You could almost feel sorry for him. On second thought, no–no more than he felt compassion for the Schiavos.


I can dig it.

The Roanoke County library traded in CNN, MSNBC and Fox News for ESPN, The Weather Channel and home and cooking channels because patrons were unhappy about viewing news channels that did not represent their political views, said Diana Rosapepe, county libraries director.

When cable news — and the partisan political commentary that often accompanies the breaking news coverage — was involved, library patrons couldn’t find the center of the aisle.

Libraries should be places of quiet reflection, not of digital deception.


Jeb Bush saying,

Via The Bob and Chez Show Blog.


Ian Millhiser asks, “What Libertarian movement?”


This sounds as if it could have happened in Texas.


Man labeled

Via Job’s Anger.


C&L points out that Donald Trump’s nauseating “Freedom Girls” schtick syncs perfectly with a tune my Nine Inch Nails–a tune that is much more appropriate than the original.

More »


Via C&L.


At the Boston Review, Anna Clark considers the public poisoning of the residents of Flint, Michigan, and the climate of secrecy that is endemic to Michigan government. She fears that the guilty may go not only unpunished, but also unidentified. A snippet:

Michigan is the rare state where both the legislature and the governor’s office are exempt from public records requests. The Michigan Supreme Court, the attorney general’s office, and the secretary of state’s office are also exempt.


(Michigan Governer Rick–ed.) Snyder’s actions to date have done little to peel back the layers of secrecy. As revealing as the release of his emails from 2015 and 2014 has been, it is striking that he did not also release messages from 2013—the year when the emergency manager changed Flint’s water source. While Flint elected officials supported the move to a new independent water system, there is no indication that they were in favor of using untreated river water as a short-term source. That nuance has been muddled in statements from both the governor and the then-emergency manager, seemingly to sidestep culpability. The 2013 emails would clarify who was responsible for the fateful decision.


Paul Prather tries to understand why persons who call themselves “Christian” support Donald Trump. He expresses his wonderment:

Trump is an insulting, profane, thrice-married, megalomaniacal billionaire from New York City who can’t even pronounce 2 Corinthians correctly. Indeed, he seems to proudly stand for everything the Christian faith supposedly opposes.

And yet a great throng of Christians love the guy.

Follow the link for his theory as to why he attracts them.


That whole “2 Corinthians” flap was stupid and silly (sort of like Trump). It wasn’t even a mistake, it was just a less common usage.


Der Spiegel takes a long look at Trump. The picture is not an attractive one. Here’s a little bit:

But his most unique characteristic is his lack of scruples. When speaking about his amiable rival Jeb Bush, he has often said that Bush is such a “low-energy person” that no one can even look at him anymore without seeking signs of his lack of energy. Trump has repeatedly said that Marco Rubio, another Republican contender, “sweats a lot,” which, according to Trump, would be a little embarrassing for a president who has to negotiate with “strong leaders like Vladimir Putin.” He recently began claiming that his strongest rival at the moment, Ted Cruz, lacks the legal qualification to become president because he was born on Canadian soil. And last year he tweeted: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” All of this profanity and scrupulousness would have forced anyone else to resign. But for his millions of supporters, they are further evidence of Trump’s boldness and strength.
(snip) wrote: “(Trump) embodies that well-worn if still stinging observation about the country he hails from: that ‘America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without passing through civilization.'”

Do read the whole thing.


Thom and Jane Mayer discuss the very strange political heritage of the Koch family.


Ben Boychuk, right-wing think tank inhabitant, argues that Republicans brought Donald Trump on themselves.

If he’s correct, it’s a rare case of a political party’s getting what it deserves.

31 January 2016 · Comments Off on Border Walls · Categories: Political Theatre

Border Wall with sign pointing to

31 January 2016 · Comments Off on Those Who Forget the Past etc. · Categories: Political Theatre

Picture of destitute family in the Depression with caption:  Let's restore America to what it used to be, before Liberals, unions, and the minimum wage screwed it all up.

Via Bad Tux.

30 January 2016 · Comments Off on How Stuff Works, Playing Trump Dept. (Updated, Kicked to the Top, Again, All Over Again Once More) · Categories: Political Theatre

PoliticalProf tries to explain the rise of Trumpery.

Read it. (Warning: It does not bode well for the polity.)

Part One.

Part Two.

Part Three.

Part Four, added Tuesday.

Part Five, added Thursday.

Part Six and Last, added Saturday.

30 January 2016 · Comments Off on Primary Primal Scream · Categories: Political Theatre

Image:  Nice water cooler labeled

Via Juanita Jean.

29 January 2016 · Comments Off on Trumped · Categories: Culture Warriors, Personal Musings, Political Theatre

Christian Schneider, a “conservative” columnist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, wonders what went wrong. Here’s part of his lament:

But it’s also possible that us eggheads, sitting behind our glowing screens philosophizing about voter behavior, stopped actually going out and talking to real voters. Just as modern technology allows members of each party to live in their own virtual reality — a conservative can now go the entire day without reading or hearing a dissenting viewpoint — that same technology can cause internecine fractures within parties themselves.

For instance, a conservative who listens to talk show radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin or Sean Hannity likely has a far different assessment of the Republican Party than those who curl up with copies of National Review or the Weekly Standard, or even my regular column. While ostensibly working for the same goals, these groups might not even recognize each other if they walked by each other on the street.

Missing from his tua culpa is any recognition that his vaunted Republican intelligentsia has been complicit in rationalizing Republican lies, such as trickle-on economoics and the Great and Glorious Patriot Lie for Irag, and Republican bigotry, such as the right-wing culture war, mass incarceration, and the war on black and brown people drugs.

The difference between the “conservative intelligentsia” and Rush Limbaugh is a difference in style only.

Genteel venality is still venality.

29 January 2016 · Comments Off on Flint-Hearted: Too Much Voting · Categories: Mammon, Political Theatre

Warning: Language.

28 January 2016 · Comments Off on Hissy Fit · Categories: Political Theatre

Image of tall building labeled