Friday, February 7, 2020

A Little Bit on Bloomberg from a New Yorker

I've said before that I will not engage in attacking or promoting any Democratic candidate while there is no nominee. Got no time for that noise. But Mike Bloomberg is the exception to that rule, especially since many on our side have taken to considering his viablity as a POTUS candidate. Yeah, we don't need another stereotypically clueless billionaire* from New York with no idea as to how working class people live and survive.

* [In Trump's case we have to guess how much money he has, of course.]

The problem with Mike Bloomberg is not that he's rich but that he's the liberal Donald Trump. (Although there's that pesky $7m he donated to the Republican party, making him the largest single donor in that party's history.) This is a man who chastised the working class folks here in NYC who complained about not having their streets plowed, after being buried under several feet of snow for several days, with “The world has not come to an end. The city is going fine” all because as he famously stated, Times Square had been plowed and tourists were able to see Broadway shows.

However, that's a minor gripe compared to his 3-term effort to cater to corporate interests and turn NYC into Dubai, where the workforce is imported because working class people can't afford to live in the city. We're not there yet, despite Bloomberg's darndest efforts to do so during his 12 year reign.

What we do need his deep pockets for is to fund an equivalent of the Lincoln Project, a group of prominent Never Trumpers whose mission is to badly skewer Trump and his enabling, lawmaker cronies via a barrage of ads and viral videos NOT his candidacy.

Anyway...

Monday, January 6, 2020

Apocalypse (not) Now

In the last day or two I've read some interesting observations regarding Iran and the apocalyptic scenario many of us fear Cadet Bone Spurs and his henchmen have dragged us into. And so, according to some learned folks out there, World War III may not be as imminent as we may be led to believe at this point.

For one, I've seen laid out how Russia having an economy comparable to Italy’s makes it unsustainable for Putin to maintain a sizable theatre of war. And besides, he's got his hands full with Ukraine right now. Meanwhile, China’s got enough problems in their own backyard with Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Koreas and of course Japan. Also, Russia and China like to pretend they’re super tight, but ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, that has been just for show. And both of them consider Iran a nominal ally and not a country that they’re really going to risk blood and treasure for. (Kinda like I’ve always said about the Arab world vis-à-vis Palestine.)

Of course I heartily agree that a war with Iran right now would be a grave mistake on various levels. And furthermore, in my opinion, avenging the deaths of 600+ American servicemen and women by starting a war that would bring about the deaths of thousands upon thousands more of them, would be doing Soleimani’s job for him. But with the Orange Menace at the helm and the bloodthirsty, warmongering Republican bootlickers just waiting to flood the coffers of their military corporate overlords, the outlook ain't good, homey.

PS: Iraq says, "WTF, dude?!"

Thursday, January 2, 2020

2020: I Hope You Bet Against Me and Win

Barring him having a heart attack or some unforeseen event, we will get 4 more years of Donald Trump.

Yes, I said it.





It is inconceivable that the most corrupt POTUS in history has a fighting chance to win re-election but when you consider that election interference will be greater this time and the Republican-controlled Senate is doing everything it can NOT to protect the election, plus add a dysfunctional, blunder-prone Democratic party with a base hijacked by a purity-driven, take-my-ball-and-go-home faction, that's a recipe for disaster.

Case in point: In a recent speech, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [D-NY] defended the purity stance as "having values" and "giving a damn" and went on to further the small donations narrative, which is little more than feel good demagoguery perpetrated by those who should be working to take money out of politics instead of grandstanding on their purity. If ever that tired hip hop cliché "Don't hate the player; hate the game" made sense, it's in this context. So before we get into the potential outcome of the 2020 election, let's take a brief detour.

Democrats are perennial losers even when good and truth are on their side because they fail to recognize that the rules are invalid if only one side abides by them. When the Republicans show up with bazookas and cannons the Democrats, instead of finding ways to fight back, just complain about only having paper clips and rubber bands, while the Republicans slaughter them. Worse still, sometimes they use the paper clips and rubber bands as a badge of honor. Like elevating small donations to holy ground while doing next to nothing to remove big money from politics.

Now, I generally like AOC but that was some condescending, delusional, self-righteous bullshit she spewed. Purity in politics is actually NOT giving a damn that your rigidity will cost elections and bring about the likes of Donald Trump and his pirate ship of deplorables. Purity is the enemy of compromise and compromise is the essence of politics, if not life itself. Purity is the reason why the Democrats will be unable to defeat the most corrupt POTUS in history, because, let’s face it—if Bernie Sanders is not the nominee AOC and a significant faction of the party and his followers outside of it will boycott the process and refuse to support the nominee, whoever that is.

Too bad Sanders can’t beat Trump. Well, to be honest, none of them can.

Sen. Biden has turned to mush; Mayor Buttigieg can’t beat his Dem opponents let alone Trump. Sen. Klobuchar? Are you serious? The aforementioned Sanders is a pipe dream; Trump will gobble up Sen. Warren like a fried biscuit; and Mr. Yang means well but, c’mon.

And so, the Orange Nightmare will continue and the Democrats will go down in history as the party unable to defeat the worst POTUS of the last 100 years because, for a chunk of them, it was more important to be self-righteous than to win.

I so hope I'm wrong. But I'm not.

Brace yourselves.

Friday, June 14, 2019

I Want A New Drug

Over the last few decades, western society, if not the world at large, has been moving in a more inclusive, open-minded, tolerant direction. Here in the US, among the many who are not comfortable with these developments, some of these have shrugged and begrudgingly gone along somewhat, but a significant number of them resent having to change their ways and adapt to a new reality.

And then along comes a “leader” who tells them they don’t have to conform to this sea change; that their biases and prejudices are nothing to be ashamed of but something to cherished and be proud of, no matter how wrong or repugnant others may see them as. That’s how you get people to endorse wannabe authoritarianism, children in cages, election fraud, lies, racism, sexism and even treason.

As long as you tell the aggrieved they’re right to feel that way, that OTHERS with their alleged non-American, unpatriotic ways are the ones to blame, you’ll get them to endorse this “leader” who reaffirms their biases and even gets them to throw away their own moral compass, just as long as they can feel good about themselves in the face of a changing world ushering with it diminished status and privilege.

Rick James used to say cocaine was one hell of a drug; not as strong as this one, I bet.

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Three-Tiered Shit Cake

The moral cesspool that is the Republican Party is quite an interesting phenomenon and goes deeper than simply falling in line with the Orange Turd. Sure, he’s a big part of the political and spiritual decay that is at the core of GOP rot, but Chumpy the Clown is merely one aspect of the shitshow.

On one level you have those who are of the same ilk as he: racist ignoramuses who find no fault in his approach, erroneously still believe he’s some sort of business whiz and who would govern in the same manner as Don the Con if they were able to. You know, the ones who chant "Jew York Times" at the press at the rallies. Yeah, them.

Then there’s the ones who don’t necessarily agree with him al the way but, out of fear or convenience or both, side with him. But this is an interesting batch, because none of them are afraid of him, since Chump is the kind of braggart and loudmouth who can be taken down as soon you show him intimidation won’t work. What they’re afraid of are the loyal Chumpbots who, at the ballot box, can derail a GOP politician’s career in a heartbeat for even the smallest perceived slight against their beloved Mango Mussolini. And so they kowtow or make of him a useful idiot. Literally.

Finally, there’s the rebellious ones; the “Never Trumpers”. Yes, they have frequently and openly criticized him with much fire and eloquence. But what they don’t like about him is the racism, the cruelty of children in cages, the genuflection towards Putin and admiration towards other foreign dictators, as well as the coarse, disgusting language. And, truthfully, that’s enough for any decent person. But this bunch doesn’t have a problem with the bullshit tax cut or other staples of the GOP’s atrocious “less government” dogma he’s put in play; they just don’t like him.

Remember that the next time you see Max Boot, Ana Navarro, Joe Scarborough, Steve Schmidt or Nicole Wallace railing against this administration.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Ballgame

If it hadn't been before, the developments of the last week or so, have made it painfully clear that while congressional Dems think they are operating on a level playing field, Republicans are keenly attuned to the basic truth about politics: that it's a blood sport, not charm school, and winning is the only thing that matters. I firmly believe that 'when they go low, we go high' is a wonderful rule to abide by in social circles. But in politics, when they go low, you go Sopranos and break their kneecaps because, as we've seen just in the last week alone, abusive PoS don't respect ANYTHING but force. And if you don't have what it takes to roll in the mud, politics is not for you.

And speaking of not having what it takes, the congressional Democrats' actions of late are not just simply mind numbing but are what inspire the 'both sides are equally corrupt' mantra of those disenchanted with politics. And I get it. I mean, otherwise, are they THAT cowardly? How many times are this administration's officials going to spit in their faces while the Dems respond with “Don’t do that. It’s not nice”? What is the point of battling bazookas with paper clips and rubber bands? Also, what good are the rules if only one side abides by them?

It's quite telling that the gutsiest Dem of the last 30 years has been ostracized and deemed toxic by the party faithful. And yes, he has undeniable flaws, but ask yourself, do you think Bill Clinton would’ve given up like Obama did on Merrick Garland? Or let Mitch McConnell bully him into keeping quiet about Russian interference? I’d bet every last dollar I’ll make for the rest of my life that Slick Willie would not have rolled over and played dead like Obama did. But that’s what Democrats do now: roll over and play dead. (LBJ is rolling in his grave at blinding speed.)

And let’s not kid ourselves, thinking that just by something being obviously wrong is enough to sway people is a Democratic party cardinal sin. It NEVER works. (Just ask Obama.) You have take it to the people and break it down for them. Vociferously AND repeatedly. Otherwise, this wishy-washy nonsense by congressional Democrats looks like they’ve got NOTHING ON HIM and plays into the GOP narrative. Look at how the GOP is spinning the incredibly erroneous but compelling “If the President did something wrong Mueller would’ve indicted him” line. And NO ONE is formally contesting it. THAT’s the core of the Dem ineptitude at the moment.

Oh, and one last thing vis-à-vis voting Trump out: McConnell has promised that no bill for added election security will reach the Senate floor for a vote.

Well, I guess that is, as they say, the ballgame.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Impeachment Is A Must

I truly understand the trepidation behind deciding to impeach or not and the real consequences of failure in that regard. But here’s the thing: this president and his cronies are gleefully flaunting their disdain and disrespect for the rule of law, and defiantly taunting the Democrats to act. They must stand up to these criminals and not only do their job, but do what’s right. And if the end result is having to pay a political price then, so be it.

If that's the case, it will confirm we live in a shitty country whose shitty people deserve this shitty president. But let's find out, shall we?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Van Jones Is A Sucker - Reason #643

The CNN pundit appeared a few weeks ago at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference—where the gay rights wing of the GOP, the Log Cabin Republicans, up until 2016, were not permitted inside the event and had to assemble outside in the parking lot—invited by Matt Schlapp, a Republican pundit (and CPAC organizer) who essentially defended a statement made by a CPAC official, that former Republican party chairman Michael Steele had been selected for the post because he was black. Yeah, this is what we’re working with here. Anyway…

Jones went to CPAC to heap praise on Republicans for showing leadership on criminal justice reform and bemoan the Democrats’ lack of headway in that direction. I’m not saying Democrats shouldn’t be chastised for not being at the forefront of this issue but to do it at CPAC, of all places, is bullshit.

But that’s not even the worse part. It has come to light that the impetus for Republican interest in criminal justice reform is not the unjust incarceration of the poor and people of color (ha!) but to make it easier on their white collar criminal friends when caught in their usual malfeasance. So, that makes Jones even more of a traitor and a fool.

Damn, homey.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Newspaper Coverage of Barr Boondoggle is What You'd Expect

I blame Gov. Cuomo.
Mario, that is.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the man who ran my home state of NY from the mid ‘80s to the mid ‘90s, but there’s one thing for which I can never forgive him.

Rupert Murdoch purchased the New York Post in 1976; 12 years later, having acquired various TV stations in order to build what is now Fox, he was forced to sell the Post due to federal cross-ownership regulations. A couple of owners later, in 1993, the Post was in the red and was facing surefire oblivion. I remember folks of all political persuasions here in NYC lamenting how the closing of the Post would be a loss to the local news landscape. I, on the other hand, could not wait to see that racist rag burn to the ground. Fuck that PoS.

And that’s where Gov. Cuomo comes in.

Facing an imminent demise, the Post was rescued when Murdoch was allowed to purchase it again. How? Well, folks in high places, including the beloved governor, petitioned the FCC to give Murdoch a permanent waiver from the cross-ownership rules. The same rules he had to abide by in 1988, of course. Isn't that swell?

(Fun fact: to this day, the Post operates in the red—conservative papers don’t do well in NYC—but is funded by News Corp. aka Fox, as the print arm of the local right-wing propaganda machine. Awesome, right?)

I was reminded of all of this when I saw the Post’s headline re Barr’s disgraceful and treasonous dog and pony show. “And to think we were thisclose to not having the Post anymore. Grrr.”

[Digg: How Major Newspapers Covered the Mueller Report]

Saturday, March 30, 2019

I Am Done

Because the separation of church and state is now a quaint little custom we once observed, a recent NYT article, The Rapture and the Real World: Mike Pompeo Blends Beliefs and Policy, points out how "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has linked Christian beliefs with foreign policy, raising questions about the extent to which his evangelism is influencing American diplomacy."

All I can think of when I read something like this is how angered I am by the selfish, holier-than-thou, fucking purists who couldn't vote for HRC for all kinds of bullshit reasons, up to and including some childish nonsense as not liking the sound of her voice. (Yes, a former colleague actually said this to me, in public, on FB.)

Would we have a member of the American Taliban handling our foreign policy? Right-wing, troglodyte judges with lifetime appointments deciding cases? A barrage of ignoramuses heading our institutions? And most importantly, would we not be in this position had this purist bullshit not made it possible for a bigoted, narcissistic, treasonous, con man and thief to become POTUS?

So, what have we learned from all of this? How are we addressing this fiasco of epic proportions and making sure it doesn't happen again? We're comparing Joe Biden's alleged inappropriate behavior with Schlitz Kavanaugh's assault on Dr. Ford.

I'm fucking done.

God help us all.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Mueller Report from Just a Regular Dude

Right now plenty of folks on our side are feeling despondent or very ambivalent, at best, about this whole situation.

On the one hand, it seems like Robert Mueller did what he was supposed to and left investigations to be taken care of by Congress, the SDNY and others. (There are plenty of sealed indictments and more than 18 open investigations on Trump, his family and associates.) But knowing that AG Barr would likely censor the report and the GOP senate majority would block its publication, we can't help but feel he should’ve taken steps to have it find its way into the public sphere. Of course, those of us not in the know aren't even sure if that could've been done without leaking the report, and if that's even legal.

The other thing is that the GOP is falsely taking a victory lap and the press is playing along. I would never stoop as low as the Orange Turd and call the press the enemy of the people but their dereliction of duty is both breathtaking and maddening in this case. What they should be doing is clearly specifying that WE DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IN THE MUELLER REPORT BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T SEEN IT AND THE ONLY ONE WHO’S SEEN IT AND PUBLICLY SPOKEN ABOUT IT, IS A TRUMP-APPOINTED LOYALIST WHO IS NOT ONLY BIASED BUT HAS MADE IT CLEAR HE BELIEVES THE POTUS IS ABLOVE THE LAW.

Let that sink in for a minute. OK.

We all need to calm the fuck down and not get bogged down in bullshit. That’s the GOP plan. Let’s not help them.

This is no joking matter. It’s likely the biggest crisis and moment of truth congressional Democrats have faced in our lifetime. They need to be step up or we will be fucked for decades. We need to hold their feet to the fire and DEMAND they do EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to make the report public. This is no time for the classic Democrat milquetoast wussiness. It's not a spirited debate, it's a cage match.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the current Republican party, from top to bottom is a corrupt, immoral, unpatriotic cesspool. We can’t let them drown us with them.

A Little Bit on Bloomberg from a New Yorker

I've said before that I will not engage in attacking or promoting any Democratic candidate while there is no nominee. Got no time for th...