The Ever-Rightward Spiral Downward!

found online by Raymond

From Jack Jodell at The Saturday Afternoon Post:

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
– Theodore Roosevelt –

Halloween is but 5 days away, and the current political scene in America is definitely scary. President Donald Chump is still supported by a huge majority of the Republican Party, despite having had NO legislative achievements to date. He has dominated headlines with his continual bluster, much of it found in his demented daily Tweets. The rest of the world correctly views him as being a crazy, unstable bully. He is so insecure and thin-skinned that he cannot allow even the slightest bit of criticism to go unchallenged. That is why he has taken it upon himself, using Twitter, to blast any and all who oppose him in the least. In has own party, Senators Bob Corker, John McCain, and Mitch McConnell have experienced his wrath via Twitter. His latest victim appears to be Senator Jeff Flake, whom Chump has been bludgeoning incessantly for a long time.

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The Difference Between a Bastard and a Stupid Bastard

I was thinking about the abrupt decline of a favorite film star of my youth and one of his best films.

In the early 1960s, a fictional President, made older than his age by the burdens of office, is about to support a candidate he does not like, does not enjoy being around. But Joe Cantwell is tough and decisive. And President Hockstader wants someone strong to lead the country through rough international times. When Cantwell threatens to release illegally obtained information, the President reacts:

And to think I was going to endorse you for President… You know, Joe. It’s not that you’re a bastard that I object to. I don’t object to that at all. It’s just that you’re such a stupid bastard that makes you insufferable.

Gore Vidal wrote the play The Best Man. It was made into a movie starring Henry Fonda. Cliff Robertson was the evil, slimy Joe Cantwell. The play, and that movie, may come closest to redeeming the truly awful public personna that Gore Vidal left as he departed this mortal coil. It was much harder to watch Vidal in televised interviews than it was to enjoy the movie script. He turned snide cynicism into an artform. One comment about Vidal stays with me: “He bites his betters on their kneecaps.”

Cliff Robertson played in other politically tinged films. John F. Kennedy asked that he be cast as young Kennedy in the movie PT 109.

Long before Harvey Weinstein exposed himself to us, years before he ever cast his eye on his first victim, Cliff Robertson convinced me of the deep down corruption of moviedom. He pretty much destroyed his career in 1977 through an unlucky bit of honesty. He accidentally discovered that a major studio had written a huge check to him for work he had never done. Robertson’s name was forged on the check, and the head of the studio pocketed the money.
Continue reading “The Difference Between a Bastard and a Stupid Bastard”

Trump’s Tax Cuts Fiscally Reckless But Republicans Can Deliver On It

found online by Raymond

From Jonathan Bernstein:

Congressional Republicans have been working on tax reform legislation. As usual, President Trump has stayed on the sidelines, with the exception of occasionally berating his party into getting something to his desk as soon as possible. But that changed on Monday morning, when he emerged on Twitter with an actual position: “There will be NO change to your 401(k). This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!”

Wait a second. Is this tweet actually … constructive?

I think so.

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All Roads Lead To. . .

found online by Raymond

From Human Voices:

“By Diverse means we arrive at the same end.” Thus begin the essays of Michel de Montaigne.

It’s both hopeful and ominous and also a warning against the intolerance that seeps through the capillaries of Facebook like rising damp. When it comes to any of the jihads or crusades or popular causes, there’s the the way, and only the way, the vocabulary, the rules and strictures of whatever group seeks or has seized power and those singing from a different hymnal are the enemy.Such groups themselves have become the cause they purport to represent.

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Trump Administration Unveils the “Fetal 14th Amendment”

found online by Raymond

From Jon Perr at PERRspectives:

While most eyes this week were on the carnage in Las Vegas, the catastrophe in Puerto Rico, or the dangerous provocations towards Pyongyang and Tehran, the Trump administration was hard at work deconstructing the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. While that bulwark of American civil rights promises “due process of law” and “equal protection of the laws” to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” Donald Trump has declared that some persons are more equal than others.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Panel Discussion: Kelly’s Tale Felt True

found online by Raymond

From Tommy Christopher:

Sanders never bothered to say what he said was true, only that she “supports” his account because it was “heartfelt”:

“I support him in his account of that interaction and what he saw and how he felt.”

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A World In Chaos and the Veneer of Civilization

found online by Raymond

From Neil Bamforth MadMikesAmerica:

America has elected Trump, Britain has voted for Brexit, North Korea is ruled by a lunatic, Islamic State want to kill us, the World Health Organisation has appointed Zimbabwe’s dictatorial maniac Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador (can anything be more surreal? They have now thankfully changed their minds), the Earth’s climate is clearly changing far more rapidly than nature intended, other life forms continue to become extinct due to humanity, the environment is being destroyed everywhere you turn but, on the plus side, we ain’t dead yet.

Actually, in terms of Kim Jong-un and Robert Mugabe ‘not dead yet’ is not necessarily on the plus side but there you go eh?

The late great David Bowie once said – and I paraphrase as I can’t remember it verbatim – “Morally we haven’t really changed in 20,000 years”.

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My Condolences to the Families of the Niger Four

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

There is an incredible back-and-forth regarding the four deceased service members who were on a mission in Niger and were killed by an ambush attack from as many as 50 ISIS-linked combatants. Somehow, the story has been diverted from the nature of their mission and the purpose and reasons for their sacrifice, and has become a strange debate on the nature of how we recognize the ultimate sacrifice of our military personnel and the appropriate observances that should be made.

These were, by all accounts, excellent people from differing backgrounds, but united in a desire to exercise their skills with a sense of purpose. What we know of the expected White House response to their unfortunate end was that a good statement was made regarding their service and the importance of their mission (in Niger, both ISIS and Boko Haram have been known to operate, and Niger is also well-known for uranium). This well-crafted statement was never delivered.

“Melania and I are heartbroken at the news that three U.S. service members were killed in Niger on October 4 while providing guidance and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these brave American soldiers and patriots. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

“We are also praying for the two U.S. service members who were injured in the incident. We wish them a complete and swift recovery.

“The heroic Americans who lost their lives yesterday did so defending our freedom and fighting violent extremism in Niger. Our administration and our entire nation are deeply grateful for their sacrifice, for their service, and for their patriotism.”

What we had instead was a nearly two-week period of silence from the White House regarding the deaths of these service members, despite news reports, until a reporter questioned President Trump about these men in a Rose Garden press conference on Monday. That was when Trump, apparently unguardedly, spoke offhand about the event.

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