The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 30, 2016: Intelligence Briefings Won’t Make Trump Intelligent

Vice President Harry Truman didn’t know anything about the Manhattan Project. He only learned about it after President Franklin Roosevelt’s death and his assumption of the presidency. He decided that his successors should never be put in that same situation and ordered that intelligence briefings be given to both major party candidates in a presidential election. This process has evolved over the years and now includes a watered-down version of what the president is told on a daily basis. It contains no Top Secret information (which is information whose release could cause “exceptionally grave damage” to the nation’s security) but just a general overview of the security threats around the world. They might tell the candidates where ISIS is operating in the world, but they won’t tell them where the leader of ISIS stays each night.

People from both major parties have given reasons why they think the other party’s candidate shouldn’t get any briefing. Republicans say the FBI’s report on the Clinton e-mail server investigation, and Director James Comey’s characterization of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified data as “reckless” should disqualify her from getting any briefing. This is ridiculous because as Secretary of State she was already aware of the kind of information the briefing would present. Senator Harry Reid believes that Donald Trump’s lack of self-control makes him unsuited for handling classified information and that they should give him a fake briefing, with no real intelligence divulged. This has led to a fun hashtag game on the Twitter called #FakeTrumpIntelligenceBriefing. Here is an example:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said both candidates will get the same nonpartisan briefing. After the election, the winner will begin receiving the same intelligence briefing the president gets each morning in order to prepare her (alright, maybe him) for taking office. Ironically, something like the Manhattan Project is not the kind of thing that would be told to presidential candidates. If they wouldn’t even tell the Vice President it existed, why would they reveal it to someone who was going to lose the election and probably never hold any public office?

This is our daily open thread. It contains no classified information.

Advertisements

The Watering Hole; Friday July 29 2016; RiffRaff Riffs

Riff: a melodic phrase, often constantly repeated, forming an accompaniment or part of an accompaniment for a soloist.

Donald Trump Invites Russia to Find Missing Hillary Clinton’s Emails

On Thursday morning, a fair number of media gabbers (on MSNBC, Morning Joe) were referring to Trump’s absurd suggestion — that Russia should hack Hillary’s emails, hopefully find the ‘33,000’ that were missing, deleted, whatever — was really only a Riff on Trump’s part. Now, I always thought I had at least a basic idea as to what a “riff” was supposed to be, and no matter how many times I watched the video of Trump’s Russia comments, I didn’t see any sign of a “riff.” No melodic phrase . . . constantly repeated . . . no accompaniment for a soloist.  So I kept wondering: why call what he said a Riff?

Hmmm. Riff . . . Riff? . . . Raff?  RiffRaff!  Yeah!!! Trump!!

Riffraff: people who are not respectable : people who have very low social status

Finally I have it figured: when Trump speaks, it’s a RiffRaff Riff!!

Trump’s not alone in that, of course. So, in order to add substance and definition to RiffRaff Riff, here are a handful of Non-Trumpian examples snagged from very recent RWW posts:

Michael Savage: The U.S. Government ‘Has Been Occupied By ISIS’

“That devil in the White House has flooded America with people from countries that never belonged here . . .

“This is the America of the future: Don’t work, practice a religion that hates everybody else. How in the world can a nation survive this? A nation can survive its fools and even the criminals, but it cannot survive an enemy within; it cannot survive a traitor within.

“How do we know how many work in this government? It’s as though we’ve been occupied already. Every day I wake up and I think that the government itself has been occupied by ISIS or ISIS sympathizers or ISIS propagandists. It doesn’t matter anymore because there’s no discussion of it at the DNC — what does that tell you Hillary will do if, God forbid, that harridan criminal is elected?”

Classic RiffRaff Riff, right?

Here’s another one:

Frank Gaffney: Democrats ‘Aligned With Our Enemies,’ Will ‘Doom All Of Us’

“The bigger question, which I think more and more of us are tumbling to watching this spectacle is not just the ignoring of that reality, it is the aligning with our enemies. You talked earlier about Tim Kaine having done a lot of that with the Muslim Brotherhood. He’s not alone. There are whole bunches of them in the progressive movement. Look at the Palestinian flags. Look at people burning Israel’s flag and burning the American flag. These people are on the wrong side. I’m sorry for Democrats, I used to be one myself, who are now being completely disenfranchised by a party that is aligned with our enemies and not with America. They will doom all of us if they have their way.”

That one’s almost musical! A genuine RiffRaff Riff! Yay Gaffney!

OK, one more. This one may be beyond a RiffRaff Riff, might even qualify as a RiffRaff Symphony — you be the judge:

Wayne Allyn Root:
Obama’s DNC Speech ‘Could Have Been Written By Lucifer Himself’ And ‘Delivered By The Anti-Christ’

I give both political and business speeches all over America, and all over the world. I know a great speech when I see and hear one. Obama’s speech last night at the DNC was masterful. It was one of the greatest political speeches I’ve ever heard.

There was one problem: It was 100 percent fiction, fraud and fantasy.

If it were given by any CEO in America at a shareholders meeting, or a press conference in front of the media, that CEO would face life in prison for fraud and misrepresentation.

Any screenwriter in Hollywood could have made it up out of thin air and won an Academy Award. It could have been a speech written by Bernie Madoff.

It could have been written by Lucifer himself, to be delivered by the anti-Christ.

(. . .)

Obama himself is the psychopath, sociopath and ego-maniac who rules as a tyrant, by issuing executive orders, ignoring the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, and making believe Congress doesn’t exist. Every word directed at Trump described Obama, Obama’s last eight years of rule and Obama’s voters.

Lucifer himself would be proud.

There. RiffRaff Riffs defined!! Thanks, Hair Furor Drumpf — finally we can all agree on what to call (and how to define) most any conservative baloney, regardless of the speaker/writer!! We owe it all to you, Hair Furor (along with due credit also to Morning Joe, of course).

(Bowing in Trump’s general direction)

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday July 28 2016; “Noise of Hammers”: RNC Convention; DNC Convention; Election 2016

Noise of hammers once I heard
Many hammers, busy hammers,
Beating, shaping, night and day,
Shaping, beating dust and clay
To a palace; saw it reared;
Saw the hammers laid away.

And I listened, and I heard
Hammers beating, night and day,
In the palace newly reared,
Beating it to dust and clay:
Other hammers, muffled hammers,
Silent hammers of decay.
(Ralph Hodgson)

So — the political conventions are over (or will be when the DNC shuts the doors later tonight), and their nominees have been selected: Donald Trump (R) and Hillary Clinton (D). The election will be held in early November, roughly 100 days from now (and presumably a week or two before Trump’s own Trump U scam trial is due to commence). According to current polls, Trump and Clinton are about tied, with Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, the nominees of their respective tee-tiny parties, snagging at the most a little over 10% of polled voters.

Bottom line: the next POTUS will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The choice is a simple one: elect Trump and say goodbye to our America, or elect Hillary (and a Dem Senate majority, the bigger the better) and diminish their Amurkkka. It’s really just about that simple.

The single most salient issue in this election remains, and it’s a simple one: the Liberal/Conservative ratio of Supreme Court Justices. The next President will most likely name 3, maybe 4, possibly even 5 Supreme Court Justices. If Clinton wins, we’ll be assured of a Liberal-Progressive majority for decades. If Trump wins, we’ll be assured of a Christo-Fascist majority, also for decades.

The proper and logical choice is simple, at least to some of us (although clearly not to all of us). To demonstrate, below are a pair of brief comment-conversations on C&L. The first set I myself initiated by briefly spelling out what is, to me, the REASON we as a nation MUST defeat Donald Trump and elect, instead, the ONLY available Liberal candidate remaining on the scene (topical discussion follows).

The Kaine Pick: No Surprises But Big Questions

frugalchariot
The choice is simple: elect either Hillary, or Drumpf. If Drumpf wins, kiss this country goodbye, and read up on all the joys of fascism. If Hillary wins, think possibly three or four, maybe even five, potential Supreme Court appointments (which will have a LOT to do with determining the country’s future) and don’t worry about Kaine. Veeps (aside from Cheney) typically don’t have a lot to say about much.

I’m a Bernie progressive, but understand that he’s going to remain in the Senate. I also understand that Hillary is the only available reasonable choice that has any chance at becoming POTUS. No need to worry about anything other than that. Elect her, or prepare to suffer the most hideous electoral consequences in the nation’s history.

P.S.: Kaine’s debut was impressive enough to cause me to no longer worry whether he can hold up his end of the campaign.

albabe to frugalchariot
I’m with you 100%.

But it is amazing how self-destructive and stupid some people can be.

s k to frugalchariot
I don’t vote for cheaters in either corrupt party.

How the DCN Stole the Democratic Nomination From Sanders:

           https://thetrueprogressives.wo…

Both parties will do the bidding of the Oligarchs that fund/bribe them.

THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR, IS FEAR ITSELF

You keep voting because of fear.

frugalchariot to s k
Nope. I keep voting for the possibility that we as a nation may eventually find a way to get rid of our ever-burgeoning supplies of Hitlers and Mussolinis. Fear? Nope. At my age this will probably be my last election anyway — assuming I make it till November.

s k to frugalchariot
Stop kidding yourself, with Trump or Hillary we have a Oligarchy, where the oligarch fight each other for control.

As Jimmy Carter said the US is a “Oligarchy with Unlimited Political Bribery”. He was the first Dem I voted for. I am not plying their bs game anymore.

frugalchariot to s k
I assume you’ve resigned yourself to national collapse then. Right?

s k to frugalchariot
It’s happening already, maybe you didn’t notice Obama is trying to pass his corporate Coup Trade Deals, that Hillary called the Gold Standard.

Why do you think Obama wants to pass the TPP. TTIP and TISA with his GOP Friends?

frugalchariot to s k
At this point I could care less about trade deals. They can be dealt with after the fact, IF and when the need becomes obvious. What can NOT be dealt with — for 2-3 decades — is a newly appointed Christo-Fascist (conservative) majority on the Supreme Court.

So. If Christo-Fascism is what drives you, either stay home or vote for Green, Libertarian (neither of whom stand a ghost chance in hell of accomplishing anything more than grabbing votes from R and D caandidates) or vote for Trump. Vote for, i.o.w., the final demise of a country that currently teeters on the brink. Or, if you believe in the shrinking possibility that conservative Christo-Fascism can ultimately be destroyed, vote for the remaining candidate, i.e. H.R. Clinton.

Your choice. If you use your head, the only viable option becomes quickly obvious.

On the opening night of the DNC, again on C&L, I posted a comment, again describing what I see as the only salient issue in the election, and again got one positive response along with a few that suggest embedded skepticism, with no forward thinking apparent.

Democratic National Convention Live Thread

didnotpa
How this campaign goes depends a lot on Hillary. She has to find a way to get the liberals to back her and that may put her in a compromising position with her big money backers.

I want to see how she tapdances around that.

frugalchariot to didnotpa
AFAIC, the ONLY remaining issue in this election is the future of the Supreme Court. Elect Trump and turn the court into a Christo-Fascist entity for the next 30 years, or elect Hillary and turn it (finally!) into a liberal ‘we the people’ oriented entity.There’s one vacant seat now, and there will likely be anywhere from 2-4 more during the next 4-8 years.

The consequences of a Trump win in November could not be more dire.

Pokthecat to frugalchariot
Thank you!!

Stephen See to frugalchariot
It’s not a given that Hillary is going to make good SCOTUS decisions. In fact, it’s another opportunity to say “well Trump would have been worse so suck it up”.

frugalchariot to Stephen See
It’s ‘a given’ that Trump will make horseshit SCOTUS choices — he’s already released a list of his top eleven choices, and if you like Christo-Fascists you’ll love it.

John F A to Stephen See
I know, right? it’s not like Hillary is known for her great choices or making amazing decisions.

frugalchariot to John F A
And Drumpf is, of course. Right?

didnotpa
Well then I expect Hillary to work extra hard.

Don’t expect liberals to roll over this time.

ian m to didnotpa
I, on the other hand, expect Hillary to lose, if what’s past is prologue

And next, a pair of Right-Wing Watch links that explicitly delineate the right wing plans “to infuse their priorities throughout the federal government’s executive branch” and to, with Trump in the White House, turn the Supreme Court into what would amount to a conservative (fascist?) nightmare — at least for Americans with an IQ greater than, say, 75.

Revealed: The Right-Wing Movement’s Agenda For Trump’s First 180 Days

The Conservative Action Project . . . a network of more than 100 right-wing leaders created in 2008 as “an offshoot” of the secretive far-right Council for National Policy, making it part of an array of conservative coalitions that bloomed around and after the election of Barack Obama. . . .

Among the proposals, which signal the intense desire of right-wing organizations to infuse their priorities throughout the federal government’s executive branch agencies:

*Immediately rescind all Obama Executive Orders consistent with recommendations by Constitutional and trusted advisors such as The Federalist Society, The Heritage Foundation, and other conservative advisors and transition committees.
*Terminate all executive branch individuals still within their probationary period and freeze hiring for all regulatory positions.
*The President should eliminate taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood using executive action and seek a permanent legislative solution.
*The President should freeze and withdraw all regulatory activity on the Obama energy and climate agenda.
*Submit legislation to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.
*The President should support the rule of law and reject amnesty proposals and fully enforce and strengthen interior enforcement measures in the United States.

[. . .]

Among its 2016 releases was a March memo urging Senate Republicans to be resolute in refusing to consider a nominee from President Obama to fill the Supreme Court seat that became vacant with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Here’s an excerpt from the group’s thoughtful and rational rhetoric:

“The president and his liberal allies know what is at stake and so do we. It is nothing short of their intent to eradicate precious constitutional rights. These leftists have made clear their first target is our 1st Amendment right to political speech and the silencing of conservative voices. They mock the 2nd Amendment right of the people to protect themselves and their families and are determined to take away our constitutional right to bear arms. They welcome the prospect of unleashing unaccountable federal agencies like the IRS and EPA to impose a liberal policy agenda that will harm Americans and punish any who dare to disagree with their worldview. And not least of all, they vow to use the Court’s power to impose an “unconditional surrender” in their cultural war against our fundamental institutions of faith, family, marriage, home, and school — and will wipe out any pro-life protections, instead imposing abortion on-demand, up to the moment of birth, paid for by the taxpayers.”

Finally, this from James Inhofe (R-OK):

Inhofe urged Republicans to rally behind Donald Trump’s presidential bid, pointing to the future of the Supreme Court. Metaxas said that “it’s kind of game over for republican democracy” if Hillary Clinton appoints liberal justices to the bench.

“How can we possibly remain America if you have six or seven Sotomayors on the court?” he asked.

Inhofe said that while the court is admirably delaying many of the Obama administration’s environmental initiatives, its direction would shift if Clinton were allowed to fill the current vacancy.

“Stop and think how significant it is if they make one change,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be all Sotomayors, it could just be one more change and we’re through.”

As I noted above, The consequences of a Trump win in November could not be more dire. The bottom line is that we may not win a Senate majority this year, and we most likely won’t win the House. But one thing is certain: IF we win the Presidency, we also win the Supreme Court which, if we lose, the consequences are too damn dire to contemplate. We can work to take the Senate and House every two years, but if the SCOTUS becomes majority conservative, it’ll likely be 20-30 years before we can even make a dent.

I.O.W., vote for Hillary, or . . . 

Noise of hammers . . .

Anyone? You know the ones:

Hammers beating, night and day,
In the palace newly reared,
Beating it to dust and clay:
Other hammers, muffled hammers,
Silent hammers of decay.

******

P.S.: Jim Bakker: If Trump Loses, Supreme Court Will Shut Me Down

If that’s not a grand reason to vote for Hillary, I don’t know what is.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, July 27, 2016

THE PRINCE

CHAPTER IV

WHY THE KINGDOM OF DARIUS, CONQUERED BY ALEXANDER, DID NOT REBEL AGAINST THE SUCCESSORS OF ALEXANDER AT HIS DEATH

Considering the difficulties which men have had to hold to a newly acquired state, some might wonder how, seeing that Alexander the Great became the master of Asia in a few years, and died whilst it was scarcely settled (whence it might appear reasonable that the whole empire would have rebelled), nevertheless his successors maintained themselves, and had to meet no other difficulty than that which arose among themselves from their own ambitions.

I answer that the principalities of which one has record are found to be governed in two different ways; either by a prince, with a body of servants, who assist him to govern the kingdom as ministers by his favour and permission; or by a prince and barons, who hold that dignity by antiquity of blood and not by the grace of the prince. Such barons have states and their own subjects, who recognize them as lords and hold them in natural affection. Those states that are governed by a prince and his servants hold their prince in more consideration, because in all the country there is no one who is recognized as superior to him, and if they yield obedience to another they do it as to a minister and official, and they do not bear him any particular affection.

The examples of these two governments in our time are the Turk and the King of France. The entire monarchy of the Turk is governed by one lord, the others are his servants; and, dividing his kingdom into sanjaks, he sends there different administrators, and shifts and changes them as he chooses. But the King of France is placed in the midst of an ancient body of lords, acknowledged by their own subjects, and beloved by them; they have their own prerogatives, nor can the king take these away except at his peril. Therefore, he who considers both of these states will recognize great difficulties in seizing the state of the Turk, but, once it is conquered, great ease in holding it. The causes of the difficulties in seizing the kingdom of the Turk are that the usurper cannot be called in by the princes of the kingdom, nor can he hope to be assisted in his designs by the revolt of those whom the lord has around him. This arises from the reasons given above; for his ministers, being all slaves and bondmen, can only be corrupted with great difficulty, and one can expect little advantage from them when they have been corrupted, as they cannot carry the people with them, for the reasons assigned. Hence, he who attacks the Turk must bear in mind that he will find him united, and he will have to rely more on his own strength than on the revolt of others; but, if once the Turk has been conquered, and routed in the field in such a way that he cannot replace his armies, there is nothing to fear but the family of this prince, and, this being exterminated, there remains no one to fear, the others having no credit with the people; and as the conqueror did not rely on them before his victory, so he ought not to fear them after it.

The contrary happens in kingdoms governed like that of France, because one can easily enter there by gaining over some baron of the kingdom, for one always finds malcontents and such as desire a change. Such men, for the reasons given, can open the way into the state and render the victory easy; but if you wish to hold it afterwards, you meet with infinite difficulties, both from those who have assisted you and from those you have crushed. Nor is it enough for you to have exterminated the family of the prince, because the lords that remain make themselves the heads of fresh movements against you, and as you are unable either to satisfy or exterminate them, that state is lost whenever time brings the opportunity.

Now if you will consider what was the nature of the government of Darius, you will find it similar to the kingdom of the Turk, and therefore it was only necessary for Alexander, first to overthrow him in the field, and then to take the country from him. After which victory, Darius being killed, the state remained secure to Alexander, for the above reasons. And if his successors had been united they would have enjoyed it securely and at their ease, for there were no tumults raised in the kingdom except those they provoked themselves.

But it is impossible to hold with such tranquillity states constituted like that of France. Hence arose those frequent rebellions against the Romans in Spain, France, and Greece, owing to the many principalities there were in these states, of which, as long as the memory of them endured, the Romans always held an insecure possession; but with the power and long continuance of the empire the memory of them passed away, and the Romans then became secure possessors. And when fighting afterwards amongst themselves, each one was able to attach to himself his own parts of the country, according to the authority he had assumed there; and the family of the former lord being exterminated, none other than the Romans were acknowledged.

When these things are remembered no one will marvel at the ease with which Alexander held the Empire of Asia, or at the difficulties which others have had to keep an acquisition, such as Pyrrhus and many more; this is not occasioned by the little or abundance of ability in the conqueror, but by the want of uniformity in the subject state.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 25, 2016: Of Interest To Christians

The Christian Post (CP), which calls itself “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website” (see their Statement of Faith at the bottom of their About page, showing the inherent contradictions in their viewpoints), published two posts detailing thirteen items from the Republican and Democratic convention platforms they deemed to be of interest to Christians. Specifically, Conservative Christians, as explicitly stated in the article on the Republican platform. [NOTE: In order to discuss what CP says about the platform, I will be quoting from their articles. Also note that I am taking the inclusion or not of amendments from the CP articles. I did not compare anything from the actual GOP platform as passed. And, obviously, the DNC is about to begin their convention later today.]

Starting with the Republicans, CP points out that the GOP will no longer be calling for a constitutional amendment to define “marriage” as being between one man and one woman. Instead they’ll say they object to the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges and go back to their usual “this is an issue for the states to decide” argument. Except that the Full Faith and Credit clause throws a wrinkle into that plan, as you would still have to recognize a marriage performed in another state. Another plank pointed out was one to support the First Amendment Defense Act, another inappropriately named Republican bill, this one to protect someone’s right to discriminate because they hate Teh Gays. Tony Perkins, the miscreant in charge of the Family Research Council, helped get this plank adopted, then backed away from supporting it because it has been “weakened” in Congress by a change in the language that would further a “two views” approach to marriage. IOW, they wanted the right to say, “Your marriage disgusts me so I don’t have to recognize it as such, or even serve you in a matter unrelated to your marriage,” to be the law of the land. It can’t work. The Anti-Gay Forces had another victory with a measure that “would keep publicly funded adoption agencies from being able to grant custody of children to same-sex parents.”

While up for consideration, the measure was opposed by Annie Dickerson, an adviser to billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer, who called the measure “blatant discrimination.”

“We need children to be adopted, so hooray to the gay community for trying to raise children in a happy and stable home,” Dickerson, who has adopted children, said. “I object to allowing patent discrimination against gays over the right to adopt.”

Interesting that out of the seven things CP felt would be of interest to Christians, the first three are about gay marriage, and how yucky they think it is and they shouldn’t be forced to think about it. Except nobody is making them. The issue is decided. They lost. The only ones making them think about it so much, and they do think about it a lot, are them! CP shifted it up a bit and listed a measure to repeal the Johnson Amendment of 1954. This was an amendment to the US Tax Code that said certain tax-exempt organizations, like churches, could not conduct political activities meant to influence the outcome of an election, including the endorsement of a particular candidate.

IRS explanation of the statute
The Internal Revenue Service website elaborates upon this prohibition as follows:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

In their twisted minds, they are being “silenced.” No, they are not. No one is going to throw them in jail and deny them their freedom for endorsing a candidate from the pulpit. They’ll just have to start paying taxes on the property on which they made the endorsement. And no matter what anybody from the right tells you, being forced to pay taxes is not equivalent to Slavery. The Republicans then added an amendment to support the right of parents to subject their children to the abuse of “conversion therapy” (or as it’s sometimes known, “Pray away the gay.”) It doesn’t work and does more harm than good. The Conservative Christians decided to lump all forms of pornography together and claim it is all a “public health crisis.” But then they specifically call for more “energetic prosecution of child pornography.” Okay, child pornography is a horrific thing and ought to be stopped entirely. But not all pornography involves children. And, yes, some of it involves human trafficking and sex slaves participating against their will. And that should also be stopped. But much of it involves two consenting adults (usually two) doing what consenting adults are allowed to do and letting me watch – I mean, letting other people, not me, watch. It is very much not the same thing, but their broad generalization of pornography, and its availability on the internet, is that it is “harmful to children.” Again, I call bullshit. Better they watch two consenting adults doing it right, then watch them try to kill each other. It isn’t about the children at all. And lastly, they’re looking for a back door way to get Bibles back in the schools, based in part on the common right wing lie that the first Congress specifically authorized putting Bibles in schools. That’s the top things the Christian Post thought would be of interest to Conservative Christians. Nothing about helping people. Probably because there wasn’t any.

In a subsequent post, the CP highlighted items they thought would interest Christians (Conservative ones) from the Democratic platform. They began with an alarm that the Dems want to repeal the odious Hyde Amendment. But, naturally, the CP quotes someone lying about the right to abortion and referring to it as “abortion on demand,” which no serious person on the left is calling for. We’re just sick and tired of Republicans throwing up obstacles over bullshit reasons to make it all but impossible to get an abortion. The Dems also want to support the Iran Nuclear Deal. This is alarming to the right who never seemed to demonstrate any understanding of what was involved in reaching that historic deal. I refuse to believe anything they say now. The CP also points out that a measure to name Israel as an occupying force (which they are) failed along with a measure to join the BDS movement. But then they quote what made it into the draft, and one wonders why they mentioned the opposing failed language.

“A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism,” the draft reads. “That is why we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself, including by retaining its qualitative military edge, and oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.”

Let’s be honest here, Christian Post. The Conservative Christians in this country support Israel for one and only one reason – The End Times and The Rapture. Israel has to be around for Jesus to return. That is their only concern. It’s a pretty ill-founded and baseless one. (The Bible is not a historical document.) The Democrats also expressed opposition to standardized testing, and want to fight for the right of parents to opt-out. They want free tuition to in-state colleges for families earning less than $125,000 per year. I would support this but ask that the cap be adjusted for cost-of-living differences around the country. And lastly, for the first time ever, the Democratic platform will call for the end to capital punishment. I wholeheartedly agree with this position.

This is our daily open thread. Grab a cup, scoop some water from the watering hole, and chat about whatever you wish.

Sunday Roast: Stupid stuff that makes me giggle

There’s a site on the vast interwebs called “Sad and Useless, the most depressive humor site on the internet,” and it has a post where people on the internet rename animals — which totally makes sense, if you think about it.

We’ve already enjoyed the brilliantly renamed Stab Rabbit, so here are a few more:

OMG, it’s our Wayne!!  Everybody wave!  *waving*

I mean seriously, who would actually call this thing an ostrich?  Pure silliness!

Finally, my favorite…Run for your lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!

If you’d like to giggle up even more of a storm, go the site — they have more!!

This is our daily open thread — Make up names for your favorite animals!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 23, 2016: Ego

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of ego:

Noun:

1.      A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance

1.1    Psychoanalysis The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity

1.2    Philosophy (In metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject.

Synonyms: self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-conceit, self-image, self-confidence;

Now, let’s take a brief look at Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ego:

1. Trump’s self-esteem? Off the charts–his self-descriptions include being “the greatest” this, the “best” that, the “most” whatever. Anyone who claims otherwise is just “wrong” or “stupid”, or has some imaginary personal beef against Trump, because in no way will Donald Trump admit to any ignorance, mistake, lie, or out-and-out wrongdoing. Which leads to…

1.1 Trump’s ego cannot “mediate” between the conscious and unconscious. Reality testing?! Trump’s conscious and unconscious create their own reality, and it’s a reality that he seems to feel no need to test. His “reality” is part-and-parcel of his personal identity, and it is impenetrable by truth, facts, and even Trump’s own previous words or deeds.

1.2 While Trump may be “conscious” in the literal sense of the word, he is not a “thinking” subject.

With his penchant for superlatives, Trump might possibly think that he has a “superego“, but the OED’s definition of superego leads me to believe that Trump’s ego vanquished his superego a long time ago:

Noun:
Psychoanalysis The part of a person’s mind that acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards learned from parents and teachers

“Self-critical”?  Rarely and barely.  Hell, Trump told evangelicals that he didn’t feel the need to go to confession, since he doesn’t think that anything he does is wrong.  And I learned things like manners, respect and intellectual curiosity from my parents and teachers, apparently unlike Trump.

Trump has a dysfunctional relationship with the truth. According to Politifact, only 8.4% of Trump’s statements have been factual.  Their review of Trump’s statements shows that a whopping 70% of Trump’s statements are rated “Mostly False”, “False”, or “Pants on Fire.” Here’s one of the “Pants on Fire” stories:

“The day after the 2016 Republican National Convention, Trump said his vanquished Republican rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, had never denied that his father was in a 1963 photo with Lee Harvey Oswald, who went on to assassinate President John F. Kennedy that November.

Trump said: “All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast. Now, Ted never denied that it was his father. Instead he said, ‘Donald Trump.’ I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that frankly, in many respects, should be very respected.”

[The idea that ‘the National Enquirer should be very respected’ should rate a “Pants on Fire” of its own.]

Politifact gave Trump the “2015 Lie of The Year” award to The Donald.  An excerpt:

“…a little hyperbole never hurts,” Trump wrote in his 1987 best-seller The Art of the Deal. “People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.”

[Ah, and that explains “Trump University.”]

Next, here’s a glib, almost superficial, and often sickeningly fawning article from the Washington Post, by AP “reporter” Nancy Benar, titled “For Trump, it’s about America’s ego — and his own.” Some key excerpts:

“Almost every deal I have ever done has been at least partly for my ego,” the billionaire declared in a 1995 New York Times piece titled, “What My Ego Wants, My Ego Gets.”

“The same assets that excite me in the chase often, once they are acquired, leave me bored,” he told an interviewer in 1990, as his boom years were sliding toward bust. “For me, you see, the important thing is the getting, not the having.”

Trump,[sic] stresses his Ivy League education and revels in juvenile jabs, labeling his adversaries “stupid,” ‘’dumb” and “bad.”

“I know words,” he declared at a December campaign rally where he criticized the Obama administration. “I have the best words. But there’s no better word than stupid, right?”

Wrong, Mr. Trump. As a Presidential candidate, now nominee, some of the “best words” that you should memorize the meanings for are:  honesty, integrity, class, civility, respect, humility and responsibility. I know that these terms and ideas are foreign to you, but you should familiarize yourself with them – there might be a quiz between now and November.

This is our daily Open Thread–feel free to talk about this or any other topic.