Category Archives: OHM

The Derangement of the Confantisphere

Stonekettle Station on Facebook

“Show respect,” that’s what you demand when you don’t have anything else, when people of color, women, the current generation, laugh at you because all you have is being an angry old white guy who thinks the world owes you something. – Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station on Facebook

Can someone please tell me what Barack Obama did that is worthy of so much hatred? What is the conservative conspiracy fantisphere (I will be shortening that phrase to confantisphere from now on. It is catchy) saying about him that I’m just not hearing? Let’s set all the crap about the Clinton’s aside here and nail down just exactly what Obama did that conservatives hate so much. Because I really can’t get a handle on that.

Obama was the most conservative federal spender since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Conservatives should be singing him praises, but don’t hold your breath waiting for conservative outlets to spin this the right way, they won’t. They’ll probably take the Heritage Foundation’s tack on the subject and insist that Bush II’s war costs should be saddled on Obama. From a liberal perspective, it’s easy to see why the headline should read Obama Best President Since Eisenhower.

Also. Also. Detail for me anything, ANYTHING that Trump has done. Anything. Go ahead, I’m waiting. Can’t name anything can you? That’s because he’s done nothing but golf and Tweet for six solid months. And he called Obama lazy in a typical racist fashion. He’s spent more time on vacation that Obama did in his first few years already, in the first six months.

Fair warning. If you take me up on my challenge to detail what Obama has done, and your response has anything to do with #benghazi, then I’m recommending a straightjacket for the person uttering it. I’m not kidding, don’t go there.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.

A Gordian Knot of Information

Fuzz

I believe. I believe. To hell with learning anything. To hell with putting five goddamned minutes into it. No, I believe. Like we haven’t learned anything in 20,000 years of history. Like a caveman staring fearfully at the approaching storm.

“Grog believe thunder is giant farts of god mammoth who live in sky!”

A whole worldview, science, history, meteorology, summed up in one line.

Though … given human nature, there was probably another caveman who responded with, “Bro, you lost me after ‘thunder,'” – StonekettleStation on Facebook

There is a discernible shortening of attention spans as the information age progresses. It seems some people just can’t keep up with all the information that is constantly being thrown at them. The pundits call this “information overload”. Everyone will experience this if they haven’t already. Too many messages. Too many podcasts. Too many news feeds. Too many opinions that all make interesting, if not actually valid points.

This reminds me of a frequent trope of Dan Carlin‘s on his various podcasts, the historical story of the Gordian knot in which the ruler of all Asia would be the man who could untie the knot. Alexander the Great, as legend has it, drew his sword and cut the knot, thereby convincing those in attendance that he would be the next ruler of all Asia. Modern man, faced with information overload, foolishly believes that he can cut the knot of too much information by simply declaring what he believes, devoid of any truth.

What the slicers in this allegory fail to understand is that Alexander the Great did not conquer all of Asia after cutting the knot, but was instead laid low by disease or poison and died with no clear heir to rule after him, his accumulated lands and treasure divided among his generals. There is no quick way to become informed, to solve the Gordian knot. Either you are informed or you must rely on the judgement of others who are, people trained in the areas that you lack proficiency, the oft-derided *elites* in the Trump world. If you don’t do this then you are a fool marching into battle with no estimation of the force you will face, no idea of the terrain you must traverse, no assurance that your force will even survive to take up arms when battle calls.

Your fate is written in the texts you don’t read, the advice you don’t even take time to hear. You are already laid low and dying, and you simply don’t know it yet.

Trumpcare Dissected

I find it remarkable that Trump supporters like Steven Moore believe it’s possible to insure the sick and the poor without requiring any sacrifices from the healthy and wealthy. This is conservative rubbish. – Robert Reich on Facebook


RAWSTORY, WATCH: Robert Reich rips into conservative over his ‘specious’ math on Trumpcare

Conservatives and libertarians console themselves with the belief that the charitably minded will pay for required services. I heard that hand-waving excuse countless times when I was a libertarian. I half-believed it myself. The truth is that programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc were established precisely BECAUSE charity failed to take care of these people. That studies have shown the wealthy will not give as much to charity percentage-wise as the middle or even lower classes will. That it is a humanitarian principle that everyone contribute to public health and public welfare, for the benefit of us all.

This kind of civic-mindfulness needs to be re-established in America once again, because we have clearly lost our way. I even encounter professed liberals who do not agree that there shouldn’t be a thing called the working poor. That having a job means you should be able to afford to feed, house, clothe and tend to the health needs of your family. If liberals have lost sight of this grounding principle voiced by the most influential minds in the enlightenment, I fear we have even darker times ahead of us than we are currently living through.

Facebook status update backdated to the blog.

#ImpeachTrump

New Republic

Trump’s major impeachable offenses so far:

1. He has violated the “emoluments clause” (Article I Section 9 of the Constitution) by profiting off foreign governments.


2. He has obstructed justice by firing his FBI director because of (in his words) “the Russian thing” after asking him to stop investigating Mike Flynn.


3. He possibly committed treason by working with Russian operatives to win the election.


Compared to Richard Nixon’s cover-up of a burglary at the Democratic National Committee, and Bill Clinton’s sex with a White House intern, Trump’s “high crimes” are far worse. At the very least, there should be an impeachment inquiry.


But Democratic leaders don’t want to call for it, because they don’t want to raise expectations over something they don’t have the votes to deliver.


I think this is a mistake. (I agree with Brian Beutler, below.) A clear commitment to an impeachment inquiry if they win back the House next year would help them flip the House.


What do you think? – Robert Reich on Facebook

A thousand times yes for me, now. I’ve just been waiting for everyone else to catch up. He couldn’t be president a year ago now and he still can’t be even though he was given the office. If the Democrats would come out in favor of impeachment now, hammer that point for the next 18 months, the congress will be theirs in 2018 even if congress acts to remove him before the election. This is because President Pence acting on a belief in a conservatives mandate will alienate more people than a simply incompetent Trump ever could.

Facebook status backdated to the blog. I was (and still am) growing more resigned by this point. The Orange Hate-Monkey could literally have been tossed out of office on his first day but the responsible people refuse to act. Thusly we sit idly watching as Rome burns all the time wishing that we had paid for a better fiddler than Nero. Would probably have paid for better entertainment if we had known how long the act would run.

An Increasingly Isolated Orange Hate-Monkey

New York Times

Today’s Sunday talk shows reveal Republicans are distancing themselves from Trump:

Sen. Marco Rubio: “If any president tries to impede an investigation — any president, no matter who it is — by interfering with the F.B.I., yes, that would be problematic. It would be not just problematic. It would be, obviously, a potential obstruction of justice that people have to make a decision on.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: “You would like, I would think, the president to kind of beat him [Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov] over the head with the fact that, if they actually did interfere in any way, shape or form, how wrong that is and how outraged America is on both sides of the aisle.”

Sen. John McCain: “I don’t know how to read [Trump’s remarks about shutting down the investigation], except that I’m almost speechless because I don’t know why someone would say something like that.” And Lavrov “had no business in the Oval Office.”

As Trump’s polls slide, keep particular watch on Republicans from states Hillary Clinton won in 2016 or Obama won in 2012. They’ll join in opposition to Trump.

What do you think? – Robert Reich on Facebook

They are rats leaving a sinking ship. It’s just too bad that the GOP put him in power in the first place. I don’t think their tactical retreat will do them much good; or rather, I hope they don’t profit from it. They don’t deserve it, they backed him solidly right up to this point and now, Now, NOW that he’s admitted impeding an investigation into his and his campaign’s actions, NOW they think this presidency is questionable.

So the targeting of hispanics and muslims wasn’t bad enough? The scapegoating of the poor wasn’t disqualifying enough? The bragging that he could kill people in the street and he would still win wasn’t troubling enough? The evidence that he is a sexual predator wasn’t damning enough?

Now he fires Comey and brags that he told him to lay off the investigation, the investigation that he insisted was fake news since day one, so this isn’t surprising behavior, and NOW they have a problem.

Well, welcome to the club, dumbasses. Wipe the drool off your collective chins and try to pay attention. Caveat Emptor.

Facebook status post backdated to the blog.

Death Panels?

Modern Eugenics?

And those states are going to let you die.

Yes, they are. They are going to do it for profit. They’re going to do it because they think you are a luxury. They going to do it because they can’t stand the thought of having to pay for some baby with a heart defect or somebody who’s HIV positive or somebody who has cancer or the mentally ill.

These are the REAL death panels, right here.

That is some Nazi shit. Literally. Aktion T4, the Nazi program to eliminate defectives. The people they considered “luxuries.” And don’t your forget for one minute that Eugenics began here in the US, the Nazis got the idea from US. When states were allowed to decide, they were perfectly happy to sterilize those they deemed unfit and less than perfect. Luxuries. – Stonekettle Station on Facebook

What this is, more than anything, is an underscoring of something I’ve known for a long, long time. Employers should be banned from inquiry into the health of any of its employees. Not only should they not be allowed to offer insurance of any kind, they should be forbidden to even ask, officially. My health is my business. Not the states’ business, and not my employer’s business. My business.

It all comes back to the problem of who pays for that for most people. This is what public health is established for. Public health’s job is to pay for the care that the individual cannot afford, or that requiring the individual to pay for reduces the application of good health practices.

If you want to pay less for healthcare as a society, you have to encourage people to seek health advice regularly. Get their injections. Get their screenings and checkups. There should be rewards for this behavior, not costs, because doing these things saves the public money. You never hear conservatives talk about these facts. Why? That’s a good question, one you will have to ask conservatives about. Jim hazards several answers to this question, several pointed answers. But in the end, conservatives will have to answer the question for themselves. Why do you think that individual health is anybody’s business aside from the individual?

Medicare for all is the only way to fix America’s healthcare problems. Medicare for all would move public health out of the commercial morass it has been in and make it tax funded as it always should have been. Require the government to negotiate for better prices from drug manufacturers rather than forbid them from negotiating as they currently are. It is time to stop this slide towards kleptocracy before we wake up and discover we live in Russia.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.

Is the OHM Stupid or Just Crazy?

Washington Post

On Saturday, he gave an angry, rambling speech to his supporters in which he obsessed over perceived enemies in the media and elsewhere. In recent days he has given a half-dozen incoherent interviews. Recently he insisted he won’t “stand by anything” in his accusations about alleged wiretapping by President Barack Obama, yet argued that his case has been “proven very strongly.” He praised the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, as a “smart cookie.” He invited the blood-thirsty president of the Philippines to the White House, without consulting with anyone first. He insists the health-care bill that the House is struggling to pass does not say what it does and is still changing.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows Congress to set up a “body” of people to assess whether a president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and, if they decide he is unable, transmit their written findings to the presiding officer of the Senate and the Speaker of the House – whereupon the Vice President shall assume the office of Acting President.

When, if ever, do you think this will occur? – Robert Reich on Facebook

This stupid/crazy act of Trump’s is getting old. That is my take on this. He pretends at stupid so that people will underestimate him just as he pretends at crazy bluster because that has worked for him in the past.

None of it will work as president. He wanted the fucking job of President, he had better get busy doing the job if he wants to stay out of jail. if he wants his Russian mafia buddies not to snuff him in self defense. Do the fucking job or quit already.

Everything he says is an act, is false, is part of a con he thinks he’s running, which is why I don’t bother listening to a thing he says. Just as I said here, the only things that matter are the things he signs. Stop paying attention to the narcissist and focus on surviving till he is gone.

Which is one way to say, Congress will act when we force their hands and not one minute before. Time to start occupying the halls of Congress until they agree to do something.

Facebook status backdated to the blog. Still just holding on till the 2018 midterms.

The Resistance; Tea Party Left?

New York Times

“I’m part of the resistance,” Hillary Clinton said today in an interview on CNN, in which she criticized Trump’s conduct in office, his foreign policy, and his penchant for posting on Twitter.

Last Sunday Joe Biden also sounded resistance themes in his visit to New Hampshire to rally Democrats.

I welcome Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden to the resistance.
But two gentle warnings:

1. The more the “resistance” sounds partisan, the less effective it will be – because it then allows Trump and his enablers to characterize as nothing more than the Democrats trying to regain power. In fact, it’s a people’s movement dedicated to protecting our Constitution and system of government from a dangerous sociopath.

2. The resistance is also more than just resistance to Trump. It must be resistance to the conditions that created Trump — which is as much the fault of the Democratic Party as the Republicans. Too many Democratic officials have aided and abetted a rigged economy, most of whose gains have gone to the top. Too many Democrats have sought big money from large corporations and Wall Street — money that has inundated and undermined our politics. The Democrats haven’t had the backbone to demand a hefty tax on the rich — including a wealth tax — to pay for what we need to do as a society, including better schools. And the Democratic Party still hasn’t had the guts to come out for a single-payer health care system.

Resisting Trump is necessary. But getting behind an agenda that takes back our economy and our democracy from the privileged and powerful is essential.

What do you think?Robert Reich on Facebook

The Tea Party started out the same way; controlled by independents, focused on reform. Look at them now. Support is welcome, but support is not leadership. Clinton especially needs to understand this distinction. We don’t want a repeat of 2016.

Medicare for all is a baseline measure, like a litmus test. Get behind it or go somewhere else. I would go further. Parties need to be de-emphasized as power brokers. This means an end to party primaries and an end to party controlled district drawing. It possibly means an end to the house as it has been known since the 435 rule was introduced. We want an electoral college that reflects popular will. That means more, smaller districts. We have to keep beating on this message until it sinks in.

More equal representation. More connection between representatives and their districts. An end to money primaries. An end to money as speech, or legislation that makes everyone a party to the current funding of elections through vouchers for contributions to elections.

Higher taxes on the wealthy. Universal Income. Medicare for all. I’m done playing around with half measures as proposals. If the conservatives can lead with “let the poor die for lack of care” then we should lead with make the wealthy care for the poor until they are no longer wealthy. We can then meet somewhere in the middle.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.

Republican Convention Post-Mortem

I remain amazed at how easily the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) got the nomination. That is the only part of the equation that I remain mystified by. I remain mystified by it because, as any parliamentarian can tell you, it isn’t easy to hijack a convention like he did. And yet there is no other word to describe how the convention went down other than to say it was hijacked.

Did the “never Trump” faction have enough political savvy to stop him from becoming the nominee? The answer appears to be no. He secured the chair with someone who would gavel the convention to order. His supporters clearly understood how to silence a floor fight. All that is left is for the delegates to vote and he’s the nominee, and the GOP can finally accept the labels we have attempted to pin on them for 30 years and more. They are fascists. They are openly racist and xenophobic. They are happy to promote and embrace a christian theocracy, even when lead by a fakir.

It is also worth noting that the best politicians that the GOP can muster could not stop a political newb from taking over their convention and making them all dance his tune. They appear to deserve all the ridicule and embarrassment that can be piled on them at this point. They really are the NSDAP. They equate to the PNF. May they be remembered by history in the same light as their failure predecessor political organizations.

The New Yorker

The choice in this election could not be more starkly drawn no matter what the Hillary haters say. It is now up to the informed and the thinking to lay out just how bad it can be with an authoritarian of the caliber of the Birther-in-Chief. Just how grim the future is when lead by the Orange Hate-monkey. Just how untrustworthy a real-estate developer is. Time to lay it all out for everyone to see so that there is no question that anyone who votes for Trump votes for concentration camps and mass extermination. Anyone who supports Trump wants the US to be destroyed in a paroxysm of self-hatred. Anyone who supports Trump wants to see civilization end. Make them prove that this is not the case at every turn. Hammer them into submission with ideas too strong to be refuted.

The next President will be Hillary Clinton. If we are lucky.

Dick jokes and eager young interns with their hands on your junk. Giggling impotent old men eager for a show. Inflexible self righteous authoritarianism. Anger. Shouting. Marines. Jerking off. Outrage. Violation. Embarrassment. Mortification. Forced to tough it out to the bitter end.

And finally you go home dirty and used, clothes ruined, dignity long fled, covered in sticky goo and shooting blanks.

In the rain.

Honestly, what DOESN’T it have to do with the Republican National Convention?

See you tomorrow, Folks. My regards to Mr. Trump. – Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station on Facebook

Facebook status backdated to the blog.  The 29% chance of winning that Fivethirtyeight gave him on the eve of the election explains everything else you need to know. Comey did it