Normalizing Anti-Semitism

Yesterday the President and the Chair of the Judicial Committee, Charles Grassley, repeatied lies about George Soros. Today Rudy Giuliani joined in this mainstreaming of anti-Semitism.

1) The accusations against Soros come out of organized anti-Semitism. They use Soros as a stand-in for the unacceptable formulations that have been used by anti-Semites for centuries. Don’t use these accusations, and don’t go to websites that promote this stuff.

2) I take this somewhat personally because back in the 1990s and early 2000s, when I was working in countries that had been part of the Soviet Union, the Soros Foundation funded work to help those countries become democratic. The foundation still funds work along those lines.

George Soros grew up in Communist Hungary. He knows what unfreedom is like, which is why he set up his foundation to do that kind of work.



Late Night Open Thread: Date Night!

Have a nice dinner out…

 
… and maybe take in a movie!

 
Pick your subjects carefully, though…



(Zippo) Lighter Side Open Thread: BURN YER NIKES!!!

The tweets Pharyngula posted turned out to be a “hoax” (joke). So are these, but aren’t they glorious?

Plenty of 100% genuine all-‘Murkan stupidity to go around, folks!


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Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Another Bannon Comeback Failure

Up with the rocket and down with the stick, as my Irish granny used to say… but the cycles are getting shorter. This particular publicity attempt was over before most people even knew to complain about it…


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Our Failed Meritocracy / Media: “OMGarosa!!!

(This was scheduled to pop up at 10am this morning, but FYWP… )


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This Is What You Do When You Don’t Have A Real Argument

Two of the key people in the Obama administration for the negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), were investigated by an Israeli private intelligence agency trying to find dirt on them, The Guardian reported today.

The agency talked to reporters in order to find whether Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl, advisors to President Obama, had shared sensitive information. Presumably they found nothing, or we would have heard about it.

This has been the modus operandi of the JCPOA opponents all along. On Twitter, they indulge in ad hominems and personal attacks rather than present a coherent argument. They set up straw men with views that misrepresent the case for the agreement. They all seem to have the same talking points and slogans (“sunset clauses,” “give Iran nuclear weapons”) in what I might have called an echo chamber if they hadn’t seized on that accusation first.

Back in the summer of 2015, they tried to set up a phony controversy about “secret side agreements.” Several of the supporters of the agreement, including me, responded strongly and, I think, managed to squash their propaganda before it fully bloomed. For that, we were attacked again and again on Twitter.

All the opponents have is lies and false accusations. This latest exposure of their dirty tactics is of a piece with the tactics they have used all along. It’s an indication that they have nothing else.

 

In case you were in doubt, Rudy says the quiet part out loud.

 

Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner.

 

 

 

 

 



Late Night Open Thread: (Probably) One Last Nerdprom Review

Keep in mind — Ana Navarro is a professional Republican. Jen Chaney, at NYMag Vulture blog:

It would have been easy for Wolf to take a cheap shot at either of these women for some superficial offense, like the way they dress or talk. As Nussbaum points out, that’s what Trump would have done, and has done on many occasions. But nothing about what Michelle Wolf did on Saturday night was easy. It was hard, harder even than the truthtelling that Stephen Colbert did to President George W. Bush’s face at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. True, Colbert was dressing down the commander in chief in his actual presence, something Wolf didn’t have the opportunity to do since Trump, for the second year in a row, couldn’t muster the courage to show up for this event. But Colbert could at least hide behind his alter ego as the conservative host of The Colbert Report. Wolf had to go out there as only the fourth female comedian to perform solo at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, drop a bunch of truth bombs, then sit back down with no shield to provide cover…

Not surprisingly, though, it’s the jabs that Wolf threw at Sanders and other Trump staffers that are getting criticized today, not just because some of them were funny but because they legitimately stung. To acknowledge what actually made the smoky eye line funny meant that some of the people in that ballroom had to reflect on the fact that they either lie, enable liars, or act nicely to liars because that’s what they sometimes have to do to get the information the public deserves to know. That’s the sort of situation that makes people itchy.

But here’s the thing: If the worst thing that happens to you while you’re working for Trump is that a woman from The Daily Show says a few mean things about you while you’re wearing a nice dress, eating a free meal, and drinking some wine, you are still having a better day than a hell of a lot of people in this country. Also, this is part of the job when you’re a public servant…
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