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    • The Cruelty and Stupidity Of Trumpian Homelessness Rhetoric
      From a study by his officials: In the report, “The State of Homelessness in America,” even shelters get some of the blame for increasing the number of people who are homeless.The argument: Some people would be able to find their own housing if they were turned away from shelters. “While shelters play an extremely important role […]
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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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FWIW JMHO: Hillary vs Bernie

pie-fight-primaryDisclaimer: In the following, I’m not referring to all Bernie people. There are plenty of Bernie people who are pretty good people who just want to make sure their issues are addressed.

So, the NYTimes says that Bernie is going to try to damage Hillary all the way to California and beyond. Encouraging his supporters to vote for him because <list of reasons why Bernie would be better, include significant accomplishments> is just not enough. California is a big prize and it would indeed be a plum to take it away from Hillary.

But Bernie should be aware that you *can* win California (NY, NJ, PA, OH, FL, MI, TX, MA etc), win the popular vote and still lose the nomination. Go ask Hillary.

Bernie wants another debate before the California primary. If I were Clinton, I’d give it to him. What I think some voters want to see is an anti-Dukakis moment from Hillary. I think she can do this.

Finally, the left has to step up and make the Bernie Bros behave. Yes, it’s time to cut the sexist shit out and step up and do the right thing guys. These assholes are out of control. They think that they can use intimidation and breath holding and harrassment and everyone is going to give into them because they infiltrated caucuses and flipped some delegates in an backdoor strategy and generally made a nuisance of themselves.

This is unrealistic.

It’s unrealistic because as I pointed out before, you can still win California by 10 points and lose the nomination. If the media is on your side, you can be carried to the nomination in a sedan chair. And although the media is having a field day watching this pie fight, I see no indication that they are backing Bernie the way they slavishly fellated Obama in 2008.

No, the media is saving its worst work for the general between Hillary and Trump.

Secondly, Bernie Bros need to realize that there are other people who exist who prefer their own candidate and it is not Bernie. Even if the party does decide to ditch Hillary- again- that doesn’t mean that her voters are going to pivot and support Bernie in the fall if he gets the nomination via a coup. They were asked to do that for a man they didn’t believe in for the 2008 campaign and they’re not going to do it again. These guys need to understand this. There will be a fury they won’t see coming. We do have feelings and anger is one of the ones they don’t want stir. Don’t even. I’m serious.

I’m calling on all left blogosphere guys to tell these assholes to stop. Stop the dehumunization of Hillary Clinton.

Stop the double standard.

Stop the stupid hand wringing about whether a senator who has been elected twice, can run a campaign.

Stop believing the crap about the 2008 campaign that doesn’t acknowledge the piling on, the media collaboration, the flood of Wall Street money to Obama and the party back stabbing.

Stop abetting the overt sexism.

Stop sitting on the sidelines without commenting on the truly bad behavior and ridiculous intimidation.

Stop pretending that this is the same crap any male candidate opposing Sanders would get.

It’s on YOU to rein in these assholes. Some of you were these assholes in 2008 and how did that go for you? Did Obama give you everything you wanted? Is it possible that you weren’t entirely accurate?

If you don’t rein them in and crack down, you bear some of the responsibility for what comes next.

Step up and act like decent human beings.

How to handle online harrassment

For you Game of Thrones fans, see this youtube video from GoT Academy for background discussion of the meaning behind what Dany does here. As fantasy fans know, it’s about more than the fantasy.

For you non Game of Thrones fans, a quick recap:

Danaerys started the series as a exiled princess, sold into marriage by her brother to a barbarous Khal Drogo, a leader of the Dothraki horse people. Turns out the Khal was enlightened as sexist Dothraki assholes go so she learned to rule as a Khaleesi, which is something like a Dothraki queen. But Khal Drogo died prematurely and instead of going off to the Dosh Khaleen, sort of a retirement home for ex-Khaleesi’s, Dany decides to hatch some dragons, free some slaves and, in general, become something of a badass.

Anyway, by a turn of fate, she ends up in the hands of the Dothraki again, who take her prisoner, walk her to their city in the sea of grass, and are determined to lock her up with the other widows. But first, the Khals have to decide if she’s even good enough to be locked away for life. Or do they have other plans for her.

We’ll see about that…

Wonderful Wednesday after Tremendous Tuesday: Short Notes

I’m awake now. Here are some thots in no particular order, feel free to add yours to the comments:

1.) Obama is supposed to pick a supreme court replacement today. I’m guessing that whoever it is will not really upset the stranglehold that conservatives have on the court especially with respect to the wealthy and well connected. I mean, he’s got to make a living after his term is over. Can’t upset his patrons too much. Besides, the Republicans would be stupid to turn him down on this even if they have to give up on overturning Roe v Wade. They’ve gotten pretty much all they wanted on abortion and they can always cynically fire up their base about it for the upcoming general election. They know how this works.

And so do we.

Here’s a blurb about Obama’s potential picks and strategy:

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said Mr. Obama must decide whether to pick a “grand-slam” candidate — one like Judge Srinivasan, who is young, moderate and could have a profound effect on the court — or a “sacrifice fly,” like Judge Watford, an impressive judge whose positions on the death penalty and immigration would draw criticism from conservatives but whose nomination could exact a political price from Republicans who oppose him.

“The Obama White House are the ultimate practitioners of realpolitik — they have to be making a careful calculus, but the real question is not how do they win, it’s what game are they playing?” Mr. Turley said.

The choice depends in large part, they said, on whether Mr. Obama believes his nominee ultimately has a chance at being confirmed: “At best, the White House is looking at a highly contested nomination, and in those circumstances, the president generally will look for someone who is thoroughly moderate or a blind date.”

Judge Srinivasan, who would be the court’s first Indian-American, has the shortest judicial record of the three, which could limit the potential for conservative attacks, but also makes him a bit of an ideological cipher. Judge Watford, an African-American, could be the most liberal of the nominees, and did not get the kind of universal support that Judge Srinivasan did during his previous confirmation battle.

Um, from what I can recall, Srinivasan represented Enron at some point.

In any case, it ain’t going to be a liberal. As long as the court was 5-4 in favor of the conservatives, Obama could potentially nominate a more liberal-ish justice. We still have no idea how liberal Kagan and Sotomayor are because the other 5 justices are so far to the right. Yes, even Kennedy.

But as soon as one of the 5 died, it became important to restore the “balance”.

Just wait.

Toldja.

2.) Bernie people are welcome here. Except for the Butthurt guys (they are almost always guys).

3.) At this time in 2008, Hillary was crushing Barack Obama. Yep, go back and look. If you had added Florida and Michigan delegates to her totals, something the party deliberately withheld and the media never questioned, she would have appeared unstoppable. But stop her the party did, in favor of a guy who kept winning places like Idaho instead of the woman who won CA, MA, NY, NJ, PA, OH, TX, etc, etc. ( I’m always amused by the media people who insist that it would be *inconceivable* for a party to ignore the majority of their voters who want a particular candidate. We’ve seen that it can happen very easily and the party just muzzles the majority of its voters. That may come back to bite it eight years later when they find that some of their “old coalition” has defected to Donald Trump. You tried to warn them but did they listen?)  All I’m saying is that Hillary can never, ever let her guard down with her own party. There is an element in the party that is not ever going to accept her. But the Democrats are much more tolerant of sexism than racism. Let’s just admit that. And that means they rejected her in 2008, made her wait eight painful years, and will persist in withholding full acceptance because for these guys (and they are almost always guys) there is always another guy out there who is more profound, a genius, underappreciated, wise, younger than he looks blah-blah-blah. They will believe absolutely everything negative that is said about Hillary. It’s confirmation bias. So, for her, it will always be an uphill climb.

4.) That being said, she could make it a bit easier on herself if she stopped fluffing Obama and sang her own praises. Any guy from the party who runs next time will make damn sure to distance himself from her accomplishments. And in this case, Obama doesn’t really have significant accomplishments. There aren’t a lot of Obamacare fans out here, Hillary. Plus, no president in his right mind would pass up the chance to take out Bin Laden. It’s expected. So, you know, time to think of yourself. That’s what the sincere Bernie supporter is telling you. They’re desperate for a real change agent.

5.)  I was listening to CNN and their “journalists” really are clueless. It turns out that Trump supporters are “very concerned” with the economy. But the “journalists” say that these same people report that they are holding their own. My guess is that those people know people who have fallen through the big gaping holes in what used to be known as the safety net and they are worried sick that it will happen to them. Count me among the well known horror stories in my family. A college education and career in a STEM profession didn’t help me- at. all. It has been truly awful in ways I can’t even describe. THAT’S what could happen to any one of them.

And so what if gas prices have fallen. Have you seen the price of beef?? Just about a month ago, a single broccolli crown in one of the nicer grocery stores here cost $3.99. When did broccolli become an endangered species? So, you know, it’s still rough out here for those of us who had to go back to entry level jobs to make a living. If you’re living in Atlanta and you are a “journalist” making a couple hundred thousand working for CNN, maybe this is not obvious to you. Try to acknowledge that.

6.) Another episode of “The People vs OJ Simpson” dropped last night. One of the things I didn’t know about this case was how strenuously OJ objected to be seen as a black man. Johnny Cochran had to unwhiten his estate before the jury took a walk through, and brought african american art and personal photos from his own house to stage Simpson’s house. Oj Simpson’s peers were his neighbors in Brentwood, the people he golfed with, the wealthy white sports team owners, hot white women, and other people with privilege and power. Cochran had to erase all of that when the trial was moved from Santa Monica courthouse to downtown LA and he was phenomenally successful in changing Simpson from a man of privilege who hadn’t known hardship in twenty years, to a black man who was oppressed by the system.

But those of us who watched the evidence from the distance of two thousand miles away knew he was guilty. We also knew that his dream team cynically screamed racism for a guy who didn’t give two fucks for the people who acquitted him and would never be seen in their company. If they only knew what contempt he had for them and how helping them was the absolutely last thing on his agenda, would they have still voted to acquit? I wonder…

7.) Renegade female biologists strike the first blow on the science journal racket and post their preprints to the web in advance of publishing. Sweeet!