Ramona's picture

    Why It Means Something When De Niro Says It

    You could spend many wasteful hours going back through at least 30 years of my public utterances--blogs, essays, articles, comments--but you'll never find an F-bomb in any of them. That's not me. It's not my most hated word--that would be the C-word--but it's right up there.

    Ramona's picture

    Democrats, Get Fierce

    (Hi, Daggers, I'm so glad to see my name still up there with those other guys.  I've been hiding for a while, and I've missed you, but I see you're all still in fine fettle. I see, too, that Trump is still president. I guess that means retirement is out of the question?)

    President Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act, on August 14, 1935. Attending were: (L-R) Representative Robert Doughton (D-NC), Senator Robert Wagner (D-NY), Representative John Dingell (D-MI), Representative Joshua Twing Brooks (D-Pennsylvania), Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Senator Pat Harrison (D-MS), and Representative David Lewis (D-MD). (Library of Congress)

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    What Kim Jong-Un Wants

    What does Kim Jong-Un want from this week's summit from President Trump? More than anything else, he wants what he has always wanted, like his father and grandfather before him: to split the U.S. off from its allies South Korea and Japan. The worst part is, he is already getting what he wants.

    jollyroger's picture

    Blundering towards Bethlehem

    As Trump in Singapore bids fair to fulfill the mandate to provide his reality show with an audience pleasing finale, may we friends of humanity argue that no downside lurks in the prospect of a supine Trump, albeit producing a Potemkin peace?

    What I mean is this: Granting that Trump, by definition, understands nothing, what's the worst that could happen?

    The fear seems to be that Trump will "give away" too much in his zeal for a chance to sample the golden shower culture of Oslo. That is obviously bullshit.

    Ted Kennedy's Eulogy for his brother Bobby

    Fifty years ago today, Ted Kennedy delivered a eulogy for his brother Bobby considered by some to be the most profound speech of his career.  Katie Mettler at WaPo today offered an excellent writeup of that moment.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/06/08/those-he-to...

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Zero-Sum Trump and the Chumps

    I used to be close to a pair of senior citizens who'd retired from long, prosperous careers as bookies. And after a while I began to realize that, although they were both still extremely sharp, they were not especially good with money. They weren't catastrophes. They didn't go broke with bad investments. They just never did as well as they should have, almost never got the full value from a deal. They had both done very well in an illegal business, but they seemed weirdly unable to make an honest buck.

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    Last Dreamer Dies, Dream of Legalization Unrealized

    July 4, 2115 - Geraldine Lopez, the last known so-called Dreamer, died of natural causes at age 108 in Virginia. She was the last of the so-called Dreamers, who signed up in a program set up by Barack Obama, President from 2009-2016. The program was intended to create a path to citizenship for children brought to the United States illegally by their parents, and who grew up in the US knowing no other country. Over the decades it has remained in effect due to a mutiplicity of court cases, decisions, edicts and appeals, but just for those who were in up to 2018. Republicans have used the issue over and over in campaigns, to motivate their dwindling, mostly white rural, base to show up at the polls. Over many, many campaigns, Republicans have cast the aging, and over recent decades diminishing in numbers, Dreamers as everything from dangerous terrorists to lazy moochers.  Most notably, Republicans cast Dreamers, who were never eligible for federal programs, as "abusing freeloaders", and the reason the Republicans, who controlled Congress and the Presidency those years, claimed they "had no choice" but to "reluctantly" end Medicaid and Medicare in 2038, and Social Security in 2040. 

    Reflections--Somewhat Belated--on Israel's 70th Anniversary

    The debate about the events in Israel/Palestine in 1948 will be going on at least until there is an Arab-Israeli peace, and maybe longer than that.  But I think humane, reasonable people who know the history will agree that what Jews did to Arabs in 1948 was very bad indeed. There were about a dozen massacres, many expulsions, and 700,000 people exiled and dispossessed.(If you need sources, check Benny Morris' The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem and Walid Khalidi's All That Remains).

    What WSJ knew & when: Avenatti dumps

    To:               Michael Cohen[mcohen©trumporg corn]
    From:          Keith Davidson
    Sent:           Thur 11/3/2016 7:31:38 Al

    Subject: Fwd. WSJ

    FYI

    Sent from my mobile device Begin forwarded message

    From: Keith Davidson <[email protected]>
    Date: November 2, 2016 at 3:43 :32 PM PDT
    To: "Palazzolo, Joseph" <[email protected]>, "[email protected]" <[email protected]_com>
    Subject: RE,: WSJ

    Joe,

    We spoke last week. At that time, I told you that I had never represented Donald Trump nor anyone adverse to him.

    Yet you persist to call anyone and everyone under the sun, (including my current clients with whom I have contractual relationships), and whom I am currently representing in litigation matters.

    I understand that you are attempting to report that I am representing "women from Donald Trump's past" and that I am "presumably seeking settlements_"

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    Gun Massacres: Why the Republican Party Doesn't Act

    Nicholas Kristof yesterday had a roughly 3000 word essay with loads of data titled "How to Reduce Shootings". The word "Republican" does not appear at all in it. "NRA" - uh, no mention of it.  "Liberal" appears twice, as in "Frankly, liberal opposition to guns has often been ineffective, and sometimes counterproductive. The 10-year ban on assault weapons accomplished little...." Nick, the careful sincere liberal, being very politically correct, gives reams of data, never mentions Republicans, so as not to upset Republicans, as he just gives them..the GOP....the cold hard facts...!! Don't laugh, please.  There are eight dead students, and two teachers, whose lives have just been ended, and survivors, some gravely wounded, facing years of pain. Kristof means well, but as has been abundantly clear on many issues, facts do not matter to the Republican Party.

    Richard Day's picture

    THE NADIR

    I have reached the nadir.

    How much more can I fall?

    And yet, according to Wiki, even the nadir is relative at best.

    We have a potus who lies.

    He lies about his height.

    He lies about his weight.

    He lies about his net assets.

    He lies about his previous statements.

    He lies about his current statements.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    My Latest for Faithfully Magazine

    When Jerry Falwell Sr. replaced Jim Bakker at his Praise The Lord organization following rape allegations and a hush-money payment to Jessica Hahn, he ultimately refused to defend him. Falwell Sr. publicly described Bakker as "the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history." One generation later, Jerry Falwell Jr. has appeared on every major cable news network to defend the exact same behavior his father condemned...

    Read the rest at:

    https://faithfullymagazine.com/hypocrisy-conservative-evangelicals/

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    Gaza

    Monday's IDF commander was not a war criminal.

    It's absolutely impossible to say who was "responsible" for that day's 60 deaths. The unspoken assumption underlying a lot of Monday's press coverage is that Israel was to blame. Rightly so?

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Michael Cohen and AT&T

    To me, the most striking thing about AT&T paying Michael Cohen for, I guess, “advice” about how the Trump Administration might handle the Time Warner-AT&T merger is what a waste of money it was.  If AT&T thought that Cohen could influence Trump in favor of the deal, it was money ill-spent.

    Silver Lining: the Skin I'm Not In

    Realizing AR/VR will make this appropriation "problem" mainstream everpresent  explosive inevitable or go away completely. With Second Life 15 years ago you could make your own avatars and virtual worlds, appropriating whatever you wanted to from whomever and whatever. With Augmented and Virtual Reality, you no longer have to build your own worlds an characters - these are just new skins and templates in various libraries and pulled real-time out of real life. I don't even need to see *you* as you want - I can make you into a Tongan warrior princess (Maiello) or an effete Broadway theater goer (Peter) or a pack of feral kidney-craving zombies (all of you). I can change these instantly, or choreograph you lip-syncing to Justin Bieber or baying at the moon or giving a spanking to Donald Trump while watching Shark Tank. You will no longer be in control of your own image - your $100 hairdo can be remodeled in a moment to a depression-era bowl cut. Not into tattoos? You are now, right on the _ _ _ _. Weight problem? I just gave you anorexia (and a skin disease - sorry, got a bit carried away).

    Bronze Medal: why can't I change my skin?

    Set off by Vogue & Gigi Hadid's "scandal" over a bronzed up photo shoot, I'm amazed by what we can or cannot do. I can go to a tanning salon or the Bahamas to get as dark as can be, put on Smokey Eye and that's presumably fine. I can go into plastic surgery and give myself tits, tighter abs, a smooth face, almond eyes with a pert nose, and of course do my hair style in whatever manner or color (presumably - maybe some are off limits). If I transition to a woman, people will be supporting my right to use other bathrooms and not be discriminated against, and gender and sexual preference is a matter of what I "identify" with. If I dress up as an outrageous transvestite woman as Rudy Giuliani did, I'd just be a good sport, showing solidarity with LGBTQ. The Village People could costume up as whatever as part of the fun. De Niro could tubby up superfat to play Jake La Motta, and Daniel Day-Lewis could get in line with the intricacies and nuances of Cerebral Palsy to play Christy Brown, while dressing drag was the key plot device in Academy winners Some Like It Hot and Mrs. Doubtfire.

    But as a high school girl discovered, it's not okay to put on a Chinese dress (unless willing to take 1000's of Twitter condemnations). As kids are discovering, it's not okay to be Pocahantas on Halloween. As Gigi Hadid found out, fake tans are only allowed so far before "appropriation" kicks in. Presumably Adam & the Ants could never regroup and keep the  Indian  Native American regalia. Rachel Dolezal discovered that "identifying as black" wasn't enough, even though she followed that up with action & involvement.

    Richard Day's picture

    DAVID FRUM & REDEMPTION

    I used to hate David Frum.

    I took over five or seven hours listening to him lately; as he admonishes the idiots who voted for Trump.

    Every historical analysis involves context.

    I never knew David Frum.

    I never met with Mr. Frum.

    SO WHY DID I HATE HIM SO?

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Ross Douthat: Sexual Moronae

    Of course, Ross Douthat is writing about the "Incels," which are guys who can't get laid and then turn to the dark side of blaming women for their sexual failures and mostly ranting online about it. Spoiler alert for the cultural infinity wars: Ross thinks that lefties are equally to blame for the attitudes of men who think they're owed a screw.  Further spoiler alert -- like an incel waking from a deep sleep, Douthat is all wet.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Money: Living Without Enough Of It

    Money can’t buy you love or solve all of your problems, but it can alleviate a lot of the stress we feel.

    Inflation is real! There are very few commodities or services that are the same price (or cheaper) now than they were just a few years ago. With all of the economic pressure we face, is it possible to responsibly plan for the future while enjoying the fruits of your labor?

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