Fred Armisen, on Saturday Night Live as Michael Bloomberg, Gets Off Some Great Lines

“I’d love to see those Trump supporters come up with a conspiracy theory about a Jewish billionaire with his own media company. Good luck making that stick.”

Thirteen Going on Fifteen

Only 13 years old and already so confident an AR-15 marksman he’s about to kill his whole middle school!

He was scummy when he left; he’ll be scummy when he returns.

Football coach Greg Schiano is well on his way to being hired again at Rutgers. Feast your eyes on his past there, and look forward to the fun Rutgers will have defending Penn State’s most blind, deaf, and dumb employee.


His old buddy Jerry’s in the news again.

‘I will not allow my life’s work— on behalf of female genital mutilation, Israel, the Jewish community, Soviet Jewry, human rights, civil liberties, teaching students, writing books and defending the accused — to be “cancelled” by a totally false accusation by a woman I never met and by the cowardly McCarthyism of the 92nd Street Y.’

Uh… What was that first thing? Well, it wasn’t in Alan Dershowitz’s original defense of his legal activity, but UD thinks he must have overlooked it, so she has added it to his list. Dershowitz is not merely the legal savior of Claus von Bulow, OJ Simpson, Michael Milken, Mike Tyson, and a raft of other innocents; he also helped keep the world safe for female genital mutilation by assisting the defense of Jumana Nagarwala. Don’t sell yourself short, Dersh! You’ve done so much for the civil liberties of butchers.


And your life’s work on behalf of Jews has been awfully selective, hasn’t it? When John Yoo called Jewish war hero Alexander Vindman a traitor on a Fox news segment which included you, you smiled and said the White House legal team needed more people like Yoo.

Both you and Yoo have been backtracking like crazy – unsurprisingly, Vindman’s lawyer is preparing to go after Yoo for slander – and I can’t blame you. Nor can I blame the 92nd Street Y for having nothing to do with you.

“Crucially, because Muthana’s 18-month-old son was born outside the US and the father was a Tunisian ISIS fighter, the question of whether Muthana is a US citizen determines her son’s citizenship, too.”

This Vox piece is the best summary of Hoda Muthana’s situation I’ve seen; it predates a judge’s recent ruling that she is not in fact an American citizen. Certainly the details in my headline suggest that, along with requesting Yemeni citizenship (her father was born in Yemen), Muthana could approach Tunisia on behalf of herself and her son.

Furthermore, ISIS remains wealthy; it is certainly in a position to give Muthana and her son money to buy citizenship in any number of countries that trade citizenship for hard cash. She might ask private wealthy sympathizers (from the Gulf states?) to give her money; or a Go Fund Me page might be set up by family and friends for this purpose.

The only full-throated defense of welcoming Muthana back to the States that I’ve seen is Noah Feldman’s sober warning that revoking her citizenship will “set a terrible precedent for others whom the government might try to strip of their citizenship in the future.”

To which ol’ UD says: Well, there’s precedent and there’s precedent. How often, in fact, has the US government revoked a person’s citizenship? My sense is that it happens exceedingly rarely. And why? Because it’s exceedingly rare that a US citizen voluntarily leaves the country to become a terrorist in an organization at war with the US, an organization that carries out mass murder all over the world, and in its own territory tortures, takes slaves, and publicly beheads. As her first act abroad, Muthana filmed herself burning to ashes her despised passport; and as her second act she broadcast international propaganda calling for the extermination of Americans. This series of acts Feldman characterizes as “offending public sentiment.”

The next time a U.S. citizen abroad offends public sentiment, you can expect the government to start looking for ways to pull his or her citizenship. That prospect is worrying to say the least.

Yes, the next time some old hippie in France burns the American flag you can expect… Really? Muthana did much more than hurt our feelings; she tried to fucking kill us. UD‘s beloved Christopher Hitchens said it best: My enemies are the theocratic fascists… I want to destroy them. In the case of Hoda Muthana we want to keep her out of our country rather than destroy her.

Feldman points out that this desire originated with the politically liberal Obama presidency; his administration was the first to tell her no. In this extreme case of indeed virtually unprecedented degeneracy and obvious threat, public sentiment is not offended; it is united in being justifiably terrified and disgusted.

Apparently Inspired by Prince Andrew’s …

just-released announcement, the president has issued this tweet, from Mar-A-Lago:

It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my treatment of Ukraine, a US ally and a country at war, have become a major disruption to the nation’s work.

Therefore, I will be stepping down from public duties.

I regret my ill-judged, self-serving behavior in regard to the interests of our country. My departure leaves many unanswered questions for the victims of my term as president. I am sorry, and I hope that in time they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.

BREAKING: UD Writes Trump’s Attack Tweet Against Gordon Sondland

Sondland confirms the quid pro quo in his testimony today; Trump will certainly, while Sondland’s testifying, write an attack tweet. Let’s see how close UD can get to what he will write. Here’s UD’s guess:

Gordon Sondland. Barely know the man, but am informed by impeccable sources (Richard Spencer, David Duke, others) that his parents “fled” a very precarious Germany ca. 1940 because they lacked loyalty to its leader. Given that family background, how loyal can Sondland be to our country? When will he too flee?

Wisely, Indonesia’s Government Begins Banning Niqabs among Government Workers.

The proposed ban has received cautious and somewhat surprising support from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), a powerful and traditional Islamic group whose former chairman Ma’ruf Amin is now vice-president.

Ikhsan Abdullah, who heads the MUI’s law and regulatory Commission, told The Weekend Australian the niqab was “not in ­accordance [with] the culture and values of Indon­esia.”

From “Women That Soar!” to a Page 404.

It’s been an awfully sudden fall for senior Trump official Mina Chang, whose State Department page has just crashed and burned. (Background here.)

Those of us fortunate enough to have studied her original self-creation recall paragraph upon paragraph touting her Ivy League credentials, her fearless compassionate forays into the world’s worst places, and more valor medals than Field Marshal Zhukov.

So what if it was all staged?

Chang had portrayed [a] 2015 trip to Afghanistan as a humanitarian mission for her nonprofit, but a defense contractor footed the bill and no aid was delivered, according to documents from the company and a former employee.

After the Afghanistan trip, Chang posted photos of herself meeting a group of Afghan women in a room. In a video posted on her charity’s website, she refers to the photo and says the Afghan women are “in hiding” at a secret location.

“This is in Afghanistan, I am sitting with women in our program, they are living in hiding. I can only say they are right outside of the Kabul area,” Chang said in an interview posted on her nonprofit’s website.

But the women were not part of any program run by her charity, Linking the World. They were wives of local employees of the defense contractor that paid for her trip…

I’ll say this for her: The woman has balls unto the breach. Having been exposed as – in the words of Fielding Mellish’s jury – incredibly guilty, she lashes out, in a statement, at all of her enemies (she shares this enemies list, and of course the Fake It Til You Make It M.O., with her president). When you finish reading Hoda Muthana’s tell-all (see post below this one), you can turn to the book I’m sure Chang will write about the lurid upbringing that turned her into a liar.

Hot God-y Bodies: My Jihadis

The absence of even one opinion piece expressing … forget support — expressing even sympathy for Hoda Muthana’s current situation tells you that she will have to try another approach in her effort to get her tent in al-Roj swapped for a Caliphate Barbie bedroom in Hoover Alabama.

UD proposes that she write a book, which might entail a book tour. Hear me out.

This chick had at least three jihadi husbands, and basically her only function was to produce babies. As soon as one sperm depositor was shredded, another popped up.

It was like Oh Girl I want to be with you all of the time, all day and all of the night.

I think a large reading public would be interested in details of what happened when a jihadi bride carefully nudged aside a few inches of her burqa in order to facilitate entry while remaining obedient to God’s will for women. I think a lot of people would read a first-person account of sex among the faithful.

She can frame it any way she likes – it will only be more titillating if she paints herself as a kind of slave – as long as she provides her book agent with long flowing passages of passion. UD has already provided a title (see above); and if they package the whole thing as a cautionary tale for other young girls enticed by the prospect of living in the desert, under thick robes, as a fuck doll for Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Qurayshi, Muthana could definitely go on tour in Europe and even maybe America, where she could press her case with the State Department more directly.

How bout them Redskins

[H]alf the stadium empty and half of the rest rooting for the enemy? A nightmare beyond comprehension.

Life of the Mind Update, from…

Mike Bianchi.

[Florida State University] decided to fire Willie Taggart after a year-and-a-half and pay him nearly $20 million NOT to coach for the four years remaining on his contract. That was followed up by the Arkansas Razorbacks firing Chad Morris in less than two years and having to pay him more than $10 million NOT to coach. This is on top of the $12 million in buyout money the Hogs are still paying their previously fired coach, Bret Bielema…

[W]hen did it become OK for public educational institutions to simply fritter away millions of dollars like this? Think about it: In what other profession could you cost your company $17 million over two years — which is essentially what Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek did by hiring and firing Morris — and keep your job? Can you believe Arkansas will actually end up paying $17 million for a coach who never won a conference game?…

Why, for example, did Tennessee feel the need to hire Jeremy Pruitt and give him a six-year contract worth nearly $4 million a year. Couldn’t the Vols have signed him Pruitt to, say, a four-year contract worth $2 million a year? …

Before hiring Pruitt, Tennessee fired its former coach Butch Jones and had to pay him an $8 million buyout. Why? Because Tennessee extended Jones’ contract after he went — wait for it! — 6-6 in his second season…

Why did the Florida Gators extend Jim McElwain’s contract in June 2017 and fire him four months later? When McElwain was hired away from Colorado State, the Gators had to pay most of McElwain’s $7.5 million contract buyout with his former team. When McElwain was fired, he negotiated another $7.5 million buyout settlement from the Gators. In other words, the Gators paid millions for McElwain both coming and going.

The Last Days of Pompeo

This mountain of a man is under increasing subterranean pressures, and something’s got to give. As faithful servant to his yet more herculean campanian, he has been living in fertile but shaky splendor amid the peaks of power.

Once a cool and sophisticated statesman, Pompeo is feeling the heat, and now seems destined to be buried under the acidic, blistering cleavage between himself and his master. Already you can discern the outlines of the plastered-in void his decaying corpse will leave.

If you can read this compendium of high-priced shit behavior without laughing…

… you’re a better man than I am. The writer struggles to give a complete account of all the multimillionaire assholes on NFL teams, but like everyone else who tries this trick, he seems overcome, toward the middle of the piece, by his own incredulity at the numbers.

UD wonders if it will ever occur to this guy that the reason violent, amoral, and on occasion overtly demento, shitskies are all over our best teams is that the game targets them. Still unclear? RECRUITS them. SCOUTS for them. COMPETES for them. LAVISHLY REWARDS them. The worst of the worst, most recently, were both team captains. Beau idéal: Richie Incognito. Tell me if this is still over your head.

Now that Lloyd Blankfein has accused Elizabeth Warren of “tribalism,” it’s time to visit Blankfein’s tribe: Kappa Beta Phi.

Warren hurt his feelings (something about how he was kinda greedy to take a seventy million dollar bonus at a time when the American people were suffering through one of our worst economic downturns – a bonus, kiddies – – above his zillions in salary), so he made a Pocohantas jibe against her, as in she’s a tribalist…”Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA.”

Ooch ouch that’s gotta hurt. But now that he mentions tribes, let’s explore the one Lloyd’s people belong to. Here ya go. He’s kind of a chieftain – much of the tribal ritual is about him. In particular, his greed.

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Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
New York Times

George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
The Wall Street Journal

Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
Roland Greene, Stanford University

The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
Carlat Psychiatry Blog

Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant...
Perplexed with Narrow Passages

Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here...
Outside the Beltway

From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
Medical Humanities Blog

I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
Ducks and Drakes

As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
The Bitch Girls

Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
Tenured Radical

University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
Mary Beard, A Don's Life

[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte