Monday, September 26, 2016

I Think Clinton Won on the Merits

There were a number of things the candidates had to do--explain how they would enact policies that best enacted their vision of how to improve our nation, express their connection to Americans' everyday issues, and seem presidential, which means not being an emotional need-hole and not being a lying garbage person.

Hillary Clinton managed to pass this not especially rigorous test of being a competent human who made no ridiculous demands on the credulity of her hearers, and developed answers that showed a knowledge of history, continuity, fairness, Constitutionality, and made statements that necessarily degraded the alleged competencies of her opponent.

Trump failed to demonstrate that he understood the issues better than Secretary Clinton, or had exceedingly better policies, or could even refute clams that his business acumen was not great and that he was not necessarily a racist. Within the debate, she lobbed truthballs at his silver spoon start, his many bankruptcies, his settlement in a claim against his properties for race discrimination in the 1970's--and frankly, she only hit him on the tip of his particular amoral iceberg.

She had him sputtering, and it did not help that he was snorting and sniffling--a cold perhaps?
Or Bolivian marching powder? So 80's and Lifestyles of the Louche and Loathesome! But whatever--the funny old thing is, she beat him on facts. She knew her shit. He appeared to be rambling and repetitive and spoke like a toddler.

He needs to bone up or bow out--and it's too late to bow out.

Is Trump a Useful Idiot?

It certainly is fascinating that, some time after the ousting of Paul Manafort, it's just now that US intelligence agencies might be considering looking into the doings of Carter Page. Being invested in Gazprom and against the sanctions against Russia kind of make it seem like he isn't interested so much in how US interests play out there, as his own portfolio. That's not actually cool.

It's not quite entirely clear what the young (well, my age) Mr. Page brings to the table as a foreign policy advisor, as he is a relative unknown.  We try to keep the hope alive, do we not, that a person not uniquely outfitted with the education or life experiences to completely perform the duties of the office of the presidency will still somehow nominate really great, informed people about him or herself  to better equip the executive team in handling all that comes across their table--

And no. Carter Page, like any of the other deplorables since jettisoned, isn't actually a great pick. If he's getting any info regarding energy policy from him, for example, as a topic that does deal with international trade and protection, things like talking about fracking in this particular way seems extra dumb.

He hopefully doesn't think Putin is an actually strong political figure to emulate, either. But he's said worse things about Mark Cuban than he has about Putin.

But so what if a major Trump advisor is possibly serving as a backchannel to Russia in contravention of any standard of national security, in a way that, if any finances could be connected to it, be considered rank treason and most likely should?

Is that really somehow more damaging than what might be in Hillary's emails?

Huh. Tend your own grease-fire, Trump campaign. I suspect it could be going places.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Mass Murderer of the Cascade Mall

It's probably a bad sign in this country that the deaths of five Americans doesn't really make quite the scene that the pending divorce of Brangelina does. Frankly, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie seem like cool people who had a really good thing for a while, but if it didn't work, I just wish both of them well and think that details are their own business, not mine, right? But the continuations of a trend regarding mass shootings in this country becoming so ho-hum that the only way some folks can even get it up to notice this is freaking disturbing is if it might just be terrorism, for some degree of bias-confirmation? Well, that's kind of news, isn't it? After all, Donald Trump seems to think it is--

Somebody should probably let Trump know that Turkey is majority Muslim, but not actually in the Middle East--it's Europe. (People died from drug overdoses everywhere. One man's riot is another man's freedom of speech. He's not the most woke MF I ever came across, basically. He just about manages conscious.)

But there's this thing Cetin might have done before opening fire on a Macy's make-up counter killing five victims, four of which were female--he might have called out a woman's name. This entirely fits in with something I've been noticing about mass killers.  Misogyny is a prelude. It might even be context for all I can tell. The guy was militaristic and macho--the one Tweet where he mentioned Hillary Clinton kind of reads like a bet where if someone loses, they do something like shave their head--in other words, if his team could possibly win, he would consider voting for Hillary Clinton which is so not his thing, since he considers Obama a Commie. He must have given his team bad prospects.

His FaceBook and Twitter presence is ridiculously skimpy for a person of his generation. I get the sense of someone who wasn't making social connections and who dropped out occasionally. Christopher Koulouris of Scallywag and Vagabond  did a pretty deep-dive on this subject. It's a solid and detailed profile of a guy who was kind of a fuck-up--but definitely hated women.

All the details aren't in yet, and the dumb piece of work was taken in alive, so he still might pledge allegiance to Daesh because shooting other humans because you are basically unfuckable is a pretty lame thing to do. But I am kind of leaning toward misogynist dipshit with this one. Also--not sure how five people getting shot to death isn't more of a bigger news-thing.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Senator Ted Cruz Went With His Conscience

There was a beautiful jerk moment when TX Senator Ted Cruz went up on stage at the RNC and said that conservatives should vote their conscience.  I thought this was the right move for him at the time--it wasn't the popular thing, it wasn't the go-along to get-along thing. But it was being the kind of jerk you can almost admire: Donald Trump called Ted Cruz's father a possible assassin. He implied that Cruz's wife was homely. He called Cruz a "basket case".  Oh, and an anchor baby. If Senator Cruz took all that personally enough, it made his calculation to go "Never Trump" forgivable, in a sense, to Republicans who might find his lack of faith in Darth Trump disturbing.  He's a human being whose wife and father were insulted in personal ways, whose family might have been disrupted by a possible Roger Stone/National Enquirer "dirty trick" pinning him as a possible philanderer.  It's completely natural and principled for him to make a statement to the effect that it might not be within one's personal ethical code to whole-heartedly support someone like Trump but to act on one's conscience.

But apparently that look did not feel natural at all to Ted Cruz, so on the off-chance he needed Trump and could just be of any help at all to his party, well golly gosh and gee. He's up to support the guy who called his wife fugly and his dad a greasy Hispanic president-killer.  Not in a "sniveling coward" way, mind you. In an amorally ambitious weathervane kind of way.

At some point, you understand that he really, deeply, truly, wanted to tell his little girls that there was no way he could allow Hillary Clinton to be the President because there's just this something about her that shouldn't ever be trusted, yet the guy who insulted Pop-Pop and their Ma, should. Ted Cruz is going with a thing he might call his conscience, but I have a feeling that it's not what most of us would call it. Also his bad hairline is about to be a landing strip for Trump's balls. He will be made to eat this one, chew slowly, and swallow hard. Don't know how, don't know why. But at some point, if Cruz sees this ambulatory Cheeto around for some Texas campaigning (because it might be tighter there late in the game than it ever had a right to be with a normal Republican candidate) Cruz will have to stand by with the tightest grin on his waxy mug whilst something humiliating to him, personally, goes down. After all, Chris Christie had to endure it (and will likely see no political pay-off), so why not expect Ted Cruz to get a little Trump on him?

After all, Cruz is thinking about his political future. Now retired pols like, like GHWB, might be able to vote for Hillary Clinton. (I neither know whether this is 100% true, but allow he knows the Clintons, and isn't liable to run for any damn thing in the near future) but working folks like George P. Bush, whose father was humiliated and whose mother was insulted by Trump, just sort of have to tow the party line a bit. The choice is even starker for an ultra-conservative like Cruz. Evan McMullin? (Call me curious about Nathan Johnson--I thought it was a misspelling for Navin Johnson, Steve Martin's character in The Jerk, which, as a Steve Martin fan, at least made me appreciate his good taste).  Gary Johnson?

Make of that what you like. I just think it's great that Ted Cruz reverted to the guy I kinda thought he was before I got comfortable thinking of him as the guy he temporarily wanted to be.

Monday, September 19, 2016

These Candies Leave a Bad Taste

So, Donald Trump, Jr. posted the above message on Twitter, and I don't think he'll delete it because it was exactly the message the Trump Campaign was putting out today regarding the acts of alleged terrorist Ahmed Rahami--who was not Syrian, nor a refugee, and who was found asleep in a doorway by police. (My priceless Tweet: "I woke up in a Linden doorway, the policeman knew my name," has been absurdly ignored, and I am miffed.) What can one even say? The alt-right version, no less simplistic, usually uses M&M's. So it's not original, in just the way it isn't insightful or clever. But it does have the Trump/Pence logo going for it. Which inspires me, because of course it does.

UPDATE: People trying to flee are dying before our actual eyes. And this privileged peckerwood wants to compare them to poisoned candy? Fuck him, his Daddy, their party and the alt-right.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

When A Very Bad Thing Happens

I want someone who waits until the facts are in and will stay on top of things and know what to do as they unfold, in about the way I certainly do not want a person who just eagerly tells people there was a bomb and assigns blame without having any knowledge.

That's just my preferences though, based on what would work pretty well versus what would be an absolute undisciplined and ignorant disaster. You do you.

Update: And this might have stemmed from a tempest in a toolbox. One also should not neglect to wish the injured well--as I absolutely do.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Donald Trump is Always Gonna Be A Birther

Donald Trump is an uniquely disingenuous man. He is a liar. It's what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Trump--he is going to lie about something. He decided to lie and say he thought maybe Barack Obama was not eligible to be president because of his birth certificate. I would like everyone, everyone please! Stop pretending Donald Trump started birtherism. It was just a thing that was around message boards and blogs in 2008 and to their ever-lasting shame, some PUMA-types need to own up that they kind of liked the idea that this was a fun way to kneecap a credible African-American candidate. But no. There were so many fathers and mothers of this failure--Orly Taitz. Jerome Corsi. Near as I can tell, this was never a spectacular issue for Trump until about 2011 or so.

It doesn't appear to be at all true that he stopped after the birth certificate was put out by President Obama.  No, he kept ye olde home fires burning, even being unwilling to state for certain that the President was born in this country as late as Thursday.  I can't be certain about this and it's late, but there's this issue that Trump wanted help on regarding China (which he says he is going to make the best deals with, if you believe him) . The Obama Administration said there wasn't anything they could particularly do for him. And then that was the year Trump got salty. February 7, he writes that letter regarding China.

February 10, he's talking up birtherism.

Now, I see Trump as a vengeful and petty person. He's a get-back guy. He didn't have any information he was really questioning about Obama's birth certificate on behalf of a nation riven by this alien character; he just got thwarted by the Obama Administration about something and decided to be a major asshole about it. So he made it personal. And then when Obama released his long-form birth certificate and had the temerity to laugh about it at the White House Correspondents Dinner, he got so mad. And then for an encore, Obama fucking got Bin Laden.

Trump is a sad egobaby so he didn't even try 2012. But he kept kicking that birther thing until he thought, maybe, 2016 is a good year to run against tired, sad Hillary and prove his ass didn't get beat. So he messaged to the alt-right, and then decides at the nth minute he wants to disavow?

Nope.  It was always a lie. His investigators he pretended to send to Hawaii to find really interesting things? It was a hoax. See--the problem isn't that birtherism was just wrong--oh hell no. The stupidity of having to pretend that Obama's mom would have had to be in Kenya for Obama to be born there just makes cases like Terry Lakin appallingly disappointing--is it really possible to have this much disrespect for another human being that you throw away your actual future for it? But what did Trump have to lose? He discovered that you can have a reputation as a ginormous prick in this country and be celebrated. You could basically get away with murder, if you knew how to massage the press.

So he stood with some veterans, and he talked about his new DC luxury hotel, and then offered up a statement that he figures puts to bed the last five years of him questioning the President's birthplace. While having another prominent birther on the stage with him. As if messaging "Naw, I'm not serious."

And then suggested that Hillary Clinton should do without armed Secret Service protection so we could see what happens.  Not the first time he suggested how easy it could be to kill her, you know, if you had the right armaments. He can stop talking about Obama's birth certificate, but he can't stop whatever it is that makes him sociopathically unconcerned with how what he says translates into what happens to other people.  Because he doesn't care. Because he doesn't think about outcomes. Because he's a conspiracy-theory peddling grifter who wants attention. And nothing will ever make him a guy who didn't demand that the rightfully elected president of my country "show his papers".

That did not make America great. It marked a low point in our discourse and he's been holding it there, since. Nothing he can say changes what garbage he has put out there. Nothing at all. Will he make good on his promise to give millions to charity if he was satisfied that the birth certificate was legitimate? (Just like Sherriff Joe Arpaio used taxpayer money for his stupid birther investigation, I would be surprised if Trump didn't pillage the Trump Foundation a little for the window dressings of this hoax.)

This albatross of birtherism doesn't drop off like that. It stays, it rots, it covers him with flies and maggots. He has popularity because most of his fans don't think he's a sincere loony, but a successfully vindictive slanderer. (Once again--deploringly, I note this is what they want.) But there can't be any ignoring what he said, and this doesn't walk it back or erase it. The record shows he was an open, active, conspiracy theorist who doubted the legal documentation of the sitting president for five years for shits and giggles and a shot at running for president. And that should be seen as really offensive.


He snowed you poor damn dumb MF's and shared it on the Twitter machine (unless he deletes it):

Also, screencap:

Also, screencap about Hillary Clinton's Secret Service detail: