Ramona's picture

    In the Battle for America the Internet is our War Room


    It's been a while, I know, but I'm back in the saddle, ready to do my thing, hoping I can do it without an overabundance of whining or spitting at people. (Not that that's what I've been doing.) But first I need to say this up front and out loud:

    I despise everything Donald Trump says and does and what he stands for (whatever that might be at any given moment), and I'll never accept that he is anything close to what a half-way decent president of the United States ought to be.

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    Bring on the Lepers

    I stopped by an exhibit in the station this eve, a nice large format profile of dozens of homeless and the sheltered, their stories - the guy who finds out he's adopted when he finally gets his various documents on leaving high school, the woman who manages to free herself from an abusive husband only to lose her leg to disease and get thrown out of guest work in England, another who can't manage to stay off the juice, one's a mechanic who works hard but always finds himself on the wrong end of some scam or people who don't pay the bills. They describe their day, how they survive and pass the time. I see similar folks in front of the station, handing out their magazines trying to earn a few coins of respectable money in return for their soup and sandwich. Some have started giving tours to tourists and locals, showing the city from the homeless point of view, even though one's a struggling male prostitute with AIDS, others have different impediments that make it unusual for them to mingle and present their world.

    "There are a million stories in the naked city - this has been a few of them". A few that cut through.

    acanuck's picture

    Cleric is pawn in Trump-Putin-Erdogan power game

    Lots of people will feel lots of pain once the Trump administration takes power. Perhaps the first casualty will be Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric now in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.

    A moderate Islamist leading a popular movement, Gülen was once allied with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They split over accusations of government corruption. Since then, Gülenism has been branded a terrorist organization, Gülen followers were accused of staging July’s failed military coup, and hundreds of thousands have been rounded up, fired or arrested. Gülen denies any involvement, but Erdogan demands he be extradited to face trial in Turkey.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Rage and Outrage Economy

    The Daily Beast asked me to write about the relationship between Carl Icahn and Donald Trump.  I responded with a piece about how Icahn's decades of shareholder activism are the foundation for Trump's corporation-focused Twitter rants.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    The Hug Heard Round America

    On December 15th 79-year-old John Franklin McGraw plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of assault that stemmed from the well-timed forearm shiver he delivered to 26-year-old Rakeem Jones at a Trump rally in March. He was charged with a misdemeanor for a crime that had felonious intent. North Carolina state law allows such offenses to be classified as misdemeanors, so I can’t blame him, but let’s be honest: he was sentenced to unsupervised probation for committing an assault captured on video. If you're reading this and believe Rakeem Jones would have received such a lenient sentence had their roles been reversed you should do a quick Google search of this continent's history.

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Man positive oncoming train won't really hit him

    When Norm Rixon woke up this morning, he expected it to be like any other morning with some coffee, news and time with Shifty, his dog. Instead, he awoke tied to train tracks in a dusty location outside Joshua Tree, Calif.

    "I did not expect that," said Rixon, 32.

    Despite his predicament, Rixon said he felt confident things would work out for him.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Truth Before Transition

    Barack Obama will hold a press conference tomorrow at 2:30 pm EST, before his family heads on their annual (well-earned) vacation to Hawaii.  We can hope for something important tomorrow as the White House has now made the following statements about Russia's election hacks:

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    In Defense of Ebeneezer Scrooge

    Oh, joy. The War on the War on Christmas is back. People are hollering that now that Trump has been elected, everyone is going to have to say "Merry Christmas" all the time and have "Merry Christmas" said to them all the time, whether they like it or not, and they don't like it, screw them anyway. What better way to express the meaning of Christmas? It's so very far from the spirit of Christian humility and love that I find myself, against all odds, ready to mount a defense of Ebeneezer Scrooge.

    Richard Day's picture

    NOAH'S ARK

    Last night I viewed two or three hours of the National Geographic Channel that centered upon Noah's Ark.

    Okay?

    So there I saw men in their early 40's? And these men were (once again) demonstrating that there was in fact a Noah's Ark; that all wild life (except for those who thrive in the seas or the fresh lakes?) had been destroyed by the wrath of God (what the hell did a hippo ever do that transgressed the laws of God?) and so God chose Noah

    To build an Ark?

    Taxing Economic Injustice

    Shortly after the Presidential election, I urged progressives to focus efforts on improving circumstances for poor, working, and middle-class people in targeted localities and states. At the national level, President-elect Trump and the solidly Republican Congress will not be responsive to our concerns and do not share our values. We will have to fight rearguard actions in Washington to try to preserve what remains of the positive legacies of FDR and LBJ. Opportunities to build on them at the national level are likely to be few and far between.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Hegemony, Demographics, and "Populism"

    "And before we knew it we were totally outnumbered at the family gatherings and consigned to a corner of the sectional, whispering and ducking among the flying hands, feeling rather small and blind, like moles or voles trembling in the shadows of the raptors."

    When I first heard Paul Hostovsky's poem "Hegemony" I was so caught up with the in-group out-group role reversal narrative that I completely missed the poems lesson: communication. In the poem the protagonist has three deaf cousins who were largely ignored by the rest of their family, but through a series of marriages, births, divorces, and new marriages the biblical narrative of "the first shall be last and the last shall be first" was manifested. The deaf cousins found themselves the center of attention. The "small and blind" feeling the new minority of the hearing felt was based solely on their response to their new position within the family. The majority's willingness to ignore the minority left them on the outside looking in. Maybe we need to start communicating better and read more poetry? 

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    That Nicaragua Feeling

    It's already become a transition cliche that Donald Trump is turning the US into a banana republic.  We've got the situational diplomacy, the crony appointments and the massive conflicts of interest as the president-elect clings to his global real estate and branding business even as he is about to take power.

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    From Russia with Love: A Tsar is Born (updated)

    Those surprised at Russia's annexation of Crimea during their Sochi Olympics shouldn't have been - in 2008 with the world focused the Olympics in Beijing, Russia launched a land, air & sea invasion of Georgia

    The Olympics themselves since Soviet times have always been a Russian showcase - extended to Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War. And some habits die hard, what with 111 Russian athletes banned from the Rio Olympics for doping (originally the whole team), and the announcement yesterday of 1000 athletes implicated in doping.

    Ramona's picture

    Dear Funny Mr. Smith

    Terrible news to report this morning, fellow Daggers. Our dear friend Mr. Smith (Michael Tracy Smith) died yesterday, a day before his 66th birthday.

    As some of you may know, he suffered for many years with Spondylitis, a degenerative disease that fuses the spine. Through it all he kept his big heart and his delicious sense of humor.  He was a master of the art of Haiku and made his amazing haikus a regular Friday feature here at Dagblog, a gift for which we probably didn't thank him enough.

     

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    Loose Cannon Overboard on SS Trumptanic

    A deranged Hillary hating fake news reader's gun blazing assault on a Washington DC pizza restaurant has shaken the SS Trumptanic and caused a man-overboard alert - even before the ship is cut loose from Trump Tower:

    Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

    In 1992, Bill Clinton was under attack for a reported affair with a woman from Arkansas. His wife, likely pissed, could have taken the easy way out, stayed in the shadows, let Bill work it out. Instead she went on camera and gave a speech that largely revived her husband's presidential chances - and cemented her negative opinion in the public eye for all time to come.

    Remainders (if 6 turned out to be 9)

    It becomes easier and easier to blog the absurdities, but unlike intelligence, time has not distended. So in the interest of keeping up, a few thoughts on where we are. Are we going to pass Peak Trump early? One could only hope, but seems his cohorts and apologists adapt to each new event easily, as like the fake Westworld-like CNN panel on SNL last week.

    Trump has ushered in the post-TV era for campaigns. It's not just the free airplay he gets on the networks - he really doesn't need promo anymore - it's all organic. He spent 1/3 of what Hillary spent, and nobody cares - every new tweet or news blip is simply good news for Trump, however bad it sounds. It's all impressions, "likes". Just like Facebook doesn't have any "unlike" button, there's no such thing as bad news for Donald - any mention will do. We have to find a way out of this or we're sunk

    [Update to note the right's already absorbed any Taiwan damage - it's either "China can't tell us what to do", "that Trump's a straight-shooter, yay!", or my favorite, "the left is sexist cuz Taiwan's leader is female". Surprised?]

    MrSmith1's picture

    A Decently December Friday Afternoon at the Haikulodeon

    And so it begins;
    the cold month that ends each year.
    Be mild, December.

    tmccarthy0's picture

    Running For Office Week 3: Dems in Disarray

    Last night was the LD reorganization meeting, and it was eye-opening, depressing, and shed a bright light on why Democrats haven't won in my district in 12 years. 

    The reorganization meeting was large. Many people are motivated to try to take the district back, but the lack of professionalism and seeming lack of organizational knowledge is stunning. There was a full table of people still fighting the primary results. And while I still am convinced I should run, I am not sure that our local party has the organizational chops to help  support a successful campaign.

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