Everybody wants to be in a gang!

  • Jewish immigrants
  • Irish immigrants
  • Italian immigrants
  • Puerto Rican immigrants
  • Black migrants
  • Mexican immigrants
  • Dominican immigrants
  • White supremacists
  • ISIS recruits
  • Trump supporters

The poor, the outsiders, and the disappointed are all prospects for gang membership.

Are there gangs for happy WASPS, too? Well, there’s always the Episcopal Church, the Club for Growth and the Social Register.

How the GOP used a “two Santa Clauses” tactic to con America for nearly 40 years

First, this is a must-read on how a GOP economic strategy has crippled the Democrats for decades. How the GOP used a two Santa Clauses tactic to con America for nearly 40 years

Now, check out this story about how Russia is dumping its holdings of U.S. debt (“Treasuries” — T-Bills, T-Notes, T-Bonds, and TIPS). There are various theories as to why Russia is doing it, ranging from the benign (restructuring their portfolio) to the retaliatory (because of U.S. sanctions). But the Bitemaster sees something more sinister.

When there are more buyers of debt instruments, the lender can lower the interest rate it offers. When Russia gets out of the market, there are fewer buyers and the interest rate the U.S.Treasury has to pay goes up.

Which is just what has happened. So far, the cost to the U.S. is tiny: only a couple billion dollars. But if other countries follow, it could have long-term effects on the U.S. economy. And that is what I think is the plan behind Russia’s move.

And that could move voters towards the Democrats — except that the Democrats will be totally hamstrung by the gigantic national debt they would inherit from the Republicans.

Win or lose, the Dems are bleeped.

Can Anyone Take Down Nancy Pelosi?

The Huffington Post article Can Anyone Take Down Nancy Pelosi? considers whether Nancy Pelosi could win a contest for Speaker of the House, should the Democrats regain the majority in this year’s midterm elections.

First, a bit of background:

  • To hold onto her current position as House Minority Leader, Pelosi only needs the support of a majority of the Democrats (about 97 of 193 Dems).
  • To become Speaker, she would need a majority of the entire House (about 218 of a 435-seat House). In other words, she would probably need the support of every single Democratic representative.

Given the coolness towards Pelosi shown by a number of Democrats currently running for Congress (i.e., the people who might return the House to the Dems), Pelosi’s election to the speakership is by no means assured.

But would Pelosi be the best person for the job?

MrMild doesn’t think so, pointing out that under the leadership of Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democrats have lost the presidency, the House and the Senate. Ouch!

Your Bitemaster has a different take: I’m concerned about her age and that of the other Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

OfficeOffice holderAge
House Minority LeaderNancy Pelosi78
Deputy House Minority Leader / Minority WhipSteny Hoyer79
Senate Minority LeaderChuck Schumer67
Deputy Senate Minority Leader / Minority WhipDick Durbin73

Sure, these old folks are still capable of performing their duties, but in order to raise up the next generation of leaders we have to let them do some leading. So, Nancy, hold on to your congressional seat if you like, but please pass the leadership baton to the next generation.

[hat-tip to C. Northocote Parkinson]

How should Merkel respond to Trump insults?

Trump has been attacking Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel since before he took office. Yet Merkel’s responses have been unnecessarily tame. She should have consulted me.

I have been drinking deeply from the bescumbered river of Trump’s tweets and can state with authority that the following riposte would get his attention:

I slept with Melania and she said that your dick is so small that she needed a magnifying glass to find it, but it didn’t matter since it’s been years since you could get it up.

Source: Ex-NATO Amb. Burns: Trump insults distract from Germany-Russia issue

Thanks to Novobatzky and Shea’s Depraved English, Maledicta, and Jeremy Sherman.

Hot Steaming Mess at White House Correspondents’ Association

The annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner featured comedian Michelle Wolf as this year’s headliner. Apparently her jokes caused some controversy.

Donald Trump hated Wolf’s performance, saying she “totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance).” Ha ha! Seth Myers totally killed at the dinner in 2011!

Publications such as The Hill were scandalized by Wolf’s routine, as were several journalists. (They should reread Martin Niemoeller’s famous poem.)

WHCA President Margaret Talev issued a groveling apology to her members. Why? Because her organization handles credentialing of the journalists who cover the White House and she is probably afraid that Trump will take that away from her.

Does it matter? Not really; there’s really no need for credentialed White House correspondents anymore. The latest insight into the President’s thinking doesn’t come from his press office, it comes from his Tweets.

What we need from the mainstream media these days is rigorous analysis, historical context and investigative journalism, which they do . . . passably.

Source: Journalists Push Back On Correspondents’ Association’s Response To Michelle Wolf | HuffPost