11/30/16

Talking smack is easy

Republicans suddenly discover that Obamacare repeal might not be so awesome, after all


During the Obama years, congressional Republicans could rail away at the Affordable Care Act and vote endlessly to repeal it, secure in the knowledge that they would never have to deal with the consequences of repeal actually happening. 

It was great to stand up in Congress and orate. It was great to pontificate, posture, pander, and pustulate.

Now it's come time to put up or shut up.

"I’m from a state that has an expanded Medicaid population that I am very concerned about….I don’t want to throw them off into the cold, and I don’t think that’s a strategy that I want to see. It’s too many people. That’s over 200,000 people in my state. So we need a transition. I think we’ll repeal and then we’ll work during the transition period for the replacement vehicle.”

                                                      - Senator Shelley Moore Capito, WV-R


According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 32 states have adopted the Medicaid expansion so far. By my count, next year there will be over 20 Republican senators in those states. (The ones that are expanding Medicaid and have one or two GOP Senators are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.)

So what's the deal? "Screw 'em all?"

Here's a pretty good article on how RealityBites the GOP right on the ass:

Senate GOP Tips Its Hand: An Obamacare Replacement Could Be A Long Way Off

Republicans' inability to coalesce around a replacement plan in the six years after Obamacare was passed means they have no easy alternative to queue up with a repeal, which they have vowed to make the top of their agenda next year. Their current inability to settle on a clear repeal and replace plan also reflects the trade-offs that have been dogging the GOP in last half-decade. Within the Republican caucus are deep, philosophical rifts over basic questions about health care policy and the government's role in providing access to coverage.

They've had six  years to come up with something. They have not. And now that they have their fearless leader ... it's time to shit or get off the pot.

I suspect constipation is running rampant throughout the red side of the aisle.

Sheriff Dave Clark redux

Here's an article from WaPo about the Trumpian mindset and how it can affect and infect law enforcement in this country:

The culture around Trump and the troubling message to police

Note that the article in large part uses Sheriff Dave Clarke as a negative example. A few posts back, we looked at what a farcial character Sheriff Dave is.

Cases involving Arpaio and his office cost taxpayers more than $142 million as of 2015, with some of those cases involving the arrest of journalists who had written about the sheriff and deaths in his jails.

He has that last bit, among other things, in common with Clarke. The Huffington Post reported Tuesday that four people, including a newborn baby, have died in Clarke’s Milwaukee County Jail since April, prompting a visit from a court-appointed medical monitor. 

and

If Clarke doesn’t get the top job at Homeland Security, that may be relief of a kind. But in Clarke, Trump would continue to have an outside validator, affirming his positions to millions of cable news viewers and projecting his vision of tough guy justice with a salute and a tip of his cowboy hat. If Clarke is tapped for the gig, a man who plays a sheriff on TV but has apparently failed to keep his own local jail in order will be handed massive authority over an expansive security apparatus.

Things are not well in many ways, in policing in America. Clarke is a fine example of this.

The first amendment

There has been a lot of talk bandied about lately, about 'freedom of speech' and how we have the right to pretty much say whatever want, whenever we want.

This seems to be particularly true when it comes to defending the right of any Tom, Dick, or Harriet to post whatever he or she wants on social media, particularly FaceBook.

And woe unto anyone who challenges that 'free expression.' Any disagreement is seen as an 'attack' on the original poster.

It doesn't work that way.

First, there is not an absolute right to say whatever you want, whenever you want. The tried and true example of that is the person who screams 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, when there is no fire. Another example is making comments about killing the president. If you don't think so, try it, and let's see how long it takes for the Secret Service to show up and give you a civics lesson.

Second, 'freedom of speech' is a double-edged sword.

Yes, you can post almost anything you want ... but when you do, don't get yourself into a hissy fit when someone else takes you to task for it. If you can express your views, using 'freedom of speech' as your cover ... so can everyone else. This is especially true when FB buddies post links to all the false 'news' stories that are swamping social media like sewage from a stopped up septic tank. People post the most outrageous nonsense, which then floods everyone else's (on the 'buddy list') timelines. Then you have a few choices. Ignore it, which can be construed to mean agreement; block that particular person's posts on your timeline; unfriend that person, often taken as a virtual slap across the chops; respond to it with a counterargument. On that last, it makes no difference if you offer a reasoned disagreement or a witless insult; the original poster will see it as a personal attack.

Trump is discovering that 'doubled-edged' sword aspect. He gets his panties in a wad every time the New York Times, WaPo, or CNN post an article he doesn't like. He has actually gone so far as to threaten to use the power of the presidency to retaliate.

“With me, they’re not protected, because I’m not like other people...We’re gonna...have people sue you like you never get sued before.”

I believe our president-elect could use a civics lesson himself.

Trump, and other elected officials, offer windows into their minds and mindset with their public scribblings. They can do that. It's their right to do so.

It is also the right of We the People to comment, quite freely, as to what we think about the mindsets exposed by those public scribblings. Sometimes, quite often, in fact, it may not be flattering or complementary.

In the cerebral toxic dump that is FaceBook. disagreement rapidly descends to what I call 'Jerry Springer' levels. No smarts, no reasoned discussion, no brains at all. Ignorant screamfests and name-calling.

The proper term for this is "ad hominem attack."

That means that rather than attacking the idea, the person is attacked.

"You're an idiot."

"You are pro-choice. You must be a stupid libtard."

"You support gay marriage. You must be a faggot."

That sort of thing.

Here is a website that lists all the types of fallacious arguments:

The Nizkor Project: Fallacies

Proof of the Trumpian genius!

Liz Peek, of FauxNews Opinion, is gushing over the Carrier 'deal.' She offers it up as proof of Trump's genius, in Making America Great Again!

Carrier deal is proof that Trump is already making America great again

Get a grip, Liz.

This is proof of nothing, other than Trumpian backroom dealing. This 'deal' is in Indiana. Isn't that Pence's home state? Does anyone else smell a backroom political quid pro quo? Let's see how Cyrus II and his henchmen do in other states.

'Incentives' = 'subsidies' of one kind or another. Where are those coming from? Out of the taxpayers' pockets.

Here is a reasonably decent article on pros and cons of 'incentives.'

Incentives for Business Attraction and Retention

The academic literature is divided on the appropriateness of incentives. However, most research tends to show that these divisions are based largely on differences in theoretical perspective, the research method, and the time perspective (short term vs. long term). Studies appear to agree on three key points:


  1. With few exceptions, incentives will not effectively influence firm location decisions.


  2. The truly important factors in business location decisions are transportation considerations, labor quality, and markets


  3. The best way for government to influence firm location is to create and sustain quality communities.

Update12.01.2016: Hold on there, Batman! Hundreds could still lose their jobs!

And another update: How Donald Trump got Carrier to stay

That one is pretty good.

But experts say the state incentives are more likely window dressing.
Most research indicates that economic development incentives rarely change a firm's behavior, according to Nathan Jensen, a professor at the University of Texas. "They are a subsidy to a company with little value to society. Our research shows that offering incentives is a great way for politicians to take credit, or minimize blame, for company decisions."

That's right in keeping with the ICMA article, above.

So Carrier comes out with $7 million in 'incentives' over ten years, contrasted against the $65 million the company claims it would have saved each year by moving to Mexico.

So, as they say ... "Where's the beef?"

How about here:

It's not yet clear how much of the company's decision was based on concerns about maintaining the significant amount of business it does with the government.

Carrier parent United Technologies (UTX) is a major defense contractor, with $5.6 billion in revenue from federal government contracts, or 10% of its total revenue. The government also pays for $1.5 billion of its research and development costs.

So Trump and Pence look good; Carrier hangs on to those billions in contracts and the gummint paying its R&D costs ... and the taxpayers get soaked $7 million. Well, it's over ten years, so what the hey.

11/29/16

The man just ain't wrapped too tight ...

Check this:

Trump attacks CNN over reportage on 'voter fraud.'

Shortly after 9 p.m., Trump began retweeting supporters who had criticized CNN's Jeff Zeleny because he accurately reported that there was no evidence -- nor has the transition team provided any-- to support Trump's claim that millions of fraudulent votes had been cast for Hillary Clinton.

"[W]hat PROOF do u have DonaldTrump did not suffer from millions of FRAUD votes? Journalist? Do your job!" read the first post that Trump retweeted. "Just another generic CNN part time wannabe journalist!," read the second.

"@CNN still doesn't get it," Trump added. "They will never learn!"

And of course, the multitudes of Trumpkins are eating this up. Clearly, CNN is at fault ... while Trump, who has offered no proof of voter fraud that cost him 'millions' of votes ... is just being picked on by the liberal media.

Finally, Trump issued his own attack on CNN: ".@CNN is so embarrassed by their total (100%) support of Hillary Clinton, and yet her loss in a landslide, that they don't know what to do," he wrote.

He continued the attack in a tweet just after 6:30 a.m. Tuesday: "I thought that @CNN would get better after they failed so badly in their support of Hillary Clinton however, since election, they are worse!"

Doesn't Trump have some prepping to do for assuming control of the government? Or is this juvenile nonsense all we can expect for the next four years?

"Dangerous Dave"

So ... Cyrus III is now considering retired general David "Dangerous Dave" Petraeus for the SecState position.

Petraeus was the subject of an FBI investigation, one that eventually led to his resignation as Director of the CIA.

The investigation revealed that Petraeus had mishandled classified documents; his squeeze, Paula Broadwell, had a pile of classified data on her computers. She wasn't authorized to have this data. The FBI also removed classified documents from her house in Charlotte, NC.

OK, so we have Petraeus (also known as "Peaches") having an affair with Broadwell, using webmail services under false names to swap virtual spit, as well as info about significant military personnel (generals directly involved in the GWOT).

And the mishandling of classified documents. Did we mention that?

And so, despite all the Outrage!™ over the Clintonista email scandal and mishandling of classified documents ... Trump is considering for SecState a guy who can't keep his pants zipped, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges based on mishandling of classified information ... and who resigned in disgrace from a highly sensitive high level position with the government (Director of the CIA).

Can we all say "Business as usual." But Trump has an explanation for that.

On the campaign trail, Trump played down the significance of Petraeus's conviction, repeatedly arguing that it was "a fraction" of what Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had gotten away with by using a personal email server as secretary of state.

Which leaves a couple of questions/observations.

Is it really just a matter of 'what you can get away with?' If so ... business as usual.

If "Peaches" Petraeus took a misdemeanor plea with 2 years probation and a $100,000 fine ... for a 'fraction' of what Hillary did ... why is Trump so willing to give her a bye?

Oh ... we also, as we speak, have an ongoing investigation by DoD into leaks of Paula Broadwell's personal information. 

Business as usual.

11/28/16

Kaepernick Redux

OK, so when Kaepernick decided to 'express' his views on the state on the nation by taking a knee during the national anthem, we here at Blogger Central went along with that. We still do.

It's not a particularly good form of protest - kind of like burning flags -  as it's not very likely to bring many Americans around to the point in point, but it's his right to protest in that manner.

And, Kaepernick's concerns about the state of policing in this country are in many ways quite valid. His alignment with 'Black Lives Matter' wasn't very bright, as BLM has arguably been co-opted by the cop-hating fringe. But, policing in this country is in need of some adult supervision in many quarters. The usual response to that statement is to go on about the hundreds of thousands of cops who serve the public in honorable manner every day. But the truth of that does not negate the need for change, and when it is tossed out as a countermeasure to the likes of Kaepernick's baseline concerns, it just obfuscates the underlying problem.

As one black columnist said ... "I can grieve for an officer who gave his life, while at the same time hold great concerns for the way policing is being done."

But here's the deal. Kaepernick's original position was that he was protesting 'oppression' and 'unfairness' in this country.

OK.

So why is he sticking up for Fidel Castro, who became one of the most vicious, murdering dictators of our time?

He claims that he was misunderstood, that his comments were taken out of context, that the t-shirt he wore, bearing the images of both Malcom X and Castro was more a show of support for Malcom X than Castro.

It rings false. Almando Salguero kicks Kaepernick around the field a few times in his article.

Colin ... dude ... you really screwed the pooch on this one. Let's not be talking about police oppression here, while heaping praise upon the likes of Fidel Castro. That's called 'hypocrisy.' We have enough of that going around already just in the current political scene; we don't need it as sports fans too.

Why not just wear a Che shirt, and be done with the tap-dancing?


Voter fraud exposed!

Here it is, sports fans! Voter fraud, finally exposed!

We've known that voter fraud exists, in rampant form, because, well ... all those FaceBook posts, and clickbait in the FB sidebars. Yep.

But now, we have irrefutable proof of it!

Cyrus II ... uh ... Trump ... says so.

Trump falsely claims 'millions of people who voted illegally' cost him popular vote

President-elect Donald Trump alleged Sunday, without evidence, that "millions of people" voted illegally for Hillary Clinton and otherwise he would have won the popular vote. It's an unprecedented allegation by a president-elect.

Of course, that particular story is from the Clinton News Network, so you can discount that 'falsely' thing in the headline. And that business 'without evidence,' as well. Since Trump has been anointed by God, mere temporal or secular 'evidence' is not necessary. God is on Trump's side.

Then the Godless liberal rag, the heretofore 'failing' New  York Times, chimes in with more falsehoods:

Trump Claims, With No Evidence, That ‘Millions of People’ Voted Illegally

President-elect Donald J. Trump said on Sunday that he had fallen short in the popular vote in the general election only because millions of people had voted illegally, leveling the baseless claim as part of a daylong storm of Twitter posts voicing anger about a three-state recount push.

Though we must confess to some confusion ... Cyrus II ... Trump ... Twitted repeatedly that the NYT was 'failing' and was full of lies, mostly about him. But then he said  "...I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special." So we here at Blogger Central confess to some confusion. Yes.

Confusion over that Mitt Romney thing, too. Will Mitt apologize? Is he willing to grovel that much, for a job? New York Magazine has a nice one pre-written for him.

And Kelly Ann is in the deep kimchee over her continued pummeling of Mitt. She apparently didn't get the memo on that. Or is all that just for show.

But we were on voter fraud.

Exposed. Yes. The Truth has been Revealed by our modern-day Cyrus.

But wait ... even Breitbart says our modern Cyrus' claims are unfounded:

Trump claims ‘serious’ fraud, says millions voted illegally

 President-elect Donald Trump made unsubstantiated claims of serious US voter fraud and said “millions of people” had cast their ballots illegally, offering no evidence for the assertions he put forth on Twitter.

Is it possible that our president-elect, the Twitterer-in-Chief ... has finally gone over the edge? Even with his own supporters?

11/27/16

Trump: Anointed by God

It's all right there in Isaiah 45. See, Trump is the 45th president. Or will be. You see the link? Isaiah 45 and Cyrus? 45th president? Get it? Get it?

"Many people are saying" that God has anointed Trump.

Is Lance Wallnau's Prophecy True? Is Trump God's Anointed Man to Lead the Free World?

Note that this only applies to 'the Free World.'  We have to ask. Is that because God doesn't give a shit about the rest of humanity?

Then we have Laurie Roth, famed Christian conservative spokesperson:

God will have mercy on America and make her God's light on a hill again

Laurie has 'investigated' and knows this to be true, as the result of her 'investigation.'

According to my investigation several have been awakened and given visions and words from God as to who would become President. They were all told that Donald Trump was God’s anointed choice for President.

Sadly, Laurie does not share with us the names of those who have been 'awakened' and confided in by God.

Then we have none less than Phil Robertson exhorting the faithful of the Family Research Council to get God on their side, if only he can baptize Donald Trump:




On the other hand, here is a fellow who sees a somewhat different political picture:

Donald Trump Is God’s Anointed

Sheriff Dave Clarke


This guy is pretty good at sound bites. But whatever 'sensible' views he may have, the value is lost in his stridency and in his juvenile attacks, name-calling, and conspiratorial rhetoric. He's a fellow who is 60 going on 12 ... pretty good at name-calling, but short on substance.But the Trumpkins and the far right just eat up his Obama- and Clinton-bashing ... it's working for him; some sources say he's jockeying for a White House job. If you have to sell your soul, Dave, might as well hold out for a West Winger.



Meanwhile ... I think ol' Shurf Dave has Obama confused with the Clinton Crime Syndicate. So far, Obama has done nothing, nothing at all, that lends any truth to Shurf Dave's juvenile rant.

Look at Shurf Dave's qualities as high sheriff ... tell me, Dave, how's that Terrill Thomas thing working out for you? Got any tips on inmate management for the Denver Sheriff's Department? Then there is the death of infant Swayzer in Dave's jail; the death of Kristina Fiebrink in Dave's jail; the death of Michael J. Madden in Dave's jail. Four inmate deaths within 6 months. Maybe Shurf Dave should spend more time on sheriff business than in pimping his own political future at the White House.

 He comes across as just another sheriff much too full of himself, feeding his own ego, playing to the mob. There's no lack of those guys. Look at the scandals involving Lee Baca and his henchmen in LASD; Terry Maketa here in Colorado; our own Sedgewick County sheriff being arrested; Denver County's on-going stench in the Sheriff's Office; Patrick Sullivan a few years back; the St Croix County sex scandals. There's no lack of these guys stepping all over their peckers, often because they can't keep their pants zipped. Clarke - particularly after he had his ass handed to him in Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs’ Association v. Clarke - comes across as just another one of many, much too full of himself .

But he orates just like his buddy Trump ... lots of inflammatory rhetoric, and an uncomfortable relationship with the truth. Yep. Good pick for the West Wing.

11/16/16

Malkin's Safety Pin Rant

Michelle Malkin, who is only marginally less unbalanced than, say, Ann Coulter, has actually almost written a good piece here. Though 'the slacker' mandate really lights up the 'conservative' pinball machine, Malkin doesn't get that that is not the real drain on Obamacare and We the Taxpayers.

The Slacker Mandate and the Safety-Pin Generation

Not only does Malkin not get it, but neither does Trump. Trump wants to leave in these Obamacare items that cost money. That means that someone has to pay for it, somewhere, sometime. But it isn't 'till 26' crowd that is the big drain. It's the pre-existing conditions, which the insurers must take, without drawing funding from a separate source, or without billing separately. These people burden the program with high costs ... and everyone gets a rate increase to pay for it. The master plan was that Obamacare was going to pay for those higher, driven-by-pre-existing-condition costs by broadening the pool of the insured - either by forcing the purchase of a plan, or by paying the fine ... uh ... tax. The tax is too low and people aren't buying and the pre-existing sick are driving up costs for everyone. Trump doesn't want to drop the pre-existing coverage, but someone has to pay, and guess who that is?

Malkin is banging away on 'the slacker' option because it's an easy target. It's easy to take cheap shots at a poorly defined group of 'millennials' especially when they make themselves into such easy targets. Old gasbag 'conservatives' always like to beat up on the younger generation, so Malkin is just telling them what they want to hear. But Malkin, like so many other self-righteous 'conservatives,' ignores that a great many of those 'millennials' are really not all that self-centered, self-absorbed, and generally useless leeches upon society.

US Marine Corps
US Army
US Air Force
US Navy
US Coast Guard

for starters. Fifty years ago, 'conservatives' were bitching about hippies and how the country was going to hell in a handbasket. Some things change, others do not.

She needs to find a better target.

The Child who will be president

Trump continues his childish Twitter bashfest against the New York Times. This time, it's over the Grey Lady's article on the confused state of the Trumpian Transition Team.

Trump attacks 'fools' at New York Times

Trump tirade re-ignites

And ... a related opinion piece from Wapo.

This time may be different. Trump was not a normal candidate, the transition is not a normal transition, and this will probably not be a normal administration. The president-elect is surrounding himself with mediocrities whose chief qualification seems to be unquestioning loyalty. He gets credit for becoming a statesman when he says something any newly elected president might say (“I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future”) — and then reverts to tweeting against demonstrators and the New York Times. By all accounts, his ignorance, and that of his entourage, about the executive branch is fathomless. It’s not even clear that he accepts that he should live in the White House rather than in his gilt-smeared penthouse in New York.

Yep.

We have a child about to enter the Oval Office. A mediocre, ignorant child, surrounded by sycophantic mediocrities.


National Security: A Trumpian Priority

An early rolling of heads, as the Trump Team comes to grip with vital matters of national security.At first, it appeared that Christie and some of his henchmen were simply tossed aside as political expedients, a bit of political fecal-splashing over BridgeGate:

Christie’s former deputy chief of staff was convicted in federal court earlier this month along with another New Jersey transportation official for causing dangerous traffic tie-ups in September 2013 as political payback for a local official who did not endorse Christie. 

But it was more than that.

One of those loyalists who appears to have been thrown overboard with Christie is former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. On Tuesday, he issued a statement that he was stepping down from the transition team, with speculation quickly arising that he was pushed out. Rogers, who was listed as the head of the national security transition team on an organizational chart obtained by Defense News, was seen in the intelligence community as a potentially stabilizing force on a Trump administration and was viewed as a likely nominee for a top post, perhaps CIA director. 

Mike Rogers didn't just 'step down;' he was part of the latest Trumpian "Nacht der langen Messer."

"A former U.S. official with ties to the Trump team described the ousters of Rogers and others as a “bloodletting of anybody that associated in any way on the transition with Christie,” and said that the departures were engineered by two Trump loyalists who have taken control of who will get national security posts in the administration: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Rogers had no prior significant ties to Christie but had been recruited to join the Trump team as an adviser by the former New Jersey governor. At least three other Christie associates were also pushed aside, former officials said, apparently in retaliation for Christie’s role as a U.S. prosecutor in sending Kushner’s father to prison."

So ... the Trumpian transition team isn't stalled, dead for the moment in the water, because of the taint of BridgeGate. It is connected to Christie, but not because of that. Nope. It seems that back when Christie was a federal prosecutor, he did his job a little too well for the tastes of Jared Kushner, one of the Trumpian geniuses calling America's shots these days. Kushner's old man was a tax fraud; is a tax fraud, and Christie nailed his ass in court and got him sent off to prison. 

In the summer of 2004 Kushner was fined $508,900 by the Federal Election Commission for mishandling of campaign contributions. In 2005, following an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, Kushner was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. The U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Chris Christie, negotiated a plea agreement and Kushner was sentenced to two years in prison and released after one year. As a result of his convictions, Kushner was suspended and disbarred from the practice of law in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Can't have that, doncher know. Bad form.

So the national security and national defense transition is stalled, dead in the water ... because Trump's son-in-law, a spoiled rich kid, is having a temper tantrum over his thieving daddy getting himself sent to prison.

Thank God we don't have that crook, Hillary, to deal with, and have such honest, upright, 
straightforward leadership coming down the pike. With, like, you know ... all those GOP 'values.'

Trump transition hitting early hurdles

Jared Kushner at center of Trump transition in-fighting

11/13/16

Donald Buck-pedals some more


Trump continues to Buck-pedal and waffle: no Clinton prosecution. In fact ... she's 'good people.'

"She did some bad things, I mean she did some bad things," Trump said, to which Stahl responded, "I know, but a special prosecutor?"

"I don't want to hurt them, I don't want to hurt them," Trump said. "They’re, they’re good people. I don't want to hurt them."

In addition to Buck-pedaling like a contestant in the Tour de Frog ... once again, he demonstrates that he is inarticulate, unable to string together coherent sentences to frame a coherent thought.

Pathetic

Pathetic.

This man is the President-elect of the United States. For him, or any other adult in anything resembling a responsible position, tweeting like this is juvenile beyond words; it is non-productive; it is embarrassing for the rest of us (although many may not find it embarrassing to them); it is an embarrassment for the country.

It is teenage, Butthead and Beavis mentality crap.

Whoever has control of his leash needs to tighten it up. Maybe get him a choke collar and housebreak him.

Still following the Trumpian cue

One-third of Clinton supporters say Trump election is not legitimate, poll finds

A strong majority of Americans accept Donald Trump as the winner of the presidential election last week, but a significant minority of Hillary Clinton supporters say his victory was illegitimate, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

And we are seeing the effects of that, as people demonstrate, and in some cases, engage in riotous misconduct.

This is leading to all manner of insulting name-calling, vile vitriol, and general hate-mongering on the part of a good many - most, it would seem - of Trump supporters. And the worst of that insulting name-calling, vile vitriol, and general hate-mongering is coming from the 'Christian' Right, America's evangelicals.

And yet ...

30% of Trump supporters say they will protest if Clinton is elected

That percentage is pretty close to that 'one-third of Clinton supporters' who apparently feel the same way about the election.

The Trumpians also seem to forget their Leader's own call to march on Washington after the 2012 election:

Donald Trump's 2012 Election Tweetstorm Resurfaces as Popular and Electoral Vote Appear Divided


So ... why was all that OK ... but when citizens who support Clinton do that ... they are 'idiots,' 'morons,' 'scum' and should all be locked up, deported, and worse. That, from the 'Christian' Right.

To understand it, you have to be able to think like an evangelical. That allows all that 'Christian' love to soak through.

I'm trying to find in the Bible, where a 'Christian' is supposed to resort to all that name-calling, vilification, and general hate-mongering. Could someone help me out with that, please? All I'm finding is that John 13:34 thing.

Is that true?  Or is Jesus is just playing straight man to a huge joke being played on the country, by America's evangelicals.

11/11/16

ObamaCare Two-step

Remember all that bad-ass campaign talk about repealing ObamaCare as a "Day One" project?

Well ... waffle waffle ...

Mr. Trump said he told the president that he would consider keeping two provisions of the law: the prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of a patient’s pre-existing condition; and the one that allows parents to keep their children on their insurance plans until they turn 26.

You'll notice that he's using the imperial pronoun. Like it's up to him, and him alone.

It ain't.

There's that pesky Congress thing.

Guess what. People like that 'free' preventive care stuff, too. That's designed to keep people healthier, or at least discover 'issues' soon enough to maybe actually do something useful, and doing it much, much more cheaply.

What The Great Mentioner (love that one) fails to grasp is this:

The problem: Without a mandate for everyone to buy health insurance, the popular pre-existing condition provision could send insurance companies into a tailspin, because their costs would rise with sicker customers, and that would not be offset by healthy consumers forced to buy insurance.

Still waiting for some of that good ol' Merkin business savvy to kick in. What's the plan, son?

Same old, same old ...

Trump Campaigned Against Lobbyists, but Now They’re on His Transition Team

A certain reality creeps into an otherwise surreal American political experience.

Or ... The Lies Continue.

President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists.

How's that Trumpkin Kool-Aid washing down?

Taking the cue

So the Trumpkins are smugly observing and even more smugly commenting upon the 'riots' and demonstrations on the part of what we can only describe as supporters of the Clinton Crime Syndicate.

Ridicule, insult, vilification. Most of it by good Christians. If you don't think so, just ask 'em. They will tell you how solidly 'in' they are with God and Jesus. The Holy Spirit, too, but you'd never see anything in them like an indwelling of the Spirit. Apparently the Trinity is off being interviewed for Cabinet positions in the soon-to-come Trump regime.

I'm sure we can all agree - well, most of us - that these sorts of demonstrations and 'riots' are not particularly effective exercises of the First Amendment. For one thing, they tend to escalate from citizens noisily expressing dissatisfaction to criminal behaviors. For another, there is a certain lack of sympathetic support for what they want. At least through the means by which they want to obtain it.

And yet ... as the Trumpkins ridicule, insult, and vilify ... all in good Christian fashion ... I have to ask:

Aren't they just taking a cue from the president-elect himself?

Trump supporters warn of revolution if Trump loses

On Election Day, Trump still says he will not accept results if he loses

There's a lot more on this; all you have to do is research it.

But all they are doing is what Trump himself insisted he would do. Him and his Trumpkins.

"You can't handle the truth ..."

Until about six months ago, it was a piece of cake for me to distinguish fake news from "real news."  since then, the fake news sites have changed markedly:

These days fake news is a bit more difficult to discern. The fake news sources are more sophisticated, there are a lot more of them, and there is a lot of clickbait ad money being generated by them. This fiscal intake is going to just push ‘improvements’ in the subtlety of phoniness.  Though one may argue that improvement is hardly necessary; you can put just about anything up and it will be seized upon and circulated as though it were the word of God.

There’s so much of this now that Snopes and other fact-checking sites have no way of keeping up with it all.

The average John Q. Public doesn’t seem to get it. Is this because our fellow citizens are actually, when it comes down to it, none too bright? Or is it that much of this garbage ‘resonates’ emotionally, and not only does John Q. Public not want to look for the truth;  John Q. Public couldn’t handle the truth.

We all have biases. Add to that a pretty high level of ignorance regarding the validation of sources, and you have … endless clickbait garbage being posted, and reposted, and reposted even more.
There is no sense of ‘truth’ to any of this.

It would be bad enough were it just political, but much of it is directly linked to religious perspectives.  This is how Trump became a Christian moral imperative. Stir in a good dollop of racism, a pinch or three of religious bigotry and arrogance, and you have a recipe for divisiveness that blows off the top end of the scale.

One of my personal Faves d'jour is the one circulating about how the Clinton Crime Syndicate (Hillary specifically) was going to 'dismantle the NRA.' It said so, right there in her interview in the Des Moines Register!

The problem is, she never gave an interview to the Register; no interview was published; she was not even in the state the day of the alleged interview; she never said, anywhere, anytime, that she was going to 'dismantle the NRA.'

The most cursory of research efforts shows this.

Yet ... there it is, on millions of FB pages.

I tell the boys - and the grandkids - never take any of that as truth; almost all of it is not, and it requires, despite an increasing sophistication, relatively little effort to show this.


But we have a president who 'reads very little.' Though  unlike almost all of his supporters he is extremely wealthy, and pays no taxes ... he does seem to have that much in common with his supporters.

11/10/16

Trump's team

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Kenneth Blackwell has been named to lead the domestic transition team. He is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.
He is a national bestselling author of three books: Rebuilding America: A Prescription For Creating Strong Families, Building The Wealth Of Working People, And Ending Welfare; The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency; and Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.
He has a long history in Ohio of being at the forefront of any campaign for 'Christian' supremacy. The gay and Lesbian types call him an 'employee of a hate group'.
If Blackwell is the type of person Trumps wants on his team, there will just be 4 more years of hate and divisiveness.

Blackwell certainly does like to mix religion and politics:

Blackwell had been well supported by many religious leaders in Ohio both politically and financially; according to campaign filings, Blackwell has received $25,031 from clergy and more than 27 times as much as Strickland.
However, on January 16, 2006, a group of 31 pastors, led by Rev. Eric Williams, pastor of North Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Columbus, Ohio wrote a 13-page letter to the IRS alleging that Blackwell has enjoyed "special treatment" by two Ohio "mega-churches," World Harvest Church and Fairfield Christian Church. In the letter, the pastors accused the two organizations of sponsoring at least nine events with Blackwell as the sole invited politician, "partisan voter-registration drives," and distribution of biased voting guides. Rev. Russell Johnson, pastor of the Fairfield Christian Church in Lancaster, Ohio defended his actions by saying that the event in question was not a "meet the candidate forum," but rather he was giving Blackwell "an award for courageous leadership." Blackwell later called the group of 31 pastors "bullies."
On April 19, 2006, e-mails sent on behalf of the Blackwell campaign by Johnson on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006, came to light in The Columbus Dispatch. Both the Blackwell campaign and Russell Johnson, on behalf of Fairfield Christian Church, denied all wrongdoing. The e-mails in question subsequently emerged on various online media outlets, clearly showing that the e-mails had been sent from within Johnson's church office on the evening of Easter Sunday to Church personnel and employees of the church-owned Fairfield Christian Academy.
On May 7, 2006, the members of the Lord of Life Lutheran church in Columbus, Ohio, publicly complained that Blackwell's campaign workers placed fliers on the windshields of those attending the church service on April 30, two days before the May 2 primary. The church pastor, Rev. Jim Wilson, stated "the tactic was offensive and suggested the church was endorsing Blackwell." Wilson said that he had tried to contact the Blackwell campaign in response to the incident but did not get a "satisfactory response." When questioned, Blackwell's campaign said the practice was "standard... for Republicans and Democrats."
On May 14, 2007, Blackwell was appointed a senior fellow at the well-known conservative religious, political group Family Research Council, with an annual salary of $162,000.

Leaving

Leaving. It's not entirely a joke, nor is it about clueless Hollywooders.

There's nothing for Muslims in Trump's America

Nor for anyone else who isn't white, Republican, and allegedly 'Christian.'

I listened to Mein Fuhrer's vitriol and venom all through the campaign. I listened to the racist poison oozed by our local GOP chair. And I've watched Trumpkins cheer and stomp their feet in agreement with Mein Fuhrer's exhortations to beat the crap out of his opponents ... like in the good ol' days, back when America was Great.

 If I weren't an old white guy, and therefore presumptively a Trumpkin, I'd be at least pinching my bunghole shut, if not actually shittin' my pants.

 The Sturmabteilung are afoot.

11/3/16

Legal affairs

So here's a thing on this Des Moines shooting, not necessarily connected to the shooting itself.
Videos show the shooter was involved in a dustup of some kind last month, wherein he was waving a Confederate flag at some kind of demonstration, at the Urbanville High School. The cops told him to leave, this Confederate flag-waving being in violation of school policy. One cop is shown telling him that if he waves a Confederate flag in front of a gathering of African-American citizens, he has to expect some sort of reaction.
That led to the shooter going off about the cops violating his civil rights, etc etc and yadda yadda. The rest is history.
OK ... there is a big difference in a school policy that prohibits students from wearing or displaying items likely to cause a breach of the peace, and a 'crime.' It can easily become a First Amendment 'issue,' because it is a First Amendment 'issue,' but that is between the students, their parents, their lawyers, and the school district.
Clearly, an adult waving a Confederate flag at a demonstration, on school property or not, is also a First Amendment thing. Same thing for when he was in the stands at some athletic event or another, waving his flag.
I don't think as a cop I would have told him to vacate the premises, school policy or not. Why get dragged into a civil rights battle you're going to lose?
The way to deal with those things is ... when the school official comes whining up to you - as a cop - about how some character is violating school policy and causing problems ... you tell the school official to tell the problem person to leave. That person refuses to leave, and now you have criminal trespass, which is a clear legal thing. Whatever led to the person being told by the school official to leave (as opposed to the cops doing that) is now between the school and the person. And his lawyers.
Cops should not be enforcing school policy. School policy can be very iffy stuff legally, and especially criminally legally. Cops should be enforcing La Ley, not school policy.
That's no excuse for this neo-Confederate POS shooting the cops, of course, but it's an underlying 'issue'.

11/2/16

Inner demons

According to WaPo, the shooter in the Des Moines ambush killing of two police officers, has been taken into custody.

Des Moines cop-killer in custody

The suspect, Scott Michael Greene, apparently felt that his civil rights were violated by the cops at a demonstration last month at the Urbandale High School:

One of the officers was fatally shot next to Urbandale High School. A video uploaded to YouTube last month by an account named Scott Greene was titled “Police Abuse, Civil Rights Violation at Urbandale High School” and appeared to show a person recording the footage arguing with police officers asking him to leave the area.

In the video, the man recording the footage, who is identified by one officer as Greene, is heard telling the police that he was assaulted and almost mugged while “peacefully protesting” at what appears to be a high school. An officer is later seen explaining that the Confederate battle flag he was waving violated the school’s code.

“In the current social climate that we’re in, when you fly a Confederate flag standing in front of several African American people, that’s going to cause a disturbance, whether you intended to or not,” the officer said. As a result, the officer said, this man was no longer allowed on the school’s property.

Another video posted by the same account showed a still image of a man holding a Confederate flag in what appears to be the stands at an athletic event.

So what do we have here? Another neo-Confederate asshole, butthurt because the cops told him he couldn't wave his Confederate flag on school property, murders two cops?

I think that's what we call 'letting one's inner demons out.'