Kindle and Hillary and CNN Sucks

The best thing I’ve done so far in 2020 is to upgrade my Amazon Kindle.

The one I’ve been carrying around I earned with points at work. See my job decided it was more economical for them to offer points that you could spend in their little online store than it was to say, offer bonuses. I marked a big anniversary or something and wound up with a big pile of points, so I got a Kindle.

This thing was old-school, no backlight, big chunky plastic thing. But I still found it useful to be able to carry around a library in one little toy.

The new Kindles looked a bit nicer. Backlight, so you could read anywhere no matter what the environmental lighting. And, here’s the cool part, this thing can offer full integration with Audible. So I can buy a Kindle book, and for a few bucks more, I can slap an audio-book on it, and I can switch back and forth between reading reading and listening reading. This is great if you’re a person who needs some sort of entertainment going on at all times, like I am. So I can pop in my Airpods (it does work with Airpods, though getting them to pair without restarting the device has been a thing), and read while I warsh my dishes and such. Then, if I decide to sit down for a luxurious read, I push a button, and it shows the page exactly where I left off listening.

Amazon even let me trade in the old one for a discount, so I didn’t have to wonder about how re-purpose or recycle it. Saved me $15.

So the first book I’ve been reading this way has been What Happened by Hillary Clinton, as read by the author. I had tried to read the book in hardcover the first time, but I got bored and put it down. She doesn’t spend the entire book analyzing 2016 as the reader might expect. First you have to trench through a bunch of storytelling. I sure do love Chelsea and she’s great and Marc is such a great father to her grandson Aiden, and Bill sure does enjoy being a grandfather! I mean, it’s okay, but I’m sure one could find this sort of content in one of her other 12 books.

Takeaways from the thing so far when she actually does get down to business: She’s really pissed at Comey. She believes Putin believed he had many reasons to target her. She’s not as mad at Bernie as I am. She explains why Podesta’s e-mail leaks were particularly damaging, and no, it’s not because they revealed some bias at the DNC that wasn’t there. Don’t @ me.

I am enjoying the book, especially since I can put it on and listen while I scrub the terlet. I would almost recommend it as important reading considering the campaign season we find ourselves in now.

I mean, for example, you want an example of how you, the voter, can be brain-fucked by our grand institutions? Just look at today’s brouhaha about Liz Warren said Bernie Sanders said a broad can’t be preznit. As Matt Taiibi documents over at Rolling Stone, CNN wrote that story and posted it the night before the debate, then fed it into the news cycle all day long, then had its moderator-robots ask the candidates about it in the most baited of sleazy ways. Liz and Bernie took the bait and gave what I’m sure CNN thought was some jim-dandy television. They got to extend this cycle, too, by producing hot-mic footage of Warren confronting Sanders after the debate, since her ostensible refusal to shake Bernie’s hand was tearing up Twitter. Look, everybody! Turn on CNN! WOOT.

And that’s just what CNN is up to to fuck with your head. Please know that Vlad Putin has much more nefarious things in mind for you this campaign season.

So when you see a story on the Facebook soon about how Amy Klobuchar ate a salad with a comb and then punched an opossum in the tits? Yeah maybe let’s either not believe it or stop making such stupid shit matter. Because that nonsense is why we have Preznit Sharpie Sippycup now.

Everything.

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for having the text of this amazing exchange between Rep. Eric Swalwell and majority counsel Daniel Goldman during the Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday.

SWALWELL: During Watergate, the famous phrase from Senator Howard Baker was asked: “What did the President know and when did he know it?” There is a reason that no one here has repeated those questions during these hearings. We know what the President did. And we know when he knew it. Mr. Goldman, who sent Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to smear Joe Biden?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who fired the anti-corruption Ambassador in Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who told Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Volker to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who told Vice President Pence to not go to President Zelensky’s inauguration?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who ordered his own Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney to withhold critical military assistance for Ukraine?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who refused to meet with President Zelensky in the Oval Office?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who ignored on July 25 his own national security council anti-corruption talking points?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who asked President Zelensky for a favor?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who personally asked President Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who stood on the White House lawn and confirmed that he wanted Ukraine to investigate Vice President Biden?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: Who stood on that same lawn and said that China should also investigate Vice President Biden?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump.

SWALWELL: As to anything that we do not know in this investigation, who has blocked us from knowing it?

GOLDMAN: President* Trump and the White House.

SWALWELL: So as it relates to President Trump, is he an incidental player or a central player in this scheme.

GOLDMAN: President Trump is the central player in this scheme.

SWALWELL: There is a reason that no one has said “what did the President know and when did he know it?” From the evidence that you have presented, Mr. Goldman, and the Intelligence Committee findings, we know one thing and one thing is clear. As it related to this scheme, the President* of the United States, Donald J. Trump, knew everything.

HR4

Republicans: Democrats need to stop wasting time on this impeachment nonsense and get on with the business of the American people.

House Democrats: ::this morning, debating H.R. 4: Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019::

Republicans: Not like that!

The Democratic Party

There’s a lot of jibber-jabber today in Washington about “civility.” Moscow Mitch today was bemoaning something he called “partisan paralysis.” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said today that impeachment efforts were “divisive.” And, the USA Toady published this today: Divided we fall? Americans see our angry political debate as ‘a big problem’

Republicans have so far pushed the idea that the impeachment proceedings are due to Democratic butthurt that a reporter (from Sinclair Broadcasting, of course) today asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi today if she “hates” the preznit.

She didn’t like that very much.

So I can tell you one thing I think needs to happen in order to pierce a little spit-hole into the divisive nature of American politics. It is a simple thing to be done, and it could be done by an entire political faction all at once, and it would create a wealth of good will in the American political discussions.

Attention, Republicans: Stop calling it the “Democrat Party.”

If you’re not aware, the phenomenon is even laid out at Wikiepedia: “Democrat Party is an epithet for the Democratic Party in the United States, used in a disparaging fashion by the party’s opponents. While historical usage includes non-hostile appearances, the term has grown in its negative use since the 1940s, in particular by members of the Republican Party—in party platforms, partisan speeches, and press releases—as well as by conservative commentators.[1]”

Using “Democrat” where “Democratic” would be preferred is a bullying tactic. It is not grammatical. And this practice alone is divisive on its face. So long as Republicans continue to employ this incorrect usage time after time, it will be difficult to leave divisiveness behind toward a more effective democratic republic.

One can dream.


Speaking of divisiveness, Republicans are outraged that impeachment witness, law scholar Pamela Karlan dared to invoke young Barron Trump’s name as an example/mild joke. Here is what she said, as reported by Vox:

“Contrary to what President Trump says, Article Two [of the Constitution] does not give [Trump] the power to do anything he wants. And I’ll just give you one example that shows you the difference between him and a king, which is the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he cannot make him a baron.”

Karlan later apologized, after Republican shit their pants over this. Rep. Matt Gaetz yelled at Karlan for daring to invoke Barron’s name by…um…invoking Barron’s name.

I want to remind everyone that John McCain once stood up at a dinner and said this, attempting a joke: “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father.” Chelsea Clinton was 18 years old at the time.

This was not that.

These Are The Days When You Wish Your Bed Was Already Made

Why, I thought today, as I watched the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing today, would Democrats add a fellow like Jonathan Turley on your panel only to have your counsel race at him with a “that’s a yes or no” question kind of question?

It just seemed like a poorly built pile of Lincoln Logs to me. Why not just make Turley try on the glove while you’re at it? “IF YOU OVERREACH, YOU CAN’T IMPEACH!”

More bizarre was Turley’s position itself. You shouldn’t be impeaching because you can’t point to a specific law broken? Or because you should go to the courts first, for some reason? I’ve seen the video of Turley in 1998, looking quite a bit squeakier than he does today, up in front of the mic goin’ YEAH, IMPEACH THAT MOTHERFUCKER. YEAH, YOU HEARD ME. WHACK HIM WITH A STICK WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, YOU’LL SEE. IN THE BUM.

Ya’ll don’t reckon Jonathan Turley would like to be a judge someday

do you?

Then there was Doug Collins of Georgia, why, here he is in a vintage commercial from like the olden days

I’m sayin’ I believe Collins’ father was a tobacco auction barker and also his mom was a tobacco auction barker too.

He talks fast.

However, he’s worried that these impeachment hearings are going toooooooo fast. It’s about the clock and the calendar, the clock and the calendar, the clock and the calendar, he kept saying. What he was subtly trying to intimate was that Democrats want this thing to hurry up because of this upcoming election deal.

Well he isn’t wrong.

As my favorite New Yorker Randi Rhodes pointed out today on her radio program, yes! Democrats would like to get this thing done well before election 2020.

Because we know that in 2016, the Russkies (is that how you spell that?) were fucking with our elections. And we have evidence sitting in our blubbery laps that Trump and his friend Edmund Jumanji have been trying to get the Ukranians on board with that particular move as well.

And we also know that Trump just telegraphed, in his subtle, clever manner, that he’d be okay if these Untied States of ‘Merka didn’t have a trade agreement with China until after the election. Which, if you run it through a sieve, sounds an awful lot like “we’d like you to do us a favor though.”

Yeah, there’s a reason to get this done soon. And if you like to vote, you should be rooting for it, too.

By the way, here’s a weird effect of one rather bizarre part of today’s proceedings, where Republigoats took bony objections to people trying to finger out what the Founders might thing, something Turley called “necromancy.” As the spiffy John Cole indicates over at Balloon Juice, it rather awkwardly dry-humps the concept of Constitutional originalism.

Yep, today’s hearing was like going for ice cream but the only flavor they have left is garlic.

Good thing it’s Zappadan. I’ve got “Feeding the Monkies at Ma Masion” on the Spotify jukebox, and I’m about to write some nice things about a legendary superstar superhero genius.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

There was a Monday in July when Rochester residents went about their days to a tragic story. A three-year-old boy died at a Tim Hortons restaurant downtown. If you’ve spent any time in downtown Rochester, you know exactly where that Tim Horton’s store is, it’s the one in front of the Price-Rite that seems like it’s just in the way. The toddler’s mother had taken the kid to work with her. Police were called at 10:56 a.m. on July 15 about a missing child. He was found a few minutes later, having fallen into a poorly-guarded grease trap outside. From all accounts, it was a harrowing event. According to the Democrat and Chronicle:

Witnesses removed the child from the grease trap and administered CPR until first responders arrived. Employees were seen crying outside and consoling each other after the child was taken away by ambulance.

Today, it was reported that Monroe County had swept 2,500 businesses in the area for grease trap safety checks. Four were found not to have been covered properly, and the county worked with those businesses to remediate those problems. The county currently has no regulations regarding these gizmos, but new legislation has been forwarded at the county level. A public hearing will be held to talk about that proposal on September 10 at the Monroe County Legislature at 6:45 p.m.

In July 2019, the public of Monroe County was alerted to a deadly problem in a startling way. The government acted immediately and swiftly, eliciting the cooperation of two thousand five hundred businesses in a month and is already acting to ensure this emergency action is not merely singular, to ensure that going forward, this previously overlooked problem will not recur, and that another Tenitia Cullum will not have to lose another child to an uncovered grease trap in Monroe County again.

I cannot imagine the “free-market” solution that would have acted so swiftly and so decisively in reaction to this shocking tragedy. And yet, there are some who would think that our government overreached and that, somehow, supply and demand would have done a much better job.

Kudos to our Republican County Manager for her bold leadership and for grabbing the government reigns to quickly address this issue. Perhaps free-market solutions can wait around for another urgent matter to address.

Correctamundo

“As a Republican, I just marvel how Democrats trip over their own shoelaces on this. We have President Trump tweet that the communist economy of North Korea, under the dynamic leadership of its dictatorial leader could achieve unprecedented economic growth; the president routinely picks favorites among companies; he is erecting tariffs walls, which are taxes on American exporters, and Democrats can’t figure out how to defend a market economy with social insurance programs? And let this guy claim the mantel of being the champion of free enterprise? Really?” (David Frum on Face the Nation today)

Time to Answer Back

Dear editors everywhere: The letter “a” with an acute accent has an ALT code of 0225. This means if you go to your keyboard and press the “ALT” button and then press “0-2-2-5,” the symbol “á” will appear.

This is going to become important because Julián Castro has just announced that he is running for president.

Now, that leads to an obvious question: Why in the wide wide world of sports does the name Julián require the accent? Well, let’s see. His name ends in the letter “n.” This means that by regular rules of pronunciation in Spanish, the emphasis would be on the second to last syllable. So, without the accent, the man’s name is Ju-LEE-an. And that just doesn’t sound right.

I for one am glad that the name Julián Castro requires an accent because it’s not potentially bothersome enough to Trump voters for me that his last name is “Castro.”

I mean I say that tongue-in-cheek, but at the same time, I am struck by an overwhelming feeling that it’s important for the Democratic party to nominate a brown person and/or a female person in 2020.

Because I think that all of this needs to be answered.

All of this. You know, don’t you, that Trump’s first major platform plank was an attack on our neighbors south of Tejas, right? I mean, first he presented his erection about the crowd’s size. Then, he rattled through ISIS, China, and Japan. And then he laid the cornerstone:

When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically. The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

The first thing Trump attacked was our neighbors to the south. And he continued to be his Donald Trump self, bludgeoning people of color, people who speak Spanish, both, and women. He insulted Carly Fiorina’s appearance. He associated anchor Megyn Kelly with blood. He has repeatedly chased down Sen. Elizabeth Warren with an insult club called “Pocahontas.” He has separated children from their families and still maintains concentrations camps for those children, based solely on those peoples’ legitimate quest for asylum in the United States and because they are brown people. He said that a judge ruled against him due to the judge’s Mexican heritage. He referenced some nations as “shithole countries.” He pardoned Joe Arpaio. He made a major issue of American citizens, also known as “football players,” for legitimately protesting the state of race relations in the United States. He asked reporter April Ryan to establish a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus for him because she was a black woman who asked him about the Congressional Black Caucus.

And then there was Charlottesville. Remember Charlottesville? “On both sides?” Really?

As I think of the Democratic primary process and as talented, smart people begin to toss their hats in, I have to think at this point that we have a chance to answer all of this, a chance to clap back, a chance to raise a fist and to declare ENOUGH!

Yes, Julián Castro’s name requires an accent. So, I believe, does the Democratic nomination process.