Saturday, July 30, 2016

No Trump Endorsement From the TU

At least it looks that way:

Yet more serious, perhaps, was his answer to a question of whether, as president, he would recognize Russia's claim to Crimea and lift sanctions imposed after Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory in 2014: "Yes. We would be looking at that," he said.

The problem isn't merely that he was so obviously unprepared to discuss one of the most sensitive issues in U.S. foreign policy, though that's pretty bad in itself. The annexation — which the United States, the European Union, and the U.N. General Assembly have all condemned — and Russia's support of separatists in eastern Ukraine, are sources of deep U.S.-Russia tension. To be taken off guard on such matters reveals an ignorance of foreign policy that rivals former Alaska Gov.Sarah Palin's ramblings on Russia when she ran for vice president in 2008.

But the concern goes deeper. To say "Yes" was an unqualified statement that Mr. Trump would, indeed, recognize Russia's claim to Crimea, completely backing off U.S. and international opposition to an unlawful act of aggression.

So in one careless comment, Mr. Trump signalled a radical break on a crucial matter of U.S. foreign policy about which he appears to have given no thought. Just as with his bigoted comments on Mexicans and Muslims, his indifference to nuclear proliferation, and his chilling ideas on torturing captives or slaughtering civilians, his shoot-from-the-hip approach again shows his failure, and quite possibly his inability, to appreciate the power of the presidency — and the potential consequences of ignorance in the most powerful job in the world.


Soviet Trump Sticker
Available here. Please don't sue me. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kaine, Kean or Christie

Was Trump confusing Tim Kaine with Tom Kean or Chris Christie?

“Her running mate, Tim Kaine, who by the way did a terrible job in New Jersey,” Trump said. “First act he did in New Jersey was ask for a $4 billion tax increase, and he’s not very popular in New Jersey.”

Did a terrible job and not very popular. Sounds about right.

More Dem Speeches

Titanic Tim Kaine

Joltin' Joe Biden

Battlin' Barack Obama

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bramhall At The Daily News

Here's Today's:

July 27, 2016

And I'd forgotten about this one:

This should increase my blog hits from Russia. Hello Mr. KGB-man. Please don't kill me with poison umbrella.

Today's (Thursday the 28th) cover;

O'Really: WH Slaves Well Fed

That justifies slavery? This is the Right's official historian.

“Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government,” O’Reilly said, noting that the White House stopped hiring slave labor in 1802 but “did not forbid subcontractors” from using them.

“So Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House,” O’Reilly concluded. “But there were others working as well.”

Are the Russians Working Directly For Trump Now?

More directly, I suppose.

Donald Trump has a message for Russia: find Hillary Clinton's missing emails.

The Republican presidential nominee, holding a Wednesday press conference, said that the 30,000 missing emails from Clinton's private email server would reveal "some beauties" and made an extraordinary plea for a foreign power to locate them.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said. "I think you'll be rewarded mightily by our press!"

A few times a day I have to remind myself that I'm not dreaming this. 

Letter From Matt

So, Matt Funiciello deigned to write a letter to the "Compost Star" (his term, not mine) today. It's mostly about his fight to keep the Green Party ballot line pure and not allow the Dems and Reps to sap and impurify all of their precious bodily fluids. I don't care about that. This is what I do care about.

If your party does not run its own candidates, it is just carrying water for the corporate war parties. 

That last part has been bugging me for some time. Like Popeye, I can't stands no more and am working on a response to it, making this post a work in progress.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What a Difference a Week Makes

From the Washington Post:

What last night really showed is that there will be a profound, fundamental imbalance between the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigns when it comes to the wattage of surrogates out there making the case this fall.

The biggest speeches of the night, from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, projected a tone that seemed designed to contrast sharply with the hate-and-rage-fest otherwise known as the GOP convention. All of them, in one way or another, sought to align the Democratic Party, optimistically and aspirationally, with culturally and demographically changing America. They explicitly called out Trumpism — the rendition of it featured at the GOP convention — as brimming over with reactionary hostility towards the evolving and diversifying America of the 21st century.

Bless you all, and see the Drive-By Truckers at LGM. And see this clip at Crazy Eddie's. John Oliver on the Rep convention.

As Reagan Spins in His Grave

Editorial from the Daily News today. Just linking to it.

The FBI suspects Russian intelligence agencies were behind the mischief. They might have been freelancing; they might have been doing the Russian strongman’s bidding to help elect Trump.

The prospect of a foreign power with interests often diametrically opposed to ours meddling in an American presidential election in this manner should make voters shudder.

But hack or no hack, Trump’s romantic view of Putin, a man who wants nothing more than to expand his sphere of influence and see U.S. power wane, is well-established . Trump, who has a fetish for strongmen of all stripes, has repeatedly heaped praise on the repressive, anti-democratic, expansionist Putin — a friend to regimes in Iran and Syria — calling him a man “highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

But, who is he highly respected by? Richard Clarke was in with a piece today, too. 

Russian military units and ISIS terrorists are fighting and killing each other in Syria, but ironically the leaders of Russia and ISIS might both want the same candidate in the U.S. presidential election. Moreover, they might both be in positions to influence the outcome to some degree. These two foreign forces may help decide who the next American President will be.

Monday, July 25, 2016

On The Road to Shushan

I live in Balloon Country. Just wish I could afford one.

Part of the road to Shushan crosses Highway 61. 

It's good place to get a world war easily done with bleachers out in the sun. But, a better place to go see the Mettawee Players. 

God bless Ralph Lee and fill the hungry hats at the end of the performance. 

Tin Foil Doesn't Suit Me, But...

The release of the e-mails, damaging to the Clinton campaign, by Russians intrigued me. Particularly because of Trump's love of Putin and the recent meh attitude toward NATO. Josh Marshall is more than intrigued. I'll just put up the link. Because, hey read it all.

There's also a link to a WashPo article worth a read.

Since the 1980s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son, Donald Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Elise, You Know Who Else Endorsed Donald Trump?

No, not Hitler. That's close, though.

Former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke announced on Friday that he would run for a US Senate seat in Louisiana, pointing to the presidential campaign of Republican candidate Donald Trump as evidence that the national mood had swung in favor of policies he has long espoused.

Oh, you'd like a quote from the grand wizard. 

“I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years,”

A link courtesy of Infidel753. There's no way to describe how great this list of the crimes and misdemeanors of Trump is.

And bless you, Clay Shirky.  

The US According to Republicans

I didn't watch the Republican convention. I'm grateful to those who made the supreme sacrifice

Having no chance of winning the adulation he craves, Trump is instead hypercharging the thrust of his “Make America Great Again” campaign by painting the U.S. not only as threatened by dark forces, both foreign and domestic, but also as a nation that is inherently unfair and abusive and that is thus in need of a savior: him, “the only one.”

Accepting the nomination, he exploited the murders of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge and spikes in crime in some major cities to paint America as drenched in bloodshed, including a 50% rise in the number of cops killed in the line of duty so far this year.

Sweet Jesus, I think I saw this movie. Mad Max, right?

Further distorting the truth, Trump pinned the blame for surging crime in selected cities, such as Chicago and Washington, on a supposed “rollback of criminal enforcement” by Obama.

Trump’s insinuation that the President led a drive to go easy on criminals was as insulting to the intelligence as his pledge that “the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end” and that “safety will be restored” starting on Inauguration Day.

So, you're saying he might be stretching the truth a bit?

Also to be feared, of course: killer undocumented aliens.

Plus, of course, Hillary Clinton with her legacy of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”

Did Melania write this? Here's my favorite part.

Over the last eight years, Republicans excoriated Obama as a rock-star President who promised to make the seas recede and who traveled the world apologizing for America’s sins.

They are now rallying behind a pure celebrity candidate whose pledges are unmoored from reality and who has staked his election on nakedly denigrating the U.S. as a crime-ridden, civil-rights-violating nation that lacks the moral standing to protest global authoritarianism.

Projection is an essential part of the Republican DNA. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Eulogy For Roger Ailes

But stay for the Lumpy propaganda.

My ADD sent me looking for gold chairs. Please go look at the gold chairs

Jean Bedel Bokassa

And, oh my God, why not a link to Red State.

Checking In On Kansas

Every now and then it's nice to look in on the economic miracle that strict supply side theories have wrought in Kansas.

Kansas has the country’s second-slowest GDP growth rate (0.4%) for the three years ending 2015, and is one of just nine states to actually have negative GDP movement between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. Unemployment is low, but job growth has been anemic. Tax collections have fallen short of projections in 22 of the 30 months ending this past May, prompting deep and sudden spending cuts in everything from highway infrastructure to education. A bipartisan coalition of four former Kansas governors is even raising money “to help educate Kansas voters about the destructive policies of Sam Brownback and his supporters in the Kansas legislature.”

I see not much has changed. Bless that link in the pasted piece, tho.

Four former Kansas governors and other state leaders have announced an effort to raise money to oppose policies and laws created in recent years by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature.

The Save Kansas Coalition, which sent out a news release Friday, includes former Republican governors Mike Hayden and Bill Graves, and former Democratic governors Kathleen Sebelius and John Carlin.

The group also includes former Kansas Senate presidents Dick Bond and Steve Morris, and other political leaders past and present. Another member: Barry Flinchbaugh, a professor emeritus at Kansas State University who has helped write national agriculture policies.

The group issued a public statement on Friday, asking for money “to help educate Kansas voters about the destructive policies of Sam Brownback and his supporters in the Kansas legislature.”

And the criticism of this group:

Graves doesn’t even live in Kansas anymore, said Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell.

“So he ought to be quiet.”

Good Lord, why would he not want to live there?

Jill Stein, Faux Doctor

I didn't know much about Jill Stein. I thought maybe she was one of the few sane Greens. Such was not to be.

Thank you, Mistermix.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Another Case for the Secret Service

From TPM:

The Secret Service said Wednesday it would conduct the "appropriate investigation" after an adviser to Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton should be shot for treason.


I looked around a bit and found no indication that this guy was in any branch of the service, let alone the Marines. Can't help but think valor thief as well as potential assassin.

UPDATE: I did see a story on this in the Daily News that mentions he was a Marine. Semper Loco in his case.

UPDATE DOS: Thanks be to TPM again. And the Secret Service thought they were busy during the Obama years.

A Republican Ohio official grudgingly apologized for saying this week that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “should be hanging from a tree.”

Licking County Commissioner Duane Flowers made the untoward remark during what he thought was an off-the-record conversation during a public board of commissioners meeting on Tuesday.

They Don't Have a Godwin for Nero References

The intelligence of the average person found in Lake George this time of year is a little suspect. Anyway, here's the letter:

This is in response to the "groans for Hillary" article in Wednesday's paper. I'm sure there were Romans saying; "Let's put this Nero fellow in charge. What harm could he do?" I'm old, white, male, hetero, Christian and relatively well-off. You know, firmly in the Trump demographic. I'll be voting enthusiastically for Ms. Clinton. There has been an industry devoted to smearing her for the last 28 years. The Republican convention continued that effort with the ongoing despicable use of the tragedy of Benghazi for their political purposes. Disgust with that would be reason enough to cast my ballot for her.
But, Donald Trump has said he plans to default on US debt. He figures our creditors (like many of his were forced to do) will take dimes on the dollar. He also plans to place tariffs on goods from China. You won't mind paying 45% more on everything from that country in order to "make ours great again," will you? The people asked by the Post Star don't mind. I remember what President Bush did to my investments in 2008. From the sounds, those are going to look like the good old days.

Oh, and of course, please ask Congresswoman Stefanik if the economic ideas of her party's leader jibe with hers. I'm also interested if she's comfortable with the use of the deaths of four Americans to score political points. Or would she denounce it as the revolting spectacle that it is?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bramhall On Convention Seating Chart

From the Daily News:

July 19, 2016

The Mythical Stand Down Order

Just want to link to this at TPM.

In November 2014, the GOP-led House Intelligence Committeefound the CIA properly responded to the Benghazi attacks, debunking residual claims that the CIA delayed its response or missed the opening for a possible rescue mission.

And this woman, Pat Smith, who sadly lost her son, is now being used by the Trump campaign. Trump doesn't even listen to her speech because he's on the phone with one of his campaign flacks.

He apparently was on the phone with Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" to speak about introducing his wife Melania at the convention. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Trial of Hillary Clinton

Obviously the guilty verdict is a foregone conclusion.

Delegate Michael Folk, R-Berkeley, tweeted to Clinton late Friday afternoon that she should be “should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution... then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC.”

United Airlines, which employs Folk as a commercial pilot, tweeted that they are looking into the situation.

Yes folks (or Folks), that was your pilot speaking. 

Folk said his tweet was hyperbolic.

Really? If Clinton was already elected president, I'm not sure how the Secret Service would feel about his hyperbole. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Role Models


Is our children learning?

He's Sarah Palin without the gibberish.

From Betty Cracker at BJ:

Or maybe Trump just got bored with the whole thing and settled on Pence to shut everyone up. Either way, let’s hope it stokes tensions and magnifies insecurities all around. With any luck, this could become even more of an epic fail parade.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Listen to the Historians

Back in the dark days of the Bush II administration there was a constant refrain to "listen to the generals." David McCullough and other historians have weighed in on the candidacy of Donald Trump.

A group of historians whose life’s work has consisted of studying the men, women and events that shaped America have banded together to speak out against Donald Trump.
Historians including David McCullough, Ken Burns, Robert Caro, Ron Chernow and Vicki Lynn Ruiz have all posted short videos explaining why Trump’s campaign is disturbing to a Facebook page called “Historians on Donald Trump.”

Do see the Facebook page. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I accidentally put this post up with no title. Actually kind of like that and believe it will stay Untitled #1. Here's an article from CSM on the president as theologian in chief

As a senator in 2007, Obama expressed admiration for Reinhold Niebuhr, an early 20th century theologian. Explaining his attraction to Niebuhr, Obama told The New York Times:

I take away the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief that we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from na├»ve idealism to bitter realism.

And Niebuhr himself:

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.

I remain eternally optimistic.

A Guy Who Writes Purtier Than I Do

Thanks Duane Olsen.

I would like to respond to the letter by Craig Rockelman ("'Shameful?' That's Clinton, not Trump," July 5) who is apparently against Hillary Clinton and stated, "Count the number of Americans who have died on President Obama and Clinton's watch."

I do not know the exact number, but I'll bet it is less than 200. Under the Bush/Cheney administration, there were more than 4,000 Americans killed and 30,000 wounded in the phony Iraq war, and the U.S. killed more than 100,000 Iraqis, including women and children. Both Bush and Cheney lied to the American people to justify the war with Iraq. Iraq was not involved with the 9/11 attack on New York, and they did not have weapons of mass destruction.

In addition to the phony war, they pushed through Congress a massive tax cut.

When President Bush took office, the national debt was $5.6 trillion, and there was a balanced budget. When Bush left office, it was almost $12 trillion, and the debt has now grown to about $19 trillion. The tax cut, which was fully supported by Sen. Orrin Hatch, really benefitted the wealthy. The maximum income tax rate on dividends was 39 percent. The Bush tax cut provided a maximum tax rate of only 15 percent.

Many wealthy citizens get hundreds of millions in dividends. The taxes coming into the government have not been enough, and hence we now have a huge national debt. The Republicans must take responsibility for our huge national debt, as they passed the tax cuts and have controlled Congress for the last six years.

Duane Olsen


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rethinking Open Carry?

I'm pessimistic. I do believe there are people who realize that everyone at any protest could be armed and would that be a good idea?

In the chaos following the sniper attack, which killed five police officers patrolling the march, the presence of numerous armed individuals running through the streets made it difficult for officers to distinguish between suspects and marchers, feeding the misconception that there were multiple assailants at large.

You and I see that as an actual problem. Not everyone does. 

C. J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, told The Dallas Morning News that “the bad guys are the ones shooting,” so it shouldn’t be hard to separate the good guys from the bad guys.

Mr. Grisham told the Associated Press that open-carry activists can prevent alarm by keeping their gun slung on their back with their muzzle pointing down and not touching it to make it clear they don't intend to be confrontational.

See how simple that is. Then there's Mayor Rawlings and Sgt. Dyer who don't see the simplicity.

"Even open carry proponents will see the common sense in restricting open carry in environments like a protest," Sergeant Dyer said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, a Democrat and a shotgun owner, also called for tightening the state's gun laws to restrict carrying rifles and shotguns to public events, including sports games and protests. "This stuff should be common sense and not driven by ideology," Mr. Rawlings said. 

Common sense is a violation of the second amendment. Sorry. 

Thank You, Kris Straub

"All lives matter" is wrong.

Thank You Bernie

Charles Pierce has a post up today reporting on how Dr. Stein of the Not Ripe Party offered to step aside for Bernie Sanders if he wished to run as a Green.

"I've invited Bernie to sit down explore collaboration—everything is on the table," she said. "If he saw that you can't have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he'd be welcomed to the Green party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement," she said. Stein said she had made her offer directly to Sanders in an email at the end of the primary season, although she had not received a response.

Bless you, Bernie, for not responding. He also does not return calls to St. Ralph and did not get back to Matt Funiciello when MF wanted Sanders to come campaign for him. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

$15 an Hour Minimum Wage, Green Party Bitchez

What are you running on now, Matt?

The language includes calls for a "living wage" and mentions raising the minimum to $15 an hour.

I want you to know that I worked really hard on this post.

And never forget that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Capping off his weekend of inflammatory comments after the Dallas police shooting, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called Black Lives Matter “inherently racist” and “anti-American” — and even incorrectly claiming that black children have “a 99% chance” of killing each other.

Appearing on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday, Giuliani had little to say about the deadly police shootings that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and nationwide protests — including the one in Dallas that was ambushed by a cop killer.

Instead, he said it is up to the “blacks” to show respect to police officers.

Please crawl back under your rock now.

Jim Jefferies in Fuckin' Nashville

He's from the land of Quiet Magpie, who I owe for turning me onto him. Here's the gun control piece that keeps disappearing from my blog. Fuckin' youtube. Oh yeah, please don't sue me. 

OK, it wasn't. Fuckin' copyrights and what not. Go to youtube and watch. I think that's what they wanted all along. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Good News, Trumpcare Would Reduce Premiums

Bad news, 18 million would lose their coverage. Well, broken eggs, omelets and all that.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's health care plan would significantly lower premiums purchased directly by consumers but would cause 18 million people to lose their insurance, according to a nonpartisan think tank's study. 

Oh, I said all that already. Well, there's more about crossing state lines to sell insurance and I believe it's already been established that's a bad idea. Oh hell, if God is still in Heaven, he's not going to get elected anyway. 

Congresswoman Stefanik, do you support Trumpcare?

Sense and Nonsense on Guns

You can't get much more nonsensical on the issue than Matt Funiciello.

Funiciello said both bills are an overreach of federal authority.

He said local gun boards should be elected in each municipality to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether residents should be allowed to buy guns.

“We elect responsible people who we feel are good with their guns,” said Funiciello, a bread company owner and political activist from Hudson Falls. 

OK, first fuck that federal authority bullshit. I'm pretty sure I heard the nuts at Malheur and the Bundy Ranch spouting the same argument. Sometimes I think one of Matt's primary  news sources is Alex Jones. Fuck it, I'll just put up my comment. Why mess with perfection?

“We elect responsible people who we feel are good with their guns,”

What does that mean? All I can think of is Annie Oakley (or Sarah Palin) shooting a silver dollar out of the air. It sounds as tho non-gunowners need not apply. Illegal to be sure. That brings up that many boards wold likely skew to everyone or no one gets a gun, tho. How many blacks in the South (or Boston, to be fair) would have gotten a gun 50 or 60 years ago? Good thing there's no prejudice anymore.

Then there's, do you want to be on a board turning down a psychopath's gun application? And betting he doesn't get one anyway? Being sued might be the least of your worries.

If the board is going to make a sound decision, they're going to have to have access to criminal and mental health records, presumably. Is that a problem?

These are questions off the top of my head. I trust there are brighter people in the Derrick and Stefanik campaigns who can come up with better inquiries. Maybe even the local media can before they make an endorsement this time around.

Yes,“We elect responsible people who we feel are good with their guns.” He really said that. I know Maury Thompson and he wouldn't lie. Anyway. Matt responded in the comments. And just let me say, he's not into that whole paragraph thing. 

Reformed (and Kevin), the actual conversation I have around gun control is this ... I am a huge supporter of the 2nd amendment. Period. It's about deer hunting, yes, but it's also about King George and protecting ourselves from tyranny and fascism. And, in my book, both reasons are entirely valid and I defend them both. That said, the FBI and other federal agencies regularly give clearance for gun licenses and permits to people who should not ever have them granted (bear in mind that the majority of them are white American males - this is not really about "terrorism" at all). This is because these agencies do not KNOW the people in question. My brother, who owns many handguns, rifles and bows, had a great idea about issuing permits (and that is what Maury and I were speaking about). His idea is that we have Citizen Advisory Boards elected from the actual communities the permits will be issued in (made up of people who actually know or have access to those who know the people looking to obtain the permits). If the FBI had questioned Omar Matteen's co-workers at G4S or even just spoken with his abused wife, I'm pretty sure he would not have so easily procured the weaponry he used to kill all the people he did. In the bigger picture, we need to stop being a culture of violence and empire. The Republican and Democratic Party bills being offered are reactionary and unconstitutional. They just add many more layers to an already bloated and entirely inappropriate surveillance state and place more people on "watch lists". What they also do is absolutely nothing to decrease our gun dealing as a nation (we are responsible for 80% of the world's weaponry). These illegal bills just allow more people to be discriminated against by officially labeling them as "terrorists" ... right along with the 4 year old children and Ted Kennedy and animal rights activists who are traditionally placed on our insipid and Orwellian "watch lists" today. 

Or actually addressing the questions I had about the loony tune "local gun board" thing in the first place. So what the fuck. Double down and ask another question, I always say. 

Thank you for the response, Matt. I was looking for more details about the local gun boards because I didn't think it sounded really practical. A web search showed they had it somewhere in Michigan and ended it. It didn't use elected officials or at least ones elected for that sole purpose.

I do believe one can support the second amendment and not be an absolutist. I have talked to gun owners in the threads who are open to reasonable controls. No one wants to deprive hunters of their guns. Why discuss it? It's a big leap between having a gun for hunting and defending against tyranny and fascism. That's not a gun policy I want to hear from my representative. If it was, I'd move to Texas. I asked someone here in the threads this question and got no response. But, I'm dogged. Who gets to decide that we are being ruled by a tyrant? I remember people saying Obama was a tyrant because of Obamacare. Was that tyranny worthy of sedition? Apparently not. Were the Bundys in the right at their ranch or at Malheur Preserve?

You speak a lot about the evil that corporations do. You seem to give the NRA/Gun Industry a pass. They control gun policy in this country. That's not conspiracy theory. It's reality. Does it not concern you?

Technically, I guess I asked two more questions there. He didn't come back and answer either of them. I believe I'm going to make a special request to Mike Derrick to ask them. My final comment.

Someday I may get an answer to that question. Charges of tyranny and fascism fly too freely for my tastes. My concern is that the shooter or shooters in Dallas may have felt justified for these reasons.

This guy is the Green Party, Progressive, Fuckin' candidate for Congress in my district. Please pardon the f-bombs, but it has been an annoyingly deadly week that calls for a few. Just to bring things down a little, here's Sharay Santora:

Videos of the attack show officers running toward the gunfire to help citizens.

Sharay Santora, who was there with her children, told CNN she overheard marchers say, “They were here for us, I’m going to be there for them.”

“My children and I are going to be there for their funerals because they lost their lives protecting me and my children,” she said. 

Bless you and thank you for that, Ms. Santora. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Another Letter to Another Gun Nut

This is in response to Brendan Whelan's, let's ban cars and phones because they kill people too, letter.

    I'd like to respond to Ms. Whelan's letter and point out some differences between cars, phones and guns. You won't find a congressperson urging teens to text and drive. Nor will you find one urging people to drive drunk, not wear seat belts, exceed the speed limit, etc. The Kellerman study in 1996 stated, "A gun in the home is far more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defense ... people should be strongly discouraged from keeping guns in their homes." That kind of talk doesn't sell guns. The only kind of discouraging the Congressional arm of the gun industry did was of gun studies. In 1996, they cut off funding the CDC with the Dickey Amendment.
     Your statistics are a bit off. Annual deaths from guns and autos are both in the range of 30,000 to 33,000. A big difference is that those from autos are declining. Another is that there is $240 million a year spent on traffic safety and next to nothing on deaths from firearms. Would more guns result in fewer deaths? Let's study it and find out. The NRA seems to feel everyone should be armed. Over 60% of fatalities are from suicide or accident. To me, that suggests more is not better. If not, let's cut out the gun industry propaganda and educate people. And educate Congress. Sensible legislation is not enacted out of ignorance and fear of reprisal from Wayne LaPierre.

     Condolences to the police of Dallas.

Link to my letter 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Trump Doesn't Care About Your Phoney Baloney Jobs

This post from Josh Marshall is the lift I needed after the idiot gun idiot.

If I'm a GOP member of Congress I hear that and think, "Damn, you've got zero plan to ensure I don't lose my job. I can't even tell if you care. But you definitely haven't even thought about it."

That's one thing to say to an interviewer to rebuff a question or say at a rally to give yahoo supporters something to say on Twitter. But in private, when people's whose jobs and majorities are on the line need an answer, it's different. 

Thanks, Donald. Ummmm, can we really have all the Congress and the White House?

Another Republican in the meeting Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) told TPM that Trump was asked pointedly if he would defend Article I of the Constitution.

"Not only will I stand up for Article One," Trump enthusiastically stated,
according to Sanford. "I'll stand up for Article Two, Article 12, you name it of the Constitution."

Sanford said Trump's lack of knowledge about how many articles exist, gave him "a little pause." (The Constitution has seven articles and 27 amendments.)

But, that's OK.

"He was just listing out numbers," Farenthold said. "I think he was confusing Articles and Amendments. Remember, this guy doesn't speak from a TelePrompter. He speaks from the heart."

It's OK because he's a conman and conmen con. It's what they do.

He's a Nut and He's Allowed to Own Guns

Do I feel good about saying that about someone who just lost his 14-year old son? Yes because he can say this:

"Every round in the gun is your responsibility. When it fires you need to stand to account for it. That's what I've spent the last two days doing, accounting for my operating error."

An operating error? I think he needs to spend the rest of his life accounting for the "operating error." Do I believe he's going to? 

The shooting has not changed his views of guns, he said. He still intends to keep them in the house and use them for self-defense of his home and family.

"I can't fix this. It's just a great loss, but thankfully we'll see him someday. I have a feeling he's on a great lake out there."

I'm doubtful. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Asclepias and Labs of Democracy

Why can't we all have nice governments like California does?

Asclepias (milkweed) is the orange plants in front, bordered by a couple of apple trees and the yellow coreopsis in back. No Monarchs as yet. 

Matt's Gun Policy

This has been a long time coming and God was it worth waiting for.

Funiciello said both bills are an overreach of federal authority.

He said local gun boards should be elected in each municipality to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether residents should be allowed to buy guns.

“We elect responsible people who we feel are good with their guns,” said Funiciello, a bread company owner and political activist from Hudson Falls. 

For now, I'm just going to paste the comment I left. Might come back to this.

“We elect responsible people who we feel are good with their guns,” 

What does that mean? All I can think of is Annie Oakley (or Sarah Palin) shooting a silver dollar out of the air. It sounds as tho non-gunowners need not apply. Illegal to be sure.

That brings up that many boards wold likely skew to everyone or no one gets a gun, tho. How many blacks in the South (or Boston, to be fair) would have gotten a gun 50 or 60 years ago? Good thing there's no prejudice anymore.

Then there's, do you want to be on a board turning down a psychopath's gun application? And betting he doesn't get one anyway? Being sued might be the least of your worries. If the board is going to make a sound decision, they're going to have to have access to criminal and mental health records, presumably. Is that a problem?

These are questions off the top of my head. I trust there are brighter people in the Derrick and Stefanik campaigns who can come up with better inquiries. Maybe even the local media can before they make an endorsement this time around.

You Go, Gretchen

I hadn't even seen that she'd been fired. Then, I don't pay a lot of attention to Fox News.

Gretchen Carlson, a broadcast veteran, claims in a sexual harassment lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 as retaliation for rebuffing Roger Ailes' sexual advances.

And Steve Doocy:

In 2009, Carlson says she complained to a supervisor that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, "had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast."

Carlson accuses Doocy of "severe and pervasive sexual harassment" off the air and "generally attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop."

Had she ever watched the network? Yes, Gretchen, you were a blond female prop. Nonetheless, good luck in suing the shit out of them. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Since I'm Bookmarking The Atlantic Today

Here's another article on the devolution of the Republican Party.

When it comes to latinos, Donald Trump has a muse: Ann Coulter. Last June, when Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” in his presidential-campaign announcement, the comment took many journalists by surprise. But that’s because many journalists hadn’t read Coulter’s work. 

And the bigger surprise is that Coulter is Trump's muse or that many journalists had not read her work?

Coulter is right. California, where Latinos now outnumber non-Latino whites, offers valuable lessons about what American politics will be like as the share of Latinos grows in the country as a whole. But those lessons suggest that the Trump insurrection will fail miserably. If the Golden State is any guide, the Trump campaign does not herald the beginning of a mass nativist backlash against Latino immigration. It heralds something closer to the end.

Yeah, there's a lot of stuff like that in the article. 

The same study found that viewers of Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly were more than twice as likely as viewers of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to think Latinos take native-born Americans’ jobs, and 30 percent more likely to believe that they were on welfare.

Conservative media have, in turn, created a fertile market for anti-immigrant Republican politicians: Buchanan in the 1990s; Tom Tancredo, who in 2008 tried to parlay his opposition to George W. Bush’s immigration reform into a presidential run; local anti-immigrant crusaders such as Kansas’s secretary of state, Kris Kobach, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona. Trump is only the latest in a string of GOP politicians who have used hostility to immigration to build their political brand.

Fair, balanced and xenophobic as hell. Oh, an just to make the loss of the Hispanic vote complete. 

 Miranda Hernandez's grandparents lost everything when they fled Cuba in the 1960s. She grew up thinking of the island as "North Korea with nice beaches," she said. 

But when four young Cuban-Americans started a program sending peers with similar island ties to explore their heritage after U.S.-Cuba detente, she applied.

On Friday, after a week in Havana visiting entrepreneurs, artists and relatives she'd never met, the 20-year-old senior at the University of California, Berkeley flew home with impressions certain to upset many of her grandparents' generation. 

"Right off the bat I'm going to say honestly it's not that bad," she said on Thursday afternoon as she visited the Havana apartment where her mother lived as a young girl. "A lot of people perceive Cuba as a terrible place where people aren't happy, but that's not the case." 

Voting For Chaos

Interesting article in The Atlantic this month. Really, just linking to it because it's a little long. I read it in the print edition (cuz I'm old), but it's nice to be able to bookmark it here.

No wonder Paul Ryan, taking the gavel as the new (and reluctant) House speaker in October, complained that the American people “look at Washington, and all they see is chaos. What a relief to them it would be if we finally got our act together.” No one seemed inclined to disagree. Nor was there much argument two months later when Jeb Bush, his presidential campaign sinking, used the c-word in a different but equally apt context. Donald Trump, he said, is “a chaos candidate, and he’d be a chaos president.” Unfortunately for Bush, Trump’s supporters didn’t mind. They liked that about him.

Trump, however, didn’t cause the chaos. The chaos caused Trump. What we are seeing is not a temporary spasm of chaos but a chaos syndrome.

Chaos syndrome is a chronic decline in the political system’s capacity for self-organization. It begins with the weakening of the institutions and brokers—political parties, career politicians, and congressional leaders and committees—that have historically held politicians accountable to one another and prevented everyone in the system from pursuing naked self-interest all the time. As these intermediaries’ influence fades, politicians, activists, and voters all become more individualistic and unaccountable. The system atomizes. Chaos becomes the new normal—both in campaigns and in the government itself.

This is what irritates me about the 3 locals that endorsed Funiciello. They were endorsing chaos. If the district sent a Republican or a Democrat at least that person has a group to work with. A Green is totally outside the stream. It's insane. 

Elise Jumps Aboard the Trump Train

And Casey Jones is still at the wheel. Congratulations on making the right decision, congresswoman. And, by right decision, I mean the one that gives Mike Derrick a better shot at being my next congress-critter. 

North Country congresswoman Elise Stefanik is saying much more explicitly that she will support Donald Trump in the presidential election.