Saturday, July 23, 2016

Getting to know Tim Kaine.

Courtesy of USA Today: 

If resume is destiny, Kaine was inevitable. He is a former city council member, mayor, lieutenant governor and governor who has become a student of war and foreign policy in the Senate. As governor he even had to prove himself in the tragic role presidents must play all too often, as consoler in chief after a mass shooting (the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 people dead). 

Kaine’s political credentials are also unmatched. A former national party chairman and a former Catholic missionary to Honduras, he has never lost an election and has a solid approval rating in his state. He may not be Hispanic, but he speaks fluent Spanish. tHe comes from an important swing state with 13 electoral votes – more than twice as many as Iowa (home of another finalist, Agriculture secretary and former governor Tom Vilsack). And, key to Democratic dreams of a Senate majority, Kaine’s successor will be named by a Democrat -- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. 

Low-maintenance and low-key, a Southern politician married to the daughter of a former Republican governor, Kaine always seemed a mismatch for the job his friend Barack Obama gave him in 2009 as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He isn’t a partisan pit bull on the order of, say, Dick Cheney. But Clinton will have plenty of willing and ferocious attackers, from Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to a highly articulate and enraged cadre of #NeverTrump conservatives.

Okay, all of that sounds pretty good.

There are a few stumbling blocks for progressives however, including Kaine's wishy washy stance on abortion (He's a Catholic.), his support for TPP, and of course the worst one, he's not Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren,

However there is this.
And that's very good.

And there is also the fact that he is almost universally well liked (Much like Joe Biden.) and considered to be extremely ethical and trustworthy.

Well aside from this that is: 

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine took advantage of the state’s lax gift laws to receive an $18,000 Caribbean vacation, $5,500 in clothes and a trip to watch George Mason University play in the NCAA basketball Final Four during his years as lieutenant governor and governor, according to disclosures he filed. 

While legal under Virginia’s unusually permissive ethics rules, the gifts could become attack-ad fodder after similar presents led to corruption charges for Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction the Supreme Court overturned Monday. Republicans could also use the records to portray Kaine as part of the self-dealing establishment in a cycle animated by hostility toward the political class.

It's not much, but it gives Trump and the Republicans at least a little something to work with.

And Trump has wasted little time in going on the attack:
Damn it looks like Tim Kaine scares Trump almost as much as Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren did.

You know when Hillary announced that Kaine was her choice I have to admit that I was disappointed, but that had nothing to do with any negative feelings I had about Tim Kaine, but rather my own desire to have somebody on the ticket who I found exciting or inspirational.

To be honest I am not really that big of a Hillary supporter.

I like her just fine, but she really does not get me fired up.

And sadly neither does Tim Kaine.

So yes this ticket is made up of two very strong and capable politicians, who are infinitely better than their Republican counterparts.

But damn, I just wish as a political blogger I had more opportunity to write excitedly about the Democratic ticket, and did not have to instead focus on the lunacy from the other side of the aisle.

Perhaps the most frightening picture from Thursday's convention. Update!

Courtesy of Vox:

As Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, wrote on Twitter, this was Trump’s "Nightmare in America" speech. The address had one goal, and one goal only: to persuade Americans that their country is a dangerous, besieged hellscape, and only Donald Trump can fix it. 

And so Trump spoke of the "illegal immigrants with criminal records" who are "tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens." He warned of the gangs, violence, and drugs "pouring into our communities." He invoked "the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border." 

Perhaps the night’s ugliest moment came when he spoke of Sarah Root, a college student killed by a drunk driver who was also an unauthorized immigrant. "I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family," Trump said. "But to this administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders." 

For the record, almost 10,000 people were killed in America by drunk drivers in 2010 — the overwhelming majority of them by American citizens. Trump had neither answers for nor interest in their deaths. 

And it is when you tug on these threads that Trump’s speech unspools and its grossness, and uselessness, becomes clear.

The speech actually elicited this response from Nicolle Wallace: 

“You know, listening to this, I was struck by two things that I always believed during my two decades in the Republican politics,” she explained to NBC’s Lester Holt. “One, the voters always get it right. And two, the Republican Party that I worked for for two decades died in this room tonight.” 

“We are now represented as a party by a man who believes in protectionism, isolationism and nativism,” Wallace continued. “And those are the forces that George W. Bush and, I belive, John McCain were most worried about during their times as the leaders of the Republican Party.”

And she was far from alone.

Donald Trump's acceptance speech boiled down to its key elements was that America is going to a hell in a handbasket despite what all those liberal media facts might tell you.

And the reason those facts don't matter is because everything that was accomplished these last eight years was only accomplished by some black guy, and everybody knows that only a white guy can fix America.

Specifically a white guy named "Donald Trump."

Update: From the "hit'em where it hurts" department, the TV ratings for Trump's acceptance speech were terrible.

This will make far more difference to him than anything a pundit, historian, or fellow Republican might have to say about the convention. .

Michelle Obama singing karaoke in a car with James Corden is the palate cleanser we all deserve this morning.

I am really going to miss having this Obama family in the White House.

I like the Clintons just fine, but these folks are just incredibly classy and fun.

The head of the police union explains that the North Miami cop who shot the black man was actually aiming for the autistic guy next to him playing with a toy truck. Oh, well okay then.

Courtesy of CNN: 

The police shooting of an African-American caregiver, who was lying in the street trying to help an autism patient, was accidental, according to the local police union representing the North Miami officer. 

The officer had intended to shoot the patient, whom he thought posed a danger, but accidentally shot the caregiver instead, said John Rivera, the President of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association. 

Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was shot Monday by police -- an incident which has sparked outrage. Footage released by Kinsey's attorney showed his client lying on the ground holding both hands in the air, next to a 23-year-old man with autism. 

Rivera offered an explanation Thursday, saying that the police officer opened fire because he thought the white individual, whom they later learned is a man with autism, was going to harm Kinsey. 

"This wasn't a mistake in the sense that the officer shot the wrong guy or he thought that Kinsey was the bad guy," he said in a press conference Thursday.

Mr. Kinsey, that black caregiver who was shot, had this to say:  

Kinsey told WSVN that his patient was holding a toy truck, not a firearm. He said he tried to explain the situation to officers. 

Cell phone footage showed Kinsey lying in the street with his hands in the air. 

"All he has is a toy truck," he shouted. "I am a behavior therapist at a group home."

After shooting him the cops rolled him over and placed handcuffs on him.

At this point I do not even care which one of the two people the officer was firing at, because to shoot at either one of them is completely indefensible.

Look I work with clients very much like this young man with the truck, and I can tell you that they would be almost completely unable to comply with shouted requests coming from the police. 

And the more upset they got the more likely it would be that their actions appeared out of control and possibly aggressive.

Police need to have significant training in how to deal with people with disabilities or who are suffering with a mental illness or deficiency.

There is a way to calm them down and often gain their compliance, but I can guarantee it will not happen with guns drawn.

On the other hand I would like to suggest that this Mr. Kinsey be given a fucking raise and perhaps receive some kind of award or something, because that is a dedicated professional, and deserves all the recognition that he can get.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Jon Stewart returns to late night with the help of his good friend Stephen Colbert.

Courtesy of TPM: 

Jon Stewart made a triumphant return to late night Thursday to eviscerate the newly-christened GOP nominee and his Fox News hype man, Sean Hannity. Stewart took Stephen Colbert's seat on "The Late Show” to repeatedly slam “angry groundhog” Donald Trump, who he said embodies the same values that "Lumpy" Hannity has spent years decrying from President Obama. 

“You just want that person to give you your country back. Because you feel that you’re this country’s rightful owners,” Stewart said. 

“There’s only one problem with that. This country isn’t yours. You don’t own it. It never was.”

Boy seeing Stewart on the air talking about the GOP convention, Roger Ailes, and politics in general just feels right doesn't it?

Breaking News: Tim Kaine will be Hillary Clinton's choice for VP! Update!

So there you have it.

Damn, I was wrong.

Oh well, I am sure that Tim Kaine will be great. 

Update: Twitter weighs in on Hillary's choice of Tim Kaine.
I think that is a fairly accurate overview of my Twitter feed concerning Tim Kaine.

There is a little butt hurt out there, a whole lot of "meh," and at least a handful of "whoopies."

I remain unimpressed, a little disappointed, but I am certainly not horrified.

Perhaps one of the strangest things that happened yesterday. Alex Jones invades the set of the Young Turks

I almost don't want to give this any attention since that is what Alex Jones wants, but it is kind of hard to ignore something this ugly and manipulative.

The gray haired guy that Jones is trying to get Cenk Uygar to argue with is Roger Stone that POS who writes fact free books and articles about the Clintons.

As for Alex Jones he has been wandering around Cleveland trying to start trouble for days now. (I covered another one of his pathetic attempts to garner attention on Wednesday.)

I have long stopped being a fan of the Cenk Uygur and the Young Turks even before they started pushing conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton during their pro-Sanders propaganda period these last several months.

However part of me would really have liked to see Uygar punch that chubby fuck Alex Jones in the face, even though I realize that is exactly the kind of conflict that Jones was angling for.

Here is more from Mediaite.

Roger Ailes is officially out at Fox News!

Courtesy of TPM:

Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable news powerhouse, resigned Thursday amid swirling allegations of sexual harassment. 

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch will be chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Business after Ailes' resignation, which a press release from parent company 21st Century Fox announced was effective today. 

“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years," Murdoch said in a statement. 

In announcing the news, the statement makes no mention of the allegations around Ailes, but praised his role in founding the network and making it a hub for millions of conservative viewers.

Speaking of those unmentioned allegations, it appears that they are still coming.
It needs to be pointed out that Ailes was all but escorted from the Fox News building on the same day that Donald Trump accepted the nomination as the Republican candidate for President.

That is a HUGE thing to have happen.

Not only does Fox News spread the GOP's propaganda for them, Roger Ailes, for all intents and purposes, has shaped the Republican party into his own image.

With him gone it now falls to Rupert Murdoch to continue that legacy.

However Rupert Murdoch is 85 years old. And his children, who will take over completely when he passes, are nowhere near as politically conservative as either he or Ailes.

So the questions that needs to be asked is, how long will Fox News continue to be Fox News. And how can the Republican party survive without it?

So is this some kind of hint? Update!

I like Cory Booker, I do.

But I really have my heart set on Elizabeth Warren.

Now according to recent reporting Hillary is actually down to these three choices:

Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential search is centering on three main contenders, with an announcement expected as soon as Friday as the Democrat prepares for her party’s national convention next week in Philadelphia. 

Democrats familiar with the search say Clinton’s campaign has focused in recent days on Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a former governor, mayor and one-time Catholic missionary fluent in Spanish; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, an ex-Iowa governor and longtime Clinton ally; and Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a progressive champion who would be the first Hispanic on a major-party ticket.

I REALLY hope that this is inaccurate reporting because not one of those choices appeals to me even a little.

I would much prefer Cory Booker, who at least has some personality, and it not some old boring white dude.

But then again, as I have said many times in the past, Elizabeth Warren is the game changing choice that would give Hillary the kind of bump that would completely knock Donald Trump off of the news cycle for at least 24 hours.

However I am a Democrat, so if my favorite choice does not get the job I will still support, and vote my heart out, for the Hillary and her VP choice.

Whoever that boring choice might be. 

Update: So there is a lot of talk about Hillary announcing her VP choice today.

However with this shooting in Munich today I would put all of that on hold if I were the Clinton camp.

They will be drowned out by these events in Germany, and they need to make the announcement when they can own the news cycle.

Like Monday perhaps.

Of all of the terrifying things that Donald Trump has said this might be the most terrifying of all. Update!

This is how much I understand about NATO. 
Courtesy of CNN:

Donald Trump, in a New York Times interview published Thursday, outlined a sharp break in US foreign policy tradition, suggesting the US wouldn't defend NATO allies like the Baltic states against Russian aggression if they haven't "fulfilled their obligation to us." 

Trump has repeatedly made the case that most of NATO's 28-member countries are not making the requisite financial contributions for their common defense, and he's said in the past that "the US must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves." 

Throughout the interview, the Republican presidential nominee seemed to reject core assumptions of US military and foreign policy thinking -- including foreign troop deployment and advocating for civil liberties -- and argued for an unprecedented global retrenchment, frequently framing his argument in economic terms. 

Trump's comments were met with shock and anger in some quarters, drawing stern rebukes from members of both parties and prompting the White House to assuage anxious allies.

You know when a presidential candidate is so reckless that the current President's administraton has to calm fears in the wake of his comments, that should really tell you that such a person should NOT be a presidential candidate.

I'm just saying.

A top Clinton aide had this to say:

Jake Sullivan, a senior Clinton policy adviser, noted how the U.S. has for decades given an "ironclad guarantee" to its NATO allies to come to their defense if attacked, "just as they came to our defense" after 9/11.

"Donald Trump was asked if he would honor that guarantee. He said ... maybe, maybe not," Sullivan said in a statement. "The president is supposed to be the leader of the free world. Donald Trump apparently doesn't even believe in the free world." 

You know all of this stopped being funny months ago.

Simply put anybody who sits out this election, or votes the Republican party ticket, is a traitor to this country.

Update: They have now had a chance to fact check Trump's acceptance speech and found that most of the "facts" that he presented were either untrue or misleading.

I actually would be surprised if it were otherwise.

Two photos that definitively demonstrate the difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party.


Remember this Paul Ryan selfie from a few days ago?

Now take a look at this tweet from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
Which one looks more like America in the year 2016 to you?

The future is ours my friends, we just have to wait for a few more of these crusty old white Republicans to kick the bucket and it will be basic human rights, universal health care, and debt free college tuition for everybody.

(H/T to Addicting Info.)

Somebody built a wall around Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

You know I am usually opposed to building a Donald Trump wall, but this one seems appropriate.