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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 54,588

Journal Archives

"New Rule"


Former Trump advisor reportedly sends letter to McCain threatening USA on behalf of Russia


posting this here (because):
The DHS/FBI report on Russia's cyber hacking

WAPO Reporter David Farenthold re: Trump: Call him President Bubble Boy

From a long, fascinating story by Washington Post reporter David Farenthold on his long efforts to find out about Trump’s claims to have given millions to charities:

By the end of the election, I felt I’d done my job. My last big story about Trump started with an amazing anecdote, which came from a tip from a reader. In 1996, Trump had crashed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a charity opening a nursery school for children with AIDS. Trump, who had never donated to the charity, stole a seat onstage that had been saved for a big contributor.

He sat there through the whole ceremony, singing along with the choir of children as cameras snapped, and then left without giving a dime.

“All of this is completely consistent with who Trump is,” Tony Schwartz, Trump’s co-author on his 1987 book “The Art of the Deal,” told me. “He’s a man who operates inside a tiny bubble that never extends beyond what he believes is his self-interest.”

“If your worldview is only you — if all you’re seeing is a mirror — then there’s nobody to give money to,” Schwartz said. “Except yourself.”


The only people I know personally on Obamacare - voted for Trump

Before the election, they told me who they were voting for and why

They had just come back from vacation in Utah, Colorado & Idaho to visit several National Parks with their Public School Educated children. They traveled on public roads. Both are on Social Security now.

They said, if I traveled at all (I do) I would understand that US citizens are tired of the status quo. They also insisted Hillary was an east coast elitist criminal.

Unfortunately all I could offer was a gasp.

Trump transition takes swipe at President Obama: The people elected a real man, a true man

Epshteyn argued that Trump was “already the leader of this country.”

“It’s about the message — it’s about the message of America being the city on a hill once again,” the adviser opined. “About America being a leader in the world once again. And that’s what Donald J. Trump is going to be speaking about.”

“Of course, there’s going to be a lot of the authentic parts of Donald Trump,” Epshteyn said of the inaugural address. “Because that’s why he is the president-elect, that’s why he’s becoming president because the people elected a real man, a true man, a man who loves this country to the very bottom of his heart.”


What does left-wing, right-wing, chicken wing, any wing have to do with asking the PEOTUS questions?

Incoming WH Press Sec. Sean Spicer tells Hugh Hewitt Trump press conferences are "engagement with left-wing media":


How about that taco-truck hating Mexican-American guy?


Simon & Schuster give leading white nationalist $250K book deal


Yes, The Media Spent The Election Teaching Americans How To Love A Dictator

You watch "Say Yes to the Dress," don't you? "Real Housewives of Atlanta"? You keep up with the Kardashians? Like those nominally unscripted soaps, the Trump Show is a guilty pleasure, too digital junk food, political empty calories, the "reality" formerly known as reality. Trump's hat may say "Make America Great Again," but his meta-hat says, Let me entertain you. The twitter taunts, the billionaire boys club, the mayhem at rallies, the humiliated rivals, the insulted, dishonest media: As Russell Crowe asks in "Gladiator," "Are you not entertained?"

Look at the promotional campaign MSNBC is running for its anchors. The print ad features a tight close-up of Trump's face. The text reads, "What will he do?" Beneath that, "What won't he do?" And beneath that, an indictment not of him, but of us: "This is why you watch." At the bottom, flanked by photos of its anchors, are the MSNBC logo and a tag line: "This is who we are." New York magazine writer Joe Hagan tweeted about it, "This ad nails everything that is wrong with the media. Fascism as ratings spectacle." If you grieve over the audience's addiction to disaster porn, if you mourn the news-as-entertainment business model that fostered it, then you're bound to feel guilty about watching, and you've got a rough ride ahead. But if, instead, you treat boredom like a fate worse than tyranny, if you medicate civic ADHD with always-breaking BREAKING NEWS, if you mistake engagement with social media for actual citizen participation, you're gonna rock these next four years.

Trump voters love the rupture with the American political narrative that he ran on. But if the popular vote is any guide to the country's mood, I suspect that fear of the future is now more widespread than exhilaration that anything can happen. The truth is that no one has a clue what's next. That's not fun; it's frightening.

The next commander-in-chief is an impulsive, deceitful, corrupt, intellectually lazy megalomaniac. That's a delicious character disorder for the villain of a comic book, and it's ideally suited to a news industry whose audience is addicted to melodrama and whose narrative technique maximizes suspense, surprise and dread. Though horror is a thrilling genre, and real-time tension is irresistible to our animal appetites, there's no guarantee that the scary story we're living through will have a happy ending.

the rest:


One can draw too many inferences from a life spent online, but I see a lot of antagonism towards The Left, and by The Left I just mean people who, before the whole Clinton/Sanders spat erupted, were pretty solidly in the mainstream of the online Left, a group which was the on the left wing of the democratic party, but not exactly planning on leading the communist revolution. Policy positions that I thought were pretty standard fare are now dismissed because they're associated with Sanders, and therefore associated with Berniebros, and therefore the people who didn't vote for Hillary Clinton and therefore the people who are to blame for all of this. There are a lot of assumptions in there (and of course I'm making gross generalizations I recognize), as on the internet no one knows you're a dog. But basically there's a chain of them which goes from support of policy ideas which were pretty standard stuff before the primary means you didn't vote for Clinton which means it's all your fault.

I don't have much patience for lefties who pay enough attention to politics to argue about it online and who chose not to vote for Clinton, but I also know a lot of people who are lefties, did support Sanders, did support Clinton after the primary was over, did tell other people to vote for her, and did (they say) vote for her, who get a lot of shit because reasons I haven't yet figured out. Basically, shutup you supported Sanders! I mean, hate Bernie if you want, but getting mad at people who voted for him and then going on to dismiss a political agenda because it's associated with him is pretty weird. I see a lot flaming liberals now sounding like Max Baucus for reasons I don't quite understand. I'm not a "Bernie would have won" guy and I tend not to put much stock in any monocausal explanations for a lost close election, but I suspect the doubling down on what Washington perceives as centrism (but which isn't meaningfully "centrism") isn't really the way to go.*

Yes there be assholes on the internet, but the actual primary as waged between the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was the gentlest most mildly "fought" presidential primary contest I've ever seen. Clinton and Obama were assholes to to each other in 2008, everyone was assholes to everybody in 2004, and Gore and Bradley (remember him?) were assholes to each other in 2000.

*This is too much for this blog post, but here's where people chime in and say "Hillary Clinton had the most progressive platform ever!" That's true enough, but Clinton also has a long history, a long set of associations, a voting record, a record of public statements,and ran a campaign which explicitly and implicitly rested on continuing the Obama agenda. I'm no Obama hater, either, but he also explicitly embraced the identity of the left leaning version of centrism. I'm aware that in 2008 plenty of people hoped (hah) and believed that Obama was secretly a lot more liberal than his campaign suggested, but anyone who paid attention knew that the campaign as staged was basically between two centrists.

Democratic centrism isn't the same as Republican centrism. It's better! For example, it isn't true that Obamacare is just the Heritage Foundation health care plan. It's better! But it's still based on the same blueprint. It's still deep in the ideology of centrism which still only flirts with more solid Lefty positions. Democratic centrism still doesn't see that things are fucked up and bullshit, and going on 40 years of ideological centrism has been the problem, not the solution. It still laughs at those crazy lefties and their "unicorn" ideas. It still sees centrism as both the only achievable thing (perhaps true!) and the only politically popular thing (likely not true!). It's still an ideology which sees that political wisdom is found in talking to Joe Klein, David Brooks, and Tom Friedman. It's politics that sees winning elections as winning over the Charlie Rose Green room while signalling some cultural affiliations with the rubes in Fritters every four years.

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