September 16, 2015 archive

Don’t Expect Much From Toonight’s GOP Debate

Tonight, starting at 6 PM EDT on CNN and round two at 8 PM EDT on the same cable channel, the GOP will present its second debate from the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. As before, the first debate will lead off with the lower ranking candidates in the polls. This time there are only four that didn’t make the cut for the main event, while eleven will now occupy the main stage. Former Hewlett Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina will join the boys club for this round.

This will mostly be an event to try to counter the bombastic rhetoric of the front runner, real estate mogul and performance artist Donald Trump. Mr. trumps unscripted screed has dominated the regular and cable news station, so much so that some high profile figures are calling them out on it. HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher lambasted MSNBC’s  Chris Matthews on Matthews’ own show, “Hardball” for what Maher called non-stop coverage of Trump’s “rambling brainfarts”

When Matthews asked for his thoughts about how Trump could be pulling in the crowds and the poll numbers that he does, Maher’s said the reason was that when it comes to how much live coverage the media gives the plutocrat, MSNBC needs only to look in a mirror.

“Why cover it, like he’s Churchill giving an important speech? Have you listened to these speeches?” Maher asked. “Trump is always saying other countries are laughing at us. This is why they’re laughing at us, because of what he says and how we are taking it seriously.”

Maher also brought up Trump’s attacks on his rivals for using teleprompters, saying that though people have been responding to his speeches, Maher described them as “brain fart, stream of conscious ramblings.”

Matthews responded that network news keeps Trump on in order to see how long he’ll last, to which, Maher supposed Trump could go on repeating the same points forever.

“He’s already repeating his material. He says this stuff in every speech,” Maher said. He finished the conversation by acknowledging also how, whether Trump is giving speeches or taking questions, he either disregards evidence contrary to his views, or promises “something terrific.”

So what happened last night? Yes, they did it again when during Chris Hayes’ show, they cut to complete coverage of Trump’s alleged foreign policy speech, which was mercifully shorter than usual and had nothing to do with foreign policy. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, apparently fed up with Trump’s babbling, cut away:

Trump was speaking in broad terms about doing good things for the military and veterans. Now, normally whenever Trump’s speaking on TV, cable news can’t resist it. But it appears this speech may have been a final straw of sorts, as Cooper just cut into the speech and very blatantly said they were told there will be specifics.

He informed viewers if Trump started giving specifics, they would cut back to his remarks. They did not.

And it didn’t even end there. At various different points throughout the evening, Cooper made a point of highlighting how Trump gave no specifics, which apparently people were led to believe would be in this particular speech.

What is even more pathetic is former Politico writer Maggie Halberman, now writing with a New York Times by-line, trying to convince her readers that Trump has become a more “disciplined” candidate. Really??? My guess would be that Ms. Halberman hasn’t seen or heard Trump’s last two speeches.

I really hate dwelling on The Donald but he is a useful tool in the sense that he is showing the GOP for what it truly is: a racist, egocentric, party of old white men who care only about catering to the 1% who support them. No offense to Dr. Ben Carson, who is a very close second in the polls. While he maybe an excellent neurosurgeon and a innovator in his field of medicine, he is out of touch with the realities of the vast majority of black Americans. It sad that instead of being remembered for his greatness in the OR, he’ll be remembered for his clueless presidential run.

We will be live blogging this event. I will be removing all sharp and hard objects from the room lest I be tempted to throw one at my TV. I will also have a pitcher of very dry martinis and, just for The Donald, a large bowl of home made salsa and tortilla chips.

The Breakfast Club (Rock Me Baby)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Vietnam War deserters and draft evaders receive conditional amnesty; Palestinian refugees massacred in Lebanon; Mexico pushes for independence; Opera star Maria Callas dies; Blues great B.B. King born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

Albert Einstein

On This Day In History September 16

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 16 is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 106 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1932, in his cell at Yerovda Jail near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British government’s decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste.A leader in the Indian campaign for home rule, Gandhi worked all his life to spread his own brand of passive resistance across India and the world. By 1920, his concept of Satyagraha (or “insistence upon truth”) had made Gandhi an enormously influential figure for millions of followers. Jailed by the British government from 1922-24, he withdrew from political action for a time during the 1920s but in 1930 returned with a new civil disobedience campaign. This landed Gandhi in prison again, but only briefly, as the British made concessions to his demands and invited him to represent the Indian National Congress Party at a round-table conference in London.

In 1932, through the campaigning of the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar, the government granted untouchables separate electorates under the new constitution. In protest, Gandhi embarked on a six-day fast in September 1932. The resulting public outcry successfully forced the government to adopt a more equitable arrangement via negotiations mediated by the Dalit cricketer turned political leader Palwankar Baloo. This was the start of a new campaign by Gandhi to improve the lives of the untouchables, whom he named Harijans, the children of God.

The Daily Late Nightly Show (iGarbage)

Hmm.  I didn’t really expect CBS to be as forthcoming as Comedy Central and they’re not.

Or perhaps I just don’t understand the new system well enough, do you really want to see Justice Breyer again?  I thought not.  Tonight’s guests are Jake Gyllenhaal, Tim Cook, Run The Jewels, and TV On The Radio (direct fron CBS, I don’t believe it either).

Let me explain my relationship with Apple.  I was an early adopter back in the days when the archtecture was open, the firmware code with BIOS entry points free and documented, and Romar ][s roamed the earth with a massively fast 1.5Mhz 6502 with 48K and could be coupled with an impressive 2Mhz Z80 for your CP/M satisfaction (not at the same time of course, are you crazy?  Good enough that you don’t have to buy a separate keyboard and monitor).  I still have a licensed Applesoft Basic Compiler and an Apple 2c lightly used in box.

Who would have thought the big blue giant of corporate proprietary computing would manage to do something good for a change and provide us with the open cheap systems we need instead of the over priced chic crap that didn’t really start in a garage in Los Altos anyway.

Yes, I’m sorry Steve Jobs is dead despite the fact he was a thoroughgoing asshole of middling intellect.  I have no sympathy at all for his company which is a collection of fashion obsessed Wall St. ripoff artists who haven’t had a genuinely new idea since they looked at an S-100 Bus and said “why do we need all those wires?”

I mean c’mon.  You can do everything you need in 64K can’t you?  Lunar Lander is an exact model of the code we actually used to put a guy on the Moon and that runs in a 1K calculator.  The problem is that we’re too geeky to be cool.

We need to fix that.

So now you can have a Dick Tracy watch with a Hermes price tag.  I hope you think your life is improving, there are children in Africa who don’t have basic cable, ice cubes, and microwaves you lucky dogs.

The New Continutity

Keeping it Oathy

Tonightly the topic is ‘The War On Cops’.  Our panel is Salman Rushdie, Chloe Hilliard, and Jordan Carlos.