Thursday, October 20, 2016

Word of the Day: trumpery

with Anu Garg



1. Something showy but worthless.
2. Nonsense or rubbish.
3. Deceit; fraud; trickery.

From French tromper (to deceive). Earliest documented use: 1481. 
The recent debate left me thinking about R. Crumb comics, this one of my favorites from the old days.

And here's a commenter on Blow's NY Times article of 10/17 that sums things up nicely.

"Thin Edge Of The Wedge

 Fauquier County, VA 41 minutes ago

Trump and the Republican Party: a distinction without a difference. They are locked in a death embrace. The evil that is Trump is root and branch the evil that is the GOP, ever since Nixon's white racist "Southern Strategy" every Republican Presidential candidate has used white racism, covertly or overtly, to win votes. Birther boy Trump offers nothing, not tax breaks, not jobs, not educational opportunities, not child care for working parents, that will actually help the struggling middle and lower economic classes. All he offers is racism. Win or lose, he has already dragged this country into a cesspool of white racial hatred. Snooty Republicans can clutch their pearls and pretend that they just can't understand where Trump and his storm troopers come from. He comes from you, the GOP elite, and your 50 year embrace of racial hatred. The only remaining question is, will voters vote Democratic and reject all GOPers in the Senate, House and statehouses, and cast off the hatred that is Trump. Or will we all go down the maelstrom with him."
Clutch their pearls, indeed. As we say in Jersey, Noice!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words

                                         Big Brother and the Moment of Hate.

This picture says it all.  (from today's NY Times)
The following paragraph from a NY Times comment back in July sketches a brief factual history worth heeding when considering HOW on earth such a bunch of dumbkoffs ended up holding congress and the nation hostage for more than two decades now, then had the effrontery to offer the voting public the Orwellian Trump for President in 2016. With a calculated, publicly and repeatedly declared (was everyone deaf as well?) plan to dismantle ("shrink the size of") the US Government. How was this not treasonous? How did the People and their Representatives get so dumb? Here's how.


Washington, DC 1 day ago

Another noteworthy angle on GOP anti intellectualism is how they systematically lobotomized Congress from 1995 onward. Just a few years after the end of the Cold War, and on the cusp of the Internet revolution, they eliminated Congress' science forecasting agency (the Office of Technology Assessment) Seeing public sector infrastructure as competition, they then wiped out the shared issue caucus staff--who performed much of the continuing education on complex policy for members of both chambers and both parties. Keep in mind, these global public interests don't have strong domestic constituencies, so they can't compete with private or lucrative advocacy tactics.  The only entities who survived inside Congress were ideologically aligned "think tanks"who took over policy tasks and K Street lobbyists who doubled down. Finally, the Republicans "reorganized" the Congressional Research Service to severely restrict specialized experts and consolidated the committees, diminishing the institutional memory by getting rid of staff. These actions eliminated hundreds of deeply knowledgeable individuals who were dedicated to Congress. This is truly tragic. Today Congress bitterly scorns the White House for consolidating power, yet our first branch of government did this to itself! Our current disrepair and incompetence is not an accident, its an outcome. I would even say it was a purposeful GOP strategy. 

And, speaking of treason, what  about Donald's security clearance?

Below is from the US State dept. website. Would he qualify?

Eligibility for access to classified information, commonly known as a security clearance, is granted only to those for whom an appropriate personnel security background investigation has been completed. It must be determined that the individual’s personal and professional history indicates loyalty to the United States, strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment, as well as freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion, and a willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling, and protection of classified information.

For a more complete chronology of how the GOP dumbed the nation down to the point of Trump, read Max Boot's column from last July. The history of the GOP effort begins way back in 1964 with none other than Raygun. 

And of course, thank you, W, for paving the way for Trump as well:
 At a Yale commencement: “To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say, well done. And to the C students I say, you, too, can be president of the United States.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Flayed and Filleted

This sassy meme may end up being, at least as far as feminists are concerned, the one that most perfectly summarizes the 2016 election results.

In Today's NY Times Frank Bruni brilliantly puts the lie to the GOP's latest edition of feigned chivalrous concern for women ("daughters, sisters, wives") as the reason for withdrawing support for Trump. (And we say, Yea, Frank, for doing so.) But this commenter thoroughly exposes the hypocrisy and leaves it flayed and filleted. 


 Maryland 33 minutes ago
"The publication of Trump's private vulgar comments has ripped away the nation's threadbare veil of denial, exposing America's long history of tacitly accepting, condoning the predatory sexual treatment of women; at the heart of this is our male-dominant society's treatment of women as sexual objects.

"We only take sexual assault seriously when it happens to a family member; then we are outraged to find that our justice system is not interested in justice. We learn that victims are victimized again by judges and juries which see the sexual assault within the context of society's treatment of women as lesser persons whose role is to serve men.

"So now we have Republicans using their wives, daughters, mothers as their excuse for stepping away from Trump. That is a cynical political expedient; part of their message is to wrap themselves in the threadbare veil that denies our culture of sexual abuse of women.

"But consider the Republicans who continue to support Trump. These Republicans have tossed aside the threadbare veil of denial; they are full throated condoners of predatory sexual abuse of women. These are people who approve of Trump, who leers with lust even at his own daughter. These people are also part of our justice system; some are judges, many sit on juries; they are the reason sexual abuse victims are victimized again. A jurist who is also a predator; a judge who sees women as objects of male play. These people make our society sick."


Trump, Master Masher

Comments from recent NY Times opeds regarding Trump's behaviors onstage and off. 


 Missoula MT 24 minutes ago

Many people are commenting on Trump's body language and I have to say that I seriously wondered if he might physically attack her. He was so angry and rather than deliver his "answers" to the questions toward one of the moderators or the questioner from the audience, he would turn to Hillary, take several steps toward her and then forcefully jab his whole arm and finger at her repeatedly. This, while calling her a liar, the devil and telling her that he would put her in jail. This was his behavior toward one of the most powerful women in the country, on a stage with millions of viewers and it was obvious to everyone that he could barely contain himself. The Trump surrogates can no longer use the (lame) defense that the Access Hollywood tape was "just words" or "locker room banter" between the fellas. After last night we can easily picture how this man would behave in any situation where any woman, especially an employee or subordinate dared to assert herself against him in any way. I'm sure that the Access Hollywood tape is just the tip of the iceberg and we'll see a steady parade of Trump's behavior toward women over this next month. I can't wait for this election to be over, so that Hillary Clinton can get to the White House and start restoring this country and its dignity.

And this, just for good measure, about the GOP in general.


  Saint Paul 8 hours ago

I hope this puts an end to the Republican Party. It has become a disgusting institution that makes me ashamed to be American.

The downward spiral began in the early 1980s when the GOP chose to align itself with the Elmer Gantrys of that period -- the so-called moral majority. These outrageous hypocrites spewed hatred and fear, and worst of all, poor theology. They preached a christianist vison that could not be further removed from the gospels. I say shame on the Cathoilc church and other mainstream Christian denominations for not calling out these right wing evangelicals for the theological hot air they were blowing.

People today ask -- why do moderate Muslims not take the Islamic extremists to task for their desecration of Islam? I want to ask -- where has mainstream Christianity been for the past 40 years not calling out these false Christians?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

No Deus Ex Machina for Trump

Unlike Euripides' tale of the poor, confused, matricidal Orestes, there will be no Apollo arriving last minute tonight to rescue the Donald from himself. But you can bet Hillary is coming for him. Yes, indeed. And, for once, I'm with her.

For it turns out that this election, in the end, has clearly come down to two distinct sides: The Misogynists and the Feminists. Each with a distinctly different vision for the future of American women. And, whether they admit it publicly or not, each and every American knows which side they're on, and their secret vote this year will reflect that. So don't tell me you're not voting for Trump, but you're also not voting for Hillary, and expect anyone with a brain to say that's okay. This is about the future of all women, the half of the human race that cleans up the other half's messes. This woman looks like she's cleaned up a few.

Sic 'm, Hil.

Here are some inspired responses to Mo Dowd's perfect op ed today in The Times.


Upstate ny 4 hours ago
Trump is now in Roy Cohn mode. He always responds to criticism by bullying, insulting, and attacking.
The amazing thing about this moment, this Sunday debate, is that Hillary Clinton has in some way been preparing for this confrontation her entire life. The feminist who is bold enough and bright enough to become the first female presidential nominee of a major party, and who survived and thrived after enduring in public her husband's infidelities, is going to be the one to confront this misogynistic lout.

He has gotten away with all this his entire life, and now he is going to answer for it, and it's going to bring his candidacy down. This is like a something out of a Greek tragedy or Shakespeare. It's beyond astonishing. Go, Hillary!
Lee Naples. FL 4 hours ago
While most people guide their lives by rules and respecting boundaries the real reason we have them is to try to protect ourselves from those who don't.Mature, thoughtful people recognize that without rules, regulations and a code of ethics the most dominant, self-centered and caustic people (and corporations) will take advantage of those of us who play by the rules. We are simpletons and marks in their eyes.There is good reason to have regulations, there is good reason to have a democratic government to protect us from the likes of Donald Trump and the too big to fail corporations that otherwise have no regard for anyone but themselves. I blame the Republicans for giving us the epitome of their credo.

This is why we have rules, and regulations and that crazy, rich bullies do not get to lord it over the rest of us. I've been wondering how the Republicans have wrought this monster upon us and I hear their constant refrain "freedom", "liberty", "no more regulations", "free markets", "shrink government down to a size that can be drowned in a bathtub". An untethered Donald Trump is the Frankensteinian creation of the Republican refrain.
PeterK New York 4 hours ago
Please! Please Please! This election is not about the deplorable Donald Trump any more. The frightening reality is that 40 plus percent of the voting public, as well as the leadership of the Republican Party thinks this narcissistic demagogue is qualified to lead this country. They believe in him. Their candidate espouses bigotry, dishonest birther racism, mocks the disabled, insults the parents of a military hero, and regularly degrades women. The constituency shouts in unison "lock her up," as if the U.S. was a third world banana republic that casually imprisons the opposition. Seventeen candidates and Donald Trump is number one. Ted Cruz was number two. "Have you no sense of decency," was a fundamental question asked in another era. Equally relevant today, the answer for the Republican Party is now clearly "absolutely no."


 is a trusted commenter Boston 16 hours ago

Stick a fork in him, folks. Trump is done. Even his misogynistic, abortion-hating evangelical science-denying VP wanna-be, Mike Pence, is despondent over Trump’s treatment of women. When a deplorable like Pence is despondent over Trump, well, how much lower can we sink?

But Hillary used a private e-mail server!! They’re both so corrupt! However will we choose?

It’s not hard for me to choose. But it may be a problem for the town-hall contingent at the next debate, which will consist of an audience of uncommitted voters. How, please tell me, can anyone not have a preference 30 days from the election? Anyone who is uncommitted at this late stage needs to be committed. They’re displaying a deplorable lack of ability to discriminate between a serious politician and a seriously disturbed oversexed adolescent.

Trump’s tendency, when he’s made a cringeworthy statement, or a vulgar innuendo, or a gag-inducing insult against innocent humans, is to double down. His fuse is short (despite the size of his hands), and Hillary Clinton need only provide the merest spark to set him off. I hope she brings a blowtorch to this debate.

There is only one thing that make me more disgusted than Trump, and that’s the gaggle of G.O.P. biggies who can’t bring themselves to disown this embarrassing man-baby. Maybe it’s a question of honor for them, since they can’t abandon their standard bearer. But frankly, honor left the building a long time ago.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Who Is "The Undecided Voter"?

CECILY STRONG ABSOLUTELY nailed the Undecided Voter; UVs are simply citizens with no sense of civic duty who can't be bothered to pay some semblance of regular attention to the political life of their own nation, state, county, town. From Today's NY Times:

"In 2012, roughly half the people who were undecided at the end of the campaign stayed home. The other half split in similar proportions to the overall vote share. Despite the many ways that the 2016 election has been unexpected and unusual, the characteristics of undecided voters is not one of them. This may mean that we can expect half of them to stay home and the other half to split similarly to those who have decided already. They may be holdouts, but they are unlikely to be pivotal." Lynn Vavreck, a professor of political science at U.C.L.A., is a co-author of “The Gamble,” about the 2012 presidential campaign. Follow her on Twitter at @vavreck.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Journalism 101

Treat yourself to this, watch the whole nine minutes. Finally, two journalists who actually know what their job is supposed to be. And she's a Republican! Would there were more like her. Love when she asks him to "rescue" himself from the humiliation of trying to justify his position.  I find it a bit scary that this practice of trying to convince the public that reality is something other than what we believe it is seems to be on the rise. I believe the word for such a situation is "Orwellian", non?

And, by the way, what is fekkin Twitter but the latest venue for "tittering gossip" snark, practiced back in the day by the likes of Hollywood's Louella Parsons and today's Limbaughs?  The name "twitter" says it all: communication practiced by Twits.  Don't think the idiots that brought it to market didn't know that when they named it.

"The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. 

Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core."

Hannah Arendt