrupt the flow of vital information to the American people.”

The press, immigrants, brown people, Hispanics, women, lefties, refugees, asylum seekers – Trump is fostering an atmosphere of hostility and violence toward all of them. It’s what he does.

No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance

Aug 17th, 2019 8:38 am | By

Another event Trump did, this one at a Shell plant in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, was a kind of Stakhanovite exercise.

The choice for thousands of union workers at Royal Dutch Shell’s petrochemical plant in Beaver County was clear Tuesday: Either stand in a giant hall waiting for President Donald Trump to speak or take the day off with no pay.

“Your attendance is not mandatory,” said the rules that one contractor relayed to employees, summarizing points from a memo that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those who showed up at 7 a.m., scanned their ID cards, and prepared to stand for hours — through lunch but without lunch — would be paid.

Like a normal work day but the work is standing to wait for Trump and then listening to Trump as opposed to actual work. It may be a nice break from work, I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem all that appropriate for a president to force himself on people that way. It doesn’t seem right for a president to do “attendance is mandatory if you want to get paid” events. Too much like Waiting For Stalin.

And it’s all the more so given that they were given strict instructions on how to behave.

The contractor’s talking points, preparing his workers for the event read:

“No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event. An underlying theme of the event is to promote good will from the unions. Your building trades leaders and jobs stewards have agreed to this.”

Hmm. They had to go or forfeit a day’s pay, and they had to act as if they liked it. No, I don’t think a president should be doing that.

Leading by example

Aug 17th, 2019 8:16 am | By

Trump at his New Hampshire rally Thursday night was either worse than ever or every bit as bad as he’s always been.

His speech was at times a greatest hits album of favorite lines, replaying the 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton and bashing the news media, Democrats and America’s allies in Europe. Typically rambling, veering on and off script seemingly at random over an hour and a half, he repeated points he had already made earlier in the evening as if he did not remember already making them.

So pretty typical then.

His talk was also marked by repeated inconsistencies. The same president who last year said trade wars were “easy to win” told his supporters that “I never said China was going to be easy.” The same president who compared America’s intelligence agencies to “Nazi Germany” when he took office complained that Democrats “use the term Nazi” to attack their opponents.

At one point, when a protester disrupted the speech and was escorted out of the arena, Mr. Trump belittled the man’s physical appearance. “That guy has a serious weight problem,” he said. “Go home, start exercising!” Then he shifted back to his prepared text to say that his campaign was about “love.”

Also typical. He berates and abuses people for doing things he does far more often and far more intensely himself. That’s the one way he can be made to serve a purpose of sorts: as a vivid example of what not to be and do and say and think. From here on out “don’t be like trump” can be a useful quick summary of how to be in the world.

Nailed to the door

Aug 16th, 2019 5:32 pm | By

Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter seven hours ago:

This is what the women attending our support group for women who have been raped or battered found when they arrived at the location of their last session. Shame on the misogynist bullies who did it.

No photo description available.

It’s a dead rat.


Aug 16th, 2019 5:20 pm | By

I posted about Antonio Basco Wednesday so here’s the latest.

At first, it seemed like Margie Reckard’s funeral would be a small affair.

The 63-year-old, who was killed when a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart this month, left behind few relatives, and none live in El Paso. Her husband, Antonio Basco, had no other family and invited anyone to show up.

Elodia Perches, co-owner of La Paz Faith–Perches Funeral Home, said the funeral home has received more than 400 flower arrangements so far.

One local florist said her business delivered more than 50 arrangements, with orders coming in from New York and Michigan. One of those arrangements came from the family of a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting.

“I’ve been in business over 30 years,” Sandy Blanco, owner of Debbie’s Bloomers, told CNN. “I’ve never seen any outpouring so beautiful, and an outpouring as large as this.”

Basco has Parkinson’s.

All reasonable offers considered

Aug 16th, 2019 2:53 pm | By

The Borowitz Report:

After rebuffing Donald J. Trump’s hypothetical proposal to purchase Greenland, the government of Denmark has announced that it would be interested in buying the United States instead.

I say we take the offer.

“Denmark would be interested in purchasing the United States in its entirety, with the exception of its government,” the spokesperson added.

But but but we have checks and balances.

If Denmark’s bid for the United States is accepted, the Scandinavian nation has ambitious plans for its new acquisition. “We believe that by giving the U.S. an educational system and national health care, it could be transformed from a vast land mass into a great nation,” the spokesperson said.

The only condition is that Trump has to move his ass to another country.

Seriously, let’s close the deal.

Community relations

Aug 16th, 2019 11:48 am | By

Incident in Trump’s USofA:

The wife of an Arkansas jail administrator was arrested and charged with assault several days after police say she pulled a gun on four black teenagers who were going door to door to raise money for their high school football team.

Police in the eastern Arkansas city of Wynne, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock, said the incident happened Aug. 7. Police responding to reports of “suspicious persons” found the four children on the ground, with Jerri Kelly, who is white, standing over them holding a gun, Memphis TV station WMC reported.

The officer let the children stand up, and they told him they had been selling discount cards to raise money for a school athletic program. The Wynne School District said two of the four children were wearing football jerseys.

Kelly was charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and endangering the welfare of a minor. Her husband is a jail administrator.

Bill Winkler, who said he has lived in the neighborhood where the incident took place for four decades, said children are typically out this time of year selling discount cards for the football team.

“Usually it’s right before football season, late summer or early fall,” Winkler said.

Wynne School District Superintendent Carl Easley said the district is considering stopping door-to-door fundraisers.

It’s not worth being shot.

Guest post: Are you sure you think it’s fabulous?

Aug 16th, 2019 11:27 am | By

Originally a comment by Artymorty on As if women are completely invisible.

I wish more people in the press would stop framing these laws as adding to the rights of trans males, and instead talk about what they really are: laws that take the right away from women to decide for themselves when and how much they’re willing to accommodate trans-identified males in their spaces. The trans lobby pushes the idea that all trans-identified males are genuinely as harmless as women — analogous to gentle, effeminate homosexuals. (I’m picturing that naive cosmologist from yesterday and her “keep being fabulous!” comment and how inappropriate it is to apply the word “fabulous” to the likes of Karen White or Jonathan Yaniv — men who couldn’t possibly be further from the fun-loving “fabulous” purse-collecting, sassy-heels-strutting pseudo-gay stereotype she seems to imagine all transwomen are.) I wish I could talk to people like that cosmologist face-to-face and show them that the majority of trans-identified males maintain behavioural characteristics in line with other males: a higher propensity for violence; a sense of entitlement; etc, etc. I wish I could remind her that in a social context, she already has the right to welcome trans-identified males into her social circles and affirm them as women as she sees fit, and that she should also have the right to not welcome certain trans-identified males if she perceives them as a possible threat, if they make her uncomfortable, or for any other reason.

My favourite example of male-pattern trans behaviour is from last fall: the WSJ undertook a massive exit poll during the US mid-term elections in order to better understand who the hell is still supporting Trump two years into his term. Unsurprisingly, lesbians and gays voted overwhelmingly Democratic. But people who identified as “trans” were far more likely to vote Republican: possibly as many as 40% did, given the margin of error. That’s pretty much in line with non-trans males when you consider that the poll didn’t distinguish between male and female trans-identifiers, and that the female ones are erstwhile-lesbians and thus very unlikely to vote Republican.

I’d like to ask that cosmologist: are you sure you think it’s “fabulous” to legally force women to accommodate everyone in a cohort of middle-aged straight males who tend to be sexually attracted to women, tend to support Donald Trump, are just as likely to commit assault as their non-dress-wearing male counterparts, have no concept of patriarchy and couldn’t care less about feminism?

But we need the ice

Aug 16th, 2019 11:08 am | By

Greenland to Donnie Two-Scoops:


Greenland on Friday dismissed the notion that it might be up for sale after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had privately discussed with his advisers the idea of buying the world’s biggest island.

“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters.

“If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad,” foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People’s Party, Soren Espersen, told broadcaster DR.

“The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous,” he said.

This is Trump we’re talking about. He thinks everything is for sale.

“I am sure a majority in Greenland believes it is better to have a relation to Denmark than the United States, in the long term,” Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Danish MP from Greenland’s second-largest party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), told Reuters.

“My immediate thought is ‘No, thank you’,” she said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod were not available for comment but officials said they would respond later on Friday. The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen was also not immediately available for comment.

“Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland, has been there nine times to every corner and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe,” former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, said in on Twitter.

Noooo, Trump is paying Greenland a compliment! Greenland is so gorgeous he wants to buy it, the way he bought the Miss Universe cattle market pageant.

Greenland is gaining attention from global super powers including China, Russia and the United States due to its strategic location and its mineral resources.

In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia was behaving aggressively in the Arctic and China’s actions there had to be watched closely as well.

Our behavior on the other hand is always irreproachable, because we have no theory of mind and thus no ability to see ourselves as others see us.

Those words are not in his vocabulary

Aug 16th, 2019 10:53 am | By

Oh no, are we seeing the death of tough-guy masculinity? It seems that Trump apologized to someone for something.

President Trump called and left a voicemail apologizing to the man he mocked as overweight, a White House official says. He confused him for a protester last night in New Hampshire. “That guy’s got a serious weight problem,” Trump said. “Go home. Start exercising.”

Maybe technically that doesn’t really count as an apology, because it’s not “sorry I did the thing”but “sorry I did the thing to you, I thought you were one of the Evil People who dare to protest my rallies.”

Maybe it counts and maybe it doesn’t, but either way it’s grotesque. I suppose he raised his kids that way – “Don’t punch Bobby, he’s your friend and he’s rich; punch Sally, she’s not your friend and she’s not rich and she’s a girl.”

But wait. False alarm. The White House says he did not either you big liars.

Correction: Trump did not apologize, a White House official tells me. He phoned the supporter, left him a message thanking him for his support, but did not use the words “sorry” or “apologize.”

Tough guy masculinity is alive and well.

As if women are completely invisible

Aug 16th, 2019 8:08 am | By

Holly Lawford-Smith on bad news out of Australia:

I know the sex self-id bill was expected to pass, but I’m still kind of in shock that it did, 56 v. 27 at Lower House yesterday. It’s just surreal, that Labour & the Greens are supposed to be progressive parties (whose members would probably call themselves feminists), and yet they’re pushing through legislation that replaces sex (an objective characteristic that affects how people are treated) with gender identity (a subjective characteristic that may play no role at all in how you are treated). Women in Australia still face a range of serious issues, including but not limited to pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination, insufficient research into female-specific medical problems, subjection to domestic violence, subjection to rape, sexual assault, & harassment, underrepresentation in politics.

These parties have been acting like women are completely invisible. They never talk about what this legal change means for women, unless it’s to dismiss (always without evidence) the idea that there is any risk to women or women’s spaces. They talk incessantly about how important it is for trans people to have their “identities affirmed” on legal documents. What is identity affirmation worth, though, if you put it on the scales against all the interests that are protected by an accurate category of sex in law? (Including those interests women have in single-sex spaces). It makes me feel sick to think that it’ll take a range of horrible incidents like have happened in the UK, Canada, and US to show just how bad sex self-identification really is as a policy. Why should women have to lose their businesses (Canada), have to go through human rights proceedings (Canada), be assaulted in female bathrooms (Scotland), be re-traumatised in women’s shelters (Canada), be assaulted in women’s prisons or be re-traumatised by having to share intimate spaces in women’s prisons (UK), lose places in non-competitive sporting competitions (US, New Zealand)? And what about all the other ways in which women will start to self-exclude, from women’s gyms, or women’s groups, as male-bodied people start to self-include?

I’m just lost for words. Judith Butler wrote a stupid book, some academic disciplines liked the stupid book a bit too much, and now somehow here we are, with the completely mental idea that your sex is a matter of your beliefs rather than your body and your biology, making its way into state law and stamping out sex-based protections. I am furious.

For years, decades, centuries women have been struggling to get men to stop speaking over us, and now we’re expected to stop that struggle if the man says he’s a woman. Now we’re expected to share even our feminism with men. We’re expected to go back to having men speaking over us, but now they’re doing it in the guise of actually being women, when they’re not. We can’t even have our own fucking sex, even while we continue to be domineered over and silenced because of it.

It’s yuuuge

Aug 15th, 2019 5:44 pm | By

Buy Greenland jokes:

David Frum:

Buy Greenland. Tow it into the Gulf of Mexico. Airflow over melting ice cools Texas and Florida. Global warming problem solved!

Yoni Appelbaum:

Honored sirs, I am PRINCE KIELSEN and I am contacting you with exciting opportunity. I recently inherited an island but need a small amount of cash. Send a money order for $600,000,000 to my account and I will give you “Greenland.”

John Noonan:

All I’m saying is why settle for Greenland when Canada is right there for the taking

Robby Soave:

Uh, we should definitely buy Greenland. Have any of you looked at a map? It’s like, gigantic. It’s bigger than freaking Africa.


Make Greenland white again

Aug 15th, 2019 4:30 pm | By

Donnie Two-Scoops wants to buy Greenland.

In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.

I can see it now – casinos, golf courses, condo towers with DONALD TRUMP in letters 60 feet high, shooting ranges stocked with the last remaining elephants and lions, McDonalds and Burger King on every corner, only white people allowed.

“People who are denying my humanity”

Aug 15th, 2019 4:03 pm | By

Patrick Strudwick at BuzzFeed reports that two trans people have quit The Guardian because they consider it “transphobic.”

A transgender employee of the Guardian — which once called itself the “world’s leading liberal voice” — has resigned, accusing the newspaper in an email to staff of being “an incredibly transphobic organisation”.

In a cutting resignation letter sent last month, the employee said the paper “fundamentally not only stands against my own values but also against what I am”. A second trans staff member resigned weeks later, also citing the “harm” they say the newspaper is doing to trans people.

Following the leak of the email to BuzzFeed News, the trans employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she felt complicit in the newspaper’s “transphobic” reporting by continuing to work there, and revealed the damaging effect the Guardian’s coverage of transgender people has had on her well-being. This included fear of using the women’s toilet at work.

Such editorial lines, she said, are a “blind spot” for the largely progressive publication, which last month published a long read criticising other news outlets for their stigmatizing coverage of refugees, another marginalised group.

Ding! Note the comparison. On the one hand refugees, on the other hand two former Guardian employees who are uncomfortable with their birth sex.

For Victoria, the turning point came in October 2018, when the Guardian published what became a notorious editorial. In the leader article, the paper set out its official position on trans rights — which, it said, “collide” with women’s rights and put women at risk. This was despite LGBT organisations and many prominent feminists and women’s groups asserting the opposite.

But Victoria’s immediate concern was that she had to go to work the next day, knowing what her employer’s publicly stated position was on her. “It suddenly became real,” she said before characterising her thought process that morning: “I’m entering this building with people who are denying my humanity.”

Ding! No. They were not denying the employee’s humanity, they were taking a position on whether or not men can become women that the employee disliked. The two are not the same and they’re not comparable.

She raised concerns about the editorial with her line manager, who promised to take it further, but, Victoria said, “I never heard anything more from it.” The daily morning conference would also have provided an opportunity to respond to the editorial, but Victoria feared a hostile reception. “I thought, I’m not walking in that room, me, alone, against this bunch of people to discuss this. I think they understand perfectly what they are doing. There’s power in that room and power differences — we are not all equals.”

He’s a man though. Let’s not forget that part. The constant use of “she” and “Victoria” conditions us to think of him as a woman, but literally speaking he’s a man. He has much less reason to be physically afraid of walking into that room than a woman does. That doesn’t meant a hostile reception wouldn’t be very unpleasant, but since he’s talking about power differences, if there were women in that room then that’s another power difference, one that puts him on the more power side, not the less one. I think this kind of “poor fragile vulnerable me” rhetoric coming from people with male bodies is a form of appropriation.

The effects for her personally have been far-reaching. “I have lost some trans friends over this, from working with the ‘enemy’,” she said. “The worst part is that whether I like it or not, I have internalised parts of this.” It has contributed, she said, to her self-loathing because of “working in an environment where this [anti-trans] culture is not contested in any way.”

Instead, she said, the reporting is not balanced or objective. “Cherry-picking” of stories is done in such a way as to further stigmatise trans people: If a trans person does something wrong, it is seized upon, just as tabloids pounce on the tiny minority of asylum-seekers who transgress.

Ding! There it is again. “Victoria” is not vulnerable in the way asylum seekers are. That too is appropriation.

In July, a front-page story in the Observer, the Guardian’s sister title, ignited fury from some staff because of its accompanying tweet, “Young people not getting objective advice because of trans lobby pressure,” and the unchallenged views of a sole “expert” who opined that children were being fast-tracked into transition because mental health professionals were scared of being called transphobic.

Because…there’s no such thing as trans-lobby pressure? Come on.

Shortsighted and deeply flawed

Aug 15th, 2019 12:03 pm | By

The Guardian has more details:

Omar and Tlaib were planning to see the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah and to spend time in the disputed city of Jerusalem. They would have had to pass through Israeli security checks to enter both the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Former Israeli diplomats also spoke out against the ban, arguing that the country should instead attempt to show Israeli perspectives during the women’s trip.

Alon Pinkas, formerly Israel’s consul in New York, said the country should “engage Omar and Tlaib, [and] show them where they are wrong or have a partial and skewed perception of reality.”

It could have been a chance to show Omar and Tlaib the point of view of Israelis up close and personal.

Trump, a close ally of Netanyahu, has sought to make political support for the Jewish state – long a consensus foreign policy for both major US parties – into a partisan issue, painting Democrats as anti-Israel. He has claimed, without evidence, that Omar and Tlaib “hate Israel, they hate our own country.”

David Brinn, the managing editor of the rightwing Jerusalem Post, wrote that a ban would be “shortsighted and deeply flawed”. He wrote: “A quashed trip is only going to further deepen the divide between Democrats and Israel – moving moderate Democrats away from a positive view of the country – and raise the spectre that Israel is behaving in something less than a democratic fashion.”

Not really a spectre now, is it.

Trump’s puppet

Aug 15th, 2019 11:54 am | By

Barak Ravid:

I want to tell you a secret: A month ago when Netanyahu decided to allow Omar and Tlaib into the country they alreadty supported BDS and he knew it back then. There is only one reason for Netanyahu’s backtracking today – the pressure from Donald Trump

Jennifer Rubin:

The ban is a stunning, unprecedented step, one that signals Israel, long a bastion of democracy in the Middle East, cannot tolerate criticism. For Netanyahu it sends message that he is Trump’s puppet, willing to damage the long-term relationship with US

Michael McFaul:

Prime Minister Netanyahu respected the independence of our legislative branch when he accepted the invitation of the U.S. Congress to speak even though the executive branch was not enthusiastic about that address.

CNN Politics:

NEW: Prominent pro-Israel group AIPAC splits with Trump and Netanyahu, backs visit by Omar and Tlaib to Israel.

When even AIPAC doesn’t agree…

The illusion of liberty and autonomy

Aug 15th, 2019 11:17 am | By

My friend @marstrina sums it up nicely:

At the end of the day I think the fundamental philosophical difference at stake in this contestation is about social embeddedness: does our image of ourselves require external referents & feedback, or is it self-generated and unique?

The attraction of the latter view is the illusion of liberty and autonomy it offers. But a world populated entirely by self-contained individuals whose innermost selves are neither accessible to nor influenced by anyone else is a zombie dystopia, if you stop and think about it.

That whole idea that we can transcend social embeddedness to be self-generated and unique and oh so special makes my skin crawl. It’s Trumpism, basically. It’s egotism, it’s grandiosity, it’s delusional self-adoration.

Absolute liberty and autonomy are indeed an illusion, and one that people are supposed to grow out of as their prefrontal cortex matures.

Updating to add:

Great weakness

Aug 15th, 2019 10:31 am | By

Meanwhile Israel – or Netanyahu – has joined Trump in demonizing Tlaib and Omar.

Israel announced Thursday it was barring the entry of two US congresswomen after Donald Trump encouraged the move, a remarkable step both by the US President and his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to punish political opponents.

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely told CNN on Thursday of Israel’s decision to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country. The announcement came shortly after Trump said Israel would be showing “great weakness” by allowing them to enter the country.

Ah, so this must be more of that tough-guy masculinity we’re told Trump represents.

Trump has criticized the two lawmakers — who are the first two Muslim women elected to Congress — in harsh and sometimes racist terms. But his move to call for their ban in Israel reflects a new chapter in his grudge and a further erosion of presidential norms, which in the past sought to avoid instilling partisanship in foreign affairs.

Trump tweeted three hours ago:

It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!

That’s a horrific thing to say, especially the “all Jewish people” bit.

Back to CNN:

Israel passed a law in March 2017 which allows the country to bar entry to anyone who supports the BDS movement. The controversial law, passed by Israel’s right-wing and centrist parties, was roundly criticized by human rights organizations. If used to deny entry to Tlaib and Omar, it would be by far the most high-profile implementation of the law.

Just another day in Trump World.

H/t What a Maroon

Grab-bag of enemies

Aug 15th, 2019 9:56 am | By

Yesterday it was neo-Nazis in Seattle:

Neo-Nazis affiliated with the anti-Semitic Daily Stormer Book Club plastered racist fliers on three Seattle synagogues.

The fliers were posted over the weekend by a masked man and featured an illustration of Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts biting an arm marked America, according to

The flier read “Send them back” and “deport the commie brown infestation.” The first phrase echoes recent language from President Donald Trump, who called on the freshman lawmakers, known as “The Squad,” to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”

I think the neo-Nazis are confused. What do synagogues have to do with Tlaib, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley? Two are Muslim and none are Jewish.

David Goldstein tweeted:

Yesterday, the 3 synagogues in my Southeast Seattle neighborhood were plastered with racist, Trumpist, anti-Semitic flyers touting the Nazi website, Daily Stormer. Actual Nazis are promoting themselves using Trump’s own language. But, you know, both sides!


I’m not really seeing the anti-Semitism though, aside from the vandalism of posting them on synagogues. But that’s probably too literal – I’m sure the Stormers don’t trouble themselves over nice distinctions of that kind. Thurr all commie brown MusloJews from Mexico, right?