Sunday, July 22, 2018

With Venezuelan Oil Industry on Verge of Collapse Are The Chavistas Dancing In The Streets Yet?

The Independent:
Despite having the greatest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela’s government is being forced to spend millions of dollars a day importing crude to prop up its ailing industry. Petrol remains the only cheap commodity left in Venezuela amid the collapse of most of its economy, but the oil industry is now also struggling to meet basic domestic demands. Experts say the industry is operating below 40 per cent of its potential output. Last month, the International Energy Agency reported that Venezuela is and will probably remain “the biggest risk factor” in a global supply crisis that may soon tip the market into deficit.
Fucking criminals every last one.

By the way, I blame Rafael Caldera for the monumental disaster that now grips a once proud country in a death-like vise. Despite his noteworthy achievements in his two stints as Venezuelan president, his pardon of those involved in the failed 1992 coup d'etat, including its leader Hugo Chavezwho, as a treasonous colonel, had an assured date with the firing squadwas an infamous decision that eventually led to the fall of Venezuela.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Get In The Ring, Democrats (part 2)

After reading a piece in Esquire that called for former President Obama to call out Trump and his numerous transgressions against our country by name—which Obama has refused, seemingly adhering to past protocols of not publicly chastising one’s successor; as if Trump will ever do the same once we remove him from office he steps down—it occurred to me that the Democrats should name an official pit bull.

And by that I mean, ideally, an Alan Grayson-type to be in charge of attacking this administration and its preposterous policies on a daily basis. Sort of like the lawmaker who offers the opposing side’s take on the State of the Union. But with teeth. This individual must not be someone who is in or seeking office but a consummate Democrat with the balls (or ovaries) to say what needs to be said, conclusively, effectively and without filter. Like a message czar or something.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that party chairman Tom Perez’s job?” Should be. Somebody should wake him up and let him know.

Get In The Ring, Democrats

For as long as I have blogged, discussed and debated American politics I have continually made it a point to decry the across-the-board milquetoast attitude of Democrats in how they've made policy, defended their gains and sold their message over the last couple of decades. In other words, I have bemoaned their lack of a killer instinct—the absence of a penchant for being aggressive and yes, playing dirty, when need be. Well, on this front, it seems that I’m not as alone as I have believed.

Citing political scientist David Faris’ new book, It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, Rob Goodman's recent Politico piece is from a man after my own heart.
Grant statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico, and break California in seven, with the goal of adding 16 new Democrats to the Senate. Expand the Supreme Court and the federal courts, packing them with liberal judges. Move to multi-member House districts to roll back the effects of partisan gerrymandering. Pass a new Voting Rights Act, including nationwide automatic voter registration, felon enfranchisement and an end to voter ID laws. Grant citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants, creating a host of new Democratic-leaning voters: “Republicans have always feared that immigration would change the character of American society. Democrats should reward them with their very worst nightmare.” 
Granted, there’s at least a plausible case to be made that a “spiral of conflict” is a bad model to describe the state we’re in, because Republicans do not look to Democrats for permission or precedent before breaking norms. There was no precedent for the theft of the Supreme Court seat now occupied by Gorsuch; there was no provocation for purging voter rolls or suppressing turnout. Given this asymmetry, isn’t the idea that Democrats are responsible for stopping an escalating spiral the worst kind of both-sides-ism? I don’t think so. If the Normal Is Over caucus can imagine a unified, genuinely radical Democratic government in the next four or eight years, they’re also responsible for imagining an enraged opposition, strong in the conviction that the Democratic government is illegitimate. We saw exactly that the last time there was a Democratic government. And we can fully expect next time to be worse, because the culture of self-restraint is weakened with each iteration of the cycle. 
If only the Dems weren’t so chickenshit and had the balls and ovaries to see this thru…

[Politico: Hey Democrats, Fighting Fair For Is For Suckers]

Friday, July 20, 2018

"Exactly who are these people, and what have they done with my party?"

Former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough questions the identity of the current GOP in a WaPo OpEd piece.

Quote of the Day

"The rest of us have to come to grips with the fact that there is no real mystery any more. The president* of the United States is a reckless vandal who is in thrall to a man whose only real goal in life is to loot his own failing country and hobble this one. Putin is a brutal con-man who has found a transparently bad one that he can play like a cheap violin. How the president* got into this situation almost seems irrelevant at this point; there well may be a video of some icky water-sports in a Moscow hotel, but I still think it’s all about money that Russians needed to clean, and that the president* needed to keep his Potemkin empire afloat. In that context, this latest, scarcely believable plot twist has a certain mad logic to it. In for a dime, in for a ruble." 

 - Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire magazine.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Overwhelming Majority of GOPers Approve of Trump's Helsinki Debacle

A recent poll found that 79% of Republicans approve of the president’s handling of the Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin. And 85% of them believe probing into Russia’s meddling in our elections is a distraction.

Anyone surprised? Anyone still think these are people who can be reasoned with and not sycophantic worshippers at the feet of their orange-hued Last Great White Hope? Wake the fuck up! Democrats have to get out the vote and bring along as many as Independents as possible. Period.

The poll found disapproval among Democrats at 91% and Independents at 62%. The overall tally was 58% disapproval and 40% approval.

Republicans Block Subpoena for Helsinki Summit Translator

If anyone needed further proof that talk is cheap, they can refer to the condemnation and outrage by certain GOP lawmakers in the wake of Trump's treasonous performance in Helsinki, which they backed by blocking a move to subpoena the translator in the room during the recent private meeting between Trump and Putin. Democrats sought to lean what was discussed in the private meeting, in light of Trump's betraying and dangerous sycophantic defense of Putin afterwards, fearing Trump may have gravely compromised national security in the process.

So much for patriotism over politics, eh, Republicans?

[NYT: Republicans Block Subpoena for Helsinki Summit Translator]

Make America Hungry Again

Under the bullshit argument that the economy is thriving and therefore government assistance should be reduced, Republicans want to cut food stamps (aka the SNAP program). I agree.

The vast majority of the folks enrolled in SNAP are Trump supporting red staters, so let them eat their MAGA hats.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst

In the aftermath of President Trump’s disgraceful and treasonous display of fealty to Vladimir Putin, there has been much bipartisan backlash, even from staunch defenders like the folks over at Fox News. And while many see this as a turning point, the crossing of a line that could not be crossed, I’m not so sure. First of all, verbal condemnation is not tangible censure and even the Republican lawmakers and party elders who disagree with Trump are too afraid of a party base that is wrapped in a vicious cult of personality to do anything conclusive and/or decisive. That leaves the Democrats.

OK, what other options are there?

Seriously, tho, Chumpbots are not going to flinch in their support of this POTUS, even if he is indeed proven guilty of treason. You see, if Putin and his minions in fact pushed the election towards Trump, they have the Russian thug to thank for the man who they see as their Great White Hope against the tide of diversity, equality and tolerance. In other words, if Putin made Trump’s presidency a reality, then in the eyes of these people Putin can do no wrong. So, appealing to their sense of patriotism vis-à-vis Trump’s acceptance—or abetting—of Russian electoral meddling is a non-starter.

As I have stated before, I see only two options at this point.

First is keeping Trump off the ballot in as many states as possible, until he produces his tax returns (which he won’t), and limiting his chances of winning or even running in 2020.

If this isn’t legal or feasible for whatever reason, then one word: Alabama. And by that I mean mounting a nationwide effort to replicate the groundswell of support that made Doug Jones senator over the despicable Roy Moore in that incredibly red state. How? By getting as many Democratic voters to the polls, both now and in 2020, and by any means possible. Of course, the catch is once again—you guessed it—Russia.

“We’ll see”, said the blind man.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump Surprised By Averse Reaction to Putin Meeting

Stable genius? More like clueless idiot.

Immediately after his news conference, Trump's mood was buoyant, people familiar with the matter said. He walked off stage in Helsinki with little inkling his remarks would cause the firestorm they did, and was instead enthusiastic about what he felt was a successful summit. By the time he'd returned to the White House just before 10 p.m. ET on Monday, however, his mood had soured. Predictably, the President was upset when he saw negative coverage of the summit airing on television aboard Air Force One. It was clear he was getting little support, even from the usual places.
Good fucking grief.

NY Daily News Calls Out 'Benedict Donald'

When it comes to bashing the Pussy Grabber in Chief, my hometown paper (and Trump's) does not disappoint. Read the editorial, too.

With Venezuelan Oil Industry on Verge of Collapse Are The Chavistas Dancing In The Streets Yet?

The Independent : Despite having the greatest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela’s government is being forced to spend millions of dolla...