Notes and Comment Blog

When Don bullied Jeff

Feb 28th, 2018 5:07 pm | By

The Post reports Mueller is looking at Trump’s campaign to bully Sessions into resigning last July…

…according to people familiar with the matter who said that a key area of interest for the inquiry is whether those efforts were part of a months-long pattern of attempted obstruction of justice.

That’s certainly what they looked like out here in civilian world, but maybe they were just Trump’s mischievous sense of fun.

In recent months, Mueller’s team has questioned witnesses in detail about Trump’s private comments and state of mind in late July and early August of last year, around the time he issued a series of tweets belittling his “beleaguered” attorney general, these people said. The thrust of the questions was to determine whether the president’s goal was to oust Sessions in order to pick a replacement who would exercise control over the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump associates during the 2016 election, these people said.

Well, good. I want to see Trump brought down with a bang, like the bang when a heavy statue hits the pavement and breaks into 14 pieces. I’m very vindictive about it. Judge me if you like.

March 1: Updating to add:

Ship sinking?

Feb 28th, 2018 4:03 pm | By

Now Hope Hicks is out.

Her resignation came a day after she testified for eight hours before the House Intelligence Committee, telling the panel that in her job, she had occasionally been required to tell white lies but had never lied about anything connected to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Multiple White House aides said that Ms. Hicks’s departure was unrelated to her appearance before the committee. They said that she had told a small group of people in the days before the session that she had planned to leave her job.

But why would she leave such an awesome job working for such an awesome dude?


Feb 28th, 2018 12:32 pm | By

Just another day.

President Trump criticized his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, on Wednesday and called him “DISGRACEFUL” after Mr. Sessions indicated that the Justice Department’s watchdog would look into accusations of potential abuse of surveillance laws rather than the agency’s own lawyers.

In a 43-word tweet, Mr. Trump scolded the attorney general, belittled the role of the Justice Department’s independent watchdog and pressured the agency to speed up its investigations.

Mr. Sessions, who rarely reacts publicly to the president’s insults, defended the Justice Department in a statement hours later.

All completely normal.

The president’s tweet was the latest example of Mr. Trump publicly excoriating Mr. Sessions and wading into Justice Department investigations. Though previous presidents have allowed law enforcement a large degree of independence to keep from influencing their inquiries, Mr. Trump has consistently called for investigations into his political rivals and he has criticized Mr. Sessions for not being more aggressive.

Well, when I say normal, I mean for this deranged and narcissistic man.

A compromised individual who is a huge potential blackmail target

Feb 28th, 2018 10:38 am | By

Jennifer Rubin says Kushner should be anxious at the fact that Trump isn’t shielding him.

It was never clear why Kushner reportedly requested more access to intelligence materials than any other White House official outside the National Security Council, but whatever the reason, the power that comes with access to information has now been sharply curtailed. (“Friday’s downgrade represents a significant loss of access for Kushner, who routinely attended classified briefings, received access to the President’s Daily Brief intelligence report and issue[d] requests for information to the intelligence community.”) The move also raises questions as to why Kushner wasn’t granted a permanent clearance (Was it Russia? His ongoing financial woes? Omissions on his request for a top-secret clearance?).

The fact that he provided multiple opportunities for blackmail?

“The fact that a compromised individual who is a huge potential blackmail target had consistent access to our nation’s most closely held secrets for more than a year is just unconscionable,” Max Bergmann, a former State Department official now at the Center for American Progress, tells me. “If this was any other administration, Kushner would have been out long ago. Anyone else would not be allowed back in the White House.”

If it were any other administration he would never have been in in the first place. Seriously; he wouldn’t. Bill Clinton shouldn’t have given an important policy job to his wife, because nepotism, but she did at least have relevant credentials and education, and she did not have massive debts and complicated financial dealings in multiple foreign countries. Kushner is both unqualified and dirty.

Finally, once more we see the downside of Trump’s failure to abide by norms that have guided presidents of both parties (e.g., don’t hire unqualified* relatives for top posts). We also see the consequences of Republicans’ refusal to take their oversight responsibilities seriously with regard to massive conflicts of interest for the entire Trump clan. In the end, Republicans’ indulgence of Trump and his family may prove to be the president’s undoing. Had Trump at the outset been forced to separate himself from his financial holdings and require Kushner to do the same, Trump might have avoided what we now have — the appearance of a corrupt family more akin to a Third World autocracy than a democratic government.

*or qualified

Trump should have been told not to hire any relatives from the outset. That’s all the more true because they’re so corrupt plus unqualified, but it would be true anyway. Also what we have is not the appearance of a corrupt family but rather the reality.

Kushner likely violated the Hatch Act

Feb 28th, 2018 10:21 am | By

Just in case Kushner’s day wasn’t already bad enough yesterday…there was the little matter of violating the Hatch Act. CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, issued a press release.

Presidential adviser Jared Kushner appears to have violated the Hatch Act, according to a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) with the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC).

Kushner likely violated the Hatch Act in a press release sent out by the Trump presidential campaign this morning. Kushner gave a quote about the the president’s reelection campaign and is identified as “Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President, and President Trump’s son-in-law.” The Hatch Act prohibits the use of official title for political purposes.

“The rules are clear that government officials aren’t allowed to use their positions for campaign activity,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “He may have a close relationship with the president, but the rules still apply to Jared Kushner.”

The Trump administration has shown a pattern of Hatch Act violations. Following previous CREW complaints, both Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino Jr. were reprimanded for Hatch Act violations. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway also received ethics counseling following a CREW complaint over her violation of federal ethics regulations for using her official position to promote Ivanka Trump products.

“At this point, it is abundantly clear that there is a total disregard for ethics in this administration,” Bookbinder said. “There have been far too many violations, and this pattern cannot be allowed to continue.”

The entitled way they simply ignore all the rules gets on my nerves in a big way.

Little price to pay

Feb 27th, 2018 5:54 pm | By

But at least Trump is doing his best to prevent further Russian hacking, right?


Faced with unrelenting interference in its election systems, the United States has not forced Russia to pay enough of a price to persuade President Vladimir V. Putin to stop meddling, a senior American intelligence official said on Tuesday.

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the departing head of the National Security Agency and the military’s Cyber Command, said that he was using the authorities he had to combat the Russian attacks. But under questioning during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he acknowledged that the White House had not asked his agencies — the main American spy and defense arms charged with conducting cyberoperations — to find ways to counter Moscow, or granted them new authorities to do so.

“President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there’s little price to pay and that therefore ‘I can continue this activity,’” said Admiral Rogers, who is set to retire in April. “Clearly what we have done hasn’t been enough.”

Trump is way too busy watching tv and tweeting insults.

Admiral Rogers’s testimony was the second time this month that a senior American intelligence official had said that Russia’s efforts to meddle in American elections did not end in 2016, and that the Trump administration had taken no extraordinary steps to stop them. He and other intelligence leaders warned two weeks ago on Capitol Hill that Russia was using a digital strategy to worsen political and social divisions in the United States, and all the intelligence chiefs said they had not been expressly asked by the White House to find a way to punish Russia for its efforts.

Draining the swamp, baby.

The ego that swallowed the world

Feb 27th, 2018 5:28 pm | By

17 ways to manipulate Jared Kushner

Feb 27th, 2018 5:17 pm | By

Well exactly; of course they have.

Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties, and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter.

Naturally; why wouldn’t they? This is one reason it’s such a baaaaaaaaad idea to put an ignorant property-haver like Jared Kushner in charge of foreign affairs simply because he’s married to Daddy’s princess. He’s corrupt, he’s having trouble making payments, he knows absolutely nothing about foreign policy – of course people are talking about manipulating him.

Among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the current and former officials said.

No biggy. At least it wasn’t Monaco, right?

It is unclear if any of those countries acted on the discussions, but Kushner’s contacts with certain foreign government officials have raised concerns inside the White House and are a reason he has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance, the officials said.

H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser, learned that Kushner had contacts with foreign officials that he did not coordinate through the National Security Council or officially report. The issue of foreign officials talking about their meetings with Kushner and their perceptions of his vulnerabilities was a subject raised in McMaster’s daily intelligence briefings, according to the current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

Oh good god.

Within the White House, Kushner’s lack of government experience and his business debt were seen from the beginning of his tenure as potential points of leverage that foreign governments could use to influence him, the current and former officials said.

They could also have legal implications. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has asked people about the protocols Kushner used when he set up conversations with foreign leaders, according to a former U.S. official.

Officials in the White House were concerned that Kushner was “naive and being tricked” in conversations with foreign officials, some of whom said they wanted to deal only with Kushner directly and not more experienced personnel, said one former White House official.

I’m sure that’s only because they like his sweet little innocent face.

No car keys for Jared

Feb 27th, 2018 4:28 pm | By

Jared Kushner has had a pleasant 13 months seeing all the top secrets despite not having the appropriate security clearance, but that cheery idyll has come to an end. Kelly done busted him down.

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been stripped of his high-level security clearance after months of delays in completing an exhaustive background check, limiting his ability to view highly classified information, a White House official and another person familiar with Mr. Kushner’s situation said.

Mr. Kushner’s top-secret clearance was reduced to secret and his portfolio, especially with regard to his conduct of foreign affairs on behalf of President Trump, is expected to contract sharply as well in the days ahead, the people said Tuesday. The change in his clearance was first reported by Politico.

Of course he never had any business conducting foreign affairs on behalf of Donald Trump in the first place.

Officials have not said what has held up Mr. Kushner’s background check, though extensive contacts with foreign officials are usually scrutinized closely by the F.B.I. And Mr. Kushner’s meetings with foreign leaders and multiple business ventures could be relevant to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The issue of Mr. Kushner’s clearance has led to a continuing clash with Mr. Kelly. Mr. Kushner has pressed to keep his top-level access to some of the United States’ most sensitive classified material. That access has allowed him to view the presidential daily brief, the summary of intelligence that is given to the president every day.

But he shouldn’t be there at all, much less there and looking at the United States’ most sensitive classified material. The whole thing is a scandal.

Armed with that access, Mr. Kushner served as a high-level envoy to leaders around the world, including the leaders of Saudi Arabia, and is the top White House adviser charged with negotiating peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Despite the fact that his profession is “property owner,” which really doesn’t prepare anyone to do the envoying to Saudi Arabia and the miraculous peace-making between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

National security veterans in Washington said the loss of high-level clearance will be a hindrance when it comes to Mr. Kushner’s foreign policy role, particularly his ability to understand what the other players are thinking, including the Saudis, Iranians and others who are influential in the region.

But he shouldn’t have any foreign policy role. If Trump had a chihuahua, the chihuahua should not have any foreign policy, and neither should son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In a briefing for reporters earlier in the day, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, repeatedly refused to answer questions about the status of Mr. Kushner’s clearance or that of other aides at the White House.

“I’ve been very clear that we don’t discuss security clearances,” she said. “And that’s not changing today, it didn’t change yesterday, it’s not going to change tomorrow, probably not going to change next week.”

So they get away with murder by just refusing to discuss murder. Quite a con-game.

A howitzer in every kitchen

Feb 27th, 2018 11:51 am | By

Is it stupidity or corruption or both? Who knows, who cares, either way it’s appalling.

House Speaker Paul Ryan signaled Tuesday he isn’t supportive of the proposals to impose new restrictions on gun purchases, telling reporters “we shouldn’t be banning guns for law abiding citizens.”

During a weekly news conference in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people, the Wisconsin Republican added, “we should be focusing on making sure that citizens who shouldn’t get guns in the first place don’t get those guns.”

As if anyone can know which citizens “should” get guns and which shouldn’t. As if anyone can know that every time, infallibly, at a glance. As if people who sell guns are experts in this new science of Knowing Who Should Have Guns.

And even more to the point, as if anyone “should” have a gun that tears organs apart on entry, a gun that is designed not to disable but to blow to pieces. Why not just cut to the chase and let everyone buy bombs? We’ve got the drones, now give us the bombs – just think of the possibilities!

Ryan also emphasized the failure by law enforcement to respond to reports about the shooter.

“We see a big breakdown in the system here,” he said. “In this particular case, there were a lot of breakdowns — from local law enforcement, to the FBI getting tips they didn’t follow up on, to you know, school resource officers, who are trained to protect kids in these schools and who didn’t do that. That, to me, is the most stunning one of them all.”

Nope. The most stunning one of them all – and the most blown-to-bits one as well – is the fact that the guy the system failed to stop was able to take an AR-15 into that school and blow huge holes through 17 people such that they died, and slightly less lethal holes in others (I can’t find a number for the injured – three are currently still in hospitals). If Cruz had not been able to take such a deadly gun into the school, the failure to do anything about him would not have been so “stunning.”

There is no reason to make it possible for enraged civilian men to have military weapons.

Pressed about whether Congress was doing enough as students from the Florida high school make the rounds on Capitol Hill to urge top leaders to take action, Ryan again pointed to the problems preventing the incident, saying there was “a colossal breakdown” at the local level.

“Of course we want to listen to these kids, but we also want to make sure that we protect people’s due process rights and legal constitutional rights while making sure that people who should not get guns don’t get them,” Ryan replied. “This kid was clearly one of those people.”

The Second Amendment to the Constitution predates assault rifles.

“Women are getting feminism wrong”

Feb 27th, 2018 11:02 am | By

Top best most fabulous intersectionalityism:

Is Munroe Bergdorf a Russian troll?

Munroe Bergdorf got “facial feminization” surgery a month ago, and posts glam shots of the result.

Fine; whatever; knock yourself out; but don’t be telling women how to do feminism correctly.

We don’t leave female journalists alone with Lawrence

Feb 27th, 2018 10:44 am | By

There are people corroborating the BuzzFeed story on Lawrence Krauss on social media.

Elise Andrew for one.

Adding my voice to this – in 2013 I attended an event with Krauss and considered requesting an interview. Was told by someone who works with him that “we don’t leave female journalists alone with Lawrence”. Decided not to do the interview.

This “whisper network” people are talking about wasn’t made up of people who didn’t like him and wanted to smear him. It was people who worked with him who didn’t want to deal with the drama.

The same would apply to other people who warned women about Krauss: the goal was not [necessarily] to smear Krauss but to warn the women. That’s how it works. Warnings about people are also damaging to the reputations of said people, but that’s inherently part of such warnings.

A comment on a public post by Daniel Bastian:

A few years ago, I watched him proposition an 18 year old who had recently escaped a home schooling religious cult. I wasn’t sure why people I used to be close to didn’t decide he was a lowlife right then and there.

Drip drip drip.


Feb 27th, 2018 9:43 am | By

The Oath Keepers, a lunatic militia group, are organizing to “protect” schools by standing around outside them packing heat. What could possibly go wrong.

In Indiana, at least one member of the group, Mark Cowan, stationed himself outside of a Fort Wayne high school last week. He wielded a handgun and AR-15 while keeping watch near the premises, per local outlet WPTA-21.

Fabulous. And the school administration and teachers and students are supposed to know he’s protecting them as opposed to preparing to shoot them how exactly?

Bryan Humes, a leader in the Oath Keepers chapter in Indiana, said he’s not sure how many Oath Keepers are currently stationed outside of local schools, although he believes there are several. He said he also knows of other Oath Keepers keeping watch of schools outside of Indiana, but could not provide specific numbers.

“We’re just hoping that we can be a little added security. If the schools already have a resource officer, then the local sheriff, city and state police have another set of eyes and ears keeping an eye on things,” said Humes.

Who wouldn’t want random unofficial amateur unknown people loitering around schools with AR-15s? What could possibly be a more reassuring sight?

Krista Stockman, spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Community Schools in Indiana, said she does not believe having an Oath Keeper guard a school “adds to the safety of our students.”

“At all of our schools, we have security procedures in place, including armed police officers at most buildings. We do not endorse this kind of activity.”

Parents complained to the district about the Oath Keeper’s presence outside the school last week, Stockman said.

Complained about some random dude with an AR-15 outside a school? Why on earth?


Feb 27th, 2018 9:18 am | By

Paul Krugman notes the flood of resistance, or what he calls “a powerful upwelling of decency,” in for instance MeToo and the reactions to the Parkland massacre.

This isn’t what anyone, certainly not the political commentariat, expected.

After the 2016 election many in the news media seemed all too ready to assume that Trumpism represented the real America, even though Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote and — Russian intervention and the Comey letter aside — would surely have won the electoral vote, too, but for the Big Sneer, the derisive tone adopted by countless reporters and pundits. There have been hundreds if not thousands of stories about grizzled Trump supporters sitting in diners, purportedly showing the out-of-touchness of our cultural elite.

Not to mention an entire cottage industry around Hillbilly Elegy. It’s masochism, that kind of thing, journalists abasing themselves for being so damn elitist and smartyboots.

Political scientists have a term and a theory for what we’re seeing on #MeToo, guns and perhaps more: “regime change cascades.”

Here’s how it works: When people see the status quo as immovable, they tend to be passive even if they are themselves dissatisfied. Indeed, they may be unwilling to reveal their discontent, or to fully admit it to themselves. But once they see others visibly taking a stand, they both gain more confidence in their dissent and become more willing to act on it — and by their actions they may induce the same response in others, causing a kind of chain reaction.

Seems too obvious to be worth labeling, really. Trump himself triggered a regime change cascade, showing all the assholes that there are plenty of assholes out there. Show people a big basket of deplorables and they’ll make it into a whole warehouse of deplorables.

Such cascades explain how huge political upheavals can quickly emerge, seemingly out of nowhere. Examples include the revolutions that swept Europe in 1848, the sudden collapse of communism in 1989 and the Arab Spring of 2011.

Now, nothing says that such cascades have to be positive either in their motivations or in their results. The period 2016-17 clearly represented a sort of Alt-Right Spring — springtime for fascists? — in which white supremacists and anti-Semites were emboldened not just by Donald Trump’s election but by the evidence that there were more like-minded people than anyone realized, both in the U.S. and Europe.

What we have here is a battle of the cascades…which we knew all along. The Republicans have gerrymandered everything so that our cascade has to be way bigger than theirs to overcome the baddies, but Krugman thinks it may be that big. Here’s hoping.

Meet misia

Feb 26th, 2018 4:49 pm | By

Prepare to become more Woke.

Today’s lesson: how to fight all the varieties of misia.

Offstage voices: The what?

Oh dear, you don’t know what misia is? How sad. Fortunately there is a page for laggards like you. It is the “what does ‘misia’ mean?” page. You’re welcome.

You may be wondering why our guide uses the suffix “misia” instead of the suffix “phobia.” If you’ve not encountered “misia” language before, you may also be wondering what it means. Well never fear! We are more than happy to explain this relatively new shift in language.

The suffix “phobia” comes from the Greek word for “fear of,” and so it denotes an intense aversion to the part of the word that precedes it (e.g. arachnophobia is a fear of spiders). Words like “homophobia” or “Islamophobia” are pretty recognizable, and most folks understand them to mean a position or perspective that is prejudicial and discriminatory against LGBTQIA+ identities and the religion of Islam respectively.

The problem with using “phobia” terms as labels for prejudice is that there are folks who actually have phobias (real anxiety disorders in which someone experiences intense anxiety or fear that they’re unable to control—Claustraphobia, for instance). So when we use terms like “homophobia,” we are equating bigotry with a mental health disorder, which does several problematic things:

  • It relies on and reinforces the harmful stigma against mental illness (see the Anti-Ableism and Anti-Sanism tabs to learn more);
  • It inaccurately attributes oppression and oppressive attitudes to fear rather than to hate and bigotry;
  • It removes the accountability of an oppressive person by implying their actions and attitudes are outside their control.

So since labeling oppression with “phobia” suffixes is harmful, many folks are exchanging them for “misia” suffixes instead. Misia (pronounced “miz-eeya”) comes from the Greek word for hate or hatred, so similar to how Islamophobia means “fear of Islam,” the more accurate Islamomisia means “hatred of Islam.”

For these reasons, our guide will be using “misia” language in place of “phobia” in an effort to be as accurate, clear, and inclusive as possible.

Ok but I feel excluded by the word “folks,” so what about that, eh? Won’t somebody think about what I want?

But seriously – what is wrong with these people? Whoever they are, who wrote this shit. It purports to be from the library at Simmons College, but what does all this patronizing pedantic crap have to do with a college library? Who asked them? Who said they could tell everyone what to say?

Let’s take a cautious look at the transmisia page. Let’s notice that under “further reading” there are some links to Twitter hashtags. Let’s scroll down to “Cis fragility.”

Cis Fragility

Cis fragility (drawing on white fragility in critical race theory) is rooted in a desire to restore and reproduce cisnormativity. It is a combination of lack of stamina in interrogating their conceptions of gender, as well as a resistance to challenging those conceptions, often react[ing] with defensiveness [and] forcing trans people to do the emotional labor of comforting the cis person in addition to educating them.

Cis people exist in a social environment which validates their genders and reinforces a gender binary which corresponds to their lived experiences, giving them relative privilege to trans people. Cis people therefore can can exhibit a low tolerance for that which challenges their assumptions about gender and their conceptions of gender more broadly. (from Cis Fragility)

Another link to a Twitter hashtag.

Anyway…this kind of thing…it’s no good. Collecting a bunch of sanctimonious jargon and dogmatic bullshit off Twitter and presenting it as Holy Writ is neither intelligent nor persuasive nor reasonable nor interesting. It turns off people on the left, so I can hardly bear to think what it does to people on the right.

Guest post: The GOP had stripped itself of many possible defenses

Feb 26th, 2018 4:28 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on This brainless, sinister, clownish thing called Trumpism.

Part of the problem in the 2016 primaries is that the other candidates focused on attacking each other, assuming that the Trump bubble would burst, either on its own or because another candidate would take care of him. But in retrospect, it’s very obvious how by 2016, the GOP had stripped itself of many possible defenses to Trump even if they hadn’t waited until it was too late. What arguments could they have made?

1. “He doesn’t have the experience and qualifications.” Well, first, Republicans spent years pissing on the idea of government service as something of value, extolling millionaires as the real “job creators,” and insisting that what was needed was to bring the discipline of the private sector to the “swamp” of Washington waste. How could they then disparage the executive credentials of a (supposed) rich businessman? Second, after getting behind George W. Bush on the theory that “the president doesn’t have to be that bright as long as he has smart advisors,” and then lowering the bar to “a fairly dim half-term governor of Alaska can handle the job if needed,” it really is hard to start insisting on intellectual standards.

2. “He’s promising things he can’t possibly deliver, because they’re not even in the power of a President to accomplish.” The GOP’s media organs have spent the last couple of decades bemoaning the “War on Christmas,” NOW you’re gonna tell your voters that actually, Trump won’t be able to make anyone say “Merry Christmas” after all? Your foreign policy critique of Obama has generally been no more sophisticated than “Obama is a weak girly man. We will be strong and project strength, and then Putin and Kim and everyone else will respect us and back down,” so how can you now argue that Trump’s chest-thumping gorilla routine won’t work? He’s just taking your strategy and dialing it up to 11.

3. “He lies.” Conservative radio host Charlie Sykes (a never-Trumper) has explained this pretty well. Conservatives did such a good job of convincing their voters that the mainstream media is hopelessly biased against conservatives that there were effectively no referees left. Cruz and Rubio and Ryan and other “respectable” Republicans may have never out-and-out signed on to birtherism themselves, but they turned a blind eye to it, and Romney even begged for the Chief Birther Trump’s endorsement in 2012. The WaPo, NYT, CNN, et al. could run all the fact-checking pieces they want, but Trump just had to cry “fake news!” and their base was preconditioned to accept it. The only folks who could have possibly put the brakes on Trump would have been Fox News, and maybe some of the big radio guys (although I think Limbaugh’s influence was fading at this point anyway). And they had no interest in doing so — in fact, Trump had (shrewdly?) spent the last several years making himself available to any Fox show that wanted him, cultivating positive relationships with the hosts and audiences.

White niggers of the New World Order

Feb 26th, 2018 10:56 am | By

Have a blast from the past.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

That’s 1992. In 2007 Claire Fox (one of the Living Marxism set) wrote a touching reminiscence at Comment is Free:

During the Balkans conflict, the Serbs were routinely demonised en masse. Those of us who argued against casting the former post-cold war Serbia as an international pariah state, instead of a local protagonist in a dirty and bloody civil war, were labeled Serb apologists. In 1992, Living Marxism (the magazine I then wrote for and went on to publish after its re-launch as LM in 1997) noted that the Serbs had been turned into the “white niggers of the New World Order”; they were frequently described as “thugs”, “fascists”, “gangsters” and “rapists” by everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Red Ken Livingstone, from neo-cons to liberal journalists. The anti-Serb consensus was nothing if not broad!

Now she’s one of the Spiked set, because that’s what the Living Marxism set did – they linked hands and pivoted 180 degrees in unison. Here she is back in December along with Christina Hoff Sommers and Cathy Young and other libertarian rebbuls warning of the dangers of MeToo.

How ironic that #MeToo is fuelling its own bullying climate: women are told to conform, or else. This climate is a greater threat to real freedom than any pathetic groper.

Or any terrifying anti-Serb consensus?

Even if he didn’t have a weapon

Feb 26th, 2018 9:57 am | By

No theory of mind and no self-knowledge either. Trump now is telling us he “really believes” he would have run into MSD School even without a gun, because he’s so brave and awesome and everything.

Donald Trump was unable to serve his country during the Vietnam War due to his crippling bone spurs. He has spent his life since then proclaiming his love of the military that his affliction prevented him from joining (or sometimes using his love of the military as political cover). Today, Trump told a meeting of governors he would have stopped the Parkland school shooting had he been an officer on the scene. Indeed, he would have charged the shooter if he had no weapon: “I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon.”

Oh, well, if he really believes it, then there’s no more to be said. Ivanka Trump claims she believes her father’s claims that he never did assault or harass any of those women, so that settles it. Belief=truth as any fule kno.

Trump is frankly disgusted, yes disgusted.

“I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that too,” Trump told a gathering of US governors at the White House.

Signaling more than one sheriff’s deputy was at fault, Trump said they “weren’t exactly Medal of Honor winners” and said “the way they performed was frankly disgusting.”

It’s not something he’s ever going to be tested on, is it. He has protection now and he’ll have it for the rest of his life. For him it’s just a woulda. For the deputies in Florida it was the real thing.

Image result for bone spurs trump

Subtle hint

Feb 26th, 2018 8:17 am | By

Oh hell.

Note the date. The BuzzFeed article came out on February 22.

Bros before hos, I guess.

Just a few weeks ago the Origins Project went on an Amazon cruise:

Join Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins for an enlightening 8-day cruise in the Amazon beginning December 30, 2017.

Spend 8 days aboard the world class Delfin II, the perfect setting to explore questions ranging from the origins of evolution and life in the Amazon, to issues of biodiversity and our changing planet as we discover one of the most exotic and endangered locations in the world.

Origins Project Director, Lawrence Krauss and Evolutionary Biologist, Richard Dawkins will lead a group of science enthusiasts on trips throughout our evolutionary origins as our ship explores the depths and diversity of the world’s largest rainforest.

Trip highlights:

  • A stop in Lima with an optional excursion to Machu Picchu
  • Lectures and dialogues given by both Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins (topics to be announced)
  • A visit to the remote Pacaya Samiria Reserve, 5 million miles of protected rainforest
  • A canopy walk in the Amazon Natural Park, suspended between 14 of the largest rainforest trees
  • Piranha fishing
  • Stargazing in the jungle and a night safari
  • Swimming with pink and gray Amazon River dolphins
  • Interacting with local villagers
  • A visit to the Manatees Rescue Center

Read our cruise brochure to learn more about this once in a lifetime adventure.

It sounds amazing and I’m sure it was (and it was fully booked). But. But I’m sick of bros before hos.

A pretty inappropriate question

Feb 26th, 2018 7:40 am | By

This is outrageous.

NBC News asked Ivanka Trump if she believes the women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault.

Trump replied, “I think it’s a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter, if she believes the accusers of her father, when he’s affirmatively stated that there’s no truth to it. I don’t think that’s a question you would ask many other daughters.”

What a fucking imbecilic thing to say. Of course journalists would be unlikely to ask other daughters that question, because other daughters are not high officials in their father’s presidential administrations. She’s got massive illegitimate power, because she is her father’s daughter, so no she fucking does not get to pull the Pained Daughter face when asked if she believes her father does indeed grab women by the pussy exactly as he said he did on that tape we all heard.

My god. The gall of these people. The entitlement.

“I believe my father. I know my father. So, I think I have that right, as a daughter, to believe my father,” the senior White House adviser continued in the interview.

Not when you work in his administration you don’t. Not when you accept a job you have zero qualifications for you don’t, not when you ignore rules against nepotism to do so you don’t.

At the World Assembly for Women in Japan last year, she said that “all to often, our workplace culture fails to treat women with appropriate respect. This takes many forms, including harassment, which can never be tolerated.”

And following Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes, the first daughter tweeted: “Just saw @Oprah’s empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP!”

Exception for Daddy.