• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    CB on Trumpet Notes
    jjmtacoma on Trumpet Notes
    CB on Trumpet Notes
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trumpet Notes
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trumpet Notes
    CB on Trumpet Notes
    quixote on Trumpet Notes
    Elixir on Trumpet Notes
    riverdaughter on Trumpet Notes
    Ga6thDem on Trumpet Notes
    deanbola on Trumpet Notes
    Shadowfax on Trumpet Notes
    jonihas on Trumpet Notes
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trumpet Notes
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trumpet Notes
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton Chris Christie cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos debate Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare occupy wall street OccupyWallStreet Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    June 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « May    
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    2627282930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Do Great Men and Women Change the World?
      Most of us, when we were young, were taught history as a series of events, with the names of important men and women attached. In effect, we were taught the “Great Man” theory of history, that history is the result of the actions of great individuals. Do the great matter? Do they make a difference? […]
  • Top Posts

Trumpet Notes

Observations, rumors, innuendos:

1.) Given the relentless attacks on Bill Clinton from Trump lately, I get the impression that it’s really Bill that Donald would prefer to run against. It reminds me of Obama running against Sarah Palin. Oh sure, John McCain was running for president but it was really Palin that was Obama’s opponent. She was a much easier target after she had been demonized and ridiculed by the media and the left. (We might not like her politics and she’s nothing if not a shameless opportunist but she has lasted a lot longer than her 15 minutes of fame so maybe she’s not so stupid after all, huh?)

Just throwing it out there that Bill is the weaker target right now. The guy can’t run for president anymore. Some people would suggest that we minimize Bill’s role in Hillary’s campaign. I’m thinking that’s a mistake. We don’t require other candidate spouses to stop supporting their husbands. Why should Bill be different? Besides, can you ever see a Republican backing down? Um, no. Democrats have got to learn to be defiant and brazen. There’s not a whole lot more the media can do to savage Bill. Rehabilitate Bill’s reputation and *poof!*, Trump will have to face Hillary. That’s something he doesn’t really want to do.

2.) I have heard the rumor that Donald doesn’t really want to be president. Being president sometimes requires going to boring meetings and thinking through policies and stuff like that. It’s not all quick deal making. No one who I’ve asked about this really believes this is how Donald Trump wants to spend four years of his life. They think Donald didn’t anticipate how popular he would be and now he’s kind of obligated to see it through.

The people talking about this are getting nervous about who Donald might pick as his VP because that is the person who is really going to run the country when Donald bows out once he’s had enough of the White House.

3.)Donald Trump supporters hate liberals more than anything else. They hate them with a white hot passion. Discuss.

4.) I’m still thinking that the best way to take down Trump is to associate him more with the very “establishment” he is running against. He seems to be getting cozy with the GOP insiders. He’s directing money to superpacs. Paul Ryan and Donald are communicating. When all is said and done, The Donald is going to end up being the same old, same old.

Oh and his hair weave will take hours of maintenance once he gets to the White House. When will he have time for that?

5.) Is attaining the White House supposed to compensate for his small…um… hands?

A Landslide will bring it down

img_9597eHappy Memorial Day everyone! Hope you are having a great day. The weather in Pittsburgh is perfect today. I’m going to do some yard work and painting and head on over to the other side of the river for dinner. Maybe relax in the cool breezes high above the river and watch the lights come on in the valley below. Ahhhh….

In the meantime, Krugman is trying to talk sense to the Bernie supporters. Butcha know, I wish he would just stop. He’s doin’ it worng. Take this bit, for example:

It’s true that her lead isn’t as big as it was before Mr. Trump clinched the G.O.P. nomination, largely because Republicans have consolidated around their presumptive nominee, while many Sanders supporters are still balkingat saying that they’ll vote for her.

But that probably won’t last; many Clinton supporters said similar things about Barack Obama in 2008, but eventually rallied around the nominee. So unless Bernie Sanders refuses to concede and insinuates that the nomination was somehow stolen by the candidate who won more votes, Mrs. Clinton is a clear favorite to win the White House.

Gosh, I know some of us were ‘silly’ for refusing to jump on the Obama bandwagon after the 2008 primary debacle. But Paul should know that I continue to run into die-hard, civil rights loving Democrats who absolutely could not, under any circumstances, vote for Obama in 2008 or 2012. The reaction to being pressured to vote for him is instant nausea, a rise in blood pressure and anger. Why?

It’s because Obama’s campaign made zero attempt to reach out to us. No, it was more like roll over us, back up, roll over us again, stomp on our heads, call us racists, threaten us, make fun of us, call us stupid uneducated losers and the people who were going to deprive women of reproductive choice. All this from the campaign of the guy who couldn’t be bothered to immediately rescind the Bush conscience rule when he took office. Was that so much to ask from the Feminist in Chief? They treated us so tenderly, those Democrats for Obama. Bernie supporters are going to get a lot more consideration from Hillary than we ever got from Obama.

The difference this year is, as Nate Silver writes, Bernie has had an unusual advantage in the nominating process due to open primaries and caucuses. He has been given every opportunity to win. And he simply hasn’t had the numbers. As Silver points out, the proportional distribution of delegates, open primaries and number of caucuses allows Bernie to pile up delegates from voters who are not all Democrats through a process that is pretty undemocratic.

By Silver’s logic, the same could be said of Obama’s win in 2008. He piled up a lot of delegates in caucus states and in the Republican states in the south. He won very, very few of the delegate rich solid blue Democratic states. The way the media portrayed it, you would have thought Obama won the primary nomination in a landslide when in truth, he barely squeaked by in delegates, lost the popular vote and was the recipient of a wholesale defection of superdelegates from Hillary to Obama in May 2008. Hmmm, right about now, eight years ago…

My point is, and I do have one, is that the count isn’t anywhere near being close for Bernie. I can see where his supporters see the same patterns of wins and think they can pull off an Obama. But even Obama couldn’t pull off an Obama without a lot of help (cough, *media*, cough). And that help cooled some Clintonista’s support for Obama- permanently.

In other words, stop trying to help, Paul. The only ones who are going to be able to help Bernie supporters to move on are Hillary, Bernie and the party, who needs to make a unwavering commitment to stand behind its nominee. It would be wrong to keep taking Bernie supporters votes for granted. That’s going to make them balk. Well, at least some of them. Just give them time to adjust to the numbers. This is not 2008. It’s not that close. Not even a little bit.

This part Krugman did get right:

And no, saying that the race is effectively over isn’t somehow aiding a nefarious plot to shut it down by prematurely declaring victory. Nate Silverrecently summed it up: “Clinton ‘strategy’ is to persuade more ‘people’ to ‘vote’ for her, hence producing ‘majority’ of ‘delegates.’” You may think those people chose the wrong candidate, but choose her they did.

She did it the same way she did it in 2008. She relied on the solid Democratic machinery, unions, hard work and by excelling in messaging and preparation over the other candidate. She is a good candidate. She knows how to win elections and has proven to win elections to the senate, twice, and in the 2008 primaries. The left blogosphere guys who are freaking out need to calm their tits already.

Let me make this absolutely clear  about where we stand to those of you Bernie Bros (and right wing trolls) who can’t help throwing out word salad nonsense in our comments sections. The people on this blog are some of the most pragmatic voters you will ever meet. They have a set of standards and they challenge their candidates to meet them. They are enthusiastic about Clinton but they are also not carried away by emotion. You can’t win us over by the breathless panic you feel when the demon, female incubus mind controls us to vote for her. I assure you, we did this all on our own by researching the issues and weighing the pros and cons of both candidates. There was no electronic signal to the chips embedded in our brains.

Your attempts to highjack the nomination away from Hillary a second time and nullify our votes will provoke a very strong reaction in us. You really ought to think long and hard about this. I don’t think it’s something you considered. We are not going to just roll over and take it when we do not see Bernie as coming close to winning.

Also, you won’t find commenters here who use a lot of jargon. That’s because they prefer to do their own thinking and don’t want someone with an agenda substituting shortcuts to the thinking process. Try it sometime. I mean, try to write a comment that doesn’t contain the words authoritarians, DLC, neoliberals or corporatists. I challenge you to use real thoughts and words. I might even let some of you out of the spam filter where no one can currently hear you scream.

Otherwise, you are wasting your time here. This blog was created eight years ago so that Clintonistas could feel safe swimming against the tide and saying what they thought without someone bullying them or forcing  them to shut up. We’d like to keep it that way. That doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome here but you need to realize where we are coming from. The vast majority of Clintonistas are no longer persuadable to abandoning her for another candidate. In all likelihood, most Clinton supporters in the remaining primary states are pretty much the same. We are sticking with her no matter what gets thrown at her.

What is important is whether your candidate is damaging his own reputation and legacy. I’ve noticed in the past couple of days that he’s backing off the scorched earth tactics. Probably because he’s a smart man and he also knows that there’s nothing hinky about this process this year and that he is simply losing in the old fashioned way like other people we liked. You know, like Paul Tsongas and Gary Hart. Ok, maybe some of you are too young to know. For some of us, those were our first crushes too.

We learned to love again.

In the meantime, it’s not over yet but this story has a somewhat predictable ending. You may find out that the nominee is better than you thought. I would only ask that you give her a chance with a more open mind.

What we need is to send a clear signal to the right wing extremism that is giving us Trump so that a landslide can bring him down.

Hillary, Diana and Journalists

article-2438612-186681b100000578-241_634x421Last week, in another unguarded moment, the Slate Political Gabfest trio revealed what the deal was with Hillary’s emails. Go to about the 21 minute mark of their latest episode “I Threw a Chair in Reno Just to Watch it Fly” where they start to discuss why it is that The Donald can get away with not revealing his tax returns but Hillary damaged herself seriously because she didn’t want journalists filing FOIA requests to go sifting through her emails to find stupid little things and turns of phrases that could be made into gigantic, distracting nothings.

They sound like whiny little children. They’re going to camp on these emails and the unreleased transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs and they readily acknowledge that all they and their journalist droogs are going to do is make a mountain of something as trivial as “thank you all for allowing me to talk to you today”.

It reminds me of the papparazzi that regarded it as their right to follow Princess Diana around. Everything she did was documented to death. Literally. Oh sure, you could blame the chauffeur for driving while intoxicated but he wouldn’t have been speeding through a Paris Tunnel in the first place if there weren’t a posse of photographers hot on Diana’s tail. If reports from other bystanders are correct, they took pictures of her while she was dying in the backseat of the car.

It would be incorrect to assume that because Hillary Clinton is a former first lady, twice elected Senator and former Secretary of State that she has too much experience and gravitas to be permanently damaged by this. Somehow, the pundits think, she will pull herself out of this. She’ll take a hit in the polls, only weeks away from the biggest delegate prize in the primaries, and it will be a nail biter all the way to the convention, but she will still, somehow, emerge triumphant.

I’m not so sure. I’ve seen up close and personal how women in professional life are always more harshly criticized for stuff that their male counterparts can get away with. Men are allowed to be human. Women have to be Dianas, either chaste  or chased. They get away with nothing. And while it is encouraging that some men are starting to appreciate just how presidential she is compared to Mr. Can’t Pick a Right Shade of Self Tanner, they fail to acknowledge that in order for women to BE Presidents, they have to somehow transcend being mortal human beings.

At the moment, Donald Trump can do and say anything and get away with it. His persistent attacks on Hillary this week for everything she has ever done or said in her entire life illustrates why she might be motivated to put her email on a separate server that wouldn’t be subjected to FOIA requests by “journalists” on a fishing expedition for “gotcha” emails, and wouldn’t be the target of hacking because no one outside of her address list would know that it existed.

One tantalizing tidbit that came up last night when CNN was discussing it was why didn’t the President know she was using an unauthorized email server? Presumably, he knew she wasn’t contacting him from Hillary.Clinton@State.gov. Why didn’t HE insist she use a government email server?

In any case, there were no laws broken, she didn’t send email that she knew ahead of time was classified and the server was never hacked, unlike the other state department servers. This is simply a case of a woman who knows that everything she thinks, writes and says is has the potential to become twisted and misused for political purposes or just for fun, as Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson admit.

The timing is right, now that she is being attacked relentlessly by Trump who seemingly has spent a lot of money for opposition research portraying her in the worst possible light to his voters, for her to give her “ask forgiveness rather than permission speech”. And then, if the Democrats really want to win in November, it’s crucial that they close ranks behind her and defend her vigorously to give her the mantle of superhuman invincibility she needs to get elected.

But if history is any guide, they’ll be bystanders at the car wreck while the butterflies take selfies next to the corpse.

Update: OMG, the Gabfest trio are at it again, (the “Weiner” edition) blaming the victim and repeatedly asking for some unattainably high standard of humility from Clinton before they let it go. What would it take guys? A Cersei Lannister naked walk of repentance thru Georgetown?  Why isn’t an apology enough? You admit she had a good reason to do what she did because you also freely admit you can’t control yourselves. So what is this never ending pursuit about? When will it be enough?

Media people have a real problem and they sound a little defensive about it in this podcast. Good.  They are the ones who should be repenting.

I blame the Democrats. They are not saying that after 25 years and upending her underwear drawers, it is time for the “journalists” to move on.

This podcast was simply unlistenable. They are so out of touch and so brazen in their admissions that I can’t listen without wanting to smack someone. Listening discretion is advised.

 

When Hillary met Bernie

 

Sorry, Katiebird, I couldn’t resist.

Invalidation or Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

John Oliver’s recent take on the primary process was on the mark, especially the part about how Clinton can’t do anything right:

Yes, the process definitely needs to change. For one thing, we need to cut down on the incredibly undemocratic caucuses that cut out anyone who can’t stick around for hours to listen to speeches, vote, revote, line up, line up outside, etc, etc. Katiebird shared her caucus experiences with me from 2008 and 2016. 2008 sounded like a nightmare. 2016, when she voted for Bernie was much easier. But it was still very time consuming. The elderly, working people and mothers with kids ain’t got time for that.

ahem, those would be the Clinton voters.

Then there are open primaries where anyone who has a grudge against one of your party’s candidates can game them. Independents say that if open primaries didn’t exist, they wouldn’t be able to vote in a primary.

Yes. and?

I’m not saying I’m unsympathetic to independents. I was one after 2008 for 5 years. I was extremely angry with what happened in 2008. But as we all know, the parties are private entities (that use public tax dollars for their primaries and caucuses) and they aren’t beholden to us. They hardly listen to their own voters. Why should pay any attention to independents?

But the thing that drives me nuts about Oliver’s piece and Greg Sargent asking if the primary process needs to be reformed yadayadayada, is why now? Why now, guys? This process was exponentially worse in 2008. We saw it on C-Span during the rules committee hearing when reapportionment of one candidate’s pledged delegates gave the other candidate the win.

You know, no one heard a peep from these same belligerent assholes about how unfair the system was in 2008. It’s only this year when their “more deserving male” candidate is losing by a wider margin because of closed primaries that we’re all supposed to have conscioussness raising sessions to talk about the primary system clustrfuck. When WE pointed out how the assholes were definitely, undeniably and in full daylight rigging the system against Clinton in 2008, we were called “bitter knitters”.  Now, we have to be careful not to upset the fee-fees of the same bad actors.

Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Atrios says nobody remembers 2008, that we are being silly, {{rolling his eyes}}.

You know, we don’t see it that way. And we’re really tired of having our votes and experiences of both of the horrible primary seasons for the Clinton voters invalidated.

Do not tell us that our experiences were unimportant.

Some of us are living with the consequences of that nasty 2008 primary season where Clinton still managed to get more of the popular vote and managed to lose the primary by the slimmest of margins. She had every right to take the fight all the way to the convention. She wasn’t harshing his mellow. HE was harshing HERS.

Do not invalidate her actions in 2008 when she tried with all her might to be recognized as being the first female candidate who had a legitimate right to the nomination and a real roll call vote.

Elections have consequences. We got the “liberal messiah” who wasn’t a liberal. And we got an very weak economic recovery and not one banker went to jail. And Clinton is stuck with an ACA that she can’t get rid of and can only tweak around the edges. Imagine how thrilled she is to take that on. And let’s not forget that there was no guarantee he was going to win in 2008. He wasn’t that far ahead in the polls, until the financial catastrophe in Sept 2008. He didn’t win the presidency in a landslide.

If there are people in the Clinton camp who are unsympathetic to the plaintive wails of the most persistent and aggressive Bernie supporters, it’s because they’ve been there before. These guys have no respect for Clinton or her voters. A Clintonista is a non-person. His or her votes are unimportant. They can be swept into the trash bin with impunity. The objections of a Clintonista doesn’t merit their attention. They are silly. The 2008 primary was so five minutes ago.

You know, that’s bullshit. We’re not having it this year. You might have come to Clinton begrudgingly this year but we aren’t going to forget any time soon. We see the sexism lurking beneath the surface of the “no one remembers 2008” crap.

Face up to it. There is still bitterness in the party over it because those guys who gamed the system in 2008 think they can still do it in 2016 and they think they can get away with it because the Clintonistas don’t count. The fact that they are wrong this year doesn’t mitigate the damage they are doing to the legitimacy of Clinton voters or the respect for the nominee that the party needs to project going into the fall.

Is that really the message we want to send to the country in the general election? Stop it.

Tidbits and GoT Predictions

1.)I’m a bit sad this morning over Bernie Sanders’ self-immolation of his brand. Bernie was on to something. His message resonated with me strongly. He made a strategic misstep when he identified too much with the more paranoid supporters in his constituency. Bernie supporters will always be welcome here. Your opinions *do* matter to us and your vote is still important if you haven’t had a chance to participate in a primary yet. You shouldn’t be ignored just because your champion temporarily lost his f&*(ing mind. (Just don’t expect us to argue every point with you. Our focus is forward, getting Hillary elected)

And anyway, no revolution is going to happen until we put more people like us in Congress, the Senate and statehouses. If Hillary is elected president, the tide of bad voting laws can be rolled back. That right there is a good reason to vote for her because you can’t change anything if you can’t vote. So, I hope we can concentrate on downticket Democrats that both sides of the party can get behind. (Yeah, we don’t like Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and her student body president types either)

2.) We had a sustained attack on this blog on Friday. I have reason to believe it was not just a Bernie Bros production. The Bernie Bros are occasionally more earnest burning swamp monsters flailing and broadcasting high anxiety to the blog. (Calm your tits, guys, Hillary isn’t nearly as Satanic as you think). But I don’t think they are the most destructive trolls. I mean, who has the most to lose this election really? Who is more motivated to try to diminish and marginalize the pro-Hillary contingent?

Let’s just say that I’ve been tracing some of the commenters to their original sources and my curiosity is piqued. Would there be a concerted effort to bombard Hillary positive blogs with comments that looked like they came from unhinged Bernie Bros but are actually right wing disrupters who got their hands on what should be defunct domain addresses? I wouldn’t be surprised. Someone with more time and network skills on their hands should look into this. I can provide the information if you interested.

3.) Jane Caro, my favorite Australian, is writing a trilogy of books about Queen Elizabeth I of England and what sacrifices women in power have to make. She touches briefly on what Hillary is going through at about the 35 minute mark when she talks about how men are ok with women playing second fiddle. But the minute a woman politician decides to go for the top spot, she suddenly morphs into a “heinous bitch” in the media. There’s some speculation that there is an ancient physical taboo involved. Donald Trump has already tapped into this. I’m really intrigued by Jane’s hypothesis here.

Jane used to be in advertising and she’s very perceptive about what motivates people as well as what turns them off. Jane talks about why virgins are more powerful. We should probably try to understand this if we ever expect to make progress. Is she on to something? Discuss.

The whole video is really good. If I were Hillary, I’d add Caro to the campaign advisors.

 

4.) Ok, who out there hates to clean? Don’t be shy, raise your hands. I have some podcast gold for you that are truly sponge worthy and will take your mind off the chores that never end and don’t seem to stay done. These are about Hollywood’s early years and they are fascinating.

Stuart Waterman has two amazing podcasts. Pick one depending on your mood.

Attaboy Clarence podcasts are about an hour long and feature biographies of the stars, old timey ads and Lux Theater rebroadcasts of movies, along with Stuart’s sardonic commentary delivered in a Jude Law drawl.

The Secret History of Hollywood is more like an ongoing deep dyve narrative. These podcasts must take months to put together but they are so well done you can’t wait for the next one to come out. He has podcasts that cover Alfred Hitchcock, Universal Pictures’ horror genre and the beginnings of Warner Bros. and their gangster film franchise. I’m on part two of Bullets and Blood. Start with Bullets and Blood part 1. You won’t be sorry.

You Must Remember This is Karina Longworth’s podcast on the history of Hollywood. Her podcast also has biographies of the stars starting with the silent screen right up to Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. These podcasts are shorter, about 30 minutes long. Karina always finds an angle that you might not have thought about and leaves you thinking long after the podcast is over. Hollywood has had an enormous effect on our culture.

Both podcasters discuss the pre-code Hollywood era. That was a revelation to me and may explain why your grandparents were so much cooler than your parents.

5.) Alright, on to what you really wanted to talk about: Game of Thrones predictions. To recap this season (don’t read if you haven’t seen season 6 episodes yet. Spoilers ahead.):

Jon Snow is not dead. Melisandre brought him back with a sponge bath, haircut and some funky prayers in what sounds like Hebrew. He executed the Watch brothers who executed him, which just goes to show you that characters are not dead until you burn the bodies, assuming they can be burned (I’m getting to that).

Sansa escapes with Theon’s help. She and Theon are rescued in the woods by Brienne who offers her sword to Sansa. This time, Sansa has finally bought a clue and accepts the help. Theon departs for the Iron Islands where he offers to help make his sister queen after their father’s untimely murder at the hands of his brother.

Sansa reaches Jon at Castle Black and there is a touching reunion. Tormund Giantsbane locks eyes with Brienne. It’s love at first sight. (Bow-chicka-bow) Ramsay Bolton has Sansa and Jon’s(?) little brother and sends a taunting letter to Jon and Sansa at Castle Black saying “Come and get him”. Sansa channels her inner badass and tells Jon that if he doesn’t help her take back Winterfell, she’ll do it herself. Jon and the Wildlings are all in.

Arya is still in Braavos training to become a faceless man. But is she really “no one”? By the way, did anyone else notice that during the “beat the confession out of her” scene the Waif got Arya to reduce the number of brothers she has? Has Arya always known in some instinctive way that Jon wasn’t her brother even though both Arya and Jon are the most Stark like of all the Winterfell children?

Bran has greenseer visions with Bloodraven about the Tower of Joy. We still have no confirmation that R+L=J but, c’mon, what else can these visions mean? Unless there’s something we don’t yet know…

Cersei and Jaime hatch a plot to get the Tyrell’s to take on the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. Sparrow has Margaery, King Tommen’s wife, and her brother Loras. The idea is to bring the Tyrell army to King’s Landing. What could *possibly* go wrong?

Dany escapes from the Dosh Khaleen and burns the right wing trolls and Bernie Bros, the worst collection of obnoxious, threatening, small minded barbarians that ever gave rape culture a bad name and emerges from the flames as an unburnt fiery demi-goddess.

Predictions:

High Sparrow got Loras to crack. Loras told Sparrow that is grandmother had King Joffrey poisoned. Then, Sparrow tells Tommen this, and he tells his mother Cersei. Cersei and Jaime hatch a plan to pit the Tyrell’s against the Faith Militant and hope to take both of them out at the same time by having the Lannisters show up and clean up the aftermath. Not sure how the much anticipated Cleganebowl comes out of this but expect to see Mountainstein take on The Hound in about episode 7.

Sansa is going to lead the army to Winterfell. She’s going to be the one to make herself a widow by slamming one of her embroidery needles into Ramsay’s brain. Being eaten by wolves is too good for him. He’s got to die by Sansa’s hands. Die, Die, Die, Ramsay, DIE! Ahem, got carried away there.

Arya took an antidote before she drank from the cup that Jaquen H’gar offered her. She’s still Arya under there.

Bran is going to go diving too deeply under the sea and almost loses himself. He sees The Others coming and Meera helps him sound the alarm. Will Howland Reed deliver Robb Stark’s will to the other bannermen of the North in time to take back and fortify Winterfell in time for the onslaught?

The wall will come down in episode 10.

Valar Morghulis.

 

 

 

 

 

Hillary in Australia 2010 and the End of World War II

There is a point to this post. Wait for it…

Let’s start with this clip from an Australian morning show in 2010. Hillary met with Hamish and Andy for a very funny piece about the “gift” she received from the Australian people as Secretary of State. She’s relaxed, has a good sense of humor, seems genuinely authentic to me, Jon Stewart. But it gets better. Listen to the banter between the morning show hosts at the end of the clip and ask yourself what they must be thinking of Americans this year.

 

The reason I bring up this clip is because I read the editorial in the NYTimes International version this morning about the tempest brewing in the South China Sea. The piece, titled “Playing Chicken in the South China Sea“, is about a American surveillance plane’s “near miss” with two Chinese fighters while over the area recently. China has been building up islands and atolls and installing military bases on them. It’s making Indonesia and the Phillipines nervous.

Back in 2010, Clinton was an early advocate of staring down the Chinese before the tensions in the South China Sea got too touchy. That’s why she was in Australia. Her job as Secretary of State was to forge a better working partnership with the Australians to take a strong interest in area.

Why is the South China Sea so important? According to the NYT editorial:

“China has been behaving in a bellicose fashion in the South China Sea for some time as part of a sustained and increasingly dangerous effort to assert sovereignty over a vital waterway in which other nations also have claims. In a few weeks, an international arbitration court is expected to rule in a case brought against China by the Philippines. The outcome could have a profound effect on the struggle for control of the sea, which is rich in resources and carries $5 trillion in annual trade.”

That’s right, the South China Sea sees $5,000,000,000,000.00 worth of trade each year passing through its waters.

We children of the 60s, 70s and 80s know that the world is mostly water but we seem to ignore the part of the geography class that taught us about ‘straits’ and ‘canals’ and ‘trade routes’. Those trade routes haven’t changed since Magellan circumnavigated the globe nearly 500 years ago.

It’s why Hitler wanted control of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It’s why the Japanese wanted the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea, why it invaded the Phillipines and why Iwo Jima was such a big deal.Take a look at the map:

resource_flows

 

That map shows liquified natural gas trade routes through the region and I think we could all make a good case that maybe increasing oil and gas trade is not such a good idea because of global warming. We should be working on energy alternatives. But it is also true that we probably don’t want someone abruptly turning the spigots on and off in order to manipulate markets and bring us to our knees before we have time to boot the Republicans out of power and get on with alternative energy research in earnest.

Plus, presumably, there’s more to trade than fossil fuels.

I think you get my point. But if you don’t, it’s this: World War II never ended. It never ended in the North Atlantic, it never ended in the Eastern Mediterranean and it certainly hasn’t ended in the South China Sea. These areas are always going to be flashpoints as long as the world’s continents stay put.

You are free to disagree with me but you can’t argue with geography.

Who would you rather see in the White House? Someone who doesn’t think we should spend money on NATO or the woman who was proactively diplomatic on the South China Sea issues 6 years ago?

To me, it’s a no brainer. But at this point in time, the rest of the world is probably getting very concerned that there are a significant number of Americans who have no brains.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 609 other followers