Saturday, September 24, 2016

Coded messages in "A Clockwork Orange": Was Anthony Burgess "spooked up"?

Would it kill us to talk about something other than Donald Trump? No, it would not.

For a while now, I've suspected that Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange and a zillion other things, dabbled in work for Her Majesty's Secret Service. For one thing, his extraordinary talent for languages would have made him irresistibly attractive to recruiters. Burgess based Clockwork's Nadsat on Russian, a language he learned just prior to his bizarre trip to the Soviet Union, made during the height of the Cold War. (After foolishly trying to out-drink some ordinary Russians, he said: "What is there to do with such people but love them?")

Turns out that my long-held suspicions may have been correct:
Burgess is believed by some, though it is conjectural, to have engaged in low-level espionage during his Gibraltar, Malaya and Brunei years and possibly later. See, for example, the London Mail on Sunday, “The greatest story Anthony Burgess never told: his life as a secret agent” and other media articles in this not very authoritative but intriguing vein. It is speculated that he may have provided his superiors (the Colonial Office and perhaps the Kuala Lumpur-based British intelligence authorities, and later MI6) with information about any communist actions or sympathies, however trivial, among his colleagues and students and, after his return from the East, among the people he met and associated with. Since lives were at stake during the Malayan Emergency, this would not have been unusual or exceptionable–it might well have been regarded as irresponsible to refrain from assisting in this way. The term used for an operative of this type and pay-grade was “ground observer”, and he would have been providing his information to MI6′s East Asian operation through Singapore. The biographer Roger Lewis claimed that while at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College in Kota Bharu, Burgess “was part of a secret plan, in 1955, for the chief ministers of Malaya and Singapore to meet the leader of the outlawed Malayan Communist Party in a jungle clearing”.
In 2002, a writer named Roger Lewis produced a Burgess biography (unread by me) which contains this passage:
“You realize,” said the spook, as we sat on a bench in Berkeley Square, opposite Maggs Bros. Ltd, by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, purveyors of rare books and manuscripts, “that the capitalised lines on page twenty-nine of A Clockwork Orange give the HQ location of the psychotronic warfare technology?”
Here's the capitalized bit: ‘SOUTH 4; METRO COR-SKOL BLUE DIVISION; THE BOYS OF ALPHA.’ In context, it seems senseless. Lewis argues that these words offer coded directions to Fort Bliss, Texas. (You'll have to read the above-linked article for the details.) The word "bliss" appears six times on page 29 of ACO.

Writing in Lobster, Garrick Adler discusses this business and offers reason to doubt Lewis' claim. Clockwork is about a behavioral modification program gone awry, but the literature on psy-war and behavioral modification never mentions Fort Bliss. Of course, the literature available to the public is incomplete. I have been privately informed of programs at two Air Force bases, one in Texas, the other in California; these programs which have not, to my knowledge, been discussed in public.

It has been argued that Burgess would have made a poor spy: His wife, who accompanied him on the Russian jaunt, was an emotionally unstable alcoholic, and Burgess himself enjoyed rather more than the occasional sip. Nevertheless, Adler draws our attention to an episode during the USSR trip in which Burgess seems to have gone out of his way to provoke the attention of a KGB agent. In other words, the writer acted as a "dangle."

I would add this: The purpose of the dangle may have been to further a molehunt. Once the KGB became curious about this strange visitor, they would have asked their agents-in-place within the British establishment to be on the lookout for any scuttlebutt -- or, better still, documentation -- regarding Anthony Burgess. Anyone in the UK government who suddenly went out of his way to learn about Anthony Burgess would be identifying himself as a Soviet spy. That's a classic trick.

(And now you know the real reason why Lee Harvey Oswald went to the USSR. You may want to Google the name "Otto Otepka.")

Anthony Burgess' trip to the USSR was subsidized by his publisher, with the expectation that a novel would result. A book did result, under the title Honey For the Bears. At the time, Burgess was not very well-known -- Clockwork had not yet appeared -- and it is difficult to comprehend why the publisher felt that the investment was justified.

There's much more; I suggest that you hit the link and check out Adler's piece. A good read. We all need something non-Trumpy to think about right now, do we not?

Trust Him Not

I was among those who felt certain that Christie endorsed Trump in exchange for the vice-presidency. Now it seems more likely that Christie was promised a pardon -- or at least some sort of job after he gets hounded out of office in New Jersey. Or maybe Trump just likes being photographed next to someone even chubbier than he is.

The Ted Cruz endorsement troubles me even more.
"There were no deals," he said. "We had been engaged in conversations. You know it's been a decision as I said I've been thinking about and praying about for weeks and months...
Yeah. Right.

There is something almost Shakespearean here. (I'm thinking of the "War of the Roses" plays.) What Trump did to Cruz' family went beyond forgiveness, yet forgiveness has come -- prodded, no doubt, by political calculation, not Christian charity. Someone or something must have convinced Cruz that Trump will win. The World's Most Lovable Senator is up for re-election in 2018 and, according to report, a surprising number of Republican heavy-hitters covet his job, including Rick Perry, Josh Romney (Mitt's son) and George P. Bush. And so Cruz grovels, though probably for naught: I think that President Trump will screw Cruz over no matter how deeply the Persecuted One genuflects.

“For trust not him that hath once broken faith.”

“Why, I can smile and murder whiles I smile,
And cry 'content' to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face for all occasions”

-- King Henry VI, Part Three.
I have read the opposite idea: Oliver Cruzwell expects the Orange Grifter to lose, so Cruzwell is positioning himself to win the good will of the Trump Chumps for the "Cruzwell in 2020" campaign.

I don't know if I coined "Oliver Cruzwell" or not, but it is not copyrighted. Everyone please feel free to use it. ^_^
I'm waiting for Trump to run a Born-Again con. (Finds Jesus, all is forgiven)
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Why? Because emails (Added note)

You've probably seen the headline: Nearly half of the voters in America think that Donald Trump will press the button and send nukes a-flyin'. But here's the detail that really floors me...
Only 22 percent of Trump supporters believe he will start a nuclear war.
"Only"? How the hell can anyone use the word "only" in that sentence? Twenty-two percent of Trump supporters is a lot of people -- millions of people. Millions of people would literally prefer nuclear war to a Clinton presidency.

Why? Because emails. Because..."optics."

Also, she's a woman. And the current Democratic president is black.

Added note: Reader, what are you going to be doing during the debate? Personally, I can't watch -- and I cannot allow myself to be anywhere near a teevee, computer or radio. Sorry to wuss out, but I already have a heart condition and the doc told me to minimize stress. My provisional plan is to head down Fletchertown road in search of Goatman, who cannot possibly be as scary as Donald Trump.

Added added note: Did you know that "Donald Trump" is an anagram for "Mr. Odd Nut Pal"?


I actually think that your idea is a wise one for you and your health.
I am not looking forward to it either and am not sure that I have the heart for it.
M, let's ALL make an outing of it. Instead of watching the debate, we'll go check out the local urban legend. I believe that the term for this is "legend tripping."

Afterward, we'll check the TPM headline and get the gist of how it went.
22% of Trump supporters would actually be about 50% of his primary supporters, aka, his basket of deplorables.
Alessandro, all I know is...deliberately voting for the candidate you think likely to launch nuclear war is beyond foolish. It's so hard core, one can only stand back in awe.

If you're watching the debate, please leave a comment after. If there's bad news, I'd rather hear it from one of my regular readers.
Romney won the first debate and still lost. I think the debates are overblown. Trump will just say something 'outrageos' the next day and the debate will be forgotten

Clinton or Trump will win based on other things.

Let's try and get things in perspective. It would only be a little nuclear war. Check out the video. I think she comes across very well.

Definitely an improvement on her teams previous work.

"Millions of people would literally prefer nuclear war to a Clinton presidency."

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Vladimir, have you lost your mind? You really want this guy in charge of our nukes, MOST OF WHICH ARE STILL AIMED AT YOUR COUNTRY?
I'm a Clinton volunteer on LI and was invited to a debate watching event. We'll meet at the venue, take a chartered bus to Hofstra where we have a permit to gather with pro-Hillary signs. We'll be bused back to the venue to watch the debate together.

I teach at a school in Hempstead where Hofstra is located. Our school is closing an hour early due to anticipated street closures and traffic problems. Wanna make a kid happy on a Friday afternoon? Announce that school is closing early on Monday!
I will be watching the debate inside my fallout shelter, sealed with duck tape and cover as Governor Ridge suggested, and sitting in my bathtub's solution of mosquito repellent.

President Merkin Muffley's protestations notwithstanding, no U.S. President since 1945 has ever prohibited the nuclear option. The present and destined-to-continue nuclear terror fearmongering pales alongside the Reagan cowboy rough-rider administration's first-term contention that the U.S. could win and survive a nuclear exchange. Whether such rhetoric was intended to fund the so-called Star Wars defense shield, to bankrupt the Soviet Union with an escalated arms race, or to initiate nuclear arms reduction is now irrelevant but not entirely forgotten. Reagan professed his belief in the biblical Armageddon; he was not a candidate but the sitting President.

Reagan's 1984 victory was nearly unanimous in the Electoral College.
You made me laugh first and then reminded me of how much of this current shit with the Republicans started with Reagan.
God, how I hate stupidity! And cowardice. Armageddon is just a coward's way of saying, I can't manage and I want a re-set. How in the hell they imagine a better life after a re-set while remaining exactly the same is beyond me.
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The REAL enemy

Holy shit. This is it.

For a while now, I've bemoaned the conventional thinking that Hillary can win this one through teevee ads and ground game. That approach is SO last century. Now, it's all about social media, Reddit, Facebook, troll armies, meme control. Most of all, it's about "shitposting," the new word for smears.

Even Republicans have decried Trump's refusal to run a traditional campaign. Why should he bother? The important thing is controlling the online narrative. We all love to bitch about the way mainstream media has covered the candidates, but the mainstream media no longer matters -- not the way it once did. Moreover, the websites we normally consider part of the alternative media have become nearly irrelevant. These venues count only when links to planted stories legitimize the shitposts on social media.

Welcome to TrollWorld.

The evil genius behind it all is Palmer Luckey, who founded Oculus and sold it for $700,000,000. He's a homeschooled, utterly arrogant 24 year-old POS -- a tech industry libertarian who probably read the Gospel According to St. Ayn at some point and now thinks he knows everything.

And the creature through whom he works is the mondo-bizarro white supremacist and high-tech hatemonger Milo Yiannopoulos, lieutenant to Steve Bannon. Milo is the Ernst Roehm of cyber psy-war. Here's a quote from Milo that I've published before and will probably publish again and again:
“We live in a post-fact era. It’s wonderful,” he says, pointing to various web pages on his giant computer screen that show photos of, supposedly, Bill Clinton’s grown black son. “The Washington Post gives a truth check, and no one cares...."
And that's why we are where we are. Social media has drowned the nation in a sea of post-facts.

That's how Hillary's team lost. Generals always prepare to fight the previous war. Hillary's Generals geared up to fight a pre-Facebook, pre-Reddit battle. On the other hand: I don't know how you fight a vile creature like Milo without turning into Milo. Maybe Axelrod could have done it.
Palmer Luckey is a sick fuck and a real life villain, who funnily enough, hates wearing shoes and socks. Anyway, please correct your post. He sold Oculus VR LLC. for $2,000,000,000 to Facebook, it is estimated that his share of the loot is $700,000,000. A hell of a lot more than the $700,000 you have listed.

Wikipedia, citing Forbes, says "Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook in March 2014 for US$2 billion, and although his share is not public, Forbes magazine estimated the founder's net worth to be $700 million in 2015."

Palmer Luckey make me want to vomit. Luckey, Trump, Bannon, Stone and Yiannopoulos are some of the most vile human beings to ever walk upon this Earth. They are a blight upon the universe, and no, I'm not whistling Dixie. They are sick fucks we should all, collectively, be fighting to take down and marginalized out of existence. Instead, they are profiteers, gaining in power and influence.
you forgot to mention that Trump is the ultimate 'new media' candidate. He has an 'uneering' ability to control the news cycle.

He is unafraid to take chances with'bad publicity' which freezes the normal politician.

If your afraid to manufacture bad press than you have no chance to control the media.

However my prediction is that unless there is another 'candidate' like Trump we will go back to the same old stuff once he's out of the picture.
Should've paid more attention to Beavis and Butthead, our future leaders.
JSL, leaving out a few zeroes was pure accident. I've corrected my post. Thanks.
Joseph, this is an urgent matter that needs your attention. I'm trying to raise this issue in more places than the blogosphere. This needs the widest possible scrutiny and attention to it. Every adult American needs to be made aware of this, yet the media is completely ignoring it.

Please, please, please take a look at these links:

NeoGAF has a thread titled 'Oculus' Palmer Luckey funds white supremacy group' here:

"Luckey still works at Facebook, the social network confirmed to The Verge." here:

One of Luckey's anti-Hillary posts was screencapped here:

If we don't stop Luckey, Bannon, Trump, Stone, Jones (that is, Alex Jones), and Yiannopoulos, then America will fall into fascism. We must rise to the challenge and stop these monsters. We have to stop them or we our fucked and so are our children and their children for who knows how many generations. Please, America, WAKE UP!
JSL, I don't know who you are, but I like you.

Write a post. I'll publish it. I'll do anything I can to publicize it.

Send an email to discuss further.
I am going to laugh at you when Trump goes down to defeat. Most voters are not users of social media, and those most likely to use it, the young, are least likely to vote.

It is still mainstream media for the vast majority of people, especially those most inclined to vote.
OTE, I will positively relish being laughed at by you. It will be the most welcome bit of ridicule any human being ever experienced.

IF it happens.

I don't think it will.

But think about it: If mainstream media is IT, then why are so many people so passionate about Trump, and why do so many believe total nonsense about Hillary? Propaganda is working in new ways -- ways that are so insidious that many people don't even comprehend what is happening.
From Ars Technica:
Joseph, have you ever seen the Dead Zone? Or have you read the King novel upon which the film is based? The reason I ask this is because a dawning realization came over me today. I know who Donald Trump is. Donald Trump is Greg Stillson. Trump is presently muscling his way into power, he and his cohorts convincing everyone that feminism and 'immigrant huggers' are to blame for all the world's woes. If only meddlesome females had never attained suffrage nearly 100 years ago, we could have the Roaring 1920ies back.

Did you see Trump's speech in Detroit? Your attack of him doesn't go far enough. He didn't just say he would end the EPA, he said he would use executive fiat to declare a moratorium on ALL regulations. ALL REGULATIONS. He wants to end all economic regulations and bring about Ayn Rand's City on the Hill.

If Americans shrug now, and Trump (and Trumpism) is not held accountable, we'll soon find out the true meaning of Atlas Shrugged. The world will come tumbling down because of our error.
Polygon is applying pressure on Facebook to investigate. There are people calling for Facebook to not only distance itself from Luckey, but to banish him to the Phantom Zone. And yes, I'm one of those people, absolutely.
I don't and won't laugh at you, Joseph, but OTEA's argument makes sense to me.

After all, despite all the propaganda, Clinton is still ahead--not as far ahead as I would find comfortable, but ahead.

I suspect the Internet community contains a disproportionately high number of right-wing Orcs, so if one focuses primarily on the Internet community, one will get a skewed picture of the general public.

I just can't accept the idea that the fate of our country, and perhaps our species, could rest in the hairy-palmed hands of a cloven-hooved horde of nasty white punks, lifelong mediocrities who will never ejaculate inside a vagina without committing solicitation of a prostitute, or else rape of one or another degree. Those filthy little snots are NOT the majority of the American public.
Aw, I forgot to mention that I think the Internet is disproportionately well-supplied with passionate Trump Chumps who believe the 25 Years Of Smears against the Clintons--and so it might seem, to someone who concentrates on Da Intertoobz, that Trump has the advantage.
I liked your Ernst Roehm analogy; the Alt-Right's Tame Pet Fag Milo might do well to recall the ultimate fate of Herr Roehm.

(Sowwies for the multiple posts, but I keep having afterthoughts.)
I suppose that the recent news may bring some attention to the lawsuit accusing Luckey of stealing the Oculus Rift technology:

Steve Bannon is Donald Trump's recently appointed electoral campaign CEO. Bannon was called out by The Guardian for providing a voter registration to an empty house in Miami. He has now re-registered to a beach house in Sarasota, Fla, and,as anyone who follows MadCowProd can tell you, that spells dodgy ties to spies, drug traffickers and con artists.

The new house is owned by Andrew M. Badolato one of Bannon's former business associates. Hopsicker takes it from there. One of Bandolato's business partners was Jonathan Curshen -- currently serving 17 years in federal prison for stock fraud. Curshen's juicy claim to fame was in helping to buy a DC-9 airliner busted in Mexico in 2006 while carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine. It's typical Hopsicker and riotously colorful.

I mean, really. Never have the grifters and the criminals been so openly linked to high office.

On a more sober note the latest edition of Newsweek says Donald Trump's overseas financial ties are a monumental conflict of interest and threaten national security.
OTE, what Joseph said to you. Yes, younger folk are less likely to vote. That's terrible news since the MSM have been propping Trump up 24/7 so as to dampen the vote. The fact that Ivory Bill "may the Big Imaginary Pecker in the sky bless you misguided fools but I must leave you....oh wait, no one begged me to stay but I'll just stay anyway" Woodpecker agrees with you is not a positive sign.

Yes, it would be a joyous occasion for you to be right. Alas.
@OTE Admin - "Most voters are not users of social media".

I think you're mistaken about that. According to, 78% of "US Americans" (i.e. presumably, people of any age who live in the US) "have a social media profile" in 2016. According to this site, citing research by Pew, in 2015 the proportion of senior citizens in the US who used social media was 35%.

In any case, social media is just part of the mass social war on the mind that probably would have bewildered even Wilhelm Reich. TV remains important - and not just the wrestling - otherwise we wouldn't be talking about Monday's debate.

I am encountering people on an all-purpose chat site I go to who are openly looking forward to fascism in the US. They want places like Charlotte to be sealed off and the population "allowed" to starve, as white men with powerful guns go "whoop whoop whoop" and the "weak" go to the wall. Friends in the US are telling me that their fathers and other family members are expressing the kind of fascist views that previously they were either coy or half-hearted about, or which may have joked about once every blue moon but didn't hold to in discussions or when they had to follow things through mentally even just a little bit. Now they feel liberated. They're not in the mood for discussion. They just want to kill the enemy and achieve a fascist society. And their sense of something rising is focused on electing Trump. Fascism stalks the US.

A military confrontation between the US and Russia is possible before the election. If it starts, and Trump calls for letting loose nuclear weapons, Clinton is unlikely to get anywhere by saying "But...Manafort! Ukraine! You praised Putin!"

Even if Trump loses, which is unlikely, a fascist "revolution" is likely.
Whoa, I thought a disproportionately high number of Trump Chumps were antique flatulences?

How are they going to stage a fascist revolution?

It's hard to goose-step on a Hoveround, and it's hard to shoot straight through cataracts. ;)
Are people crying because Trump has beat the Left at their own game of manipulating minds through media that bypass the Left side of the brain? Trump is against certain people within ethnic groups, sexual orientations, etc. Meanwhile, Obama and Hillary are welcoming in the real fascists that have been abusing women and shooting up gays in their investor's lands, in Europe and here, in America. Trump is working to stop all these subgroups from dividing America amongst themselves. He is the liberal voters' best friend and they are too brain-washed to see it!
It's interesting that gay people are "f-gs" and blacks are, you can pick the slur" if they are not brain-washed by the Left. Hillary failed the gays and blacks and Trump is calling them out on it. You like it when churches fail their people, well wake up. Your favorite candidates have failed theirs. It's not so funny, anymore, when your favorite candidate's alleged base leaves them having awakened to the fact that those groups were mere pawns in their power struggle (the real struggle of socialist leaders)
Psieve2: Isn't your bridge getting lonely without you?
Let's accept the first part of your argument for argument's sake.
Why would the awakened, enlightened, newly free from the bounds of psychological manipulation rush into the arms of a racist, fascist, egotistical, out of touch with reality lier and manipulator con artist?
This is not a site where this kind of obvious trolling results in massive conversion to Trump mania. If you were not new to this site, you may have noticed that readers of this site are much tougher nuts to crack than what you are capable of.
Now, kindly move on and don't embarrass yourself.
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Are we focusing on the wrong issues?

Donald Trump is against net neutrality. He calls it an Obama conspiracy...!

The vast majority of voters -- of Republicans -- favor net neutrality.

Donald Trump wants rid of the EPA, which he calls the "Department of Environmental."
Taken literally, Trump’s proposal to abolish EPA is a recipe for dirty air and legal chaos. EPA doesn’t just invent its regulations out of thin air. It is the agency charged with implementing laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, which have been passed by Congress. It studies pollutants that are harmful to human health, writes rules to curb those pollutants, and monitors compliance. If Congress abolished EPA but did not repeal the laws that require the federal government to limit pollution, the result would be total incoherence. The government would have legal obligations it could not meet.
Most voters view the EPA favorably. I think that the Flint episode has reminded us all of the need for regulation.

Donald Trump wants to abolish the Food and Drug Administration. The majority of Republicans who expressed an opinion in this poll favor keeping it. In other polls, Americans strongly believe that the FDA should regulate things like e-cigarettes. If voters were reminded of how things were in the days before meat inspection, I suspect that FDA would have nearly unanimous favorability. (In today's fractured society, nothing is 100% popular.)

Most importantly...

Trump's policies, if enacted, would result in a $5.3 trillion deficit. He's running against the wife of the only President to balance the budget. The majority of voters consider deficit reduction extremely important. The vast majority favor increasing taxes on those with very high incomes. Trump will cut taxes for the wealthy.

We've all heard about Trump's racism, his draconian approach to immigration, his arrogance and his overall ignorance. Isn't it about time we mention other things as well?
This wouldn't work. This would require thinking. The most the average Trump voter can manage is "Trump's a successful businessman." Mention the number of bankruptcies and the hidden tax records. Even that won't change anyone's vote but at least they have no comebacks.

Those are actual issues, not the sort of thing news infotainment outlets "focus" on.

Hillary needs to "disrupt" the news channels, use other routes to address the public, as you suggested before.
Trump supporters are doofusses who don't give a damn about facts and policy. You need to be concerned about this other guy, who is stealing votes from HRC.

Find the connection to Roger Stone.
It's all the clintons fault. They never learned to defend themselves after all those years of attacks. Look at the Clinton's foundation debacle. they let the word OPTICS go around for weeks. Why didn't get off their assas and show the real optics: 11.5 millions of people surviving because of the foundation(aids) rebuilding the entire health system in Rwanda , medicine for Malaria ,education....
Why waiting for Canson's book to come out, who reads books anymore. For 25 years I was never impressed by their ability to defend themselves. My God how many times I was physically ill from frustration. Those Clintons will be the death of me.
I'm not voting for trump but the fda and epa have taken over by the industries they oversee. We the people no longer matter just greed.
More on the guy who's stealing votes from HRC. He's scary. Almost as scary as Trump.
Anon, I gotta admit -- you DO have a point. Bill gets on TV to talk about his Foundation, but it's kind of a soft sell. He never says "TRUMP LIES!" or "That goddamned movie 'CLinton Cash' is filled with LIES!" or "No other former president has saves as many lives as I have!"

He lets the facts quietly speak for themselves.

That's the right approach when speaking to educated people who work in offices. They can put two and two together. But the people who work behind the counter at the local fast food emporium NEED the Trumpian hard sell. They NEED to hear you say "ME SO GREAT THEM SO EVIL."
I'm not sure the issues matter at this point either. Personally my hope is that during the first debate, Hillary can successfully troll trump (albeit with truth!) in such a way that he just completely loses his shit and embarrasses himself. Given how thin-skinned he is, can't seem to resist reacting to the smallest insult, hopefully her trainers are giving her lessons on his transparently obvious personality type and how to egg him into a total meltdown live on TV. I can't help but think a skilled debater - not in terms of issues, but in how to manipulate personalities - could play him like a fiddle.
You were right. There IS a dirty-tricks conspiracy targeting Hillary. But it's not Roger Stone behind it, it's these guys:

Palmer Luckey

Milo Yiannopoulos

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Trump, black people, and spin

A friend just now emailed me and said that, in the wake of the recent unrest in North Carolina, the news is now spinning Donald Trump as more sympathetic to black people than is Hillary Clinton. My friend wanted to know if I've been seeing similar spin on other news coverage.

Well...yeah. It was heading in that direction on CNN. Chris Matthews gave a fair amount of air time yesterday to a black Trumper who repeated the argument that we might as well try Trump because Obama and Bill Clinton were just hell, hell, HELL on the black community.

Are you seeing that kind of spin on the news? If One would have thought that Trump would have lost the black vote entirely after he hired as Steve Bannon to be the new campaign head honcho. Bannon is the guy many are calling a leader of the Alt-Right movement -- the new name for white supremacy. Trump has heretofore championed profiling, "stop and frisk" and giving the cops total license to do as they please.

And yet there really do seem to be a small but significant number of black people who think that Hillary is the problem, even though her very first speech of the campaign was a condemnation of the way many cops have behaved toward black citizens. Is Clinton Derangement Syndrome really that powerful? The Clintons have become a Rorschach blot onto which many members of the public project all of their fears and resentments.

Any black people gravitating toward Trump should first consult the folks -- both black and white -- who live in Flint, Michigan. Ask them how they feel about Trump's grand scheme to get rid of the EPA. Perhaps anti-Hillary black voters should also ask themselves about the advisability of Trump's plan to get rid of the Food And Drug Administration -- the "food police," as Trump calls them. Rich people can afford to shop at Whole Foods and other upscale markets; poor people are the ones who are going to get sick from tainted meat and produce.

I must admit that Trump's new ploy makes electoral sense: North Carolina is a tossup, and now there are even rumblings that Virginia may be in play.
Perhaps no battleground state is as polarized along demographic lines as North Carolina. Mr. Trump has a lead of 53 percent to 28 percent among white voters, most likely his best tally with that group in any of the battleground states. Mrs. Clinton holds the overwhelming support of black voters, at 86 percent to 3 percent in a three-way race.
Peeling off even a tiny, tiny fraction of the African American vote -- or depressing that vote -- could assure that the state goes into Trump's column. Hillary absolutely cannot afford to lose it.
Suggested clarification:

...on CNN. [And on MSNBC,] Chris Matthews...
I did not think of this. it's gone from annoying to serious alarm. Not only are they spinning Donald as being more sympathetic to the man shot with his hands up, while Hillary is more "cautious" but they are also not emphasizing that she called the event appalling and unacceptable. This they do to suppress the turnout, as you note.

I heard Obama's recent speech on the radio and saw it online, but did the TV news organizations put his call to black voters on repeat? That he would take it as a "personal insult" if his community did not turn out for Hillary? That the best send off they could give him was to go vote? Hopefully, Obama himself will be out there repeating it, because he was on fire!
I saw the opposite spin. I thought I just saw a story where the Donald suggested implementing stop and frisk nationally.

Of course that's not quite what you asked but it was what I saw.

Jesus what an election!
I don't think this will work: people in the black and hispanic communities know a hater when they see one, and it's perfectly obvious that Trump, and his father, have been racists all their lives. Along with his two sons.

What it does show is that the media barons that run CNN and MSNBC are great pals with Rupert Murdoch, and would be perfectly OK with fascist con-man running the country. As in 1932 in a certain central European country, the billionaire class have convinced themselves they can control the crazy man with the funny hair.
"As in 1932 in a certain central European country, the billionaire class have convinced themselves they can control the crazy man with the funny hair." Great line, Colorado Guy
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The ultimate Trump piece

First: I'll probably have some thoughts about the unrest in North Carolina before the day is out. It's a horrific situation -- protest is certainly valid, but violence will only serve to elect Trump. And yet: What right do I have to tell anyone "Be calm"...?

So let's talk Trump. Drew Magary, writing in GQ, says everything we've all been dying to say. Decades from now, this piece will be quoted as the warning to the nation as it plunges into the abyss.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold uncovered yet another Donald Trump scam job, in which he used over $250,000 in charitable donations to help pay off his legal bills. And, because this is Trump, that sordid (and almost certainly illegal) bit of money laundering is just ONE despicable detail of the story. There are many more, including Trump’s club trying to welch on a $1 million hole-in-one payout (out of all of Trump’s bad qualities, his steadfast refusal to pay people what he owes them, while bragging about it, is the most enraging), along with the old bit about Trump blithely ignoring local ordinances so he could put a big, dipshit flagpole up at the Mar-A-Lago club, with his lawyers stating—with a straight face—that a smaller flag “would fail to appropriately express the magnitude of Donald J. Trump’s . . . patriotism” (NOTE: Until recently, Trump didn’t know what the stripes on the flag symbolized).

None of this is surprising, of course. Trump is a liar and a crook, and he commits abominable acts at such a frenetic pace that they get lost in the fury surrounding whatever horrible thing he does next. Keith Olbermann needed over 17 minutes on this site just to list a fraction of the atrocities Trump has staged during election season, and he’s gonna need 17 more minutes to cover what happens between now and Election Day. Remember when Trump said he would get rid of food regulations? That was Thursday.

Regardless, in the end, people are still gonna vote for this man. Maybe not enough to get him elected, but still: it’ll be in the tens of millions. (Note to the people causing the polls to fluctuate: What the fuck is wrong with you? I gotta meet the five percent of people who saw Hillary come down with pneumonia and were like, “Forget her, gimme the dictator with dryer lint hair.”) Nothing that Trump says, no damning piece of Trump reportage, and certainly no opinion piece like this one will stop his voters from pulling the lever. Nor will anything stop Trump from being the officious, braindead goon that he is. He will never answer for his crimes, and there’s a frighteningly large portion of the electorate that will always love him for that.

And so I’d just like to say to that portion of the electorate: Fuck you. No, seriously. Go fuck yourselves. I’m not gonna waste any more time trying to convince you that you’re about to do something you’ll regret forever. I’m not gonna show you old clips of Trump saying rotten things. I’m not gonna try to ANNIHILATE Trump by showing you records of his hypocrisy and greed. I’m not gonna link to a John Oliver clip and be like, “THIS. So much this.” Nothing’s gonna take down Trump at this point, so I’m not gonna bother. No no, this post is for ME. I am preaching to the sad little choir in my soul here.

Because while Trump is a miserable bastard, YOU are the people who have handed him the bullhorn. YOU are the people willing to embarrass this nation and put it on the brink of economic ruin all because you wanna throw an electoral hissy fit. YOU are the people who want to revolutionize the way America does business by voting for its worst businessman, a disgusting neon pig who only makes money when he causes problems for other people instead of solving them. YOU are the thin-skinned yokels who clutch your bandoliers whenever someone hurls the mildest of slurs at you (“deplorables”), while cheering Trump on as he leaves a bonfire of truly hateful invective everywhere he goes. YOU are the people willing to overlook the fact that Trump is an unqualified, ignorant sociopath because DURRRR HILLARY IS BAD TOO DURRRR.
The old saw is that people get the politicians they deserve, and I’ll be crestfallen if Trump wins and proves this to be true once more. If you vote for him, you’re not making America great again. You are killing it. You are telling the world that America isn’t worth it. You are telling the world that all of our big talk about freedom and unity and ideals is just a load of shit, and that you would prefer a smoldering dystopia where freedom is just a flimsy cover for evildoing, led by a man who believes that strength is measured only in killing people. You are handing the most important job on Earth to Napoleon from Animal Farm. And you are revealing your breathtaking ignorance to everyone except for yourself. I can’t believe you can’t see this. I want you to see this. I wanna shine a big fucking light in your face and scream at you that Trump isn’t even qualified to be human, much less President. How are you gonna change the system if you elect some corrupt idiot who has no clue how to DO IT, huh? Can’t you see this? Haven’t you heard this asshole talk? THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Daily Kos linked to this article. The comments touched on the key role played by conspiracy theory in this election...
I enjoyed reading it but somehow I kept thinking… really? There is really nothing that can “happen” to change Trump supporters mind? How about we delve into sci-fi or Utopian scenarios? What if someone where to find a video (it has to be a video because his supporters do not read) of a Trump conversation with Putin, Trump laughing about the idiocy of his supporters and laughing that ISIS is good for his business and asking Putin how to be a good dictator and if he can have access to Miss Russia for a night?
Interesting question. Response:
They’ll say it’s been doctored or that it’s a Trump body double or something equally insane. Seriously — when I showed my Trump supporting animal loving mother the pictures of the creepster Trump boys with their slaughtered safari animals she got angry at ME instead of them and insisted that those pics were fakes made by left wing propagandists. Yes, this really happened.
I believe it. When I posted the video of the interview with the architect that Trump hired and refused to pay, my Trump-supporting aunt insisted that the interview was “Photoshopped”. Which, I guess, shows she knows as much about Photoshop as she does about politics.
Conspiracism has become the new opiate of the masses. It is the mechanism by which the people eradicate the reality that is and replace it with the reality they want. I urge you to read this profile of Steve Bannon's lieutenant, Milo Yiannopoulos:
“We live in a post-fact era. It’s wonderful,” he says, pointing to various web pages on his giant computer screen that show photos of, supposedly, Bill Clinton’s grown black son. “The Washington Post gives a truth check, and no one cares...."

If you want people to be calm, you're within your rights to tell them to be calm. It is generally wuse to be calm.
Remember Duke Lacrosse.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Against the ignorant snot

I'm still trying to finish an assignment, so I can't do much writing today. Let's look at some amazing videos.

Of course, Keith isn't really in a position to talk. But let's not bring up 2008.

For a while now, I've been formulating a post in my mind which would expand on this theme. I don't think that Trumpism was created by racism, although racism obviously plays a huge role. I think that this movement is the inevitable result of the conspiracist mindset.

As was Nazism.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Yes, there are real conspiracies -- and they are perpetrated by conspiracy theorists. The Nazis proved the point. So did the John Birchers. So did and do any number of right-wing spooks, all over the globe. (I'm not talking only about the ones employed by American services.)

And now, the Trumpers.

Consider Roger Stone, Trump's eminence grise, whose resume lists one conspiracy after another; he's proud of all the conspiratorial dirty tricks he has perpetrated. And yet he's a welcome guest on the Alex Jones paranoia symposium. What more evidence do you need? The conspiracy theorists ARE the conspirators.

About Trump's anti-ISIS plan: I can't understand why this point has not been made heretofore. The military already has a plan of attack against ISIS. Many plans. That's what they do in the Pentagon and in the Army War College: They come up with plans. There is a plan of attack directed against every nation on earth, from lowly Andorra to Russia and China. I'm sure that there are contingency plans in case of attack from space. These guys make plans the way bakers make bread.

The problem is not the lack of a plan; the problem is political. We can conquer nearly any nation on earth, but what happens the day after? How do we prevent conquest from becoming quagmire? This is precisely the question which Dubya did not adequately consider when he decided to go into Iraq.

I came across a phrase today which perfectly sums up Donald Trump: Ignorant snot. That's it. Those two words encompass his entire being. And his vile quasi-Nazi son deserves the title of Ignorant Snotling.

Of course, it is possible to produce a bowl of Skittles entirely free of toxins. The Mars company does it every day.
Financial Terrorism exists, Trump supporters know it and Trump is allegedly against it. Bernie Sanders was the other guy against Financial Terrorism. As a result our two main candidates are slogging through while millennials dream of seeing either Stein or Johnson's popularity continue to rise.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In case you haven't seen these...


The bombs

I spent much of yesterday "provisionally persuaded" that the NY-NJ bombing case was less interesting than it at first appeared. Ahmad Khan Rahami was a young employee of his family's fried chicken restaurant. He became miffed by his neighbors, who complained that the joint stayed open longer than permitted by ordnance. Anti-Muslim comments from one neighbor (a likely Trump voter...?) may have caused Rahami to go off the deep end.

The fairly crude bombs were easily traced to him: His fingerprints were literally all over the devices. Unbelievably, he used a personal cell phone -- not a burner -- as a trigger. The cops found him sleeping in the doorway or foyer of a bar in NJ, on the run and bereft of a place to hide.

Given the circumstances, it's hard to believe that this man had accomplices. It's also hard to believe that he ever possessed much common sense or any ability to plan ahead. Welcome to The Ahmad Rahami Amateur Hour.

He had been to Afghanistan and Pakistan a number of times, and was subject to intensive questioning by American authorities, but always managed to persuade investigators that he was visiting family members. So far, I haven't seen hard evidence that he was radicalized during these trips, although regular patrons of the family's restaurant have said that he became more devout after his last trip to Afghanistan.

ISIS, for its part, has not claimed credit for -- or solidarity with -- these bombing attacks. They did so in the Minnesota stabbing case.

All in all, it's easy to fall in line with the "lone nut" theory. However...

Rachel Maddow noted something odd about the explosives: They were all constructed differently. The unexploded pressure cooker bomb found on 27th street was made with HMTD -- hexamethylene triperoxide diamine. The one that did go off on 23rd street used Tannerite, a combo of ammonia nitrate and aluminum powder. The New Jersey devices were standard pipe bombs made with black powder in one instance and with HMTD in another.

Isn't it rather odd for one mad bomber to be so experimental?

Not only that. I saw a CNN segment yesterday which claimed that the police have a surveillance tape, not yet released to the public, which shows Rahami dragging a duffel bag containing the pressure cooker to the spot where the device was found. (See here.) But: After Rahami leaves, two other men show up, remove the pressure cooker (adorned with duct tape, wiring and cell phone) and abscond with the bag, leaving the device on the ground.


The unpleasantness in Boston taught us all about the unorthodox uses to which pressure cookers can be put. The mere sight of such a thing should have frightened the bejeebus out of those two guys. Yet we are to believe that they simply made off with the carrying case -- "Free duffel bag! AWRIGHT!" -- and went merrily on their way.

On the other hand, if we presume that those two guys were fellow terrorists, the story still doesn't make any sense. Why not leave the bomb in the bag?

At some point before Rahami's capture, an "unimpeachable source" told Geraldo Rivera that five Afghans had been arrested. The same story appeared in the NY Post. A simple mistake? Possibly. Where's the follow-up story? So far, I've yet to see one.

Dear reader, if you have an explanatory scenario for this madness, I am all attention. Normally, I'd check out what folks are saying on Reddit, but who wants to wade through the inevitable river of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories?

We must note that -- at this writing -- Rahami has confessed to nothing. I suppose that, with sufficient imagination, one could construct a scenario in which a convenient patsy was subjected to a particularly elaborate frame. (I know, I know: Unlikely. You can take the blogger out of Hollywood, but you can't take the Hollywood out of the blogger.)

Added note: Donald Trump is incensed that Rahami (an American citizen) will receive the services of a lawyer. It seems that the Trumpster Fire wants to do away with the 6th Amendment. I've long suspected that the Second Amendment was the only part of the Constitution that right-wingers know about or care about.
I seriously doubt Trump knows or cares about any of the amendments, which conservatives will discover to their horror if he gets elected. Of course, I imagine congress will stonewall Trump at every turn, since both Republicans and Democrats will be against most of what he tries to do. The same could happen to Clinton, though, I suppose, as the Republicans will likely subject her to the same treatment (or worse) they gave Obama. We'll see.

As to the bombings, I don't really know anymore than you do. Right now, it does sound like amateur hour and a guy that was a little too bent out of shape. We'll need more info to really form a different opinion, at this point.
Donald Trump is incensed that Rahami (an American citizen) will receive the services of a lawyer.

At least he wasn't summarily executed without benefit of trial like al-Awlaki (or, for that matter, without ever having been charged with anything like al-Awlaki's son). They were American citizens, too.
The five arrested were the bomber's extended family. The cops knew who they were looking for and stopped the car in hopes he would be with them. No conspiracy here. As for the duffle bag, this should be further evidence that people are incredibly stupid as the most likely explanation is some idiots stole the bag. The same thing happened to the device near the NJ train station which was discovered, and almost detonated, by a homeless guy who wisely told the cops.
Prop, I have no doubt that Trump will do such a things a LOT.

But you know that my personal theory of Awlaki is that he was always an American agent-in-place and that his killing (along with that of his son) were fakes designed to cover his exfiltration. If you look up my earlier posts, you'll see that there is some evidence for this.

There I go, sounding like Alex Jones again. Someone slap me out of it!
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Monday, September 19, 2016

A former Trump supporter on why he's voting for Clinton

Mark Cuban:
There were two things that finally led me to endorse Secretary Clinton: The first was that I did quite a bit of homework to understand all the allegations that were directed toward her and found almost all not based on fact and the remainder far from material. The tipping issues were Trump’s positions on NATO, our treaties, dealing with our allies, his comments on nuclear weapons, and his lack of understanding of the concept of deterrence. His ignorance of these issues scared the shit out of me.
I made the mistake of assuming that he had to have some interest in learning and keeping up with world events. That he would make the effort to learn what he didn’t know. I obviously was wrong. I can’t say it enough that learning how to learn is one of the greatest skills anyone can have. It’s why I advocate that everyone go to college. I love being challenged and defending my positions and, when I’m wrong, learning from the exchange. It makes me smarter and better as a businessperson. That’s the key difference between us. Trump never takes on the intellectual challenge. He doesn’t even try. He just talks about having a good brain. :)

Elsewhere: Why ISIS wants Trump to win:
"His anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim rhetoric totally validates ISIS claims that Muslims are unwelcome in Europe and the U.S., and that they would be better off living in its so-called caliphate," she said. “ISIS exploits these inflammatory statements to mobilize its supporters around the idea that the West—and America in particular—is hostile to Islam."

Revkin reported that an Islamic State sympathizer from Anbar province in Iraq, with whom she had been corresponding over Twitter direct message, told her that any of the Republicans were preferable for ISIS to Democrats.

“I hope and I predict that the Republicans will win [the presidential election] and they will run wild,” the sympathizer said. “ There will be a devastating war and I believe that America will collapse like the Soviet Union.”

The ISIS exchange completely fills in the timing of Trump's statements in the past with subsequent terrorist bombings. ISIS want's Trump to win, and they will do what they can to justify Trumps anti terrorist statements.
If Trump gives the Pentagon a free hand on its military operations in Syria, Ukraine and the Asia Pacific region then he may get their backing if he goes nuclear.

The Syrian situation is getting out of hand. The Pentagon is running its own policy in defiance of the White House and killing the ceasefire deal. Remarks by Def.Sec Ash Carter and Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, are at odds with Kerry-Obama policies. The US attack at Deir ez-Zor was planned and even the Israelis are saying the US Generals are running their own show:

>>> This assessment was echoed by the DEBKA File publication, which has close ties to Israeli intelligence. “The Pentagon and US army are not following the orders of their Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama in the execution of the military cooperation accord in Syria concluded by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Sept. 12,” it wrote.

It cited concerns by top US defense officials that the terms of the cease-fire give Russia too much of an "opportunity to study the combat methods and tactics practiced by the US Navy and Air force in real battlefield conditions." For this reason, the Pentagon is opposing it even after it was agreed to by Kerry: "Washington sources report that Defense Secretary Carter maintains that he can't act against a law enacted by Congress. He was referring to the law that prohibits all military-to-military relations with Russia as a result of Moscow's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine." <<<

The Generals are running US foreign policy.
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hillary must sue the National Enquirer

On a visit to the grocery store, I simultaneously burst into a fit of laughter and nearly had a second heart attack. What caused that reaction? The cover of the latest National Enquirer.

Folks, the online version does no justice to the outrageous propaganda barrage awaiting you at the checkout line: On the cover, Hillary has been Photoshopped to look like a zombie, while the headline proclaims that her "real" medical report indicates liver damage from drinking.

On the inside, the story says that her weight has ballooned to 289 pounds -- and she's only 5'6"!

By contrast, that latest letter from Trump's Dr. Feelgood hilariously claims that Fat Donnie is 6'3" and that he weighs only 236 pounds. Oddly enough, photographic evidence reveals that Trump is shorter than Jeb Bush, who really is 6'3". As for Trump's weight: Does anyone truly believe that Mr. Taco Bowl is only 236? Yeah. Right. And I'm the Cloverfield Monster.

In case you're interested, Hillary's real weight is under 135.

Back to the Enquirer: It's not enough to say "Nobody believes that tabloid rag," because quite a few people do. Besides, a national publication's credibility (or lack thereof) does not give it the right to commit libel. The comment about liver damage from drinking is clearly actionable, even though Hillary Clinton is a public figure.

There is a very close precedent: In 1981, Carol Burnett successfully sued the Enquirer after the tabloid published a story claiming that she had been seen drunk in public.

A $100,000,000 lawsuit filed against the Enquirer would dominate the news cycle and force people to confront the fact that the media has lied incessantly about Hillary Clinton. Moreover, it will force other news and pseudonews outlets to reconsider the filthy hoaxes that they've been peddling. They might even start publishing retractions. (Besides, if she loses the election, the money would be a nice consolation prize -- not to mention the satisfaction derived from ridding the world of American Media Inc.)

Hillary needs to start doing bold, dramatic, headline-grabbing things. Her staff keeps telling her to play it safe. Right now, "playing it safe" places the world in danger.
Perhaps the Global 1% have informed Mrs. Clinton that she will be the next President, whatever the Orc-hordes of National Enquirer "readers" and alt-right Fake Tough Guys on social media (who would soil themselves and run at the first whiff of grapeshot) think, and so she sees no need for urgency.
"Playing it safe" is one of her more annoying traits. And it's not just an undeserved label, stuck on her by Trump's or Bernie's people. It goes back to her husband's presidency and his penchant for triangulating any position he'd take.
I get your outrage, but it's beneath her. Best to just ignore idiots. If she sued, then it would be a news story. And suddenly, it will be all that matters. She'll win the election and keep her head high.
Ivory Bill, you've been a friend to the blog and I hate to say anything against you. That's why I've held my tongue heretofore. But this nonsense you keep spouting about the "elite conspiracy" is silly and simplistic. The world doesn't work like this. Donald Trump and Roger Stone both know who runs the world. They know better than you do or I do. And Trump and Stone seem quite convinced that Trump has a good chance...which he does.

Do not place your faith in conspiracy theory.
I did say "perhaps". *shrugs*

"Do not place your faith in conspiracy theory."

I feel as if Elmer Fudd just informed me that I talk funny. If you're not a conspiracy theorist, you imitate one rather convincingly.
The ELmer Fudd accusation is fair. Actually, when I wrote that comment it was originally longer. I started to go on a long rant about how well I know the conspiracy theory subculture and that's how I know that it can easily became a way to pull the wool over your own eyes.

Take it from one who has been there and done that, and who regrets a LOT of the idiotic shit he once believed or at least half-believed or at least was willing to consider possible. If you can't see my point now...well, maybe one day you will.
Eh--(chews carrot)--sorry if I snapped at you, Doc.

I normally don't put much faith in conspiracy theories, but I give some credence to "rigging the voting computers" due to the razor-thin "victory" margins of the Chimperial Cheney Campaigns. However, sure, I could be mistaken--the Chimperor's men may simply have deftly executed the same old GOP strategy of exploiting white resentment, with the margins being thin only because of the demographic and attitudinal shifts which made Rove a genius in 2000 and 2004, but made him a pathetic has-been ("I have the math!") in 2012, failing (and fading) because he still thought the USA was a White Man's Land.

May the Ascended Madoka grant that Stone will have missed dat left toin at Albakoiky, and will prove to be Rove 2012 rather than Rove 2000. May this year bring not the culminating triumph of Stone's foul career, but the political version of the K-T Asteroid Impact for Stone, for Trump, and for their legions of White Dinosaurs.
Thou shalt not trust any electronic voting machine unless it leaves a verifiable paper trail. With that said, I enjoyed the conversation, and I agree with the owner that sueing the National Asswipe would be a good move. It addition to reasons stated above, I think it would send a message to lie-peddlers and Facebook posters that they aren't completely immune to recourse when it comes to lying.
I agree that Trump is 6 feet 2 and weighs more than 236 pounds. However the weight charts use obese for somewhat ridiculous weights.

But Trump doesn't look 'super fat' either.

My opinion is Hillary with real height and weight would be classed obese but she does not look 'super obese' either.

Just the way it is though.

Trump has long engaged in classic projection. But I don't believe he's a drunk, just a drug addict.
National Enquirer fakes stories and photographs for elites of all stripes, from the British royals, "celebs" of all nations, and USA would-be royals such as Herself. Why should she be treated with kid gloves?

By the way, if Hillary is 5ft 6 ins, I do not believe her weight is 135 lbs. I'm that height myself and was 135 lbs a few years ago (am a little more these days in my 70s). At 135lbs my figure looked nothing like Hillary's - I considered it my ideal weight and "look". She might well have weighted 135 lbs once upon a time, maybe not that long ago, but not now, in my opinion.

I don't care if she is fat; better an old woman with fat hips than an old man with a fat head. ;)
I have met her in person and had my arm around her while taking a picture with her. She is very likely 135 pounds and appears heavier on TV than in person. She is not as large as you think. Also, on some occasions, I have heard that she is wearing a bullet proof vest for safety reasons.
Hillary Clinton is actually 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She is barely taller than I am and in fact there is virtually no difference in our heights. That is from seeing her in person up close.

I suspect she is heavier than she was during the WH years and in 2008, but that is due to hypothyroidism. However, she would look smaller in real life than on television.

Laura Bush was the same way. She is much more petite in person than she appeared on television.
Just to add, the internet says she is 5' 6", but that is wrong. She is shorter than that.
I really didn't have anything to say about this post until this morning. It doesn't mean anything or change anything, just pointing this out.

I see these publications every time I checkout at the local market and always read them while in line. I saw the Hillary zombie, Cher is on her way out to pasture (on drugs and broke) and Jan Michael Vincent is also at death's door and Chevy Chase is so fat, he makes Rush Limbaugh look like Jack La Lane.

Anyway, the point is WEEKS ago I was reading about affairs and such with Brad & Angelina and how their marriage was game over.

This morning ALL the mainstream media is today reporting the tragic break-up of Brad & Angelina. I'm just saying they scooped the hell out of that story.
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After reading this, imagine a 747 armed with nukes

Haven't been a big Doonesbury fan lately, but oh-my-GOD is this great...
That was pretty funny indeed, I thought maybe you made it at first. It obviously pokes fun at Trump and what an idiot he is. It nailed lots of his regular lines perfectly.

Curious, other stuff I read around here says over and over and over and over and over (you get the idea) that the media only publishes negative stuff against Hillary but a quick Google search shows Doonesbury is published in over 1400 publications daily...nowadays, I'm pretty sure that might be All of them because that is about 1390 more than I can name.

I went to the Doonesbury site and looked at the last few Months and poking fun at Trump seems to be a theme over there (some funny shit) but I saw nothing about Hillary. Nothing about baskets of idiots, coughing, stumbling, nothing at all. Gotta be a joke there somewhere unless...

Why would the slanted media that hates Hillary and wants Trump elected publish anything like this? Just trying to stay on track and follow your writings assuming you are 100% correct about everything so this confuses me.
So a single exception disproves the rule?

Steve, your bridge is getting lonely without you.
>>>Steve, your bridge is getting lonely without you.

I must be part of the basket of despicables because I actually do NOT understand that comment. Maybe you can elaborate for me what it means?


Actually, the term is "basket of deplorables", but close enough.

In the fairy tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, the Troll lurked under a bridge.
I get it...thanks for that clarification. I thought you were maybe telling me to kill myself by jumping off a bridge.
For the record: I do not wish Steve to die prematurely. I merely called him a troll.
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Quiet flows the Don

I don't like it. Immediately after the NYC bombing, Donald Trump spewed his usual spew -- "Everything's going to hell, folks: Only I can save you." I expected a lot more of that. I expected more conclusion-hopping, more unseemly and unpresidential chest-thumping, more me-me-me-ME. I also expected him to capitalize on the Minnesota stabbings, an event seemingly intended to put Trump in office.

But he didn't do it. Instead, he has been uncannily muted, aside from a standard tweet of condolence. The bad boy has behaved himself.

That's not good for Democrats. I still don't think that Hillary can win this election, but Donald Trump can certainly lose it. He heads into loser territory every time he gives the public a glimpse of his ugly, malformed psyche. Hillary always looks like the better option after Donald spews incoherent paranoia and reveals himself as a frothing, snarling carrier of political rabies. Unfortunately, his handlers -- he has handlers now -- have applied duct tape to his Twitter-fingers.

I don't like it. Let Trump be Trump!
She's going to have to win on her own.
"She's going to have to win on her own."

The ultimate goal of the Global 1% is to own the natural resources and labor of the entire planet.

The Global 1% already own the governments of the USA and its allies; therefore, the chief obstacles to that goal are the continuing independence of Russia and China.

Trump the Grifter acts friendly to Putin, and says (however incoherently) that he wants to ease up pressure on Russia, and try to befriend Russia.

This would interfere with the goals of the Global 1%, which suggests that the Global 1% would prefer a second President Clinton to President Trump.

Given that, will Hillary really be compelled to win on her own? (cough*Diebold*cough)

The Grifter had better hope that Putin's hackers are better than the Global 1%'s hackers.
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bomb Blasts in New Jersey, New York

Update: Here is a photo of the 23rd street (NYC) bombing site after the explosion...

Here, via Google Earth, is a recent image of what the area looked like before the explosion...

Many cable news reports have said that the bomb was dropped into one of those trash receptacles, placed there due to construction.

Nothing specific in the area would make this an attractive target for terrorists. The bomb, though sizable and dangerous, was not massive. This event was designed to set nerves on edge, not to inflict large-scale damage or to take out specific individuals or structures. The desired effect was psychological.

Donald Trump immediately tried to capitalize on this event

I may be updating this post throughout the night. After the asterisks, you'll find the original post I wrote some hours ago.

*  *  *

For the earlier bombing in New Jersey, see here and here. The bomb went off in a garbage can at the site of a Marine Corps Charity race; no-one was injured. The delayed start of that race is, no doubt, what prevented fatalities.

Terror helps Trump. I expect that not many minutes will pass before the Alex Jonesians argue that Obama or Hillary engineered this event. (Update: I checked. The Infowars crowd are running true to form, screaming False flag and Hillary dunnit. Surprisingly, a few contributors are laying the blame on Team Trump.)

Added: Holy crap. On the same day, we have an even worse explosion in Manhattan. This bomb was also placed in a garbage can.

Also see here...
A possible secondary device has been found at West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenue, according NYPD Special Operations. The area should be avoided, the NYPD said.

The explosion happened in a garbage can around 8:30 p.m. in front of 135 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues. The FDNY says none of the 24 of of the 29 injured who were hospitalized sustained serious injuries, with scrapes and other injuries. The worst was descriebed the the FDNY as a puncture wound. "It was loud. It was very loud," said Crown Heights resident Fredricke M. Farrell. "I was on 21st Street and the blast sounded like it was right next door."

The explosion happened in front of Selis Manor, an apartment building that assists the blind community.
The NY Daily News site has video of the blast which I've not seen elsewhere.

Plus this, regarding the events in NJ...
Police are looking into a group of men seen near some New Jersey Transit train tracks, one carrying a rifle and wearing camouflage.

Three men were spotted near Glen Ridge Interlocking between Bay Street and Glen Ridge stations around 3 p.m. Aug. 8. An engineer on the Montclair-Boonton line reported one of the men wearing military camouflage, and carrying a rifle and a video recorder.

New Jersey Transit Police said they believe a black SUV spotted nearby belongs to one of the suspects. It was last seen in Glen Ridge heading toward Bloomfield.

The men possibly were shooting a movie, police said, and criminal charges will not be pursued if that's the case.
A movie...? On THIS day, that doesn't seem likely.

Something is going on. The mainstream news won't tell you the full story, and the conspiracy nuts like Alex Jones are going to find someone way to use this to favor Trump. My gut has been wrong before, but right now it is telling me that this is a plot intended to affect the election.
"My gut has been wrong before, but right now it is telling me that this is a plot intended to affect the election."


If we're right about that (I'm guessing that's how Cannon's suspicions are running)--Martin O'Malley compared Trump to "a monkey with a machine gun". So--WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, VLADIMIR? If you get this guy elected, you won't be facing a monkey with a machine gun; you'll be facing a monkey with NUCLEAR-TIPPED ICBMs, MOST OF WHICH ARE STILL AIMED AT MOTHER RUSSIA. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MADOKA-DAMNED MIND?!?

Maybe you think you can get those missiles re-targeted, because you'll have "The Donald" in your pocket. I remind you that your predecessor, Stalin, thought he had "The Adolf" in his pocket. How did that work out for Mother Russia?
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The lie that will not die -- and how Hillary can turn it to her advantage

It's making the rounds again: The Republicans are spreading the story that only a small percentage of the money given to the Clinton Foundation goes to charity.

The infuriating thing about this Daily Caller story is that pseudoreporter Peter Hasson must know the truth of the situation. By leaving out key information, he conveys the false impression that only 5.7% of the Foundation's money goes to help poor people.

Not true.

The same game is played by propagandist Sean Davis at the Federalist and a creature named Jacky Murphy here.

This Big Lie was first exposed when Carly Fiornia and Reince Priebus told it. For the truth of the situation, go here.
Priebus’ case is built on the notion that the only charitable work the Clinton Foundation does is in grant-making and, by extension, everything else is overhead.
The Clinton Foundation is not a family foundation (despite the name) -- it is a charity, utterly transparent in its operations. It spends money on poor people directly. Grants to other organizations are only a small part of what this charity does. See here.
In its most recent audited financials, the Clinton Foundation reported spending 87.2 percent on programs and services, which means 12.8 percent is going to “overhead” – administrative and fundraising costs. While not the ultimate arbiter of effectiveness, such a figure is well above the 65 percent to 75 percent range of program spending often suggested as a rule-of-thumb.
That's the key point which the propagandists never tell you. They keep misrepresenting the facts to confound a gullible public.

The Clinton Foundation, which spends much less on overhead than do most other charities, was rated higher than the Red Cross by Charity Watch.

So: How can Hillary Clinton turn this Big Lie into a Big Plus?

I suggest a simple, bold course of action: Fight Like Trump.

Make a grand, attention-grabbing gesture. Embrace drama. Let a little "reality TV" seep into Hillary's act. Make big, big charges against the opposition. Dominate the news cycle. Always double down, triple down, quadruple down, on everything.

To be specific: Hillary should offer this challenge to Trump...
"I'm willing -- as I've always been willing -- to let all of the Clinton Foundation's financials be examined by any trustworthy, independent, third-party analyst amenable to both Republican and Democratic leaders. All the books will be opened. Nothing will be held back. No locked doors. Total transparency.

"At the same time, Trump must open up the Trump Foundation to outside scrutiny by an independent, third part analyst chosen by the leaders of both parties. Nothing held back. Total transparency.

"Donald, if you do not accept this challenge, then everyone in the world will know that you are nothing but a double-talking LIAR. Any refusal on your part to go along with this challenge -- NOW -- is an admission that the Trump Foundation is a slush fund being run by a crook with a long history of Mafia ties."
That should do it. If Hillary makes that challenge, she will dominate.

She has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Much of the public does not understand that the Clinton Foundation's financials are already out in the open.

Trump dare not accept the challenge because his Foundation really is crooked. This new NYT article looks into Trump's shady (downright disgusting) use of tax breaks. If he were to open up his Foundation to outside scrutiny, we inevitably would learn even more about his schemes to avoid taxes -- information which he cannot let the public learn.

Hillary: If you're defending, you're losing. Don't punch back. Punch first. Force the other guy to respond to your words.
"A disgusting use of tax breaks" - seriously? Does the IRS release moral guidelines along with its legal ones? Maybe the law should specify in addition to what is illegal, what's legal but *disgusting*.

You sound like a Clinton shill.
Not everything that is legal is also ethical. T.wo examples come to mind. Slavery and racial segregation once was legal in the United States. That did not make it a morally or ethical thing to do. Also child labor was once legal but unethical. Watch Waffle Street an 2015 American drama/comedy film starring Danny Glover and James Lafferty and directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms for additional examples.
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Here's something to ponder

A short while ago, Newsweek published a piece demonstrating that Trump's business holdings would create a massive number of conflicts of interest, especially in the realm of foreign policy. Newsweek argued that placing the business in a blind trust won't solve the problem because Trump's foreign partners are already well-known.

In response, the Trump campaign said that The Donald would have no further role in the business if he attains the presidency. In practice, it seems, the plan is for the family would run the company. That "solution" is no solution at all.

Let's look at all of this in terms of Trump's new hotel.

As you know, Trump pissed off the press when he promised a major announcement about his history as a birther, and then used the occasion to subject all of those assembled newsfolk to a glorified ad for his new hotel. They felt that Trump had "Rickrolled" them.

My question: If Trump intends to have nothing further to do with his own business, then why did he endanger his presidential bid to publicize his latest creation?

About that hotel: A reader of this blog named Harry had an interesting observation. I've decided to move his words out of the comments section and to place them here.
That hotel is going to be insanely profitable. It's location is perfect. I heard a funny story about it. Apparently jack abramoff had that deal all lined up and was going to make a fortune. Unfortunately for jack, someone dropped the dime on him and he ended up in jail. The building got bought by Trump. Guys on Abramoffs staff told me they would bet a lot of money that Trump knows who made the call.
Is this true? I don't know. If any readers can offer further insight, I am all attention.

(The Trump name on the hotel could injure profitability. I doubt if anyone in Italy would want to stay at a hotel with Berlusconi's name on it.)

I know that Corey Lewandowski worked for Bob Ney, who was linked to the Abramoff scandal.

It is indeed true that Jack Abramoff had sought to create a hotel out of the Old Post Office building.
A Bush administration official was taking his cues from Jack Abramoff on proposed redevelopment of the Old Post Office, a historic landmark in downtown Washington, prosecutors suggested Thursday.

In the first trial emerging from the Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, the government introduced dozens of e-mails between the now-convicted Abramoff and longtime friend David Safavian, who was chief of staff to the administrator of the General Services Administration.
The GSA is the federal landlord, overseeing 8,000 buildings around the country including the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Abramoff wanted as a redevelopment project for some of his Indian tribal clients.

Abramoff had a luxury hotel in mind, but a campaign was under way by others to turn the post office annex into a women's history museum.

Safavian filled in Abramoff on a meeting with supporters of the museum and Abramoff minced no words in his response.

"What idiots!" the lobbyist wrote. "This would kill any five star hotel for sure."
You will recall how Trump went on the warpath against the very Indian casinos which did business with Abramoff. Also see here.

Added note. The Old Post Office Building was supposed to be a Women's Museum, not a rich man's money-funnel. This is the year when Donald Trump humiliates all women.

Another added note. A long time ago, the Old Post Office Building was the location of a massive eavesdropping operation run by J. Edgar Hoover. That's how Hoover got all the dirt on everyone in DC. He shared it all with CIA counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton, even though Hoover detested Angleton. The FBI Director had no choice but to share, since Angleton had the dirt on him.
Is Jack Abramoff out of jail?
This hotel will bleed red ink by the tons from day one, similar to the Plaza Hotel in NYC once Trump bought it. And for the same reason: Trump vastly overpaid. Well, in this case he didn't buy it, but won the leasehold award for it from the GAO, by making a too-high bid on the lease figure.

His competitors pointed that out at the time of the bidding. Its minimum room price is over $700 a night to try to make the numbers work.


A women's historical museum would have been an amazing project. Once again the good old boys turn the screws and then mock those who think that women don't get a level playing field.
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Donnie's bad day -- and the day after

This blog predicted that the TPM poll tracker would place Trump ahead of Clinton before midnight yesterday. That forecast, sadly, came true. And yet the day was so disastrous for Trump that even I, Mr. Doom N. Gloom, allowed a few rays of hope to illumine what is left of my malfunctioning heart.

The Donald finally ticked off the press by subjecting them to a glorified advertisement for one of his holdings on a day when they expected to hear an important announcement on a political subject. Trump's childishness and hucksterism finally went too far.

A writer calling himself "Godhumor" -- who seems to be a regular and respected contributor to Democratic Underground -- says that insiders have told him that yesterday's events caused Donald Trump to go into tantrum mode:
-He is apparently extremely angry at Conway and has given her an ultimatum to fix the mess he feels she made (Why we're now seeing frantic birther press releases coming from his campaign now)

-He didn't want to do this and never wanted to give an answer on Obama's nationality. He was "bribed" with doing it by his team by being given assurances he'd get free advertisement for his new hotel if he held a major announcement there

-Very angry at the tone the media has taken in the aftermath and feels they're targeting him

-Especially livid that the hotel footage was not only not shown but actually erased.

-Is asking to have surrogates accuse the media of censorship of news because of the erased footage and wants to ban the media pool pretty much completely other than those he know are friendly to him
Is any of this true? Not being one of Godhumor's pen pals, I don't know. His report seems persuasive, but I am open to counterargument.

Alas, our glee at Trump's bad day may be short-lived. McClatchy has offered a bombshell story which may force a partial rewrite of our "origin of birtherism" narrative.
Two supporters of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign reportedly shared the claim that then-rival Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus was not eligible to be president.

One was a volunteer in Iowa, who was fired, Clinton’s former campaign manager said Friday. The other was Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, according to a former McClatchy Washington Bureau chief.
The Iowa volunteer is hardly important. A campaign attracts hundreds of volunteers, and we can't fairly expect all of them to be sensible people. We're dealing with (you should pardon the expression) a lone nut. This person's firing tells us that the campaign wanted nothing do with any rumors concerning Obama's eligibility.

But...Sydney Blumenthal? Yow.

I have always respected Blumenthal; he has always seemed a cautious and intelligent individual. Frankly, I want to hear both sides of this story before coming to any final judgments.

Here are such details as we have:
Meanwhile, former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher tweeted Friday that Blumenthal had “told me in person” that Obama was born in Kenya.

“During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

“At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”

Blumenthal, who worked in the White House with President Bill Clinton and later was employed by the Clinton Foundation, could not be reached Friday but said in an email to The Boston Globe, “This is false. Period.”
In a tweet, Asher responded that he has Blumenthal's business card, making the dispute "his word against mine." I suspect that the conflict between Asher and Blumenthal is not a matter of whether the two men met. I think that Blumenthal disagrees with Asher's characterization of what was said. 

Here's the reaction from Mother Jones:
But on TV, Trump's minions are simply shouting over and over that Hillary did too start it. Then a former McClatchy editor who pretty clearly hates Clinton chimes in to say that conservative idée fixe Sid Blumenthal was peddling the birther rumor in 2008. This in turn prompts the Weekly Standard to opine that "it doesn't seem far fetched that the Clinton campaign played a much bigger role in midwifing birtherism than they or the media would like to admit." By tomorrow the entire right-wing fever swamp will be salivating over this.
Of course. But the question is whether that saliva will start dribbling out of mainstream sources. The swamp is the swamp is the swamp; as long as the salivation stays within swampland, we have no worries.

Incidentally, Asher would appear to be a left-wing Hillary critic (as is, I should note, Sydney Blumenthal's son Max), although he doesn't seem to be as unreasonable about it as some of the hardcore BernieBros are.

Even if we accept Asher's account at face value, what do we have? Blumenthal may be a friend to the Clinton family, but he had no role on the Clinton campaign. He did not personally spread the rumor on TV or on the internet. At worst, he became aware of a rumor which was floating around in a sub rosa fashion, and he asked a news editor to see if the rumor had any facts to back it up. The editor did so, and came up goose eggs.

We have no evidence that Hillary gave any credibility to the Kenya rumor, and we have no evidence that Blumenthal ever had any role in spreading the story on the internet.

In a sense, Blumenthal was asking a newsperson to do what newspersons should do. If a journalist gets a sniff of a potential scoop, he or she should investigate. If the facts check out, the journalist should publish. That's pretty much the plot of Call Northside 777, right?

Asher says in tweets that Blumenthal told him in person "Obama born in Kenya." But that's not how the actual story reads. It says that Blumenthal suggested Obama was born there, and asked for the rumor to be investigated. The difference is subtle, but important.

I can't blame Blumenthal if he did not dismiss the "Kenya" story out of hand at that early date. Hell, even I didn't dismiss the rumor at first hearing, although I considered it unlikely. If I had the resources, I would have gone to Africa myself to check out the rumor.

The late Lori Starfelt (a much-missed friend to this blog) went to Hawaii and found the newspaper announcement of Obama's birth. Until she made that discovery, she was willing to consider the possibility that the birthers might be on to something. (I know this because she told me.) Are any of my readers going to argue that Lori did something wrong? If she did nothing wrong, then how can we complain about Blumenthal?

Remember, we are talking about the time before Obama produced the "short form" certificate of live birth. The short form should have been sufficient to mollify the concerns of any reasonable individual. (Of course, it did not mollify Donald Trump. Neither did the long form.)

Bottom line, it is not irresponsible to take a private meeting with an investigative reporter and to ask him to check out an allegation.

Of course, it would have been irresponsible for Blumenthal to spread the meme all over the internet as though it were the gospel truth. There is absolutely no evidence that he did so.

And the firing of the Iowa volunteer demonstrates neither Hillary Clinton nor anyone with a position of authority on her campaign was going to tolerate the spreading of this rumor.

As we have seen, the "born in Kenya" rumor became known to the public in August of 2008, two months after Hillary shut down her campaign. The idea spread via certain rather wild conspiracy-believers -- in particular, oddball lawyer Philip Berg -- and was then picked up by a mondo-weirdo troop of fringe rightists, such as Pam Geller, Larry Johnson, Texas Darlin' and others.

Asher does not say when he had that conversation with Blumenthal. The phrase "during the Democratic primary" covers a lot of territory -- and years after the fact, one could easily become confused as to exact sequence of events. Did he meet Blumenthal in June, 2008? That was when the first anonymous email circulated, according to Snopes. June was also the month when Hillary shut down her campaign.

To reiterate: None of this reflects poorly on Hillary. She did not spread the story, and neither did her campaign.

Come to think of it, I'm not even sure that what we have learned reflects all that poorly on Blumenthal. I suspect that what he actually said to Asher was something along these lines: "This is kind of a wild story, but maybe you should check it out." If that's what happened -- well, I'm fine with that. Newsfolk should check out wild stories from time to time. Early on, Watergate was a wild story.

I also strongly suspect that the conflict between Asher and Blumenthal is really a dispute as to Blumenthal's state of mind. If Blumenthal was simply asking for an investigation -- well, how could Trump argue with that? Did not Trump himself desire an investigation (at a much later point, when the facts were already at hand)?

All of that said: I did predict at the very beginning of primary season that the Blumenthal family would play a major role in this election.

And let's face it -- Hillary sure as hell didn't need any complications after Donnie's bad day.

It is still indisputable that Donald Trump lied his fat ass off. He said that Hillary started the birther rumor: She did not. He also said that he closed the case -- a bald-faced falsehood. In fact, even after Obama produced the long form birth certificate in 2011, Trump doubted the veracity of even that piece of evidence. He kept pounding away at birther nonsense in 2012, 2013, and 2014: See here and here. He even implied that Obama had a Hawaiian official murdered to perpetuate the cover-up.

By the way: There is strong reason to suspect that Trump's latest exercise in medical "transparency" is another falsehood. We'll get to that issue tomorrow or the next day, if the news cycle permits.

Added note: Despite being a lifelong fan of classic film, I never saw Call Northside 777 until just last week. It's an excellent journalism drama, based on real-life events. The film still rivets the viewer's attention -- right up until the "suspenseful" finale, which is utter nonsense. That is not how the situation was resolved in real life. Ah well: As Maria Von Trapp once said, one must allow Hollywood to do a little Hollywooding.
That hotel is going to be insanely profitable. It's location is perfect. I heard a funny story about it. Apparently jack abramoff had that deal all lined up and was going to make a fortune. Unfortunately for jack, someone dropped the dime on him and he ended up in jail. The building got bought by Trump. Guys on Abramoffs staff told me they would bet a lot of money that Trump knows who made the call.

Don has a bad day and his polls go up
I'd take Larry Johnson with a grain of salt, and honestly, I don't care who started the birther nonsense. If the Clinton camp had anything directly to do with it - and they may have - they gave it up in short order. The Republicans haven't, and are hardly such innocents that they would have failed to come up with something attempting to delegitimize the Obama presidency and otherwise appealing to racial anxiety. It's what they do.
All I can say is, given my own interactions with Johnson at the time and my observations of his antics since -- not to mention his CIA background -- I would never trust him. He says in that piece that he considered Obama eligible in July. He's leaving out the fact that HE was the lead blogger when it came to mounting an attack on the Certificate of Live Birth -- the infamous Techdude series, which he now refuses to acknowledge.

At the time, Johnson was working with a lot of right-wingers like Pam Geller and Texas Darlin'. When he refused to apologize for the Techdude posts -- when he called me a "clown" for my technical rebuttals even though those rebuttals were correct and inarguable -- I knew that he was a propagandist, not a genuine seeker of truth.

Compare the story he tells now to the story you will find if you put the term "Techdude" into this humble blog's internal search engine at the top of the page. In those old posts, I link to some important No Quarter pieces that Johnson now wants to pretend never were published on his site.

That comparison will demonstrated Johnson is lying about his history. He was pushing birtherism HEAVILY -- and he did so AFTER the certificate of live birth was published.

Doubts about Obama's birth might have been somewhat more reasonable before the COLB came out. But to pound home on the birther theme AFTER the document came out, as Johnson did, requires Alex Jonesian levels of paranoia.

Johnson, despite his current claims, was never a Democrat. He was always a Republican ratfucker. None of the "true PUMAs" have any trust of or liking for the man. He misled us too many times.

I still recall the time when he proclaimed that Michelle Obama made the alleged "Whitey" remark on a specific occasion. I spent that entire day tracking down the newsfolk who covered that event, and discovered that Johnson's claim was completely wrong. Did Johnson apologize? No. Did Johnson divulge his source of information? No.

Johnson was running precisely the sort of op that I now associate with Roger Stone. His current efforts on behalf of Trump tell us much.

And his current post doesn't even make sense! First he tries to picture Blumenthal as the source of birtherism, then he tells us that Blumenthal didn't push the issue. And Johnson himself did not become publish his series of utterly mendacious "birther" pieces until AFTER Hillary suspended her campaign and AFTER the short form birth certificate was revealed on Kos.

Oh...and at the time, he was claiming that the source for the "Whitey tape" rumor was none other than Sy Hersh!

To be specific, the sources were supposedly Sy Hersh, Michael Brooks of Media Matters, and an unnamed CIA friend who is or was a Republican. I was probably the only blogger at the time to write at length about the allegation that Hersh was working with Johnson. At the time, I was growing pissed off at Johnson (because I felt "played") and wanted to know if Johnson really did have the sources he claimed.

It now seems pretty obvious that Hersh never believed in the "Whitey" allegation.

Now, and only at this late date, Johnson has tossed Blumenthal into the mix. If that were true, Johnson would have made the accusation a long time ago.

This guy is so full of crap he could fertilize the North 40.
I would say this. Who is going to come out about Hillary 2008 campaign.
Hillary Clinton supporters won't.

The only one's that will come out will be

!.Hillary Clinton haters
2.Hillary Clinton 'neutrals' that hate Sidney Blumenthal.
3. Hillary Clinton 'neutrals'period.

A Clinton supporter is NOT going to bring this out. So you will only have people that can be discredited.

Well, SOME good news. Her favorables are up and his are down. -
This published by David Emery was Updated: Sep 17, 2016

[That Hillary Clinton supporters circulated such an e-mail isn't in question, but the claim that that's the moment the birther theory "first emerged" simply isn't true. The likeliest point of origin we've been able to find was a post on conservative message board dated 1 March 2008 (which, according to a report in The Telegraph, was at least a month before Clinton supporters got on the e-mail bandwagon):]

[The same rumor was repeated, with elaborations, four days later on the conservative blog Ruthless Roundup:]

[The conspiracy theory was already fully formed at this point. Clearly, the Clinton supporters accused of spreading it via forwarded e-mails knew "good ammo" when they saw it, but, as the above posts show, they deserve neither credit nor blame for the invention of birtherism.]

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Friday, September 16, 2016


As most of you know, Trump refused to denounce birtherism in a recent interview with the Washington Post. He gave every impression of still believing that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States.

Belatedly realizing that this stance would do him political harm, Trump issued a statement which tries to pin the blame on -- you guessed it -- Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton’s henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.

In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised.
Before proceeding, we should first note that Trump probably wrote this statement himself; the style sure seems Trumpy. (Maybe it was written by "John Barron"...?) Since Donald Trump certainly bears personal responsibility for these words, I feel comfortable referring to him as the author.

In an earlier piece, I demonstrated at some length that Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign had nothing to do with the growth of the birther mythos. I can lay claim to some expertise here, since this humble blog played a fairly prominent role in the PUMA movement. Throughout that year, my ear was keenly attuned to all of the latest anti-Obama scuttlebutt.

It's simple. Nobody in PUMA-land heard the Big Lie about Obama's birth certificate until August. At that point, the Clinton campaign was shut down.

Understand? There was no Clinton campaign when birtherism became a matter of public discussion. Hillary had conceded in June. By August, she was giving speeches on behalf of Obama. The chronology proves Trump a liar.

As I have demonstrated in my earlier posts, birtherism began (IN AUGUST) with a small conspiracy of rightwingers who had infiltrated the PUMA movement in order to sow dissent among the Democrats. (These infiltrators spread other myths, such as the "Whitey" rumor.) The real PUMA writers -- Riverdaughter, Kat Huff, the late Lori Starfelt -- never promulgated the birther myth. In fact, Lori was the one who found Obama's birth announcement in an old Hawaiian newspaper.

We should be very clear on one point: None of these people can fairly be described as Hillary's "henchman" -- not the fake PUMAs like Larry Johnson and not the real PUMAs like Riverdaughter. They all stood well outside the Hillary campaign. I can assure you that nobody from the Clinton campaign ever contacted me -- hell, they would not even return my calls or emails. Hillary kept the entire PUMA movement at a rather severe distance. 

But that's not all. Trump transforms his Big Lie into a HUUUUUGE Lie.

Trump links to a document which -- he claims -- proves his contention that the 2008 Clinton campaign begat the birther mythos. At the other end of that link you will find a genuine Clinton campaign document written in 2007 by Mark Penn (Hillary's campaign manager), in which Penn outlines potential strategies to be used against rival candidate Barack Obama.

Trump is hoping that most people won't bother to read the text. I, of course, did.

There is nothing -- nothing nothing NOTHING -- in that document which suggests that Penn wanted to spread rumors about Barack Obama's citizenship.

Instead, Penn offers very predictable lines of attack. Not one of his proposed actions can fairly be described as "fighting dirty." Penn's missive contains absolutely nothing that one would not expect to see in such a document.

Yet Trump wants his followers to believe that this text contains "proof" that birtherism began with Hillary Clinton!

Donald Trump is a goddamned liar, and it's about time for the mainstream media to use that word.

This man lies and lies and LIES. Gore Vidal once said of Richard Nixon: "He lies even when there is no need to. That is the mark of a true artist." Trump lies far more compulsively, yet he lacks all artistry: He is simply a brute, as thuggish as he is delusional.

Added note:  Trump says that "Morning Joe" ascribed birtherism to the Clinton campaign. I don't know precisely what was said on Joe Scarborough's broadcast, but it's a live show in which Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski speak off-the-cuff. Inevitably, they get things wrong from time to time. Donald Trump can hardly disagree with the previous sentence, since he has been waging his own Twitter war with the Morning Joe show. (How odd for Trump to cite that program!)

I know very well when and how birtherism arrived on the scene in 2008. I was very engaged throughout that period: When it came to anti-Obama scuttlebutt, nothing escaped my notice. The moment questions arose about the birth certificate on Larry Johnson's site No Quarter, I mounted an elaborate and rather technical counterargument.

In earlier posts, I have proven the point through the citation of hard evidence: Birtherism began after Hillary shut down her campaign and joined Team Obama. If Joe Scarborough or anyone else says differently, they should first do the necessary research.

There are many other inanities in Donald Trump's bizarre statement. I cannot believe that this deranged individual actually won the nomination.

Another added note: Just now, a reader stated -- without citing a source -- that the allegation began "during the NC or SC primary." There is no proof for this. "The View" cited Politifact to the effect that the allegation began with Hillary's supporters, not the campaign. There is no proof for that claim, either.

I just spent some time checking the sequence of events. Politifact cites an April 27, 2011 piece in The Telegraph -- an article which claims that an anonymous Hillary supporter circulated THE original "birther" claim in an email in April of 2008. At that time,  the campaign was still underway, although it was well after the primaries in the Carolinas.

I did not receive this email, and I was on all sorts of pro-Clinton mailing lists at the time. I never heard of it until years later. I question its very existence.

The Telegraph article derived from a Politico article published on a April 22, 2011. This piece cites as a source of information.

So I looked it up on Snopes. They have three articles which debunk the "Birther" myth -- here, here, and here. Not one of those articles mentions anything about an email that circulated in April of 2008. One article publishes an anonymous email which circulated in June of 2008, when Hillary shut down her campaign.

Needless to say, even if there was an email circulating in April, Hillary cannot be held responsible for it. Anyone (up to and including Roger Stone) might have been responsible. The PUMA folk all signed their work; we did not traffic in anonymous defamatory claims. 

Again: I was on all sorts of pro-Hillary and anti-Obama mailing lists throughout 2008. Not only that, people were sending me all sorts of stuff -- conventional stuff, wild stuff, everything-in-between stuff. This blog was popular among the PUMA contingent. At that time, I read everything -- meaning everything -- that could help the cause.

I saw NO hint of the "birther" allegation while Hillary's campaign was ongoing.

The true origin point of birtherism was a lawsuit brought in AUGUST by a weirdo conspiracy buff named Philip Berg, previously known for his gonzo work on 9/11. Berg was not a "Hillary supporter" -- he is better described as a supporter of kookiness-in-general. (I suspect that he supports Trump now, since Trump loves all things conspiratorial.) Berg was never part of the Hillary campaign. I never encountered a "true PUMA" who viewed him with anything other than contempt or bemusement. However, the fake PUMAs -- Larry Johnson, Texas Darlin', and other Republican wolves-in-sheep's-clothing -- soon glommed onto Berg's bizarre lawsuit. (TexasDarlin' was always a right-wing creep; she later worked with Joe Arpaio.)

Again: This was in AUGUST, well after Hillary shut down her campaign.

For more, see here. That piece exposes how the Fox News liars -- especially Roger Stone -- spread the false rumor that Hillary Clinton had a connection with birtherism. She did not.
Hillary's downtrend started with James Comey speech.

In a few polls since Hillary is seen as less trustworthy and honest than Trump.

Ignoring the email /server issue is clouding your opinions.

As far as the 'birther stuff' it did start with the 2008 NC or SC primary

However Trump did push it afterward
gerry, can you prove your statement that birtherism began with the "NC or SC primary"? I never heard of it until August. Politico, back in 2011m published a story which refers to an anonymous email circulating in April. I saw no such email at the time, and nobody I know has ever referred to it. And as I said, I was well tuned in for any anti-Obama scuttlebutt at the time, and I was well known as someone who would pursue the more outre ideas.

I question whether this email ever existed. Politico quotes from it, and gives Snopes as a source. But if you look it up on Snopes, you'll see that they mention NOTHING about an email in April.

They do cite an anonymous email which circulated in June, when Hillary Clinton shut down her campaign. There is simply no evidence of this "April" email.

At any rate, even if an April email existed, Hillary can't be held accountable for an anonymous email, which could have been the work of a Republican.
gerry, do you even read this blog? Saying Cannon ignores the email/server issue is showing your ignorance and makes you appear to be a troll (paid or otherwise). He has written extensively about this issue, proving that it is a non-issue (which it would be, if the media was not so intent on slamming Hillary at every opportunity). I guess the FBI report vindicating her missed your keen eye? He also wrote very extensively about the birther issue at the time it was happening, and your statement about it is false. Perhaps you should consider actually reading a blog that you comment on?
the email /server statement in my earlier post refers to her current email situation

the other stuff does not refer to an email

i got it from this
i do not know if this is true- i only post it because the subject has been brought up and i saw it today

th eonly email i saw was Mark Penns 2007 email which included the phrase that one of the goals was to make Obama seem unamerican. He did not say however that Obama was not born here
Gus-Joseph and you may think the email/server is not a big deal-but it is.

However my point was that my email reference was not to the 2008 stuff-it was to the 2016 stuff

I made no email reference to 2008-the meet the press stuff was what i was referencing
I'm impressed by Trumps bare faced cheek! I thought clearly a lie and a rather elegant well thought out lie. Cheeto the asshole has performed a masterful move. With one scurrilous lie he has excused years of his own dumb comments, weakened Hillary's grip on African American votes (turnout-wise) and given crypto racists in swing state suburbs an excuse to vote for him (hilly is just as much a racist as T Rump). Do liars prosper?

Harry-which liar are we ta;lking about-lol
I really am astonished. I know comparisons to Hitler abound in the Web, but this seems like a great example of the "big lie". Clearly incorrect but how many of the people he is aiming at will ever find out the truth. And think of the free publicity!

The big Cheeto has out-done himself. The only thing is, what kind of president doesn't give a shit about being an obvious shameless liar?

Dang, nice timeline. Is Larry Johnson on Trumps gang? I'll have to go and check it out.
Actually according to snopes, Updated Today, either Obama himself or somebody he hired in 1991 is who started all this... Trump funded looking into it, to put an end to it one way or the other... Obviously they found nothing to the contrary or that would have been the announcement today instead. As he stated today, the issue arose in Hillary's campaign and he was able to put and end to it...
The first time I ever heard it mentioned was in the Democrat primaries 8 years ago, but in all fairness, I believe it was Hillary's supporters.
Jeff, you're lying. Did you really think I was going to let you get away with it, troll? Not here. Not THIS blog.

Trump did not "put an end to it." His tweets throughout 2012 and 2013 prove that he was still a believer in (and spreader of) birtherism, even after the release of the long form COLB. Trump even spread the rumor that Obama killed someone to protect the secret.

The 1991 Harvard booklet was understood to be in error years ago. It's easy to understand how a writer back then might have mistaken "born to a Kenyan father" for "born in Kenya." That booklet was not cited as "evidence" back in 2008; it was not discovered until later. Thus no-one can fairly say that it was in any way an origin point for the birther meme as it became known to the public in August of 2008.

Nobody from Hillary Clinton's campaign spread birtherism. You cannot name a single individual. You cannot point to a single specific text or document or email of any kind that was written before June of 2008. All you can I can do is say "I believe it was..." Sorry, but "I believe" is not proof.
"Sorry, but "I believe" is not proof."

There lies the ultimate problem, Joe. That sort of thing is not proof to you or me, but we are cursed with a large number of fellow citizens for whom such slapdash arguments are proof enough.

Madoka help us, Hamilton was right. :(
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Of Colin Powell and media manipulation

Colin Powell's hacked emails have provided many colorful headlines, some helpful to Clinton, some helpful to Trump. In the latter category, we have the following:
Powell in leaked email slams Bill Clinton on continuing affairs with 'bimbos'
Many reporters (not to mention Stephen Colbert) have given the impression that Powell learned about Clinton's private life from his own inside sources. But that is not the case. As Oscar Wilde once said: Quotation can be slander, if you gerrymander.

In the actual email, Powell adds the words: "According to the NYP." That phrase is all-important.

I hope Powell showed better judgment when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, because he surely must know that not all sources of intelligence are of equal value. The New York Post is a particularly dubious source -- all the more so since the publication has a long history of publishing stories planted by none other than Donald Trump.

David Cay Johnston gives a particularly amusing example here. (I may embed the video below.) There was a time when Donald Trump, hoping to humiliate his first wife, actively sought to publicize his affair with Marla Maples. Ever the gentleman, he planted a story about the liaison with his people at the NYP.

The story attributed this quote to Maples: "The best sex I've ever had!" According to Johnston, Maples didn't actually say that; The Donald put those words in her mouth.

With that history in mind, let's look at the NYP story referenced by Colin Powell.

It turns out to be nothing more than a gloss on an anti-Clinton book by Ronald Kessler. (It's not as though the NYP went out and conducted an actual investigation.) Kessler is a particularly dubious source of information, for reasons given here. Also see this piece on Kessler, which details his devolution from a Washington Post reporter (back in the days when the WP pushed Whitewater and other smears) into a hard-right conspiracy-monger employed by NewsMax. Kessler has filled his books with unverified quotes that are more than a little "iffy."

More than that: Ronald Kessler has become, in essence, part and parcel of the Donald Trump campaign. I would argue that the NYP story in question was just another example of the close relationship between Trump and the NYP. 

Kessler and NewsMax are known quantities. They have an agenda.

If the story was "Ronald Kessler says Bill Clinton still dicking bimbos," no mainstream reporter would have cared. These days, only the right-wing media places much stock in what Kessler has to say. But through the magic of the gerrymandered quotation, the mainstream media conveyed the impression that the source of that "bimbo" allegation was Colin Powell, not an ultra-partisan attack dog working for NewsMax.

If Powell considers Kessler credible -- well, that's not the worst example of bad judgment on Powell's resume

I just wish The Hill -- and Stephen Colbert -- would let their audiences know the real story.


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