Wednesday, December 28, 2016

U.N. Resolution 2334


I've held off commenting on this but can bite my tongue only so long: I support the U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and the historic United States decision not to veto that resolution.

What it comes to is this: I believe completely and profoundly in Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and at the same time refuse to equate that with the right of the settler movement to annex West Bank land. I am a Jew, but the religious nationalism that fuels the land grab is as ugly and nearly as alien to me as other forms of religious nationalism.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thank You, Again, Michael Moore

I don't always love his movies, but I'll never forget how utterly sane-making it was to hear Michael Moore violate the Academy Award's glitzy and repressive decorum in 2013 when, on receiving on Oscar for "Bowling for Columbine," he inveighed against the invasion of Iraq: "Shame on you President Bush! Shame!"

I remember the audience being split, some acting as if Moore had defiled a church while others were elated to have a hint of reality interrupt the ceremony.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Trump, Keillor, Populism

It was meaningful when Garrison Keillor stepped out of the folksy, understated persona he'd convincingly cultivated for years on Prairie Home Companion to train his intellect and sharp humor on George Bush and his ruinous invasion of Iraq. Something serious had to be at stake for Keillor to show that Lake Wobegon had principles worth fighting for.

It is in the same vein that Keillor has been skewering Donald Trump.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Stupids Step Out

Do you know the Harry Allard series of children's books including, notably, "The Stupids Step Out?" in which, as I recall, the Stupid family goes on holiday with their cat, Fido, driving and their dog, Kitty, perched on Fido's head? Very stupid. Good illustrations. Pretty funny.

In Haaretz**, Chemi Shalev depicts the election of Donald Trump as a sort of continuation, in real-time electoral terms, of the Stupid saga: as in the Stupids Drive To the Polls.

Shalev lists the reasons we all, ad yawningly, adduce for Trump: "Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate with tons of excess baggage; Barack Obama ignored white middle class America; coastal liberal elites lost touch with America’s heartland; the media ignored white men’s rage; the Obama coalition didn’t show up at the polls etc. . . . 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Celebrity Apprentice

I can't stand thinking about this. And can't tear my eyes away. . .

Now Trump, once again, is a creature of his raging twitter feeds, where he can lash out in short bursts, as he pleases, a la campaign mode. No one there to teleprompt him, to say, speak slowly now Donald, don't scare them, save the scary for tweets. Twitter gives voice to his madness. And who, now that he is president, has the authority, to take twitter away from him? 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Mandate for Perversity

Rather brilliant piece of writing by Phillip Lopate  in which he tries to digest the disastrous election. Those of us who like, self-importantly in my view, to thrash ourselves for being elitist and therefore cut off from the righteous rage and discontent of the uneducated will take no comfort from it. Lopate sees the Trump victory coming from other sources than our failure to connect, not that his analysis provides much in the way of relief. But it does, by way of Mikhail Bakhtin and Fyodor Dostoevsky, bring the conversation to a deeper level than the current obsession about class v. identity politics has managed to do. As Lopate describes it, a vote for Trump was a vote for perversity, and therein lay its power.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

kakistocracy

Oligarchy is the government of oligarchs, kleptokracy the government of thieves. We get these words from the ancient Greeks, who knew how to classify political systems. It's nice to be reminded of a less used but totally apropos Greek word — kakistocracy, meaning  rule by the worst possible people.

Starting with Trump himself and moving on down the line — from Bannon (alt-right) to Giuliani (alt-war) to Carson (alt-duh-where am I & how did I get here?) to Michael Flynn (alt-kill_all_Muslims) —  this administration is shaping up as a kakistocracy for the record books.

I hope we survive the rule of the retrograde, misguided, just plain ignorant, and just plain evil.

http://m.dailykos.com/stories/2016/11/25/1602547/-Trump-s-presidency-is-shaping-up-to-be-a-kakistocracy-government-by-the-worst-possible-people?detail=email&link_id=9&can_id=e01820995aa6d6751c3e181c1d2c014f&source=email-heres-trump-lobbying-to-be-impeached&email_referrer=heres-trump-lobbying-to-be-impeached&email_subject=heres-trump-lobbying-to-be-impeached


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sex Sexism Sex


In neither case was it a power play -- neither male team had power over the female teams --  and in neither case direct harassment.

It was vulgar and sexist, and in my view ugly and wrong, but I'm not sure why these nonthreatening, if vulgar, private,  communications, are actionable.

Not looking to argue -- who me? -- but for some clarity, if any.

Are sexist comments -- comments focused on sexual attributes -- to be actionable? What if it turns out the respective female teams had their own private commentaries going?

If you doubt that's possible you're not living in the twenty-first century.

But if it were the case, should proof be found, should the female teams be suspended, too?

And how about sex itself, all sex, not only sexist sex, whatever that means: should it be abolished too?

I said I'm not looking for an argument -- who me? -- but suspect I am inviting one. Still, I'm still willing to stand down, be reoriented, if I get any kind of clarification.

From where I sit right now, it seems like a question of social media and its evocative but porous potential as much as it does a question of sexual conduct.


  

I'm From Massachusetts


and, in particular, from Cambridge:

Nearly 75 percent of all registered voters in Cambridge cast their ballots in this year's election. . .

Despite a shocking upset on the national level, Republican candidate Donald Trump's campaign was a bust here in Cambridge, pulling in just 3,262, or 6.39 percent, of the votes. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton earned 44,835, or 87.79 percent, of Cambridge's votes.

Cambridge residents contributed $1,670,514 to the two major party candidates for president with 98.8 percent of those donations going to Clinton.

Clinton's campaign garnered $1,650,903 in donations from 1,570 Cambridge residents from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016.

Only 23 Cambridge residents contributed to the campaign of Republican nominee Donald J. Trump. For every one Cantabrigian who donated to Trump's campaign, nearly 69 contributed to Clinton's.




Friday, November 11, 2016

Trigger Warning: Depressing Thought ahead

What if it isn't Hillary's fault
And neither Johnson's nor Stein's
(though I do not excuse them)

What if it had nothing to do
with the DNC squeezing Bernie
(much as it did) 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why Trump, why did he win?

Here's a hint from a piece in today's NY Times, purportedly not at all about the election, purportedly about something else entirely.

It says that, "something like 70 percent of Americans can’t identify the Constitution as the supreme law of the land."

Wow.

In addition, "Ten percent of COLLEGE GRADUATES [my caps] think that Judge Judy is a Supreme Court justice."

College grads, imagine.

I know we're going to tear ourselves up about the machinations of the DNC, how it woulda been different if it had been Bernie etc. — which I don't believe, in the least —  but I want to take time out to point at rock bottom ignorance and stupidity. They're not the same — ignorance and stupidity — but related, and college degrees are obviously no cure.

Trump brayed that he liked, no, loved, the uneducated. It's more that he liked, no, loved and battened on ignorance and stupidity.

They loved him.

In a piece for the Washington Post, Garrison Keillor wrote: "Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out, and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president."

And: "Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity."

Thank you, Keillor, for not being afraid to bring in the requisite word — stupidity.

Keillor writes the Trump voters will find that the disasters they will bring onto this country will  “fall more heavily on them than anyone else.”

Started already.

Rudy Giuliani may well be the next attorney general of the United States. I find that hysterical and demonic. Have all the angels of hell been released upon us? Do they all resemble The Joker?

You think Giuliani thinks black lives matter? Or any lives? Giuliani is the capo de tutti
 cappi of pure cop power. You want someone to head an American SS? He's got the resume.

It seems that Chris Christie, best known for shutting down the George Washington Bridge during rush hour in order to get back at a New Jersey mayor who didn't like him, may be Secretary of Transportation. No, that's but a howler, a joke — until proven otherwise.

All jokes are possible now. It's bad joke time.

It's Joker time.

Go, go go to Canada. You'll find we can't get in on refugee status.

Go, go go to England, in which case you'll find they are stupid, too. Brexit innit. Maybe we caught it from them.

Why Trump

Why did Trump win?

Here's a hint from a piece in today's NY Times, purportedly not at all about the election, purportedly about something else entirely.

It says that, "something like 70 percent of Americans can’t identify the Constitution as the supreme law of the land." 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brecht

This election — so many don't like what it's done to the United States. I'll go further and say I don't like a lot of what's it done to me. It's made me harsh, aggressive, excessively judgmental. It's made me find allies, people of like mind, and has also done the opposite, challenging or breaking complex connections to some who are or were real friends before.

Before what?

When, and if, this is over, and the specter of Donald Trump hopefully dissipates like a nightmare, an episode, say, of "American Horror Story," I hope to grow more kind and to fixate on politics and its polarities less.

Politics brings the urge for certainty out in us, — how can it not, so much being at stake for so many.

I find myself referring to Bertolt Brecht's great poem, "To Posterity." The situation he refers to is much more dire than ours. Donald Trump, asinine, sickening pretender that he is, is not yet remotely on the same page with Brecht's fiend, Adolf Hitler.

Yet Brecht's words have relevance:

For we knew only too well:
Even the hatred of squalor
Makes the brow grow stern.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow harsh. Alas, we
Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness
Could not ourselves be kind.

But you, when at last it comes to pass
That man can help his fellow man,
Do no judge us
Too harshly.



Monday, October 31, 2016

Susan Faludi on Hillary Hatred

http://www.harveyblume.com/2016/10/susan-faludi-on-hillary-hatred.html

Great piece by Susan Faludi ("How Hillary Clinton Met Satan" NY Times, 10/30/16), putting Hillary hatred into sharp historical perspective.

First, she notes, the right-wing hated and reviled both Bill and Hillary (1992), much, as in my view — bear with me for a bit —  the Germans hated the Weimar Republic, which they saw as utterly and essentially un-German, absent roots in German life or tradition (monarchy, authority, militarism, volkisch mysticism, all that German stuff.). For them, Weimar was an implant, imposed from without due to a defeat in war, and needing removal.

I am not proposing that the United States is in anyway as shaky or tentative as the Weimar Republic was from the very outset. Nor am I suggesting we are reeling from anything like the shattering defeat Germany suffered in World War I.

Still:

For the Freikorps, then the Nazis, Weimar, to apply the terminology of Islamicists — another stretch, I know —  was the "near enemy." Europe and the Soviet Union were the "far enemy" and would be dealt with once Weimar was gone, and a proper sort of Reich installed.


Heil Hitler.

The United States hasn't lost a World War. But we were beaten and humiliated in Vietnam, leading the right to focus its beam of hatred on the Clintons as if they were implants, imposed from without. That "without" happened to be a significant within, the sixties — the anti-war, feminist sixties.

For the right, Reagan and Reaganism represented the real America, and therefore, as per Faludi, "Clintonism had to be delegitimized. . . . This led first to an attempted legislative coup in 1998 and then to a judicial coup in 2000."

Now Bill is gone or keeping, mostly, to the shadows, as he should. That leaves only one Clinton, and she attracts the concentrated fury of the right as even Obama didn't. Hatred for Hillary on the right knows no bounds; you can't even get accused of racism for hating her.

On the other hand, virulent sexism slides by.

Faludi writes:

The left needs to acknowledge what the right has long known: that it’s a fiction to think we can move on beyond the brawl of the 1990s without settling it — and settling it requires helping Mrs. Clinton triumph once and for all against the calumnies that were created to define her.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/opinion/sunday/how-hillary-clinton-met-satan.html?_r=0


Thursday, October 27, 2016

See you a Hirst, raise you a Princess Di

Does anyone watch Black Mirror, now streaming on Netflix?

I've only watched the first, which was captivating. Gruesome and funny. So very Brit.

There's an artist who has captured a Brit princess (a Di type) and will kill her unless the Prime Minister fucks a pig on camera.

A grunting pig. Eating slops.

Will he or not? What do  the polls tell him to do?

Is it funny? Very very. And macabre, with references to an art world that enshrines the likes of Damien Hirst, which features flies being born out of carcasses that devour the meat until hitting fly paper; which features skulls made of diamond. Etc. Which features disintegrating sharks.

True, Hirst has never transgressed this far, never mutilated — or pretended to have mutilated — a human, as depicted, much less a Di.

Bet it occurred to him, though.

My problem with Black Mirror is I am captivated enough to binge.

Netflix has put the first three seasons on all at once.

Or maybe it was Damien Hirst.

Or maybe streaming television has gone one step better, turning Hirst and his hot art world stratagems into pawn in the streaming game.

As in: See you a Hirst, raise you a Princess Di.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Internet of Things = Monster of Things

http://www.harveyblume.com/2016/10/internet-of-things-monster.html

The IoT — Internet of Things — such a groovy concept, where all these things, objects equipped with microchips — toasters, baby monitors, refrigerators, smart  phones, synthesizers — are equipped with a certain particle of sentience, and communicate with each other, sparing us some bother. For example, your refrigerator burps it's out of eggs. . . nice to know, no? Maybe even the toilet paper gets a beep. Don't want to run out of that, do you?

Except, as the recent attack on Dyn DNS demonstrated, there's a monster brewing in the IoT, and this attack, which took out swathes of the internet, was a baby monster on trading wheels.

What can you do? Not sure. 

We, here, are going change our router password. The program responsible for the attack — Mirai — tries to get control of all our useful, innocent devices, connect them, and turn them against the Internet itself, by working with simple, off the shelf passwords. 

Can't hurt to make the monster's work more difficult.



Internet of Things: Monster

The IoT — Internet of Things — such a groovy concept, where all these things, equipped with microchips — toasters, baby monitors, refrigerators, smart  phones, synthesizers — are equipped with a certain element of sentience, and communicate with each other, sparing us some bother. For example, your refrigerator burps it's out of eggs. . . nice to know, no? Maybe even the toilet paper gets a beep. Don't want to run out of that, do you? 

Monday, October 24, 2016

What you didn't know about the Weather Underground

First appeared: http://artsfuse.org/151690/book-review-bad-moon-rising-new-findings-about-the-weather-underground/

Arthur Eckstein Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution

My first reaction to this book was to ask: who needs it? Another book about Weatherman, a group that exeunted left — way left — circa mid- '70s? Hasn't that group been scrutinized, glamorized, and vilified across a full gamut of genres, including memoirs, novels, works of history, documentaries, Hollywood films, and FBI files?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

War on Democracy

DONALD DECLARES OPEN WAR ON DEMOCRACY!

"I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win," Trump told supporters here in his first comments since the final debate. (cnn.com) 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Poor poor Melania . . .

Poor poor Melania

A friend opined that Melania's life, as a Trump wife, is a living hell.

My view is betcha she doesn’t think her life is a living hell, because it isn't, coming as she does from small-town (or as my brother might have said, Dumbfuck) Slovenia and emerging in upscale Manhattan.

Monday, October 17, 2016

This presidential election is unlike any other I've known. It's taken over, is a 24/7 kind of thing. I don't even escape it in my dreams, having dreamt Trump twice that I know of. The dream I remember best was far from pleasant — he was a confused, distracted, bully who wanted to invade my space — but not as nightmarish as the reality.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

No Demons . . . they don't exist . . .

Trump is tearing himself apart. Much as I despise him and heartily wish his ruin, it's not a comforting sight. It's crazy and, why not admit it, a little frightening. As in, something terrible is about to happen, something you might want to shield your children or grandchildren from.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rings, rings of power . . .

Interesting that Trump is turning his endless, sweeping, lunatic wrath on the likes of Ryan.

Cruz bowed down, or, if you will, kissed the Ring.

Christie wants in and has lowered his considerable girth — aka big fat ass — enough to enact the kiss of obeisance. (If the punishment fits the crime this crimeball of a NJ governor will be run over in the left lane of the GW Bridge — on some TV show. It's bound to happen. Law & Order, Blacklist, the plot is coming together.)

Giuliani, well, it's hard to describe how loathsome he has become, not that he was much less loathsome before, before he, too, knelt before the one Ring.

Question: Don't these assholes read about rings? The prehistory?

There is, for example, the Lord of the Rings. Many have heard of it. In it, The One Ring is finally reduced to atoms in Mount Doom, and with it, all those who had succumbed to its power.

They wander witless in the world.

Wagner takes up the theme of the Rings in his Nibelung saga. To summarize, all the complexities detailed in the Wagnerian ring cycle, which I won't trouble to summarize here, since the story extends over four long operas, have to do craving for a Ring, Ring of power.

Rings, rings, rings.

Rings of power,
Mordor,
Iphone rings,
Rhine maidens,
Aasgarde,
Apple.

Ryan hasn't thoroughly bowed down. His approach to the Trumpian Ring of Power can be compared to a checked swing. Did the batter follow through or didn't he?

Ryan, Ryan, which side is he on?

He reminds me of Gollum. . . who, miscreant that he was, had some use in destroying the Ring, that One Ring of Power.








Monday, October 10, 2016

Second Debate

The Times

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/opinion/clinton-trump-second-debate-election-2016/the-barroom-brawl-in-st-louis

compiled and published ongoing responses to the Second Debate by many of its writers, including Judith Shulevitz. Shulevitz thought Clinton lacking in her response to Trump. I felt something similar, and it made the debate hard to watch. There was a stifled, airless cum unreal quality about it.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Monsters are real — and human.

I'd like to praise Donald Trump for, despite himself, exposing deep rifts in this country better than any other candidate. Before you call me an apologist, let me say I am a Trump detester of inordinate degree. And yet, it must be granted that inadvertently Trump has done much better than Sanders, for example, at pointing to genuine problems of our culture and economic system.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Lunatic for president . . .

This was what Howard Dean tweeted about Trump's behavior during the debate:

Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?

To this Dean added: “People who stay up at 3:00 and 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning tweeting about sex tapes, these are not normal people. There is something the matter with him, and I don’t know what it is.”

We're running out of words for Trump. He exhausts the vocabulary of sane, civil denunciation, however extreme.

It's hard to describe his fixation on Alicia Machada without resorting to vulgarity.

When I heard him double down about her, on FOX,  without even being prompted or asked, the word that popped into my mind was just this: "lunatic."

As for democracy, he damages it in two ways. He attacks the free press, women, immigrants, the disabled etc.. All that is abundantly obvious.

But there's another way, namely that he implants an anti-democratic thought when many of us are compelled, despite ourselves, to consider that no matter what happens on Nov. 8, this man cannot be president of the United States.

I voted against Goldwater in 1964 but never doubted that if he won, he won.

I voted similarly against Reagan but never doubted his right to be president.

GW Bush was a horror show both times. But he didn't push me to the place I am in now.

Let me make it clear that I'm not planning and would oppose anything seditious. I'll stand by the electoral college. I'm just saying out loud what so many feel, from big shots in the Pentagon, through the CIA, onto CEOs and all sorts of Republican would-be loyalists, from paleo- to neo-con: the common sentiment is simply that Trump cannot, really cannot, be president.

Goddamn Trump.



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hillary in Peltz

Do you know who Leopold van Sacher Masoch was? To put it simply, he was to masochism what de Sade was to sadism. He gave it its name.

His big book was Venus in Furs, a charged, but weirdly throttled novel that somehow lives on. It was throttled in my opinion because the fantasy at its heart was fallible, frail, inherently impossible. Such fantasies are.

Masoch made his way in the late nineteenth century for writing a lot about the Eastern European nationalism of the day.

Venus in Furs was his claim to fame.

Minus Venus in Furs, there's a lot less of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, given that that group's version of "Venus in Furs" was foundational and powerful.

I'll describe it as a sexy and perverted dirge.

Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather
Whiplash girl child in the dark
Comes in bells, your servant, don't forsake him
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart

Sick, isn't it? So very sick.

Leopold van Sacher Masoch  himself was a believer that only a femdom universe could work, as ruled, supremely in his imagination, by a fur-clad tsarina. (I don't really want to argue here with all those who think porn is all about male domination except to note that at this point it's a whole lot about the opposite.)

Such a tsarina was his never-ending fetish.

I'm trying to make Hillary my fetish.

Want not only to vote for but to be by ruled by her.

It would help if she's stop dressing as a teletbubby.

Doesn't have to wear boots or leather.
Just dress like a woman.

Maybe she had advisors saying to her don't dress like a woman, as opposed to a teletubbie, just as Kerry, in his debate with GW in 2004, was constrained by his advisors to fade and not come out like a man.







Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Drug Testing Before Debates

Without going all Elizabeth Warren on his ass, as in, as the saying goes, cutting him a new one, much as he deserves it, Clinton might have addressed him simply and directly, even politely and demurely, asking: "Why are you behaving like that Donald? Don't you know interrupting as much as you do is rude and unfair? Donald, Donald, do you think people — do you think women — really liked being talked over?"

What would he say?

"No, it's fair, it's not rude, it's great! And the truth is, Hillary, real women love it! Maybe you didn't love it enough, Hillary. Maybe that's why Bill turned to Lewinsky, that pudgy lox-and-bagel-filled slut!"

The national audience gasps. It seems to many Trump has lost the election — and his mind.

But the debate, due a moderator whose main ambition is to get out of there in one piece, resumes. So Trump keeps interrupting, overriding, shouting, howling, yelling, which he cannot desist from doing — I know almost for a fact, yeah, almost, the doc has agreed to talk to me, it's the amphetamines that make him do it, whether they come in the form of speed, per se, or the nifty dopamine reuptake inhibitors, like Ritalin and Adderall, and hence the yelling and the sweats — Hillary might, a la Britney Spears, but sotto voce, sing,

"Oops, I did it again
I played with your heart, got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby . . . "

All right, enough with the fantasy of Clinton getting out of her unnecessary teletubby drag and doing a sweet soft shoe. . .

Back to the amphetamines and whatever else Trump might be on: there should be drug testing for these debates, same as for the Olympics or baseball. Is the World Series more important than the presidency? Well, then.

Where have all the steroids gone? Dunno. Trump knows. Yeah.

So, you test positive for performance enhancing drugs, you're ejected from the debate.

Bye bye Donald, bye bye.

To the outhouse of history, you go, the compost pile, where you know, underneath all your bluster, is where you belong.

Drug Testing Before Debates

Without going all Elizabeth Warren on his ass, as in, as the saying goes, cutting him a new one, much as he deserves it, Clinton might have addressed him simply and directly, even politely and demurely, asking: "Why are you behaving like that Donald? Don't you know interrupting as much as you do is rude and unfair? Donald, Donald, do you think people — do you think women — really liked being talked over?"

What would he say?

"No, it's fair, it's not rude, it's great! And the truth is, Hillary, real women love it! Maybe you didn't love it enough, Hillary. Maybe that's why Bill turned to Lewinsky, that pudgy lox-and-bagel-filled slut!"

The national audience gasps. It seems to many Trump has lost the election — and his mind.

But the debate, due a moderator whose main ambition is to get out of there in one piece, resumes. So Trump keeps interrupting, overriding, shouting, howling, yelling, which he cannot desist from doing — I know almost for a fact, yeah, almost, the doc has agreed to talk to me, it's the amphetamines that make him do it, whether they come in the form of speed, per se, or the nifty dopamine reuptake inhibitors, like Ritalin and Adderall, and hence the yelling and the sweats — Hillary might, a la Britney Spears, but sotto voce, sing,

"Oops, I did it again
I played with your heart, got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby . . . "

All right, enough with the fantasy of Clinton getting out of her unnecessary teletubby drag and doing a sweet soft shoe. . .

Back to the amphetamines and whatever else Trump might be on: there should be drug testing for these debates, same as for the Olympics or baseball. Is the World Series more important than the presidency? Well, then.

Where have all the steroids gone? Dunno. Trump knows. Yeah.

So, you test positive for performance enhancing drugs, you're ejected from the debate.

Bye bye Donald, bye bye.

To the outhouse of history, you go, the compost pile, where you know, underneath all your bluster, is where you belong.

Rope-a-Dope

I thought Trump took up too much time during the debate, and flattened the moderator. This bothered me because it seemed like Trump was thereby asserting authority.

But the way Michael Tomasky sees it, Clinton adeptly rope-a-doped him.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/27/hillary-clinton-goes-the-distance-as-donald-trump-punches-himself-out.html



Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump

Not only is the Times endorsing Clinton, as of course it inevitably would, but more notably it is absolutely refusing to forgive, overlook or find journalistic euphemisms for Trump's outright lies, refusing to pretend there are two sides to every story when one side is so obviously nothing but dangerous bs.

Gotta love this headline:

 "A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump."

NB, that's not an editorial, it's a front page story, pure Times reportage. With that kind of headline, you might think this is the NY Daily News you're reading, a worthy tabloid that, commendably, has never spared Trump. But no, this the Grey Lady itself, the paper of record, the establishment per se, the NY Times.

Why would the Times come out so fiercely — and honestly?

How's about because the good things about American democracy are at stake? Yes, the bad things are always, and perhaps irreducibly, with us, and, in the candidacy of Trump, have an able spokesman.

I'm talking about the good things this election can change, as in, free press, free speech, the goal of equal rights, and everything Ellis Island stand for. That sort of really good American stuff.

Not to stretch the point too far, but this election has a certain philosophical component. It doubles as a referendum not about whether there is such a thing as truth but whether truth matters.

Trump acknowledges the existence of truth. For him the first part of that philosophical issue is settled. The second part, about whether the distinction matters, remains to be be voted upon.


NY Times 9/24/16

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/24/us/elections/donald-trump-statements.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump

All politicians bend the truth to fit their purposes, including Hillary Clinton. But Donald J. Trump has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies in the general election, peppering his speeches, interviews and Twitter posts with untruths so frequent that they can seem flighty or random — even compulsive.

However, a closer examination, over the course of a week, revealed an unmistakable pattern: Virtually all of Mr. Trump’s falsehoods directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction. Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist, described the practice as creating “an unreality bubble that he surrounds himself with.”

The New York Times closely tracked Mr. Trump’s public statements from Sept. 15-21, and assembled a list of his 31 biggest whoppers, many of them uttered repeatedly. This total excludes dozens more: Untruths that appeared to be mere hyperbole or humor, or delivered purely for effect, or what could generously be called rounding errors. Mr. Trump’s campaign, which dismissed this compilation as “silly,” offered responses on every point, but in none of the following instances did the responses support his assertions.

Tall Tales About Himself

Mr. Trump’s version of reality allows for few, if any, flaws in himself. As he tells it, the polls are always looking up, his policy solutions are painless and simple and his judgment regarding politics and people has been consistent — and flawless. The most consistent falsehood he tells about himself may be that he opposed the war in Iraq from the start, when the evidence shows otherwise.

1. He said a supportive crowd chanted, “Let him speak!” when a black pastor in Flint, Mich., asked Mr. Trump not to give a political speech in the church.

Fox News interview, Sept. 15.

There were no such chants.

2. “I was against going into the war in Iraq.”

Speech in Florida, Sept. 19.

This is not getting any truer with repetition. He never publicly expressed opposition to the war before it began, and he made supportive remarks to Howard Stern.

3. He said any supportive comments he made about the Iraq war came “long before” the war began.

Fox News interview, Sept. 18.

He expressed support for the war in September 2002, when Congress was debating whether to authorize military action.

4. He said he had publicly opposed the Iraq war in an Esquire interview “pretty quickly after the war started.”

Fox News interview, Sept. 18.

The Esquire interview appeared in the August 2004 edition, 17 months after the war began.

5. Before the Iraq invasion, he said, he had told the Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto something “pretty close” to: “Don’t go in, and don’t make the mistake of going in.”

Fox News interview, Sept. 18.

Not remotely close. He told Mr. Cavuto that President George W. Bush had to take decisive action.

6. He said that when Howard Stern asked him about Iraq in 2002, it was “the first time the word Iraq was ever mentioned to me.”

Fox News interview, Sept. 18.

Mr. Trump expressed alarm about Saddam Hussein and the situation in Iraq in 2000 in his own book.

7. “You see what’s happening with my poll numbers with African-Americans. They’re going, like, high.”

Speech in North Carolina, Sept. 20; made same claim in Ohio, Sept. 21.

Polls show him winning virtually no support from African-Americans.

8. “Almost, it seems, everybody agrees” with his position on immigration.

Remarks in Texas, Sept. 17.

Most Americans oppose his signature positions on immigration.

9. He has made “a lot of progress” with Hispanic and black voters, and “you see that in the polls.”

Fred Dicker radio show, Sept. 15.

No major poll has shown him making up significant ground with black or Hispanic voters.

11. Mr. Trump said that after The Times published an article scrutinizing his relationships with women, “All the women came out and said they think Donald Trump is terrific.”

Fox News interview, Sept. 18.

12. “Unlike other people” who only raise money for themselves during presidential campaigns, he also raises money for the Republican Party.

Fox News interview, Sept. 15.

Every presidential nominee forms a joint fund-raising agreement to share money with his or her national party.

Unfounded Claims About
Critics and the News Media

It’s not just Mrs. Clinton whom Mr. Trump belittles and tars with inaccurate information. He also distorted the facts about his Republican critics, including President George Bush and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. And he claimed that Lester Holt, the NBC anchor moderating the first presidential debate, is a Democrat — but Mr. Holt is a registered Republican.

13. In the primaries, Mr. Kasich “won one and, by the way, didn’t win it by much — that was Ohio.”

Fox News interview, Sept. 19.

Mr. Kasich crushed him in Ohio, winning by 11 percentage points.

14. Lester Holt, the NBC anchor and debate moderator, “is a Democrat.”

Fox News interview, Sept. 19.

Mr. Holt is a registered Republican, New York City records show.

15. The presidential debate moderators “are all Democrats.” “It’s a very unfair system.”

Fox News interview, Sept. 19.

Only one, Chris Wallace of Fox News, is a registered Democrat.

16. He said it “hasn’t been reported” that Mrs. Clinton called some Trump supporters “deplorable.”

Speech in North Carolina, Sept. 20.

It would be difficult to find a news organization that didn’t report her remark.

Inaccurate Claims About Clinton

Mr. Trump regularly dissembles about his opponent, attributing ideas to Mrs. Clinton that she has not endorsed, or accusing her of complicity in events in which she had no involvement.

17. “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

Remarks in Washington, Sept. 16.

18. Mrs. Clinton had “the power and the duty” to stop the release of unauthorized immigrants whose home countries would not accept their deportation after they were released from prison.

Numerous speeches, including in Colorado, Sept. 17, and Florida, Sept. 19.

The secretary of state does not have the power to detain convicted criminals after they have served their sentences, and has little power to make foreign countries accept deportees.

19. Mrs. Clinton has not criticized jihadists and foreign governments that oppress and kill women, gay people and non-Muslims. “Has Hillary Clinton ever called people who support these practices deplorable and irredeemable? No.”

Speech in Florida, Sept. 19.

She has denounced jihadists and foreign countries on the same grounds, if not necessarily using the same words.

20. “Do people notice Hillary is copying my airplane rallies — she puts the plane behind her like I have been doing from the beginning.”

Twitter, Sept. 20.

He did not invent the tarmac rally or the campaign-plane backdrop.

21. Mrs. Clinton destroyed 13 smartphones with a hammer while she was secretary of state.

Speeches in Florida, Sept. 15 and Sept. 19.

An aide told the F.B.I. of only two occasions in which phones were destroyed with a hammer.

22. He said Mrs. Clinton is calling for “total amnesty in the first 100 days,” including “a virtual end to immigration enforcement” and for unauthorized immigrants to receive Social Security and Medicare.

Speech in Colorado, Sept. 17.

She has not proposed this.

23. Mrs. Clinton is “effectively proposing to abolish the borders around the country.”

Numerous speeches, including in Texas, Sept. 17.

She is not even proposing to cut funding for the Border Patrol.

24. “Hillary Clinton’s plan would bring in 620,000 refugees in her first term alone,” and would cost $400 billion.

Numerous speeches, including in North Carolina, Sept. 20.

She endorsed admitting 65,000 Syrian refugees this year, on top of other admissions. Mr. Trump is falsely claiming that she wants to do this every year and is estimating the cost accordingly.

Stump Speech Falsehoods

Some warped or inaccurate claims have become regular features of Mr. Trump’s stump speech. He routinely overstates the scale and nature of the country’s economic distress and the threats to its national security, and exaggerates the potential for overnight improvements if he were elected.

25. “Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before — ever, ever, ever.”

Speech in North Carolina, Sept. 20.

No measurement supports this characterization of black America.

26. Fifty-eight percent of black youth are not working.

Numerous speeches, including in Florida, Sept. 16, and Colorado, Sept. 17.

This misleading statistic counts high school students as out of work. Black youth unemployment actually was 20.6 percent in July.

27. Many dangerous refugees are being welcomed by the Obama administration. “Hundreds of thousands of people are being approved to pour into the country. We have no idea who they are.”

New Hampshire speech, Sept. 15.

28. “We have cities that are far more dangerous than Afghanistan.”

Numerous speeches, including in Florida, Sept. 16; Colorado, Sept. 17; North Carolina, Sept. 20; Ohio, Sept. 21; and a Fox News interview on Sept. 21.

No American city resembles a war zone, though crime has risen lately in some, like Chicago. Urban violence has fallen precipitously over the past 25 years.

29. Ford plans to cut American jobs by relocating small-car production to Mexico, and may move all production outside the United States.

Fox News interview and New Hampshire speech, Sept. 15.

Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive, said it was not cutting American jobs.

Esoteric Embellishments

Mr. Trump often dissembles on subjects of passing interest, like the news of the day or the parochial concerns of his local audiences. But his larger pattern of behavior still holds: These misstatements, too, accentuate the grievances of his supporters, and cast his own ideas in a more favorable light.

31. Senator Bernie Sanders fell victim to “a rigged system with the superdelegates.”

Speeches in New Hampshire, Sept. 15, and North Carolina, Sept. 20.

Mr. Sanders did not lose the Democratic nomination because of superdelegates. Mrs. Clinton beat him in pledged delegates, too.





Friday, September 23, 2016

Churchill

True fact:

What did Churchill say upon hearing about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

1) Bloody Nips, Sea Lord, you old cunt, why didn't we build more ships!

2) God save the Empire!

3) We  just won the war!