Friday, June 24, 2016

Open thread Friday.

MORE DISCLAIMERSIt's open thread Friday, y'all.

Please tell me what you think of topics such as "white rage" and Britain leaving the EU.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

While Democrats "hold the floor", the NRA keeps writing the checks.

Image result for john lewis nra images I am watching the democrats protest on the House floor down in Washington, and I have to wonder what republicans are thinking.

They refuse to even give a bill that would prevent people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns a vote. A vote! This means that the bill could still fail in the House, but the democratic members want a chance to at least vote on it.

Seems a reasonable thing to ask for, right? Well not if you are owned by the NRA. They put a lot of dollars into making sure the politricksters that they own vote the right way, and right now it seems to be working.

Most Americans (including a vast majority of republicans) want these types of measures taken, because they understand the importance of sensible gun legislation in this country. But the NRA continues to enforce their will on all of us because of a few greedy politicians who rely on their money. 

"Hang on, hang on,” Mr. Lewis urged Democrats who encircled him on the House floor late Wednesday night, urging them to hold their ground.

John Lewis says stay after the votes, and we will stay,” said Mrs. Pelosi, triggering Democratic chants of “stay, stay.” The cries of protesters from outside urging Democrats to “hold the floor” filled the hallways outside the chamber. Protesters also thronged outside the Capitol in support of the House Democrats.

Republicans said they didn’t want to simply give on the gun votes and reward Democrats for flouting the chamber’s rules to demand votes.

“We are going to do the people’s work,” said Rep. Ann Wagner (R., Mo.) earlier in the evening. “We are going to conduct the will of the people, and conduct ourselves, in an adult Congress that is actually going to uphold, I think, the norms, the customs, the rules of the House.”

At about 1 a.m. on Thursday, Republicans voted to adjourn and begin a new legislative day at 2:30 a.m., when they planned to vote on a spending bill that includes money to combat the Zika virus. The move appeared to have the dual goals of wearing the Democrats down and moving toward adjourning the House after completing some work leaders had planned for later this week.

Democrats said their protest had succeeded in raising awareness of their quest to put new gun restrictions in place."

If John Lewis thinks that the racist police departments and local town sheriffs he had to fight during the civil rights era were tough, wait until he has to deal with the full force of the NRA. They are relentless, and they have the best politicians that money can buy.  

*Pic from mediamatters.org.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

More madness.

Image result for mad men images I really thought that the following article was from The Onion.

"Donald Trump's latest campaign finance filing contains the names of dozens of companies that were paid for services, but one really stands out: Draper Sterling, a play on the name of the fictional ad agency from the cable TV series "Mad Men."

The firm that collected $35,000 from Trump for "web advertising" in late April isn't headquartered in Madison Avenue offices filled with mid-century modern furniture and stylish secretaries; it traces back to a private home in suburban New Hampshire that's about a 15-minute drive from the home of ousted Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Unraveling what it is and how it wound up getting a big chunk of Trump change is a bit like trying to figure out Don Draper's true identity.

Draper Sterling was only incorporated in March, and the registered agent, according to New Hampshire public records, is a man named Jon Adkins — who separately was paid $3,000 in May for "field consulting" by the Trump campaign.

Another man using Adkins' New Hampshire address, former Navy SEAL Paul Holzer, also pocketed $3,000 for field consulting on the same day, the filing shows.

Holzer and Adkins are listed as co-founders of a Boston-based medical non-profit startup called Xeno Therapeutics, and Holzer has other political connections, having worked on GOP gubernatorial campaigns in Massachusetts and Missouri.

Another man using Adkins' New Hampshire address, former Navy SEAL Paul Holzer,also pocketed $3,000 for field consulting on the same day, the filing shows.

Holzer and Adkins are listed as co-founders of a Boston-based medical non-profit startup called Xeno Therapeutics, and Holzer has other political connections, having worked on GOP gubernatorial campaigns in Massachusetts and Missouri.

As ThinkProgress reported, Holzer is the brother of Adam McLain, who runs the super-PAC Patriots for America. The super-PAC's filing show it owes more than $56,000 to a firm called — you guessed it — Draper Sterling.
That Draper Sterling is located in Delaware, not New Hampshire, though. Delaware records don't show who runs it, and it's not clear if it's the same entity.

Patriots for America's filings list a phone number that answers with a message that says, "This is Grace's Grantham Cafe" — a name of a cafe that was slated to open last weekend in Grantham, New Hampshire. Corporation records show the registered agent for the cafe is Adkins, but it was Holzer who made a presentation before the Grantham planning board about the business in February.

Efforts to reach Holzer, McLain and Adkins by phone and social media were unsuccessful. Holzer told Fortune that there was "nothing untoward" about Draper Sterling but would not talk about the Trump campaign. " [Source]

Holzer won't talk about it, but I will: That campaign is in some serious trouble.

*Pic from wikepedia.com

Monday, June 20, 2016

To shave or not to shave: that is the question.

Image result for amite andrew jones image Yesterday was Father's Day, and I would like to give a big shout out to all those fathers out there who celebrated it with their families and who can close their eyes at night and be proud of the job that they did raising their child or children.

I don't have any children, but I thought about a young man from Amite, Louisiana, who was by all accounts an excellent student, on his way to becoming his class valedictorian, but sadly was denied a chance to graduate with his peers because he wouldn't shave his beard.

"The valedictorian at Amite High School wasn't allowed to participate in his graduation because he had a goatee, according to a report.

Andrew Jones, a 4.0 student and standout athlete, missed out on walking with his classmates for graduation on Thursday, WWL-TV reported.

The night of graduation, Jones and 13 other students were given the ultimatum to go to the bathroom and shave or not participate in the ceremony. Jones was the only one to refuse, saying he had never been told to shave prior, according to the report.

The school has a policy of having no facial hair on male students, and Superintendent Mark Kolwe said Jones was informed three times he had to shave.

"Eventually they took my gown," Jones told WWL. Jones had shaved his beard down to a simple goatee for the graduation ceremony. "They told me they had to take my gown from me."

Following the ceremony, a rally has been planned for Monday at 2 p.m. outside the Tangipahoa Parish School Board Office. The Tangipahoa chapter of the NCAAP is planning the rally — Jones is African-American — and the chapter discovered photos of white students with facial hair participating in graduation in previous Amite High ceremonies....

...The story has gained national attention the last few days, with even The Roots' drummer Questlove commenting on it on Twitter:" [Source]

So if I was that young man's father, what would I tell him? I would certainly be proud of him for taking a principled stance by defying what is, in my opinion, a silly rule given the nature of the school and the age of the kids it was meant for.

On the other hand, shouldn't I teach him that there are always going to be obstacles in life, and that he should choose his battles, wisely? There are always going to be rules that we consider silly, but should we always break them? 

This is a tough call for me, because I also suspect that there is an element of racism in this story. (Sorry, I know  that it's 2016, but I also know a little bit about Louisiana.) I am not living in this young man's shoes and there is no telling what he has had to endure to get to this point in his life.

The good news is that this is obviously a smart and focused young man, so whatever his parents decided to tell him will not just go in one ear and out the other.

The problem is, as a parent, I am not sure just what the hell I would have told him.

Thoughts?  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fear and anxiety in Cleveland.

I am getting ready to watch what I hope is an epic showdown and battle on television. Game Of Thrones. Psyche!

I, like most other sane people, will be watching game seven of the NBA finals. I can watch GOT via on demand, later.

Good luck to the people of Believeland. Fifty plus years is a long time to wait for a single championship of any kind in your city. (And I thought what we were championship starved here in  Philly. Thank you, Phillies.)

The republicans will be in your city this summer for their convention, and, from the looks of things, their wait will have reached at least 12 years before their candidate occupies the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It's not your fault, Cleveland. I am pretty sure that this would have been the case if they were in Los Angeles or New York this summer. It doesn't really matter. We can put this one on the candidate himself, not the city. 

I come to this conclusion because of essays like the following:

"In this past week of mass murder and meanness, we may actually have seen the beginning of the political end for Donald Trump, candidate for president.

Trump is not the man for this job, though he seems in no way to understand why, and that is part of the problem.

When it comes to facts about our dangerous world, Trump seems unmoored, unschooled and unwitting. He has demonstrated none of the preparation, restraint, nuance and cool that the world needs from a U.S. president. He keeps declaring “America First” because that’s all he knows to say.
It’s not only that way he has of making everyone else feel demeaned as irrelevant and inferior to himself. Nor is it just the constant anger and condescension in his eyes.

The real trouble with Trump is not his tin ear, his boastful rudeness, his self-aggrandizing ridicule of people and process. He seems no more capable of changing his arrogant tone than he can change his own thin skin.

On a surface level, Trump’s message and behavior are simplistic, crude, amateurish, childish. The casualness of his comments about nuclear weapons is heedless and frightening. He seems not to grasp what the fuss is about.

No, what worries me most of all is how this troubled man — in his mortal fear of losing — has been setting the wrong things free. By his smug racial epithets and his easy stereotyping, Trump has unleashed demons that should have remained buried.

It matters what our leaders say. When enough people hear Trump’s isolating brand of rhetoric — pounded into them by ceaseless, repetitive TV coverage — you can bet someone somewhere will get the message that it’s OK again to smear a whole ethnicity, banish an entire religion and demean all women.
 
The world learned this style, too late, in the 1930s. It didn’t help Trump, in my estimation, that when he kicked off his campaign a year ago, I was finishing Erik Larson’s "In the Garden of Beasts," the story of Hitler’s rise. All of it was fueled by ruthlessness and the stirring up of nativist fear.

Many regular German citizens, at first, were amused by the odd-looking man and his screaming. Politicians might have thwarted disaster by speaking up but didn’t. Then, in 1934, came the Rohm Putsch — the “Night of the Long Knives” — and the world went upside down.

Trump is not Hitler, but, for me, Trump’s campaign is also no longer about policy or party but personal power. The impact of his reckless words threatens public safety — from the gun zealots his words inflame to the listeners who resent anyone who does not look or live or love like they do.
Trump emboldens them all, and social progress is lost step by step. I had thought in 60 years of racial progress we had moved past this.

No question there is frustration in our country, anger toward the establishment and all that, but these are not reasons to install a demagogue in the highest office and put our nation’s well-being at the mercy of his latest tantrum.
 
The speculation that Trump might ask Sen. Bob Corker to be his running mate was actually chilling news. I admire Corker. His Senate service has been noble, and he is deeply qualified. His name on a Trump ticket would help Trump win, and that is the wrong outcome for our country. First of all, Trump is not qualified, and it would be Trump (not Corker) who would be in charge.

Now, Trump’s attacks on a U.S.-born judge of Mexican descent (the same judge trying the Trump University case) and opportunistic response to the Pulse murders in Orlando last weekend all seem to have brought about a tipping point of public disgust. Some national Republicans, whose collective silence has sustained and advanced Trump so far, are feeling the heat of outrage.

Some are beginning to speak out. Corker is one. We should be grateful.

Where are the rest? Where did you stand, back in 2016, when you had a choice in the face of a reckless menace?" [Source]

I could be wrong, but I think the author, Keel Hunt, is a conservative. In either case I thought that it was a well written essay. It kind of captured the angst that many of the people ---from the left and the right---are feeling when it comes to the thought of a trump presidency. 

It also gives the rest of us in America an idea of what the people of Cleveland have to be feeling right now. 

*Pic from onetravelsource.com

  





 



Saturday, June 18, 2016

CAPTION SATURDAY.

Image result for christie trump mcdonalds images

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Did he say that he wanted fries with his cheeseburger?

*Pic from winningdemocrats.com

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mr. "shucky ducky" and his "boss".

Image result for herman cain imagesNow that racism has gone mainstream and it's cool to disparage black folks and claim "political correctness" when we try to respond to said racism, I have to wonder how certain Negroes who claim that we are living in post-racial America feel about all of this.

We certainly know how Herman Cain feels.

"Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has resurfaced to give a ringing endorsement of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has shown outstanding leadership skills in operating his chain of companies for several decades. He can translate that into running the White House,” said Cain, in an interview with the Conservative Chronicle. “I would be proud to call him boss.”

Cain recently gave a clownish performance at a Donald Trump rally in Atlanta on Wednesday. According to Raw Story, he opened his comments by proclaiming, “Aw, shucky ducky! This sounds like a shucky ducky kind of crowd on a shucky ducky kind of day, here to support an aw, shucky ducky kind of candidate!”

He then launched into a passionate defense of Donald Trump, who has made, anti-Muslim and anti-Latino comments.

“Allow me to set the record straight about one of the biggest lies out there about Donald Trump — and I hope the liberals and the liberal media is listening — Donald Trump is not a racist!” he said."

Is there a bigger Steppin Fetchit  type Negro on the political scene than Herman? (Wait, I apologize to Steppin Fetchit, he looks like Malcolm X next to this clown.) I am embarrassed for him if he is not embarrassed for himself. "I am proud to call him boss"?!

Negro, please!

Finally, tomorrow will be a year since those horrific shootings in Charleston, South Carolina. It was a horrific and vicious crime which grabbed national headlines because of where it took place and the motivations of the murderer.

Now, ironically, in spite of all these promises of "change", race relations has actually gotten worse in this country since the election of one Barack Obama. And one candidate for president is wisely using the rise of white supremacist to bolster his chances of winning the entire thing.

The sad thing is that so far his political calculations have proven to be spot on.

*Pic from motherjones.com

















Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Open thread Wednesday.

My Photo No post tonight field hands, but I need your thoughts on a couple of issues.

First, what's up with parents losing their children to wild animals at zoos and amusement parks?

Second, what's up with  the republican nominee for president insinuating that the president of the United States is secretly supporting Muslim terrorists?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fear and loathing after a tragedy.

Image result for obama orlando muslims images      In lieu of president Obama's microphone drop moment today, the following essay is apropos.

"The grim coincidence of a major terrorist attack occurring just as the 2016 general election lurches to life has provided Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, the opportunity he needed to define the campaign he intends to run: a campaign that casts the Muslim faith and its practitioners – both inside and outside the U.S. – as antagonistic to American interests. The speech he gave on Monday in response to the Orlando terrorist shooting was a relentlessly ugly diatribe that unambiguously embraced the pernicious and anti-American idea that a person’s religious faith makes them a threat to national security.

I suppose I should get into the parts of Trump’s proposed policies that either don’t make logical sense or are at war with each other. Referring to the man who murdered 49 people in Orlando, Trump said that he “was born to Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States” and “the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here.” That led Trump to segue into a denunciation of the “dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country.” Those two thing aren’t actually related, unless you believe (as Trump seems to) that the immigration screening process should weed out those people who are likely to give birth to people who will one day become terrorists.

Of course, the way Trump squares this circle is by arguing that literally every single person emigrating from a Muslim country has to be treated as a potential terrorist, which is why he expanded his proposed ban on Muslim immigration. “When I am elected,” Trump said in his speech, “I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.” That would obviously include certain Middle Eastern countries, but given how general his proposed immigration ban is, for the sake of consistency it would also have to include Spain, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Peru, India, Canada, Greece, and countless other non-Muslim countries where Donald Trump would quite happily build one of his tacky golf resorts.

But Trump’s focus is on Muslims exclusively – not radicalized Muslims, but every Muslim person outside the U.S. He referred to the expanded admittance of refugees from Syria as potentially “a better, bigger version of the legendary Trojan Horse.” Per Trump, Hillary Clinton, as president, would “be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to vet them, or to prevent the radicalization of their children.” It’s all fearmongering based on lies and prejudice. “We have to stop the tremendous flow of Syrian refugees into the United States,” he warned, even though the actual number of admitted Syrian refugees is shamefully low compared to European countries and far behind the administration’s already modest proposed goal. The vetting process for Syrian refugees is rigorous and lengthy, consisting of background checks, multiple interviews, and hundreds of questions, to say nothing of the separate United Nations screening process they have to go through before the U.S. will even consider their cases." [Source]

Constitution? What Constitution? We don't need no stinkin Constitution.

*Pic from thegrio.com


Monday, June 13, 2016

The day after.

Image result for orlando shooter images   I would like to start this post by telling the nominee for president of a major political party in this country that "Afghan" is not a country. Also, I doubt seriously that the president is some kind of secret Muslim who is trying to undermine everything America stands for.

“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee declared. “And the something else in mind—you know, people can't believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”

So anyway, it's the day after the mass murder of club goers in Orlando, and, as is to be expected, the usual suspects are playing politic games with the tragedy.

Donald trump has been all over the news and he has been telling everyone who will listen that he has the magic bullet to stop terrorism and keep those evil Muslims in check. But does he? From all accounts Isis and similar groups have been using trump's cartoonish mug for recruiting purposes and using his words to fire up young Jihadist fighters.

It's scary to think what type of fight against terror a president trump will  coordinate. He already has some loopy plans that are not grounded in reality.

"Without distinguishing between mainstream Muslims and Islamist terrorists, Mr. Trump suggested that all Muslim immigrants posed potential threats to America’s security and called for a ban on migrants from any part of the world with “a proven history of terrorism” against the United States or its allies. He also insinuated that American Muslims were all but complicit in acts of domestic terrorism for failing to report attacks in advance, asserting without evidence that they had warnings of shootings like the one in Orlando.
 
Mr. Trump’s speech, delivered at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., represented an extraordinary break from the longstanding rhetorical norms of American presidential nominees. But if his language more closely resembled a European nationalist’s than a mainstream Republican’s, he was wagering that voters are stirred more by their fears of Islamic terrorism than any concerns they may have about his flouting traditions of tolerance and respect for religious diversity." [Source]
 
 
Fear is a powerful thing, and it can lead good people to make bad choices. Mr. trump is counting on it. 

*Pic from miamiherald.com











Sunday, June 12, 2016

Here we go again!

Image result for ORLANDO SHOOTING IMAGES


Image result for ORLANDO SHOOTING IMAGES

Image result for ORLANDO SHOOTING IMAGES

Another day, another mass killing in America. This one is the worst in our history. Fifty people killed so far, and there could be more.

The shooter allegedly did it in the name of Isis, and he is another one of these "self-radicalized" Muslims whose twisted view of his religion tells him that it's cool to kill non-believers. 

Sorry Donald, this guy was an American, and from all indication he hated Gays as much as he hated other non-believers. I don't believe his dad when he says that watching two men kissing caused him to suddenly decide to wake up one day and kill fifty people, but I do believe that he selected a Gay club for his sick rampage for a reason. 

So once again we will debate terrorism, guns, and other issues that we are now contemplating because of this horrific tragedy. Dumb politicians will try to take advantage of it for their own political gain, and the cable news outlets will see their ratings spike because of it.

We will hear the usual suspects pontificate about the rhyme and reason behind all of this, but they -----like the rest of us--- will have no real answers. Just more talk.  Because, sadly, you can never explain pure hatred and evil.  

“He was not a stable person,” the ex-wife said. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
Mateen’s parents are from Afghanistan but he was not very religious, she said, adding that he “seemed like a normal human being.”

He might have "seemed" that way (normal), but we should all know by now that looks can be deceiving.