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Showing posts from October, 2018
One of the great things about America is that you can reinvent yourself.  This has long been the case with immigrants ever since the Mayflower.  Even today people come to this country hoping to start their lives anew.  That was probably the case with Cesar Sayoc's parents.  He was born to a Filipino father and Italian mother in Brooklyn, New York.  It seems things didn't turn out well with Cesar.  He got off to a good enough start, was attending college in North Carolina, but never seemed to find his footing.  Fifty-six years later he was found living out of the back of his white Dodge van, plastered with stickers regaling Donald Trump and lambasting all the things he hated.  A far cry from his humble origins.

What makes Sayoc even more curious is that he is a White Supremacist.  Maybe it was all the steroids he had been using to pump up his body, or just a series of bad breaks that ultimately led to him being homeless.  Whatever the case, Sayoc found a father figure in Trump…
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Republicans are intent on keeping their Congressional and state legislature majorities by any means necessary.  Probably the most egregious example is Georgia, where the Republican candidate for governor is the current Secretary of State and he is doing what ever it takes to purge the number of registered voters ahead of the November election.  Reports vary widely but the number being floated around now is 340,000 persons dropped from the voter rolls.

These efforts date back to a 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted the pre-clearance provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  Republican administrations have been busy clearing the voting rolls ever since under the guise of eliminating potential voter fraud, where persons are registered in more than one state.  Of course, determining who these persons are seems to be rather selective, as minorities tend to be hit the hardest by these purges.  This is especially the case in Georgia,…

Are you ready to rumble?

Politics is a strange beast.  You have scientists who study it in detail, examining poll numbers, sorting through the underlying trends, and to one degree or another predicting outcomes, much the way Nate Silver does on 538.  He's come up with a complicated set of algorithms to determine good polls, weed out bad polls and with a relatively high degree of certainty predict the outcome of an election.  Of course, he was famously wrong with Trump, having given Clinton a 71.4% probability of winning, but his forecast was decidedly less optimistic than other polls that gave her as much as a 99.9% chance of winning, and to his credit he had the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin light blue.

For every scientist there are a hundred or more pundits that go on gut feeling, so you can never expect anything more from them than an opinion.  When they are right, they shout it to the world.  When they are wrong, they crawl back into their holes.  We have an awful lot of opin…

Caravan

It's not a word that normally conjures up fear and loathing, but Trump and his political apprentices have been doing their best to agitate their conservative base into believing this migrant caravan slowly making its way up the Central American isthmus from Honduras and Guatemala to the United States has all the worst criminal elements and we shouldn't be fooled by the many images of children we see in the news.  CNN and other international media networks have been tracking it like they would a swarm of killer bees.

Polls show the Republicans doing very poorly in the midterms.  As many as 70 GOP seats in the House are considered vulnerable, and 5 of 9 GOP seats in the Senate.  This should have been a midterm where the Republicans solidified their hold of Congress.  Democrats had far more contested seats in the Senate (25) and had to fight against many GOP gerrymandered districts around the country for House seats, but the Dems are expected to retake the House and at the very …

Beto and Julian in 2020

Julian Castro opted for a more traditional means of proposing his candidacy than did Liz Warren -- a memoir.  If you remember this was how many of us first heard about Barack Obama.  It pays to get your name out early and a heartwarming story about yourself generates a lot of positive buzz.

Castro, and for that matter Warren, probably would have run in 2016 had not Hillary taken so long to announce her candidacy.  She essentially froze out her potential competition, as no Democrat wanted to invest in a race they felt was hers for the taking, which she finally did but with the disastrous result we are still trying to come to terms with.

Bernie, a septuagenarian social liberal was the only serious candidate willing to challenge her and might have won had not the superdelegates been stacked against him from the start.  These were delegates who weren't supposed to commit themselves until the end of the primaries, but had already done so, which meant Hillary essentially started out wi…

#MelaniaToo

Conservatives are outraged, and I mean outraged, by this video from T.I. speculating why Melania skipped out on a weekend with Donald at Mar-a-Lago.  Maybe it is just the audacity of the rapper taking a seat in the Oval Office because I can't imagine they would be so upset about the Melania look-a-like.  She's bared it all before.  But, I guess we should afford her more respect now that she is FLOTUS.

Melania would have us believe she is one of the most bullied persons in the world, which apparently was the reason for wearing that notorious jacket a few months back on her trip to the borderland to commiserate with the caged children.

For the most part, the media has been quite gentle on her, considering her relationship with Donald.  Most on-line periodicals focus on her fashion sense and have given her some credit for her philanthropy efforts, even if her "Be Best" campaign has seemed to have little affect on her husband.  For all the talk of bullying, she has yet …

Donald Trump, Pocahontas and Liz

Maybe Liz Warren thought she was clearing things up by taking a DNA test, a very popular thing to do these days, but it seems she has only made the politics of Native American identity even more murky.

The Cherokee Nation has chimed in on the test with a rather ludicrous statement that this does not determine tribal citizenship.  Well, duh, since there wouldn't be a little red flag that says "Cherokee" in her double helix.  Native Americans come from a handful of pre-historic groups so the best a saliva test could do is determine if she has some of this pre-historic DNA in her.  It's not going to pinpoint her heritage to one tribe or another, anymore than it would determine a Cherokee is Cherokee.  Sadly in politics, all it takes is for the Cherokee Nation to issue a statement like this for the conservative blogosphere to run with it, disproving her claim once again.

What's "useless" is these kinds of debates.  Just about every American likes to claim …

Hail the Chief!

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Trump proudly displays this painting of himself sitting around the table with past Republican presidents, regaling in what appears to be a joke told by Lincoln.  It's by an artist friend of Darrell Issa, who dabbles in presidential portraits.  I don't think it was so much the smile, as it is Andy Thomas made Trump significantly trimmer, and gave him the most prominent light.  While Lincoln is clearly the storyteller, he is obviously saying something about Trump.

It reminds me of the paintings Stalin had commissioned of himself, although a little less pointed than this one.  You almost wonder if Thomas studied Soviet Realism art, or maybe he just stole the idea from Cassius Marcellus Coolidge of old dogs sitting around a poker table.

For many Trumpkins, November 9, 2016, or 119 as it is called in alt-right circles, represents year one of a new America, similar to what occurred in Russia after its horrible civil war, which st…

Guess Who's Coming to Lunch?

and the Flight of the Swifties


This is certainly turning out to be one of the most entertaining midterm elections in a long time.  Not only did we have Kanye regal the President with images of a hydrogen-powered plane, which he called the iplane, but we have the full-on assault of the Swifties in Tennessee as Taylor Swift came out in support of a Democrat.  This seemed to grab Donald Trump's attention more than Kanye's ten-minute rant in the Oval Office.

Donald Trump would have us believe Blacks love him, especially after that stunning embrace by Kanye in the WH that seemed to catch everyone off guard.  If that wasn't cringeworthy enough, how about that picture of Donald with Ivanka and Jared and his new adopted son, Kanye, all wearing MAGA caps.  That's right, Kanye said Trump is the father figure he had been longing for 41 years.  Good thing his mother is not around anymore to hear that incredible pronouncement.

It all begs to ask the question, why?, but we know bett…

Oh, Fuck!

A tumultuous week draws to an end with Wall Street in as much disarray as is the Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida.  Trump deals with it by entertaining Kanye West, or should I say entertained by Kanye, and signing a ceremonial Music Modernization Act into law that would allow guys like Kanye and Kid Rock to reap even more profits off their music.  Can't let all that good music be so easily listened to on Spotify and other on-line streaming services. How is Kanye going to justify his Yeezy brand without record sales?

Trump found time to assure us that what is going on with the markets is just a "correction."  Nothing to worry about.  The Dow lost 5 percent of its value over the last two days.  This after seeing Apple and Amazon become the first trillion dollar companies just last week.  Of course, this historic Bull run has to come to an end sometime.  We had a forewarning in Spring, and now it tumbles once again after regaining its losses over the summer.  It's not j…

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Whether Beto O'Rourke wins or loses, he will certainly have made a name for himself.  He has been dogging Ted Cruz since Spring in Texas, covering the huge state county by county like no Democrat has done before.  Beto wants Texans to know that Democrats care, even if Republicans continue to paint them as effete liberals.

This has been an unusual race in many ways, as it has come down to who is more Texan -- Beto or Ted?  Beto was born and raised in El Paso, a fourth generation Irish-American, who became a Tejano of sorts by absorbing the customs and language of his classmates.  Ted comes from a Cuban-American background, who was born in Calgary and eventually relocated to Houston with his family.  Ted never had any need to learn Spanish, as he went to Baptist private schools, but seemed to absorb just enough that he can follow what is said around him.

Ted appeals principally to white Texas voters and a relative handful of conservative Tejanos, and has the demographics of the sta…

Was Nikki feeling Blue?

Maybe Nikki was the one who wrote the stinging op-ed to the NYTimes about a resistance movement within the Trump administration, and has been ratted out?  In order for both sides to save face, she resigned under the pretense of having to see her daughters through college.

It is odd that she should resign before the midterms and not afterward when there is usually some turnover over in a presidential administration.  Trump was rather sanguine about it up front, but who knows what will come out in his rallies.  He's not one to keep a tight upper lip.

My feeling is that Nikki had enough.  At 46, she still has a bright political future ahead of her, especially if she can shed her association with Trump.  Some are speculating she might be angling for Lindsey Graham's seat, should the antebellum senator be picked as new Attorney General after the midterms.  Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is pretty much finished in what turned out to be a thankless job for all the support he gave Tru…

Bully for Trump!

It now seems like months or even years ago that Bob Woodward's Fear came out.  At the time, many persons thought this was it -- someone has finally taken down the president.  There was even an op-ed from a mysterious senior level official in his administration supporting Woodward's allegations, but that too seems relegated to history.  Trump survived yet another blow from the lamestream media, and it is safe to say he will survive the latest allegations by the New York Times that he duped authorities out of more than $400 million in taxes over a 20-year period.

It's a lengthy article.  I haven't gone through it yet.  The lead photo shows a smiling Donald in the back of his limo salivating over his rise to power on Wall Street, not much unlike Gordon Gekko.  This is the same guy who gamed Fortune magazine into believing he was one of the richest men in the world by claiming his father's assets as his own.  Trump wanted everyone to know he was a player.

1984 was Tru…

Tribalism and the End of History

I remember my father liked to say that in 100 years we will be able to rediscover Africa as the continent will revert to its tribal states.  Well, it seems tribalism has already happened in America.

Politics have always been partisan, but as one pundit noted there was still some hope when both parties sat down together to resolve the financial crisis of 2008.  Bush had asked leaders from both parties to join him in a round table economic discussion with the end result being the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP for short.

Staunch conservatives were outraged.  The Tea Party was formed expressly to return the United States to its revolutionary roots.  They loved waving around the Gadsden flag, designed in 1775, a year before the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, seeming to conflate pre-revolutionary fervor with the Constitution in an interesting hybrid of patriotic beliefs.

It was hard to take it seriously, but this movement soon gained momentum as persons w…