Archive for October, 2018

we’re all screwed

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

I think it was Kurt Vonnegut.. but it may have been someone else… (echoing a theme from Frank Zappa, who may also be the man who said it… )… and worthwhile in staring at voting patterns and commentary post Kavanaugh.

Jocks and cheerleaders vote Republican; nerds and hoods Democratic.  And at that, Kavanaugh’s confirmation and the just past circus show helps Republicans in the districts and states where high school football is king…

The Kind of Kid who’d listen to UB40 in the 80s… interesting to note, they delayed their US tour… which I thought may have had something to do with this story, but looking closer — no, this was “best of release” delay related…
We’re also in familiar territory… there are two UB40s touring about (band split up and formed around two different nuclei)… and also they express some surprise at the conservative right winger listening to our “socialist” band.  (Shades of Paul Ryan and Rage Against the Machine.)  Sure, but the band had sold out its message for their big hits
And… we’re just a little stuck here with a story that smacks of “why do I care?

I hear a person on a local news posit that had Kavanaugh come out in Senate testimony with a kind of “Her testimony was credible enough, even though I don’t remember anything like that, and I was drunk a lot of the time and had some bad attitudes that I can’t say for sure I didn’t do it, but it is not who I am or have been in my adult life” – and squaring it with the idea that that would have produced a bi-partisan outpouring for support and some productive national and international dialogue on real concerns and issue…
I don’t buy it.  He’d be cast in the line of Brock Turner, and we’d be stuck on some kind of “we’re supposed to be patting him on the back and say ‘yah’ to this entitled frattie?”…
The Republican on the panel (former gubernatorial candidate) shifts his focus on the overweening powers that have been invested in the Supreme Court and the idea that this is where politicos punt over the tough issues.

Blowing it.  A flyer stuck in those free boxes posits the quote from Lindsey Graham… “This is what you get when you go through a trailer park with a hundred dollar bill.”  I know the quote as stemming from James Carville circa 1991 – 1992 on allegations against Bill Clinton.  If Graham is saying it, he’s referencing Clinton.  As it were, the basic gist of the thing — never mind the trailer park reference and the dollar amount, but it is that grifters abound and publicity hounds too — comes true in  allegation number three and Michael Avenatti — always a story bound to undercut the case.  The question that lingers… for the future… when unwelcome parties jump into the fray like that, what do you do to shove ’em away?  (The state media for the Democratic Party, MSNBC, could decline a platform, maybe?)

I have a theory, based on a snippet in news coverage (listening on npr) which stated Trump officials were working the phones on convincing everyone, and “even Democrats”… at a point in time when everyone was accounted for except Manchin… that Trump and Manchin had a Gentleman’s Deal.  Trump would cease campaigning in West Virginia.  Just… watch to see if West Virginia continues to be on the President’s itinerary.

And, granted, he’s up in the polls, so the president would have an excuse… even as he jumps over to Mississippi of all places… It is worth pointing out, to the hemmers “You’re up by double digits… you have room for this”… hm… he was up by double digits, until he was then up by high single digits.

Apparently the Senate race in Indiana — nothing much just happened? — will come down to competing rallies from Donald Trump and Joseph Biden.

The corrupt Democratic incumbent in New Jersey, — who, I don’t know, can the Democrats just promise that if elected, he’ll be summarily shoved aside and replaced in a fortnight?  (That’s essentially what Oregon Democrats did with John Kitzhaber in his last election) — apparently feeling the need to get the race onto a national positioning of Ds versus Rs as his polls start to sink  — and we have the tweet that shows where Senatorial discourse is in this day and age…

Just read the FBI report on Kavanaugh – if that’s an investigation, it’s a bullshit investigation.

Hold on… the norm’s have been re-calibrated

Yes, Democrats can pick up a House seat in West Virginia this cycle. Richard Ojeda, a state senator and veteran, supported Trump for president in 2016 only to turn against him, saying he “hasn’t done shit” for people in West Virginia. This is how Ojeda speaks—loosely—and it’s led us to a surreal situation in which we have President Trump and the Republican candidate, Carol Miller, suggesting that Ojeda is too inappropriate for Congress. At a recent West Virginia rally, Trump called him a “complete whacko” and “stone-cold crazy.” All of this has been funneled into a Miller ad that expresses shock at someone using “personal attacks” being sent to Washington. What a world.

We’re back at Alexis Torqueville’s horror at seeing Davey Crockett in the House.


Try to find the “center“… which, maybe you can get to if you pull away the politicos.


Too afraid for either of us to speak Weinstein’s name, he used a nonspecific pronoun: “They would come after you with everything they have. Look what’s going down with Gawker,” he said, citing the soon-to-be-shuttered news site that had been destroyed by a vindictive rich person. 

Yeah… I hate to be “that dude”, but… I kinda have to side with the “vindictive rich person” on this one.

We are in weird terrain with some of the commentary… like, which set of elites do you identify with here?  Is that the basic tribal message for the plebes?

the ron paul revolution evolves…

Thursday, October 4th, 2018


The candidate is one of three running this election season that has been endorsed by Ron Paul.  And this is the only way he gets any media coverage outside a few aspersions to possible “spoiler role”.  I suppose there might be something to a de-centralized campaign a libertarian philosopher king would endorse?

“Instead of paying for ineffective jail sentences, Ryan Bundy proposes to The People of Nevada a more efficient retribution process: ‘eye-for-an-eye,’” the site said.

The post, which Bundy had removed from the website after he saw it, was done by campaign manager Cardiff Gerhardt without approval.

“Once I read it, I took it down,” Bundy said.

Gerhardt’s post went on to call for not one death sentence for someone convicted of multiple murders, but rather one death sentence for each act of murder, with the convicted apparently being brought back to life multiple times to fulfill this.

“If you murder 10 people, you will be murdered 10 times before your freedom is returned to you (we can remove the final resuscitation if the prisoner so chooses),” the site said.

I would suggest that he’s suggesting that the multiple death penalties is literally flogging a dead horse, but that’s not correct… it is closer to being more literal than normally suggested with the expression, though.

Come to think of it, if you’re guilty of bestiality, would the animal be screwing you?

The problems for Next Time… and maybe even this time

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Put aside the details, put aside the specifics… and I’m left with these…

(1) 11th Hour Revelations are things that ought be avoided if possible.  And maybe if you wind this back, Dianne Feinstein played it as well as she could have — in part because the Republicans aren’t necessarily playing in good faith, but you can’t blame the immediate “Are you kidding me?” cry of “bad faith”.
As it continues, 11th hour accusations and October Surprises proliferate and bring about some diminishing returns.  (Meehaps an example is Trump 2016?)

(2)  I’ve seen that statistic.  94 percent.  I don’t know what it means, as at some point a judgement call needs to be made, but 94 percent of sexual assault (or maybe it’s rape?) allegations prove to be true.  That stat is thrown out to counter the calls for “due process” and in arguing for levels of evidence required to convict someone.  And sure.  But if you want to lower the percentage — if by a statistically insignificant sum — what you do is set up the political process where an allegation under a “Believe All Women / Victims” chant — sinks an unwelcome career — to sink political directions… because the stakes are high enough to pull it in.

(3) I don’t really know how you thread this needle in posting up high school and college indiscretions as both evidence of lying under oath on ancillary matters and showing the culture where the crime could happen, but this is creating a spot where non political people moving in and out of the story can say “We’re battling high school drinking habits and adolescent humor?”  Different definitions of “identity politics” brings you to “Can you survive that scrutiny?” and “I’d have to justify something there?”  (I can easily explain some comments left in my high school yearbook, but I wouldn’t want to.)  Again, we’re ignoring this specific case and I’m wanting to lay out the precedent of the problems of this trial as you move forward to the next trial.

(4) The rules of moral panics… even moral panics that start from points of legitimate concerns of immorality … gives as that third “gang rape party” allegation the spectre of Michael Avenatti.  The story falls apart on impact, and with the initial “Not … helping” from leading Democrats validated, even as it moved to tepid forms of support (Dick Durbin jumping in that “she put her neck on the line”) and movement into discourse — corroborated as it were by John Hughes movies of the 1980s — and casually sliding in as points of fact in various think editorials.  So it becomes a line of incredulity for the Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee and Donald Trump himself — defacto evidence against the initial “was credible” accuser.  It’s an unwanted distraction, and easily viewed as such from the get-go … and yet, you’re having to weed it away.
Satanic Ritual Abuse, shades of.

the plight of the red state Democrats

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

The conventional wisdom has it that Kavanaugh is a loser for the Republicans in the US House, and — because of the sheer non democratic nature of the Senate and the terrain it’s being battled on — perhaps a winner for the US Senate.

And so goes a calculus in nationalizing the election and letting the House go (with a perhaps stipulation that a wave of “shy Tories” under-represented in the polls because it’s perhaps socially unacceptable in their circles to back Trump – Kavanaugh), because the Senate nation 2018 is in Trump Land.

What we have in terms of candidate stance break-down.  Beto O’Rourke (Texas) and Phil Bredesen (Tennessee) are left clearing up lost “double bind vaguely hypocritical” aspersions and scandals, even as O’Rourke’s political positioning has him opposing Kavanaugh as a matter of course and Bredesen would probably just like to insist “I’m not going to be in a position of voting on this judge.”

The review from the Oct. 10, 1991 edition of the paper was written under the byline Robert O’Rourke and offers a sharp critique of the musical “The Will Rogers Follies.”
O’Rourke criticized the “perma-smile actresses whose only qualifications seem to be their phenomenally large breasts and tight buttocks.”
He wrote that the entire performance was “one of the most glaring examples of the sickening excesses and moral degradations of our culture.”
O’Rourke said the show was “produced and directed in such a showy, glitzy, and ultimately, tacky manner, that one cannot help feeling disgusted throughout the show.”

This begs the question: how was O’Rourke supposed to suggest that the actresses were talent-less and the show was selling up their sex appeal?

Jon Tester (Montana) and Claire McCaskill (Missouri) are no votes, but largely citing other matters —

“I have concerns that Judge Kavanaugh defended the Patriot Act instead of Montanans’ privacy,” Tester said in a statement. “I have concerns about his support for more dark money in politics. I have concerns about who he believes is in charge of making personal health decisions. And I have deep concerns about the allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh.”

Citing “dark money” in politics as the main reason for her opposition, McCaskill released a lengthy statement through her office Wednesday evening.

The great comedy on Claire McCaskill is that competing polls showing the neck and neck race moving in two directions are being cited by liberal news / commentary sources and conservative news / commentary sources to posit their narrative.

Joe Donelly (Indiana) and Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) stuck himself in a bind for trying to get behind a “we need an FBI investigation that is being stone-walled” position.  It appears Heitkamp is sinking — already a tad sank anyways — and we’ll wait to see if Donelly hangs about.

Joe Manchin (West Virginia) probably sums up how he’ll sell what I imagine will end up being a no vote…

To those who might not give him their support based on how he votes during Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, Manchin offered an apology.
“I’m sorry you’re a one-issue voter,” he said.

As it were, Heitkamp and Manchin in particular will be changing the topic to other matters quickly — Manchin in particular probably has been given something of an out from President Trump in that he can now proclaim the greatness of his NAFTA 2.0 “USMCA” deal, and tie himself with Trump on that traditionally Democratic issue (though not on the presidential level) that won him Manchin’s constituency (if over to neighboring states).

And it is comical that Trump made his latest “outrageous” statements in Mississippi where… can you consider that senate race an actual competitive race?

One last note — evidently the Russians are sending out massive propaganda in Utah against Senate candidate Mitt Romney.  Comedy.  It should cost the candidate ten points so he’ll win by 40 instead of 50.