21 September 2018

Think About this at Pledge Time

NPR's Morning Edition chooses think tank experts of a seriously right wing bent.

I am not surprised.

It is the rule, rather than the exception, that they choose a right wing flack to discuss the issues of the day with a studiously impartial journalist.

That, and their jihad against low power radio stations, are both good reasons not to give at pledge time.

Quote of the Day

It is hard to overstate how deeply these Americans despise the Obama response to the 2008 financial crisis. Many saw the values of their homes, the largest investments they will ever make, dramatically decrease. They don’t own much stock outside of flaccid IRAs, and so they benefited little from a recovery that first bailed out Wall Street. Obama’s decisions still aren’t done with them 10 years later, because their retirements are dependent on home prices rising enough so downsizing sales can cover them late in life.
Peter Van Buren
It is an interesting take on why the so called, "Deplorables," support for Trump is so resilient.

The conventional wisdom does not serve them, so they want to burn it all down.

And Kavanaugh is Now a Regular on The Young and the Restless

And now we have a right wing stalwart, Harvard Law and former Bush Administration official, claiming that there is a doppelgänger what actually tried to rape Christine Blasey Ford.

It appears that either Republican operatives are so stupid that they believe that the real world works like Telenovellas, or they think that the rest of us are even stupider than that,

Linkage

Too cute:

20 September 2018

Tweet of the Day


Economics is not the dismal science, it's just dismal.

Fort Trump???? Seriously

Yes, the Poles want a permanent US base in Poland, and as a sweetener, they offered to name the base after Donald Trump.

It's a pretty lame and obvious kiss ass move, but it will probably work:
President Donald Trump said the U.S. is looking “very seriously” at establishing a permanent military base in Poland -- and Polish President Andrzej Duda, eager to secure a deal, suggested it be named “Fort Trump.”

Trump raised the possibility of a new U.S. base in Poland in a meeting with Duda in the Oval Office on Tuesday. He said at a news conference with the Polish leader that Duda had offered to pay more than $2 billion toward construction.

Also Yes

It appears that people screening Brett Kavanaugh's potential law clerks, spoecifically Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother author Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld, both of Yale Law School, advised women who applied to clerk for Brett Kavanaugh to try to look like models:
A top professor at Yale Law School who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” privately told a group of law students last year that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and would provide advice to students about their physical appearance if they wanted to work for him, the Guardian has learned.

Amy Chua, a Yale professor who wrote a bestselling book on parenting called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was known for instructing female law students who were preparing for interviews with Kavanaugh on ways they could dress to exude a “model-like” femininity to help them win a post in Kavanaugh’s chambers, according to sources.


Kavanaugh is facing intense scrutiny in Washington following an allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford that he forcibly held her down and groped her while they were in high school. He has denied the allegation. The accusation has mired Kavanaugh’s confirmation in controversy, drawing parallels to allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill in the 1990s.

Yale provided Kavanaugh with many of the judge’s clerks over the years, and Chua played an outsized role in vetting the clerks who worked for him. But the process made some students deeply uncomfortable.

One source said that in at least one case, a law student was so put off by Chua’s advice about how she needed to look, and its implications, that she decided not to pursue a clerkship with Kavanaugh, a powerful member of the judiciary who had a formal role in vetting clerks who served in the US supreme court.

In one case, Jed Rubenfeld, also an influential professor at Yale and who is married to Chua, told a prospective clerk that Kavanaugh liked a certain “look”.

“He told me, ‘You should know that Judge Kavanaugh hires women with a certain look,’” one woman told the Guardian. “He did not say what the look was and I did not ask.”
It turns out that Chua and Rubenfeld are, "Towering figures at Yale and were described by one student as being the centre of gravity at the elite law school," and also, "The Guardian has learned that Rubenfeld is currently the subject of an internal investigation at Yale. The investigation is focused on Rubenfeld’s conduct, particularly with female law students." (Karma, neh?)

Well, now we know why Yale reflexively endorsed Kavanaugh when Trump nominated him, the law school hip deep in his sh%$.

19 September 2018

Your Kavanaugh Update

First, we have a report from a classmate of Christine Blasey Ford's who recalled this incident being discussed contemporaneously:
A former schoolmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser wrote a Facebook post saying she recalls hearing about the alleged assault involving Kavanaugh, though she says she has no first-hand information to corroborate the accuser’s claims.

"Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me," wrote the woman, Cristina Miranda King, who now works as a performing arts curator in Mexico City. "I did not know her personally but I remember her. This incident did happen."

She added, "Many of us heard a buzz about it indirectly with few specific details. However Christine's vivid recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true."
She has since deleted her tweet, but there is still a Google Cache copy:

Additionally, we have a report that people who have worked with him in the court want to come forward, but they are concerned about retaliations:
The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming to have information relevant to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The attorney claimed in his letter that multiple employees of the federal judiciary would be willing to speak to investigators, but received no reply to multiple attempts to make contact, he told The Intercept.

Cyrus Sanai made his first attempt to reach out to Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a letter dated July 24.

Sanai told the committee leadership that “there are persons who work for, or who have worked for, the federal judiciary who have important stories to tell about disgraced former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and his mentee, current United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. I know that there are people who wish to speak out but fear retaliation because I have been contacted by more than a half-dozen such persons since Judge Kozinski resigned in disgrace.”

Sanai is the California attorney who blew the whistle on Kozinski years before a series of articles in the Washington Post in December finally brought about the resignation of the former chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court over sexual harassment revelations. Sanai has long challenged the judiciary and was deemed a “vexatious litigant” by one trial court, an attempted designation that was overturned on appeal.
It appears that Feinstein* was a willing participant in efforts to brush this under the carpet, which is yet another reason to vote for her Democratic opponent in November.

It also appears that Trump's claim that the FBI can't probe Kavanaugh because the statute of limitations have expired is complete bollocks.

So says John Yoo, who appears to be making a statement against his own interest, which makes his analysis more credible.

Yoo is a former a lawyer from the Bush-the-younger administration, who among other things argued for an unlimited Presidential power to torture:
The White House could order the FBI to investigate the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, several former senior White House and Justice Department officials from both parties said Wednesday, contradicting President Donald Trump’s claims that doing so would exceed the FBI’s mandate.

………

But several officials who have had direct roles in the nomination and background check process said it’s common, as part of the FBI’s vetting of presidential nominees for judicial posts and executive branch jobs, to investigate matters that do not qualify as federal crimes. Some noted that the Trump White House itself enlisted the FBI last winter to explore spousal abuse claims against former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

“What happened here is actually not unusual,” said John Yoo, a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush. 


“The Judiciary Committee will often say to the Justice Department: ‘Can you send the agents back out and find out if this is true, find out what happened with this? ... The normal procedure for this would have been to send the FBI out,” Yoo added.

A former Obama administration lawyer also said the FBI would look into the matter if the White House relayed such a request.

“If the FBI was asked to do it, it would do it,” said the attorney, who asked not to be named. “It doesn’t have to be a federal crime. They’ve investigating someone’s suitability for the position. ... It has nothing to do with it being a federal crime.”
There is a very heavy smell of desperation here.

*Full disclosure, my great grandfather, Harry Goldman, and her grandfather, Sam Goldman were brothers, though we have never met, either in person or electronically.
California jungle primary, don't you know. 

What is it About the Ammosexual Lifestyle?

Cody Wilson, who is attempting to release plans for 3D printed guns, has been charged with sex with a minor.

What's more, it appears that solicited her on a web site geared toward this sort of sh%$?


I don't mean to get Freudian, but this sh%$ is seriously Freudian.
2:30 p.m. update: Austin police are working with international authorities to bring Cody Wilson, an Austin man at the center of a debate about 3D-printed guns, back to the country from Taiwan to face a sexual assault charge filed in Travis County on Wednesday.

Wilson’s last known location was the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, Austin police Cmdr. Troy Officer said.

Wilson missed a scheduled flight back to the United States and is thought to have left the country after a friend of the 16-year-old sexual assault victim told him that police were investigating him, Officer said.

Police do not know why Wilson went to Taiwan, only that he frequently travels there for business, Officer said.

Wilson has been entered into a national law enforcement computer for sexual assault of a child, Officer said.

Earlier: Cody Wilson, an Austin man whose fight over 3D-printed guns thrust him into the national spotlight, faces a charge of sexual assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Travis County district court on Wednesday.

The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said.

The pair messaged online, then began exchanging text messages.

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.
This is both appalling and unsurprising.

I Had a Lousy Fast

Sometimes, it goes well, and sometimes it doesn't.

This year, my Yom Kippur fast was absolutely miserable.

No medical problems, but it was just miserable.

17 September 2018

Phuque Phacebook

In the annals of stupid sh%$ to come from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook using The Weekly Standard to fact check articles is right up there with home colonoscopy kits: (No, Zuckerberg has never to my knowledge invested in home colonoscopy kits)
When Facebook selected the right-wing, Iraq War-boosting magazine The Weekly Standard [DO NOT CLICK THRU ON THIS LINK] as an official fact-checking partner last year as part of its effort to combat "misinformation," progressives warned that the conservative publication would use its power to suppress accurate articles published by center-left and left-wing outlets.

That's precisely what happened.

After ThinkProgress published an article by Ian Millhiser last week arguing that Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh's comments during his Senate confirmation hearings combined with a speech he gave in 2017 eliminates "any doubt" that the judge opposes the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, the Weekly Standard deemed the article "false"—a designation that, given Facebook's rules and the platform's enormous power, cuts off 80 percent of the piece's future traffic and penalizes other pages that dare to post the article.

Expressing opposition to Facebook's decision to hand the factually-challenged Weekly Standard the power to decide what is and isn't fact-based news, The Intercept republished Millhiser's piece on Friday with a statement from The Intercept's editor-in-chief Betsy Reed, who condemned the social media giant's decision to tank "a fairly straightforward legal analysis" at the behest of a right-wing magazine.
By way of perspective, the Weekly Standard gave full throated support to segregation in the 1950s and 60s, and Facebook has made them arbiters of "Truth".

Way to go Mark.

Tweet of the Day


And now we know how she lost to an inverted traffic cone.

Find Me a Producer, I've Got one F%$# of a Treatment

It is, as the saying goes, ripped from the headlines.

It's the best heist movie concept, and in this case, the headline is that, in response to Brexit concerns, Cadbury creating a massive stockpile of chocolate:
Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union next year, but it still hasn’t reached a deal on how exactly this could happen. If it leaves Europe without a deal, some experts have warned that there may be chaos at the borders and a shortage of key goods.

On Tuesday, the owner of the beloved confectionary brand Cadbury announced that the company has a plan to deal with the threat of this dreaded “no-deal” Brexit: a chocolate stockpile.
Think about the action, think about the adventure, think about the tension, and think about the merch that you could sell.

Before you ask, I am aware that an actual sweet food stockpile has been stolen, the so-called great Canadian maple syrup heist, but that just adds verisimilitude.

And just think about the obligatory love making scene between the mastermind and the cop who has been pursuing them.

Chocolate ……… And Strawberries ……… And Gentle Heat.

I smell razzie!