January 16, 2017

Greg AtLast tackles Grizzly Steppe, Golden Showers and Putin's Pisser

Now that Greg's laid that out, the neoliberal conspiracy theories riding on the tails of the national security establishment that's been spying on you and me under Dear Leader for the last eight years, let's see what he's talking about.

First, here's the reality about Golden Showers. As Greg notes, even Hillbot David Corn wouldn't print actual content from it, it's that bad. Add in Christopher Steele's highly ostentatious "going into hiding," and hints of other things far less substantial than Alan Simpson's "over the transom" stuff during the the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

Second, here's the reality about Grizzly Steppe. It's a mix of a puerile fixation on Russia Today mixed with random thoughts about malware that may have been created by somebody inside Russia or not, who may, or may not, even if inside Russia, be connected to the Russian government, who, even if connected to the Russian government, may or may not be connected to Vladimir Putin. Got it? It's pretty thin toilet paper indeed — fitting as the prelude to "Golden Showers."

Third, here's the reality of our having baited Russia for 25-plus years and counting, ever since we told Boris Yeltsin in 1990 that we would NOT expand NATO eastward. Not just the Hillbots, but top Berniecrat surrogates like Nina Turner, are on board with this nonsense. (Note: Take last 10 percent of that piece, stuff related to the original, actual Cold War, with a grain of salt. NOT with two or more grains, but yes, with one grain.)

Fourth, the neoliberal politicians that the Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo alums fellate? They don't care about you.

Here's Dear Leader's presidential legacy. Does it look like he cares about you?

Here's the reality of Sen. MBNA's 30 years of whoring himself out to credit card companies before Dear Leader put a medal around his neck. Does it look like he cares about you?

Cory Booker has long been a sellout to Big Pharma, as a pale shadow of Obama, as he showed again a week ago — along with 13 other neolib Dems. Does it look like he, or they, care about you?

Even a civil rights icon like John Lewis shows he has no problem being a machine politics hack in peddling the #IBlamePutin bullshit. Maybe he cared about you at one time, but does he really today?

And, at least one Russian national says the ball hasn't been moved forward since June. And, that's just the time when Steele started peddling his toilet paper.

TX Progressives say goodbye to Obama, hope for last clemencies, salute #MLK, look at #txlege start

The Texas Progressive Alliance says goodbye to President Obama — while holding on to last faint hopes he commutes the sentences of Leonard Peltier and Chelsea Manning — and salutes the life and legacy of eventual socialist Martin Luther King Jr., as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff thinks that the fight over Dan Patrick's bathroom bill could cause a real and lasting schism between Texas businesses and the Texas GOP.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes Texas Republican lawmakers on Trump's front lines in the war against our constitution and freedom of the press.

Dan Patrick and Donald Trump both managed to make news from a certain urological perspective, blogged PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Socratic Gadfly take note of the opening bell of the Texas Legislature and gets snarky about the first day's events.

Neil at All People Have Value said that the work of opposing Trump is up to each of us. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Robert Rivard gives state leaders an F on their public school accountability test.

The Dallas Observer highlights the legal strategy behind the latest anti-abortion bill filed in the Lege.

Better Texas Blog reminds us that Obamacare repeal would mean a lot less mental health coverage.

Kevin Nix argues that the place to look for child predators is online.

Therese Odell recoils in horror from Trump's press conference.

The Lunch Tray shows how the restaurant industry failed to keep its promise to clean up kids' menus.

Juanita "celebrates" the return of Yachting Randy Neugebauer.

Jonathan Coopersmith evaluates President Obama's legacy in science, technology and innovation.

January 15, 2017

John Lewis is not immune to criticism just because he's a civil rights legend

John Lewis, hoist on his own Hillbot petard
First, per the basics of the spat between the iconic Georgia Congresscritter and President-elect Trump, Lewis started it.

He said Trump was not "legitimate."

The Electoral College disagreed, first.

Second, if Lewis is sniffing Hillbot and Democratic National Committee insider #IBlamePutin crack, which he apparently is, that's his problem — and it is a problem. It's a problem indeed.

Third, Lewis is getting butt-hurt after hoisting himself on his own petard. Michael Tracy, on Twitter, largely agrees, per the note above.

After all, even though many younger minority voters supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries, Lewis and others of the Congressional Black Caucus gerontocracy doubled down on backing Hillary Clinton.

Who lost.

Bernie might not have one, but he might well have run a better campaign.

To help keep him from winning Southern primaries, Lewis engaged in a sneer campaign (I see what I did there) against Sanders, then tried to walk it back — unsuccessfully. Just.Another.Politician.™

As for his "I met Hillary Clinton, I met President Clinton" claim in the civil rights movement? Really? When did you meet the Goldwater Girl, who wasn't involved in any of the 1960s activities? Ditto for Slick Willie.

You made your own bed, now go lie in it. Somebody needs to primary you in 2018. Better yet, some Green Party person of color needs to run against you in the 2018 general election. Or retire. You're past the age of 75, like much of the rest of the Democratic Congressional gerontocracy, and have been in Congress for 30 years. (The exact same, by year of birth and years of Congressional time, is true of Nancy Pelosi.)

As for Paul Begala claiming Lewis was acting out of "pain, not partisanship," puhleeze. First, Paul's very much a partisan himself. Second, Election Day was more than two months ago.

As for Republicans backing him over Trump in this spat? Some, like Evan McMullin, are spooks themselves. All are wedded to the "deep state," and Trump's stance both antagonizes and scares them.

January 14, 2017

President Zuckerberg? I just threw up in Facebook's mouth

Mark Zuckerberg via President of Mexico
To be halfway serious, as well as halfway snarky, I think I would take a President Trump over a President Zuckerberg, whose ambitions are hinted at in this Vanity Fair piece.

I think he is:
1. At least as vain as Trump if not more so, albeit in a less mercurial way;
2. Probably as thin-skinned as Trump;
3. At least as imperious as Trump;
4. With a better business and management skill set behind 1-3, which makes them all scarier.
5. Add in that he's surely a tech-neoliberal who thinks that an app, or better, social media (gee, which one?) is the solution to everything, which cultural critic Evgeny Morozov has rightly called "solutionism" and which I call "salvific technologism."

Despite not disclosing party affiliation, I'll list him as a tech-neoliberal Democrat. (I think he's smart enough in terms of current American politics to try to buck the two-party system, so, he's not running Libertarian and he's sure as hell not Green. Plus, he'd probably assume that Dems will slaver for him more than Republicans and that it will be "Dems' turn" in 2024.)

Contra Nick Bilton's claim that Marky Mark would be "an astounding president," for anybody outside the 1 percent, or even more, the 0.1 percent, he'd be a gigantic kick in the nads. Let's not forget he's already ripping off poor and middle-class taxpayers with his "public benefit" foundation. That said, per the foundation, and cluelessness about it, as blogged before, I know that some Skeptics™ would cream their pants over a Zuckerberg run.

Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if he tried to launder campaign finance funds through that foundation in case of a presidential run, via super-PACing off of it or something.

Hell, I distrust him so much I even did a riff on a Shakespearean sonnet about it.

Let's hope that Bilton's right and his lack of a politician's personality bars his run.

The inside-the-Beltway interregnum kabuki theater

Yes, good Democrats are in a tizzy over the Senate's concurrent resolution gutting Obamacare.

But, just what IS a "concurrent resolution"? Glad you asked, as Wiki has the answer:
A concurrent resolution is a resolution (a legislative measure) adopted by both houses of a bicameral legislature that lacks the force of law (is non-binding) and does not require the approval of the chief executive (president). Concurrent resolutions are typically adopted to regulate the internal affairs of the legislature that adopted them, or for other purposes
See, that was simple enough, especially the part where I added the emphasis.

The deal is, per the "interregnum" of the title, between Jan. 3 and Jan. 19, since the Twenty-Second Amendment, though it moved the presidential inauguration back from March 4 to Jan. 20, did NOT move it back to Jan. 3, in a presidential change of administration like the current one, we have a 16-day gap.

Congress can pass all sorts of concurrent resolutions knowing that the heavy lifting comes later. Or it can pass nutbar regular bills knowing Obama will veto them.

Beyond that, as I've said before, "Obamacare" of today is NOT what Congress passed, and two-thirds of the changes since then are due to executive order by Dear Leader himself. A Forbes blogger has the details. It IS a conservative Forbes blogger; I reject her claim that all of the executive orders were "illegal." And, to put an earlier, similar claim in perspective, here's Politifact. And even the Old Gray Lady said just a couple of months ago it has problems. And, among the things that Obama delayed was implementation of the so-called "Cadillac tax," which means that if you're a CEO with gold-plated company health insurance, Obama threw you another bone.

This is one of the reasons I most get mad at professional liberals, and their chattering subservient scribes like Charles Pierce, linked at the top. 

I don't know which of the multiple split brains of Donald Trump will rise to the fore on this issue after Jan. 20. Let's at least wait a day or two, let the House vote, then let's hear what Trump has to say. Let's hear more of what he has to say after Jan. 20.

But, trying to find the middle ground on his mercurial word leaves me to think he'll keep at least some protections on getting insurance with pre-existing conditions and on letting kids stay on their parents' insurance to age 26. He may also seriously, contra not only many Republicans but the Cory Booker neolib Dems of the Beltway world, push and push successfully for pharmaceutical pricing control. At the same time, I do expect that he's also serious about wanting to block-grant Medicaid.

Oh, and yes, Dear Leader could have gotten single-payer passed. He could have told Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, each individually:

"Do you want to be the one vote — the one Democratic vote — that actually blocks health care reform?"

But, he didn't — in part, IMO, due to his Preznit Kumbaya nature documented so well by Jeff St. Clair. And this, along with the two just-mentioned jackwagons, is why I'm not a Democrat. Yet another way in which Dear Leader kept his mellifluous voice lodged in his throat.

January 13, 2017

#BigPharma and #neoliberal bullshit from Cory Booker

We start with the photo pasted above.

We then go to the pull quote from Booker at left.

Booker, already positioning himself to try to be the second black neoliberal president in 2020, is trying to do that in part, it seems, by proffering a kinder, gentler, Obamacare. (I see what I and my one thousand twinkles of special snowflakes did there.)

The comment comes after Booker voted against a Bernie Sanders-pushed Senate amendment to create a federal revenue pool to control prescription costs, specifically through Canadian drug importation.

Now, note what I have circled in red on the back side of a Flonase bottle; "Made in Canada."

Now, prescription versions of drugs don't, at least in pill form, list a country of origin, and it's been a long, long time, since I bought prescription Flonase. But, the OTC version of Flonase is the exact same formulation and strength as the prescription version.

So, either GlaxoSmithKline is poisoning Americans with a potentially unsafe product just because it no longer needs a prescription, or Canadian drugs magically get safer without a prescription, or else it's stuffing Cory Booker's political wallet full of Flonase-green dinero.

Of course, this is nothing new. Four years ago, already, Booker was hobnobbing with The Donald, even to the degree of benefiting from an Ivanka Trump fundraiser.

That said, per Yasha Levine, on a lot of social issues, Booker isn't even really a neoliberal.

Of course, per his own Tweets, he's really just a heartless bastard.
Of course, let's not shame only Booker. Thirteen other Senate Dems opposed the amendment, too.

And shock me that neolib opinion rag Washington Monthly is massaging Booker's hurt butt.