Thursday, September 22, 2016

Which Trump Do You Love?

Viruses like HIV that have an extremely high mutation rate, like moving targets in general,  are hard to fight.  The same thing seems to be true of Donald Trump.  Not only a moving target, he's one that jumps from quantum state to quantum state and can be at two places at one time.

Many people seem to have trouble understanding how he can make a fool of himself over and over again and suffer no adverse consequences. Trump himself has commented, with no small degree of smugness, that he can get away with anything, and indeed discussing one day's outrageous statement or act is difficult because it's so soon swamped by today's outrageous and sometimes contradictory statement. One day he's going to put millions in boxcars and send them to camps, the next day he's going to be compassionate. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, fade away like smoke.

My estimation of Charles Krauthammer has never included objectivity, so it's still surprising to read this morning's column saying essentially the same thing: that there is a constant stream of new Trumps emerging and evolving from the original strain. Never the Same Trump Twice.  All those expensive Clinton ads showing people being grossly insulted by Donald's angry ravings make his opponents glad at heart, but do they work on those so desperately clinging to the delusion that he's not a thug and a bully and an ignoramus and a liar pandering to the worst of the worst?  He can tell us that Hillary Clinton quite literally founded ISIS and the next day deny it and the following day repeat it and America with it's heads spinning simply forgets the details and only remembers to associate any Clinton supporter with apocalyptic disaster and the darkest of evil. He knows better than the Generals?  He's going to "carpet bomb" ISIS? He's going to change the prime rate, take direct control of the troops, invoade the Middle East and take the oil home ina bucket? He's going to fix the schools?  He's going to make the US look like some walled Sumerian city-state from 3000 BC? Is there time to mention that he can't, that no president would have the power or the funds or the time or the support from Congress or the Court?  Before you can drum that into the many-headed beast of America, he's elsewhere telling us about his heroic sacrifice for our country which consists of sleazy and illegal business deals.

Can anyone get Americans to consider the enormity of refusing to divest himself from hundreds of offshore business relationships, some in strategic countries like Turkey? Refusing to show us his sources of income, his debts and to whom he owes millions.  Can anyone get Trumpers to care that he steals from a charity with his name on it to pay his lawyers to shield him from punishment? Hell no, they're too busy braying like asses about Crooked Hillary.

The Democratic ads and essays might as well be written on water. The Trump of ten minutes ago is no more, yet the Trump goes marching on.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

These are Those Interesting Times

I think it's OK for me to call these interesting times. It may be that hackers with no intent to do so may allow historians to write a more accurate history of the 8 years of George Bush, that period that seems to have changed  the world for the worse is so many ways, taking the US from a thriving economy of surplus to nearly bankrupt, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands at least, destroying countries, societies, cities and thousands of years of history. Reading the emails from Powel's private server is like opening doors and windows and file cabinets that have been locked for decades. How would we know that Rudy Guiliani actually admits that Obama is a decent man or that Powell thinks the Benghazi thing is a stupid "witch hunt" and she's not to blame? Of course deplorable Trumpsters won't read that, but we will and historians will.

Amongst the national noisemakers, the editors, disguisers, redactors and inventors of history, there may be consternation in reading the letters of Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice that excoriate Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and Paul  Wolfowitz -- names we're not hearing much about any more. In fact we're not hearing much about W any more either, now that the zombiemakers in the media and the GOP have hidden them behind a wall of denial that Donald can only feel jealous of.  It's all about pathological Hillaryhate as it once was all about pathological Clintonhate. All the bad things of the GWB administration have become Hillary things, Obama things.

Anyway, it's nice to hear those in the know - and Rice and Powell certainly in the know call HRC qualified, with a long "track record" and a respected friend, even if the General is a bit miffed at the attempt to compare his private email server to her email server and Rice's private email server.

I don't imagine he will come out and endorse her, but if there are historians left after the Trumpocalypse, to write about what happened after the GOP destroyed America, becaus perhaps two thousand years from now people will have some idea that the howling, smoking, radioactive remains of America once was and who destroyed it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Party First

More e-mail hacks!  It makes me wonder whether we should allow government officials to use e-mail at all.  Nothing seems beyond the reach of hackers, government backed or independent. Colin Powell's furious trashing of Donald Trump, the medical records of sports figures and all the other "scandals" we are forced to listen to. Perhaps we should look at our communications as a form of publishing.

Of course it's amusing to read former General, Joint Chief of Staff and Secretary of State rant about Trump as an international pariah, national embarrassment and damned racist, but when Mr. National Embarrassment calls on foreign governments led by a former KGB director to hack into the communications of a former secretary of state: someone with the ability to do just that, I think we have a crisis at hand. Electronic communications are not secure. This latest hack may have been Russian in origin.
“There is nothing [Trump] can say that will sway black VOTERS…He takes us for idiots. He can never overcome what he tried to do to Obama with his search for the birth certificate…the whole birther movement was racist…And for him to say yesterday that within four years he would have 95% of blacks voting for him is schizo fantasy.”
But wouldn't it be nice if courageous people like Powell, people with a great deal of bi-partisan prestige would simply come out and tell us what they felt?  It's not easy to understand his reticence after Republican leaders have used him, embarrassed him and tarnished his reputation by having him read false stories to the UN about Mobile Chemical Weapons Labs the president knew were British Weather stations?
“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist. That’s what the 99% believe. When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim.”
He's right, Trumps Birther campaign was racist and Trump know all along he had no "insider' in Hawaii with the world shaking information he swore he had and Trump even attempted to tell us that non-existent document proved he was a Muslim as though people are born with a religion.

Powell tells us Hillary could have bypassed the whole e-mail fiasco if she had told us what she had done earlier. Perhaps, although I don't think Powell tod us he had done the same thing, but I have to ask why he hasn't told us about the horrors of what the GOP has done and is doing. Is this another case of  Party über alles?  GOP first, American last?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


A disaster.  Obama's policies have been a dis-ASTER! says one millionaire to the other like some kind of a club password or secret society handshake. How so? I ask and just what policies do you mean?  Things get quiet really quick and I can almost hear the unspoken malediction: "y'ain't from aroun' here, arya?"

No I'm not, I'm from a place called reality and it can be a lonesome place for sure. Fact is, the only disaster  since Cheney and the Chimp left Washington has been the inability to perform even one duty of office without all-time filibuster records and total obfuscation. The guy couldn't order a hamberger from a drive-in window without the Jack-in-the Box Republicans trying to stop him, but the "Obama Disaster" is still one of the tent poles that holds up the GOP circus tent. No, he would be a tyrant and would be "trashing the constitution" by appointing cabinet members, but the constitutional mandate for the Senate to discuss his SCOTUS appointment?  Don't ask because you'll have to hold your nose for the answer.

Seems not too long ago that the Dow Jones was at 6,400. after an 8 year stretch of Bush's policies of borrow, spend, and cut revenue. Today was a bit of a disaster for my portfolio but it's still over 18,000, just off some all-time market highs. Disaster.

Today's Census Bureau figures show US household incomes up 5.2%  -- the fastest increase since the end of the Bush Recession, Strange because wage stagnation is another one of the tent poles and yes unemployment is near record lows too, but you know it's magic tent. It really doesn't need poles, it's held up by faith: faith that "Hillary's agenda" and her "policies" will be just as bad as her husbands and Obama's.  We can only hope they are.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Charles Krauthammer -- Still an Asshole

Some have been tempted to cut Charles Krauthammer some slack of late, since he's decided to recognize the dangers of a Trump presidency, but he's still an asshole.

The world disdains Barack Obama and he's earned it, he says. There are no actual statistics to prove it, only a handful of anecdotes that support the idea that our enemies don't like him.  Countries engaged in military aggression and expansion have publicly snubbed him: China by making him wait and Russia by making him wait and Iran dislikes him too. Of course Putin kept the pope waiting too, but you wouldn't expect an Atheist dictator and imperialist to do otherwise. In fact you might say raising the enmity of  enemies of freedom would be a good thing for a powerful Western leader who has stood up to them. But is China or Russia "the world" or the enemy? If you're dumb or a Republican you just won't think to ask. Maybe you'll raise your right arm in salute, but you won't ask why Putin would prefer someone who is against NATO and doesn't care if he takes back Poland and Hungary and East Germany,. . .

But Not Charles Krauthammer. Not the Charles Krauthammer who is smart enough and educated enough to raise inapposite parallels and make false conclusions. Those who pander to the angry rabble and supply them with food for further anger like to portray the ideal leader as someone the world should fear.

His attempt to impress us with a comparison of Obama with Secretary of State Henry Stimson who in 1929 declared we wouldn't be indulging in code breaking may be indicative of the isolationism of the Republican Hoover administration in the 1920's but the implication that the US is not indulging and successfully in espionage is without any factual support, which is my way of saying it's a damn lie on top of being a baseless smear against Obama.  Somehow that Putin admires Trump makes such statements stink even worse.

Yes, he's right about Russian and Chinese expansionism but that Obama has stopped short of Nuking them isn't a bad thing. That he simply carries on knowing we are militarily unassailable and on the high ground in support of the free world isn't the same thing as the humiliation Krauthammer sees. I'm tempted to add my suspicion that those who feel humiliation from every angle are the ones with the weakness problem, the lack of self esteem, the fear, but I'll leave that to the shrinks.  Meanwhile the enemy of our enemy is not really our friend and Charles Krauthammer is still an asshole.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The last days of America

You watch them sitting there, some in VFW hats looking like aged Boy Scouts trying to sit through a lecture on Balbus-Hawley Instability without falling asleep or revealing total incomprehension. Some of them like lobotomy patients nodding together from their rocking chairs on some asylum veranda.  They have mostly little questions about how the presidential hopeful would solve things a president has nothing to do with: how would you end discrimination, how would you end poverty and change human nature.

The moderator tries hard to control his anger as the candidate evades every question and every unsuccessful attempt to put the question back on the podium. The men in funny hats nod.

In living rooms all over the nation there are those so outraged they will spend a sleepless night pretending they can respond to suggestions that the centuries old strife in the Middle East began with Hillary Clinton and her invention of the Islamic State, her autocratic and premature withdrawal of American troops from a decade old occupation.  Indeed Hillary of the emails is the devil in all details and particularly the fictional ones. But of course, since she's been the de-facto president of the United States for nearly 30 years, the very principle of evil itself and the sole cause of the current disaster. And believe me it's a disaster, in fact it's huge.

You'd think some of the Admirals and Generals Trump claims to have as supporters would remember that the troops in Iraq were withdrawn under a schedule set by George Bush and the Iraqi government -- that the cover story under which the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld junta operated was that we were liberating Iraq from a tyrant and allowing them to set up the Liberal Western Democracy they claimed was the default state of the human species. We wanted to reassure the suspicious world that this was not a conquest, an attempt to claim Iraqi resources and to exploit them for our benefit and at their expense.

Trump of course is good at appealing to our collective atavisms. We should have made it a conquest and "taken their oil" as though we could put it in a bucket and taken it home like a trophy.  The mechanics of  making Iraq a colony under our iron clad control?  Only the deeply deficient would fail to ask. Only the morally vacant would fail to protest - yet the audience stares into the cameras and nods.

They stare with empty faces like those in the early stages of Alzheimer's dementia as Trump brags about the success of his triumphant trip to Mexico, about how the world is mocking us, testing us, threatening us, even raping us. He brags about how he would have walked away from the G-20 conference in all his greatness and taken his ball and bat with him. They nod, dreaming about a simple world and simple solutions even they can understand. Some manage to smile,

Hillary of the eternal emails. Hillary who took us to war on false pretenses, who condemned at least a generation to paying for it with lives, with money and with a world gone mad. Hillary the crook, Hillary the war monger, Hillary the Satan worshipper, Hillary who ran up the debt more than any president, who tried to pay for the most expensive war in our history by giving tax breaks to Donald Trump. Crooked Hillary who runs fraudulent businesses and bribes officials to avoid prosecution, who has avoided paying taxes in his supreme sacrifice for America's greatness.

88 Generals -- really? After telling them he knows ISIS better than they do? Who tells them his qualification to be commander in chief was  "making deals?"  I'm sure they're impressed and looking forward to a truly massive war and decades of bloody occupation. I'm sure they're impressed by his suggestions of a nuclear interchange, of making deals with dangerous tyrants, with hints of giving back the Soviet territories at long last liberated. Surely all the while he was making deals all these years he was really only thinking of making America Great and formulating deals and plans and invasions to make it happen.  After all this is the man who says he's sacrificed for his country as much as those who lost life and limb in Hillary Clinton's wars!

Nod along America. These are our last years. This is the failure of all our dreams, the final snub to those who truly thought we could be the light of the world and tried to make it happen.

Monday, September 05, 2016

The tin Drum

I have no idea why Americans continue to look to athletes and entertainers for sanctification of their opinions, but it is amusing to watch the media try to make a big issue out of  Colin Kaepernick and his little personal demonstration. The first thing I heard on the TV this morning was that some other athlete had done the same thing in support. I'd hate to have been the news reader trying to keep a straight face while declaring this a "growing trend."  That's two out of three hundred twenty million! Why if this trend continues. . .

Yes, I know it's an election year and this requires an "all outrage, all the time" policy, but to put up with the endless tramp of Trump, Trump, Trump, like boots marching in the street is enough, thank you very much, or should I say Danke Schöen. We don't need anything more.

I'm not about to tolerate a government that can or will demand oaths or spoken rituals or demonstrations or any other form of star spangled blather. Freedom of expression, freedom of thought, of conscience and belief. These are not something granted by a government, but are the very cornerstone of a government whose foundation is that freedom.

Or as we used to say in Brooklyn: I gotcha anthem right heah!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Donald does Detroit

Or at least he tried to and I mean do in the sense of screw. Who thinks that today's speech wasn't written by some staff member to mimic the rhetoric and cadence of a black preacher as the non-black public envisions one?  Who thinks the shot of Donald gyrating with the gospel choir was pandering and that he hasn't been in a whole lot of churches of any kind in a very long time? Pretty much everyone that watched.

Oh Donny, you're a man for all places and all seasons, but only if those seasons are named Lie, Cheat, Steal and Misrepresent. The odds that you knew that or any other Gospel Quote before yesterday are about the same as the odds that you pay any Federal Income Tax.

I have a feeling that you've made more enemies than you had before because it sure seems that you expected the intended audience to be unsophisticated enough and too anxious to please a rich white man not to feel the condescension. The day of minstrel shows is long over Donny. Wipe off the blackface and go home to your penthouse.

Je ne suis pas Charlie

Remember when we were falling all over ourselves to post a "Je Suis Charlie" picture somewhere?  Of course we wanted to stand up for freedom, but since none of us had really heard of that French language magazine or were familiar with the kind of thing they print, it was all so easy to flatter ourselves that we're noble defenders and not lemmings.

So what do you think of their cartoon showing a multi layer collapsed building with the arms and legs of squashed Italian corpses oozing out and calling it lasagna?  Gratuitously tasteless, heartless and disgusting come to mind rather rapidly.

Nothing of the sort that justifies slaughter of course, just enough to raise questions about whether they learned anything about humanity and decency and compassion from it.  Suddenly I'm not so Charlie any more.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Taco Terrorism!

A chicken in every pot, 40 acres and a mule -- political promises are the fabric of election year rhetoric. One might think "a taco truck on every corner" would be such a promise, but this is racist and xenophobic America and it's a promise meant to terrify us like the "yellow peril" and the "red menace" once did. Sure, most Americans aren't old enough to remember and are too proudly ignorant to care, but I remember when pizza and even spaghetti were "foreign" food in a land of white bread, roast beef and potatoes. There was a time when Hamburgers and Frankfurters were foreign as well.

Now that the forward into the past movement seems to have taken over our dreams (or for some, our nightmares) the concept of more widely available Mexican or Tex-Mex food can be frightening, even for some of us of Mexican origin. Frightening even though the long history of our country's dietary improvement has been a history of expanded choices and better food. Most frightening is that Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez has commented that without more xenophobic immigration policies as proposed by that tin-horn Hitler Donald Trump, that's just what we would have.

Now the county I live in is, along with some contiguous areas, still heavily agricultural. At one time the sugar cane was cut by Jamaicans and the oranges and other fruit picked by Hispanics, but today only the latter remain in quantity. I don't know of any Jamaican restaurants, more's the pity, but there certainly are Mexican and Guatemalan establishments although I'd like to see more and yes, a few more taco trucks.  Great places to get great food when you don't want to go into a sit-down restaurant.  Is this more of a threat than a Jewish Deli on the Lower East side, a German beer garden in Milwaukee, a Cuban restaurant in Hialeah or a Pizzeria on Mott Street? A taco truck on every corner indeed. Unless you own a McDogfood or you're a racist piece of shit, why wouldn't you be happy about it?  Maybe you could just call them freedom rolls.

I guess it's no stranger than the existence of Latinos for Trump itself,  or Gays for Phelps or Christians for Krishna.  People are crazy -- as though we aren't reminded every time we watch or read or try to run away from the news!