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.

    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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    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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    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.

    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.

    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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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Our Narrow Focus on Subsistence and Working for the Economy

    There are two pieces in the Times today, separated by the chasm of sections and seemingly unconnected, that to me tell and interesting story.

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    "Irony my Shirt": 18 months on

    It's 18 months past the stolen election, and we can itemize different ways it was stolen/cheated/rigged, even if all the testimony and indictments haven't come through yet. There's enough to piece together. Not just the politics, but the whole background of criminality and illegal hidden influence. And of course the successful effort to start tearing apart our government (put in place those determined to destroy what they're in charge of - hardly subtle).

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Don Corleone's Guide to Attorney-Client Privilege

    So the President of the United States is very concerned, and very confused, about attorney-client privilege. Let me try to explain, using the example of Tom Hagen from The Godfather. Why The Godfather? Two reasons. First, I want to. Second, I have a terrible suspicion that some of Trump's misunderstanding comes from watching the Godfather movies. (He does love TV.) Trump reportedly believes any meeting that has a lawyer in the room is protected by attorney-client privilege, and oh my sweet God is that not true.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Go Nixon, Go!

    I wasn't planning on enthusiastically supporting Cynthia Nixon's bid to become New York's governor, which should lead to a primary challenge against incumbent Andrew Cuomo, absent shenanigans.  I was planning, instead, to hear her out, given that I am largely unsatisfied with Andrew, who has proven annoyed me by feuding with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio when he should be doing right by the people who pay most of the taxes around here. which is us New Yorkers.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Do You Have The Right to Secrets?

    The world is not consistent on this point, but I think I've been pretty reliably of the belief that people's consensual and private romantic entanglements really aren't anybody else's business, absent naked hypocrisy on the issue by people in public life. That way, I can forgive Bill Clinton and John Edwards their affairs and not so much Newt Gingrich, who is a public scold and worse.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Partial List of Hope Hicks's White House Duties

    White lies
    Little fibs
    Harmless prevarications
    Genteel fictions
    Telling the truth mainly, but stretchin' it some
    Artful misdirection
    Poetic license
    Ramona's picture

    While Trump is Stealing the Show his Cronies are Stealing us Blind

    I'm sick of hearing Trump, seeing Trump, laughing at Trump, agonizing over Trump. I'm sick of Donald J. Trump, the squatter in the White House, making a mockery of our presidency.

    He's a president like a third rate comic spoofing the highest job in the land would be president. His stake is only in drawing an audience; he has no feeling for what the real job would be like. It's  beyond his capacity to get that deep into the role, and nothing says he has to. He revels in his "free to be me" rhetoric and the crowds keep on coming.
     

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    The Accidental Revolution

    A funny thing has happened to the Revolution on steroids that was supposed to take us by storm. The complaints that would define us turned out to be lukewarm after all (seems whites in flyover country were less than worried about jobs, and the need for free education hasn't been dominating the front pages (yet?), while others like $12/$15 minimum wage are less than likely to get a national listening under current government).

    But several issues have gained traction - some old, some new, some red, some blue... #MeToo may be receiving some deflection, but it appears it's real beyond pink pussyhats and the casting couches of Hollywood. Even Fox had a heretic on its CPAC review, and tried quickly to veer off into "poor accused men", before going viral.

    #RussiaGate is now in full scandal mode with domestic and foreign indictments, full charges against Manafort, Gates in full confessional flip mode, and the Nunes Memo now rebutted and exploded all over GOP faces.

    #BlackLivesMatter is a thing - the smear job against black athletes has finally failed, and worries about blacks' security and well-being have gained prominence over traditional canards about the troops and the needs of sport fans, while Michael Steele just blew the racist club out of the CPAC water.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Deputy Who Didn't Shoot

    People, including the President of the United States, are heaping scorn and shame on the Broward County Deputy who was assigned to protect Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, but who did not go into the building to confront the Parkland shooter. He has lost his job. He will probably never live this down, and may never get over his guilt. I don't particularly admire him, but we should not pretend for a second that he is the reason that lives were lost. I might hope and wish he'd gone into that building, but his behavior was completely normal.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    I Really Want To Go Into The Cockpit (And It's My Right)

    I'm a good person and not at all crazy or harmful to anybody in any way.  It's just that when I fly, I have my preferences.  Some people like to drink.  Some people nap.  Some read or watch movies or listen to music.  I like to go into the cockpit to talk with the crew.  I've been doing it since I was a kid.  They used to give you little plastic wings to pin to your shirt on American Airlines and TWA. There is nothing more sacred and American than this.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Enemy of The President is Not Your Friend

    Donald Trump tends to turn things upside down just by being Donald Trump. Of late, His Fraudulency has hurled himself into a feud with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, turning the agency into an arm of the resistance.  Except that the FBI is not a leftist organization, not by a long shot, and it never has been and neither is the rest of the security/intelligence apparatus in the U.S.

    James Comey is not a good guy.

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    Feeding the Dinosaurs: The Death of Movement 2.0

    I'm going to do what I largely dislike doing - linking to a New Republic article instead of writing me own blog piece - because it needs to be discussed.

    10 years ago we'd won the Presidential election, and had introduced a new modern style of grassroots participation that had started with Howard Dean's shortlived efforts in 2004.

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