Category Archives: Idiocy

Headlines of the day: Primary posturings

First, from Politico:

Clinton scrambles to salvage California

A final loss to Bernie Sanders in the nation’s most populous state, where Clinton won comfortably eight years ago, would be a fitting coda to an upside-down primary season.

Second, more shit from the bull, via USA Today:

Donald Trump tells Californians there is no drought

Trump said state officials were simply denying water to Central Valley farmers to prioritize the Delta smelt, a native California fish nearing extinction — or as Trump called it, “a certain kind of three-inch fish.”

Headline of the day III: Slow news day in Old Blighty

From the London Evening Standard, a massive case of police and journalistic overreach:

BLOG Weapons

An esnl H/T to Just An Earth-Bound Misfit, I.

Headline of the day II: Pharma Bro takes a stand

From the Independent:

Martin Shkreli supports Donald Trump: ‘Most-hated man in the world’ announces his support for Republican nominee

Shkreli is best known for hiking the price of an AIDS drug by more than 5,000 per cent

A runoff election and Texas gets a little less crazy

The dinosaur lady lost.

From the Guardian:

When Texas takes up always-contentions revisions of science and social studies coursework in 2017, a former schoolteacher who believes dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark and Democrats killed John F Kennedy won’t have a vote.

Mary Lou Bruner lost her Republican primary runoff for a seat on the powerful Texas state board of education on Tuesday night, just two months after a near-outright victory that would have put her on the brink of having a say in what more than five million schoolchildren learn in classrooms and read in textbooks.

The 69-year-old Bruner has posted on Facebook claims that Barack Obama is a gay prostitute, climate change is a hoax concocted by Karl Marx and that Obama’s healthcare overhaul was an orchestrated plot to wipe 200 million people from the US population. She also wrote that the flood from the biblical story of Noah’s Ark is what destroyed the dinosaurs, not a meteor as “concocted” by atheists.

In March, Bruner came within two percentage points of avoiding a runoff altogether. But Republican voters flocked this time to Keven Ellis, a local school board president in Lufkin who ran a mainstream campaign.

Headline of the day: Don’t they call it hubris?

From the New York Times:

Clinton Wasn’t Cleared to Use Private Email, State Dept. Says

  • The State Department’s inspector general sharply criticized Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
  • The report said she had not sought permission to use a private server, and would not have received it if she had.

Tape proves Rousseff ouster really was a coup

Anyone with the slightest doubt that the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is anything other than a coup should be disabused of their credulity by events coming out of that Latin American nation today.

The scenario unfolding in Brasilia has elements of the Nixonian [tapes], touched with good old-fashioned corruption.

We open with the Independent:

Brazil’s interim leader Michel Temer is facing his first full-blown political crisis following the release of tape recordings seemingly showing that the suspension two weeks ago of President Dilma Rousseff was the result less of legitimate constitutional complaints and more of a plot.

After a day of frantic speculation in the capital, Brasilia, the country’s barely installed planning minister and top Temer ally, Romero Juca, announced he was temporarily stepping aside after admitting earlier in the day that his was one of two voices heard on the tape.


Mr Temer became interim president of Latin America’s largest economy earlier this month after the upper chamber of the National Congress voted to suspend Ms Rousseff and begin an impeachment trial against her on charges she fiddled the nation’s books to paper over a dire budget deficit.  She and her allies contended however that she was in fact a victim of a “coup”.

The bomb was dropped on the Temer team early Monday when one of Brazil’s leading papers, the Folha de São Paulo, released chunks of a 75-minute conversation from early March between Mr Juca, who was then a Senator, and Sergio Machado, also a former senator and the head of a state oil company.  Who made the tape and why is not clear.

Al Jazeera English examines the timing and identifies the suspected Taper, whose motivations weren’t exactly Nixonian:

The scandal threatens Temer only 11 days after taking power from Rousseff, whom the Senate suspended as president on May 12 at the start of an impeachment trial on charges of breaking government accounting rules.

The Folha newspaper released what it said were recordings of conversations in March between Juca and Sergio Machado, a former oil executive.

The recordings were allegedly made secretly by Machado who, like Juca, is the target of an investigation into massive embezzlement centred on state oil company Petrobras.

In the conversations, Juca is heard calling for a “national pact” that he appears to suggest would stop the investigation, known as Operation Car Wash, in which dozens of top-ranking politicians from a variety of parties, as well as business executives, have been charged or already convicted for involvement in the Petrobras scheme.

MercoPress covers embarrassment:

Juca’s decision to take a leave from his post to defend himself is a huge blow for Interim President Michel Temer, who counted on the experienced senator to secure legislative support for key economic measures and reforms.

The new scandal also raises fears of further political instability in Brazil less than two weeks after President Dilma Rousseff was suspended to stand trial in the Senate for allegedly breaking fiscal laws.


In recorded comments made before Rousseff was suspended and published by newspaper Folha de S. Paulo on Monday, Juca told an ally he agreed on the need for a “national pact” to circumscribe the probe known as “Operation Car Wash.”

Asked for help by a friend and former senator under investigation in the probe, Jucá replied, “The government has to be changed in order to stop this bleeding.”

There’s a whole lot more after the jump. . . Continue reading

Spanish designer busted for a cat-praising tote

Belén Lobeto tweeted an image of the offending tote bag.

Belén Lobeto tweeted an image of the offending tote bag.

Yep, cops in Madrid are really, really sensitive about perceived insults, even when they very, very subtle – indeed, when they don’t even mention police and the insult is in another language altogether.

Graphic designer and music promoter Belén Lobeto found that out the hard way, when she was slapped with a ticket for a tote bad she was carrying. If upheld on the appeal she has announced she will file, she could be hit with a fine of between 100 and 600 euros [$112 to 673 dollars].

From El País:

A Madrid resident has been fined by the police for carrying a bag depicting a cat’s face and the slogan “All Cats Are Beautiful.”

According to her own version of events, posted on Facebook and Twitter, Belén Lobeto was returning home on Sunday when two police officers approached her. An argument ensued over allegations that the slogan was really a stand-in for “All Cops Are Bastards.”

The phrase “All cops are bastards” has been documented since the 1970s, and became popular after a British punk band named 4 Skins used it in a 1980 song. It has also been adopted by some soccer hooligans.


The sanction is based on Article 37 of the new Citizen Safety Law – popularly referred to as the Gag Law because of its restrictive nature, particularly when it comes to capturing images of police officers or holding public protests.

According to the riot officers who fined her, Lobeto incurred in “disrespect for a member of law enforcement in the exercise of his or her duties to protect citizen safety.”

Bet American cops would love a law like that these days.