The district went Trump +3 in 2020. Who was dumb enough to think it would go Democratic? That it would go Democratic without the DCCC taking an interest in the race? Every seat in Texas is rigged for Republicans. Rigged. They cheated a decade ago and they’ve yet to be punished for this transgression. That is the fact that you should takeaway from the election. The panel says a lot of stuff about the election and what that means to the nation, stuff that really shouldn’t be applied broadly. Texas Republicans are not like Republicans in other states. Texas politics is not like politics in other states.
As far as the opening segment on the census goes, the states didn’t choose to undercount. Donald Trump chose to undercount while appealing to his White Nationalist base. The real question there is “why did Trump pick up Latino votes in 2020?” I will bet you that this is because a certain portion of the Latino community thought that Trump was talking to them. They don’t know that he’s talking about them when he talks about illegal votes. They are all illegal voters in Trump’s eyes and Trumpist eyes. They need to understand this fact about Trumpismo.
The Republican base has committed political suicide with their support for Trump. The corpse of the Republican party simply hasn’t stopped twitching yet. Give it time. Eventually rigor mortis will set in. I hope.
Everybody and their dog is now talking about impeachment. It’s about fucking time. Where were they three years ago? Donald Trump was impeachable from the day he lied taking his oath, and we knew he was lying when he did it. We simply lacked the political will to do the work required to set the misfire of the 2016 election aside back when it would have made a real difference.
But hey, Nancy Pelosi is on board with impeachment, so everyone thinks they have to talk about it now. Now that the bus of the US federal government is on fire, plummeting downwards at a predictable rate of V = gt, now they want to apply the brakes. Well that’s fine. I’ll have another bottle of spirits over here in the meantime. If you don’t mind.
The comparative difference between Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton & Donald Trump is easy to discern. Donald Trump is a fraud, plain and simple. He has sold his Stormtrumpers a bill of goods that he could never deliver, and had no intention of delivering. This is his standard of practice. Donald Trump was a fraud way, way back. All the way back to the 1970’s & 80’s when he cheated on his taxes stealing the wealth of his father’s company. When he built his first building. When he bought out and then bankrupted his casinos. He is still a fraud, a tax cheat and a money launderer. All of this will come out, eventually.
All the other guys who have faced impeachment had some good thing they hoped to achieve in the public service. The same cannot be said of Trump.
This episode of the 538 Politics podcast is the best explainer I’ve run across on the subject of impeachment. Kate Shaw even picks up on what the guest on Today Explained missed (Exhibit C) She goes point by point through the process as it will most likely progress. Since we only have three cases of presidential impeachment to measure with, it will be hard to say exactly how this will manifest itself. Stay tuned.
Unfortunately for the people who don’t (or won’t) listen to podcasts, there isn’t a transcript for 538 podcasts, and therefore no quick reference for those who just want to get to the facts of the subject directly. You’ll just have to listen. (Editor’s note: Now you can watch, too. I haven’t seen the video which isn’t available on the podcast feed. Yet)
Which not only adds itself into WordPress articles as a playable embed, but you can find the transcript right in the embedded interface. (Not on Spotify, the current streaming source. -ed.) Given what this episode is, a light brush over the subject of where the Trump impeachment goes from where we are now, it’s not too bad. If you understand the subject.
What did Laura McGann miss? The entirety of Scenario 9 is no mystery. Impeached officials, once successfully removed from office, can be barred from serving in public office again. Subject to a simple majority vote of the Senate. It’s right there in the rules. Or Wikipedia.
The Daily from the New York Times is more of a cautionary tale. The Times, in its usual attempts to prove that they aren’t liberal by literally (or audibly) embracing the most insane rantings of whichever pundit they choose to give publicity to, chose to give publicity to the guy who brought us Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, et all. His name is Mike Davis.
…everybody told us that he was sort of an unabashed advocate for Judge Kavanaugh and really sort of the torch-carrier politically through this process. And what he did in terms of not just managing the technicalities of the Senate investigation and the Senate process, but also waging this sort of cultural war for conservatives that was crystallized during the Kavanaugh confirmation process and is now being deployed as a defense against impeachment.
The fact that he was sort of an unabashed advocate for Judge Kavanaugh should have been the first reason not to give the guy a microphone and several uninterrupted minutes to rant. Just flat out don’t do that. There are far, far too many people who will not understand how to dissect his rantings with a skeptical eye. Mike Davis is a poster child for motivated numeracy if not the face on the poster advertising the shortfalls of relying on the reasoning of people who cannot divorce themselves from the things that they believe.
What do I mean by that? If everything Trump is accused of doing was something Obama had been accused of doing how would Mike Davis react? If asked that question on the podcast he would prevaricate. He might even understand the hypocrisy of saying that it would be different for Obama and thereby say “it’s no big deal” but that would be a lie.
We know what would have happened because we lived through eight years of outrage directed at what could objectively be determined to be the best president since Dwight D. Eisenhower (the tan suit, anybody?) If Dwight D. Eisenhower’s portrait is on display anywhere in Washington D.C., the place in the same building that would be appropriate for Donald Trump’s portrait is wherever the garbage is stored before being hauled to the landfill. Which is where Donald Trump’s portrait should go after that. The landfill. With the rest of the garbage.
The New York Times illustrates again exactly why I don’t spend money supporting their reporting. If I had money to support investigative journalism these days I’d have to give it to Vanity Fair, Propublica, The Guardian or The Atlantic. It is a sad day for journalism today, folks.
Impeachment is dangerous. And that danger – that very danger right there, the very nature of it — is why it must be done. And it is in the crucible of crisis, facing the greatest of dangers, when true, authentic greatness is forged.
Starting the second week in October, 2019, there are now three podcasts that I’ve found that deal specifically with the subject of impeachment and only that subject. The first one is Impeachment, Explained from the same people who bring you the podcast Today, Explained linked above. This is the first episode. It will come out weekly on Spotify.
Then there is the daily podcast from WNYC, called simply Impeachment. I like titles that just say what they are about. This podcast is compiled from content that is aired on the Brian Lehrer show.
…was the episode that followed up the voicemail I left two days previously asking why Trump hasn’t been impeached already based on his emoluments violations. I’m sure I’m not the only one asking that question. The Trump Doral debacle is, as the title suggests, a perfect slice of the subject.
The third podcast is Article II from MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. Of the three, this one is the one I have the least hope for. I’m not sure why, it just seems that MSNBC manages to shoot themselves in the foot about every other time they try to do something. Since Bagman was such a hit and The Oath is making waves, I’m betting that Article II is doomed to failure. But I’ll give it a few weeks to see what Steve manages to pull out of the hat.
In testimony on Tuesday, Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, described what he saw as a high-stakes decision by President Trump to withhold $391 million in aid to Ukraine. Dan De Luce, national security and global affairs reporter for the NBC News investigative unit, recounts Taylor’s opening statement and whether it support the theory of a “quid pro quo.”
Then Wednesday the Republicans in the House of Representatives proved themselves unfit for office by staging a juvenile stunt during the hearings. Such is life in the US in 2019. I sent #ImeachTrump? #ExpelMcConnell! to the show as a comment.
We’ve heard the phrase constitutional crisis all our lives. It’s a phrase I’ve heard and seen attached to many different people for many different reasons over the course of my 50+ years. The phrase is more than just a little misleading. As I’ve heard several pundits note in the last few years, the United States is always in a constitutional crisis because there is always someone out there doing something that is questionable from a constitutional basis. But the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) represents a level of disregard for lawful behavior that shocks even a dyed-in-the-wool non-conformist like myself.
I mean, what exactly does somebody like Trump pray for?
Jim’s quote concerning the Capital Gazette mass shooting is typical for the everyday crisis we deal with in Trump’s America. The recitation of the conservative mantra of thoughts and prayers after tragedies rang hollow even before the current level of disdain for lawful behavior was exhibited by the most corrupt and compromised leader in US history. To hear those words come out of his mouth is to need to dig your own ears out with an icepick. It offends the senses. It is so obvious a lie, this fakir pretending that he prays for anything, this narcissist, this solipsist? There is nothing greater in his mind than he is, how could he possibly pray to anyone or anything?
Funny thing though. Funny thing. Just last night, at yet another political rally, President Trump was telling us, yet again, how the Press — the PRESS — is the enemy of America.
I can’t put too fine a point on this one. When the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) trotted out the phrase enemy of the people and applied it to the United States free press, the world’s free press, inspiring acts of hatred across the world in response including the deaths of five people in Washington DC, that was the moment when the very notion that the OHM could be allowed to leave office unmolested ceased to have any weight. No one who utters that phrase from a position of authority can be trusted unsupervised from that point forward. His time as a free man has come to an end. It is merely a matter of time now before he will be in shackles and facing the judgement of the American people for his assorted crimes. Unlike Hillary Clinton, the OHM has committed crimes, and it didn’t take four years of fruitless investigation to prove this.
At a rally in Tampa, Florida, Trump supporters attacked CNN reporter Jim Acosta, prompting the president to double down on his anti-press “Enemy of the People” rhetoric. A look at how and why the president incites his base — and where it all might lead. And, as the regulatory battle surrounding 3D gun blueprints rages on, we dive into the worldview of Cody Wilson, the man who started the controversy. Plus, why we’re still living in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s killing, six years later.
President Trump’s attacks on the press have reached a new level in recent weeks. On Sunday, he called the press, “very dangerous & sick” and wrote that the media can “cause War.” The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast team talks about what the goal of the president’s rhetoric is and how the press should respond.
Are there limits on speech under the first amendment? Yes. Yes there are. You won’t hear about those real limits from the OHM or from any conservative pundit in the US today. None of the news organizations, not even FOX, have breached those limits. Football players peacefully protesting by taking a knee have not breached those limits. Yelling fire in a burning theater doesn’t breach those limits. What are those limits, then? Threatening violence. Inciting a riot. Falsifying data in pursuit of personal gain. In other words, what the OHM does nearly every time he rage tweets.
If I threatened violence like Trump does on social media, Twitter and Facebook would suspend my accounts, no matter what the provocation was. Hell, both platforms have suspended me for far, far less.
It’s not just that Twitter continues to protect this lunatic, the REALLY insane part: NO ONE IN THE ADMINISTRATION NOR IN CONGRESS has so far addressed this madness.
No republican. No democrat.
Congress has abdicated its duty to America.
We reached a point where it’s not enough to throw Trump out of office, CONGRESS needs to be replaced in its entirety. If you sons of bitches don’t show up this time and remove these faithless cowards from office, if you don’t start electing better people, then you are complicit in the destruction of the Republic.
As I said previously elsewhere “Imagine the difference we would see in the world around us if authorities had arrested Donald Trump the first time he incited a riot?” Because he has done that. He’s done it more than once, and no one has ever suggested he be prosecuted. His social media accounts should be banned for violating clearly stated boundaries on those media systems. Do not just suspend his accounts, ban them. He should be kicked out of every decent establishment in society along with anyone who sides with him publicly. The cost will be higher now than it would have been back in the campaign days. Higher on all sides, unfortunately. But he has to go. We cannot allow him to go unpunished. Allowing him to walk away without exacting a price on his behavior from him will send the wrong message and leave us unprotected from the next demagogue to come along thinking they will use the system for their own ends. This has to be stopped here, and it should have been stopped before he took the oath of office because we knew he was dirty even then.
#TrumpEnemyofthePeople not the free press. Not the protestors. Not the liberals. The OHM is the enemy of the people, and it is about time we recognized this fact and demanded he be removed from office. Before he does something the system will not recover from.
I have a right to detest him. I have a right to despise everything he stands for. I despise his greed, his endless conceit, his avarice, his gluttony and his sloth, his deliberate stupidity, his staggering foolishness, and his towering ignorance touted as some sort of virtue. I am daily appalled by his open encouragement of the worse elements of our society, his abuse of power, his obvious lies, his casual racism, his gross misogyny, his swaggering jingoism, his prideful nationalism, his craven xenophobia, his quailing insecurities large and small, his childish need for revenge, the bottomless unplumbed depths of his cowardice, and the utter shallowness of his character.
But most of all, most of all, I despise the gleeful hypocrisy of his chanting supporters.
In my podcast feed for August 30, 2017. Detailing how the Orange Hate-Monkey’s attacks on the media are groundbreaking. Worse than Richard Nixon, the last president to take out his aggression on the media.
Rick Perlstein, bestselling author of Nixonland and historian of the conservative movement, joins host Lindsay Beyerstein for a discussion of President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press. Perlstein argues that Trump is the ultimate Richard Nixon Republican, from his love-hate relationship with mass media to his preoccupation with vendettas. While Nixon usually kept his gripes against the media private, Trump has made his battle with the media the signature fight of his administration. His tirades are also mobilizing bands of right-wing trolls to harass journalists online. As Trump’s popularity falls and the frustrations of his supporters rise, the situation is becoming increasingly explosive.
The problem here is that there is a thing called liberalism that isn’t political liberalism. Essentially, you have to be able to go where your news is and report the facts without inserting your own bias into the factual reporting. You have to be willing to listen and absorb without accepting. IF you cannot be liberal enough to entertain ideas that you don’t accept and report on them, then you can’t get to the objective facts in the first place, your bias will obscure objectivity no matter how hard you try.
This is why conservative news outlets will always fail unless they can establish authoritarian control (like Facebook) because, all things being equal, the truth will float to the surface eventually. And you can’t have the truth getting in the way of conservative ideals. That’s just not right. #ImpeachTrump
About 12 percent of Bernie Sanders’s supporters in the Democratic primary crossed party lines and voted for Donald Trump in the general election, according to a new analysis.
In several key states — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — the number of Sanders to Trump defectors were greater than Trump’s margin of victory, according to new numbers released Wednesday by UMass professor Brian Schaffner.
What do you think?
I get really, really tired of the armchair quarterbacking of political events. That’s what I think. I think the three critical states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan were so close as to make the term “victory” an almost meaningless label to apply to either candidate, which is why I ignore most pundits when they talk about why the race turned out the way it did. None of them could do better than Nate Silver and fivethirtyeight.com did before the election and even the best science around still gave Hillary a better than 70% chance of winning. I’ve known virtually since the second or third week after the election that there was only one person to blame for swinging the election to Trump in the final weeks running up to election day.
We have James Comey to thank for President Donald Trump. As 538 has mentioned more than once, Comey gave the election to Trump with his letter on October 28, 2016. It was Comey, Comey and more Comey, which is why I shed no tears at his leaving the FBI. Without Comey’s letter we have a Hillary Clinton presidency. This is undeniable:
The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.
Could Clinton have done a better job? Without question. Clinton herself is another subject I hope to tackle at some point (here) but she did no better and no worse than any of the male presidential candidates before her as far as her activity and campaign go.
So let’s not play these games that the DNC wants us to play right now. They want us to keep Bernie Sanders from changing the Democratic party. They want us to embrace the neoliberalism introduced by Bill Clinton. That is a part of history now. What the future holds is anybody’s guess but you don’t earn the label progressive or liberal by looking to that past. That is Conservatism and playing the Republican’s game. That is playing to lose. Let’s play a progressive game next time and see if the GOP can keep up. Let’s play to win for a change.
“Show respect,” that’s what you demand when you don’t have anything else, when people of color, women, the current generation, laugh at you because all you have is being an angry old white guy who thinks the world owes you something.
Can someone please tell me what Barack Obama did that is worthy of so much hatred? What is the conservative conspiracy fantisphere (I will be shortening that phrase to confantisphere from now on. It is catchy) saying about him that I’m just not hearing? Let’s set all the crap about the Clinton’s aside here and nail down just exactly what Obama did that conservatives hate so much. Because I really can’t get a handle on that.
Also. Also. Detail for me anything, ANYTHING that Trump has done. Anything. Go ahead, I’m waiting. Can’t name anything can you? That’s because he’s done nothing but golf and Tweet for six solid months two solid years. And he called Obama lazy in a typical racist fashion. He’s spent more time on vacation than Obama did in his first few years in office in his first six months. Trump is a mooch. A tax cheat. A con artist. A fraud. But he is not a president.
Fair warning. If you take me up on my challenge to detail what Obama has done, and your response has anything to do with #benghazi, then I’m recommending a straightjacket for the person uttering it. I’m not kidding, don’t go there.
This has taken on new and more troubling implications in the years since the attacks on 9/11, with the development of the no-fly list for terrorists that the government barely admits exists on the one hand, and their willingness to apply it to other things like weapons purchases so that suspected terrorists can be kept from buying guns as well as not being able to fly on the other. That latter proposal, weapons purchases, has its own share of problems, many of which echo the core problems in the title and the argument quoted above.
As I’ve said before on this blog, I have a serious problem with cognitive dissonance on the subject of firearms. But when it comes to contrasting travel with firearms, I have a few things I think I can say without reservation.
Just to be clear what the subject is here, it really isn’t travel vs. firearms. Even though most gunnuts (ammosexuals) want you to think about the subject in these over-broad general terms, the subject is properly generically stated as travel vs. self-defense or more specifically driving vs. firearms. Public transit vs. firearms in the case of the no-fly list.
And right off the bat we run into this glaring problem. Travel generically is a more important right than owning a firearm, specifically. Travel is instrumental in the ability to defend oneself, the ability to remove from one location, where your life is under threat, to a new location where it theoretically is not. Access to public transit, which includes air travel, is far more important than even being able to drive.
The ability to move is just about as fundamental as it gets. It is why the human species has adapted to so many different climates on this planet. We travel and set up shop somewhere else where there isn’t already ten thousand other people trying to live. Where resources aren’t already owned. Where our lives are not threatened by a greater number of others who want what we have and/or need to survive. A classic defensive strategy, not to be where your enemies are looking for you.
Travel is a right. Limitations on travel without due process is a violation of our rights, what the government is supposed to be safeguarding for us. So the existence of the no-fly list outside of due process is a constitutional violation of our rights. I’ll get back to that.
First let’s tackle the specifics of driving and firearms. I want to draw some parallels to illustrate why the arguments I’m about to present are not some wingnut conjecture. An automobile is deadly. It may not be designed to kill, but it is a very effective killer all the same. It is a tool designed by humans to serve humans as a replacement for large animals who were used in a similar fashion before the industrial revolution.
A firearm is another man-made tool. This tool serves a specific purpose, or a variety of purposes that are all related, much like the automobile was designed to serve a specific purpose. Refined and perfected over the years, modern firearms are some of the most effective killing machines we’ve ever invented. They fire repeatedly and use standard rounds that can be purchased almost anywhere.
To purchase an automobile you need to have a license to drive. There are cases in which you can buy a car without a license; methods to circumvent regulatory guidelines allowing you to buy a car without a license. But the regulatory purpose of the driver’s license is clear, and only those intent on obfuscation offer arguments to the contrary. The purpose is to restrict vehicle operation and ownership to those people who have demonstrated a proficiency with the dangerous tool in question.
We license and regulate drivers because automobiles are dangerous and not because roads are public. You will find sovereignty arguments all over the place that make noises about common modes of travel, public conveyance, etc. None of them amount to anything in the face of a police officer who wants to see your driver’s license. You can operate machinery on your own property without a license because law enforcement officers cannot enter your property without probable cause. It is actually illegal to drive on private property without a license in many jurisdictions. Not in Texas, apparently.
The second amendment is perhaps the most misunderstood piece of legalese still in place in the Constitution. It ranks right up there with the attempts to legislate the value of Pi or what we call rising sea levels in Florida. It has caused at least as much harm as it has good especially in the modern age of repeaters, automatics and semi-automatic weapons.
The problem here is two-fold. The ability to defend oneself is primary. This is demonstrable, as I illustrated above. Self-defense though is not limited to and may not even include access to firearms. But the right to defend oneself is not mentioned in the constitution, the right to keep and bear arms is. This is most likely an outgrowth of the views of the time. Dueling was still a common practice. Although it was made illegal around the time of the revolution in many places, it’s practice continued well into the middle of the next century and became the basis for the near-mythical quick draw gunfight. It is worth noting that some Western municipalities attempted to put an end to dueling with some of the first gun carrying restrictions in North America, the precursors for modern gun control.
Hunting with long guns (rifles were not yet invented) was commonplace and essential for many Americans if they wanted to eat. Between these two purposes, self-defense and hunting, it was rare to find a man who did not know how to shoot. On top of this we have the demonstrable attempts by governments all across the world, down through history into the modern day, to render their populations defenseless. It is easier to control people who do not understand how to defend themselves. Historically this has been done by hoarding weapons under the guardianship of the local authority. If the authorities know where all the guns are, they will know who can and can’t defend themselves.
There are other ways to defend yourself, short of firearms. Denied access to firearms and even knives, it is still possible to mount a defense if you know how. Knowledge is power, in more ways than one. Revolution need not be violent in order to be effective. So the question is, what role do firearms play in modern society? How do we secure our right to defend ourselves while at the same time avoiding becoming the victim of the very same weapons we keep for defense?
The second amendment speaks to two things; a well regulated militia and the right to keep and bear arms individually. The recent Heller decision struck down blanket bans on firearms that had evolved from the earlier attempts at gun control I mentioned previously. Personally I think that is an accurate reading of the second amendment. What remains to be realized is that we need licensing and regulation of the citizenry for firearms proficiency. That is what well regulated militia means in the modern age.
The militia are the people, the citizenry. There has been a historical disconnect between the concept of militia and what the militias became as government evolved over the last two centuries. What the originating documents of the United States called militia we would probably see as the various state guards and national guards today. In those days all able-bodied men and boys were expected to participate in guard duties to some extent or other, a practice that fell to the wayside as our cities and states became more populous and our experiences more segmented and separated.
However, the language in the Constitution still states a well regulated militia, and since there is an individual right to keep and bear arms, that means that we the people have to decide what well regulated militia means in the scheme of all of us potentially being armed at any given time. Regulation is necessary. We want to keep the Trayvon Martin encounters to a minimum. We definitely do not want cities of Zimmerman‘s stalking all the suspicious-looking people they don’t like, just waiting for a chance to act in self-defense. We do not want a return to the old West stereotype of guns at High Noon, or pistols at ten paces. A near-certain death sentence with the accuracy of today’s weapons. Just as there are limitations on who can drive or travel in what kinds of cars and trucks, limitations based on objective standards, so too there should be limitations on who can own a firearm and what kind of firearms can be owned.
Now we’ve come full circle, you readers who are still with me. we’ve circled back to the initial parameters of the argument; driver’s licenses, firearms licenses, and no-fly lists for terrorists.
In the light of objective standards as a guide, the use of the completely subjective no-fly terrorist list to also ban firearms purchases is essentially a patchwork way of applying suspicions more broadly whether those suspicions are well-founded or not. Automobile ownership and weapons ownership are almost identical for comparison purposes, but the right to use public transit should not be so easily infringed. With no way for the list to be challenged, no standards beyond mere suspicion by a federal agency, the use of this list should be stopped altogether, not applied to another related subject.
What needs to happen is for there to be actual discussion of these problems.
What is needed is standardized national identification for the purposes of travel (there is a twisted can of worms) so that citizens can be assured that they will gain access to public transit. Me personally? I’m tired of that argument. Let me just use my palm print. Mark of the beast be damned, I just want to stop standing in lines everywhere I go. Can we just get over this crazy notion of anonymity? Make a provision for those people who really need to remain anonymous? I have no problem with driver’s licenses, and I say this as a guy who will likely be forced to surrender his license in the next decade or so, as my ability focus and balance is degraded by disease. Subjectively I resent not being about to get around on my own; objectively I have to say most of you will be safer if I can’t. If this disease gets worse.
I’m not even going to try to broach the discussion necessary to outline what objective standards for firearms proficiency might be. I’ll leave that argument to people who have more education and understanding of the subject. People like Jim Wright over at StonekettleStation (yes, him again)
Over time, just like with the drunk driving laws, enforcing the NRA’s own rules, the same basic common sense rules that are used in the military, in law enforcement, on civilian gun ranges, and were taught to most of us by our fathers, will change our culture from one of gun fetishists to one of responsible gun owners. And that will reduce gun violence, just as the same approach has significantly reduced drinking and driving.
Go over and read the article once you stop screaming at your computer screen. You might learn a thing or two from the (more than a dozen) articles Jim has written on the subject of America’s gun culture; or as he refers to it Bang, Bang Crazy and Bang, Bang Sanity. He has far more patience for the gun fetishists that surround us than I do.
I do want to make one thing crystal clear before ending. The second amendment is a two-edged sword, in more ways than the one I’ve just outlined. The other argument which can be (and has been) made is the original intent of a well regulated militia. If the people tasked with keeping us safe deem that the requirement is impossible with the rules now in place, they can and probably should conscript all able-bodied persons into the military for the purposes of weapons assessment.
That is one sure-fire way to make sure we know who should and shouldn’t have a weapon. I’m as opposed as I can get to the idea of a return to the bad-old days of the draft, but if anyone can have a weapon, and if no other laws are possible to fix the problem of weapons in our midst, then the only remaining solution is the one where everyone is trained and everyone is armed to their proficiency. What we need to decide is, which kind of America do we really want to live in? The time for that conversation is rapidly passing us by.
Confession time. I have watched none of the debates so far in this election season. I didn’t watch any of the Republican debates because the only centrist running (that would be John Kasich) wasn’t in them. The Republicans, as I referenced in this piece about Hillary Clinton (?), have decided they don’t need the 75% of the nation that isn’t conservative/religious fundamentalist/whackadoodle and excluded anyone who might have been electable in the general election from the main debate stage.
I guess they just want to lose this year.
I didn’t watch the Democratic debates either. Not because I wasn’t interested in the candidates, but because I knew that Hillary Clinton was going to be the nominee. It was a close thing in the end, but since she was the favored Democrat running (the only one at the end) I knew she would ultimately end up with the nomination one way or the other.
Party politics are pretty predictable if you know what the rules of the game are.
I did watch the Democratic convention. I started to pay attention to the Republican convention, but as soon as the rules committee reported that they were not going to advance any real rules changes, I knew that the Orange Hate-Monkey (Donald Drumpf) The Birther-in-Chief, the Real Estate Developer, had bought the leadership of the convention and he wasn’t going to be facing a floor fight for the soul of the GOP. That is, if the Republican party actually has a soul. It doesn’t appear that they do; as in they don’t appear to agree on what their core principles really are and it is pretty hard to defend them if you can’t name them.
All that aside, I watched the entirety of the Democratic convention. Watched the hardcore Berners exit stage left as predicted. Watched Barack Obama give yet another excellent speech. Watched Bill Clinton spend a half-hour apologizing to his wife on national television in the best way possible. Watched Hillary Clinton accept the nomination, making US history when she did so.
I left that experiencing thinking I might be able to watch the general election debates, and I might have stuck to my guns if the Libertarians had managed to leverage their candidate onto the stage. It briefly looked like he might pull that off, but a series of gaffs, plus the rigging of the system mention repeatedly in this blogs history, kept them from reaching the potential number of voters. The hinted at support from Mitt Romney never surfaced and the funds that were supposedly going to go to finance the LP’s candidates this year doesn’t appear to be making any difference either.
It is just the two of them, Hillary and the Orange Hate-Monkey on the stage together. Talk about politics making strange bedfellows.
Why can’t I watch? Here’s why; they let the Real Estate Developer talk, and he’s been demonstrated to be lying 80% of the time. It is actually detrimental to my own mental health to consume that much untruth in so short a time. Besides, while I support Hillary Clinton in the most lukewarm fashion possible, I really don’t like to listen to her talk either.
Can’t laugh at the Orange Hate-Monkey, the threat to civilization is too serious. Can’t take him seriously because he is such a bad, bad liar. As someone who grew up surrounded by used car salesmen, as someone who has worked directly for more than one Real Estate Developer, I’m pretty well versed in the art of the deal. I can’t watch, and I can’t listen.
But I can watch and/or listen to others dissect the event. Nate Silver and Fivethirtyeight are the only resource I’m willing to lend credence to in this election as far as predictions go. The rest of it is just so much guessing that I really don’t have time to waste trying to understand what they are telling me.
Unfortunately Nate Silver and Fivethirtyeight don’t make themselves easily quotable or particularly shareable, so you’ll just have to click one of those two links to read what they had to say. NPR on the other hand has a lot to say on the subject. More, in fact, than I really wish they would say. They aren’t nearly hard enough on the Orange Hate-Monkey for my taste, but then I guess they have to pretend he isn’t a certifiable nutjob. Here are the two podcasts dealing with the debate (one I will link again later)
Ms. Clinton did well for the few short minutes that I did watch; and the Real Estate Developer looked like a petulant child being told to do something he didn’t want to, which made Ms. Clinton look downright presidential by comparison. I may peek between my fingers again for the next debate. Doubtful but possible.
…the SMELL IS SO GODDAMNED BAD PIGS WOULD DIE PUKING THEIR GUTS OUT just get away from it. And now you’ve done it. The load was supposed to be quietly burned but the machine is jammed and fans wouldn’t pull and the heating elements won’t heat and there you are with a pan of hot bubbling liquid MRE shit ON FIRE and you have to pull it out and carry it through the living quarters which are the size of a closet packed with four people trying to eat and six people trying to sleep and down the connector into the other compartment where more people are sleeping and you’d better hurry up because THEY ALL HAVE TO SHIT TOO while trailing smoke and flames from the burning shit bucket that’s now so fucking hot that your hands are melting off and finally outside where you …
Well, anyway, that’s what I thought of watching the first day of the Republican National Convention.
I remain amazed at how easily the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) got the nomination. That is the only part of the equation that I remain mystified by. I remain mystified by it because, as any parliamentarian can tell you, it isn’t easy to hijack a convention like he did. And yet there is no other word to describe how the convention went down other than to say it was hijacked.
Did the “never Trump” faction have enough political savvy to stop him from becoming the nominee? The answer appears to be no. He secured the chair with someone who would gavel the convention to order. His supporters clearly understood how to silence a floor fight. All that is left is for the delegates to vote and he’s the nominee, and the GOP can finally accept the labels we have attempted to pin on them for 30 years and more. They are fascists. They are openly racist and xenophobic. They are happy to promote and embrace a christian theocracy, even when lead by a fakir.
It is also worth noting that the best politicians that the GOP can muster could not stop a political newb from taking over their convention and making them all dance his tune. They appear to deserve all the ridicule and embarrassment that can be piled on them at this point. They really are the NSDAP. They equate to the PNF. May they be remembered by history in the same light as their failure predecessor political organizations.
The choice in this election could not be more starkly drawn no matter what the Hillary haters say. It is now up to the informed and the thinking to lay out just how bad it can be with an authoritarian of the caliber of the Birther-in-Chief. Just how grim the future is when lead by the Orange Hate-monkey. Just how untrustworthy a real-estate developer is. Time to lay it all out for everyone to see so that there is no question that anyone who votes for Trump votes for concentration camps and mass extermination. Anyone who supports Trump wants the US to be destroyed in a paroxysm of self-hatred. Anyone who supports Trump wants to see civilization end. Make them prove that this is not the case at every turn. Hammer them into submission with ideas too strong to be refuted.
The next President will be Hillary Clinton. If we are lucky.
Dick jokes and eager young interns with their hands on your junk. Giggling impotent old men eager for a show. Inflexible self righteous authoritarianism. Anger. Shouting. Marines. Jerking off. Outrage. Violation. Embarrassment. Mortification. Forced to tough it out to the bitter end.
And finally you go home dirty and used, clothes ruined, dignity long fled, covered in sticky goo and shooting blanks.
In the rain.
Honestly, what DOESN’T it have to do with the Republican National Convention?
This article penned by Glenn Greenwald is making the rounds of Facebook today, September 9, 2016, and I am personally a bit more annoyed than I probably should be at the continued whining of Sanders supporters. The whining surrounding the announcement of Hillary Clinton’s presumptive nomination by the Democratic party.
LAST NIGHT, the Associated Press — on a day when nobody voted — surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors, and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates.
It probably bears noting that these same superdelegates, which the democratically demanding Sanders supporters deride when lined up for Hillary, are the very same votes that Sanders will need to win the nomination now since Hillary has a commanding lead in numbers of votes and numbers of delegates in the popular vote.
But that isn’t the part that really annoys me.
No, the part that annoys me is that Greenwald is printing an outright fabrication in that article. Yes, it is true that the AP story which he cites claims that the survey was only of superdelegates, but it was no secret that Hillary Clinton was going to cross the threshold of delegates on the seventh or before, and that the announcement would probably be made before California went to vote.
Don’t believe me?
Here is the podcast I heard it on first.
Weekly Roundup: Thursday, June 2 A week of defense for Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton goes on the attack in a big foreign policy speech. This episode: host/reporter Sam Sanders, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, digital political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, and political editor Domenico Montanaro. More coverage at nprpolitics.org.
Please note the date of the podcast (June 2nd) and that the hosts of the podcast note that Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands voted before the four states whose primaries ran on Tuesday, and that the projected announcement date of crossing that threshold was on the seventh.
Which puts the lie to Greenwald’s assertion that “nobody voted”. There were people voting, they just weren’t voting in the officially recognized states of the United States. A minor oversight, I’m sure. Except he’s a journalist, and I’m just a blogger with access to the internet. One would hope that a journalist would have a firmer grasp on the truth, especially Glenn Greenwald after all the times he’s gone to bat for it.
But NPR isn’t the only source that understood the impending threshold that would be crossed on the 7th. Fivethirtyeight was predicting the seventh as the latest date that the threshold would be crossed as far back as May 24th!
Does this mean that the major news outlets will declare Clinton the nominee at exactly 8 p.m. on June 7? Not necessarily. There aren’t likely to be exit polls in New Jersey, and the news outlets will probably wait for returns — exit polls are expensive — from the state to determine whether Clinton has clinched. Still, it’ll probably be pretty clear after some votes are counted that Clinton has hit the minimum delegate threshold to win the nomination.
It turned out that the number of delegates required to be declared the presumptive nominee was crossed early, as it was always possible could happen. Nothing about this is unforeseen, or a surprise, except to the politically inexperienced who don’t understand how this game is played. That group certainly doesn’t include Glenn Greenwald or Bernie Sanders.
It is time and past time for Bernie Sanders to put a lid on the ridiculous accusations leveled at the party that he is purportedly running as a candidate in, and to start making the kinds of noises one makes when one wants to make a civilized exit from a political race. It is time and past time for the media to stop inventing reasons to dump on Hillary Clinton.
The voices of support for her are few and far between at this point, and the brave few who dare to speak out are routinely targeted as paid shills for her. As if she hasn’t earned some legitimate supporters of her own just through her own hard work in office and in the Democratic party itself.
In this telling, in order to do something as hard as becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, she had to do something extraordinarily difficult: She had to build a coalition, supported by a web of relationships, that dwarfed in both breadth and depth anything a non-incumbent had created before. It was a plan that played to her strengths, as opposed to her (entirely male) challengers’ strengths. And she did it.
She is the presumptive nominee of the party. Her landslide victory in California proves that she has the backing of the Democratic party across the nation. It is time to put this race to bed and get on with the convention shenanigans.
The 2018 midterms are about to occur. It is mid-October 2018, and still the Berners can’t seem to understand that they can’t get their way just because they want it done their way. this has been going on for at least two and a half years now, and they are as clueless about how the system works as they were two and half years ago. I think this proves just how fruitless arguing with them is. I have the same message for them that I have for the Stormtrumpers and their leader the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM). They think they can subvert the constitution and throw all the people they don’t like out of our country. That simply isn’t going to happen.
Berners who insist that the Democratic party is still rigged against them are also trying to subvert the system by force. That isn’t how this process works, and will ultimately fail just like the Stormtrumpers will fail and take the Republicans with them.
Bernie Sanders is putting on a good fight trying to move the Democratic party away from conservatism and more towards recognizable international liberalism. It has been hard going, to say the least. The difficulty in getting changes into the American system of government is one of its laudable achievements. The fact that the OHM can’t sign an order and alter the constitution and/or the law in the US is about the only thing keeping the United States democratic in any real meaning of the word. Changes have to follow a set course to be effective and durable. Ask any DACA recipient if they feel like they are are secure in their citizenship now. If they worry about becoming stateless and ergo expendable in the near future. This is an outgrowth of Obama being unable to get congress to follow his lead in making American children with cloudy citizenship secure in the nation they’ve chosen to devote themselves to. The voting population of the US to follow his lead in embracing the people who make this country function, bringing them officially into the system.
The durability built into the American system is also one of the biggest stumbling blocks for updating the system. The system is rigged, but it isn’t rigged in the way that Berners pretend. It is rigged against all forms of change by generations of old white farts who don’t want to be forced out of power before they are ready to leave power. The solution to this problem is not voting third party or boycotting the Democratic party. I don’t recommend trying to alter the Republican party, either. They made their hangman’s noose quite well, and they’ve already put it around their collective necks. They will hang, eventually. In the meantime this leaves only one party that can viably take over the party-geared machinery of the US government. Right or wrong, that is how the system operates currently.
Altering state parties and their associated primaries means altering the laws in 50 different states, laws that are set up 50 different ways. Fixing the gerrymandered mess that the US legislature is currently mired in means creating a whole new bureaucracy to handle redistricting. Fixing the primary vote means the adoption of some form of alternative voting strategy that keeps the most extreme individuals (The most recent examples of this were the OHM and Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton was never extreme. That’s why Berners hate her) from rising to the surface and winning elections. All of this has to occur in 50 different states, set up in 50 different ways. Two years isn’t nearly enough time to make that much change occur. It takes thousands of people working at the same goals across vast swaths of landscape to make these kinds of changes. We won’t see this done for at least 20 years, but it needs to be started now.
In the meantime, as the above mentioned changes are making headway across the 50 states, changes visible all around us, declaring you won’t participate in the system because it isn’t yet exactly what you want is to engage in Hunting for Unicorns. A pastime that I refuse to engage in. Let the social airlocking commence, because I have no more patience for people who will not participate in their government in a meaningful fashion. Go waste someone else’s time.