Notes and Comment Blog


See the poster

Jan 2nd, 2019 10:53 am | By

Trump is holding a cabinet meeting right now. Shannon Pettypiece is collecting the bulletins.

Good god. He is sitting right in front of a huge poster of himself.

How would he know more about drones than anybody, I wonder? It’s a technical subject; he’s not a technical subject guy.

Heil? I guess?

Nah, he quit.

We do! We know!

Start with the prisons, chum.



The Wordsworth of Trumpism

Jan 2nd, 2019 10:35 am | By

Elinor Lipman has another of her brilliant short topical poems:



Manly men build walls

Jan 2nd, 2019 10:22 am | By

The Times editorial board is disgusted with Trump and his shutdown. One, he’s messing up the lives of thousands of workers; two, he’s doing it not to Protect Our Security but to defend his ego; three, he’s an asshole.

With even a quick peek beyond his bubble, the president could learn much about the legions of government employees and contractors who spent the holiday season agonizing over how to cover their next mortgage payment or electric bill or trip to the grocery store if this political charade drags on much longer.

He could, but it wouldn’t make any difference if he did; he does not care.

If Mr. Trump would take the time to check in with what’s happening in the real world, he might read about the divorced Army veteran who’d worked “three jobs to survive” before getting hired as a paralegal at the Federal Trade Commission — and who now has no idea if he’ll make the rent. He could hear from the single mother who says that she’ll have enough for rent — but not for food. He might be moved by the wife of a corrections officer wondering how her family will handle their “mortgage, day care and car payments” while her husband is working without pay. Or by the disabled military vet who, having waited more than a year for “service-connected surgery,” cannot get final approval for her procedure until the shutdown ends.

Trump? “Might be moved by” that or anything else along the same lines? No. Someone else might, but not Trump. His ego is well defended – it has a virtual but powerful 100 foot wall that keeps out all non-self movables.

Not that Mr. Trump seems much interested in either the public will or the public good. For him, this shutdown is a self-declared point of pride— a gaudy display of his boldness, his manliness and his political steadfastness.

After all his bluff and bluster, if the president backed down now, he would incur the wrath and ridicule of hard-right pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, who seem to call the shots in this White House, as well as die-hard supporters who still think a concrete wall — or at least some “artistically designed steel slats” — will Make America Great Again.

See also: the Wheel.



Sabarimala

Jan 2nd, 2019 9:38 am | By

Back in September

India’s supreme court has ruled against a ban on girls and women of menstruating age from entering a prominent Hindu temple in southern Kerala state, upholding rights to equality of worship.

The authorities at the Sabarimala temple, which attracts tens of millions of pilgrims every year, have said the ban on women and girls aged from 10 to 50 was essential to the rites related to the temple’s chief deity, Ayyappan, who is considered eternally celibate, and were rooted in a centuries-old tradition.

Yes, so much suppression and exclusion of women is rooted in a centuries-old tradition. It’s been a centuries-old tradition to treat women as the property of men and as fundamentally insignificant for millennia. That’s not a reason to keep on doing it. Many centuries-old traditions are unjust or cruel or both. Let’s unceremoniously dump them.

And it’s so circular, in the way it takes male subjectivity as decisive and female subjectivity as irrelevant. The temple’s chief deity is male and is considered eternally celibate, therefore women represent nothing but A Threat To This Man’s Celibacy – as walking sex-slots, basically. The idea that their presence in the temple would be for their own reasons, that have nothing to do with sex, isn’t even rejected, it makes no appearance at all.

Lauren Frayer and Sushmita Pathak at NPR December 22:

The Sabarimala temple is famous for this pilgrimage. It attracts millions of Hindu devotees each year. But most of them are men, because the temple is also famous for something else: a partial ban on female worshippers.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, a Hindu god who devotees believe is celibate and cannot have contact with women of menstruating age. Some believe that’s because such women are impure. Others believe it’s because they are of childbearing age — fertile and thus a temptation to Lord Ayyappa. (Hinduism has no central authority on religious doctrine, and believers’ rationales vary.)

“We need to keep the bitches ladies out; never you mind why.”

The fact that the rationales are plural hints that it’s rooted in plain old misogyny. The men just don’t want women around because women are inferior goods because they’re not men. If a temple is special then it should be reserved for men because men are best and women are meh.

In September, India’s Supreme Court ruled that Sabarimala’s age restrictions on women amount to gender discrimination. Justices ordered the temple to admit women of all ages, immediately.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of protesters, male and female devotees and some right-wing Hindu politicians have turned out to block women from approaching the temple.

Not one woman between the ages of 10 and 50 has been able to reach Sabarimala since the court ruled Sept. 28 that they should be able to do so.

Serves the sluts right, the whores.

Many say that women’s presence at Sabarimala offends their faith and that the Supreme Court ruling infringes on their freedom of religion.

But what about the freedom of religion of women between 10 and 50? The ban infringes that, so what’s the solution?

Thousands of protesters, including local politicians from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, have been arrested since September for taking part in violent demonstrations against the court’s verdict.

Some female devotees have taken part in the protests, arguing that they do not want the right to visit the temple — and vowing to block others who do.

Ancient traditions can do that to people – convince them of their own inferiority, for instance.

When NPR journalists — two women under age 50 — visited the area to report this story, police offered a patrol car and several officers to escort us, to ensure our safety. Several taxi companies refused to drive us to Nilakkal, the temple’s base camp, about 13 miles from the temple. The closest we could persuade a driver to take us was to another town, Erumely, about 20 miles from the temple.

So the ban extends – however informally – 20 miles out from the temple. That’s quite a ban.

When a prominent Hindu feminist, Trupti Desai, announced in October her intention to visit Sabarimala, she says, she received hundreds of death threats.

“They said, ‘If you come to Kerala, we’ll break your limbs. We’ll cut you up into pieces,’ ” Desai recalls.

Sweet.

In recent years, India’s Supreme Court has delivered landmark rulings to protect the rights of women, religious minorities and homosexuals. But some Indians see that trend as too progressive, too Western.

“What is progressive for you may not be progressive for me. Merely because something happened in America or in Europe, it need not be necessarily applicable to or acceptable to the culture of this country,” says Cyriac Joseph, a retired Supreme Court justice who disagrees with his former colleagues’ decision to allow women to go to the temple.

As a member of India’s Christian minority, Joseph believes the court should be especially careful to protect the rights of any religious group to worship as it sees fit.

“For example, in the Catholic Church, only men are allowed to be priests. Will the court say this is against equality? That is ridiculous!” he says.

No it is not; it is far from ridiculous. Religions make huge claims on people, telling them what is good and what to believe; making religions a male monopoly gives men sole authority over what women as well as men are told to do and think.



The five million

Jan 1st, 2019 3:34 pm | By

News from Kerala:

Women in the southern Indian state of Kerala have formed a 620km (385-mile) human chain “in support of gender equality”, amid a row over access to a prominent Hindu temple.

The Sabarimala shrine was historically closed to women of “menstruating age” – defined as between 10 and 50.

Because they’re dirty? Because they can be impregnated? Both? Is there any difference?

It’s interesting, isn’t it, as an aspect of human nature, that the thing most humans probably value above all others, to wit the ability to keep the species going, the tribe going, the village going, the family going…is also the thing that is seen as dirty, disgusting, contaminating. Women are magical because they can make new people in their abdomens, but women are a taint because they can make new people in their abdomens. It’s a sacred thing women do, and it’s also a filthy polluted treacherous thing women do. Let’s be on the safe side and keep them out of everything.

India’s top court overturned the ban in September, but protesters have since attacked female visitors.

The “women’s wall” was organised by the state’s left-wing coalition government.

Officials told BBC Hindi’s Imran Qureshi that around five million women from various parts of Kerala had gathered across all national highways to form the chain, which stretched from the northern tip of Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvanthapuram.

Five million.

Five million.

That is some kind of organizing.

The Supreme Court decision to let women worship at the Sabarimala shrine came after a petition argued that the custom banning them violated gender equality.

But India’s ruling party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has argued that the ruling is an attack on Hindu values.

That’s another interesting thing about humans: the fact that the more fanatically a religion is held the more determinedly misogynist and oppressive to women it is. There is no fundamentalism that treats women as equals.

Hinduism regards menstruating women as unclean and bars them from participating in religious rituals – but most temples allow women to enter as long as they are not menstruating, rather than banning women in a broad age group from entering at all.

As if that’s an improvement. That menstruation that is considered unclean? It’s how we all got here. Every last damn one of us. It was our breakfast lunch and dinner while we gestated; without it we would have shriveled and died and been expelled. It should be worshipped, but god-botherers decide it’s ewwwwww yucky. “God” is a bratty little boy.



Radical feminists are evil, rapists are cool

Jan 1st, 2019 12:00 pm | By

Twitter bans Meghan Murphy for saying true things about Jonathan Yaniv, but refuses to do anything about a rapist who uses Twitter as a tool for collecting victims. Interesting priorities.

The Twitter account for a rapist photographer has finally been removed after a judge had to order the company to take action.

Nigel Wilkinson was recently convicted for a second time after drugging and raping young men he had lured with free photoshoots.

After Twitter initially failed to remove his account, the judge in the case issued the order forcing the firm to take it down.

In 2016, he was jailed for 11 years and six months for a series of sex offences.

The court heard he preyed on the young men who came for photoshoots at his studio in Bristol, drugging them and raping or sexually assaulting them, as well as spying or filming them.

While in prison, he was charged and convicted of another set of offences when new victims came forward after reading about the 2016 case.

The trial had heard Wilkinson used social media – particularly Twitter – to search for his victims, inviting them for photoshoots before drugging and attacking them.

But despite his 2016 conviction, the judge in the December 2018 case found that Wilkinson’s Twitter account was still open.

He issued an order forcing Twitter to take it down, which has now taken place.

Although his Facebook and Instagram accounts had both been deleted, American social media company Twitter had thus far declined to remove the account, despite his criminal conviction.

Twitter declined to comment.



Rainbow mermaid bro

Jan 1st, 2019 11:41 am | By

So much woke bro.

https://twitter.com/SpillerOfTea/status/1079872396230868993

https://twitter.com/SpillerOfTea/status/1080101494895112192

https://twitter.com/SpillerOfTea/status/1080159100992921604

https://twitter.com/SpillerOfTea/status/1080173592589914112

Funny how hating women is the new right-on, isn’t it.

Jan 2: updating to add: account suspended. Those tweets will never appear again!



Known for big, dumb mouth

Jan 1st, 2019 11:17 am | By

Why did Cyrus Trump fling that tweet full of childish insults at McChrystal? Because McChrystal pointed out that Cyrus Trump doesn’t tell the truth.

“‘General’ McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!”

Trump was retweeting a post from Fox News’ Laura Ingraham sharing a story headlined “Media Didn’t Like McChrystal Until He Started Bashing Trump.”

The commander in chief’s name-calling comes after McChrystal said during an interview Sunday that Trump was dishonest and immoral.

“I don’t think he tells the truth,” McChrystal told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.” When asked if he thought Trump was immoral, McChrystal responded: “I think he is.”

It’s so typical of Trump to react to being called untruthful and immoral by barfing out a string of untrue insults on a public platform. “Call me immoral?? I’ll show you immoral! Call me a liar?! I’ll show you lies!!”



The return of King Cyrus

Jan 1st, 2019 10:46 am | By

Katherine Stewart points out that some militant Christians see Trump as a new King Cyrus.

Cyrus, in case you’ve forgotten, was born in the sixth century B.C.E. and became the first emperor of Persia. Isaiah 45 celebrates Cyrus for freeing a population of Jews who were held captive in Babylon. Cyrus is the model for a nonbeliever appointed by God as a vessel for the purposes of the faithful.

The point is, you see, that it doesn’t matter whether Cyrus is a good person or not, the point is what he does for The Believers, who are the only people who matter.

As the Trump presidency falls under siege on multiple fronts, it has become increasingly clear that the so-called values voters will be among the last to leave the citadel. A lot of attention has been paid to the supposed paradox of evangelicals backing such an imperfect man, but the real problem is that our idea of Christian nationalism hasn’t caught up with the reality. We still buy the line that the hard core of the Christian right is just an interest group working to protect its values. But what we don’t get is that Mr. Trump’s supposedly anti-Christian attributes and anti-democratic attributes are a vital part of his attraction.

Today’s Christian nationalists talk a good game about respecting the Constitution and America’s founders, but at bottom they sound as if they prefer autocrats to democrats. In fact, what they really want is a king. “It is God that raises up a king,” according to Paula White, a prosperity gospel preacher who has advised Mr. Trump.

What they like, in short, is the absolute power. They like the dominance, the force, the tough guy. What else is God, after all? The ultimate bully, tyrant, thug, dictator. God is a shit. God creates inferior beings in order to make them suffer for eternity because they don’t crawl to him in the correct way. Trump would do that if he could.

The great thing about kings like Cyrus, as far as today’s Christian nationalists are concerned, is that they don’t have to follow rules. They are the law. This makes them ideal leaders in paranoid times.

“When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?” Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, asked in 2016. If you’re hearing those boxcars pulling up in the distance, as it were, you don’t merely overlook the antisocial qualities of a prospective leader, you embrace them as virtues.

It is, of course, more of a guy thing. Much more.

Another important thing to understand about Cyrus is that he is not a queen. In the Christian nationalist world, legitimate political power is largely male power. Mr. Drollinger insists that the Bible describes only “male leadership.”

So from that point of view, Trump’s contempt for women is a plus, because the only alternative to contempt for women is being ruled by queens.

This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself.

They want it all. And in Mr. Trump, they have found a man who does not merely serve their cause, but also satisfies their craving for a certain kind of political leadership.

Short version: they love a bully.



Messages from a padded cell

Jan 1st, 2019 10:14 am | By

25th Amendment time. Seriously.



$1000 a ticket

Dec 31st, 2018 5:29 pm | By

While federal workers go unpaid and soybean farmers wonder who will buy their crop now, we are paying for the tents at Trump’s party at Mar-a-Lago.

While the president has vowed to remain in Washington as the government shutdown continues, his swanky party at the Florida resort will go on regardless. And, as Quartz reported, it will be funded in large part by American taxpayers. The news outlet found expenses for the party on government spending records, showing that a little more than $54,000 went to a tent rental company from Delray Beach, Florida, which confirmed that it was for Trump’s New Year’s Eve party. The purchase was officially made by the U.S. Secret Service, which is in charge of security arrangements when Trump travels to his resort.

Donald Trump’s exclusive New Year’s Eve party came under fire last year, especially after taxpayers picked up a bill of more than $26,000 for renting lights, generators, tables, and tents at the soiree. Trump has also cashed in big since becoming president, the Press Herald reported. Ticket prices for the party jumped by 25 percent, reaching $1,000 for those who are not members of Mar-a-Lago. Members will still have to pay $650 to attend, which is on top of the club’s $200,000 initiation fee, which doubled the year Trump became president.

Interesting. He’s raking in the bucks for the party, while we help pay the party’s expenses. Nice little grift he’s got there.

“This type of naked profiteering off of a government office is what I would expect from King Louis XVI or his modern kleptocratic equivalents, not an American president,” said Norm Eisen, former White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama.

Image result for money



No they’re not

Dec 31st, 2018 5:08 pm | By

Sigh.



An invisible 10-foot wall

Dec 31st, 2018 11:36 am | By

Headlines can be funny. Headline in the Post:

Trump claims there’s a 10-foot wall around the Obamas’ D.C. home. Neighbors say there’s not.

Immediately below the headline there’s a photo of the house which clearly shows there’s no 10-foot wall around it. The “Neighbors say” is otiose when we can see for ourselves that there’s not.

Anyway.

In one of his most recent arguments for a southern border wall, President Trump on Sunday falsely claimed that the Washington home of former president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama is surrounded by a 10-foot wall.

Damn, talk about other minds. Dude, the house exists and people can see it! We can all see your big dumb stupid lie!

He might as well say the Capitol is painted orange or the Washington monument has sprouted wings.

Some found the president’s tweet irresponsible. Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of students killed in the Parkland school shooting, tweeted, “Are you seriously trying to put our former President at risk?”

The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweet and security risks Monday morning.

A spokesman for the Obamas declined to comment on Trump’s tweet, and the White House did not respond to an email requesting more context on Trump’s claim that there is a wall around the property.

“More context” – what other context could there be? “Trump makes shit up” is merely what we already know.



Bird view

Dec 31st, 2018 11:10 am | By



It’s not just that it’s not funny

Dec 31st, 2018 10:32 am | By

It seems Louis CK is back, and Matthew Dessem at Slate has heard the bootlegged tape.

And what he’s been up to, judging from the material, is bemoaning the money he lost, fuming over young people and political correctness, and writing some really killer jokes about the respective penis sizes of various ethnic groups. It’s not just that it’s not funny: it’s positively sickening. Here, for example, is the way C.K. ends a bit about visiting his doctor (described earlier in the joke as old, and Jewish, and touchy-feely):

And he said, “You need to stop eating ice cream.” I said, “You need to go fuck yourself. And don’t ever touch me again, you old faggot. You old fucking Jewish fag. Get your fucking hands off me.” You’re fucking with my ice cream, I get upset.

Transgressive. Or is it just – you know – what it looks like? Venom?

Whatever you think about C.K.’s past use of slurs in his act, his old material at least made some attempt to think about what they meant. There’s no payoff here except for the slur itself: The entire joke is that he’s so mad about not being able to eat ice cream that he’ll casually use it, even with someone who—as he spends the whole build-up establishing—he otherwise likes. It’s cheap and it’s hacky. But it has nothing on the five solid minutes (!) he devotes to lamenting the fact that people have stopped using the word retarded. After reminiscing about how often people said it during his childhood—and saying it over and over again himself, sometimes in a comically exaggerated Boston accent—he lands on this:

But we started to feel shitty about it, so we changed it to intellectually challenged. What the fuck, it’s—don’t name the kid a thing he can’t say out loud. An intellectual challenge is can you translate Shakespeare into Latin and make it rhyme. These kids are not intellectually challenged, they’re intellectually fuckin’ done. They are! It’s not their sport!

Etcetera.

C.K. is doing a George Carlin thing, acting like he’s telling forbidden truths, but spends five minutes riffing on “Christ, people with intellectual disabilities are stupid.” So stupid, in fact, that, according to C.K., “They don’t give a fuck what you think of them,” if anyone was looking for a permission slip to go back to using a slur. And speaking of people who don’t give a fuck what you think of them, Louis C.K. is such a rebel that he doesn’t give a fuck what you think of him, as he made clear, seemingly in response to someone leaving or giving him a dirty look around four minutes into his killer material at the expense of the intellectually disabled:

What’re you, gonna take away my birthday? My life is over, I don’t give a shit. You can, you can be offended, it’s OK. You can get mad at me. Anyway. So why do black guys have big dicks? Let’s talk about that for a minute.

He’ll probably be Trump’s next press secretary.



If that means nails and dresses

Dec 31st, 2018 10:01 am | By

This isn’t particularly terrible in the great scheme of things, but…

…but it irritates.

Why does it irritate? The public announcement of plans for self-absorption, for one thing. “My major resolution for 2019 is to spend more time contemplating the glory of me.” That and the fact that it’s presented as right-on and enlightened. That, to my mind, is one of the most glaring problems with the ideology of transitude: the way it flips narcissism into a progressive ideal. News flash, “folx”: narcissism is the opposite of progressive. Always. Obsessing over your very own Special Rose-scented Idennidee cannot possibly be progressive. Self-obsession takes you nowhere but to greed and self-dealing.

The other is the shallow brainless antifeminist idea that “gender identity” is All About Nails and Dresses. As many actual feminists responded, try instead doing all the domestic work and getting yelled at in the street and being talked over by the men at work – then you might begin to have a clue. Mister Nails and Dresses responded by blocking all those actual feminists. Of course he did.



The organizing team will take time for more outreach

Dec 30th, 2018 4:09 pm | By

Ah I found the source of the Eureka march story.

HERE IT IS ON FACEBOOK

The below PSA has just been released. Thank you to the women and men who helped make this decision.

Humboldt County organizers and supporters of the annual Women’s March have decided to not hold a rally in Eureka on January 19th. This decision was made after many conversations between local social-change organizers and supporters of the march.

The local organizers are continuing to meet and discuss how to broaden representation in the organizing committee to create an event that represents and supports peoples who live here in Humboldt. Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community. Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach. Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community.

The group is exploring holding an event in March to celebrate International Women’s Day. Anyone interested in helping organize these events are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Eureka Women’s March organizing committee encourages local supporters to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Eureka on January 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

One commenter strongly approves:

I applaud the decision… I have boycotted the march since the beginning as it has been a process that by default has incorporated institutional racism, transphobia and a lack of support of sex workers…This group LISTENED to community members. This march has unfortunately, intentionally or not, become an event that silences any voice that is not a cis white woman’s voice. White woman voices are NOT the only voices and I intend to support a group that is trying to create space and voice for those not included.

How, I wonder, does a march become a process that by default incorporates transphobia and a lack of support of sex workers. How does the commenter know, for instance, that the march and the organizers are not rich in trans people and sex workers?

In all fairness, I agree that the organizers shouldn’t all be white; I agree that the march should be rainbow as hell. I just don’t think cancellation is the way to go, because I don’t see how they can tell the march itself will be all white or too white simply because the organizers are.

Putin is probably putting these stories in his scrapbook.



A necessary quality for leadership

Dec 30th, 2018 11:52 am | By

Expect new Trump eruptions today: top military guy says Trump is crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

Retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal did not mince words about President Donald Trump in a wide-ranging interview with ABC’s “This Week,” saying the president is dishonest and immoral and adding that he could not work for Trump.

“I don’t think he tells the truth,” McChrystal told ABC’s Martha Raddatz who questioned the general on whether he feels Trump is a liar.

When asked if Trump is immoral, McChrystal said: “I think he is.”

Trump slaps his immorality out there on Twitter every day. A moral person doesn’t talk to and about people the way Trump does, especially from a position of power.

Having recently published “Leaders: Myth and Reality,” McChrystal took issue with Trump’s leadership style. He mentioned a necessary quality for leadership in his mind — a leader being willing to sacrifice himself for others.

“I have to believe that the people I’m working for would do that, whether we disagree on a lot of other things,” McChrystal said. “I’m not convinced from the behavior that I’ve seen that that’s the case here.”

Understatement. I think we’re all quite convinced, from the behavior we’ve seen and read about, that that’s not the case here. Trump wouldn’t sacrifice himself for others to the extent of a paper cut or a mosquito bite.

McChrystal said, if asked, he would reject the opportunity to work in the Trump administration.

“I think it’s important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it,” he said.

“I’m very tolerant of people who make mistakes because I make so many of them — and I’ve been around leaders who’ve made mistakes … but through all of them, I almost never saw people trying to get it wrong. And I almost never saw people who were openly disingenuous on things.”

“Openly disingenuous” – it should be an oxymoron, but Trump makes it work.



Primary sources

Dec 30th, 2018 11:38 am | By

This Eureka Women’s March story is starting to piss me off, because it’s broken out of the far-right enclave now but I still can’t find a primary source – neither the Facebook group nor the putative press release.

The Washington Post for instance – it just repeats the reporting without linking to the sources it cites.

Organizers of the 2019 Eureka Women’s March, originally scheduled for Jan. 19, said in a statement that the decision came after numerous conversations with leading local activists and supporters of the march.

“Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,” the Facebook statement read. “Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach.”

Did it? Did the Facebook statement read that way? Where is it? Why not link to it?

This seems like pretty crappy journalistic practice.

While many of the Facebook group’s members applauded the organizers’ efforts to diversify the rally, others expressed dissatisfaction with the decision.

“Local Organizers have let themselves be duped, What kind of crowd do they expect when you have 77.86% of the population being White?” group member Terri Selfridge commented on the post that announced the cancellation of the march. “Organizers PLEASE RECONSIDER!!!”

Newsweek did the same thing.

It’s annoying.

Monday: Updating to add: I did find the Facebook group later in the day.



Why can’t we do this thing that’s against the law?

Dec 30th, 2018 10:39 am | By

John Kelly on his way out says hey Trump never ordered him to do anything illegal.

White House chief of staff John Kelly, who will depart President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday, told The Los Angeles Times in an extensive interview published Sunday that the president never ordered him to do anything illegal and added that the proposed border wall at the center of the government shutdown fight is not as it has been portrayed.

Listen, he also never sliced people’s arms off with a sword, so good news, right?

Kelly, set to be replaced by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who will serve as acting chief of staff, said he made sure the president had access to detailed information prior to making decisions, even though the president says publicly that he goes with his gut instinct.

“It’s never been: The president just wants to make a decision based on no knowledge and ignorance,” Kelly said. “You may not like his decision, but at least he was fully informed on the impact.”

Nope, not buying that. Kelly may have “made sure the president had access to detailed information” but that doesn’t mean Trump paid any attention to it. Kelly may have “fully informed” Trump in the sense of saying things to him and putting things in front of him, but that doesn’t mean Trump took a blind bit of notice. Do we think Trump can take in information? No we do not. We think Trump lives in his own head and hears only maybe 5% of what anyone says to him.

The retired Marine general said Trump often pressed him on his legal authority to do certain actions, asking, “Why can’t we do [something] this way?” Kelly added that he was not ordered to carry out any illegal action “because we wouldn’t have.”

Not because “it would be wrong” but “because we wouldn’t have.” Ringing endorsement of the character and integrity of the sack of hot air sitting in the White House.