EppsNet Archive: Politics

Those Weren’t Burglars, They Were “Confidential Informants”

F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims — New York Times It’s too bad for Richard Nixon that he wasn’t able to come up with a similarly quick-witted explanation for Watergate. It reminded me of a joke: A man sees one of his neighbors scattering crumbs all around his house. “Why are you doing that?” he asked. “I’m keeping the tigers away.” “But there aren’t any tigers around here.” “That’s right. You see how well it works?” Read more →

The Last Four U.S. Presidents on Jerusalem

Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel and must remain an undivided city. — Bill Clinton As soon as I take office, I will begin the process of moving the United States ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital. — George W. Bush Jerusalem will remain the capital, and I have said that before and I will say it again. — Barack Obama I have decided that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. — Donald Trump Today we officially open the United States embassy in Jerusalem. Congratulations, it’s been a long time coming. — Donald Trump Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Animals, Not People

My fellow Americans — I heard or read the Trump sound bite — “These are not people. These are animals.” — several times this week, always with no context to clarify who or what the pronoun “these” refers to. I plan to use that line next time I visit the National Zoo. It’s going to be hilarious. Listeners and readers were invited to apply the broadest possible interpretation, i.e., Trump said immigrants are animals. He was reviled by people who relied on the short, skewed attention span of the American public to avoid facing the regrettable fact that they use the same “dehumanizing” language themselves. This doesn’t work as well as it did before Twitter became an online memory bank for better or worse. For example, here is CNN “journalist” Ana Navarro: Once it became widely known that Trump was referring specifically to MS-13 gang members, Nancy Pelosi and other… Read more →

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers

PolitiFact has a article headlined “Donald Trump’s NRA speech, fact-checked”. Here’s a sample: “African-American unemployment has reached another all-time, in history, record low … And the same thing with Hispanic American unemployment, which is also at the lowest level in history — unemployment, lowest level in history. And women’s unemployment — women, many women — is at the lowest level in almost 20 years. Think of that.” The “fact check” starts out like this: As far as the numbers go, Trump is correct. It then goes on for another five paragraphs to say that Barack Obama deserves “at least as much” credit as Trump for low unemployment. That’s a fact check?! Trump didn’t even say anything about who deserves the credit, although the listener is invited to make a favorable inference. Had he added “. . . and I deserve all the credit,” it would be fair in that case… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Hillary Clinton

My fellow Americans — Hillary Clinton is still rattling off all the “reasons” she lost the 2016 presidential election: misogyny, the FBI, sexism, the NRA, Russia . . . To my knowledge, she has never correctly identified the actual culprits: the patriotic men and women of this country. Read more →

Was Nikolas Cruz Bullied?

In 2018, being accused of bullying is not on a par with being accused of murder, but it’s close. Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland shooting survivors, said this about Nikolas Cruz at the anti-gun march in Washington, D.C.: Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him? You don’t know this kid. OK? We did! I can’t see anything unusual about that. The popular kids sneer at the geeks, the nerds and the weirdos. Because they deserve it. You don’t know this kid. We did. But when the kid in this case goes off the rails, which “was no surprise to anyone who knew him,” some self-reflection seems to be in order before blaming the usual suspects. I don’t understand the strategy of gun control proponents. Every tragedy… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Middlemarch by George Eliot

George Eliot is a transgender author whose work was previously unfamiliar to this reviewer. Ha, kidding! It’s hard to think of new things to say about old books, but if you appreciate the novel as an art form, or you think you might appreciate the novel as an art form if you gave it a chance, you should read Middlemarch. What it is about? At 800+ pages, it’s about a lot of things: life in rural England in the 1830s, the status of women, the bonds of matrimony, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy and politics. It’s about the heroism of ordinary lives. It’s about, in the character of Dorothea Brooke, “the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion.” Here’s the conclusion of the novel,… Read more →

People I Thought Were Dead

Herb Alpert – trumpeter Max Baer Jr. – actor, “The Beverly Hillbillies” Barbara Bain – actress, “Mission: Impossible” Brigitte Bardot – actress Rona Barrett – gossip columnist Frank Borman – astronaut Roy Clark – musician Roger Corman – film producer Robert Crumb – cartoonist Bill Daily – actor Vic Damone – singer Angie Dickinson – actress Annette and Cecile Dionne – quintuplets Sam Donaldson – TV newscaster Hugh Downs – TV announcer Daniel Ellsberg – released the Pentagon Papers Barbara Feldon – actress Fannie Flagg – actress and game show panelist Larry Flynt – publisher of Hustler Whitey Ford – baseball pitcher A.J. Foyt – auto racer Ron Gallela – celebrity photographer, aka “paparazzo” Whitey Herzog – baseball manager Ernest Hollings – U.S. senator Cloris Leachman – actress Tom Lehrer – musical satirist Jerry Lee Lewis – singer and pianist G. Gordon Liddy – Watergate mastermind Rich Little – impressionist Peter Max… Read more →

Every Male Journalist Will Be Famous for 15 Minutes

Either for a sex-related termination or for botching another “bombshell” Trump story . . . Read more →

Liberalism and the Wrath of the Privileged Whites

The largely white and affluent solid liberals are notionally egalitarian and opposed to white privilege, but they include many of the most privileged whites in America. . . . Millions of working-class whites felt that Obama was talking about them, too, when he said, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” And many of those same Americans knew that Hillary Clinton was talking about them when she ranted about the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” deplorables. — Pete Spiliakos | First Things Read more →

Al Franken and Ted Kennedy

I’m old enough to remember when a U.S. senator could actually kill a woman and not only NOT resign but be considered a legislative luminary, the lion of the Democratic party. (If you’re not old enough to remember that, google “Ted Kennedy.”) I’m hearing that Sen. Al Franken will be resigning his seat within the next day. The last straw was an allegation from a woman who said that Franken, before he was a senator, appeared to be about to kiss her and she moved away: He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the… Read more →

Presumption of Guilt

But some female lawmakers, like New York’s Kathleen Rice, have begun to ask why elected officials aren’t being drummed out like their private sector counterparts. “You see the actions that CBS, NBC take when there are allegations against very well-known men in positions of power, and we don’t do the same,” Rice said. “I think it’s a disgrace.” — CBS News “Allegations.” She’s talking about Al Franken and John Conyers. The Franken case has photographic evidence, so the allegations against him are provably true. But Conyers vehemently denies the allegations made against him. Why should he be “drummed out”? Why is there a presumption of guilt? Anyone who’s ever been alone with another person can be the subject of allegations. Why is there a presumption in favor of the accuser? A case study on false allegations, which you probably remember if you’re old enough, is the McMartin preschool trial: Members… Read more →

Slut-Shaming: It’s Not Just For Women Anymore

Some of the recent sexual misconduct allegations seem serious enough to warrant adjudication in a courtroom, but a lot of them sound like what would be called slut-shaming if the targets were women. (Slut-shaming is the practice of criticizing or attacking [wo]men for having casual or promiscuous sex, acknowledging sexual feelings and/or acting on sexual feelings. The implication is that if a [wo]man engages in sexual activity that traditional society disapproves of, [s]he should feel guilty and inferior.) Joe Barton is the congressman from Texas whose nude photo was posted online, apparently by a jealous ex-girlfriend. (That link goes to an NPR story, not to the actual photo. I’m sure you can find the photo if you want to but be advised that Barton is overweight and 68 years old.) Some facts are in dispute, but everyone agrees that the photo was posted (by someone) after Barton told the woman… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Bush 41 Calls Trump a “Blowhard”

Stinging rebuke from a one-term president who won the White House on the coattails of Ronald Reagan! Read my lips: Hurry up and die. I dislike Republicans and Democrats equally. It’s a choice between which gang of thieves you want to be robbed by. Elect a Democratic president and get four years of trench warfare against Republicans. Elect a Republican president and get four years of trench warfare against Democrats. One of the things I like about President Trump: Democrats don’t like him, Republicans don’t like him, nobody likes him except the people who voted for him, and that’s enough. Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Election Rigged For Hillary

My fellow Americans — Democrats are now confirming something that we already knew: the primary election was rigged for Hillary Clinton. I observed during the 2016 primary election campaigns that both parties would rather lose the White House than give up the power to shove horseshit candidates down the public’s throats and make them think that they voted for it. Read more →

Russian Propaganda on Facebook

Facebook says that as many as 126 million people may have been exposed to 80,000 posts from a Russian propaganda group known as the Internet Research Agency over a two-year period. Who cares? People believe what they want to believe. Have you ever heard anyone say “I completely changed my mind on this issue after reading a Facebook post by nobody I know”? Or “I was going to vote for Candidate A and now I’m going to vote for Candidate B”? Neither have I . . . Read more →

Spot the Fake News: Obamacare Subsidies

I read four news stories on the same topic — the end of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies. The Wall Street Journal plays it straight down the middle: President Donald Trump’s executive order on health care issued Thursday marks the first major salvo in what the White House promises will be an extensive, targeted campaign to unravel the Affordable Care Act administratively. As does Bloomberg: President Donald Trump said he is moving “step by step” on his own to remake the U.S. health care system because Congress won’t act on his demand to repeal Obamacare. The Trump administration took its most drastic measure yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, announcing it would cut off a subsidy to insurers hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s markets. See if you can spot the fake news in the Politico version:… Read more →

Camille Paglia on Hefner, Trump, Masculinity, Feminism, Etc.

The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with the always articulate and interesting Camille Paglia: Before the election, I kept pointing out that the mainstream media based in Manhattan, particularly The New York Times, was hopelessly off in the way it was simplistically viewing Trump as a classic troglodyte misogynist. I certainly saw in Trump the entire Playboy aesthetic, including the glitzy world of casinos and beauty pageants. It’s a long passé world of confident male privilege that preceded the birth of second-wave feminism. There is no doubt that Trump strongly identified with it as he was growing up. It seems to be truly his worldview. But it is categorically not a world of unwilling women. Nor is it driven by masculine abuse. It’s a world of show girls, of flamboyant femaleness, a certain kind of strutting style that has its own intoxicating sexual allure — which most young people attending… Read more →

The Jemele Hills of the World

Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists. — Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017 Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period. — Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017 He has surrounded himself with white supremacists — no they are not "alt right" — and you want me to believe he isn't a white supremacist? — Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017 He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected — Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 12, 2017 That’s a great opinion. It’s intelligent, well thought out . . . haha no it’s insane. I hope ESPN gets this woman some professional help because she’s detached from reality. If we’re talking about actual white… Read more →

What Happened?

According to this review by Piers Morgan, Hillary has narrowed down the list of people and entities responsible for her 2016 election defeat to James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Mitch McConnell, the mainstream media, the New York Times, Matt Lauer, Fox News, Jill Stein, men, women, white people, black people, Joe Biden, Anthony Weiner, and the Electoral College. Notably absent from the list: Hillary Clinton. Read more →

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