Archive for September, 2017

the Alabama senate special election and the new cleavages of the GOP

Friday, September 15th, 2017

So.  Alabama.  A special election to fill out the term of Jeff Sessions, currently the Attorney General who was insulted by his boss President Trump but won’t let that get in the way of his policy apparatus — tackling America’s weed problem.

The Democrats have nominated … hm… Doug Jones won 66.12 percent in the primary.  A sacrificial lamb, with some things to recommend him, it would seem.  Apparently he beat out Robert F Kennedy, Jr.  (No relation.) and a cast of a bunch of others.  Alabama doesn’t dig the Kennedys?  Or did Kennedy get the distant second based on his name?

And the Republicans?  Roy Moore beat out the incumbent appointed Luther Strange 38.87 to 32.83 percent.  Setting up a run off primary on the 26th.

Roy Moore of “Ten Commandments” fame.

The divisions in the Republican Party pit Mitch Mcconnell and Donald Trump for the Republican Establishment backing Strange, against Steve Bannon and … Sarah Palin … stumping for Moore.
The mind reels.

Desperate for ammunition as Roy Moore rallies the faithful around the “God punished us with 9/11” theme… the Establishments hits that Roy Moore is cozy with the trail lawyers.   Because Strange just can’t flank Moore to the right, which is — we all know — where all the energy is.

Whatever it is the “right” is.  Know a nothing?

Depending on the polls, Moore is really far ahead or in a dead heat — with the Trump endorsement perhaps pulling Strange back into the race.  What do you want to happen in this race?  Probably we want Alabama to secede from the Union so we don’t have to problem ourselves about one percent of the US Senate.


living more history

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

hillaryclintonbookwhathappened Accusations of “sour grapes” pour in on Hillary Clinton’s new book — sour grapes in the not quiet accurate common misuse that does not align to Aesop — real sour grapes in the Aesopean tradition would have Hillary Clinton saying “So I didn’t get to be president.  Who cares — it gives me more time to do some hiking.”
By long term accounts, Hillary Clinton blames the election loss on James Comey’s last minute re-opening of the email issue.  She’s probably right.  As well as wrong.  Right in that had that not happened, she would have won.  Wrong in that she should have been stronger enough to prevail against that happening.
By other accounts, this is actually a real book.  Which is to say, she’s not writing a carefully constructed campaign book, positioning herself politically.  I suppose it’ll be interesting to say how Barack Obama’s next book comes out, and if he escapes some political trap doors.
Meantime, in a world where some view the president as incipient fascism, and we run into this type of problem

bookantitrump  Not an unreasonable book, in the sense that “On the Right Side of History”.

But, I’m leafing through the book.  Nowhere does it suggest Trump took some old Democratic stands on trade which Republicans never took and Democrats on the national level don’t take.  (I note a creeping neo-liberalism in the halls of the “Left” who’d traditionally not dismiss the issue but now have — perhaps correctly, I don’t know.  As too a class clodlessness on the political viability of some well heeled concepts.) Nowhere does it seem, in my leafing of it, to proffer the negatives on Hillary Clinton.  (She chased after Republicans, and found endorsements to sell the media — Meg Whitman, sure to help her win votes from Republican women working in the tech sector in the state of California.)  Hell — I can’t find the chapter on the churning about of Celebrity status, reality tv, and twitter ridden short attention span news cycles.  And it seems to exist in the same world that Hillary Clinton’s book does — that the only sane and just world is one where Hillary Clinton would, should, must be elected.

football and politics

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

A theoretical question about Colin Kaepernick, a man who has had some success in playing quarterback in the NFL and some failures in playing quarterback in the NFL.

And, short of his protest — and perhaps overmarch in protest to wearing “cop pig” socks and praising Castro —

Let us suppose some team signs him up.  Some mediocre team with one of these laughable mediocre quarterbacks that everyone points to as being picked over him (Jay Cutler retired due to lack of interest, only to jump back in) struggles.  And he is relegated to backup quarterback for the team.  And the starter struggles.  And Kaepernick is not put in there.

Will there be protests, and from whom, and to what?  Would there be cries of racism due to his not playing, or is his appearance on a roster enough?

Still.  Kaeperneck jerseys remain hot sellers.  If they’re found mainly in protest groups and not nfl stadiums, he’s bigger than the game, like…

Do those St Louis Rams “Sam” jerseys that sold like firecrackers when this first out gay player was drafted (and never made it onto a team) still sell?


economist tackles america’s damned politics

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

If they published it online, I would right now post to an interesting letter in the Economist from one Eliot Wisenberg of Chicago, which points out a historical incongruity of white supremacists marching for Confederate statues while chanting anti-semitic slogans — oh, “The Jews will not replace us” I guess it was.  General Robert Lee was friendly to the Jews and had Jews serving in the Confederate army; Ulysses Grant — as a general — didn’t and wasn’t.  (Though he had a mea culpa by the time he got to the Presidency.)

Googling into the news, and indeed simple googling, brings us some details such.

What does this mean in terms of the statue controversy?  Only that some people universally believed as morons are indeed morons.

Strutting into a history of history… In the same issue of the Economist, we find this statement, on a disconnect from “roots”:
Today, the rebel cause stands for a chin-jutting screw you all kind of conservatism.
Yeah, but that statement could have been published in 1950 when periodicals noted a vogue for the flag.