Doctor Cleveland's picture

    He Knows He's Losing: Trump as Mike Tyson

    The most obvious thing to me about last night's toxic sludge fire of a debate is that Trump knows he's losing. Bigly. And he has no idea what to do about it. Many pundits are confused on this point, because they treat Trump as a conventional politician or as a media figure rather than as a psychiatric patient. And if you don't view Trump through the lens of his maladies, you misunderstand him. Trump is not a serious politician. Comparing him to other Republican presidential candidates doesn't help you understand him. This is not Mitt Romney.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    The Shockingly Unbelievable Case of What the Man-Eating Monsters Ate

    The town of Rock Springs, Wyoming has a violet past. Violent to the point it was long ago called "The Murder Capital of America," and it was a moniker deserved. The years have passed and the population has dwindled and with that, the violence has slowed down. Not stopped, mind you, as at least once a year someone shoots someone else for reasons fair or foul. But the residents didn't get shaken up about these sort of things. They had seen it all. At least, until the monsters came.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Mayor from Jaws Explains those Quotes he Gave Bob Woodward

    Everyone knows I want to be a cheerleader for Amity Island, right? You want to project confidence. So while I might have told some reporter from the mainland that we were facing “a  grotesque, Biblical monster of the deep,” “a bloody, churning nightmare of teeth,” or “a lean, mean tourist-eating machine,” there was no reason to tell the general public that. You don’t want to start a panic, fellas. Just think of the kids.

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    U.S. Constitution hospitalized following suicide attempt

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Constitution, the long respected legal document of the United States government, is in serious condition at George Washington University Hospital, following a suicide attempt late last night. Sources close to the document say it despondently tried to shred itself in a nearby office shredder at approximately 11 p.m. Monday.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Fear, Loathing, and Pandemics

    An epidemic turns out to be a rotten time to have a germophobe President. Trump's more obvious pathologies -- ignorance, narcissism, magical thinking, pathological lying -- have gotten the obvious attention, because those are all real dangers to public safety. But Trump's germophobia makes him fundamentally unsuited to a public health crisis. His focus on making sure that he, personally, does not get ill, is just the mindset that increases the number of people who will. Selfishness helps an epidemic thrive. The outbreak can only be defeated by cooperation.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    A Response To Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties

    Greetings fellow Dagbloggers. I hope you all are doing well. It's been a few weeks since the Commonwealth of Virginia turned BLUE. It's been 25 years since the Democrats controlled the Governor's mansion and both houses. This has already caused panic in some of the more conservative rural areas. Several counties are seeking to create "2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties".

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    How Should We Think About Impeachment?

    Impeachment hearings are here whether we want them or not. The next few weeks, like all of the weeks before them, will be full of misinformation and half truths. 

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why Booing Trump Matters

    Various elite media types clucked, scolded, and clutched their pearls after Donald Trump got booed at the World Series and some of the crowd spontaneously chanted "Lock him up!" Because when ordinary voters do it, it's "uncivil." When Trump does it, it's the Voice of the People. But the talking heads' discomfort was about something more important: cognitive dissonance. Trump being booed threatens their worldview. The American media cannot accept the fact that President Trump is unpopular.

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    (11) UKE-GATE IMPEACH GRAB BAG - CRITICAL THREADS

    Place holder for Uke-Gate stories that shouldn't roll off the blogroll. Will update number as it climbs. Not sure yet which stories qualify, but probably ones that best support the limited area of Uke-Gate & similar acts being impeachable behavior, and not just a one-off but repeated violation and/or dereliction of duty.

    1) Trumps's private hush hush hit team - Rudy, DiGenova, Toensing - https://www.thedailybeast.com/joe-digenova-and-victoria-toensing-worked-...

    2) Ur-Report of Uke-gate - where this reporting started (James Risen - from which it got twisted) -  https://theintercept.com/2019/09/25/i-wrote-about-the-bidens-and-ukraine...

    Updated in May by Robert Mackey to correct NYTimes reporting that left way too much innuendo: https://theintercept.com/2019/05/10/rumors-joe-biden-scandal-ukraine-abs...

    3) Did Trump withhold a memo from Mueller summarizing key Russia meeting? https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/09/white-house-hide-memo-trump-...

    4) When Jared got a blockade put on Qatar after Qatar wouldn't help out on his property - earlier Trump Shakedown Street example - https://www.newsweek.com/jared-kushner-backed-qatar-blockade-after-qatar...

    5) How Memorializing Conversations works/should work in the White House, including reaching consensus & distributing that info to affected persons/departments - https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/29/trump-white-house-ukr...

    6) Special Ukraine Envoy Volker's odd conflicts of interest - https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/28/trump-ukraine-kurt-volker-1517874

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Impeaching the Black Swan

    I have no idea how the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump will play out. Neither does anyone else. The most important thing to remember when reading media coverage of the impeachment process is that the writer has no idea how the impeachment process is likely to go. This goes for everybody.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Time is Not on Biden's Side

    Joe Biden looks great on paper. Polling at over thirty percent, he dominates his Democratic rivals by fifteen points or more, and he crushes Donald Trump in head-to-head polls. He has half-a-century of political experience, and his middle-class Scranton roots will appeal in Pennsylvania and other rust-belt swing states. Firmly in control of the centrist vote, he can sit back while his opponents squabble over the left wing.

    But he’s unlikely to become the Democratic nominee for President.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Hoarding, Archiving, and the Public Domain: Universal Vault Edition

    The New York Times Magazine just dropped a piece on the complete destruction of every master recording in Universal's West Coast vault. I haven't even finished reading it, because it's so terrible I have to digest it in installments and take breaks. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable master tapes were destroyed.
     

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    A Warning from 1992

    Lately, I've been thinking about where things went wrong. Donald Trump is the culmination, not the genesis, of America's nationalistic trend. I suspect that the turn came, ironically, at the moment of the West's greatest triumph, when Gorbachev embraced western values of democracy and capitalism, and the Soviet Union disintegrated.

    Exploring the era, I came across this insanely prescient essay from 1992. I've never been a fan of David Gergen, but damn, he nailed this one. The article is firewalled, so I'll share a few of his predictions.

    Staggered by an economic downturn that has taken a deeper psychological toll than expected and frustrated by a paralysis in its politics, the United States toward the end of 1991 turned increasingly pessimistic, inward and nationalistic...Insistent cries came along that the nation should embrace a new philosophy of putting America first: turn a hard, flinty eye toward economic competitors, said its advocates, and curtail the long tradition of generous idealism in foreign policy.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Bill de Blasio Would Make a Great President

    Rumor has it that Bill de Blasio will be announcing a run for president some time next week and the response I’ve seen has been all snark and chortles, even from the left.  I get it — in such a crowded field, another candidate almost seems absurd on its face at this point.  Another issue is that de Blasio is not a particularly popular mayor here in New York City, which invites jokes that we residents are trying to export him to the rest of the country.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    How Far Will Trump Go?

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously invited Russia to hack his opponent’s email. He later claimed that it was just a joke. But when Donald Trump Jr. was told that Russia’s “crowd prosecutor” had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the younger Trump replied, “I love it,” and set up a meeting between the campaign leadership and Russian emissaries. Though nothing apparently came of this meeting, many have wondered why no one from the campaign reported Russia’s operations to Homeland Security.

    Well, President Trump now runs Homeland Security. We should be wondering what he’ll do when Russia tries to get him reelected in 2020.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Should Our Allies Hack Our Elections?

    Two things about the Mueller report are not up for debate: the Russians interfered in our last election, and no one is going to do anything about that. One party is hobbled by the need for bipartisanship, and the other so blinded by partisanship that they'll treat attempts to ward off foreign interference as political attacks on their own side. While we're making this about Trump, out foreign adversaries are preparing to attack our elections again. We haven't punished them or done anything to stop them, so why would they stop? All we've done is give them time to improve their methods.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    You Can Never Undo Losing an Election

    Picture it... November 2000.  George W. Bush loses the popular vote to Al Gore but is declared President anyway because a Supreme Court made up of key people appointed by George W. Bush’s father decided that vote counting should cease in a state where George W. Bush’s brother was governor.  I was 25 years old.  I thought, for a months, “there’s no way this will be allowed to stand.”

    It was allowed to stand.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Is the US Heading for Anti-Hate Speech Laws?

    Was reading this morning about people in New Zealand being criminally prosecuted for downloading, distributing and even making statements in favor of the Mosque shooting.  New Zealand is a free and open society where freedom of expression is protected, but free speech rights are not quite so clear as they are here in the U.S.

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    On Breaking up Google - this is not your Grandma's Monopoly

    Another election and another round of liberal posturing - "how do we beat down the corporates, how do we dismantle their power?" "Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple...," exclaims Elizabeth Warren, "along with their little subsidiary acquisitions". Let's call these The Big Four.

    So let's tear this down - first, are these the monopolists you're looking for? Back in the day of the Robber Barons, we had goons showing up to beat up the competition - quite a bit of heat brought down on anyone who was in competition. This kind of activity is pretty rare these days - mostly it's just that customers are flocking to the big boys, and that's just tough on the rest.

    The IT age truly hit when Microsoft ended up with a practical monopoly on the desktop. Sure, Apple could scrape out 4 million laptop & desktop sales a quarter with a huge comparative margin, and techies could go for Linux or lately Chromebooks, but in terms of units at home and in the workplace, DOS-Windows machines predominated since 1982, and still do. Microsoft went on to do quite well in the Office software and database business - and people howled to break them up. But in the end, they went from a dominant consumer company to a dominant enterprise software company, with the whole industry resigning itself to the fact that the OS is boring, and is best off boring, and all the OS wars in the 70's and 80's mostly led to things not working with each other, whereas the Windows behemoth solved that problem. Until the Web came along and made everything interoperable in a different way, so the Windows monopoly became a "who cares?" We got a little flurry of excitement when Steve Jobs decided to put a knife in the heart of Flash and Adobe itself, pretending to go to a new standard that was far from market ready - and suddenly we saw what we'd avoided for 2 decades - having to choose when we really didn't care. Sure, Excel rolled over Lotus-1-2-3 and M$ killed some other fine mail & database software companies, but it was the 90's, baby - the Internet Age, and if things hadn't just worked, that would have harshed our mellow. 

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Amazon’s Big Swingin’ Di—

    Well, The National Enquirer seems to have stepped in it by trying to go toe-to-toe with Jeff Bezos and his unlimited wallet.  The lame supermarket tabloid published details of Bezos’ affair (which I do not know because I never got caught up in the story) which has led to an impending divorce and Bezos wanting to know how those losers got information about his private life and having the means to launch his own investigation.

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