Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: A Real Mother-(Expletive Deleted)

I'm “trapped in this self-reinforcing cycle” and I can't get out.

‘Nixon speed-dating’ with Donald Trump

He's got a date with the mother, sisterdaughter, and baby.

The mother of all political double standards,  

That's not the same Barbara Lee, is it? 

Well, God bless her (and him) and all moms on this day, however low it has sunk from its origins. At least it adds a bright chapter to the narrative of women’s progress in the world of work

So what do you do, take mom out to eat or.... what she like, steak with the fat trimmed off it??

"Democrats lack strong voice amid Trump’s Russia investigation meltdown" by Annie Linskey and Matt Viser Globe Staff  May 13, 2017

WASHINGTON — In a string of tumultuous weeks in the Trump administration, the week was by far the most bizarre and Democrats, who currently lack leaders who can speak credibly for the entire party and present a forceful counterweight to President Trump. Much of this relates to their disastrous setbacks of 2016, with Hillary Clinton losing the presidential race and the party failing to gain control of the Senate.

The minority party cannot control the congressional agenda, lacks subpoena power, and can’t drive the direction of House and Senate investigative hearings. High dudgeon on “Face the Nation” or the Senate floor only gets you so far.

“There’s no person head and shoulders above other Democrats right now,” said Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. “If you look to Congress . . . there’s nobody there who is really generating any enthusiasm or excitement on opposing Trump.

“I don’t see anyone out there beating the drum in a way that resonates.”

I was told it was Liz Warren.

If anything, last week’s dismissal of Comey, Trump’s crisis of credibility, and the tepid responses from Democrats may have given the country more cause to wonder if either party is up to the demands and needs of this political moment.

The problem with Comey is he floated the disputed idea for which there was no evidence, yet repeated it as possible, and oh, yeah:

"Only one other FBI director, William Sessions, has been fired, with President Bill Clinton citing ‘‘serious questions’’ about Sessions’ conduct and leadership. That dismissal took place in 1993."

I don't remember a big fuss when Bill did it, do you?

Was that after or before Vince Foster was killed?

Certainly, GOP leaders don’t seem about to stand up to Trump. With partisan divisions wider than ever, there are few voices in the middle who can or will speak to the frustration of most Americans. Instead, electoral warfare dictates the message.

Recent fund-raising e-mails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee arrived with the following subject lines: “NO ONE saw this coming” “this is a disaster” and “U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E.” And these overheated messages all arrived before the news dropped about Trump firing Comey.

Harpootlian noted that in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, Americans picked a president from far outside the Washington quagmire: President Jimmy Carter, a Georgia Democrat.

“There is somebody out there who will come out of this morass in four years or sooner,” Harpootlian predicted.

Democrats know they need to get busy building a bench. Their numbers in state legislatures have reached historic lows. They hold 16 governor’s offices.

That's Obama's true legacy.

Yet in 2018 in Washington, the number that matters most is 24. That is how many seats Democrats need to gain to recapture control of the House of Representatives (the Senate is rated out of reach, for now). And when it comes to district-by-district campaign tactics, the absence of a strong national Democratic leader may not matter that much.

“One of the oldest rules in politics is when your opponent is killing themselves, don’t get in the way,” said Tad Devine, a Democratic strategist who helped engineer Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. “They are digging their own grave. Let them keep digging.”

Yeah, to hell with the country.

A Quinnipiac University poll released May 10 has Trump’s job approval rating at 38 percent, a near-record low for the president. Should those kinds of numbers persist, Devine and other Democrats predict a wave election that will sweep them into the House majority, but Democrats still have yet to fully reckon with their party’s shocking 2016 defeat. 

The narrative has been set. Read it here first.

Party operatives and lawmakers still point to Clinton’s popular vote win as evidence of the party’s underlying national appeal. Clinton herself gave a recent interview in which she blamed Comey’s October public statement on the e-mail investigation for the presidential result, a view that gives short shrift to Democrats’ profound failures in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, where working-class voters turned on the party.

It's called the Rust Belt -- or Winchendon, if you prefer. Either way, they should be worried.

Democrats will huddle this week in Washington at an “ideas conference” sponsored by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. It will feature some of the names that generate the most enthusiasm from the party’s base, including Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California.

It's a conference sponsored by the Clintons

Will they NEVER LEARN?

But the venue for the conference speaks volumes. At a time when many are calling for more Democratic outreach to the working class, the gathering will take place at The Four Seasons Hotel. The party still looks to be reaching inward, rallying its base of activists, insiders, and wealthy donors, but unready to broaden its reach — and effectively take on Trump....

There is nothing more pathetic than disingenuous and delusional Democrats.


Meanwhile, Obama is off making six-figured $peeches. 

Nice to see you have some allies, though.

Trump says he's going to make a quick pick for a new FBI director, and in this day and age that must mean he is going to employ artificial intelligence (which is better than having none, I suppose). He also has to find a new U.S. attorney for Bo$ton.

"Amid chaos, the mood grows darker in the White House" by Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire Associated Press  May 13, 2017

WASHINGTON — After four months in office, President Trump has become distrustful of some of his White House staff, heavily reliant on a handful of family members and longtime aides, and furious that the White House’s attempts to quell the firestorm over the FBI and congressional Russia investigations only seem to add more fuel, according to White House officials.

Maybe that is a good thing?

Trump’s frustrations came to a head this past week with the firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the probe into his campaign’s possible ties to Russia’s election meddling. Fearful that his own team would leak the decision, Trump kept key staff in the dark as he pondered the dramatic move.

The Russians have a long history of meddling in things.

The communications staff charged with explaining the decision to the American people had an hour’s notice. Chief strategist Steve Bannon learned on television, according to three White House officials, though a person close to Bannon disputed that characterization.

When the White House’s defense of the move failed to meet his ever-changing expectations, Trump tried to take over himself. But he wound up creating new headaches for the White House, including with an apparent threat to Comey.

‘‘James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!’’ Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning.

For a White House accustomed to bouts of chaos, Trump’s handling of Comey’s firing could have serious and long-lasting implications. Several people close to the president say his reliance on a small cadre of advisers as he mulled firing Comey reflects his broader distrust of many of his staffers. He leans heavily on daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Hope Hicks, his campaign spokeswoman and Keith Schiller, his longtime bodyguard.

It's an open secret.

Trump confidants say Bannon has been marginalized on major decisions, including Comey’s firing, after clashing with Kushner. And while Trump praised chief of staff Reince Priebus after the House passed a health care bill last week, associates say the president has continued to raise occasional questions about Priebus’ leadership in the West Wing. Still, Priebus was among the tight circle of staffers Trump consulted about Comey’s firing.

I think the Donald was testing him.

Trump spent most of the week out of sight, a marked change from a typically jam-packed schedule that often includes multiple on-camera events per day. Even when aides moved ahead on an executive order creating a voter fraud commission — a presidential pet project that some advisers thought they had successfully shelved — Trump signed the directive in private.

More than a lack of momentum on major policy goals, Trump is said to be seething over the flood of leaks pouring out of the White House and into news reports. He’s viewed even senior advisers suspiciously, including Bannon and Priebus, when stories about internal White House drama land in the press.

Rumors are it is Kushner doing the leaking (could even be Trump himself).

A dozen White House officials and others close to Trump detailed the president’s decision-making and his mood on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private conversations and deliberations.

After Trump decided to fire Comey, he was told by aides that Democrats would likely react positively to the news given the role many believe Comey played in Hillary Clinton’s defeat last year. When the opposite occurred, Trump grew incensed — both at Democrats and his own communications staff for not quickly lining up more Republicans to defend him on television....

Nixon was not that narcissistic.


He looks more like Millard Fillmore to me.

I hope you don't have a falling out with your boss, readers -- if you are lucky enough to have work.

"A free speech clash on the Common leads to two arrests" by Nicole Fleming Globe Correspondent  May 13, 2017

Boston Free Speech supporters promoted the afternoon rally as a gathering where “Libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists, classical liberals, or anyone else who supports Trump or just hates leftists are encouraged to attend,” according to an online posting.

Boston Antifa — a local chapter of the liberal anti-fascist group — launched the counter-protest, calling on supporters to “fight hatred in Boston,” according to the announcement on Facebook.

Ah, the “seditious fringe” and true fa$ci$ts.

Many attendees on the Antifa side, and some on the Boston Free Speech side, hid their faces with scarfs and masks. Both sides cited concern about harassment and doxxing, slang for posting personal information online.

Some got into heated personal exchanges.

A Boston Free Speech protester, who stood quietly with a “free speech is how you stay free” sign, said he was concerned about a “slippery slope” of opposing political views being labeled as hate speech.

“It’s a new definition of free speech where if you don’t agree with that opinion, you start labeling it as hate speech,” said the 29-year-old man, who would identify himself only as Mike of Boston.

In fact, you are only in favor of free speech if you defend that which you don't like. Everyone is in favor of free speech that is in agreement. Thus, the ma$$ media and pre$$ have the right to spew their sh**. It's my job to call 'em out on it.

A 50-year-old veteran, who identified himself only by his first name of Paul, commended Boston police for keeping the peace.

“There are definitely clowns on both sides,” he said....

Yeah, and stay off the grass!


If only your mother could only see you now!

North Korea launches ballistic missile

So were are told. 

Not to be micro-Macroning things, but my middle print brief was this:

"A top North Korean diplomat said that Pyongyang would be willing to meet with the Trump administration for negotiations "if the conditions are set." Choe Son Hui, director general for North American Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, spoke briefly to reporters in Beijing on Saturday en route to Pyongyang. She did not elaborate on what the North's conditions are, but her comments raise the possibility of North Korea and the U.S. returning to negotiations for the first time since 2008."

I hope there is no war, and the U.S. owes North Korea an apology.

"New allies for a new world" by Stephen Kinzer   May 14, 2017

China, the country that seems poised to assume global leadership as the 21st century unfolds, approaches the world quite differently from the way the United States does. Its political system, based around an emperor, has lasted for thousands of years. That system works for China. The Chinese, however, do not encourage others to try it. They realize that every political system emerges from native soil. In the post-Atlantic world, big powers will recognize that no way of organizing society is inherently superior to others. That is a profoundly un-American idea. We consider our system best for all, and want other countries to adopt it. No other great nation thinks like that.

China is unlikely ever to build expeditionary military forces like ours, capable of invading any country in the world on short notice. Nor will it seek to replace us as global hegemon. It won’t need to. With a combination of diplomacy and economic power, it can achieve what the United States has failed to achieve with guns and bombs. China does not share our enthusiasm for attacking or invading countries on other continents. The world that emerges as Euro-American power declines may offer less personal freedom, but it will be more peaceful.

In this new world, the United States will need allies. Europe will be one, but Europe is tearing itself apart with a nihilistic abandon that almost matches our own. Its strategic power is limited. So is its ambition. Blowback from centuries of imperialism and war has made Europeans gun-shy. The United States will have to look elsewhere for a strategic partner. Ultimately we are likely to settle on Russia.

In a world with three great powers, relations among the three are constantly shifting. 

I know it is 2017, but it is really 1984.

Numbers two and three instinctively unite against number one. During the 1950s, China and Russia joined to oppose the United States. In the future, the specter of Chinese power will drive Russia and the United States together. Anything we do to make this more difficult — like demonizing Russia — weakens the possibility of such a partnership. Worse, it risks driving Russia into China’s embrace, which could create scary new security problems for us.

Related: "National security adviser H.R. McMaster described Russia — as well as China — as a country that wants to upend the current world order."

Whatever future alliance patterns look like, small countries will remain sovereign only if they have governments strong enough able to resist foreign power. That may lead them to move away from American-style democracy and toward the undemocratic but relentlessly meritocratic system that gives China its future-oriented leadership.

That's what the nuclear weapons are for. North Korea, Iraq, Libya, and Israel teach one that.

History ordains at least our relative decline. We, however, set the pace. In recent months we have accelerated it. As our rivals watch us wound ourselves, they are laughing all the way to the geopolitical bank....

Do I look like I'm laughing?


And then there is this from the greatest MFer in history (I'm sure you will be hearing warnings of appeasement coming from Washington this week as well. British never seem to learn).


‘‘The world justice system has failed and I’m doing what a historian should do: expose the responsible individuals as war criminals.’’