Monday, February 29, 2016

Too many man-hating women on the court already

And liberal feminists want more.

The Case for Nominating Elizabeth Warren to the Supreme Court

Still, one could do worse, and the Republicans certainly would.

Better to go with the sisterhood than with them.

Hillary is a loser

P. J. Podesta makes a strong case for Bernie.

The case against Hillary Clinton: This is the disaster Democrats must avoid

But the Afro-American Democrat voters prefer her so people like KOS insist that means she's the real candidate of racial inclusion, and again for people like KOS that is the real test for moral acceptability any Democrat must pass.

On the eclipse of class by identity politics among Democrats.

And of substance by "fluidity."

The horrible regiment of women

Amanda Marcotte's loathing is almost enough to make me vote for The Donald.

But not quite.

Rubio and Cruz are the real monsters: Liberals should be rooting for Trump — and he’ll be easier to beat come November

I hope she's right about that last.

Pat Buchanan says the opposite.

But he would.

Winning on ideas among whites is less important than winning for no reason among blacks

Whites are 60 % of the party, nationally, and most of the voters, Democrat or not, are white.

Nationally, white Democrats seem to marginally prefer Bernie, the crackpot anti-capitalist radical, to Hillary, the lying neoliberal war lover even dumber than GW.

But, hey, what matters is to win the brown vote, though even African American Democrats endorse Bernie.

To prove you're a real Democrat and deserve the nomination you have to show that voters who aren't white, especially those who are black, are with you.

So says KOS, anyway.

And, in his usual courteous manner of addressing people who disagree with him, KOS says if you think Hillary can't beat Trump you're a moron.

His very word.

But KOS has a point.

Democrats lose among whites and among men, nationally.

To keep the White House this fall, the Democrat will need massive turnout among non-whites and women.

Hillary already has that.

When the bottle is worth more than the wine

You drink the wine and throw away the bottle.

What does that prove?


Thinking about Malbec

Wine is stronger than beer but doesn't taste as good.

Whiskey, stronger than both, doesn't need to.

Living for others

Living for fame, for power, for a place in history.

All of that is living for others.

I had almost thought that love would be the same, but then I thought of the selfishness of love, and of robotics.

How far can you throw yourself away in a life for others if you appreciate the problem of other minds and the radical and insuperable inaccessibility of others, if they exist at all?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The amazing 600 pound man

I saw one at the mall, today.

He might have been in his mid twenties and walked with a cane.

I am always amazed people that big defy the odds, trying to walk around that much despite the risk of death.

Sure, the massive size of her victory was a gift of black Democrats. But . . . .

Hillary won white voters by 8%, too.

Black Voters Boost Hillary Clinton to South Carolina Primary Win

Let's quit pretending

Doug Bandow tells libertarian lies about the constitution.

Others tell other sorts of lies.

A plague on all of them.

Class, not race, is the thing, he says

Harold Meyerson on Trump and Bernie.

He might be right

Trump Can Beat Clinton in November

Pat Buchanan, who parrots the patrician line regarding plebs on the dole, so to speak, just as though the rich were not rich because the law creates and maintains capitalism, private property, and the market, thus bringing into the world both the haves and the have-nots, annoyingly pretends plute support for the GOP with its agenda of tax cuts and slash-the-state is not just as self-interested as prole support for the Dems.

Trump, of course, is no conservative and is likely the least dangerous of the Republicans seeking the nomination, considered as a class enemy to ordinary folks.

But his positions on culture war issues, so far as he isn't just being a demagogue, are too far to the right for the American left, though also too far to the left for the American right.

Pat Buchanan, like many of Trump's supporters, is drawn to him as a friend of white folks, men, and Christians, though he is more moderate on those things than PB, and because he is an opponent of immigration and free trade.

These seem to be the things that chiefly offend the left about Trump, and the last two deeply annoy the Wall Street right.

PB is far from being the only writer of Republican comment who sees his appeal, though those who prioritize Wall Street's war on the American worker and everything progressivism has put in place to protect him over a century of effort are enraged and alarmed.

Meanwhile, TAC gives Bernie the best grade on foreign policy.

MHP gone for good?

Harris-Perry Throws Away TV Career, Petulantly Plays Race Card From Bottom of the Deck

But that's her job.

Hell, it's her whole career.

Is Trump really a Nazi?

Is this actual evidence of an unnerving affinity?

Sarah P at C&L writes,

It is well known that Trump slept with a copy of My New Order, a collection of Hitler's speeches, on his nightstand.

"Well known"?

Is it known at all?

Well, it's known, or close enough, that he was given a copy of that book by a friend many years ago.

The story that he keeps it on his nightstand is based on a reputed claim of an ex wife to a divorce lawyer.

Too, according to a different site,

In the Vanity Fair article, Ivana Trump told a friend that her husband's cousin, John Walter "clicks his heels and says, 'Heil Hitler," when visiting Trump's office.

Maybe not the best source.

Meanwhile, Trump the non-interventionist is frightening neocon war lovers to defect . . . to Hillary.

And Scott McConnell thinks The Donald is "a moderate Republican."

Christie’s endorsement obviously helps Trump in a tactical sense, days before the critical Super Tuesday primaries. 

It should do more in helping to define who Trump is and what his rise means. 

Populist, yes, kind of. 

Pro-working class? 

Well, certainly working class voters have been extraordinarily responsive to his campaign. 

But with what politicians, in what category, should he be grouped? 

On that score, we’ve seen an extraordinary amount of heavy breathing fright-mongering. 

But as the evidence mounts, the category that includes Rockefeller, Nixon, Ford, and now Chris Christie is easily the best fit.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Black voters are a quarter of the party nationally and a majority in SC, and they were 87 % on her side in that state.

White Democrats seem to prefer him, but not by a big enough margin to overcome the inexplicable preference of blacks.

The NYT.

Brooks vs Trump

Until quite late in the piece you think David Brooks is attacking Cruz and the conservative pundits who support the radicalism of his methods, so enthusiastically supported by Tea Party types and opposed by the leadership and more responsible Republican office holders.

He is.

But he's also attacking Trump, and he does it very well.

Still, the indirect encouragement of fears of dictatorship and fascism is rather much.

The Governing Cancer of Our Time

Fears nurtured by things like this.

The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter

By the way, while I support the idea of a total moratorium on immigration as well as refusal of entry to Muslim refugees and significant reductions in Muslim visits to the US I support neither deportation of all of the 11 million illegals now here nor arbitrary shuttering of mosques or other persecution of Muslims.

Just saying.

George Will, a conservative radical, on the other hand, speaks faithfully for the people likened to Trump and fustigated for his rise by Brooks, deploring Trump and absurdly exaggerating his unconservatism.

“Hell,” said Alabama’s Democratic Gov. George Wallace before roiling the 1968 presidential race, “we got too much dignity in government now, what we need is some meanness.” 

Twelve elections later, Wallace’s wish is approaching fulfillment as Republicans contemplate nominating someone who would run to Hillary Clinton’s left. 

Donald Trump, unencumbered by any ballast of convictions, would court Bernie Sanders’ disaffected voters with promises to enrich rather than reform the welfare state’s entitlement menu -- Trump already says, “I am going to take care of everybody” -- and to make America great again by having it cower behind trade barriers. 

If elected, Trump presumably would seek re-election, so there would be no conservative choice for president until at least 2024.

The dark side of Bernie

Why Democrats Should Beware Sanders’ Socialism

A genuine progressive and editor of The American Prospect has this to say.

Imagine all this and more not tucked away in a small website but blared at the masses in floods of TV and other media ads and endlessly shouted by Republican talk radio.

Trump would crush Bernie, I fear.

Feather Popular DE safety razor

Aptly named.

I used mine for the first time this morning and it weighed nearly nothing compared to the no name my wife had bought me.

Much, much less aggressive, too.

Lovely shave.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Why ask why?

The first safety razors used a single-edge blade that was essentially a 4 cm long segment of a straight razor.

A flat blade that could be used alternately with this "wedge" was first illustrated in a patent issued in 1878, serving as a close prototype for the single-edge blade in its present form.

New single-edge razors were developed and used side-by-side with double-edge razors for decades. 

Just so.

But once the DE was introduced, and decades before the injector razor, using a single-edge was like buying a double-edge and only using one side.

They were that much alike.


I had an uncle who used an SE razor - shaving mug, brush, and all - when all around him men used cut-throats,  DE's, injectors - or even electric razors, in the case of a few hardy souls.

So strange are the habits of men.

Realizing my age

I was born in 1949, it is 2016, and I fully expect to live to and past 2020.

And that calls to mind that some people who were children during The Civil War lived to see Women's Suffrage, The Great War, Prohibition, the Crash of 1929, and The Great Depression.

Some saw The Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin, the rise of Mussolini and Franco, and even the appointment of Reichs-Chancellor Hitler.

A single lifetime can cover a lot of history.

Falling birthrates

Japan population shrinks by one million census confirms

Given the chance by medical science and religious, political, and moral culture, people choose not to be parents at all or to have small families.

Populations stagnate or actually shrink, in either case creating distorted age profiles as the elderly account for an ever greater fraction of the whole population.

Economically, in the long run, Zero Population Growth or close approaches to it in the wealthier countries will force everyone there to accept a later retirement age.

Or it would, but humanity will simultaneously be faced with a revolution in robotics that will increasingly make redundant even the young, the healthy, the sharpest, and the most up to the minute.

So then what?

What the left thinks of those Evangelical Trump supporters

The racist history of evangelicals proves they’re a perfect match with Trump

Everyone has noticed that the very large segment of the Republican base firmly supporting The Donald is indifferent to and perhaps even pleased at his departures from the conservative class war against American social democracy, Big Government, and the regulatory state.

To explain their allegiance and outlook, Amanda Marcotte likens Trump's Christian supporters to the Southern, Christian right of the 1970's, whites who did not so much support mandatory segregation, by then gone with the wind, as oppose and flee mandatory integration into private "Christian academies."

As for the Reagan Democrats of the West and North who flipped to supporting the GOP for the election of 1980, partly over abortion but also because of the humiliation of America and of Jimmy Carter by the Iranian Revolution, she attributes their switch chiefly to deft anti-feminism and exploitation of white racial feelings by Reagan and his supporters that she, of course, unreservedly condemns.

And she insists Trump's supporters are of much the same stripe.

Update, later that same day.

I just remembered an incident that happened during the Age of Reagan.

At work, a black woman cohort received a call from her son passing along rumors that, all over the country, black people were being "rounded up."

She told me and asked if I had heard anything about it or thought the rumors might be true.

Shocked, I of course said no to all of it.

Looking back and looking ahead, I would rather her grandchildren and great grandchildren have to live with such fears and rumors than mine.

But I would rather not starve or be forced back to work in my declining years, too.

And that is all I have to say about the browning of America.

Christie not a conservative, either?

Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump

Looking for the VP job?

The Heavy Water War

Brilliant, wonderfully well done story of the allied actions, centering on crucial Norwegian participation, against the German effort to make a Bomb, to be seen on Netflix.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Luddism or starvation

Google robot is 'the end of manual labor': VC

Boston Dynamics' new "Atlas" robot is a game changer, not just for companies, but for society, CEO Jason Calacanis said Wednesday.

"This is really the end of manual labor. 

When you watch this video, he's walking through the snow; he's wobbly, but he gets back up," the tech investor told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

"Manual labor is going to end in our lifetime, and in this video you can see how close we really are. 

It's a huge societal issue with jobs, but it's going to be a huge lift in terms of efficiency of companies that nobody expected."

How's that?

Mark Zuckerberg Asks Racist Facebook Employees to Stop Crossing Out Black Lives Matter Slogans

Why do Michael Nunez and Gizmodo call them racist?

Because they are crossing out "Black Lives Matter" and replacing it with "All Lives Matter".

I would have though it was racist to deplore that all lives matter and insist instead that black lives matter.

But apparently not in the inverted world of American PC race politics.

The idea of a hiring quota for tech companies is the latest left wing lunacy, to accompany racial quotas (always minima for blacks and always to exclude quotas for whites) for the Motion Picture Academy as well as their awards.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

What has happened to America and to WAPO that this influential newspaper wants his apparent ties to a Catholic men's hunting club to seem sinister?

Hunting? Ooooh, bad.

Men's club? Ooooh, very bad.

Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters

That stuff about the Hapsburg fellow is a bit over the top, surely?

So what? PETA spied on them!

SeaWorld admits its employees spied on PETA

Trump a target?

Ross Doubthat is a conservative and a Republican who has taken it into his head to twitter about somebody ending Trump's campaign by assassination.

Possibly his point was that frantic conservative efforts to stop Trump will all fail and nothing can save the Republican Party from his nomination but his premature death.

I don't much read Doubthat and I don't know his views on Trump, so for all I know he may have meant this as a sneer at those desperate to prevent his nomination.

And neither did I know about the flood of death threats Trump has been subjected to, or the bounty on his head.

I think we have to give Trump credit for nerve, given the constant vilification he has been subjected to and, now that I see it, given the threats and the danger.

Trump, Cruz, and Evangelicals

Donald Trump’s Standing Ovation

Mopping up the floor with Cruz, too.

Donald Trump continues to amaze. 

Wednesday afternoon, he strode onto the Regent University stage (an influential Christian University) and received a prolonged standing ovation from the evangelical audience.  

He went on to speak eloquently about the importance of family (he even brought out his two sons who spoke highly of him), nominating pro-life judges, defending Israel, etc. 

After hearing what he had to say, he left over an hour later to another standing ovation. 

I saw it with my own two eyes.

. . . .

Cruz went from winning the evangelical vote by 13% In Iowa to losing it by 7% in South Carolina. 

That’s a 20-point swing in Trump’s favor. 

Nevada just continued the trend Tuesday night.

. . . .

Trump’s brand is winning and success so they see someone that delivers and follows through on his promises. 

It’s simply an intangible that you can’t create in a test tube. 

Trump also shows that he relates well to blue-collar evangelicals. 

These are Reagan Democrats, the exact voters that Cruz needs and has been courting but instead it’s Trump who has forged that emotional bond with them.

. . . .

So what can Cruz do? 

Honestly, he has to continue to hammer home the “fake conservative” Trump storyline and hope that it will eventually stick with voters. 

The problem is that Cruz has pretty much thrown the kitchen sink at Trump and many evangelicals are doing a collective yawn.

How many times does it have to be said?

A big part of the Republican base is not conservative.

Those are the Trump voters and though socially conservative and white and not happy with the Democrats' race war against them, against a white America per se, and against America's past they are otherwise in sympathy with progressivism.

Right now, it's shaping up to be Trump vs. Hillary.

And Trump, the authentic and candid outsider, just might beat Hillary, the notoriously uncandid and manipulative insider's insider.

Oh, my.

When they want something to happen they tell you it's inevitable

The American elites, I mean.

It's happening, America, and there's nothing you can do about it.

It's happening whether you like it or not.

Get used to it.

That's what the people who run America have told us for decades about the browning of America.

And that's what they are telling us now about the waning of American global power.

Obama’s Implicit Foreign Policy

Cohen of The Times puts this line in his fictional Obama's soliloquy.

Restraint was the wiser option for a chastened America unready to pass the mantle but condemned now to share it.

Pass the mantle? Share it?

Cohen pretends that's what's happening to disguise the reality.

It's one thing to choose to abandon the role of globocop, finally taking the peace dividend from the end of the Cold War.

It's another to by your own policies make your enemies and your competitors so numerous, so powerful, and so politically mature that you cannot any longer impose your will.

In the second case much more alarmingly than in the first your safety and even your survival depend on the choices of others who do not love you.

Mass incarceration is a gift to poor blacks

'Black Lives Matter' Activist Interrupts Clinton Event: "Apologize For Mass Incarceration... I Am Not A Super-Predator"

My guess is if this sort of thing provoked Klan counter-demonstrations at her campaign rallies Hillary would be a lot more upset, and Klan hecklers and demonstrators would be treated a lot more roughly by the security folks and the police.

But be that as it may, it occurred to me the other day while listening to someone whine about mass incarceration that long term imprisonment of criminals is paid for mostly by the wealthy and white and benefits mostly the poor and the black, the folks upon whom those same criminals predate.

This leaves aside the entirely other, entirely real, and entirely important issues of police violence and the failure of the system to sufficiently either punish the guilty or avoid punishing the innocent.

Police violence must end.

Frame-ups must end.

Official coercion of suspects, witnesses, and others by violence or other means including plea bargaining yields unreliable results and puts the innocent in peril.

These must end.

But mass incarceration is a blessing and a godsend for the populations who are the victims of the predators incarcerated, and the blessing is greater as the incarceration goes on longer.

I am old enough to remember white hunter movies.

Really, it is never time to allow a maneater back into the vicinity of the village upon which he has fed.

As to those who would not, given a safe and realistic alternative, return to crime, it is cheaper and best for all concerned to provide safe and realistic alternatives rather than prolong incarceration.

But some are dyed in the wool.

And for some there really can be no safe or realistic alternatives.

Prolonged incarceration of such people is a gift to the poor and black, paid for by the rich and white.

And this is black racist bullshit.

Black Lives Matter Activists Interrupt Hillary Clinton At Private Event In South Carolina

Actually, the whole BLM thing is black racist bullshit largely carried out by people who side with criminals and are trying to get black people in general, and white liberals, to do so as well.

Williams, who is from Charlotte, North Carolina, said she was motivated to protest because policies during President Bill Clinton's administration led to an increase in mass incarceration that mostly struck black communities. 

She pointed to the three-strike federal laws, the elimination of rehabilitative programs and an emphasis on prison construction that were part of the Clinton legacy on crime.

Clinton has distanced herself from these policies and recently issued a detailed agenda on racial justice. 

But Williams wants more. 

“Hillary Clinton has a pattern of throwing the Black community under the bus when it serves her politically," Williams said in a statement before the event. 

"She called our boys ‘super-predators’ in ’96, then she race-baited when running against Obama in ‘08, now she’s a lifelong civil rights activist. 

I just want to know which Hillary is running for President, the one from ’96, ’08, or the new Hillary?”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Will the firewall end the dream of a strengthened American progressivism?

Hillary is still ahead of Bernie in SC and he is no longer campaigning there.

He will lose.

Will it finish him?

Are the Japanese worse than others?

Less to be trusted with nuclear power?


Chilling thought?


Fukushima disaster: Tepco admits late meltdown announcement


Ex-CIA boss Hayden: I'd be 'frightened' by Trump presidency

Goldwater, conservative saint and the Republican nominee of 1964, was far more dangerous.

That ad with the little girl, the daisies, and the mushroom cloud was fair and literally honest, compared to the all but universal trashing of Trump.

Too big for his britches

It's bad that some banks or other concerns are too big to fail.

This is bad, too.

No corporation or plutocrat can be too strong for the state to control.

Apple boss Tim Cook hits back at FBI investigation

When you get over it, you don't get over it.

Ebola 'devastates long-term health'

May the best Webstores win

Amazon just made it harder to get free shipping

These days I buy from Jet or Barnes & Noble whenever possible.

I just very reluctantly ordered a new Feather DE razor, a hundred Shark blades, and a Van Der Hagen kit (without the razor) from Amazon.

As it turned out, the cheapo, no-name DE razor my wife gave me some time back, now that I have tried it, gives a much better shave than my Schick Injector, and a cheaper one.

A single 7 blade Schick injector runs just under $6.00 while a hundred Shark blades go for just under $10.00.

That's 86 cents a blade vs. 10 cents a blade.

If I push it I can get two weeks out of an injector blade, and the world is a better place if I don't.

Meanwhile, the DE blades seem to last only 5 to 7 days without pushing - but why push?

And everyone seems to agree pretty much any brush and soap combo will be better, and in most cases cheaper, than canned shaving foam.

A single VDH soap puck is said to last for a year and costs about $2.00 while an 11 ounce can of Gillette Foamy good for a couple months goes for a bit more than that.

[Update, 9/13/16. Phooey. A puck lasts three or four months. Still . . . ]

Do the math.

Relevant websites strongly recommend the Feather (along with numerous other minimally aggressive razors) with minimally aggressive blades for the DE beginner as well as for men with lighter beards, so I went ahead and ordered.

Aggression in a razor is defined as exposure to the blade and aggression in a blade is defined as sharpness.

The DE and wet shaving websites warn users to buy a styptic pencil, so I did.

But I've been using the cheapo DE daily for over a week and so far have only nicked myself once, and that's a better record than I had with the Schick.

Go figure.

How's that?

Trump clobbers Rubio and Cruz in Nevada

In his latest win, Trump again got more support than Cruz the Ineligible and Rubio, taken together.

Deflecting attention from his ghastly performance in the contest, so far, Rubio explained that a majority of Republican voters do not want Trump to be the nominee.

Of course, a much bigger majority do not want him to be the nominee.

Trump wins with Nevada Hispanics

He said he would win among Hispanics.

He did.

Cruz, of course, is not Cuban-American.

He is Cuban-Canadian.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Well, this is stupid.

En effet, la déstalinisation conduit certains gouvernements à espérer le changement.

C’est le cas en Pologne, mais surtout en Hongrie où une rébellion éclate pour ramener au pouvoir le communiste réformateur Imre Nagy (1896-1958) et écarter le stalinien Mátyás Rákosi (1892-1971).

Mais Khrouchtchev renverse brutalement cette insurrection, causant la mort de 25 000 personnes et provoquant l’exil d’environ 150 000 autres.

Imre Nagy est arrêté et est exécuté en 1958.

Mais parce que la coexistence pacifique implique une non-intervention dans les affaires de l’autre bloc, les États-Unis restent en retrait dans le conflit.

Ceux-ci tentent toutefois de négocier au niveau international avec l’Union soviétique tout en soutenant la propagande anticommuniste aux États-Unis.

Ils n’interviennent pas davantage pour défendre leurs alliés français et britanniques lors de la crise de Suez.


When push came to shove, Eisenhower flatly let down enthusiasts of rollback like those who would cheer for Goldwater in 1964.

The bluff had been called.

And Suez was more complicated than that.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Islamism and Nazism

As shallow as Fascism, Islamism is distinguished by being as vulgar, cruel, murderous, and hate-driven as Nazism.

All three are more shallow and contemptible than Marxism though all three were and are, so far, less lethal.

Reading that French history of the Cold War.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The best, most solid, and even unanimous science is not knowledge

In 1965 the best and unanimous science held that birth of a hazel eyed child to two blue eyed parents proved infidelity of the mother or a child swap at the hospital.

Today's science says that is eyewash.

More recently it was held that a fatty diet and all cholesterol were bad.

Today's science denies that.

Not everything supported by scientific consensus is equally secure.

That the Earth is roughly round and heliocentrism is inadequate are ideas that are probably secure.

La Guerre Froide

Reading a 50 minute French history, I am minded that things done allegedly in service to national interest are not necessarily all on a par.

The US supported Breton Woods, the GATT of 1947, and the founding of the UN in service of the national interest, says the history.

The USSR imposed communist tyranny on half of Europe and threw up the Iron Curtain.

If in pursuit of self interest I beat you out of a job, that is one thing.

If you commit burglary and murder that is quite another.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Utter bilge

Here's What Happens When You Post a Gun on Social Media and You're Not Jeb

Brendan is full of beans.

The web is full of pix people have posted of their guns, of themselves holding or displaying or firing them, etc.

Heck, I have posted photos of guns on this blog to show what my own handguns look like.

I have a Ruger SP 101 in .357 magnum.

And a 9 mm CZ 75B.

And a Ruger .22 pistol.

If you want more pictures you can google these guns.

Many firearms enthusiasts have blogs, facebook accounts, or their own websites where they display such photos.

Is Brendan aware?

Clearly not.

I have no idea what "facebook thugging" is.

As for Jeb's FN pistol, some people think it's supposed to be embarrassing that he tweeted a photo of this gift from a company whose parent company in Belgium, during WW2, produced Browning High Powers for the German conquerors.

This is the image Jeb tweeted.

Here's that Nazi FN High Power.

My dad, a paratrooper during the war, brought one of them home that my brother now has.

To this day there is a brisk commerce in these guns among collectors.

The extraordinary hostility of Democrats to Jeb's tweet is pretty disgusting, but I suppose only to be expected during a campaign season when candidates have to establish their bona fides on culture war issues.

DSA leader Cornel West endorses Bernie

Why Brother Bernie Is Better for Black People Than Sister Hillary

Cornel West says he's better for black people, better for everyone, and honors the politics as well as the memory of MLK better than Hillary.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A choice of evils

Imagine an atheist forced to choose between Muslim and Christian rule in 12th Century Jerusalem.

Well, this choice, though still among evil fantasies, is much easier.

Go with RBG and the girls.

Leave Scalia’s Chair Vacant

What kind of Supreme Court do the American people wish to have? 

That is a question to be decided in 2016 — not by a lame-duck president, but by the American electorate in November.

Does the nation want an activist judiciary to remake America into a more liberal society, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor would like to see it remade?

Or do the American people want a more constitutional court that returns power to the people and their elected representatives?

Let’s have it out.

A lame duck president is still the president and the expression, by the way, was only used to refer to Congress and then to politicians whose successors had already been elected until Republicans saw they could use it to delegitimize the power of a Democratic president during his entire last year of an 8 year term.

Why not his entire second term, come to that?

Yes, as I recall, the GOP did try that line right away when O won in 2012.

And forced to choose between a lying feminist Democrat mad for PC on the one side and a Lochner loving lunatic out to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and economic regulation to protect ordinary folks and the public on the other, it's an easy call, for me.

An analysis an old white geezer and lifetime white collar proletarian can endorse

The issue is not Hillary Clinton's Wall St links but her party's core dogmas

The Democratic party rejected the New Deal and its stress on working-class Americans in favour of a technocratic elite – is it time for a political revolution?

So nobody can write for The Guardian without playing the race or sex cards, then?

Thomas Piketty, white guy and French economist, on the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era

Because he is facing the Clinton machine, as well as the conservatism of mainstream media, Sanders might not win the race. 

But it has now been demonstrated that another Sanders – possibly younger and less white – could one day soon win the US presidential elections and change the face of the country.

. . . .

Meanwhile, the Republican party sinks into a hyper-nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam discourse (even though Islam isn’t a great religious force in the country), and a limitless glorification of the fortune amassed by rich white people

Kanye West for president

Kanye West Asks "White Publications" to Stop Commenting on "Black Music"

Part of that endlessly annoying conversation about race we're always having in America.

Worst case scenario in Venezuela

How Bolivarian socialismo deals with mosquitoes.

The crazy party

The GOP is saying they won't even consider, much less confirm, any Obama nominee for the Supreme Court.

This is almost as radical a move as refusing to raise the debt ceiling or forcing a government shutdown for lack of money, despite GOP propaganda to the contrary and the acceptance of it by mainstream journos ignorant of the constitution, politics, and history.

The bullshit and hysteria are even worse than usual because of the campaign.

Meanwhile, their front runner, The Donald, complains our dealings with prisoners are not barbaric enough.

I have made it clear in my campaign that I would support and endorse the use of enhanced interrogation techniques if the use of these methods would enhance the protection and safety of the nation. 

Though the effectiveness of many of these methods may be in dispute, nothing should be taken off the table when American lives are at stake. 

The enemy is cutting off the heads of Christians and drowning them in cages, and yet we are too politically correct to respond in kind.

And there's the murder thing.

Donald Trump has suggested there might be something to conspiracy theories doing the rounds among far-right websites that supreme court justice Antonin Scalia did not die from natural causes, as announced by the family.

Conservative talk-radio host Michael Savage asked the Republican presidential frontrunner about the conjecture that Scalia, who led the court’s conservative bloc, was murdered.

“It’s a horrible topic,” said Trump, “but they say they found the pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow. I can’t give you an answer ... I literally just heard it a little while ago. It’s just starting to come out now, as you know, Michael.”

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz, the culture warrior from Canada, makes it as clear as possible he does not share my values.

"For far too long, Christians have been staying home, have been ceding the public square to non-believers and when we look at the state of the country, when our heart weeps at what's happening to the country and we wonder why is it that the federal government is waging war on life, is waging war on marriage, is waging war on religious liberty is it any wonder when 54 million evangelical Christians stayed home in 2012, did not vote?”

Cruz continues: "If we allow our leaders to be selected from non-believers we shouldn't be surprised when our leaders don't share our values. So what I'm working to do more than anything else is energize and empower the grassroots and do everything we can for Christians to stand up and vote biblical values."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Political bullshit

Outside of Africa, there are no indigenous peoples, and all of us are the children of those same African peoples.

The rest is just weaponized history.

Lies, in other words.

Everybody is an invader.

Come to that, all species are invasive species.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


OK, Oliver Queen is a woman trapped in a man's body.

A woman who likes girls, so, a lesbian.

But not a dikey one.

A girly one.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Let them die

The capitalist, free market, libertarian, Republican solution to hunger, homelessness, and disease among the poor will simply be extended to the class of permanently unemployed humans created by successful robotics.

If that gets to be everyone it won't matter.

An unemployed capitalist is rolling in dough.

The robot economy that he owns produces goods and services exclusively for him.

An unemployed prole is dog food for the capitalist's poodle.

AI 'could leave half of world unemployed'

All that until the revolt of the machines, the big day when the robots wipe out their capitalist owners.

History is bunk

Compare the attitude of conventional history, the CMW, toward the American Revolution, the American Civil War, the unification of Italy, Bismark's unification of Germany, and the Anschluss.

Whose ox gets gored.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The GOP feels the Bern

GOP Oppo Firm Gearing Up For A Possible Sanders Nomination

Get ready for waves of red-baiting, not to mention grumpy old man baiting.

These results of a January poll are interesting.

When you say "socialism," seniors surely think of public ownership of the means of production and horrific tyrannies like Soviet Russia, North Korea, Khmer Rouge Cambodia, and Maoist China while Millennials - and Bernie, he says - apparently think of societies that are actually capitalist but have their economies regulated and their inequalities muted by social democracy, like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

But the conservative movement wants America to see only the red disasters of communism.

Millennials pick socialism over capitalism

The firewall, or, winning for no reason

If the argument between Hill and Bern is between pragmatism and idealism as well as between a less and a more lefty version of progressivism, Bern has already won that argument among people whose votes are actually cast between them on that issue.

But Hillary's firewall in South Carolina and onward can stop Bernie and give her the nomination because of her dominance among black voters whom everyone expects to support her, not as a principled choice between those two approaches to liberal politics, but solely out of blind loyalty to the brand, to the wife of Bill Clinton, "the nation's first black president."

If that's how she beats Bernie it will decide nothing and prove nothing except that Donald Trump isn't the only winner relying on the idiot vote.

That's right, I just said it.

The Democrat whose support is most like Trump's is not Bernie but Hill.

White Democrats are voting on their issues, agendas, and approaches to progressive politics.

Blacks are expected not to do that, but to vote out of an irrational loyalty that even black commentators find barely explicable and quite misplaced.

What an odd world.

So who's afraid of Big Government?

"The era of Big Government is over," announced Bill Clinton, to the despair and fury of progressives who liked any part of anything - regulatory, redistributive, or quasi-socialist - from the New Deal onward.

Actually, come to that, from the days of Wilson and TR onward.

If Bernie stumbles on this he hasn't the ideological courage of his alleged convictions.

He just hasn't got the balls.

A Clarifying Encounter

Josh Marshall.

On the candidates, I thought the debate began very well for Clinton and quite shaky for Sanders. 

He got a very basic question about the size of government, one he would certainly get in a general election and one which I do not think he should shy away from. 

But he wouldn't touch it. 

Clinton was as strong and specific as he was hesitating and resistant to addressing specifics.

Dream on, Bernie

Slow and steady won Clinton the debate

My wife agrees with this guy and the other pro-Hillary realists.

And Bernie, now, in place of John McCain, is beginning to be depicted by some who oppose him as the ranting old man shouting "Get off my lawn!"

On the other hand, if Bernie can drum up enough support in the public for his ideas he might get a cooperative and Democratic congress for his first term, giving him his shot.

Always provided the Democrats elected are united behind him, which is very, very unlikely, too.

Hillary's pragmatic argument is something of an evasion.

The truth is that she and many Democrats oppose Medicare for all on principle, anyway.

Unlike Bernie, she and they are progressives but not socialists.

Not even social democrats, to the extent he is.

The lies of Black Lives Matter

The Myths of Black Lives Matter

The truth?

Black and Hispanic cops are far more trigger happy than whites.

And high crime black neighborhoods are heavily policed because they are high crime and that's what cops are supposed to do.

And cops are just nasty and dangerous, anyway.

Waiting for Hillary's indictment

Monkey-wrench though it would be, better sooner than later.

None Dare Call It Treason

No, it isn't treason, but it's bad.

Perhaps it, like her Iraq vote, speaks to the judgment issue as much as the character issue.


Didn't we have this same argument in 2008 when Hillary had the party officials hog tied before the first vote flew and Obama's folks started demanding superdelegates be awarded along with the others according to the outcome of voting?

Bernie Sanders-Supporting PAC Wants Superdelegates to "Follow the Will of Voters"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pat Buchanan wants what Bill Maher fears

They agree if Bloomberg runs the Republican will win.

Salon comes on strong for Bernie

A sample.

It’s almost over for Hillary

It would be hard to overstate what Bernie Sanders has already achieved in his campaign for president, or the obstacles he’s had to surmount in order to achieve it. 

Not only has he turned a planned Hillary Clinton coronation into an exercise in grass-roots democracy, he’s reset the terms of the debate. 

We are edging closer to the national conversation we so desperately need to have. 

If we get there, all credit goes to Bernie.

. . . .

There is no Clinton firewall. 

At most, 10 states are out of Sanders’ reach and public opinion is never static. 

Nor does she have a better “ground game.” 

Real grass-roots organizations like the Working Families Party, and Democracy for America let members guide endorsements. 

(Sanders’ support in each of those groups was at or above 85 percent) 

Such groups are building the movement Sanders speaks of in every speech. 

Building a movement is like wiring a house for electricity. 

You can buy the most expensive lamps in the store but with no electricity, when you hit the switch the lights don’t go on. 

It takes real conviction to fuel grass-roots politics. 

In Iowa, Sanders ran 5 points ahead of late polls. 

It won’t be the last time it happens.

. . . .

If you strip away all the nonsense about polls, money, firewalls and ground games, Clinton’s left with two arguments, neither one pretty. 

One is that Sanders is too far left. 

Pundits dismiss his polls by repeating her “wait till the Republicans get ahold of him” line. 

And they’ll say what? 

That he’s old? 


A socialist? 

Everybody already knows and anyone who’d even think of voting Democratic is already down with it or soon could be. 

The “socialist” tag needs explaining, but so do “corrupt” and “fascist.” 

Both parties’ frontrunners carry baggage. 

For my money, Bernie’s is the lightest. 

As for the notion that voters can’t see that paying $1,000 in taxes beats paying $5,000 in health insurance premiums, it is an insult to the American people.

The core of Clinton’s realpolitik brief pertains not to electability but to governance.  

Her point is that Sanders is naïve. 

She says none of his proposals can get though a Republican Congress. 

She strongly implies that he’d roll back Obamacare, a charge that is false, cynical and so nonsensical she’ll have to stop making it soon.  

She says she has a plan to get to universal health care—she doesn’t—and that she’ll do it by working “in partnership” with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Who’s being naïve here? 

A Republican Congress won’t pass any of her ideas either. 

The only way to get real change is to elect Democrats to Congress and have a grass-roots movement strong enough to keep the heat on them. 

Nor will insurers cough up a dime of profit without a fight.  

Vowing to spare us a “contentious debate” over single-payer care she ignores the admonition of Frederick Douglass; “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.” 

There has been a lot of talk lately about what a progressive is. 

Here’s a hint: if you think Douglass is wrong, you might not be one.

. . . .

In the 1990s a near bipartisan consensus celebrated a new age of globalization and information technology in which technology and trade spur growth that in turn fosters a broad and inclusive prosperity. 

Government’s job is to deregulate finance and trade and work with business in ‘public private partnerships’ for progress.

Twenty years on, Hillary still sees the world through the rose-colored glasses of that ’90s consensus. Not Bernie. 

He sees that in 2016 rising tides don’t even lift most boats, that growth comes at a steep price when it comes at all, and that new technology cost more jobs than it creates. 

He understands that when jobs flow to countries with weak governments and low wages, the American middle class can’t get a raise. 

He sees that public-private partnership meant pay-to-play politics, and that the whole system runs not on innovation but corruption. 

My guess is the middle class sees what he sees and wants what he wants: a revolution. 

If he can continue to drive the debate, they may get one.

Read it.

The details are damning.

An open letter to older women voting for Hillary, from a younger woman voting for Bernie

Everything you’re telling us now goes against everything you’ve taught us before, everything you seemed to stand for when you were young. 

Asking women to vote for Hillary based on her gender rather than policy is sexist. 

Telling women they’ll to go to hell if they don’t vote for Hillary is evil. 

Telling women that they are only voting for Bernie to impress guys tells us you no longer respect women.

Sanders an invisible first

Bernie Sanders is first Jewish candidate to win a primary.

His victory Tuesday night in New Hampshire broke a barrier as old as the republic: The Vermont senator became the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential nominating contest.

But even as that path-breaking feat was in touching distance in the days before the primary, and attention increasingly focused on his surging campaign for the Democratic nomination, the Brooklyn-born politician's religion received little mention on the national stage until CNN's Anderson Cooper noted it while moderating a town hall with the Democratic presidential candidates last week.

In part, that's because Sanders, a self-identified democratic socialist, has repeatedly described himself as a secular Jew without strong ties to organized religion. 

But Jewish political activists, students of history and pollsters say the candidate's minority faith has also been overlooked because attitudes toward Jews in America have evolved to the point where there's no stigma attached to his background.

"In some ways, it's a non-story," said Sandy Maisel, a Colby College professor who tracks the status of Jews in America. 

"And that it's a non-story is a pretty interesting story."

Dick Morris rips Hillary and the Clinton campaign

Clinton deploys B Team

Absolutely, laugh out loud funny.

Bill Maher on Bernie Sanders' New Deal and other matters

Bill Maher on NH.

He published an essay that he did not write (Seth Abramovitch wrote it) in The Hollywood Reporter.

About that New Deal.

Bernie tied in Iowa after starting 30 points down; as I write this, it looks like he's going to win New Hampshire, and that's not just, or even mainly, because Vermont is a neighbor state. 

[Sanders and Trump both coasted to easy victories in New Hampshire.] 

Rather it's because he is putting on the table something we've never seen before: the idea that America could be more like a Western European democracy, quasi-socialist (we're that already, of course, with Social Security, Medicare and farm subsidies) where you pay more in taxes, but you get more: free health care and free college. 

I call this his "New Deal," and we haven't really had one of those since FDR's.

But that's what it is — a platform that says the old deal just hasn't been working for a long time, and we need something else for the half of America that is desperate. 

We haven't seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena. 

These are people who have sat out for a long time because the Democrats became a corporatist, center-right party and the Republicans became radically right (and, of course, just plain nuts in many ways).

. . . .

About Hillary.

And poor, poor Hillary Clinton. 

I mean she just is such a Charlie Brown figure. 

I could see the nomination slipping away from her again. 

I don't know why everyone just wants to beat up on her. 

If you are threatened by Hillary Clinton, you were molested by a real estate lady, I used to say. 

There is no other explanation because she is just not that threatening. 

I actually like Hillary. 

I think she is unfairly demonized and has been for her entire career. 

I personally don't think she is dishonest. 

And yet the hatred for her is just amazing — the hatred on the right and the abandonment on the left. 

She's particularly hard to watch as a candidate. 

(That laugh.) 

Yes, the hard truth is that Hillary Clinton is a terrible campaigner who is living in a different era.

I've told my audience, who are overwhelmingly for Bernie: If you're on a plane and they don't have your first choice — the fish — eat the chicken! 

That's Hillary; no one is exactly excited, but that's not all her fault. 

She's been around forever, so people tend to take her good points — her accomplishments, her deep knowledge of policy — for granted, and she's been demonized more than anyone ever by the right wing. 

If Bernie doesn't get the nomination, really, eat the chicken.

. . . .

About Trump, Hillary, and "political correctness."

Americans have been choking on political correctness and overly careful politicians for the last generation or two and are sick of it. 

Remember Mitt Romney? 

He used to say in stump speeches that he loves Michigan because "the trees are the right height." 

The trees are the right height?

Hillary Clinton is still playing that kind of politician, the one who never upsets anybody, who always says the thing that no one can quite attack, so she comes off in this new era as inauthentic and just unappetizing to watch. 

. . . .

About Obama

Yet somehow Obama, even with the Republicans saying no to everything he proposed (including things that used to be their own ideas), still managed to get a lot done. 

He stopped the country from falling into a depression when it easily could have. 

"No Drama" Obama was exactly what the country needed in that nervous time right after the banks collapsed in 2008. 

And he is the first black president. 

I always called him the Jackie Robinson of American politics because Jackie Robinson, as the first black baseball player, had to be perfect. 

Obama never took the bait, not once. 

His personal life, private life — always above reproach. 

And you know they were looking for something.

America is in so much of a better place than it was when Obama took office, and history will record that. 

If it was in a worse place or he had been caught in a scandal, all those people who were — whether they admitted it or not — not thrilled about a black person being president would have ammunition. 

He gave them none. 

As far as his second term, he looked more like a free bird than a lame duck to me, just going down the list of stupid things: 

Gay marriage? 

Let's cross that off our list. 

And let's open up Cuba. 

He visited a prison and started talking about ending the drug war. 

This is important stuff and will be remembered as such.

. . . .

Democrats and gun control.

When Democrats talk about guns, they should understand that they don't actually belong to a party that's anti-gun. 

They belong to a party that wants to get rid of a couple of hundred out of more than 3,000 guns available in this country. 

There would still be nuts who go out and shoot places up — they just would have to reload a little more. 

I own guns. 

I just don't love them. 

We live in a country where people love guns. 

I call them "ammosexuals": the people who polish them and take pictures with them and go on dates with them to Chipotle. 

This is sick. 

Do you know in the last five years, people have been giving their babies gun names? 

Like Trigger, Pistol, Shooter and Remington? 

I'm not joking about this. 

Liberals don't do this. 

They don't name their kids Prius and Juicer. 

"This is my son, Kale."

. . . .

About Muslims, immigration, refugees, etc.

Then there's his plan to ban all Muslims. 

Let's get clear on something: I absolutely don't believe that we should ban all Muslims coming into this country. 

One, we need Muslims in the fight against Islamic terrorism. 

Two, it's not American. 

It's just un-American to do that, and it sacrifices who we are, and we can't do that. 

But let's not kid ourselves: A certain percentage of them will be radicalized. 

The more Muslims in your country, the more that is a possibility. 

America has the best record of any country as far as assimilating Muslims. 

American Muslims can leave the religion if they want, come out of the closet if they are gay, marry outside of their religion. 

If you're a Muslim woman in America, you can choose to wear a headscarf or not. 

You can argue with your husband.

But these are not privileges that the majority of the world's Muslims have. 

Forty countries in the world have some version of Sharia law. 

I just don't understand how liberals who fought the battle for civil rights in the '60s, fought against apartheid in the '80s, can then just simply ignore Sharia law in 40 countries. 

Apartheid was only in one. 

I am not anti-Muslim and never have been: I am anti-bad ideas. 

Killing cartoonists and apostates, these are terrible ideas and practices, and it would be lovely to think that they were confined only to terrorists. 

They unfortunately are not.

Not to be an "I told ya so," but when the Syrian refugee crisis happened, I said, "Certainly our hearts go out to these refugees, but the answer can't be to empty Syria and every other country in the Middle East where people live under repressive conditions and bring them all to Europe." 

Now Sweden is sending 80,000 refugees back and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is saying, "Hey, when we said you could come here, we didn't mean permanently."

Rather than letting them settle in Germany, these millions of young Muslim men, how about let's train them to go back and fight for their own country? 

That’s another one of my issues — the soft bigotry of low expectations. 

How come Saudi Arabia didn't take in any Syrian refugees? 

I would think they’d fit in there a little more than in Cologne. 

Why don't they fight their own battles? 

Why are Muslim armies so useless against ISIS? ISIS isn't 10 feet tall. 

There are 20,000 or 30,000 of them. 

The countries surrounding ISIS have armies totaling 5 million people. 

So why do we have to be the ones leading the fight? 

Or be in the fight at all?

So no, Donald Trump is not right — but he will win the election if the American people have to choose between his demagoguery and a party that won't even say the words "Islamic terrorism." 

I think the Democrats could lose on that issue alone, especially if there's another attack.

This about the Trump lawsuit is humbug.

Trump sued me for $5 million in 2013, when Obama was running for re-election and Trump was all about his birth certificate. 

So he finally gets the birth certificate and Trump says, "Well, now I want to see his college records." 

Which was so racist to begin with, the idea being, "Black guy … in college? Right." 

But this is hysterical.

So I offered Trump $5 million if he could prove that he was not the son of his mother and an orange-haired orangutan. 

And this idiot goes into court to get the $5 million from me. 

He brings his birth certificate in as if it was going to say "orangutan" on it or as if it's even possible for a human and an orangutan to have a child. 

I had to pay legal bills to fight this thing, and lawyers are not cheap. 

Of course, once the judge looked at it, he went, "Get the f— out of my courtroom," and that was the end of that.

. . . .

The danger on the right.

As for Trump, I think he'd make a great guest, too — just obviously for very different reasons. 

I must admit there's a little bit of the serial killer and the detective going on between us. 

"We're not so different, you and I." 

I am the first to say that political correctness is a curse — that's why I called my old show Politically Incorrect — and so I harbor a hint of admiration for Trump, absolutely. 

I don't think he's the worst — I think Ted Cruz is the worst. 

Donald Trump can be talked to.

Go here for a better look at this.

Drive by smear?

Bernie Sanders' British brother likens New Hampshire win to rise of Jeremy Corbyn in UK

Not the first time The Guardian has featured somebody making this likeness.

Is she stupid? Or actually malevolent?

Janet Yellen tells Congress to expect more rate hikes despite market turmoil

The market is terrified of slowing growth turning into outright recession.

Rate hikes are growth retardants.

Nitwit move.

Is Rubio done?

Verbally beaten up by Christie the other night in debate but still expecting to win in NH, his abysmal failure there could have finished him.

Rubio's Whole Career Probably Ended Last Night

The debate thing was this bad.

Late on Saturday evening I started to think if I could remember a debate where one candidate had damaged another candidate quite that badly in a single encounter. The only instance that came to mind was Lloyd Bentsen's notorious "you're no Jack Kennedy" assault on Dan Quayle in 1988.

But on reflection I realized that Christie's evisceration of Rubio was worse.

I saw that.

Bentsen simply dissed Quayle to death on that one.

The whole Murphy Brown thing, on which he was actually right, hurt him, too.

The debate exchange.

Landslide in NH

Following his close loss in Iowa, Bernie buried Hillary 60 % to 38 % in New Hampshire.

The senate sisterhood, unanimous for Hill, couldn't turn the tide.

Wait for the firewall.

Well aware of his problem, Bernie is trying to do better.

Hence his meeting with that racist scum and scam artist, Al Sharpton, whose continuing success at weight control I admire.

On the GOP side, Trump 35 %, Kasich 16 %, and the ineligible, Canadian born Cruz 12 %.

If Bernie and The Donald are the nominees, that will shift the political terrain considerably, both parities moving left and differing less on class issues and differing more on Main Street conservative social issues.

The conservatives on Wall Street will go totally bonkers and heads will explode among the plutes and their mouthpieces on both sides.

The downside, of course, is that Trump is a blowhard, a demagogue, a liar, an unsurpassable egotist, and a fool.