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Member since: 2001
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The media needs to stop calling them "briefings". They're not. They're campaign presentations.

When people praise a political candidate, that's a campaign spot.

When a candidate boasts about their record, their skills, their talents, their accomplishments, whatever, that's a campaign spot.

When political donors get praised and get airtime and recognition, that's a campaign event. In fact, it *has* to be a campaign event, because of it's an official event, then the officeholder is trading official acts for private gain, which is unethical if not illegal.

The network airtime should be considered a contribution-in-kind to Donnie's campaign.

Better yet, they should just ignore this crap, or give equal time to Biden.

i don't think we fully appreciate the power of foxnews.

it's hard to imagine the point of view of the foxnews audience, because whenever we hear even a snippet, it's so ridiculously obvious to us how much they lie, how much they make us, how completely biased they are.

we like to think they simply get their talking points and their uncritically convinced. which is largely the case, but it's not quite that simple.

i've spent enough time talking with right-wingers to know that they are completely and utterly convinced not only that they are right and we are wrong, but in fact they are also convinced that:

- they are far better informed than us
- they use critical analysis skills to assess and evaluate their information
- they get their information from multiple sources
- we are uninformed
- we are sheeple
- we are the ones blindly reciting talking points

they feel this way because they hear their side from multiple programs on foxnew *and* hate radio *and* republican politicians *and* social media.

it's very convincing when you hear something from multiple sources and don't realize how deliberately coordinated those views are.

right now i'm not feeling very encouraged about america finding a way out of this mess.
it's hard enough to figure out how to survive donnie's reign of error.

but even if we're successful, even if he resigns in disgrace, we'll cheer as if we've accomplished something enduring, only to find the foxnews audience goes on and they will coalesce around the next tyrant, who no doubt will be far more capable than donnie.

this is true even if we win the house and the senate. that will be great, but donnie won't sign anything, and neither will his republican replacement be (and please don't try to suggest that pelosi can become president if donnie and pence are both removed. they would never be removed at the same time and some other republican would become president after being nominated and confirmed as vice president in the interim).

we're not likely to do anything about russian interference, at least we're not likely to fix our voting systems by 2018, probably not even 2020, so it's hard to envision us sweeping the elections in 2020. even still, republicans will filibuster and foxnews will gin up fake scandals galore.

i know i'm getting ahead of ourselves, we have to fight donnie first.

but it's been and will continue to be a long, long battle.

Then I'm tickled even more ;)

let's all give a big, rousing FUCK YOU to the media!!

during the campaign, you relentlessly presented donnie as someone we all couldn't wait to hear from. whatever he was, he certainly was exciting. so exciting, it was preferred to gaze upon an empty stage awaiting the next shock jock comment from donnie rather than cover actual news, even happening at the exact same moment.

somehow you missed the story of the century, that donnie was neck deep in ties to russia.

somehow you missed the story of the century, that donnie has absolutely zero experience managing a complex bureaucracy like the federal government. you dismissed this by saying how big the "trump organization" is, as if running a corporation in a dictatorial model could translate into anything other than running a country in a dictatorial model.

somehow you missed the story of the century, that donnie has zero political skills, and that this could lead to tremendous problems in actual governance.

somehow you missed the story of the century, and were caught completely off-guard by the incredible debacle that the donnie misadministration has been in less than a month. could you see none of the clues?

somehow you failed in your duty to inform the voting population of the *news* they needed to know in november, that donnie would be a *colossal disaster of epic proportions*, and instead focused on how provocative he was, and how hillary should somehow be in prison for a highly technical decision that was perfectly legal and nothing about it could be prosecuted.

so, for that, media, we give you a big, rousing

FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!

i just saw hillary clinton!

right there on cnn!

they were showing her doing something other than defending against emails or benghazi or walking up icy steps!

it looks like she's running for some sort of office.

something federal, like, maybe even president...?

but i've been watching cnn and cnbc for weeks now and i'm pretty sure donald trump is the only one running for president. i think it's a yes or no ballot in november.

i'm confused.

anyway, always good to see hillary on the tube!

donald trump's amazing tax returns!

August 24, 2016

To Whom it may Concern:

I am an tax attorny and have graduated number one (1) in my class from a prestigeous institution.

Since 1996, I have had hte distinct honor and privilige of preparing Mr. Trump's tax returns.

They are amazing, truly amazing. He has the best tax returns. The best.

I have shown the tax returns to collegues and they are always amazed. Always.

I can assure you that Mr. Trump's income is among the highest in the world. Probably is the highest in the world.

Well, it would be the highest in the world if liberals like Bill Gates and rapists like Carlos Slim didn't cheat.

And lie.

Mr. Trump is also the most generus man I have ever met. He has made more charitible contributions than anyone in all of history.

His charity cannot be matched!

Despite all the deduction he can take, Mr. Trump actually insists on overpaying his taxes! Why?

Because Mr. Trump knows that the country would collapse if the government ran out of money. And Mr. Trump has money!

Lots of money! He's rich! Really, really rich!

He knows that he is the only person -- the ONLY person! -- who can save us, so he overpays his taxes to keep America running.

I can also assure you that Mr. Trump taxes show no ties or obligations to anyone. He is his own man!

He is absolutely NOT paying 138.47% annual interest rate to Russian mobsters since 2004.

He is also unconditionally NOT paying the firm of Dewey, Burnham, & Howe to provide insurince so that none of his incredible buildings burn down.

Finally, Mr. Trump has been audited many times because liberals in the IRS are out to get him because he tells the truth!

But Mr. Trump has not yet been formally convicted of any wrongdoing!

I can't say anything about pending indictments because Mr. Trump has an entire separate legal team to handle all his indictments.

In conclusion, Mr. Trump's tax returns are incredible! Very presidential!


Donald J. Trump's Tax Man

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senate comity, the filibuster, and star trek: a taste of armageddon

i really love the word "comity" in the context of the senate. it's the one truly bipartisan value all senators agree on -- the notion that whatever rotten things politicians say about each other, whatever political disagreements, innocents may be imprisoned, children may starve, the just may suffer, and death may rain from above, but still, senators will play squash together amicably.

as a bonus, the word, when spoken, often sounds quite like "comedy".

delicious, that.

"senate comity" is usually trotted out as the reason not to "go nuclear" and end, or even slightly modify, the filibuster. the idea is that changing the senate rules will so enrage the republicans that they might stop playing squash with us.

so the consumer financial protection bureau can be kneecapped by filibuster, huge portions of the judiciary can remain vacant by filibuster, reasonable legislation and appointments can be delayed -- but we do nothing about it so a few senators can continue to play squash together. real people can suffer, entire sections of law may remain unenforced, case after case is stalled, but a few senators continue to play squash together, so i guess all is well.


about 45 years ago, there was an episode of star trek (the old series) called "a taste of armageddon", wherein our beloved crew visit a planet enveloped in a kind of virtual war. the computer simulates the war and determines the daily casualties, and each side executes the victims that the computer has determined the other side would have killed. the idea was to remove all the inconvenience of war, so that buildings aren't destroyed, and life is quite normal, at least up until you or someone you love is expunged.

eventually, captain kirk, in blatant defiance of the famous non-interference prime directive, destroys the computer. evidently, while this computer has had no downtime in centuries, they nevertheless have no backup system, and are forced to either negotiate for peace or fight war the old-fashioned way.

the filibuster seems to have become the senate's version of a taste of Armageddon. they can wage political war with real casualties but without the ugliness, the noise, the destructiveness, and the messiness of actual political war. no one has to stand for hours, no one really has to pay a political price, in some cases no one even need reveal their name. in creating such a system, the senate falls victim to a fate similar to the planets in the star trek episode -- mired in endless war with heavy casualties yet no compelling drive to sue for peace.

the time has come to squash the machine. the anonymous and paper filibusters have proven far too damaging to be allowed to continue. senators simply cannot play enough squash to justify leaving hundreds of posts vacant, often for years.

if the filibuster is deemed worthy of another chance, then those choosing to wield that weapon must be made to put their political necks on the line. it doesn't need to be specifically a standing filibuster (i don't think making the senate more like an episode of "survivor" is necessarily an improvement) but it does need to be something politically difficult to initiate and maintain. i can be flexible on the particulars but not on the principle.

and if comity is a casualty, so be it. the loss of a few senate squash matches is a small price to pay for getting a more functional government.

i have my doubts about gravity because newton was a slave-trading heretic

and computers? are you kidding? turing was teh gay!

game theory? oh come ON! have you seen "a beautiful mind"??

i'm going to be researching a lot more about the people who come up with all these wacky ideas, some of which we've been brainwashed with in school and college. if the people behind these ideas and figures and such are not morally right, religiously right, sexually right, clean as an arrow and pure of soul, i'm not really going to believe any of their so-called "physics" or "math" or "facts" or whatever else they're peddling!

ben franklin was a notorious philanderer! what did he get his mitts on?

ok, no more crap about "obama caving". it's called a trial balloon. COMPLAIN TO CONGRESS.

complain to the white house.


obama negotiates. negotiations go nowhere if you just stare at each other and say "no".
so boner made some proposals. if a deal is to be had, both sides have to look to give the other side SOMETHING to save face with their constituents.

at some point, someone suggested the contents of the trial balloon we're all hearing about an not liking. obama tells boner he'll think about it, i.e., leak it to the public and see how they react.


obama needs to be able to go back to boner and say "sorry, i'd love to help you out but look, democrats in congres and the white house got these brazillion emails and phone calls and texts and posts and twits. my constituents won't let me agree to this. i tried, but now YOU gotta give ME something. THAT is how a president negotiates.



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