Blood, Sweat and Trump The Republican front-runner’s latest swipes, at Hillary Clinton, reveal some exceedingly strange hang-ups.|By Frank Bruni

Saw Star Wars 7 last night. I saw why it has an 83 on Meticritic. One of it’s producers is Bad Robot!
Frank Bruni is my favorite Bad Boy Pointy Headed Republican Apologist. But now that David Brooks and Hillary Clinton are attacking Donald Trump directly, Frank is the next to pile on on December 23rd. I had no idea he could be so funny. It starts:

“Everybody pees.

That’s actually the name of a public service campaign by the National Kidney Foundation, and I thought it a needless statement of the obvious until Donald Trump brought me to my senses. Apparently some people think that the laws of urology don’t apply to them. Apparently Trump is in this category.

On Monday he said this of Hillary Clinton’s mid-debate bathroom break: “I know where she went. It’s disgusting. I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting.”

He didn’t specify why. But it’s difficult to find anything indecorous about Clinton’s behavior unless you see it as entirely volitional and utterly controllable — something you do to indulge yourself, something that can be put off for hours or forever, an emblem of your weakness. I guess in Trump’s world, only “low energy” people need to go.

That would make sense, given how fantastical his cosmos is. It’s a place where thousands of Muslims in New Jersey publicly cheer the fall of the World Trade Center; where a stretch of the Potomac River alongside a Virginia golf club of his magically becomes a Civil War site; where his own net worth changes by an order of billions from one moment to the next, in accordance with his need to puff up his chest.”

The Republican front-runner’s latest swipes, at Hillary Clinton, reveal some exceedingly strange hang-ups.|By Frank Bruni

Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman – by Alissa Rubin, The New York Times

“KABUL, Afghanistan — Farkhunda had one chance to escape the mob that wanted to kill her. Two Afghan police officers pulled her onto the roof of a low shed, above the angry crowd.From Our AdvertisersBut then the enraged men below her picked up poles and planks of wood, and hit at her until she lost her grip and tumbled down.Her face bloodied, she struggled to stand. Holding her hands to her hair, she looked horrified to find that her attackers had yanked off her black hijab as she fell. The mob closed in, kicking and jumping on her slight frame.Continue reading the main storyRelated Coverage Kabul residents at the riverbank Friday where a woman’s body was set afire after she was stoned and beaten to death the day before. A Day After a Killing, Afghans React in Horror, but Some Show ApprovalMARCH 20, 2015 Afghan women protested outside the Supreme Court in Kabul on Tuesday, demanding justice for a woman named Farkhunda who was beaten to death last week after being falsely accused of blasphemy. Open Source: Afghan Protesters Demand Justice for Woman Killed by MobMARCH 24, 2015 Rika, whose stepmother poured acid on her face when she was a girl, in her room in the Women for Afghan Women shelter in Kabul. A Thin Line of Defense Against ‘Honor Killings’MARCH 2, 2015 Police training in Kabul. The hiring of policewomen has been a priority for Western funding organizations. Afghan Policewomen Struggle Against CultureMARCH 1, 2015The tormented final hours of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old aspiring student of Islam who was accused of burning a Quran in a Muslim shrine, shocked Afghans across the country. That is because many of her killers filmed one another beating her and posted clips of her broken body on social media. Hundreds of other men watched, holding their phones aloft to try to get a glimpse of the violence, but never making a move to intervene. Those standing by included several police officers.”

Source: Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman – The New York Times

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape – The New York Times

“QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.Continue reading the main storyRelated Coverage Yazidi Girls Seized by ISIS Speak Out After EscapeNOV. 14, 2014 Alex, a 23-year-old Sunday school teacher from rural Washington State, spent hours a day online learning about Islam from supporters of the Islamic State. ISIS and the Lonely Young AmericanJUNE 27, 2015 Persecuted Yazidis Again Caught in Larger StruggleAUG. 11, 2014 Aishan Ali Saleh, 40, at a refugee camp. She had lived in Kojo, one of the southernmost villages on Mount Sinjar, which was overrun by Islamic State fighters. Kidnapping and Sex Slavery: Covering ISIS’ Religious Justification for RapeAUG. 14, 2015The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.”

Source: ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape – The New York Times

Put Reforms Into State Prison Guards’ Contract – The New York Times

   “The union contract has presented serious obstacles to investigating cases like this one. A particularly egregious provision allows guards to essentially obstruct investigations by refusing to answer questions from police agencies. When the State Police investigated the Williams beating, 11 of the 15 guards they sought to question simply declined to cooperate.Inmates who had witnessed the assault were fearful that the same thing would happen to them. To get their stories, the corrections department had to relocate five of them to other prisons.”

Source: Put Reforms Into State Prison Guards’ Contract – The New York Times

Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back – The New York Times

“Mr. Cain said he never knew the lawsuit had been brought against him until the money was gone. Neither did other Baltimore residents who were among the hundreds of people sued by the collector, Midland Funding, a unit of the Encore Capital Group, in Maryland State Court. Some of them said they did not even owe any money, or their debt had long expired and was not legally collectible, according to a review of court records.In any case, the Encore subsidiary was not licensed to collect debt in Maryland.Yet when Mr. Cain brought a class action in 2013 against Midland Funding, the company successfully fought to have the lawsuit dismissed.If the plaintiffs wanted to try to recover their money, they would have to do so in private arbitration. And because class actions are banned in arbitration, Mr. Cain and the others would have to fight the unit of Encore — one of the largest debt buyers in the country with vast legal resources — one by one.”

Source: Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back – The New York Times

How to Prosecute Abusive Prosecutors – Brandon Buskey, the New York Times

“WHEN it comes to poor people arrested for felonies in Scott County, Miss., Judge Marcus D. Gordon doesn’t bother with the Constitution. He refuses to appoint counsel until arrestees have been formally charged by an indictment, which means they must languish in jail without legal representation for as long as a year.From Our AdvertisersJudge Gordon has robbed countless individuals of their freedom, locking them away from their loved ones and livelihoods for months on end. (I am the lead lawyer in a class-action suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against Scott County and Judge Gordon.) In a recent interview, the judge, who sits on the Mississippi State Circuit Court, was unapologetic about his regime of indefinite detention: “The criminal system is a system of criminals. Sure, their rights are violated.” But, he added, “That’s the hardship of the criminal system.”There are many words to describe the judge’s blunt disregard of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Callous. Appalling. Cruel. Here’s another possibility: criminal — liable to prosecution and, if found guilty, prison time.”

Source: How to Prosecute Abusive Prosecutors – The New York Times

The Farce Awakens – Paul Krugman, The New York Times

“So it’s worth paying attention to what Mr. Erickson says. And as you might guess, he doesn’t think highly of President Obama’s antiterrorism policies.Still, his response to the attack in Paris was a bit startling. The French themselves are making a point of staying calm, indeed of going out to cafes to show that they refuse to be intimidated. But Mr. Erickson declared on his website that he won’t be going to see the new “Star Wars” movie on opening day, because “there are no metal detectors at American theaters.”Paul KrugmanMacroeconomics, trade, health care, social policy and politics. Health Reform Lives! NOV 23 Fearing Fear Itself NOV 16 Republicans’ Lust for Gold NOV 13 Despair, American Style NOV 9 Austerity’s Grim Legacy NOV 6See More »It’s a bizarre reaction — but when you think about it, it’s part of a larger pattern. These days, panic attacks after something bad happens are the rule rather than the exception, at least on one side of the political divide.Continue reading the main storySign Up for the Opinion Today NewsletterEvery weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.Consider first the reaction to the Paris attacks. Lightsabers aside, are Mr. Erickson’s fears any sillier than those of the dozens of governors — almost all Republicans — who want to ban Syrian refugees from their states?”

Source: The Farce Awakens – The New York Times

Confirm President Obama’s Judges. Republicans angry at President Obama are blocking votes on qualified nominees, even as a backlog of court cases grows.|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

My comment at the NYT, better read after the excellent editorial bellow.
I don’t find the behavior of the Republicans here blocking judicial nominations juvenile, I find it Orwellian, tending to fascism.
Five Stars for Tom Friedman last week, who wrote: “And the new House speaker, Paul Ryan, who isn’t even running, has joined in. Ryan described Obama’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline project as “sickening,” adding: “If the president wants to spend the rest of his time in office catering to special interests, that’s his choice to make. But it’s just wrong.
That is truly Orwellian: At a time when the G.O.P. has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the oil and gas industry, Ryan accuses Obama of catering to special interests; he calls the president’s decision to block a pipeline to transport tar sands oil, one of the dirtiest fuels in the world, “sickening” and labels combating climate change a “special interest.” This guy belongs in the Republican debates.”
Orwellian behavior involves deceit or skulduggery for the growth of one faction against another. It is the opposite of true respect for the democratic process. I think what we are seeing from this group of Republicans, is behavior that would destroy the democracy if it could, since it has no respect for that democracy.

Republicans angry at President Obama are blocking votes on qualified nominees, even as a backlog of court cases grows.|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Detroit Businesswomen Team Up to Get Rape Kits Tested – The New York Times

“In 2009, a Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney noticed thousands of rape kits stacked on the shelves of a Detroit Police Department storage facility. The kits are used to collect and store DNA evidence obtained from sexual assault survivors. These particular kits had been in storage for up to 30 years, and their contents had never been processed or properly investigated.When the kits were discovered, Kym L. Worthy, the head of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, “knew that they all had to be tested, even the ones that were beyond the statute of limitations,” she says. “I wanted to try to bring justice to each and every one of those victims that I could.”But she was facing a major financial challenge. Typically, the cost of processing one rape kit is $1,500; testing 11,341 kits would cost about $17 million. That did not include the expense of hiring more investigators and then prosecuting the cases, a process that would most likely cost at least $10 million more. At the time, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office only had three sex crimes investigators on staff.”

Source: Detroit Businesswomen Team Up to Get Rape Kits Tested – The New York Times