Monday, October 31, 2016

The Hatch Act: I Stand Corrected




Okay, so I got a little carried away and failed to inquire into the penalties for violation of the Hatch Act. Apparently, after further googling, Mr. Comey cannot be led away in hand cuffs--a pity--the only penalty is removal from office.

Listening to the talking heads on The PBS News Hour, Chris Hayes etc., opinion broke two ways--there are the forgiving Obama types who have known the man and think well of him, but thought he simply made a mistake and then there are others, who simply shrugged and said, "Of course he violated the Hatch Act. There have been few examples of a more flagrant violation."

There is a board which hears these cases and their verdict can be appealed in court. 

If Trump wins,  I doubt we'll see that process unfold. 

Deep Cleansing Breath




Oliver described the FBI’s announcement as the equivalent of a mystery box.
“And like the box from the end of ‘Seven,’ it could contain anything from nothing to Gwyneth Paltrow’s head,” he said. “Although it almost definitely contains Anthony Weiner’s penis.” 
--RE: JOHN OLIVER SHOW


OY, what a story! The October Surprise. Trump gloating, triumphant. I told you so!

Told us what?

Fact is, nothing.  Nothing's changed.

In "The West Wing" the Republican candidate is undone by an October surprise when a nuclear power plant in his home state nearly melts down. He had advocated for more nuclear power in a debate with his opponent and now this comes back to bite him just before the voting.  He never recovers and loses the election.
But that was different. That was a policy thing.


If Hillary Clinton is elected, the Republicans in Congress will be investigating her from day one through her last day in office, spending millions of taxpayer dollars in their single minded obsession to prove they were right all along.
They'll continue to infect the government with gridlock.
Survivalists in Idaho and the Dakotas will continue to stockpile arms in anticipation of the apocalyptic attack of the black helicopters. Rush Limbaugh and Trump radio will continue to accuse Hillary of dark, undiscovered crimes against humanity and the Republic.
South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, the Dakotas, Idaho and Wyoming and likely Texas will continue to be home to people who believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya or on Mars, and Hillary and the Democrats are plotting to take away your guns, and the federal government should not be allowed to own land, and there are space aliens in Area 51.  Oh, yes, and there is a vast, world wide conspiracy nobody in the liberal media will tell you about to do bad things nobody is quite sure of, but it's bad.
Worst of all, we'll have Donald Trump on TV every day, and he'll lead every news program every night. He'll be so ubiquitous he'll make Big Brother look like a recluse.




I have a button which says, "Shut the Trump Up."
But, of course, we can never do that. Wouldn't really want to. After all, there is a reason freedom of speech is in the FIRST amendment. It's the most important freedom of all. 
If Trump wins, having to listen to stories about him, but actually, I was forgetting--there is an even worse than worst part:  We'll have to deal with stories about those he inspires, enables and emboldens.
That is the real horror show.



But, in a better world, if Hillary Clinton does win, and if she wins by a wide margin, then it might reassure a broad swath of the nation that Americans are not fools, that we can listen to Trump and all those who travel with him without being convinced.

If Hillary wins a squeaker, that would be less therapeutic, especially if she has to face a Republican Senate.






If she loses, likely the news about Obamacare premiums rising will be more important than the schemes of James Comey, the screams of Rush Limbaugh.


Now, just a week until we know.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Where is the Warrant for the Arrest of James Comey?



Harry Reid tells Director of the FBI, James Comey, he "may" have violated the Hatch Act.  The New York Times says if the election goes to Mr. Trump, then Mr. Comey "might" be guilty of violating the law which forbids federal employees from using their offices to influence political activity, elections.

All this implies there is some doubt about whether Mr. Comey violated the law. 
The Times, and others, point out Mr. Comey's intent must be assessed to convict him of violating the law.

Yes, that's what trials are about, weighing alternative interpretations of actions.
But this is also what arrests are about, and what timing is about. And what law is about. 
Judges have a process by which they can issue an interim decision when timing is critical to outcomes. 
Unless I'm mistaken, the only remedy for the current situation is to publicly arrest Mr. Comey, and make him do a perp walk in handcuffs, to say to those impressionable voters out there who are wondering if the FBI investigation of emails associated with Mrs. Clinton implies she has done something wrong or even illegal, to say to these folks, no, actually it's the Director of the FBI who has done something wrong. 

He has taken action which can only be seen on face value as one which was motivated by trying to influence an election.  He can be tried on this charge. We can take all the time he needs to prepare his defense, but for now, he belongs in jail.


Jail Jimmy: Indict Jimmy Comey for Hatch Act Violation





The Hatch Act is not my favorite law, but sometimes bad law can be put to good uses.  In 1939 the act was passed to prevent federal government employees from engaging in "pernicious political activity."  It was actually inspired by the use of government employees to intimidate voters on behalf of certain candidates, but over the years it's meant that federal government employees cannot drive to work in Washington, D.C. with bumper stickers for candidates for federal office.

Over the years, there have been some questions about its implied restrictions of freedom of speech for the employees, but in the Case of James Comey, current director of the FBI, it should be used to send federal officers to his office and slap him in hand cuffs for trying to perniciously sway a federal election by insinuating Hillary Clinton is under investigation as a crook, when in fact it is the director and his underlings who have violated the law.

The really sleazey part of Comey's actions is that he did not have to accuse Ms. Clinton of anything. He only had to say, "She's under investigation, or maybe not, again."

So, yes. Let the Attorney General send some officers, preferably not FBI agents--with all the police agencies in Washington, D.C., they ought to be able to find somebody carrying handcuffs, who knows how to use them.


John Randolph: Citizen of the Republic of Reason

I am a citizen of the Republic of Reason. 
--John Randolph

Reading about John Randolph, of Roanoke, Virginia, born 1773, who served in the nascent United States House of Representatives and the Senate is both thrilling and reassuring, here and now in 2016. 

Randolph was a slave owning master of a Virginian plantation, a son of Virginia aristocracy and bizarrely, a distant relative of none other than Pocahontas. (This should be a comfort to Elizabeth Warren. Not all descendants of Pocahontas look like Cher.)

He was a prodigious horseman, whose feats upon stallions were well known and much admired in hunt country, but he was also clearly a eunuch. His biographers speculate about the source of his testosterone deficiency, speculating him to be  a victim of Klinefelter's Syndrome, but all we really know is at his autopsy, he had only a remnant of one atrophic testicle. Whatever caused this, it likely happened before puberty was fully completed, leaving him with long legs, no beard growth and a high pitched voice.

It was Randolph, reacting to another Congressman's taunt about his lack of virility, who said, "Sir, you pride yourself on an animal faculty, in which the Negro is your equal and the jackass infinitely your superior."
Oh, that we had Congressmen with that sort of mind today--but without the racist tinge. 
As if in compensation for his lack of manliness, he became pugnacious and physically fearless.  His home plantation was called, "Bizarre." And bizarre he was.

But he was also important and reading about him is much more than merely entertaining and enthralling: It is enlightening. 

Randolph vehemently opposed the proposition the federal government ought to raise and support a standing army in peacetime.  For Randolph, the idea of paying an army of mercenaries to defend the citizens of America was an anathema. 
"A people who mean to continue free must be prepared to meet danger in person, not to rely on the fallacious protection of mercenary armies. When citizen and soldier shall be synonymous terms, then will you be safe."
As a student at Columbia, he had listened to debates in the United States Congress, then in New York, about the idea of allowing militia to keep and bear arms.  He thought arming the militia a bad idea. Citizens should arm themselves.
This provides a new insight into the origins of the Second Amendment. Clearly, the Second Amendment was meant to arm militias, not individuals. Randolph thought the Constitution should guarantee an individual's right to bear arms and was appalled it ceded that right only to members of a militia.
Somehow, this escaped the attention of Justice Scalia and others as they found the Second Amendment guaranteeing an individual's right to keep and bear arms in what they claimed was the original intent of the founding fathers. (What did Scalia actually know about what the founding fathers thought?)
Randolph was offended by the idea of paying men to be soldiers when there was no war to fight. These fighting men, with no fight before them would simply be "mercenary loungers and ragamuffins." 

Oddly, the idea that peacetime soldiers might be described as slackers or hired guns did not so much offend the military as the description, "ragamuffin," and Randolph felt compelled to walk back that term, but he stuck to his guns about the slacker (lounger) and mercenary parts.

I cannot know for sure, but from what I've read, those off the grid white supremacists living out in Idaho and North Dakota would likely agree with Randolph about the imperative to be self sufficient and to be prepared and willing to defend yourself and your home personally and they are arming themselves to fight the standing army of the federal government. Now we think of these people as lunatics, but Randolph, coming from a Virginia plantation was describing this mentality explicitly.

Distrust of others, unwillingness to place power in the hands of people outside your family, your plantation is sewn into the fabric of those Trump supporters who pack heat and show up at his rallies. These people are profoundly, often sociopath ically, anti social. Theirs is a distrust of the losing class, the kids who were told in grade school they were stupid, who were denigrated by their teachers in middle school, who were never going to get past high school.  Institutions of the government rejected them, told them they were worthless losers. And they never fully recovered, even if they went on to earn decent livings as HVAC repairmen, plumbers, electricians and wood workers.

Clinging to their guns.

But the really interesting thing is the unraveling of threads we today think of as interwoven.  Clinging to their guns and their religion. Not so in Randolph, who like Jefferson and so many other founding fathers was a "deist, and therefor an atheist."  Deist, as Jefferson described it, hoped for the existence of a God and an afterlife, but had no faith in any earthly religion connecting them to that.

Randolph would not have embraced today's Second Amendment crowd. He detested the idea of equality, and no gun could make you his equal.

It's pretty clear the current gun toting Second Amendment character feels powerful, the equal of any man when he straps on his Glock or slings his AK-15 over his shoulder and walks down the street or shows up at an Obama rally to protest.

Randolph had no illusions about even the biggest hand gun or rifle making you all powerful. The Revolution had been fought with cannon and howitzers--even in the late 18th and early 19th century, armies could crush any individual or plantation owner. 
My right to enslave others

Oddly, Randolph and Jefferson and the early Republican-Democrats loved the French revolutionaries, who were heavily into chopping off heads.  The heads they were after were aristocrats and the government they were advancing was one of citizen equality. And Jefferson and Randolph were aristocrats. But what they did not like was the idea of a government which could intervene on behalf of the have nots to impose power over them in their own little plantation kingdoms. 

Much as today's anti government Trumpees revile the whole notion of government. 

The odd evolution has, however, brought our present day anti government types into the military fold. Kelly Ayotte extols the virtues of our present day ragamuffins at every opportunity. Of course, you can argue that we no longer have a peacetime army in our world of eternal, constant war.  But she loves the idea of hiring others to do our fighting for us, rather than making citizens defend themselves in person. 

But Ayotte and her Tea Party lovers do share that Jeffersonian, Randolph desire to live without a government.  
You want guns: I'll give you guns

"Given the choice between government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I'd choose the latter," Jefferson said.

Which means, for all his dismissal of the value of any real government, Mr. Trump has not embraced the alternative. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Only I Know What Hillary Is Hiding

Oh, that villain


While David Brooks and Mark Shields blather on about the pyschological effect of Jimmy Comey's recent letter to Republican Congressman on that unicorn of a voter who hasn't already made up his or her own mind, I alone know what is in all those emails, on that private server, what Hillary is desperate not be revealed:

1/ Hillary arranged for those State Department employees to die at Benghazi
2/ Hillary covertly shipped grenade launchers, rock propelled grenades, tanks, airplanes, Black Hawk helicopters and sharp head lopping off swords to ISIS and used the money ISIS sent her to fund late term abortions in the Congo and Texas through the Clinton foundation
3/ Hillary diverted State Department funds to Planned Parenthood to search out women recently pregnant who might be persuaded to have late term abortions
4/ Hillary sought to buy the silence of all those women who her sexual predator husband Bill continued to bed because she was afraid one of those women might speak up and implicate her in Bill's assignations. She was furious when some of them refused and instead showed up in the front row of the debates, having taken Trump's better offer of roles on the next Celebrity Apprentice
5/ General Petraeus is Hillary's secret lover, one among many. Others include: Bernie Sanders, Tim Kane, Harry Reid, Sheriff Arpaio (of Arizona), Sitting Bull (in another life), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonin Scalia (who she had murdered because he threatened to talk), Clarence Thomas (who is only alive because he never talks.)
I don't see what's so funny

And that only scratches the surface of what I know about what's on those emails. 
But I'm not going to let it all out just now. I'm going to send it to Wikileaks so they can dribble it out, day by day until November 8.

Remember only I know the truth.
Eat your heart out, Donnie John.


Friday, October 28, 2016

J. Edgar Hoover, Comey and the Tooth Fairy



Oh, just a little notice to Congress, we have a new computer to look at and it belonged to the former wife of one of the most embarrassing Democrats ever and it may have her emails violating security and she's a friend of Hillary so let the headlines read: FBI investigating Hillary. AGAIN!
She's just SO corrupt. But, of course, that's not for me to say. 
I'm just saying. We are just investigating, or not. Maybe. We're looking into it.
Eleven days to go, we had to do something.
It's an old FBI tradition. You know, like when J. Edgar went after Martin Luther King. And that was the beginning of a tradition around here. 



But I'm just doing my job. Got to get those statements out right now.
Don't want this coming out after the election. Might make the bureau look bad. 

So, this may or may not be germane to our investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, but it is certainly not  motivated by a desire to affect the election.

Just me doing my job, just pure as the driven snow. Just like J. Edgar before me...
But here's the thing. What do you think is the worst possible thing that could be on any of Ms. Clinton's emails? 
Nobody ever talks about that.
Like, suppose there was top secret stuff which could have hurt "national security." Like what? Exactly. 
Actually, this computer didn't really have Ms. Clinton's emails, just her friend's emails and some of the husband's. Well, maybe some of Hillary's. I'm not saying.
But back to the good stuff: What could be in Mrs. Clinton's emails?
Maybe she is secretly Vladimir Putin's mistress! Or maybe she was having a thing with Qaddafi and that's why she was so keen to get him. Lover's spat. Hell hath no fury like a woman spurned or what not. I mean. I'll just leave it to your imagination. 
Not even Donald can come up with something specific. He just says, Oh, it's just so bad. So corrupt. So, very, very, very corrupt. (He doesn't have a lot of words, so he just repeats himself. But he has the best words.)
Well, the less said, the better, I always say.


That's my boy, Jimmy Comey


Hillary v Trump: Michael v Sonny Corleone





Flawed candidates. That's what we hear daily.  "I find Hillary repugnant," they say. "I just can't vote for that conniver."  Then again, "Trump--he might start World War III."


The fact is, we do not know either Hillary or Trump. We think we do, but we don't.


We have to look to experience outside our own to extrapolate to the idea: What kind of person is this?


For a while, I thought Trump was simply Tony Soprano, but Soprano, for all his thug sound was infinity more subtle, had many more shades to his character.


King Joffrey of Game of Thrones comes closer, the cowardly child put on the throne who becomes willful, orders the head of the good John Stark chopped off, but Joffrey quakes in fear and is immobilized when face with real danger and his dwarf uncle has to rescue him by the exercise of real cunning.


But the real and best touchstone, for my money, is "The Godfather." 
There you have the cool, calculating, quiet plotter, the leader who does not reveal himself, who organizes quietly, effectively in Michael Corleone.


Sonny is Trump, explosive, fun to watch, but, in the end, as his father observes, "A bad Don."


Talking to people while canvassing, I'm frequently confronted with people who cannot express what they don't like about the Machiavellian Clinton, and aren't much better at saying what bothers them about Trump.


From now on, if they are old enough to have seen "The Godfather," it's going to be: "Would you rather have Michael or Sonny Corleone as your godfather? Who would you rather have in charge of the family?"



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hillary at Wellesley



 For too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible.
--Hillary Rodham, Wellesley, Address to the Class of 1969, at her graduation

Sitting in the audience when Hillary Rodham rose to deliver her address to graduating seniors in 1969 was a woman who I had known since I was 13 years old. Her name was Kristie Anne Hansen, and she had been my heart throb, until we both left Bethesda in 1965 to go to off to college.



In 1964, I had run against Kristie for president of the student government and there was a big assembly of the whole school in the field house. I had written my speech with lots of references to drinking beer and I tried to appeal to the hoi polloi, the guys I knew from the locker rooms, the varsities, the future frat boys and sorority girls. I was not among the crowd that was winning, but I was doing my best impression of that, not very successfully.
 I was going low. Kristie went high. 
She went directly at the biggest problem her candidacy had: She was a girl running for the office of president. Girls ran for secretary, sometimes for treasurer, but never president. "But why should a girl not be president?" Kristie asked the stunned audience. "If that girl has been captain of the cheerleaders, has worked hard in the Montgomery County student government?" She went on to list all the things a high school girl could do, which, admittedly was not much, but she was really saying, girls should be taken seriously. 
By the time she was finished, I was ready to vote for her. There were two boys running and I don't remember the other boy's speech or my own, but I remember Kristie's. She was nervy and bold.

She beat me and the other guy running: I'm guessing it was a landslide.



But by the time Kristie found herself listening to Hillary Rodham that day in 1969, much had changed. The war in Vietnam had gained full steam. Gloria Steinem had caught the public's attention. Martin Luther King had delivered his speech on the Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial and had been slain in Memphis. "Hair" had hit Broadway.  Bob Dylan had risen. Bob Dylan wouldn't have cared much about who won a high school election or what college she went to. Bob spoke of that debutante who knows what you need, but not what you want.  In my mind, Kristie faded into that class of debutantes and chosen people who were just distant memories in a world which no longer existed.

The first time I heard "Like A Rolling Stone." I was sitting in a lifeguard chair at Old Farm swimming pool with my transistor radio plugged into my ear and just about fell out of the chair. "Ah, you went to the finest school alright, Miss Lonely, but you know you only used to get juiced in it."  And I thought of Kristie. She had been on top, just like the girl in the song, and I wondered if she had wound up on the street , once she had to leave the Promised Land of elite colleges. I suspected nobody had ever taught her how to live out on the street.

Actually,  I hadn't heard from her or much about her, after high school.  I only learned about her indirectly, when I read Richard Holbrooke's eulogy of Kurt Schork. I had  heard Kristie  married Kurt Schork, who had got a Rhodes scholarship but while they were  still at Oxford, the marriage fell apart and I imagined Kristie without a home, no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone. 

Kurt later became a war correspondent, covered Sarajevo and was killed in Sierra Leone. He was a nervy, bold guy, but that was his undoing. 

In high school, everyone said Kristie Hansen would be the first woman President of the United States.  They thought she deserved to be that.

I don't know what happened to her. I can't find her on Wikipedia. I heard she went to law school and went back to Washington to work in the government on student loans or something. I saw her at a high school reunion, but we never talked. 

There must have been a lot of girls like her at Wellesley. Bright stars, the creme de la creme. The debutante parade, all the girls who just wanted to be on the side that's winning. I used to be among that crowd. It was positively Fourth Street.

But one of those women that I know of...Hillary Rodham, seemed to come out on the other side, and do okay.


Hillary for Jail? What the Trump?



Trump Chumps in Full Flower: Is that a Glock in Your pocket?




Okay, I admit, I may not be the sharpest blade in the drawer, maybe not all the lights are on upstairs, but what's with this "Hillary for Jail" thing?

I've tried looking this up on line and all I can find Donald Trump or any of his acolytes accusing her of is mishandling of classified documents, or setting up an illegal server, or destroying emails.

And what is the worst thing they are saying she could be hiding by all this?

What it comes down to is "She must have done something really bad, she's trying to cover up."


But what exactly are they thinking? 


The closest I can come to an actual theory of crime was from that airhead Congresswoman from Alabama who implied during the Benghazi hearings that Hillary went home from the State Department at 3 AM the night of Benghazi for a tryst with a lover, which was finally enough for Hillary to burst out laughing, and when the Congresswoman said indignantly, "Well, I don't see anything funny," Hillary just shook her head, and of course everyone else in the room saw something very funny, as the airhead sat there looking dumb and dumber.
Alabama's finest: Heaven Help Alabama


Of course, had I been the voice in Hillary's ear phone during the hearings, I would have said, "Oh, Congresswoman, you have found me out. I spent the night alone, until General Petraeus came over for a late night tryst."  Maybe, in fact, someone did say that to Hillary in her earphone and that's why she was laughing. I don't know.


But to get back to the Hillary for Jail thing--this has become a chant among Trump Chumps, but whenever I ask one he just says, "Well, the emails," or "Well, the server," or "Well...you know."


Which says, of course, none of these guys has thought past the chant.


Enlighten me here. What am I missing?



Punched Out?




Muhammad Ali's strategy for the George Foreman fight was to allow Foreman to wail away on him and "punch himself out." Once Foreman's arms were too weary to throw another punch, Ali moved in for the knockout.

Predictions for Foreman's victory were unwavering and universal, so much so that Foreman actually prayed before the fight he would not kill Ali in the ring.

Watching Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, David Gregory and all the pundits on TV this morning I thought I was seeing Trump in a rope a dope.  No more mention of building a wall, kissing women, fat women, disgusting, nasty women, no more mention of forbidding Muslims from crossing our borders--now it's all about bringing back the factories for all those Ohio and Pennsylvania workers. You can all just go back to the factories now, get your paycheck. Ain't America great again. 

Never mind when those factories re open the 3,000 jobs once held by your fathers will be done by 2,000 robots and 100 workers.

Donald has learned what works and in the last two weeks he's lulling everyone to sleep, playing rope a dope. All he has to do is simply not be outrageous, and people forget all those wild things he said. He looks calm and a safe option.

Republicans come home--your boy is all grown up now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fathered by an Orangutan?


Just stumbled over a list of people Donald Joffrey Trump has threatened to sue.  Bill Maher made the list for claiming the Donald was fathered by an orangutan.

On the surface, Mr. Trump might appear to have a case, until you look at the actual orange peach and then back at the orangutan. 
I don't know. I might volunteer to represent Mr. Maher. This may be a strong family resemblance. 
On the other hand, the orangutan might have the more significant cause for complaint, if you are talking about sullied images. 




P.S.:
Ms. Maud has raised the horrific image of Donald Joffrey's conception--the Great White Wail, indeed.
This is in a long tradition of animal/human intercourse. As we all recall, Zeus assumed the form of a swan, which he knew no human female could resist, and he conceived some offspring with Leda.

Michael Moore Explains President Trump











Michael Moore hangs out with "real" Americans--White, high school (un)educated, work a day Americans.  He explains why they love Donald Trump.


These are the losers in our capitalistic society, the masses of workers who do not own shops, do not invent things, but who more or less passively passed through the doors of factories where they were taught to assemble cars, computers, shoes, clothes and were paid a living wage to do it.


They often had little schemes and scams on the side to supplement their wages, and they had health insurance and even some of them had pensions. Actually, they never had any of this stuff--their parents who worked at GM and Ford and US Steel had these things, and the current masses remember dimly this Ozzie and Harriet life, which seemed, through the nostalgic lenses, a Great America.


Now Mr. Trump promises to bring those golden days back again--factories back to Flint and Dearborn and Pittsburg and Cleveland and Gary and Oakland and with those factories, jobs, jobs, jobs.


Of course, those factory jobs ain't never coming back. The factories may come back, but the workers will be a thousand robots and three dozens workers supervising the robots.


But never mind.


The fact is, the country under President Trump will be Christian again--no Muslims will get across our borders because radical Islamic terrorists want to chop off American heads and we don't have to stand for that. 


And no more Obamacare--those 20 million newly insured will have health care savings accounts, which their first hospitalizations will drain dry.


And no more abortions, or gay marriages or transgenders using the locker rooms or Black guys getting away with shooting White police, and maybe, if Mr. Trump's fans are really lucky, we'll go back to the days when women stayed at home and took care of the kids, like June Cleaver or Edith Bunker.


We'll all be happy again, just the way we were in the 1950's, when nobody talked about sex, and Blacks could not eat at a lunch counter or stay in a White's only motel or vote, when abortions were done in motel rooms, when we started on the long road to endless war, beginning in Korea, and slogging through Vietnam and beyond, when most people lived in homes which to today's Americans would look like carpeted chicken coops and luxury was having a box TV, a clothes washer and dryer and maybe even central air conditioning, when cars got 12 miles to the gallon, but gas was only 29 cents a gallon, when most adults smoked and died of lung cancer or heart attacks by age 63, when there were only three TV channels and the interstate highway system hadn't been built yet, so most people shopped in their local towns and never got much beyond their home towns, except for those adventurous vacations to Florida or Maine, which took two weeks, and you packed a bag of sandwiches in the car because you couldn't afford to stop at Hot Shoppes. But mostly you camped out or went to the beach and that was Great American life.


All that Mr. Moore's people know is they feel like losers; they see the glitzy world soaring past them and they get no respect. I see the same thing in Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence, Massachusetts and in Salem, Kingston and Stratum, New Hampshire.


There are people out there who just stew in their own juices, or as Anon has said, time and time again, "Can't fix stupid."








Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How Trump Can Win









Donald Trump is not morally, spiritually, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably, merely dead, not sincerely dead.

He can definitely, positively, undeniably, negatively win.

How?

His enthusiastic, orgiastic, nihilistic voters can swarm out of their caves and vote, while the best and the brightest find other things to do November 8.


Or, his friends in the Kremlin can target power outages in New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chapel Hill, Durham--you get the idea.
It's easy to target Democratic voters because they are concentrated where the power grid is most stressed. Just a little cyber attack on some or all of these cities--and it doesn't have to last all day, just an hour or two, enough to make people give up and go home...Why just a week ago internet went out for the entire East Coast. Suppose the same thing happens on November 8?


The Donald is correct about one thing: I cannot close my eyes and imagine the process by which votes are counted.  It's not a bunch of people in a room opening up a cardboard box and hand counting ballots--except in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.


For the most part, it's obscure, opaque, out of sight and we all simply accept the stuff we see flitting across our TV screens because the optics of national news are so colorful and bright and convincing.


I mean, how do we KNOW?


Well, there are polls going in and exit polls going out, but the correlation with exit polls in the last election were significantly wrong.


Exit polls? How can you get it wrong with an exit poll?


All I can think is Churchill's observation that democracy is the worst form of government--except for all the others.


The last time a bunch of pugnacious, gun toting louts refused to accept the results of an election, we had a war which lasted 4 years and took more American lives than all the others combined.


But, you know, it did clean out some nasty pus down South.  As Clemenza tells Michael Corleone, "Things gotta happen every five years. Ten. Cleans out the bad blood."


We shall see.







Monday, October 24, 2016

If Kelly Ayotte Wins







If Kelly Ayotte is returned to the United States Senate we can expect to see her work for the following:

1/ Converting Social Security into a voucher system
2/ Killing Obamacare and any system of nation wide health care coverage
3/ Making Medicare a voucher system
4/ Sending ground troops to the Middle East
5/ Insuring gun sales have no restrictions
6/ Reversing marriage equality
7/ Reversing Roe v Wade and making abortion illegal again


Birds of a Feather


That enough?

People accuse Hillary Clinton about all sorts of nefarious things which are never confirmed by public record, but in Kelly Ayotte's case there is an instance which is on the public record, and nobody seems interested enough to even read it.
Mark Connolly wrote about Ms. Ayotte's indifference to the most massive Ponzi scheme in New Hampshire's history in a book called "Cover Up."  And a sorry tale it is, with Kelly Ayotte right at the center.
Flock Together

The largest financial fiasco in New Hampshire history, which bilked hundreds of families out of their life savings was the Lakes Region Ponzi Scheme, which Financial Resources Mortgage, Inc perpertrated, but Ms. Ayotte, as attorney general, failed to prosecute because somehow Ms. Ayotte didn't see an injury.

Odd thing, that.

Ms. Ayotte is a bosom buddy of the "Toughest Sheriff in America"  Sheriff Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona--you know, the guy who arrests people for looking like wetbacks and then parades them down the street in pink underpants, BEFORE they are even tried.  Senator Ayotte has appeared with the Sheriff and sung his praises, because he is tough on crime, she says. Would that she had had absorbed some of that toughness on crime in the Ponzi case--maybe the miscreants who stole millions from innocent New Hampshire families would be behind bars today, rather than living on their yachts and in their vacation homes.

Good Buddies
You have to see her appeal: All dimples and youthful looks, but looks can be deceiving. She has not been content to dance with the devil, she is what she was when she was elected: A Tea Party gal. She may look pretty but she is a spider wasp, intent on destroying government--all government--from within. 


The only thing she likes about government is its war making machinery--for that she is willing to spend us into the poor house. But heaven forbid we might want to build hospital or cure a disease. Oh, no! That would cost money. And you know what THAT would mean: Taxes!  Taxes are fine if they are spent to support the munitions manufacturers of Alabama and South Carolina. But tax money for health insurance in New Hampshire, for all those undeserving citizens, no way.

Oh, Kelly, we hardly know ye.




Saturday, October 22, 2016

What If: Donald Hacks the Election Results?


DDoS attacks flood servers with so many fake requests for information that they cannot respond to real ones, often crashing under the barrage. It's unclear who orchestrated the attack.
“It’s a very smart attack. We start to mitigate, they react. It keeps on happening every time. We’re learning though,” said Kyle York, Dyn’s chief strategy officer said on a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon.
Troubling to security experts was that the attackers relied on Mirai, an easy-to-use program that allows even unskilled hackers to take over online devices and use them to launch DDoS attacks. The software uses malware from phishing emails to first infect a computer or home network, then spreads to everything on it, taking over DVRs, cable set-top boxes, routers and even Internet-connected cameras used by stores and businesses for surveillance.
These devices are in turn used to create a robot network, or botnet, to send the millions of messages that knocks the out victims' computer systems.



Okay, here's a good Halloween story: Donald Joffrey Trump, the Great White Wail, turns out to be not quite as stupid as we think. 

He has set up the "I will  accept the election results...If I win," very deliberately, to get Hillary and all the rest of us declaring emphatically how important it is to accept the voice of the people, the unimpeachable process of collecting results from polling places in 50 different states, a very decentralized system, which is impossible to rig because it is so decentralized.

But think of our system--votes are counted in high schools, town halls, sometimes by hand, sometimes by machine, but then they are funneled to bigger and bigger collection points, and all information flows into a central point in each state, so the Greatest Show on Earth, i.e. the Election Night festivities can proclaim a winner in time for everyone to enjoy it; just like a National Football League game, it all has to end like any other show, in time for the sponsors to run their final ads.

So, in this horror show, as those big rivers flow toward the networks, the Russians hack, not into the tributaries, not into the small polling places, but into the big conduits, so as each state's tallies start to coalesce, the hackers get those results and change them, just like last week's hacks where Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Tumblr and a lot of other big networks were hacked by hacking some New Hampshire company nobody had ever heard of called Dyn, which somehow is involved in routing traffic among these big players.  

This attack was so vast I was unable to use the electronic medical record at my office and every computer in a medical care system which is spread out over Massachusetts and New Hampshire was paralyzed, unable to see patients, write prescriptions, operate any office. 

And Donald Trump was just in New Hampshire days before it happened. 

And what, we were all asking, did Donald Trump care about in New Hampshire, with its three electoral votes?

So, how's this scenario?  On election night, Donald wins not just  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, the entire South and Far West, but he wins, astonishingly,  New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and California. 

How could this be? How can we believe it?

Now we say, Hillary Clinton says, this cannot be.  

And Trump turns to the camera and says, "You rained abuse on me for daring to question the validity of the election: How can you object? The results are in."



Thank you, Vladimir.