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Showing posts from August, 2019

Livin' on Tulsi time

I didn't pay much attention to Tulsi Gabbard until after the second Democratic debate.  She has  since become the darling of the conservative media, having won over Tucker Carlson, Meghan McCain and many others for openly clashing with her Democratic rivals and claiming she has been frozen out of the third debate.  Gabbard hasn't fared so well among liberal political pundits and comedians.

The Hawaiian US representative has taken some odd positions, notably her support of Assad in Syria, which has led many to wonder who she represents exactly?  This is the same guy Putin has been propping up ever since Obama drew his infamous red line in the sand.  Assad continues to use chemical weapons to this day.

Gabbard has drawn the most attention from conservatives.  She has done very poorly in generating support among the Democratic base, and failed to qualify for the September debate.  She's not alone.  Marianne Williamson also failed to reach the prescribed benchmark for partici…

Are You Talking to Me?

If Trump has always been this way, why do Chris Christie and other so-called moderate Republicans support him?  Big Chris offers the odd defense that he is OK with Trump as long as he doesn't veer too far away from traditional Republican policies.  That seems to be the way most Republicans think because the alternatives in their mind, "Sleepy Joe" Biden, "Pocahontas" Liz or  "Crazy Bernie," are infinitely worse.  That's why I don't put much stock in all these conservatives turning away from Trump come voting day 2020, unless some magical third party candidate emerges to capture their dull imagination.

Christie bemoans there are no moderates left, but he helped Trump slay the more centrist candidates in his party last time around when he went after Marco Rubio in the debates, and stood with Trump as he won the succeeding primaries in the South.  Christie could have signed onto John Kasich, who was still in the race, but chose not to.  He figur…

This is ...

It is very difficult to watch CNN these days.  They had Bill De Blasio on the line and let him off the hook in regard to the Eric Garner case.  He successfully passed the blame to the Department of Justice for his own inaction in regard to the agonizing five-year wait it took to fire David Pantaleo for strangling Garner to death over some contraband cigarettes.  This is the morbid equivalent of Trump saying he can't release his tax returns because they are being audited by the IRS. 

De Blasio likes to present himself as a man who got things done in New York.  One of his central campaign themes was police reform, following numerous allegations of police brutality throughout the boroughs.  He could have pressed the NYPD to fire Pantaleo immediately, but didn't want to risk further alienating himself from the men in blue.  Instead, he left the matter to the DOJ, much to the chagrin of the Garners as they awaited some sort of justice to avail itself.  During that time, Pantaleo …

Under your skin

What's in a human chain?  I was surprised to see Jordan Peele use Hands Across America as a leitmotif in Us.  The year was 1986 and politicians and celebrities hoped to get 6.5 million persons to stretch hands across America for 15 minutes to call attention to the plight of the homeless in the country.  The noble effort fell way short of expectations and was largely forgotten until Peele resurrected it in his movie.

Why Jordan Peele chose to use Hands Across America is anyone's guess, and just about everyone has chimed in on the meaning of this metaphor.  Peele himself has been pretty quiet in this regard, as he doesn't want to spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it yet.  I think mostly he wanted something that would catch our attention and he did so admirably.  He had everyone scrambling to Wikipedia and other sources to find out more about this largely commercial event, sponsored by the very same people that gave us We Are The World.

But, Peele seems to be al…

Friends, you are going to love Greenland

I was half listening to the Lithuanian news when I heard Trump, Greenland and Denmark come up.  That was an odd combination of words, so I listened more intently.  I tried to make out what the anchorman was saying and as near as I could figure Trump was wanting to buy Greenland for 15 billion dollars.  This seemed too absurd even for Trump, so I googled this crazy notion and sure enough Trump had apparently floated the idea at a West Virginia rally.

The transcript read like parody.  There's no date on the rally.  Trump has frequently visited West Virginia since assuming office, heralding the state as one of his great economic successes, although you would be hard pressed to find much corroboration for these claims.  A voice search proved fruitless.  The story originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal and spread like wildfire with other periodicals taking liberties with the text.

The idea has apparently been floated in the White House with some of his advisers supporting the …

Deja vu all over again

After briefly topping 27,000 early last week, the stock has tumbled 1200 points due to concerns over the renewed trade war between the US and China.  White House economic advisers have cautioned the president time and again about going down this river, but His Trumpness seems to think this is a war he can ultimately win.  After all, trade wars are easy, he once infamously said, he just didn't say how long it would take.

What's interesting is that our president is resting his re-election prospects on what he will do in his next term.  We have yet to see one of these great deals emerge from all his negotiations.  The only international trade agreement his administration has accomplished is the renewal of NAFTA, which was redubbed USMCA, as if were a new branch of the marine corps.  It was a deal roundly panned by economists as it offered no substantial improvements over the old North American trade agreement.  It was rushed to completion at the end of last year before the new M…

Doxed!

It seems there are a lot of Trump supporters who don't like wearing their red caps of courage.  They prefer to keep their contributions to his campaign quiet, as we found out when Joaquin Castro "doxed" prominent contributors in his district.  Political contributions are a matter of public record, so Castro didn't really dox these persons, but he did call greater public attention to them, and Republicans didn't like this.

Armie Hammer similarly called out the head of the television wing of Marvel for supporting Trump, suggesting fans should boycott the highly popular movie and television franchise.  This follows on the heals of the owner of popular fitness centers, Equinox and Soul Cycle, being called out as a Trumper, which Trump himself joked about at a Hamptons campaign fundraiser.

House Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy called it McCarthyism.  Not him of course, but that infamous "tail gunner" from the 1950s who liked to call out communists…

What makes El Paso different?

Mass shootings have become all too common.  The vast majority appear to be guys using firearms to vent.  They are disillusioned by the empty lives they are living and feel the need to let the world know they exist.  The AR-15 or whatever assault weapon they choose to use becomes an equalizer.

This was the case in Dayton, where a young man, 24 years old, managed to fire off more than 50 rounds in less than a minute, killing 9 and wounding more than 20 others.  Police responded immediately, but sadly the damage was already done.  Police took out the shooter, sparing us the process of a long drawn out court case.  
However, the situation in El Paso was entirely different.  Here we had a 21 year old man, who had driven 10 hours to specifically take out Mexicans at the border, after publishing his hate-filled manifesto online.  He picked the largest and busiest Walmart in the city and methodically went after persons that looked Mexican.  In this case, the police took the assailant alive, …

The Hollow Debates

Round two of the Democrat presidential debates yielded no clear winner.  Biden bounced back, Kamala floundered, Cory hit a positive note, Liz showed she is still the most informed candidate.  Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang finally made names for themselves.  Yang probably did the best simply because he stood up for immigrants, noting that the country is full of successful immigrant stories, like that of his father, and we should quit using immigrants as scapegoats for all our perceived problems.

The problem is that there are too many candidates and too little time to present their cases.  It comes down to who is the most witty or has the best soundbite.  They all went after "Shoeless" Joe Biden after he got hammered in the first debate, but the old man held his ground this time, so moderates can breathe a sigh of relief.  Still, he showed himself to be quite vulnerable, with Tulsi Gabbard serving as his attack dog when she went after Kamala Harris on her prosecutor'…

The Origins of Democracy?

I don't know what's more absurd, Trump trying to pronounce origins or Jamestown being called the origins of our Democracy?  Both were on display this week for all to see as Trump honored the first general assembly held in America in 1619, but not without a little protest to heighten the event.

This short protest was great on numerous levels.  First, it silenced Trump in a way he didn't expect.  Second, the young protester called attention to the way the president has denigrated Congresspersons of color ranging from Ilhan Omar to Elijah Cummings.  Third, he called attention to the fact Jamestown was a slave colony, with the first record of Africans being sold to English settlers the same year as the first general assembly.  This was probably what was discussed at that historic meeting.

The absurdity of honoring Jamestown as the cradle of democracy belies what a harsh autocratic society it was at the time.  We've seen the colony portrayed in movies like The New World an…