Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, December 31, 2015


I've written about how wrong the right wing news outlets and bloggers have been about this past year in Mr. Obama's presidency.  Despite the T-GOP's hold on Congress, they've done very little to disrupt President Obama's penultimate year in office, and it's a good bet they'll do even less in 2016, try as they may to stop him from enacting Shari'ah law, putting Texans in FEMA camps, and confiscating everyone's guns. But we're sure they'll continue to look for amazing information in Hawaii on President Obama's birth certificate.

PM Carpenter's post on President Obama's 2015:

"… he restored diplomatic relations with Cuba; he reached a nuclear agreement with the otherwise incorrigible Iranian government; he is well on his way to securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord (hardly the working-class disaster deemed by some); he successfully defended the Affordable Care Act before a dubious Supreme Court; he has contained ISIS, notwithstanding Republican hysterics that we are doomed to slave under Sharia smuggled into the republic by a Muslim-loving, America-hating chief executive; and he passed a budget — one not particularly to my liking, but passing any budget through this unspeakably torpid Congress is nothing short of epic. Best of all, President Obama has given congressional Republicans a nasty case of the political shingles. Try as they might to triumph, they keep losing to a lame duck. There's an operatic beauty to it — the amplified pseudoconservative frenzy, that is — that just gets better and better. Here's to an even more splendid 2016."



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Make America Great Again!


The Incomparable Aretha Franklin

Sings to Carol King at the Kennedy Center Awards Evening.

Amazing woman.

Wednesday is Trump Hump Day

The Trumper has warned Hillary Clinton that if Bill campaigns for her, all bets are off and his sexual history is fair game.  

We can't wait to see the Trumper's glass house shatter into a thousand shards as the media reports on his adulterous affair with Marla Maples , 17 years his junior, while he was still married to Ivana. 

18 Real Things Donald Trump Has Actually Said About Women

Oh my! The Trumper changes his mind as often as he changes his wives!

Buzzfeed uncovered the 2008 blog post written by Trump where he endorsed Clinton for president or vice president. In a post published on March 13, 2008, Trump wrote, “Hillary Clinton said she’d consider naming Barack Obama as her vice-president when she gets the nomination, but she’s nowhere near a shoo-in,” wrote The Donald about the heated Democratic primary in 2008. “For his part, Obama said he’s just focused on winning the nomination, although at least one member of his team said Clinton would make a good vice-president. (I know Hillary, and I think she’d make a great president or vice-president.)”

Tuesday, December 29, 2015



We mean "Thanks GEORGE W. CHENEY!"

"While the Republican presidential candidates use every bit of ideological gymnastics to somehow pin the rise of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) on President Obama, the former commander of U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, Lt. General Michael Flynn dropped an incredible bombshell in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel: that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, was in a United States military prison in 2004 – and released because he was deemed 'harmless.'

 Nothing more perfectly illustrates what a colossal failure the George W. Bush Administration was. While Bush was busy torturing Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards in a desperate and barbaric attempt to rectify his intelligence failures, the mastermind who would found the Islamic State was in their clutches the entire time. Flynn went on to describe how the Bush Administration’s knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 and their catastrophic invasion of Iraq went on to create the colossal quagmire that is the Islamic State."

The T-GOP candidates for the presidency call Mr. Obama feckless, but they're talking about the wrong president. The Feckless One, George W. Cheney, released Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as bad as or even worse than Osama bin Laden. 

ISIS leader al-Baghdadi was released by Bush in 2004, not by Obama in 2009

"... social media was overrun by a story originally reported by the Telegraph in Britain in 2014. The paper reported that Baghdadi was held in U.S. custody until he was released in 2009 under the leadership of Barack Obama. 

Right wing news outlets like Fox News and Red State continued to promote the story, as it has once again gone viral on the internet. 

 The article in the Telegraph was quickly debunked, however, by Politifact, who revealed that the story was not about Baghdadi, but rather a different terrorist known as Abu Duaa. 

The Pentagon also confirmed this, saying that Baghdadi was held in U.S. custody from Feb. 2004 until Dec. 2004, during the presidency of George W. Bush. 

Despite the rhetoric coming from conservative media, the Pentagon has no other record of Baghdadi being held by the U.S. since that time."

The people who so eagerly swallow the misinformation spread by fright wing news outlets and blogs are the same people who support the Trumper, the demagogue who tells his easily fooled supporters everything they want to hear. Fact check? That's for weenies! Trumpsters like to hear lies and misinformation



Monday, December 28, 2015

President Obama's Successful 2015

As 2015 comes to a close it's important for us to review the major, successful battles President Obama won.  

Well done, Mr. Obama, you have another year to go, and we hope you continue winning more battles:

"Same-Sex Marriage Legal. In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, same-sex marriage is now legal. The fight over same-sex rights has been the biggest civil rights cause of the last thirty years, and the most significant hurdle has now been cleared, just three years after President Obama became the first major party candidate to support it. 

Obamacare Wins Another Supreme Court Case. The right’s latest attempt to derail the Affordable Care Act, the King v. Burwell case in the Supreme Court, was laughable on its face. It argued that a missing word in the law was grounds on which to dismantle it. But you never know when a case is in the hands of the conservative members of the court. Luckily, Chief Justice Roberts again sided with the left of the court, and the law survived another attack. More proof that the Supreme Court is amazingly important with regards to the upcoming election. 

EPA Pushes Clean Power Plan. You know a plan is good for the environment if major poluters and Republicans hate it. In 2015 the Obama administration’s EPA released their Clean Power Plan which will regulate carbon emissions while pushing for more solar, wind, and other clean tech. Oh, and President Obama got China and the world to agree to new cleaner standards. 

FCC Pushes Net Neutrality. President Obama said network neutrality – which forces Internet providers to treat traffic equally instead of giving megacorps a leg up – was his top FCC priority. And in 2015 the FCC voted to regulate broadband internet like a utility, along party lines with a Democratic majority. 

Workers Get Overtime. The Labor Department released a rule that would see workers who earn below $50,440 per year become eligible for more overtime. 

U.S.- Cuba Relations Restored. President Obama re-opened relations between the United States and Cuba and while it will take congressional action to lift the ineffective embargo that is in place, the U.S. embassy in Havana has been re-opened after decades of hostility. 

Military Combat Jobs Opened To Women. President Obama ordered Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to open up combat jobs in the military to women. If women are strong and capable enough to defend their country, an arbitrary gender decision will no longer get in the way. 

Keystone XL Pipeline Killed. President Obama put the nail in the coffin of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The conduit with gallons of pollutant will not pass over American soil." --h/t Addicting Information

The Paris Agreement marks the culmination of years groundwork laid in the aftermath of a failed attempt at achieving a previous global agreement at a 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen. Countries settled on a bottom-up approach allowing each nation to submit its own plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than trying to agree on a one-size-fits-all strategy, greatly simplifying the job of negotiations. 

 Leadership from the U.S., China and India also played a key role in facilitating the agreement. All three countries have acted as road blocks in past attempts to achieve climate deals, but in the lead up to this conference each made strong commitments to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and to contribute to a positive discussion in Paris.

TeaPublicans react to President Barack Hussein Obama's accomplishments JUST FOR 2015:


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Donald Trump's War on Truth

Donald "I'm Gonna Be Grrrrrreat!" Trump speaking with Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, went on one of his usual factless rants about the so-called “War on Christmas” and how this anti-Christmas spirit is undermining religious liberty:

"Well, Tony, I can, tell you this, that religious liberty is very important to me, and I see more and more, especially, in particular, Christianity, Christians, their power is being taken away."

The braying jackass who has beguiled his easily duped supporters, claims  that Christians' "power [is] being taken away," but offers no evidence whatsoever for this claim. Just making stuff up is the Trumper's  trademark, and he's won the prize for being the biggest and most consistent liar of 2015.

The entire United States of America just enjoyed a federal holiday based on Christianity's god. No other religion that is practiced in the USA gets that sort of respect and privilege.  So I'd say that's a pretty big chunk of POWER that Christians enjoy. The Trumper doesn't deal in facts or reality, and his supporters lap up whatever bucket of horse crap he feeds them.

But let's examine this inane and wholly made-up FAUX NOOZ and now the Trumper's claim that there's a war on Christmas.  Let's look at who were the original people who waged a REAL war on Christmas.  

They were Christians:

The original Christian founders of colonies here in the USA banned Christmas: 

 "All Christmas activities, including dancing, seasonal plays, games, singing carols, cheerful celebration and especially drinking were banned by the Puritan-dominated Parliament of England in 1644, with the Puritans of New England following suit. Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and the Plymouth colony made celebrating Christmas a criminal offense, according to 'Once Upon a Gospel' (Twenty-Third Publications, 2008). 

 Christmas trees and decorations were considered to be unholy pagan rituals, and the Puritans also banned traditional Christmas foods such as mince pies and pudding. Puritan laws required that stores and businesses remain open all day on Christmas, and town criers walked through the streets on Christmas Eve calling out 'No Christmas, no Christmas!' 

 In England, the ban on the holiday was lifted in 1660, when Charles II took over the throne. However, the Puritan presence remained in New England and Christmas did not become a legal holiday there until 1856. Even then, some schools continued to hold classes on December 25 until 1870.

Christians waged the original war on Christmas, not atheists,  not agnostics, not other religious sects."

The braying jackass continued:

"But, you know, the Christian, every year, you just see it more and more. You know, you go from one thing to the next to the point where it’s not politically correct to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to anybody or you go to stores and you don’t ever see the word ‘Christmas’ anymore.

You don’t see that term anymore, Tony. One of the things I always say, and I say it lightheartedly but I mean it, it’s actually not supposed to be so lighthearted, and I get standing ovations, especially in Iowa and certain places, is we are going to start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again. Because you go into these stores and you don’t see anything having to do with Christmas and it’s disgraceful, frankly, as far as I’m concerned, and that’s the way it should be and I feel strongly about it.

Friday, December 25, 2015

December 25, 1642

And here's one of our family's favorites we read every Christmas:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Feast of the Seven Fishes -- A Southern Italian Christmas Eve Tradition

Growing up in a southern Italian family, I participated each Christmas Eve (La Vigilia di Natale) in the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  I've never been able to find definitively where the tradition started or why seven fishes.  Here are some suggestions:

The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church -- baptism, penance, Holy Eucharist, confirmation, marriage, holy orders and the sacrament of Extreme Unction.

The seven sins of the world -- pride, envy, anger, gluttony, sloth, lust and greed.

The seven days it took Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem.

Some say it's the seven hills of Rome, some say it's the seven winds of Italy, or the Seven Wonders of the World.

Another theory is that seven is a number representing perfection: the traditional Biblical number for divinity is three, and for Earth is four, and the combination of these numbers, seven, represents God on Earth, or Jesus Christ.

I have no idea why seven fishes were used, but it doesn't matter, since the idea of the feast was to carry on a tradition that was started somewhere in the obscure past and to celebrate a holiday in a manner that Italians know best--with lots of incredibly delicious food. 

My childhood memories are of my mother, grandmother (nonna) and aunts all working in the kitchen while the men smoked cigars, talked politics, and played cards in the parlor. [Beh!] 

One aunt made her famous ricotta filled ravioli.  Nonna made the dolci:  biscotti di regina, struffoli, pizzelle, pizza dolce, casatelli.   My mother, aunts and older cousins cracked steamed lobsters, picked the succulent meat from the knuckles, claws, 
and tails and put it into a marinara sauce that was ladled over piping hot bowls of linguini or fettucini. [We kids got to suck the little juicy bits of lobster meat from the legs, which were discarded because there wasn't enough meat in them to bother with.] I remember sweet, tender razor clams, stuffed with anchovy, parsley, and garlic flavored bread crumbs;  baccala--salted cod--made into a heavenly dish with hard-boiled eggs, floating in a savory sauce along with little salty green capers and bright red pimentoes.  The table was loaded with platters of lightly fried smelts, delicate sweet slender fish dredged in flour, sauted in olive oil, and served with cold lemon wedges; spicy, plump mussels in marinara sauce; scungilli salad; and my favorite, delicately battered and fried calamari.  One Christmas Eve, my mother prepared eel, which was surprisingly delicious--it tasted like chicken.

After everyone's bellies were filled, the uncles took out their musical instruments--violins, guitars, the older sisters and cousins played the piano, and we sang traditional Italian Christmas songs. [One of my childhood favorites was "Tu scendi dalle stelle." I just called it "Bambino."]  Finally, it was time for midnight Mass.  We all left the house and walked to church.  When we returned, we opened our gifts, played more music, ate more dolci and fell into bed by 2 am, exhausted, full, and happy.  Christmas day we all gathered again for our Christmas dinner--lasagna (in those days lasagna was made only for special occasions), followed by a meat course--roast beef or turkey, verdure (vegetables), salad, fruit, nuts, roasted chestnuts.  And later in the day, dolci--cannoli, pizza dolce, baba rum, and for the adults, caffe correcto (espresso coffee with a shot of sambuca in it).

I continued the tradition of cooking the seven fishes on December 24 when my children were at home, but now that they're living all over the country, it isn't as easy to do so with all of them so far away and on their own schedules.  But here is a feast of seven fishes meal I've made since then and am happy to share with everyone:

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Mussels with orzo (serves two)

2 lbs. mussels, cleaned and scrubbed
4 Tablespoons good fruity olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium stalk of celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
4 plum tomatoes, diced with skin and seeds
1 cup good burgundy wine
2 Tablespoons of minced fresh herbs (basil, mint, oregano, thyme, parsley, tarragon)
12 pitted black olives, sliced in half
1 tspn. anise seeds, crushed
salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
3 Tablespoons minced parsley
1/4 pound of orzo

Boil water for orzo. Put orzo in water and cook until just tender (al dente).

Wash and scrub mussels and set aside. In a large, deep saute pan, saute the next 4 ingredients in olive oil until golden and tender, add plum tomatoes, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and simmer until alcohol evaporates. Place mussels in pan, turn up heat and cook just till the shells open. Remove from heat. Stir in herbs, olives, anise seeds, salt and pepper. Add orzo to pan and stir so that the little rice-shaped pasta gets into the opened mussel shells. Place in deep pasta bowls and sprinkle with minced parsley. Serve immediately

Smelts with lemon (serves 2)

1/2 dozen smelts
3/4 cup flour
salt, pepper
4 Tablespoons olive oil
lemon wedges
1 Tablespoon minced parsley

Go to your local fishmonger and select the freshest smelts. Their eyes must glisten like the newly fallen snow. No cloudiness in the eyes. Ever.

Take the smelts home. Take a pair of scissors and snip off their heads, then run the scissors down the front of the fish and degut them. Very easy.

Wash and dry the smelts. Put the flour on a platter and generously season with salt and pepper. Roll the smelts into the seasoned flour and set aside. Place olive oil in saute pan and heat. Saute the smelts over gentle heat until they take on a golden color. Do not overcook. Place on a platter and squeeze some lemon on them. Serve with more lemon wedges and garnish with minced parsley.

Lobster meat with fresh tomatoes and linguini (serves 2)

1/2 lb. lobster meat (buy shelled at fishmonger or cook your own)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3 plum tomatoes, diced, with skin and seeds.
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon minced parsley

In a medium saute pan, saute the onion and garlic until soft and golden in the combination butter and olive oil. Add the diced plum tomatoes. Simmer for 2/3 minutes. Stir in basil and thyme leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in lobster meat and heat through. Serve over linguini. Sprinkle with minced parsley.

Shrimp Scampi (serves 2)

3/4 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 Tablespoons olive oil
5 oz. of shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 dozen cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 oz. good quality feta or goat cheese
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 Tablespoons combination minced fresh herbs (basil, thyme, mint, tarragon, parsley)

In a medium saute pan, saute the garlic and onion in olive oil until tender, add the mushrooms and simmer for 1-2 minutes, add the white wine and simmer until alcohol burns off. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add shrimp and saute just until they turn pink, do not over cook. Remove from heat. Serve in shallow bowls. Sprinkle cheese and parsley just before serving.

Crabmeat and scallop stuffed filet of sole (serves 2)

2 good sized filets of sole pieces (approx. 1/2 lb. in total weight
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup crab meat
3 large scallops, cut in pieces
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
salt and pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons minced fresh herb combination (basil, thyme, parsley, tarragon, cilantro)
1 Tablespoon toasted pignole nuts
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Lemon wedges

Place the olive oil and butter in saute pan. Add the scallops and cook to tender, add crab meat and heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, cumin seeds, pignole nuts and herbs. Take the two sole filets and spoon mixture evenly on each filet. Carefully roll up the filets and place in glass baking pan. Dot with butter and squeeze lemon on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with minced herbs and serve with lemon wedges.

Pass the Alka-Seltzer and have a Happy Holiday, however you celebrate!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wednesday is Trump "The Biggest Liar of 2015" Hump Day

Trump on Hillary in 2012:

In 2012, as Obama was running for re-election, Trump called Clinton “terrific” again in an interview with Fox News, saying she performed well as Secretary of State. 

 “Hillary Clinton I think is a terrific woman,” he told Greta Van Susteren. “I am biased because I have known her for years. I live in New York. She lives in New York. 

I really like her and her husband both a lot. I think she really works hard. And I think, again, she’s given an agenda, it is not all of her, but I think she really works hard and I think she does a good job. I like her."


This is the character the TeaPublicans believe would be a great representative of the United States of America on the world stage, because he's not pc ! 

He's just good old fashioned vulgar, crass, and boorish.   Someone to make the TeaPublicans proud, because, apparently, he's just like them:

Trump on Hillary this past week:

Even a race to Obama, she was gonna beat Obama. I don't know who would be worse, I don't know, how could it be worse? But she was going to beat -- she was favored to win -- and she got schlonged,* she lost, I mean she lost," Trump said, using a vulgar Yiddish word for a man's penis.

*schlonged To be cockslapped by a man with a large penis.

Trump assured his adoring fans that he would never kill journalists:

In a strange segue in which he defended Russian President Vladimir Putin from widely reported allegations that he has ordered the killing of journalists, Trump went on to consider whether he himself would consider killing reporters, whom he then blasted as "lying disgusting people." "I would never kill them. I would never do that," Trump said at first, before reconsidering.

"Uh, let's see, uh?" Trump said inflecting his voice. "No, I would never do that."

And finally, the Trumper gets his biggest acclamation at the end of this year:

In the 12 years of’s existence, we’ve never seen his match. 

He stands out not only for the sheer number of his factually false claims, but also for his brazen refusals to admit error when proven wrong.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Trump's Supporters

The TeaPublicans are now talking themselves into accepting a Donald Trump nomination for the presidency of the United States. These are the people who support Trump and think he'd make a great president. They are beyond disgusting. 

Trump supporters are what any civilized society hopes to overcome and leave behind. But they will drag this country back to its darkest days of racism, anti-semitism, and bigotry. 

Here are what Donald Trump's supporters had to say about Dana Milbank, a journalist at the Washington Post.

 Trump's supporters:

"Trump may well be a bigot and a racist, but one thing is certain:  The only thing missing from your photo is a [vulgar word for penis' in your mouth, gay bastard."

“Let’s not mince words, Milbank is an anti-white parasite and a bigoted kike supremacist.”

Various Trump defenders derided Muslims as “Muzzies” and “Mo-slimes.” One reader informed me that “Muslims worship a man who f----- a 9-year-old.” They spoke of the “sociopath Hussein” — President Obama — and his “Islamic butt buddies.” But mostly they zeroed in on my Judaism, which they discovered from Internet searches. “You are a kike communist,” one informed me. Another called my girlfriend, who has a common Jewish surname, a “Gross Jewess.” Still another sent me a Nazi-style cartoon of a big-nosed Jewish man with a skull cap and bad teeth.

 “Jews are 2 percent of the population, but 60 percent of the people calling whites ‘racist.’ Once you notice it, you can’t unsee it.”

My Post colleagues Carol Leonnig and David Nakamura and others have documented the racial violence at Trump rallies, including the video of Trump’s personal bodyguard punching an immigration demonstrator in the head. At a Trump event in Las Vegas this week, a Black Lives Matter demonstrator was dragged from the rally as Trump supporters shouted at him: “Kick his ass!” “Shoot him!” “Bitch!” and “Sieg heil!” As one black protester was being removed by security guards, one of those in the crowdshouted: “Light the motherf---er on fire.” As another protester was dragged away, a man screamed: “He’s a Muslim guy!”

Dana Milbank:

"I write this not out of any hope of changing the minds of Trump-backers, nor to reinforce the prevailing view among liberals that Trump has unleashed ugliness. I write this to conservatives of conscience: Is this what you want conservatism, the Republican Party and America to be?"

Donald Trump isn't giving a "middle finger" to the electoral process" or to the GOP establishment.  Donald Trump is giving a big EFF YOU! to the American flag and what it stands for. He and his supporters are, in effect, spitting on it and defiling it. His supporters, those who cheer him on, are an American nightmare.

Friday, December 18, 2015

30% of GOP voters want to bomb fictional city

This tells us everything we need to know about the people who support Donald Trump for preznit:

Poll: 30% of GOP voters support bombing Agrabah, the city from Aladdin

Almost one-third of Republican primary voters would support bombing the fictional kingdom of Agrabah, according to a report released by Public Policy Polling on Friday. 

 More than 530 Republican primary voters were polled this week on their support for Republican candidates and foreign policy issues including banning Muslims from entering the US, Japanese internment camps from the second world war and bombing Agrabah, the kingdom from Disney’s animated classic, Aladdin. 

 Republicans are so bullish on war that 30% would bomb a fictional country Trevor Timm Trevor Timm Read more In its poll, Public Policy Polling asked the 532 Republicans: “Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?” While 57% of responders said they were not sure, 30% said they supported bombing it. Only 13% opposed it.

Donald Trump admires  KGB Commie dictator, Putin, over our American president!  It's okay to praise Commies if you're a Republican!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A message from FDR's granddaughter on the internment of Japanese-American citizens during WWII

Donald Trump is unable to tell the American people whether or not he would use internment camps for Muslims. That he is unable to unequivocally say NO is more evidence of his lack in understanding of our Constitution. The internment camps were wrong then and they would be wrong now. A definitive NO! is what a candidate with moral conviction and a knowledge of constitutional law would say. Trump has neither.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told TIME that he does not know whether he would have supported or opposed the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. 

 “I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer,” he said during a recent interview in his office in New York City. 

“I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer.”

FDR's granddaughter straightens Donald the Weasler out:

Roosevelt Board Chair and FDR Granddaughter Anne Roosevelt released the following statement in reaction to Donald Trump’s Use of WWII Internment to Defend His Intolerant and Divisive Agenda:

 “For Donald Trump to cite my grandfather and internment as a defense of his own intolerant and divisive agenda is reprehensible. The internment of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II is a sad part of our history and, as a part of my grandfather’s administration, a terrible political decision driven by fear. Japanese Americans, who were loyal citizens and who served bravely in the U.S. military, were scarred not only by the physical deprivation of internment but by the denial of the dignity and respect of their own country. As a nation, internment weakened us all. It is a tragic reminder of what happens when we allow fear and hysteria to trump our values.

 “Historians and leaders across the political spectrum agree internment was a grievous mistake and a violation of basic human rights. It detracts from the amazing efforts by my grandfather to rescue our economy and build the foundation of America's great middle class. My grandmother, Eleanor, spoke out publicly against the policy immediately and during its implementation. Internment was wrong then and any effort to discriminate against a group of people based on their race or religion is wrong today.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Donald Trump: Vulgar, Sensational and Buffoonish

Rational Nation USA has a post up on this article in The New Yorker by David Denby

The last paragraph of the article perfectly sums up Trump and why he's been so effective with the people who support him:

He lies all the time. But pointing out his lies, his contradictions, his illogical ideas, his nonsensical solutions—pointing out all of that, while noble and necessary work, is partly beside the point. 

Trump’s entire world picture, as he presents it to his voters, is an elaborate fiction—coherent in itself, like all such extreme fantasies, and therefore emotionally satisfying, but never required, either by Trump or by his audience, to meet the test of factuality and actuality. When he says that the country is in “terrible shape,” his listeners need only feel that their own situation is terrible to agree with him. 

In a similar way, the harrumphing attacks on him by such establishment Republicans as Jeb Bush, Tom Ridge, and Dick Cheney also miss the point. Those men are appealing to some common standard of allowable political discourse that Trump and his followers consider mere evasion. The movement’s standard of allowable behavior has been formed by popular culture—by standup comedy and, recently, by reality TV and by the snarking, trolling habits of the Internet. 

You can’t effectively say that Donald Trump is vulgar, sensational, and buffoonish when it’s exactly vulgar sensationalism and buffoonery that his audience is buying. Donald Trump has been produced by America, but I refuse to say, as some have, that he’s the demagogue that we deserve. 

He’s the demagogue the Republican Party deserves. The rest of us, including some Republicans, will resist him by holding on to whatever humanity and common sense we can command.

If Trump has "opened the windows" as some people believe, he's opened them to let out his toxic fumes of bigotry, racism, sexism, nativism, and all the other isms to stink up and pollute the common values our Founding Fathers gifted us in the Constitution. 

The angry, unhappy people who support him mistake vulgarity for plain speaking and bombastic bigotry for making America great again.  The only good thing that has come out of his deplorable candidacy is that we now know how many of his supporters there are who would sell out the ideals and values this country stands for for the cheap thrill of having a loud-mouth, short-fingered vulgarian speak for them.

Wednesday is Trump Hump Day

Two Americas:

Jonathan Chait: 

"It is hard to find any important accomplishment in history that completely solved a problem. The Emancipation Proclamation only temporarily and partially ended slavery; the 13th Amendment was required to abolish it permanently, and even that left many former slaves in a state of terrorized peonage closely resembling their former bondage. The Lend-Lease Act alone did not ensure Great Britain would survive against Nazi Germany; the Normandy invasion did not ensure the liberation of Europe. 

Victories are hardly ever immediate or complete. The fight continues and history marches on. 

The climate agreement in Paris should take its place as one of the great triumphs in history."

Trump:  The incomparable LIAR:

Donald J. Trump’s record on truth and accuracy is astonishingly poor. 

So far, we’ve fact-checked more than 70 Trump statements and rated fully three-quarters of them as Mostly False, False or “Pants on Fire” (we reserve this last designation for a claim that is not only inaccurate but also ridiculous). 

We haven’t checked the former neurosurgeon Ben Carson as often as Mr. Trump, but by the percentages Mr. Carson actually fares worse. 

 Carly Fiorina, another candidate in the Republican race who’s never held elective office, does slightly better on the Truth-O-Meter (which I sometimes feel the need to remind people is not an actual scientific instrument): 

Half of the statements we’ve checked have proved Mostly False or worse. Most of the professional politicians we fact-check don’t reach these depths of inaccuracy. They tend to choose their words more carefully.

My big question for GOP field: Why didn't more candidates join Bush and Graham in exposing Trump as a bigot and blow hard? Cowards

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Paris Climate Deal Is President Obama’s Biggest Accomplishment

Left behind? That's the Tea Party GOP on Climate Change -- Global Warming.

It would be comical if the subject weren't so critical. 

The intransigent Tea Party GOP is isolated in its stubborn refusal to acknowledge climate change and global warming. 

Idiots who trot out photos of cold winters as "proof" that there is no global warming are showing off their willful ignorance on what the rest of the world and an overwhelming majority of climate scientists and NASA know.   

But those stubborn climate change deniers believe in tribalism more than they believe in facts and evidence. They actually tell themselves that they know more than NASA and other experts who've been studying this subject for years.  

They'll be left behind and will be remembered in the same way as those who denied that the internal combustion engine would replace the horse and buggy: 

LEFT BEHIND while the rest of the world went forward. 

From CNN:

History is littered with examples of thought leaders who did not embrace coming technological shifts. The consequence was simple: You get left behind and become less and less relevant. [...] According to financial analysts such as Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Bernstein Research, and leading investors, it's now very obvious: Creative destruction will inevitably flow through the energy economy in the coming decade, and innovation in renewables will do to coal and oil what cars did to the horse and carriage industry, what digital cameras did to Kodak, PCs to IBM, mobile phones to fixed-line telecoms, Amazon to bookstores and Netflix to Blockbuster.

 Republicans run a huge risk of being associated too closely with the old order, just as the IBM board did when it placed its faith in central mainframes. The psychology of such decision-making is well known. It arises from overconfidence in one's own position and something that psychologists refer to as confirmation bias: the tendency to gravitate toward facts that support one's existing viewpoint and ignore those that don't.

But Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal Constitution: 

But hey, maybe all that data are mere coincidence and the Republicans are right. Maybe the governments of more than 190 countries are wrong, and the Republicans are right. Maybe the overwhelming majority of climate scientists are wrong, and the Republicans are right. Maybe the folks at ExxonMobil and BP and other major oil companies are wrong, and the Republicans are right. 

Maybe earlier generations of Republicans that proposed to address the threat of manmade climate change were wrong, and the modern GOP with its cult-like insistence on ideological conformity is right. Maybe. 

But I don’t want to bet the planet I leave to my children and grandchildren on that unlikely event.

Here are some global warming -- climate change myths that the Tea Party ignorants trot out each time they pretend to argue with facts:

This is just one area from an MIT study that addresses climate change. It is a detailed report on just one area of climate change -- global warming.  And it is a far more intelligent approach than throwing a snowball in the U.S. Senate or publishing an image of a snow storm in winter as an argument against facts.

Biogeochemistry of Greenhouse Gases and Reflective Aerosols

Plus this (which will really make climate change -- global warming deniers' heads explode): 

 Al Gore's film was "broadly accurate" according to an expert witness called when an attempt was made through the courts to prevent the film being shown in schools.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Would Donald Trump let this Jesus into the U.S.?

Would the anti-Middle Eastern hysterics of the usual fright wing news sites and blogs?

British scientists claim that this is the face of Jesus:

This is what Jesus looked like.

In order to create an accurate portrait of Jesus, the first step was to acquire skulls from near Jerusalem, the region where Jesus lived and preached, While this field of science, “forensic anthropology” is usually used to solve crimes, Richard Neave, a medical artist retired from the University of Manchester in England, realized it also could shed light on the appearance of Jesus.

Jesus may be shown as a Caucasian man with long, flowing, often blonde hair in many religious artworks, but Jesus would have likely had a darker complexion and short, curly hair, as [Neave] claims. Retired medical artist Neave has recreated the face of 'Jesus' by studying Semite skulls using modern-day forensic techniques. His portrait shows thaty [Jesus] may have had a wide face, dark eyes, a bushy beard and short curly hair, as well as a tanned complexion.


Without a skeleton or remains that can be categorically confirmed as Jesus, and a lack of physical descriptions in the New Testament, many previous images have been based either on the society in which the painter or sculptor lived or hearsay. 

It's highly improbable that Jesus looked like this:

But it's highly probable, given today's anti-Middle Eastern racism running through the TGOP and other parts of American society, that the anthropologists' forensic version of what Jesus looked like, a dark-skinned, dark bearded Middle Easterner, would get him kicked off a flight to the U.S. from the Middle East and put on a "no-fly" list.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Native Americans, Africans, the Irish, Italians, Asians, Hispanics, Arabs: Same as it ever was.

American history:

From a newspaper article, Boston, Mass.:
Anthony Petrosino's photo.

For those who now consider Itailian-Americans "white"--understand it wasn't always so. The largest mass lynching in U.S. history took place in New Orleans in 1891 — and the victims were Italian-Americans. What was the reaction of our country's leaders to these lynchings? Teddy Roosevelt, not yet president, famously said it was "a rather good thing." The response in The New York Times on March 16, 1891 referred to the victims of the lynchings as "... sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins." 

An editorial the next day argued that: "Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans. ..." John Parker, who helped organize the lynch mob, later went on to be governor of Louisiana. In 1911, he said of Italians that they were "just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in [their] habits, lawless, and treacherous."


"When it was all over, 11 men who had not been found guilty of any crime were dead. Those responsible for the deaths proclaimed their action was a success and justice had been done. The city's business community and the daily newspapers supported the lynchings. A survey showed that 42 of the nation's newspapers approved of the action, while 58 disapproved. A grand jury indicated that if there was guilt, it was shared by the entire mob, estimated at between 6,000 and 8,000 people."

Racism against Native Americans

The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950

Anti-Irish Racism in the United States

The Darkest anti-Semitic Period in U.S. History

Anti-Chinese Movement and Chinese Exclusion

Anti-Japanese Sentiment and Japanese Internment

Hispanics Face Most Discrimination In U.S. (POLL) 

Donald Trump's Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Will Live in Infamy in American History

Same as it ever was.