Trump Intensifies His Attacks on Journalists and Condemns F.B.I. ‘Leakers’

From The New York Times:

By and

WASHINGTON — President Trump turned the power of the White House against the news media on Friday, escalating his attacks on journalists as “the enemy of the people” and berating members of his own F.B.I. as “leakers” who he said were putting the nation at risk.

In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Trump criticized as “fake news” organizations that publish anonymously sourced reports that reflect poorly on him. And in a series of Twitter posts, he assailed the F.B.I. as a dangerously porous agency, condemning unauthorized revelations of classified information from within its ranks and calling for an immediate hunt for leakers.

Hours after the speech, as if to demonstrate Mr. Trump’s determination to punish reporters whose coverage he dislikes, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, barred journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations from attending his daily briefing, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

The moves underscored the degree to which Mr. Trump and members of his inner circle are eager to use the prerogatives of the presidency to undercut those who scrutinize him, dismissing negative stories as lies and confining press access at the White House to a few chosen news organizations considered friendly. The Trump White House has also vowed new efforts to punish leakers.

Mr. Trump’s attacks on the press came as the White House pushed back on a report by CNN on Thursday night that a White House official had asked the F.B.I. to rebut a New York Times article last week detailing contacts between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russian intelligence officials. The report asserted that a senior White House official had called top leaders at the F.B.I. to request that they contact reporters to dispute the Times’s account.

“The fake news doesn’t tell the truth,” Mr. Trump said to the delight of the conservatives packed into the main ballroom at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just south of Washington. “It doesn’t represent the people, it doesn’t and never will represent the people, and we’re going to do something about it.”

In the West Wing less than three hours later, the consequences were becoming clear. Mr. Spicer told a handpicked group of reporters in a briefing in his spacious office that the White House would relentlessly counter coverage it considered inaccurate.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Trump Intensifies His Attacks on Journalists and Condemns F.B.I. ‘Leakers’

Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary

From The Forward:

When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump’s high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II, the controversial security strategist was unapologetic.

“I’m a proud American now and I wear that medal now and again,” Gorka told Breitbart News. Gorka, 46, who was born in Britain to Hungarian parents and is now an American citizen, asked rhetorically, “Why? To remind myself of where I came from, what my parents suffered under both the Nazis and the Communists, and to help me in my work today.”

But an investigation by the Forward into Gorka’s activities from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past chosen to work with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures.

Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures.

When Gorka was asked — in an email exchange with the Forward — about the anti-Semitic records of some of the groups and individuals he has worked with, he instead pivoted to talk about his family’s history.

“My parents, as children, lived through the nightmare of WWII and the horrors of the Nyilas puppet fascist regime,” he said, referring to the Arrow Cross regime that took over Hungary near the very end of World War II and murdered thousands of Jews.

 In the United States, Gorka, who was appointed deputy assistant to the president on January 20, is known as a television commentator, a professor and an “alt-right” writer who describes himself as a counterterrorism expert. A close associate of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, Gorka is now part of Bannon’s key in-house White House think tank, the Strategic Initiatives Group.
The newly formed group consists of figures close to Trump and is seen by some as a rival to the National Security Council in formulating policies for the president.
Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary

Hey! Transgender Kids

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Hey! Transgender Kids

Liberal Redneck – Trump and Trans

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Liberal Redneck – Trump and Trans

If college liberals are so naive, why did the campus right fall for Yiannopoulos?

From The Washington Post:

February 21, 2017

I promised myself that I’d spend less of 2017 dissecting the provocations of assorted jerks and frauds. I held out for a while. But as Milo Yiannopoulos’s reign as the latest conservative enfant terrible crumbled this weekend over video of him suggesting that very young teenagers can consent to sex with adults, with organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference rescinding a speaking invitation that they had extended to him and a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster canceling his $250,000 book contract, it seemed worthwhile to note one particular element of his confidence game.

Yiannopoulos’s rise coincided with a new wave of protest on college campuses and was directly facilitated by conservative college students who booked him in an attempt to raise even more ire from their liberal peers. At the same time that conservatives were criticizing liberal college students as vulnerable snowflakes making unreasonable requests of their administrations, conservative college students and groups were enabling the rise of an intellectual fraud at the cost of their own funds and credibility.

Utopianism can be a form of naivete. Given the sheer variety of students who gather on most college campuses, it would take an impractical — if not Orwellian — effort for administrators and faculty to anticipate their students’ every need. And given the inevitable contradictions between those needs and desires, it would be impossible to accommodate every single one of them. Hoping for a world free of economic precariousness, myriad forms of discrimination and the unkindnesses of youth may be impractical, given present political conditions and university politics. The solutions that the left and liberal college students propose may even be downright undesirable. But as forms of callowness go, wanting to improve the world is hardly the worst.

Contrast the wide-eyed earnestness of progressive college students, for which they’ve earned so much criticism, with the gullibility of their conservative peers, whose weakness for Yiannopoulos’s shtick was what inspired the American Conservative Union to say yes when Yiannopoulos asked to speak at CPAC.

In keeping with the broader themes of our political moment, Yiannopoulos is less a conservative than a fellow traveler who vexes liberals for profit.

Yiannopoulos’s embrace of the Gamergate backlash against the diversity movement in video games helped make him a media figure in the United States, but it seemed like a canny calculation rather than a genuine commitment. His outrageous statements about everything from Jewish control of the media to the Black Lives Matter movement to transgender people have long seemed less the product of a genuine worldview than a search for buttons to press, accompanying the jabs with naughty snickers. To regard him as genuinely politically conservative requires ignorance of conservative principles. To see his act as outrageous rather than derivative requires an unfamiliarity with subjects including art and gay history.

And yet, conservative college students were willing to keep booking Yiannopoulos, since demonstrating “that we are not these special snowflakes who need safe spaces,” as the organizer of one such event at Yale put it, apparently counts as high principle.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on If college liberals are so naive, why did the campus right fall for Yiannopoulos?

Milo Yiannopoulos book deal cancelled after outrage over child abuse comments

Evening is falling before the start of the Night of the Long Knives.

I feel a great deal of schadenfreude regarding the downfall of Useful Idiot Milo, may Caitlyn’s fall from grace soon follow.

Milo is a nasty lying Nazi troll, famous for his association with a ultra right wing propaganda rag.

This Year’s Jerry Sandusky Award for the promotion of Man/Boy Molestation goes to Milo Yainnopoulos

From The Guardian UK:

Simon & Schuster pulls forthcoming autobiography, titled Dangerous, for which it had reportedly paid a $250,000 advance

Monday 20 February 2017

Simon & Schuster has cancelled the publication of Milo Yiannopoulos’ book, and his fellow Breitbart employees have reportedly threatened to quit if he is not fired.

A statement from the publisher late on Monday said: “After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint have cancelled publication of Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos.”

Yiannopoulos confirmed the report on Facebook with a post: “They canceled my book.”

He added: “I’ve gone through worse. This will not defeat me.”

The book was reportedly secured for an advance of US$250,000 (£200,000) and was to be published by Simon & Schuster’s conservative imprint, Threshold Editions.

According to Yiannopoulos’ Facebook page, the book – an autobiography titled Dangerous – was due out on 13 June.

It is the third book that Yiannopoulos has announced that has not eventuated, after he flagged forthcoming titles on the Gamergate controversy and Silicon Valley that never appeared.

Continue reading at:

See Also:

Milo Yiannopoulos’s Pedophilia Comments Cost Him CPAC Role and Book Deal

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Milo Yiannopoulos book deal cancelled after outrage over child abuse comments

Today We Are All Ma’ams: A Call for Old Lady Feminism

From The Forward:

by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

In an easily-overlooked story, Nebraska state senator Bill Kintner, a Republican, resigned after retweeting a photo of Women’s March protestors bearing anti-sexual-assault placards. “Ladies, I think you’re safe,” went the accompanying text, a reference to… gee, I wonder what might have been being referenced here? The point was that the protestors in question (who are, btw, real people) were older women, who, fine, as if this is remotely relevant, do not, as such, look like the women President Donald Trump has historically found grope-worthy.

Much could be said here — lots about how massively and troublingly that tweet gets rape wrong, even by rape-joke standards, and a bit here and there about how jobs these days, even under a Troll in Chief, get lost due to bad tweets, but not all that much, as there was, in this case, more to it. Mainly, though, the story highlights the awkward place of older women in feminism: dismissed by misogynists, but also, too often, by feminism itself, which, to market itself to a skeptical public, needs “fresh” faces and photogenic cover stories. Out with Hillary, in with the socially-aware teens who don’t seem awkward using internet slang. But not really in with them, for they, too, wind up dismissed, because after all, they’re just girls. In with the college women activists, whose jargon is on point, but not with them, either, because — as the detractor brigade regularly insists — aren’t college activists hilarious?

This week, New York Magazine’s The Cut has an excellent series on women and age. I particularly recommend Stella Bugbee’s entry, “Can Age-Shaming Be the Next Fat-Shaming?” Bugbee relates anti-aging measures she began at 25, adding, “Guess what? I still look 40.” It’s a timely topic precisely because of the generational undercurrents to ongoing intra-feminist conflicts, extending into the (seemingly eternal) Bernie vs Hillary battles and the more recent ones over the Women’s March.

To me, this is the crucial thing to remember, solidarity-wise: “Old age,” for women, begins so young. When you’re 22 or so, you hear (at least, I recall reading) that past 20, women are too old to be attractive, because (puts on amateur-evolutionary-psychologist troll voice) men are naturally drawn to very young women, a fact you’ll have to reconcile with all the unsolicited male attention even ordinary-looking women tend to get well past that age. By the time you enter the post-college workforce or graduate training, by the time you’re a “junior” member of any profession, you’re too old to be a fashion model. By 30, you’re full-on “ma’am,” an age-specific term with no male equivalent. (See the wonderful, and Jewishly-titled, Mary Tyler Moore episode, “Today I am a Ma’am.”) In one sense, how bleak! In another, it means that by the time a woman is, say, 65, or menopausal, or whichever other reasonably accepted threshold for ‘not a kid anymore,’ she’s had decades of experience as an “older” woman. Decades! If you’re a woman rather than a girl, you’re old.

This is why the time has come for Old Lady Feminism. For a feminism that directly addresses the continuity between getting the wrong (and inherently finite) sort of attention in professional contexts when one age and getting ignored at another. (On this, see Lisa Miller’s installment.) Or, rather, for a feminism that takes for granted the continuity between rape threats, you’re-too-pretty-to-have-opinions, and you’re-ugly-so-I’m-not-listening. A feminism that knows to automatically dismiss arguments about women’s achievements or ideas that center on entirely irrelevant facts about a woman’s biological clock or place in her menstrual cycle. (Just yesterday, a reader emailed urging me not to “get [my] tampon into a twist.”) A feminism that recognizes all of this for what it is: an attempt at keeping women down. To refocus our attentions onto our physicality, onto our appeal to men, precisely at the exact moments when those concerns interest us the least.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy edits the Sisterhood, and can be reached at Her book, The Perils of “Privilege”, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2017.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Today We Are All Ma’ams: A Call for Old Lady Feminism

What the Pussy Hat Debates Reveal about the Desperate Need for (Inclusive) Cis Feminism

Sometimes the Transgender Movement needs to stop and get its ideology and rhetoric straight.  The movement has long taken the position that gender is between the ears and as long as people are viewing our genitals then what we have there is irrelevant.

This is a major aspect of the fight for rights to use the appropriate bathroom.

I posit there is such a thing as a socially assumed pussy,  That is this:  If someone appears to be a woman, I assume they have a pussy.

From there follows the not so long logic leap that if a person is assumed to have a pussy then the same issues that apply to those who physically have a pussy tend to apply to those socially assumed to have a pussy.

At this point we are at war.  Some of the fine points of academic studies and coffee house discussions are going to be lost in the heat of battle.

Instead of arguing over the feminist symbols chosen, perhaps trans-women wishing to be part of the Women’s Movement should embrace those symbols as including them too.

Way back in the 1970s I was one of the few WBT women in the Second Wave Feminist/Lesbian Feminist movements.  Sometimes it took a thick skin, but as a woman I faced all the same issues as AFAB women.  Further just by being there and standing along side other women I broke the stereotype many had regarding us.

From The Forward:

by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

When I first noticed concerned social media postings asking whether the pussy hats worn at the Women’s Marches (and, I can now report, by a not insignificant number of pro-immigration protestors this past weekend) had been transphobic, my thoughts quickly turned from the question at hand to, well, where anyone was getting that idea that pussy hats had Sparked Outrage in this way. All I could find were some right-wing articles mocking a handful of posts (and one Mic Identities story) to that effect. Articles, in other words, concerned not with protecting feminism from potentially detrimental infighting but with denigrating feminism and trans sensitivities.

My hunch, then, was that the ‘trans-exclusionary pussy hat’ was a non-issue. I assumed it was, like so many progressive micro-scandals, fodder for conservatives drawn to stories of liberals devouring their own. (If you think ‘Gender Studies’ is inherently hilarious, what fun you’ll have with the concept of there being people criticizing pussy hats from the left.)

Alas, my hunch was wrong. There is in fact an intra-feminist discussion about pussy hats. Are they too gender-essentialist? Too joyful, too representative of a protest taken lightly by women who will probably be just fine under Trump (except can this really be said of anyone)? The current conversation doesn’t amount to the left descending into self-destruction, but that could, yes, go in any number of ways, some more productive than others.

I keep thinking about a line from Josephine Livingstone’s article in the New Republic: “An uncomfortable part of the truth is that bourgeois women thought that the hats were cute, and so the hats conferred a kind of talismanic sense of community on their wearers.”

I don’t think we have to find that prospect “uncomfortable.” It’s worth pointing out, as Livingstone does, that “pussy” messaging excludes women who don’t have that anatomy. But… what does “bourgeois” mean in this context? Were the pussy-hat-wearing women rich? Not necessarily – knitted hats are not luxury items. Or were the women just… a bit square? Genuinely oppressed, if not the very most oppressed, but too out of the loop to know pussy hats might be problematic?

Or had they thought through the relative benefits of utmost inclusivity and a stark visual message of feminist solidarity and consciously selected the latter option?

And is it really so terrible if protestors enjoyed wearing pink hats? If the thrill mixed subversive politics and the feminized and therefore denigrated joy of accessorizing? I think of Katha Pollitt’s – and my own! – initial, partly aesthetic, aversion. Mine I got over not when seeing the aerial shots, or even when showing up (gray-hatted as usual) to the NYC March, but en route, on the subway. A woman standing next to me hat a pink hat and pins. At first I thought maybe this was going to be a pink hat and anti-xenophobia safety pin combo, but no: She was pinning a teeth and fangs patch to her hat, vagina dentata-style. The pussy grabs back, indeed.

This is what we need to ask: Is the intra-feminist, intra-left conflict over pussy hats primarily a disagreement between “TERFS” (that is, trans-exclusionary radical feminists) and trans activists, or is it a generational or maybe even aesthetic conflict among mainly cis women, where ‘optimal enlightenment on trans issues’ serves as a proxy?

While there’s of course no official stance from All The Trans Women on pussy hats, it’s worth reading Katelyn Burns on her ambivalence, as a trans woman and feminist protestor, to the hats. While she confirms that the hats did in fact put her off, Burns’s conclusion is by no means a denunciation of the Women’s March. The last sentence of her piece: “I hope we can march again soon.”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on What the Pussy Hat Debates Reveal about the Desperate Need for (Inclusive) Cis Feminism