Friday, August 19, 2016

Trump Supporter Kicked Out For Being Half Indian




Today, the White Nationalism Party, which has the initials GOP, held a rally in Nuremberg and things went south from there:

A man who identified himself as half-Indian was escorted out of a Donald Trump rally on Thursday out of concern that he was a protester, but the man insisted he was a Trump supporter and said he feels that he was racially profiled.

Jake Anantha, an 18-year-old from Charlotte, was approached by a member of Trump's security team and then ushered out by police. He was told that he resembled another man who had previously disrupted Trump rallies.

    "I told him I've never been to another rally in my life," Anantha said. "I'm a huge Trump supporter. I would never protest against Trump."

    Anantha is a registered Republican, according to state voter records, who registered to vote in March. Anantha, who said he's a student at Central Piedmont Community College, was wearing a pro-Trump shirt with another pro-Trump shirt underneath.

    I have no idea why the Trump campaign continues to hold rallies in Nuremberg, but I have seen reports that they have confused it with Charlotte, North Carolina, which is not the same thing, obviously. The addition of Stephen K. "Race" Bannon to the campaign has meant that Trump is going to double down on white nationalism and white pride, and, for that, we have to wonder who, exactly, turned Trump down before he got to the guy who runs Breitbart.com.

    You would think that Mr. Anantha would begin to show some self-awareness and see that he is a vocal supporter of a political movement that throws people who look like him out of arenas before they actually say or do anything wrong. You'd be wrong.

    I thought it was a great touch when they landed the Zeppelin on the field and Trump waved at everyone with his riding crop. These little touches help people feel like they're part of a movement. God, I'm fucking sick of writing about politics.

    Ryan Lochte Named Trump Campaign Manager




    You guys, I'm serious. You can't start this rumor right now.

    Ryan Lochte is "swim shady," a young man--no, scratch that. He's in his thirties.

    Ryan Lochte is an asshole, but he's the kind of fun-loving asshole that the Trump campaign needs right now. He's in rest mode right now until we enter months of speculation from the US Olympic Committee as to whether or not they're going to ban him or let him compete in four years at the next Olympics.

    Ryan Lochte is the Johnny Manziel of US Swimming, except for the fact that Lochte is old enough to know better.

    Hope Solo is just glad that people stopped talking about her.

    Ryan Lochte was Trump's first choice for a running mate this year. Trump-Lochte 2020!

    Ryan Lochte just screwed himself out of several million dollars in endorsement money. Since there really isn't much money to be made in the PMSL, or the "Professional Men's Swimming League," which is a thing I just made up, endorsement deals are rare and hard to come by for Olympians who lose their shit and kick down doors on the bad side of town.

    Ryan Lochte? Fuck that guy.

    Shut Up, Peasants




    Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane are wealthy, so shut up, peasants:

    Sen. Bernie Sanders has pushed hard for transparency on U.S. trade and campaign finance, but has been far less aggressive in disclosing his own personal finances.

    Now his wife and campaign confidante, Jane O’Meara Sanders, is defending the senator’s decision not to file a candidate personal finance disclosure and talking about the purchase of a new vacation home.

    Sanders and his campaign asked the Federal Election Commission for two 45-day extensions, in mid-May and late June, on filing the personal finance disclosures candidates are usually required to produce, and then decided not to file at all once he dropped out of the race and endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Jane Sanders confirmed Thursday.

    “I guess our campaign just said ‘why bother’,” said the wife of the Vermont independent senator who challenged Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

    Bernie Sanders and his wife have done serious damage to the Democratic Party. They were part of a movement that drained a quarter of a billion dollars in donations out of the economy and into the coffers of some really shady ad agencies. Every day, during the primary season, Sanders was inflicting pain on people who believed in Hillary Clinton. He relentlessly attacked her ties to Wall Street and decried her ability to raise money from wealthy donors. His speeches, his ads, and his surrogates were self-righteous to the point of hilarity in the face of his inability to release his tax returns or file financial disclosure forms. The only hypocrite bigger than Bernie is Trump, and that's saying something.

    If you don't have the decency to file paperwork to demonstrate that you are an ethical person, you don't have a right to question anyone else's ethics, period. That's exactly how Sanders gamed the system through the primary season, cynically funneling money to others while exhorting people with little or no money to give him $27 a pop.

    But, none of that matters, because he and Jane have a third house, so shut up.

    The House Judiciary Committee is Pathetic and Sad

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640.0"] Bob Goodlatte (R - Benghazi), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R - Benghazi), House Judiciary Committee Chairman [/caption]


    Guess how desperate they are in the U.S. House of Representatives?

    House Republicans are doubling down in their effort to bring perjury charges against Hillary Clinton over her testimony last year to the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

    GOP lawmakers have claimed that the Democratic presidential nominee broke the law by lying under oath about her private email setup during her marathon appearance in October.

    Next month, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee plan to make the issue a central part of a hearing with senior officials from the FBI, a committee aide said on Thursday. 

    Legally, the GOP faces a tough case. Politically, however, raising the perjury allegations would be a way to keep the issue of Clinton’s truthfulness in the public eye throughout the fall as she battles Republican nominee Donald Trump for the White House.

    Proving that someone committed perjury means overcoming a high hurdle: that the person knowingly told a falsehood under oath.

    Convincing lawyers at the Department of Justice to take the case would also be difficult because prosecutors would have to prove that what the former secretary of State said during the 11-hour hearing was directly at odds with the truth.

    “There is no case,” said Stephen Ryan, a former federal prosecutor and general counsel for the Democratic-run Senate Government Affairs Committee, bluntly.

    “Even if you tried to step back from the politically-laden nature that this was the Democratic presidential nominee and you look at it, there’s no way the Department of Justice would touch a case like that.”

    I don't know what's worse--the fact that these are ginned-up charges being brought in the middle of a presidential election or the fact that many of these same House members are going to have to spend a lot of time back home trying to hold onto their seats because Donald Trump is sinking their chances. The only thing missing will be someone dressed in a Benghazi costume (what the hell?) who follows Hillary around, screaming "Benghazi!" at every rally while someone films it for the Benghazi channel. Sheesh.

    This is where someone has to stand up and ask them if they have any decency, at long last. There is no fake scandal in American history that has been more discussed or litigated and investigated and reviewed than Benghazi. It's what? Eighty days to the election? And the House wants to talk about Benghazi. Nothing about Trump's ties to Russia. Nothing about how he called for espionage against a political opponent and against a political party. Nothing about how his former campaign manager was walking around with cash stuffed in his pants that was given to him by the former ruling party of Ukraine and was intended to help him sway American popular opinion about something they don't care about. Nothing about Trump's taxes, which would be a welcome sight right about now.

    If this isn't an incentive for Democrats to take back the house and strip the oversight and compliance authority right out of their hands, then what the hell is? When and if a bombshell drops from the House Judiciary Committee, remember one thing--these people can't touch Hillary and they know it. They're just flinging poo at the walls.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    Steve Bannon is a Turd Tornado




    This is how little Ben Shaprio describes Steve Bannon, the dude from Breitbart who is now in charge of making Donald Trump lose the presidency to a girl:

    Ben Shapiro, the former editor for Breitbart News, told CNN on Wednesday that Donald Trump’s campaign had become a “turd tornado” after hiring Breitbart Chairman Steve Bannon.

    After the Trump campaign confirmed on Wednesday that Bannon would become the organization’s CEO, Shapiro penned a blistering assessment of the Breitbart chairman on his Daily Wire website.

    Bannon is the third campaign manager designated to run the Trump campaign. Here's to little Ben--he really knows how to stick it to the people he used to work for.

    The Trump Campaign is a Fiasco




    You already knew that this was going to happen:

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has diminished the role of campaign chairman Paul Manafort and brought on Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway. Bannon has been named the campaign’s new chief executive, and Conway will become campaign manager. According to TheWashington Post, the decision is intended to curtail Manafort’s efforts to temper Trump’s campaign style. Trump had reportedly begun to feel “boxed in” and “controlled.” Manafort will remain part of the team, but his role will be internally diminished. The decisions, essentially, are a way for Trump to return to former aide Corey Lewandowski’s style, which was “let Trump be Trump.”

    Before Trump faces the voters, Manafort might end up facing criminal charges:

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is reported to have helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine transfer more than $2 million to Washington lobbying firms without disclosing the effort. According to the AP, Manafort helped route the payments in 2012 and kept from being disclosed the attempt to influence U.S. governing and policy. U.S. lobbyists are required to publicly note the representation of foreign interests, political parties, or leaders under federal law. Failing to do so is a felony and can lead to prison time and a hefty fine, the AP reports. Trump and Manafort have both received recent criticism for their potential ties and friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Manafort’s position on the Trump team was diminished late Tuesday as Trump brought in new top aides to run the campaign.

    Here's how big Manafort's balls are--he probably thought that if he helped Trump get elected President, he'd have someone who could pardon him for all of the shady deals he was arranging between Russia, the old pro-Russian Ukrainian regime, and his buddies in Washington D.C. For about five minutes this summer, right after the GOP convention, it looked like there was going to be a moment where Manafort would get away with it if it wasn't with all of you meddling kids pointing out that Trump was a crazy bastard.

    Not only are we in the midst of seeing the GOP nominee for president flame out like a MiG-15 over Korea, but we are also witnessing one of the greatest political fiascos in our lifetime. The outsider, Donald Trump, has now handed his campaign over to the kind of Republican insiders who couldn't beat him in the primaries. With less than 90 days to go before the general election in November, the GOP nominee is on his third campaign manager--the first two having faced assault charges and accusations of laundering money for the Russian government. You couldn't make this up if you wanted to.

    Of course, all we're going to see from Mark Halperin are stories about how "Dems are in disarray" and Hillary's mean streak is the reason why Trump's campaign is run by crooks.

    Everything is on fire. Everyone is running for the exits. Next thing you know, Trump will grab his chest and fall over like Redd Foxx in a Sanford and Son re-run, and it'll all be fake, of course.. It's the big one, Elizabeth, and he's coming to see ya.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    President Obama Did Not Bribe Anyone to Go After Trump University




    Pathetic and sad:

    President Barack Obama arranged for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to receive a $15,000 donation in exchange for investigating Trump University, Donald Trump alleged in February in comments that were overlooked, likely due to the even more ridiculous and offensive remarks that he was making at the time.

    Trump didn’t quite accuse Obama of handing Schneiderman an envelope with $15,000 stuffed in it. Instead, Trump said, Obama appears to have arranged a campaign contribution to Schneiderman from a law firm representing victims of Trump’s scam. (Like Trump’s usual claims, there’s no evidence to support this one.)

    “The attorney general of New York meets with Barack Obama in Syracuse,” Trump said at a rally in Bentonville, Arkansas. “The following day he sues me. What they don’t say is, I believe, fifteen thousand or a lot of money was paid to the attorney general by the law firm in California that is suing me.”

    While relaying his theory about Schneiderman and Obama, Trump told the crowd the judge in the case had “tremendous hostility, beyond belief ― I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine, he’s Hispanic, which is fine,” adding that he was considering asking the judge to recuse himself. (The media largely missed his comments, but Trump helpfully went to war with Judge Gonzalo Curiel again in June, and it made national news.)

    Trump repeated his charge against Obama just moments later. “All of a sudden the attorney general ― his name is Eric Schneiderman, not respected in New York, doing a terrible job, probably is not electable in New York, but who knows ― and he meets with Obama, gets a campaign contribution, I think, I think it’s fifteen thousand dollars, and all of a sudden, he meets with Obama in, I believe, Syracuse, and the following day or two he brings a lawsuit against me.”

    These are definitely not serious charges because they have been made by an unhinged lunatic (although I suppose Trey Gowdy already has plans to hold a hearing).  Right off the bat, Trump once gave $12,000 to Schneiderman as a campaign contribution. He doesn't even know who he's tried to pay off himself and he damned sure can't be bothered to remember anything that doesn't start with something that praises him to the rafters.

    The very idea that the President of the United States has to "bribe" someone to file a lawsuit is ridiculous to say the least. The first lawsuits against Trump University were filed by people who had been ripped off almost six years ago. The President of the United States had nothing to do with what amounts to another garbage claim.

    What's depressing about this is that there are Republicans who will ignore this attack and fail to see how it further degrades our political discourse. This is going to be all over Facebook in twenty different ways, none of them good. This is not an isolated incident, nor will it be the last time someone crazy comes up with flagrant bullshit to throw at the sitting president. 

    All you can do is laugh at the distance between respectability and the Trump campaign. They ain't meeting any time soon.

    Priorities




    Why is Donald Trump sitting on $82 million dollars that could be spent on television ads in places like Iowa, Florida, and Ohio? That's a very good question:

    Exactly two months ago, Hillary Clinton's campaign went up with its first general election TV ads in battleground states, and in that time it has spent $61 million over the airwaves, while pro-Clinton outside groups have chipped in an additional $43 million. That's a combined $104 million in total ad spending for Team Clinton.

    But in that same time frame, Donald Trump's campaign still hasn't spent a single cent on a general-election ad, with two pro-Trump outside groups coming to the rescue with $12.4 million over the airwaves. That's a nearly 9-to-1 advantage in ad spending. And it raises some important questions for the Trump campaign. When will it FINALLY start airing advertisements (with him trailing in key states and nationally 84 days to go until Election Day)? What is Trump doing with his campaign money (after the New York Times reported two weeks ago that Trump and the GOP had raised a combined $82 million last month)? And will any other outside groups come to Trump's defense? Political scientists, you now have an amazing case study on your hands: What happens in a presidential race when one side owns the airwaves for two-straight months?

    Oh, and get this: The Green Party's Jill Stein ($189,000) and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson ($15,000) have spent more on ads than the Trump campaign ($0) in this general election.

    Total Clinton ad spending so far:

    Clinton campaign: $61 million

    Clinton outside groups: $43 million

    Total Team Clinton: $104 million

    Total Trump ad spending so far:

    Trump campaign: $0

    Trump outside groups: $12.4 million

    Total Team Trump: $12.4 million

    It's political malpractice on a grand scale. Trump is running against the media, not Hillary. He's blown both feet completely off and he's wondering when they'll grow back. This is the strangest general election campaign in a hundred years, if not more. When was the last time he sat down with reasonable adults and had a conversation? You'd think that he'd be trying to define himself, trying to earn more endorsements and reaching out to people in rural areas to energize them and get them behind his candidacy.

    You would be wrong if you thought that. He's sleeping in his bed every night, and he's trying to get people in Wisconsin and Michigan to vote for him. Good luck with that.

    If the Trump campaign keeps spending a grand total of nothing on ads, then it means that Trump can launder more money by paying himself to run for president. Pretty good gig if you can get it.

    A Tale of Two Schedules




    I've done some schedule analysis of the 2016 race, and it's pretty clear that the Trump campaign is delusional. They have two Trump events scheduled, one for Wisconsin and one for Michigan. 






    There is no way Trump will win both states. There is no way he will be competitive there. Those are solidly blue states and every moment he spends there campaigning is a waste of time and effort.

    In contrast, Hillary and her team are running the table. She is out front, looking to fight for every vote in all of the battleground states. She's even asking Jennifer Garner to raise money for her in Montana, of all places.






    If you're worried about this campaign, then you have to take heart from the fact that Hillary is going to be in Ohio and Pennsylvania. She's fighting for votes in states that should be comfortably in the hands of the Republicans. If we were running against Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz right now, we'd see her focused on the right states. Instead, she's running against a delusional buffoon who has no idea how the Electoral College works.

    That's a good thing.

     

    Louisiana Needs Your Attention




    There is a real tragedy unfolding in Louisiana and no one seems to be paying any attention to it because it is a safely Republican state with a (temporary) Democratic governor:

    Louisiana officials said nine people now have been confirmed dead and forecasters are warning the state’s worst flooding in decades may be about to get worse, with more rain expected throughout the week. Thirty parishes have been declared major disaster areas and U.S. Coast Guard patrols are using helicopters to rescue trapped residents. In Baton Rouge, authorities said 118 people had been picked up by helicopters and an additional 766 were assisted. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he plans to declare nearly half of the state’s 64 parishes as major disaster zones. Fears of the Zika virus have also compounded worries about the flooding. “We’re going to have standing water all over south Louisiana,” Edwards was cited as saying by CNN. “We’re going to have more than our share of mosquitoes. And with the Zika threat, we need assistance to spray for mosquitoes and for mosquito control and abatement.”

    I'm waiting for someone to blame Obamacare for the flooding and call for more tax cuts. Thank God we have a president who actually appoints competent people and holds them accountable. 

     

    Monday, August 15, 2016

    Donaldshambles




    The Trump campaign is now, officially, a complete and utter fiasco. A good word for it would be Donaldshambles:

    In what was billed as a major foreign policy address in Ohio, Donald Trump suggested—as he has in the past—that Hillary Clinton is somehow secretly ill. This time though, Clinton lacks the "mental and physical stamina" to take on ISIS, which comes just a week after conspiracy theories bubbled to the surface once again saying that the Democratic nominee has some terminal ailment. 

    Hillary Clinton is the most extensively investigated, examined, and vetted candidate in American history. There isn't anything we don't know about her. She's released her tax returns, she's given everyone access to her E-mails, and all of her medical history is practically in the public domain. She is the proverbial open book in American public life. She has traveled the world and has been all over America, campaigning and meeting with people.

    Trump, on the other hand, eats like a pig in shit and sleeps in his own bed as often as he can.

    Tell me again why writing about politics is supposed to be fun, please.

    The Trump Campaign Looks Like Lord of the Flies




    This tweet appears to be perfectly timed to help Donald Trump make up his mind whether or not to throw Paul Manafort to the wolves. If Trump fires Manafort, that means several things. One, everything that goes wrong from here on out can be blamed on Manafort. Two, if Trump loses, it means that the blame will be placed on the infighting of a dysfunctional and unprofessional campaign team. Three, it means Corey Lewandowski has had his revenge upon the Trump spawn.

    Somewhere, Paul Manafort reported $12 million dollars in income from the Ukraine, right?

    No?

    Well, alrighty then.

    IOIYAR




    Paul Manafort is probably the crookedest campaign manager in a hundred years. Why isn't he scheduled to appear before a House subcommittee? Well, as the saying goes, he's a Republican, so his ties to criminal regimes overseas are just another Democratic plot to steal the election from Donald Trump:

    Ukrainian anti-corruption investigators in Kiev say they have found the name of Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in a secret ledger left behind by ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. The ledger reportedly shows $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments meant for Paul Manafort from Yanukovych’s political party from 2007 to 2012. Investigators say the document detailing cash payments is proof of an illegal scheme of kickbacks and bribes that includes election officials in addition to Manafort. Although it’s no secret that Manafort worked for Yanukovych, the alleged cash payments designated for him have not previously been reported. It was unclear whether he ever actually received the payments. But Vitaliy Kasko, a former top official with the general prosecutor’s office, told The New York Times that Manafort must have understood he was involved with a corrupt leader. “It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption,” Kasko said.

    In a statement early Monday, Manafort accused the newspaper of “purposefully” ignoring the facts of the case. “I have never received a single ‘off-the-books cash payment’ as falsely ‘reported’ by The New York Times, nor have I ever done work for the governments of Ukraine or Russia,” he said, adding that his Ukraine work ended following the country’s parliamentary elections in 2014.

    Manafort's ties to the kleptocratic regime that ran Ukraine are a huge deal in terms of assessing who Trump will owe favors if he gets elected (let's not forget that Trump could probably win a Senate seat in Mississippi right now or a House seat in Florida--unlikely, but white supremacy has a certain constituency). He may or may not have skirted the laws requiring him to register with the State Department as a foreign lobbyist. He may or may not owe a Russian billionaire more favors than the party store has on hand. He may or may not be bought and paid for with $12 million dollars in money stolen from the Ukrainian people.

    Who the hell knows? If he were a Democrat, his ass would be sitting in front of Trey Gowdy right about now. And doesn't this all sound like an Ivanka Trump plot to get rid of another campaign lackey so that blame will not fall on Daddy's orange shoulder blades?

    Saturday, August 13, 2016

    Diamond Joe Biden Will be Missed




    I'm going to miss Vice President Joe Biden. I suppose he'll get around to writing a sequel to this book, but, until he does, we can get into the way-back machine and remember what it was like in 2013 when this dropped and made people freak out.

    The Onion is proud to present The President of Vice: The Autobiography of Joe Biden. In this scandalous memoir, America's favorite politician discusses his early years, before he became ultimate wingman to the leader of the free world. For the first time ever “Diamond” Joe discusses the formative experiences of his life, including his childhood selling hooch in Scranton, his years cruising college campuses picking up co-eds in a Del Rio, the grade-A tang he plowed in the summer of '87, and his "sweet ass gig" as Senator of Delaware.  

    Speaking of his own work, Vice President Biden says, "Amigo, you're just one click away from buying Uncle Joe's tell all autobiography. My sweetest guitar riffs, bustiest lays, wildest benders, and sexiest appropriation bills, it's all in there. You'll not only hear about me and my buddy Barack, but I guarantee you'll pick up some tricks that'll serve you well in the sack. Plus, I'm deep in the hole right now and really need the scratch."

    I don't know anything about the Onion, but that's probably the only publishing house that would handle Biden's memoir. The real market for his book will appear when he has been out of office for a year or so, like most political memoirs. Biden will probably be more cutting than the President, but his time spent as Vice President will be no less important to remember. These last eight years have really transformed America, and Biden was there. Biden was there.

    In the age of Trump, everything true looks like satire on purpose.

    Illinois State Senator Obama Invaded Afghanistan in 2001




    I'm going to put my hands up and step back away from this one:

    Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson has once again blamed President Obamafor something that happened years before he took office.

    Remember how Pierson blamed Obama for Captain Humayun Khan‘s death in 2004? Well, on CNN this morning, as she was arguing with anchor Victor Blackwell about Trump’s “founder of ISIS” remark, Pierson actually said, “Remember, we weren’t even in Afghanistan by this time. Barack Obama went into Afghanistan, creating another problem.”

    President Obama was busy representing the 13th District in the Illinois State Senate when America invaded Afghanistan. Man, that guy had some serious pull, didn't he?

    Pierson keeps some great company, of course.











    Deep thinkers, all. Anyone who puts Pierson on their show is guilty of journalistic malpractice.

    Trump Doesn't Know How Voting Works




    The Trump Campaign is a bad sitcom--a fiasco and a con game being played out in an artificial media bubble. There's nothing real or viable about it anymore. A decent media organization would simply decline to report on whatever bullshit is being dropped out on the sidewalk for all to see, but that would hurt revenue and the bottom line for these companies. In the old days, CBS News would assign a third string entertainment reporter to this and focus on how Hillary Clinton will move legislation through a Congress that is now in play.

    Come on. The Trump thing is done. It's over. There's no ground game, no professional political organization, no one is in charge and nothing good is going to come out of pretending that Trump has a chance in hell to win anything. The plot has been lost. The only thing missing is for someone to say out loud, "this is just so crazy, it might work."

    Donald Trump declared Friday that there's only one way he could lose the state of Pennsylvania: if he's cheated out of it. 

    "We're going to watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don't come in and vote five times," he said at a rally in Altoona, Pennsylvania. "If you do that, we're not going to lose. The only way we can lose, in my opinion -- I really mean this, Pennsylvania -- is if cheating goes on."

      Trump said that Republican leaders in the state "are very concerned" about the possibility of cheating -- adding that "we have to call up law enforcement, and we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching."

      Hillary Clinton's lead in the polls in Pennsylvania is solid -- a Quinnipiac survey of likely voters released Tuesday found Clinton leading Trump 52% to 42%. But both candidates are devoting significant resources to the state, which has a base of working class voters that Trump's campaign hopes could work in his favor.

      Is there an adult in the room who can tell him that voter fraud is a myth? Is there someone who can explain to him that Pennsylvania is not going to go his way in November?

      Nobody is going to cheat him out of a state he has no chance of winning. No one is even thinking of such a thing, except for whoever put this nutty idea in Trump's head a minute before he said it out loud and got the response he wanted.

      Trump's looking for an alibi, a scapegoat, someone on whom he can pin the blame when everything flames out. He has Reince Priebus, he has the waffling presence of over fifty semi-decent Republicans, and he has a system whereby the American voter actually chooses who wins the Electoral College votes in each state. There's plenty of blame that he can assign to whichever of those ends up being the "reason" why he is losing this race.

      And, really, in the days and weeks ahead, that's the game he's going to play. This thing is lost. There is no horse race anymore. Democrats are going to come out and vote for Hillary and Republicans are going to stay home. This campaign has been marred by the presence of an outlier who couldn't even bother to find someone to help him win Ohio. The Trump campaign has conducted a series of vanity appearances in places Trump has no chance of winning but are geographically convenient so that he can sleep in his own bed at night and not have to deal with the rigors of a real campaign. This is not a real campaign anymore. This is a joke.

      Ain't nobody laughing, but it's a joke nonetheless.

      Friday, August 12, 2016

      Donald Trump is Campaigning in Connecticut Tomorrow




      Honestly, why the hell not? He's going to lose anyway?

      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to attend a rally on Saturday in Fairfield, Connecticut. His campaign is also reportedlyin contact with city officials in Hartford and Bridgeport ― two Democratic enclaves ― about holding rallies there.

      After a particularly rough few weeks for his campaign, which were marked by brutal polls in a number of battleground states, Trump’s foray into traditionally Democratic territory has left some GOP operatives scratching their heads.

      “Trump is operating from his usual position of wishcasting, personal fantasies, and political ignorance in a wasted effort pursing a victory in a state where he has no money to compete, no chance of a political breakthrough and no message relevant to the majority of its voters,” said Rick Wilson, a GOP presidential consultant and active member of the Never Trump movement. 

      Connecticut is next to New York. This allows him to sleep in his own bed tomorrow night, which is the only thing that matters to him. Do you think he's going to try to go save Arizona or South Carolina? Hell no. 

      Trump is phoning it in. He is in the process of giving up so that he can withdraw from the race, blame the lack of support given to him by the GOP, and take the rest of the year off. The suckers who have been sending him money will have their cash laundered through the Trump companies being paid by the Trump campaign to pound sand.

      Our Revolution Looks Like Another Scam




      Every penny that goes to the new "social welfare organization" created by Bernie Sanders is money that won't help elect Democrats this fall. Every penny they take in becomes part of their social welfare charity and, as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, they can't spend money on politics. Every penny you give them goes to whatever they end up doing with it, whatever that is.

      The next step for Bernie's movement is a new group called Our Revolution, which will fight to transform America and advance the progressive agenda that we believe in.

      Wait, whose progressive agenda? Not mine, buddy. I want to see Democrats elected everywhere. Why not join that fight since that will bring you closer to a progressive agenda having a realistic chance of being passed in Congress?

      At this stage of the process, creating a charity that sucks money away from the Democratic Party looks like ratfuckery to me, and that's what Sanders is up to. He's going to siphon money away from the process and use it for social welfare. That whole thing about working to keep Donald Trump out of office rings hollow since this is money the Democratic Party could use to take back the House and Senate and put Hillary Clinton in the White House. Apparently, the Sanders people have other plans and they don't include joining with the Democratic National Committee to fight the good fight. 

      In other words, thanks for nothing.

      Thursday, August 11, 2016

      Six Feet and Still Rising




      How often does Zillow remind you that real estate values in coastal areas are about to go underwater and by that I mean actually under the surface of the water.

      Nearly 1.9 million homes in the United States would be flooded if the seas rose six feet.

      Despite record-warm years and some crops already reacting to unusual shifts in the weather, climate change for many people remains an issue for the future. That future came a little closer this year, when scientists studying Antarctic ice loss reported that if carbon emissions continue unabated, sea levels could rise six feet this century — significantly higher than previous predictions of a two-foot rise by the year 2100.






       

      If the oceans rose six feet today, 1.87 million homes in the United States valued at $882 billion would be flooded by sea water, according to a Zillow Research analysis using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

      Roughly half of them — 934,411 homes, worth $413 million — are in Florida.

      Doug Aschenbach, a retiree from Ohio who lives in a Fort Lauderdale high-rise, figures it would take fewer than six feet of water to have a significant impact in his area. Indeed, Zillow’s analysis shows Fort Lauderdale is the U.S. city that would have the most homes under water — more than 38,000 — if the ocean rose six feet.

      Don't worry--Trump's got everything sorted out. He's going to have walls built around his properties so you can just go suck eggs:

      Donald Trump has mixed feelings about climate change.

      In January 2014, he publicly wondered how the United States could be spending money to combat what, in his words, was a “GLOBAL WARMING HOAX.” In October, when Trump was bitten by the autumnal chill, the Republican presidential candidate snarked on Twitter that he could use “a big fat dose of global warming.” He told The Washington Post editorial board in March that he is “not a great believer in man-made climate change.”

      But when it came to protecting his own investments from global warming’s effects, Trump canned the screaming capital letters and jokes. Instead, Trump wants to curtail climate change with a wall.

      The Trump International Golf Links Ireland, a golf course by the sea in Ireland’s County Clare, faces the Atlantic’s pounding waves and coastal erosion. As Politico reported Monday, the Trump Organization has submitted a permit to build a sea wall, which cites rising sea levels from climate change as a threat. Not just any wall will do — one plan called for a limestone barricade 20 meters wide, what Friends of the Irish Environment’s Tony Lowes described to CNBC as a “monster sea wall” in March.

      As part of the approval process to build the sea wall, Trump International Golf Links filed an environmental-impact statement. It includes specific concern for erosion, beyond one governmental study that did not take into account sea-level rise from climate change, according to Politico.

      But, of course, this is all Hillary's fault, who created global warming to distract from her founding of ISIS and all of those murders, so what are you going to do?

      Trump Says Obama and Hillary Are ISIS VIPs




      This is what your wingnut uncle and your crazy aunt are going to put on their Facebook feeds before you can block them:

      In an appearance on CNBC, Donald Trump reiterated his claim at a campaign rally in Florida on Wednesday that Barack Obama is the “founder of ISIS,” as was Hillary Clinton. “What?” Trump asked on Thursday morning. “Are people complaining that I said he was the founder of ISIS?”

      "In sports they have awards—he gets the Most Valuable Player award,” Trump said. “Him and Hillary. She gets it too.”

      The Republican nominee also went on a brief tangent complaining about how Obama refers to ISIS as “ISIL.” “He calls it ‘ISIL’ even though nobody else does,” Trump grumbled. “Probably he wants to bother people by using a different term.”

      Ever aggrieved, the New York City real estate developer claimed not to care whether his comments alienate voters in swing states. (Or, presumably, anywhere.) “All I do is tell the truth,” he said. “I’m a truth teller.”

      In case you missed all of the projection here, Donald Trump basically told a bunch of lies, used the most incendiary language he could come up with, and then padded it with the biggest whopper of all, "I'm a truth teller."

      This is how someone sells you a used car. It's not how you run for President. It is far outside of the norms of acceptable discourse to say that the sitting president and the woman running to replace him "founded" a cult in the Middle East that cuts off heads and runs amok gunning people down. These norms are now dead and buried--Trump can say anything he wants and then reassure his followers with his beautifully executed sales technique.

      Each and every single Republican who continues to endorse this man should be reminded of that fact until they leave public life. Fuckers.

      I'm telling you the truth! He actually has to say that! Trump is such a nasty, vile liar that he has to throw that in there because he has no acquaintance with the truth. What a disgusting time to write about politics. There are no ideas coming from the Republicans, just vicious attacks and laughably incompetent statements, over and over again. 

      And the thing that really pisses me off--as if there were only a few that did--is that Trump gets to phone it in. He gets unfettered access to the airways and gets to make these accusations and tell these lies without having to sit there in person and be filmed saying them. It's outrageous.

      Wednesday, August 10, 2016

      Take Away Their Phones




      I found this amusing and strange:

      US Marines need to put away their cell phones, forget about their fancy coffees and get back to doing what Marines used to do -- dig a foxhole, cover up, stay quiet and be wary, the Corps' top officer says.

      Speaking at a conference on the future of expeditionary warfare at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marines Corps, said today's Marines have gotten a little too comfortable with modern conveniences in a way that could prove disastrous on the battlefield.

        Neller said the Marines and Navy had seen exercises in which their personnel's use of mobile devices could give away positions to adversaries.

        One involved a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), a large unit designed for front-line combat operations.

        "What do you think the largest electromagnetic signature in the entire MEF headquarters emanated from? The billeting area. Why? Because everybody had their phone on. So we're going to have to take everybody's phone away from them?" he asked.

        First of all, I had a cellphone when I was on active duty. This was in 2001. Cell phones back then basically did two things. They had the ability to place calls and they had the ability to take calls. I didn't know what texting was. I think it had a crude clock on it. And in order to make calls, I had to pay ten dollars to a vendor outside of Camp Humphreys, South Korea to put minutes on the phone using some scratch card and "magic." I had no idea how to add minutes to the damned thing. It worked great, but it never really struck me as anything other than being a phone connected to a cellular network.

        Second, it did go on exercises with me. But, if the balloon had gone up, of course I wouldn't have used it. Knowing that the signal connected to a cell tower meant anyone exploiting that network could triangulate me. So, whatever.

        Flash forward to today. People taking the cell phones onto field exercises is one thing. I get that. People taking their personal cell phones into the field during wartime is totally something else. I don't know why they allow it. Seems pretty odd to me, given how easy it is to exploit not only the GPS on the phone but the actual signal as well. The text messages are also very easy to intercept if you have control of the cellular network. Yes, there's encryption, but our foreign adversaries are much more advanced with regards to collecting signals intelligence than we ever give them credit for. 

        I think the general just wants Marines to be Marines again. And that's typical of someone who takes command and thinks everyone around him is another Vin Diesel candy-assed mama's boy who pissed of the Rock. I saw it all the time in the Army. While stationed at a very strategic site and while in a very strategic unit, the brigade Command Sergeant Major made a point of telling everyone that we were going to act like a "tactical" unit and behave like one. The only problem being, no one had more than a laundry bag full of actual military equipment (a helmet and a load bearing vest and a belt is probably the lion's share of what was issued to us) and no one had their own rifle. We all shared rifles when qualifying once per year on 25 meter paper targets. Woo hoo! Tactical!

        You're going to hear things like this and wonder if the military is soft. Well, think about it. The military is now full of thousands and thousands of combat veterans. Everyone with a minor defect is being kicked out because of downsizing. The gear is second to none because we have gone through a massive transformation of the military due to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (at the start, we were in woodland camo BDUs, leather boots and black berets; today, they're in digitals, suede boots, and they're back in the good old soft caps--common sense has returned).

        The military is not soft. People have phones! So what? If you make a rule that says that you have to secure your phone before you go to the field, institute punishments and whatnot for anyone who doesn't follow procedure. They must have had this problem when the Walkman was invented. Where did you hide your cassette tapes? Well, when I went to basic training in 1996, I just put the Walkman and the tapes in a bag and I didn't see it for two months. These things aren't hard to figure out.

        No way was I taking compact discs to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. That simply would not do.

        Bernie Sanders Needs More Cash




        Do you have any cash laying around? Instead of giving it to Hillary Clinton so she can beat Donald Trump, why not give it to Bernie Sanders so he can continue trying to destroy Debbie Wasserman Schultz and maybe cost the Democratic Party a House seat?

        When he endorsed Hillary Clinton and spoke on her behalf at the somewhat-contentious Democratic convention last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pledged "to do all that I can" to make sure she defeated Donald Trump this fall. Since the convention, his new group, "Our Revolution," seems to be devoting its energy to … defeating the Democratic Party establishment that backed Clinton.






        Sanders has sent at least two emails to his army of grass-roots supporters since the convention ended, asking for money to continue his "revolution," a critical element of his primary-season pitch. The emails mentioned the Democratic National Committee, former committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the Democratic Party, and the Democratic establishment multiple times. They did not mention Clinton, Trump or the Republican Party (which would need to suffer a crushing defeat for Democrats to gain the majority Sanders would need for his progressive priorities to make it through Congress.)

        Wasserman Schultz has a Sanders-endorsed primary challenger Aug. 30, who is trying to capitalize on the recent intraparty drama to unseat her. Several polls have shown Tim Canova eight to 10 points behind Wasserman Schultz, with a majority of voters who have never heard of him.

        His revolution is not your revolution. It's about defeating Democrats. And that's why he went back to being an independent and that's why he doesn't care who controls Congress. The wooly-headed left is a cash cow, waiting to be milked.

        These beach houses don't pay for themselves, you know...

        America Has a Problem in the Phillipines




        It's time to expel the ambassador from the Phillipines and call our own ambassador home:

        Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his controversial remarks during his presidential campaign, has called the U.S. ambassador “gay” and “the son of a whore.” He reportedly used a local homophobic slur and said Ambassador Philip Goldberg had “pissed me off.” The remarks come after Goldberg criticized Duterte for saying he wanted to rape an Australian missionary who was murdered after she was sexually assaulted in a prison riot in the 1980s. On Friday, Duterte said, “He meddled during the elections, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that.” Patrick Chuasoto, a Filipino envoy, was summoned in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss Duterte’s comments. “We had that conversation,” State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said. “I think what we were seeking is perhaps a better understanding of why that statement was made.” Duterte’s government has reportedly killed nearly 1,000 suspected drug dealers and users in the fewer than three months that he’s served as president.

        The human rights violations of the Filipino government are worthy of United Nations involvement. But, behind the scenes is the activity of China in Filipino territorial water. The United States is the only naval power that could assist in defending Filipino territory. But, until they find a president who is not insane, they should be left to deal with the Chinese on their own.

        This man, Duterte, is dangerous and unstable. The best thing you can say about him is he's no Donald Trump.

        No More Secret Service Protection For Donald Trump




        There is a conflict of interest brewing in the wake of Donald Trump's insane comments about how people with guns might be able to stop Hillary Clinton from appointing judges:

        Donald Trump’s comments Tuesday about“Second Amendment people” could be considered a “veiled threat” against Hillary Clinton, a former top Secret Service official told TIME.

        The official said that if they were still working at the U.S. Secret Service, they would contact someone on Trump’s campaign staff to have a conversation about whether he understands the consequences of that rhetoric.

        At a rally in Wilmington, N.C., Trump said that if elected Clinton would get to appoint federal judges to lifetime positions, including a vacant seat on the Supreme Court.

        “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump said.

        The former Secret Service official said they would ask a U.S. attorney to see if Trump broke any laws with the comment.

        “Look, this guy is coming pretty close to the edge here,” the official said.

        The official added that the Secret Service would have to consider the value of having agents interview Trump. But “if this was some guy off the street and they made that statement, you’d go out and interview them,” the source told TIME. “He’s not gonna act on this. But you don’t know what you’re encouraging other people to do.”

        In the photo above, that's the Secret Service providing protection to Donald Trump. These same agents are now going to have to ask themselves, how long before members of our own agency come and interview Trump in order to determine whether or not he understands the implications of what he says in public? And where has this ever happened before? How can these agents protect a man who called for gun violence against another person under Secret Service protection? Trump's threat puts the entire protective arm of the Secret Service in physical jeopardy.

        You can say whatever you want about the last ten Republicans nominated for the presidency--hell, damned near all of them going back to Lincoln--and the utter indecency and shock of what Trump said yesterday is something none of them would say in public (yeah, Nixon in private, sure). We laughed at Mitt and McCain, but they are statesmen beyond reproach compared to Trump. We all thought Bush was the worst president ever, but he looks a lot better in light of what Trump would do to the rights of Americans if he ever had the ability to pick up the phone and call the Director of the FBI.

        There have always been unspoken rules about how a politician conducts themselves in American life. Appearing to be crazy, unstable, or violent usually meant that the candidate would be disavowed by either party and forgotten quickly. These norms have been followed for many, many years. Donald Trump subverted that quiet authority and has operated outside of the basic parameters of public discourse and ethical conduct since day one. It is populism backed with threats of violence--carried out on protesters or on anyone who criticizes Trump or opposes him. This is very real, very evident, and it is well past the time for law enforcement to step in and regulate Trump's behavior. 

        All Secret Service protection should be withdrawn from the Trump campaign. The Republicans have to foot their own bill from here on in. This is absolutely beyond all understanding of what is acceptable. We are in dangerous territory and the results of this election are going to be contested by a violent minority of Trump's supporters. There's no way the Secret Service should be involved in any of this from now on.

        Tuesday, August 9, 2016

        There Are No Rules Anymore




        Donald Trump went there today:

        Donald Trump said Tuesday that if Hillary Clinton gets to pick Supreme Court justices, there's "nothing you can do, folks ... although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is."

        Trump's ambiguous comments alarmed some political observers as to whether he was threatening her life or calling for increased political activity.

          Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, issued a one-sentence statement in response to Trump.

          "This is simple -- what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to the be president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way," he said.

          The man don't give a fuck. Some men just want to watch the world burn. There are no rules anymore. The moral cowardice of every Republican who endorsed Donald Trump will be talked about for the next forty years.

          Trump Hasn't Spent Anything on TV Ads




          The Trump campaign is a fiasco:

          Donald Trump's campaign hasn't spent any money on general-election TV advertisements, NBC News reports. He's spent $0—less than Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, or Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Clinton's campaign has reportedly spent about $52 million on TV ads, and other pro-Clinton groups have spent about $39 million, the site reports. Pro-Trump groups have spent about $8 million on ads, despite his campaign's reluctance to spend. Gary Johnson has spent $15,000, and Jill Stein has spent $189,000.

          Forget everything you ever learned about politics. Trump did, and look where he's at! He's fabulous! Granted, he's down so far in the polls, no one knows when he'll hit bottom, but still. To be sitting on top of millions of dollars in donations (post-Convention) and to have spent none of that to make your case to the American people is political malpractice. And the worse Trump does, the worse it will be for Republican candidates.

          His spending indicates one thing--Trump is going to pocket as much of that money as he can. He's going to take his war chest and find a way to keep paying himself to run for president. In June, he was paying a fifth of everything he took in to his own companies. Keep buying those red hats, suckers!

          Hillary Should Never Accept Henry Kissinger's Endorsement




          This really needs to get out there and it should be communicated explicitly to the Hillary Clinton campaign:

          I live in the bluest damn state there is east of Hawaii. My senators are Senator Professor Warren and Edward Markey. Less than a third of my fellow citizens are Republicans. (Granted, one of them is the governor, but let's move on.) HRC could not lose the Commonwealth (God save it!) even if she drank a polyjuice potion and campaigned here transformed into Alex Rodriguez. So I can say this full in the knowledge that what I say will not have the slightest effect on the outcome of the presidential election. But it is not negotiable.

          If Hillary Clinton actively seeks, or publicly accepts, the endorsement of Henry Kissinger, I will vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld on November 8. (Jill Stein, you might've been a contender, but going off to Red Square to talk about Vladimir Putin and human rights? Being an honored guest of a Russian propaganda channel? I don't think so.) Kissinger is a bridge too far. He is responsible for more unnecessary deaths than any official of a putative Western democracy since the days when Lord John Russell was starving the Irish, if not the days when President Andy Jackson was inaugurating the genocide of the Cherokee. He should be coughing his life away as an inmate at The Hague, not whispering in the ears of a putatively progressive Democratic presidential candidate. I can tolerate (somewhat) the notion of her reaching out to the rest of the wax museum there, but Kissinger is a monster too far. He is my line in the sand. I can choose who I endorse to lead my country, a blessing that Henry Kissinger worked his whole career to deny to too many people.

          That's Charlie Pierce, and he is of a generation that knows the war crimes of Kissinger intimately. The younger people in the Clinton campaign may consider the whole Kissinger thing as old hat, and largely, they are correct. Kissinger has had no appreciable influence over American foreign policy for at least two generations. But it's an old hat that should never be worn. His endorsement comes with the blood of tens of thousands of innocent people who were killed because Kissinger made calculated decisions that were anti-American and just plain illegal. If you get in bed with him, you're fouling your own foreign policy through the ultimate example of guilt by association. Where's the extraordinary rendition plane to fly the old bastard to the Hague when you need it?

          Seeking the endorsement of a Republican is one thing. Accepting the endorsement of Kissinger would be absolutely wrong. It would open Clinton up to legitimate criticism on human rights issues. There is no need to move that far to the right in the election ahead. It is a mean trick of history for Kissinger to even be alive today, what with Nixon dead over twenty years and a whole declassified archive out there in the public realm to be consumed. 

          Will we ever be rid of this monster? Will he live forever?

          Monday, August 8, 2016

          Schlitterbahn and Lax Government Regulation




          Someone had to write about this, and it is beginning to percolate through the media that when a state like Kansas throws government regulation out the window, people die. In the case of what happened at the Schlitterbahn water park near Kansas City, a tragic death should serve as a wake-up call for everyone who bitches about safety inspectors and government oversight:

          "Safety is our top priority at Schlitterbahn," it reads. "All rides are inspected daily before opening." 

          But that's not because any agency, state or federal, requires it to do so. 

          Under Kansas law, "permanent rides" at amusement parks must be inspected only once a year — by a qualified inspector hired by the amusement park itself. 

          The state Labor Department, which administers the regulation, said Monday that it is "reviewing the matter." 

          Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission hasn't had the power to oversee amusement parks for 35 years, after Congress stripped its authority in 1981 as part of a package of deregulatory budget cuts.

          Kansas law, which I will guarantee you was written at least in part by lobbyists being paid by the theme park industry, says that a ride can be inspected once a year by someone hired by the park itself. That's more insane than the Goddamned ride itself.

          You cannot trust the marketplace to police itself. You have to have someone watching and verifying and ensuring that public safety is being protected. Senator Elizabeth Warren has been telling us this for years--we need protections for consumers that are not wink-wink imaginary attempts at keeping people safe. We need advocates that are unbiased. We need someone with brains enough to look at the big, scary ride and say, "why were those test dummies flying off the thing and would you put your own kid on this thing?" We need really tough standards and we need to push back against this mentality that government oversight stifles competition and hurts the marketplace. 

          No, dummy. It keeps kids alive.

          The difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump couldn't be any clearer. Trump wants to end regulation and Hillary champions it as a way of keeping people safe. Kansas has experimented with the kind of crazy de-regulation that actually harms people and it has turned into a waking nightmare. 

          Arne Carlson Makes the Case For Hillary Clinton

          [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640.0"] Former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson (R) Former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson (R) [/caption]


          This is probably not a huge deal, but let's not forget who former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson is. He's a moderate Republican who balanced budgets and worked to improve the economy of Minnesota. He handed the state over to Jesse Ventura, who promptly gave everyone a tax rebate. This opened the door for the disastrous Tim Pawlenty era which created a huge bubble of debt and coincided with a period of economic calamity.

          Carlson has never been shy about telling people what he thinks. And for a successful Republican governor to endorse Hillary Clinton says a lot about where we are right now as a country:

          Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson is one of a growing number of prominent Republicans who say that come November they won’t be casting a vote for their party’s nominee, Donald Trump.

          On WCCO Sunday Morning, Carlson said he likes Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, as a candidate, because she’s a public policy aficionado and she “really works well with others.”

          “That’s not Donald Trump’s strong suit by a long shot,” the former governor said.

          What Carlson hopes Clinton will do is bring in prominent Republicans to work in bipartisan task forces, thereby creating a policy buffer between the White House and Congress.

          “That way, you come into Congress, not just with a partisan plan, but with a bipartisan plan and tremendous buy-in, if you will, from the American people,” Carlson said. “I think she has the capacity to do that.”

          Carlson, a longtime Republican, has often been critical of his party, saying that in recent years the GOP in the state has focused more on what people do in their bedrooms and less on how to improve the economy.

          Bonus laughs for the last part--more worried about bedrooms instead of jobs. Hell, Trump's more worried about what goes on in his own bedroom than anything else in the whole wide world.

          As for his proposal to play with the idea of bi-partisanship, forget it. There are no Republicans who will publicly work with Hillary Clinton. She's going to have to have huge amounts of leverage to get anything out of the Republican Party. She needs a mandate and full control of Congress to even dream about getting a jobs bill signed into law.

          Trump Proposes Massive Tax Cut For Himself




          Man, people are pretty dumb, aren't they?

          Trump will also propose a repeal of the estate tax, sometimes called the “death tax.” Under current law, the 40 percent tax applies only to estates larger than $5.45 million for individuals and $10.9 million for couples.

          Of course, the rubes won't hear that part of the speech. They want their red meat, and they want it served early and often.

          The reason why Trump would propose ending the estate tax is to convince people that he supports the American farmer. No, he wants to convince people that they could be rich someday, too, and he wants to ease their burdens in this live. No, that's not it. Trump wants to end the estate tax because you're poor because we gave all the money to black people. No, that's not it, either.

          Maybe Trump wants to end the estate tax because he is one of those few, few Americans with an estate valued over $5.45 million who would see his children's inheritance taxed at 40% by the evil Federal government. The fact that he would put that in a major policy speech and deliver it in public is almost too good to be true for Democrats. Trump's proposal is rich in conflict of interest material. It so blatantly benefits him and his family that someone should have pointed it out to him. This is the sort of thing a politician does in secret, not during a major speech.

          Trump is one continuous unforced error, relentlessly shooting himself in the foot as often as possible. It's a cartoon at this point, one where dollar signs appear instead of eyeballs. The fiasco continues!

          President McMullin

          [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="512.0"] Ladies and Gentlemen, President McMullin Ladies and Gentlemen, President McMullin [/caption]


          With 91 days to go before the November 8 election, the Republican Party is in turmoil. This is probably not helping:

          Key players in GOP’s anti-Trump movement are preparing to launch an independent presidential campaign for Evan McMullin — a CIA veteran and the chief policy director of the House Republican conference — sources close to the effort told BuzzFeed News.

          Veteran Republican strategist Rick Wilson, a Florida-based media consultant and outspoken Trump critic, is expected to be involved in McMullin’s campaign. Sources said Wilson was in Washington on Sunday meeting with members of McMullin’s prospective campaign — which includes some who were involved in a group called Better for America, which has been pushing an independent presidential bid.

          McMullin did not immediately respond to requests for comment from BuzzFeed News. He would make for an unlikely presidential candidate. He has never held elective office before and has spent most of his career as a CIA officer, according to his LinkedIn page. Young and unmarried, McMullin received an MBA at Wharton in 2011, and after a stint at Goldman Sachs, went to work as a policy wonk on Capitol Hill.

          Nothing says "outsider insurgency candidate" quite like picking a guy no one knows who worked for the CIA and Goldman Sachs. There is no truth to the rumor that Harold Stassen left his grave in order to accept the GOP nomination.

          Saturday, August 6, 2016

          Trump's Message is White Supremacy and Hate




          Man, what a failure of a story:

          For Trump, the Problem Isn't the Message. It's the Messenger.

          The 2016 presidential election has solidified into a referendum on Republican nominee Donald Trump. And it's the man - not his message - that's creating the stark choice that voters must make in November between two unpopular nominees. 

          A new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal shows that a broad majority of voters agree with Trump's assertion that the nation is at a "moment of crisis" and that threats of terrorism and violence against law enforcement officers "threaten our very way of life." Half of voters report wanting a shakeup in Washington. A slim majority - 53 percent - also say that law and order in the country have broken down, one of Trump's top talking points in the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention. And while the share of Americans who feel that the nation is headed in the right direction has ticked up slightly, more than six-in-ten still say the country is off on the wrong track, echoing Trump's grim depiction of the future if he is not elected in November.

          Trump's message is appropriate only when screamed from a balcony over a sea of coal scuttle helmets.

          Missing from this is the context of what Trump wants to do to race relations in this country. When you put everything he says into context, of course his message is wrong from America. It's insane and unworkable, unrealistic and detached from any previous understanding of how a candidate from one of the two major parties runs for president. The normal is subverted by personality. Trump is proof that if you run for President on Twitter, no one will comprehend your message. Missing from it is the fact that the "change" he wants to bring to Washington would paralyze the economy, wreck millions of lives, and lead to precipitous decline.

          If the country is on the "wrong track," then what is Trump proposing to do about it? Start trade wars, abandon our allies, build a wall between us and Mexico, cede the world to Russia, leave Japan defenseless, and ban Muslims from coming to this country? That's not going to do anything to correct our problems, many of which begin and end with the fact that the House of Representatives is in the hands of crazy people.

          The "messenger" and the "message" are unhinged white supremacy, and the people that it appeals to live on the marginal fringes of American society, economically and socially. They're not winning anything other than media attention.

          Friday, August 5, 2016

          Ladies and Gentlemen, Donald Trump




          This is one sentence from Donald J. Trump, who has good genes.

          "Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us."

          I got nothin'.

          PROOF!

          We Keep Adding Jobs and Growing the Economy




          As a Democrat, I'm just going to come out and say it. Everything good happening in America right now is because of President Obama and his leadership.

          Senate Republicans won't lift a finger. The House is busy trying to de-fund Obamacare for the 80th time. Nobody wants a jobs bill because then the economy would explode and really start growing. They want bad news and they're not getting it:

          The U.S. added 255,000 jobs during the month of July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics annnounced Friday morning. The numbers handily beat expectations of 180,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent. However, job growth in May was extremely tepid: Just 38,000 new jobs were created, the BLS said originally, but that number has since been revised down to 11,000—and now back up to 24,000. July was the second month in a row of strong job growth that was better than economists had predicted. Additionally, June’s number was revised up to 292,000 from 287,000. 

          Anyone not happy with more people having jobs can please go fuck themselves. When Trump talks about how bad things are, someone should slap this information down in front of him and call him a phony and a liar. Obama has been a jobs president. He has made thousands of choices that have helped bring us to this place. Ending the war in Iraq might be the biggest one. How many presidents can end a war and see job growth afterwards? That's amazing.

          Do you ever get the impression that we're just not worthy of President Obama? That this country should have rallied behind him years ago and done something to vote these Republicans out of office? I get that feeling more and more.

          Thursday, August 4, 2016

          This Will Cheer You Up




          You have to admit--having Hillary winning 347 Electoral College votes and Trump only getting 191 is a pretty good deal. I would like to peel off more states and I would like to see her as close to 400 Electoral College votes as possible. If we can flip Georgia and Arizona, that would sure go a long ways towards making the case that Hillary has a mandate to continue the Obama strategy of pissing off Republicans for the next four years. 

          A big win is essential. That would help to de-fang anyone who claims that the election is rigged.

          The Chump




          Paul Ryan is a chump:

          House Speaker Paul Ryan stood by his endorsement of Donald Trump Thursday, but didn't rule out withdrawing it at some point in the future should he deem that necessary.

          "None of these things are ever blank checks, that goes with any situation in any kind of race," Ryan said in a radio interview with WTAQ's Jerry Bader in his Wisconsin district.

            Ryan added his reason for backing Trump is that "he won the delegates, he won the thing fair and square it's just that simple."

            The speaker also shrugged off Trump saying earlier this week he wasn't "there yet" on endorsing Ryan in his upcoming primary next Tuesday.

            "The only endorsements I want are those of my own employers in the first congressional district, that's really what my focus is," Ryan said.

            So, a day after being absolutely humiliated by Donald Trump, Speaker Ryan has to sit there and take it because what other option is there? He's in a tight primary race back home and he could lose his seat. He could lose his position as Speaker if he angers too many of the crazed zealots who threw John Boehner out of office (and how would you like to have the peace of mind that Boehner has right now?). He stuck his neck out for Donald Trump and had it chopped off as an afterthought.

            He's been made to look like the same kind of chump that Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie have been all along. He looks like like a sucker and there's nothing he can do about it. Oh, the humanity of it all. To be the beneficiary of polite white supremacy for decades and then end up being pantsed in front of the whole country by a small handed bigot. It's enough to make you want to take up lobbying.

            Do you think these people sit around and wonder what life would be like right now if they had come out in February and supported Jeb Bush? They must be kicking themselves right now. And the one doing most of the kicking has to be Ryan.