Drinking Liberally Virginia Beach Chapter Blog

The Comeyuppance

Donald Trump's unexpected firing of James Comey has been the big news this week. Given how much Comey's antics regarding Hilary Clinton's email just before the election may have crucial for Trump's Electoral College victory, many were taken aback. (I wasn't particularly surprised, because I stay out of the prediction business. I'm more about the Hunting of the Snark. There is no particular pattern the links below except that I found them worth my while.

Badtux sees a common factor in the dismissals of Sally Yates, Preet Bharara, and James Comey: https://snarkypenguin.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/once-is-an-incident-twice-is-a-coincidence-thrice-is-enemy-action/

Ray Williams has some advice for persons who work in White House: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201705/dealing-narcissists-in-the-workplace

Josh Marshall believes that Donald Trump is channeling Louis XIV: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-i-am-the-state-i-am-the-boss

Dick Polman can't believe his ears: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/national-interest/item/103879-did-trump-confess-to-obstructing-justice-on-national-tv-yup

Leonard Pitts, Jr., tries to understand Trump's apparent obsession with President Obama: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/10/leonard-pitts-hedy/

Elie Mystal offers no hope that the Republican Party will in any way attempt to reign Trump in: "http://abovethelaw.com/2017/05/were-not-getting-a-special-prosecutor-because-trump-people-dont-play-by-your-rules/

And somebody has had enough: http://blogs.post-gazette.com/opinion/rob-rogers-cartoons/48964-vive-la-france

We had a pleasant gathering on Thursday. At my end of the table, we did not talk about politics; I think all of us needed a break. Less than 120 days into Trump's term, we all felt Trumpled.
We meet next at 6:00 p. m. on Thursday, June 8, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map). I hope to see you there. Also, if you have not done so, please sign up for the chapter mailing list. I promise that it will not swamp your in-box.


100 Days of Manic Antics

Come to our May gathering to review Donald Trump's 100 Days of Manic Antics. We meet on Thursday, May 11, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map). I hope to see you there.

Here are some of the better articles I've seen about Donald Trump's Little White House of Horrors.

Jack Ohman sums up the accomplishments in a picture. http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorial-cartoons/jack-ohman/article147250814.html

Richard Wolffe marvels at the chaos in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/29/congratulations-mr-president-wild-romp-norms-and-rules

Dick Polman considers the horrific potential effects of Trumpcare: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/national-interest/item/103527-trumps-weekend-whopper-hell-protect-sick-people-qbeautifullyq

CassandraM of the Blue Delaware Blog considers the increase in white supremacist violence and intimidation since the Inauguration. https://bluedelaware.com/2017/04/30/100-days-of-white-supremacy/

Cynthia Dill of the Portland, Me., Press-Herald tries to extract some lessons from the chaos. http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/30/cynthia-dill-100-days-in-where-do-we-stand/

Writing at Psychology Today Blogs, Clifford Lazarus worries about the triumph of ignorance and the disdain for the facts of science. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/think-well/201704/the-dangers-scientific-illiteracy

Will Bunch reacts to those who focus on the lack of progress of the Republican legislative agenda and argues that, whether or not any legislation has passed ignores the damage that Donald Trump and his acolytes have already done to the polity and the common good. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/It-may-take-years-to-undo-damage-from-Trumps-1st-100-days.html

Writing in a similar vein, Der Spiegel is not only concerned, but alarmed. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/trump-100-days-the-erosion-of-american-democracy-a-1145294.html

We have much to discuss.

Meeting Reminder: April 13

This is a reminder that we will be having our regular April meeting on Thursday, April 13, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center. I hope to see you there.

It's notable that the current Federal administration has been able to generate so much news, while accomplishing so little. The sturm und drang is intense, but, in any area outside of executive actions, the effectiveness has been minimal--at least so far, except perhaps as regards Attorney-General Jeff Sessions's efforts to rise again.

Speaking of sturm und drang (how's that for a segway?), here are some articles I hope you find of interest:

This is truly delightful: in The Roanoke Times, a Radford University history prof takes a wingnut to the cleaners.

Also in The Roanoke Times, a Virginia Tech history professor chronicles the history of hypocrsy and racism encapsulated in the phrase, "states' rights."

And another from The Roanoke Times, yet another history professor maintains that the torrent of lies from the Trump administration is unprecedented both in quantity and in kind from any previous administration.

(I trained as a historian. History matters; it lights the present.)

Daniel Ruth rips RyanCare.

Dick Polman dissects the nonsense behind the notion that government should be run like a business. In another piece, Polman tries to understand the Trumpleds love for the Trumpler.

Walt Taylor, the Virginian-Pilot's marvelous political cartoonist, captures white privilege in a picture. (You can find the backstory here and here.)

Robert Reich find Donald Trump's budget proposal to have one overriding quality: It is "unnecessarity cruel."

Richard Wright dissects the spurious--nay, fraudulent and baseless--claims that America was founded as a Christian nation.

I hope to see you next Thursday.

March Meeting Thursday

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone for or March gathering on Thursday, March 9, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

I was somewhat distracted for the better part of February with technical problems at my own website, which were related to issues with my personal blog's database. In the process of resolving those issues with the extremely competent assistance of my hosting provider's tech support staff, I moved the website from shared hosting to a Virtual Private Server. I also cloned the website to my local computer so I could troubleshoot it and test any changes I was considering in safety. If you are interested in the geeky details of how I did this, you can read about them here.

There was a bright side: Not having a blog to feed, I pulled back a bit from the news. The rain of depressing stories went from unrelenting to somewhat relenting, and I found the break refreshing.

Nevertheless, I've a list of items that I commend to your attention:

Will Bunch sees no strategy in Trump's antics. (As an aside, Josh Marshall explains "Trump's razor.")

Garrison Keillor Trumples through the valley of the shadow of death. (I stopped listening to Prairie Home Companion some years ago; I found it to have become stale, but Keillor is turning into quite to op-ed columnist.)

Rekha Basu, a marvelous columnist at the Des Moines Register and a naturalized citizen from the Indian subcontinent, is distressed at the Trumpling of immigrants and the bigotry it manifests.

In the Trump Laundromat, nothing survives the Reince Cycle.

Paul Krugman argues that the era of spin is over, supplanted by an era of overt mendacity.

Dick Polman follow the buck to find out where it stops. His conclusion should surprise no one.

There will will be a blue book exam Thurs--we can talk about these issues and more Thursday evening. Hope you can make it.

See You at the February Meeting!

I'm over my flu and looking forward to seeing you all at our meeting Thursday, February 9, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

I have a few articles you might find interesting. The list is not as long as usual. I'm lazy; I usually compile the list of links by going back through my blog and selecting some of the items I've linked to there, but my website has issues. I hope to have it working properly by the end of this week, but it's on hiatus while I try to shoot the trouble. Nevertheless, here are some things that have caught my eye.

Friday's Sacramento Bee had a blistering editorial about what it referred to as Trump's American carnage..

Badtux, the Snarky Penquin, has been on quite a roll lately. Here's a link to one of his posts. (I'm not sure I agree with him, but it's worth a read.) You can look at his other posts later.

Werner Herzog's Bear points out that Trump's supporters are not a new breed of voter. They are just plain old Republicans.

All Things Amazing, an image site (warning: some images not safe for work), offers a look into the past.

Dick Polman, who has also been on a roll, analyzes the new reality show, Presidential Apprentice.

In the Charlotte Observer, a son of a refugee reflects on the vastly different experiences of his father and his grandfather. One made it to the States. The other did not.

Now, I'm back to shooting WordPress trouble with XAMPP with CentOS in a VirtualBox virtual machine running on Slackware Linux.

Meeting Thursday January 12

The chapter will be holding its regular meeting Thursday, January 12, at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach.

Despite my earlier optimism, I fear I cannot be there. I'm getting over a case of the flu and think that laying low is in my and your best interest, so I urge everyone who can to show up and toast my health--after the last two weeks, I need all the help I can get!

Here are some articles that might provide topics for discussion:

John Gurda recaps America's history of hostility to immigrants.

Alan Caron marvels at the rise of stupid.

Karl Albrecht explains how to understand Donald Trump.

The Rev. Derrick Keith Rollins, Jr., explains that pretending racism doesn't exist does not make it go away. In a similar vein, Chauncey Devega argues that, in the phrase "white working class" so beloved of the punditocracy, the key term is "white," not "working class."

Shaun Mullen looks back at 2916, then ahead to 2017.

Blogger Thoreau argues that, despite what you may have heard, North Carolina is indeed a democracy in the American tradition.

Solomon Jones explains how the wealthy have used white supremacy to mask and distract from their depredations.

If I am lucky enough to experience a miracle cure, I shall be there Thursday, but I fear that's unlikely, given the tenacity of this bug. So you all have a good time, y'hear.

See You Thursday

I'm looking forward to our fellowship on Thurday, December 8, at 6:00 p. m., at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach. I hope to see you there.

Your assignment is to stay informed, and here are some links that should help:

Dick Polman marvels at Mike Pence's defense of "fake news" (AKA "lies"), while blogger Badtux points out that lies have consequences.

Shaun Mullen, blogger and retired editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, says that, if you can answer this question, you can explain the results of the Presidential election.

Psychiatrist Lawrence Blum offers a quasi-Freudian explanation that might answer Shaun's question.

In a fascinating and frightening discussion, Der Spiegle interviews David Remnick of the New Yorker about Donald Trump.

The staff at AM Joy discuss the "fragilty of whiteness."

Will Bunch takes a peek into the the cabinet of horrors.

Hmmm. That should be enough to leave everyone thoroughly depressed. Come raise your spirits and glasses on Thursday.

One final thought: I have had trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, as no doubt have many of you. It occurred to me today, though, that, if there is a true meaning of Christmas, one that transcends sect and creed and place, it is that, however dark today may seem, there is always hope in the darkness, so long as we stand fast.

Best wishes.

December Meeting Next Week

I hope that everyone found something to be thankful this Thanksgiving. I tried my best, and one of my tactics was to cut back on the amount of news I read. I have not disengaged; I've just reduced the amount of clatter. Disengagement certainly might seem attractive, but it is not the action of a responsible member of the polity.

Here are some articles, columns, and blog posts that I've found worth engaging with over the past week or so; I hope you find them worth your while:

Der Spiegel applies Umberto Eco's "Ur Fascism" scale to the words and actions of Donald Trump. If you follow only one of these links, follow this one; it is fascinating: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/can-donald-trump-be-called-a-fascist-a-1122035.html

Jim Wright asked social media, "If you think Trump and Clinton are the same, ask yourself this: would you honestly be this afraid for the future if Clinton had won?" The answers may not be what you expect, but he was not surprised. http://www.stonekettle.com/2016/11/quacks-like-duck.html In a later post, he responds to his having been temporarily banned from the Zuckerborg due to spurious accusations of spamming; his rant is a thing of incisive beauty. http://www.stonekettle.com/2016/11/facebook-nazis.html

Werner Herzog's Bear wonders whether we are seeing a repeat of 1877, asking, "Is this the end of the Second Reconstruction?" http://notesironbound.blogspot.com/2016/11/is-second-reconstruction-over.html

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the increase of hate-full graffiti, verbal encounters, and the like, especially in schools, since November 8. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/402955326.html

In The Virginian-Pilot, a veteran attorney who once worked for the Civil Rights Division of the U. S. Department tells of his encounters with Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. It's not pretty. http://pilotonline.com/opinion/columnist/guest/j-gerald-hebert-jeff-sessions-and-civil-rights/article_96e44561-a837-5725-874f-7e134d77e017.html

At The Root, Michael Harriot looks back over the past eight years for inspiration as to how to oppose Donald Trump. http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/11/tips-from-white-people-o

Will Bunch reports on how Trump with use the politics of distraction to help a compliant corporate media to miss the real stories. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/How-Trump-plans-to-distract-America-to-its-death.html

The Boston Review offers a list of books (remember "books"?) to help put the results of the election in perspective. http://bostonreview.net/reading-lists/technocrats-populists-citizens

I look forward to seeing you on the second Thursday of December, December 8, at 6:00 p. m., at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th St, (Cypress and 19th one block east of the Convention Center), Virginia Beach, Va.

Informal Gathering Tomorrow

Patricia has arranged for an informal gathering tomorrow, November 16, at 5:30 p. m., at C. P. Shuckers, 3232 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia, just east of the Lessner Bridge to talk about what has been and what will be.

I know it's short notice, but, if you can make it, you will be welcomed!

Also, she's working on plans for another DL brunch, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, December 11, so please check your calendars and watch for details.

Now More than Ever: Fellowship

Just a reminder that we will be meeting at our usual time and place tomorrow, Thursday, November 10, at 6:00 p. m., at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th St, (Cypress and 19th one block east of the Convention Center), Virginia Beach, Va.

Come, drown your sorrows, and remember that ups always follow downs.