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June 20: New York Times: "You may be hunched over your phone right now, worrying about reports that young people are growing horns on their skulls from spending too much time hunched over smartphones.... Recent articles by the BBC and the Washington Post have cited a 2018 study in the journal Scientific Reports saying that these bone growths have been turning up more often than expected in people aged 18 to 30. The study suggests that 'sustained aberrant postures associated with the emergence and extensive use of hand-held contemporary technologies, such as smartphones and tablets,' are to blame.... Experts give the report mixed reviews." ...

     ... Update. Uh, it seems one of the authors of the "scientific study" is a chiropractor called David Shahar, who used his own patients as subjects of the study AND, according to Quartz, is "the creator of Dr. Posture, an online store that advertises information and products related to forward head posture. One section tells users how to 'look and feel your best in three easy steps,' which include watching a video by Shahar, downloading at-home exercises, and sleeping with a Thoracic Pillow, which Shahar has trademarked and sold for $195." So hunch over, pick up your phones, & call your friends with the good news that the "study" is more likely a marketing scam than a warning about another dire effect of cellphone use. Thanks to safari for the link.


Nick Schager in the Daily Beast: "Premiering on Netflix and in select theaters on July 24, The Great Hack is the most enraging, terrifying and — I don’t use this term lightly — important documentary of the year. Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim..., its subject is the Cambridge Analytica data scandal—a story that’s galling on the surface, and infinitely more bone-chilling when one considers its far-reaching ramifications. That’s because Cambridge Analytica’s deceptive and criminal relationship with, and conduct on, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform had world-altering consequences: helping launch the Brexit movement, and successfully aiding the election campaign of Donald Trump.” 

Guardian: “The businessman Arron Banks and the unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU have issued a legal threat against streaming giant Netflix in relation to The Great Hack, a new documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the abuse of personal data. The threat comes as press freedom campaigners and charity groups warn the government in an open letter that UK courts are being used to 'intimidate and silence' journalists working in the public interest. In a joint letter to key cabinet members, they call for new legislation to stop 'vexatious lawsuits', highlighting one filed last week by Banks against campaigning journalist Carole Cadwalladr.”

AP: "MAD, the long-running satirical magazine that influenced everyone from 'Weird Al' Yankovic to the writers of 'The Simpsons,' will be leaving newsstands after its August issue. Really. The illustrated humor magazine — instantly recognizable by the gap-toothed smiling face of mascot Alfred E. Neuman — will still be available in comic shops and through mail to subscribers. But after its fall issue it will just reprint previously published material. The only new material will come in special editions at the end of the year."

Hill: "The Democrats beat the Republicans in a high-scoring 14-7 win Wednesday [June 26] night in the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game. It was the Democrats' 10th win in 11 years."

New York Times: "... the Library of Congress has named [Joy Harjo] America’s new poet laureate. She will take over for Tracy K. Smith, who has held the position for two years.... Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, is the 23rd poet and first Native person to be selected for the role."

New York: "The mass of the metal 'anomaly' beneath the moon’s largest crater is five times greater than the big island of Hawaii, and according to a new study from scientists at Baylor University, it could contain metals remaining from an ancient asteroid impact, weighing in at around 4.8 quintillion pounds."

New York Times: "A skeleton in Siberia nearly 10,000 years old has yielded DNA that reveals a striking kinship to living Native Americans, scientists reported on Wednesday. The finding, published in the journal Nature, provides an important new clue to the migrations that first brought people to the Americas. 'In terms of peopling of the Americas, we have found close to the missing link,' said Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen and a co-author of the new paper. 'It’s not the direct ancestor, but it’s extremely close.'... The DNA of [a group scientists call] the Ancient Paleo-Siberians is remarkably similar to that of Native Americans. Dr. Willerslev estimates that Native Americans can trace about two-thirds of their ancestry to these previously unknown people.”

New York Times: Navy pilots flying along the East Coast of the U.S. spotted UFOs "almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015.... The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings 'a striking series of incidents.'” In one incident, the UFO flew between two Navy jets "flying in tandem about 100 feet apart over the Atlantic east of Virginia Beach.... It looked to the pilot ... like a sphere encasing a cube."

Mrs. McCrabbie: This actually seems crazy to me:

New York Times: "A shiny stainless steel sculpture created by Jeff Koons in 1986, inspired by a child’s inflatable toy, sold at Christie’s on Wednesday night for $91.1 million with fees, breaking the record at auction for a work by a living artist, set just last November by David Hockney. Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, made the winning bid for Mr. Koons’s 1986 'Rabbit' from an aisle seat near the front of the salesroom."

Might as well just get this -- it's vintage! it's "authentic"! -- and give it pride-of-place in the front hall. Sure, visitors will think you're tasteless & nuts, but in such a vintage, authentic way.

UPDATE: (May 19): New York Times: Mnuchin would not reveal the identity of his client; i.e., the purchaser of Stainless Bunny is. During an NYT interview, "He was near tears when asked about his son Steve and refused to comment about their relationship. But friends said that he is in an impossible predicament, conflicted over his sense of duty about being a loyal father and his concern as a citizen that President Trump is bad for America."

David McCullough Is a Crap Historian. Rebecca Onion of Slate reviews his book on the history -- okay, make that "hagiographic platitudes" -- about the settlement of the Northwest Territory. "Its success (it is No. 10 on Amazon’s best-seller list for books, as of Friday) shows how big the gap between critical history and the “popular history” that makes it to best-seller lists, Costco, and Target remains.” Mrs. McC: Onion doesn't mention it, but I get the impression all the "settling" was done by men; apparently the women's tasks were of no account. Somehow I don't think most of the "ladies" sat around drinking tea & doing needlepoint in their pretty parlors.


The Commentariat -- July 7, 2019

Afternoon Update:

The Counterfactual World of Trump & Troupe. Chris Rodrigo of the Hill: "President Trump on Sunday accused the media of reporting 'phony and exaggerated accounts' of conditions at migrant detention centers along the border in the wake of two bombshell reports from the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) watchdog. 'The Fake News Media, in particular th Failing @nytimes, is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers,' Trump tweeted.... The reports from the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) covered the conditions at facilities near El Paso, Texas, and in the Rio Grande Valley. The government watchdog found severe overcrowding, migrants being held too long and dirty conditions at many of the facilities. A group of lawyers who visited a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, made similar claims about the treatment of migrants. The Trump administration has denied reports and images of the conditions in detainment facilities." Mrs. McC: Sunday afternoon, Trump gave a chopper presser in which he elaborated on his phony charges. I'll get a report on that when one becomes available. ...

... Quinn Owen of ABC News: "Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said he did not accept reports of unsanitary conditions and limited food and water at U.S. Border Patrol stations, calling the situation at the border 'extraordinarily challenging' for the department, in an interview on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.... For months, McAleenan has raised alarms about the potential for disastrous conditions on the southern border while maintaining his agency has upheld government standards for housing detainees, despite evidence to the contrary. He said on Sunday that the food and water at one facility in Clint, Texas, that has faced scrutiny were 'adequate' and that migrants in holding centers had access to showers and clean living quarters.... Conditions were so severe at facilities in the Rio Grande Valley that one CBP manager described it to federal investigators as a "ticking time bomb" in the report made public this past week."

David Kirkpatrick & David Sanger of the New York Times: "Iran said on Sunday that within hours it would breach the limits on uranium enrichment set four years ago in an accord with the United States and other international powers that was designed to keep Tehran from producing a nuclear weapon. The latest move inches Iran closer to where it was before the accord: on the path to being able to produce an atomic bomb." Mrs. McC: Thanks, Trump!

Mary Papenfuss of the Huffington Post: "An artist blasted by the Anti-Defamation League for creating a 'blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon' has been invited to the White House by ... Donald Trump. Cartoonist Ben Garrison proudly tweeted his invitation to join a 'Social Media Summit' this coming Thursday at the White House.... Trump's Social Media Summit is expected to address the president's complaints that social media platforms' policies against threats and hate speech are blocking conservative voices.... Two years ago, Garrison created an inflammatory cartoon depicting Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros using puppet strings to control then-Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was serving as Trump's national security adviser at the time, and retired Gen. David Petraeus. The image was a nod to an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that a secretive international Jewish cabal controls the world. In the cartoon, Soros is being controlled by a hand labeled the 'Rothschilds,' a famous Jewish banking family. The ADL wrote at the time that the 'thrust of the cartoon is clear: McMaster is merely a puppet of a Jewish conspiracy.'"

Jamie Ehrlich of CNN: "Newly independent Rep. Justin Amash, the only congressional Republican to have publicly argued that ... Donald Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct, told CNN that high-level party officials have thanked him behind closed doors for his stance on impeachment proceedings against Trump. 'I get people sending me text messages, people calling me, saying "thank you for what you're doing,'" Amash told CNN's Jake Tapper in a wide-ranging interview on 'State of the Union' Sunday....In the same interview, Amash said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should start impeachment proceedings against Trump. 'From a principled, moral position, she's making a mistake. From a strategic position, she's making a mistake,' Amash said."

Edward Helmore of the Guardian: "Congressional approval for funds for the Trump administration to spend at the southern border has triggered open warfare between a 'squad' of high-profile progressive House Democrats and party leaders they accuse of caving to a White House determined to mistreat migrant children.... On Saturday [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [said] in a New York Times interview, [with Maureen Dowd, also linked below] taking aim at The Squad for voting against 'our bill'. 'All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,' she said. 'But they didn't have any following. They're four people and that's how many votes they got.' In a tweeted response, [Rep. Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez said: 'That public "whatever" is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country.' She also defended her use of social media. The progressive-moderate split is becoming more evident and bitter."


Maureen Dowd interviews Nancy Pelosi.

New York Times reporters paint a devastating picture of the now-infamous migrant camp in Clint, Texas. It's difficult to read. "Outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox were spreading among the hundreds of children who were being held in cramped cells, agents said. The stench of the children's dirty clothing was so strong it spread to the agents' own clothing -- people in town would scrunch their noses when they left work. The children cried constantly. One girl seemed likely enough to try to kill herself that the agents made her sleep on a cot in front of them, so they could watch her as they were processing new arrivals."

"They" Made Trump Hire Undocumented Workers. Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs & Miriam Jordan of the New York Times: "After months of silence, President Trump responded on Friday to reports that the Trump Organization has employed dozens of undocumented immigrants by saying that he doesn't know whether the organization does or not. 'I don't know because I don't run it,' Mr. Trump said when asked if he was confident that undocumented immigrants were no longer working at his golf courses. 'But I would say this: Probably every club in the United States has that because it seems to be, from what I understand, a way that people did business.... But we've ended -- whatever they did, we have a very strict rule that, those rules are very strict,' Mr. Trump said...." (Also linked yesterday.) ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: In fairness to the slackard children of America, "The dog ate my homework" is a far more plausible excuse than "I don't run it" when in fact he did "run it," right down to picking the fabrics & colors of the uniforms of the undocumented workers he hired. Democrats should run ads, ad nauseum, in Trump country featuring Trump's former undocumented employees -- the "foreign" bastids who are taking their job & making America brown again (which is what it was before we white European imperialists crashed & trashed the land between the shining seas).

What is the top political problem facing the country? Maybe you're thinking income inequality, or the environment, or healthcare or education or, well, Trump. According to Trump himself, however, your concerns are misplaced: "Our most difficult problem is not our competitors, it is the Federal Reserve!"

Isabel Oakeshott of the Daily Mail: "Britain's Ambassador to Washington has described Donald Trump as 'inept', 'insecure' and 'incompetent' in a series of explosive memos to Downing Street. Sir Kim Darroch, one of Britain's top diplomats, used secret cables and briefing notes to impugn Trump's character, warning London that the White House was 'uniquely dysfunctional' and that the President's career could end in 'disgrace'.... He also says that he doesn't think Trump's White House will 'ever look competent'.... In a memo sent after [Trump visited the U.K.], Sir Kim warned that while Trump and his team had been 'dazzled' by the visit, and the UK might be 'flavour of the month', Trump's White House remained self-interested: 'This is still the land of America First'." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Other media outlets are accepting this report as credible, even tho it comes from the Daily Mail. Also too, the government more-or-less verified the accuracy of the leaked cables: "The Foreign Office last night said that the British public 'would expect our Ambassadors to provide Ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their countries'. A spokesman added: 'Their views are not necessarily the views of Ministers or indeed the Government. But we pay them to be candid, just as the US Ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities."

I thought Ivanka was amazing at the G-20. The foreign leaders loved her. They think she's great. -- Donald Trump, to reporters Friday

Uh, how exactly would Trump know this? Does he think other heads of state are going to say, "Why did you bring your dimwitted daughter?" -- Mrs. Bea McCrabbie

Masha Gessen of the New Yorker: Media reviewers gave Trump a pass on his July Fourth speech, calling it "inoffensive," "not a complete authoritarian nightmare," and "tame." "Campaign slogans and glaring Trumpisms were not the only things absent from the speech. Immigrants were missing. Trump's most recent predecessors presided over Fourth of July naturalization ceremonies. A rhetorical link between the holiday and immigration has long seemed unbreakable.... That immigrant story is, of course, the story the Trump Administration has demonstratively abandoned.... Trump has retired the myth of America as a nation of immigrants because he staked his election campaign and his legitimacy as president on the demonization of immigrants -- and on mobilizing Americans for a war against immigrants.... Trump spoke like the leader of a country under siege.... Trump has reframed America, stripping it of its ideals, dumbing it down, and reducing it to a nation at war against people who want to join it." Thanks to Anonymous for the link.

Well, now, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin epitomized the American dream when he took in a poor immigrant woman. Still, some of you will come away with the impression that Steve & the Immigrant somehow have missed the spirit of the holiday:

Thanks to Hattie for this inspiring holiday portrait. (And, no, these people really have no idea how ridiculous they are.)

Presidential Race 2020

Christian Vasquez of Politico: "Joe Biden apologized Saturday for his remarks about working with segregationists during his time in the Senate, but again stopped short of saying that it was wrong to work with them amid a defense of his broader civil rights record. 'Now was I wrong a few weeks ago, to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes, I was. I regret it. I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception that I caused anybody,' the former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate said to cheers during a speech to a mostly black audience in Sumter, South Carolina. Biden continued: 'But did that misstep define 50 years of my record for fighting for civil rights, racial justice in this country? I hope not. I don't think so. That just isn't an honest assessment of my record. I'm going to let my record and character stand for itself and not be distorted or smeared.'" ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: It took Biden a mere two-and-a-half weeks to apologize, and in the meantime he defended his remarks on numerous occasions. ...

... Em Steck & Andrew Kaczynski of CNN: "... on the sidelines of the re-litigated fight over busing ... was another candidate who waded into the busing debate in the 1970s on the opposite side of Biden: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In her first law review article, published in 1975 in the Rutgers Law Review and recently unearthed by CNN's KFile, Warren sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling in the case Milliken v. Bradley, writing that it made it easier for school districts to stop busing students in northern cities. Warren's law review article sheds light on a previously unexplored early career stance on busing that contrasts with Biden's approach during the same time period. Biden defended his past position in an exclusive interview with CNN this week.... [Warren's] first article, according to Justin Driver, a professor of law at Yale School of Law, showed a remarkable understanding of the complexities in education law. It was an 'extremely accomplished piece of scholarship by a student, said Driver."

Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair: "What is a problem for the [Trump] campaign ... is the escalating cold war between Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. for control of the reelection, five sources close to the White House told me in recent days. Brad Parscale is the nominal campaign manager -- but Jared and Don Jr. ... are jockeying to be the ultimate decision makers.... Paranoia about Kushner has set in among Don Jr.'s allies. According to one person close to Don Jr., his advisers were alarmed by Don Jr.'s now-deleted tweet questioning Senator Kamala Harris's race. They worried Kushner would push the scandal to damage Don Jr.... 'Don doesn't want to give Jared any excuses to delegitimize him,' the person told me." --s

Senate Race 2020. Sheryl Stolberg of the New York Times: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) "may be in trouble because of two men: Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and President Trump.... Ms. Collins, who coasted to a fourth term in 2014 with 68 percent of the vote, will be difficult to beat. But the polarization that has swept the nation is seeping into Maine as well.... In an interview, Ms. Collins said she would decide in the fall if she would seek re-election. For now, she is behaving like a candidate. She had raised $4.4 million for her 2020 campaign as of March, according to federal elections data, money she will need: After her Kavanaugh vote, a crowdfunding campaign raised over $4 million to donate to her eventual opponent. Last week, she drew a formidable challenger: Sara Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House."

Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Rebecca Traister of New York: The pundits who cover politics are way behind the times. "The problem here is not simply that [Chris] Matthews and [Donny] Deutsch still have their high-paid media jobs, despite lengthy records of mediocre analysis, grotesque speech about women, and relative cluelessness about race. I's that their jobs are crucial to how the story of the presidential race will be told to the millions of people who watch them.... Altogether, what's emerging is a view of a presidential commentariat that -- in terms of both ideas and diversity -- is embarrassingly outpaced by the candidates, many of whom appear smarter, more thoughtful, and to have a nimbler grasp of American history and structural inequities than the television journalists being paid to cover them." Thanks to Anonymous for the link. ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Traister seems unaware that this is scarcely a new phenomenon. The suits run the networks, and they always have picked "news analysts" who reflect what the suits imagine is "safe" and "inoffensive." Even when the analysts have been edgy, even when their gigs followed stellar journalistic careers, the front office has been extremely uneasy about them. Bill Paley made Edward R. Murrow (assuming the biopic film "Good Night, and Good Luck" is accurate) "pay for" his Joe McCarthy exposé by interviewing Marilyn Monroe & Liberace. Vietnam War protests had been at the forefront for years before David Brinkley & Walter Cronkite somewhat timidly questioned our Southeast Asian military adventure. The MSM will never be cutting-edge; that's why we call it "mainstream." ...

... This is hardly a problem unique to political analysis. As Elizabeth Berry & Chi-hui Yang wrote in a New York Times op-ed last week, "... those who have for decades been given the biggest platforms to interpret culture are white men.... Yet the most dynamic art in America today is being made by artists of color and indigenous artists."

Patricia Mazzei & William Rashbaum of the New York Times: "Jeffrey E. Epstein, a billionaire New York financier long accused of molesting dozens of girls, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors, an extraordinary turn of events in a long and sordid criminal case. Two people with knowledge of the charges said on Saturday night that Mr. Epstein had been arrested in the New York area and was in federal custody.... Mr. Epstein, 66, had avoided federal criminal charges in 2007 and 2008 in a widely criticized plea deal whose lenient terms continue to roil the Justice Department and are facing new scrutiny in the #MeToo era. Before the plea deal, Mr. Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, had been friendly with Donald J. Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.... The plea deal that protected Mr. Epstein from federal charges was signed by the top federal prosecutor in Miami at the time, Alexander Acosta, who is now President Trump's labor secretary."

Way Beyond the Beltway

Israel. Juan Cole: "Hagar Shezaf at the Israeli newspaper of record, Haaretz ['The Land'], reveals that a secretive Israeli agency has been systematically going through the country's archives, including local repositories, and removing and classifying documents having to do with repressive and embarrassing Israeli actions toward Palestinians and Palestinian-Israelis.... The Israeli classification program is betting that the history of 1948 can be erased simply by withholding the Israeli documentation. Hierarchies of knowledge privilege state archives over the oral histories of the powerless and oppressed. Nevertheless, the Palestinians themselves, and their family histories, are the best archive for knowing about their expulsion, and for knowing about the conditions of Apartheid under which some 5 million still live." --s

U.K. James Cusick of OpenDemocracy: "In October 2016, Boris Johnson, the recently-appointed [British] foreign secretary ... was invited to the luxurious Umbrian villa of his wealthy friend, Evgeny Lebedev -- the Russian owner of London's Evening Standard newspaper.... During his stint as London's mayor, Boris had been to the 17th-century villa four times..., using his friend's private jet to fly there and back to London.... Boris's host [is] the son of a wealthy Russian oligarch and former KGB agent.... Meanwhile the Sunday Times recently carried a story claiming the former foreign secretary had been branded 'a security risk by a senior cabinet minister who was close to Theresa May, but is backing Hunt for the leadership.' [T]he Sunday Times quoted the cabinet minister in conversation with another unnamed cabinet minister: 'There will be things in his private life that we don't know about ... there's the danger that people leak what they have over him or blackmail him with it.'" --s

Corinne Redfern of the Guardian: "Sex trafficking is an enormously lucrative business. Academic Siddharth Kara advises the United Nations and the US government on slavery and has shown through his own research that sex trafficking is disproportionately lucrative compared with other forms of slavery. He estimates that sex trafficking creates half of the total profits generated globally by modern slavery, despite only accounting for 5% of all trafficking victims worldwide.... While prostitution is legal [in Bangladesh], trafficking and forced labour are not.... The Bangladesh government estimates that 100,000 women and girls are working in the country's sex industry and one study reports that less than 10% of those had entered prostitution voluntarily.... Here, a triumvirate of powerful institutions -- government, police and religion -- watch over and approve the rape, enslavement and abuse of hundreds of thousands of prepubescent girls." --s

News Lede

New York Times: "... the United States women's soccer team claimed its fourth Women's World Cup title on Sunday, beating the Netherlands, 2-0, in Lyon, France, to repeat as world champions.... Plans were already underway, team officials said, for a parade and celebration of the team's championship in New York sometime this week.... The current team sued its own federation for gender discrimination earlier this year, part of a longrunning fight for pay equity from U.S. Soccer.... That the pro-American crowd insid the Stade de Lyon on Sunday chanted 'Equal Pay!' as the game ended was no accident."

Reader Comments (17)

Do they HAVE to get everything wrong?

While denouncing any Americans who don’t go along with the traitor in the White House (and maybe some who aren’t stupid enough to believe that General Washington and his staff piled up the frequent flier miles back in the day—did horses get complementary oats?) Fox is now telling the Trumpbots that burning the American flag is illegal.

Except, um, it’s not.

The Supreme Court, some thirty years ago, found that flag burning is symbolic speech and therefore protected by the First Amendment.

Oh, but wait. That wasn’t Trump’s Supreme Court. These guys would probably sentence flag burners to be burned at the stake on the White House lawn. Fox would cover it live and their toadies could pass around the popcorn and nod their bobble doll heads in unison. “See? Illegal. Toldja.”

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

And here's how you burn your flag:

"United States Flag Code (4 USC Sec 8 Para (k), Amended July 7, 1976).

-Build a medium-sized fire in a safe, approved location. The fire will need to have reached a proper size and level of heat so it will fully burn the flag without leaving any remnants of the flag intact.
-If the flag is currently flying, respectfully lower the flag and remove it from the pole. Fold the flag in the traditional triangle fold.
-Place the folded flag on top of the fire, being careful to not injure yourself. Watch the flag to make sure it is fully incinerated
-While the flag is in the process of being burned, observe the flag with respect and reverence.
-While the flag is being incinerated, recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
-Once the process of burning the flag is complete and no part of the flag remains, safely put the fire out completely."

Right. Or, you can do what most of the flag wavers do and throw it in the trash. Or if you have some talent, make hats, scarves, shirts, cargo shorts, swimsuits etc. out of it like many of the folks wore down at the mall earlier this week.

I had a wicked thought watching TV shots of the flag burners on Pennsylvania Avenue this week. Get an old flag, and have the American Legion* dispose of it by burning down on Pa. Ave on, say, Veteran's Day weekend. The TV talkers and other bloviators would have no idea what to make of it.

* I don't know if they still do, but Legion posts used to accept US flags for proper disposal, usually burning, as a service.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Oh, Magic 8 Ball, it is me, the Great Donaldo. You know, the guy who comes to you for advice on what to do about world events and knotted undies. I have the most serious question of all. Who should run my re-election campaign? I know you probably think it’s silly that I, the greatest leader since George Washington crossed the Hudson, should have to undergo the humiliation of another stolen election, but I have to pretend so the morons don’t revolt.

So, who should it be? Junior? Or Jared? I know, it’s tough. Both names begin with J and have same number of letters. Right? Wait...hold on: Junior—-1,2,3,4,5,5,6,7. Is that right? Wait, start again. Oh never mind. Counting is hard.

But look. Mueller decided that Junior was too dumb to collude, so No Collusion! Right? On the other hand, it took me 35 years to teach him to unzip his pants and pull out his ding-dong before peeing; even now he still forgets sometimes. The dry cleaning bills, Jesus!

On the other hand there’s Young Jared. So, okay, he made the biggest real estate blunder since that guy in the Monty Python movie built a castle on a swamp. That really happened, right? But he also held a big shindig for peace in the Middle East, ya know, to make me look good. No one from either side showed up, but he talked about money and investment stuff, so it was fabulous.

So who should I pick?


Magic 8 Ball answer: “Without a doubt.”

Great. I’m never in doubt. Good answer. The election’s in the bag. My re-election guy will be Daddy Vlad! Thanks.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Joe Biden could tell the facts to explain his collaboration with Eastland and Talmadge:

-- New Deal, New Frontier and Great Society Democrats needed the "Solid South" in Senate votes to advance the Democratic agenda
-- at the same time, there were GOP Senators who were willing to work on bipartisan initiatives.
-- in the horse-trading that occurred over the forty years after Hoover, both GOP and Democrats knew that the price of Solid South Democratic Senators' votes included privileging whites and keeping blacks weak
-- the seniority system at the time rewarded longevity, and southern states capitalized by returning senators for many terms
-- and committee chairmen at that time could make or break any initiatives or problem senators

So even after the progress in civil rights of the 60s, by 1973 a new senator like Biden would know that working with the chairmen was the probable path to success. Most of those chairmen were still pretty racist. Even the northern-state leadership had problems with NIMBY racism after Wallace's 1964 campaign. So Biden was working the system as it was worked in those days.

Just like Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson. Except Johnson had enough experience with those ol' boys that he could get away with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, and the early Great Society programs.

Poor Biden. He still thinks he can get along with GOP congresspersons and governors just by being reasonable and paying attention.

Just like Obama did.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

One more thing about Biden. He mentioned the other day that he’s doing oppo research on the other Democratic candidates and is amassing a war-chest of nasty background information just to have on hand. Oh, he’s not gonna use it, so he says. So why mention it then? It’s the Trumpiest card he’s played so far. So here we have a candidate that’s part Obama (see above) and part Trump. Even if it’s only a fractional part Trump it’s way too much for me.

Reminds me of British journalist and MP, C.P. Scott’s famous quip about another odd combination: “Television. The word is part Latin, part Greek. No good can come of it.”

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

About British Ambassdor Kim Darroch's leaked cables headlined in the Washington Post as saying: " ...Trump 'inept and insecure' " appears as most classic British understatement, though certainly true.

"After Darroch’s wires were published, Brexit campaigner and Trump ally Nigel Farage said in a tweet that the British ambassador should be sacked.

“Kim Darroch is totally unsuitable for the job and the sooner he is gone the better,” said Farage."

Hmmm, wonder if Darroch also has pithy things to say about Farage? or Boris!

More leaks, please.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

Are they even trying to clean up the camps?? If people smelled other people, they had to know it was a crisis. They had to know that someone needed to let the powers-that-be know that this was a disaster. They don't care. It means nothing. As long as the moron-in-chief is golden, nothing else matters.

Biden is so wrong. There is no bipartisanship, no working together, no possibility of changing the people of that party, and no point in thinking any of it is possible. These people are moral midgets, and not just the dimwits in the trump family empire, but all the rest of 'em too. I hope Susan Collins is proud of herself-- we have a lot of blame to heap on her sorry head. I'm not forgetting Manchin-- they will probably be given fellowships at Harvard, too.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

If someone reported to the SPCA that puppies were being kept 20
to a cage that was meant for 2, and that they were infested with
ticks and fleas and being fed rotten meat, all hell would break loose
in this country. Brown kids and babies, blah. WTF is wrong with
these concentration camp personnel. Some of them must have
children. And it's past time the media starts calling them exactly
what they are----concentration camps.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterforrest.morris


Excellent point. Animals would be treated better. Were these kids white and the sons and daughters of Evangelicals or any other organized Christian group of predominantly (or more likely solely) Republican voters (or kids from Norway, eg), the outrage would rock the nation. There would be calls for immediate arrests and investigations. But brown kids who don't speak English? Meh.

Honestly, who could stand around listening to children--babies!--crying pitifully, mired in a situation not of their own making and not try to do something, or at the very least, feel some compassion?

Instead, it's likely that many of these concentration camp guards go home, get online to their fascist Facebook group and yuck it up about how many children are ready to kill themselves rather than spend another day in such horrible conditions, then show off their latest MAGA wear.

Have Barron and the Javanka kids been sent down there yet?

This is the actual face of Trump's Amerika. A place where only the chosen few are protected. The rest are not only NOT protected, they are actively tortured if it suits the fuhrer.

This is not just moral midgetry, it's depraved indifference to human suffering, suffering imposed with willful intent by this administration. This is how Trump makes America great? Anyone voting for this monster needs to reassess their sense of what it means to be a decent human being.

And while we're talking monstrous, how 'bout this?

The little king swears that he can't give these kids soap because A. Obama won't let him, and B, He doesn't have the money for it so he can't pay for the soap.

Wow. How could we possibly pay for these kids to be able to maintain basic hygiene and get something to eat other than a piece of bread and slice of baloney?

"The same way that we just 'paid for' $700,000,000,000 for a single year of military funding.

The same way that we just 'paid for' $1,500,000,000,000 in tax cuts for the wealthy.

The same way that we 'paid for' a $1,300,000,000,000 fighter jet in 2016.

The same way that the United States has always 'paid for' all of the fantastically-expensive things that benefit the powerful: Immediately and without discussion. Because they want it."

And get this, the fighter jet mentioned above is the glitchy F-35 which has been on the drawing board since Bush stole his first election. It's a technical marvel, so they say, if it ever really works. Added to the marvels is the pilot's helmet. Price tag? $400,000. Each.

How 'bout we trade a single F-35 helmet for soap, fresh water, clean clothes and decent food for babies being tortured in Trump's concentration camps? You can buy a 12 pack of Irish Spring soap bars at Walmart for less than six bucks. So, six bucks for soap for 12 kids, divided into $400,000....let's see, 6 into 40....okay, then multiply the quotient by 12....

You could buy soap for about 800,000 kids for one helmet. So, okay, we only need a small piece of that helmet, maybe the backup chin strap. Even more disgusting, Trump has billed the US taxpayers--as of a few weeks ago--$500,000 For use of his own golf carts. So right there is soap for a million kids. Can we get some of that money to feed and clean babies?

Not on your life.

Depravity incarnate. Besides fatty can't be expected to walk when he's golfing. So those kids can go fuck themselves.

Animals are better off.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus


I have a question that I haven't found an answer to - Is it OK to throw a flag through the wash? My patriotic neighbor has been flying his 24/7/365 for the last 7 or 8 years and it's looking kinda mildewy. I think he's confusing things with the postal creed about neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night...

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterunwashed

The countdown is on...

For Trump to completely disavow ever knowing fellow sex offender Jeffrey Epstein with whom he has partied in the past, calling him a "great guy". As Epstein's troubles move toward eventual imprisonment (with luck), look for Trump to suddenly never recall having met him at any time in the past, despite photographic evidence to the contrary (he's pulled that trick many times, so this would be no big deal). But also look for him to trumpet Bill Clinton's connection to Epstein and to somehow describe Epstein and Obama as best buddies. Also, Hillary recruited young girls as sex slaves for him. Pass it on, Facebook and Twitter people.

Everyone's guilty but Trump.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus


The implementing language for the country’s first census in 1790 made some interesting distinctions. That census counted everyone, but divided people into men, women, Indians, “coloured,” young and old, slave and free. Those distinctions were important because at that time voting was most often restricted to free propertied males. For congressional apportionment, though, everyone counted, at least a little. Each slave was weighted as only three-fifths of a person.

Oddly, two hundred forty years later, things haven’t changed all that much for our Retro Republicans. Many Republicans still believe that some people are more “people” than others.

For congressional apportionment today, many Republicans want the census to count only citizens. For them, even three-fifths of a person is sometimes too much. Some say “voting citizens,” only, which in 2019 would generously include women, Native Americans and descendants of former slaves. But since the “citizenship” question Republicans want to add to the 2020 census is designed to discourage brown people from responding, they’ve put the Founders’ “colour” distinction back in the mix (

In telling ways, we’re not that far from 1790 because one of our major political parties would restrict the meaning of personhood to those who cast ballots and are most likely white. And since that party supports tax policies that continue to widen the gap between the rich and the rest, in practice Republicans are also resurrecting the property-ownership qualification to be an American citizen with a real voice.

So, who really counts in today’s United States? White or brown people? Rich or poor? City or country folk? Your neighbor? Or possibly you?

It depends on who’s doing the counting.

In their undemocratic vision of America, the G(reedy) O(ld) P(arty) believes only those most likely to vote for Republicans matter enough to count.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Unwashed: yes, you can wash your flag in a machine.

For what it's worth: when I was in high school I was a color guard senior year, so we had to learn all the flag stuff. Fun facts: when properly folded for the evening the flag resembles the revolutionary war army tricorner hat, and only the blue canton and white stars are visible, indicating "day is done, night has come."

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

This. Is. Awesome.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSchlub

Let's take a moment to reflect on the impact of Title IX.

Since its implementation, American women have dominated world sports. The soccer team have won two consecutive world cups and stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world. In the last Olympics, if the U.S. were divided into two countries, one male and the other female, the 27 gold medals for the women would tie them with Britain for most of any country, put them one ahead of China, and far ahead of the American men and everyone else.

The larger lesson should be clear for us all: Provide women with an equal opportunity and they will perform exceptionally, and not just on the playing fields.

Provide women with a truly equal opportunity and the impact on science, medicine, the arts, and politics will be immense and positive.

Yet another reason I'm voting for Elizabeth Warren.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSchlub


Fold? He just picked up the old off the ground before stuffing it into a bag and taking it to the dump with his household garbage. A "true" patriot. He is obviously neither a boy scout nor member of a color guard.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterunwashed

Re: above HuffPost entry and -

“. . . the president’s complaints that social media platforms’ policies against threats and hate speech are blocking conservative voices.... “

While I do occupy a small seat on the dyslexic spectrum and - from time to time - may need to re-re-re-read (untangle) context (and do free to help me out here) . . .

If, by blocking hate speech and threats, tRumpilisimo believes the voices of his people are being silenced, wouldn’t that then mean he’s acknowledging. . . ?

“Sometimes paranoia's just having all the facts.”
William S. Burroughs

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHattie
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