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    • Obama’s Just the Enemy And Always Was
      One of the most amusing things about the 07/8 primary season was how often Obama praised Reagan and how few people took him seriously. Obama thought Reagan was great, and said so repeatedly. “He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like, you know, […]
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Tiramisu for Breakfast

It’s sweet, delicious and loaded with caffeine.

Trying a new perfume sample this morning. It has coffee notes in it. Smells like Angel for men but nicer and softer, not cloyingly sweet.

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The quake in Mexico City has left hundreds dead and comes only a couple of weeks after the strongest quake they’ve ever had. One witness says it feels like “God is angry with us”.

There was something about the picture of the scene of people digging through rubble that reminded me of this:

That art is from the 14th century during the Black Death. After losing 1/4 of its population (conservative estimate), Europe was also convinced that God was angry with it and that the end of the world was coming. Of course, it was also dealing with war and famine brought on by the mini ice age so it had reason to be afraid.

But the world didn’t end, in spite of the fact that humanity was far more traumatized than we are today. Most of our traumas are caused by our inhumanity towards each other.

The world is indeed a scary place. But bad things don’t last forever.

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That being said, keep your eyes open for any opportunity to assist with hurricane relief. We can’t control the weather but we can help with the aftermath.

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Lindsay Graham admits that his new healthcare proposal would severely cut healthcare spending in the major big blue states CA, NJ, NY and MA, and would redistribute the money to states like Mississippi, which turned down Medicaid dollars when it was offered to them in 2014 and would now see a 900% increase in Medicaid spending.

Neat trick! Take money away from some elite west or east coast liberal kid with asthma or epilepsy and give it to some poor red neck in Mississippi who thinks his Republican governor will be doing him a favor after making him suffer needlessly for 3 years.

Nooo, this isn’t socialism where we take from people according to their abilities and give to people according to their needs. This is more like taxation without representation because the blue states most grievously affected by this bill already send far more in taxes to Washington than they get back. They’re already subsidizing the welfare of the stingy red states.

But why waste an opportunity to poke California and New York with a sharp stick in the eye, which will now go untreated?

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Well, that certainly didn’t help.

Donald Trump promises to

to ‘totally destroy North Korea’ and calls Kim Jong Un ‘Rocket Man’

No, I’m not really worried. If it looks like he’s going to do something completely insane, I trust that there will be Republicans who will invoke the 25th Amendment or a Jaime Lannister on the Secret Service will give him a fake nuclear football and a joystick to a video game written especially for him that makes it look like he turned North Korea into a glass parking lot and unlocks another level.

Wait, better not unlock the next level. Baron might unintentionally clue him in.

Anyway, the stupid Graham-Cassidy Bill to repeal Obamacare needs immediate attention. Susan Collins says this version is worse than the last one, if that’s even possible.

The repeal thing is like the Walking Dead. What it really needs is an ice pick.

Call your Senators.

Aha! The reason this stupid healthcare bill is coming back to eat our brainz is because the big GOP donors have closed their checkbooks until it and draconian tax reform is taken care of. Yep, they’ll just find the primaries of even crazier people than the ones we currently have in office.

I guess they can get crazier. I just can’t imagine how. Call it my failure to imaginate. My delicate east coast elite sensibilities can’t go there.

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Trump makes Kim Jong Un cool.

Yeah, imagine this guy as 420 friendly:

It could happen.

Donald will never be cool.

This one’s for BiFF (who may or may not have moments of coolness. I’m not saying.)

$400,000,000 and Hungary

Hillary recently was recently interviewed by Anderson Cooper about her book. When they turned their attention to 2018, Clinton sounded the alarm. The Koch brothers are planning to dump $400,000,000 into the 2018 elections.

That’s a lot of money for guys who keep screaming that their taxes are too high. They’re using their already considerable tax breaks to fund elections.

And at this point, we should all be asking why if tax cuts are not that important to them.

She mentioned why they’re so intent on winning next year. They want a Constitutional Convention. Don’t laugh. They only need to control 34 state legislatures in order to do it. That’s what all the money is for.

And what is it they want? They want to limit the size of government. Do you know what they mean by that? Next time you hear a Republican have verbal diarrhea about limiting government or reducing the size of government, be sure to get them on record about EXACTLY what they mean. Do they want to roll back Social Security and Medicare? What part of labor protections do they find offensive to their eyes? How much DO they want business to be in charge of our lives? What about net neutrality? Pin them down.

A lot of conservatives want to eliminate the separation between church and state. That may be ok with you now but what if you’re a Catholic and suddenly only Calvinists get the seal of approval? Or what if you’re a baptist and you find that your tax dollars are now supporting Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility Catholic school? What if your celebration of the winter solstice is denied by your local municipality but there’s now a cross with Jesus on its lawn during Easter? What about gay people and women? Will there be laws restricting their ability to work, get credit or control their bodies?
What about Habeus Corpus, Rights against illegal search and seizure, Rights of Attainder, freedom of speech and all the other bulwarks against the bad aspects of 17th century English monarchical reign?

We’d better think long and hard about that. Because other countries, like Hungary, didn’t see it coming. This is what happened when the ruling party achieved their critical mass:

What are the main provisions contained in the amendments?

One provision limits the power of the Constitutional Court and removes its right to strike out any laws that have already been enshrined in the constitution. Another lowers the retirement age for judges – a measure that critics say is designed to weed out non-pliable magistrates.

In the field of the media, there is an article restricting election campaigning to state media alone. Critics say that this will curb freedom of expression.

Several other provisions have been criticised as curtailing civil liberties. These include a requirement for students who have received state grants to stay and work in Hungary for a certain period of time after graduating, or pay back the cost of their tuition to the state.

Another article says that preference should be given to traditional (ie heterosexual) family relationships, and says that marriage and the parent-child relationship form the basis of the traditional family.

Why was the government able to introduce such sweeping changes?

In the 2010 election, a conservative coalition consisting of Mr Orban’s Fidesz party and the Christian Democratic People’s Party won two-thirds of the seats in parliament, and this powerful majority has made it possible for the governing parties to push through several pieces of controversial legislation.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about this right wing extremist wet dream. It sounds laughable until you realize just how close they’ve already come to accomplishing this goal. Check out this map of where the ideological right already has control of both houses on the state.

They’re very goal oriented and they have lots of money. They’re almost there. Oh, sure, they’d have the power to do it but would they actually do it?

Hey, this is the party that effectively stole a Supreme Court nominee. Of course they would do it. It’s what they live for. They can’t wait to turn a couple more state legislatures red.

I have no idea why they can’t achieve their goals through the amendment process but apparently amendments are not what they want. They want to tinker with the constitution itself.

You’ve got to wonder what it is they want to accomplish? What is it about America as it is and their abilities to accumulate vast tracts of wealth that they find so offensive?

Why do the Koch brothers and their allies hate freedom so much? After all, they have the power to leave any time they like. Why don’t they go but Macedonia or something and move there – permanently?

Ask questions. Because you can be sure they’re going to feed the less attentive voters a bunch of lies and whip them up to an emotional frenzy about corrupt judges and sanctuary cities and the romanticization of the fetus and motherhood.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Get involved in your local politics and make sure you know what’s going on.

“YOU want ME to help you feel better??”

That’s what Hillary was thinking in the days after the election according to her book What Happened.

A young woman approached her in a restaurant and, feeling distraught, apologized for not voting. Hillary said she was angry about how a citizen could not exercise their one sacred right. It’s unconscionable. So she sat there, stony faced and didn’t give absolution.

Phillipe Reines, her debate prep sparring partner talks about the challenges of running against Donald Trump. He says that no one in 2016 could have won against him because the guy lacks shame and he’s like a bulldozer. Every time we thought he won’t go there, he went there. The Bernie Bros can dismount their soap boxes. Wisconsin and Michigan only became important after she lost Florida and Pennsylvania. That’s where all the electoral college votes were. So she lived in PA and FL.

The Warren fans can calm their tits too and the voters who thought Biden had a chance. He didn’t. Reines says it was always going to be tough as Hillary was running for a “third term”. And she came damn close to beating that curse, better than all the alternatives would have done.

I think maybe she didn’t differentiate herself enough from Obama but maybe Reines has a point. Trump tapped into something in the electorate. Something very ugly. And it’s time we acknowledged who really let us down in 2016..

The voters.

The ones who didn’t vote.

The ones who mysteriously couldn’t see the difference between or didn’t like either candidate without doing the work to at least find out why they were in different parties.

The voters in Pennsylvania in the middle of the state. I’d say fuck them because there’s simply no excuse for this degree of hive mind. Those voters need to quit acting like politics is tribal warfare.

The voters in Florida who are in the Fox News age demographic and are plugged into it’s matrix. Of Course it’s bad to be a racist. It might be legal but it’s still awful. You don’t have to be a racist but if you take a laissez faire attitude towards other people being racists, isn’t that just as bad in the end? For those of you struggling with that question, the answer is “YES! It is just as bad”.

Anyone who actually thought the Clintons were murderers because they got that information from Facebook, is to blame. Ditto for the ones who bought the pizza shop sex trafficking story. Really?? Do you people think that tabloid “journalism” is literature? The pizza shop thing ranks right up there with alien babies. I met someone at a wedding last fall who told me this crap at the reception. I couldn’t believe it. She swallowed the murder story completely. It was insane.

You get the government you deserve so the saying goes. But the majority of us didn’t deserve this. The rest of you let us down. And the Trump voters are particularly guilty because other than building a wall and mercilessly kicking out immigrant mothers and fathers, what EXACTLY did they think they were going to get from a real estate developer with a history of bankruptcies and a flair for the theatrical?

Seriously. I’m curious. What was Donald’s big policy draw? Did you think he could just get it all done as president and forget the other two branches? Isn’t that a dictatorship?

As Sansa Stark says, “I’m sure that cutting off heads is very satisfying but it’s not the way to get people to work together”. The Trump White House is a vipers den of ne’erdowells all knifing each other in the back while Donald tweets insensitive, stupid messages and causes international incidences.

So yeah, you Trump voters suck. Bigly.

No, no, don’t try to make excuses. Don’t say she didn’t appeal to you in just the right way. Her job was not to give you an orgasm. We all count on each other to do the right thing and not let each other down. Don’t ask for forgiveness. Given the current composition of our government, we may never have a free and fair election again.

You had *one* job.

Friday: par-tay

It’s the end of the week, boys and girls. I crashed early last night and now I am very well rested. I’ve got plans for the weekend. How about you?

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The DACA compromise between Trump and the Democrats is really not going over well with his base. This is one of three topics of discussion with the trio at Slate’s Political Gabfest this week. Franklin Foer makes a guest appearance to talk about the impact of high tech on our lives and they also talk about Hillary’s book What Happened. Did I detect a note of contrition? Yes, I believe I did.

This is one of their better episodes. Not to be missed.

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Regarding Hillary’s book, there seems to be a lot of naysayers out there who want her to shut up and never darken our days again. Emily Bazelon says she doesn’t understand the level of hatred. It is and always has been disproportionate to anything Hillary has done.

To the naysayers I would like to say you’re not being rational about this book. Ok, so when have you EVER been rational about Hillary??

The best reason for her to write this book is because she was her own guinea pig. She has observations and conclusions as the first serious female candidate for president for either party that can be used by future similar candidates as a manual for what to do and not to do. It can be used by historians after they write centuries from now how the neo Nazis, Russians and resentful white guys with guns elected Trump and started the beginning of the end for the USA.

So, you know, you don’t have to read it if you really think there was no difference between the candidates. But you are exactly the people who should. Because you gave us that soulless malignant incompetent in the White House through your sheer hatred of a better alternative. And now we’re all going to suffer.

Consider this book a teachable moment for the lefties who were snookered into believing that her “inevitability” was taking away your right to whinge.

The privilege to wave for a year.

Michelle Wolff enlightens us about just what it means to be a contestant for Miss America. Hint: there are more qualifications to be in the pageant than to be president.

I’ll tell you what happened. :-[

The data analysts at FiveThirtyEight did a partial review on Hillary’s new book, “What Happened”. For the most part, they agree with her assessment. Check out the podcast if you have a chance. Here are some highlights and my own take from a fairly dedicated campaign worker’s point of view:

1.) Sexism was definitely involved.

2.) She had a 4-6 point lead coming into the home stretch before the Comey letter. By it itself, the Comey letter might not have sunk her. The other things are what narrowed her lead to a few points making her vulnerable to Comey’s shenanigans.

3.) She was wrong candidate for the times. I would have to disagree here. When your opposition is a lying, sociopathic, incompetent, racist, sexist pussy grabbed, then competence alone makes you the right candidate for the times. This should be obvious to anyone who is capable of thought.

4.) Whatever is written in the two weeks after the election as a narrative usually sticks, which leads to…

5.) The misperceptions of Wisconsin and Michigan as Hillary’s downfall.

Let’s unpack that last one for a moment. Nate Silver says what I’ve always thought about this. Wisconsin and Michigan ONLY became important once she had lost Florida and Pennsylvania. And where did Hillary spend the bulk of her time in the last days of the campaign? Pennsylvania and Florida. Strategically, it made no sense to go to Wisconsin.

By the way, NJ RARELY gets a visit from the candidates. Could NJ have gone red? I don’t know. There’s always that possibility. Look at who they voted for for Governor for eight years. But NJ has a gigantic problem with property taxes, which every governot has promised to fix but fails to deliver so the voters are always switching parties to try the one that works. Politics are local in NJ. Nevertheless, NJ went overwhelmingly for Clinton despite the fact that it was slighted AND had experienced a severe contraction of its economy in the aftermath of the loss of the small molecule R&D industry. Presumably, NJ is just smarter than Wisconsin.

538 says that prior to the 2016 election, there was some evidence that The rust belt was going more Republican. There’s probably not a whole lot Hillary could have done about MI and WI. Even Obama didn’t go there in 2012 and Hillary managed to get more votes than Obama got in 2012 overall.

No, what the analysts at 538 say had a disproportionate effect on Hillary’s loss was the obsession in the press, especially the New York Times, on her email. They say in comparison with Trump’s scandals, there was nothing even remotely close as far as criminality, unethical behavior or bad intent.

They say that given the horrible outcome, it’s natural for the press to be reluctant to acknowledge its role but that until it does, there will be a lot of anger about 2016 that isn’t going to go away.

More later…

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Once upon a time…