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October 26th, 2016

Ball-gags: a peculiar club


FIVE girls -- a peculiar club, for sure! Like HOW would you persuade five cute girls to get together for a bondage session? Do they bring their own ball-gags? Would you find five willing girls, THEN go out and buy five of them? Does the sex-shop have a bulk rate?

October 25th, 2016

The Post reported from the campaign trail:

"If this [were] a normal election, and Republicans had a nominee with any self-discipline, health care could be a top-tier issue in the presidential race.

"Reacting to the news of rising premiums during a rally in Tampa last night, Trump reiterated his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

"He declared that he would provide Americans with great health care at a fraction of what they pay but [as usual!] provided no details about how.

"Then he moved on to a series of personal attacks against Hillary Clinton that totally overshadowed anything he said about health care..."

The asshole is defeating HIMSELF!

October 15th, 2016

I screwed up somehow, losing my post on Gov.Kasich and trade agreements. But I was able to save two apt comments (and my replies, apt or otherwise). Since I well and truly LOVE you friends' great comments here, I'm re-posting them for those who may be interested:

***From ggary--
The thing about Free Trade is that is a very emotive issue (which is to say that you can get a response from the potential voter which has nothing to do with the actual facts, and everything to do with fears about cheap imports). If Britain and America don't trade with other countries, then they lose out. Simple as that. There's also the fact that China can damage industries in both our countries by acts like the irresponsible dumping of huge amounts of cheap steel on the market. It almost amounts to economic terrorism. Free trade allows us to not only set up economic alliances but also potential strategic alliances against things like that.

*** my comment:
I agree, Gary, with your positive overall view of trade agreements. I fear, however, the impact of sub-issues like IPR (see the Canadian view below, which I'm sure will be seconded by some EU observers -- including my equally articulate friend Flame).
The US's "fast track" approval process is designed to keep our politicians focused on the overall balance in the agreement, but TPP's prominence in our Presidential election doesn't bode well for its adoption.

*comment from realinterrobang [sic!] --
The TPP is crap. Nobody in their right mind should support it. Some of the language in it basically gives corporations the right to torpedo laws put into place by the jurisdictions in which it applies, and its language on intellectual property is a disaster. As a creator of intellectual property, and someone who often gets stuck with shitty work-for-hire deals, I don't want Disney and Sony deciding for me what kind of rights I should have over my own IP.
I agree with trade being really important, but handing the entire world over to essentially corporate regulatory capture is a bad idea, no matter what prettification politicians use on it. It's going to be bad for Canada (my home country), bad for the US, and bad for everywhere else, albeit areas where one country will benefit will ultimately be where other countries lose out. We can do better than this on trade. (Kind of makes me nostalgic for the old Auto Pact days.)

*** my comment
Hmmm, well, that's an articulate argument, albeit based on a pessimistic view of corporate behavior. I favor serious regulation of companies' practices, and expect them to be enlightened in their own governance. What free-trade agreements do best is to increase transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption.

I admit I don't know the details of TPP's mechanisms; my experience is with earlier agreements like NAFTA, and with investment-guarantee mechanisms like the World Bank's MIGA.

In assessing the overall agreement (IPR is only one part in a finely balanced deal), I trust observers like George Soros. TPP participants like the US, Canada and the EC have to keep the focus on the bigger issues, such as bringing China into the deal and its relationship with the World Trade Organization.

Obamas after the White House

Sorry, folks, I'm a posting maniac this morning. Just saw an online discussion (on WPost site) of what the Obamas will do after they depart the White House. (Not, I hasten to add, what Repubs want them to do -- I shudder to think!):

**I see Barack returning to organizing. I see Michele sitting on the bench -- taking Tony Scalia’s seat.
Lobo54 Oct 14 · 06:53:46 PM recommend 35

**Michele on the Supremes. Dream come true.
csm Oct 14 · 07:47:32 PM recommend 27

**I hope including the -[speech] Michelle gave on Thursday. It was a beaut.
Somebody said that Obama was going to work on global climate change. I hope so.
earthsong Oct 14 · 07:40:23 PM recommend 25

**I want Barack for the Supreme Court and Michelle for the Senate -- or both. (Although could both cause a conflict of interest? [Nah!])
Mercy Ormont Oct 14 · 07:49:16 PM recommend 10

**Obama is to[o] active to sit on the Supreme Court. Serving with the Chief Justice Roberts would not be a very comfortable position for him. He will surprise all of us, but all of us will be pleased that he is no longer president and is free to use all of that intelligence and talent for the betterment of the world in his own unique way...

We heard on TV last night a woman named Kristin Anderson tell of her being groped by The Donald -- one of 11 such women who have BRAVELY discussed their being sexually assaulted by ol' Trumpsky -- the notorious sexist asshole -- since the second Prez-debate last weekend.

Though a lot of media are running this disgusting story, the Washington Post got it first -- their cracketjack politics reporter, Karen Tumulty, was told about Anderson by an acquaintance whom Anderson had told. According to the Post, she initially resisted being outed by the newspaper, but press accounts in recent days of the TEN other women's godawful encounters with Trump over the years helped make up her mind. Anderson, interestingly, says she's neither a Repub nor a Dem, and hasn't yet decided how she'll vote.

You readers intrigued by Trump's awful sexual history should click the URL for more details than I can recount here. But I would add Trump's own reaction (at a rally in North Carolina) to Anderson's charges, which was reported elsewhere in the paper:

"...One [story about his bad behavior] came out recently where [sic] I was sitting alone in some club. I really don't sit alone that much. Honestly, folks, I don't think I sit alone. [The Post here denied that Anderson had said Trump WAS alone.]

"And then I went 'whaaa?'" The Post then described his gestures on a video of the rally, "as he abruptly reached to the side with his right hand, apparently mimicking groping."


And so, in the 240th year of our Republic, we come to this sorry, sorry pass....

Online comments on Trumpsky

I just read a pretty decent refuting of one commenter (in Austin, TX) on a media blog this morning:

"Actually, Trump is doing a pretty good job of destroying himself. The guy just can't stop confessing to being a complete jerk. And you're [one of quite a few pro-Trump commenters on this WashPost Website] living on another planet if you honestly think that 'popular opinion is for' this bigoted, thin-skinned, impulsive, perverted, narcissistic, short-tempered, cruel, arrogant, hateful, defensive, intolerant, deluded, vindictive, greedy, manipulative, dishonest, threatening, megalomaniacal, and psychopathic serial groper.

"Who will NEVER be president. And who, when he loses, will blame everybody and everything except himself."
"...There are 95 of you [Democratic Party phone-call-making volunteers]. The best we have done so far is 53 callers [working] in one week. Last week, it was 31 callers.

"Can you break those records? When they go low, can you go high? [As Michelle Obama said at August's Dem Convention] Yes!

"Last week, Republicans were leading Democrats statewide with 100,000 more vote-by- mail voters. This week, the gap is down to 72,000. [Note please the local inpact of the world's amazing data-driven revolution!]

"The goal is still to close that gap. We can do it with your help..."

This is excerpted from an email I received this morning. I volunteer with them in my little county in Florida. I'm still at my second home up in Washington DC, BUT can do calling from here. (Used to be that one was billed for long-distance calls -- ah, the glories of modern commo...)

Anyway, I figured you LJ pals (notably my international friends like Anna and Gary) might find this info a useful microcosmic snapshot of the US elections at this point, three-odd weeks out.

Indian River County (on the east coast halfway from Cape Canaveral, 60 miles north, to Palm Beach in the south) has long voted Republican, but we Dems have been gaining on them. As my volunteer friend Sharon suggests (above)...

If you online friends want, I may share more of Sharon's trend info in coming days. You guys interested??

October 14th, 2016


I just added to that post yesterday about Fifty Shades of Grey and sex in the messy world of ol' Trumpsky. It really IS extraordinary to think about sex today -- as it contrasts with the ultra-outrageous behavior of The Donald.

I particularly appreciated the refuting of an apologist for him, someone who bizarrely cited FSG as creating "an environment that normalized [is that even a word?] Trump's conduct." It seems that questions of consent are "explicitly, even exhaustively, negotiated." (A phrase I didn't include in that post -- but I found myself doing some sexual negotiating last night with my girlfriend, Katie. And -- well, 'nuf said!)

Do go check out my post.

October 13th, 2016


I don't know about you readers think about all this "lewdness" in thw campaign (well, I suspect stuff, but don't actually KNOW).

Today's Post has a small squib on the op-ed page by one of their serious analysts, Alyssa Rosenberg, citing one of Trumpsky's "surrogates," Scottie Hughes, blaming Fifty Shades of Grey. Supposedly, the book/movie helped create a licentious climate that makes Trump's conduct"normal."

First, Rosenberg notes, FSG was published 6 yesrs after Trumpsky's little bus ride with Billie Bush. More importantly, "the [three "Shades"] novels are obsessed with questions of CONSENT..." (My emphasis!) "The pair negotiate the terms of their relationship." The author E.L.James "helped make the conduct Trump describes seem disgusting rather than thrilling..."

The article cites other sexy cultural references, including male strippers (in which "the power dynamic is precisely the reverse of the one Trump describes" in his tete-a-tete with Billy). Finally, Alyssa cites another Trumpie in regard to Beyonce humble-bragging about Jay Z's sexual prowess [sic!]...

Yes, quite a piece!
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