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Jeremy Nixon
20,951 followers -
I'm from Jersey. I escaped.
I'm from Jersey. I escaped.

20,951 followers
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Well, there it is: the "new" G+, forced on us.

It is still an unmitigated, worthless piece of garbage with no redeeming value. And, I mean, you don't even get a link to open a post in its own page! A long post with a long comment thread, and you're supposed to read it in the cramped 3-column view and scroll the tiny little comment box?

Fuck this.
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Too much corruption in Congress? The Republican solution: cripple the Ethics Office. That'll take care of it.

Good thing we didn't elect the crooked one!

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/us/politics/with-no-warning-house-republicans-vote-to-hobble-independent-ethics-office.html
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Remember when the Senate Democrats eliminated the filibuster on cabinet appointments, and people were like, you know, that might not really be a good idea?

Well, now we get Rick “Oops” Perry as secretary of energy. The Department of Energy literally WAS THE “OOPS”. He will be Secretary of Oops.

Talk about reaping what you sow…

http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/report-trumps-taps-rick-perry-for-energy-secretary
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So, you know that life-size Noah’s Ark in Kentucky? I went there.

Here’s more than 4,400 words and 79 pictures, so you don’t have to go yourself.

https://www.gasfoodnolodging.com/2016/12/ark-encounter/
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Debate notes.

This is it, folks: the third and, mercifully, final presidential debate.

Since our last outing, Donald Trump has come more and more unhinged, as allegations of sexual assault and harassment pile up. He had a Twitter meltdown over Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live. He is now convincing his True Believers that the election is rigged against him, preparing the flock to reject the legitimacy of the democratic process itself. Supporters, convinced that a vast conspiracy encompassing the Clinton campaign, all media outlets, and, presumably, local election workers all across the land truly exists, are preparing to intimidate and confront anyone they see at a polling place who looks Mexican or Syrian to them. Yes, the conspiracy even includes all those Syrian refugees Trump supporters imagine are streaming into the country to implement Sharia and take away our guns or whatever.

Republicans are running away in droves. John McCain, the party’s nominee in 2008, does not intend to vote for him. Even Mr. Trump’s bitch, Chris Christie, has been distancing himself. The election-rigging story is so absurd that even his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, has publicly disagreed with it.
No one, not even his running mate Mike Pence, has been willing to defend the things Mr. Trump has said about women.

No one, that is, except his devoted wife, Melania. At forty-six and married to a seventy-year-old billionaire who once told Howard Stern that when a woman turns thirty-five “it’s called check-out time,” Mrs. Trump will likely stand by her man, hoping he doesn’t trade her in for a newer model before he shuffles off this mortal coil.

Meanwhile, there’s been actual news about Hillary Clinton, with Wikileaks releasing emails, the FBI releasing details of its interviews from the email investigation, and evidence that Clinton supporters instigated violence at Trump rallies—but no one gives a crap because no one can stop talking about Donald Trump.

§

There was no handshake between the candidates at the start of the debate—and there was none at the end. It was not a friendly debate. It was not a civil debate.

For the first half-hour, it looked like it might be. But, as we’ve seen before, Mr. Trump started to go off the rails after a half-hour and went into a downward spiral, interrupting, interjecting “wrong” when Mrs. Clinton was speaking, and, as we got closer to the end, just angrily shouting over her, and later, over the moderator. At one point he interjected “such a nasty woman.”

Remember that jaw-dropping, terrifying moment in the last debate when Mr. Trump promised to imprison his political opponent? It was an unprecedented threat in American politics. Well, the headline tonight was even worse: moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News directly asked Mr. Trump if he would accept the outcome of the election. Mr. Trump said, “I will look at it at the time.” He twice refused to say the election would be legitimate and repeated his assertion that the election is rigged.

This, too, is unprecedented in American politics, this undermining of the democratic process itself. This is, or should be, absolutely disqualifying. There was audible gasping in the audience. Mr. Trump was in full-on conspiracy mode.

In an early illustration of how thin-skinned Donald Trump really is, when asked about the Supreme Court, he immediately leapt to attacking Ruth Bader Ginsburg for having said bad things about him.

When Mrs. Clinton said that Russia was responsible for the hacking of her campaign’s email, Mr. Trump again couldn’t resist leaping to Russia’s and Vladimir Putin’s defense. Strongly, and at length.

Things got even worse on foreign policy. On the fight for Mosul, Mr. Trump repeated his bizarre rant about how the ISIS leaders in Mosul have left because the attack was announced, and why couldn’t it be a sneak attack? The breathtaking ignorance that would lead someone to think a major military attack on Mosul, involving more than thirty thousand troops and lots of heavy equipment, could be undertaken in secret, is scary. And do we really think ISIS thought no one would try to retake Mosul? This guy knows nothing about anything, and knows it very loudly.

The topic came up of Mr. Trump saying that more countries should have nuclear weapons—South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia—and Mr. Trump denied that he’d ever said it. He said you wouldn’t find a quote from him like that, and he said it was just another lie from Mrs. Clinton. Unfortunately for him, it was a flat-out lie from Mr. Trump, and the quote whose existence he denied happened on national television.

When the topic moved to Aleppo, Mr. Trump’s response was an incomprehensible word salad, an angry rant that made no sense at all. I mean, no sense as English paragraphs.

On immigration, “We have some bad hombres here” was Mr. Trump’s comment. He finally mentioned the border wall he wants to build, which, even if it were logistically practical, wouldn’t reduce illegal immigration very much. Somewhere around half of illegal immigrants came into the country legally and overstay their visas, and migration from Mexico is net negative. He also claimed Mrs. Clinton used to support building a wall—in fact, she voted for border fencing on seven hundred miles of the border, not the whole border.

When he said “nobody has more respect for women than I do,” the audience actually laughed.

Mrs. Clinton, for her part, was measured, composed, and knowledgable. She didn’t make any mistakes—but she did say that there would be no US ground troops in Iraq again, which would come as a surprise to the five thousand US troops in Iraq in an active war zone. That was probably her worst moment, and it wasn’t so bad.

Asked about the appearance of conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state, she dodged the question and made a little speech about how great the Foundation is.

She had a couple of clever zingers. One, noting that while she was in the White House situation room monitoring the bin Laden raid, Mr. Trump was hosting Celebrity Apprentice. (The show was interrupted for the president’s announcement.) Another was noting that Mr. Trump had used Chinese steel to build his hotel in Las Vegas, after Mr. Trump bemoaned the Chinese dumping cheap steel here to the detriment of our steel industry.

When describing Mr. Trump as always claiming things are rigged against him when they don’t go his way, she said that he’d even claimed the Emmys were rigged when he failed to win three years in a row. Mr. Trump, as if to prove the point for her, interrupted to say, “I should have gotten it.”

Mrs. Clinton put in a solid performance, as usual. Also, she intends to accept the result of the election, and apparently we need to say that now.
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Debate notes.

Just when we think this election can’t get any worse—here we are. In the first presidential debate, Donald Trump delivered the worst performance of any presidential candidate in any debate in history. The second, in the town-hall format, comes as Republicans are jumping off Trump’s sinking ship in droves.

Since the first debate, Mr. Trump has slut-shamed a former Miss Universe, had a New York Times exposé on his taxes, seen his running mate refuse to defend him at the vice-presidential debate, suggested that veterans with PTSD just weren’t strong enough, had his foundation ordered to stop illegally soliciting donations, insisted the Central Park Five were guilty of rape despite exonerating DNA evidence, and, now, Pussygate.

In case you thought we’d reached rock bottom, Mr. Trump made an appearance before the debate with women who have accused Bill Clinton of abuse—including Paula Jones, who in 1998 Mr. Trump called a “loser” while saying her accusation was false. Perhaps he intends to bring up Juanita Broaddrick’s accusation that Bill Clinton raped her in 1978, as if Mrs. Clinton would be to blame for that even if it were true.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speeches were leaked, and the world barely noticed.

§

Donald Trump prepared for this debate, apparently having learned from his first performance. He was much more controlled and had answers ready to go, and he was in control for a lot more of this debate. Still, as time went on he became more clearly angry, seething, pacing around the stage, and looming behind Mrs. Clinton while she was talking. He kept Mrs. Clinton on defense much of the time. Mrs. Clinton had clearly made a tactical decision not to engage with many attacks, but to retain her composure and act presidential. Mr. Trump’s behavior was far more bizarre. The visuals will not be kind to him. But he never lost complete control like he did last time.

It descended into bickering quickly. The first hour was barely a “town-hall” event, with very little from the audience. Moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper tried to keep control, but often couldn’t.

Mr. Trump characterized the “grab ‘em by the pussy” recording as “locker room talk” and said he’s not proud of it and would knock the hell out of ISIS. How we get from the tape to ISIS is a mystery to everyone but Mr. Trump.

When the topic of Mr. Trump’s taxes came up, he very nearly explicitly admitted that he took advantage of his 1995 declared loss to avoid paying federal income taxes since then. He then, bizarrely, blamed Mrs. Clinton, asking why she didn’t do something about fixing the tax code when she was a senator. In fact, when she was in the Senate, she did vote to close tax loopholes. Mr. Trump repeatedly brought up this question of why she didn’t fix things when she was in the Senate, but as Mrs. Clinton pointed out, she served with a Republican president. He insisted that if she had been an effective senator she could have done it anyway. He didn’t explain how he thinks that would work.

Hillary Clinton’s email scandal came up again, of course, and in a somewhat jaw-dropping moment, Mr. Trump threatened to imprison Mrs. Clinton if he becomes president. Yes, really: in the United States of America, a presidential candidate is talking about imprisoning his political opponents. This is the stuff of unstable third-world countries; I think it may be unprecedented in American politics.

Basically, the first half-hour of the debate was back-and-forth personal attacks between two people who are no longer able to hide their utter disdain for each other. “She has tremendous hate in her heart,” he said late in the debate.

Despite the presence of those four women accusing Bill Clinton of various sexual abuse, Mr. Trump didn’t press the issue very hard. He spoke about it once, in response to the “locker-room talk” issue.

If you wanted more indication of where things stand between Mr. Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, when the topic of Syria came up, Martha Raddatz asked if he agreed with Mr. Pence’s Syria policy. Mr. Trump, ice-cold, said he hasn’t spoken with Mr. Pence and does not agree.

As strong as Mr. Trump’s performance looked, reports for the next couple of days are not going to be kind to him. The fact-checking is going to show that he lied repeatedly, and the clips that will be repeated on cable news will not be flattering. He even mischaracterized his own tax plan, which in reality would be a massive tax cut on the rich and a tax increase on the middle class.

Mr. Trump kept complaining that the moderators were giving Mrs. Clinton more time. In fact, he spoke a little more than she did.

This was a contentious debate, civility having gone by the wayside in this campaign. Both candidates claim the other is completely unfit to be president, and they obviously have nothing but contempt for each other. While there was no clear winner, the country was the loser.
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This is what happens when you ask for a chili dog in Las Vegas. 😀
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