Good advice on politicking from Jimmy Tingle

Check it out:

Undermining Democracy? The GOP Has Been Doing It For Years

Thesis - the national GOP is dying of a form of sepsis brought about by its own corruption. Discuss. - promoted by hesterprynne

Let me say that I’ve talked to President Clinton. We had a good visit, and I congratulated him. . . .campaign that the President was my opponent and not my enemy. And I wish him well, and I pledge my support in whatever advances the cause of a better America because that’s what the race was about in the first place, a better America as we go into the next century.

Sen. Bob Dole on losing to Bill Clinton

President Bill Clinton, for all of his faults, was pursued for years. It started with White Water (Oh, things were so simple then!) and Travelgate and finally Monica Lewinsky and finally impeachment pushed by philandering hypocrites in Congress. There were also the real crazy conspiracies like the suicide of Vince Foster. When Barack Obama was elected, the nuttiness didn’t stop. There was the birth certificate. The idea that he was a Muslim. Then the idea that he was Kenyan, rather than American. There are a whole host of theories should you care.

In a long campaign to disenfranchise Democratically-oriented minority voters, Republicans have advanced the idea that voter fraud, due to a lack of voter identification, was a major problem. The purpose of requiring voter identification is to suppress votes. Period. But an excuse was needed for voter identification. Fears of voter fraud fit the bill. Trump’s claims of voter fraud ring true with his followers because the GOP has primed them.

There are reasonable Republicans out there. We have some here at BMG and in Massachusetts, though even here the GOP minority pushed a voter ID bill. But at the national level, reasonable Republicans have taken a back seat to the preservation of Republican power.

As Jeff Greenfield writes in Politico:

In truth Trump—and now his new mordant muse, Steve Bannon—are only carrying to extremes a tendency that has long been present in American politics, particularly inside the GOP. For Republicans, Hillary Clinton’s failings are only part of the argument: The broader case is that the Democratic Party itself lacks the legitimacy to govern. And that argument is one that has been a quarter-century in the making.

One of the roots of this argument can be found in the famous list of words that the then-Rep. Newt Gingrich and pollster/communications strategist Frank Luntz offered Republican candidates in the run-up to the 1994 midterms. “These are powerful words,” they said, “words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party. … decay… failure (fail)… collapse(ing)… deeper… crisis…… corrupt…destructive… destroy… sick… pathetic… lie… … betray… traitors…”

Whether this playbook led to the GOP takeover of Congress is debatable. The key point is that these words go to motive. They paint the opposition not simply as incompetent, but as malevolent. And it is an approach to politics that fits perfectly with the rise of right-wing talk radio, whose most prominent practitioners roundly reject John Kennedy’s observation that “civility is not a sign of weakness.” Contra Bob Dole, the adversaries of Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage and company are indeed the enemy. At about the time Gingrich and Luntz were offering their version of “30 Days to a More Incendiary Vocabulary,” Rev. Jerry Falwell was actively engaged in selling “the Clinton Chronicles,” a film that accused the Clintons of murdering their political foes. Today, you can find this argument recycled on a regular basis on The Drudge Report.

Nationally, I don’t think there’s much hope for the GOP. Massachusetts may have Charlie Baker, but he’s balanced off by Sam Brownback, Mary Fallin, Rick Scott, and Scott Walker. We may not end up with the craziness of Maine’s chief executive, but the Republican Party is finally collapsing under its own internal contradictions. Trump gives us an idea of what will slither in and try to replace it. Time will tell whether it succeeds and how well the United States will fare as the GOP splits apart.

Film maker arrested, faces potential 45 year felony charge - for filming North Dakota protests - #NoDAPL

One hopes that the courts in North Dakota have far more sense than the local prosecutors. - promoted by david

Deia Schlosberg won an Academy award for her work as a film maker.  That doesn’t count in North Dakota where her equipment was confiscated and she was arrested.

Amy Goodman was also charged, and plans to turn herself in and fight those charges tomorrow, 10/17/16.

When did the First Amendment get repealed?

Early Voting

Very good news. Early voting starts a week from today! - promoted by david

This year, residents of the commonwealth will be able to vote early!  To find out where in your city/town/hamlet, click here.

I have a GREAT idea….

How about we set it up where once you vote, your television, mailbox, email, and telephone no longer receives campaign information?

If we did that, my hunch would be that voter participation would be close to 100%, on the first day of voting, which this year is Monday, October 24th.

Joke Revue: Republican Party Could Recover as Early as 2096



WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In what is being described as a best-case scenario, some political experts are predicting that the Republicans could once again be a viable political party as early as the year 2096.

Davis Logsdon, the head of the University of Minnesota’s political-science department, said on Saturday that the eighty-year time frame for the Republican Party to recover was “admittedly optimistic, but still doable.”

“It’s not going to be easy, and they have very little margin for error,” Logsdon said. “But if they do everything right and a lot of things cut their way, they could be up and running as a somewhat serviceable political party as early as 2096.”

According to the political strategist Tracy Klugian, however, Logsdon’s 2096 target date for the Republicans’ comeback is “laughably upbeat.”

“In order for the G.O.P. to become even a marginally functional political party again, all memory of the 2016 campaign will have to be obliterated,” Klugian said. “That means everyone who witnessed it will have to be dead, and probably those people’s children, and their children’s children, too. I wouldn’t bet on the Republican Party recovering any earlier than the year 2132.”

When asked about Klugian’s assessment, Logsdon said, “Yeah, 2132 is probably more like it.”


GREENSBORO, N.C. (The Borowitz Report)—Hillary Clinton is “plotting to rig the election by getting more votes than I do,” Donald J. Trump warned his supporters on Friday.

Speaking at a rally, Trump detailed what he called Clinton’s “vast conspiracy” to accrue more votes than he does on Election Day.

“The media won’t tell you this, but Crooked Hillary is going around the country every single day, trying to get more votes than I do,” he said. “That’s how she’s going to rig it, folks.”

He called the current sexual-assault allegations against him “a plot by the Clintons to draw attention away from Hillary’s evil plot to get votes.”


Trump Complains Entire Personality Rigged Against Him

WEST PALM BEACH, FL—Responding to his flagging poll numbers and a string of newspaper editorials and cable news pundits questioning his fitness to lead, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly complained to a rally crowd Thursday that for the entirety of this race, his personality has been rigged against him. “From day one, my internal thought processes and overall temperament have completely stacked the deck against my candidacy—it’s so obvious, folks, you can’t deny it,” said Trump, claiming that all facets of his character, from his egocentric worldview to his brash, vitriolic responses to even the smallest and most inconsequential provocations, have been colluding to ruin his chances of ever reaching the Oval Office. “Open your eyes, people! Just look at how I routinely project the fear and hatred inside of me onto others, or my total lack of impulse control, conscientiousness, and tact. My personality is doing everything—and I mean everything—to make sure I never have a chance.” Trump then reportedly vowed that no matter how many of his own character traits aligned against him, he would never let his personality stop him from becoming president, drawing raucous cheers from the crowd.

Keiko Orrall's Endorsement of Trump is a Flat Circle

Charlie Baker is very lucky he is not running for re-election on the GOP ticket in MA this year. - promoted by Bob_Neer

State Rep. Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville) would like you to know two things: She’s endorsing Donald Trump, and she has no choice in the matter.

Orrall told State House News Service reporter Andy Metzger that she’s endorsing Donald Trump, but not condoning his actions, which doesn’t make a lick of sense. It got worse from there:

Orrall hinted at some reluctance in her endorsement of Trump. After an initial interview outside the House chamber, she approached the News Service to say, “I’m a member of the Republican National Committee. I’m bound to support the Republican nominee.”

Asked if that meant she would not support Trump were it not for her position, Orrall said, “Gotta go. See ya,” and left.

Orrall is trying to appease the Republican Party and its base, while also pleading for understanding that she no longer has control of her own fate. As Rust Cohle said in True Detective, “Time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will do we will do over and over and over again—forever.”

It’s clear that the GOP’s national crackup over Trump is running all the way down to the state legislative level. It’s going to scar an entire generation of Republican leaders.

Gov. Charlie Baker made the best possible move by dumping Trump from the start, but even he may not escape unscathed – he still needs to win GOP nominating contests. Sure, the conservatives could realize they have a good thing going in Baker. But with Trump trying to pin the blame for his loss on a not-supportive-enough GOP establishment and Baker already fighting conservatives on the state committee, would you bet against a self-defeating civil war?

Michelle Obama 2024

The second-best speech of the campaign so far. The best was Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC.


Women leading America forward

Quite a pair of maps this week from Nate Silver at



His conclusion:

[I]t seems fair to say that, if Trump loses the election, it will be because women voted against him. I took a look at how men and women split their votes four years ago, according to polls conducted in November 2012. On average, Mitt Romney led President Obama by 7 percentage points among men, about the same as Trump’s 5-point lead among men now. But Romney held his own among women, losing them by 8 points, whereas they’re going against Trump by 15 points.

If anyone has any guidance as to what those maps would look like in Massachusetts (which, let it be noted, is sensibly blue in both), I’d love to see it.

Trump may have genetic abnormality pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism

Bumped, for the short-fingered vulgarian. - promoted by Bob_Neer

My father, who gave me his name, among many other blessings, directs his profound medical knowledge toward the GOP nominee’s health in today’s pop-up reincarnation of beloved Spy magazine, brought to you on Esquire’s website:

It’s sweet how concerned Donald Trump and his army of amateur medical investigators have been about Hillary Clinton’s health during this election season, sifting the Internet for clues to find a proper diagnosis for what ails her so she can get help. So it is unfair that nobody is giving Trump’s health the same detailed attention—not even his personal physician. Thankfully, one vigilant doctor has been keeping a close clinical eye on the self-identified superhuman Republican candidate and made a startling discovery: the likely cause of his short, short, short fingers.

When Dr. Robert Neer, a retired endocrinologist at Mass General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, looked at the measurements obtained by The Hollywood Reporter last August, he saw something that only a physician with 49 years of experience would notice: the tell-tale clues of a genetic abnormality that would explain the Republican nominee’s sub-normal, 15-25th-percentile finger length. SPY contacted Dr. Neer for a full medical explanation.

What makes his fingers so emasculatingly underendowed?

One of the conditions that has long been associated with shortened metacarpal bones—those are the bones in your hands that are between your wrist and your fingers—is a disease called Albright’s hereditary osteodystrophy, which was accompanied by abnormal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous. Everybody who is an endocrinologist knows about it. That’s why I was completely taken by the hands when I saw them, because that’s the kind of thing that I look at all the time in patients that have problems with calcium, which is what my special interest was.

Is there a longer name for it that might make Trump feel more special? It might help him to know that something about him is longer.

The condition that was described back in the 1930s is called pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism. The weirdness of the name means that many doctors who might otherwise not be expected to know anything about it have at least heard about it.

Blame the GNAS gene, after all.

Let’s hope the candidate, armed with this possible diagnosis, can finally get the medical help he needs.

Political Blogging Opportunity

Cash money for blogging: thanks, Cube Innovations! - promoted by Bob_Neer

Thanks so much to the editors of Blue Mass Group for generously allowing us to share this opportunity here with the BMG community.

Cube Innovations Inc is a Boston-based startup developing a new mobile platform for sharing what you know and finding out about what you’re interested in. Similar to a Reddit/Instagram hybrid, our app, Cube, is a community where users don’t interact with friends and family posting mood updates, but rather with the entire user base to show off their expertise, talk about what they love or what’s important, or get answers and information from real people in realtime.

We’re looking to engage existing users and attract new users by creating great content, and to accomplish this, we’re hiring freelance staff bloggers in a number of areas, including politics.

The role would require a knowledge of and interest in writing about / discussing politics, enough free time to create well-thought-out posts (we’ll happily go into detail about Cube posts and frequency with anyone interested in the role), and an iPhone (we apologize for not yet being available for Android). Preference will be given to an applicant with prior experience writing about politics in some form, and who is available to meet once a month in our office near South Station, though these are not deal-breaking requirements. As compensation, we’re offering $300 per month.

For more information about the role, please feel free to contact Scott at, and for a look at Cube, we invite you to download the app at

Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from any and all interested applicants!

Republican Party tearing itself apart

Stress causes fabric to rip, and that is what today has brought to the GOP: its traditional alliance of business leaders, racists and misogynists cultural conservatives is coming apart at the seams:

First, Paul Ryan finds it untenable to continue to support Trump.

Second, the alt-right has threatened to attack its own party. NYT:

Ms. Conway also repeatedly indicated that she was aware of Republican lawmakers who had behaved inappropriately toward young women, and whose criticism of Mr. Trump was therefore hypocritical.

In Europe, fascist parties nationalist far-right parties like Golden Dawn have arisen after extremists split away from traditional right-wing governing coalitions. Our own David, early on, compared Trump to the leaders of these contemporary European far-right splinter groups.

We are witnessing profound changes in the GOP.

Open Thread On: What Else?

Bumped, for glory. - promoted by Bob_Neer

“There’s an elephant in the room,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said yesterday at a Wisconsin rally, shortly after asking said elephant to stay away from said rally.

A couple of tweets on Massachusetts angles to get things started.

NPR reporter Asma Khalid thinks Charlie Baker’s in a pretty good place right about now.

And Commonwealth Magazine’s Michael Jonas wonders about our well-compartmentalized idolatry of Tom Brady.