Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trump will have no idea what he's doing. Will he listen to people who do?

Barack Obama's foreign policy has been a catastrophic failure and Donald Trump's "America First" brand of isolationism, including the scraping of NATO, promises to be an exponentially bigger one.

How can Trump's foreign policy be saved? Given his own massive ignorance not only about the world but about history, things don't look good. Of course. Trump is vastly ignorant about every aspect of the job uninformed voters blundered into giving him last month. Whether his ego will permit him to listen to people who, unlike himself, actually know what they're talking about will tell the tale of the Trump foreign policy and America's destiny during the next four years.

It's easy to see what a stubborn clinging to his uninformed and often silly campaign utterances on the subject might do. It's one of the things that have so many of us terrified of the administration that begins next month.

But what if he can somehow summon the humility- and the realism- to listen to good counsel? He probably could do no better when selecting a voice to listen to than his defeated opponent's mentor, a legendary voice from the past who has been largely ignored by American presidents since he left power and whose thrived in a world very different from the one we live in now. But Henry Kissinger is still on top of things, still brilliant- and might be the best possible answer to Trump's own ignorance and impulsiveness.

Here's what a Trump-Kissinger- or rather, Kissinger-Trump- foreign policy might look like.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I know it hasn't been a month yet...

..but I thought I'd share this anyway.

Subtract Joe Buck. Add Pat Hughes. Here's the home-town call of the greatest half-inning of my life.

It still hasn't sunk in. And in just a few months, spring training will start and the Cubs can begin the process o repeating what happened last time they were world champions: two in a row.

Hey. Why stop at two? How about a dynasty? We've earned it!

Of course, we also have the Blackhawks' fourth Stanley Cup of in seven years to win first....


One should not grovel before tyrants- or tyrant wannabes

I should clearly state for the benefit of any Trump supporters who see this that this "apology" to Donald Trump from Mitt Romney is satirical. But I have to add that I have, indeed, lost a great deal of respect for Mitt as a result of his heinie kissing this past week.

Mitt could have run as an independent like Evan McMullin finally did. The polls even showed that he could have won. He had nothing to lose; his political career was over. In fact, he courageously spoke out just why Donald Trump is unfit to be president. But when he could have made a difference, he backed off. And now, he's being vetted to be the Secretary of State for a president whom he rightly scorned as unworthy of the presidency.

To paraphrase Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons," "Mitt, Mitt. It profiteth a man nothing to gain the whole world and lose his own soul. But for the State Department?

Caricature: DonkeyHotey

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

And so it begins

Donald Trump's statement about making flag burning illegal is just further evidence of what has been staring all of us- including those who delude themselves that Trump is an "unknown-" in the face all along: the President-elect is totally ignorant and contemptuous of the Bill of Rights.

As he's been demonstrating to us over and over again for nearly a year now not only by advocating the exclusion of an entire religion from immigration into the United States and in suggesting that he'd order our armed forces to ignore their oaths and commit war crimes but in repeatedly threatening his opponents and egging his supporters on in beating up protesters at his rallies . One wonders how clear things have to be spelled out for some people before they become "known."

Amazing how many people agree with Trump that the flag is more sacred than the things it stands for. Or rather who, like Trump, simply have no understanding whatsoever of what it stands for.

One wonders whether he'll read the Constitution before he swears to support and defend it. Or whether he'll even have enough knowledge of what's in it to cross his fingers while he takes the oath of office.

Pray for La Belle France

When Paris was liberated, who would have dreamed that the day would come when, America and Britain having fallen,  France would be teetering on the brink of following them over the cliff- and Germany would be the last great hope of Western liberal democracy?

Happy birthday, Ophiuchi!

Besides the fact that the signs of the horoscope are so dated that they're a full month behind the actual astronomical position of the sun in the zodiac, one of the more obvious absurdities of astrology is the fact that there are actually 13 signs of the zodiac, not 12.

The sun entered Ophiuchus today.

Now, granted, it only stays there for eleven days and only grazes a corner of it. But pseudo-sciences have to be precise enough not to miss an entire sign of the zodiac if they're going to be taken seriously.

This is an especially bizarre page even given the subject matter. Besides the fact that constellations don't typically have planets- stars do- I have to assume from the past-tense that the Ophiuchans described herein are residents of Swamp Planet and not humans born between November 30 and December 10.

Figures don't lie- but liars at Planned Parenthood figure

No, abortion is NOT only three percent of what Planned Parenthood does. Here's how they cook the statistics to come up with that figure.

An analogy from the video: A steakhouse says, "No, steak is only a small proportion of what we serve. We also serve toothpicks, breath mints, salads, beer, wine, water, napkins, potatoes, soap, and toilet paper, and we rent glasses, plates, and silverware,"

Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill. Period. Breast exams, pap smears and pregnancy tests are window dressing.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Our good friend Justin Trudeau will not let us Americans suffer alone

On November 8, the American people made the United States the laughingstock of the world by electing a psychologically unsound and patently corrupt ignoramus as its president.

But we have company in our moment of embarrassment. Canada- such a good friend that it could not bear to see us alone in our humiliation- promptly joined us as a laughingstock when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to lament and eulogize Fidel Castro, a vicious and murderous dictator for whom our Canadian friends have always for some odd reason cherished a perverse fondness.

The Left rightly excoriates the Right for its selective disapproval of dictators and murderers. Sadly, it also imitates it.

There are many differences between Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau. But when all is said and done, Mr. Trudeau is simply a horse's caboose of a different color. And we should be gracious enough to admit that it takes a true friend to share our moment of international and historical humiliation with us. 

Dr. Goebbels never had it so easy

Here's an interesting article on the rise of a phenomenon which has managed to poison political discourse online while providing echo-chamber type support for the wackiest of the alt-right crowd: hyperpartisan propaganda websites.

You can't believe anything on them. On the other hand, lots of people do- and all too often that includes reasonable people who have trouble telling their outrageous lies from actual news.

And no, it's not just the younger generation that has that problem.

From Breitbart to the humblest racist with a blog, the information revolution is becoming the disinformation revolution. And the phenomenon has now played a significant role in the election of a president.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Where Trump's support- and opposition- is likely to come from in the Senate

Silver also has an interesting analysis of which senators in each party are most likely to support or oppose the Trump agenda.

Given Trump's lack of conservative orthodoxy and consistency, he can expect more resistance from members of his own party than presidents usually get. There are also senators- Ben Sasse of Nebraska comes to mind- who are actually rather similar to Trump on the issues but have opposed him because of his personality and questions about his personal fitness for the office.

All in all, it's going to be an interesting four years on the Hill.

After further review, the call on Election Night stands

A group of computer scientists and election lawyers, perhaps encouraged by the Trump-like whining by certain Democrats that Hillary couldn't have lost the Electoral College given the size of her victory in the popular vote, have approached the Clinton campaign with what they claim is evidence that computer hacking was utilized to steal Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania from Hillary. It seems that she did far better in paper ballot precincts than in those using voting machines.

But it turns out to be a coincidence. Nate Silver- a Democrat- has analyzed their report and concluded that there is another explanation: demographics. When one looks at the composition of the precincts where machines were used and that of precincts where paper ballots were employed, there is nothing particularly fishy about the results. Maybe the time has come for the Democrats to accept defeat and wait for the American people. like the Brexit-voting Brits before them, to be smacked over the head by the inevitable case of buyer's remorse that follows an emotionally-driven and badly thought-through election result.

Silver  also documents something everybody already knew: the less educated you are, the more likely ou were to vote for Donald Trump. Whether Trump voters were simply bamboozled by a professional con man or intended all along, as Michael Moore contends, to "blow up the system," Silver's conclusion supports the impression that has persisted throughout the campaign that along with authoritarian leanings the absence of a college education was the surest predictor of support for The Donald.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Not that this means anything, but...

...Hillary Clinton's margin over Donald Trump in the popular vote has now passed two million- and it's growing,

If you recall, it was Trump who whined before a single vote was cast and  on the basis of no particular evidence whatsoever that the election was being "stolen." He even threatened not to accept the result. But now a movement has started to do an audit of the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania on the theory that a disconnect this big between the popular and the electoral vote is fishy.

I know of no way that Trump could have manipulated the results and I certainly don't expect the result of the election to be reversed. But the President-Elect does have a long history of playing fast and loose with the law and of not playing by the rules. In fact, he faces a civil trial on charges of racketeering and fraud later this month. This is not an auspicious beginning to a presidency whose possible end through impeachment is already under discussion among commentators due to his personal history.

Trump muffs his National Security Advisor pick

Donald Trump is clueless when it comes to national security issues.

And so, it appears, is his choice to be National Security Advisor.
 Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn had a brilliant military career but proved utterly incapable as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Colin Powell's description of Flynn's DIA tenure:  “...abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management." Powell describes Flynn since leaving the DIA as  “right-wing nutty."

This is going to be a long four years.  The blind leading the blind.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More truth than poetry

SNL's opening this week.

BTW, the thin-skinned, insecure POTUS-elect tweeted a whine about it:

Thanks to a patriot- no, TWO patriots- for undertaking the thankless task of trying to save us from our own foolishness

Here's the story of the thankless efforts of one patriot to save America from itself.

Short term, the effort failed. But long term....

Let's put it this way: the courage of Joel Searby and ultimately of Evan McMullin have inspired a cadre of loyal support that will carry far beyond this tragic election year. There are a lot of people who still value common sense and integrity, and I'm convinced that we form the nucleus of a party that can take the place the Republican party has abdicated as the voice of Center Right common sense and as the alternative to the radicalism of the Democrats.

Evan may not have carried a single state, but his courage and that of Joel Searby will echo down through the years. Decency in America is not dead.

Yes, there IS something worse than Hillary

Wondering what the "alt-right" is?

Wondering what the American people validated on November 8, and put into positions of power and influence without ever intending it?

Well, here you go.

And the hell of it is that simply spending any time on Twitter during the campaign or just listening to Trump's core supporters would have warned all those decent people who thought that nothing could be worse than Hillary.

You'd think that Trump being endorsed by the Klan and the Nazis and just about every white supremacist group you could name might have been a hint that this was not just an eccentric candidate who was "not perfect."

This is what the Republican party nominated this year. This is what the American people voted to validate. And this is why I can never be a Republican again.

HT: The Atlantic