Category Archives: Politics

The night of the wolf, the day of the bullshit artist: links

A new book on Trump reports that Obama forced CIA agents to attend political correctness meetings. The author is ignorant of common intelligence-service terms.

Supposedly Oberlin students pitched a fit in 2015 over the cafeteria serving sushi and banh-mi because that was cultural appropriation. Like the PC meetings above, it’s not true. (as a former Obie, I find the idea of cafeteria sushi terrifying, though that’s nothing to do with the story).

The D. James Kennedy Ministeries insists that equating gays with pedophiles and similar sentiments does not make them a hate group. So they’ve sued the Southern Poverty Law Center for saying they are.

Wall Street is outraged at Elizabeth Warren!

Sexist and bigot Jesse Lee Peterson is black, but he tells neo-Nazis the civil rights movement was a mistake — black America should just have waited for whites to change and accept them.

Despite Trump’s support, right-winger Matt Bevin lost in Kentucky. So he’s claiming non-existent voter fraud to justify not conceding. And the Senate president (who unfortunately may get a say in who wins) says Bevin’s the real winner because he should get all the votes for the Libertarian candidate.

Right-wing bullshit artist Dave Daubenmire insists that right-wing Christians have a right to be tried only by a jury of right-wing Christians.

Yet another right-wing claims women can only protect their freedom by becoming baby factories for the white race! Oh, and feminism causes alcoholism.

And here we have another exciting trip to the wild lands where Trump voters roam.

Years after it helped swing the election for Trump, the NYT admits that Hilary Clinton’s email practices was a non-story.

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So even Harvey Weinstein isn’t as awful as Harvey Weinstein

One of the standard complaints about the #metoo movement is that it treats ordinary men, men who may have said or done something inappropriate but clearly aren’t bad people, like they were Harvey Weinstein, destroying their careers and crushing their lives. They do not, however, offer much in the way of examples, and the examples are usually wrong: an in-depth investigation by the employer gets treated as a he said/she said situation (more here). I’m beginning to think “he’s being treated like Harvey Weinstein!” means something along the lines of “he got fired, Weinstein got fired, ergo they’re treating him like Weinstein!”

Now it turns out even Weinstein, the poster boy for absolute rock bottom, has his defenders too. Weinstein recently showed up at Actors’ Hour, an event in NYC for young performers (there’s some debate whether he was invited or just showed). Comedian Kelly Bachman cracked jokes (“I didn’t know we’d have to bring our own Mace and rape whistles.”); some audience members booed. A male comic got up and mocked her. Another woman confronted Weinstein at his table, with profanity hurled on both sides (not by Weinstein but by some of his entourage); the woman was asked to leave.

So why not ask Weinstein to leave? I’s a private space and the organizers could certainly have told Weinstein he wasn’t welcome. The organizer said she protected the women by letting them have “freedom of speech” — the comics were free to mock him — but then why ask the one woman to leave?

Partly it may just be that Weinstein wasn’t actually doing anything other than being there. Admittedly with his record that’s pretty alarming but it wouldn’t surprise me if the event organizers just didn’t want any confrontations. A lot of us (myself included) tend to be confrontation averse. Though that’s not a good reason: women have good reason to scream at a guy who preys on them.

And part of it, undoubtedly, is that we seem to have a reflex to forgive sexual harassers. They’ve suffered enough by being criticized and shunned for a while; surely we should forgive and move on. As Weinstein’s spokesperson put it, he was at Actors’ Hour “trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public.” Of course it ain’t an issue of due process; it’s true he hasn’t been convicted of anything, but private citizens outside the jury box are free to believe the victims. And if his life has been turned upside down — well, given the reasons, why should we feel sympathy for him? Yet somehow people do, far more than for the many women he allegedly assaulted, or whose careers he ruined for refusing him.

Similarly we have one Heather Mac Donald arguing that Placido Domingo’s alleged history of sexual assault (apparently one of those open secrets in the opera world) should be forgiven because Domingo’s that awesome. We cannot punish a singer of such caliber merely because he assaulted a bunch of nobodies! Which is not a new thought: Rebecca Traister has written about being told “That’s just Harvey being Harvey” when she heard stories about his behavior; simply being a powerful man is held up as an excuse.

Of course, we don’t know what the women whose careers Weinstein allegedly destroyed (I believe the women, but I think sticking with “alleged” covers my butt) might have accomplished without his interference. Or how good the women who left opera rather than stay around Domingo and people who supported him might have been. We’ll never know. But somehow their careers dead-ending, their lives turning upside down, isn’t as important as the suffering of powerful men.

We have a long way to go.

 

 

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Monday’s looking ugly—

And so are the stories behind these links.

Rep. Matt Gaetz continues embracing Trumpism with both arms. Of course, he’s just following established Republican precedent.

Republicans claim impeachment is a witch-hunt but they’re the ones obsessing about witchcraft. Or thinking that witch hunts were led by witches.

If the NCAA allows college athletes to benefit from endorsements, NC’s worthless Senator Richard Burr has a dumb-ass response: tax athletic scholarships.

So a New Jersey public school system banned kids from prom if they hadn’t paid off their lunch bills. A good Samaritan offered to wipe out the debt; the school district said no.

Right-wing bullshit artist David Barton insists quite untruthfully that human beings can’t damage the Earth’s climate.

Republicans don’t support veterans, not when the veterans don’t toe the party line. Or when they’re immigrants.

Ultraconservative forced-birth attorneys are getting judicial appointments. This kind of strategy is paying off: Brett Kavanaugh and Sam Alito met with the leader of an anti-gay hate group.

Climate change is going to hammer our power grid, infrastructure and military unless we do something. And it’s pretty obvious we won’t.

I remember when handwriting analysts would brag about how they could identify the right candidate for companies to hire. I have the same skepticism that AI analyzing facial expressions in interviews is any more reliable, but it’s seeing use anyway.

The power of the Internet to fill kids’ minds with racist, sexist garbage.

Republicans and propagandists keep insisting impeachment is falling apart. No More Mr. Nice Blog looks at why they may not care their lies are so debunkable.

“What leader worth voting for would negotiate with Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy and believe either will keep his word; what sane president would turn over sensitive documents to Republican-led committees; what Democratic president would simply accept that the federal courts are now the property of the opposition, and submit issues of national policy to them, in the confidence of receiving a fair shake? ” — from a discussion of where liberals and America go after the Trump era (assuming there is an after).

The first Republican tax cut didn’t do much for the economy. So they’re going to try it again. Not really that surprising — from the view of the 1 percent, I suspect the issue is less jump-starting the economy than “give us more money!”

Cover art is uncredited, all rights remain with current holder.

 

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Undead sexist cliche: date rape is just “buyer’s remorse”

So let’s say a young woman hooks up and regrets it. Bad judgment. Creepy guy. Unsatisfying sex. Guy didn’t even try to make her come. Whatever. The morning-after reaction, I imagine, might be disappointment, kicking yourself, wishing you hadn’t done it. But according to rape apologists, I’m wrong: the woman’s natural reaction is to call police or campus authorities and claim you were raped!

This is a popular apologist rationalization for why so many women report rape: it’s not that a lot of guys like to rape, it’s that the accuser is suffering “buyer’s remorse.” She feels bad, so she’s going to make him pay. Some examples:

  • “Accusaitions — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right,’” according to Education Department official Candice Jackson. Her odious boss, Betsy DeVos has claimed she doesn’t know if true reports outnumber false reports of rape. Both women subsequently walked it back.
  • Right-wing pundit Mona Charen claimed in a column some years ago, that date rape is the result of feminists brainwashing young women into thinking sex without commitment is good. When they wake up the next morning and realize they’re now sluts, the women go into denial and delude themselves it was rape. She repeated the argument in her book Sex Matters, claiming that because of feminist political correctness, women can’t admit they don’t want sex or didn’t like the sex, so the only way they can express their revulsion is to cry rape.
  • “Some men are jerks and will treat you like garbage after sex. However ‘buyer’s remorse’ is not rape” according to the Chaste Courtship website.
  • Back when Colorado Rep. Ken Buck was just a DA, he told a rape victim that he wasn’t going to prosecute her case, because a jury would just write it off as “buyer’s remorse.” (he subsequently said the remark was taken out of context)
  • Caitlin Flanagan (of the antifeminist double-standard) says, like Charen, that women have no sense of sexual regret so they can no longer admit “I sure wish I hadn’t done that … I’m embarrassed … I had hopes that it would be more romantic. I had hopes that it would be the beginning of something. I had hopes that afterward, by the time I got home, there would be three texts on my phone.”

It’s really bizarre that anyone making this claim thinks they’re describing commonplace reality. That if someone really, really wishes they hadn’t had sex they wouldn’t simply replay the night and kick themselves, or vent to their friends (Charen claims PC simply won’t let women say stuff like that. She needs to hang out with more women). No, they’d call the authorities and accuse the guy of rape. Despite the shitstorm that could descend upon his head. Despite the shit that could descend on their own, because I think most women have a good idea that rape victim is not the “coveted status” rape apologist George Will claims it is.

And if they were going to lie, why not make up a better story? Will, for example, describes a woman telling an occasional lover no; he kept going so she just laid back and waited for it to be over. The no makes it pretty clear-cut she was assaulted, but to Will it’s not sexual assault but “sexual assault.” And he’s not alone; lots of men and women think the same. So if the woman’s going to lie, why wouldn’t she cook up a better story instead of one Will can write off as an “ambiguous” hookup?

It’s not that women don’t sometimes wake up wishing they hadn’t hooked up; Rebecca Traister argues that it happens frequently because even consensual sex is often unsatisfying (“Male climax remains the accepted finish of hetero encounters; a woman’s orgasm is still the elusive, optional bonus round.”). And that women on campus are pressured to show they’re sex-positive. But that’s a far cry from calling it rape. And unlike Charen and other right-wingers, Traister’s under no illusion the solution is going back to old courtship roles (“Having humiliating sex with a man who treats you terribly at a frat party is bad but not inherently worse than being publicly shunned for having had sex with him, or being unable to obtain an abortion after getting pregnant by him, or being doomed to have disappointing sex with him for the next 50 years.”).

But for misogynists, imagining crying rape is women’s way of dealing with bad sex makes it easier not to deal with the ugliness of rape culture.

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Impeachment is triggering Republicans

Admittedly it doesn’t take much to low-life rich brat turned Trump toady Rep. Gaetz, who stormed into the hearing rooms with a flock of other Republicans on the grounds not discussing possibly classified diplomatic material in public is an eeevil plot (being open to scrutiny does not, of course, mean support for anyone in the Executive Branch answering questions). He’s like the Spartans in 300! Except, of course, that Gaetz and his fellows are, as New Republic points out, full of shit:

“Holding the hearings behind closed doors in a SCIF—a secure room designed for discussing classified information—makes sense when questioning diplomats about national-security matters. (It also makes it harder for witnesses to coordinate their testimony.) House Republicans aren’t being denied access to the sessions. So long as they sit on the relevant committees, they can and have participated in the inquiry. Nor is any of this novel. Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News legal analyst, noted on Thursday that Democrats were operating under rules established by former Speaker John Boehner in 2015. Under those same rules, House Republicans held multiple closed-door hearings to depose witnesses during the congressional Benghazi investigations.”

At the NR link, Matt Ford speculates this is Trump pushing legislators to show their love for him, which will have the added benefit that the senators condemning impeachment now will look worse voting for it later. Though for the Representatives who stormed the hearing, I doubt Trump has to push much: here’s their story.

The real issue, of course, is that for some reason this scandal seems to be sticking. Maybe because it’s relatively clear-cut: Congress approved money for the Ukraine, Trump held it up to pressure the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s kid. So naturally they’re running around like cockroaches exposed to the light. And squealing about how impeachment violates the will of the people (which Republicans are trying to silence) Mollie Hemingway, the editor-in-chief of The Federalist (a woman who once complained women who aren’t her should stop trying to get the corner office and stay home to make babies) likewise freaks out that impeachment means government “exists to do the bidding of an unelected cabal of unelected, taxpayer-funded bureaucrats and smug partisans of the corporate media.” Well, the people spoke in 2016 and picked Clinton, but Hemingway’s A-OK with that.

Likewise pseudo-historian David Barton suddenly discovered there’s no grounds for impeaching Trump. Kevin D. Williamson has likewise changed his previous view that it’s good the Constitution is anti-democratic. And speaking of the Constitution, some right-wingers are showing their devotion to Constitutional norms by claiming an acquittal in the Senate should entitle Trump to run for a third term.

They’re scared, which is good. It won’t get Trump impeached, but it might hurt them in the fall. One reason they’re pushing to restrict voting even further (Gaetz literaly objects to counting every vote), and possibly looking at Tulsi Gabbard as a third-party spoiler (more on that here) Feeling scared they might lose is a piss-poor compensation for the pain they’ve inflicted on this country but I’ll take the partial win.

To end on a light note, my friend Jon Maki mocks the belief that Trump’s a macho badass.

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Only Democrats have agency (and other links)

Murc’s Law (coined for a commenter at Lawyers, Guns and Money) is a belief that only Democrats have agency. If Brett Kavanaugh’s on the Supreme Court, it’s because Democrats didn’t wanted him, not because the Senate Republicans had a majority. If Republicans elect Trump, it’s because liberals forced them by caring about minorities too much. And now anti-Trump anti-feminist conservative Mona Charen, who Tweets stopping Trump is 100 percent on Democrats. Faced with Sen. Warren’s growing strength in the polls, Charen writes a “harsh column” and tweets “Please, Democratic Party, pick someone else. It’s kind of important.”

Not, you’ll notice, “Please, Republicans pick someone else” — which admittedly, is not going to happen. No, it’s all on us: if we don’t pick a candidate Republicans can stomach, it’s our fault they vote Trump. As a friend of mine quipped, you can just imagine Republican laughter if Democrats told them to pick a candidate we want to vote for or we’ll just nominate a Stalinist.

Charen’s article supposedly catches Warren lying, telling stories of insurers who canceled health insurance when families faced an expensive emergency. Except Charen admits it’s not a lie, it’s happened thousands of times, but Obamacare bans it, so it’s not relevant — after all, nobody’s trying to repeal Obamacare are they (she didn’t phrase it that way, but it was implied). I suspect Charen’s virulent antifeminism (she despises independent women who aren’t her, and thinks feminism causes date rape — I’ll cover that in another post) and general conservative has much more to do with opposing the top woman candidate than anything else.

Other conservative are equally horrified Warren jokes that someone who thinks marriage is only man/woman should “only marry one woman, then.” OMG, the right-wing freaks out at her lack of civility! And then freaks out more!

In other links:

Oh noes! Trump legal mouthpiece and religious conservative William Barr warns that the left wing is soooo intolerant it’s engaging in “savage social media campaigns!” Yeah, that’s exactly like what happened at the Salem witch trials, isn’t it? It fits with the left wing’s brutal tradition of sending “snarky vitriolic” emails to people.

I have a Republican friend who insists Trump is more persecuted than any president in history. I’m sure she’s not as outraged by right-wing bullshit artist Scott Lively claiming Obama overthrew the Ukraine’s government in 2014 because he was gay.

Dave Daubenmire’s bullshit is even dumber, but he’s being invited as keynote speaker to an Ohio Republican Party event (“He is a great inspiration to myself and many others. He is the voice of reason; he is the guy you would want to be in the foxhole with when things are at the worst.”). Being a bigoted, misogynist, anti-Semitic asshat no longer puts you outside the mainstream.

Remember when Brett Stephens, champion of free and unfettered debate, had a meltdown about being criticized on Twitter? He agreed to debate the guy responsible, but refused to do it publicly.

Then we have the children of prominent politicians (Meghan McCain, Donald Trump Jr.) who sneer that Hunter Biden only got where he is because of his father.

Trump’s plan to gut Medicare while pretending to save it.

If Trump’s defiance of the impeachment inquiry becomes an issue for the courts, will Republican judges side with him? Ken Starr certainly will: the former independent counsel whose work led to Clinton’s impeachment hearing assures us Trump’s done nothing impeachable.

Another reminder that when the elephant steps on the mouse’s tail, neutrality only helps the elephant. And under Trump, we’re siding with the elephants.

Why authenticity is a lousy standard to judge politicians by. Nor is it a good idea to judge Democrats by whether a right-wing writer thinks they’re too liberal to win.

“This — this video — is what Trump voters signed up for.”

Is Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook sucking up to Trump? More here.

A cop making a “wellness check” on a black woman sees her in her house and shoots her. Radley Balko says while the cop may have thought he had a reasonable fear of his life, “reasonable isn’t the same thing as legitimate or accurate. And if police officers are seeing threats where there clearly are none, it makes sense to start asking why.”

Dressing like the Punisher, who kills people without a trial, is a bad look for cops.

To end on an upbeat note, here’s a story from 2016 about John Oliver spending $60,000 to erase $15 million in medical debt. Florida man Andrew Levy proved you don’t need that much money to make a difference: he paid off $944 in school-lunch debt for kids in Jupiter, Fla.

And I’ll give credit to conservative Republican pastor O’Neal Dozier for actively coming out in favor of impeachment.

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How misogyny and harassment thrive

As Lawyers, Guns and Money puts it, all it takes is having people in power who are harassers and misogynists, and being friends, or at least allies, to others of their ilk. Not only are they attracted to people who see the world the same way, they’re less likely to do anything when their underlings harass and prey. If they do take action, it’s to bury the truth. Much like the accumulating details that create rape culture, this sends a message about what’s considered acceptable behavior. Not everyone will change their behavior in response, but lots of people will.

As a textbook example, we have Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, which claims (I don’t doubt the truth, but I think “claims” is legally safer) that NBC’s top dogs killed his blockbuster expose on Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of rape and harassment. The network heads said, quite untruthfully, that none of the victims were willing to go on the record, and that it just wasn’t complete enough; as noted at the link, the normal response to that is to keep working on the story, not to give up.  At the link, Farrow’s colleague on the expose (which later appeared in The New Yorker) suggests Weinstein threatened to make public the rape allegations against Today host Matt Lauer, which the bosses had turned a blind eye to.

Writing at The Cut, Rebecca Traister says the book presents MSNBC president Phil Griffin as “a crude boss who waves around a photo of a woman’s exposed vagina in a meeting, commenting, ‘Would you look at that? Not bad, not bad’; Farrow also reports that Griffin, while a senior producer at Nightly News in the 1990s, once pressured female producers to accompany him to a peep show in Times Square.” He hired Noah Oppenheim, the executive Farrow reported too, after reading some sexist diatribes Oppenheim wrote in college (“apparently women enjoy being confined, pumped full of alcohol and preyed upon … They feel desired, not demeaned,”). Oppenheim became president of NBC News in 2017. Traister says the real take-away isn’t the individual predators but the system that created them, allows them to flourish and then covers up the evidence: “No matter how many individual bogeymen have lost their jobs, we live in a world in which our ability to evolve is still measured by our willingness to forgive them and return them to positions of power and not by a determination to elevate other kinds of people to positions of authority.”

Or as Dahlia Lithwick puts it, “powerful men have about a three-month rehabilitation period through which they must live, after which they can be swept up once again in the slipstream of their own fame and success. The women of #MeToo, though, are never quite welcome in the slipstream again.”

Sometimes it doesn’t take that long. Trump shrugged off the videotape in which he admitted to sexual assault. I doubt having 43 more women come forward about being his vctims will change his supporters minds.

 

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Amber Guyger, forgiveness and other links

Amber Guyger murdered Jean Botham after walking into his apartment. She got 10 years because the jurors hoped for redemption if she got out young enough to start over. Botham’s brother forgave her, but the fact remains, Botham shouldn’t have died. And now one witness against Guyger has been killed, another lost her job for speaking up. They didn’t deserve it either.

It all makes me think of a PS article discussing how it’s supposed to be good news when victims of racism forgive — and maybe it isn’t: “The desire to see black Americans show forgiveness is a desire to avoid fully reckoning with black pain, or the lingering effects of trauma that do not serve the public performance as cleanly.” Fred Clark suggests the desire for forgiveness is because it gives power to the powerless: “The Powers That Be cannot abide the idea of the previously powerless having power over them, even so seemingly abstract a power as the granting or withholding of absolution. (And even though such absolution is something that none of their actions has previously shown them to desire or care about.) And so TPTB will not allow the victims of injustice to offer forgiveness, they will simply take it from them, thereby restoring and re-blessing the previous imbalance of power.”

Read both articles, they’re sharp. Now, moving on —

During the first Gulf War, the first President Bush encouraged the Kurds to rise up against Saddam Hussein … and then let Saddam crush them. Here we go again. Even Trump toady Lindsey Graham doesn’t like it. Hell, nobody outside Turkey does.

Trump continues ranting that by starting work on impeachment, the Democrats are committing treason. Dahlia Lithwick looks at why the Ukraine seems to have sucker-punched Trump in a way other scandals haven’t.

Students at for-profit Corinthian College have been entitled to debt relief on student loans since Corinthian shut down. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ignored the court order and pushed to collect.

The IRS says it’s more cost-efficient to audit poor people.

The oil-industry is pushing, successfully, to make protests against pipelines illegal.

I want liberals to be the good guys. But I agree with this blog post that renouncing power when we have it is not the right approach.

What’s killing the American dream?

The facial recognition industry says it’s ridiculous that anyone would abuse the technology in the West the way China does. Given the long history of police fighting for the right to spy on people or lock them up for not working, I am unconvinced.

“Mr. Trump ignored months of warnings from his advisers about what calamities likely would ensue if he followed his instincts to pull back from Syria and abandon America’s longtime allies, the Kurds. He had no Plan B, other than to leave.” Here’s one example of calamity. But Trump defends abandoning the Kurds because they didn’t fight for us in WW II.

A British family accidentally crossed the Canada/U.S. border while on vacation. What happened next — well these days, it probably won’t shock you, but it’s still bad.

 

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Civil war and other links

President Whiny continues crying that he’s being persecuted as no one ever has been. Right-wing militia are ready to fight if impeachment moves ahead. However it’s unlikely we’ll see civil war because most of those calling for it are as big a chickenhawk as Trump. John Fea points out the evangelicals enthusiastic for war are still benefitting from the aftermath of the last Civil War. And Paul Krugman calls out the “radical centrists” who insist Republicans just can’t be that much worse than Democrats.

Speaking of impeachment, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio goes with ROFL, Trump was just “needling the press” as an explanation of Trump calling for foreign governments to investigate the Bidens. At the NYT, Jamelle Boulle says this is less about fear of the base and more that Republican politicians support Trump on most issues. And both Jewish and Christian conservatives continue to argue that opposing Trump is opposing God.

Oh, and Trump mouthpiece attorney general William Barr says Trump doesn’t have to cooperate with impeachment because Watergate-related court decisions were wrong. Now, in other news:

David Brooks recently wrote a fantasy of what it’s like in the mind of an extremist. To follow that up, he has a fantasy conversation between an urban liberal and simple, plainspoken Midwesterner who has no interest in all the controversy (“There’s always some fight between Trump and the East Coast media. I guess I just try to stay focused on the big picture.”). Roy Edroso argues this kind of fantasy conversation is legitimate as a writing tool, but very badly done. LGM notes one of Brooks’ odder claims (which I’ve heard elsewhere) that liberal elites are big on marriage while telling other people to live in sin.

I’ve heard right-wingers freaking out about soy before, but now white supremacists are kicking it up a notch: veggie burgers are part of a Jewish conspiracy to destroy our standard of living. I can’t help suspecting the real issue (using the word “real” loosely) is the identification of eating meat with Real Manliness, so not eating it by definition means America is getting castrated.

An Alabama female inmate needed emergency medical treatment. The jail decided to check whether she had insurance to cover it. She died.

I doubt Trump reads comic books (they’re way beyond his comprehension) but that seems to be the source of his ideas for safeguarding the border.

A federal judge has ruled that Harvard using race as an element in weighing admissions does not discriminate against Asian-Americans.

McKrae Game spent decades running an “ex-gay” ministry. He’s now come out and admitted he never stopped being gay. At the link, Fred Clark looks at the failure of Game and similar anti-gay activists to prove gays can change their orientation.

Bill Maher thinks standing up to political correctness is the hill Democrats should die on.

Amber Guyger claimed she shot a black neighbor by accident thinking she’d walked into her apartment, not his. The court found her guilty. The most hair-raising part besides the tragic murder of her neighbor is the possibility that simply by thinking she was in her own apartment, the killing could be justified.

Fred Clark shows how the Southern strategy — shift from screaming racism to saying the out loud parts quietly — shapes conservative politics, but many believers don’t realize it. I think he has a point. When Jerry Falwell founded the religious right in the 1980s, opposing abortion made a better rallying cry than his pet issue, segregation. But certainly a lot of people now believe in forced birth as an end in itself.

Right-to-lifer James Patrick Johnston believes based on no evidence that ectopic pregnancies can be reimplanted so they shouldn’t be aborted (he also believes it’s better for the mother to die than abort any fetus). At the link, a look at how his bullshit is spreading.

Greta Thunberg is seriously triggering to right-wingers.

 

 

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More on impeachment

David Frum looks back at Bill Clinton’s impeachment and how he kept working as president during the fight. Trump is doing the opposite.

Given Trump’s declarations of Civil War, even if he goes down, or he loses in 2020, will he leave quietly? I suspect, he might, actually: he’d have more fun playing the martyred president to his adoring fans or maybe running for 2024 than actually being president. However some far right groups are eager for a shooting war. No More Mr. Nice Blog looks at the right’s long history of accusing the left of wanting to murder them all. While cries that the left is about to get violent and “target all Christians in America” may just be a propaganda tool, I also wonder if it doesn’t reflect what the speakers would do if they had the power. So it seems natural to them that if the left had power, they’d do the same.

Right wing crackpot Lance Wallnau says impeaching Trump would defy the will of the 600 million Americans who voted for him … ignoring that most Americans voted Clinton, and there aren’t 600 million Americans in any case. Josh Bernstein says Democrats should be tortured and their party designated a terrorist group for bringing up impeachment. Similarly other right-wingers are freaking out from fear their chance to dominate America is slipping away.  It’s an interesting contrast to when Bill Clinton was impeached and the religious right shrieked that this immoral man had to be cast out.

Oh, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has decided the House actually subpoenaing State Department officials is just too intimidating so he’s refusing to let them testify. And Barr similarly seems to behave like he’s Trump’s legal mouthpiece, not someone with a duty to America.

I don’t really buy the civil war projections. We’ll certainly see more violence, random shootings and terrorism, but we’ll see them if Trump wins and the right decides the country now definitely absolutely positively belongs to them, not us. But the number of people who’d actually want to be on the front lines in any way, rather than shrieking at Fox News, is (I hope) too small for war. I half wonder if Trump wouldn’t sooner be out of office, playing the martyr to his adoring fans or talking about 2024 than stay in office.

But if civil war is a possibility, so be it Because the Shit-Gibbon needs to be removed from office (impeachment or electoral defeat, either way works) as soon as possible.

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