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Showing posts from January, 2020

Get Over it!

When Alan Dershowitz stands before the US Senate and argues, without a trace of irony, that the president was acting in the national interest when he engaged in a pro quid pro with Ukraine, and Republican senators buy it, you know the gig is up.  At this point, the president can do literally anything in the so-called national interest and get away with it. Laurence Tribe argues that accepting an interpretation such as this "puts us on a short path toward dictatorship."

It's bad enough we have to listen to reality show lawyers like Dershowitz and Starr, but why aren't Republican senators questioning these incredibly lame arguments?  Even Fox News legal analyst Judge Napolitano considers the whole thing a sham.  John Bolton, who desperately wants to testify for whatever reasons of his own, has now been labeled persona non grata at Fox.  I'm surprised Fox has retained Judge Nap's services, as he has been a vocal critic throughout the impeachment process.

At the…

With Love and Squalor

At one time, it was believed that an independent Palestinian state was at the center of peace in the Middle East.  Jimmy Carter deeply regretted not pursuing it when he had Israel and Egypt at the table back in the late 1970s.  This was before Israel greatly encroached on the West Bank, dotting it with settlements that have turned this UN mandated Palestinian territory into Swiss cheese.

This is what the West Bank looks like today. There is no integral Palestinian territory left.  Roughly 500,000 Israelis live in these fortified settlements, considering it a badge of honor.  They have no right to be here, based on UN resolutions, but Bibi Netanyahu has made it his mission to annex Palestine piece by piece until there will be virtually nothing left.  Obama did little to curb this development during his eight years in office.
Along comes Trump, or one should say his creepy son-in-law Jared, with a so-called peace plan that would allow Israel to formally annex all these enclaves, leaving…

Winter of Our Discontent

You have to hand it to Greta for getting under everyone's skin.  Her Davos speech had all the big wigs responding, namely Steven Mnuchin who told Greta she needed to get an economics degree before telling the world to divest in oil and gas companies.  The funny part is that his wife later came out on Instagram in support of Greta.  I suppose Steve gave Louise a more private dressing down for contradicting him.

We all know that the so-called energy companies are contributing to climate change at an alarming rate.  The US was actually making headway with initiatives in place to become more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels.  Since Trump took office, the government has made an about face, pulling out of the Paris Agreement, promoting fossil fuel industries and most recently gutting the clean water act.

It all seems so senseless, but Trump rode into office promoting coal-burning power stations and rolling back carbon emission standards on motor vehicles.  When Califor…

The Trial of the Century

If there is any secret to Trump's success, it is to drag everything down to his level so that he makes you wallow in his own mud.  This is certainly the case with the latest memebers he has selected for his defense team.  Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr are reality show attorneys, who capitalized on their notoriety on Fox.  I'm surprised he didn't add Jeanine Pirro.  Trump is hoping to make this trial into one big ugly episode of Celebrity Apprentice, where viewers take sides based on their ideological bent, much like the infamous OJ Simpson murder trial and Clinton impeachment trial, which Dershowitz and Starr were part of.

This is a far cry from the way Alexander Hamilton saw the Senate trial.  In Article 65 of the Federalist Papers, he saw the Senate as the final authority on the articles of impeachment.  He imagined the upper legislative branch as a House of Lords able to render an impartial verdict on the charges levied by the House of Representatives, which he reg…

Bruce Lee vs. Quentin Tarantino

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a technicolor re-imagining of 1969.  As such, it is fun to watch but one scene should have been left on the cutting room floor.  The fight between Cliff and Bruce Lee was totally unnecessary and has drawn a lot of unwanted attention to the film.

What has pissed off the surviving Lee family and Lee fans in general is Quentin's assertion that Bruce Lee said he could win a fight with Muhammad Ali.  He bases this view on a biography by Linda Lee, Bruce's wife, in which she offered a second-hand account from critics of Lee.  Nevertheless, Quentin is unrepentant in his view, citing Bruce's presumed arrogance.

I suppose these kinds of controversy sell tickets, but the film already had so much buzz it would have done just fine without this useless foray.  Like everything else in Quentin's movies, his portrayal of Bruce Lee is drawn from other movies, because when you listen to Bruce in interviews he is anything but arrogant.  He was a wonderful…

This Is Your Life with Lev Parnas

Some of you might remember the old television show This Is Your Life, hosted by Ralph Edwards.  It ran in the US from 1952-61 and was subsequently picked up by other countries, having its longest run in Little Britain.  Well, we have a new version playing out in real time as Lev Parnas and his lawyer post image after image of Lev with Trump, his family members, his top aides and numerous Republicans who all claim they don't know him.  Chris Cuomo ran a five-minute segment recounting all these meetings with Lev that seemed to slip the minds of so many prominent Republican figures.

In Lev's own words, he went from big-time party donor to close Guiliani confidante to Ukraine inside man for the White House.  He implicated virtually everyone in the White House in his interview with Anderson Cooper.  If that weren't enough, he went on the Rachel Maddow Show to go through these contacts once again, making her segment the most-watched news episode on television last night, beatin…

The Trouble with Harry and Meghan

There has long been this absurd love/hate relationship with our "Mother country."  No where is it more absurd than the way we follow the royal family.  I suppose a lot of Americans were pleased as punch when Harry took an American wife, but they didn't figure all the trouble it would cause the royal family, namely in Meghan's awful estranged father and jealous half-siblings who have desperately tried to cash in on her new royal celebrity.

Every tabloid in England and America has given these pathetic individuals space to air their many grievances and tell us how rotten Meghan is at her core for not having taken them into the royal family as well.  Meghan's father Thomas seems to have modeled himself on King Ralph, hoping to find a special place at the royal table only to be rudely rebuffed.

It would all be quite funny if it hadn't gone on as long as it has.  Thomas Markle continues to opin in London papers long after he has been asked to cease and desist.  Th…

The Politics of Love

As Leonard Cohen might sing, "Now so long, Marianne, it's time we began to laugh, and cry and cry and laugh about it all again."  The improbable presidential run of Ms. Williamson is over, and with it her "politics of love" that never had much of a chance to begin with.

For a moment there, it seemed it might just catch on.  David Brooks wrote a glowing account of her in the New York Times, claiming she might just be the one to take down the Dark Lord of Hate himself, but she was never able to gain any traction in a field that had ballooned to over 20 candidates.  Still she hung on, hoping love might be the answer to all the frustration, anger and hatred rising out of the Democratic campaign.

Her candidacy exposed just how cynical politics has become.  It's all about positioning and taking advantage of people's hostile emotions, and hoping that you can hold your campaign together long enough to be the last man or woman standing.  In short, a battle of at…