Tag: Trolling

Toxic Wokeness

The recent mayoral elections in Portland Oregon are a classic example of toxic wokeness

The short version is that the corporateist cop-fluffer mayor won reelection, because of a write in campaign (Teressa Raiford) which pulled exclusively from the progressive candidate who advanced past the runoff.

I have come to the conclusion that this sort of dysfunction is being openly (look at Raiford’s press coverage) and surreptitiously supported by people who live comfortable lives and don’t want to give up anything:  (College professors, pundits, right-wingers, and the rest of the Professional Managerial Class)

So you might recall that over the summer we here in Portland were In Flames!!!

The antifa hordes were rampaging through our streets, the dead were rising from their graves, dogs and cats were living together, and only the Thin Blue Line of Portland Police Bureau was holding us back from being – even though we were, mind you, the President hissown self said so! – an “anarchist jurisdiction”.

But…remember back in June?

When I asked you whether we would face the brutally obvious reality that “policing” in the United States f%$#s with and kills poor and dark and mentally disturbed people at a ridiculously inflated rate? What we would do if no amount of “reform” had changed or would change that? What we would do now, after decades of useless wanking had left us with a Police Bureau that is a sort of Proud Boys Local #432 only all with blue clothing?


And I answered my own question with:

“I know for a fact that Portland Police Bureau has been the home for wannabe Klansmen and Nazis for decades…I knew perfectly well (that this) was so baked into PPB that the only way to “do something” would be to do a Saddam’s Army on the whole outfit – just fire 99% of the sonsofbitches, burn the bastard to the ground, and start over?

Will we do anything about those problems now?

Don’t make me laugh. You know better and so do I. We’ll throw clubs and gas and “non-lethal” rounds at whoever makes a fuss. Christ on a crutch, we can’t even do anything semi-intelligent about a f%$#ing Plague, you think we’re going to do anything sane about this, the miserable way we’ve treated our poor and our former slaves and current subjects, and everyone else who can’t play the “get out of jail free” card?

Nope. I got nothin’ for you on that.”

And, as surely as the sun still rises, we – we here in “anarchist jurisdiction” Portland did…


Instead we re-elected the empty-suit-cop-fluffing incumbent mayor instead of his lefty challenger who promised to take the f%$#ing cops by the stacking swivel. A large part of that was because us commies, once again, managed to form up the circular firing squad – another local activist, Tessa Raiford, ran a very organized write-in campaign that siphoned off about 13 percent of the vote, all from the Left – and shot ourselves dead square in the ass because it was in a race that the OTHER lefty candidate, Iannarone, lost 40 to 46 percent.

Do the math.

F%$#. We’re our own worst goddamn enemies.

(%$# mine

No, we are not our own worst enemies.

The powers that be have been paying trolls for years,* and sometimes, when they find useful idiots, like Teressa Raiford, they don’t even need to pay.

It can be both monetarily and emotionally profitable, because useful idiots get laudatory press coverage, and donations from avatars of the status quo.

*Hillary paid people to troll online and to pretend to be Bernie Bros in 2016, (also here) Obama advisor Cass Sunstein advocated for government trolls, Lauren “Uncle Meat” Bandler on Netslaves, for example, and that is just citing my sh%$ty little blog.

This Exceeds my Capacity for Mockery

Movie intercuts are not a part of the newscast

Fox News was reporting on the Seattle Capitol Hill occupation, and unironically reported dialogue taken from Monty Python and the Holy Grail as evidence of growing tension within the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”

Does the phrase, “We’re an Anarcho-Syndaclyst Commune,” sound familiar?


I am left staring at the screen like a cow that has just stepped on its own udder.

H/t Crooks and Liars.

GNOME Foundation: 1 — Patent Troll: 0

Patent Troll Rothschild Patent Imaging decided to sue the GNOME Foundation claiming that their patents have been violated.

The GNOME Foundation decided to fight back, and lawyered up, large with pro bono counsels, filed a counter-suit, and kicked the troll’s slimy ass.

While the specifics have not been revealed, we do know that the Patent Troll agreed never to sue again, and that GNOME paid them nothing:

Updated The GNOME Foundation has settled a US lawsuit brought against it by Rothschild Patent Imaging, complete with an undertaking by the patent assertion entity that it will not sue GNOME for IP infringment again.

In a so-called “walk away” settlement, Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) and the open-source body are discontinuing their legal battle that began in October last year. RPI sued for alleged IP infringement of one of its patents by the GNOME photo-organising tool Shotwell, marking the first time a free software project had been targeted in that way.

In a statement at the time, the GNOME Foundation said RPI “offered to let us settle for a high five-figure amount, for which they would drop the case”, something it said would be “wrong” to do. The open-sourcers thus countersued RPI, aided by lawyers from New York law firm Shearman Sterling who agreed to work on the case for free.


Not only did GNOME score a settlement with RPI that halted the lawsuit altogether, it also received an undertaking to prevent it being sued again for patent infringement by RPI (with the caveat that the software in question is open source). That settlement covers a bundle of around 100 patents, we are told.


[GNOME Executive Director Neil] McGovern also told Brock that the open-source community “managed to raise over $150,000 from over 4,000 individual donors” to fight the case, adding: “One of the strengths of the community is how passionately we care about what we do, and how we rally around each other when there’s trouble.”


Updated to add

In an article comment on this story, McGovern said: “For those asking about payment, I can confirm we paid RPI and Leigh Rothschild a grand total of $0.00 for the settlement.”

Some Art Director is a Troll

I see the Pentagon, Angkor Wat, and a Delta Hub

To be fair, he is a damn good troll , though.

Popular Mechanics has an article about something called Racetrack memory, which has the promise to revolutionize memory storage.

It probably doesn’t, because we get one of these stories every few months, and it rarely pans out.

What the good folks at Naked Capitalism noticed was that the circuit board shown in the lead image has a number of relatively prominent landmarks.

You can find more if you go to the Flikr page and hover over the image.

I really hope that he doesn’t get in trouble over this.

Judges Have Had It with These Mother-F%$#Ing Copyright Trolls in Their Mother-F%$#Ing Courts!

The law, which was almost never applied to copyright plaintiffs, was that if the defendant made a reasonable offer in negotiations, and the final judgement was less than that, then the plaintiff was responsible for all court costs of the defendant.

This judge is sick of this lawyer using her court as an extension racket, and so has demanded that a $50,000.00 bond be posted for such an eventuality.

In the last couple of years, lawyer Richard Liebowitz has really made a name for himself in copyright trolling circles. He’s quite aggressive, and even got a huge profile written about him at Slate, in which it notes that, unlike many trolls who focus purely on shakedown settlement letters, Liebowitz runs straight to court to leverage the power of an expensive court case to push for insane settlements. “Sue first and negotiate later.” The Hollywood Reporter has done its own profile on Liebowitz as well.

It appears that many of his cases have ended up before federal judge Denise Cote, who clearly sees through his scam. Last year, we noted her scolding him for his practices, including not following court rules. Cote even referred to him as a “copyright troll” — something that offended him so much he requested that it be redacted. That request not only failed, but Cote reiterated:

“His litigation strategy in this district fits squarely within the definition of a copyright troll.”

Liebowitz is back before Judge Cote yet again in one of his many cases, and it’s not going well. As pointed out by the copyright troll fighters at Booth Sweet, Liebowitz is busy setting precedents that are bad for copyright plaintiffs. In this particular case, the issue has to do with Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 68, when sued, a defendant may make a settlement offer that includes some specific terms. 

In this particular case, Liebowitz, representing photographer Gregory Mango, sued Democracy Now!. Democracy Now! looked up how much Mango was licensing his photos for (a maximum of $220) and made a Rule 68 offer to settle for 5 times that amount. Liebowitz quickly turned the offer down, as he was seeking much more. But here’s the fun part of Rule 68. It’s part (d):

 Paying Costs After an Unaccepted Offer. If the judgment that the offeree finally obtains is not more favorable than the unaccepted offer, the offeree must pay the costs incurred after the offer was made.

Translated: If Mango/Liebowitz’s final judgment is less favorable than the ~$1,000 Democracy Now! offered under Rule 68, then Mango is on the hook for all of Democracy Now’s legal fees incurred after that offer was made. That is likely to be many thousands of dollars. As Booth Sweet notes, many courts have said that Rule 68 doesn’t apply to copyright cases, but in Cote’s latest ruling she says it does, and tells Liebowitz to post a bond for $50,000.

In other words, even if Mango “wins” the case, but gets less than $1,000, he may be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.


As we’ve seen with similar trollish operation, Mathew Higbee, it’s unclear whether these trolling operations are fully informing their clients that this kind of litigation could leave the clients on the hook for paying the other side’s legal fees. Both Liebowitz and Higbee promote their services on their respective pages as nearly risk free. Liebowitz’s says: “We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless and until you get paid.” Higbee’s reads: “We are results oriented, so most of the cases we handle even have a money back guarantee or are done on contingency.”

That’s probably why so many photographers are willing to jump on board — as it seems like a “free” way to get extra cash while doing nothing. But not realizing that you may be opening yourself up to quite a bit of liability for filing bogus copyright lawsuits seems like a problem. Actually, it seems like a risk that a good lawyer would explain to his or her clients before signing them up. One wonders whether or not Liebowitz actually warns his clients of such a risk.

I am pretty sure that the lawyers don’t warn their clients about this, but I’m pretty sure that a lot of judges will require them to notify their clients in the future.

Clearly Bernie’s Support Is Limited to White Sexist and Racist Bernie Bros, and (According to Gloria Steinem) the Women Who Want to F%$# Them.

The most recent poll of voters regarding announced Democratic Presidential candidates shows that Bernie Sanders is leading Kamala Harris by about 2:1 among black Democrats, the next closest candidate:

Three weeks after launching his presidential campaign, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading all other announced candidates in support from black voters, a new poll finds. The only potential candidate who polled better with African-Americans than Sanders, according to the poll by Morning Consult, is former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not announced a campaign.

Despite a persistent notion that his supporters are disproportionately white male “bros,” the new survey suggests that Sanders is actually slightly more popular among black Democratic voters than white ones, indicating that the narrative that developed during the 2016 campaign may no longer hold, if it ever did.

Sanders’s support among black voters, at 28 percent, puts him in second place among that demographic, behind Biden, at 32 percent. He trailed Biden 31-25 among whites.

There appears to be a strong class element at play in the finding. The same poll found that the demographics Sanders is least popular with — at 19 and 17 percent, respectively — are Democrats who make more than $100,000 per year and Democrats who have post-graduate degrees (two qualities that typically, if not always, overlap). Because of structural wealth and income gaps, that population is heavily white.

Yes, the headline is David Brock style trolling, and yes, Gloria Steinem actually basically said that on Bill Maher’s show in 2016.

This is a Troll

While I do not think that Trump is the sharpest tool in the shed, I think that he understands that he just threw a spanner into the speaker selection among the Democrats.

Does anyone think that this wasn’t deliberate sh%$ stirring:

President Donald Trump waded into the Democratic House leadership battle again Saturday morning, throwing his weight behind the woman he’s spent the last few months demonizing: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump tweeted that he could get the longtime leader of the Democratic caucus “as many votes as she wants in order for her to be Speaker of the House” — a position that requires the votes of the majority of House members, not the majority of the party.

Democrats, set to take over the House for the first time in eight years after the midterm elections swept in a “blue wave,” are in the midst of deciding what they want to do with the majority and who they want to lead it. No other Democrat has officially announced a bid for the speakership, but a vocal group of anti-Pelosi members are agitating for a change.

If Only We Can Apply this to Twitter

Bethesda Softworks has come up with an inventive way of dealing with trolls in its most recent online game, Fallout 76.

Basically, they have literally painted bulls-eyes on the backs of abusive gamers:

When Bethesda mentioned that Fallout 76 was an online game, you could hear alarm bells ringing in fans’ heads. How were they going to deal with the inevitable trolls who come in to ruin other players’ fun? Now we know: it’s making them a part of the game. In a presentation at QuakeCon, game lead Todd Howard revealed that people who kill unwilling victims will get bounties on their heads, with the money coming out of their total cap balance (that is, currency) and reflecting their character level. They’ll also be impossible to miss — you’ll see a red star on the map.

This will help you avoid troublemakers, but you’ll have a strong incentive to take them down. Fallout 76 will include a revenge mechanic that doubles the usual payout if you take down the person who killed you. You also won’t lose your core gear like weapons and armor, so you don’t have to worry that someone will swipe your hard-earned laser weapon.

There has to be a way to extend this to Twitter.

That place is a cesspool.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us!

Who could have known that the police union, the PBA, and its “Blue Lives Matter” campaign were Putin’s stooges?

Of course, this is sarcasm. The Police Benevolent Association does not support the efforts of a Russian authoritarian with no respect for human rights, it supports the efforts of a number of American authoritarians with no respect for human rights:

The most-viewed Facebook message secretly created by a St. Petersburg-based Russian troll farm was one that allegedly backed American cops.

“Back The Badge” appeared to be an authentically American community on Facebook rallying support for police officers. In fact it was Russian, a creation of the Internet Research Agency, an online propaganda mill that special counsel Robert Mueller indicted in February on conspiracy charges.

The ad itself was nondescript, a simple portal to Back The Badge’s Facebook page. It showed the group’s logo, an officer’s shield, over a background image of a cop car’s flashing blue and red lights. “Community of people who support our brave police officers,” the ad read.

That ad, released on Thursday by Democrats on the House intelligence committee, ran on Oct. 19, 2016, less than a month before the election. According to material turned over to the committee by Facebook, it appears to be the most influential single ad the troll farm is ever know to have concocted.

There is no way to decisively determine the impact of any particular advertisement or other piece of propaganda. But more people saw the Back The Badge ad than any other inauthentic account, page, or advertisement that the Internet Research Agency concocted. Facebook’s data tools, in the hands of the Internet Research Agency, ensured that it appeared in the Facebook feeds of over 1.3 million users, a fact first noted by NBC. Over 73,000 people clicked on it.

This this has always seemed more like trolling for clicks and revenue than it does a sophisticated covert intelligence operation.

Epic Troll

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth, the Peoples Republic of China sent a statue of Karl Marx to his home town:

With Germany unsure about how to mark 200 years since Karl Marx was born, a giant bronze statue of the philosopher given by China to the town of his birth is adding to the unease.

The small town of Trier near Luxembourg in western Germany eventually decided to accept the 4.5m (15ft) statue created by China’s most famous sculptor – but only after years of wrangling over whether taking it would appear to condone rights abuses in China.

Marx co-wrote the Communist Manifesto, which said that all of human history had been based on class struggle. China’s capitalist government presents his work as central to its way of governing.

But Marx also remains a controversial figure among Germans, many of whom lived under the Soviet Union’s communist government his work inspired.

Somewhere in Beijing, a mid-level bureaucrat is having a laugh at this whole thing.

Epic Troll

On his trip to Asia, Trump had a stop over in Hawaii, where he was greeted with signs from protesters welcoming him to Kenya

Truly inspired trolling:

Donald Trump is heading off from the States to do a two-week tour of Asia, including South Korea, which many believe is a little too close to someone who isn’t exactly a fan of Trump.

However, on the way over, Trump stopped off in Hawaii, making a stop off at Pearl Harbour, and checking in at Trump-branded hotel.

When he landed though, there were hundreds of anti-Trump protestors lined on the streets, with many of those present for their President holding signs that said “Welcome To Kenya”.


Tweet(s) of the Day

They both have to do with Russia, and the current hysteria that posits that $100,000 in ads on Facebook somehow trumped the $1,000,000,000 that the Clinton campaign spent.

The first is about bus kiosk ads from RT:

While everyone freaks out about Russian ads, RT takes out more Russian ads pic.twitter.com/Z5eW8GS6pg

— Jane Lytvynenko (@JaneLytv) October 10, 2017

The second one, from the Russian ambassador to the UK, hits the British where it hurts, their 52 year drought in the World Cup:

A football team would be a better option pic.twitter.com/4Psj4ZkGy5

— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) October 10, 2017

Dayyymmmm! That one is going to leave a mark.

H/t Naked Capitalism.

Headline of the Day

Trolling is not Opinion.

It is what I consider to be a very well reasoned critique of OP/ED pages in general, and the New York Times opinion page in particular:

Opinions. Every asshole has one, or something. Opinions are good! People who have no opinions are boring. But what about opinion sections of newspapers? Are they good? Should newspapers even have them?

First, let’s talk about me, the Leah of Leah Letter. I would like you to know more about me, and feel free to ask me personal questions at any time. One of my first jobs in journalism was in the Opinion section of the New York Times. I was mostly in charge of fixing paper jams in the printers and keeping track of Thomas Friedman’s schedule, among other things (fun fact about Thomas Friedman: whenever he sends an email, he makes the subject line “Thomas Friedman”).


Still, I thought the section did some good things during my time there, although I can’t really remember any of it so maybe it wasn’t that good. But I came to understand some things about opinion journalism. A good opinion section is not one that seeks to confirm its readers’ values, but challenge them. A good opinion section is provocative, thoughtful, and delightful. A good opinion section will turn down an op-ed submission from a head of state that doesn’t say anything. A good opinion section does not kowtow to blowhards.

You might say that the Times has a responsibility, in this fiery era, to present opinions that will cause Trump to resign or be impeached. But the Times is not a radical, or even particularly progressive, paper. It refused to acknowledge the AIDS crisis in in the ‘80s. It basically started the Iraq War. It could be argued that it helped give rise to Trump by hammering Hillary Clinton on everything it could possibly hammer her on. It didn’t even know what bubble tea was until a few weeks ago. Traditional newspapers are by nature conservative, not wanting to believe anything is happening until there is concrete, or official, proof, which marginalizes the oppressed who do not have means of providing such proof.

An opinion section is a crucial part of the sad business of a newspaper. Like it or not, a sh%$-ton of people look forward to reading David Brooks, the paragon of family values who married his decades-younger assistant no judgment just stating facts. The politics of idiotic centrists who pontificate on specious social trends closely mirror the politics of most of the paper’s employees: over 50, white, well-educated, and generally disdainful of the young. At the end of the day, though, the Times is a content mill, and there are deadlines, and traffic quotas, and column inches to fill. And so sometimes it publishes bullsh%$.

But there’s been a remarkable uptick in the bullsh%$ published since James Bennet, formerly of the Atlantic, became editorial page editor last year. James Bennet is the Spencer Pratt of opinion journalism. This guy loves to troll, and position his writers as martyrs for their bad opinions. He also seems kinda bad at the basics of his job (writing and making sure facts are correct).


But the controversial pieces the Opinion section runs under the auspices of fomenting some sort of “conversation” are done so disingenuously. The Times is not furthering useful conversation with these bad and wrong op-eds, it is spraying its readers in the eyes with tear gas and then asking them why they’re screaming. They’re not seeking to upend established, calcified viewpoints, but deliberately instigating anger and spreading disinformation in an insincere attempt to “show both sides.” This is particularly egregious when you consider that, post-Trump, the Times has widely marketed itself as a crusader for capital-T Truth and an essential component of a healthy democracy. But the Times’ version of the Truth is highly subjective, and when it lends credence to vile idiots like Erik Prince or Louise Mensch, it loses any semblance of legitimacy.

People expect a lot from the Times, much like they expect Tina Fey to solve the nation’s problems with comedy and then get mad at her when she does jokes. Newspapers are emotional! I know. But it’s fairly insane how out-of-touch the Times’ Opinion section is. Frankly, I’m tired of being trolled.

(Emphasis and %$# mine)

Of course, it doesn’t just apply to newspaper opinion pages.  It also applies to art, entertainment, at least one recently deceased Supreme Court justice, and the leaders of the the oldest and the most recent nuclear powers.

Just stop trolling.

Trolling Becomes Reality

A week ago, I wrote admiringly of Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to house people displaced by the fire at the Grenfell in empty luxury flats in the area.

Though I did not describe it as such, I felt that this proposal was a world class, and well deserved, troll, but that this would never happen.

I was wrong. The troll has become reality:

Sixty-eight flats in a luxury apartment complex where prices start at £1.6m are being made available to families displaced by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Families who escaped the tower blaze will be able to take up permanent occupation in July and August in the apartments in the Kensington Row scheme about 1.5 miles south of Grenfell, where last Wednesday’s blaze left 79 people dead and missing and presumed dead.

The homes are within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea but in the more affluent south end of the borough. They have been purchased by the Corporation of London and will become part of its social housing stock.
Grenfell Tower fire: death toll raised to 79 as minute’s silence held
Read more

The most luxurious four-bedroom apartments are currently on sale in the development for £8.5m but the homes being released to Grenfell residents are part of the affordable quota being built and feature a more “straightforward” internal specification, but have the same build quality.

The complex includes a 24-hour concierge, swimming pool, sauna and spa and private cinema.

It is not yet clear if the Grenfell residents will have access to the facilities, which are normally not included for those in affordable housing.

“We’ve got to start by finding each of them a home,” said Tony Pidgley, chairman of the Berkeley Group, which built the homes. “Somewhere safe and supportive, close to their friends and the places they know, so they can start to rebuild their lives. We will work night and day to get these homes ready.”

The move follows calls by Jeremy Corbyn for luxury homes in the borough to be requisitioned.

Last week he said: “Kensington is a tale of two cities. The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the whole country. The ward where this fire took place is, I think, the poorest ward in the whole country and properties must be found – requisitioned if necessary – to make sure those residents do get rehoused locally.”

My theory is that Coebyn’s proposal scared the hell out of the real estate community,  for whom empty buildings purchased by mobsters, despots, and other money launderers that is their bread and butter.

Had even one of these empty flats been requisitioned, the damage to the very high end London real estate market would have lasted for decades.

World Class Trolling

In response to a Trump lawyer suggesting that former FBI Director James Comey should be prosecuted for leaking his notes about the Trump meeting, Vladimir Putin has offered him political asylum in Russia.

This is is truly inspired trolling:

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday offered to give political asylum to former FBI Director James Comey, poking at tensions between Comey and President Trump.

“If Comey will be under the threat of political persecution, we are ready to accept him here,” Putin said at a press conference, according to Russian state media outlet TASS.

Comey testified last week that Trump pressured him to “let go” of the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn before Trump fired him. Comey acknowledged leaking his personal memos about his conversations with Trump to the media, which the White House has seized on to attack the former FBI head’s credibility.

Putin compared Comey’s decision to leak details of conversations with Trump to the actions of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker who was granted asylum by Russia.

It appears that KGB training includes a 300 level course in training, because is the best trolling I have seen since Jeremy Corbyn suggested that the displaced Grenfell fire victims be lodged in empty houses bought as investments by rich people in the neighborhood.

Daym!  This has been a good week for trolling.

Tories Are Lucky That the Grenfell Fire Did Not Happen Two Weeks Ago

By now, you have doubtless heard of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, where perhaps as many as 100 people in a public housing tower died in a ferocious blaze.

The facts at this point are that the residents had been complaining about potential fire hazards for years, and the fire was likely made much worse by the addition of cosmetic cladding that was both flammable (so flammable that it has been banned in the US) and functioned as a chimney for the flames.

The indications are that the cladding was added because the building was located in the very tony Kensington borough, and they wanted to improve the views.

Theresa May should be thanking her lucky stars that this didn’t happen before the election, because her housing/fire safety minister specifically argued against better fire regulations, and when May initially went to the scene of the fire, she refused to meet with the former residents of the apartments.

By comparison, Jeremy Corbyn visited with the former residents, and promised that they would be told what happened.

Heck, even the singer Adele went to talk to the fire victims.

If this had happened a week before the elections, Jeremy Corbyn would now be the Prime Minister.

BTW, Corbyn has already made a proposal to help the people displaced by the fires, he wants to put them in the empty flats in the area that are owned by rich people who use London real estate to launder their money:

Empty flats in North Kensington should be “requisitioned if necessary” for people left homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire, Jeremy Corbyn says.

The Labour leader has also said he is “very angry” that so many lives were lost in a deadly tower block fire.


And he told MPs on Thursday: “The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the country.

“The ward where this fire took place is, I think the poorest ward in the whole country.

“And properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, in order to make sure those residents do get re-housed locally.

“It cannot be acceptable that in London you have luxury buildings and luxury flats kept as land banking for the future while the homeless and the poor look for somewhere to live.”

It a good solution, and it is precisely the sort of action that makes Tory heads explode, which makes it even more delicious.

World Class Trolling, Vlad

Love him or hate him, you have to appreciate the Russian President’s mastery of the art of the troll:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he would be willing to provide the U.S. Congress a record of President Trump’s meeting with top Russian envoys, bringing scoffs on Capitol Hill that the Kremlin could help shed light on the disclosures of reportedly highly classified intelligence.

The provocative offer for the Kremlin to share evidence with U.S. oversight committees about the Oval Office meeting came with the caveat that the request for the transcript would have to come from the Trump administration.

Presenting a transcript is the Kremlin’s latest gambit in denying that Trump shared classified secrets last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the United States during an Oval Office meeting.

But the tactic may have more to do with attempts to sow further chaos in Washington than assuage suspicions about the talks.

I have come across my share of trolls, but the elegance of this troll is truly a thing of beauty.

I am Amused

Jean-Luc Mélenchon who was in the tightly clustered top 4 Presidential candidates in the first round of balloting is approaching the question of an endorsement in the runoff is an interesting way, he is asking his supporters to decide.

He will not be endorsing Le Pen, but there is a question of whether to vote at all:

French leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Tuesday launched a consultation asking his supporters if they plan to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second and final round of the presidential election on May 7.

Mélenchon was the only one of the main candidates not to tell his backers to choose Macron rather than the far-right’s Marine Le Pen after the first round of voting on Sunday.
According to the consultation, sent to 450,000 registered supporters of Mélenchon’s “France Untamed” movement, “None of us will vote for the far-right. But does it mean we need to give voting advice?”

They are then given three options: Vote for Macron, spoil the ballot paper or abstain.


On the campaign trail, Mélenchon was a vocal critic of Macron, the centrist candidate and former banker, and that has continued since the vote, with the veteran left-winger saying he “will oppose the far-right candidate and the candidate of extreme-finance.”

This is some high class trolling, and I approve.

Adding a bit of a pucker factor for Macron is a good thing.

At worst it’s an annoyance for the candidate about nothing, at best it forces to the candidate to be about something, for a while at least.

Headline of the Day

Dems to David Brock: Stop Helping, You Are Killing Us

I am not surprised. He raised a huge amount of money, and much of it went for lavish parties and an army of paid trolls.

He’s been selling it as fighting Koch-sucker fire with fire, but it’s not: The Koch’s have been trying to destroy America, Civil Rights, and Democracy for decades, and they don’t go all ADHD humming bird every Presidential year.

I get that every political movement has its share of grifters, but David Brock’s tale of conversion from the right wing has passed its expiration date:

As David Brock attempts to position himself as a leader in rebuilding a demoralized Democratic Party in the age of Trump, many leading Democratic organizers and operatives are wishing the man would simply disappear.

Many in the party—Clinton loyalists, Obama veterans, and Bernie supporters alike—talk about the man not as a sought-after ally in the fight against Trumpism, but as a nuisance and a hanger-on, overseeing a colossal waste of cash. And former employees say that he has hurt the cause.


During Trump’s inauguration weekend, Brock held a conference for activists, politicians, and donors at a resort in South Florida to pitch his grand vision. All but one of the candidates currently running to chair the Democratic National Committee attended, conspicuously missing the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday.

Meanwhile, many Democratic grassroots activists and campaign alums have been giving his proposed plans some stern side-eye.

“His ability to produce wins for Democrats is nonexistent,” Jeff Weaver, former campaign manager for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential run, told The Daily Beast. “He does not have the kind of understanding of what kind of coalition you have to bring together to win national races—that’s his fundamental problem.”


It’s clear why Brock has acquired a long list of enemies on the more progressive corners of his own party. Brock’s political evolution is well-known: the former anti-Clinton right-winger who starting in the late 1990s transformed into a relentlessly pro-Clinton Democratic operative.

But the friction between Brock and Democrats is not merely limited to its more progressive faction—many alumni of Obama’s campaigns and White House, as well as Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 run, say they want Brock to stay far away from the Democrats’ future plans.


Another senior 2016 Clinton aide, who asked not to be named because the ex-staffer did “not want to deal with Brock’s bullshit,” described Brock and his organizations in 2016 as “useless—you might as well have thrown those [tens of] millions of dollars down a well, and then set the well on fire.”


“I met with him a couple times—he’s f%$#ing weird,” a former Obama administration official, who also requested anonymity, told The Daily Beast. “I felt like I was meeting Mugatu from Zoolander… I don’t know what the f%$# [Brock’s network] did besides raise a ton of money, and I don’t think the after-action report on 2016 says we need more David Brock. Probably the opposite is true.”

You know things are weird when a discussion of political operatives invokes Zoolander, but weird I can handle, weird, self-absorbed, and incompetent is another thing entirely.