jeriendhal: (Default)
 “What about the alt-left that came charging... at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? (...) There are two sides to a story."

-Donald Trump, remarks on Charlottesville VA Neo-Nazi Rally, Tuesday August 15th, 2017


Dear Mr. President,


No, there is not. On the one side you had people carrying torches, throwing Nazi salutes, and chanting 'Blood and soil” and on the other side you had people opposing them. There is no “equivalency” here. Even your own Republican allies in Congress can't swallow this one, and are coming out against you. White Supremacy is terrorism. Period. Your meal-mouthed “condemnations” on Saturday and Tuesday, where you tried to paint both sides in the wrong, are a load of bull, and confirms everything I said in my commentary on your inauguration day. Your words are emboldening white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups, because your words confirm YOU ARE THEIR ALLY.


But this isn't coming from just you. To qualify as a Republican these days, you have to lack empathy. To assume that everyone on the side that opposes your beliefs do not just have a different point of view, but are outright evil.


Minimum Wage? Can't raise that. It would cut into a business's profits.


Welfare? Look at those jobless folk sitting on their asses watching TV all day on the government dime. Make 'em work! Who cares if there are no jobs, or they've been injured, or are in their 70's? Welfare Queens, all of 'em. Oh, and tax retirees' checks from Social Security, never mind that they'd paid it into the system already.


Obamacare? Why should we give twenty or thirty million people affordable health care? That would raise taxes on rich people!


Environment? Global warming is a myth. We can prove it because we can find five or six scientists who say so, never mind the 99% who say it's real. They're just lying to keep their funding.


Black Lives Matter? Obviously a hate group. They've got no right to protest when cops are caught on camera murdering black men when they're already cuffed and on the ground, or running away.


Anitfa? Another hate group. They should just shut up and let the god fearing white folks say whatever the want, without commentary or protest.


Muslim goes on a shooting spree? Terrorism. White guy goes on a shooting spree? Lone Nut.


Protesting Trump's words? Or for that matter just taking his public statements at face value? Disrespecting the President.


I am very, very tired of false equivalencies. You either give a damn about people, or you don't.


You don't.


May. 17th, 2017 08:11 pm
jeriendhal: (Chicken)
 At this point there's a calculation going on in every House Republican's mind, as to whether coming to Trump's defense is preferable to "President Pence".

Today in a speech to Coast Guard Academy graduates, Trump took time from celebrating their achievements to whine that he was "No other president in history has been treated so unfairly" Y'know, aside from the last one being accused of not being an American citizen, Bill Clinton being accused of orchestrating murders while governor of Arkansas, Lincoln, Kennedy, Garfield and McKinley being assassinated. Aside from THAT.

Make no mistake, Trump dug this hole he's in himself. He has constantly contradicted his own staff as they tried to work damage control, he started his presidency by insisting that his inauguration was the largest crowd in history when it demonstrably was proven otherwise, he has belittled legitimate news organizations whenever they dared not fawn over the rightness of his decisions, and he's used up any political good will he might have had in Congress by the abrupt firing of Director Comey, by carelessly giving out information to the Russian ambassador, and by apparently attempting to obstruct justice by earlier demanding Comey drop his investigation of Mike Flynn.

I predict, rather than put up with inevitable public disgrace that will come with Mueller laying out all of Trump's actions and lies for the world to see, that Trump will resign as soon as he has assurance from Pence that his actions will be pardoned. I doubt he'll be president by the end of summer. It's quite possible he won't be president by the end of this month.

jeriendhal: (Chicken)
 Dear President Trump,

On the advice of a person who recused himself from the investigation of your ties to Russia, you fired the guy who was investigating your ties to Russia. On the basis that he had made a mistake investigating Clinton's emails, something that you lavishly praised him for on the campaign trail.

I thought the week had started badly when you violated the laws against witness intimidation by sending threatening tweets about Sally Yates as she testified on Capitol Hill, but that's so routinely outrageous for you it barely registered on the public radar. But now you do this?

Y'know, Nixon was well into his second term before he fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor that was investigating him. You're... what? Less than a one hundred and ten days into your first term? And you seriously expected this was going to make everything magically Go Away?

It's entirely possible that your nominee for the next FBI director will be a lapdog who drops the FBI's investigation, and he might get the job, because there are enough senators who are willing to hold their noses and approve his nomination, because they still hold out hope that working with you is at least better than a Democrat.

But that isn't going to make the scandal, or Congress's own investigations go away. And at some point you're going to have to make the decision on whether to resign and look like a "loser", a state which you're violently allergic to, and at least get a pardon from President Pence, or stick it out and risk being the first president to be both impeached and imprisoned for his corruption.

I hate the idea of Pence being president. His own ideas are as reprehensible as yours, and he's actually a competent enough politician that some of them might become law. But at least he won't be as embarrassing.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
“There's no throne here. There is no version of this where you come out on top.”
-Tony Stark, The Avengers (2012)

Cut for the politics adverse )
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
I don't normally post anything political here, but right now I can't sleep. My stomach is literally in knots.

I am so sick to my stomach. I cannot believe this.

From everything I see right now, Donald Trump is going to be our next president.

A man so lacking in empathy he mocked a disabled reporter, insulted the parents of dead soldier, fat shamed women, ogled women, ogled his own daughter, cheated on his first and second wives.

Spent a week after stumbling through the first debate insulting a woman on Twitter who had spoken out against him.

Made admiring comments about Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, a nation where opposition reporters are regularly murdered.

Pushed the Birther lie that Barack Obama wasn't really an American citizen, was somehow a secret Muslim that would take away our guns (newsflash, the President can't repeal the 2nd Amendment without the states agreeing to a new constitutional amendment) and put the country under Sharia Law (which is as impossible as putting the country under Catholic Law, or Jewish Law, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster Law for that matter)

Has cast doubts on our very electoral system, stated without any evidence that it was rigged.

Has appealed to every dark impulse of America, stoking the fires of xenophobia against immigrants, against refugees.

Stated that our military is falling apart, when we outspend the next eight nations *combined*.

A man without any realistic economic plan. Who's great business sense involved four bankruptcies, cheating his contractors, and being PROUD of not paying taxes for almost twenty years.

Who is such a great philanthropist that he uses the funds of his foundation to buy $20,000 paintings of himself.

Who gained the endorsement of the official newspaper of the goddamned KKK

Who we are giving control of our nuclear arsenal, and who stays up to 3 am sending Twitter insults to his opponents.

Who for at least the next four years will be deciding who to nominate to the Supreme Court.

This is the man who is going to be our president.

The only, the one and only, bright spot in all of this is that four years from now we will have a chance to choose again.

But I have no idea what damage will be done to us in the meantime, and that frightens me.
jeriendhal: (Bitch)
You know how you're not supposed to speak ill of the dying/dead because no matter how much of a bastard they were in life, they were in the end a member of the human race and we're all flawed in some way?

Fuck that.

Fred Phelps was an evil, angry, sonofbitch, who took his prejudices and honed them in a way to cause the maximum amount of misery to innocent people in the most painful, vulnerable moments of their lives and so he received the maximum amount of publicity for his vile acts.

If it's true that he was excommunicated from his own "church" because he was in fact so deep in the closet he was in fucking Narnia, I consider it no where near enough irony to make up for the bile he produced over the years.

The only, single good thing to come of his years of protesting, was the fact that he was such a horrible, prejudiced bastard, that others who suffered from twinges of homophobia looked him and were sufficiently repulsed that the stigma of homosexuality is rapidly being shed and homosexual couples are now allowed to live and love each other openly and receive equal rights under the law in many states now, and many more to come.

Goodbye, Fred. I hope Matt Sheppard meets you at the Pearly Gates so he can have the personal privilege of kicking your ass straight to Hell.
jeriendhal: (Marty Greycoat)
For Hellhound: "They only created it to get us to buy sandwiches"

Note: If you think this idea was bad, you should have seen the first one I wrote.

Note 2: This is my Saturday drabble. Two more to go to catch up.

* * *

"That's… really disturbing," the executive said, looking at the… thing… the lab had created.

"They needed something to try to distract people from the CEO's comments," his assistant said.

He rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache coming on. "Well if the idiot had the sense not to talk about Supreme Court decisions that have nothing to do with how the company is run, we wouldn't be in this mess. Now this is going to look like exactly what it is, a weird publicity stunt that's going to blow up in our faces."

"Eat moar fish?" the bioengineered chicken asked hopefully.
jeriendhal: (Scandalous!)
30,000 pages of emails – I could understand it if Stephen King and George R.R. Martin were having an affair!

-Jon Stewart on the Petraeus affair, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 15 November 2012
jeriendhal: (Default)
In theory this should have been, if not an easy win for Mitt Romney, at least a closer fight than it turned out to be. The economy is still in the tank, pretty much, the middle east is in the middle of a sometimes violent sea change, China's economic dominance is on the rise, American civil liberties are still at risk because of the Patriot Act and its successive laws. Mitt could have, tried to, use at least some of that against the President to win. But it didn't work.

So what can the next GOP candidate do?

1. Remember that voters have more than one skin color.

Demographics are seriously against the Republican strategy of appealing to white voters and giving the rest to the Democrats. Hispanics? Still Catholic, still valuing hard work and education. Blacks? They were pretty lukewarm to the idea of gay marriage and a large percentage still are.

Those are conservative values. They could have served as a hook to draw more of them into the GOP. White voters are going to be the minority by mid century, and nothing the Republicans can do will change that.

2. Remember that litmus tests are limiting.

Romney, once, resembled a more moderate Republican when he was governor of Massachusetts. He had to be. Kennedy country is firmly Blue, so he had to use compromise to get what he wanted, and construct plans that appealed to non-Republican voters.

Then he decided to try and become president. Which meant he had to win the nomination. Which meant he had to Appeal to the Base. And that meant appeal to the Tea Party and the rest, who were not very forgiving of people who stray from the One True Path of No New Taxes Not Ever and Socialized Medicine is the Decline and Fall of the West.

And then, once he's become the GOP nominee, he had to make another U-turn and reassure the rest of America that he could appeal to everyone, not just the Tea Party activists.

This proved a bit difficult...

3. Remember that voter have long term memories.

The economy got wrecked by out of control banks. The Republicans in Congress actively blocked significant legislation to rein those banks in. And kept on blocking Obama's other bills, one after another. And then had to gall to argue that Obama was an ineffective president.

And then argued the problem with the economy was the restrictions on the banks.

People actually remembered that.

4. Remember you can't run on two messages.

Mitt had a fighting chance through the summer, riiiight up to the point that the infamous 47% remark became extremely public on YouTube. He spent too long waffling before rejecting his remarks, and by then the damage was well an truly done. America had seen his private opinion of welfare recipients, which just happened to include the elderly, retired military, the disabled, ect., and it was that they were addicted to government handouts and deserved neither Republican attention nor sympathy.

After that everything was just trying to bail out the rowboat as the water rushed in.

There's more to this, but I'm tired and I need to get ready for work. The upshot is that the Republicans, if they want to win next time, have to moderate their message and act like moderates. The obstructionist strategy developed by Newt Gingrich of having Congress stick its fingers in its ears and screaming "NO! NO! NO!" is no longer working. Or rather, it is working and people can damned well see where it's leading us.

The Republicans cannot go on like that, or they, as others have pointed out, are going to become a much smaller, more regional party. Litmus tests and ideological purity means they're locking more voters out, not welcoming them in.

And those locked out have only one other party to turn to right now.
jeriendhal: (WTF)
For the first fifteen minutes after the Supreme Court released its decision on the Affordable Healthcare Act, both CNN and FOX reported that it had been struck down, when actually it had been upheld. Here's how it happened.

Link borrowed from [ profile] nwhyte
jeriendhal: (Default)
Summary; Seeking to prove himself as serious interviewer, David Frost (Michael Sheen) gets the ultimate 'gotcha' interview opportunity, four inwith disgraced former President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). Frost's team is out to get Nixon to finally admit culpability for the Watergate scandal, while Nixon seeks to repair his reputation and perhaps return to Washington politics.

Review: To be honest, I didn't actually finish watching this movie, stopping just before the first interview. For one thing, the setup to have Frost prove himself to the world is BS. He was already a noted serious interviewer before he managed to land Nixon, so there was actually no drama there, which Ron Howard readily admits in the making of video.

Another thing he notes is that no one every applauded a movie for the set design, which unfortunately takes center stage. This movie is painfully set in the seventies, from the swinging sky lounge aboard a transatlantic 747 flight, to Frost's horrible hair and mod suits (and those teeth), which was distracting as hell.

Finally, I really didn't buy Langella as Nixon. Physically his face has none of Nixon's hangdog jowliness (though admittedly that would take more prosthetic makeup than a Star Wars alien) and he sounds nothing like him either. The one thing he does get down pat is Nixon as a man extremely uncomfortable in his own skin, walking slightly hunched over and cracking jokes that fall utterly flat, even in front of his friends.

Not recommended, though if I ever catch the stage play I might have a more favorable opinion.
jeriendhal: (WTF)
I'm glad to know that they upheld the 1st Amendment right for people lie their asses off about personal accomplishments. [1]

Oh, as the other decision...

Dude, Roberts was the deciding swing vote and Kennedy sided with the minority opinion?! Dammit, I hate it when I fall into an alternate dimension and not notice!

[1] Even if guy who prompted Congress to draft the law in the first place was a damned jackass.
jeriendhal: (Sporfle)
(Normally I do my best to avoid political matters in my blog, but this is just too funny not to share.)

Dear GOP: A Romney/Santorum ticket would be like handing Barack Obama the largest, most delicious fruit basket ever created. Delivered by a pony. A sparkly pony. With ribbons in its mane. Named “Buttercup.” Just so you know.
-John Scalzi
jeriendhal: (Grumpy)
I posted this to the Lois McMaster Bujold listserve the day after the September 11th attacks. Some of it was right, some of it was wrong. It seems appropriate today to repost it and examine the outcome.

Cut for the politically weary )

Looking back at what I wrote, I was both wrong and right. Catching those responsible did end in a hail of bullets, but I didn't seriously think it was going to take ten years.

Once we knew it was Bin Laden who was responsible, going into Afganistan was inevitable. I couldn't have imagined we'd still be there ten years later, or that the war mongering idiots in the White House would go into Iraq as well. Now Obama, supposedly the sensible alternative to the Bush years is bombing the crap out of Libya. Meanwhile the rest of the Middle East looks at us and wonders which nation we're going to invade next. And I wonder if we're still going to be at war by the time my daughter is of draft age.

The Patriot Act was all that I feared, named to shame anyone who dared say anything against its provisions, which were blatently designed to overturn the checks and balances against overwhleming Executive Branch authority. Some of them have been overturned, some of them are still with us. No one in the White House, Democrat or Republican, is ever going to say "Hey, we really don't need this power, take it back please."

Gitmo, the fact that it was created, the fact that it still exists, shames me as an American. It was created to specifically be a legal limbo, so the Bush administration wouldn't have to deal with legal niceties like trials, open justice and possibly facing the idea that they might be wrong. It's probably created more terrorists than it ever contained, just from formenting outrage among muslims and others who were incensed at the revelations there and at Abu Gharib.

There are no armed troops at airports, but we have Homeland Security, which is almost as bad. Please take off your shoes and prepare to be groped for the sake of speedy travel.

As for fear, I was wrong there too. We fear in America. We feared for eight long years because the Bush adminstration used the threat of terrorism as a cudgel to push their policies through and try to create a "permanent majority" in both houses of Congress. We live in fear now because of the ham handed politics we're still saddled with, built on the assumption that we are America so we are Right. All the time. Every time. And no other nation in the world is really important. And that has made us ememies, will always make us enemies, until we realize we are but one nation in a world of hundreds of nations, all of whom have people that matter.

One final prediction: Osama's death will not reduce the threat of attack on the US. It increases it tenfold, because the remaining leaders of Al Quaida's core group have to do something to prove they're still a signifigant force in their fight against the United States.

And whatever they do, it's going to be something we never saw coming. And afterward we're going to lose a little more freedom and gain a little more fear.
jeriendhal: (Romance!)
"This is America, where a white Catholic male Republican judge was murdered on his way to greet a Democratic Jewish woman member of Congress, who was his friend. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American gay college student, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon, all eulogized by our African-American President." -- Mark Shields, PBS
jeriendhal: (Default)
In the grand tradition of tea party idiots third party candidates, I have decided to enter the run for Maryland State Senate. As I haven't actually registered, created a political party, campaigned or debated any of my opponents, I fully expect to lose. But my moral victory will be high!

To that end, let me introduce you to the Reality Party. This party takes a hard look at the world and say "Our opinion of how things are is just as badly misinformed as anyone else's, but we say it in a smooth, officious, condescending manner, which makes it carry much greater weight than yours.

Our Platform:

1. We believe Taxes Happen. You like that bus service, state medicaid, police officer, recently repaved highway, library computer, ect that you just made use of? Guess what, they COST MONEY. Where does the state GET money? Why from TAXES. Either right from you, or from your kids twenty years from now when the loans come due. Get used to 'em. And if you've got more money than your neighbor, maybe you shouldn't whine so much that you pay more. If you're making more than me (not too hard these days) I've got zero sympathy.

2. Regulation Is Good. Don't believe me? Google "Company Town", "Matewan Massacre", "Teapot Dome Scandal" or just "Robber Baron." If after that you say one WORD about corporate honesty, I shall laugh at you.

3. Teh Gay is Not Contagious: Two people love each other and want to get married. So what if they're guys? Their marriage doesn't make YOURS invalid. You're not going to get gay cooties from it, and your possibly gay offspring is just going to grow up screwed up in the head (or a Republican congressman) if you insist what they are is sinful by the definition of a book written two thousand years ago.

Also, two girls kissing is kinda hot no matter who you are.

4. State Slots Are Bad: Yes, they're a cheap way of getting massive state funding. By directly siphoning money from idiots poorly educated people who don't understand basic probability statistics. At least if you tax them they know who's really screwing them

5. Drug Are Bad, M'kay: Yes Marijuana isn't as bad as other drugs. It still screws up your perceptions and is at least as addictive as tobacco and alcohol. If you have to numb your senses to enjoy yourself, I have no pity for you.

6. Freedom of Religion/Speech isn't just for your religion/opinion. Even if the other guy is kinda swarthy or his wife wears a burqa, or he home schools his kid and thinks Jesus is to die for. Deal.

7. A guy who graduated from college with a C+ average is perfectly suited for public office. (I hope)

VOTE FOR ME! (unless you like someone else)
jeriendhal: (Whatever)
Obama announces new NASA goals.

Should I be considered oh so mildly cynical that the stated date for this goal is "the 2030's" when he'll be safely out of office and most of the general public will have forgotten about it?
jeriendhal: (Whatever)
(Under normal circumstances I avoid going into politics on my journal, but this situation is just too weird to ignore.)

When you resign, your reasoning at the news conference should be limited to "Spending more time with my family." No one believes it, but it's traditional. In your case, given Trig's difficulties, it would be entirely understandable actually. Spending fifteen minutes rambling on about how you're showing you're not a quitter by, um, quitting isn't exactly taking the high road.

My best bet on the real reasons she's resigning:

1) Incoming indictment. Given some of the directions corruption investigations by the Justice Department have been proceeding, this is most probable.

2) Money. A $150,000 a year governor's salary isn't a whole lot by political standards, and she does have a special needs child who is going to require more and more specialized and expensive care as he grows older. Given she could have potentially (before this press conference) made a few million a year doing speaking tours, that would have made sense. Now, not so much.

3) She's setting herself up for the next US presidential run. The fact that she just very publicly flamed out is irrelevant to her reasoning. Earth Logic does not apply to someone who thinks "international political experience" comes from living 50 miles from the Russian border.

What's going to happen next?

I suspect she's going to have a long and happy career as a "Political Analyst" on FOX News.
jeriendhal: (Ears)
Warning, politics mixed with dorkness ahead...

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