Donald Trump’s New Year’s Message (Tweet):

Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly,
they just don’t know what to do, Love!

[copied from news account not actual twitter feed]

Does that actually sound like a uniter who will be president of all of the people or still an overbearing egotist who will continue to gloat (for how long)?

You won, get over it!

Donald Trump: Still Not Convinced?

This morning’s headline: Code associated with Russia hacking found on Vermont utility computer.

Russian (and any others) hacking is a national security risk that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As I have posted previously the incoming Congress should work towards strengthening American cyber-defenses across the board.

A code associated with a broad Russian hacking campaign dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected on a laptop associated with a Vermont electric utility but not connected to the grid, the utility said on Friday.

“We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding,” the Burlington Electric Department said in a statement.

“Our team is working with federal officials to trace this malware and prevent any other attempts to infiltrate utility systems. We have briefed state officials and will support the investigation fully.”

The Department of Homeland Security alerted utilities on Thursday night about a malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the Burlington Electric Department said.

The article goes on to mention that his might not be a direct attempt to access the Vermont grid. That the laptop may have been infected by visiting a rogue site of some sort. But considering Ukraine has accused Russia of accessing their electrical grid and shutting parts of it down, this isn’t a laughing matter.

btw: Now I have to wonder if I may be hacked…when researching yesterday’s posts: Trump Shrugs Over Russian Hacking Accusations and Oh Cripes: Twitter Diplomacy!, I at two points ended up on a website of the Russian embassy UK and after that my laptop crashed…hmmm.

Bolton Disqualified For State Department Gig

On Sunday, John Bolton, former Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W Bush, totally disqualified himself for a state department gig. While President-elect Donald Trump is personally in denial over the reported Russian responsibility for the DNC hacks, Mr. Bolton decided he had to be the fringiest of the fringe in his view on the matter.

Mr. Bolton thinks Obama did it. No, I am not kidding:

The man reported to be Donald Trump’s pick for the number two job in the State Department says the election hacks could have been a false flag operation.

John Bolton told Fox News on Sunday that the hacks may not have been carried out by Russia, as the intelligence community believes, but implied the Obama administration itself could’ve been secretly responsible.

“It is not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation,” Bolton told reporter Eric Shawn.

“False flag” is a term that refers to covert activities undertaken by a government or other entity to advance its own political agenda by making it look as if someone else did it.

Mr. Bolton is a hack. There is no way in hell that the Senate should confirm this guy. Just no way.

Death to Santa

I know, it sounds a bit harsh. Maybe more than a bit harsh. I can understand how people might react with horror to a denunciation of Santa Claus this strong, this resolute, this final. Death to Santa.
I’m not calling for his rehabilitation. I’m not suggesting he needs to be put in his proper place. I don’t want him to lose weight, or go vegan, or sober up, recognize the Elves union, diversify his workforce, or even start publicly acknowledging the crucial role Mrs. Claus must surely play in this frenetically overblown and elongated HellaHoliday we call Christmas. We are, in my view, beyond rehab. Santa Claus must die.

Why, you may be asking yourself, from within a shocked state of horrified bewilderment. Why, oh dear God in Heaven, please, why? Why must Santa die?

Because the guy has ruined Christmas, that’s why. He’s out of control. He’s run amok for so long that people don’t even realize the profoundly malignant influence he wields over their lives. He so thoroughly overshadows every other cultural icon or religious figure associated with the holiday that their influence barely ranges from the marginal to the negligible, while his grows larger and more ominous by the year.

When’s the last time you walked into the mall and saw Tiny Tim limping around on his crutch, chirping “God bless us everyone! “ Huh? Or how about the Grinch and his heart grown three sizes larger? You don’t see the two of them patiently working their way through a line of children, dispensing themes of generosity and gratitude to the tots, while their increasingly irritated and exhausted parents look around frantically for a coffee-shop or a martini bar. No, you get Santa merrily eliciting, out loud, roughly how much money those kids expect those tortured parents to cough up by December 25th.

Let’s get real. Tiny Tim gets an annual two hour run on cable TV during prime time, if he’s lucky. The best the Grinch could do is a Jim Carrey feature film remake haphazardly adapted from the original 1968 animated Christmas special. Ebeneezer Scrooge? Frosty? Rudolph? Charlie Brown’s Linus, adorable with his blanket, and wisdom, and thumb in his mouth? They’re all backbenchers.

They each get an hour or two of public exposure once a year. Santa probably gets more airtime in TV commercials alone than the rest of them put together. He’s selling everything from cars, to beer, to cookies, to breakfast cereal, to crockpots, clothes and shaving cream, and everything in between. It makes you wonder if Mrs. Claus is really Alice Walton.

Plus he’s in the walkways of all the malls, inside the stores inside the malls, and at office Christmas parties, on postcards, lawn displays, billboards, digital ads, and rent-a Santa’s. Let that sink in a minute. You. Can. Rent. One. You can’t get away from him. I know, I’ve tried. Unless you plan to spend the rest of the Christmas season in an ironclad, airtight deprivation chamber, you WILL have to deal with Santa Claus, and he most certainly WILL deal with you.

He’ll unsustainably overload your credit card. Or he’ll exponentially increase your loan balance, and inflate the deleterious effects of, your 34% interest rate at Paycheck Loans One Stop. He’ll unsustainably overload your calorie count. You’ll start to look like him. He’ll make you punch a stranger at Walmart. He’ll make that stranger punch back.

He’ll relentlessly chip away at the fragile fabric of your seasonal psyche until every Santa sighting, every song, every bulb, tree, wreath, garish light display, ribbon, bow, and Santa-esque spangled gift packaging box elicits a visceral revulsion against all that is false, hollow and just plain sad about Christmas.

And where is the Baby Jesus in all of this? The guy who, ostensibly, inspired the whole damn Christmas thing? You know, Mary, Joseph, Wise men, Myrrh, whatever the hell that is? No room at the Inn? It’s his birthday, remember? The Prince of Peace? That guy? How’s he faring against the roly poly, red bellied marauder from the Arctic?

He’s getting his behind kicked. Name me one famous Christmas movie that stars Jesus. Just one. I googled “ famous Christmas movies “ and beyond the obvious selections like “ It’s A Wonderful Life” “ A Christmas Carol “ “ Miracle on 34th St “ and “ White Christmas “, I also got “ Scrooged” “ Home Alone “ and even “ Die Hard “. You’re far more likely to get Bruce Willis than Jesus on the silver screen at Christmastime. Merry yippie ki-yay, yuletide mofo!

And every December 24th, the North American Aerospace Defense Command ( NORAD ), turns it’s extraordinary tracking capabilities to the night sky as the sun sets across America. Are they looking for the Star of Bethlehem, the birth of the Christ child, or a white winged dove about to descend upon the Earth to usher in a thousand year reign of peace?
No, they’re tracking Santa Claus, who’s flying overhead with a great big bag of cheap crap made by sweatshop laboring Elves who work in the north freakin’ pole. If they were willing to scramble a couple of F-16 fighter jets in response I could definitely stomach the cost to the taxpayers, but they’re not. They’re promoting the guy!

I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t take one more year of this mind blistering, soul numbing, nerve wracking, Holidazzling, jingle-belled, package wrapping, tree trimming, egg nog swilling pandemonium fest called Christmas, which is designed to do little other than tax our brains, jangle our nerves and drain our collective wallets. Enough!

Say it with me. You can do it. Santa must die. Death to Santa!

An open letter to Wisconsin’s superdelegates: It’s not too late to Feel the Bern

Dear Wisconsin superdelegates,

Being the political people you are, I’m sure you’ve watched with excruciating interest every detail of the spectacle of the last ten days. Bill Clinton accosts Loretta Lynch on the tarmac in Phoenix, Lynch says she’ll let Comey handle this one, Comey questions Hillary Clinton for several hours, Comey explains why he won’t recommend prosecution, but not before going into great detail about the extreme carelessness of Clinton and her people and suggesting that laws may have been broken, and then punting back to AG Lynch, while Obama and Hillary hit the campaign trail and pretend none of it is even happening. Whew!

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza was out front early with what this means to Clinton’s presidential campaign, and it’s not a pretty picture. It’s clear that Hillary has been lying to the American people about this for a year. There’s no escaping that conclusion.

CNN has already produced a video contrast between what Clinton repeatedly said in public with what Comey said publicly yesterday. It’s not pretty either.

Paul Ryan is calling for Clinton to be denied access to intelligence briefings if she becomes the Democrats nominee, and it’s going to be tough arguing with him after Comey’s excoriation of Clinton. If she was still Secretary of State, President Obama would almost certainly force her to resign over this, and her security clearance would be revoked permanently. After the State Department Inspector General’s report in May, which refuted many of Clinton’s public claims about her email practices, NBC political director Chuck Todd stated that she couldn’t be confirmed as Attorney General of the United States.

So she probably couldn’t be confirmed as Attorney General, and she’d probably have to resign as Secretary of State, but you want to put her forward as your presidential candidate in November? Really?

One of you needs to do the right thing, the sane thing, the smart thing, and issue a statement that for the good of the country, for the good of the Democratic Party, for the good of us all, Secretary Clinton must remove herself from consideration as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States.

And then finish your statement by pledging your vote to Senator Bernie Sanders. It’s not too late, there’s still time to avert a disaster. It’s just going to take some courage.

Enough Of THIS Crap Already

So far today I have seen derogatory posts that included Monica Lewinsky and/or President Bill Clinton on Facebook. I assume they are making the rounds of the other social media as well. These were posted by supporters of a certain male candidate for president on the Democratic ticket.

This has nothing to do with the 2016 election nor any candidate running for any office this year.

Ms. Lewinsky doesn’t deserve to have her past indiscretions recalled so that you can make a mean spirited attack on a political opponent.

If this is the best you can do to support your preferred candidate, I suggest that you just shut the flock up…because you are starting to convince me that your candidate ain’t worth a sh*t.

Are They Right? Trump Is Obama’s Fault?

From the front page of the March 13, 2016 Sunday New York Times: Donald Trump’s Presidential Run Began in an Effort to Gain Stature

Donald J. Trump arrived at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in April 2011, reveling in the moment as he mingled with the political luminaries who gathered at the Washington Hilton. He made his way to his seat beside his host, Lally Weymouth, the journalist and socialite daughter of Katharine Graham, longtime publisher of The Washington Post.

A short while later, the humiliation started.

The annual dinner features a lighthearted speech from the president; that year, President Obama chose Mr. Trump, then flirting with his own presidential bid, as a punch line.

He lampooned Mr. Trump’s gaudy taste in décor. He ridiculed his fixation on false rumors that the president had been born in Kenya. He belittled his reality show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Mr. Trump at first offered a drawn smile, then a game wave of the hand. But as the president’s mocking of him continued and people at other tables craned their necks to gauge his reaction, Mr. Trump hunched forward with a frozen grimace.

After the dinner ended, Mr. Trump quickly left, appearing bruised. He was “incredibly gracious and engaged on the way in,” recalled Marcus Brauchli, then the executive editor of The Washington Post, but departed “with maximum efficiency.”

That evening of public abasement, rather than sending Mr. Trump away, accelerated his ferocious efforts to gain stature within the political world. And it captured the degree to which Mr. Trump’s campaign is driven by a deep yearning sometimes obscured by his bluster and bragging: a desire to be taken seriously.

So a thin skinned insecure megalomaniac takes on the political establishment to show he’s important? Did the fact that president was black have anything to do with his fascist race baiting or was that just a convenient usurpation of the prevailing undercurrent in the Republican Party? So when the rightwing pundits or Fox News say that President Obama is to blame for the Trump phenomenon, are they right?

I Could Stand In The Middle of Fifth Ave and Shoot Somebody!

Apparently GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump is still using this as part of his ‘stump’ speech in Iowa to great effect…not the negative effect or recoil by the audience you would expect from something so heinous…but with applause and cheering.

Later, he utters the line that gets the most notice: “They say I have the most loyal people — did you ever see that? — where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” Trump says, forming his hand into the shape of a gun. “It’s like, incredible.”

Now of course for Iowans, Fifth Avenue is a world away and represents the elites that middle America resents. A foreign place that they don’t necessarily comprehend.

But what if Mr. Trump had said something just a little be different? Like maybe these quotes?

…where I could stand in the middle of Dubuque and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters…

…where I could stand in the middle of Des Moines and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters…

…where I could stand at this podium and shoot that lady in the third row, and I wouldn’t lose any voters…

That’s a lot closer to home, isn’t it. Would that still play?

It has been said that Einstein (and Voltaire and Ben Franklin) defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. Whoever said it wasn’t wrong.

All day yesterday, I was ruminating on the upcoming Supreme Court primary and the great opportunity it presents for Democrats to vote Rebecca Bradley out of the race altogether. Even though the race is non-partisan, she is clearly one of Walker’s “tools” and would pretty much put an end to any hope of turning that court around. While I will admit that I have been distracted by all the fun associated with the Holiday Season and haven’t been paying close attention to the topic, a quick search of the internet confirmed that, indeed, there hasn’t been much coverage. And even though there was a lot of stuff swirling around in my head, I just couldn’t figure out how to approach the topic for a Blogging Blue post. Last night, a Plain Talk article written by Dave Zweifel popped up in my Facebook feed, and suddenly, all my thoughts came together:

“The key question is whether the state’s dysfunctional Democratic Party can get its act together in 2016 to get the message out to the voters on what’s been going on the past several years.”

As you all know, in the last 6 months, we’ve changed leadership in both the Democratic Party of WI and the Democratic Party of Milwaukee. In June, Martha Laning was elected the new DPW Chair. A quick check of the DPW website shows an easily navigated fund raising page with very little about specific races, candidates (except Feingold) or substantive issues….there’s one page called “Stop Unlimited Corporate Campaign Contributions in Wisconsin” that looks like a petition/fund-raising tool and links to a few articles, press releases and the bills themselves, but it’s from OCTOBER. Most of the Twitter (the most immediate form of communication for most grown ups) feed is two weeks old. Seriously? It was hard to find any detailed information on anything. It was slick and I don’t mean that in a good way. A quick Google check of Martha Laning yields nothing newsworthy since November (when she did a Q&A on her goals for the Party), except for the letter from the Trump campaign asking for help in getting on the ballot. The bulk of the search cites articles about her election….in June! This is exactly the reason I let my membership lapse…the State party is clearly out of touch with the situation. I had hoped that new leadership would turn it around, but I guess they have decided to stick with the “trite and true” style that allowed the complete takeover of our State by the WIGOP.

With this negative mindset, I then turned to the Milwaukee Dems website. And I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing I saw were photos of the three Democratic Presidential candidates and a mission statement which focused on action. There was a calendar of events, current press releases, and the Twitter feed was up to the minute. Fund-raising is clearly a priority, but after GOTV action. My first thought was that they are ready to “rock n roll” and will do what it takes to get folks to the polls. This group recently elected new leadership as well, and the Chair, Robert Hansen, has clearly made a commitment to change. However, there is virtually no coverage of the upcoming Spring Primary and General Elections, despite it including the Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts, and the Milwaukee County Executive races. They clearly support a particular candidate in the upcoming County Executive race, so this is the time to go all in. To be fair, the Spring ballots are still fluid, but by Tuesday we will know who is running in every race. With this Spring election being the Presidential Preference (that just cracks me up) Primary, we know that we will have a better than average turnout.  It’s a numbers game, we need to get folks who vote our way out.  We know that the Republican Party of Wisconsin will be whipping their supporters into a frenzy (and the Tea Party will tell their base that ISIS will kill you personally if you don’t vote for Trump) to get them to the polls.   And they will all vote for Bradley.  It will be easier to take her out in February than in April, so we had better make the most of this opportunity.  It doesn’t knock on your door every day, you know.

As Democrats, and Progressives, we need to take the steps to get our act together now, get the message and the voters out, and change the course we are on.   Anything less is pure insanity.

Colorado Springs, Planned Parenthood, and GOP Presidential Candidates

When is enough a f*cking nuff? The only credit that I’ll give the GOP riff raff is that no one said: ‘if only they had all been armed this would never have happened.”

And they should all be taking a real clear look at their positions and their comments prior to yesterday’s events…as they continue to demonize a women’s health organization. How many white Christian men have they radicalized over the past six months? How many more American born terrorists will they inspire?

I won’t go into the comments from their supporters…they are beyond the pale.

So let me close with a little snark from the internet:

Vigilantes Planned Parenthood