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.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Art of No Deal

    As everyone has already noticed, a president who boasts about his deal-making skills, author of The Art of the Deal, has been unable to strike a deal to keep his own government funded. Worse, he actually blew up a deal in the making, and now negotiations from the White House side seem to have all but stopped. This is because the word "deal" doesn't mean what Donald Trump thinks it means. He doesn't want a deal. He wants a "win," which he defines as the other side losing. And that makes deal-making impossible.

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    Ramona's picture

    Our Bleeding Hearts Might Have Saved Us

    Today marks the anniversary of the Dread Fiend Trump's official entry into politics, not as dog catcher, not even as city clerk, but as President of these United States.
     

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your Public Domain Report for 2018

    Hey gang! It's time for Public Domain Day again, where we list all of the music, film, books, and other pieces of art leaving copyright today. And here's that list again, just like last year:

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

    Happy New Year.

    Although the Framers of the Constitution only gave Congress power to grant copyrights and patents "for a limited time," repeated extensions have made sure that nothing has entered the public domain in the United States since January 1, 1979. Today makes nearly forty years since that happened.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    When You're Adorable to Deplorables

    Our friend Josh has been making the point that public revelations of predatory behavior only matter to people and entities who have to serve constituencies that care about such things. This seems an obvious point. The bachelor party at Scores is not going to get worked up about people objectifying the dancers, at least not on that particular night.  It does mean, however, that the political/social consequences of engaging in such behavior will differ more based on who you are or what you serve than what you did.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The New York Times Wants You to Know How Normal Everyone Is Here at the Applebee's

    Here in bucolic Fairfield, California, amidst rolling vineyards and struggling big-box stores, unassuming souls like Norman Bates go largely unremarked. While most Americans would instinctively recoil from his habit of brutal murder and the uses to which he puts his victims’ bodies, here in Middle America he is Norman Next Door, a soft-spoken young man whose manners nearly any mother would applaud, working to keep open a family motel that serves both as symptom and as symbol of the economic anxieties roiling the heartland. Norman has heard murmurs advocating radical change, from Wal-Mart’s gun aisle to the local church’s pork-and-beans supper, and seems guardedly optimistic. Perhaps it will become easier for him to date. “Most girls don’t want to hear about being violently stabbed to death and having selected portions of their remains repurposed,” he says, browsing the knives at the dollar store. Now, he feels, things may be about to go his way.

    Ramona's picture

    Al Franken Shouldn't Resign

     Yes, I'll say it, and I hope it's not too late: Al Franken should not resign. He shouldn't be forced to resign, either by the Democrats who (rightly) can't abide double standards or the Republicans who would love to see a Democratic knock-down. I can agree that what he did to Leann Tweeden was stupid, gross, and as close to sexual predation as it gets, and still want him to stay where he is.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Then They Came for Bill Clinton (Again)

    Really, liberals?  Really?  More than seventeen years after we movedon.orged this issue, we're going to turn on Bill Clinton? As with most progressive mistakes, this seems to come from a well-meaning place.  We lefties like to be intellectually and ethically consistent and we are trying to make the world a better, more inclusive place, after all.

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    Victory for 3rd Way Democrats?

    Well, it's Monday morning, figuratively speaking, and victory has many fathers & mothers while losing's an orphan, as JFK noted. So putting a stake in the ground...

    Has the centrist Democrat revived over the last year? Let's see how this went - Wilmont Collins won as a black Liberian immigrant in Helena - and a member of Child Protection Services and the Naval Reserves - focused on support for the homeless and increased funding for police and fire departments. Can we split that baby any nicer?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    On Donna Brazile...

    ...yeah, no, I just can't.

    Except to say that I really don't believe that Bernie Sanders ever expected a warm embrace from the party establishment that he was explicitly running against.

    Also, the warm embrace of the party establishment does not seem to translate automatically into winning the general election, so there's that.

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    Week in Rear View: All the Kingsmen

    Lost almost an hour's worth of link collecting last night trying to summarize the shape we're in, so here's a quick stab as the news keeps piling up.

    Big news last week was Manafort & Gates being indicted last week & finding out Papodopolous had pled and talked some months ago - Rick Gates being key as he stayed on with Trump's campaign to the end, while Manafort slid out earlier to avoid controversy (but never cut connections), while more of Manafort's ties to Russian mafia/power brokers became public. Judge found this week Manafort's release from home confinement denied as risky. But that quickly led to a slew of other revelations.

    Remember, Trump himself notes he hires all the smart people, the rich people. What you're smelling is the stench of burning braincells and crime cells - ain't it grand?

    On Counts and Balances

    As confirmed this week yet again, a piece of salacious gossip spun silly can travel the world before we put our adult hats - analytic minds for Kahneman fans - back on and rein it in. On the "plus" side, as one commenter noted, we now know the DNC was pants, an accident that already 'appened. On the minus side, we now know:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Social Media Sucks and Taibbi and Ames Are Not Rapists

    In 2000, Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames wrote a book called The Exile, about their time in the 1990s running an English-speaking alternative newspaper in Moscow, after the fall of the Soviet Union and during what we now look back on as the rise of oligarchs and Vladimir Putin.  The Exile crashed together the ethos of gonzo journalism from the Hunter Thompson years (still ongoing) with the style of the self-published Zine movement (not yet displaced by blogs) with what we might still recognize as "regular journalism" (which no longer exists, I kid.)

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