"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, September 23, 2016

Another Strong Showing for NOM

You may have heard about NOM's planned demonstration at the Mexican embassy in Washington to protest the Mexican government's move to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide:

 nommex

Seriously: according to an observer, she counted five adults and a baby stroller.


Antidote

As I run across more and more stories of the deplorables supporting Trump, it's nice to run across one that shows what we can be:


Dear President Obama,

Remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria? Can you please go get him and bring him to [my home]? Park in the driveway or on the street and we will be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers, and balloons. We will give him a family and he will be our brother. Catherine, my little sister, will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him. In my school, I have a friend from Syria, Omar, and I will introduce him to Omar. We can all play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach us another language. We can teach him English too, just like my friend Aoto from Japan.

Please tell him that his brother will be Alex who is a very kind boy, just like him. Since he won't bring toys and doesn't have toys Catherine will share her big blue stripy white bunny. And I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it. I will teach him additions and subtractions in math. And he [can] smell Catherine's lip gloss penguin which is green. She doesn't let anyone touch it.

Thank you very much! I can't wait for you to come!

Alex

6 years old

Maybe there's hope. Now if we can just persuade the press not to hand the election to the Hairpiece. . . .


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today's Must-Watch, Part 2

Elizabeth Warren takes no prisoners:


The look on Stumpf's face as Warren finished up is priceless. If looks could kill. . . .

Here's the background.

The manager instructed her to push accounts but not to tell the customers about the downfalls and fees of new accounts. "Make them read the paperwork." She replied, "But you know no one ever reads the paperwork." His response: "Exactly."

Today's Must-Watch

Reputedly from Joss Whedon, but I can't find a credit.


And or course, the trumpies all came out from under their rocks to leave comments on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Moral Vacuum That Is Donald Trump

Digby has a post at Hullabaloo that presents a very clear picture of just what Donald Trump is. This is only the most recent example:




Here's some background on that tweet.

Digby has further examples, which aren't amenable to excerpting here. Click through and read her post.

It's no wonder the "Christian" right is supporting him -- he, too, detests our foundational principles.

Y'know what? We're better than that.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Nice Non-Discrimination Ordinance You've Got There. . . .

It's been a while since I've written about Pat McCrory's Hate Bill 2; if you need some background, earlier posts are here and here. It's now cost the state in the neighborhood of $100 million in lost business and jobs, and the potential for economic disaster is growing day by day.

So, McCrory has a "compromise":

McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said in a statement that the governor would call a special session if two requisites are met: Charlotte must move first to repeal its expanded protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; and secondly, a majority of lawmakers must be in favor of repeal.

"If the Charlotte City Council totally repeals the ordinance and then we can confirm there is support to repeal among the majority of state lawmakers in the House and Senate, the governor will call a special session," Ellis said.

Isn't that nice? If Charlotte repeals its ordinance, the governor will try to repeal HB2. No guarantees, but he'll try.

Any normal person would call this "blackmail."

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. McCrory is facing the loss of his office, and as the economic damage mounts up, his chances look grimmer. All he needs is for NASCAR to pull out of the state.

One can only hope that the Charlotte city council gives McCrory a big fat FU.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What's New at Green Man Review

It's Sunday again (have you noticed how that keeps happening, like every week?), and there's new goodies up at Green Man Review. Click on over.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Today's Absolutely Must-Read

Kurt Eichenwald has done an amazing article at Newsweek on Trump's foreign entanglements and how they might affect his foreign policy decision, should (the gods forbid) he should wind up in the White House.

A close examination by Newsweek of the Trump Organization, including confidential interviews with business executives and some of its international partners, reveals an enterprise with deep ties to global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals, although there is no evidence the Trump Organization has engaged in any illegal activities. It also reveals a web of contractual entanglements that could not be just canceled. If Trump moves into the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company, during or even after his presidency, almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires.

"Trump Organization" -- it even sounds like the mafia.

Read it.

Today in Trump's America

In Georgia. The only surprise is that it's not in Alabama. From Raw Story:

A meeting about whether to lift a moratorium on the construction of a mosque in an Atlanta suburb was canceled on Tuesday after a video made by right-wing militia members led to fears of armed violence.

According to NBC News, officials in Covington, GA canceled a city planning meeting dedicated to voting on whether to proceed with the construction of a new mosque and Muslim cemetery in the town.

Chris Hill — leader of local militia group the Three Percent Security Force — told reporters that he made the video during a weekend protest against the mosque.

“I was just shooting from the hip is what I was doing, and saying, ‘Right over there, this is going to be a future ISIS training group. This is where you’re going to see terrorism taking hold in Newton County.’ It’s tied to terrorism, everything from 9/11 to Boston bombings to the Fort Hood shooting, to the coup in Turkey. It’s all connected,” said Hill, who goes by the name “Blood Agent” in his videos.

This is one of those "real Americans" who can't find his ass with both hands and a map. He must get dizzy from all the buzzwords flying around in his head.

And this is choice:

On Tuesday, armed militiamen protested outside the site of the proposed meeting, some carry assault weapons, others with sidearms. One man walked in circles shouting through a megaphone.

Hill, a Marine veteran, said that at no point has his group made violent threats against city officials, but Newton County administrators took the video seriously enough to postpone the planning meeting.

Umm -- you don't think armed idiots parading around with assault rifles constitutes a threat?

Brace yourselves -- it's going to get worse before it gets better.


You Won't Hear About This on Fox News

And probably not much about it from any other major "news" organization. From Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo:


One of the Republicans' campaign talking points this year is that electing Hillary Clinton will be a third term for Barack Obama. The horror.

Upon yesterday's release of two reports by the Census Bureau, Economic Policy Institute president Larry Mishel tweeted:


I can't remember feeling such glee on seeing a new economics data report
Census described its findings in a press release:
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income increased by 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 while the official poverty rate decreased 1.2 percentage points. At the same time, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.

Median household income in the United States in 2015 was $56,516, an increase in real terms of 5.2 percent from the 2014 median income of $53,718. This is the first annual increase in median household income since 2007, the year before the most recent recession.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, with 43.1 million people in poverty, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014. The 1.2 percentage point decrease in the poverty rate from 2014 to 2015 represents the largest annual percentage point drop in poverty since 1999.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2015 calendar year was 9.1 percent, down from 10.4 percent in 2014. The number of people without health insurance declined to 29.0 million from 33.0 million over the period.

This will get buried and the press will continue to let Trump get away with his lies about how the country is sinking.

Sullivan goes on to analyze what effect this will have on the election, which is, to put it bluntly, none:

The stunning economic news might not actually boost Clinton's numbers any time soon. For one, it takes time for macroeconomic news to filter down to average voters, a former Sanders pollster told the San Francisco Chronicle. It may take several positive reports before voters notice. Plus, John Powell, director of UC Berkeley's Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, observed:
“Trump feeds off of people feeling bad, feeling angry. Then he says, ‘I can save you,’” Powell said. “Much of their effort — by Republicans and Trump — is that they need to say that things are bad. Their campaign is one of deep anxiety and polarization, that the country is going to hell in a handbasket.”

And that's the message that people will keep hearing -- if the press can find room to fit it in between Clinton being near death and E-Mails!!1!.

And we should know by now that, after Republicans have screwed up the economy with their voodoo economics, it takes a Democratic administration to fix it.