oh shit

Those were the first two words to appear in my head this morning upon seeing the news just a few minutes ago. I suspect I’m not the only one. By the time I turned on my electronics, we were at, officially;

50 dead.

That apparently puts it at the top, body count wise, of a very ugly and ongoing list of mass shootings in the US.. That alone is bad enough, but of course things can always get worse. A couple of paragraphs later, they did;

Asked about a link to jihadi terrorism, an FBI agent said: “At this time we’re looking into all angles. We do have suggestions that that individual may have had leanings toward that, that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say anything definitively.”

Whoever that agent is needs to be fired, because that’s exactly the kind of thing that can’t ever be unsaid no matter where the evidence ends up pointing, particularly in the minds of conspiracy theorists.  But I digress.

Then, a few minutes later, two words;

Omar Mateen

It’s not necessary to belabor the point here.  If those two words had been something like Bobby Lee Babbitt, which is three words but nobody actually counts anything anymore anyway, we’d be in a different world this morning.

I don’t know where the tipping point in the overall American psyche is. Nobody does.  But if that reckless FBI agent turns out to be right, and the whacko who killed at least 50 people in a gay nightclub turns out to be motivated in any way at all by radical and violent interpretations of Islam, and even more especially if he’s brown, we might have just taken a step toward finding out exactly how a President Trump might actually try to deal with things like that.

I’m turning electronics in the house off for the rest of the day. I’m just not anywhere close to being in the mood for dealing with this shit right now.

 

Trump’s Revolution

It’s a morning, for me, for quoting old and dead white men. This time Eric Hobsbawm, who really did know a thing or two. This time his response to the idea that Hitler incited a ‘fascist revoloution’ in Germany in the 30s:

Fascist movements had the elements of revolutionary movements, inasmch as they contained people who wanted a fundamental transformation of society … However the horse of revolutionary fascism failed either to start or to run. Hiter rapidly eliminated those who took the “socialist” component in the name of the National Socialist Worker’s Party seriously.

Trump, should he beat Hilary, will of coruse play the very same game with the Tea Party types who have delivered the Republican nomination to him.

And Hilary, should she beat Trump -which will require her to pander in some forceful way to all of Sanders’ supporters who are clamboring for change that verges on revolutionary (they are asking for, after all, and Sanders is promising, a fundamental re-ordering of power relationships in the country)- will of course do exactly the same thing.

A very large number of Americans are making a very large and angry noise about how fed up they are with the way things have been, and are being, run. And no matter which mountebank (the Donald or the Clinton) reaches the white house, that large number of angry Americans are going to be roundly disappointed once again. If it’s The Clinton, then I wonder just how bad Trump 2.0 will be, when the fire next comes by. If it’s The Donald, then, if he doesn’t plunge us into world theatre war, or more likely civil war, or trigger a coup d’etat, then I reckon the temptation post-Trumptrauma® will be to elect the most boring and dull candidate anyone anywhere can field.

Everythign must change to stay the same.

may as well have some fun

No reason the end of modern civilization as we know it can’t be fun, right?

You know, fun with the reaction to Donald Trump’s plan to sterilize everyone from Puerto Rico until “we figure this thing out”?

“Do you think that’s going too far?”

“It’s not going far enough. No, really.”

 

a thought experiment

Given the recent developments it’s not too soon to assemble the nightmare scenario. Forgive the length and just bear with me for a bit, just for shits and giggles;

Watch carefully how Trump masterfully avoids actually answering any questions, then transpose that strategy over to the general election if he actually is the nominee and is running against HRC.
 All attempts to “nail” him for his ridiculousness, even attempts to hold him to account for the “dipping bullets in pig’s blood” bullshit and his eagerness to deploy torture and become a war criminal, will fail, particularly given the supine nature of television “journalism” today.

He’ll deflect and obfuscate till the cows come home.

If this isn't enough to stop this fucking clown, maybe we should discuss what would be?

If this isn’t enough to stop this fucking clown, maybe we should discuss what would be?

Now factor in just how cannily Trump has left wiggle room, especially on social policy issues, to tack back to the middle (and who the hell knows where that even is anymore?) in a general election. 
He’s already thinking about this and is now talking about “toning it down” and “being more presidential”, and he’s certainly, unlike Rubio or Cruz, not going to be talking about forcing women to bear their rapist’s baby, or about defunding Planned Parenthood.
He does actually have a history, currently buried by his pandering to the red meat GOP base, of some comparatively liberal positions, as Cruz and Rubio have been desperately trying to point out.

Then consider that Trump is fearless about browbeating opponents with tirades which accuse them, directly, of lying. I don’t recall  a candidate in my lifetime, which is basically the teevee era,  willing to engage opposing candidates directly like this, face to face, in a live “debate” setting.

This is the guy who, in South Carolina for crissakes, was screaming about how the most recent GOP president, the very popular Dubya, failed to “keep us safe” and who “lied us into an unnecessary war”.

By any normal political calculus, that’s suicide, but this is not a normal cycle and all those pundits who have been loudly promising that the “normal” rules would eventually reassert themselves are now struggling to breathe past all that egg on their faces.

Now let’s imagine him, in a “debate”, yelling at HRC about all those many occasions where she has been, oh, let’s just say economical with the truth throughout her political career. 
Imagine the debate moderator flapping around trying to get control of things. 
Imagine HRC trying to appear presidential while either not being able to get a word in edgewise or having to appeal to an utterly ineffective debate moderator.

Then consider that there is a gale-force wind blowing against any and all establishment candidates, not just in the thickets of wingnuttistan but howling across the entire political prairie.

Add in the indisputable fact that HRC is the very quintessence of an establishment candidate, and that the Democrat party establishment (here’s looking at you Wasserman Schultz) is, as usual, arrogantly assuming that all the bitterly disappointed Bernie progressives will be driven back into compliance by the LOTE argument—she’s the Lesser Of Two Evils—and the appalling prospects of at least one and possibly even two or three SCOTUS justices being replaced by the next president.

Stir all that together with the alarmingly high negatives which continue to bedevil HRC, and you have a formula for an electoral train wreck for the Dems the like of which they’ve not seen before ever, and of which they appear to be blissfully unaware.

So, to all those muppets in comment threads across the intertoobs who are busily and condescendingly characterizing the potential nomination of Trump as “the greatest gift to the Democrats”, stop and minute, lift up your heads and sniff the wind.

All that said, no, I don’t really know how all this is going to play out, but this much I do know; this is not an ordinary election cycle, and even without any additional variables like another Paris or San Bernadino or another economic meltdown, neither of which is especially unlikely, the usual political “wisdom” isn’t worth a bucket of spit.

Get Raucus at the Caucus!

That is the message in radio ads for Sen. Sanders, here in Nevada this week.

They are well written ads, use the time well.  He has a talented team working with him.

Hillary’s campaign is also in full gear, I’ve been called three times and buried in snail mail.

According to one recent poll, the contest between Clinton and Sanders is a tossup in Nevada.

Among Republicans, that guy with the weird thing on his head is apparently well in front.  On the other hand, Sen. Cruz is the only GOP candidate with paid staff working for him in every Nevada county.

As usual, it is all about getting your people into the room at the right time.  I love retail politics.

I plan to attend my local caucus.  Hell yes.  I’ll post observations afterward.

 

rich, powerful, that kind of thing…

Yep, he’s one hell of a piece of work all right.

If The Donald can’t get some serious mileage out of this in the service of his “nobody likes Ted” meme, then he’s losing his media-savvy touch. In fact, this is such a  “hit piece” gift I find myself wondering where it came from and whether it’s even real.