Friday, June 24, 2016

Please Laugh

The United Kingdom is leaving Europe. Scotland, almost certainly, will now divorce from England. The same ultra-nationalist fervor could elect Donald Trump. We need to laugh.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The History of Indecorous Events At The US Congress

To hear Speaker Ryan talk, the Democratic protest against gun violence on the floor of Congress is an unprecedented breach of decorum. That's a lie. 

Republicans Did It First
On August 1, 2008, Rep. Paul Ryan was one of the Republican members of Congress to do exactly the same thing. Republican leaders occupied the well of the House to protest the then Democratic majority's refusal to bring Republicans bills to a vote. They chanted, sang songs, and cheered when Speaker Pelosi had the lights turned out. The only difference is that Republicans lacked the stamina of Democrats, they could only last five hours.

But things have gotten much more indecorous than that in American history.

Strom Thurmond's Piss Pot
In 1957, Congress was considers a rather tepid Civil Rights Act that would set up a commission to investigate minority voting and allow blacks to serve on federal juries in Southern states. But it was more than enough to rile the segregationist from the not so great state of South Carolina. Strom took the floor and, with a brief respite provided by Barry Goldwater, talked non-stop for over 24 hours.

Buck Kilgore
The interesting thing about this still record-setting filibuster was that Strom had an aide standing by with a bucket in the event that Strom needed to take a piss so he could pee while remaining on the Senate floor and still talking.

Kicking Down the Doors
In 1900, Speaker Thomas Reed was having a hard time getting a quorum. The minority, led by Southern segregationists, were trying to prevent four new African-American congressmen from being seated. They would demand a quorum call and then race for the exits. No quorum, no business can be done. Speaker Reed decided to get a quorum by locking all the doors. Some congressmen tried to hide under their desks but one, Congressman Buck Kilgore of Texas tried to run only to find the doors locked. Kilgore proceeded to kick in the door like a drunken ex-boyfriend.

Congressional Brawlers
May 22, 1856 - Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina took exception to the fact that abolitionist senator Charles Sumner was still breathing. He walked over to the floor of the Senate, approached Sumner from behind, and began beating him with a cane. Congressman Laurence Keitt also of South Carolina drew a gun and threatened to shoot anyone who tried to stop Brooks beatdown of Sumner. Sumner spent two years in a hospital recovering and was reelected to Congress while bedridden.

Later, Brooks challenged another anti-slavery congressman to a duel. When it was accepted, Brooks chickened out.

Feb. 5, 1858 - Larry Keitt was at it again. He took exception to Congressman Galusha Grow wanting Kansas to be slave free. Keitt tried to choak Grow which triggered an all out brawl on the floor of the House.

Monday, June 20, 2016

'I Feel Like a Supermodel'

I feel like a supermodel, except like times 10. It's true. I'm a supermodel. I'm on the cover of these magazines — I'm on the cover of the biggest magazines. I don't even know about it. I can't even read the story, because if I did, I wouldn't get any work done. ~ Donald Trump, June 18, 2016
Maria, West Side Story
If you listed all the crazy stuff Trump has said and printed it on paper it would sink the continent, but this egotistical preening would be on page one. In Donnie's spongified brain he is the greatest thing to ever happen to the world, ten times better than the greatest person he can possibly imagine - a supermodel like Heidi Klum.

It's beyond bizarre and I really don't know if it's dementia, Mad Cow Disease caught from a Trump Steak, or just a shitload of Nose Candy. But at least I now know what the Trump campaign song should be.
I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real.
By the by, last summer candidate Trump opined that Heidi Klum was no longer a ten because that is the kind of issue that requires presidential judgement. Heidi's response was a perfect 9.99.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Living In Trump's America - Part Five

Cult of Personality
The Rome headquarters of Mussolini's Fascist Party
I'm speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things. I know what I'm doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time I'll tell you who the people are. But my primary consultant is myself and I have, you know, a good instinct for this stuff. ~ Donald Trump, March 16, 2016 (responding to the question "who are you consulting with" on foreign policy)
Everyone who runs for president has an inflated ego. It's a job requirement. Trump's ego is inflated to the size of Jupiter. Whereas candidates normally speak as members of a community (us, we, our), an analysis of Trump's speeches reveal that his favorite words are self-referential (I, me, Trump).

It's "I will build a great, great wall." Not we, I. And because he will build it, it will be not just be great but "great great."

It's "I will make America great again." Not, "with your help we" just I, alone as a singular superhuman individual.

In Trump's America, Donald J. Trump is Alpha and Omega, the morning and evening star. He will accomplish mighty deeds all by himself while the rest of us must shut the Hell up and get out of his way.

And if we will our country will be full of sparkling unicorns and we'll get tired of so much winning.

Living In Trump's America - Part One
Living In Trump's America - Part Two  
 

Living In Trump's America - Part Three 
Living In Trump's America - Part Four 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Living In Trump's America - Part Four

Wars and Torture
A few of the 28,000 Chileans who disappeared into Augusto Pinochet's torture chambers.
I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding. ~ Donald Trump, Feb. 8, 2016
Trump has been especially clear in his intention to institute torture as American policy. He has even bluntly stated that he will compel American servicemembers to commit war crimes such as the torture and murder of family members of suspected terrorists.
There's nobody bigger or better at the military than I am. ~ Trump, June 16, 2015
Trump considers himself a military genius who will bomb, encircle, and crush ISIS then go in and "take that oil." He promises to bomb Iraq and Syria with Trident nuclear missiles. Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson justified this position by saying what's the point of having nuclear weapons if you are afraid to use them. Trump has refused to rule out dropping nuclear bombs on Europe. Trump has expressed his desire for nations like Japan and Saudi Arabia to have their own nuclear arsenals. By scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, Trump also wants Iran to own nukes.

Beyond his desire to nuke much of the globe, Trump wants to engage in trade wars with our biggest trading partners by imposing a massive 45% tariff on Chinese goods and a 35% tariff on goods produced in Mexico. Economists have analyzed his plans and predict the result will be a debilitating global recession/depression.

All this is not to suggest that Trump doesn't see potential allies abroad. While Trump foresees an adversarial relationship with Great Britain he has nothing but praise for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He has invited North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un to the United States and praised China's violent suppression of dissent, the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.

Since this series is getting me depressed, here is an article from the Onion. U.N. Warns Trump May Be 7 Months Away From Acquiring Nuclear Weapons.

Living In Trump's America - Part One
Living In Trump's America - Part Two  
 

Living In Trump's America - Part Three 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Living In Trump's America - Part Three

Political Prisoners and Censored Media
Hillary Clinton has to go to jail. Alright I said it. She has to go to jail. ~ Donald Trump, June 2, 2016
Trump has openly promised to arrest his Democratic opponent after he is sworn in as President. He has accused her long time aide, Huma Abedin, of terrorist ties and suggested that the current President also has terrorist connections.

Trump wants to expand the already massive American prison system. Trump's supporters are calling for multiple political arrests. Couple that with Trump's desire for a pervasive surveillance society where neighbors spy on neighbors and are threatened with arrest if they fail to report their neighbors to police and the prospects are that people other than Clinton, Obama, and Abedin will be arrested for their politics.

These are the media outlets Donald Trump has banned to date for being "unfair" to him:
  • Washington Post
  • Huffington Post
  • Politico
  • Univision
  • Des Moines Register
  • BuzzFeed
  • Daily Beast
Trump has promised to change libel laws to make it illegal to criticize him. He only wants media that say nice things about him. Fail that and be blacklisted or sued.

Living In Trump's America - Part One
Living In Trump's America - Part Two

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Living In Trump's America - Part Two

Mass Deportations
In 1949, Stalin deported 42,000 Latvians from their homes.
The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. ~ Donald Trump, July 5, 2015
Trump says he will have a "deportation force" to expel eleven million immigrants from the United States within 18 months. He has said that American citizen children born of immigrants will be expelled along with their parents so as to "keep families together."

Trump believes that having foreign heritage is the same as being an alien. Hence, a 63 year-old man born in East Chicago, Indiana is a "Mexican" while a 29 year-old man born New Hyde Park, New York is an "Afghan."

Trump has written that he intends to triple the size of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) which would make Trump's deportation force the largest agency of the federal government, excluding the military, exceeding in size both the TSA and FBI. Trump's deportation force would deprive people of due process, quickly expelling people from the country without hearings to determine whether they were, in fact, American citizens.
If somebody walks in, they don't bring them to court, they send them back. ~ Trump, Nov. 21, 2015
Trump wants to ban all Muslims entering the country; he only wants to restrict Hispanic entry. Since Trump believes that Muslims are at least as dangerous as Hispanics it is difficult to believe he would not point his deportation force at the 3.3 million Muslim-Americans eventually.

To achieve Trump's plan for the complete purging of eleven million Hispanics from the United States in 18 months would require expelling over a half-million men, women, and children from the county every month for a year and a half. That is 130 cattle cars filled with humans a day using the Nazi figures of 150 deportees per rail car. Trump states these expulsions will be "humane"

One can only speculate how Trump will use his massive deportation force after he has expelled all of his undesirables

Living In Trump's America - Part One