Donald Trump’s Amazing Somersaults
Jul27

Donald Trump’s Amazing Somersaults

The term — the phenomenon — (political) “flip-flopping” goes back as far as 1890 when the New York Times reported on a campaign speech by New York City candidate for district attorney John W. Goff, referring to a “flip-flop” by one of his opponents. The “flip-flopper” accusation has been used in “modern times” against Jimmy Carter, Richard Gephardt and more (in)famously against John Kerry during the 2004 presidential...

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We cannot give up
Jul27

We cannot give up

The inspiration for this post came from a conversation with my sister. We were talking about the influence Fox News and the right wing conservatives have on the voters. As my sister pointed out, millions of dollars are constantly being poured in to advertising to promote a very specific message that appeals to a group of people who vote in every election. Along with the money, there is also the problem of gerrymandering which is not a...

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Stiglitz On Greece
Jul27

Stiglitz On Greece

Joe Stiglitz has been spending the last little while in Greece, checking out the state of affairs. Those affairs, he predicts, will get worse and follow a course of events which keep repeating themselves: As I read the details, I had a sense of déjà vu. As chief economist of the World Bank in the late 1990s, I saw firsthand in East Asia the devastating effects of the programs imposed on the countries that had turned to the I.M.F. for...

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Military Weekend 3
Jul26

Military Weekend 3

The islands of Hawai’i are one of America’s favorite vacation destinations. They are also some of our most strategic national security assets and home to the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), a command whose area of responsibility covers about half the earth’s surface, from the shores of California and Alaska to India, from Antarctica to the North Pole. A command that boasts approximately 360,000 military and civilian personnel...

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Who wants odds on the first GOP hopeful to quit?
Jul24

Who wants odds on the first GOP hopeful to quit?

It’s Friday. And while Donald has provided hours of comic relief over the past week, and many weeks before, there is never enough humour to go around, so here’s something else that’s funny, both in a ha ha and a strange sort of way. Former New York Gov. George Pataki is still running for the GOP presidential nomination. Yeah, I know. I forgot too. Not only that, but he says that if he gets enough attention he’ll win...

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Trump was born to run as a third-party candidate
Jul23

Trump was born to run as a third-party candidate

I think rather than wondering if Donald Trump would run for president as a third-party candidate, we should wonder why he wouldn’t. I can think of no reason, given what we have seen so far, to believe that a third-party campaign doesn’t fit his strategy perfectly. Donald Trump says the chances that he will launch a third-party White House run will “absolutely” increase if the Republican National Committee is unfair to him during the...

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Frank Rich on Donald Trump
Jul23

Frank Rich on Donald Trump

Frank Rich blames the GOP for “weaponizing Donald Trump” in New York Magazine. Whatever else is to be said about Trump, he is a master salesman. And in the GOP presidential marketplace, he has a near-monopoly on the product he is selling now: hard-line, unapologetic, xenophobic opposition to both immigration reform and Mexican immigrants. Immigration is the fault line of the GOP. The party’s establishment — from its...

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Obama’s Late Surge
Jul22

Obama’s Late Surge

Ezra Klein on vox.com and Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo make similar comments on the strengthening close to the Presidency of Barack Obama. Klein: Presidents often turn more moderate to make gains in their final years. Think of Bill Clinton’s 1997 budget deal, or George W. Bush’s 2007 (failed) immigration reform effort, or Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reforms. Second terms can feel like new presidencies.  ...

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Josh Marshall on Donald Trump
Jul21

Josh Marshall on Donald Trump

Josh Marshall puts Donald Trump’s recent attack on John McCain as well as his candidacy into perspective on Talking Points Memo. Trump’s shooting for 20% of the GOP primary electorate in a very crowded field where no other candidate beside Bush (with whom there is likely zero overlap in support) has shown any ability to break out from the pack. He’s a jerk and a clown and arrogant beyond belief; but he is media...

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Fareed Zakaria on the Iran Deal
Jul21

Fareed Zakaria on the Iran Deal

Fareed Zakaria says the Iran deal is a necessary step in The Washington Post. When making up their minds about the nuclear deal with Iran, people are properly focused on its details. But to figure out whether an agreement that limits and inspects Iran’s nuclear program is acceptable, one has to consider seriously the alternatives to it — and there are really only two. First, a return to sanctions. Let’s say that the U.S....

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Hell on Earth
Jul18

Hell on Earth

At 69 I like most of the people alive I  have lived with the threat of nuclear weapons  all of my life.  Less than 10 months before I was born the first nuclear weapon was detonated in New Mexico.  It was code named Trinity. The light of a nuclear explosion is unlike anything else on Earth. This is because the heat of a nuclear explosion is unlike anything else on Earth. Seventy years ago today, when the first atomic weapon was...

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Can we ever really understand Charleston shooter Dylann Roof? (Guest Voice)
Jul18

Can we ever really understand Charleston shooter Dylann Roof? (Guest Voice)

Can we ever really understand Charleston shooter Dylann Roof? by Jordan Cooper Can we ever really understand Charleston shooter Dylann Roof? If we try to judge someone’s mental stability by a picture that has no written meaning and is just used as an artful expression, then we’d be off course every time. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a true statement but those words don’t necessarily correlate...

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James Holmes Convicted Of 1st Degree Murder
Jul16

James Holmes Convicted Of 1st Degree Murder

News just breaking. James Holmes, the Colorado movie theater shooter has been found guilty on twelve counts of 1st degree murder. The jury thus has rejected any claims of insanity. There are 165 counts to be read so all the verdicts will take some time but he has been convicted on the main charges and is likely to be convicted on most or all of the remaining charges. Under Colorado law there are two possible sentences: either death or...

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Former President George H W Bush Hospitalized After Fall
Jul15

Former President George H W Bush Hospitalized After Fall

Just breaking tonight. Best hopes for a quick...

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Update to Recent Post about Pope Francis (with an apology)
Jul13

Update to Recent Post about Pope Francis (with an apology)

What Pope Francis did with his gift from Bolivia’s president has been revealed. The Catholic Herald reports the fate of the aforementioned gift. Then the Holy Father did the best thing possible with the present; before he left Bolivia he laid it at the feet of Our Lady of Copacabana, the patron saint of Bolivia, addressing her as: “You, Queen of Bolivia who … attends to the prayers and needs of your children, especially...

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North Carolina: This Time Not About a ‘Symbol’
Jul12

North Carolina: This Time Not About a ‘Symbol’

Some have called the recent debate about and the eventual taking down of the Confederate battle flag at the South Carolina State House “the ungodliness of trepidation” and claim that the flag is not a symbol of hate and institutional racism. Others have called that flag and other Confederacy relics just “symbols” and call the fury — “hate” — over them a distraction that results in not doing something concrete...

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The Best Quote So Far re Confederate Flag Taken Down
Jul10

The Best Quote So Far re Confederate Flag Taken Down

The crowd of souls, already fanning themselves in the heat of the day, gathered all around the capital flagpole, cheering USA USA USA and singing as the flag came down low, a pop tune da da da da, da da da da, oh ay, Goodbye…da da da da, da da da da, oh ay, Goodbye. Honor guard, black and white, handles the confederate flag with trained military respect, and once flag was down and rolled, not triangle folded, a black officer...

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Emotional Correctness vs. Political Correctness
Jul08

Emotional Correctness vs. Political Correctness

Progressive activist and pundit Sally Kohn offers a radical message: emotional correctness beats the political kind. Check out her TED talk.   Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg sounds a similar call in The Houston Chronicle. Overnight, Betty became a bigot – or, at least, that’s how the 74-year-old Brazoria County grandmother fears people will perceive her for opposing gay marriage in a country that has...

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The Past Through Pictures VI
Jul08

The Past Through Pictures VI

Today we will take our photo adventure south of Munich.  This is Lake Starnberg (Starnbergersee): This is the beautiful little town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the foot of the Bavarian Alps.  A popular ski resort in the winter and a fun place to sit in a beer garden in the summer at least until the almost daily thunderstorm comes rolling out of the alps.     Links to previous posts. Change Is Hard – II The Past Through...

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The sense and sometimes nonsense of time zones
Jul08

The sense and sometimes nonsense of time zones

In 1884 the International Meridian Council suggested a zero point and a way to match clock time with the position of the sun.  It looked good on paper but hasn’t always made sense.  We can see in the map below that times zones can be chaotic, Time zones are often social instruments rather than logical ones.  China should have five time zones but only has one.  India should have three but only has one.  In my own state of Oregon...

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