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

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.

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).


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.


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.