A Visit from St. Vlad

    'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the site
    Not a blogger was stirring, no postings in sight.
    The comments were lined by the masthead with care
    With hopes for some non-Trump discussion as fare
    While readers rolled restlessly slumped in their beds
    Damning hangover headaches that chastened their heads.
    My alias and I had just poured a nightcap,
    thinking we'd hack out some politically motivated crap.
    When out in the blogosphere there arose such a natter,
    A tweetstorm with fake news that filled it with chatter.
    Off to my Facebook I flew in a rage
    To offer my musings on each open page.

    Ramona's picture

    In the Battle for America the Internet is our War Room


    It's been a while, I know, but I'm back in the saddle, ready to do my thing, hoping I can do it without an overabundance of whining or spitting at people. (Not that that's what I've been doing.) But first I need to say this up front and out loud:

    I despise everything Donald Trump says and does and what he stands for (whatever that might be at any given moment), and I'll never accept that he is anything close to what a half-way decent president of the United States ought to be.

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    Bring on the Lepers

    I stopped by an exhibit in the station this eve, a nice large format profile of dozens of homeless and the sheltered, their stories - the guy who finds out he's adopted when he finally gets his various documents on leaving high school, the woman who manages to free herself from an abusive husband only to lose her leg to disease and get thrown out of guest work in England, another who can't manage to stay off the juice, one's a mechanic who works hard but always finds himself on the wrong end of some scam or people who don't pay the bills. They describe their day, how they survive and pass the time. I see similar folks in front of the station, handing out their magazines trying to earn a few coins of respectable money in return for their soup and sandwich. Some have started giving tours to tourists and locals, showing the city from the homeless point of view, even though one's a struggling male prostitute with AIDS, others have different impediments that make it unusual for them to mingle and present their world.

    "There are a million stories in the naked city - this has been a few of them". A few that cut through.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Rage and Outrage Economy

    The Daily Beast asked me to write about the relationship between Carl Icahn and Donald Trump.  I responded with a piece about how Icahn's decades of shareholder activism are the foundation for Trump's corporation-focused Twitter rants.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Man positive oncoming train won't really hit him

    When Norm Rixon woke up this morning, he expected it to be like any other morning with some coffee, news and time with Shifty, his dog. Instead, he awoke tied to train tracks in a dusty location outside Joshua Tree, Calif.

    "I did not expect that," said Rixon, 32.

    Despite his predicament, Rixon said he felt confident things would work out for him.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Truth Before Transition

    Barack Obama will hold a press conference tomorrow at 2:30 pm EST, before his family heads on their annual (well-earned) vacation to Hawaii.  We can hope for something important tomorrow as the White House has now made the following statements about Russia's election hacks:

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    In Defense of Ebeneezer Scrooge

    Oh, joy. The War on the War on Christmas is back. People are hollering that now that Trump has been elected, everyone is going to have to say "Merry Christmas" all the time and have "Merry Christmas" said to them all the time, whether they like it or not, and they don't like it, screw them anyway. What better way to express the meaning of Christmas? It's so very far from the spirit of Christian humility and love that I find myself, against all odds, ready to mount a defense of Ebeneezer Scrooge.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Hegemony, Demographics, and "Populism"

    "And before we knew it we were totally outnumbered at the family gatherings and consigned to a corner of the sectional, whispering and ducking among the flying hands, feeling rather small and blind, like moles or voles trembling in the shadows of the raptors."

    When I first heard Paul Hostovsky's poem "Hegemony" I was so caught up with the in-group out-group role reversal narrative that I completely missed the poems lesson: communication. In the poem the protagonist has three deaf cousins who were largely ignored by the rest of their family, but through a series of marriages, births, divorces, and new marriages the biblical narrative of "the first shall be last and the last shall be first" was manifested. The deaf cousins found themselves the center of attention. The "small and blind" feeling the new minority of the hearing felt was based solely on their response to their new position within the family. The majority's willingness to ignore the minority left them on the outside looking in. Maybe we need to start communicating better and read more poetry? 

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    That Nicaragua Feeling

    It's already become a transition cliche that Donald Trump is turning the US into a banana republic.  We've got the situational diplomacy, the crony appointments and the massive conflicts of interest as the president-elect clings to his global real estate and branding business even as he is about to take power.

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    Ramona's picture

    Trump is Trump, But Who Are We?

     


    Nearly three weeks in and Donald Trump is still the president-elect. Never mind how we feel; it's how he feels that counts. Just ask him. He has remained the man he always was, and why not? Good God, the man loves who he is!  His adoration for himself is dazzling. The scope of his self-love is breathtaking. In his eyes he is a commanding figure, a smooth operator, just what the world has been waiting for--a man with a colossal brain, a dick to die for, and no double chin AT ALL!
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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    The Social Silences SHHH!

     Last week I wore an Italian suit made in China. Let me say that again: I wore an Italian suit made in China. The designer's name was prominently displayed on a hanging placard attached to the left jacket sleeve, a smaller one on the vest, and a tag inside the pants. After a week with my tailor it was time to debut my newest set of threads. While I was pinning my handkerchief inside the breast pocket I noticed a made in China label.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Having a Partisan Thanksgiving

    I hope you've all had a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving. I was lucky to host this year, with both my wife's family and mine traveling here to scenic Ohio, and I was also the lucky cook. (I took over turkey and gravy a few years ago, but this was my first year doing the whole meal, and -- since people had traveled to see us -- also feeding the crew on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.) And I was lucky enough to avoid political arguments at the table, because no one in my family voted for Trump. But political arguments on Thanksgiving are not the end of the world.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Trump Will Rebrand His Way To The Truth

    I'm reading today that people are shocked, just shocked, that Donald Trump would seemingly allow Paul Ryan to privatize Medicare when Trump explicitly promised his supporters that he would protect their entitlements during the campaign.  Surely, say the shocked, people will now see through the man's lies.

    As far as "you said one thing and did another," this is a pretty open and shut case, right?

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    I'm Staying American. How About You?

    Because I love my country, Tuesday's election broke my heart. My fellow Americans -- less than half of us, but still too many -- turned their backs on what is best in our country to elect a man who has no love and no understanding of the things that make America great: freedom and equality.

    Somewhere between forty-seven and forty-eight percent of voters decided that they wanted a race-baiting authoritarian instead. Those voters turned out not to love the same country I do, not to love it for the reasons it is worth loving.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Making Trump Normal (Again)

    I don't watch a lot of cable news anymore but I obviously did last night and tonight I tuned into Anderson Cooper 360 and whatever Don Lemon's show is called, for coverage of the protests that have sprung up in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, and other major cities.  The message of tonight's coverage echoes the message of Hillary Clinton's concession speech.  All they are saying is give Trump a chance.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Today is National Moron Day

    No way to be nice about this.  If you voted for Trump, I don't want to hear it.  You're a moron.  I retain a smidge fo sympathy for third party voters but if you voted Trump, you're dumb and will reap the results.

    But I am also mad at some other stupid idiots out there.

    We have to start with the Clinton campaign, which begged me for a dollar, every day since the start of the primaries, and then blew an easy lay-up.

    Then we have the national media, especially NBC, which created and nurtured Donald Trump and turned him into an uncontrollable force.

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    Ramona's picture

    America, What Have You Done?

     

    Last night, against all odds, against everything that's holy, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.  A vile, cruel man who flaunts his fame and fortune, who exacts revenge in the form of name-calling and slander, a man who has a history of lying, cheating, and ruthlessly attempting to destroy anyone who goes against him, will be, as of January 20, 2017, the most powerful man in the world.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Vote for American Democracy. Vote Hillary.

    This Tuesday, I want to ask you to vote for something bigger than a person. I ask you to vote for the future of our country. I ask you to vote, as an American, for our democratic republic and for the constitutional political system that has preserved us from civil violence for the past hundred and fifty years. I ask you to keep faith with the American experiment. The best and only way to do that this year is to vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Vote for a country where we don't jail the loser of an election, or threaten to jail our political opponents.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Trump’s Filthy Touch

    A few years ago, Donald Trump co-wrote a book called The Midas Touch—named for the legendary King Midas who could turn anything he touched into gold. Mr. Trump also has the power that transform whatever he touches, but precious metal is not his forte. Instead of gold, everything Trump touches turns to shit.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    We Don't Owe The Democrats Our Vote!

    Attention Wolf Blitzer and President Obama: Black people don’t owe the Democrats our vote on November 8th. I found myself in the familiar position of yelling at the television like a madman. President Obama was a guest on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (11/2/16) when he said, “I’m going to be honest with you right now, because we track, we’ve got early voting, we’ve got all kinds of metrics to see what’s going on, and right now, the Latino vote is up. Overall vote is up.

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