December 4, 2016

In the never ending series of - don't wish too hard, you might get what you want

Donald Trump won the Electoral College (though not the popular vote) on the strength of overwhelming support from working-class whites, who feel left behind by a changing economy and society. And they’re about to get their reward — the same reward that, throughout Mr. Trump’s career, has come to everyone who trusted his good intentions. Think Trump University.

Yes, the white working class is about to be betrayed.
 Seduced and betrayed by Donald Trump 

December 3, 2016

Finally, Trump Explained

Do you remember “50 First Dates”? It was a Drew Barrymore movie about a woman with short-term amnesia who wakes up every morning with no memory whatsoever of the day that went before.
I am thinking it’s the perfect Donald Trump analogy.

In the past, I’ve always presumed that when Trump completely changed his position on health care or the Mexican wall or nuclear weapons in Japan, it was due to craven political opportunism. But it’s much more calming to work under the assumption that he doesn’t remember anything that happened before this morning.
Think about it next time you hear him bragging about his big margin of victory. “We won in a landslide. That was a landslide,” he told a crowd in Ohio on Thursday. It was perhaps the first time in history that a candidate used those terms after receiving 2.5 million votes fewer than his competitor.

It’s stupendously irritating, unless you work under the assumption that he no longer recalls the real story.
This week, Trump was on a victory lap in Indiana, where United Technologies just agreed to keep about 1,000 jobs at a Carrier gas-furnace factory that had been slated to be moved to Mexico. Trump had repeatedly vowed to save the Carrier jobs during the campaign, and even though there is no reason to believe this will have any effect whatsoever on other jobs in other factories, it seemed like a nice symbolic win.

But during his remarks to his ebullient fans, Trump cheerfully explained that he had no memory whatsoever of having promised to protect the Carrier workers. Until he heard it on TV.
Trump told the folks in Indiana that he had been watching the news one night last week and saw a feature in which a Carrier worker said he was not worried about the company’s plans to move his job to Mexico because Donald Trump had promised to save it.

“I said, ‘I wonder if he’s being sarcastic, because this ship has sailed.’”
But no, Trump said that he then watched a clip of Donald Trump the candidate, “and he made the statement that Carrier’s not going anywhere, they’re not leaving.”


He is just like Leonard, the hero of the movie “Memento,” who had to tattoo the clues to a murder on his arm because he couldn’t remember anything. Although Leonard made way more effort.

I am not the only person trying to come up with an overarching explanation for Trump’s failure to keep a constant position, but I think I’ve got the most flattering theory.

Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told a postelection panel this week that the media’s negative response to his candidate’s constantly switching stories was due to an insistence on taking him “so literally.”

American voters, Lewandowski continued, understood “that sometimes, when you have a conversation with people, whether it’s around the dinner table or at a bar, you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”

Some of you may find it disturbing that one of Trump’s chief apologists was basically saying that he talks policy like a drunk at happy hour. Some of you may hear Trump constantly contradicting today what he said yesterday and decide he’s an idiot.

From now on I’m going to try to think of him as a little bit like my dog, Frieda. Frieda is extremely intelligent, but her memory is only good for about 90 seconds.

Trump Explained

November 26, 2016

NYTs: Sticking to the moral high ground

While the NYTs met with Trump, not all editors chose to attend.

The very idea of sitting across the table from a demagogue who preyed on racial, ethnic and religious hostilities, and treating him with decorum and social grace fills me with disgust, to the point of overflowing. Let me tell you here where I stand on your "I hope we can all get along" plea: Never.
You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything - no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts - to satisfy your ambitions.

I don't believe you care much at all about this country nor your party nor the American people. I believe that the only thing you care about is self-aggrandisement and self-enrichment. Your strongest allegiance is to your own cupidity.

I also believe that much of your campaign was an act of psychological projection, as we are now learning that many of the things you slammed Clinton for are things of which you may actually be guilty.
 Donal Trump you're the reason we can't just get along

Best breakfast

Ice cream for breakfast is good for your brain and makes you happy. Chocolate cake for breakfast can help you lose weight.

So we conclude: to be thin, clever and chirpy, have chocolate cake and ice cream for breakfast. 

There is no Santa!

The only 'magic' of Christmas is family, holidays, presents, and too much food. 

Christmas is not ruined, ruined, ruined if parents fail to perpetuate the lie of Santa Claus.

Talking to kids about Santa Claus

November 24, 2016

Clinton more popular as the days drift by

Yet in the two weeks since the election, Clinton’s actual popular vote margin has continued to grow, complicating facile denunciations of the Democratic Party and its alleged failure. The former secretary of state now leads Trump by more than 2 million votes, according to the Cook Political Report, with 64,223,958 votes to Trump’s 62,206,395, as of Wednesday morning. Most of those votes are clustered in major urban areas in states that were a lock-in for Democrats—New York and California chief among them—and therefore did not affect the eventual electoral college outcome, which appeared as a minor landslide for the Republican.

As Clinton’s margin continues to grow, her ballooning lead will likely contribute to public angst over the electoral college, which gives more weight to smaller, more rural states at the expense of more populous, cosmopolitan ones. Several Democrats are openly questioning the worth of the current system and, in the case of retiring California Senator Barabara Boxer, are calling for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the 228-year-old institution. Even some of the electors themselves want fundamental change: Politico reports that a small group of “faithless” Democratic electors are trying to convince their Republican counterparts to vote against Trump when the college is convened in December—not to deny Trump the presidency, but to highlight the system’s obsolescence.

November 23, 2016

All growed up

Now that he is POTUS elect, Donald Trump is suddenly acting like a grown up.

Since the president-elect is known for being a rational, mild-mannered man not at all prone to lashing out over perceived slights in a manner more befitting a three year-old than the soon-to-be Commander in Chief, it seems crazy that he would react like a sixth-grader spreading rumors about a girl who turned him down for the holiday dance. (Or, perhaps more accurately, like a real estate tycoon spurned by a well-known Italian model.) But if this is how it's gonna be, Mitt Romney had better accept that Secretary of State job unless he wants to walk into the boy’s bathroom and see “For a good time call Mitt” and his home phone number scrawled across one of the stalls. 
 Trump trash talks Jamie Dimon

November 22, 2016


So pretty.

The roundest object in the universe.

Wall Street’s Vampire Squids Pucker Up for Trump

Wall Street is not without reservations about the president elect. The Street long ago washed its hands of Trump after he singed banks repeatedly by building, dismantling, and then rebuilding his private empire. The only major financial firm still doing corporate business with Trump is Deutsche Bank, and that is despite the fact that Trump sued the bank, in 2008, after he refused to repay the money that he borrowed to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. (Trump claimed a force majeure as a result of what he argued was Deutsche Bank’s role in causing the financial crisis. The parties have since settled their legal dispute.)

Steve Bannon, Trump’s newly appointed White House senior advisor, used to work at Goldman, too, as did hedge-fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, who is also a member of Trump’s transition team. That’s an awful lot of Goldman people on the small Trump team, especially considering Goldman has made a particular point of not doing any business with the guy.

Wall Street’s Vampire Squids Pucker Up for Trump

Insult to justice

Donald Trump ran a presidential campaign that stoked white racial resentment. His choice for attorney general — which, like his other early choices, has been praised by white supremacists — embodies that worldview. We expect today’s senators, like their predecessors in 1986, to examine Mr. Sessions’s views and record with bipartisan rigor. If they do, it is hard to imagine that they will endorse a man once rejected for a low-level judgeship to safeguard justice for all Americans as attorney general.

And that's why the share price for private prisons increased following Trump's win.

Attorney General an insult to Justice 

The show rolls on

For Trump, it's all a game show.

A Trump Tower view 

November 21, 2016

All over, but the counting continues

The Associated Press count as of Saturday was Clinton with 63,390,669 and Trump standing at 61,820,845 – a difference of 1,569,824. 

Hillary more popular as count goes on

November 20, 2016

Doomsday 11/9

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.” - Neil Postman

November 19, 2016

The loss of fact

“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, and particularly in an age of social media, where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” he said. “People, if they just repeat attacks enough, and outright lies over and over again, as long as it's on Facebook and people can see it, as long as it's on social media, people start believing it. And it creates this dust cloud of nonsense.”
 Powerpoint made us dumb, now social media is making us stupid.

Obama slams Facebook for outright lies 

November 18, 2016

Trump’s America, as Seen From Brexitland

 Dear Americans: You have my deepest sympathy. We Remainers are familiar with your plight—the shock, the bewilderment, the vague feeling of dread when you wake each morning. What America is enduring—the triumph of lies and xenophobia over enlightened value—is perhaps even harder to bear than it was in England during Brexit since there is nothing quite as monstrous or false as Donald Trump over here, or anywhere else in Europe. But the Trump victory and Brexit are the result of the same populist insurgency, as many Trump supporters have gleefully pointed out. The Far Right is also on the march in France, Germany, Holland, Austria, and across Eastern Europe, and it has drawn strength from Trump’s victory.

The similarities in the condition of the U.K. and the U.S. are remarkable, particularly the resentment for the political and metropolitan elites felt by insurgents. We have heard much about the inequalities that pushed people to vote against their own economic interests in Britain and some of those arguments have been used to explain the Trump phenomenon. I don’t buy them all, by the way, but it’s clear that neither Trump’s economic plan nor the floundering British government will do anything to alleviate the lot of the people who have voted for the upset. Britain’s withdrawal from its nearest market and America’s proposed isolationism will do more to destroy jobs and prosperity than any policy either country has pursued since the war.

This will be the moment when supporters of a rational and enlightened society will strike to make their most devastating critique of Trump and Brexit. In the meantime, however, the majority of Americans who are suffering the painful sense of loss and confusion have to know that there are millions on the other side of the Atlantic who appreciate what you are going through. We have your back. Good luck.

Bullying in the age of Trump

Now the country has elected a man who threaded racist, xenophobic and misogynistic messages and mockery of disabled people through his campaign. Donald J. Trump’s victory gives others license to do the same. There are already signs that during his presidency, the moral values that schools and parents have been helping to instill in young people — empathy and “upstanding,” a term schools use that means looking out for fellow students who are being mistreated — will be in danger of eroding.
 Following by example. 

Bullying in the age of Trump 

November 14, 2016

Hell froze over

Trump’s rhetoric – including his controversial stances on immigration, the military, and more – is well documented, and Oliver joked that it sounded like “reading the to-do list on Satan’s refrigerator. Which of course Satan no longer needs now that hell has frozen over.”

“Either we just elected a president who didn’t mean a single thing he said, or we elected one who did. And it’s impossible to know which one,” 

Oliver explained how despite some strong work from the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN in covering Trump’s campaign, most Americans consume their news inside an echo chamber – one that isn’t afraid to promote false stories. Oliver cited a recent BuzzFeed News story which found 38 percent of posts on three major right-wing Facebook pages included some form of fiction or misinterpretation, while 19 percent on liberal pages were also guilty of trafficking in fabrication.

“Weird conspiracy bullsh– has always been bubbling under the surface,” Oliver said. “But Trump was the first major candidate to harness and fully legitimize it. And It’s obvious in hindsight: He came along and told millions of people every crazy email you’ve ever forwarded was true. And that, at least in part, is why he will be our next president.”

As for Oliver’s other query: “What the f— do we do now?” The host had some suggestions. “We need to stay here and fight,” he said. “For the last eight years, we’ve had a president we could assume would generally stand up for the rights of all Americans. But that is going to change now. So we’re going to have to actively stand up for one another. And it can’t just be sounding off on the internet or sharing think pieces or videos like this one that echo around your bubble. I’m talking about actual sacrifice to support people who are now under threat.”
 What the fuck do we do now 

Not a racist bone in his body

Trump's first two appointments.

On the up side, no one from the Ku Klux Klan has been appointed ... yet.

Steve Bannon senior advisor

Reince Priebus chief of staff

Being right sucks

Regrets, The Simpsons have had one or two:

Being right sucks  

(From whence it came, for those who didn't keep up over the most recent decade of Simpsons episodes:

Predicting Trump - episode)

November 12, 2016

Blame Game

Let's get this exactly straight, to save an awful lot of drivel (and there is so much drivel from the stalls, isn't there, now that the deed has been done).

The Republican Party should have put the kybosh on the Trump candidacy a year ago.  They didn't. 

Too gutless, too stupid, didn't believe it could possibly happen.

The blame is wholly and solely with the party leaders, who fluffed about, did a bit of hand-wringing, but somehow thought it would all work out of its own accord.  One by one their other candidates fell, their alarm grew loud and louder, but they still did nothing.

The media treated the Trump candidacy like a money making circus sideshow, because that's exactly what it was, a campaign so base it was one more unbelievable freak act after the other.

In the end, even sitting and past Republicans did not vote for Trump, they urged others not to vote for him.  Even the Republicans could not morally stomach winning if it meant Trump would be the President, they preferred to lose, and clean up their own house for next time around, with a qualified candidate who reflected the dignity of the office.

Not voting for your own candidate is a nice gesture, displaying courage when all those around are acting like barbarians takes backbone.  But it was already one minute to midnight, and far too late for gestures or moral courage to prevail.

So there is the blame. 

Can everyone stop hysterically blaming the left or the media or the Democrats or Clinton, or whatever.  It's not that no one saw it coming.  We all fucking saw it coming.  There were only two candidates for goodness sake, the odds were pretty high that one of them would win, and 'one' of them was Donald Trump, so do the maths, go back and look at all the headlines over and over telling us how close it was, the headlines that kept telling us that Trump was a very strong chance to win, based on all polling, the headlines that - no matter the new and stomach churning revelations about Trump's amoral business and personal inner workings - didn't see a single blip in his popularity with voters.

Yes, we were in denial that this could possibly be true, because anything foretold on The Simpsons 10 years ago was just too stupid to come true.  Just as the Republican Party was in denial a year ago, and remained in denial until the very end, when they cast their own votes for anyone other than Trump.

The past and current republican leaders felt so badly about Trump that they wanted to lose the Presidency.

Now they have him, and so do we.  They did this.

The irresistable call to be one of the crowd, to conform, began within hours of Trump's win

In a letter to their subscribers, even The New York Times has already reduced the staggeringly vile and unethical Trump campaign to nothing more concerning than 'unconventional' (and thus why many thought he couldn't possibly win).

But it's not only the media, normal everyday people have already adopted totalitarian tones in siding with the winner, as if this will make them immune from the fallout of a Trump presidency. 

Now let us turn to Ionesco, who was not so immune to people's startling willingness to instantly adapt to the 'new normal' (which long ago became entrenched in relation to terrorism), and so will acquiesce and advocate for evil, rather than risk being seen as judgemental or falling off side from the new elites. 
In the early hours of Nov. 9, 2016, the winner of the presidential election was declared. As the day unfolded, the extent to which a moral rhinoceritis had taken hold was apparent. People magazine had a giddy piece about the president-elect’s daughter and her family, a sequence of photos that they headlined “way too cute.” In The New York Times, one opinion piece suggested that the belligerent bigot’s supporters ought not be shamed. Another asked whether this president-elect could be a good president and found cause for optimism. Cable news anchors were able to express their surprise at the outcome of the election, but not in any way vocalize their fury. All around were the unmistakable signs of normalization in progress. So many were falling into line without being pushed. It was happening at tremendous speed, like a contagion. And it was catching even those whose plan was, like Dudard’s in “Rhinoceros,” to criticize “from the inside.”

Evil settles into everyday life when people are unable or unwilling to recognize it. It makes its home among us when we are keen to minimize it or describe it as something else. This is not a process that began a week or month or year ago. It did not begin with drone assassinations, or with the war on Iraq. Evil has always been here. But now it has taken on a totalitarian tone.
A time for refusal 

Can we all just agree that shock and sadness are legitimate responses to a world changing event

Yes - this is what I thought about Trump's speech, people praised him no end, but he was clearly as stunned & shocked as anyone else.
(Now American's are being told they should not be stunned or shocked or upset, as if his winning in a first world democracy should be accepted with sanguine silence, or that totalitarian Trump rule means never having a feeling or opinion not sanctioned by the ruling elite.)
He even had something of that “What do we do now?” gaze that Robert Redford wore after his startling election-night win in “The Candidate.” It felt deeper than that too. Trump was entering a wholly new and terrifying space. He had never commanded a more triumphant stage, yet he suddenly resembled a shrinking fish tossed into scary waters.
I watched Trump again Thursday, as President Obama hosted him at the White House. The president-elect was deferential and gracious as the media entered the Oval Office. He also conveyed the same hesitant vibe as he did on election night, which was oddly reassuring. “The fact that the president-elect looks a bit shocked and more somber today is the most heartening thing I’ve seen in days,” tweeted Tom Nichols, a professor at the United States Naval War College and a vocal Trump critic during the campaign.
At least Trump was human enough to be nervous, or humble enough to let it show all over his face. Yes, this was really happening, and the realization was sinking into Donald J. Trump like the initial drips of anesthesia: His life had changed utterly, and so had the world.
The Presidential Look

POTUS & FLOTUS start packing

Obama already stealing White House soaps