Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Hear Now Festival 2019

It must have been the pollen and antihistamines but I totally forgot that this was the month of the The National Audio Theatre Festival's annual HEAR Now: The Audio Fiction and Arts Festival held in Kansas City, Missouri every year, this year.   For us that means that we get to hear the results and knowing that there are dedicated professionals, semi-professionals, gifted amateurs and enthusiasts keeping this art alive when it's supposed to have died decades ago.  Well, it's alive and well and worth trying the many different samples they've posted online.  There's enough here to take a few weeks to hear, though you want to get around to it soon before it lapses. 

I'm having computer trouble so I'll just post this and try to write later. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Republican-fascist Hate Mail

Oh, yeah, Sleazy Susan is a real outsider in the Republican-fascist circle that controls the Senate.  Yeah, right.   Here's from the Lewiston Sun Journal the other day:

To boost her political standing, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has been spreading campaign cash around for years, both to her Republican colleagues in the Senate and to the Maine GOP

It comes from her little-noticed leadership political action committee, Dirigo PAC, which has hauled in more than $2.5 million since its inception in 2003.

Her PAC has donated to a who’s who of powerful GOP figures, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Assistant Majority Leader John Thune of South Dakota, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

The skank is in thick with thieves with them, just like she was when she was one of the Senators promoting the viciously racist, sexist, likley criminal Jeff Sessions to be the Attorney General.   

As we say in Maine, Susan Collins will do the right thing under two conditions, she feels she has to and her for-show opposition to a Republican-fascist won't make the slightest difference to the outcome.  She's one of them pretending she isn't.  

Samantha Bee Provides Exhibit A In Support Of My Earlier Argument

Why We Are Ratfucked - The Sleazy Susan That Spins Round And Round And Never Moves

The corruption and destruction of American democracy was done by lies told in the mass media, through the corruption of the minds of enough Americans through lies told in the mass media, through the promotion of amorality of the sort that kills democracy, racism, sexism, selfishness and greed, appealing to our greatest weaknesses and our greatest flaws.  That is the nutrition deficient sugar that rotted the most durable aspects of democracy, delivered with the methods of peddling products invented by the advertising industry on behalf of industries wanting to appeal to and invent appetites for things that weren't good for us, things we didn't need or really want, to rob us and cheat us and enslave us.  I don't think that the goals of the tobacco, the alcohol, the opioid pushers and other pill mill industrialists to create addicts for the poisons they sell,l making themselves billionaires, is at all different from the goals of the Republican-fascists who are not so reticent about hiding the fascist part of that anymore. 

The corruption and destruction of American democracy came from a combination of permissions to lie given to the mass media by the Supreme Court, the expansion of such "free speech" including, in the Rehnquist and Roberts courts, billionaires foreign and domestic to let them lie with impunity and insert themselves directly into the political process to peddle lies directly.   The judges and justices who pretend that the suppression of lies is beyond their competence to administer deserve to be seen as the part of government most responsible for the corruption and destruction of our democracy, they knocked down every single effective measure which would have protected us from the power of lies but they chose an especially corrupt and stupid interpretation of the First Amendment over a responsible reading of it in the 20th century because, like any law of any kind, there is a potential for its abuse and so they abandoned any responsibility they had as judges of fact to protect us from lies.

But behind all of that is the corrupt influence of great wealth, the form of theft which has allowed the creation of so many billionaires with effective control of the media.   We had domestic Putins before the Supreme Court our billionaires bought themselves gave the power of a Putin to ratfuck our elections with lies, the concentration on Putin is entirely legitimate but if we were left to the devices of the Mercers, the Kochs, the myriad of other enemies of democracy holding American citizenship, we wouldn't be any better off. 

The Republican party is the delivery system of the poison to democracy, they are at the point where even some of the merely less corrupt members of it are leaving.  They were the enthusiastic importers of Rupert Murdoch during the Reagan administration, the master of promotion of fascism in Australia and Britain, they were certaily hoping for what he delivered, a television-radio delivered method of peddling lies that are, after the drugs mentioned above, probably the greatest creator of mental illness, paranoid irrationality and unreality among a population large enough to deliver elections to Republicans.  It was the vehicle under which the Bush II putsch began when John Ellis and his thuggish cohorts began the stealing of the election from Al Gore, they were certainly the key to Trump being imposed on us, though they were not the only ones.  I think that in the Australian-Brit import, Rupert Murdoch and his family* we got someone who has no real sense of obligation to the American People who would cynically deliver us to a consortium of billionaires, domestic, certainly and foreign as well.  He's just one of the  foreign tools like Julian Assange who the Republicans, especially those on the Supreme Court delivered the United States to. 

The Republican-fascists have made full use of all of the tools that the slave owners, Madison, foremost among those, put into the Constitution to protect and enhance the power of the slave economy.   They were certainly and explicitly supported in that by Alexander Hamilton, who, as I pointed out the last time, was an enthusiastic supporter of a lawless dictator as the chief executive of the United States, one beyond the power of the law, one beyond even the real and effective power of control by the Congress - that it is the Senate that is the impediment to removing Donald Trump and punishing the members of his criminal regime which they installed, is all the proof we need of what a really terrible thing they imposed on us for the protection of that most evil of human economic systems, slavery. 

We know that the Republicans, those in office, those on the courts, those working behind the scenes in law faculties, other faculties, think tanks, in the media have mastered all of the flaws in the Constitution of the United States, they have mastered the methods of corrupting We The People through the use of the mass media.  We know that unless the Constitution and laws are changed in fundamental ways they will use the very same vehicles of attack on democracy that they have mastered, we know that they will always be looking for the weak points in the law and,ultimately, the only protection against that is for people to know the truth and value it beyond attractive lies.  But that isn't enough, either.  People have to know the truth and be of the moral character on which democracy ultimately depends.  You can know all the truth there is and use it for selfish, malevolent ends.  The people who ratfucked American democracy aren't stupid, though they have certainly imposed the stupidest, most degenerate crew of criminals to rule us in our history.   They are morally corrupt.  In the end, democracy is made of the moral holding that we are to do to other people as we would have done to us. 


I want to tie the continued employment of the criminal Kellyanne Conway, William Barr, Elaine Chao, etc, etc, etc, to Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and whatever other Republicans are peddling themselves as not being as bad as the Republican leadership in the Senate that they keep in power.  If five Republicans left the hopelessly corrupt Republican Party, even if they threatened to leave the party unless Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham and other supporters of  the Trump crime wave were replaced by those who would hold them responsible for their crimes, they could change their party.  They will not do it, they will never do it.   Sleazy Susan spins and turns and always ends up in exactly the same place she always is, supporting the most criminal regime in the history of the country.  Susan Collins has to be made personally responsible for the worst of it being in place.  She is as guilty as Mitch McConnell for keeping Trump in office.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Worst And The Blightest As Championed By The Hamiltonian Federalists

It was especially gratifying to me to hear this segment from Ari Melber's show, starting with the Federalist-fascist society hack, John Malcolm,  the scumbag the  Republican-fascists called in to the hearing of the Judiciary Committee yesterday to cover-up for Trump criminality.   

What was gratifying was later in the discussion when the former prosecutor John Flannery called out the Federalist-fascist hack for citing the real Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 70, the one in which Hamilton, the real one, not the fiction that that show-biz boob Lin-Manuel Miranda put on Broadway, called for the President to be a dictator of the kind Republicans are trying to make Trump into.  Here is the passage that John Flannery pointed out was cited by Malcolm in defense of Donald Trump's criminality. 

There is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that a vigorous executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation; since they can never admit its truth, without at the same time admitting the condemnation of their own principles. Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy. Every man the least conversant in Roman history knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in the absolute power of a single man, under the formidable title of dictator, as well against the intrigues of ambitious individuals who aspired to the tyranny, and the seditions of whole classes of the community whose conduct threatened the existence of all government, as against the invasions of external enemies who menaced the conquest and destruction of Rome.

I got the feeling while listening to the clip that John Malcolm hadn't actually read the document that is probably the foremost authority behind the Republican-fascist unitary executive theory of the presidency that is a menace to the United States in 2019, a theory which is probably supported - for Republican presidents,  I doubt for Democratic ones - by a majority of those on the Supreme Court and in the Republican-fascist majority in the Senate.  I can say that because they have installed so many of their fellow fascist believes in the federal judiciary with complete support by Republicans in the Senate.


William Barr's and the Federalist-fascist establishment championing of the stupidest, most corrupt, most criminal, most degenerate man to have ever held the office of the presidency, one of the crew of such highly placed lawyers to do so, many of them the soured cream of the Ivy League class crop of law schools, proves just how stupid Hamilton's conception of the presidency is and how dangerous his thinking on the law and government is.   

I took a lot of heat for pointing out that the musical "Hamilton" dishonestly held up one of the worst possible "founders" as some kind of hero of egalitarian democracy when he was anything but that.  I did, unlike, perhaps, John Malcolm, read the Federalist Papers and knew what a piece of shit the writers of those were.  Now, in this danger the country is in from Trumpian fascism, the show-biz bullshit has to be exposed for what it is even if it makes a lot of star bedazzled idiots unhappy, those who know nothing more than they see on stage, on TV in movies because that kind of lie about real people whose words and actions had and has real consequences is dangerous.

I'm tempted to say that it's unfortunate Aaron Burr or someone else hadn't shot Hamilton before he wrote that paper which has become so dangerous to us, today.   I, of course, can't approve of dueling but, noting that Hamilton was sort of addicted to dueling - I believe he had been involved with about a dozen, if memory serves - that asshole was asking for it. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Catastrophe That The Yearning For Normalcy Brings, And The Delusions of Revolution As Well

As of today, by a mile, Elizabeth Warren is my favorite of the two dozen or so announced candidates for the Democratic nomination for president.  My second choice for president is Kamala Harris, after a couple of hearings in which I wondered what people saw in her, the last several and in some of her campaign appearances, she's got greatness in her.  Pete Buttigieg is my favorite for vice-president but I am not enthusiastic about someone of his relative inexperience making such a big leap to be president, though I think eight years as the President of the Senate might be an excellent preparation.   I see greatness in him, though I hope he doesn't harbor any romantic notions about the Kennedy presidency, which, over the years, was more Camelot show-biz hokum than real.  If Kennedy had not been assassinated, his legacy would not be romantically looked at as some kind of illusory golden age. 

My last choice among those with any traction to speak of is Joe Biden my second last is Bernie Sanders who has no business seeking the nomination of a party he is not a committed member of. *

The estimable Charles Pierce puts it very well in criticizing Biden who is running a campaign based on his association with Barack Obama,  

However, the second overriding notion that all the candidates had in common, and with which the entire hall seemed to agree, was that conventional metrics—hell, conventional anything related to politics—may well be unsuited to the current political moment, that with the election of this particular president* and with the animatronic zombie thrill-ride on which he's taken the government, the country may have passed some kind of point of no return. This would mean bad news for Biden, who seems to be campaigning mainly on the theme of bringing back the golden age of 2009

I think that that legitimate criticism of Biden is also a key to understanding what Obama's greatest weakness was and, thinking about Pierce's piece, I think it's something that both of them share with Robert Mueller's "institutionalist" process based concept of governing or administering a country in which those things that such establishment golden-boys as Obama and Mueller are most comfortable with, have produced the disaster we are in, today.   They are not suited to a country in as much peril as the United States proves it is in by the fact that a known crook, gangster and civil traitor such as Donald Trump, an asset of the greatest danger to democracy since 1945, Putin remaining into office into a third year.   I don't think such men have much of a vision of anything past their own careers and self-concept.  

I think that Bernie Sanders' current run for the nomination of a party that he will not actually and permanently join and whose previous candidacy is in the running as a contributing factor to Donald Trump occupying the presidency shares much of their self-contentedness, though unlike Biden, he at least can see past the rim of his inner circle.  But that's nowhere near enough.  Bernie Sanders exposed himself as a selfish egotist, not by running in 2016 but by leaving the party only to rejoin it so he can run in 2020 even as he took out papers to, again, run as an independent for the Senate in 2024.  That is a point that I will not stop pointing out.  You have to be a monumental egotist to think you are entitled to run for the nomination of a party you will not really be a member of.

Pierce's theme was one I found extremely gratifying.  I took some pride in having written at what a disaster a "return to normalcy" would be in 2006, a piece that I took some pride in at the time.  I'm still feeling weak from the narrow escape from another major respiratory illness so here it is, almost to the day, thirteen years ago. 


Wednesday, June 14, 2006


What if they lose? What if the congress investigates the crimes of the Bush regime and those are stopped? What if things go back to normal? After what we've seen the past forty years, if things can go back to normal it won't be a blessed relief, it will be a disaster. Our recent history proves that we have fatal problems in the foundation of the American government.

Our elections have to be fixed, not just returned to c. 1964. We have to secure the vote, from before it is cast to counting to reporting the results to their fulfillment. No elections official, secretary of state, or judge can ever be allowed to prevent another legal ballot being cast or counted or made to count. The sleazy behavior we've seen from every level from elections clerk to Supreme Court and the Executive wouldn't be tolerated in a real democracy. A democracy needs it to be an impeachable crime for a Supreme Court Justice to say that a Citizen of the United States does not have a right to vote. That is a fundamental contradiction of the role of the court in a democracy. Anyone who believes that has no place on our court or in our government.

The media, and today that means the electronic media, have to have their self-interested biases exposed and it's pollution scrubbed out of our politics. They have to be forced to perform the public service they promised, including standards of fairness. Broadcast stations must provide real news, including local news, which has to be unbiased and fair. And as a comment here yesterday said, without diverse ownership of the media, they won't serve the entire public.

The cable "news" channels have betrayed the publics trust even more flagrantly than broadcast, spreading lies effective enough to start the most idiotic and dangerous war of our history. We will pay the cost of their lies for decades, in blood as well as money.

They also aided the Bush putsch of 2000 and the earlier scheme to remove a genuinely elected President on trumped up charges and lies. Pretending that a rogue cable industry isn't a danger to freedom has to stop. Anyone who defends them on their crimes against democracy is a dupe or a profiteer. Put them under the same public service requirements as broadcast media. Media passes itself off as the voice of the people, then let them show it by putting the public before their investors and owners.

Recent history proves that self-government can't depend on leaving it to chance. Laissez faire democracy dies and the death is never a natural one. It lets the powerful and wealthy swamp the Peoples's voice almost all of the time. In the same comments mentioned above, it was pointed out that the Supreme Court rulings making corporations artificial people made that all the more true.

Our government is always presented as having three branches, those are where almost all of the pitiful efforts at reform are concentrated. And that hasn't worked, we have the most dishonest government of our lifetimes. Putting patches on the process to make it a level field is unrealistic to the level of willful blindness. Powerful interests have power. They will always win when they have equal access to the process and own the media. The handful of examples where individuals or small groups win over the big guy make for sentimental TV movies, using them as proof that the system works is calculated dishonesty.

If the People are neglected then it all goes wrong. They won't even show up to vote. That step isn't a naive social studies lesson that you stop thinking about after the test in fourth grade. You don't go on to the higher study of civics and leave it behind. There is nothing higher in a democracy that the People, there is no act of government more important than their Vote. Abraham Lincoln, one of the real founders of the country we live in today, gave the formula for it. You know it by heart. He didn't mention the congress, the executive or the high church of the judiciary. He said that the enormous sacrifice of the American People in the Civil War was so that government of the People, by the People, and for the People shall not perish from the earth.

Any aftermath of the Bush II disaster that doesn't include changes to these laws will be just the beginning of the next time. Not securing the Vote, the will of the People; and forcing their own chosen responsibilities on the media, the only guarantee of an informed and realistic Vote, is a welcome mat for the next would-be dictator. Any liberal, leftist, Democrat, independent, even "moderate" Republican who lets two years go by without enacting real electoral and media reform had better beware. It's just a matter of waiting before the same coalition of corporate interests, bigots, oligarches and haters tries again. They might be as slow and stealthy as they were this time, buying up media, using it to spread lies that "more speech" can't drown out, but they'll make a come back.

UPDATE: 2019,  I would add as absolute requirements for saving equality and democracy are 

a. Every ballot for federal elections should follow a set form ON PAPER MARKED BY HAND.  Nothing short of that, preserved and protected and counted and recountable will result in honest elections.  The elections of President, Vice-President, House Member and Senator are issues of national importance having an impact of all of us, the rules protecting that choice should be national, not subject to state corruption. 

b. Get rid of the goddamned anti-democratic caucuses in favor of primaries.  

c. The Democratic Party should have a rule that refuses to seat delegates not chosen by closed primaries in which party members choose the nominee of their party, 

d. If states will not change their laws allowing for that, the Democratic Party should run its own, Washington State style by-mail primary on a national scale, party members only voting for delegates to the convention.  Voters who were not declared party members for at least a year before the primary or since shortly after they turned 18 should be inelligible to vote in it.  I remember too many Green Party and Bernie Bots changing their party affiliation in Maine while declaring that they would never vote for anyone but Bernie as the Democratic candidate.  

e. All announced Democratic candidates must be asked to pledge to fully support the nominee of the party and not to run in it or to support other candidates for the nomination.  If they want Democrats nomination, they should be required to abide by the choice of Democratic voters. 

*  Pierce notes that The Young Turks is a real and continuing presence in the Sanders campaign:

All day, First Avenue up and down and around the U.S. Cellular Center was alive and raucous with cheers, chanting and, at last, a parade led by Bernie Sanders, who marched with some striking McDonald's workers and with a whole battalion of people from The Young Turks, which is apparently going to be a thing this time around.

I've noticed that the online narrow casting of TYT and its sattelite operations, The Majority Report, etc. are all pushing hard on the Bernie Sanders cult, sandbagging real Democrats with some real chance of winning the real election.   I have to see this as part of the pseudo-lefty media that in its past (and current) print version have serially sold deluded and mostly affluent play lefties on one election losing scheme after another, one idiotic self-defeating "issue" after another, paranoia campaigns, etc.  Not long ago one of them was slamming Elizabeth Warren for in the past doing work as a lawyer for corporations AS IF HER ENTIRE PUBLIC CAREER FOR SEVERAL DECADES COUNTS FOR NOTHING BY COMPARISION. 

I have to wonder when people otherwise appearing to be smart do such stupid things with the experience of the Bush II and now Trump disasters to wise them up.  It's almost as if they, like the old Communist Party were being paid to do this shit.  Or at least that's what I have to wonder.  I know the Greens probably have been, as Jill Stein's appearance at that RT celebration with Mike Flynn and Putin at the same table would excuse anyone from concluding.   I wouldn't be shocked if the not that long ago conservative Cenk would run such a cynical operation.  He and his buddies are pretty cynical. 

Reconsidering Michael Wolff

Listening to another interview with the celebrity journalist Michael Wolff, I've come to the conclusion that he is actually more qualified to report on Donald Trump's regime than regular political reporters because Donald Trump is a show-biz personality, he's not a person who lives within the confines of serious pubic life - or what passes for that, these days.   The regular reporters of Washington DC and NYC whose beat is regular politicians and bureaucrats and lawyers and judges are out of their depth, valuing their observation of decorum and the regular order of politics and the law.   A show biz lawyer who is used to covering the world of Donald Trump is more qualified to get to something more like realistic view of the unreality that Trump is than those who are used to treating political fraud with a decorous veneer of respect for the fraudsters.  

Maybe along with the 2000s phenomenon of Comedy Channel shows doing a better job of getting the deplorable Bush II regime and Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert doing Trump better than the network news shows, Michael Wolff has a more realistic picture of Trump world than you're going to get from those used to treating the office with a deference Trump makes dangerously in appropriate, now.  Maybe that's why the media was so stupid about the "tea party" fraud, as well.  Maybe they should just admit that when TV and social media constructs most peoples' thinking you can't achieve a few of reality by the old rules of polite journalism that they, themselves, have typically honored more by breaching it than in really observing it.  Their industry created Trump, that's a fact.  They did it by repeating lies and telling some of those, themselves.