"The blog has made Glab into a hip town crier, commenting on everything from local politics and cultural happenings to national and international events, all rendered in a colorful, intelligent, working-class vernacular that owes some of its style to Glab’s Chicago-hometown heroes Studs Terkel and Mike Royko." — David Brent Johnson in Bloom Magazine
I don’t know why this hasn’t occurred to me before but, no matter what, the Dems this summer will nominate either the first woman or first Jew as a major party candidate for president.
The Republicans, meanwhile, are going with the guy who calls women “fat pigs” and who has the support of KKK-types who believe the nation — and the world — are run by a secret cabal of Jews.
Yeah, there’s no diff. between the parties. Nah.
I’m surprised nobody’s making a big splash about this. It speaks well of the party, no? Then again, nobody wants to speak well of the party — either party — these days. Too bad.
Of course, the parties have nobody to blame but themselves.
Let’s just all agree right here and now that privatization is a dirty word, okay?
Case in point: The city of Seattle has hired a private firm at $240 and hour to tear down, sweep up, and otherwise trash homeless encampments. Yep. Hat tip to my old Ever-So-Secret Order of the Lampreys pal (and leader thereof) Kenneth Morrison for the tip.
So, the city many of us view as the nation’s model of progressive goody-goodness would rather spend its dough thusly than on, say, maybe simply providing shelter for the poor souls who can’t afford a home.
Nah. That’d be government overreach, wouldn’t it?
Getting To Know Me
I’ve just come to the conclusion that I’m driven not to be driven. I suppose that’s why I never got a college degree or won the Pulitzer Prize.
Nah, That’s Okay. I Don’t Need One. Thanks Anyway.
Yeah, sure, that’s it.
Getting Better All The Time
Another landmark in my recovery process. Yesterday afternoon I yelled at another driver for the first time in months. I was thrilled; my voice was strong and my tongue sharp.
The background. It’s been my experience that scads of left-turners in this sprawling megalopolis are loath to pulling out into an intersection on the green light while waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. This leads, often, to just one car making the left turn, which is criminal.
So, yesterday I was intending to make the left turn onto Covenanter off southbound College Mall Drive to get to the Kroger Theme Park. The black Infiniti in front of me was going to make the left as well and, just as we hit the red light, it turned green. Fine, right? I’d make this light, right behind him.
Only he would not pull into the intersection. I gesticulated dramatically, hoping he’d catch my drift in his rear view mirror but, alas, he wouldn’t bite. But, I figured, I could tail him closely when he did make the turn at least after the light would turn yellow.
The light did turn yellow and he wouldn’t budge! So neither of us made the turn. I bellowed: “Fer chrissakes! Get out there you numbskull! Make the goddamned turn! Jesus Christ in heaven!”
Again, he wouldn’t bite. No glance in the mirror. No satisfying flash of the middle digit in response. No nothing. He must have had the windows rolled up. The jerk.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the satisfaction of reaming him verbally even if he couldn’t hear it.
Slowly but surely, I’m getting back into the swing of things. Wahoo!
Okay, Mother’s Day
Here are Ma and Daddy-o in 1945 with the old man home on a surprise leave. He looks like a kid in a candy store and she’s got that dewy-eyed look straight out of a romance novel.
BTW: Daddy-o returned to his base to help the Allies win the war by scrubbing garbage cans and making sure his bed was properly made.
Personal to Hillary: As long as you’ve demonstrated the ability to wear a variety of political cloaks depending on how strongly the wind is blowing, you’d better don the very liberal/progressive raiment ol’ Bernie’s pushing you toward. Y’know, the one the Republicans have been accusing you and your husband of wrapping yourselves in ever since you came out of Arkansas? The one, BTW, you’ve never really worn despite what the Far Right imagines.
America’s Shart, Donald Trump, has the angry white guy vote all wrapped up. Now, you’ve got to nail down the angry everybody else vote. And there’s getting to be a lot more of everybody else than there are of angry white guys.
It’s just simple math.
Bernie’s Gotta Build, Redux
Sheila Kennedy, who’s one of the smartest folks around, writes today, citing the opinion of Ed Brayton, about how Bernie ought to start building up his movement, as opposed to focusing solely on gaining the Dem nom — which he’s not going to get.
Now I realize Bernie Nation is going to have apoplexy when they read what I’ve just typed (the he’s not going to get part) but that’s okay. It’s clear these days Bernie’s most rabid fans like having apoplexy. In any case, she writes the same thing I did yesterday in these precincts.
Kennedy calls herself a Republican, although I have no idea why. She positions herself a tad to the left of Hillary. I suppose she’s holding fast to the notion that there have to be at least two teams going strong in this holy land and she’s going to do her level best, as an IUPUI Law and Policy professor and respected observer of the political landscape, to keep the dual party concept going.
I read SK’s blog posts every day and so should you. And thanks to Susan Sandberg for turning me on to her.
Hersh broke the My Lai Massacre and cover-up story back in 1969, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his work. He’s written scads of books tearing the covers off the lousy tricks our gov’t likes to pull. For his part, Perlstein has written a thoroughly engaging series of books on the birth and growth of the modern conservative movement that began with the national ascendancy of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and has resulted in the rise of you-know-who, America’s Shart, today.
The PRLF has been going strong for 32 years as a street fest for the hyper-literate. Over the years, notable and fascinating authors from Augusten Burroughs and Chuck Palahniuk to Rick Bayless have appeared for panel discussions and readings at the event, formerly known as the Printers Row Book Fair. Each year hundreds of antiquarian and rare booksellers as well as publishing industry types and independent authors set up tables and booths on a five-block tract just south of Congress Street. Printers Row is an historic old Chi. district that used to be the center of the nation’s printing industry. It’s towering, elephantine old structures were built super-strong to bear the load of thousands of rotogravure machines and multi-ton rolls of paper. Now the buildings have been transformed into chi-chi apartments and condos for the new urban middle class. And, it being Chicago, there’s loads of food to be eaten at the fest.
Among the big names scheduled to appear this year:
Buzz Aldrin — The second human to walk on the moon and author of Magnificent Desolation and No Dream Is Too High
Sidney Blumenthal — Senior advisor to Bill Clinton and author of The Clinton Wars and The Permanent Campaign
Amy Goodman — Journalist, co-host of Democracy Now!
Ethan Hawke — Screen actor and director who dabbles in writing
Steve Inskeep — NPR Morning Editon co-host and author of Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab
Sebastian Junger — Author of The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea and War; directed the documentary film Restrepo
David Maraniss — Pulitzer Prize winner and author of First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton and When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi
Terry McMillan — Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Getting to Happy
Ruth Reichl — The last editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and best-selling cooking writer
Bernie, baby, please, please, please: Start organizing a slate of allies running for US Congress, governorships, statehouses, city halls, county boards, and dogcatchers.
Who are your cohorts? Who will help you make this hugely popular so-called revolution happen? The real revolution only will come when your ideas, your aims, will be put into effect across the nation by legislators and political executives all the way down to the most local levels.
Who Are You With? Who’s With You?
I want to know who’s going to push through your revolution. I want to know who’s going to make the revolution an official part of the Democratic Party platform. Start acting like the effective leader of a movement. Make my vote for you count.
Congrats to Shelli Yoder who took the Dem nom for Bloomington et al’s 9th District US Congress seat. I like her. I also like the fact that Todd Young, who benefitted from the Tea Party mania that remade Congress in 2010, won’t be in the House come January. I worry, though, he may simply walk down the hall to get sworn in to the Senate.
I can only hope the apparent coronation of America’s Shart, Donald Trump, as the Republican standard bearer in November, will depress GOP turnout and sabotage the hopes and dreams of Young and the rest of his Me Party brethren and sisteren.
This day, 46 years ago, student protestors faced off against Ohio National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University. By the time the confrontation was over, four people were dead and nine wounded.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young even got a hit song out of the affair:
The killing of students and other protestors appalled Americans, natch. That’s the myth we’ve come to believe. What we forget is the sheer numbers of citizens of this holy land who cheered the shootings and said the scruffy “unpatriotic” kids got just what they deserved. That swath of the Murrican electorate went on to help reelect unindicted co-conspirator and noted psychological piece of work Dick Nixon in one of the greatest landslides in the history of the United States.
Another thing we like to forget is the killing of two students on the campus of Jackson State University in Mississippi just eleven days later. Jackson State, like many campuses around the nation at the time, was beset by upheaval, including vandalism, arson, and attacks on uniformed law enforcement officers and firemen. The dramatic lawbreakers squeezed out the many more serious protestors, civil rights activists, and war resistors for news media attention. As at Kent State, authorities were itching to respond to the lot of them with overwhelming force and on the evening of May 11th, 1970, they did so. Some 40 Jackson city cops and Mississippi state patrolmen opened fire with shotguns and sidearms at a women’s dormitory building, killing two and injuring a dozen. Police claimed they’d been fired upon first by a sniper from a window in the high rise but a subsequent investigation found no evidence that any shots had come from the dormitory.
Mind you, this incident occurred long before the Black Lives Matter movement so the dead and injured were swiftly forgotten. They were black. The Kent State kids, OTOH, were white and so they live on in our collective memory. Such a shame, bleeding hearts may say, that youngsters had been cut down in their idealistic youth. Hardliners say, well…, you know what the hardliners have said for some five decades now.
No pop or rock stars, BTW, managed to get themselves a hit thanks to the Jackson State killings.
Winning For Losing
If Hillary is indeed the Dem frontrunner, as many wits and wags continue to insist on believing, she’s the most inept frontrunner I’ve ever seen.
I guess I grasp her supposed strategy: She and her strategists are certain they’ve got the Dem nom all wrapped up so they’re forgoing expending any time, energy, and — most important — dough on state primaries that’ll do little to pad her delegate numbers. Still, the seemingly constant onslaught of primary and caucus losses makes her look like nothing more than a loser. And believe me, her GOP opponent, Donald Trump (by god in heaven, I still can’t believe reality compels me to type those words) will hammer her with the L word every day and night from now through November.
No matter what makes strategic sense, anybody involved in a competition must maintain at least the appearance of, y’know, competing. How do Hillary’s various state volunteers and paid campaign workers continue to give their all when their candidate is shrugging her shoulders? Will Hill and her peeps be able to ramp up their ardor and work habits when crunch time comes versus America’s Shart?
Hillary’s likely to beat Trump in the general election. Or maybe that’s just me whistling past the graveyard. I dunno. What I do know is this 2016 presidential beauty contest is the most depressing, uninspiring national race I’ve ever seen. It certainly is no good advertisement for democracy.
My beloved hometown, Chicago, just may be losing its chance to be the site of a proposed George Lucas museum on the lakefront. Plans had called for the razing of the oldest of the McCormick Place exposition facilities, the Lakeside Center, and the construction in its stead of a modernistic-looking home for the paean to the man who imposed Star Wars upon the human culture.
I saw the original Star Wars at a movie theater in the summer of 1977 when it came out. I remember next to nothing about it other than understanding it was a cowboys and Indians picture set in the distant future. I’m not anti-Star Wars; I only suggest it was only a nice little light entertainment that helped me pass the time one night. Some people take a harsher view on what has became an American — and world — cultural touchpoint. Historian Rick Perlstein posits that Star Wars, along with the original Rocky, helped transform us into a nation of pollyannish eight-year-olds. Me? I figure we’d been eight-years-olds for decades before Han Solo and Princess Leia became known to every human being, dog, higher primate, and parrot in existence.
Not that I dismiss Lucas out of hand. His American Graffiti was a revolutionary film, its continuous oldies pop hits soundtrack changing the way directors have made movies to this day. Now, rather than depend on old school mechanisms like story, character development, editing, or visual makeup of the scene (mise en scène), a movie’s music consultant simply plugs in an appropriate chestnut from our hazy, dreamy past to convey mood and advance narrative. AG‘s slice-of-life, featuring and glorifying otherwise utterly unremarkable high school kids, set the stage for scads of knock offs — some even far superior to Lucas’s effort; Barry Levinson’s Diner, for instance. We now gladly accept spending a couple of hours and upward of $15 skins a ticket to see hundred-million-dollar productions about people normally no more interesting than your thirty-something niece, her boyfriend, and their circle of friends. Call it the triumph of the humdrum if you’re a cynic; a long-needed celebration of the common folk if you’re…, well, a pollyanna.
Lucas became this era’s Frank Capra, another director whom I’ll grant was proficient and worthy of attention, but — like Lucas — spoonfed us happy horseshit, blurring the line between what we wished we were and what we are.
Since Lucas has been elevated to the Capra pantheon level, he’s become a zillionaire. He and his wife decided they should fund the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and staged a little competition between cities for the honor of hosting it. Chicago “won.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel took a break from fighting school teachers and enriching his Wall Street and LaSalle Street pals and granted the Lucases prime real estate on the city’s world-renowned lakefront for their ego monument.
When the original McCormick Place was built on the shores of Lake Michigan back in the late 1950s, public-spirited citizens kicked and hollered, citing architect and city planner Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago. The Burnham plan, co-authored with Edward Bennett, called for Chi. to become a “Paris on the Prairie” with parks within walking distance of every citizen’s home and — the key here — a lakefront that would forever be free and clear of industry and development. Burnham and Bennett saw the lakefront as a lush green collar on the shimmering lake, open to all, its views unimpeded by smokestacks or ritzy apartment buildings.
But Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick and then-mayor Richard J. Daley wanted the huge exposition hall built on the lakefront at 22nd Street so Daniel Burnham, Edward Bennett, and public-spirited citizens be damned. Today, the Lakeside Center sits next to the water like a steel and glass aircraft carrier in drydock.
McCormick Place Lakeside Center
(The original McCormick Place exposition hall, BTW, was destroyed in a spectacular late night fire in January, 1967, the second greatest conflagration in the city’s history next to the Great Chicago Fire, and was replaced by a more modern structure in 1971.)
The almost-original McC. Place hall is woefully out of date, so say the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority bureaucrats who run the place. Tear it down they say, most likely cued from offstage by Rahm. The Lucases appeared out of nowhere and last year granted Chi. the privilege of being home to their homage to himself. We’ve got just the site for you, Rahm told them, grinning.
Now, the Friends of the Parks, another gang of public-spirited citizens, one that carries a bit of clout as well, has filed suit in federal court to prevent the construction of the museum. If the Lakeside Center is to be torn down, many suggest, why, there’s our opportunity to reopen that stretch of the lakefront per Burnham and Bennett’s vision.
Lucas’s wife, Mellody Hobson, is a big shot, high-rolling investment banker who serves on the boards of Starbucks, the Sundance Institute, Estee Lauder, and DreamWorks. And, man, is she ticked off. Hell, she complained yesterday, the poor little “black and brown children” of Chicago will suffer now because they won’t get to go downtown to see exhibits on great modern art. To which, obviously, she’s referring to movies like Antz, American Beauty, Shrek, and the forthcoming Ready Player One. All of which have been or are being produced by DreamWorks. Did I mention Hobson sits on the DreamWorks board?
Anyway, she says she and her hubby are taking their ball and going home. “We are now seriously pursuing locations outside Chicago,” she told the Tribune yesterday.
Good. Take your monument to your husband and your favorite movie production company’s movies and go somewhere else. This is the second bullet Chicago has dodged in the last few years. The first being the decision of the International Olympic Committee not to grant the 2016 Games to the city back in 2009.
There are world class cultural institutions and there are international quadrennial events. There are, too, monumental headaches and blights on the city’s front yard. Chicago can do quite well without the latter two.
May 4th Birthdays
Bartolomeo Cristofori — Invented the piano around the turn of the 18th Century. Acc’d’g to one history, Cristofori wanted to name his invention the arpicembalo. Lucky for us he didn’t get his way.
Audrey Hepburn — The only actress who could have played Holly Golightly.
Pia Zadora — Child star of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and, later, a much-maligned grown-up actress and slightly-less-criticized singer.
Will Arnett — GOB
GOB, Left, With Buster
Erin Andrews — ESPN sportscasting figure who was surreptitiously videoed in the nude through a peephole in her Nashville, Tennessee, hotel room. The video went viral and Andrews suffered emotional trauma. This past March she won a $55 million judgement against the hotel chain (hotel employees had provided the videotaper the dates and times she’d be staying). The videotaper, a weasel named Michael Barrett, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Today is World Press Freedom Day, proclaimed in 1993 and celebrated every year on May 3rd by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).
The news media may indeed exist in a horseshitty state here in this holy land in the year of our lord 2016 — what with Fox News, the dumbing down of the Murrican public, our fascination with ciphers like the Kardashians, and other insults to my intelligence — but, still, if you dig deep enough, you’ll get the info you need to come to rational, reasonable conclusions about the condition of this mad, mad, mad, mad world. You just have to do a little work.
And since I lack the personal resources to visit Homs province in Syria or grill Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on a daily basis, I depend on those imperfect, under-seige news bureaus and reporters from NPR, the New York Times, the BBC, Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi, Barbara Ehrenreich, the Guardian, ProPublica, PolitiFact, and dozens of others to keep me straight about the psychoses and sociopathic impulses of my fellow species-mates.
We may be blissfully ignorant these days in America, but w/o a free press we’d be awfully dumb.
Yesterday, Lauren, the delightful barista at Hopscotch Coffee (okay, they’re all delightful, but she is in her own inimitable way), wore a dress that reminded me of Morticia’s on “The Addams Family.” So we talked about Morticia and Gomez. I said they were the only couple on TV who acted as though they actually loved each other. Hell, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. No other TV couple had ever suggested that they had a physical relationship with each other.
Other than M & G, TV couples until “The Brady Bunch,” which premiered in late September, 1969, all slept in separate single beds. Man, because of that I thought my parents, who shared a bed, were gross. In fact, really early on, I figured they were too cheap to buy two beds.
The Bradys, Though, Didn’t Seem All That Frisky
In any case, Morticia and Gomez obviously had a rollicking, rewarding sex life. The lesson TV conveyed? Only monstrous ghouls would be so overtly sensual.
Update: It occurs to me that Lily and Herman Munster also slept in the same bed! That’s right — both mid–sixties monster sitcoms featured married couples who had normal, natural marital relations.
How in the world did we of a certain age survive our TV upbringing?
I notice that Hillary is three million votes ahead of Bernie when all the primary figures to date are added up.
Yet Bernie’s idolators still cling to the notion that the Clinton campaign is benefitting from some kind of anti-democratic (note: small d), voter-repressing, Nazi, Vlad the Impaler, Tyrannosaurus Rex crushing of the will of the noble citizenry.
Now, I voted for Bernie in the IN primary because I wanted to give my modest imprimatur to his aims and philosophies. I can only hope his goals become part of the Democratic Party’s plank come convention time this summer. But his most ardent followers came thisclose to turning me off to him, what with their obsessive aggrievement, their righteousness, and their pathological demonization of Hillary.
Many so-called progressives are citing and linking to Right Wing websites to spew slanders against Hillary. Suddenly, apparently, lefties are reading The Daily Caller, Breitbart, and Drudge just to get the mud on Hill. I’ve even seen WND attached to some social media smears on the former Sec’y of State. You can’t get more wingnutty than that. Well, maybe if you click on this.
Still, the Bernie-istas are so frothy for their guy that they’ve joined forces with the Dark Side that’s been libeling and smearing the Clintons since the moment the couple came onto the national scene in 1991. And, believe me, the Clintons have never needed anybody’s help in looking slippery.
The Bernie crowd — that is, the hyper-super-ardent wing thereof — reminds me of nothing so much as the Tea Party-ists now. Everybody’s against us, they both claim. We won’t compromise. If you criticize us or our guy you are, de facto, part of the massive, secretive, evil, jack-booted cabal that rules our nation and world.
The two gangs are a tiring lot.
May 3rd Birthdays
James Brown — The Godfather of Soul and The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.
Frankie Valli — Falsetto-voiced front man for the Four Seasons and himself one of the godfathers of the New Jersey boys sound.
Valli (bottom center)
Niccolo Machiavelli — Author, The Prince.
Jacob Riis — Photographer and muckraker, he forced Americans to acknowledge the poverty in their midst.
Golda Meir — Israeli prime minister, 1969-1974. It’s claimed she was moments away from launching her nation’s nuclear weapons against its Arab enemies during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Norman Corwin — Radio dramatist of the 1930s and ’40s, he presented social issues to the listening public. He served as the inspiration for the likes of Orson Welles, Rod Serling, and Norman Lear.
Pete Seeger — Blacklisted during the McCarthy years, he and his group, the Weavers, sang about working people, race, democracy, and repression. He wrote “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn, Turn, Turn!”
Ron Popiel — “Wait, there’s more!” Sold Chop-O-Matic, Veg-O-Matic, and the Pocket Fisherman nightly on TV. Was fond of declaiming, If you want dine with the classes, you have to sell to the masses.
David Koch — One of two brothers who, because they inherited a billion-dollar empire from their daddy-o, believe they can purchase the US Congress and 50 statehouses.
I didn’t watch last night’s Democratic candidates debate but I understand Hillary insisted it be conducted in Afrikaans. Yet another craven attempt to sabotage Bernie Sanders, whom the vast majority of America prefers and who holds a triple digit lead over her.
Clinton: “Ons sal julle vermorsel!”
Like It Is
On a serious note, for all the bluster about which candidate speaks her or his mind and which one will dare to utter one or another truth, it was Martin O’Malley last night who was bold enough to say what the sane among us know:
What our nation needs right now is to realize that, while we face a terrible danger, we also face a different sort of political danger. And that is the danger that democracies find themselves susceptible to when unscrupulous leaders try to turn us upon each other.
O’Malley (AP/Patrick Semansky)
We will rise to the challenge of ISIS and we will rise together to the challenges that we face in our economy. But we will only do so if we hold true to the values and the freedoms that unite us, which means we must never surrender them to terrorists, must never surrender our American values to racists, must never surrender to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths.
Unscrupulous, racist, fascist, and a billionaire with a big mouth. Yeah, that’s pretty much a capsule summary of Donald Trump. And, hell — let’s take the gloves all the way off — he’s a terrorist, too.
Another Brown Bomber
Are you freaking kidding me? Yet another brown boy has been busted in Texas for the heinous crime of carrying something that some fever-delerious pack of scared bunnies thought was a bomb.
Yep. Last weekend, a 12-year-old kid named Armaan Singh Sarai was held in juvenile detention for three days in Fort Worth because some white boy miscreant told the schoolteacher he was going to bomb the school.
The teacher reacted — oh-so-reasonably, natch — by immediately calling the cops, who came to the school, took Sarai in, and locked him up from Friday through Monday. All on the say-so of some adolescent dickhead. Sarai’s parents, BTW, were not told of his whereabouts while he cooled his heels in stir.
It turns out Sarai has a backpack with a solar panel on it so he can charge his electronic device while carrying it. A dopey-assed clown in his class pointed it out to Sarai and told him he was gonna tell the teach it was a bomb. Sarai laughed and the dopey-assed kid laughed. But, mirabile dictu, the dopey-assed kid dropped a dime on Sarai anyway and paranoiac psychosis ensued.
The whole damned incident could have been no-harm, no-foul, except Sarai was incarcerated for the entire weekend and — get this! — he is suspended from school, must wear an ankle monitor, and still faces unspecified criminal charges.
No mention is made of the teacher, the cops, or any sane authority figure simply eyeballing the solar panel backpack and, once establishing it was not an weapon of mass destruction, kicking the class clown in his white-boy ass.
Kicking kids in the ass is forbidden in schools these days.
Putting them behind bars — especially when their melanin level is more elevated than the average Cauc. kid’s — ain’t.
‘Specially in the Lone Star State. Do us all a favor, Tex: Secede.
Say, the former democratically-elected leaders of Flint, Michigan may have mismanaged their town into bankruptcy but they didn’t lead poison their children, did they?
Man, we are all full of horseshit, no?
Our guy screws up and we stand on our heads rationalizing, deflecting, denying. Their guy screws up and we’re aghast at the collapse of decency, civility and fair play.
To wit: the Democratic National Committee data breach. First off, I don’t know if Our Great Nation is in danger of toppling from this but one or more Bernie Sanders operatives spent some quality time eyeballing and perhaps harvesting proprietary info gathered by the Clinton campaign. You might ask, So what? So would I, but, apparently, loyalists of the two main contenders for the 2016 party’s nomination for president are pointing fingers at the opposition and accusing same of some of the worst atrocities ever committed in the name of democracy, or at least of the Democratic Party, which isn’t always the same, natch.
I would have figured that party folk would be happy to share info with each other but the truth is politics is a cutthroat business and any intelligence the Clinton gang has amassed at great cost and effort must not, can not, and will not be shared with anyone else in this holy land lest Hillary’s coronation be imperiled.
I also would have thought that the Sanders campaign was populated, at least in large part, by people who know the rules of the game and wouldn’t be so oafish as to get caught peeking into data files they did not produce and therefore knew were off limits.
Gee, We Didn’t Know
Read the arguments put forth by each side and your understanding of the concept of time will be sorely tested. Sanders apologists say the operatives spent, oh, 30 minutes…, no, 20 minutes — wait, wasn’t it just a quick glance? — looking at the Clinton data. Clinton’s army, though, characterizes the eyeballing as something akin to the amount of time cryptologists spent poring over the Rosetta Stone after it was first discovered. Listen to a Clinton supporter tell the tale and you’ll come away thinking it was 45 minutes verging on several eons.
To the Clintonistas, the Sanders people are sneaky rats. To the Sanders faithful, Clinton’s bunch are brownshirts.
Now the DNC has denied the Sanders campaign access to the party’s NGP VAN database — even its own intelligence stockpiled there. The Sanders campaign has reacted by suing the DNC.
(Update: Sometime after midnight, the DNC and the Sanders campaign announced a deal had been reached to restore the candidate’s access to the database.)
Just as the Republican candidates for the 2016 nom. are cannibalizing each other, trying to find ways to out-he-man each other, now the Dems are commencing internecine warfare. I’m telling you, if this hat-brim-bending results in an election victory for some science fictional creature like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or Ted Cruz, I’m gonna have to move to another planet.
Far be it from us to ever criticize the strategies of the Sanders campaign, but stealing Clinton’s voter information because it was just so easy to do, and then acting like it was for some greater good because come ON, it’s Bernie Sanders, after all — while still firing a guy for doing a naughty thing the Sanders campaign at the same time maintains was not really naughty, but kind of was, but for the greater good — seems, shall we say, problematic.
See, the Sanders side sez its tech geek did indeed espy Clinton’s supposedly-protected data but, golly gee, that really isn’t such a crime considering, well, it was right there waiting to be espied upon. Nevertheless, Bernie’s campaign fired the tech geek. Nevertheless further, the campaign insists the tech geek wasn’t transom-craning to benefit his boss but to reveal to the DNC how in-secure its data files were.
Now let’s look at the Sanders-side reaction. Here’s the pic of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz that accompanied the Daily Kos‘s take on the contretemps:
DWS Of The DNC
Clearly, the woman who’s making the news show rounds complaining to high heaven about how dastardly Sanders-ites are is nothing more than a harpy, witch, bitch, ball-buster who surely possesses a carpenter’s vise in place of a normal human woman’s genitalia.
The above image bears as much real resemblance to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as this one does to Bernie Sanders:
The Daily Kos, of course, loves them some Bernie.
To many of the Sanders true believers, there isn’t a hair’s breadth diff. between Hillary and, say, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Or even Joseph Goebbels, for that matter.
I’ve been reading the ramblings of computer geeks regarding this dust-up and can only conclude that what Sanders’ tech operative did while he had his fingers in the data pie is either flat-out highway robbery or nothing at all. Great. Thanks for the clarification, kids.
It’d be swell if both Dem sides could play nice and share their info with each other but that ain’t the way it goes. Not when the presidency of this holy land is up for grabs and hundreds of gazillions of dollars are spent on each polling percentage point difference between aspirants.
Bernie’s people are rats. Hillary’s are tyrants. That’s what it comes down to now.
Democracy. Y’gotta love it.
Don’t Mess W/ Hillary
BTW: the swift reaction of the DNC to cut the Sanders campaign off from the data fountain sure seems a tad heavy-handed.
We know already that Debbie W-S is in Clinton’s corner and that Stu Trevelyan, the fellow who runs NGP VAN, has worked with the Clintons for nearly a quarter of a century. It isn’t much of a leap to conclude that once Sanders’ tech geek had been caught red-handed, these two heavyweights would be more than happy to pummel the only potential impediment to Hillary’s scheduled beatification.
If there’s one thing we know about Hillary, it’s that she’s tough as nails — and the people she surrounds herself with are jungle cats. Were she a dude, we’d fall all over ourselves praising her for such vim. She’s a dame, though, ergo her carnivorous nature is unsightly.
Man, we Murricans are backward when it comes to gender roles.
A Simple Precaution
You’d think Sanders’ tech geeks would be savvy enough to keep a back-up of their own intelligence in their own database.
It’s ludicrous to think all of Sanders’ voter dope has been dumped in the NGP VAN database and exists nowhere else. If Sanders’ geeks had taken that apparently elementary step, the Sanders campaign wouldn’t be in bad shape as we approached the primaries.
Why, then, the outcry over being cut off?
Could it be that Sanders’ people have grown accustomed to peeping at Hillary’s data. And that, perhaps, Hillary’s people do the same with Sanders’ intelligence? Therefore, this whole pissing match was nothing more than an opéra bouffe?
If this 2016 presidential campaign hasn’t already made you nauseated, you have an awfully strong stomach indeed.
Who Says We Don’t Make Anything In America Anymore?
So far as I can tell, this story is the real deal. This isn’t the fruit of the fertile imagination of some humorous writer from the Onion or another knockoff news satire site.
Some doohickey town in North Carolina had the opportunity to get a nice big solar farm that’d tie into the area’s electrical grid. A sweet move coming on the heels of the Paris climate talks and Prez O’s recent imprimatur of same, wherein he said the global pact is “the best chance we have to save the one planet we’ve all got” and that its implementation would be “a turning point for the world.”
‘Course, if that’s what our Imam-in-Chief sez, it must be as wrong as the sun rising in the west.
See, this little cow town had a big ol’ public meeting on the night its town council was to vote on a zoning ordinance for the land upon which the solar panels would be built. Now, normally, no one in her or his right mind would attend — much less pay attention to the blathering that goes on at such things — a meeting of a town council considering zoning matters.
The sane among us would prefer being impaled upon the tippy-top of Seattle’s Space Needle.
Oh, Yeah, If It’s A Zoning Meeting or This….
But, apparently, the meeting in Q. was packed. The public got its chance to voice its displeasure over the plan, citing every drawback from loss of jobs (not explained) to the certain death of surrounding flora. Um, yeah, that’s what some retired science teacher (?!) said. Her name is Jane Mann and she testified that solar panel arrays suck up all the sunlight, preventing surrounding plants from getting their share of it. The plants’ photosynthesis processes, she said, shut down. She swore she’s seen brown and dead plants all around other solar farms. She also said she’s noticed a lot of cancer cases popping up around these facilities.
Bolstered by these clearly incontrovertible statements, the town council went ahead and denied the zoning request for the solar farm. It also instituted a moratorium on any other solar farm plans.
The story has reached across the mighty oceans, natch. Any story that illustrates just how unscientific we Murricans are — even our retired science teachers, fer chrissakes! — gets play in the foreign news media. And rightly so. Here, for instance, is a line from the Independent UK‘s story on the vote:
Members of the public in Woodland, North Carolina, expressed their fear and mistrust….
Yep. Fear and mistrust — two products of which we are inordinately proud in this holy land.
Sanders: Man Without A Medium
Here are the main reasons why the TV nets are ignoring Bernie Sanders:
He’s a Jew with a northeast accent.
He’s not handsome or dignified in that vanilla TV way.
Square-Jawed, Greying At The Temples: Mitt Was A TV Hottie
His hair’s a mess.
He talks policy.
He hasn’t got a hint of scandal around him.
He’s not palsy-walsy with media conglomerate big shots.
He’s not a woman or a black man.
He hasn’t led a devil-may-care, dashing life.
He flies coach.
He doesn’t worship wealth.
The poor bastard. About the only way he’ll get real TV coverage is if he appears before a packed arena without a stitch of clothing on. Then they’ll talk about him.
A Little Love For Indiana
Dig: Doug Wissing, our town’s intrepid war correspondent, has a new book coming out on January 4, 2016, so save your pennies.
Before I moved here, I had Indiana pegged as this holy land’s least remarkable state. Hell, after living here six-plus years, I still feel that way. But if anyone’s got the chops to sway that opinion, it’s Wissing. His new book has earned kudos from the likes of bestselling mystery writer Michael Koryta, historian and biographer Michael Shelden, novelist Dan Wakefield, and even former Congressbeing and current Indiana University SPEA big shot Lee Hamilton.
Wissing himself says:
Given my essays cover subjects naughty and nice, the publishers are touting it as alternative Indiana history, one that includes Indiana’s often counter-intuitive links to the wide, wide world.
Wissing In Afghanistan
Okay, I’m game. I’m saving my pennies too.
Here’s a quote from red-hot funnyman Jim Gaffigan, who — I had no idea — is a Hoosier:
I’m from Indiana. I know what you’re thinking — Indiana… Mafia. But in Indiana it’s not like New York where everyone’s like, “We’re from New York and we’re the best,” or “We’re from Texas and we like things big.” It’s more like, “We’re from Indiana and we’re gonna move.”
I take my life into my hands by uttering this but it needs to be said: M*A*S*H was a pretty good TV show until Harry Morgan replaced MacLean Stevenson as the colonel.
Harry Morgan, Emoting
Good god, Harry Morgan was wooden. He boasted an acting range that spanned from A to B. He brought that stiff, stilted stage manner over from Dragnet and added nothing to what could have been a brilliant show. It wasn’t, although millions of people think it was.
“This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the country. It was caused by a recession as a result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the cause of the deficit, I’ll be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
THINK LIKE A CAVE MAN
Another Ozone Action Day and — a special treat — Monroe County is under a burn ban today.
As you know if you watch Fox News and other bearers of god’s truth, there is no global warming or climate change or human causation behind any weather anomalies. Tree huggers are insane. Recyclers are socialists. This is the way the world is and has always been.
In fact, anthropologists who have been uncovering Neanderthal art have revealed that our ancient cousins were posting Ozone Action Day alerts on cave walls half a million years ago.
Hmm, I’d Better Not Use The Power Mower Today
Take that, liberals!
NO TV SATURDAY
Bloomington City Council at-large big shot Susan Sandberg loves the Bernie Sanders quote above. (And, no, “at-large” does not imply that she’s on the lam.)
I love it too. I’m thrilled a United States Senator is bold enough to utter such things. OTOH: I’m bummed he’s one of the rare ones.
In fact, while surfing for bios to link to, I came across any number of sites that portray the harmless old bird as a danger to our holy land. One site even posts this image of him:
Commie Zombie Sanders
Here’s why I call Sanders “harmless.” No one has taken a shot at him (and you know what I mean), he hasn’t been torn down by some trumped-up sex charges, and Fox News hardly ever mentions his name. If the Armed Right Wing Loonocracy doesn’t care about you, you may as well be hollering in an open cornfield with nobody around for miles.
If I have to explain the humor behind my “calamari” post on Facebook last night, you’ll never get it anyway.