Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Poison Pills

 (Optional soundtrack)

Much to my chagrin, not one trick-or-treater showed up at my door this Halloween. This was despite all my welcoming decorations and the strains of spooky holiday music wafting from my humble abode.

 I've therefore had no choice but to binge these past few days on a bowl full of "fun-size" Kit-Kats. Still, the jittery chocolate hangover I'm suffering is pure bliss compared to my election hangover.

One antidote that's worked calming wonders for me so far is news that Donna Brazile will never again show her face on CNN for money. The media will never be the same. They loved their girl. Now that she's gone, whatever will they do to fill all that deadly dull air time? Never again will she have to "persecuted" by the media for feeding debate questions to the Clinton campaign. Brazile, of course, is just one of the way too many partisan hacks posting as journalists on TV. When I symbolically condemned these talking heads to post-election jars of formaldehyde the other day as a Halloween gift to the tortured, I still wasn't aware that Donna had already been condemned without me. I have to admit, it was pure holiday magic.

Because perhaps even worse than her big offense of cheating was the way, in one of the leaked Podesta emails, that she'd flippantly denigrated a voting citizen as a nameless "woman with a rash" whose debate question on lead poisoning was one of the two (that we know about so far) which she leaked to the Clinton campaign. Brazile made it sound as though the woman was hoarding a stash of illegal poison instead of being sickened, over time, by the water of Flint, Michigan. "Her family has lead poison," Brazile inartfully explained to Hillary's campaign manager.
 Brazile told Podesta March 5 to expect a question from a resident of Flint, Mich., about the city’s water crisis, writing in an email, “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash.”
At the Flint debate the next day, CNN moderator Anderson Cooper introduced Flint resident Lee-Anne Walters, who said the city’s water had poisoned her family. She asked what the candidates would do about the issue. (Walters told Fox News on Tuesday that she still has a rash from the tainted water.)
More disgusting than CNN's belated disgust at Brazile's behavior is that executives kept the news of her ouster on the QT for two weeks before finally admitting, on Halloween, that she had in fact been fired.

Even more disgusting than that, though, was Hillary's cold-blooded refusal to even decently answer the "rash woman's" question in the first place.

From the transcript of the Democratic forum starring Bernie Sanders and Clinton:
COOPER: I want to go to Lee-Anne Walters. This is Lee-Anne Walters. She was one of the first people to report problems with the water in Flint. One of her twin boys stopped growing. Her daughter lost her hair.
She says she’s undecided, and has a question for both of you to answer, but we’ll start with Senator Sanders. Ms. Walters?

QUESTION: After my family, the city of Flint and the children in D.C. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the — the citizens that have said service lines.

 SANDERS: I will make a personal promise to you that the EPA and the EPA director that I appoint will make sure that every water system in the United States of America is tested, and that the people of those communities know the quality of the water that they are drinking, and that we are gonna have a plan to rebuild water systems in this country that are unsafe for drinking.

CLINTON: Well, I agree completely. I want to go further though. I want us to have an absolute commitment to getting rid of lead wherever it is because it’s not only in water systems, it’s also in soil, and it’s in lead paint that is found mostly in older homes. That’s why 500,000 children today have lead — lead in their bodies.
So, I want to do exactly what you said. We will commit to a priority to change the water systems, and we will commit within five years to remove lead from everywhere.
Bernie was plenty vague himself, but notice that Hillary outright refused to promise to get the lead out quickly in an effort to save lives, today. She only committed to discussions, within five years, to put together a plan to solve the humanitarian catastrophe. She wouldn't even commit to commit during her first term in office. This is what Hillary means by incrementalism. She as much as accused Ms. Walters of being too much of a purist by expecting pure water for her family any time soon.

Lee-Anne Walters, who told the media after the March debate that Hillary's cold non-answer had made her feel like "throwing up in my mouth" was absolutely livid when she discovered this week that her question had been pre-submitted to Clinton.  "She should be disqualified," Ms. Walters said.


Maureen Dowd has an illuminating piece in the New York Times magazine about the incestuous New York social world of the Trumps and the Clintons -- which, for purposes of neoliberal efficiency and best practices, I prefer to call Clump.

Once upon a time, the clans were members of the Mutual Admiration Society, but for purposes every bit as toxic and murky as Flint's water: 
The friendship, on both sides, was a transaction. Not personal, as they say in the “The Godfather” — just business. Trump’s life in New York was all about promoting the brand and making money for the family business. It was the same for the Clintons. A former Clinton White House official puts it more bluntly: “This was a classic Clinton go-where-the-money-is move.”
“They all played the same game in the same town with the same thing in mind,” says Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, who was invited to Trump’s third wedding and served prison time for tax fraud and other felony charges. “Better your relationships and build the business. It’s all about money and getting ahead and hedging your bets and playing the angles.”
While Trump openly brags about canoodling with the Clintons and boasts how their socialite daughters are still the very best of friends, Hillary's operatives strive mightily and unsuccessfully to downgrade the clans' historical relationship as much ado about nothing. (For some reason, Dowd dished about the Mar-A-Lago wedding and the golf outings, but omitted their slimy joint jaunts on convicted billionaire pedophile Jeff Epstein's Lolita Express. She also left out the society page hoopla about Chelsea's friendship with fellow society matron Mrs. David Koch, which I wrote about under the title "Kochclintopia Inc" last year.)

Here's my published response to Maureen Dowd's piece:
Good article on how the elite take care of their own, whether or not they really "like" one other. If we learned nothing else from the WikiLeaks/Podesta emails, it's that money really does talk and that such values as peer loyalty and honesty and governance in the public interest went out the window awhile ago, if it ever even existed at all.

For the Clinton people to try to "play down" Chelsea's friendship with Ivanka is laughable. They apparently missed her recent appearance on "The View" when she gushed: "We were friends long before this election and we'll be friends long after this election. Our friendship didn't start with politics and it certainly is not going to end because of politics. I have tremendous respect for Ivanka."

There are plenty of photos of Chelsea and Ivanka hugging and kissing and gazing upon one another with the same kind of glittering, vacuous adoration that Hillary aimed at Donald at his $ociety wedding.

 I thought it was really strange that (at the last debate) Hillary kept smiling serenely and with much apparent enjoyment as Donald lobbed insult after insult at her. But then it dawned on me. They know it's all in the game. Only, the plenty of tears that will fall will not be theirs, but ours.

Money's gotta talk. Grifters gotta grift.

It's All In the Game (2nd optional soundtrack)


stranger in a strange land said...

Lock 'em all up. I think it was Frank Zappa, or was it Plutarch (?), who quipped "the people who passed your laws are all perverted" - what more do you gotta say?

Thanks for the Kochclintopia archive link from 2015. Of course it was Dennis Neville who provided the Plutarch reference to open up the comment thread, bookended by a comment from Zee - hope those guys are well in their absence from this forum.

Ste-vo said...

Money's gotta talk. Grifters gotta grift. That is rich!

Zee said...


Thank you for inquiring as to the well-being of a former contributor.

I wish that I could comment on the well-being of Dennis Neville, but, alas, I cannot. But more on that later.

As for myself, “Zee,” well, I’m doing well enough for a senior citizen. No more than the usual aches and pains, &etc. I continue to busy myself with my various hobbies, and, yes, church and civic activities, as well.

Some time ago I was asked to depart the “Comments” section of Sardonicky, and so I did. But I still follow Karen’s blog in the hope to learn more about…well…everything. Can’t stop me from reading.

Which brings me to Denis Neville. No, I wish that I knew how Denis is faring. I certainly wish him well. He was the best challenge to my conservo-libertarian conscience that one could hope for, short of Valerie Tweedie-Long. I wish them both well.

As for your quote, Denis could perhaps tell you it originated with Plutarch, but a variant of it may precede even him:

“Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.”

The Book of Habakkuk (circa 612 BC), Ch.1, V.4, (New International Version)

Plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme.

Best wishes (and good luck) to you all as we await the outcome of Nov. 8.

PS: Thinking of former contributors, I also often wonder how James Traynor is doing.

voice-in-wilderness said...

Bill Clinton is such a naive and trusting guy, with his 26 trips on the Lolita Express I bet he never realized what was going on.

Pearl said...

Zee: I am glad you responded when your name was mentioned. We had our differences but you were an interesting contributor and I had hoped we would hear from you sometime. I wonder how you feel about some of the issues going on now and some of our occasional skirmishes. I think you might be welcome to comment unless you have lost your mind and are supporting the Donald.

Zee said...

Hi, Pearl--

No, I have not gone completely off the deep end and decided to support--let alone, vote for--Trump. He is a despicable and dangerous excuse for a human being who is completely unqualified to serve as President of the U.S. But neither could I support HillBillary, for pretty much the same reasons--and then some.

So Mrs. Zee and I voted for New Mexico's favorite son, Gary Johnson. Not exactly the most geopolitically "informed" candidate ( e.g. "What is Aleppo?" ), but at least he was an honest governor here in a pretty corrupt state, and as you might expect, I align with some--but far from all--of his positions on the major issues. And if he really doesn't know where Aleppo is, he probably wouldn't bomb it just for the hell of it.

Still, voting my conscience--instead of for HillBillary--earned me the appellation of "deplorable" from a so-called liberal acquaintance; but I think that voting for Jill Stein would have garnered me the same result.

In the end, I expect that HillBillary will win this election, at which point I will swap out my "Hillary 4 Prison, 2016" and "Nobody For President, 2016" bumper stickers for one that reads "She's a Crook, Not a President." So much for uniting the country.