Kitten Tikka Masala Weighs In

Tikka has decided to make his views on this election absolutely clear:



I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t take another debate.  My spouse and son will be glued to the set while I’ll be at a bar with a friend in the science museum business.  We’ll talk shop, mostly ignore the baseball game, and, for my part, try to weigh the pros and cons between bourbon and rye. (Cue the inevitable soundtrack.)

Tikka’s done my thinking for me, and I don’t need any more exposure the Cheeto-Faced Ferret-Heddit ShitGibbon, thank you very much.

Your plans?

PS:  An alternate view: Tikka knows (as many Democratic candidates seem not to) how to engage the camera:


Which Of These Is Not Like The Others?

Andrew Sullivan — yes, I know, and I’ll get back to that in a moment — is live blogging the RNC for New York Magazine.  His reaction on Day 2  to the Christie-led witch trial “lock her up” frenzy was as it should have been:  it was vile and the mark of a neo-fascist campaign.  That evoked a response from a reader Sullivan then posted to the blog, which argued, reasonably enough, that errors in office are not criminal offences.  For example, that reader wrote and Sullivan published:

Politicians and presidents make serious ethical mistakes. Reagan/Bush 41 on Iran-Contra, Bush 43 on WMD intelligence/torture, Bill Clinton on perjury.

Let’s review.

Iran -Contra:  trading with a reviled adversary to fund an illegal covert war that killed thousands of the most vulnerable, least powerful people in our hemisphere.


WMD intelligence/torture: launch a war on false pretexts that left thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, many more wounded, millions displaced, an ongoing conflict that has spawned attacks on innocents all over the world, and that has led the United States government at its highest level to countenance war crimes.


Perjury:  lying about a blow job.


That one could write that sentence without a hint of irony is a measure of the damage done to US politics by the Republican party made as far back as 1968 to put power at all costs before all else.  That Andrew Sullivan could disseminate it without comment reminds us of his own Clinton Derangement Syndrome, and his unreliability as any kind of moral arbiter.

Sullivan is a clever man, a fast and fluid writer, and does get some things right; certainly, for all his CDS, he’s got no illusions about Trump as anything more than a Mussolini wannabe.

But for all that, he’s a terrible thinker.  Through the live blog (I’ve gotten through day 1 and most of day 2 so far) he talks repeatedly about the GOP’s focus on feeling at the expense of facts and reason — and he’s right of course.  But when the issue strikes one or another of his standing emotional chords, he’s no better.  I hope tomorrow to have the time to write up his stuff on Black Lives Matter.  It is everything you’d expect, and the current debacle turns on his unwillingness to do the intellectual work needed to test his own assumptions.

OK — it’s over to you, and back to the problem of figuring out 17th century share prices from one end of a coffee shop to another for me.

Images:  Fra Angelico, The Massacre of the Innocents 1450.

James Sowerby, Coloured Figures of English Fungi or Mushroomsplate 43, 1798.

Ito Jakuchu, Elephant and Whale Screens, 1797.

Further Airing of the Grievances

So, Bernie Sanders gave a speech last night. We’ve been talking about it. I’m sure some of y’all are sick of the entire discussion, which is fine — lots of other interesting threads below, or, if your scroll is sticky, there’s sure to be another up top soon.

But I’m one of those annoying assholes who believe the only way to work through a conflict is to get everything on the table. (The four scariest words in my family are “we need to talk…”)

It’s not that I enjoy picking at scabs (well, maybe a little). It’s that only in this way can we come together and move forward. Or decide that each other are irredeemable morons upon whom we should not bother to waste another pixel and look for other allies instead. Either outcome is progress! Read more

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Yes We Can – Again!

Now *that* is how you give a victory speech, Mr. Trump.

Apart from rejoicing — and buckling down to the general — what’s on the agenda for the day?

Pretty Amusing

In case there are a few Sanders supporters I haven’t alienated yet, this from Alexandra Petri is pretty funny:

If Sanders supporters complained about other things the way they complain about election results

This game is rigged. The pawns get to move almost NOWHERE, whereas the QUEEN (DETECT ANY RESEMBLANCE HERE???) can just move wherever she likes with no apparent rhyme or reason. She’s not a bishop or a rook. Why does she move like one? Also, the black pieces have to move second, which is TOTALLY unfair and needs to be looked into, unless I am playing with the white pieces today.

I played exactly the same word as my opponent, using exactly the same letters, and received fewer points for it — just because I wasn’t on some pink square, which my opponent claimed gave you DOUBLE the points. Pretty sure that’s the definition of rigged. Why would you just randomly have squares all over the board that counted for MORE or FEWER points when it’s just the same words? Also my opponent had two BLANK tiles, which just got to be WHATEVER letters she wanted. This seems made-up. Milton Bradley are shills who are trying to prevent the revolution. Also, “BERN” is totally a word.

Sometimes when the ball lands it is worth 10 points and sometimes it is worth 15 points? This is not consistent. Also, sometimes you only need to win, like, 18 games? But other times you need to win maybe 30? The rules should not be like this. I hear that this game was invented by kings, and now I know why: BECAUSE IT SILENCES THE POINTS OF THE LITTLE GUY. Plus, to win you need ads, and you know who pays for ads.

THIS GAME IS EVEN MORE RIGGED THAN THE ECONOMY. Hear me out. Usually when you get a heart or the queen of spades, it is an obvious negative, but somehow if you get ALL of the hearts and the queen of spades, you win? This is a blatant lie meant to disenfranchise voters, except for the time when it happened to me by mistake, then it was good.

I chuckled.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread

As an early morning chew toy, consider the following excerpts from a New York Times editorial board op-ed published today, which serves as a counterpoint to Cole’s “Pissing It All Away” post from last night:

Bernie Sanders’s Gift to His Party

The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton are better off for Mr. Sanders’s presence in this race. His criticism, as Winston Churchill might say, was not agreeable. But it called necessary attention to unhealthy developments in the Democratic Party, including its at ­times obliviousness to the lingering economic pain of the middle class and the young, and its drift toward political caution over aspiration.


Mr. Sanders’s unwillingness to compromise has contributed to a thin record of accomplishment over his decades in Congress. While Mrs. Clinton outflanks him on both knowledge and practice of foreign policy, on domestic policy he has forced her to address the impact of trade deals and globalization, spell out her stances on clean energy and oil and gas exploration, and put more meat on her plans for college affordability. He’s exposed her failure to support $15 an hour as a federal minimum wage, and rightly called her out on the Wall Street speeches that earned her millions and her refusal to make the transcripts public.

Mr. Sanders has exposed a broad vein of discontent that Democrats cannot ignore. Predictions that Mr. Sanders’s supporters could migrate to Donald Trump in the fall are overstated, despite Mr. Trump’s cynical efforts to woo them. It’s more likely that some simply won’t vote. Mrs. Clinton is betting that many Democrats will be motivated to get to the polls if Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee. But to truly unify the party, Mrs. Clinton and party leaders must work to incorporate Mr. Sanders and what he stands for in the party’s approach to the general election. It would also help to acknowledge that the party has strayed at times from its more aspirational path.

Unlike the voices on the Republican side, Mr. Sanders’s has elevated this campaign. The Democratic Party should listen.

So who is right about the Sanders effect, Cole or the NYT editorial board? That depends on how this all winds down.

I still have a Pollyanna-ish hope that it will end well — that BernieBros and Hilldebeasts will join forces to crush Trump, restock Congress with sane people and continue President Obama’s work of dragging this nation out of the cold, dead clutches of Reaganism.

Discuss this or anything else — open thread!

Shit Happens and Things Change


About fifteen years ago when I was a budding young fascist and started this blog, I never figured I would one day be voting for Hillary Clinton for President. But shit happens, and people change, and so I just got home from early voting where I happily cast my vote for Hillary and also chose to vote for Jeff Kessler.

I don’t think she is going to do very well here, and the polling indicates that Bernie will win and Trump is going to take the state in the fall anyways, as her great performance in 2008 in West Virginia was basically because then new Sheriff Obama was a… community organizer. Regardless, I always like to vote because I think it is so important, so I went and got a haircut, went to the courthouse and voted, and then went and treated myself to a fish sandwich and coleslaw for lunch.

And no, it wasn’t even remotely difficult to “pull the lever” for Hillary as a reformed Republican. I’ve talked to a lot of people who say shit like “I can’t believe I am going to have to vote for her,” and that’s just stupid nonsense talking. In a two party system, you vote for the person who will do a better job. It’s just that simple. You aren’t voting for pope or choosing your spouse. And there is no question that of all the remaining candidates and all who have run in 2016, Hillary is, by a wide margin, the best option. So sack up and go do your duty to the country and stop wanking about as it is all about you.

BTW- 15 blog years is like 175 human years. I’d wager there are not too many blogs that have been around this long.