MOAB Morons

This isn’t complicated. Trump throws some missiles at Syria and gets press kudos. Trump does the same trick in Afghanistan and takes advantage of free advertising associated with the kitcshy MOAB moniker. Everyone, including his stalwart critics, clickbaits about it; thereby continuing the pathetic symbiotic relationship between Trump and our worthless media. Yes, I mean you, clickbait-in-fury purportedly liberal Mother Jones!

Nothing practical is accomplished. The non-articulation of any strategy makes it obvious that MOABing is not part of a broader ME strategy because none exists. Meaningless.

Another day of our lives crests and oozes away.

“Hamilton” versus PUTIN-Trump-(pence)

“Hamilton” is the crowning American cultural creation of the 2010s, thus far.* The School House Rock + 90s Rap + Showtunes mashup leaves about a dozen songs stuck in the head and posits new discoveries upon multiple listens. Reimagining the Founding Fathers as Hip Hop Dandies contemporarizes their philosophy, writing, and arguments. The Hamilton Mix Tape lacks the emotional throughfare of the cast album, but its meshing of hip hop and powder wigs is stronger. “I picked up the pen like Hamilton” Nas intones in ‘Wrote My Way Out”. “We’re America’s ghost writers” K’naan shouts in “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”.

One iconic Broadway show and one increasingly tasty album does not, a definitive quantitative analysis of cultural or attitudes. Still, it does indicate at least some championing of the ideals and big personas of the founders (in spite of their ugly and hypocritical record on slavery) amongst the broader hip hop community, along with a celebration of the immigrant working hard, thinking harder, making it and becoming American.

Meanwhile, in “Real America”™, following, at best, the seediest election in American history (yes worse than 2000) the Right is suddenly largely embracing the mutual hand jobs exchanged between Team Trump and the Potato Jefe Putin. Strong circumstantial evidence that we have literally elected a Manchurian President and lost the Cold War in the postgame interviews is met with a smile and a shrug. I mean, hHey, he’s our Manchurian President, amiright?

Urban, hip hop America embraces the Founders and the ethos of the Immigrant Striver. Reactionary, conservative America embraces Bolshevism and KGB rat fucking and is just fine, thanks, with playing footsie with overjoyed like, actual, Nazis.

It’s enough of a switcheroo to boggle the mind. That is, until one applies my oldest hypothesis: In America Everything Always Comes Back to Race. Then it makes perfect sense. The machinery the founders, however imperfectly built, is applying itself to a multi-ethnic plural society. Putin and Nazis preserve white christian nationalism without any fussy dog whistles. Oh yeah… Duh!

 

* The best movie of the 2010s is “Melancholia,” even more so now. Rogue One even stole its ending!

After the Wreckage

Admit it.

It was humiliating.

Seeing  the lions of the last thirty years that had kept the barbarians at the gate for so long, calmly doing their respectable and necessary duty to let the barbarian into the parlor. Bill. Hillary. Barack. Michelle. Winners and losers of several big battles and combatants in the bitterest of stalemates. They won more than they lost over the years,  even with the catastrophic Bush Junta sandwiched in between. They saved the economy and the country and “Detroit” twice. They gradually increased access to health care and came about as close as possible to a trend towards universal coverage. They raised taxes, modestly, on the wealthiest, reregulated Wall Street (modestly), and set a realistic path towards contending with Climate Change. Through laws and their own example they helped lead America at large to seemingly become more respectful and tolerant — even if they were late to the game on gay marriage and LGBTQ advocacy in general. Marijuana is slowly being decriminalized. All of that and so much more.

In seven weeks, all these years of battles and steady progress, a lifetime’s work, almost all of it will be gone in about 72 hours.

This blog was started as a response to the last wreckage of the Democratic Party that stood feebly by as the post-9/11 Bush Junta bamboozled America into war. Leafing through some of the old posts, I’m impressed how often this blog was correct, ahead of it’s time, and how often versions of the ideas expressed here came to actual fruition. In it’s own small way, this blog was part of the incremental progress attained since its birth in 2003.

Most of that will likely soon be gone too.

The Republicans will have to own it now, and the white nationalism at the heart of Trumpism would seemingly not jive with the starvation policies of Ryanism. No one really cares about Gay Marriage anymore, and even abortion politics are just playing to one small, vocal segment of the old Republican coalition. What everyone has always wanted, and what would help poorer exurban areas, is deficit spending to stimulate the economy. Will Rs give this to Trump now that they own the outcomes and cannot just blame? IOKIYAR.

Best case: massive infrastructure, defense and other spending boosts the economy and only around the edges changes are made to the existing social safety net.

Worst case. Oh my is the worst case ever bad. But that will have to wait for another time.

This is a bad surreal trip, and we are at the start of the beginning.

 

HRC and the “Vision Thing”

Back in the 2008 Democratic Primary I wrote that, unlike Obama, HRC was unable to stitch her worthy policy proposals into something more than the sum of their parts. That is, HRC lacked what Bush I referred to as “the vision thing”. That is her biggest weakness as a politician. It’s hurting her now. Yes, the Comey e-mail letter is a nothingburger about a nothingburger. Yes, it’s smarmy and stupid on his part. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it’s unfair. But, having failed to make her candidacy about one or two big things like an infrastructure project(s), addressing global warming, or anything else HRC cannot pivot from the distraction of Comey’s e-mail interference and say, what’s important is focusing on my plan to do X, oh, AND my opponent is a bozo potemkin candidate Human-Butterscotch-Dairy-Queen-Dip-Cone-With-A-Klan-Hat that you wouldn’t trust to babysit your nine-year old daughter. HRC only has the negative case to make against Mr. T and not the corresponding positive case to make for herself.

I’m not sure if Team Clinton could have added substance to the hydrogenated oil and Russian argot wheat gruel of this gruesome campaign. The venal Media’s need to chase its own tail over every ludicrous Mr. T controversy and Mean Girl spat took all the O2 out of the room. To their credit, this flummoxed the Conservatron Also Rans and Team Clinton won on this terrain and was coasting to victory before Comey’s partisan thumb-on-the-scaling. Of course, the agonizing thing is that HRC does have intelligent plans to address most every issue facing America, but it’s too late to focus on those now.

In an election where both candidates are disliked the last bit of character besmirching, lame as it may be, will be stuck to HRC.

Previously, I had HRC’s superior ground game and a general election repeat of the fact that most late deciders went against Mr. T in the Republican primaries as creating a rout for HRC. My final prediction now: HRC wins the Obama 2012 States + NC but minus Iowa and Ohio. Clinton under-performs Obama throughout the Northeast and Midwest but still wins Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota and the rest relatively easily. White educated Republicans provide the margin of victory, barely, in NC and FLA despite lower black turnout than 2012. HRC wins Nevada surprisingly easily. Arizona will be under 5 for Mr. T and Texas will be under 8. Almost. Next time. Utah is a random wild card.

Key Senate Races:

ILL – Duckworth

Wisc – Feingold

NH – Hasan (barely)

Penn – McGinty

NV – Masto (Surprisingly easily)

IND – Bayh

MO – Kander (Squeaker, running as disestablismentarian versus Bond)

NC – Burr

FLA – Marco Polo

Burr and Marco Polo will owe their Senate seats to Comey. The Comey-over also keeps Dem gains in the House to a minimum, maybe 5 seats but hopefully including the worthless Issa in CA.

 

Mr. T’s “Reynolds” Access Hollywood Video

[Full Company]

The Access Hollywood Video

[Clinton/Kaine/Obama]

Have you seen thish?

[Clinton]

Creepy Orange Hitler does unwanted gropes of vag hair

And he said it all right there

[Obama]

Highlights!

[Orange Hitler]

The charge against me is connection with one

Alt-Right for the purpose of improper fascism and anti-semetism

My real crime is frequent sexual assault

As a star grabbing pussies

Without her knowing consent

[Kaine/Obama]

Damn!

[Orange Hitler]

I had frequent sexual harassments

Most of them at my own penthouse

[Kaine]

At his own penthouse!

[Obama]

At his own penthouse!

[Deep Voice]

Day-um!

[Orange Hitler]

I did this in front of my children

My typical visit as Ivanka’s father

[Kaine/Obama]

No….

[Company]

Booo!

[Clinton]

He’s neveh gon’ be president now!

[Kaine/Obama]

Neveh gon’ be president now!

[Clinton]

He’s neveh gon’ be president now!

[Kaine/Obama]

Neveh gon’ be president now!

[Clinton]

That’s one less thing to worry about!

[Clinton/Kaine/Obama}

That’s one less thing to worry about!

======================================================

All “Hamilton” parodies aside… can you, for just one second, imagine the reaction if Obama had ever been caught on tape saying anything remotely like this?

The Ghosts of 2004?

Pretty good so far, Dems. Pretty, pretty good. Yes, it’s annoying that it took so long to stoke the tender egos of the smattering or loud, nihilist Bernie Bozos. Still, The Bern himself was a mensch in the end and did the right thing. The most strident and obnoxious of his supporters were never going to come on board or even try to work within the Party apparatus. If you are constantly interrupting speakers then its always about yourself anyway, so bully for you and pointless mush Jill Stein Green Party taint licking.

Still, I’m having a bad recollection of 2004.

The 2004 Democratic Convention was remembered most, of course, for Barack Obama’s “no red states, no blue states” speech. Loop-the-loop rhetoric floating the ether like a golden eagle, no doubt. Hard to imagine BHO being president without it. Persuasive leadership at its finest.

Touche. The more immediately pertinent result of the ’04 Democratic Convention was the astonishing and complete lack of any manner of attack whatsoever on Generalissimo Bush. This astonishing strategic blunder was supposedly made by Dukakis Campaign genius (and otherwise eight time loser) Bob Shrum who thought it would look unpatriotic to attack the President in war time. Because, BS Iraq War II and the complete failure to corner bin Laden circa 2004 was like, totes, the same thing as Dewey running against FDR in 1944. (Argh! Face Palm!) Recall, that the Republicans had a sulphuric convention that basically said we were all gonna’ die if Kerry was elected. Sound familiar? It’s unknowable if the Dems’ wimpy convention was the difference between winning and losing in ’04. I still think that bin Laden’s election eve video drop was the ENG that put ’04 out of reach (bin Laden correctly surmised that having a real president would be trouble for him). Still, Kerry got no convention bounce in ’04 so at the very least the pusillanimous convention was a squandered opportunity.

The 2016 Democratic Convention hasn’t had a total absence of meanness towards Mr. T. The problem is that anyone that isn’t voting for Mr. T because he is a misogynyst Swine Lord, or made fun of a disabled guy, was mean to John McCain, or was Captain Birther already isn’t voting for Mr. T. It’s easy to pop those soft balls over the wall, it’ll get a good response in the hall, but it won’t make any difference. Elizabeth Warren wiffed too. Can you remember a single quip from her speech? I can’t, and I was sober the whole frikkin time I watched it.

Mr. T needs to be eviscerated on being a lousy businessman, on being a con man, and most importantly on not releasing his taxes that very likely show him as being deeply in debt to Russian Oligarchs. This ludicrous beta-carotened cartoon character could very likely be a Manchurian Candidate that will make the US lose the Cold War during the post-game interviews. From the victorious locker room! While we’re getting drunk on the champagne!

Enter, 12 years later, Barack Hussein Obama. Going negative is against his brand, but this time it is necessary. Obama is the one that has “taken” the America that Mr. T wants to get back. Mr. T folds the racial resentment in with broad economic concerns and general apocolyptic anxiety. I find it hard to imagine Mr. T being the GOP nominee if Dick Gephardt had been President for the last eight years.

Mr. T’s conventions was a sloppy hee-haw tail chasing contest, but having his Creepshow Spawn laud him while a bunch never-has-beens lambasted Hillary was enough to consolidate the Rs and at least keep HRC disliked among the persuadables who only tuned in at prime time.

The Democrats need to come out of Philadelphia with a compelling economic and security message against Mr. T that also counters his eshcatonological vision.

Time to put on the gloves and show up at the bell Obama! You too Biden!

 

 

Where Were You in 2016?

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention Nate Silver gives Mr. T about a 42% chance of becoming president. Even if the Clinton E-Mail “Scandal” and the subsequent investigation is a Nothing Burger about a Nothing Burger; even if Comey’s unusual hectoring about “carelessness” was probably an attempt to shield his own Federal branch office from the vagaries of Congressional showboating by giving the Dems a straightforward “no charges” while also producing an attack ad for the Rs; and even if Mr. T has continued to be a Skat Muncher that steps on his own news cycles by retweeting anti-Jew imagery, or being an ass hat towards Mike Pence or whatever feeble outrage of the day he produces. Even with all the spun nothing and bluster, having the head of the FBI excoriate HRC is a punch that has changed the fight.

The good news is that HRC has fallen and Mr. T still is stuck in the low 40s. Pseudo-intellectual Hand Job Gary Johnson and Superfluous Gadfly Jill Stein continue to lop up a combined ~15%.  Still, the Republican Klanvention probably did shore up Mr. T’s support among wayward shards of the Republican coalition. The third-world antics of demanding that his opponents be jailed in defeat and the doomsday rhetoric put, for the moment, HRC in the broad category of “Other” that has so flummoxed too much of the electorate. To the degree that Mr. T’s denunciations, bullying, and Saturday Morning cartoon nonsense is racist, or Banana Republicesque (bring on Uday and Qusay — er… Eric and Don Jr.) or just dumb he manages to troll all of the media gate keepers and other “Franklins,” as Rick Perlstein put it, that have remained unknee capped from the Great Economic Collapse. For many, LOLing these Fuckers as they clutch their pearls is more cathartic than getting pissed off at racism or stupidity.

One forgets how brilliant the Bush Junta was at politics before their butterfingers response to Hurricane Katrina. There were financial shenanigans aplenty early in the Bush reign. Recall that the answer was a meaningless rejiggering of regulatory agencies and… cornering and then imprisoned Martha Stewart. Stewart was a Type A’s Type A, a notorious domestic dazzler whose dense details delighted and annoyed. And she was a Democrat! Of course, her financial chicanery was JV compared to the Big Boys. But who the hell were they anyway? Her head was put on a figurative pike and thus someone was “gotten” for the late 90s early 00 financial crisis.

Team Obama managed to birth Dodd-Frank, which has surely been more of a problem child for “Wall Street” than Martha Stewart stitching a poncho in jail. Still, overall Team Obama wasted too much political capital defending the bail out (even if the Bush junta technically got them through) and enlivening Tim Geithners micro penis. The bail out worked and unfroze the credit market, but it still feels like no one who should be punished has been punished. The Rich are still The Rich.

Still, we are playing for keeps here. It is not at all unreasonable to imagine a “King Slayer” scenario if Mr. T becomes president where the military has to step in to prevent him from nuking Toronto because PM Trudeau’s wife slighted his advances. Meanwhile, it appears very likely that the Russian Government is responsible for hacks into the DNC that showed — out of thousands of e-mails — some kids gloves dissing of the Sanders campaign. These have been released on the eve of the Democratic Convention to sew a hint of dissent and chaos all the better to get the incompetent stooge Mr. T in office.

Is this how the American Republic ends? Puerile purist liberals being toyed with by Vladimir Putin and not being able to stand that life is unfair (and that blacks never warmed to Bernie)? With Republican voter suppression? And, worst of all, with Democrats unable to be both rough enough to land meaningful punches on Mr. T while have a positive vision of the future.

It’s up to Hillary to create a positive vision for her candidacy that is more than the sum of its policy papers. Ultimately though, it is up to us to assure that no one is asking “where were you in 2016?” a generation from now.

Bring on the Democratic National Convention!