Monday, October 31, 2016

The Stuff Of Your Nightmares

Today's Keith

...and he's pissed, man.

Supply Side Halloween

So, I'll be giving all of the candy to the first 12 or 15 kids who come to the door, trusting they'll take care of all the other kids tomorrow when they get to school.

On Henry Wallace

"The American Fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information."
--Henry Wallace

Henry Wallace was a rarity in politics - he actually changed his mind on a couple of occasions; when evidence and circumstance required it.

трахать этих русских ублюдков

Chicago Tribune:
Former senior U.S. national security officials are dismayed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's repeated refusal to accept the judgment of intelligence professionals that Russia stole files from the Democratic National Committee computers in an effort to influence the U.S. election.
The former officials, who have served presidents in both parties, say they were bewildered when Trump cast doubt on Russia's role after receiving a classified briefing on the subject and again after an unusually blunt statement from U.S. agencies saying they were "confident" that Moscow had orchestrated the attacks.
"It defies logic," retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, said of Trump's pronouncements.
Trump has assured supporters that, if elected, he would surround himself with experts on defense and foreign affairs, where he has little experience. But when it comes to Russia, he has made it clear that he is not listening to intelligence officials, the former officials said.

 Miami Herald:
Roger Stone, a self-described master of the political dark arts and the longtime ally of Donald Trump, admits he has had “back-channel communications” with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the release of thousands of emails stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Stone, however, said he was not provided the hacked material in advance nor was he involved in the timing of their release.
“I do have a back-channel communication with Assange, because we have a good mutual friend,” Stone told CBS4 News Wednesday evening. “That friend travels back and forth from the United States to London and we talk. I had dinner with him last Monday.”
Like they say, maybe it's not a fire - just lots and lots and lots of really heavy smoke.

And btw - at this point, even though the contents of the emails could be the biggest horriblest thing since The Donnie and Marie Show, they mean practically nothing compared with the really big horribleness of the rat-fuck process that brought them to light.  And maybe that could eventually become the silver lining in this monstrous cloud of shit.

Happy Halloween

(click to humongous-ize)

Today's Tweet

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Campaign Song

It's History-Makin'

And Now This

A Trump supporter - showing his true colors as a racist asshole (surprise surprise) - hanged a coupla black mannequins from a tree out by his yard sign, claiming it was "just a Halloween thing".

Somehow, I doubt that last bit.

This shit right here is why the emails don't really matter right now, and why it matters a lot more that the acting Director of the FBI is basically rat-fucking for the GOP. Priorities.

And the first priority has to be stomping this shit into the dust.

Seth Takes A Closer Look

True believers following a domineering personality, driven by Paranoia, Conspiracy and Resentment - and isolated to the point of never listening to anyone outside their own little group.

That's not a political party - that's a cult.

And I know I shouldn't say it, but can't we just skip ahead to the part where they all do the Kool-Aid thing?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Meme For A Day

What if I told you plants are farming us? What if they give us food and oxygen just so we grow and then become fertilizer for them when we die?

Oh, By The Fucking Way

The day before yesterday was Teddy Roosevelt's birthday - he would've been 158 years old. Yay, TR.

Now, how do you suppose we managed to celebrate the Father of Public Lands; the guy who invented the National Park?

We acquitted and released the Bundy Gang, sending a swell message to the rest of Y'all Qaeda (thanks, tengrain) and every fucking yahoo with a gun, a bad attitude and a 7th grader's understanding of the US Constitution that it's open season on the BLM and pretty much all the other institutions having grown out of a deep abiding respect for the land and for the commitment that your rights don't include doing whatever the law can't force you not to do because you're gullible enough to swallow every little piece of shit that floats by on the intertoobz.

One more thing - Nullification has a distinct aroma, and it seems to be strongly wafting in from points west.  You thought the 90s were pretty fucked up?  Hang loose and just watch what comes next.

Cosmic Muffin have mercy.

New Music

Blind Pilot
  Umpqua Rushing
  Packed Powder
  Don't Doubt
  Joik #3

New Rules

"...grow the fuck up - she's a civil servant, not a craft beer."

Friday, October 28, 2016

Today's Podcast

...and an empty bag of fucks that Barack Obama left behind.

Starting at about 39:40 - Stimulus and Keynesian Spending will happen (soon, more or less) because the bankers and the investor class need it, therefor demand it. The Bond Market will drive it.  Maybe that's partly what those Wall Street speeches were about(?)

And Barack Obama hitting the trail to campaign for down-ballot candidates like a fucking boss.

You can't change anybody else's heart - you change policy - you enact laws that change people's behavior - and over time, those hearts will change themselves.

Nowhere To Hide

Everything gets pushed down the priorities list because it's Election Season - and of course, it's always Election Season any more. 

The fact that we can't quite figure out what's the right thing to do here is one of the things that's getting people killed, as it hastens the demise of our little experiment in self-government.

We can't just walk away from the need for energy - even the shitty fossil fuels kind of energy right now - but if the Acquisition Cost for that energy includes poisoning the water and the air and the food - which means sick and dying people, which means fewer customers to buy the shit you're trying to sell - then what the fuck is the point?

We can't take the Human Cost out of it, and the proof of that should be obvious - without humans, there are no customers, and since every business is Customer-Centric, every business proposition without humans is unworkable. Cuz it's long been solidly established that even tho' you love to fantasize about it once in a while, it's rude to kill the customers.

Make a deal with the companies, and with the directors and managers who benefit from the pipeline. A deal that includes a requirement for every decision-maker and every decision-influencer to show up (with their wives and kids) onsite every month and chug 32 ounces of water taken directly from the wells their operations might impact.  

We should prob'ly include politicians in that one as well.   

You wanna be the guy calling the shots? Fine - you get to live or die (literally if need be) with the outcome.

Mike has spoken. So let it be written; so let it be done. 

Pussy Riot (NSFW)

Tolokonnikova said she recorded the song in February with the US musician, guitarist and producer Dave Sitek, whom she described as “one of the biggest feminists I’ve ever met”. The video was shot in Los Angeles.
Tolokonnikova said Sitek was inspired by her phrase: “Does your vagina have a brand?”. “So it made total sense to write a song which celebrates [the] vagina with him,” she said.
“This song could be considered an answer to Trump. But I believe the idea of powerful female sexuality is much bigger than any populist megalomaniac man … Vagina is bigger than Trump.”
The Russian punk band’s latest video Straight Outta Vagina, released on Tuesday, features Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova wearing white clerical robes and trademark balaclava, plus a chorus line of men and women sitting in toilet cubicles and standing at urinals. There is also an inflatable duck.
In typically provocative style, the video includes the lyrics: “If your vagina lands in prison, then the whole world’s going to listen.” And: “Don’t play stupid, don’t play dumb, vagina’s where you’re really from.”


Getting a majority of the votes doesn't necessarily mean you get a majority representation.  

A recent analysis by political scientists John Sides and Eric McGhee suggests that Democrats are poised to win a majority of votes in U.S. House contests but walk away with a minority of seats — again. As I wrote last week, a big factor in this odd disparity is the way some Republican state legislatures have gerrymandered congressional districts in a way that gives them far more House seats than their popular vote totals would suggest.
For a refresher on how gerrymandering happens, recall that the Constitution mandates that every 10 years, seats in the U.S. House are doled out to states according to state populations, as determined by the decennial census. In 2010, for instance, it worked out that a state got one house seat for roughly every 710,000 inhabitants. States have to assign each of their House seats to a congressional district. This requires drawing a map that splits a state up into a number of geographic regions, each with a population of about 710,000.
In most states, this process is done by the state legislature with the approval of the governor. So you see where the potential for shenanigans starts to creep in: If the statehouse and governor's mansion are controlled by the same political party, there's not much to stop them from drawing congressional districts in a way that maximizes that party's representation in the U.S. Congress.
But first - is there a better name for a Political Scientist than "Sides"?

Anyway it seems the marketing geniuses have taken over the political process just like everything else.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Today's Pix

Charlie Looks Inside

Charlie Pierce (the whole banana):
Thursday's required reading on the subject of Rats: How They Won't Fuck Themselves comes from Bloomberg News, courtesy of Josh Green and Sasha Issenberg, who were allowed inside the guts of the Trump campaign—"Only the best e.coli. Great e.coli!"—to see what's actually going on with it beyond rallies and baseball caps. What they found should scare the hell out of two groups that otherwise have little contact with each other—people who care about the health of our democracy, and Republicans.
As to the former, the big noisy takeaway is an admission from "a senior campaign official" that the primary goal of the actual Trump campaign is to suppress the votes of people who have demonstrated a deep immunity to the appeal of El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago.
"We have three major voter suppression operations under way," says a senior official. They're aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump's invocation at the debate of Clinton's WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are "super predators" is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.
OK, so this is nasty and distasteful and dangerous, and it's a wonder that John Lewis doesn't just show up for work some morning with an ax in his hand and murder in his eye. But it can't really be surprising. Suppressing minority voters—rather than, say, earning their support with something beyond "What have you got to lose?"—is now as conventional a piece of Republican electoral strategy as tax cuts and fetus-fondling are.
This is true at all levels, from the local polling place all the way up to the Supreme Court, and has been for quite some time. Hell, it was how William Rehnquist got his start in Republican politics and he went on to a sweet career, if I recall correctly. So having a senior official come clean on it is a nice detail to have, and it will make a lot of noise and, if American democracy continues its historic run of luck, the revelation will piss off enough people at whom the strategy is aimed to bury it under a landslide. I'm not betting heavy either way on that one.
Meanwhile, our buddies at Oath Keepers wish to remind their members to do the Voter Intimidation shit in a totally non-intimidating way.

Today's Keith

The Libel Bully

The ABA is a group that's almost exclusively lawyers - high-profile and high-compensation people - but they were worried Trump would sue them if they criticized him in print.

And Eiron did a spit take.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the American Bar Association refused to publish a report that it had commissioned on Donald Trump’s tendency to file meritless lawsuits. The punchline? ABA's in-house lawyers were afraid Trump might file a meritless lawsuit over the contents of the report.
An ABA spokesperson now denies that the organization quashed the report. (It was not an official ABA inquiry but a thorough article by the LA-based solo practitioner Susan E. Seager, a longtime media lawyer, written for a publication of the media lawyer subgroup of the ABA.) The spokesperson insists that the ABA's editorial and legal staff simply offered its professional opinion on changes that ought to be made to reduce its supposed partisan tenor, ad hominem tone, and — yes — its profile as a target for a suit. Withdrawing the piece rather than negotiating over changes was the authors' call, the ABA says.
Seager, however, says it was clear that the editorial instructions were nonnegotiable, and David Bodney, the immediate past chair of the ABA's media law subgroup, backs her up. He tells Vox in an email: "In my experience, the ABA's attempt to dilute Ms. Seager's article was extraordinary, if not unprecedented, and demonstrates the importance of lawyers standing up against actions taken under the guise of our libel laws that would chill freedom of expression."

What follows is Seager’s fully footnoted original article, including the vivid language and headline the ABA brass vetoed. —Christopher Shea, Editor of The Big Idea

Today's Tweet

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Color Me Unsurprised

The Daily Beast:
Green Party Presidential Nominee Jill Stein has largely based her campaign on her uncompromising positions on the environment, opposition to big banks and Wall Street, defense contractors, and the pharmaceutical industry. But an analysis of her financial disclosures, which she was required to file as a presidential candidate, show that she is heavily invested in the very industries that she maligns the most and as a result of her investments, she has built significant wealth.
...Stein has invested $995,011 to $2.2 million in funds such as the Vanguard 500 fund that maintain significant stakes in Exxon and other energy companies like Chevron, Duke Energy, Conoco Phillips, and Toho Gas, a Japanese company that engages in the sale of natural gas, tar, and coke, a fuel made from coal.
Stein has invested roughly $1.2 to $2.65 million in funds like the TIAA-CREF Equity Index that have big stakes in the financial services industry. Holdings in these funds include big banks like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank as major parts of their investment portfolios. Five of the funds that Stein invests in maintain large positions in Wells Fargo Bank, which has come under fire recently amid charges that its employees being pressured to force clients to open up fraudulent new accounts.
In one of the handful of direct stock investments Stein holds, she listed between $50,001 and $100,000 in the pharmaceutical giant Merck, which paid a record fine for over-billing Medicaid. She has also invested $1,130,010 to $2,400,000 in funds that maintain significant stakes in Pfizer, Novartis, Johnson and Johnson, and Allergan.
And it just kinda goes on from there, including Big Tobacco and Defense Giants like Raytheon.

It's hard to keep your money out of the hands of the bad guys, but when you're basically making your living slagging the bad guys, you need to make a better effort not to help fund them with your investment dollars.

Cuz, y'know - uh - Green Party(?) 


I Love Y'all Like Chicken


Don't get happy
Get busy
Get out the vote

Myth Busting

The point to remember is that you help people by helping them, which sounds like the big "Duh", but it can be really hard to figure that one out.

What should be the easy part is understanding that you're not helping anybody if you kick 'em when they're down. (aka: First, do no harm)

Chances are, if you have been affected by drug addiction or just watched enough reality TV, you've heard something about the concept of "codependency." It's the idea that partners and relatives of addicted people basically have a disease just like their loved ones—leading them to "enable" the problem by preventing addicts from "hitting bottom." After gaining currency in the 1980s, the concept is now infiltrating America's latest national conversation about heroin addiction.
The only problem is that it is inaccurate, unscientific, and harmful.
Even so, the classic text on the subject—the 1986 self-help book Codependent No More—remains on the Amazon best seller list for addictions. A new reality show focused on intervening in so-called codependent relationships premiered this year. And this crazy election season has seen seemingly endless talk of how Hillary Clinton "enabled" her husband Bill's alleged sexual addiction. (Trump's wives somehow get a pass.)
The good news is that the addictions field is slowly coming around to the idea that treatment should be based on evidence, not anecdote. Even so, care for families and the rhetoric around it remains stubbornly trapped in the past.
Evidence, not Anecdote. 


Maybe somebody could propose it as a replacement for the national motto.

A Very Short Play

Women: No Transgender has ever attacked anyone in a public bathroom. It's just not something we're worried about.

GOP: That makes no difference! We must keep women and girls safe from the sexual predators no matter what!

Women: We do need to do something about the disturbingly high incidence of rape on college campuses.

GOP: Have you tried not dressing like a slut?


hat tip = Vicki W-E on Facebook

Meanwhile, Back In The World

Charlie Pierce:
As the presidential campaign staggers to its conclusion, I think we can fairly sum up the positions of the respective political parties on the climate crisis in the following way.
Republican: It might be real. It might not be. It might be the Chinese. Middle Ages. Grant-sucking lab rats. But, if it is real, it isn't worth doing anything about because sooooo much money.
Democratic: It's real. It's happening. You hate science. Here are some solution-like proposals that prove that we know it's real and that it's happening and that we love science with a love undying. And you hate science.
Repubs may have hit on the one big thing about everything that'll count over the next 25 years - immigration.

More accurately, migration. The herds follow the food, and the food follows the water.  As more places become less human-friendly, those humans have to go someplace else.

Unfortunately, we're showing ourselves to be unwilling to do much to prevent the circumstances that drive people away from their traditional homelands, which seems to be leading us to believe the only thing we can do is to react to a shitty situation by turning USAmerica Inc into a giant Gun Club where the object is simply to keep everybody else out.

Eventually though - what's the fuckin' point? We won't be defending anything worth saving.

Today's Tweet

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Don't Blow It

Today's Brain Blower

And for the nutty-buddies who just can't quite get past "Resist The Corrupt Duopoly!", try to remember this one weird thing - especially in light of the strong probability of electing a woman POTUS for the first time:

Saying you won't vote because you think nothing changes if we just go on supporting the same buncha politicians who got us into this mess, is not really different from somebody saying there's no use pushing for the 19th amendment because men are the only ones being elected because men are the only ones voting, and men will never pass an amendment that potentially dilutes their power by half.

Things change.  We can take part in that change and try to guide it towards an outcome that's more to our liking, or we can sit on our asses while somebody else does all the work, and watch as they make it happen the way they want it to happen.

Pussy Grabs Back

From the comments section at Crooks and Liars:

Today's Tweet

The country's number one "not-a-politician politician" in 2008:

Same ol' same ol'.  It's too easy to hit him with "was he lying then or is he lying now?".  Maybe he just changed his mind - of course, you could make the point that he couldn't very well change something he doesn't have, but that's a little too easy as well.

Anyway, he describes Hillary in glowing terms, revealing that he understands it's "just politics", and for me, he makes known two things. First is that he's a politician and he knows he's a politician. Second, he's a politician who makes loud and frequent declarations that he's not a politician - which makes him a phony - which further confirms he's a politician.

The Mnemonic

Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Part 1

Part 2

"Beat this dick-waving Berlusconi knock-off like a little bitch"

That should be a t-shirt.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Bummer, Don

Andy Borowitz:
NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—The billionaire Donald J. Trump’s bid to become a born-again Christian failed over the weekend after Jesus Christ turned down his friend request, campaign officials have acknowledged.

Confirming What We've Known

This is not news to any of us who've been watching things like this - and it's certainly not news to anybody who's been on the short end their whole lives.

What continues to be news is that so many of us are still hot to swallow the malarkey that "we" have to lose everything in order to make it possible for "them" just to get one lousy shot at winning any-fucking-thing at all.

The more money the "unwashed of the low-born" have in their pockets, the more money they're likely to spend on whatever weird shit you carry in your little hobby-career boutique solidly entrepreneurial job-creating noble-rich legacy-schmuck powerhouse bidness.  

So grow the fuck up, Dilbert.

Bullshit Redux

Repeal ObamaCare...

...and replace it with Healthcare Saving Accounts - because poor people can just take all the money they don't have right now and save it up so that some day in a bright and golden future, they can spend it on an insurance policy that helps pay for the remodeling on the beach house of a Mid-Level Manager whose bonus incentives are driven by the special language of the policies, which makes sure the "coverage" calls for paying out only as much as any given client's lawyer can force the company to pay.

As a recovering Republican myself, here's the basic rebuttal for anyone trying to make the case for repeal by repeating the (mostly) bogus junk about Obamacare being a disaster:

I got to keep my doctor; my premiums haven't gone up at all in 3 years; it covers all but about $10 per prescription on my meds - the point is that it's working for me, so what the fuck do I care? Go bitch about it to somebody else.

If you wanna make noise, you could beat up on the state legislatures that decided not to take the Medicaid Expansion in order to make the thing as shitty as possible for their constituents, knowing a lotta those constituents are actually dumb enough to keep voting for the assholes who're making the thing shitty while blaming all the problems on the voters themselves.

Trouble is, that shit continues to work on way too many people.

This Just In

On That Email Thing

NYT (possible pay wall):
They have not brought a major scandal to the surface, at least not yet, and even won praise from some supporters like The Post’s editorial page, which said they showed Mrs. Clinton’s “sound policy instincts.” They’ve certainly not blown up the system, as might happen in a more closed, undemocratic form of government.
If repressive foreign governments want to make a regular thing of hacking into United States leaders’ email to undermine the country, and domestic politicians like Mr. Trump want to keep embracing that kind of “help,” then the news media may have to rethink how to handle it.
But so far, the hacks have only proved that the United States system knows how to process reality and can handle the truth, which should encourage our leaders to offer more of it.
So for that much, I guess, thanks, Vladimir Putin. Now, ready to share youremails?
There could be a lot more to "the emails" than I've seen - and fake lord knows I haven't seen a whole helluva lot, so I could be standing on the warning track way the fuck off in left field - but I've been wondering for a while why the emails are always and only about the Dems, and never the Repubs, and it seems most of the Press Poodles never make it clear that they include anything that could be considered exculpatory in any real way.

What we get is "Oooh, this could be dark and mysterious and horrible - it prob'ly isn't - but it could be, and that would mean the end of the world as we know it! But I'm afraid we'll have to leave it there and blah blah blah"

Gee - it's almost as if somebody wants us to think a certain way about something.

Politics brings out the liar in all of us, so all I can do is try to test each thing for "reasonable-ness" and follow what I can as far as I can.

But all this shit - it's a wonderment.

Here's Your Daily Keith

Not particularly comfortable with the "foreign" bit, unless he's identifying Trump's ideas and approach as being foreign to American democratic ideals(?)

So, "No, Mr Trump - you're the foreigner here."

Today's Tweet

Today's Pix

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sorry In Advance (NSFW)

Cuz like the man said (paraphrasing) - nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste or the intelligence of the American consumer.

This Shit Is Not OK

The tweet said this was spotted at a Trump rally in Virginia Beach yesterday (10-22-16).

This goes under the general heading : Stochastic Terrorism.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

You Don't Know Cute

You can keep your Kitty Cat / Puppy Dog videos - here's Joe Biden finding 50¢ on the sidewalk: