Thursday, May 26, 2016

Short Takes

Next: Taliban appoints new leader.

Eleven states make a federal case out of peeing in private.

The T.S.A. says long lines at airports are here for a while.

The housing market recorded their best gains in 24 years in April.

The Tigers lost 8-5 to the Phillies.

Tropical Update: Invest 91L gets an early start on the season.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Answer Is Obvious

David Brooks mused, “Why is Clinton disliked?” and then proceeded to tell us that because we don’t know what she does for fun — macrame? crossword puzzles? barrel roping? — we can’t really know her and therefore we can’t like her.

Clinton’s career appears, from the outside, to be all consuming. Her husband is her co-politician. Her daughter works at the Clinton Foundation. Her friendships appear to have been formed at networking gatherings reserved for the extremely successful.

People who work closely with her adore her and say she is warm and caring. But it’s hard from the outside to think of any non-career or pre-career aspect to her life. Except for a few grandma references, she presents herself as a résumé and policy brief.

I think there’s a simpler reason.  After twenty-five years of demonization, sexism, misogyny, and the full-throated attacks from the Right-Wing Noise Machine on every aspect of her life from her wardrobe to hairstyle to the way she laughs, it’s little wonder that the public’s perception of her is skewed to the negative.  And who in the world would willingly put up with that?

If you want to understand her in the context of the forces allayed against her, I strongly recommend you read this profile by Tom Junod in Esquire.

Of course, she sounded paranoid back when she first said it—participants in apocalyptic battles always sound paranoid when they first say they’re participants in apocalyptic battles. They sound especially paranoid when they answer a question in apocalyptic terms when the question was really about, well, blowjobs. This was a long time ago. This was back in 1998. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States of America. Hillary Clinton was the First Lady. He’d offended people by being a resourceful rascal. She’d offended people by saying something about cookies. They’d both offended people by trying and failing to bring about universal health care and by trying (and sort of failing) to allow gays to serve openly in the military. They’d been under investigation for years for something they’d supposedly done in Arkansas when, really, everyone knew the investigation was about sex—and secrets. He’d been accused of rape in the nascent right-wing press; she’d been accused of murder; and now they were finally caught. He had a secret, indeed—he’d had sex with a young woman in the White House and he’d testified, under oath, that he hadn’t. He had sinned all right; he had sinned against her, his wife, so that now even she couldn’t defend him. But she did. And she defended him by inveighing against them—against the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

She sounded a little crazy. She sounded guilty of, at the very least, bad faith. Except that what she was saying turned out to be true—there really was an obscurely wealthy man, Richard Mellon Scaife, bankrolling the attacks against her and her husband; there really was a right-wing media spawned by structural changes overtaking the news business, and it had found, in the Clintons, the template for every story that was to follow. Her only error was a matter of language. She used the word vast to describe what she faced. It wasn’t vast, yet—

It is now. Nearly 30 years later, Richard Mellon Scaife has evolved into the Koch brothers, the then-fledgling right-wing media now claims the biggest and most powerful cable-news network among its ranks, and the money unleashed by the Citizens United decision has conjured a ring of super PACs organized specifically against her candidacy. The vast right-wing conspiracy is still here, and yet—and here’s the thing—so is she. The vast right-wing conspiracy has outlasted everybody but her. From the start, the attacks on her have had a tendency to resolve themselves in the most mundane terms—the Whitewater investigation turned out to be about a husband lying about infidelity; the Benghazi investigation turned out to be about, of all things, Sidney Blumenthal. But that doesn’t mean that both sides haven’t known the stakes all along. She’s always chosen to fight on metaphysical ground; she’s always defended herself cosmically because she’s been attacked cosmically, and so she’s lived to fight another day. But now that day is here. She helped create the modern right wing; the modern right wing helped create her; and now there is no place for them to go except at each other. The 2016 election is nothing less than the climactic event of the last three decades of American politics, and—it’s an amazing and scary thing to be able to write these words without irony—the future of the Free World lies in the balance.

So no, I really don’t care if she does the New York Times crossword puzzle.  And neither should you.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Oklahoma Stupid

The wind coming sweeping down the plain is carrying a lot of nonsense.

The Oklahoma Legislature has filed a measure asking Congress to impeach President Barack Obama.

[…]

“The members of the United States House of Representatives elected from this state are hereby requested to file articles of impeachment against the President of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Education and any other federal official liable to impeachment who has exceeded his or her constitutional authority with respect to the letter referenced in this resolution, based upon the grounds that the Constitution of the United States does not grant the executive branch of the federal government any authority whatsoever over the public education system, nor over the use of restrooms or other facilities thereof.”

Because allowing people to go where they feel safe is a high crime and misdemeanor.

Meanwhile you’ve got oil companies pumping chemicals into the groundwater that will end up poisoning people and causing earthquakes and that’s perfectly okay.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It Takes All Kinds

And then there’s this:

InfoWars broadcaster and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones is back to claiming that First Lady Michelle Obama is secretly a transgender woman, but this time he’s adding a new twist to his conspiracy theory: that Obama had comedienne Joan Rivers killed after she joked about the first lady being trans.

The trains don’t go to where he lives.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Butler Did It

David Corn at Mother Jones reports that Donald Trump’s former butler and in-house historian at his estate in Palm Beach has some rather strong feelings about President Obama.

Anthony Senecal, who worked as Donald Trump’s butler for 17 years before being named the in-house historian at the tycoon’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, has repeatedly published posts on his Facebook page that express profound hatred for President Barack Obama and declare he should be killed.

On Wednesday, Senecal put up a post that read:

To all my friends on FB, just a short note to you on our pus headed “president” !!!! This character who I refer to as zero (0) should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term !!!!! Instead he still remains in office doing every thing he can to gut the America we all know and love !!!!! Now comes Donald J Trump to put an end to the corruption in government !!!! The so called elite, who are nothing but common dog turds from your front lawn are shaking in their boots because there is a new Sheriff coming to town, and the end to their corruption of the American people (YOU) is at hand !!!! I cannot believe that a common murder is even allowed to run (killery clinton) OR that a commie like bernie is a also allowed to also run !!!! Come on America put your big boy pants on—this election you have a choice—GET YOUR ASS OUT AND VOTE !!!! Thank you !!!!

Though Senecal’s Facebook page is public, this message could only be read by his Facebook friends. In an interview with Mother Jones, Senecal confirms that those were his words: “I wrote that. I believe that.”

A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign says, “This individual has not worked at Mar-a-Lago for many years.”

Senecal, who is 84, says he has been employed at Mar-a-Lago since about 1959. Trump acquired the property in 1985, and Senecal remained on staff. “As [Trump] says, I came with the furniture,” Senecal remarks. About seven years later, he became the butler for the celebrity mogul who is now the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee. In 2009, Senecal informed Trump he wanted to resign as butler, and Trump persuaded him to stay on as the in-house historian at Mar-a-Lago. There is no salary for the job, Senecal says, but he makes money leading tours of the estate.

Senecal regularly posts screeds on his Facebook page from a far-right perspective in which he decries Obama and his wife—along with Hillary Clinton, other Democrats, and Republican leaders. He often refers to Obama as “zero,” and several times he has called for the president’s execution. He confirms that he has written all the posts on the page that have appeared under his name. “It’s all me,” he says.

NBC News reports that the Secret Service is looking into the matter and will take appropriate action if necessary.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hitting The Marks

The reason you’re still getting those phone calls from Kevin with Tech Support at Windows Security and he needs you to reprogram your computer so he can install malware is because the scam is working; they’re finding more marks every day.

In a way, that would also explain why Donald Trump is now the Republican nominee for president.

Jonathan Chait:

Why did almost everybody fail to predict Donald Trump’s victory in the Republican primaries? Nate Silver blames the news media, disorganized Republican elites, and the surprising appeal of cultural grievance. Nate Cohn lists a number of factors, from the unusually large candidate field to the friendly calendar. Jim Rutenberg thinks journalism strayed too far from good old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting. Justin Wolfers zeroes in on Condorcet’s paradox. Here’s the factor I think everybody missed: The Republican Party turns out to be filled with idiots. Far more of them than anybody expected.

[…]

In the previous election cycle, joke candidates like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann briefly caught the fancy of Republican voters but collapsed in the face of scrutiny. Republicans did rally around Sarah Palin after her vice-presidential selection was unveiled, but eventually her lack of qualifications became so impossible to deny that she didn’t even bother running in 2012. It was natural to expect a similar collapse from Trump, who cut an even more absurd figure (and certainly carried more ideological baggage on issues like abortion, health care, past support for Democratic candidates, and many other things).

Unlike Bachmann or Cain, Trump had an even weaker grasp on intro-level Republican dogma, instead ranting like a drunk on a bar stool (“Bomb the shit out of ISIS!”). In debates, rather than use the standard tactic of mouthing pabulum that sounded vaguely like a substantive response before pivoting to his preferred message, he dispensed with the pabulum altogether, relying instead on vague, repetitive bragging and grade-school-level personal insults of his opponents. He puts down his opponents’ beauty or their height, or simply smirks at them. His appeal operates not at a low intellectual level but at a sub-intellectual level.

You have to give Mr. Trump credit for being able, as veteran comedians and hucksters do, to read the room and know how to pitch to the crowd.  He knows that the base of the GOP is made up largely of people who fall for the most obvious cons like the Windows scam; after all, they bought into the Reagan “morning in America” line while the country spiraled into debt and sold guns to Iran, got screwed with their pants on by George W. Bush and his war on sanity, fell for the birtherism and racism against Barack Obama, and forgave every corrupt politician like Newt Gingrich who cried “Jesus!” and took their money and lusted after their wives, their daughters, and, in some cases, their sons.

The reason Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann sputtered and fizzled out is because they were as lacking as their marks.  Donald Trump knows how to exploit the stupid, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that he really does lack the judgment of your average middle-schooler.  The idea that he’s to be trusted with a classified intelligence briefing, let alone the nuclear codes, is enough to want to invite the British back.

I know it sounds like I’m some kind of elitist or snob who’s dismissing the ten million voters in this country who voted for Mr. Trump in the primaries as idiots, but at some point we have to face reality.  (By the way, not all poorly-educated people are stupid.  I know folks who never made it through high school who have more smarts than some with Ph.D’s.  Wisdom is not measured by degrees.)  All people may be created equal in the sight of the law and, as the Quakers say, there is that of God in everyone, that doesn’t guarantee that they have the intelligence to choose the right person to lead the nation.  And yet they vote.  After all, this is America, and that’s the choice we’ve made and the chance we take.

I just wish they were smart enough to hang up on Kevin.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

They’ll Get To It

When the White House announced that President Obama would visit Hiroshima while in Japan for an economic summit, they made it abundantly clear that he would not be apologizing for the U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on the city in August 1945 that killed over 140,000 people and helped bring an end to World War II.

This is seen as preemptive strike against the phony claim from the right wing that President Obama goes around the world apologizing for America.  But as Paul Waldman at the Washington Post notes, the Republicans haven’t raised much of a stink yet.

How come?  Well, maybe it has to do with the presumptive nominee and his view of America.

Donald Trump describes this country as a miserable hellhole where nobody has a job, nobody makes anything, nobody respects us, our military is pathetically weak, and an America that’s worth anything to anyone is a decades-old memory. “Our country doesn’t win anymore,” he said in a debate in December. “Nothing works in our country.” It’s a message he repeats all the time. He actually titled his campaign book, which barely anyone noticed, Crippled America.

Conservatives have always had contempt for Barack Obama’s capacity for complex thought and tolerance for nuance. A president willing to say that decisions can be complicated and we need to worry about unintended consequences? That we might want to learn from our mistakes? That this is a great country but not a perfect one? Despicable.

But when your party’s champion is practically campaigning on the slogan, “America: What a Dump,” it may be a little harder to muster up outrage when the president acknowledges, even if only implicitly, that the incineration of an entire city was a terrible thing, no matter how defensible in the circumstances. Could it be that the shame of having Donald Trump as their leader is forcing Republicans to be a little more thoughtful in their criticisms of the other side? Anything’s possible.

There are a few reasons why this is just a short respite from their spittle-flecked outrage.  First, Republicans are masters at pirouetting on a topic when they find out that Barack Obama has the same view they do.  If President Obama went to Hiroshima and said that Japan got what they deserved for starting the war in the Pacific and brutalizing half the world, there would be some jackass Republican who would bemoan the terrible loss of life at the hands of Democrat Harry Truman.

Second, no matter how Mr. Trump views America, he has a right to trash it because, well, he’s a white guy who knows how real America really is, and it sucks to be a white guy in America.

Third, they just haven’t gotten around to it.  They’re still worked up over e-mails and Benghazi!, so be patient; they’ll get to it.

Trending Topic

The Senate is back in session and doing the work for the American people.  That would include immigration reform, infrastructure repair, a Supreme Court vacancy to fill, and such emergencies as controlling the Zika virus, right?

No, they’re going after Facebook.

The US Senate Commerce Committee—which has jurisdiction over media issues, consumer protection issues, and internet communication—has sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg requesting answers to questions it has on its trending topics section. The letter comes after Gizmodo on Monday reported on allegations by one former news curator, who worked for Facebook as a contractor, that the curation team routinely suppressed or blacklisted topics of interest to conservatives. That report also included allegations from several former curators that they used a “injection tool” to add or bump stories onto the trending module.

The letter asks that Facebook “arrange for your staff including employees responsible for trending topics to brief committee staff on this issue.” The letter was signed by Chairman for the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senator John Thune (R) from South Dakota.

You can’t make this up.

Here’s a trending topic for you: “Voters plan to unfriend a lot of Republicans in November elections.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Progress Is Never A Bargain

I never thought that when the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality last June that at last America was over state-sanctioned gay-bashing and marginalization any more than I believed that Brown v. Board of Education would end school segregation or that Roe v. Wade would make reproductive rights a matter for a woman to decide rather than the state.  There will always be a backlash against any sort of social change no matter if it comes naturally through civilization’s growth or through the bang of a gavel in a courtroom.  The current rash of laws limiting the rights of people to use a toilet is just another example of it.

In every case, the backlash has been defended on the grounds of tradition — “We’ve always done it that way” — or religion — “God says so” — or safety — “Think of the children!”  All three of them are weak on the face of it, but they are meant to put an end to the argument rather than rationalize their opposition to whatever the change is because they really cannot justify it on reasonable grounds.  So they respond with legislation that worms its way around the barriers of constitutionally protected rights to find some way to undermine it.  (Ironically, these overreaching laws are written by people who claim to cherish more freedom and smaller government.)

John Cole:

When these jackasses say they don’t want something like homosexuality normalized, what they mean is that they don’t want to have to stop brutalizing homosexuals and transgenders both physically and emotionally and socially. They want them back in the closet, so they don’t have to confuse their pretty little heads with something that scares them or that they don’t understand. What they really mean is not that they don’t want homosexuality “normalized,” what they mean is that they want to continue to treat normal people like shit for no reason or because Jeebus told them to. Or because it makes them feel superior or because they see political gain. Or because they are sociopaths. Or because they themselves are having feelings for the same sex or are confused about their gender identity and it scares the living shit out of them because they are surrounded by people like them who have spent their entire lives telling that that is wrong. Or some combination of all of the above.

There will always be those who fight change.  To quote Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee in “Inherit the Wind,” progress has never been a bargain; you have to pay for it by giving up something; in this case the idea that what someone else may be doing behind closed doors or in the stall next to you in the restroom is any of your business.

More importantly, you might want to examine why it is that you’re so concerned about it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Texas Takes A Stand On Sitting

Folks in Texas must not have heard of all the trouble turned up by North Carolina and their anti-LGBT legislation, specifically the part that requires determining whether to stand or sit to take a piss.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is ready to sign in a new bill denying transgender access to all public restrooms in the state.

This comes shortly after Target received fierce criticism over their new bathroom policy regarding transgender people.

Abbott said this in a statement regarding the new bill:

“Texans have spoken, and I am acting. I will not stand idly by while this country becomes more and more open to the thought of grown men being in restrooms with our little girls. It’s not right. It’s not American.”

The bill is set to be signed into action on May 18th 2016. It was filed by state representative Debbie Riddle.It states that anyone who can not conform to traditional standards of identifying with biological gender, may not use any public restrooms, as no such restrooms exist for them.

Riddle says “If a man can’t dress and act like a man, he can use the restroom at home.”

There are a couple of things that come to mind.  First, there are people in Texas who are really obsessed with the toilet habits of other people, and they seem to pose more of a danger to the social fabric than a transgendered person with a full bladder.  They are the ones who should be the subject of new legislation.

Second, as the people of North Carolina have found out, the federal government does not take kindly to states who discriminate against people on account of their sex.  So how does Gov. Abbott propose to pay for all the inevitable lawsuits and court costs that will arise from this stupid and wicked law?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Why Does Ross Douthat Still Have A Job?

Gawker wonders:

The demises of Ted Cruz and John Kasich’s primary campaigns almost certainly assure, in the absence of some intervening event or act of God, that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for President. More importantly, they present the opportunity to recall which political commentators insisted that Trump could never, ever be the nominee. Dozens and dozens (and dozens) of people got Trump’s chances wrong, but if you were to identify the wrongest commentator, you would be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than New York Times’ columnist and National Review film critic Ross Douthat.

Therein follows a collection of tweets and columns where he blithely predicts over and over again that Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee to the point that it sounds less like actual political analysis and more like wishful whistling past the graveyard.

As Booman points out, the New York Times has already been through enough in recent years at the hands of their prognosticating journalists and war-whoopers such as Judith Miller; they don’t need to have one more embarrassment filling the right side of the op-ed page.  That’s what David Brooks is for.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Get Off The Fainting Couch

From the New York Times:

Republican elected officials, donors and strategists grappled uncomfortably on Wednesday with the inevitability of Donald J. Trump as their presidential nominee, an unexpectedly sudden denouement that left many in a state of political paralysis and others vowing to oppose the party’s new standard-bearer.

While some called for unity, many Republican leaders refrained from falling in line behind Mr. Trump, with dozens avoiding inquiries about where they stood or saying they wanted Mr. Trump to detail his policies or tone down his language first. Others tied themselves in knots as they praised and criticized Mr. Trump in a single breath, or suggested that they could abide Mr. Trump but loathed his agenda.

So after all these years of right-wing shrieking from AM radio from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, conspiracy theories about Bill Clinton, the “Second Amendment solution” candidates, the coy nods to white supremacists and the Klan on immigration and race relations, the panty-sniffing and pearl-clutching over other peoples’ private lives, the domination of women and their reproductive rights, and any number of other things that were meant to scare the crap out of the foolish and the weak, you’re suddenly surprised that a demagogue that says out loud what you’ve all been thinking for the last forty years wins your presidential nomination?

Fainting couchSpare us the drama.  Suck it up and deal with it like the rest of us who have had to put up with the bile, the hatred, the pompous arrogance of ignorance and the sunny nostrums of white Christian patriarchy for so long.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

More GOP Minority Outreach

Virginia Republicans are suing Gov. Terry McAuliffe for allowing people to vote.

Virginia Republicans said Monday they’re planning to challenge Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s recent executive order that restored the right to vote to more than 200,000 former felons in perhaps the most pivotal state in the presidential race.

GOP leaders in the state legislature announced that they’ve hired Charles Cooper, a former Justice Department official in the Reagan administration, to lead the effort. They said McAuliffe’s order exceeded the governor’s constitutional powers.

[…]

Responding to the announcement, Brian Coy, a spokesman for McAuliffe, a Democrat, said: “The Governor is disappointed that Republicans would go to such lengths to continue locking people who have served their time out of their democracy. While Republicans may have found a Washington lawyer for their political lawsuit, they still have yet to articulate any specific constitutional objections to the Governor exercising a power that Article V Section 12 clearly grants him.”

That appears to refer to the following language in the state’s constitution: “The governor shall have power … to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offenses committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution.”

They left out the footnote that says that this only applies to Republican governors.

It’s a sad fact that the majority of people who are former felons are minorities and have a hard time getting to vote even if they had never lost their right to vote in the first place.  It’s also a given that the reason the Republicans are enacting voter ID laws and filing suits like this is because they know that if there were no hindrances to voting, they would lose.  So they obfuscate, deliberate, and cheat.

I can only hope that the Democrats will take notice and make sure the voters — including those who are allowed to vote — remember who it was that stood in the way to the voting booth.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Irony of the Day

Larry Wilmore in his concluding remarks at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night:

When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a black quarterback. Now think about that. A black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team — and now, to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world. Words alone do me no justice. So, Mr. President, if i’m going to keep it 100: Yo, Barry, you did it, my n—-. You did it.

Todd Starnes of Fox News is beside himself.

Starnes Obama 05-02-16

Mr. Starnes’ sense of racial justice has been seen before.

If you are suspicious about the nature of Starnes’ racial sensitivity, you should be. This is a guy who has made a Fox News career out of bigotry. He has accused the Obama administration of “orchestrating” civil unrest in Ferguson, called him the “Race-Baiter in Chief,” and complained that a woman of Indian descent was not American enough to be Miss America in 2013.

As just about everyone else in the world noted, white people are upset because Larry Wilmore can say out loud — and mean it in a loving way — what they’ve been muttering under their breath for eight years now.

Will For Hillary

George F. Will is so horrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency and what it will do to the GOP that he’s basically pulling for Hillary Clinton.

He seems to think that it will be a lot easier for him to spend the next four years attacking her then it will be defending Trump while at the same time trying to resuscitate what’s left of the Republican Party.  Meanwhile, the Orcosphere has taken note of Mr. Will’s perfidy and is demanding his head on a spike.

I suppose you could feel a bit of sympathy for him and his bow-tied snobs, but if he hadn’t spent the last eight years attacking Barack Obama every time he opened his mouth, he could have prevented the wholesale takeover of the party by the knuckledraggers in the first place.

Reap what you sow, baby.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Next Thing You Know, They’ll Win Elections

Buck Newton, A North Carolina state senator is very upset that gay people are actually voting.

“We all know that the folks that wave the rainbow flags and things like that are politically very upset about the way things are today. They’re upsets about the way things have always been in this state,” he said earlier in his remarks. “And they’re bound and determined to try to change it, whether it’s by winning elections in the city of Charlotte on their city council or whether it’s wining [sic] elections in November in the General Assembly or whether it’s winning elections in November for our governor.”

It kind of reminds me of how a group of like-minded people banded together to vote for people who supported their causes.  Y’know, black people.  Or the elderly.  Or even, more’s the pity, cranky white people in the Tea Party.  It’s called “democracy.”  Funny how that works.

Might want to try it, Buck.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ted Cruz Is A Creep

Wow, Ted Cruz is really hung up on where people pee.

Ted Cruz’s tour de transphobia, launched last week to capitalize on Donald Trump’s criticism of North Carolina’s anti-transgender law, has embraced a new extreme position. Speaking to reporters this weekend in Indiana, he actually admitted that he doesn’t believe transgender people should be allowed to use any restroom except the ones in the privacy of their own home.

“Every one of us has the right to live our lives as we wish,” he said. “If any one of us wants to dress up as a woman or man and wants to live as woman or man and believes that we might be something other than what we were born, God has made each of us with free will and the ability to choose to do that if man to wants to dress as a woman, and live as a woman, and have a bathroom at home.”

A reporter sought clarification on the remark: “So then they shouldn’t use the bathroom out in public?”

Cruz then confirmed just that. “You don’t have a right to intrude upon the rights of others because whether or not a man believes he’s a woman, there are a lot of women who would like to be able to use a public restroom in peace without having a man there — and when there are children involved, you don’t have a right to impose your lifestyle on others.”

So if you are transgender — which is your business and your business only — then according to the presumptive Hall Monitor in Chief, you should hold it until you get home.  So if you’re at work or out shopping or traveling across country, stock up on Depends because this pervy busybody doesn’t want you to go because y’know, you might…

Donald Trump is a racist sociopath with fascist tendencies, but Ted Cruz is a full-on no-holds-barred creep, and the sooner he is removed from the public sphere, the better off we will all be.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Try This One On

The lawyers defending the occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge last January have come up with an interesting line of defense: the federal government has no power to control federal lands.

“The motion to dismiss in this case will challenge the Federal Government’s authority to assert ownership over the land that is now known as the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” Bundy’s defense attorneys wrote in a court filing Friday asking for more time to file a motion to dismiss the charges against him for lack of jurisdiction. It was first flagged by the Oregonian. “It is Defendant’s position that this authority is critical to the Federal Government’s authority to have federal employees work on that land. Jurisdiction in this case will determine whether the Federal Government can prosecute protesters for being there at all.”

In other words, it was never federal land in the first place.

“Once statehood occurred for Oregon, Congress lost the right to own the land inside the state,” the defense argued in the brief.

Bundy’s defense is expected to argue in court that Malheur was not federal land because it had been doled out to homesteaders and was “relinquished.” It is also expected to “provide evidence about foundational documents from the Federal Convention of 1787.”

Good luck with that one.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Annals of Asshattery

John Kasich schools us on how to prevent rape.

Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich [Friday] told a female college student concerned about “sexual violence, harassment and rape” that she should not “go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”

And if you do, well, whatever happens is YOUR FAULT.

Blaming the victim is one of those ways that the conservatives can get anti-abortion legislation whooped through legislatures: hey, you should know better than to have gone to that party or gone out with that guy; it’s not his fault that you had a little too much, young lady.

Yesterday he was aghast that anyone would think he was victim-blaming by saying he’s the victim of being taken out of context.  Then he basically doubled down on what he said in the first place.