Lazy Saturday Reads

New York: Blizzard Of 1888.

New York: Blizzard Of 1888.

Good Afternoon!!

I’m really being lazy this Saturday. I’m sitting here drinking hot tea and wondering how all the piano lessons are doing. So far it doesn’t look like we’re going to get anything more than an inch of two of snow from the “monster blizzard;” but if you’re getting hit, I definitely feel for you. After the winter we went through in Boston last year, I’m very happy to miss this one (I hope).

NBC News on the storm so far: Monster Snowstorm Leaves At Least 10 Dead As It Pummels East Coast.

A killer snowstorm that battered the South and the nation’s capital turned its sights on greater New York City on Saturday, packing gale-force winds, heavy snow and coastal flooding as it churned up the East Coast.

The weekend winter wallop has already knocked out power to hundreds of thousands, led to more than 8,300 canceled flights and been blamed for at least 10 deaths.

By the time the storm is over Sunday, one in seven Americans from Kentucky to Connecticut could be under at least half a foot of snow. Washington, D.C., and New York City each could flirt with record snow totals.

The storm paralyzed major cities: Public transportation in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington was shut down, and hundreds of drivers in various states were stranded on icy roadways.

In D.C., which was forecast to be in the crosshairs of the potentially historic storm, snow was falling at a rate of up to 2 inches an hour early Saturday, The Weather Channel said. The north lawn of the White House was blanketed by 20.5 inches of snow.

In Silver Spring, Maryland, which already had 20 inches of snow by morning, lighting and thundersnow lit up the skies, the Associated Press said.

Wow! I guess this storm is for real. I hope you all are safe and warm.

Frederick Childe-Hassam, A New York Blizzard

Frederick Childe-Hassam, A New York Blizzard

ABC News has a report on a different kind of storm.

ANALYSIS: The Storm That’s Hit the GOP.

As voting is set to start, Republicans have a dozen choices in front of them. Yet polls show more than half of the vote going to two candidates who combined do not have a single governor or senator behind them.

The conservative National Review has taken the unprecedented step of publishing an entire issue aimed at blocking the party’s leading candidate. Generations of prominent conservative journalists, tea party activists, and former administration officials are uniting to say that Donald Trump should not even be considered a true conservative.

Meanwhile, in the halls of Congress, Republican lawmakers are coming together to argue that one of their own, Sen. Ted Cruz, is the candidate who must be blocked. Their argument is that Cruz would not just lose but damage the party brand for years to come.

Cruz and Trump are holding up such opposition as the predictable gasps of a wheezing establishment. In a sign of the constantly changing face of the party, the party’s 2008 former vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, is backing Trump and complaining about an establishment that’s trying to bring him down.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, himself a former candidate who’s now backing Jeb Bush, summed up the Cruz vs. Trump frustration succinctly: “It’s like being shot or poisoned.”

Nothing the GOP leadership does seems to work. The National Review article doesn’t seem to have had any effect on the populist uprising.

Sudden Blizzard, Robert Bateman

Sudden Blizzard, Robert Bateman

Jeet Heer at The New Republic: National Review Fails to Kill Its Monster.

…when National Review launched its special issue “Against Trump” last night, it was keeping to a venerable tradition of policing the right. The magazine has been fiercely skeptical of Trump since he announced his candidacy last summer, but the special issue, which boasts an array of right-wing media personalities and pundits as well as a feature editorial, seems designed to be its definitive statement, a historical milestone on par with William F. Buckley’s denunciation of the John Birch Society in 1965 or the magazine’s rejection of Pat Buchanan’s anti-Semitism in 1991.

Yet, despite some good polemics, “Against Trump” is a weak-tea effort. Too much time is spent trying to prove that Trump is not a real conservative, while ignoring the fact that the racist nationalism he is espousing has its origins on the right. Trump, the editors argue, is “a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.” There’s much that can be questioned here: After all, National Review didn’t have a problem with “free-floating populism” in 2008 when it celebrated Sarah Palin (now an enthusiastic Trump cheerleader), and historically the magazine has loved strongmen dictators like Mussolini and Franco.

Read all about it at the link.

Winter Forest, Walter L. Palmer

Winter Forest, Walter L. Palmer

Ever reliable concern troll Joe Klein has a piece at Time about socialism and the Democratic party. Unfortunately, while I find much of what Klein writes distasteful, I can’t really disagree with him that “socialism” is still a dirty word in American politics; but I disagree that Hillary should use it to attack Bernie. As Dakinikat wrote yesterday, there is a populist impulse among some voters on both sides of the aisle in 2016.

The Democrats Stumble Toward 50 Shades of Socialism.

A specter is haunting the Democratic Party–the specter of socialism. A question is being asked, mostly by Republicans, but also by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: What is the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist? Debbie Wasserman Schultz got it last July and, ever the robotic partisan, answered by saying the more important difference was between Democrats and Republicans. Senator Chuck Schumer said it depended on how you define the two, and then refused to define the two. And, most significantly, Hillary Clinton said, “Well, I can tell you what I am … I’m a progressive Democrat.”

Now this is not a difficult question to answer. Webster’s says socialism is “a social system or theory in which the government owns and controls the means of production.” Democrats tend to believe in free enterprise. They think government should regulate the means of production, not own it. They have taken great pains to separate themselves from socialism, which has always been a poison word in American politics. And yet, according to a recent Des Moines Register poll, 43% of Iowa Democrats describe themselves as socialists. What gives?

Well, they’re not really socialists. They’re European-style social democrats, who believe in a robust redistribution of wealth (“from each according to her ability, to each according to his need”) and government control of some of the means of production–like the health care system. The question of how much government should redistribute has been the central argument in American politics since the passage of the graduated income tax in 1913. Even the vast majority of Republicans believe in Social Security and Medicare.

So we’re talking about 50 shades of socialism here, but the gradations are still important.

Klein writes that Bernie Sanders’ ideas are not really socialist, “but even Bernie should worry about his party strolling into the general election unwilling to distinguish itself from socialism.” I don’t completely agree with Klein–I never do–but I do think the GOP is salivating at the notion of the Democrats running a candidate who calls himself a socialist.

Packis I Stranden, August Strindberg

Packis I Stranden, August Strindberg

I also want to call attention to this piece by Jonathan Capehart, because it’s about something that is indicative of Sanders’ tone-deafness:

How Cornel West hurts Bernie Sanders.

Much has been written about the Vermont independent’s appeal to blackvoters and whether he can pry them away from Hillary Clinton. And all I can say is good luck with that. I and plenty of other African Americans won’t soon forget the deranged ravings of the revered Ivy League professor against President Obama.

During a November 2012 interview with Democracy Now, West branded Obama “a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface.” Then there was that May 2011 interview with Truthdig where West called the nation’s first African American president “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.” In that same sitdown, West talked about his 2010 run-in with the president. “I wanted to slap him on the side of his head,” West said, who took his significant policy disagreements with the president down an ugly path zealously cut by birthers….

Joining West on the Sanders campaign is another African American who has thrown brick bats at Obama, the rapper Killer Mike. In “That’s life II,” the Atlanta-based musician denigrates the president as a “house slave” when he raps, “We know that House got air conditioning and the sweetest lemonade, but don’t forget your color, brother, we still mutha——- slaves.” No doubt his endorsement surely earned Sanders cool points with some.

I have little patience for the “Blacker than thou” crowd under normal circumstances. So you better believe I have zero patience for it on the presidential campaign trail. That’s why I can’t possibly take Sanders’s outreach to African American voters seriously. Adding to that sense was his “when the African American community becomes familiar with my congressional record” response to a question at the Charleston, S.C., debate about his lack of black support.

Bluebird Blizzard, Robyn Ryan

Bluebird Blizzard, Robyn Ryan

I have quite a few more stories to share, so I’m just going to give you the links and let you choose the ones you want to check out.

Jamelle Bouie: Bernie Sanders Is Right That Reparations Would Be Divisive.

MSNBC: Sanders walks back Planned Parenthood, Clinton ‘establishment’ comments.

Consequence of Sound: Donald Trump’s father was Woody Guthrie’s landlord, and also a racist asshole.

Think Progress: Why Bernie Sanders’ Misinformed Supreme Court Tweet Matters.

Imani Gandy: I Don’t Know What Dr. King Would Have Thought About Abortion and Neither Do You.

Emily’s List: 43 Years After Roe v. Wade.

Ilyse Hogue at HuffPo: It’s Now or Never for Reproductive Rights.

Eric Boelert at Media Matters: For Clinton, Good News Is No News When It Comes To Polling.

Dissenting Justice: The Voices: Why Do White Male Progressives Hear Things That No One Else Can?

The Cook Political Report: For Clinton, It’s Time to Stay Cool in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Daily Beast: Gillian Anderson: I Was Offered Half Duchovny’s Pay for ‘The X-Files’ Revival.

I hope you find something here to your liking. Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and have a great weekend!

 

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66 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Thinking of all our snowbound skydancers!

    The reason Republicans have so much$ in Iowa ads for Bernie is they want him badly! A socialist would never make it through a national election. Too much cold war stuff left lying around.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, and I just don’t see how Bernie is going to get the African American and Latino votes. He’s just too tone deaf. Not to mention women’s votes after the Planned Parenthood nonsense.

      People are saying they are reminded of 2008, but Bernie Sanders is not Barack Obama.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Nope!!!! Bernie is not Barack Obama, and no analogy can make him that. I also hate the analogy to FDR that is being battered around. The only thing Bernie Sanders has in common with FDR is they both have male reproductive organs. That’s it. 2016 is not 1933. The Social Compacts as FDR called them were not created to redistribute wealth, they were enacted to revive America from the Great Depression. The GOP fought him tooth and nail over Social Security, even pushing challenges to SCOTUS, where Social Security eventually won. The FERA and WPA weren’t established to redistribute wealth either, they were established by a Congressional Act to get Americans back to work after the Depression. Last but not least FDR was a Democrat. He spent his entire political life as a Democrat, not a Democratic Socialist as Bernie has described him. This is another example of Bernie co-opting the Heroes of the Democratic Party while never spending a day as a Democrat. I find that disingenuous at best and deceitful at worst.

        And I agree with argument that Hillary cannot be the person to pressure the Sanders campaign about Socialism, but it is socialism that the GOP will use to derail Sanders if he wins the nomination. So who is going to do it? Those supporting Sanders need to look at his history while in Vermont politics. He was not a Democratic Socialist, he was a Socialist. The Liberty Union Party to which he belonged and served on it’s Executive Committee did not define itself as a Democratic Socialist Party, it was and is a Socialist Party. Here is how they define themselves “The Liberty Union Party of Vermont defines itself as a nonviolent socialist party.” That about wraps it up.

  2. joanelle says:

    Hi, BB, I’m in northern NJ, west Caldwell to be precise. It started snowing last night around 11pm. But the winds have really picked up, so we have some pretty bad drifting, in addition to which we’ve had about 12″. Our son and his young family were suppose to move to New Hampshire today. They did get the moving truck to come yesterday. Everything got loaded on the truck but they were pretty tired. He stayed at the house to clean up bits and pieces and his wife and kids went to her parents house which is about 45 minutes closer to thier house. They will be heading to NH tomorrow afternoon.
    At least they are warm and safe in front of the fire place today,although they probably would have been wiser to come our way since her folks are by the Jersey shore and are getting a lot more snow right now.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Well stay safe and warm. I hope your son will do okay tomorrow. If we start getting any blizzard warnings up here, I’ll put it in a comment. Right now it looks like even Rhode Island won’t get very much snow. Are they going up I-95?

      • Joanelle says:

        They are predicting over two feet of snow for us. I appreciate your suggesting you’ll let us know about snow up your way.
        Btw, perhaps you can help me. WordPress won’t save my password anymore, so I have to sign in when I pull up this site and even each time I want to comment

        • bostonboomer says:

          That happened to me for awhile, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. What browser are you using. For awhile I had to switch from Chrome to IE, but eventually the problem got fixed and I’m back using Chrome.

        • NW Luna says:

          Check to see if your system or browser preferences are set to not remember/not automatically sign in.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    MSNBC: Would Bernie Sanders Be a ‘Nightmare’ for Red State Democrats?

    Bernie Sanders has claimed that if he were to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee it would be a windfall for his party in down-ballot elections, saying he would energize young people and other base voters who don’t regularly show up. But some operatives tasked with electing Democrats in red and purple states aren’t just concerned a Sanders nomination would make an already difficult job impossible – they fear a “nightmare” scenario.

    Democrats outside the party’s core areas have had a rough eight years under President Obama, losing control not only of both chambers of Congress, but many gubernatorial mansions and state legislatures as well. The party is counting on 2016, a presidential year when high-turnout favors Democrats, to at least win back the Senate and to begin making gains elsewhere….

    several campaign managers and other senior operatives currently working on down-ballot campaigns, all whom spoke only on condition of anonymity, said that while they don’t doubt Sanders can drive turnout in liberal areas, he would make life difficult outside blue states. Instead, they favored front-runner Hillary Clinton, who they said can appeal to more moderate voters and especially those concerned about national security.

    “I don’t know how you run a campaign in a southern or red state with a democratic socialist at the top of the ticket,” said the campaign manager for one red state Democrat. “It becomes near impossible to separate yourself enough to win over the conservative independents you need to win.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Sanders’ surge in Iowa has prompted phone calls and emails to fly across state lines in the South, Midwest, and West as strategists try to figure out how to respond in case their candidate is asked about Sanders. Some have discussed the need to be pro-active in distancing their candidate from Sanders, even floating the idea of a press conference all-but-disowning Sanders if he were to become the nominee.

      A senior Senate campaign staffer in a swing state compared Sanders’ impact to that of Trump on the Republican side.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Update: There’s some snow coming down here and it’s gotten really dark out. It’s not a blizzard though.

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    FYI….Snow…….We got about 6 inches here, which is devastating for us in the South because all we have are a few trucks spreading salt and brine and not nearly enough snow plows. I am tucked safely away at home, my wife however is a Nurse and she is dedicated to her work and her patients, so she left home this morning at 4AM to get to work by 7AM. She made it safely, so I’m happy.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m glad she’s OK. Maybe it will be cleaned up some when she has to go home.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Thanks, we’re very cold today, in the 20’s, but the sun is shining and the snow on the roads is beginning to melt. I hope they dry quickly before they freeze back over. Suppose to be in the teens tonight and she works 12 hours shift so she comes in after dark.

    • NW Luna says:

      Hope your wife has a safe trip both ways, Mouse.

      🙂 Bet it still feels extra-good for you two to say “my wife” about each other!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Thank you Luna. She and I talked all the way to work this morning. I wanted to make sure I knew exactly where she was at every point. Her drive is about 35 miles, in the dark, so I wanted to be able to send help if she needed it. I packed food & water and extra clothes in her vehicle last night just in case she got stranded. She said she felt like I was sending her to the Space Station instead of work. And yes, it feels wonderful to say “wife” especially after 31 years. 🙂

  6. janicen says:

    We are getting walloped in this storm. Lots and lots of snow and it’s windy and it’s cold. More snow and higher winds up north in the DC area but we’re not going anywhere. It’s pretty fierce out there. My husband shoveled this morning and all of his shoveling is filled in again. I’ve certainly been in bigger storms, but not in Richmond, Virginia.

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    Another thing to add to the Hillary equation on the upside is President Obama’s approval ratings are beginning to rise again and are nearing 50% in most polls. I thought Al Gore distancing himself from Bill Clinton was the worst political move he ever made. It made him look weak and uncommitted to the accomplishments of the administration he served on. Hillary won’t make the same mistake, but she will use Bernie’s support for a primary challenger against Obama to lift the veil on Bernie. The African American vote best not be taken lightly and I think Bernie, not having an AA constituency, has no idea how important Barack Obama’s Presidency was to AA’s.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Good article if you overlook a few patronizing asides by the author.

    Top Democrats, and a little bit of Hollywood, are rushing to Iowa to boost Hillary Clinton

    Good stuff in there about Hillary’s ground organization in Iowa.

    The Des Moines Register is going to release their endorsement tonight. They endorsed Hillary in 2008.

    • joanelle says:

      After what the DNC did to Hillary in 2008, they owe it to her to muster as much support as possible

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Silly article by Dan Balz:

    Clinton needs an Iowa victory to blunt the momentum of Bernie Sanders

    If Sanders doesn’t win Iowa, he’s pretty much finished.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I agree. It’s going to take more than NH and VT to pull him into the race. Like I’ve said, the MSM is working their asses off to make a horse race out of it.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Des Moines Register endorses Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio.

    How long before we hear the whining from the Sanders’ camp? Ooooooh, they’re part of the establishment we’re taking on.

  12. Beata says:

    BB, lots of good reads in this post. Thank you.

    I found the article about Donald Trump’s father being Woody Guthrie’s landlord particularly interesting. That is the place where my father first met Woody. It was called Beach Haven.

  13. bostonboomer says:

    The blizzard has arrived in Massachusetts. At least there are blizzard conditions in the Southeast part of the state and the Cape and islands. The snowplows have been going by here periodically, but I haven’t looked out for awhile. I think I’m still in the light snow area, but the storm is supposed to continue overnight.

    http://www.wbur.org/2016/01/23/blizzard-brushes-southern-new-england-metro-boston-will-receive-light-to-moderate-snowfall

  14. NW Luna says:

    Stay warm!

  15. joanelle says:

    How much snow have you gotten, BB?

  16. bostonboomer says:

    Concord Monitor (NH) endorses Hillary.

    Only one Democratic candidate for president is truly qualified to hold the job: Hillary Clinton.

    No contender’s resume can come within miles of matching Clinton’s. She’s ready to take up the nation’s top job on day one and her knowledge of domestic issues and foreign policy is encyclopedic. There is also a strong chance, should Clinton become president, that the poisonous partisanship that’s paralyzed Washington will be diminished rather than increased. Why? During her eight years as a senator from New York, she proved her ability to find common ground with Republicans, accords that allowed needed legislation to advance.

    Clinton’s performance during her four years as President Obama’s secretary of state during tumultuous times and terrorist attacks led former secretary of state Henry Kissinger to say that she “ran the State Department in the most effective way I’ve ever seen.” He was not the only senior Republican with foreign policy experience to feel that way. In contrast, Clinton’s chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, despite his quarter-century in Congress, is a foreign policy naif, albeit one who made the right call in opposing the war in Iraq.

    Clinton has visited the Monitor many times over the years and we’ve come to know her pretty well. Sure, she’s tough as nails when she needs to be, but we’ve found her to be warm, funny and without the arrogance displayed by so many high-level politicians.

  17. NW Luna says:

    I wish it was true that someone who stood up for women’s issues, healthcare (including reproductive healthcare), civil rights, social security, lesbian/gay rights, education, clean water, etc., was “establishment.” Sanders thinks establishment = any other candidate but himself.

  18. NW Luna says:

    ‘Combat veteran’? Records fail to back state lawmaker’s claims

    In May of 2014, a dramatic Iraq war photo was posted to the Facebook page of state Rep. Graham Hunt, R-Orting, showing two kneeling U.S. soldiers in desert combat uniforms, one man consoling the other.

    “This picture of me was taken after a mortar attack in 2005,” the post said. “Background has been modified, but I think combat camera captured the moment pretty well. I surely have not forgotten that moment.” Hunt is a decorated former Arizona Air National Guard member who deployed to the Middle East. But neither soldier in the picture was him.

    A self-described “conservative constitutionalist,” Hunt is the Washington state chairman for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.

    Hunt has described himself as having been “wounded in combat” but grows vague when asked for details. He said he was knocked down by explosions but cannot remember where. He also says he cannot remember the names of units he deployed with to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Late last month, after being interviewed by The Seattle Times, Hunt altered several details about his military service on his online biographies. …

    When asked about where he’d seen combat and suffered wounds, Hunt did not provide details but said he is receiving disability benefits for service-related injuries that he declined to elaborate on. …

    In recent interviews, Hunt said he hopes to locate records further documenting his military service. “I just need time,” he said, saying such papers might be lost in boxes or at a relative’s house in Missouri

  19. NW Luna says:

    Reminds me of the Middle Ages when clergy couldn’t be prosecuted under civil law:

    Few clergy on Catholic child-sex list ever prosecutedkhttp://old.seattletimes.com/text/2027964692.html

    It appears only five of the 77 Catholic priests and clergy members identified this month as likely sex abusers of children have ever been brought to justice for any such crimes, according to a review of the list published by the Seattle Archdiocese.

    The list, which includes names of priests and other clergy who served or lived in Western Washington since the 1920s, identifies those “for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible” following a two-year review by a consultant and an archdiocese-appointed board.

    The compilation of names provides the most complete public accounting of its kind to date for the Seattle Archdiocese. But among the names of the disgraced, only five appear to have been convicted of criminal sex-abuse charges.

    And this is just for one small area in the U.S. I imagine it’s more of the same in the rest of the country.

  20. NW Luna says:

    Police say the man suspected of accidentally shooting a stranger at a Renton movie theater told them he carried a firearm because he feared mass shootings.

    …According to the police account, Gallion gave inconsistent descriptions of how his firearm discharged while at “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.”

    His father, Donald Gallion, had called the King County sheriff’s dispatch to say his son had returned home extremely upset, claiming the gun had fallen out of his pocket and gone off, police said.

    Oh yeah, more guns are just what we need to counteract the threat of mass shootings.