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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.

Saturday
Jun082019

The Commentariat -- June 9, 2019

Afternoon Update:

Trump Claims Mexico "Deal" Has Secret Parts, Also Critics Are Mean. David Cohen of Politico: "As critics continued to suggest the U.S. deal with Mexico didn't accomplish much..., Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning there is more to the agreement than meets the eye. 'Importantly, some things..... .....not mentioned in yesterday press release, one in particular, were agreed upon. That will be announced at the appropriate time,' the president wrote in a string of four tweets. Trump was defending his newly announced agreement with Mexico in the face of reporting that much of what was in the deal was not new. In his tweets, he directly attacked the New York Times and CNN, calling them 'the Enemy of the People.'... Appearing on 'Fox News Sunday' soon after Trump's tweetstorm, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan was asked about the president’s tweets, but offered few specific details.... Forty minutes after his string of tweets, Trump ... [tweeted,] 'If President Obama made the deals that I have made, both at the Border and for the Economy, the Corrupt Media would be hailing them as Incredible, & a National Holiday would be immediately declared. With me, despite our record setting Economy and all that I have done, no credit!'" ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Good idea, Donnie. Let's have a national holiday for the Paris Climate Agreement (oops, you pulled the U.S. out of that); the Iran Nuclear Agreement (oops, you backed out of that, too) & the Affordable Care Act (oops, you tried to repeal that & you're undermining it now).

The Cheese Stands Alone. David Choi of Business Insider: "Fifteen world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, signed [a D-Day proclamation] in blue ink near the bottom of the text. Trump, however, signed the document in the upper, left-hand corner[.] In her column today (linked below), MoDo equated the signature to this incident: "When he went with classmates at the New York Military Academy to march down Fifth Avenue in a Columbus Day parade, he found out that some Catholic schoolgirls were lined up ahead of the boys. Trump went to complain and pull strings and got the girls bumped so they marched behind the boys. When European leaders joined together to endorse a D-Day commemoration, they all put their John Hancocks at the bottom, as expected, while Trump scrawled his signature alone at the top."

Thank You for Your Service, Now Get Out, Ctd. Richard Sisk of the Military Times: "The Government Accountability Office has a recommendation for Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Check to see whether the people it picks up are military veterans before kicking them out of the country. 'We recommended that ICE collect and maintain data on veterans' in accordance with long-established rules at the agency to avoid deporting individuals who may be eligible to stay, the 40-page GAO report states. From 2013 to 2018, ICE failed to follow its own policies requiring agents to consider a veteran's military record before beginning the process of removal from the country, according to the report. Time in service, awards and deployments are all among factors that are supposed to be weighed when making a deportment decision. The policies also call for deportation cases that might involve veterans to be referred to higher headquarters for a decision. Those policies also were not followed, the report states. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of ICE, said they didn't consider the veteran and non-veteran status in removal proceedings and were unaware of policies to the contrary."

~~~~~~~~~~

The Phoniest American President* Ever. Michael Shear & Maggie Haberman of the New York Times: "The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations. Friday's joint declaration says Mexico agreed to the 'deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.' But the Mexican government had already pledged to do that in March during secret talks in Miami between Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of homeland security, and Olga Sanchez, the Mexican secretary of the interior, the officials said. The centerpiece of Mr. Trump's deal was an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed. But that arrangement was first reached in December.... Ms. Nielsen announced the Migrant Protection Protocols during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee five days before Christmas. And over the past week, negotiators failed to persuade Mexico to accept a 'safe third country' treaty that would have given the United States the legal ability to reject asylum seekers if they had not sought refuge in Mexico first." Thanks to unwashed Ken W. for the link. ...

The president manufactures a crisis, galvanizes his base around the challenge, leaves the definition of success undefined, pretends to play hardball and, lo and behold, finds a solution that entails little more than window-dressing, if that. For Trump, it's a win-win.... The loser tends to be the American people, oftentimes Trump's base first and foremost. -- Ned Price, former Obama NSC staffer

... Another Trump Lie about the Mexico Tariff "Deal." Nacha Cattan & Eric Martin of Bloomberg News: "Mexico never agreed to buy more U.S. farm products as part of a deal reached late Friday on border security and illegal immigration that averted the threat of U.S. tariffs, said three Mexican officials, contradicting a claim made by ... Donald Trump. Trump on Saturday told his 61 million Twitter followers in an all-caps message that Mexico had agreed to 'immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural product from our great patriot farmers.'... But the communique issued late Friday by the State Department -- the U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration -- made no mention of agricultural trade as part of the agreement. Three Mexican officials said they were not aware of any side deal in the works." ...

... Kate Riga of TPM: "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) mocked ... Donald Trump for 'backing off' his tariff threat against Mexico, adding that the deal will likely little affect illegal immigration. '‪Just as I predicted, the president backed off,' he said in a statement. 'He says that Mexico will take action to "greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States", but if past is prologue, this is likely to be one of the president's typical, bogus solutions to justify backing off things like the tariffs, which he precipitously proposed, much to the consternation of the business community nationwide and Republicans in the House and Senate.'" ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: So "The New Art of the Deal" goes like this: threaten economic war with an ally; settle for terms negotiated months ago (by a Cabinet Secretary you fired); then claim a big win. Yes, Donnie, we all are tired of so much winning.

... Ana Swanson & Paul Mozur of the New York Times: "President Trump is increasingly blurring the line between America's national and economic security, enabling him to harness powerful tools meant to punish the world's worst global actors and redirect them at nearly every trading partner, including Mexico, Japan, China and Europe. Over a few weeks, Mr. Trump has declared European and Japanese cars, Chinese telecom equipment and Mexican immigrants national security threats. Those declarations have given the president authority to use Cold War powers to inflict economic pain on countries through tariffs, government blacklists and other restrictions.... His approach has grown more aggressive over the past two years, culminating in an expansive view of national security that has plunged the United States into an economic war with nearly every trading partner, including longtime allies."

Trump's Amerika. Rebekah Entralago of ThinkProgress: "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report Thursday detailing the horrific conditions at immigration detention centers across the United States. Inspectors found 'immediate risks or egregious violations of detention standards' including nooses in detainee cells, overuse of solitary confinement, and spoiled food, among other issues.... The findings confirm what most immigration activist groups and some progressive members of Congress have been clamoring about for months: ICE is routinely violating the human rights of the individuals in its custody." --s

Martin Chulov & Julian Borger of the Guardian: "The Trump administration has given the cold shoulder to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, less than two months after Trump appeared to show support for him& in a surprise phone call, and is now rethinking its policy towards the country's civil war, according to multiple sources in the US and the region.... For now, US officials insist that Trump's phone call to Haftar was a personal favour to the Egyptian president, Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, who was visiting Washington a few days earlier, and did not signify a shift in US policy.... Ahmed Omar Maiteeg, the deputy prime minister of the Tripoli government, told NBC News on Thursday the Trump-Haftar call was confusing, 'because we see the US government as a our [sic] main ally'." --s ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Just another typical episode in the Trump presidency. Trump, who has no idea what he's doing but is fond of strongmen like al-Sisi & Haftar, messes things up, and members of the administration try to clean up the mess.

Trump Vows to Ruin National Holiday. Maureen Dowd: "Trump tweeted in February that he was going to hijack the Lincoln Memorial on Independence Day for 'Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!' Like no one had ever thought of fireworks on the Mall before.... On a whim, he has decided to bollix up one of the better days in the nation's capital. Trump is going to turn a holiday that had somehow managed to remain nonpartisan and playful into a MAGA rally, dragging his perpetual resting bitch face and American carnage onto the Mall.... Narcissistic, infantile and heedless of tradition, Trump is now yanking away the one day devoted to celebrating all Americans and rebranding it in his own image."

"Twilight Zone," Ctd. Frank Dale of ThinkPrgoress: "A day after the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Attorney General William Barr claimed that his return to the Justice Department bears similarities to the 1944 Battle of Normandy. During a speech at the FBI academy on Friday, Barr compared the scrutiny that he has received since becoming President Donald Trump's attorney general to the Allies' invasion of Europe[.]" --s

Natahsa Lennard of The Intercept: "Instead of being a legal category, 'domestic terrorism' is used by federal law enforcement as a framework to organize and describe cases and investigations.... Over the last decade, the FBI classified domestic terrorism cases using 11 categories, including a specific grouping for white supremacists. At the end of April, the FBI and Justice Department revealed to Senate Judiciary Committee staffers that a new classification system was now in place, employing only four categories: racially motivated violent extremism; anti-government and anti-authority extremism; animal rights and environmental extremism; and abortion extremism.... [T]he distinct and deadly threat of white supremacist violence is now unnamed and merely folded into the too-broad 'racially motivated extremism' category.... The new nomenclature reflects the Trump administration's ideological commitment to enabling white supremacists. But the new classifications are more than semantic: They render it impossible for the public, or even elected officials, to know whether the FBI is dedicating resources to investigating the very real threat of white supremacist terror[.]" --s

Nathalie Baptiste of Mother Jones: "The White House prevented State Department officials from submitting testimony to Congress that warns of climate change catastrophe. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that after reviewing the written testimony, White House officials tried to remove references to the government's own scientific findings on global warming. The prepared statement included references to catastrophic damage due climate change. 'Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant -- possibly catastrophic -- harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change,' the testimony warned. Several anonymous Trump administration officials told the Post that the State Department testimony strayed too far from the White House's official stance on climate change." (Also linked yesterday.) ...

... Update. Kate Riga: "Though the State Department has rejected some embassy requests to fly rainbow flags in celebration of Pride month, diplomats are finding creative ways to circumvent the decision. According to the Washington Post, diplomats in Seoul and Chennai, India still flew the flags, while the building in New Delhi is awash with rainbow lights. Santiago and Vienna went digital, promoting the rainbow colors on their embassy websites. Diplomats in Jerusalem hit the streets to march in a Pride parade, while representatives stationed all over the globe posted pictures of themselves in rainbow gear or holding up signs in front of their embassies."

Alex Shephard of the New Republic points to the obvious flaw in Nancy Pelosi's "reasoning": "Despite growing pressure from her caucus -- now including members of party leadership, most notably Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler -- Pelosi once again parried demands that House Democrats move forward with impeachment proceedings. 'I don't want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,' she said.... Pelosi is acknowledging that the president has committed prosecutable crimes. If he has (and he has!), then Democrats have a constitutional responsibility to begin impeachment proceedings."

Hahahahaha. Karoli Kuns of Crooks & Liars: "The Republicans, those champions of free speech, have fired off a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler demanding that there be no talk of lying, or obstruction of justice, or any other mean things that people might otherwise say about Dear Leader. Politico Congress reporter Kyle Cheney tweeted a copy of the rule book Rep. Doug Collins is demanding Nadler use." Kuns reproduces Collins' demands here, and they are hilarious. Mrs. McC: Collins' demands would be like conducting a murder trial in which the defense ordered the prosecution to never utter any of a long list of words like "accused," "victim," "dead," "deceased," "body" "killed" "murder," "wound," "motive," "opportunity," etc. Another funny part is that some of the words Collins bans are ones that Trump himself regularly uses, without evidence, against his perceived political enemies. I'm not sure how Collins came up with "a little bugger" as a verboten phrase, but maybe it's a nod to Trump's recent visit to the land of merry old buggers. Many thanks to unwashed for the link. ...

     ... These efforts to control language are typical of authoritarian administrations.

Katelyn Polantz of CNN: "The anonymous foreign-government-owned company that fought a subpoena in the special counsel investigation for months appears to be off the hook, while prosecutors continue to put significant resources into investigating what Robert Mueller pursued related to the company, according to newly unsealed court records. Federal judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court stopped fining the company in February, when it turned almost 1,000 pages of documents over to Mueller. The court fight dragged on from February into April, however, because Mueller's team and other prosecutors believed the company had kept records from them, according to the newly unsealed information. She finally deciding the company was no longer in contempt on April 17. Howell previously ordered that the company should be fined $50,000 a day beginning January 15 for refusing to comply with Mueller's subpoena from last year. It's unclear from the newly released court record how much, if anything at all, the company paid in fines. Much of the mystery around the case remains." (Also linked yesterday.)

Nicholas Fandos of the New York Times: "A raft of legislation intended to better secure United States election systems after what the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, called a 'sweeping and systematic' Russian attack in 2016 is running into a one-man roadblock in the form of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky." Mrs. McC: Since some of these bills are bipartisan, one can only assume that Mitch is betting that foreign intervention will favor Trump & incumbent Republicans. (Also linked yesterday.)

Presidential Race 2020. Martin Pengelly of the Guardian: "Mitt Romney may not endorse Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, partly because the 2012 Republican nominee thinks political endorsements are not 'worth a thimble of spit'. That said, the Utah senator remains happy to endorse his choice for president in 2016. Then, having called his party's nominee 'a phoney, a fraud', he voted for his wife, Ann." Mrs. McC: Right. Mitt will likely put on a (well-fitting) penguin suit & tango with Trump in 2020.

Capitalism is Awesome, Ctd. Stef Kight & Dan Primack of Axios: "A handful of American businesses have their fingers in almost every aspect of prison life, raking in billions of dollars every year for products and services -- often with little oversight. The big picture: Taxpayers, incarcerated people and their families spend around $85 billion a year on public and private correction facilities, bail and prison services, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.... Here's how they make money[.]" --s

Lee Fang & Nick Surgey of The Intercept: "Conservative activist Virginia 'Ginni' Thomas [the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas] is launching yet another project to wage war on multiple fronts of America's most heated cultural and political debates [unveiled ... in a closed meeting of GOP lawmakers, donors, and Christian-right leaders last month]. This time, however, her plan will include a project to 'protect President Trump' using at least two new campaign-related political entities, according to a presentation obtained by The Intercept and Documented.... The Washington Post noted that, in recent years, Thomas has made her Facebook page a forum for increasingly conspiratorial and inflammatory content.... Her private presentations to conservatives take a similar tone." --s

The Deplorables. Barbie Latza Nadeau of The Daily Beast: "Just months before he was bludgeoned to death in a West Virginia prison, notorious Boston mobster James 'Whitey' Bulger poured his heart out in a series of letters praising President Trump (he had his vote) and criticizing Robert Mueller, whom he said should be nicer." --s ...

... Rich Schapiro, et al., of NBC News: "In several handwritten letters shared with NBC News, Bulger expressed gushing praise for Trump, offering rave reviews of the president's foreign policy and combative relationship with the media.... The legendary gangster, who was beaten to death inside a West Virginia prison cell last fall, was an ardent Trump supporter and fan of conservative media figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, according to the letters shared with NBC News.... Bulger also railed against ... Robert Mueller. An assistant U.S. attorney in Boston in the 1980s, Mueller went on to lead the FBI at a time when it was grappling with a sensational scandal involving agents protecting mob leaders like Bulger."

Way Beyond the Beltway

Britain. Meghan Markle Leaves the House as Soon as Trump Left Town. Barbie Nadeau of the Daily Beast: "Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle made her second post-baby appearance at the Trooping the Color ceremony in London on Saturday to honor Queen Elizabeth II on her 93rd birthday. Markle is still on maternity leave...." ...

... As Andy Borowitz points out, the Duchess is not the only woman whose life was affected by Trump's visit to the UK: "A British woman quit her job, on Friday, after being forced to spend the better part of a week with Donald J. Trump, the woman has confirmed." Borowitz gallantly does not reveal the woman's name, but there's an accompanying photo which gives a hint.

Mexico. Jeremy Kryt of The Daily Beast has a harrowing piece on how indigenous communities in Mexico's Guerrero state are battling for their livelihoods, alongside child soldiers, against encroaching drug cartels and rampant corruption, all with links to immigration to the US. --s

New Zealand. Frank Dale of ThinkProgress: "New Zealand's proposed 'well-being budget' could change the way that countries measure strength. Instead of focusing on financial growth, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's government released a budget at the end of May that prioritizes the happiness of citizens. The 'well-being budget' lists five priorities: mental health, family violence, clean energy, digital innovation, and supporting indigenous peoples.... To measure the success of these initiatives, New Zealand's government will track 61 metrics, ranging from 'loneliness to trust in government institutions, alongside more traditional issues like water quality.'" --s

Sudan. Jason Burke & Zeinab Mohammed Salih of the Guardian: "The military regime in Sudan has launched a new wave of arrests and violent intimidation in an effort to undermine opposition plans for a widespread campaign of civil disobedience [set for Sunday].... More than 120 people died and hundreds were injured when paramilitaries attacked a protest camp in the centre of Khartoum on Monday.... The deaths on Monday have been blamed on the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which is largely made up of militias accused of systematic human rights abuses during the war in Darfur.... Many [bodies found in the Nile] had been attached to heavy concrete blocks in an apparent effort to sink them.... The internet remains cut off in Khartoum with other communications also significantly restricted.... Experts fear that divisions among the military rulers could lead to violent clashes and a spiral into anarchy." --s

Reader Comments (16)

@Bea, I believe that Ken should receive credit for the NYT tariff article at the top.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterunwashed

@unwashed: Thanks for the correction.

June 9, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

I wonder: If people like Ginni Thomas and Whitey Bulger are singing my praises along with lesser knowns who fly the white supremacy banner then could I conclude I might just be a teeny weeny bit in sync with THEIR motivations? Would the Fatty be even a tad concerned? Never mind––stupid question.

And by the way––is it not way out of the box for Ginni to be out and about this way? Aren't there certain rules re: spouses of S.C. justices?

And good for Maureen––she does pin point the particulars––I'll give her that!

"Trump is going to turn a holiday that had somehow managed to remain nonpartisan and playful into a MAGA rally, dragging his perpetual resting bitch face and American carnage onto the Mall.... Narcissistic, infantile and heedless of tradition, Trump is now yanking away the one day devoted to celebrating all Americans and rebranding it in his own image.”

"bitch face"––now that's a new one.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

ALWAYS ON TOP OF THE HEAP:

Trump's lonely signature at the top of a D-Day proclamation is making the rounds on social media after other world leaders signed at the bottom:
Business Insider

"President Donald Trump displays an executive order in Washington DC, June 20, 2018. President Donald Trump's ubiquitous signature is making rounds on social media after it was spotted on a D-Day proclamation signed by world leaders this week. Fifteen world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, signed the document in blue ink near the bottom of the text. Trump, however, signed the document in the upper, left-hand corner."

Isn't that special.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Heartening story here. Have to admire this woman for her backbone.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/08/us/yale-hotel-abortion-free-rooms-trnd/index.html

Too bad I don't have any plans to travel to Michigan. I'd seek out Yale, stay at this hotel and happily pay a premium to do so.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

President Ruiz

The little king’s desperate and sad need to be seen as all important and number one in any group separates him out from all well balanced, psychologically healthy human beings. No doubt his slavering bots on fox and elsewhere will attribute these examples of stunted development to his love of competition and excellence, or some equally egregious bullshit excuse.

But Trump’s sick behavior has nothing to do with excellence or competition. Human beings who enjoy competing tend overwhelmingly to especially enjoy a well earned, hard fought victory in a fair contest.

Not Trump. He has to be first no matter what. His type of entirely unearned self-regard points to a sick, warped, stunted personality. Having to be first, even if it means cutting in line, lying, cheating, or shoving others out of the way (as he has done for pictures with other world leaders), or making sure your gigantic signature is placed in an inappropriate but ridiculously conspicuous spot on a document marks him as little more than a sad, cheating loser.

Back in 1980, a woman running in the Boston Marathon crossed the finish line far ahead of all the other world class women runners. In fact, hers was the fastest time in Boston history for women and the third fastest marathon recorded anywhere in the world. But she was barely sweating, looked fresh and rested, couldn’t remember any specifics about the race, and most disturbing, had not been seen by any observers or other runners over the entire race course. Come to find out, she dashed onto the course a half mile before the finish to claim the crown, which of course, was eventually presented to the actual winner. The cheater’s name was Rosie Ruiz.

This is Trump. He is the Rosie Ruiz of American politicians. A sad, desperate loser in need of adulation and to be seen as a winner, the best, without so much as breaking a sweat, or even actually running the race.

To this day, years after it was proven not to be the case, Rosie Ruiz still claims to have won the 1980 Boston Marathon. To his dying day, President Ruiz will swear he won without the Russians, had the biggest inaugural crowd ever, and was the greatest president in history.

Sad. And embarrassing.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Ken: thanks so much for this uplifting story––we needed that. Yale Hotel––maybe becomes better known than the Bate's Motel and certainly will be HIGH above those other hotels that someone with a mushroom penis erected with high expectations.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

@AK: Amen! The cheap "victories" by the bully in the White House disgust me, and the fact that they are not labelled as cheap by every news outlet and "news" outlet makes me despair for the future.

I am working along the now-receding banks of the Mississippi these days. After a long day of work, I have tried to relax by watching sports, but the NBA finals bring up a similar disgust. Unlike the Pretender, everyone on that court has truly amazing talent, but the game seems to be about who can sneak what past the ref. I shut the game off when the entitled lying gets to me.

I'm taking refuge in the French Open men's final match today. Talent and clarity of rules. I'll put up with a bit of grunting for that.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNiskyGuy

The grunting in the French Open is preferable to flopping in the NBA (although not as much of that in this series) or terrible non-calls in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Of course Trump insists on his own (as in “owned”) referees, In The courts, the congress (the Senate at least, wouldn’t call him out on strikes if he whiffed on ten consecutive pitches), and places like the Justice Department (which wouldn’t find him guilty of collusion if he were caught red handed, with Putin, stuffing ballot boxes).

Oh, and any grunting heard out of his constantly flapping pie hole comes not from exertion, à la French Open competitors, but from his own long list of phantom grievances interrupted only by his numbingly annoying and obviously unearned boasts.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

AK: as I was reading your take on "Prexy Ruiz" I could hear someone on Face the Nation replaying one of his "speeches" for D-Day-- he sounds like he is in a coma. I'm sure he was...I think he always is except for appearance with his people at rallies. I think that is one of the most damning things about his "governing." He comes off as a roaring moron unless he is "reading" some gunk written by someone else and the fact is that he has pretty much offloaded ALL the thinking and governing to people who are reveling in unraveling and destroying every policy, every thoughtful deed accomplished by the previous administration and the furthering of dreams of every repugnant since Reagan.
Some guy was spouting today about how the accomplishments of the House are just dreams also, and giving the members no credit for at least trying, since either the comatose Senate or the insane presidential placeholder will not take them up OR sign them-- He (on MSNBC this morning, don't know who he was--)argues that it makes the House to be simply grandstanding. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, and that idea might be supported by Pelosi's stubborn refusal to face facts, so I constantly have this overriding feeling of doom when I open RC and read about the latest outrages. This is government by standstill and it isn't worthy of us.
Dowd using the meme resting bitch face is funny-- that is usually applied to women. My daughter thinks he always looks bored, ( four-second attention span--)and his body language telegraphs how disconnected he is from everyone. He just gets sicker and sicker and no one does anything. Meanwhile, ole Mitch shoots the republic in the head-- Triple disgust-- must hie myself to the pool to read fiction.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

So there are unrevealed parts in the "agreement" with Mexico that will be revealed "at the appropriate time".

Translation: "appropriate time" equals "when I need to divert your attention".

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Lee

Bobby Lee,

“...when I need to divert your attention” or when one of my half bright flunkies can come up with some flimsy scheme to fill in the blanks.

It’s one of his tired and far too often relied upon scams. He says things like “We’ll see” or “I, the king, will let you in on my genius plan at the appropriate time.”

He also loves being able to use the crutch of pretending to care about national security (like an arsonist cares about fire safety) when cornered on some wonderful (and wonderfully detail-less) “plan” for helping America “beat” somebody or other, at which point he wags his tiny finger and sez “Well, I’m certainly not going to talk about my perfect plans in public. I’d be spilling the beans to our enemies”, at which point he can retire to his White House hidey-hole and indulge in self abuse while listening to Hannity or Pirro or Carlton sing his praises as if they were Homer to his Greek god.

He firmly believes the transparent cons he has used for decades to bilk contractors can be employed to gull the American public. Well, it works on the Kool-Aid crowd, but anyone who can keep two thoughts in mind at once is not fooled anymore than they would by a three year old playing peekaboo. Wait. It IS a three year old playing peekaboo. And the hand size is almost exactly similar! (The three year old’s is a bit bigger).

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Bobby Lee,

“...when I need to divert your attention” or when one of my half bright flunkies can come up with some flimsy scheme to fill in the blanks.

It’s one of his tired and far too often relied upon scams. He says things like “We’ll see” or “I, the king, will let you in on my genius plan at the appropriate time.”

He also loves being able to use the crutch of pretending to care about national security (like an arsonist cares about fire safety) when cornered on some wonderful (and wonderfully detail-less) “plan” for helping America “beat” somebody or other, at which point he wags his tiny finger and sez “Well, I’m certainly not going to talk about my perfect plans in public. I’d be spilling the beans to our enemies”, at which point he can retire to his White House hidey-hole and indulge in self abuse while listening to Hannity or Pirro or Carlton sing his praises as if they were Homer to his Greek god.

He firmly believes the transparent cons he has used for decades to bilk contractors can be employed to gull the American public. Well, it works on the Kool-Aid crowd, but anyone who can keep two thoughts in mind at once is not fooled anymore than they would by a three year old playing peekaboo. Wait. It IS a three year old playing peekaboo. And the hand size is almost exactly similar! (The three year old’s is a bit bigger).

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

It may be a case of projection again where his words will come back to bite his substantial ass. Probably about the redacted sections of the Mueller report that will be revealed at the appropriate time this coming November during Stone's trial.

As Marcy Wheeler wrote a few days ago, "...because everything in the Mueller Report pertaining to Roger Stone got redacted to (appropriately) preserve Stone’s right to a fair trial, lots of details on how Trump himself was involved in pushing Stone to optimize the WikiLeaks releases is redacted...

...It appears that Gates, like Cohen before him, witnessed a Stone-Trump call where the rat-fucker told the candidate what was coming...

...The references to Stone in these passages may well be appropriately redacted. But the descriptions of conversations between Trump and Manafort or Gates should not impact Stone’s defense — unless you want to argue that Trump’s personal involvement in Stone’s rat-fucking might change the deliberations for a jury. They don’t serve to hide Stone’s actions. They hide Trump’s enthusiasm for using materials stolen by Russia to win."

This may partially explain why Nancy is slowing-walking the impeachment parade. She knows that there has to be more damning information coming on it's own. So, stay the course by following the process, continuing to press for the unredacted report, financial info, etc. but ultimately, bad news for Donnie will be exposed without Barr's cooperation.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterunwashed

@unwashed: That's a compelling theory: that Pelosi is waiting for another shoe to drop. Not having nearly finished reading the Mueller report, I was not aware till Quinta Jurecic pointed it out in a NYT op-ed the other day that Trump himself “told [Rick] Gates that more releases of damaging information would be coming” from WikiLeaks.

What with the stonewalling & lies by Trump, Junior, Stone, Manafort, et al., Trump has managed to leave the impression that he was oblivious to all the scurrying around with Russians that was going on right under his nose. Although it's not believable that he knew nothing, and that the "Russia, if you're listening...." entreaty was "a joke," as Trump claims, it mostly appears that Trump has gotten away with his ignorance claim, tho Rudy pretty much told us otherwise when he said last fall, I think it was, that even if Trump had collaborated with Russians, it wouldn't be illegal.

So I suppose it is possible that Pelosi is waiting for Roger Stone's trial, but that's a long wait. Right now the trial is scheduled for November, & even then, trials have a tendency to get delayed, so it could be that it comes into the new year.

The Democrats have scheduled hearings for this week; we'll see if any bombshells emerge, & by "bombshells" here I mean some damning tidbit that's already in the Mueller report makes the headlines.

June 9, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

I'm glad that Mexico refused the safe third country treaty. I think that would lead to a repeat of the immigration disasters in Europe. It would cause migrants to get into overcrowded boats and try to sail to the United States bypassing Mexico. Because of overcrowding, bad weather and cheap coyotes this would inevitably lead to many more people dying on their way here when their boats break down or capsize. The stories of people drowning while trying to cross the Mediterranean have been horrific and Trump would lose no sleep if that started happening here.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRAS
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