Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Trump U Documents

In more good news at the official start of Summer, Donald is going to be letting us in on what went on at Trump U. This might be better than his tax returns.

A federal judge is ordering the release of Trump University internal documents in a class-action lawsuit against the now-defunct real estate school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The order by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego, which came Friday in response to a request by The Washington Post, calls for the documents to be released by Thursday.

The Trumpster may have made an error in picking a fight with Jeff Bezos. Why would Curiel rule this way?

The New York real estate mogul, for his part, has claimed that Curiel is a "hater of Donald Trump" and should be ashamed of how he has handled the case. Trump also has questioned whether Curiel, who is Hispanic, is biased against him because of his call for deporting immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

I suppose that's possible. I think it's pretty likely Donald Willetts would have ruled the same way, though.

Josh Marshall on this very same subject.

It is unprecedented for a presidential candidate to personally attack and even threaten a federal judge. (To be fair, I'm not sure there's been a nominee being sued for fraud during the presidential campaign.) But here we have Trump making an openly racist argument against a federal judge, arguing that Curiel is pursuing a vendetta against him because Trump is, he says, "I'm very, very strong on the border."


 Acosta asked Trump: "Why mention that the judge is Mexican?" Trump answered: "Because I'm a man of principle. Most of the people who took those courses have letters saying they thought it was great, essentially."

Yeah, that explains it. 

Hope for the South

Wanted to link to this article in the CSM because it displays some hope for change in the South.

As quietly as if a church mouse did it, the Georgia state holiday known for decades as Robert E. Lee Day this year became the decidedly more generic “State Holiday.”

And if that's not bad enough. 

The decision was followed last week by a congressional vote last week to remove Confederate flags from federal cemeteries – again to only minor protest. 

Meanwhile in upstate NY, we have assholes upset because they can't go to the Washington County Fair and buy them. 

Clearly, this shift is a product of the backlash against the shooting of nine black church members by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C., last year. But even so, the rapidity with which Confederate symbols are being erased after 150 years of deep cultural poignancy is astonishing.

There are a few Matt Funiciello notes I want to make in linking to this story. The first is to mention once again how he broadcast a radio show the day after that shooting (as well as San Bernardino) and said not one word about guns and their lethal use. 

Big business is bringing in its own set of values and outsiders – both Yankees and immigrants – are reshaping the South’s big cities.

That touches on the other, which is the constant drumbeat of how evil corporations are. I live in Fort Edward. Ask me about GE or ask people in Bhopal about Union Carbide. I don't believe every corporation is evil. I do believe we would not survive at this point in history without them. If there were not corporations growing food, then processing it and then transporting it there would be famine. You're not going to locavore your way out of that. 

Corporations have had a growing influence over policy – especially in their outspoken opposition to laws they deemed discriminatory. Indeed, corporations have become far more willing to wade into hot-button debates in order to signal inclusive values to increasingly picky consumers.

One such moment came in Charlotte, N.C., in 1996, when a local theater company put on a play by a gay playwright, sparking outrage over arts funding from the conservative Mecklenburg County Commission. Former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl issued a passionate response, in essence telling state and local leaders that if the state wants to compete in the global economy, it has to strive for a free and open society.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Warren Versus Trump

I'd seen that there was some back and forth between Liz Warren and Donald Trump. Where to put my money in a battle of snaps between these two? It's tough because Trump has already proved himself the master of insults worthy of a grade school student. So whataya got Drumpf?

Donald Trump repeatedly mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as “Pocahontas” at a press conference in North Dakota on Thursday, even as a Native American woman present at the event interrupted to call his comments “offensive.”

Really? The Pocahontas thing again? And at the same time managing to insult yet another group of Americans. 

 “I find it offensive that Goofy Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, pretended to be Native American to get in Harvard,” Trump wrote.

In a tweet of her own, Warren retorted that she “didn’t even go to Harvard.” She was a faculty member at the school.

“Get your facts straight,” Warren wrote.

So, I suppose next Trump will be bashing Harvard and trash talking Warren for not being able to get on the faculty at Trump University. Oh, and in the video at the clip, Trump calls her a big mouth. Classy!

 In a Tuesday night speech at the Center for Popular Democracy’s annual gala in Washington, she criticized Trump for profiting of the 2008 housing crisis through buying property on the cheap.

“What kind of man does that?” she asked repeatedly. “A small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it.”

I gotta say insecure money-grubber is good. Anything else?

She went on to call out Trump on long-harbored desire to eliminate Dodd-Frank regulations on the financial industry.

“Donald Trump is worried about helping poor little Wall Street? Let me find the world’s smallest violin,” she said. She later added: “Can Donald Trump even name three things that Dodd-Frank does?”

I'm pretty sure that he can't, so I'm giving the round and the fight to the senator from the great state of Massachusetts.

OK, so I go over to TPM and see Josh Marshall talking up Senator Warren for VEEP. Sounds like a wonderful idea to me even at the cost of the Senate seat. The possibility of Warren succeeding Clinton as prez in 4 or 8 years makes that more than worth the temporary loss of the seat.

Warren is off-the-cuff, free-wheeling and direct in all the ways Clinton is cautious and rehearsed. But it is a reinforcing rather than an invidious contrast and likely helps bring to the surface Hillary's progressive background that has been buried by decades at the pinnacle of Democratic party politics and years as the punching bag of the left of the party which feels excluded by the seemingly endless Clinton ascendency.

It may sound crazy to attach so much to her recent Twitter contretemps with Donald Trump. But the tone, rhythm and style are exactly what the Democrats need to knock Trump down and bring out his toxic mix of personal insecurity and emotional instability. It's not over-earnest or off-key or droning (traditional Democratic tonalities - let's be honest). She's mocking, substantive and constantly on target.

Indeed, Trump's responses to Warren, his attacks on her, make it clear to me he'll have a hard time handling her.

 Do it for Teddy.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Troop Lovin' Republicans

I thought I'd put a link up to this story. Donald loves using those troops for window-dressing. He prefers them as free window-dressing, though.

Almost four months after promising $1 million of his own money to veterans’ causes, Donald Trump moved to fulfill that pledge Monday evening — promising the entire sum to a single charity as he came under intense media scrutiny.

Why now?

In recent days, The Washington Post and other media outlets had pressed Trump and his campaign for details about how much the fundraiser had actually raised and whether Trump had given his portion.

The candidate refused to provide details. On Monday, a Post reporter used Twitter — Trump’s preferred social-media platform — to search publicly for any veterans groups that had received Trump’s money.

By Monday afternoon, The Post had found none. But it seems to have caught the candidate’s attention.

Damn meddling kids liberal media. 

It brings to mind this oldie, but goodie of this pair of troop-loving wingnuts

A potentially damaging scandal erupted that implicates Fox News Channel personalities Sean Hannity and Oliver North in the worst kind of charitable fraud.

According to complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the IRS, the two right-wing icons have exploited American veterans for personal and partisan gain. The actions filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) accuse Hannity and North of misusing millions of dollars collected by the Freedom Alliance, a charity they promote and control.

Great Americans they are!

Another Trump Non-Running-mate

Donald Trump went to New Mexico to attack the woman who should be the GOP nominee for president if they were actually a sane political party. Not that I mind. I certainly would worry a lot more if Hillary Clinton was running against a Hispanic woman governor.

With Martinez on the outs, Trump attacked her several times in his speech, laying blame for New Mexico's unemployment rate and the increase in the number of residents on food stamps.

Trump also accused Martinez of allowing "large numbers" of Syrian refugees to be settled in New Mexico, though Martinez was one of a number of governors who spoke out against President Barack Obama's plan to allow some Syrian refugees to relocate to the United States. 

Running-mate? She's not even voting for him.

Just a little bit beside the point is this post at LGM. We didn't start the fire.

It’s pretty hard to convincingly claim that an ignorant buffoon like Donald Trump isn’t a serious candidate for president when you’ve put an ignorant buffoon on a presidential ticket. (And while George W. Bush was not as unqualified as Palin, the proudly ill-informed anti-intellectualism that was central to his shtick was not incidental to the rise of figures like Trump.)

The Grand Old Buffoon party lives!

What made him think launching into a clumsy diatribe about a fellow Republican — and one who is an established star in a swing state, no less – was a good idea? What was he trying to accomplish? Does Trump think the way to get people on board is to insult them in public? Does he really think elected Republicans are his vassals?  Does he really think they need him more than he needs them?

Trump’s remarks have instantly become the insult heard around the party. Martinez is exactly what the Republican Party needs more of.  She is a popular female, Hispanic, conservative leader who is currently the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association. She is not a GOP opponent, she is not a bothersome journalist, and she certainly shouldn’t be an enemy of Trump.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

You Know Who Else is a Questioner?

Donald Trump, that's who!

Donald Trump and his casual “just asking questions”reference to the 1993 suicide of Vince Foster

It'll be great when he's in the WH and can get to the bottom of the Obama birth certificate, Foster's murder, the fake moon landing, Area 51 and on and on.  

One issue on Trump’s radar is the 1993 death of Foster, which has been ruled a suicide by law enforcement officials and a subsequent federal investigation. But some voices on the far right have long argued that the Clintons may have been involved in a conspiracy that led to Foster’s death. 

Oh yes, the conspiracy theorist in chief. No wonder Matt thinks so highly of him.

“I think she’s a much more dangerous political creature than Donald Trump. … He’s kind of like the crazy uncle who occasionally says some brilliant things,” said Funiciello 

Brilliant, I tells ya!

Good for you, Wolf, for doing your job. 

No Fuck the Guns for Chris Christie

At least not for domestic abusers. And really, if you're not going to try to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, who are you going to keep them away from?

The bill Christie vetoed would have forced gun owners to surrender their weapons if they’re named in a domestic violence restraining order.

Accused abusers would also have to turn over handgun permits and their firearms’ licenses.

That is such an abrogation of their second amendment rights. Fuck the guns and Chris Christie. He deserves being reduced to Trump's lapdog. 

Trump Also Building Wall in Ireland

Although I wouldn't call it a dry run.

Donald Trump wants to build another huge wall, this time to keep out the rising seas threatening to swamp his luxury golf resort in Ireland.

The Republican presidential candidate has called climate change a "con job" and a "hoax." But in an application filed this month in County Clare, Ireland, the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel cites the threat of global warming in seeking a permit to build a nearly two-mile-long stone wall between it and the Atlantic Ocean. The beach in front of the 18th green is disappearing at a rate of about a yard each year.

You probably have to cut the green's fees on a 17 hole course. 

Since we're on Trump hypocrisy, here's a story on Himself's generosity to the veterans. 

Almost four months after promising $1 million of his own money to veterans’ causes, Donald Trump moved to fulfill that pledge Monday evening — promising the entire sum to a single charity as he came under intense media scrutiny.

Trump, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, organized a nationally televised fundraiser for veterans’ causes in Des Moines on Jan. 28. That night, Trump said he had raised $6 million,  including the gift from his own pocket.

“Donald Trump gave $1 million,” he said then.

As recently as last week, Trump’s campaign manager had insisted that the mogul had already given that money away. But that was false: Trump had not.

If he's a billionaire, he sure is a chintzy one

North Country Hypocrites

Of the Republican variety, natch.

National Republican Congressional Committee is spending money to target Democratic congressional candidate Mike Derrick, just three days after an NRCC spokesman claimed Derrick wasnot "a viable candidate."

NRCC announced Monday it is placing robo calls in the 21st Congressional District criticizing Derrick for not endorsing a Democratic presidential candidate, even as the MRCC's own congressional candidate has not directly endorsed a Republican presidential candidate.

They seem to be having a problem pointing out just where Derrick stands.

NRCC calls Derrick a "party insider," an apparent change in strategy from a year ago when the group criticized Derrick for being a newly-minted Democrat.

Congratulations Mike, its' only May and already you've turned the Republicans into blabbering, blathering, blithering nincompoops. What's going to happen after 5 more months of Ms. Stefanik explaining how her beliefs jibe with Herr Trump's.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Rich Folks Know a Bad Investment When They See One

Wanted to put up a post bookmarking this feel-good article at Salon by Digby and many of the wonderful links therein. There's been too many stories on how the race is "tightening" or Trump is ahead. As a Democrat, I do always recognize that possibility of losing. For today, I'll enjoy reading:

This polling should not be overstated. Trump is getting a standard bump from winding up the primary as Republican partisans, tired from the battle, accept the outcome. Clinton is still in a hard-fought contest with Bernie Sanders who at this point is planning to contest all the way through the convention. That plan may change after the primaries are finished but in the meantime the poll results probably show a weaker front-runner than if she were alone in the race.

A powerful array of the Republican Party’s largest financial backers remains deeply resistant to Donald J. Trump’s presidential candidacy, forming a wall of opposition that could make it exceedingly difficult for him to meet his goal of raising $1 billion before the November election.

Interviews and emails with more than 50 of the Republican Party’s largest donors, or their representatives, revealed a measure of contempt and distrust toward their own party’s nominee that is unheard of in modern presidential politics.

This is one of the things that reminds me of Funiciello in Trump:

Mr. Trump has turned to the task of winning over elites he once attacked, with some initial success. And he has said he hopes to raise $1 billion, an enormous task given that he named a finance chairman and started scheduling fund-raisers only this month.

Bragging about not taking money from corporations that you spend all your time attacking. That, and general disorganization. Love this:

Several mentioned Mr. Trump’s own fortune, suggesting that if he was as wealthy as he claimed, then he should not need their assistance.

Seems reasonable. This is a link to some of the many ways Trump breaks with the GOP. While some of those may be endearing (as with Matt F), one has to look at the total crazy package. 

Here's a Politico link that discusses the lack of organization thing. 

At the outset of the general election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign looks like a well-oiled juggernaut next to Donald Trump’s vastly smaller, mostly self-funded operation, a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission reports filed Friday found.

Any campaign that hires on Dr. Ben in any capacity is not a well-oiled machine. Herr Trump seems to be having a problem attracting the best talent, in addition to getting donations. I wonder if his businesses suffered from the same afflictions. That could explain the numerous bankruptcies

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Good For Bob Bennett

I hadn't seen that he had passed and then I saw this story.

Former Sen. Bob Bennett (R) spent his last moments in a hospital bed. But the three-term senator from Utah had a final wish.

"Are there any Muslims in the hospital?” he asked his wife and son, as they told the Daily Beast. "I'd love to go up to every single one of them to thank them for being in this country, and apologize to them on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump."

A Golden Truther Oldie

Here's an article from September 2014. I had missed this because I hadn't been reading NCPR. Gonna rectify that. There is an interview here with Matt Funiciello that I sorely regret not seeing sooner. Much of what he says here, I already knew that he believed.

I’m saying that I’m not in any way comfortable that the official story we’ve been told over and over again is actually the whole story at all, or even close to it. I don’t really know who’s covering it up. I would suggest that, if there is a cover-up of any sort, it is a corporate one. It is the corporate media and it is our corporate government working in collusion to foment war because that’s how we make money. 

Occasionally I'll see someone suggest that MF run as a Democrat in the Democratic primary. He says he's not a Democrat. Thank God. We don't need conspiracy nuts. But, read the whole interview. 

Here's a more recent article. Bless your heart, Brian Mann. You have the patience of Job.

But the biggest fight for Funiciello may be building an actual organization. While Sanders supporters mobilized aggressively in recent months across the North Country, building a powerful grassroots network that walloped Hillary Clinton, there’s no sign yet that anything like that is coalescing around Funiciello’s bid.

So I asked him about that:

Brian Mann: I feel like what we’ve seen is that for a candidate with your credentials and with your ideas, there are a lot of people out there – whether they’re students or excited college professors – who are ready to burn the midnight oil. And yet I think I perceive an enthusiasm gap there with your campaign.

Matt Funiciello: Well, what I’m expressing to you is that that’s a subtle and dormant form of imperialism.

BM: If people aren’t enthusiastic about you, that’s imperialism?

MF: It’s very simple. The green message is a simple one. We could live differently than we do right now. We’re more than creative enough to do it.  

Yes, if there's an enthusiasm gap it's the fault of imperialists or there's a conspiracy afoot. As when MF is unable to vote, it's because of a conspiracy between Democrats and Republicans in the Washington County Board of Elections. 

Donald Hassig may have been the more rational of the recent Green Party candidates for Congress in the district. 

Hassig responded to a question about the potential loosening of rules that would allow more migrant workers to seek legal employment in the region by bashing Spanish-speaking laborers as harmful to cattle because of their limited English.

"I would like to see them get their asses kicked out of here," Hassig said in audio captured by North Country Public Radio.

Yes, the guy who thought it was harmful for cows to hear Spanish being spoken. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Where's Garland on the List?

So, Donald Trump released his Supreme's wish list. I'm really grateful for the introduction to the twitter stylings of Don Willett.

"We'll rebuild the Death Star. It'll be amazing, believe me. And the rebels will pay for it. —Darth Trump,” Willett posted on April 7, along with a photo of the “Stars Wars” space station.


“Who would the Donald

Name to #SCOTUS? The mind reels.

*weeps—can't finish tweet*” 


“Low-energy Trump University has never made it to #MarchMadness. Or even to the #NIT. Sad! ??” Willett wrote on March 15.

I wish I was that funny. What the release of the list brings to mind for me is, what the fuck is going on with the Merritt Garland nomination? In researching this, just a bit, I came across Congresswoman Esty's attempt to hold the Senate's feet to the fire. Bless her heart. 

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) today announced she will introduce the Senate’s Court Obligations Trump Unconstitutional Stalling (SCOTUS) Act. This bill is designed keep Congress in session if the Senate does not consider President Obama’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the United States Supreme Court within 125 days.

Is there an element of trolling? Of course, and a beautiful bit of trolling it is. It's also a beautiful bit of legislation and I'm off to encourage my congresswoman to vote in favor of it. Make 'em do their job, Elise!

Congresswoman Esty has introduced legislation known as Senate’s Court Obligations Trump Unconstitutional Stalling (SCOTUS) Act. I would certainly love to see you get behind that, Congresswoman Stefanik. I can't really see a reason that the Senate is allowed to quit doing its job during election years. Thanking you in advance for doing the right thing. I do note that Judge Garland is not among Mr. Trump's choices.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just Eat Your GMO Veggies, Jimmy

I'm not any more happy to hear conspiracy type theories coming from the Left than I am from the Right. Less, actually.

Genetically-modified crops pose no greater risk to our health or the environment than natural crops, a comprehensive study from the national scientific academy found.  

The 408-page report, released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on Tuesday, found no evidence that genetically-modified crops led to widespread health problems or that insect-resistant or herbicide-resistant crops have decreased plant or insect diversity. In some cases, it found the crops increased insect diversity.   

Let the Green Party kvetching begin.

Global Warming Denier Advising Trump

Yeah I know, you're surprised it's not Alex Jones.

Donald Trump on Friday picked a prominent climate change skeptic to help him craft his energy policy and pushed back against renewed calls that he release his income tax returns - saying his tax rate is "none of your business." 

And yes, his tax rate is still none of your business. 

Tariff Don't Like It

Just wanted to look up a few links on what effect the tariffs on Chinese goods would have. The first in from the NYTimes. The second is from Reuters. Just want to have them handy.

Trump/Miller 2016

Nice article at Salon about the sock puppet the Republicans are running for the White House.

On Friday, the already off-the-charts bizarre Donald Trump campaign took a turn for the even weirder after two Washington Post journalists, Marc Fisher and Will Hobson,published a report about Trump’s long history of posing as his own publicist, often for no other purpose but to brag about his sex life. Or, in many cases, his imaginary sex life, as Trump, posing as “John Miller,”  would try to convince reporters that Madonna wanted to have sex with him.

The story immediately took off. “Saturday Night Live” referenced it in a skit. John Oliver, in response to Trump’s denials that he did this, invited “John Miller” to be on “Last Week Tonight”, to prove that he is real. 

I'm willing to accept John Miller as the VEEP candidate without even asking to see his birth certificate. I am that magnanimous.

Yes, Thank You Obamacare

Just to second the one that Charles Pierce headed towards the "authoritarian nightmare."

90 percent of the American people currently are oppressed by having health insurance now

Congresswoman Stefanik, are we still repealing it and replacing it? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Degrade Anyone in Nebraska

How much lower can the Republican Party sink in order to descend to the level that Trump is at?

(O)pponents of Trump put forth a resolution that was very simple, did not mention Trump by name, and did not even accuse Trump or anyone else of having made degrading remarks towards women. It did not even condemn any politician who had or might in the future make such remarks, it merely stated that the Nebraska GOP opposed the remarks themselves.

This is the resolution that it was so important to defeat:

Be it resolved that the Nebraska Republican Party strongly opposes all degrading remarks toward women, minorities, and other individuals by Republican elected office holders or party officials, including candidates for President of the United States, because such rhetoric tarnishes the GOP’s legacy as the party of Lincoln, alienates millions of Americans, and jeopardizes Republican majorities in the Nebraska Legislature, the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate. 

It's apparent that RedState is not a big fan of the Trumpster. 

So in order to demonstrate loyalty to Trump, apparently you have to declare that you are not opposed to degrading remarks towards women and minorities.

Placing women and minorities above the GOP candidate? What's wrong with these people? Have they lost their minds at RS?

And while tooling around RS, I found this:

I might have to put them on the old blog roll.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Scott Brown????????????????????????????????????

Is that enough question marks? What would Scott Brown bring to the ticket? He's the male Sarah Palin.

Trump's potential VP candidates

And I suppose Joe Arpaio is if they want to lose 100% of Hispanic voters. Where's Jindal? So many questions.

The perfect VEEP choice would, of course, be John Miller. 

I Love Words, They're So Lexical

Saw this at Esquire when I was over there reading Charles Pierce. It's unfuckingbelievably portentous.

Batshit Should always precede the word "crazy" or any synonym for "crazy": loco, insane, meshuga, deranged, cuckoo, psycho, unhinged, touched.

Those will all come in handy between now and November. 

Hillary's Mouthpieces

I'd been thinking this for some time. Hillary is not Barack Obama as an orator or campaigner, but she has Obama to orate and campaign for her. She also has her husband and Joe Biden and Michelle Obama and whomever her VEEP is and maybe even Al Gore and many others. Who does Trump have for campaign surrogates? We could only hope that Bush or Cheney were out there.

It strikes me that when Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, she will go into the general election with a murderer's row of campaign surrogates–all of whom seem uniquely suited specifically to torment He, Trump.

I knew Trump had been calling Liz Warren "goofy." Yeah, that's kinda weird. Didn't know she had been throwing a tweet-storm back at him, tho. Really like this one.

"There's more enthusiasm for @realDonaldTrump among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls."

And you seem to have a number of columnists on the Right who are likely to sit this election out. At least it looks that way at the moment.  

Inspiring leaders are often those who identify with the weak. They may develop this trait by rising from poverty themselves, as Abraham Lincoln did. Or they may have had their capacity for empathy expanded by suffering, such as Franklin Roosevelt’s struggle with polio. In American history, inspiring leadership has often been informed by religion, which (at its best) universalizes our empathy.

This is the main reason that some of us cannot simply lump it and reluctantly lend our support to Trump. The Republican Party is not engaged in a policy argument; it is debating the purpose of politics. For some Trump opponents, the justice of a political system is determined by its treatment of the vulnerable and weak. In the Catholic tradition, this is called “solidarity.” Whatever you call it, this commitment is inconsistent with a type of politics that beats up on the vulnerable and weak — say, undocumented workers, or Muslims — for political gain.

A win or a loss by Trump and it's going to be interesting to see what becomes of the GOP after this election. 

 Make no mistake. Those who support Trump, no matter how reluctantly, have crossed a moral boundary. They are standing with a leader who encourages prejudice and despises the weak. They are aiding the transformation of a party formed by Lincoln’s blazing vision of equality into a party of white resentment. Those who find this one of the normal, everyday compromises of politics have truly lost their way.

This is not even to mention Trump’s pledge to limit press freedom, or his malicious birtherism, or his dangerous vaccine skepticism, or his economic plans that would bring global recession, or his lack of relevant qualifications, or his temperament of brooding and bragging, egotism and self-pity, or his promise to emancipate the world from American leadership, or his accusation that Ted Cruz’s father was somehow involved with Lee Harvey Freaking Oswald.

Some are trying their best to act as though all this were normal. But we are seeing, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, “lunacy dancing in high places.” None of this requires a vote for Hillary Clinton. But it forbids a vote for Donald Trump.

Well said, Michael Gerson, even if you don't voter for Hillary.

It looks like Herr Donald is going to be a lonely on the campaign trail.

On Capitol Hill, it's clear members would rather not talk Trump. They try hard not to echo his name and grow irritated with reporters asking repeated questions about what he means for the party and for their races.

"I don't know," said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) of what Trump would have to do to be a better ally to senators. "Mr. Trump will say what he wants to say."

Even major Republican fundraisers are showing signs they will try to ignore Trump and instead focus on saving the Senate. The Koch brothers have indicated they'll invest heavily in preserving the GOP's Senate majority, but may chose to stay on the sidelines of the presidential race all together.

He better be a billionaire.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Donald the Sock Puppet

I tried so long to resist writing about Herr Trump and now here I am posting to this story. Screw it. It's the weekend and weekends were made for fun stuff.
Muslim-smashin', Mexican-bashin' tough guy Donald Trump seems to have been caught red-handed denying that he impersonated a non-existent spokesman to tell reporters how awesome he is. (Meet Trump Organization spokesman John Miller, who you can't meet because he doesn't exist.) Trump denied this notwithstanding the fact that he admitted to doing this in a legal deposition years ago. The story was bubbling all day. But when The Washington Post (attack organ run by Trump Arch-Nemesis Jeff Bezos) confronted him with the deception on the phone, he first went silent on the reporters and then hung up.

When the reporters called back they were told Trump wasn't available. 

It's not as good as having a racist, seditious butler, tho.

Friday, May 13, 2016

If Jeeves Was a Crazy Racist

He'd look like Anthony Senecal. The Atlantic raises 5 most excellent questions in this piece. The big, unasked one is "How embarrassing is it going to be for any politician who has supported or endorsed or done anything other than renounce Trump come November?" There's a link to Mother Jones at the article as well with more of Herr Senecal's musings.

Here's a nice Fisking of a Facebook post of Senecal's by Dave Holmes at Esquire. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sean, Take a Cue From Budweiser

I'd like to offer some advice to Sean Hannity from the liberal loon at Hometown. Following on Budweiser's incredibly "patriotic" move, Hannity should just go full-bore nationalist and change his name to America. He's just as authentically a patriotic American as a Belgian/Brazilian beer.

Personally, I'm sticking with Blue Moon. That's American enough for me.

Elise Boards the Trump Train

Congresswoman Stefanik has made a full-throated endorsement of Herr Donald. Good on you, Elise.

Stefanik, a Republican from Willsboro who represents the 21st District, said she would support Trump, but would not offer any further thoughts.

"Like my Democratic opponent, I will support my party’s nominee in the fall," Stefanik said in a statement to the Press-Republican.

"My primary focus is serving my constituents to the best of my ability, and I'm proud to have spent my first term in Congress working to deliver on my campaign promise to bring news ideas and a new generation of leadership to Washington." 

Very nice. A little advice though. Could you make it just a little more Trumpy next time.

Well, what could go wrong?

Conspiracy Theorist in Chief

Not that I feel good about being on the same side of anything as Max Boot is, but enemy of my enemy and all that. Anyway, Boot seems to be on a crusade against Herr Donald.

It’s hard to decide what is the most disturbing part of Donald Trump’s candidacy. His racism, sexism and nativism? His crudity, boastfulness and boorishness? His incessant flip-flopping? His threats against critics and incitement of violence against demonstrators?

All of that is horrifying, but arguably scariest of all is his aggressive contempt for the truth. All politicians spin and twist facts to some extent, but Trump’s lies are so epic and recurring as to put him in a whole other universe of dissembling — a place where facts are meaningless and the truth can be anything he wants it to be at that particular moment.

Oh yeah, the conspiracy theory part:

In February, for example, Trump told a story about how a young U.S. Gen. John Pershing supposedly dealt with captured Muslim terrorists in the Philippines: “He took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood . . . And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem.”

Numerous commentators pointed out this was an urban legend with no basis in history. Yet Trump went right on repeating it.

This same willful ignorance was on display last fall when Trump claimed that on 9/11 he had witnessed “thousands and thousands” of people in Jersey City cheering the destruction of the World Trade Center. Reporters and local officials came forward to show that this never happened. But instead of admitting that he was wrong, Trump — who says he has “the world’s greatest memory,” despite in February supposedly knowing “nothing about” David Duke — doubled down on his erroneous assertion.

On the very day when he clinched the Republican nomination, he suggested on a TV show that Ted Cruz’ father was involved in the Kennedy assassination — invoking the authority of the National Enquirer.

This is only the latest crazy theory that Trump has promoted. He has recited discredited claims that vaccines cause autism. His immediate reaction after hearing of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death of natural causes was to conjure up foul play: “They say they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.”

Most notoriously, Trump was a leading “birther,” claiming that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and thus ineligible for the presidency. The release of Obama’s long-form health certificate in 2011 did not dissuade him.

So, when I opened my morning PS and saw a piece by Max Boot, I naturally assumed it was the same as I'd read the day before. Not to be. It was fresh meat. 

Trump is an ignorant demagogue who traffics in racist and misogynistic slurs and crazy conspiracy theories. He champions protectionism and isolationism — the policies that brought us the Great Depression and World War II. He wants to undertake a police-state roundup of undocumented immigrants and to bar Muslims from coming to this country. He encourages his followers to assault protesters and threatens to sue or smear critics. He would abandon Japan and South Korea and break up the most successful alliance in history — NATO. But he has kind words for tyrants such as Vladimir Putin.

There has never been a major party nominee in U.S. history as unqualified for the presidency. The risk of Trump winning, however remote, represents the biggest national security threat that the United States faces today.

Rightwing Trolls Assemble!

Because it will certainly be necessary to take down Boot for his heresy. 

Yes, I'm forced to finally adopt a Trump label after long resistance. I'd hoped he would just go away. Such was not to be. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Next They Came For Paul Ryan

Don't piss off a Mama Grizzly. The circular firing squad continues.

Sarah Palin told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she’ll support House Speaker Ryan’s challenger in the Wisconsin primary for his seat.

“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’ as in Eric Cantor,” Palin said in an interviewbroadcast Sunday on State of the Union. Cantor was the Republican House majority leader who was upset in a 2014 primary in Virginia by Dave Brat.

A Mama Grizzly, Palin has said, is a conservative woman with common sense.  

Of course, that and Palin make no sense at all.

Palin accused Ryan of withholding support for Trump because he wants to run himself in 2020.

Yeah, that's probably why. For the record, Breitbart is on the Mama Grizzly train against Ryan as well. How will he ever survive? Here's his opponent.

Every man wants to be a macho man!

Charles Pierce and Steve M have posts up on Ryan's faux macho opponent. They both include a campaign video that has to be seen to be believed. He seems to be basing his life on Wild Hogs

Trumpian Economic Policy

I saw this at Charles Pierce's blog and really need to put it up here for future reference. I'm not an economist or a billionaire. But, I know there's something wrong with this.

 Donald J. Trump, suggested that he might reduce the national debt by persuading creditors to accept something less than full payment.

Asked on Thursday whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”

He added, “And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose.”

It's the kind of logic you'd hear from a 12-year old or a Green Party candidate. Apologies to all preteens who might come by. 

Any measures that would reduce the value of the existing debt, making it cheaper to repurchase, would increase the cost of issuing new debt. Such a threat also could undermine the stability of global financial markets.

Yeah, I knew there was something wrong with it. 

Sports Sunday at Hometown

Can't let this go unnoticed. All I can say is, "About Time, Bartolo and Well Struck."

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lifted From Shaw

Petty Theft in Donald's case.

Thanks Shaw! So, are we voting for him now?

On Derrick's Fundraising

Mostly just putting this up for my comments. There's the guy running for Congress too, though.

“A lot of the things that Bernie stands for, I will also stand for,” Derrick said. “You may not get your first choice in terms of nominating a presidential candidate, but I’m still here.”

“We do the Bernie approach,” he also said during the event. “People contribute small amounts of money and encourage others to contribute small amounts of money, and it continues to snowball.”

The retired U.S. Army colonel began by informing the group that his campaign earned one of 37 spots nationally on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Emerging Races” program, which provides support to “top” campaigns around the country that the DCCC deems has the potential to unseat Republican incumbents.

“This race has taken off in the last three weeks,” Derrick said. “We were noticed as one of the races in this country that can be won by the Democratic Party. That puts us in the top tier of winnable races, and that makes a huge difference because the eyes of the nation are now on this race.

From your lips to God's ears, Mike. 

Anyway. My comments:

When he announced his run, Mr. Derrick had no idea how to answer when asked how he would be different from the incumbent.

I'll give you a for instance. When the Iran Nuclear Deal was being debated and demagogued by the right (including Ms. Stefanik), Mike Derrick came out in support of it. He could have easily ducked that issue. BTW, I never heard anything from Matt Funiciello one way or another on it. My feeling is that he does not often comment on an issue if he can't say Dems and Reps are equally bad.
I wrote several letters to the PS expressing my support for that deal, so it's clear which side I think is in the right. I would also mention the opening to Cuba. I haven't heard Derrick's position on that, but I suspect he is in favor of that as well. So yes, there is a difference between Derrick and Stefanik.

And the following are in response to Matt F at the thread:

I went looking for a definition of progressive and mostly found it to be a little nebulous. I like the idea thatit's a problem solving method. That's simple and direct. I like to vote for people I believe have the ability to solve problems.

At its core, progressivism is a non-ideological, pragmatic system of thought grounded in solving problems and maintaining strong values within society.

Maintaining strong values is good, too.

95% of his individual donations are over $200

Mr. Derrick will have to speak to what his average donations are and I hope he does. The ones I've sent him were less than $200 and more than $23. Same as the one I sent to Bernie.


Being especially neurotic, I just want to clarify my comments. The Iran Nuclear Deal and the opening to Cuba seem to be progressive actions, to me anyway. They certainly are not conservative or, as I like to call it, regressive. Mike Derrick did come out in support of the Iran deal when he did not have to. Much as I liked Aaron Woolf, he would have ducked. Presumably, Mr. Derrick would support the opening to Cuba too, changing the moronic policy that was in place most of my lifetime.

As far as the definition of progressive, I take my cue from Humpty Dumpty.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

I'm not putting up MF's comment because he'd probably sue me for violating fair use if he found out. 

Haven't added a label in awhile. What'd I Say is in honor of fellow nihilist Repsac. Hope your well on Twitter, Reppie. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Frost on the Gibson Abandonment

Mark Frost in his most recent issue of The Chronicle has an encomium to Chris Gibson. I have no problem with that. There are probably issues where I would find agreement with Gibson and he's in no way as loony as many Republicans. And Frost can sing praises for whomever he likes and besides, he's willing to run my letters. So, Mark is running him for president, if he could. So, 90+% of the column I have no issue with.

But, smack dab in the middle of it for no reason:

I'm sickened when I read some of the obsequious divulged e-mails by which some of Mrs. Clinton's aides seek her favors, like she's the Queen. 

And that's pretty much it. It's just a nasty dig for no reason I can see other than to say Gibson is the salt of the Earth and doesn't want to be treated like royalty, I guess. It just seems nasty, though. In all fairness, I will point out that Frost did endorse Clinton against Lazio when they both ran for the Senate.

Frost and Funiciello both, IMHO, need someone to look at the things they write and say. A no-man who would advise caution. No, I'm not available. I just picked up a bunch of perennials and a spice bush that have to go in the ground. The taters need plantin', too.

Rob Reiner Endorsement of Clinton

He stopped being a "meathead" long ago. 

Quote of the Day

Thank you Senator Kelly Ayotte for the authentic Northern frontier logic.

“As she's said from the beginning, Kelly plans to support the nominee. As a candidate herself, she hasn't and isn't planning to endorse anyone this cycle,” said Liz Johnson, communications director for Kelly for New Hampshire.

Johnson said the senator is not endorsing Trump. 

Supporting, but not endorsing. That's walking a fine line. Merriam Webster on endorse.

(T)o publicly or officially say that you support or approve of (someone or something)

They kinda sound the same.

This is a good spot to put up Josh Marshall's "Elected Official Trump Endorsement Scorecard." That's a mouthful. As an aside, I almost made the Freudian slip of typing scarecard. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Campaign Video of the Day

Another in a series of "of the days" which will certainly not occur everyday. But, enjoy this anyway. Personally, I never cared for ominous background music in any campaign commercial, but then I'm not a professional campaign whatzit of whozit.

Very nice, Mr. Eldridge. And Mike Derrick campaign whozits: if you guys are reading my blog (and why wouldn't you?) take note of this clip. But please, better music. Even Kenny G.

Bonus video:


Bonus bonus clip. I could probably spend the rest of the day finding them. Eldridge could'e just used this. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's Not Just the Superdelegates

I was happy to see this article explaining that Bernie would be losing with or without the superdelegates. I see the purpose of them and do not want to see Hillary get the nomination in a way that leads to charges of cheating.

Sanders is pushing for something that wouldn’t help him all that much. Redistributing superdelegates in proportion to states won, he’d still be way behind in superdelegates. The Washington Post ran this exercise several weeks ago, and they figured Clinton would lead in this category 260 to 138 if a winning candidate received all delegates, including superdelegates, in each state.

This article also pointed to something that's been annoying me. The charge that Sanders would do better against Trump based on whatever polling. My feeling has been, for some time, that the right would much rather run against Bernie. Why?

Lots of them see Sanders as a weaker November candidate. Head-to-head polls at this point are not very accurate. Sanders hasn’t yet faced a barrage of Republican ads painting him as just short of the second coming of Vladimir Lenin.

Yes. That would get old by November. I'm used to Clinton being attacked. 

Another random thought rattling around in my head has been: who campaigns for Trump? They can't even get pols to go to the convention. Hillary is going to have the Obama's and Bidens. the Big Dog himself, maybe even Al Gore, Bernie hopefully and whoever her Veep is. And a cast of thousands. 

Who's going to campaign for The Donald? Not even Cruz I'm thinking. Dubya and Darth Cheney? Lord, I hope so.  

You Think You Got Shit to Protest

How about these guys. I realize the angry folks in the Trump and Sanders and maybe Clinton and Cruz camps have issues. But:

Iraqi protesters delivered a visceral wake-up call to politicians they accuse of corruption and dysfunctional government by breaching the walls of Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and storming the parliament building on Saturday. 

You may not believe it, but this is a look on the bright side post.

Loyalists of the maverick Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr – whose speech Saturday morning called for a “great popular uprising … to stop the march of corrupt officials” – had largely left the area by Sunday. The event, however, profoundly shook Iraqi politicians, some of whom were reportedly chased from the chamber.

First, I'm kind of glad to see Sadr back. Secondly, any time corrupt politicians get chased from "the chamber" it has to be a good thing. But wait, there's more:

Few who know Iraq are predicting political collapse. Iraqis, who have suffered far worse in recent decades than political gridlock, have shown themselves to be expert survivors.

“Some say this is the end of Iraq, but Iraqis have already seen the worst days,” says Luay al-Khatteeb, a London-based fellow of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy. “It is behind them, the years of sanctions and wars, years of sectarian and civil unrest and uprising, and the fight against IS and the number of times the Iraqi Army has collapsed since 2003.

“Iraq is moving toward a recovery phase, but how long it will take? It could take some time,” he says. “As we approach to a very hot summer, the situation could become more complicated.” 

It's nice to hear that they've downgraded from the total clusterfuck we imposed upon them to whatever level of depravity it's at now. 

Chris Gibson, We Hardly Knew Ye

In a real shocker to us political junkies, Chris Gibson has taken his helmet out of the ring.

Less than three months after launching an exploratory committee for a potential gubernatorial campaign in 2018, U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson said Monday he won’t run governor.

Gibson, R-Kinderhook, said he’ll finish his third term in the House of Representatives — he already announced he won’t seek re-election this year — and will begin working as a visiting lecturer on leadership at Williams College in February 2017.

OK, but what's the real reason? Wait for it, wait for it.

He also wants to spend more time with his wife, Mary Jo, and their three children.

To quote Charlie Brown: Auuuuugh! Maybe he really does, but Jesus can't you come up with something a tad less cliched. Anyway here's a link to a longer, more in-depth piece in the TU.

Maybe Gibson's concern is more with internal Republican politics. It is a party, after all, whose voters just showered Donald Trump with 60 percent of the presidential primary vote, emboldening the lunatic fringe headed by Carl Paladino.

Gibson is no fan of Trump, as he made clear with me in December and has repeated in subsequent interviews. He doesn't like Trump's tone and is worried that the bombast of the Republican race is alienating middle-of-the-road voters.

"There's no aspiration, no inspiration, in these campaigns," Gibson told me. 

When I heard this on the radio, I joked that it cleared the path for Carl Paladino. It's not so funny when both these articles mention him as a possible candidate. Chris, Just say it. Trump's voters are nihilists. And I know nihilists, believe me. They're not voting for anything, they're voting against everything. 

I never would have voted for him because of his gun position. Still would've liked to see a somewhat sane Republican running. 

The Obama Doctrine

Just want to link to this interview/article in The Atlantic dealing with Obama's foreign policy. It's too long for my critiquing skills. The link is just here for my own easy access.

Also, I hadn't used the Obamessiah label in ages. It was really dusty.

Death By Child

I had seen a couple of stories where the driver of cars have been shot by a child in the back seat who discovers a gun. I haven't put them up because, WTF, I'm not the Gun Violence Archive. A link to them is on the right and it's worth clicking on when you're feeling over-jubilant and want to come down from it.

Anyway, here's a link to a Salon article.

At least 23 people have been shot by children in the U.S in 2016 with 11 resulting in a death, according to a report by The Washington Post,

So, surprise, only 23 have been shot and 11 of them died. Good work NRA!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Courtesy of Balloon Juice

It's even funnier if you imagine the caption being said in Ted's voice.

Even Republicans Don't Like Republicans

Very much anyway.

About 68 percent of GOP members view their party favorably, according to Pew. Last fall, the comparable number was 79 percent.

Oh my! Overall, the GOP has a 33% favorable versus 45% for the Dems. And 22% are Greens or, in other words, too insane to even be Republicans. 

Thank You, Carl Paladino

Yeah, I never thought I'd be writing that. Ken Tingley at the PS tipped me off to the fact that Paladino is attacking my congresswoman for being insufficiently supportive of the Trumpster. Bravo, Carl!

What is more encouraging is that Rep. Elise Stefanik has refrained from any presidential endorsement, despite some harsh bullying tactics from Carl Paladino.

You may remember Paladino as the Republican candidate for governor in 2010. He is also a staunch supporter of Trump and introduced him at the most recent rally in Albany.

Paladino has targeted nine New York Republicans in Congress to endorse Trump. Only one has caved so far.

Syracuse.com reported that Paladino began targeting individual members, including Stefanik, with emails to their constituents.

“This is the beginning,” Paladino told Syracuse.com. “This is the nice one. It’s going to get worse for those that continue to hold out. I’m being nice.”

He's actually a racist, bigoted, sexist piece of crap who's never been nice in his life, but if he wants to help Mike Derrick get elected... What the hell. 

Looking further abroad for info on this circular firing squad wingnuttery took me to the TU.

The alliance between Carl Paladino and Donald Trump makes perfect sense.

Both men are developers who came to politics as a second calling. Both are outsiders eyed with suspicion by the Republican establishment. Both are nuttier than squirrel poo.

What doesn't make sense, at least for anyone with a more rational perspective, is the full-out assault Paladino has launched against U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, the North Country Republican, for her refusal to endorse Trump. 

Can't disagree with any of that. 

But here's the truth about Stefanik: She's a mildly conservative politician who, as the youngest woman elected to Congress, is the future of her party. She's exactly what the GOP needs to appeal to younger voters, who overwhelmingly choose Democrats.

Stefanik is also a winner. She beat her most recent opponent by 22 points in 2014 and she's likely to glide to re-election this year.

I'd like to take issue with the last part of that however. First, I will admit that Elise is not Michele Bachmann. To her credit. I'd still prefer a moderate Dem as my representative to a moderate Rep. I believe Derrick is going to be a much better candidate than Aaron Woolf was and I'd like to think the none of the above Green vote will be appreciably lower this time around.