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Member since: Mon Dec 5, 2016, 04:05 PM
Number of posts: 3,505

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Will Mueller release a preliminary report before the mid-terms?

I'm getting nervous, hearing on cable about what Trump could do after he fires Sessions. He can appoint as interim AG anyone who has already been confirmed by congress for *any* position--say, Betsy DeVos--who could then shut down the special counsel's investigation and have the information sealed and not released at all. Or allow the report to be written and then sealed.

He might have to fire Rosenstein in the process, but it was news to me that he can appoint anyone he wants who has already been confirmed as interim AG.

Please, somebody tell me this is not so.

Anybody else hearing from "Dave, your local carpet cleaner guy" multiple times?

"Dave" calls from a number with the same exchange as mine. I have a call blocker, and he uses a different number every time. He calls at least once a day. I have never engaged--it's a recording, so I'd have to stay on the line to talk to a human, I guess--but I can't imagine that this is about carpet cleaning.

listening again to Trump puzzling over why Sessions didn't warn him

he was going to recuse himself. Jesus god--has no one explained to Trump why Sessions recused himself? Trump says "he was on the campaign, so he knows what was going on"--well duh. That's why he had to recuse himself, dummy--*after you fired Comey*. Why didn't Trump warn Sessions he was going to fire Comey?

Or does Trump understand perfectly well why Sessions recused himself, but he knows that his base either doesn't understand or doesn't care, and he's keeping up this drumbeat to get his supporters to want him to fire Sessions?

Just for fun, though, why hasn't a reporter asked old Smokey if Trump understands why Sessions recused himself?

What kind of education did Trump get at Wharton?

We all know Trump isn't very bright, certainly nowhere near as bright as he thinks he is. I have been struck by his ignorance of basic cultural norms, of things *everyone* knows--cocktail party conversation-type stuff. He often mentions things that everyone knows by starting out, "very few people know" which indicates of course that *he* didn't know. He doesn't show evidence of any kind of critical thinking, of being able to synthesize information, even of understanding cause and effect. These are skills that are taught in high school and in liberal arts college courses. Business degrees are a little like trade-school certification in that the point is to prepare the student for a specific kind of work--like a medical or legal degree does.

Trump likes to talk about being a graduate of Wharton. I know one person who has a bachelor's degree from Wharton--most people who mention their Wharton degrees are talking about an MBA--and he is woefully ignorant about literature, despite being an avid reader, and the other arts. Trump seems to be like this, too.

I visited the Wharton website to find out what the requirements are for earning a degree, and not surprisingly there is very little non-business material on that list. There is one required course (and that a seminar) of critical writing, a requirement for competence in one foreign language--not a course, but a test--and a couple a courses outside Wharton's business curriculum. These could be biology and geology.

He brags about being a graduate of an Ivy League university without having been touched by the skills and understanding that are the entire point of an Ivy League education.

"Insatiable" on Netflix

How can you not love a series whose centerpiece is the Miss Magic Jesus Beauty Pageant? "Who will win the crown of thorns?"

Trump, McCarthyism, and Roy Cohn


In modern times, besides Trump, leading exponents of the paranoid model have been Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon. All these men did political battle in a paranoid style. And connecting the dots between these complicated men was a corrupt lawyer named Roy Marcus Cohn, who never held elective office, but was close to all of them.
Trump first hired Cohn in 1973 when the federal government investigated claims of racial bias involving Trump apartment buildings.
Both Cohn and Trump abhorred paying taxes. In How to Stand Up for Your Rights—and Win! Cohn devoted an entire chapter to tax avoidance. He wrote: “More so than any other institution in these free and United States, the IRS smacks of a police state with police state methods. All this procedure must be viewed in the context of where tax money goes…welfare recipients…unemployment compensation…bloated bureaucrats…political hacks, and to foreign aid, where big money is ritualistically poured into countries that hate our guts….All of this provides an incentive not to overpay taxes….”

Trump learned at the feet of the master, reporting almost a billion dollars of questionable losses, which he could use to shelter substantial taxable income over a ten-year period. Giving the spurious excuse that his returns were under audit, he stubbornly refused to release them lest the returns disclose the extent of his tax avoidance schemes, and his rumored dealings with Russia.


My Trump cousin-in-law pulled a new one on me last night

at a family gathering. She believes every conspiracy theory ever hatched, the wackier the better ("those flat-earth people make some good points" and "you shouldn't leave food out because Bigfoot can go through walls, and the scent of the food will draw him to your house" as well as the standard Alex Jones disgusting bullshit ("the Newtown CT shootings were a false-flag operation designed to raise opposition to gun rights", so it never occurred to me that an outlandish true story would strike her as false. She does not believe that Elon Musk's Tesla was sent into space. I don't know why she doesn't believe it because her sister gave her the side-eye and she quickly said "but this is not the time to talk about that." I wish I could hear her theories without passion, without any sort of emotion on either side, because I've noticed that other Trumpies I know don't care about logic, but my cousin-in-law seems to have reasonable explanations--well, reasonable to her, anyway--for every nutjob thing she believes.

How soon before Trump tweets

that his crowds were bigger than Aretha's, and he doesn't even have an organ?

Outrageous sexual abuse by priests in PA

Examples from the grand jury report (and all but two of these crimes are exempt from prosecution because of expiration of statute of limitations):

One priest tied up a victim with rope in the confessional in a "praying position." When the victim refused to perform sex, the angered priest used a 7-inch crucifix to sexually assault him.

Another victim said a priest used a metal cross to beat him.

At a parish rectory, four priests made a boy strip and pose as Jesus on the cross while they took photos.

"He stated that all of them giggled and stated that the pictures would be used as a reference for new religious statues for the parishes," the grand jury wrote. Two of those priests later did jail time for sexually assaulting two altar boys.

Another was quoted as telling altar boys they should serve naked beneath their cassocks "because God did not want any man-made clothes to be worn next to their skin during Mass," the jury wrote.

Priests told children they would "go to hell" if they told anyone what happened and "nobody would believe a lying child over a man of God's word."

In one church, a priest told a boy who confided he had been gang-raped as a 7-year-old that he had to provide sex to get to heaven. He would then be molested for three years before the priest was transferred.

Several priests used hypnosis during counseling sessions to manipulate their victims.

Helping a priest grade papers in his rectory somehow became a session of nude weightlifting.

I have posted only a partial list; read the whole story at http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation/20180816_ap_8d0245fd14924dbdb1c2d28366efb896.html.

Sharp Objects on HBO

Anybody else enjoying this creepy show? I really like it, especially Patricia Clarkson, but something is bugging the hell out of me. On "Calhoun Day," a celebration honoring stalwart Southerners, the pageant put on by high schoolers involves repeated playing of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Do the show runners not know this was the Northern anthem? Is it a joke I'm not getting, that the high school music teacher is so stupid *he* doesn't know it? WTF?
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