With Trump it’s All About the Grift

The Mystery of Nicole Mincey, Trump fan, merchandise saleswoman, Twitter bot.

Over the weekend Trump retweeted a positive comment from this young black woman Trump supporter.  By Sunday night:

Nicole’s twitter account and all her pro-Trump ‘friend’ bot accounts I’d identified had been suspended by Twitter. (So a lot of things I described above I can’t show you since they’re offline.) There was also a woman in New Jersey by the name of Nicole Mincey who allegedly filed a police report alleging her identity had been stolen to create the “Nicole Mincey” persona. The merch store “Nicole” had founded, proTrump45.com, was and is still online but she’d disappeared from the site to be replaced by a new dark complected young woman modeling pro-Trump shirts.

Trump said last week “there were no Russians in the campaign.”  Next he’ll say there were no robots in the campaign.  I don’t know any Macedonian robots, do you?

 

Grand Jury, Already? And Not a Moment Too Soon

Well, well, well.  This still doesn’t mean anything truly meaningful is going to happen soon, but this train has surely left the station.

Sources tell Reuters that “grand jury subpoenas have been issued related to [a] June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Russian lawyers and others.” Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, met with a Russian lawyer last summer after being promised information that was part of a Russian government effort to benefit Trump and would “incriminate” Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton.

In the meantime we can be somewhat entertained by the transcripts of the absolute joke that is our President on the phone with other world leaders.  It’s so much worse than we could have imagined.  But we have proof now of that fact for his deluded supporters to ignore.

Well, Canada is no problem – do not worry about Canada, do not even think about them.

Up in New Hampshire – I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den

If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope.

How will his daughter-in-law the anchorwoman spin this?

So 2018?

Everything pivots on the 2018 election and Democrats getting back one chamber.  All of the despair, the waling and gnashing of teeth over having to live with four years of Trump chaos and flim flam depends on Democrats being able to stymie or impeach his ass.  So where are we?

Well, as I’ve said we need a better slogan.  “A Better Deal” might as well be “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”.

REBUILD THE MIDDLE CLASS, REBUILD AMERICA!

I’ll persist with that notion.  But in the meantime Dems have a 14 point lead in the generic congressional poll, according to Quinnipiac.  Not bad.

Fifty-two percent of those polled said they would want Democrats to win control of the House if the 2018 midterm elections were held today; 38 percent said they would back Republicans.

Of course you need actual candidates, not generic ones.  Hopefully there are a shit load of Amy McGrath’s out there.  We only need 24 pickups.  It’s doable in a wave election.  a 14 point generic is pretty good.  For context, the 2006 Democratic wave election had the Dems up by an 11.5 average in polling.  They picked up 31 seats that year.

For the Senate the polling is also favorable but it comes down to the individuals more. For example AZ Sen. Jeff Flake has an 18% approval rating in his state, which is awfully hard for a senator to achieve.  That’s Christie territory.

Keep that up, adopt my slogan and maybe in January 2019 impeachment proceedings begin.  I know that seems soooooo far off, we’ll never make it!!!!

Courage, good nutrition and a little exercise can get us all to that much wished for date of destiny.

And every now and then some tequila helps.  Eschew the salt if you have blood pressure issues.

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Finally Reading Thomas Frank’s “Listen Liberal: or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?”

5120ZCDtVTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_    The Democratic Party is in a major transition period and it’s not the ever-continuing, ever-pointless Hillary-Bernie debate or the frustrating identity politics (read: minorities) vs. reaching out to angry white people pie fight, although elements of those fights are in the bigger fight.  The bigger issue has been that a generation of education and globalization fetishists took over the party with the idea that the New Deal coalitions with their emphasis on working people was over, dead, an anachronism.  It was a deliberate move from the left to the middle-right, to be Republicans lite.  It abandoned unions, working people, inequality and class politics in general for a technocratic, meritocratic faith in our betters in academia and Wall Street.

Not to be too simplistic about it but to echo Dr. Phil:  how is that working out for you?

As bad as the Republican Party has been at governing, as mistaken as they’ve been at policy, as cynical as they’ve been at campaigning and as dishonest as they’ve been in communicating their actual agenda, they run everything.  And also, too, in addition EVERYBODY FEARS REPUBLICANS AND NOBODY FEARS DEMOCRATS, as I believe I’ve said ad nauseam.  The Democratic Party that dominated American politics from the 30s through the 70s abandoned its ideological base and core message and now their identity is less clear than ever to the benefit of the awful GOP.

Sure there was the race issue that moved the South to the GOP, nobody can forget that – that’s as real as a Confederate flag sticker on a gun rack on a truck.  But it’s a convenient fantasy to believe that racism alone and the Dems adoption of voting rights and civil rights in the 60s caused the decimation of the party in the South and diminution of the party in the West and North.  It sure doesn’t explain Ralph Nader voters in 2000, Jill Stein voters in 2016 and the general malaise towards Democrats today.

Even the talk radio/Fox Newsification of the country where citizens are more inundated with opinion than ever and less informed than ever can explain the GOP’s success at the cost of Democrats.  Like the fast food revolution and the stratospheric increase of cheap, low quality calories has created our obesity epidemic, the Roger Ailes strategy of destroying legitimate media and replacing it with GOP culture warrior talking points has made a country of fat heads.  It’s a bad trend that has only gotten worse in the Trump era of deliberate, bald faced propaganda.  But even taken with the race issue it doesn’t explain an unresponsive, K Street dominated, corporatist and Christianist GOP dominating governor’s mansions and state legislatures.

None of those cynical Republican strategy wins (along with voter suppression) could be as successful as it has been in pushing a bankrupt GOP agenda if the Democrats hadn’t allowed their brand to become wishy-washy and wither.

The condensed version is that Bill Clinton ran a deceptive populist campaign in 1992 but with the Democratic Leadership Conference he and other New Democrats deliberately killed off the FDR coalitions believing that the future was in education, globalization and retraining for a shrinking world – the Tom Friedman, David Brooks centrist utopia.  A lot of economic trends that they weren’t wrong about, but they were wrong to limit their focus on.

These paragraphs from Thomas explains how it all went wrong:

Today the separation of productivity from reward is a feature of nearly every sort of work–white-collar, blue-collar; symbolic, literal; physical, mental; analytic, representational; all of us going nowhere while owners ascend the stratosphere.  But because it happened to production workers first, it was possible for Democrats like Reich and Clinton to look at the situation and conclude that the real problem was those workers’ lousy educations.

It was a costly mistake.  While this interpretation might have made a kind of narcissistic sense to the well-graduated, it allowed Democrats to ignore what was happening in the real economy–from monopoly power to financialization to labor-management relations– in favor of a moral fantasy that required them to confront no one.  In the Clinton view, which would become the standard Democratic view, the only ones who had to change their ways were the victims themselves.

As a sample of how this went wrong look to the corporate Democrats who, for a time, pushed charter schools and privatization.  Democrats have come back to public schools as a policy and have only recently come to see the problems with cost and debt in higher education and pushing junior colleges.  They have yet to truly embrace the need for vocational schools and competent blue-collar training and certification – which then should lead to good union jobs.

The focus on a four year university degree as well as their benign neglect for unions, blinded them to the reality of the larger economic struggles for working people.  They would never admit it, but they adopted the fantasy that we can have a country with just high educated, white-collar workers who all have a house in the suburbs.

That sounds crazy, but their policy prescriptions, from Clinton through the Obama Administration, seemed to be created for that non-existent world.  Hillary started to come back to Earth with the push of the Sanders revolution, but it was incomplete and unconvincing for too many.

Once Again Nuclear Power is Killed

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Nuclear power has suffered so many deaths and then… not come back. There’s no zombie issues here, it’s been dead, completely dead, bereft of life, kicked the bucket, a former energy source for a long time.  Why some in the policy community pretend it isn’t dead is the question. Every reference to nuclear as part of the energy mix is as relevant as references to non-existent “clean coal.”

Two Half-Built Reactors in SC Are Abandoned rather than continue and pass on exorbitant costs to consumers.  They completed about 40% of the reactors for a cost of $9 Billion.  I’m sorry, I would continue but I’m laughing too hard.

I have to go check my portfolio to make sure I’m not a stockholder in South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper and their parent Scana Corporation.  They are idiots to have started these reactors in the first place.  Not one, but two of them.  So no credit for cutting their losses now.

 

New Dem. Slogan “A Better Deal” Arrives to Universal Meh

Jim Jefferies destroys it.  I can’t embed the clip from Comedy Central, but go to the link.

All of the scorn is right because A Better Deal is passive and says nothing.  While I’d stay away from “Abort That Fetus!” the point is clear – be active and make a statement.

With very little work I came up with:

Rebuild the Middle Class, Rebuild the Country!

It’s active and a statement that everyone can understand.  It refers to the same economic initiatives that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and yes, even Hillary Clinton have been pushing.  It’s a universal message that reaches across race and region. It’s a value statement that says we understand that our greatness was forged by the creation of the middle class through deliberate policies.  We know where our economic bread is buttered – the middle class, the working class – a shared bottom up and middle out prosperity grows the entire pie and distributes it more fairly.

It also refers specifically to infrastructure – roads, bridges, tunnels, grids, water, etc. Again, something we’ve talked about and most people agree upon.  Infrastructure was the one area Democrats would have worked with Trump on, if he were sincere.

What say you?  We’re going to have to grassroots this because A Better Deal ain’t gonna cut it.

Fox Contributor Sues Fox Saying They Pushed Phony Murder Story With the WH

Well.  We knew the story that Hannity was pushing about the murder of a Democratic staffer was phony, but now we know who started it and why.

NPR’s David Folkenflik reported Tuesday morning on a lawsuit filed by a man named Rod Wheeler that makes a remarkable claim: The Trump White House — or President Trump personally — may have been aware of or involved in a discredited Fox News story about the killing of a Democratic National Committee staffer last July.

It’s a complicated story that, we hasten to add, is based on allegations in a lawsuit filed by a person whose quotes in that discredited story were themselves discredited. But the lawsuit includes documentary evidence (like text messages), and Folkenflik was given access to recorded calls that bolster the story as presented. What’s more, the lawsuit is predicated on Wheeler’s assertion that he never said the quotes attributed to him.

Allegedly, ahem, allegedly – a wealthy GOP donor took some rumors and conspired with a couple of Fox News contributors to push a conspiracy theory that murdered Dem. staffer Seth Rich was the DNC e-mails leaker and was murdered (by Hillary in the parlor with a candelabra) so the Dems could push the “phony” Russian story.

The story always had so many holes, but no matter they pushed it on Fox and in right wing media for a while and it became an article of faith amongst the catheter buying Fox News watchers that it happened that way even when Fox disavowed it and backed away.

Facts never matter to the Fox News/right wing noise machine sheeple, but truth must be pursued anyway and then forcefully asserted to crush the credibility of the liars with the people to whom truth does matter.