Tuscaloosa news

Jul 2nd, 2020 11:15 am | By

Kids do the darndest things.

Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been attending parties in the city and surrounding area as part of a disturbing contest to see who can catch the virus first, a city council member told ABC News on Wednesday.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students have been organizing “COVID parties” as a game to intentionally infect each other with the contagion that has killed more than 127,000 people in the United States. She said she recently learned of the behavior and informed the city council of the parties occurring in the city.

What an interesting game. Kind of like Chicken but not as glamorous.

She said the organizers of the parties are purposely inviting guests who have COVID-19.

They pool their money, see, and whoever gets the fatal disease first gets the money. It’s not clear if the money is enough to cover their medical bills, or if the students check everyone’s health insurance before they can play.

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told the City Council on Tuesday that he has confirmed the students’ careless behavior.

Wrong word. “Careless” is the wrong word. They’re being careful, careful to spread the virus. The behavior is murderous rather than careless.

In a briefing to the City Council, Smith expressed concern that in recent weeks there have been parties held throughout the city and surrounding Tuscaloosa County, “where students, or kids, would come in with known positive,” according to a video recording of the meeting obtained by ABC affiliate station WBMA in Birmingham.

“We thought that was kind of a rumor at first,” Smith told the council members. “We did some research. Not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information.”

And what is the state doing about it? Not clear. Maybe nothing.

Updating to add: Screechy points out that this is not what you’d call documented, and sounds like bullshit. Fair enough. Add whatever number of question marks you think appropriate.


Jul 2nd, 2020 9:01 am | By


It's real': Trump campaign's new T-shirt insignia looks a lot like ...

Don’t buy the weave

Jul 2nd, 2020 7:54 am | By

Oh I see, China is selling Uighur body parts. That’s sinister enough I think…

Federal authorities in New York on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials told The Associated Press that 13 tons (11.8 metric tonnes) of hair products worth an estimated $800,000 were in the shipment.

Daaaaaaaaaaamn that’s a lot of women being shorn in concentration camps.

They’re also subject to forced labor (aka slavery), but who knows, maybe the people who run the camps are careful not to force any women to process their own hair into weaves.

Awaiting apologies

Jul 1st, 2020 4:55 pm | By

Cast your minds back to last week, if you will, to Damian Barr’s energetic campaign to push the Booker Foundation to monster Emma Nicholson.

The Guardian reported then:

Damian Barr is leading a charge of writers, including one former Booker prize winner, who are calling on the Booker Foundation to remove the allegedly “homophobic” peer Emma Nicholson from her position as vice-president.

Lady Nicholson of Winterbourne, who voted against the same-sex marriage bill in 2013, is the widow of the late former chairman of Booker, Sir Michael Caine, who helped establish the prize. She is currently a vice-president of the Booker Foundation, and a former trustee of the prize.

Barr, a novelist, memoirist and host of the Literary Salon, learned of her association with the prize earlier this week, after Munroe Bergdorf, the model and transgender activist, said she was referring Nicholson to the Parliamentary Standards Conduct Commissioner over Nicholson’s posts on social media about the trans community. The peer also drew fire earlier this month over her views on same-sex marriage.

Blah blah blah. They had their way; the Booker Foundation promptly did what it was told. Hooray! Another woman punished! Progressive triumph!

But, uh oh, it turns out Damian Barr once had a habit of saying actually cruel mocking things about trans people on Twitter…unlike Emma Nicholson and unlike the rest of us Notorious TERFs.

Flash forward a few years and he’s hugging himself in glee over bullying and ostracizing a woman.

I’m so tired of these creeps.

First Time Hearing

Jul 1st, 2020 4:16 pm | By

I didn’t know about these guys before. I love them.

After that one I watched the Pavarotti Nessun dorma one and had to stop watching any for awhile, it was so emo.

Now I’m going to see what they think of Johnny Cash.

He doesn’t want to hear it, you see

Jul 1st, 2020 3:42 pm | By

Well you see it’s like this – Trump gets really mad when the intel people tell him mean things about Russia, so they stopped telling him them and just put it all in the written-down briefing…but of course Trump can’t read, so that’s why he doesn’t know any of this stuff about Russia. All totally honest and aboveboard.

Early in his term, Trump’s briefers discovered that when his oral briefing included intelligence related to Russia’s malign activities against the United States, including evidence of its interference in US politics, Trump would often blow up at them, demanding to know why they kept focusing on Russia and often questioning the intelligence itself, multiple former administration officials said.

So that’s great. He’s not concerned about what Russia is doing to us, he’s concerned about what the professionals are telling him about Russia. He wants them to stop telling him the things, and tell him pleasanter things instead.

“The President has created an environment that dissuades, if not prohibits, the mentioning of any intelligence that isn’t favorable to Russia,” a former senior member of Trump’s national security staff told me.

Aaaand that’s not a national security nightmare because…? Remind me, because for the life of me I can’t remember that part.

In response, his briefers — who must make difficult judgment calls every day on which intelligence to highlight to the President — reduced the amount of Russian-related intelligence they included in his oral briefings, instead often placing it only in his written briefing book, a document that is provided daily and sometimes extended to several dozen pages containing the intelligence community’s most important information.

Come on. Several dozen pages. Trump? Be serious.

But his briefers discovered over time that he often did not read the briefing book, leaving him unaware of crucial intelligence, including threats related to Russia and other parts of the world.

You don’t say.

The end result was the President now heard less, not more, about the threat posed by one of the nation’s most dangerous adversaries. Among his national security staff, this approach led to fears that the President was becoming less and less aware of the threat from Russia, even as the intelligence confirming the country’s misbehavior mounted.

Because they’re dealing with a petulant irresponsible child who simply does not care about threats to the country if he doesn’t think they will threaten him personally.

“It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where he hears less and less of what he doesn’t want to hear and therefore starts to believe more and more that the Russians aren’t doing anything bad,” the former senior NSC official said, explaining that when Trump later claimed in public that he hadn’t seen evidence of Russian aggression, he was sometimes telling the truth — but the reason he hadn’t seen it was that they hadn’t shown it to him fearing it would provoke a negative reaction.

Is there no adult supervision over there? Why is this adult infant allowed to sabotage intelligence communication by having tantrums? Why are there no grown ups telling him shut the fuck up and listen, this is your job, which you decided you wanted?

I saw this appalling story via Daniel Drezner, who apparently has an epic toddlerinchief hashtag thread.

Trump’s actual symbols of hate

Jul 1st, 2020 11:42 am | By

In all seriousness the racist loathing is coming out into the open now.

The Guardian notes:

Donald Trump is criticizing New York City’s plan to paint “Black Lives Matter” on 5th Avenue outside Trump Tower — calling it a “symbol of hate.”

Earlier New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would “take this moment in history and amplify it by taking the ‘Black Lives Matter’ symbolism and putting it all over this city, including right in front of Trump Tower.”

The move comes as the president stepped up his defense of actual symbols of hate: Confederate flags and monuments. Using a racist slur against Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, Trump threatened to veto defense spending bills that include provisions to rename Confederate bases.

Let’s spell it out. “Black Lives Matter” is not a symbol of hate: it’s a statement of fact and a reminder that much needs to change to put that fact into practice. It’s a reminder that as a country we have acted as if black lives don’t matter for four fucking centuries now and it’s time to do better.

As the Graun says, Confederate flags and monuments really are symbols of hate, because they are endorsements of the Confederate cause, which was, all together now, SLAVERY.

And calling Warren “Pocahontas” is flippant contempt for the people who were here before Europeans waltzed in and grabbed everything.

Some replies to the Hater in Chief:

Fed up

Jul 1st, 2020 11:14 am | By

Look, if your house is on fire, the best thing to do is to tell the fire department it doesn’t know what it’s talking about and you don’t need its advice any more.

As coronavirus cases surge across the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, who lead’s the CDC’s pandemic response, is facing growing backlash from conservative leaders fed up with his warnings about states’ reopening efforts.

Very sensible. The problem is not the coronavirus or the surge in cases, the problem is some pesky expert in infectious diseases telling us how to avoid being infected. What the hell does he know about it?

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t need his advice anymore,” Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.

See? He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Dan Patrick knows way more about it than he does. Obviously.

An amazing deal

Jul 1st, 2020 10:58 am | By

On the one hand pretend the pandemic isn’t happening, on the other hand buy up all the remdesivir.

The US has bought up virtually all the stocks for the next three months of one of the two drugs proven to work against Covid-19, leaving none for the UK, Europe or most of the rest of the world.

Experts and campaigners are alarmed both by the US unilateral action on remdesivir and the wider implications, for instance in the event of a vaccine becoming available. The Trump administration has already shown that it is prepared to outbid and outmanoeuvre all other countries to secure the medical supplies it needs for the US.

In other words to be as ruthlessly piggy as possible.

Remdesivir, the first drug approved by licensing authorities in the US to treat Covid-19, is made by Gilead and has been shown to help people recover faster from the disease. The first 140,000 doses, supplied to drug trials around the world, have been used up. The Trump administration has now bought more than 500,000 doses, which is all of Gilead’s production for July and 90% of August and September.

“President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19,” said the US health and human services secretary, Alex Azar. “To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it.”

And that no one else can.

The drug, which was trialled in the Ebola epidemic but failed to work as expected, is under patent to Gilead, which means no other company in wealthy countries can make it. The cost is around $3,200 per treatment of six doses, according to the US government statement.

Patents and hoarding; capitalism at its finest.

Buying up the world’s supply of remdesivir is not just a reaction to the increasing spread and death toll. The US has taken an “America first” attitude throughout the global pandemic.

That is, Trump and his administration have.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau warned there could be unintended negative consequences if the US continued to outbid its allies. “We know it is in both of our interests to work collaboratively and cooperatively to keep our citizens safe,” he said. The Trump administration has also invoked the Defense Production Act to block some medical goods made in the US from being sent abroad.

Me first, me me me me me first.

Izza hoax

Jul 1st, 2020 10:28 am | By

It’s kind of like saying “the house is not on fire” while standing in front of the house as the flames consume it. Trump says it’s a hoax.

President Trump said Wednesday that reports of Russia paying bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill U.S. troops and coalition forces in Afghanistan is a hoax, even as his administration continues to brief members of Congress on the matter.

His administration is briefing members of Congress on the hoaxitude of the hoax. They need to be thorough about it.

“Do people still not understand that this is all a made up Fake News Media Hoax started to slander me & the Republican Party. I was never briefed because any info that they may have had did not rise to that level,” Trump said in an additional tweet.

Do Trump still not understand that nobody believe his lies?

Following the Democrats’ briefing, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters that while there may be “different judgments as to the level of credibility,” he doesn’t agree with the president’s recent characterizations.

“The president called this a hoax publicly,” Hoyer said. “Nothing in the briefing that we have just received led me to believe it is a hoax.”

Yebbut you’re not Trump, so your judgement is distorted.

Then there’s a surprise.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats were briefed separately.

What? Wtf? Why? Shouldn’t briefings of all things be non-partisan aka the same no matter who is being briefed?

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., told Mary Louise Kelly on NPR’s All Things Considered that she would have preferred to receive the briefing alongside her Republican colleagues.

“In my experience, we should be receiving the same information whether you’re Democrat or Republican,” Slotkin said. “When it comes to the national security of the country, you know, we should all be putting politics aside and just getting the facts as we understand them.”

No shit. Why on earth would that not be standard procedure?

Denigrating this luxury avenue

Jul 1st, 2020 9:47 am | By

This would be funny if it weren’t so sickening – lately Trump has been complaining that Prince Jared is too much of a lefty and he Trump isn’t going to take his lefty advice any more.

President Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts, three people with direct knowledge of the president’s thinking tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: One person who spoke with the president interpreted his thinking this way: “No more of Jared’s woke shit.” Another said Trump has indicated that following Kushner’s advice has harmed him politically.

Aw yeah, woke Jared.

The sources said the president has resolved to stick to his instincts and jettison any policies that go against them, including ambitious police reform.

Trump has made clear he wants to support law enforcement unequivocally, and he won’t do anything that could be seen as undercutting police.

Trump loves force. It’s tough, it’s simple, it’s easy to understand, it’s violent, it’s exciting, it’s fun to watch. He loves it. He’s a simple man.

Axios goes on to say the disagreement with Prince J may be just a passing mood, though.

Trump’s mood this morning:

It is going to be very disturbing

Jun 30th, 2020 3:31 pm | By

Badness alert. There will be badness. It will be bad. Prepare for bad. It will definitely be bad, repeat, definitely bad.

Top disease researcher Dr Anthony Fauci has told the US Senate that he “would not be surprised” if new virus cases in the country reach 100,000 per day.

“Clearly we are not in control right now,” he testified, warning that not enough Americans are wearing masks or social distancing.

And that’s not because we can’t, it’s because we stupidly stubbornly won’t. In large part it’s because of our stupid reckless infantile “president.”

Testifying to a Senate committee on the effort to reopen schools and businesses, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases criticised states for “skipping over” benchmarks required for reopening, and said cases will rise as a result.

“I can’t make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that,” he told Senator Elizabeth Warren.

And by “disturbing” he means “bad.” That’s the “it will definitely be bad” part.

“Because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country even though in other parts of the country they’re doing well, they are vulnerable.”

“We can’t just focus on those areas that are having the surge. It puts the entire country at risk,” he added.

Can we put up roadblocks everywhere?

Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican, said it would help if Trump wore a mask now and then.

It probably would, but will he do it? Of course not. He doesn’t care if millions of people die because of his refusal to wear a mask. A minor scratch on the back of his leg is a bigger tragedy to him than the death of tens of thousands from the virus. Of course he’s not going to wear a mask just to save millions of lives.

Slavery gets all but erased

Jun 30th, 2020 11:11 am | By

We don’t always even notice the racist symbols, and that’s kind of the point.

Aspirational depictions of a city upon a hill and liberty and justice for all lose their luster when they’re juxtaposed against the systematic genocide of indigenous peoples, or an intricate slave-based economy rubber-stamped by revolutionaries fighting for their own freedom. But more dated history textbooks rarely provide that level of insight around how minority communities were treated during the country’s early years, and slavery gets all but erased – “there’s no discussion of what life was like in the United States prior to 1860, or if it is, it’s just African Americans were enslaved in this country, and the civil war freed them,” said Berry.

A lot of people – white people mostly – roll their eyes at this kind of thing, but…to belabor the obvious, they (we) shouldn’t. It’s all too easy to ignore oppression and exploitation in daily life because it’s hidden away. We don’t go looking for it, most of us, so we don’t see it, so we don’t realize it exists, so when we’re told it does we bristle or yawn and say it’s not true or it’s in the past or it’s a step on the way to prosperity.

It’s this inconsistent retelling that has allowed for the veneration of deeply flawed characters, whose biographies are often cherry-picked for effect. Many of the founding fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were slaveholders, despite waxing poetic about how the institution was a “moral depravity”. Even Benjamin Franklin, revered as an early abolitionistowned enslaved people for much of his life and ran ads selling others in his newspaper.

Champions of these men often attribute their moral failings to the sociopolitical environment in which they lived. But “just because slavery was accepted among white elites or even the broader white population at the time does not mean it was accepted by everybody, because everybody includes Black people who were enslaved, indigenous people who were pushed off their lands in order to expand plantation slavery,” said Akiboh.

That’s a very important point. It’s all too easy to think “People didn’t realize,” but the people who didn’t realize were the people it didn’t happen to.

That’s one reason artifacts like Gone With the Wind are so insidious: generations of Americans got the impression from that novel and film that slaves were happy and like members of the family, and that’s before we even get to the part about the KKK and lynchings.

When earlier this month Nascar hosted the first major sporting event with fans since the coronavirus pandemic, a plane with a gargantuan Confederate battle flag flew across the skyline to protest against the new ban.

Heritage, yeah?

Consult the people who know less

Jun 30th, 2020 10:32 am | By

Rand Paul says don’t pay attention to experts on technical subjects like viral contagion.

Rand Paul is the genius who tested positive for the virus back in March, to the fury of colleagues who had been up close and personal with him in recent days. Mind you they still seem to be ok so maybe that means Rand Paul knows better than Anthony Fauci?

Go away Jefferson Beauregard

Jun 30th, 2020 9:45 am | By


I know, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.

Jeff Sessions had a chat with the Times and

Former Attorney General and current US Senate candidate Jeff Sessions referred to Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., one the nation’s most famous Black scholars, as “some criminal” in an interview with The New York Times Magazine. 

He was bragging about bigging up the police when he was Attorney General.

“Back to the men and women in blue,” Sessions told The Times’ Elaina Plott of his guiding principle on policing while leading the DOJ. “The police had been demoralized. There was all the Obama — there’s a riot, and he has a beer at the White House with some criminal, to listen to him. Wasn’t having a beer with the police officers. So we said, ‘We’re on your side. We’ve got your back, you got our thanks.'” 

So, yeah, wow. You have got to be kidding. Gates was arrested for going into his own house. The arrest was a mistake, to put it mildly. And Obama was “having a beer with the police officers”: he had the beer with Gates and the cop who arrested him.

So racist piece of shit former Attorney General of the United States is so profoundly racist that he managed to translate that incident into Gates was “some criminal” and Obama didn’t invite the cop Obama did invite.

“President Obama made an innocent comment that the arrest was stupid, which it was. Then all of a sudden all these racists are beating up on him,” Gates recalled in a February 2020 interview with The Times. “My whole attitude was channeled through the desire to protect our first black president. But there was another motivation. I thought that it would be hubristic and dishonest if I compared what happened to me to what happens to black people in the inner city.”

Sessions didn’t bother with all that, Sessions just translated the black academic arrested for entering his own house into “some criminal” and Obama into a guy who hangs with “some criminal” and shuns a cop.

Some criminal. Some racist. Some pig.

The horse has bolted

Jun 30th, 2020 9:04 am | By

So we screwed that up completely.

The coronavirus is spreading too rapidly and too broadly for the U.S. to bring it under control, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday.

The U.S. has set records for daily new infections in recent days as outbreaks surge mostly across the South and West. The recent spike in new cases has outpaced daily infections in April when the virus rocked Washington state and the northeast, and when public officials thought the outbreak was hitting its peak in the U.S. 

But that peak wasn’t bad enough, so we decided to make it much worse.

“We’re not in the situation of New Zealand or Singapore or Korea where a new case is rapidly identified and all the contacts are traced and people are isolated who are sick and people who are exposed are quarantined and they can keep things under control,” she said in an interview with The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it’s very discouraging.”

We’re a failed state. A big, floppy, clumsy, blundering failed state. We put our shoes on upside down.

Other people do that

Jun 30th, 2020 8:37 am | By

Household work? Children? Oh that’s for other people to do.

The fact is, though, Covid-19 has taken women’s roles back to the 50s. Women are home schooling, working and doing huge amounts of domestic work. The answer to 50s-style problems may be some 70s-style consciousness raising about gender roles.

It’s really quite simple. There is nothing about being female that equates to special skill at scrubbing sinks or changing diapers, and there is nothing about being male that equates to special ineptitude at scrubbing sinks or changing diapers. People who live in households should share the work equitably and fairly.

But, instead of discussing how gender roles are regressing; how the virus has derailed women’s careers; how childcare is falling apart; how female workers will be hit hardest by the recession; how female academics have turned in far fewer papers than their male counterparts; how, at the end of furlough, redundancy will affect more women; how the gender pay gap is rising – in other words, all the pre-existing inequalities that have been exacerbated by Covid-19 – what do we talk about?

Two things. We continue to have a conversation around gender, which emphasises it as a set of feelings rather than being about often mundane lived experience; and we have, on social media, a ridiculous row over cleaners. Various bright young things declare their sainthood. Either they don’t have cleaners or they pay them the GDP of Venezuela. Only bad women, Karens, boomers, like me, have cleaners, whom we probably abuse. Some of us have been cleaners, but no matter. Working women pay others to look after our children and to do some of the domestic work or we could not do it. Just as men do. And always have done. But men are not attacked for this. Ever.

That’s how belief in Gender works. Men don’t do toilets; women do little else.

But the serious part of domestic labour being invisible and somehow personal has huge implications. The absolute tragedy of this crisis is that underpaid care workers in homes have died because care in our own homes is not valued. We are run by people who don’t respect those who do such care in our society, because this is the lowest-status job. Women do it. Immigrants do it. Childcare and the opening of schools has not been a priority because, well, like the laundry, other people do that.

Other people here means lesser people, obscure people, people we can ignore.

It is terribly old-fashioned to talk about the domestic labour debate I know, the part about how unpaid work keeps capitalism functioning. Well, it keeps us all functioning. This is why a former prime minister can joke about never having to do it. It’s a sign of power.

How we laugh as we lie back and think of descaling the kettle. How many prime ministers does it take to change a lightbulb? Don’t ask me. How many prime ministers does it take to change the reality of women’s lives? We were on the double shift: work and housework. Now many are on the triple shift: work, housework and schooling. The lightbulbs went out some time ago, and, if we are not to go back to the dark ages, then someone better get some bright ideas and replace the duds quickly.

Thank you Suzanne Moore.

Trump posed a danger to national security

Jun 29th, 2020 6:14 pm | By

CNN says it’s really that bad:

In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.

Oh. Well, great. Unprepared, kissy-kissy with Putin and Erdogan, abusive to allies – so that’s wonderful. It’s what you’d expect from a failed casino huckster and vulgar creep, but so then…how did we end up with him?

The calls made his top people think he was delusional. (Of course he’s delusional. He thinks he’s hot stuff.)

The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.

This is the Trump we all see all the time, so why would anyone think he would be different on the phone to Merkel or Macron or Trudeau?

By far the greatest number of Trump’s telephone discussions with an individual head of state were with Erdogan, who sometimes phoned the White House at least twice a week and was put through directly to the President on standing orders from Trump, according to the sources. Meanwhile, the President regularly bullied and demeaned the leaders of America’s principal allies, especially two women: telling Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom she was weak and lacked courage; and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was “stupid.”

Erm…that takes even my breath away.

Trump incessantly boasted to his fellow heads of state, including Saudi Arabia’s autocratic royal heir Mohammed bin Salman and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, about his own wealth, genius, “great” accomplishments as President, and the “idiocy” of his Oval Office predecessors, according to the sources.

So he talks to them the way he talks to all of us on Twitter. Of course he does: the way he talks on Twitter is the best he can do. It’s not as if he has another register for serious purposes. With him what you see is what you get.

He especially loved talking about how much better he is than Bush2 and Obama.

The full, detailed picture drawn by CNN’s sources of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders is consistent with the basic tenor and some substantive elements of a limited number of calls described by former national security adviser John Bolton in his book, “The Room Where It Happened.” But the calls described to CNN cover a far longer period than Bolton’s tenure, are much more comprehensive — and seemingly more damning — in their sweep.

The insidious effect of the conversations comes from Trump’s tone, his raging outbursts at allies while fawning over authoritarian strongmen, his ignorance of history and lack of preparation as much as it does from the troubling substance, according to the sources.

Two sources compared many of the President’s conversations with foreign leaders to Trump’s recent press “briefings” on the coronavirus pandemic: free form, fact-deficient stream-of-consciousness ramblings, full of fantasy and off-the-wall pronouncements based on his intuitions, guesswork, the opinions of Fox News TV hosts and social media misinformation.

The performance of a very chaotic very undisciplined very stupid blob of flesh.

In addition to Merkel and May, the sources said, Trump regularly bullied and disparaged other leaders of the western alliance during his phone conversations — including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison — in the same hostile and aggressive way he discussed the coronavirus with some of America’s governors.

He shouted at Macron a lot, but he saved his best bullying for the women.

In conversations with both May and Merkel, the President demeaned and denigrated them in diatribes described as “near-sadistic” by one of the sources and confirmed by others. “Some of the things he said to Angela Merkel are just unbelievable: he called her ‘stupid,’ and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians … He’s toughest [in the phone calls] with those he looks at as weaklings and weakest with the ones he ought to be tough with.”

The calls “are so unusual,” confirmed a German official, that special measures were taken in Berlin to ensure that their contents remained secret. The official described Trump’s behavior with Merkel in the calls as “very aggressive” and said that the circle of German officials involved in monitoring Merkel’s calls with Trump has shrunk: “It’s just a small circle of people who are involved and the reason, the main reason, is that they are indeed problematic.”

Trump’s conversations with May, the UK Prime Minister from 2016 to 2019, were described as “humiliating and bullying,” with Trump attacking her as “a fool” and spineless in her approach to Brexit, NATO and immigration matters.

“He’d get agitated about something with Theresa May, then he’d get nasty with her on the phone call,” One source said. “It’s the same interaction in every setting — coronavirus or Brexit — with just no filter applied.”

Merkel remained calm and outwardly unruffled in the face of Trump’s attacks —”like water off a duck’s back,” in the words of one source — and she regularly countered his bluster with recitations of fact. The German official quoted above said that during Merkel’s visit to the White House two years ago, Trump displayed “very questionable behavior” that “was quite aggressive … [T]he Chancellor indeed stayed calm, and that’s what she does on the phone.”

Prime Minister May, in contrast, became “flustered and nervous” in her conversations with the President. “He clearly intimidated her and meant to,” said one of CNN’s sources.

I wish I could grab his arm and pinch a fold of flesh with pliers right now. Pinch it hard, and not stop. With his people watching and smiling.

How to become vulnerable

Jun 29th, 2020 2:39 pm | By

Reddit shut down the gender critical group today.

Let’s look at that page:

Promoting Hate Based on Identity or Vulnerability

Interesting choice of words. We are told often and relentlessly that trans women are “vulnerable,” including (or indeed especially) vulnerable to women. If trans women are vulnerable to women…well naturally feminist women can’t be permitted to dispute the claims of trans women to one, be women, and two, be vulnerable to women. That would be most unfair, because trans women are vulnerable to women, which we know because they keep saying so.

And we can’t reply that no they’re not because they are men, not women, and men are not vulnerable to women. Why can’t we? Because that would be promoting hate based on identity. They identify as women, so that makes them women, and it also makes them vulnerable to “cis” women.

While the rule on hate protects such groups, it does not protect all groups or all forms of identity. For example, the rule does not protect groups of people who are in the majority or who promote such attacks of hate. 

See? That’s women. There are more women than there are trans women, so trans women get to win every time. Hahaha, go home bitches, you’ve lost.

Not doing very well

Jun 29th, 2020 11:36 am | By

There’s a penalty for insisting on being actively stupid and uninformed. Unfortunately the penalty is paid by everyone, not just the people insisting on being actively stupid and uninformed.

The US is “unlikely” to achieve herd immunity to the coronavirus even with a vaccine, according to the country’s leading public health expert, who warned that a “general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling” is likely to thwart vaccination efforts.

In an interview with CNN, Dr Anthony Fauci also said people not wearing masks was “a recipe for disaster” and said of the Trump administration’s attempts at contact tracing: “I don’t think we’re doing very well.”

Oh well, it’s just a lethal pandemic.