Democracy Has Prevailed.

November 30, 2016

Meanwhile Outside...

No matter what President-elect Pussy-Grabber has to say, this is what the science says:
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2016 tied with 2003 as the third highest for October in the 137-year period of record, at 0.73°C (1.31°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F). This is 0.26°C (0.47°F) cooler than the record warmth of October 2015 when El Niño conditions were strengthening and 0.50°C (0.90°F) cooler than the all-time record warmth of March 2016 when the El Niño was near the end of its peak. Including 2016, the past three Octobers have been the three warmest in the historical record; however, October 2016 also marked the lowest monthly departure from average for any month since November 2014, which was 0.69°C (1.24°F) above average.
It's still getting warmer out there.

Meanwhile in Trumpistan:
In an interview with the New York Times last week, President-elect Donald Trump appeared open to accepting “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.

But the man who claimed numerous times that climate change is “an expensive hoax,” “a concept...created by and for the Chinese” and “bullshit” still believes it is “a bunch of bunk,” according to his incoming chief of staff, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.
Meanwhile, also in Trumpistan:
Trump infamously tweeted that global warming is a “hoax,” and has selected Myron Ebell of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, an outspoken climate skeptic, to lead his EPA transition team.
Myron Ebell is the guy who (as I've written before):
Though he likes to bash scientists for working outside their degreed fields, Ebell, it turns out, isn't a scientist at all. He majored in philosophy at the University of California in San Diego, then studied political theory at the London School of Economics and history at Cambridge.
"I'm not claiming to be a climate authority—the way Jim Hansen is, or Robert Corell," says Ebell. "Every interview I do, when I'm asked about scientific issues, I say I'm not a climate scientist."
While the planet's temperatures continue to rise, in Trumpistan our continually dishonest President-elect has chosen Myron Ebell to help dismantle the EPA.

This is the new normal.  Resist the new normal.

November 29, 2016

A Real President (Elect) VS A Fictional One

Donald Trump, this morning:
And a fictional president a couple decades ago:

I weep over the fact that the real one is real but the fictional one is right.

Is it still only November?

I can't even. Is it still only November? Is he trying to get us completely burned out before he's even sworn in?

Donald Trump Still Believes The Lie That The Election Was Rigged Against Him (Even Though He Won And Even Though There's No Evidence For It)

For Keith Olbermann, it's a sign of serious mental illness:
This has long since transcended politics.

This has long since transcended diversions from his corruption or from the FBI or from foreign interference.

This is not left versus right or liberal versus conservative or alt versus inclusive or any of the excuses that newspapers and television made Sunday and Monday in hopes of preserving the political media complex.

This is not funny and this is not ego and this is not how "He just speaks his mind."

This is an existential threat to the United States of America.

The president-elect Donald Trump is manifestly profoundly and dangerously psychologically imbalanced.

The sooner we acknowledge this the greater the chances we have of averting a disaster which could threaten the safety of every American indeed of everybody on this planet.
That was yesterday, November 28.  Wanna know the real sad part?

Donald J. Trump is still doing it:
President-elect Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets late Monday and early Tuesday criticizing CNN for reporting that his claims about voter fraud are baseless -- which they are.

Shortly after 9 p.m., Trump began retweeting supporters who had criticized CNN's Jeff Zeleny because he accurately reported that there was no evidence -- nor has the transition team provided any-- to support Trump's claim that millions of fraudulent votes had been cast for Hillary Clinton.
I have a question for our nation's law enforcement community. Given the obviously imbalanced nature of Trump's psyche and the fact that in a few weeks he's set to become incredibly powerful, what are your plans to protect us, The American People, from him?

Do you have any?

This is the new normal. I will not adapt to the new normal.

Pittsburgh City Councilors Gilman and Kraus to Introduce Conversion Therapy Ban

Via Press Release:

Legislation would prohibit harmful practice for minors within Pittsburgh 
Sent 11/29/2016 @ 7:04 am 
PITTSBURGH, PA (November 29th, 2016)- During today’s regular meeting of Pittsburgh City Council, Councilman Dan Gilman and Council President Bruce A. Kraus will introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQIA+ youth within Pittsburgh. 
“The City of Pittsburgh bears the responsibility to protect all of its residents and this legislation defends LGBTQIA+ youth against the destructive psychological and physical impact of forced conversion therapy,” said Councilman Gilman. “By passing this legislation, the City is standing up for equality and ensuring that Pittsburgh is a welcoming city for all.” 
“Protecting LGBTQIA+ minors from those who would seek to rob the very essence of one's being is foundational to this legislation,” said Council President Kraus. “Ensuring safe places for discovery, self acceptance, and growth for LGBTQIA+ youth must now and always be our focus." 
Conversion therapy, which seeks to convert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, is formally opposed by a host of mental health, medical, and social work organizations, including American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and the National Association of Social Workers. 

November 28, 2016

Regarding the Pennsylvania Recount

I've been informed by someone involved in the PA recount that:

- The deadline for voters to file notarized affidavits is now 4:30 PM today (for Allegheny County), November 28th (of course ASAP is best).
- The State has pushed back their meeting to certify the vote to December 12th because of the number of petitions that they are receiving.

(Personally, I still believe that a recount is particularly useless in PA given the convoluted process, our machines that have no paper trail, and the margin Trump won by.)

UPDATE: The Post-Gazette has a story up now on this here: "Allegheny County holds off on certifying election results"

November 27, 2016

Trump Lies. (How Many Times Is This? How Many More Can We Expect?)

From The Washington Post:

Clinton didn't really win the popular vote, he's arguing, because millions of votes were invalid. This is one in a series of efforts to dismiss Clinton's popular-vote victory, efforts that have hinged on misreading CNN election results or random tweets underpinned by no actual data.
We should note that the phrase "underpinned by no actual data" is a very diplomatic way of saying, "THIS IS A LIE."

The President-elect is lying to you.

Trump Torture Update

It's going to be a tough 4 years.

The current narrative on whether President-elect Donald J. Trump and waterboarding is found here with this piece at the Washington Post:
[In an interview with the New York Times] Trump signaled another shift on the question of how to treat terrorism suspects. During his presidential campaign, he had said that he would reinstate the use of waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques in the questioning of suspected terrorists.

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works,” Trump said in February at a retirement community in South Carolina. “Okay, folks? Torture — you know, half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works. Okay?”

But Tuesday he suggested he might have changed his mind after interviewing a leading candidate for secretary of defense, retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, who headed the U.S. Central Command.

Mattis argued that he had never found harsh interrogation techniques “to be useful,” Trump said, adding that the retired general preferred building trust with “a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers.”

“I was very impressed by that answer,’’ Trump said.
The only problem with this narrative, according to this piece at Slate, is that it's completely wrong.

Let's go directly to the Times transcript.  When asked "where he was" on waterboarding, President-elect pussy grabber said:
So, I met with General Mattis, who is a very respected guy. In fact, I met with a number of other generals, they say he’s the finest there is. He is being seriously, seriously considered for secretary of defense, which is — I think it’s time maybe, it’s time for a general. Look at what’s going on. We don’t win, we can’t beat anybody, we don’t win anymore. At anything. We don’t win on the border, we don’t win with trade, we certainly don’t win with the military. General Mattis is a strong, highly dignified man. I met with him at length and I asked him that question. I said, what do you think of waterboarding? He said — I was surprised — he said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful.’ He said, ‘I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.’ And I was very impressed by that answer. I was surprised, because he’s known as being like the toughest guy. And when he said that, I’m not saying it changed my mind. [Emphasis added.]
So while he's impressed with what the retired Marine Corps General said, what was said still hasn't changed his mind that torture works.

In a Trump administration, torture is the new normal and I refuse to accept this new normal.

November 25, 2016

Another Thanksgiving Tradition (Jerry Bowyer Revives His Thanksgiving Hoax)

I wrote this in 2013:
Besides the traditional traditions like Turkey, the newer traditions like Turducken, and the localized traditions like Alice's Restaurant, we're now seeing a new political narrative explaining how "first Thanksgiving was a celebration of abundance after a period of socialism and starvation."
This year is no different as local Conservative Jerry Bowyer (again) pushes the myth/hoax/political propaganda on the cyber-pages of The Christian Post.

A few reasons from Slate why it's BS:
As Kate Zernike of the New York Times pointed out in 2010, the timeline doesn’t quite work. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. The system of collective ownership known as the “common course” was abandoned in 1623. And it was abandoned not because of famine but because the settlers wanted to make more money.
Communal farming arrangements were common in the pilgrims’ day. Many of the towns they came from in England were run according to the “open-field” system, in which the land holdings of a manor are divided into strips to be harvested by tenant farmers. As Nick Bunker writes in 2010’s Making Haste From Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World, “Open field farming was not some kind of communism. All the villagers were tenants of the landlord.”

There was no local baron in Plymouth, but it was a commercial project as much as a religious one, and the colonists still had to answer to their investors back in England. It was this, not socialist ideals, that accounted for the common course. Bunker writes, “Far from being a commune, the Mayflower was a common stock: the very words employed in the contract. All the land in the Plymouth Colony, its houses, its tools, and its trading profits (if they appeared) were to belong to a joint-stock company owned by the shareholders as a whole.”

He continues: “Under the terms of the contract … for the first seven years no individual settler could own a plot of land. To ensure that each farmer received his fair share of good or bad land, the slices were rotated each year, but this was counterproductive. Nobody had any reason to put in extra hours and effort to improve a plot if next season another family received the benefit.”

The pilgrims’ transition—which, again, happened after the first Thanksgiving—can indeed be used to illustrate the benefits of individualism or the tragedy of the commons. But the Rush Limbaugh crowd should note that the settlers at Plymouth were rebelling against the rules set by a corporation, not against the strictures of some Stalinist collective farm or a hippie commune.
Jerry, tell me again how the Pilgrims "had changed their economic model from a communist one based on the pagan philosopher Plato to a private property one based on the teachings of Moses in the Torah"?

It's still BS, Jerry, no matter where you post it, no matter how many times you repeat it.

November 24, 2016


When I was a boy in New England (where you can find the best pizza on the planet) every year on Thanksgiving day it was a tradition for at least one New York radio station to play one particular 18 minute piece of music - some time around noon.

This piece of music.

Lyrics are here.

You can buy a copy here.
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving OR How The Trib Braintrust Misquotes Harry S Truman

From today's Tribune-Review editorial page:
Editor's note: As has become our custom, a reprint of a special editorial on this special day.
They published the Truman Thanksgiving editorial again so I guess we'll have to deconstruct it again.

In 2012, I wrote:
Our good friends on the Tribune-Review's editorial board, even with a "feel good" Thanksgiving editorial, can't resist invoking "religious freedom" to assert their wish to authorize of one faith (presumably theirs) over all.

They could have quoted one somewhat recent president declaring to a congregation that:
We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.
By the way, this was Ronald Reagan (yes RONALD REAGAN) speaking before the Temple Hillel and Community Leaders in Valley Stream, NY in 1984.

Instead, Scaife's braintrust quotes a less recent president speaking before a different congregation:
“In Thanksgiving,” President Truman said, “we have a purely American holiday — fashioned out of our own history and testifying to the religious background of our national life. That day expresses what we mean when we say that our form of government rests on a spiritual foundation.

“It is from a strong and vital church — from the strength and vitality of all our churches — that government must draw its vision,” he continued. “In the teachings of our Savior, there is no room for bigotry, for discrimination, for the embittered struggle of class against class, or for the hostilities of nation against nation.

“St. Paul, in writing to the early church at Colossae, said, ‘Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.’”
Before I go further, let me point out that there's a bit of a cheat here. Because if you look at the original speech of Truman's to the Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1952, there's a whole lot of stuff between the quoted first and second paragraphs - stuff Scaife's braintrust opted you didn't need to see - with no indication that there's been an omission.

What did they decide that you didn't need to see?  Apart from the expected "only faith is what will save us from godless communism" we find passages extolling the need to wage a "ceaseless war against injustice in our society" and that "we are all our brothers' keepers"  and finally touting the need for something called the "Point 4" program - which turns out to be a government plan to spread American scientific know-how to impoverished countries around the world.  Gee, I wonder why the arch-conservatives at the Trib decided you didn't need to read any of that.

But all that's beside the point.  Instead of Reagan's assertion that State and Church must remain separate and that "we command no worship", we get from the braintrust Truman quoting Paul's Letter to the Colossians asserting cultural and religious unity - but only through Christ.

Yea, that's freedom.
And in 2014, I added:
Strange that they'd abandon Reagan for a Democrat president pushing a gov'ment program.
Yea, strange.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 23, 2016

Interesting Idea, Keith

The only problem with this is that we'd still be left with President (or Acting President) Mike Pence.

It would be the replacement of one completely batshit crazy anti-establishment guy (who might easily trigger WWIII out of spite) with a slightly less batshit crazy establishment guy (who - one hopes - is psychologically settled enough not to).

Either way, it's gonna be a shit storm.

And I'd like to thank all of Red Murika for making sure this made it to the White House instead of that nasty woman with her sieve-like email server.  Whew!  Danger avoided, Will Robinson!

Batshit crazy in the Oval: The New Normal.

And I refuse to adapt to this new normal.

November 22, 2016

Something To Ponder As We Approach Thanksgiving

From Human Rights Watch:
President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for National Security Advisor demonstrates a deeply disturbing disregard for human rights principles and the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. Flynn has repeatedly endorsed proposals by Trump that would constitute torture and other war crimes.

“Michael Flynn has shown a stunning contempt for the Geneva Conventions and other laws prohibiting torture,” said Sarah Margon, Washington director. “By offering this key post to Flynn, President-elect Trump is undermining US commitments to international laws that have been broken to America’s detriment.”
Flynn has repeatedly refused to rule out Trump’s proposed use of torture and other war crimes. “I am a believer in leaving as many options on the table right up until the last possible minute,” Flynn told Al Jazeera in May.

On proposals by Trump to target for attack the families of suspected terrorists, Flynn said he “would have to see what the circumstances of that situation were.” Asked again by The Intercept in July about Trump’s support for torture and targeting suspected terrorists’ family members, he said: “Here’s what a guy like Donald Trump is doing: He’s basically saying, ‘Hey, look, all options are on the table,’ and being very unpredictable in the face of a very determined enemy.”
Each banned by International and US Law:
  • Torture
  • Targeting the families of suspected terrorists 
Which is sad for Lt. Gen Flynn because only a few years ago he said this:
In 2015, Flynn, asked about torture practices like waterboarding during an interview with Al Jazeera, said that he never used torture during interrogations and rebuked the practice. Flynn said that "history is not gonna look kind on the – on those actions that you're describing right now, and we will be held, we should be held accountable for many, many years to come."
But now:
On Trump’s desire to return to “waterboarding” terrorism suspects and “worse,” Flynn is also equivocal, having seen how harsh interrogation techniques were counterproductive at JSOC and besmirched the reputation of the U.S. military. “I would not want to return to ‘enhanced techniques,’ because I helped rewrite the manual for interrogations,” he said. “Having said that, if the nation was in grave danger from a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction, and we had certain individuals in our custody with information that might avoid it, then I would probably OK enhanced interrogation techniques within certain limits.”
If it's torture, it'll still illegal no matter what Trump says.  However it seems that under Donald J Trump American torture will be the new normal.

I refuse to accept to this new normal.

November 21, 2016

Trump "University" Fraud Settlement

Amidst Trump's two assaults on free speech this weekend (assault one and assault two), you may have missed a bigger story.

The bigger story is his settling of his multimillion dollar fraud case.  John Cassidy at the New Yorker has the gist:
The lawsuits, two in California and one in New York, were filed on behalf of thousands of people, some of them elderly and of modest means, who alleged that Trump University had lured them into spending thousands of dollars on courses in real-estate speculation that turned out to be of little or no value. During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed that the lawsuits were baseless, and vowed that he would never settle. But on Friday, just ten days before one of the cases was due to go to court in San Diego, he agreed to pay twenty-five million dollars in restitution and fines.
You can read the lawsuit here.

The ABA Journal has this:
The New York suit said the unlicensed university claimed its courses were taught by handpicked instructors who would teach “get rich” techniques, even though only one of the live-event instructors had even met Donald Trump. The suit also alleged that students who attended Trump University classes were encouraged to take increasingly expensive courses in a “bait and switch” tactic.
And this just weeks before he's set to take the oath of office.

Yes, challenging the 1st Amendment rights of actors and comedians is troubling enough for the next leader of the free world but the President-Elect effectively scammed thousands of people out of millions of dollars they couldn't afford.

I'd like to personally thank each Trump voter for delivering this proven con-man to the Oval Office.

I will not adapt to this new normal.

November 20, 2016

Jack Kelly Sunday

With this week's column, the Post-Gazette's Jack Kelly does what he usually does: selectively picks "evidence" to support an otherwise untenable political position.

Here's how he frames:
Remember the redneck riots after the election in 2012? Me neither.

Democrats and the “mainstream” media warn constantly about the threat of violence from the right. But nearly all violence that actually materializes is from the left.
Interesting how he tent poles his argument - beginning with "after the election in 2012".

What, he didn't want to go all the way back to 2008?  If he had, he'd have seen (IF he bothered to look) this from a Tea Party protest in 2009:

Or this from just before the 2012 election:
The Florida pastor who ignited an international furor by threatening to burn a pile of Korans has applied his subtle touch to the 2012 presidential campaign by constructing a gallows from which a likeness of President Barack Obama now hangs in effigy.

The display in the front yard of Terry Jones’s Dove World Outreach Center (DWOC) in Gainesville features a dummy wearing an Obama mask hanging from a yellow noose. Along with an American flag and a rainbow-striped gay pride flag, the scene includes an Uncle Sam dummy and a child’s doll hanging from the right hand of the Obama figure.
 Of this from just after the 2012 election:

Or the spike in racist tweets from just after the 2012.

Jack, go read them [NSFW!] and then tell me about the lack of "redneck riots" after 2012.

There's just one thing I want to add from Jack, lest any Trump supporters think he's on their side:
“Journalists love mocking Trump supporters,” wrote Will Rahn of CBS News. “We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. … We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession.”
Jack, didn't YOU call Trump supporters "morons"?

Why yes!  Yes, you did, 112 days ago.
Trumpkins will applaud whatever [Trump] says. Republican “leaders” are too ethically compromised to complain.

After outlining well in his acceptance speech why America is in crisis, Mr. Trump said: “I am your voice. I alone can fix it.”

This is Chavismo, Caesarism. Only megalomaniacs say such a thing. Only morons believe it.
"Trumpkins" Jack? "Morons" Jack?  Your words.

Care to comment on how you're criticizing the media for having a narrative that belittles Trump's many supporters while somehow NOT mentioning that you were...oh, I dunno...DOING THE SAME THING?

That's all for now.

November 19, 2016

David Shribman: President Trump Normalizer

First let me say that based on the P-G's endorsements of Senator Pat Toomey, Representative Rick Saccone (remember him?  He wanted 2012 to be "The Year of The Bible"), State House Speaker Mike Turzai (ALEC member and voter-fraud conspiracy theorist) and their Clinton/Trump non-endorsement (beautifully deconstructed by the OPJ here), I have a feeling I'll be spending more time fact-checking the once proud Post-Gazette editorial board in the coming months and years - I mean now that the Trib's gone paperless something has to fill the conservative vacuum in town, right?  How long until John Block forces a climate denial editorial on us?

Anyway, back to the blog.  I haven't posted much anything of substance since this posting the day after the election.  There were a few things here and there but if you'll take a closer look, you'll see that most of what I posted consists of statements and pleas for donations from some very important organizations (ACLU, NARAL, HRC, and NAACP) - organizations that, over the next few years, will be needing a great deal of help to counter the coming assault on our freedoms and on our national decency.

I took a short break because I felt I needed some time for the enormity of the outcome of the election to settle in.  Even now with a few days off it's becoming clear to me that the task before us is still daunting and nearly impossible to imagine - like trying to wrap your arms around the Great Pyramid of Giza just so you can lift it up and move it a few (just a few) inches to the left.

Take for example what happened yesterday.
Donald J. Trump has reversed course and agreed on Friday to pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits stemming from his defunct for-profit education venture, Trump University, finally putting to rest fraud allegations by former students, which have dogged him for years and hampered his presidential campaign.
Did you know that the fraud trial was scheduled to begin between the election and inauguration?

Imagine what the past few months would have looked like if either Clinton was facing a fraud trial.  Imagine if they settled the case for $25 mil.  Now ponder the concept of "a liberal media watchdog."
Anyway Senator Elizabeth Warren (racistly referred to as "Pocahontas" by our President-Elect) tweeted of the settlement:
And you'll remember this detail of the case:
The judge overseeing the two California cases, Gonzalo Curiel, was thrust into the limelight of the campaign in May when Mr. Trump spent several minutes at a rally denouncing the judge’s decisions in the case, calling him a “hater” and questioning his impartiality because of his Mexican Heritage.
Something the Speaker of The House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, at one point denounced as "the textbook definition of a racist comment."

Well, few days ago, this is what Paul Ryan said:
Every member of the House Republican conference found a traditional red “Make America Great Again” hat waiting on their seats Tuesday morning before a Capitol Hill meeting. “Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” Ryan announced at a news conference. “This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump’s victory into real progress for the American people.”
I haven't even mentioned how seemingly acceptable the Trump Foundation slush fund is these days, or his calls for war crimes, or his unsolicited pussy-grabbing and beauty pageant-peeping seems to be with American conservatives, voters and the news media in general.

But, on the other hand, we had a (losing) candidate who got pneumonia on 9/11 and used a private email server, so it all balances out, right?

See what I mean about trying to wrap your arms around the Great Pyramid?

For me it's resisting the normalization of Donald Trump.  I touched on it yesterday.

We must not normalize this man or his actions - even sitting in the Oval Office, he's guilty of some gross violations of human decency.  Winning the election didn't change any of that.

Unfortunately "normalization" is what David Shribman, executive editor of the once centrist/left Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did this past week.  He describes our President-Elect thusly:
So it was Tuesday night, when Manhattan businessman Donald J. Trump — a political outsider, possessed of daunting ambition, audacity and an acute sense of the American political climate — emerged as the winner of a raucous presidential election.

An American original — a casino and real-estate magnate with an uncanny ability to read the public mood and an unerring ability to discern his rivals’ vulnerabilities — Mr. Trump now takes on his biggest task.
And on the negative?
Sometimes vulgar, always voluble, Mr. Trump ran against the political establishment of the Republican Party, against the customs of political life, and against the principal elements of American life
Sometimes vulgar?  Mr Shribman?  Sometimes?  Vulgar is spitting in public.  Vulgar is burping out loud at a fancy restaurant (and then laughing about the moist bits now dotting in your date's eyeglasses).  Bragging about being able to "grab them by the pussy" is actually (and I can't believe I have to tell you this, Dave) illegal.

In winning one of the wildest, least predictable presidential elections of the age, Mr. Trump prevailed despite a fusillade of complaints about his conduct with women; repeated stories detailing irregular business practices; an unusual number of party apostates who declared they would never vote for him; and criticism that he hadn’t paid federal income taxes for about two decades.
Ah, Dave - you're normalizing by downplaying.  You see that, right?  That "fusillade of complaints"?  Take a look.  How much of what was described is actually illegal?  Irregular business practices?  We could just stop at the $25 million to make the Trump "University" fraud cases go away but if we wanted to, we could look at the hundreds stiffed in the past by our future president. And on those unpaid taxes?  It would be one thing if his tax dodging were completely within bounds.  But why, Dave, did you fail to mention that Trump's own attorneys told him that what he was planning to do was likely to trigger an IRS audit?  Or that, even if he was completely within the law, he was writing off millions by "deducting someone else's losses"?  What a genius! What a man for the people!

No.  You reduced the extent of Trump's pre-Presidential corruption down to one easy to swallow lump of lark's vomit lovingly garnished with this:
The man who vowed to make America great again now faces great challenges. But against all the experts and all the expectations he fashioned a great upset, a great comeback, and a great achievement.
Dave, you might think it's a great achievement but Trump's still a sexist, racist, corrupt demagogue.  Sitting at Resolute Desk simply can't change that.

Or don't you think so?  Let me know.

I, for one, will not adapt to this new normal.  I will not normalize this behavior.

November 18, 2016

On The Question Of Whether Trump Deserves A "Grace Period"

Actor Christoph Waltz gives an answer:

A translation given in the video.

In case you don't want to hear the Waltz auf Deutsch, here it is Auf Englisch:
You mean we consider everything he said so far as unsaid? And say: no hard feelings. He did not call for torture. He didn't say you should use nuclear weapons if you have them? He didn't say that Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers?

You know, the list knows no bounds.

We just pretend these things just didn't come up at all? And say: anyway he might be a proper jolly good fellow.

Why? You can't unsay what has been said. And Obama said in a meeting with Trump:  We have to work on Trump feeling welcome.  And if Trump is successful the whole country is successful.


If Trump is successful with what he announced during his campaign, it's the end of the line.
So on the question as to whether Donald Trump deserves a "grace period," the answer has to be:  No, adapting to and normalizing Trump's bigotry will damage the fabric of American society at least as much as implementing his campaign's proposals.

I, for one, will not adapt to this new normal.

The NAACP's Statement On The Election Of Donald Trump

From the NAACP's website:
Even as we extend our congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, the NAACP, as America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, must bluntly note that the 2016 campaign has regularized racism, standardized anti-Semitism, de-exceptionalized xenophobia and mainstreamed misogyny. Voter suppression, as the courts have declared, has too become rampant and routine.

From the day that General George Washington accepted the people’s charge to become their first commander-in-chief, to the day that we elected Barack Obama as our country’s first African-American president, America has come together to ensure a peaceful transition of power. This most recent presidential election must meet this distinctly American standard. President-Elect Trump’s victory speech avoided a divisive tone and thus invoked this standard.

During this critical period of transition, we are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear. The more than 120 million Americans who cast ballots in this election – as well as the more than 100 million more eligible voters who declined to vote – deserve no less.

The NAACP stands ready to work with a new administration to realize the racial justice concerns that not only compelled millions of people to go to the polls on Election Day but also inspired millions to protest in the streets in the preceding days and months. Depending upon the new administration’s fidelity to America’s ideals of liberty and the NAACP’s agenda for justice, we will either be at its side or in its face. We will not let this election distract or dissuade us; the NAACP will continue to stand strong at the frontlines, advocating for voting rights, criminal justice reform and equality for all.

This election comes as a surprise to many, an affirmation to some and a rejection to others, and yet it is also a defining moment for the NAACP and the nation. Let us come together as a country – come together with the principled and practical unity that the needs of our nation and the need to govern demand.

Our beauty as a country shines brighter than the ugliness of this election. It is up to all of us to reveal the beauty of who we are as a people as we yet see the possibilities of the nation we can become.
Donate to the NAACP.

It's important

November 17, 2016

Human Rights Campaign's Statement On The Election Of Donald Trump

From the HRC website:
Throughout our nation’s history, we’ve faced devastating setbacks in our pursuit of a more perfect union. But even in the darkest of moments, Americans have summoned the courage and persistence to fight on. The results of tonight’s presidential election require us to meet tomorrow with the same resolve and determination.

This is a crucial moment for our nation and for the LGBTQ movement. The election of a man who stands opposed to our most fundamental values has left us all stunned. There will be time to analyze the results of this election, but we cannot afford to dwell. We must meet these challenges head on.

Over the last 18 months, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have intentionally sowed fear and division for cynical political purposes. They now face a decision about whether they will also govern that way. We hope, for the sake of our nation and our diverse community -- which includes women, people of color, those with disabilities, immigrants, and people of all faiths and traditions -- they will choose a different path.

For our part, HRC will continue our fight for equality and justice for all with greater urgency and determination than ever before. We must. Lives literally depend on it.

Despite the outcome of this presidential race, we know that the tide has irreversibly turned in favor of LGBTQ equality. Today, we draw strength from the vast majority of Americans who believe that our lives and rights are worth fighting for. Thanks to you and your tireless work, we deployed the largest get out the vote effort in our organization’s history. In North Carolina, it appears we have defeated the hateful Governor Pat McCrory and helped elect Roy Cooper to repeal HB2. We were proud to support Hillary Clinton, and she made history as the most pro-equality candidate to ever run for president of the United States.

The defeats we have suffered tonight demonstrate that our future victories will require us to dig deeper and work harder to continue bending the moral arc of the universe toward justice and equality. We must fight to protect our progress, and to limit the damage that Donald Trump has promised.

To every LGBTQ person across this nation feeling stunned and disheartened, and questioning if they have a place in our country today, I say this: You do. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise. Be bold, be strong, and continue to stand up for the principles that have always made America great.

At a time like this, we don't slow down. We double down. Tomorrow, HRC will set to work once again, undeterred and focused on our mission to realize a world in which every single LGBTQ person is safe and equal and valued.

--HRC President Chad Griffin
Donate to the HRC.
It's Important.

November 16, 2016

NARAL's Statement On Donald Trump's Election

From Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America::
Donald Trump’s vision for America and the policies he has proposed are a clear and present danger to women, our bodies, and our freedoms. Our charge every day is to work to ensure President-Elect Trump cannot strip away our freedoms, our rights, and our ability to chart our own destiny. And while we are disappointed, we are equally proud of Hillary Clinton, of her campaign, and of her lifetime of service to others. All Americans can be proud of the campaign she ran and the principles she stands for. Just like Hillary, we believe that America's diversity is part of our strength and that we as a nation are always stronger together.

We know the fight for our values isn't won or lost in a single election. NARAL was founded before Roe, before legal abortion was even possible in the United States. We as an organization and as a progressive movement exist to fight for the dignity and equality of all Americans. We hold the line--in good times and in bad--to defend the freedoms that are enshrined in our constitution and that define what it means to be American.That mission is as urgent today as it has ever been.

Seven in 10 Americans believe in legal abortion, and we'll continue to be their voice and advocates. We will keep fighting for the values of trust and dignity that are at the core of the freedoms that Americans hold most dear.
Donate to NARAL.
It's important.

November 15, 2016

The ACLU's Letter To Donald Trump

From The Hill:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is warning President-elect Donald Trump that it will "see him in court," threatening to use its “full firepower” if he tries to follow through on controversial campaign promises on immigration, torture and other issues.
I'm sure you've read about the letter by now.

Here it is, via the ACLU in San Diego:
Dear President-elect Trump,

For nearly one hundred years, the ACLU has stood as this nation’s premier defender of freedom and justice for all.

As you assume the nation’s highest office, we must ask you now as President-elect to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made.

Specifically, you promised to:
  • amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants;
  • ban the entry of Muslims and institute aggressive surveillance programs targeting them;
  • restrict a woman’s right to abortion services;
  • reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture;
  • change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression.
These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed. They are unlawful and unconstitutional, and would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth amendments of the Constitution, as well as other statutes and international treaties.

Many of our country’s most cherished rights are the result of ACLU litigation and advocacy. From the Scopes trial (the right to teach evolution in public science classrooms) to seminal Supreme Court cases like Korematsu (challenging Japanese American internment), Miranda (the right to remain silent), Griswold (the right to contraception), Loving (the right of interracial couples to marry), Gideon (the right to a court appointed attorney if you can’t afford one), Windsor (striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act), and Obergefell (the right of same sex couples to marry), all were the fruits of our labor. We have worked with and battled American presidents of both parties to ensure that our country makes good on its founding premise as the land of the free.

If you do not reverse course and endeavor to make these campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the full fire power of the ACLU at your every step. Our staff of litigators and activists in every state; thousands of volunteers; and millions of supporters stand ready to fight against any encroachment on our cherished freedoms and rights.

One thing is certain: we will be eternally vigilant every day of your tenure as President. And when you ultimately vacate the Oval Office, we will do likewise with your successor.

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union
Here's the link to the ACLU.
It's important.

November 14, 2016

ANNOUNCEMENT: Panel Discussion On The History Of Political Blogging In Pittsburgh

From Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents:
2016 is the tenth anniversary of the phrase ‘Burghosphere’ which was coined to capture the unique vibe of Pittsburgh’s blogging network.

To honor this important moment, we are bringing back the band by inviting some of the political bloggers from that era to have a conversation about the history (& future) of blogging. We also invited a bunch of contemporary bloggers to join the conversation.
There's even a Facebook page for it.

It's TUESDAY 6-9pm at Most Wanted Fine Art on 5010 Penn Ave.

And 2 Political Junkies will be there.

November 11, 2016

How I feel every time I see Trump on the screen as President-elect

Come together

Hey all you people saying it's our duty as good Americans to come together and unite around Trump now as he's going to be our President, why haven't you been calling for the Senate to unite around our actual President and do their job regarding his Supreme Court pick?

Hypocrital motherfuckers.

A Veterans Day Repost

I'm still on hiatus so this isn't a return to my regular blogging.

But it is Veterans Day and our nation's veterans deserve more than my self-imposed silence.

So here's a blog post from 2011 and 2006:


Today is a very important day.

It's Veteran's Day.

It's the day we should all remember the sacrifices every veteran has made to protect the freedoms outlined in the Constitution. Were it not for the millions of men and women who've served in the Armed Forces, that piece of paper would just be, well, just a piece of paper long since consigned into the dustbin of history.

But where did the day come from?  Why is it so important?  Something from Kurt Vonnegut - a writer far far more talented than I will ever be - keeps echoing in my head whenever I think of November eleventh. Here's what he wrote in Breakfast of Champions (by the way "Dwayne Hoover" is a character from the book - go read it):
I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day was the end of The Great War. It was called The War to End All Wars, and obviously they got the name wrong. But the day speaks to us as a symbol of hope in recognition of the folly of calling any war "The War to End All Wars."

The lesson learned is that there will always be conflict and we should be eternally grateful to those who've sacrificed some part of themselves to protect us and our freedom.

Thank you.


November 9, 2016

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

What the fuck do we do now?

I am sure over the next days/weeks/months/years/decades people much smarter than me will be dissecting last night's shitstorm, looking for who to blame, how to stop it the next time (next time??) and so on.

I have nothing to add there.

I will say this, though.  While no one can predict the future (if someone could, we would have known yesterday the shit we're in today) I think it safe to assume a few things will happen as a direct result of the oncoming Trump Presidency:
  • American servicemen and women will die.  Each time Trump decides to settle a real or imagined score by sending in some Marines (or Navy Seals or Army Rangers or whatever), servicemen and women will die.  All needlessly.  All because of last night.
  • Americans will die.  If/when Obamacare is repealed (do you really think these guys want to replace it??) millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.  Some will then have to forgo routine medical care.  Some of those will die because something that could have been treated early wasn't.  All because of last night.
  • People around the world will die.  With or without Trump's revenge based military intervention, his obvious lack of foreign policy experience will make hot spots across the globe even hotter.  Lotsa non-Americans will die because Trump will have no idea what he'll be doing.  All because of last night.
  • Women will die.  Separate from the women in the military and women dying of lack of medical care, when/if Roe v Wade is rescinded women, once again, will be forced to fend for themselves and some of them will die.  All because of last night.
  • American Families will suffer.  Ok, some American families.  Not the white ones, of course.  But all those brown ones who speak funny and the ones who pray eastward five times a day.  They're all going to suffer.  All because of last night.
Thanks, Amurika.

Sadly, the list can go on.  LGBT protections?  Why bother?  It's merely a bad lifestyle choice.  Climate Change??  An obvious hoax to keep us from being competitive with the Chinese.

All because of last night.

I'll be taking some time off here at 2PJ.  I have no idea when I'll return or how often I'll be posting when I do.  I need some time to process the deep deep shit hole red Amurika has dropped us (and by "us" I mean the whole planet) into.

This is a truly sad and disappointing day for the country I love.


November 8, 2016

All Sins Trump: ELECTION DAY

This past week we've explored these Trump sins:
Now today's the day.  GO VOTE.

As the OPJ reminds us, it matters.

This time there can be no discussion about how "having to choose the lesser of two evils only leaves you with evil" or "there's not a dime's bit of difference between the two parties."

Last time we heard that, we got the War in Iraq, Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, Samuel Alito and John Roberts on the Supreme Court, domestic surveillance and waterboarding.

Nope.  Not this time.  One party's candidate's a lying, cheating, science-denying sexual predator who's waay to enamored with torture (see the list above) and the other has survived with 30+ years of right-wing media conspiracy baggage (did you know that she killed Vince Foster or she that faked a concussion to avoid testimony about Benghazi or that she's so demon-possessed she actually smells of sulfur?) with more qualifications for the job than anyone has had...possibly ever.

There's no end to how bad a president Donald Trump would be.  And I just don't know what America will look like with Donald Trump in the Oval Office.


POST SCRIPT: For my friends who may be thinking of voting for Pat Toomey, as far as I know, he still hasn't said he won't vote for the lying, cheating, science-denying sexual predator who's waay to enamored with torture.  Perhaps that's something for you to think about when you see his name in the voting booth.

It Matters

I've written the following names on a small piece of paper that I'll be bringing into the voting booth with me today:
Elizabeth Lupinacci
Mary Adams
Helen Lupinacci
These are the names of my mother and grandmothers -- none of whom lived long enough to see this day.

Both of my grandmothers were born before women had the right to vote.

I may cry a little when I put a check mark next to Hillary's name.


(A good read while you're waiting for the results:

November 7, 2016

All Sins Trump: Conman Edition - Election Day Minus 1

So far we've explored these Trump sins:
Today, we'll be looking at some of the more rancid parts of Trump's yuge empire: his scams.

Let's look at the big one: Trump University.

Here, read this from The Atlantic:
Trump University, the real estate training program offered in cities across the country, hasn’t offered a course in several years, but the school that Donald Trump modestly named after himself is still making plenty of news. Trump University is the target of two major lawsuits, a $40 million fraud action brought by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, and a class-action lawsuit in California. Both suits charge that Trump University promised to make students rich on real-estate deals but instead steered them into costly and mostly useless seminars.
The National Review (THE NATIONAL REVIEW!!) is a little less diplomatic:
First thing first, Trump University was never a university. When the “school” was established in 2005, the New York State Education Department warned that it was in violation of state law for operating without a NYSED license. Trump ignored the warnings. (The institution is now called, ahem, “Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.”) Cue lawsuits.

Trump University is currently the defendant in three lawsuits — two class-action lawsuits filed in California, and one filed in New York by then-attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who told CNN’s New Day in 2013: “We started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme. It was a scam, starting with the fact that it was not a university.”

Trump U “students” say the same. In his affidavit, Richard Hewson reported that he and his wife “concluded that we had paid over $20,000 for nothing, based on our belief in Donald Trump and the promises made at the [organization’s] free seminar and three-day workshop.” But “the whole thing was a scam.”
The very very conservative National Review says that Trump "University" is a bait-and-switch scam.

And they quote the New York State lawsuit:
The free seminars were the first step in a bait and switch to induce prospective students to enroll in increasingly expensive seminars starting with the three-day $1495 seminar and ultimately one of respondents’ advanced seminars such as the “Gold Elite” program costing $35,000.

At the “free” 90-minute introductory seminars to which Trump University advertisements and solicitations invited prospective students, Trump University instructors engaged in a methodical, systematic series of misrepresentations designed to convince students to sign up for the Trump University three-day seminar at a cost of $1495.
And so on. The purpose of the "University" was to sell exceedingly more expensive (and useless) seminars to people who couldn't afford them.  From The New Yorker:
If anyone still has any doubt about the troubling nature of Donald Trump’s record, he or she should be obliged to read the affidavit of Ronald Schnackenberg, a former salesman for Trump University. Schnackenberg’s testimony was one of the documents unsealed by a judge in the class-action suit, which was brought in California by some of Trump University’s disgruntled former attendees.

Schnackenberg, who worked in Trump’s office at 40 Wall Street, testified that “while Trump University claimed it wanted to help consumers make money in real estate, in fact Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could.” The affidavit concludes, “Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”
This is the man Rudy Giuliani says is a "genius."  This is the man the GOP has chosen to be their presidential candidate.  This is the man who calls his opponent "crooked."

Then there's the Trump Foundation.  Here's what Forbes Magazine had to say about the Foundation:
“I give a lot of money away,” Trump proclaimed during his 2015 inaugural campaign speech at Manhattan’s Trump Tower. The businessman showed off a net worth summary – and provided a list of donations to Associated Press – that illustrated that he donated $102 million in cash and land over five years.

A Washington Post investigation revealed that none of the $102 million was Trump’s money – and the paper could only confirm one cash donation made by Trump between 2008 and May 2016 after contacting over 400 charities. Trump’s foundation also reportedly paid for obligations owed by his businesses, even though Trump has not kicked in a cent to his namesake nonprofit since 2008. In October, the foundation was served with a cease-and-desist order from the New York Attorney General for not having the proper registration in the state. 
We all know the story here.  Trump got other people to give their money to the foundation.  He then used part of money (which wasn't his, remember) to settle some legal affairs and to buy some art for (and of) himself.

How is that not another Trump scam?

So here's my last question to my Senator, Pat Toomey.  Pat, you're a business guy.  President of the Club for Growth and all that.  Does any of the above sit well with you?  How much money did Trump scam out of "the elderly and uneducated"?  Were any of them Pennsylvania residents (i.e. your constituents)?  Is this enough for you to finally say, "Nope.  I just can't vote for this man, Donald Trump.  He's a scam artist."??


The fact that you can't bring yourself to say that you won't vote for this racist, tax evading conman who's in favor of war crimes is truly disappointing - on too many levels to list.

November 6, 2016

I guess we're meant to be grateful the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette didn't actually endorse Trump

You can read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's "A guide to decide: Twelve tests to choose between Clinton and Trump" embarrassing non-endorsement here, or you can save some time and just watch this dumpster fire:

According to the editorial in today's paper, the "test" is meant to be "a useful exercise for the citizen’s own decision-making" lovingly curated by...we assume the Block Family (owners of the P-G).

If you're not familiar with the Blocks, here's John Block on Trump's private plane:

His brother Allan was notably heard in a NYC restaurant loudly voicing his support for Trump, and who "according to FEC filings, donated tens of thousands to Republican political candidates across the country since the late nineties."

There were even reports earlier this year that some P-G journalists were "worried about their paper’s credibility should it support the billionaire candidate who’s campaigned on a platform that includes deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, building a wall between the United States and Mexico and banning Muslims from entering the country." (Sorry! Mission accomplished!)

So far, the P-G's endorsements have been running a bit heavy on the R side, especially for what was once considered a liberal paper:
Post-Gazette 2016 General Election Endorsements

REPUBLICANS Pat Toomey, U.S. Senate
John Rafferty Jr., Pennsylvania Attorney General
Guy Reschenthaler, State Senate
Mike Turzai, State Representative
John Maher, State Representative
Jason Ortitay, State Representative

Mike Doyle, U.S. Representative
Erin McClelland, U.S. Representative
Eugene DePasquale, Auditor General
Joe Torsella, Pennsylvania Treasurer
Mike Turzai? Doesn't this forever disqualify him from public office?

But, I digress. Back to the "test."

I assume the editorial board was, oh let's say, grabbed by their metaphorical pussies by the Blocks and had to come up with...something. What they came up with is mostly nonsense and false equivalence that ignores the worst that is Donald Trump. The absolute nadir of the editorial comes in the "Character" portion of the "Leadership Traits."

While acknowledging that Trump is "a vulgarian who never seems to study, to apologize or to learn" and a "sexist and a cad," they feel the need to throw in a bash at Bill Clinton, who is not the one running for office. Moreover, Trump is not just a "cad" (how purposely quaint!), he is according to his own words, a serial sexual predator. And a misogynist, and a racist, and a bigot, and a xenophobe, and a proponent of torturing innocent Muslims. He's a terrible businessman who doesn't pay his vendors, who declared bankruptcy six times, who wrote-off nearly a billion dollars in debt, who refuses to release his taxes because he hasn't paid any federal taxes in decades. He's a man who has a fraud trial starting later this month over his fake "university" and who has hundreds of lawsuits pending against him. He's a man who declared a war hero not a hero because he was captured and who tormented a Gold Star mother. He's a man with questionable ties to Russia's President Vladimir Putin and who doesn't understand why we have nukes if we don't use them.

He is a man who so thin-skinned, he can be provoked by a tweet. Reliably. Repeatedly.

He is a man who has called for his political opponent to be jailed and has alluded to her assassination.

And dozens and dozens of other horrors too many to list -- or even recall at this point.

All this, the P-G ignores.

But it gets worse. Here's what they say about Hillary Clinton's character:
Ms. Clinton would begin her presidential term under criminal investigation. Impeachment is a very real possibility from Day 1. How would she function? Like Richard Nixon, who won in a landslide in 1972, she might not serve out her term. But her dishonesty is more than legal — it is deeply embedded in her every word and gesture. The WikiLeaks provide us many smoking guns, not least of which is this: Nothing about her is genuine.
Christ Almighty!

She is not under criminal investigation.

Impeachment may be "a very real possibility from Day 1" only because the Republican Party, along with their standard-bearer, is determined to turn us into a banana republic.

And her dishonesty? Her dishonesty?!? PolitiFact, the nonpartisan fact-checking outlet, has found that '78 percent of all of Trump's fact-checked claims have been scored "mostly false" or worse.' They also awarded their "2015 Lie of the Year" to the collective campaign misstatements of Donald Trump!

Lastly, the Post-Gazette is on the wrong side of history. 456 newspapers and magazines have endorsed Hillary Clinton. 22 have endorsed Donald Trump (including the KKK’s official newspaper).

Post-Gazette Editorial Board -- you all cisgender, all-but-one white men -- you had a choice to make and you chose instead to make no choice. You chose to cover yourself in shame. You chose to write a dumpster fire of an editorial.

In the immortal word of Donald Trump, "Sad."

UPDATE: From one member of the Editorial Board:

All Sins Trump: Dishonesty Edition - Election Day Minus 2

So far we've explored these Trump sins:
Today, we're looking at something broader though no less dangerous to the republic and to the world: Trump's rampant dishonesty.

Let's start with a very recent frame and work our way inward.  A few days ago this happened:
President Obama on Friday defended the rights of a Donald Trump supporter after a crowd at a rally for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina erupted when the supporter stood up and started shouting.
And then:
The crowd continued to heckle, and Obama continued to urge those shouting to “hold up,” defending the man’s right to free speech.

“First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech,” Obama said. “Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military and we ought to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we got to respect our elders. And fourth of all, don’t boo. Vote!”
And this is how Trump told the story:
He was talking to the protester — screaming at him, really screaming at him. By the way, if I spoke the way Obama spoke to that protester, they would say, 'He became unhinged! He became —' You have to go back and look and study. And see what happened. They never moved the camera. And he spent so much time screaming at this protester and, frankly, it was a disgrace.
There is no way around it.  Nothing of what Trump said was true.  If he didn't know that, he should have. His dishonesty throughout his campaign is either active or passive.  He knows and lies or he should have known and doesn't care about the truth.

But we've seen this going as far back as this lie:
I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.
Politifact said that wasn't just untrue it was "Pants on Fire" untrue.  That was late November 2015 and he's yet to correct himself.

In a similar story, there's this:
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said Tuesday that Muslims knew a radicalized couple planned to launch the December terrorist attack on a county workers’ holiday party in San Bernardino, California, but refused to notify authorities.

Trump has repeated the claim to thousands of supporters at campaign rallies and, most recently, on live television during a presidential town hall interview on CNN.

“In San Bernardino people knew what was going on,” Trump told Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. “They had bombs on the floor. Many people saw this, many, many people. Muslims living with them, in the same area, they saw that house. They saw that.”

There is, however, no evidence to suggest this claim is true.
The Star, a Canadian newspaper, has collected a yuge list of Trump's lies.  They cover a wide array of topics.  Here's one:
7. Groping allegations

“Many of them have now already been debunked.” — Oct. 18

Nothing could be further from the truth. None of the allegations against Trump have been definitely disproven, although Trump and his surrogates have offered rebuttals. (One of Trump’s favourites: questioning the attractiveness of the accuser.)

Yet allegations that he has sexually imposed himself on women have been around for decades, as has his history of misogynistic comments.

His former wife Ivana once accused him of marital rape, though she said she did not mean it in a “literal or criminal” sense after their divorce was settled.

The allegations came out after the release of a 2005 video in which Trump bragged it was easy to grope women — “Grab them by the p---y. You can do anything.”
Oh, those Canadians. So polite. The word they partially blanked out was "pussy." It means "vagina" in porn-speak.

The list, sadly and irritatingly, goes on and on (he just keeps on trying...) .

But I can hear my vast right wing audience claim that it's Hillary who's dishonest.  What about that, Dayvoe?  Huh?  What about that one??

Luckily, Nicholas Kristoff wrote about this a few months ago:
If deception were a sport, Trump would be the Olympic gold medalist; Clinton would be an honorable mention at her local Y.

Let’s investigate.

One metric comes from independent fact-checking websites. As of Friday, PolitiFact had found 27 percent of Clinton’s statements that it had looked into were mostly false or worse, compared with 70 percent of Trump’s. It said 2 percent of Clinton’s statements it had reviewed were egregious “pants on fire” lies, compared with 19 percent of Trump’s. So Trump has nine times the share of flat-out lies as Clinton.

Likewise, The Washington Post Fact-Checker has awarded its worst ranking, Four Pinocchios, to 16 percent of Clinton’s statements that it checked and to 64 percent of Trump’s.

“Essentially, Clinton is in the norm for a typical politician,” says Glenn Kessler, who runs Fact-Checker, while Trump “is just off the charts. There’s never been anyone like him, at least in the six years I have been doing this.”
And so it goes.

I'll end this post, as I have done for all the others, with a question to my Senator, Pat Toomey.  Pat, I realize you've come out publicly and denounced Trump in any number of ways.  You also have yet to say that you can't vote for this bigoted, dishonest, tax-evading fan of war crimes.  Why the heck not?

What else do you need to know, Pat?  What else would it take to get you to say publicly that  he's simply not worthy of your vote?

Your silence on the matter, I fear, tells us a great deal about your own character.

Something for all Pennsylvania voters to think about on Tuesday.

November 5, 2016

All Sins Trump: Misogyny Edition - Election Day Minus 3

So far we've explored these Trump sins:
I'd like to expand on that last one into a broader discussion of Trump's misogyny since it seems to me that not all sexual assaults are misogyny (in the sense that the perpetrators are men and victims are women - tea-bagging, for instance) and not all misogynists commit sexual assault.  We just happen to have a happy overlap with Donald J. Trump.

But first things first.  Let's start with a good definition of "Misogyny."  The English Oxford defines it thusly:
Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
Yea, that works.  So how does someone show contempt for women?  As Hamlet said to Polonius, "Words, words, words" (Hamlet, Act II Scene ii).

Here's some of Trump's misogyny words - and he has the best words, believe me.  He has the best words, bigly.

Last year, when he wasn't too happy with how he was treated by debate moderator Megyn Kelly (a known woman) Trump's post-debate response to her was this:
You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.
Ooo, menses - that's the explanation for why that Kelly lady to be so mean to Mr Trump!  To be clear, after a short period of time, he did try to walk back the comment with this: what he meant to say was that there was blood coming out of her...nose.

Of course.  Because that so fits the narrative of why he might think a woman would be challenging him on what he said that might be offensive about other women - a nose bleed. The clue as to what stimulated his flow of misogyny words is found when you look at what Megyn Kelly was challenging him about:
KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don't use a politician's filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women.

You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.


Your Twitter account...

TRUMP: Only Rosie O'Donnell.


KELLY: No, it wasn't.
That's exactly true.  It was all about women and it wasn't only about Rosie O'Donnell.  For example, the above Washington Post article tells us about one reaction he had to Arianna Huffington:
[W]hy is it necessary to comment on [Huffington's] looks? Because she is a dog who wrongfully comments on me
Say something wrong about Trump and he calls you ugly.  And then there's another:
[Huffington] is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.
Hmm, that's some Trump misogyny mixed in with a little Trump homophobia - Oh, look!  A twofer!!

I'm no expert on sexuality, but I don't think that a wife's actions or looks can "un-straighten" a husband in any way whatsoever (and truth be told, Huffington knew Michael was bisexual before they were married).  But think about it.  If what Donald is saying is possible (that someone's "attractiveness" could determine someone else's sexual orientation) then good looking guys could have a field day "straightening" lesbians whenever they wanted. 
("Dear Penthouse Forum, I always thought your letters were fake until this happened.  I'm a good looking guy, believe me.  Big hands.  Worth billions.  Real Estate.  I can't tell you my name but I can tell you what happened to me when I walked into this lesbian bar last week...")
Ridiculous, right?  That's Trump.

The Telegraph in the UK has a list of some more of Trump's mysogyny words.  Here's his view of women and prenuptial agreements from 1997 (the same year the Huffingtons divorced, by the way):
There are basically three types of women and reactions. One is the good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else.

The other is the calculating woman who refuses to sign the prenuptial agreement because she is expecting to take advantage of the poor, unsuspecting sucker she’s got in her grasp. There is also the woman who will openly and quickly sign a prenuptial agreement in order to make a quick hit and take the money given to her.
Did Ivana sign a prenup?  Did Marla?  Did Melania?  I wonder if he still thinks this. 

Sadly this discussion about Trump's misogyny could go on for days.   The font of material from Trump's he-man woman haters club tweets is, sadly, endless.

And for that, I have to ask a question, yet again, of my Senator, Pat Toomey: Pat, isn't this enough for you yet?  Isn't this enough for you to declare "No, I just can't support Donald Trump with my vote.  I just can't."  If not, what does that say to all the women in Pennsylvania that you won't say that you can't vote for such an obviously obnoxious excuse of a man like Donald J. Trump?

What else do you need to know, Pat?