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Oscars No. 89 Open Thread

[ 163 ] February 26, 2017 |

I’m not watching but the Twitters informs me that Mahershala Ali has won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Moonlight.

Here’s a list of nominees and winners that will be updated as they’re announced. Consider this your open thread to discuss the 89th Academy Awards.

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Leak investigation springs a leak (Update – A Spicey Shot & Chaser)

[ 111 ] February 26, 2017 |

Sleepless Spice is trying to catch sources of White House leaks. Can tracking collars and body cams that can’t be turned off be far behind?

Spicer called staff into his office last week to reiterate his frustration with the leaks, sources with knowledge of the matter said. He informed them that the use of encrypted texting apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act.

Suddenly he cares about laws?

Then, with White House counsel Don McGahn standing by, Spicer asked his staff to provide him with their cell phones so he could
ensure they were not using those apps or corresponding privately with reporters.

A cunning plan. No one would ever think to delete incriminating info or communicate with reporters in some way that wouldn’t be on their phones at all.

And now, the punchline.

Spicer asked to review both his staff’s government-issued and personal cell phones, the sources said. He also specifically asked his staff not to leak information about the meeting or his efforts to crack down on leaks to the media, one source said.

I hope that one day in the near future these unsung heroes get the thanks they’re due.

Update – Perhaps Spicer should shut up and let the leakers handle everything.

https://twitter.com/ArmsControlWonk/status/835980882116771840

#StupidestPresidentEver tries to box clever

[ 245 ] February 26, 2017 |

SAD!

TrumpPerez

Our lips are sealed

[ 163 ] February 25, 2017 |

Should ignorance about women’s bodies stop a man from inventing things to be used on women’s bodies? Of course. Does it? Pbbbfffft.

This time it isn’t a law. It’s U.S. Patent 9,539,077, brainfart of Daniel A. Dopps. (The document contains a few line drawings of what may be a woman’s genitals. Or maybe they’re contour maps of Minas Tirith. It’s hard to say.)

Method for alternatively resisting and permitting menstrual flow

Abstract

A method for controlling menstrual flow including sphincterally contracting and expanding labia minora having left and right labium minuses, such anatomical structures moving to a closed position upon each sphincteral contraction or to an opened position upon each sphincteral expansion; adhering and disjoining the labia minora, each adhesion securing the labia minora at the closed position, the disjunctions freeing the labia minora for opening movement; and resisting and permitting menstrual flow, the resistance occurring on sphincteral contraction and adhesion, and the permission occurring upon sphincteral expansion, each adhering step disposing a hydrophobic and bio-compatible adhesive selected from acrylic adhesives, polyisobutylene adhesives, and silicone adhesives, and each disposition step utilizing an applicator selected from brushes, swabs, rub-on sticks, roll-on applicators, pump sprayers, aerosol sprayers, squeeze tube applicators, bottle applicators, and finger applicators.

Yes, it is exactly as appalling as it sounds. This weird and very stupid person has some very wrong ideas women’s bodies. He thinks women can flap their labia minora open and shut, that labium minuses is an actual term and that women should reward him for his ignorance.

Mensez feminine lipstick is a natural patented compound of amino acids and oil in a lipstick applicator that is applied to the labia minora and causes them to cling together in a manner strong enough to retain menstrual fluid in the vestibule above the labia minora where the vaginal opening and urethra exit.

Mensez, for the woman who likes to have her body mansplained to her.

The Mensez compound is instantly washed away with urine, which releases the menstrual fluid along with the urine into the toilet every time a woman urinates. No pads or tampons are needed. Safe, secure and clean.

I am reminded of a joke a friend told during a slumber party when I was in 5th grade. It involved the human penis. In the joke human penises had bones in them. We thought it was the funniest thing we had ever heard until our hostess’ mother burst in and told us penises don’t have bones in them and to stop being silly. Then that became the funniest thing we had ever heard. However, Dopp, an adult person who has medical training, is more ignorant about female anatomy than a bunch of 5th grade girls were about male anatomy. Where’s my friend’s mom when you need her?

“It will be thoroughly tested and improved,” adding that “It makes more sense than putting the plug up there,” and that “we’re using the vagina like a bladder just like tampons do.”

I’m beginning to get an idea of where his fascination with glue comes from. As the article notes, that’s not how this works. Any of it.

And of course he’s a raging (unglued) asshole.

Several women have suggested that Dopps is a misogynist, and that a man shouldn’t make products for women without firsthand knowledge of female anatomy.

He easily corroborated this charge in a response to one visitor’s comment on the Mensez Facebook page, in which he explained that “[Y]ou as a woman should have come up with a better solution than diapers and plugs

Diapers.

but you didn’t. Reason being women are focused on and distracted by your period 25% of the time, making them far less productive than they could be. Women tend to be far more creative than men, but their periods that [sic] stifle them and play with their heads.”

Periods make the ladies crazy and useless so it is up to Dr. Dipp to use his superior, uncluttered by menstrual cycles boy-brain to help us out. His invention won’t stop or shorten the duration of a period, but somehow smearing a hypothetical blood-sweat-lubricant-but-not-urine-proof glue on our nether bits will unstifle us. Perhaps the irritation would inspire us to create a utopia where people like Dopps are allowed – after careful training and under close supervision – to clean out the filters at a sewage/energy conversion plant.

After three years he’d be given a brush.

Their chief weapons are surprise, jeers and an almost fanatical devotion to clowning on tRump

[ 74 ] February 25, 2017 |

There are many ways to resist Republicans, but I have an especial fondness for jokes and anything that makes them look as stupid as they are. Getting CPAC attendees to wave TRUMP emblazoned Russian flags earns a 10/10.

Jason Charter, 22, and Ryan Clayton, 36, passed out roughly 1,000 red, white, and blue flags, each bearing a gold-emblazoned “TRUMP” in the center, to an auditorium full of attendees waiting for President Trump to address the conference. Audience members waved the pennants—and took pictures with them—until CPAC staffers realized the trick: They were Russian flags.

The stunt made waves on social media, as journalists covering CPAC noticed the scramble to confiscate the insignia.

Funny, a little gutsy and harmless unless which one counts damage the the right wing ego, which one should not. In addition, the fact that the gag was carried out by two people who fit the neo-con profile for Normal and Safe shows that infiltration by members of the tribe, even when it is short-lived, is another valuable form of resistance.

The white supremacists’ hatred of what they call the race traitor stems from their cowardice. How can the Brave White Warrior imagine himself defending Chirsto-Western Values against the Tides of Globalist Funded Darkness (or whatever rhetorical pud pulling they’re into this week) unless he’s certain every other white person will be fighting on the same side as, and preferably in front of, him?

Just as importantly, how can he feel happy and secure unless he’s absolutely certain that everyone who looks Normal and Safe won’t make him feel awkward by disagreeing when he whines about the blahs, the quahs, the jahs and feminazi wahs who are ruining everything with their P.C.?

And in this case – how can the organizers and attendees of other neo-con cons be absolutely certain that every other attendee is on their side and not up to something that is intended to make them look and feel dumb? The answer of course is they can’t. But I hope they try. Maybe guys who wear glasses, blue t-shirts and/or maroon polos will be banned. At least until they come up with a design for the mandatory tattoo.

Or maybe they’ll just stick to what they know and take out their angst on anyone in the vicinity who doesn’t fit the Normal/Safe profile.

If familiarity breeds contempt then a lack of familiarity must breed respect

[ 109 ] February 24, 2017 |

Members of the latest iteration of the Republican Party are less able to cope with criticism than their predecessors. Hilarity ensues.

For example, here’s Breitbartian and Bannon protege Sebastian Gorka invoking the If familiarity breeds contempt then a lack of familiarity must breed respect clause, which is regularly used by grade school students and annoying people on Twitter when someone says mean things about them.

A White House adviser made an angry phone call and threatened a lawsuit over a critic’s tweets about him, Newsweek reported Thursday.

The Newsweek story includes a recording of the lengthy phone call Gorka made after counterterrorism expert Michael S. Smith II questioned Gorka’s qualifications to be a national security adviser.

Gorka, whose experience and views on Islam have come under recent fire, phoned Smith Tuesday, asking to know “why this vitriol” was coming from him.

Just because he worked for a POS like Blightshart, is pals with white nationalists and his vanity and incompetent boobery poses a risk to the citizens of America is no reason for people to be rude.

Gorka repeatedly expressed confusion as to why Smith would attack him, emphasizing the fact that they have never met in person.

Y U talking about me? U don’t evn no me! #Wah :-(

“I look at your Twitter feed once or twice a day, and it’s half a dozen tweets about me, and I’ve never even met you,” Gorka said.

“Wow, are you defeating jihad by monitoring or trolling my Twitter feed?” Smith shot back.

lol

“Gorka asserted my tweets about him merited examination by the White House legal counsel,” Smith told Newsweek.

Ooga booga! Maybe lawyers will look at your Tweets about me! And then. You’ll. Be sorry. Or something.

Smith appears to be unimpressed and enjoying himself at the expense of Gorka and his defenders.

Wanted: Neo-con lackeys with strong, agile tongues

[ 96 ] February 23, 2017 |

Instead of being sworn in on a Bible, members of tRump’s cabinet will be sworn in on a loyalty oath to Himself. Just kidding. For now.

Donald Trump’s propensity to surround himself with loyalists—and to exile dissenters from his inner circle—is reportedly making it difficult to staff an administration that has made enemies, at one time or another, of just about everyone in Washington. For agency directors who hoped Trump was serious about creating a “team of rivals,” the past several weeks have provided a rude awakening.

That was their first mistake. Any reasonably observant person should have known Trump would want nothing less than a cult, although he might settle for a fan club. In addition, he’s vain, mean and addicted to attention – traits one can detect by watching the guy for a few minutes – which pairs nicely with the incompetence, laziness and low intelligence.

I know many intelligent people thought or hoped or prayed he’d be content to sit around until it was time to sign whatever was respectfully placed in front of him while the cameras whirred. However, all of the available evidence pointed to That isn’t happening. Or, as someone here – efgoldman I think? – likes to point out: tRump found a way to make casinos fail. If he were just dumb and lazy he’d have sat around and let other people make him money. However, he’s convinced he’s the ne plus ultra of CEOs, so he gets involved and at that point everything gets fucked up. For example

Politico reports that Cabinet nominees who accepted Trump’s offer were under the impression that they would have control over whom they hired, but have found themselves stymied by the White House, whose staff have gone behind their backs to make their own hires. In other cases, potential hires have been prevented from joining the administration after it was discovered they had made past critical remarks about the president.

[…]

In perhaps the most dramatic turn of events, Shermichael Singleton, who had worked with Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson for years, was quickly dismissed from what would have been a top position at the agency when it was discovered that he had written critical statements about Trump, Politico reports. Singleton, who was already in the process of helping Carson plan a nationwide tour when he was terminated last week, was escorted out of the department’s headquarters by security guards.

I wonder how far this goes? Are they checking people’s Yelp! accounts for bad reviews of tRump restaurants and hotels? Probably.

Trump’s inability to brook dissent has compounded the administration’s struggles to fill a number of high-ranking positions. According to the Partnership for Public Service, the president has nominated “fewer than three dozen of the 550 most important Senate-confirmed jobs,” leaving his Cabinet empty as he golfs each weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

Assuming the administration ever does get every position filled to Trumplethinskin’s satisfaction, everyone will have to keep on His Orangeness’ good side. As I’ve written before, this is not possible, because he’ll be the one deciding pretty much at random who is In and who is Out. In addition, there will be random bouts of meddling and God help anyone who objects. Maybe all of the incompetence and clusterfuckery will keep the Republicans from doing as much harm as they might, but I’m not hopeful that it will render them harmless.

The tRump Fib-o-lator

[ 36 ] February 22, 2017 |

The Tangerine Nightmare has gone 0 days without lying or twisting the truth. The Washington Post has project to track the nature and the frequency of the fibs. May the saints preserve them from carpal tunnel, poor posture and eye strain.

Donald Trump earned 59 Four-Pinocchio ratings as a presidential candidate. Now that he’s president, he has continued his proclivity for making dubious, misleading or false statements. He also often repeats the same debunked claims even though they have been fact-checked. It’s hard to keep up with all of Trump’s rhetoric, so the Fact Checker is assembling in one place all of his suspect statements from his first 100 days as president. You can sort them by various categories and see how many times he has repeated the same false statement.

I hope they won’t stop after a 100 days. But they’ll probably need a long vacation at that point because if lies were money, Napoleorange would be as rich as he claims to be.

At rate, there are all sorts of nifty graphs and charts and even a way to submit lies they may have missed.

The Washington Post also put together a pie chart showing how he spent his first 744 hours in office, including time spent Tweeting.

Maher doesn’t know what he did to Yiannopoulous, but you should thank him for it

[ 132 ] February 22, 2017 |

Chronically unfunny being Bill Maher is one seriously confused sack of creep. He wants credit for the fact that Milo Yiannopoulous lost his job, a book deal and a speaking gig. At the same time he insists Yiannopoulos is harmless. (Thanks to Tsam for the heads up.)

Was Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher the tipping point in his career downfall?

No.

Maher thinks so.

And that proves it.

In an interview with the New York Times, Maher took credit for Yiannopoulos’ crumbling public image, saying his Real Time appearance exposed him as an “emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe.”

“And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC,” he said. “Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.”

As the article notes – right after the lede so Maher looks especially far up himself and dim – Yiannopoulos’ comments about men having sex with minors are what got him in trouble. Maher – for reasons that make sense to him – is eager to give the impression that appearing on his show is the kiss of death for one’s career.

Even while claiming Yiannopoulos’ career as a casualty of his show, Maher refused to claim that Milo is dangerous, instead calling him “a little cuckoo” and blaming the outrage on the left.

“You know what he is? He’s the little impish, bratty kid brother. And the liberals are his older teenager sisters who are having a sleepover and he puts a spider in their sleeping bag so he can watch them scream.”

To take Maher’s stupid metaphor to its natural conclusion: Maher is the abusive dad who beats the bratty kid brother black and blue for his little prank. Once he’s tossed the kid into the basement he goes back to the girls’ room opens the door and leers at them. “You’re welcome,” he says.

But really he’s just full of shit.

Comme on fait son lit, on se couche. Dumbass.

[ 158 ] February 22, 2017 |

The man who put the words Liberal and Fascism side by side and wrote a book to go with the result is concerned about right wing tribalism. What has him all bewuthered is the fact that CPAC invited Milo Yiannopoulis who – unlike past speakers such as Coulter or Limbaugh – is just too crass.

Even now, Schlapp defends the initial decision to invite Yiannopoulis. On Monday’s ”Morning Joe,” he insisted: “The fact is, he’s got a voice that a lot of young people listen to.” A lot of young conservative people, he should have added, precisely because he enrages so many young liberals.

And that’s part of the problem. We are in a particularly tribal moment in American politics in which “the enemy of my enemy is my ally” is the most powerful argument around.

And Goldberg may ask himself: Well, how did we get here?

Or he would. If he were less of a hypocrite and capable of performing the complex task of connecting past actions to current circumstances.

Today, the right sees the left as enemies — and, I should say, vice versa.

The right sees the left as enemies in part because some morally flaccid members of the right have made a mint selling books with catchy titles like Liberal Fascism. The left sees the right as enemies because the right likes to hurt people. But that’s good enough for Mr. Bothsides.

Yiannopoulous is a hero for many because he fights political correctness and is transgressive. A flamboyant provocateur who wears his homosexuality on his sleeve and acts very much like a left-wing performance artist, he gives the right an edgy cultural avatar to pit against the left. At a time when entertainment and celebrity matter more than facts and arguments, he is an entertaining celebrity.

This being Goldberg, he – or his interns – have to find some way to criticize the left. Hence, Yiannopoulous is like a left-wing performance artist rather than the latest in a long line of predictably edgy types who’ve transgressively fought political correctness to the delight of dullards like Goldberg. One might even argue that the author of a book titled Liberal Fascism has dabbled his tootsies in the waters of transgressive P.C. fighting and likely sees the younger and less rumpled Yiannopoulous as an interloper.

Countless conservatives defend Yiannopoulous (who admits he’s not a conservative) in much the same way Democrats defended the anti-Semitic “radio priest” Charles Coughlin as long as he supported the New Deal as “Christ’s Deal.”

Something something, the Ku Klux Klan Robert Byrd the real racists.

Conservatives cling to rationalizations to defend their champion.They say he “distanced” himself from the alt-right. He did, cynically — only after “Daddy,” his term for Donald Trump — was elected. They credit his claim that he can say anti-Semitic things because his grandmother was (allegedly) Jewish, and he can say racist things because he sleeps with black men.

No-one on the right, including Goldberg, sees the need to condemn Milo’s virulent sexism and transphobia because that’s perfectly normal, innit?

These are the kinds of arguments a coalition accepts when it has lost its moral moorings and cares only about “winning.”

Unlike the good old days when Goldberg rose to prominence and the coalition only cared about “victory.”

What a boob.

As an aside, it looks like MY is out at BlightShart.

Yiannopoulous resigned from Breitbart on Tuesday in the face of reported internal anger from staff.

;_;

(The post title in American would be You made your bed, now lie in it. Dumbass.)

Maher & Yiannopoulos – two garbage scows passing in the night

[ 113 ] February 18, 2017 |
Here comes the garbage barge, by Jonah Winter

Here comes the garbage barge, by Jonah Winter

Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance on Real Time went the way one would expect.

Despite a brief flare-up of controversy that preceded it, a conversation between Milo Yiannopoulos, the incendiary right-wing author and lecturer, and Bill Maher, the comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time,” on that program Friday night was a largely docile, chummy affair. There was little conflict or cross-examination, as both men chided the political left for avoiding or drowning out Mr. Yiannopoulos’s views rather than engaging with them.

People do engage Yiannopoulos. It’s just that being told to shut the fuck up and hop on the 9:15 shuttle to hell isn’t what he wants to hear. Neo-cons want to live in the world where The Enemy are pre-demonized people of color in exotic places like Baltimore, who can be described as rioters whenever they protest in groups larger than one, and cry-baby liberals who whine a bit but don’t really do anything. Thanks in large part to tRump’s win, neo-cons and their fellow travelers being ushered into a world where people are so pissed and frightened they’re kind of scary. Unfair! as their new leader would Tweet.

Bill Maher, hyper-privileged prick that he is, sees this as a moment to yawn Ycantcha take a joke, libs? for probably the 253 zillionth time in his over-long career.

Describing himself as “a virtuous troll,” Mr. Yiannopolous said, “I hurt people for a reason.”

And that reason is he’s a mendacious piece of shit. Maher, who various people keep insisting is a wit who Challenges the B.S. of Bothsides, can’t bestir himself to ask his guest to elaborate on his reasons for hurting people.

He said people “want to police humor” because “they can’t control it.”

“Because the one thing that authoritarians hate is the sound of laughter,” Mr. Yiannopolous said.

Mr. Maher added, “And also, because when people laugh, they know it’s true.”

Which would mean that when people don’t laugh, they know it’s not true. But perhaps I’m overthinking the unoriginal noises coming the Maher2000 ClicheBot.

Speaking to his audience, Mr. Maher said, “Stop taking the bait, liberals,” and asked how they could be afraid of someone he described as “little, British, impish” and a slur for gay people. The two men shook hands, and Mr. Maher moved on to his panel discussion.

I wonder how much HBO pays for Maher to wrestle with poorly constructed straw men?

But in an online-only segment that ran after the HBO broadcast, Mr. Yiannopoulos said that transgender people were “vastly disproportionately involved in sex crime,” drawing jeers, boos and a shout of “liar” from Mr. Maher’s audience.

I wouldn’t be surprised if transgender people are vastly disproportionately the victims of all sorts of violent crimes. But that’s due in part to scamps and imps and whippersnappers like Yiannopolous who spew transphobic sewage all over the place. And of course, because cruds who have been dismissive of transgender rights in the past are happy to give him a platform to do so.

The RNC’s Mean-to-me Media Accountability $urvey

[ 25 ] February 18, 2017 |

The RNC/tRump Mainstream Media Accountability Survey is a fine example of pollpaganda: A survey full of propaganda, the results of which can then be used to reinforce the party line.

Here is a sample of the 25 questions. A few read like someone’s best attempt to interpret the noises falling out of Herr Trumpengruber’s face.

Do you believe that the mainstream media has reported unfairly on our movement?

Do you believe that the media unfairly reported on President Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting people entering our country from nations compromised by radical Islamic terrorism?

Do you believe that if Republicans were obstructing Obama like Democrats are doing to President Trump, the mainstream media would attack Republicans?

Do you believe that contrary to what the media says, raising taxes does not create jobs?

Do you believe that the media purposely tries to divide Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats?

Do you agree with President Trump’s media strategy to cut through the media’s noise and deliver our message straight to the people?

Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

The Washington Post ran a piece with suggested answers, but it’s suitable for children.

Spoiler alert I: Holding the mainstream media accountable will involve eliminating Obamacare, Medicare and Social Security and leaving Paul Ryan alone with the corpses of the victims of his policies Because Reasons.

Not a spoiler alert because this is the RNC: People who complete the survey (or just fill in their name, email address and ZIP code) are then asked to GIVE.

Not a spoiler alert II: Mean liberals ruining things will require more donations.

I hope Republican voters wanted four years of an impatient little hand thrust under their noses because that’s what they’re going to get. If Twitler views campaign donations as his money – and I can think of no reason to assume he does not – I expect some amusing tantrums when he feels the suckers are holding out on him.

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