Jul 12th, 2020 3:23 pm | By

Now there’s a profound question.

Will Boystown become Queerville, Legacy Street, New Town or Spectrumville?


But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Boystown? What the hell is that? I thought it was some corny movie about Catholic priests with a deep interest in boys.

Under pressure from a Change.org petition that complains about the gendered nature of the name Boystown, particularly in the context of local incidents of sexism, racism and transphobia, business leaders in Chicago’s most prominent LGBTQ neighborhood have begun the process of considering a name change.

Oh, that’s what it is. Seems confused. Why Boystown if it’s for L as well as G?

More than 900 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on the Northalsted Business Alliance to stop marketing the neighborhood as Boystown. Introduced two weeks ago, the petition says that “systemic transphobia, racism, and sexism have plagued our neighborhood for decades, and it begins at the top, with the all-male board of the Northalsted Business Alliance. It begins with the BOYSTOWN signs down our street announcing that this neighborhood is ‘for the boys.’”

Why does the petition put “transphobia” first? Why is everyone so confused?

Anyway, I think they should change the name to Spectrum Regis.

Cunning plan

Jul 12th, 2020 3:04 pm | By

Breathtaking. (Literally. I don’t think I’m the only one who finds herself holding her breath for several seconds when reading an exceptionally foul news item.)

The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings of the U.S. coronavirus response.

As a pandemic soars out of control thanks to the malevolent incompetence of the people in the aforementioned White House.

In a remarkable broadside by the Trump administration against one of its own, a White House official said Sunday that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.” The official gave NBC News a list of nearly a dozen past comments by Fauci that the official said had ultimately proven erroneous.

Lots of things “ultimately prove erroneous,” dumbfuck, because circumstances change and knowledge is cumulative. Nobody knew everything there was to know about the virus on January 1 or March 1, and nobody does now, either, but Fauci at least tried to get it right. Trump and his goons just make shit up.

It was a move more characteristic of a political campaign furtively disseminating opposition research about an opponent than of a White House struggling to contain a pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 people, according to an NBC News tally.

Naturally, because the White House isn’t struggling to do that, it’s struggling to convince us that Donald Trump isn’t a pool of toxic sludge in an ugly suit who will kill us all.

In recent days, Fauci has deviated from Trump by disputing that the U.S. is “doing great” and by faulting the decision in some states to reopen too quickly and to sidestep the task force’s suggested criteria for when it’s safe to loosen restrictions. In a particularly alarming prediction, Fauci said he wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. [were] soon adding 100,000 new cases a day — a figure that would reflect an abject failure to slow the spread.

Fauci, who has served in the federal government for decades, can’t be directly fired by the president, and there were no signs that Trump was seeking to get rid of him altogether. Rather, the White House salvo appeared aimed at undermining the public’s trust in the renowned immunologist in hope that Americans will be more inclined to believe Trump’s far more optimistic version of events as the November election marches closer.

And thus go back to normal life and thus increase the spread of the virus so that hundreds of thousands more of us will die so that Trump can get re-elected to slaughter even more of us.

Updating to add:

And climbing

Jul 12th, 2020 11:59 am | By

Florida is breaking records.

The grim news from Florida continues: The state reported 15,000 new cases on Sunday. That breaks not only the record for a state in the US in a single day but is also more new cases than any European country has reported in a single day during the pandemic. Only the US, Brazil and India have reported more new cases in a day than Florida did on Sunday.


Florida’s population is 21.5 million. Germany’s is 83 million.

Hospitals are under strain in Florida as the virus surges, and the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has refused to introduce a statewide mandate requiring people to wear masks in public. He has also pushed for schools to reopen.

Fewer but better Floridians?

The Republican National Convention, where Donald Trump will be confirmed as the party’s candidate for president, is due to take place in Jacksonville, Florida, in late August.

Should be fine.

Where there are little flare-ups

Jul 12th, 2020 10:16 am | By
Where there are little flare-ups

The campaign to get us all killed continues.

She’s right that being kept out of school is itself a health risk for children, especially children with fewer resources. But that’s pretty much all she’s right about.

“Where there are little flare-ups or hotspots, that can be dealt with on a school-by-school or a case-by-case basis,” she said, without providing any recommendations for what schools should do if outbreaks occur.

But there aren’t “little flare-ups”; there are whole states whose rates of infection are skyrocketing, and whose hospitals have zero beds and zero medical staff available. We are in deep shit, and the first necessity is to stop spreading the god damn virus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Bash later in the program that CDC guidelines should be a requirement and called DeVos’ comments on schools being safe for students a “malfeasance and dereliction of duty.”

“This is appalling,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat. “The President and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school. Teachers do, parents do and children do. But they must go back safely.”

See this? From the CDC:

Wrong direction.

And the more it does that the more it will do that, because it’s putting more and more virus into circulation. That’s not what we want to be doing.

Too many jesting Pilates

Jul 12th, 2020 9:41 am | By

Matt Lodder, who just had to apologize for tweeting damaging lies about Maya Forstater, is an academic. It’s my impression that academia has strong norms against lying – that, like the legal profession, it has powerful vocational reasons for valuing truth and truth-telling and disfavoring lies and slander.

Caroline Dodds Pennock is also an academic – a historian.

That was about eight hours ago, before Matt Lodder admitted he’d told lies about Maya. But this is after he admitted it:

So what I wonder is why does she think that? Why does she think it’s PERFECT to express solidarity with a male colleague who told damaging lies about a woman? When people ask her that, why does she reply with stupid gifs?

What is wrong with everyone?

Hipster dudes are the worst

Jul 12th, 2020 9:25 am | By

Dude tells lies, bad lies, about a woman. Dude is firmly informed the lies are lies, and bad lies at that. Dude gives the most minimal grudging apology possible.


He casually announced, on Twitter, that Maya harassed and bullied people. It’s a lie. He learned that it’s a lie. He said he apologizes for “any distress [he] caused her.”

What does he mean “any”? Why does he limit it to “distress”?

This academic dude announced publicly that a woman harassed and bullied people which is not true, and instead of apologizing for publishing damaging lies about a woman he simply apologizes for potential bad feefees that may have resulted. It’s basically “I’m sorry you’re so upset that I ran over your child. Bitch.”

The thought-terminating lie

Jul 11th, 2020 4:59 pm | By

The thought-terminating cliché strikes again.

Except that she’s not “challenging the humanity of trans people.” Not even close.

Disputing some of the truth claims made by some trans ideologues is not challenging the humanity of trans people. Rowling is not challenging any claims of the type “trans people are human” or “trans people are human and deserve human rights” or “trans people are human and should not be persecuted.” Not even close, not even slightly.

Fight fair for a change.

Guest post: They could have come as liberators

Jul 11th, 2020 4:39 pm | By

Originally a comment by Tim Harris on It’s almost as if there’s a pattern.

I do not think it was ‘vast swathes’ of Japanese intellectuals who suppressed or discounted the Nanking Massacre. Certainly a number of nationalists, many of whom could barely be called ‘intellectuals’, did (and do). Modern Japan had the misfortune to be re-born as a modern nation at the height of Western imperialism and racism, and was one of the only Asian nations never to be made a colony. In 1919, Japan proposed a ‘racial equality’ clause to be included in the Treaty of Versailles. This was turned down by Anglo-Saxondom – the British because of the Empire, the Australians because of the ‘White Australia’ policy, and the USA for obvious reasons (which included of course Woodrow Wilson’s appallingly racist beliefs). The Japanese certainly perpetrated terrible atrocities before and during the Second World War, particularly in China, and behaved badly wherever they went – a great mistake & misfortune, I think, for they came as new masters when they could have come as liberators: but one of the consequences of Japan’s invasions was the collapse, in Asia and subsequently elsewhere, of Western colonialism, whose own atrocities, which continued well after the Second War when they sought to recover their colonies, the ‘civilising’ Westerners chose, and choose, to forget – the Vietnam War, as well as the massacres throughout Indonesia in the sixties, aided & abetted by the USA, Australia & the UK, constituting an important part of the aftermath of colonialism. In March of this year, the Dutch finally apologised for massacres of Indonesians in 1947 when they were trying to claw back their colonies, and paid reparations to families whose ancestors has been murdered by Dutch troops.

There is a great deal of bad faith in the continued Western criticism of Japan’s behaviour, and it derives from the fact that the Japanese were the first to defeat a white Western nation decisively (the Russo-Japanese war), and then defeated, tellingly though temporarily, various Western nations in colonial Asia.

Regarding history textbooks, etc, I suspect you will find little in British textbooks about British behaviour in Kenya during the Mau-Mau uprising – in 2011 the Foreign Office agreed to release a great number of carefully and illegally hidden documents concerning torture and massacre in the attempt to put down the uprising, and in mid 2013 the government agreed to pay £19.9 million in compensation to over 5,000 claimants who had suffered abuse during the Mau Mau Rebellion. Until 2015, British tax-payers were still paying off government debts incurred as a result of ‘reparations’ made to British slave-owners after the abolition of slavery – there had been of course no reparations made to the slaves themselves.

Not allowed to sit at the lunch table

Jul 11th, 2020 4:01 pm | By

Also Trump is playing the “not you” game with Fauci.

… as the Trump administration has strayed from the advice of many of its scientists and public health experts, the White House has moved to sideline Fauci, scuttled some of his planned TV appearances and largely kept him out of the Oval Office for more than a month even as coronavirus infections surge in large swaths of the country.

Because Trump’s personal grudges are way more important than the survival of hundreds of thousands of people.

During a Fox News interview Thursday with Sean Hannity, Trump said Fauci “is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes.” And when Greta Van Susteren asked him last week about Fauci’s assessment that the country was not in a good place, Trump said flatly: “I disagree with him.”

Trump of course knows nothing about it, and he’s the one who’s made a lot of mistakes, not Fauci.

A White House official released a statement saying that, “Several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things,” and attaching a lengthy list of the scientist’s comments from early in the outbreak.

Yes that’s what we need from the White House now, official statements of Trump’s whiny envious grudges.

White House communications officials, who must approve television appearances related to the coronavirus, responded by allowing Fauci spots this week on PBS NewsHour, a CNN town hall with Sanjay Gupta and NBC’s “Meet the Press” during the prime Sunday morning slot, according to one person familiar with the situation.

Three opportunities to inform a mass audience about the best current advice and knowledge. But no.

Then Fauci joined a Facebook Live event on Tuesday with Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), disputing Trump’s assertions that a lower death rate showed the country’s progress against the pandemic. Fauci called it “a false narrative” and warned, “Don’t get yourself into false complacency.”

Fauci did not end up making any of the scheduled appearances. The White House canceled them after his Tuesday remarks, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relate behind-the-scenes conversations.

The White House canceled communication of health advice during a pandemic because Disgusting Don wanted to punish Fauci for being smarter than he is.

Fauci has argued that parts of the country experiencing surges should shut down, “but there is no buy-in for that,” said an official with direct knowledge of the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Four months ahead of Election Day, Trump wants to “reopen and move on,” said another senior administration official…

Well we can’t “move on” – the virus isn’t “moving on.” What they mean is Trump wants to reopen and shrug his shoulders at the millions of deaths that will result.

Trump is also galled by Fauci’s approval ratings. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed that 67 percent of voters trusted Fauci for information on the coronavirus, compared with 26 percent who trusted Trump.

Well I suppose they could replace Fauci with Bozo the Clown, or a dog, or a gallon of cider. They wouldn’t get higher ratings than Trump.

A friend says Fauci is unhappy about the whole situation.

“What he cares most about is not his influence, but what’s happening — that things are going so badly and it’s going to cause so much disease and death,” Barr added.

Trump is unhappy about ratings and being disagreed with. Fauci is unhappy about disease and death.

People who are close to Fauci say the public undermining of scientists and public health experts has frustrated and saddened him because it adds to the chaos the country is already experiencing from the pandemic.

And for no good reason. It’s just bad people doing bad things for bad reasons.

Among those crusading against Fauci internally is Peter Navarro, the president’s trade adviser, who has clashed with Fauci over his opposition to adopting the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, to treat covid-19 before its effectiveness had been proven.

When Trump and Navarro repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for coronavirus, Fauci pushed back both internally and at task force briefings, arguing there was only anecdotal evidence about the drug’s efficacy. The Food and Drug Administration eventually revoked its temporary authorization after evidence showed it was not effective against covid-19 and could be dangerous for some patients.

“Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on,” Navarro said.

Like that. Bad man with bad reasons.

If it makes you feel comfortable

Jul 11th, 2020 3:29 pm | By

Dipshit has allowed himself to be persuaded to wear a mask this one time, but he’s not going to go all politically correct and say they should be worn whenever necessary. Dipshit must get his way! Ok so it costs millions of lives, but Dipshit don’t care.

President Donald Trump — who has stubbornly refused to wear a mask in public, ridiculed those who have and done little to encourage his supporters to embrace the common sense public health measure — has said he will wear a mask during a visit to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday.

He is also expected to be photographed wearing it, a photo opportunity that some of the President’s aides practically begged him to agree to and hope will encourage skeptical Trump supporters to do the same.

Dipshit is very proud of being such a dipshit that people had to beg him to take a simple action to help stem a pandemic. It takes a real dipshit to be proud of that.

“I’m going to Walter Reed to see some of our great soldiers who have been injured. Badly injured. And also see some of our Covid workers, people who have such a great job,” Trump said. “And I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed. You’re in a hospital so I think it’s a very appropriate thing.”

Meaning it’s not appropriate in other crowded places. He’s that stupid.

Trump’s visit to Walter Reed Saturday will come just hours before he rallies his supporters in New Hampshire and advisers hope his decision to wear a mask will encourage rally attendees to do the same.

The Trump campaign is now “strongly encouraging” attendees to wear masks — a notable difference from Trump’s political events over the past several weeks, where mask-wearing was scarce and few steps were taken to encourage it. But the President has resisted suggestions to make mask-wearing mandatory at the rally. Even as he said he would wear a mask Saturday, Trump refuses to wholeheartedly encourage others to wear one.

“It’s fine to wear a mask if it makes you feel comfortable,” he said.

There’s that abject stupidity again. It’s not a matter of feeling comfortable, it’s a matter of not spreading the virus. The virus does not give a damn how you feel.

It’s about trauma and whose rights matter

Jul 11th, 2020 12:22 pm | By

I’m reading some of the comments on Sophie Grace Chappell’s letter to Rowling, and # 7 by Jean (comments don’t have separate links there) is…informative.

I am so exhausted by all this. I’m disappointed that you only engaged with one point of the 5 Rowling made, but OK, I’ll meet you on the ‘bathroom’ issue. It’s extraordinarily disingenuous for you and others to assume that the ‘bathroom’ issue is about ordinary women going about their days. It is not. It’s about trauma and whose rights matter more.

I live on the west coast of Canada, where Trans dreams have largely all come true. And here is what I know:

I used to volunteer extensively at a charity for vulnerable women – indigenous women, sex workers attempting to escape, domestic violence victims, rape victims. Women who are struggling to get survive. Two years ago our main funding body (initials UW) gained a new transwoman board member, and sweeping funding changes were implemented. We were told that unless we offered all our services to natal and transwomen equally, we would be immediately and irrevocably defunded. We pointed out that many of these women were terrified of male-bodied people, and had repeatedly been traumatized by male-bodied people, but there was no sympathy for such an argument. Apparently women who refuse to take part in therapy or other programs with transwomen were ‘transphobic’, and therefore undeserving of any charity or help. We suggested offering similar, parallel services, and were denied. So we acquiesced, and opened our programs to all who wanted them, even transwomen who made no attempt to pass. Our clients dropped out in droves, but not before one was assaulted by one of the new transwomen clients. The organization is now being sued, but I and others have since dropped away. The charity is now a shell of what it once was.

That takes my breath away. We’ve read about it before, but still…I suppose because it comes from a participant (if she’s telling the truth), it horrifies anew.

I have not doubt that you’ll call me a TERF, declare me transphobic if you respond at all. But I am still a woman, not a menstruator or whatever you want to call me. I am not going to go away or be silenced by anyone. Most women I know all believe the same, even if they are too scared to speak out publicly.

Definitely a sign of a progressive movement: people are too scared to tell the truth about it.

Allow me to set you straight, little lady

Jul 11th, 2020 12:12 pm | By

“Sophie Grace” Chappel wrote an open letter to Rowling last month; it was posted at Crooked Timber.

There are several paragraphs about the way Chappel derived understanding of his trans nature from reading fantasy novels including Rowling’s, and an expression of sympathy for Rowling’s experiences of abuse, and then the “but you’re wrong” part.

But I urge you to look a little more closely, and from a different angle, at some of the issues that you’re raising.

First, a quick harrumph of exasperation. You wrote on twitter that “If trans people were suffering discrimination on the basis of being trans then I would march with them”. To be honest, that tweet took my breath away. If we were suffering discrimination?? Trans people are one of the most discriminated-against groups in the world! What have you been reading for three years, if you haven’t noticed that?

Ah but what have you been reading if you take it for granted that that claim is true? We are indeed constantly told that trans people, especially trans women (i.e. men), are the most discriminated-against, but it’s always just telling. It turns out to mean that trans women who are sex workers are subject to a lot of violence.

But let’s let that pass; perhaps it was a Saturday-night lapse. Let’s move on to some points of simple and straightforward agreement. 

And here we are already: the patronizing man bursts out from behind the girly mask. That’s how men talk to women they disagree with, “Sophie-Grace” – it’s a tell.

The climate of hatred does none of us any good. And it is particularly toxic for trans women who, like me, have grown up (at school and elsewhere) in an atmosphere of derision and rejection. I see from what you say that you understand how that kind of hatred can be internalised if you’re exposed to it long enough. When trans-unsympathetic feminists deliberately misgender trans women, or deride our appearance, or tell us “You’re men really”, or stigmatise us as perverts and predators, just the same thing is going on. It’s a raw nerve for us, and angry (and sometimes inexcusably violent) responses are evoked by that kind of hate-speech, because we ourselves have had to battle our way to self-acceptance, in the teeth of our own internalised transphobia.

He has no clue what it’s like to be female, does he. Despite the years of marriage, despite the daughters – still no clue. It’s only his experience that counts.

After that he gets into the shared spaces issue and zzzzzzz and sorry but I skipped ahead to his summing up:

Ms Rowling, it’s certainly not my intention, or the intention of any trans activists whom I personally know, to erode or erase the biological reality of (cis) women’s experience. Certainly not. Natal females start in a different place from trans women, and have a different journey and a different story, and undergo different things both good and bad. All these stories are worthwhile and valuable, and no one should be trying to prevent any of them from being told. Like the rest of the world, I look forward eagerly to seeing which of all these stories, in the future, you yourself choose to tell.

Patronizing git.

You’ll never guess who wrote a broadside

Jul 11th, 2020 11:22 am | By

The headline:

UK’s only trans philosophy professor to JK Rowling: Harry Potter helped me become a woman

So a trans philosophy professor is not a professor and knows nothing of philosophy?

Anyway, tell us a story.

In the autumn of 1969, a five-year-old boy called Timothy Chappell, in his first term at school, had an idea. Could he, he asked his mum, go to class as a girl? “My mother looked at me,” says Timothy – now Sophie-Grace – “and there was both terror and fury in her eyes. And she said to me: why?”

“Sophie-Grace.” Ffs. It’s as bad as “Sophie Labelle” who does that gruesome “Assigned Male” cartoon. Man becomes woman, names self wise-grace. But hey this movement has nothing to do with narcissism, oh hell no.

Chappell says her entire story is contained in that exchange: Timothy’s bemused but certain knowledge that he is in the wrong body; his mum’s understanding about that and her horror about what it could mean; and her anger at the little boy for naming it.

This is a philosophy professor? A philosophy professor thinks a child of five can have certain knowledge? A philosophy professor cites a child of five as evidence that a man really truly is a woman because he was certain of it when he was five?

He “lived as a man” until 2014 – so that’s 50 years of male privilege, however uneasy he felt with it.

“For decades I’d hated myself, hidden who I was. But in the end it simply didn’t work, and the wonderful thing about transitioning was that I was able to finally stand up and say: this is who I truly am.”

The person she said that to most recently, in an open letter, was JK Rowling, who on 7 July signed a letter warning of the dangers of censoriousness and intolerance, after publishing a broadside in June on transgender issues.

Except that it wasn’t a broadside, it was a thoughtful careful article. The language must be carefully shaped to flatter the trans person and denigrate the mere woman. To make sure we don’t get confused, the Guardian includes a photo of Rowling captioned:

The author JK Rowling in June published a broadside on transgender issues. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA


But the bottom line, for Chappell, is this: “I think we can liken it to adoption. Trans women are like adoptive parents, who want to be accepted as being the same as biological parents. And they are accepted as such, despite the differences in how they became parents in the first place; and if society could do the same for trans women, we’d be in a better place.”

Sure, we can liken it to adoption, but the two are not the same, and if society treated it as if it were, we would be in a worse place – we already are in a lot of ways.

Your kind of discovery of your sense of self

Jul 11th, 2020 7:53 am | By

Glamour magazine had a long talk with that most glamour lady of all, Munroe Bergdorf. Glamour asks a profound question:

How have you learnt to become at one with yourself in that sense what have been some turning points in your kind of discovery of your sense of self?

In other words tell us more about your Self, which Bergdorf is only too happy to do.

As a trans person you’re forced to find who you are in a world that really doesn’t have any space for you. You’re forced to exist within the world that constantly wants to tear you down and invalidate your feelings, invalidate your identity, invalidate your contributions, invalidate your possibility of having what we would call a normal life or an authentic life.

Well, no. That turns things inside out. Nobody “forces” trans people to do anything; trans people decide that they are different from everyone else and then complain that nothing fits. It’s a bit like saying you identify as having ten feet and then that it’s unfair for shoe stores to expect you to pay for five pairs of shoes instead of one pair.

It’s not really reasonable to claim to live in a way that’s the opposite of the way the vast majority lives and then accuse that vast majority of blocking your ability to have a normal or authentic life.

Does Bergdorf even want a normal life? A male Bergdorf would not be getting all this attention.

As a person of colour, as black person, as a trans person, as a queer person and as a woman, I’ve been navigating a hostile environment my whole life. I do feel like now that we’re all confronted with our phones, much more than we were we’re not distracted. I think that we’re all starting to see exactly what’s wrong with society.

Bergdorf is doing a lot of double-counting there. A person of color and a black person? That’s two points instead of one? And a trans person and a woman? He gets to count both? A man who says he’s a woman gets two disprivilege points where a man who doesn’t say he’s a woman gets none and a woman gets one? When literally speaking a man who says he’s a woman is in fact a man? Is this all just a big con game to accrue points?

Then he explains how feminism is all wrong because it doesn’t center him.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of really unhelpful feminism out there, such as the feminism that J.K.Rowling follows which is called gender critical feminism which believes that trans women are men and that the only women are women that have a uterus. That is awful because a lot of women can’t have children and does that mean that they’re less women because they’re no longer of use? It also doesn’t centre the needs of black women, of sex workers, of the people that really need feminism the most which is the most oppressed cross sections of society. So, I believe that feminism needs to lift up people that are on the front lines when it comes to sexual violence which are people that engage in sex work whether or not that’s for survival or choice, not just sex slavery of sex trafficking. But also, trans women, disabled women, people that are often overlooked within society or have the least rights need the most access to feminism.

Except that trans women are in fact men, and feminism is for and about women, not men, not even men who claim to “feel like” women, men who say they are women, men who “identify as” women, men who claim to think or even know they are women.

I think journalists should stop asking men for their criticisms of feminism. Men do enough of that without prompting.

To emulate the gangster leadership

Jul 11th, 2020 6:52 am | By

The Post’s editorial board on Trump’s criminal pardoning of a criminal who crimed on behalf of Trump, who pardoned him:

Though Attorney General William P. Barr moved to reduce Mr. Stone’s sentencing recommendation after conviction, even he called the case against Mr. Stone a “righteous” prosecution. [Stone] was sentenced to 40 months in prison and was due to surrender on Tuesday — thus prompting Mr. Trump’s Friday night action.

As Mr. Trump discussed granting clemency to his criminal friend, Mr. Barr publicly defended the sentence, perhaps to prevent a mutiny among Justice Department staff who signed up because they believe in the rule of law, not the arbitrary rule of an unusually petty man in the White House.

The arbitrary rule of an unusually petty and criminal man in the White House who is not too squeamish to grant pardons to his own criminal accomplices, in full public view.

The president seems to be doing his best, within the confines of the U.S. constitutional system, to emulate the gangster leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man whose ruinous reign Mr. Trump has always admired. If the country needed any more evidence, Friday confirmed that the greatest threat to the Republic is the president himself.

We didn’t need any more evidence though. That’s been all too obvious all along.

Updating to add: commutation, not pardon.

You gonna make us kill your dog or something?

Jul 10th, 2020 4:14 pm | By

These sleazy fucks.

Attorney General William Barr persistently pressured Manhattan’s former top federal prosecutor to resign during a June 18 meeting at a New York hotel and in a subsequent phone call, the ousted prosecutor, Geoffrey Berman told lawmakers Thursday, detailing for the first time the series of events that led to his removal the next day.

Berman, in a written statement to the House Judiciary Committee, said Barr repeatedly attempted to coax Berman into resigning his post by suggesting he consider other positions in government, including the chairmanship of the Securities and Exchange Commission or the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

That’s interesting, because it means not only is Barr corrupt and sleazy, but also he has no substantive reason to want Berman out. He presumably wouldn’t offer him jobs of that kind if he did. “Dude we desperately need you to resign, wouldn’t you love to be the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division instead?” “But why do you desperately need me to resign?” “is it hot in here?”

“I said that there was no job offer that would entice me to resign from my position,” Berman told lawmakers in his opening statement, obtained by POLITICO.

Berman’s testimony raised a suggestion from Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, that Barr’s offer of a different position in exchange for stepping down could amount to criminal activity.

“What we don’t know yet is if the attorney general’s conduct is criminal. But that kind of quid pro quo is awfully close to bribery,” Nadler said after exiting the interview with Berman.

Also raises questions about his reasons for pushing Berman to resign.

The ousted prosecutor told lawmakers that Barr, later on June 18, issued a statement announcing Berman’s resignation anyway, which triggered Berman to publicly respond that he had done no such thing. The extraordinary exchange culminated the following day, when Barr agreed to name Berman’s deputy as his successor and President Donald Trump ordered Berman’s firing.

In other words it’s all filthy, filthy right up to the roofline.

The events have raised alarms on Capitol Hill that Trump was seeking to assert control over the office of a prosecutor handling cases connected to Trump himself and his close associates.

Gee, ya think?

“The Attorney General pressed me to take the Civil Division position, saying that the role would be a good resume builder. He said that I should want to create a book of business once I returned to the private sector, which that role would help achieve,” Berman said. “He also stated that I would just have to sit there for five months and see who won the election before deciding what came next for me.”

Ugh, god. What a festering pool of sick that man is.

Is he all there? Is he all there?

Jul 10th, 2020 3:43 pm | By

Trump is so excited about “acing” that cognitive test.

In a live phone interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump bragged about his test score on a cognitive exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after Hannity invoked presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, asking the president whether he believed Biden had the “mental alertness” to be president.

Trump said he didn’t think the Democrat could pass the cognitive exam like [as] he did.

“I actually took one very recently when, you know, the radical left was saying, ‘Is he all there? Is he all there?’ I proved I was all there, because I aced it,” Trump told Hannity. “I aced the test. … He should take the same exact test, a very standard test. I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors and they were very surprised. They said, ‘That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anyone do what you just did.’”

Does that sound like something a clutch of doctors would say? To anyone, let alone to Prez Mushbrain.

It’s not clear what cognitive test Trump was talking about.

The most recent publicly disclosed cognitive test Trump took at Walter Reed was in January 2018, when the White House’s top physician said he got a perfect score. The exam Trump took then was the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which is designed to detect mild cognitive issues, largely in older people. The 10-minute exam asks patients to identify animals in pictures, draw a clock, and perform basic word-recall exercises.

Doctors were reeling around the room in amazement that Trump recognizes a dog in a picture and can sketch a clock.

His comments about the cognitive test are part of a pattern of attacks on Biden’s mental acuity while aggressively defending his own. As The Washington Post reported last month, Trump’s preoccupation with projecting an image of intelligence and physical strength has intensified in recent months after critics mocked him for episodes such as shuffling cautiously down a ramp and slowly drinking a cup of water with both hands.

Along with his staggering, horrifying, gobsmacking stupidity. Don’t forget that part.

It could kill you but whaddya got to lose?

Jul 10th, 2020 2:55 pm | By


White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is leading a Trump administration effort to demand the Food and Drug Administration reverse course and grant a second emergency authorization for the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

They’re not medical experts. They shouldn’t be demanding any drug be authorized, because they don’t know what they’re talking about. They should stay out of it.

Navarro, armed with a controversial new study that he says shows the drug’s effectiveness, is being cheered on by President Donald Trump, who has long touted the drug as a “game changer” and even used himself as a possible preventive measure. Trump praised the study on Twitter earlier this week, urging the FDA to “Act Now.” The campaign also has been promoted by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, and Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News.

Also Bozo the Clown, and Kanye West, and a guy on the bus, and Michael Cohen’s cell mate, and the pope.

But Navarro, an economist known more for his aggressive approach to trade issues and China policy than for his medical credentials, faces serious challenges as he denounces what he calls “media-induced hydroxy hysteria.”

Yes, the only reason we don’t gulp down random medicines on the advice of Donald Trump and his playmates is hysteria. All sane rational people take a malaria drug to treat a new disease because Donald Trump says to.

Rarely does anybody do what you just did

Jul 10th, 2020 12:14 pm | By

Holy wisdom

Jul 10th, 2020 12:05 pm | By

Desecularization in Istanbul:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered the Hagia Sophia museum, one of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks, to be converted into a mosque.

He made the announcement Friday, hours after a top court cleared the way for him to make the change.

The Hagia Sophia, a major draw for tourists, has a long and complicated history. The architectural marvel was built as a church by the Byzantines in the 6th century and then converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

In 1934, Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s cabinet decreed that it be turned into a museum. It is widely regarded as a symbol of peaceful religious coexistence.

But we don’t want peaceful religious coexistence, we want holy war!

Friday’s court ruling invalidates the 1934 decree. It grants Turkey’s president the authority to restore the museum to its status as a working mosque. The decision said the site is listed as a mosque in its title deed and that cannot be changed, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.

Sure it can, just invent another message from the god.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this month that converting the Hagia Sophia would limit “its unsurpassed ability — so rare in the modern world — to serve humanity as a much-needed bridge between those of differing faith traditions and cultures.”

This is one time I agree with Mike Pompeo. The Hagia Sophia was a church for nine centuries and a mosque for five, and making it a museum for everyone seems like a good peace treaty.

Elizabeth Prodromou, a professor focused on geopolitics and religion atThe Fletcher School at Tufts University, said the Hagia Sophia decision was a “tragedy, quite candidly, although it’s not surprising.”

The Hagia Sophia, she said, “has been a lightning rod for a synthesis of religio-nationalism and instrumentalized as a symbol by the Erdogan government.”

“It’s just another example of the long pattern now of Turkey’s turn away from its commitments as a member of the NATO Western alliance, and its commitment to the norms that are associated with democracy,” Prodromou added.

That’s why Trump likes him.