Friday, September 30, 2016

She's REALLY Not Going to be Into Trump At All, Late Election Cycle Version

So I wake up this morning, actually in the mood to rage about a moronic Congress - just blogged about it a second ago - and I immediately find myself conflicted about what to write, because Trump - being the narcissistic monster that he is - went and Tweeted a series of delightful anecdotal meanderings about the nature of the cosmos ahem a series of angry twitterbombs about the women ruining his brand name:

I didn't actually see his Tweets, as I have him blocked, but I saw the responses from those I follow so I tracked back and saw these missives. And, yes, I headdesked.

My immediate response, via Twitter as well:

You might ask, "well what is the difference between a Dick and an Asshole?" I'll share a link that kinda explains it quickly, and concur by pointing out that a Dick is someone who intentionally - sometimes violently, but always maliciously - acts in a demeaning way towards others while an Asshole is a self-centered self-serving jerk.

It's rare to find a person who can be both at the same time, so in this regard this is a moment that should be long remembered. Just not fondly, because Trump is doing this in the worst way possible.

Today was the culmination of the fallout from last Monday's debate, when Hillary pummeled Trump on a lot of points and ended up hitting him with a broadside about his flagrant misogyny when it comes to women who work for him. She brought up one of the models who worked for him Miss Universe 1996 - the year he took over that pageant - Alicia Machado and how he went out of his way to insult her physique: Trump deemed her too fat and shamed her into making public displays of exercise. Trump objected to Hillary's attack and tried to deflect it by stammering over his other public fights with women, but didn't really have a coherent argument.

What happened next was avoidable to anyone who understands politics. Hillary bringing up Trump's horrid mistreatment of Machado - this is fat? She's gorgeous - was a clear trap to make Trump angry enough to retaliate. It's a common tactic in campaigning - Trump needled his Primary opponents much the same way - well back to even before the days of LBJ's mudslinging: "Make the other sonofabitch deny it." The smart move is to ignore it, offer a correction, and move on.

Trump did worse than deny it: He doubled down. His follow-up interviews on Fox Not-News and elsewhere had him praising himself for being rude and insulting to his Miss Universe, that he did a good thing fat-shaming her like that, and besides she was still ugly and worthless to boot. And now he's gone full misogynist, attacking her for perceived sexual dalliances - the so-called Sex Tape is her rolling under bedsheets with a guy on a reality show and there's nothing explicit, I swear certain Disney movies are more kinky oh whoops I really shouldn't say THAT - as though slut-shaming her will drive from the public stage.

Then there’s the Machado tweets. Four days after Trump debate Clinton, he is still consumed by his anger at a woman who was Miss Universe in the 1990s. Or, to put that in demographic terms, Trump is still  insulting a Latina woman and calling attention to the fact that he called her fat with just a month left until an election, when he trails Clinton badly among Latinas and women. And he’s doing so at the cost of attacking his opponent, at a time when she is seeing a rebound in the polls.

Trump doesn't really get it when it comes to women. Considering how many men among his Inner Circle - Newt, Ailes, Giuliani, all of them thrice-married twice-divorced hypocrites of sexual stupidity - also don't get it, this is going to make this the nasty part of the final leg of the campaign.

Trump's outrage is fueled by a spoiled, narcissistic view of women as Objects, as pretty things that need to dangle from him to make himself more attractive as an (wannabe) Alpha Male. The second a wife no longer appeals to him, she's out the door (often in a humiliating fashion). He has a need to stand surrounded by beautiful women - his obsession with models and beauty pageants - as a means of showing off his success. His view of Machado as "fat" was his anger at "her" perceived failing to match "his" physical ideal, which drove his desire to punish her with public humiliation and consistent scorn.

His tweets to call on Republicans - many of them self-described Christian moralists - to hunt down "sex tapes" so he can embarrass his ex-model victim is both ironic and clueless.

And if Trump thinks he can set himself up now to attack Hillary - not herself, but husband Bill's sexual history - he's ignoring two things. One: Hillary's already prepared for that, she had to knowing full well - hello, Vast Right Wing Conspiracy media! - this storm would come. Two: Hillary AND Bill already weathered this same storm back in the 1990s... and they came out more popular than their attackers. A majority of Americans saw the Republicans going after Bill over the Lewinsky affair as hypocritical witch-hunters who overplayed their hand: This is key, a majority of women sympathized with Hillary and forgave her stance aside her unfaithful husband because many of them saw themselves in her place.

There may be polls showing women may not fully trust or support Hillary, but the numbers are high enough to hint she's winning that bloc. There's more than enough stories online about how other women - suffering in the slights of Glass Ceilings and mansplaining and Gods help us another hundred cuts of Male Ego - recognize Hillary for what she represents: the first sledgehammer to that Glass Ceiling.

I've said it before and will say it again: The real scandal of the Republicans' fall from power this decade is how they've squandered and demeaned women voters into abandoning them. For all the talk about the ethnic votes - how the GOP lost Blacks entirely to the Democrats, and this election cycle they're about to lose Latinos and Asians for good - it's been the ebb in the gender vote that will kill the Republicans.

This is what I said last time:

Here's a nasty little secret about our electoral system... there are more women voters (76 million) than men (66 million). Pissing off the majority of voters that participate in the general election is not a sound campaign strategy. And if there's any issue that can unite women, it's being treated like dirt by a misogynist bastard.

That's Trump: Being the misogynist bastard. Going out of his way to treat women like dirt, and crowing about it.

If women vote at the same percentage they hate Trump - around 70 percent - that's 53 million votes for Hillary (or maybe Stein or Johnson, but let's face it most of that's going for Hillary) right off the bat. Getting 98 percent of the Black vote or 80 percent of the Latino vote - oh man, the Cuba story has to wait for another blog article - or 60 percent of the College-Educated White vote would be nice and pad out the numbers for Democrats. But we're talking about the kind of votes that will cut away from any Republican ballot.

And it should. The last series of election cycles since 2008 - including midterms - has shown an increasingly hostile Republican agenda towards women (not just abortion, other issues that matter to them like education, wages, and child care). Remember Todd Akin, and the Republican Party's overall inability to treat rape as the serious crime it is? Remember how Rush Limbaugh tried to slut-shame Sandra Fluke, and ended up costing his radio network billions in lost ad revenue? This has all been building up, and Trump is adding on a shit-ton of bricks (enough to build a you-know-what) to make things worse.

I hope to God that She is merciful enough to have only 79 percent of all women voters side with Hillary this November. It will probably win for the Democrats every state except Wyoming... maybe Alabama.

P.S.: Get the vote out, Democrats. This election matters. 


You know, at some point you kinda have to stop saying "Worst Congress Ever" because the downward spiral has to end and genuine competent leadership somehow earns its way behind the driver's seat of the national bus.

But not this week.

And this was a special kind of stupid on display: the Bipartisan version where both parties in Congress committed a collective brain fart. Granted, I'm going to end up yelling at the Republicans more BECAUSE THEY'RE THE IDIOTS IN CHARGE OF THE WHOLE CAPITOL BUILDING but still, credit where credit's due the Democrats were a bunch of morons about this too...

What exactly is getting my last nerve frazzled?

This (per the Atlantic):

The enactment on Wednesday of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act should have been a triumphant moment for Republican leaders in Congress. They had succeeded, after years of trying, in overriding a presidential veto for the first time and forcing a bill into law over the strenuous objections of Barack Obama.

Just remember, Obama objected to the bill.

“It appears as if there may be some unintended ramifications,” McConnell lamented at a press conference barely 24 hours after all but one senator voted to reject the president’s veto of the legislation, which would allow victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. court. On the other side of the Capitol, Ryan said that he hoped there could be a “fix” to the very law he allowed to pass through the House—one that would protect U.S. soldiers abroad from legal retribution that the Obama administration had warned for months would follow as a result of the law.

Just remember, Obama's administration warned for months there were legal ramifications that Congress - made up of lawmakers who are supposed to UNDERSTAND the law and its ramifications - needed to consider about this bill.

...How could a Congress plagued by gridlock pass legislation with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, initiate a rare veto override, and then immediately voice regret about the problems the new law might cause?
The answer is a mix of sensitive 9/11 politics, an unusually powerful bipartisan alliance, election-year timing, and a heavy dose of mistrust and miscommunication between two branches of government that rarely see eye to eye.

Also known as the Perfect Bullshit Storm.

For years, victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families have pushed for a change in the law that would exempt acts of terrorism on U.S. soil from the principle of sovereign immunity, which prevents lawsuits against foreign governments and officials in American court. The families want to sue the Saudi government for damages over its alleged ties to the 9/11 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi citizens. The Saudis have denied any involvement, and as CIA Director John Brennan made clear on Wednesday, the U.S. government has backed up their denial...
...The 9/11 families had two influential senators in their corner: Charles Schumer of New York, likely the next Democratic leader, and John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican. With their backing, a revised version of the bill cleared the Judiciary Committee in the spring and then passed the full Senate on a voice vote—a rarity for legislation that drew such vociferous opposition from the White House. Any senator could have objected, but then as now, none wanted to go on record against a proposal billed as “justice for 9/11 families.” 

Political Courage at its finest, across the board, which is why I'm none too happy with Democrats about this mess. Just for the record, Schumer should be barred from any leadership role with the Senate Democrats regardless of minority or majority seating, just on this craven stupidity alone.

...Yet because the legislation first passed the Senate without debate, many members only became aware of the administration’s concerns in the last several weeks after Congress returned from a long summer recess. The House passed the bill in similar fashion—without much debate—two weeks ago, and Obama returned it with a veto message last Friday.
“This is a bill that should have been given a greater airing,” Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland told me on Thursday. “It was not on my radar screen until after the train was leaving the station. The next thing I know, it’s on the president’s desk.” Cardin is no backbencher; he is the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and along with the panel’s chairman, Bob Corker of Tennessee, he spent the last several days scrambling to work out a compromise with the Obama administration that would have kept the bill, as written, from becoming law. Time ran out this week, however, as McConnell decided to bring up the veto-override vote just before lawmakers left to campaign for reelection.

This is where the sins of letting Congress set its own vacation schedule - itself an insane process where they take so many days off NOTHING REALLY GETS DONE - have come back to bite these morons on the ass.

Either way, neither Democrats nor Republicans objected to the vote, and the 97-1 tally was an overwhelming rebuke of the White House. Only Harry Reid, the retiring Democratic leader, supported the president’s veto. Vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine wasn’t in town to vote, but following the lead of Hillary Clinton, he said he would have gone against Obama and overturned the veto. Hours later, the House voted 348-77 to make the bill a law.

And why, exactly, was this override a bad thing?

Appearing at a CNN veterans forum Wednesday night, Obama called the override “a mistake” motivated by lawmakers’ understandable concerns about emotional 9/11 politics and the looming election. He reiterated the objections he outlined in his three-page veto message—that by overturning sovereign immunity even for terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, Congress could be exposing U.S. personnel to lawsuits and other legal action all across the globe. Under current law, the U.S. government can exempt a country from sovereign immunity by having the State Department designate it as a state sponsor of terrorism (which it has not done for Saudi Arabia). “This is taking that out of our military and our intelligence and the hands of our national-security professionals and putting it into the courts,” Obama said. “And that’s a mistake.”

Hence the Congressional leaders' sudden outpouring of "Oh Crap" about the law they just confirmed. All of a sudden a lot of survivors from Iraq and Afghanistan are getting emails and faxes from lawyers up and down the National Geographic atlas.

This is what happens when you get a combination of partisan brinksmanship, localized pandering (Schumer playing to his voter base back in NYC), and outright ignorance of the consequences by those who should know better about the law they are supposed to craft.

And while I admit both parties are to blame, I'm still aiming most of my ire at the idiots among the Republican leadership. It's THEIR House and Senate they control, it's THEIR rules for getting bills passed, it's THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY ARE DOING.

And of course, these damned Republican leaders, such profiles of leadership, are blaming Obama instead of themselves:

For their part, Republicans blamed the White House for waiting too long to warn lawmakers about the bill’s “potential consequences,” as McConnell put it. “That was, it seems to me, an example of a failure to communicate on a piece of legislation that was obviously very popular,” the Majority Leader told reporters.

I'm sorry, Mitch, but what part of those tidbits I highlighted - that the Obama administration had warned for months, and He reiterated the objections he outlined in his three-page veto message - did you NOT FUCKING NOTICE? Did you even READ Obama's veto notes? Aren't you required in your duty to, you know, get an inkling of what your political opponents are talking about just you can adequately rebuke them? Weren't you at all worried about the military and intel people - the ones who are actually part of a civil service that tries to remain nonpartisan - yelling at Congress "HOLY SHIT YOU MORONS DON'T PASS THIS BILL"?

YOU FAILED, MITCH, YOU FAILED TO DO YOUR OWN DAMN JOB. Blaming Obama for your own idiocy is no excuse.

Swear to God, every Congressional moron responsible for this shitshow should apologize to the nation on bended knee or resign, and yes I will say both sides. Starting with the morons at top - McConnell and Ryan - and work our way down to any intern caught abusing the vending snack machines. I don't care if that Milky Way bar is overpriced at $4.25 a pop, it's your damn fault you live in a metro with an excessively high cost-of-living.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Telling Tales Out of School

I got into a brief conversation on Twitter about the stories now floating out there about Trump's business practices.

I never fully worked in the private sector - I've mostly been a librarian, that's public sector, any private sector gig has been as part-timer wage slave - so it kind of stuns me that there's no shared or collaborative awareness of who the good guys and bad guys are in the business world.

It boils down to the concept of "telling tales out of school," an old phrase about giving up confidential hush-hush information about somebody that you might not wanna do (unless you want the reputation of being a snitch). Like Octavia's Daughter points out, going public by bad mouthing a client could have been bad for business overall (future clients might want confidentiality).

The thing, I've got a solid point here: Trump has a consistent history of intentionally ripping people off.

Trump would hire contractors, get the service done, then complain about the finished product and refuse to pay. He would draw it out with the lawyers up to the point where he knows the contractors needs money to pay off their own debts and force them to take less, killing any profit those contractors could expect. Some of those contractors had to go into bankruptcy themselves.

His own Presidential campaign has generated tales about his refusing to pay out money he promised to charities, to providers, to state agencies. He's currently getting sued by a troupe of girl performers who sang at his rallies, for God's sake.

And as far as we can go with the "telling tales out of school" phrase, there's no finer example than Trump University.

And to Trump, it's just "good business."

This is a man who does not respect anyone else's rights or needs to be well-paid for services rendered.

Do you honestly think he's going to stop thinking like that the second he enters the Oval Office?

We're talking about a man who'll likely empty out the federal coffers faster than Speedy Gonzales emptying out a cheese factory. (No offense to Speedy Gonzales, and besides he raids the cheese factory to feed the starving villagers)

It's good that the stories are getting out there now, during a period that our voters can realize that Trump isn't a successful businessman, he's a successful thief. But it bothers me that someone like Trump was allowed to operate like this for over 40 years and got away with it. Shouldn't some requirement of business ethics DEMAND that a crook of Trump's venality be hauled into the spotlight for his sins long ago? Before it got worse?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This Needs More Coverage: Native Americans Regaining Some Balance In the World

Over at Washington Monthly Nancy LeTourneau describes this historic moment:

In that clip Obama said he would host an annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in order to give Native Americans a seat at the table, and he said this:
We’re going to end nearly a century of mismanagement of Indian trusts. We’re going to work together to settle unresolved cases, figure out how the trusts ought to operate, and ensure that they are begin managed responsibly.
This week the White House held its 8th and final Tribal Nations Conference (note: I hope it's not final, the next President should continue them), while the Attorney General and Secretary of the Interior made an historic announcement.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that, as a result of an initiative begun in the summer of this year, the United States has reached settlement with 17 additional tribal governments who alleged that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury had mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribes. With these resolutions, the Obama Administration will have settled the vast majority of the outstanding claims, some dating back more than a century, with more than 100 tribes and totaling over $3.3 billion…
In April 2012, the Justice and Interior Departments announced more than $1 billion in settlements with 41 federally-recognized tribes for similar claims, the result of nearly two years of negotiations, between 2009 and the 2012 announcement, the Departments of Justice and of the Interior had settled with six other tribes. Since April 2012, the United States has reached settlement for claims of 57 additional tribes – including 17 reached after negotiations this summer and early fall – for an additional $1.9 billion, following through on its commitment to bring to an end, honorably and fairly, this protracted litigation that has burdened both the plaintiffs and the United States.
Ending these long-running disputes about the United States’ management of trust funds and non-monetary trust resources will allow the United States and the tribes to move beyond the distrust exacerbated by years of litigation. These settlement agreements represent a significant milestone in the improvement of the United States’ relationship with Indian tribes...

One of America's sorriest legacies has been the mistreatment of the native tribes that had been pushed out and marginalized by the ever-expanding United States. The Trail of Tears. Sand Creek. Wounded Knee. That legacy continued to this day through a horrific policy of holding back on funds due these tribes - derived from land-use like oil pumping and mining rights - based on long-standing treaties that our nation - until now - refused to respect.

It had been a long-running scandal that the Bureau of Indian Affairs didn't uphold its duties, allowing various forms of corruption to seep into such things as the casino industry - which can operate on Indian lands - and keeping a lot of Native Americans in extreme poverty.

I'd like to keep up with these stories, of how Obama's administration is resetting the field so to speak, make sure that all those billions of dollars goes towards land restoration, improvements in local municipalities and water/sewage, improved health and education for Native families, all of that. This is a moment to turn around over 200 years of bad policy towards the original tenants of this nation, and fulfill the idea that from the many nations we form the one.

Florida Ballot Amendments 2016: Four More Reasons to Show Up AND VOTE, PEOPLE

Welcome back to yet another ANOTHER installment - it's 2016 the Year of Celebrity Deaths - of "Florida's Voting For WHAT This November?"

This is primarily focusing on the state amendments on the ballot, that if passed by more than 60 percent of the vote get incorporated into the state's constitution. There's two types: ballot initiatives from the citizenry and legislative initiatives from Tall Hassle Tallahassee. So it's imperative to review who's backing what and determine whether or not Florida will actually benefit from the proposal.

This DOES NOT include any review of the Pasco Mosquito Control Board seats, I'll post something about the candidate votes later.

All links bounce to the Ballotpedia site:

This citizens-based amendment basically lets Florida residents produce their own solar energy - through buying or leasing equipment - if they choose. It also allows state and local governments to "protect" those who won't produce solar energy from being required to subsidize any solar energy generation.

It's that second part that bothers me. It's worded to where it would grant the state or county or city governments the power to block any solar energy plans that would - and usually DOES - require subsidizing (i.e., funds from other resources). It can grant a government agency representing something - like, oh, a regional utility company - the power to force all leasing or purchasing of solar equipment from just that one utility (who can then charge exorbitant fees). The opponents arguing against this ballot measure are pointing out how this actually creates an expensive, state-backed monopoly on energy alternatives. 

It's clear when you look at the ballot-backer - a PAC called "Consumers for Smart Solar" - gets funds from major utilities like Duke Energy that the people looking to profit from this amendment's passage are NOT doing so in the people's best interests. I'd actually vote NO against this measure and wait for something better to show.

Amendment 2: Medical Marijuana


The previous attempt at passing a medical marijuana amendment in 2014 barely missed the 60 percent cutoff, so the bill's backers are hoping a strong turnout this cycle - when there's a Presidential election on the line - will bring in enough voters to break that barrier.

The arguments basically remain the same. Proponents view this as a sensible means of granting licensed doctors the power to help pain relief and other medical disorders that can be treated with marijuana. Opponents just hate pot and fear this will open up to recreational drug abuse.

The amendment makes it clear this grants DOCTORS the power to proscribe the drug - much like they could for any other pharmaceutical - and still reflect on the federal guideline that puts Marijuana under a restrictive Class I status.

What I said back in 2014 is what I'll say today:

I'm not a drug user.  I don't use marijuana (although I've known people who have).  I don't smoke nicotine cigarettes (which is more lethal than marijuana yet regulated by the feds).  I don't drink any alcohol, not even wine (again, in excess alcohol can be lethal, yet is still regulated by the feds).  I don't want to see any substance abuse of any kind for kids under 18 (in alcohol's case, the age limit is 21).  These are personal preferences for me.  Yet I don't see the severe harm of marijuana.  The death rate from pot overdose is non-existent: the amount of ingested THC (the chemical that makes marijuana the weed we know today) needed to overdose is thousands of times higher than the regular rate of ingestion.  Nearly every pot smoker just smokes one a day: it would take 20,000 of those rolls in one sitting to kill one smoker.  Even pot brownies - arguably more potent - doesn't have enough THC in it to cause death (diabetes, though...)
This is an amendment worth passing. I'm giving this a huge thumbs up YES.

This is one of those legislative-backed amendments that the Far Right Republicans want to push as a means of tax-cutting without actually get held accountable for tax-cutting.

It's specifically for "First Responders, totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from ad valorem taxes assessed on homestead property." It adds onto the existing Homestead Exemption, I would figure, and would reduce the amount of state and county/municipal taxes raised on residential property.

It doesn't provide tax relief to a lot of people - just the firefighters, cops, medics, or other emergency personnel - disabled/injured in the line of duty. So it doesn't benefit many and it doesn't cut back on a lot of tax revenues, so it's barely beneficial AND barely harmful. There's almost no argument for or against this amendment, which makes it almost neutral in terms of political partisanship. I'm still not a fan of these exemption amendments, so I'd vote No. I'd actually consider a broader-based amendment that would prove more beneficial to more people. I'll expect it to pass simply because enough Floridians won't see the harm in this amendment much like the other exemption amendments they passed in previous years.

Amendment 4: Tax Exemptions for Solar Panels

This already passed: for some reason it was put on the August primary ballot rather than the general election, and garnered about 72 percent of the vote. So... moot point.

Another legislative-backed deal, this one specifically geared for seniors with "homes valued at less than $250,000 owned by individuals over the age of 65 who have lived in the home for at least 25 years. The exemptions would also be available to permanently disabled veterans aged 65 or older and surviving spouses of veterans, or First Responders who died in the line of duty. Seniors would be able to keep their tax exemption even if their home value exceeded $250,000 in the future."

It does have a cutoff for houses worth more than $250,000 which tends to be the average market rate for a 3-4 bedroom homes with garages and indoor plumbing.

It's one of those fluffy-feed-good amendments that make it difficult to contest. Arguably you need to give seniors tax breaks as they're on fixed incomes in retirement, and they do need to afford living in their homes they've owned for ages. My problem with this amendment is that it grandfathers in (pun unavoidable) any homeowner whose property value DOES go up in the foreseeable future. Once it's exempt it's for the life of the homeowner(s). Which could dramatically affect county or city or school board tax collections for much-needed revenues.

Again, I'd argue No on this amendment because it's another questionable attempt to restrict agencies from any revenues to, you know, pay for things while benefiting just a select few residents. Granted, it's not benefiting the uber-rich homeowners, it's just one more paper cut by the Republicans against the state.

So that's my review of the amendments. Yes on 2, No on 1 and No on 3 and No on 5.

Also, a big No on Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott, just because it needs saying.

Thank ye.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Gravity of the Situation

(Update: Thanks as always for the link, Infidel!)

So last night was the debate. I was planning on going to a watch party but I came down with the sore throat bug (tis the season) and forced myself to stay home and livetweet #Gotham before livetweeting #debatenight

Gonna see if I can share some of my tweets:

well you can see who liked THIS one.
Cough. Excuse me, head cold. More tweets from last night:

It's enough to make a man sick. Twice.

Lemme just share from Balloon Juice about last night:

If you didn’t watch last night, rest assured: Hillary did a fine job, and Donald Trump… repeated all his Greatest Hits from the Rallies bits. He didn’t lose a single member of his devoted “base”, but he sniffled, lied, talked over the woman on the stage, claimed that America is a job-leaking hellhole which every filthy brown terrorist can’t wait to invade, lied some more, contradicted the African-American moderator (while lying), sniffled, called President Obama “your president”, took credit for “settling” the birtherism issue, and by every metric and “optic” looked like a coked-up, aging con artist in a bad suit rambling about “the nuclear” and “the cyber”...

Trump's own physical appearance became a liability. The tweets about his constant sniffling - which brought up jokes about his being sick, or else jokes about cocaine being a hell of a drug, and both - and his wilting on-stage became brutal and unavoidable. Per Drezner at the Washington Post:

The most interesting thing, however, was that as the debate went along, Clinton got stronger and Trump got weaker. A look at the debate transcript suggests that Trump’s answers got more rambling and more incoherent toward the end of the debate. Clinton remained her steady self...
...By the end of the debate, after 95 minutes of petulance, Trump claimed that he had a great temperament. The audience spontaneously laughed in response.
Presidential debates are tough, but being the president is tougher. And my main takeaway from tonight’s debate is that Donald Trump doesn’t have the stamina to last four years as America’s commander in chief. Or, as Clinton put it: “I think — I think — I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be President. And I think that’s a good thing.”


As Drezner notes: Can you picture Trump lasting four years in the White House? Not just in terms of stamina but in terms of focus and dedication to the job. He's all over the place, uncontrollable and undisciplined. Bush "Strategery" the Lesser handled himself better at these final-round debates, and that's saying something.

There was the expectation that because of the weak Republican primaries - where Trump's opponents were terrified to whack at him, leaving him unbruised - he'd flail and fail at a debate where his opponent - Hi, Madam President! - would actually punch back. And while Hillary did land a few blows, the real shocking thing is that a lot of Trump's wounds were self-inflicted. His own appearance defeated him (which begs the possibility he's going to refuse to show up to the next two he's supposed to do).

Of course, the big takeaway from last night is... that this will not greatly affect the polling or the amount of support Trump is getting from his GOP base. The horror that at the very least Trump is getting 40 percent of the vote will not go away (not unless he eats a live baby on-stage or something). The best to hope for is that the remnants of the Undecideds or the moderate Indy voters are now - hopefully and finally - terrified of Trump and will boost Hillary over 45-50 percent and in enough swing states to ensure an Electoral College stomping.

Hope hope hope.

What should happen here is a switch in the Narrative that the Beltway prides itself on: That is, that the Beltway insiders are "always right" and plugged-in to the "real power-brokers" with real news. There may still be a push for "both sides!" false equivalence to force their ongoing lust for a horse race, but we should see a major shift in the tone among the media elites towards highlighting the sins, flaws, and outright lies of Trump and his handlers.

But will that all happen?

Here's where my hope turns to despair. For more than a year we've seen Trump campaign exactly in this manner: Shameless, reckless, lying, self-serving, arrogant, noisy, inhuman, insane. Everything he did last night was a greatest hits version of every horror Trump displayed on the campaign trail... and in all those previous disasters, Trump's numbers went up. He kept moving, he kept lying, he kept winning in the worst ways. That shamelessness is key: Most other politicians would never sink to the levels Trump does, because they are actually concerned about their reputation and their futures. Trump doesn't care: He believes his reputation is flawless - hint: it's not - and his soul unblemished, so he continues to behave this way because nobody stops him and because too many people buy into his con game.

The normal dynamics of an election cycle tells us that what happened to Trump tonight would sink any campaign. The law of gravity regarding any single gaffe requires that Trump sinks below his support and fades into zero. But that has not happened to him yet: And after all of the failures and insults and chaos, Trump keeps gaining ground he should not gain. I've seriously begun worrying that either the polls are rigged or that there really are that many clueless voters buying into Trump's scam.

It would be pretty to think that Trump sinks to 33 percent support by the end of the week, and that Hillary regains solid leads in swing states like Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, and that even Georgia and Missouri and Arizona become Leans Blue with some happy relief on my part.

But does political gravity work the way it used to?

Sunday, September 25, 2016


If I had to compare the two major Presidential candidates to previous office-holders - so that people could see what the potential administration would be like after 2017 - I'd have to go like this.

To compare Donald Trump to three previous Presidents, in reverse chronological order, I'd go:

George W. Bush. AKA Bush the Lesser.

Even though Dubya did have a Positive outlook on the role of the Presidency - and came into the office with enough experience to at least fake competency (until it was too late) - he shares with Trump one glaring sin: Sheer ignorance of the real world when it comes to making informed decisions. Trump as President will get caught flat-footed and clueless on far too many crisis moments, making bad decisions and even no decisions allowing emergencies to turn into disasters. Anything along the lines of a Katrina can happen, and on a greater scale.

Richard Nixon.

Just on the constant lying alone, Nixon and Trump are soul brothers. In other details, Trump has a recklessness when it comes to delegating authority to untrustworthy underlings. Trump has clearly made enemies and has made it known he'll use the White House to inflict revenge. Whereas Nixon at least grasped foreign policy and to my knowledge worked with our allies as well as our opponents, Trump never will. And Nixon did show a level of bipartisanship with Congress to pass legislation and get things done: even with a fully Republican Congress there is a likelihood Trump's ego will burn too many legislators.

Andrew Jackson.

I know this is a bit of reach going back that far, but honestly in terms of temperament Jackson is a very good example to suggest how a Trump Presidency would look. Jackson led with his massive and angry ego: every political issue he made a personal matter, and obsessively went after the institutions to fulfill his Populist agenda without care or concern of the consequences. Jackson had a slash-and-burn mentality that wrecked his own party, creating political divisions that haunted the nation for decades afterward. Trump will lead the same way. Consider also Jackson's horrific record mistreating Native Americans, and you have a carbon copy with Trump's open hostility to Blacks, Mexican, Chinese, and Muslims.

To compare Hillary Clinton to three previous Presidents, in reverse chronological order, I'd go:

Bill Clinton.

The guy standing next to her at most formal functions and the dude to make the history books as the first President to be the First Husband. Where I listed Bill as an Active-Positive, Hillary will not share his skill set as an effective bipartisan deal-maker. Bill is also effective and inspirational as a speaker, able to speak to the issues with a touch that few modern politicians can master. Hillary does share Bill's empathetic nature, but hasn't established a style that can display it well. With Bill in the same White House as hers, he will become an invaluable advisor able to keep her focused on positive agenda while she pushes with a more aggressive style he deployed.


The most direction comparison I can make for Hillary. They share a lot of traits: the need for control, the need to prove him/herself, stubbornness disguising itself as will-to-power, the noticeable insecurities of being in someone else's more popular shadow (for LBJ that was FDR and Kennedy: for Hillary that's Obama and her own husband). Johnson was one of the better Presidents when it came to getting bills through Congress even against incredible odds. Hillary will have the same temperament to get the job done, and has enough understanding of how Congress works - having been a Senator - to follow in LBJ's footsteps. The problem here is that Hillary's stubbornness and Us vs. Them mentality she's displayed before as First Lady (her handling of the 1993 Health Care bill failures) is exactly akin to Johnson's: it's the same kind of mindset that led to Vietnam turning into a quagmire and Johnson's own Great Society agenda turning into a bureaucratic mess.

Harry S, Truman.

The direct comparisons aren't noticeable because Truman's more Active-Positive mindset towards governance conflicts with Hillary's more Active-Negative world-view. However, they share a handful of virtues topped off by driven dedication to homework and awareness of the issues at play. Truman governed with a Confident style, which is what Hillary can aspire to as opposed to a more confrontational one.

So, that's how I see the candidates.

Trump will be the next Dubya, the next Nixon, the next Jackson. Each one of them leaving legacies of economic and political disasters. There are no upsides here. No likelihood of improvement or effective leadership, and every likelihood of civil unrest and economic collapse.

Hillary will be much like her husband Bill, and like Johnson, and hopefully in her better moments another Truman. At her worst she'll be another LBJ coping with a morally dubious debacle that could sink her administration. At her best she'll be maintaining a solid yet underperforming economy with a few foreign policy wins, overseeing  Left-leaning shift in the Judicial system, and in strong position to earn a second term in 2020.

Friday, September 23, 2016

If I Were Moderating the Presidential Debate Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump September 26 2016

If it were me as moderator this coming Monday night, these are the questions I would ask Trump:

1) Why did you use your non-profit Trump Foundation to pay out for things related to your for-profit businesses? Were you aware that you were violating certain laws when you did so?

2) The IRS has informed the media that their audits on your tax returns DO NOT interfere with your obligation to the voting public to reveal said tax returns over at least the previous decade. Other candidates, including Senator Clinton here, have released their tax returns in part or full. Why are you hiding your tax returns from the voters?

3) You’re currently accusing Hillary Clinton of being the one who instigated the entire Birther movement that falsely accused Barack Obama of not being a natural-born citizen of the United States. But Senator Clinton is on official record from her 2008 campaign calling such accusations ludicrous and much of the Birther movement has been tied to Republicans and those on the Far Right, those who openly repudiate Clinton as much as they do Obama. Sir, WHY ARE YOU LYING ABOUT YOUR OWN BIRTHER BULLSHIT?

4) Please justify every bankruptcy filing for your failed businesses.

5) You’ve recently gone public with the belief that the “Stop And Frisk” program by city and county law enforcement should go nationwide, even though studies have proven that Stop and Frisk DOES NOT REDUCE CRIME and even though the courts have ruled that Stop And Frisk is Unconstitutional for its skewed racial bias. Why are you being a total dick about this?

If it were me as moderator this coming Monday night, these are the questions I would ask Hillary:

1) Can you believe the chutzpah on this guy accusing you of shit you didn't do?

2) Why aren't you speaking out more aggressively at the corporate criminals committing banking fraud and insane price hikes on pharmaceuticals?

3) Seriously, this guy? Beat the crap out of him at the polls, Hillary.

If it were me as moderator this coming Monday night, these are the questions I would ask the American voters:



Why I Didn't Come Up With a Drinking Game for the Trump/Clinton Debate September 2016

I created drinking games early on in 2015 for the Republican and Democratic primary debates, but not for the one that's coming up next week.

It's because back then it was funny and caustic and there was a sense of how much of a circus the whole thing was. Especially because Trump was going to - and did - go into the debates with a Scorched Earth tactic that made the debates both painful and malicious to watch.

Today, this shit's not funny.

Trump is honestly one vote away from the White House and the unlimited damage he could do in the Executive branch.

That doesn't require a game for drinking. Not one damn bit.

Stay sober, America. SOBER UP DAMN QUICK and stay that way for November, because it is up to you now. Every voter, sane and sober, needs to show up and stop Trump.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Trump Voters: The Coal Rollers of the 2016 Election

It has been a serious question for over the last year: Just who is a Trump voter?

Well, we've known the answer for almost the same amount of time, but it's only just now - because we're ticking closer to Armageddon Day and Trump isn't floundering in the polls like he should - that we as a nation are able to openly discuss it. Because it's getting to be desperation time and dammit there's still too high a probability that in November this con artist could win.

Let's be blunt. Just who is a Trump voter?

  • A Trump voter is that guy at the drive-through window holding up twenty other cars because he's arguing over the nickels he got back for change instead of dimes.
  • A Trump voter is that guy dumping his lawn cuttings into your yard even after the nine letters from the Homeowners' Association telling him to stop.
  • A Trump voter is that guy you remember from the fifth grade who punched that special needs kid whenever the teachers weren't looking, and then blamed it on the black kid who got suspended for a month.
  • A Trump voter is that guy who puts in "Coal Rollers" into his tank-sized Confederate-flag festooned pickup truck just so he can spew pollutants at everybody he thinks is a wimpy damn dirty librul tree-hugging socialist. This is real, and it's insane: you have to intentionally install one of these things to your diesel vehicle, and you end up wasting fuel and paying more out of your pocket just to do this. IT IS LITERALLY GOING OUT OF YOUR WAY TO BE A DICK.
  • A Trump voter is that guy who's voting for a goddamn ignorant, tiny-fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing shitgibbon just to say "Fuck You" to the entire planet.

It's long past the time to discuss the insanity of Trump supporters in any civil, polite way. We're at the point where Drew Magery - he of the very vocal, very insulting Deadspin articles on the evils of Pro Football Teams (while openly admitting to the hypocrisy of being a Vikes fan) - can write a commentary for a major publication like GQ like this:

Regardless, in the end, people are still gonna vote for this man. Maybe not enough to get him elected, but still: it’ll be in the tens of millions... Nothing that Trump says, no damning piece of Trump reportage, and certainly no opinion piece like this one will stop his voters from pulling the lever. Nor will anything stop Trump from being the officious, brain-dead goon that he is. He will never answer for his crimes, and there’s a frighteningly large portion of the electorate that will always love him for that.
And so I’d just like to say to that portion of the electorate: Fuck you. No, seriously. Go fuck yourselves. I’m not gonna waste any more time trying to convince you that you’re about to do something you’ll regret forever. I’m not gonna show you old clips of Trump saying rotten things. I’m not gonna try to ANNIHILATE Trump by showing you records of his hypocrisy and greed. I’m not gonna link to a John Oliver clip and be like, “THIS. So much this.” Nothing’s gonna take down Trump at this point, so I’m not gonna bother. No no, this post is for ME. I am preaching to the sad little choir in my soul here.
Because while Trump is a miserable bastard, YOU are the people who have handed him the bullhorn. YOU are the people willing to embarrass this nation and put it on the brink of economic ruin all because you wanna throw an electoral hissy fit. YOU are the people who want to revolutionize the way America does business by voting for its worst businessman, a disgusting neon pig who only makes money when he causes problems for other people instead of solving them. YOU are the thin-skinned yokels who clutch your bandoliers whenever someone hurls the mildest of slurs at you (“deplorables”), while cheering Trump on as he leaves a bonfire of truly hateful invective everywhere he goes. YOU are the people willing to overlook the fact that Trump is an unqualified, ignorant sociopath because DURRRR HILLARY IS BAD TOO DURRRR.

There are those Republicans fully aware of the damage Trump will do to the nation and the world and still vote for him because they're too hardwired in to vote Republican no matter what. Those I have some sympathy for, because they're like those Borg infectees who're still free-thinking enough to understand the fate dooming them, and there's still that part of them begging for mercy as they uncontrollably pencil in the ballot with what they know is death for everyone.

Then there are those who are jumping into this with eyes opened and minds closed. They've been given every warning that Trump is a failed businessman with more bankruptcies and bad deals to his brand name (tm) than most people have had hot dinners. They still cheer him. These are the people who go to his rallies and cry out "Jail the bitch!" as loud as possible.

Trump voters are those super-sized pick-ups with the expensive polluting exhausts. They are coal rollers. And they revel in it.

They are not driven by economic anxiety. They are driven by their hate and by their eagerness to make everybody else as miserable as they are.

Trump voters know. They know exactly who and what they are voting for this 2016.

And they don't care.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Breaking Radio Silence (For Now)

Okay, so I taught the "How to E-Publish" class even with the unfinished novel, and left it in DRAFT mode since I didn't need to complete the upload process, so the ebook isn't really on the market (yet).

But I might as well finish the damn thing because I got a book cover for it.

One of the things I teach is the importance of having a book cover: it has to be eye-catching and it has to fit the format that the epublish site requires (pixel size and what-not). Creating your own cover is a fool's mission if you're not a professional graphic designer, so I demonstrated in class some of the ebook cover design sites that sell pre-formatted covers you can buy.

There is one site in particular called and it's an incredibly decent deal. Ranging as low as $5 a cover, you can order one up from a graphic designer - some of them able to do it within a DAY - and pre-order any number of revisions  - you'll need more than one to make sure you and the artist are in sync - and get a decent cover for an ebook well within your own personal deadline.

Throw in a $5 tip and I got a book cover for $17. Not shabby.

I ordered a cover from this person leahdesign and for anybody else needing book covers you can start with her.

Meantime, back to bl... WHAT THE F-CK DID TRUMP DO NOW?! /headdesk

Skittles me baby all night long.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Trump Meets Anvil

Today was a Red Trump day, ere the sun rises...

I had to look back to earlier articles from 2009 to remind myself how crazy the Birther movement had been for the Far Right, and yes it was the Far Right who shilled it and ate it up. Like this tidbit:

And so, this isn't about the birth certificate. This is about the Far Right refusing to accept the 2008 election results. This is about the Far Right refusing to wake up from their fantasy-based world (where Bush and Cheney and Rush are GODS, where terrorists possess nukes and the French are cheese-eating surrender monkeys, where there's an endless supply of loans to pay for massive war expenses and unending tax cuts) and re-enter the Reality-Based community (where everything's been broken by 8 years of Bush/Cheney self-serving incompetence and the whole world hates us for warmongering and neocon arrogance). This is about the Far Right thinking it's 1993 all over again and they can attack Clinton for every half-baked rumor coming out of Arkansas, only now it's 2009 and they think they can attack Obama for every fully-baked rumor about him. Facts don't matter. Truth don't matter. Even having the courts throw their cases out for sheer stupidity don't matter. All that matters is ATTACK AND WIN.

Or this piece that came soon after:

I admit to having interests in conspiratorial stuff: huge X-Files fan here, got a copy of the Big Book of Conspiracies on my shelf somewhere. I've even got my own thoughts on who killed JFK (and why a cover-up was necessary). But even I know the difference between slightly titillating nonsense that tweaks my reading habits and this crap about Obama's birth status that extremists are using to stir up talk of coup d'etats and actual military misconduct. Too many crazy people are taking this sh-t seriously. And that's not good for the rest of us. It'd be nice if I could stop talking about it, but it's either this or the pre-planned Republican Riots at Congressional town halls this month for discussion.
Sigh. The crazy is not gonna end anytime soon.

The sad thing about what I wrote back then? I never really brought up the other underlying part of those Birther attacks: the racism behind denying Obama his very IDENTITY as a person. I felt uncomfortable then bringing it up, because it's hard to make that kind of accusation in public - even on a minor traffic site like this - and not walk away scarred by it. But nowadays, given how blatant the Far Right has gotten in their attacks on ANYONE not "Ignorant White Male", the racism HAS to be pointed out for what it was and what it is today.

And as I noted, the crazy DID NOT end in 2009. It didn't even - despite Trump's lying about it now - end in 2011 when Trump really pushed this fake narrative for all it was worth (in a likely attempt in 2012 to make a Presidential bid).

Lemme re-link this article from Christian Science Monitor... which was published in 2011 when Trump went full-tilt bullshitter selling this con:

“The cynicism of the purveyors of these fantasies is that they know very well what they are playing at, the prejudices they are fanning,” Remnick wrote. “Let’s say what is plainly true … these rumors, this industry of fantasy, are designed to arouse a fear of the Other, of an African-American man with a white American mother and a black Kenyan father.”

And now Trump, likely getting told he HAS to pander outside of his Alt-Right (hint: KKK Neo-Nazi mofos) fanbase to get over the 40 percent hump, is trying to flip-flop his way out of a racket he'd been selling for five years (at least). He's not doing this to win over Blacks or other minority groups who are well aware how racist this "Birth Certificate" crap has been, he's trying to woo back the middle-of-the-road White voters who normally won't vote for Hillary but aren't keen on voting for well-known racists like TRUMP.

If there's any good out of this, it's that the Birther crowd has lost their greatest standard bearer. Remember Orly Taitz? Better yet, let's forget her again.

If there's any other good out of this, it's that Trump is getting hammered in the press for his bouncing between one lie and another about his Birther involvement. It'd be pretty to think that this is the weekend the major media outlets - save for Fox Not-News, which has tied its fate to this particular wagon - finally switches the Narrative over to the "Trump is a Con Artist Lying His Way Out of Everything" track.

What's insulting now is that Trump is trying to pass the blame onto Hillary, making the argument that it was Clinton back in 2008 during the rough Democratic primaries who smeared Obama with the birtherism attack. Problem with that, the fact-checkers know damn well it wasn't Hillary. Obama knows it wasn't Hillary - after all, Obama picked her for Secretary of State and you don't do that for someone who insults you - and I would love to see what happens the moment Obama comes out and hammers Trump on the Anvil of History about who OBAMA really blames for the Birther crap.

Because Obama beat the shit out of Trump on this before:

It was the same night Obama was making the judgment call to take out Osama Bin Laden. The entire weekend was a humiliation for Trump, and it's burned him ever since.

I pray to the Old Gods and the New that Obama slaps the taste out of Donald's mouth.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Radio Silence For This Week (Plus a Request)

I seriously need to not blog for the next week or so.

It has to do with a writing project I need presentable for an e-publishing class at the library next Monday.

I won't be able to get it edited / beta-read before publishing it, I know, but if I'm putting something to market I might as well have it finished as a story (as not as messy).

So if you noticed I'm not blogging as often, I've kind of "gone fishin" for plot threads.

In the meantime, this is where my request comes in.

I'd kind of like to get my writing hobby/career off on a good footing, and if I can convince some of the blog viewers to take the time - and if they've got a good budget to work with - to purchase some/any/all of the ebooks or print books I've got on market.

If you go to my Writings tab up top, you'll see a list of current and past publications I've got on the market. There's a couple of humor/horror anthologies that have published my stories - I've gotten good reviews for "I Must Be Your First" in the original Strangely Funny anthology - and there's a couple of ebook titles that should be available in Kindle and EPUB formats if you look in the right retail sites.

I'd really appreciate it if you went to your local public - or college - library and make a request for the library to purchase any of the books on that list. If you give them the title and ISBN number, the library ought to be able to find the record in their acquisitions services (not always, sadly), order it, and place it on hold for you to check out. They will not do it for the early works - Last of the Grapefruit Wars will likely be too old for the market - nor the ebook ones, but the anthologies and Surviving the Age of Obstruction should be fresh enough for consideration. Granted, many libraries will be on strict budgets, hopefully they will fulfill a library user request.

For that, I will thank you.

Now, turning off all communications. Running silent in 5... 4... 3... Byleven... dammit, restart the countdown.  5... 4... 3... 2... 1... ZEMO.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Wake Me Up When The Wingnut Nightmare Ends

Today is September 11.

It has been fifteen years since 2001. Since that clear-sky day that Tuesday turned so shockingly wrong.

And here we are, fifteen years later in the midst of an election cycle where one of the candidates - Trump - is an unabashed Islamophobe, eager to defame Muslims with accusations and lies that make it easier for his followers to attack innocent people on our streets.

Here we are fifteen years into a War on Terror where the crimes our own nation committed - a torture regime, unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq that was based on lies - remain unanswered. Worse, the likes of Trump wants to bring that torture regime AND a re-occupation of Iraq (this time to blatantly take all the oil) back.

It has been fifteen years for my people, for our nation, for the United States sitting in the shadow of our own demons, driven into the shade by our fears and our rage. Kept there by a political faction among the Far Right who profits from keeping their fanbase fearful and mad. Any sane policy on keeping our nation safe gets ignored. Any hopeful expression of our nation's diversity and openness of culture gets mocked and insulted and beaten. Any attempt at justice - ending a prolonged and possibly illegal detention of prisoners at Gitmo, for starters - gets denied.

And the United States stumbles on, still bearing the scars of that Tuesday. We won't heal. There are those among us who can't.

And we're still stuck in a nightmare doomed to get worse if the biggest fear-monger of them all gets his orange-colored ass into the Oval Office.

This will not end well, if at all, in my lifetime, will it?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

So Who Really Makes Up the Voting Base For Trump? (w/ Update)

So Hillary got the Far Right in a snit this weekend by calling out "half" the Trump supporters for their racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and sexism:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the 'basket of deplorables'. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter from the crowd of supporters at an LGBT for Hillary fundraiser where Barbra Streisand performed. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.”
“And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up,” she added.

As Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it:

...One way of reporting on Clinton’s statement is to weigh its political cost, ask what it means for her campaign, or attempt to predict how it might affect her performance among certain groups. This path is in line with the current imperatives of political reporting and, at least for the moment, seems to be the direction of coverage. But there is another line of reporting that could be pursued—Was Hillary Clinton being truthful or not?
Much like Trump’s alleged opposition to the Iraq War, this not an impossible claim to investigate. We know, for instance, some nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supporters hold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American. These claim are not ancillary to Donald Trump’s candidacy, they are a driving force behind it.
When Hillary Clinton claims that half of Trump’s supporters qualify as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic,” data is on her side...

If I had to break it down, the Republican voting base - the biggest part of Trump's support - goes like this:

You have the traditional Republican voter, the ones who were raised since birth - or at least since their mid-life crisis - to vote habitually for the GOP regardless of who the candidate on the ticket is. These are the voters that Rude Pundit noted before would vote Republican even when it was their best interest to vote Democrat based on the issues. These are the ones who aren't really fully racist, they're merely prejudiced (there is a distinction, at least among themselves) and are genuinely nice to other ethnicities and would probably vote for reasonable social aid programs and keep public schools funded and stuff, they'd just rather everyone stay on their sides of the lines and not make a fuss about it. These are the ones who can't vote for Hillary Clinton even if Hillary guaranteed full-time jobs at $90,000 minimum across the board and non-fattening ice cream for life. I'd have to say these were the ones who didn't vote for Trump in the primaries but likely for the "Establishment" type candidates like Jeb, Kasich, or Rubio. That would be about 25 percent of the primary voter turnout (and a good number of business leaders who financially support the party).

You have the hardcore Far Right voter who obsess fully over the dogmatic positions for cutting taxes, slashing government regulations, shutting down Planned Parenthood, bringing back the standard neocon foreign policy stances but not exactly anything that would alienate our allies. These are the Republicans who have no problem with government shutdowns, or blocking anything to the Left of Barry Goldwater. They're relatively racist and sexist but are more subtle about how they sell themselves to the public knowing full well there are some lines you can't cross. At least not until they've got solid control of all three branches of government. These are the types who voted for the more radical candidates like Santorum, Huckabee, and the second place guy Cruz. I'd put them about 27 percent of the primary voter turnout (and with the other business leaders who are more wingnut, such as the Koch brothers).

And then you have the Real Trump supporters. The ones who... well...

The ones who display open rage at Latinos. Who can't wait for that Trump Wall to go up between the US and Mexico. Who can't wait for another Operation Wetback to drive out 11 million people. Who fully buy into Trump's accusations of Mexicans being rapists and thugs.

The ones who attack Muslims in public. Who buy into the fear-mongering that EVERY Muslim is a knife-wielding bomb-wearing killer driven by a hateful religion to kill "true" Christians.

The ones who express utter disdain - and violence - towards women. Who tend to be the ones on social media using it as an outlet for some pretty vulgar stuff. And who threaten to get worse.

These are the ones who went all in for Trump during the primaries around 45 percent.

Granted, these are just based on uneven - actually minor - primary turnout results, that do not cover the Independent voters who couldn't participate in any of the closed primaries. This is just a rough guess estimate, but it has the virtue of filling the polling numbers and support that the Far Right and Right-leaning voters are giving Trump right about now.

The scary thing is how the hater faction backing Trump is so large compared to the other Republican factions still struggling to stay afloat this election cycle.

Hillary may have apologized for saying "deplorable" stuff about Trump supporters but I'm with Coates on this. Hillary didn't lie.

And Hillary was more polite about it that I would have been. I've had called those half of Trump supporters - the neo-Nazis, the Klan, the Islamophobes, the Roger Aileses of their tribe - a bunch of assholes. And then I'd ask the saner members of the Republican Party forced to back Trump something along the lines of "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT YOUR OWN PARTY TURNING INTO A BUNCH OF MONSTERS?"

Update: PM Carpenter has less sympathy for the enablers of the "Deplorable", especially Ron Fouriner. To wit:

It is shocking, at long last it is still shocking, that Fournier (& Co.) could be so blind as to not see that only populist baskets of virtually undifferentiated deplorables could have elevated Mussolini and Hitler to the ultimate authority they sought. The latter deliberately distorted the origins of the national ills they addressed, while the latter of the latter pursued assorted scapegoats with unprecedented verve. And this — all of it — would have gone nowhere had it not been for the authoritarians' popular support; less than a majority, but popular enough. The lazy, the easily beguiled, the human detritus of pluralistic societies grabbed at the quick, brutal fixes of fascist appeals — and the indifferent or less enthusiastic supporters were really no better than the vigorously enthusiastic. They — all of them — were essentially one of a kind: deplorable...
...One may support an unbigoted, non-sexist, intellectually deep and quite curious if rather conventional pol, or one may support her point-by-point opposite with no blanket deplorability attached. Just how in God's name is that possible? Hillary's "gross" generalization was, is, incontestable: Roughly half (probably more) of Trumpeteers are "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it." At least those are principles, of sorts. They may be contemptible principles, but they're principles as "philosophically" rooted as was National Socialism's anti-Semitism. Far less principled are the other half who support a megalomaniacal thug merely because he plays into the extravagances of Hillary-hatred. And Trump "has lifted them up" — all of 'em.

We can only hope the result of this election cycle is a decisive Trump and Republican loss across the board. And then the entire GOP - the party elected, their media pundit allies, their deep-pocket funders, their voters - needs to sit down in a room and figure out just how WRONG they all got this cycle.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Things That Ought To Unsettle The Hell Out of You Regarding Trump

Update: Hello again, Crooks & Liars readers linking in from Mike's Blog Round-Up! Thank you again Batocchio for the link! Please check out my other anti-Trump diatribes while you're here, just click the tags below. ;)

1) He still doesn't get it.

2) He has no respect for anyone or anything. He views professional intelligence officers and military generals as political props for his fantasies. He projects onto them his own twisted world-view in such a way that most of them are thisclose to violating their own confidentiality rules to speak out against him.

3) He really doesn't get it.

4) Trump lies and continues to lie because nobody moderating his public appearances is willing to confront him on where he either distorts his own previous statements or where he makes sh-t up.

5) He soooo doesn't get a single thing about it.

6) Trump's openly misogynistic view of women shows incredible disrespect towards rape victims. He claims putting women in the military inevitable for them to be raped by male colleagues, a statement so vile and ill-informed that it intentionally "blames the victim" from start to finish and assumes men would be rapists if put in the same work environment as women. Goddamn him.

7) The thing that Trump doesn't get is that being President of the United States is a serious commitment and requiring of a sober, informed, and focused mind. He has none of those things.

8) Trump's open man-crush on Russian autocrat (if not outright dictator) Putin is so blatant it's unsettling. Any other political figure fawning over a Russian leader like this would have been called before HUAC and jailed for sedition by now.

9) Trump's vanity is such that he's a clear front-runner for being the target of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" even after the singer's admitted the second verse was about Warren Beatty. Okay, seriously, Trump is so self-absorbed it should bother anybody who wants to see empathy in our Presidents towards the nation. But with Trump that will never happen: everything under a President Trump will all happen to the benefit of Trump, even if it wrecks the entire world.

10) Trump really really DOES NOT GET IT. Ever.

And for that he should never get the White House.

Just on any ONE of the serious points I put up there - Numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9 - Trump should be disqualified from the campaign and even sent into exile (hey, he apparently likes Russia... ) before he causes any more damage. And this isn't even getting into the SUPER SERIOUS charges of financial corruption, bankruptcy, possible bribery of elected officials, and further acts of malfeasance.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

This Needs to be the Headline Of Every Major Paper For the Rest of the Year


It will not be libel. It will not be slander. It will be the f-cking truth.

I am honestly calling upon God Almighty here to smite you Beltway bastards who keep underplaying Trump's criminality and sleaze and keep overhyped false scandals about Hillary on the f-cking news cycles when those fake stories turn out to be nothingburgers.

How many more f-cking questions does Hillary have to f-cking answer about an email system that the FBI and Justice Department already investigated for what two f-cking years?

Stop f-cking using Drudge or Rush or Breitbart or Assange as f-cking sources because they are NOT f-cking reliable or trustworthy. They are f-cking hacks shilling their own f-cking agendas (or Putin's) to f-ck up this country.

I just spent ten minutes yelling and screaming, coping with this crappy pseudo-debate NBC just hosted where Trump was allowed to slide on his lies while Hillary kept getting hammered about those f-cking emails like four f-cking times. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TRYING TO PROVE, MATT LAUER, THAT YOU CAN BE "FAIR" TO TRUMP? F-CK. YOU.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Clinton Foundation Vs. Trump Foundation

Where I work, I have access to a foundations/grants database.

On a whim, I took a look at the two foundations currently in the news:

The Clinton Foundation versus the Trump Foundation (as of 2014 reports)

Clinton Foundation Trump Foundation
Assets:$354,190,170 Assets: $1,273,895
Giving: $5,160,385 Giving:  $591,450

On the one hand, you can see that the Clintons are working with greater assets, doing a better job of fund-raising, and giving out ten times as much as what Trump Foundation does. The only thing favoring Trump's non-profit is that they give out more (over half) of the assets they claim... it's just not anywhere near what the Clintons are doing.

Clinton Foundation stated purpose "works to strengthen the capacity of governments and individuals to alleviate poverty, improve global health, strengthen economies, and protect the environment."

Trump Foundation stated purpose "giving primarily for health organizations, youth development, and social services."

Clinton Foundation doesn't set a geographic limit, even giving on an international basis. After all, they're covering global health and environmental issues.

Trump Foundation limits themselves to giving primarily in New York or Massachusetts. No real reason given.

The governing board for the Clinton Foundation has CEO, CFO, executive Director. The only Clinton family member I see active with the non-profit is Chelsea Clinton.

The governing board for the Trump Foundation is all Trump: Donald himself, two of his kids, one of his grandkids, and I think his son-in-law. I know I shouldn't suspect *cough* nepotism *cough* but still...

The database I use didn't show on the records the foundations' rating scale, it may have been under a different part of the directory. But for what I know, the Clinton Foundation is vetted and graded and the Trump Foundation isn't.

And the Beltway media only wants the CLINTON Foundation to close down?

Screw them.