Prosecute the torture.

May 3, 2016

Rafael "Ted" Cruz Argues Against Trump Supporter With...Facts?!?!?!

Take a look at this:

The weird thing is, of the two of them (Rafael and the Trump supporter), Cruz comes off as the rational one.

How frickin' scary is that??

Anyway about 4:30 in, they get into a conversation about the Trump induced violence at some Trump campaign rallies.  The supporter says that Cruz is lying again so Canadian Ted asks the skeptical Trump guy to google "Donald punch in the face supporters" to prove it.

So I did.  As of this writing the top story googled was this one.

Where Trump does say "I'd like to punch that [protester] in the face."

So...close enough, Rafael.  Close enough.  But does this mean you now trust facts?

How about this one?
Few of the remaining Republican presidential candidates seem very gung-ho about fighting climate change. But as we’ve written before, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has probably made the most detailed, scientific argument for why we shouldn’t worry about it. He has repeatedly argued that climate warming is, basically, on pause — and that futhermore, this relative lack of recent warming undermines scientists’ dire predictions about where we’re heading.

Based on records from satellites, there has been “no significant warming whatsoever for the last 18 years,” Cruz asserted in New Hampshire in January. That’s just one of many times he has made this claim or something close to it, which turns on looking at a particular record of the Earth’s climate — satellite readings of the atmosphere’s temperature — rather than others (such as the surface thermometer measurements that NASA and NOAA just used to declare 2015 the hottest year ever recorded).

But lately, it looks like the satellites may be getting less friendly to Cruz and his argument. Two prominent satellite datasets — one from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the other from Remote Sensing Systems in Santa Rosa, Calif. — both show that February of 2016 was the hottest month ever recorded in the lower troposphere, a layer of the atmosphere stretching from the surface to about 6 miles in the air.
I mean, if we're now dealing in facts.

May 1, 2016

Last Night At The Washington Correspondents' Dinner - President Obama and Larry Wilmore

The Washington Post has a transcript.

If you missed the first joke (because of the sound quality/editing etc) let me explain it to you.

This is the music that was playing when the president walked up to the podium and he's reacting to these lyrics:
When I’m gone
When I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me by my hair
You’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
That's why Obama says, "You can’t say it, but you know it is true."

Anyway he opens with a couple of Hillary Clinton jokes:
I do apologize. I know I was a little late tonight. I was running on CPT, which stands for jokes that white people should not make. That’s a tip for you, Jeff.

Anyway, here we are, my eighth and final appearance at this unique event. And I am excited. If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans. That’s right. That’s right.
Here's the context for the CPT joke.  Yea, she shouldn't have been a part of that joke.

And now onto Goldman Sachs joke.  The Washington Post has an explanation.  Yea, that's some serious Tubmans.

But then he balanced the Clinton jokes with this:
Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot and it’s anyone guess who she will be.
Which is probably right, despite Obama's burns.

On the other hand, Obama's Bernie Sanders jokes were a lot less harsh.  Take a look:
What an election season. For example, we’ve got the bright new face of the Democratic party here tonight, Mr. Bernie Sanders. Bernie, you look like a million bucks. Or, to put in terms you’ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.

A lot of folks have been surprised by the Bernie phenomenon, especially his appeal to young people. But not me. I get it. Just recently a young person came up to me and said she was sick of politicians standing in the way of her dreams. As if we were actually going to let Malia go to Burning Man this year. Was not going to happen. Bernie might have let her go. Not us.

I am hurt though, Bernie, that you have been distancing yourself little from me. I mean that’s just not something that you do to your comrade.
On a meta-level, Obama's jokes vis a vis the two Democratic candidate sum up my feelings pretty well.

The president was followed by The Daily Show's Larry Wilmore.

I thought he took more chances than Obama and so he cut more deeply but on the other hand, some of his jokes simply failed.  The Washington Post has a transcript.

Wilmore made a Hillary Clinton joke:
But 2016 has been a beast though, man. We lost David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Prince — or as Hillary Clinton likes calls him, “my favorite singer, my favorite singer, my favorite singer.”
I'm not sure the crowd got it - it's a joke about political pandering.  But he did follow it, a few jokes later, with some Bernie Sanders material:
Senator Bernie Sanders is here tonight. Senator! Which I’m surprised, you never come to these things. He usually goes to the White House correspondents’ early-bird dinner. It’s nice of you to come to this one this time, Senator, I appreciate it.

Senator recently had a hernia operation. His doctors say it’s his own fault for trying to lift the hopes of the disenfranchised. You gotta stretch before you do that, Senator.

I am confused with Bernie’s stance on guns. He seems to be anti-gun everywhere except Vermont. Bernie doesn’t care who gets a gun in Vermont. (*whispers*) There are no black people in Vermont.

I have to give you credit though, Bernie, you are trying hard to get the black vote. I think it’s great. Bernie’s been hanging around with rapper Killer Mike. Or as Hillary Clinton calls him, Super Predator Mike.

Bernie Sanders gets knocked for his age, man, which is kind of unfair. It is, isn’t it? Although I will say that Bernie’s so old his first campaign slogan was “fire.” Remember that? Remember that? That was cool. Free stuff, right. Yeah.

Bernie’s so old when God said, “Let there be light,” Bernie said, “Conserve energy, let’s sit in the dark. It’s okay.”
And so on.  If you haven't already, watch both.  Especially how each ends his respective speech.

Wilmore ends with a note of deep appreciation:
When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a black quarterback. Now think about that. A black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team — and now, to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world.
And here's Obama's ending:

Yea, I'll say it.  I'll miss him when he's gone.  Yes, there were drone strikes killing people who shouldn't have been killed and yes, the NSA is still spying people who shouldn't be spied on and YES, he let the torturers from the previous administration go free.

Despite all that, I'll still miss this administration.

April 30, 2016

The "Can You Hack Up Words Like Camille Paglia" Contest!

It's a very late April Saturday and my Sanders friends and Clinton friends are still hard at work trashing each other's candidates - a fight I refuse to join or endorse - while Donald Trump continues his unending two-step through the rubbish-tip that is contemporary GOP politics.

I'd been waiting for a break in the noise since when, about week ago, I stumbled across this Wonkette page:
Readers, it’s time for a group project! Camille Paglia, as we all know, is the most insufferably obnoxious writer in the United States of the Entire Universe. As the late great Molly Ivins explained in her seminal piece on Paglia’s masturbatory oeuvre, she is a fan of “sweeping generalizations” that always argue from whatever viewpoint she’s finding most contrarian that day, and she seems to revel in it. Also, every single thing people do is somehow related to the secret feelings in their penis and vagina regions, and these secret feelings connect all the way back to the Greek gods and OMG THE COSMOS. She’s a fucking hack, is what we are saying.
And then:
So we figured we’d turn this into a contest for you, the gentle readers. Can YOU write dumbstupid, contrarian mumbo jumbo in a self-congratulatory way, rife with sweeping assertions and bizarre psychosexual allusions that make your readers want to back away slowly?
While I would not call Camille Paglia "the most insufferably obnoxious writer in the United States of the Entire Universe" I certainly wouldn't argue much with anyone who thought so.  She can be tiresome and dreadful with an excruciatingly bad habit of basing her critiques of any aspect of feminism with what happened to her personally - when she was at Yale, in New Haven, in the 1970s.  Like here:
Hillary [Clinton] was attending the Yale Law School while I was a graduate student across the street. In 1970, a sparsely attended feminist conference was held at the Law School, featuring well-known figures like Kate Millett and Naomi Weisstein. If Hillary was there, she did nothing to stand out. It was at that conference that I realized that second-wave feminism, then barely three years old, was already going off the rails. For example, the radical lesbian Rita Mae Brown said to me, “The difference between you and me, Camille, is that you want to save the universities and I want to burn them down.”

I have written elsewhere about my many clashes with early feminists—such as a near-fistfight with the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band over my fervent love of the “sexist” Rolling Stones or a rancorous confrontation about the very existence of sex-hormones with women’s studies professors at an Albany restaurant.
While there may be valid critiques of second (and third) wave feminism(s), I hardly imagine they have anything to do with an argument between Camille and Jennifer Abod.

But I would've been about 10 yrs old and living about 20 miles north of Camille at that point, so how would I know?

If you want to languish in Ivins' seminal slapdown of Camille masturbatory oevre, it can be found here.  It ends this way:
There is one area in which I think Paglia and I would agree that politically correct feminism has produced a noticeable inequity. Nowadays, when a woman behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “Poor dear, it’s probably PMS.” Whereas, if a man behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “What an asshole.” Let me leap to correct this unfairness by saying of Paglia: Sheesh, what an asshole.
Yea, that's about right.

Did you know Camille's also a birther?

So I decided, a few days ago, try my hand at writing like Camille.  Only, I am going to post it here at 2PJ rather than sending it to Wonkette (sorry Wonkette but it's too good of an idea not to steal).  I may not be a Yale-trained PhD but I know academic BS when I see it.  My plan for my "Hack up words like Camille" piece is:
  • Reference some details from obscure mythological figure mentioned in Paradise Lost and/or Spenser's Fairie Queene.
  • Quote out of context some unknown pre-Freudian writer on sex and/or anthropology
  • Mention, to the point of uncomfortable obsession, personal similarities to Keith Richards and/or Madonna
  • Tie some pop-culture and/or political event to how vapid the Democratic Party and/or contemporary Hollywood is
  • Get in an unfair criticism of contemporary feminism and/or lesbians
And my guess is that it will miraculously write itself.  Only a few paragraphs, that's all I'll need to produce.

If YOU have a submission that you want to see posted here, please feel free to send it in.

April 29, 2016

I Saw This Last Night

From Amy Schumer:

I know it's just comedy, but it's also something to think about in the upcoming election.

April 27, 2016

Senator Pat Toomey's In Deep Doo-doo

First, let's start with the results from last night's Republican Primary in Pennsylvania.

According to CNN, Donald Trump, the billionaire bigot, won pretty handily last night, with about 890,000 thousand votes (57%) to about 340,000 (22%) and 300,000 (20%) votes for Cruz and Kasich, respectively.

Trump got more votes than the other two clowns got - combined.

Senator Pat Toomey, in order to put some political distance between himself and the Trump steamroller, on the other hand did this:
Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says he cast his presidential vote for Ted Cruz, describing the Texas senator as having a deep understanding of the issues and "concrete" ideas on the economy and national security.

"He's a solid conservative," Toomey said this morning outside his polling place in Zionsville. "We don't agree on everything, but having served with him in the Senate, I know Ted pretty well and I think he's got a real, real viable shot of beating Hillary Clinton in the fall."
And in doing so put himself at odds with his own constituency.

But that's not the only bad news for Pat.

Take a look at how Cruz sees things:
Four Democrats in the state are competing for Toomey's Senate seat. Cruz told the “Chris Stigall Show” that the Pennsylvania lawmaker will retain his seat if Cruz is at the top of the ticket. But Trump, he argued, puts every Republican running in a blue or purple state “in grave jeopardy.”

“If I’m the nominee, Pat Toomey gets reelected,” Cruz said. “If Donald Trump is the nominee, the Senate is gone and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Yea, Pat's in deep doo-doo.

April 26, 2016

Vote for Jessica Wolfe...And a few others

It's no surprise to anyone reading this blog that I will be voting for Hillary Clinton for President today in PA's Democratic primary. I find her to be a brilliant and accomplished woman who will build upon President Obama's progressive successes, as well as staying true to her own passion for helping women and children.

I will also be voting for Joe Sestak for U.S. Senator for his promised ban on fracking, as well as "his ceaseless drive to connect with voters" (Gertrude Stein Political Club of Greater Pittsburgh).

I'll vote for Josh Shapiro for PA Attorney General, because, as the Stein Club puts it, "we believe he’s the most progressive candidate on social issues, by any yardstick. We hope to see ever-increasing fairness and human rights, as far as prosecution, if Mr. Shapiro is elected."

I'm voting for Eugene DePasquale for PA Auditor General, who's an honest, progressive good-guy.

In PA State House District 24, I endorse Ed Gainey. A responsive, reliable progressive.

In PA State House District 19, I endorse Jessica Wolfe. As I have stated before, I know Jessica and knowing the kind of person she is, I know she'd be a real asset to the House and a tireless and caring worker for her constituents.

As for my own PA State House District 36, I will most certainly not be voting for incumbent and DINO Harry Readshaw. As usual, I will write in "A. Prochoice Democrat."

Your mileage may vary.



The Democrats have a pair of great presidential candidates and, regardless of your own political leanings towards either, each would be infinitely better than any of the clowns gunning for the GOP nomination.

And, as I am a member of neither party, that's all I'm gonna say about that.

April 25, 2016

Fetterman Who?

Mayor John Fetterman via PopTech via Flickr

There's a Bernie Sanders town hall on MSNBC now. It's taking place in PA. The host just asked Sanders why he hasn't given any support to Braddock Mayor John Fetterman for Senate as Fetterman has been one of the few elected Democratic officials who has endorsed Sanders and they seem like such a natural fit.

Bernie basically disclaimed knowledge of Mayor John ("I honestly don't know John and I've heard just a little bit about him...").*

Nice one, Bernie! Way to get that whole revolution thing going.

* Updated to include his actual quote.

Delegate Math Vs. Bernie Math