Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chris Hedges: America as Tinderbox?





This interview is a few years old, but Hedges' prescient points are even more pertinent today as the fury smoldering out there among the people intensifies and reaches a breaking point. Will it? Or will the circus simply continue to entertain, until there is no bread.  Hedges warnings are essential about the possible public response to the "corporate coup d'etat" that is America in 2017. We have no more deeply committed thinker than Chris Hedges. A deeply spiritual, honorable man who stands tall in the face of truth.

I Got to Laugh to Keep From Cryin'



      
Sorry!  Here's a link to the video. Treat yourself. It's wonderful!

 I was grateful to have that little comedy to cheer me up this morning, but can't help but wonder how much worse things can get, will get, if this DC madness continues for 6 months, a year, more? It's strictly Down-the-rabbit-hole stuff every day, no end in sight. Black is white and up is down. If the citizens who voted for the GOP for the last 20 years fail to awaken from their wilful stupor, we're doomed. Because the Democrats are the party of Wishful Thinkers, like Mr. Leonhardt below, who simply are too nice to see that the New GOP nutjobs do not and will never play nice. Kinda makes you wish Jesus would come back and smite these fekkers good.

David Leonhardt's bit in the NY Times this morning wherein he "hopefully" expresses his wish (wishfully, that is) that Republicans might yet come to Jesus and stop being so damned stingy prompted some of the strongest, clear-eyed responses I've read in months.

Here's a sampling:

"As long as this neighbor versus neighbor attitude dominates the political landscape the masses will be the loser. They more politicians can play one group against another nothing will get accomplished accept the rich will get richer and the poor poorer. Citizens of the US don't seem to get it. Until they do they will suffer in this morass."

DD
Manhattan



And from Don Shipp,

Homestead Florida 2 hours ago

"This bill is a moral Rubicon. It offers the clearest moral choice of any piece legislation since the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Any Senator who votes to cut 22 million poor and disadvantaged Americans from basic health care, defund planned parenthood, and raise the maximum allowable limit on senior citizen health premiums by 67%, in order to fund a sordid $800 billion dollar plus, tax cut for the wealthy, is guilty of a shameful political crime against the most vulnerable Americans. People will die prematurely if this bill passes.The ethically squalid, secret process, orchestrated by Mitch McConnell's "Baker's Dozen" was the epitome of political cynicism and only adds to the infamy of this legislation."

Thank you, Mr. Shipp, that summarizes things nicely.
What a shitshow we are living. 

Oh, the Horror!

Oh, and pulleese! Do NOT try and tell me Susan Collins is moved with compassion for her fellow Mainers. If you call her office, they'll inform you she's for dumping the Medicaid program on the states. Behind the scenes she has her eye on the next race for governor of this shameful state with its mad, vengeful current fascist provincial governor and milque toast legislature. There have been any number of things a woman of 'conscience' could have done in her position this year to stop the Trump Runaway Train; none of which she did when given the opportunity.

She's as shameless as the rest of them.



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Opera vs. Trump (Rossini Edition)



Sheer genius!!!! Grazie!!

And then there's this, from Harper's Weekly:

June 6, 2017
By Joe Kloc     

   
U.S. president Donald Trump, whose golf course in Ireland once requested permission from local authorities to build a wall to protect against sea-level rise, pulled out of the Paris climate agreement; defended the decision by saying he was elected not by Paris but by Pittsburgh, a city he lost in 2016; and proclaimed June to be National Ocean Month. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump was the "best messenger" for his administration, and a poll found that 61 percent of Americans think Trump hurts his administration when he speaks. Trump asked his Twitter followers to figure out the "true meaning" of a word he invented as part of a sentence fragment he tweeted the previous night, Trump's communications director resigned, four candidates asked to fill the job opening told the White House they did not want to be considered, and other potential candidates equated the job to "career suicide" and "a horrific bungee-jumping accident." One White House official issued a statement saying that Trump had a "magnetic personality" and "exuded positive energy," and another White House official told a reporter that Trump had become "glum," gained weight, trusted no one, and "now lives within himself." 

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is currently a person of interest in the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign for allegedly attempting to establish a secret communication channel between the Trump Administration and the Kremlin, was reported to have met in December with Sergey Gorkov, a former FSB classmate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who later appointed Gorkov as head of the state-owned VneshEconomBank, which was sanctioned by the United States and later the European Union in 2014. The White House said the meeting between Gorkov and Kushner covered diplomatic issues, and Gorkov said it was a business meeting. Trump tweeted a news story claiming that anonymous sources say Kushner did not attempt to set up communications with Russia, and Trump also tweeted that it is "very possible" stories citing anonymous sources are "made up." 


A Republican congressman from Nebraska refused to say whether people were "entitled to eat," Veteran's Affairs secretary David Shulkin said the aim of reducing the number of homeless veterans to zero was not "the right goal," and a Gallup poll found that more than half of those living in military communities in the United State now disapprove of Trump, who once compared his efforts to avoid sexually transmitted diseases to those of "a soldier going over to Vietnam." Three men in London drove a van into a crowd, exited the vehicle, and attacked patrons of a nearby market, killing seven people; and Trump tweeted in response to the attack that it was time to "get down to business" and then went golfing for the 23rd time since he took office. A Democrat in Iowa withdrew from a race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives because she had received death threats, and a Republican state representative in Texas threatened to shoot his Democratic colleague. A G.O.P. county chair in Oregon recommended that Republicans employ private militias, and a former Trump campaign official was sentenced to seven years in prison for organizing an armed militia to aid in a standoff against the U.S. government. 


A conservative radio host called for "a more violent Christianity," a noose was found at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, a white man in California shouted racial slurs at a black man and then attacked him with a machete, a white man shouting racial slurs ran over two members of the Quinalt tribe with a monster truck, and a white man riding a Portland train drank sangria while shouting racist slurs at a woman wearing hijab, then stabbed to death two people who attempted to intervene. "I'm sorry the world is so cruel," said a bystander to one of the dying men.

Seriously, you cannot make this shit up. As an antidote, I've taken to reading early Le Carre and just finished rewatching all seven seasons of The Sopranos. These just feel like appropriate responses to the madness.  A kind of rearming for what's ahead?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

We Call Him Macaron!





Oui, Mac-a-ron ... 'cuz watching him dress down tyrants is sweet!

How Do You Spell....?

Google has produced a map of the US that displays the word spelling most often googled by state. Somewhat revealing...  Rhode Islanders had trouble with the word "liar"?  Talk about the dumbing down of America ... Hawaiians can't spell "people"? What's become of American education? Click here to see a big map.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nuff Said?



... did someone say "war dance"?

And what's this trip really about? Find out here,  as Robert Fisk explains. Already US journos, including the Times, are distracted by wishful thinking as they focus on the hoopla (see above) rather than doing a little good old fashioned digging... glad someone's doing their homework.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Because the Past Matters

From a NY Times commenter today:

J. T. Stasiak Hanford, CA 3 hours ago
James Comey has an extensive reputation as an honest, intelligent, competent and strong career prosecutor who stands up to power. This was well demonstrated in 2004 when as deputy AG he successfully resisted White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and President George W. Bush's chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr's efforts to steamroll then AG John Ashcroft into reauthorizing Bush's domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department determined was illegal. This circus was occurring while Ashcroft was seriously ill in a hospital ICU.

Comey was well respected by FBI rank and file as a strong and effective leader--there was no clamoring from the FBI for his dismissal. By all accounts, he was handling the Russian hacking of the Presidential election investigation well--he was the right guy for the job. One suspects that he was getting too close to the truth for Mr. Trump's comfort.

There is no new information regarding Comey's handling of the Clinton e-mails that would justify such an abrupt and unexpected dismissal. If Comey truly needed to be fired--debatable if not doubtful--this should have been done on the basis of the evidence at hand when Mr. Trump took office.

This dismissal reeks of obstruction of justice and could very well be an impeachable offense. The real tragedy is that The NY Times and its opinion writers squandered their credibility by their constant high decibel caviling about Trump's minor offenses. That wasted credibility is badly needed now.

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