Circumstance sometimes reminds it better to take time out for calming breath and deliberate consideration that we might slip through distracting noise and manage something better than headbanging phuqueue and some manner of joke derived from douchebags, or maybe that’s just the coffee.
Category Archives: Government
How Stupid | #trumpstupid
#trumpstupid | #WhatTheyVotedFor
There comes a point at which it seems the most straightforward explanation seems, quite simply, that Donald Trump does not understand how much trouble he cannot get out of.
Image note: Detail of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner, 12 June 2015.
Remember, This Is #WhatTheyVotedFor
Republicans go to Hell, now:
President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
Simply put: I am a child of the Cold War; the idea that a Republican would sell out the nation to the KGB will take some … ah … effort. Sixty-two million nine hundred eighty-four thousand eight hundred twenty-five might not have been a raw majority, but it was enough to elect a president who would sell out the nation to the Russians.
I know: Republicans. This is #WhatTheyVotedFor. Who’d’a’thunk?
Miller, Greg and Greg Jaffe. “Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador”. The Washington Post. 15 May 2017.
If It’s Tuesday I Must Be Whining
Microcosmic: As Rachel Maddow asks Michael Beschloss his opinion on campaign norms―e.g., releasing tax returns―it occurs to me that we are quite possibly witnessing a microiteration of a problematic thumbnail sketch: If achieved, then change standard.
As Maddow asked, what about the future? And that would approximately make sense: Hillary Clinton is about to be elected president of the United States of America. We’ve already decided that everything else in her career is just that much more volatile and alarming and inappropriate than any man who came before her, repeatedly suggesting with each iteration that we will, in fact, attempt to change the rules in order to forestall certain outcomes.
For instance, who remembers the One-Drop Rule? Was there nothing incongruous or untoward about the proposition that we finally laid the One-Drop Rule to rest when Barack Obama was elected? Okay, that’s not fair; we lynched the One-Drop Rule and then put the corpse in whiteface: If Barack Obama is one-drop white, we haven’t yet elected our first black president.
Remind me all you want that it didn’t work; I’ll just shrug and wonder why we bothered trying.
Still, though, if we call off the customary tax return release? It’s easy enough to expect the ritual to survive Donald Trump, but we’ve seen this happen before. No, really, did you know that politicians were never supposed to get paid for public speaking when they weren’t in office? Apparently this has always been the rule, and Hillary Clinton just wasn’t smart enough to know. And since her predecessors didn’t really use the private email systems that they actually did, Secretary Clinton should have known that behaving like her predecessors was forbidden; I mean, it’s not like we suddenly invented this standard that what she did was unacceptable out of thin air just because she’s Hillary freakin’ Clinton, right? It’s not like we didn’t care when it was anyone else and then just decide to care because some scandalmongering political opponents decided to pretend something entirely ahistorical and―you know, since it’s “Her”―well, yeah, why not, sounds great. Sorry, I guess that’s just a distraction, isn’t it? Because while we’re spinning pay for play fancies because transparency means we can, the only reason we don’t care about the idea of pay for play through Colin Powell’s foundation, while he was Secretary of State, is because he’s Colin Powell, not Hillary Clinton, so that sort of thing could never, ever happen.
Nor is it just about girls, though it’s true in this case it kind of is. But the underlying principle of schoolyard socialization dynamics includes a function whereby a bellwether among the despised might achieve a threshold of respectability, and the communal response is to alter the threshold in order to maintain exclusion. That is to say, some kids will simply never be allowed by their peers to be cool; it’s a general bully principle, because without it the list of people bullies are allowed to treat poorly pretty much crumbles to dust in the wind.
Image note: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane 18 October 2011. (Kevin Lamarque/Associated Press)
Maddow, Rachel. “Historic debate could reset campaign norms”. msnbc. 27 September 2016.
Personal Reflections on Politics and Priorities
Let us speak of love and life and the beauty of this Universe.
What? Oh. Right. Sorry.
Look, to the one it seems really simple; to the other, we all have people in our lives who will, when they don’t like the obvious implication of an obvious fact, chuff and puff and stutter: “Wh-wha-what? What are you talking about? What does that even mean?” The thing about this behavior is that except for the fact of contention, these people in our lives know damn well what we’re talking about, and if there is any confusion about what it means, they’re certainly tipping their hand by going from zero to attack in zero-point-two-one-seven-three seconds. You know that common tease, “Struck a nerve, there”?
Sometimes it seems tragic: Perceived competitive pressures can seem so permeating in and of the perspectives subscribing to or advocating its processes and outcomes as to inhibit normal, healthy social function. More accessibly: Capitalism escalates mental health risk factors. Or, more generally: People who believe in or advocate the dog eat dog rat race can fall into it so deeply that their social faculties degrade into dysfunction.
And sometimes we think, “Huh? But you knew what this meant yesterday. And you even believed it last week!”
Ghosts in the Making
When it was Trayvon Martin, I pitched a fit.
Michael Brown? Not so much.
It’s fair to ask why, and the answer is to simply look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri. The twenty-one thousand plus residents have seen their city torn to pieces, body and soul, as protesters and police battle over the murder of an unarmed black man by a city police officer whose record includes being fired as part of another small police department in Jennings, Missouri, that was disbanded by its city council for being so corrupt and generally awful. The town is in chaos; residents are intervening to slow the most vocal protesters, and are also reportedly attempting to prevent media from covering the events. Ferguson has become the latest incarnation of our nation’s sick heritage of deadly racism, emerged as a symbol of our dark slide toward militarized police, and found itself the butt of one of the worst jokes on the planet after a protester tweeted a comparison of the situation there to what is going on in Palestine, and instead of being indignant the Palestinians tweeted back with good-faith advice.
I first addressed the death of Trayvon Martin with friends on March 13, 2012, some weeks after the George Zimmerman stalked and pursued him for no good reason, shooting the seventeen year-old to death and then claiming self-defense. And when I first mentioned it, I did not expect what was coming. Certes, my gorge rose to learn the story, but like so many Americans the idea that an apparently murdered black man will die under the presumption that he needed to be shot just did not seem all that unusual. That is to say, like many I expected Trayvon Martin would become another forgotten lamb.
And, yes, I was wrong.
This time, the nation did not wait weeks. Before the name Michael Brown finished echoing after the first wave of press coverage the town was beseiged by chaos. Screaming and shouting from my evergreen corner of the country really doesn’t do me or anyone else any good.
And, yet, Justice still seems nearly destined for disappointing failure.
Quote of the Day: Benen on Republicans and the Ten Commandments
The larger point is that some conservatives are so eager to have government extend official support to their religious beliefs that they’re willing to argue that their sacred texts have no religious value at all. It’s ironic, in a way – it’s tempting to think opponents of religion would want to strip sacred texts of their spiritual significance. Here we have the opposite.
Yes, it comes to this.
Benen, Steve. “This Week in God, 8.23.14”. msnbc. 23 August 2014.
On Christian Faith, American Politics, and Some Specific Human Conditions
It’s just one of those things: Can we laugh, now?
After all, some issues really are serious, and no matter how laughably absurd we might find a moment, well, it never is laughable if we find ourselves in the middle of it all.
In response to the influx of Central American children fleeing to the southern border of the U.S., the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is repeating his belief that all national borders were determined by God and therefore anybody who crosses them without permission is directly offending the Creator.
In a column for BarbWire today, Fischer writes, “What we learn from the Bible is that borders are God’s idea, and that such borders are to be respected. They are not to be crossed without permission.”
To the one, come on, that’s absolutely laughable. To the other, it would not be a particularly reliable promise that laughing our way through the current refugee crisis at our southern border would be an exercise of any useful function.
To a third, one might notice that Mr. Fischer is invoking God’s judgment for earthly authority; we might imagine that his explanation of “what would Jesus do?” would be rather quite interesting. Especially considering the fact that Fischer’s exception to the rule is war.
Blue, Miranda. “Bryan Fischer: ‘Our Southern Border Is There By God’s Design'”. Right Wing Watch. 10 July 2014.
This America Is Brought To You By ….
Via that blessed scourge otherwise known as Facebook comes a lovely gem that everyone should grab a local copy of, and hang onto until the 2016 presidential race. Some things really are that important.
(Tip o’the hat to D.P.)
The Appearance of … Well, Something
Is it fair to say that by the time the key players lawyer up, as such, we can start taking what should have been the silliest political conspiracy theory of the year seriously?
Even worse … well, the transition from silly to serious seems nearly obligatory, doesn’t it?