Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Final Salute To 2015


Some do fireworks, some do ball drops;  let's go with a little of both.  Everybody dance now!


A Brief Note


As 2015 draws to a close, we'd like to offer a brief, but very heartfelt, thanks to all of you who have dropped in on us over the past year.  We hope, in doing so, you've found something interesting, amusing or irritating -- at least something to keep you coming back.  We value the fact that you choose to see what we have to say, whether you agree with us or not, and occasionally drop us a comment.

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank some of our fellow bloggers who have linked to us:  Crooks and Liars, Disaffected and It Feels So Good, Jon Swift (R.I.P.), Mock Paper ScissorsNo More Mister Nice Blog, and Oak Creek Forum/ Outta the Cornfield (if we've missed anyone, please let us know).  You inspire us to do what we do, and we thank you so much for supporting us and many others.

We hope you all have a happy and healthy New Year.

It's Above Freezing At The North Pole; "Some Say" It's Climate Change


This got our attention:
From the top of the world to near the bottom, freakish and unprecedented weather has sent temperatures soaring across the Arctic, whipped the United Kingdom with hurricane-force winds and spawned massive flooding in South America.
The same storm that slammed the southern United States with deadly tornadoes and swamped the Midwest, causing even greater loss of life, continued on to the Arctic. Subtropical air pulled there is now sitting over Iceland, and at what should be a deeply sub-zero North Pole, temperatures on Wednesday appeared to reach the melting point — more than 50 degrees above normal. That was warmer than Chicago(our emphasis)
The article attempts to tease out declarations from noted climatologists Michael Mann, Jeff Masters and others that this is indicative of human- caused global climate change.  But, being scientists, they're somewhat loathe to make a definitive link without further study:
Nicola Maxey, a press officer from Britain’s national weather service, the Met Office, also noted that it is “still too early to say definitively” whether global climate change produced December’s record rainfall.
However, she added via email, “all the evidence from fundamental physics and our understanding of our weather systems suggests there may be a link.”
While "we're not scientists," we'll hazard an educated guess that THERE'S A LINK!

How Did That Rebranding Work Out For You, Republicans?


Check out the movement (percentage lead), in particular, of "Hispanics" and "whites under 40" from 2012 to 2015 (click on image to enlarge):



We call that "demographic- assisted suicide."

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rubio Used Official Position To Aid Felonious In-Law


This can't be good for the otherwise somnolent campaign of that slippery gusano, Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (R-MIAmi):
When Marco Rubio was majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives, he used his official position to urge state regulators to grant a real estate license to his brother-in-law, a convicted cocaine trafficker who had been released from prison 20 months earlier, according to records obtained by The Washington Post.
In July 2002, Rubio sent a letter on his official statehouse stationery to the Florida Division of Real Estate, recommending Orlando Cicilia “for licensure without reservation.” The letter, obtained by The Washington Post under the Florida Public Records Act, offers a glimpse of Rubio using his growing political power to assist his troubled brother-in-law and provides new insight into how the young lawmaker intertwined his personal and political lives.
Rubio did not disclose in the letter that Cicilia was married to his sister, Barbara, or that the former cocaine dealer was living at the time in the same West Miami home as Rubio’s parents. He wrote that he had known Cicilia “for over 25 years,” without elaborating(our emphasis)
Wow.  We wonder who/ what oppo research outfit prompted the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle to dig up this 13- year- old letrina now?  What's that, Jeet Heer?

Oh, riiiight.

BONUS:  BooMan has more detail on the felonious brother- in- law that Glug Glug vouched for.

BONUS II:   Oh, and this upstanding Glug Glug pal, too.

(Image:  "We're going to need more water over here, stat!")

Good News Is No News


Paul Krugman writes about the apparently un-newsworthy success of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"):
One of the remarkable aspects of the politics of health reform is the way conservatives — even relatively mild, seemingly informed conservatives — have managed to keep believing that Obamacare is unraveling, despite the repeated failure of disaster predictions to come true. Part of the way this works is that captive media and the right’s pet “experts” hype every bit of bad news, but go silent when the news is good (and, often, when the bad news turns out to have been a false alarm.) How many will even hear about the news that enrollments are once again running above expectations, and the pool is getting younger[snip]
So the program is achieving its goals, albeit with a somewhat different mix of kinds of insurance than predicted, and doing so more cheaply than expected. That’s a big success story — and remember, the critics scoffed at those expectations and predicted utter disaster.  (our emphasis)
The same lack of interest (or in some quarters, prevarication) holds true in such "good news" stories as the falling unemployment rate (always accompanied by a "doesn't tell the whole story" buzzkill) and an economy growing stronger (always reported with "mixed signs").

Look, we get it, but we'll belabor the obvious anyway.  There's almost never unalloyed "good news," and these storylines are complicated. For example, we've often pointed out the fact that in jobs, wages and income inequality, we have a long way to go.  And yes, we know it's not the media's business to be a cheerleader, either.  But so often the positive is lost in a sea of the negative: of cynicism, both- siderism, and failure to call out the lies, the frauds and the charlatans in our politics and society.  (Not to mention focusing on the purely puerile.)  It's no wonder so many Americans are pessimistic on the economy or have no clue as to how and why Obamacare is succeeding (see above).  In a media environment that prizes conflict and faux narratives over fact and reason, combined with a pervasive right- wing "media" propaganda machine, progressives are fighting against overwhelming odds.  But we have two powerful allies on our side:  truth and history.

Mid-Week Friday Song


As we look forward to the New Year on Friday, our San Francisco Bureau Chief Shauna alerted us to the recent passing of Stevie Wright, lead singer for the Australian rock group The Easybeats, at a very young 68.  Their best known song internationally, "Friday On My Mind," was covered over time by the likes of David Bowie, Blue Oyster Cult, and Bruce Springsteen (live).  Here's Stevie, demonstrating more energy than an auditorium full of people, in a live performance from 1966.


They Said It! (Cont.)


Here's the latest installment in our continuing series memorializing dog- on- dog Republican candidate un- friendly fire.
 
Donald "Rump" Trump on "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz:
Real-estate mogul Donald Trump took another apparent shot at presidential rival and US Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) Cuban ancestry at a Tuesday-night rally.
"To the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, OK? Just remember that, OK? Just remember," Trump said while speaking at an event in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Gov. Chris "Krispykreme" Christie on Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio:
“Dude, show up to work,” Christie said during a town-hall meeting in Muscatine, Iowa.
"Glug Glug" returning fire on "Krispykreme":
“You know, Chris has been missing in New Jersey for half the time,” Rubio said. “But candidates, I think, as we get down the stretch here, some of them get a little desperate and a little nasty in their attacks, and that’s fine.” 
 Gov. John "Who Is That Again?" Kasich's PAC on "Krispykreme" and "J.E.B.!" Bush:
“What Team Jeb has failed to address is the political baggage dragging behind Bush and Christie. The country doesn’t have an appetite for another Bush, or another Clinton, for that matter. As for Governor Christie, his mishandling of his state budget and the ‘Bridgegate’ scandal have earned him a 60 percent unfavorable rating from those who know him best — the people of New Jersey.” 
(Far)"Right to Rise" (J.E.B.!'s PAC) ad on "Glug Glug":
“Over the last three years, Rubio has missed important national security hearings and missed more total votes than any other senator. Politics first — that’s the Rubio way.”
(We're in serious danger of O.D.ing from schadenfreude over here!! What a way to go...)

We would be remiss if we didn't note the departure of another clown from the Republican candidate clown car bus, former New York Gov. George "Wacky" Pataki, one of the "qualified and talented" field of deluded egotists who's been flat- lining in the polls since day one.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

J.E.B.! Challenges Trump To "One-On-One" Action, Gets Nut-Punched


Pathetic weenie scion John Ellis "J.E.B.!" Bush is polling waaay down in the low single digits and is headed for the exit door in both Iowa and New Hampshire.  But he's got a strategery to get back into the game with the big boys:
Jeb Bush on Monday challenged Republican front-runner Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate.

Speaking to a gathering at the Forum Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Bush was asked by the moderator what he would say to Trump if he were to walk in the room at that moment.

“Donald, I’ll take you on one-on-one in a debate, any time, any place,” Bush said. “You name it and I’ll do it.”
"One- on- one" with Rump!  Mano a mano! That has "K.O." written all over it.  But, we defer to Wonkette for the ultimate nut punch:
You wouldn’t think sad pathetic “the dumb one, actually” Jeb Bush would look back fondly on the days when Donald Trump spent his every waking moment kicking Jeb in the nuts and laughing at his pain. Remember those days? Remember how sore Jeb’s nuts were? Alas and alack and other A-words, Jeb now seems eager for Trump to grab him by the wrist and ask him why he won’t stop hitting himself...
We won't keep you in suspense as to Rump's response to this "idea" from "J.E.B.!"  Here it is, in the form of a retweet from a Stormtrumper:


Republican Establishment Can't Quit Trump


This morning, Eugene Robinson tells us that the Mussolini of Manhattan, Donald "Rump" Trump, has destroyed the Republican Party (we continue to be dubious about that desirable outcome):
Enter Trump, who has the temerity to point out that the party establishment says one thing but does another. He launched his campaign by calling the GOP’s bluff on immigration: If the 11 million people here without documents are really “illegal,” as the party loudly proclaims, then send them home. Other candidates were put in the position of having to explain why, after claiming that President Obama was somehow “soft” on immigration, their position on allowing the undocumented to stay is basically the same.  [snip]
Also, the party has long sought to capitalize on fear of terrorism by haranguing the president for not using the exact phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” (as if semantics could bring peace to Syria). So when, after the attack in San Bernardino, Calif. , Trump called for banning Muslims from entering the country, much of the Republican base was receptive. Other candidates had to backpedal and remind voters that George W. Bush made clear his “war on terror” was not a war against Islam.
Trump has given voice to the ugliness and anger that the party spent years encouraging and exploiting. He let the cat out of the bag, and it’s hungry.  (our emphasis)
Apparently, whizzes at the Republican National Committee, not evidencing any alarm at Rump as their standard- bearer, are very happy to continue feeding Rump's cat:
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which has faced doubts about its ability to translate enthusiasm into votes, in the past few weeks quietly signed an agreement allowing it to use the Republican National Committee’s massive voter file, POLITICO has learned.

The list-sharing agreement, which reveals a new level of cooperation between the GOP and its surprise front-runner, could be highly beneficial to both sides(our emphasis)
Hmmm.  The Republican establishment says one thing (e.g., "We must stop Trump!"), but does another ("Help yourself to our voter data!")?   Unpossible!

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Top Five Awful Anti-Science Moments Of 2015


You won't be shocked to notice that each one is brought to you by, or supported by, a member of the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party:


Quote Of The Day - Ronaldus Ignoramus


From distinguished Prof. William Leuchtenburg's book, "The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton," a thumbnail of former President and right- wing saint, Ronnie of Hollywood:
No one had ever entered the White House so grossly ill informed. At presidential news conferences, especially in his first year, Ronald Reagan embarrassed himself. [snip]
In all fields of public affairs—from diplomacy to the economy—the president stunned Washington policymakers by how little basic information he commanded. His mind, said the well-disposed Peggy Noonan, was “barren terrain.”  [snip]
No Democratic adversary would ever constitute as great a peril to the president’s political future, his advisers concluded, as Reagan did himself. Therefore, they protected him by severely restricting situations where he might blurt out a fantasy.  
Reading the excerpt, it's interesting to note some of St. Ronnie's closest advisers' opinions of his intelligence and suitability for the office.  Also, the excerpt reminds us of the influence of wife Nancy, especially how her reliance on an astrologer constituted the final say in some Presidential scheduling decisions.  Hoo-boy, good times.

"Ronaldus Magnus" indeed.  More like "Ronaldus Ignoramus."

Today's Cartoon - Trumpy The Snowman


(click on image to enlarge)



(Brian McFadden, via gocomics.com)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hillary Clinton And The Purist Dead- Enders




We've chosen up until now not to comment on the rash of epistles from dead- enders on the Ralph Nader end of the spectrum who say they won't vote for Hillary Clinton no matter what, and you can't make them!  We frankly can't improve on the existing rebuttals of these purist, born- yesterday dudebros:

BooMan has addressed one of the egregious, privileged twits who plans to withhold his precious vote from Hillary Clinton, Huff Post contributor Ben Spielberg, rogered by Brian Beutler in the tweet above.  There's also the ubiquitous Walker Bragman, who has dropped a few tantrums over at Salon (fast becoming home of Clinton Derangement Syndrome we're sorry to say), his latest having been handled nicely by Tom Hilton and by Yastreblyansky, both at No More Mister Nice Blog.  The great Charles P. Pierce has another Snow White covered here.

Sometimes, one is called upon to cast a vote against a candidate or party, rather than for a candidate or party, and looking at the neo- fascism pervading the Republican side, 2016 will surely be one of those times.

These "progressive" dead- enders aren't progressives, no matter what they might tell you.  They're self- absorbed neophytes who've managed to get a gig with a "respectable" outlet.  But people like them who would cavalierly play games while the future of this country is at stake shouldn't be given a veneer of respectability.  They've never suffered, nor would they, the consequences of a far- right Republican stranglehold on government.  They'll always have a platform and income, and access to the voting booth and health insurance.  They need to be called out, early and often, because they're just as dangerous as the Stormtrumpers.

UPDATE:  The dead- enders might want to take to heart what Sen. Bernie Sanders said today about his competition with Hillary Clinton:
“We want to defeat rightwing extremism in this country, so we are trying to work out our differences of opinion.”

Republican Campaign Triptych: Hypocrites, Racists and Loons


Over at Salon, Dan Sinykin has been traveling with the three major contenders in the Republican clown car bus in Iowa, and finds the differences revealing. 

"Tailgunner Ted" Cruz supporters:
... Cruz makes a joke about how, when the pope was in town, Obama made things awkward by answering to His Holiness. The crowd is delighted.

Other of Cruz’s jokes have more sinister implications. He tells one where the punch line is about using pesticides on regulators, another about how, after his presidency, countless members of the media will have checked themselves into therapy. A favorite of his involves padlocking the IRS and relocating its employees to the southern border. “Think about it, sir,” he says. “Imagine you traveled thousands of miles in the blazing sun, you’re swimming the Rio Grande, and the first thing you see is 90,000 IRS agents. You’d turn around and go home, too!”

Imagine it, indeed. One might pause to imagine the suffering endured by migrants under that sun, but Cruz has the crowd under his spell.  [Ed. note - Remember it's Cruz who's the candidate of the "Christian" evangelical movement.]
A Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio supporter:
“It’s just not the party I grew up with,” says Stephen Blobaum, an IT worker from Des Moines. “This racial stuff,” he says with a sigh, “it’s gone from insinuations to right in your face racism.”  [Ed. note - It was much more tolerable for him when it was just the dog whistles.]
A "Rump" Trump supporter:
An elderly man approaches me as I take notes. He asks what I’m doing. I tell him I’m a professor. “I’ve had my fill of fucking intellectuals,” he says, but he clearly wants to talk. The air fills with “Jingle Bells.”

“I love Trump,” he says. “He’s not an intellectual. He says he’s going to make America great again, that excites me. I got so excited I went out and bought a tricycle. I can’t hardly walk, but I bought a tricycle on just hope. I got it in August—end of October, 14 miles I was going on it, my Trump hat on backwards, going down the highway.”

“I just got excited about it,” he says. “The man excites me.” [Ed. note -  An elderly man, possibly with a stiffie,  riding his tricycle done the road with his Trump hat on backwards ... those are the people who are going to "Make America Great Again."]
Hypocrites, racists and loons.  Quite a base you're working with there, Republicans!  Well- deserved after decades of nurturing, of course.

BONUS:  Michael Grunwald on the Crazy you might have missed while the spotlight was on "Rump" Trump.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Today's Cartoon - "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz's Child Exploitation


(click on image to enlarge)



(Darrin Bell, via gocomics.com)

Recently, umbrage was taken by the reptilian, dangerous demagogue Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz over a political cartoon by Ann Telnaes, featuring Cruz as an organ grinder and his two young daughters as the organ grinder's monkeys.  The cartoon was in reference to Cruz's cynical placement of his daughters in his campaigning, most specifically in an ad where they were scripted to read wingnutty versions of "'How the Grinch Obamacare Stole Christmas," and "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Unemployed Reindeer."  Fun stuff, in an alternate universe kind of way.  Clearly, Cruz's use of his young daughters is meant to counter his well-deserved image as a widely- loathed (for good reason) "wacko bird" (Sen. John McCain's words). Or as one Republican put it, "Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It just saves time."

After the tempest blew up, Telnaes defended her use of Cruz's daughters in the cartoon saying,
“When a politician uses his children as political props, as Ted Cruz recently did in his Christmas parody video in which his eldest daughter read (with her father’s dramatic flourish) a passage of an edited Christmas classic, then I figure they are fair game.”
Almost immediately stepping off whatever high ground he occupied and onto his, er, schlong (h/t Rump Trump), the reptilian Cruz begun fundraising off of the Telnaes cartoon tempest ("My kids =sob= have been exploited =sniff= and victimized =sob=.  Please send me money =sob=.").  If that's not a perfect illustration (and one that supports the basic notion of the Telnaes cartoon) of Cruz's continuing cynicism and lack of scruples in exploiting his own daughters, we're not sure what would be.

Come to think of it, referring to him as "reptilian" is an insult to reptiles.

BONUS:  Then there's this:

Unemployment Claims Close To A 42-Year Low


The Obama Administration continues to hit new lows (thanks a lot, Obama!):
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, nearing a 42-year low as labor market conditions continued to tighten in a boost to the economy.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 for the week ended Dec. 19, not far from levels last seen in late 1973, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 270,000 in the latest week. Claims have been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a buoyant labor market, for 42 consecutive weeks. That is the longest stretch since the early 1970s. (our emphasis)
Is the economy optimal?  Of course not.  Among other ills, income inequality and wage stagnation continue to afflict us and make us feel less prosperous than we feel we should be.  But this is one more piece of evidence that the U.S. economy is still solid.  One is only left to wonder, had we not had nihilist, reactionary Republicans at both the Federal and state levels working overtime to sabotage economic growth from the very beginning of the Obama presidency, how much better things would be right now.  

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Santa Glock Is Coming To Town


(click on images to enlarge)


(Clay Jones, www.claytoonz.com)

 
(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

News item:
This year, among the socks and sweaters, bottles of wine, a large number of Americans will find another present: guns.

Gun shop owners across the US have reported a marked increase in interest in their products over the holidays. In November, the FBI ran more than 2.2m gun background checks, a 24% increase from last year. Gun background checks hit a new record on Black Friday, when 185,345 were processed by the FBI.
Business is, um, booming.  We feel safer already;  don't you?

The Right's War On Christmas


Harold Meyerson talks about the spirit of Christmas -- and who really is at war with it --  in an excellent, must- read for this or any other season.  We're taking the liberty of excerpting a major portion of it here.  Meyerson first briefly recounts the Biblical story of Joseph fleeing from King Herod's Judea with Mary and Jesus, "a story that echoed the Old Testament's concern for strangers, foreigners and refugees."  He then poses a question:
Who’s really waging a war against Christmas in 2015? Secular multiculturalists who, stealthily and nefariously, have somehow rendered Starbucks’s coffee cups a tad less festive? Or the self-proclaimed culture warriors on behalf of traditional values, who demand we leave refugees — even small children, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has made pitilessly clear — at the mercy of the latter-day Herods? Who condemn entire religions? Who fear and loathe strangers?
It’s been a banner year for fear and loathing, xenophobia and racism. What has made the year genuinely ominous is the emergence of fictions presented (often, but hardly exclusively, by Donald Trump) as facts that legitimize a sense of both grievance and hatred: New Jersey Muslims celebrating 9/11; the quarter-million Syrians that the Obama administration is planning to bring in; a wave of black-on-white homicide. Concoctions all, but credible enough to the sizable share of Republicans who also believe the president is a Kenyan Muslim. Fed by talk radio, Fox News and paranoid websites, millions of our compatriots dwell in a parallel universe of alternative realities. My colleague Dana Milbank has noted that the fashion among conservatives is to dismiss hard facts that clash with their alternative realities as “politically correct.” That’s Republicanese for “empirically correct” — verifiable by research, but at odds with the stories they’ve created to justify their rage. 
Such right-wing fictions have always hovered on the fringes of the body politic, but what has enabled them to go more mainstream is the sense of displacement — from their previous position as a majority race, a thriving class, a dominant religion — that is now widespread among the white working class Trumpites and the evangelical Christians flocking to Ted Cruz’s banner. The mission of right-wing media and pols has been to exaggerate some of that displacement (the threat to white America), play down other parts of it (the evisceration of blue-collar living standards by corporate America) and lay the blame for it all on minorities, foreigners, liberals, feminists, gays — you know the list.  [snip]
Enmities, and most certainly not love, have become the core of the right’s appeal and message this year, not just in the United States but also across Europe. They may well sweep Trump or Cruz to the Republican nomination; they have already infused the entire party with bigoted perspectives that will be hard to disclaim.
They are most surely at odds with the spirit of Christmas. Walls on the border, religious tests for admission, despising the poor — good thing Joseph and Mary didn’t have to encounter our modern-day defenders of the right as they scrambled from one country to another, desperate to save their son’s life.
It's too much to expect that this connection would ever be made by the supporters of Donald "Rump" Trump, Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz or any of the other demagogues, cranks and small- bore xenophobes and bigots running for the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party nomination.  Their supporters are hunkered down in a right- wing "parallel universe of alternative realities" that's been created for them over decades by a cynical, pandering political structure (aided and abetted by a puerile, cowardly "mainstream media").  They're angry (at the wrong people), aggrieved (for the wrong reasons) and fearful (of the wrong things), and the sad fact is they're not coming out of their parallel universe into the one the rest of us know.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Mid- Week Seasonal Music


We started a holiday tradition a while back of playing this wonderful composition by Russian great Sergei Prokofiev, "Troika" from his score for the Soviet- era film "Lieutenant Kije."  We think it evokes the season so beautifully (although in this part of the U.S., it's abnormally springlike).  Hope you enjoy.


Happy Festivus!


Today, December 23, it's Festivus ("for the rest of us"), a celebration eschewing the commercialization of the season.  So, get your aluminum Festivus pole, prepare your Festivus dinner, then engage in the Airing of the Grievances and Feats of Strength!  Let's rumble!



BONUS:  Better not be appropriating Festivus if you're a dudebro libertarian Republican!

Bernie Sanders Schools Trump On Bodily Functions


Yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attempted to school (potty train?) the infantile Mussolini of Manhattan, Donald "Rump" Trump, on his apparent lack of knowledge of human bodily functions, as Rump displayed in his comments Monday about Hillary Clinton.  Here's what Bernie had to say:
"I don't know how to break this to you. Donald Trump is very upset," Sanders told a crowd at a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
"I don't know what his relationship with women has been like, but he has discovered that women go to the bathroom, and it's very upsetting for him."  [snip]
At Tuesday's rally, Sanders read Trump's quote out loud, marveling at the businessman's apparent lack of understanding of basic bodily functions.
"This is a guy who wants to be president of the United States. He must have a very unusual relationship with women," Sanders said.
Sanders noted that he, like Clinton, also went the bathroom during the debate, but somehow Trump wasn't disgusted by that.
“I've got to be honest with you. I've got to lay it out on the table: I also went to the bathroom,” Sanders said. “I know. I have to admit it.”
Way to troll that schlong putz, Bernie!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)


Fear and hatred are the stock-in-trade of the Rethuglican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooters Party, and they're once again using it to whip up their fearful and gullible base, with each Presidential candidate trying to one-up the other in inflammatory rhetoric. In the case of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, it resulted in three deaths. There are ominous signs that their rhetoric has prompted some unhinged wingnuts to acts of violence against Muslim Americans, as we noted yesterday. It remains to be seen how much of the public will buy into the same messaging from the Rethugs, but far too many have fallen for it already.

(cartoon: Jeff Stahler, Gocomics.com)

Keeping Track Of Number One And Number Two


In his continuing series "Nuremberg Comes To...", here's your Republican "presidential" front- runner, in Michigan:
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Donald Trump used vulgar language as he attacked Hillary Clinton during a rally on Monday night, saying her use of the restroom at the last Democratic debate was "too disgusting" to talk about and that in 2008 she got "schlonged" by Barack Obama when he defeated her in the Democratic primary.

Standing before a crowd of 7,500, Trump recounted how Clinton was seconds late to the Democratic debate stage on Saturday night following a commercial break. Trump asked the crowd four times where Clinton had gone.
Then the drooling dimwits cheered!
"I know where she went -- it's disgusting, I don't want to talk about it," Trump said, screwing up his face, as the crowd laughed and cheered. "No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it, it's disgusting."
Rump would certainly know disgusting when he sees it, every morning in the mirror and looking out at his crowds.

No doubt after a few "Sieg heils!", the slack- jawed crowd goose-stepped home.

In the meantime, let's see what the very slimy number 2 (yes) Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz has been up to:
Conservative Christian activists whose support has been hotly pursued by Republican presidential candidates have begun to quietly coalesce around Sen. Ted Cruz — a major boost for his efforts to present himself as the leading challenger to front-runner Donald Trump.
Members of this core GOP constituency have long been torn between several favorites in the party’s crowded field. But many organization leaders have decided in recent days to line up behind Cruz (Tex.) because they consider him the best-funded and most electable social conservative in the race, according to several participants in the discussions.  [snip]
Since the Dec. 7 meeting, endorsements have been announced by influential figures such as James Dobson, a radio host who founded Focus on the Family; Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage; and Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowa Family Leader organization.
The next gathering will take place a few days after Christmas at a remote ranch in central Texas, where Cruz, his wife and several key financial backers will visit with some of the country’s most prominent evangelical leaders for private conversations and a public rally.  [snip]
Participants said the effort was organized in part by Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who has long urged Christian conservatives to pick a consensus presidential candidate early in the nomination process.  (our emphasis)
Well, he certainly is working to corner the market on the Southern Poverty Law Center's designated hate groups.  It was a ("traditional") marriage made in heaven: the evangelical "Christian" snake oil salesmen and Cruz, the political snake oil salesman.

So, to summarize:  the front- runner is a neo- fascist, nitwit, misogynist demagogue, and the number 2 (yes again) is a theocratic, hate- group pursuing, smarmy demagogue.  What a choice, Republicans!

BONUS:  No surprise to anyone with a pulse and a brain, Rump's the most disgusting Liar of the Year, or of any other year.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Terrorists Are Already Here (Cont.)


This happened:
Police in Richmond, California, on Sunday arrested William Celli, days after receiving a tip that the 55-year-old was allegedly building homemade explosives with the intent of targeting the local Muslim community.
Shortly after the arrest, San Francisco's KPIX reported that police evacuated an area around Celli's home while the bomb squad investigated the interior. Officers removed at least one suspicious device from the property and detonated it before allowing neighbors to return to their homes. Police haven't clarified whether the object was actually an explosive, or whether it would have been ready for use if it was.   [snip]
Celli doesn't fit the profile of the "terrorist" who is likely to be invoked on cable news or on a GOP debate stage. In fact, judging by Celli's Facebook page, he seems to be the exact inverse: a disgruntled white man who has bought into the xenophobic rhetoric of people like GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.  (our emphasis)
(Snark alert)  Prepare for 24/7 pants- shitting news coverage on Fox and CNN, complete with Michael Bay impending doom background music!!   No?  Wonder why not...

Quote of the Day


When Hillary Clinton correctly noted that Rethuglican neo-fascist wig stand Donald "Rump" Trump was ISIS' "best recruiter", Rump "demanded" that Clinton apologize. Not unexpectedly, Clinton's campaign responded:
"Hell no.  Hillary Clinton will not be apologizing to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps ISIS recruit more terrorists." (emphasis added)
 It's good to hear some Trumanesque language from Democrats now and then. Take the fight to the Rethugs.

Another One Bites The Dust


South Carolina Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Butchmeup*" Graham has announced that he's suspending his virtually non-existent campaign for the Republican nomination. When he announced his long-shot candidacy last June, Huckleberry stressed his aggressive positions on military intervention in Syria and Iraq, in concert with longtime associate and fellow bomb-bomb-bomb enthusiast Sen. John McCain. But in the past six months, his campaign went nowhere in the crowded clown bus field of Rethug candidates.

The Senator has been a very vocal critic of his party's frontrunner, neo-fascist bloviator Donald "Rump" Trump,  so whatever small cohort of supporters he had will likely be picked up by another "establishment" candidate.  His decision to suspend his campaign turned on whether he wanted expose himself to defeat in South Carolina's primary in February, so Huckleberry's decided that discretion was the better part of valor and quit.

* h/t to Esquire's Charles P. Pierce for the moniker

Monday Morning Read - Where Republicans Have Been Headed For Decades


(Gavin Coates, Earthypublications.com)

Paul Krugman traces the devolution of the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party and its knuckle- dragging base from Dumbya to Palin to Trumpism (a.k.a., American fascism):
Almost six months have passed since Donald Trump overtook Jeb Bush inpolls of Republican voters. At the time, most pundits dismissed the Trump phenomenon as a blip, predicting that voters would soon return to more conventional candidates. Instead, however, his lead just kept widening. Even more striking, the triumvirate of trash-talk — Mr. Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz — now commands the support of roughly 60 percent of the primary electorate.

But how can this be happening? After all, the antiestablishment candidates now dominating the field, aside from being deeply ignorant about policy, have a habit of making false claims, then refusing to acknowledge error. Why don’t Republican voters seem to care?

Well, part of the answer has to be that the party taught them not to care. Bluster and belligerence as substitutes for analysis, disdain for any kind of measured response, dismissal of inconvenient facts reported by the “liberal media” didn’t suddenly arrive on the Republican scene last summer. On the contrary, they have long been key elements of the party brand. So how are voters supposed to know where to draw the line?
Krugman also gives the god- awful American media a significant role in this devolution of right- wing politics.  With their focusing on the trivial, the "who would you rather have a beer with" inanities, the eliding of right- wing lies, the failure to come to grips with the evermore extreme drift of the Republican Party, the American media can share a great deal of discredit for what we're seeing today in the ascendance of the brutish on the right.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

He's Got Hiiiigh Nopes…*


Flailing House of Bush scion John Ellis "J.E.B.!" Bush feels he has to justify those tens and tens of millions of dollars that his daddy's plutocrat friends ponied up for him to buy win the Rethuglican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooters Party nomination.  He's been desperate to spin his failure as something else, and he's certainly came up with an inventive one now, namely that he's happy not to be the front runner:
"Yeah, I hated [being the front runner]. I feel much better back here. Because I have a brother that was president and a father that was president. And that higher expectation was important to realize. And so being the front runner made me feel like the other guys just dancing right through this. I have to go earn it. I have higher expectations on me than people have on me."  (emphasis added)
Anyone that believes that J.E.B.! hated being the front runner also believes in leprechauns. This plutocratic bumbler might be marginally smarter than his brother, but he's a lousy campaigner and liar.  Also, where does he come off thinking that anyone has "higher expectations" of him because his father and brother were President?  In varying degrees, they screwed that job up, so the public's expectations of him are exactly where they belong:  very low, like his poll numbers.

* Apologies to this old campaign song.

Tweets Of The Day - The Democratic Debate


Here, courtesy of Michael Grunwald, are (IMHO) the best tweets summarizing last night's Democratic debate, the Republican candidates and the media:



Sunday Cartoon


(click on image to enlarge)


(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

There's a lot to fear (and loathe)... if you look at the Republican candidates for President!  But, Repubicans get the candidates they deserve.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"What Sheems To Be The Officer, Problem?"


Republican (naturally) Gov. Susana "Martini" Martinez of New Mexico has been talked about as possible VP candidate, a token Hispanic to soften the bigotry of any future Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party ticket (if Vlad the Invader isn't available).  Now it seems "Martini" might have a bit of an "officer, problem" because of a recent incident involving Demon Rum.  Be sure to check out the recordings at the link embedded below:
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) was forced to apologize on Friday after audio surfaced of her admonishing police officers who tried to disband a hotel party she was attending.

Three audio recordings obtained by several local media outlets feature staff at the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, calling police in the early hours of Dec. 13 to ask them to kick noisy people off the hotel premises after complaints from other hotel guests.

“We have guests that have been partying in their room,” Shelly Garcia at the El Dorado front desk told the Santa Fe police dispatcher. “They’ve been warned already and they are still not quieting down.”

Garcia told police that the rowdy guests had been throwing bottles off their hotel room balcony.


The hotel staff didn't know at the time that they were calling the cops on the governor, but they would soon find out.
Martinez came to the front desk after three police officers showed up at the hotel.

A slurry-sounding Martinez can be heard on the second recording repeatedly pestering Garcia to tell her who had complained -- or at least say what room they were in.

“Oh you can tell the police, but they won’t tell you -- you won’t tell me?” Martinez said. “I’ll get it from the cops.”

Martinez then gets on the phone with the police dispatcher, who also refuses to identify the people who complained. 
The third, and funniest recording, has Martinez speaking to an officer on the phone, incredulous that cops had been sent to the hotel. It's unclear at that point whether she is back in her room.

“So we’re sitting in there, I’m the governor of the state of New Mexico, and we’re in there with my sister, who’s disabled, along with about six other people who are having pizza,” Martinez said.  [Ed. note:  pulling the "disabled" family member and "I'm the Governor..." cards in the same sentence!]

Told by the cop that there were reports of partying guests throwing bottles off the balcony, Martinez gave this creative denial:

“I’m sorry. There’s no one on the balcony and there’s no one throwing bottles off the balcony,” she said. “And if there were, it was about six hours ago.”

Then, still seemingly on the phone, Martinez turns to Sgt. Anthony Tapia, one of the officers at the hotel.

“We are eating pizza, and drinking Cokes, and whoever was throwing bottles is not there, hasn’t been there for like six hours,” she tells the sergeant.  (our emphasis)
That's the "I didn't do it, and I'll never do it again!" defense.  Of course, had the audio proof not surfaced, "Martini" and her toadies would have denied anything like this occurred. 

The Republican Ticket?



Kudos to Republican who never- will- be- President Gov. John Kasich for this epic trolling of the Mussolini of Manhattan, Donald "Rump" Trump, and his bully bromance with fellow authoritarian Vladimir "Vlad the Invader" Putin Tsar of all the Russias.  Our question now would be "If this is how you feel, will you go on record that you won't support Trump if he ends up as the Republican nominee, Gov. Kasich?"

Bonus daps for the faux website, complete with press release, the Kasich campaign set up for the "Trump-Putin 2016 ticket." Go give it some clicks.

President Obama's 2015 Top Ten List


From today's radio address, here are President Obama's Top Ten reasons to be optimistic as we head into 2016 ("in no particular order"):
Number ten: The economy. Over the past 12 months, our businesses have created 2.5 million new jobs. In all, they’ve added 13.7 million new jobs over a 69-month streak of job growth. And the unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent – the lowest it’s been in almost eight years.

Number nine: More Americans are getting health coverage. The rate of the uninsured in America dropped below 10 percent for the first time ever. In all, 17.6 million people and climbing have gained coverage as the Affordable Care Act has taken effect. And don’t forget, you can still sign up through January 31st at HealthCare.gov.

Number eight: America’s global leadership on climate change. Last week, in Paris, nearly 200 countries came together to set the course for a low-carbon future. And it was only possible because America led with clean energy here at home and strong diplomacy around the world.

Number seven: Progress in the Americas. We turned the page on an outdated, half-century old policy by re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopening embassies in both our countries, allowing us to build greater ties between Americans and Cubans.

Number six: Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. We succeeded in forging a strong deal to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In fact, Iran has already dismantled thousands of centrifuges that enrich uranium.

Number five: Standing strong against terrorism. Even as we continue to grieve over the attack in San Bernardino, we’re leading a global coalition and hitting ISIL harder than ever. In Syria and Iraq, ISIL is losing territory, and we’re not going to stop until we destroy this terrorist organization. 
Number four: A 21st century trade deal that makes sure our businesses can sell goods “Made in America” across the Asia-Pacific. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the strongest, most pro-worker, pro-environment trade agreement in our history. And it means that America – not China, not anyone else – will write the rules of the global economy for the century ahead.
Number three: A pair of Christmas miracles in Washington! This week, Congress passed a bipartisan budget that invests in middle-class priorities, keeps our military the strongest in the world, and takes the threat of shutdowns and manufactured crises off the table for 2016. Plus, I signed a bipartisan education bill into law to help our students graduate prepared for college and their future careers.

Number two: Love won. No matter who you are, here in America, you’re free to marry the person you love, because the freedom to marry is now the law in all fifty states.

And the number one reason I’m optimistic going into 2016: It's you—the American people. All of this progress is because of you—because of workers rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done, and entrepreneurs starting new businesses. Because of teachers and health workers and parents—all of us taking care of each other. Because of our incredible men and women in uniform, serving to protect us all. Because, when we’re united as Americans, there’s nothing that we cannot do.
While there's no such thing as perfection, that's a pretty damn good list for the President, and Democrats, to be proud of, wouldn't you say?   

The DNC and DWS


This week's kerfuffle over members of Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign staff improperly accessing proprietary voter data from the Clinton campaign may or may not be a big issue in tonight's Democratic candidate debate.  It's good that the Sanders campaign's access to the DNC-maintained data base was restored this morning, while a further review by the Democratic National Committee proceeds. But there are real questions about the timing of the story, and whether DNC leadership used this opportunity to slow down or damage Sanders' campaign.

There's legitimate concern expressed for some time now that the otherwise ineffectual DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been putting her thumb on the Dem primary scales to favor Secretary Clinton's candidacy (Wasserman Schultz was the 2008 co-chair of Secretary Clinton's campaign). In the past, the campaign of former Gov. Martin O'Malley has blasted the DNC for not scheduling more debates, which one would expect an underdog to wish for. Both O'Malley and Sanders are criticizing the DNC's scheduling of a debate tonight, one week before Christmas and on a night traditionally set aside for socializing outside of the home, not watching the tube.

After the mid-term Rethug victories at the Congressional and state levels in 2012 and 2014, the Dems would do far better to find a Chair for their party who doesn't also have a full-time job as a U.S. Representative, and who doesn't have to have her arm-twisted to support the Administration's positions while playing kissy-kissy with Rethugs who want to knife her. Is that too much to ask?

The Republican Cult Of Climate Change Denial


From the President's end- of- year press conference yesterday:
"Do I think that there's going to be lot of noise and campaigning next year about how [the GOP is] going to stop Paris in its tracks? There will probably be a lot of noise like that," Obama said. "The American Republican Party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change.(our emphasis)
Think about that truth for a moment.  The Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party is the only major party in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change. In maintaining that position, they're blocking action that even (wait for it)... the oil companies (!) recognize needs to be taken:
"We believe the risks of climate change are real and those risks warrant constructive action by both policymakers and the business community,” as ExxonMobil Vice President Ken Cohen puts it, using words that none of the GOP frontrunners could bring himself to utter. ExxonMobil even advocates that a global carbon tax be placed on its own products as the most effective means of reducing greenhouse emissions, with all revenue generated by the tax used to reduce other forms of taxation.
Other major oil companies — including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco — have also embraced the findings of climate science and voiced vocal support for the Paris climate-change agreement. Clearly, they too believe that the climate is warming to a dangerous degree, and that action must be taken to reduce the damage as much as possible.
Is it possible that small bore, nihilist Republicans have other reasons, beyond science skepticism and fossil fuel industry donations, to deny climate change and man's role in it?  Why, yes:  "It's Al Gore's fault Republicans have their heads up their asses!"   Of course if [Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton] fight for something, we have to fight for the direct opposite!  Brilliant!

As Jay Bookman continues,
But hey, maybe all that data are mere coincidence and the Republicans are right. Maybe the governments of more than 190 countries are wrong, and the Republicans are right. Maybe the overwhelming majority of climate scientists are wrong, and the Republicans are right. Maybe the folks at ExxonMobil and BP and other major oil companies are wrong, and the Republicans are right. Maybe earlier generations of Republicans that proposed to address the threat of manmade climate change were wrong, and the modern GOP with its cult-like insistence on ideological conformity is right.
Maybe. But I don’t want to bet the planet I leave to my children and grandchildren on that unlikely event.  (our emphasis)
We would like to remind everyone who might be toying with the idea of voting Republican, but particularly GenXers and Millennials, that a vote for any Republican at any level, no matter how they weasel word their position, is a vote to block perhaps the last chance we have to prevent catastrophic, existential damage to our planet -- the planet you're inheriting from an older cohort that has, to this point, failed to get the job done.  In 2016, we have a chance together to get that existential job done.  It's about as clear and present a danger as we face today, and one on which the political lines are clearly drawn.  As it is said, you're either part of the solution or part of the problem.

BONUS:  Let's not forget Republican thought leader and Bible thumping Sen. "Snowball."

Friday, December 18, 2015

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon - The Malleability Of Republican Reality


(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Alternet)

Weekend Music Twofer


Happy 72nd (!) birthday today to primo Rolling Stones guitarist and composer Keith Richards.  First of all, Keith Richards managed to live to 72?!?  The authentic Stone, Richards wrote many of the Stones' hits along with that Tory guy, and was the key guitarist for the entirety of the Stones' fabled career.  We're featuring a song he co- wrote (with that Tory guy) and on which he played both rhythm and lead guitar, "Gimme Shelter," and of which it was said,
The song is highly influential in that Richards played it in his new open tuning, making the guitar riff among the most unique and recognizable in rock history.
The song also features a wailing Merry Clayton vocal.

We're also featuring a song released earlier this year by Los Angeles based band Geronimo Getty, "Greyhound Blues," which has, IMO, echoes of the Flying Burrito Brothers and John Prine.






Seditionists Lose Their Statues


It's welcome news that the city of New Orleans has finally taken the step of removing 4 statues honoring people who committed treason against the United States in the Civil War.  Among the Confederate figures are Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, and Confederate "President" Jefferson Davis, in addition to a statue commemorating the Confederate soldiers who fought in the battle of Liberty Place.  One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, this country is finally starting to come to terms with some of the symbols of the insurrection to preserve slavery:  the Confederate battle flag being removed from public areas (at the cost of 9 African-American lives in Charleston, S.C.), statues commemorating Confederate soldiers, and so forth. It's still woefully inadequate. The prevalence of the symbols of slavery and treason is still obnoxiously widespread throughout the U.S., and it will take steady determination and persistence to remove them and put them where they belong: in history museums. But good for New Orleans.

On The Celebrity Endorsement Watch - Trump Dudebro Edition


From the society scribblers at the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle comes word of a yoooge endorsement for Donald "Rump" Trump:
Celeb: Dan Bilzerian, aka “The King of Instagram,” whose social-media persona — a gun-slinging, motorcycle-driving tough guy constantly surrounded by scantily clad women — is that of a bad action-movie hero come to life.
Backing: Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and campaign alpha male.
Money quote:In an age of [offensive adjective] political correctness, you have to respect people who remain unfiltered,” he wrote next to a picture of himself and Trump in Las Vegas.
Does it matter? Bilzerian’s hardly a household name, but his 14.6 million Instagram followers are nothing to sneeze at.
Achoo!  Frankly, we'd never heard of this overcompensating Dan "Bluto" Bilzerian, although he's apparently somewhat infamous:
Dan Bilzerian, the infamous Instagram star known for his lavish lifestyle, has just been sued for the second time this week – this time by a woman he threw off a roof.
The 34-year-old professional poker player was doing a photo shoot at his home back in April and Hustler magazine hired porn star Janice Griffith to participate.
For one shot, Dan and Hustler allegedly suggested that he throw Janice off the roof and the stunt left her with a broken foot. She says she was offered alcohol after to alleviate the pain. Now, she is suing for unspecified damages and lost wages, according to TMZ.
Dan is also being sued by a woman he kicked in the face at a nightclub in Miami.


MORE: Dan Bilzerian Sued by Woman He Threw Off a Roof | Dan Bilzerian : Just Jared | http://www.justjared.com/2014/12/16/dan-bilzerian-sued-by-woman-he-threw-off-a-roof/?trackback=tsmclip

Visit:Just Jared | Twitter | Facebook
It's officially open season on Instagram playboy Dan Bilzerian -- he's been hit with his 2nd lawsuit in a week ... this time from the porn star he tossed off a roof and into a pool.

Janice Griffith just filed the suit against Bilzerian and Hustler magazine for the stunt she says left her with a broken foot. In her suit, Janice says Hustler hired her to do a photoshoot at Dan's home back in April ... which would show off his "extravagant lifestyle."
Bluto's also been sued by a woman he kicked in a Miami nightclub a while back.  He sounds like Trump's kind of guy.

(Photo:  That's alpha male Bluto in the middle, in case you were wondering.)
Dan Bilzerian, the infamous Instagram star known for his lavish lifestyle, has just been sued for the second time this week – this time by a woman he threw off a roof.
The 34-year-old professional poker player was doing a photo shoot at his home back in April and Hustler magazine hired porn star Janice Griffith to participate.
For one shot, Dan and Hustler allegedly suggested that he throw Janice off the roof and the stunt left her with a broken foot. She says she was offered alcohol after to alleviate the pain. Now, she is suing for unspecified damages and lost wages, according to TMZ.
Dan is also being sued by a woman he kicked in the face at a nightclub in Miami.


MORE: Dan Bilzerian Sued by Woman He Threw Off a Roof | Dan Bilzerian : Just Jared | http://www.justjared.com/2014/12/16/dan-bilzerian-sued-by-woman-he-threw-off-a-roof/?trackback=tsmclip

Visit:Just Jared | Twitter | Facebook

Tweet Of The Day - If It Sounds Ay-rab, Bomb It!



D'oh!

(h/t Silver Spring Bureau Chief Brian, TCIITM)

Nuremberg Comes To Phoenix


They come to these American- style Nuremberg rallies for Donald "Rump" Trump to see "what's gonna happen."  That usually involves an assault on an anti- Trump protester, like one that occurred Wednesday in Phoenix:
Jack Owen, 70, a retired auto dealer and Vietnam veteran, walked behind the podium to take a look at Trump’s plane. He had come, he said, “because I read two stories in the Arizona Republic telling people not to come out — ‘Don’t spread the hate.’ Then I said, ‘Well, now I’ve got to go for sure.’ ”
Asked about punching the protester, Owen said almost casually, “Yeah, I sucker-punched the guy; the guy had a ring in his nose.”
Asked what had pushed him that far, he shrugged.
“Just a reaction — we’ve got to go now,” he said, and then he took his wife’s hand and they joined others exiting the hangar, where Trump was still speaking, his voice rising.
"Just a reaction."  Spoken like a true reactionary!

The assaults were not limited to sucker punches from septuagenarian wanna- be jackboots.  There were plenty of verbal assaults, too. The now- familiar "Motherf*cking tacos!" epithet was heard at this rally, as it or a variation has been heard at other Trump rallies.

They're not there to hear what Trump has to say, but more to bathe in the raw anger, victimhood and bigotry.  As one Trump supporter said,
“I don’t expect to hear anything I haven’t heard before,” said Tammy Edwards, 56, a medical assistant. “But it feels good to be around people who think the same as you, who are fed up.”
Hmmm.  A she's a "medical assistant."  We wouldn't want to be "helped" by Tammy if we were Hispanic or otherwise non- pure Aryan.

Does this definition of "fascism" from emeritus professor Robert Paxton set off any alarm bells?
"[Fascism is] a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."
As fellow blogger Grung_e_Gene once aptly put it, "When fascism comes to America it'll be wearing a day- glo orange toupee and be yuuuge and classy."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Quote Of The Day - We Strongmen Have To Stick Together!



"He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that... He is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it."  Russian President strongman Vladimir "Vlad the Invader" Putin on fellow flamboyant authoritarian nightmare Donald "Rump" Trump to reporters in Moscow, according to Reuters.  There's a mutual admiration society here;  Rump scores Putin well in comparison with President Obama.  It's a bully bromance!

BONUS:  Driftglass has the perfect Tumblr gif to accompany this
bully bromance. 

BONUS II:  Not to be outdone, we offer this musical accompaniment to the budding bromance.

Today's Cartoon Twofer: The Republican Party's New Normal


(click on image to enlarge)



(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)



(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

Credit where due, the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle takes aim at the blister on humanity's ass, also known as the Republican Party:
THE REPUBLICAN Party, once small government’s champion, is now the party that breeds presidential contenders who would monitor schools and mosques, shut down parts of the Internet and exclude certain immigrants for no reason beyond the faith they profess. In the GOP debate Tuesday, those ideas — along with can-you-top-this rhetorical barrages aimed at illegal immigrants and Syrian refugees — received a generally polite reception, with constitutional, legal and practical questions contemptuously dismissed as “political correctness.”
True, the extremism that now passes for mainstream Republican thought, robbed of its shock value by the unfiltered ravings of Donald Trump, was punctured from time to time with expressions of dismay, incredulity and doubt.  [snip]
By and large, though, these ludicrous proposals went unremarked on by the Republican contestants, for whom bigotry, hatred and magical thinking are the new normal.
As true as ever, let's just say it:  The Republicans are the problem.  And they're a problem that's been around for longer than most will admit, and they're getting more dangerous all the time.

An Early Christmas Gift - "Pharma Bro" Arrested



Reuters reports that the FBI arrested the despicable drug profiteer Martin "Screw You" Shkreli this morning after a Federal securities fraud investigation of the hedge fund and pharmaceutical companies he managed. Known as "Pharma Bro" for being a hipster poseur, Screw You became notorious earlier this year for jacking up the price of Daraprim, which is used in the treatment of a deadly parasitic infection (ed. - which should be renamed after Shkreli) from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. Screw You repeatedly defended the price gouging.

Shkreli's history reads like a shell game of shifting investments, companies and schemes. He recently bought a rare copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million. Let's hope the securities fraud charges stick, and that they carry with them a very long stretch in prison.