Monday, February 25, 2019

Taking A Knee

From my point of view there is no question that the the police forces of America feel licensed to kill black people, mostly men.

So having prominent black people like athletes calling the attention of the rest of us to this outrage has always seemed to be something I would want to do were I black; in fact I want to do it even though I am not.


And there are many who do and how they do it takes various forms.

Not too long ago an especially effective form of registering protest against police brutality on black people has been taking a knee at the National Anthem at the outset of NFL games.

The hoorah that has gone up in the face of that action would be laughable if it weren’t so bogus and racist.

The fact that donnie is at the head of the hoorah underscores the degree of bogosity and racism involved; after all donnie is the lying racist in chief.

That all notwithstanding, there has been something about the specifics of the hoorah that has bothered me from the hoorah’s outset; I have had a little voice saying “bullshit” very softly somewhere down in what might be my soul were I to possess such a thing; I just couldn’t get it to elaborate, or speak to me very loudly.

Just this morning, though – unassisted by the voice – I figured it out.

Memory finally cut in.

I remembered Easter masses back when I was a child in the still Latin speaking Roman Catholic Church.

In those masses there were long Latin parts that we in the congregation chanted – we were standing while chanting.

Periodically the priest would chant: “flectamus genua”.

And we would all kneel.

Which was because flectamus genua means “let us take a knee” or some such.

I think “let us bend our knees” is closer, but “let us take a knee” is closer to my point; in either event, the physical action is the same.

Then someone would chant “levate” which meant “stand up”.

And we did.

Stand up.

So why does doing something that we old time Catholics took to be an act of worship make Colin Kaepernick, according to donnie, the NFL owners and “The Base” “a son of a bitch” who is disrespecting – something (I have never been clear what that act of worshipful respect was actually supposed to be disrespecting, but it apparently includes truth, justice and the American Way).


Friday, February 22, 2019

Some Hopes

I have been low on hope relating to the 2020 presidential election for some time now.

The candidates that I think would beat donnie, Joe Biden, Jerry Brown or Bernie Sanders are just too old.

They could win, but could they live – with vigor – for the eight years that are two terms?

That question surrounds those candidates with a pall of gloom.

And gloom is not conducive to hope.

For a couple weeks now, though, I have been feeling hopes descend upon me.

Here is hope one: Bernie wins the nomination.

Here is hope two: Bernie picks Pete Buttigieg as his running mate.  Pete is the most articulate and clear thinking person I can remember ever hearing speak.

A Bernie and Pete – a Democratic Socialist and a brilliant Millennial – can win.

And the age problem is solved.

Having someone like Pete as Vice President puts a completely competent replacement at the ready.

And if Bernie can deliver two terms of competent leadership it puts us in the position to get two more terms with a well seasoned Vice President who would only be 46 years old in 2028.

Those are my hopes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

It’s A Different Emergency–From What You Thought

donnie has declared “emergency, emergency, emergency” (my version of donnie’s bleating is an homage to the movie The Russians Are Coming, The Russians are Coming).

He has declared that “emergency” as a ruse so he can take money from already approved by Congress programs.

In fact the “emergency”, such as it is, is that Congress won’t give donnie the money he wants.

So he trumps up a synthetic emergency that he thinks gives him the right to take money anyway.

He can’t.

The Constitution clearly says who does money allocation.

And it’s not him.

donnie is  violating Article I.

But what the hell.

However, the plot thickens.

Under pressure of questions about how there can be an emergency (hoards of rapists taking right turns in their giant SUVs) when, however they might get here, the number of people entering illegally has dropped massively in the last few years, an administration TV talker said that those people aren’t the emergency.

The emergency, he said is all those families. 

We need the wall to keep out all those families.

International law says that populations under massive and life threatening duress have the right to migrate to safer environments.

They have the right to get to that safer place and they have the obligation to present themselves immediately after entering that place to appropriate officials; those officials have the obligation to officially receive those people – they are called in international law, refugees – and swiftly adjudicate the residence request of those refugees under the terms and conditions of international and related United States law.

“Those families” from three Central American countries that are in political, social, economic and moral chaos absolutely are refugees, not donnie’s rapists.

So donnie has violated the Constitution to build a law to keep out refugees who have the right to come into our country under international and domestic law.

So he is violating the Constitution so he can violate international and United States law.

If it weren’t for Ol’ Mitch and the cretins articles of impeachment would be underway.

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Weird Other Side Revisited

For some reason the story of a gay black man being jumped on the Chicago lake front at 2:00 in the morning at the beginning of the polar vortex sounded a little fictional.

But then, every day the idiot pretending to be president of the United States does stuff that five years ago would have been considered weird House of Cards episodes, not fact.

So I just chalked up the two dudes with the rope gambit to being another weird but true part of our post truth era.

I just kept hearing news snippets about the occurrence and kept having the same off center feeling.

Finally I chose to write about it and took the tack that the two guys who did this deed were weird enough to be the basis for a Harvey Weinstein movie, if there ever were one of those again.

That was my way of saying that the event seemed to be of a somewhat fictional sort.

I don’t know if I was right.

But here is a link to that post if you are interested.

I stand by my use of an allusion to Reverend Al Sharpton.

I really like Reverend Al.

Back before I unplugged I never missed him on MSNBC.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Well Nigh The Bottom Of The Slippery Slope

donnie says “I don’t like the Legislature telling me how much I can spend and on what I can spend it”.

The Constitution says “donnie, the Legislature – specifically the House of Representatives has sole power of initiating spending bills”.

donnie says “I don’t give a shit; I am going to invent an emergency and take money that the Legislature has authorized for other purposes”.

Anyone with any sense says “that is a violation of the Constitution tantamount to treason”.

What is supposed to happen now is that the House will initiate a joint resolution of termination of the state of emergency, pass it and send it to the Senate.

In this specific circumstance ol’ Mitch can’t keep a vote from being taken.

The Senate should pass it, but probably won’t because the republicans are so punch drunk on their recently found majority that they just don’t have time for things like the Constitution.

But let’s say they pass the bill of termination.

Then it goes to donnie who will veto it.

The legislature can override the veto, but won’t, because the republicans don’t give a shit about the Constitution (a lot of them are from states who have always had a problem with the Document, so that shouldn’t be any kind of on going surprise) and won’t vote to override.

At that point it will go to court, and after some lower court thrashing, will go to the Supreme Court where Bret the Beer Drinker and his four cronies will vote in favor of donnie, and against the Constitution and we will be pretty close to having been presented with a Maduro-style fait accomplis.

I think this is the most dangerous thing for our country that I have ever seen, and I am 23 years short of 100.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Too Good To Be True

In the last few days I have heard in-depth interviews of two Democrats who are running for President.

If I had ever heard of either of them I wasn’t aware of it.

They were John Delaney and Andrew Yang.

In both cases I was doing something else while I listened to NPR.

So my attention – initially – was spotty.

In both cases that gradually changed.

In both cases I stopped what I was doing to listen to these two men discuss their ideas for America.

Either of them could be the real deal.

In our age of 3D printer generated candidates these two – especially Mr. Yang - are standouts.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


I just heard a talking head from the Brookings Institute say she didn’t think that the president - that’s donnie - would declare war on Iran. 

Did I miss a major amendment to our Constitution?

Friday, February 8, 2019

Healthcare Again

Any place in the world worth living – except the United States – have universal health care systems.

There are public only ones, like the United Kingdom.

There are private only ones like Switzerland.

There are hybrid public/private ones like France.

All of them share one characteristic: they are not for profit systems.

Until that design point gets brought to the discussion of universal health care in the United States we are kidding ourselves.

The idea that prices will be controlled by competition in a profit driven health insurance system has been pretty well proven to be a fantasy.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Virginia Triangle

There is a new novel climbing the NYT Best Seller List.

It has a great plot.

A Right Wing website releases photos of the Governor of Virginia from his Medical School yearbook in which he is either in blackface or in a Klan outfit.

A furor ensues and the Governor apologizes.

The furor continues and the Governor retracts his apology and denies that either picture is him.

But he does mention that he did blackface at another time and place.

Much to his surprise the frenzy demanding his head continues.

The Governor’s political party is OK with that because the next in line is the Lt. Governor, a popular African American of the same political party as the Governor.

If the Lt. Governor – an eminently electable sort of politician – were to take over he could serve out the existing term of the resigned Governor and then run for his own second term.

That would be an immense political windfall for the Governor and Lt. Governor’s party because that set of circumstances would do the impossible: give a politician a shot at two terms as Governor in Virginia, a state which has a one term limitation on the office of Governor.

The Right Wing web site strikes again.

The Lt. Governor is accused of sexual assault.

And his accuser has employed the services of the same law firm that tried to make the case against Bret the Beer Drinker recently.

Public opinion might not cotton to the spectacle of the testimony of another woman being slam dunked by the good ol’ boys for a second time in just a few months, so one might conclude that the lady’s law firm might win this one.

Or so the plot of the new novel seems to be indicating.

And the party of the Governor and Lt. Governor, looking at imminent statewide elections, can’t afford to look as if it is going to slam dunk the lady any more than they can not call for the resignation of the Governor.

It would appear to be a veritable quandary.

But wait.

The third in line to the line of succession to Governor is also a member of the Lt. Governor’s and Governor’s political party, so the quandary has a solution.

But wait.

The third in line spontaneously admits that he went in black face back in his college days.

Apparently most young men in Virginia go through that phase, and then go into politics.

The gloom of the veritable quandary returns: the fourth in line for the office of Governor is of a party other than that of the first three.

As a subtle tweak of the plot at this point, it turns out that the fourth in line is in that place as the result of ticket drawn out of a hat in the preceding year.

I can’t recommend this novel too highly.

The plot, of course is outlandish, but that’s what makes fiction so entertaining.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

David Brooks Had It Right

On The PBS News Hour last night Mr. Brooks made an observation about the Ralph Northam debacle.

Paraphrased, he said “Medical School is not High School; the ‘I was just a kid’ defense doesn’t hold water”.

I absolutely agree.

I was going to do a post to that effect; David scooped me.


I would, however, add this intended-to-be-concatenated personal observation:

“Unless you are a beer drinking rapist nominee for the Supreme Court supported by the Presidential equivalent of that demographic segment”.

The republican senate laps that stuff up.

It also worked with the Kovington Katholic Klan.