Notes and Comment Blog


368 to 1

Jan 17th, 2017 12:30 pm | By

Russia is decriminalizing domestic violence. Not a joke.

Domestic violence kills 14,000 women every year, the Russian Interior Ministry estimates. And just 2 percent of Russian victims of domestic abuse report attacks to police.

Now, the country has just passed a bill that would decriminalize some forms of domestic violence, enraging rights groups who say the measure will leave abuse victims even more vulnerable.

The bill ― known as the “slapping law” ― passed an initial hurdle in the Duma legislative body. It would eliminate criminal penalties for first offenses or attacks that occur only once a year in which a woman or child is not “seriously” injured.

So husbands and fathers get one freebie a year, provided no bones are broken. That makes sense. Obviously a man is going to punch his wife and/or one of their children all the time, so it would just be cruel not to let them do it at least once. What the wife or the child thinks about it doesn’t matter, because only the man is a real person.

The measure’s major proponent, arch conservative senator Yelena Mizulina, has said the current penalties are “anti-family” and a “baseless intervention into family affairs,” CNN reports.

Seriously. Where would family life be if the adult male couldn’t throw a punch now and then? What are families for if the adult male can’t hit his inferiors?

The Russian Orthodox Church also backs the bill, which its leaders see as in line with its patriarchal view demanding a man’s wife and children’s absolute submission to him.

Well God is the patriarch, see, so it all makes sense.

Some 36,000 women are beaten by their husbands daily, the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports. In 2008 the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that two-thirds of all homicides in Russia were attributable to household or domestic confrontations.

The controversial bill breezed through its first reading — 368 to 1, with one abstention. It will next go through a second and third reading and be voted on again.

Wow. That’s shocking.

I never can seem to get used to how much women are hated.



Guest post: The cult of ignorance

Jan 17th, 2017 12:14 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Trump names his heroes

Team Him will just say, as usual, that the voters knew that when they voted for him

And he’d be right. Many of his voters voted for him precisely because he was unfit – they seem to think that is some good thing, having no idea what you’re doing. This is seeping into a lot of fields, too. The idea that teachers should be experienced is coming under attack from our “school reform” people – including those on the Obama team. The idea of using experienced people to sell your house? List with a realtor, and see how many people make fun of you for paying a commission, when you could just “do it yourself”. It is nearly impossible to get elected to a school board if you have any education experience. And then, don’t get me started on the whole anti-expertise movement in the medical field, leading to a burgeoning of nonsensical health claims by uninformed people.

But, boy, put one comment out there critical of religion, and they will inform you that you must be properly versed in all aspects of that religion, broad, universal knowledge, before you can say a word against it. Experts in religion are not regarded well by the masses, either, until the time someone points out the nonsense of their position.



Putin on morals

Jan 17th, 2017 11:45 am | By

Putin speaks.

Vladimir Putin has dismissed the dossier published last week about alleged links between Moscow and Donald Trump, describing the people who ordered it as “worse than prostitutes”.

What a ridiculous comparison. Prostitutes aren’t “bad”; prostitutes aren’t items on the list of Bad Types of People. Items on that list include murderers, rapists, bullies, frauds (funny how the last three apply to Trump) and the like. Pimps can be on that list, but prostitutes, no. But Putin is Putin, of course. I’m sure he thinks pimps and johns are the victims of prostitutes.

Making his first public remarks on the claims three days before Trump’s inauguration as US president, Putin joked about Russian sex workers, who he said were “the best in the world”, but said he did not believe Trump would have met any.

He’s a riot.

In a sometimes bizarre speech in Moscow that echoed some of the more salacious language in the documents, the Russian president said that any allegation that Trump was essentially a Russian intelligence asset was nonsense.

“I’ve never met him. I don’t know what he’ll do on the world stage. So I have no reason either to criticise him, or to defend him,” said Putin, who has previously expressed admiration for Trump’s stated desire to improve relations with Russia.

Putin dismissed as an “obvious fake” the idea that Trump could have been compromised during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe competition.

“This is an adult, and a man who for years organised beauty contests and spoke with the most beautiful women in the world. I can hardly believe that he ran off to meet with our girls of low social morals. Although of course ours are the best in the world,” said Putin.

Ah there you go – the “girls” have “low social morals.” Men who use women have no such stigma.

“The people who order these fakes which are being spread against the president-elect of America and use them in the political battle are worse than prostitutes. They have no moral limits,” the Russian president added.

Putin said it was absurd to think Russian special services would be interested in Trump given that at the time he was not involved in politics. “When Trump came to Moscow he was not a political figure, he was just a businessman, one of the rich people of America. Do they think our special services follow every American billionaire?”

Um…yes? Of course?



Bikers for Trump are on their way

Jan 17th, 2017 11:05 am | By

Today in TrumpOnTwitter.

His epistemology needs work. The fact that one sycophant says something flattering about his Twitter use is just that – a minor fact about one person. It’s far from sufficient to demonstrate that the media are dishonest about his Twitter use.

He seems to think his daughter should be immune from press attention unless it’s friendly. If she were a child I would agree, but she’s not. She’s an adult and a participant in his shoddy corrupt activities.

Again – that’s one person saying something. It’s random.

Also notice Trump’s chronic shallowness – notice that he chose a tweet that says nothing, just as he couldn’t manage to say anything about Martin Luther King even when he wanted to. “Great…character…class.” That’s just a generic compliment, it doesn’t mean anything. Trump doesn’t even know how to mean.

No they’re not. People are staying away in record numbers.

No they’re not.

It’s true that Lewis boycotted Bush Jr’s inauguration. Since he doesn’t have Trump’s pattern of reckless lying, I think he forgot as opposed to lying, but I can’t demonstrate it. Mind you, there were very solid reasons for seeing Bush’s first election as dubious, given that 5-4 Supreme Court ruling and all. But Trump is at least telling the truth in that pair of tweets. But so what? He’s telling it in aid of continuing his attack on someone who’s better than he is.

Breitbart. He’s quoting Breitbart at us. He’ll be president in three days and he’s quoting Breitbart at us.



Trump names his heroes

Jan 16th, 2017 11:27 am | By

The transcript part 2.

Next comes the bit I saw on Twitter, which motivated me to read the whole thing. Empty empty empty. He is so empty.

Do you have any models — are there heroes that you steer by — people you look up to from the past?

Well, I don’t like heroes, I don’t like the concept of heroes, the concept of heroes is never great, but certainly you can respect certain people and certainly there are certain people — but I’ve learnt a lot from my father — my father was a builder in Brooklyn and Queens — he did houses and housing and I learnt a lot about negotiation from my father — although I also think negotiation is a natural trait, I don’t think you can, you either have it or you don’t, you get better at it but basically, the people that I know who are great negotiators or great salesmen or great politicians, it’s very natural, very natural . . . I got a letter from somebody, their congressman, they said what you’ve done is amazing because you were never a politician and you beat all the politicians. He said they added it up — when I was three months into the campaign, they added it up — I had three months of experience and the 17 guys I was running against, the Republicans, had 236 years – ya know when you add 20 years and 30 years — so I was three months they were 236 years — so it’s sort of a funny article but I believe it’s like hitting a baseball or being a good golfer — natural ability, to me, is much more important to me than experience and experience is a great thing — I think it’s a great thing — but I learnt a lot from my father in terms of leadership.

His hero is himself, in fact. He has that heroic quality of being a good negotiator, in the sense of getting more money out of a deal than anyone else. He has it naturally. Heroic.

How is being president going to change how you operate?

Ya know this is a very, very big change — I led a very nice life and ya know successful and good and nice and this is a lot different — but ya know my attitude on that is when you’re president, you’re in the White House which is a very special place — you’re there for a limited period of time — who wants to leave? Like I’ve liked President Obama, he’s been very nice, yeah he’s been nice one on one, but maybe not so nice in other ways — but who wants to leave the White House to go to some other place and be away on a vacation? The White House is very special, there’s so much work to be done, I’m not gonna be leaving much — I mean a lot of work to be done — I’m gonna be in there working, doing what I’m supposed to be doing — but who wants to leave the White House?

Oh, I see – it’s about the house. I didn’t realize that. Ok. He’s excited about the house. He’s all about the house. He won’t be wanting to leave the house.

But he’ll be working hard while he’s in the house. At what? Twitter. He’s really big on Twitter you know. Did you know that? He wants you to know that.

When you’re president will you still tweet? And if you do will it be as the Real Donald Trump, as Potus, or probably as Real Potus?

@realDonaldTrump I think, I’ll keep it . . . so I’ve got 46 million people right now — that’s a lot, that’s really a lot — but 46 million — including Facebook, Twitter and ya know, Instagram so when you think that your 46 million there, I’d rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump, it’s working — and the tweeting, I thought I’d do less of it, but I’m covered so dishonestly by the press — so dishonestly — that I can put out Twitter — and it’s not 140, it’s now 140, 280 — I can go bing bing bing and I just keep going and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out — this morning on television, Fox — “Donald Trump, we have breaking news” — I put out a thing . . .

Well yes, it’s true that when a president tweets something deranged or contemptible, it gets on the news…but that’s perhaps not such an unalloyed good as he’s thinking.

But ya know the tweeting is interesting because I find it very accurate — when I get a word out and if I tell something to the papers and they don’t write it accurately, it’s really bad — they can’t do much when you tweet it and I’m careful about, it’s very precise, actually it’s very, very precise — and it comes out breaking news, we have breaking news — ya know, it’s funny, if I did a press release and if I put it out, it wouldn’t get nearly — people would see it the following day — if I do a news conference, that’s a lot of work.

Very, very precise – that’s good to know. He’s careful about it, it’s very very precise, he means every word. Good to know.

Are you looking forward to meeting our prime minister?

Well, I’ll be there — we’ll be there soon — I would say we’ll be here for a little while but and it looks like she’ll be here first — how is she doing over there, by the way, what do you think?

Theresa?

Yeah, May.

Glad we got that cleared up.

What do you do when there’s a toddler in the White House? Not because the president has a toddler but because the toddler is the president? What do you do?



Trump really is Trump

Jan 16th, 2017 11:08 am | By

The Times published a full transcript of the interview of Trump that Michael Gove and Kai Diekmann did for the Times and Bild respectively. It’s not a surprise yet it is a surprise. It’s the same old thing yet it still amazes. He can’t talk competently, and the content of what he says is absurd or horrifying or both. He’s always worse than one can believe.

Their opener is to ask him about relations with Germany and Scotland [and presumably the UK as a whole] – and he replies by talking about his golf course and how it’s raking in the cash thanks to how low the pound is.

They talk about Brexit and he talks about “strong borders” and how he’ll sign strong borders first thing on Monday, not Friday or Saturday because those are party days.

You mentioned you have German ancestors. What does it mean for you to have German blood in your veins?

Well, it’s great. I mean, I’m very proud of Germany and Germany is very special Bad Dürkheim, right? This is serious Germany, right? Like this isn’t any question — this is serious Germany. No, I’m very proud of Germany. I love Germany, I love the UK.

Tell us more about the UK.

When are you coming to the UK as president?

I look forward to doing it. My mother was very ceremonial, I think that’s where I got this aspect because my father was very brick-and-mortar, he was like, and my mother sort of had a flair, she loved the Queen, she loved anything — she was so proud of the Queen. She loved the ceremonial and the beauty, cause nobody does that like the English. And she had great respect for the Queen, liked her. Anytime the Queen was on television, an event, my mother would be watching. Crazy, right?

Is there anything else you take from having a Scottish mother?

Well, the Scottish are known for watching their pennies, so I like to watch my pennies — I mean I deal in big pennies, that’s the problem.

Is there anything typically German about you?

I like order. I like things done in an orderly manner. And certainly the Germans, that’s something that they’re rather well known for. But I do, I like order and I like strength.

Elegantly done.

Given your views on free trade, would you say that you’re a conservative?

I’m pragmatic, look I go in front of crowds — I had the biggest crowds anybody’s ever had for a presidential election and that’s tough and when I was fighting with Jeb Bush, ya know “low energy” Jeb, he would say, ‘Donald Trump is not a conservative’, so I’d go in front of 25,000 people and, like in Michigan, where there’s massive — 32,000 people — and I’m screaming, ‘Jeb Bush says I’m not a conservative’, they’re screaming, ‘Who cares?’, and I said, ‘What do you want? Do you want conservative or a good deal?’ And the reason, because Jeb Bush said I’m not a conservative because I don’t believe in free trade — well I do believe in free trade, I love free trade, but it’s gotta be smart trade so I call it fair trade — and the problem, so I said to the people, ‘Do you want a conservative or do you want somebody who’s gonna make great deals?’, and they’re all screaming, ‘Great deals, great deals’ — they don’t care, there are no labels — ya know there’s some people, he is not — Jeb Bush would stand up — ‘He is not a true conservative’ — who cares — I am a conservative, but I’m really about making great deals for the people so they get jobs . . . the people don’t care ya know when you’re talking — they don’t care, they want good deals — ya know what? They want their jobs back.

And then everyone’s head flew off and the credits rolled.

Just kidding. That’s only halfway. But I do wonder what Gove and Diekmann were thinking.



Trump’s holiday plans

Jan 16th, 2017 10:07 am | By

Trump is perhaps aware that his tribute to Martin Luther King was a little thin on specifics (unless you consider “wonderful” and “great” to be specifics), so he’s meeting with King’s oldest son to find out what they were.

Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s press secretary and communications director, announced the planned meeting in New York between Mr. Trump and Martin Luther King III in a morning posting on Twitter. It came two days after the president-elect had taken to the social media platform to attack Mr. Lewis after the congressman said an interview that he would not attend the inauguration and did not see Mr. Trump as a legitimate president because of questions about whether Russian hacking had affected the American election.

Mr. Trump hit back on Saturday with Twitter postings calling Mr. Lewis, who was brutally beaten in the “Bloody Sunday” march in 1965 in Selma, Ala., “all talk,” and saying that instead of “falsely complaining” about the election results, he should focus on fixing his “falling apart” and “crime infested” Georgia district.

Mr. Lewis actually represents a district that includes part of the wealthy enclave of Buckhead; the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Later, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Lewis should help him focus on “burning and crime infested inner-cities” throughout the United States and adding, “I can use all the help I can get!”

As if John Lewis were a servant to the president as opposed to a Congressional Representative with his own work to do.

In a series of television interviews on Monday, Mr. Spicer said Mr. Lewis started the fight, and he defended Mr. Trump’s decision to respond, telling CBS that the president-elect is “not going to sit back and just take attacks without responding.”

Ahhhh now you see that’s a problem right there. Actually presidents do have to sit back and just take attacks without responding. It goes with the territory. Presidents have to do that an enormous amount, possibly more than any other single human being on the planet, given our combination of a hefty population and a free press, along with our head of state and head of government folded into one office. Presidents are going to be attacked by all and sundry; that’s the nature of the job. They have to refrain from responding in order to get on with their work. So if Trump really is not going to sit back and just take attacks without responding, then that’s another reason he’s in way over his gleaming orange head.

News reports on Sunday initially said that Mr. Trump, whose aides had refused to divulge his plans for Martin Luther King’s Birthday, would visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, but later said the plans had fallen through.

“Fallen through”? What’s that supposed to mean? He forgot he had a geography test today? He had no clean underpants? He lost his bus pass? How can a plan of that kind for the president-elect “fall through”?

Mr. Spicer said that the president-elect would meet with Mr. King and others in New York to discuss voting rights and other ways of pursuing King’s legacy during a Trump administration.

Ah voting rights is it. So is he going to talk to Mr King about his lie about “millions of people who voted illegally”? Trump doesn’t give a shit about voting rights, except for taking them away.

Maybe they’ll just talk about football and call it a day.



All of the many

Jan 16th, 2017 9:31 am | By

Even when Trump tries for once not to be an asshole, he remains an asshole. That’s because he’s so inadequate and empty.

Behold his masterpiece for MLK Day:

Oh yes, all the many wonderful things. So many. Very wonderful. Very very wonderful.

Honor him. Honor him for being great. So great. Very very very great. Very very great man who did many many very very wonderful things.

Exclamation point!



They should APOLOGIZE

Jan 15th, 2017 4:28 pm | By

The latest TrumpOnTwitter:

No. John Lewis doesn’t need the ignoramus Trump telling him what to work on, and he’s not Trump’s assistant.

Says the man whose campaign rallies were notorious for their hatemongering which often developed into violence. Says the man who spews hatred for individuals and groups every day on Twitter. Says the meanest angriest most narcissistic man ever to be elected president of the US.

Ah, people who make mistakes should apologize. When has Trump ever apologized for a mistake? He never apologized for his torrent of lies about Obama. He never apologized for bragging about grabbing women by the pussy without their permission.

He is at this moment struggling to conclude a thought that was too long for one tweet. It’s been eleven minutes now and he still hasn’t completed it.

Couldn’t do what?

Writing is hard.



Be nice to us because we have always been terrible to you

Jan 15th, 2017 1:14 pm | By

Ahhhh fuck you, dude.

Priebus to Obama: ‘Step up’ and quiet Democrats who question Trump’s legitimacy

Are you joking. That orange sack of shit spent three years lying about Obama in order to “question his legitimacy.” Lying. He lied. People now are questioning Trump’s legitimacy based on the truth.

Trump never bothered to apologize for those three years of racist lies.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Priebus acknowledged Lewis’s “historic contribution to civil rights and voting rights” but said his doubts about Trump’s legitimacy are “insanity” and “incredibly disappointing.”

“I think President Obama should step up,” he said, praising the cooperation from the White House on other transition issues. “I think the administration can do a lot of good by telling folks that are on the Republican side of the aisle: Look, we may have lost the election on the Democratic side, but it’s time to come together.”

I think Trump can do some good by apologizing for all his racist lies and insults. I think he should go first.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence separately criticized Lewis on Sunday for questioning Trump’s legitimacy in interviews on Fox and CBS, calling his remarks “deeply disappointing.” He also defended Trump’s recent tweets attacking Lewis, saying Trump “has the right to defend himself.”

The “right,” sure, technically. His doing so isn’t a crime. But should he? Is it a good thing to do? Especially the way he’s doing it? Of course not.

Many Democrats have bristled at the GOP calls to quietly accept Trump’s presidency, pointing to the president-elect’s prominent role in promoting the false “birther” movement to question whether Obama was born in the United States. Trump refused to unequivocally accept Obama’s status as a natural-born U.S. citizen until September — less than two months before Election Day — and has never apologized for his role in spreading doubts.

His role in spreading doubts by lying. John Lewis hasn’t told any damn lies about Trump. It takes lies to throw suspicion on Obama, but it’s the truth that disgraces Trump.



He no longer has to be politically correct

Jan 15th, 2017 12:37 pm | By

A sweet little boy-meets-girl story out of Connecticut.

A local Republican politician in Connecticut was arrested for allegedly pinching a female employee’s genitals, reports the Westport Daily Voice.

Christopher von Keyserling, 71, was arrested Wednesday in Greenwich Town Hall and charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor. He was released on a $2,500 bond and given a court date of Jan. 25.

It was last month. The woman encountered von Keyserling in a hall.

The two had a brief political argument, in which von Keyserling remarked, “I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct.”

When the woman tried to walk away, von Keyserling allegedly reached from behind to place his hand between her legs and pinched her in the groin. He said “it would be your word against mine and nobody will believe you,” the woman claimed.

There he is, no longer having to be politically correct. It’s so horrifyingly politically correct to refrain from grabbing women by the pussy, isn’t it?

His lawyer told Greenwich Time the charges were the result of a “jocular” moment with a woman.

“In almost 30 years of practicing law in this town, I would say Mr. von Keyserling is the one person I would never suspect of having any inappropriate sexual predilections,” the lawyer, Phil Russell, said. “There was a playful gesture, in front of witnesses. It was too trivial to be considered anything of significance. To call it a sexual assault is not based in reality.”

Sure. Women are just furniture, after all. They walk around and talk, but that’s only because somebody programmed them. They have no actual minds, no actual thoughts and plans and intentions.

Police said surveillance recordings from the day of the incident are consistent with the woman’s claims.

Well they’re just being politically correct.



Compare

Jan 15th, 2017 12:13 pm | By

Susan Campbell has a terrific post at The Hill comparing Trump and John Lewis over time.

n a photograph from his youth, President-elect Donald J. Trump poses in the dress uniform of a New York Military Academy cadet. He’s posed next to his father, real estate mogul Fred C. Trump, and his mother, the Scottish immigrant/social climber, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump.

He graduated from NYMA in 1964, and with all due respect to the class of ’17, at the time his school had the reputation as little more than a holding pen for rich, disaffected young men who’d reach a level of incompetence unwelcome at other institutions.

During that same time, John Lewis, the son of the sharecropper Eddie Lewis, and Willie Mae Carter Lewis, was running the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and he was a keynote speaker at the 1963 March On Washington, the gathering where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream Speech.”

Now to be fair Lewis is six years older than Trump, so in the early years he gets a partial discount for that…but only partial, because the discrepancies in material advantages remain.

While Trump was playing Animal House Lewis was having his skull fractured by Alabama state troopers.

Trump transferred to Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, and racked up five draft deferments — four for college, and one for bone spurs in his heels. He entered his father’s real estate business, where in 1973, the Department of Justice sued Trump and his company for alleged racial discrimination at their housing developments.

Trump and family settled, without admitting guilt, but only after Trump tried to counter-sue for $100 million.

During that time, Lewis was director of the Voter Education Project, which coordinated the voter registration work of five different organizations, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, and the National Urban League. In 1987, John Lewis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s Fifth district. In 1998, he published, “Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement.” It won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He followed it with a much-acclaimed series of graphic novels titled, “March.”

In 1987, Trump published “Art of the Deal,” followed by “The Art of the Comeback,” “How to Get Rich,” and “Think Like a Billionaire,” though we don’t actually know if Trump is a billionaire as he won’t release his income taxes.

Speaks for itself, dunnit.

In 2011, Trump began floating the (false) rumor that Pres. Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. That same year, Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Trump isn’t good enough to empty the wastebasket in Lewis’s office.



It was probably a technical error

Jan 15th, 2017 11:39 am | By

Item 23 from Amy Siskind’s list – C-Span being interrupted by RT during testimony by Maxine Waters. It happened but C-Span considers it a glitch as opposed to a sinister move by the Rooskies.

The NY Times:

At 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Representative Maxine Waters was on the floor of the House of Representatives, arguing for the importance of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“At this time,” Ms. Waters, Democrat of California, said, “with a bill that would basically take our cop on the block, the S.E.C., and literally obliterate ——”

Alas, politics junkies, news editors and anyone else who was watching the broadcast online did not learn how that sentence ended. Ms. Waters was cut off. Instead, they heard the jangling music of a feed from RT, a state-run Russian television network that has been accused of helping its government interfere in the American election.

Some on social media immediately assumed that the interruption, which lasted about 10 minutes, had nefarious implications.

C-Span, in a statement, had a simpler explanation: It was probably a technical error. C-Span’s television broadcast continued uninterrupted.

Probably.

Noting that RT is among the news feeds it regularly monitors, it said: “We don’t believe we were hacked. Instead, our initial investigation suggests that this was caused by an internal routing error. We take our network security very seriously and will continue with a deeper investigation, which may take some time.”

So that one’s a question mark.



More than $5 million for unpaid labor

Jan 15th, 2017 11:24 am | By

Item 2 from Amy Suskind’s list – Bloomberg reported on January 5:

Donald Trump’s new Washington hotel, located just blocks from the White House, owes electricians, wood workers and a plumbing and heating business more than $5 million for unpaid labor, according to liens filed against the property with the District of Columbia.

The 263-room hotel, located on the historic site of the city’s former main post office, opened in October following a $212 million renovation of the 1899 structure. The liens were filed in November and December, according to public records.

Trump has acknowledged not always paying all his bills, saying it’s often a negotiating tactic when work is subpar. His companies have been sued numerous times over unpaid work. Among them were landscapers at Riverside South Park in Manhattan, who sued in 2001 seeking $111,000. Contractors at Trump Park Avenue sued in 2003 seeking $206,000. And in 2010 a painter in Chicago sued a Trump entity developing a high-rise claiming to be owed more than $4 million.

Beautiful, isn’t it? The guy who will be president in 5 days owes 5 million bucks to working people? Are we a classy nation or what.

Those claiming they’re owed money by Trump Old Post Office LLC include the Washington plumbing and heating firm, Joseph J. Magnolia Inc., which says it’s due $2.98 million. A Maryland company, AES Electrical Inc., claims it’s owed $2.075 million and A&D Construction of Virginia LLC, says the hotel hasn’t paid $79,700 for trim work including crown and base moldings.

Rebecca Woods, an attorney representing the president-elect in other hotel-related litigation, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on the liens. Trump’s communications office didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment.

Trump is a thief, and the people he steals from are contractors and workers.



Thank you all for peeing here

Jan 15th, 2017 11:14 am | By

Last night’s Alec Baldwin as Trump:



36 items

Jan 15th, 2017 11:03 am | By

Amy Siskind posted a list yesterday, saying that “experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.” Some of the items are new to me and demand research. Number 2 for instance made my eyes stand out on stalks, as did 23.

1. The Office of Government Ethics director publicly lamented, “we seem to have lost contact with the Trump-Pence transition since the election.”
2.Three vendors have placed liens on the Trump hotel in DC for unpaid bills of over $5 million, in total.
3. The OGE similarly said they had not completed ethics reviews of Trump’s cabinet nominees. Leader McConnell said the Democrats need to “grow up” on Trump’s desire for speedy confirmations.
4. Sean Hannity endorsed a tweet which said “Make Russia Great Again” with the word, “Amen.” Hannity later deleted his tweet.
5. Meryl Streep used her Golden Globes lifetime of notable work speech to eloquently attack Trump, without mentioning his name.
6. Trump responded via a tweet that Streep is an “over-rated” actress, and denied he had mocked a disabled reporter.
7. Trump took credit for a Fiat Chrysler plant and jobs in MI and OH. Fiat Chrysler responded that Trump had nothing to do with it.
8. Trump appointed Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to a top WH post, possibly violating the 1967 federal anti-nepotism statute.
9. Trump told the NYT that all the dress shops in DC are sold out for his inauguration. This was a lie.
10. Trump team dismissed the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy, responsible for maintaining our nuclear arsenal, as of January 20. Trump also dismissed the commanding general of the DC national guard.
11. Cory Booker became the first US Senator to speak out against a fellow sitting senator at a confirmation hearing (Sessions for AG).
12. CNN reported a bombshell – Intelligence chiefs had briefed Trump that Russia had gathered information to blackmail him (the dossier).
13. Same day, BuzzFeed published contents of the dossier, which apparently had been in the hands of the FBI and some in the media since the summer. Contents include the infamous golden shower.
14. Trump denied having been briefed, and said the contents of the dossier were confirmed by intelligence to be fake. DNI Clapper issued a public statement indicating the dossier’s contents are still being verified (not fake), and media reported that Comey met with Trump one-on-one to review the dossier the prior Friday.
15. Trump held his first press conference since July. Trump packed the room with paid employees, who applauded him, and jeered at reporters.
16. At presser, Trump said he had no plans to release his tax returns, or resolve conflicts of interest, saying, “I have no-conflict situation because I’m president.”
17. Trump bullied reporters at two news outlets, calling them “fake news,” and used other news outlets as evidence.
18. The director of the OGE publicly blasted Trump’s non-plan for dealing with conflicts of interest. Next day, Rep Jason Chaffetz threatened to investigate the OGE.
19. Next day, while meeting with CEO of AT&T at Trump Tower (AT&T needs approval for their merger with Time Warner, parent company of CNN) Trump tweeted CNN is “FAKE NEWS” and tanking.
20. Rep Barbara Lee said she would not attend Trump’s inauguration. During the week, the list grew to 12 members of Congress.
21. Trump encouraged his followers in a tweet to “buy L.L. Bean,” in violation of a WH policy prohibiting the endorsement of products.
22. The Justice Department inspector general opened an investigation into allegations of misconduct by the FBI and Comey, leading up to the election.
23. C-Span’s online broadcast was interrupted by Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, while Rep Maxine Waters was speaking. Waters has said she will not meet with Trump. The broadcast was also interrupted that morning when a Senator discussed Russian hacking.
24. WAPO reported that Michael Flynn, Trump’s NSA, spoke to Russia’s envoy on Dec 29th, the day Obama announced sanctions on Russia. Trump team initially denied this, then later, said they spoke only once that day. Reuters reports they spoke 5 times that day.
25. Trump continued to deny Russian hacking, and to use quotes around Intelligence in his tweets.
26. Trump appointed Rudy Giuliani to a cybersecurity role – albeit though a private company.
27. Trump appointed a sixth Goldman Sachs (past or present) employees to a major role in his administration.
28. After Congress was briefed by Intelligence chiefs, Rep John Lewis said, “I don’t see Trump as a legitimate president.”
29. Next morning, Trump tweeted a disparaging attack on Lewis, on MLK weekend, saying he was all talk.
30. Democrats in Congress were furious with FBI director Comey’s unwillingness to answer their questions and fully brief them.
31. UK media broke that the former agent who gathered the info in the dossier, had shared his findings with the FBI, starting in the summer, and had become concerned that a cabal within the FBI was compromised and attempting to cover-up information.
32. The Senate announced hearings on possible Russia-Trump ties, and said subpoenas would be issued if necessary.
33. The FEC sent Trump a letter listing 247 pages of illegal contributions to his campaign.
34. In the wake of the Trump dossier becoming public, Russia’s cybersecurity head is out of a job.
35. Human Rights Watch issued its annual report of threats to human rights around the world. For the first time in 27 years, the US is listed as a top threat because of the rise of Trump.
36. A Quinnipiac poll showed Trump’s favorability ratings continuing to slide to historic lows for modern day presidents: only 37% of Americans view Trump favorably.

That’s week 9. She includes links to weeks 1-8 at the end.



Charlie

Jan 14th, 2017 5:07 pm | By

The LA Times:

The captions:

Did we have to give him the nuclear codes?

Obama: again a citizen like everyone else

H/t Katrina



Symmetry

Jan 14th, 2017 4:55 pm | By

I hunted down the column in which Dan Savage gave the advice that Jocelyn MacDonald quoted, to see if it’s really as one-sided as she said. It is.

It’s from May 2015.

I’m a lesbian who has been pretty successful at online dating. Lately, however, I’ve had a few women contact me who turn out not to be cisgender. I’ve tried to remain open, but I have never been attracted to a trans woman. I don’t rule out the possibility that it could happen. But one great thing about online dating is that you can express preferences before going on a date, and I’d rather not unknowingly walk into these potentially awkward and painful situations. Is there something I could put on my profile expressing my preference for cisgender women that is not offensive to trans people? It’s important to me that I remain an ally.

Can I Say?

You can put “not into trans women” in your online dating profile, CIS, but you’ll have to hand in your Trans Ally card. Gay men are likewise free to put “no fats, no femmes” or “white guys only—just expressing my preference” on their profiles, and too many do (and not all of them are white guys), but gay men who do that have to hand in their Not an Asshole cards. Occasionally having coffee with someone you’re not into—and having to tiptoe through the awkwardness—isn’t something you can avoid in online dating. You would have to do that even if only cis lesbians responded to your ads, as you’re presumably not attracted to all cis lesbians. Having a coffee now and then with a trans woman you most likely won’t find attractive—but you never know—is a small price to pay to make the online dating world a less shitty place for trans people. It’s what an ally would do.

See? It’s weird. Instead of saying “Gay men are likewise free to put ‘no trans men’ on their profiles, and too many do” he says “no fats, no femmes” and “white guys only.”

Ally to whom, exactly?



In the superwoke queer community

Jan 14th, 2017 4:37 pm | By

At Feminist Current, Jocelyn MacDonald notes that a lot of people have been asking about the disappearing lesbian.

For those of us in rainbow community, it’s not really a head-scratcher. We’ve watched lesbian culture be beaten back, redefined, and undermined — in many cases with the gleeful participation from the other letters in LGBTQ.  For lesbians, it seems obvious that this is happening because we are in the midst of a backlash against feminism and women’s rights.

A ferocious, noisy, and very hostile backlash.

(It depressed me to notice a moment in Obama’s farewell address when he singled out every marginalized group…except the biggest one.

For blacks and other minority groups, it means tying our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face — not only the refugee, or the immigrant, or the rural poor, or the transgender American, but also the middle-aged white guy…)

Back to the Feminist Current piece.

In the last couple years, I’ve moved from identifying as a bisexual/queer woman, to identifying as a lesbian. I offer this personal information because, as I’ve moved away from dudes and ever deeper into community and intimacy exclusively with women, I find the opposite is occurring in the communities where I once felt at home. More and more women call themselves queer (whether or not they engage in homo sex) and are going so far as to position lesbianism as an outmoded, “problematic” lifestyle. In queer circles, “lesbian” is synonymous with second wave feminism.

And second wave feminism is synonymous with practically dead, with stale and conservative and outmoded and wrong wrong wrongity wrong.

Queer women owe their rights to the radical resistance and separatism of their lesbian foremothers, but are embarrassed by lesbian culture and history. Christina Cauterucci contributed an entire article explaining why queers hate the term “lesbian,” in unironically self-hating terms:

“In the space between ‘lesbian’ and ‘queer,’ my friend and I located a world of difference in politics, gender presentation, and cosmopolitanism. Some of our resistance to the term lesbian arose, no doubt, from internalized homophobic notions of lesbians as unfashionable, uncultured homebodies. We were convinced that our cool clothes and enlightened, radical paradigm made us something other than lesbians, a label chosen by progenitors who lived in a simpler time with stricter gender boundaries.”

Yeah – lesbians are indistinguishable from those 50s sitcoms in which Mom ran the vacuum cleaner in a starched dress and high heels.

Cauterucci thinks the 70s were simpler times and that gender boundaries were not something women played with, defied, and remade in their own image. She admits an internalized homophobia is responsible for her unfair characterization of lesbians, but still refuses the term and the legacy that goes with it.

Queers hurl “lesbian” sneeringly at assigned-female-at-birth homosexual women, recharacterizing females as “cis” women, which in the twisted logic of queer is equated to “privileged women.” In the superwoke queer community, privilege is finally, inexorably, another way of saying “you need to shut up, take up less space, and admit that it’s an unearned honour to have had your life shoved into a tiny pink box.” This cannot come as a surprise, as the term lesbian has always been weaponized to silence and deride women.

Well, yes, but not so much by the more radical feminists, and not by lesbians themselves.

Queer culture demands that female homosexuals redefine our sexuality away from female bodies and toward gender roles, those which are traditionally associated with femininity.

Take trans comedian Avery Edison, who said this on the topic of lesbians dating people with male bodies:

“Look, it’s not like I require the women I date to be cool with having my dick inside them. In fact, I’m fine if that never happens. But being shut off from the very idea of it, not even considering that having my penis inside you is different from having a man’s penis inside you? That hurts.”

Gaymous cultural icon and sex columnist Dan Savage offers this advice to a lesbian:

“Having a coffee now and then with a trans woman you most likely won’t find attractive — but you never know –is a small price to pay to make the online dating world a less shitty place for trans people. It’s what an ally would do.”

Both of the above are examples of people socialized with male privilege telling women that they should not listen to or trust their own instincts. In order to protect the feelings of people socialized with male privilege, women should “interrogate their sexual preferences” for signs of bigotry, and then bring their newly inclusive political analysis into practice by dating people who they are neither romantically nor sexually attracted to. This is quite rich coming from Savage, a man who posits that gayness is an inborn, unchangeable biological condition.

Does Dan Savage go on dates with trans men I wonder? I kind of doubt it. Men don’t think they’re supposed to “pay a small price” of that kind, but they do think they’re entitled to push women to do so. Funny how that works.



Roll out

Jan 14th, 2017 3:25 pm | By

Tired of wanting to rip your own head off to avoid seeing Trump’s gestures any more? Here’s a pleasing alternative.

H/t Jen