Hal Brown’s July blog
My photo blog is here. +++ Links to all the several dozen articles I cross-posted to Daily Kos with comments are here.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Update: 2:00 PM “There was multiple gunshots going back and forth and back and forth before any police ever showed up. This was not a come-at-police situation,” Vancel said. “They weren’t targeting police at first, I don’t assume so, because these were men out here shooting at each other in an empty parking lot until the police showed and then it turned into a gun battle, I’m guessing to try to get themselves free or get out of the situation.”
9:30 AM: I start the morning saying it’s a slow news day, go have some breakfast, come back and turn on the TV and discover that at least three police officers have been shot and killed in an ambush in Baton Rouge.
There may be more than one person involved, but the latest police announcement is that at least one shooter has been killed by the police.
What gets to me isn’t that there’s homicidal animus towards the police among some portions of the community, but that their hate is so great that they are willing to die themselves in the process of attacking the police.
We have become used to jihadist suicidal attacks and intellectually understand that kind of religious zealotry. We now have indications that the Dallas police killer Micah Johnson was mentally ill. But this seems to be a unique situation with reports that in addition to the suspect who the police shot, at least two others were dressed either in camouflage or all black outfits.
The Coming GOP Clown Show in Cleveland Has Responsible Republicans Running the Other Way: Read Daily Beast article.
What Cleveland really signifies is the abject failure of the Republican Party to perform its crucial role in U.S. politics.
Trump’s “ideas” are a toxic cocktail of some of the most discredited and retrograde tendencies in U.S politics—1920s-vintage nativism, Smoot-Hawley style protectionism and America First isolationism. Rather than appealing to the better angels of our nature, Trump aggravates the pathologies that are tearing our society apart—a belligerent dogmatism that is deaf to persuasion and prone to violence; a tribal politics that puts ethnic or religious identity above our common rights and duties as citizens, and a disdain for facts and evidence that don’t support one’s preferred political “narrative.”
We’re supposed to overlook this Emperor’s stark nakedness because Trump defies political correctness, gives voice to authentic grievances and “tells it like it is.” Except that he doesn’t. In fact, Trump is a chronic liar who peddles ludicrous conspiracy theories to inflame the fears and prejudices of a white working class that feels dispossessed. When called out for his falsehoods, he never mans up and admits error, but doubles down and whines that the media treats him unfairly.
7:00 AM: Slow news day so far, so let’s start with this tidbit: Even Chuck Norris won’t speak at the GOP convention.
Saturday, July 16, 2016:
Take the poll here
In my three polls over a month of the very liberal readers of Daily Kos, there was gradual shift among the 200 or so responders towards slightly more than 50% wanting Elizabeth Warren to run for VP with Hillary. I wanted this when I thought - hoped really - that Hillary just couldn’t loose to the likes of Donald Trump.
Now pundits are saying that the race will be close. I don’t know who to believe - Bill Maher was asked by Chris Mathews what he thought and said he thought there was only a 20% chance Hillary would win, but then admitted he was saying that to make sure no Democrats got complacent. He then said he thought the race would be close but Hillary would win.
I had based my support for Warren on her being the best possible VP and the most influential (in a good way) since Cheney.
Now I am afraid. Politico polled the 200 or so members of a caucus of Democrats they put together and among all the possibilities the majority, 37% picked Tim Kaine. Vilsack, Warren, and Castro were tied at 11.5%. Booker and Brown were not far behind.
If this is what the insiders think, who am I to go against them?
We’ll know soon. But right now I think she will choose Kaine, even though I think in a better world Warren would be the best choice.
Mike Pence: Sarah Palin Without The Charisma
And Trump has ended up picking Sarah Palin, without the charisma.
One source who used to work as a senior staff member in the House of Representatives told me, “Pence, smart? I used to eat salads at the Rayburn cafeteria that had more brains than Mike Pence.” read more Huffington Post
Amid horrifying photos of the carnage in Nice — which we look at online in disbelief as we try not to imagine what the victim hidden under a cloth looks like after being mowed down by a 16 ton truck, Newt Gingrich (needless to be say, someone Trump seriously considered as his running mate) gives us a headline to look at which is horrifying in a different way:
On Fox, Newt Gingrich Calls For Testing Everyone Of A "Muslim Background" In The US For Sharia Beliefs
Thursday, July 14, 2016
If us liberals really liked Trump, we’d admire the way he is running his campaign.
|Huffington Post article|
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
|My poll on Daily Kos|
A Case For Elizabeth Warren For Vice President made almost three months ago, and I think there’s even a better case being made today. See Huffington Post article here:
and The New Republic:
and read what I had to say on April 23rd:
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Samantha Bee nails something that drives us crazy…. the empty podiums shown on TV for extended periods…. the new MSNBC slogan:
|Well, the did show a man adjusting the flag.|
They’re only human department:
Bernie lackadaisically endorsed Hillary as she stood uncomfortably by his side. Then, arms around each others backs, they waved while Hillary's liplocked expression could barely be called a smile, and Bernie managed something between a grimace and a smile.
|We love the crowds. Each other? Not so much.|
|Stronger together? We can only hope.|
|Oh Bernie, Bernie, Bernie…..|
Monday, July 11, 2016 -
Update: As this photo is shared worldwide, it appears that The Atlantic has identified the woman.
As if it isn’t bad enough that the world looks at the United States and sees the face of Donald Trump as a potential president, this photo is now being described in the international press as “legendary.”
|Read BBC Article|
Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the Election? He Doesn’t Rule It Out
The traditional goal of a presidential nominee is to win the presidency and then serve as president.
Donald J. Trump is not a traditional candidate for president.
Presented in a recent interview with a scenario, floating around the political ether, in which the presumptive Republican nominee proves all the naysayers wrong, beats Hillary Clinton and wins the presidency, only to forgo the office as the ultimate walk-off winner, Mr. Trump flashed a mischievous smile.
“I’ll let you know how I feel about it after it happens,” he said minutes before leaving his Trump Tower office to fly to a campaign rally in New Hampshire.
It is, of course, entirely possible that Mr. Trump is playing coy to earn more news coverage. But the notion of the intensely competitive Mr. Trump’s being more interested in winning the presidency than serving as president is not exactly a foreign concept to close observers of this presidential race.
Early in the contest, his rivals, Republican operatives and many reporters questioned the seriousness of his candidacy. His knack for creating controversy out of thin air (this week’s edition: the Star of David Twitter post) and his inclination toward self-destructive comments did not instill confidence in a political culture that values on-message discipline in its candidates. New York Times
Dallas killer did not have PTSD… a story you may not see in the mainstream.
The path from serving in Afghanistan to slaughtering police officers may have started when he was disgraced for harassing women in his unit.
2. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. ... They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. ... It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably—probably—from the Middle East.”
3. After the Trump supporters who, inspired by his anti-immigration message, beat up a homeless Latino man, Trump responded, “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
4. In response to the black man roughed up by Trump supporters during his protest of a Trump rally, the candidate said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up. It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
5. When discussing Muslims on 9/11: “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”
6. After calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” he explained that “until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
7. In response to Anderson Cooper’s question, “do you think Islam is at war with the West?” Donald Trump explained, “I think Islam hates us, there is something—there is something there that is a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”
8. “We must suspend immigration from regions linked with terrorism until a proven vetting method is in place.”
9. His tweeted warning: “With Hillary and Obama, the terrorist attacks will only get worse. Politically correct fools, won’t even call it what it is - RADICAL ISLAM!”
10. Perhaps deserving of a dishonorable mention: “Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him,” Trump said. “Are you the greatest?” from Trump says racial tensions have gotten worse and he would know…" Slate.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
"Our Nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”
This quote about our nation moving towards two separate societies is from the 1968 report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known popularly as the Kerner Commission.
Excerpts from the excellent, and chilling, article in The Atlantic.
“Segregation and poverty,” the report said, “have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans. What white Americans have never fully understood—but what the Negro can never forget—is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.” The riots in Newark and Detroit, the report continued, “were not caused by, nor were they the consequences of, any organized plan or ‘conspiracy.’” The rioters were educated and had been employed in recent years; most of them were furious about facing constant discrimination when seeking new employment, trying to find a place to live, or, worst of all, interacting with hostile law-enforcement officials.
The police received the most scrutiny in the report. In a haunting section, the report explained, “Negroes firmly believe that police brutality and harassment occur repeatedly in Negro neighborhoods.” The rioting had shown that police enforcement had become a problem not a solution in race relations. More aggressive policing and militarized officers had become city officials’ de facto response to urban decay. “In several cities, the principal response has been to train and equip the police with more sophisticated weapons.” The report stressed that law-enforcement officers were not “merely a spark factor” to the riots but that they had come to symbolize “white power, white racism, and white oppression.”Our choices:
The problem today is that politics might once again be moving in the wrong direction, not unlike what happened in 1968. Structural racism has to be addressed, but Obama is a lame-duck president with a Republican Congress that is unwilling to work on any legislative proposal that this White House sends them. The prospects of this Congress making progress on any kind of federal criminal-justice reforms are slim to none. And though Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has taken a much tougher stand in calling for criminal-justice reform and fighting for racial justice, she does not have an extensive record of dealing with institutional racism, and in the 1990s, she supported federal crime policies that only bolstered the law-and-order approach. Like Humphrey, she has shown a willingness to allow the political fears of the right push her toward a more conservative stance on these issues.And then there’s Trump...
And then there’s Trump. Last year, he said of the Black Lives Matter movement: “I think they’re trouble. I think they’re looking for trouble.” And, though Trump mentioned the “senseless, tragic” deaths of the two victims in Louisiana and Minnesota in his statement after Dallas, there is little reason to think he will pay much attention to systemic racism and police violence. In the coming months, Trump instead will likely continue to play to the worst racial sentiment in the electorate and use this moment to build support for expanding rather than reforming the way that criminal justice is administered in America.
During the late 1960s, the United States saw firsthand what could happen when institutional racism was allowed to persist. The racial violence Americans have witnessed in the past three years has brought the nation to another inflection point. Unfortunately, the political winds could easily blow the electorate in the wrong direction—again.
TRUMP, THE MAN AND THE IMAGE
His words increasingly signify his confusion about who he is and what he has got himself into. From The New Yorker
From 7 AM until 10 PM I had no idea what was transpiring in Dallas. I drove from Portland to Seattle to visit an old friend who I hadn’t seen in 30 years. Listening to satellite radio it was all a tape music show from the seventies so there was no news. Once in Seattle, we walked through the amazing Seattle attraction, Pike’s Place Market where I doubt many people knew what was happening in Dallas.
It was a great day spent getting reacquainted and discovering, as often happens with reunions with old pals, that our relationship had picked up where it left off and we still could talking about anything.
I left at 5 PM but was caught in heavy traffic for more than four hyper-caffeinated hours trying to stay alert in the rain which made visibility problematic.
When I got home I called my friend and she told me not to watch the news because it was so awful it would keep me awake half the night.
Of course I couldn’t resist. I turned on MSNBC and saw the all too familiar pictures of police cars with flashing lights and cops huddling behind them with guns drawn.
So I didn’t slept much last night since every time I woke up I checked the TV.
Now there’s no sense writing about the issues about race relations and policing once again highlighted in a terrible way.
Instead I will say that in some ways this is the best talking point for Republicans, who will no doubt figure out a way to blame everything they can twist into a condemnation of Democrats.
On the other hand, it is the worst thing for Republicans, since it will dominate the news for at least a few days, thus taking the focus away from Hillary’s “treasonous” emails and how they prove she is too reckless and inept to be president.
Thursday, July 7, 2016 I will be on the road driving to Seattle so it’s unlikely I will be able to update this website. Just for now we all need to consider what will happen if enough Republican delegates realize that Trump is just BATSHIT CRAZY and is incapable of controlling his unhinged diatribes so they nominate somebody else. I’m hearing more and more pundits say that the problem is not that he doesn’t want to tone down his rhetoric, it’s that he can’t.
|“All In With Chris Hayes:” |
Kendal Unruh, the Ohio Republican delegate who is one of the leaders of the stop Trump movement.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
|I won’t point out the obvious in this photo of the short fingered vulgarian.|
The Unnerving Insecurities of Donald Trump
|Another Donald overcompensating/|
Other topics explored included: Obama’s carbon footprint for flying in an “old” plane (Air Force One), Trump’s ability to phone into television shows, Obama’s golf schedule and proof that Trump did indeed have real hair.
What struck me first was his called Air Force One an “old plane.” The two highly customized Boeing 747’s used as presidential planes are going to be replaced with newer planes. No doubt Trump envisions implementing that into his first 100 day plan, even before starting construction on his decidedly unglamorous wall.
Trump’s “little” Boeing 757 — you know, the one fitted with gold plated fixtures and seat belt buckles — is 25 years old, about the same age as the Air Force One 747’s. Upgraded passenger planes in service for 20 years aren’t considered old by airline standards. However the new planes are much more energy efficient.
While the plane called by some “ Trump Force One,” is fitting for a mere low level hedonistic billionaire, it hardly compares to the genuine Air Force One.
Here’s a look at Trump’s plane.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
|Now we can ask who the real crook is...|
Was the Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch meeting a brilliant, if devious, ploy to get the email issue over and done with?
Loretta Lynch said that she wouldn’t involve her department in the process which usually follows an FBI investigation. By leaving the decision as to whether our not involve the DOJ in deciding whether or not to prosecute to the recommendation of the FBI, the matter should be decided.
Now that the FBI has announced they didn’t find any reason to prosecute, in retrospect this looks like this
Monday, July 4, 2016
Narcissist Trump can’t apologize, and nobody will say "why don’t you just say I’m sorry?"
|A photo by Evgenii Khaldeai showing a Jewish couple|
wearing stars as they were required to do in Nazi-occupied areas.
There’s been lots of commentary about the Star of David being used in a Trump Tweet, but I have another take on it. No matter whether or not, consciously or unconsciously, somebody used the symbol so powerful and symbolic to Jews and others to appeal to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, there are other facts that have to be considered.
What we heard was denial, especially from the wormy Corey Lewandowski, saying it was merely meant to be a star, or a sheriff’s star. And, in the Trumpian manner, comes a heeping helping of blame the media deflection.
All over the news this morning is that Trump is defending the original post, despite the fact that it originated first from a notoriously racist Tweeter, and then was repost on a racist website. I have yet to hear someone confront a Trump surrogate by directly asking why Trump can’t simply say he is sorry.
Admit he or someone associated with him made a mistake? Really, and pigs fly and Shrek is real.
About the closest to an apology that has come from the Trump camp is that their deleting the star and replacing it with a circle was enough to show they recognized it was inappropriate. Some Republican on MSNBC just said that everyone in the campaign “regrets that this has happened.” Of course they do! Because it was wrong? No, because they had to do damage control.
HERE ARE MY FACTS
Fact 1) Many people were offended, and nobody apologized.
Fact 2) “I’m sorry” is something children usually learn early on to say when they’ve done something wrong, whether deliberate or not. If you say something that hurts someone’s feelings, you say that you are sorry.
Fact 3) People with narcissistic personality disorder never apologize. They feel no shame.
All this brings to mind the most famous line from the Army-McCarthy hearings:
I meant to do you no personal injury, and if I did, beg your pardon.Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency? Special Counsel for the Army Joseph N. Welch.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
BRAIN ON DRUGS
07.03.16 4:10 AM ET
It's going to be pretty hard to keep weed illegal when your grandparents are smoking it to prevent Alzheimer's.What’s wrong with this picture?
|You can be forgiven if you didn’t catch it right off,|
I don’t know ifI would have if I hadn’t seen it first on The Huffington Post.
I didn’t read the 800 page Benghazi report but someone did, give me a break, Gowdy wanted people to print it out…
In one sentence:
The internal documents don’t prove evidence of a scandal, but they do show an administration reflexively concerned with the politics of a national security emergency.
Friday, July 1, 2016
Quote of the day: “Donald Trump is like the ball in a pinball game.” Stuart Evans on the Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC.
Evans wrote a book about a president similar to Trump, except he never could have imagined a president as batshit crazy as Trump.
A few years ago I started noodling on a novel that I hoped would expose the fault lines that seemed to be splitting our politics. My thought was to take reality and push it to the edge both for comic affect and to offer up a cautionary tale of where our politics might be headed. I finished the book in the summer of 2015 and I was a little worried that I had gone too far. How believable would it be that a xenophobic Republican who wanted to ban immigration and deport millions might actually be a real contender for president?
Well, now we know. Donald Trump hasn’t called for a new Bill of Rights like Armstrong George, the handsome fire-breather in my novel, The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear, but he’s the first candidate who’s running as if the Bill of Rights doesn’t exist. (If we get through this election without some reporter asking Trump if he can name the amendments in the Bill of Rights, it will be a crying shame.) Even while channeling my darkest impulses—and Lord knows we all have them, which is probably the key to Trump’s success so far—it never occurred to me that a candidate for president of the United States of America could call for a religious test to enter the United States without being considered a frothing lunatic. Continued on Daily Beast
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