Monday, October 24, 2016

Back To When?

Via C&L, we meet a Trump voter who wants to take her country back to a time when we didn’t have “the homosexuals” and “the abortions.”

A voter named Barbara explained that she was motivated to support Trump because “morality and values” were important to her.

“Based on what the country was based on,” she said. “I think that the laws that Obama has passed, the way the country has — I call it down turning. Some of the other people are proud of it and happy for it. I personally am against it, the homosexuals, the abortions. All the stuff, I am against.”

“When Donald Trump says ‘Make American Great Again,’ is that what you hear?” Dickerson wondered. “That it’s going to go back to before the time that you’re now describing?”

“That’s part of it,” Barbara agreed.

I’m not sure how far we’d have to go back in time to make Barbara happy.  If history is any guide, there have been gay people since the days that the first Homo Sapiens got together and checked out the hunky dude in the tight loincloth from the next cave over.  Abortion has been around since people figured out where babies come from.

Actually, I get where Barbara is coming from.  She wants gays back in the closet and abortions in the back alley so that we can all go on with our lives pretending that everyone is happily straight and that all babies are bundles of joy.  There were no teens driven to suicide because of bullying or being disowned for being “different,” no families torn apart by religious bigotry and poorly-suppressed reality, and there was no rape or incest or life-threatening birth defects.  Life was perfect until Barack Obama came along and in eight years just ruined it all.

PS: “The Homosexuals” and “The Abortions” sounds like the line-up of an ’80’s heavy-metal band concert.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Short Takes

China and Philippines make nice, reopen talks on disputed territory.

Politics and in-fighting hamper offensive in Mosul.

President Obama takes on Marco Rubio in Miami.

Trump Foundation paid right-wing filmmaker James O’Keefe.

Trump bombs at Al Smith dinner.

Cubs beat the Dodgers to get close to the Series.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Derangement Will Continue

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told a Philadelphia radio station that the Republican intransigence against anything a Democratic president does, including nominations to the Supreme Court, will continue if Hillary Clinton is elected.

“I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” McCain said on WPHT Philadelphia radio in an interview first flagged by CNN. “I promise you. This is where we need the majority.”

It didn’t take too long for Sen. McCain’s office to come out with “Well, he didn’t really mean that,” but there’s every reason to believe that he did.  Obstreperous obstruction has been the way of the GOP since January 20, 2009 and as far as they’re concerned, it’s worked just great: they managed to not only frustrate President Obama’s agenda as best they could, they blocked his judicial appointments, tried to repeal Obamacare nearly sixty times, and then turned to their base and blamed him for nothing getting done in Washington.

By the way, if things had worked out differently in 2008, we’d be looking at the last few weeks of the 2016 election pitting Hillary Clinton against Vice President Sarah Palin and her running mate, Ted Cruz.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tough Competition

Between Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), and Blake Farenthold (R-TX), the competition is tough to decide who is the Stupidest Member of Congress.

Here’s Mr. Farenthold’s latest entry for consideration via Steven Benen:

Late last week, when an audio recording surfaced of Trump bragging about sexual assault, dozens of GOP officials abandoned the Republican presidential candidate, but even in this case, the vast majority of the party’s members of Congress and governors stuck with Trump.

So, for these loyal partisans, is there any limit? Is there literally nothing the GOP nominee could say or do to cause them to walk away? On MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” the host posed a striking hypothetical to Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas). Here’s the relevant part of the exchange:

FARENTHOLD: I’m not here to defend Donald Trump. I don’t like what he said, but …

HAYES: If a tape came out with Donald Trump saying that – if a tape came out with Donald Trump saying that, saying “I really like to rape women,” you would continue to endorse him.

FARENTHOLD: Again, it would, I — that would be bad, and I would have to consider – I’d consider it. But again, we’re talking about what Donald Trump said 10 years ago as opposed to what Hillary Clinton has done in the past two or three years.

In other words, if the Texas congressman heard Donald Trump boasting about rape, Farenthold would “consider” withdrawing his support, but according to what he said on the air last night, it wouldn’t be an automatic deal-breaker.

I think we have a winner.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

He’s Got Their Vote

There’s one bloc Hillary Clinton will never be able to persuade:

With bellicose foreign policy and his hostility to Muslims, Donald Trump has fashioned himself as a major threat to jihadist extremists, but they themselves see his posturing also as an opportunity, according to analysts who study their communications.


“It’s clear they find his comments, they find his demeanor, they find his approach, in some way serving the goals of ISIS in some manner, whether it be in having a ground war in Syria or weakening the United States,” Laith Alkhouri, a counterterrorism analyst and co-founder of the threat intelligence firm FlashPoint, told TPM. “They believe that with the U.S. weakening down that the Caliphate will actually rise.”

Alkhouri researches online networks used by terrorist groups and their supporters, including one dark web site he described as a “holistic jihadist web forum” the also serves as an Islamic State mouthpiece.

One such discussion began with a meme posted by a user of a homeless person in California holding a sign that says “Give me $$$ or I will vote for Trump,” which the commenter captioned, “even the American beggar knows the danger of Trump on the Americans.”


Mara Revkin, a PhD student at Yale who has studied ISIS governance, told TPM that in her interviews with both current Islamic State supporters and defectors, Trump is viewed as the ultimate enemy, someone who may push the U.S. into a ground war in the Middle East.

Revkin–who has traveled a total of four times to Turkey and Iraq this year for her research– said that one Syrian Islamic State defector told her in Turkey that ISIS uses Trump in their propaganda because he is the “perfect enemy.” Revkin added that the Arabic might translate more directly as “excellent enemy.”

“His anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim rhetoric totally validates ISIS claims that Muslims are unwelcome in Europe and the U.S., and that they would be better off living in its so-called caliphate,” she said. “ISIS exploits these inflammatory statements to mobilize its supporters around the idea that the West—and America in particular—is hostile to Islam.”

Between these folks and our home-grown KKK and Neo-Nazi alt-right fans, Mr. Trump’s hold on the extremists is unassailable.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Birtherism Born Again

Here we go again.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Thursday went where the candidate has refused to publicly go — saying Trump does believe President Barack Obama was born in the United States, even though the GOP nominee on Wednesday ducked the question.

Trump told the Washington Post in an interview Wednesday night that was published Thursday that “I’ll answer that question at the right time” and “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

But Thursday night, Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement: “Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”

Here’s the Trump campaign statement in full:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton’s henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.

In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.

Tim Murphy at Mother Jones took a look at the Trump campaign statement and says that “virtually every line of the statement is a lie.”

Hillary Clinton did not allege that the president was born in Kenya. Trump did not compel Obama to release his birth certificate “when others had not”—Obama had already released a copy of his birth certificate, but critics, including Trump, believed it to be a fake. So Obama released a longer birth certificate in 2011—but that release did not bring “closure” to the issue. Instead, Trump called it a forgery, citing “Israeli science,” and announced that he was sending a team of investigators to Hawaii to uncover the truth. He suggested that a Hawaiian health official who knew of the cover-up had died in suspicious circumstances.

And no, Mr. Trump does not believe that President Obama was born in the United States.

He’s got himself in the corner now because he’s going to be asked about it again and again, and he’s not going to give in.  First, he never gives in on anything.  Second, even if he did, he’d be blowing it with a large number of his base — aka The Deplorables — who firmly believe that Barack Obama is an alien, a usurper, the Anti-Christ, and the guy who keeps calling and telling them he’s from the IRS.

The only way to get out from under this would be to release his taxes.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

He’s Worse

I actually think Mike Pence is a worse candidate for national office than Donald Trump.  Not because he’s more bellicose, avowedly racist, and a serial liar who makes stuff up just to see if the CNN crawl will call him out on it.  It’s because he’s comparatively low-key and seemingly nice and polite with a restrained ego and comparatively polished demeanor.  Those are the ones you have to really watch out for.

For example, he was shocked and saddened that Hillary Clinton pointed out that there are those who support his ticket who are racists and religious bigots.  Not because they are not (because that’s glaringly obvious), but because that would be rude.

BLITZER: But [Clinton] said, there are supporters, and you know this, there are some supporters of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who, David Duke, for example, some other white nationalist, who would fit into that category of deplorables. Right?”

PENCE: “As I’ve told you the last time I was on, I’m not sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name. Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of people who think like him.”

BLITZER: “You called him a deplorable. You would call him a deplorable?”

PENCE: “No, I’m not in the name-calling business, Wolf, you know me better than that.”

So he refuses to call a card-carrying, robe-wearing, cross-burning racist anti-Semite “deplorable” because it might hurt his feelings?  Aw, isn’t that nice?  And he won’t renounce Mr. Trump’s birther campaign because that’s old news; it happened four years ago.  (News flash: Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State four years ago when she had the private e-mail account.  Why isn’t that old news?)

The loudmouths get all the attention for their outrageous statements and policy pronouncements, but it’s the quiet ones who are genial and benign on TV — “you know me better than that, Wolf” — who do the dirty work behind the scenes and implement the evil that men do.  Think Dick Cheney and company.  Or if you need a more extreme example, think Himmler and Eichmann.

Oh, okay, so Mike Pence and the Trump enablers may not be harbingers of the Third Reich, but there are those among his followers who would be happy to teach them how to goose-step.

Overcompensating For A Loss

Kentucky’s governor calls for bloodshed if Hillary Clinton wins.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin made an appearance at the “Values Voter Summit” last weekend to rev up the haters and “patriots” for November.

During his speech, Bevin related a story. “Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview and they said, ‘Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive? That we would ever be able to recover as a nation?’ And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ,” he said.

He continued, “But I will tell you this: I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children.”

“It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away,” he concluded.

(Nine children?  What did he do, marry a Xerox machine?  Ever heard of overpopulation?  And bragging about it… ever heard of overcompensation?  We get it: your dick works.  Mazel tov.)

Advocating armed rebellion because you don’t like the way an election turned out is what makes you “deplorable.”

Thursday, September 8, 2016

General Tech Support

Colin Powell sent Hillary Clinton an e-mail on how to get around the security apparatus for e-mails at the State Department.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, publicly released an email exchange in which former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the use of personal email two days after she was sworn in as Secretary.

“This email exchange shows that Secretary Powell advised Secretary Clinton with a detailed blueprint on how to skirt security rules and bypass requirements to preserve federal records, although Secretary Clinton has made clear that she did not rely on this advice.

This email exchange also illustrates the longstanding problem that no Secretary of State ever used an official unclassified email account until the current Secretary of State.”

Full e-mail exchange between Powell and Clinton here.

Lock him up.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Little Boys and Their Little Toys

The New York Times did a piece on white guys and their obsession with blowing black smoke out of their big butch trucks.

But to diesel owners like Corey Blue of Roanoke, Ill., the very efforts to ban coal rolling represent the worst of government overreach and environmental activism. “Your bill will not stop us!” Mr. Blue wrote to Will Guzzardi, a state representative who has proposed a $5,000 fine on anyone who removes or alters emissions equipment.

“Why don’t you go live in Sweden and get the heck out of our country,” Mr. Blue wrote.” I will continue to roll coal anytime I feel like and fog your stupid eco-cars.”

Sounds like they’re trying to overcome another shortcoming.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Short Takes

President Obama cancels meeting with Philippines president.

Obama and Putin have “blunt” talk on summit sidelines.

Hillary Clinton gives the press a lift on campaign plane.

Roger Ailes hints he’ll sue New York magazine.

Tropical Update: The newest model is Invest 92L southeast of Hispaniola.

The Tigers beat the White Sox, keep in the hunt for a wild card spot.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Yes, It Can Happen Here — Part III

Following up on the post below, Rachel Maddow looks at the scare tactics and frankly scary bloviation by Donald Trump in his speech in Phoenix.

Ms. Maddow’s comparison to the Know-Nothings and the anti-immigrant wave in 19th century America is spot on, but if you want to really get down to where we’ve seen this blame-the-Others more recently, all you have to do is look at 1930’s Europe when the post-World War I economies crashed and let in the rats of fascism and racism.

Yes, it can happen here.

HT to CLW.

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