Friday, February 21, 2020
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va_lady2008

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Weaponizing Donald Trump

Look for all the representatives in the Clown Bus to start pulling stunts like Graham's burning of his cell phone.

The GOP and Fox News made an extremely presumptuous decision about who does, and does not, get into the big Fox News Debate.

We're still more than a year out from the election, but I suspect the failure of at least 6 of the presumptive candidates to "make" the debate will kill their campaigns.

The "national poll" requirements probably looked reasonable at first glance, so far out from the primaries; however, we've seen enough to convince most of us that this didn't pan out.

There is one thing I will give to conservatives: they never, ever admit they are wrong.  

Swift-Boat Beatdown

Donald Trump stuck a stick into a hornets nest when he made his disgraceful comments about Senator John Mc Cain's service to America.

The first people to call Trump out were Democrats, including Hillary Clinton. There is, if Twitter is to be believed, considerable support for Trump's remarks among the far right wing of the party.

Democrats and Progressives have considerable experience being on the receiving end of GOP slanders and name calling, which is what GOPers do in the absence of facts or rational suggestions.  

We don't much like it.

John McCain is quite able to defend himself, squatting comfortably if not too safely in the Senate. After an indecently long interval, the GOP elite (represented by the Klown Kar, except Ted Cruz) rose up in protest as well.  

There is a supreme irony here, in that even the GOP elite really doesn't seem to like the use of the Swift Boat Beatdown, at least when applied  to one of their own.

The "base" doesn't see it that way:  deliberately dumbed down by 40 years GOP policy telling them

--that the world is simple, that truth is only in black and white (applicable to print, not people)

--given the power, through gerrymandered districts, to command the Republican primaries, made a force to be reckoned with

It thinks this counts as reasonable political commentary.

John Kerry and Max Cleland are properly cited as victims of swift-boating.  There is one more "swift-boated" Democrat, smeared by a Republican, and not usually mentioned in the aftermath of Donald Trump's comments on Senator John McCain.

Tammy Duckworth, Democratic Congress critter from Illinois.

Ms. Duckworth apparently rang every contemptible cowardly bell in the heads of the GOP hierarchy:

1.  Female (good only in their minds as a semen depository, or a forced incubator)

2. Born in Thailand (though of an American father, to a birther that makes her somehow "not American")

3. Asian American (yellow menace threatening the purity of the white race)

4. Fluent in Thai, Bahassa, and Indonesian (uppity educated broad, plus she has a phD)

5.  Combat veteran (makes the yeah-rah neo-cons who never served look bad)

6.  Former Illinois Dept of Veterans Affairs appointee, specializing in working to improve benefits to disabled veterans, something the neo-cons would prefer we not even think about.

The conservative Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald both endorsed her.

The utterly odious, vile incumbent, Joe Walsh decided that swift boating was a great idea. I might add that this cretin was a radio personality who suggested we secure the Mexican border with a moat and alligators.

He tried to lower the boom on Duckworth in July 2012, at a campaign event, when he accused Duckworth of politicizing her military service and injuries, saying "my God, that's all she talks about. Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it's the last thing in the world they talk about."

The woman missing  two legs and one arm. It's pretty hard not to notice. Even for a TeaPublican.  

Indiana Relegalizes Discrimination

I grew up in Indiana and left a 1968 to go to college. I never went back. In my time, Indiana was filled with ignorant bigots. Despite nearly half a century, they have managed to preserve that contemptible aspect of local culture.

The difference between now and then is that now the state government has managed to find a way to re-legalize discrimination of EVERY kind, equal protection under the Constitution and federal law be hanged.

They were prejudiced in my days against everything that wasn't male, white, and straight, and hailed from certain specified Christian sects (Catholics met in covens and drank blood, so they couldn't apply) and had filthy names for everyone else.

Keep in mind that Indiana was the home of the Ku Klux Klan and the rest of this will start to make some sense.

Perhaps more than the faux Christian gusto with which this was passed by the legislature was that signing ceremony the governor staged.

Pence apparently  aspires to be president, but clearly plans to be president of his kind only, and to chase away and disenfranchise everyone else, one way or another.

To be honest, Indiana doesn't have much to recommend it in terms of development potential. It has worked hard in the last 40 years to draw new business.  I'm sure it was expensive, and Governor Pence and his Teavangelical pals have just flushed all of it, including the future, down the toilet.

It's pretty, at least in the south, so there is a thriving tourist industry. Tourist spending is discretionary, and people have a lot of other choices, so I expect that to drop like a rock

It has universities - Indiana, Purdue, Ball State, Indiana State, and many others. The trouble with that one is that educated people from out of state attend, and pay tuition. They have a lot of equally good, and far more welcoming, options.

There are sports - but that represents a problem in itself now that the NBA, the NCAA, and the NFL all admit that they provide services to everyone.

It has a tech industry, pharmaceuticals, and Cummins engines.  All of this depends on being able to lure, hire and retain,  educated, high-tech individuals to the state. And to be honest,  Indiana is rather a hard sell.

The Cummins corporation story is especially instructive in this regard.  Cummins is headquartered in Columbus, a very small town that in my day had NOTHING to recommend it.  Cummins paid the architectural fees for world class architects not only for its own buildings, but for every new or remodeled building in town to make it more attractive.  They did this for entirely pragmatic reasons:  so they could attract, hire and retain talent.

In the private "signing ceremony" the governor staged for this, I noticed he was surrounded by what appeared be people dressed up like Catholic nuns and possibly a Hasidic Rabbi.

Possibly they were real.  Klan history notwithstanding  I guess the Catholics figure they're safe now, all cozied up with the Teavangelicals, although I doubt His Holiness will be pleased.  But about that Rabbi: what makes him think no one will come gunning for him next?

Scott Walker’s Awful Answer on ISIS

Governor Walker of Wisconsin is attempting to rebuild his foreign policy credentials.

He said

"If I can take on 100,000 protesters,I can do the same across the globe."

Think about what this implies: the governor suggests that people who disagree with his policies are the equivalent of 14th-century murdering terrorists in the Middle East.

His red meat supporters literally drooled with delight.

Governor Walker's handlers, when he was called out for comparing the union supporting police and school teachers to ISIL, were pretty slow to issue a faux-denial, of the wink-wink, nudge-nudge variety, to wit.  It came eons to late, and nobody is buying it.  

Kristen Kukowski, communications director for Walker's 527 organization, sends along this statement: Governor Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country faces. He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS. What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership.Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created.

Truthfully, comparing tax paying citizens of Wisconsin who disagree with him to ISIL, and saying that he would exterminate them, is exactly what he was talking about.

My opinion of Walker, initially, was that he was a just another self-promoting, delusional, ham-fisted blowhard bully, cut from the same fabric as Chris Christie. I have now been forced to revise that view.

Gov. Walker is a dangerous person. Ignorance combined with certitude and an unwillingness to learn combined with what passes for Christianity are a prescription for disaster.

Imagine him, or a vengeful, thwarted, ham-fisted bully like Chris Christie, or a newly created religious bigot, like Jeb Bush, with the immense power of the levers of government in his hands. The first thing they will do, after they officially have those powers, is to use them to shut the rest of us up.

This is a man who is entirely capable of making Christian Sharia law look mild.

What we will see is the American version of sharia law imposed on everybody else by the tiny minority old white guys who are terrified of losing their unearned, and undeserved, primacy in American society.

Like every other clown in the car, he is so consumed with hate that he fails to appreciate the fact that the president of the United States must be the president of ALL of us, not just his supporters, and that those who oppose his views are not vermin.  

Jeb Bush, Terri Schiavo, and the Levers of Power of Governments

Jeb Bush suffers from the same intellectual and character flaws and defects as his brother,  magnified by his adopted Catholicism. I think it safe to assume that if he gets the levers of power in his hands again, he will use them without a second  thought to impose his wants, desires, and beliefs on the rest of us, at gun point if necessary.

He has already done so, as Governor. The past is prologue to the future, and gives us an excellent idea of how Jeb Bush will behave if he has the unlimited power of the presidency.

Sen. Mark Obenshain’s Voter Registration by Political Party Bill (SB 1060): Intent Matters

If government has done nothing wrong, then it has nothing to fear from the exposure of its practices. The same applies to politicians.

The Virginia Senate must regret allowing debates to be recorded. Video recording, and especially making it possible to disseminate those recordings (hello, Facebook, who knew it would ever be useful for anything except ogling cats and bragging about your grandkids?) makes it harder to lie and get away with it

No wonder the General Assembly is afraid.

This particular bill (SB 1060), sponsored by Republican Mark Obenshain, is designed to restrict primary voting to the party faithful. Even the conservative Virginia blogosphere admits this, and in the case of The Virginia Conservative actively opposes it.

If you watch and listen to the Obenshain defense in the first half of the posting about it you would be forgiven for imagining (briefly) that it was all about voting integrity.  It is not.

Republican "voting integrity" is always about restricting the vote to the party faithful, not be gaining more faithful, perhaps by promoting policies that benefit all citizens of the Commonwealth, but by disenfranchising everyone else.

State Senator Chap Peterson called him out on it. When caught, Obenshain tried to lie his way out of it, to the effect that he knew what the bill would do and a snide aside that this wasn't his "first time at the rodeo."

Indeed, it is not.  But first, a little background.

UVA, Misogyny, and the Protected Rape Culture

The Greek fraternities (and to a lesser extent some of the sororities, which apparently look the other way) have made an art form out of the "learn to screw everyone" attitudes, so prized by American corporations and a prerequisite for elected office.  

These--along with fluent lying and cheating--are required skills to be in the higher (though not necessarily top) echelons of where "success" is measured by metrics other than accomplishment.

You'll notice the notion of making a profit by building a better product or providing better service; or by providing honest services to the taxpayers, has disappeared from the American exicon.  

No one on any Board of Corporate Directors or among the candidate's supporters, ever asks any damn fool questions, as long as the money (and votes) keeps rolling in.

Unless, of course, the crimes become public knowledge. Then they toss their hands in the air and shout, as did Teresa Sullivan and the  entire management of UVA, that they were shocked, shocked, to find out that this sort of thing is going on.

These skills don't require either first rate intellectual capacity or human decency,  just an entitled Old Boy Virginia Way mentality.

But there is a big problem.  Women are blocking spaces that these entitled creeps think ought to be theirs, by right.  That makes women a problem.

What do ruthless businessman types do with any problem? They get rid of it.

I see the for assault and rape culture of UVA as a part of a response to ia problem: they creeps are having a harder time competing, and no longer can count on the State of Virginia allowing them to discriminate to keep women out of college. There are laws about that. The feds will come looking. So in the dark of night, they slip  date drugs into the drinks, rape  the girls and dump them out on the sidewalk.

They might think twice after a few public perp walks, indictments, trials, and long spells of incarceration, but that NEVER happens. Creeps just like them are in charge of what passes for the University justice system. These creeps  can be counted upon to make sure that nobody is ever punished. The effect is to chase women away from the college.  Problem solved.

Already, here in Northern Virginia, people are expressing doubts about allowing their daughters to even apply to UVA.

And after all, isn't that the whole point?

Florida, Tea Party, and Moochers

What passes for Virginia government will gather later this week, all sweaty with self-righteousness, to debate a Medicaid expansion.

My sad guess is absolutely nothing will come of it because the GOP isn't just blinded by its hate if the President, although that is demonstrably true.

It's stupid.

No Stomach for War

About that item concerning support for a war: really? I don't think so. I don't think most Americans have the stomach for a new war, especially after we were lied into the last useless, expensive and ultimately futile war in an area of the world where our interests, except oil, are quite limited.

America is an island, far away, and we're supposed to shoulder the burden so the Dutch and the Germans have cheap natural gas? I don't think so.  What about he rest of NATO, and everyone else in the Middle East who claims to represent civilized society?   It's their problem, and they're planning on mooching again.

American society has often been referred to as a sleeping bear. We are  slow to anger, but quick to want to help, in a real pinch, and generous to a fault. To a very large degree, we still represent the notion of "live and let live," until we get stung in the nose by a bee. But we also don't like being played for suckers. That is what is happening today.

I'm not an isolationist, but this needs to be said. The people who are leading the charge on this thing are the Warhawks. I noticed that in the forefront, in the Vanguard, is that war criminal Dick Cheney. I wonder, is he still collecting money from Halliburton? Because he has to know, as all of us--fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and friends of those  who  served in  the last war know--that there is no stomach for sending Americans over there.

They're planning on contracting out the war. And who would be the primary beneficiary of this? It would be people like Halliburton. Shell Oil.  British Petroleum.  US arms manufacturers, the corporations propping up NRA. American corporations that are planning inversions so they benefit from taxes paid by suckers like you and me while avoiding making any contributions, much less bearing their fair share of the cost. Rapacious stockholders, moochers all.

They must be thinking that they need to make the already rich richer.

So if the neocons actually think that most Americans support of war, fine, go ahead and try. I want to watch.

1. Get a resolution passed through Congress under the terms of the War Powers act of 1973. It needs to be introduced in both houses, and passed by both houses.  If Congress thinks this is a good idea, let them vote for it openly, in an on the record roll call vote.

2. Reinstate the draft. That'll be popular. The point is not that we need more men - the recession is still going on, so there's probably enough man. The real point is fairness. And while they are about it, change the draft law to  include registering all women, eliminating all deferments, and getting rid of all exemptions. I am sure that if they truly support this,  these politicians will be more than happy to have their sons, and their daughters, and those of the rich contributors, go off to die in some sandy hellhole in the Middle East.

3. Institute a 10 cent surcharge on every dime that transfers hands in this country. Personal. Corporate. Stocks and bonds and real estate.too, not just interest and dividends, but on transfers.  The only thing that should be exempted is line item one on people's income taxes-- that would be the part of wages, tips and salaries, and sales taxes on food and clothing. I'm sure if the American corporations and rich people are so in support of this, they'll be more than happy to pay the increased taxes.

You might wonder why the Virginia Lady is so vehement about this. It's simple: after he graduated from college, my son enlisted in the Marines.  He did two combat tours outside the wires in Fallujah. He wasn't a POG ( person other than grunt).  He was a combat infantryman who did 127 combat missions, that would be 127 days in a row, no days off-- outside the fences, getting shot at daily, on the most dangerous territory at the time on the planet.

He as injured during his first tour (blown up in an ambush by an IED) and sent back in that condition  for a second go because there weren't enough men, and came home finally to be immediately declared 40% disabled. He was in that condition at the beginning of his second tour. That's for life. Among other things were PTSD, tinnitus, and brain trauma, which at first the military denied even existed. He was lucky. It didn't damage his thinking capacity.

So was I.  A  lot of parents, and a lot of soldiers, were way less lucky. Instead of going to Camp Lejune for a joyful reunion, they drive up or down the road to Dover, to meet a casket.  And for information, it is still going on.

Do these three things, Congress and the neocons who control it, and convince me as to how, exactly, the American people, ordinary Joes and Janes, will benefit.  I do not believe this is possible.

Don't talk to me, politicians of all stripes, for one nano second about starting another war until you're willing to send your children. I saw the reality of it, up close and personal. You did not.  

Loser:Maureen McDonnell

It's not just that she's going to jail, it's that by now it must be trickling down into her brain what a lying, feckless piece of  scum her husband is.

I read somewhere, fairly early in the proceedings, that Mrs Rolex DID ask if she could make a plea which would spare him. If true, she was willing to go to jail---with every horrible detail imaginable--to protect him. I think it would be safe to say that if she did this, she still loved  him.  

And he was clearly willing to have her go to jail to save his worthless skin. He's more like a robot, concocted along the best vote getting ideas available, with replaceable modules masquerading as feelings, honor, integrity, and commitment, beliefs, opinions, than anything else.

When one of the modules malfunctions, or becomes inconvenient, the technicians who created him come in and replace it with something better. His marriage vows, he has now decided, were made to harridan. He has convinced himself it really is all her fault.

On reflection, I'm not even sure Guv Rolex is human any more.

Little did she imagine how dispensable she was to him. The Feds, as I recall, weren't interested in her plea for a plea.  From their point  of view she was, I guess, just collateral damage.

Then Guv Rolex brought in a new defense team that cooked up the harridan defense--which seems to have derived from her plea for a plea--but greatly amplified it. The strategy really could only benefit him. She agreed to it. If there was a defense for her, it wasn't noticeable.

There is a distinct possibility, though she was convicted on fewer counts, she will  be in jail longer than he will. That last felony conviction, for obstruction of justice, could, at least theoretically, put her in the slammer for 20 years. I doubt it will be that long, but how many times do you think  the newly freed ex-convict  Guv Rolex, who's response to the trial was to leave her and move in with that convicted bawdy priest, and who glanced at her after the convictions were announced with such obvious disgust and loathing, will visit?  She'll be lucky if he has the decency to wait to annul her until after she gets out of jail.  

 

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