Category Archives: Blogs

Political Roundup for November 8th, 2017…Remember, remember, the 7th of November…RRH Elections

National

Populist/Nationalist Uprising…or not: The Economist posits that despite conventional wisdom purporting the opposite, political power follows economic power. The magazine explains that the global upper class has been successfully flexing its muscle. As proof, it notes that Brexit has resulted in a wage squeeze due to the Pound’s decline and that the Donald’s “revolution” has resulted in… a tax cut bill that benefits the wealthy.

Hudson Valley Hasids: Mutual contempt between the Hasidic residents of the Hudson Valley and their neighbors is at an all-time high. The Village of Kiryas Joel’s Haredi residents and their longer-tenured neighbors in the Town of Monroe have, for years, experienced severe tensions. These tensions and KJ’s rapid growth catalyzed a vote yesterday on the question of KJ secession from Monroe.

The Irrational Electorate: Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has published groundbreaking work on “the attribution error, or voters’ tendency to believe that politicians have more control than they really do. Of course, we the people would never elect anyone of importance thinking that they could snap their fingers and quickly enact massive, structural changes…

The Year of the Womyn: According to lyin’ NBC News, there were a record number of female candidates on the ballot in Virginia’s elections yesterday.

Redistricting: While no surprise to RRH readers, the elections yesterday mark the beginning of a three-year course of elections that will determine control of 2020’s decennial redistricting process.

Big City Mayors and Millenials: Big city mayors are finding that pocketbook and infrastructure issues, such as affordable housing and good public transit, top the list of millennials’ concerns. While condescending conventional wisdom says that millennials are attracted by “cultural districts” and the like, this new information flips that narrative on its head….

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There was an attempted terror attack last Friday on a U.S. airport, and no one is talking about it.

By RETIII  @ Daily Kos
The North Florida Survival Group teaches “patriots” of all ages to handle weapons and survive in the wild.

This is pretty amazing.  As explained by Shaun King at the Intercept, a terror attack on a U.S. airport was narrowly foiled just this past Friday:

On past Friday morning, at 12:39 a.m., security footage from the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina showed a man walking through the front doors wearing black clothing and a black cap, while carrying a bag. “Based on a review of the video, the individual walked near the entrance to the terminal, went out of sight momentarily, and was then seen departing the area without the bag,” according to the criminal complaint.

Following the Transportation Security Administration’s protocols, airport security allowed a bomb dog to sniff the bag for explosives and the dog signaled to the team the presence of dangerous materials in the bag. The concourse was then shut down. The street leading to the airport was shut down. And Asheville Regional Airport officials found themselves in a dangerous emergency situation.

What investigators eventually found in the bag was AN/FO (Ammonium Nitrate/Fuel Oil) explosives that, according to the criminal complaint, have been used “in a number of terrorist-related incidents around the world. When AN/FO comes into contact with a flame or other ignition source it explodes violently. Nails or ball bearings are often items added to the device so as to increase the devastation inflicted by the explosion.”

This bomb was meant to cause multiple deaths:

In fact, sharp nails and bullets were found in this improvised explosive device. Whoever built it designed the bomb to cause horrific bodily harm. Before disarming it, authorities discovered that the alarm attached to it was scheduled to go off at 6:00 a.m. that morning just as a fresh round of travelers was scheduled to arrive at the airport.

The man who planted it, it turns out, openly admitted to authorities that he was “preparing to fight a war on U.S. soil” and that this bomb was but one part of that war.

Holy cow!  Where is the wall-to-wall media coverage?  Why hasn’t President Trump been tweeting about this?  How is this story uncovered?

Well, as Shaun King points out, the answer appears to be because the bomber — who has been arrested — is not Muslim.  No, he is a White guy.  A militia type who wanted to kill Americans and start a war on U.S soil….

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image..Brian Blanco/Reuters

Puerto Rico : Time For Statehood?

puerto rico

Puerto Rico, that small island in the Caribbean which has suffered so much in this season of hurricanes, is in ruins.

Decades of miss-management, downright greed and stupidity have undermined this unincorporated territory of the United States.

Puerto Rico was bankrupt before the hurricane, it is a basket case now.

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Americans need to see Puerto Rico as different and special, because unlike the other islands that have suffered so badly these last couple of months, Puerto Rico is American and its people are American Citizens with all the rights of their mainland cousins.

Now with no power, little clean water, food or fuel Puerto Rico is in dire straits.  There is little in the way of communications, cell or landline, and the initial calculations are that it will be at least six months before there is a return to some normalcy.

This is colossal damage.

3.4 million people are suffering now, and all of them AMERICAN citizens.

This is not some distant a third world crisis, this is America’s own we are talking about.  In her own back-yard.  Should they be placed at the back of the queue?

Maybe when he goes there in a few days’ time, Donald might offer them full statehood as the 51st state of America to go along with the massive aid that they need?

The opportunities for Trump (should he choose to take them) are outstanding…..

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We Want YOU!

I’m proud to be moving along at this place for more than EIGHT YEARS…..

We have a dedicated group of guys who come to this place everyday to sit around and talk, debate and beat the keyboard keys ……

I post about Politics, National Security, Sports  and other things that hit the net’, newspapers or just about anywhere…..

Several of our regulars have impressed upon me the need for some new blood commenters here….

I agree…..

SO I’M PUTTING IT OUT THERE FOR ALL WHO SEE THIS….

ASK AROUND ……

We’re looking for more people to jump into the on-line discussions here…..

And for those who seethe posts on facebook , twitter and other social media ?

Come on….

Don’t be shy….

Drop in and join the on line fun……

Oh?

Crazies need NOT apply……

Donald Trump took $107 million promised to charities … and kept it…

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Donald Trump singing along to "My Way" dances with first lady Melania Trump while attending the Freedom Inaugural Ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Trump will attend three inaugural balls. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch - Pool/Getty Images)

Occupying the White House has proven lucrative for Donald Trump. He’s been able to charge the Secret Service hundreds of thousands for rental space and golf carts. He’s been able to turn his Washington Hotel into a place where the emoluments clause is put to constant test. But the AP reports that no other cash-in matches the one Trump took on day one.

President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million for a ceremony that officials promised would be “workmanlike,” and the committee pledged to give leftover funds to charity.

The $107 million is a massive amount for even the most lavish inauguration. It’s almost twice what Barack Obama took in for a celebration that was much more widely attended and which included many more events. Trump even cut back on the number of inaugural balls to only two, compared to the ten balls that the Obamas attended in 2009. With twice the money and one fourth the events, all but a handful of the $107 million gifted to Trump for the inauguration should be available for charitable giving.

It’s been eight months. How much has been given out? None. None at all.

Nothing has yet gone to charity.

What is left from the massive fundraising is a mystery, clouded by messy and, at times, budget-busting management of a private fund that requires little public disclosure. ….

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We have never let Hillary Clinton speak for herself….

Amen….

By DiesIrae  @Daily Kos…..

Hillary-Clinton-What-Happened.jpg

Say what you want about her politics — love her, hate her, oranything in between — throughout her career one thing is constant. No one has ever accepted Hillary Clinton’s right to speak for herself.

In the early 90s, it was all about how she was too liberal. It was the conventional wisdom that she was far more liberal than her husband. I still remember all the attacks on her for being an outspoken feminist, and the refusal to accept her desire to work for the public interest.

In the late 90s, she was attacked relentlessly for choosing to stay with her husband despite his affair. Never mind that being her personal choice. Then when she got into politics, she was smeared with all the usual tropes against strong women in politics: ambitious, calculating, ruthless.

(Is it any wonder that she reacted by forming a shell? The media, led by certain outlets we all know and love, spent a decade tearing her to shreds not just as a politician, but as a person. She emerged with a siege mentality which arguably handicapped her for the rest of her political career).

In 2008, she lost a heartbreaking primary. She dealt with defeat in an incredibly graceful way, endorsing her opponent unambiguously, with passion, and working her heart out to get him elected. After the election, she accepted an offer to serve as his Secretary of State.

What did she get in return? She became a lightning rod for grievances against the president from the left. All of Obama’s deviations from perfection — not to mention her husband’s — became her responsibility. In late 2015 and early 2016, she was accused at every turn of being a secret Republican. Of being against universal health care despite having proposed it and fought for it in the early 1990s. Of being singlehandedly responsible for Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other foreign policy mistake over the last 25 years (say what you want about her decisions, some of the criticism was far over the top). Of being a tool of Wall Street. Hell, she was accused of being anti-choice.

The fact that these criticisms were the exact opposite of the criticisms thrown at her in the 1990s was irrelevant. Neither narrative really matched reality. Clinton has been a fairly mainstream Democrat for her entire political life…..

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Donald Trump stuck it to his own party yesterday…Was that Good or Bad?…Two views from the Right…

I always repeat that Donald Trump ran AGAINST his own adopted parties guys….Over at Red State , the conservative’s seem to agree….

trump-ryan-whisper

Pictured: House Speaker Paul Ryan looking for the least rude way to ask President Donald Trump what in the actual hell he’s doing. Probably.

In a surprise move yesterday… actually, you know what? No. It wasn’t a surprise move. Donald Trump struck a deal with Democrats. He said before he would strike deals with Democrats. He was a lifelong Democrat with Democrats ideals and beliefs. His views on spending align with Democrats. His views on immigration align with Democrats.

Nothing about what happened yesterday should come as a shock. Donald Trump sided with the Democrats. Here we are, Trump choosing to deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over the leaders of his own party in Congress, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. It seems like an odd thing to happen, especially given that Trump’s most ardent supporters have been bragging about his ability to fight the liberalism invading the country.

So, when Trump chooses to side with the liberals, you would expect outrage, right? Well, only if you haven’t been paying attention to where this is going.

See, this isn’t Trump  caving in to the Democrats. No no no. This is Trump sticking it to the Establishment, you guys. That’s all. He got Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell real good, you see? The Trump fanatics, Trump cultists, or whatever you want to call them, have moved the goalposts. This is no longer about the Democrats. It’s about The Establishment….

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But over at another Conservative Republican blog , Resurgent,…they aren’t so happy….

….By  @ Resurgent….

…..The President did us all a favor.

But there is a problem. By giving the Democrats a three month extension, the President has essentially compressed the legislative calendar. The GOP will now have to do tax reform, immigration, spending, and debt ceiling all at one time. This exponentially increases the odds of a terrible deal.

With the President siding with Pelosi and Schumer so publicly, he has given the GOP every reason to publicly claim the President must want to work with the Democrats. And work with the Democrats they will — to undermine the President.

Using the newly compressed legislative calendar as an excuse, they will undoubtedly cut several bad deals with Democrats and lump them all together in a couple of pieces of legislation. Remember, there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party. Occasionally they get together and do something that is both stupid and evil and the press heralds it as a bipartisan accomplishment.

We are on the road to stupid and evil more expeditiously because of what President Trump just did….

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Harvey Is Nothing To Do With Global Warming…..

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It ain’t no shark and it ain’t no warming neither

Houston’s flood this week is due to hubris and bad planning rather than global warming.  But hey would we not have to blame someone if it was planning?

Houston for those of us who have never passed through it, is one of those enormous post second war urban sprawls that ooze out across the West.  It was never the cowboys, John Wayne or General Custer that tamed this land, more like General Electric, General Motors and Westinghouse.  The air conditioner, personal cars and the refrigerator opened the land around Houston to become the huge 627.5 square mile of monster city it is today.

And it’s the way you build them that causes much of the problem.

Houston is low lying and near the coast.  And in what might possibly be a clue, much of what has been built on, was swamp.  So it always was prone to flooding.  This is not something new.  And then we need to factor in that much of the rest of the unchecked unregulated development was on prairie.  Now prairie is an interesting eco-system being grass with very deep roots that go far underground.  It is permeable to a fault.  The grass itself grows high and so when water hits prairie there is plenty of places for it all to go, sucked up into the grass above ground or sequestered down in the roots.  What the City fathers in their planning regulations, and the developers only out for a quite sale, have done is turn a sponge into a bathtub.

So, the developers paved over all that prairie with housing, roads, car parks, concrete, concrete, concrete etc, and hey they only discovered afterwards that the water had to go somewhere.  Surprising absolutely no one in particular, it ends up in areas that had not flooded previously.  Because, well it had nowhere else to go.

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And its all downhill to downtown

Next despite what might pass for common sense, the developers filled up the existing flood plains with more buildings.  Even as far back as 1980 there were concerns about building on floodplains and next to bayous.  But noone did anything.  Hey it was Boomtime what could possibly go wrong?  And naturally these developers did not have to put their hands in their corporate pockets to ensure that as they developed the housing they upgraded the infrastructure to allow cast water to be taken away.  And no one seems to have asked them to do that….

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Political Roundup for August 28th, 2017…Pence 2020?…RRH Elections…

President

Kasichlooper: Say it with me now ‘THIRD PARTIES CAN’T WIN NATIONAL ELECTIONS!’ The one asterisk to that has to do with impending civil war (and we’re not there, at least not yet). Even then, one of the original two parties will just rapidly die, leaving us with two parties once again. The most recent trial balloon making its way around Acela Corridor cocktail parties (and likely funding some consultant’s underling’s delicious and boozy bottomless brunch at El Centro on 14th St) is a possible 2020 ticket of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). You get two Johns for the price of one, and for once that wasn’t being said to a hooker. Joking aside, this balloon will eventually deflate like all of the others.

Pence: In this piece by Jack Colwell over at Howey Politics Indiana, he points out that the DNC is already talking about Vice President Mike Pence (R) as if he will be running for President… in 2020. I’m not sure if the DNC is just convinced that Trump will retire, or that they’re so deep into their own rhetoric that they’ve already just priced-in his impeachment and removal from office as a given. If it’s the former, I’d be really interested in how they know this. I’m guessing it’s the latter, though….

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A Government Shutdown Is A Bad Idea…

Erick Erickson’s blog features a Conservative arguing against his parties adopted leaders call for a  ‘Wall’ money or a Government shutdown…
By   @ Resurgent

 

There are some issues that conservatives of good conscience can disagree on and remain well within core conservative principles. One of these is the issue of shutting down the government. As President Trump and congressional Republicans consider shutting down the government over funding for the “big, beautiful wall,” they should avoid falling into what is Democrat trap.

The core problem for Republicans is a lack of votes. Although Republicans have a majority in both houses of Congress, the margins are slim and they lack the 60 votes required to end a Democrat filibuster. As a legislative strategy, a government shutdown does nothing to resolve this problem.

The only way for Republicans to pass a bill funding the wall – or anything else for that matter – is to make Democrats and moderate Republicans change their votes. The way to do that is to sweeten the pot. To give Democrats something they want in exchange for something that Republicans want.

A shutdown would do the opposite. It would be a combative policy that would further alienate Democrats and give them no incentive at all to vote for the Republican bill. In fact, a government shutdown would play directly into the hands of Democrats who want nothing more than for the Trump Administration to fail….

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Political Roundup for August 24, 2017…Kelly try to get a handle on his boss’s info input?…RRH Elections….

President/National

Kaisch/Hickenlooper:  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) has ruled out a unity ticket against both parties with Ohio Governor John Kaisch (Himself).   Kaisch and Hickenlooper have appeared together several times recently, but it appears that Hickenlooper has some semblance of human dignity and refuses to latch himself to a fail independent candidacy with someone more self-obsessed than President Trump (R?).

Trump-Information:  Chief of Staff John Kelly has established protocols to ensure all information reaching President Trump has been vetted by Kelly before Trump reviews it.  Unless Secretary of Defense Mattis has Cyber Command working on taking down Twitter and the Oval Office’s cable connection, this is only a minor fix.  It was so much easier when Sir Robert Warpole controlled the flow of information to the Hanoverians.

Congress

RNC-Primaries:  President Trump’s threat to primary Republicans who refuse to fall in line behind his agenda could complicate things for the RNC, who really cannot take sides in primaries especially against incumbents….

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Trump Should Fire Steve Bannon…Red State….

The political knives ARE out for Steve Bannon…..

donald-trump-steve-bannon(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This past Saturday, in response to the violence out of Charlottesville, Va, President Trump first responded with a weakly worded tweet. Later, he remarked again by tweet, and it was so bad I can’t describe it, I can only transcribe it. “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”

Eventually he remarked without his tiny fingers, vaguely talking about how hate is bad probably and whatever. He was rightly criticized for this and by Monday, gave a much more specific condemnation, mentioning the KKK, Nazis, and white supremacist movements as arbiters of an ideology incompatible with American ideals.

Many said “too little, too late” while others were happy Trump had managed to cobble together the very least at the very last. You’d think saying “I hate Nazis” or even “Nazis. Sad.” would be about the lowest hanging fruit imaginable for a politician but for some reason, it took two days and nationwide pressure from all sides, including the loud voices of better GOP politicians, for Trump to give as much attention to these scumbags as he gives to Rosie O’Donnell.

But more notably, and as is the standard for Trump, one group managed to stay out of his sternly scripted, totally-not-written-by-someone-else disavowal: The Alt-Right.

This is despite the fact that the alt-right has been on everyone’s lips through the entire situation. They have been the ever-growing (if not in numbers at least in influence and profile) movement that claim they represent the future of the Republican Party.

Young. Hip. Meme-filled. Oh, and racist AF.

Sometimes they will give lip-service to it being a non-racial movement, claiming they are mere nationalists, but not WHITE nationalists. However, if you corner one long enough, eventually you’ll get them to refer to American black culture as “third world” or talk about how immigration (legal immigration) is the staging ground for “white genocide.” That last is one of their favorite topics and they find it irresistible.

So why does the alt-right continue to escape so much as a finger wag from this president?

The answer is Steve Bannon. Obviously…..

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