Friday, July 29, 2016

Stave Off Idiocracy, Call An idiot an Idiot Today!

I suppose nothing should surprise me which goes through the weak minds of people who think that it'd be a good idea to elect Donald Trump President of the United States, but the level of their idiocy has still managed to surprise me twice in the past couple of days, both times having to do with the intersection of politics and show biz.

First, fans of the movie Murrkin Sniper were outraged because the star of the movie, Bradley Cooper, attended the Democratic National Convention, in clear violation of the agreement he signed, never to attend any political function without the approval of Murrkin Sniper's director, Clint Eastwood --

Wait, wait. I forgot: Cooper never signed such an agreement. No actor has ever signed such an agreement upon making a movie, no author when publishing a book, no recording artist, ever, either (more about that shortly).

And even if Cooper did sign such an agreement, which apparently exists in the minds of some of his most moronic fans, not even Clint Eastwood, enormously overrated as an artist, and dumb enough to talk to an empty chair at a Republican National convention for the length of an entire excruciating sketch, not even Mumblin' Clint is stupid enough to think he has any right to tell actors what their politics need to be just because they've slummed and worked with him.

Then I saw a headline about how Katy Perry's fans were furious with her for singing at the Democratic Convention. I stared at that headline and strained to imagine how Katy Perry's fans could think this was somehow there business. I've thought of her music, her videos, her general demeanor all as exuding messages like "You are amazing, everybody!" and "Sexuality is fun, hahaha!" rather than things like "Bow down in shame before Jesus!" Has Katy Perry recorded some gospel music? Yes, it turns out she has, but not since she was a teenager in the earliest months of the 21st century. But what is ticking these fans off is not what Katy did when she was a teenager, but before that: she was born to evangelical pastors. Because of how she was born, some of her Republicans fans are trying to tell her what's what. Those parents are still around, and they're still evangelicals and they're Republicans, but as far as I can tell they still get along with Katy and treat as if she has the right to live her own life.

Oh, but parents is one thing, fans is another.

I might not ever get famous before I die. I hope I do, and that I get a whole bunch of crazy fans I can insult in my daily life and in my work and in interviews, and take out restraining orders against. But just in case I die before I get fans who expect things from me, let me just say to each and every one of them right now, in a special individual posthumous message for each one: Fuck you, you psycho. Get your own damn life. This one was mine.

Of course, that's just me talking to imaginary posthumous fans. How Cooper or Perry react to their psycho fans -- is no more my business than what Cooper or Perry do is those fans' business.

But I feel like I do have more of a right, somewhat more, to say to the MSM: tell us all how stupid these people are. Say it, on the air and in print, don't wake until the commercial break to explode, if you do that you're wasting the best you have to give: the TRUTH. Tell us how stupid, how frigging INSANE they are. Tell them. Admit to yourselves, at long last, that that whole thing about "objective journalism" was a mirage and a mistake. Give the public the benefit of your knowledge before morons who think the politics of movie stars and recording artists is their business take over the whole damn country because you were too "objective" to warn anyone. When one side is normal, clear-thinking people and the other side is a bunch of idiots and sociopaths, and you struggle and strive to act as if both sides were the same, that's not objectivity, it's a strong right-wing bias.

Sing us out, Katy, Snoop!

America, This is Our Chance To Elect Just The 3,047th Female Head Of State In The History Of The World!

Am I exaggerrating? Maybe. By much? Maybe not! Take a look:

17.12.1917-09.03.1918 Acting Head of the Government Evheniya Bohdanivna Bosch, Ukraine. 06.04.1940-11.10.1944 Head of State Khertek Anchimaa-Toka, People's Republic of Tannu Tuva. 21.07.1960-27.03.1965, 29.05.1970-23.07.1977, 14.11.1994-10.8.2000 Prime Minister Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka. 19.01.1966-24.03.1977, 14.01.1980-31.10.1984 (†), Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, India. 31.10.1968-24.02.1972 Acting Head of State Song Qingling, China. 17.03.1969-10.04.1974 Minister President Golda Meïr, Israel. 01.07.1974- 24.03.1976 Executive President Maria Estella Martínez de Perón, Argentina. 03.01.1975-07.04.1976 Premierministre Élisabeth Domitién, Central African Republic. 08-1977-09.1977 Minister President Lucinda E. da Costa Gomez-Matheeuws, The Netherlands Antilles. 03.05.1979-22.11.1990 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, United Kingdom of Great Britain. 01.08.1979-3.01.1980 President of the Council of Ministers Dr. Maria de Lourdes Ruivo da Silva Pintasilgo, Portugal. 17.11.1979-18.07.1980 Interim Executive President Lidia Gueiler Tejada, Bolivia. 21.07.1980-14.06.1995 Prime Minister Dame M. Eugenia Charles, Dominica. 01.08.1980-01.08.1996 President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Iceland. 04.02.1981-14.10.1981, 09.05.1986-16.10.1989, 30.11.1990-25.10.1996, Minister of State Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway. 01.04.1981-01.10.1981 Captain Regent Maria Lea Pedini Angelini, San Marino. 21.09.1981-17.011.1993 Governor General Dame Elmira Minita Gordon, Belize. 15.02.1982-15.02.1987 President Agatha Barbara, Malta. 24.03.1982-25.03.1985 President of the Government Lucette Michaux-Chevry, Guadalupe. 15.05.1982-15.05.1986 Chairperson of the Council of Ministers Milka Planinc, Yugoslavia. 01.04.1984-01.10.1984 Captain Regent Gloriana Ranocchini, San Marino. 14.05.1984-29.01.1990 Governor General The Rt. Hon. Jeanne Sauvé, Canada. 14.05-16.05.1984 Acting Head of State Carmen Pereira, Guinea Bissau. 18.09.1984-01.01.1986, 17.051988-25.12.1993 Minister President Maria Ph. Liberia-Peters, Nederlandse Antillen. 25.2.1986-30.06.1992 Executive President Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino, The Philippines. 05.10.1987-30.12.1987 Prime Minister Princess Stella Margaret Nomzamo Sigcau, Transkei. 02.12.1988-06.08.1990, 19.10.1993-05.11.1996 Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan. 13.03.1990-07.02.1991 Acting President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot, Haiti. 17.03.1990-10.01.1991 Minister President Kasimiera Prunskienė, Lithuania. 05.04.1990-02.10.1990 Acting Head of State Dr. Sabine Bergmann-Pohl, East-Germany. 25.04.1990-10.01.1997 Executive President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, Nicaragua. 20.11.1990-21.03.1996 Governor General Dame Catherine Tizard, New Zealand. 03.12.1990-12.09.1997 President Mary Robinson, Ireland. 20.03.1991-30.03.1996, 01.09.2001-29.10.2006 Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh. 01.10.1991-01.04.1992 Captain Regent Edda Ceccoli, San Marino. 15.05.1991-02.04.1992 Premier Ministre Edith Cresson, France. 08.07.1992-26.10.1993 Minister President Hanna Suchocka, Poland. 25.01.1993-15.09.1994 Premier Marita Petersen, The Faeroe Islands. 01.04.1993-01.10.1993 Captain Regent Patrizia Busignani, San Marino. 25.06.1993-07.03.1996 Minister President Tansu Çiller, Turkey. 25.06.1993-04.11.1993 Prime Minister A. Kim Campbell, Canada. 10.07.1993-11.02.1994 Premier Ministre Sylvie Kinigi, Burundi. 18.07.1993-07.05.1994 (†) Premier Ministre Agathe Uwilingiymana, Rwanda. 25.12.1993-28.12.1993 Minister President Suzanne Camelia-Römer, Nederlandse Antillen. 19.8.1994-14.11.1994 Prime Minister Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Sri Lanka, 14.11.1994-19.11.2005 Executive President. 16.10.1994-25.01.1995 Interim Minister President Reneta Ivanova Indzhova, Bulgaria. 06.06.1990-19.12.1995 (†) Governor General Dame Nita Barrow, Barbados. 07.11.1995-27.02.1996 Premier Minister Claudette Werleigh, Haïti. 23.06.1996-15.7.2001, 06.01.2009- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh. 19.07.1996-04.11.1998 President Biljana Plavsic, Republic of Srpska. 03.09.1996-02.08.1997 Chairperson of the Council of State Ruth Sando Perry, Liberia. 09.02.1997-11.02.1997 Acting Executive President Rosalia Arteaga Serrano de Fernández de Córdova, Ecuador. 17.03.1997-22.12.1997 Prime Minister Janet Jagan, Guyana, 19.12.1997-11.08.99 Executive President. 17.09.1997- Governor General Dame C. Pearlette Louisy, St. Lucia. 11.11.1997-11.11.2011 President Mary McAleese, Ireland. 08.12.1997-10.12.1999 Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, New Zealand.

Aaaarggghh! I'm sorry, ladies, I really am, but we're only up to 1997 and I have other things to do. 6 women assumed office as head of state in 1997, 10 did so in 2105, 5 have so far in 2016.

That makes a total of... Let's see... 1, 2 3... every country on Earth except the US and the Vatican.

So it's not just congratulations to Hillary, it's congratulations and about freakin' time! Let's join the human race, America!

Idiots And Democracy

An idiot holds up a sign reading, "Not Hillary, Not Trump," illustrating one of the most exasperating aspects of politics, one for which I thus far have shown no talent: dealing with idiots. It's not just that some people are too dumb to see a difference between Trump and Hillary big enough to justify voting for one or the other, which is already pretty damn dumb. Beyond that, a significant number of people actually believe that Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or Bernie Sanders actually has a chance to win. (Who knows how many idiots didn't believe that, until they read the last sentence and completely misunderstood it, and have now switched from campaigning for Hillary or Trump to campaigning for Stein or Johnson or Sanders.)

Pollsters are saying that up to 20% of registered voters now plan to vote for Stein or Johnson, with about 40% each left over for Hillary and Trump. That means that, although in reality perhaps every election is completely about winning the idiot vote, there's no doubt that this Presidential election is.

Of course, beyond the 20% Stein-or-Johnson-no-doubt-they're-idiots-bloc, some of the Trump and Hillary supporters are idiots too. It's harder to tell how big this voting bloc is, and it may also be much harder to campaign to this bloc, because who knows many idiots are voting for either Trump or Hillary only because they completely misunderstand where the candidate stands on the issues about which they care most? For example, people supporting Trump because they think he's pro-union, or supporting Hillary because they think she's against a woman's right to choose. I think it's pretty safe to say that the percentage of voters who are that confused or worse about every Presidential campaign is bigger than that of those who voted for Nader in 2004, and possibly comparable to those who voted for him in 2000.

In any case, the number is too high to be safely ignored.

So how do we deal with those voters, how do we lure as many as possible over to the Democratic side?

Like I said at the beginning of this post: I have no flippin' idea. I have no practical suggestions to offer, other than to urge those of you who are skilled at persuading idiots to keep in mind that there are a huge number of them out there, and to do whatever you can. Thank you.

Anyhow: although it's very, very early, the first post-Democratic-Convention polls are encouraging. One poll says that Missouri has gone from safely in Trump's column to a tossup. Wouldn't it be sweet if that poll turns out to be accurate, not an outlier, and if it stays that way, and we win Missouri? Don't laugh: it was awfully close in 2008. McCain only won by 3903 votes, 1,445,814 to 1,441,911

And I'd really like to win Texas too. I know everybody considers Texas to be deep-red Presidentially, but I look at the same data that's out there for everybody else to see, and it looks kinda purple to me. (And I'm way above average at math.)

I repeat: it's early. Almost every Presidential candidate gets a post-convention bump, we shouldn't overvalue Trump's bump, too many people have been panicking about that. And we shouldn't get carried away if Hillary gets a big bump too.

But it would be so nice if we just mopped the floor with those suckers this time...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Michelle Mentions White House Being Built By Slaves, O'Reilly "Responds"

In what right-wing parallel universe is what Bill O'Reilly said a response to what Michelle Obama said? O'Reilly says that the slaves who worked on the construction of the White House were well-fed. Did Michelle, in her Convention speech on Monday, say anything about how they were fed? O'Reilly said that slave labor was used by contractors on the construction, and that non-slave labor was involved as well. Did Michelle say otherwise? and by the way -- so what?

O'Reilly is one of the leaders of conservatism in the US. It'd be one thing if one of the followers said such things, one of those bringing up the rear, intellectually, of the entire group of millions. But no. This jackass, this stupid man, is one of their leaders. Shame on those of us who know our euphemisms from holes in the ground for letting these idiots give us such stiff competition. Shame on us.

The Big Dog Crushed It

8 years ago, Bill Clinton gave the world the impression that he liked Barack Obama very much. Last night, he gave the world the impression that he likes his wife very much -- and who knows, this time it might actually be true. I'm not under the impression that the impression we get on TV from movie stars and politicians is necessarily accurate. Part of the reason I don't believe we actually get to know these people through the tube is that I've actually met a few movie stars and politicians, and the actual person I met was always a surprise. Instead of continuing the imaginary relationship we formed with a celebrity on TV, meeting one of them has always meant that things went off on a tangent, sometimes a pleasant tangent and sometimes an unpleasant one. But I never judge someone I've known for half a minute if it's an unpleasant half-minute, because anybody can have a bad day, even if I've had a long imaginary relationship with them because they've been on my favorite sitcom for years.

Over the past 8 years, the public has gotten a few strong hints that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are not, in fact, close personal friends. As far as how Bill and Hillary get along, I'm not even going to guess.

And the main reason I'm not going to guess is because I don't feel it's any of my business, or yours, unless you happen to be Bill or Hillary or maybe as many as 2 or 3 other people. But politics is everybody's business, and Bill's speeches 8 years ago and last night were politics. I don't care if that big hug between Bill and Barack on the convention stage 8 years ago was bullshit in terms of their personal relationship: politically, it was very important, and politics is more important than the personal stuff. 8 years ago, the Big Dog gave a very effective speech for a very highly-qualified Presidential candidate, and last night he did it again. Hillary's abilities and qualifications are our business. The lack of substance of the charges constantly hurled at her from the Right is definitely our business. I admit, I was kind of caught up in Bill's depiction of some of the aspects of his private life with Hillary. I'm not immune to his speaking skills, I'm not made of stone. But the important thing about that drama is how Bill used it to deliver a long, detailed, fact-checkable list of his wife's remarkable political achievements, and then asked -- the link is a full transcript of Bill's speech:

How did this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention? What's the difference in what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can't. One is real, the other is made up.

You just have to decide. You just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans.

I like that. I like it very much. How do you get people to behave more intelligently? You remind them that they can.

We'll never really know for sure how accurate Bill's charming portrayal of his private life with Hillary was -- and, again, it's none of our business. But the highlights of Hillary's resume about which Bill spoke -- drugs for AIDS patients in Africa, the sanctions against Iran's nuclear program, the upgrades in battlefield equipment for US military personnel, legislation for adoptions of foster children, the decades' worth of fighting for greater access to health care, etc, etc -- these were the highlights of Bill's speech. Hillary's political qualifications. And as voters, those are the things which are our business, and the reasons you should watch or read Bill's entire speech if you haven't already, and re-watch it or re-read it if you have. Don't worry, there's plenty of adorable private stuff to liven it up, like how Bill supposedly was too shy to speak to her when he first saw her on the campus of Yale in 1971, and just followed her around like a helpless puppy until she finally came up to him and introduced herself: "Look, if you're going to keep staring at me, and now I'm staring back, we at least ought to know each other's name. I'm Hillary Rodham, who are you?"

Awwwww... Was the Big Dog really such a helpless little puppy back in 1971?

Once again: I don't care.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Good For Sarah Silverman!

Last night, Sarah Silverman -- who had campaigned for Bernie -- interrupted a bit she was doing with Al Franken, long in the tank for Hillary, a bit about party unity, about coming together. She interrupted that bit to talk directly to the booing, heckling Sanders delegates; she said, "You're being ridiculous!" And she got a great big cheer for that.

Sarah is so awesome in so many ways. She was right. Of course she was right. The awesome part is that she said it right to their faces from the Convention stage. The Sanders die-hards were being ridiculous, and they probably still are being ridiculous at this very minute, and I'm quite sure, unfortunately, that they will be very ridiculous at the Convention tonight. I wish more Democrats would speak up like Sarah, instead of continuing to do everything they can to appease Bernie's diehards in the hope that they will eventually come around -- when?

And Bernie. Yes, he endorsed Hillary again last night -- sort of -- but he began his speech by reminding his delegates that they could vote for him tonight, Tuesday night. He's endorsing Hillary but he still hasn't conceded. That's not rational. Thank God this egotistical, low-information demagogue will never be President.

Bernie is being ridiculous. The ridiculous fish which is -- is, God help us all! Not was! Is! -- his campaign stinks from the head. The irrationality, inconsistency, petulance of the diehards, all come directly from Bernie.

The great majority of the people who voted for him in the primaries are better than he is. They moved on and started supporting Hillary a long time ago. Bernie is going to insist on a roll call tonight, when the delegates officially elect the nominee for President. Ordinarily, in a situation like this, when the candidates supposedly have come together and the also-rans supposedly are behind the winner, someone in Bernie's situation would have officially dropped out and would call for nomination by acclamation. For the sake of party unity. For the sake of the best possible result in November. But Bernie isn't doing that. He's not quite irrational enough to think he still might be elected, but he's too egotistical to really get behind anybody else politically. Little wonder he was in a so-called Socialist party of one for so long.

And, of course, Bernie's ego is feeding into the irrationality of his die-hards who still think he can be elected. And a lot of those die-hards will be voting for him at the Convention tonight, and screaming about how they were robbed when Hillary wins. Bernie keeps this craziness going. He says his number-one priority is defeating Trump, but that's obvious nonsense. His number-one priority is always Bernie, Bernie, hooray for Bernie! His die-hards didn't just suddenly appear out of nowhere, heckling the rest of the world and constantly screaming that they're being cheated, for no reason, with nothing having caused them.

You think the die-hards are going to come around as long as everybody keeps acting as if they were making perfect sense? You think that if Bernie makes a speech the week before Election Day which is supposed to be a campaign speech for Hillary and other Democrats, he's going to deliver a speech which isn't almost all about himself? If so, I don't know what world you've been paying attention to.

Some talking head last night asked how long the patience of Hillary's supporters will last in the face of the infantile behavior of the die-hard Sanders supporters. Obviously, my own patience with them ran out a long time ago, right away, as soon as I saw and heard them.

Supposedly, we're more rational, more fact-based than the GOP. So let's be that way. Let's not be so accommodating to irrationality and tantrums from within our ranks. Let's tell people when they're being ridiculous.

Bernie -- you're being ridiculous! You've been ridiculous for decades!

Let's have some standards.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Bernie-Or-Busters Are Getting Their Moment

"When feelings are so badly hurt, they must be recognized." -- one of the leading idiots from the Sanders campaign, in an MSNBC interview around 7:30 PM on the first night of the convention, questioned about the way that so many of the Sanders delegates are booing every time Hillary's name is mentioned.

I couldn't have put it better myself. This is all about the feelings of outraged Sanders supporters.

They are a bunch of grown-ass crybabies.

A few hours ago, Bernie asked a meeting of his delegates to support Hillary, and he was booed. I hope he's not so dumb that that surprised him. He should've been preaching party unity to his supporters for months now. Weeks at the very least. Suspending his campaign -- that would've headed off this sort of Convention Night 1 cluster&@#$.

We can't really even call them his supporters when they're booing him and ignoring what he asks them to do. It doesn't make much sense for them to wear Bernie T-shirts and boo Bernie at the same time.

But, of course, the Sanders campaign has never been about making sense. It's about feelings.

Bernie's Convention speech is coming up later tonight. It will be interesting. I wonder whether he'll mention Hillary's name.

I don't think he'll be able to get away with rebuking his delegates and asking them to behave like grown-ups invoolved in something very important, because: pot, kettle...