Tag Archives: Rachel Maddow

Live-blogging the just-added fifth Dem debate tomorrow night (probably)

The Democratic National Committee has approved four additional Democratic Party presidential debates, one of them scheduled for tomorrow night in Durham, New Hampshire. It’s to be moderated by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and NBC News’ Chuck Todd.

NBC says that the debate starts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, which will mean that the debate actually will start at 9:00 p.m. ET or that it will start later, if they have their talking heads blathering first, as so often is the case.

In any event, I at least tentatively plan to live-blog tomorrow night’s debate, even though live-blogging the Dem debates has become a bit tiresome.

This debate, though, will be the first one without Martin O’Malley, on whose performances in the first four debates I vacillated between finding very annoying and very enjoyable (when he attacked Billary).

And, of course, tomorrow night’s debate comes before New Hampshire votes on Tuesday.

Bernie Sanders, my horse in the race, had agreed to tomorrow night’s debate only if three more debates were added to the schedule after New Hampshire.

The Democratic National Committee’s website shows that in addition to tomorrow night’s added debate, another new debate has been scheduled for March 6 in Flint, Michigan, and that the other two will be in April and in May, but the dates and locations of those two debates (the ninth and tenth debates) have yet to be determined.

The schedule of the six remaining Dem debates is:

  • Fifth: February 4 (tomorrow), Durham, New Hampshire (at the University of New Hampshire), sponsored by NBC News
  • Sixth: February 11, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sponsored by PBS and the Wisconsin Democratic Party
  • Seventh: March 6, Flint, Michigan (no sponsor named)
  • Eighth: March 9, Miami, Florida, sponsored by Univision, The Washington Post and the Florida Democratic Party
  • Ninth: April, date and location to be determined (no sponsor named)
  • Tenth: May, date and location to be determined (no sponsor named)

I don’t know that we need two debates in the same week of March, but whatever; I’m happy that Bernie got the three additional debates that he demanded in exchange for squeezing in tomorrow night’s debate in New Hampshire, bringing the total number of debates from a paltry six to a more reasonable 10.

While it had struck me that this new debate before New Hampshire votes would help Billary more than Bernie, since he’s leading Billary in New Hampshire by around 18 percentage points (see here and here), because the Iowa caucuses resulted in a tie, perhaps Bernie could use this rather-last-minute additional debate before New Hampshire.

Speaking of Iowa, Sanders recently stated that “the Iowa caucus is so complicated, it’s not 100 percent sure we didn’t win it. [Yup.*] But we feel fantastic. We came a long, long way in Iowa and now we’re in New Hampshire. We have a lot of momentum.”

*The archaic Iowa caucuses should be replaced with a primary election, with a clear, re-countable paper trail of balloting. With the convoluted record-keeping, it’s practically impossible to ensure that the results of the Iowa caucuses that are given out within 24 hours of the caucuses are accurate.

I know, I know, tradition, but forced child labor used to be tradition, too…

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Live-blogging the fourth Dem debate

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2015, file photo, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speak during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. Taunted by Republicans to declare war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” Democrats are turning to an unlikely ally: George W. Bush. President Barack Obama, under pressure to be more aggressive on terrorism, regularly cites his predecessor’s refusal to demonize Muslims or play into the notion of a clash between Islam and the West. As Clinton put it, “George W. Bush was right.” And, Sanders visited a mosque this month in a show of solidarity that evoked Bush’s visit to a Muslim center just days after 9/11. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Associated Press photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former U.S. Secretary of State Billary Clinton spar during the first Democratic Party presidential debate in October. Polls right now have Billary with only a 4-point lead over Bernie in Iowa, which caucuses on February 1, and Bernie with a 6-point lead over Billary in New Hampshire, whose presidential primary election is on February 9.

The fourth Democratic Party presidential debate of this cycle is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, via NBC. The debate takes place in South Carolina, which is friendly ground for Billary, who is big in the South, since she isn’t a progressive but is a Repugnican Lite.

I’ll be live-blogging tonight’s debate, using California (Pacific) time (we’re three hours ahead of Eastern Time).

This is the final Dem debate before the Iowa caucuses on February 1, which are 15 days from today.

Right now, Real Clear Politics’ average of polls has Billary Clinton’s national lead at 12.7 percent over Bernie Sanders’, and the Huffington Post’s average of polls has Billary up by 16 percent nationally.

However, the nation won’t vote on one day, but states will vote over the course of several weeks; and the earlier states’ results will affect the subsequent states’ results in a domino effect.

On that note, RCP’s average of Iowa polling right now has Billary at only 4 percent ahead of Bernie. Ditto for HuffPo. Team Billary must be panicking, and I’m expecting Billary to act desperately tonight, because she has to be desperate, and when she’s desperate, as she was against Barack Obama in 2008, she incredibly stupidly attacks her primary opponent from the right, apparently not understanding the Democratic Party primary voter (and caucus-goer).

Also, as Rachel Maddow recently put it when she had Billary on her show, Team Billary as of late has been attacking Bernie, who “doesn’t have an enemy in the world in the Democratic Party.” (Kudos to Maddow for not kowtowing to and cowering before Billary’s Being A Woman!; every legitimate criticism of Billary that a male dares to utter immediately is branded by the Billarybots as “sexism” or “misogyny” or “mansplaining” or the like.)

Recent polls (which I’ll define as reputable nationwide polls taken within the past month) unanimously show that Billary is disliked by more people than she is liked, whereas the opposite is true for Bernie, so yeah, a candidate whose favorability already is upside down attacking his or her opponent whose favorability already is right-side up probably is making a mistake.

But I digress. (That said, I hope that Billary is a raging harpy tonight; it will only harm her further.)

In New Hampshire, RCP right now has Bernie beating Billary by 6.2 percent, and HuffPo has Bernie beating her by 6 percent, so I’d be surprised if Bernie doesn’t win New Hampshire, regardless of the outcome of Iowa.

Again, I rather doubt that Billary could survive losing both Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie.

If Bernie accomplishes that, we will see a nationwide phenomenon in which weak Billary supporters (and there are, I surmise, millions of them) seriously and significantly will reevaluate their choice of Democratic Party presidential candidate.

And, again, if Bernie wins both of the first two states, Billary no doubt will act in ways which will only make even more people dislike her. (Seriously, she’ll act much like Ellie Driver does when she loses her remaining eyeball. That isn’t attractive.)

5:45 p.m. (again, I’m using Pacific Time): The debate is scheduled to begin in 15 minutes.

5:56 p.m.: The talking heads of NBC (including Chuck Todd, whom I’ve never liked) are blathering about Bernie Sanders’ “electability” (specifically, his supposed lack thereof) even though the polls have shown for some time now that Bernie does better overall against the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) in hypothetical match-up polls than does Billary Clinton.

Facts won’t topple the corporately owned and controlled media’s conventional “wisdom.” (And shockingly, the corporately owned and controlled media wouldn’t want a president who calls himself a “democratic socialist.”)

6:02 p.m.: The candidates are on stage now. Billary already has had some water. She must be nervous

6:04 p.m.: The opening statements are largely an obligatory tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. (due to tomorrow being MLK Day and due to the setting of the debate; I prefer spontaneously heartfelt statements to politically obligatory ones…). Bernie kind of went too quickly from MLK to his standard stump speech yet once again. (At least he’s consistent.) The maudlin Martin O’Malley reminds us of the massacre that happened in Charleston in June.

6:07 p.m.: Bernie gives “healthcare for every man, woman and child as a human right,” a $15 minimum wage, and fixing our crumbling infrastructure as the top three priorities of his White House administration were he to be elected.

Billary says she’d make pay parity between men and women one of her top three priorities, as well as renewable energy and infrastructure improvement, and says she’d improve/build on “Obamacare,” but doesn’t go nearly as far as does Sanders on that issue.

O’Malley lists strengthening labor unions among his three top priorities. I like to hear that, but he won’t win. He’s still mired in low single digits.

6:11 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that the National Rifle Association has given him a rating of “D-” for his support of its priorities, and he basically (correctly) calls Billary a liar for claiming otherwise.

6:13 p.m.: Billary retorts that Bernie has voted in favor of the NRA many times. Whether that’s true or not, as this is an awfully new-found “concern” of human weather vane on crack Billary’s, I can’t see it as anything more than politics. People have died from guns so that Billary could use their deaths to try to win the White House. Craven.

Martin O’Malley says both Bernie and Billary have been “inconsistent” on gun legislation.

Gun control is low on my list of priorities. It’s not unimportant, but we have bigger fish to fry, and I see its being raised as a big issue as an attempt by the Democratic establishment and the Billary campaign (which are the same thing, pretty much) to crowd out the more important topic of income inequality, which kills far more people than do guns (just less dramatically).

6:16 p.m.: Now the topic is white cops killing black males. The moderator brought up Walter Scott, who was shot in the back by a white cop in South Carolina as he was fleeing the cop.

Billary says one out of three black men end up incarcerated, and asks us to consider how we’d feel if one out of three white men ended up behind bars.

Bernie echoes this, stating that we disproportionately have black and Latino men behind bars, and that only China has more individuals incarcerated than does the United States.

6:19 p.m.: The moderator (Lester Holt) asks Bernie how he can win when Billary has minority support that bests him by two to one. Bernie says that when the members of the black community become more familiar with him, just as with the general population, his support among them will increase. (I concur, although I acknowledge that there are some who aren’t smart enough to vote in their own best interests, and so they’ll buy Billary’s bullshit that she’d be better for minorities than would Bernie. Never mind her husband’s “welfare reform,” NAFTA, “criminal justice” “reform,” etc., all of which have harmed minorities and which she would continue as president.)

6:23 p.m.: Bernie says that the death of anyone in police custody automatically should be investigated by the federal government. I concur. He also calls for the demilitarization of our police forces and says that the composition of our law-enforcement agencies must reflect the composition of the communities that they serve. Yup.

6:25 p.m.: Discussion on opioid overdoses and the “war on drugs” now. Bernie adds that the pharmaceutical industry shares responsibility for widespread addiction to opioids and adds that we need to improve mental health care services.

6:31 p.m.: Billary says she is committed to universal health care. She calls Obamacare a “path to universal health care.” She again says we need to “defend,” “improve” and “build on” “Obamacare.”

6:32 p.m.: Bernie again asserts that health care is a right to every human being. Twenty-nine million Americans still have no health insurance, he says, adding that the United States pays more per person for health care than does any other nation. (Yeah, that would be because of the profiteering that we see in wealth care — er, health care — here in the United States.)

6:34 p.m.: Billary again defends “Obamacare” and accuses Bernie of recently changing his plan for health care for all. “To tear it up and start over again” is “the wrong direction,” Billary proclaims of “Obamacare.” This is getting heated.

Bernie adds that not only are 29 million Americans not insured, but that many are under-insured and can’t afford their co-pays. Yup. Bernie says he has no plan to “tear up” “Obamacare.”

6:36 p.m.: Billary keeps repeating that Bernie wants us to start all over again on health care, and that we can’t do that. Sure, we can. How inspiring is Billary’s mantra, however, that we can’t. Bernie says we need to have “the guts to stand up” to the private health-care insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Yup.

6:39 p.m.: Billary keeps saying we have to beef up “Obamacare.” She rejects Bernie’s plan for “Medicare for all,” saying that we couldn’t achieve that under Barack Obama, so we can’t achieve it now. Bullshit.

6:41 p.m.: Bernie says that the Democrats and Repugnicans can’t get along in Congress is a red herring for the fact that Big Money prevents most of the members of Congress from voting in the people’s best interests. Yup.

6:44 p.m.: The maudlin O’Malley is parroting the canard that we all really can hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” We can’t. We shouldn’t. And we won’t. There are irreconcilable differences between the right and the left. There is no middle ground, for instance, on such issues as same-sex marriage (which is a constitutional right) and women’s constitutional right to control their own reproductive organs. And a “middle ground” on such a universal issue as climate change, which needs action, not even more foot-dragging in the name of “moderation,” will result in misery and death for millions if not billions of human beings around the globe (as well as the continued extinction of species and irreversible adverse planetary changes).

6:47 p.m.: When asked why Bernie has the support of young people by two to one over her, Billary stated that she’ll do her best to appeal to Bernie’s supporters. I’m one of Bernie’s many, many supporters who won’t cast a vote for or give a penny to Billary, no matter what — and that’s because while Obama said “Yes, we can,” she says “No, we can’t.” (She apparently says this for the benefit of her huge campaign contributors.) And, of course, I cannot and will not support her because she’s no progressive. She’s a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, centrist sellout.

6:48 p.m.: On break now. Twice O’Malley has tried to break in, but moderator Lester Holt won’t let him. Hee hee. I still wish that O’Malley would drop out already, but I don’t expect him to; he needs a job, apparently, and he apparently still is angling for veep.

6:52 p.m.: The topic is Wall Street and the big banks now. Bernie reminds us that he doesn’t take money from the big banks and doesn’t take speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. Bernie says we have to “break up these huge financial institutions” and bring back the Glass-Steagall Act.

6:53 p.m.: Billary now says that Bernie Sanders’ criticism of her having taken money from Wall Street actually impugns Barack Obama, since Obama also has taken money from Wall Street. (The “argument” there, I suppose, is that if someone else has committed the same wrong that you did, then you did not commit a wrong after all.) This is more bullshit Clintonian triangulation. This is classic Billary.

6:55 p.m.: Billary continues her line that Bernie has attacked Obama. Billary is so unpopular herself that she must try to damage Bernie by alleging that Bernie has attacked the much more popular Barack Obama. Pathetic.

6:57 p.m.: O’Malley says that Billary’s proclamation that she’d be tough on Wall Street is “not true.” He says that like Bernie and unlike Billary, he supports the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, and he totally calls her out on trying to use Barack Obama as a human political shield, just like how in a previous debate she actually tried to use 9/11 as her justification for her coziness with the Wall Street weasels. Wonderful.

7:00 p.m.: Billary tries to deflect from her Wall-Street-boosting corruption yet once again, stating that we should look at the Repugnicans and how they are supporting the Wall Street weasels. Jesus fuck, this woman’s character is abysmal.

7:02 p.m.: Bernie says he has documented how we would pay for his ambitious agenda, including making Wall Street pay its fair share. Billary vows that as president she would not raise taxes on the middle class and also says that she has detailed how she would pay for all of her proposals.

7:04 p.m.: Bernie says that Billary’s criticism of his “Medicare-for-all, single-payer program” is a “Republican” criticism. Well, yeah, she’s a Repugnican (Lite)… Bernie says his health care plan would give Americans a significant net savings by lowering their cost for private health care. Yup. You can pay more in taxes for health care and pay much less (or even zero) for private health care and end up ahead. It’s called math.

7:08 p.m.: Climate change now. Bernie says climate change is settled. Agreed. It’s called science. For future generations we must switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, Bernie says.

O’Malley says we can achieve sustainable energy by 2050. Billary attempted to chime in on this important issue but just got cut off… Break now.

I’m still torn on O’Malley’s continued presence at these debates. It’s great when he calls Billary out, such as for her latest pathetic kick of trying to triangulate among her, Bernie and Obama, since she apparently feels that she has to piggyback on Obama’s popularity, but O’Malley doesn’t poll at even 3 percent nationally.

7:17 p.m.: Iran now. Bernie calls for “normalized relations with Iran.” He states that the agreement that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is a good one, and that we need to move in the direction of better relations with Iran.

Billary says we have to continue to watch Iran, that we have to watch Iran for a longer period of time before we can normalize relations with Iran.

Now Syria. Billary says she opposes American ground forces in Syria. She says she supports supporting existing militaries in the Middle East in combating the problems in Syria and in combating ISIS.

Bernie says he opposes “perpetual warfare” in the Middle East. “As president I would do everything in my power to avoid” such a(n increased) quagmire, he says.

O’Malley says, as Bernie has said, that overall he supports Obama’s current strategy in the Middle East. And he had to get maudlin again, saying that we never should refer to a soldier as “boots on the ground.” Seriously, who advises Martin the Maudlin?

7:24 p.m.: Bernie says the wealthy nations in the Middle East, like Qatar, need to do more in the Middle East to oppose ISIS and other terrorists.

7:26 p.m.: Billary is bragging about her foreign-affairs chops (she was, after all, secretary of state, and spent a lot of time advising the more popular Barack Obama in the Situation Room!).

Bernie says our first priority in the Middle East must be to destroy ISIS, and then to focus on Syria’s dictator.

7:29 p.m.: Lester Holt apparently more or less blamed the annexation of Crimea by Russia on Billary’s having been secretary of state. Meh. I don’t want Billary in the Oval Office, but I’ve always viewed Crimea as belonging to Russia, not to Ukraine. Billary has called Vladimir Putin a “bully” whom always must be stood up to.

7:32 p.m.: O’Malley is speaking in favor of privacy rights as guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Yup. O’Malley says the government must obtain a warrant to violate our privacy, and that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a privacy violation from the “front door” (that is, a more old-school privacy violation) or from the “back door,” such as via our increasingly more technologically advanced electronic devices. Yup. Yup. Yup.

Bernie says that our public policy hasn’t caught up with our technology, and I agree. We don’t give up our constitutional rights solely because we do things electronically these days. Fucktards who don’t respect others’ constitutional rights have refused to recognize this, so our laws must be updated to fully protect us from those who would violate our constitutional rights.

Billary is cut off again for the break. It does seem to me that all three candidates should have the opportunity to respond to every question, but the NBC moderators are not allowing this.

7:39 p.m.: Billary is given is a chance to address the question, but doesn’t speak in favor of our privacy rights. Hmm…

7:40 p.m.: O’Malley has attacked Donald Trump’s vilification of Muslim Americans, kind of out of nowhere. One of O’Malley’s debating tactics apparently is to try to link anecdotes to issues, but it comes off as more amateurish than anything else.

7:42 p.m.: Billary is asked how much of a role Bill Clinton would have in her economic agenda. She claims that she is undecided, but says she would use him as a “goodwill emissary” around the nation to boost her economic agenda.

7:43 p.m.: Bernie says a White House stacked with Wall Street weasels won’t accomplish much for the nation’s economy. Yup. Bernie says that his Treasury secretary wouldn’t come from Goldman Sachs. Ouch. And yup.

Bernie was baited into talking about Bill Clinton’s sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. Bernie called Bill Clinton’s behavior in that “deplorable,” but emphasized that he didn’t want the discussion to be about Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior. Yup. (Billary, unsurprisingly, agrees…)

The corporately owned and controlled media embarrass themselves, the way that they patently pander to the lowest common denominator.

7:50 p.m.: As the debate draws to a close and the candidates are asked if there are any statements they’d like to make that they haven’t yet made, O’Malley remarks that the debate hasn’t tackled such important issues as immigration reform and the treatment of Puerto Rico by the financial weasels. He now launches into his anodyne closing statement.

Billary says she is “outraged by what’s happening in Flint, Michigan.” She points out that the city’s population, disproportionately poor and black, has been drinking contaminated water, whereas rich denizens of a city would not.

Bernie says the Repugnican Tea Party governor of Michigan should resign.

Bernie says that nothing will improve in the United States of America until Citizens United is reversed, super-PACs are abolished, and there is meaningful campaign-finance reform. Yup. Agreed: The hands of the members of Congress are tied by their Big-Money donors.

Another President Clinton would do little to nothing to solve this overarching problem. It would be more of the same: More promises, yet nothing in our lives actually improves.

7:57 p.m.: The debate is over. Like the previous three debates, I don’t see this debate changing a whole lot. That is, if you were a Billarybot before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Billarybot, and if you were a Berner before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Berner. If I had to declare a winner of this debate, I’d say that it was Bernie, but of course I’ve supported him for months, so take that for what it is.

The NBC commentators are discussing right now how Billary wrapped herself in Obama tonight. Yup. This might come back to haunt her.

Not only was it classic Clintonian triangulation, but Bernie Sanders’ supporters largely if not mostly are those of us who never forgot — and never abandoned — Barack Obama’s ubiquitous but undelivered-upon promises of “hope” and “change.”

We haven’t seen the much-promised change (not enough of it, anyway),  but we haven’t lost all hope; we still believe, after several years of disappointment, that Yes, we can. But here is Billary saying No, we can’t.

I’m not saying that she’s entirely wrong about what is and what is not achievable in D.C., but I do know that if we start off with the motto of No, we can’t, then we probably can’t (or at least we probably won’t).

Which is exactly what Billary Clinton’s Big-Money campaign contributors want us to believe: that no, we can’t. They want us to believe that so that we won’t even try.

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Clint, I forgive you

Actor Clint Eastwood addresses an empty chair and questions it as if it were President Barack Obama as he endorses Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa

Reuters photo

A disheveled and addled Clint Eastwood performs at the Repugnican Tea Party National Convention — a live-television political disaster along the lines of a sweaty Richard Nixon.

It wasn’t that long ago that I bought the Clint Eastwood-directed film “J. Edgar” on DVD. No, it’s not Eastwood’s best film, and no, as I noted at the time that “J. Edgar” was in the theaters, “J. Edgar,” as a gay-themed film, is no “Milk” (which also was scripted by gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black) or “Brokeback Mountain.” It’s flawed, but it’s watchable.

I enjoyed Eastwood’s “Gran Torino,” too. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s worthwhile.

Even I am fairly too young to remember the “Dirty Harry” movies, so I will remember Eastwood as the director of some good films later in his life.

And I will give him a pass for his disastrous appearance at the Repugnican Tea Party National Convention last night. I will blame instead the fucktards who decided to ask him to appear.

Really, it was like elder abuse to allow the 82-year-old Eastwood to speak on the topic of politics in front of a live television audience.

Let me repeat that:

He’s 82. His mind is not what it used to be, as is evidenced by his rather halting, forgetful — I’ll say it: senile — delivery of what was supposed to be (I guess) comedy.

While an expert on film, Eastwood is about as sharp on the topic of politics* as is Britney Spears, who has a cameo in Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” (it was almost as unfair to allow Eastwood to speak on politics as it was Britney).

Admittedly, I have yet to be able to get through all of Eastwood’s latest performance. I watched at least a few minutes of it on Hulu before I had to stop. It was like watching a puppy being slowly run over by a dump truck. I couldn’t bear it any longer.

Finally, again, Eastwood is an expert of film. Not of live television.

I get it, he’s Clint Fucking Eastwood, and who’s going to ask Clint Eastwood to audition for something?

But, as Rachel Maddow fairly dissects the decision to have Eastwood appear before Mittens Romney did last night, Eastwood’s performance was political tactical disaster.

Obviously Eastwood was meant to appeal to the white male set who view themselves as macho and bad-ass and to the bimbos who think that these macho, macho men actually are, well, macho.

He-man Charlton Heston, who used to shill for the NRA (and who, like Britney, also starred in a Michael Moore documentary), keeled over in 2008, and so the Repugnican Tea Party dipshits got Clint Eastwood.

But putting a doddering old white man on live national television right before Mittens was a strategic mistake of perhaps epic proportion. Sure, there are millions of Americans who are OK with the You-damned-kids-get-off-my-lawn! thing, but they already vote Repugnican Tea Party.

Millions of Americans whom we call “swing voters,” I surmise, were turned off by Eastwood’s crusty, cranky, addled performance, which can only remind them of the last grumpy old man whom they rejected, John McCainosaurus.

And instead of talking about Mittens, Americans are talking about Clint Eastwood’s shockingly bad performance.

Thanks, Clint.

Although you said last night that there are plenty of conservatives in Hollywood, you certainly didn’t just help get another wingnut elected to the White House.

It’s almost like you intentionally sabotaged the Mittens campaign.

*Eastwood’s first salvo at President Barack Obama was that the nation has too many unemployed people. I will agree with that, and, like Ted Rall, I believe that Obama should have pushed through a strong, FDR-like jobs program when he had both houses of Congress in his party’s control in 2009 and 2010, but the fact of the matter is that it was the unelected George W. Bush whose administration of the nation destroyed our economy, and the fact of the matter is that after the Repugnican Tea Party traitors regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2010 election, they’ve done nothing but oppose Obama (they would have killed any strong jobs program he had proposed) and they have done nothing themselves to counter unemployment, such as through a strong jobs program, so they need to be blamed for our continuing unemployment (and underemployment) problem, too.

But all of this is too nuanced for Dirty Harry, who simply blamed unemployment squarely on Barack Obama.

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Herman Cain, the new Moses

Updated below (on Sunday, November 20, 2011)

The scandal engulfing US Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain deepened Thursday

AFP photo

Shhhhh! God is telling him what to do next!

God wanted Herman Cain to run for president, according to Herman Cain, according to The Associated Press, which recently reported:

Atlanta — Republican Herman Cain said God convinced him to enter the race for president, comparing himself to Moses: “‘You’ve got the
wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'”

The Georgia business executive played up his faith Saturday after battling sexual harassment allegations for two weeks, trying to shift the conversation to religion, an issue vital to conservative Republicans, especially in the South.

In a speech Saturday to a national meeting of young Republicans, Cain said the Lord persuaded him after much prayer.

“That’s when I prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m a man of faith — I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I’ve ever done before in my life,” Cain said. “And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'”

Once he made the decision, Cain said, he did not look back. …

Because he would have turned into a pillar of salt, right?

Anyway, this reminds me of an editorial cartoon that I saw recently that tackles the question of what we’re supposed to do when God has two candidates in the same race. I mean, didn’t God tell Michele Bachmann that he want her to be president? According to the AP, Rick Perry’s wife Anita indicated that God gave her the message that her husband should run for president, so that’s at least two horses that Jehovah has in the race, from what I can tell.

If memory serves, the same ‘toon also points out that when the rest of us claim that God talks to us, we are deemed insane, but it’s OK for right-wing Repugnican Tea Party candidates to make such claims.

Not only does Herman Cain have God on his side, but he has his wife on his side. The Associated Press also reports recently:

Washington — Herman Cain’s wife says the claims of sexual harassment against the GOP presidential candidate don’t ring true because he “totally respects women.”

Gloria Cain told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren: “I’m thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said [he did].” [Um, yeah, that might be it, actually…]

In an interview to be aired Monday during the show “On the Record,” Gloria Cain said she can’t believe the claims he harassed women when he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

“You hear the graphic allegations and we know that would have been something that’s totally disrespectful of her as a woman,” she said. “And I know the type of person he is. He totally respects women.” …

Four women have now accused Herman Cain of sexually harassing them when he led the National Restaurant Association. He has denied wrongdoing and has been trying to move forward in his presidential campaign. …

As Jon Stewart recently pointed out, a man who sexually harasses women at work usually doesn’t share this fact with his wife.

And it’s not like Gloria Cain would have any reason to lie to us, would she? Such as the chance at becoming First Lady?

And, in general, when do you get to use your spouse or other close relative as a character reference?

Oh, and Cain recently blamed Barack Obama for having ended NASA’s space shuttle program, even though it was George W. Bush who in 2004 decided to end the program. Like we can afford NASA anyway. (Let them eat space shuttle wreckage!)

Rachel Maddow’s theory that the Cain campaign is one big practical joke (maybe Ashton Kutcher secretly is Cain’s campaign manager) seems likelier and likelier with each passing news day.

P.S. I have to share this item, which I saw on Joe. My. God.:

Update (Sunday, November 20, 2011): Here is the editorial cartoon that I mentioned above:

Ted Rall

Check out more of Ted Rall’s stuff at rall.com.

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Four more years (of hopelessness and stasis)!

US President Barack Obama waves as he arrives for a G20 summit in Cannes, France on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Leaders from within troubled Europe and far beyond are working Friday on ways the International Monetary Fund could do more to calm Europe's debt crisis. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Associated Press photo

Barack Obama probably has his re-election the bag — not because he’s a good president (no, that’s not a halo encircling his noggin), but because his Repugnican Tea Party challengers are such abject fucktards.

For now, anyway, it appears that all that President Barack Obama has to do is sit back and let the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates self- and other-destruct — and that we’re going to be stuck with another four more years of President Hopey-Changey, which is only (maybe) a notch above what we’d get with a President Romney or President Perry or President Cain.

No one likes Mitt Romney, probably not even his mother (is she still alive?); Herman Cain has been accused of sexual harassment by at least three women (strike one, strike two, strike three…); and while Rick Perry denies that he was drunk or drugged up when he alternately acted like a drunken frat boy and a drunken, giddy, giggly school girl during a speech that he gave in New Hampshire last weekend, no one believes him. (And actually, it would have behooved Perry to say that yes, he’d had a bit too much to drink and/or had had a prescription painkiller on board rather than to assert, as he did, that that was just his normal, chemical-substance-free speech-giving behavior.)

A Quinnipiac University poll taken October 25 through October 31 of more than 2,200 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of only plus or minus 2.1 percentage points shows Obama beating Romney, Cain and Perry by a margin of 5 percent to 16 percent (with Romney trailing Obama by 5 percent, Cain by 10 percent and Perry by 16 percent).

A Reuters/Ipsos nationwide poll taken October 31 through November 3 shows Obama beating Cain by 5 percent and Perry by 6 percent. That poll has Obama and Romney statistically tied, with Romney at 44 percent and Obama at 43 percent. (With fewer than 1,000 respondents, the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percent.)

Mitt Romney consistently has done better against Obama in the polling matchups than the other Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes have, but if Romney’s own party isn’t excited about him, it’s difficult to see how the November 2012 general electorate is going to be.

It probably was over for Rick Perry even before his apparently drunken speech of last weekend, however. For at least the past month, national polls at best have put Perry at No. 3, behind Romney and Cain. Both a recent Quinnipiac University poll and a recent Faux “News” poll even put Romney at No. 4 — behind Newt Gingrich. A CBS News/New York Times poll conducted October 19 through October 24 even put Perry at No. 5 — behind not only Gingrich, but also Ron Paul.

But probably the No. 1 thing going against Rick Perry is the No. 1 thing that went against John McCainosaurus in 2008: George W. Bush.

It didn’t really matter who the Repugnican presidential candidate was in 2008; after the eight, long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected Bush regime, pretty much no Repugnican was going to be elected to follow Bush.

George W. Bush is the Repugnican Tea Party’s Valdemort — you won’t hear his name uttered at a Repugnican presidential debate; if you listen to the Repugnicans, you will think that the last Repugnican president that we had was Ronald Reagan. Not even in 2008, when Gee Dubya still sat in the Oval Office, did the Repugnican contenders utter his name in a presidential  or vice presidential debate. It was as though the past eight years had never even happened.

So here is Rick Perry reminding us of the last governor of Texas who went on to the White House. Even if Perry did everything right — even if there were no Niggerhead and even if he hadn’t given a very apparently drunken speech last weekend — he couldn’t overcome the Gee Dubya handicap, and it handicaps him even more than it did McCainosaurus in 2008, since McCainosaurus isn’t from Texas and doesn’t sound like a Texas hick when he speaks.

This leaves Romney and Cain on the Repugnican Tea Party island. Cain’s “tea party” supporters have thrown their weight behind him, so they’re still in deep denial where the sexual harassment allegations against him are concerned. They’re trying to make him into some sort of martyr (and so is he), but the only fools who are going to buy that bullshit are the fools who already support Cain.

Every black person who is accused of some wrongdoing cannot knee-jerkedly claim that he or she is only being “lynched” as a sort of perpetual get-out-of-jail-free (race) card.  I expect Cain to implode within the coming week to next few weeks.

While the patriarchal, misogynist Repugnican Tea Party sees nothing wrong with the sexual harassment of women — hey, after a hard-workin’, capitalism-lovin’ man has fought his way to the top he should be able to engage in some grab-ass, or at the very least, some verbal grab-ass, no? — the average general-election voter does. Even if Cain could make it out of the Repugnican Tea Party primary season alive (he won’t), there’s no way that he could beat Obama.

November 2012 voters won’t buy Ann “Acid for Blood” Cunter’s stunningly racist recent assertion that “our [the Repugnican Tea Party’s] blacks are so much better than their [Democrats’] blacks.”

(“Our blacks” — that’s interesting. “Our” is a possessive pronoun. So apparently Ann Cunter believes that blacks still can be and/or should be owned.)

As far as Cunter’s assertion that “liberals detest, detest, detest conservative blacks” goes, I detest, detest, detest conservatives — wingnuts. I don’t care whether they are male or female, straight or gay, old or young, white, black, brown, green or purple. If you’re a wingnut, I detest you, regardless of your other demographics.

Cunter’s attempt to slander liberals and progressives as racist because they (we) won’t embrace a candidate who is black but whose world view and “values” system diametrically opposes their (our) own is as pathetic as it is intellectually dishonest.

And the fact of the matter is that the Repugnican Tea Party historically never would have put forth as its presidential candidate a man who had never held even one single elected political office. That the party would even consider doing so now — primarily or even only because the candidate is black, in cynical response to the fact that the current, Democratic president is black — demonstrates that the Repugnican Tea Party remains racist.

And again, black general-election voters won’t be taken in by Herman Cain any more than female general-election voters were taken in by Sarah Palin.

Cunter, in her pathetic attempt to spin the success of Cain within the Repugnican Tea Party, recently asserted that black members of the Repugnican Tea Party are superior to Democratic blacks because while it’s easy to be a black Democrat, black Repugnican Tea Partiers take a lot of flak from their black (presumably Democratic) counterparts.

Yes, Ann with Acid for Blood, when you support the historical oppressors, your cohorts won’t like you (gee, go figure!) — because you are a self-interested fucking turncoat, not because you’re such a courageous fucking soul. Nice try, though, you fucking liar.

Not that the Democratic Party has been great for blacks, not for at least the past three decades anyway — and some have posited, probably correctly, that Barack Obama, not wanting to appear to favor blacks over other races, paradoxically as president has done less for blacks than a white Democratic president would have done — but the Democratic Party clearly has been the lesser of the two evils for blacks for some time now.

Our real struggle is to not have to choose between any evils, but to have the government that represents the best interests of the majority of us.

Sadly, in November 2012 we will have no such choice of a viable presidential candidate who will represent the best interests of the majority of us. Our choice will be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, most likely.

P.S. Rachel Maddow apparently seriously has posited an interesting theory that the Herman Cain campaign is one big practical joke, or, as she put it, is performance art, that Cain’s candidacy is not a serious candidacy, but is meant to punk us.

While I suppose that that is not absolutely impossible, it seems to me that there is another explanation for Maddow’s supporting evidence, such as the fact that in his first Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate, Herman Cain very apparently actually quoted the lines from a song in a “Pokemon” movie as being the lines of a great poet. (Not too dissimilarly, his “9-9-9” tax plan apparently came from “Sim City,” the simulated city-administration video game.)

And that alternate (and, it seems to me, simpler and more likely) explanation is that Herman Cain has lazy, cynical plagiarists working for him.

For now, anyway, I take Cain’s displays of ineptitude, ignorance and lunacy — and his apparent lust for great power despite his woeful lack of qualifications for wielding such power — at face value. If Maddow is right and it all turns out to have been a joke, then ha ha ha, but in the meantime, it is critical that a joke like Herman Cain never gets into the Oval Office (whether the joke is intentional or not).

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He was drunk. Or he has a brain tumor.

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speak during a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. Rick Perry plans to participate in at least five more presidential primary debates, his campaign said Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 dismissing speculation that the Texas governor's lackluster performances so far would lead him to skip future Republican debates.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Associated Press photo

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry tangle at a Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate earlier this month in Las Vegas.

Jesus fuck. I’d read Internet buzz that Rick Perry apparently was drunk during a recent speech that he gave in New Hampshire, but Rachel Maddow’s coverage of it pretty much removes all doubt.

Slurring his words, being confused as to what his next word will be, choosing odd and quite unpresidential words and gestures, displaying emotional lability — yes indeed, Rick Perry very apparently was publicly drunk. On videocamera.

If not, perhaps he has a brain tumor.

Something neurological, whether it was alcohol and/or drug intoxication and/or some neurological condition, was going on.

Wow.

Let’s give this guy access to The Button — not.

Team Romney must be absolutely giddy, with it being all over but the (drunken) crying for Rick Perry, and with Herman Cain probably unable to politically survive the revelation that the National Restaurant Association, which he headed in the 1990s, very apparently did give payouts to one or two women who had accused Cain of sexual harassment. No matter what Cain did or did not do, such a payout itself is pretty fucking damaging.

And my guess is that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee kicks himself daily for having bailed out of the race so early.

P.S. Rachel Maddow does not come right out and say it in her piece that Perry appeared to be drunk, as it’s difficult to prove definitively whether or not someone was inebriated, and she and MSNBC no doubt don’t want to be sued. I have no such fear.

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Assorted shit

Weiner weirdness

This man-bulge may or may not be that of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, and this image may or may not have been manipulated. In any event, I’m pretty creeped out…

I don’t much care about “Weinergate,” but I did watch Rachel Maddow’s interview with New York U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner last night, and if I were Weiner’s political adviser, I’d advise him to STFU already. The more he talks, the deeper he digs his own hole.

After watching his interview with Maddow, I suspected that Weiner must (have) be(en) a lawyer, but his profile on Wikipedia indicates that this is not the case (his father was a lawyer, however, Wikipedia reports). But Weiner is lawyer-like in that he apparently believes that if he just throws a bunch of words at you, he’ll confuse you and you’ll just go away, because he’s some super-genius magician who can bamboozle anyone with his stupefying word magic.

From what I can gather from Weiner’s strange interview with Maddow, he acknowledges that the image of a substantial erect penis inside of gray underwear (see above) might be an image of him, but that it also might have been digitally or otherwise altered, and that in any case, regardless of whose erection it is, and whether or not the image of it has been altered, he claims that he never sent the image to anyone, so it was someone else who did it as a “weiner”-based “prank,” ha ha ha ha ha.

You know, maybe it’s just me, but if someone (or if I) had ever taken a picture of my erection, inside or outside of my underwear, I’d know it. For certain. Just sayin’.

In any event, the more that Weiner talks about it, the skankier and creepier he comes off. If he doesn’t STFU already, he just might turn me off from men forever.

Mittmania begins!

Romney enters 2012 White House race

AFP photo

Well, she seems excited! And so does this little tot:

Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Sam Beatonafter

Associated Press photo

Yawn-inducing Repugnican Party hack Mitt Romney has made his 2012 presidential quest official today.

He has kicked it off by proclaiming that “Barack Obama has failed America,” as though the years 2001 through 2008 never fucking happened. (Yup. We went right from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, you see.)

Obama is far from perfect, and he has reneged on many if not most of his progressive campaign promises, but to assert that any of the Repugnican (Tea) Party traitors who now have their eye on the White House is the solution to the problems that the unelected BushCheneyCorp left us with is beyond insane. (To talk about putting another Texas governor in the White House especially is insane.)

I still expect Romney to win the 2012 Repugnican (Tea) Party presidential nomination, primarily because he apparently is the party establishment’s anointed one — and, as The Associated Press notes, “Romney has built an experienced political team, collected serious campaign cash and crafted a campaign that is ready to go full-bore,” and “While his likely opponents have jostled for the spotlight, Romney largely has worked in private to fine-tune his political machine” — but, as I’ve noted before, Romney is about as exciting as was 1996 presidential candidate Bob Dole.

Is anyone on the planet jazzed up over Mitt Romney? Anyone?

When he makes his proclamations, such as that “Barack Obama has failed America,” and when he titles his latest book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness (as though he somehow could take at least partial credit for that “greatness” for which he smugly offers “no apology”), it falls fairly flat. (The paperback edition of No Apology has the new subtitle of Believe in America, by the way.)

Call me awful, but I suspect that Romney’s Mormonism contributes greatly to his blandness, as Mormons are expected to be (or at least are expected to appear to be) squeaky clean and beyond any moral reproach, which makes them more like Stepford wives (and husbands and children) than like real, live, authentic human beings.

And there’s no way in hell that I’d ever vote for an active Mormon of any party, not only because Mormonism is a cult with bizarre, bullshit beliefs, but because I’ll never forgive the patriarchal, misogynist, white supremacist, homophobic, xenophobic Mormon Cult for its participation in the narrow passage of Prop Hate.

Why Cain cain’t win

Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain

Associated Press photo

Wingnutty former pizza boss Herman Cain and “tea party” whackjob U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann ham it up for the cameras in New Hampshire earlier this week.

Repugnican (Tea) Party presidential hopeful Herman Cain, whose main claim to any sort of thing remotely even like fame is that he used to be the boss of the Godfather’s Pizza chain, has been polling in the double digits among the Repugnican (Tea) Party traitors lately.

Salon.com yesterday wondered aloud why Cain is doing so well in the polls right now, but didn’t go there, so I will: Cain, who is black, is the cynical Repugnican (Tea) Party’s answer to Barack Obama.

How tempting it is to front a black man to “prove” that the Repugnican (Tea) Party is the party for black people! (Indeed, Cain has called the Democratic Party a “plantation” for blacks, and while the Democratic Party hasn’t done nearly enough for blacks as it should have done, to refer to it as a “plantation” is a considerable stretch, especially since the Repugnican [Tea] Party that Cain represents has done even less for blacks than has the Democratic Party.)

But the thing is, with former Repugnican National Committee chair Michael Steele, the Repugnican (Tea) Party tried that cynical strategy already: The Repugnicans elected Steele in January 2009 as a cynical response to Obama’s election in November 2008, and then they booted the bumbling Steele (whose highest elected office had been lieutenant governor of Maryland, that’s how few black Repugnican politicians there are) two years later, replacing him with the party’s traditional white man.

And given that the main problem that the “tea party” traitors have with Obama is that he isn’t 100 percent white, how well are they going to take to Cain, even though on many if not most of the issues he talks like they do?

I suspect that Cain’s supporters are the same party-establishment types who had thought that it was such a swell idea to put Steele at the head of their party. I just can’t see Cain doing very well among the “tea party” se(c)t, whose gatherings look like KKK rallies.

Even if he made it alive out of the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary season — which he won’t — every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has been at least a U.S. senator, the governor of a state or U.S. vice president. And Cain hasn’t held a single elected office.

And I just can’t see a significant number of black American voters defecting from Barack Obama’s “plantation” to Uncle Herman’s cabin in November 2012.

Herman Cain doesn’t mean that the Repugnican Tea Party is great for blacks any more than Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann means that the Repugnican Tea Party is great for women.

That the Repugnican Tea Party apparently believes that blacks (and women) will believe otherwise only demonstrates the party’s contempt for them.

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