Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Time for a New National Anthem

One that we can all stand for. Mostly just wanted to link to this Shaun King column in today's Daily News.

Like Kaepernick, I've had enough of injustice in America and I've had enough of anthems written by bigots. Colin Kaepernick has provided a spark.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" should've never been made into our national anthem. That President Woodrow Wilson, widely thought to be one of the most bigoted presidents ever elected, chose it as our national anthem, is painfully telling as well. We must do away with it like South Africans did away with their monument to Cecil Rhodes. We must do away with it like South Carolina did with the Confederate Flag over their state house.

It was a song that was written by a racist and pushed into becoming the national anthem by another racist. 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Yes, that's the third verse

The Star-Spangled Banner” is as much a patriotic song as it is a diss track to black people who had the audacity to fight for their freedom. 

And since I know everyone wonders what Tony Stewart thinks about Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem. What is really even more important is what others think of Stewart's opinions.

Veterans, who have fought and bled for the country, have begun explaining why what Kaepernick did is the greatest form of freedom and expression — the freedom to protest.

What branch of the military did Stewart serve in? None, that I could find. He did play trombone in a marching band, though. And, of course, he has killed a guy with his race car.

"You have a right to protest!" And a duty.

It's Fuck the NRA Tuesday

I realized yesterday that I haven't been ranting against the NRA nearly enough lately. Take it, Dr. Friesen:

And here's a link to an article on his speech. Don't miss the "Cocks not Glocks" link. Here's a link to a Dan Thomasson column in my local today. 

Outrageous? Absolutely, and more than a little absurd, as one headline pointed out. Wonderful in its inventiveness and the stuff of brilliant satire in its delicious obscenity but not illegally so? You bet! Effective? One can only hope.

That’s what University of Texas students came up with to protest their state Legislature’s irresponsible decision to permit concealed firearms on their Austin campus over the objections of not only thousands of enrollees but also professors, the chancellor of the system and the president of its flagship institution.

Blessed be the dildo makers.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Questions for Elise

Brian Mann has a half dozen fabulous questions for my congresswoman if he or anyone can pin her down to ask them. Just linking to it because it's all worth reading. Thanks Brian.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

This is an Actual Thing?

I could make that a label since I'm unaware of so much. I believe that being aware of so many things that you are unaware of is part of the means of preventing denialism. Note that I'm making no jokes about rivers in Egypt.

In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person's choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.  Denialism is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of an historical experience or event, by the person refusing to accept an empirically verifiable reality.  In the sciences, denialism is the rejection of basic facts and concepts that are undisputed, well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a subject, in favor of radical and controversial ideas.  The terms Holocaust denialism and AIDS denialism describe the denial of the facts and the reality of the subject matters,  and the term climate change denialist is applied to people who argue against the scientific consensus that the global warming of planet Earth is a real and occurring event primarily caused by human activity. The forms of denialism present the common feature of the person rejecting overwhelming evidence and the generation of political controversy with attempts to deny the existence of consensus. The motivations and causes of denialism include religion and self-interest (economic, political, financial) and defence mechanisms meant to protect the psyche of the denialist against mentally disturbing facts and ideas.

Ooh look, they have GMOs, too.

There is a scientific consensus  that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food,  but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction.  Nonetheless, members of the public are much less likely than scientists to perceive GM foods as safe.  The legal and regulatory status of GM foods varies by country, with some nations banning or restricting them, and others permitting them with widely differing degrees of regulation.

However, opponents have objected to GM foods on grounds including safety. Psychological analyses indicate that over 70% of GM food opponents in the US are "absolute" in their opposition, experience disgust at the thought of eating GM foods, and are "evidence insensitive".

With lots of good links there to support the idea that GMOs are safe. Bah, what do scientists know.

A report issued by the scientific council of the American Medical Association (AMA) says that no long-term health effects have been detected from the use of transgenic crops and genetically modified foods, and that these foods are substantially equivalent to their conventional counterparts.  

Anything To Help Out Charles Pierce

You go, Charles!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

May the End of Fox Be Near

I've been hoping the implosion of the Republican Party led by Donald Trump would take Fox News as well. Maybe combined with the sexual harassment it will signal the end.

Tantaros claims in the 37-page lawsuit that Brown “made a number of sexually inappropriate comments to Tantaros on set” during an appearance on “Outnumbered,” a program she hosted.

Tantaros claims that the former senator said she “would be fun to go to a nightclub with,” and “snuck up behind” her while she was buying lunch and “put his hands on her lower waist.” 

Oh, Senator Brown. No, not Bill O'Reilly, too.

In particular, she names Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and several on-air contributors as having allegedly harassed her; and she accuses top executives including Ailes’s successor, Bill Shine, and chief flack Irena Briganti of trying to intimidate her from complaining further.

Anything about falafel?

Matt Trolling the St. Lawrence County Dems

They made the mistake of supporting the Democratic candidate in our district. Matt showed to make a pitch to Bernie supporters, I guess. Here's what he said on his facebook page some time back.

 I have a feeling he's saving himself solely for national media, Joanne.

During my congressional campaign, we reached out to Bernie and were completely ignored.

Ralph Nader has told me that Bernie doesn't ever respond to any of his letters. Nor does his staff.

You could reach out to Bernie's people on my behalf but he's being pretty clear, by running as a Democrat, that he is choosing to not be part of a movement forward.

I certainly wish that, at least, he'd write an essay explaining what he's trying to build by running with a corporatist war party.

Bernie doesn't have the love for the Greens!

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Price of Voting to Defund Planned Parenthood

This is it, Congresswoman Stefanik.

In the wake of the report, reproductive health advocates are blaming the increase on Republican-led budget cuts that decimated the ranks of Texas’s reproductive healthcare clinics. In 2011, just as the spike began, the Texas state legislature cut $73.6m from the state’s family planning budget of $111.5m. The two-thirds cut forced more than 80 family planning clinics to shut down across the state. Theremaining clinics managed to provide services – such as low-cost or free birth control, cancer screenings and well-woman exams – to only half as many women as before.

At the same time, Texas eliminated all Planned Parenthood clinics – whether or not they provided abortion services – from the state program that provides poor women with preventive healthcare. Previously, Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas offered cancer screenings and contraception to more than 130,000 women.

Trump Versus Green Throwdown

It's occurred to me, and likely others (if not, FIRST!), that there is an equivalence between Donald Trump and the Greens. I've been comparing The Donald and The Matt for some time. They are both captivated by conspiracy theories. They both employ the ad hominem attack as their primal means of debate. They're both raging narcissists. The crazy is strong in both of them.
I had thought that Jill Stein, though I wasn't apt to vote for her, was at least sane (for a Green anyway). Not so, as I previously posted. Something that escaped me until recently was the whole anti-science, neo-Luddite platform inherent in the Green Party. Stein recently revealing herself as an anti-vaxer and the weird beliefs about wi-fi is part of it. There's also the evil of GMO's. They're manufactured by corporations, and corporations are evil through and through, so GMO's must be evil. As a left-winger, I know I'm expected to have a knee-jerk opposition to them. It's like being a right-winger and being expected to automatically deny climate change. God knows I'm not a scientist, but my belief is that there may be some good in GMO's. I do know there are a lot of hungry people in the world.

Some emerging genetic engineering technologies have the potential to create novel plant varieties that are hard to distinguish genetically from plants produced through conventional breeding or processes that occur in nature. A plant variety that is conventionally bred to be resistant to a herbicide and one that is genetically engineered to be resistant to the same herbicide can be expected to have similar associated benefits and risks.

Damn you, Mendel!
There's a quip that Green stands for Getting Republicans Elected Every November. Not sure that's fair and I don't want to stand in the way of anyone running for office. I actually want to express my appreciation for them, to some extent. Groups on the right and left have always had the crazy aunts in the basement. The Green Party provides an outlet for that lunacy on the left. It allows us to keep that basement door locked so they can enjoy their own party and play their own games. The Republican Party is missing that locked door. That allowed crazy Aunt Donald to come up the stairs and piss in the punch bowl. The Right is going to need to figure out a way to siphon off the crazy cluster and isolate them at their own little kiddie's table after this election. Good luck to them on that. The punch bowl still has piss in it, though.

Along these lines is a great piece I saw at NCPR. This is a list of 20 important questions presidential candidates should have to address to be taken seriously.

I am hopeful that these questions get their airtime in the campaign. That was the point of formulating them. If nothing else, however, they remind us of just how broadly and deeply these sci-tech issues appear in our daily lives.

I've been reading John Grant recently. He writes a lot about debunking. Most of my letters to the editor are debunking stupidity. Don't tolerate ignorance. Call it out.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"Lock Her Up"

Just as soon as they find a reason.

In 1998, the House voted to impeach Clinton's husband. In 2008, the House voted to hold Bush administration officials Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten in contempt. In 2012, they voted to hold the former head of the Justice Department, Eric Holder, in contempt of Congress. Twice in its history (most recently a century ago) they even had their sergeant at arms -- Congress's top cop -- arrest an administration official for not complying with a subpoena. Most recently, a key House panel voted on party lines to censure the head of the IRS. (That's a step below contempt, and the full House isn't even likely to vote on that.)

Chafetz is doubtful Congress will try any of that on Clinton. All those options are rife with drama and not necessarily commensurate with the situation at hand, when Republicans don't yet have answers about what law, if any, Clinton broke.

Well yes, I would hope that she broke a law if you're going to lock her up. At least as long as we remain a Democracy. This is just sad. What happened to the glory days of Benghazi investigations?

Congress could also launch its own investigation into Clinton's email servers, a la its recently finished investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks that happened under her watch. But that carries its own political risk. If they don't find a smoking gun that proves Clinton should be indicted, it gets harder for Republicans to argue that the system is rigged (as Donald Trump has tweeted) or at least not impartial (as Ryan has told reporters).

Can we move up the election? I'm anxious to get to the post-election kvetching. 

Bow Down Before Your Trump

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Odds and Ends on Jill Stein

More odd than anything else. I thought she was more sane than the average Green despite the anti-vaccination thing. I saw this link to her trip to Moscow at Charles Pierce's home.

Stein noted that we “need to rein in US exceptionalism, and totally reform and revise our foreign policy so that it is based on international law, human rights and diplomacy.” Making those comments from Moscow, at this time, is rather unconventional, unless you work for Donald Trump.

With Red Square as her backdrop, Stein suggested that we need to “replace a US policy of domination with a way forward based on respect, collaboration, international law and human rights.”

She added, “we’ve seen that vision really resonate here.”

So, that's not really insane, though. Just really disgusting. Oh, but there's insanity, too. 

Person from crowd: What about the wireless?

Jill Stein: We should not be subjecting kids’ brains especially to that. And we don’t follow that issue in this country, but in Europe where they do, they have good precautions around wireless—maybe not good enough, because it’s very hard to study this stuff. We make guinea pigs out of whole populations and then we discover how many die. 

But why would they do that?

And this is another corporate ruse. This is another gimmick to try to make a buck. To make big bucks in fact. 

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Not the fuckin' corporations! 

At least she and her running mate are better than the alternative, the lesser of two evils. That's what I hear. So, about her running mate

Stein has reportedly settled on self-proclaimed “human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst” Ajamu Baraka.

Oh, he sounds good.

“This corrupt, degenerate, white supremacist monstrosity called the United States.”

He certainly talks like a Green. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Is Sean Hannity Brain Damaged?

I'm only asking the question. He seems to be doing so much more with Hillary Clinton.

Every night this week, Fox News' Sean Hannity has drawn attention to a story that was largely debunked before Monday morning. Again and again, Hannity has summoned a "Fox News Medical A-Team" to probe the claim that Hillary Clinton has serious medical issues, covered up by a press that won't demand her medical records. 

The Guy Who Could Be Governor

Yes, Carl Paladino could be our governor. The same party that is running Trump for president ran him for governor of NY.

In a Sunday email to BuzzFeed News, Paladino slammed Khan for his "lack of objectivity and submission to Hillary’s hideous effort to compel him to disgrace the memory of his son."

"She even bought him the pocket constitution," Paladino claimed, "which he probably never read but also returned to the staff after the speech."
Paladino went on to accuse Khan of "advocating for Islamist terrorists" and communicating "with terrorist individuals and organizations," implying that this motivated Khan's remarks.

"Allowing himself to be so controlled by Hillary that he would dishonor the memory of his heroic son shows the man’s lack of character and backbone," Paladino concluded. "I am certain that most Gold Star parents would despise Mr Kahn’s (sic) attempt to politicize his son’s loss."

Paladino previously suggested that Khan is "a member of the Muslim Brotherhood" and that Trump therefore does not have to respect or refer to him as a "Gold Star parent,"

In case you have to ask, why is he not our governor?

An online news outlet in New York state has obtained dozens of emails, many of them racist and sexually graphic, which it reports were sent by Carl Paladino, the Tea-Party-backed Republican candidate for governor of New York, to a long list of political and business associates. One email shows a video of an African tribal dance, entitled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal," while another depicts hardcore bestiality.

John Oliver Monday

Go fuck yourself API!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bonus Trump Post Because I'll Be Off Tomorrow

Take it, Fareed:

It's worth watching to see Zakaria say bullshit. 

Hillary, don't take your foot off the gas. 

Obligatory Daily Trump Post

But, I'll try to keep it mostly Hillary because she must be suffering from lack of attention. Oh look, her tax returns have been released like (almost) all presidential candidates do.

The info was in Hillary and Bill Clinton’s 2015 tax returns, which they released with fanfare on Friday in a bid to put additional pressure on Donald Trump to do the same.

The Clinton campaign released the Clintons' latest figures as well as ten years of returns for her running mate, Tim Kaine, and his wife Anne Holton. The Clintons have now released their tax returns for every one of the last 39 years.

Go here to see Republicans speculate on why he might not want to release them. 

A Very Brief Mention of St. Matt's Epistle to the Greens

OK, here's a link to NCPR who have the video. The Chronicle this week had the transcript. I'm not going to comb the internet finding one I can link to. So, I'll just riff on this one line.

We need to vote for Green Party candidates every time. 

OK, so about that. Say I have a choice between a Democrat, a Republican and a Green who believes that migrant workers should learn to speak English or "get their asses outta here." Why? Because it's harmful for cows to hear Spanish spoken. Should I vote for the Green in that instance? Let's try another. It's a Democrat, a Republican and a Green who believes we need guns to defend against tyranny and that there's no evidence the Pentagon was hit by an airplane. Who do I vote for there?

Let's not blame the "legacy" voters, Greens. Whatever legacy voters are. You don't get the vote just for not being a Dem or a Rep. I went into the Chronicle interview from Feb 2014 with an open mind. I heard, "We need guns to defend ourselves from tyranny. If you don't understand that, you're not paying attention." Two strikes: gun extremism and condescension. The third strike was calling Obama and Owens corporate puppets.

You're out! BTW, that was before I even knew he was a Truther.

I've considered, as Matt said to me in a comment thread, that I might be "a wee bit obsessed." I've considered that. I believe it's like the Trump thing. I try to ignore Trump, but it's a car wreck. You have to look. If Derrick or Stefanik was as loony, I wouldn't be able to ignore that either. And of course, it doesn't help that he criticizes Democrats with his every breath.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Daily Trump Stupidity

I used that at Infidel's place. Sounds about right.

Hotel boss Donald Trump offers “beautiful” child care at his resorts — for his guests, not his employees.

The Republican presidential contender once bragged about how he provides with staffers with on-site childcare — first-rate programs that give kids a safe place to play, learn and even enjoy “kiddie cocktails” while their parents work — but employees now claim such programs are exclusively for the people who pay to stay at his hotels. 

I don't even want to bother with the lying and the venality anymore. Yeah, I'm just taking that for granted.

Trump said he has two programs — “They call 'em Trump Kids; another one calls it Trumpeteers, if you can believe it” — for working parents. Staffers drop their children off with caretakers before heading to work and can even visit them on their lunch breaks, he claimed.

WTF? He even has to put his name on the kids' programs? Does he autograph his turds before they go down the, presumably, golden Trump toilet bowl?

Comment Exchange With Matt at NCPR

Just wanted to put up this exchange of pleasantries.

Matt, you complained about yourself and the Greens being called names and then referred to Mike Derrick as a Republican missile defense expert which did not seem to be meant as a compliment. You called Aaron Woolf a clearly out of touch tourist and referred to Elise Stefanik as a Paul Ryan airdrop. Oh, and you have called me a faux liberal in the past. Glass houses!

BTW, I don't care if you run for the office. If you want to run, run. I'm not going to call you names. I'm going to criticize what you say, though. There are things you are right about. But there are things you are very wrong about and they outweigh the good. Like a bag of anvils against a bag of feathers.

I'm anxious to see what Mike Derrick brings to the table. He supported the Iran nuclear deal which I saw as an act of political courage compared to Aaron hemming and hawing on ACA. Derrick could have ducked it. That's a good start. BTW, I never saw an opinion from you on the Iran deal. Maybe I just missed it.

And his reply:


Mike Derrick is a "missile defense Republican". What part of that is incorrect?

Aaron Woolf was an "out of touch tourist". What part of that is incorrect?

Elise Stefanik is a "Paul Ryan air dropped" candidate. Is she not?

Anyone voting Democrat while claiming to be a "progressive" is "faux" because the result of that action is always more war and corporatism which are clearly NOT the progressive agenda. Right?

The things being said about me and about Jill are LIES. I am not a conspiracy theorist and she is not a anti-vaxxer. These are DNC smears. Lying is the big difference between what I say and what comes out of your camp.

And you are "anxious to see" what a blue dog from Colorado can do in our district? I'm pretty sure that what he "can do" is lose and lose badly. And spoil the race for the working class.

If that's what inspires you ... fine, Kevin. Vote for the war party of the fake left. But please stop telling lies about me or Jill. That should be beneath you and anyone else.

So, I criticized him about the personal attacks. Apparently, the personal attacks are OK because they are true. It's OK to refer to someone as an "out of touch tourist" if that's what they are. And I suppose it was OK for Mark Frost to call Aaron a "privileged dilettante from NYC," too. I can see why Frost endorsed him. Narcissistic gun nut Truther comes to mind for some reason.  

If I had been in his place, I might have asked about the reasons for not voting for him. I guess he's not the Questioner that he says he is. No curiosity about that. I really don't understand the campaign strategy. You go around and refer to all potential voters as faux-libs and faux-cons and say the party they belong to is a corporate war party. Wash that blood off your hands and vote Green. 

Jill Stein may or may not be an anti-vaxxer. Matt Funiciello is absolutely a conspiracy theorist. That's documented. And I guess I'm still not getting an answer to where he stands on the Iran deal.    

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bless the Journalists

John Oliver made me feel guilty for watching it on youtube. I went over to Josh's and made today the day. You can, too.

As I've said a number of times, if you feel like you need us, then we need you. It's a catchy phrase but it's more important that it's true. We need you to become part of what we do, become a member. It's just 14 cents a day. 

The Tinfoil Hat Song

Compliments of a commenter at Charles Pierce's:

You Can Only Avoid Trump For So Long

From Kevin Siers at the Charlotte Observer:

You libs just don't have a sense of humor.


If only he could have fit Elise into the picture.

And you know, it's just what many people are saying

It's Perseid Time, Welcome Meteors!

That's why it's cloudy at night. It was last year, the two nights that I got up to watch. This year is supposed to be a great show. I stayed up until 3 am last night and saw mostly clouds and darkness. I just looked at tonight's forecast and, at least for my area, from midnight until 2 or so they're only calling for partial cloudiness. We'll see what we shall see.

During a typical year, viewers in a dark location can expect to see a meteor every minute to every 30 seconds during the peak, Peter Brown, a professor with the Meteor Physics Group at Western University in London, Ontario, told CBC.

"A lot of those meteors will be pretty bright," he said, adding that this year, "the rates could be up to … a couple every minute, maybe even three a minute" if you're camping or at the cottage, away from city lights. Dark skies are key to seeing lots of meteors."

This year's outburst is caused by the influence of Jupiter's and Saturn's orbits on the Swift-Tuttle debris, Brown said. The last such outburst occurred in 2009 when the Perseids produced about double the number of meteors.


As Cooke remarked to NASA, that means "the meteors you'll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago. ... And they've traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth's atmosphere."

And we are grateful to them for making the journey, more grateful if we can see them.

If I didn't have enough labels already, this would be "Posts Gratefully Not About Trump." 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Good Letter That is One of Mine

Actually, I'll leave the grading to others. I put up Bernice's, so I figured I'll put mine up, too. It'll likely run tomorrow.

This is in response to Mr. Funiciello's recent letter. It's impressive that he managed to work the phrase "corporate war parties" into a discussion about the Green Party ballot line. It's obvious that he must have a great concern about deaths in the Middle East from weaponry manufactured by American companies. Regular readers know I have an obsession over gun deaths, in our country, from weaponry manufactured by anyone. Do they ever know that! Mr. Funiciello had a radio show that aired on Thursdays. Shootings in Charleston and San Bernardino took place on Wednesdays. Maybe it's just my fanaticism, but I would have found time during those shows to have at least mentioned the tragic loss of life the day before. He didn't. Not a word. But, he can work "corporate war parties" into a letter about the Green Party ballot line.
I have seen two instances of Mr. Funiciello declaring his belief that we need guns to defend ourselves against tyranny. Those who endured my previous letters will recognize that's not the sort of sensible gun policy I endorse. Just out of curiosity, who is it that declares tyranny? Donald Trump? Matt Funiciello? Some said Obamacare was tyrannical. Did I miss the revolution? That raises the point that you are going up against the U.S. government. As comedian Jim Jefferies says, "You're bringing a gun to a drone fight." And how many people do you know who are willing to drop everything and go to war against the government?

You know who's in favor of common sense gun laws? The Democratic Party! It's easy to see who's not.

Have I mentioned lately how much I dislike that corporate war party smear? Obviously, I wrote this before Donald Trump's whole incitement to "correct" the election to the gun fanciers. Sometimes these things just work out and we go all Nostradamus.

Good Letter That's Not One Of Mine

From Bernice Mennis in the Post Star:

To counteract the harm of bullying, our schools cultivate empathy, putting oneself in another’s shoes. Trump has mimicked the disabled, demeaned Mexicans, insulted women, spoke of shooting and punching people. Were Trump in my class, I’d report his dangerous behavior. Since the Trump campaign, bullying has increased; we imitate what we see and hear. The unifying theme at RNC was not an economic plan but demonization of Hillary, a chorus screaming “liar,” “jail her,” “kill her.” As a possible president, Trump is terrifying – his arrogance, inexperience, ignorance and contempt.

Thoughtful debate over issues is essential for democracy, but hatred is impervious to reason, a death wish for the “chosen” cast out group. The Nazis knew if one keeps repeating a lie, people will believe it. For years Trump questioned Obama’s citizenship and religion. For 25 years the Republicans have attacked Hillary – for fraud, conspiracy, Benghazi, emails – spending millions on investigations and trials but never proving any illegal behavior. I’ve disagreements with Hillary’s hawkish foreign policy but immense respect for her continued hard work for children, families, health and justice. But with hate – misogyny, racism – it doesn’t matter what someone says or does. I want to hear discussion over real issues, not bullies threatening violence.

I loved the incredible diversity of age, class, type, color at the Democratic Convention, an inclusiveness welcoming all. In nature, diversity, interconnection and interdependence are the life force. A monoculture under rigid authority and control results in sterility and death.

I hope Hillary does what she promises – economic, racial, gender justice, and water and earth rights. I fear Trump will do what he promises: a Putin-like violence, building walls, denigrating others, bankrupting our economy and democracy. I will work hard for my hope, the alternative too dangerous.

“If you see something, say something.”

I love "if you see something, say something" at the end. Never thought about it that way. No fear there, I always say something. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Red Versus Blue

A nice link compliments of Shaw. The chart is to die for.

Mr. Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan are united by the conviction that cutting taxes — especially on corporations and the wealthy — is what drives growth.

A look at the states, however, suggests that they’re wrong. Red states dominated by Republicans embrace cut and extract. Blue states dominated by Democrats do much more to maintain their investments in education, infrastructure, urban quality of life and human services — investments typically financed through more progressive state and local taxes. And despite what you may have heard, blue states are generally doing better.

And that's why we live in the Great Liberal Northeast, isn't it, Ms. Kenawe?

For the First Mention of Hillary is Going to Raise Taxes on the Middle Class

Charles Pierce mentioned this video, so I went over to politifact for this. Just to have it handy.

Hillary Clinton just admitted to a big tax hike, at least according to Donald Trump.

The Trump campaign sent an email blast to supporters embedded with a video of a Clinton event in Omaha, Neb., entitled, "Hillary Clinton says she wants to ‘raise taxes on the middle class.’" 

I'm sure it makes perfect sense to a Trumpkin that HRC would holler out proudly that she's going to raise taxes on the middle class.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Republicans Who Love Hillary

Just linking to this Joe Conason piece on Hillary love among the Right.

A presidential election isn’t exactly a popularity contest, although journalists and pollsters often treat it as such. But perhaps voters should understand that what they think they know about the personality of one very familiar candidate is nothing more than media mythology.

The bottom line.

For the Next Mention of Chicago

The article is about gun buybacks, but I wanted this bit.

Shooting incidents are down 19.3% citywide compared to the same time period last year, with 531 shootings through July 31, compared to 662 in 2015. 

For the next time someone tells me about the gun violence in Chicago, where they have strong gun laws dontcha know. They have them in NYC, too. 

They Need to Hit Bottom

Rick Wilson, Republican strategist, has an article in the Daily News on Sunday. He's hurt, really hurt by the Trump candidacy. Hurt the way Erick Erickson is.

To begin to repair the damage done, they need to see not that their way almost succeeded, if only one or two states had broken differently. They must absorb the painful reality that their way cannot, will not, ever work again.

So when it's over, Trumpkins, remember: You're not purging us. We're purging you.

No more hate and reckless group blame. No more fact-free fearmongering. No more feeding the obese ego of a man who's transparently unfit for the job.

And after the party gets this philosophical poison out of its system, it needs to re-professionalize the way it wins elections. You'll see at the end of this race dozens of articles on how Hillary Clinton's team took the amazing data science and voter contact architecture created by Obama and enhanced it.

This wasn't rocket science; it's basic, professional campaigning. While Donald Trump was retweeting "White Genocide 1488 Ovenmaster," Clinton's campaign was building data files and contacting swing voters. While Trump was tweeting about "Crooked Hillary," she was having precisely targeted television ads aimed at swing voters in the suburbs of key cities in battleground states appearing at just the right moments. While Trump was depending on red hats and WWE rallies, her people have been going door-to-door by the thousands, knocking, talking, winning hearts and winning votes.

I know Trump fans think of professionalized campaigning like this: "We don't need you fancy smart people with experience and your campaign discipline and your writers and polls and your computers and your TV ads. All we need are hats and Trump's Twitter account. Hold muh beer while I build a wall and make Mexico pay for it."

I feel his pain and truly hope the GOP becomes a real party again some day. I know the Democrats need a yang to their yin. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

God, I'm Sick of Trump

But, what the hell, I'm bored.

Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad appeared with the celebrity businessman at an afternoon rally, his third appearance in the swing state over the past two weeks. But in neighboring Wisconsin, a state Trump insists he can win, the state’s best-known Republicans said they were too busy to attend an evening event.

I did check. Branstad is not up for re-election for another two years. Those facing election this year are busy avoiding Trump. Still disappointed he didn't come to P'burgh. I'm sure Elise is too.

House Speaker Paul Ryan cited a scheduling conflict, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he’d attend an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner instead of appearing with his party’s standard bearer.

Well, it was all you can eat and Walker loves him some s'getti. 

Trump called his Democratic opponent “a dangerous liar,” ‘’an unbalanced person,” ‘’pretty close to unhinged,” ‘’totally unfit to lead,” and lacking “the judgment, temperament and moral character to lead the country.”

That's the clearest case of projection ever. 

Trump’s approach to national security came under fire Friday as well, with former CIA Director Michael Morell contending the Republican nominee would make “a poor, even dangerous commander in chief.”

Morell, outlining his views in The New York Times, also questioned Trump’s unusual praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin

“In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” wrote Morell, who was CIA director in the Obama administration and now works for a firm run by one of Clinton’s closest advisers.

Avoiding the term useful idiot, or just idiot if you're into that whole brevity thing.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Quote of the Day:Donald Trump

Surprisingly, Trump is making his first appearance in this somewhat regular feature. I didn't remember this beauty.

“Sure, I got deferments. But — excuse me, Chuck, let me finish. Would you really want a president who was dumb enough to let himself get drafted? I mean, it wasn’t hard to get out of it, believe me. My doctor said I had a bump on my heel or something, I don’t know. I don’t even think he was a doctor, frankly. The government is just very, very stupid, OK? Which is why only I can fix it.”

Well, enjoy that Purple Heart.

UPDATE: Apparently, this was not a true quote, but a hoax. My apologies for besmirching the reputation of Donald Trump. 

Bookmarking Charles Pierce

First is this post explaining the "ransom" paid to Iran. The synopsis:

In January, possibly because everybody involved got tired of windmills and tulips and really good beer, the two countries finally settled matters. As Agence France-Presse reported at the time, the U.S. agreed to pay $400 million in cash and $1.3 billion in interest to settle the claim first filed on behalf of a government that had been overthrown for nearly four decades. 

Second is a link to an NYT video showing how "refined" the average Trump supporter is.

Presented without comment, except to say that, if Mother Times is willing to break the F-Bomb barrier, even by proxy, things must be in worse shape than we thought.

Third is "good" news out of Kansas. 

Back in 2014, Congressman Tim Huelskamp was one of our contestants to succeed Michele Bachmann as Royal Regent Of The Crazy People. (Louie Gohmert, of course, is Padishah Emperor For Life.) Huelskamp had compiled an impressive resume even then for being pretty much a career dick.

Actually, if you go read the rest, it turns out to be good news for everyone except Huelskamp.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ho Hum, Kansas Missed Its Projected Tax Collection

No, that's it.

Kansas' tax collections fell nearly $13 million short of expectations in July, and the report of the shortfall Monday came on the eve of a primary election in which Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's critics hoped to oust some of his legislative allies.

The state Department of Revenue reported that Kansas collected $425 million in taxes last month. Compared with the state's official forecast of nearly $438 million, the shortfall was 2.9 percent. Kansas has missed its projections 10 of the past 12 months.

More? OK.

In Tuesday's election, more than two dozen Republican legislators face primary challengers, and most are small-government conservative Brownback allies who've continued to stick by his tax-cutting experiment. GOP moderates are hoping to cut into their clout by tapping into anxiety about the budget and future funding for public schools.

Sucks to be them.

Is This So Hard, Elise?

Richard Hanna has found his soul, you can too.

“While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton,” he wrote in an op-ed on Syracuse.com.

And This Helps?

Hadn't been to American Power in some time. But, I got out the hip waders and braved the fever swamp. And I found out that Donald Trump has gotten the Purple Heart. No, not in battle. Don't be silly.

A veteran gave Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump a Purple Heart medal before his Tuesday morning rally in Ashburn, Virginia, prompting Trump to comment that “this was much easier” than earning it himself.

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces when they have been wounded or killed in war.

Trump told the audience during his rally that “something very nice just happened to me. A man came up to me and he handed me his Purple Heart.”

As the audience aahed, Trump continued: “I said to him, ‘Is that like the real one or is that a copy? And he said, ‘That’s my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.’”

“And I said, ‘Man that’s big stuff.’ I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier, but I tell you it was such an honor.”

Yes, he accepted it. I need a "you've gotta be shitting me" label. Does valor theft make things better. Douglas actually put this story up like it's a good thing.

Military members slammed the real estate tycoon — who avoided serving in Vietnam — for trumpeting the gift while he was facing criticism over his treatment of a slain Army captain’s family.

“This is how one usually looks when you are awarded the Purple Heart. Nothing easy about it,” Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth posted on Twitter next to a picture of her in the hospital.

I'm so old I can remember when it was liberals that had no respect for the sacrifices made by service people.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Nice Editorial at The Daily News

Just going to link to it mostly. Running out of time.

Read Hillary Clinton’s nomination speech carefully and you will discover an enormously promising — and these days radical — approach to governing the United States.

Largely lost amid the cheering of most Democrats and the jeering of Bernie Sanders followers, Clinton envisioned a far less ideological and more pragmatic presidency than that of Barack Obama.

If she holds to her word — and there is no reason to doubt that she will try — Clinton will follow in the get-things-done-through-compromise footsteps of LBJ rather than the my-way-or-the-highway style of BHO.

During eight years in the U.S. Senate, Clinton earned a strong reputation among Republicans and Democrats as a hard worker and trustworthy legislative partner. Clearly, she understands that the White House needs a reset with Congress before one with Russia.

Where's Elise?

Donald Trump is headed for the heart of Elise Stefanik country this week. Why? Yes, that's the obvious question. But this is Trump.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is planning to hold a "town hall" in Plattsburgh on Thursday.

The campaign said the event will start at 2 p.m., but did not provide additional details or the planned location.

Trump held rallies at sites across upstate New York, including Plattsburgh and the Times Union Center in Albany, ahead of the state's presidential primary on April 19.

But the campaign has not returned to the region since — which is not unexpected, given that New York is not seen as a swing state. The most recent polls show Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, leading by 12 to 23 percentage points.

During the convention our congresswoman said she was going to be busy working for her constituents. I do hope she can find the time to appear with Trump on Thursday.