Category Archives: Idiocy

Want to run over a protester? Try North Dakota


New legislation proposed in north Dakota because of those pipeline protests would, among other things, bar the wearing of masks in public [what about Halloween and costume parties?] and, uh, make if legal for folks to “accidentally” run over or injure protesters with their cars.

An ominous report from RT America:

Proposed protest laws in North Dakota would let drivers run them over

Program notes:

Protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline are shocked over new measures introduced by GOP lawmakers which would criminalize road protests, restrict what protesters can wear, and allow the federal government to sue to cover enforcement costs. RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky reports.

Headlines of the day: It’s sorta like gilding a turd


From the Washington Post:

Challenged on falsehoods, adviser says Trump team has ‘alternative facts’

  • President Trump’s aides are under fire after his press secretary made easily disproved claims about the size of the inauguration crowd. Chief counselor Kellyanne Conway sparred on “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd who said, “Alternative facts are not facts.”

And some reaction to all that infantile umbrage from the New York Times:

Even Top Aides Are Troubled by Trump’s Rocky First Weekend

  • President Trump spent his first two days in office lashing out about crowd sizes and rewriting the history of his dealings with intelligence agencies.
  • His lack of focus, at a time when a new president can maximize his leverage, frustrated some senior members of his circle who had urged him to move on.

And from the Independent:

And as for that crowd size, where Donald Trump claimed the largest crowd ever to witness a presidential inauguration and said he personally “saw” between one and one-and-a-half million people standing before him when he spoke. a side by-side comparison of crows at the first Obama inauguration [right] and Saturday’s swearing-in [left] tell a vastly different tale. From the Independent:

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And there was an even bigger turnout for another event in Washington that dwarfed the Trump throngette, reported the New York Times:

The women’s march in Washington was roughly three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration, crowd counting experts said Saturday.

Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, analyzed photographs and video taken of the National Mall and vicinity and estimated that there were about 160,000 people in those areas in the hour leading up to Mr. Trump’s speech Friday.

They estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

UPDATE: And, of course, Trump tweeted his own response for the anti-inaugural protests [and we feature one response as well]:

blog-trump-tweet

And things get even more petty. . .

UPDATE II: From CNN:

After the National Park Service retweeted messages that negatively compared the crowd sizes at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration to Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, representatives from the new administration asked the Interior Department’s digital team to temporarily stop using Twitter — a decision the agency now claims was out of a concern the account was hacked.

The National Park Service Twitter account retweeted this observation from New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum on Friday: “Compare the crowds: 2009 inauguration at left, 2017 inauguration at right.” The tweet contained images from both events showing an apparent difference in crowd size. The retweet has since been deleted.

After the retweet began to get attention, a career staffer at the Interior Department instructed employees that the “new administration has said that the department and all bureau are not supposed to tweet this weekend and wait for guidance until Monday.”

The message continued, “Please make sure that any scheduled tweets are no longer scheduled,” and referred all questions to another career staffer at the department.

On Saturday, the National Park Service called Friday’s retweets “mistaken.”

UPDATE III: We just spotted this from the editorial cartoonist of the Los Angeles Times:

David Horsey: Trump loathing unifies the diverse

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Brace for a flood of GMOs after TrumpAscension™


Each of them accompanied by a Rebel Yell.

From teleSur English:

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump picked the last member of his cabinet on Wednesday. Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue — who has been linked to big agribusiness and has sympathized with confederate history — has been tapped to become the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Unsurprisingly, like Trump and the rest of his cabinet, Perdue has links to big business and in particular corporate agriculture. He has been a supporter of factory farms, and in 2009 he signed a bill to stop the local regulation of the industry to prevent animal cruelty.

In 2009, he was named “Governor of the Year” by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, which the Organic Consumers Association referred to as “a front group for the GMO industry.” During his campaigns for governor, he also received donations from pesticide companies. After finishing up as governor, he founded his global exporting business Perdue Partners.

The 70-year-old was on Trump’s agricultural advisory committee during last year’s presidential campaign. During his time as Georgia governor from 2003 to 2011, Perdue drew the support of many disillusioned white voters and was well known for leading a service at the state capital building in Atlanta to literally pray for rain during a harsh drought in 2007.

“Farmers need a champion in the USDA who will fight for conservation programs to help farmers be more resilient in the face of extreme weather, not pray for rain,” Kari Hamerschlag, from Friends of the Earth, said in a statement.

In 2010, Perdue signed a law that proclaimed April “Confederate History and Heritage Month.” The month, which was also declared in six other southern states, is particularly controversial because it failed to mention the history of slavery in its proclamation.

The anti-environment environmental boss


Another gift from President Pussygrabber, via the Los Angeles Times:

Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency kicked off a contentious confirmation hearing Wednesday, expressing doubt about mainstream climate science and harshly criticizing the agency he seeks to lead.

Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt was defiant in the face of questioning from Democratic senators who attacked his record on environmental protection, skepticism about the impact of global warming and financial ties to some of the nation’s biggest oil and gas companies.

Pruitt said the EPA’s aggressive enforcement of federal anti-pollution rules during the Obama administration reflects inappropriate overreach that he would change.

“Regulators are supposed to make things regular,” Pruitt said at the start of the hearing, “to fairly and equitably enforce the rules and not pick winners and losers.”

He charged that the issue of climate change had been overtaken by emotion and incivility.  “We should not succumb to personalizing matters,” he said.

Headline of the day: It was just chump change


From the New York Times:

Treasury Pick Didn’t Disclose $100 Million in Assets to Senate

  • The revelation about Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, came hours before he was scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee.
  • He also did not list his role as a director of an investment fund in the Cayman Islands on a questionnaire.

Trumplandia ™ surrealism: She said/he said


Merle Streep, an actress who has received three Oscars, nine Golden Globes, and so many other honors for her acting prowess that it would be impossible to list them all in the modest space we have, won the Cecil B. DeMille Award [basically a lifetime achievement honor] at last night’s Golden Globes ceremony.

And she used the occasion to make a memorable speech, an indictment of President-elect Donald John Trump.

Here it is:


Needless to say, President Pussybrgrabber [already inaugurated to that position], did what he always does,

He tweeted his response this morning [and we’ve added a bonus tweet at the end]:

blog-trump-tweets
So is he lying?

Well, consider the reason Trump had to discredit New York Times reporter Serge F. Kovaleski.

Back in November 2015, Trump said “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”

But that was a lie. Police in New Jersey did disperse a few small rallies, none involving more than 20 to 30 people. Hardly the “thousands and thousands” Trump claimed.

Kovaleski, a reporter for the Washington Post back in 2001, wrote an article for that paper four days after the 9/11 attack, which included this paragraph:

In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.

What drew Trump’s ire was Kovaleski’s daring to question the “thousands and thousands” claim, and Trump claimed that Kovaleski has been forced to retract his original report — a lie.

Here’s a 25 November 2015 clip of the mocking which had drawn Streep’s outrage, via CNN:

Trump mocks reporter with disability

And here’s how the Washington Post reported on 2 August 2016 of Littlefingers’ denial that he mad mocked their former reporter:

Trump now suggests he was just imitating a grovel, but that’s not what he was actually doing.

Instead, Trump is clearly imitating Kovaleski’s disability — the reporter has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits the functioning of his joints. Trump claims he did not know Kovaleski, but the reporter closely covered Trump’s troubled business dealings while he was a reporter for the N.Y. Daily News between 1987 and 1993.

“Donald and I were on a first-name basis for years,” Kovaleski told the Times in November. “I’ve interviewed him in his office,” he added. “I’ve talked to him at press conferences. All in all, I would say around a dozen times, I’ve interacted with him as a reporter while I was at The Daily News.” In particular, Kovaleski covered the launch of the Trump Shuttle, spending the day with Trump in 1989 when the airline launched with typical Trump brashness. (Within a year, Trump had to unload the debt-burdened airline because of a cash crunch in his business interests.)

{Trump tweeted umbrage in response.] “All of a sudden, I get reports that I was imitating a reporter who was handicapped. I would never do that.”

Actually, he clearly did, protestations notwithstanding.

A poll and a personal aside

Clearly, Trump is furious, not for his own gross insensitivity, but for the fact that the news media reported on it.

And a week after the August denial, Bloomberg pollsters asked voters what bothered them most about Littlefingers:

More than six in 10 say they are bothered a lot that Trump mocked a reporter’s physical disability, the highest level of displeasure among the issues challenging Trump that were tested.

In the interest of fairness, we should note that we ourselves are afflicted with a malady that has deformed our hands and arms and afflicted joints in the hips and feet, rheumatoid arthritis.

You can judge the effects from this snap of our right hand, in which we tried to hold our fingers straight [they’re normal length; it’s just the best show we could get shooting left-handed]:

blog-hand

In decades of reporting since the malady’s symptoms had become evident, only a few interview subjects commented on it, invariably with sympathetic remarks.

And a parting thought

Say, doesn’t the Constitution require the President to be at least 35 years of age?

Judging by his words and actions, the President-elect can’t be more than 10.

Headlines of the day: Today in Trumplandia™


From the Washington Post, the three leading front page stories:

Secretary of state nominee pushed for Exxon deal in Iraq despite U.S. plea

  • The 2011 oil exploration deal overseen by former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson — whose confirmation hearings to become secretary of state begin Wednesday — defied U.S. diplomats’ requests that the company wait, fearing such an agreement would undermine their credibility with Iraqi authorities and worsen ethnic tensions that had led Iraq to the brink of civil war.

Defense nominee urged U.S. strike against Iran during Iraq War

  • Gen. James Mattis’s falling-out with the Obama administration over Iran offers perspective into how he would lead the world’s largest military and the advice he would bring during sensitive Situation Room debates.

Over China’s objections, Ted Cruz and Texas governor meet with Taiwanese president

  • The meeting is likely to irk officials in Beijing amid already heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.