Notes and Comment Blog


Aug 13th, 2019 10:07 am | By

ADL Pacific Northwest writes:

This weekend, synagogues in the Seward Park community in Seattle were targeted by a white supremacist group with anti-Semitic, racist fliers. This is part of a coordinated effort we are closely tracking in which a white supremacist group is placing anti-Semitic fliers at synagogues and some churches in the Puget Sound and in other communities across the country. Previous fliers have contained anti-Semitic, Holocaust denial language. ADL’s Center on Extremism is monitoring this trend and we are offering support to community leaders. Thank you to the Seattle Police Department for acting swiftly. #NoPlaceforHate

The post included an image:

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

Note the caption – Daily Stormer.

It’s Donald Trump’s world we have to live in now.

Tariff Xmas miracle

Aug 13th, 2019 9:06 am | By

Don’t let anybody tell you Donald Trump has no heart.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he was delaying some tariffs on Chinese imports ahead of the Christmas season to stem their potential impact on holiday shopping.

Awwww. Thanks, Don – now we can shop til we drop to make Baby Jesus happy.

The Trump administration announced hours earlier that it would delay some of the tariffs, originally scheduled to come into effect on Sept. 1, until Dec. 15.

I guess Don suddenly saw a calendar.


Give me your rich and greedy

Aug 13th, 2019 8:43 am | By

That Emma Lazarus, she was all mixed up. We don’t want no stinkin’ huddled masses, we want onntrapranoors! If you can’t afford a two-bedroom condo in Manhattan then gtfo.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has proposed a new interpretation of the famous welcome that appears on a placard at the Statue of Liberty.

The famous lines, taken from The New Colossus by the 19th-century New York poet Emma Lazarus, read: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

In a radio interview on Tuesday, Cuccinelli offered a change: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

Then…why are they tired and poor? If they can already “stand on their own two feet,” by which of course he means they “have plenty of money,” then they’re not your tired and poor, are they, they’re your bouncy and rich. I guess the tired and poor have to just stay and rot where they are; we’ve stopped caring.

The catch is that poverty is a goal in this society. Team Cuccinelli doesn’t actually want people in general to have plenty of money, because if they do, they won’t do all the shit jobs that Team Cuccinelli wants them to do. That’s why Trump has lots of tired and poor working for him, including tired and poor with fake papers that other Trump employees told them to get.

Poor people aren’t failing or refusing to stand on their own two feet; they’re failing to make enough money to get by in a very expensive capitalist society. More reasonable capitalist societies make efforts to deal with that problem by subsidizing basic needs – public schools, public housing, health insurance, and the like. They don’t see it as poor people tottering around unable to stand, they see it as a matter of necessity for people on low wages. The Cuccinellis of the world want to go right on paying the low wages while not doing anything to make life possible on that low wage.

On NPR’s Morning Edition, Cuccinelli defended the Trump administration decision to make it harder for migrants to be awarded permanent residence, or a “green card”, if they have ever accepted benefit programs such as food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid.

Starting in October, decisions on green card applicants will be based on a wealth test, meant to establish if they have the means to support themselves. Poor migrants will be denied if they are deemed likely to use government programs.

Hey they can always pack 20 people into a one-bedroom apartment, right? And work three jobs? That’s standing on your own two feet.

Good morning Bedminster

Aug 13th, 2019 8:15 am | By

How to needle Trump: buy ad time on Fox News.

On Wednesday, a new ad from Julián Castro will air in which the Democratic 2020 contender will speak directly to Donald Trump. To ensure the president actually sees it, Castro’s campaign has purchased ad time on Fox News, including on Trump’s favorite program, Fox & Friends.

The ad buy in question is reportedly a small one of $2,775 for three spots during the day, to air specifically in Bedminster, New Jersey. The president is expected to be there at his golf club.

Alternating between watching tv and cheating at golf.

“President Trump: you referred to countries as shitholes,” he says in the ad. “You urged American congresswomen to ‘go back’ to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists.”

“As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists,” Castro goes on, referencing the striking overlap between language used by the shooter and the president, who regularly vilifies immigrants with language typically reserved for vermin.

“Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family.”

So that will be his next tantrum.

The REAL ME is fundamentally an illusion

Aug 12th, 2019 5:55 pm | By

There is no such thing as an “authentic self.” Arguably there’s not even any such thing as a “self” – there is instead an illusion of a self that keeps us somewhat organized. Louise Perry explains how the trans movement is chasing unicorns when it talks of transitioning to an Authentic Self.

The core idea of the trans narrative—that we are all possessed of a gender identity, which is more true and authentic than our physical bodies—depends on claims that do not withstand scrutiny. Not only is it unwise to write legislation based on incoherent principles, but it also does real harm to vulnerable people desperate to find themselves. We could spend the whole of our lives waiting for our true and authentic selves to come along. They never will.

The real me is fundamentally an illusion. For some people, it might provide a compelling way to understand certain thoughts and feelings and I don’t doubt that this is how Jazz Jennings sincerely conceives of her identity. It can be a comforting idea, particularly for people who live in oppressive environments that restrict their natural impulses. It is also a useful way of expressing your desires in a society that still holds strongly to the idea of inner authenticity. But it misrepresents the messy reality of our lives, and the ways in which our identities are constantly being shaped by the world around us. Although we all have some innate predispositions, the real me isn’t a fixed entity that we can discover if only we try hard enough. Searching for your true and authentic self is like chasing a shadow. You might focus all of your energies on trying to discover it, only to be ultimately disappointed. The trans narrative promises unhappy people the hope of self-actualisation: “stay true to who you are no matter what, then one day things will get better.” The trouble is, they might not.

There is unfortunately no conclusive evidence that the process of transition (either social or medical) actually alleviates distress in the long term. For some people, living as the opposite sex (or as some non-binary gender identity) can make them feel more comfortable in their own skin, and they should be free to make that choice without fear of stigma. But the increasing number of people flocking to the trans movement—many of them vulnerable young natal females—may well find that the promise of discovering the real me is an empty one. The growing community of detransitioners attest to the long-term suffering and health problems that can result from the decision to transition. Sometimes, searching for your true and authentic self can just make things worse.

What if, instead of obsessing over the search for the real me, we accepted that people are complex, imperfect and ever-changing? What if we faced up to the many and varied reasons why people might feel a desire to transition, and saw the trans movement within its historical context?

Then much foolishness would cease.

He grows furious when he does not receive accolades

Aug 12th, 2019 5:15 pm | By

There’s humor, however bitter, in the opening paragraph of the Times’s “back story” on Trump’s trip to El Paso.

By the time President Trump arrived in El Paso on Wednesday, on the second leg of a trip to meet with people affected by mass shootings in two cities, he was frustrated that his attacks on his political adversaries had resulted in more coverage than the cheery reception he received at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, the first stop on his trip. So he screamed at his aides to begin producing proof that in El Paso people were happy to see him.

I can’t help laughing. It’s awful, but it’s also funny. He was frustrated that his own bad behavior drew more coverage than the cheery reception he got. Whose fault does he think that is, exactly? Is he fuming that the Fake Media Enemy of the People reported his own words and deeds?

Anyway, that explains why those terrible photos were shoved at us.

One of those people was Tito Anchondo, who had lost his brother and sister-in-law, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, when a gunman opened fire on a Walmart last Saturday and killed 22 people. Mr. Anchondo traveled to the University Medical Center of El Paso on Wednesday to meet Mr. Trump, and as the president stood by and flashed a thumbs-up during a White House photo opportunity, the first lady, Melania Trump, cradled Mr. Anchondo’s 2-month-old nephew, whose parents had both been gunned down.

By Friday, the photo had been widely disseminated after it became clear that the infant had lost his parents in a mass shooting, and had been brought back to the hospital after being discharged earlier in the week.

Brought back to be a photo op for Donnie and Mel.

The episode was one result of Mr. Trump’s frustration over his news coverage and of the angry reaction that by the end of the trip had led to a mishmash of White House-distributed photographs, tweets and videos that focused on the president instead of people affected by the shootings.

Neither a normal president (not that we really have many of those) nor a decent human being would have put concern about the publicity ahead of concern about the people shattered by what had just happened to them…but our Donnie has his own special priorities.

Mr. Trump first became aware of the negative headlines watching television aboard Air Force One, and bellowed at the small coterie of advisers traveling with him, including Mick Mulvaney, his acting chief of staff. He was especially upset after he saw footage of a news conference held by Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, a Democrat, but no positive images of himself while visiting Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital. Not long afterward, his aides began distributing photos and video of the president at the hospital flanked by selfie-taking doctors and nurses.

Baby must be appeased.

Mr. Trump’s staff had kept reporters away from the president during his visit to avoid overwhelming patients recovering from the shooting, according to three people briefed on what took place. But when Mr. Trump saw the result, he was furious.

Naturally. Who cares about a bunch of fucking patients when Donnie’s in the house? What’s the matter with everyone?

Aides have long said that Mr. Trump is heavily reactive to news coverage, and when he does something that he believes he should have been praised for — such as Wednesday’s visits to the cities — he grows furious when he does not receive accolades. But he has not adjusted his often casual approach to tragedy, including his penchant for flashing a thumbs-up sign in photographs.

He thinks he deserved praise for going to Dayton and El Paso, and he thinks it’s reprehensible that he was denied it. It’s hard to take in that level of childish selfism in a 73 year old head of state.

Joe Lockhart, who served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton when he traveled to visit families of 13 people killed in the 1999 Columbine shooting in Littleton, Colo., said that Mr. Trump’s approach — namely his administration’s effort to showcase support for him — had failed the victims. He called the videos that Mr. Scavino distributed “disgusting.”

“If, in my readout, I said, ‘Oh, people just warmed up to the president, and they just loved him,’” Mr. Lockhart said, “I would have had my office cleaned out that afternoon.”

But now we do things differently.

Threatened species have had it easy for too long

Aug 12th, 2019 3:58 pm | By

Those bastards.

The US government is making drastic changes to how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is applied. The revisions weaken protections for threatened species, and will allow federal agencies to conduct economic analyses when deciding whether to protect a species.

The changes, finalized by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service on 12 August, are among the most sweeping alterations to the law since it was enacted in 1973.

President Donald Trump’s administration says that these updates will ease the burden of regulations and increase transparency into decisions on whether a species warrants protections. But critics say that the revisions cripple the ESA’s ability to protect species under increased threat from human development and climate change.

Of course they will “ease the burden of regulations,” and by doing so they will augment the burden of threats to endangered species. The goal isn’t and shouldn’t be always to “ease the burden of regulations”; some regulations are important enough that we just have to put up with the burden. It’s a regulation that we can’t murder people, and that regulation is bound to be a burden to people who want to commit murder, but that’s just too bad. It’s a regulation that corporations can’t dump toxins into the nearest river, but there are compelling reasons for such a regulation, burden or no burden.

“These changes tip the scales way in favour of industry,” says Brett Hartl, government-affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group in Washington DC. “They threaten to undermine the last 40 years of progress.”

The attorneys general of California and Massachusetts have already announced their intention to sue the Trump administration over the changes, which they call unlawful.

Yes but it’s burdensome of us to say that Trump can’t do whatever he feels like regardless of the law.

Chief among the changes is the removal of blanket protections for threatened animals and plants.

Until now, any species deemed threatened — a category for organisms at risk of becoming endangered — by the FWS automatically has received the same protections as endangered species. They include bans on killing threatened and endangered species. Now, those protections will be determined on a case-by-case basis, a move which will likely reduce overall protections for species that are added to the threatened list, says Hartl.

The revisions also narrow the scope of those protections. Previously, government officials considered threats that would affect a species in the “foreseeable future”, such as climate change. Now, they have leeway to determine the time period meant by the foreseeable future, and can only consider threats that are “likely” to occur in that time frame. Critics say that this weaker language could allow regulators to ignore threats from climate change, such as rising sea levels, because their effects might not be felt for decades.

And in a third change to the ESA, the Trump administration removed language explicitly prohibiting the consideration of the economic impacts of listing a species.

It’s all about the money.

The goalie was twice as big as any of the girls

Aug 12th, 2019 3:37 pm | By

Emily is 14 years old.

I started playing girl’s lacrosse in 6th grade. Two years ago, I was playing 13U girl’s lacrosse. We traveled to Boulder for two games. One team clearly had two boys on their team – they wore boy’s shorts, had hairy legs, were taller and more muscular than all of us and had much deeper voices. One boy was a defender and one was the goalie. The goalie was twice as big as any of the girls.

Guess which team won.

We were very upset that their team clearly had two boys. There was almost a fight on the sidelines between the parents of our two teams. The goalie made a save and one of our dads said, “Great save by a boy!”. The parents of the other team yelled at him, “You’re insensitive. That’s a girl and her name is Betty”. They squared off, but it did not get physical as one of our moms pulled the angry dad away from the crowd. The Boulder parents were shouting at our dad about how “rude” he was being.

Boulder is woke.

The team with boys won narrowly.

In the parking lot after the game, I was crying – we were all crying – not because we lost, but because we were mad that we had to play a team with two boys on it and that made the game unfair and that we felt powerless to do anything about it.  As a team, together and united, through angry tears, we all vowed we would not play that team again – if we had to face them in the playoffs, we would forfeit the game in a team unity of protest against the CGLA (Colorado Girls Lacrosse Association) allowing an unfair advantage of “transgender girls” to play girls lacrosse.

We didn’t face them in the playoffs, so we didn’t get a chance to protest – but this team won the championship that year – with the two boys on defense.

This is why I, my parents and my brothers, stand with #SaveWomensSports.

Too bad for the team that lost.

Authoritarian persecution of state enemies proceeds step by step

Aug 12th, 2019 12:10 pm | By

Also they’re ratcheting up the actions as well as the rhetoric.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat tweets:

Today’s news that Trump admin is now targeting legal immigrants who use state services warrants a reminder. Authoritarian persecution of state enemies proceeds step by step.

So I look for the news, and find it:

The Trump administration is moving forward with one of its most aggressive steps yet to restrict legal immigration, denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance, officials said announced Monday.

Federal law already requires those seeking to become permanent residents and gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. — a “public charge,” in government speak —but the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them.

It’s part of a dramatic overhaul of the nation’s immigration system that the administration has been trying to put into place. While much of the attention has focused on President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, the new change targets people who entered the United States legally and are seeking permanent status. Its part of an effort to move the U.S. to a system that focuses on immigrants’ skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families.

In other words poor people need not apply.

The acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, said the rule change fits with the Republican president’s message.

“We want to see people coming to this country who are self-sufficient,” Cuccinelli said. “That’s a core principle of the American dream. It’s deeply embedded in our history, and particularly our history related to legal immigration.”

The hell it is. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” Remember? That’s deeply embedded in our history too.

It’s one more step.

“Invasion” and “alien” are not entirely neutral words

Aug 12th, 2019 11:49 am | By

USA Today did an analysis of Trump’s racist rhetoric a few days ago:

Invasion. Aliens. Killers. Criminals.

Those are among the words President Donald Trump repeatedly uses while discussing immigration during his campaign rallies, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the transcripts from more than five dozen of those events.

Not that we didn’t know that. There are many video clips of him doing so.

A USA TODAY analysis of the 64 rallies Trump has held since 2017 found that, when discussing immigration, the president has said “invasion” at least 19 times. He has used the word “animal” 34 times and the word “killer” nearly three dozen times.

The exclusive USA TODAY analysis showed that together, Trump has used the words “predator,” “invasion,” “alien,” “killer,” “criminal” and “animal” at his rallies while discussing immigration more than 500 times. More than half of those utterances came in the two months prior to the 2018 midterm election, underscoring that Trump views immigration as a central issue for his core supporters.

That’s putting it way too politely. Trump views immigration as an excellent way to whip his supporters into a frenzy of hatred for brown immigrants and loyalty to him.

Those who study political rhetoric question Trump’s insistence that his rhetoric is not aimed at stirring up divisions. The word invasion, some analysts have said, conjures up the image of an incursion by a foreign enemy force.

“Trump does nothing by accident,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a history professor at New York University who has studied propaganda.

Well he does lots of things by accident, but using racism to whip his fans into a frenzy isn’t one of them.

Trump was tweeting the term “invasion” to describe illegal immigration at least as far back as August 2015, when he appears to have quoted a supporter demanding that he “stop the invasion.” But Trump’s use of the word came under added scrutiny after the gunman in the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last fall posted a gripe about “invaders.”

Still, Trump continued to hammer away on Twitter and at his rallies with the word “invasion,” or some variation of it. He used the word at least four times in two separate rallies on Nov. 4, two days ahead the 2018 midterm election. There is no indication the synagogue shooter, who was critical of Trump, was responding to Trump’s rhetoric.

Trump used the word again during a rally in Iowa in March, telling supporters the nation was “on track for 1 million illegal aliens trying to rush our borders. It is an invasion.”

It’s not just a cynical political tactic though. He also does it because he likes it – because he really is an angry malevolent racist who thinks his pasty skin and gilded hair make him better than those pesky foreigners to the south.

Trump launched his White House run in 2015 with a speech alleging that foreign countries were “sending people that have lots of problems” including, he said at the time, “rapists.” But Trump dropped the word from his rally stump speech before he became president. It has occasionally cropped up during official events on immigration, including in January.

Let me guess – he dropped the word because he’s a rapist himself.

But also it’s not just his rallies.

Beyond the rally stage, Trump’s campaign has flooded social media with warnings that the U.S. is under “invasion” by immigrants coming across the southern border. That has taken place on Twitter, the president’s platform of choice, but also in a deluge of advertising on Facebook.

Facebook political advertising data analyzed by USA TODAY shows that Trump’s campaign funded the publication of more than 2,000 political ads that urged users to, for instance, “STOP THE INVASION.”

Another word Trump has frequently used to describe immigrants is “alien.” He was nearly four times as likely to use that word when describing immigrants during his rallies than “immigrants,” according to the analysis. He almost never uses the word “migrant.”

“Alien” is a word occasionally found in federal law or official documents, but it has not been uttered as frequently by Trump’s predecessors, if at all. A review of former President Barack Obama’s remarks and statements archived at the American Presidency Project at the University of California Santa Barbara found no reference to the term. A similar review for President George W. Bush’s term found only a handful of references to the word.

With good reason: it’s a very loaded word.

What is known as the distinct or unique American culture

Aug 12th, 2019 11:04 am | By

The NY Times researched the overlap between the race-baiting jargon of Trump and Fox News bullies, and the various racist massacres of the past few years. There’s a lot of it.

To single out one item from a long piece…

Rush Limbaugh issued a grim prognosis to his millions of radio listeners: if the immigrants from Central America weren’t stopped, the United States would lose its identity. “The objective is to dilute and eventually eliminate or erase what is known as the distinct or unique American culture,” Mr. Limbaugh said, adding: “This is why people call this an invasion.”

But that’s an illusion. The idea that there’s such a thing as “the distinct or unique American culture,” and that Rush Limbaugh knows what it is, and that it’s a permanent, static, unchanging thing is an illusion, and a damn silly one at that. What culture? Which one? The Sioux, the Cherokee, the Tlingit? The one in and around Santa Fe in the 17th century? Slave culture? Gullah culture? Mississippi Delta culture? Cajun? Lower East Side? The Heights? Chicago? Detroit?

We know what he thinks he means – white people, men mostly, plus their shadowy wives, speaking Murkan English the way he, Limbaugh, speaks it, and growing up reciting The Pledge at school every day, going to church (Protestant) every Sunday and getting misty-eyed when The National Tune is played before every football game. That culture.

But that culture isn’t universal or eternal and it sure as hell doesn’t represent all there is to this country. It’s a big place with a very messy history, and it’s not capable of having one simple monoculture. The culture has never stood still, and even Limbaugh wouldn’t want it to have. Just for a start, where would he be without the culture of shock jock radio and screaming angry white guys?

Tough as a marshmallow

Aug 11th, 2019 5:10 pm | By

Now wait just a damn minute.

FiveThirtyEight has campaign advice, which is one of my least favorite genres of post or article or book or any other item of communication. But in addition to that…whaaaaaaaat?

Some voters are plainly worried about whether a woman can defeat President Trump in 2020. But maybe they shouldn’t be.

This might seem like a strange argument to make — after all, I recently wrote an article outlining the many challenges that women face when they run for office. But the thing is, men can also be hurt by some of those same stereotypes, and while the bar is higher for women, men also need to convince voters that they’re strong, decisive and assertive enough for the job. What’s more, gender is likely to be a defining issue in the 2020 race even if the Democrats don’t put a woman at the top of the ticket, in part because tough-guy masculinity is so central to how Trump campaigns and how he governs.

Excuse me? Bozo the Clown projects “tough-guy masculinity”? Are they serious? The ridiculous goldy hair that flaps in the breeze? The baggy suit on the puffy lazy body? The brazen, copious cheating at golf? The tiny boneless hands making their two pathetic meaningless gestures? The fake tan? The whiny tweets? The compulsive talk talk talking? The ignorance, the clumsiness, the vulgarity, the general absurdity and grotesquery of him? That projects tough-guy masculinity? I don’t think so. Bullying, yes, noise, yes, bad manners, yes, but do those really add up to tough-guy masculinity?

I say no.

Image result for james cagney

Not Donald Trump

Shunned in Baltimore

Aug 11th, 2019 4:33 pm | By

Last December I did a post about Julia Beck, a lesbian feminist who was pushed off the Baltimore LGBTQ Commission’s Law and Policy Committee at the behest of a “trans lesbian.”

Last night she and her lover were kicked out of a Baltimore bar. She tells the story in a public Facebook post:

Tonight me and my lover were kicked out of Ottobar. We were drinking beer, talking, kissing, and dancing- having a good time! Suddenly two staff members approached us on the dance floor, one woman and one man. The woman said we had to leave but did not explain why. The man took my friend’s beer can from her hands and crushed it while staring her down. We asked many times why two lesbians would be unwelcome in a so-called “safe space”. The only reason we were given was that I made people feel unsafe.

We held each other and refused to leave. Staff members pushed us off the dance floor and threatened to call the police. Another male staff member joined the fray and compared me to David Duke (KKK) because I “dehumanized trans people” on Fox News.

Women near us were severely confused, asking us and the staff members what is happening. One woman said the only people making others feel unsafe were the male staff members physically pushing us for no apparent reason. The owner of Ottobar approached us and personally asked us to leave. We explained to her that we had not engaged with anyone but each other and the bartenders. How could our joyous existence be perceived as a threat?

After ten minutes of protesting this unfair treatment, we left the bar. One woman who had seen the entire ordeal said she and 15 other women left the bar in solidarity. Another woman outside the venue said she overheard my crime was transphobia and putting up stickers. We engaged in a sensible conversation about male violence until the owner approached us again and said we could not be within 50 feet of the bar.

I am curious to know how my presence, my mere lesbian existence, could ever make anyone feel unsafe. What is wrong with two women talking, drinking beer, or grooving on the dance floor? To quote Sonia Johnson, only “men in weakness” are threatened by women standing, drinking, dancing, loving in our power. Viva las Lesbianas ⚢

This shit has got to stop.

Cares of state

Aug 11th, 2019 4:02 pm | By

Trump is spending his Sunday thinking about the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, and worrying about what Kim will do next.

I kid. He’s spending it yammering about the people on his teeeveee.

So funny to watch Little Donny Deutsch on TV with his own failing show. When I did The Apprentice, Donny would call me (along with @ErinBurnett & others) and BEG to be on that VERY successful show. He had the TV “bug” & I would let him come on though he (& Erin) had very little....TV talent. Then, during the 2016 Election, I would watch as Joe Scarborough & his very angry Psycho wife(?) would push Donny to the point of total humiliation. He would never fight back because he wanted to stay on TV, even on a very low rated show, all in the name of ambition!

President of the United States.


Hot tip

Aug 11th, 2019 10:52 am | By

Time was, presidents didn’t promote wack conspiracy theories out in the open where everyone could see. Now, however

Trump shared a tweet and video from conservative comedian Terrence Williams that claimed without evidence that former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — Trump’s 2016 presidential election rival — were responsible for Epstein’s death. The Federal Bureau of Prisons and Attorney General Bill Barr said Epstein died in an “apparent suicide” while in federal custody.

As a result of Trump’s retweet, the video received more than 3 million views on Twitter by Sunday morning — more than triple Williams’ most recent videos. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were friendly with Epstein in previous decades, but Trump seized on the conspiracy theory Saturday in his latest dig at the Clintons.

Because something something the base something deplorables.

Trump’s tweet promoting the conspiracy theory came about an hour after Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio warned of the dangers of spreading partisan conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death.

“Scrutiny of how #Epstein was able to commit suicide is warranted,” Rubio tweeted. “But the immediate rush to spread conspiracy theories about someone on the ‘other side’ of partisan divide having him killed illustrates why our society is so vulnerable to foreign disinformation & influence efforts.”

White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News Sunday defending the President. “I think the President just wants everything to be investigated,” Conway said when asked about Trump’s controversial retweet.

Right, uh huh, yes, that’s the way to make sure everything is investigated – retweeting a wild claim by a comedian. I’m sure the FBI is pursuing that hot lead at this very moment. Thanks, Mister President!

What does “female only” mean?

Aug 11th, 2019 10:29 am | By

Fair Play for Women on Twitter points out that it’s not just Australian cricket.

We’ve all been stunned at the audacity of Australian Cricket opening up the women’s game to males …. but the English Cricket Board @ECB_cricket has been doing exactly the same.


Bam, just like that.

7.1 female only – a cricket competition, league or match governed by the ECB which are available for a woman or a trans woman to compete in;

So not “female only” AT ALL but female plus whatever male feels like claiming to be a trans woman for the purposes of playing cricket against women.

11.3 a trans woman may compete in any open competition, league or match or any female only competition, league or match and should be accepted in the gender in which they present;

So not “female only” AT ALL but female plus whatever male feels like forcing himself on women.

They should just come right out and say they’re not going to have female only any more.

Mind the barrier

Aug 11th, 2019 9:26 am | By

What are barriers? What do we mean by the word? What are we talking about when we talk about barriers?

For instance what do we mean by it when we’re talking about improving the representation of women?

The Scottish Government introduced its Gender Representation on Public Boards Act in March last year to “improve the representation of women on the boards of Scottish public authorities” and aim to ensure that at least 50 per cent of non-executive roles are filled by women.

However in the latest twist in the row over women’s rights and those of trans women, a new consultation on how the legislation should work in practice, has seen concerns raised about the government’s definition of the word “woman”.

So we know what’s coming. The government will have a fancy new definition of the word “woman” that allows it to “be inclusive” of some men. No longer will “women” mean mere adult human females – that’s far too stuffy and old-fashioned. No, now it means anyone who has a deep spiritual sense of being womany…so that lets most of us dreary old literal women out.

In the new Bill, the definition was changed from “a female of any age” – the definition in the UK Equality Act of 2010, which protects women against sex discrimination – to include a “person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment”.


A person can have “the protected characteristic of gender reassignment” (whatever that means) without being a woman, so why does the definition of woman need to be changed to include such a person? Does it also cover people with an allergy to horses, people who dislike cauliflower, people who have been to Burkina Fasso? Why is the definition of “woman” something that needs random expanding in this bizarre way? It’s like changing the definition of “dog” to include roses and ormolu clocks.

The then equalities secretary, Angela Constance, accepted the amendment because “we want the Bill to break down barriers and not create them”.

This is why I asked. What does that mean? What is she thinking? If you have a law to protect, say, people with disabilities, does that “create barriers”? Should that bill, once passed, be expanded to include people who identify as disabled but are not in fact disabled? Would continuing to restrict the bill to people with actual disabilities create a barrier?

According to the government’s Equality Impact Assessment, carried out at the time the legislation passed, the definition of woman was changed after the issue was “raised by respondents in relation to the inclusiveness of the language used”, to include non-binary people as well as the “definitions used for female and male in it, which it was felt should be ‘identify as female’ or ‘identify as male’ to avoid issues for transgender people.”

Thin end of the wedge, wasn’t it, and now here we are, with women being told to move over to make room for men who claim to be women when they want to compete against them in weightlifting competitions. There’s such a thing as too much inclusiveness.

A shrug too many

Aug 11th, 2019 8:54 am | By

David Frum says that if Nixon had accused LBJ of involvement in the Kennedy assassination there would have been global outrage. I’m not sure that’s true, but his broader point is.

Today, President Donald Trump accused his predecessor, Bill Clinton—or possibly his 2016 campaign opponent, the former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—of complicity in the death of the accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Many seem to have responded with a startled shrug. What do you expect? It’s just Trump letting off steam on Twitter.

Reactions to actions by Trump are always filtered through the prism of the ever more widely accepted view—within his administration, within Congress, within the United States, and around the world—that the 45th president is a reckless buffoon; a conspiratorial, racist moron, whose weird comments should be disregarded by sensible people.

If that is a widely accepted view – wtf? The weirder Trump’s comments are the less they should be disregarded by sensible people or anyone else. His “comments” demonstrate and underline how radically unfit he is to be in the job he is, with the ability to launch nuclear weapons always within reach. Nobody should be disregarding any of this.

CNN’s Jake Tapper on August 2 quoted a “senior national security official” as saying: “Everyone at this point ignores what the president says and just does their job. The American people should take some measure of confidence in that.”

Oh, yes, very confidence-inspiring, that there’s a brainless loony in charge but his stooges are ignoring him. I take no confidence from that whatsoever.

But cosmic joke or no cosmic joke, Donald Trump is the president of the United States. You may not like it. I don’t like it. Mike Pompeo doesn’t like it. Mitch McConnell doesn’t like it. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t like it. But it’s still a fact, and each succeeding outrage makes it no less a fact. Grinning and flashing a thumbs-up over an orphaned baby? Yes, still president. Tweeting that a third-tier dictator has threatened him with more missile tests unless he halts military exercises with a U.S. ally——and that he has surrendered to that blackmail? Shamefully, still president. Accusing a former U.S. president of murder? It’s incredible, it’s appalling, it’s humiliating … but, yes, he is the president all the same.

Also, casually consigning a massive watershed in Alaska to destruction by mining, canceling a program to deal with white supremacist terrorism, battling to take health insurance away from millions of people, making food stamps harder to get…

No measure of confidence available.

It’s not the feeling it’s the being

Aug 11th, 2019 8:29 am | By

Women and girls who don’t like it should just go away and find something else to do.

Former Australian cricket captain Alex Blackwell says female players who do not want to play alongside a transgender athlete should find another sport to play.

In an exclusive interview with Macquarie Sport Radio‘s Cam Reddin, Blackwell urged women and girls who did not feel comfortable playing or changing alongside trans players to play something else.

“They can choose to go to a sport they’re more comfortable with. It’s up to them,” Blackwell told Macquarie Sports Radio.

“To deprive [transgender people] of access to sport would be wrong. We won’t be discriminating based on trans or gender diverse identity,” she said.

Blackwell rejected suggestions some female players may feel disadvantaged under these rules.

But it’s not about just feeling disadvantaged, let alone “uncomfortable.” It’s about being at a disadvantage: the well-known physical disadvantage without which men would never have been able to dominate women in the first place.


Very nicely

Aug 10th, 2019 5:20 pm | By

Trump tells us that

In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was………also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!

How sweet that Kim said it very nicely. He must be a very nice man, despite all the murders and famines and stuff. I’m greatly reassured that he stated it very nicely.

Cute about the small apology, too. Is that like a miniature apology? Like a bonsai tree? Or is it a quick offhand one that the apologizer doesn’t really mean? Trump probably has no idea, but he makes up for it with all the exclamation points! Everything must be fine if he’s using happy exclamation points! Right!?