Contributors

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Released!

A judge has ordered the release of all documents related to the Trump University case.

And he's Hispanic....hee hee:)

Monday, May 30, 2016

We Remember

To those who serve and to the families of those lost, we remember...


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Down 12%

After increasing in 2013 and in 2014, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell in 2015. In 2015, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were 12% below the 2005 levels, mostly because of changes in the electric power sector.

Sweet!

The Rio Olympics Should Be Canceled

A hundred and fifty health experts have called for the Olympic Games scheduled to begin in Brazil this summer to be canceled or delayed:
With Brazil already swarming with Zika-loaded mosquitoes, hosting 500,000 foreign athletes and spectators for the 2016 Olympic games there in August poses unnecessary health risks and is downright “unethical.”
The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization disagree, and have said the games should proceed.

But the problem with Brazil isn't just Zika: it's everything. As the Daily Show showed recently, Brazil is a disaster.

The former president of Brazil, Dilma Roussef, was recently deposed in a coup that was arranged by her political enemies in order to derail an investigation into their corruption. Their plot was divulged in a recording made public last week.

Brazil's economy and law enforcement are in a downward spiral because of low oil prices, problems that have been exacerbated by diverting billions of dollars to building facilities for the Olympics.

The ocean in which many of the events are scheduled to take place is filled with sewage, so loaded with bacteria and viruses that ingesting three teaspoons of seawater will infect a person with all sorts of nasty diseases.

The Brazilian government's response to Zika has been heartless. The worst thing about Zika is that it can cause babies to born with monkey-sized brains (microcephaly, or "pinheads," as Bill O'Reilly is so fond of saying). Last month the CDC definitively found that Zika causes babies to be born with tiny brains.

Brazil has severe restrictions on abortions, and no exceptions are made for babies born with microcephaly. Mothers are forced to bear children that will never be able to talk, care for themselves, grow up or ever really be human.

And then there's the epidemic of violence against women, exemplified by the recent gang rape of a sixteen-year-old girl by 30 men, which was recorded and posted online. There are at least 13 rapes a day in Rio de Janeiro, though the actual number is far higher because most rapes are never reported.

Brazil has become a third-world hell-hole in just a few short years. The country is incapable of hosting a safe and healthy Olympics. Athletes and spectators will contract diseases that they will bring home to their families and the rest of the world.

The Zika epidemic in Brazil was started by one traveler infected with the virus getting bitten by a mosquito in Brazil. It is the height of idiocy to send half a million people to Brazil so that they can get infected and bring the disease back to every corner of the world.

Let's Be Clear


Saturday, May 28, 2016

The End of Oil

My favorite news organization, the Christian Science Monitor, has a great piece up about how oil is really at a turning point.

Even if the nearly 200 nations that negotiated the United Nations climate change agreement last December don’t meet their emissions-reducing commitments, they’re still worried about global warming and pollution. Major oil-consuming nations have policies in place to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels. Other pressures are building.

In five years, a fossil fuel divestment movement on a few college campuses has spread worldwide, with 518 organizations worth $3.4 trillion agreeing to sell off their coal, oil, and natural gas investments. These groups include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, heirs to the Standard Oil fortune, and the sovereign wealth fund of Norway, a top 20 oil producer. Even Saudi Arabia is moving to sell a portion of its state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, and diversify its economy.

One need only look at what's going in Venezuela to see what happens when you rely on oil these days. Man, I love the free market. Oh yeah....I also love this...

If the world is producing more oil, why are gas prices going up? 

Production is growing, but world demand, fueled by low gasoline prices, is growing even more. As a result, the oil glut is shrinking. By the end of the year, and perhaps as early as next quarter, production worldwide could fall below world demand. That would be the first time that’s happened since 2013.

Hmm...:)

Yay Hawai!

It looks like Hawaii is moving a more sane direction regarding guns. All firearms owners in Hawaii will now be in a federal database.

The bill involves an FBI database known as the "Rap Back" that currently tracks people who are in "positions of trust," such as school teachers and people who work with the elderly. Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division told The Associated Press. Hawaii would add gun owners to the list.

It's not too surprising that bowels are being blown in the Gun Cult. Oh well. Considering they fully support mentally unstable people acquiring firearms easily, they can fuck right off.

A New Approach to Gun Violence

Friday, May 27, 2016

NRA Members Want Background Checks?




I guess they do:)

Bathroom Wars Escalate into Violence

When this nonsense about needing to show birth certificates when using public restrooms started I asked myself how a parents with children of opposite gender would be able to bring their kids to the bathroom (and kids always gotta go...). Well, now we have the answer:

Utah dad says he was attacked for bringing 5-year-old daughter into men's bathroom

A Utah father said he got into an altercation with another man in a Walmart bathroom over the weekend after bringing his son and his daughter into the men’s restroom with him.

Chris Adams told Fox 13 Now Wednesday that he had taken his 7-year-old son and his 5-year-old daughter to shop for storage bins at the Walmart in Clinton. During their run, both children needed to use the bathroom.
Adams said he took both of his children into the men’s bathroom. He said another man inside the restroom saw his daughter with him.

“This guy walks in and goes to the bathroom, the urinal,” Adams told KSL Tuesday. “Then he just, like, turns to me and starts freaking out, dropping the ‘F-bomb,’ and what he was freaking out about was that my daughter was in the men’s bathroom.”
He said the man started a fight with him that carried out into the store. Adams said the other man kept saying it was inappropriate for his young daughter to be in the bathroom with him.
Was this grown man afraid that a 5-year-old girl with her dad and brother was a sexual predator? Or was he simply embarrassed that the girl had seen how tiny his penis was?

This crap about transgendered people in bathrooms is a red herring: it's just the Koch brothers or ALEC or some other conservative organization funded by billionaires trying to win the 2016 the same way they won the 2004 election.

As you may recall, 2004 was the year of the gay marriage scare. It played a large part in increasing turnout for Republicans, allowing Bush to win what was shaping up to be a tight race despite numerous dirty tricks played against John Kerry by Republican operatives.

But just a few years later gay marriage had become a reality. In large part because most Republicans themselves -- including Vice President Dick Cheney and Ken Mehlman, Bush's campaign manager in 2004, who himself was gay -- actually support gay marriage.

The trans bathroom issue is nothing but a political stunt to drum up anger and hatred on the right. Republicans also have trans children, and after this election cycle is over, they'll all come out of the closet and tell us that they're actually against all this hysterical crap.

But, just as Republicans are all lining up behind Donald Trump's agenda of racism, misogyny and hatred, they'll fall in line with the trans bathroom issue just like they did with gay marriage.

The question is, in the meantime, how many people are they going to get beat up or murdered by idiots panicked by the idea that a girl piddled in the same bathroom that they did?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Real America

A fascinating look into the Real America...wow.

Libertarians Chances

A recent piece over at Politico posits the question...does the Libertarian party actually have a chance this year? I think they do if they do a couple of things.

First, focus on the micro issues where the libertarian ideology actually works in reality. Education, which should be reformed from the local level outward, is one example. Legalizing all drugs is another.

Second, lose this nonsense.











If they can get the wingut out of their movement, they might actually peel away voters from both the Democrats and the Republicans.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

When A Man Gets A Fever


Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Challenge of One Size Fits All

The biggest challenge facing the gun rights position today is the one size fits all nature of 2nd amendment interpretations over the course of the last few decades. At the heart of this, is the concept of responsibility (individual versus societal) that dogs most issues of the day.

Defenders of gun rights fight for looser government regulations and champion easier access to firearms. By taking this position, they open up the door to a wide range of individuals, some of whom are irresponsible with firearms. Unfortunately, gun rights activists view this action as having a negligible on our society. Given that mass shootings have become the norm and toddlers shooting people  at the rate of one per week, I find this view most troubling and, quite frankly, heartless.

They also view these irresponsible people with firearms as being islands in our culture and any detrimental effect as being exclusively the fault of said person. Of course, this is the problem with the entire liberal versus conservative ideological wave length. Liberals tend to recognize that when you deal with a large group of people (aka the general public), a significant number of them are not intelligent, mature, or responsible. This is why liberals favor regulation and government control on a whole host of issues, not just guns. These irresponsible people are a drag on our society that inhibits progress. Conservatives, on the other hand, would rather leave the issue of responsibility with each person and let “free will” rule the day seemingly not caring about the effects nor our collective responsibility to society.

So, the biggest challenge facing the gun rights position today is the same one facing many of the other issues of the day. By loosening regulation on the financial sector, health care, the energy sector, and guns, people will behave in an irresponsible fashion and destroy lives. Because we live in a society where people are in a constant state of interaction, less regulated people will hurt or kill other people. It’s just that simple.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dwarfed?

I was sitting watching my son play baseball the other day when the conversation with a fellow parent turned to politics. We talked for a bit about the election and then she said something that cracked me up.

"I just have this feeling that Trump is going to win."

I asked her on what she based her assertion.

"I don't know...just a feeling."

She was certainly not a Trump supporter as she told me she would be voting for Hillary Clinton and truly despised Trump's comments about women. Yet her comments made me wonder where all this "Trump feelings" stuff originates. I think part of it is his celebrity but I'll have a post about that in a few days. Most of it is merely slippery slope fallacy...he won the GOP primary when no one thought he could so therefore he will win the general when no one thought he could.

I don't think my fellow baseball parent is aware of the massive infrastructure advantage that Hillary Clinton has right now. The political world is, however, and it's pretty amazing.

Through the end of last month, the period covered by the most recent FEC filings, Trump’s campaign had spent less than a third as much Clinton’s ($57 million to $182 million) and had assembled a staff about one-tenth the size of her (70 employees to 732), with a fraction as many offices (Trump last month paid $101,000 in rent vs. $328,000 for Clinton), the analysis found.

Does Trump think he can get out the vote in a general election without field offices?

Polls A Go Go

I find it most interesting that everyone seems to be focusing on national polls (of registered voters no less..pee-yew) and not on the state by state polls. National polls don't really matter. It's the individual state polls that matter. And anyone that thinks this race is tightening ought to take a look at what Arizona and Georgia look like.

Here are some other notes about polls...

Nate Silver went on a pretty hilarious Twitter rant about polls in May. And a great mea culpa from Silve as well.

Speaking of 538, here's some great insight on the whole Trump supporters are in the closet meme.




Thursday, May 19, 2016

Where are the Emperor's Clothes?


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Welcome To Louisville


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Greatest Answer Ever On Quora

The question asked was...

Is it true that there are some "no-brainer" gun control laws that should be passed?

And the answer was this...

I own guns. I like guns.  I can conceal carry (though may or may not).  I enjoy hitting up the range and shootin' 'em.  I do believe there exists a right to gun ownership in this country.

But I also think the ease with which one can acquire massive amounts of military-grade lethality in this country is flat-out stupid, and don't believe there's anything in the Bill of Rights that entitles me to purchase and own a .50 caliber sniper rifle loaded up with armor-piercing rounds.

Slippery slope be damned, there does exist such a thing as reasonable gun control legislation, just as there exist some very unreasonable guns.

For shits and giggles I went down to my local gun store the other day to see what they were up to as I expected there was some amusement to be had there post-Newtown.  Indeed, there was.

While I was there, I literally witness shop staff taking the price tags off of AR-15s and other semi-automatic assault rifles, replacing them with significantly marked-up prices.  Ammo shelves were empty, save for the odd box of cheap range ammo.  Walls that had, a few weeks ago, been covered inch-to-inch by every imaginable type of assault rifle lay bare - people had come in and bought out every damn thing they could, certain they had to do so before the government swooped in to snatch up their right to do so.  You'd think the zombie apocalypse had begun (especially since all the anti-zombie explosive rounds had been among the first to sell-out).  At most, you might have found an antique rifle to buy.  Oh... and that actual .50 caliber sniper rifle that was selling for $15,000 and had been on the shelf for about a year?  Someone finally bought it just the other day.

I'm sorry, but while I don't doubt there are plenty of reasonable gun owners who genuinely enjoy the things for recreational purposes or even for what they represent technologically (as I like to consider myself to be), there are also some batshit crazy paranoid types far too eager to treat guns as the end all be all, along with some shamelessly opportunistic types giddy at the prospect of making money off the aforementioned crazies (the shop staff and owner, with whom I have rapport, admitted being near giddy each time a mass shooting takes place - they don't fear legislation because they know attempts at it usually fall apart, plenty of loopholes are left in place, and they sell out of every damn thing in the store no matter how much they mark it all up each time people freak out [such as after Obama first got elected, after Obama got reelected, after Aurora, after Newtown, etc]).

And I'll eagerly go on record saying that, when I went to take my classes to get my concealed carry permits, the overriding reason I ended up feeling like I wanted a concealed carry permit is because those other people in the class were going to have one.  While I primarily wanted them to make going to the range or out to the desert to shoot an easier affair, most everyone else there expressed genuinely feeling like they needed to conceal carry before the United Nations took away any opportunity to do so or Obama himself came kicking in their doors to take away their guns  (and wives and children, I suppose).

As much as some would like to say "the left" or the Feinsteins and Obamas are dictating the gun control debate and set to trash the Bill of Rights, the fact of the matter is the types of people I've described above, as well as the more sophisticated types taking advantage of the people I've described above, have actually been the ones dictating the gun control debate, passing the legislation at the federal and local level, and ensuring there's no shortage of truly devastating and lethal weaponry available and just about anyone can get their hands on the stuff.

Check out this guy:

This weapon doesn't seem like something anyone could carry around with them wherever they went. What if I told you, though, I could have it under my jacket in line behind you at Starbucks? A few seats down from you at the movies? In the car next to you at a stoplight? Walking alongside you at the mall? It's a Sig Sauer P556 "pistol" - yes, it's considered a pistol. One can carry it concealed (though it is almost 2ft long) as they would a pistol. Yet one can also use a 30-round magazine with 5.56 NATO rifle rounds and fire off those rounds as quickly as they can pull that trigger with that thing.

The average person would not look at that thing and consider it a pistol, much less suspect it's the type of weapon anyone would be allowed to "conceal carry" at will in public, but thanks to the ways laws are written and manufacturers work with those laws it is.

It's easier for me to go buy a .50 caliber sniper rifle than over the counter allergy medication; with a few easily-acquired attachments and accessories (that require absolutely nothing but money to buy) I can turn just about any semi-automatic assault weapon available (and there are tons available) in to one capable of firing at near fully-automatic rates; the only limit to how many rounds of ammunition I can acquire is how many I can afford, and I can feed those rounds in to weapons with belts and drums and high-capacity magazines that enable me to fire off dozens and even hundreds of rounds before having to reload. 

I can assure you the licensing process that allows me to carry multiple concealed weapons - such as the "assault pistol" in the photo - in most every state is less stringent than getting a drivers license and easier than getting a license to cut hair. And if I simply want to own assault weapons without attempting to conceal-carry them, there's really no licensing process at all. None at all. 

Sure, there's a 2nd Amendment. Sure, there are practical reasons to own guns. But to deny the absurdity behind how easily anyone can get guns and what types of guns they can get is irrational; to suggest no reasonable attempts at limitation and regulation exist is also irrational.  Existing laws are already insufficient and far too lax, and at the same time manufacturers are able to circumvent them so effectively they might as well not exist; pro-gun legislators and the gun-lobby have purposefully ensured states and municipalities either can't pass laws, or can't effectively enforce whatever laws they do manage to pass. 

Again, I don't doubt reasonable gun owners exist and, again, I hope to consider myself one of those people.  At the same time, however, after many years circulating among  gun owners and participating in that culture and network, I simply have to admit I've spent a fair amount of time surrounded by people I'd consider to be fairly irrational when it comes to gun laws and those people and the lobbies representing them have had a far greater impact on existing laws in place than anyone attempting to restrict ownership or what is available for ownership.

The vast majority of weapons available today were designed to kill people.  Their express purpose is to facilitate and enable the effective and efficient killing of people.  Sure, there's the odd hunting rifle or shotgun round that kicks ass at bringing down ducks, but the measure of most any semi-automatic and fully-automatic weapon and round is how effective it is as "stopping", "neutralizing" and killing a person.  You won't ever hear the folks snatching up weapons down at the gun store touting a particular brand's ability to effectively put holes in paper targets or fly down range with true aim.  They sell that "double tap" ammunition (that actually fires two projectiles per cartridge) for your handgun so that single shot can put two bullets in a person; they sell "The Judge" - a revolver that fires out shotgun rounds - so one can still yield extreme force and lethality with as small a weapon as possible; they sell those high-capacity magazines so you can blast off round after round in rapid succession in the hopes you take out the bad guy, despite however bad your aim might be.  These weapons' and accessories' designs, techniques, methods and technologies were borne and perfected on battlefields for use between armies, and just about anyone can easily employ them on the streets here at home.

Existing gun laws are not only inadequate, but absurd; existing gun laws are not only failing to protect, but just about facilitating obscene amounts of violence as pro-gun lobbies go out of their way to ensure each contains loopholes and workarounds that render them obsolete; existing gun laws are not taking weapons off the streets but rather encouraging manufacturers and retailers to find creative ways to enable just about anyone with sufficient money (which often isn't even that much) and a pulse to posses killing power and destructive ability beyond anything the authors of the Constitution could have ever imagined.  And when some point to the failure of existing gun laws to effectively curb violence, don't let them convince you it's because gun laws stand no hope of ever accomplishing anything.  Allow yourself to consider the possibility that existing gun laws haven't done enough to this point because gun proponents have ensured they can't be effectively implemented, people can easily avoid any jurisdictional enforcement they don't like, manufacturers can easily work around whatever laws that might exist, and concerted efforts are made by groups like the NRA to make any legislation impotent as they then point to that impotence as a reason to not have the laws in the first place.

It's high time the militia gets well-regulated, and we acknowledge there are absurd degrees of firepower beyond easily accessible to everyone.

Number One answer in the question.

Over 62,000 views.

Over 1,000 upvotes.

Fuck you, Gun Cult. Your trolling and swarming will not stop the majority of the people in this country that want to live in a safer place. As Mr. Dunlap noted, we are on to you.

And we will never stop until you are completely fucking neutered.

Monday, May 16, 2016

About That Debt...

Paul Krugman's recent piece on where Trump gets his support is sheer brilliance. The part I especially enjoyed was this.

The Trump solution would, among other things, deprive the world economy of its most crucial safe asset, U.S. debt, at a time when safe assets are already in short supply.

Right. US debt is still one of the safest assets in the world despite what foams out of the mouth of the old lady debt hystericals.

And I'm still waiting for those debt collectors to come a callin' by the by...:) (he said, wondering the people who caterwaul about our debt even understand who owns it).

Sunday, May 15, 2016

When Did Optimism Become Uncool?

Good question. Given reality, it makes no sense.

Job growth has been strong for five years, with unemployment now below where it was for most of the 1990s, a period some extol as the “good old days.” The American economy is No. 1 by a huge margin, larger than Nos. 2 and 3 (China and Japan) combined. Americans are seven times as productive, per capita, as Chinese citizens. The dollar is the currency the world craves — which means other countries perceive America’s long-term prospects as very good.

Pollution, discrimination, crime and most diseases are in an extended decline; living standards, longevity and education levels continue to rise. The American military is not only the world’s strongest, it is the strongest ever. The United States leads the world in science and engineering, in business innovation, in every aspect of creativity, including the arts. Terrorism is a serious concern, but in the last 15 years, even taking into account Sept. 11, an American is five times more likely to be hit by lightning than to be killed by a terrorist.

Even with all of my concern about gun violence, I still think we, as a planet, are in a far better place than we have EVER been. The rest of the article speaks to many of the reasons why and also delves into the specific facts about behind the pessimism. Very much worth the read.

Not Shocked At All

From my Sunday Times...


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wind Chimes


Friday, May 13, 2016

Fighting Back

Mexico fights back against 'The Clown'

'bout time!!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Still Not Over 2004

Liberals are classic hand wringers and Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination has only made it worse. Thankfully, we have Michael A. Cohen to calm everyone down.

Four years ago, Mitt Romney lost the presidency by 5 million votes. So for a Republican to win in 2016, the party nominee has to find a way to increase the number of GOP voters. The problem for Trump is that he’s moving in the opposite direction. Take for example, Hispanic voters. In 2012, Romney lost them 71-27 percent. Trump today has an 81 percent unfavorability rating among Hispanics. Among African-Americans it is 91 percent. Considering that nonwhite voters made up 28 percent of the electorate in 2012 — and could be an even higher percentage this year — that means Trump starts the campaign at a huge, nearly insurmountable disadvantage.

There's also this line of thought...a very fallacious line of thought...that goes something like this: No one thought Trump could win the nomination and he did. So, that means that if no one thinks he will win the presidency, he will win the presidency.

Somewhere Chris Mooney is massively rolling his eyes...:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Today's Lesson: 2nd Amendment


Pants Pooped!

So, Quinninpac released a poll that showed Hillary Clinton only one point ahead of Trump in Florida and Pennsylvania and four points behind in Ohio. The media and pretty much everyone else has spent the entire day yesterday pooping their pants over the fact that Donald Trump might actually win this thing.

Except that he won't.

In many ways, this poll is a good thing for Hillary Clinton and the voting public in general. If she wants to truly kick his ass, she is going to have to take the angry, old white male vote (see also: the only people really supporting Trump) seriously. A poll like this shows if she fucks around and doesn't start working on her negatives, it could be closer than everyone would like. It also puts the fear of God into people and will motivate even more of them to vote.

Of course, looking at one poll (of registered, not likely voters) is a big mistake. The average of all of the polls gives a better indication of where the race is really at. The Florida polls shows Clinton up by four points. Ohio average has her up three points. Pennsylvania average has her up seven. With the latter, Trump has never led in any of the polls so he really has no chance there.

Keep watching the averages. they aren't really moving that much and that's a good sign for Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Trump Flip Flops Begin

Donald Trump is going to start flip flopping like a frog on a skillet as he pivots before the general election, but today we'll focus on the thing that Trump said completely differentiated him from every other candidate in history: he is really rich.

Remember how Trump said that he would self-fund his campaign, and he wouldn't owe other billionaires anything?

Guess what? He lied! 
Donald J. Trump took steps to appropriate much of the Republican National Committee’s financial and political infrastructure for his presidential campaign on Monday, amid signs that he and the party would lag dangerously behind the Democrats in raising money for the general election. 
He's pretending that he has to do it because the Democrats would win if he didn't. The reality is that he's doing it to cash in. He is going to make money running for president. How is this possible?

Donald Trump hasn't actually spent any money on his campaign. He has been lending it money. Now there's a huge difference: by lending money to his campaign, he can have the campaign repay the loans at a later time, with interest.

Furthermore, a huge amount of his campaign expenditures are paid to Trump owned companies (like his airplane). Trump companies have been charging his campaign to fly him around the company, bringing him home every night to sleep in New York instead of in hotels on the campaign trail. Trump's campaign is paying him for office space in Trump Tower, for meals in his restaurants, etc. Trump's companies' services are much more expensive than other companies' because they're so "luxurious."

When other people start donating money to the Trump campaign (and some suckers have already been doing it!), Trump can use that money to repay the loans he made to the campaign, with interest. Trump will profit handsomely off the nitwits who swallowed his lies about self-funding.

Also remember how Trump said that candidates like Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton are beholden to Wall Street because of their close relationships with Goldman Sachs and other banks? Trump just announced who his main fund-raiser is: Steven Mnuchin, who formerly worked at Goldman Sachs and at a firm funded by George Soros. Like Trump, Mnuchin donated to Clinton. And Mnuchin says he has been a personal friend of Trump for 15 years.

So, contrary to everything Trump promised, he's getting into bed with Republican billionaires like Sheldon Adelson who contribute to the Republican Party and who just endorsed Trump, and with Wall Street moneymen.

Oh, but he has to in order to beat Hillary, you say? Well, then, how is he any different than any other politician? It was clear from the beginning that Trump would never be able spend the hundreds of billions of dollars required to run for president (he's actually not very rich -- he's only like the 122nd richest person in America, between two other trust-fund babies you've never head of).

Trump has been conning voters for months about self-funding, knowing full well that in the general election he'd start using other people's money to run, and pay himself back all his loans at a profitable interest rate. That's just smart business, right?

This leads us into Trump's taxes. Trump says that he can't release his taxes because his taxes since 2009 are being audited (he's been audited every year since 2002). Trump hasn't released anything about his taxes at all, and when he does people will be outraged.

My guess is that Trump doesn't pay much in taxes. I'm betting that the vast majority of his personal living expenses are being paid for by the company (since he does business in his own home), so I'm guessing he personally pays nothing for food, rent, travel, entertainment, TVs, cars, furniture, etc., because those are all "business expenses."

Furthermore, I'm betting those phony "business expenses" are used to reduce his company's tax burden. Which means the American taxpayers are footing the bill for Donald Trump's lavish lifestyle.

Finally, I'm guessing that Trump does not pay himself much of a salary. Instead, I'm betting that the majority of his income is paid to him in forms that are counted as capital gains. Which means stock rewards, qualified dividends and other rich-man gimmicks that regular human beings can't take advantage of.

Being rich was supposed to the thing that made Donald Trump a legit candidate. But it turns out it's all just a scam to make Trump richer.

The Man Baby



Of course, Trump is merely an extension of the right wing blog commenter mentality. They are all man babies.

Monday, May 09, 2016

The Trump Brand


Sunday, May 08, 2016

The Trump Speech We Will Never Hear

Reprinted in its entirety from here.

Thank you. I am almost humbled by the HUGE support you’ve shown for my campaign. Tremendous support. Tremendous. As I said when I announced my candidacy, I entered this to win, and I knew I would.
Why? Because from states and towns large and small, from one end of the country to the other, my message has resonated. I’ve tapped into a deep-seated anger that until now only bubbled up around the edges of peoples’ lives. But thanks to my campaign, this blinding rage has exploded into full view for everyone to see.
And this is why I, Donald J. Trump, now announce, before all of my loyal delegates and millions of supporters … that I must decline your nomination.
Because, in fact, my campaign hasn’t been about tapping into those emotions. It’s been about exposing the ability of someone like me — a media-savvy celebrity billionaire — to exploit them, playing on your fear and resentment by disseminating lies and fabrications, by demonizing minorities of all kinds, by appealing to your lowest instincts, and by leveraging peoples’ innate desire to blame and to follow without questioning or critical thinking.
I confess that from the start we plotted my candidacy as an experiment. We meticulously scheduled each and every gaffe, insult, slur, confrontation, complaint, mistake and outlandish tweet to build upon the last. The goal was to test just how far a seemingly unhinged, uninformed, incurious, intellectually lazy, yet supremely confident candidate could go.
Honestly, we never thought we’d make it this far. Third place, maybe — folding our tent after Super Tuesday was our best guess. And yet, we kept creating believers, and from Little Marco to Lyin’ Ted, our competition kept rolling over. The more irrational I got, the higher my poll numbers soared. So with the help of an all-too-often compliant, sensation-driven media, I kept it going. And here we are.
In other words, my campaign has been one HUGE scam. Only, unlike my university and my steaks, this one aimed to prove a bigger point.
How did this happen? Is it because America is always losing? Is it because Obama hates America? Is it because we need to take our country back?
No. It’s because too many Americans are ignorant. I mean, too many Americans choose to ignore facts, because the lies and myths that oppose those facts make them feel better. They ignore facts like:
• Planned Parenthood access reduces the number of abortions in America.
• Our economy isn’t a disaster.
• The Affordable Care Act, while not perfect, is helping millions of people.
• President Obama was born in Hawaii, and I never had evidence otherwise.
• America is still the wealthiest country on the planet.
• Global warming is caused by human activity.
• We can’t build a wall and have Mexico pay for it.
• We can’t ban all Muslims from entering the country, and
• I have no idea what “until someone figures this whole thing out” means.
Now, I implore you, my supporters, to look in the mirror and ask yourselves: What other big decisions do you make in life that are driven by anger? Who do you allow your kids to blame for their problems? What name-calling bully have you ever held up to your kids as a role model?
Fortunately, another thing my candidacy has shown me is that, with this platform, I have the opportunity to do some good. So before I leave I would like to announce three things:
First, I will be donating all the contributions to my campaign to public school systems across the country — for better materials, smaller classes and more teachers. Ignorance isn’t bliss. And teaching and learning shouldn’t be so hard.
Second, I want to sincerely apologize to Michelle Fields, Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly, Heidi Cruz, Rosie O’Donnell and any other women I’ve personally insulted or belittled. My behavior toward you was unbecoming of a grown man.
Third, I am asking my delegates to draft and support Sen. Susan Collins as our party’s nominee. She is the most decent, humble, reasonable and intelligent Republican woman I’ve ever met. She’ll make a great president.
It’s been a scary but revealing ride. You owe yourselves someone better than me — someone truly tremendous. Now go make me proud.
Thank you.



No Mass Exodus

I live in a state that has high taxes and government spending. In 2013, our Democratic governor raised taxes on the wealthy and increased spending even more. Despite predictions that this sort of policy would result in a poor economy, Minnesota is doing quite well. Our unemployment rate is 3.7% which basically means if you aren't working, you don't want to have a job. We have a state surplus of over $1 billion dollars. Our GDP is $255 billion dollars.

Today, our state discovered that Republican predictions of a mass exodus of higher taxes on the wealthy have not come to pass.

Critics predicted that the ultra-affluent would flee after Gov. Mark Dayton secured 2013 passage of a new income tax tier of 9.85 percent on individuals who make more than $156,000 a year. But the latest data show that the number of people who filed tax returns with over $1 million in income grew by 15.3 percent in the year after the tax passed, while the new top tier of taxpayers grew by 6 percent.

Grew, you say? Hmm...maybe people like having a better place to send their kids to school and nice roads to drive on.

Let's compare my state to Wisconsin, where Scott Walker has enacted the exact opposite policies of Governor Dayton. The Wisconsin unemployment rate is 4.4%. They have a budget shortfall of $1.8 billion dollars which has forced cuts to the University of Wisconsin system to comply with the balanced budget law. Their GDP is $230 billion dollars. Wisconsin ranks among the top states people are leaving.

I wonder why...:)


Thursday, May 05, 2016

Paul Ryan to Donald Trump: Nope

Paul Ryan is just not ready to back Donald Trump. Hilarious. I can't remember a time when a Speaker of the House immediately came out against the nominee in their own party. Does anyone out there think the GOP is in any way stable right now?

Wow.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Rough Justice for the Alberta Tar Sands

While Donald Trump is still claiming that global warming is a hoax, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada is being evacuated due to a massive forest fire:
Tens of thousands of people have fled north and south.

Fuelled by soaring temperatures that hit 32 C and tinder-dry forest, the fire broached the city limits and by 6:20 p.m. a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the entire city.

“Today has been a devastating day. We have had explosive fire conditions on the landscape brought on by extremely high temperatures” and low relative humidity, Bernie Schmitte, wildfire manager at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, said Tuesday night during a news conference.

“The fire is still out of control,” Schmitte said. “We have been challenged on many fronts as the fire came through the community. It has entered the community and it has gone through the community.”

Officials have accounted for about 53,000 people, including 17,000 people north of the city, 8,000 in Anzac, 9,000 in Lac La Biche, and 18,000 in Edmonton. Fort McMurray has population of 83,000. “This is not an exact science,” one official said when asked about the discrepancy.
Note the "32 C" temperature reading: that's 90 degrees Fahrenheit, on May 4th, in Alberta, Canada, which is really far north, at 57 degrees latitude. It's just another indication that global warming is really happening, and burning fossil fuels -- like those extracted from the tar sands right there in Alberta -- is causing the northern latitudes to heat up very quickly.

There's a sort of rough justice here: the oil extracted from the tar sands is some of the dirtiest there is (it's the crap they wanted to pipe into the US through the Keystone XL pipeline). The area has been hammered economically in recent months because of the low price of oil.

If you're superstitious or religious, you might be inclined to blame this on an angry mother earth, karma, or divine retribution. In reality, it's simple, straightforward and very predictable atmospheric physics.

Like the climate refugees being forced out of their homes in Louisiana due to rising sea levels, the people Fort McMurray are losing their homes to our insatiable thirst for oil.

The Fallout From Indiana

With Donald Trump's resounding victory in yesterday's Indiana primary, the general election has officially taken shape. Ted Cruz is out. Kasich has zero chance of getting anywhere even in a contested convention. Ladies and gentlemen...

Donald Trump is the GOP nominee for president.

I can't think of a better example of the GOP today. Donald Trump is angry, hateful, willfully ignorant, adolescent, racist, bigoted, and highly unintelligent. He is the most unqualified candidate in the history of presidential elections and he's been fueled by voters who mirror his completely false perception of reality. Conservatives are getting exactly what they want.

He also represents proof positive of one of my running theories. Conservatives want someone who is massively authoritarian because they loves themselves an aristocratic structure where the non whites know their place. Trump was so popular in the South because he reminds folks of the plantation owner lording over his minions and expecting tribute from the "less-thans."

Even though Bernie Sanders won last night in Indiana, Hillary Clinton will still win the Democratic nomination. So it's going to be Clinton v Trump. I'm looking forward to the slew of polls likely to come out in the next few weeks that show just how much Trump is going to get his ass kicked. Worse for Republicans are the down ticket candidates who now have to run way from Trump if they are in a toss up race.

With Trump at the top of the GOP ticket, the Republicans can wave buh-bye to the Senate.

Will the GOP learn its lesson? I doubt it. They will likely stomp their feet and whine about not nominating a "real" conservative. They'll heap blame on Trump but it's really the voters that are the problem. Their base is so fractured largely due to the Tea Party who seemingly morphed into Trump supporters.

The only issue faced by the Democrats is replicating what will likely be massive turnout in the fall in the off year elections. Why can't Democrats vote in the years that matter? This is why the GOP has taken over state house and local governments. When 35-40 percent of voters turnout in the midterms, that means only old, white people are voting. Translation: GOP victories.

In advance of what will surely be ear to ear smiles from fresh polls, here, once again, is my map for the fall election.




And I think I'm being generous to Trump!



Monday, May 02, 2016

Lucifer in the Flesh


Sunday, May 01, 2016

How Overt Racism Can Be A Good Thing

Jeneee Desmond-Harris has a great piece up over at the times on how the overt racism of Trump supporters is actually a good thing. She begins by relating how discussions of race invariably begin.

Last March, I reported on the Department of Justice’s findings that the police and municipal courts in Ferguson, Mo., had consistently violated the constitutional rights of the city’s black residents. The article included a summary of the abuse of power investigators uncovered, as well as the content of public officials’ emails. (One example: a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, captioned “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”) 

Simply for presenting the investigation’s findings and the cops’ and court officials’ revealing words, I received a barrage of angry messages asking why I had to “make everything about race.”

Ah, yes...classic...but this brings up a great point.

One thing has been made very clear to me: Many people resent being confronted with information about how racism still shapes — and sometimes, ruins — life in this country.

They resent it because they don't want to take the responsibility for it...just like teenagers.

After a great summation of the Trump rallies over the last few months, we get to this. Mr. Trump and his supporters serve another function, too: They expose the falsehood of the seductive myth that with time and increased diversity, racism will inevitably evaporate.

It won't. It's an ongoing challenge. And this is why the overt racism of Trump and his supporters is a good thing. It's illustrating the folly of easy fixes and adolescent denial.