Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mixed Message

Donald Trump held a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, last night in order to show the world that of course he’s not a racist because look, Jackson is three-quarters African-American.  Oh, and look who he brought along.

Nigel Farage, the man who helped lead the movement in Great Britain to leave the European Union, is expected to campaign with Donald Trump Wednesday night at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi.

The former head of the United Kingdom Independence Party will not offer an endorsement of Trump, a source close to Farage said, but will instead offer remarks on how to beat the odds and win an election.

“It came about after his visit to the Cleveland convention,” the source said. “He’s not here to endorse Trump but explain the Brexit story which has similar parallels to the current presidential race — he is going to be talking to grassroots activists about Brexit.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Farage was already in Mississippi Wednesday morning, where he did an in-studio radio interview. The source close to him said he will attend a private reception with Trump and 600 Republican donors Wednesday, where he will also be joined by Aaron Banks, a friend of Farage’s and a multimillionaire who bankrolled the U.K. Independence Party.

Following the reception, Farage is expected to attend the Trump rally where he will deliver his speech. He will likely be followed by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who will be followed by Trump himself.

So in order to promote his message of outreach to the black community, Mr. Trump is going to hang out with the man who led the anti-immigrant, basically pro-white party in Britain and who agrees with him that too many brown and black people are ruining this great nation of ours.

They Deserve Each Other

On the very day that Ann Coulter, the whitest woman in America, releases her new book that lathers up her affection and devotion for Donald Trump, he goes mushy on immigration, the one topic that Ms. Coulter never gives ground on.

Oh, she is pissed.

Would you like some popcorn with your schadenfreude?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nice People

Just the sort of people who will be helping Donald Trump reach out to minorities.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s paid campaign staffers have declared on their personal social media accounts that Muslims are unfit to be U.S. citizens, mocked how Mexicans talk, called for Secretary of State John Kerry to be hanged and stated their readiness for a possible civil war, according to a review by The Associated Press of their postings.

The AP examined the social media feeds of more than 50 current and former campaign employees who helped propel Trump through the primary elections. The campaign has employed a mix of veteran political operatives and outsiders. Most come across as dedicated, enthusiastic partisans, but at least seven expressed views that were overtly racially charged, supportive of violent actions or broadly hostile to Muslims.

A graphic designer for Trump’s advance team approvingly posted video of a black man eating fried chicken and criticizing fellow blacks for ignorance, irresponsibility and having too many children. A Trump field organizer in Virginia declared that Muslims were seeking to impose Sharia law in America and that “those who understand Islam for what it is are gearing up for the fight.”

The AP’s findings come at a time when Trump is showing new interest in appealing to minority voters, insisting he will be fair in dealing with the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally and explicitly pitching himself to African-Americans, saying “what do you have to lose?”

Wingnuts need jobs too, y’know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Here’s The Pivot

Via TPM:

“The liberal media took what I said and went against the law and the Constitution and ran with it, and they said that I wanted her assassinated, which I never did,” Baldasaro told The Republican/ “I said I spoke as a veteran, and she should be shot in a firing squad for treason.”

Thanks for clearing that up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Well, There Was That

How quickly he forgets:

Speaking in Youngstown, Ohio ahead of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, who was the mayor of New York City on 9/11, declared that Islamic extremists hadn’t carried out any terror attacks on American soil before Barack Obama’s presidency.

“Under those 8 years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the US,” Giuliani told the crowd. “They all started when Clinton and Obama came into office.”

Except for this:

New Yorker 9-11 cover 09-08-06

Monday, August 15, 2016

That Which Survives

Labor Day, the traditional start of the presidential campaign in years past, is three weeks from today and it already looks like the campaign is over.

Via Washington Monthly:

First and foremost is the new CBS battleground tracker showing Clinton with sizable leads in Florida and New Hampshire, and within four points even in Georgia. Clinton’s lead is outside the margin of error in Florida at 5 points, and in blowout territory in New Hampshire at 9 points. Even if Clinton can’t pull ahead in Georgia (contrary to other polls that have shown her doing so), the likelihood of forcing Republicans to play defense there is already a big win for the blue team.

Meanwhile, a new USA Today poll shows that Trump is getting creamed among young voters by unprecedented margins, dwarfing even the gap faced by Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War. Clinton is leading Trump by an astonishing 56% to 20% margin among voters under 35. By contrast, Nixon got 32% among 18-29 year olds in 1972.The RCP average with no toss-ups gives Clinton a whopping 362 electoral votes In other words, this isn’t just a single-year disaster for the GOP. This is an ongoing generational and demographic catastrophe that threatens to permanently change the electoral map.

Nor is it entirely clear where Republicans can go from here. Younger and middle-of-the-road voters are deeply offended by the overtly racist and sexist appeals of the white supremacist Alt Right. But even the white male working class voters that Republicans have long relied on for support no longer buy into the Romney Republican supply-side argument: minorities aren’t being adequately disadvantaged by subtle economic discrimination on behalf of the rich to make up for the damage that blue-collar white men are facing from free trade and Wall Street friendly policies.

Meanwhile, the voters under 40 of all races and genders who so strongly backed Bernie Sanders’s democratic socialism are just as hostile to Paul Ryan’s objectivist economic agenda as they are to Trump’s bigoted cultural one.

If the campaign stays on the track it’s on, Hillary Clinton will win with such numbers that challenging her totals will be akin to Walter Mondale asking for a recount in 1984.

Via FiveThirtyEight, the Nowcast; if the election were held today.

FiveThirtyEight Nowcast 08-15-16What will be left of the GOP?  Will Donald Trump still remain a force in the party or will he be given the bum’s rush like the Democrats did with Michael Dukakis and will the party reshape itself along more moderate lines?

Wait, didn’t they try that in 2013 with their autopsy that called for reaching out to minorities and women and embracing such things as immigration reform with a path to citizenship and less emphasis on being the Stupid Party?  How’d that work?

The problem isn’t the candidates that they march out and get their base to vote for, it’s the base they’ve recruited.  Doubling down on the Nixon-era Southern Strategy, the Republicans have gone after the foolish, the bigoted, and the gullible (see here for a sample of that) who now make up the foundation of the primary voters.  Through abstract threats about gay marriage, who is peeing where, abortion via vending machine, defending the indefensible (the Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage, right?), and shredding the Constitution in the name of defending it, they have let loose the worst of the American id.  And losing three or four presidential elections in a row will only make them madder.

This corner they’ve painted themselves into won’t be easy to get out of.  The various state legislatures have gerrymandered all these safe Republican districts and it won’t be until after the next census in 2020 that they will be able to reconfigure them even if they wanted to.  They are bought and paid for by a murderous lobbying group, the NRA, who can, at the push of an e-mail blast, replace a moderate Republican with a gun-stroking ammosexual in a primary who is sure the Bill of Rights ends after the Second.

Donald Trump co-opted the base of the GOP and exploited it for his own self-aggrandizement, and once the election is over he will — or so he says — retreat to his lair for a “long vacation.”  Trumpism will not survive without him because it is a cult of personality, and without him, it will return to what it has always been: white people who believe that their entitlements to wealth and power — or the dreams thereof which keep the poor buying Powerball tickets and drooling over celebrity gossip — are threatened by unknown conspirators and boogedy-boogedy Others.  It’s what gave rise to the Know-Nothings in the 1850’s, the Klan during Reconstruction, the Tea Party in 2010, and it’s been the fodder of dictators for centuries.  Exploiters like Huey Long and Joseph McCarthy come and go, but the seething base — those who believe somehow that their skin color and religion give them the right to surrender their grievances to grifters — will never die.

The only question is who will be the next one to pick up the burning cross and run with it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Reading

Charles P. Pierce — Sarcasm?  What sarcasm?

All votes are in, people. Donald Trump is the third Piranha Brother. There are now Doug, Dinsdale, and Donald.

In case, like all sensible Americans, you’ve been watching the Olympics and haven’t noticed what’s been up with El Caudillo de Mar-A-Lago, he spent a couple of days telling his audiences of screaming geeks that the president was “the founder of ISIS.” Then he spent yesterday saying that, when he said “founder,” he meant “founder,” dammit. Then this morning, he took to the electric Twitter machine and declared that he was only engaging in “SARCASM” and that all the dim bulbs in the dishonest press don’t get the vast sweep of his subtle wit.

For his next trick, he’s going to swallow his own head.

Just for information’s sake, as any middle-school teacher knows from long experience, this is an example of sarcasm:

“Yeah, sure, like we’re going to hand the nuclear codes to a vulgar talking yam who stiffs his subcontractors and doesn’t know enough about any major issue to throw to a cat. Yeah, we’re gonna do that. Surrrrre.”


Accusing the president of “founding” a barbaric terrorist group and then insisting you were serious?

Not sarcasm.

You know what else isn’t sarcasm? Suggesting that you intend to turn the American system of criminal justice unilaterally into a Peronist nightmare. That’s not sarcasm. The Miami Herald was there.

“Would you try to get the military commissions—the trial court there—to try U.S. citizens?” a reporter asked. “Well, I know that they want to try them in our regular court systems, and I don’t like that at all. I don’t like that at all,” he said. “I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine.”

Actually, that would not be fine. The Constitution says it would not be fine. I suspect more than a few lawyers in the Pentagon would say that it would not be fine. Actually, I suspect Alexander Hamilton, an actual Founder of something, would say that it would not be fine, because he wrote this in Federalist 28:

Independent of all other reasonings upon the subject, it is a full answer to those who require a more peremptory provision against military establishments in times of peace to say that the whole power of the proposed government is to be in the hands of the representatives of the people. This is the essential, and, after all, the only efficacious security for the rights and privileges of the people which is attainable in civil society.

Actually, I suspect that Thomas Jefferson, another actual Founder of something, would say that it would not be fine, because this is one of the particulars on which he arraigned George III in a little document you may have heard of called “The Declaration of Independence.”

(That last part, by the way, was sarcasm.)

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

So, no, I don’t think he’s being sarcastic about any of this. I think there’s only one joke out there, and it’s the one over which obvious anagram Reince Priebus presides.

Ninety Years of Fidel — Jon Lee Anderson in The New Yorker.

Fidel Castro is turning ninety on Saturday. It has been a long life, and a most eventful one. He was born on August 13, 1926, three years before the Great Crash and the start of the global depression. Feature films were still silent; commercial air travel was in its infancy; most people who moved around the globe did so by ship; many navies still used sailing ships. The telephone existed, but for instant global communication and news, the telegram was still the thing. Most cars still had to be started with a hand crank.

Calvin Coolidge was the President of the United States, which at the time had a population of a hundred and seventeen million—a third of its present size—and there were forty-eight states. The United States was not a superpower. The country had few paved roads, and less than ten per cent of the rural population had access to electricity. A Sharia-style ban on the consumption of alcohol, known as Prohibition, had been in force since 1920 (and would last until 1933). Cuba had been an independent republic for a mere twenty-four years. It was the last of Spain’s colonies in the New World to be relinquished, but only after intervention by American forces, in 1898, had ended decades of bloody warfare with Cuban nationalists. Cuba had then fallen under U.S. military administration; it gained its independence in 1902, but only after it had agreed to have the so-called Platt Amendment embedded in its new constitution. This provision granted the U.S. control in perpetuity over Guantánamo Bay, as well as the right to intervene in Cuba whenever it saw fit. For decades thereafter, Cuba remained a virtual American colony, a period that Fidel has always referred to as the “pseudo-republica.” The U.S. Marines intervened repeatedly, and the Presidents were of the pliant variety.

Fidel, and his younger brother Raúl, grew up in Birán, then, as now, a provincial backwater of eastern Cuba, an area dominated in those days by carpetbagging U.S. agribusinesses like United Fruit, which had swooped in and bought up most of the productive land in the halcyon days that followed the Spanish-American War. Fidel’s father, Ángel Castro, had emigrated from a godforsaken corner of Galicia, in Spain, as a teen-ager, and stayed, eventually becoming a kind of peasant overlord with a large and prosperous finca on which he harvested sugarcane with Haitian laborers that was sold to the United Fruit Company.

By the time Fidel was sent to Havana for a private Jesuit education, and from there to Havana University, to study law, he had become an ardent nationalist, a fervent admirer of the country’s nineteenth-century national-independence hero, José Martí—a poet and journalist who had joined the war against the Spaniards and died heroically when he charged the enemy on horseback in his first day on the battlefield. He was an admirer of other historic men of action as well, including Robespierre, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon Bonaparte.

By the age of twenty-one, Fidel had begun to entertain political ambitions of his own, and was becoming known to Cuban authorities as a hothead with political aspirations and a penchant for the dramatic gesture. In 1947, he joined a boat expedition with other would-be revolutionaries planning to violently unseat the neighboring Dominican Republic’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo. The expedition was intercepted by Cuban troops before it ever made it off a remote Cuban cay, but the next year, while Fidel was in Bogotá, Colombia, for an anti-imperalist youth congress, the popular Liberal politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated, sparking massive rioting; Fidel participated. Back in Cuba, in 1949, Fidel helped organize a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy after an incident in which American sailors clambered onto a statue of José Martí in a prominent plaza in Old Havana and urinated on it; Fidel got a police beating for his troubles.

By 1953, aged twenty-seven, Fidel’s ambition was no less than the seizure of power in Cuba, which by then was in the hands of an especially corrupt dictator, Fulgencio Batista. In July, he led a full-frontal assault with several fellow-armed youngsters against the Moncada army barracks in Cuba’s second city of Santiago. It was an unmitigated disaster. A number of rebels died in the fighting, and dozens more were executed, some after being brutally tortured. Fidel survived, and when he was put on trial he defended himself with an impassioned piece of oratory that took him four hours to read out, in which he declared, “History will absolve me.” He was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison, but the proceedings solidified his position as a national figure.

Nearly two years into Fidel’s imprisonment, in an ill-advised act of magnanimity, Batista signed an amnesty that freed Fidel from prison. He immediately went into exile in Mexico, where, with his brother Raúl, who had recruited a young Argentine named Ernesto (Che) Guevara to their cause, he began planning for a guerrilla war against Batista. Within a year and a half, he and his followers had begun that war, and by New Year’s Day, 1959, Batista had fled, and Fidel and his rebels had won.

Then followed the big stuff of history: the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the creation of a one-party state presided over by the Cuban Communist Party; myriad attempts by the C.I.A. to kill or oust Fidel, and his remarkable ability to survive, and to stay in power; his support for guerrilla struggles in dozens of other countries; the great exodus of Cubans who fled the island, mostly to Florida, some for economic reasons and others in search of political freedom. The Soviet Union collapsed, but Fidel remained in power until 2006, when he fell ill and handed the job over to Raúl.

When Fidel came to power, Dwight D. Eisenhower was President. Today it is Barack Obama, an African-American, who visited the island last March at the invitation of Raúl, after the two leaders restored diplomatic relations, in 2014. Fidel was not part of the official visit, nor did he appear in public, but his presence was felt. Over the past decade, as Fidel has adapted to his role as Cuba’s elder statesman, he has expressed his opinions in occasional columns published in the official Communist daily, Granma. In the past year and a half, since the restoration of relations with the Americans, he has made it abundantly clear that he remains deeply skeptical of American intentions, while emphasizing that he supports his younger brother’s decisions. But, coming as it does in the twilight of his life, the fact that the Americans are back—initially in the form of a growing flood of eager tourists, but also as prospective investors—must be deeply poignant for Fidel, whose opposition to el imperialismo yanqui was the mainstay of his political career. What did Fidel think of the fact that American personalities of the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Jerry Springer were touring Havana last spring, taking selfies and tweeting about what they did and saw and ate and drank?

In his last public appearance, at the seventh Cuban Communist Party Congress, in April, a frail-looking Fidel gave a speech in which he did not once mention the Americans. He spoke instead of his preoccupation with the challenges confronting humankind, including the risks posed by arms proliferation, global warming, and food scarcities. And Fidel reaffirmed his faith in Communism, in the future of Cuba, and the legacy that he believed Cuba’s Communists had forged. He also mentioned his looming birthday. It was a milestone, he said, that he had “never expected to reach.”

Stopping Zika Cold — Erica Langston in Mother Jones.

Mosquitoes may be small, but they pack a mean punch. Weighing in at a measly 2.5 milligrams, these buzzing arthropods are responsible for more deaths than snake bites, shark attacks, and murders combined. A whopping 725,000 people die each year from diseases transmitted by this common pest. Researchers have spent decades and millions of dollars fighting dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya—dangerous viruses that female mosquitoes can spread in a single bite. Now—as scientists rev up efforts to tackle the worsening mosquito-borne Zika epidemic that’s rocked the Americas—some scientists are tapping into Earth’s oldest organic armies as they seek to wipe out these diseases.

In this week’s episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, journalist and author Ed Yong explores the emerging science of the microbiome—the trillions of tiny organisms that inhabit the bodies of humans and other animals. Along the way, he tells host Kishore Hari about Wolbachia—one of nature’s most successful land-based bacteria—and its potential to aid the fight against Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Wolbachia, says Yong, has “tremendous promise in bringing tropical diseases to heal.”

Wolbachia is extremely versatile; it can infect more than 40 percent of all arthropod species, including spiders, insects, and mites. Research has shown that female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the bacteria are unable to transmit common viruses, including Zika and dengue. And because Wolbachiapasses from a female mosquito to her offspring, it could spread easily through a wild population. That means releasing a small batch of mosquitoes infected with the bacteria could help eradicate mosquito-borne diseases in a potentially short amount of time, says Yong. For a mosquito whose global range spans six continents—and includes a large chunk of the United States, the impact on global public health could be substantial.

Despite years of research, treatments for many mosquito-borne illnesses is limited. Clinical trials for a Zika vaccine are underway, but researchers don’t expect one to be available to the public for at least 18 months. “There are no vaccines,” Yong says. “There are no good treatments for dengue. We need better ways of controlling these diseases.” Field trials of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitos have been underway in Australia since 2011, and in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam since 2014. The results have shown great promise, with no ill effect on people or the environment.

Yong argues that Wolbachia is safer and more cost-effective than traditional vector control methods, such as spraying with insecticides. And unlike insecticides, bacteria are self-perpetuating. And Wolbachia doesn’t appear to affect mosquito populations, so other insects and animals that feed on these pests won’t miss a meal. “It’s not about killing mosquitos,” Yong says, “it’s about turning them into dead ends for viruses.”

Doonesbury — Meeting of minds.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Git Out

Donald Trump’s latest brainwave:

A President Donald Trump might push for Americans accused of terrorism to be tried in military tribunal at the U.S. Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Republican nominee told the Miami Herald on Thursday.

“I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine,” Trump said in a brief interview ahead of his speech to home builders in Miami Beach.

Under current federal law, it’s illegal to try U.S. citizens at military commissions. Changing the law would require an act of Congress.

In the wide-ranging interview focused on key South Florida issues, Trump continued to question climate change caused by humans. He said he plans to soon sit down with Cuban Americans in Miami to hash out a Cuba policy. And for the first time, he said Congress should set aside money to combat the Zika virus.

Asked about Guantánamo in the past, Trump has said he would like to “load it up with bad dudes.” He wouldn’t specify to the Herald whether as president he would again allow terrorism suspects captured abroad to be transferred to the detention center.

“I want to make sure that if we have radical Islamic terrorists, we have a very safe place to keep them,” he said. President Barack Obama, he added, is “allowing people to get out that are terrible people.”

“Would you try to get the military commissions — the trial court there — to try U.S. citizens?” a reporter asked.

“Well, I know that they want to try them in our regular court systems, and I don’t like that at all. I don’t like that at all,” he said. “I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine.”

Why is it that when this guy comes up with some new idea it turns out to be illegal, immoral, or unworkable?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

They Won’t Give Up

I said something like this a while back, but it bears repeating.

So basically, Trump’s “rigging” argument comes down to this: “Nice little government you’ve got here. Be a shame if anything happened to it.” Sadly it’s almost certain that if he doesn’t win his followers and the GOP will do everything in their power to ensure that Clinton and the rest of us pay a heavy price for it. That’s pretty much what they’ve done for the past 24 years and there’s little reason to think they’ve changed.  They simply refuse to believe they can lose.

This is why the Democrats need to win not only the White House, but the Senate, the House, and start to work on the state legislatures.  The only way to ensure that we won’t have another four or eight years of stagnation and pious tantrums from the likes of Peter King and Mitch McConnell is to leave them with nothing but stand-ups for Fox News.

They can refuse to believe they can lose all they want.  The trick is to make them lose no matter what they believe.

Who Do You Believe?

The Secret Service or Donald Trump?

Via CNN:

A US Secret Service official confirms to CNN that the USSS has spoken to the Trump campaign regarding his Second Amendment comments.

“There has been more than one conversation” on the topic, the official told CNN. But it’s unclear at what level in the campaign structure the conversations occurred.

The campaign told the USSS that Donald Trump did not intend to incite violence, according to the official.

“No such meeting or conversation ever happened,” Trump tweeted in response to CNN’s report.

I’m going with the Secret Service.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Short Takes

Fifty GOP security advisors say Trump would be a “most reckless” president.

Dozens killed in hospital bombing in Pakistan.

“Clock boy” to sue home town school district.

Georgia power company disputes Delta’s claim that power outage caused flight system to go off-line.

Japan’s Emperor Akihito says he wants to abdicate despite law to the contrary.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Overeager To Go Nuclear

According to Joe Scarborough, as reported by TPM, Donald Trump was briefed by a foreign policy expert.  The subject of nuclear weapons came up.

“…Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked, at one point, ‘If we have them, why can’t we use them?” Scarborough said.

“Trump asked three times?” commentator Mike Barnicle asked.

“Three times in an hour briefing, ‘Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?’” Scarborough said again.

In a normal world, anyone that seems that interested in using a nuclear weapon in that manner shouldn’t be allowed to be near them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rubio Stands On Their Bodies

Sen. Marco Rubio said that the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June was one of the reasons he changed his mind and decided to run again for the Senate seat he planned to give up to become president.

The senator had indicated the massacre caused him to reconsider a possible campaign. Rubio said he was “deeply impacted” by tragedy hitting a community he knows well, saying, “it really gives you pause to think about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country.”

So how is he going to share that commitment to being useful?  Why, he’s going to be the keynote speaker at an anti-gay conference, of course.

The Orlando-based Liberty Counsel Action, an extreme anti-LGBT group whose affiliate is famous for representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her stand against the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, announced in an email today that the Florida Renewal Project will be hosting an event called “Rediscovering God in America” in August. The event will be headlined by Rubio, who will speak alongside anti-LGBT activists David Barton, Bill Federer, Ken Graves and Mat Staver.

I can honestly say I didn’t give Marco Rubio enough credit; he can be even shittier than I thought possible.

A Straw Too Far

Over the last week we’ve heard a lot of Trump defenders go along with their god-emperor and come up with new and even worse ways to attack the Khan family, including Mr. Trump’s own theory that Mr. Khan is angry that Mr. Trump wants to keep out radical Islamic terrorists.  Roger Stone, a crackpot advisor to Mr. Trump, is on the conspiracy theory track that Captain Humayun Khan was actually an al-Qaida double agent.

Of course not all of them are anti-Khan.  Since these are Republicans and Trump supporters, you know that at least one of them was going to come up with a way to blame Captain Khan’s death on President Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Katrina Pierson went on CNN to do just that.

It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost his life. So I don’t understand why it’s so hard to understand why Donald Trump was confused about why he was being held responsible for something he had nothing to do with, while Hillary Clinton had EVERYTHING to do with.

Except that Captain Khan was killed in 2004 when Barack Obama was a state senator in Illinois and Hillary Clinton was a senator from New York and the people making the decisions about the rules of engagement were George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.

At this point “blithering idiot” doesn’t seem to cover it, but what’s worse is that there’s a large base of people out there who are agreeing with her.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Yeah But

Any time someone says “Yes, [racism/sexism/misogyny] is terrible and I condemn any one who espouses it” and then says, “but…” they have completely negated any sentiment they may hold about the evils of racism, sexism, or misogyny.

The same can be applied to the chorus of Republicans who are repudiating Donald Trump for attacking the Khan family but still planning to vote for him.

It’s a simple question that every Republican, from Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on down to the local congressional candidate: “Do you repudiate your party’s presidential candidate’s attacks on a Gold Star family?” and they say, “Yeah, but….” you will know the truth.  They don’t.

PS: I see Josh Marshall and I are on the same page.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Signs Of The Times

Because yellow stars and tattoos are so 20th century.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday said he would be in favor of forcing Muslims on the federal government’s terrorism watch list to wear electronic monitoring tags or bracelets for authorities to track their whereabouts.

“I would think that’s an excellent idea,” said Giuliani, an adviser to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “If you’re on the terror watch list, I should you know you’re on the terror watch list. You’re on there for a reason.”

I really wonder whether or not he hears himself.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Duking It Out

The Louisiana GOP isn’t supporting David Duke’s run for the U.S. Senate.

“The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke’s candidacy for any public office,” state party chair Roger Villere said in a statement. “David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.”

Which is ironic since the Republicans just nominated a hate-filled fraud for president.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Short Takes

Texas voter I.D. law struck down.

Trump employee admits to plagiarizing Melina Trump’s speech.

Secret Service investigating Trump advisor who advocated executing Hillary Clinton.

Turkey issues ban on professional travel for academics in wake of coup attempt.

R.I.P. Garry Marshall; producer, actor, and director of Pretty Woman.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

John McCain Is Confused

Apparently John McCain thinks President Barack Obama is also the head of French security.

“As far as the tragedy in France is concerned, obviously this is an act of mayhem and despicable. But I also have to tell you […] that as long as we have a leadership in this country, the president of the United States, who allowed this to happen, his policies are directly responsible for ISIS and ISIS is responsible for these attacks,” McCain said on Arizona radio station KTAR.

And apparently John McCain has forgotten that if the United States had not invaded Iraq — which he voted for — ISIS would never have been created.

But then, what did you expect from the man who thought Sarah Palin was a good pick to be vice president?