Saturday, July 23, 2016

The American Dream According To Republicans

"life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth ~ James Truslow Adams in 1931 defining the American Dream.

According to Marsha Blackburn, the gop potus nominee Donald Trump "believes In the American dream because he has lived the American dream". Apparently she's been using this line a LOT, as when I Googled for it, I got many other instances of her saying it.

The one I was looking for was her saying it at the GOP Trump-tastic Convention. I heard it while watching the news, which, because I live in Tennessee and she is a member of the House representing Tennessee's 7th congressional district, the Tennessee news covered.

According to her Wikipedia page, "Blackburn is one of three female U.S. representatives in congress who identifies as a congressman"... as opposed to a congresswoman (translation: she's an anti-woman woman). Also an idiot, as she subscribes to the myth that the ACA contains "death panels". This, despite the fact that "it had been ...widely debunked by fact-checking journalism organizations".

Oh, and she doesn't believe in climate change or evolution. She was also "named one of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Anyway, the American Dream, as I understand it, is having a good job that enables you to be able to pay for all the necessities in life (food, clothing, shelter, health care) and also send your kids to college, take a few vacations a year, and retire with no worries of living your old age in poverty.

Donald Trump was born on 3rd base and GOPers like Blackburn think he hit a homer. In the minds of Republicans Trump represents the "American Dream". Trump having been being born to wealthy parents and inheriting a LARGE amount of money from them.

Sure, many Americans might DREAM about this, but that all it is. A dream. Not attainable. At least the being born wealthy part. Some people work hard, and via a combination of skill and luck end up rich. But these people are in the minority. The American Dream SHOULD be something anyone can aspire to AND have at least a moderate chance of attaining.

BTW, Diane Black, a colleague of Blackburn's (in that she's a "congressman" from Tennessee) says (in a campaign commercial that I saw recently) that government shouldn't play a role in lifting people out of poverty. "Government doesn't get people out of poverty, hard work does" she says.

She must believe that the working poor just don't work hard enough. I mean, if they weren't lazy moochers expecting handouts they'd be rich and living the American Dream, right?

SWTD #341

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cruz A Useful Idiot At RNC Convention "Ultimate Reality Show", Poorly Educated Tumpeteers Successfully Duped

We need our fair share of villains every season. And now we're very careful in our casting... to develop characters that the audience is going to root for and root against ~ Mike Fleiss, creator of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

Ted Cruz may have thought he was taking a stand and that (in doing so) is setting himself up to be the 2020 nominee (he couldn't possibly think, at this point, that Trump could be prevented from getting the nomination). However, what he really did was to serve as the useful idiot. I'm referring to the FACT that both camps knew Cruz wasn't going to endorse Trump, but they let him speak anyway (Donald Trump Jr: We Knew Cruz Wouldn't Endorse Dad).

Pro-Trump delegates were enraged at Cruz's speech, shouting him down and booing him off the stage, in what was described by the New York Times as "the most electric moment of the convention". Convention security personnel and Cruz advisor Ken Cuccinelli escorted Cruz's wife Heidi out of the hall, fearing for her safety. (2016 Republican National Convention/Ted Cruz's speech).

"The most electric moment of the convention", huh? Perhaps because it was PLANNED to be?

Thom Hartmann (excerpted from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 7/21/2016): The storyline yesterday was that Ted Cruz blew up the Republican convention by refusing to endorse Donald Trump. Cruz has asserted, as has the Trump campaign, that they knew for several days exactly what Cruz was going to say. Which leads me to believe that this is just more reality show stuff.

The fact of the matter is that reality shows are scripted. They're not real. People play roles in them... there's the "good guy", the "bad guy", the "poor sucker" [etc]... Literally, they come up with these roles and cast for them. Sometimes these shows are lightly scripted, sometimes they're heavily scripted.

Trump is running this convention as a reality show. So, he gets the guy in who disagrees with him, and then makes a fool of himself. Because everyone booed Cruz down. Then Trump comes out and glares at him. It was pure reality show. And the media goes "oh, this is terrible for Trump". No it's not. It's exactly what he wants. He's manipulating the media cycle. In fact, he's OWNING the news cycle.

As Trump potus campaign chairman Paul Manafort said the "GOP convention will be ultimate reality show". I wouldn't have guessed, however, that Ted Cruz would willingly play along.

What's really funny is that, along with the low information poorly educated dupes that are buying this reality show baloney, there are idiots on the Right who think that Ted Cruz STOOD UP to Trump with his speech. These fools think that Cruz's plea to delegates to "stand and speak and vote your conscience" will make a difference (harm instead of HELP Trump).

Co-host Pat Gray: The only thing I could stand was Ted's speech, and that was difficult because they were booing him at the end, when he’s talking about the Constitution and your conscience. They boo him!

Co-host Stu Burguiere: And that's the thing that's interesting about that, is the audience knows that if someone tells you to vote your conscience, that means don't vote for Donald Trump. The Cruz speech was great, but the crowd's reaction took it to another league. The booing turned it into a legendary speech.

Glenn Beck: Legendary.

Stu Burguiere: Was the Trump campaign so annoyed at Cruz they tried to ruin his moment? If so, it didn't work. The bottom line is, I think it backfired. I think it helped Cruz. Now, if Trump wins by 20 points and he's a great president, I mean, Cruz is done politically, surely. But if he doesn't, who else do you look to that stood up and opposed this man? Cruz's character was on full display last night. Who else can you find that stood up in front of 30 million people and did one of the most difficult and brave political things you will ever see in your life?

Co-host Pat Gray: And they called him a coward for it. They're booing him, and he muscles through it.

[Glenn and his co-hosts all agreed they were "damn proud" of Cruz].

Pat Gray: The easiest thing would have been for him to stand up, cave in, and say, "I'm a Republican, I signed a pledge, I endorse Donald Trump".

Glenn Beck: I was saying the whole time, like the last five or eight minutes, "Don't cave. Don't cave. Don't cave". The reason I felt that way was because of the wave of hatred that was coming his way. It was a tidal wave. The tidal wave of hate became so real that Cruz's wife Heidi had to be removed from the convention floor.

I said it in stump speeches for him, I said, "here's a guy who will plant his flag on the point, and no matter what storm or tidal wave comes his way, he knows his principles, and he will not move". You saw that last night. For him to get quieter and not shout over their boos, to not take a cheap shot, to do nothing but finish that speech the way he intended took remarkable courage, remarkable courage. (Ted Cruz Speech: A Legendary Turning Point by "Lori". 7/21/2016 glennbeck.com).

Remarkable courage to play the useful idiot? That's hilarious. Although, if Cruz had skipped the convention (what he should have done) instead of helping Trump, he wouldn't be remembered in 2020 as the man who stood against Trump. But he did, and therefore he'll definitely be selected to depose Hillary Clinton in 2020 (who will be the president due to the primary voters foolishly selecting Trump). That MUST be the Cruz/Beck fantasy scenario. And why Cruz's speech will end up being a "legendary turning point".

But, like I said, Cruz was the useful idiot, in that "him doing that galvanized everyone". Which is the effect Donald Trump Jr thought Cruz's speech had. How pathetic is it that the rubes were so easily tricked by reality show theatrics? And Beck, instead of realizing that Cruz was played, thinks Cruz will end up the nominee in 2020?

By the way, Ted Cruz's role in the "ultimate reality show" that is the RNC Convention obviously was the villain. Remember that Trump also pulled the birther card on Cruz (although, with Cruz it has validity, given that he was born in Canada, while Obama was NOT born in Kenya). Point is, Cruz (according to Trump) is also an "other". A foreign-born usurper who keeps trying to steal the nomination from the (rich/white) man who rightfully won it.

Footnote
Quote at the top this post is from the 3/15/2010 20/20 special "Inside the Bachelor: Stories Behind the Rose", as reported in the 3/16/2010 Reality Blurred article Bachelors have sex with an average of three women, but Bob Guiney has the record with 5.5 by Andy Dehnart.

Video: Prior to reality TV, there was "professional" wrestling. And Donald Trump, prior to his Apprentice TV show, participated in a fake/scripted match where he faced off against Vince McMahon. Donald Trump bodyslams, beats and shaves Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 23 on 4/1/2007. Right. Anyone think Trump could possibly beat McMahon if the fight wasn't scripted? (3:33).

SWTD #340

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Trophy Wife Fail

These accusations of plagiarism are not only hurtful to me, but they are hurtful to my children Sasha and Malia ~ Melania Trump (fake) quote via Twitter.

Donald Trump's 3rd wife upgrade and Slovenian model Melania (ne Knauss) speechified at the Trumpian National convention on 7/18/2016, the first day of the convention (held, as the first GOP debate was, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland OH).

"I wrote it with as little help as possible" Melania said. A claim that was later called into question when Aliver Jarrett Hill noticed that lines from Melania's speech seemed to have been copied verbatim from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech.

A Daily Kos article refers to the cribbing as "stunning plagiarism" that should be fatal to Donald Trump's campaign, while Trump supporters claimed that the Melania speech contained what seemed "like pretty common platitudes you might hear in any inspirational speech". Another one asked was that "is 21 words out of 2,000+ really blatant plagiarism"?

So... coincidence? Bob Rutledge, a Montreal-based astrophysicist, wrote that "I calculate the probability that Melania Trump did not plagiarize from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech is about 1 in 87 billion". So... probably not coincidence?

Yeah... no. The speech WAS plagiarized, as the Trump campaign now admits.

Trump speechwriter Meredith McIver says the copied passages were due to a miscommunication. In her telling, Melania read some phrases to McIver over the phone and McIver didn't realize they were verbatim quotes from Obama's 2008 speech. (Trump camp admits Melania speech passages came from Michelle Obama's speech by Timothy B. Lee. Vox 7/20/2016)

So why the hell didn't Melania tell McIver that what she was reading was from Michelle Obama's speech. I'm guessing McIver thought Melania was reading something she wrote? Also, why didn't Melania, when she received the speech and read it, notice that what she'd read to McIver over the phone was in the speech verbatim? Even though she dropped out of college after 1 year, she SURELY should have known that plagiarism is a no-no and that she'd be caught (Busted: Melania Trump Caught Lying About Graduating From College).

But what about the speechwriter Meredith McIver? As a professional speechwriter, shouldn't it have occurred to her that maybe she should check something fed to her by a reality TV star's trophy wife? How embarrassing. The exact opposite of what you want to do if your goal is to "offer a sharp contrast with the failed progressivism of the last eight years", as Paul Ryan said Trump will do. Quote the "failure in chief" wife's 2008 DNC convention speech, that is.

BTW, I read another excuse to which I say NO. Supposedly Melania Trump's plagiarism is the same/bad as Joe Biden's plagiarism.

Rational Nation: It is a tempest in a teapot. As well as highlighting the stupidity of the Trump campaign handlers. Joe Biden, as well as others have been guilty of the same. Unethical and therefore wrong on all counts. Melania is no worse than any of the others. Now, it's time to move on IMO. Bigger fish await to be fried. (7/19/2016 AT 7:34pm)

This insertion of Joe Biden into the conversation is a reference to Joe Biden being "accused of plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labour Party". But the truth is that Biden was quoting Kinnock. And Biden gave attribution to Kinnock when quoting him. Although he apparently forgot two times ("at the 8/23/1988 Democratic debate at the Iowa State Fair [and] in an 8/26/1988 interview for the National Education Association").

So... BFD? Or a tempest in a teapot, which is how Biden referred to his plagiarisms. Apparently not. According to a 8/25/2008 Slate article, Why Biden's plagiarism shouldn't be forgotten, he also "had lifted significant portions of speeches from Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey". To which I say, at least he was quoting/borrowing from fellow Democrats, as opposed to the political opposition, not to mention the wife of the outgoing president (one who your party/candidate has been harshly critical of).

Which is why I said NO to the Rational assertion. Or this instance of plagiarism is a lot more LOL-able, at least. Because here we have a Republican quoting a Democrat, as opposed to a Democrat quoting a Democrat. Not that the Biden quoting scandal was LOL-able at all. Which, to me, as a Democrat, it isn't (btw, for another LOL-able moment from the Melania Trump speech, see the video at the bottom of this post).

Anyway, as a result of "the sheer number and extent of Biden's fibs, distortions, and plagiarisms" (Slate's words) he dropped his 1988 bid for the White House. As for Melania, she says she graduated with "a degree in design and architecture from University in Slovenia" but that turns out to be false. Similar to how one of Biden's fibs being an exaggeration of his academic record. Biden said he "went to law school on a full academic scholarship [and] that he graduated in the top half of his law-school class". Claims that turned out to not be true.

Which causes me to ask... should Melania drop her 2016 FLOTUS bid? A question I ask in jest, of course. However, as Newt Gingrich (himself a serial wife upgrader), in pointing out why Melania is on the ticket (when defending her copying of Michelle), noted "she was stunningly attractive [and] stunningly articulate" (articulate in that she is good reader). And that Melania also "introduced herself in a way that's attractive". Clearly attractiveness is key. Which is the whole point of upgrading to a trophy wife.

Also, when it comes to trophy wives, youngness is also key; and Meliana, who is currently 46, would turn 50 during her husband's first term (should he be "elected"). Therefore she could end up being dropped from the ticket (as First Lady) anyway. Eventually. In the unlikely event she attains that position.

Video: Melania Trump's Other Plagiarism Scandal... Melania closed her speech by saying "he will never ever give up, and most importantly he will never ever let you down"... which led some to ask, did Melania Rickroll the RNC (Wikipedia: Rickrolling is a prank and an Internet meme involving an unexpected appearance of the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song Never Gonna Give You Up)(0:26).

SWTD #339

Friday, July 08, 2016

Republican FBI Director James Comey On HRC Breaking The Law: "In Connection With Her Use Of The email Server? My Judgement Is That She Did Not"

Republicans were gearing up a multi-pronged political assault that could keep the controversy thriving until the November elections, and possibly beyond ~ excerpt from the 7/7/2016 Daily Beast article Hillary Clinton's emails Are the GOP's New Benghazi.

"Definitely before November. Possibly in a month or two" was when Hillary Clinton was supposed to be indicted journalist Ronald Kessler said on 4/15/2016 (on the Rightwing Steve Malzberg Show re the HRC email controversy).

Kessler further predicted that after the indictment Barack Obama would step in and pardon her. Because there was "no question she will be indicted" due to the fact that FBI Director "is a man of great integrity" (SWTD #333).

So, clearly (according to Kessler) HRC broke the law. But FBI Director Comey (who testified before the House Oversight Committee yesterday, 7/7/2016) says otherwise (audio clips sourced from The Stephanie Miller Show 7/7/2016 and transcribed by me).

AUDIO CLIP #1

Jason Chaffetz: Did Hillary Clinton break the law?

James Comey: In connection with her use of the email server? My judgement is that she did not.

Jason Chaffetz: You're just not able to prosecute it, or did Hillary Clinton break the law?

James Comey: I don't want to give an overly lawyerly answer, but the question I always look at is - is there evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that someone engaged in conduct that violated a criminal statute. And my judgement here is that there is not.

AUDIO CLIP #2

James Comey: When I look at the facts we gathered here, as I said, I see evidence of great carelessness, but I do not see evidence that is sufficient to establish that Secretary Clinton, or those with those whom she was corresponding, both talked about classified information on email, and knew when they did it they were doing something that was against the law.

So, given that assessment of the facts [and] my understanding of the law, my conclusion was (and remains) no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. No reasonable prosecutor would bring the 2nd case in a hundred years focused on gross negligence. So I know that's been a source of confusion for some folks. That's just the way it is. I know the Department of Justice, I know no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. I know a lot of my former friends are out there saying they would. I wonder where they were the last 40 years, because I'd like to see the cases they brought on gross negligence. Nobody would and nobody did.

Stephanie Miller (on the 7/6 edition of her show) informed her listeners and viewers there would be no charges because "the case lacked the aggravating factors that have lead prosecutors to press charges in the past. Comey noted those previously charged in such instances intentionally or willfully mishandled classified information, or did so in such vast quantities that they must have known what they were doing...".

In addition Miller noted (quoting an AP story) that such mishandling of information was routine and "consistent with the State Department culture over the past 2 administrations".

So, the standard (regarding decisions on whether or not to bring charges) is not "gross negligence" but whether or not the person violated the rules intentionally. So HRC did not break the law because there was no intent. As Comey noted in his Congressional testimony, the FBI considered "the context of a person's actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past" (Why the FBI Let Hillary Clinton Off the Hook).

Although, in regards to the previous administration's mishandling of sensitive information... yeah, that happened. But the bush White House also deleted a 22 million emails ("a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act") in conjunction with their coverup of election fraud - AG Alberto Gonzales fired US attorneys who wouldn't investigate fake/non-existent voter fraud cases (SWTD #331).

And all that happened then was that Gonzales was pressured to step down. There was no kind of investigation, even though the evidence CLEARLY pointed to INTENTIONAL violations of the law (bushie attempts to manipulate the vote to get gwb re-elected).

The only reason this HRC email server controversy went as far as it did (an FBI investigation of HRC when there was no investigation re actual bushie crimes), is because Republicans use EVERY opportunity to attack Democrats. And use investigations and hearings as political weapons. Remember it was during the unending Benghazi hearings that HRC's email server situation came up (similar to how the investigation into Whitewater during Bill Clinton's presidency eventually led to an impeachment for a BJ).

Republicans "investigate" again and again, and again... not caring if any actual misdeeds are uncovered... the simple fact that there are investigations are proof enough for their stupid voters that there MUST be some wrongdoing. Although maybe they'll get lucky and SOMETHING will stick.

The unending investigations explaining how we ended up with 13 published reports on Benghazi. All of which found that there was no "stand down" order, no intelligence failure leading to the Benghazi tradegy, and no administrative wrongdoing (Benghazi By The Numbers).

Now I hear that Congressional Republicans plan to appoint a special prosecutor to further investigate HRC re her private email server. And the FACT is that the purpose of this "investigation" (JUST LIKE the Benghazi "investigation"), is to politically harm HRC's presidential campaign (Republican Whistleblower Confirms Benghazi Investigation Is Illegally Targeting Clinton).

Obviously these "investigations" are purely political. And illegal, given that it's a violation of federal law (31 U.S.C. § 1301) to use official government resources for political purposes.

For the record, I'm actually in favor of such rules being strictly enforced. But only going forward. Don't tell me that HRC should be prosecuted for negligence when the bush administration was totally let off the hook in regards to actual and intentional crimes! Because that absolutely will NOT fly with me.

SWTD #338. See also OST #156.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jimmy Fallon & BHO Catapult The Propaganda During Prez 6/9/2016 Tonight Show Appearance

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda ~ George W bush (dob 7/6/2016) 43rd USA preznit (unelected).

The Urban Dictionary says "catapult the propaganda" means "to promote acceptance of lies/damn lies/statistics, through repetition and assisted by the blind obedience and willful omissions of the lapdogs posing as independent media".

Regarding BHO's appearance on the Thursday 6/9/2016 airing of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, promoting of the lie that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be good for American workers was promoted. Although I don't know how much repetition there might be. I've heard that msnbc (1) fired Ed Schultz for criticizing it and (2) "cut away from live coverage of a Bernie Sanders press conference, just as he was condemning the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement".

So, there has been some prior catapulting, but inserting propaganda into a popular late night show is definitely a low point in the Obama presidency, IMO.

MONOLOGUE...

Fallon: ...so much has happened during president Obama's administration. ObamaCare was passed, same sex marriage was legalized, he worked with 11 other countries to sign the historic Trans Pacific Partnership...

WHICH THEN SEGWAYED INTO A SLOW JAMMING OF THE NEWS...

Obama: I believe it is of the utmost importance to work alongside other world leaders... That's why I negotiated a new trade deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Fallon: Now hold on there Prez dispenser (laughter) are you saying you're down with TPP?

Obama: Yeah, you know me (more laughter). Look, Jimmy, the TPP allows American businesses to sell their products both at home and abroad. The more we sell abroad, the more higher paying jobs we provide here at home. It's that simple.

Fallon: So what you're saying is this trade deal will help put everyday Americans back to...

Tariq Trotter: (singing hook from Rihanna song) Work, work, work, work, work.

Obama: (off key, sans music) Work, work, work, work, work (laughter).

Clearly this propaganda was inserted into the Slow Jam The News segment because they knew it would not only be seen by people viewing it live, people viewing in on their DVRs, but also by clip watchers via the internet. Providing maximum exposure to the target viewer, which would be the low-information voter.

And, with Bernie Sanders out of the way and only Trump speaking against it, surely some people will be swayed by a comedic push of this bad trade deal (Trump and Sanders Are Right: Obama's Trade Deal Is a Dud). Yeah, Hillary has said she opposes it in it's current form, but (1) the TPP may be passed by a lame duck Congress and signed by a lame duck Obama, and (2) HRC may referse her opposition to the TPP and go back to supporting it. Remember she said the "TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements" and referred to it as "the signature economic pillar of our strategy in Asia" (in her 2014 memoir Hard Choices). Although, I'm thinking she'd rather Obama sign it. And take the blame on his way out the door.

Even given reporting from the Washington Post that says no.

Hillary Clinton has signaled that if she is elected president in November she would oppose a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord during a lame-duck session of Congress, sharpening her differences with President Obama as he is ramping up his sales pitch on behalf of the deal.

Clinton, the Democratic pres­idential front-runner, responded in writing to a question on the lame-duck session from a coalition of Oregon labor unions and environmental groups by stating: "I oppose the TPP agreement — and that means before and after the election". (Clinton does not back Obama trade vote in post-election congressional session by David Nakamura. Washington Post 5/5/2016).

It sounds like Chris Matthews thinks HRC is going to flip flop back to supporting it, however. On the 6/15/2016 airing of msnbc's hardball he said "my view is that part of (Bill) Clinton's economic success for the 90s was free trade or trade agreements. I think Hillary Clinton is a trader. Maybe not a total free trader, but she's much more on the side of the importance of trade as part of being part of the international economic community than Bernie Sanders is".

Hopefully this is one concession that Bernie Sanders can extract in exchange for his support. Perhaps a plank in the Democratic Party platform indicating support for keeping jobs here (tax incentives for companies that bring jobs back, as opposed to the opposite). Fact is, I was thinking that the TPP might have come up during Senator Sanders' 6/9/2016 meeting with the president. Although this Tonight Show appearance was taped BEFORE Obama and Sanders met, Obama might have anticipated that Sanders would bring it up.

Who knows. What I do know is that Obama's disgusting shilling of the TPP (with an assist from willing stooge Jimmy Fallon) made my blood boil. Seriously, when the "slow jam" got to the TPP I said "f*ck you" to our sellout president. WHY he's betraying American workers on his way out the door is a mystery to me. Otherwise he has been an excellent president. For the most part. But this is not something I can excuse. Especially if it is passed by a lame-o Congress and President.

Will HRC (as president) keep her word? Even though there is ample reason to believe that Hillary Clinton's position on trade is total bullsh*t? The reason being the many many many times she has flip-flopped on the issue. I refer not just to her current flip-flop, but to previous flip-flops on other trade agreements (see the linked-to article for an accounting of HRC's shifting position re trade. Seems she was all in re bad trade deals when holding office and against them while running for office).

And, speaking of being against shipping jobs overseas (AKA "trade") while running for office, then breaking promises after being elected, Obama made a campaign pledge to renegotiate NAFTA, then reversed himself as potus. (Obama Reverses Campaign Pledge to Renegotiate NAFTA).

I guess this stance puts me in the camp that says they don't trust HRC. Not that I WANT to be in this camp (and, in the past, people saying that they didn't trust HRC perturbed me). I thought, why? Because of the decades long campaign of lies against her? Because of this BS concerning her email server that she's NOT going to be prosecuted over... not because the fix is in re Obama manipulating things so she is not charged, but because there's nothing to prosecute her for (Report on Clinton Emails Is a Big Nothing Burger).

So, I don't not trust her for any of those reasons... but I do not trust her in regards to the TPP. I hope she doesn't reverse herself, but I think she might. WHY oh WHY couldn't the electorate have gone for Bernie Sanders? Him, I absolutely trust on this issue. He's been consistently opposed to all these bad trade deals for his entire career.

And there is also the fact that the American people are opposed to such trade deals. This explains why Ross Perot, as a result of his warning of the "sucking sound" of American jobs departing for Mexico, garnered 19% of the vote, making "him the most successful 3rd-party presidential candidate in terms of popular vote since Theodore Roosevelt in the 1912 election" (his opposition to NAFTA being one of the primary planks of his 1992 campaign).

BTW, when Jimmy Fallon said that Obama "worked with 11 other countries to sign the historic Trans Pacific Partnership" that was a LIE, as the "signing" was symbolic ("Of course, the signing is a totally meaningless bit of theater"). The TTP has to be voted on by Congress first. Which has not happened yet. A president can't sign legislation INTO LAW until Congress approves it. (symbolic signing took place on 2/4/2016 in Auckland, New Zealand).

I truly hate to say it, but I've GOT to wonder WHY Obama is so eager to put Americans out of work. Is there a BIG payday awaiting him after he leaves office IF he accomplishes this (given that the TPP is SURELY high on the oligarch's wish list)? Or is he just incredibly naive?

Video: Jimmy Fallon and Barack Obama Slow Jam the news. And the TPP propaganda (7:06).

SWTD #337

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Thoughts On Yesterday's Election & Hillary Clinton Now Being The Presumptive Democratic Nominee

If, on November 8th of this year, Hillary Clinton is elected President, we will have only begun to fight ~ Bernie Sanders "quote" from the 6/7/2016 Andy Borowitz Onion-esque satirical article Sanders Vows To Keep Fighting For Nomination Even If Hillary Is Elected President.

Following yesterday's (6/7/2016) Democratic presidential primary elections I am now convinced that Bernie Sanders is done. Not that it wasn't HIGHLY unlikely that he'd end up the Democratic nominee on Monday, but Hillary Clinton being declared the presumptive Democratic nominee by the AP (Re: "the AP canvassed more undeclared superdelegates and enough came forward to publicly declare their support for Clinton Monday night ahead of voting Tuesday before California") was not good. In that it may have discouraged people from turning out (people supporting either candidate possibly deciding not to go to the polls because their vote would make no difference.

Which is why Bernie Sanders was still making the case (on Monday and Tuesday) that he could be the nominee (his argument concerning a big win in California and flipping Super Delegates). For which many derided him, questioning why he has not dropped out already. But, for Bernie, his run has always been about the issues and The People. Now I've heard that Bernie has requested a meeting with President Obama on Thursday (6/9/2016). After this meeting I believe that Bernie will bow out. And I believe that Bernie bowing out earlier would have been a strategic mistake.

Bernie has pull to push his campaign issues, and, during his meeting with Obama is when he will negotiate to have as much his issues adopted by the Democratic Party and the Hillary campaign as possible. He's earned the right to demand some concessions, IMO. After which he'll endorse Hillary Clinton and campaign on her behalf. Or not. At this time Bernie Sanders has said he'll fight on. Either way I think the end for Sanders is near. If he continues on it's only because he believes that it will be strategically advantageous for him to do so (but I doubt he will).

I do not (NOT for one second) believe that Bernie (thus far) has continued his campaign despite Hillary Clinton being the presumed nominee for awhile (even before the AP prematurely announced that she was) because Bernie has "a feeling of entitlement". Or because of his ego. Or because he is "bitter". Prior to Bernie Sanders announcing his candidacy I was quite familiar with the man (due to his weekly appearances on the Thom Hartmann Program), and Bernie convinced me that, with him, this fight (a fight he has engaged in for his entire political career) has ALWAYS been about The People and NOT about glory for Bernie Sanders.

While, during his MANY appearances on the Thom Hartmann Program, it had been suggested MANY times (by callers) that Bernie run for president, Bernie consistently said he had no interest in doing so. He indicated he was content fighting for The People as a Senator. Ultimately Sanders decided to enter the race "because America needs a political revolution". And I think the results (Sanders doing much better than the political pontificators initially believed he would) are proof that he was right.

Real Clear Politics reports that Hillary Clinton's current vote total 15,571,643 while Sanders total is 11,888,779 (56.7% versus 43.3%), which is pretty damn good considering the fact that (1) Sanders was considered a longshot when he first declared and (2) the virtual media blackout of his campaign.

Just as the news media bolstered the Trump campaign ($2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Donald Trump), I believe the same is true for Senator Sanders. IMO Bernie would now be the presumptive nominee if not for Hillary's "media-bestowed aura of inevitability" (Stop trying to bury Bernie Sanders: Why the media's blinkered primary coverage is bad for America. Salon 3/9/2016). Or, the totals would be much closer (with Hillary possibly being ahead by a MUCH smaller margin). Although, personally, I think Bernie would have won.

BTW, why is Hillary Clinton now considered the nominee (BEFORE the convention) while Donald Trump is still the "presumptive nominee"? Or, just after Cruz suspended his campaign Trump was still presumptive, while Hillary seems to have skipped over being presumptive and gone directly to being the nominee (her own website says "Hillary wins nomination"). Hold on! There is a process in place and the process hasn't played itself out yet. The process will not be complete until after the convention.

But, back to these people calling for Bernie to bow out and concede the race; the comment regarding Bernie fighting on due to "a feeling of entitlement" made by a Left-leaning blogger who goes by the moniker Capt. Fogg. And YES, I was offended by what he wrote. Which was not just that he thought Bernie was fighting on because he feels entitled, but that Fogg has "the impression that Bernie is going to be satisfied by the convention results".

Those (incorrect) impressions could be explained by some bad behavior by some supporters (the so-called "Bernie Bros") as well as Fogg simply not being familiar with Senator Sanders. Even though this is just a guess, but HOW COULD Fogg be familiar with Sanders and reach such a ludicrous (in my STRONG opinion) conclusion?

But, what really offended me was the suggestion (by Fogg) that Senator Sander is "the Donald Trump of the Democrats". Which Fogg did, as well as referring to Sanders as "St Bernie of the beer hall", a fricking NAZI reference?! This, in regards to a Jewish candidate?

Now, while I do not believe any anti-semitism was intended, a Nazi analogy in regards to a Jewish candidate is STILL offensive. Which Fogg's commentary very strongly was. Even if it mainly regarded Bernie Sanders supporters.

Capt. Fogg: Brown Shirts for Bernie... By now I'm used to the trolls. I've been blogging for a long time but of late the most viciously personal ad hominem has come, not from the Republican Right but from the Bernie Boys. I blocked someone on another venue yesterday after I mentioned to a Bernie Bully that by hoping that a candidate Clinton would fail and thus cause the nation to fail, he was taking words out of Rush Limbaugh's prayer book. ...I am lucky, says he, that he doesn't have my address or he would kill me.

Sanders Supporters Prepared to fight, I read this morning. Indeed they are. You can almost hear the sound of a Munich Bierstube echoing with the sound of stomping jackboots and Bernie's Brownshirts yelling Sieg Heil!

Yes, they're ready to fight, because it's not about convincing the public that Big Brother B has a rational plan to address what ails us or a rational view of a complex world coupled with the ability of any president to do all those revolutionary things without an actual revolution.

It's all about the urge to fight, the narcissistic lack of introspection. Just close your eyes and fly right into the enemy battleship called "Wall Street" because... "The bankers are destroying our country" and where have we heard that one before? Sieg Heil indeed.

It's not about qualifications or experience or even about the possibility or even the legality of putting all that pie up into the sky, it's about BERNIE! St Bernie of the beer hall, leader of the Sanderistas - a Che Guevara for El Norte, the Donald Trump of the Democrats (5/18/2016).

Apparently Fogg, re the "actual revolution", has never heard of the phrase "revolution at the ballot box" ("the only kind of revolution this country can stand for" according to FDR). Was the New Deal not a revolution? I think it was.

Aside from that, my next objection with what Fogg wrote concerns his reference to a "Bernie Boy". Surely this is on par with/a synonym for the offensive term "Bernie Bro". Offensive because, as Glenn Greenwald writes in a 1/31/2016 article for The Intercept, "Bernie Bro" is a "handy pro-Clinton smear that [suggests only] straight guys who act with entitlement and aggression... support Sen. Sanders, which obviously isn't the case" (because he's got female supporters. And many more than Trump, who actually has a REAL problem in that regard).

But it gets worse when he equates Bernie to Che Guevara and Donald Trump. Although, despite his STRONG Nazi analogy, not Hitler. Despite his followers being "Brown Shirts" stomping their jackboots and yelling "Sieg Heil!". So, while Fogg failed to bring his NAZI analogy home and call the Jewish Bernie Sanders "the Adolph Hitler of the Democrats", the post is still rises to the level of being highly offensive (as opposed to only mildly offensive).

Which is why I said something. Although I only pointed out that "Sanders will be endorsing Hillary and urging his supporters to vote for her soon enough". Also that Hillary Clinton herself had some fanatical supporters the first time she ran. They were called PUMAs and they vowed that they would either vote for John McCain or sit out the election. No way they'd vote for Barack Obama.

"Party unity, my ass!" the PUMAs declared, and some inexplicably voted for John McCain. Just as some of the "Bernie or Bust" people say they'll vote for Trump. Although some of these Bernie or busters were Independent and not Democrats (prior to supporting Bernie), while more of these PUMAs who voted for McCain were Democrats. Either way (PUMA McCain voter or Bernie or Bust Trump Voter) I say these people committed acts of political stupidity (although Independent Bernie supporters voting for Trump is easier to understand than Democrat PUMAs voting for McCain. Still dumb, but not as dumb IMO as the McCain voting PUMA Democrats).

However, "according to the 2008 exit poll, Democrats who voted for Clinton in the primaries split 83-16 for Obama-McCain" (WP 5/2/2015)... so most PUMAs ended up voting for Obama. And, this time around, I'm positive most Bernie or Busters will end up voting for Hillary Clinton. At least the Bernie or Busters who are Democrats. The Independents likely wouldn't have voted for Hillary anyway (if Sanders had not run).

Which was the point I made to Fogg. But he was not having it.

...yes, the Tu Quoque ploy. You understand anything I might say about one candidate is not refuted by the attributes of another candidate? It's a diversionary tactic and is also known as the appeal to hypocrisy and it's not only typical of the fanatic partisanship in the Sanders camp, it's the sort of thing one finds in grade school playgrounds. You want to trade insults? Really? (5/23/2016 AT 6:34pm).

Did I want to trade insults? No. Nor was I attempting to refute anything. I only made a point which I believed (and still believe) to be valid. Whatever Bernie Sanders does now, it will all be over after the convention. Then he'll endorse her and urge his supporters to vote for her. And a majority will. Although, given Sanders' vows to fight on (past the 6/7/2016 primaries), Fogg is not convinced that is how things will shake out.

Capt Fogg: Viva Las Sandanistas!... I can't dismiss the idea that he really believes he can still become president without an election by somehow staging a Putsch at the convention. Is this obstinacy a sort of Sanderista Leitmotif which plays in Wagnerian fashion behind his recent career? Is it the same kind of thinking that lets him boast about how he's going to re-organize world banking and finance and fiscal and monetary and trade policy by fiat and to declare that henceforth college tuition will be free and never mind what congress or the courts or the colleges say.

It's either deceit or delusion but we've already had one president who thought he was Alexander the Great and we can't afford another. The voters didn't just reject Senator Sanders, they dodged a bullet. (6/8/2016).

WTF? Another Nazi analogy?! (note: the above is another commentary and not a response contained within in the prior post's thread. The previous commentary being dated 5/18/2016, while the latest is dated 6/7/2016).

In any case, regarding this new wave of Nazi analogies...

The Beer Hall Putsch, also known as the Munich Putsch... was a failed coup attempt by the Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler... to seize power in Munich, Bavaria, during 8–9 November 1923. About 2k men marched to the centre of Munich, where they confronted the police, which resulted in the death of 16 Nazis and four policemen. (Wikipedia/Beer Hall Putsch).

ALSO...

The German composer Richard Wagner was a controversial figure during his lifetime, and has continued to be so after his death. Even today he is associated in the minds of many with Nazism and his operas are often thought to extol the virtues of German nationalism. ... Wagner was promoted during the Nazi era as one of Adolf Hitler's favorite composers. (Wikipedia/Wagner controversies)

I'm not sure what's going on with Fogg, but regardless, I do not believe that Sanders is motivated by "either deceit or delusion". I predict that, when the time comes, Sanders will offer a full-throated endorsement of Hillary, and will campaign for her and urge his supporters to vote for her. I would be SHOCKED if anything else occurs. Such as a Putsch, 3rd party run, or something else that could damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders has been VERY clear that our next president must not be Donald Trump (Bernie Sanders: "We will not allow Donald Trump to become president of the United States").

Regarding Fogg's allusions to Sanders' platform being unrealistic/pie in the sky... my opinion is that presidential campaigns are more aspirational, as opposed to a list of HARD promises. Bernie has laid out what he intends to push for as president. Promising to TRY to accomplish something is not the same as saying you're going to accomplish your goals, guaranteed. And Bernie Sanders has been clear that him accomplishing his agenda is wholly dependent on the success of his "revolution", i.e. bumping up citizen participation in our electoral process to unprecedented numbers, such that the Democrats take back both the Senate and the House.

I mention this due to all the Fogg-type doubters always bringing up how, if elected, President Sanders would have to work with Congress, and that is what stymied the Obama administration (See the Caucus Room Conspiracy). Personally, I agreed with the opinion that, if Bernie Sanders were the Democratic nominee, he'd have longer coattails than Hillary. Which would make it more likely that the Dems would take back the Senate and House (The coattail effect is the tendency for a popular political party leader to attract votes for other candidates of the same party in an election).

The evidence in support of Bernie Sanders (if he had been the nominee) having longer coattails being his performance re winning the fundraising race. Bernie 2016 raised $207,664,551 according to Opensecrets, with 62% ($129,495,477) coming from small individual contributions. Whereas Hillary For America raised $204,258,301, with only 20% ($40,190,653) coming from small individual contributions. A fact that shows Bernie has strong grassroots support and that his donors and supporters are more enthusiastic.

Hillary may have won the popular vote, but (like I already said) IMO that is due to the Bernie Sanders media blackout. That fact, plus the reality of Hillary being the choice of the Institutional Democrats, gave her the edge. Trump, while NOT the choice of Institutional Republicans, benefited greatly from all the free media he received. He would NOT have been the nominee without it.

Bernie Sanders received strong grassroots support because he is a "message candidate" and not a "cultural avatar" who ran as a "messianic visionary" (2 phrases used by Fogg). As Bernie has said "We must always remember that change almost never happens from the top down, it happens from the bottom up".

As for Fogg's use of the phrase "Big Brother B", Senator Sanders is a strong defender of the 4th amendment, having voted NO on the PATRIOT act every time it came up for a vote (Bernie Sanders: It's Time To End Orwellian Surveillance of Every American). Maybe Fogg meant to write "Nanny B", as (it seems) he is objecting to Bernie's "pie in the sky" nanny state programs (free college, free health care, etc)? Although I thought "nanny state" is a pejorative of the right. Perhaps middle of the roaders (such as Fogg appears to be) utilize it? IDK.

The Nazi analogies? Those I was POSITIVE were coming exclusively from the Right. Regarding the claim that "Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist and Nazis were Democratic Socialists" (made by Jason Villalba, a Republican Texas state rep), PolitiFact says "Pants on Fire". Despite Nazis being the National Socialist German Workers' Party "there was little socialist about the party's platform or Hitler's actions once he acceded to leading Germany in the early 1930s" (Politifact says).

So, Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist and not a Nazi. Also, the Nazis were not socialists of any kind. According to "Rice University historian Peter Caldwell... the key word in the party's name was National and the party's focus was on building nationalism — a focus ultimately reflected in Hitler's twisted vision of cleansing the country of residents, especially Jews, not considered of pure German blood".

A fact that makes any Sanders/Nazi analogy (at the very least) in bad taste. A reality I remarked on when I submitted a (published) comment re Fogg's Swash Zone post (his 2nd Sanders/Nazi analogy). A comment he has not yet responded to, btw.

In any case, Sanders will (barring a unlikely HRC indictment) NOT be the nominee. I suffer from no "willful delusion" Fogg says he's seeing "as standard fare among his supporters". Note Fogg did not say "among his FRINGE supporters", which would be accurate (as opposed to Fogg's INACCURATE statement). Another point I made in a response to his previously (Sanders as a Nazi-analogy themed) commentary.

I am a Bernie Supporter. I voted for him in the Primary, and I prayed that he would win the Democratic nomination (viewing him as a once in a lifetime candidate). But I think it was clear awhile ago that HRC was going to be the nominee. And let me say (unequivocally) that I will vote for her and cross my fingers that she wins the presidential contest.

Not only because HRC is a better candidate than Trump, but because she will make a decent president. She might even turn out to be great. Although I think the likelihood of greatness depends on the Sanders movement staying active and continuing to push her Left on the issues. Another reason for Sanders to stay in the race until he gets the concessions he's after/until the convention.

So, in conclusion... when Bernie Sanders endorses her and campaigns for her, all this vitriol from people who are currently incensed that Bernie is not conceding fast enough will fade away. Although we might then see complaints about how Bernie not dropping out toot sweet "damaged" HRC's campaign. In advance of those accusations let me say, NO, I'm not buying it.

Even though we're likely to see Trump quoting Bernie. He'd have made the same attacks, regardless of whether or not Bernie said anything he might quote. And, Bernie Sanders campaigning for HRC (as a enthusiastic HRC surrogate) can (and I predict will) defend against any such Trump attack. Reversing oneself being par for the course for a politician (they call it "pivoting"). Not that Bernie will need to pivot much re any prior statement, but only point out that HRC is the superior candidate in every respect. Something I am 100 percent positive he will do.

SWTD #336

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Day The World Ended

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine ~ Lyric from the REM 1987 song with the same title.

You probably aren't aware of it, but the end of the world has come and gone. The world ended on 3/6/1982. It was a Sunday. The significance of this day is that this is date on which a mentally ill lunatic named Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (AKA Ayn Rand) died.

Tom Snyder: I kind of think of this as ongoing, that there is an eternity, and that we are going to be a part of that eternity, that we aren't just corpses in graves when we die.

Ayn Rand: But we are not corpses in graves. We are not there. Don't you understand that when this life is finished, you're not there to say "Oh how terrible that I'm a corpse". What I've always thought is a sentence from a Greek philosopher, I don't remember, unfortunately, who it was, that I read at 16, and it's affected me all my life. "I will not die. It's the world that will end". (Interview is from the 7/02/1979 broadcast of Tomorrow with Tom Snyder. As per Wikipedia, "unique one-on-one exchanges were common to the program").

Rand is clearly talking about the END of the world and not just the end of the world "as she knows it" (to paraphrase REM). And, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the world continued on after 3/6/1982. 34 years (plus 2 months and 21 days) have passed since Rand kicked the bucket. Longer since the day her most loyal acolyte Alan Greenspan (one of the primary architects of the bush recession) placed a "floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar sign" near her casket [1]. Which was strange, given the fact that Rand wasn't there. Seeing as she WASN'T a corpse in a box buried under the earth, it surely was a pointless gesture.

Also pointless was the fact that Rand left a will. Wikipedia says Rand's will "named Leonard Peikoff the heir to her estate", but I'm thinking this info must be erroneous and she did NOT leave a will. Given the fact that Leonard Peikoff ceased to exist the second Rand bit it. Why the hell would Rand leave a will if she knew the world was going to end when she died?

Obviously Rand was nuts. One of the manifestations of her mental illness being her sociopathic belief that the universe revolved around her and that when she died that was the end. Not just for her, but for everybody. A fact Liberal Talker Thom Hartmann commented on during the 5/24/2016 broadcast of his program.

Thom Hartmann: This [Snyder/Rand interview] gives you a glimpse into the mind of a sociopath. Sociopaths genuinely believe that when they die the world ends. That the only life that matters in the world is their life. [The sociopath believes that] in my life, I have no obligation to future generations.

This is why Objectivism, the philosophy devised by Rand, is (as George Monbiot put it) "a manifesto for psychopaths". Under this brain-diseased ideology greed and selfishness are virtues, and poor people are parasites and moochers that should be exterminated. Or, as Rand put it, "nature will take it's course". By which she meant that the parasites will die when the social safety net is completely eliminated (as Rand strongly believed it should be).

George Monbiot, a British writer, known for his environmental and political activism, expressed his thoughts on Objectivism in a 2012 article.

[Objectivism] has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the post-war world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. ... Objectivism... holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as "refuse" and "parasites", and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them.

Apart from the police, the courts and the armed forces, there should be no role for government: no social security, no public health or education, no public infrastructure or transport, no fire service, no regulations, no income tax. ... Rand's is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed. (A Manifesto for Psychopaths by George Monbiot. 3/5/2012).

Obviously the world would end for a LOT of people if Rand's philosophy were instituted at a governmental level. In that they would die. Alan Greenspan, when he instituted Randian ideology in his capacity as chairman of the Fed (laissez faire capitalism/deregulation), almost killed our economy. Although what he did afterward (going along with bailouts) is where he parted with Randian ideology (or Libertarians will tell you, at least). Rand would have said our economy should be allowed to crash and burn.

Not that I agree with how the bailout were constructed. Instead of rescuing the fatcat banksters, I believe the banks should have been nationalized and the homeowners bailed out. But the way it was done benefited the rich and powerful while many others (members of the middle and lower classes) suffered. Which is one aspect of this crisis that surely would have made Rand smile.

According to the British Journal of Psychiatry "a dramatic spike in suicides between 2008 and 2010 can be linked with the economic crisis" (More Than 10,000 Suicides Tied To Economic Crisis, Study Says). So maybe Rand wouldn't have smiled. Not because people died, but because NOT ENOUGH people died (given how much she hated poor people and wished them dead).

In any case, the world clearly goes on, despite Ayn Rand's departure. Although the world is surely a worse place due to the fact that her sociopathic ideology is "sorely needed right now"... or so Republican politicians like Speaker Paul Ryan believe.

And the Randian goal of maximizing income inequality would surely lead to the world ending for a LOT more people. As, in addition to the 2008 economic crisis driving 10k people to take their own lives, Republican economic policies in general have this effect (Conservative Policies are Driving Americans to Suicide).

Unfortunately for us all Ayn Rand, while she did die and most assuredly is a corpse in the grave, the sociopathic Objectivism lives on. Given that it spawned the political ideology Libertarianism [2], as well as infecting the Republican Party (OST #61).

Which is why I say it's time to make Objectivism/Libertarianism a figurative corpse in the grave. By sending it to the the trash heap of history where it belongs.

Footnotes
[1] Once in government, Greenspan applied his guru's philosophy to the letter, lobbying to cut taxes for the rich and repeal the laws constraining the banks, refusing to regulate the predatory lending and the derivatives trading which eventually brought the system down. ...as Adam Curtis's documentary showed last year, the most devoted member of her inner circle was Alan Greenspan. Among the essays he wrote for Ayn Rand were those published in a book he co-edited with her called Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal. Here, starkly explained, you'll find the philosophy he brought into government. There is no need for the regulation of business... as the greed of the businessman or, more appropriately, his profit-seeking ...is the unexcelled protector of the consumer. (Excerpted from A Manifesto for Psychopaths by George Monbiot).
[2] Even though "Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism has been and continues to be a major influence on the libertarian movement, particularly in the United States and many libertarians justify their political views using aspects of Objectivism", Ayn Rand said (of Libertarianism) "I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives". (Libertarianism and Objectivism & The Ayn Rand Lexicon: What was Ayn Rand's view of the libertarian movement?).

Video: Part 2 (on YouTube) of the 7/02/1979 Tom Snyder interview with Ayn Rand (9:55). Quote above begins at 2:53. See all 3 parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

SWTD #335

Monday, May 02, 2016

On Larry Wilmore "Offending" Rush Limbaugh With His #WHCD2016 Speech

...the formerly drug-addled host was just rambling, which is his job. It's nice work if you can get it! ~ Gawker author describing how Rush Limbaugh entertains the "bitter white dudes" who listen to his program. Excerpted from a 8/21/2008 article "Should We Bother Getting Offended by Rush Limbaugh?".

World Net Daily (AKA Black Mob Central) reports that "Limbaugh peeved by use of N-word for Obama" (re Larry Wilmore's speech at the 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner). To which I say BULLSHIT! Limbaugh is is feigning outrage because it presents him an opportunity to attack the Obama administration.

The White House is apparently not offended by the use of the N-word for President Obama, at least not when it comes from a black comedian, but radio titan Rush Limbaugh is. Comic Larry Wilmore uncorked a slang version of the racial slur at the White House Correspondents’ dinner Saturday night, when he told Obama: "Yo Barry, you did it my n**ga. You did it".

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he had talked to Obama about Wilmore's use of the word and said the president told him "he appreciated the spirit of Mr. Wilmore's expression Saturday night", the Washington Examiner reported. (Limbaugh Peeved by Use of N-word For Obama by Joe Kovacs. WND 5/2/2016).

Who Limbaugh is actually "peeved" at is revealed with the article's first sentence. I mean, has Limbaugh EVER expressed any offense before when the N-word was used to refer to Obama (the actual N-word and not the version of it ending with an "a")? According to Limbaugh a Black comedian (Larry Wilmore at the date correspondent's dinner) referring to Obama using the term "ni**a" is "indicative that there isn't much respect for the office of the presidency" - but apparently when Limbaugh referred to Obama as "Barack the magic negro" that was... respectful?

In March 2007, American critic David Ehrenstein used the title "Obama the Magic Negro" for an editorial he wrote for the Los Angeles Times, in which he described Barack Obama's image in white American culture: "He's there to assuage white "guilt"...

Rush Limbaugh began discussing Ehrenstein's op ed on the day it was published. He cast Ehrenstein's column as criticizing Obama himself for not being authentic or black enough: "The problem, Ehrenstein says, is he's not real. Al Sharpton's real, Snoop Dogg is real, but Barack Obama is not real. He's just there to assuage white guilt. In other words, the only reason Obama is anywhere is because whites are willing to support him because they feel so guilty over slavery". He described the column as an example of the "racism of the left". He said "The term Magic Negro has been thrown into the political presidential race in the mix for 2008" and said he would "own" the term by the end of the week. He [Limbaugh] briefly sang the words "Barack the magic negro" to the tune of "Puff, the Magic Dragon". (Wikipedia/Magical Negro/Barack Obama).

Regardless of the fact that it was David Ehrenstein (exhibiting "racism of the left") Limbaugh took the "magic negro" application to Obama and ran with it.

Limbaugh later [in the broadcast] asserted: "I'm going to keep referring to him as that because I want to make a bet that by the end of this week I will own that term", adding, "If I refer to Obama the rest of the day as the Magic Negro, there will be a number of people in the drive-by media and on left-wing blogs who will credit me for coming up with it and ignore the L.A. Times did it, simply because they can't be critical of the L.A. Times, but they can, obviously, be critical of talk radio". (Latching onto L.A. Times op-ed, Limbaugh sings "Barack, The Magic Negro" by Adam Serwer. Media Matters 3/20/2007).

Why use it at all (and in song form)? Because Rush is cloaking his racism with faux outrage. Because someone on "the left" used the term, Limbaugh saw that as license for him to use it (27 times during the same broadcast, according to Media Matters). And blame "racism of the left". But it's Rush's own racism that explains his actions.

He jumps at these opportunities. Previously it was David Ehrenstein who provided Rush the opportunity to express his true racist feelings (and have someone "on the left" to blame). This time it was Larry Wilmore (and there are likely many examples between these two that I'm not aware of).

And further proof that this is indeed is what is occurring is that this story was written up for the notoriously racist World Net Daily (their "religion is apeshit racist ring-wingnut douchery with a side of tabloid pablum" says a 2/18/2014 Gawker article).

WND author writes "racism is an illusion, and Black Lives Matter lies". And yes, Jesse Lee Peterson is an African American. But that's how WND "proves" it isn't racist - it has African American best friends (authors). But for even more proof check out the (more overtly racist) comments. These are the kinds of racist Whites that WND panders to (Trump voters).

As for Wilmore's use of the word being offensive? I'll leave that to the Black community to hash out. Although I will say that I agree that it's not the same when a Black person uses the term compared to a White person using it. Regarding the "controversy" within the Black community, I've heard comments both ways. From "get over it" to "yes, it was offensive".

Me, I'm more offended by Limbaugh. Not regarding what he says. The Gawker blogger I quoted at the top of this article has a point... THIS is what Limbaugh does. And he's been doing it for a long time. But that his last contract awarded him with $38 million a year for 8 years plus a $100 million signing bonus. That Conservative commentators like Limbaugh get Brinks trucks backing up to their homes with hourly deliveries of cash while Liberal commentators make significantly less? It makes me want to puke!

I'm talking about true Progressives commentators, btw (people like Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann). I think the talking heads at msnbc probably do OK. Those who weren't fired by Andy Lack who decided that, to fix the problem of msnbc's ratings being bad, decided the solution would be to go more Insider (Washington More About Insiders V Outsiders Than Democrats V Republicans).

SWTD #334

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ronald Kessler Tells Newsmax Hillary Clinton Indictment Likely B4 General Election

A virulent strain of Clinton Derangement Syndrome, which scientists and Republicans thought had been wiped out at the end of the last century, is now afflicting millions of conservative Americans. Some Republicans so detest Hillary Clinton they are badly underestimating how likely she is, at this point in the campaign, to be America's 45th president ~ Mark Halperin, from a 10/26/2015 Bloomberg Politics article.

According to Wikipedia "Kessler's writings have been criticized in publications such as the Washington Post and The Week for overt partisanship and a lack of journalistic rigor". This HRC "indictment likely" BS falls into that category, IMO. And, YES, I absolutely think the suggestion that HRC will be indicted is total bullshit. It will NOT happen (I predict).

As for Kessler's partisanship, I can think of one other example. (The 73yo) Kessler is the one who reported that when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 he said the reason was to get "niggers voting Democratic for the next 100 years" (SWTD #228).

Although what he actually said (according to his press secretary, Bill Moyers) was "I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come". I think that worry (which has been proven correct) is proof that LBJ's motivations were NOT to trick Black people into voting Democratic (as Republicans contend) but because it was "to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country [and] to close the springs of racial poison". These were LBJ's words in an address to the nation upon his signing of the legislation (which was broadcast live on 7/2/1964).

Given the fact that Rightwingers love this "quote", as it "proves" that the racist LBJ's motivations were to trick African Americans into voting Democratic, HELL YES, I've got to wonder if Kessler "reported" this for partisan reasons.

And I've wondering if Mr. Kessler reported that Hillary is "likely" to be indicted (over her emails) for partisan reasons. Especially considering which candidate he praised in his remarks (as reported by NewsMax).

Veteran journalist Ronald Kessler tells Newsmax TV that Hillary Clinton will likely be indicted before the general election for using a private email server to conduct classified government business as secretary of state — but will likely be pardoned by President Barack Obama.

"Definitely before November. Possibly in a month or two", Kessler said Friday [4/15/2016] on "The Steve Malzberg Show". "By definition, putting classified information on an unsecured server is gross negligence. You saw President Obama trying to make excuses for her. I think he's leading up to giving a pardon to Hillary, but there's no question. She will be indicted. ... Jim Comey, the FBI director, is a man of great integrity. I think [Attorney General] Loretta Lynch is as well ... not political in the way Eric Holder was. No question she will be indicted".

Kessler - a former Washington Post reporter... said that even if Clinton is pardoned, the damage will have been done.

"Either way, she's going to be besmirched and it's possible that [Vice President Joe] Biden might step in," he told Malzberg.

Kessler also praised Donald Trump as a candidate who would be very different operating in the White House than how he appears on the campaign trail.

"People don't understand about Donald that there are two Donald Trumps. One is the guy you see on TV who makes these provocative comments to get attention", Kessler said. (NewsMax 4/15/2016).

Kessler is a former reporter for WP, but (what the article above failed to disclose) is that "from 2006 to 2012, Kessler was chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax". This would be the "conservative website and magazine" that "has continued to stoke birther fantasies" and supports Donald Trump for president.

With stories such as "Pat Buchanan to GOP: Support Trump Now or Lose to Hillary" I don't know how anyone couldn't conclude that they are far, FAR Right. Up there with World Net Daily.

Steve Malzberg, btw, is a wingnut who said "the president [Barack Obama] can be perceived and has been perceived by many as being an Islamist sympathizer by his actions [and that] most of his Middle East policies favor the Muslim Brotherhood" (Newsmax's Steve Malzberg Uses CNN Appearance To Legitimize Questioning Obama's Faith, Citizenship, 9/20/2015).

So, regarding Kessler... "birds of a feather flock together" could apply here, I think (Rightwing nutjobs associate with others of the same ilk). Certainly this HRC indictment being "likely/definitely" is nutty. Which I say because it isn't f*cking going to happen.

Past cases suggest Hillary won't be indicted (article excerpt) A Politico review of dozens of recent federal investigations for mishandling of classified records suggests that it's highly unlikely — but not impossible. The examination, which included cases spanning the past two decades, found some with parallels to Clinton's use of a private server for her emails, but — in nearly all instances that were prosecuted — aggravating circumstances that don't appear to be present in Clinton's case.

The relatively few cases that drew prosecution almost always involved a deliberate intent to violate classification rules as well as some add-on element: An FBI agent who took home highly sensitive agency records while having an affair with a Chinese agent; a Boeing engineer who brought home 2000 classified documents and whose travel to Israel raised suspicions; a National Security Agency official who removed boxes of classified documents and also lied on a job application form.

A former senior FBI official told Politico that when it comes to mishandling of classified information the Justice Department has traditionally turned down prosecution of all but the most clear-cut cases. (4/11/2016 article by Josh Gerstein).

"There's no question" HRC will be indicted sez Kessler, but that definitive an assertion is total bullplop. "Highly unlikely" (as the Politico article says) is more like it. Oh, and that Kessler suggests Biden might be the Democratic nominee and praises Trump (dismissing Trump's racism as "provocative comments") is proof enough for me that he's a total wingnut. As opposed to a "veteran journalist".

Which explains why he lied about LBJ (although that is a qualified "lie"; see SWTD #273). Also, why he's lying about Hillary being indicted.

Although, if HRC were indicted, that would throw the nomination (and presidency) to Bernie Sanders. Given the fact that Biden is definitely NOT going to "step in" (to suggest he might is pure idiocy) and neither Trump nor Cruz have much of a chance against either Hillary or Bernie. So, given this, I (as a Sanders supporter) might be able to get behind this HRC indictment notion? Nah. Why even consider that, when the chances are next to nil? Not when it's more fun to make fun of those who suffer from insane delusions regarding the Clintons (SWTD #313).

Mark Halperin (the game changer who called president Obama a dick), BTW, is absolutely correct about how virulent this strain of Clinton derangement syndrome is. Ronald Kessler being but one among the millions of those who are afflicted. Although, Halperin is dead wrong about CDS having been "wiped out at the end of the last century". The last century ended on 12/31/2000 and Hillary Clinton ran her first presidential campaign in 2008 against Obama, then served as Obama's Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 (and during ALL of this time CDS was alive and well).

SWTD #333

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Religious Nutjob Ted Cruz "Called & Anointed" By God To Be The Next President

The corporate right fires up the religious right against gay marriage and abortion and uses their votes to push their deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. It's an old trick. The House of Saud has the same arrangement with the Mullahs in Saudi Arabia ~ Adam McKay (dob 4/17/1968) a film director and screenwriter who has a creative partnership with actor Will Ferrell.

One of the most frightening things about the candidacy of the Canadian-born Ted Cruz is a what a Rightwing religious nut he is. Ted's father Rafael Bienvenido Cruz believes that his son was chosen by the Almighty to be our next president. Rightwing Watch notes that "earlier this year, Ted Cruz's father and primary presidential campaign surrogate... spoke at televangelist Kenneth Copeland's church in Texas".

Kenneth Copeland is a televangelist who preaches the prosperity gospel, which is a twisting a scripture under which good (Republican) Christians are rewarded by God with riches. Ignore that BS about what Jesus said about how hard it is for a rich man to get into Heaven. These prosperity gospel hucksters insist that God wants you to be rich. Fact is, you can tell that a person is right with God if he is wealthy (wealth being a blessing from above).

And according to Copeland and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, Rafael Edward Cruz (AKA "Ted" Cruz) has been selected to be our next ruler (text below is a transcription from the video record of what took place at Copeland's TX church).

Rafael Bienvenido Cruz: The word from the Lord was "seek my face, not my hand". It was if the cloud of the Holy spirit descended upon the room. And all of a sudden, we were all worshipping. And the words that came out of Ted's mouth were "here am I Lord, use me. Let your will be done". I believe that the Lord has raised him up for such a time as this. (see video below).

There was a similar Mormon prophecy that some of Mittens' followers thought he was the one to fulfill. The White Horse Prophecy says that "the United States Constitution will one day hang like a thread and will be saved by the efforts of the White Horse". Some believe "Mormons expect the United States to eventually become a theocracy dominated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". And some believed that Mittens was that "White Horse", although Mittens himself said it wasn't "official church doctrine" and that he didn't "put that at the heart of my religious belief".

But Ted Cruz apparently DOES believe he is anointed by God to bring theocracy to the United States. Unless his father is lying about what he thinks God told Ted. But Ted was there (at Copeland's church) where he spoke for an hour. It might be possible that Ted is just going with his father's delusions (that have him believing the cloud of the Holy Spirit descended and spoke to his son)? Perhaps Ted decided he could use his father's delusions to dupe religious nutjobs into voting for him?

Anyway, if Rafael Edward Cruz were somehow elected president, I'd suspect fraud. And, if President Cruz attempted to steer our nation toward theocracy (I have no idea HOW he'd accomplish this, but let's say, for the sake of argument that he found a way) I'd suspect he was the AntiChrist. I say this seriously, as someone who identifies as Christian.

But I doubt any of this will come to pass. It's far more likely, IMO, that Ted Cruz won't be the nominee, let alone elected president (and then attempt to be a theocrat). And it's far more likely that Ted and his father are total nutjobs. Or liars who think they can take advantage of Rightwing "Christians" who think Ted is "the chosen one".

Video: Televangelist Kenneth Copeland (introducing Rafael Bienvenido Cruz) says, "I believe, with all my heart, that his son is called and anointed to be the next president of the United States".

SWTD #332