ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- Liar In Chief

[ Posted Friday, October 26th, 2018 – 17:10 PDT ]

In 2003, Al Franken wrote a book called Lies: And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them, which was written about Fox News (Bill O'Reilly, in specific). Though the title now seems prophetic in the age of Trump, even Franken would have had a hard time believing back then how far the right wing would eventually go down this rabbit hole.

Case in point this week was pretty much everything Trump said all week long -- just like all the other weeks we've spent listening to his blatant lies. Most ironic were the statements his staff obviously forced him to make on the domestic terrorism unleashed by one of his followers. In a monotone voice reminiscent of a hostage video, Trump stated: "The bottom line is that Americans must unify, and we must show the world that we are united together in peace and love and harmony as fellow American citizens." Does anyone alive actually believe the president cares about "peace and love and harmony" anymore? The very idea is downright comic, even if the circumstances are not. Later in the same day, inside the White House, Trump led some of his supporters in a chant of "Lock him up!" in reference to George Soros, one of the bomber's targets. Trump even laughed as he answered back: "Lock him up!" How peaceful of him! How loving! How harmonious!

Trump also took time today to lament the real tragedy -- to him, of course. Which was that the news media was spending so much time on the worst targeted political bombing campaign in American history, rather than the politics of the midterm elections. He tweeted:

Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this "Bomb" stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows -- news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!

In other words, the bombs are bad because they are not helping Trump politically. Or, more succinctly: everything is always about Trump. Always.

Earlier in the week, Trump had been previewing how he would explain things if the midterms went against him. From a Politico report:

According to two people familiar with the conversations, Trump is distancing himself from a potential Republican thumping on Election Day. He's telling confidantes that he doesn't see the midterms as a referendum on himself, describing his 2020 reelection bid as "the real election." And he says that he holds [House Speaker Paul Ryan] and [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] responsible for protecting their congressional majorities. According to one person with knowledge of these talks, Trump has said of Ryan and McConnell: "These are their elections... and if they screw it up, it's not my fault." Other sources said Trump is sure to lash out at perhaps his favorite bogeyman of all -- the media -- for allegedly opposing him.

Now, though, it seems like Trump is pivoting to attempting to blame any midterm losses on the bomber, and (of course) on the media for covering the story.

But of course, Trump's been lying about lots of other things as well. The Toronto Star had the best rundown of how Trump is attempting to close the deal on the midterms:

Democrats will kick seniors off their health insurance. Democrats will end insurance protections for people with health problems. Democrats will destroy the Social Security retirement system. Democrats will give illegal immigrants free cars. Democrats will abolish America's borders. Democrats are behind the latest migrant caravan from Latin America. That caravan includes people from the Middle East.

False, false, false, false, false, false, false.

U.S. President Donald Trump made a brief attempt to campaign on his record of accomplishments but, as the November congressional elections approach, he has traded that shiny new positivity for the well-worn tactic that helped him win the presidency in 2016: a blizzard of fear-mongering and lies, many of them about darker-skinned foreigners.

Trump has been a serial liar about just about everything for his entire tenure in office, but he has rarely before deployed so many complete fabrications about so many important subjects at the same time.

But apparently all of this wasn't enough for Trump, so he tried to outdo himself by just making up a magic tax cut that was going to appear before November. Here's the best rundown of this particular falsehood:

In recent days President Donald Trump has twice promised a new "major tax cut" ahead of the November midterm elections, mystifying White House officials, congressional leaders, and tax wonks around town who mostly have no idea what he's talking about.

. . .

White House officials spent the day trying to decode what Trump meant because no one knew the substance of any such tax cut, or had seen any policy proposal related to it. Aides were left wondering what Trump had read in newspaper clippings, or seen on Twitter, to inspire this grand promise from his rally podium.

One senior administration official on Sunday night had not even heard about the president's tax cut remark on Saturday in Nevada and said they had no idea what he was talking about. "I guess I'll hear about it when I get to work on Monday," the official said.

Trump said that House Speaker Paul Ryan was involved in crafting the plan. But Ryan's office shed no light, referring questions back to the White House.

What is truly bizarre about this Trump lie is that he is not talking about the signature legislative accomplishment of his first two years: the tax cut he did sign into law. Why talk about fake new tax cuts when there are honest-to-goodness actual tax cuts?

Well, because everybody -- even Republican voters -- already has figured out that the Trump tax cut did nothing more than line the pockets of the very wealthiest Americans and Wall Street.

But the most hilarious lie this week must have been when Trump tweeted: "Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican" at almost the same time as his administration was (once again) working feverishly to dismantle those protections:

Under guidance issued Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), states seeking federal waivers to run their insurance marketplaces will be given much more leeway. That includes the ability to apply ACA subsidies to short-term and association health plans -- two types of coverage the administration has expanded as a way of making cheaper plans available to those who want them. These plans don't include coverage of certain "essential" benefits like mental-health services and prenatal care and they can refuse to cover people with preexisting conditions.

It's not just the media who are now boldly pointing out what a liar Trump is, either. Here's Chuck Schumer's reaction to that last one: "Good morning America. This is a lie. It is simply not true that Republicans will protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, Mr. President."

The New York Times broke a big story this week which has (so far) exposed a glaring double-standard for Republicans. It seems that Donald Trump has an unsecured iPhone that he uses to call up his friends all the time to chat about everything under the sun. His own security people have begged him not to use it, but Trump has completely ignored their advice. The Times is reporting that because this phone is not secure, both China and Russia have tapped Trump's line and have been listening to his private conversations all along.

Remember when the security of a high-ranking politician was a big concern for Republicans? Remember when they darkly warned of this being a threat to national security? Of course, that was back when the subject at hand was Hillary Clinton's email server. Remember how many congressional investigations were launched over this subject? So, if they were morally or intellectually consistent, Republicans would now be launching similar investigations into Trump blowing a giant hole in national security -- but, of course, they aren't. They can't be bothered. They believe Trump's lies that he never uses such a phone.

Omarosa, who actually worked closely with Trump in the White House, tweeted out about Trump's phone habits: "He ALWAYS used his personal iPhone in WH for calls even after being told over and over again about the security risk. He disliked his secure gov issued cell -- he said it was slow and 'buggy'."

OK, there has been so much major news this week that we're just going to have to whip through everything else in lightning fashion. More Trump administration news you may have missed: an official policy which erases the concept of transgendered people entirely from federal law is almost ready to be rolled out. Also, the Trump administration is pulling America out of yet another international agreement, this time the I.N.F. treaty with Russia that limits the number of nuclear weapons in the world. Ronald Reagan himself signed this treaty, but today's GOP doesn't seem to care anymore.

Trump has been making as much political hay over a caravan of people attempting to reach the American border, which has led (predictably) to a lot of thinly-disguised racism and fearmongering from the White House and elsewhere.

In other campaign news, yet another Republican candidate for office is being denounced in an ad -- by his own family. This makes at least two during this election cycle, which is kind of astonishing. Republicans up in Montana mailed out false voting information to what they said was a list of Republican-leaning voters, so hopefully they'll all follow their party's advice and vote too late to be counted. It would serve them right.

Other amusing campaign news: the baby Trump in diapers balloon will fly over Grand Rapids, Michigan this weekend. Woo hoo! Best political blimp we've ever seen, hands down.

This isn't really election news, but it is amusing. Trump ignored his spellchecker twice this week, both of which spurred hilarious mockery on social media. He first called the caravan in Mexico a "National Emergy," and then followed it up with fearmongering about "Democrat inspired laws" which "make it tough for us to stop people at the Border." He then darkly (and hilariously) warned: "MUST BE CHANDED," which sparked a fresh round of amusement online. Best response we read: "If we don't Chand, we will not covfefe."

But not everything in the news was as lighthearted. The strongest storm to hit any American territory since 1935 wiped out the Northern Marianas (an American territory in the Pacific Ocean), but the national news media largely just ignored it rather than send a camera crew or anything.

Speaking of the news media, Megyn Kelly got the axe from NBC this week, after leading a discussion with other white people about what exactly constituted racism. Kelly tried to make the case that white kids wearing blackface was perfectly OK when she was a child, which went over like a lead balloon. She apologized the next day, but it wasn't enough, and by week's end her morning show had been yanked.

In other intolerance news, the ashes of Matthew Shepard were laid to rest in the National Cathedral today, alongside Helen Keller and other important American figures who have been deemed worthy of the honor. Shepard was viciously murdered in one of the worst hate crimes imaginable, twenty years ago.

Also today, the Republic of Ireland will be voting on a referendum to remove the crime of blasphemy from the books. Now, the last time a person was convicted of this crime was way back in 1702, but even so the Irish public felt that such a law really had no place in their modern society. Ireland has been becoming a lot more secular in the past few years, so this is really just part of this transition. In 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, and earlier this year they successfully voted in a landslide to repeal their constitutional ban on abortion.

Of course, here in America we don't have national referenda on specific laws or issues, which is why the federal government still considers marijuana more dangerous than crystal meth or fentanyl -- even though a record-breaking 66 percent of the public now supports full legalization. That is pretty stunning and represents a wild swing in public opinion in just the past few years. The voters want to end the War On Weed by a stunning majority of two-to-one, and yet the politicians on both sides of the aisle are still too timid to act. A pox on both their houses!

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Of all the Democrats in tight races this year, one in particular stands out because while Republican efforts at voter suppression have been going on in many places, in Georgia they're much more blatant and obvious.

First there were the 50,000 voter registrations held up for spurious reasons, of which -- what a coincidence! -- over 70 percent were African-American voters. Then one particular suburban county got so creative in their efforts to disenfranchise as many minority voters as possible that a federal judge had to smack them down. Here's the whole story:

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Georgia election officials to stop summarily tossing absentee ballots because of mismatched signatures, delivering a crucial win to voting-rights advocates -- and to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. The ruling resulted from two lawsuits filed earlier this month after election officials in a single Atlanta suburb, Gwinnett County, rejected hundreds of absentee ballots with signature discrepancies, missing addresses or incorrect birth years. The plaintiffs... argued that allowing nonexpert election officials to judge the validity of signatures without giving voters the chance to contest the decisions amounted to unconstitutional voter suppression. U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May agreed, and she ordered Secretary of State Brian Kemp to instruct all local election officials to stop rejecting absentee ballots over the mismatched signatures. Instead, such ballots will be marked "provisional," and the voter will be given the right to appeal the decision or confirm his or her identity.

Throughout it all, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has fought back hard, in the best way possible: by getting as many eligible African-Americans registered as she could manage. Her opponent is the sitting secretary of state, meaning he's responsible for overseeing the election. No conflict of interest there, right? He was caught on tape recently warning his supporters that if everyone voted who was eligible, that they'd be in serious trouble.

Let's hope so.

Stacey Abrams would make the history books if she wins, because she would then become the first African-American woman to be governor of any state in the nation. That seems like a big motivating factor for Georgia voters.

Abrams has been running a very impressive campaign all along, which was capped this week by a televised debate with Brian Kemp. In it, she was asked about attending a rally years ago where a Georgia state flag -- a large portion of which (at the time) was the Confederate battle flag -- was burned in protest. Rather than try to weasel her way out, instead Abrams defended her stance back then:

In Tuesday's gubernatorial debate, Abrams said she was "proud of Georgia and proud to be a Georgian," but "deeply disturbed" by what the Confederate symbol stood for.

"Twenty-six years ago as a college freshman, I along with many other Georgians -- including the governor of Georgia -- were deeply disturbed by the racial divisiveness that was embedded in the state flag with that Confederate symbol," Abrams said in a response to a question, according to CNN. She called the protest "an action of peaceful protest" that reflected the views of many.

"I said that that was wrong," she added about the Confederate symbol. "And 10 years later, my opponent, [Georgia Secretary of State] Brian Kemp, actually voted to remove that symbol."

Stacey Abrams has run an impressive campaign from beginning to end. She is trying to alter the face of the Georgia electorate in a single election. And she just might succeed. The South has been a Republican stronghold for over a generation now, but slowly some of these states are turning either purple or blue (Virginia, North Carolina). If Abrams manages an upset in Georgia, it will be one of the biggest triumphs of the midterm election cycle.

For fighting hard all the way, and for pushing back strongly on attempts by her opponent to suppress the will of the voters, Stacey Abrams is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week.

[We do not, as a rule, link to candidates' campaign websites, so you'll have to look up contact information for Stacey Abrams yourself, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

This one's a pretty easy call, this week. The Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week was Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels. Avenatti has been quite open about considering a possible run for the Democratic nomination for president, because he thinks he'd have the best chance of being able to take down Trump.

This week, however, he absolutely disqualified himself, in Time magazine. Here's how HuffPost reported it:

Michael Avenatti, a prospective presidential candidate and the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, argued in a Time profile out Thursday that Democrats will have the best shot at reclaiming the Oval Office if they nominate a white male.

The basis of his thinking is not that white men are most qualified for the job, but that people listen to them more.

"I think it better be a white male," Avenatti, a white male, said of the party's 2020 nominee.

"When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight," he said. "Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes."

Hoo boy. Now, this could conceivably have helped him win a Republican primary race, but it absolutely torpedoed his chances in a contest among Democrats. Our guess is that he will try mightily, but he will never manage to live down this particular quote. Or, perhaps, more succinctly: stick a fork in him, he's done.

For saying such a boneheaded thing in a thinly-veiled attempt to boost his own political chances, Michael Avenatti easily wins the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Michael Avenatti is currently a private citizen, and as a rule we do not provide contact information for such persons, so you'll have to search his information out yourself if you'd like to let him know what you think of his attitude.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 506 (10/26/18)

This week, we're devoting our entire talking points section to slamming Trump, because it has just been one of those weeks when it seems necessary. None of this should ever be seen by anyone as normal, because it really isn't. These are crazy times, and we need to all be reminded of just how crazy they are.

 

1
   Words matter

Republicans, from Trump on down, are in the midst of a "Who, me?" moment. No surprise, really.

"We've seen, this week, how pushing hatred in politics can turn out. In fact, it was entirely predictable that someone would start seeing political opponents as so evil that attacking them with violence seemed like a reasonable response. But this sort of thing doesn't happen in a vacuum. Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN -- a media outlet that was the target of two of the bombs -- pointed this out in no uncertain terms, issuing the following statement:"

There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.

"A Washington Post writer had some further advice for the president: 'Today would be a good day for Trump to tell Americans that journalists are not the enemy of the people.' Trump, of course, did not do so. He does not accept any of the blame, and he sees nothing wrong in apocalyptic rhetoric against his opponents. But Jeff Zucker is right -- words do matter. This is not a game. Attempted mass murder of political opponents has never happened before in America. But if Trump continues to fearmonger and demonize to win political points, it may sadly not be the only such case we see before he leaves office."

 

2
   Trump now embraces "nationalist" label

Once again, words matter.

"Donald Trump this week decided to embrace the term 'nationalist,' while seemingly unaware of all the negative connotations that term has. In one of the prepared statements Trump read off a TelePrompTer this week, he denounced those who, quote, carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains,' and then went right ahead and compared himself to historical villainy. With such a friend in the White House, the white supremacists are feeling increasingly emboldened to just come right out and display their naked racism in public. This week, a neo-Nazi group started a new robocall campaign in Florida, where African-American Andrew Gillum is running for governor. The call starts off with a minstrel voice which says: 'Well hello there. I is the Negro Andrew Gillum, and I be asking you to make me governor of this here state of Florida.' It gets much worse from that point on, too. There's a reason that these nationalist groups are coming out of the woodwork and operating openly now, and that is that they think they have a friend in Donald Trump and Trump's Republican Party. Words do matter, Mister President."

 

3
   It wouldn't surprise me a bit

Nobody's speculated on this one yet, so allow us to be the first.

"You know what? At this point, it would not surprise me in the least if Donald Trump decides that the Florida man accused of mailing over a dozen pipe bombs to Democratic politicians, Democratic supporters, and the media doesn't deserve any consequences for his heinous actions. Maybe he'll wait until after the midterms, but it wouldn't surprise me if Trump decided to sign a full pardon for the guy tomorrow. That's the state of our politics today -- that I can even contemplate the president of the United States pardoning a man responsible for attempted mass murder of the president's political opponents. But you know what? It wouldn't surprise me a bit, at this point."

 

4
   Trump lies! (part one)

Part of an ongoing series, obviously....

"Donald Trump is nothing short of our Liar in Chief, now. He is just making stuff up that directly contradicts reality, on a daily basis. He tweeted out the following: 'Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not!' in the same week that his own administration changed the rules so that insurance companies can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. He's hoping the voters just won't notice how big a lie this actually is. He's hoping they've just conveniently forgotten that multi-year effort Republicans launched to gut Obamacare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions. You know -- the one that Democrats fought tooth and nail. What idiot could possibly believe that Republicans care one tiny bit about people with pre-existing conditions when they've spent so much time and energy trying to destroy those protections? How stupid does Trump think the voters are?"

 

5
   Trump lies! (part two)

Ah, but there's more....

"Trump continues to just make stuff up, in the hopes that his followers will believe it, even though all available evidence shows he is flat-out lying. Just this week, he pulled the idea of a middle-class tax cut out of his hindquarters during a speech to a rally. He promised his followers that Congress would pass a 10 percent tax cut before the end of the month. This would be just about impossible, seeing as how Congress isn't even in session until after the elections. Nobody -- not his own advisors, not any GOP leaders in Congress -- had any idea of what he was talking about. But it didn't matter to Trump -- he thought the idea sounded good, so he fed it as red meat to his followers. He also took the time to warn that 'Middle Easterners' had infiltrated the caravan of refugees in Mexico, again with absolutely no proof whatsoever. Hey, Central Americans are brown, Middle Easterners are brown, so they must have banded together, right? It's astonishing to watch the president of the United States just make stuff up and ignore all evidence which proves he is doing nothing short of lying. But that's the Trump era for you...."

 

6
   Trump believes Saudi lies

It's not just his own lies Trump loves, though.

"In fact, the only entity which lied more than Trump this week was the government of Saudi Arabia, which keeps changing its story on how exactly a man walked into one of their consulates and left in pieces to be buried at an undisclosed location. But the really shocking thing is not the parade of lies from the Saudis but rather that -- at every stage of this progression -- Donald Trump has been convinced that they're telling him the truth. Trump even helped the Saudis out by floating the idea of, quote, rogue killers, unquote. Maybe Trump believes the Saudis because he has lost any ability to tell the difference between the truth and a lie. Or maybe he never had this ability in the first place -- it's hard to tell, at this point."

 

7
   Trump putting national security at risk

And finally, remember all those "Lock her up" chants?

"It was revealed this week that Donald Trump has an iPhone that his own security personnel cannot control, and that he uses it frequently to talk to people he doesn't want listed on the White House call logs. But because this is an unsecured phone, the Russians and the Chinese are tapping into every call he makes. Now, I seem to remember back in the 2016 campaign when Trump was outraged that a politician would ever use a communications method that was insecure, don't you? Remember all the anger directed towards Hillary Clinton's email server? Remember why Trump and his minions were so angry? They said it was because she was putting national security at risk. So I'm sure that all of those people who were so bent out of shape over Hillary's emails will now be equally outraged that Trump's talking to Tucker Carlson and all his other buddies over a phone that is being tapped by the Chinese and the Russians, right? What's that? They don't care in the slightest? How strange! Maybe Trump should start leading chants of 'Lock ME up!' at his rallies, or something."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

88 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Liar In Chief”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I’m very concerned that the GOP has whipped this rabid, bloodthirsty MAGA horde of thugs into a fake news frenzy. The Orange Colluder and his Fox firehose of lies have inspired the zombie teabagger horde to unprecedented levels of incivility and violence. If the GOP retains control of the congress, life as we know it will end as hordes of opioid-addicted cultists run amok with cars on sidewalks, this “bomb” stuff, and second amendment solutions in grocery stores. Who knows? They may go as far as shouting in restaurants. It’s all financed by the Koch Brothers and Russian Oligarchs. We have to stand our ground and shoot the terrist enemy in the face like a good guy with a gun in Florida. Everyone needs to vote (except for the Orange Puppet’s brain-washed horde of reality TV fans).

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Posted on last thread - this term is so relevant:

    Stochastic Terrorism: The use of mass, public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.

    Tiny's non-stop lies are part of the process that generates bombers and people who run over protestors and walk into stores and shoot POC, etc.

    Tiny/GOP create the environment and are shocked, SHOCKED!, when they spawn terrorists.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When will the focus of the media turn from who Trump is to what Trump is doing?

  4. [4] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [3] I think that parts of the media are trying to do that, Liz. Maddow certainly does, and her mantra, "Watch what they do, not what they say", is a recurring theme in her shows. Hayes supplements his show with two podcasts, one named, "Why is this Happening?

    Over at CNN, Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo have the skills to get into nuts and bolts, enough so that Colbert observed the other night that "Trump is more afraid of Jake Tapper than Kim Jung Un".

    And speaking of late night comics, we could be in the midst of something of a golden age of political comedy. John Oliver (HBO) has done long pieces that I think rival print pieces. The opinion pieces that Bill Maher does at the end of his shows are often more insightful, and more informative, than similar Op-eds in the Times.

    National Public Radio (NPR) and PBS are good for down-the-middle reporting, and "All things considered" and "Marketplace" are shows I often learn from - not bad for Government-funded media. My local station also plays a lot of Canadian-originated content, by the way, and carries the BBC live from midnight 'til dawn.

    We still have exceptional print media, despite Trump's attacks and a challenging financial environment for them. The Times and WaPo are all the time cranking out very deep pulitzer-level multi-part stuff, about for instance, Trump's financial machinations, that are often all-but-forgotten by the next day's news cycle. That must be frustrating, but at least it's there for future reference.

    I should also mention print media's upstart competitors, the stand-alone news and opinion websites like Slate, The Daily Beast, FiveThirtyEight and many others that do independent reporting that often break news before the big players do.

    Finally, there are bloggers like CW, who take the time to do very deep dives into select subjects, one of the things that drew me here. If you're listening, CW, I think you've got the internal database and sense of humor to do a very good companion podcast too, judging by many of your informal posts and replies. Think about it, huh?

    My point is that informed opinion about Trump's actions (rather than his word salads) is out there if you're willing to farm the media landscape for it, especially in an environment where, because of financial pressures, headlines are often little more than elaborate gossip. You've got to dive deeper, on your own, to get to the good stuff.

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    How to do a dead on Trump impression:

    Step 1. Inhale some helium.

    Step 2. Read a tweet.

  6. [6] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    By the way, whenever a Trumpet brags that Fox News has higher ratings than MSNBC or CNN, remind them that liberals get their news from all of the above and more, while they watch Fox. Sure, they also have Limbaugh, Alex Jones, radio Hannity, local right radio jocks like Bill Cunningham in Cincinnati, and Drudge, but overall, their mainstream media is less diverse than centrist and left-leaning mainstream media.

    And there's also that 'truth' factor, that renders so much of what they print and say useless. I'll say it again: their present willingness to lie their way into ratings and clicks heaven will blow up in their faces one day (not literally, of course, I should add).

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Regarding FTP 3. The mad/ bad bomber certainly broke state laws, so Trump will have to get a couple of governors in on the scam. Sounds like work. Trump will delegate the pardon to a flunky in the morning and forget about it by lunch. The flunky's immediate supervisor will tell him to forget it too.The incident will be a NYT anecdote six months later, Huckabee will strenously deny it ever happened.

    Shame is dead. So it goes.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    3

    When will the focus of the media turn from who Trump is to what Trump is doing?

    Not you too, EM!? Speaking about the free press of the United States negatively and as if it's some kind of monolith is exactly what Traitor Trump wants us to do... needs us to do... because he knows what he did, and so does Flynn, Cohen, Manafort and therefore Mueller.

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    it doesn't matter what mueller knows, it matters what mueller can prove.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My point is that informed opinion about Trump's actions (rather than his word salads) is out there if you're willing to farm the media landscape for it, especially in an environment where, because of financial pressures, headlines are often little more than elaborate gossip. You've got to dive deeper, on your own, to get to the good stuff.

    Precisely.

    Not enough people are able or willing to do that. Hence my initial comment.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    You missed the simple point. Again.

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    9

    it doesn't matter what mueller knows, it matters what mueller can prove.

    *laughs* Have you perchance considered the irrefutable fact that one doesn't generally set about proving something that one doesn't know? We... repeat we... learn facts through interrogation and then set about proving what we know. :)

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    11

    You missed the simple point. Again.

    Surprise not surprise: Elizabeth Miller plays her tired one liner. Again.

    So again, Elizabeth, allow me to reiterate that I didn't miss your simple point, I simply expanded on it.

    When will the focus of the media turn from who Trump is to what Trump is doing? ~ Elizabeth Miller

    If you meant "precisely" what Balthasar said because "not enough people are able or willing to do that" and "hence my initial comment," it doesn't change the fact that people lumping the media into a monolith and blaming them is exactly the response Trump is aiming for with his regular intentional flooding of the zone with his chaotic BS. It's by design.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/is-trumps-chaos-a-move-from-the-kremlins-playbook

  14. [14] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/10/27/1807716/-Synagogue-shooter-explained-exactly-why-he-killed-Republican-conspiracy-theories

    Republicans have spent years building up the idea that immigration is an existential threat to America. Republicans have also spent years alleging that Jews are secretly funding both immigrants and protesters. What Bowers did on Saturday morning is the direct result of that one plus one = 10 dead and counting. Bowers’ finger may have been on the trigger. But a lot of Republicans encouraged him to pull it. Including Donald Trump.

    Just in passing, this is the kind of crap M-troll trafficked in and he was constantly given a "pass" by some of the commenters here. But his amplification of Repub conspiracy theory bs encouraged nutbags like the recent shooters to kill innocent people.

    That shit was never acceptable, it wasn't "funny" or "harmless" or just "a different point of view".

    For some reason a lot of folks (not just here) refused to see the obvious: that the kind of hate-speech disinformation peddled by Repubs/Tiny would lead to violence against innocent people.

    And if you know people who repeat this stuff, call them on it -- unless they are dangerous, in which case get the hell away from them. But recognize none of this is taking place in a vacuum. There's a context, it was engineered deliberately and it is bearing fruit.

  15. [15] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Not enough people are able or willing to do that. Hence my initial comment.

    Even though you've agreed with me, I think you've missed MY point. Most of the multi-faceted centrist-to-left 'media' (I agree with Kick - there is no monolithic entity of that sort) are doing their level best to be both informative and thorough. We've even cut it with comedy to make it more digestible.

    It's still the responsibility of each man, woman, and alien overlord to inform themselves. Rights come with responsibilities.

    As if to make my point for me, while I've been constructing this post, I've become aware of a whole new tragedy has struck Philadelphia, and once again the clues lead to Mr. Bigot in the Synagogue with the gun.

    Had I not wandered downstairs for a Diet Coke with Splenda and turkey salami sandwich, and flicked on the TV, and turned to a news channel, I'd have stayed in the dark about it for awhile longer, anyway.

    This is the challenge: it's not 'the media's' fault nor often regular folks' fault that valuable information doesn't make it into the zeitgeist, it is, rather that that information is contained in just one set of silos across a crowded landscape that includes sports information silos, financial information silos, music and entertainment silos, reality show silos, etc., etc. We aren't in the mass communication world of our parents anymore, that's for sure.

    That enthusiasm is as high for the upcoming midterms is as high as it is, is a bit of a miracle, isn't it, given these multiple hurdles and distractions.

    So I think we're doing about as well as we can.

  16. [16] 
    Paula wrote:

    [15] Balthasar:

    It's still the responsibility of each man, woman, and alien overlord to inform themselves. Rights come with responsibilities.

    Yep.

    This is the challenge: it's not 'the media's' fault nor often regular folks' fault that valuable information doesn't make it into the zeitgeist, it is, rather that that information is contained in just one set of silos across a crowded landscape that includes sports information silos, financial information silos, music and entertainment silos, reality show silos, etc., etc. We aren't in the mass communication world of our parents anymore, that's for sure.

    Yep.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar and Kick

    If the mainstream (mostly broadcast media) - as a whole - were doing their jobs and informing the American people about the issues that are important, then there wouldn't be a reason to criticize them.

    Of course, there is quite a difference between constructive media criticism and how Trump refers to the media.

    So I think we're doing about as well as we can.

    I think we can do better.

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    To illustrate my point:

    There is a very important court case coming up soon at the district level which began during the Obama administration.

    It concerns climate change and the responsibility and role of the federal government in mitigating the devastating effects of climate change.

    The Trump administration is trying to get it tossed out!

    Not enough Americans know about this.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Calling Trump names is akin to, well, acting just like him.

    It would be far more productive and enlightening to highlight all of his deleterious policies and begin debating how Democrats should counter these with policies and solutions of their own.

  20. [20] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Not enough Americans know about this.

    I suppose that's true. Not enough Americans care, and that's another problem. Some folks get stuck in floods simply because they deny that any action on their part is necessary until water is lapping at their feet. Other Americans would support Trump's EPA action, and that's yet another quandry.

    If the one case bothers you, I've got more bad news - there are dozens of similar cases in the courts right now initiated by the Trump administration that are just as bad. This is programmatic, not specific. Every time the Republicans get into power, they attack Climate Change (on behalf of the fossil fuel industry), market oversight (on behalf of bankers), taxes (on behalf of rich doners), public and indian-owned lands (on behalf of developers and mining interests), internationalism (on behalf of the Defense Industry), and reproductive rights and gays (on behalf of fundamentalist religious lobbies), just to name a few.

    What we're going to do about it is VOTE against Republicans, probably in record numbers. It might not work, but the closer we can come to stopping the corrupt nightmare fanatic party from carrying out their ghastly agenda, the better.

  21. [21] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I used to go to the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh a million years ago when I was a teenager. There was a store called Heads Together (head shop, record store, water bed sales). I work near and occasionally go into the Kroger store where this week's other marquis shooting took place. Insane gun violence feels weirdly closer when you start to recognize the atrocity sites.

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not enough of you vote.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Democrats, if they were smart, could do something about that.

    If they can't do it now, then there is little hope for them.

    As for that court case, I think the kids have a lot going for them ...

  24. [24] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Democrats should counter these with policies and solutions of their own.

    I assume that you were paying attention when Democrats were in charge 2008-16, and earlier in '92-2000. During that time we signed treaties to reduce greenhouse gases, repaired the economy (twice), expanded rights for LGBTQ communities, expanded public lands and National parks, protected reproductive rights, and grew the middle class.

    "Resistance", however is built into the system, and was in full force during both the Clinton and Obama administrations, so much of what we wanted to do - like make the tax code more progressive, for instance - couldn't be achieved. When Bernie fans, for instance, used to say that he would 'do more' than Clinton to rein in the banks, polluters, or healthcare industry, the appropriate answer was "how?". If wishes were fishes we'd believe more in Cod.

  25. [25] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Balthy [4]

    Bravo! Incredible recap of where the MSM is shining!

    [20]
    Every time the Republicans get into power, they attack Climate Change (on behalf of the fossil fuel industry),

    Here is one thing that I don’t quite understand, the fossil fuel corporations seem to have come to terms with the fact that climate change is both:

    1) real &

    2) adversely affected by their products;

    so who is really being protected by the GOP’s denials?

    Personally, I think that the GOP’s denial is more likely the result of their “Everything the Democrats say is wrong” campaign. The Republicans believe that they will only stay in power by keeping their base afraid of/hating all Democrats. Remember how pissed they were when Chris Christie had the gall to compliment Obama for his quick response to helping the states hit by Hurricane Sandy? They said Christie was a “traitor” to his party.

    To keep their voting base from getting confused or question how Democrats could be completely “un-American” if they support the same positions that the Republicans do, the GOP has chosen to oppose everything the Democrats support. They have taken the “Party of No” plan that they used on Obama and expanded it to cover all Democrats!

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Not enough of you vote.

    Right! Now we're on the same page. We're all badgering our friends and neighbors to vote right now. Let's all hope it overwhelms the counter-vote, the gerrymandered districts, institutionalized voter suppression, and the Russians, this time.

  27. [27] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear [25] Thank you. I think the media deserves more praise than it gets, lately.

    The GOP has chosen to oppose everything the Democrats support.

    And "Yep" on the second part, as demonstrated by Republican reversals in policy regarding trade (TPP and NAFTA were originally GOP initiatives), Obamacare (developed from Heritage Foundation blueprint), Russia ('natch) and lately, the IMF (signed by Reagan). Reminds me of the time Mitch McConnell reversed himself, and voted against his own bill because Obama endorsed it at the last moment!

    This is why, to echo Goldwater's famous pronouncement, GOP extremism is the worst of the political vices, since it leaves no room for anything short of outright opposition. One can only hope that Republicans realize their mistake before it decimates and marginalizes their once-proud party.

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @russ [25],

    that's why with total control of all three branches the only thing republicans have accomplished legislatively is tax cuts for billionaires. without any democratic agenda to oppose, it's the only thing left for them to be in favor of.

    JL

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar[24],

    Well, it really doesn't matter what Democrats have done or tried to do in the past.

    The future is now! And, they are still treading water when it comes to combating Trump and Trumpism.

  30. [30] 
    John M wrote:

    [17] Elizabeth Miller

    If the mainstream (mostly broadcast media) - as a whole - were doing their jobs and informing the American people about the issues that are important, then there wouldn't be a reason to criticize them.

    18] Elizabeth Miller

    To illustrate my point:

    There is a very important court case coming up...

    It concerns climate change and the responsibility and role of the federal government in mitigating the devastating effects of climate change.

    Not enough Americans know about this.

    The mainstream media could educate Americans about this and other topics until they were blue in the face, and their ratings for doing so would be very low.

    Unless it immediately affects them, not enough Americans care to be educated. They want to be entertained instead and reaffirmed in their own thinking. They would rather not deal with any kind of critical analysis that actually requires them to consider facts and opinions contrary to their own already closely held beliefs. This is the secret to Trump's connection to his crowd base. It also explains the puzzled look Tucker Carlson always give his guests when he is contradicted.

    You also can't reach people where you hope they will be, like sitting in a lecture hall. You have to reach them where they actually live, i.e. ringside at a wrestling match or a monster truck rally. Or Public Television versus the National Enquirer. Which one gets labeled "Fake News?" HINT: It's NOT the Enquirer.

    Simple emotional catch phrases are going to win politically over 10 page well thought out treatises on complex problems every single time. This was why Trump won over Hillary, and why Ronald Reagan won over his opponents. "Make America Great" as a slogan is both easy to relate to and remember. Your plan for solving (insert complex problem here) is not.

    For most people. Most, NOT ALL, it's sad but true. And up till now at least, those are the voters who make the difference in close elections.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You also can't reach people where you hope they will be, like sitting in a lecture hall.

    This is a very salient point. Do Democratic pols who wish to run for president understand this?

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The mainstream media could educate Americans about this and other topics until they were blue in the face, and their ratings for doing so would be very low.

    Well, that's hard to say since the devolutionary media haven't, in large part, tried to do that. And, that goes especially for the Trump era.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Simple emotional catch phrases are going to win politically over 10 page well thought out treatises on complex problems every single time.

    There's quite a lot of middle ground between those two options. I'm not convinced that Democrats know this, though ...

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This is the secret to Trump's connection to his crowd base.

    Indeed.

    It is also a recipe for the ultimate failure of American democracy. Or for the death of the planet. Whichever comes first.

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    President Trump, at the insistence of his national security adviser Bolton, is on course to withdraw from all nuclear weapon reduction treaties with Russia.

    What are they up to?

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    suggesting they are up to something presumes they have some sort of plan. i think that presumption may be premature.

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I would tend to agree with you, Joshua, and I do if you're talking about Trump.

    But I can damn sure guarantee you that Bolton has a plan which is not so quietly being put into motion.

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    17

    If the mainstream (mostly broadcast media) - as a whole - were doing their jobs and informing the American people about the issues that are important, then there wouldn't be a reason to criticize them.

    So if the "mainstream mostly broadcast media" agreed with Elizabeth Miller's definition of "important" and "were doing their jobs," "then there wouldn't be a reason to criticize them." Okay then, Elizabeth, but for all your criticism of "Trump and Trumpism," this argument of yours sounds alarmingly similar to Trump's way of thinking (simply replace your name in sentence one above with Trump's and... voila).

    Of course, there is quite a difference between constructive media criticism and how Trump refers to the media.

    Oh, really? If one insists on generally referring to the "media" as some kind of monolithic organization that isn't doing their job to inform Americans about what they deem is "important," then there really isn't much of a difference. Not only that, Elizabeth, but your argument is alarmingly similar to Don Harris arguing that CW deserves his criticism for not informing Americans about what Don deems is important. It's all relative (and all quite familiar).

    I think we can do better.

    Who is this "we," you're referring to, Elizabeth?
    _______________

    I'll alert the media. ~ John Gielgud as Hobson, Arthur

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    18

    To illustrate my point:

    There is a very important court case coming up soon at the district level which began during the Obama administration.

    It concerns climate change and the responsibility and role of the federal government in mitigating the devastating effects of climate change.

    The Trump administration is trying to get it tossed out!

    Which the Trump administration wouldn't have to be bothered with if the Obama administration had successfully gotten it "thrown out!"... which they tried and failed.

    Not enough Americans know about this.

    What is your definition of "not enough"? And please explain by what magical force it is that you actually believe you know what "Americans know" and/or do not know. These multiple climate issues are covered by the "media" on a quite regular basis.

    https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/written-media-coverage/

    Is it perchance possible that this is simply just a case of "not enough" Canadians being aware of that fact?

    Things have changed, our kids are getting worse
    They won’t obey their parents
    They just want to fart and curse

    Should we blame the government?
    Or blame society?
    Or should we blame the images on TV?

    No!

    Blame Canada!
    Blame Canada!

    Before their beady little eyes have packed their heads so full of lies

    Blame Canada!
    Blame Canada!

    We need to form a full assault
    It’s Canada’s fault! ~ Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman, South Park

  40. [40] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    19

    Calling Trump names is akin to, well, acting just like him.

    Trump didn't invent name calling, Elizabeth, and I confess I am quite fond of CW's "Comrade Trump" moniker

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/07/17/comrade-trump/

    as well as Neil's "Treasonous Trump" and my own "Benedict Donald" and TS's "BLOTUS" or "Tiny" or anything that reminds Americans that Trump sold out our democracy for his seemingly unquenchable love of money and in pursuit of fame for his needy ego.

    It would be far more productive and enlightening to highlight all of his deleterious policies and begin debating how Democrats should counter these with policies and solutions of their own.

    "All of his deleterious policies"? Make a list of all of them and post them, Elizabeth, and we'll then "begin debating" them and how "Democrats" should counter all of them. OR Consider the fact that it would be "far more productive" if you allowed yourself to stop playing board mother and whining incessantly about what would be "far more productive."

    Seriously, though, "Democrats" can debate incessantly about all of Trump's deleterious policies or get busy getting elected and being in a position to do something about them. Right about now, I'm going with getting busy getting elected and "repealing and replacing" the spineless Republicans who are allowing Trump to piss on our democratic system of checks and balances because they refuse to be a check on Comrade Trump. :)

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    22

    Not enough of you vote.

    You are so 100% correct about that. A whole lot of us get disenfranchised too in a myriad of ways, and it's infinitely frustrating for multiple reasons, but there's no denying that fact. :)

  42. [42] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    25

    Nailed it! :)

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    to loosely paraphrase mike tyson: everyone has a plan, until they meet trump.

    JL

  44. [44] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz was not alone in sounding like me (Kick 38).

    In comment 20, Balthy talks aboot voting against Republicans even though it might not work because the closer the better.

    Funny how those of you that recently insisted it was aboot winning elections when talking aboot One Demand let Balthy slip on that.

    Balthy (26)-
    Does that include people that would vote for third parties or participate in something like One Demand?
    Those people are also voting against Republicans. Or does the fact they are also voting against Democrats become a problem?

    Here's a simple catch phrase that could appeal to many of the 80% of citizens that want the Big Money out of politics:

    TAKE BIG MONEY- LOSE OUR VOTES

    It is not however, emotional.

    But it does provide a quick and easy way to understand a plan of action.

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    Bolton's plan is working. There may be other plans that are working, too.

  46. [46] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    they will until they don't.

    JL

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,

    that is a good point. it's not just CW, but the news media as a whole who have been conspicuously silent on the potential political impact of pie. by failing to acknowledge this chance to make politics sweeter, they are not living up to their journalistic responsibility.

    JL

  48. [48] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    What an appalling time to be American.

    It's easy to get your head around the events of the last week, once you grip the notion that Trump is a sociopathic political slag.

    Of course it's a left-wing conspiracy when Trump's followers put his insinuations into action...Damn true it's not Trump's fault when the media microscopes a mad bomber or a fucking gun-totting Neo-Nazi, in liew of his barrage of politico-sewage...Without a doubt the thug-Saudi's are at the mercy of 'rogue' squads, striding the planet, conveniently shredding outspoken critics of their pro-American mid-eastern debacle...How can it not be true that Trump is going to pull a 10% tax cut for the people who voted for him, which were awkwardly omitted from the sweeping tax reform, out of his arse...It simply can't be believed that any Democratic midterm victory will have anything to do with Trump, he's pure as driven snow, the sun shines out of his arse.

    Fuck me.

    What creates the mass-delusion that tens of millions of Americans see life through such a warped lens?

    How depressing it must be to wrestle within your own culture over such mundane things as race, religion and guns.

    You'll get no sympathy from me when you hit my trifecta of ambiguity. "A white guy, revved up by right-wing conspiracy, walks into a Synagogue and blows away a bunch of religious zealots" I simply don't care. I see no difference between gun-totting freaks, the right-wing or religious nutters... they can have at each other all day long, and good riddance too.

    Fuckem.

    Happy Halloween, no need for costumes this year...we can all go trick-or-treating as door-to-door pollsters (Black-face, optional!)

    LL&P

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @jtc,

    what the hell are you on about? the people who that gun nut shot were completely innocent.

    JL

  50. [50] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    It's easy to get your head around the events of the last week, once you grip the notion that Trump is a sociopathic political slag.

    Subtext. Trump broadcasts on two channels. Channel one is the one you can hear, and you know what that sounds like, not unlike one of Michale's old rants.

    The other channel, however, modifies the sentence structures to use specific words and phrases recognizable to fellow travelers.

    Think of using the phrase, 'live long and prosper' in a context in which you'd expect that ONLY Star Trek fanatics would recognize it.

    Now this could be inadvertent on the President's part, as he's fond of parroting the media that he consumes. Many of those around him, however - Bannon and Mercer, for instance, know full well how that sort of messaging works, and who its intended audience is.

    So Caesar Sucdic, would-be leader of the Ape uprising, didn't have to look far to get his list of bomb recipients - it had already been recited to him at the many rallies he'd attended, over and over.

    And Trump's first response was, essentially: "No, wrong target." Then he pointed at the media on the other side of the room, and criticized them, to which his crowd responded to with a Minute of Hate.

    The Synagogue should have had armed guards, says Trump. Is the subtext of that the suggestion that Katy Tur should start wearing body armor?

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [48]James,

    Comments like that don't belong here.

    Watch your language. This is not the place for it.

  52. [52] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    forget for a second how he said it, what exactly did he say? it sounded almost like he thinks the eleven people who went to a baby naming and got killed in a hate crime somehow had it coming.

    JL

  53. [53] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Nypoet22 [52]: he was being sarcastic, if you're referring to [48].

    As for language, Liz, well, shit, we all occasionally use some profanity for emphasis. You're not a hall monitor.

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    44

    Liz was not alone in sounding like me (Kick 38).

    In comment 20, Balthy talks aboot voting against Republicans even though it might not work because the closer the better.

    Funny how those of you that recently insisted it was aboot winning elections when talking aboot One Demand let Balthy slip on that.

    Have you perchance considered the fact that Balthasar is a Democrat speaking about Democrats voting en masse for Democrats in order to remove Republicans from office? Because that's exactly what he was doing. The fact that you would even remotely equate Balthasar's sentiment regarding getting out the vote... GOTV... to your failed attempt at political activism that encourages exactly the opposite action speaks volumes about the depths of your delusion and is ample proof that Russ is dead on accurate with his sentiments that you're discussing "One Demand" as you fantasize it rather than the reality of what it truly is and confirms without question JL's sentiments that you won't believe CW has responded to you until his response lives up to your fantasy of a "worthy" response.

    So to recap:

    The Word of the Day is delusional:

    * It's delusional to whine incessantly that CW hasn't responded to you when he has done so multiple times; it's obvious that his reality doesn't meet with your fantasy.

    * It's delusional to believe that your failed political venture is a threat to commenters, yet that is exactly what you continually insinuate and is yet another in a long line of examples where your fantasy doesn't meet with others' reality.

    * It's delusional to equate your exercise in withholding votes from candidates who don't meet your fantastical purity test referred to by you as "One Demand" -- of which none exist in the entire country -- to Democrats' efforts to get out the vote for Democratic candidates. Non voters already aren't voting, and they don't need any help from you or anyone else to continue to not do it. :)

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    47

    that is a good point. it's not just CW, but the news media as a whole who have been conspicuously silent on the potential political impact of pie. by failing to acknowledge this chance to make politics sweeter, they are not living up to their journalistic responsibility.

    The "news media as a whole," you say? *long pause*

    *laughs*

    I see what you did there, you sneaker (high praise).
    Plus, I do so love pie. ;)

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @balthasar,

    there are a few topics where that kind of humor is really not appreciated, no matter the intent. hate crime terrorism with multiple fatalities is one of those. you'll have to pardon my lack of a sense of humor on this.

    JL

  57. [57] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [49 and 51]

    Liz, we all rebuke in our own way, I find sarcastic brevity sprinkled with the occasional invective, catches the eye...

    nyp, I apologise for being vague. The point I was making was, I don't make any distinction between the people/actions or beliefs of any of those involved in that latest shoot-up. To my mind, the world would be a better place without guns, right-wing fueled nutters and religion.

    Seems you mistook my global contempt for the events and its players for an assignment of blame or innocence. Guns kill--Religion kills--Dogma slaughters. (besides, in my opinion, America doesn't get to whine every time a mass shooting happens. America has collectively decided that, while a good fence might make a good neighbour, superior firepower keeps their dog off your lawn)

    However, like everyone else, I find the racist in the White House and the gun guy to be the bad guys in all of this. I advocate for the abolition of all religion, not the liquidation of its adherents...lengthy jail terms, public floggings, some mild keel-hauling's … naturally, but no massacres. ;)

    LL&P

  58. [58] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    48

    What an appalling time to be American.

    Easy for a Canadian to say. ;)

    It's easy to get your head around the events of the last week, once you grip the notion that Trump is a sociopathic political slag.

    Is that really fair to political slags? You had me at sociopath, though.

    Of course it's a left-wing conspiracy when Trump's followers put his insinuations into action...Damn true it's not Trump's fault when the media microscopes a mad bomber or a fucking gun-totting Neo-Nazi, in liew of his barrage of politico-sewage...Without a doubt the thug-Saudi's are at the mercy of 'rogue' squads, striding the planet, conveniently shredding outspoken critics of their pro-American mid-eastern debacle...How can it not be true that Trump is going to pull a 10% tax cut for the people who voted for him, which were awkwardly omitted from the sweeping tax reform, out of his arse...It simply can't be believed that any Democratic midterm victory will have anything to do with Trump, he's pure as driven snow, the sun shines out of his arse.

    Your sarcasm is just dripping with sarcasm today, sir; however, I fear it is dripping so thusly that many will lose your meaning. I, however, am not one of them.

    Fuck me.

    So we do have the sympathy of at least some of our friends to the North... comforting as well as truly appreciated.

    What creates the mass-delusion that tens of millions of Americans see life through such a warped lens?

    In a word: Ignorance.

    How depressing it must be to wrestle within your own culture over such mundane things as race, religion and guns.

    Oh, it's bad alright, but don't let the heightened rhetoric that generally surrounds the midterms give you the wrong impression... situation normal, all effed up -- snafu for short.

    You'll get no sympathy from me when you hit my trifecta of ambiguity. "A white guy, revved up by right-wing conspiracy, walks into a Synagogue and blows away a bunch of religious zealots" I simply don't care. I see no difference between gun-totting freaks, the right-wing or religious nutters... they can have at each other all day long, and good riddance too.

    Well, you lost me here because I see a huge difference. Regardless of their religious affiliation or for any other reason a large number of people might meet in any group anywhere... whether it be to get educated (Sandy Hook, Parkland, etc.), to watch a movie (Aurora), to attend a concert (Las Vegas), to generally party (Pulse, Orlando) or to attend a religious service (Tree of Life Synagogue, Mother Emanuel AME, etc.)… these are all innocent people that somebody took it upon themselves to exterminate for whatever reason, and that is not acceptable regardless.

    Fuckem.

    I hope somebody cares more about whatever group(s) you belong to than you seem to care about theirs. I would wager your attitude above likely mirrors some of the sentiments of the home grown American terrorists who felt it was necessary that they brandish multiple firearms and take the lives of innocents and law enforcement officers in rapid succession. Pity.

    Maybe you're upset about something; I hope you'll elaborate, please. :)

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    I don't think he meant it that way.

    Sometimes, I've found, from hard experience, that it's best to read a comment a couple of times and see if there could be any other meaning than the bad one you first read into it. Or, something like that. :)

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [57]James,

    That's what I thought you meant.

    Heh.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  62. [62] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Ahh, I see we have gone off of the deep end whilst I am out of the country.

    Of note, in regards to the bombs and shootings. Several Latin american papers in countries with relatively young stable democracies noticed Trumps behavior and failure to be a leader. they all universally called him out for behavior that threatens democracy. Which is notable since Trump and the US rarely make the real news section down here now-a-days.

    @liz 35,

    I would say that it is not that they are up to anything. It is quite simply an end product of having two draft dodgers in power and in a position to do as they want. After-all a draft dodger, especially one who dodged because they did not feel they had to fulfill their responsibilities,is the person I want controlling the leavers of power because they can only do it right.

    JL 47,

    I am curious how you will combat the problems of big money pie in the system, will adding whip cream to my big money pie as a form of protest cause big money to get out of the pie movement? How will this metric be measured to separate the protesters from those that just want whipped cream on their pie? Will the threat of whipped cream cause the inferior big money pies to get out of the system? I have 3.14159265 questions but not enough time....

    A random thought to close on.

    Since the GOP controlled law and order, security minded congress has done bupkis to secure our election I wonder how many HR and Senate races will be held captive due to "election meddling"?

    OR

    Will Trump and the GOP use "election meddling" to just outright suspend the election results to maintain power?

    I used to think such talk was nonsense but given the shenanigans and propaganda of the last few weeks, I am not so sure. Tensions are heading towards a critical mass that will enable the repeat of some dark times in global history.

  63. [63] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    51

    Comments like that don't belong here.

    Utter bullshit, EM; this is exactly where comments like that belong. You keep claiming you want "muscular debate," and then you whine like a little bitch when somebody presents some.

    Watch your language. This is not the place for it.

    Oh, Elizabeth, damn you for this repetitive board monitor bullshit of yours. Is it safe to assume "damn" is acceptable since you used it in your comment above at 37?

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/10/26/ftp506/#comment-129772

    Is there anything worse than an effing hypocrite? Allow yourself to stop giving orders, please, Elizabeth. No one here owes you a damn thing. :)

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    Chill.

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    gt,

    Hope you're having (or had) a lovely time out of country!

    They are up to killing nuclear arms reduction treaties and they prefer war with Iran to change the regime instead of the behavior. We will all rue the day that they sabotaged the JCPOA.

    They are up to quite a lot across most governmental departments but too many of us are focused on countering Trump by acting just like him.

  66. [66] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Liz... a while back, in the dusty past, I mentioned I post as I talk-- read it with a trans-Atlantic, English leaning accent.

    Speaking of not that, behold...even royalty swears.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDCn0lGhaLg

    Kick...funny you mention the 'group innocent'. I agree totally. So what's your plan? Is it your intention to sing to the choir or hold some political feet to the fire? Come on...this is a domestic issue in the US that has to be reconciled. If sane gun laws can't be agreed upon, all that's left is to gradually arm every environment, from daycare centres to retirement homes.
    After Sandy Hook (my kids were the same age as the SH kids) I decided to take my complete hatred of guns to 11. Guns are blunt and blatant, why dull the response?

    LL&P

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, Kick, you missed the point, again. Heh.

  68. [68] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    64

    Chill.

    I don't take orders, Elizabeth. You can keep barking them out until you're barking mad, and it'll net you exactly nothing for all your incessant whining and board monitoring. :)

    Still waiting on your comprehensive list of "all of [Trump's] deleterious policies" so I can "be far more productive and enlightening" and "begin debating how Democrats should counter these with policies and solutions of their own." *shakes head*

  69. [69] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    67

    By the way, Kick, you missed the point, again. Heh.

    Bless your heart, but your tired one liners aren't a substitute for the "productive and enlightening" and "muscular debate" you keep claiming you want... just the "same shit different day" and "as per usual" board monitoring and whining about language and barking out orders that you seemingly believe is a substitute for actual debate.

    In short: Arguing about proper subjects, techniques, and language of debate is your thing, while actual debating... not so much.

    Heh. :)

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    66

    Kick...funny you mention the 'group innocent'. I agree totally. So what's your plan? Is it your intention to sing to the choir or hold some political feet to the fire?

    In the immortal words of Robert Frost: "From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire," metaphorically speaking, of course.

    Come on...this is a domestic issue in the US that has to be reconciled.

    Agree.

    If sane gun laws can't be agreed upon, all that's left is to gradually arm every environment, from daycare centres to retirement homes.

    Disagree. Having a gun and knowing how to properly use it are two totally different things.

    After Sandy Hook (my kids were the same age as the SH kids) I decided to take my complete hatred of guns to 11.

    On a scale of what? Just kidding. I hear you, but I don't hate guns any more than I hate blunt knives. Not too fond of people that misuse them, though... makes my blood boil no matter who the bearer is or what their political bent. Misuse of guns isn't a political issue to me, it's a national health issue like opioids. Our Constitution grants citizens a right to bear arms, but I do not believe our founding fathers meant for citizens to have access to weapons of war whose sole purpose it is to kill multiple humans in rapid succession.

    Guns are blunt and blatant, why dull the response?

    Good question. These days it's popular to blame mental illness as the culprit versus the abundance of firearms unique to America. We obviously haven't cornered the market on mental illness versus any other nation, but gun violence is off the charts in comparison because guns are readily available. Seems like there ought to be a common sense solution in there somewhere that's a compromise, but here we are.

    Thanks for responding with substantive answers; it is truly appreciated. :)

  71. [71] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick (54)-
    Excellent example of delusion.

    Yes. I am equating One Demand with the Democrat's effort to get out the vote.

    The Democrats are trying to get the Republicans out by voting for Democrats.

    I am trying to get Big Money Democrats and Republicans out by voting for small contribution candidates and registering write in votes to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates when there are none on the ballot.

    How exactly is that the OPPOSITE of encouraging people to vote?

  72. [72] 
    neilm wrote:

    There were suggestions from the right-wing-o-sphere after Sandy Hook and other atrocities to have armed guards at all schools.

    I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation on the cost, then assigned the cost to the people most responsible (the gun/ammo manufacturers).

    It netted out, as I remember, to be about a $1,000/gun tax to cover the costs of all the additional security. Since adding $1000 per firearm would reduce sales, I also needed to add a 50% tax on ammo to close the gap.

    So the next time the right wingers announce that more guns is the solution to too many gun massacres, ask them to put their money where their mouths is and advocate for the revenue required to implement their plans.

  73. [73] 
    Paula wrote:

    [70] Kick: These days it's popular to blame mental illness as the culprit versus the abundance of firearms unique to America.

    Just want to say that I think that argument is a rightwing tactic - you see it in many of their arguments. They try to reduce things to the individual because: 1) No one can "fix" every single person which leads to their no-one can do anything arguments, and 2) Fixating on the individuals deflects attention and blame from the contributions of group/structural forces and dynamics where political solutions ARE possible.

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    71

    Excellent example of delusion.

    Yes, some of your ideas truly meet the definition.

    Yes. I am equating One Demand with the Democrat's effort to get out the vote.

    An excellent example of delusion, Don; glad we can agree on something.

    I am trying to get Big Money Democrats and Republicans out by voting for small contribution candidates

    We've already agreed that there are no small contribution candidates in existence. You cannot replace either a Democrat or a Republican you've slapped with a self-imposed label with a person who doesn't exist in America, and therein lies the primary source of the delusion, Don... where your fantasy doesn't square with others' reality.

    and registering write in votes to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates when there are none on the ballot.

    Lots of delusional thinking involved here on your part also, Don, since there are eight (8) states in America where you can't even write in a vote, thirty-two (32) states in America where you can write in a vote but it isn't registered unless it is a vote for a preregistered write-in candidate, and only ten (10) states across the entire country where a true write-in is vote is registered.

    * STATES WHERE BALLOTS HAVE NO WRITE-IN WHATSOEVER
    Arkansas
    Hawaii
    Louisiana
    Nevada
    New Mexico
    Oklahoma
    South Carolina
    South Dakota

    * STATES +DC WHERE WRITE-IN IS AN OPTION

    Alabama
    District of Columbia
    Iowa
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    Oregon
    Mississippi
    Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island
    Vermont
    Wyoming

    The remaining 32 states will not register your vote at all unless you vote for a preregistered write-in candidate.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/write-in-votes/

    Once again for full effect:

    I am trying to get Big Money Democrats and Republicans out by voting for small contribution candidates and registering write in votes to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates when there are none on the ballot.

    There are never any on the ballot because there are none in existence. You can't vote for something that doesn't exist.

    Writing in your own name:

    * is not an option in eight (8) states.

    * is ignored in 32 states.

    * demonstrates a "One-Vote Demand" to elect yourself in ten 10 states and the District of Columbia.

    How exactly is that the OPPOSITE of encouraging people to vote?

    Encouraging people to vote for only people who don't exist requires no voting whatsoever. Encouraging people to write in their own name (or any name) when it isn't possible in 8 states and isn't registered/counted in thirty-two (32) states unless their write-in name is a preregistered authorized candidate requiring fees and/or thousands of citizens' signatures from their requisite state is undeniably moronic and might even constitute actionable fraud depending on legal definitions contained in various assorted state statutes.

    So to recap: Your sad attempt at political activism is only viable in ten (10) states and the District of Columbia and might actually constitute actionable fraud in some states because you're dealing with people's Constitutional rights under statute.

    Seriously, Don. Since you obviously need it spelled out for you and require spoon-feeding like a toddler, you literally would need to run your idea past a lawyer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to ensure that what you're encouraging people to do isn't either against voting rules/statutes or an actionable violation of law.

    Anyone who shills for you is assuming the same risk you're assuming, and you seriously believe someone... anyone... has an obligation to actually assume that possible risk on your behalf? Delusional.

    Any questions? <--- rhetorical question :)

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    72

    So the next time the right wingers announce that more guns is the solution to too many gun massacres, ask them to put their money where their mouths is and advocate for the revenue required to implement their plans.

    Great point. :)

  76. [76] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    72,73,74 Neilm, Paula, Kick - wow, three great posts in a row. I'd started to respond indvidually to each until I realized that they were in a line. So, excellent and interesting points made by all!

    I'll be quoting you. Carry on.

  77. [77] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    73

    Yes! Exactly right. :)

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @gt,

    i take an egalitarian approach to pie-based voting. supporters of pie of all shapes, sizes and fillings are welcome to join, with or without whipped cream. as for the whipped cream itself, i am skeptical of your canned response.

    JL

  79. [79] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Yes I and any other citizen that chooses to can replace Big Money Democrats and Republicans with small contribution candidates. It may take more than one election cycle, but it can be done. Just because you say it can't be done doesn't make it true.

    Only eight states where it is not possible to participate in One Demand in the voting booth?

    That leaves 42 states where citizens can participate in the voting booth.

    As the write in vote is not intended to elect an actual candidate it does not matter if it is counted in the vote total. The amount of votes not counted is verification of the votes. If states do not want to release those numbers then the numbers on the website will have to stand as the only way to refute them is to release the amount of write in votes not counted.

    It is not a one vote demand to elect yourself anywhere. it is a vote registered against the Big Money candidates and to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates in the next election cycle which is made clear by citizens signing up on the website.

    42 states allow write in votes. It is not illegal to encourage someone to cast a legal vote.

    While the people living in the eight states that do not allow write in votes can still register at the website that they want to.

    If 10% or more of citizens in a state were signed up on the site it would be difficult to justify a challenge on free speech grounds continuing to not allow write in votes. (voting is an act of free speech)

    But I have covered all this many times before when you and others made the same basic inaccurate statements on previous threads.

    You seem to be able to go back and find my comments when you think it suits your purpose, why are you unable to find the responses to these dubious claims on other threads and keep repeating your obvious bullshit as if it is something that has not already been addressed?

    I guess you enjoy appearing stupid.

  80. [80] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Correction:
    While the people living in the eight states that do not allow write in votes cannot participate in the voting booth, they can still sign up on the website if they want to.

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    You seem to be able to go back and find my comments when you think it suits your purpose, why are you unable to find the responses to these dubious claims on other threads and keep repeating your obvious bullshit as if it is something that has not already been addressed?

    You seem to be under the fantastical delusion that every single commenter on CW.com reads every one of your posts and hangs on your every word.

    *peals of laughter*

    I guess you enjoy appearing stupid. :)

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i have a solution. if you live in a state where you're unable to write pie on the ballot, you can sneak actual pie into the voting booth. when they see crumbs on the voting machine, other voters will realize there is demand for pie. problem solved!

  83. [83] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick (81)-
    One way to tell that someone has no response is that they don't address the points that show they are wrong and instead switch to another dubious claim they make up that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

    While I do not think that every commenter here hangs on my every word, it is apparent that you do.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,

    why must you continue to engage on topics that we all know are past their expiration date, when there's a new political strategy that is fresh and hot? lemon pie could be brought into the voting booth to demonstrate how much voters hunger for political solutions in all fifty states.

    JL

  85. [85] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    83

    One way to tell that someone has no response is that they don't address the points that show they are wrong and instead switch to another dubious claim they make up that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

    One way to tell that someone isn't reading all of your comments is when you notice that they aren't addressing your points. True to form, Don Harris personifies the definition of delusional by assuming I read his every word and chose not to address his points. It never occurred to the DH that I simply chose not to read his "blah, blah, blah." <-- Major props to CW here for yet another excellent description that's dead on accurate.

    Paraphrasing and not quoting: You asked me why I was unable to find where you addressed "dubious claims on other threads" as if you hadn't already addressed them, and I replied that I don't read all of your comments and it was the height of ridiculous delusion that you believed anyone here would. I still can't stop laughing that you would delude yourself that any commenter(s) or the author of this blog would actually hang on your every word... which I will henceforth be referring to as "blah, blah, blah" because it's an awesome and factually accurate description... ranks right up there with unicorns farting rainbows and pixies frolicking in the meadow. :)

    While I do not think that every commenter here hangs on my every word, it is apparent that you do.

    The Word of the Day is "delusional". Tune in tomorrow, boys and girls, when the word of the day will be "blah" as in "blah, blah, blah."

    I have none of the credentials normally listed in a bio. No degrees, no years of running a successful business and no experience in political campaigns or activism. I am simply an average person that has been working and living at survival mode. ~ Don Harris

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    Said the self-admitted uneducated guy with "no credentials," "no degrees," "no success," and "no experience."

    I can't stop laughing. Please post some more Forrest Gump quotes that display your total lack of self-awareness. How about: "You never know what you're going to get..." from the guy who always posts the same blah, blah, blah. :)

  86. [86] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    In all seriousness, Don, all kidding aside.

    I have no idea what all your posts say because I don't read all of them. True fact. I assume they're repetitive because I used to read them; I quit doing that long ago, and I would wager I'm not alone.

    Confusing my trained memory skills and excellent search techniques of past comments with continuing to give a shit is the epitome of delusional. Allow yourself to stop doing that... or don't... I don't care. :)

  87. [87] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    82|84

    i have a solution. if you live in a state where you're unable to write pie on the ballot, you can sneak actual pie into the voting booth. when they see crumbs on the voting machine, other voters will realize there is demand for pie. problem solved!

    What better way to not register a valid vote in 40 states than to protest with pie? That'll show them all!

    why must you continue to engage on topics that we all know are past their expiration date, when there's a new political strategy that is fresh and hot?

    Well, you got me there, I confess; Don's blah, blah, blah was definitely dead on arrival and expired long ago.

    a lemon pie could be brought into the voting booth to demonstrate how much voters hunger for political solutions in all fifty states.

    Pies to the Polls! It's perfect; I love it. :)

  88. [88] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    that's the beauty of pie as a political tactic, it applies equally at the polls no matter the size, shape, filling or topping.

    "It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.”
    ~gloria steinem

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