Archive for March, 2018

a very special election

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Lamb shocks Saccone to win a district for the Democrats that Trump carried by 20 points.

… a resounding victory of about 300 votes…

… the libertarian party candidate won more than those votes, for what it’s worth…

… and both parties pour money money money into a race for a congressional seat that is about to be redrawn out of existence.

… This race result itself is null.  The election results in just about nothing.

… good for Lamb, I suppose, in that he can now find a safer seat, and won’t have to be dragged down in this one…

… Lamb, who ran promising not to vote for Pelosi for speaker (I suppose there’s to be a Harold Ford / Heath Schuler out there he’ll be voting for?) and who ran by firing off an AR-15 to assert that, no, students walking out or not, he’s not going to take your gun away…

But that’s okay, because the Democratic Party doesn’t need to focus as of yet…
… Reminds me, though.  You hear about the New Zealand diplomat flummoxed by the yell out for a “Bernie Sanders / Elizabeth Warren” ticket?

Surely that would win somewhere.  Just not in this Pennsylvania district.  (Oh.  Wait.  Sanders won over Northern Vermont, or something… never firing an AR-15 but sticking around long enough on that account anyways.  Warren is going to talk incessantly about her Oklahoma roots.)

And if New Zealand’s deputy high commissioner to the United States has any better ideas for options, she didn’t seem to suggest whom…

Hillary Clinton has let it be known that it’s not her…  but we already knew that.

… new national fronting

Monday, March 12th, 2018

So the Mother Jones magazine does one on the California Secessionist Movement.  Yeah, and Southern Oregon with some Northern California becomes the state of Jefferson, Eastern Washington splits into its own state, and the rest of Oregon joins the rest of Washington — perhaps along with Vancouver and British Columbia — to form Cascadia.  (Or is Ectopia?)

The following day, a rival group of independence supporters gathered on the north side of the state capitol in Sacramento. Speaking through a bullhorn to a crowd of around 20 people and 2 dogs, Louis Marinelli, the 31-year-old cofounder of Yes California, called for “a political divorce on Valentine’s Day based on irreconcilable differences.” 

The noontime rally was the official “relaunch” of Yes California’s “Calexit” campaign, which got off to a bumpy start in late 2016. Marinelli was living in Russia at the time, sparking skepticism about his intentions. (The California National Party tweeted, “Hands off California, Putin. We won’t take orders from your puppet Moscow Marinelli.”)

Sure.  But the question that looms — when the Russian government starts cheering the secessionist movement on, playing it up hard and fast on their state “Russia TV” show, maybe even tossing in a whole bunch of facebook pages algogrithmed right at you…

What are you supposed to do then?

But now Marinelli says he has moved back to California for good. Asked if the cloud of his Russian interlude still hangs over Calexit, he laughs. “Clouds bring rain, and rain makes flowers. We’re looking forward to springtime.”

Springtime for…

Then there’s this movement:

In 2014, Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper floated a plan to create “Six Californias,” perfectly highlighting the state’s cultural and economic divides by establishing four affluent bluish enclaves and two poor conservative ones. (He has since downsized his plan to three Californias.)

I vote for 12 Californias.  Any fewer and it’s just bandages on the problem.  Of course, now I’d have to look at California and poke up a map.

Yes California paints independent California as a progressive utopia with universal health care, free college, lower taxes and a bare-bones military. However, Marinelli says, breaking away doesn’t just appeal to disaffected coastal liberals. He cites Yes California supporters who also back Jefferson, a nearly eight-decade effort to break off Northern California (and part of Oregon) into a new state. “A lot of people up in the Jefferson movement think that if they help Calexit become a reality, and California secedes from the union, they then can have a self-determination referendum of their own to secede from California and rejoin the American union as the 51st state. That’s kind of a workaround, right?”

Citizens of Jefferson: Don’t put the cart before the horse.  This could end up badly for you.

Polls find that about one-third of Californians support secession. (About a quarter of all Americans say states should be able to secede.) But none of California’s elected officials support it. Marcus Ruiz Evans, Yes California’s president, said the political mainstream will eventually come around.

Sooner or later, there’ll be a Ron Paul (even a left wing variant of one — say someone from the “Socialist Alternative” so hopped up about a city council woman in Seattle) gadfly figure, who’ll have his following, spew a bunch of things, then… you’ll see about one third of Californians sending his/her seccessionist speeches all about facebook.  And that’ll get us … something… of some worth.




the name sounds so much different?

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Steve Bannon has jumped over to France over this weekend, to participate in the National Front’s big hullaboballo convention, just — I suppose — as Marine Le Pen made her appearance at America’s CPAC conference — to some embarrassment amongst some conservatives.  Except, Steve Bannon wouldn’t have made an appearance at CPAC — what with his break from the Trump Administration…

… though, correct me if I’m wrong.

The big news at the National Front conference is the decision — or plan — to scrap the name National Front.  And what do we have now instead of the boot-strapping sounding “National Front” name?

The National Rally!

Le Pen proposed on Sunday the party should rename itself “Rassemblement National,” which translates to “National Rally.” Almost immediately after the big reveal, French media and experts on far-right groups noted the similarity to a party founded in 1941 to work with with the Nazis ― “Rassemblement National Populaire.”

Eh.  The lack of “Popularire” makes all the difference.  (Is that the “National Popular Rally in English?)

Another issue with “Rassemblement National” is that a smaller French right-wing party already has that name, and its leaders accused Le Pen of “astonishing amateurism” for trying to steal its banner. An official from the Rassemblement National trademarked the name in 2013 with The National Institute for Intellectual Property, according to HuffPost France.

Le Pen, in turn, claimed that the National Front will sue Rassemblement National for copying her party’s red-and-blue flame logo in its materials. She tweeted Monday that the media should apologize for broadcasting Rassemblement National’s statements, and called the allegations ”#FakeNews.”

Smaller parties don’t exist.  They can’t exist.  It’s a hybrid variant of America’s two party system and the general relationship with third parties — except in a multi party  run off system [although noted in the last couple elections, they are the second party] —  eventually you can’t claim to have a party.  Or maybe it’s how I saw this book for children entitled “Dog Man” (I believe written by the Captain Underpants writer) featuring the same cartoonish likeness for “Dog Man” as I had for Dog Man when I was a child — and probably a whole lot of other Dog Man child creators — maybe one of us should have copyrighted it, but then again — it’s a little too obvious.

“Rassemblement national” — which can be translated as National Rally or National Gathering 

Dog Man probably translates to French and then back to English as “Dog Gathering”?

Dear Marine, the RN (Rassemblement National) already exists and you can’t deny that when it has stood against your candidates several times since 2014,” Kurek wrote in a letter he published on Twitter.

“The RN is Gaullist and republican right, the FN is extreme right,” he wrote, referring to the National Front.“The FN will NEVER be the RN and the RN will NEVER be the new FN.”

Speaking on RTL radio, Le Pen dismissed Kurek’s claim, saying her party first registered the name“Rassemblement National” in 1986. She said she would take legal action against Kurek for what she called his fraudulent use of the National Front’s flame logo as his party’s symbol.

Oh.  Hm.  Were they just parking the name for future use?  And wouldn’t it be null and void by the similarity with the WW2 era Nazi occupation party?

 In France, trademarks and logos are registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). The INPI register shows that the brand“RN Rassemblement National” and its logo were registered to a Frederick Bigrat in 2013.

[…]  In a statement, the National Front said it knew that and had bought the rights by private deed last month.

Frederick Bigrat SOLD OUT, man!

But Kurek shows little sign of backing down. He told Europe 1 radio he planned to go to court to defend his use of the name and would field candidates in 2020 municipal elections under the Rassamblement National banner.

It’s just like when there were two different Reform Partys back in 2000, and so scattered around the nation you couldn’t tell if you were voting for Buchananites or Transcendental Meditators.  I suppose France can hack such a situation if America could.

also stilleto heels…

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

I hear the crowing on the Italian election results.  They say, or so people interviewed on NPR, Italy,s always further along than everyone else in trending.  They gave us fascism first, as too a larger Communist party.  Now check us out… We are out Brexiting Britain, out Trumping America…  actually so much so, Bannon may just think to hide out there…

One problem… Who gave us the Jacobins… not Italy…


Chairman Xi

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

The Chinese censors are right now have banning the phrase “Cult of Personality” from China’s Internet, due to the announcement of Chairman Xi that he’s dumping the term limits — an announcement, I may as well add, that is being met with widespread cheers by the Chinese People… or, you know… “The People” ™.

Also banned are images of Winnie the Poo.  Satirical likeness — it is here that I may add the shame that Ed Milibrand didn’t make it in as Prime Minister just for the sake of seeing more of Wallace of Wallace and Gromit fame.   (Well, that and Brexit wouldn’t have happened.)  I don’t know if Winnie the Poo is banned permanently, or just at highly sensitive moments as when Xi announces he’s going to stay for life.

The big shame for Xi’s march here is that it wasn’t his predecessor who made the move.  Just to enjoy the periodic Abbot and Costello riffs that greeted Hu.  Then again, maybe Xi translates into something in some other language with some other cultural artifact to riff off of… who knows?

radio radio…

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

Appreciating the odd shifts of “Classic Rock” / “Album Oriented Rock” radio playlists, on what is considered “classic” now.  It’s not so much the idea that some 90s (for lack of a better term) “Nu Metal” slides through in the “what the demographic that was listening to Led Zeppelin at the time was listening to now” manner — that’s understandable enough.  It’s the sudden appearance of Twisted Sister — “We’re Not Going to Take It”, and Dio — “Rainbow in the Dark”, or… the music that was just passe at the time finds its way… sliding back into the mix.  Back in the day, you had Dio used as a punchline — playing at the South Park dance — the joke being, of course:  of no interest or use to the hep kids of South Park.

Beyond it… Rock appears to be dead.  For the Millionth Time. Or at least the variant thrown to whatever geo-socio-demographic this is fragmented down toward.