Archive for August, 2018

the coming clunker of a gubernatorial race in Florida

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Listening to the left wing celebration on Democracy Now on the victory of Andrew Gillum in the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary wearies me.  First of all, we start with the presumption of guilt — unexplained — on the part of the Republican nominee with the following comment…

We’ve got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction. Let’s build off the success we’ve had on Governor Scott. The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.

The show kept chopping the first line of that out, which does clarify the matter a little and add ambiguity on “monkeying”.  And here the problems comes rushing in:  cue all conservative and Republican media outlets with clips of any Democrat and especially Obama using the term “monkey” in this way, and…

Probably the case of what everyone thinks is going on.  Probably.

Yes.  Years ago, with Bob Corker against Harold Ford in Tennessee, my initial response to the charge regarding his “Playboy ‘call me'” ad was that the racist charge on it was overblown, until the follow up radio ads with bongo confirmed… it was indeed, but plausible deniability is built into these things for a reason.  Ditto his comment describing Gillum as “articulate” — (I suppose he may have gone the Joseph Biden route with his black opponent and said ‘clean’) — the question comes in: what back-handed compliment belittling him can he go with?  If I were a cynical advisor for Ron Desantis, I would get “caught” in a calculatedly “off-the-record” tape of the sort that had Romney recounting 47 percents and Hillary calling out baskets of deplorables and Obama with “bitter” gun clingers… (or maybe just something sure to be caught by a Gillum tracker ala George Allen’s “Macaca”) where he’d be complaining about the “monkey” matter and really stir the fire by acting frustrating on everything and suggesting something like “I say ‘monkeying’ around, everyone knows what I mean, and you know… then the liberal media just goes Apeshit over it…”  Ba da bing, worth a “identify with the candidate” that wins over the gut of pc-hating Floridans who think — rightly or wrongly — they’re just walking on egg-shells.

To his credit, the interviewed spokesperson — left wing political activist — punches the trivial concern away to discuss what he really thinks the campaign should be about.  To his discredit, it comes across as a bunch of blustery noise that doesn’t signify anything.  And now I’m fatigued by things — there are goods and bads with the policy apparatus of the more liberal candidate who won this nomination as opposed to the policy apparatus of the more centrist “establishment” candidate who lost, but I do get tired of being shuffled into the idea that I’m voting for a “movement” that stretches across all issues into a tidy inter-locked package.

But more than that… the happy talk… the celebration gets to me.

And on Tuesday, we saw that the majority of people in the state of Florida want to move forward.

Election results:

Ron DeSantis — 913,997
Andy Putnam — 591,550
Bob White — 32,593
Others — 80,333

Andrew Gillum — 517,863
Gwen Graham — 472,995
Philip LeVine — 306,621
Others — 212,481

It is an unpleasant sign for Democratic chances in November that the Republican vote total was greater than the Deomcratic vote total.

The activist goes on to call the state of Florida a “racist state” and that we have the opportunity to enact a “radical agenda” and…

It has its virtues, and it’s good to be a truth teller, but I’m not sure the framing works to win over a general electorate.

And a crux of the coming elections in November, from the other political activist here.

So, I’m from Chicago, where we have a number of rank-and-file Democrats who actually are perhaps Democratic in name, but in all other ways they are corrupt, they don’t actually act in the best interest of the people—from Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago to various members of our City Council to the person who sits as governor in the state of Illinois.

Fantastic, perhaps?, but in the meantime… on the ballot in Florida… the incumbent Senator Bill Nelson who… currently trailing Rick Scott (the man the Republican nominee is tying his record to and urging everyone not to “monkey it up”)… and… well, Bill Nelson needs the Gillum voters who aren’t terribly enthused by such a centrist figure as he to deign to vote for him, and Gillum needs to stop any bleeding from his voters who are stuck on “Democratic Socialism”…

… Presumably, despite not proceeding with a neatly tied together “movement” grounds, they’d prefer Nelson over Scott — particularly if it spells the difference between a Democratic and a Republican senate, correct?

… And they both will be a bit off each other’s track in messaging as they proceed.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I want to turn to Fox News host Laura Ingraham commenting on Andrew Gillum’s upset victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida.
LAURA INGRAHAM: Gillum is the African-American male version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He’s young. He’s kind of dynamic. And he’s running on a platform of universal Medicare, legalized marijuana and abolishing ICE. Exciting. And he’s viewed by hard-left Democrats as kind of a savior from the stranglehold that the party’s establishment have had on their desires, hopes and dreams.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Charlene, can you comment on that? I mean, Fox News, that’s the same network that DeSantis said “monkey this up.”
CHARLENE CARRUTHERS: Yeah, you know, this is more of the same. We saw this in 2008. We saw it in 2012. And we saw a version of it in 2016, where conservatives, Republicans, where the media, that is also controlled by corporate interests, use not just these whistleblowers, but, as Andrew noted, like bullhorns, to really lay their values out on the table.

… Uh huh.  Am I missing something here?  Laura Ingraham said the exact same thing as the group of activists in this DN interview, only with a sarcastic inflection on the word “exciting”, and changing “radical” to “hard left”…

But we’re stuck in the narrow echo chambers, having to twist Laura Ingraham’s message that echoes those of these activists, if from an oppositional stance instead of a supporting stance, into … something that doesn’t?

in the future, Trump will be the new Carter

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

At around the time of Barack Obama’s inauguration, the still alive presidents did a photo op where … fascination.

And I’m imagining in the future, where this photo-op is re-enacted.  In 2009, we saw Jimmy Carter separated from everyone else.  I’m imagining Donald Trump will be in the same basic spot as Jimmy Carter.

And in defense of Donald Trump visa vie John McCain…

He’s right.  No need to have the flag at half mass for every John, Dick, and Ed who… no bones about it, he doesn’t even like…

Wait.  We’re thinking of a man who politicized flag reverence politics visa vie NFL players, so we may be in that “Sigh.  Hypocrisy Call” angle.

And in defense of John McCain against callers out from the “left” about his not so maverick stance — with a litany of problems that accord to his essential Republican nature and his essential Hawkish nature… (voted with Trump some 85 or whatever percent of the time) no one said he wasn’t anything but a Hawkish Republican… whose principles happen to not align with yours… or, you know, mine.


they’re selling mccain now

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

Upon the passing of David Foster Wallace, a lone Rolling Stone article covering the 2000 presidential campaign of John McCain was spruced into a tidy little volume and put out for sale.  And, there it was… a long magazine article published into a book.

I suppose now, upon the death of the subject matter — John McCain — that the book may as well be reprinted.  You know, the first time it was to squeeze in every point of sale and interest springing from the death of the great author, this time for the great politician.

But, nay.  It is also possible the publishing industry has shifted enough that the market’s no longer there — go online, and you can find the damned article — so, we’ll just have to settle for a reprint of those point of sale impulse buy magazines for “John McCain” which I saw some of a year or so ago —

— covering all political bases, this one spliced together to target your patriotic moderate to conservative longing for a hero in the days of Trump —

Anyway, if you want to buy some McCain dumplings… you’ll have your opportunity now.

All very sad, but life continues, so we can go ahead and segue now to a… a porpoise kissing show?  …

echoes of courthouses

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Is it just me, or is the latest utterances from President Donald Trump —

He doesn’t like the “flippers“…

— round about where we have an enforcer standing in the back of the courthouse as a gang member / drug dealer / whatever is being prosecuted, wearing a “Stop Snitchin‘” shirt? — an which, theoretically, has its defenders

He won the Italian Mob vote, I know, but…

Psst.  Jeff Sessions.  Be sure to look up when you enter an elevator, capiche?

the newly woke Archie Comics

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

I’m looking over one of the latest offerings from Archie Comics.  So, what we have with this series, as is everything published by comic book publishers these days fit for instant graphic novel… “Betty and Veronica — Vixens” it’s… urm… the girls form a biker gang in order to kick the asses of some biker dudes (and their toxic masculinity) and take a stand for feminism, and the rights of Women.

… or something like that.

I suppose it’s worth noting the conflicting history for the company on these matters.  As reprinted in the coffee table book released in the early 1990s at the 50th anniversary, there’s a story from the fundamentalist Christian conservative Al Hartley where the women faculty at Riverdale High are debating whether or not to form a women’s lib group, and Mr. Weatherbee comes storming in to put a stop to this, but stops when they all decide not to with that annoying rejoinder on “equal rights” “Why would we want to take a step back to that?” and clear cut gender roles being re-asserted with Mr. Weatherbee opening the door for everyone… and ha ha ha… A story I’m sure the company is embarrassed by these days, as what we see in the “Best of” collections for the collection reprinting a story from each of Archie’s 75 years is a mid-1970s story where the girls are agitating to remove all the outdated influences of Ms. Grundy, only to find out that she’s been spear-heading moves in that direction…

Almost certainly have the Al Hartley story in deep freeze.  (Though, let me know if some digest reprints it.)

Beyond that to the apolitical nature of things…  I’m sure you can probably force some 3rd wave feminist angle from — particularly around this decade of the 1970s– you ever get the feeling the company’s main artist — Dan Decarlo– basically spent 9 months of the year in a holding pattern just waiting for the summer months so he could spend all his energy filling up his comics workload with what he really wanted to draw?

But in the current iteration of this “biker chick” Betty and Veronica — and a quick scan of the internet asks the question which I saw floating about in some criticism of the new Wonder Woman movie — “Is this really feminist?” — oh, they’re just aping this male violence… and a close-up of Gadot’s butt thrown in to boot.

But be that is it may… I’m thrown off by something which is a little… either ham handed or just plain off…

It’s an armpad worn by the leather jacketed biker adversary, someone with the biker gang — the “Serpeants” (a biker gang whose leader is… believe it or not… a retooled version of the lizard alien adversary in the old Little Archie comics.  “huh”).  We get a close-up to signify the nature of their … awful politics… And there, riding just above some vaguely fascistic seeming imagery (a bolt of lightening or something… something like two “s”s which are your nazi ss formation, or the last two letters in “Kiss”…)

It’s the letters “PC” with a line crossing over them.

Uh huh.  Fight the Power!!

I suppose we’re getting into the “4-chan” zeitgeist here, where you throw up a forum devoted to “un pc” and the transgressive humor therein works as a gateway to alt right politics.  The word is loaded and confused.  I flip past am talk radio and hear a conservative radio host blast Colin Kaepernick and the National Anthem kneelers, and align their politics as “PC” — when I would argue that in the context of the politics of the masses of stadium goers and the general public, their politics are the unpc.  (Upsetting oh so sensitive sensibilities, correct?)  Thereabouts the word becomes … meaningless or fudged.

It’s a little… unclear… hereabouts I lose the comic book’s politics.  Like, somewhere along the line we’re going to forge our way into the counting of micro-aggressions, which is… a rabbit hole no one is going to win.

one step to the left, another step to the left, and a third step to the left

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Meet the anarchist Senate candidate…

a contradiction in terms?

I don’t believe him.  I know of my anarchists, they don’t run for political office.  That’s the job of those damned liberals, those damned reformists captive to the system, not seeking to overturn everything.
Know your Emma Goldman quote, damnedit — “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

Carico, who is nonbinary and goes by Jae Em, wants to mainstream anarchism and push Democrats further left. White supremacists from David Duke to Tom Metzger have used political campaigns in this manner for decades, and now, according to the Anti-Defamation League, there are 10 far-right extremists running for national office, eight as Republicans. A couple have even won primaries. Self-identified members of Antifa have not yet copied this strategy — but Carico hopes to change that.

Cool, so far as it goes.  But this means he’s running in the Democratic primary.  Right?
No, actually he appears to be an independent.  Everything about this article, and the couple wins by “Democratic Socialists” for House seats, can be tossed out the window now.  Just as well.  Damned Nader-ish spoiler!  — Oh, wait.  I’m stuck in Bourgeois politics think.  (And, frankly, not very good bourgeois political analysis at that.  A run for office gets some media attention, and is thus worthwhile activism I’d think– even if not the means to a revolution, and no one contemplating a vote for him is going to go for Bredesen.)

Brian Levin, Director at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, said that Antifa members don’t have the organizational skills to burrow into mainstream politics like far-right extremists.

Wait.  You don’t say?  Surely they have some problems in coalition building — what with viewing the “slightly progressive leftist”s as tools of bourgeois system tinkerers… deserving of a clubbing, evidentally.

A “slightly progressive leftist” by his telling, Welch is a registered Democrat in Oregon, voting records show. He cast his ballot for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary and Hillary Clinton in the general election, he said.

The 38-year-old line cook is also no stranger to street protests in Portland. He said he attended the Women’s March held during the weekend of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

This summer, Welch, who works six days a week at a catering company, stopped by the Occupy ICE encampment on his days off to bring protesters water, toilet paper and sunblock, he said. […]

As he carried his flag, two people dressed in black and covering their faces approached Welch and demanded he turn it over to them, calling it “a fascist symbol,” he said.
Welch refused, and the counter-protesters ripped it out of his hands, he said.
Welch wouldn’t relinquish the flag.
Video captured by Mike Bivins, a freelance journalist, shows what happened next. […]

“My bones turned to Jell-O and I just went down,” said Welch, who believes he was struck with a metal object affixed to the end of the weapon.
The video shows a crowd of onlookers watching as Welch lay on the ground in a fetal position. Another counter-protester, holding a shield, appears to stand above the injured man and jabs him with a makeshift weapon.

I’m not entirely sure the thugs here make any distinction between the “Proud Boys” / “Patriot Prayer”ers and the Bernie Bro flag waver — again: just a bunch of bourgeois clods brainwahsed to saluting the “Amerikkka”…
… though, I suppose, to some in the “movement”, this may include this Tennessee Senate candidate now… fooling around with America’s crooked institutions.

Rocky makes his rounds

Monday, August 20th, 2018

This year, de la Fuente has run in U.S. Senate primaries in nine states without achieving success in any of them. So far in 2018, de la Fuente has been blown out in Senate races in California, Washington, Hawaii, Vermont and Minnesota. He is running in the Wyoming primary this week and in Florida next week with contests in Rhode Island and Delaware waiting next month. 

So.  A scorecard.

California, open primary.  He came in 9th in a field of 14, with 2.03 percent of the vote.

Washington’s open primary.  He came in 21st place in a much more crowded field with .34 percent of the vote.  Does this fall off from California represent a smaller constituency in the state or just a more splintered field — with votes being taken away by “Good Space Guy”, for instance?

Hawaii’s Republican primary.  Fifth in a field of seven with 11.41 percent of the vote.  Mind you, we’re now just talking one party, and the state’s minority party at that, so do the math and we may come down to California’s tally.

Vermont’s Republican primary.  Fourth, but “write in” tallies beat him.  4.04 percent.  Looking at the bright side, that beats Bernie Sanders’s first Senate race tally.

Minnesota’s Republican primary.  Fourth, with 5.88 percent.  (Was there any voter confusion with the second and third place candidates, Merill vs Rae Hart Anderson?)

Next up tomorrow… Wyoming.  Then it’s onto Florida next week, Delaware following, and Rhode Island — just to think small.

Can he do anything in any of those states?  At least top that 11.41, maybe?  The races seem set in stone, but if Robert Flanders can’t get 85 percent of the vote in the primary… well, that may spell troubles in the general!

dulling of the senses

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

“I think particularly right now, people feel so aggrieved and crazed and powerless that they’re picking the wrong battles,” Mr. Groening said.

Yeah, I’d alter the thought just a tad, in explaining what they think the line between the characters of Apu and the ground-swell of Trump characters are.  And then comes an on-rush of commentary, as seen when The Simpsons aired their “defense” / “delay” / “answer” on the “Problem of Apu” — leafing through an edition of The Entertainment Weekly I saw the episode diagnosed in a thumbs down category as “tone deaf”, which mostly just means… we disagree with it.  And Groening is too white to get to have an opinion on this.

The good news there, such as it is, is I can easily find a person of Indian descent who’s at war with pc culture and mocks the sentiment.  And then things get complicated on lines of authenticity, who speaks for whom, who gets to amplify whose voices.

Segue some commentary from Indians moving through their complicated history with Apu — at first, good to see representation, then… this and that, that and this, and… I’m supposed to be that?

Segue to an article pointing out what seems an obvious, and in some manner arrives at the: all of the Simpsons universe of characters are stereotypes.  And what do we do about Cleetus?  The point becomes: what a dull show this would be if we had played firmly within the lines.

Maybe a thought on the new relevance of The Simpsons in a manner it hasn’t been controversial since the days of old — the frolicking devil-may-care early Fox News, assaulting your puritanical sensibilities — Married with Children, The Simpsons, and Living Color.  Oh, those wacky Wayan Brothers.

Hey!  Comedy must be from the vantage point of the powerless toward the power!  And… must it?

And now I see commentary that the new show Groening is about to release — same bug eyed character design as always — and the take on fairy tales is … not subversive enough… in dismantling fairy tale motifs.  Which really means that it doesn’t confirm with their artistic or political ideology on what the “fractured fairy tales” should be saying.  And we’re back to square one with the problem with the problem with Apu.

unpc – ish entertainment commentary… maybe…

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians.  Shifting about for the inevitable backlash amongst the multicultural “Finally!  Asians as driving force” — not seen since Joy Luck Club

— and here, I guess, one Asian country is as good as another? —

— but never mind.  We are getting that “finally I see someone representing us” on the screen —

— but then the backlash… and the “Okay.  We got our rich Asians.  That’s… not … us.”  We’re not filthy rich!

What of the crazy poor Asians?

Once upon a time saw that with Will and Grace, to the promotion of the left political programs of “Free Speech TV” on cable access — a dykish black woman stands before the camera and rails against Will and Grace “That’s not us!  I’m not Will and Grace!”  (As in, this low budget program will fully cover the spectrum, and not just these white yuppies of New York City.)

Frustrating when one tv show or entertainment option has to carry the load, and the niche market for you hasn’t shifted into the mainstream mass option.

So, we have the “Asian” Dallas in our entertainment.   But we’ll only get somewhere when we get the more multi-cultural Asian Jerry Springer treatment… cover everyone.  THEN and only then will we see we’ve made progress.