Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday in Hell: Moore is less; Jews for hire (like models at coder bro parties); 48 ways to say "Trump"

“Why did he wait so long?” To counter the claims of women who claim he creeped them forty years ago, Roy Moore dredged up a war buddy who hadn’t seen him since they accidentally visited a Vietnamese whorehouse 45 years ago:

“So I put down the glass of scotch I was drinking at the time. I got off the couch, I put on my big boy pants and decided to put my reputation on the line and come down here for Roy Moore in Alabama and here I am,” he said to cheers.

Sad, as MOTUS would say, for Moore to be reduced to dredging up character witness from a hifalutin boozer who talks like Jeb Bush, but there you are. God uses bad people to achieve His ends, as Roy Moore knows better than anyone but his patron in DC.

Oh, and this inspired nod to both diversity and Hanukkah:

His wife, Kayla, took the stage to deny that her husband was prejudiced and “doesn’t support the black community”. He “appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama supreme court”, she went on. “Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews … One of our attorneys is a Jew.”

My mother, who refused to speak with me the last two decades of her life after I came out, would have loved that appeal. She insisted she loved the homosexuals, why- some of her best friends were! And they were all, also, men she paid for services: her hairdresser, her florist, her gardener…

I asked once, “Did you ever invite any of them to dinner?”

At least it didn’t come to this:

CHUCK TODD:  David, I want to get to a point you made in your column on Friday, which is a victory by Roy Moore for the Republican Party is, I guess, the ultimate in empiric victory, isn't it?


A new conundrum emerges in America’s moral purge: how to punish the just-dead?

Sexual abuse, as we now know, is bad, but adultery remains the playground of the rich and powerful despite the preening condescension of America’s evangelical class. Take David Petraeus, who may not be relevant anymore, but is certainly profitable.

No matter how dire it gets (absent a war), it will, with certainty, end, with karma biting hard:

One day, maybe three years from now, maybe (God forbid) seven, Trump will no longer be president. Someone else will enter that office, and the things they say will capture headlines, and they will be the person we’ll talk about at the dinner table, or with our Uber driver. And Donald Trump will cease to be the center of the attention universe. He’ll turn on the television and it won’t be him they are talking about. It will be another president. He’ll pick up the paper and there will be someone else’s name in the headlines. Trump’s brother was an alcoholic, his father a workaholic, and Trump is nothing more than a narcissist who is addicted to himself. When that drug is taken away from him, as it inevitably will be, it will destroy him. And nothing gives me a larger sense of relief than knowing at the end of his life, he’ll be irrelevant, and that he’ll know that, too.

Until then, Tillerson’s Moron wants the world to know Omarosa was right: all must bow down- and do other things besides:
Is your favorite word in this Quinnipiac poll?

4. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of President Trump? (Numbers are not percentages. Figures show the number of times each response was given. This table reports only words that were mentioned at least five times.)
idiot        53
liar         44
incompetent  36
leader       35
strong       35
asshole      26
great        21
moron        19
arrogant     18
disgusting   17
unqualified  16
crazy        15
bold         14
buffoon      12
dangerous    12
ignorant     12
corrupt      11
dishonest    11
honest       11
racist       11
businessman  10
different    10
stupid       10
business      9
change        9
egotistical   9
fraud         9
good          9
narcissist    9
president     9
American      8
jerk          8
trying        8
unstable      8
awesome       7
bombastic     7
disaster      7
pig           7
childish      6
dumb          6
evil          6
joke          6
powerful      6
courageous    5
disgrace      5
fantastic     5
hard-worker   5
insane        5

Chutzpah: when a dad rags his daughter to suicide for being gay, then gives interviews taking credit for opposing Roy Moore: not for his stance on LGBT rights, but because he creeped little girls.
After hoarding judicial nominations for years until they got a Republican president, not even Senator Chuck Grassley can fluff all the *resident’s choices. He’s telling MOTUS to take back two fellow morons.

"If you want your kids to listen to you, don't yell at them. Whisper. Make them lean in. My kids taught me that. And I do it with adults now."

Mario Batali is a greasy-haired slob who acts like a complete dick. 

Consider this backgrounder from 2011:

Mario Batali is in legal hot water yet again. Fourteen months after being hit with a lawsuit by employees who claimed he and his partners had skimmed off a portion of the tip money at his LA restaurant Mozza, he finds himself embroiled in another employee lawsuit. 
TMZ reported Thursday that Eugene Gibbons, a former waiter at Batali’s Greenwich Village restaurant Babbo is suing a group of co-workers, who he says regularly groped him while he worked at Babbo. The suit claims that the co-workers repeatedly smacked his buttocks and grabbed his genitals. One allegedly bragged that he would masturbate to Gibbons’ picture in bed after his wife had fallen asleep. 
The stakes are at least as high — the case involves sexual harass ment — though Batali himself isn’t the defendant, just a named party in the case. Gibbons alleges that Batali was aware of the pattern of harassment and did nothing to intervene.
Gibbons claims the harassment eventually got so bad that he was forced to quit his job at Babbo.
For what it’s worth, Batali is known for occasionally exhibiting raunchy behavior. Writer Bill Buford, in his account of working at Babbo, Heat, mentions Batali’s penchant for using arousal metaphors when talking about food and restaurants.
(In Batali’s language, appetites blur: a pasta made with butter “swells like the lips of a woman aroused,” roasted lotus roots are like “sucking the toes of the Shah’s mistress,” and just about anything powerfully flavored—the first cherries of the season, the first ramps, a cheese from Piedmont—”gives me wood.”)
Batali was a big deal in Seattle then, and I made a note to never set foot in his eateries, ever:
'“I had a natural affinity for the kitchen, and my mother and grandmother had always told me that I should be a cook. In fact, when I was preparing my college applications my mother suggested cooking school, but I said, ‘Ma, that’s too gay. I don’t want to go to cooking school—that’s for fags.’ “ But five years later Batali showed up for his first day at the Cordon Bleu in London.'
And now Mario Batali has had his Weinstein Closeup, admitting that he's been creeping women pretty much forever, and so often he can't remember them:
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family. 
He underscored the point yesterday:

Batali told the [New York] Times in a Tuesday email, “Though I don’t remember these specific accounts, there is no question I have behaved terribly.”

How do these slovenly Jabbas of commerce, politics, and media imagine themselves such babe magnets? And how do they pull off such a convincing impersonation of decent human beings? 
Here's Batali yesterday:

Mario Batali Appeared on a Sexual-Harassment Panel Just 6 Weeks Ago

Eater, which broke the Batali story with lots and lots of lurid stories by victims, nearly all off the record in fear of his vindictiveness, notes,
[H]is affable persona belies another, more crude reputation, according to dozens of interviews. Batali’s lewdness, his crass way of speaking about women, and his focus on women’s bodies have been well known within certain circles in the restaurant world, according to people who spoke with Eater.
The New York Times reports of Batali's regular appearances at an after-hours space in a New York club:
 A former server told the Times about Batali, “We called him the Red Menace.” She continued, “He tried to touch my breasts and told me that they were beautiful. He wanted to wrestle. As I was serving drinks to his table, he told me I should sit on his friend’s face.”

Happy Hanukkah 2017!

The rest of youse, bundle up.

Henry Bemis Books' appreciation of the genius of Tom Lehrer is here.

Monday in Hell, 12/11/17: Yet another Sex-and-Republicans buffet: they're just so inventive- and grabby!

Saudi Arabia has announced it will lift a ban on commercial cinemas that has lasted more than three decades. It’s also gettin’ jiggy:  US hip hop artist Nelly and Algerian singer Cheb Khaled will perform in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Thursday, though the event is open to men only.

The day after the Administration announced its six-nation Muslim ban was fully operational, a Bangladesh native set off a pipe bomb in New York City.

Bangladesh is not on the list. #NeitherIsDumfuckistan

Sarah Sanders says MOTUS is pleased by all the women coming forward to #MeToo their abusers but that doesn’t change that they are all lying sluts and losers and he’s gonna sue the fuck out of them. And vote for Roy!

Headline: AL.com Columnist Ripped on CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ for Asking If Roy Moore Was Gay.

One Moore-aligned group, Restore Our Godly Heritage PAC, is airing commercials on nearly 60 stations around the state accusing Jones of “trying to steal the election with vile, racist ads on black radio.”

“Desperate to steal this Senate race, Jones and his race-hustling allies are trying to start a race war and it’s only going to get worse in the final weekend, with millions of dollars in street money to turn out the vote,” it adds.

On September 17, 2017, Moore told a crowd, “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.”

But, at 70, Moore adapts to the times: no more mall-stalking. Now he calls creeping girls “interviews.”

And now he’s the fifth powerful Republican legislator accused of sexual misconduct in office. Yep. He’s a pussy-grabber.  With a 17-year-old.

Democrats-turned-Republican, neocons are hitting the road to exile again, as Claremonsters- what passes for intellectualism in Trumpworld, regurgitates Thomas Hobbes. Take Thomas West, whose new book asserts, “asserts that the writings of the founders indicate that there is ‘no natural right to become a citizen of a society that refuses to accept you’ and that ‘the right to discriminate is nothing more than the right to liberty itself.’”

SC Republican diversity icon Tim Scott- a protege of Jim DeMint- is learning from Lindsey Graham: when no one cares what you think, live on TV. Thus Scott’s assessment of the party label to which he clings: “Well, [there is] very little that I can do about people who speak ignorantly. And you just have to call it for what it is, No. 1...”

You can make a case for the *resident’s bull-meets-china-shop policy stylings with a straight face: a British blogger has done it.

More proof we are in the Second Gilded Age: 1,000 people own 40% of all the bitcoins. They’re the only ones who can afford the power costs of mining. Who will be the first bitcoin Jay Gould?

North Carolina pols have looked the other way at violations of civil liberties the legislature’s bosses can only dream of imposing here.

Some federal court defendants who tried to blow up a Kansas mosque- and who are not terrorists because they are white, native-born Caucasians, have demanded a trial by a jury of their peers- rural, conservative Trump voters who secretly believe Chuck Grassley is a Communist.

Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker journo who toppled Anthony Scaramucci last spring, is the latest to suffer penis-control issues.

Secretary Lego has released his analysis of the #WealthCare bill.  He bolted together a few paragraphs on one page and went back down to the press room to see them make $100,000 bills.

Monday, December 11, 2017

As they plump for more tax exemptions, Charlotte megachurches are surprisingly stingy when it comes to how much they rake in and what they do with it.

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In the end, only three churches provided audited financial statements: Elevation Church, Forest Hill Church and Transformation Church.

Two churches provided us with basic financial details, including their total revenue: St. Matthew Catholic Church and Freedom House.

Six churches declined to provide any financial information, saying it was available to members only: The Park Church, Central Church of God, St. Paul Baptist Church, Calvary Church, Mecklenburg Community Church and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.

Hickory Grove Baptist Church was the only organization that completely refused to even speak with Channel 9 about our transparency survey. Hickory Grove leaders declined to return phone calls and emails from WSOC-TV over the span of two months. Investigative reporter Paul Boyd reached out to multiple staff members and also visited the church office to engage in a conversation one day but no one was available to talk.

The headline details from the survey include the following:

An estimated 82,000 people attend these 12 churches on average every week and are likely donors.

The five churches that disclosed their financial information generated a combined $88,018,092 in revenue last year.

None of the churches would disclose the individual compensation of their leadership or senior pastor.

Roy Moore (R-Alabomination)

Roy Moore is not a stupid man. Rather, he is a moral voyeur who blows off the pressure of his pent-up hebephilia by obsessing over, and condemning, activities he finds perverse in others.

Nobody knows an abomination when he sees one like Roy Moore. He will tell you so.

Which made it delicious today, when Will Hurd, a Republican congressman from Texas, said this about Roy Moore:
I think Roy Moore is an abomination to the Republican Party, and that’s one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on.

Roy just wants Americans to be happy. And know their place.

Another slavery enthusiast says Roy Moore- who recently said Americans were last great when all families- free and for sale- were strong and united- won't get to repeal and replace homos or racial minorities or sex crime laws:
“He’s getting elected to the Senate. When he gets to the Senate, he’s going to have to vote on things. And slavery’s not going to be voted on in the Senate, and it’s not — neither is homosexuality. And here’s the thing. Let’s be clear because it’s such a slur against him. What he said was families still loved each other when they existed. People in bondage, when the Jews were in bondage for years, they still loved each other.” – Right wing CNN commentator Ed Martin, dropping jaws on Twitter.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Are philosophers better behaved, or just ahead of the curve rooting out the rotters?


...Callisto: a software platform for secure online reporting of sexual abuse and harassment. It launched two and a half years ago and is currently in use on 12 campuses with a total of 149,000 students. It's designed to increase the rate of reporting, the accuracy of reports, and give clearer, more actionable information both to survivors and to institutions. And it has one more special feature: It has the potential to help identify the repeat offenders who are thought to commit most sexual assaults.

Most research indicates that sexual crimes are underreported. One issue is that survivors may feel uncomfortable with something that has happened, but are unready or unwilling to make a formal accusation with their names attached.

Using Callisto, students can log on 24/7 to write a secure online account of their experience. The questions are based on best practices for investigating victims of traumatic events. The written account is encrypted and time-stamped. That feature is important, Ladd says, becasue when people report soon after an incident, recall is stronger and the details can be more clear. Ladd points to research that the time lag between sexual assaults and complaints on campuses averages 11 months.

Once they've written down what happened, students have several options. They can simply save it and come back to it at any time. They can send it to their campus Title IX coordinator as a formal complaint. They can download it and go directly to police. Or, there is a special option called "matching." In this case, the survivor names the accused with a unique identifier like a Facebook profile. If, and only if, someone else accuses the same person, the survivor agrees that their own report will be surfaced to campus authorities.

For more on why the profession seems to be less in the news than others, click here.

Proof-texting your ballot choices

Nolte — Pragmatism v. Cake Baking: Christians Can Vote for Roy Moore in Good Conscience

Breitbart News, Roy Moore's press office, says voting for the Gadsden Grabber means you support the God-given talents of heterosexual pornography actresses to make their own career choices:
Social Justice Warriors on social media bullied a troubled porn star into suicide for expressing a healthy caution about performing with men who have had sex with other men. So much for “My body, my choice.”


Saturday, December 9, 2017

In the final test, Mike Pence will be shot at the wall from a catapult.

It's how Ayn Rand would treat clerks if she'd been a federal judge-

One of Ronald Reagan's wunderkind judicial appointments, Alex Kozinski joined the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 1985, charged with yanking the law rightward for the rest of his life. He was charming, witty, and playful, fond of magic tricks and capable of burying the titles of hundreds of movies in one of his opinions.

Corey Robin writes,

Prominent libertarian jurist Alex Kozinski has been accused of sexual harassment by six women, all of them former clerks or employees. One of the women is Heidi Bond. In a statement, Bond gives a fuller description of Judge Kozinski's rule, sexual and non-sexual, in the workplace.

"One day, my judge found out I had been reading romance novels over my dinner break. He called me (he was in San Francisco for hearings; I had stayed in the office in Pasadena) when one of my co-clerks idly mentioned it to him as an amusing aside. Romance novels, he said, were a terrible addiction, like drugs, and something like porn for women, and he didn’t want me to read them any more. He told me he wanted me to promise to never read them again.

"'But it’s on my dinner break,' I protested.

"He laid down the law—I was not to read them anymore. 'I control what you read,' he said, 'what you write, when you eat. You don’t sleep if I say so. You don’t shit unless I say so. Do you understand?'"

The demands may seem peculiar, but the tyranny is typical. Employers control what workers read, when workers shit, all the time.

But Judge Kozinski has the added distinction of being one of the leading theoreticians of the First Amendment. And not just any old theorist but a libertarian theorist—he has a cameo in the film Atlas Shrugged: Part II—who claims that the First Amendment affords great protection to "commercial speech."

Where other jurists and theorists claim that commercial speech—that is, speech that does "no more than propose a commercial transaction"—deserves much less protection than political or artistic speech, Kozinski has been at the forefront of the movement claiming that the First Amendment should afford the same levels of protection to commercial speech as it does to other kinds of speech. Because, as he put it in a pioneering article he co-authored in 1990:

"In a free market economy, the ability to give and receive information about commercial matters may be as important, sometimes more important, than expression of a political, artistic, or religious nature."

And there you have it: Watching a commercial about asphalt? Vital to your well-being and sense of self. Deciding what books you read during your dinner break? Not so much.

Kozinski is also a master of the Republican non-apology:
I would never intentionally do anything to offend anyone and it is regrettable that a handful have been offended by something I may have said or done.
NPR cites a 1992 opinion in which he carefully left himself an out way back when:

Women, he wrote, "must be vigilant of their rights, but must also have some forgiveness for human foibles: misplaced humor, misunderstanding or just plain stupidity."

What Fresh Hell? for December 8, 2017: Trent Franks is offering top dollar for brood mares, and Congressman Steve King picks up George Wallace's resolve to never be out N-worded, not even by Roy Moore

Breitbart News is shocked- shocked! to learn that racist appeals work in Alabama:

President Trump hosted his first White House Hanukkah party on Thursday night, where he touted his administration's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Trump hosted hundreds of attendees at the White House for the party, with a guest list that had been narrowed from previous administrations.

Congressional Democrats, as well as Jewish leaders who have been critical of Trump, were excluded from receiving invitations this year, The New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, the two Jewish Republican members of Congress, Reps. Lee Zeldin (N.Y.) and David Kustoff (Tenn.), were attending the party, their offices confirmed to the Times.

Last week the *resident pointedly didn’t invite accredited White House reporters from LGBT and African-American newspapers to the annual press corps Christmas party.

-The *resident’s pollster/drug czarina, Kellyanne Conway, says the boss’ expressions of concern about Roy Moore prove what high moral standards he has:

-President Johnson was legendary for inviting legislators and staff into the bathroom to confer will he relieved himself. Now we learn MOTUS liked it when all his senior campaign staff steamed the wrinkles out of his trousers while he was still in them.

If he can’t give others a thrill up the leg, Mr Trump will apparently settle for demanding them for himself.

-Eggs and Franks: No one who knows the career of Congressman Trent Franks will have been surprised he had to post a $5m reward for any member of his staff to take on his staff and give him an heir to carry on the lunacy Phoenix New Times outlined when they named him the third weirdest member of Congress in 2013:

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks is the John Coltrane of Congress. He's managed to spend the past decade in Washington playing but one note: an extreme take on abortion.

He may be the country's most irrelevant congressman, passing exactly zero of the 45 bills he's sponsored. Few have been taken seriously enough to even merit a vote.

As Frank sees it, his job isn't to move America forward. It's to talk, talk, and talk some more about abortion.

"Abortion has been his one and only issue," says Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Frank Camacho. "That's his main claim to fame."

This proved true during a recent House debate on fiscal policy, when Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. — who recently pleaded guilty to blowing $750,000 in campaign contributions on his wife and himself — asked whether anyone could explain a balanced-budget amendment. Franks eagerly offered his assistance. "I'll give it a shot," he said.

He then proceeded to talk for three minutes about — what else? — abortion. And Nazis.

Franks has called Obama the "abortion president," and once claimed that abortion laws were more devastating to blacks than slavery.

But his zealotry hasn't been particularly effective. Unable to pass national legislation, he lowered his sights to the capital city, pushing a law that would ban women in Washington, D.C., from having an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

When D.C. residents objected in a novel way — by lining up outside Franks' office and asking the Arizona legislator they sarcastically called "mayor" to fix potholes — Franks clumsily sidestepped. "District of Columbia is not the issue," he said. "It's the pain of the child."

The protesters, however, had little to fear. The bill soon died on the House floor. Like everything else Franks does, it was merely one more piece of amateur theater in an ongoing show with no end.

She got 3000 signatures, nearly all by God-botherers from states where right-wingers are common and museums are not. The Met said no.

You can argue about art, but you don’t get to censor it.

-Bruhs who don’t get much action abuse their household talking machines as if they were a real baby mama:

Where designers have gendered technologies traditionally, users have indulged in traditional sexism. A.I. systems pretending to be female are often subjected to the same sorts of online harassment as women. Designing Kai, I was able to anticipate off-topic questions with responses that lightly guide the user back to banking, but Alexa and Siri are generalists, set up to be asked anything, which makes defining inappropriate input challenging, I imagine. Some cases, of course, are cut and dried. In response to successive messages containing profanity, Kai might say, “I’m envisioning white sand and a hammock. Please try me later.” But the timeout is unenforceable. If the user persists in harassing Kai, it can only present a similar message, over and over, for as long as the user chooses to speak with it.

-It’s not mean to call people stupid whose religious beliefs come from novels. But that’s what makes Southern evangelicals moist about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

-Kim Davis, the fashionista evangelical court clerk who sought to limit marriage to something gays and lesbians couldn’t do but she could over and over and over, has an opponent in her 2018 election bid- one of the men whose marriage license application she denied. And she had to process his candidate filing.

The bigger the ass, the harder karma bites.

-One of the main reasons you will never be a bitcoin billionaire is because you are paying the miners’ electric bills.

-"We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history," Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to reporters. "The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds."

Sanders, who is a useful idiot for an idiot, doesn’t know the members’ sacrifices are part of the what the museum is about.

I think it was great at the time when families were united–even though we had slavery–they cared for one another…Our families were strong, our country had a direction.

Moore and his audience see nothing wrong with a minority of those strong families being able to sell off members of the strong families in their personal property ledgers, or that those strong white families got their asses kicked by Yankee soldiers who grew up without the family-strengthening benefits of slaveholding.

-Congressman Steve King said, “I can outdo that”:

(The author served a state senator (1908-12), lieutenant governor (1912-16), governor (1916-1920; 1928-32), and US Senator for the State of Mississippi (1935-47)

-For all Roy Moore’s supporters’ braying over immorality, there are almost no actual values voters left. Their Bible is purely transactional now.

-Joe Arpaio says he wants to run for Jeff Flake’s Senate seat next year. This will drive Breitbart’s pick, Kelli Ward, nuts. She ran against John McCain in 2016, arguing at 79, he was too old to serve another six-year term. Then when he was diagnosed with cancer she demanded he resin so she could be appointed to the seat.

Now she’s got a potential primary with the first pardonnee of Tillerson’s Moron who, if elected, will start his first term six months before his 87th birthday.

Hogan Gidley is an American political operative. He serves as a White House Deputy Press Secretary in the Trump Administration, serving since October 2017.

Gidley formerly served as the director of Huck PAC. His past activities include director of media operations for Governor Mike Huckabee, Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party, Press Secretary to the David Beasley for Senate campaign, the Karen Floyd for Superintendent of Education campaign, and US Senator Elizabeth Dole's campaign committee. He was most recently the director of communications for Rick Santorum for President.

The Trump Administration announced on October 10, 2017, that Gidley would serve as Deputy Press Secretary, and he started his job at the White House the day after.