B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Trump Likes To Keep A Fat Guy Around

Fat Blak n Happy
Fat Blak n Happy

Donald Trump likes to keep one fat guy around. Seems legit

There was a fat contestant who was a buffoon and a fuckup,” recalls the midlevel producer. “And he would fuck up week after week, and the producers would figure that he’d screwed up so badly that Trump would have to fire him. But Trump kept deciding to fire someone else. The producers had to scramble because of course Trump can never be seen to make a bad call on the show, so we had to re-engineer the footage to make a different contestant look bad. Later, I heard a producer talk to him, and Trump said, ‘Everybody loves a fat guy. People will watch if you have a funny fat guy around. Trust me, it’s good for ratings.’ I look at Chris Christie now and I swear that’s what’s happening.”

(click here to continue reading Apprentice crew members on their old boss, Donald Trump..)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 16th, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with , ,

Why Healthcare Companies Are Leaving Kansas for Missouri

Remembering Your Infinite Course
Remembering Your Infinite Course

And speaking about why Donald Trump is the Republican Party of 2016, and how belief in Voodoo Economics is the underpinning of the GOP con, there is the real world example of Kansas. A Tea Party governor, a Tea Party legislature, and free reign to implement all those Koch and ALEC inspired schemes for going on five years now. 

Sliding north, we find ourselves in the failed state of Kansas, now in the fifth year of the Brownbackian Dark Ages, as such things are reckoned. Somehow, the fact that Kansas’ status as a supply-side lab rat has dropped the state down a political garbage chute the likes of which hasn’t been seen since they shredded the Articles of Confederation is beginning to seep under the guardhouses of the gated communities. The head of a healthcare company is fleeing to the Missouri border and he’s not shy about telling the world why. 

From Pathfinder Health Innovations CEO Jeff Blackwood

It wasn’t just that Brownback was conservative; it was that he is seen as a tool of the Koch brothers and ALEC, a conservative think tank and lobbying organization. Brownback used his influence and funding to eliminate “moderate” republicans from the Kansas legislature and install his hand-picked conservative cronies. He couldn’t do the same with the Kansas Supreme Court, which has ruled a number of the conservative legislature’s laws as unconstitutional, so Brownback’s administration decided to threaten to cut off funding to the court system and is actively pursuing legislation to impeach the Supreme Court.

Kansas has become a test center of “trickle down” economics, espoused by economist Arthur Laffer during the Reagan years. Nowhere has there been as thorough an implementation of Laffer’s policy recommendations… and nowhere has there been as dramatic a failure of government. Under Brownback’s direction, Kansas implemented an unprecedented tax cut in 2012, eliminating taxes for LLCs and professional firms (for full disclosure, PHI is a C Corporation) and making the largest cuts in the highest tax brackets. He shifted taxes to create a heavier burden on property and sales taxes, which typically represent a larger burden on lower income brackets. Brownback declared that this tax cut would be a “shot of adrenaline” for the Kansas economy, but the reality is that the tax cuts have had the opposite effect. Kansas lags neighboring states in job growth. For 11 of the last 12 months, Kansas has dramatically missed revenue targets, falling deeper in debt and facing another round of degraded bond ratings.

The worst part is that the burdens for the shortfalls rest on the shoulders of those who can least afford it – children and the developmentally disabled.

This guy says it flat out–Brownback has engineered the failure of government in Kansas to prove to himself and to the world that government inevitably fails. It’s not often that you see it made that plain, and now it’s time to point out that enough voters in Kansas showed up and re-elected this cluck in what only can be seen now as a suicide pact.

 

(click here to continue reading Why Healthcare Companies Are Leaving Kansas for Missouri.)

Discarded Cautions
Discarded Cautions

and a brief refresher of the Return of Voodoo Economics from Paul Krugman:

During his failed bid for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination George H. W. Bush famously described Ronald Reagan’s “supply side” doctrine — the claim that cutting taxes on high incomes would lead to spectacular economic growth, so that tax cuts would pay for themselves — as “voodoo economic policy.” Bush was right. Even the rapid recovery from the 1981-82 recession was driven by interest-rate cuts, not tax cuts. Still, for a time the voodoo faithful claimed vindication.

First, voodoo economics has dominated the conservative movement for so long that it has become an inward-looking cult, whose members know what they know and are impervious to contrary evidence. Fifteen years ago leading Republicans may have been aware that the Clinton boom posed a problem for their ideology. Today someone like Senator Rand Paul can say: “When is the last time in our country we created millions of jobs? It was under Ronald Reagan.” Clinton who?

Second, the nature of the budget debate means that Republican leaders need to believe in the ways of magic. For years people like Mr. Ryan have posed as champions of fiscal discipline even while advocating huge tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations. They have also called for savage cuts in aid to the poor, but these have never been big enough to offset the revenue loss. So how can they make things add up?

Well, for years they have relied on magic asterisks — claims that they will make up for lost revenue by closing loopholes and slashing spending, details to follow. But this dodge has been losing effectiveness as the years go by and the specifics keep not coming.

(click here to continue reading Voodoo Economics, the Next Generation – The New York Times.)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 16th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Chris Christie Fetches Donald Trump’s Burger and Fries

Watch it Rot - from October 2006
Watch it Rot – a McDonald’s hamburger from October 2006, a metaphor of course.

OMG, I would love to see this clip. I wonder what the good citizens of New Jersey think about it? Are they happy that Governor Christie is busying himself with other, important matters like waiting for Donald Trump to pat him on the head? Or do they wish he was still doing the job he is currently being paid to do?

Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, another of Trump’s opponents early in the campaign, has transformed himself into a sort of manservant, who is constantly with Trump at events. (One Republican told me that a friend of his on the Trump campaign used Snapchat to send him a video of Christie fetching Trump’s McDonald’s order1 .)

(click here to continue reading Occupied Territory – The New Yorker.)

Did Governor Christie sneak some fries? Good lord, how the self-righteous have fallen…

Footnotes:
  1. *Christie’s office denies this account. []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 15th, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Posted in humor,politics

Tagged with ,

Chase Rainbow was uploaded to Flickr

Will the bigots boycott JP Morgan Chase now?

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/J4rBsv

I took Chase Rainbow on June 14, 2016 at 03:37PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 14, 2016 at 10:08PM

Written by eggplant

June 14th, 2016 at 9:26 pm

A Moment of Understanding was uploaded to Flickr

Alley, Loop

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/J3wU1r

I took A Moment of Understanding on March 31, 2012 at 01:55PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 14, 2016 at 10:57AM

Written by eggplant

June 14th, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Donald Trump Is The GOP’s Standard Bearer

Washing the Trump
Washing the Trump

Paul Krugman asks a question I’ve been asking for a while: why did the “Deep Bench” of 2016 Republican presidential candidates do such a collectively horrible job vetting Donald Trump? Did none of the Deep Bench staffs include an opposition research team?

This is not a column about Donald Trump.

It’s not about the fraudulent scheme that was Trump University. It’s not about his history of failing to pay contractors, leading to hundreds of legal actions. It’s not about how he personally profited while running his casinos into the ground. It’s not even concerned with persistent questions about whether he is nearly as rich as he claims to be, and whether he’s ever done more than live off capital gains on his inheritance.

No, my question, as Democrats gleefully tear into the Trump business record, is why rival Republicans never did the same. How did someone who looks so much like a cheap con man bulldoze right through the G.O.P. nomination process?

I mean, it’s not as if any of this dirt was deeply hidden. The Trump U. story was out there long before it became the big deal it is today. It took some real reporting to flesh out the details of Mr. Trump’s other business practices, but we’re talking about ordinary if skillful journalistic legwork, not revelations from Deep Throat.

So why didn’t any of Mr. Trump’s primary opponents manage to make an issue of his sleazy business career? Were they just incompetent, or is there something structural about the modern Republican Party that makes it unable to confront grifters?

(click here to continue reading A Party Agrift – The New York Times.)

Sarah Palin, and her crew, Glenn Beck selling gold shares and end-of-times survival gear, Ron Paul selling his “curriculum”, Paul Ryan’s mission

to repeal the so-called “fiduciary rule” for retirement advisers, a new rule requiring that they serve the interests of their clients, and not receive kickbacks for steering them into bad investments.

You get the idea, Donald Trump is just another GOP snake-oil salesman, one of many. I guess the Republican party does have a deep bench of grifters and con artists.

Medicine is sometimes Not Enough
Medicine is sometimes Not Enough

Really, the main premise of the modern conservative party is that Supply Side Economics is valid – cutting taxes for the wealthy is going to start trickling down krugerands for the rest of us, any day now! Just look to Governor Brownback’s Kansas. So if your political party insists the Laffer Curve is science, and simultaneously claims the earth is but 6,000 years old, is it any wonder that Donald Trump will win primary voters?

Or as Krugman puts it:

Then there’s the issue of ideology. If your fundamental premise is that the profit motive is always good and government is the root of all evil, if you treat any suggestion that, say, some bankers misbehaved in the run-up to the financial crisis as proof that the speaker is anti-business if not a full-blown socialist, how can you condemn anyone’s business practices?

In the months ahead Republicans will claim that there are equivalent scandals on the Democratic side, but nothing they’ve managed to come up with rises remotely to the level of even one of the many Trump scams in the news. They’ll also claim that Mr. Trump doesn’t reflect their party’s values. But the truth is that in a very deep sense he does. And that’s why they couldn’t stop him.

(click here to continue reading A Party Agrift – The New York Times.)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 14th, 2016 at 9:39 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Net Neutrality Rules Upheld by Federal Court

Fuck The Internet
Fuck The Internet

Huh. Well, at first blush, this seems like good news…

High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled, a decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users.

The decision from a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday comes in a case about rules applying to a doctrine known as net neutrality, which prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing the delivery of internet content to consumers.

Those rules, created by the Federal Communications Commission in early 2015, started a huge legal battle as cable, telecom and wireless internet providers sued to overturn regulations that they said went far beyond the F.C.C.’s authority and would hurt their businesses.

The court’s decision upholds the F.C.C. on the declaration of broadband as a utility, the most significant aspect of the rules. That has broad-reaching implications for web and telecommunications companies and signals a shift in the government’s view of broadband as a service that should be equally accessible to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision.

(click here to continue reading Net Neutrality Rules Upheld by Federal Court – The New York Times.)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 14th, 2016 at 9:12 am

Did Led Zeppelin steal a riff for Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin poster
 Led Zeppelin’s latest trial is going before a federal court.

The common ground between “Stairway to Heaven” and “Taurus” largely comes down to a 10-second musical theme that appears 45 seconds into “Taurus,” an instrumental from the band’s 1968 debut album, which is similar to the opening acoustic guitar pattern on “Stairway.” That song was released three years before “Stairway to Heaven” surfaced on Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album, commonly referred to as “Led Zeppelin IV.”

Zeppelin surviving members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones and their legal team are expected to argue that the similarity is nothing more than coincidence between musicians working in a field rooted in commonly used and re-used musical ideas. Or they may attempt to cite earlier precursors to both songs from the public domain, which could render moot the Wolfe estate’s copyright claim.

“It’s a tough one to call,” says singer-songwriter Richard Thompson, whose 1960s band Fairport Convention helped pioneer the merger of traditional British folk music with the amplified energy of rock ’n’ roll that Led Zeppelin took to its apotheosis in the 1970s.

“They were on the same bill together before [Zeppelin guitarist] Jimmy Page wrote ‘Stairway,’ there’s that,” Thompson said, referring to the Wolfe estate’s claiming that because the two bands played shows together in the late 1960s, and that Spirit often included “Taurus” in those shows, Zeppelin’s members at least had the opportunity to have heard the song.

“On the other hand,” Thompson said, “it’s not an uncommon riff, and the melody not that unusual.”

Guitarist Laurence Juber, who used to play with Paul McCartney’s band Wings, noted that the opening progression can be heard in a 16th century sonata for guitar, violin and strings by Italian composer Giovanni Battista Granata.

“The reality is that to have a descending bass line with an A minor chord on top of it is a common musical device.”

Because of the statute of limitations, the Wolfe estate is only able to seek revenue produced by “Stairway” since 2011, or the three years before the latest remastered version was released in 2014. But going forward, any percentage of monies coming out of sales or airplay of the song could add up to a significant windfall for the estate of Wolfe, who drowned in Hawaii in 1997 while rescuing his son from a strong undertow.

 

(click here to continue reading Did Led Zeppelin steal a riff for ‘Stairway to Heaven’? A court will decide – LA Times.)

I am a fan of Led Zeppelin, enough so that I’ve purchased all their albums on multiple formats, or editions. That said, for a long time, I usually skip Stairway to Heaven – I’ve just heard it way too many times.

Zeppelin and Jimmy Page have borrowed heavily from previous artists, people like Willie Dixon, Memphis Minnie, etc. Did they borrow a bit of Spirit’s Taurus? The decending riff does sound similar, but it is not unique. In fact, the sonata for guitar by Granata, below, does sound quite similar too, and it’s from the 16th century.

Extremely similar to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”; the arpeggio can be heard at 0:32 in this 17th Century Composition titled “Sonata di Chittarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo” by Giovanni Battista Granata.

Guitar performance by Stephen Stubbs.

Or this Davy Graham guitar from 1959’s “Cry Me A River”

Guitarist Davy Graham playing Cry Me A River, as captured in a 1959 BBC documentary directed by Ken Russell on the rise in popularity of the guitar in Britain.

And why did Randy Spirit not file a lawsuit while alive? Once he died, then his family’s estate went after Led Zeppelin. 

I guess we’ll see.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 13th, 2016 at 10:28 pm

Melancholy, Misunderstood, and Moonstruck

http://i1.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7430/27338087270_f5a88d4320_z.jpg?resize=360%2C640&ssl=1

A perfect, balmy night on the roof deck of my building. I brought up some cognac, and a BlueTooth speaker.

http://i1.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7356/27515495962_4341125031_z.jpg?resize=640%2C640&ssl=1

Here was the soundtrack…

  1. Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Dave MattacksCuckoos Nest
    Morris On
  2. The Albion BandGresford Disaster
    Rise Up Like The Sun
  3. Fairport ConventionDoctor Of Physick
    Full House
  4. Richard ThompsonThe Angels Took My Racehorse Away
    Henry The Human Fly
  5. Richard Thompson & Linda ThompsonThe Little Beggar Girl
    Live At The BBC
  6. FotheringayBanks Of The Nile
    No More Sad Refrains
  7. Thompson, RichardThe End Of The Rainbow
    I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
  8. Richard Thompson/Linda ThompsonI Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
    In Concert November 1975
  9. Fairport ConventionThe Hiring Fair
    The Woodworm Years
  10. Richard ThompsonI Misunderstood
    Ramble On! Uncut Cover CD – September 2014
  11. Fairport ConventionFlatback Caper
    Full House
  12. Thompson, RichardThe Great Valerio
    I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
  13. Fairport ConventionSir Patrick Spens
    Liege & Lief [Deluxe Edition]
  14. Fairport ConventionBanks Of The Sweet Primroses
    Live At The BBC
  15. David BowieLife On Mars?
    The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
  16. Fairport ConventionDirty Linen
    Full House
  17. Thompson, RichardWhen I Get To The Border
    I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
  18. La’s, TheThere She Goes
    The La’s
  19. Fairport ConventionFlowers Of The Forest
    Full House
  20. Thompson, RichardDown Where The Drunkards Roll
    I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
  21. Shirley Collins & Albion Country BandClaudy Banks
    No Roses
  22. Thompson, RichardWithered And Died
    I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
  23. Fairport ConventionSloth
    Full House
  24. Richard ThompsonNobody’s Wedding
    Henry The Human Fly

Written by Seth Anderson

June 12th, 2016 at 12:24 am

Posted in Music,Narcipost

Tagged with

Trump panic on the right

Face in a Crowd
Face in a Crowd…

Expanding on the point I made yesterday, Digby writes:1

It seems odd that after an overwhelming litany of crude, demagogic insults over the course of the last year, Republican leaders have suddenly recognized that Donald Trump is a racist whose reckless rhetoric is likely to destroy the Republican Party. Evidently, the “Mexicans are rapists” comments in his announcement speech a year ago didn’t ring any alarm bells. But better late than never. Party leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both decided they needed to denounce his blatant bigotry although they made clear it wasn’t a deal breaker. Better an unfit, racist, authoritarian megalomaniac than a Democrat in the White House. You go to Hades with the devil you have not the devil you wished you have.

There have been a few prominent Republicans who have publicly withdrawn their endorsements.  Senator Mark Kirk said he could no longer support Trump because he doesn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief. This has also been obvious for the last 12 months but again, it’s to his credit that he’s belatedly decided that it’s a disqualifying characteristic. He’s decided to write-in the name of General David Petraeus which he may want to re-think considering the news this week that Petraeus was not only found guilty of “mishandling” classified information by sharing it with his mistress, he also shared Top Secret information with reporters. It’s really tough finding a decent Republican to vote for these days.

(click here to continue reading Trump panic on the right: They’ve created this monster — and some are getting more desperate to find a way out – Salon.com.)

No Alien is Illegal
No Alien is Illegal

The GOP were fine with Trump up until very recently, and if you examine their various statements, very few are going as far as saying Trump shouldn’t be the GOP standard-bearer, they just want him to tone down his language a bit so as to not rile up the rubes and television bloviators. Not his ideas, not his actions, just his language describing GOP shibboleths like we must be very, very afraid of undocumented Mexicans pouring over the border by the millions, and other fact-free positions.

Or else what?

The problem with this scenario is that these elite Republicans are failing to take something very important into consideration: their voters. It’s certainly possible that they are in danger of losing some faction of the party over Trump’s repugnant behavior. But there is little reason to believe it’s a majority. This week, millions of them went to the polls and voted for him even though he had already won the nomination. Granted, he’s not the electoral juggernaut he pretends to be, but he is the legitimate winner of the Republican nomination and his voters will not take kindly to having their wishes ignored.

Moreover, the Republican rank and file doesn’t agree with the premise that Trump is out of bounds in the first place. This YouGov survey done after Trump made his bigoted comments about the judge show 81% of Democrats and 44% of independents believe they were racist. But only only 22% of Republicans agree. In other words, 78% of GOP voters are just fine with Trump and seem to agree with his statement that  “people are tired of this political correctness when things are said that are totally fine.”

(click here to continue reading Trump panic on the right: They’ve created this monster — and some are getting more desperate to find a way out – Salon.com.)

Footnotes:
  1. and I’m in no way claiming she reads this blog, because why would she? Simply that we had the same reaction to recent political news []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 9th, 2016 at 9:01 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

MCMXXVIII was uploaded to Flickr

The Civic Opera House, 1928

(note for the photography purists: I removed a bit of another building in the lower right corner using Photoshop’s “content aware fill”. In other words, this photo is not photojournalism)

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/H33zQA

I took MCMXXVIII on March 31, 2012 at 01:03PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 08, 2016 at 10:47AM

Written by eggplant

June 8th, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Trump Is The GOP

http://i0.wp.com/farm8.static.flickr.com/7374/26796617234_e4a55d0b94.jpg?ssl=1

Amusing, in an odd way, how many Republican leaders decry Trump’s blatant racism, sexism, nativism, whatever-ism, yet make sure to mention that Hillary is somehow worse, without explaining why. Profiles in courage, 2016 edition. I may be unenthusiastic about Ms. Clinton, but she isn’t a racist bully with tiny hands and a tiny brain. The truth is Donald Trump is only saying what the rest of the GOP says and thinks, only louder, and with less big words. The Combover Caligula is the GOP.1

Some Republicans, including Ryan, employed the “Trump is still better than Hillary Clinton” defense. Several asserted that Trump “isn’t racist in his heart” line or variations on that theme. Still others refused to comment or grew angry when pressed to comment on the GOP presidential hopeful.

McConnell was asked every which way about Trump’s comments at his weekly Q&A with reporters, as his leadership team tried in vain to talk about national security and a defense bill pending on the Senate floor. The Kentucky Republican faced not a single question about his plans to pass annual spending bills or to overhaul the Senate and make it a better-functioning body.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) went on CNN to discuss Trump and ended up calling President Barack Obama a racist. “You can easily argue the president of the United States is a racist with his policies and rhetoric,” Zeldin claimed. Zeldin later added that “my purpose here isn’t to just go through the list and call everyone a racist.”

When asked later for details on Obama’s allegedy racist policies or rhetoric, Zeldin apologized to Obama.

“I abhor racism in any form and it has no place in our country,” Zeldin said in a statement. “I was disappointed and disagree with Donald Trump’s statement.”

Zeldin added: “With that being said, I apologize to anyone who interpreted my comments as calling the president a racist. I am not calling the president a racist.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an unabashed Trump critic, said the issue isn’t so much Trump as the future of the GOP. Backing Trump just because he’s the Republican nominee doesn’t cut it, Graham said.

“There are a lot of people who want to be loyal to the Republican Party, including me,” Graham told MSNBC. “But there’ll come a point in time where we’re gonna have to understand that it’s not just about the 2016 race, it’s about the future of the party. And I would like to support our nominee; I just can’t.”

(click here to continue reading Trump ‘racism’ frenzy engulfs Hill Republicans – POLITICO.)

The one-term Senator from Illinois, Mark Kirk couldn’t quite square the circle, at the moment anyway. Come November, I’m sure he’ll be sure to support the GOP’s nominee:

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk said Tuesday that Donald Trump “does not have the temperament” to hold the job of president, saying he “cannot and will not support” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

It was sharp criticism from an incumbent who had previously insisted he would support the GOP nominee. The Illinois Republican, who faces a tough challenge this November from Illinois Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, tweeted Tuesday that based on his background in the military, he does not have faith in Trump to lead. “Given my military experience, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to command our military or our nuclear arsenal,” Kirk wrote. Given my military experience, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to command our military or our nuclear arsenal.

— Mark Kirk (@MarkKirk) June 7, 2016 Kirk, who told CNN that he would write in former CIA director David Petraeus this fall, followed up with a statement saying he objects to Trump’s recent comments about a federal judge’s Mexican heritage.

(click here to continue reading GOP Sen. Mark Kirk: I cannot support Donald Trump – CNNPolitics.com.)

Yeah, David Petraeus, the narcissist who couldn’t keep from telling his mistress national secrets, that guy is apparently the sort of GOP leader Senator Kirk endorses. Slightly better than Trump, sure, but not by much.

http://i0.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/27010093932_b84ee2a0ba_z.jpg?resize=640%2C486&ssl=1
 Frank Rich writes:

I doubt we’ll see much more than tiny pockets of Clinton support among the powers that be in the GOP. It has been astonishing to watch one Republican leader after another call out Trump’s racism this week and yet say they still support him because they hate Hillary more. Keep in mind that these are some of the same so-called leaders — typified by Paul Ryan — who were in a tizzy months ago when Trump didn’t immediately disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. They are the same leaders who had to wait several days to see which way the political winds were blowing before they called for the Confederate flag to come down in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre. You have to wonder: Do Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus, et al, have even a single testicle among them? It doesn’t seem that way. McConnell’s cowardly strategy for criticizing Trump, for instance, was to demand that he “get on message.” What the hell does that mean? Trump is on message: It’s the nativist, birther message that the GOP has embraced throughout the Obama era, and that John McCain (who also continues to endorse Trump) legitimized by putting Sarah Palin on his ticket eight years ago. Trump’s misogyny is also consistent with a party whose favored Establishment candidate this year, Rubio, opposed abortions for victims of rape and incest. It may be only a matter of days before Trump declares that his idea of an impartial judge is Aaron Persky, who presided over the Brock Turner rape case.

But we are beginning to see a few signs of panic, if not courage, among GOP elites this week. They are starting to remember history. The Republican Party lost African-American voters in seeming perpetuity from the moment it nominated an opponent of the Civil Rights Act, Barry Goldwater, for the presidency in 1964. In the 1990s, the GOP lost California — once Ronald Reagan’s secure domain — after the Republican governor Pete Wilson unleashed the forces of bigotry on Hispanics by campaigning for Proposition 187, a punitive strike against undocumented immigrants. It’s finally beginning to dawn on the party elites that, yes, Trump could drive away America’s fastest-growing demographic group for as many decades as Goldwater drove away black people. Trump could turn red states blue just as Wilson did in California.

(click here to continue reading Hillary’s Anti-Trump Strategy Comes Into View — NYMag.)

The Sooner You Can Leave
The Sooner You Can Leave

and Charles Pierces adds:

The gang over at Tiger Beat On The Potomac has put together a helpful list of the most perfect political cowards in the United States Senate—that is, those Distinguished Gentlemen From Wherever who deplore what He, Trump has been saying about the nation’s judges in general, and Judge Gonzalo Curiel in particular, but who likely will support the presumptive Republican nominee anyway

It is here where we point out that Republicans have been holding up Zika funding in the Congress because the Republicans in the House of Representatives are completely insane, and beyond anyone’s control, and perfectly representative of the forces that produced the presidential nominee who makes Burr and Cornyn and the rest of them so uncomfortable.

For their part, of course, these same jamokes in the upper chamber are keeping the Supreme Court playing shorthanded because they don’t like the twice-elected president of the United States and are content to hold one seat on the bench open to be filled by the guy about whom they’d rather not talk.

Incoherence as a strategy does not seem like a plan.

(click here to continue reading Republicans in Congress Outraged by Trump, Will Vote for Him.)

Footnotes:
  1. BTW, I didn’t come up with that term, but forget where I first read it []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 8th, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Brain Volume Sorta Low

Volume
Volume

Some days the volume is low and there is no way to crank it up to ten.

((Editor’s note: even my website was low-energy yesterday, as this post failed, and my entire site also went down))

Written by Seth Anderson

June 7th, 2016 at 8:16 am

Posted in Music

Tagged with

Jesus is π was uploaded to Flickr

or whatever that says.

Of course, in the Old Testament, Pi=3, as Isaac Asimov points out:

"The exact function of the “molten sea” is not stated, though it seems most likely that it was a container for water used in the various rituals. The interesting point is that its upper rim seems to be circular in shape with a diameter of ten cubits and a circumference of thirty cubits. This is impossible, for the ratio of the circumference to the diameter (a ratio called “pi” by mathematicians) is given here as 30/10=3, whereas the real value of pi is an unending decimal which begins 3.14159… If the molten sea were really ten cubits in diameter it would have to be just under thirty-one and a half cubits in circumference.

The explanation is, of course, that the Biblical writers were not mathematicians or even interested in mathematics and were merely giving approximate figures. Still, to those who are obsessed with the notion that every word in the Bible is infallible (and who know a little mathematics) it is bound to come as a shock to be told that the Bible says that the value of pi is 3. “
via
Asimov’s Guide to the Bible

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/GUMdmA

I took Jesus is π on May 28, 2016 at 09:04AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 04, 2016 at 02:18PM

Written by eggplant

June 4th, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

Shady accounting underpins Donald Trump’s wealth

Make Sidewalks Great Again
Make Sidewalks Great Again

The forensic accountants digging into Trump’s alleged wealth is an intriguing 2016 story-line, I’m assuming Hillary Clinton’s people are working full time on the project.

Donald Trump claims a net worth of more than $10 billion and an income of $557 million. But he appears to get there only by overvaluing properties and ignoring his expenses.

POLITICO spoke with more than a dozen financial experts and Trump’s fellow multimillionaires about the presumptive Republican nominee’s latest financial statement. Their conclusion: The real estate magnate’s bottom line — what he actually puts in his own pocket — could be much lower than he suggests. Some financial analysts said this, and a very low tax rate, is why Trump won’t release his tax returns.

 

(click here to continue reading Shady accounting underpins Donald Trump’s wealth – POLITICO.)

Cash For Gold
Cash For Gold

An interesting subtext is how often anonymous quotes are used because even these Masters of the Universe types realize Trump has a thin skin, and a need to sue everyone who ever blinks at Trump wrong. Such as these courageous high-net worth individuals…

“I know Donald; I’ve known him a long time, and it gets under his skin if you start writing about the reasons he won’t disclose his returns,” said one prominent hedge fund manager who declined to be identified by name so as not to draw Trump’s ire. “You would see that he doesn’t have the money that he claims to have and he’s not paying much of anything in taxes.”

“If he is swimming in so much cash for all his holdings, why is he selling this stuff to raise cash?” asked another ultra-high-net-worth individual who also reviewed the filings and declined to be identified by name to avoid Trump’s wrath.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 4th, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Posted in politics

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