She’s Shocked To Find Gambling In This Establishment

What in Donald Trump’s history made this woman think he gives a crap about people like her?

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury — Steven Mnuchin — all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

“I just wish that I had not voted,” said Colebrook, 59. “I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in.”

Oh, the poor dear. It’s almost as if she’s blithely unaware that there was another person she could have voted for. Someone who wouldn’t have nominated a man nicknamed “The Foreclosure King” to be Treasury Secretary. But that person gave speeches to Goldman Sachs on women entrepreneurs so, arrgle barrgle {static on the line what’s that you’re saying sorry I can’t hear you CLICK}.

Here’s a neat trick for wading through the bullshit for the next election: look at what people do, not what they say. This election we had one candidate who talked a good game but whose past was littered with dirty deeds, like using eminent domain to toss an elderly woman from her home, filing vindictive lawsuits, not paying taxes, being secretive, and not paying contractors. We had another candidate who also said the right things and whose past was filled with demonstrated actions backing them up: fighting for family leave, universal healthcare coverage, and fighting for women’s rights around the world. But again … there were some emails and arrgle barrgle …

Dumbass Americans, I can’t even feel sorry for you. I just can’t.

7 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election

If We Could Change The World (Again)

I’m sorry. I’ve neglected you.

Part of it is being busy with work, but let’s be honest: most of it is heartbreak, disillusionment, worry and fear. I don’t know where we’re headed but all signs point to nothing good. The level of foreign interference in this election is beyond alarming (here and here, for starters). I just don’t have the stomach to worry about trivial stuff like little kids getting their hands on unsecured guns when the entire country is going down a very dark, authoritarian path.

What this means for me and this blog, I don’t know. While I try to figure things out, I wanted to re-post this item from January 2010. I’ve come out of this election feeling like what I wrote back then is more relevant than ever. Without further ado:

————————————-

There’s been a lot of talk around the internets about the state of the national Democratic Party, the future of the Tennessee Democratic Party, yada yada. Clearly progressives are disappointed that nationally we’ve received very little for all we did to bring Democrats the majority in 2006 and the White House in 2008. Meanwhile, our state party is filled with “Democrats” like Doug Jackson of Dickson, known for his rabidly pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay positions, including a bill that would ban gays from being foster parents. And really, TNDP: was Ty Cobb, someone quite possibly more conservative than the Republican who ultimately won the seat, the best we could do?

We are not happy, and now we even have liberal activists from Berkeley and L.A. wanting to primary some of our least heinous Congress Critters. The irony is, the Republican Party is facing the same problem: its rabble-rousing Tea Party base is threatening to purge the GOP of its moderate members, sending folks like Arlen Specter over to my side of the aisle, which frankly doesn’t please me one bit. I get the concept of the “big tent” but when that tent grows so large as to encompass members of the opposite party, something’s wrong. Meanwhile, conservative Dems like Parker Griffith of Alabama have jumped ship to the Republican Party.

So what the heck is going on here?

It all looks like so much shuffling of deck chairs on the Titanic to me. While it’s endless fodder for the Sunday morning gasbag shows and folks like Chris Matthews and Politico, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past decade it’s that ultimately, it’s all meaningless. I hate to get all super-cynical here but let’s face it: in terms of really addressing the problems people face–lack of jobs, lack of access to things like a college education for their kids, affordable healthcare, etc.–politics amounts to very little.

The bottom line is, politics won’t fix our country’s problems. We’ve been told by both political parties that politics can change things, and maybe we bought that line for a while, but ultimately regardless of your political persuasion, you must have emerged from the Oughts realizing that’s a BS line peddled by people trying to raise money. The Bush years were a big fail for conservatives, who didn’t get the small government and fiscal restraint they wanted. On the left, Clinton gave us NAFTA, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and welfare “reform,” while Obama, though in office just a year, has already escalated a war and failed to deliver the healthcare reform we need. Yes there have been a few, modest little blips of positive news here and there (mostly on the environment), but our country is sinking faster into the abyss, and it’s members of both parties who are responsible.

So, for people who really want to change things, make them better, who still idealistically believe in changing the world, what do you do? It seems our votes are meaningless. Our government is too broken, the system too corrupted to be fixed the old fashioned way. Our media no longer informs, and now we can no longer even agree on the basic facts of an issue like climate change or healthcare. Everything is just a mass of white noise, with people hollering about “socialism” and “fascism” and “government-run healthcare” and “liberal scientists” and stuff that’s so far removed from reality so as to make the debate meaningless.

I have friends who still believe in the old-fashioned boycott, who are calling on people to do things like dump their health insurance in the hopes of bringing about reform. But I’ve questioned the efficacy of boycotts for years now. We’re just too splintered as a society now.

I have my personal boycotts, I don’t shop at WalMart or any of Lee Beaman’s businesses, or any of Dale Inc.’s businesses. They’re all major contributors to Republican Party candidates and PACs and, in Beaman’s case, wingnutty groups like the Club For Growth, English First and the Swift Boat smearmongers. I don’t want to support that so I don’t do business with those folks but calling for a boycott is going to be as effective as the religious right’s failed boycott of Disney. All it did was make the AFA and Southern Baptist Convention look foolish.

Nothing is black and white anymore (if it ever was); everything is shades of gray. I remember shopping at Whole Foods the day after progressives called for a boycott because of CEO John Mackey’s Wall Street Journal op-ed. The store was as packed as ever. I didn’t join the calls for a boycott because frankly I thought it was stupid to punish a company that supports organic farming, fair trade, local agriculture, etc. because you disagree with the CEO’s position on health reform. But if that’s a boycott you personally want to support, more power to you. We all have our own personal standards, we have to wake up and look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning, so do what you’ve got to do. But making someone feel like a dick because they won’t put their family at risk by dumping their health insurance? Nah, I’m not going to sign up for that.

If voting doesn’t work, and boycotts don’t work, what will? Increasingly I’m convinced that the only thing that will change the world, indeed the only thing that ever has, is the creative arts. Music, literature, art, film: these things hit people on an emotional level, they can transform one’s view of the world and engage people in a way that politics does not.

(To the conservatives rolling their eyes at me right now, let me remind you: Ayn Rand still has a movement today because of her books.)

So I’m going to challenge all of my liberal friends to get creative this year. Now is the time to take an idea and put it to music, movement, poetry or canvass. Take your view of the world and write a short story about it and put it out there. The mass media has changed, the gatekeepers are gone. Anyone can put their work on the internet, on a blog, on YouTube or iTunes. Now is the time to express yourself. Enough with the electioneering and fundraising and petitioning. Now is the time to touch people where it will do the most good: in their hearts.

And to my creative women friends, I’d like to call your attention to the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project’s 2010 call for entries for its spring Women’s Work showcase. All sorts of creative arts are represented, not just dramatic works. Check it out!

So my liberal progressive friends: Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is simple. Express yourselves.

Now get busy.

20 Comments

Filed under art, politics, politics and film, rants

America, You Break My Heart

Meet Your New First Lady

Meet Your New First Lady

I don’t think I can stomach all of the think pieces about “economic anxiety” and “demographics” and “the anti-establishment vote” and all the other bullshit punditry we’re going to see over the next few days.

No. Just shut up. Shut up about all of that. Here are the facts:

1- Republicans control all three branches of government now. The last time that happened we got two wars, a record high budget deficit, a crashed economy, and a government so inept that it let one of this country’s greatest cities drown. So congratulations, America. You bought it, you own it.

2- It’s not a vote against the “establishment” when you send the same assholes back to Congress. See item 1.

Seriously, shut up about that. I saw a Trump supporter on TV last night say she wanted to “drain the swamp.” It’s not “draining the swamp” when virtually the same swampthings are headed back to D.C., except now with an authoritarian Putin wannabe at the helm. You’ve basically turbo-charged the swamp.

I mean, come on. They sent John fucking McCain back to Washington, you guys. John McCain was first elected to Congress in 1982. He’s been in Congress for 34 years. You don’t get more establishment than that.

3- Racsim is a real thing and it’s stronger than you know. Please stop denying the deep, rotting undercurrent of racism in this country just because we got two terms of a black president. Here’s a fact: America’s first president to follow its first African-American president was sued for discrimination and endorsed by White Nationalists. Last night’s vote was a vote about white fear. Own it.

Republican racism is now mainstream, has been for a long time. When Chief Justice John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act, states like North Carolina wasted no time enacting new policies that targeted people of color. This was craven, political opportunism, and it targeted voters of color. It targeted black people. That is the literal definition of racism.

4- Third parties were spoilers. Again. They always are, people. What have I been saying? We have a two-party system. That’s reality. Don’t like it? Move to fucking Britain where they have a Parliament. We don’t have one, so learn to count. Option one is the Republican candidate. Option two is the Democratic candidate. That’s it, folks. There is no third option.

I’m talking to every single one of you people intelligent enough to see that a President Trump would be a disaster. Yes, you folks on both the right and left: if you failed to vote for the only viable alternative to Trump, then you can go fuck yourselves. Yes, fuck you Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Sen. Lindsey Graham, friends of this blog, and my own financial advisor down in Brentwood, Tennessee, who said he was voting for Gary Johnson because he wanted to “shake things up.” You voted for these people, even though Gary Johnson is a blubbering idiot who knows nothing, and even though Jill Stein, aka Tofu Palin, is an equally incompetent nincompoop who pops up every four years like a bad case of herpes. And in so doing, you elected Donald Trump. If you cast your vote for these people, you own the results.

I especially want to give a stiff middle finger to the folks who voted for Gary Johnson or Evan McMullin and voted to send their Republican Congress critters back to Washington (See Item 2). You basically cancelled out your “vote against the establishment” by empowering this idiot with a full Republican majority.

4- The Fourth Estate is dead. The American institution known as the news media has failed. It failed by promoting candidate Trump, promoting a bullshit Clinton email story, and filling the airwaves with behind-the-curtain “process stories.” Instead of informing the American people, they talked about the horse race (is feature not bug, I know, I know). Sorry, Steve Kornacki, but when MSNBC put you in front of your little map to do your mathematical jujitsu, it was a waste of everyone’s time. We don’t need to know the finer points of electoral math, demographic shifts, and turnout comparisons to 2008 and 2012. We need to know what it means if a President Trump renegs on our NATO obligations. We need to know what will happen if our trade agreements are suddenly null and void.

And another thing: news media, you spread fear and promote racism. You know you do. It can’t be a coincidence that Scott Michael Greene’s name has virtually disappeared from the papers; if he’d been Abdullah Mohammed we’d still be talking about him.

5- Evangelical Christianity, now with extra hypocrisy. Seriously, nothing screams religion is dead louder than a guy as morally repulsive as Donald Trump grabbing the vote of the Jesus people. You are completely dead to me.

6- Our system is broken. For the second time in the modern era, it appears the Democrat won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. And it went so well last time, didn’t it? (Again, see Item 1.) This is the kind of thing that would have had Donald Trump calling for revolution and lawyers and Second Amendment Solutions had the shoe been on the other foot. So no, Republicans, you do not have a mandate, what you have is a broken system you were able to manipulate.

I really fear for this country. I fear for my students, who have names like Ahmed and Mohammed, who are black and Muslim and come from war-torn places like Syria. I fear for the people I know who are Hispanic. I fear for my gay-married friends. The few bright spots — legal cannabis in California, Massachusetts and Nevada — cannot overcome the seriously bad news that yesterday brought. Because what America did yesterday was endorse hate, racism, bigotry, and intolerance. We said that it’s okay to hate your neighbor. And that is not my America.

39 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, racism, right-wing hate

Real? Or Not Real?

[UPDATE]:

Samantha Bee is on the case.

Frequently when walking our youngest dog Willie we have to play a game I call “Real? Or not real?”

Willie is the most skittish pup I’ve ever met (especially since he’s a ginormous, scary-looking pit bull/Lab mix). He’s a real marshmallow inside though, and is terrified of new things that appear in his space. Once it was a shopping cart that had somehow landed at the end of our street; he wouldn’t get within 15 feet of it for a week. Another time it was a beat-up VW Bug parked on the street that had never been there before. Balloons in front of an open house are extremely suspect, as are the Halloween decorations my neighbors have put up in their yards: those ghosts and witches hanging from trees that catch the breeze are too real for Willie. He’s sure they’re monsters come to life.

So, on our walks I often have to spend 5 or 10 minutes playing “real, or not real?” We get as close to the offending inanimate object as possible, I touch it, let him sniff my hand, we eventually get closer, repeat the touch and sniff, until finally he feels safe enough to sniff it on his own. Once he realizes it’s not real and not dangerous, he’s okay. Sometimes it takes more than one round of “real or not real” for him to walk past the object without fear. He’s still not convinced those Halloween decorations aren’t real. I understand why he thinks that; some of them look pretty real to me, too.

I bring all of this up because we have our own little version of “real, or not real” playing out on social media, influencing our national discourse and possibly our elections. I’ve noticed it with Donald Trump’s campaign, or at least people supporting his campaign, and if you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably seen it too: hundreds, maybe thousands, of fake Twitter accounts, many of which look and behave impossibly real, spreading the Trump message du jour, ginning up outrage where none probably exists, and driving the news narrative for the next 48 hours, days, or weeks.

How can you tell who is real and who is fake? It’s not easy. I’ve learned to spot a few clues: people with either absurdly few followers (and who aren’t following anyone), or non-famous people with tens of thousands of followers are big giveaways. Bio photos of young women with “Hollywood” looks are another clue: the hair and makeup are professionally done, the pose is staged, the outfit is professionally styled, etc. This tells me the bio photo was skimmed from a stock house or long-defunct ad campaign. Many of them have the word “Deplorable” in their handles now, a way of reinforcing the false outrage that Hillary calling them Deplorable was just the most offensive, terrible thing ever.

I don’t know where these fake people have come from; frankly, I’ve come to suspect a lot are tied to White Nationalists groups, as these folks seem to have figured out how to use social media as a manipulation tool. I find the whole thing absurd, and fascinating, and frightening.

Here’s an example: Meet Melissa, (now called Deplorable Melissa)

deplorable-melissa

Something seemed fishy to me about this lovely young woman; maybe it was the Pinned Tweet (they all have Pinned Tweets). Maybe it was that her Twitter feed consists almost entirely of re-Tweets. Maybe it was the professionally done hair and makeup, the “head-shot” pose. This looked like a photo skimmed from an old Revlon ad. So I did a reverse image search. I didn’t get any hits from ads, but I did get several links to suspended Twitter accounts. And one of the earliest suspended accounts had this photo as its bio image:

april-2016

Notice the background, the type of backdrop typically found at an entertainment industry red carpet event. The logo appears to be for something called “Sassy Sweet,” a name so generic it returned dozens of hits, from a line of hair care products to a franchise for little girl’s parties.

So, is Deplorable Melissa a real person? I don’t know, but I’m going to guess not. Over time her bio pic has been cropped and recropped, lost a background, her account has been suspended, she doesn’t Tweet anything original. I’m going to guess this photo was skimmed from Facebook or an old magazine. I could be wrong. There are people far smarter than me, with far better tools, who could figure this out in 5 minutes.

What I do know is, fakery on social media is being used by political campaigns to dupe the media and general public into thinking a message or idea has more support than it actually does.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “So, Beale, basically you’re telling us that stuff on the internet is fake? What next, water is wet?”

Yes, I get that. My point is that in this case, the “not real” is becoming “real,” simply by virtue of its existence. Get enough of these fake Twitter accounts Tweeting and re-Tweeting whatever the VRWC wants people to get hot and bothered about, and it quickly filters from the “not real” to the “real.” Case in point: the “rigged election” meme. It started with Donald Trump repeating “it’s rigged! Rigged, I tell you!” at every campaign event. It was then repeated by hundreds of fake bots and Twitter accounts, ended up on some timelines of real people, and before you know it, they start re-Tweeting it too. Suddenly the idea that election is rigged appears to have substantial support among actual voters.

Did any significant number of people out there seriously believe the election is rigged until the idea was planted in their heads? Doubtful.

And now the news media, which uses socials media as its assignment editor, is reporting on Trump supporters talking about a rigged election. This is the idea which has now been inserted into the national narrative: the process has been tainted, the election now has a pall of illegitimacy surrounding it, you can’t trust the institution. All of these ideas simply weren’t there in any significant way until very recently (hell, I remember the idea of electronic voting machines being hackable was considered a lefty fringe thing a few years ago). Now we have real people like this guy in Cincinnati saying Hillary Clinton “needs to be taken out if she gets in the government” and, “if I have to be a patriot, I will.” Secretaries of State around the country, including Tennessee’s own Trey Hargett — a Republican! — must deny the “rigged” claims.

We now have the news cycle driven by the “rigged election” meme. This is allowed to happen because our political news coverage is almost entirely driven by process stories, with very little time or effort devoted to substance. So the political press can report on the “rigged” story and whose campaign it’s most likely to hurt and what the longterm impacts of such a claim might be, etc. etc. But has anyone bothered to ask if any actual vote rigging has occurred? I read on Twitter that all across the country, “illegal immigrants” are voting and dead people are voting. It’s happening everywhere, you guys! I know ‘cuz I saw it on Facebook!

Except it’s not happening. It’s not even real. Absent any evidence of actual “rigging,” all of this seems to have been cooked up in Donald Trump’s tiny little brain. It’s “not real,” but now Secretaries of State all around the country must prove a negative. And it’s not the first time Trump’s done this, either. Carey Wedler at theAntiMedia.org wrote about Trump’s Twitter fakery during the primary. It’s a fascinating read, all the more interesting because the person who figured it out is an anti-Trump conservative activist. As Wedler wrote then:

Compared to planting pundits and making threats, using fake Twitter followers may seem benign, but the intention remains the same as more extreme forms of media manipulation: to force narratives on the public in the hopes of amassing power and influence.

So, next time a meme picks up steam in the public discourse, it may help to play our little game of “real, or not real?” Where did it originate — before Jake Tapper and Chris Cilizza and Lou Dobbs started talking about it? Was it cooked up in a campaign kitchen and delivered to the public by a bunch of fake bots? If so then it’s not real, you guys.

Unreal.

8 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, media, Social Media

OMG I Knew It

If Trump TV becomes reality I am literally giving up on humanity and moving into a yurt in the desert somewhere:

The Republican presidential nominee’s interest in harnessing his political gains and populist appeal for a slice of the cable TV market has long been rumored. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been in contact with Aryeh Bourkoff, founder of investment bank LionTree, about starting a TV network if he’s defeated in the presidential election in November, the FT reported.

Three days ago I wrote that I didn’t want to see anyone associated with the Trump campaign “falling upwards” after this disgusting campaign. That includes giving anyone associated with it their own TV show or, God forbid, an entire cable TV network. Fuck you, Aryeh Bourkoff and LionTree. I’ve never heard of you but anyone even considering doing business with the Trump organization at this point deserves what’s coming their way. Don’t you know everything Donald Trump touches turns to shit? That he has the original touch of merde?

And what fool thinks there’s a market for a hate channel? TLC didn’t exactly win big with Sarah Palin, did it? We already have WhitePrideTV on the internet, do we really need it on cable? Please.

I’m starting to think this was the grift all along.

Meanwhile, let the parodies begin:

5 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, media, Media

Right Under Our Noses

Miss Washington 2013 spoke out way back in June about Donald Trump’s behavior. Why was she ignored?

“Miss USA Class of 2013: Do y’all remember that one time we had to do our on stage introductions, but this one guy treated us like cattle and made us do it again because we didn’t look him in the eyes? Do you also remember when he then proceeded to have us lined up so he could get a closer look at his property? Oh I forgot to mention that guy will be in the running to become the next President of the United States. I love the idea of having a misogynist as the President. … #HeWillProbablySueMe #iHaveWorseStoriesSoComeAtMeBro #Drumpf”

From a Yahoo News item in June about Searles’ post:

Other contestants sounded off on their experiences with the real estate mogul. Paromita Mitra, Miss Mississippi USA 2013, admitted, “I literally have nightmares about that process,” while Shannon McAnally called Searles’s account “so extremely true and scary.” Anna Horne noted, “Scares me so much.”

[…]

But perhaps the most inflammatory accusation hurled at Trump is one from Searles, in which she insinuates he sexually assaulted her. “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room,” she wrote in the comments section.

This was June 2016, weeks before Trump officially claimed the Republican Party’s prize. So, these accusations aren’t “decades old,” and people aren’t “just now coming forward,” 26 days before the election. Women have been shouting from the rooftops, and nobody in the political press was listening, until the Access Hollywood tape surfaced.

By the way, if you haven’t watched Michelle Obama’s amazing speech from New Hampshire, please do so now. What she said is spot-on: forget the idea of Donald Trump winning; if Donald Trump doesn’t lose this election in an epic landslide, it will send the message that there are no consequences for being a racist, bigoted, sexist pig.

There have to be consequences for being a shitty human being. There have to be consequences for working to elect a shitty human being (Kellyanne Conway, I’m looking at you.) Nobody involved in the Trump campaign should be allowed to fall upwards after this disgraceful campaign. It needs to be that bad. Otherwise, we have normalized despicable behavior. We have empowered it. We’ve said, “Sure, you can defend sexually assaulting women and degrading an entire nation of people as rapists because here’s a lucrative TV contract, we think people want to hear more from you.”

And Mike Pence? Don’t even think about 2020. Anyone who is “proud to stand next to Donald Trump” should be relegated to the dung heap of politics.

9 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election

There’s No Downside To Doing The Right Thing

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing”

[UPDATE]:

Drip drip drip ….

One team managed Emily West, a budding musician who later appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” The other managed Luke Bryan, a country singer and songwriter who has gone on to notable success.

During the boardroom session that decided which team did the better job transforming its artist, Trump turned the conversation sharply ― and at times, uncomfortably ― to West’s physical appearance, specifically her skin.

“I assume you’re gonna leave this off, don’t put this shit on the show, you know. But her skin, her skin sucks, okay?” he says, according to the transcript. “I mean her skin, she needs some serious fuckin’ dermatology.”

Mild, compared to “pussy-grabbing,” but I assume this is just the start …

———————————————————-

That Donald Trump is a repulsive, sexist bigot has been the worst-kept secret in media and entertainment circles for years. Everyone who has ever worked with him or been around him has known this. I’ve heard stories from my industry friends of things Trump has said to female entertainers at awards shows, charity events and the like. Things that reveal who he is: a man who sees women as objects, not human beings.

It’s long past time for these people to come forward. Because it’s one thing when you’re talking about a skeevy TV star (paging Bill Cosby!). It’s quite another when that person is seeking elected office — and not just any elected office, but the highest office in the land. He wants to be President of the United States, you guys. This shit’s important. It actually matters.

And to be fair, women have come forward, actually. But they aren’t “names,” they haven’t received traction in the media. We’re now starting to see a trickle of reports make it onto the airwaves, but I just have to wonder why this hasn’t happened already?

A big reason, of course, is how women are treated when they come forward with stories of sexual assault. We’re called liars, sluts, gold-diggers, accused of looking for a payoff. But now that we have Trump bragging about how fame allows him to assault women, maybe more will come forward.

There’s plenty of evidence out there on video, too. The story is that there are “Apprentice” outtakes in which Trump uses the “n” word, and worse. Because TV producer Mark Burnett owns “The Apprentice,” leaking this video could result in costly litigation. Now that a Clinton supporter has perhaps offered to pay those fees, we might actually see that video. We need a whistleblower to put the final nail in Donald Trump’s sad, delusional, despicable campaign.

Because the sad truth is, America doesn’t believe anything unless they actually see it on TV. Someone can tell you Donald Trump pulled you into a bedroom and tried to rape you, but in modern America where we have to “check the kerning” on everything, we are a nation of skeptics.

Women describing sexual assault in particular are viewed with doubt, anyway. So I get why it’s hard. I get why there’s reluctance. But now is not the time to be squeamish. Now is the time to be brave. The fate of the republic is literally at stake.

1 Comment

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, media

I Don’t Feel Sorry For The Crazy Party

This election just reached Defcon Crazy. I don’t even know what to think, except that I don’t see how Donald Trump can stay in the race at this point. But on the other hand, he’s such a stubborn narcissist, and his supporters are so crazy themselves, I don’t see how he can drop out.

Republicans are in a fine pickle, my friends. Trump is bleeding “elites” — Hugh Hewitt, Mike Crapo, John Thune, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, etc. etc. have all withdrawn support. The RNC has reportedly halted its Victory Project activities. Paul Ryan disinvited Trump from a rally today.

But Trump is standing firm, in interviews and on Twitter:

trump

And his ardent supporters are standing behind him. Paul Ryan was booed and heckled by Trump supporters at his rally today — the one he’d disinvited the candidate from:

Defiant Trump supporters voiced their frustration at Ryan and other Republicans who spoke at the county fairgrounds in front of two large American flags, rows of pumpkins and stacks of straw. Ryan — who said Friday he was “sickened” by Trump’s words — was heckled with shouts of “Shame on you!” and “You turned your backs on us!”

(By the way, has anyone checked on Ted Cruz? Seems like just yesterday he was endorsing Trump. He’s gotta be kicking himself now.)

Trump has people who love him precisely because he’s a boor and a pig and a bigot, not despite. These are the people who are cheering the candidate on now (note the 57k “likes” on that Tweet as of 2:40 pm today, a number which had grown to 62k as of 7:40 pm). That chorus of fans is all his ego needs to convince him to stay in the race. And will the RNC make that impossible by withdrawing financial support, GOTV assistance, etc? I don’t see how, especially as they have down-ticket races they are desperate to win. Replacing Trump on the ticket seems increasingly impossible, and by the way: how hypocritical is it that just yesterday Republicans told us they couldn’t extend voter registration a day because of a hurricane, but now some want to scrap the entire ticket (or at least half of it)? Puh-leeze!

Sorry, Republicans, but you own this one. No, actually, not sorry. Not sorry at all. You had ample evidence that Donald Trump was unfit for office, a sleaze and a bigot and someone who would definitely cause problems for you as the nominee. To your party’s credit, some of you actually realized this early on. Kudos to the #NeverTrump crowd who showed some spine.

Too many conservatives didn’t (and still don’t). I especially love those phony Christians like Tony Perkins, who would rather support a man who brags about how he can grab a woman’s crotch because he’s famous, than the Democrat, because,

[…] Christians “are left with a choice of voting for the one who will do the least damage to our freedoms.”

Yeah, nothing screams “freedom” like having your privates mauled by a famous guy. Let’s empower this perv by making him president! But I digress.

We’ve known Trump is repulsive for months. We’ve seen the evidence. We heard him say despicable things about Mexicans, Latinos, people of color, Muslims, atheists, you name it. We’ve seen the lawsuits. The New York Times wrote about his refusal to rent to African Americans. The Los Angeles Times wrote about how he wanted to fire unattractive women. We heard what he said about Miss Universe. None of this is new, guys. Somehow seeing it on video is more powerful, I get it. And so maybe this is the last straw. But I don’t see an out here for anyone on the right. Just take your lumps, lose the election, and for God’s sake, try to figure out how you fucked up and gave the big prize away to a despicable turd like Donald Trump.

10 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump

Truthers, Hurricane Matthew Edition

The right-wing is losing its shit over Hurricane Matthew because, I dunno, hurricanes hardly happen or something? That seems to be the gist of it, and I don’t get it.

Let’s hear from the Least Trusted Names In News, shall we?

First we have Matt Drudge claiming that hurricane reports have been overplayed “to make an exaggerated point on climate,” and doubting reports from the US National Hurricane Center because, I guess, government bad, arrgle barrgle.

This special brand of stupid has been shared by Rush Limbaugh, who is also doubting the National Hurricane Center, simply because it’s a government agency:

‘It’s in the interest of the left to have destructive hurricanes because then they can blame it on climate change, which they can desperately continue trying to sell,’ he said on his show.

This is what happens when your disdain for government and science collide.

Inside the conspiracy kitchen at Infowars they’re cooking up rumors about Black Lives Matter planning to loot white neighborhoods:

A quick Twitter search reveals dozens of messages posted by Americans living in or near the affected areas that brazenly talk about the opportunity for looting that the hurricane will provide.

“God Please let this hurricane hit us so I can do some looting,” tweeted one user.

“So we looting after the hurricane? I do need a new TV & iPhone and some clothes,” added another.

“Ready for hurricane Matthew to hit so I can start looting,” remarked another.

When asked if they would be looting, one Twitter user responded, “yep, but in white neighborhoods.”

Anonymous Tweets are totally verifiable and legit, you guys! I’m sure the folks trying to delegitimize BLM had nothing to do with such social media posts at all! What idiot buys this obviously ginned-up nonsense? This idiot in charge of the Tennessee Republican Party‘s official Twitter account, for one (apparently not the official TNGOP account, on closer inspection):

tngop1

When challenged on this obviously racist BS, they upped the ante:

tngop2

Black kids are just gonna loot, amiright? Just can’t help themselves. /sarcasm. Of course, when white kids do it, they’re just “letting off steam.”

But by all means my absolute favorite Hurricane Matthew conspiracy theory is this one courtesy of The Millennium Report, a cesspool of hoaxes and conspiracy theories that makes Infowars look like the New York Times:

If you’re trying to throw a wrench into the Florida State Government, there’s no more effective way than to geoengineer a hurricane and send it northward into the sun-drenched peninsula. Many chemtrail watchers in the state have already noticed a dramatic uptick in the chemical geoengineering operations statewide. Such a development never bodes well for the region’s highly unpredictable weather.

[…]

At this point anything can happen. Many of the storms that barrel up the Eastern Seaboard seem to have a mind of their own and often surprise with a punch as they head north to highly populated metro areas of the NE. Given the 2016 election cycle, the politicos at the federal level would love to sow seeds of chaos anyway they can in order to create cover for an election theft. For many reasons the Obama Administration really needs a Clinton victory in order to preserve their legacy of utter destruction. Obama, himself, requires such a Democratic win to simply stay out of prison.

Let’s just leave it there, folks.

You know, it’s all fun and games until someone drowns because they either refused to believe the threat was real or they thought it was more important to stay home and protect their stuff from imaginary looters.

I cannot imagine what goes through the minds of a large chunk of Americans.

[UPDATE]:

Everything old is new again:

 

TrumpTweet.jpg

2 Comments

Filed under conservatives, conspiracies, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, weather

Congratulations, Adam Tingle! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Armed Bardstown, Kentucky responsible citizen fires his AR-15 at a creepy clown terrorizing his neighborhood, turns out it was just a lady walking her dog. Slow clap for the well-regulated militia in action:

A man used his AR-15 gun to scare a woman wearing a white afghan Monday after mistaking her for clown, according to a citation from the Bardstown Police Department.

According to the citation, a woman was walking her dog down Burlington Court wearing a white afghan when a man yelled at her and then fired an AR-15.

The man, Adam Tingle, said his wife was outside when she thought she saw a clown, so Tingle came out and yelled at the individual, according to the citation. The woman did not move after being yelled at, so Tingle fired one shot from his AR-15 rifle in an attempt to scare her. Tingle’s wife then called 911 to report the incident.

According to the citation, Tingle said he was scared for his family because of recent criminal activities involving clowns.

I doubt the Founding Fathers anticipated this many morons would populate our great nation when they wrote the Second Amendment.

7 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns