12/30/16

Tap-dancing

Our Donald, after summarily dismissing the very concept of Sovi ... Russian ... hacking, and deliberate attempts to influence the election, is 'walking back' his rhetoric.

Donald Trump, After Dismissing Hacking, Agrees to an Intelligence Briefing

President-elect Donald J. Trump edged away on Thursday from his dismissive stance on American assessments of Russian hacking, saying he would meet with intelligence officials next week “to be updated on the facts” after the Obama administration announced sanctions against Moscow.

You'll no doubt recall that Our Donald thought we needed to move on to 'bigger and better things,' than attacks by foreign powers on the very systems that control the most important aspects of our civil and military infrastructure. He is still prattling on about that, but now has grudgingly conceded that he will attend a briefing to be 'updated on the facts.'

Well, gee, thanks, Mr. President-elect. I hope that you can a) absorb the facts - they are troublesome things; and b) they don't give you a pain between the ears; and c) you have the brainpower to actually do something useful with the facts.

“I think we ought to get on with our lives,” he said. “I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need.”

Our Donald really does sound like Chauncey Gardner in 'Being There.'

The real challenge for the briefers is going to be the reduction of the fact pattern into 140 character chunks, in a short enough span of time that Our Donald's attention doesn't wander too much.

And, I hope the briefers are all male. Our Donald needs to be concentrating on the briefing as much as he can. We don't need Our Donald thinking about 'nailing' any female briefers, or grabbing them by the 'pussy.'

12/29/16

Red Lines

It's interesting to note that the 'red line' failure Galen mentions in his "Mark Halperin was right" column is hardly the first such failure. A similar situation rather arguably led to the NORKS invading South Korea on 25 June 1950. Dean Acheson, then Secretary of State, gave a speech in January 1950, in which he defined our 'defensive perimeter.' He left Korea out of it. So the NORKs, the Soviets, and the Chinese Communists figured we didn't think South Korea was worth a fight:

Secretary of State Dean G. Acheson's speech at the National Press Club on 12 January 1950 was among the most important and controversial US policy statements in the early history of the Cold War in East Asia. In it, he defined the American "defensive perimeter" in the Pacific as a line running through Japan, the Ryukyus, and the Philippines. This denied a guarantee of US military protection to the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan. Less than six months later, North Korea launched a military offensive across the 38th parallel that nearly succeeded in imposing Communist rule over the entire peninsula. Critics immediately pointed to Acheson's National Press Club speech as giving Pyongyang the "green light" to pursue forcible reunification, based on the premise that the United States had ruled out military intervention to defend South Korea. More than fifty years after the start of the Korean War, countless South Koreans still hold Acheson responsible for igniting this fratricidal conflict. The United States, they bitterly maintain, committed an act of betrayal toward Korea ranking with President Theodore Roosevelt's approval of the Taft-Katsura Agreement in 1905 and President Harry S. Truman's agreement to divide the peninsula forty years later at the end of World War II.

"... a petulant dick ..."

From Rich Galen this morning: "Mark Halperin was right" ... or ... Obama is a 'dick', and a petulant one at that.
Here is one salient point:
"Whether you thought Netanyahu's speech was a good idea (I didn't) or whether you agree with the continue building of settlements (I don't think I do), we expect more out of our President - whether he be named Obama or Trump - than petulance."
Yep.
Interesting thing, on which I am finding that pretty much everyone under about sixty are totally clueless, is how the UN Security Council works, and a historical sense tied to that. Galen seems to assume that most people do understand it - presumably because he is an old fart himself - and so much of what he writes today assumes a 'behind the scenes' perspective that is largely missing.
He's pretty much wasting his time, given that most Americans are too busy posting half-assed bullshit, bashing the Pope, re-circulating other fake news and twisted half-truths, but I'll bet it felt good to write it. If nothing else, such scribbling serves as a tonic for the soul



12/28/16

Pope-bashing is such fun for evangelical 'Christians'

Here's another one, that our evangelical brethren and sistren are viralling around FB:


This one really exposes the nastiness within the US evangelical 'Christian' mindset.

I know that most Protestants, especially evangelicals, do not consider Catholics to be Christians. To many of them, the only thing worse than a Godless atheist Democrat is a Catholic, or a Jew, or a JW, or (until Billy Graham gave a special dispensation to Mitt) a Mormon ... but there's really no reason for this hateful ignorance.


“The rhetoric from Trump’s team is misinformation, and it is not true,” said Gerard Mannion, a professor of Catholic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington.

“It isn’t all surrounded by walls, and it’s not like you need a separate visa or a passport to enter,” he said. “You wouldn’t know, almost, when you even entered Vatican City. There is a white line painted on the ground in St. Peter’s Square, but that kind of thing is not obvious everywhere.”

There are, to be sure, formidable walls in Vatican City, and much of of the site, including the gardens and the modest guesthouse that is home to Francis, is set behind them. But the walls do not entirely enclose the city-state, and in the modern era they are not meant to, historians said.

“Anybody can walk into St. Peter’s Square — that’s the whole point of it,” said Dr. Mannion. “It was designed to be welcoming and to draw people in like two open arms, to draw them into the heart of the church.”

and

Walls like those found in some parts of the Vatican were a fixture in almost every significant city of the medieval period, including London, Paris and Jerusalem, said Professor Apostolos-Cappadona.

“The walls are a fortification, there is no question, but they were a fortification built at a time when armed invasions by barbarians and other forces were happening,” she said. “And that is not the same thing we are talking about with a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Some time ago I wrote about The Know Nothing Party.

That describes today's Trumpkins perfectly.

How the faithful voted: A preliminary 2016 analysis

According to this survey from the Pew Foundation,  "... eight-in-ten self-identified white, born-again/evangelical Christians say they voted for Trump ...".

Though they call themselves 'Christians,' there is nothing of Christ in the messages of hate that they daily circulate. Their behavior is neither 'Christian' nor 'American'. Their behavior is an insult to Jesus Christ, and to the principles upon which this nation was founded.

Shame on them.



Proof of the craziness

As if we needed more ... proof of the craziness:

It ain't the economy, stupid

[Elkhart] exemplifies the economic recovery the country has experienced since the Great Recession ended. Elkhart’s unemployment rate, which had reached a high of 22 percent in March of 2009, is now at 3.9 percent. Hiring signs dot the doors of the Wal-Mart, the McDonald’s, and the Long John Silver’s. The RV industry makes 65 percent of its vehicles in Elkhart, and the industry is producing a record number of vehicles, which is creating a lot of jobs in this frosty town in northern Indiana.

Record numbers of RV's are being produced, with Elkhart's unemployment dropping from 22 percent to 3.9 percent.

Americans are purchasing record numbers of RV's - truly an essential item, totally necessary to sustaining life - yet ... the economy sucks, and it's not going to get better till Trump takes office, and even then, it's going to take him two terms to 'fix' things.

“He didn’t help us here, but he took credit for what happened,” Chris Corbin, 47, who works for a dispatch company in Elkhart, told me. Corbin thinks it will be Trump who improves the economy. “It’s going to take two terms, but he’ll fix things,” he said.

How do people get to be so ... oblivious?

Fake 'fake' news

Here's the latest 'fake news' story being circulated, with shocked breathlessness ...


You know it's fake news when CNN uses the same girl in 3 different Refugee Crisis pictures, saved by 3 different men.



CNN never purported that the same girl was 'rescued' by these three men, much less rescued in three different episodes.

She was carried out of the bombing site by one rescuer, handed over to another, and handed over to yet another, who placed her in a van.

The three photos are from different sources, taken during the same incident - the Aleppo 'barrel bombing' of a funeral/wake in August 2016. The CNN story on the bombing carries but one photo, the one on the left, which is heavily cropped by the purveyors of this latest bit of nastiness.

But let's not be confused by fact ... not when we can generate so much misplaced hate and anger by feeding off the misery of such badly damaged children.

12/26/16

Defending the indefensible



RNC clarifies part of Christmas message after social media criticism

“Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King."

Considering the source - the Republican National Committee - and the fact that the RNC just can't separate politics and religion; and the evangelicals (read that "Republicans") who see Trump as anointed by God, as a sort of Cyrus III ...

... if you believe their 'disclaimer' and 'clarification' I've got some beachfront property over by the Great Sand Dunes I'll sell to you.

Only the most addled of Trumpian Kool-Aid drinkers would buy the RNC's pathetic excuses.

Though I suppose I should be grateful that His Magnificence now allows us to say "Merry Christmas."


12/21/16

Selling access: Slapdown

Apparently the Trumps didn't get it with the 'Coffee with Ivanka' thing.

They tried selling a private reception with Our Donald, the day after the inauguration. The price of such access? At least a $500,000 donation.

Donors willing to write a check for $500,000 to $1 million would be granted access to Donald J. Trump the day after he is sworn in as president, along with the opportunity to participate in a multiday hunting or fishing trip with his oldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.

and

For the Trumps, the most recent potential conflict was the creation in Texas this month of the nonprofit Opening Day Foundation — presumably a reference to the first day of the hunting season — which listed Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. as members of the board of directors, along with Gentry Beach, a longtime friend of Donald Jr. who helped raise money for Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and inauguration.

An invitation last week urged supporters of Mr. Trump to become “Bald Eagle” donors with a $1 million check or “Grizzly Bear” donors with a $500,000 payment, in exchange for an invitation to a private reception with Mr. Trump the day after his swearing-in, and a chance to go hunting at a later date with his sons.

“Opening Day is your opportunity to play a significant role as our family commemorates the inauguration of our father, friend and President Donald J. Trump,” the invitation said.

"A significant role?" In what way? Shovel a pile of money into the Trumpian coffers, and get to whisper sweet nothings about your pet project into Our Donald's ear?

Someone must have figured out that this sounds a lot like the Clinton Crime Syndicate, for the day after all this 'Bald Eagle' and 'Grizzly Bear' studliness was announced ... it was retracted.

But by Tuesday, a new invitation had been prepared, eliminating the offer for the biggest donors to go hunting with Eric and Donald Jr. and dropping the private reception with their father. A spokesman for Opening Day also said new legal papers would be filed to remove Eric and Donald Jr. as members of the group’s board.

But Hillary did it! Obama? No ... he didn't. But Hillary did!

That's the usual Repub mantra these days. "The Dems did it!" or "Obama did it!" or "Hillary did it!" as though that makes it OK.

Good thing Jesus didn't take that line in the Temptation in the desert, ain't it?

"But Satan did it!"

Yep, good thing for us it didn't turn out that way.

12/19/16

Trump: Liar-in-Chief?

The Whoppers of 2016

Our Donald clearly leads the pack of inveterate liars. Oh, Hillary's whoppers are further down; just scroll past Our Donald's fabrications, mental meanderings, and general obfuscations. The thing with that, though, is this:Hillary's lies, fibs, and fabrications no longer matter. What she said, what she did, what she would do ... any of that ... no longer matter in any way regarding the presidency. You might as well lose sleep over whether or not Richard Nixon was a crook. Stick a fork in her. She's done.

Our Donald, however, clearly exceeds all expectations with his ability to lie and distort. Our Donald is going to be our fearless leader, setting the standard for Truth, Justice, and the American Way ... or what's left of it.So his whoppers do matter.

Trump’s Whoppers

On the campaign trail, Trump relentlessly portrayed the U.S. as a once-proud nation in decline, and held himself out to voters as the man who could make it great again. That’s his opinion, of course, and he is entitled to it.
We took issue, though, with how he distorted the facts on employment, crime, immigration, taxes, refugees, terrorism and other topics, to make his case.
Even after the election, Trump continued to grossly misrepresent the facts on unemployment, claiming that “96 million people out there … gave up looking for jobs” and that they “want to work,” when, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 5.5 million of them “want to work.” His 96 million figure, for example, includes 18.2 million people age 75 and older who were not in the workforce in November, BLS says.In February, Trump said he “heard” the unemployment rate was really 42 percent, and vowed to be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” At the time, the official unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, and it has since dropped to 4.6 percent — the lowest in more than nine years. Trump’s inflated figure includes millions of people 16 years and older who are not in the labor force and don’t want to work — including retirees, high school and college students, and stay-at-home parents.
Similarly, Trump took up the mantle as the “law and order candidate,” claiming in October that the murder rate in the U.S. last year was the “highest it’s been in 45 years,” and lamenting that “the press never talks about it.” Wrong and wrong.
The murder rate in 2015 was 4.9 per 100,000 inhabitants — far lower than it was 45 years ago at 7.9 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1970, according to FBI data. It peaked at 10.2 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1980 — which was 35 years ago. In fact, the murder rate was lower in 2015 than it had been at any time between 1965 and 2009.
As for his claim that the “the press never talks about it,” Trump was actually distorting news reported by the New York Times. In September, the paper reported that the 2015 murder rate was 10.8 percent higher than it was in 2014 — the highest one-year increase “in nearly half a century.” That’s not the same as saying the murder rate is the “highest it’s been in 45 years,” as Trump claimed.
There are many more examples of false and misleading claims by Trump, and readers can see them all by clicking here. For now, we review some of his whoppers:
  • Trump claimed that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens “was left helpless to die as [then Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed” during the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi. That’s false, and Trump later admitted he had no evidence for it.
  • Trump claimed that Clinton was “raising everybody’s taxes massively,” a regular talking point at his rallies. Not so. Almost all of the tax increases under her plan would fall on the top 10 percent of taxpayers, according to analyses by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the pro-business Tax Foundation. The hardest hit would be the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers, the TPC said.
  • Trump claimed in 2015 that he opposed the Iraq War before it started and had “25 different stories” to prove it. He didn’t provide any evidence. In 2016, Trump provided two sources: a pre-war TV interview with Neil Cavuto, which didn’t support his claim, and unrecorded, off-the-air conversations with Trump supporter Sean Hannity.
  • Trump’s charge about Cruz’s father was based on the National Enquirer story “Ted Cruz Father Linked to JFK Assassination!” The article was based on a photo of a man who looked like Rafael Cruz, but no facial recognition technology was used to confirm it was Cruz. Even the paper’s primary source described Trump’s statement as “stupid.”
  • At a meeting with the National Border Patrol Council, Trump claimed that the Obama administration is “letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.” But only citizens can vote, and immigrants must reside in the U.S. legally for several years before they can even apply for citizenship.
  • Trump said the terrorist group ISIS “is making millions and millions of dollars a week selling Libya oil,” and that Iran is “taking over the oil” in Iraq. Experts told us at the time that there was no evidence for either claim.
  • Trump said that Trump University “had an ‘A’ rating from the Better Business Bureau,” and “many” of the instructors were “handpicked” by him. No instructors were handpicked by Trump, and his university had a “D-” rating when it stopped taking new students in 2010.
  • Trump repeatedly had said that “many people” saw — but failed to report — “bombs all over the floor” in the apartment of the San Bernardino couple who killed 14 people last year. A neighbor and a worker reportedly noticed what they described as unusual activity outside the apartment, but not any bombs in the home.
  • Trump said “many people” thought that Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in Orlando in June, “was a whack job,” but they didn’t report him. In fact, Mateen’s co-workers in 2013 reported that he boasted of terrorist ties, and the FBI interviewed him. Also, a friend who attended the same mosque as Mateen reported him to the FBI in 2014.
  • After the Orlando shooting, Trump implied that Obama supported terrorists, and tweeted out a link to a Breitbart story to declare that he was “right.” The story was based on a misreading of a 2012 intelligence memo, experts said. One described Trump’s claim as “an old conspiracy theory … that has no place in our public discourse.”
  • Trump finally acknowledged that Obama was “born in the United States, period.” But he followed that up with two falsehoods: “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.” There’s no evidence the so-called birther movement originated with Clinton or her campaign. And the issue was “finished” long before Trump revived it in 2011.
  • During the campaign, Trump stated that “voter fraud is very, very common.” After it, he said he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Trump provided no credible evidence for either claim. One professor cited by Trump as a source said Trump’s claim about the popular vote was “not at all” possible.
  • Trump and his campaign manager declared that he had won in an electoral “landslide.” Although still unofficial, Trump’s share of electoral votes would rank him 46th out of 58 presidential campaign winners, dating to George Washington.

The shame of it all!

The Trumpkins and Obama-haters (not necessarily the same crew) are foaming at the mouth. Again.

They are incensed and Outraged! that Obama went to the golf course after being briefed on the Berlin truck bashing and the murder of the Russian ambassador in Turkey.

I wasn't aware that Berlin and/or Ankara are part of the United States. Did they ask for The Big O's presence? Should FEMA be called out? Do you think Obama should be pacing back and force in the Oval Office? Ready, to perhaps, launch missiles, or take calls from Bad Vlad? No? Perhaps he should be on Twitter?

Speaking of Twitter ... is Our Donald en route to assist, even as we speak?

Has Our Donald even managed to gargle anything intelligible, much less intelligent, about any of this?  I mean, like, other than a prepared statement handed to him by his string-pullers?

12/17/16

Trump: Destroyer of Jobs

OK ... yesterday we were in Sam's. Leece was looking for Oreos. She found 'em, but there was a female Trumpkin there who ranted on about how 'they' were boycotting Oreos, as 'Nabisco' is moving Oreo production to Mexico.

Some background:

On 21 August 2015 (and on multiple subsequent occasions), Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told crowds of supporters at a campaign rally that he'd sworn off Oreo cookies because the brand's maker, Nabisco, had closed their plant in Chicago and moved production of the snack product to Mexico:

"You know Mexico is the new China. The other day Nabisco, Nabisco ... Oreos right, Oreos. I love Oreos, I’ll never eat them again. Kay? Never eat 'em again. Nabisco closes a plant, they just announced a couple days ago, in Chicago and they’re moving the plant to Mexico. Now why? Why? Why?"

Well ... if Our Donald had done a bit of research - which requires reading, which of course he does not do - he would have found this, in the Chicago Tribune:

Mondelez International will lay off half of its 1,200 employees in its bakery on Chicago's Southwest Side after deciding to make a major investment in a Mexico plant rather than its long-standing facility here.

The company decided not to make a $130 million upgrade to the facility, the company's largest U.S. bakery, which dates to the 1950s, because the three unions that represent workers either did not make a proposal to keep the work or their concession packages were inadequate, said Laurie Guzzinati, a Mondelez spokeswoman.

The new production lines will make some of Nabisco's most popular products, including Oreo, Ritz and Grahams.

Unionistas. That's why. The unionistas decided to play hardball with Mondelez, which is the parent company of Nabisco, and they lost. I would think that Our Donald, Stiffer of Contractors, would understand that.

The company made this statement in response to Our Donald's lies:

A representative for Mondelēz Global LLC, said Trump's statements about the company are untrue. "We announced in July a new investment in our supply chain in an already-existing facility we have in Mexico. We are NOT closing our facility in Chicago," wrote Laurie M. Guzzinati, senior director for corporate and government affairs in North America for Mondelēz Global LLC.

"Though there will be an impact to some positions in Chicago, given that the investment is being made in a different facility in our manufacturing network, our Chicago bakery will continue to be an important site within the North American biscuit manufacturing network," Guzzinati wrote in an email to Foster's.

Guzzinati said that the Chicago bakery produces a variety of Nabisco cookies and crackers, and will remain important due to its geographical location.

"The Chicago bakery will remain one of the largest plants within the network from an overall head-count perspective," she said.

Guzzinati added that Oreos are made in several manufacturing sites within the United States, including Fair Lawn, N.J., Richmond, Va. and Portland, Ore.

Meanwhile ...

So while it's true that Nabisco's parent company announced the elimination of some jobs at a Chicago plant, the number of jobs affected was 600 (not 1,200 or 2,000), and the facility was not closed. The company concurrently invested the expansion of manufacturing plants in three states, and Oreos remain in production in the U.S. at facilities in New Jersey, Oregon, and Virginia.

So the Cookie Monster-in-Chief has shot off his face yet once again, making statements that are either completely ignorant of fact, or outright lies ... and in the process, the people who will ultimately suffer are the workers in the Nabisco plants.

'Christians'  - who in the form of the 'Christian' Right are ardent Trumpkins - are fond of boycotting businesses, in an attempt to get back at business owners. Witness all the Outrage! over 'Merry Christmas.' But the only people who really get hurt are the minimum wage workers, the Walmart cashiers, the little people who stock shelves, sweep floors, clean toilets, and flip burgers. They are ones who are laid off as the result of the outpouring of 'Christian' love we see every time evangelicals decide they are being 'persecuted.'

Note: "Mondelez" is not a Mexican company. From Wiki:

[It is an] American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company based in Illinois which employs about 107,000 people around the world. It consists of the global snack and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc after the October 2012 spin-off of its North American grocery operations. The Mondelez name, adopted in 2012, was suggested by Kraft Foods employees and is a combination of the words for "world" and "delicious" in Romance languages.

Here is the story behind the name.

12/16/16

Selling access

Back during the Clinton years, there was great Outrage! over Bill essentially selling the Lincoln bedroom. Here is an article from back in 2002 about that very thing:

Selling Lincoln bedroom disrespectful

The Lincoln room became controversial in recent years when former President Bill Clinton offered the thrill of spending a night in it to celebrities, big contributors and many of his Arkansas friends, relatives and supporters. During his eight-year tenure, Clinton had more than 900 guests, including 72 of daughter Chelsea Clinton's chums, and the White House admitted that most of these overnight guests got to try out the Lincoln bed.
Trump is not yet selling access to the White House ... but the Trumps are selling access to Ivanka:

Available to the Highest Bidder: Coffee With Ivanka Trump


So far, some Turkish investment banker is the highest bidder. Why would he do that? To stare soulfully into Ivanka's baby blues? To commune over the wonderfully good works of Ivanka's charity?


Nope.


Mr. Ozkural wanted to meet with Ms. Trump — who is considering playing an informal role in her father’s administration — to gain insight into topics like President-elect Donald J. Trump’s possible future dealings with Turkey and other nations where Mr. Ozkural invests, he said.


I rather doubt that the Trumpkins will see any problem with that. They haven't seen any problems with Our Donald's lies and boorish behavior so far. But here's the deal:


The charitable fund-raising by Mr. Trump’s children is problematic, ethics lawyers said, because of the unusual role they are playing in the transition process, with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, attending meetings the president-elect had with executives from major technology companies and with the prime minister of Japan, and Mr. Trump’s oldest son, Donald Jr., helping to select the nominee for interior secretary.


It continues to amaze how the Trumpkins accept without question the same questionable sorts of practices from Our Donald that drove them foaming up the wall in the past, from the Clintonistas.


Still don't get it? Well, here it is in plain English:


The charitable fund-raising by Mr. Trump’s children is problematic, ethics lawyers said, because of the unusual role they are playing in the transition process, with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, attending meetings the president-elect had with executives from major technology companies and with the prime minister of Japan, and Mr. Trump’s oldest son, Donald Jr., helping to select the nominee for interior secretary


Obama, believe it or not, actually had better sense:


The Obama administration prohibited any member of the first family from directly soliciting charitable donations, said Norm Eisen, who served as an ethics lawyer early in President Obama’s tenure. Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, have attended occasional charitable fund-raising events, including the Congressional Black Caucus annual dinners. The Obamas also allowed their daughters’ high school to auction off magazines they had signed, Mr. Eisen said, but they did not auction off access to themselves.



“You never, ever want to have government officials using their public office for the private gain, even for a worthy charity,” Mr. Eisen said. “That was how we did it.”

Update:

Trump Family Tried To Pimp Coffee With Ivanka, Raising Ethical Concerns

Yeah, thank God they weren't having big donors sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom. That's unethical.


12/15/16

Education

Christians in U.S. Are Less Educated Than Religious Minorities, Report Says

Well, that explains a great deal.

That would include the rampant ignorance we see among evangelicals, as they circulate fake news article after fake news article, with no effort, no attempt, to discern the truth.

A good many of those fake news articles are in fact downright dangerous, in that they incite others to new levels of hate and discontent. It seems also that evangelicals, always the first to point fingers at everyone else, have no problems with assassinating the character of others, especially anyone they deem to be 'liberals.' They are pretty good with the half-truths and innuendo, as well.

We are living in a post-truth time of fake news and misinformation, something that should be deeply troubling to people of faith who claim to seek truth in their everyday lives.

Yeah. People who 'claim to seek truth.'

But they do not.

Instead, by their very ignorance, their hatefulness, they do incredible damage to the Church Universal. Who would want to participate in a church filled with people with such hateful attitudes, who claim to be followers of Christ yet who exhibit only the barest vestige of Christian behaviors.

They excuse this with the 'reasoning' that 'the libtards' or 'the left' or whatever nom d'jour is in vogue do it too. As though that were sufficient excuse, or any excuse at all.

Apparently 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 is of little consequence to a good many evangelicals.

Oh ... here's one that's quite good:

Are we getting the leaders we deserve

And here is a link to Gary Hart's news conference video. He was chastised by the press for his 'arrogance' ... but I think he hit it out of the park:

 

12/14/16

Cyberfollies

The New York Times has a pretty good article on 'the Russian invasion:'

The perfect weapon: how Russian cyberpower invaded the US

Of course, the Trumpkins are holding their hands over their ears and yelling "Nyah nyah nyah I can't hear you!" in what we have come to see as a typical response to anything they don't want to hear.

On the other hand, the Clintonistas are screaming and whining that the Rooskis, working hand-in-glove with Our Donald, have stolen the election.

Both perspectives are childish, juvenile beyond comprehension. Both miss the main point; that the Russians have hacked into some places where they can do us great damage. One is in denial; the other is so self-absorbed it makes one want to vomit.

Here's the deal:

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.

There's the problem. Our Russian friends and allies (also Our Donald's business partners, but let's set that aside for now) are tip-toeing through our tulips, pretty much with impunity.

"... the government's best-protected networks ..."

Seriously? 'Best protected?' From what? Miss Peach's 4th grade keyboarding class?

What about our banking system? Utilities infrastructure SCADA networks?

Here is a measure of the incompetence that made the penetration so easy for our Presidential business partners:

Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

This guy claiming to be an FBI agent calls, tells Tamene that he has a major hack of his system ...and the best he can do is a bit of Googling? No call back to the FBI to confirm that the agent is real?  That's a level of incompetent dumbassery that is mind-boggling.

Sound vaguely familiar? It should:




and yet all we can get out of the president-elect is his claim the CIA is 'ridiculous.'

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump told Chris Wallace in interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday,” his first Sunday show sit-down since winning the election. “I don’t believe it.”

and all his supporters can do is ...


And the Democrats ... well ... at this point, what difference do they make.

12/13/16

Net neutrality

Say goodbye to Net neutrality

Donald Trump has said little (that makes sense) on the matter. When net neutrality rules were proposed, he thundered—in a tweet, of course—that “Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target the conservative media.” (Fact check: The Fairness Doctrine—an FCC policy from the late ‘40s that said broadcasters must present issues in an honest, equitable, and balanced way—was eliminated in 1987; it has nothing to do with net neutrality.)

With Our Donald, we see once again that facts don't matter.

According to Ted Cruz, Our Donald, and a good part of the rest of the GOP ... 'Net neutrality' is a crime against nature. Oppression of 'conservatives'. A blatant power grab.

Cruz once again proved himself to be either clueless, or manipulator of fact, or a liar - take your pick. Cruz accused Obama of '... salivating to regulate the Internet ..'.

Truth-testing Ted Cruz' latest Net neutrality gibberish

Actually, President Obama’s statement on Title II made it clear that his Net Neutrality support didn’t amount to Internet regulation. The rules themselves are clear: The laws that a bipartisan Congress wrote in Title II and the FCC’s order itself apply to broadband access providers. That’s an important distinction that the anti-Net Neutrality crowd routinely ignores. In late 2014, Obama said “I’m urging the FCC to do everything they can to protect Net Neutrality for everyone. They should make it clear that whether you use a computer, phone or tablet, Internet providers have a legal obligation not to block or limit your access to a website. Cable companies can’t decide which online stores you can shop at or which streaming services you can use. And they can’t let any company pay for priority over its competitors.”

What the GOP wants to do is eliminate Net neutrality, and then Our Donald and his rich pals can bend We the People over in yet another way.

That twitching you feel in your trousers? That's Our Donald's hand you feel in your pocket, wrapped around  your wallet.

12/10/16

"Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq"




Outstanding read. The flag-waving super patriots won't like it. It reads like William Shawcross' "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia" and Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie." There is no country-western all-American tear jerkery in it.
But it rings true. Political arrogance and ignorance, the stuff that has driven our wars since WWII, abounds. And like lemmings, Americans follow the flag-wavers over the cliff. Except, of course, the flag-wavers do not go over the cliff ... they all retire comfortably or move on to other positions of power, leaving families to bury their own, clutching a folded flag from 'a grateful nation.'
"It is a tragedy in which every major player contributed to the errors, but in which the heroes tend to be anonymous and relatively powerless -- the front-line American soldier doing his best in a difficult situation; the Iraqi civilian trying to care for a family amid chaos and violence. They are the people who pay every day with blood and tears for the failures of high officials and powerful institutions."
This has nothing to do with Hilary and/or Benghazi, which are chicken feed in comparison to the betrayal through incompetence and arrogance of America's armed forces.

12/9/16

Trump: Liar and Bully

This arrogant, ignorant fool is soon to be our Fearless Leader.


About a year ago, 18-year-old college student Lauren Batchelder stood up at a political forum in New Hampshire and told Donald Trump that she didn’t think he was “a friend to women.”

The next morning, Trump fired back on Twitter — calling Batchelder an “arrogant young woman” and accusing her of being a “plant” from a rival campaign. Her phone began ringing with callers leaving threatening messages that were often sexual in nature. Her Facebook and email inboxes filled with similar messages. As her addresses circulated on social media and her photo flashed on the news, she fled home to hide.

“I didn’t really know what anyone was going to do,” said Batchelder, now 19, who has never discussed her experience with a reporter until now. “He was only going to tweet about it and that was it, but I didn’t really know what his supporters were going to do, and that to me was the scariest part.”

This is what happens when Trump targets a private citizen who publicly challenges him.

He seems to do best beating up on those who have no defense.

How's that going to work for him - and us - when he starts this nonsense over Iran or North Korea.

"With one tweet, Trump can change headlines on cable news, move financial markets or cause world leaders to worry. With one tweet last week, Trump inflamed a conflict with China. With another tweet on Tuesday, Trump caused Boeing stock to plummet. With a third on Wednesday night, Trump prompted a series of threatening calls to the home of a union leader who had called him a liar."
Chuck Jones is the Unionista who called Trump out over Trump's lies about the Carrier deal. Trump responded with his usual insults and innuendo; his followers lapped it up like so much left over Obamanian Kool-Aid, and the next thing Jones knew, he was receiving those threatening phone calls from Trump's Sturmabteilung. We can only wonder if Trump is going to pay for their legal defense in the unlikely event they are ever charged. After all, they have the encouragement and protection of the president-elect.




Well ... Trump *is* a liar. We saw that time and time again during the campaign. We have videos of him lying. We have videos of him inciting his followers to violence. And then lying about it.

Trump didn't like Boeing CEO Dennis Muelinberg's comments about free trade; next thing we see is the now infamous - and grossly incorrect - TrumpTweet about the new Boeing aircraft for Air Force One.

“I think I am very restrained, and I talk about important things,” Trump said
during an interview with the “Today” show this week. “Frankly, it’s a modern-day form of communication. . . . I get it out much faster than a press release. I get it out much more honestly than dealing with . . . dishonest reporters. So many reporters are dishonest.”


Trump thinks he is 'restrained?' That's like saying Jesus spent Good Friday hanging around watching a craps game among some Roman soldiers up yonder on Calvary hill.

And now we have a lying, dishonest bully about to be President.

12/7/16

Trouble in paradise

"He's lying his a-- off," Jones said about Trump's claim of saving 1,100 jobs. "That's not just my feeling. The numbers prove he's lying his a-- off. It's a damn shame when you come in and make a false statements like that."
Well. We have a union cheese in a pissing contest with the president-elect. And calling him a liar. Accusing Donald Trump of making 'false statements.'
And then Donald pretty much tells 'em if they were worth a shit at their jobs he wouldn't have to save them.

12/6/16

Trump has saved Jesus


It isn't true, of course, that Obama ever banned using the word 'Christmas,' but if it makes the far right fundies happy to believe that he did and that Trump has saved Jesus from the Godless libtards... well ... ignorance is in fact bliss.

It is pretty much in keeping with the far right idea that God has anointed Trump, quite literally, to serve as a sort of Cyrus III. They are perverting Isaiah Chapter 45 to 'prove' this.

They are perfectly happy with this heresy, this blasphemy.

Laurie Roth, a far, far out right-wing 'Christian' columnist, has said so.

Roth draws her theological insight from Lance Wallnau, who has written several articles on the Second Coming (abridged version).

Meanwhile, as to Obama 'banning' the use of the word 'Christmas,' take a look at this article on RightWing News:

Obama bans the word 'Christmas'

Yet in the article, we see that even these RabidRighties admit their headline is a phony; that Obama said no such thing.

Here is what they do say:

Even if it is just ‘recommended’ to military personnel to not say Christmas, that in fact acts as an order. 

Really? Apparently the Marines and the Army did not get the memo:

MCAS Cherry Point Christmas activities

Fort Carson Christmas activities

Of course, this is all due to Trump's recent election. The Marines and the Army are no longer cowering in fear ...

Never mind they've been doing this the entire eight years of the Big O's administration.


12/5/16

General Flynn and Dr. Strangelove



Michael Flynn’s tweet wasn’t actually about #PizzaGate, but his son is now defending the baseless conspiracy theory

As if the president-elect behaving like a refugee from the Jerry Springer show, with his incessant and downright asinine Tweets, wasn't enough ... now we have the Man Who Would Be National Security Advisor, and his chief of staff in the middle of things.

Flynn and his offspring have been active in the far right craziness for some time now.

The son of top Donald Trump adviser and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn regularly shares conspiracy theories, expletive-filled posts, and racially insensitive sentiments on Twitter and Facebook, a CNN KFile review of his social media presence reveals.

Flynn's son, Michael G. Flynn, shared stories alleging top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had a connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, pushed a conspiracy theory that Sen. Marco Rubio was a closeted homosexual who abused cocaine, and repeatedly used expletives to attack Trump's political opponents.

Flynn Senior comes across like a wild-eyed whackjob out of a remake of Dr. Strangelove. Sadly, Sterling Hayden is no longer around to play Flynn in such a remake, but his original play as "General Jack D. Ripper" may well be close enough. All we have to do is substitute "Muslims" or "Islam" for Hayden's references to "Commies" and we have ... Flynn!



I'll wager Flynn could really run with this one. Maybe a rant over vaccinations rather than fluoridation would bring it up to modern speed:




Yep.

That's what we have in our soon-to-be National Security Advisor.