An outside-the-Beltway perspective on current events, politics, media, and the arts. We are proud to be part of the Reality-Based Community.

Contact Us

Recommended Diversions

Thursday :: Jun 30, 2016

Boris Johnson Passes on Being PM

by Deacon Blues

We've been hearing for the last two days from Brexit proponents that fears of economic harm from the vote are overblown, and that the "Leave" campaign leaders are optimistic about what lies ahead. And then Justice Minister Michael Gove kneecapped Boris Johnson in the last 24 hours:

Boris Johnson was still the favourite to be Britain’s next prime minister at 9.01am, as he prepared to launch his campaign at an upmarket hotel near St James’s Park.
But unbeknown to him, Michael Gove, his key ally and Brexit running mate, had made the decision to run against him at least 12 hours before then.
Gove had thrown his lot in with Johnson after they won the referendum together, planning to run on a “dream ticket” with the man long tipped to succeed David Cameron. For years, Gove had said he had no ambitions to be Tory leader and there would be better choices for the job.
However, those close to Gove say he changed his mind about Johnson after days of trying to negotiate with him about how to run the campaign. Along with fellow Boris backers, Dominic Raab and Nick Boles, Gove came to the conclusion late on Wednesday night that the former mayor of London did not have the right qualities to lead the country.

And with that, Gove decided that he and not Johnson was the man for the job of negotiating England's exit from the EU, and in all likelihood presiding over the dissolution of the United Kingdom.

Johnson absorbed that betrayal, and then decided that he wanted out of the running to be the next prime minister, leaving it to his fellow wrecking-ball operators to handle the mess they created. As a result, observers are fuming at the realization there never really was a plan for "taking back control" of their country, and that petty politics has caused the rats to turn on each other.

In other words, America is getting an advance look at the aftermath of a Donald Trump election this November.

Deacon Blues @ 9:23 AM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::

Monday :: Jun 27, 2016

What We Know Today

by Deacon Blues

Amongst several different stories in the news, this is what we know today:

2016 Presidential Race
After seeing two different polls over the last several days, taken largely during the same period of time, we know that Hillary has between a 5 and 12-point lead over Trump amongst registered voters right now. Again, these are not likely voters, but registered voters. However, the trends for Trump, buried in the details of the ABC News/Washington Post poll don't look good for him.

Proponents of the "Leave" movement, those who wanted to exit the EU, flat-out lied in the campaign, and were never fact-checked by the British tabloids, many of which are Murdoch rags. And now the snakes behind those lies, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, are walking back those selling points, hoping that the electorate will let them get away with a heinous trashing of democracy. The EU, for its part, wants Great Britain out as soon as possible, so Mr. Johnson will come into office as Prime Minister with the responsibility of negotiating his own demise, as more and more ill-informed "Leave" voters realize they voted against their own self-interest.

Trumps Lies About Clinton
During his attack against Hillary last week, Trump flat-out lied that Clinton steered $55 million of State Department funding to Laureate Education because of their connections to Bill Clinton. So given his endorsement of Brexit last week while he was in Scotland as something good for Great Britain, shouldn't Clinton's team start comparing Trump to the liars who just foisted Brexit upon that country?

Deacon Blues @ 11:26 AM :: Link :: Comments (1) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Friday :: Jun 24, 2016

Brexit Fall-out

by Deacon Blues

The four-point victory by Brexit proponents in yesterday’s vote in Great Britain, to leave the EU will have ramifications far beyond David Cameron’s departure as Prime Minister this fall. First, and as important as anything else, the vote in all likelihood signals the end of the United Kingdom, because both Scotland and Northern Ireland have already called for their own referendums to leave the UK to stay in the EU.

Second, Donald Trump impostors Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage will now get their chance to destroy Great Britain financially amid an anti-immigration bloodlust these next two years. You can count on London losing several major international banks and thousands of jobs to Ireland, Scotland, and/or the continent, something that Farage and Johnson can explain to the sheeple who probably didn’t even know what the hell they were really voting for.

This may also lead to more unraveling of the EU, with other members likely wanting out over the coming months. Russia and China are quite happy about all this.

And Trump himself demonstrated today, in Scotland no less, why he is an embarrassment and a flip-flopper. To actually say in Scotland that he applauded the UK’s exit from the EU, at a time when Scotland wants to stay in, on the basis that the decision will make more money for his local golf course only reinforces why the man has no business getting near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But since there are millions of stupid voters here in America like demonstrably there are in Great Britain, there is no guarantee that the United States won’t destroy itself with a terrible decision this November.

And all this because demagogues demonize brown people, and Barack Obama was short-sighted about Syria.

Deacon Blues @ 12:10 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Thursday :: Jun 23, 2016

Goodbye Merrick Garland

by Deacon Blues

For every white voter the GOP and Trump try to scare to the polls this November with a call to lock in long-term anti-immigration efforts through a whiter Supreme Court, there will be several other voters that Democrats can also drive to the polls, thanks to the deadlocked SCOTUS ruling today blocking Obama's executive order.

Trust me, it will be quite easy to drive millions of Latino voters to the polls knowing that a Texas circuit court's ruling is the law of the land, and forces the deportation and breakup of thousands of families across the country. All this decision does is ensure even more overreach and ugliness from Trump and the GOP against brown people. I don't expect Beltway pundits to acknowledge that, but the actual political effect of today's ruling will be quite stark this November.

Make no mistake: I think Obama was wrong in what he did, and overreached himself here. But if anyone thinks this will help the GOP and Trump win the presidency, they're delusional.

And yes, this dooms the Merrick Garland nomination, because the GOP will now hold out to wait for Trump to (hopefully) nominate a desired white guy. But when Hillary rams someone else down their throats next year who is less to their liking, they will look back at this time as a missed opportunity to let a moderate through.

Deacon Blues @ 4:10 PM :: Link :: Comments (1) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Wednesday :: Jun 22, 2016

Ryan's Obamacare Alternative is a Fraud

by Deacon Blues

I could write a long piece about Donald Trump's attack upon the Clintons today, wherein he called Hillary a "world class liar", which coming from Trump is the pot calling the kettle black. CNN, the NYT, NPR, ABC News, and others have already called out Trump himself for lying today in his attack, but this it is standard Rovian political theory to attack your opponent from your own position of weakness in an effort to keep them on the defensive. Nothing new there, except that Donald Trump himself is nothing more than a pathological fraud and liar.

What's just as interesting however is that Paul Ryan finally rolled out the GOP alternative to Obamacare today, 6 years late. Needless to say, it is nothing new but a rehash of standard GOP scraps that would destroy our healthcare system and throw millions off of coverage. And did I mention that Ryan had the gall today to once again call for block-granting Medicaid, a recipe for GOP governors to throw thousands of people into the abyss, while Ryan also called for a Medicare premium support model, which is GOP dog whistling for destroying Medicare too.

Note that Ryan rolled this out at a time when health care insecurity is at a record low, due in large part to Obamacare. Yet Ryan and Donald Trump call for the immediate repeal of it, during Trump's first 100 days.

If you are looking for evidence that the GOP is a dead and bankrupt party, it is too easy to look at Trump's ascension as Exhibit A. Ryan's sad and intellectually dishonest "cure" for our health care system has no costs or numbers of affected Americans tied to it, even though the GOP's purported main policy wonk (Ryan) has had years to develop this. The truth is that the GOP hates government healthcare and doesn't care if "those people" die in the streets. It's also true that like Ted Cruz, who was also regarded by the media as a very smart if not brilliant mind inside the Beltway, Paul Ryan is just as overrated as a supposed "policy wonk."

If Paul Ryan is the intellectual cornerstone of the GOP establishment, and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the GOP's "faces", then the Republican Party is truly dead.

Deacon Blues @ 2:16 PM :: Link :: Comments (2) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Tuesday :: Jun 21, 2016

Running on Empty

by Deacon Blues
Image courtesy of NPR

Yes, it is mindboggling to see that Donald Trump's fundraising is virtually nonexistent, and that he starts the general election campaign flat broke. However, despite claims to the contrary from the center-left media, Trump has poured $46 million of his own money into his campaign, and claims today that he is willing to put more money in. It's just that the fundraising machine needed to run a countrywide effort in tandem with the RNC needed to be in place and generating some funds by now, but clearly it isn't.

Perhaps it is just one more sign of the emerging yet obvious conclusion: Trump never thought he'd be in this situation a year ago.

Lastly, when you antagonize the national papers and exclude them from covering your campaign, you only motivate them to go after you even harder, and get quotes from insiders that make you look bad.

Update: One of Trump's lines of attack against Hillary and Bill are his allegations today and previously that she used her official position as Secretary of State to benefit the family, a claim that has already been debunked. Given Trump's own enriching of himself through the campaign, that line of attack is now kaput.

Deacon Blues @ 9:32 AM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Monday :: Jun 20, 2016

Senate GOP Has Blood On Its Hands

by Deacon Blues

Did anyone really think that over 40 dead gay people were enough to prod GOP senators into voting against the NRA? After all, if 8 dead African American church-goers and over 20 slaughtered school kids weren't enough to shame Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn into action, then forget it.

Note that McConnell thinks the issue is about terrorism and not access to assault weapons or background checks. It just shows that scoundrels will find any reason to continue doing nothing. Democrats should remind voters of what happened today the rest of this campaign. Several GOP Senate incumbents up this year (Portman, Johnson, Toomey) became road kill after today.

Deacon Blues @ 4:47 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::

Make Donald Stay Donald

by Deacon Blues

Having wasted the last five weeks losing ground to Hillary Clinton and falling behind in the polls and in fundraising, at a time when Clinton still is dealing with Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump gave in to his kids today and fired his longtime campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Presumably, the establishment's man Paul Manafort is in control of the Trump campaign now, if for no other reason than to get the money flowing again.

Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, and the cleverest thing the Clinton campaign can do right now is set the narrative that Trump has been coopted by the GOP establishment, if for no other reason than to drive Trump to prove otherwise with another several weeks of destructive behavior. The Clinton team knows they are dealing with an unstable individual in Trump, and the best thing they can do is whatever it takes to drive him nuts.

Deacon Blues @ 12:15 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Wednesday :: Jun 15, 2016

Trump and the NRA

by Deacon Blues

No one should be surprised if Donald Trump "gets" the NRA to suddenly drop its opposition to banning those on the DHS terrorist watch list from getting guns. And no one should be surprised if Wayne Lapierre and the NRA suddenly agree with banning those on the list from getting guns. This is the kind of manipulation that both Trump and the NRA would foist upon the electorate to underline the image of Trump the Dealmaker.

If would however immediately make things terrible for House and Senate Republicans, who have steadfastly refused to do this, even as the bodies pile up. Doing so would allow the DSCC and DCCC to blast GOP incumbents this fall for being more obstructionist than even the NRA, which is a "no-win" situation for those GOP incumbents. And because Trump is all in this for himself, he would carelessly hang these GOP incumbents out to dry without a second thought.

Yet Democrats should be ready to counter any Trump/NRA maneuver with a demand that if Trump was truly concerned about public safety, and if he was really a tough-guy negotiator, he would also get the NRA to drop its opposition to having local law enforcement agencies know who in their jurisdictions buys assault weapons. Unless Trump is ready to take on the NRA to get it done, then everything else is just well-orchestrated puffery between Trump and the NRA.

It's easy to push the NRA into keeping guns from brown people; its just that the GOP has never had the balls to do so. It's far harder to make the GOP care as much for local law enforcement as they do for the NRA.

Deacon Blues @ 1:54 PM :: Link :: Comments (2) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
« Link to Previous Entry