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    • 2020 Fundraiser Update
      We’ve raised just under $6,000 so far, which means we’ve reached the first goal at $5,000 – five linked articles in a series about political concepts and how to actually use them. Most people learn political and economic concepts, but the knowledge really does them no good, since they no on explains when they work […]
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Virginia Heffernan takes the measure of the man

Quote of hers she retweeted to her @page88 twitter stream:

Do the Trumpists even know what they want from him?

Discuss.

You can find more of Virginia Heffernan’s impressive work and observations at Trumpcast.

IED found at Clinton home

Just saw this:

So much for the left’s angry mobs. We don’t have a bomb making unit.

Scaravan and other things.

Stephen Colbert called the mongrel horde of vicious MS13 ISIS members from Central America a “Scaravan”. Trump admitted yesterday that he doesn’t know for sure that his lies are true. Because he keeps lying to himself? Just guessing.

Rationality doesn’t seem to be working, like pointing out that a group of less than 10000 unarmed men, women and children “assaulting” a country of 320,000,000 people isn’t likely to get very far before we take them out with drones and other new toys in our arsenal. We’re almost at full employment, which was predicted to occur in 2017 way back in 2009. So, these people aren’t going to be taking scarce jobs. And if we can find a way to track them, I can’t figure out exactly what the problem is. Someone explain this to me. Let’s assume they find work. They’ll be paying taxes like everybody else. So…..?

As I said, you can’t argue rationally with emotionally provoked people. But you can call the thing exactly what it is: a scare tactic. Scaravan sounds just about perfect. Get on that, Jake Tapper.

******************

Last night, Colbert had on the hosts of Pod Save America. This made me angry. Why are you angry, RD? Ok, I’ll tell you.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. The ones that get to the top of the Apple recommend list feature men prominently. I’m referring to the political and policy podcasts such as Pod Save America, FiveThirtyEight, Poltical Gabfest and The Weeds. If it’s not an all male cast, there’s generally a single woman who adds her dulcet tones. The Weeds is a bit different. There are sometimes more than one woman. But Matt Yglesias has a voice that seems to have been a product of SNL’s Whiners crossed with Moon Unit Zappa’s Valley Girl. It’s nails on a chalkboard hard to listen to. Combine that with the number of times he interrupts his cohosts to bogart the podcast and it’s enough to turn you off policy discussions for a lifetime.

Anyway, there are no good all female podcasts on politics and podcasts. And by that I do not mean to say that I want to hear the equivalent of The View. I want serious, intelligent, well informed podcast journalism with just women. It would be great if they also had a good sense of humor and a gift for narrative. Virginia Heffernan at Trumpcast is very good but she doesn’t own that podcast. I hear Rachel Maddox is launching a podcast soon. Let’s see how that goes.

Then I want Colbert to start inviting these hosts on his show so I can stop thinking about how smirking Jon Favreau put his hands all over Hillary’s cardboard cutout boobs in 2008. Yeah, that turned me off my kibble big time with Favreau and Obama’s male heavy speech writing team.

And another thing, about Obama…

Oops, look at the time. Gotta run to the bus. Later, taters.

*****************************

Stop looking at the polls! No. Don’t even. Just stop.

#bluewave

The Narcissist’s Trap

Just got this email notification from WaPo:

Yes, yes, let’s ruin the reputation of the guy who was dismembered – while he was still alive. Because, you know, he was not a US citizen and he was Muslim and once he said nice things about the Saudi Royal family while living in Saudi Arabia. When he stopped saying nice things about Saudi Arabia, he had to leave. Besides, he was a journalist. Blasphemer! He had to be cut up into little pieces on the event horizon of his wedding.

So, you know, it’s ok that we don’t have to be concerned with his death. Let’s not trouble our beautiful minds.

These people really have no shame.

Anyway, back to today’s topic.

Narcissists have a very nasty reputation for ruining reputations. They’ll turn tiny peccadilloes into major glaring character flaws. Their audience may initially be skeptical. But the narcissist will insist it’s true.

Like maybe Ms. Dem is part of an angry mob.

(She’s really not)

With lots of repetition, the angry mob idea gets stuck in the audience’s head.

Then the narcissist with prod, provoke and push buttons in the most outrageous way until Ms. Dem reacts.

“Aha!”, screams Trump, the narcissist, “I told you they were dangerous. We need to crack down on this behavior.” And the audience will agree enthusiastically.

This is about where we are.

So, you know, be careful out there.

Walk to work music

Chill, warm latte, looking forward to the day…

20 Reasons.

I’ve been rolling a thought around in my head for the last couple of days. We have roughly 20 days left before the election. There are good reasons to flip the House and Senate that nothing to do with Trump and one reason that is directly related to Trump.

Voters should know that they have a choice in how their lives will shaped. They get to decide what kind of government will work for them. But maybe, just maybe, they need to see how their choices affect them directly. It’s low hanging fruit to go for issues that divide us. But what affects each of us, regardless of party affiliation?

So, I am proposing 20 Reasons to Flip the House in the run up to the election. Each day represents a specific reason that affects each voter and presents them with a choice. But I need your help. It’s going to take a bit of research to fill out an essay a day for the next 20 days and I don’t want to miss anything. Can you think of 20 Reasons with me? Put your suggestions in the comments below.

Here are some of the reasons I’ve come up with so far:

1.) Net Neutrality

2.) Pre-existing conditions

3.) Energy Independence

4.) Infrastructure

Put your reasons in the comments below.

Go!

Murder on 5th Avenue

Today, I learned that if our intelligence agencies discover a plot to kill someone, they are supposed to warn the target. This did not happen with Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and permanent resident of the United States. Mr. Khashoggi was also an opinion writer for the Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder and richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.

The short story is that Khashoggi’s fiancé is a Turk living in Istanbul. After their wedding, they planned to split their time between turkey and the US. To marry her, he had to obtain some documents from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. When he tried to get them last week, the consulate told him to come back in a few days. In the meantime, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince flew an assassination squad to Turkey. When Khashoggi returned to the consulate with his fiancé, he had her wait outside for him while he retrieved his documents. Three hours later, he still hadn’t come out.

CCTV cameras in Istanbul show Khashoggi entering the building and some time later, a black van was seen exiting and driving to the home of a diplomat.

The Turks say they know where the body is buried.

We may now have a clue as to what made Nikki Haley resign so precipitously. Her resignation letter had a “please don’t hurt me” feeling about it when she mentioned she was going back to being a private citizen and really, REALLY wouldn’t be running for president in 2020. Oh, and Jared Kushner is a “hidden genius”. I thought she meant a cunning trickster in the Descartes tradition but she may have meant a diabolical fiend. Jared is supposedly tight with the Saudi crown prince.

In any case, I suspect the circumstances of Khashoggi’s death and the expected presidential response had something to do with Haley leaving. Because how could the UN ambassador from the United States defend the actions of a president or his administration that lead to the death of a journalist? Even for Haley, that must have been a bridge too far.

So, what did the president know and when did he know it? Did he blow off a PDB where his national security advisor tried to show him in pictures what the Saudi’s were planning? Did he get the heads up and just forget about it? Or did he decide that he would teach Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post a lesson? The truth will come out.

At this point, what can the Washington Post do? They have seen that Congress in the hands of Republicans will not make Trump accountable – for anything. Nevertheless, the leaders of both parties have started a procedure that would trigger the Magnitsky Act on the Saudis. The president has 120 days to respond. But this president and his family consider the Saudi’s friends and allies. And so far, Trump has done and said nothing on the matter officially.

Well, Khashoggi was only a Muslim citizen residing in the US. Had it coming to him after he started writing for WaPo. That’ll learn’em, is what I expect to hear from Trump’s defenders. But this is much more serious than Trump’s reprehensible treatment of strangers in our land. Khashoggi was a journalist working for an American paper. Allowing him to be assassinated is crossing a sacred Constitutional line.

I only hope the press stands up courageously. We need it now to do its job as it didn’t before the 2016 election or we will enter our own Dark Age.

Khashoggi’s fiancé said, “I have this strange feeling like I have failed to look after something so dear,”

We may all have that feeling before this administration is over.

Book Review: Good and Mad

Omg, just go get this book by Rebecca Traister. You will not be sorry. Buy copies for your friends. It is the best thing I’ve read all year and it’s timely AF.

It will blow your mind.

More: I’ll try to write a more lengthy review later, as well as one for the chilling The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis, also a must read.

Traister’s book has so many quotable passages it’s hard to narrow them down.

Walk to work music

It’s just one of those days.