Friday, December 30, 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Majority Rules

Only Democracies Self Renew.
Monarchy's Fall, Tyrannies are Destroyed from Within and Without, Autocracy's Lose Their Will to Power, Charismatic Dictators become Senile....some of these malign situations can last a long long time.
But when its over its over for them all.
All save democracies only that form of government can resurrect itself.
The means are there, if the people but lay ahold of them.
We are gonna hear a lot of tyranny and strong men in power going forward, acquiesce in no tyranny and we will not be tyrannized...perhaps that comes at a cost, likely it does, but self renew of our democratic pollity begins with not with a will to power but a will to sacrifice.
In the end we are tested by evil events, never by good times and easy living...and now we are entering a testing time for democracy.
Its starts with an individual resolve to be somehow collectively worthy.
Ah but I ramble....but its dark out and I must shed what little light I can.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Donald Trump is now trying to dissolve

the charitable organization that bears his name the one he insisted was on the up and up and a model of philanthropy compared to the disgusting charity run by "Crooked Hillary".
Predictably, the NY AG won't let him do citing an ongoing investigation...
Rationality and Factuality are gonna take a helluva beating over the next four years, assuming any of us survive the next four years.
So let me assert I have no facts by which to impeach the integrity of the Trump Foundation, but the far more forgiving "Occam's Razor" suggests that he is trying to dismantle his charity to cover up the usual financial chicanery that may have dire constitutional implications.
Because at the end of the day only a fear of direct consequences would ever compel Trump to dismantle yet another one of his boodling enterprises.
But I stress I have no facts to buttress that claim only circumstancial evidence...But then fakery is Brand Trump he has in the past created an entirely bogus for-profit university so ersatz charity is entirely within his wheelhouse.
And if I to make suggestions I'd look deeply into the roles played by his children in said charity, the three of them are his Achilles Heel, count on it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Apparently Donald Trump tweeted out

Today his intentions to initiate an arms race with Putin's Russia, country with a GDP roughly comparable to Italy....this is the same Russia whose President, Trump counts as a "friend".
Confused?
You should be, but contradiction and hypocrisy are core deliverables with "Brand Trump".
My big takeaway from off this is a clam assurance that Donald Trump isn't paying the slightest attention to any of his national security briefing (the few he is actually attending) otherwise he'd realize we are already modernizing and refurbishing our strategic forces as far of a trillion dollar thirty year upgrade program.
In other words, we've already started that arms race and likely have a huge lead.....

Ye Gods, thirty years and a trillion large....I think thats enough to deter a country whose chief exports are oil, firearms and feckless threats.
All this presupposes that Trump knows the difference between Deterrence and Dung, and that has yet to be demonstrated in a convincing way.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

If you wanna bring about Donald Trump's Downfall....

Go After His Progeny....thats his weakness, legally speaking. Deposition after deposition, lawsuit after lawsuit, grind away at Trump's Business Empire, it'll make him crazy, target Ivanka, Ivanka's Gruesome Husband, Donald Jr & Eric especially.
Maybe Trump might be insulated from all this mishaugas, but they aren't....sooner or later we can get one of them on a criminal charge and THEN it'll game on, count on it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

John J. O'Brien

The former Commissioner of Probation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts beat the rap on appeal in Federal Court. He was initially indicted and convicted for stuffing the Probation Department with so many deadheads that the building nearly collapsed.
You don't wheel and deal at that level without doing huge lifelong favors for members of the State Legislature which was O'Brien's favorite currency during his long oversightless tenure at the Probation Department.
This is a setback for Federal Oversight of Chicanery on Beacon Hill....yes it may be heavy handed at times and misdirected but its a necessary thing as well.
Massachusetts thanks to a state legislature dominated by democrats is unusually vulnerable to chiseling, Gubernatorial Oversight of certain departments is at best compromised and the requisite Governors sometimes too disengaged for their own damn good (exp Romney).
So the major counterbalance is an alert news media and the Office of US Attorney and now the Federal part of that prong is effectively blunted.
This good news over the short term-for chiselers that is...The chiseling class  on Beacon Hill will have a little more freedom of action going forward and a little less fear of the Federales going forward.
THAT is a bad thing, given time and given fresh outrages I can promise you all this will bite us democrats in the ass good and deep when the time comes unless there is a culture change in the Lege...and on that I am not hopeful.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ironic....

The Russian Ambassador to Turkey is Assassinated even in the shadow of the Electoral College's Formal Presidential Balloting....cuz this is a foreign policy crisis just tailor made to Donald Trump's skillset isn't it?
I can just imagine the tweets he is prepping even as I write this....

For the record liquidating Turkey's regional presence in the Eastern Mediterranean has been a truism of Russian Foreign Policy since the dawn of the 19th Century. Despite fitful rumors of a Putin-Erdogan reapproachment both countries are backing opposing sides in the current Syrian Civil War. This incident has all the earmarks of a historic provocation that could spiral out of control into a whole new war in the region....but don't worry never fear Putin listens to Trump.
Didn't know puppeteers needed to listen to their puppets.....lets hope John Kerry has one last ace up his sleeve even if all it'll do is delay the inevitable.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

There is wild talk on line

about gaming the Electoral College via Faithless Electors to upend the 2016 Presidential Election and make Hilary Clinton President.
Its a pretty desperate project that likely won't work....it requires the cooperation of hard core GOP electors and those people are selected for loyalty and reliability, a sufficient number of them cannot be suborned given the historic context.
AT BEST the election might be thrown into the US House where I can assure you the Rotten Boroughs of Dixieland will do their duty by Donald Trump. He won't have much of a mandate left it's true, but he'll still be sworn in even if the onus will be on congress not the American Electorate.
Different path same outcome.
And anyway the Founders designed the Electoral College as a brake on popular passions and a defacto fourth branch of the US Government ALL subsequent practice with respect to Presidential Elections in the US has been to mute this role or render it completely ceremonial.
And there are sound reasons to support that practice, elections should be determined by popular ballots not a quadrennial meeting of some obscure Federal Council. Which in turn brings me to the brink of calling for the College's Aboliton, but that is another blog post indeed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rick Perry nominated to be Secretary of Energy...

The confirmation hearing alone will be worth it for the Big Larfs Alone.  I urge Senior Senator Warren to invoke Senatorial Privilege and gently quiz Governor Perry about basis nuclear physics or even the laws of thermodynamics.
The results will be nothing short of a new standard in hilarity, one thing all Americans can Bank On, is that Rick Perry is the Dumbest Human Being in Contemporary Public Life.
Seriously Rick Perry thinks "Manual Labor" is the President of Paraguay.
Not Kidding....
Certainly Trump appointees are definite menaces to our lives and liberties, this includes the nominal President Elect, but others....are simply excellent targets for snark and mirthmaking, Rick Perry is one of these, The Inadvertent Clown from the Lone Star State.



Monday, December 12, 2016

Tillerson to Foggy Bottom (allegedly)

Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon is supposedly gonna be Trump's Secretary of State come next year. Like most of Trump's other cabinet appointments, he has never held any sort of substantive government job and other than negotiating with corrupt petrocrats and other oil companies, his foreign policy bona fides are utterly nonexistent.
In fact, all I know about Tillerson is that he de-homophobed the Boy Scouts of America (a very right and necessary thing in this Eagle Scout's Opinion)....which is grimly hilarious because if Tillerson was an Obama appointee his tenure at the BSA would be grounds for investigation at the very least.
The rotten boroughs though are living up to their Faustian Bargain with Trump so far, thus the matter merits silence for the moment.
More worrisome is Tillerson's long business relationship with Vladimir Putin and Putin's Kleptocracy.  John McCain is making growling noises about this one, but thats his default about everything and the Senator from Arizona has a spotty record for arousing the US Senate over an issue of conscience.
Me?
I see Tillerson as a Big Money Rebuke to Romney and yet another untested billionaire in a cabinet ominous stuffed with tycoons and generals (which is always a bad mix IMHO)....Has Trump nominated anyone outside the Pentagon with less that 100 million in the Bank?

Friday, December 09, 2016

John Glenn is Dead

And the Senator-Astronaut is likely one of the very last "Non-Partisan Across the Board Achievement Driven" National Heroes.
Which is ironic given the fact that Astronaut Glenn in the wake of his Mercury Flight in 1962 was lavishly politically courted by President Kennedy, indeed Glenn was a reliable factotum for Bobby Kennedy in campaign 1968 and in due course Glenn was the democratic senator from Ohio.
He never lost that weird halo of ability and rectitude despite a public life given over to explicit partisanship.
I met Glenn during his doomed 1984 Presidential Campaign, he was a veritable 38 Caliber Bullet of a. Man, short and compact (Mercury Astronauts had strict height requirements in order to fit into those cramped primitive space capsules) to say the least. Let me say this though, if Jimmy Carter exuded piety, if George McGovern radiated sincerity, then John Glenn was incandescently Self Confident, he was viscerally fearless putting his fate in the hands of faith, training and the American Way Quite Literally. He made Ronald Reagan look like an indecisive self doubting wretch by comparison.
And the symbolism of his quiet death at the tail end of this doomed year of 2016 should be lost on no one, it is never ever a good a Good Thing for the rest of us when Our Heroes Start Ascending to Valhalla en masse.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

There are vague rumors in the Globe

to the effect that the Lege is considering a tax on carbonated beverages...

Thats a laugh and half, we don't tax alcohol so much as a penny so now we are gonna shift that revenue shortfall on Coke Fanciers eh?

Granted personally I regard high fructose corn syrup as a form of poison that the Feds ought to outlaw completely, but until then we are stuck with the miserable stuff.  Exempting alcohol with it's myraid of tragic complications from taxation in favor of a dogged pursuit of "Sprite" is just plain silly.


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Budget Cuts

to address a revenue shortfall that may or may not happen Governor Baker has ordered up some budget cuts to all the usual suspects, healthcare, transportation and among others way down the list, suicide prevention.
Suicide Prevention Funds?
There is just something mean and wrong about that, when you consider that the Mystic Tobin Bridge is still a suicide magnet to this very day, sidewalks or no sidewalks.
Such is the mindset of "Governor Seventy Percent"....I can hear the chorus of "we could do a lot worse than Charlie Baker" a yelpin' in the background.

Monday, December 05, 2016

I'll say this for Donald Trump

he sure knows how to press Mitt Romney's buttons. A week after their reconciliation dinner rife with rumors of the former viceroy's imminet appointment to Foggy Bottom and the Real Estate Tycoon strokes his chins and murmurs he wants to "expand the pool of applicants from Secretary of State.
True to form even as the Big Job soars away from him, Mitt Romney keeps on kissing up to Trump even as Bob Corker, John Bolton and John Huntsman (of all people) suddenly merit attention.
I suspect Trump is simply torturing Romney before a final humiliation (like tweeting out John Bolton's appointment at 3am)....Mitt is just too craven to understand this new fact of life.
Looking at the current list from my perspective, I'd say the best of a bad lot might be Huntsman who at least had some foreign policy experience (albeit as an Obama Appointee) and has been off the grid for nigh on four years.
On the other hand I suspect Huntsman is on there just to twist the knife a little bit in Romney I doubt the guy is any sort of a finalist.
  Corker is a senatorial berserker and Bolton openly thirsts for nuclear war soonest. So given all that and Team Trump's penchant for Bad Decisionmaking it'll likely be Secretary of State Bolton and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock can advance to thirty seconds to midnight.
You'd think Romney would get this and salvage the dregs of his dignity, but no. Mitt is far too deferential to power to ever speak the truth of any of it.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

If you wanna see the Boston Globe in Deep Denial

about Mitt Romney's craven cave in to Team Trump (all in a bid to be Secretary of State of all things) check out of today's front page article by Matt Visor.
The Globe is just desperate to project the mantle of healing comforting moderation on Mitt Romney, the former viceroy walks back his Anti Trump vituperation and Morrissey Blvd starts sighing about his "commitment to public service".
Moderate republicanism is as Dead as Adam but The Globe keeps trying to resuscitate what amounts to a Museum Class Mummy.  They give a craven schemer like Mitt  Romney a second third and even fourth chance...and all because they can't come to terms with the contemporary GOP's ever rightward zombie lurch.

Well Mitt Romney has come to turns with said zombie lurch, by capitulating to it in public.
Never mind the fact that the former viceroy is likely being played by Team Trump in a rather crude vengeful manner as well. Meanwhile the Globe goes on fantasizing if Romney scores for Foggy Bottom then its a victory for moderate republicanism, if he is not appointed then its because he is again too saintly a moderate for Trump's Cabinet.
Really what color is the sky in the world of the Boston Globe?

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Hillary Clinton is on track....

to have won the last election popular vote by about 2.5 million votes as a high a "mandate" as was claimed by George Bush Jr in 2004. And yet Trump, thanks to the splendidly inane Newtonian Mechanics of the Electoral College is the one selecting Cabinet Secretaries.
Okay granted, the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College as a bulwark against "popular passions" which was in part defined in the Federal Papers as the somewhat more spurious notion that large states would somehow "bully" small ones at the polls.
BTW just as a digression was there a better example of malign "popular passions" in this election than the belligerent wave that swept Trump to glory in the Electoral College?
Clearly the Goddamned Thing does not work as designed.
All Constitutions (if well written) are inherently biased in favor of legitimacy, legality and the Perpetuation of said Constitution. Legitimacy here is the question because you cannot have two contradictory "legitimate" outcomes of one "winner take all" election.
And yet we do.
The response (from the Trump Campaign's Screech Monkeys) is that the Electorial College's election is the Only One That Matters....and yes on paper that is the case.
But let me ask all seven of my readers this, why then do we have popular presidential elections at all?
The tactical setback from 2016 is that we've got Trump as President and our odds of survival either as a democracy or even physical person is at best a tick over fifty fifty.
But the constitutional issue here is even more disquieting the popular vote is suddenly rendered meaningless...which to my mind is the first step to getting rid of it in all but name only....
Think about that please.