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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Weekend Random Observations.




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1. There was actually a more terrifying appointment made this week than any appointment Il Douche has made:

Michele Bachmann Named ‘Pastor To The United Nations’




Yeah, THAT Michele Bachmann:  https://media.giphy.com/media/R1AVP5xQfPMYw/giphy.gif

Now I don't know who supposedly "named" her pastor to the U.N. I doubt anyone actually has that authority. I assume her actual job will be trying to talk security into letting her in the building so she can pass out a few pamphlets.


Former congresswoman Michele Bachmann says her new ministry to the U.N. is “a vital part of preparing the world for the End Times.”


Because of course it is. I mean one would think that preparing for the "End Times" would be something that the Almighty would do himself, but I'm sure he can use all the help he can get. Especially from a nutjob like Bachmann.


Bachmann explained that her new ministry to the UN is a vital part of preparing the world for the End Times just “as the clock is striking 11:59 on God’s time clock and as history is culminating as read in Revelation.”

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6f/a3/a8/6fa3a8e5771c0e26e6efd1cbef26854f.gif

Does it ever occur to these End-Times doomsday people that Christians since New Testament times have believed that the return of Christ was imminent and that every single person who has ever thought that has been wrong? I mean, Saint Paul thought that the second Coning was right around the corner. You think you have more insight into the inner workings of God's mind than Saint Paul?
I mean, the Apostles could certainly be forgiven for thinking that Christ's return was coming any day now, since Christ Himself had said unto them: the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.. .  30Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.(Mark 13: 26, 30)


Although, he also said 32But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

"Oh, and also Michele Bachmann," He probably meant to add. The angels don't know, hey-even I don't know, but I'm pretty sure Bachmann has it figured out.

I believe that God is starting a new thing, and because the time is short before Christ comes again to this earth, He is giving everyone one more chance.


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Cima_da_Conegliano%2C_God_the_Father.jpg
Yes, a "new thing." That's exactly what I'm starting, a "new thing.". The all-powerful ruler of Heaven and Earth is starting "a new thing." **sigh**



“There was an attempt in the book of Genesis for all of the nations to come together and to raise a fist against God in pride and arrogance,” she said. “It was called the Tower of Babel and God dispersed the people at the Tower of Babel. Never again did all the nations of the earth come together until the League of Nations under President Woodrow Wilson. That broke up, it didn’t work and then we had World War II and the UN was started and it’s been an organization that has had a lot of negative repercussions because it is not under a holy authority of a mighty God and there’s been vain imaginations of raising a fist again against an almighty God.”


Yes, the United Nations runs a lot of different programs. There's UNESCO, there's UNICEF, there's the Raising a Fist Against an Almighty God program.

Also, Bachmann is a member of the Wisconson Ev. Lutheran Synod. I grew up in that denomination and women are absolutely no-o-o-t allowed to be pastors in their dogma. Hell, they aren't even allowed to vote on Congregational issues. They have to leave the room before the men vote on calling a new pastor, or expanding the church building or whatever. So how is it okay for her to suddenly be the "pastor" to the UN?

Anyway, it all seems very silly, but what makes it scary is that Bachmann not only seems to believe that the end of the world is nigh, but that she should participate in the bringing about of the Apocalypse. And if she actually manages to get any influence inside the United Nations, nothing good will come of that. She wants "wars and rumors of war." Especially in the Middle East.

http://ww2.kqed.org/pop/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/03/giphy-8.gif


2. People who are not helping:

Tina Fey





Yes, this bit was funny. Probably the funniest I've seen Tina Fey be when not doing Sarah Palin. But this is terrible advice. Ignoring the problem is how we got Dolt 45 in the first place. Ignoring the rise of fascism is what allowed Hitler to come to power in Germany and to not be challenged by other nations until he had built a formidable war machine. If you feel like you want to stress-eat a cake and scream into it, fine. Do that. But then get up the next morning and go back to the fight. Ignoring Nazis has never been a winning strategy.


Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal

'I hope Trump is assassinated!': Missouri lawmaker's Facebook post leads to calls for resignation


Two days after President Donald Trump once again blamed "both sides" for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal went on her personal Facebook page Thursday morning to vent.
"I put up a statement saying, 'I really hate Trump. He's causing trauma and nightmares.' That was my original post," she told the Kansas City Star.
The Facebook post received many responses, Chappelle-Nadal said, and to one she replied, "I hope Trump is assassinated!"


 I get it. You hate Cheeto Mussolini. All decent people do. But you can't say that you hope he is assassinated. Now every time that some right-wing asshole like Ted Nugent threatens the life of an elected official, you're going to be the person that his supporters point to and say "see, the Left/Democrats/Progressives are just as bad!" And they will do that. They probably already have. I'm sure you're probably a perfectly decent person, you probably are trying to do good for your constituents, but you need to resign. I'm sorry, hopefully you can start collecting some of that sweet sweet George Soros protesting money!






Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today on Twitter



1. When he's right, he's right!





This may be the first time in history that anyone has said "you know, Geraldo Rivera has a point." Of course, it's not the point he thinks he's making, but still.

I assume he thinks that the point he's making is that removing a statue of Columbus would be absurd, and that taking down a statue of Lee is therefore equally absurd.

But really, saying "hey, why not take out Christopher Columubus too?" is like someone sayong to me that I should go to the dictor for a checkup now and again ad me responding " oh sure, the doctor. Hey while I'm at it, maybe I should go to the "dentist" too. And get my "teeth" "cleaned." Oh, and I should probably "join a gym" and maybe "read a book once in a while."


https://i.makeagif.com/media/1-21-2015/rPgksC.gif



2. Talking Points




Cheeto Mussolini's head is going to fucking explode when NONE of the Republicans  dutifully recite these talking points. I mean, a few will, but only because they're the kind of scumbags who actually believe them **cough** PENCE! **cough**

But, hey, Orange Julius Caesar, no one's afraid of you anymore. No one wants your endorsement. No one is going to spout this ridiculous bullshit just because you tell them to.


3. This guy. Hahahahahahaha!!!





Waaaahhhh! What options do we have left?
Um, maybe one option might be to not march around with swastika flags? Maybe not throw up the seig-heil salute? Maybe just accept that the days of honoring traitors who went to war against the United States in order to preserve the institution of slavery are at long last slowly coming to an end?

http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/files/2017/08/Cantwell1.png


“I’m terrified you’re going to kill me, I really am,” Cantwell says while choking back tears. That’s a considerably different tune than he was singing earlier in the day while surrounded by his Nazi cronies. “We’re not non-violent, we’ll fucking kill these people if we have to” he said then, adding that it was good that 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed by a fellow white supremacist at the rally.
“I’d say it was worth it,” he said. “The fact that nobody on our side died, I’d go ahead and call that points for us… I think a lot more people are going to die here.” [source]



4. There is no bottom to the corruption of Dolt 45





This is, of course happening as the emoluments case against Il Douche winds its way slowly towards the Supreme Court. Anyone want to make odds on whether Gorsuch will recuse himself?

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Well, sure they're Nazis, but on the other hand. . .



You know, after the right gathered to march with Nazi flags and Klan paraphernalia and one of their pieces of shit murdered a woman with his car, I thought at least that should be the end of the "both sides" conventional wisdom in the corporate media.

https://media.giphy.com/media/b4pPnoO1QDd1C/giphy-downsized-large.gif


This was published the very next day in the New York God Damn Times!

What Trump Got Wrong on Charlottesville


As a conservative, I see both the social justice warrior alt-left and the white supremacist alt-right as two sides of the same coin.

 https://media.giphy.com/media/Ku7k38YjZ2nCg/giphy.gif


Okay, set aside for the moment the question of how Erick Erickson keeps getting work at once-respectable outlets. (First CNN, not the NYT!~?!?!?) Forget that he should have been drummed out of the profession when he first referred to a Supreme Court Justice as  "goat-fucking child molester."

Forget all that. But one day after this:

http://www.amerika.org/wp-content/uploads/unite-the-right_charlottesville-600x448.jpghttps://media.townhall.com/townhall/reu/ha/images/2017/224/a51c6a1d-da93-4129-9050-431ae50718b9.jpghttp://www.post-gazette.com/image/2017/08/09/1140x_q90_a10-7_cTC_ca493,0,3924,2288/KKK-Rally.jpg

And this:

 https://mgtvwric.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/ap.jpeg?w=800


he actually has the gall to compare the Nazis, Klansmen, and assorted hatemongers of the "alt-right" to people who push for "social justice?" Two sides of the same coin? Well, they do say that love and hate are two sides of the same -- no. No, forget I said that.



Both would punish others for wrongthink. Both see the other side not as opponents, but as evil that can justifiably be silenced.



Okay, so both sides see the other as an evil that can be justifiably silenced? Okay, sure. But one side's opponents are LITERALLY FUCKING NAZIS AND KLANSMEN. It seems quite a different thing to say "I would like to silence this person because he preaches hatred, violence and fear." and "I would like to silence this person because I don't think minorities should have the same position in society as us white men."
One side sees the other as an enemy because they literally are actual Nazis and Klansmen who advocate violence and hatred and bigotry. The other side sees thir opponents as enemies because they have dark skin. Or an accent. Or female body parts. Or are anything other than cis/het. These two do not compare. At all. And fuck you for saying they do, Erickson.


Also, what one side sees as "wrongthink" is racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia, etc.
What the other side sees as "wrongthink" is a belief in human equality.

https://68.media.tumblr.com/2be8275de4c5ef84163969075e6513be/tumblr_mwfhi024C41sko21uo1_500.gif





Now, to be fair - not that Erickson has done anything to deserve fairness - in the bulk of this column, he does actually make the correct point:


But white supremacists, not social justice warriors, were the ones marching with citronella-filled tiki torches in Charlottesville, Va. this weekend.
That is why it is perplexing that President Trump condemned the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides.”


Right. Except that it's not perplexing at all. 

https://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/degrassi/images/e/e7/You_know_why_.gif/revision/latest?cb=20160802200357

And it would be one thing if it was just Erickson. He's always been a scumbag, so what else is new? But the "both sides" beast refuses to die. And it spreads it's tentacles of dishonesty into some surprising places.
This is an op-ed written by New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, published in something called the Yeshiva World which, I have to assume, is a Jewish publication.



Op-Ed: Lessons From Charlottesville: The Alt-Right vs. The Alt-Left

(By NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind)

Five hundred demonstrators chanting about the Jews, many carrying Swastika flags. Five hundred. That’s a scary number when you think of how many people didn’t show up but support the hateful rhetoric and deeply bigoted sentiments being spewed. Five hundred.. . .

. . . The problem is the hatred at both ends of the spectrum: Swastikas and racial slurs and horrible, murderous hatred from the Alt-Right; economic pogroms like BDS and verbal attacks on women marching with Stars of David from the Alt-Left. The hatred and danger from both sides is evident, and Jews, as historically precedent, are caught in between.




Let's see. . . there is one group that strongly disapproves of Israel's policies regarding the Palestinians. And there is another group that likes to refer to Jewish people as "oven-ready." (That's not a joke, I've seen that phrase many times on Twitter.) So, gosh, it must be tough to decide which of those two groups to be more concerned with!

And, not being Jewish, I feel like it's not my place to say this to someone who probably is, but the word "pogrom?" In reference to a boycott? Seems wildly inappropriate.


On the plus side, Teen Vogue continues to do the Lord's work here on Earth.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0091/7202/files/Teen_Vogue_Logo_grande.gif?1131


How "Nice White People" Benefit from Charlottesville and White Supremacy

Stop furrowing your brow over “the partisan divide,” and loudly declare your position in this fight against hatred.

. . . As president, Trump has a responsibility to lead this country with moral authority, and equating a racist mob with the counterprotesters who stood up to resist them constitutes a passive sanctioning of weaponized bigotry. Just ask the KKK and neo-Nazis, who respectively said that the demonstration was intended to help “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” and praised his lack of outright condemnation as “really, really good.” Anything other than a vocal denouncement of the horror of Charlottesville undeniably fuels the forces that fueled it. . . .



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Monday, August 14, 2017

untitled



White nationalist Richard Spencer 

taunts counter-protesters:

‘We could have killed them with our bare hands’

**Ron Howard voice** "They could not have killed them with their bare hands."








Sunday, August 13, 2017

This is on you, conservatives.






'Unite The Right' Racists Force A State Of Emergency In Virginia


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http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/08/31/gop_wide-d7d394bc21288580835d1837113ddcb9fcf6e22e-s900-c85.jpg


So now that someone a white person  has actually been killed by the "alt-right," suddenly a few conservatives are coming out from under their rocks to clutch their pearls and condemn hatred and bigotry and really, they're just so shocked that such a thing could possibly take place in this day and age.




Gingrich: Trump Should've Spoken 'More Aggressively' Against Hate

Ted Cruz Condemns Charlottesville Terror: 'The Nazis, the KKK and White Supremacists are Repulsive and Evil'




Which all sounds great, but let's not let anyone portray these folks as any kind of "heroes" or  advocates of "tolerance" or not completely complicit in this shit.

How many conservatives spoke out when Pat Buchannan screamed "lock and load" and "take back your country!" at the 1992 Republican convention. We all knew what he meant. How many conservatives said anything against him? I assume there were a few, because "sane Republican" was not yet an oxymoron, but I certainly can't remember any outcry.

Did any of these Republicans object when FOX News and talk radio became more and more blatantly racist, railing against every perceived slight against white privilege from affirmative action to "ebonics" to Barack Obama being elected President?
Did any conservatives object when John McCain elevated Sarah Palin, with her intentionally divisive rhetoric and dumbed-down know-nothingness intp a position of inordinate influence? With her talk of "real Americans" in the small towns of the heartland and questions about the patriotism of Presdient Obama?
Did any on the right speak up against the rise of Glen Beck and the normalizing of insane conspiracy theorists?  Have any spoken out against the mainstreaming of Alex Jones, for God's sake?
Did any Republican condemn the racist "birther" movement? Or object to one of it's leaders running for their party's nomination? I don't recall any. What I do recall is the "Tea Party," the birthers, the loons and Ted Fucking Nugent being embraced whole-heartedly by the G.O.P. Hell, they even allowed some of their members to form a "Tea Party Caucus" and give an alternative response to the State of the Union. No one in the party leadership ever said, "no, you can't be seen addressing one of these gatherings of lunatics.
http://www.motherjones.com/wp-content/uploads/bachmann-and-martin.gif?w=990

No one in the party ever said "no, you can't invite a man who has threatened the life of the President to be your honored guest at the State of the Union Address.

http://images.gawker.com/18eiy8qf783xnjpg/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636.jpg

And no one ever said "it's fine to support the Second Amendment, but let's not pander to the worst, most violent, paranoid segments of society. Maybe just get your picture taken duck hunting or something?

http://mygunculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Ted-Cruz-Pro-Gun.jpg

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/CASLqRoB0Mw/hqdefault.jpg    http://images.dailykos.com/images/82119/story_image/dzyzcd4aytlsrchrhzxv.jpg?1399308001

So,  now they want to take tot eh Twitter to boldly stand against the monster they built? While taking no responsibility at all for building it? Like Doctor Frankenstein saying "there's an undead monster terrorizing the village? Where could that have come from?" No one's buying it. (Except the media probably will).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

They aren't even trying to disguise it anymore

Submitted without comment:


Republicans limiting early voting in Marion County, letting it bloom in suburbs
, fatima.hussein@indystar.com



From 2008 to 2016, GOP officials expanded early voting stations in Republican dominated Hamilton County, IndyStar's analysis found, and decreased them in the state's biggest Democratic hotbed, Marion County. 

From 2008 to 2016, GOP officials expanded early voting stations in Republican dominated Hamilton County, IndyStar's analysis found, and decreased them in the state's biggest Democratic hotbed, Marion County. 



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

David Brooks is the worst! Again.




Lord of the Memes



Oh, we're off to a great start with this one, I assume this is meant to be some sort of a play on words, maybe a reference to Lord of the Rings, or Lord of the Flies or maybe the Lord of the Dance?




Either way, it didn't land. So on with the column!




Dear Dr. Kierkegaard,
All my life I’ve been a successful pseudo-intellectual, sprinkling quotations from Kafka, Epictetus and Derrida into my conversations, impressing dates and making my friends feel mentally inferior. But over the last few years, it’s stopped working. People just look at me blankly. My artificially inflated self-esteem is on the wane. What happened?
Existential in Exeter



Wait, what? Brooks is writing a fake advice column now? In the guise of Soren Kierkegaard? And he's calling the fake guy he made up a pseudo-intellectual? Is that what's going on here?




Dear Existential,
It pains me to see so many people being pseudo-intellectual in the wrong way. It desecrates the memory of the great poseurs of the past. And it is all the more frustrating because your error is so simple and yet so fundamental.
You have failed to keep pace with the current code of intellectual one-upsmanship. You have failed to appreciate that over the past few years, there has been a tectonic shift in the basis of good taste.



Honest to God, who is more of a pseudo-intellectual than David Goddamm Brooks? It's only due to the existence of William Kristol that Brooks isn't the stupidest pundit in the mainstream,.


You must remember that there have been three epochs of intellectual affectation. The first, lasting from approximately 1400 to 1965, was the great age of snobbery. Cultural artifacts existed in a hierarchy, with opera and fine art at the top, and stripping at the bottom. The social climbing pseud merely had to familiarize himself with the forms at the top of the hierarchy and febrile acolytes would perch at his feet.



Just like how any simpleton can apparently get a column at the New York Times, toss in a few $5 thesaurus words and be taken seriously as some kind of expert on world affairs.

Also, stripping was NEVER at the bottom of the cultural hierarchy. It goes Opera, non-musical theatre, stripping, musical theater, punditry.


In 1960, for example, he merely had to follow the code of high modernism. He would master some impenetrably difficult work of art from T.S. Eliot or Ezra Pound and then brood contemplatively at parties about Lionel Trilling’s misinterpretation of it. A successful date might consist of going to a reading of “The Waste Land,” contemplating the hollowness of the human condition and then going home to drink Russian vodka and suck on the gas pipe.

Ahahahah! Because intellectuals are always depressed substance abusers! Ahahahaha, it's funny because it's a gross stereotype!



This code died sometime in the late 1960s and was replaced by the code of the Higher Eclectica. The old hierarchy of the arts was dismissed as hopelessly reactionary. Instead, any cultural artifact produced by a member of a colonially oppressed out-group was deemed artistically and intellectually superior.
During this period, status rewards went to the ostentatious cultural omnivores — those who could publicly savor an infinite range of historically hegemonized cultural products. It was necessary to have a record collection that contained “a little bit of everything” (except heavy metal): bluegrass, rap, world music, salsa and Gregorian chant. 




Oh my God, having well-rounded musical tastes? What a bunch of dicks, right?
Also, "world music," that's not a thing. It's a derisive term used to refer to any style of music that does not come from the US or Britain, as if West African High-Life belongs in the same category as Eastern European Klezmer or Brazilian Samba. As if Ali Farka Toure' has anything in common with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or Jaoa Gilberto. It's just that kind of dismissive colonialist attitude that lumps the entire non-English-speaking world into one grouping as the "other." Am I being too pseudo-intellectual for you, David? Oh, God - I am! I'm making myself nauseous re-reading that last paragraph. Ugh!

It was useful to decorate one’s living room with African or Thai religious totems — any religion so long as it was one you could not conceivably believe in.


Right, cause you couldn't possibly believe in something like Buddhism or Islam. Those are just silly old belief systems for the primitive cultures. right? Which, I guess, is why it's okay to decorate one's living room in "cultural appropriation chic."


But on or about June 29, 2007, human character changed. That, of course, was the release date of the first iPhone. On that date, media displaced culture. As commenters on The American Scene blog have pointed out, the means of transmission replaced the content of culture as the center of historical excitement and as the marker of social status.


So. . . the medium became the message? What a radical transformation that definitely didn't occur at all before 2007.

 


Now the global thought-leader is defined less by what culture he enjoys than by the smartphone, social bookmarking site, social network and e-mail provider he uses to store and transmit it.


Also, get off my lawn you darn kids!

Seriously, David Brooks has made the discovery, in 2017, that people use smartphones to store and transmit information.
And what "global thought leader" is being defined by his "social bookmarking site" or his e-mail provider?  Is that why people take buffoons like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham seriously? Because they're using the correct e-mail or social media platform? And would Bernie Sanders' platform have gotten more traction had he used a Samsung Galaxy 6 instead of whatever he uses to send Tweets, a rotary phone I'm guessing?



Mabel? Get me Instagram! Klondike Five. . .




Today, Kindle can change the world, but nobody expects much from a mere novel

How?

How could Kindle possibly change the world? 

Does anyone even think that? 

Does Amazon even think that? 

I've never heard anyone claim that Kindle has changed anything beyond maybe their reading habits. The World?



This transition has produced some new status rules. In the first place, prestige has shifted from the producer of art to the aggregator and the appraiser. Inventors, artists and writers come and go, but buzz is forever. 


WHAT? "Buzz," by it's very nature, is fleeting. People get excited about a thing, then everyone knows about the thing so the thing isn't special anymore and then there is buzz about a different thing and the initial thing is forgotten. Or, to put it more succinctly:




Maximum status goes to the Gladwellian heroes who occupy the convergence points of the Internet infosystem — Web sites like Pitchfork for music, Gizmodo for gadgets, Bookforum for ideas, etc.


Okay, so people go to Pitchfork to learn about new music. In my day, we went to NME or Spin or BAM or a thousand other print magazines. How is this any different? Other than saving a trip to the newsstand. It's not like people go to Pitchfork, read up on the latest hip bands and then don't go and listen to the new hip bands. No one has ever had a conversation that went "hey, have you heard the new song from the Insufferably Twee?"  "Nah, I read about them on Pitchfork, that's really all I want. I don't care about hearing the actual musicians play actual; music."

And you can repeat that same paragraph just substituting Bookforum and the New York Review of Books for Pitchfork and New Music Express.

These tastemakers surf the obscure niches of the culture market bringing back fashion-forward nuggets of coolness for their throngs of grateful disciples.

And this is a totally new phenomenon. There have never been critics before. No one has ever had a television show, for instance, telling people which movies are good and which are bad, possibly with a thumbs up/thumbs down type of system?


Second, in order to cement your status in the cultural elite, you want to be already sick of everything no one else has even heard of.

THIS IS NOT A NEW THING!
Back in the 1980s, there was no greater thrill than knowing about a band your friends hadn't heard of. One time, my friend and I were record shopping, he asked the cool record store guy if they had "Treebound Story." The record store guy had never heard of them. It was my friend's greatest moment of triumph. 





When you first come across some obscure cultural artifact — an unknown indie band, organic skate sneakers or wireless headphones from Finland — you will want to erupt with ecstatic enthusiasm. This will highlight the importance of your cultural discovery, the fineness of your discerning taste, and your early adopter insiderness for having found it before anyone else.


I don't know how else to say this, Brooks: It Has Ever Been Thus!



If you can do this, becoming not only an early adopter, but an early discarder, you will realize greater status rewards than you ever imagined. Remember, cultural epochs come and go, but one-upsmanship is forever.


That's it? That's the whole column? I still have no idea what point Brooks is even trying to make.  And he gets paid for this. 
What a racket!






Sunday, August 6, 2017

With democrats like this, who needs Republicans?





Americans will reap the benefits of bipartisan approach on tax reform


Okay, first of all, can we please PLEASE stop using their language? Tax "reform" is their term for reducing taxes - especially on the wealthy and large corporations - which blows up the deficit which gives them the excuse to cut cut cut every part of the government except the military. When Republicans predictably call for "tax reform" as some sort of urgently needed lifeline for the American economy and the American worker, anyone with a D after his name should respond by calling bullshit on the supposed "need" for phony "reform" instead of arguing about what the details of the reform should be, conceding the point to the GOP that of course tax "reform" is necessary, but let's just tweak it a little bit, hmm? Maybe not ALL the benefits need to go to the top income bracket?

If we are really going to overhaul the US tax system, any serious proposal needs to START with an increase in the top marginal rate. A large increase. And the closing of all the loopholing accounting shenanigans that allow profitable companies to pay little or no federal tax, no matter what the rate is on paper.

So let's see what Rep. Crowley's idea is.

 


In many respects, tax reform could truly be a miracle drug for our economy — providing a needed boost for the hardest-working Americans who would see more money in their pockets and opportunities for new jobs grow.




Oh for. . . are you seriously buying into this Republican bullshit? This whole "the reason the middle class is struggling is because of this awful burden of having to pay taxes, even though tax rates are at the lowest point they've been since at least World War II, but that certainly can't be relative" is such nonsense. You want the hardest-working Americans to have more money in their pockets? Raise the minimum wage! Bring back the unions! How much more walkin-around money are regular folks going to have from a reduction in income tax? I mean, some, sure. But they'd see a lot more if they were paid a better wage and that wouldn't have the side-effect of screwing the schools, parks, and libraries that help make their kids' lives better. Not ot mention the police, fire departments, roads, airports, etc etc etc.

It’s a jobs package on steroids.




Unless you are referring to the testicle-shrinking effect for which steroids are notorious, I gotta call bullshit on that one. How is it that in 2017 a DEMOCRAT is still pushing Reaganomics? How many jobs were created by the Bush tax cuts? Something in the neighborhood of squat, as I recall. But like every right-wing Chicago-school economic idiot, you're still holding out hope that this tax cut is sure to be the one that creates jobs and makes everyone affluent and rainbows and unicorns shall fill the skies!


It’s a jobs package on steroids. But there is only one way to accomplish tax reform that does all that: It must be truly and completely bipartisan.

Okay, A: you can forget about that, The Republicans decided 8+1/2  years ago that bipartisanship was the moral equivalent of treason and that any notion of reaching across the aisle would be punished by a teabagger in your primary.
And B: Tax cuts for the wealthy aren't going to somehow become more effective less damaging by having the imprimatur of both parties on them. How would that help?


Because of the complex rules that govern the lifespan of some legislative packages, any tax reform deal that doesn’t give both parties concrete wins is at risk of being undone after future elections. Put bluntly, if there isn’t political buy-in from Democrats and Republicans, the reforms are essentially temporary.
Yeah. well given what these "reforms" tend to look like, I got to think temporary is a selling point.

That would be inherently bad for business — and for working families. One thing I hear over-and-over again is how businesses need certainty. That to grow, they need the ability to plan ahead for five, 10, 15 and even 20 years in the future. 
Isn't uncertainty kind of the nature of business? Isn't that why we're supposed to admire and revere the entrepreneur, the "job creator," because he took a risk, invested his money without any guarantee of return and managed to beat the odds and become profitable? Now not only are we supposed to de-regulate him, not tax him, and let him buy his own congressmen, we have to remove uncertainty for him?  Giving him everything he wants isn't enough, we have to reassure him that he will continue to get it in perpetuity, otherwise he can't do us the kindness of running a profitable business?


While it sounds lofty, it’s been done before. The successful tax code overhaul in 1986 saw each party give a little to achieve compromise that all sides were ultimately invested in. 



Oh, Jeezus. Yeah, it's funny how easy it is to get bi-partisan buy-in for lowering the top income bracket from 50 to 38%. It's almost as if both parties are infested with millionaires and/or beholden to the donor class. If that's the kind of "overhaul" you have in mind, no Democrat should be interested on that.
Compromise always seems to consist of the Republicans saying "let's give a huge tax cut to the already rich" and the Democrats responding "well, maybe not that huge." Now that there is a progressive Warren Wing willing to stand firm and say "no, these bastards don't need another tax cut," you want both parties to come together and compromise? To essentially cave to GOP demands, as long as they can get something they can call a win, they should be willing to go along with this psychosis? hell no!



But the signals we’ve received from the White House and congressional Republicans indicate that the GOP views tax reform as a go it alone effort. Case in point: The White House’s tax reform outline. It was released without any outreach to Democrats or any real attempt to incorporate congressional priorities into the fold






Uh, yeah. Have you met Mitch McConnell? Have you met any Republican in the last decade? They. Will. Not. Work. With. You. It's part of their cultural identity. They know their voters are strung out on a steady IV of FOX News and talk radio and right-wing internet that has them convinced that the democrats are basically a combination of the Bolshevik Party and the Manson Family. Even if they wanted to work with you on something, they'd be too afraid of their base. It's like you're the unpopular kid at school, the one everyone thinks is a "geek" and no other kid will befriend you lest he be thought a "geek" by comparison. That's not a great analogy, because it supposes that the Republicans are popular and God knows they aren't that, but you get the idea.

I mean, look at Chris Christie. Not literally, I wouldn't wish that on anyone, uggggh!



But remember how he was considered one of the front-runners for the Republican Presidential nomination? And then he hugged Barack Obama. And said that even though he was a Republican and Obama was a Democrat, they were working together because "that's what grownups do?" Remember? How many delegates did Christie win again? Somewhere in the neighborhood of squat as I recall. And look what he's been reduced to. groveling at the feet of Il Douche, tryuig to curry favor and failing again and again. You think any of t[=your colleagues across the aisle want to end up like Chris Christie?







As proposed, this outline would blow such a massive hole in the country’s deficit it would force political leaders to gut Medicare and Medicaid to accomplish the drastic cuts President Trump promised

Yeah, that's not a bug, it's a feature.

Tax reform is needed, but stripping seniors, veterans and children of access to essential care is not the way to do it.



Ugh. . . Stop it! Stop buying in to their premise! Who says tax "reform" is "needed?" What reputable economists are saying this? When you accept their false premises, you've lost the argument before you've even begun.




Next time: Michigan Congresswoman Sandy Levin also argues tax "reform" on Republican terms.



Friday, August 4, 2017

Washington Post prints bullshit


So the Washington Post has come up with a new type of newspaper article. It's not really "news," it's not an op/ed, it's just bullshit.



Post Politics
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice isn’t the only Democrat Trump won over

 



Okay, first of all, are we really going to pretend that WV Governor Jim Justice was "won over" by Il Douche? Justice was a Republican up until 2015. He refused to endorse Hillary Clinton. He was a goddamm coal company executive before entering into politics. How persuasive would Cheeto Mussolinin have had to be to "win him over?"


HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — While it is highly unusual for a sitting governor to change political parties while in office — as West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (D) announced he would do during a rally with President Trump on Thursday night — the process of crossing over was familiar to many in the crowd that night.
Kimberly Barrington, a 46-year-old stay-at-home mother of two from Virginia’s rural Wise County, voted for Democrats for years, including former president Barack Obama ahead of his first term — but as she watched him and the Democratic Party drift away from her values and priorities, she decided to vote in 2012 for Republican nominee Mitt Romney and then for Trump in 2016.

See, now a statement like that needs some examples. If you're going to say that the Democrats have "drifted away" from some set of values, you need to follow that up with at least one f'rinstance. You need to say " For instance, they used to support this position, but now they support that one instead." But of course zero examples are offered, because it's just considered a given that since the GOP has flung itself headlong into the pit of far-right insanity, the Democrats must conversely have moved towards the far left because how else to explain the gap between the two parties? It certainly can't be the result of the Republicans having fully embraced the extremist wing of their party, because that would mean that our "both sides" conventional wisdom might be incorrect!

Marty Ramsey, a 49-year-old from Kenova who maintains trains, became an independent several years ago after watching Democrats allow the government to become heavily involved in health care, implement Common Core education standards that he thinks are too liberal, reduce access to firearms and narrow the freedoms of Americans. After not voting in the 2008 and 2012 elections, Ramsey voted for Trump last year.

Okay, the correct version of this paragraph would read ". . . became an independent several years ago after being convinced by the FOX/Limbaugh/Breitbart cabal that Democrats were reducing access to firearms and narrowing the freedoms of Americans, even though neither of those claims is remotely true." Like seriously, name one piece of gun-control legislation signed by Barack Obama. Name one way in which Americans' freedoms have been "narrowed" in the last 8 years. And don't say the freedom to have a shitty catastrophic healthcare plan that doesn't cover anything, or the freedom to be denied health insurance at all because of pre-existing conditions. 
You know when your freedoms got narrowed? When a Republican House, a Republican Senate and George W. Bush created the PATRIOT Act. And sure, the Dems did a lousy job of being an opposition party, but is that any reason to vote for an orange-skinned baboon with diminishing cognitive skills? 
“I think it’s a sign of the times,” said Jose Gonzalez, a 37-year-old project manager at a local steel plant and former Democrat who lives across the river in Kentucky and voted for Trump after his first pick for president, Bernie Sanders, lost the Democratic primary. “On paper, I had to register as a Republican. But I have to say, I’m somewhere in the middle ... The Democratic Party used to look out for the downtrodden, but more and more working people are going for Republicans.”
And at this point, one might feel obligated to point out that, while the Democrats - especially "blue dog" Dems like West Virginia's Joe Manchin - have done a pretty poor job of looking out for the downtrodden, switching loyalty to a party made up of the down- trodders is not likely to be helpful.  I mean, sure the Dems have been reluctant to fight for a liveable minimum wage (with some notable exceptions), but the Republicans argue over whether to reduce it or eliminate it all together. And yes, Obamacare is fairly weak sauce compared to the Canadian-style single payer system we should have by now, but how is it better top vote for the party that wants to throw millions off of insurance so that they can give tax cuts to millionaires? Some analysis along these lines might improve your story more than just printing pull-quotes from people who were stupid enough to be conned by the two-bit charlatan in the bad combover.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Happy Jerry Day



Or I guess I should say "Bittersweet Jerry Day," as Jerry is no longer among us. But thank God he left us a treasure trove of wonderful wonderful music.

















The late great Jerry Garcia would have been 75 years old today.


Monday, July 31, 2017

This can't be real, can it?



I watched this a bunch of times and I was sure it was a joke. I thought it must be from Last Week Tonight or Full Frontal. Maybe SNL or Colbert?

But no, this seems to be a real thing.






When I saw the veteran's name was 'Warholic," I thought"okay, that settles it.This is satire. No one really has that last name that would be a term fora person addicted to war, right?"
Wrong.

Spotlight: Frank Warholic, Commander of the Montville VFW Post 5481

Frank Warholic, retiring VFW Post 5481 commander, proudly stands in front of the M60 Vietnam era army tank and memorial wall that honors township residents who served their country. An expansion of the area is in progress.
That's him! He's a real person.

I also thought the bit about how the bear loves to go to the golf course was a shot at Trump's frequent taxpayer-funded golfing weekends, but apparently this whole thing is real.

Satire is dead.




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Well that was quick!




New White House Communications director Anthony Scaramucci is already crashing and burning faster than. . .what crashes and burns really fast? A Valu-Jet flight?

Anyway, he's had this job for, what, about a week? And he's already imploding.


Incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci gave a lengthy interview to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday in which he angrily lashed out at whoever leaked his financial disclosure form, despite the fact that the form was never meant to be a secret.

See, normally this is the sort of thing that would happen towards the end of your tenure, when you're about to resign to "spend more time with your family." You don't expect a new member of the administration to walk in, ask which desk is his, and pick a public fight with Reince Priebus.

During the interview, Scaramucci fumed about the ways that seemingly everything that occurs inside the White House — from his dinner with Sean Hannity Wednesday night to his financial disclosure form — leaks out almost instantly to the media.
“What I’m upset about is the process — and the junk pool, the dirty pool — in terms of the way this stuff is being done,” Scaramucci said. “I can’t have a couple of friends up from Fox & Friends, and Sean Hannity, who’s one of my closest friends, to dinner with the president and his first lady without it being leaked in seven minutes.”

Why, it's as if a public figure can't have dinner with 3 other public figures, one of whom is probably the most famous/infamous/notorious person in the world, without the public somehow finding out!
Also, fuck you, you're not supposed to be meeting with faux-journalists to coordinate messaging with them.


Scaramucci then said that, when it comes to leaks, “the fish stinks from the head down.” Despite this, however, he said that President Donald Trump was not responsible for any of the leaks that occur from within the White House.
“I can tell you two fish that don’t stink,” he told Cuomo. “And that’s me and the president.” 




I don't even have a joke here. What could I possibly say that would be funnier than that last statement?


Scaramucci then went on to discuss his relationship with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, whom he had initially seemed to blame for the leaking of his financial disclosure form. Scaramucci insisted that he still saw Priebus as a “brother,” but noted that “some brothers are rough on each other.”
“Some brothers are like Cain and Abel,” Scaramucci said, referring to the story in the Bible about a man who murdered his own brother out of jealousy. “I don’t know if this is reparable or not, that’s up to the president.”
Oh my God! YOU JUST GOT THERE! How do you have an arch-frenemy already?  Your differences are already irreconcilable? You guys are on the same team!
This would be like when Kevin Durant joined the Warriors if he had said "I'm happy to be here, I look forward to competing for a championship, and by the way, fuck Steph Curry! What a dick, am I right?"
Except that there's no way that you are the Kevin Durant of Comm. Directors and no way that Reince is the Steph Curry of whatever it is that he does.You're more like the Cherokee parks and Chris Washburn of DC 

And then, if that wasn't train-wrecky enough:

Scaramucci goes on vulgar attack against own communications team, calls Priebus ‘paranoid schizophrenic’  
Anthony Scaramucci went on the offensive Wednesday night calling White House adversary Reince Priebus “schizophrenic” and threatening to fire his entire communications staff.

He hurled invective at supposed leakers within the administration after New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza tweeted, citing “a senior White House Official,” that Scaramucci was having dinner at the White House with President Trump, the First Lady, Sean Hannity, and former Fox News executive Bill Shine.

The tweets prompted a furious Scaramucci to call Lizza — and go on a tirade against administration officials whom he believes are responsible for leaking information about the dinner, and also his publicly available financial disclosures.

You'd think you'd be so embarrassed after claiming that "leaking" your financial disclosures was a "felony" and then having to be told that no, this is publicly available information, that you'd just shut up about the whole thing for a while, but that is not the way things work in Drumpfland!

Scaramucci threatened to fire his staff when Lizza refused to reveal his source.“What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said.“O.K., I’m going to fire every one of them, and then you haven’t protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks,” he continued, after he failed to persuade Lizza to speak up.
No! Not Sarah Huckabee Sanders!
Not Kellyanne!

Scaramucci disclosed that he believed Priebus was worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited.
“Reince is a f--king paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said.
He imitated Priebus, saying, “’Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f--king thing and see if I can c--k-block these people the way I c--k-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’”
Wait. Do you think that's why you weren't comm director for the first 6 months of the administration? That Reince was "cock-blocking" you? Because otherwise, why would anyone not want an even-tempered level-headed fella like yourself running their communications strategy?



So calling the guy who is technically your boss a "fucking paranoid schizophrenic" and a "cock-blocker." Pretty crazy right?
Oh, but wait. It gets better.

"I'll get to the person who leaked that to you," Scaramucci told The New Yorker reporter. "Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something — he'll be asked to resign very shortly."

Oh my God, he's been in position, what ;like three days? He's not even done with employee orientation and he's already gunning for the chief of staff?

Oh, but wait. It gets better.

Scaramucci launched attacks on other adversaries, too, including Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, saying, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c--k.”



Oh, but wait. It gets better.

“Why don’t you honor the job? You remember Joe Paterno? What would he say? Act like you’ve been there before,” Scaramucci said during a phone interview. “Act with honor and dignity and respect, and hold the confidence of the presidency in his office. Why don’t we do that?”





Honor, dignity and respect? Joe Paterno? The man who enabled more child rapes than any non-pope?