Oct 212016

Courtney, aka Lady Torquemada, put me through some hard paces this morning.  Fatigue was exacerbated by a malfunctioning thermostat that kept the temperature about 15° too high.  On the way home I went to the bank.  After lunch I discovered that Politics Plus has been offline most of the day due to a DDoS attack against DNS servers, and thousands of sites are still down all over the country, so I’m not sure when I can publish this.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:35 (average 3:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From You Tube (Media Matters Channel): How “False Equivalence” Ruins Trump-Clinton News Coverage


False-equivalence is especially popular with Russian propagandists and their 3rd party dupes.

From YouTube (GQ Channel): These Insane Excuses From Trump’s Surrogates Are Deplorable | The Closer with Keith Olbermann |


I am soooo glad Keith is back!!!

From YouTube (CSPAN Channel): Hillary Clinton FULL REMARKS at Al Smith Dinner (C-SPAN)

I’d call that a Rump Dump roast!  In the interest of fairness, here is the complete list of everything worth hearing Trump said during his segment:

…[end of list].




King Midas?

 Posted by at 11:48 am  Politics
Oct 132016

"The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This came to be called the golden touch, or the Midas touch.  … According to Aristotle, legend held that Midas died of starvation as a result of his "vain prayer" for the gold touch." — Wikipedia

Glasser: Based on what you know about his personality from having studied it and written about it, how do you see him handling the next three weeks, given that he’s now in this hole? To me, his combative behavior since the release of the tape, his lack of remorse, his going on the offense, his complaining that it’s not fair, essentially, his going to war even against his own party seems very consistent with the person that you all have done such a good job of describing. So what does he do for the next three weeks? Is there a point at which he gives up, stops fighting? How can he be a loser for three weeks before the actual election?

O’Brien: I think he is just going to wage a scorch‑the‑earth campaign for the next three weeks. And if he loses, which I think he’s going to—I think he’s going to lose badly—he’s then going to come up with a scenario in which it was stolen from him, that the election was rigged, because he’s survived by creating alternate realities. And he’ll never say to himself he lost because he had a skeletal campaign operation, which he did; that he lost because he’s unappealing to a large swath of the voters; that he lost because he’s willfully ignorant about public policy; that he lost because he’s a nasty and unappealing bigot. He’ll never, ever acknowledge any of that. He’ll just come up with an alternate reality that said, “It was rigged against me.” 


O’Brien: Yeah. I don’t feel like I’ve seen or learned anything new about him. I think a lot of the way he’s approached this presidential race parallels all of the strengths and weaknesses of his business career, personally and professionally. He’s a profoundly narcissistic person who has been insulated from the realities of his own bad decision‑making by wealth and other people’s needs to kind of glom onto him, and I think he really did repeat so much of his past mistakes throughout this political season. He came into it with an opportunity and an advantage that he could have really built something on. But because of his myriad flaws—you know, he’s financially undisciplined, he’s emotionally and intellectually undisciplined, and he’s incapable of building teams and leading other people, profoundly incapable of those things—he blew those opportunities.

And I don’t think he really cares. I think he’s been more than satisfied to be on a big global stage and have everybody paying attention to him, and he’ll never characterize himself as a loser in this process, even if he ends up one. 

D’Antonio: I think he’s addicted to this kind of attention and addicted to being taken seriously, or at least in his own estimation being taken seriously. So whatever he does, it will be devoted more to politics and media than what he’s done so far, and the kids are going to pick up the pieces of the real estate and branding empire. I’m working on a piece with some people who are evaluating his business, and he’s really suffered an erosion of his brand, even among the people who supported it. So the kids may have seen some of their inheritance go down the drain here.

From Politico

Click through for this long but interesting piece about Trump, his personality, foibles and actions and the future, as told by four of his biographers.  As I read the piece, I thought of King Midas and his golden touch.  I see Trump in a similar light.  Trump sees himself as the man with the golden touch — he'll make America great again, if you buy his press, which I do not.  But like Midas, who wanted gold and starved because of it, Trump, accustomed to getting what he wants, will starve from the attention that he does not want, the attention ascribed to a loser.



Oct 132016

I haven't posted for some time for a number of reasons, most recently because I fell out of bed in the middle of the night and landed on my shoulder/arm and neck and then got a cold that turned into a wicked sinus infection for which I am still taking anti biotics.  So here we go with an Open Thread and another separate piece.  Not much else going on.  The furbabies, like usual, are here beside me sleeping peacefully.

Short Takes

Maclean's — Canada is a leader when it comes to collaborating on global issues, rockstar Bono said Saturday during his keynote address at a Montreal conference to fundraise for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

“It’s just great to see Canada leading on this,” he said. “You’ve always been ahead of the curve in realizing we can do more if the international community works together and subsuming your ego into the grand plan.”

Bono was joined onstage by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates for the second and final day of an international donor conference that hopes to raise $13 billion to replenish the Global Fund for the fight against these three major infectious diseases.

Canada has already promised more than $800 million for the 2017-19 funding period.

Thank you Bono!  Another reason I am a proud Canadian.

CBC — No hard feelings, eh.

Canada, spurned not long ago at the United Nations, is once again staking out a coveted spot at the foreign policy dais.

Justin Trudeau will address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, delivering his maiden speech as Canadian prime minister at the high-level diplomatic forum that had an acrimonious relationship with this country's previous government.

The 71st annual session of the largest diplomatic conference in the world presents the first opportunity in a decade for Canada to rebrand itself under a new Liberal leadership — not just as a global power broker, but as the progressive voice of international diplomacy.

Six years have passed since the country's historic loss in its bid for a seat at the UN Security Council; five since Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird struck a combative tone at the Assembly, telling the chamber in New York that Canada refuses to "go along in order to get along" on international affairs.

Baird once dismissed the UN as a "debating club for dictators."

Although this article is a little dated now, to me it is still relevant.  In 1964, a UN peacekeeping force was created to, according to Wikipedia "…prevent a recurrence of fighting following intercommunal violence between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and to facilitate a return to normal conditions."  Canada, under PM Lester Pearson (Lib) was part of that force.  I was 12 at the time.  In 1993, Canadian L Gen Roméo Dallaire was the Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, a supposed peacekeeping mission in Rwanda which unfortunately failed.  (http://www.romeodallaire.com/).  Jean Chrétien (Lib) was the Prime Minister.  This is how I like to see my country's actions — peacekeepers — and it is when I have been most proud of it.  So to see PM Justin Trudeau grab the bull by the horns and launch Canada back into peacekeeping commitments was, well, the way it should be.  Harper and his harlots had ecshewed the UN in no uncertain terms.  So, we're baaaack!

Raw Story — First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday directly addressed allegations that Donald Trump groped and touched women inappropriately.

“The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning, I simply will not repeat anything here today,” she told a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire. “And last week we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that. A candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women and I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this."

Well said Michelle Obama!  It is about time that people of influence denounced Trump and his Republican sycophants for their shameful rhetoric and lies about women and girls.

ReutersAmericans should vote for Donald Trump as president next month or risk being dragged into a nuclear war, according to a Russian ultra-nationalist ally of President Vladimir Putin who likes to compare himself to the U.S. Republican candidate.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an interview that Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington.

By contrast, Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton could spark World War Three, said Zhirinovsky, who received a top state award from Putin after his pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) came third in Russia's parliamentary election last month.

Another one for the books!  Click through for more and a video.  Definitely a "Barf Bag Alert" needed!


My Universe



Duck and Cover!

 Posted by at 1:22 pm  Politics
Oct 052016

When I was a child, we all knew that, in the event of a nuclear attack, we were to duck and cover!  We practiced crawling under our desks, curling unto a ball, and covering our heads.  Now had there been an actual nuclear blast, the only good that might have done was to spread the ashes a bit more evenly.  That defense did Mike Pence even less good, when he used it against Tim Kaine’s onslaught of facts against both Pence and Trump.


Mike Pence defended Donald J. Trump by scarcely defending him at all.

For 90 minutes on Tuesday night, Mr. Pence, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, was asked, over and over, to carry out perhaps the most unenviable, thankless and futile task in American politics: answering for Mr. Trump’s cruel name-calling, factual distortions and radical proposals.

Instead, he dodged, deflected and demurred — deciding, it seemed, that all of the fires that Mr. Trump has set in the past year could not be doused in a single night.

When his Democratic rival, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, delivered a scorching rebuke of Mr. Trump’s affection for autocrats like Vladimir V. Putin and Saddam Hussein, both of whom he has praised, Mr. Pence, the governor of Indiana, looked over, weighed the message and promptly changed the subject.

“Did you work on that one a long time?” Mr. Pence mischievously asked his rival. “Because that had a lot of really creative lines in it.”…

From <NY Times>

He also lied without ceasing.

Here are three short clips from the Rachel Maddow Show.

In the first, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt projects Hillary’s future tactics.

The Republican is right. That’s what I think Hillary will do, and she will be right to do so.

In the second, Joy Reid critiques the way Kaine went after Pence.

I disagree with Joy. While Kaine was far more aggressive than I expected him to be, I don’t think he overdid it, as he demonstrated Pence’s inability to defend Trump by any means other than lie after painfully obvious lie.

In the third, Courtney Kube debunks a Pence lie about Trump idol, Vladimir Putin (R-RU).

Pence parroted lies like this all evening.

According to Daily Kos, Pence’s lying was so extreme that Correct the Record made a video about it.

In conclusion, I can summarize the best thing about the 2016 Vice Presidential debates in five words: it was the only one!


Oliver Blasts Hannity!

 Posted by at 1:17 pm  Politics
Oct 042016

Ever since the Tuesday Night Massacre, Rump Dump Trump has been trying to convince the world that he won, so he sent out his evil legion of Alt-Right Nazi trolls from 4chan and  8chan with instructions on how to cast hundreds of votes each online polls.  No serious media outlets take those polls seriously, but at the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, it's different.

Hannity-tinIn a hilarious deconstruction of last week’s first presidential debate – and its devastating aftermath for Donald Trump – John Oliver got in some excellent comedic shots at Sean Hannity and Fox News.

I’ve previously written about how Hannity has joined his beloved Donald Trump in citing meaningless online reader polls in order to spin Trump’s big loss last week as a win.

But Oliver adds a certain something that is funny and devastating at the same time. Including this line, after he noted that Fox News announced that those polls “do not meet our editorial standards.”

OLIVER: Which is shocking since I was pretty sure Fox News’ only editorial standards were “All ladies must be 8s or above” and “Try not to say the N-word.”

From <Crooks and Liars>


Hopefully, you have a better understanding of this Republican lie, and had a good laugh in the process.

Oct 042016

I’m trying to be lazy today, so I can watch the VP debate tonight.  The best outcome is that Kaine makes a convincing argument that Pence, Trump and the downballot Republicans are all virtually the same.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:48 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the news from Week 4 in our own fantasy football league.





Oh how the mighty hath fallen!

Short Takes:

From KP Daily Funnies: Drunk Trump 4: The Drunkest Guy at the Bar


I have to admit that there have been several times I wondered what drug he was on.

From Daily Kos: In 1997, Keith Cooper was arrested and convicted for an armed robbery in Elkhart, Indiana. After serving 10 years for the conviction, DNA evidence pointed to another man, already in custody for a similar crime. Every eyewitness account also recanted their testimony that led to Mr. Cooper’s conviction, as the witnesses were denied a police line up they requested before the trial. Cooper’s retrial was ordered, but the new prosecutor, Curtis Hill, offered Keith a plea deal which would give him an immediate release, rather than waiting months or years for the retrial. All Keith had to do was admit his guilt for a crime he didn’t commit. Keith’s wife and children were about to become homeless, so what else could Keith do? What would you do? Keith has been living with the stigma and real limitations of being a convicted felon ever since.

And now, Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s Vice-Presidential running mate, refuses to provide justice to Keith Cooper, even after admitting Cooper’s innocence. In an ongoing battle to remove his felony status, Mr. Pence finally responded…by delaying a decision. His reasoning?

“Although the judicial system may not be perfect, given the extraordinary nature of Mr. Cooper’s request, we need to be certain the judicial process is complete and has been given every opportunity to address any error that may have occurred."

In other words, he basically doesn’t want to, and goes on to make the absurd argument that no governor has ever pardoned an innocent man.

I keep hearing the argument that, if Rump Dump is elected, he’ll be a figurehead, and Pence will be running things. I don’t believe it, but if it’s true, Pence is no better than Trump. In spite of Republican disingenuous claims to the contrary, Trump and Pence reflect the policies and positions of the Republican Party perfectly.

From The New Yorker: Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, called Donald J. Trump a “genius” on Monday for his controversial plan to burn down the White House to collect insurance money.

Appearing on Fox News, Christie said that Trump’s scheme to collect fire-insurance payments on the White House would “make a serious dent” in the national debt.

“It’s not just the White House,” Christie told Fox’s Sean Hannity. “That building is chock-full of priceless antiques, paintings, and rugs, all of which, when burned, would fetch a pretty penny.”

Actually, Andy, it’s a pretty good idea. If Trump becomes President, he’ll destroy the government and the nation so quickly, that there will no longer be a need for a White House.