Archive for March, 2014

body language of world diplomats

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

So… read this news story about how our government’s studying Vladimir Putin’s body language for clues on what is to be done with the Ukraine and Russia.

And now… study this body language of both men and organize policy around it.  It’s John Kerry and his Russian doppleganger, Sergey Lavrov.

Secretary Of State John Kerry Meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov In London  What do we make of Sergey Lavrov here?  What do we make of John Kerry?  Staring at this photograph, what does Vladimir Putin think?  What does Barack Obama think?

Frankly, I don’t know.  I hear that John Kerry is long-winded.  I don’t know the first thing about Sergey Lavrov, though it is interesting his mouth isn’t open and he’s not gesturing as though speaking words.

who killed the kennedys, and after all it was you and me

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Most of this article about the new information coming out of documents from the Clinton Administration isn’t very revealing or interesting.  Yes, anyone who was paying attention could pretty easily reconstruct what was going on behind the scenes during the months after the 1994 midterm elections from what was going on in front of the stage.  And that’s the lead the New York Times is running with.

They’re also stuck with ho-hum information on how Clinton treated Colin Powell and George W Bush, and how they treated Clinton.  Again.  Not all too interesting.

But buried here is this…

suspicions that “unreconstructed Cold Warriors” in Russia would manufacture evidence about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Hm.  More information here, such as it is.  The Cold War marches onward.

 

the fight for the fight

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Just in case you’re curious on what Doc Hastings’s final fights are all about…

Wind Farms versus Eagles.

An environmental conundrum, I can assure you.  Harness the Wind, or let the eagle soar?
Oh, and… the never ending thing about Hanford… which will be there after his successor finally decides to retire in 20 years.

Texas politics, continued

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Now we go over to the Democratic Party Run-off for Agriculture Commissioner.

Who in the world is Jim Hogan?
A lot of people are asking that question this week after the Cleburne farmer and insurance agent took the most votes statewide in the Democratic Primary race for commissioner of agriculture, without raising a dime in contributions or mounting any significant campaign.  Hogan now faces writer/musician/comedian Richard “Kinky” Friedman in the May 27 runoff to see who will be the Democratic nominee for ag commissioner.

Jim Hogan is a “some dude” candidate.  Kinky Friedman is a celebrity candidate, who’s run before — he probably put the 2006 Gubernatorial race out o reach for the Democrats.

And here’s what you need to know about this race.

The campaign discussed arranging a meeting between Nelson and challenger Jimmie Ray Hogan to entice him out of the Democratic primary for agriculture commissioner, according to emails obtained by The Dallas Morning News. But the plan went up in smoke before the offer could be presented to Hogan.
“I agree on Hogan, he just wants to meet Willie. Not sure we can get him out of the race but we can try,” Cody Garrett, Friedman’s campaign director at the time, wrote to two fellow campaign workers. “I’ll call Hogan and pretend to be gingerly and promise him the universe, but in the end we all need to take a vote on this and decide which way we should go.”
In another message, Friedman spokesman Cleve Hattersley wrote: “Maybe we really can get Mr. Hogan out by arranging a meeting with Willie. How about you give ole Jim a cordial call, see how he’s doing?”

Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III looks like the one candidate you can credibly see in office, and who appears to have ideas compatible with the office on “what is to be done”.  But he’s not Hulky or Kinky…

As for Hogan, his campaign finance reports show that he spent only $4,207.98 on his campaign, and $3,750 of that was the fee to file as a candidate. His next largest expense was $442.98 to travel to Austin and Seguin, and the remaining $15 was spent on “notary envelope postage,” reports indicate.
But what contributions did Hogan take in? None.
And still, he pulled in 39 percent of the votes, outpacing Friedman by more than 5,200 ballots.
“I guess the people just said, y’all can put up your money, because it’s no good in this race,” Hogan said.

How very folksy.

Kesha Rogers loses

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

I. Results Are In… KESHA ROGERS GETS HER BUTT KICKED, Will Get her Butt Kicked again in May…
The Results
David M Almeel … Early Votes… 48.6 percent; total Votes 47.06 percent
Kesha Rogers … Early Votes… 21.03 percent; total Votes… 21.72 percen

All told, Kesha Rogers did not much better than Wendy Davis’s primary foe, Reynaldo “Ray” Madrigal.  The early vote total here is indicative.  The question that lingers about the “Poll Heard Round the World” (or “round Texas” at least) is whether it was accurate and the response to it caused a shift in vote totals, or whether — just as this polling unit has been in the past — it is inaccurate when it comes to polling these “low stakes” Democratic primary races.  The answer appears to be the latter.

As it were, despite the fact the Almeel is a pretty meager candidate, he did better than the Democratic Establishment (reluctant) pick of 2012, and Kesha Rogers did worse than the “Best Name of the rest of the ballot” pick — which is the dynamic that these Democratic state races apparently often come down to.  Note about this point here… on funding discreprency… this is something I’ve seen before on how candidates who’ve been little more than hobby candidates running miles ahead of the dominant party in general elections.  I remember laughing when I saw Gordon Allen Pross championing his 30 plus percent of the vote off of a mere 300 dollars in campaign expenditures against Incumbent Doc Hastings.  (also note… hm… “Tea Party”.)

In sussing out whether the SINO (“Sane In Name Only”, thank you wonkette commenter for that) has any shot whatsoever against the DINO (The rich Dentist has some Republican Politics in his background)… the first item (as explored in my last Kesha Rogers related Larouche Challenge blog post) looks like a lock for the DINO… the closer to 50 for Almeel, the further down Rogers goes in the result, the harder it is to see this get upended in a run-off.  The Second possibility is a matter I was curious about, and it looks like it is answered in this “ballot access News” post… Republican Primary voters will not be allowed to vote in the Democratic Primary run -off, which means party chicanery on that score to embarrass the Democrats will be limited to … oh… Kesha Rogers appearances on “Freedom Talk” right wing Republican radio stations.The third possibility, and I do recognize this as a flight of whimsy, but it’s worth arguing against anyway… via wonkette
Did this lady learn grammar and sentence construction from the same people that taught Sarah Palin? We tried diagramming that first sentence but gave up after about 15 minutes of trying to un-torture the syntax.
Given that running against Cornyn is like beating your head against the wall for any Democrat, we can’t decide if we want this woman to make it past the primary. On the one hand, election integrity and elevating the discourse and blah blah blah, but on the other hand, comedy gold for us if she stays in. Tough call.

Okay.  Dear Wonkette Poster.  You need to know, win or lose, Kesha Rogers isn’t going anywhere.  For all we know, she will continue to “run” a “write me in” campaign like happened in 2010 with the (now former) Larouchie who had neglected to get on the ballot in a race against Nancy Pelosi.  But whatever the case, she will be out there… shouting out at supermarket parking lots in Texas, and appearing on Larouche webcasts.  It’s the same thing, just a smaller platform.  It’s a little like both Jay Leno and Conan O’brien: neither are right now hosting the Tonight Show, but if you really want your Jay Leno fix you know he is out on tour, and if you really want your Conan O’brien fix, you know he has a show on Basic Cable.  So there is no reason to f’ over Wendy Davis on the bellot line, particularly when there’s a good possibility Kinky Friedman will be sitting there a couple of spots down on this ballot.  And there’s no reason to slide the Overton Window over to allow Ted Cruz to look reasonably moderate.

In the May runoff, it is important that no Texas Democrat votes for Kesha Rogers.

A democrat only Ted Nugent could vote for. Oy!.

Tea Party” support… if this blogtitle has any credibility… Hm. The only problem with the fact sheet put out by the Democratic Party is that there aren’t any facts on it regarding who Lyndon LaRouche actually is. I think it’s time the press did their homework on this issue. Then maybe the public would start trusting them again.  They trusted them… when?

National Review chimes in. At the very least, we have another couple months where someone’™s running for office in Texas calling for President Obama’s impeachment.

Daily Kos describes the vote.
Voted this afternoon. The Republican table was (9+ / 0-)right by the door at my local elementary school, but the Dem table was way across the gym.  I asked the precinct worker, did they put you way over here because they knew nobody was voting Democrat (we are in TX-22). She laughed and said there had been a few so far.

This and that.
Even when it benefits the D, identity politics makes me extremely uncomfortable. When it’s done apples-to-apples that’s one thing, but when you vote for a LaRouche loon? Ugh….
Texas Democrats use precinct caucuses for the presidential race. Any thought of doing that for the downballot races, at least until the nuts go away? It’s really hard for people like the Larouchers to get through the vetting of a caucus.
I live in Oklahoma, but our local news is in the Texas market, and I’ve never seen Alameel’s ads on television; I assume he’s only targeting the major cities/suburbs.
If Rogers wins, it will make the TDP look ridiculous, and it also shows many Democrats in Texas didn’t do their research before voting.

Weigel is more worried than he ought be.  This will blow away in May.  No effect in November.
But the “threat” isn’t that Rogers wins tonight. It’s likely that no Democrat will win 50 percent of the vote. Rogers wants to hold about 25–30 percent and make the runoff, and it’s very possible she will, giving her two months to terrify Democrats and get national attention.

Counterpoint to the Larouche Point.

I would disagree about Democrats agreeing with LaRouche 30 years ago. I was a Democrat in 1980, and I thought he was a lunatic then.

Mark Dankof Talks to Kesha Rogers: LaRouche Democrat and Texas U. S. Senate Candidate

Comedy Gold from Team Rogers/ Larouche.

Asked for his remarks on the primary election results, Lyndon LaRouche stated, “Apparently there was a systematic attempted fraud. They tried to apparently pull off fraud against the Kesha Rogers vote.”
When Kesha Rogers was reached for her remarks, she stated that her campaign had gained a clear victory:
“We have done our job and that was to change subject of the political discussion. That is just what we did. We made the impeachment of Obama the dominant subject. Now we have to finish the job. Obama must be impeached now.”

Comments of snark.
She’s a SINO. Sane in name only. Sheesh the crazy.
I might not be so quick to write this nice lady off. When I regard the roster of candidates that have been elected to public office in Texas over the past twenty years or so, it is evident to me that crazy often prevails.
I once saw the LaRouche people at the Sarah Palin graces Boston for 15 minutes rally. They were sitting at a table, where caricatures of Obama (complete with Hitler mustache), Barney Frank (done up as a pig) and Queen Elizabeth (surprisingly not a caricature though it was a guy) were passing white powder around.
It was rather surreal.
Alex Jones had LaRouche on his radio show about a year ago. He was about to turn 95 and was going on and on about how the British monarchy control everything and want to start a nuclear war. Even Jones didn’t have much to say to that.
95 and still pumping out fresh material.
Their thing about Queen Elizabeth is a smokescreen. What they mean is that London banks–i.e., the Jews, i.e., the Rothschilds–control the world.
Oddly, La Rouche used to have a cable program where he talked about the violin and tuning systems. Even more oddly, he used to have a followingamong students of the Austrian music theorist Heinrich Schenker.
Sort of like herpes, these LaRouche folks never go away.
I miss the old days when the La Rouchies and the Hari Krishnas would square off in the airport corridors and rumble like the sharks and the jets in West Side Story
I got a full-on dose of LaRouche from a random opponent in online chess last year. That was enough for the next decade or so, thanks.
The sad part is that an insane Larouchite running as a Democrat in Texas probably stands a greater chance of unseating Cornyn than an actual Democrat.
I look forward to reading her well-crafted policy position on the Lizard People.
If this doesn’t work out for her I’m sure she’ll get a cushy gig as a commentator on RT.
I was on the phone with some relatives from the UK the other day, and they expressed their concern about how conservative Seattle is, a conclusion that they had come to during their last visit in 2010.
“Huhwhat?” was my stupified reply.
“There were all those people downtown with Obama posters with the Hitler mustaches!” they exclaimed.
“Oh!” I realized. “LaRouchies.” And then I had to explain THAT to them and I think they got bored.
I’m trying to think who is comparable in British politics for you to use as comparison, and I’m drawing a compltet blank. Probably because they have socialized medicine with comprehensive mental illness coverage.

And so the campaign goes..

Rogers cited the Obama administration’s decision to send Secretary of State John Kerry to Kiev as proof that the administration was supporting Nazi sympathizers in the country.
Cornyn is the heavy favorite to win re-election. TPM asked how Rogers expected to win the entire race given Cornyn’s popularity and hefty war chest.
“Three million dollars couldn’t stop me from getting a bid in the race, couldn’t stop me from getting to the runoff and so you’re still going with popular opinion?” Rogers said.

As soon as you mention that this woman follows LaRouche, alarm bells go off in my head. Is she mentally unbalanced? Or just a paranoid maniac with a good mailing list? The mind reels at the poor quality of candidates for political office these days. It’s almost as though one has to act unhinged just to get on the ballot. I hope she enjoys her 15 minutes…and the clock is ticking.

LaRouche’s acolytes tend to be pretty off the wall, but she is not entirely wrong here, there ARE prominent Ukrainian neo-fascists represented in the interim government. Dmytro Yarosh, for example, is now Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. Yarosh is also known as the leader of the fascist ‘Right Sector’ organization. Or another example, the new prosecutor general of Ukraine is Oleh Makhnitsky, a member of the far-right ‘Svoboda’ political party.

I wonder if Kesha gets her news from Russia Today?

Here’s “Kesha Rogers” country.  Someone who knows Texas geography can tell me if these counties mean anything.

kesharogersmap2014firstprimaryBut, I don’t think any honest observer, left or right, could really dispute that Kesha Rogers is a more extremely extreme extremist than Chris Mapp or even the most unfashionable Tea Party affiliated candidate.

Lyndon LaRouche, we are also informed, argues that “Mankind is ruled by the powers of creative foresight and the courage to develop and advance the condition of mankind against the biological tyranny of Zeus. It is the actual commitment of Prometheus which scientifically defines the intent of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, while Obama’s presidency is nothing but a sycophancy of Zeus and his bitch the British Queen.”

. The other is that lots and lots of Texas Democrats are radically disengaged from the political process, and are voting on something very different than policy positions.

Texas Races
For years, an elderly man named Gene Kelly — no relation to the movie dancer — would force Texas Democratic candidates into runoffs, despite a complete lack of active campaigning. […]
Democrats will have to decide whether to back Kinky Friedman against the party’s own prior judgment, or take a chance on Hogan in their primary runoff.
“They’re back to square one, forced to choose between colorful, comedic Kinky Friedman, or a complete unknown who is an unvetted candidate,” says Jones, the Rice professor.
Hogan never even set up a campaign website. He would check for coverage of the race on the Internet during his lunch break, but that was about it.

And so it goes
One more important bit of commentary, seen here from “fightapathy” at factnet…
Catch the tail end of WORLD CRISIS RADIO with Dr. Webster the Griffin Tarpley on http://tarpley.net for brief commentary on Kesha Rogers. There, he draws the conclusion that, if a person like Kesha Rogers, who is “weighed down with all the baggage of a personality cult of Lyndon LaRouche, who runs on the platform of impeaching Obama, can come in second place in a Democratic primary, then there is real hunger for an alternative. I take it as a good sign.”
So Tarpley takes the success of an oddball as a good sign for candidates are not-as-oddball-as-Kesha, such as Tarpleyist progressives like Randy Credico and D’Arcy Richards. Ah, hope springs eternal — for everyone except Kesha, who’s going to a thermonuclear card table hell for her failure to be nominated Senatorial candidate. It would’a been awesome, Kesha. It would’a!

#2:  Dave Christie Heckles Obama.
Hm… Former Washington State 9th Congressional Candidate in what he pretends is an “Intervention“.

THE PRESIDENT: …And the fact is we’ve got a fundamental disagreement with the other side. And that’s okay — this is a democracy, that’s how it works. But we have a fundamental disagreement about what we need to do now to secure our future. And don’t get me wrong, I consider –
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mr. Obama!
THE PRESIDENT: — I consider Republicans patriots who love this country just as much as we do.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Tell us about your plans for nuclear war with Russia!
THE PRESIDENT: I’m sorry, who’s that back there? (Laughter.) What the heck are you talking about? (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Obama! Obama! Obama!
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, don’t worry about it. We’re okay. Have a seat. I don’t know anything about that plan. (Laughter.) I don’t know what you’ve been reading. (Laughter.) Let me return to what I was talking about. (Applause.) See, he thought happy hour started earlier. (Laughter and applause.)

This gets predictable plaudits from liberals and Democrats.  From Republicans… it’s odd that there’s some who think the crowd should be chanting “U!S!A!” like “Obama!”, like Bush supporters did to Bush hecklers.  A silly place to put the “Obama Cult” line, but whatever.

The bottom line is Dave Christie in mentioned nowhere in the news, and … some places even try to gussy him up to make him make more sense.

President Obama was speaking to the Democratic National Committee during their Winter Meeting when a heckler could be heard calling out from the back of the room, “Mr. Obama, tell us about your nuclear war in Russia!” It was originally believed that the heckler had said, “Mr. Obama, tell us about your nuclear plan in Russia!” and that is how the incident was translated to the Russian press.

Factnet notes.

Did this lady learn grammar and sentence construction from the same people that taught Sarah Palin? We tried diagramming that first sentence but gave up after about 15 minutes of trying to un-torture the syntax.

Given that running against Cornyn is like beating your head against the wall for any Democrat, we can’t decide if we want this woman to make it past the primary. On the one hand, election integrity and elevating the discourse and blah blah blah, but on the other hand, comedy gold for us if she stays in. Tough call.
Read more at http://wonkette.com/543276/larouchite-lady-running-in-texas-unclear-how-elections-and-hitler-comparisons-work#u2VbXVgHpyH7xP7E.99

Did this lady learn grammar and sentence construction from the same people that taught Sarah Palin? We tried diagramming that first sentence but gave up after about 15 minutes of trying to un-torture the syntax.

Given that running against Cornyn is like beating your head against the wall for any Democrat, we can’t decide if we want this woman to make it past the primary. On the one hand, election integrity and elevating the discourse and blah blah blah, but on the other hand, comedy gold for us if she stays in. Tough call.
Read more at http://wonkette.com/543276/larouchite-lady-running-in-texas-unclear-how-elections-and-hitler-comparisons-work#u2VbXVgHpyH7xP7E.99

Got somewhat sad when I found out Dave Christie was the poor bastard shouting at Obama. Our ideas about intervention were ludicrous and they either made us look insane or absurd and in this case, Dave Christie made Obama look calm and witty and completely in control while he made himself look like a shouting drunk. That extreme jump from “Obama Likes WallSt, WallSt funded Hitler, Obama is Hitler, Obama wants to kill everyone,” doesn’t exist anywhere outside the groupthink of these mass conspiracy groups. Then the extreme helpless attitude of what constitutes political action.

III. To a “Bilderburg Watcher“.

“Brett Kimberlin gets his Lyndon Larouche grove on”.  I suppose I should apologize to Lyndon LaRouche.

Ouch.

IV.  No heat on the Alex Jones appearance by Larouche.  Everyone getting bored of these ramblings, I suppose.

Chris Christie rehabilitates himself at CPAC

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Chris Christie was at CPAC. He wasn’t invited last year, because of some huing of “bi-partisanship” and RINO-ism and questions of his real conservative credentials. But he made the grade this year, because his partisanship has been proven, and his real conservative credentials have been burnished.

Well. Liberals didn’t really come solidly behind Bill Clinton having to face the music of Monica-gate, so I guess it’s the same with Conservatives and Bridges.

willamette weak again

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

I find the cover to the Willamette Week somewhat awkward.  See it here.  Cover of the back of a black athlete’s shaved head, a bead of sweat falling down.

The Onion actually once made a parody of this peculiar media trope.

We also see in the story the weird line from a friend of the rich sports team owner about how that line about him having many black friends is true in his case, because… he golfs with Clyde Drexler and stuff.

And this first comment is a weird one about this fluff piece being a hit piece.

odd analysis as Steve Stockman bids adieu

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Hm, indeed.

Stockman, who entered office in 2013, has become known for his political stunts. Last year, he invited Ted Nugent as his guest to the State of the Union address. Later in 2013, he invited an Obama-mocking rodeo clown to perform in his home state.

Validating Ted Nugent is a “stunt”, relatively disqualifying and disagreeable.  And yet, the Republican candidate for governor and more than likely the next governor of Texas … er… campaigned with Ted NugentProudly.  Who said some horribly racist things.  And is basically dippity all around

And somehow didn’t lose the nomination.

There is an annoying “what the hell” when someone as benign as Usher coming to the White House gets bloviating nonsense in the rightwingsphere…