May 1, 2016

MAY, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I expect we’ll soon hear him referring to the Democratic nominee as Hillary Rodhaaaam Clinton, pursing his itty bitty lips in that nauseating way.
And then he’ll make nice in his inimitable way by saying how much he really loves Crocked Hillary as a person, and blow her a huge Trump kiss:

The sad story of Harambe, the gorilla zoo officials killed to make sure they could save the child that fell into his enclosure has led to an Internet firestorm. My reaction is that if Harambe were sentient enough he might have welcomed an instant death over living out his years in confinement. I was reminded of this classic Twilight Zone episode from season one:

    "People Are Alike All Over"

    • Writer:  Rod Serling (based on a short story "Brothers Beyond The Void" by Paul Fairman)

"You're looking at a species of flimsy little two-legged animal with extremely small heads whose name is Man. Warren Marcusson, age thirty-five. Samuel A. Conrad, age thirty-one... They're taking a highway into space, Man unshackling himself and sending his tiny, groping fingers up into the unknown. Their destination is Mars, and in just a moment we'll land there with them."
Marcusson, the optimist that believes people are alike all over, is killed when their ship crashes on Mars. Conrad is terrified when he hears someone banging on the outside of the ship. He is relieved when he sees that the martians are human looking, but telepathic. The next day, the Martians give Conrad a home of his own. Left alone, he quickly realizes there are no windows and all the doors are locked. Suddenly, a wall slides up, revealing bars through which a crowd of Martians stand. Conrad then realizes he is in a zoo. He cries out, "Marcusson, you were right - people are alike everywhere."
"Species of animal brought back alive. Interesting similarity in physical characteristics to human beings in head, trunk, arms, legs, hands, feet. Very tiny undeveloped brain; comes from primitive planet named Earth. Calls himself Samuel Conrad. And he will remain here in this cage with the running water and the electricity and the central heat as long as he lives. Samuel Conrad has found the Twilight Zone."

Nothing like a hate filled election to make money for CafePress and similar web companies

Quote of the Day

 Steven Hawking was asked by the hosts of the ITV show Good Morning Britain if he could explain the rise of Donald Trump.

“I can’t,” Hawking said in a prerecorded statement that will be broadcast Tuesday morning. “He is a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

As Think Progress noted, the media all but ignored the other part of what Hawking said was the greatest long term wish to the survival of the human race, climate change. Of course, Trump claims that he doesn’t believe in manmade causes of climate change.

He can’t be that stupid. I have to think that is just more pandering to the far right base.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Two posts today!

Time for Bernie and Hillary Democrats to make nice over the cauldron

Since I jumped into the waters of Kos diarists on March 23rd (with a tongue in cheek diary about nominating Arnold Schwarzenegger) I discovered quite quickly there were a few sharks ready to chomp onto me if only because I was a newbie who dared to have an opinion. I also discovered that if I wrote something the slightest bit critical about Bernie, or a smidgen positive about Hillary, I would get lots of,  to put it mildly, spirited comments. My writing was roundly ignored until I wrote “I changed my mind: Why I’m not voting for Bernie in the Oregon primary.” It ended up with 783 comments. The next day I wrote that my reaction to the previous diary gobsmacked me, and I got 266 comments about that.
Down the list of my 35 or so diaries it went the same way. Hardly anybody read my diaries about Trump, even when I endeavored to make them worthy of at least a quick look. I am most interested in assuring that the Democrats come together and defeat Trump and win as many down-ticket elections as possible. I can’t wait until Kos front-pagers and diarists take the cauldron off the fire and turn their witchcraft on Trump… If you remember your MacBeth you know how crucial the three witches are to the plot. Their prophesies become a compelling call to action for MacBeth.  
At this point in the election with Hillary’s nomination all but a sure thing, we are far beyond what Rebecca Traitor wrote in New York Magazine back in November (The Bernie Bros vs. the Hillarybots):
Officially, the debate about whether to support Clinton or Sanders is not so different from debates Democrats have during many presidential cycles. It hinges on the relative merits of taking a big risk on a more radical candidate in the hope of revitalizing the left, or taking a safer path in hopes of protecting (and perhaps modestly expanding) what meager progressive infrastructure we have in place. This is a serious debate; none of us really knows which path is smarter or will benefit or harm more Americans, but many of us have strong opinions about it, and have participated in versions of it before, when we’ve tussled over other candidates.
Democrats who disparaged Hillary Clinton would agree with Doug Henwood, in the following from “Stop Hillary” in Harpers:
What is the case for Hillary (whose quasi-official website identifies her, in bold blue letters, by her first name only, as do millions upon millions of voters)? It boils down to this: She has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn. It’s hard to find any substantive political argument in her favor. She has, in the past, been associated with women’s issues, with children’s issues — but she also encouraged her husband to sign the 1996 bill that put an end to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC), which had been in effect since 1935. Indeed, longtime Clinton adviser Dick Morris, who has now morphed into a right-wing pundit, credits Hillary for backing both of Bill’s most important moves to the center: the balanced budget and welfare reform. And during her subsequent career as New York’s junior senator and as secretary of state, she has scarcely budged from the centrist sweet spot, and has become increasingly hawkish on foreign policy.
Trump echoed this in his own obnoxious way. So this is the nature of the primaries. Democrats always give ammunition to the Republicans and vice versa.
Now, the time for the sniping and the acrimony is over. Bernie does nobody any good by throwing fuel on the fire under the cauldron boiling noxious fumes against Hillary. Neither do his supporters.
Democrats have to defeat Trump’s evil necromancy using iyooooj sorcery of their own. If they need an occult cauldron it should be the biggest, the best, a downright mean hell broth boiling machine.  Shakespeare can tell them the ingredients for the noxious brew to send Trump’s way — though I’d omit the liver of the blaspheming Jew since that hits me personally. 
Whatever you call those single-minded supporters of our two candidates, Bernie Bros, Hillarybots, or whatever, they need to put a cork in it!   It’s time to stop trying to put the evil eye on each other and hex the hell out of Trump.
To quote The Bard,
 from Macbeth – not that any of us come close to turning a phrase like this:
A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.
                Enter the three Witches.
       1 WITCH.  Thrice the brinded* cat hath mew'd. 
       2 WITCH.  Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd. 
       3 WITCH.  Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time! 
       1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go; 
    In the poison'd entrails throw.— 
    Toad, that under cold stone, 
    Days and nights has thirty-one; 
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got, 
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot! 
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 
       2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake, 
    In the caldron boil and bake; 
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, 
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,— 
    For a charm of powerful trouble, 
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 
       3 WITCH.  Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf; 
    Witches' mummy; maw and gulf* 
    Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark; 
    Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark; 
    Liver of blaspheming Jew; 
    Gall of goat, and slips of yew 
    Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse; 
    Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips; 
    Finger of birth-strangled babe 
    Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,*— 
    Make the gruel thick and slab: 
    Add thereto a tiger's chaudron*, 
    For the ingrediants of our caldron. 
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 
       2 WITCH.  Cool it with a baboon's blood, 
    Then the charm is firm and good. 
brinded - having obscure dark streaks or flecks on gray 
gulf - the throat 
drab - prostitute 
chaudron - entrails

This kid is amazing. He’s not just reading a script. He knows what he’s talking about.

Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump seems to think that his supporters are as misogynistic as he is. He must even think that female supporters won’t be bothered by this. -
As reported in The Washington Post:  
But with the nomination ap­parently secured, last week’s fusillade of digs seemed counter­productive. Why go after the GOP’s only two female minority governors — Martinez and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley — when there are many other elected Republicans who have not endorsed him? What does he gain from smearing a former employee (Barbara Res, a former employee quoted in an article about his treatment of women) and a federal judge (Gonzalo Curiel)* whom most of his supporters have never heard of? 
We can be sure Barbara Res wont be voting for him. But I wonder what governor’s Martinez and Haley will do in the privacy of the voting booth.
And then there’s Hillary’s unpresidential lady scream.
Why comment on Clinton’s voice instead of her record? Why do I even pose this question? He knows he will get more mileage out of nonsensical insults like calling her “crocked Hillary” than even saying she was the worst Secretary of State in history. Notice he’s stopped using that ludicrous accusation. He tried casting her along with her husband, the "worst abuser of women in history” but nobody seemed to care.  Then he tried to float her and Bill as likely the murderers of their good friend Vince Foster. That one sank like a lead balloon. -
What’s left is junior high bully insults, most of them related to the fact that Hillary is a woman. Note below the use of the word “looks” instead of “is.” The most superficial presidential candidate in modern history is pontificating about his opponent’s looks!  
“Do you think — honestly, honestly, honestly — do you think Hillary looks presidential?” (The crowd answered in unison as Trump smirked: “Noooo!”)
“I don’t think so,” Trump continued, shaking his head. “And I’m not going to say it because I’m not allowed to say it because I want to be politically correct, so I refuse to say that I cannot stand her screaming into the microphone all of the time.”
Trump gets cheers when he calls Hillary unpresidential based solely of how she sounds when she raises her voice. Talk about the pot filled with hot, steaming s#it calling Hillary’s (perhaps slightly tarnished depending on your POV) brass teapot black.  -
Trump’s misogyny is so obvious to those who care. But Trump doesn’t care about this. For example, even though it’s been pointed out that native Americans consider using the name Pocahontas referring to women is only slightly less offensive than calling them the racist sexist term squaw, he continues to use this term when talk ing about Elizabeth Warren.
Trump is an insult comic with nothing else in his repertoire. He knows the worst thing that can happen when he addresses his crowds is that he lets them get bored. -
How far can he go when he realizes that attacking Mexicans and Muslims won’t win him more votes? He will have to attack Hillary and he’ll soon find out that policy and position assaults won’t get him cheers and enthusiastic shout-backs. He’ll have to come up with something better than just “crocked Hillary.” -
I’m waiting to see how far he can push the misogyny. Since Hillary is too old to be menopausal to use that, and he can’t talk about “blood coming out of her….whatever.”  There’s always her voice (which I wrote about here in late April, and her appearance. Perhaps “pants suit Hillary” will gain some traction. I can think of worst things, but on the off chance Trump is reading this I won’t give him anymore ideas.


* Trump said of Cruiel who was born in Indiana: “The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine. You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs, okay?”

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Scroll down for noteworthy cover page article in The Atlantic with insight into the mind of Donald Trump written by a psychologist.
Read article here
A federal judge ordered internal Trump University documents that are part of a class-action lawsuit be released following a request by the Washington Post. U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel is well aware that Donald Trump is none too happy with the way he has been handling the case and cited it as a reason why the documents should be released by June 2. "Defendant became the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race, and has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue," Curiel said in an order that unseals a series of documents that Trump's lawyers didn't want released. Yet the fact that Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee only increase the pubic interest in the documents, the judge said.
Curiel issued his order to unseal the documents on the same day that Trump called him a “hater” and said the Indiana-born judge was a “Mexican.” The judge makes no reference to those specific comments in his order, but does mention several instances in which the real estate mogul questioned his integrity.

What I’m Reading This Morning

Read the article here.

Comment on this in The Daily Kos

Psychologist Dan McAdams wrote the cover story to this week’s issue of The Atlantic. For those who want to understand Trump the narcissist from a clinical perspective, this is must reading. 

Mark Singer in the late 1990s when he was working on a profile of Trump for The New Yorker. Singer wondered what went through his mind when he was not playing the public role of Donald Trump. What are you thinking about, Singer asked him, when you are shaving in front of the mirror in the morning? Trump, Singer writes, appeared baffled. Hoping to uncover the man behind the actor’s mask, Singer tried a different tack:
“O.K., I guess I’m asking, do you consider yourself ideal company?”
“You really want to know what I consider ideal company?,” Trump replied. “A total piece of ass.”
I might have phrased Singer’s question this way: Who are you, Mr. Trump, when you are alone? Singer never got an answer, leaving him to conclude that the real-estate mogul who would become a reality-TV star and, after that, a leading candidate for president of the United States had managed to achieve something remarkable: “an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”
Trump as the penultimate narcissist presidential wannabe

Donald Trump’s narcissism has been the subject of many articles, by lay people and psychologists. The author notes that almost all presidents are to some degree narcissists. He uses the term “grandiose narcissists” to describe the most narcissistic. Lyndon Johnson tops the all-time list, others from modern times near the top of the list are FDR, JFK, Nixon, and Clinton. This is but a small part of what Dr. McAdams has to say:

Narcissus wanted, more than anything else, to love himself. People with strong narcissistic needs want to love themselves, and they desperately want others to love them too—or at least admire them, see them as brilliant and powerful and beautiful, even just see them, period. The fundamental life goal is to promote the greatness of the self, for all to see. “I’m the king of Palm Beach,” Trump told the journalist Timothy O’Brien for his 2005 book, TrumpNation. Celebrities and rich people “all come over” to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s exclusive Palm Beach estate. “They all eat, they all love me, they all kiss my ass. And then they all leave and say, ‘Isn’t he horrible.’ But I’m the king.”
I wasn’t born when FDR was president, but clearly remember LBJ and the others topping the list. None of them come close to the level of narcissism of Donald J. Trump. Trump’s narcissism is so over-the-top no words in the thesaurus come close to describing how extreme it is.

In looking for an image of the mythical Narcissus I found a depiction of him by Caravaggio which actually happened to have orange hair.

There are several ancient versions of the myth regarding the final outcome of the Narcissus’ life. In all of them he dies either by his own hand or due to sorrow over not being able to obtain the object of his desire, himself.

This is Salvador Dali’s “Metamorphosis” depicting,
I gather, the eventual outcome, right, of Narcissis’ self love.
Not a pretty sight.

Psychologist McAdams is a responsible writer. Not having interviewed Trump and having permission to publish his diagnosis impressions, he can only speculate based on the same observations everyone can make. There’s no doctor-patient confidentiality. Still, nowhere does he use the term “pathological narcissism.”

As a psychotherapist who has diagnosed mental disorders throughout my career, based on what I have observed of Trump, supported by what I would say that he has many traits associated with pathological narcissism, i.e, narcissistic personality disorder as defined in the current APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (see below).

Dr. McAdam’s concludes:
Who, really, is Donald Trump? What’s behind the actor’s mask? I can discern little more than narcissistic motivations and a complementary personal narrative about winning at any cost. It is as if Trump has invested so much of himself in developing and refining his socially dominant role that he has nothing left over to create a meaningful story for his life, or for the nation. It is always Donald Trump playing Donald Trump, fighting to win, but never knowing why.
What does this all add up to me? Simply stated, Trump’s slogan may be “Make America Great Again” but what his behavior resoundingly says is “Make Trump Greater Than Trump Already Is.

From Mayo Clinic

Saturday, May, 28, 2016

Before we took a long drive my father always told my sister and
I that we should use the bathroom before we left. He persisted
in relating the same story from when he was in the Army about
how he learned quickly always to avail himself of the latrine before
leaving base on a march or else he’d find himself in the middle of nowhere
having “to go” as he put it. The fact is, when you gotta go, you
gotta go. So where are trans people going to go when they are out
and they “gotta go?"

Trump’s amazing vitamin snake oil travelling medicine show

Swallow Dr. Trump’s prescription with extreme caution.

This multilevel marketing plan which Trump traveled the country to promote is finally getting news coverage, complete with clips of his sales pitch assuring that people could beat the recession if they signed on to his con-job scheme. 

“The fact is, most of us have not been conditioned, have not been mentored, have not been coached, have not been inspired, have not been motivated to go out and generate wealth,” (Trump) says with the rat-a-tat-tat delivery of a televangelist. “Yes or no?” he asks, scanning the crowd intently. “We’ve been motivated, inspired, encouraged, taught—to do what? To work hard. To get a steady job. And where has that gotten us?” New York Magazine 

Call it “Vitamin T.” For several years in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Donald Trump encouraged people to take part in a pseudo-scientific vitamin scheme—all without expressing any concern about how it might potentially endanger people’s health.
Through a multi-level marketing project called The Trump Network, the business mogul encouraged people to take an expensive urine test, which would then be used to personally “tailor” a pricey monthly concoction of vitamins—something a Harvard doctor told The Daily Beast was a straight-up “scam.”

While not exactly selling poison, leading people to believe that they can make a fortune is a kind of poisoning of the mind.
Vintage pharmaceutical labels.

Among other claims, The Trump Network asserted that it could use a urine test to recommend customized nutritional supplements, its signature products. It also offered products that purportedly tested for allergies and bone health. But scientists said such claims were never backed up by modern medicine. 
“They make an outrageous statement, which is that this testing and supplement regimen, this process, are a necessity for anyone who wants to stay healthy,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance and an expert on dietary supplement safety who reviewed some of The Trump Network’s marketing materials at the request of STAT. “That’s quite insane.” From an excellent scientifically based analysis, including a video,  describing what the Trump Network was all about.
How much will it take to convince Trump supporters who have been endowed with at least an average level of critical thinking intelligence, otherwise known as a working bullshit detector, to see that like his vitamin boondoggle his promise to make America great again doesn’t come close to passing the smell test?

Friday, May 27, 2016

If Bernie goes through with this debate
I will be caught between having lost all
 respect for him and pity for him for having
 lost his mind blinded by delusional egotism
 in his belief that he can vanquish Trump
 the way Luke Skywalker beat Darth Vader.

Two unrelated news items are on my mind this morning. First, Bernie says he wants to debate Trump, and Trump says bring it on; and second Paul Manafort, who should know better than anybody, says that Trump sees himself as being a president more like a chairman of the board rather than a CEO or even a COO.

On Bernie, I am appalled that Bernie is considering debating with Trump, if only because Trump seems so enthusiastic about doing it. Just about every pundit I’ve heard says it’s a win-win for Trump. If he wipes the floor with Bernie, which is doubtful, of course he wins with everybody. If Bernie comes out the clear winner Trump still wins because it will burnish the luster of Bernie and tarnish Hillary.
Trump want to be ‘old Blue Eyes

It’s amazing that someone as smart as campaign manager and chief strategist Paul Manafort would say that Trump sees himself as being a chairman of the board president instead of a CEO or even a COO. I guess Manafort doesn’t think Trump supporters are smart enough to understand that you don’t run a country like a corporation.
Heather Digby Patron explains this in her Salon article:
But then the job of Vice President is going to be very, very important in a Trump administration according to Manafort, so they aren’t going to take any chances:
He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do.  
"He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO." 
I guess nobody’s told Trump that you don’t get to write the job description yourself. I’m pretty sure the job of president is to be the one who makes all the big decisions. It’s not the person who just calls Fox and Friends, negotiates the trade deals and bombs the shit out of ISIS. You don’t get to pick what presidential duties you “want to do” and delegate the rest to your peons. Sure, some presidents like Reagan and George W. Bush were less hands-on than others but they didn’t redefine the presidency as a Chairman of the board who picks and chooses the duties he spends his time on.
It doesn’t surprise me that Trump is so steeped in the business world that he sees the presidency through the eyes of a powerful and power-hungry businessman. He want to model himself after a board chairman who dogmatically sets the agenda and assures that his CEO does his bidding without straying and assuming too much authority, and too much of the limelight, himself.
He doesn’t want a Cheney-esque vice president either, content with staying in the shadows, but who has  his own agenda. He wants someone who will know how to implement his fanciful Machiavellian fascistic visions gilded with the Trump brand. He doesn’t want a vice president CEO questioning his wisdom, ethics, and morals. When Trump tells his veep to get the wall built the only question Trump would want to hear is “how high?” When Trump orders 11 million illegal immigrants to be deported, he only wants the only question to be “planes, trains, or buses?” 
Trump wants to put together his all-star team as long as none of the stars outshine him. He wants to he a chairman of the board like Frank Sinatra. Come to think of it, ‘ol Blue Eyes would have made a better president.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

People are morons department, even liberals

I've been engaged in what so far has been
 the futile exercise of trying to think of something from
 Trump's past or something he says now which
would lose him his core supporters. Short of some
 manifestation of a scene out of (the TV show)
 Grimm combined with the goriest Grimm's fairy tale,
 one where he turns literally into a horned pustule
 covered frog skinned slimy monster devouring
 still living newborn infants and exhorting his followers
 to eat their own children, I can't think of anything.
Article here.

I post many of my longer pieces on Daily Kos so I can reach more readers and see how they react in their comments. Sometime I am dismayed when lots of them misinterpret what I am trying to say, or miss my point entirely. I try not to dumb down my writing. Instead I try to be really clear. I was most recently taken to task for writing about Elizabeth Warren using her first name because the reader thought that was disrespectful. 

Today someone wrote a piece that was obviously meant to be sarcastic, ironic, and provocative.

"The deeply disturbing truth about Kos and this website”  began with 

"I have been reading Kos’s diaries with increasing agitation and concern. What at first I only feared, I can now confirm to be true. Kos has an opinion, and it’s different than mine.”

 I was pretty sure from merely reading the title that this would be ironic, but the first two sentences proved to me that the writer was trying to make a point by 

This is my comment: Before I look at the other comments I have a bet: 50% won’t have seen that your diary is pure sarcastic satire. Actually, if I’m right, that’s not so bad if everyone else realized the point immediately that you are trying to make. The last time I found that almost everyone was smart and civil online was on what was then called a message board. It was when the New York Times had one.  That was about 12 years ago. It was small, one might say, exclusive enough so that regular posters got to know each other.  I just skimmed half the comments and wow, I was right in spades….. the deeply disturbing truth about too many readers of Kos as evidenced by their comments to what you write is that they aren’t particularly smart. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the last essay I read  by Andy Borowitz what to begin with a caution that it was satire.  What an indictment of our education system not assuring that kids learn critical thinking — now I’m back to reading my history book for the week “A Voyage to Brobdingnag.”

Hear Loudon Wainwright imagine Donald Trump’s terrifying presidency in this new song

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Country music legend and the NRA has a message to Iran

Charlie Daniels has earned his reputation as one of country music’s true legends. His politics are interesting as he moved from having a strong liberal streak towards the far right which has culminated in this video. This is from Wikipedia:
Daniels' public politics have been varied and idiosyncratic, tending toward in his late career a general rightward progression. His earliest hit, "Uneasy Rider," portrayed him as a hippie in the counterculture movement, caught in an argument with right-wing rednecks. "The South's Gonna Do It Again" had a mild message of Southern cultural identity within the Southern rock movement. Daniels was an early supporter of Jimmy Carter's presidential bid and performed at his January 1977 inauguration.
"In America" was a reaction to the 1979–1981 Iran Hostage Crisis; it described a patriotic, united America where "we'll all stick together and you can take that to the bank/That's the cowboys and the hippies and the rebels and the yanks." The song experienced a revival following the September 11 attacks, when it was floated around the internet as "Fuck Bin Laden".
In 1989, Daniels' country hit "Simple Man" was interpreted by some as advocating vigilantism. Lyrics such as "Just take them rascals [rapists, killers, child abusers] out in the swamp/Put 'em on their knees and tie 'em to a stump/Let the rattlers and the bugs and the alligators do the rest", garnered Daniels considerable media attention and talk show visits.
In 2003, Daniels published an Open Letter to the Hollywood Bunch in defense of President George W. Bush's Iraq policy. His 2003 book Ain't No Rag: Freedom, Family, and the Flag contains this letter as well as many other personal statements. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Daniels said that having never served in the military himself, he did not have the right to criticize John Kerry's service record, but that Kerry should allow the release of his official military record to establish the truth or falsehood of allegations from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.[19] His band's official website contains a "soapbox" page,[20] where Daniels has made statements such as the following: "In the future Darwinism will be looked upon as we now look upon the flat earth theory", and "I am more afraid of you and your ilk than I am of the terrorists", regarding U.S. Senator Harry Reid. On March 27, 2009, Daniels criticized the Obama Administration for "changing the name of the War on Terror to the "Overseas Contingency Operation" and referring to terrorism as "man-caused disasters"".[21]

Mixing metaphors: In praise of Elizabeth’s mastery of the martial art of the Tweet

I never know how many people will
 read, let alone comment
when I cross-post an article on Daily Kos.
  You can commentyourself there.
Speaking at Boston’s Suffolk University’s commencement Elizabeth Warren said “I never imagined I would get into a Twitter war with Donald Trump. How’s this speech polling so far? Higher or lower than Donald Trump’s unfavorable numbers with women?”
My response, to mix metaphors:
Elizabeth Warren is adept at inflicting the death of a thousand cuts on Trump, wielding a rapier-style sword in a blur of stainless steel precision, while he stumbles with a futile counter-attack trying to fight back with a caveman club clutched in his stubby Neanderthal fingers. 
It’s like she’s Muhammad Ali fighting Biff Tannen, the “Back to the Future” bully that CNN compared to Donald Trump. She has Ali-like speed and balance and when she connects (which is most of the time) she stings like a bee. If she keeps engaging Trump he could go into anaphylactic shock. One can only hope someone has an epinephrin syringe nearby.
She’s like Jackie Chan, a 10th degree black belt as a master of mixing comedy with brain numbing Twitter karate kicks. With her rapidly fired blows, she befuddles Trump so much that even though he’s laying on his ass he doesn’t know he’s been poleaxed.
Warren is the first surrogate for a presidential candidate - even thought she has yet to come out supporting Hillary - to assume the role of the entire front line protecting the quarterback, singlehandedly vanquishing the opposition. She’s “Mean Joe” Green, Dick Butkis, Reggie White, Ray Lewis, and Regie White all rolled into one. 
Whether or not Elizabeth Warren runs for vice president, I hope she continues to take on Trump. As long as Trump the Twitter addicted egotist doesn’t realize how lame, idiotic, and futile his Tweetback insults are he’s likely to give Democrats more ammunition. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You can watch the video here
Today, while Bill Cosby goes to court to see whether the felony sexual assault case against him goes to trial, Trump’s charges that Hillary Clinton was a sexual abuse enabler are also headlining news stories. Trump had a decidedly unattractive and inarticulate spokesperson on the morning news dismissing every charge that Trump was a misogynist with attacks against Hillary making it out that she might as well have been an accessory to rape.

I posted this here, on Daily Kos, to see what their readers think.
The following description is from Mother Jones: Trump posted an ominous video on Instagram that starts with a black-and-white photo of the White House as various women describe allegations against the former president. "No woman should be subjected to it—it was an assault," one woman says. Then the image slowly fades into a cigar-smoking Bill Clinton.

The video closes with a picture of Hillary and Bill sitting together, superimposed with text asking, "Here We Go Again?" There's audio of Hillary cackling.

But interestedly he’s already tried to link Hillary with Bill Cosby is this video showing a much younger Hillary standing next to Cosby.

Monday, MAY 23, 2016

This a an article published on Salon. It has a click baiting title but the economic argument presented by the novelist, poet, and literally critic author came across as gibberish and economic gobbledegook to me. By the end of the day over 500 people commented on the Salon website, and many agreed with me.

This Salon piece has a click-baiting title, "Trump is going to win: This is why Hillary Clinton can’t beat what Trump represents.” The author, Anis Shivani is a novelist, poet, and literary critic. He has a penchant for hyperbolic titles in his political essays. For example "Half-truth Hillary finally exposed: This was the debate where Bernie Sanders changed the Democratic Party for good” and "The Democrats have no soul: The Clintons, neoliberalism, and how the 'people’s party' lost its way.” Did I mention that the author was a strong Bernie supporter?

Instead of writing about how Trump could win the presidency, he describes how he thinks he is going to win. Why? Because people are rising up against neoliberal globalization. He makes what seem on first blush to be good points, but to me he doesn’t lay out a compelling argument as to how he already has the election in the bag. In fact, admitting I only took one economics course in college, it sounds like gibberish to me.

Shivani is adept at spinning yarns, an accomplished writer, facile enough with his phrases to make the following seem like he knows what he is writing about:

Darkness in the human soul is not utility-maximizing, therefore someone has to stand in for the opposite of what the market establishes as the universal solvent, and that someone, in this election, happens to be Hillary Clinton; which makes her unelectable. She will not, in fact, be able to discover, as she hasn’t so far, anything like an authentic voice which can prove to the electorate that she is not that dark force the market cannot account for. But note the irony: by discrediting Clinton in this manner, the losers in the global economy are actually articulating yet another form for the decisive articulateness of the market after all! 
Considering his feelings about Hillary, is it any wonder he manages to shoehorn both Benghazi and the emails into his essay?
The population across the board does not see the abstractions of the transnational capitalist class being able to solve a problem like ISIS, which represents a crisis of authority. Wasn’t al-Qaeda defeated? Didn’t we get Osama bin Laden’s head? Then what is this lingering distaste called ISIS? Forms of darkness are easily substitutable, thus Hillary (whose synecdoche is Benghazi, or secret emails) becomes unable to speak the truth, the more she tries. 
He vacillates between disparaging Hillary in pseudo-learned terms and presenting economics lectures.
But…I do not want to claim for a minute that Trump can represent anything other than the further strengthening of neoliberal capitalism, both domestically and globally. He can only represent a further intensification, as would be true of anyone else. The total globalization of the market—our greatest of myths today, the one all-powerful entity to which all, state, civil society, and individual, have completely bent—is unstoppable. The flat earth posited by Tom Friedman in the 1990s will end up erasing all local distinctiveness, the end goal of neoliberalism. While Trump represents the desire for national regeneration—as is true of any neofascist movement—this is not possible in the twenty-first century, because the state as we have known it has ended, as has the market in the conventional understanding.
Sounds pretty good? But it doesn’t make any sense as a reason Trump is going to win.

The author mixes valid interpretations with an socio-economic analysis of behavior that draws illogical conclusions. For example, he nails a part of Trump’s appeal here:

But the reckoning, again, will be pure fiction. Trump is not a fascist father figure, he is not the second coming of Mussolini, he is the new virtual figure who is as real as reality television, which is even more recessive and vanishing compared to Ronald Reagan’s Hollywood fictions. The field of action in which Trump specialized for a long time before the nation, as dress rehearsal for the current (and final) role, was one where, at least to outward appearances, the presence of surplus capital was acknowledged and taken for granted, and aspirants competed to know more about it and to desperately work on its behalf.
Eventually he takes a huge leap into some kind of strange use Freudian drive theory (where the two human drives are eros and thantos) and writes about death using the word 10 times.

He isn’t referring to figurative death, as in the death of communism or the death of free trade. He is writing about literal death:

Trump is vocally identifying the death aura, prodding the working class to confront the other, which is as alienated and excluded as itself, but which the working class likes to imagine is the irreconcilable other. By forcing this confrontation he has put himself in the winner’s seat. 

Let us note the rise of suicide among white working-class men and women, of all ages. This—like the other deals in death that the market fails to name—is an assertion of independence from the market. 

Let us note too the power of the transgender rights movement (after the relative normalization of the presence of AIDS, and also of same-sex marriage) to prompt ferocious emotions amongst the excluded; this movement has become a substitute for the power of death—sexual death—to terrify us. 
Finally he mixes figurative or symbolic death with literal death.
They would rather be terrified by something they can do something about, knowing that the market wants to assimilate this form of gender-bending, identity-shifting, unlocalizable personality triumph. Again, Trump is virtual but not virtual, he is of TV but not of TV, functioning more as an ambassador from TV than an actor or role-player in that world—which makes him uniquely equipped, in the eyes of his supporters, for taking on the kinds of death-dealers that they think mess up the market against their parochial interests.
In his second to last paragraph he reduces Trump’s appear to racists in a way that manages to seem  rational while avoiding admitting that indeed Trump does appeal to racists.

Is Trump a racist? Does he represent racists? We have to take into account the fact that the recent resurgence of racism—in the form of overt police beatings, for example, and other things that we thought had been relegated to the past—is a symptom of the failure of the old state, it is simply an assertion on the part of the market that we cannot count on the “state” as such to resolve the fantasy of racism as the great equalizer. The market, I would dare to assert, is quite happy at the failure of the state to contend with racism. And to the extent that Trump fans the flames of racism, the market is happy with that too, it remains above the fray, so to speak, it remains the only untouched, unsullied, uncorrupted entity in the whole ongoing show.
Finally he concludes that, barring Trump not being able to control his destructive impulses, he will be our next president. How will he walk back a misogynist comment for example? Shivani has one instant antidote for Trump to utter, an acronym with magical properties, NAFTA.

I expect Trump to take a national lead shortly and never relinquish it until the end. It will be easy if he keeps the libertine and destructive aspects of himself in perfect balance, seesawing from one to the other, as he has so far, appealing to an elemental fear in the country, torn apart by the abstraction of the market, to which Clinton has not the faintest hope of responding. He only has to use one distinctively non-misogynist, concretely unifying, morose five-letter word in the debates: NAFTA. A pure market abstraction that has turned out to be not so much an abstraction.
We all can write about subjects outside our fields of expertise. However, I think in this case I think the author should stick to literary criticism.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Posted at 7PM: Nightmare before bedtime

And tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
No, no
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Read more:  Barry Mcguire - Eve Of Destruction Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

What would Freud say? Why some Bernie supporters say they’d vote for Trump.

Uncle Siggy with his cigar, clearly “just a cigar."
I didn’t catch what poll was being described just now on TV, but the number was beyond disturbing. The poll said that 34% of Bernie supporters would vote for Trump. It it possible? Could a third of those supporting Bernie believe Trump would further the causes they believe in? Could they think that this upper-one-percenter who has said he doesn’t think the minimum wage should be raised really care about income inequality?

Both Republican and Democratic pundits tend to agree that Trump’s primary appeal to his zealous supporters has been based on their fear and anger. When interviewed and pressed to explain why Trump would “make America great again” the smarter of them go beyond mouthing Trump’s talking points, but they still don’t show any depth of reasoning. "He’ll bring jobs back,” they say, without understanding the reasons so many jobs were outsourced in the first place, and how impossible it would be to bring most of them back to America.

Bernie’s support doesn't come from fear and anger. His appeal is based on reason. Or at least that’s how it started out . Despite eight years of Obama, income inequality and the incredible concentration of wealth and influence in the upper 1% persists.  While Hillary ran on her general qualifications, Bernie focused narrowly on a few iterations of the same message.

Bernie drew huge crowds who heard the same stump speech. Bernie rarely said anything new until now when he is using the DNC as a proxy for attacks against Hillary.

Until Trump came along with his unpredictable events and unscripted, unhinged outbursts, people went to  rallies to “see” rather than to “hear.” They came to show solidarity, to add their bodies to the "numbers count" to send a message of support to the media, and to be part of a group of people like themselves.

While you don’t have to be a social psychologist to understand Trump’s emotional appeal, it is more difficult to understand why a significant percentage of Bernie supporters are saying that they would support Trump over Hillary. It makes no intellectual sense. We end up with a far more complex psychological conundrum to analyze, in fact, to psychoanalyze. That’s because the answer lays in a choice which leads this group to reject a female candidate who has beaten a male candidate, both of whom are old enough to be parent figures to any voter under 50.

If Freud were here, he’d notice right off how Bernie comes across as a grumpy but lovable uncle, like my own Uncle Barney, who was someone kids gravitated towards every time he visited. He’s a father figure who never had to discipline you. We all had them.

My Uncle Barney, with his cigar, which didn't
make him an analyst. Married to my Aunt Anna,
he lived in a rent controlled apartment in
Washington Heights, NY, and worked his whole
life as a clerk and tailor in a small men's
clothing store.
How to characterize Hillary on the maternal scale without using a pejorative? How about saying that  she isn’t the kind of neighborhood mother (like mine) who all your friends came to confide in because their own mothers didn’t have a surfeit of empathy.

What all this adds up to is a psychodynamic explanation of why some Bernie supporters are so angry at Hillary that, intellect be damned, they are going to teach her a lesson and vote for Trump.


Are you curious what others thought about this article? You can read their comments, and add your own, here on The Daily Kos.

The author, a retired clinical social worker and psychotherapist, was a mental health center director.

Larry David and Kate McKinnon - don’t we wish the real Bernie and Hillary could dance away the night after snipping at each other over beers.
 If you missed it last night, here’s the Bernie and Hillary 
sketch from Saturday Night Live.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Not A lot of Trump, just a wee Trumpet:

From an article in Politico about how massive Hillary’s campaign structure is compared to Trump’s, except that is on spending for merchandise:

And Trump continued to be among the biggest spenders in field on branded merchandise, including his signature Make America Great Again hats. His campaign last month spent $856,000 on hats, t-shirts, mugs and stickers, versus the $88,000 Clinton spent on merchandise.

This picture caught my eye because of the silhouette of the seated man. I wondered if cropping it would make it a more compelling image. What do you think?
Photo as published

Full crop
Medium crop
After considering the choice that was made here, I’ve decided that the original photograph is the best because it strikes a balance between the raison d’être for the publication (the airplane) and the man waiting for a flight. You can read a lot into the symbolism of the picture. Could this man be waiting for the EgyptAir flight that crashed? Everyone waiting for every plane thinks about the possibility of a crash for a period of time after every incident like this one. If terrorism was involved, they look at their fellow passengers and wonder…. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

On "Morning Joe" Mika asked Trump about his Tweet, which I wrote about below. She said she thought it was generating hatred in that it was focusing on the hatred and fear about terrorism. He answered that he could  "practically guarantee who blew it up.” Mika  responded with "a lot of what you say is focused on hatred and fear - perhaps you might have focused on the families.” He totally ignored that and went on about how "we are being taken advantage of,” oink, oink, oink, with more hate mongering - and about how a "weak Hillary Clinton" will make it worse, oink, oink, oink…

If it turns out that the plane went down because of mechanical failure, does anybody doubt that Trump will be disappointed? Watch the interview here: (If video doesn't play watch it here.)

Sorry to start the day with another Trump photo. I always wonder why various websites like The Daily Beast, below, choose to illustrate articles about him with one or another of the many photos they have to choose from. This one only showed his mouth. The article itself, “Why Hillary’s Going to Have a Hard Time Playing the Woman Card Against Trump” ends with the following: 

"If anything, I felt sorry for Donald Trump reading the Times piece. He seems genuinely clueless that many women he’s crossed paths with over the years don’t find him interesting, charming, or handsome. Just rich, powerful, and useful. Of course those are some of the membership advantages of the rich man card.
It remains to be seen if the same card can buy a presidency.”

Here's a break from all the photos of Donald Trump. Call this one:
Bernie Takes a Walk on the Wild Side of Town
Not to give Hillary short shrift: 
Yeah, this is from The Onion.
I read this hoping it would reduce my anxiety. It didn’t.

No Politics Zone

Lots of my friends read The New Yorker. How many noticed this right off? Last weeks cover depicted a woman hurriedly entering a subway. It was only this morning when I happened to turn the magazine over to discover that instead of the usual advertisement, they had a reverse image of the cover drawing. Talk about commitment to art. They gave up the revenue from their usual iPhone, Lincoln, Tiffany, and Broadway theater ads.
Back ……………….Front

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Watch this video (thanks Mike!)

Trump and his ego won’t save us from terrorists even though he wants us to believe he’s some kind of superman.
The British Daily Mail saw fit to headline the Trump Tweet.
(Before it was confirmed that the plane went down I had a drawing of Superman saving a plane here. That is now inappropriate.) 

Waking to non-stop news about the missing Egyptair flight we learn that Donald Trump Tweeted last night that under him as president such terrorist attacks would be prevented. Of course, we don’t know yet what caused the crash. Never mind. Trump is taking advantage of what everyone is thinking to make political points. As I pay attention to the talking heads saying exactly what they said seven hours ago when I went to bed I surf the web I come across with this Wall Street Journal piece by Robert Kagan: This is how fascism comes to America. Here are some quotes with my emphasis added.  
We’re supposed to believe that Trump’s support stems from economic stagnation or dislocation. Maybe some of it does. But what Trump offers his followers are not economic remedies — his proposals change daily. What he offers is an attitude, an aura of crude strength and machismo, a boasting disrespect for the niceties of the democratic culture that he claims, and his followers believe, has produced national weakness and incompetence. His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger. His public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision. His program, such as it is, consists chiefly of promises to get tough with foreigners and people of nonwhite complexion. He will deport them, bar them, get them to knuckle under, make them pay up or make them shut up.
Note below how Kagan’s last two sentences are chillingly relevant to Trump’s strongman fascistic appeal.
This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.
Putin, Hitler, and Mussolini prove that the fascistic protector from all things the populace fears, or can be convinced to hate, mass appeal doesn’t require a literally  muscled superhuman with kick-ass superpowers. Putin is the only one to pose shirtless on a large horse, or in a judo gee. Trump’s body has probably gone to flab, so I don’t think we’ll see him flipping and opponent in judo practice, or riding a horse and flexing his muscles. Thank goodness for small favors!

However, the egomaniacal Trump, who admitted admiration for Putin, wants to be a superhero. He feeds off the worship of the crowds. Not only that, and really much worse, he relishes vanquishing his “evil” foes. 
Like Superman, he wants to fly into the sky, grab a crashing plane, and carry it to an airport to the relieved and amazed cheers of the crowds.

(Wall Street Journal, like the New York Times, gives 10 free articles a month to non-subscribers. If you’ve used up your limit email me and I’ll send you a copy of this article.) 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Is Bernie being fair to his supporters?

Now that the results of the Tuesday primaries in Oregon and Kentucky are in, nothing significant in the mathematical path to victory for Bernie has changed. These numbers haven’t changed in weeks. Those of us liberals whose news TV station of choice is MSNBC are familiar with the role Steve Kornacki has taken on as the numbers man.  He has been using his big touch-screen computer to track the primary numbers.

Kronacki aways makes the best case for Bernie to win all the pledged delegates in each state, district, or territory. Taking into consideration the polls in the smaller states Kornacki adds up the numbers should Bernie do far better than expected in those states. If he does, this doesn’t put him in shouting distance of the nomination. 

This picture says it all

Kornacki explains that only way Bernie can clinch the nomination with pledged delegates is to win an overwhelming California victory on June 7th.  He must win by some 15 points, or about 70%. He needs to reach the not-so-magic number of 274 more delegates. He speculates that Bernie may hope to get so many popular votes leading up to the convention that super- delegates decide to vote for him rather than Hillary. My own hunch is that he is also hoping that the national polls show that he is beating Trump by double digits as Trump has narrowed the gap with Hillary, and that this will convince super-delates to vote for him.

Is Bernie being fair to his supporters?

Last night at his rally Bernie made it clear that the road to winning the nomination would be a hard fought battle. I watched the 12 or so twenty-somethings standing behind him carefully for the hour the rally was televised on MSNBC. When he said this about how difficult for him it would be to win the nomination it didn’t seem to register with half of them, and the rest showed negative reactions. My impression is that many in this younger group are in denial. If they even look at the math their rational mind turns off and their emotional brain takes over.

Sometimes people automatically don’t hear things that are very upsetting to them.

On denial

Last night, until MSNBC cut away from it to announce Bernie had won, I watched the Bernie rally in California.  As he delivered lines I’ve heard before I watched the reactions of those who stood behind him.

The strongest boos came when Bernie said that some were saying he should drop out.

He got the usual cheers for the usual lines, and lots of boos and thumbs down when he talked about the DNC and the Democratic Party establishment in negative terms. 

While Bernie doesn’t attack Hillary directly, when he attacked the DNC for favoring Hillary he was essentially attacking her. These attacks got stronger boos than when he attacked Donald Trump.

My hunch is that when he attacked Trump the crowd sensed that he was giving them a preview of what he’d be saying if or when Hillary wins the nomination. They just don’t want to hear “if” and they certainly don’t want to hear “when.” They resist - and I mean in many instances unconsciously -  even entertaining the notion of his losing to Hillary who some have come to have visceral negative feelings about.

I feel I need to emphasize, that by definition unconscious denial is not a deliberate attempt to avoid seeing the truth.

I wonder if Bernie is not-so-tacitly encouraging some of his supporters to hold onto what is likely to be a belief which is unrealistic. This will be an important life lesson for most, a painful letdown which hopefully will lead to personal growth.  Bernie is a father figure to some of his younger supporters. I worry that a few may react with clinical depression if they are deeply psychologically invested.

Afterword on emotions and the general election

I have never seen an election where so many people have such strong emotions about two candidates, Trump and Bernie, that they actually love the person they support and hate the one they oppose. Trump has already won so it’s a moot point about who his supporters will vote for. However, I am deeply concerned that some of Bernie’s supporters hate Hillary so much they won’t vote for her.

I am a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, marriage counselor, and former director of a community mental health center who often writes from a psychologically informed perspective.

“If President Obama was trying to alienate millions of Americans in one speech, mission accomplished,” Priebus told Fox News. “When I watched him speak, I said to myself, ‘Well, Christmas came early this year.’ ”While many Republicans expected Obama to walk back his ill-advised praise of knowledge, facts, and evidence, the White House as of Monday morning had refused to do so.“The President seems to be doubling down on this, which is not surprising,” Priebus said. “This is a man who never met a fact he didn’t like.”
From: The New Yorker, subscription required 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Evening edition:
A squeaker win for Hillary in Kentucky, and Bernie wins easily in Oregon and vows to take the fight all the way through the last primary.

Until MSNBC cut away from it to announce Bernie had won, I watched the Bernie truly for an hour. As he delivered lines I’ve heard before I watched the reactions of the 20 or so people, all in their twenties (except one little boy) and mostly women, who stood behind him. He got the usual cheers for the usual lines, and the usual boos and a few thumbs down when he talked about the DNC and the Democratic Party establishment in negative terms.

About three quarters through he focused on attacking Donald Trump and the enthusiasm of the crowd dropped several levels. My hunch is that when he did this the crowd sensed that he was giving them a preview of what he’d be saying when Hillary won the nomination.

What got me very nervous was his describing the most recently polls which show him being Donald Trump by double digits in most states, and even by five points in Georgia. Considering that polls are showing Trump narrowing the lead Clinton would have, this leads me to wish Sanders had surged earlier and perhaps become the presumptive nominee.

All I care about is that either Bernie or Hillary trounce Trump and bring along a majority in the Senate and significant new Democrats in the House.

Tonight we should know who won the Oregon and Kentucky  Democratic primaries. Being in the Portland area I assumed Oregon would be an easy win for Bernie, now  polls are saying Hillary could win.

Although an article in Politico is subtitled “Clinton supporters wonder when pain will end”  there are many Democrats like me who didn’t feel strongly about whether Bernie or Hillary was the nominee who also want us all to heal wounds and get on with the mission of defeating Trump.

An article today in The Hill, "Five things to watch for in the Tuesday primaries" makes an important point:

What tone will Sanders strike?As the Sanders campaign remains publicly bullish, the bigger question centers on whether the Democratic Party will be able to pick up the pieces after a divisive race.
With less than a month to go in primary season, the rhetoric Sanders chooses for his reaction to Tuesday’s results will be telling.
Exit polls from West Virginia found that about a third of Sanders voters said they would back Trump over Clinton in a general election, so the party’s fate could rest on the tone Sanders sets: either marshaling his supporters to Clinton or digging in for a longer fight.
Sanders continues to launch critiques of Clinton meant to pin her as a moderate in progressive clothing on the stump, but he has also tried to temper those calls with others aimed at Trump and Republicans at large.
He has shown no indication he plans to back off even if he has a disappointing showing on Tuesday. But the longer he keeps up the heat, the harder it might be for the party to unify. 

All I can think about when it comes to the primary is that it takes away focus from the general election where this is the most important election in my lifetime. I hear everyday Trump supporters interviewed on television. For example, an MSNBC reporter taking a ride with an 18 wheeler truck driver, white and male who explains in simplistic terms why he is 100% in for Trump. Not to be a snob, but let’s face it, many Trump supporters aren’t deep thinkers.

A piece in Politico today disputes Trump’s claim that he has drawn “millions and millions” of people into the political process.

Despite the fact that I know the demographics support the Democrats (see "Fundamentally speaking Hillary Won’t Blow It”), I am still anxious.

A Hillary super pac has what should be an effective ad against Trump where several female actress lip sync to Donald Trump making misogynistic comments about women, and is downright creepy remark about dating his own daughter.  Trump’s response to this ad is a Tweet that Hillary’s husband was the worst abuser of women in history.

I can’t imagine that this Tweet and most likely Trump’s only possible deflection of accusations of his attitudes and behaviors towards women will balance the scales. After all, he is talking about Hillary’s husband, and when he accuses of her (in classic blame the victim mode) of being an enabler, well, I’m not sure whether the majority of Trump supporters even know what that means.

The subject of Bill’s infidelity and the dynamics of the Clinton marriage would be a subject not only for a blog, but for an entire book.

On the election: Stay tuned….

Omarosa Manigualt, former Apprentice contestant and Trump media acolyte, says about women talking about how Trump treated them: "if it was so traumatizing and awful why didn’t they report him at the time.” She deliberately misses the point. No women are said they were traumatized by Trump, except his wife Ivana who says he raped her.
What a credible spokeswoman for Trump the Feminist she is… look for her and his official bewildered spokesperson Katrina Pierson, to have their own TV shows when Trump (hopefully ) looses and buys his own cable network.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Just saw a Northrupt Grumman ad that has been running for some time. They tout the accomplishment of landing an unmanned aircraft on a carrier for the first time. It occurred to me that Elton Musk did something far more amazing when he successfully landed the main-stage booster rocket from Space-X Falcon 9 standing upright on a small barge.

Madeleine LeBeau, the last surviving cast member of Casablanca, died on May 1st at the age of 92. She played the other woman in Rick’s life.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Actress Jennifer Lawrence and the two words she wants to say to Donald Trump.
Watch the interview with Johnny Depp and her on The Graham Norton Show below.

Saturday, May 15, 2016

What really motivates Bernie Sanders to stay in the race to the convention?

It is true that there is a possibility that Bernie Sanders can still become the Democratic Party nominee. Baring unanticipated events which would lead Hillary Clinton to withdraw or her losing most of her super-delates, the math is decidedly in favor of Hillary. There is no chance that Bernie doesn’t know the mathematical odds. 
Trump photo of the day, only included
because of Trump’s braggadocio about
how handsome he is belies the
photographic evidence.
  This isfrom a Politico story aboutMexico.
That leaves us with only a few iterations of the possible reasons he is staying in the race, all of them more or less likely. Some may be more important to him than others. We are only left to speculate.
  • As noted above, he could be making sure that if Hillary either has to withdraw for health reasons or something comes up seriously wounding her politically, he is there ready, willing and certainly able to run in her stead. This is the only reason he absolutely must stay in in the race.
  • Bernie may believe that the longer he gets his message out the more likely is that Hillary will genuinely, not merely cosmetically, shift her views on the few but important issues she holds positions which are different than Bernie’s. I want to believe that Hillary is genuinely willing to alter her views on some issues where she has differed with Bernie.  I doubt Bernie thinks that getting his positions into a party platform at the convention is worth the paper it’s printed on.
  • While Bernie would never admit this, he may want to continue to keep the excitement level of his supporters going at a fever pitch so when the election comes he can use his charisma and powerful influence to make sure these people stayed politically engaged.
  • Bernie knows that if Hillary becomes president his own role in the body politic will extend far beyond just being one of the most influential Democrats in Congress. He will be a go-to talker all over the media, not only as long as he is in office but after he retires like my own former congressman Barney Frank has. The influence he will have should he want to criticize Hillary in the media is significant. All he needs to do is pen an OpEd for the Washington Post, New York Times, or Wall Street Journal and every media news outlet including Fox, and even late night talk shows, will clamor for an interview.
  • As long as Bernie scores major wins like he just did in Minnesota where commentators are using the word of the moment, shellacking, to describe her loss, he is adding to the clout he will have over policy and positions if Hillary becomes president.
  • Bernie knows that Hillary knows that if she is president she will need Bernie’s approbation for positions anathema to Republicans. He also knows that she knows that if Bernie comes out against her on any issue it will have far more impact than any criticism coming for a Republican.
Bernie should stay in the race until the end. I hope "the end" doesn’t become “the bitter end.” Instead, it will benefit Democrats in the general election if the primary ends without bitterness.

From the New Yorker's Talk of The Town:

Head of the Class

How Donald Trump is winning over the white working class.


Last week, Donald Trump became the leader of the Republican Party. He thrashed his way to this summit by understanding what many intelligent people utterly failed to see: the decline of American institutions and mores, from Wall Street and the Senate to cable news and the Twitterverse, made the candidacy of a celebrity proto-fascist with no impulse control not just possible but in some ways inevitable. It shouldn’t have been such a surprise. An early tremor came in 2008, in the person of Sarah Palin, who endorsed Trump before almost any other top Republican. In her contempt for qualifications, her blithe ignorance, she was an avatar for Trump. A lot of Republicans, many of them female, saw in the small-town common woman an image of themselves; many men see in the say-anything billionaire an image of their aspirations. Palin showboated her way from politics to reality TV, while Trump swaggered in the opposite direction. Together, they wore a path that is already almost normal.

Friday Night Non-political Foodie Special:

I was at my Fred Meyer’s supermarket the other day and while checking out realized I’d forgotten to buy my usual big bottle of V-8 Original. I always have some handy since it's an easy way to get a serving of vegetables, though I never particularly cared for the taste. I was far away from the juice aisle but near the specialty food aisle and noticed Knudsen’s Very Veggie juice. 

While more expensive than V-8, I decided to buy a bottle rather than walk. It turned out that I found the juice much tastier than V-8. It is thicker and has more distinct flavors of other vegetables. Although the taste of tomato was obvious, there was no astringent tomato flavor. Besides tomato the taste of celery was most apparent, with a hint of carrot, beet, and a suggestion of parsley. The different flavors seem to stimulate different taste buds the way I understand wine does. There’s spinach in there too, but I couldn’t taste it. If you don’t mind the price, I suggest you try it. If you like V-8 you might find yourself wanting to treat yourself to this product on a regular basis. I intend to.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Like I said: 

Also posted on Daily Kos, read comments and add you own there.*

I wrote “A Case for Elizabeth Warren as Hillary’s Veep” on April 23rd.

Update: From The Hill“By positioning herself as Donald Trump’s primary Democratic antagonist right now, Sen. Warren is filling the space that would normally be occupied by bickering between the two Democratic primary characters. When she’s taking on Trump, there’s not a lot of oxygen left for Sanders and Clinton attacking each other,” said Kevin Franck, a strategist who worked for the Massachusetts Democratic Party during Warren’s 2012 race against Scott Brown.At least one high-ranking Democrat is already behind the idea of Warren on the ticket.
Vice President Joe Biden wanted to tap Warren as his running mate when he was considering a presidential run last year, according to Politico. He reportedly believes Clinton should pick Warren now that she is on the verge of clinching the nomination.  
From Politico: If you haven’t said it yourself, you’ve surely heard it: “Of course I want to see a woman in the White House, but …” Warren on the ticket would annihilate many of those “buts.” She would help to neutralize some of Clinton’s very real flaws; it would be harder to accuse Clinton of doing the bidding of big banks while running with Warren, the scourge of Wall Street. Warren’s presence would give disappointed supporters of Bernie Sanders a reason to rally to the Democratic banner. And by Clinton’s side, she would make it blazingly clear what an epochal moment this is for American women. She’s a choice who could electrify both Clinton’s fiercest progressive critics and her most devoted acolytes.

I began my piece arguing a case for Hillary selecting Warren as her running mate with a riff on how Elizabeth could become the Selena Myers of the TV show Veep, but then got serious to say:

Aside from the treasure trove of imagined SNL comedy sketches about back-room cat fights between the two, these strong willed women might be able to become the greatest and most change making  POTUS/VPOTUS team in history. And, for progressives, they’d be ours. 
Cheney was the dark lord, and will go down in history as such. Elizabeth Warren could become the most influential progressive vice president in history.   
Of all the names I’ve seen mentioned, Warren is the only one who came up early on as someone many progressives wanted to see run for president. Undoubtably she will want to be involved in major decision making and also have areas of import that she is in charge of. Given the overlap of her interests with Bernie Sanders’ she would be able to run as Hillary’s Bernie, and function as such in the Executive Branch.  

What about losing Warren in the Senate? With Warren as veep, there are other influential progressive senators who will have a lot of impact, including Bernie (assuming he’s not president), Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, and my state’s own Jeff Merkley.  

While balancing the ticket with a Hispanic, something pundits have suggested as good strategy, has its merits, I think a good case can be made for running a true power-ticket, and that would be Clinton-Warren.
This is how 60 Daily Kos readers voted in my poll of potential VP candidates:
Here’s what Daily Kos founder Marco Moulitsas has to say about close runner-up Julian Castro
Fact is, these old-line Latino organizations have latched on to Castro out of desperation to see one of their own on a presidential ticket, regardless of Castro’s actual credentials. I share that desperation! But I also know that a Sarah Palin- or Dan Quayle-like Latino on the ticket would significantly set back our cause.  
But in the midst of all this hubbub, one thing is still clear—none of those old-guard Latino groups have countered Presente on the merits of their attack on Castro. 
Apparently, he is untouchable, regardless what he does. And of course, that is ridiculous.
Otherwise, we’d be seeing those guys endorse and embrace Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. But even for them, there are things more important than raza, except, apparently, when it comes to Julian Castro. 
If Elizabeth is indeed testing the waters for a veep run, there’s no doubt she is weighing two or three considerations. First, in what position will she have the most influence, and second whether she will help defeat Donald Trump. She may also be thinking about her long term future. If she stays in the Senate she will be assured this will be for as long as she wants to. I  can see her as a Ted Kennedy fighting the good fight until the day she dies. If she becomes vice president, I’m not sure what she’d want to do after eight years. She might run for president, or opt for the Supreme Court, but then age would be a factor.

This is what Sam Stein has to say on Huffington Post.

* Why do I cross-post on Daily Kos?

My diary is above Elizabeth For Veep Redux.
I made theHillary Elizabeth
 logo myself as images make
your piece stand out.
Daily Kos has staked out a position as one of a half-dozen or so progressive websites like Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, Politico and others, which have large readerships. One of the unique Kos features is a “community” section where, as long as one writes a sensible essay, called a “diary” or a story which is relevant to politics it will be put on in a manner where readers of the front page can see it, and can easily decide whether to read it (see insert). By doing this not only do I have an opportunity to reach more readers than just the few who look at my blog. Of course I am hoping of to make a difference by doing something - writing - whichI really enjoy. Not only that, I can open a discussion because they have a comments thread for each diary. A few of my controversial “diaries” got as many as 60 comments, and some heated back-and-forth debate. I can even put a poll on like the one shown above.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Today: The Transmogrification of Donald J. Trump

I looked up transmogrify on Google images and found this. It is from a video
game where players can change the armor and weapons of their character. Note
that the essence of the character never changes. The beast remains the beast.

Read or post your own comments on Daily Kos

Update: I was wrong. There was no convivial joint
 exit from the meeting for the cameras and reporters.
So much for the optics of reconciliation.
It is truly amazing how cool the GOP power structure
 is to wholeheartedly endorsing the presidential
 candidate that will be running on their ticket.
Donald J. Trump is meeting with House Majority Leader Paul Ryan and RNC Chair Reince Preibus as I write this. By the time most of you read this, the meeting will be over and they will have emerged for the cameras side by side. Pundits and the thinking public will be alert for non-verbal cues as they announce that Rep. Ryan and the RNC are supporting Trump as the Republican candidate for President of the United States. 

On Morning Joe Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, just called Trump “a work in progress as a candidate.”  

From now on Trump’s candidacy will be all about changing the optics. He’s already brazenly back off from one of his key applause sound bites demonizing Muslims. He’s going to get away with this because he will spin it as a strength, as proof that he is rational and warm hearted and really loves the vast majority of Muslims who are really good people.
If he decides he needs to, he’ll even back off from his hate-mongering rhetoric about illegal Mexican immigrants. He’ll tell us that he really loves all the Mexicans who are mostly good people. It will work with moderate Republicans, although Hispanics will never forget that in pandering to bigots he called them rapists and criminals.
His racist supporters will assume he’s only saying what he needs to in order to win. He has them so brainwashed that they believe he is as bigoted as they are, and that, to paraphrase Barry Goldwater, lying in the defense of white privilege is no vice.

Can Donald Trump change his public personality to convince mainstream Republican voters the changes are real? I think this is a crucial and open question.
 From The New York Times telephone interview: "you win the pennant and now you're in the World Series — you gonna change? People like the way I'm doing… I think I have a mandate from the people. The people are tired of incompetent leadership at the highest level. They're tired of trade deals that are ripping our jobs apart and taking their wages."

Will he convince GOP establishment politicians that the change is real? I truly doubt it. But the majority will support him with varying degrees of enthusiasm anyway, especially those running for office who are concerned that they may loose if perceived as being to closely allied with Trump.

Trump will most likely change positions on the hard to understand issues to  align them with establishment Republicans. For example trade. This is one of the main issues he disagrees with Rep. Ryan on. Trump will easy mouth the words Ryan wants to hear because Trump’s base doesn’t really care about, let alone understand, the complexities of trade policy. I rather doubt the majority of people at his rallies could tell you what T.T.P. stand for, and NAFTA would be a real stretch for them.

How much of the old Trump will we see as he campaigns against Hillary Clinton? Will the unhinged insult hurling Trump take a chill pill? Will the wild Tweet warrior learn to moderate his flying fingers of hate? The answer to this only his therapist could answer because it depends on whether or not his impulsivity and unpredictability is a symptom of a psychiatrist disorder. (As a therapist myself, I can say that if it is, we do have a pill for that.)

Can, Trump, as a Joel Benenson, a senior campaign advisor to Hillary Clinton, just said on TV, airbrush who he is and what he’s said? This is aptly put by a Democrat, but I bet that rational Republicans leaders are wondering the same thing.

Trump the person will not change. He likes himself the way he is. Hell, like all narcissists, he loves himself the way he is. As a candidate he is a work in progress, but all he’ll be doing is transmogrifying  his true self for public consumption.   

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Just for the heck of it, go to Google-Images and search Trump Cartoons

There are thousands of them. What a treasure trove for cartoonists. The venerable New Yorker even devoted an entire issue to only Trump cartoons.
Not just politics:
Story from one of my hometown malls makes international news.
This is a story from a mall I shopped in frequently. It's about an off duty deputy shooting a killer in a restaurant I often ate in. It is not only making national news but is being covered overseas. For example this from England.

Interesting how Woody Allen’s skated away from accusations of arguably much more reprehensible behavior than Cosby’s…. 
Read what his son Ronan has to say.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The "who will Trump choose as his running mate parlor game” … Here’s another possibility. She shares with him the most vile beliefs about immigrants. Recognize her? She's the author of the book 
Adios, America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole, which is said to have shaped Trump’s immigration views.

I wonder what may prompt any Mexican-American to vote for Trump. Perhaps Trump can find a hungry out-of-work Mexican actor with no scruples to pay him to shill for him. If the last two presidents who compare Trump to Hitler have any sway, no Mexican-Americans will vote for Trump. (Link)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sorry to start the day with these photos… but you
His hair is parted on the other side, but otherwise
he reminds me of Donald Trump.
may start to see a lot more of Mitch or Newt.
Does Trump want a
running mate who is
better looking than
he is?
Will this be the GOP ticket? Trump said he wants someone
with 25 years of experience in Congress. Many pundits are
suggesting that Mitch or Newt fit that bill since Jeff
Sessions has more or less ruled it out.

J.K Rowling Tweets that Lord Voldemort isn't as bad as Trump. Here’s why.

Cartoon of the day also uses the word pandemonium

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cross-published on Daily Kos where you can make comments and also read comments by regular Kos readers.

Doug Thompson wrote a piece in the website he founded, Capitol Hill Blue, about Donald Trump, ending with these lines from “Karn Evil 9” by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer (1973):
Right before your eyes we pull laughter from the skies
And he laughs until he cries then he dies then he dies
Come inside the shows about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart

Read more:  Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Karn Evil 9 Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Substitute a drawing of Trump and this could be used to advertise his shadow show.This got me to thinking. The carnival that came to my mind was the one from “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” the ever so dark and harrowing masterpiece by Ray Bradbury. Only now  it is “Donald Trump’s Pandemonium Shadow Show” that has come to town. I only hope the real life nightmarish journey through the house of mirrors that is Trumpland ends with the same shattered glass as it did Bradbury’s evil carnival mirror maze.
The heroes of the story are two almost fourteen year olds, Jim and Will. The antagonist of the story is Mr. Dark (aka The Illustrated Man) who bears tattoos all over his body of people he has lured into the carnival where they are trapped forever. The parallels between how he plays on peoples vulnerabilities and how Trump manipulates people are shiver inducing.
The scariest part of the carnival is the mirror maze. Once inside unsuspecting victims are trapped. Again, the parallels between Bradbury’s carnival and Trump’s horror show ring true. Trump has constructed a house of mirrors, but unlike in the story, once inside unsuspecting victims, rather than reacting in terror like they should as they quickly realize they are never leaving, they seem to have been mesmerized into believing that all will be taken care of by the Donald. 
Readers of the novel will also remember the carousel which can go backwards and take a an innocent grown woman and turn her into a child, or speed forward so a middle aged henchman of Mr. Dark becomes a decrepit 100 year old who turns to dust. Trump rallies are their own merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels, they look like fun, but will ultimately be dangerous to those who decide to ride the shiny horses or hop aboard for a high flying ride.
There are few lesser evil characters, but none of them are close enough to be a doppelgänger  for one of the Republican candidates. However, if you want to stretch the comparison you could say Mr. Cooger (Mr. Dark’s partner) is Ted Cruz, The Dust Witch is of course Carly Fiorina, and The Skeleton is (take your pick), maybe Mike Huckabee.  
And then there’s the lighting rod salesman who our heroes Jim and Will meet at the beginning of the story when he tells them there’s a storm headed their way. He’s a dwarf named Tom Fury. He was lured into the carnival believing he’d meet the most beautiful woman in the world. Once stuck there he goes crazy and has no memory of his former life. Alas, poor Jeb Bush is made for that role.
Another Bradbury novel which is relevant to Donald Trump came to mind after I wrote this diary. You probably thought of it. It’s the renown “Fahrenheit 451” where the McCarthyite government has outlawed books and ordered firemen to burn them. Indeed the book was written during the McCarthy era. 

R. L. Stine, best selling author of scary children’s books said "Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors. I always tell people that the scariest book I ever read was one of his books—Something Wicked This Way Comes.”

The novel's title was taken directly from a line in Act IV of William Shakespeare's Macbeth: "By the pricking of my thumbs / Something wicked this way comes." 

Saturday, May 8, 2016

Rob Reiner agrues with Joe Scarboro and Miki Brezinski about why he thinks they haven’t successfully pinned Trump down for his lies….  At about 8 1/2 minutes look at the reactions to the Morning Joe team when Reiner said many of Trump supporters are racists.

Bernie shows an inner calm with Rachel

I again cross-posted on The Daily Kos, where you and others can comment.

Last night Rachel Maddow had a long interview with Bernie Sanders. I thought this was Bernie at his best. Speaking with his usual conviction, I got the impression there was an inner calm I hadn’t noticed before.  Even though he talked about the tough fight for him to actually win the nomination, and said he wasn’t giving up, he did so without as much oomph as I’ve seen in the past. Perhaps he’s worked, or is working, his way through the five stages of grief over not winning the nomination and come to acceptance, intellectually, but most important emotionally. 
With that acceptance he seems to have done, or is in the process of doing,  the healthiest thing from a psychological point of view. What comes to mind, as someone who grieved intensely myself, and talked to lots of people who have had their own spouses die, is that he has discovered a mission his late spouse would have wholeheartedly endorsed. 

Think of his having experienced the death of his own dream to lead the revolution he and his avid supporters envisioned. Let's characterize this dream as a person, a stretch I realize, but bear with me.

So the “person" has died. It wouldn’t be productive, in fact it would be pathological, to think of the dream-person as having been killed by Hillary. If he devoted energy to seeking revenge, it would be like the spouse whose mate was murdered going after the killer, arguably a healthy reaction. Nobody killed his dream. He knows that. There’s no killer to hunt down.

Those of his Democratic supporters, thankfully only a few (21% if poll from my last diary is to be believed) who give voice to vehement anti-Hillary opinions and feelings should realize this. 

If the GOP candidate was Susan Collins or Olympia Snow he might not be able to refocus his grief on defeating the opposition nominee with full force.  No historic example comes to mind without resorting to Godwin’s Law, but think of two allied countries who had been mostly friendly competitors easily coming together in a war with a country that threatens to destroy both of them.
If we believe some of the prognosticators that Trump may have a good chance of winning by successfully selling his new “presidential self," or that a horrendous October surprise like a terror attack, could sway more angry, fearful people to vote for him, then those Bernie supporters refusing to vote for Hillary should rethink this decision.
Hearing Bernie telling Rachel what advice he’d give to Hillary in order to win over his supporters I thought “way to go, Bernie.”
When the Democratic dust finally settles, assuming Hillary in the nominee, I suggest that the most committed and ardent Bernie supporters take their cue from Bernie himself when, as I fully expect, he will urge all of his supporters to work for Hillary.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Willamette View breaking news: Lawsuit filed against foundation for trademark infringement.
The actual 10 page filing document can be viewed on the previous website by scrolling down, or can be read here.

I didn’t really plan to post the following as a Daily Kos Diary today, but then figured all diaries don’t have to be of liberal web-shaking import. So I posted it and there have been a few comments, and people actually took my poll. My journey into the land of Daily Kos has been interesting, and I admit satisfying since the readership of my little blog-thoughts about politics has greatly expanded.

Lots of nose holding

I am sick and tired of hearing the phase from pundits about how Republican voters and a few Bernie supporters may have to hold their noses and vote for Hillary Clinton because they can’t abide the prospect of a President Donald Trump. 

I blame the pundits and the interviewers for interjecting this phrase. Granted, it is in common usage and everybody knows what it means in the vernacular. 

Nose holding is something you literally do when something has a foul aroma. Said with enough disgust about someone, it implies that there is a stench, metaphorical or real, emanating from that person.

Professional politicians don’t vote based on which candidate they find more personable, more likable. But unfortunately this is a deciding factor with many voters. While certain candidates like Trump and Cruz, and former candidate Palin, make our skin crawl, many people really like them. 

It isn’t the same with Democrats who are avid Bernie supporters when it comes to reactions to Hillary. Their objections to her becoming president are substantive based on her positions and past decisions. 

There is a better way to say you are voting for Hillary when you’d rather vote for a Republican or for Bernie. I have to admit I had to clear my mind of the nose holding images to think of them, even though they are in everyone’s vocabulary. Can you think of what they are? 

How about: begrudgingly, reluctantly, hesitantly, ambivalently.

My poll:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Blog tech news: This is really a good time to have my MacBook Pro out being repaired, and my having to use my inexpensive Acer Chromebook to write this. It is much more difficult for me to make this page look the way I want it to. 

Update: For those who I talked to at the coffee shop about why my laptop needed to be sent off to be repaired, here's the news. As the Apple Genius concluded when he saw all the coffee spots on my laptop, it did turn out that the inside of my machine was a mess. Apple emailed me two photos of what it looked like. Not only gooky crap all over, but lots of dust even though I got it in 2013. The cost to repair it would have been $1,300. 
This is what the inside of my laptop looked like:

So I decided to buy a new MacBook Pro, and I just got back from the Apple Store. I'd backed up the old machine on an external hard-drive so hopefully everything in the old laptop will transfer. Once everything is all set I'll be able to get back to normal when it comes to trying to not only make my daily updates here relevant, but will be able to arrange items and photos in a more readable way. 

What with so many people on the progressive websites writing about Trump, I am hard pressed to say anything with a fresh perspective. I can content myself to making comments on other people's articles and diaries on Daily Kos and Huffington Post.

Suffice to say, here's my response to a Guardian article by Thomas Frank where he ended with....

 In reality, Donald Trump is a bigot of such pungent vileness that the victory of the Democratic candidate this fall is virtually assured. Absent some terrorist attack ... or some FBI action on the Clinton email scandal ... or some outrageous act of reasonableness by Trump himself, the blowhard is going to lose.

In fact, there is always the wild card about a terrorist attack or the FBI discovering Hillary is a North Korean Manchurian candidate; however the greater likelihood is that Trump will transform himself into the “reasonable” candidate and actually win. To achieve this Hillary will have to make a series of miscalculations in her campaign, and Trump will have to run an error free campaign.

At this point I’m not up to even discussing whether Bernie should fight on. He’ll do what he’ll do. Hillary will probably focus more and more on Trump and less and less on Bernie. Trump is the only politician I can think of since McCarthy who is likely to go down in history as being associated with a horrible movement that has an ISM at the end of his name. Poli Sci, sociology, social psychology,  and history students will study and analyze Trumpism. Hopefully this will be in the context of what could have happened rather than what did happen. I won’t go into the worst ISM in modern history since it would be an example of Godwin’s Law.

Here's a contest for writers. Without using the thesaurus to look up a word like loathsome, can you describe Trump in a new way?

This is from Paul Slantsky.

Happy first day of a half year of living with the possibility (however remote we have to believe it to be in order to stay sane) that Donald Trump — this crass and crude boor, this bloodthirsty psychopath, this Brobdingnagian narcissist, this proudly misogynistic ignoramus, this pus-filled boil of hate, this odious short-fingered vulgarian — could be the 45th President of the United States.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day

Read the ruckus caused by the last two diaries I put on Daily Kos.
by HalBrown
261 Comments / 261 New on Tue May 03, 2016 at 12:47 AM PDT with 143 Recommends
by HalBrown
774 Comments / 774 New on Mon May 02, 2016 at 07:47 AM PDT with 452 Recommends
Well, now you have it. Trump is going to be the GOP candidate running for president, in all probablity against Hillary Clinton. This is going to be a test, ladies and gentleman. The race will show, more than any pundit ever has pondered about, whether this country is sick to the core. Will an angry frightened racist minority hungering for an authoritarian leader to bring back what they consider the lost America where their they felt safe and dominant elect Donald Trump as president?

Trump appeals to the worst in people. He appeals to the worst in otherwise good people who are afraid, angry, and who are gullible. But I hate to say it as it seems so judgmental, but he also empowers the worst of people, bad people, to feel their bigoted beliefs are justified. 

The next paragraph is unwritten because it would reference a 1996 book by Daniel Goldhagen and be an example of Godwin's Law.

As Rachel Maddow always says, stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

More comments coming in today for the following piece, you can read them here: Gobsmacked by the reaction to yesterdays diary which I posted on Daily Kos

Reaction to my Bernie - Hillary diary gobsmacked me

It’s after midnight so it’s officially Tuesday here in Oregon. Yesterday I had my gobsmacked lesson in  “The Culture of the Kos Diary Commentariat — 101.” 


In the comments to my diary well-reasoned arguments agreeing or disagreeing with me predominated. I appreciate those who wrote them, especially those who took the time to write thoughtful essays that could easily be diaries themselves.  But interspersed were insults, innuendo, and accusations of my being a liar and an accomplice (shill) of Hillary. Some people seemed to think new diarists on Daily Kos are less credible than long time diarists. 


I was struck by the vehemence of some of the Bernie supporters against me. These comments were rare. More telling, and to me unfortunate, was the anti-Hillary sentiment expressed with hyperbole to demonize (or Trumpinize) her. 

What do I actually think of Hillary Clinton?
I have it on good authority that she is one of the most driven and ambitious politicians in Washington today. She is sometimes abrupt to the point of being rude to her staff and to people she knows well in the corridors of power in D.C. She can be so focused she doesn’t recognize that she may hurt other’s feelings. At times she can make comments that are dismissive of “the little people.” And yes, like many politicians, the warm and fuzzy Hillary is often an act. You’ll just have to trust me that my source for this knows of what they speak, so please don’t ask.
A President Hillary Clinton won’t do the bidding of corporations, big banks, Wall Street and others in the donor class. She will consider their interests just as Bernie would (and yes, Bernie would listen to their representatives). She’d decide on her own what decisions to make in the interest of the 99%. Her ill-advised pocketing of wads of money from Goldman Sachs for giving speeches was just that, ill advised. It wasn’t, as Bernie seems to imply, without using the word, a “bribe” in advance to do their bidding if she got to be president. 
She won’t start another Iraq-type war even though she voted for the first. She won’t use NSA satellites to spy on your backyard barbecues. 
She also won’t be Bernie Sanders trying to fulfill a promise to bring a revolution for the 99% to Washington. That doesn’t mean it isn’t her intention to do so in her own (dare I say) establishment way. Bernie took ownership of the idea of bringing a revolution to Washington, and Hillary really couldn’t use similar rhetoric because it would have been a fairly direct attack on Obama.
It’s become almost a given that whenever Democrats talk about this election they give credit to Bernie for energizing so many apathetic people, especially young but believe me, there’s no age limit especially in the Feel the Bern Portland elder community. Bernie also is given credit for forcing Hillary to the left, especially in paying attention to income inequality. It may be Bernie sacrilege to say that nobody really knows that Hillary wouldn’t have paid attention to this if she ran unopposed. Let’s say it another way. We can only speculate because Bernie grabbed this as his cause and ran on it to great success. This is nothing against Bernie, it needed to be done if only to assure that it would be the major domestic issue in the election among Democrats. It is truly the major domestic issue we face, though not with Republicans, where illegal immigration seems to be their spoken major domestic issue, with lots of underlying racism.
I think a President Sanders would have been hard pressed to change Washington in the dramatic way he promised unless the Democrats won both houses of Congress. If anything Hillary will make incremental progressive changes. She’ll be thwarted or enabled depending on the results of House and Senate races. Since it’s more possible the Democrats will win control over the Senate, prognosticators should think of the changes a Democratic president can make with the Senate backing her, but not the House. For one thing, judicial and other presidential appointments won’t be held hostage. 
On a personal note, it’s lucky I am retired, like to write, and have so much time on my hands. I had nothing else to do after I posted yesterday’s diary and spent an amazing amount of time following the comments and responding to them.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. It’s hard to imagine this diary will provoke as much discussion as yesterdays. In the morning I’ll head up to Waterfalls Cafe here at the old folks home, Willamette View, with Mac and Duff (my Westies) and my trusty laptop, and schmooze with the other elders over politics and mortality as we usually do. Maybe readers will comment, maybe they’ve had enough of me. Either way, yesterday was quite an experience for this Daily Kos newbie.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Why I changed my mind and am now voting for Hillary in Oregon.

This long New York Magazine article, with the ominous title “America Has Never Been So Ripe For Tyranny" by Andrew Sullivan scared the daylights out of me. Could Trump actually win the election and turn us into a fascist state? It only seems possible if he can do an about face on his lunatic angry personality and become the smiling but firm daddy-figure voters think is presidential. There are, after all, those who just can’t stand the thought of a President Hillary Clinton but also don’t want a raving manic as president.

This paragraph stood out to me, which I posted with balloons instead of a Hieronymus Bosch painting - enter the warm and fuzzy Uncle Donald bearing gifts, and party on!

Okay, if this happens a Bosch “Last Judgment” painting will be appropriate:
I posted the following on Daily Kos. You can comment there… and also read the comments from others. This so-called “diary” has been their number one community post all day so far. The comments run the gamut from insulting and nasty, to thoughtful and insightful whether they agree with me or not. It is has 60+ shares on Facebook… Welcome to the world where this tiny blogger gets recognized.
Over 500 comments and counting

I am on an email list of about 63 mostly Bernie liberals - I’d thought I’d vote for Bernie in the Oregon primary to “send a message to Hillary” as Bernie supporters I know say they want to do.

My email response explains why I’ve changed my mind:

I hope (Bernie supporter Mr. X) doesn’t take me off his email list for saying this, but I have changed my mind about voting for Bernie based on three factors. 

1) After reading the “must read” piece by Andrew Sullivan in NY Magazine I realized that Trump could win the election by changing his “act” enough to appeal to on the fence voters who couldn’t imagine an unhinged maniac as president.

"And though Trump’s unfavorables are extraordinarily high (around 65 percent), he is already showing signs of changing his tune, pivoting (fitfully) to the more presidential mode he envisages deploying in the general election. I suspect this will, to some fools on the fence, come as a kind of relief, and may open their minds to him once more. Tyrants, like mob bosses, know the value of a smile: Precisely because of the fear he’s already generated, you desperately want to believe in his new warmth. It’s part of the good-cop-bad-cop routine that will be familiar to anyone who has studied the presidency of Vladimir Putin."

2) Bernie dropped his positive rhetoric about why he was the better candidate and has switched almost entirely to why Hillary is unfit to be president. This gives ammunition to Trump and it is naive to think he won’t use it to great effect.

3) This is the clincher. Bernie is now saying he will take his fight to the convention where he will work on winning over enough super-delegates to be the nominee for the party. I think this will be a losing battle because Hillary is indeed the establishment candidate (as Bernie has been saying all along, as if this disqualifies her entirely from being president - and it doesn’t). Hillary will win at the convention but leave the party in disarray and her badly damaged as she embarks on her campaign against Trump.

Bernie's message has been sent to Hillary. To the extent she ever will, she has heard it. There’s no downside for her to heeding it. She really hasn’t been bought and paid for by corporate and Wall Street interests. 

She needs the Bernie progressives to win the general election. Once president, she doesn’t need a lot of disgruntled Bernie supporters attacking her. 

Now I don’t want Bernie to win more delegates in Oregon. This is time for unity in the Democratic Party because the stakes are too high. Trump could win, and he could win against either Hillary or Bernie. The man is a genius at manipulating public opinion, and this who don’t credit him with having a chance to become president dismiss him at their - at our - peril.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Supporters respond to Trump as messiah  GOD of new religion: Drumpfism.

As has been written from various similar points of view, Trump appeals to the need in so many people to have faith in an authoritative leader who promises to solve not only their problems, but problems they didn’t even know were their problems.

I didn’t know that the Trump family name was originally Drumpf. That’s why Phil Torres, writing on Salon, calls the new religion worshipping him “Drumpfism.”
Torres (the author of “The End: What Science and Religion Tells Us About the Apocalypse”) lays out the similarities between the reasons religious people have faith in God or Jesus with why they flock to Trump.
Torres explains the central reason for Trump’s appeal to his zealous and unwaveringly faithful supporters by referring to the Bible:
“Have faith in God [i.e., Trump] and don’t ask too many questions.” In a conversation with his disciple Thomas, of “doubting Thomas” fame, Jesus says: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Trump hasn’t gone out of his way to prove his Christian bonafides. Forget his mispronouncing Second Corinthians, his joke about his own book being his second favorite book after the Bible should have provoked outrage among believers. Whether he’s an unquestioned evangelical like Cruz doesn’t matter. Nobody has responded to Cruz like he’s the Messiah. In fact, Trump doesn’t want to be seen as THE Christian Messiah, he wants people to respond to him as a new decidedly secular god who answers to no heavenly abstraction.
Put another way, Trump does not want to be a messiah, a mere messenger from a higher power. He wants to be THE higher power. If true, then it would be impossible for him to believe in God.  Short of Trump shedding his orange skin like in a horror movie, and literally morphing into the most terrifying looking Satan on live television, his believers  will stand with him no matter what his true belief is.
Torres suggests that in addition to Trump having a narcissistic personality disorder, he also has a Messiah Complex. This isn’t a recognized psychiatric disorder, but is sometimes seen in delusional paranoid schizophrenics. In fact, when I was college one of my professors wrote The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, a study of three patients at a state hospital in Michigan. Trump is hardly a delusional paranoid.

Trump is a calculating but impulsive narcissist…. He doesn’t moderate what he says because he is seeminglly addicted  to the crack-like rush he gets from  the momentary adoration he gets from his crowds when they scream out their cheers than the effects his over-the-top rhetoric will have in the general election.

Back in July, News Corpse on Daily Kos in The Immaculate Birther also referred to Trump as having a Messiah complex:
“If there's one thing that has been made clear, it's that The Donald doesn't need the forgiveness of God or anyone else. That's because he is his own deity with omnipotent powers to solve every problem bigger and better than any mere mortals. And just as he remains certain that he will win the votes of the Latinos he has insulted, and the veterans he has demeaned, he is equally certain that evangelicals and other faith-based voters will flock to his holiness despite his heresy, profanity, and obvious Messiah complex. By the way, these are the same people who have been calling President Obama the Anti-Christ for seven years.”  News Corpse, Daily Kos, “The Immaculate Birther

Cropped image from Daily Kos article “The Immaculate Birther.”He knows he can tell a bald-faced lie and it won’t matter because so many of supporters think he is infallible.

When called out by apolitical websites like PoliticFacts, Snopes, or even Time Magazine for his story about General Pershing and bullets dipped in pigs blood, it doesn’t matter to him because knows his supporters don’t care, and also knows they are not critical thinkers. 
It’s too late for Cruz to put get a message from his God warning about the Biblical warning that the Apocalypse will be preceded by false prophets. He may not come out and say that Trump is the Anti-Christ, but as a desperate “Hail Mary” play, he could try it.
As has been written from various similar points of view, Trump appeals to the need in so many people to have faith in an authoritative leader who promises to solve not only their problems, but problems they didn’t even know were their problems.


If you’re a new reader of my blog and like what you’ve read so far, how about checking out April...

The entire month of April, 2016, chock-a-block full of semi-great flotsam and satisfyingly sensational jetsam is here.

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