Friday, April 29, 2016

Tweet Of The Day - Rhetorical Question

As if more evidence were needed, there's this.  And this.  Don't look for them on your national tee-vee news or newspaper.

Weekend Lost And Sentimental Music Twofer

The Damnwells are a Brooklyn- based indie band that (like The Wild Feathers from last week's music selection) has shared a billing with Bob Dylan.  This is "Lost," a single released about a year ago.

Today is the birthday of the great artist Duke Ellington (1899-1974).  We'll slow things down and celebrate with his gorgeous composition, "In A Sentimental Mood," with Ellington on piano and who else but John Coltrane on saxophone, in this 1962 recording.

History Will Remember

We will be continuing to note the latest amoral, craven, cowardly Republicans to succumb to neo- fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump:
Two prominent GOP establishment congressmen — Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, and Jeff Miller of Florida, who chairs the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee — endorsed Trump on Thursday.
There are so many reasons to despise man- bat hybrid and Florida Republican Gov. Rick "Voldemort" Scott.  Now you can add this to the list:
“Donald Trump is going to be our nominee, and he is going to be on the ballot as the Republican candidate for President. The Republican leaders in Washington did not choose him, but the Republican voters across America did choose him. The voters have spoken.” 
There's a list of the dregs of American politics supporting Rump here.   We have to make sure these moral ciphers and cowards, and what they stood up for, are remembered.

Why?  Because remembering is the enemy of Rump and all the narcissists, demagogues and charlatans before him.  Our past forgetfulness as a nation allowed for them and Rump to come along, polluting political life and ripping at the social fabric of America.  As Charles Pierce says today in a very timely essay,
The 2016 presidential campaign—and the success of Donald Trump on the Republican side—has been a triumph of how easily memory can lose the struggle against forgetting and, therefore, how easily society can lose the struggle against power. There is so much that we have forgotten in this country. We've forgotten, over and over again, how easily we can be stampeded into action that is contrary to the national interest and to our own individual self-interest. We have forgotten McCarthy and Nixon. We have forgotten how easily we can be lied to. We have forgotten the U-2 incident and the Bay of Pigs and the sale of missiles to the mullahs. And along comes someone like Trump, and he tells us that forgetting is our actual power and that memory is the enemy. 
We believe (hope?) history will remember, mainly because it won't be written by puerile politicians or our ethics- free media* -- but, as a people, will we remember, this time?

* BONUS:  Wonkette decimates the Rump- curious wankers at Salon. Let's be sure to remember them, too.

The Joker's Wild Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The recent comment by neo-fascist vulgarian Donald "Rump" Trump that former Secretary of State Clinton was playing "the woman card" is yet another misogynist smear out of the mouth of someone who is viewed negatively by 70% of women. He can't help himself from nasty, sexist statements about women, whom he patronizingly says he "cherishes" ("collects" would be more apt).

Clinton had the perfect smack down to Rump's "woman card" slur when she pointed to her policies for equal pay, etc. and said "deal me in." The joker in that round turned out to be (not surprisingly) Rump.

Bibi Bomb Bomb's Latest Outrage

The Obama Administration is prepared to provide Israel with an unprecedented amount of military aid under a new 10-year agreement beginning in 2018, but right-wing Likudnik Bibi "Bomb Bomb" Netanyahu is trying to stiff arm the Administration by holding out for even more in an attempt to embarrass Obama once again. The current amount on the table is $40 billion over 10 years, the largest amount ever provided to any country for military aid. Bomb Bomb reportedly wants $50 billion in total. The U.S. is also seeking a commitment by Bomb Bomb and his Likudniks not to lobby Congress while the 10-year agreement is in effect, something that they are in the habit of doing since both houses have shifted to Republican control. Since the current agreement doesn't expire until 2018, the Likudniks think they may be able to force a better deal out of the next President and Congress. It might be well to advise Bomb Bomb that the extraordinary package being offered will be reduced by $100 million each month that the agreement remains unsigned, and see how fast he gets to the negotiating table.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Prince Of Darkness Quote Of The Day

“Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” - - Former Republican Weeper of the House and man with no more sh*ts to give John "Mr. Tangerine Man" Boehner, when asked his opinion of Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz, yesterday at Stanford University.

BONUS: Rethug Rep. Peter King (Irish Republican Army-NY) says on CNN that "maybe (Boehner) gives Lucifer a bad name by comparing him to Ted Cruz." Love the internecine Rethuglican war!

(Gif:  Wonkette)

Disarray Quote Of The Day

"Trump pretty much wraps up the Republican nomination and the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House gets fifteen months in prison. It must be time to write a few 'Democrats in disarray' columns."  Martin Longman (BooMan), yesterday.  You can be sure they're  on their way.

Rump's Narcissism Revealed Again

As the usual Republican-wired Beltway media hacks were trying to polish the turd known as Donald "Rump" Trump after his foreign policy speech disaster yesterday, a sober and frank voice stood out in the person of widely-respected Foreign Policy editor David Rothkopf, who said on CNN:
"This speech was incoherent, it was fact-free, you know he -- his solution to almost everything was, let me handle it. You know, Russia, I'll talk to them. China, I'll talk to them. ISIS, I got a plan, I'm not going to tell you what it is. But, you know, saying that, you know, your personality is going to solve every problem isn't a foreign policy. It's really a kind of narcissistic personality disorder." (emphasis added)
Time and again, in all of his speeches, rallies and interviews, Rump's assurances that his negotiating and executive prowess will do what no one else can do, his belittling of others, his preening about his education and intelligence, all fit the definition of a narcissistic personality disorder (read the Mayo Clinic's definition and marvel at how closely it matches Rump's persona). That should alarm everyone who claims to be serious about electing our nation's chief executive -- and commander-in-chief, with his finger on the nuclear trigger.

BONUS:   History will remember those who enabled Rump.  Like this fella:
Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called it “a very good foreign-policy speech in which he laid out his vision for American engagement in the world.”
And this fella:
After Donald Trump's big speech yesterday on foreign policy, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Twitter, "Washington elites mock Trump for mispronouncing Tanzania. They don't get it. He said the most important word correctly: America. He gets it."

BONUS II:  For clear- eyed reactions to Rump's Big Speech, here's Fred Kaplan and Daniel Drezner.

(Image:  Stein-Olsen)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shaking Mid-Week Song

Alabama Shakes, a modern blues/rock band that formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009, has drawn critical praise and a growing following, after their first album was released and garnered three Grammy nominations for "Hold On," one of the tracks on the album. Lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard has a rich, earthy voice that draws you in.  Here's a song from their latest album, "Sound and Color," entitled "Gimme All Your Love."

Nasty / Nastier 2016!

News item:  Sociopath and far- right extremist "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz says if nominated (riiiiight!) he'll name failed candidate, corporate job killer and fellow sociopath Carly "Snarly" Fiorina to his ticket. Well, they've definitely locked down the reptile vote at the zoo.

BONUS:  Andy Borowitz on the Power! of this ticket. Bwahahaha.

BONUS II:  Snarly's little song that she sang to Tailgunner's daughters at the roll-out seems to have creeped everyone out. After this stunt crashes and burns, Snarly has a future in voice overs for horror films, or as Tailgunner Ted's nanny:

(photo: Slither and slime in prime time -- game changer!)

Tweets Of The Day - History Will Remember Mark Halperin

Words came out of neo- fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump's mouth today, and some, like the putrid Mark Halperin, were impressed.  History won't remember the speech*, but history will remember Rump's enablers:

Yes, it was almost... Presidential!

The responses to Halperin's "analysis" are wonderful.  Here are just a few of many examples:

Count on a lot more of this from Halperin and others in the amoral media.  We'll keep track.

BONUS: Rump's sworn enemy, Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham had a few burning tweets about Rump's speech:

*BONUS II:  Charlie Pierce takes apart Rump's big foreign policy debut.  And then there's this:

Republican Crime Blotter - Hastert Going To Jail

It's a busy day for Republicans in the judicial system.  Let's catch up with longest- serving Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert:
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in jail for bank fraud charges after admitting he had sexually abused students while working at a high school decades ago.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced Hastert to the jail time, followed by two years of supervised release, and issued him a $250,000 fine. The former speaker must also attend sex offender treatment and will not be allowed to contact his alleged victims, Durkin added.  [snip]
“Nothing is more stunning than having ‘serial child molester’ and ‘speaker of the House’ in the same sentence,” Durkin said.  [snip]
Before retiring from politics in 2007, Hastert championed tough punishment for child predators and worked extensively on health care laws.  
That's a real piece of work for you.

Republican Crime Blotter - Breaking Bad Edition

Once again confirming that the sociopaths and hypocrites have assembled under the banner of the Republican Party:
Sen. John McCain’s re-election fundraisers all list the same name as the RSVP contact, but that name also showed up as a person arrested during the bust of a meth lab Tuesday.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff’s deputies made arrests when they found an operational meth lab as well as other illicit drugs when they were carrying out a search warrant for the woman’s home. According to The Arizona Republic, the sheriff’s office identified Emily Pitha, 34, who is a former staffer of retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). She also has worked most recently as a campaign fundraiser for McCain’s 2016 reelection
The sheriff’s office spokesperson said that they were alerted to the activity after a package was in transit from the Netherlands, which had over 250 grams of MDMA, which is raw ecstasy. Pitha’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Christopher Hustrulid, was the individual who signed for the packaged when it was finally delivered Tuesday afternoon before the search warrant was served.

Officers report an unspecified amount of LSD, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, about $7,000 in loose currency and counterfeit money was also found along with the meth lab.

The couple will face numerous drug charges but also possible child-endangerment charges for exposing two children in the home to the drugs
(our emphasis)
Crank, heroin, coke, LSD, counterfeit money and, oh, child endangerment.  They seem nice.

We're quite confident that McCain's opponent this November, Ann Kirkpatrick, doesn't have any would- be Walter Whites or Jesse Pinkmans working for her.  Please consider donating to her election fund.

(Photo/ mug shot:  Republican staffer/ fundraiser Pitha and her boyfriend)

"It Takes A Party"

Betty Cracker at Balloon Juice saw the Harvard Institute polling referenced below on millennial voters' movement leftwards, and says:
I don’t know about you, but for me, reading that is a tonic after a week of hearing comments that echoed the disastrous run-up to Nadergeddon 2000, e.g., “duopoly” and “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference,” etc.

The Democratic Party isn’t perfect, but it is the vehicle we have to effect change. Secretary Clinton, who will be our nominee, understands this better than most. That may make her the perfect woman for this particular time in history.

Here’s hoping Senator Sanders’ younger supporters won’t wait for Secretary Clinton to court them but rather will roll up their sleeves and take on the hard tasks of party building to create the political future they want to see. Because it takes a party.
Fact is, the party ails, and we need all the reinforcements we can to force change. That’s why party affiliation matters. If you want to ditch the (D) label to become an independent, reconsider. If you are a left-leaning independent, consider switching to (D). You want to influence the party and move it to where we all want it to go, you do it from the inside. Become or remain an independent, and you no longer have a say in the direction the party is going. Why would you surrender that chance? You prove nothing by being independent, other than that you don’t want to fight for your party. Of course you want to fight for it, your involvement in the Sanders campaign proved it! So if you really are part of a long-term movement, then do what real movements do, and fight to win!
Michael Cohen in the Boston Globe, in an open letter to Sen. Sanders:
Rather than raising money to run more ads that likely aren’t going to move the polling needle, start raising money for liberal Democrats in swing districts, Democrats who, with that little extra boost from your supporters, might be able to win in November. After all, if you want a political revolution, don’t you need to elect a few more like-minded Democrats to Congress? And with Trump as the likely GOP nominee, the chances of a Democratic wave in the House and the Senate are that much greater. Maybe focus on local races in places like Florida or Ohio or North Carolina, where Republican-dominated state legislatures are putting up restrictions on abortion rights, voting rights, and LGBT rights. You have the megaphone and the money to get your supporters involved in the nitty-gritty of local politics that Democrats have ignored for far too long. You want to beat the Democratic establishment? Become the Democratic establishment. 
This period in American politics presents an imperative opportunity for us to build on President Obama's progressive legacy; to turn back the reactionary tide that has overwhelmed state and local politics in the United States, particularly in the last 6 years;  to show that government can work for people and that "Trumpism" does not represent America or true American values.  But, it takes people organized, with a clear sense of the stakes involved and moving in a common direction to prevail.  It takes a party -- the Democratic Party.

On Yesterday's Primaries

Yesterday's primary results would appear to improve the chances of a November contest between neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rump swept all of the primaries on the Rethuglican side, while Clinton picked up every state but Rhode Island, whose open primary was won by Sen. Sanders.  For those in the Beltway punditocracy and corporate media who want us to believe that Rump is "pivoting" to a more "Presidential" persona, one only need look at last night's rambling, self- congratulatory victory speech by Rump, which was marked by very nasty personal, misogynist attacks on Secretary Clinton of the kind he normally reserves for his Rethug opponents.

In the Democratic race, with Clinton needing only 36% of the remaining delegates, the focus is on how Sen. Sanders campaigns in the states yet to vote (and no one should be calling on the Senator to drop out;  people in those remaining states deserve to have their ballot count, regardless of the final outcome). Clinton praised Sen. Sanders for his role in championing Medicare-for-all, raising the minimum wage and attacking income inequality, and getting dark money out of politics. Sanders' best option in the coming weeks would be to turn his guns more on the threat to America of a Rethug Presidency represented by their frontrunner, while not shying away from policy-oriented debates with Clinton.

One very interesting poll that's being discussed in the context of "millennial" voters is the one out of Harvard's Institute of Politics.  The poll indicates that these young voters, including many who have been inspired by Sen. Sanders' campaign, have shifted away from Republican politics, most significantly in the past year as the bigoted policies and extreme rhetoric of Rethug elected officials and Presidential candidates moved further and further to the right. That's bad news for those wishful thinkers in the broken media who were hoping for a tighter horse race in November. It's worse news for the Republican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooter's Party, whose demographic is inexorably dying off and not being replaced by younger voters and whose cynical "rebranding" stunt after their 2012 defeat wasn't bought by their raging, overwhelmingly white constituents, or the "millennials."