Notes and Comment Blog


Coupla racists sitting around talking

Feb 28th, 2019 7:55 am | By

What was that about Mark Meadows again? The guy who pointed to a silent Black Lady who works for Trump as his token that Trump is not a racist, and then pitched a huge wrathful noisy fit that anyone would say that was a racist thing to do?

Here’s another video where he says we’re going to send Obama “back home to Kenya.”

His bit starts at 2:48 but it’s worth watching the other guy’s venom too, if only for the bit where he mentions Chicago.



Let’s all believe

Feb 28th, 2019 7:39 am | By

Another Elinor Lipman gem:



Sometimes you have to walk

Feb 28th, 2019 7:05 am | By

Oops. Duck’s off, sorry.

After all that Look At Me Solve North Korea, Trump failed ignominiously because it turns out – who could possibly have guessed? – that Kim isn’t going to roll over just because Trump tells him to.

President Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, abruptly ended their second summit meeting on Thursday after talks collapsed with the two leaders failing to agree on any steps toward nuclear disarmament or measures to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Mr. Trump said at an afternoon news conference in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

He said Mr. Kim had offered to dismantle the North’s most important nuclear facility if the United States lifted the harsh sanctions imposed on his nation — but would not commit to do the same for other elements of its weapons program. That, Mr. Trump said, was a dealbreaker.

“It was about the sanctions,” Mr. Trump said. “Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that.”

But we were told that Mr. Trump is The Genius of The Deal. Was that not true? Have we been deceived?

The premature end to the negotiations leaves the unusual rapprochement between the United States and North Korea that has unfolded for most of a year at a deadlock, with the North retaining both its nuclear arsenal and facilities believed to be producing additional fissile material for warheads.

Was it in fact an unusual rapprochement? Is there any chance it was not an unusual rapprochement at all but rather Kim pretending to rapprocher in order to get what he wanted from Trump? I think there is some chance of that.

Before ending the news conference to fly back to Washington, Mr. Trump tried to put a good face on the outcome. “This wasn’t a walkaway like you get up and walk out,” he said. “No, this was very friendly. We shook hands.”

“There’s a warmth that we have and I hope that stays,” he added.

No, there isn’t. There is ice-cold Kim putting on an act, and idiotic Donnie buying it. That’s all.

The collapse of the talks came in the aftermath of withering congressional testimony in Washington by Mr. Cohen. “I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

Well then it’s too bad that Mr. Trump decided to be a criminal about 50 years ago, and acted on his decision, and then decided to run for president. All that is his doing, not ours.



Topped list

Feb 27th, 2019 5:28 pm | By

The story of the portrait is a high point (of lowness) for me. Fake bidder. Hiked up price. Paid for by foundation. Twitter boast. It’s got it all.

Michael Cohen claims that President Donald Trump had him find a fake bidder to buy a portrait of him at a 2013 charity auction in the Hamptons so it would sell higher than everything else, and then paid the buyer back with Trump Foundation funds.

As one does, you know.

“The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon,” Cohen said.

So that people would think he’s a hot item.

Feast your eyes.

Image result for trump portrait quigley

He got the hair right; it still sits there like a rug.



Nice job, little one

Feb 27th, 2019 4:24 pm | By

That’s one way of putting it.

Across the U.S. and in many places abroad, transgender athletes are breaking barriers in high school, college and pro sports and being embraced by teammates and fans. But resentments can still flare when transgender women start winning and dominating their sport.

Well now what do we mean by “barriers”? Not all barriers need breaking. If you have a barrier between you and the local grizzly bears, you don’t much want it broken, do you.

And they’re not really breaking “barriers” anyway, because there are no “barriers” labeled “No Trans People Allowed.” What they’re doing is breaking the rules, which doesn’t sound quite so progressive. People with male bodies are breaking the rules to play against women and girls, leaving a little heap of injured women and girls in their wake.

Image: Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon holds hands with Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen during the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Carson, California, in 2018.

Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon holds hands with Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen during the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Carson, California, in 2018.Craig Huffman / via AP file

So touching and adorable, but look how massive McKinnon is next to Van Herrikhuyzen. Maybe not really so adorable after all. McKinnon is looking down at her as if she’s a puppy.

The AP solicited and received a comment from McKinnon, then went on to accuse women who want to compete against women of “vitriol.”

Helen Carroll, a longtime college athletic director, basketball coach and LGBTQ-rights activist, said many trans women athletes train extra hard to offset hormone treatment and face undeserved skepticism when they excel.

“As long as trans people are losing and are not the best, everything is OK,” Carroll said. “As soon as they start winning, that’s when the vitriol comes out about how they’re really still a man.”

The vitriol can surface even at the high school level. In the track and field community in Connecticut, the dominance of transgender girl sprinters Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood has stirred resentment among some competitors and their families.

Yes, and? Why shouldn’t it?

The AP never manages to explain.



Home to Kenya

Feb 27th, 2019 3:51 pm | By

Oh my my my will you look at that now. I just got through writing a post about Mark Meadows’s tantrum about the very idea that pointing out This One Black Woman He Knows could be a racist move at all in any way – and what do I find on Twitter.



But he doesn’t even OWN a white sheet

Feb 27th, 2019 3:34 pm | By

I watched much of the hearing but not all of it. I missed the part where Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, pitched a fit about Cohen’s having said Trump is racist. The fit Meadows pitched was a remarkably dumb fit (and of course Trump is a racist).

Something curious happened about 90 minutes into the Michael Cohen testimony which transfixed much of Washington on Wednesday: A woman rose behind Rep. Mark Meadows as the North Carolina Republican grilled President Trump’s former fixer on his characterization of the president as a racist.

The woman — sunglasses affixed to her head, white cape draped over her shoulders — was Lynne Patton, longtime Trump family aide and an official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most important, for the cameras, she is African American.

“I asked Lynne to come today in her personal capacity to actually shed some light,” Meadows said.

Yep he said that.

Cohen said he knows her well, and Meadows launched on his absurd rant.

Meadows got to his point: “You made some very demeaning comments about the president that Ms. Patton doesn’t agree with. In fact, it has to do with your claim of racism. She says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist. How do you reconcile the two of those?”

Say what? What does Birmingham, Alabama have to do with it? I’m pretty sure there were plenty of racist white people there in the days of Bull Connor and I don’t suppose the number has dropped to zero now, so I’m not getting his drift, or Patton’s if it’s hers.

But even setting Birmingham aside…what the fuck? “Look, here is A Black Woman who works for Trump, therefore, sir, Trump cannot possibly be a racist.” One, yes he can, and two, we know he is. Birtherism. Shithole countries. His obsession with that one particular border. Good people on both sides. Birtherism. The Central Park 5. He was sued by the Feds for refusing to rent to black people back in the 70s. Birtherism. His indifference to Puerto Rico after the hurricane. The almost total whiteness of his administration. Birtherism. Telling April Ryan at his first press conference to make an appointment for him with the Congressional Black Caucus, having first asked her if they were friends of hers.

Patton’s unusual appearance during the hearing was immediately panned by black politicians and journalists.

“So . . . you bring out the president’s black employee. And say, see, how could he be racist? This is something,” tweeted Lena Tillett, a reporter at WRAL in Raleigh.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) said during the hearing that she, as a black person, has “endured the public comments of racism from the sitting president.”

“To prop up one member of our entire race of black people and say that that nullifies that is totally insulting,” Lawrence said.

“He brought out a black woman who is loyal to President Trump to prove that President Trump is not racist,” tweeted Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour. “It was like show and tell. Incredible.”

Look look look, this one black person, therefore he is not racist.

At the end of the hearing Rashida Tlaib said using a black woman as a prop was racist and Meadows went ballistic.

 



But her pronouns

Feb 27th, 2019 12:05 pm | By

Another Pronouns War:

A debate about the gender identity of Dr James Barry, the pioneering Victorian who adopted a male persona to become the UK’s first female-born doctor, has erupted after the award-winning author EJ Levy was accused of disrespecting Barry’s legacy by using female pronouns in a forthcoming novel.

Levy announced last week that she had sold a novel about the “true story” of Barry, titled The Cape Doctor. The forthcoming book, which will be released by Little, Brown, will trace Barry’s life story: born Margaret Ann Bulkley in Ireland, the future doctor became Barry at the age of 20 and left for Edinburgh to study medicine as a man. Barry joined the army after graduation, the start of a distinguished career as a military surgeon that spanned Cape Town, St Helena and Trinidad and Tobago. In 1865, Barry returned to the UK with dysentery, and died. A maid discovered the doctor’s biological gender after the death.

When Levy, winner of the Flannery O’Connor award, announced the news of her novel by describing Barry as “a heroine for our time, for all time”, other authors began to question Levy’s reference to Barry as “she”, including novelist Celeste Ng, who told Levy: “I’m now seeing you use she/her pronouns for Barry even as many are telling you Barry himself used and wanted he/him pronouns. I hope you and L,B will listen to these concerns and take them into account.”

But Barry “used and wanted he/him pronouns” at a time when people with she/her pronouns were not welcome to study medicine in Edinburgh and become doctors, and then to practice medicine. There were a few pioneers but it was a very uphill battle. Given that, we can’t know whether Barry really “wanted” male pronouns or simply resorted to them in order to get the freedom and the work she/he wanted to do.  Barry didn’t leave a collection of tweets taking a position on pronouns.

Barry’s gender identity has been overwhelmingly framed as female by writers over the past 150 years, said Cardiff University professor Ann Heilmann, author of Neo-/Victorian Biographilia and James Miranda Barry: A Study in Transgender and Transgenre, exceptions being Patricia Duncker’s 1999 novel James Miranda Barry and Rachel Holmes’s 2002 biography The Secret Life of Dr James Barry.

“While I understand that emotions run very high (understandably so, given the difficulties trans people face and in light of ongoing tensions between feminism and the trans community), I don’t think that Barry can be that easily mapped on to contemporary trans thought,” she said. “Though of course there have always been trans people, the lived and felt gender identity of an 18th and early 19th-century person would have been very different from our contemporary identity politics.”

And that person would not have called it a “gender identity” or understood what you were talking about if you used it.

Jeremy Dronfield, co-author of Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time, said: “In my biography, I used male pronouns for Barry. He was, at least outwardly, a man. But whether Barry qualifies as transgender in modern terms is complicated. When Margaret became James, it wasn’t primarily because she wanted to be a man. She wanted to live the kind of life which in 1809 was impossible for a woman. Once the persona had served its purpose, Margaret intended to discard it. Circumstances prevented that. There’s evidence that Barry missed being a woman. But we also know that he relished being a man, his behaviour exceeding what was necessary for disguise. However, the claim made online that Barry left a will asking to be remembered as a man is false. He left no statement of identity.

“If Margaret had been born in 1989 instead of 1789, free to be a surgeon and soldier, would she have chosen to become a man? On balance, I don’t think so, but Margaret might have identified as non-binary. I have no argument with seeing James Barry as a transgender icon, or Margaret as a feminist role model. I do take issue with those who insist on recognising one and erasing the other.”

And bullying people who refuse to comply.



Michael Cohen hearing

Feb 27th, 2019 10:31 am | By

Ok the Republicans are the minority and they’re hostile, while the Democrats are the majority and…not friendly, not affectionate, but not hostile in the sense of hostile to Cohen’s presence and testimony. Grant all that. It’s Democrats versus Republicans, with all that follows from that.

But if the two were reversed would Democrats be this assholish? This challenging, this stern, yes, but it’s more than that – there’s also taunting, sneering, raging, screeching. Do Republicans give themselves permission to be Trump-like in the era of Trump in a way they wouldn’t have before?

Update: Rep. Carol Miller, R-West Virginia, thinks it’s “a game” to establish whether or not Trump is a criminal.

It’s not a game, Representative Miller. It couldn’t possibly be more serious.

Update: Oh, Miller is angry that they have postponed hearings on child separation to do this one. Well who does she think is behind the child separation policy?!

Maybe this answers my question about would the Democrats carry on so grotesquely if they were in the hot seat.



They lie as they breathe

Feb 27th, 2019 10:00 am | By

In a break from watching the Cohen hearing, here is another lie that needs indignant documenting.

Donnie retweeted this lie from Princess Ivanka:

No it wasn’t. That was not the question asked of her. That question that was asked of her? It was not that. Her characterization of it is dishonest, in the sense that it is a lie.

Here is the clip. What Steve Hilton actually asked her is:

Here’s the Green New Deal, here’s the guarantee of a job. They say yeah, that’s what I want, that simple. What do you say to those people?

THE GUARANTEE OF A JOB. Hilton said people want the guarantee of a job, and Princess translated it to “a minimum guarantee for people ‘unwilling to work'” WHICH IS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT SHE WAS ASKED.

God these people.

Now back to Cohen.



The threshold for obstruction of justice and witness tampering

Feb 26th, 2019 4:35 pm | By

Good lord.

I seem to follow a lot of lawyers.

Aaron Blake at the Post:

A Republican member of Congress on Tuesday suggested without evidence that Michael Cohen engaged in affairs with multiple “girlfriends” and suggested his wife might cheat on him while he’s in prison — all on the eve of Cohen’s public testimony.

President Trump and his allies have camped out in a whole host of gray areas when it comes to obstruction of justice and witness tampering over the last two years. But this one from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) doesn’t appear to be nearly so gray.

We’re about to find out what Mueller’s thresholds are for obstruction of justice and witness tampering. But whatever they are, Trump is insulated because Justice Department rules say a sitting president can’t be indicted. That means Congress is the arbiter, and even if Trump would be convicted of witness tampering in a court of law, he could survive.

But Gaetz has no such insulation, and you can make a pretty convincing argument that his witness-related tweet is far less veiled that Trump’s have ever have been.

I wonder what he hopes to get out of it.



No she didn’t

Feb 26th, 2019 4:13 pm | By

Trump told an audience of governors yesterday that Princess Ivanka has created millions of jobs. Of course she hasn’t. She and Daddy got some corporations to sign something saying they would offer lots of training – but they were doing that anyway, and signing something isn’t the same as actual jobs. Daddy was telling a whopper as usual.

In July of last year, Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker, co-chaired by Ivanka Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. One of the council’s priorities is asking companies across the US to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers. The pledge involves “committing to expand programs that educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school age to near-retirement,” according to the White House.

Two hundred companies have agreed to the pledge, with each providing different numbers of training opportunities. This brings the total number of opportunities pledged to just over 6.5 million. (See the full list.)

Programs that educate, train, and reskill≠jobs.

First, the pledge does not translate to millions of immediate training opportunities. In a press release from the administration, the pledge is described as a commitment to “new opportunities over the next five years.”

Secondly, these are better understood as training opportunities, not necessarily “jobs.” In the same press release last year, the White House described these opportunities as “apprenticeships and work-based learning, continuing education, on-the-job training, and reskilling.” These opportunities can be for current employees.

Lastly, many of these opportunities pledged were already planned by the companies. As CNN previously reported, Walmart’s pledged amount over five years would just about match the rate that its program Walmart Academies has trained since it started in 2016. The Associated Builders and Contractors provides a similar example as it pledged to provide roughly as many opportunities in five years as it trains in one year.

Princess Ivanka has not created millions of jobs.



The inflammatory stuff does well on Facebook

Feb 26th, 2019 3:19 pm | By

Oh that’s where all the anti-vaxxing is coming from.

In 2008, Vaccinate Your Family, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to advocating for vaccinations, had to stop posting videos to YouTube.

Then known as Every Child By Two, the organization had used its channel on the massive video platform to post interviews with doctors, public service announcements and testimonials from parents of children who had died of vaccine-preventable diseases.

But those messages were quickly sabotaged. YouTube’s recommendation system, which appears alongside videos and suggests what users should watch next, would direct viewers to anti-vaccination videos, according to Amy Pisani, executive director of Vaccinate Your Family.

Yes, it’s The American Way. You’ve read /listened to /watched something reasonable and evidence-based, now wouldn’t you like to read or watch something cracked and evidence-free and just made up out of somebody’s empty head? Of course you would! Here are four to choose from.

Pisani’s story offers a window into the struggle that public health officials and advocates face as they attempt to provide information on vaccinations on social media, where anti-vaccination proponents have spent more than a decade building audiences and developing strategies that ensure they appear high in search results and automated recommendations.

Because when in doubt, try to get epidemics going again!

After more than a decade and facing mounting pressure, YouTube announced a change in its recommendation algorithm this month, saying it would stop suggesting conspiracy videos like the ones that followed Vaccinate Your Family’s. YouTube also stopped some anti-vaccine videos from showing ads and earning money, and started providing more information about the threat of vaccine hesitancy in a window below anti-vaccine videos.

In a statement to NBC News, a YouTube spokesman called misinformation around medical topics “a difficult challenge,” and referred to their recent policy changes, adding, “like many algorithmic changes, these efforts will be gradual and will get more and more accurate over time.”

No worries. It’s not as avoiding epidemics is a big deal or anything.

And on social media, the anti-vaccination proponents seem to be winning.

Vaccinate Your Family’s Facebook page has nearly 200,000 likes and followers, but nowhere near the visibility or engagement of anti-vaccine pages and private groups, where hundreds of thousands of users post articles from fringe health websites, trade tips on avoiding state-mandated vaccinations, and share memes bashing parents who vaccinate.

But Team Anti-epidemics is getting better at pushing back.

Stephan Neidenbach, 38, a middle-school technology teacher from Annapolis, Maryland, runs “We Love GMOs and Vaccines,” a Facebook page he started in 2014, he said, to combat growing misinformation on Facebook.

At first Neidenbach said he was just anonymously replying to anti-vaccine content, but soon scientists, farmers and doctors started following the page and sharing.

The page — now with with 194,000 followers — is one of several on Facebook that respond directly and in-kind to anti-vaccination pages. Users share news reports about vaccine outbreaks, and post memes and screenshots of posts from anti-vaccine groups, which they ridicule in the comments.

One recent post read, “If you’re antivaxx and you see me making fun of antivaxx people, I just want to say that I am talking about you personally and I hope you’re offended because you’re fucking stupid.”

“That’s what separates me from other organizations,” Neidenbach said. “I’m not an organization, and I’m not trying to run a nonprofit. I’m just a school teacher. And I don’t have to be as nice as I do in the classroom.”

“They have to worry about being professional,” he said. “But we can do more inflammatory stuff that the World Health organization can’t do. And the inflammatory stuff, as you can tell by the anti-vaxxers, does well on Facebook.”

When it’s anti-epidemic it’s in a good cause.



Where was the Lord the rest of the time?

Feb 26th, 2019 11:32 am | By

I wrote a thing for The Freethinker about the ludicrous arguments the pope has to resort to when he and his cronies gather to talk about the long history of child-rape by priests.

So now that we’re properly cowed and humbled by the Procession of Ecclesiastical Nomenclature, let’s look at how Frank presents this worrying puzzle of how Mister God let all this rape of children by priests go on for decades and, it seems safe to assume, centuries.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As I thank the Lord who has accompanied us during these days, I would like to thank all of you for the ecclesial spirit and concrete commitment that you have so generously demonstrated.

Problem. We have a problem already. It’s sweet that the Lord accompanied them during those days, but where was the Lord the rest of the time? Where was the Lord during all those rapes of children? If the Lord accompanies them now as they try to deal with the fact that they can’t hide the rapes any longer, why didn’t the Lord accompany them as they pulled down the children’s pants?

It’s a trick question, I suppose. The Lord wasn’t anywhere, because the Lord is a fictional character that the church makes its living from.

You could take it metaphorically though. “The Lord”=their consciences, their compassion, their inner resistance to causing pain and fear and distress to other people, especially people too young and small and unformed to resist. Where was that “the Lord” when they pulled down the children’s pants?

In some cases, maybe many, that Lord too was nowhere, because the priests in question became priests precisely because it was such an excellent setup for raping children. Conscience and compassion were never in the picture.

But Frank can’t admit that, can he.

There’s a lot that Frank can’t admit.



Princess Ivanka says let them drink lemonade (at a steep markup)

Feb 26th, 2019 9:51 am | By

Ah yes, Ivanka Trump, the expert on what working people want and need.

Most Americans don’t want a “guaranteed minimum” as outlined in the Green New Deal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is spearheading, Ivanka Trump told Fox News in an interview released Monday night.

Why it matters: President Trump’s elder daughter and White House senior adviser discussed in the interview, to be broadcast on Sunday, whether the 2020 presidential election would be centered around her father’s capitalism versus the Democratic party’s perceived pivot toward socialism. She said the U.S. economy was “doing very well” under her father’s presidency. When asked what she would say to people to whom Ocasio-Cortez’s new deal policy appealed, Trump said: “I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. … People want to work for what they get. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want.”

People want to work for what they get…and yet, what work has she ever done? She’s the child of a guy who got rich by thieving from working and poor people, and she’s never done any real work in her life. Her “work” is looking as much like a dress dummy as she can; it’s not what you’d call strenuous.

Also, her “fashion business” relies on underpaid factory workers in China to make her schmattas.

Poor little rich girl makes the servants spend some of their crap wages to buy her lemonade. And is so stupid and entitled that she tells us so as an adult.



When did it begin?

Feb 26th, 2019 9:20 am | By

Glinner (Graham Linehan) is seeking anecdotes.

Lots of interesting replies, as you’d expect.

I recognize that one! In my case it was abortion rights, and my response was No. PZ’s goon squad took copious notes.



Sarah Sanders says it’s all lies

Feb 26th, 2019 8:15 am | By

Thieves fall out.

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, is planning on portraying his onetime client in starkly negative terms when he testifies Wednesday before a House committee, and on describing what he says was Mr. Trump’s use of racist language, lies about his wealth[,] and possible criminal conduct.

[The Times really needs to ditch its stupid rule against the Oxford comma. I’m pretty sure that list at the end of the sentence is three items, not two, but the lack of the comma makes it distractingly annoyingly disruptively ambiguous.]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement.

“Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements,” she said. “Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same. It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies.”

Says the constantly lying press secretary who lies for her lying boss every day. Laughable? Pathetic? We’re lost in a hall of mirrors.

The testimony provides Mr. Cohen with the opportunity to tell his story under penalty of perjury before an audience of millions of people, about two months before he is scheduled to report to prison.

Among the most explosive and potentially damning aspects of Mr. Cohen’s testimony will be providing evidence of potential criminal conduct since Mr. Trump became president, according to the person familiar with the plans.

So, that should be interesting.



Nice duds

Feb 25th, 2019 3:59 pm | By

Sweaters for elephants. That’s right, sweaters for elephants.

Winters get chilly in Northern India, so volunteers at the the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center decided to knit giant sweaters for its rescued elephants.

It takes around 4 weeks to make one sweater, and it does not come as a surprise knowing that elephants are the largest land mammals on the planet. Still, the volunteers make sure that the knits are not only warm and cozy, they are also colorful , and even fashionable.

I hope they’re also washable, because elephants love coating themselves with dirt.

“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia,” cofounder Kartick Satyanarayan said in a release. “The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with.” Thank goodness the abuse those sweet babies had to face is in the past, with bright – and stylish – future ahead of them.

They look pretty happy about it.

people-knit-giant-sweaters-rescue-elephants-6

H/t James



The silence of the not-men

Feb 25th, 2019 10:42 am | By

The BBC shared a graph last year after the Oscars:

Graphic showing that more men than women speak in 24 recent best picture films

Pretty stunning, isn’t it. Chicago is the only one in which women speak more.

Just think how that seeps into all of our consciousnesses, without our even noticing it. Just think how it’s been seeping in our whole lives, and the implications for how absolutely everyone sees and understands and thinks about women. What does all that silence and absence suggest? That women are an afterthought, an oddity, an exception, a deviation from the normal; that women live in the shadows, doing their weird spooky womany thing, and emerge only occasionally, to say “thanks honey” or cuddle a baby or be raped or murdered or both. That women are helpless and incompetent and feeble.

Also, that men are the real people, that men do all the real work, that everything that matters in life is done by men and planned by men and talked about by men, that only what men do is interesting or important or heroic or effective.

I look forward to hearing more about the cis privilege women have.



Crossing the red line

Feb 25th, 2019 9:40 am | By

Well, if Barr won’t and Mueller can’t and the Senate won’t, the House can and will.

House Democrats are planning to cross one of President Donald Trump’s red lines: investigating his personal finances.

With special counsel Robert Mueller expected to wind up his work soon, Democrats are launching an investigation to discover why Deutsche Bank was willing to lend the Trump Organization money when other banks wouldn’t and whether Russia was involved.

For more than two years we’ve known there was this Deutsche Bank issue but it’s been buried because the Republicans successfully stole everything.

The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees have been staffing up for their probes into the bank and Trump’s Russia ties. Democrats on the panels say that with Deutsche Bank they are willing to pursue a key area that Mueller may have avoided — crossing what Trump sees as a “red line” into his personal finances.

Who cares what Trump “sees” as a “red line”? Trump wants to keep his crimes hidden; no shit. Can we move on now?

Democrats won’t be confined by boundaries set by the president as they ramp up their probes, so any perceived omissions by Mueller will be prime targets for House committees.

It’s ridiculous that Trump has been able to “set boundaries” that prevent investigation of his many apparent crimes. Ridiculous, shameful, and a disgrace.