Friday, April 29, 2016

Odds and Ends Pertaining to Congressional Race

Ladies first. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has said through her spokesman that she won't be attending the convention in Ohio.

"She will be in the district working for her constituents," said Alcivar, in response to an inquiry from The Post-Star.

Rather than try to duplicate perfection, I'll just reprint my comments.

"She will be in the district working for her constituents,"

Attending the convention would be the chance of a lifetime for Ms. Stefanik. I'm certain her constituents would be able to spare her for a few days. As one of them, I couldn't live with myself knowing I caused her to miss this wonderful opportunity.
From the Owens' link:

Owens may have realized his re-election chances are sinking but hiding from Obama’s convention won’t fool North Country voters,” said NRCC Spokesman Nat Sillin

That being said, I hope we can count on Congresswoman Stefanik to stand firmly behind whomever the nominee is.

This is an article informing us that a real, live presidential candidate is coming to Glens Falls. No, not Hillary or The Donald. 

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is expected to campaign in Glens Falls in June, said Matt Funiciello, the party's local congressional candidate.

Funiciello said one or more local events with Stein will held around the time of the State Green Party Convention in Troy on June 11.

Details are still being worked out.

And we all know the devil is in the details.


I'm sure Jill Stein is a wonderful woman. I'm going to link to a Charles Pierce piece explaining why, despite knowing her socially, he did not vote for her. This is because I know that, between now and November, I'm going to hear the common refrain from the Green Party. That is that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. I'm offering Pierce's testimony that there is indeed a difference. And so there is.

And here is an article on the analysis of our three area candidates of what the recent primary voting for prez all means.

And here's a bonus link with the Warren County Republican Chair endorsing Donald Trump. I only wish I could link to Rich Schermerhorn's endorsement in The Chronicle. Get that online, will ya Mark.  

Grasso said Trump’s recent hiring of a “seasoned adviser” and his softening of tone demonstrate Trump is “in essence becoming more presidential.”   

In essence, he couldn't become any less presidential if he tried. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Just a Plant You Haven't Learned to Love

From The Atlantic:


My emerald legions, how tall you have grown:
so many. With what supernatural speed
you overlord the weakest in the garden—
frizzled hydrangeas, sere mint, sun-starved basil.
Tousle-headed, you can see the sky
above the cowering, defeated plots.
This is your day of triumph: Eager sugars
rise up through your ramifying stalks.
And I allowed it. My cool inattention
found good reasons to look the other way,
since all that grows is good, or so I thought.
How soon would height recall high thoughts, and yet,
if I uproot you now, how I would miss you.
Sweet knotgrass, heartsick briar, purple thistle.
Even tilled up, the garden wouldn’t be
as it was when I played here years ago
and my grandmother warned me, since I’d gotten
lanky, not to grow too fast. She lived
to be a hundred, early years wiped clean
from her memory, all except for this:
a vague lightness, as though a sense of wings
lifted her above the loamy ground,
and all she thought of, as the wind upheld her,
was of falling, how tenuous her flight.
Or so I imagine. Though half her age,
I, too, can’t quite remember what it was like
to feel light-footed, open to the sun,
without the clogging stems elbowing out
what I had meant when I first planted here:
larkspur, geraniums, cilantro, lime.

I'm a subscriber. Please don't sue me.

Quote of the Day

It's a pleasure to quote Michael Stipe, particularly on the subject of guns. I didn't know the state of Georgia was considering going down the same insane road that Texas has.

You go to parties and drink too much. You fall asleep in the library and wake up hours before a paper is due. We all have our own versions of these stories. We all know the crazy things we did in college. 

There wasn't a lot in his essay that was really quotable, but it is fantastic as a whole and should be read that way. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Quote of the Day

From Amanda Marcotte's piece at Salon talking about the (attempted) presidentialness of Donald Trump.

 It’s near-certain that his opponent in the general election will be Hillary Clinton. Trying to compete with her to seem capable and intelligent is like challenging Steph Curry to a game of HORSE.

To be fair, Steph Curry is currently injured. Probably not that injured, though.

Bonus quote:

Like most trolls, Trump is annoying because he can’t get attention any other way. He’s not smart or talented or charming or savvy. All he has is an ability to say outrageous things and get attention for it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Election Betting Odds

If you're a betting person that is.

See the Democratic and Republican race odds as well.

Just for fun you can go here and try to get Donald to 1237. It all comes down to South Dakota. Stop laughing, I'm serious.

Quote of the Day

Bless you, Sophia McClennen.

At times it can be very hard to distinguish between extreme right-wing politics and symptoms of dementia. 

Truer words were never spoken. Read the whole thing, tho. It's actually pretty serious.

I need to be reassured that Trump is indeed OK so that the jokes about him remain funny. Public mockery has been the only way to stay balanced this election. And, of course, the best jokes about Trump have come from political satirists because satire does more than poke fun. It encourages critical thinking in the face of blind acceptance. It doesn’t just make Trump look silly and stupid; it points out that he’s dangerous to democracy. It’s the difference between jokes about his orange face and jokes about his demagoguery.

I'm old enough to remember what Ronnie's team of the best and brightest did around him.

Satirical humor only works if it is punching up.  Humor that punches down is just mean.  A joke about Trump’s brain is amusing; one about an Alzheimer’s patient is twisted and cruel.

Well, there is that, too. How sad is it that these two guys are losing to him?

Of course, because these people can't really do anything right, the two campaigns made sure that God and all the world knew what they were up to before they actually did anything. This had the effect of handing He, Trump a gift that perfectly dovetails with the only real argument that he has presented for his candidacy—namely, They're All Out To Get Me…And You, Too. He jumped on it because, whatever his shortcomings as a prospective president, the man has the combative instincts of a wolverine. 

Let's All Get Along

I'll just link to Jon Favreau. He says it well.

I don’t think Bernie should stop pointing out where he and Hillary disagree, or pull back on his criticism of the way money influences politics, but I do think he should start repeating a line that he’s already said once before: “On her worst day, Hillary Clinton is a hundred times better than any of the Republicans.”

It’s important for Bernie’s supporters to know that he believes this undeniable truth. It’s important for them to hear Sanders say that while he’ll keep fighting for a more progressive Democratic Party, the Democratic Party has been a vehicle for tremendous progress in this country—especially over the last eight years. Denying or minimizing the achievements of the Obama presidency only deepens the cynicism of those who worry that change isn’t possible.

If I wanted to support someone who's perfect in every way, I'd be supporting Matt Funiciello.

Support Your Local Bookstore

Pearls Before Swine

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Has Elise Decided Whether to Support Trump or Cruz?

Richard Hanna of NY's 22nd district has. And is probably sorry to have made it public.

“I want a president that my children can look up to, and this campaign is beneath the dignity of the American people,” Hanna said in a statement. “Our unwillingness to push back when we hear remarks that are callous, intolerant and bigoted is hurting our party. It’s hurting our country.”

I give him credit for that. He's not in my district so he wouldn't get my vote in case. Please see the folks in the comments that aren't so much in tune with his statement.

Come on, Elise. What's it gonna be?

Lies About Obamacare

Yes, I've given up and just started calling it Obamacare. ACA is shorter and easier to write, though. Anyway, just linking to this for future reference. Thanks, liberal media. Oh, and health insurance. In case I use that phrase to search for it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Latest on the Hole in the Ground That was Kansas

When I see a story on Kansas it's irresistible. I don't slow down to gawk at car accidents, but Kansas I can't avoid.

 In 2015, job growth in Kansas was a mere 0.1 percent, even as the nation’s economy grew 1.9 percent. Brownback pledged to bring 100,000* new jobs to the state in his second term; as of January, he has brought 700. What’s more,personal income growth slowed dramatically since the tax cuts went into effect. Between 2010 and 2012, Kansas saw income growth of 6.1 percent, good for 12th in the nation; from 2013 to 2015, that rate was 3.6 percent, good for 41st.

Meanwhile, revenue shortfalls have devastated the state’s public sector along with its most vulnerable citizens. Since Brownback’s inauguration, 1,414 Kansans with disabilities have been thrown off  Medicaid. In 2015, six school districts in the state were forced to end their years early for lack of funding. Cuts to health and human services are expected to cause 65 preventable deaths this year in Sedgwick County alone. In February, tax receipts came in $53 million below estimates; Brownback immediately cut $17 million from the state’s university system. This data is not lost on the people of Kansas — as of November, Brownback’s approval rating was 26 percent, the lowest of any governor in the United States.

That's a small taste. Just to be a spoiler, I'll point out that Louisiana is mentioned as well. Jindal destroyed that. Dodged a bullet with him in the prez sweepstakes. 

Blast From the Past for Future Reference

Charles Pierce had a link up to this old posting from Tbogg. Thought I should put a post up with it so I can have easy reference to it. It'll likely come in handy now and then on the way to November.

Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.

You don’t live there.

Grow the fuck up.

And that's OK because I occasionally like to get pissed off. Despite the best efforts of my fellow upstaters, Hillary Clinton won New York and good on that.

Speaking of Tbogg, he has this post up that shares my relief that we are not going to be running Bernie for the presidency. It includes this link to the WashPo that discusses Bernie's interview with the Daily News. Sanders, Trump and Funiciello share the trait of not having proposals that stand up to a lot of scrutiny.

A large part of Sanders’s appeal to the throngs who back him is his insistence that we are in need of a political revolution. And, for those people, the Daily News interview will be much ado about nothing. But what the interview exposes is that once the revolution happens there will be lots of loose ends to tie up. Loose ends that Sanders either hasn’t grappled with — or doesn’t want to.

Remember that Sanders’s campaign began as the longest of long shots. He could propose the world and more because no one thought that he ever had a chance at winning.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Trump Has a Very Good Brain

What the hell! Since I was at youtube browsing. Stephen Harper has a very good brain, too.

And he is also a 2016 loser. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Courtesy of Mike Derrick

Thanks for this, Mike. I look forward to casting a vote for you.

Then again, searching around a bit on it, she's looking a little flip floppy.

It's been a question Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has been asked numerous times as the race for the Republican presidential nomination continues: Which candidate does she support?

Everytime she's been asked, she's giving basically the same answer, in which she doesn't say.

Maybe we should cut her some slack. I'd have a hard time choosing between those three fine specimens, too. 

But in August of 2014, when Stefanik was in the middle of the race to win her seat, there was another contest going on. That was the Democratic primary for governor of New York between Andrew Cuomo and Zephyr Teachout.

Stefanik's opponent at the time, Democrat Aaron Woolf, gave roughly the same answer Stefanik is giving now. It was the lack of a hard answer that caused Stefanik's campaign press secretary at the time, Charlotte Guyette, to call on Woolf to "spare the voters pathetic sound bites and just let us know who you are supporting."

Then again, maybe not. No slack for you, Elise. 

Quote of the Day

Anytime I do one of these there is a good chance it will come from Charles Pierce.

If I hear another influential Republican, discussing the problem of He, Trump, use the phrase, "In America, the majority rules," without adding, "except for the 2000 presidential election," I'm going to Elvis a TV or three.

That is an important exception to the rule we must always remember. 

Only 92 Days to Go

I'm looking forward to the GOP convention like I used to anticipate Christmas. And stories like this are the reason why.

Voters will "rise up" in opposition if Republican power brokers try to take the presidential nomination away from Donald Trump or Ted Cruz at the GOP convention this summer, Sarah Palin said Thursday in a wide-ranging interview.

If there's any way it's not going to be a clusterfuck of a shit storm I'd like to know how. The involvement of Palin just makes that so much more definite. 

"How dare they?" Palin asked, denouncing "arrogant political operatives who underestimate the wisdom of the people."

Ah yes, the wisdom of the people. Here's a photo from the front page of the GF Post Star today. 

Donald Trump

Build the wall! I do hope he's going to the convention. 

"There are some snakes in there," she said of party leaders. "I've had to deal with the political machinery my whole career."

As a half-term governor of Alaska, a state with a lower population than 10 American cities. 

Palin said she plans to attend the convention in Cleveland, but she conceded that she may have to "invite myself to the party."

Why stop now?

"I can't see any of them inviting me," she said of party leaders. "I think they are afraid of what I would say."

Thank you, John McCain. Really.

Trump "doesn't have high-paid consultants and pollsters and spinsters trying to spin him into something he's not," she said. "He takes advice from strong, confident women in his life, like his wife and daughter." 

You're right there, Sarah. Trump is not interested in spinsters. In fact, you're likely a few years past the age where he'd be interested. 

"He was there at the border incentivizing illegal families coming on over the border with gift baskets of soccer balls and teddy bears and now he says he was never for amnesty. Yes, you were, dude, come on," Palin said.

Bad on you, Ted Cruz. I have no idea what she's talking about and obviously don't care if she slams him. 

The former Alaska governor was in Washington to promote a new documentary that seeks to debunk what it calls myths and hype about human-caused global warming. The movie, "Climate Hustle," questions whether there is a genuine scientific consensus about global warming and features more than 30 scientists who reject mainstream climate science.

Oh, she had something to sell. To cleanse your palate go to the Guardian for their coverage on Sarah and her climate denial bullshit. 

“Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am,” Palin told the gathering. “He’s a kids’ show actor. He’s not a scientist.”

And that was not even the low point of the event.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Good News for Humanity

Bad news for the GOP. I'm a little reluctant to link to it. I have read 1984 and know that we have always been at war with whomever and the war is going well. Nevertheless, the war against ISIS seems to be going well, all disclaimers notwithstanding.

The number of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters is at its lowest since 2014, owing to extended efforts conducted by the US-led coalition forces, the US State Department announced Wednesday.

The group has suffered major setbacks since the United States joined forces with international partners as part of the Operation Tidal Wave II last October. In September 2014 the group had about 20,000 to 31,500 fighters, according to a CIA report. Since then, ISIS has lost 40 percent of its territory in Iraq, and 10 percent in Syria, according to the State Department. A poll published April 12 found that a vast number of young Arabs are rejecting ISIS and say it will ultimately fail.

It almost sounds too easy.

"We believe that by degrading them in phase one and then dismantling them in phase two, we believe that that will set us up for phase three which, of course, is the ultimate defeat of this enemy," he added.

It's nice to hear Ash Carter at least say this.

"The success of the campaign against ISIL in Iraq does depend upon political and economic progress as well," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday, Reuters reported. "Economically it's important that the destruction that's occurred be repaired and we're looking to help the Iraqis with that."

Yes, that is important. 

Pissing Off 97% of the Left Wing Internet

No one is going to read this anyway, so here goes. Stuart Rothenberg saying something I've come to think lately. The Republicans are licking their chops at any prospect of facing Bernie Sanders in the same way Democrats are at facing Trump or Cruz.

Though the Vermont senator’s supporters won’t like to hear it, Sanders has plenty in common with both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Like Cruz, Sanders is an ideologue who resists compromise. And like Trump, Sanders has simple answers to complex problems and sounds as if he doesn’t appreciate the dramatic, and often deeply unsettling, consequences that his policies would produce.

Despite that Sanders sticker on the back of the pick-up, I'll be filling in the circles for Hillary and her delegates come Tuesday. I have the same problem with his thinking that I do with the pie in the sky that Funiciello was selling in 2014. Rothenberg links to this piece in the WashPo as well. 

“The danger for the United States is that it would wind up looking more like Italy and Greece than Denmark and Sweden,” Zingales said.

Attitudes toward globalization make up another difference. Free trade is so widely accepted in Scandinavia that it even has strong support from organized labor.

“Their unions recognize that for their workers to have a job, companies need to export to grow and be successful,” Kirkegaard said. By contrast, Sanders has made common cause with American unions in proposing to roll back every trade treaty signed since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990s.

Bernie is a nice guy and we had fun on the date, but I'm afraid I'm tying the knot with Hillary. 

The fact that Sanders, who continues to embrace the socialist label, is doing as well as he is ought to worry party strategists.

Shortly after the Democratic Party’s 2006 midterm election victory, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and then-Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel warned their colleagues that Democrats needed to prove that they could govern, that they could be pragmatic and work to improve things for the middle class.

My concern is winning the election. Sanders is untested. Hillary has been tested repeatedly for the last 28 years. I believe she may be what Obama promised to be. She will likely move to the left as a result of the battle with Bernie. That's to the good. 

One thing remains clear. Swing voters remain in the middle, so the further left the Democratic Party moves, the more ammunition it gives to the GOP, whether in 2016, 2018 or beyond. 

Let's not go so far left we step off the cliff. There is a chance the Republicans moderate their message enough to become electable at some point. Maybe it won't be this year, but it could come in 2020. There are good points to be found in conservatism, despite the radicalism the current Republican party has adopted.

Here's the PS pissing off fantasists.  

Quote of the Day

"I always thought of socialism as enforced Christianity."

Thank you, Lewis Black.

Dems on the Rise in the 21st

Praise be to Maury Thomson for bringing forth these stats on voter enrollment in the 21st district of our fair state.

Democratic --
  • April 1, 2016: 115,566
  • Nov. 1, 2015: 111,864
  • April 1, 2015: 113,425
  • Year-to-year difference: + 2,141
Republican --

  • April 1, 2016: 165,228
  • Nov. 1, 2015: 163,491
  • April 1, 2015: 166,243
  • Year-to-year difference: - 1,051
A big huzzah to that!

Just for the purpose of completeness, I'll include the stats he put up for Warren County. Just wanted to point out that the Green Party seems to have its work cut out for them outside of Warren County. They gained 22 voters in the district and they were all in Warren County. Good luck with that, Matt! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On Will Smith and Sean Payton

It's another gun death in the US. Will Smith was just a higher profile death.

Police say former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith had a loaded gun inside his vehicle on the night he was shot.

In a statement released Tuesday, New Orleans police said they found a 9 mm handgun in Smith's vehicle.

They also said they found a loaded revolver inside the vehicle of the man accused of shooting Smith, Cardell Hayes.

But police said there was no evidence to suggest either of those weapons was fired during the shooting Saturday night. Police say Hayes shot Smith with a different handgun.

Probably the only reason I put up a post on it is for the statement from Sean Payton. When people do the right thing and will likely get a shit ton of grief for it, they deserve to be recognized. 

Payton drove to the site of the incident the next morning, then spent several hours at the hospital where Smith's wife was undergoing surgery. Upon returning home, Payton researched online about the weapon that killed his former player.

“It was a large caliber gun. A .45,” Payton said.

“We could go online and get 10 of them, and have them shipped to our house tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t believe that was the intention when they allowed for the right for citizens to bear arms.”

And now, Payton said, another life has come to a tragically early ending.

Thank you, Sean Payton. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Quote of the Day

Thank you, Charles Pierce.

Beshear said. "A budget passed by the General Assembly is a mandate, not a recommendation."

Those are some words to live by.

Today in Humorless Harpies of Hate

One of my fave triple H's made an appearance in the PS today. This is the first draft of a reply.

     I’d like to respond to Ms. Thomas’ letter supporting Donald Trump. I am also supporting him all the way to the end of the convention in July. There are a few nits I need to pick, though. To say that socialism is one step away from communism is the equivalent of saying capitalism is one step away from fascism. There are a number of European countries that could be considered socialist, but are not bordering on Stalinism or Maoism.
     Hillary Clinton was absolved of guilt in Whitewater in September 2000. I presume “aiding four of our own to die on foreign soil” refers to Benghazi. It sounds as if you have information House Republicans could use. They’ve held hearings on it 21 times and investigated 8 times. Compare that to 22 and 2 for the 9/11 attacks. I’ll let Kevin McCarthy say it. “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”
     I’d normally be supporting Comrade Sanders more fervently. Because people of the right have attacked Hillary like rapid dogs for the last 28 years, I have grown sympathetic toward her. Why is it the right can’t be satisfied with attacking a Democratic president? They have to attack the whole family. I realize she started running for office in 2000. Michelle Obama has never run for office, though. And yes, I still remember Rush Limbaugh calling Chelsea the White House dog.    

I actually saw the show where Limbaugh pulled that. It was on his short-lived (rightfully) TV show. I did a search for whatever reason and came across this load of shit.

I kind of like this idea of first and last draft. So here we are with the babies killed. No actual babies were harmed in the production of this letter.

   I'd like to respond to Ms. Thomas' letter supporting Donald Trump. I am also supporting him, all the way to the end of the convention in July. There are a few nits I need to pick, though. To say that socialism is one step away from communism is the same as saying capitalism is one step from fascism. There are a number of European countries considered socialist, none of which are bordering on Stalinism.

     For the record, Hillary Clinton was absolved of guilt in Whitewater in September 2000. I presume "aiding four of our own to die on foreign soil" refers to Benghazi. It sounds as if you have information House Republicans could use. They've held hearings 21 times and investigated 8 times. Compare to 22 and 2 for the 9/11 attacks. Why would you have 4 times the number of investigations for Benghazi? Let's let Kevin McCarthy take that one. "Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping." No sense in letting a tragedy go to waste.

     And so we move to the "scandal" du jour. E-mails. Is she guilty of anything beyond poor judgment? Who knows? The accusations come from ilk similar to Representative McCarthy. Wolf! Normally I'd be fervently supporting Comrade Sanders. Besides being jaded by it, the 28 years of slurs against Hillary have left me somewhat sympathetic towards her. If she puts Michelle Obama on the ticket, I'm totally sold.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Good News Monday

First, you got your local good news from Saratoga.

Saratoga Springs on Tuesday became the seventh municipality in New York to enact a law that requires gun owners to secure their weapons or risk criminal charges.

The Saratoga Springs City Council unanimously passed the law, which was named in honor of Nicholas Naumkin, a 12-year-old who died in 2010 when a schoolmate who was playing with a handgun accidentally shot him in the friend's Wilton home. The gun and ammunition had been left in an unlocked dresser.

The law requires that owners keep firearms locked in either a secure cabinet or with a trigger lock when not in their possession, and the use of an unsecured gun in a shooting could result in a criminal charge for the owner. The cities of Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, New York City, Buffalo and Westchester County have all passed similar laws.

Sorry, that should have read great news. The bad news is that the state senate in New York are assholes. 

Bills introduced in the state Legislature to enact a similar law statewide have passed the Assembly but not the Senate. New Yorkers Against Gun Violence said it will pursue laws in other municipalities if the Senate does not pass a statewide bill.

Hope springs eternal, though. 

Voters on Long island will soon pick a replacement for a convicted former top lawmaker in a contest that could help give Democrats complete control over New York state government.

Democrat Todd Kaminsky faces Republican Chris McGrath in the April 19 Senate election for the seat long held by ex-Senate Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican convicted last year of using his position to obtain payments and jobs for his son.

In good news from the rest of God's creation:

Worldwide, in fact, inequality is actually going down.

Humanity, it seems, is not leaving its poorest behind.

This conclusion comes from the work of an eminent expert on inequality, Branko Milanovic. He spent decades studying data at the World Bank and now works at City University in New York. In a new book, “Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization,” he makes a case that the rapid growth of poorer countries since 1988 has brought the first decline in inequality since the Industrial Revolution.

Not so much in the US, but we takes what we can gets.

Milanovic’s findings are reinforced by new research from Tomáš Hellebrandt and Paolo Mauro of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. They find global inequality fell between 2003 and 2013. And they project the number of people in poverty will fall from 12.3 percent of the total population to 3.6 percent by 2035.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Green Party Persecution

I wanted to link to this article in the PS, mostly because of the comment by Matt Funiciello. I'll hit the article first so as to work down to the comment. There were a couple of things that bothered me. The backstory is that the city of Glens Falls is withholding $4800 from the GF Collaborative because the Green Party is listed as a member on map/brochure/handout thingies.

The city’s payment was intended to print 5,000 maps that would be distributed at rest stops along the New York State Thruway, which will not be distributed now.

City funds cannot be used to further political groups. Seems reasonable. 

Each member pays $240 in annual dues, which covers the map/brochure and other promotional expenses.

Gray Whann said being listed as a member does not constitute an advertisement for Warren County Green Party.

The GP is a member and has paid the $240. The part that bothers me is the idea that it doesn't constitute an advertisement

the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements

It would seem to be the very definition of advertisement. 

“We just can’t use city tax dollars to promote these (political) organizations,” he said in an interview Thursday at City Hall.

Diamond said the situation is similar to when he objected in 2012 to Republican congressional candidate Matt Doheny advertising his campaign at an Adirondack Phantoms hockey game at Glens Falls Civic Center, a city-owned building.

Of course, Diamond is a Democrat so he's likely just screwing with the Republicans and Greens (sarcasm intended).

Gray Whann said she suspects her friction with city officials is due to her political involvement.

She had been exploring a run on the Green Party line for Glens Falls mayor in 2017, when Diamond cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

She said to insulate the Collaborative from controversy, she has resigned as president and as a board member, and has decided not to run for mayor as well.

Run or not, but don't use this as an excuse because that really doesn't seem legit. 

And I'll just give my response to Matt's comment:

crying like little babies at the thought that they have been excluded from the Collaborative's map

If you were my candidate, I would advise you to tone that down a bit. Since you're not, rock on! It does sound a little Trumpian if you don't mind my saying so. Strike that last part since you probably do.

I'll once again add the disclaimer that I know nothing except what I've read in the article. I would hope that the Collaborative and the city can work this out.

instead of harassing a very active publicly-minded citizen using bureaucratic means and loose interpretations

I don't see how Ms. Whann has been harassed. The article says she was appointed to the ZBA by Mayor Diamond and he indicated he'd like to see her remain on it. It sounds as though the city has been consistent in their treatment of all parties. Once again all I know is ...

He really should invest in a campaign manager or someone who could point out not to say certain stuff. A no-man, if you will.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

In Defense of Hillary

I like to make my ears and brain bleed by listening to Sean Hannity now and then. What can I say? I like to get all shouty at the radio now and then. I do like to hear what stupidity he's promoting to the right wing masses. The big one is that Hillary is doomed over the e-mail "scandal." If not doomed, then the FBI or Justice Department or President Obama or God Knows is going to bury the evidence just like what happened with Benghazi. And it's just another typical case of American blind justice.

So here's Charles Pierce to reassure me that, surprisingly, Sean is lying to me. Or maybe Charles is. I'll take my chances with Pierce.

It is getting a little bit unseemly to hear Democratic analysts and liberal voices in the punditariat latching on one of the more desperate hopes of Republicans who would rather not run against Hillary Rodham Clinton—namely, that she's going to be questioned by the FBI and subsequently indicted for something in connection with the great email nothingburger. Today's entrant is the increasingly hilarious H.A. Goodman, whose devotion to the notion that The Great Bernie Wave Is Just Around The Corner has become positively Millerite in its fervor. 

I like Bernie, but some of his supporters are a little hard to take. Apparently, the WashPo can't be trusted too much either.

The sorry tale tracks back to what was simply a false story in The Washington Post. The Post published a story that put together various Clinton interviews and recent statements and summed it up as 'Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be President.' 

Scott Walker's democracy.

In further defense of Hillary from The Rude Pundit.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Beacon Investigation of Mike Derrick

Whoops! Investigation probably would have been better in quotation marks. Before I forget, here's a hat tip to Maury Thompson at the Post Star. Thanks Maury. So, Morgan Chalfant at the Washington Free (because who would pay for it?) Beacon, reports that Derrick has property in Colorado and only moved to our area a year ago. Who knows what the truth of any of that is? I'm dearly hoping we're not going to go through the "who's the most legitimate resident of the district" thing again this year.

A Democratic congressional candidate in New York state (sic) has criticized his Republican opponent for not being a native of the district, despite having moved from another state to launch his own campaign.

Were you curious about the value of the Derricks' property in Colorado? Yeah, me neither. 

Derrick and his wife, Katherine, also own at least six properties in Colorado. The market values of the properties total more than $1.3 million.

Yes, Derrick was career Army which would likely be a bonus if he was a Republican. 

Derrick, a retired Army colonel who spent some of his early years living in Peru, N.Y., has seized on Stefanik’s roots in Albany as evidence that she has weak ties to the district that she represents in Congress.

The criticism of Stefanik which Chalfant never bothers to try to refute:

“Her family has a summer home in Willsboro, New York. She grew up in Albany, New York. Her working life, ten years, has been entirely in Washington. To say that she is of and from the North Country is false,” Derrick said in a recent interview with the local North County Public Radio.

Oh, and apparently Mike Derrick is a former Republican. My God believes in redemption. 

William Michael Derrick was registered to vote unaffiliated in El Paso County, Colo., in September 2006 and changed his voter registration to Republican in May 2012, according to the El Paso County Clerk & Recorder’s Office. He only updated his registration to Democrat in March 2015. One month later, he cancelled his registration in El Paso County. He voted in no elections in Colorado last year, meaning he never voted as a Democrat in the state.

I don't doubt that he may be a Blue Dog. OTOH, he did come out and say he supported the Iran nuclear deal when he didn't really have to. That beats Aaron Woolf's waffling on ACA. Matt Funiciello never came out with an opinion one way or another. Speaking of MF, one of the reasons I put this up was to keep it in mind. I wouldn't be at all shocked if he parroted a lot of this bullshit at some point during the campaign. I want to remember where it came from. 

I also want to leave a link to this story by Morgan Chalfant. 

Abby Wambach, a retired U.S. women’s soccer player and prominent Hillary Clinton supporter, was arrested over the weekend and charged with driving under the influence.

Wambach, who campaigned for Clinton just three months ago, was arrested around 2 a.m. Sunday by authorities in Portland, Oregon, and was charged with misdemeanor DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants), booking information from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office indicated. 

No word on whether her car had an "I'm Ready for Hillary" bumpersticker. If this woman can be considered a journalist writing for the Beacon, I'm pretty sure my stupid posts here make me one. Look at me, I'm a journalmalist!

Just want to add this link to Right Web that discusses the Beacon. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Just a Trumptastic Bidnessman

Saw this article in the TU today by Kathleen Agena. Another not-Trump voter.

Trump is credited for helping kill the United States Football League by moving its spring games to the fall and putting it in competition with the National Football League, and although the USFL later won an anti-trust suit, it was awarded all of $3.76 and folded.

Trump Airlines was established after Mr. Trump acquired $380 million from twenty-two banks in order to acquire part of Eastern Airlines. Labeled Trump Shuttle Inc., the company was unable to earn a profit. Mr. Trump defaulted on the loans, and the airline officially shut down in 1992.

Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino led a consortium of contractors filing a suit against Trump for failing to pay them. While they eventually reached a settlement, the venture lead to the first of four bankruptcies he has filed. The others included Trump Hotels & Casinos Resorts, Trump Entertainment Resorts and personal bankruptcy for Mr. Trump himself.

Then there was GoTrump, a travel agency that failed in a year; Trump Mortgage, another failed venture; Trump Vodka, which stopped production when it didn't make a profit; Trump Magazine, failure; the Trump Network, failure; Trump University, perhaps the most well-known of his fiascoes; and billions of dollars in lawsuits he has filed and lost.

This is the man who is going to make America great again? I would not hire him to run a corner deli, let alone elect him to be president of the United States.

Correcting An Oversight

Can't believe I didn't have LGM on my blogroll. How have I stayed current with all internet traditions? Thanks LGMers for this. My God, Ray Stevens can still bring it.

Since I'm stealing stuff allover today, here's a link to Chris Cillizza courtesy of Balloon Juice.

In the House, the margin of Trump's losses in each state also matters a ton. In 2008, Obama won the popular vote over McCain by almost 10 million votes. If Trump lost by, say, 15 million votes (or even more), it would be hugely problematic for any congressional Republican in an even marginally competitive state or district.

Bye bye, Elise? We can only hope.

Monday, April 4, 2016

We Are All Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Now

Well, 63% of us anyway.

Reuters/Ispos poll Wednesday showed that 63 percent of Americans felt “the use of torture against suspected terrorists” was “often or sometimes justified.” The levels of support are roughly equivalent to Nigeria, which is enduring a seven-year insurgency, and Kenya which has been hit with a number of large-scale attacks by Al Shabaab in recent years, Reuters noted.

But Jack Bauer does it.

"There’s no question now that national security and terrorism are growing in salience in this political cycle," says Ken Gude, a senior fellow with the national security team at the Center for American Progress. "It’s incumbent upon our political leaders to not engage in the kind of political rhetoric that drives a jittery population toward policies like torture ... that only play right into the hands of our enemies." 

Of course that's what the liberals say. 

The idea that useful information can be extracted by torture has been debunked throughout history – from French torturers in the Renaissance to Japanese torturers during World War II, Mr. Freeman notes. Post-9/11 America has found the same thing, most experts agree. 

Oh, then why do it?

While there is very little support for Mr. Trump's assertion that "torture works" as an interrogation technique, torture really has a different purpose, experts say: social control.

"Indeed, for the many governments around the world that still routinely practice torture, it is seen as much as a tool for intimidation as information-gathering," writes Colin Freeman in The Telegraph.

Maybe he is Hitler, or at least Saddam Hussein. 

The non-liberals against torture:

  • Former Federal Bureau of Investigation interrogator Jack Cloonan, who was directly involved in the questioning of some of the United States' high-profile prisoners, told Foreign Policy it was a public misconception that harsh interrogation tactics like waterboarding were an effective way of extracting information. Instead, Mr. Cloonan said such techniques strengthened the resolve of the terrorist groups to exact revenge on the United States and were a great recruiting tool for young jihadis, elevating those tortured to "mythical status."
  • Malcolm Nance, head of the Terrorism Asymmetrics Project and a veteran of Navy intelligence, said Trump's reiterated call after Brussels to bring back waterboarding was likely giving the Islamic State free propaganda material. "Donald Trump right now is validating the cartoonish view that they tell their operatives … that America is a racist nation, xenophobic, anti-Muslim, and that that's why you must carry out terrorist attacks against them," he told MSNBC.
  • Michael Hayden, the last head of the Central Intelligence Agency under the Bush administration, who has previously defended interrogation tactics used during that era, publicly explained why it would be illegal for US armed forces to obey Trump’s call to use torture. General Hayden also said Trump is already acting as a recruiter for so called Islamic State in a television interview with Al Jazeera.
  • A 2014 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report that investigated CIA claims that its use of torture in the post-9/11 era was important in preventing acts of terrorism largely debunked them. 
What's wrong with people in this country? 

Friday, April 1, 2016

"How to Reverse Citizens United"

Just want to put up a link to this piece on Citizens United by David Cole in The Atlantic.

And talk like Trump while you're doing so fast and so hard and so hugely that heads will spin.

Talk Like Trump

You know you want to.

Tim Egan - Deep Cover

Rock or Hard Place?

What would you prefer if, God forbid, you were a Republican?

While everyone is focusing on the collapse of Trump’s popularity, no one has really noticed that Cruz’s numbers are plummeting too. The same Washington Post pollthat gave Trump crazily high negatives also found that Cruz is deeply underwater. His favorable rating is just 35 percent, while his unfavorable rating is 51 percent. Back in January, his favorable/unfavorable was roughly even at 42/43. A new poll from Gallupconfirmed the Post poll’s findings: in December of last year, Cruz’s favorable/unfavorable split was about even, but it’s cratered to -16 since then. “Cruz’s image has suffered as much as Trump’s,” Gallup’s analysis notes.

To know him is to loathe him.

He struggles to conceal his smug know-it-all-ism, and his idea of charm is to quote the Federalist Papers. Rep. Peter King, Republican of New York, summed up Cruz neatly in a quote to the Washington Post: “Cruz isn’t a good guy, and he’d be impossible as president. People don’t trust him. And regardless of what your concern is with Trump, he’s pragmatic enough to get something done. I also don’t see malice in Trump like I see with Cruz.”

Oh my God, I put up a Peter King quote. Just for the schadenfreude, folks.

Look into Larry Sabato's crystal ball