110 fires

Jan 1st, 2020 4:57 pm | By


Benjamin Graham reports:

Tens of thousands of people are fleeing NSW’s south coast, where a ‘humanitarian crisis’ is developing. In many towns there’s no fuel, no food and no power, as dangerous bushfire conditions are tipped to kick in on Saturday.

It’s all about friendship

Jan 1st, 2020 4:31 pm | By

Oh about that North Korea thing

Q    Mr. President, can you — what is your message tonight for — what is your message tonight for North Korea?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’ll see.  I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un.  I know he’s sending out certain messages about Christmas presents, and I hope his Christmas present is a beautiful vase.  That’s what I’d like — a vase —

Cute. I love it when he makes jokes about nuclear war.

Q    Do you think it will be, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  — as opposed to something else.  I don’t know.  I — look, he likes me; I like him.  We get along.  He’s representing his country.  I’m representing my country.  We have to do what we have to do.

Yes, sure, that’s what it’s about, whether or not he “likes” you, as if this were high school.

But he did sign a contract.  He did sign an agreement, talking about denuclearization.  And that was signed.  Number-one sentence: denuclearization.  That was done in Singapore.  And I think he’s a man of his word.  So we’re going to find out, but I think he’s a man of his word.

Yes, certainly. Thank god it’s all that simple.


Jan 1st, 2020 3:49 pm | By

In case you were feeling any impulse to think Princess Ivanka isn’t as bad as her rotting-from-the-head father, watching this will cure you.

All they could have been getting done were it not for the impeachment.

The escalating bushfires threaten to trap them

Jan 1st, 2020 3:15 pm | By

Yesterday the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the danger of being trapped by fires on the coast.

Thousands of holidaymakers between Ulladulla and Culburra Beach including Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast have been warned that the escalating bushfires threaten to trap them.

NSW Rural Fire Service is warning that spot fires from stray embers could impact the Broulee and Batemans Bay regions further south. Following intensifying bushfires overnight, on Tuesday the Princes Highway was closed in multiple locations. The Kings Highway has already been closed for sometime.

When Paradise California burned up there were, I think, only three roads out. They were choked with traffic and then engulfed in flames. People died in their cars.

The BBC reports:

In Mallacoota, Victoria – where thousands fled to the beach on Tuesday – police boats arrived with 1.6 tonnes of water for residents. They also brought food, a paramedic and medical supplies. At the same time, police warned people in Sunbury, Victoria – about 40km (25 miles) north-west of Melbourne – to leave the area, as an emergency fire warning was in place.

The NSW fire service says get out while you can.

“You need to leave before Saturday” – that’s stark enough.

In Mallacoota, many people spent the night sleeping in their cars or on deckchairs. Victoria Emergency Commissioner Andrew Crisp said – as well as the police vessels – “a large barge” was sailing from Melbourne to the town with food, water and 30,000 litres of fuel. In Cann River, a town about 80km (50 miles) inland from Mallacoota, residents warned that food supplies were running low. Further north in Ulladulla, New South Wales, people were queuing outside supermarkets – while cuts to mobile networks and landlines meant people also waited to use payphones. The military said amphibious ships were setting off from Sydney and would arrive in fire-hit coastal areas of New South Wales and Victoria by Friday.

More from the SMH:

The effort to rescue thousands of people stuck in isolated towns in Victoria’s fire-ravaged east has started. The military arrived in East Gippsland on Wednesday and Black Hawk helicopters are helping to get evacuees off of the Mallacoota beach. “Our focus today is we’ve got 4000 people in and around the beach there at Mallacoota and we’re working with the [Australian Defence Force] and all the authorities, Victoria Police, SES, all the agencies are working together and our primary effort is to get those people out of Mallacoota,” CFA chief officer Steve Warrington told ABC News.

This isn’t the future, this is now.

Behold the majestic smoke-filled valleys

Jan 1st, 2020 2:43 pm | By

A climate scientist visiting the Blue Mountains in New South Wales points out that climate change is here and this is it.

I did not see vast expanses of rainforest framed by distant blue-tinged mountain ranges. Instead I looked out into smoke-filled valleys, with only the faintest ghosts of distant ridges and peaks in the background. The iconic blue tint (which derives from a haze formed from “terpenes” emitted by the Eucalyptus trees that are so plentiful here) was replaced by a brown haze. The blue sky, too, had been replaced by that brown haze.

Been there – not the Blue Mountains, but the blue mountains turned brown experience. Summer 2018 here on the western edge of the US: wildfires—>heavy smoke for weeks. The sky was brown, the mountains were brown, everything was brown.

The brown skies I observed in the Blue Mountains this week are a product of human-caused climate change. Take record heat, combine it with unprecedented drought in already dry regions and you get unprecedented bushfires like the ones engulfing the Blue Mountains and spreading across the continent. It’s not complicated.

The continent of Australia is figuratively – and in some sense literally – on fire.

Yet the prime minister, Scott Morrison, appears remarkably indifferent to the climate emergency Australia is suffering through, having chosen to vacation in Hawaii as Australians are left to contend with unprecedented heat and bushfires.

Morrison has shown himself to be beholden to coal interests and his administration is considered to have conspired with a small number of petrostates to sabotage the recent UN climate conference in Madrid (“COP25”), seen as a last ditch effort to keep planetary warming below a level (1.5C) considered by many to constitute “dangerous” planetary warming.

Hey, which is more important, the survival of the whole planet or the short-term enrichment of people in oil and coal businesses? Be reasonable.

Women are to be colonised, erased, silenced and put at risk

Jan 1st, 2020 12:27 pm | By

Graham Linehan on JK Rowling and The Outrage:

The response to Rowling’s statement demonstrates what women with less power, but just as much compassion and sense, have been trying to tell us for a number of years. Namely, that gender ideology is bad for women. That it erases them and insults them and endangers them, and when they dare to discuss this issue—and ONLY this issue—they are subject to disproportionately severe penalties. Maya Forstater lost her job, remember.

Rowling chose her words carefully. The first four sentences are almost an apology for speaking out at all, because she knows how her support for Maya will be received. She front loads the statement with mollifying phrases to protect her central point, which is inarguable.

But as these women know, and the response to the tweet proves, it’s never enough. Women are to be colonised, erased, silenced and put at risk, and if they protest in any way, even in the most careful and civil terms, they are putting their faces to a blowtorch.

It’s never enough, and it’s never over. The demands keep ratcheting up and up and ever up. Five years ago we weren’t being told that we had to rejoice when men who claim to be women started stealing athletic prizes from women, but we are now. What will the demands be this year, and five years from now? What will be grabbed away from women amid a torrent of threats and abuse next?

The current fashion amongst celebrities who like being invited to parties is to dismiss and deride the women who dare step up. Men like Jon Ronson, Jolyon Maugham, Michael Cashman and Owen Jones, and women like Dawn Butler, Mhairi Black and Alice Roberts, the Professor of Public Engagement in Science who blocks everyone, have all been disappointing.

The most ironic thing about trans activists is that they are depending on women to act according to their gender ‘role’; to be nice, to budge up, to quietly accept the destruction of their sports, their safe spaces and even the language they use to describe themselves.

And! And! The men are acting according to their gender “role” happily, eagerly, with vindictive joy: entitled, intrusive, domineering, seething with hatred of women.

So if 2020 is the year you decide to step in to this debate, to risk the blowtorch to the face, remember the lessons of the Rowling tweet.

If no amount of capitulation is enough, why capitulate at all? Stand firm, speak out and let’s begin the process of winning back what has already been lost.

It’s the truth. No surrender ever is enough in this dispute, so why bother?


Jan 1st, 2020 8:24 am | By

Dawn Ennis, trans woman and Managing Editor of http://Outsports.com, explains why trans woman CeCé Telfer was such a slam dunk choice for athlete of the year:

They chose a man who “identifies as” a woman as female athlete of the year because it’s such an excellent poke in the eye to all female athletes, and because they’re all about the male entitlement, and because they like taking away the few prizes women are eligible for, and because they’re malicious shits.


Jan 1st, 2020 8:07 am | By

A smoke screen for her underlying bigotry

Dec 31st, 2019 4:49 pm | By

Katelyn Burns explains the Maya Forstater ruling for readers of The New Republic:

But a closer look at the case reveals that it doesn’t have much to do with a belief that “there are only two sexes in human beings … male and female,” as Forstater claims (and growing bodies of science dispute). In practice, Forstater was seeking legal cover to disregard the already established rights of trans people in the U.K.

What rights? What rights of trans people was Maya “seeking legal cover to disregard”?

Hers was a familiar argument—one that for too long has dominated mainstream coverage of trans rights.

What rights are those though?

A passage from employment judge James Tayler’s ruling explained it perfectly: “The claimant is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”

It’s not about what anyone “considers appropriate” though is it. It’s about safety, for one thing. Women sometimes need to know who is a man for their own safety. It’s not a whim, it’s not “absolutism,” it’s not random, it’s not being cruel or rude. It’s self-preservation. Women are given a lot of self-preserving advice about what to do around men, which seems to hint that women can be at risk from the presence of men in some situations. If we’re not allowed to know who is a man and who isn’t any more, how can we follow any advice of that kind?

Forstater’s claim about protected belief was just a smoke screen for her underlying bigotry, and Tayler saw through it. “It is also a slight of hand to suggest that the Claimant merely does not hold the belief that transwomen are women,” he wrote in his judgment. “She positively believes that they are men; and will say so whenever she wishes.” The case, then, wasn’t so much about belief as it was about actions.

But how does Katelyn Burns – who is a trans woman – suggest we deal with this issue of sometimes needing to know who is a man for our own protection? Just ignore it?

In the U.K., trans people are protected on the basis of their “gender reassignment,” meaning that they should be treated as their transitioned genders under the law.

“Treated as” – what does that mean? Does it mean the law is telling us to lie about what we perceive? Can a law really order us to do that?

In her employment case, Forstater wanted her own beliefs to supersede the rights of those trans people.

But what about our rights? What about our rights to deal in facts as opposed to fantasies? What about our rights to name things accurately as opposed to being forced to lie? Why don’t those rights matter?

Winning her suit would have meant potentially nullifying protections for trans people and eroding emerging social norms that allow trans people to feel safe and respected in basic social interactions.

What protections? Is it really “protection” to force other people to call you what you are not? That’s not my idea of a protection.

I’m not convinced it’s about protection; I think it’s more about attention. If people are forced by law to use counter-intuitive pronouns for other people, then those forced people will have to pay constant attention to the people of pronoun so that they don’t get it wrong. It’s a wonder Trump hasn’t latched onto this wheeze yet.

Anti-trans activists like Forstater can talk all they want about their simple and humble personal beliefs in the supposed immutability of biological sex, but the truth is, as the judge found, those views are—or should be—irrelevant to how trans people are treated in society and on the job.

Then again you could say that people’s magic inner gender feels are irrelevant to how people at work refer to them.

It doesn’t matter what Forstater believes about trans people or the body—the court found that it didn’t entitle her to misgender people. That’s why nondiscrimination laws exist in the first place.

No it isn’t. Nondiscrimination laws in general have nothing to do with pronouns, and the reason they exist is to prevent injustice, not to indulge people’s personal fantasies about themselves.

Cases like this—which pit the actual lives of trans people against the beliefs of somebody who decided to test her colleagues’ patience by posting over 150 anti-trans tweets in a single week—are a win-win for anti-trans activists.

One, the tweets were not “anti-trans”; two, were Maya’s colleagues forced to read her tweets? Did she print them out and place them on her colleagues’ desks? Is it really any of her colleagues’ business what she tweets?

If they prevail, they now have a new legal basis to treat trans people like garbage without reprisal.

Saying that people cannot literally change sex is not “treating trans people like garbage.” People can’t literally jump over tall buildings; it’s not treating them like garbage to say so.

I don’t think Katelyn Burns is garbage, but I certainly think this article is.

Golfing while Palm Beach burns

Dec 31st, 2019 3:56 pm | By

Trump spends a very hefty percentage of his time on the golf course – hefty as in around 20%.

In one way that’s a good thing, because while he’s golfing he’s not shit-tweeting or Putin-kissing or world-destroying. In another way it’s contemptible, because he decided to take on this formidable job and he’s not even giving it his full attention. (An even heftier percentage of his time is taken up with watching Fox News.)

CNN has collected some figures.

According to CNN’s tally, he has spent at least 252 days at a Trump golf club and 333 days at a Trump property as President.

This year alone, he spent at least 86 days at a golf club, despite a late start due to the government shutdown. The golf excursions have included the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia; his Bedminister, New Jersey, golf club; Trump National Doral outside Miami; and Trump International Doonbeg in Ireland.

All the ones at his own clubs mean more $$$ in his pocket, which violates a law.

During a Christmas Eve call with US service members, Trump was asked about his holiday plans. “I’m at a place called Mar-a-Lago, we call it the southern White House,” he said. “I really pretty much work. That’s what I like to do.”

We do not call it the southern White House.

He does not pretty much work. He plays golf and watches Fox and hangs with his cronies. When would he find time to work?

333 days out of 1075…yes I call that a hefty chunk.

A terrible choice on so many levels

Dec 31st, 2019 11:37 am | By

Oddly enough women don’t see Ivanka Trump as a diversity hire.

CES, the eading consumer-electronics trade show, is facing criticism after picking Ivanka Trump to serve as its keynote speaker next month in Las Vegas, after years of being accused of overlooking the role of women in technology.

I find that pretty disgusting and I’m not even a woman in technology.

She has no knowledge or experience or credentials in the field, and she also has no knowledge or experience or credentials in any other field. All she’s ever done is parlay her corrupt father’s celebrity and money into money and celebrity for herself.

“This is a terrible choice on so many levels but also – what an insult to the YEARS AND YEARS of protesting how few women were invited to keynote & being told it was a pipeline problem while similarly-situated men were elevated,” tech commentator Rachel Sklar tweeted. “There are so many great, qualified women. Shame.”

While the president’s daughter has been involved in White House efforts to boost the economic empowerment of women and their families, and spoke at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague this year, her engagement with technology is limited.

Plus “has been involved in White House efforts to boost the” blah blah blah doesn’t even mean anything. It’s just noise. Maybe she’s done some actual work, but frankly it seems highly unlikely, and we have no way of knowing what actual work she has done and how good it was. She’s just there, nepotizing, because nobody has managed to stop her yet.

Shapiro said in a statement: “We welcome her to the CES keynote stage, as she shares her vision for technology’s role in creating and enabling the workforce of the future.”

Blah blah blah. Again, it’s just handwaving. It’s meaningless. She has no “vision,” she has nothing to say. Barbie gives a keynote.

Image result for barbie doll business woman

A habit of treating women as untrustworthy witnesses

Dec 31st, 2019 11:15 am | By

Joan Smith points out some implications of the Cyprus outrage:

This sequence of events is a stain on the Cypriot justice system, but what lies behind it is a hugely disproportionate anxiety about false accusations. Indeed it is one of the principal myths that undermine rape investigations, even though the idea that there are high levels of false allegations is unsupported by evidence. In the UK, a handful of widely publicised cases that ended in acquittals or a decision not to proceed to trial has tainted the entire system for investigating rape. Many people do not understand that a decision not to prosecute reflects an assessment of the available evidence, and does not mean the victim was lying.

The Crown Prosecution Service denies the accusation that it has become “risk averse”, but there has been a 52% drop in the number of rape cases prosecuted since 2016, despite an increase of 43% in complaints to the police. According to the latest figures for the year ending in March 2019, there were 58,657 allegations of rape in England and Wales but only 1,925 successful prosecutions. Unless you are a dyed-in-the-wool misogynist, it simply defies belief that more than 55,000 women are lying about being raped every year.

Sadly, though, a hell of a lot of people are dyed-in-the-wool misogynists.

The truth is actually much worse: a habit of treating women as untrustworthy witnesses has imbued our own criminal justice system with a corrosive degree of suspicion. It’s far from unusual for victims to face intrusive demands for personal information, including school and medical records. They are made to feel as though they, rather than their alleged attackers, have shameful secrets in their past.

Bitchez be lyin, right?

The police forced her to change her story

Dec 31st, 2019 10:52 am | By

New rule for women: don’t report gang-rape, because if you do you could find yourself convicted of lying.

The UK government is to raise concerns with the authorities in Cyprus over the fairness of a trial in which a British teenager was found guilty of lying about being gang-raped.

A judge ruled on Monday that the 19-year-old wilfully indulged in public mischief in claiming she was raped by a group of Israeli males aged between 15 and 22 while she was on holiday in Ayia Napa in July.

The ruling by Michalis Papathanasiou at Famagusta’s district court in Paralimni was immediately and strongly condemned by the defence team and rights groups. They claimed the trial was full of legal irregularities that called the verdict into question and suggested a desire to protect relations with Israel may have influenced the process.

Or that plus a settled conviction that all women are lying whores.

The case against the student hinged on a statement retracting her original accusation, signed after hours of questioning by detectives in a police station that was neither recorded nor attended by a lawyer. She said in court that the police had forced her to change her story, telling the judge she was “scared for my life”.

Sounds like the Central Park 5 but in reverse. Sometimes the cops coerce suspects into signing a false statement, sometimes they bully an accuser into signing a false statement.

The legal aid group Justice Abroad said the trial had been far from fair because Papathanasiou had refused to consider whether the defendant had actually been assaulted.

Then…how did he or anyone come to the conclusion that she was lying?

“We are not surprised by the result given the frequent refusal during the trial of the judge to consider evidence which supported the fact that the teenager had been raped,” said Michael Polak, a barrister with the group.

“Shutting down questioning from our Cypriot advocates and the production of evidence into the trial on a handful of occasions, the judge stridently stated, ‘This is not a rape case, I will not consider whether she was raped or not.’”

Uhhhh…isn’t that like trying someone for burglary without considering whether there was any burglary or not?

The teenager, who has already spent a month in prison, could be jailed for up to a year and fined in excess of €1,000 (£850). Although released on bail from Nicosia general prison, she has been forced to relinquish her passport, moving from safe house to safe house ever since.

Tell us more about cis privilege.

Yeeerz of daytah

Dec 31st, 2019 10:35 am | By

What is transphobic? Saying that a man competing against women in sport is unfair is transphobic. We’re told.


Advantage? What advantage? What advantage could that doctor in the middle possibly have?

Climate change solved

Dec 30th, 2019 4:53 pm | By

Mike Bloomberg describes for us his vision of hell plan to get lots done because desks and screens.

Hello rape culture

Dec 30th, 2019 4:35 pm | By

Dallas News:

Since my younger daughter is only 11, I didn’t expect the weight of the letter she brought me that night around 11 p.m., hours after I’d put her to bed.

In glittery red ink, the same she used for her Christmas list, her words sank my heart. At a friend’s birthday party, they were playing on the little girl’s phone. The girl handed it to my daughter and said, “Boys are disgusting.” My daughter clicked on a male classmate’s Snapchat story to find a video of him and a few other boys from her class laughing as they watched rape porn. She said the woman was bound up, saying “no” as a masked man approached her.

Her letter went on to describe a group of boys in her sixth grade class frequently joking about assaulting the girls in the parking lot. She said if any of the girls aren’t sitting with their legs closed, the boys will ask if they want to get pregnant. And if the girls’ legs are crossed, boys from this group often walk by and say, “Spread ‘em.”

This does not give me hope for the future.

Silently vocal

Dec 30th, 2019 11:37 am | By

Princess Ivanka gets another fawning interview with people who should know better:

[T]hings got worse at the end of the interview when Brennan went to extreme lengths to portray her as a moderating force in her father’s White House.

On the topic of immigration, Brennan described Ivanka as “vocal in your opposition” to the inhumane family separation policy her father implemented in April 2018, noting that she described the policy as a “low point.” But Ivanka was not in fact “vocal” in opposition to the policy — in fact, the opposite is the case.

As my colleague Emily Stewart chronicled at the time, Ivanka — supposedly an advocate for women and families in the administration — only spoke out in opposition to the family separation policy after her father signed an executive order in June 2018 ending it. She was conspicuously silent in the days leading up to that point, as heart-rending stories and images of children being separated from their families along the southern border were in the news.

Because guess what, Ivanka isn’t some stealth-decent person working undercover in her daddy’s corrupt regime. She’s what she looks like: a pampered rich offspring who has no intention of cutting off the cash supply by offending her rich daddy.

Brennan’s misleading characterization of Ivanka’s position on the family separation policy was later echoed in a tweet from the Face the Nation account that included video of the exchange and has a ratio of more than 3,100 (largely critical) replies to 151 retweets as this is published — one that indicates CBS’s framing is going over [badly].

Ok, but you have to admit, her hair is very smooth.

Guest post: Voting isn’t like picking a restaurant for your small group of friends

Dec 30th, 2019 11:10 am | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on Hey, how about interviewing the people at Ma’s Pie Shop?

I just wish for someone who I feel good about voting for

Honestly, that’s not a realistic wish, unless your bar for “feel good about” is fairly low. (And maybe it is for you, in which case the rest of this post will seem like I’m jumping on you. I’m really just using your post to take aim at a commonly-expressed sentiment that I think is a problem in general, even if it isn’t a problem in your specific case.)

Even if all of politics came down to a simplified one-dimensional ideological spectrum, you would have to be one of the relatively few lucky ones who happens to occupy a point on that spectrum that is at or close to a viable candidate.

Add in another dimension, such as personal qualities of the candidate, and it gets even harder. Allow for one or more other political dimensions (e.g. social and fiscal), and… your odds of finding a viable candidate close to you in political space are pretty slim.

Voting isn’t like picking a restaurant for your small group of friends, where it really ought to be the case that you can find a place that all of you feel good about; it’s like trying to select a single dish that your entire town will eat. There just isn’t likely to be any way to satisfy all those disparate diets and allergies, let alone mere preferences. The best you can hope for is something that will keep you nourished; tasty and exciting is not a realistic expectation.

They fear new revelations

Dec 30th, 2019 10:28 am | By

It’s always worse. Greg Sargent at the Post sums up the new evidence on how bad it is:

If Mitch McConnell is going to pull off his scheme to turn President Trump’s impeachment trial into a quick and painless sham with no witnesses, the Senate majority leader needs the story to be covered as a conventional Washington standoff — one that portrays both sides as maneuvering for advantage in an equivalently political manner.

But extraordinary new revelations in the New York Times about Trump’s corrupt freezing of military aid to Ukraine will — or should — make this much harder to get away with.

Not everything is left v right, Dems v Republicans, Big End v Little End. Much of what’s awful about Trump isn’t political in that sense. But McConnell needs to frame it that way to save Trump’s oozing hide.

If Republicans bear the brunt of media pressure to explain why they don’t want to hear from witnesses, that risks highlighting their true rationale: They adamantly fear new revelations precisely because they know Trump is guilty — and that this corrupt scheme is almost certainly much worse than we can currently surmise.

The Times report makes some of that clearer than it was.

The report demonstrates in striking detail that inside the administration, the consternation over the legality and propriety of the aid freeze — and confusion over Trump’s true motives — ran much deeper than previously known, implicating top Cabinet officials more deeply than we thought.

Mulvaney got to work on freezing the aid to Ukraine in June, and one of his top aides “worried it would fuel the narrative that Trump was tacitly aiding Russia.”

Internal opposition was fierce.

The Pentagon pushed for the money for months. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-national security adviser John Bolton privately urged Trump to understand that freezing the aid was not in our national interest.

Trump brushed them off, babbling about Ukraine’s “corruption.”

Lawyers at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) worked to develop a far-fetched legal argument that Trump could exercise commander-in-chief authority to override Congress’ appropriation of the aid, to get around the law precluding Trump from freezing it.

That’s a striking one. White House lawyers tried to create their own special legal theory that would make it ok for Trump to ignore the law.

One of Trump’s people tried to get the Pentagon to say it was all their fault, which left one Pentagon official speechless.

Duffey froze the aid with highly unusual bureaucratic tactics, refused to tell Pentagon officials why Trump wanted it withheld and instructed them to keep this “closely held.” (Some of this had already been reported, but in narrative context it becomes far more damning.)

All this for the sake of trying to steal the upcoming election.

What makes all this new information really damning, however, is that many of these officials who were directly involved with Trump’s freezing of aid are the same ones Trump blocked from appearing before the House impeachment inquiry.

This should make it inescapable that McConnell wants a trial with no testimony from these people — Democrats want to hear from Mulvaney, Bolton, Duffey and Blair — precisely because he, too, wants to prevent us from ever gaining a full accounting.

In short McConnell wants to help a criminal get away with crimes in aid of stealing the next election.

A bashful little bribe

Dec 30th, 2019 10:02 am | By

What on earth is Google doing giving money to Devin Nunes’s campaign?

I ask not because he’s a Republican but because he’s a lying Trump-enabler.

In November, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) was in the spotlight — the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, which was leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. He used his star turn to push “fantastical conspiracy theories” about Democrats. Nunes falsely accused Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) of trying to obtain nude photos of Trump. He promoted the discredited notion, advanced by Trump but rejected by the intelligence community, that Ukraine took significant steps to meddle in the 2016 election. The debunked contention is part of a broader Russian propaganda effort to absolve itself from hacking the DNC servers by pinning the blame on Ukraine.

Nunes’ antics during the impeachment hearings capped a year when he filed six defamation lawsuits, seeking hundreds of millions in damages from Twitter, a GOP political operative, media companies, a retired farmer, and a fictional cow. The suits were all filed by an attorney, Steven Biss, whose law license was suspended twice by the state of Virginia

In response, Google quietly rewarded Nunes’ behavior with a check for $5000 to help him get reelected. The donation was revealed in a little-noticed FEC report that was filed on December 20. 

The short answer to my question is “so that Nunes will treat Google well.”

It’s all for sale.