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.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Fear of a Brown Planet

Because he fears their programming will give me a heart attack one of these days, an old, dear friend has warned me not to watch the endless parade of demagoguery and propaganda that is Fox “News”. And, frankly, I think his concern is warranted.

Watching a reel of Fox AOC-bashing compiled by MSNBC’s ‘The Beat’, I came across a recent clip I’d missed that really pissed me off because it went beyond attacking the congresswoman and questioned the loyalty of us brown folk to this country. That it came from a supposed learned person aggravated me even more.

Peter Morici, a University of Maryland professor who is a go-to guy for Fox on those rare occasions when they’re not railing against the evils of academia and getting an education, and a hot take from an academic will be acceptable to their viewers, appeared on the Varney & Co. show a few weeks ago to call AOC a demagogue and demonize the Green New Deal. Fine. Par for the course. But then, this asshole went THERE:

“[W]hat you have in Ocasio-Cortez are Latin American values. Instead of us assimilating them, they are assimilating us. And they want to bring the kind of socialism that destroyed Venezuela, and frankly Mexico, here. You know, it isn't that we're going to become Venezuela, but we could easily become Mexico, and you won't be able to go outside your door without getting shot. And if you say, ‘Hey Peter, boy aren't you really going over the top,’ think about what the last eight or ten years have been like in Chicago.” 

Yes, this PoS spewed that kind of bullshit and smeared all of us with a Spanish-derived surname. And to boot, he used someone who is an incredible example OF assimilation: NYC-born, college educated, and more accomplished within our system of politics and government before the age of 30 than the vast majority, if not all, of her colleagues in Congress. Then there’s the ‘Venezuela = Socialism’ fallacy. It’s communism, and this fuckwad knows it but calling it socialism plays better to the low information Fox viewers. And then he ties in with Chumpy the Clown’s ‘Mexicans are criminals’ narrative, which glaringly omits that cartel violence is drug trade fueled and our drug consumption here in the US is what drives it. And, finally, Morici dovestails this with Chicago gun violence, made possible in large part by the flow of illegal guns from surrounding states with laughable gun laws.

Defamation, lies, and misinformation: it’s all part of the ride on the Fox bullshit train. And the brainwashed audience is all too happy to come aboard.

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Gillette in Hot Water For Asking Men to Be Righteous

So, Gillette just released an ad chastising bad behavior by men in society while exhorting us to be the best we can be and the apologists are already trotting out the tired epithet acronyms they love (“PC”, “SJW”, etc.) to boycott the company and decry the subjugation of men by the liberal media, blah blah blah.  What these folks fail to realize is that with these knee-jerk reactions they are, in fact, proving the point of the ad and those who share in the sentiments expressed by it.

The problem, as I see it is, in essence, this: there is no gray area.

Just like the blinded nationalists who believe the US hasn’t, can’t and won’t ever do anything wrong, there’s a contingent of men (and women, too) who are convinced that short of you being a serial rapist, your inappropriate behavior towards women is nothing to be all up in arms about; that the respective outcries and movements spawned from this climate are simply the handiwork of oversensitive hags and girly men looking for time in the media spotlight.

What these folks fail to grasp (and let’s be honest, plenty of liberals, as well) is that you can proudly carry with you all of the traditional attributes of masculinity and still refuse to be an abusive, ignorant, condescending jerk. But we live in a time when many who’ve benefitted from the status quo are threatened by the possibility of adopting a different thought process, seeing this is as a sure sign of weakness and defeat, while deeming the middle ground a forsaken place to be avoided at all costs.

And the examples are everywhere and out in the open. Sure, the SCOTUS confirmation process of Justice Kavanaugh was deeply entrenched in partisan ideology, as was the senate candidacy of Roy Moore from Alabama, and of course the presidential campaign of the current POTUS. Plenty held their nose and supported these men, despite their past sexual transgressions towards women, on the basis of politics. But a significant portion of the electorate condoned, if not celebrated, the disgusting exploits of these men because, after all, no matter their chronological age, they believe boys will be boys. And girls ain’t shit.

I don’t know if this newest controversy will serve to enlighten folks who need to understand how real men should act in a civilized society; if nothing will change; or if Gillette will suffer (or not) a significant commercial backlash for putting their necks out there. But as far as I’m concerned, by their reaction to this you can have a pretty good idea of where people stand on matters of fairness and equality. How ‘bout you?

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....