Category Archives: Racism

Dumping that guy

  I could blog about this insane election. Or I could binge watch “Outlander” and just cross my fingers that we all survive another 30 days…oh, who am I kidding? I can’t stop myself. Every day some new  revelation come out about the Slime Mold with Toupee who is running for President and people ask me, “Didn’t that thing about Trump disgust you?”

My dears, it ALL disgusts me–I’ve had decades of practice. He has disgusted me long before mainstream America discovered Disgustrump on The Apprentice. Long before his pathetic banter with shock jock Howard Stern when he was scrabbling for news coverage in the 90s. Since he defaced Fifth Avenue with his brass and glass ode to greed and ostentatious bad taste in the 80s he has disgusted me. Because he has ALWAYS BEEN Donald Trump. The ugly has been right there for everyone to see. Right there. What really appalls me is that it seems to have taken nothing less than him bragging about sexual assault to make some people wonder if, well, maybe, just maybe, he’s not such a nice guy. 

It’s been a fascinating week to say the least. More revealing about what it takes for people to repudiate the Donald than anything else. Racist? Eh. Retweeting Mussolini? Hah.  Insults military and Gold Star family? Meh. Publicly demeans Miss Universe and calls her fat? Whatevs. Loses nearly a billion dollars in a single tax year? Pah.

I mean, seriously, what does a guy hafta do to get dropped from a ticket around here? Hang out with Billy Bush? Ahhhhh…

Let’s be real about this for just a moment. This is a man who was not having a little private joke –harharhar–with a buddy. He knew he was on mic and being recorded and since this kind of talk is so normal to him, he said it all anyway. As Natalie Morales in USA Today points out:

What transpired next, she says, was not a conversation between two men left alone during a long break in production who forgot their microphones were still hot.

“There were seven other people on the bus with Mr. Trump and Billy Bush at the time,” Morales explained. “They were the two person camera crew, the bus driver, an Access Hollywood producer, a production assistant, Mr. Trump’s security guard and his PR person.”

The fallout from this video has meant that Republican leadership are heading down the ropes to abandon ship like hasty vermin. But guess what? His name is on all the ballots … at the very top. They won’t be able to replace him with Pence, Cruz or any other of the innumerable ugly candidates at their disposal. Tens of thousands of early votes are already being cast. Too late. As one of my friends posted: “Hey, GOP-You asked for him. You weren’t responsible enough to prevent him. You have to carry him to term. How does that feel?”

Needless to say, I am looking forward to this debate with both bile rising in my throat and a sense of hollow glee. I hope that Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper have agreed to nail him to the wall. Please let him have to answer to a woman. Face to face. With no bathroom breaks.  And speaking of answering, I really hope that 6-year old Sophie Cruz got picked to ask her question:

“If you deport my parents, what happens to me?” she asked in a message posted on PresidentialOpenQuestions.com with the help of the pro-immigration group Define American. 

Looking for something to call Agent Orange? Here is a helpful list of monikers for the Angry Creamsicle. 


Early Voting in California starts this week

Do you live in our sunny nutty state? Early voting starts this week (various dates for various counties, so check the local election site for your county.) San Francisco voting at City Hall opens Tuesday and we are wading through the props tonight –we believe in maximizing our frustration and outrage–while watching the debate. I’m happy to share our decisions and the line of reasoning behind them once we have gotten through the behemoth voter information tome. 

And speaking of Tuesday, October 11 marks 29 days before Election Day (!!!) and for many states, including swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona and Texas (yes, I said Arizona and Texas–hi there trending blue-ish) voter registration ends on that day. Got friends in those states? Tell them to register to vote and check their registration now! 

I leave you with the happy image of the current standings on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight predictocon.

See you after the debate!

  


Rules Are for Other People 

 Have I mentioned that I’m tired? No, it’s not that I’m weary from carrying a toddler all weekend. Not just weary from the constant barrage of tragedies that seem to unfold daily on our TV screens. I’m weary from all the mental energy expended–wasted really–on Donald Trump. Wondering how he got this far. Wondering how  it is that he can bully and bluster and foment divisiveness while calling it unity, racism while calling it patriotism and inchoate rage while calling it populism— and get away with it. Wondering who those people are on that convention floor cheering him on with their brains fully switched off. Wondering if this really is who we are as a nation? Good God, I hope not. 

He is the definition of the word demagogue. Look it up: 

  

Yeah, this is me, collapsed on the couch watching the GOP undertake a useless shouting match on the floor over rules while a crude, loud mouthed, xenophobic, misogynist know-nothing glides into the nomination. 

Center Square But hey! Today’s celebrity A-list lineup includes that guy from “Duck Dynasty,” Scott Baio and Antonio Sabato, Jr.  It’s like watching Hollywood Squares. 

They have pithy things to say like, “It’s been a rough year for the media experts–I don’t even know if they know how to talk to people from Middle America … who like to hunt, and fish, and pray and actually work for a living,”(clearly since I only hit one out of four, I am not ‘Murican enough) and “Is Donald Trump the Messiah? No, he’s just a man… a man doing this out of the goodness of his heart, because he wants to help.” (If you believe that, I have some old steaks and bad vodka to sell you. Possibly an airline and a university too.) And I believe I actually choked audibly when Sabato said, “Donald Trump believes in one America.” (N.B. it looks white, has bad hair and paints everything in gold.)

Yeah, go ahead and take a moment. I’ll wait while you get “goodness of his heart” unstuck from your craw and roll your eyeballs out from the back of your head. This is the kind of quality you get when Tim Tebow and Don King aren’t available to speak at your convention. But hold onto your hats, people, Ultimate Fighting Championship prezzie Dana White hits the podium on Tuesday. 

In the mean time, we have possibly the most disorganized, off-message slate of speakers on a convention day 1 that I’ve ever seen. Who were the two Benghazi survivor guys who reminisced up there like they were on a poorly attended Comic-Con panel? I kept falling asleep before I could read their names. 

And then there’s Michael McCaul. I’m wondering who the heck this guy is and why he gets a slot when he’s nattering on about “And Donald will never allow terrorists to gain ground against America — he will shake the ground they walk on.” Then he says, “I’m proud to serve as part of Trump’s national security team” and I can’t stop the hoot from exploding from my mouth. This nincompoop is your national security advisor?

  “I don’t know how much more of this I can deal with,” says Eric flatly. I think he’s worried that early exposure to all this bigotry and rabble-rousing pseudo-patriotism will ruin our daughter neurologically. 

“We’ll watch through Giuliani and then switch to something calming like ‘Orphan Black,'” I assure him. 

So we grit our teeth and hang on til Giuliani appears, looking wider than usual, or maybe that’s just the aspect ratio in my TV being off. He proclaims that what he “did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America.” Immediately, I flash back to the 90s in Spanish Harlem when I walked daily through police checkpoints on the street –they stopped every black resident to demand ID (even from old ladies) but never once glanced at me, the whitish-Asian chick. Yeah, he’s not lying, Donald Trump would do that for America. 

In the end, we were weighed down by the sheer volume of shite–“I don’t know, honey. Is a firkin of shit bigger than a crock of shit? Maybe it’s a methuselah of shit. And do you use liquid measure for that?” In any case, flattened by despair, we watched Melania –hey what the heck is Donald doing introducing her when no candidate ever shows up on day 1–Trump. 

Her speech is so surreal as to be otherworldly. Caring for the poor?? When has he ever cared about the poor?? Then the NY Times reported on passages from her speech that were weirdly similar to Michelle Obama speech at the 2008 convention. Ah, that’s why it’s surreal–it was someone else’s speech. Hey, Mel, plagiarizing ideas doesn’t mean you’re unifying them. 

Ugh. Okay, we turned it off after that. Maybe Bob Dole danced naked on the 50-yard line afterward (though I doubt it) but we didn’t see it. 

The polling sez so

So here we are with two of the least liked, most unfavorably rated candidates ever. One has a resume that includes “member of Congress” and “Secretary of State” and the other has a string of failed businesses, a loud mouth and a Twitter account. So naturally, we will evaluate them based on the traditionally accepted standard for American politicians, which is whom you would most like to have a beer with. No, scratch that. Trump is a notorious teetotaler and Hillary enjoys craft beer, so by that standard she should be way ahead. Nope. I just don’t know why the polling is so close. 

Regardless, I’ll just remind everyone of a few things:

In this modern age when people mainly have cell phones and won’t talk to pollsters, you have to ask if polling is dead in the water from the start. 

Polls leading up to and following conventions always show a “bounce.” There’s still four months of shenanigans to watch after that, so don’t worry, the numbers will be up and down much more than you’re seeing today. 

Poll trends that take in many polls and not just one are far more interesting, which is why I’ll be following aggregators like Electoral-Vote.com

  And speaking of electoral votes, for better or for worse, that’s pretty much all that matter ultimately. So I’m less interested in hearing about the 52%-48% split nationally than I am about how candidates are faring in key swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. I’ll also watch FiveThirtyEight. Yes Nate Silver got blindsided by the Trump juggernaut, but I believe he’ll adjust accordingly and take the crazy pants seriously in his future calculations. Who knew you had to pay attention to a snake oil salesman with no political experience whatsoever. 

Well, that’s all for now, folks. Tune in again to watch us foam at the mouth some more. Does anyone here know first aid?


And so it begins…

Fired up? Ready to go? Or just tired of the insanity before we even get to the first convention?

The rookies

Oh wait, sorry, let me introduce myself. I’m  M.E. and it’s been four years since my last confession… drink… political convention… blog post. Take your pick. 

Important housekeeping notes: I’m posting on a new app and so there will be glitches as I get this blog going again. And will I be producing the epic 10,000 word rants that I put up in 2008 and 2012? Probably not. I have a toddler, people. Still, I can think of no more fitting occasion for a return to the blogosphere than the run up to the Republican National Convention which starts well, now. 

Though no one can replace the beloved Grousy Cat, our wide-eyed Rookie Correspondents Messi and Xavi have agreed to take on the daunting task of leading us through this election year. Thanks for joining!

Feed the birds, Tuppence a bag

So yeah. Trump. Helluva thing. Let’s dive right in. 

A friend of mine remarked on Faceplace that she will forever think of the Trump-Pence ticket as “tuppence.” Well, that makes me think of an old 18th century London ad for gin: “Drunk for 1 penny, Dead drunk for tuppence, Straw for nothing.” Dead drunk. I’ll keep working that in as we navigate Cleveland this week. 

Seriously, though. I know that the questions about the insanity of the race didn’t start this weekend, or even last May when Trump clinched the nom. But let’s start with who is on the Donald’s marketing team?  

This is the logo of someone trying very hard to make himself a laughingstock. Pro tip: before releasing your new branding, put it in front of a focus group of teenage boys for evaluation. 

Speaking of laughs, the lineup for the GOP Convention is out (Watch it live July 18-21. Order your Ativan ahead.) Big surprise, nobody really wants to put themselves out there on national TV for Trump.  As the Melissa Warnke puts it in the LA Times, “Tune in on Monday night to see two intimate apparel models and zero Latino people take the stage. Only in Trump’s America.”

And journalists are gearing up for the big event with gas masks and bulletproof vests, because while tennis balls and tuna cans are not permitted in the “event zone” in downtown Cleveland, guns are A-ok (open carry state, folks.) Fasten your flak jackets, people, it’s going to be a bumpy week. 

Redefining Success… Or Huckster Extraordinaire

But back to The Donald. Because we can never get away from talking about the Donald. (Do read Vox pundit Ezra Klein’s take on Trump’s intro of Mike Pence last week: “…It was the single most bizarre, impulsive, narcissistic performance I have ever seen from a major politician.”)

I thought I’d drop in a list of highlights from this oh-so-successful businessman’s career. (release your tax returns, Donald.) Check out Rolling Stone for a more comprehensive take–these are just my faves. 

Trump Entertainment Resorts: I’m going to quote Rolling Stone because this is pretty succinct. 

Trump has filed for bankruptcy on his Atlantic City properties alone three times. First was the Trump Taj Mahal in 1991 — which was $3 billion in debt after just one year in operation. He was back in bankruptcy court in 2004, and not just for the Trump Taj Mahal but for the Trump Marina and Trump Plaza casinos, which along with a riverboat casino in Indiana had a debt burden of some $1.8 billion. After the bankruptcy, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts reorganized as Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. Four years later, Trump Entertainment Resorts missed an interest payment on a $53.1 million bond; the company declared bankruptcy, and this time Trump stepped down as its chairman.

Trump Airlines: borrowed $245 million to buy Eastern Airlines, outfitted the planes with gold faucets and the flight attendants with pearl necklaces…and in two years had defaulted on the loan. 

Trump Steaks: yep, this was a thing. As was Trump Vodka, Trump Wine and Trump Ice (water).

Trump-the Game: launched the board game at the height of the Gordon Gecko 80s. Out of circulation by 1990.

Trump University: the fraudulent for-profit school Trump started that is currently facing two class action suits.  

In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights.

 Rookie 1 The Rookie sez: I’m not eating that stupid Trump Cat Food and what is wrong with you humans anyway?

Up next time: polls and polling


Un-Convention-al Edition

I’m tired.  Are you tired?  Yeah, I thought so.
There’s a lot going on right now, you know what I mean? Life just feels more complicated these days, from the personal to the global, and an election is just about the last thing I want to pay attention to, because my mind is packed with about a million other concerns.
But here’s the thing: If we don’t shake it off and pay some damn attention to what’s going on and gear ourselves up for the next few months, we will end up with a vapid, selfish bully of a dilettante for president, backed by a flood of knee-jerk, know-nothing, do-nothings in Congress.  And so I must rant.  We all must rant.  Constant vigilance, folks. Constant vigilance.
It is sad, but seems clear to me that with somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion being poured into this election, Barack Obama is going to be outspent. The Koch brothers and Karl Rove have  opened up the maw of their bank accounts and unleashed an obscene amount of money to convince the American people (and by that I mean the people in swing states like Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Iowa where Rove’s spending 65 million tax-exempt dollars) of things that never happened.
People in hot spots are already being strafed daily with ads created by shadowy “independent”  organizations, and we’re all being pummeled with a constant low level barrage of TV, radio and internet noise that I suspect most people are trying desperately to tune out.
I see two missions this election. Get the truth out there the way we did in 2008, with a social media ground game that harnesses the free airwaves (or relatively free) on Facebook, on Twitter, on blogs, by email, on Tumblr– on freaking Pinterest if we have to. And we need to get everyone out to vote.  Because when everyone votes, sanity does prevail, I truly believe that. But if we’re all too tired, if we turn our attention away, then one fine November day we will turn around to discover that our world is changed by people who don’t even know what they are voting for.
Okay, you really want to know what got me started on a rant today? This little comment from Mitt Romney last weekend:

Speaking in Commerce, Mich., about his Michigan roots, Mr. Romney said: “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

Know why it pisses me off? I’ll tell you why, because this is racism, pure and simple.  The whole stupid birther flapdoodle is a thinly disguised way of saying, ” Hey, look at the brown guy– he’s not American.  Look at me and the other white guy on my ticket. We’re American.” Yes, it’s been going on for all four years of Obama’s presidency. Yes, it’s veiled in “joking” remarks. And yes, it is pissing me off.
Democrats are going to be accused of playing the race card,” but you know what? This is called “playing the truth card.” Deal with it.
Did Mitt Romney say “Hey, Vote for me, I’m white?” No, but what’s worse is that he probably didn’t even for a second think that what he was saying highlighted an unconscious racism that is just part of his everyday vernacular. Romney does a heckuva lot of this “open mouth, insert foot stuff.”  And a heckuva a lot of it reveals that he is not at all conscious of how overprivileged, how selfish, how mean- spirited and rude he is.
Salon has a running master list of his gaffes, and it’s really quite striking how many of his verbal missteps betray a graceless lack of empathy for the person in front of him, how many of them reveal a rich guy, who doesn’t have the faintest idea of what life without obscene amounts of money might look like.
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Convention Blues
But if all of this depresses you, at least take comfort in the knowledge that God is on our side. I mean, the Good Lord must be, because S/He has sent a hurricane to interrupt the Republican convention for TWO presidential elections in a row. If Tropical-Storm-Soon-to-be-Hurricane Isaac is not a clear sign, I don’t know what is. God does not want to deal with everyone live-blogging Jeb Bush, and I heartily concur.
The convention resumes on Tuesday with lots of stuff that will probably  make me apoplectic with fury.  Mercifully, the networks are not indulging in the spectacle for more than a few hours tops, so you’ll have to watch for highlights via livestream. Check back with me this time tomorrow to see if my head has exploded yet by the time Ann Romney takes the stage… Here’s the official schedule for the condensed convention.
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If you’re a betting fool, or just feeling depressed and paranoid, know that whatever the polls may say, the magical machinations of Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com now calculate that Obama has a  69.3% chance of winning this election.
People, expect the numbers to fluctuate, expect the GOP to get a bounce, expect there to be handwringing and paranoia ahead, but know that the only thing that counts in the end is getting out there to vote.
Plan to vote early, and plan to get everyone you know to vote. I’m looking at you folks in the swing states especially. If you’re not already registered, register to vote now!
The deadlines to register for each state are here, and I’m going to warn you now, many states have a deadline to register of 30 days before the election. That means your registration must be postmarked October 8, but the alert among you will note that that is also Columbus Day. So some states have moved the deadline BACK to October 6. Check your local registration deadline carefully!
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GROUSY CAT SEZ:
                “Must I explain everything to you humans?
                  GET OUT THE VOTE!”  

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