Monday, January 20, 2020
PBS NewsHour / YouTube Tom Steyer on how he ...

The hell with it. Let him in and get it over with.

You all know my feelings on Tom Steyer running for President. You could say that I’m a little cool on the idea, but that would be like saying that glaciers are a bit frosty. Democrats are in the streets protesting an incompetent billionaire running the country, and we have an incompetent billionaire running for President. Could you imagine a Trump-Steyer match up in the general election? That wold be like driving to the Talladega speedway to watch the charter buses race. Steyer’s rollout ad was an exercise in elf indulgent nonsense. In the ad, he brags about spending millions to register new voters, then bemoans the fact that corporate interests have taken over Washington. He tells people to vote for him so that he can get big money out of politics. Ummm, so a billionaire is going to get big money out of politics? Sounds to me more like the billionaire is big money in politics. What’s he going to do, give away all of his money and take a vow of poverty if he wins? The rest of Steyer’s ads are an endless litany of the myriad sins of Donald Trump. His bankruptcies, Trump Airlines, Atlantic City casinos, Trump University, the whole nine yards. Steyer swears that he alone can beat Trump (sound familiar?) by “exposing him for what he truly is, a failure and a fraud!” This will have to tide you over, since Steyer has yet to roll out a single position paper or concrete plan on any of the issues that the other candidates are knocking themselves out to provide. People criticized Jay Inslee for being a “single issue” candidate on climate change, but Steyer is the ultimate single issue candidate, “Trump bad, Steyer good!” Thanks, I think we’ve got it Tarzan. But Steyer seems intent in making an utter pain in the ass out of himself, and he has the means to do it. You’d think that he might take the hint when a mysterious bead lady channeling Madame DeFarge can get into two debates, but he can’t hit the mark. But Tom Steyer seems determined to hang around like your 8 year old brother when you and your crew want to split down to the river with a stolen 12 pack. So, fuck it. Let him in. Let’s just get this over with, and let him debate. Let’s make it like Saturday night at a peep show, get him in, get him off, and get him out. If they let Steyer in, that will mean a six candidate debate and a five candidate, which will be great, since it will give each candidate much more speaking time, while letting Steyer expose himself for the one-trick-pony that he is. Based on his past performances, it will go something like this; Moderator: The next question is for Mr. Steyer. Mr. Steyer, how would you leverage the need for the U.S. to convert to renewable energy into a wider infrastructure program? Steyer: Well Max, as you know, President Trump pulled us out of the Paris climate accord. I alone can fix that, by going head to head with Trump, and exposing him for what he is, a failure and a fraud! Moderator: Mr Steyer. What is your plan for improving healthcare in the United States while lowering costs to Americans? Steyer: Great question Judy. President Trump is actively trying […]

Trump Campaign Attempts Powerful Pop Culture Reference, Falls Right On It’s Face

Team Trump is not made up of rocket scientists and apparently it’s not made up of cultural mavens, either. They tweeted this in a fundraising effort, and unfortunately, the message that is being transmitted is not one of ultimate power, but of imminent doom. Could it be that nobody in Trumpworld saw the movie? Or, maybe they don’t know the difference between winning and obliteration? With this crowd it’s hard to know. House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want. President Trump's re-election is 𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲. pic.twitter.com/O7o02S26nS — Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 10, 2019 So you're arguing that Trump is Thanos ("The Mad Titan") who wants to kill half of all living things, but in the end winds up defeated and dying, taking all of his sycophantic followers down with him? Great work, everyone. https://t.co/gFLPVch2An — Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 10, 2019 So the character Trump is being compared to here is Thanos, a super villain psycho with dreams of mass murder who then is defeated by the good guys. Is there a mole at Team Trump with a wild sense of humor? Or Trumpers are just too stupid to understand how the movie ends, but thought the image was cool, in any event? Who knows? If you’re looking for a gig as a social media director, Team Trump probably has an opening — in the walls, where Brad Parscale is throwing people through.

The Stunning Saga Of How A Civil Liberties Icon Came To Head The Posse...

Beyond the enduring shame of the long-term relationship Dershowitz had with Jeffrey Epstein that has tainted him, another puzzling relationship has emerged in recent years–his indefatigably aggressive defense of Donald Trump. Even Trump’s messaging spills from Dershowitz’ lips, like “witch hunt” and “perjury trap.” Right-wing Trump sycophant, Sean Hannity, has Dershowitz as a regular guest. As Hannity told him on Fox, “You have more people like Sean Hannity that you are more aligned with on civil liberties.” Rush Limbaugh has said, “I don’t know what happened to Professor Dershowitz… but whatever it is, I like it.” Dershowitz sounds more and more like Trump’s endless apologist, the ever eyebrow-raising Kellyanne Conway. With Conway’s mindless and incredibly biased defenses of Trump, Dershowitz is, and should be, disgraced by the legitimate comparison. Dershowitz has carried his pro-Trump, anti-Mueller banner to every talk show where he can get an audience. Two of his favorite forums are Fox, especially Hannity, and The View because they coddle him and show him great deference. Given the length of this article, it will be presented in two segments. In Dershowitz’ endless public appearances on any forum that will give him airtime, his statements and “authoritative” conclusions, which he expects viewers to take as gospel, reveal that his reasoning is strained, biased and ignores any laws or compelling Constitutional arguments that don’t fit his narrative. In this section, his inferior Constitutional arguments in defense of Trump will be addressed. Dershowitz is not a Constitutional scholar, far from it.  His Constitutional arguments will be contrasted with those of America’s greatest Constitutional scholar, Professor Lawrence Tribe of the Harvard Law School faculty. His shameless abandonment of his previous protection of civil liberties will be exposed. In section two, to be published tomorrow, Dershowitz’ extreme bias in favor of Trump will be explained and a highly plausible answer will be provided  to the question that many commentators have asked: What has happened to this long-time liberal Democrat? Trump’s Scandal in the Ukraine There is much to be addressed, but the current and important matter of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian President requires attention. Trump, himself, released an initially redacted transcript of his telephonic conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky, the new President of the Ukraine. Since the transcript’s initial release, the unredacted version has been obtained by Congress. Both the substance of the conversation and the context, the juxtaposition of Trump’s comments, are significant. First, the Trump administration delayed release of over $300 million in military aid to the Ukraine. As the conversation between the two leaders began, Zelensky raised the fact that his country needed the aid. Trump immediately asked Zelensky for his help, a “favor.” The logical conclusion for the Ukrainian President was that the military aid was tied to the favor. Michael Cohen, in his most recent testimony in Congress, stated that Trump is careful not to make explicit demands that could be used against him, but he gets his point across. Cohen has had years of experience working for Trump and understood the meaning of Trump-speak. Trump threatens by clear implication. Trump went on to reveal his agenda for the call. He urged Zelensky to “look into” Democratic front-runner, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, who had worked for a Ukrainian gas company. Trump’s second agenda item was CrowdStrike, a California-based cybersecurity […]

Please. Stop saying “It’s early yet.”

Nothing ruins my day quite ike having to look at the vacuous countenance of Glorious Bleater in full rhetorical fight, slobbering his way through some stupid comment or other, his breath sounding like an obscene phone caller while his dentures slip and slide around in his mouth. I see that and I’m ready to run a garden hose from the tailpipe into the car. Good thing we don’t own a car. But these days, there’s something else that comes pretty damn close. And that’s the sight of a 25-watt-bulb talking head, sitting on a panel of 50-watt-bulb talking heads, pompously explaining to all and sundry who are tuned in that, when it comes to the Democratic presidential primaries, “It’s early yet.” Even if they’re not  slobbering through their dentures, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Granted, there’s still just over five long months to go until the first caucus in Iowa in early February, followed a week later by the New Hampshire primary. And as they like to say on stupid daytime game shows, “Anything can happen!”  But is it all that “early” yet? Maybe not, when you consider that most of these candidates have been announced and running since January or February! Look at it this way. You get up at 6 a.m. and you go to bed at 10 p.m. By 1:00 p.m. you’re up, breakfast is done, the dishes are washed, the beds are made, the kids are off at school, and you’re sitting in the drive thru at Wendy’s, waiting for your double stack, a large fries, and a frosty. Half of the freakin’ day is gone already! That’s where we are in the Democratic primaries right now. For seven long months these ballot mice have been showing up at your door at dinner time, like Jehovah’s Witnesses, complete with pamphlets, and crashing every event they can find like the janitor showing up at the office Christmas party. They haven’t so much worn out their welcome, as worn through the floor and fallen into the basement. By what possible definition is it still “early yet?” These national ninnies on cable news love to bring up the “miracle” of Bill Clinton in 1991, when at a similar time, he was running at a measly 3% against incumbent George H.W. Bush and we all know what happened next. But that comparison doesn’t hold as much water as a colander with a crack in it. In 1991, Bill Clinton was a Democratic Don Quixote, riding around on a flea bitten nag, waving a mop handle and getting ready to tilt at Bush’s windmill. No nationally recognized Democrat wanted the job. Bush had an insane popularity rating coming off of the highly successful Gulf War, he was a no brainer for reelection. But then, the economy suddenly started making like a pig nosing for truffles ten months before the election, and the next thing you know, “Bubba” was getting serenaded with Hail to the Chief. In other words, a total fluke. There is another dynamic that makes this race different. Normally, an incumbent president is incredibly difficult to beat, it has only happened three times in our history. As a result, in a midterm presidential election, you normally do not end up with the “A” team on the ballot for the […]
CBC News / YouTube Twitter bot purge sparks backlash...

Twitter Stabs Facebook, ‘Political Message Reach Should Be Earned, Not Bought’ As It Stops...

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has differentiated Twitter from Facebook in an important way: Twitter has stopped accepting political advertising. The Hill: “It’s not credible for us to say: ‘We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want!'” Dorsey wrote in a clear stab at Facebook. This is a very good thing. Twitter is doing what Facebook laughably claims to be doing, which is providing a forum for public discourse, without the profit motive being first and foremost. “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally,” Dorsey wrote in a Twitter thread. “A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.” Twitter’s announcement comes as its much larger rival, Facebook, faces a whirlwind of controversy over its decision to allow misinformation in political advertising. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a hearing earlier this month that the platform runs political ads out of a desire to promote public discourse. All of the top Democratic presidential candidates have slammed Facebook over its policies around political advertising, accusing the social media giant of profiting from misinformation. Facebook’s most recent waffling on not having to fact check political ads to assure veracity was indefensible. If there’s one thing Donald Trump could use right now, it’s another platform from which to launch phony facts. Facebook gave every appearance of playing into just that, recently. Facebook is used to being the Goliath of social media. Maybe Twitter’s actions will level the playing field a bit and get some accountability going on. It is devoutly to be wished.

Birtherism, Redux: Donald Trump Jr. Questions Kamala Harris’ Citizenship

The rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the rotten tree, to quote Jay Inslee, with regard to this incident. Donald Trump Jr. saw the following tweet on June 27. Kamala Harris is “not” an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican. I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our […]
MSNBC / YouTube President Donald Trump Invokes The Impeach...

Trump Is Miscalculating Again, And Nobody Will Tell Him.

Open with your second best joke, and close with your best   Rule of Comedy You know, you can spot ’em a mile away. They’re the ones who are so self contained and oblivious that they can sit there and watch a car skid off of the road in a rain storm, and then still try to do a power skid at 90 mph through the same curve. And the thing of it is, they’ll do the same damn thing again the next time around, in identical circumstances. Donald Trump just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t realize that his presidency is a freak of nature, a one time confluence of events that were a perfect alignment of a fluke. Like winning the championship at the buzzer with a 3/4 court shot, it can never be duplicated. Trump was the perfect “What the fuck” candidate at the exact moment people were fed up with the status quo, going up against a candidate who couldn’t even unite her own party, and still he lost. Until a hidden hand swept in and moved the goalposts. But in Donald Trump’s mind, he’s the greatest political genius since, oh, I don’t know, since ever? In Donald Trump’s mind, all he has to do to recreate the miracle of 2016 is to do exactly the same thing all over again, only more. Because, as a failed reality show host, Trump knows better than anybody that the longer the show runs, the wilder you have to get to sustain interest. But like that 3/4 court shot, Trump doesn’t realize that he can never recreate those exact conditions again. 2016 was his one shot at fortune and glory, and he made the most of it. In 2016 Trump went up against the perfect candidate. Trump didn’t have to be popular, although he was to his hardest core base, simply because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular with every Republican in the world. In 2016, Republicans would have voted for a serial sexual predator rather than another Clinton, and it turns out that they did. And Clinton carried just enough baggage with Democrats that when they thought it was in the bag, they just didn’t bother to show up to carry it over the finish line. Trump was able to drag Clinton down into the same most pit of unpopularity that he wallowed in nationally, simply because she was already almost there. And even if Bernie Sanders had won the 2016 primaries, I find it likely that Trump still would have won, simply  because Sanders was such a divisive character in the Democratic party that Democrats would not have united strongly enough behind him either, for stealing Hillary’s shot at history. But you’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. This isn’t 2016, it’s 2020. Hillary isn’t going to be on the ballot anymore, and Bernie isn’t very likely to be either. In 2016, nobody actually took you seriously, not even your own party, but in 2020, you’re as serious as a heart attack, buddy. Nobody is taking you or your racist base for granted anymore. And while the Democrats are still falling in love with their individual primary candidates, they seem to have gotten the memo. Polling continues to show that ehe Democrats as a party will fall in line with whomever the candidate is this time. Trump’s shtick is getting old. And even […]
Rob Bluey / Flickr Mitt Romney at CPAC...

Mitt Romney showed us the GOP’s soul. And we laughed at him.

Corporations are people too, my friends.   Mitt Romney Anybody remember that old line from the Mittster? I sure as hell do. It was pundit gold, and along with his imbecilic “47%” comment from a closed fund raiser, sealed Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign as being conducted by a hopelessly out of touch 1%er with no regard for the rest of us. I don’t have to remember that moment with crystal clarity, because I just saw a tape replay of it yesterday. Mitt Romney died on that particular hill that day, and he fought all the way to the end, continuing to try to explain why corporations were actually people, even while he was being jeered off of the stage. And when I saw that replay, and Romney’s passionate, logical, fervid defense of his statement, while boo’s cascaded down around him, it struck me. Mitt Romney was dead serious when he said that corporations were people too. And in his mind he was right. Because, as Romney was trying so desperately to explain to the scoffing crowd, when you think about it, all of the benefits that actually accrue to a corporation are ultimately passed down the line to living, breathing human beings. Basically those “little people” make the corporation a viable, living, breathing organism. And nothing that George Orwell put into 1984 even comes close in the chill of its implication. Long before Mitt Romney was a presidential candidate, and long before he was the Governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Romney was a businessman, a venture capitalist. Or, considering the business practices of his Bain Capital, he was more accurately a vulture capitalist. He made his money by taking what belonged to others, mainly the failing companies he bought, and selling it off to keep the money for himself, nothing went back to the people who built the original company in the first place, except pink slips. And he was good enough at it to become one of the top-tenth-of-one-percent himself. The man knows of what he speaks. When Romney told us that corporations were people too, he wasn’t just committing a gaffe, he was telling us the ruling philosophy of the Republican party. How do we know this? Because, while the Democrats love to tout themselves as the party of the “working man,” the GOP has more and more steadily become over the years the “business friendly” party. The GOP itself no longer even bothers trying to deny that it a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, mainly because nobody would believe them. And Mitt Romney’s ill advised statement is exactly how corporate America thinks. This explains so much about Donald Trump, it’s not even funny. In Donald Trump, the oligarchs of corporate America have their dream president. Donald Trump is the real life political equivalent of Governor William J. LePetomain, Mel Brooks zany character from Blazing Saddles, who famously stumbled out from behind a curtain in his office, his pants around his ankles, because his Attorney General, Hedley Lamar, had interrupted him fondling his secretary back there. If you can’t see that for yourself, there’s nothing that I can say that would convince you. Trump is the perfect ventriloquist dummy for corporate America in the White House for two reasons. First of all, like LePetomain, he is a totally compliant idiot. Just like in the movie, you stick […]

That was NOT helpful

Thank God tomorrow night ends this format. Look, I have no problem with how the DNC ran the debates. They had the Toledo phone book running for President, and they tried to give everybody a fair shot. But everybody and their mother has had two shots now, or will after tomorrow night, and if you can’t poll at least 2%, or get 130,000 people to slip you a buck, we don’t need to hear from you anymore. I thought last months MSNBC debates went pretty well, but found fault with the way that the moderators let people not only interrupt, but keep speaking with impunity for doing it. I thought that either a mic cut off switch, or a hand held air horn would have helped settle things down nicely. But that’s just me. But I thought that CNN’s format for running the debates last night was nothing short of deplorable. First of all, you don’t need both a one minute opening statement and a one minute closing statement. With time overruns, that’s 25 minutes blown, one of the other would have been sufficient. But what sticks in my craw is the fact that CNN seems to have almost gone out of their way to make the Democratic candidates appear petty and pissy, and argumentative. You knew going in that this would be a more personally contentious debate. The 1%’ers were going to spend all of their time punching up as high as they could go, desperately trying for a miracle to get them noticed, loved, and into the September debates. That’s fine, nothing CNN can do about that, and sometimes debating is a contact sport. But CNN seemed to want to purposely stir up the pot, and to pit the also-rans against the front runners. There is nothing unusual in a debate about having multiple candidates answer the same question. Normally, the format is, “Candidate A. Would you blah, blah, blah?” Candidate A answers. Then the moderator says “Candidate F, same question.” Each candidate has 60 seconds to answer the question. But CNN didn’t do that. They would ask a candidate, usually either Sanders or Warren a question. They would answer, but then, instead of saying “Candidate D, same question,” the moderators would say “Congressman Delaney, what’s your response to Senator Sanders?” Basically, the moderators gave the down-and-out a 1 minute free shot at the front runner. And of course, they have to give the front runner 30 seconds to respond. Followed by 30 seconds more for the down-and-out. And it got ugly. You ended up with candidates with no chance of winning tearing into front runners and their plans with reckless abandon, while the Republicans are laughing their asses off. As far as I’m concerned, CNN should be barred from doing any more Democratic debates until they learn to stop acting like Hollywood Confidential. That being said, the big winner, big loser, and best takeaway from last night, in my mind, was Elizabeth Warren. She did exactly what she needed to do. She put her plans out there, defended them effectively, and slapped back appropriately without getting into the mud. She had Bernie’s back over shared interests, but drew subtle differences between them, usually on points Bernie was getting hammered over. And for the third straight night, Warren still seems to […]
MSNBC / YouTube Donald Trump Had A Terrible Horrible...

Who’d a thunk it. Trump really IS the “Uniter in Chief.”

As I write this, Trump is on the ground in Dayton, stop one of his “Greatest Shits” tour. Maybe he can stop by and autograph the Trump Baby Blimp, that would be a nice gesture. For four long years now, I’ve long held the belief that the only things that Trump could unite were his upper plate and his lower plate, preferably through the middle of a bacon double cheeseburger. That just goes to show what an incredible dumb ass I can be when I put my mind to it. But it turns out that The Mango Messiah has grown wonderfully into the job of Uniter in Chief. Just cast your mind back a scant month or so. What was happening? Well, Nancy Pelosi was engaged in a school yard pissing contest with the unsinkable Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, and by association, with the rest of The Squad as well. It was quite the little squabble, and the GOP was lapping it up like a kitten with a pint of cream, gloating about how AOC and her crew were tearing the soul of the Democratic party apart, radicalizing it for the election. And then what happened. Well, in the words of one sage journalist, “The Democratic caucus was in a traditional Democratic circular firing squad, and into the middle wandered Donald Trump, and focused all of the incoming on him.” And that’s exactly what happened. With his racist Trumper tantrum against Ilhan Omar and the rest of The Squad, Trump united not just Pelosi and AOC, but the entire Democratic caucus. Pelosi and AOC held their secret summit, and while I’m sure there are still swollen fee-fee’s on both sides, they’ve buried the hatchet somewhere else but each other, and are presenting a united front against Il Douche. Now fast forward your minds to two weeks ago. The Democratic Presidential primary field, after a couple of debates hosted by CNN moderators who obviously wanted to bulk up their resumes to go along with their applications for spots at FOX News, tore each other apart in front of millions of people. Speed dial to four days ago. Twenty-two people, many of Mexican or Hispanic heritage are murdered in an El Paso Walmart, and twenty-four more are injured. And where does the attention immediately shift? To the racist diatribes of Emperor Numbus Nuttus, thanks in large part to the identical insane rantings contained in the steaming pile of shit that the El Paso murderer posted online within an hour of committing his atrocity. And instantly, every Democratic candidate on the stump is united, locked arm-in-arm against Trump and his hateful, racist rhetoric, which are tearing the country apart. This is what I keep writing about. The election is now less than 15 months away, and you can pretty well set your watch by the fact that on more or less a monthly basis, Der Gropinfuror is going to pull some insane shit that unites the entire Democratic party, along with the rest of the right thinking world, against him. Hey, dog’s gotta howl, right. But now is when every Democratic presidential candidate, as well as all congressional and Senate challengers, should make hay while the sun shines. Get your A#1, top of the line, bestest sound bites ready, and get them caught on camera. […]

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