Friday Reads: Voting is an Act of Citizenship not Philosophical Masturbation

d22c1faa57e65292fd7d8d4b059e66e4Good Morning!

I’ve pretty much had the television off all week.  I could only handle Haterpalooza in small doses of video and print. The Republican Party has no claim to anything any more other than enabling white supremacists, nativists, and bigots.  I am no longer patient with any one that is looking towards a third party vote.  Donald Trump is not a sane person.  He is not a mature adult.  He is a clear and present danger to the existence of humanity, this country, and the world. The act of nominating Donald Trump is a declaration of war on humanity, the US Constitution, and civilization.  There is no amount of blackmailing emotional, philosophical, or verbal gymnastics that you can do to justify a vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton at this point or you’ve just joined a war against humankind imho.

Here’s Ezra Klein from Vox on the man who wants to be Fascist in Chief.  Donald Trump has a dark, hell-realm filled vision of and for the 2004-11-02__bush-votingUSA.

Donald Trump is not a candidate the American people would turn to in normal times. He’s too inexperienced, too eccentric, too volatile, too risky. Voting Trump is burning down the house to collect the insurance money — you don’t do it unless things are really, really bad.

Here is Trump’s problem: Things are not really, really bad. In fact, things are doing much better than when President Obama came into office.

Unemployment is 4.9 percent nationally — a number Trump knows is far from a crisis, because it’s lower than the unemployment rate Mike Pence is presiding over in Indiana, and Trump keeps bragging about his running mate’s economic record. The deficit has gone down in recent years, and the stock market has gone up. The end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars mean fewer Americans are dying abroad. A plurality approve of the job Obama is doing.

So Trump needs to convince voters that things are bad, even if they’re not. He needs to make Americans afraid again. And tonight, he tried.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” Trump said. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”

As Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, wrote on Twitter, this was Trump’s “Nightmare in America” speech. The address had one goal, and one goal only: to persuade Americans that their country is a dangerous, besieged hellscape, and only Donald Trump can fix it.

83555807I have watched the Republican Party’s decline for some time.  It hasn’t been pretty.   But this is beyond ugly.   Last night was a parade of white supremacists, theocrats, bigots, and the worst the country has had to offer.  Any one that does not speak out against this cannot have the country’s best interests at heart.  They are simply acting out of some kind of selfishness and privilege that’s beyond my grasp.   So, now that I’ve quoted liberal Ezra Klein. Let me get you to the libertarian thoughts on the speech last night.  ” Donald Trump’s RNC Speech Was a Terrifying Display of Nightmarish Authoritarianism. The GOP presidential nominee had only one solution to every problem: Give him more power.”

Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination was easily the most overt display of authoritarian fear-mongering I can remember seeing in American politics. The entire speech was dark and dystopian, painting America as a dismal, dangerous place beset by violent outsiders. In response to the nation’s problems, Trump had only one solution: Donald Trump, the strongman who would take America back, by force if necessary.

Trump framed the speech by painting America as a nation under siege from urban crime, terrorism, and immigrants. He talked of rising homicide levels in some cities. He warned darkly of terrorist and immigrants, practically conflating them with urban violence, and told stories of Americans killed by those who had entered the country illegally. The simplest and more straightforward way to interpret Trump’s speech was as a warning that outsiders are coming to America to kill you and your family.

It was a relentlessly grim and gloomy picture of America, built on thinly disguised racial distrust and paranoia. It was a portrait that was also essentially false. Violent crime has been steadily falling for more than two decades. Immigrants are less prone to criminality than native-born Americans.

But portraying America in such a dark light let Trump cast himself as the nation’s dark hero, a kind of billionaire-businessman fixer, unbound by rules or expectations of decorum—President Batman, the only one with the guts and the will to fight for the people.

Trump did not invoke superpowers, of course, but he might as well have; he had no other ideas or solutions to offer.

In addition to terrorism and criminality, Trump stoked anxiety about jobs and the economy, lamenting bad trade deals and the loss of manufacturing jobs. As president, he said, he would take our bad trade deals—especially NAFTA—and turn them into good ones. He did not say one word about how, or even what a “good” trade would look like, only that he would fix the problem. Trump promised to bring outsourced jobs back to America, and, as he has in the past, threatened unspecified “consequences” to companies that move operations overseas.

Trump’s entire speech was packed with threats and power grabs, details be damned. It was a speech about how government should be made bigger and stronger and given more authority over every part of American life, and government, in most cases, simply meant Donald Trump himself. It was an argument for unlimited government under a single man, for rule by Trump’s whim. He sounded less like he was running for president and more like he was campaigning to be an American despot.

John_F._Kennedy_voting_1960Our Dear Miss Brooks calls it the “Death of the Republican Party”.  He refers to Trump as the Dark Knight.   I prefer to see him as the Joker.

But if Trump is detached from the country, and uninterested in anything but himself, he’s also detached from his party. Trump is not really changing his party as much as dissolving it.

A normal party has an apparatus of professionals, who have been around for a while and who can get things done. But those people might as well not exist. This was the most shambolically mis-run convention in memory.

A normal party is united by a consistent belief system. For decades, the Republican Party has stood for a forward-looking American-led international order abroad and small-government democratic capitalism at home.

Trump is decimating that, too, along with the things Republicans stood for: NATO, entitlement reform, compassionate conservatism and the relatively open movement of ideas, people and trade.

50554769Another long time Republican crony has quit the Republican party.  Daniel Pipes joins the likes of Mary Matalin on the rat swim away from the ship.

The Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its candidate for president of the United States – and I responded by ending my 44-year GOP membership.

Here’s why I bailed, quit, and jumped ship:

First, Trump’s boorish, selfish, puerile, and repulsive character, combined with his prideful ignorance, his off-the-cuff policy making, and his neo-fascistic tendencies make him the most divisive and scary of any serious presidential candidate in American history. He is precisely “the man the founders feared,” in Peter Wehner’s memorable phrase. I want to be no part of this.

Second, his flip-flopping on the issues (“everything is negotiable”) means that, as president, he has the mandate to do any damn thing he wants. This unprecedented and terrifying prospect could mean suing unfriendly reporters or bulldozing a recalcitrant Congress. It could also mean martial law. Count me out.

There are more reasons.  Go check it out.

This is what happens when you sell your soul to angry bigots to pass tax cuts for the very wealthy.  I should be dancing on a lot of graves–happily Roger Ailes is gone from Fox because the Barbie Army turned him in–but I can’t dance. I can’t celebrate.  I can only stand here with my hair on fire and scream.

I’ve got so many places to send you for folks writing about how horrified they were by last night and nixon votingthe entire week.  I’m going to let my friend Peter rep for them.  Peter, I know this goes a step beyond “fair usage” but damn you Godwinned and you Godwinned appropriately.

I am obviously biased: I hate Donald Trump and am appalled that this sociopath has won a major party nomination. Following Trump closely has led me to modify my belief in Godwin’s Law. Here’s a rough paraphrase of it: mention the Nazis in an argument and you lose. I’ve always avoided Nazi and Fascist comparisons, believing them to be hyperbolic: who was worse than Hitler, after all?While I still don’t anticipate an American holocaust in the unlikely event that Trump is elected, I have to place Godwin’s Law on the back burner for the duration of the campaign. Donald Trump and his supporters represent the dark side of the American psyche and must be stopped.

On to the speech, I thought it was, in equal parts, horrible and horrifying. It was dark, brooding, and jumbled. The delivery was LOUD and wildly OTT. I felt bludgeoned after being screamed at for 76 minutes as well as depressed by listening to a speech that didn’t describe the America I live in.In between accusing Hillary Clinton and James Comey of crimes against the state, Trump told us to be scared, very scared. Even the ostensibly “uplifting” parts were stepped on by Trump’s red-faced, angry, and shouty delivery. I have my doubts that the American people want to be screamed at for four years. It will be bad enough to be shouted at for the next 3 1/2 months.

In substance, tone and delivery, it was a white nationalist speech full of attacks on minorities and immigrants. Brown people scare Donald Trump and he wants you to be afraid too. The speech went over well in the anti-Semitic community as well:

David Duke @DrDavidDuke

Great Trump Speech, America First! Stop Wars! Defeat the Corrupt elites! Protect our Borders!, Fair Trade! Couldn’t have said it better!

 In addition to being delivered in a rather Hitlerian manner, Trump’s solution to every problem was himself. I am your voice, he said several times. Sounds like the Fuhrer principle to me. I wasn’t sure if he’s running for President or Dictator. If you saw it, you know it was that bad. The rest of the convention was funny, Trump’s speech was not.

No one will be surprised to hear that the speech was packed with lies and half-truths calculated to scare the living shit out of the audience. Politics USA has come up with 21 fact checked proven lies in the speech. I’m surprised it was that few. The audacity of mendacity should be the campaign’s slogan instead of Making America White Great Again.

Please notice the number of likes from last night on the David Duke Tweet and start being very afraid.

I’m going to make this short because I expect there will be another post up shortly announcing the VEEP choice of Clinton and it deserves a stand alone post.

Just rant away here because I know I feel a strong need to rant and cry. Here are some associated links.

Twitter Rants via Salon.

World Reaction via CNN.

The One Reaction Every one should have via The Root.

Celebrity Reaction via CBS  (Yeah, how the great have fallen… poor Uncle Walter.)

NPR Fact Checks the speech.  (Shorter NPR:  Lies and Bigotry)

Oy.  Just. OY.


Late Nite Lite: RNC Edition

Good Late Nite!

Its that time again for our look at this weeks editorial cartoons. I can’t help but admit I love these post to pieces.

We will first take a look at some which highlight points in the GOP agenda Platform…

Cagle Post » GOP Platform

GOP Platform © Chris Britt,The State Journal Register,gop,platform,rights,poor,rights,voting,republican-convention-2012

Cagle Post » Legitimate Platform

Legitimate Platform © Milt Priggee,www.miltpriggee.com,gop, conservative, republican, platform, rnc, convention

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal – 08/30/2012

Cartoon by Phil Hands -

More on the RNC crapfest:

Cagle Post » We Built Mitt

We Built Mitt © Bruce Plante,Tulsa World,romney,convention,built,account,offshore,campaign,election,gop,republican-convention-2012

Cagle Post » Mitt’s Tats

Mitt's Tats © Christopher Weyant,The Hill,Mitt Romney, tattoos, Tampa, gaffe, seamus, two cadillacs, flip flop, Paul Ryan, no shirt, beach, convention, GOP, Republican, nomination, Barack Obama, character, Obamacare, Romneycare, moderate, tax returns, 13, top 1

Cagle Post » RNC Storm Aftermath

RNC Storm Aftermath © Jeff Parker,Florida Today and the Fort Myers News-Press,Republican National Convention, RNC, storm, Isaac, hurricane, power, November, Tampa, aftermath, clean up

Cagle Post » Eastwood& GOP convention

Eastwood& GOP convention © Dave Granlund,Politicalcartoons.com,		 empty chair,speech,Clint Eastwood,GOP convention,Tampa convention,talks to empty chair,hollywood,dirty harry,good bad ugly,fist full of dollars,make my day,do you feel lucky,republicans,2012,Romney,voters,viewers

Cagle Post » Showing Mitts Softer Side

Showing Mitts Softer Side © John Darkow,Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri,Knight, Armour, Effort, Romney, Human, Side, Batteries, Costco, Republican, National Convention, 2012, Built, Stage, Balloons

8/31 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Tin man | Mike Luckovich

mike08312

Souvenirs – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 08/31/2012

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Souvenirs

Cagle Post » Duly Noted

Duly Noted © Mark Streeter,The Savannah Morning News,chris christie,speech,convention,republican,florida,gop,christie-speech,republican-convention-2012

The rest of the cartoons are about different topic…

Cagle Post » Voter ID

Voter ID © Rob Tornoe,PoliticalCartoons.com,Voter ID,poll tax,voter fraud,election,id,Republican

Cagle Post » Catholic Indiscretions

Catholic Indiscretions © Brian Adcock,The Scotland,catholic indiscretions, indiscretions, catholic, hipocrisy, keith obrien, scotland, catholic church, gay marriage, anti-gay marriage,

And we will end with this tribute to Neil Armstrong:

Cagle Post » Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong © Manny Francisco,Manila, The Phillippines,Neil Armstrong,Nasa,astronaut,neil armstrong dead


Friday Morning Reads: The Good, The Bad and The Hologram?

Good Morning!

Kat is still out of power, so that means y’all are stuck with me today. 😉

I must admit that real life has been keeping us busy lately, as for the RNC Cavalcade of Comedic Horrors…well that is just one show I can’t even bring myself to watch. One thing is certain, when I do read up on the night’s performances, I have to think, what the hell is that. Take last night for instance, we had Mittastic and the fabulous Clint Eastwood.

Full transcript of speech here: TRANSCRIPT: Mitt Romney’s Speech at the Republican National Convention – ABC News

I guess it is all real, and not some dream where we find ourselves waking to Pamela Ewing in the shower. Romney accepts GOP presidential nomination

Of course, there were more of the comparisons between Obama and Carter: Romney calls Obama a ‘disappointment’

And promises to save America from Obama, Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails

Alright, let’s pick through this speech of Romney’s with a few opinionated critiques:

3 Beefs With Mitt Romney’s Convention Speech

Mitt’s Safe and Unadventurous Speech- Howard Kurtz

Mitt Romney Takes It to Mr. Hope and Change – Ron Fournier

Mitt Romney, Capitalist Saint – Molly Ball

And finally the fact checkers: Fact-Checking the GOP Speakers

But, there was one act that seemed to have folks scratching their heads. Clint Eastwood gave a performance last night…to an empty chair.

Clint Eastwood Delivers Bizarre Rambling Speech To Empty Chair

Clint Eastwood opened up the primetime portion of the Republican convention with a rambling, mumbling and often incoherent address next to an empty chair that was meant to represent President Obama.

A creaky Eastwood began by defending Hollywood’s notorious liberal reputation to the crowd, claiming that there were in fact many independents and Republicans in show business.

“Conservatives by their nature play it close to the vest, they don’t go around hot-dogging it,” he said.

He went on to act out an interview with the empty presidential chair that noted, among other topics, Obama’s inability to close Guantanamo Bay.

“I thought it was because somebody had a stupid idea of trying terrorists in downtown New York City,” Eastwood said.

Eastwood, who did not seem to use a prepared text of any kind, went on for about 12 minutes. A Romney campaign official told CBS that Eastwood was “ad libbing.”

Here are a few links on that.

Eastwood’s ‘Invisible Obama’ skit amuses some, confuses others

UPDATE 3-Did Clint Eastwood lose the plot at Romney’s convention?

Eastwood goes off-script in Romney endorsement

For a full transcript: Clint Eastwood’s GOP convention speech: Full transcript

And then, The Gipper, Ronald Reagan was supposed to rise from the dead…

No…that’s not it.

Let’s try this one.

No that is not it either…

RNC Scrapped Plans To Debut Reagan Hologram (Which Is Real) This Week

Earlier this week when the Republicans announced a mystery speaker for the final night of the convention, some people joked that it would be a hologram of Ronald Reagan akin to the surprise Tupac hologram that took Coachella by storm. Well, it turns out that a hologram Reagan actually exists, it was going to make an appearance right outside the convention this week, but the RNC asked the makers to delay its because they didn’t want it to “overshadow” Mitt Romney‘s speech.

Overshadow Mitt’s speech, how could they even think that…I mean, maybe that is why Clint was talking to an empty chair?

Reagan hologram is real, was planned for RNC debut

Despite some conflicting reports, Yahoo News has learned that a holographic projection of former President Ronald Reagan is in the works and was originally intended to debut outside the halls of the Republican National Convention this week. But its official unveiling has been put on hold until later this year or early 2013.

“It wasn’t officially going to be part of the convention,” Tony Reynolds, founder of crowdsourcing website A KickIn Crowd, told Yahoo News in a phone interview Thursday. “It was going to be outside of the convention at the Lakeland Center.”

[…]

However, Reynolds says he discussed the idea with a number of Republican activists who asked him to delay the project out of concern it would overshadow Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.

“At the time he hadn’t chosen Paul Ryan, so I think they were a little worried about his energy,” Reynolds said. “Even in a hologram form I think Reagan’s going to beat a lot of people in terms of communicating.”

Oh, so they are holding the second coming for a later time. Interesting.

Just a couple more links for you this morning. I found this next headline interesting as well:

David Koch breaks from GOP on gay marriage, taxes, defense cuts

And then Erza Klein has this offering, A not-very-truthful speech in a not-very-truthful campaign

Honestly? I didn’t want us to write this piece.

The original pitch was for “the five biggest lies in Paul Ryan’s speech.” I said no. It’s not that the speech didn’t include some lies. It’s that I wanted us to bend over backward to be fair, to see it from Ryan’s perspective, to highlight its best arguments as well as its worst. So I suggested an alternative: The true, the false, and the misleading in Ryan’s speech. (Note here that we’re talking about political claims, not personal ones. Ryan’s biography isn’t what we’re examining here though, for the record, I found his story deeply moving.)

An hour later, the draft came in — Dylan Matthews is a very fast writer. There was one item in the “true” section.

Jason E. Miczek – AP

So at about 1 a.m. Thursday, having read Ryan’s speech in an advance text and having watched it on television, I sat down to read it again, this time with the explicit purpose of finding claims we could add to the “true” category. And I did find one. He was right to say that the Obama administration has been unable to correct the housing crisis, though the force of that criticism is somewhat blunted by the fact that neither Ryan nor Mitt Romney have proposed an alternative housing policy. But I also came up with two more “false” claims. So I read the speech again. And I simply couldn’t find any other major claims or criticisms that were true.

I want to stop here and say that even the definition of “true” that we’re using is loose. “Legitimate” might be a better word. The search wasn’t for arguments that were ironclad. It was just for arguments — for claims about Obama’s record — that were based on a reasonable reading of the facts, and that weren’t missing obviously key context.

This link from TNR caught my eye, because of the use of  one of my favorite classic films in the post: An Annotated Guide To Romney’s Abortion Comments

I sometimes get the sense that Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is one big exercise in gaslighting the country. If you’re not familiar with the term, it comes from the 1944 Ingrid Bergman film “Gaslight,” in which a man tries to convince his wife that she’s imagining things and going insane when in fact he is an evil creep.

For the record, I am not calling Mitt Romney an evil creep.

Gaslighting is at times the only explanation for Romney’s willingness to say things that are breathtakingly false. The most recent example I have in mind is an interview he gave on Monday to CBS’s Scott Pelley that touched on his ever-morphing position on abortion rights. Unlike Herman Cain, who made absurd statements about his position on abortion during the primaries because he appeared to be genuinely unaware of the past 40 years in U.S. politics, Romney is not stupid. But he is banking on the hope that voters are.

Well, that last part about the stupid voters…you all know where we stand on that point. The article then takes us on a shorter version of Romney’s interview.

Scott Pelley: “The platform, as written at this convention for the Republicans, does not allow for exceptions on abortion with regard to the health of the mother or rape or incest. Is there where you are?”

No, my position has been clear throughout … uh … this campaign.

You got that, ladies? Like three-quarters of Americans, I oppose that constitutional ban in our platform. Just don’t ask me in front of a bunch of donors. And as I keep telling you, my position on abortion has always been clear. Marvelously clear. Ha ha. Ha.

 

Just take a look at the rest of the link, it is quite amusing.

And that is all I got for you this morning, catch y’all later in the comments!


Live Blog: RNC Convention Day Three…Mitt the Twitt’s big night!

Ann and Mitt Romney © Pat Bagley,Salt Lake Tribune,Ann, Basement, Romney, Ann Romney, Mitt, Mitt Romney, Downton Abbey, Carson, Butler, Maid, Upstairs Downstairs, Early Years, Convention, RNC, Tampa

Tonight is Mitt’s big night. Fortunately I am going to be far from a TV or Radio or Circle Box (computer) tonight!

Anyway, here are a few links to get you started…in no particular order, but let’s hope people are paying attention!

Analysis: Paul Ryan’s factual errors noted by many, but are voters listening? – chicagotribune.com

The Five Big Misrepresentations Of Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech | The New Republic

Paul Ryan’s brazen lies – Salon.com

Five Misleading Claims In Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech | TPMDC

The true, the false, and the misleading: Grading Paul Ryan’s convention speech.

Paul Ryan and Condi Rice: A Tale of 2 Speeches – Molly Ball – The Atlantic

They Should Have Just Called It a Poll Tax | emptywheel

As Republican convention emphasizes diversity, racial incidents intrude – The Washington Post

The Face of Romney’s Foreign Policy – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Atlantic

Witches’ Brew | White Jesus Approved » Blog Archive » Brew Interview: CNN Camerawoman Speaks Out!

This is an open thread…have at it!


Late night thread…say what?

mike082912

Just saw this on the circle box…

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ‘Endorses’ President Obama At Republican National Convention | Mediaite

Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Obama have had their well-publicized ups and downs, but in a rare moment of levity at the grim Republican National Convention, the strident administration critic appeared to endorse the incumbent. Governor Brewer told NBC News’ Ron Mott that “I know if President Obama is elected in November, which I hope he is, he will be able to come together with all of us and come up with a solution. I believe he will secure our borders. And therefore, we can resolve all of the other issues as a simple matter.”

It’s possible that Gov. Brewer simply misspoke, but given that President Obama has significantly beefed up border security during his presidency, the shoe seems to fit. There you have it, folks. Peace in our time.

And then there is this: TRENDING: Palin canceled on Fox?

Sarah Palin posted a cryptic message on Facebook Wednesday night, saying the Fox News Channel had cut her appearances for the evening. “I’m sorry Fox cancelled all my scheduled interviews tonight because I sure wanted to take the opportunity on the air to highlight Senator John McCain’s positive contributions to America, to honor him, and to reflect on what a biased media unfairly put him through four years ago tonight,” she wrote.

[…]

Reports of tension between the conservative firebrand and the network emerged in November, when New York Magazine reported the network’s president, Roger Ailes, was furious that Palin had announced her decision against running for president on another media outlet.

Palin first made her decision public on a conservative radio show hosted by Mark Levin, then confirmed her announcement in a Fox appearance on Greta van Susteren’s show that night. While Ailes reportedly considered pulling her million dollar contract, Palin continued to appear on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

As to what prompted Wednesday night’s shuffle, Palin left it a mystery, writing only about her former running mate. Sen. John McCain is set to deliver remarks at the Republican National Convention in the 8 p.m. ET hour. The Arizona senator also turned 76 on Wednesday.

Oh and one more nugget…Fla. appeals court orders new judge for Zimmerman trial

A Florida appeals court has granted George Zimmerman’s request for a new judge to oversee his trial for second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.

A three-judge panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal found that Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. cast doubt on his impartiality when he wrote in his July 5 order setting $1 million bail that Zimmerman showed “blatant disregard for the judicial system” and that he was “manipulating the system for his own benefit.”

Yeah it’s an open thread…