• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on To Autumn
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on To Autumn
    JMS on To Autumn
    riverdaughter on To Autumn
    Lady V on To Autumn
    riverdaughter on To Autumn
    joninhas on To Autumn
    Ga6thDem on To Autumn
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on To Autumn
    r u reddy on To Autumn
    bellecat on To Autumn
    scruzie on To Autumn
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on To Autumn
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on To Autumn
    joninhas on To Autumn
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump 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 OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    September 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • War Criminals, I See War Criminals
      So—Bush Jr., of Iraq and torture, will vote for Clinton. The Clinton team is pleased. Michelle Obama has a publicity photo with her embracing him. 1st Lady Michelle Obama hugs Pres. George W.Bush at opening of @NMAAHC I was there for 1 of museums chief sponsors @BankofAmerica pic.twitter.com/XWw41G5nHO — kennerly (@kennerly) September 24, 2016 Meanwhile they […]
  • Top Posts

National Security Briefings for Trump should be suspended

If you haven’t seen the NYTimes front page this morning, get over there now and read Secret Ledger for Ukraine Lists Cash for Top Trump Aide. It’s about Paul Manafort, who is an unpaid campaign manager for Donald Trump. The report is about how Manafort’s name is on a Ukranian ledger and shows that he was to be compensated for millions of dollars. Unknown at this time is whether he actually received the money.

What do you think?

Yeah, me too.

If you’re looking for some decent background information on this report, you might try Slate’s TrumpCast. These episodes are particularly informative:

The Moscow Mule (guest Frank Foer)

America’s Putin (guest Masha Gessen)

The Post-Modern Manchurian Candidate (guest Anne Applebaum)

The first two podcasts were recorded back in June and early July before the DNC hack.

We’ve heard about Trump’s alleged ties to Putin for awhile now and speculation is he owes the Russians for something and that’s what’s driving his statements on Ukraine and NATO.

In the interest of national security, Donald Trump’s access to national security briefings of classified information should be suspended until we know the extent of his and his campaign manager’s ties to Putin and the Russians.

This is more important than partisan politics at the moment.

 

 

 

Your 2nd Amendment is not more equal than our 15th and 19th Amendment

aco

Psychopaths for Trump

I am spitting angry this morning about this new and outrageous statement from Donald Trump:

“We’re going to watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times,” he said at a rally in Altoona, Pennsylvania. “If you do that, we’re not going to lose. The only way we can lose, in my opinion — I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if cheating goes on.”

I’m a campaign volunteer for PA Democrats and Hillary for PA since March of this year. It irritates me to no end that all my efforts, sincere, honest, legal efforts to get people registered and get out the vote are now considered part of some great conspiracy to deny Donald Trump a win in Pennsylvania.

We are trying to deny Donald a win in Pennsylvania, no question about that but it’s not a conspiracy. It’s called campaigning. We are doing things the old-fashioned way. There are many, many boots on ground in this state. The Democrats are taking this election very seriously so they are active and mobilized to register as many people who are legally able to vote. We also do phone banking and in about a month, we’ll start canvassing. There are so many volunteers in PA right now that we are tripping over each other.

Ooooooo, out Machiavellian plans to deprive Donald of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are… wait, they’re just normal election activities. I’ve been involved in several campaigns over the years and there’s nothing unusual about this one except the high number of us volunteering. THAT’S why Hillary is leading in the polls. It’s easier to get people to vote for you when you try to meet their needs and ask them for votes than if you threaten to break their knees. Just my humble opinion.

Where is Donald Trump’s Get Out the Vote efforts?? Fuck if I know. I haven’t seen any. But let’s face it, would you rather talk to a friendly optimistic enthusiastic person about voting or an angry bloviating dickhead with a stupid red baseball cap on his head? Let’s not even start with the potential voters Trump is not registering.

But with this newest pronouncement from Trump, what’s going to happen to us when we go to the polls in November? Is THAT where Donald is going to spend all of his time and money, on poll watchers challenging any African American and married woman who tries to express their preferences?

If that’s the plan, Donald, how are you planning to guarantee our safety?  That is one of the responsibilities of the President of the United States. Do you have control of your droogs? How are you going to prevent them from beating the shit out of voters? Are your ammosexuals going to strut around polling places with their guns out in the open and ready for action? What’s going to happen next, Donald?

In the span of one week, Donald Trump has done a “Who will rid me of this meddlesome opponent?!” speech, inviting the attention of the Secret Service. Now, he’s siccing his menacing followers on voters in PA in an attempt to deprive us of our Constitional rights. Shouldn’t the Federal Elections Commission be scheduling an interview with him as well?

I live in a diverse neighborhood. I LIKE it. My poll attendants are African American and little old ladies. I do not want to have to worry that going to vote this fall is going to put any of us in danger.

But that is what you are advocating, Donald. You are trying to make us afraid because you and your supporters won’t take “No” for an answer.

You won’t win here in Pennsylvania. We’re going to legally beat your fat ass this fall in a landslide one person, one vote at a time.

Cheating won’t be necessary.

Trump and Peter Pan

maxresdefaultI woke up in the middle of the night to find that I had unintentionally left CNN running on my iPhone (just the audio, the risk of seeing Katrina Pierson while she strangles kittens under the desk with her bare hands is a bit too much for me). I can’t remember what program was on. Is there a Don Lemon person now filling in for Larry King? It’s been awhile.

Anyway, they were playing a clip from Trump’s rally today where he was going off on Hillary because the Orlando shooter’s father was sitting behind her and, while he was getting all breathless and purple with incredulous rage at her stupidity and incompetence, there was Mark Foley, disgraced former congressman and fall semester pledge for NAMBLA sitting right behind him.

The host and his guests went wild with hysterical laughter. I mean gut busting, can’t catch my breath, wiping eyes hilarity. It took awhile for it to all settle down and I could tell from their voices that they were waiting for a commercial break to get it all out. Then Lemon said something to the effect that he thought he’d seen everything but he never thought he’d be living in an SNL skit.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Donald really is dangerous. He’s reckless and incites violence and his followers are crazy, militant and menacing. And you’re absolutely right about all of that. But even menacing, dangerous people tend to keep a degree of gravitas about them so they can get shit done.

It’s much harder to do when everyone is laughing.

It reminded me of the This American Life episode Fiascos that featured an act about an amateur production of Peter Pan with a director who wanted to take some risks. At first, the audience was forgiving of the flying apparatus that threatened to hurl one of the actors into a wall, and Captain Hook’s missing hook. But by the time the indians had scaled the balconies and an accident caused the fire department to come busting into the auditorium, the 4th wall completely disintegrated, belief was officially suspended and the audience gleefully participated in the laughter, mockery and ridicule.

That’s about where we are with Trump.

I dunno, maybe this is Paul Ryan’s strategy, just give him enough rope to hang himself. Maybe it will work.

It sure is funny.

It’s appalling and outrageous that the GOP hasn’t pulled him after the 2nd Amendment assassination comment the other day. But I’m betting they’ll abandon him when no one can take him seriously anymore and there’s still more than two months of endless coverage to turn into merciless parody and satire. They’ve got their own campaigns to worry about.

Trump in the Garden of Beasts

gty_kristallnacht_kb_131108_33x16_1600I have a hypothesis about why Donald Trump is saying outrageous, indefensible things. I think he’s worried about looking bad in the debates to come and that worry, combined with Hillary’s growing lead over him, makes it look very likely that he will lose in November. This is a guy who is used to winning. He wins and he wins and he wins. Losing is bad for his image.

Why would a rich, famous guy with a hot Eastern European wife put himself through all  of this if he can’t win? But bailing at this point would look weak. So, he’s going to have his own party pull the plug on him.

There are other possibilities of course. He could really mean what he says and he wants to fire up his base, who have guns. Lots of guns.

What concerns me is the tepid response from the media. The New York Times Editorial was the equivalent of the naughty step. Heidi Li Feldman, formerly of Heidi Li’s Potpourri, pointed me to a criticism in The Guardian of pre-WWII coverage of Germany by British newspapers that also was tepid about what was starting to become an alarming and unusual political movement complete with assassination attempts and thuggish behavior from the leader and his followers.

The danger here is that unless there is a strong public condemnation of this rhetoric and behavior, it’s only going to get worse because we will have acclimated ourselves to it. It will be, “Well, they’re always saying stupid things like that” or, “you should know what you’re getting into if you go to a Trump Rally” or, “Sure they sound like they’re going to aggressively patrol polling stations this fall but what are they going to do to stop people from voting?”. Before you know it, you have another Kristallnacht on your hands.

Now, I’m not saying that this will happen this year to this candidate and his enraged and armed followers. But we need to walk this back- now- because there is no brake on how many people can buy guns in this country. One or a couple or a posse could decide they’ve had enough of commie Hillary and her libtard voters. We know what happens next because we have a lot of history on film.

As much as I’d like to see Donald lose to Hillary by a YUGE margin, it’s safer for all of us if he’s forced out and some “reasonable” Republican got his followers to calm their tits already.

 

Will Trump drop out?

Has a major party candidate ever dropped out before?

What would it take to make him drop out?

How long will it take?

Who would be his replacement?

Would it doom the GOP this fall or improve their chances?

Enquiring minds want to know because with the media now training their laser like intensity on every word he utters or tweets, he’s not going to last the rest of the week (though an implosion caught on tape would be fascinating in that slow motion car crash kinda way).

“The humpbacks have reached their feeding grounds.”

Discuss.

 

Hillary in Pittsburgh and about those Debates

copsfvawiaabijf

John Fetterman upstaged by daughter Gracie on Saturday at the Stronger Together rally in Pittsburgh

Hillary came to Pittsburgh on Saturday with Tim Kaine on their Stronger Together bus tour. So I went.

Note to those of you who get invited to future such events: If they say the doors open at 2:15pm, make sure to get in line at 11am. The line stretched from the convention center, down the block, and wrapped around the block. I stood in line for 2 hours before I got in the door. Then, I didn’t get a seat. It was standing room only. We were one of the last groups to get in. There were 2000 people who didn’t.

The Trump supporters were limited to a few cars full of “Women for Trump” and about 20 protestors holding signs annnnnnd that’s about it. Not a whole lot of STrumpets in Pittsburgh and the line for the Clinton rally dwarfed the one I saw for Trump a couple of months ago.

It took another two hours for the bus to arrive. Those of us who had been on our feet all that time sat down and played heads up or found outlets to charge our phones and tablets. But no one lost their temper. It was a pretty family friendly atmosphere.

In the leadup, we heard from locals like Mark Cuban and Mike Doyle. But the biggest applause was saved for John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock, PA who ran for Senate. He was a Bernie supporter and truly a change agent. The dude is like 6’9″, wears, well, apparently whatever fits, and still managed to get about 20% of the primary vote. How did that happen?! It was an amazing feat for a guy who otherwise didn’t seem to have a chance. So, he was Mr. Popularity before the bus arrived. His little girl Grace stole the show holding up a sign and leading the chant, “Hill-a-ry, Hill-a-ry!”. Perfect timing. She upstaged her dad, which is pretty hard to do.

Hillary and Kaine arrived about 40 minutes later. The crowd went wild. Kaine did his Trump impression again.It was just as bad, in a charming, attention getting way. I really like him. And then Hillary took over, dressed in red and completely at ease. That was the most surprising part of the whole evening. She didn’t sound scripted, her voice didn’t have that harsh, staccato cadence. She was more relaxed, confident, spontaneous. Maybe all she needed was to get the nomination.

She talked about her first 100 days. It’s going to focus on infrastructure. And she made particular mention of improving broadband and expanding it to rural areas. She also said that she wasn’t going to govern exclusively from the Oval Office. She’s going to be on the move during her presidency. Now, I think I understand why she picked Kaine. She needs a strong, competent presence in DC while she has a strong competent presence on the road. This is going to be a different kind of presidency. If you want change, you’re going to get it.

One thing really stood out: she barely mentioned Donald Trump and I can’t recall that she ever specifically said his name. There were only a couple of references to him. Very interesting.

You know who else she barely mentioned? Obama. Sorry about that, Heather. Pittsburgh bleeds Democrat, we’re definitely and proudly a diverse city and yet hardly a peep about Obama. Maybe she wants to distinguish herself as a change agent. Of course, she wouldn’t have to make quite such a distinction if he was as wildly, maniacally popular as some Democrats think. Something to think about.

Then it was over about an hour after it began. I beat a hasty retreat. The venue was claustrophobic, warm and we all should have used a lot more deodorant.

But definitely worth the wait if you get an invitation from your local Democratic party.

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

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo shares my views about the debates. If you’ve been paying attention, you can probably predict what Trump is going to do next in any scenario. The Washington Post definitely has Trump’s number. It looks like the NYTimes is getting a clue too. They will find the next 99 days extremely entertaining. {{smirk}}

But back to the debates. Trump has two choices: 1.) Try to get out of them. He’s already trying to do this. or 2.) have his supporters disrupt Clinton whenever she speaks. He could do this personally as well but I’m guessing he’ll just bring in some rowdy dudes who will behave extraordinarily badly.

Josh writes along these lines in How and Why Trump will Try to Ditch the Debates:

The requirement is simple: get out of the debates, make them not happen without seeming to be the one who’s running away or tanking them. Here’s how. I suspect Trump will start claiming that that the process is “rigged” because Gary Johnson and Jill Stein aren’t included. For better or worse (I think better), the debate commission rules are crystal clear: You need to hit 15% support in a certain number of major polls to be included. It’s highly unlikely Johnson will meet that threshold; it’s almost impossible that Stein will. Inclusion over exclusion has an inherent logic to it even if it’s obviously self-serving and not appropriate in this case. So I think Trump will find this a comfortable position from which to attack the debates themselves.

Trump does better in multi-person debates than one-on-ones. They’re much less debates in any real sense. They’re more like parallel taunt contests. The multi-person format also makes it easier to avoid policy detail. What’s more, Stein would certainly work with Trump in tag-teaming Hillary Clinton, putting her under fire from both the left and right. Johnson’s role is more uncertain. He less of an attack dog by temperament. And who he’d have more interest in attacking is less clear than it might seem. I’m sure Clinton would weather such a debate. But it’s clearly a less attractive option for her that a one on one with Trump.

What’s more, agreeing to such a debate in contravention of the debate commission rules and at Trump’s demand would show her giving into to Trump’s bullying, which would be extremely damaging quite apart from whether two person or four person debates are better in the abstract.

There is no possible way in Hell that Trump could win a substantive debate against Clinton. She is so good and chewed Obama up so badly in PA in 2008 that he had to slink off to North Carolina the next day to bluster and strut and nurse his wounds with his “dirt off my shoulder” routine. Yeah, Trump doesn’t stand a chance. She will make mincemeat of him. It will be yumiliating. He can’t have that. So, don’t expect to see him going mano-a-mano with his tiny little hands against Hillary without a lot of kicking and screaming.

It’s the last thing in the world he wants to do.

 

 

Varna in Violet

I went to see Hillary today in downtown Pittsburgh. If you follow my Twitter stream, you can get caught up with what happened. I’ll have more on it tomorrow. Tonight, I’m a little tired from standing for about 4 hours. If you have a chance to see her, you won’t regret it. She’s inspiring.

Tonight, I leave you with something really lovely and the ideal American-Russian collaboration. Joy Womack recently competed in the international ballet competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Varna is a biggy in the Ballet world. To perform well in Varna can have a profound effect on your career. Joy took silver. That’s fantastic considering how many dancers were competing.

Joy dances at the Kremlin Ballet in the heart of Moscow. She speaks fluent Russian and is a Bolshoi trained dancer. Her dance partner, Mikail Martynyuk, who did not compete, and her ballet teacher Zhanna (very long Russian last name I have to look up) went to Varna with her. Zhanna must be very proud of her student. And Misha is Joy’s rock. A talented dancer on his own, Misha is a tightly coiled spring and a sympathetic partner.

Here is their first round dance, the pas de deux from Le Corsaire. Relax and enjoy on a cloud of violet vapor.