Tag Archives: Michael Moore

Why AOC & Co.’s endorsements matter

Bernie Sanders will be endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during his campaign rally in Queens on Saturday, according to a source.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appear together at a campaign rally in July 2018. AOC has endorsed Bernie as the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee. (Washington Post news photo)

Bernie Sanders needed a comeback. He’s been at No. 3 in nationwide and early-state polling* for a little while now, and that heart attack of earlier this month appeared like it just might doom his second presidential campaign.

But perhaps when everything is at stake is when your supporters really step up.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive rock star, and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, also a lightning rod for the neo-Nazis who comprise the Repugnican Party because she challenges the status quo (that is, right-wing white-male supremacy), this week endorsed Bernie, as did Michael Moore. (A full list of Bernie’s endorsers is here.)

Michael Moore’s popularity has been, I think, slipping over the years, so his endorsement, while certainly yet another indicator that Bernie is the real and the most dependable progressive in the race, isn’t the prize that is AOC’s endorsement. I mean, AOC has been in Congress for not even one full year yet and already we’re referring to her by her initials.

Why do AOC’s and Omar’s endorsements of Bernie matter? Again, they demonstrate that Bernie is the true-blue progressive. They demonstrate that just as the young members of “The Squad” represent the future, so does Bernie, even though he’s 78 years young.

And, of course, prominent progressive women of color endorsing Bernie blows away the DINOs’ bullshit “Bernie bros” myth; Bernie is just fine on women’s issues and on the issues of non-whites, even though according to the Billarybots, who unfortunately are still with us, he’s “just another” white man.

It’s obvious to anyone who has two brain cells to rub together that Repugnican Lite Joe Biden would be a milquetoast president at best — if he could even win the November 2020 election, which he probably could not (Hi, Billary!) — and it’s also becoming clearer that Elizabeth Warren is a cheap knock-off of Bernie.

Warren has demonstrated brains — plans upon plans upon plans, including, I’m sure, plans for more plans, and lots of political calculation — but she hasn’t demonstrated much heart. Former Repugnican Warren wouldn’t dare to run against Billary in 2016 because she is a cowardly party hack, and now she challenges Bernie, who, in my estimation, deserves the nomination alone for his central role is relegating Clintonism to the dustbin of history, where it belongs, and who recognizes, entirely unlike Warren, that capitalism must go before it kills all of us.

Why does Bernie appeal to so many of us while Warren doesn’t? Because, again, Warren is a political calculator, eerily like Billary Clinton, except that Warren has been smarter than Billary and has realized that she at least needed to co-opt Bernie’s message from the get-go if she wanted to win. (As I’ve noted, Billary co-opted Bernie’s message, but way too late in the campaign, whereas Warren slyly co-opted it before the campaign began.)

It’s true that progressive rock stars like AOC and Michael Moore may not appeal that much to the entire general November 2020 electorate, but, as Nate Silver recently noted, “Sanders’s objective for now is to win the nomination, not the general election.”

Indeed, you win the party’s presidential nomination by exciting and inspiring the base, something that Joe Biden’s woefully outdated Clintonism and Warren’s cold calculations don’t do.

Unfortunately, it will take at least several days to see how Bernie’s good performance in this past week’s fourth debate and his recent endorsements help him in the polls.

But methinks that it’s inarguable that while it looked like he was in danger of slipping off of the mountain, he’s climbing right up it again.

*Don’t get me wrong — Bernie’s many competitors who can’t even hit the double digits would love to be in Bernie’s place, with double digits in the polls and with the best fundraising numbers of any other Democratic presidential candidate, but third place in the polls isn’t optimal.

That said, I think it’s entirely likely that Biden will implode soon enough, as he did when he ran for the nomination in 1988 and in 2008, and that this race essentially will be between establishmentarian Warren and actual progressive Bernie.

If it gets ugly, like 2016 got ugly, so be it. The future of the nation and the world is far more important than is any one individual and his or her feelings and those of his or her supporters.

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How many more whacks can the Pussygrabber piñata sustain?

A woman hits a pinata of Donald Trump during a protest in Mexico City, on October 12, 2016 (AFP Photo/RONALDO SCHEMIDT)

AFP photo

A woman takes a hit at an effigial piñata of Pussygrabber during a protest in Mexico City in October 2016, before our long national nightmare officially began in January 2017.

For better or for worse — now, for worse — the United States presidency was built to be durable. The president, whether actually elected by the majority of the voters or not (tellingly, neither of our last two Repugnican “presidents” were), gets a fairly long term of four years, plenty of time with which to do plenty of damage, and it’s incredibly difficult to remove a sitting president.

Unless the president obviously, unarguably is incapacitated, such as through coma or death, he gets to remain in office, and sure, you can impeach him with a simple majority vote of the U.S. House of Representatives, but to actually remove him from office then would take at least 67 votes in the U.S. Senate. That’s never happened in our nation’s history. (I generally am against super-majorities, especially super-majorities of two-thirds. If we must have a super-majority, to me it shouldn’t have to be higher than 60 percent.*)

When we have a shitty president, our options aren’t many. Ensuring that his party doesn’t control both houses of Congress helps, and I am confident that the Democrats will take back the House in November. (Fivethirtyeight.com right now gives them a 78.2 percent chance of doing so.) That will be yet another significant blow to the Pussygrabber piñata, which has taken many hits so far.

Not that Pussygrabber would flinch all that much (at least publicly) after losing the House; he’s never understood or respected the U.S. Constitution, so he’ll still try to be a dictator. He’ll try; he’ll be slapped down by the checks and balances that the nation’s founders wisely and presciently built into our system of governance.

But, as I have noted before, Pussygrabber does make the cockroach jealous in terms of his ability to survive what should have killed him.

The pussy-grabbing tape publicly revealed in October 2016, for fuck’s sake, should have ended him.

And it’s been nothing but a parade of books about the Pussygrabber White House, first Michael Wolff’s best-selling Fire and Fury, then White House insider Omarosa Manigalt Newman’s Unhinged (which, whatever we think of her, still sits at No. 60 on Amazon.com’s top-100 selling books list as I type this sentence), and now, Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White Housewhich because of pre-orders right now is No. 1 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list (it officially come outs on Tuesday, which is September 11…).

When people independently are reporting the same things, um, yeah…

There have been plenty of other whacks on the Pussygrabber piñata, of course, including the indictments and convictions and guilty pleas of Pussygrabber associates, most notably of former Pussygrabber “presidential” campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Pussygrabber personal attorney Michael Cohen (which didn’t happen even a full month ago), and plenty of wholly self-inflicted hits, such as Pussygrabber’s disastrous meeting with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin in Finland in July, during which he surreally casually treasonously threw the United States of America under the bus.

Old-school Repugnican John McCain got in a postmortem dig by barring Pussygrabber from attending his recent funeral, which was attended by Barack Obama and George W. Bush, as well as by Joe Biden and former U.S. Sens. Russ Feingold and Gary Hart and current U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, all Democrats.

The New York Times last week released that interesting, anonymously-penned op-ed titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” and tag-lined “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The op-ed didn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know, wasn’t much new, except that it purportedly was written by someone still working within the Pussygrabber regime (my best guess is that it was lodestar-loving Mike Pence, who would personally benefit immediately upon Pussygrabber’s exit), and of course Pussygrabber made the situation even worse by tweeting:

Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!

Wow. Let’s unpack that: Saying or reporting anything that “President” Pussygrabber doesn’t want you to is tantamount to threatening “National Security.” Wow. No First-Amendment or whistle-blowing protections for us peasants where it comes to Mad King George!

To equate yourself with the nation (and your ego with the nation’s security) itself is beyond insane. Pussygrabber is not the United States of America; he is an aberration and an abomination. We know this now; indeed, we have known this for some time now, and we don’t need to wait for the historians inevitably to record his “presidency” as such.

And The New York Times is not “failing.” In fact, this never has been true during Pussygrabber’s “presidency,” and Pussygrabber will lie pathologically about anything, will spew even lies that easily are thoroughly debunked.

Forbes reported back in July 2017 of the Times that “the paper enjoys 2.3 million paid digital subscriptions, up 63.4 percent from a year earlier. Its stock is currently trading at a nine-year high, hovering around $20 per share and giving the company a market capitalization of about $3.2 billion.”**

Forbes added: “Like most traditional media organizations, the Times has weathered setbacks thank to falling print subscriptions and ad revenues. But Trump’s presidency appears to have breathed new life into the organization. Since the election, the Times has made itself a must-read, trading political scoops with The Washington Post on an almost daily basis.”

The Times reported 2.9 million online subscriptions last month and published this graphic:

Indeed, I renewed my online subscription to the Times after years of dormancy because I value the Times’ and The Washington Post’s fairly relentless coverage of “our” illegitimate, dangerous “president” (I subscribe to both online, and yes, their current success has a lot to do with the unelected maniac in the Oval Office).

But back to that “presidential” tweet: Most chilling about it, of course, is Pussygrabber’s dictatorial assertion that “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her [the writer of the anonymous op-ed] over to government at once!”

Who the fuck does Pussygrabber think he is — Vladimir Putin? (That was [mostly] rhetorical, but feel free to answer it literally.) Although Pussygrabber has done his best to be a human wrecking ball of our republic, in the end, although sometimes slow, such as the Mueller investigation, in the United States of America the rule of law still applies.***

The Times legally does not have to divulge its sources, and the specious “National Security” argument won’t work. Further, at least one federal former prosecutor says that the author of the anonymous op-ed has broken no law at all, either by having provided the piece for publication or by having admitted to any illegal activity within the piece itself.

Another whack to the Pussygrabber piñata is planned to come later this month, when Michael Moore releases his new film on the unelected Pussygrabber regime, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” a twist on the title of his 2004 film about the unelected Bush regime, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which remains the highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Here is the poster for “Fahrenheit 11/9”:

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Pussygrabber’s “win” of the White House was announced on November 9, 2016, and thus “Fahrenheit 11/9.”

True, “Fahrenheit 9/11” was meant to help to deny “President” Bush a second term in the 2004 presidential election and failed to do so, but I’ll take just about any new movie by Moore, and, again, it should be yet another whack on the Pussygrabber  piñata, followed by the Repugnicans’ loss of the U.S. House of Representatives later this fall.

And, of course, Pussygrabber’s approval ratings remain stubbornly stuck around the low 40s, which not only doesn’t bode well for the mid-term elections in November — widely considered to be a referendum on Pussygrabber — but doesn’t bode well for his “re”-“election.”

Pussygrabber’s average approval ratings have been historically low, which is like a constant hitting of the Pussygrabber piñata, weakening it even further and further, if only slowly.

Will there be a final, spectacular, perhaps inevitable blow to the Pussygrabber piñata? And who will strike it? Robert Mueller at any time? The Democratic-controlled House finding its spine and impeaching him? Bernie Sanders beating him in November 2020?

We’ll see, but in the meantime, this will, methinks, remain a fairly slow-moving train wreck.

We’ll probably finally see that piñata spew its contents all over the ground one day, but by the time that comes, we might be too exhausted from our long national nightmare to be able to derive all that much pleasure from it.

*On that note, the threshold for a new U.S. Supreme Court “justice” to be put on the bench used to be a vote of 60 or more in the U.S. Senate, until Yertle McConnell changed the Senate rules in 2017 to require only a simple-majority vote for Supreme Court “justices” in order to get Pussygrabber’s picks seated on the court.

The only way for loser Pussygrabber to “win,” once again, was to cheat.

**Forbes does note that maybe Pussygrabber, who is no wordsmith, means that The New York Times is “failing” in its coverage of him and his “presidency,” but most often when Pussygrabber criticizes a company, his criticism is that it is not doing well financially, even though he’s had six bankruptcies.

***It is because there are so many competing different interests within the United States, I surmise, that no one group of people can have power indefinitely, as it is the case in the thugocracy of Russia, which Pussygrabber wants to replicate here in the U.S.

(In March, Pussygrabber remarked that it’s great that China now has a president for life, and that maybe the U.S. will have that too someday. Maybe Pussygrabber was joking, but “jokes” like that aren’t funny. It wasn’t funny when George W. Bush “quipped” in December 2000, “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”)

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Trump, the Muscovite Candidate, probably won’t last very long

Der Fuhrer Donald Trump actually isn’t president of the United States of America until and unless the members of the Electoral College vote him in on December 19, but even if he survives that test, Trump, the Muscovite Candidate who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, will be a one-term “president” at best.

I haven’t written all that much about Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and I hope that some haven’t taken that as any sort of admiration of or acceptance of him on my part.

It’s that The Donald is so fucking bizarre, such an anomaly, such a “presidential” fucking freak, that it’s difficult for me to even know where to begin in discussing him.

Let’s see: During the campaign he routinely uncreatively called Billary Clinton “corrupt Hillary” yet he recently settled his Trump University fraud lawsuit for $25 million, to name just one, recent instance of his own mega-corruption.

Another inconvenient, unflattering fact is that “corrupt Hillary” thus far leads Der Fuhrer Trump by 2.8 million votes in the popular vote.

Despite Trump’s wholly unsubstantiated — and treasonous — bold-faced lie that “millions” of people voted illegally for Billary, the fact remains that Trump lost the election by millions of votes; he did not earn the popular vote of the American people, and therefore he is an illegitimate president-“elect,” in my eyes.

Trump’s presidential illegitimacy is different than was George W. Bush’s — and here I never have written “President Bush” but only “‘President’ Bush,” because Bush always was and always will be a quite illegitimate president. (He lost the popular vote in 2000 by more than a half-million votes and was installed in the White House by his then-Florida-governor brother Jeb!, by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and by the five Repugnican members of the U.S. Supreme Court who stopped the recount in Florida, the pivotal state for Gee Dubya that his brother very conveniently governed, and who thus, with the other conspirators, decided the presidential election for us commoners.)

In that thus far he has lost the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than Gee Dubya did — if we think that it’s at all important that in a democracy the candidate who actually earns the highest number of votes of the people actually is the one who takes office — Trump is even more illegitimate than George W. Bush was, but Bush’s illegitimacy was worsened with the blatantly partisan — and treasonously anti-democratic — involvement of his brother, Florida elections chief Katherine Harris and the wingnutty members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

That said, it still has yet to be determined exhaustively how and how much Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Trump rather than Billary into the big chair in the Oval Office. Arguably, Trump’s having had the help of a foreign government to win the White House is even more treasonous than anything that Team Bush ever did to steal the presidency.

The Washington Post has been all over Trump’s ties to Moscow, with recent news stories such as these:

A rather clear pattern has emerged, and it’s pretty fucking funny (in a sick and fucking twisted way, not in a humorous way) that the American right wing, which for decades was opposed to the “evil empire,” very apparently has as its “president” a treasonous piece of shit who has colluded with that “evil empire” in order to win the presidency — with the “evil empire’s” full expectation, of course, that in return, “President” Trump will do its bidding (in Syria and elsewhere).

True, Trump’s die-hard, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging supporters don’t care even if he’s in bed with Vladimir Putin, perhaps even literally, but these self-defeating dipshits are only a minority of Americans. The majority of us Americans — not just Democrats and Democratic leaners, but also old-school, non-Trumpist Repugicans, too, as well as most so-called independents — take a U.S. “president”-“elect” colluding with a foreign government very, very seriously.

Indeed, The Angel of Political Death looms over “President”-“elect” Donald Trump, its scythe at the ready for swift use at any moment.

If he makes it that far, I don’t see Trump finishing even one term, especially once his ties to Russia are fully investigated and publicized. (Unfortunately, however, even for such blatant treason, billionaires only very rarely are ever put behind bars in our two-tiered “justice” system; only we commoners ever are to be punished, even for petty fucking crimes.)

Even if it weren’t for Russia, our Muscovite Candidate always has done whatever the fuck he pleases — clearly, he’s inside of that billionaire’s gilded bubble from which only a prison cell (perhaps) can release him* — and if it wasn’t his collusion with Russia, it always was going to be something else, some other act of corruption and/or treason, that was going to make his time in the White House short.

There is a reason that Donald J. Trump is only the third person “elected” to the presidency who had not first been at least a governor of a state, U.S. vice president, a U.S. senator, a U.S. representative or an Army general. (Before Trump, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover were the only exceptions to that list of five previous jobs that I see. Uncoincidentally, methinks, both Taft and Hoover were one-termers…)

That reason that Trump is the first to have broken these historical norms for the presidency during my lifetime (Lyndon B. Johnson was president when I was born) is that he is uniquely unqualified for the presidency, and the American system more or less has been set up to prevent such an unqualified person from ascending to the White House — which is probably why Trump apparently had an awful lot of help from Russia to “win.”

I’m with Michael Moore on this; it’s possible that Trump won’t even be sworn in next month, perhaps especially with the apparently substantiated-enough allegations that he’s a Muscovite Candidate** swirling about him.

That taint of treason might, just might, be enough to induce the members of the Electoral College to do the right thing on December 19, when they meet for the official election of the next president.***

If not, I expect Trump to hang himself with his gilded rope. If he makes it to Inauguration Day 2017, I don’t see him making it to Inauguration Day 2021.

P.S. Michael Moore, back in July, predicted that Trump would win the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In an e-mail to his supporters dated July 23 (I still have this e-mail), he wrote (this is a copy and paste from that e-mail, with only slight edits for style and correctness):

… Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust-Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the Rust Belt of the upper Great Lakes — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states -– but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat).

In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) than the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done?

Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.

When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35 percent tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States.

It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England — broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the middle class. Angry, embittered working (and non-working) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room.

What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. …

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four Rust-Belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November. …

Prescient.

But even if Trump did win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin fairly and squarely — but the fact that Trump & Co. have sued to prevent recounts and any other audits in the Rust-Belt states that they’re supposedly so certain that they won makes me have to wonder if Russia indeed was involved in the presidential election, quite intimately — Trump still lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, which is the largest gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote in U.S. history.

That indeed is politically damaging, which is why Trump lied that “millions” of votes were cast illegally for Billary Clinton.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton. I supported Bernie Sanders, the actual Democrat in the Democratic Party presidential primary, and for president I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein (whose recounts of three states I have supported wholeheartedly, even though I don’t think they’re going to go anywhere).

Billary Clinton indeed is corrupt, but her corruption pales by comparison to Trump’s, whose ties to Russia very much appear to have crossed the line from garden-variety political corruption into treason territory.

Everything with Trump leads back to Russia, including his recent twofer pick of Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive Rex Tillerson for U.S. secretary of state — a twofer because it’s yet another corporate weasel guarding the hen house and because Tillerson’s breath, like Trump’s, smells like Vladimir Putin’s penis.

*That’s yet another example of Trump’s projection onto Billary Clinton: not only is she “corrupt” but he isn’t, to hear him tell it, but she belongs in a prison cell but he doesn’t.

Indeed, Trump very apparently believes, in typical wingnut fashion, that if he simply accuses others of his own brand of wrongdoing, then that alone magically lets him off the hook.

**For anyone who doesn’t get the reference — shut the fuck up, because there will be some who don’t get it — I’ve morphed Manchurian Candidate (with this definition of that term in mind) into “Muscovite Candidate,” as “Muscovite” is what you call someone from Moscow.

***As Wikipedia notes (links are Wikipedia’s):

The United States presidential election is the indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia cast ballots for members of the Electoral College, known as electors.

These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, in their respective state capitals for president and vice president of the United States. Each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress, while Washington, D.C., casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, which is three.

Once the voting for the presidential election has concluded and all the votes for each state have been accounted for, the electors are then advised as to what candidate won the majority in their state. The electors of that state then will cast the vote of that candidate to represent the people of their regions’ majority decision.

However, “Twenty-one states do not have provisions that are fairly specific in directing the electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of their party.” This means that an elector could possibly vote against the majority decision of the state due to there being no law that binds electors otherwise in those states.

In modern times, almost all electors vote for a particular presidential candidate that their states’ majority decided upon; thus, the results of the election can generally be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote.

The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president or vice president (currently, at least 270 out of a total of 538) is then projected to be elected to that office.

If no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the president; if no candidate receives an absolute majority for vice president, the senate chooses the vice president. …

I remain of the strong opinion that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped altogether. There is no compelling reason not to go with the popular vote alone, especially since we call ourselves a democracy, and since the Electoral College has failed us twice in my lifetime of not even 50 years, awarding the White House to the candidate who fucking lost the popular vote.

(Well, the Electoral College has yet to confirm a president for January 2017, and while it’s possible that the Electoral College on December 19 will not pick Trump, it strikes me as an outside chance that the Electoral College will deny Trump the victory. Most people tend to fall in line rather than do the right thing, even if the right thing is staring them right in the face.)

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Trump could win White House because of (not despite) the RNC shit show

Talk-radio wingnut Laura Ingraham briefly makes what looks like a Nazi salute to Der Fuhrer Donald Trump during the Repugnican National Convention’s third night. It’s so fitting. (On that note, why are so many Repugnican Tea Party women blonde or bleach blonde? [Oh, yeahthat Aryan thing…]) 

What a spectacular shit show the Repugnican National Convention has been. Where to even begin? With Barbie Trump’s plagiarized-not-plagiarized-OK-plagiarized speech? (Hey, at least it inspired this cute Photoshop job:

 )

Should we begin with Ted Cruz slogging through his you-should-have-made-me-the-nominee speech even though he was being roundly booed? Or with the mother of one of four Benghazi victims grotesquely being worshiped while Cindy Sheehan, the mother of one of more than 4,000 victims of the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, was reviled by the same bunch of wingnuts because she isn’t a wingnut herself? With the surreal apparent proof that Chachi still lives? (But where is Joanie?) The surreal fact that former hottie Antonio Sabato Jr.’s being an abject wingnut is a total boner shrinker? Ben Carson stating that Billary Clinton is in league with Lucifer? (Um, even if he did exist, Lucifer wouldn’t associate with her. And for Crazy Carson, a physician, for fuck’s sake, even that statement wasn’t surreal.) How about wingnutty talk-radio host Laura Ingraham’s apparent brief Nazi salute to Der Fuhrer Trump?

Again: Spectacular. Sh-t show.

More frightening than the Repugnican National Convention, however, could be Election Day.

Fivethirtyeight.com, which just recently gave Trump only about a 20 percent chance of winning the White House to Billary’s 80 percent chance, now puts it at 39 percent Trump to 61 percent Billary. Prediction market PredictIt.org is in the same ballpark, with Trump at 35 cents to Billary at 66 cents. We’re somewhere around 60-40, folks, when not long ago it was 80-20.

The Huffington Post’s average of polls right now has Billary at only 2.8 percent ahead of Trump nationwide, and Real Clear Politics’ average of polls similarly right now has Billary at only 2.7 percent ahead of Trump nationwide. (RCP’s four-way race – Billary, Trump, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson – gives Billary a 3.6 percent lead over Trump.)

Michael Moore recently declared on Bill Maher’s show that “We’ve [we Democrats and Democratic leaners have] been sitting in our bubble, having a good laugh at this total … shit show [that is the Repugnican National Convention], but the truth is that this plays to a lot of people that [Trump] has to win to become the next president…. I’m sorry to be the buzz kill here so early on, but I think Trump is gonna win.”

Chauncey DeVega is more optimistic. He writes: “…Donald Trump will not defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. He lacks the infrastructure and resources to run a proper presidential campaign. Trump is also extremely unpopular among huge swaths of the American public.

“However, the presidential race will be much closer than many pundits and other experts are predicting. …”

I agree that it’s likely to be a tight race. The Repugnican Tea Party traitors really, really want “their” country back after eight years of Kenyan Muslim rule, you see. They will, I suspect, be more motivated by their hatred of the left (and of Billary, who, ironically, only barely is to the left) and their love of fascism than the rest of us will be excited to vote for Billary or even motivated to vote for her out of our hatred and/or fear of Trump.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors will, I suspect, act the way that the Bushies acted in 2000 when they stole the White House: After eight years of Bill Clinton, they wanted the White House back so badly that it mattered to them not that Al Gore had won the presidential election, and they threw the longer, louder tantrum, so the then-right-wing U.S. Supreme Court threw the election to them.

The rest of us didn’t fight the 2000 theft of the White House, certainly not enough to prevent it from happening; what has changed enough for us to believe that we would fight such a theft if it happened again this presidential election?

So the closer the presidential election is, the more likely it is that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors will be able to steal the White House again, like they did 16 years ago, so I don’t get DeVega’s optimism.

And DeVega acts as though “the infrastructure and resources to run a proper presidential campaign” matter as much as they used to. These aren’t normal times; we can argue that a presidential candidate still must have infrastructure and resources, I suppose, but really, what the fuck is “a proper presidential campaign” anymore? Where the fuck is propriety today?

I mean, in my lifetime of almost five decades, no U.S. president had not first been at least vice president, a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before becoming president. You have to go all the way back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was in the White House from 1953 through 1961, before you can go back to a president who wasn’t previously vice president, a senator or a governor. Eisenhower, as many presidents before him, came from a military background.

Donald Trump has none of these things on his resume. He is a fucking flim-flam man.

Indeed, the author of The Art of the Deal, the 1987 “(auto)biography” that created the myth of The Donald, now says that he wrote “every word” of the book, although Trump claims that he wrote it, and he says that he regrets that he wrote the book, now that Trump is a contender for the White House.

“I helped to paint Trump as a vastly more appealing human being than he actually is. And I have no pride about that. … I did it for the money. It’s certainly weighed on me over the years,” the author of the “(auto)biography,” Tony Schwartz, recently told NPR. “Now, since he’s … in a position to potentially become president, it makes my decision back then look very different than it did at the time.”

Among other things, Schwartz told NPR that “One of the chief things I’m concerned about is the limits of [Trump’s] attention span, which are as severe as any person I think I’ve ever met.” NPR also reports:

… The idea of a president in an “incredibly complex and threatening world who can’t pay attention is itself frightening,” Schwartz says.

Add to that the fact that Trump is so easily provoked, that what Schwartz calls Trump’s insecurity “makes him incredibly reactive whenever he feels threatened, which is very, very often.” …

While it’s clear to those of us who are sane that Donald Fucking Trump is a fucking fraud, a fucking facade, and is wholly unfit for the White House, it certainly isn’t clear to his fan club of fellow fascists who are looking for their fuhrer — or, more frightening, perhaps many if not even most of them actually have some clue that Trump is a fucking fraud but they just don’t care.

And while DeVega is correct that Trump is “extremely unpopular among huge swaths of the American public,” so is Billary Clinton; while Trump’s unfavorability rating right now is about 60 percent among all Americans, Billary isn’t far behind — her unfavorability rating is about 56 percent.

I lean more toward agreeing with Michael Moore than I do with Chauncey DeVega – Moore is right about the anti-Trump bubble, and DeVega seems to be writing from within that bubble (albeit close to its inner surface) – but we’ll see.

At this point I see the Billary-Trump race as a toss-up, and again, in toss-ups the Repugnican Tea Party traitors usually get what they want, because they shamelessly act like Orcs to get it.

One thing I am sure of is that the Billarybots who assure us that Billary has it in the bag are lying, are deluded, or are deluded liars.

They continue to ignore how widely despised she is, how uninspiring she is (even to most of those who say that they support her), and how weak a candidate she actually is, and they continue to ignore the polls, such as the polls that consistently showed Bernie Sanders beating Trump by double digits while Billary only rarely could reach double digits against Trump and now fares only in the frighteningly low single digits against Trump.

In the minds and the words of the Billarybots, it all will work out OK because how awful Donald Trump is is just so self-evident to the majority of those who will vote in November.

Except that that isn’t the case at all, which the polls continue to prove.

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Michael Moore’s new film on socialism* opens across the nation tomorrow

Where-to-Invade-Next_poster_goldposter_com_3

Michael Moore’s new film “Where to Invade Next,” which interestingly coincides with democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the presidency, starts tomorrow. You can see if it’s playing near you by visiting the film’s website (click or tap here) and clicking or tapping on “screenings.”

In my fifth decade of life, not much excites me anymore, but I’m still excited by a new Michael Moore movie.

I saw Moore’s breakthrough film, “Bowling for Columbine,” here in Sacramento at one of our historical art houses when it came out — and Moore himself made an appearance inside of the movie theater and spoke for a while during the showing, which was a great treat.

(“Columbine” went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary for 2002. “Sicko” was nominated for Best Documentary for 2007, and Wikipedia notes that “Fahrenheit 9/11, at the time the highest-grossing documentary film in movie history, was ruled ineligible [for an Oscar nomination] because Moore had opted to have it played on television prior to the 2004 election.”)

While Bernie Sanders has stopped mentioning Denmark in his public appearances (Sanders does take feedback and he fairly rapidly adjusts accordingly), Moore’s newest film, “Where to Invade Next,” at least on its face seems to be an ad for Bernie, as in the film Moore apparently doesn’t travel to Denmark but does travel to Finland, Iceland and Norway (and to Germany, Italy, Portugal and France and other nations) and points out the areas in which these other nations do a much better job of taking care of their peoples than the United States does of taking care of its own.

The popularity of “Fahrenheit 9/11” didn’t prevent “President” George W. Bush from getting a second term, but in November 2004, Bush “won”** with a “mandate” of a whopping 50.7 percent of the popular vote.

(“Fahrenheit 9/11” helped to keep Bush’s margin of “victory” quite slim, I surmise — recall that in 2004 the “war on terror” was still fresh enough for the right wing to use fear tactics with the voters quite effectively and that the Repugnicans in 2004 also used same-sex marriage as a wedge issue and scare tactic — but despite its having been the top-grossing documentary of all time at that point, “Fahrenheit” wasn’t enough to boot an incumbent president, which is difficult to do.)

We’ll see how much of an effect “Where to Invade Next” has on the current presidential election cycle. I expect it to boost Bernie, whom Michael Moore has endorsed, of course.

I plan to see “Where to Invade Next” tomorrow, its opening day — at the same theater where I saw Michael Moore discuss “Bowling for Columbine” all of those years ago — and I plan to post a review of it no later than on Saturday or Sunday (probably Saturday).***

Yes, if I don’t like it, I’ll say so. Some of Moore’s films are better than his others. I rank his bigger films thusly, from my most favorite to less favorite: “Fahrenheit 9/11” (2004), “Bowling for Columbine” (2002), “Capitalism: A Love Story” (2009), “Sicko” (2007) and “Roger & Me” (1989).

*We shouldn’t run away from the “s”-word. If the United State of America were so fucking free, then why do we commoners not have the freedom to discuss alternative socioeconomic models?

And if capitalism were so inherently and self-evidently great, and since it preaches competition, why can’t the capitalists handle any competition in the marketplace of ideas?

**I put “won” in quotation marks since you can’t win re-election if you never legitimately were elected in the first place (Al Gore won in November 2000 by more than a half-million votes, and Florida’s electoral votes were stolen blatantly) and because in 2004 there was plenty of electoral fishiness in the important swing state of Ohio, whose then-secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell, was a Repugnican operative, much how swing state Florida’s former secretary of state, Katherine Harris, was a Repugnican operative in 2000 who delivered the state to Gee Dubya, with help from his then-governor brother Jeb! and the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, among others.

***Some time ago I used to post movie reviews regularly, but I’ve really dropped off from that, out of lack of time and out of my inability to see new movies as quickly as I’d like to sometimes. But I have to review a new Michael Moore movie…

 

 

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From ‘audacity’ to a whimper

President Barack Obama will go down in American history something like this…

I have to agree wholeheartedly with the assessment by Michael Moore (who has been too absent from the public arena during Barack Obama’s presidency) that the American history books will mention only (or at least primarily) that Obama was the nation’s first black president. It’s sad that history will remember Obama more for the color of his skin than for the content of his character, but that’s his fault, not history’s.

In fairness, the history books also probably will mention Obamacare (for good or for ill or fairly neutrally), but what else is there to say of the Obama years?*

Allegedly with great audacity and with the dreams of his father behind him, Obama came in with a bang – “HOPE”! and “CHANGE”! “CHANGE”! and “HOPE”! – but he goes out with a whimper.

It’s ironic that Obama’s opposition to the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War – which only ever was meant for war profiteering (such as by Dick Cheney’s Halliburton) and for Big Oil to retake the oil fields of Iraq – helped him into office in 2008 and that now Obama seems poised to end his second term with another war in Iraq (and possibly in Syria).

Yes, of course this time (further) war in Iraq (and in Syria ) can be justified, I think. The Islamic Slate (a.k.a. ISIL and ISIS) – at least in its current incarnation as a rapidly metastasizing, deadly cancer – needs to be stopped. The mass murder and the oppression of those who disagree with certain fascist, religious nutjobs – be they “Christian” fascist nutjobs, “Jewish” fascist nutjobs, “Hindu” fascist nutjobs, “Muslim” fascist nutjobs, whatever – should be met with opposition.

Credible news reports are that the Sunni Islamic State has been slaughtering and oppressing Shiites and other non-Sunnis in large swaths of Syria and Iraq. (No, the Islamic State did not become a problem only when it beheaded two U.S. citizens in propagandistic snuff videos.) Any such mass slaughter and oppression anywhere in the world should be stopped if at all possible, regardless of the United States ’ many missteps and failures to act in the past. (And it should not be the United States playing World Cop all of the fucking time.)

As far to the left as I consider myself to be, I do not believe in absolute, blind pacifism. I don’t believe that in most cases force or the credible threat of force should be the first resort, but nor do I believe that force or the credible threat of force should be taken off the table altogether. It can be a useful tool, and sometimes, the only effective one. And my gut response to the Islamic State, frankly, is: Pound. Them. Into. The. Sand. (With that said, gut responses do not necessarily make for sound actual foreign policy, as we learned with the debacle that was the unelected reign of the illegitimate Bush regime.)

The problem with the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, again, is that of course it never was meant to “liberate” the Iraqi people from the evil Saddam Hussein (who was a “good” dictator until he stopped taking marching orders from the American elite, which then made him a “bad” dictator) – unless you want to call the more than 100,000 Iraqis who died as a result of the Vietraq War “liberated.” No, it was meant to further enrich the cronies of the BushCheneyCorp.

Such treasonously crying wolf, of course, makes it all the harder to sell the American people on military action in the same region, even when military action actually is called for this time – as President Obama surely knows right about now.

And, of course, while the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (redundant) never met a war that they didn’t love (as long as it’s others who are doing all of the dying, of course), they’ll find ways to criticize and condemn Obama no matter how he conducts things militarily in the Middle East. Because if the president is a white Repugnican guy (even one who got into the White House without even having won the highest number of votes of the American people), then to criticize his military actions abroad at all is nothing short of terrorist-lovin’ treason, you see, whereas if the president is a Democrat, and especially not a white, male Democrat, then to criticize his every fucking move is one’s God-given patriotic duty, you see.

So, of course, Obama can’t win, no matter what he does or does not do, but he should have known this political fact from Day One, and so from Day One he should have pushed through a progressive agenda instead of having tried to persuade the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to join him in “Kumbaya” around the campfire in D.C. (You don’t even bother to try to negotiate with terrorists; they cannot be reasoned with.)

Yes, I do believe that having assertively pushed a progressive agenda in the first two years of his first term would have been a winner for Obama. Had he even tried to have delivered upon his campaign promises, he could have been something like the second coming of FDR. He entered the White House with that kind of support behind him, more or less.

Yes, reportedly a majority of Americans deem Obama’s presidency to have been a failure, but these polls that are unflattering to Obama, it seems to me, widely are interpreted, incorrectly, to mean that the majority of Americans embrace the right-wing worldview. But if a pollster were to ask me (or any other actually progressive American) if Obama’s presidency has been a success or a failure, I (or he or she) would say, without even having to think about it, a failurenot because I at all agree with the right-wing worldview and agenda, but because I believe that Obama utterly squandered his chance, especially in 2009 and 2010, to push through an actually progressive agenda, while both houses of Congress still were held by his own party.**

Whereas the unelected Bush regime spent “political capital” that it never even fucking had (I remember when the Bushies called Bush’s “re”-election by only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004 to be a “mandate”), Obama was too timid or too lazy or too stupid (or some combination of these things) to even touch his actual stockpile of political capital in 2009 and 2010, and his failure to have done so will go down in history (history that is thoughtful and critical, anyway) as one of the biggest missed opportunities by a U.S. president to accomplish the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of Americans.

And I judge Obama’s presidency to be a failure because, of course, you judge a politician based upon his or her actual accomplishments in office compared to the campaign promises that he or she made in order to get elected to that office. (Yeah, as cynical as I might be, I’m still not ready to let any politician off the hook for having violated, blatantly, his or her own campaign promises.) Based upon his own relentless campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” of course Obama’s presidency – which has delivered primarily more of the same, not “hope” or “change” – has been a failure.

Of course, pretty much any Repugnican president – John McCainosaurus, Mittens Romney or any other Repugnican – would have done even worse in the Oval Office than Obama has done (except, perhaps, for the 1 percent, for the richest Americans), but that doesn’t let Obama off the hook with me; I judge Obama by actually progressive Democratic (that is, actually Democratic) standards, not by the low bar that has been set by the right wing (probably especially by George W. Bush). And speaking of the devil, of course Obama has been a better president than Gee Dubya was – for starters, Obama actually was democratically elected in the first fucking place, for fuck’s sake – but saying that President X is or was better than was “President” George W. Bush is saying exactly nothing.

And how is Obama poised to end his second and final term? At (further) war in the Middle East, with a new/old enemy this time, the Islamic State. (I write “new/old” because just as the “tea party” is comprised of the same old fascists who were around long before they started to call themselves the “tea party,” the Islamic State apparently is comprised, largely if not mostly, of the same old Islamofascists who were around before Obama ever took office. Of course, it was the Bush regime’s woefully-misguided-to-put-it-mildly Vietraq War, more than anything else, that contributed to the genesis of the Islamic State that we see today.)

I have to wonder if Barack Obama is trying to do Billary Clinton a favor right now, trying to make the Democratic Party look Tough! On! Terrorists! — just in time for the 2016 presidential election. But if more war in the Middle East (and exactly how it should be executed) is going to be the centerpiece of the 2016 presidential election, don’t the chickenhawk Repugnicans play the war card a lot better than do the Dems?

Because of that, how could the Dems expect to win the White House again in 2016 by posing as warhawks, as Billary already appears to be doing?

Didn’t someone once remark that when given the choice of voting for a Repugnican candidate or a “Democratic” candidate who acts like a Repugnican, the typical voter will vote for the genuine Repugnican?

The theofascist Islamic State needs to be checked, for sure, just as would any other insane group of murderers and fascists at home or abroad, but at the same time, potential blowback from military actions that always should be considered aside, Team Obama and Team Billary need to be careful, methinks, not to give the war-drum-beating chickenhawks of the Repugnican Tea Party political validation – and thus political victory – by also beating those tired, old war drums (only less convincingly, in the eyes of the voters, than the chickenhawks do) between now and Election Day in November 2016.

*Obama lost me, forever, after he just fucking sat on his hands while British Petroleum filled the Gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of crude oil in 2010, and after he failed to visit the state of Wisconsin even once in early 2011, when Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker successfully attacked the right of the workers of the state to collectively bargain.

Candidate Obama had promised in 2007: “Understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain, when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you, as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that someone’s standing in their corner.”

Again, Obama showed up in Wisconsin not once. In his first term Obama failed to lead on a huge environmental issue and he failed to lead on a huge labor-rights issue, part of a pattern of failure that his presidency has been. (As I have noted, while I [stupidly] voted for Obama in 2008, I did not vote for Obama again in November 2012, but voted for the Green Party candidate instead.)

**Indeed, I’m not the only leftist who deems Obama’s presidency a failure; the Washington Post notes of its own (with ABC News) recent nationwide poll that “Those saying Obama has been a failure include one in four Democrats (25 percent), nearly three in 10 liberals (29 percent) and the vast, vast majority of conservative Republicans (92 percent). Nearly one in five liberals (18 percent) say they feel ‘strongly’ that Obama has been a failure.

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Assorted shit

Finally, a brilliant move by the Dems

Apparently the Democrats are planning to make the Repugnicans’ refusal to go along with Wall Street reform a centerpiece of their November election strategy.

It’s a brilliant move.

Perhaps spurred on by the attention that Michael Moore brought to the subject in his documentary “Capitalism: A Love Story” (which I reviewed here and which I just watched again on DVD), the Democrats have seized upon the fact that the Repugnicans prefer unfettered financial fraud to any regulations on Wall Street whatsofuckingever.

With so many Americans struggling financially, for them to see, graphically, what the Repugnican Party stands f0r — the interests of the plutocrats, the true elites — around election time should put a significant dent in any gains the Repugnicans otherwise anticipated they’d make.

The Repugnican Party’s insistence on aiding the already filthy rich at the expense of the rest of us should do at the ballot box for the Democrats what the unelected Bush regime’s constant reminder of the “threat” of “terrorism” did for the Repugnicans at the ballot box in 2002 and in 2004.

I’m starting to feel some hope that we’re going to have some change…  

Chuck Crist poised to pull a Benedict Lieberman

I remember the joke that Jon Stewart made when former Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman announced that he would run for re-election to the U.S. Senate as an independent candidate (under the newly formed “party” of “Connecticut for Lieberman”after he had lost the Democratic primary to opponent Ned Lamont: Stewart joked that Lieberman had announced that if he lost the Senate election, then he would start his own Senate. (Unfortunately, Lieberman won the 2006 election as an “independent,” but fortunately, this meant that he didn’t have to start his own Senate…)

That’s pretty much what it has come to, with power-hungry, egomaniacal baby-boomer (I know, redundant…) politicians refusing to take no for an answer and wanting to hold on to their power at all costs.

Repugnican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is featured in the excellent documentary “Outrage” as being a probable closet case, is considering running for the U.S. Senate as an independent because his Repugnican primary opponent, wingnut Marco Rubio, has overtaken him in the polls.

Under Florida law, Crist has until April 30 to decide whether to remain in the Repugnican primary or to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, a la Lieberman. (Under Connecticut law, Benedict Lieberman still was able to run as an independent after he lost the Democratic primary, but Crist does not have that option. [I suppose that Florida can do some things right where the fairness of elections are concerned…].) 

Crist has indicated that he’ll do what’s best for the people of Florida.

Oh, bullshit.

Crist will do what’s best for Crist.

Those who choose to participate in one of the two major parties should accept their fate if their political fortunes fall. Running as an “independent” because one can’t make it in his or her chosen party anymore is one of the refuges of the scoundrel.

It’s no different from phone-tapping

It is lamentable that those making the legal decisions regarding the privacy of employees’ electronic communications (e-mails, text-messages, etc.) are mostly baby boomers (or even older people) who barely fucking understand today’s electronic communications.*

I wholeheartedly disagree that an employer’s mere warning that its employees’ communications may be monitored makes it legal for it to monitor its employees’ communications any more than tapping their telephones is legal (except in certain circumstances, such as at call centers).

And if I give you warning that I might punch you in the face, does that make it legal for me to punch you in the face? Since when does a mere warning make a follow-up action legal?

New communications technology does not mean that the privacy laws that already apply to telephones, for example, don’t apply to that new technology.

The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding this issue now, with new Justice Sonia Sotomayor seeming to be leaning on the side of privacy protection and most of the other justices leaning on the side of Big Brother. 

Fact is, as Sotomayor seems to have indicated, most employers who snoop on their employees just get off on snooping.

Tell you what: When all of us can read the employers’ electronic communications, then maybe they can read ours. 

Um, yeah.

*The Associated Press indicates that Chief “Justice” John Roberts and “Justice” Antonin Scalia apparently don’t even understand how text-messaging works, yet they are poised to rule on whether or not privacy law applies to text-messaging.

Bill Clinton: Can’t we all just get along?

Former President Bill Clinton is quoted by The Associated Press as having said that the United States has an image around the world of having too much political infighting.

God, I’m sick and fucking tired of hearing direct or indirect calls for a national singing of “Kumbaya.”

Much if not most of the opposition to President Barack Obama stems from the fact that he is presiding while black, for fuck’s sake.

I’m supposed to make nice with a bunch of fucking racists and white supremacists? Who hate me and who want to continue to oppress me because I’m gay?

I just don’t fucking think so!

The rest of the world can think what it wants to think.

And Bill Clinton can go kiss all of the wingnut ass that he likes.

I, for one, would rather die than to give the impression that I think that the likes of Sarah Palin-Quayle and Glenn Beck and their fascistic followers are anything less than satanic.

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