Monday, November 28, 2016

Trump's Control Tower

Donald Trump's Press Secretary, err. I mean Campaign Manager, KellyAnn Conway, a woman credited with getting Trump essentially to shut up in the last 3-4 weeks of the campaign and talk only about jobs, has decided to call her boss's conduct of talking to Mitt Romney about a position in the administration, a "betrayal" of party faithful.

Now, given it's a "movement" of people who despise the establishment and Romney certainly s part of the monied elite, and further that it's a movement of people who hate any compromise, I'd say Conway's comments do reflect the feeling of the Trump faithful. 

However, Conway coming out and publicly criticizing Trump is professionally irresponsible.  I don't know if Conway is still employed by Trump but presumably she was headed for a position in his staff (at this point I'm guessing it's getting coffee).   She was "off the reservation" and Trump is reportedly livid.  But my question is, doesn't Trump have control of his staff?  His friend Rudy Giulliani can't shut up about getting the Secretary of State job and Trump can't make him.

Trump supposedly surrounds himself with excellent people (I mean look at Trump University), and talks about how smart he is and how tight a ship he runs but evidence is showing anything but.  He ran a campaign of baseless compliant and loose talk.  I think this will be the example for his campaign staff too.  Trump believes he is the only one who can speak out of turn, but as a leader you set a tone.  Conway's comments are something for which Trump is responsible.

The point is it seems pretty clear that Trump won't be in control of very much quite simply because he's not in control of himself.  He comes out and claims massive illegal voting occurred without any evidence, why does he think his staff won't operate the same way? 

There are many things which Trump does that are colossally stupid and which are worse than this.  He was able to keep a lid on his employees through the liberal use of lawsuits suing anyone who spoke out, but that doesn't work in government and won't work for him.  If fear is the way you control people, then when you aren't allowed to make them fearful, the hate you generate for your methods comes out.  Trump is a hands-off, uninvolved and uninformed super-delegator who gives out power to underlings who then in politics.... do what we have seen them do for years.. they fight among themselves until 1 or maybe 2 very powerful people run everything (like Dick Chenney).  That isn't going to be Steve Bannon, it could be Jarod Kushner (whom I don't remember anyone electing).  And whomever it is will have to contend with Trump running off the rails every other week or so because to Trump, no one controls him.

So, there won't be much in the way of control of staff or message in the administration for a while.  That's because the President-Elect doesn't practice it himself, doesn't want to control his staff (because that's too much work), and eventually we'll have someone step in to fill that power void.   It won't be Trump.  He won't be in control, not of his staff, and not of himself.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from Penigma blog

We are thankful for the kind consideration of all our readers.  We value and appreciate you, and this is a good occasion to express that to you.

May each of you find you have many things today for which to be glad and thankful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

So Twitter is going nuts ridiculing -- and correctly so -- Donald Trump's request for his kids' security clearances

This was my favorite - from Raw Story:
Of course needs top security clearance, how else can Donald ask her "Do these shoes go with this war?"

But this of many good tweets in the running was my runner up next to favorite:

I have a Theory on why
Trump wants his kids to
have Security Clearance.
So they can attempt to
in simple terms
what he was just told!

The Safety Pin and the Paper Clip, past and present history

The safety pin is an anti-oppression symbol being worn post the Trump election as a push back against acts of bigotry by Trump supporters, against the harassment and intimidation of people that the Trump presidency has made acceptable.

All hail President Pig and his Thug followers, and the violence they bring to this country!

I would not be surprised if lynching returned to the United States after the Trump inauguration. Black Church burnings are already here.

The paper clip was actually created by an American, but it was was widely mis-attributed to a Norwegian named Vaaler, and during World War II became a symbol for Norwegian unity and as a symbol of resistance to Nazis and to antisemitism.

I would encourage our Penigma readers to join in wearing a safety pin somewhere on your clothing as an "anti-Trump supporter violence" and an "anti-bigotry" gesture. Wear it as blatantly or as unobtrusively as suits your situation. But wear both, please, to make a statement for the duration of the Trump regime, however brief we might hope it to be.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cartoons from the rest of the world - a late Friday Fun Day





I will not Kumbaya with Trump

Kumbaya from the Urban Dictionary:
blandly pious and naively optimistic

The Kumbaya Law: In any conversation where some of the participants hold an opinion to the left of other participants, someone with the more conservative position will compare said person's opinion to the naivete of "singing around a campfire singing Kumbaya"
Our government, as of January 20th 2017, will be run by a man who appears to have collaborated with a foreign government to alter our elections.  This was a crime of espionage against Trump's political opponent.

It is not important that the crimes were against an opponent; that detail is merely a distraction from the real issues. In attempting to alter the results of an election this way with the collaboration of a foreign government, Trump welcomed and apparently participated in crimes against Americans. It doesn't matter a damn if the Americans were allies or opponents.

As Lincoln, who must be rolling in his grave so brilliantly said about representative government in the Gettysburg Address, our Constitution, the very premise of our nation, is to provide government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  To act against that by espionage to alter that election in cooperation with a foreign power is the opposite, the antithesis of government by OUR people.

The U.S. intelligence services clearly identified that Russia provided emails to wikileaks after committing a cyber attack against the Americans campaigning for Hillary Clinton.  Russia acknowledges that people from the Russian embassy were meeting with the Trump campaign prior to the election.  Equally important, Trump denied involvement with the Russians during the campaign which now appears to be false.

From the NY Times:

MOSCOW — The Russian government maintained contacts with members of Donald J. Trump’s “immediate entourage” during the American presidential campaign, one of Russia’s top diplomats said Thursday.
“There were contacts,” Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign,” he said.
Mr. Ryabkov said officials in the Russian Foreign Ministry were familiar with many of the people he described as Mr. Trump’s entourage. “I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives,” Mr. Ryabkov said.

From the WaPo, we see Trump is still trying to lie and deny his connections and benefits from the Russians and their actions:

The statement came from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said in an interview with the state-run Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team.
Ryabkov provided no further details, and his remarks drew a swift denial from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who said the campaign had “no contact with Russian officials” before Tuesday’s election.
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said staffers at the Russian Embassy in Washington met with members of Trump’s campaign — meetings she described as “normal practice.” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign refused similar requests for meetings, Zakharova told the agency.

We cannot currently accuse Trump of committing treason; we limit that term to acts of war.  I would argue that we should change that definition to include acts that attack, interfere with or undermine our national autonomy.  We are not formally at war with Russia, and cyber attacks are not currently included in our definition of attacks.  I would argue we have to change our definition of attack now to include cyber attacks as an act of aggression.  Clearly this is how the Russians view their own actions.  As we know from the much quoted Maya Angelou, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

And from Vox:

Fisher points to a 2013 article, by Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, as key evidence of this new Russian thinking. Gerasimov argued that "non-military means" had eclipsed weapons in their strategic importance. Controlling the information and propaganda environment can inflict serious blows on one’s enemies.
"The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness," Gerasimov writes. He advocates using "military means of a concealed character," including "actions of informational conflict" in order to accomplish Russian strategic objectives.
Gerasimov’s article uses the Arab Spring as a key example, which is telling. The Arab Spring wasn’t about wars between countries but rather upheaval inside countries. Gerasimov’s ideas, then, are explicitly designed to be used in attempts to influence other countries’ internal politics and conflicts.
That’s exactly what Russia is doing when it hands over the information to WikiLeaks.

And from a different piece over at Vox, we see that interference in elections and other domestic politics by the Russians against the autonomy and interests of countries is not unique to the USA:

"That Russia is pulling for Trump is at this point beyond any dispute," New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait writes. "Putin’s Russia has been proven or credibly alleged to have boosted friendly candidates in France, Germany, Austria, and, most successfully, in the election of a pro-Russian government in Ukraine. Something like this seems to be happening in the American presidential election now."

From The Tampa Bay Times:

Russia's role in Clinton WikiLeaks seen as move toward global influence

TAMPA — The emails and documents released by the group WikiLeaks are likely part of an effort by Russia to expand its global influence, a cyber security expert said Tuesday at MacDill Air Force Base.Russia "has been engaged very effectively in modern military warfare," said Mark Maybury, former chief scientist with the U.S. Air Force and now vice president with the federally sponsored, nonprofit research and development firm the MITRE Corp.
Maybury cited the example of Crimea, the region claimed by both Ukraine and Russia, where Russians were "engaged in information operations, cyber operations and deception operations."
...Available evidence, Maybury said, supports the view held by U.S. intelligence agencies that the hacks originated from Russia.
"They are trying to influence the election, in my humble opinion," Maybury said, acknowledging that he is extrapolating on publicly available information.
...Maybury is a former Air Force officer, an expert in artificial intelligence and author of 10 books who worked on World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The conference at MacDill, attended by about 100 cyber security experts and interested parties from industry, government and the military, was put on by organizations including the National Cyber Partnership, the Florida Chamber Foundation and the Tampa Bay Innovation Alliance.

We cannot support a man who engages in, or at the very least condones and benefits by crimes against Americans and the rights guaranteed to ALL Americans by the Constitution. We cannot expect Trump to protect or follow that Constitution.

We can only hope to take the House and the Senate in 2018 -- and it won't be easy. If we succeed, I believe this could rise to the required criteria of high crimes and misdemeanors to impeach Trump.

Happy Veterans Day, and Thank You to all our Armed Forces who serve or have served.

But a very special thank you to our Veterans; Penigma and the writers here honor you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Our first black president will have to hand over the White House to someone endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. Just let that sink in.

History repeating ?

We're screwed. But God bless the UK; they can still make us laugh.

I read this on the BBC Facebook Site about the Donald Trump win.

The rest of the world is in horror as much as the educated part of America over this election.  But they can still dish devastating humor in response, which is therapeutic.

So here it is:
An airplane was about to crash. There were 4 passengers on board, but only 3 parachutes.
The 1st passenger said, "I am Steph Curry, the best NBA basketball player. The Warriors and my millions of fans need me, and I can't afford to die." So he took the 1st pack and left the plane.
The 2nd passenger, Donald Trump, said, "I am the newly-elected U.S. President, and I am the smartest President in American history, so my people don't want me to die." He took the 2nd pack and jumped out of the plane.
The 3rd passenger, the Pope, said to the 4th passenger, a 10 year old schoolboy, "My son, I am old and don't have many years left, you have more years ahead so I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute."
The little boy said, "That's okay, Your Holiness, there's a parachute left for you. America 's smartest President took my schoolbag."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


That is the only word I have.  Well and maybe nauseated.  At this point I can only hope my fellow citizens expect results, expect progress, expect cooperation.  The Republican Party will control all branches of government (again).  Let's hope this time goes better than the last.

While we wait for the election results, Reich tells it true

If we are to heal the divisions of this nation, we need to undo the right wing evil that disenfranchised too many voters. Only those elections that represent the people are true democracy in action. I would argue that the greater the whole spectrum of legal voters who participate, the more valid that election as the will of the people, as government by the consent of the governed.

To do that I think we need a national holiday for voting, so even people forced to stand in lines (which we need to address) can vote without conflicts with other demands on their time. We need some form of automatic registration of citizens in this country, that does not vary from state to state. Sadly too many states have Republican majorities that have done everything they can to alter the outcome of elections in their favor, not by having better, more competitive policies, but by disenfranchising their opposition voters.

And we need some form of nation-wide early voting and absentee voting, and a nationwide law that prohibits gerrymandering. I would even go so far as to argue we should adopt a law that makes voting a civic duty, and that failure to do so results in some kind of fine, like a $100 surcharge on your state ID or driver’s license, or your passport. Or a mandatory extra fee on your taxes of around the same amount. We penalize people who ignore summons to jury duty, so why not for voting?

Here is Robert Reich, explaining unpatriotic conservative voter suppression brilliantly.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Franken Calls for Hearings: on Alleged Violations of the Hatch Act and the evidence for the Republican politicizing of the FBI to alter election outcomes for Trump

Our Senator, the excellent Al Franken, is calling for hearings on FBI director Comey.  The issue will be the application of the Hatch Act. Well there should be hearings, there is apparent corruption in the form of politicization of the FBI taking place to alter election outcomes.  From CNN:
"I think that there should be hearings, and I'm certain there will be hearings in the Judiciary Committee on this matter," the Franken told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."
"Even more troubling is what we've heard from sort of the rogue elements of the FBI seemingly tipping off former (New York City) Mayor (Rudy) Giuliani that something was up. I mean, it just seems like -- that's not the FBI," Franken said.
"We will have hearings. I'm sure that FBI Director Comey will be before us," Franken said. "I think he should be able to answer questions about this, and he should be able to control the FBI."
The Daily Beast did an excellent job of documenting the money and other ways, not just the Hillary Clinton email issues, where current and former members of the FBI was allegedly acting for political purposes on behalf of Republicans, and ties the New York office of the FBI to the Trump campaign.  It is too long to post here, but well worth a read.  It names not only Rudely Guiliani, who ran his mouth far too much about his secret surprises that sound very much like he meant the Huma Abedin emails, the article mentioned Jim Kallman as well.  Read it here.

I was disappointed and took exception to the speech Comey made about Hillary Clinton back in July of this year.  It deviated significantly from the usual FBI policy regarding investigation results.  I thought it showed tremendous bias, particularly as subsequent information including from the FBI has further supported Clinton, including the statements in September and this past weekend.

Too bad for the Trumpanzees, too bad for the GOP.  What should never have been a controversy has been resolved in favor of Hillary Clinton.

As I noted at the time there was no 'new controversy'; the emails were duplicates, without any sensitive much less classified information.  I would argue that in advance of any findings of wrong doing FBI director Comey should never have announced the discovery of emails on a computer (or at a minimum have said there was no evidence these e-mails meant anything at all but were being looked at as part of a thorough judicial review process).

The big question of course remains, will the news reach voters in time.  Does good news ever reach as many people as news of scandal? No, not usually; and it appears harm was done by the "leak" of this non-scandal.

Rudely Guiliani, a man who has made a lot of dishonest statements in his day, including dozens about this election, appears to have been telling the truth when he ran his mouth about what appears to be the FBI statements by and letter from Comey.  Now he tries to walk that back, but the record of his statements are all too clear.

We saw the right-wing try to corrupt and suborn and subvert democracy, honest representative government, under Dubya, with the attempt to politicize the DOJ.  The GOP and specifically the Trump campaign, and the Trump charity money, has apparently been more successful in doing that with the FBI.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What is wrong with Trump supporters? They don't know the difference between real gold and gold plate.

What is wrong with Trump supporters is the same thing that is wrong with Republicans generally.  They believe things which are not only false, but foolish. They not only ignore informed and experienced advice, they congratulate themselves on rejecting it.

That is dangerous. That is beyond merely foolish, verging on insanity.  There are those who consider conservatism to be approaching mental illness, and this election cycle has demonstrated that more than previous elections.  What they believe is false, and often ugly and violent and dangerous. It is too often completely delusional, with unrealistic expectations.  You have to wonder what they would do if their expectations were not met -- as they couldn't possibly be met.

From BuzzFeed, just yesterday:

Supporters Trust That A Trump Presidency Will Fix Just About Everything

“I think he’s going to change everything that he says he will”
JACKSONVILLE, Florida — Donald Trump supporters in swing states like Florida and North Carolina shared high hopes in the waning days of the election that their candidate will change the direction of the country — even if he hasn’t yet revealed how.
“I’m looking for him to pretty much fix everything he could try to fix,” said Tolliver, a young man selling t-shirts on the lawn outside the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, where Trump held a rally on Thursday. “I think he’s going to change everything that he says he will,” said Lillian Traylor, beaming with optimism.
The midday crowd in Jacksonville was dominated by veterans. Traylor was there with her son Dale, a hydrographer with the Army Corps of Engineers, and her husband Robert, a retired naval chief. “We’re just excited,” she added, softly, nudging her son to share more specifics. “He’s going to bring back jobs to these United States,” said Dale. Lillian nodded in agreement, pleased that he found the right phrase.

Not one of Trump's proposals are really anything new, or anything different from the policies of any other Republican candidate.  They are the same lies, the same false promises, the same failed beliefs, from the same architects of the same economic plans.

Only more so.  So much more so that 370 economists, 8 of them Nobel laureates, took the unprecedented step of writing an open letter condemning Trump on November 1st. Another 19 Nobel laureates signed a statement on October 31st condemning Trump.  Time magazine covered both:

‘He promotes magical thinking and conspiracy theories over sober assessments of feasible economic policy options’

Three hundred and seventy economists, including eight Nobel Prize winners, co-signed a letter that asserts, “Donald Trump is a dangerous, destructive choice for the country. He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality.”
The statement, which was first published by the Wall Street Journal, does not endorse a candidate. Instead it lists 15 points of concern about the Republican presidential nominee. Several criticize Trump for his assertions about supporting manufacturing workers, particularly those in Ohio and Michigan. Contrary to what he has said, the economists write that renegotiating NAFTA will not increase the number of manufacturing jobs: “manufacturing’s share of employment has been declining since the 1970s and is mostly related to automation, not trade.” (NAFTA came into effect in January 1994.) They also write that trade agreements have not cut national income and wealth, which has risen because, as the signatories write, trade is not “zero-sum.” (“Freedom to trade” was on a list of “what America needs” in a September statement of concern about “Hillary Clinton’s economic agenda” signed by 300 economists. An Oct. 31 statement by 19 Nobel laureates in economics decried Trump’s “reckless threats to start trade wars with several of our largest trading partners.”)
The new letter, signed by economists who won this and last year’s Nobel prizes as well as the chief economist at the World Bank, also questions Trump’s math on how he would eliminate the fiscal deficit while decreasing revenue; says he exaggerates immigration’s negative impact; and laments how “he repeats fake and misleading economic statistics, and pushes fallacies.”

We know what we get with those policies.  We get Kansas, multiplied nationwide. We get the economics of Arthur Laffer, who personally consulted with and for Gov. Sam Brownback in creating the Kansas economic plan.  That is consistently, persistently bad news.  It is long range and short range and mid range epic economic disaster. On steroids.  Which is how Trump's economic proposals have been characterized.
The reason for Sam Brownback making the reports on his economy less and less available, and now canceling them entirely is that the reports on his performance are unrelentingly BAD.  There is nothing good in them.  Measuring that performance, quantifying the results of those policies is to showcase epic failure.
What did Brownback do about it? He stopped reporting the results of his policies.  What can we expect Trump, Trump of the many bankruptcies, will do about it? Lie. Blame someone else. Anything but own the failures as his own, something Brownback is struggling to avoid - accountability.

From the Topeka Capital Journal.

Gov. Sam Brownback, advisers abandon report of Kansas economy

Economic council adopting an analysis generated by Federal Reserve
Absence of the state’s quarterly review was noticed by the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, which used the council’s report to advance tax policy conclusions contrary to those advocated by the governor. Heidi Holliday, executive director of the nonprofit center in Topeka, said the downplay and eventual demise of the council’s economic assessment tool was an attempt to minimize public exposure of weaknesses in Brownback’s program to build the state’s economy by exempting 330,000 businesses from the income tax and reducing individual state income tax rates.
“He specifically asked the council to hold him accountable through rigorous performance metrics,” she said. “Five years later, the metrics clearly show his tax experiment has failed while business leaders and local chambers of commerce across the state openly ask him to change course.”
During the 2016 election cycle, interest among Kansas business owners and political candidates appears to have grown for repeal of the tax exemption adopted in 2012 by the Republican-led Legislature and Brownback.
Both the monthly federal report and the defunct quarterly state report feature statistics on employment, unemployment, personal income and energy production.
“The missed revenue marks, missed job reports, missed projections shed light on his failed policies. I kind of find it a little ironic they chose to go to a federal government report after they blamed President Obama for our economic problems,” Burroughs said.
Six months after taking office in 2011, Brownback set up the Council of Economic Advisers with about 20 members drawn from business and industry. He said the council would be responsible for coordinating strategic economic development planning, evaluating state policies and agency performance, and researching Kansas’ tax competitiveness, regulatory structure and basic industries.
Brownback said comparing Kansas to a six-state region and the nation would offer timely determinations of whether “our policies and initiatives are having the desired economic effect.”
“Economic competitiveness requires a detailed understanding of regional, national and international economic conditions and trends,” Brownback said.

And here is what happened in Kansas, for those who don't live there or follow the outcome of those economic policies, from the same people advising Trump.  From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Kansas’ Tax Cut Experience Refutes Economic Growth Predictions of Trump Tax Advisors

...But those who will evaluate the revised Trump tax cut proposal should keep something in mind: Moore and Laffer were principal architects of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s massive tax cuts, and their predictions that those tax cuts would spur an “immediate” Kansas economic boom have proved strikingly inaccurate.

What Actually Happened in Kansas

In fact, the tax cut failed to boost the Kansas economy:
  • Since it took effect in January 2013, total employment in Kansas has risen only 2.6 percent, compared to 6.5 percent nationally.  Private sector employment in Kansas has risen 3.5 percent, compared to 7.6 percent nationally.
  • The state’s economy has grown less than half as fast as the national economy; Kansas’ gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.8 percent from the end of 2012 through the first quarter of 2016, while national GDP rose 11.9 percent.
  • Kansas’ share of newly opened business establishments in the United States has actually declined slightly rather than increased.[11]
Moreover, the Kansas tax cut package has had a deleterious impact on the state’s financial stability and the provision of critical services.  For example:
  • Personal income tax revenues in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 (fiscal year 2016) were almost $700 million lower than those received in fiscal year 2013,[12] when the tax cut first took effect, even though the economy nationally is stronger in 2016 than it was in 2013.  Receipts dropped immediately by slightly more than $700 million (24 percent), and the meager economic growth that occurred in Kansas from 2014 to 2016 boosted collections by only $30 million, or less than 2 percent.[13]
  • Total General Fund revenues in 2016 were $570 million below 2013 levels, despite significant sales and cigarette tax increases enacted to partially offset the income tax losses.[14]  The General Fund’s ending balance fell from $709 million in 2013 to $40 million in 2016 (just 0.7 percent of General Fund spending).[15]  That’s important because Kansas’ General Fund balance is its “rainy day fund.”[16]  Should a recession hit and tax revenues shrink as household incomes and retail sales fall, the state will need to cut programs or enact tax increases almost immediately because it will have very little savings to tap. 
  • The General Fund’s depletion occurred even though the state transferred to the Fund substantial tax revenues that were collected to finance road maintenance and construction.[17]  The resulting reduction in infrastructure funding has forced the state to postpone numerous highway projects indefinitely.[18]
  • Because the tax cuts leave less state revenue with which to repay people who lend the state money by buying its bonds, Kansas’ bond rating has been downgraded twice — in 2014, and most recently on July 26, 2016.[19]  Lower bond ratings mean that the state will likely have to pay a higher interest rate on future borrowings, raising the cost of infrastructure projects such as school construction and road building.
NO credible, experienced economist has endorsed the economic policies of Donald Trump.  But in an insane election cycle, a large number of them have taken the unprecedented move of not so much un-endorsing him as anti-endorsing him.  And yes, a number of credible and experienced economists HAVE endorsed Hillary's economic proposals.

What did Obama's eight years in office, with his economic policies do? What did states that enacted the same kinds of policies as Hillary Clinton advocates do -- (and we can include Minnesota in those successes, although not mentioned specifically by the CBPP):
Nationally, total nonfarm employment since January 2013 has grown by 5.9 percent – far outpacing Kansas’ 3.3 percent growth rate.
Looking at just private-sector jobs, the U.S. growth rate has been 6.9 percent – way above the 4.3 percent of the Sunflower State.
To add insult to injury for Laffer and Moore, who constantly whine about states with steep income taxes, high-tax California and New York have added employment much faster than Kansas.

Friday, November 4, 2016

More Friday Fun Day.

The WaPo came out with a news piece covering "Melanoma" Trump, speaking about what she will do when she is first lady.

No porn-posing illegal immigrant (allegedly) has any business in our White House. This is NOT a woman who should be held up as a model for American men, women and children.

But there can be no greater hypocrisy than Melanoma's chosen issue - cyber-bullying.  Donald J. Drumpf is the very WORST example of cyber bullying and bullying generally.  This man is himself a deplorable human being.

This should result in Melanoma Trump being laughed off of any stage upon which she chooses to posture and plagiarize.

From the WaPo:

Melania Trump vows to take on cyberbullying as first lady

BERWYN, Pa. — Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Thursday, pledging to focus on combatting online bullying and serve as an advocate for women and children if her husband is elected to the White House.
Her description of the perils of social media seemed at odds with her husband’s divisive and bullying rhetoric throughout the campaign.

Friday Fun Day

A friend of my co-blogger Pen and I likes to make up "laws" that explain complex things in foolishly simplistic ways to conservatives.  Except invariably they are pretentious nonsense that only work if you believe factually false crazy rubbish that are torturous at best and laughable at worst.

The larger problem is that conservatives generally an the Republican party specifically have moved not just further to the right but have embraced the extreme right, the fringies, the crazier than average wackobirds (to borrow a term from John McCain).  Crazy is the new normal as the more moderates are driven out in purity purges.  Gone are the days when a conservative like William F. Buckley drove out even more radical right wing haters like the John Birchers.

So I've decided to create a pastiche, a parody of Merg's Laws, Dee Gee's laws.

Dee Gee's first law is that conservatives believe things which are factually false.  Not just the occasional factually inaccurate piece of information, but deeply, widely held beliefs which are nothing less than active, even aggressive denials of objectively established reality.

An example would be their denial of anthropogenic climate change, and all the attendant dangers of unprecedented global warming.  Or those who deny evolution.  Or those who propogate and believe revisionist history, particularly those who try to slant the Founding Fathers s pro-Christian theocrats.  Or Obama was responsible for the murder of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, ignoring that he died of natural causes that were the result of an unhealthy life style.

The wildest example I have encountered this election cycle was a Trump supporter who believed - SINCERELY! - that Richard Nixon was a democrat.  No amount of proof was persuasive otherwise; because..........conservative conspiracy theories.

GIGO - garbage in, garbage out.  You put rubbish into your brain, you will get failed and faulty conclusions and beliefs as a result.

That should come as no surprise; there is an entire right wing media world that exists to propogate lies, whether it is Fox News, or the internet sites, or blogs, or social media.  Today's news sources provided by BuzzFeed and by the Guardian news of the UK give us this example:

How Macedonia Became A Global Hub For Pro-Trump Misinformation

BuzzFeed News identified more than 100 pro-Trump websites being run from a single town in the former Yugoslav Republic.
“This is the news of the millennium!” said the story on Citing unnamed FBI sources, it claimed Hillary Clinton will be indicted in 2017 for crimes related to her email scandal.
“Your Prayers Have Been Answered,” declared the headline.
For Trump supporters, that certainly seemed to be the case. They helped the baseless story generate over 140,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.
Meanwhile, roughly 6,000 miles away in a small Macedonian town, a young man watched as money began trickling into his Google AdSense account.
Over the past year, the Macedonian town of Veles (population 45,000) has experienced a digital gold rush as locals launched at least 140 US politics websites. These sites have American-sounding domain names such as,,,, and They almost all publish aggressively pro-Trump content aimed at conservatives and Trump supporters in the US.
The young Macedonians who run these sites say they don’t care about Donald Trump. They are responding to straightforward economic incentives: As Facebook regularly reveals in earnings reports, a US Facebook user is worth about four times a user outside the US. The fraction-of-a-penny-per-click of US display advertising — a declining market for American publishers — goes a long way in Veles. Several teens and young men who run these sites told BuzzFeed News that they learned the best way to generate traffic is to get their politics stories to spread on Facebook — and the best way to generate shares on Facebook is to publish sensationalist and often false content that caters to Trump supporters.
As a result, this strange hub of pro-Trump sites in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is now playing a significant role in propagating the kind of false and misleading content that was identified in a recent BuzzFeed News analysis of hyperpartisan Facebook pages. These sites open a window into the economic incentives behind producing misinformation specifically for the wealthiest advertising markets and specifically for Facebook, the world’s largest social network, as well as within online advertising networks such as Google AdSense.
“Yes, the info in the blogs is bad, false, and misleading but the rationale is that ‘if it gets the people to click on it and engage, then use it,’” said a university student in Veles who started a US politics site, and who agreed to speak on the condition that BuzzFeed News not use his name.
Using domain name registration records and online searches, BuzzFeed News identified over 100 active US politics websites being run from Veles. The largest of these sites have Facebook pages that boast hundreds of thousands of followers.
BuzzFeed News also identified another 40 US politics domains registered by people in Veles that are no longer active. (An April report from the Macedonian website identified six pro-Trump sites being run from Veles. A Guardian report identified 150 politics sites.)

Let me be clear, I am not contending that there is 100% accuracy on the part of any area of the media. I have fact checked and corrected liberal misinformation. But unlike liberal news sources, which are consistently more ethical and professional journalism, there is no organized propaganda pushing on the left or int he center.  Liberals are more willing to adjust their views to match changing information than conservatives.  Which is why conservatives feel so attacked, and therefore angry and belligerent when their beliefs and factually falses world view is challenged.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mocking Right Wing Evangelicals and Trump, the Chaos-for-Chist candidate

Image result for wrecking ball, Trump

I have a funny to share with you, dear readers.

I was reading about how Trump is the radical right wing evangelicals'  and God's chosen "Chaos candidate".

I was reading about this on a crazy Christian web site, Charisma. They kept referring to Trump as God's "anointed wrecking ball" with other references to "Cyrus".

Not Miley Cyrus, just 'Cyrus'.

So as a good, well-brought up Lutheran woman, my mind went Biblical in reference. I thought maybe, just maybe, in some incomprehensible way these wacko-bird evangelicals were referring to Cyrus the Great of Persia, in the context of a powerful leader.

Cyrus the Great, who ended the Babylonian captivity of the Jews and ordered the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. A prominent non-Judeo-Christian leader anointed by God. Cyrus the Great of Persia who was called the Messiah in the prophetic book, Isaiah :
45:1 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
45:2I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

THAT Cyrus. logically Biblical Cyrus. Old Testament Cyrus.

Noooooooo.  The crazy evangelicals were referring to the sexy music video by Miley Cyrus from back in 2013, that they probably have never seen or heard, and would not approve of if they had.  No one would accuse these numbnuts of being conversant with popular culture.

Because......wrecking ball.

After reading and re-reading, they clearly meant Trump was God's anointed MILEY Cyrus wrecking ball intended to demolish non-evangelical Christian opposition to things like creationism and tolerance for the LGBT. They believe Trump is supposed to restore Christian theocracy to the government of the United States.

Like a wrecking ball.

And now I'm left with the unavoidable mental image of Trump, in skimpy underwear, licking a sledgehammer for God. Orange spray-tanned fat, old Trump, who thinks he is God's gift to women, in skimpy underwear, brown socks and brown shoes, twerking his way to a Christian theocracy for the United States, in the name of Jesus.  And now you have that image too.

Yup - now just try to get that image and the MILEY Cyrus music out of your head.