Oh the Irony, it Hurts

Texas Republican State Rep. warns that Texas can’t accept Syrian refugees because their lax gun laws would make it toooooo easy for mayhem.

“While the Paris attackers used suicide vests and grenades it is clear that firearms also killed a large number of innocent victims,” Dale wrote. “Can you imagine a scenario were [sic] a refugees [sic] is admitted to the United States, is provided federal cash payments and other assistance, obtains a drivers license and purchases a weapon and executes an attack?”

Yes, they would be given Obamaphones and with their Obamachecks could buy Texasguns and…. scene.

Sometimes the only response is:

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa, etc.

 

Just asking but… Middle East action

Has anything we or our allies ever done to intervene in Middle Eastern conflicts/sovereignty/politics turned out okay? Short term victories always turn into long term quagmires of the unintended consequences kind. When it goes south it’s always completely unforeseeable, except for those who predicted it.

Granted, we were only ever there because oil (starting with FDR), and then Israel, but then we started to take sides in internal matters, interfere with the process, depose democratically elected leaders and generally get up to our friggin’ necks in blood, blame and bitterness. When you start picking one brutal dictatorship over another brutal dictatorship (or even playing both against each other) it’s time to go home and sober up.

Would be great if the average American had the slightest understanding of our history over there and why they (1) hate us or (2) mistrust us or (3) like us just fine, but want us out of their beeziness.

It’s the most ridiculously complex geopolitical area on Earth.  And no matter what we do we are toxic. Like with the mutual assured destruction and the tic tac toe playing computer in “Wargames” when do we figure out the only answer is to not play the game?

The House always wins, and in the Middle East the House is chaos.

I love Hillary, but…

Yeah, some of her affiliations in the past, like Walmart, disturb me. I’ve had to give her the benefit of the doubt on her coziness with the kind of triangulation and DLC third way corporatist strategies that her husband represented to a tee in in the 90s, that were a poke in the eye to progressives. (Bill has said many of the things he did were mistakes, she agrees, and yet she equivocates on some like trying to justify DOMA with a revisionist history and was fashionably late to the issue).  Come to think of it she’s been fashionably late to a few issues, like the TPP, the Keystone Pipeline…

Which brings me to her vote on Iraq, which just always seemed to be blatantly political. You either forgive her for it by justifying that many Dems went along to get along on that one, or you don’t. I really don’t. I find that kind of justification as cynical and manipulative as her late evolutions on gay marriage, trade, Keystone… It’s all disturbing.

Then there’s the money.  All that money.  The connections with deep pocketed corporations and Super Pacs through the Clinton Foundation and, yes, her massive mega-campaign, are, depending on how generous you want to be at the time, either an unnecessary throw back to those 90s ways or a necessary evil to counter the Republican money machine. I do not advocate unilateral disarming in the age of Citizen’s United, but do you really need Goldman Sachs’ money in this day of direct internet appeals to small donors?

Bernie Sanders says no to that money, and to Super Pacs and to personal attacks.  No matter how much his advisors and talking heads like Chris Matthews may goad him to attack Hillary on the issues that the GOP would attack her on, Bernie refuses to go down that road, because that’s no way to win. So he won’t.

But maybe he should have on the issue of Wall Street money.

Which brings me to what disturbed me about some of Hillary’s answers on Saturday night.

They were rehearsed, they were glib, they were disingenuous, they were overtly political game playing and pandering.  They made me cringe.

“I disagree with free college. I don’t think taxpayers should be paying for Trump’s kids to go to college.”

Really? Do you think that Trump’s kids went to state schools, public universities?  No, they didn’t. It’s just such a facile attack line that you can hear one of her ace advisors coming up with it and her practicing it in debate prep.  So your objection to free tuition, something most state schools had until the ’70s (my freshman year was the second year they charged tuition for the CUNY system, in the wake of NYC’s bankruptcy) is one of means testing? I don’t think that should be a big deal, should it? Pell Grants are means tested, federal student loans are means tested, I think a proposal to make tuition at state colleges free would probably be means tested as well. (Although in Germany they are not.) My follow up to that response would have been that if she feels so strongly about means testing in tuition, does she believe in means testing for Social Security? You want to play the facile, disingenuous question and answer game, everyone can play that.

But the exchange that really made me feel unexpectedly icky was her now famous invocation of 9/11:

CLINTON: Well John, wait a minute. Wait a minute, he has basically used his answer to impune my integrity. Let’s be frank here.

SANDERS: No, I have not. CLINTON: Oh, wait a minute, senator. You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small. And I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent.

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, applause. A huge pander to her women supporters. I dare say Bernie has women supporters too. Maybe he didn’t have the numbers at hand, to counter, but it’s all petty. It’s a rehearsed escape line to use to get out of a jam because it’s going to get applause and loud cheers from her supporters in the room.  It’s cheap.

And by the way, maybe Bernie’s better than me but when she said that he was impugning her integrity I would have responded that “taking the money did that.” But he didn’t, so Hillary continued:

CLINTON: So, I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.

And holy hell did a Democrat just pull a Giuliani?  Going from the cheap applause of the lady pander to washing away her Wall Street money by dipping it in the 9/11 memorial fountains is a super deft move that made me cringe, no, more accurately I recoiled.

She is taking some heat on that because she deserves to. It was too clever, too rehearsed and too much pretzel logic to just land and walk away from.

Bottom line is that Hillary’s too slick responses made me think again about the things I’ve had to swallow and give her the benefit of the doubt on. It crystallized the idea that, like Obama, she’ll have to be dragged to the left. Bernie is already there.

Hillary will win the nomination and be the next president (knock wood), but I’m afraid that it’ll be a lot of the same movie we saw in the 90s and then the sequel from 2009 to now. A president playing it cute with big business, making incremental sops to her base that the other side will label socialism anyway, while little actually changes.

With the monumental challenges we face we still need an FDR, (we did in 2008, but got Truman instead), we wont get one with Hillary either. I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt that she learned from her husband’s mistakes and from Obama’s early missteps that had him playing nice with people who wanted to destroy him.

Don’t justify taking Wall Street money with 9/11. Say that you need as much money as you can to run for president today and you’re not brave enough to do it without the big boy’s checks. Or better yet, renounce it and say you’ve decided to give it to charity, but don’t claim 9/11 made it okay. The country threw up in its mouth on that one.

We haven’t even gotten to Iowa and my ability to hope for the best from our best hope is gone.

Chris Christie – For Gestational Crates, Against Bestiality, Conflicting Messages Given in Iowa

Gov. Chris “Marginalized Man Walking” Christie, (f/k/a “Damaged Goods”) made news in his home state before his first debate appearance at the so-called “kid’s table” by vetoing a bill that would make it easier to vote, ’cause that’s what Republicans do for other Republicans.  Even if Christie’s political career ends when he leaves the structurally reinforced governor’s chair, why should the Republicans who supported him have to worry about 1.6 million more potential voters? Yipes, that wouldn’t help Republicans.  Bernie Sanders may call such politicians “political cowards” but our hallowed system calls them “winners in November” and that’s what matters by jiminy!

New Jersey currently ranks 39th in the country in both percentage of eligible voters who are registered and percentage of voters who actually case a ballot, according to NJWF. The state does not allow in-person early voting, but requires citizens who want to cast an absentee ballot early to apply for one at an election official’s office. New Jersey also does not permit online voter registration, something that is allowed in 33 other states.

And that’s the way the GOP likes it.  That is how the GOP has an outsized presence in a profoundly blue state.

But Christie didn’t just veto voting and go get a gluten free snack.  He did get such a snack eventually, but first he signed a law that bans bestiality in NJ. A law which, to Christie’s credit, is more bipartisan than his anti-voting veto. While not all animal fuckers are Republican, all Republicans are animal fuckers, or something like that.  So he’s bound to have some backlash from his own party.  Certainly libertarians will have something to say about the intrusion of big government in man-animal relations.  And for Christians who believe in man’s dominion over animals, we will likely see this solidify their support of Ben Carson or Ted Cruz, who have taken no stand on pre- or post-marital animal relations.

Fellow kids’s table debate denizen Rick Santorum, curiously, never actually denounced any such activity, he merely said it was an inevitable stop on the slippery slope after gay marriage.  Like plural marriage.  Plural marriage with animals is inevitable. Wouldn’t be fair to Checkers the dog if you married Jazz the cat and made Checkers a 3rd wheel.  It’s just awkward for everybody.

Iowa pig farmers (“Big Pork”) who applauded Christie’s veto of gestational crates for pigs, may have to rethink their support for Christie, who is clearly a squish on rural entertainment rights.

This could also have repercussions for law enforcement, who may see this as just another ill of society criminalized and dumped on their plates.  Will they get training on how to deal with animal victims?  What does a rape kit for a sheep entail? But a larger problem for Christie is that this law may be seen as another attack on the already besieged police.

Law enforcement authorities had previously prosecuted such cases under the state’s animal cruelty statutes. But in 2009, animal cruelty charges were dropped against a former police officer accused of sexually molesting cows because prosecutors could not prove the animals were harmed.

Another case of a police officer getting off because of the reticence of the system to find police guilty of criminal activity? Is this more evidence that #FarmLivesMatter has an important societal point?

With this denunciation of man on dog or box turtle (or insert your favorite sexy animal here) mischief, Christie once again shows his elitist tendencies — animal cruelty by wealthy pig ranchers in an important early voting state is clearly just part of sainted agribusiness (all hail Big Pork!). While animal cruelty by some lonely hayseed who couldn’t get a nibble on FarmersOnly.com is a crime.

Here are those Jailjamas I promised

JailJammies-620x819

Need a great Christmas gift for your ball and chain?

I love old adds for novelty gifts like this, apparently other people do too.  Somebody turned it into a poster you can buy. http://www.tnjpostercreations.com/shop/jail-jamas-prison-pajamas-novelty-advertising-poster-1960s-thoresens-ny/

JailjamasCapture

Love it, but not sure I’d hang it on my wall next to the Van Gogh.  Maybe in the Vermeer room instead.

Oh Hello, I Didn’t See You There

It’s been awhile I know.  I was cleaning my gutters and making a sandwich and the Mets were in the playoffs and all of a sudden it’s been a couple of friggin’ months since I’ve posted ANYTHING. Not even a stupid old timee add for Jailjamas or something.

If it makes you feel any better I haven’t been to the gym either so my time has been really, really unproductive.

I guess I just didn’t have a lot to say. So much of the day-to-day of politics and policy has been rendered joyless by the reality of the equation of how much work needs to be done measured against the prospect of it getting done. It’s cynical and defeatist, I know.  And I don’t want to be those things.

So I’ll rejigger my attitude.

Rejigger this Polislice machine.

I’ll make a Facebook page (good suggestion Polislice progeny – you know who you are).

And I’ll be back soon.