"Electing Trump president was pretty much the same thing as electing Dennis Rodman president, i.e., a washed-up celebrity from the 1980s with obvious mental health issues and a bizarre affection for the North Korean regime.  Really the only significant difference now is the tattoos.  (To be fair Rodman was actually good at something once upon a time, so comparing him to Trump is kind of unfair in that regard)."

Police State

THE POLICE AND FASCISTS: A LOVE AFFAIR - Police are in general, not the friends of the general public.

Health Care

Two hundred years of health and medical care - Take-a-way from this chart? - If you think Obamacare fucked-up the cost of healthcare in this country. Fuck You! It's been on an almost direct line since 1960.


Socialism right in the Middle of Trump Country. Wayne County Indiana
"That work paid off in a big way recently with the news that more than $4 million in federal funding will be coming to Wayne County to cover most of the price tag for three expensive bridges."
Here in the middle of Trump country*, evangelical, Eastern Indiana Teabagistan where we hate the big federal government and socialism, we like do things for ourselves or let the free market handle it. Well, except when we're the folks getting the federal cash. Oh,.. we like our farm subsidies too. 

* Wayne county was 62% Trump. All the surrounding counties were at 70% Trump.

Pence and Iran 


Mike Pence starting his run to challenge Trump? I wouldn't doubt it a bit, but the meeting seems to have been a bust.
"But Great Britain and Italy were the only two EU nations in attendance. Others– including France, Germany, and the EU's high representative for foreign affairs– declined to send high level officials to the ministerial, protesting the tone of a conference they claimed was designed to undermine a nuclear deal with Tehran they continue to abide." 
Also, from Juan Cole: Trump’s Attempt to Strongarm Europe on Iran Crashes and Burns
"On Friday at a Munich security meeting, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, replied to the chiding of Vice President Mike Pence that Iran is destabilizing the region. Maas remarked that “Together with the British, the French and the entire European Union, we have found a means to allow Iran to remain in the nuclear accord. Our objective remains the lack of nuclear weapons, precisely because Iran destablizes the region.” Without the accord, “the region will not be more secure, but would in fact take a further step toward open confrontation.”

Us and Israel

Three articles on Israel's influence on US politics. note... Of course,  It's not about the Benjamins...

The New Republic - This Is What the Beginning of a Real Israel Debate Looks Like: Before Ilhan Omar came to the national stage, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer tried to discuss pro-Israel lobbying. They were shouted down.

The New Yorker - Private Mossad for Hire: Inside an effort to influence American elections, starting with one small-town race.

The Nation - This Is How AIPAC Really Works: An AIPAC and Capitol Hill veteran explains the lobby’s tactics of reward and retribution


Friday Propaganda

Fox is on it today. The biggest news story on every real news site is Trump planning an unprecedented step by declaring a national emergency to build his wall.

Here are the top headlines on the Fox Site

FBI tried plotted a coup. Dems are stupid and coming for your guns. A couple of murder stories.

Pretty close to National Enquirer.

They shouldn't be allowed to call themselves a news site. 




Here’s a Fox article, (not the video I didn’t watch it.) from a front page headline that is absolute BS just designed to scare people.

The 3 points are all BS designed to scare people.
  1. Americans enjoy eating food.
    1. Hinting that…. You’ll starve under socialism
  2. Americans don't want to be equally poor
    1. Hinting …..You’ll be poor under socialism
  3. Freedom of speech matters
    1. Later line says….. under the threat of torture for speaking out.

No one…. Not one….  of the Democratic socialists has ever called for anything like this. Even the most radical people I read, and some are way out there, are not calling for this.

They simply want to expand some existing programs to help take care of people.
Medicare for all, public education, cleaner environment, Less military spending. Again the European model.

Fox jumps right to some scary, imagined, full-communist vision that no one is suggesting and never mentions the European version that really does work.

Fox should have it’s “News” designation taken away for this alone.

Thursday - 2

Establishment D's

After promising health care execs that Medicare for All was dead, Pelosi's team plans toothless pharma deal


Is Socialism Still An Effective Political Bogeyman?


THE CENTER ISN’T WHERE VOTERS ARE - a post about Howard Shultz but the headline is the key. The center isn't where the voters are, it is firmly occupied by business, media, and donors. The D voters liked Sander's policies enough to push HRC to the limit even though the entire D machine was pushing against him. Trump beat all the establishment R's by appealing to the far-right, Fox News- Teagbagger side of the party.  The R's lost control. The D's damn-near did. The voters are the outliers.


Don’t blame the Israel lobby on Christians and Republicans

Ian Welsh: When Are You Guilty For The Crimes Of Your Group -


Found at Political Irony


Saturday #1


Tulsi Gabbard  - Except for being a bit squishy on LBGTs, she sounds pretty good.


Trump Is Wrong. When The Opposition Party Runs The House, The President Gets Investigated. - I think "Trump is wrong" is better than "Trump is Lying" here. You can't lie if you just don't know what the fuck you are talking about.


The committee paid a total of $700,000 to the Trump International Hotel for event spaces for four days in January 2017. At the time, a consultant working for the inaugural committee expressed her concern over email that the price quoted by the Trump hotel — $175,000 per day for several event spaces — was too high, as ProPublica and WNYC reported in December. 
“Please take into consideration that when this is audited it will become public knowledge,” wrote Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, an experienced New York-based event planner, suggesting a fair rate for the event spaces would be at most $85,000 per day, less than half of what was ultimately paid. That fee did not cover catering.

Tax Cuts

“Ask people how much they paid in taxes, nobody knows. Ask them how much they got in their refund, people know,” Howard Gleckman , a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, told the Intercept’s David Dayen this week. “Everyone focuses on size of the refund, and it does affect perception.”
In other words: It looks as though the Republican Party implemented their signature tax bill in a manner that will lead many people who received tax cuts to believe that Donald Trump raised their taxes.
Yep, people are in general, dumb as shit about taxes.  The R's tried to take advantage of it. I hope it bites them in the ass.

Israel and US Politics

Jimmy Carter believed he lost a second term because he opposed settlements, alienating Jews — Eizenstat - US politicians have to be careful with the settlements. The wrong policy stance can cost you an election.
When George H.W. Bush died last year, we revisited the idea that he was a one-term president in part because he vigorously took on the Israel lobby over settlements in 1991, and paid a price. Even Tom Friedman said that was the political lesson of the Bush presidency for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, neither of whom did much to oppose settlements.

And everyone knows that settlements bedeviled the Obama presidency. “It is time for these settlements to stop,” Obama declared in Cairo, till he faced reelection, and reversed course two years later under pressure from Netanyahu and Jewish organizations, and vetoed a settlements resolution at the U.N. And then he reversed course again– and in one of the last acts of his presidency, Obama allowed an anti-settlements resolution to go through in December 2016 (a move that Donald Trump sought to undermine by reaching out to the Russians).

What I did not know till I read the new book, “Jimmy Carter, The White House Years,” by his former top domestic policy adviser Stuart Eizenstat, is that Israeli settlements also bedeviled the Carter administration. 

Saturday #3 - Bezos

Did the National Enquirer blackmail Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Protect the Saudi Crown Prince?
and Pecker miscalculated - This sounds more Trump collusion-y than the Russia thing.

.. another Bezos Article Jeff Bezos Accuses the National Enquirer of Sextortion

.. and another National Enquirer blackmail claim. Maybe its time for that rag to go out of business.

Ronan Farrow says he also faced ‘blackmail efforts from AMI’ for reporting on the National Enquirer, Trump

Even more on the Bezos Thing

Jeff Bezos’ investigator suspects 'a government agency' intercepted Amazon CEO's text messages

These two tweets stood out.

Even more on Bezos.  This, from last year seems relevant. or really, seems like a threat.

“TRUMP IS LIKE, ‘HOW CAN I F--K WITH HIM?’”: TRUMP’S WAR WITH AMAZON (AND THE WASHINGTON POST) IS PERSONAL - With the West Wing finally calm, Trump is contemplating a multi-front campaign against Jeff Bezos
Now, according to four sources close to the White House, Trump is discussing ways to escalate his Twitter attacks on Amazon to further damage the company. “He’s off the hook on this. It’s war,” one source told me. “He gets obsessed with something, and now he’s obsessed with Bezos,” said another source. “Trump is like, how can I fuck with him?”

Saturday #2 - Propaganda

Presenting right-wing Fox News contributor as "WSJ Writer"

Fox plays up that a "WSJ writer" slammed AOCs Green New Deal without mentioning that the WSJ writer is a Fox News contributor and basically a conservative hack. It makes it easier to convince the rubes that everyone is against AOCs plan if they can show articles from non-Fox sources.

Drudge implies Bezos is the problem here.....

Fox Misrepresents Democratic-Socialists vs Communists

Showing "Democratic-Socialists" who want the US to be more like Sweden, Norway and other European countries. Misrepresenting living in a "socialist" country. The person grew up in communist, not socialist, not democratic-socialist, China. China, who by the way, now seems to be beating the US at capitalism.

Fox primes the hate/anger pump.

One school is stupidly politically correct so you are right to hate the education system and political correctness

Fox twisting things around

I don't remember Hillary's testimony being "Political Theatre"

I hear a lot of D's calling for D resignations. I don't remember any R's not sticking with Kavanaugh

Remember what they did to poor Roger Stone.

Progressive are hypocrites because their billionaires exploit workers too. Maybe we should just leave the billionaires alone.

Dems are dumb, hypocritical, and weak on homeland security, especially Muslim Dems.




Gin and Tacos with a great description of Trump as the President. CalvinBall
"Donald Trump isn't even trying to be president in any sense that the job of the president is understood. An analogy might illustrate my point best. Imagine you wanted to rank the (53 x 2) 106 quarterback performances in the Super Bowl. But you didn't have 106 quarterbacks – you had 105, and then this one guy who showed up on game day wearing a loincloth, swinging around a baseball bat, and making no effort to play the game at all. He simply showed up, preened for the crowd, and screamed "Fuck you!" at the referees for three hours."

The Tax Returns - We may finally see Trump’s tax returns, and Republicans are panicking


GOP LEADERSHIP INSTRUCTS LAWMAKERS TO PLAY UP GRUESOME MURDERS AND RAPES BY IMMIGRANTS  -  The Rs have beat the shit out of the Ds in the propaganda war for years.

Pulling the Rope - A damned good couple of paragraphs that explain the Establishment D's ineptitude. It doesn't hurt that the Rs have a major "news"network to prime the pump, still the Ds suck at this. Bernie, AOC, and the new crop of progressives can only help.
"Here’s what conservatives have always understood: in order to win at politics you pull as hard as you can in your preferred direction all the time, no matter what the immediate consequences. You don’t pick some arbitrary point on the righthand side of the line and say, “let’s shoot for that target.” Because if you do that you’re limited your ability to haul the rope as hard as you possibly can. Democrats have never understood this. They chase the center, thinking that this will make them more popular and give them more power. But the center they’re chasing is getting pulled to the right. Because their opponents know: all you do is pull the rope. Liberal thinkers wax poetic about how a health political society includes something like balance across the rope so we can have a Burkean parlor blah blah blah. And conservatives tug the rope."

Free Speech

Every Senator who voted for this should be run out of office. Free Speech except when speaking about Israel


Fox Propaganda doing its best to support the orange one and scare people away from "Socialism".

What they won't tell you is that we are "socialist" now. We fund our military, support our old and disabled folks, build roads, bridges, teach our children all with socialist policies. The Bernie and AOC crowd just want to move the line a little to include a few other things like healthcare for all, cheaper college, etc.

NO ONE.... NO ONE.... is calling for for pure socialism, government control of all means of production.

Bernie and AOC want to let private business and markets provide the things they are good at, iPhones, cars,  consumer products, etc.  But,... They want to have the government handle the things where the market is not so good, healthcare, education, etc. That's the European model of democratic socialism and it works.

Anyone who talks "Socialist" without explaining this is trying to mislead you.

Vote Democratic socialist.



Tax the Rich

Everyone, or damned near everyone supports higher axes on rich

Medicare for All

The Fox Propaganda Machine is beginning to respond. It's Time To Stop Being Afraid Of Medicare For All.

The D Establishment working against the people again.  Throw Pelosi out.

"Pelosi adviser Wendell Primus detailed five objections to Medicare for All and said that Democrats would be allies to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health care."
This is what we want......[link]
".. Others, led by Bernie Sanders, seek to replace the hodgepodge of private and public health plans with “Medicare for All” – a single-payer program covering everyone without copays or deductibles." 
 "Improved “Medicare for all” can affordably provide healthcare to everyone. It’s widely supported by the progressive base – and indeed by the majority of the nation in most polls." 
Hell, I'd vote for Trump if he support Sander's Medicare for All plan.

Trump, The R's, and Israel

Trump Kneels Again Before AIPAC

The #1 contributor to the Rs over the last two elections. Adelson Has Hijacked the Israeli-American Community for His Hard-right Agenda


Saturday Morning

The Budget Deficit

Deficit reduced
     - Every year under Clinton
     - Every year under Obama except his last year in office.
Deficit Increased
     - Half of the Bush years
     - Trumps only full year listed

President Trump’s First Two Years, in 13 Metrics

Life Lesson for my Kids

Want to transform your life? Stop chasing perfection
".. happiness equals reality minus expectations"
"Your effort to become the sort of person who finds happiness in what they already have can easily become its own interminable quest, in which success – and therefore happiness – always lies in some fantasy of the future, rather than in the here and now."
Life's a journey not a destination 

In fact, research consistently shows that the happiest people use their money to buy time. My colleagues and I have conducted correlational, longitudinal, and experimental research with nearly 100,000 working adults from all over the world. We consistently find that people who are willing to give up money to gain more free time — by, say, working fewer hours or paying to outsource disliked tasks — experience more fulfilling social relationships, more satisfying careers, and more joy, and overall, live happier lives.
Money can't buy happiness but it can buy time, and having more time makes you happier,... unless you can't afford food or shelter.


A good post on the state of the union: The Capitalist Adults Are in the Room

What The Left Gets Wrong About Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren - Regardless, the Left is never going to get a fair shake from corporate media.

The Bullshit

Another Trump "Winning So Big" fades out. Political Irony: Out Foxed  An Update.... Speaking Of Vaporware.

"You're going to have such great health care and at a tiny fraction of the cost." The orange bullshitter on the campaign trail.

The Dollar

Trump’s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember U.S. Dollar Hegemony - Using the dollar to fight an economic war will lead to its undoing as the reserve currency. The rest of the world is realizing they need a currency weapon too.


Back from a Trip


The Plot Against George Soros Didn’t Start in Hungary. It Started on Fox News. - Fox News, The brown Shirt Network.


Nikki Haley gets 200,000 per speaking gig. She may be the right-wing of Israel's favorite US politician and maybe their next candidate for the US presidency.


The Most Hypocrisy, Ever
The president who claims to be tough on crime and the best friend of the police is in fact a criminal. He claims that America is being invaded by Latino immigrants from Mexico and Central America who are committing crimes and taking American jobs. He’s on the verge of declaring this a national emergency so he can use extraconstitutional powers to build a border wall, but he’s been employing undocumented Latino workers in his hotels and resorts for decades, in violation of the law.
Even As A Freshman, Pelosi Was A Political Insider - She needs to go. At this point the D's don't need a "polished face of the Democratic establishment ... and near-universally acknowledged master of the legislative process" . That's the problem. They need someone who will shake things up and fight the Rs. She needs to go.

Elliot Abrams, Trump's pick to bring "Democracy" to Venezuela, has spent his life crushing democracy - Abrams needs to be run out of US politics too.

The World

EU to launch mechanism to bypass US sanctions on Iran - Trump, Israel, and the Saudis have created an "Axis of Assholes" that have some of our oldest allies taking steps against us.

Israel vs Palestine

How Israel reports it: Palestinian woman shot dead before she stabbed soldiers

How the Palestinians report it: Palestinian girl fatally shot at Israeli checkpoint

Read them both then you make the call. She was 16.


Falling Behind


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants To Raise Taxes On The Rich — And Americans Agree

People are Stupid

Two things found in polls over the last week prove it.

  1. About 3 in 4 Americans in a Pew Research Center survey didn’t know Facebook used their personal information to target ads.
  2. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has become more popular with voters since the 2018 election.


The ongoing death of football? - The free market types seem to like regulation by insurance company instead of regulation by the government. I'm not sure there's much difference, though I don't think insurance works very well for healthcare. Still, I guess we could try it with guns, I don't remember anything about insurance companies in the 2nd amendment.


Six dead in US-led strike on Daesh in Syria:
BEIRUT: Four children were among at least six civilians killed in a U.S.-led airstrike on Daesh's (ISIS) embattled enclave in eastern Syria, a monitor said Saturday. 
The Friday strike on the Euphrates Valley village of Baghouz killed 10 Daesh fighters as well as the six civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said

Erik Prince, ex-Navy SEAL and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is offering Trump a way to both safeguard allies and pull troops out of the Mideast. Will he agree?
The controversial security contractor Blackwater is back in the headlines now that its founder – billionaire and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince – has made the case that the United States should replace its small footprint of 2,000 troops in Syria with mercenaries.

The US and Israel

How much Foreign Policy can you afford.  - Adelson has ‘more influence’ than Pompeo, ‘controlling’ State Dep’t on Israel, says ‘NYT’ columnist Egan 

Adelson and his wife Miriam gave $90 million to Republican causes in the 2016 cycle and another $87+ million in the midterms last year. Adelson, who called on Obama to nuke Iran, was paid off by Trump with the destruction of the Iran deal, the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, and the defunding of the UN refugee agency for Palestinians. If that’s not control, give me a better verb.

War Crimes.. well, Drug War Crimes


Monday Monday

The World

US warns German firms of possible sanctions over Russia pipeline
The pipeline, which would carry gas straight to Germany under the Baltic Sea, is driving a wedge between Germany and its allies as it would deprive Ukraine of the lucrative gas transit fees it currently enjoys.
We really need to stop fucking with other countries economies. What right do we have to tell Germany they can't buy gas from Russia if the pipeline doesn't go through the Ukraine?
Also,  Trump's Ambassador Finds Few Friends in Germany

Tens of thousands take to streets in Act 9 of ‘Yellow Vest’ protests - Wow and according to US media, the French protests don't exist.


It looks to me like "Iranian" has replaced "terrorist" as the get-out-of-jail-free card for bombing the shit out of people you don't like.

White House Asked Pentagon for Military Options Against Iran, Report Says
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton requested the Pentagon to provide Washington with military options to strike Iran after three mortars launched by Iran-affiliated militants fell near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Netanyahu Reveals Israel Struck Iranian Arms in Damascus Over the Weekend

also, Yemen

Things We May Not Speak Of

What ever happen to this story?  Secret case in Washington involves mystery corporation owned by ‘Country A’. Is it linked to Robert Mueller’s probe?

Taxes and Propaganda

Memo to conservatives: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez understands taxes better than you do - It ain't just conservatives, Americans in general have no idea how taxes work. Though most in conservative media do understand, they're just trying to keep the rubes confused.

The Propaganda Network

Fox is on it today (1/14/2019). The D's are slackers, the FBI is corrupt, and the youngsters are ignorant. News journalism at it's finest......


Lost and Found

One from earlier this week that I forgot to post.


I'd love to use some home automation devices, HVAC, lights, security, etc but I refuse to sign up for websites, install apps, or pay for access. All smart house stuff should function on your network, be accessible with any browser, and not require internet access. Here's a start.

20$ Pocket router as Domoticz Home Automation Gateway
Wifi based home automation products are cheaper compared to zigbee or z-wave products, but the downside is, wifi devices need internet connection to perform their function. Letting your home devices controlled by a bunch of cloud servers on the internet may not be the best idea. 
Internet connectivity for home devices should be optional - user should be incharge of deciding whether he/she wants to expose the home-devices to internet


Uggg..... Just what we need, a D presidential candidate backed by Wall Street. - Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gauges Wall Street executives' interest in backing a potential 2020 presidential run


Pulling Out of Syria, well, not really
Some American troops could stay in southern Syria despite a U.S. military withdrawal from the war-torn country, NBC News quoted a senior Trump administration official as saying on Friday. 
The official was traveling to Israel alongside U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has been sent on a mission to allay Jerusalem's concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's shock decision to exit Syria. 


The Wall

Not Pink Floyd's but Orange Donald's - What Happened When A Trump Supporter Challenged Me About the Wall


Oral Roberts

Tax rates

Did the Rich Really Pay Much Higher Taxes in the 1950s? The Answer Is a Little Complicated. - I think it's wrong to just focus on the tax rate. We should instead be focusing on inequality. Tax until the gini coefficient is back to more reasonable levels. Like we use the interest rate to tweak unemployment and inflation.


The NYT: Israeli Teenagers Are Suspected in Deadly Stoning of a Palestinian Woman - They are not "suspected" they have been "arrested".

"Several hours after President Donald Trump announced his intention to deliver a primetime address to the nation this Tuesday night regarding what he called the “Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border,” the three big broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—each agreed to air his remarks live at 9 p.m. ET. Cable networks CNN, Fox News, and Fox Business all confirmed they would carry the speech, which comes amidst the ongoing partial government shutdown, earlier in the day. Four years ago, all the broadcast networks declined to air a primetime address on immigration from President Barack Obama because its content was considered too “overtly political.” CBS News reported that the White House has assured the network Trump’s speech will run no longer than eight minutes."


The World

Mike Pompeo Lied About the U.S. and the Middle East. Here’s the Truth. - Rs will read this and scream 'Benghazi". D's will read it and scream "Bush and Iraq".  The people across the middle east have lived it and it is why "They Hate Us". We can do better.

Israel vs Palestine

Nope. No apartheid here. Israel opens 'apartheid road' in occupied West Bank
Route 4370 has a high wall in the middle, topped with fencing that segregates the road into two separate two-way lanes. 
The western side is for Palestinians in the West Bank to use to go around Jerusalem, which they cannot enter without an Israeli military-issued permit, while the eastern side serves Israeli settlers going to and from Jerusalem. 
It's hard to believe something like this can exist in a modern state, especially in the "only democracy in the middle east"


Duh...Bias in cable news - Fox News #1

An example of Fox power ?  - Brought to Jesus’: the evangelical grip on the Trump administration
Eighty per cent of white evangelicals voted for him in 2016, and his popularity among them is remains in the 70s. While other white voters have flaked away in the first two years of his presidency, white evangelicals have become his last solid bastion.
People older than 65 share the most fake news, a new study finds - and old people watch Fox.

Health Care

Modern Monetary Theory Doesn’t Make Single-Payer Health Care Any Easier  - A bad headline here. This, a line from the article, would have been better, .. " None of those countries that have single-payer health care needed MMT to make it work."

And stop calling it single payer.... "Medicare For All" is the easy way to go.

The Left’s Choice
The left and progressive groups have been largely missing in action. The left’s relative weakness partly reflects the decline of unions and organized labor groups, which have historically formed the backbone of leftist and socialist movements. But ideological abdication has also played an important role. As parties of the left became more dependent on educated elites instead of the working class, their policy ideas aligned more closely with financial and corporate interests.
One issue in the US is a lot of traditional union favoring, and leftish-voting workers, especially small, town white, working class types have become rabid gun rights loyalists taking right-wing political talking points from the NRA and other gun rights groups. The left is going to have a hard time gaining support from these people until they have a non-threatening gun policy.