Sunday, July 31, 2016

Trump's Foreign Policy Ignorance




Talk about a disaster of an interview:

Donald Trump said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin won't make a military move into Ukraine -- even though Putin already has done just that, seizing the country's Crimean peninsula. 

"He's not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want," Trump said in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week." 

    "Well, he's already there, isn't he?" Stephanoploulos responded, in a reference to Crimea, which Putin took from Ukraine in early 2014.

    Trump said: "OK -- well, he's there in a certain way. But I'm not there. You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama with all the strength that you're talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this. In the meantime, he's going away. He takes Crimea."

    Read the whole thing. Donald Trump has no idea what's happening in the world, but he cues on the things he thinks he knows. Someone says NATO and Ukraine, and he has opinions that are not informed with knowledge. He doesn't read anything. He doesn't know what he's talking about. He delivers endlessly circular arguments and blames Obama for things when he senses that it has gone off the rails.

    There is a credibility gap that the media needs to address. It doesn't matter what subject we're talking about--all Trump can do is lie. He lies about everything in front of him. Not only is Trump cruel but he's as stupid as any human being has ever gotten away with in public life. He's Louis Gohmert stupid with no self-awareness.

    Truly, this is a dangerous man with nothing in his head. It's all gut reaction, bullshit, and rage.

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    Name Calling Has No Place in Public Life

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1091.0"] When you're as accomplished as Mike Pence, name calling is beneath you... When you're as accomplished as Mike Pence, name calling is beneath you... [/caption]


    This is the whole fucking joke.

    Mike Pence chastised President Obama on Friday for indirectly referring to Donald Trump as a demagogue, saying — perhaps ironically — that "name calling" has no "place in public life." 

    Pence, responding directly to the president's comments about Trump at the Democratic convention on Wednesday, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt: "I don't think name calling has any place in public life, and I thought that was unfortunate that the president of the United States would use a term like that."

    How do you respond to that?

    You don't.

    The Onion can't keep up with these people. Satirists can't maintain any semblance of a cohesive thought. We're in Mel Brooks territory. There's no point in calling attention to the absolute hypocrisy of a man chosen to run with Donald Trump who says, in public, "name calling has no place in public life."

    I got nothin'.

    Who Does Donald Trump Think He Can Hit?




    Donald Trump continues to be a legendary tough guy in his own mind:

    Donald Trump, after hearing speeches at the Democratic convention this week, said Thursday he wanted to "hit a number of those speakers so hard, their heads would spin."

    "They'd never recover," he said.

      Trump often uses the term "hit" to mean verbally attack, rather than physical contact.

      The Republican nominee zoomed in on one speaker especially, though he didn't mention his name.

      "I was going to hit one guy in particular, a very little guy," Trump said to laughs at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa. "I was going to hit this guy so hard his head would spin, he wouldn't know what the hell happened."

      We're not talking about Jeb Bush anymore. If Donald Trump tries to hit someone who can actually defend themselves, I don't think we should be worried about the impact. And I'm not talking about his soft, effeminate girly man hands. The act has grown thin and the follow through isn't what it used to be. It's all fake for the cameras. It's all staged and phony. Behind the scenes, someone drops a light bulb on the floor and Trump pisses himself with fear. It's more than smoke and mirrors--it's a con game.

      Trump continues to think of himself as a tough, accomplished American hero. This is ridiculous. The man has never served his country, he's never sacrificed anything for the common good, and he's been spoonfed since birth. He's a self-licking ice cream cone.

      The Voice




      There are going to be endless thinkpieces about how a woman can't be strident, confident, and assured in the weeks and months ahead. The sexism inherent in this argument is plain even for a relatively lumpy but friendly white guy like me--if you don't like strong women, you're going to have a problem with Hillary Clinton:

      Several male news commentators on major networks reacted to Hillary Clinton’s DNC speech with commentary about her “shrill” voice rather than about the content of her speech, igniting a furor over the seemingly sexist remarks. The BBC’s James Naughtie ignited a backlash on the Today Programme with his remarks about Thursday’s speech by the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party. Asking aloud whether Clinton had “a bit of a woman problem,” Naughtie on Thursday said Clinton had “a slightly shrill tone” that might turn voters off. Earlier this week, NBC commentator Tom Brokaw echoed Naughtie’s comments, saying, “she’s often quite shrill and hectoring people.” PBS also came under fire for supposedly calling the presidential candidate’s delivery style “shrill” in its coverage of her historic DNC speech. Throughout her campaign, Clinton has at times faced baffling criticism of her tone of voice by American pundits. In May, MSNBC coverage of one of her speeches was interrupted so that the commentator could complain that she was speaking too loudly.

      You'd think that an assclown from the BBC would know what a strong woman sounds like, but he's forgotten about Margaret Thatcher and her permanent resting bitchface. He doesn't sound like he can handle being in the room with a woman who is going to call him on his bullshit, does he?

      There's nothing wrong with her tone, her voice or her delivery. It's the same used by everyone else on that stage who knows how to lead. I heard the sound of conviction and dedication in Hillary's voice, and I'm pretty happy with that. But, then again, I've served in the military. I know that women can have the same command presence and delivery as men. I'm comfortable with it because I've lived through it. Far too many men have avoided military service and haven't been socialized in an environment where a woman gives orders that have to be followed. It comes down to life experience. If you're used to having everyone kiss your ass, you're not going to be especially happy when President Hillary Rodham Clinton tells you to shut up, sit down, and do what you're told.

      What's the over/under on how many Maureen Dowd columns are going to cover the subject of Hillary's warrior queen delivery? There is blood on Hillary's sword and that drives people like her nuts. Dowd comes at life from the perspective of a Baby Boomer who knows she's never going to be in anyone's top ten. Bill and Hillary are the best of their generation. That leaves the also rans like Dowd to suffer with resume envy, and that's why the New York Times keeps Dowd around. She's the voice and the ID of a generation of marginally successful insecure people. Everyone but her has always done feminism wrong. I have a sneaky suspicion that Dowd is of the opinion that Hillary bitching the wheels off of a car is going to come up and I would be willing to bet you that we're going to read about how men like to having something soft, sexy and readily purring in their lives because they're so stressed out, darn it. If only Hillary would squeak and wear a French maid's outfit, men would vote for her.

      As for Tom Brokaw, please. This notion that Hillary is hectoring anyone other than a billionaire who wears a white bed sheet over his head when he goes wilding with his cronies from Russia is laughable. You know, maybe if someone had hired more women to work in television back when Brokaw was starting out and maybe if someone had let them do more than the weather and the human interest stuff, the presence of an assertive woman capable of outworking and outthinking the men around her would have been more commonplace. Hillary is the logical extension of a kind of culture shock that says, "yeah, you're in the same room with someone who's smarter than you are and isn't afraid to say what she thinks. Gotta problem with that?"

      The great Tina Fey owned being a bitch because "bitches get stuff done." But, the reality is, Hillary is not being a bitch and neither was Tina when she took charge and made things work. That's not who or what they are. They're strong, confident people who act just like you're supposed to act when you have plans, agendas, and things to accomplish. Certain men are not going to be able to handle that because they're used to seeing something softer and more docile in their day to day lives. No one should make any excuses for their sexism. They're the ones who need to adjust to the new reality.

      Thanks For Nothing, Assholes




      Tonight I heard Hillary Clinton give a tremendous speech. It was about chasing the best version of America. It was about what we can do together if we make up our minds to stop being dicks about everything. It was about what we have to do to move this country forward so that some jerk doesn't end up with all of the money falling out of his pants.

      And I'm all about that speech. It will resonate throughout this country. It will carry her on to victory because what else is there? A dark, twisted, misogynistic vision of America as seen through the holes cut in the bedsheet over Donald Trump's head? Or a call for unity so that we can solve some goddamned serious problems? A call we'd better heed. A call to all that ought to wake people up and shake them out of their complacency. A call like none other. What else is there but what Hillary was offering? Hope is something we have to keep chasing. Hating our neighbors ain't gonna work because it has never worked.

      It was during that call that we got what I hope will be the last taste of what a Bernie Sanders supporter brings to the table:

      Hillary Clinton was heckled and booed by a small handful of individuals Thursday night as she delivered her primetime address at the Democratic National Convention formally accepting the party’s nomination for president.

      There are a lot of stupid people in America. There are way, way too many people who blunder through their lives without a thought worth expressing but they do it anyway. It's a country where someone can buy a car at 29% interest and think they got a good enough deal to justify buying a second 50-inch television they don't need that falls out of the trunk of that same car on the way home because their dumb little buddy forgot how to make two pieces of twine stay together (Dammit, Skeeter). They're gonna vote for Trump. You just know it and you can't do anything about it.

      This is for those assholes who tried to make it about themselves and ruin Hillary's speech. If they had bothered to listen, she acknowledged their candidate, she embraced some of his ideas, and she made promises that she's going to try to deliver. She listened, she learned, she made it clear that she was going to reach out to them. The olive branch was more than extended, and these cheap, immature people tried to turn a moment where one of the most famous and powerful women in history reached out with her hand in decency to bring them on board into their moment of incoherent screaming.

      These are the same people who booed the kid who immigrated to this country, joined the Army, and was awarded the Medal of Honor. Yeah, that's the classy way in which you change minds and influence people to come over to your side. How's that working out for ya? The optics were fantastic. Instead of courtesy, they made it theirs. If you define "theirs" as what happens when a  wino rolls in the gutter, of course. Wasn't there a cloud these people could go yell at?

      What are the little girls inspired by Hillary tonight supposed to think of some low rent hipsters with no skin in the game trying to shout over the person trying to make everyone's life a little better? Who are they winning over to their side with the kind of buffoonery that you find at a cockfight or a Ted Nugent concert? I mean, goddamn, people. You couldn't just sit on your hands and listen to what the woman had to say? How hard is it to do the decent thing? Honestly.

      Fuck them. Their lives will be infinitely better under a second President Clinton than they were under Bush or what they would be under Trump. They've had it great for the last eight years under President Obama but they're too self-centered to realize just how far we've come since the moment in 2008 when the world was at the brink of economic ruin.

      They were never Democrats. They were just there for the swag.

      Thursday, July 28, 2016

      Bernie Sanders Never Wanted to be a Democrat




      You and me were right all along, weren't we?

      Bernie Sanders said he plans to return to the Senate as an independent, despite winning 13 million votes in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary contest.

      “I was elected as an independent; I’ll stay two years more as an independent,” Mr. Sanders said.

      Speaking at the Bloomberg Politics breakfast on Tuesday, Mr. Sanders also said the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee doesn’t go far enough in fixing the situation and that more staff members need to leave following embarrassing disclosures of thousands of internal emails.

      “We need a DNC which has as very different direction,” he said. “I honestly don’t know many of the people there. But my guess is we’re going to need new leadership, a new direction and new personnel.”

      Asked after the event whether Mr. Sanders considers himself a Democrat or an independent, a campaign aide said, “He ran for president as a Democrat but was elected to a six-year term in the Senate as an independent.”

      Well, that's nice. Thanks for costing the Democratic Party millions and millions of dollars that could have been spent keeping Donald Trump out of office. And, let's be fair here--this post isn't for the people who knew all along that Bernie was running a scam. This post is for all of those fuckers who said that Sanders has always been a Democrat.

      Tim Kaine's Blue Star Pin




      Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine was attacked by Republicans for wearing a lapel pin with a blue star on it instead of an American flag. They confused the blue star pin worn by people who have a loved one deployed overseas with the flag of Honduras:

      When Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday night, the North Carolina GOP thought it quickly spotted something wrong.






      “[Tim Kaine] wears a Honduras flag pin on his jacket but no American flag,” the state party tweeted as he was speaking. “Shameful.”

      There was one problem: Kaine’s pin, which had a single blue star on a white background bordered with red, wasn’t the flag of Honduras, where he spent a year as a missionary decades ago. It was the symbol for Blue Star Families, or those with members serving in the military.

      Let's be fair--Republicans generally don't serve in the military and they wouldn't have a clue as to what a blue star pin would stand for.

       

      78 Visas For Workers at Mar-a-Lago




      Someone just dropped a Donald Trump bombshell on our heads:

      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seeks temporary visas for foreign workers for 78 positions—including servers, cooks, and housekeepers—at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter. Trump has pledged to restore American jobs, and he repeated that goal last week during the Republican National Convention, when he said, “I’m going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and Pennsylvania and New York and Michigan and all of America.” Still, instead of seeking Americans to work those jobs, he is seeking out foreign workers for the positions. The applications filed this month claim there aren't enough Americans available to do the work. But officials at a career services agency in the area say that Trump’s claims are untrue. One such official told BuzzFeed that he had “hundreds of people in our database that would qualify for a lot of those hospitality jobs” and a database with the names of 1,327 Palm Beach County residents looking for such positions.

      All of those shirtless rubes who support Trump's campaign need not apply. He needs cheap labor and American workers are too damned expensive.

      Wednesday, July 27, 2016

      Have We Reached Peak Trump?

      [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1160.0"] Answer: Peak Trump is years away. Sad! Answer: Peak Trump is years away. Sad! [/caption]


      This is pretty crazy:

      Donald Trump appeared to call on Russian hackers Wednesday to find 30,000 of Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, adding a stunning twist to the uproar over Moscow's alleged intervention in the presidential election

      "They probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do. They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted because you'd see some beauties there. So let's see," Trump said at a news conference, referring to emails that Clinton judged as personal and did not hand over to the State Department from her private server, which she used to conduct official business.

        The billionaire businessman then went even further, in remarks that left open the possibility that he would be open to Moscow staging a new hack against the United States to find the emails.

        "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press," Trump said during a news conference in Florida.

        Trump's comments marked an unprecedented appeal to a foreign country to essentially launch an espionage operation against a political opponent. They come as Democrats gathering for their convention in Philadelphia are already grappling with a hack of emails at the Democratic National Committee, which were later posted on WikiLeaks.

        Having lived my life paying attention to what happens in America, I can tell you that this is the craziest shit I've ever heard from a man who wants to be President. This is a level of indecency that I have never, ever heard or seen before. This goes beyond blowing a racist dogwhistle or intimating that your opponent is un-American.

        You couldn't have gotten anything like this out of, for example, a Newt Gingrich or a Tom DeLay or a Dick Cheney. This is an unprecedented moment in American political history and, as we all know, it just means we heard Donald Trump speak today. Tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now--he'll up the crazy and expand our understanding of what is unacceptable and horrible and we'll just have to sit back and hear about how Hillary's billing records scandal was just as bad from an incompetent media.

        It's a Good Time to be a Democrat




        Well, we're on the right track now, aren't we?

        The Democratic Party has two more days to seal the deal and show the American people what's at stake this November. Monday was rocky, and full of fits and starts, but Tuesday was the day we needed as Democrats to start feeling better about our chances. 

        Here's the elephant in the room. The polls are going to be about name recognition, and most of the voters are still in summer mode. They're kind of paying attention (the TV ratings will tell us how much) and they're being given a chance to figure out which side they're on. Demographically, the Democratic Party maintains huge advantages in the race for the White House. Battleground states cannot be allowed to slip away. Money is going to have to be spent. People are going to have to get out there and we need to build a sophisticated Get-Out-the-Vote operation.

        Don't underestimate the celebrity power appearing at the DNC. This is connecting newer and younger voters and people who don't read blogs or the news to what's happening. It's not by accident that they had Scott Baio and we had Meryl Streep, Demi Lovato, and Lena Dunham on stage. This stark contrast is going to help the Democratic Party make the case that they're evil, we're not. Any man comfortable using the C-word in public looks like a jackass compared to actual people who can do amazing things.

        And it is a choice that concerns evil. Hating people cannot become the American way of doing things. Last night, the most intelligent politician in American history stood on that stage and made the case for Hillary. The Big Dog hit a home run and then some, looking frail but sounding like he knew exactly what people needed to hear. 

        God Bless Bill Clinton. This was a man who could have served four terms in office, easily, and still would have had time to help millions around the world.

        It's a good time to be a Democrat.

         

        Tuesday, July 26, 2016

        George Will Links Trump to the Russian Oligarchs




        The fact that this is being discussed on Fox News by George Will is amazing:

        BRET BAIER: Both the campaign chair and anybody you talk to, including Senator Murphy would not go down that road once pressed on the connection between Russia and the Trump campaign. But they have thrown it out there. George? 

        GEORGE WILL: Well, it's the sort of thing we might learn if we saw the candidates' tax returns. Perhaps one more reason why we're not seeing his tax returns because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russia oligarchs and others. Whether that's good, bad or indifferent it's probably the reasonable surmise.

        The Democratic Party needs to keep pushing this story. What is the connection between Trump and the Russian billionaires and their puppet master, Putin? Follow the damned money. Every time Trump goes on television, someone needs to ask him how much money he owes Moscow.

        If you thought it was bad for Mitt Romney to keep his money in the Caribbean, wait til you see how much cash Trump owes the Russians.

        Right on cue, here's the Trump campaign in damage control mode:

        Reacting to the mounting fury over Donald Trump's friendly stance toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, a spokeswoman for the Republican presidential candidate denied Monday that Trump has “any business dealings” in or with Russia.

        The statement from Trump press secretary Hope Hicks did not address questions about Russian money in the real estate mogul’s businesses in the United States or elsewhere outside Russia. His son Donald Jr. said eight years ago that Russian investors had put plenty of money into the family’s enterprises.

        “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. said at a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication, cited by The Washington Post. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” The statement was not meant to imply that Russian government money was invested in Trump enterprises.

        The problem with anything the campaign says is this--Trump has been running his mouth since the Nixon Administration. Anyone with a brain can see that he's in hock to the Russians. The only question is, will the media really start to drive this story? James Fallows has already received comments from people who cannot believe that this is not a front page, round-the-clock story. 

        I certainly hope so because no one should assume Trump is innocent until he releases his tax returns.

        Trump Stiffs Another Vendor




        Anyone who thinks they are going to get paid after working for Donald Trump is in for a rude awakening:

        The founder of viral pro-Trump tween singing group “USA Freedom Kids” now plans to sue the Republican presidential campaign for violating various unwritten agreements. The tween cheerleaders first achieved national fame after performing their song “Freedom’s Call”—with lyrics like “Deal from strength or get crushed!”—at Trump’s January rally in Pensacola, Florida. The group’s founder, Jeff Popick, father to the youngest member, claims it was at that rally that the campaign broke its promise for compensation; only to once again break financial and logistic promises at another rally at which they were scheduled to appear. “This is not a billion-dollar lawsuit,” Popick told the Washington Post. “I’m not looking to do battle with the Trump campaign, but I have to show my girls that this is the right thing.”

        I hate to have to break it to this dumbass, but Trump's business model includes making sure that vendors don't get paid because he doesn't have any money. Everything he does is a sham and a fraud because there are suckers everywhere who want to be rub elbows with such a classy celebrity.

        Really, it's not that hard to figure out, is it?

        Star Power




        Despite all of the negativity from yesterday, the Democratic National Convention had something Republican National Convention never had.

        Star power.

        Even though it was only the first day, and even though the Berniebots tried to ruin everything, the inescapable power of having Michelle Obama in the room overwhelmed all other considerations. She delivered a speech, one that she didn't have to steal, that went at the heart of what electing Hillary Clinton is all about--saving this country from a dictator. 

        The Democrats have star power. The Republicans have Russian E-mail hackers, washed up actors, boos, plagiarism, hate, bigotry, and bad hair.

        Yesterday, I was pretty worried. Today, screw that. I'm not worried about the Democratic Party. I'm worried that it will look like a cakewalk in November and that too many people will stay home. I'm worried that Trump's operation will get sleeker and meaner and find a way to win Florida and Pennsylvania. I'm worried that the Russians will throw $500 million dollars into Trump's campaign.

        There's no sense in worrying about a handful of Bernie Sanders supporters. They are not the future of the party. They're the stars of their own tragedy. And they pale in comparison to the stars we saw on the first night.

        Monday, July 25, 2016

        Senator Tom Cotton Predicts Trump Will Suddenly Become Reasonable




        Well, we know one thing--when a Republican makes a prediction about Donald Trump, it always comes true.

        There's a pretty big reveal here--Cotton is implicitly stating that he knows, from receiving classified briefings, that Russia is engaged in behavior that is reprehensible and goes against American interests. Trump will do what with that information? Accept it? Deny it is true?

        You have the very real possibility that a man who owes Russian oligarchs several hundred million dollars will receive up-to-the-minute classified information and he will be legally bound not to share it with anyone. I'm sensing that a trap is being set here. What happens if the United States government learns that Trump is sharing classified information with the people he owes money?

        What will they do and what will that mean? I think it means that people like Tom Cotton will forget they ever endorsed this Trump fellow.

        Anarchy and Chaos in Philly




        You broke it, you bought it:

        Bernie Sanders' own delegates broke into boos as he called for them to elect Hillary Clinton, a sign of how furious his supporters are at their party's nominee on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention.

        "We have got to defeat Donald Trump and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine," he declared 15 minutes into a speech to most of his 1,800 delegates.

        The crowd wasn't happy, booing the ticket loudly before breaking into chants of "We love Bernie" and "Feel the Bern."

        No one bothered to explain to the Berniebots what it means to join a political party. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But, in losing the nomination, they gained a chance to participate in the process and have a voice in what happens next. They've decided to shit on everything and make this whole mother burn to the ground, man. 

        The mere fact that they turned on their own leader indicates that these people were never serious about being Democrats. They're serious about electing Donald Trump because it won't ruin their lives. The lives of other people? They don't care and they never will. 

        These are nihilists and we're all going to pay the price.

        This is Worse Than Another Watergate




        There's been another break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee, but this time it wasn't CREEP or Nixon's White House flunkies. It looks like Putin's goons have pulled off another "Watergate" style burglary:

        Just weeks after she started preparing opposition research files on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort last spring, Democratic National Committee consultant Alexandra Chalupa got an alarming message when she logged into her personal Yahoo email account.

        “Important action required,” read a pop-up box from a Yahoo security team that is informally known as “the Paranoids.” “We strongly suspect that your account has been the target of state-sponsored actors.”

        Chalupa — who had been drafting memos and writing emails about Manafort’s connection to pro-Russian political leaders in Ukraine — quickly alerted top DNC officials. “Since I started digging into Manafort, these messages have been a daily oc­­­­currence on my Yahoo account despite changing my p­­a­ssword often,” she wrote in a May 3 email to Luis Miranda, the DNC’s communications director, which included an attached screengrab of the image of the Yahoo security warning.

        “I was freaked out,” Chalupa, who serves as director of “ethnic engagement” for the DNC, told Yahoo News in an interview, noting that she had been in close touch with sources in Kiev, Ukraine, including a number of investigative journalists, who had been providing her with information about Manafort’s political and business dealings in that country and Russia.

        “This is really scary,” she said.

        Chalupa’s message is among nearly 20,000 hacked internal DNC emails that were posted over the weekend by WikiLeaks as the Democratic Party gathered for its national convention in Philadelphia. Those emails have already provoked a convulsion in Democratic Party ranks, leading to the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the wake of posted messages in which she and other top DNC officials privately derided Bernie Sanders and plotted to undercut his insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton.

        Poor Donald Trump! He can't even come up with a new version of Watergate so he benefits indirectly from one pulled by the Russians. This guy is more Nixon than Nixon ever was.

        Linking Putin to a Donald Trump windfall of bad publicity for the Democratic Party should be the job of the American media. A Republican, in league with a Russian dictator, has used the mouth-breathing anarchists at Wiki Leaks to sabotage an American political election. If the trail is easy enough for some clowns at Yahoo! to figure out, there must be some fire under all of this smoke.

        And yeah, the FBI is involved. 

        Dems in Disarray!




        Someone actually wrote this:

        Democrats in disarray on eve of convention to nominate Clinton

        The head of the Democratic Party resigned on Sunday amid a furor over embarrassing leaked emails, hoping to head off a growing rebellion by Bernie Sanders supporters on the eve of the convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for the White House.

        Lingering bitterness from the heated primary campaign between Clinton and Sanders erupted after more than 19,000 Democratic National Committee emails, leaked on Friday, confirmed Sanders' frequent charge that the party played favorites in the race.

        In a statement, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the best way for the party to accomplish its goal of putting Clinton in the White House was for her to step aside. Sanders had demanded earlier in the day that Wasserman Schultz resign.

        The furor was a blow to a party keen on projecting stability in contrast to the volatility of Republican candidate Donald Trump, who was formally nominated at a raucous convention in Cleveland last week.

        Oh no! It's all over! Might as well inaugurate Donald Trump tomorrow! Eek!

        Right off the bat, describing last week's Nuremberg Rally in Cleveland as "raucous" ignores the fact that white supremacists had more access to the convention than the Bush family. If you win the endorsement of the KKK, your convention wasn't "raucous." It was blatantly fucking racist.

        The classic "dems in disarray" story is bullshit combined with shenanigans. In reality, there is no disarray, only the careful and thoughtful exercise of accountability. Was it wrong of the DNC to use their e-mails to coordinate efforts to beat Bernie Sanders? Not in my book--the DNC is in the business of winning elections. Someone figured out, very early on, that Hillary Clinton has the best chance of winning. So, the DNC went with that. But, in the interest of being fair, whatever that means, Wasserman Schultz quit. The end result of that is, shut the hell up--you got your scalp. Anything more than that is overreaching. 

        What's the problem here? We have a DNC that wants to win. Do you want to go back to how it was before? Do you want to revisit 1988 all over again? How about 2000 and 2004? Come on.

        Do you really think that the Republican National Committee isn't sitting on 50,000 internal E-mails where they spent months trying to figure out how to keep Donald Trump from winning the nomination? They just presided over the most hateful, divisive political convention in the modern era. Actual white supremacists were given more access to the party's messaging infrastructure than anyone named Bush. Their candidate said that he, alone could fix everything that is wrong with America without bothering to point out that a fascist strongman used to tell unsuspecting Europeans the same damned thing right before their whole country was bombed into oblivion by people in planes. The nominee of the Republican Party is Donald Trump--and you're telling me that the dems are in disarray? 

        Please come back when there's a real scandal.

        Sunday, July 24, 2016

        Slash and Burn From the Berniebots




        This is exactly what the Democratic Party did not need right now.

        This is exactly what the Trump campaign wanted to see. And, for the most part, they're getting to see this because a handful of people did something stupid. They used their E-mail to coordinate their efforts to get Hillary Clinton elected president which, in and of itself, is not evil and would help millions of Americans keep their healthcare, find jobs, and live a better life.

        But that's exactly what the Berniebots don't want to have happen. They want to slash and burn this party to the ground. I was shouted down for months because I warned people that the Bernie Sanders campaign was dangerous to the continued existence and good health of the Democratic Party. Today, they destroyed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, possibly by means of a coordinated effort with the far left leaning Wikileaks and Putin's intelligence infrastructure but who really knows anymore? They have brought chaos to the wrong place and confusion to the wrong fight.

        Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been ousted as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee on the eve of the party's convention. It's an abrupt end to a chairmanship marked by controversy, which came to a head this weekend following revelations from leaked internal emails. 

        "Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention," Wasserman Schultz said in a lengthy statement Sunday announcing her resignation, referring her desire to unify the party.

        The party is unified--no one wants to hand over America's economy, military, and law enforcement capabilities to Donald Trump. No one wants to see a tin-pot dictator with a fetish for Eastern European models and being friendly with Russia's Putin turn America into a banana republic and then walk away from being held accountable for things when it all goes wrong. 

        The Democratic Party is the only hope for America--the only hope to continue the Obama administration and the only hope to restore the middle class. It is the only thing keeping organized labor from being outlawed and it is the only party that acknowledges climate change, basic science, a woman's right to choose, and the simple notion that the American consumer should be protected from the likes of Donald Trump.

        Well, the Berniebots don't agree. They want to burn this mother down and trash the place and hand the presidency over to Trump because there's no difference, in their eyes, between him and Hillary.

        Occupy DNC is a collective of activists that aims to sway superdelegates away from Hillary Clinton to Sen. Bernie Sanders.

        “Our goal is to bring all Bernie Sanders supporters together at the DNC Convention to fight for the will of the people -- a Bernie Sanders’s nomination, NOT a fraudulent Hillary nomination,” the group says on its website.

        Occupy DNC said on its Facebook page that it believes Clinton’s presumed nomination is one based on fraud, voter suppression and corruption.

        Hell, no. Not on my watch. Are people going to stand for this? I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens this week. 

         

         

        Saturday, July 23, 2016

        Never Forget That Tim Kaine Beat George Allen




        It was Tim Kaine's victory over George "Macaca" Allen four years ago that put him in the position that he's in now:

        Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine won one of the most expensive and consequential U.S. Senate races in the country Tuesday, delivering Republican George Allen a second consecutive razor-thin loss and ensuring that the purple state again will have two Democrat-blue senators come January.

        With 99 percent of precincts reporting,  Mr. Kaine held a 52 percent to 48 percent lead over Mr. Allen, according to unofficial results. The two were competing for the seat of retiring Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat.

        Mr. Allen, speaking to supporters in Richmond, conceded the race just before 11 p.m.

        “I’ve called Tim and congratulated him,” Mr. Allen said. “We still remain friends personally, and that’s an important thing. I’ve congratulated him and pledged my support as he takes on the task of [representing the people of Virginia].”

        There's a lot to note about that Senate race from four years ago. Kaine beat a well-funded, media savvy movement conservative in a state that absolutely bleeds red for Republican ideals. He went through a massive amount of negative advertising funded by one of the biggest state organizations in the entire GOP, one with a great deal of on-the-ground talent in the D.C. area. And he won without being bloodied.

        Virginia was a huge victory for the Obama campaign--a southern, traditionally red state was flipped blue, thanks in part to huge wins in the northern counties surrounding Washington D.C. That's where Tim Kaine was able to rack up his win, and he did it by embracing the President and his legacy up to that point. Hillary's selection of Kaine should be read as not just a safe, moderate pick but as a link to the kind of campaign that can embrace the president's legacy and win states like Virginia.

        Tim Kaine ended George Allen's political career. Full stop. That not only gets him into heaven, it should earn him a place in your heart.

        Embracing the far left right now is a strategy that the Clinton campaign has shied away from. They didn't go with Elizabeth Warren and they didn't reach out to Bernie Sanders. They know the distinctions between her and Donald Trump are pretty stark and if they offer up moderation and a guy who could beat a jackass like George Allen and remain cordial, they'll have a candidate who can take Mike Pence to the woodshed.

        Granted, the Vice Presidential pick is seen as a "don't screw it up" move. Hillary did NOT screw it up--she helped herself compete in a swing state and she chose a candidate with enormous appeal to the centrists who might be concerned about her agenda. Trump screwed up by choosing a man he wanted to dump the night before it was announced--a man who wants to take away rights rather than protect them. The contrast between the two visions is easy to see--it's dark versus light, good versus evil, decency versus dictatorial excess.

        The bottom line is, you cannot call voting for the Democratic ticket "risky" anymore. There is no radical agenda to remake America or tear the government to pieces. I would prefer a slash and burn Democratic-populist appeal, one that makes fun of the fact that Trump is a fake billionaire and Pence is a phony who wants to take rights away from the American people. I would have been happy with a Clinton-Warren ticket but that's only because I would love to see Elizabeth Warren in charge of reforming the regulatory aspect of the Executive Branch. Someone needs to infuse our watchdog agencies with some energy and some authority. That would be a great job for Kaine, allowing him to be an active participant in the extension of President Obama's agenda.

        Friday, July 22, 2016

        If You're Sick of Political Crap, Read This




        I heartily recommend this story from the Atlantic as a diversion from political bullshit. If nothing else, it should serve as a wake-up for people who think we already know everything about the world in which we live and for people who write off those who don't go to "fancy" schools.

        God was an Afterthought in Trump's Speech




        Please, please correct me if I'm wrong, but it does not appear that Donald Trump needs to talk about God in front of Republicans. He, apparently, did not mention God in his acceptance speech last night at the GOP convention. The word "God" does not appear in his official transcript of prepared remarks. Perhaps he mentioned His name in passing since he deviated from those remarks. 

        For atheists, this is wonderful news! For people like Yani Applebaum, who follow the historic context, this is pretty remarkable.

        [...] when Trump said, “I am your voice,” the delegates on the convention floor roared their approval. When he said, “I alone can fix it,” they shouted their approbation. The crowd peppered his speech with chants of “USA!” and “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!” and “Trump!” It booed on cue, and cheered when prompted. It seemed, in fact, to chafe—eager to turn a made-for-TV speech into an interactive rally, and frustrated by Trump’s determination to stay on script. Not every delegate cheered; some sat stiffly in their seats. But there was no question that the great bulk of the delegates on the floor were united behind Trump—and ready to trust him.

        The most striking aspect of his speech wasn’t his delivery, even though his tone often strayed over the line, from emphatic to strident. It wasn’t the specific policies he outlined, long fixtures of his stump speech. It was the extraordinary spectacle of a man standing on a podium, elevated above the surrounding crowd, telling the millions of Americans who were watching that he, alone, could solve their problems.

        And the crowd cheered.

        Yay! More secularism! Trump doesn't need God. Trump is God.

        This massive gathering of evangelical Christians just applauded a man who didn't think he had to appeal for God's wisdom or guidance when asking to be elected President of the United States of America. I can't think of any other candidate who failed to mention "God" in his speech. Not only was the GOP convention a massive shit show, it was a first for anyone who has dared to run for president. Trump managed to sell the God botherers on his candidacy without having to mention His name. This is probably because his speech was entirely a tongue bath to the idea of Trump and the wonder of Trump and the cult of Trump.

        UPDATE: I have heard from some that he ad-libbed a "God Bless America" after delivering his remarks.  This means God was an afterthought, and not part of his official transcript of remarks. How can the Republican nominee write a speech accepting the GOP's nomination and forget to thank God for the chance to lead or ask God for guidance? Trump is a vastly different kind of candidate--he is his own deity.

        Thursday, July 21, 2016

        Trump Will Deliver an Insane and Evil Speech Tonight

        [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630.0"] Trump uses a teleprompter to address AIPAC Trump uses a teleprompter to address AIPAC [/caption]


        I hate to make predictions like this, but Trump's speech will be one for the ages, especially if you haven't already read it in the original German:

        Donald Trump has never faced more pressure on the national stage than he will Thursday evening when he accepts the Republican nomination.

        This week's Republican National Convention has been dominated by unexpected fireworks ranging from the plagiarized speech his wife delivered and the way the campaign prolonged the episode to Ted Cruz's shocking address Wednesday in which he refused to endorse Trump and encouraged Americans to vote their conscience. Cruz's speech exposed the deep divisions that remain in the party after the fractious primary.

        You will not hear an appeal to anyone's better angels--only payback for whoever took a shot at Trump within the last forty-eight hours and an endless array of meaningless boasts that are demonstrably false. Trump's speech will fuse evil with greed and he will escape all accountability with a shrug and a wink. He'll deliver a message that will ring, as Michael Moore said, like music in the ears of a staggering number of Americans. He will lie and no one will dare call him on his lie or make the uncomfortable assertion that he is the most incompetent man to run for President since the days when everyone had a full beard and a flunky nearby to hold a spittoon. And he'd better not use a teleprompter:

        Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump argued, “if you’re running for president, you should not be allowed to use a teleprompter” at a speech in New Hampshire on Friday.

        Trump said, “if you’re running for president, you should not be allowed to use a teleprompter. No, it’s true. It’s true. It’s so easy.” He then mocked politicians who read off teleprompters before continuing, “you shouldn’t be allowed, because you don’t know what you’re going to get. Look what happened with Obama, where he’s a teleprompter guy. No, it’s true. … you don’t want a scripted president. And you don’t want a politically correct president because it takes too much long — takes too much time.”

        You will no doubt remember when Donald used a teleprompter to speak at AIPAC, of course (see above).

         

        Laura Ingraham Waves At Donald Trump




        Of course, both sides wave at crowds, so this is probably nothing, but, damn. If you're going to make an impression on the American people, why not give the Nazi salute in the direction of Donald Trump after praising him to the rafters, right?

        Laura Ingraham has always been a steaming turd pile of a human being, not worth engaging or following on any level other than the one where her ignorance can be mocked and her public pronouncements fed into the river of filth that runs in the gutter on the bad side of town. She has a whole history of this sort of bullshit and it runs parallel to Ann Coulter's lifelong grift. We've already discussed her too much.






        You're going to see and hear some pushback on this, and you're going to see claims that the video was "deceptively" edited. I watched her speech, and at the end, she clearly goes to her left with the extended salute, with her palm downwards, and holds it for a moment. There was no deceptive edit. The screen captures tell the whole story. Do you wave at crowds with your palm down? Instinctively, a normal person--and look at the evil wretch of which I speak--waves with their palm facing the person and they go side to side. Not Ingraham--palm down, perfect extension, and then the rehearsed shift into normal waving.

        Y'all been trolled.

        Do I really think Ingraham is a card-carrying member of the Nazi party? No, of course not. If she was, she'd brag about it on the her show. She is truly an awful person with a long history of being unbelievably horrible to the very idea of America. She is a shorter version of the same thread of ignorant evil preached by Coulter. They are two reliably awful sides of the same coin of the Republican realm. Today, she is reveling in the attention and knows exactly what she did and why she did it--the spotlight is fleeting, and liberals are easy to rev up. This is her schtick.

        Trump Has Aligned Himself With Vladimir Putin




        There is only one way to interpret this very serious and very consequential development in the race for the presidency:

        In the wake of Donald Trump’s reported comments that he would only defend the Baltic nations from a Russian invasion after evaluating whether “they fulfill their obligations to us,” NATO’s secretary-general and several Estonian officials hit back early Thursday at the Republican presidential nominee. “Solidarity among allies is a key value for NATO. This is good for European security and good for U.S. security,” Secretary-General‎ Jens Stoltenberg told BuzzFeed News. “We defend one another.” The NATO treaty requires that its 28 members provide military aid in the event of an attack. Stoltenberg said he didn’t want to “interfere” with the U.S. election but that “two world wars have shown that peace in Europe is also important for the security of the United States.” After Trump’s comments were published in The New York Times, Estonia’s president tweeted that the country meets NATO’s defense-spending requirements and noted that the country had committed troops to the war in Afghanistan. “Estonia’s commitment to our NATO obligations is beyond doubt, and so should be the commitments by others,” an Estonian spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

        Here's why this matters--the Baltic States (and we can throw Finland in here as well) are within the traditional sphere of influence claimed by Russia. Despite the collapse of the USSR more than a generation ago, Russia makes regular threats about "reclaiming" the Baltics for their own use. Putin has also threatened Finland in recent years, leaving millions of people under a very real threat from Moscow. The only thing keeping these people safe is a stable alliance under NATO.

        Donald Trump has explicitly threatened to destroy that alliance. He has a de facto foreign relations alliance with the interests of Putin's Russia and he's sending very clear signals to diplomats all over the world--America will no longer thwart Putin's agenda in exchange for some agreement between the two that we don't know about. 

        We've had a lot of fun at Trump's expense, watching his wife steal Michelle Obama's speech and Ted Cruz steal the thunder out from under him. All of this is happening because his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has real ties to world dictators and to the very idea that fucking things up looks good for Donald Trump, incorporated. But there is a significant threat to world stability and to the legitimacy of NATO that cannot be ignored here. Trump is telling the world that we might not honor our commitment to our allies in Northern Europe so that Putin can walk in and do whatever he wishes.

        That's a huge, huge fucking deal with real-world implications. This recklessness needs to be stopped by the Republican Party establishment which, as we know, is on its ass right now. There is no way a Jeb Bush or a Mitt Romney or a John McCain would have dared to forge a political alignment with Putin so that should tell you how far afield we are right now in terms of American diplomacy. The stability of the world is at stake and we're dealing with serial liars and buffoonery on a massive scale. The only adults in the room right now are Democrats, and Secretary of State John Kerry needs to head to Estonia immediately in order to reassure the people there that we will honor our commitments.

        If you want one reason to be thankful that Hillary Clinton is the nominee, this is it.

         

        Wednesday, July 20, 2016

        Ted Cruz Was Magnificent

        [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="566.0"] This is the face Ted Cruz makes when he's screwing you over. This is the face Ted Cruz makes when he's screwing you over. [/caption]


        I don't know how you would interpret what Ted Cruz said tonight at the GOP convention as being anything other than a call to vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump:

        Sen. Ted Cruz walked on stage to extraordinary cheers, and walked off to deafening boos after the Texas senator and former Donald Trump rival failed to endorse the party's nominee at his own convention.

        If you don't endorse Trump, you're basically telling everyone that they have to vote for Hillary. Or maybe you don't vote for president at all. 

        In any event, Ted Cruz served up a big, fat pitch over the middle of the plate:



        [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="900.0"]  Moments after the remarks of Senator Ted Cruz...  Moments after the remarks of Senator Ted Cruz... [/caption]


         

        It's an interesting strategy for Cruz because, at some point, he might want to run for elected office again. I would suspect that the Republican Party is deep into the process of finding a viable primary opponent to run against him and that there are at least eighty members of the United States Senate who are willing to throw a few grand in the pot to help that person beat Cruz like a drum.

        The GOP convention is so badly stage managed that you cannot come away with anything other than a gut-busting laugh watching this shit show unfold. They let Ted Cruz go on stage in prime time before Mike Pence and make everything about him. What a fucking horror show. If they have one more bad night, the convention "bounce" out of Cleveland is going to look like the Hindenburg going down in flames.

        Get a Load of This Jackass

        [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="625.0"] Horrible man says terrible things about a woman... Horrible man says terrible things about a woman... [/caption]


        The unhinged rhetoric being directed at women these days is astounding. It's not just Hillary Clinton--it's any woman anywhere who is on the Internet when men feel like unloading. You don't even have to guess who this guy supports for president:

        An adviser to Donald Trump on veterans issues said on Tuesday that Hillary Clinton should be put in a firing line and shot for treason.

        New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro, who is also a Trump delegate from the state and has appeared with Trump at campaign events, made the comments on the Jeff Kuhner Show.

        “I’m a veteran that went to Desert Shield, Desert Storm. I’m also a father who sent a son to war, to Iraq, as a Marine Corps helicopter avionics technician. Hillary Clinton to me is the Jane Fonda of the Vietnam,” he said. “She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there.”

        “This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason,” he added.

        Baldasaro has spoken at several Trump events, introducing Trump multiple times, including at an event in late May where he admonished the media for focusing on questions over Trump’s donations to veteran’s charities.

        He later added in the radio interview that Clinton was a “piece of garbage.”

        Meanwhile, the number of people trying to put some distance between themselves and this ass clown increased exponentially when he realized that he was about to be interviewed by the United States Secret Service.

        I can't wait for the news story on this to include the observation that there are Black Lives Matter activists who are saying terrible things, too. Both sides do it, of course.

        What a bunch of bullshit.

        Paul Manafort is an Incompetent Boob




        The best word to describe Paul Manafort is "boob." He's in way over his head, simple things are getting past him, and he has no idea what he's doing. He may have gotten it right when the Trump campaign stopped the pathetic #nevertrump movement in its tracks, but, come on. That was a gimme. You're supposed to handle things like that while overseeing the quality of the convention program.

        Manafort comes across as quite the boob:

        Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort continued to refuse to acknowledge Wednesday morning that parts of Melania Trump's convention speech were lifted lines, saying the controversy is "not meaningful at all."

        "The speech was very effective and communicated those feelings," Manafort told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day." "The controversy you're talking about is not meaningful at all. She's not a candidate for office. She was expressing her personal feelings about her country and her husband and why he's best for the United States."

        It is yet another unsettling episode for the Trump campaign at a time when many top donors are closely watching Trump and his operation to determine whether it is worth their investment this fall.

        Don't you think all of the racism, bigotry and misogyny have been unsettling episodes as well?

        The fact that Melania Trump's speech was blatantly and hilariously plagiarized is a huge deal in terms of assessing the competence of the people around Donald Trump. A day later, his son gives a speech that lifts words from a column written by the guy who helped him with his speech without attribution. Trump is surrounded by this buffoonery--it's a feature, not a bug. He still has a skeletal communications team in a day and age where getting out a campaign's message couldn't be more difficult. Every single narrative pursued by the campaign has been derailed and rewritten by people being funny on Twitter.

        Manafort hasn't turned the ship around. He's helped sink it a little more and way too many people are having fun laughing at Trump and his minions.

        Tuesday, July 19, 2016

        Trump Won't Even Sleep in Cleveland




        The Republican National Convention is well underway, and now is the time to press the flesh and raise money. Donald Trump needs to appear as often as possible in order to maximize this opportunity to draw in as much support for his campaign as possible.

        Ha! Trump didn't even bother to sleep in Cleveland last night. Suckers!

        On a bright sunny Tuesday morning, the Trump Leadership Council gathered atFirstEnergy Stadium for their second official meeting. The group of 40 CEOs and top executives had flown to Cleveland to attend the Republican National Convention and meet with the nominee presumptive, billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

        This was the second meeting of the council; the first convening happened a few weeks ago with the nominee presumptive at Trump Tower in New York. The companies represented were there to ostensibly advise Trump on 10 business sectors, such as transportation, healthcare, etc. But it was understood that each of the companies had either already donated money to his campaign, or would in the future—and most were sponsoring convention-related events in Cleveland, according to three people involved in the council.

        The group of 40 from companies such as Continental Resources, BNSF Railway and C Spire mingled with Republican members of Congress around breakfast tables set up on one of the stadium’s concourses. The Republican representatives addressed the group, ostensibly stalling for Trump. Rep. Tom Price from Georgia mentioned the plagiarism scandal over Trump’s wife Melania’s speech the evening before. Price blamed the liberal media, who he said, had made the whole thing up, according to people present.

        Eventually, though, the speeches ran out and Trump never showed. He had, they found out later, unexpectedly flown back to New York overnight with no word on when he might return. The group was led out to the football field, where the Cleveland Browns play, to take pictures before they were let go with no information about when and if a third meeting might take place.

        I don't know what's funnier--the fact that Trump figured he didn't even have to sleep in Cleveland during the convention or that he basically told a large group of corporate CEOs and their assorted hangers-on to go pound sand. Could there be a bigger "fuck you" than finding out that Trump wasn't even in town?

        The Last Republican President




        You know, there's something to this:

        Former President George W. Bush fretted to a group of former aides and advisers in April that he was worried he could be the "last Republican president."

        The 43rd president's remark, at a gathering in Dallas of his administration's staffers, reflected a dim view of the party's prospects at a time when the primary contest was realistically down to Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

          "I'm worried that I will be the last Republican president," Bush told a clutch of former aides and advisers.

          The comment was reported by Politico. Bush's office declined to comment to CNN.

          Bush -- as well as his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and his brother, 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush -- are skipping this year's Republican National Convention in Cleveland. So are the party's last two presidential nominees, 2012's Mitt Romney and 2008's Arizona Sen. John McCain.

          Since 2008, we have seen two terrible candidates and two awful campaigns. Romney and McCain are persona non grata in the party right now because of who they lost to and how badly they lost.

          If you look at how the Republican Party has effectively become a regional party and how they have ruined their chances of making any inroads with Hispanics in the United States, it's easy to conclude that there is little hope for anyone who self-identifies as a Republican winning the presidency. This is why they have worked so hard at the state legislature level--that's how you Gerrymander control of the House of Representatives.

          This year, even that is threatened by the rapid decline of Republican Party fortunes in the wake of the Trump phenomenon. Bush could be the last Republican if the party splinters into two rival factions that end up having to rename and re-brand themselves.

          You'll note the lack of introspection here. Bush can't quite bring himself to admit his mistakes and acknowledge his role in destroying the party's fortunes. His blundering ineptitude sank the fortunes of so many of his former staffers that I'm shocked they even bothered to sit down with him and reminisce about the "good" old days. Americans can forgive a lot of things, but when you start a war that ended up killing thousands of Americans, let an entire city drown, and preside over the near-death of the entire world economy, it's hard to talk about anything other than your own incompetence.

          The last Republican president? Hell, yes to that. Few will shed any tears over this, of course. 

          Megyn Kelly Was Harassed by Roger Ailes




          Of course she was:

          A day after reporting that Fox News chief Roger Ailes could be on his way out soon,New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported Tuesday that Megyn Kelly, the most prominent star at Fox, has detailed alleged harassment by Ailes to the law firm commissioned by 21st Century Fox to probe accusations leveled by ex-anchor Gretchen Carlson. Unlike many of her colleagues, Kelly has been silent since Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes. According to Sherman’s sources, the alleged harassment against Kelly occurred when she was a young contributor to the network about 10 years ago. Sherman also reported that 21st Century Fox has given Ailes a deadline of August 1 to resign or be fired.

          I'd really like to see how this plays out in the days ahead. Can Ailes survive this? Yeah, he probably could, but the threat to Fox News and to the Rupert Murdoch empire is probably a bigger concern than whether or not one employee is happy.

          It was one thing to see Gretchen Carlson sue Ailes It will be an entirely different thing altogether if this turns out to be true. But it shouldn't matter--we should come down on the side of the victim, not the perpetrator.

          The Wheels Just Came Off the Trump Campaign




          Republican ideas are so repugnant that the only way to "humanize" Melania Trump is to steal portions of Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech and pretend it didn't happen:

          Donald Trump's campaign manager denied allegations Tuesday that Melania Trump plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, calling the accusation "just really absurd."

          "To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd," Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day."

            At least one passage in Trump's speech Monday night plagiarized from Obama's address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

            Side-by-side comparisons of the transcripts show the text in Trump's address following, nearly to the word, the would-be future first lady's own from the first night of the Democratic convention in Denver nearly eight years ago.

            New Jersey governor and Donald Trump ally Chris Christie defended the speech, saying, "There's no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech."

            "I just don't see it," Christie told CNN's Jamie Gangel in an interview Tuesday, adding later, "If we're talking about 7% of a speech, that was really, universally considered to be a good performance by Melania. I know her. There's no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech."

            You can practically draw a line from what happened back to the Trump campaign. Some flunky was assigned the task of producing a speech that would put Trump's Eastern European trophy wife (not that one, his new one) in a more positive light. They began with a Google search and found the speeches by Anne Romney and John McCain's already forgotten trophy wife to be insufficient. They then went with the speech given by Michelle Obama because that's the one that had the most substance and the most ideas. That's the one they were told to use because it was significantly better than everything else out there.

            See, the Democrats have the high-end talent. This has been true for the better part of a decade. The real show is on the Democratic side--this is where the talented people and the celebrities want to be. The horror show of incompetents is on the Republican side. That's what you get when all you can attract are sweaty white men in fat pants.

            As they worked through that version, the speechwriter forgot to completely eliminate the phrasing in the text he had copied and pasted from the original source. Everyone uses a basic framework to draft a speech of a certain length and on a certain topic. But when you develop that speech, you have to go through every bit of it and re-word everything so that you don't get caught plagiarizing the original. Whether it was laziness, incompetence, or a compressed timeline--who cares? They got caught trying to repackage Democratic ideas as Republican ideas and now they're in panic mode.

            This is the gang that couldn't shoot straight. They're now caught by a media complex that is starting to figure out that they need to point these things out. If there's one positive thing to come out of this, it's the coverage. Almost universally, they're telling the American people that the Trump campaign can't come up with an original speech for Melania Trump. This is how they'll govern--like panicky, piss-panted fools.

            Day two of the GOP National Convention opens with the Trump campaign desperately trying to push back against the media narrative that has already taken hold--these people have no ideas, the D-list celebrities were an embarrassment, and the wheels are completely off the thing. It's hurtling over a cliff and the smart Republicans who stayed home are feeling pretty good right now. John Kasich's stock goes up every minute he stays away from this shit show.

            Monday, July 18, 2016

            We Need to Talk About That Rush Cover Band at the GOP Convention




            You have to have guts to stand up there like that. But, now that that's out of the way, oh my fucking God. 

            I know I predicted a shit show, but this is a real shit show. This goes beyond any comprehension. This is a public meltdown after the shit show turned out to be worse than expected.

            Oh. My. Fucking. God.

            Paul Ryan Waves the Steeler's Terrible Towel in Cleveland

            [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="900.0"] Isn't he supposed to be a Green Bay Packers fan? Isn't he supposed to be a Green Bay Packers fan? [/caption]


            There are no words to explain how absolutely stupid it is to wave a Terrible Towel in Cleveland (unless you want to alienate the entire city, of course).

            Kudos to the guy who gave Speaker Ryan the towel. He was betting on the notion that Ryan has no idea where he is or what the NFL means in cities like Cleveland and he won the whole day.

            Fox News is Going to Fire Roger Ailes




            If this is true, then it is a bigger story than anything happening in Cleveland:

            New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman is reporting that Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James have decided to remove Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, following a sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

            Sherman reports, citing anonymous sources, that the three are in agreement that Ailes needs to step down, but that there is disagreement over timing--namely whether it happens during or after the Republican National Convention.

            According to Sherman, attorneys at Paul, Weiss are now conducting interviews with current and former Fox News staff in their offices "because of concerns that the Fox offices are bugged."

            Sherman reports that the Murdochs reached their decision after reviewing preliminary results of the Paul, Weiss investigation.

            Fox News sounds like a great place to work. Bugged? Seriously? What is wrong with these people?

            Firing Roger Ailes is a bigger story than anything related to Trump because Fox News is the heart and soul of the Republican Party. It is the official mouthpiece and the source of all things conservative in America. That control is fracturing and that means that the overall message will be diluted. There is no one waiting in the wings to replace Ailes and they know it. But they also know that if they don't fire him, the corporation as a whole will be seen as vulnerable to the many, many lawsuits that could be filed against Ailes. 

            This couldn't have happened at a worse time--the network has been battered by the Trump phenomenon and the dying off of its audience. There is virtually no appetite for conservative ideas among younger Americans. They want tolerance and opportunity while Fox News can only sell them fear and xenophobia. Ailes made them buckets of money and now he'll be thrown to the wolves. His dominance of the network has made one thing clear--there are no successors, only pretenders. 

            I'd laugh, but these people have known they were fucked for years. Their inability to do anything about Ailes made today inevitable. Oh, and bear in mind--this could be an elaborate hoax designed to hit back at Gabriel Sherman.

            Chris Christie Livid That He Wasn't Asked to Prom




            Huge fat jackass Christ Christie, who is still the governor of New Jersey for some bizarre reason, was "livid" when Donald Trump asked Mike Pence to the prom instead of him:

            New Jersey governor Chris Christie was reportedly enraged he didn't earn the VP spot, according to a top Trump campaign official.

            While minding my own business at the Starbucks inside the Westin hotel this morning, I saw a man engage Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in conversation about the VP selection process. The man, whom I couldn't identify, suggested that Pence was a smart pick and Gingrich would've been a disaster.

            "Christie was livid, right?" the man said at one point. "Yeah," Manafort replied.

            Christie has made no secret that he was disappointed he wasn't chosen to be Donald Trump's running mate. "[I] don't like coming in second. Ever," Christie said Thursday. But the conversation overheard by THE WEEKLY STANDARD Sunday suggests Christie's feelings were far more intense than mere disappointment.

            Here you not only have an example as to how Donald Trump jerks people around but you also have a pretty clear indication that Paul Manafort likes to destroy human beings as well. It wasn't enough to make Christie fetch lunch and stand in the background as the hostage film was being made--Manafort delivered a kick to the seat of the pants as Christie was thrown from the train.

            I don't buy the idea that son-in-law Jared Kushner had anything to do with this. Trump doesn't care about anything other than making other people look very, very bad. It's an ego thing, not a family thing. Any family member who crosses Trump is going to be fed to the wolves before sundown. Chris Christie was fed to the jackals because they're the only animal in the wild who could deal with such a toxic, bloated carcass.

            The Republicans Don't Have Any Star Power in Cleveland




            I promise you plenty of coverage of the Republican Shit Show, aka, the GOP's national convention this week. I'm calling it the Shit Show because that's what it is shaping up to be--a national expression of division, intolerance, and stupidity on a grand scale. 

            Political convention speaking spots are usually coveted opportunities to launch a career and high-profile chances for parties to showcase their rising stars -- just ask then-state Sen. Barack Obama.

            But at this year's Republican National Convention, with presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump, many of the Republicans considered to have promising careers are not speaking.

              And three years after the GOP autopsy report of the 2012 election declared the party needed to make in-roads with minorities, women and young voters, the high-profile names not on the speaking list also represent some of the most diverse faces in the party.

              When Trump loses, everyone who didn't appear at the convention will have a significant advantage over those who do appear--their images won't appear in future attack ads. For the next eight years after this cycle, the most devastating attack ads will show Republicans praising Donald Trump. The smart money is staying home and staying in the pockets of those who understand how we elect a president. Nobody who is smart about paying for political access is going to watch millions of dollars evaporate in a dumpster fire of epic proportions.

              Don't be surprised to see the networks run something else this week instead of the usual convention coverage. Jackassery does play pretty well on network television, and even better on cable networks that usually draw no viewers. Everyone is going to watch Trump's speech--that'll be the ratings highlight of the week. But if you had a choice between reruns and Joni Ernst, I think you're going to run an old CSI or something like that instead.

              This convention has almost no star power whatsoever, and the Trump show is running out of steam. It'll be fun to see him ramble and refuse to give a "normal" speech. I'm predicting the thrust of his speech will be Trump himself, served with a heady dose of law and order and making white people feel good about being white again. Maybe they'll put Zell Miller out there so he can say something horrible again. Who knows? We're getting the D-list this week and it promises to be fun.