Thursday, February 20, 2020

BS...lots and lots of BS...

So much is going on. So, SO much.

Roger Stone was given a slap on the wrist by Judge Jackson, and the Republicans are complaining that the wrist-slap was too harsh. The FEC no longer has the funding or manpower to combat any filthy election trickery. Trump is offering pardons for money -- the very crime depicted in the film Marie (in which Fred Thompson plays himself).

Most worrisome of all: A fascist sympathizer (no, that description is not too strong) has been made DNI. He got the gig because Trump seeks to cover up evidence of continuing Russian interference in our elections. Ken Dilanian of NBC says that his intelligence sources are appalled.
“It’s bad enough to learn that there is classified intelligence, according to the New York Times, that Russia is interfering again and trying to elect Donald Trump. That’s bad enough. But then the notion that because a briefing of that information was delivered to a bipartisan group of lawmakers, that cost Joe Maguire the job as director of national intelligence? That’s a bombshell. That’s an earthquake,” he continued. “I mean, we want our intelligence officials to speak truth to power, and if Donald Trump wants to cover up.”
Making matters even worse...
Kash Patel, a former top National Security Council official who also played a key role as a Hill staffer in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe, is now a senior adviser for new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Patel is a Nunes aide and a Giuliani crony. What Trump did to the DOJ is now being done to the intelligence community. From an earlier post (which details Patel role in the Ukraine scandal):
In short and in sum: Patel is a key member of the very select group designated with this threefold task:

1. Exonerating Trump of collusion with Russia.

2. Exonerating Russia of interference with the 2016 election.

3. Smearing any and all Dems.
And now he'll have serious, serious power. Grenell, like Nunes, is not particularly bright. Patel will be the man behind the curtain.

Who the hell is Patel? How did this guy rise so rapidly?

Effing Bernie. Yep, there are quite a few turds swimming in the national punchbowl. Yet all I can think about is Bernie goddamned Sanders.
Why can't Sanders realize that he shouldn't be running?
Doesn't he know that it was his candidacy in 2016, and the damage that he did to Clinton's chances, that allowed trump to eke out an electoral college win?

And doesn't he know that his candidacy this time is helping trump again?

Doesn't he know that the repugs will paint him as a firebrand socialist, or worse?

Look at his age and his health issues.

Look at the fact that he wasn't even a member of the democratic party for most of his career.

What makes him think that he deserves the democratic nomination? Is it his vanity?

There are many other democrats who would have a better chance to beat trump.

Sanders is creating a lot of anxiety and despair within the democratic party.
Sanders does realize all of the above. He said so in 2011:
But, he explains, he is not interested in the White House. "I would likely end up causing a right-wing extremist to be president of the United States. That is not something I would be happy to do," he said.

Then he added for emphasis: "It would likely be a futile and losing campaign. That would not be too smart."
How can the Berners rationalize their support for the candidate that Trump obviously wants to run against? Trump was impeached because he felt compelled to smear Biden, while Republicans are voting for Bernie in the primaries in states that allow crossover voting.

Crossover voting will prevent Biden from getting the kind of victory he needs in South Carolina.
Karen Martin, a freelance editor and pet-sitter who lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina, believes that her plan is more strategic than chaotic. Martin is the creator of Trump 2-29, which is encouraging Republicans to vote for Bernie Sanders in the state’s upcoming Democratic primary, on February 29th. “We’re really mad,” Martin told me recently, referring to her fellow-conservatives. “Mad at how our President has been treated for the past several years and wanting to do something now.”
In the latest poll out of SC, Biden is at 24 percent and Bernie is at 19 percent. The crossover factor probably won't put Bernie over the top, but it may be enough to narrow Biden's victory.

Bernie and his supporters know all this. They know full well that Bernie is the candidate Trump most wants to face and that Biden is the one Trump least wants to face. The inescapable conclusion: Bernie cultists are complicit in the plan to re-elect Trump.

Hypocrisy alert! You should read this reminder from 2016 that Bernie Sanders was perfectly willing to use superdelegates when he thought that they could propel him ahead of the candidate chosen by the majority of Democrats.

I enjoyed this response to Bernie's claim that 99.9 percent of his supporters are decent human beings:
Bernie said that 99.9% of his supporters were decent human beings. That's a lie. Here's why.

Using Bernie's most generous polling, he's got ~30% of the dem electorate.

Based on the size of the primary voting democratic electorate (~30 million) that means his support base is around 9 million people.

Bernie suggested 99.9% of his supporters were decent. That means he's saying 0.1% are not decent.

0.1% of 9 million equals 9000 people.

ChapoTrapHouse alone has 150,000 subscribers.
I don't like Mike. If this is true -- and I think it is -- Bloomberg is a far more loathsome turd than I realized.
Former Democratic primary competitor Andrew Yang, now a CNN contributor, told a post-debate panel that self-funding billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg is calling major party donors and asking them sit out the 2020 primary, in order to starve his rivals of much-needed campaign cash.
“Sorry, but could you say that again?” CNN reporter Dana Bash pressed. “Mike Bloomberg is calling donors saying ‘Don’t give to my opponents?'”

“Mike Bloomberg is calling donors, saying: ‘Hey, just sit this out, I got this, I’ll bankroll the whole thing. Just don’t donate to anybody.”

“You heard this or know this?” Chris Cuomo said, jumping in.

“I heard it from a major donor,” Yang replied.
Unforgivable. Fuck Bloomberg and fuck his money. Near as I can tell, Yang has no motive to lie about this.
Comments:
Could Bloomberg be funding Sanders? The idea would be that Bloomberg rides in like a white knight as the saviour of the Democratic party at the point where its divisions seem almost unhealable?

PS My encounters with Trump voters online are pushing me for the first time in my life towards having time for a restriction of the franchise to those who can pass a basic intelligence or logic test.
 
This Kashyap Patel is an interesting guy. It appears he was accepted as a Ukraine expert at the NSC, supplanting the real expert Lt. Col. Vindman in briefing Trump. See here and here. No question he is going to turn the Intelligence services into a Trump weapon. I'm surprised he has had such a low media profile until now. He's too smart to be Trump's lackey so who the hell is he really working for.
 
"My encounters with Trump voters online are pushing me for the first time in my life towards having time for a restriction of the franchise to those who can pass a basic intelligence or logic test."

b, I have advocated that idea for decades. In the U.S., anyone who makes that suggestion will be instantly shot down by people who recall that, in the days before the passage of the Civil Rights Act, IQ tests were used to keep black people from voting.

The problem with those old tests is that they were unfair. They were filled with complex "gotcha" word-puzzles, and they were almost never administered to white people.

Nowadays, I think that a properly-designed test of basic history (e.g., "Which came first, World War I or the Civil War?") would hit the white rubes of West Virginia harder than it would hit black people living in east Baltimore.
 
The Trump supporters I encountered online recently believed the second amendment was called "second" because it was "the second most important". Since they had difficulty with the concept of ordinality, they would probably struggle with the concept of "First World War". So yes, asking which came first, WW1 or the Civil War, could be a good question.

In Britain a survey of 97 members of parliament found that only a minority could correctly answer the question "if you spin a coin twice, what is the probability of getting two heads?" The most popular answer among the parliamentarians surveyed was a half.

There could perhaps be a logic as well as a general knowledge element, the point being to test a basic ability to be able to learn new information and use it, an ability that seems signally lacking among most Trump supporters.

E.g.

***
Everyone who lives in Zatrup has a horse.
1) Mary lives in Zatrup. Does Mary have a horse?
2) George does not live in Zatrup. Does George have a horse?
3) Anna does not have a horse. Does she live in Zatrup?

Please answer each question with one of the following: Y for Yes, N for No, or W for "we do not have enough information to be able to know".
***

I read somewhere that part of the reason why some rich and middle class white people in the US objected to school desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s was that they didn't want black people READING, because if you can READ you can VOTE.

Nowadays as illiteracy is booming in all countries where the smartphone has taken over most of life, at least outside of the workplace, I'm not sure what we can do. Ask the questions orally? We seem to be absolutely f*cked.

If Bloomberg wins the Democratic nomination, then if the left supports him that could possibly be the end of Trump but it would be the end of the left. Grim times.
 
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