Sunday, December 10, 2017

Will someone please fire this pathological narcissist for his own countless and absurd lies?

Trump Wants Washington Post Reporter Fired Over Misleading Tweet

President Trump on Saturday called for a Washington Post reporter to be fired over a misleading tweet about the size of the crowd at a rally for the president on Friday in Pensacola, Fla.

The reporter, Dave Weigel, posted a picture of an arena with many empty seats. He deleted the tweet after learning that the venue had not yet filled up.

Narcissism.

This is how badly the "Bolivarian Revolution" has f***ed up Venezuela

For Older Venezuelans, Fleeing Crisis Means ‘Starting From Zero,’ Even at 90

In the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans — by some estimates as many as two million — have migrated abroad, with the tendency accelerating in the past several years during the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Nicolás Maduro.

The vast majority have been younger Venezuelans in the prime of their working lives. 

Yet the huge flow of émigrés has also included a smaller number of older Venezuelans, driven abroad for many of the same reasons, including scarcities of food and medicine, soaring poverty and crime.

Many are following the steps of their children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren who have been imploring them to leave, too.

But for older migrants, the decision to leave is fraught with unique anxieties and uncertainties: about access to health care in destination countries, about the loss of social networks and the comforts developed over a lifetime, about starting from scratch in a brand-new place just when they expected to be enjoying retirement.

. . . .

Mr. Reyes, who spent his career running small businesses, has glaucoma. 

With medicine increasingly scarce in Venezuela, it has become a near-daily ordeal for him to visit as many as seven pharmacies in an often fruitless search for the eye drops he needs.

Ms. Reyes, a retired employee of Venezuela’s Education Ministry, was told by her doctor that the cancerous lesion on her forehead was probably the result of all the hours she was forced to stand in lines in the sun waiting to buy food or withdraw money from the bank.

As inflation has soared, the value of the couple’s pension has diminished. 

The last three-milliliter bottle of drops Mr. Reyes bought cost him more than half his monthly pension.

Frank Bruni goes out on a limb

Will our American Red Guards, our SJWs, have him issuing abject apologies in all directions within a few days or weeks?

An Abomination. A Monster. That’s Me?

This is his reply to a diatribe of racist hatred directed against whites in a college newspaper given its greatest publicity by Breitbart (of course) and Rod Dreher (ditto) at the end of last month and so extreme that at first I thought it was a hoax.

Imagine a college paper, somewhere, publishing excerpts from The Turner Diaries and you'll get the idea.

Bruni joins Dreher and Breitbart in deploring the violent anti-white hate rhetoric of the racist left, but while they exploit that racism to vindicate and even support the "circle the wagons" mentality that drives so many whites to the side of Trump and white nationalism he deplores exactly that use and that consequence.

If the people who feel that way about whites - and notoriously about white liberals, especially - find out where he lives, Bruni could easily find himself in physical danger.

He can be sure a great deal of vitriolic sewage will be spilt out over his head in coming days and weeks, and it may get so bad we see him, his self-respect shredded, in sackcloth and ashes.

PS.

Just as the right smears Democrats by association with these anti-white racists (and it is a smear, right? despite Ta-Nehisi Coates and maybe Charles Blow?), the left smears the Republicans and even the Trumpists by lumping everyone together from those who object to affirmative action to those who long for the extermination of nonwhites from the face of the Earth.

And we all pay for it as our politics are increasingly about our reciprocal racial estrangement and its ever worse and more frightening consequences.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

To be fair, the Republicans are a party of fraud to the bone

Krugman.

And he's not even writing about Bozo, whose total unconcern with truth has inured us all to discounting everything he says, regarding his words as contributing absolutely nothing to any discussion of reality.

Surveys done by the University of Minnesota and George Mason University have shown that the supposedly impartial “fact checking” news organization [PolitiFact] rates Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims and twice as much, respectively.

Notice the implicit assumption here – namely, that impartial fact-checking would find an equal number of false claims from each party. 

But what if – bear with me a minute – Republicans actually make more false claims than Democrats?

Take a not at all arbitrary example: tax policy. 

The GOP is deeply committed to the proposition that tax cuts pay for themselves, a view that has no support whatsoever from professional economists. 

Can you find any comparable insistence on a view experts consider false on the Democratic side?

Similarly, the GOP is deeply committed to climate change denial, despite the overwhelming consensus of scientists that anthropogenic climate change is real and dangerous. 

Again, where’s the Democratic counterpart?

There are, of course, individual liberals who say things that aren’t true, on all sorts of issues. 

But huge falsehoods by major party figures – where by falsehood I mean something demonstrably false, not a view you disagree with – are far more common on the right than the left.

. . . .

Whatever the deep explanation, however, the parties are not the same. 

And trying to pretend that they are the same isn’t just foolish, it’s deeply destructive. 

Indeed, it’s one important reason Donald Trump sits in the White House.

Reminds me of people unwilling to absorb the fact that black people have more, and more unfortunate, interactions with the legal justice system than whites because and in proportion as they commit more crimes than whites, of the sort that actually might get noticed by the justice system.

(Nobody thinks they commit more white collar crimes than whites, say.)

This carnival barker is the perfect front man for the class war agenda of the standard, establishment Republicans

And they so know it.

Trump Rallies a Florida Crowd in Support of an Alabama Senate Candidate

Mr. Trump was about 45 minutes into his speech, though, before he even mentioned Mr. Moore. But when prompted to do so by a man in the crowd, the president quickly obliged.

“This guy’s screaming, ‘We want Roy Moore,’” Mr. Trump said. “He’s right. How many people here are from the great state of Alabama?”

Many cheered.

The president also highlighted a discrepancy in the story of one Mr. Moore’s accusers and said voters should be wary of her lawyer, Gloria Allred.

“The future of this country cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States Senate,” Mr. Trump said.

“We can’t afford to have a liberal Democrat who is completely controlled by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. His name is Jones and he’s their total puppet,” a reference to Mr. Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.

“We need somebody in that Senate seat who will vote for our Make America Great Again agenda,” the president said, adding, “So get out and vote for Roy Moore.”

The MAGA agenda is a smokescreen behind which the Congressional GOP has gone bare-knuckle from the start, their massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich being only their most visibly outrageous and successful move.

The Donald is all showman, and everything about him and his presidency that Bannon, Buchanan, and the trailer-trash of the rust belt love, including his all over the map handling of race, is showmanship.

The only reality in DC is that the GOP Congress is fighting its class war while Bozo appoints a flood of standard-issue conservative Republicans, enemies of everything any progressive of any political party ever built or stood for, to the federal bench and a multitude of other positions throughout the government.

What they see and love and cheer is him, Bozo, The Duce, the reality-TV president.

What they and we get is them, the standard-issue, class warrior conservatives of the Republican Party in the Congress, and wherever else Trump can place them, all of them out to roll back a century of progressive changes in our society, our politics, and our government.

Only once in a while something that the president played by Donald Trump promised or demanded has to actually be made real, to maintain the conflation of reality and reality TV that is the beating heart of this presidency.

Travel ban.

End of DACA.

End of the individual mandate, and of government subsidies for purchase of health insurance through Obamacare.

Maybe a wall.

The reality TV president

I am one of those who think reality TV is an atrocity for morons, trailer-trash, and hopeless rubes.

Trump and Trump's people, in fact.

For him and for them, he is not the president, he's just playing one for the media.

Or, rather, they conflate the two.

But as reality TV is to reality, Trump's presidency, as he perceives it and acts it out, is to the real thing.

Trump's hour-by-hour battle for self preservation

Around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. 

He flips to CNN for news, moves to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.

Energized, infuriated — often a gumbo of both — Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow, according to aides. 

Other times he tweets from the den next door, watching another television. 

Less frequently, he makes his way up the hall to the ornate Treaty Room, sometimes dressed for the day, sometimes still in night clothes, where he begins his official and unofficial calls.

As he ends his first year in office, Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be president. 

He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton — as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur. 

Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.

For other presidents, every day is a test of how to lead a country, not just a faction, balancing competing interests. 

For Mr. Trump, every day is an hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation. 

He still relitigates last year’s election, convinced that the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, into Russia’s interference is a plot to delegitimize him. 

Color-coded maps highlighting the counties he won were hung on the White House walls.

Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals. 

People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.

A Trumpish provocation

Trump's visit to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opening leads NAACP, civil rights leader to skip it

Mississippi's Republican Governor invited The Duce to the opening of the state's Civil Rights Museum, doubtless laughing into his beard.

Trump, doubtless chuckling, accepted.

The feathers flew to the hilarity of the alt.right types before the event.

Types like that same governor, who annually proclaims a Confederate Heritage Month to pair up with Black History Month, and a public holiday for Robert E. Lee's birthday to pair with Martin Luther King's, as reported by MSNBC.

Trump in Pensacola, Florida, yesterday called upon the folks to vote for Roy Moore, and will return to Florida after his public appearance at the museum, today.

The head of the NAACP and two black congressmen, including John Lewis, a leader in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, said they will not be present at Saturday's opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum because President Donald Trump will be there.

NAACP president Derrick Johnson announced in a press release that rather than attend the museum's opening in Jackson, he will unite with local leaders to hold a "separate event" at the Smith Robertson Museum in the capital city to "pay homage to those who have dedicated their lives to the civil rights of Mississippians, without the presence of President Donald Trump."

“We take this stand out of respect for our heroes and ancestors who, often at the cost of their lives, paved the way for the ending of segregation and racial discrimination in Mississippi,” Johnson said in a statement Saturday. 

“We honor that legacy by speaking truth to power and calling out this administration’s divisive policies and its pullback from civil rights enforcement.”

Trump begins his speech saying he just got there from the opening of the Mississippi State History Museum.

He praises both museums as he starts his speech.

By name, he honored Martin Luther King whom he said he has admired all his life.

His speech in praise of the Civil Rights Martyrs could on the whole have been made by Obama, apart from his lapses from dignity and from solemnity into the familiarities of an emcee at a wedding reception, inviting signal guests by name to stand for applause.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The horrible regiment of women

Cards on the table: I support legalization of all forms of voluntary sexual relations, including commercial ones, among persons above the age of consent, and oppose the waste of tax dollars policing any such activities while they remain illegal.

I felt that way about gays and lesbians when the police were still harassing gays in the park and raiding gay bars, for instance.

But such activities occur only after someone has made a suggestion to someone else, so I support legalization of making such suggestions, and oppose efforts to punish them while they remain illegal.

Meanwhile, in DC, the whole sex purge thing appears to have been taken over by blue-noses, dykes, victims of actual sex crimes, and women who seem to find that whole side of life - you know, sex - weill, with men, anyway - just totally unacceptable and icky.

So this happened.

And it just does seem to be rather a drastic punishment for being an insufferable nag, which of course I agree is extremely annoying.

It was both stupid and vicious to force Franken out, not just because he may have been innocent (I doubt it) but even if he was guilty.

At worst, he is a groper of grownups and a boor and a disgusting fellow.

But losing him makes it all the easier for the Republicans to get through their agenda of attacks on the achievements of progressivism and those attacks will do great harm to a great many, including very predictably deadly harm to some.

How many will die so the angry regiment of women can be placated?

How many will drop into poverty, how many will lose their health insurance, how many will lose their homes, and so on and so on, because idiot Al couldn't keep his hands of women's tits and asses and it just pissed them off so very, very much?

Why couldn't these oh so righteously irate women make that particular sacrifice of not stringing up the groper for the well-being and lives of so many, including many children?

They could always have primaried him next time.

Meanwhile, in their angry voices, they congratulate themselves and the Democrats for "taking the moral high ground".

Uh huh.

Letting their rage have its way, more like.

Is the two state solution dead?

If it is, the Palestinians have themselves to thank.

Arafat rejected the best deal they were ever offered, a deal so good they will never again see its like and have been clinging for the years since then to the hope they can get something not too much worse.

When you get down to it, there is more than a little justice in the comment made long ago that there already is an arab state in Palestine and its name is "Jordan".





And there is more than a little justice in the claim that those now called "Palestinians" have never really giving up making the Jewish state in Palestine as small as they can, preferably zero.

The so-called "one state solution" is a fantasy of American liberals for whom the Zionist dream of a Jewish State is nationalist and hence racist and hence unforgivable.

It would very quickly develop into just another majority arab state in Palestine with a large and beleaguered Jewish minority.

Jews in Israel and most elsewhere will never buy that.

Did Trump Kill Off a Two-State Solution? He Says No, Palestinians Say Yes

President Trump, in formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, declared that the United States still supported a two-state solution to settle the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, provided it was “agreed to by both sides.”

For the first time in his 26 years as a peacemaker, the chief negotiator for the Palestinians did not agree.

Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a steadfast advocate for a Palestinian state, said in an interview on Thursday that Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “have managed to destroy that hope.” 

He embraced a radical shift in the P.L.O.’s goals — to a single state, but with Palestinians enjoying the same civil rights as Israelis, including the vote.

“They’ve left us with no option,” he said. “This is the reality. We live here. Our struggle should focus on one thing: equal rights.”

Mr. Erekat’s change of heart is unlikely to change Palestinian policy. 

The dream of a Palestinian state is too deeply ingrained in a generation of its leaders for the Palestinian Authority to abandon it now. 

Israel would be unlikely to accede to equal rights, because granting a vote to millions of Palestinians would eventually lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

Hey, when was America last great, Roy?

Roy Moore Believes America Was Great During Slavery.

Rome, Greece, The Persian Empire, The Ottoman Empire, The Russian Empire before Alexander II - all were great during slavery (OK, serfdom. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.).

But was America great before the Civil War, or even shortly thereafter?

No.

America became great in totally conventional historic terms with its "rise to globalism" that began around the time of McKinley.

And has been great in the same terms ever since, though The Duce, the Bannonites, and the Buchananites are doing their best to diminish the global significance of our country.

Bozo by being the fool he is, and the others quite deliberately.

Anyway.

Back in September, one of the few African-Americans in the crowd asked the candidate when he thought was the “last time” America was great. 

“I think it was great at the time when families were united. Even though we had slavery, they cared for one another. ... Our families were strong, our country had a direction,” Moore responded, according to a Los Angeles Times report in September.

So the last time America was great was the last time families were strong, and the last time families were strong was before the Civil War?

Not the usual standard, and surely wrong on the facts about families, anyway.

Nothing was more hellish on families than slavery and the horrible conditions of the free working class in the early period of rising industrialism.

Moore’s comments resurfaced Thursday in a tweet by Eric Columbus, who served in the departments of Justice and Homeland Security during the Obama administration.