Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Every Trump You Take (Putin Will Be Watching You)

What the hell did Trump just do today? Via Washington Post:

Republican nominee Donald Trump pleaded directly Wednesday with the Russian government to meddle in the U.S. presidential election by finding and releasing tens of thousands of private emails from his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton — an extraordinary and perhaps unprecedented maneuver in American politics...
...Asked whether Russian espionage into the former secretary of state’s correspondence would concern him, Trump said, “No, it gives me no pause. If they have them, they have them.”
The emails cited by Trump are from Clinton’s time at the State Department, where her use of a private server prompted a federal investigation. The FBI concluded that no prosecution was necessary...
Trump is basically calling on a foreign power to actively spy on an American, to actively spy on a Presidential candidate, to actively spy on a former Secretary of State.

How isn't this treason - allying with a foreign power that is at odds with us - right up front and public?

I'm with Betty Cracker at Balloon Juice over this (although she's called it back a bit, I'm still in a rage over this). Let's call this for what it is: Trump calling on a foreign power to spy on any of us is basically Treason.

It doesn't matter that Clinton's email server has already undergone a complete federal investigation, where the worst the FBI found was that it was improper that Clinton was doing this (following how previous Sec of States did their private servers!).

Trump is taking the Far Right Narrative that Evil Clinton is still hiding something, anything, and they want to get at it by hook or by crook. Preferably by crook.

This is insane. This would be like having Richard Nixon asking Red China to wiretap Muskie (didn't have to, he hired his own). This would be like having Teddy Roosevelt asking Canada to intercept telegrams sent by Alton B. Parker back in 1904. This would be like John Adams asking the kingdom of Norway to raid Thomas Jefferson's home for his personal papers.

Or, here, let's say this in a way Trump will understand. This would be like Barack Obama calling on Ukraine to hack the IRS and expose all Trump's tax returns he refuses to show us.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE THAT, TRUMP? You and the Far Right wingnuts on Fox Not-News would be screaming for impeachment and execution if he did that.

And that's exactly what you just said Trump. At what point should we apply what's fair to the crap you're pulling?

Dear sweet God, America. This man does not have the temperament, the intelligence, the awareness to serve as President. This is a man who will bulldoze over every law, every protocol, every liberty to indulge his own twisted fantasies and needs.

Trump is a man who is right now ignoring laws and the realities of foreign policy just to scare his voting base and bully everyone else. Trump distorts and destroys everything he touches, everything he lusts for. We are watching our nation's entire political system crumble into ash.

Dear Republican Party: any claim you have to being a serious party on foreign affairs is long over. This is just the final fucking nail in the coffin.

You need to denounce this monster in your midst and you need to denounce him by name and you need to denounce his deeds. Common decency and common sense DEMAND that you do this.

God help us.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What Just Happened This July 26 2016

Why is this night different from all other nights?

Because this night, a black man is playing professional ba... wait, we've done this bit.

Because this night, I caught a Squirtle on Pokemon GO. Okay, okay, settle down peeps.

Because this night, Hillary Clinton was officially nominated for the Presidency of the United States by a major political party. There have been women nominated by third parties before, and often. But let's be honest: you have to be a Democrat or a Republican candidate to have a solid shot at the Oval Office.

If things hold, if the voter turnout is like 2012 only better, we can look forward to an historic night in November much like that night in 2008.

That means - HINT FREAKING HINT - you people need to stop polling for Trump and dump his sorry corrupt Russian-owned ass into the dustbin of history.

Sigh.

Anyway, I need more Squirtles to evolve one up. Where's a good spot to catch more?

Have You Gotten It Out Of Your Systems Yet, People?

I surprised myself finding a "Settle the Fuck Down People" tag already in my Labels. I lost track of that. Anyway I digress.

Just putting my two cents here regarding the raucous caucus that is Philadelphia at the moment. Of course, the BernieBros were out in force as Boo Birds in the back benches, but I think by the time Michelle Obama came out and did her plagiarism of Beyonce, it sounded like they've settled down.

Since this is Day Two, when the delegates are counted in, we'll probably see another round of upset holdouts crying that somehow Bernie won despite, you know, having fewer delegates than needed. At some point the convention is going to have to accept that Trump and Putin are the real enemies from here on out (more on that later).

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Honest Bumper Stickers Part XII: For Your Cries Only

Now that we've got the Vice Presidents figured out, we can see a few more bumper stickers on the cars piling up on the mean streets of Yeehaw Junction.

in the real world, every other word on this sticker would say TRUMP... 


Too wordy, I know. But accurate.

Yeah, had to get the WWE gag out of my system.


Okay, what's next?


Well, Now This Week Is the Democrats' Turn at Conventioning. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Compared to that questionable, divisive, what-the-hell mess the Republicans attempted in Cleveland... I doubt the Democrats' show in Philadelphia will be as chaotic, clumsy, poorly vetted, or poorly attended (when a Republican convention fails to finance the local strip club industry, you know there's something wrong).

Still, there's a lot of things that can go wrong that could make for terrific ratings for Fox Not-News - and provide a distraction away from the Ailes firing, more on that later - and terrible heartburn for every sane anti-Trump voter on the planet in the United States.

For starters, thanks to an infodump by Wikileaks of DNC emails (hacked by Russians, with all that suggests), the BernieBro faction is enraged by the implications that the party leadership was all in for Hillary and had been looking for ways to sabotage Sanders' primary efforts. Nevermind that the email plotting never came to life - that it was all brainstorming conjecture that got rejected by higher-ups - any excuse to hate on Hillary and her peeps will do. There's already been some backroom in-fighting...

...that led to significant reforms to the Superdelegate rules to make them more reflective of the state-by-state Primary results, something Sanders pushed for. So is there any real reason to be running around on a rampage?

In terms of the speaker lineup, it's mostly going to be familiar faces: Sanders and Michelle Obama speak Monday, Bill Clinton and a collection of Mothers of the Movement (an anti-violence group) speak Tuesday, Biden and Obama speak Wednesday night (when was the last time a retiring President spoke at the convention?), and then Chelsea Clinton introduces her mother Hillary for the Thursday night big speech. This is odd because there's no up-and-comer freshman politician who can profit from a night in the spotlight...

...wait a minute. Where's Kaine? As Vice President nominee doesn't he get a slot?

RIOT! RIOT!

...then again, it's Philadelphia. Who's gonna notice...?

Okay, okay, I'll settle. Let's stay friendly, people. Unity... unity and competence and what what.

Update: So of course there's enough of a conniption about the emails that Debbie Wasserman Schultz - never all that popular among the Democratic faithful to begin with - had to resign just before the convention starts.

So we're going to get a lot of media bashing and faux concern-trolling about this instead of focusing on the real issues, like Trump being a completely unacceptable candidate who deserves to have his ass kicked in the general election.

Dammit.

Never underestimate the Democratic Party's ability to f-ck up an easy win.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Good Lord, That's Tim Kaine's Music

Insert plethora of Tim Kaine/WWE Kane puns here.

So, Hillary has made her ticket selection, and decided on a person considered a "safe" or reliable choice in Virginia Senator Kaine. I know a good number of Democrats were pining for a more... risky pick, something a little more stunning or more stringently Progressive, maybe someone female for an all-woman ticket or someone ethnic for an "Up Yours White Guys" ticket, but in a world filled with Left-Centrist white guys you sometimes got to go draw from the well.

I've ranted about the need for Vice Presidents before, but we're still using that system so let's work with it.

The biggest thing people should take away from a Veep pick is how it signifies what the candidate is going to do as President to select all the other people to fill important roles in his/her administration. This is the first big decision, and the candidate has to nail it. A bad pick - say, McGovern tabbing Eagleton or Mondale tabbing Ferraro or McCain tabbing Palin - indicates bad people skills, poor decision-making, what have you.

This means evaluating Kaine's record (back to the Post):

Kaine comes from a swing state (note: in Electoral value, a popular pick can garner you a slight boost in the Veep's home state and maybe neighboring ones). He has executive and legislative experience. Before going to the Senate, Kaine was governor of Virginia from 2005 to 2009 and mayor of Richmond prior to that. He has a strong Catholic religious background: He was a missionary out of college. He speaks fluent Spanish. He had been vetted favorably by then-Sen. Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.
And, most importantly, Kaine is a steady presence. He has been in the national spotlight -- both during the 2008 vetting and during his stint as Democratic National Committee chairman from 2009 to 2011. He knows how to handle the media, the scrutiny and the attacks that come with a high-profile perch. He's even-keeled amid chaos.
One word to describe Kaine favorably? Competent. He knows how politics works, he's run successful campaigns, he's been a team player, and he can work the halls of Congress and the back rooms to broker deals as needed.

And to be fair, another one word to describe him is Boring. Kaine does not attract much media attention, he's not a brilliant or charismatic orator, he's not a guy the news channels think of to invite onto their shows, he's not going to get voted Prom King any time soon. On the bright side, that also means he's scandal-proof.

His voting record shows a consistent Liberal bent. He may not be full-on Far Left but he's no Blug Dog.

By selecting Kaine, Hillary is showing that she'll value competency and a strong yet not overwhelmingly Liberal lean to her office. Kaine is essentially another Biden: someone stable and reliable for a job that demands (edit: originally had the wrong word there) stability and reliability.

Personally, I'd have gone with Perez, or searched a little harder for a younger Progressive from the Midwest or Pacific coast. I may be damning with praise here, but there's nothing wrong with Kaine as the Democratic Veep nominee.

Now, onto the Democratic convention.

Friday, July 22, 2016

To Be So Close To History and Yet So Far...

Hillary Clinton has to announce very soon - because the Democratic convention is NEXT WEEK - who her Vice Presidential pick is going to be.

She's scheduled to be in Tampa THIS AFTERNOON at 4:30 PM. At the Florida State Fairgrounds.

She's expected to announce who her running mate is going to be at the event.

OH MAN THAT IS LIKE RIGHT DOWN THE INTERSTATE FROM ME.

Pity I got to work until 5 PM.

Thing is, you usually make the announcement in the Veep pick's back yard for the locals to hoot and cheer 'em on.

The buzz about it being someone from the area - Crist? - is big.

I doubt it's Crist, though. He's honestly not as popular among Florida Democrats as he ought to be (his tenure as an ex-Republican is gonna hurt him). He's doing far better running for the revamped Congressional district covering St. Pete, his stomping ground.

I'm wondering if it's Kathy Castor... or someone else from Florida like Senator Bill Nelson (GO GATORS).

We'll find out today.

Update: well, dammit. Because of the mass shooting in Munich - dammit NRA, stop exporting this sh-t - Hillary held off making an official announcement at the speech. She announced via email afterward... and... it's Kaine.

(tries to find appropriate WWE entrance music)

YouTube's not giving me a lot of options here...

Update Revision: Betty Cracker from Balloon Juice was at the Tampa rally. I envy her. She's got pics, real good ones close to the stage.


The Rank Smell of a Great Sorrow Lies Over the Land

There is a great and harrowing despair in my soul today.

We are living in a land where fate supposes the possibility of a con artist like Trump could become President of the United States.

In spite of his many sins. In spite of his open hostility to minorities and women. In spite of his failures regarding foreign and financial policies. There is still going to be enough of our fellow Americans who will buy this con game. Worse, there are enough of our fellow Americans who KNOW - who have whispered among themselves in dark dreary corners away from the cameras - how dangerous and reckless this Trump could be but who STILL close their eyes and blind themselves all because they cannot accept any alternative: Because of their partisan habits to back Republican ideology at all hazards, because of the likelihood they themselves could profit from a Trump victory, because of their foolish hope that "maybe" Trump could be controlled.

But have we ever had a Presidential nominee be so openly toxic?

Yoni Appelbaum, on Trump's narcissism:

In 2016, Donald J. Trump mounted the stage, and told America that the nation is in crisis. That attacks on police and terrorism threaten the American way of life. That the United States suffers from domestic disaster, and international humiliation. That it is full of shuttered factories and crushed communities. That it is beset by “poverty and violence at home” and “war and destruction abroad.”
And he offered them a solution.
I am your voice, said Trump. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order. He did not appeal to prayer, or to God. He did not ask Americans to measure him against their values, or to hold him responsible for living up to them. He did not ask for their help. He asked them to place their faith in him.
Does that not echo the cults of personality that have haunted nations scarred by dictatorships and tyrannies? Trump did not appeal to a broad, optimistic view of the nation that nearly every other Presidential nominee has offered on that stage. He did not appeal to the party, actually. Trump appealed to the fears, he appealed to the anger, he appealed to the delusions. And he offered himself up as the Great Savior for all these problems he claims besets us, as though no one else can do this.

Does not Trump's speech ignore the real world? He claims the United States is suffering at home and abroad despite evidence to the contrary. From Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee at the Washington Post:

The dark portrait of America that Donald J. Trump sketched in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong.
When facts are inconveniently positive — such as rising incomes and an unemployment rate under 5 percent — Trump simply declines to mention them. He describes an exceedingly violent nation, flooded with murders, when in reality, the violent-crime rate has been cut in half since the crack cocaine epidemic hit its peak in 1991...
Throughout Kessler and Hee Lee's article they pick apart each of Trump's accusations and claims, spotting anecdote for what it is, and highlighting how Trump is getting the numbers on tax rates, immigration, and employment wrong. But Trump won't care. He will keep shilling those statements because he needs to keep convincing voters that things are worse than they are and that HE can save us.

It's been said before that the Republicans do not live in the real world. In RepublicanLand, the liberals are destroying everything and Obama is a Secret Muslim selling us out to terrorists and corporations need tax cuts and deregulations before they can hire everybody back (without any healthcare benefits or minimum wage requirements). Now, they have Trump putting his trademark name on that property, without caring how Trump's brand never really sells and collapses into bankruptcy before any buildings are even started.

And this isn't even getting into the shitshow Trump threatens to bring to our foreign policy needs and what he threatens to do with our existing alliances that have STABILIZED - in spite of the War on Terror - our world for more than a half-century. Adam Silverman's article linked here should wake people up to the danger Trump presents.

And of course, the media elites will swarm and applaud because they have to, lest Trump and the Far Right throw another conniption about how "biased" and "unfair" the "liberal media" will be. So of course the pundits will line up and say "well that wasn't TOO EVIL a speech" or will argue that Trump has finally pivoted to the Center and can actually win in Nove... cough cough BLLLAARRRRRGGGG... Jesus, I can't even write that without vomiting in disgust.

No. Just no. Not ever. Not Trump. NOT TRUMP.

How the HELL is Trump even polling above 35 percent? How the HELL IS TRUMP EVEN POLLING ABOVE THE CRAZIFICATION MARK AT 27 PERCENT?!?!

/despair

GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT, DEMOCRATS. Every single registered Democrat in the nation needs to show up this November 8th and VOTE against Trump. I don't care if you've got a grudge against Hillary. Half that shit about her isn't even REAL, so why the hell are those lies bothering you? JUST VOTE FOR HER DAMMIT.

GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT, NO-PARTY AFFILIATES. Every single one of us in the nation needs to show up this November 8th and VOTE against Trump. I'd prefer it was a vote FOR Hillary, but the key thing here is FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT VOTE TRUMP.

GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT, LIBERTARIANS. Christ, I can't believe I'm asking you guys to show up. But damn, your guy Gary Johnson is at LEAST reasonable and sane compared to Trump.

GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT, GREENS. I'd rather you vote for Hillary, because your demographic pulls away votes from Dems more than Republicans, but the key thing again is DAMMIT DO NOT VOTE TRUMP.

And Republicans? I'D RATHER YOU STAY AT HOME THIS NOVEMBER 8TH. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING, VOTING THIS CON ARTIST INTO THE RACE?! DAMN YOU. If you have the nerve to show up to vote, fine, so be it. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SANE AND HOLY AND REAL PLEASE DO NOT VOTE TRUMP. Vote Johnson, if anything. Just please NOT TRUMP. Not ever Trump.

This shit is insane and scary and wrong.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tonight

Don't forget this, Americans:

Tonight, this bloated, narcissistic, preening, arrogant, ignorant, sexist, racist son of a bitch was the BEST the Republicans can offer to this nation as our potential Leader of the Free World.

Why the hell is even polling above 27 percent?

I mean, seriously, time and again I railed against this guy. And I'm not the only one who has.

Donald Trump is going to be a disaster if he gets even within ten feet of the Oval Office.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

One Small Step for Man... One... Giant Leap For MTV

July 20. The pinnacle of humanity's engineering endeavors.


Too bad MTV stopped being a music video channel. What happa, you used to be beautiful...

Oh, the other thing. Yeah, we launched men to the moon and brought them back. We stopped going because the costs of traveling there were too high and the benefits too few. But once we get feasible artificial gravity generators and a working warp drive, shouldn't be a problem...

Just remember, the moon landing also gave us one of the most mind-blowing, wistful, funny moments in modern television history:


The best things in life are free. /handwave