Green Tambourine

I have a very, very small pot habit. I can make an eighth last many months. I live in Augusta, Georgia currently, far from the carefree regions of the west where people are waking up and turning on to the best marijuana humans have ever produced. Still, some quality bud is making it here. It has the same general effects with varying strength. I think I’m smoking indica, rather than sativa which is what I’m accustomed to. Experts say that difference is not necessarily what makes one strain lock you in your chair and one makes you want to leap out of it…the type of shit The Breakfast Club got into or something.

Anyway, this stuff I’m smoking right now is a locker and a mind eraser, really strong too. I have only had the pleasure of using what I’ll call “euphoric” (not enough of a good word since all pot smoking is euphoric, I guess…”up”?) pot a few times, the type sativa is claimed to be-once in my twenties, and a bag or two at the beginning of the pot boom in Colorado ten years ago (I’m 48), about the time I was also slowly losing my grip on reality due to bipolar disorder. I got it from a girl who asked me if I wanted a head high or a body high. I asked for the body high. Wow, people. It was like a different drug altogether; I overflowed with energy, no loss of functionality, no being stoned. All the insight without the paranoia. I could smoke it all day and do whatever I needed to do, no falling into a TV hole or what have you. It was like Jimi Hendrix wondered- I was not necessarily stoned, but…beautiful .

I miss that shit. I would actually move somewhere to get more of it. Or it would be weight on the scale if I needed to decide where our next move is going to be. The Chief and I know that the Augusta suburbs is not where we want to land permanently. There’s no problems here per se…there’s just no nothing, and that is a problem, I guess. And eight months out of the year, the heat is positively unbearable. You eat, sweat, try IPAs, work on a belly, get diabetes and die (PS: The Godfather Of Soul made downtown his stomping ground back in the day, so there’s a music pedigree to boast of so in fairness it’s not all “nothing”, it’s just perhaps that “something” happened before I got here). Now if you are a golfer or a racist, you are in Paradise. And I’m not either of those. So the magic of Augusta is lost on me. It’s lost on the majority of Augustans from the looks of it, but that’s another story altogether and not mine to tell.

Anyway, it’s been about two hours since I smoked, and I overdid it a little. It’s taken me this long to sober up some and use the English language a little more precisely. I’ve almost hit 500 words chatting with you about weed while I come out of my stupor, which was not what I was expecting to tarry on today. I fear I have told you a boring pot story, yakking about being high because I’m high. I don’t tell good stories in general, a regrettable weakness. Now, during some of the crescendos of my mania, that wasn’t always true-I had a great deal of acuity and flow that must have lain dormant for all of my life. I was fun at fucking parties for once. I wonder though- was that the pot or the mania? Both in concert? The prescription drugs I was on? Who even knows. Anyway, the acuity and flow and fun turned into wild, dangerous delusions that would would eventually result in a stay in a locked ward. Whatever I unlocked, there was a price. I pulled a kitchen knife on my wife (in defense, unwarranted) and that was the ballgame. Sounds like an interesting story, doesn’t it? Alas, I would have a bit of trouble piecing that time together. Maybe I can work up to telling it someday.

If you want to peek at my unfiltered decline into madness, see some of my words from 2010.

Anyway, all of you know I’m an atheist. I don’t like getting into philosophical discussions about it much, I’m comfortable lacking the guidance of the divine. For example, one of those churches with the clever, pithy marquee style signs is across the street from my development, and they’re batting zero selling something I need. Like this month’s marquee is about envy. Home base says I don’t have any, really, except that healthy envy like “I wish I could play guitar like that” or “I wish I could tell a story like that”. I don’t need saving from that, it gives me something to aspire to. Last month’s was about the gathering of material goods. I have a couple of music addictions. I like to collect it and I like to try and play it. To that end I have hundreds of LPs and CDs, several guitars and they are beautiful. I’m glad I own them and they sound fucking kickass. What’s the harm in feeling good about something you have? So far this church is doing a shit job telling me why I need Jesus.

And yet occasionally, there is that existential nag that it’s all for nothing, and I think that’s a problem stemming from living in a capitalistic society. It’s probably no surprise that the church is trying to warn me about the dangers of desires and products because that’s pretty much all that motivates this reality. Without them, an emptiness could come on. That’s when people get spiritual, I guess.

But instead of walking into church, I regularly remind myself what a kickass family I have assembled. It’s #1 with a bullet for sticking around. And to that end I have helped chart a new course for my name, a new generation of Battista nonbelievers who have no limits on who they are or what they want to do (just in time for the actual end of humanity-sorry, kids). The house is crawling with creatures to love and be loved by. I did good. I did not create evil, I don’t feel evil, much less guilty- what do I need church for? I offer kindness and mercy and assistance when I am out and about. I do the best to learn about my world while I have the time and do things to change what sucks about it. I feel like the rockstar I always wanted to be when I strap one of my stringed babies on. And I will never run out of chords or songs.

I’m a better Christian than a lot of Christians, honestly. Or at least I’m as good as the lot of you. What is my sin? I live reasonably well, especially after coming back from the brink of madness. Perhaps I could seek forgiveness for such conspicuous satisfaction amongst so much suffering in the world, but I’m not going to confess to God for that. After all, it’s his fault that things are so fucked up, lopsided and loaded. He should confess to us, frankly.

The pious are going to have to result to scaring the shit out of me but good if they want me. Which might be next month’s sign, because they are not above it under all their cheeky goodwill.

Safe American Home

There’s a lot of drama going on in the US of A.

We’re watching the Democratic establishment spit the irritant called Bernie Sanders out. C’est la vie. The Democratic establishment represents Democratic voters and they don’t need an insurgent with no respect for the machine that brought them to the dance. His viability ended with that dumbshit tweet. You don’t goddamn bite the hand so blithely. Biden didn’t have to lift a finger to bring Buttigieg, Booker, Bloomberg, O’Rourke, Klobuchar, and even Kamala Harris-the candidate who drew first blood on Biden in the debates-over to his side all because Bernie believes in his own hype.

Sanders supporters are agape and agog and angry at the wholesale updraft to the Biden campaign. They simply don’t understand American politics. One day, when they do, it will be a good day. I mean, they could have gone for Liz Warren, an actual Democrat with exciting and new policy ideas in a similar vein as Sanders, but unfortunately Bernie has nurtured something of a cult of personality as an auslander and many will throw their vote away to spite the process that did not nominate their anointed candidate. It is worth noting that no other candidate’s following does this withholding of a vote bullshit. I find it grossly privileged to do so. If you have been on this rock a few revolutions, you ask for a lot-that’s all well and good-but after you have fought, you settle for a little. Even Saul Alinsky understood this. It’s just poor tactics to bury your bullets. It doesn’t do anyone any good.

So: let’s talk COVID-19. We’ll ignore Donald Trump, because he’s golfing while this virus flies across the countryside, and when he’s not doing that, he’s trying to manage the crisis by lying about it not being a big deal. No one is listening. People are a little panicky right now, if the grocery store shelves are any indication. There’s rationing of Clorox wipes, Purell hand sanitizer, and Lysol disinfectant spray. I bought a can of wipes and some spray for the hell of it. People are genuinely scared that this COVID is coming for them. And who can blame them, stuck in an information vacuum?

Since even the fucking CDC seems tainted by Trump’s insistence on handling every crisis by the seat of his pants so he can get much needed adulation, I have had to resort to alternate information on who has COVID and where. I’m happy to say I found a great site for raw data like that. Johns Hopkins is compiling a visually striking case and fatality list. I go to see the location of the virus and I like to take an average of the estimated US population to the number of infected people…see what kind of odds I’m facing. I know that the incidences are much higher but you go with the numbers you know. I did it last night and we have one case in every 600,000 heads. This morning, the odds changed to 583,000 to 1, just to give you an idea of the velocity of this baby. President Asshole may not think this virus is big shit because we’ve only had 566 cases and 22 deaths so far here but the fact is we don’t know a damn thing about this virus from a biological perspective but we know a few things empirically: it’s exponentially contagious as all get out and it kills the vulnerable and we have no vaccine.

While we’re on the subject of coronavirus, let’s talk about the stock market tanking. Currently, the market is in a 5,000 point slump from the loss of consumers and producers due to the virus. It’s either a great time to buy, or a horrendous time to leave your 401k exposed to further volatility. This might be the big recession everyone’s been heralding; we shall see when things like earnings come out. The world’s central banks have emptied out the toolbox to fill the gap left by the virus’ arrival to at least keep the stock market bubble stationary. It did not work. It’s clear that there’s a fundamental rupture somewhere and the good times might be gone.

Something’s gone horribly wrong in the greatest country in the world. Perhaps all that is going on is that we are realizing we are just another country in the world. One thing is certain: we are not going any place special with the fucked up “leadership” we have right now.

Only Time Can Write A Song

I swear, it’s like half the civilized world knows the planet is falling apart, and the other 50 percent is oblivious, doesn’t care, or wouldn’t know what to do with that information if they had it.

I have an old, brilliant friend who I have known for nearly three decades. He nearly drank himself to death while we were in our twenties, and has since turned his life around and is a family man with a wife (who is as crazy as he likes ’em) and five chihuahuas. We were “punks” back in the nineties I guess, but I think it was our self destructive tendencies more than it was the injustices of the world that bonded the coterie that my brilliant friend was the head of. So we got down to The Dead Kennedys and The Clash, but our anger was an abstract. I was having a hard time establishing my own identity in those days-everyone who got near my friend got something out of being in his orbit. Even at his worst, when he was at his most pathetically drunk and incoherent, he drew us like the proverbial moth to the flame.

So as far as personal politics went in those days, I could not decide who was right about the human species-were we a group of cooperative apes who assisted and supported each other mutually, or were we a hierarchy where individuals flourished and were rightfully elevated above others by the strength of will, an idea, or an ability to gather capital? Left or right? Who were we at core? I careened between The Communist Manifesto and Atlas Shrugged as time went by. I was into some zero-sum shit for a while there. I switched from shirts to skins and back several times before I arrived at where I am now, which is to the left of Phil Ochs (kidding, of course). And at 48, I can safely say there I will stay.

My friend? I am sad to report the dark side has claimed him. I suppose I should not be surprised, because he had a distinctive, uncommon intellect that could easily look down upon a great deal of people with its raw power. I think that’s why he hewed right so hard, because his story is very bootstrappish in that he overcame odds to be where he is now and perhaps feels that anyone can do the same. I don’t know if it’s that simple, but that’s a bedrock theme for conservatives. They often fail to remember is how much help they got on the way up and the thing to do is pay that shit forward to the next soul who needs a hand.

Anyway, while I was on my latest Facebook jag, I drew his ire by mocking Marsha Blackburn and how she has her head in the sand as to how bad things are getting on our blue marble. I offhandedly referenced that the Doomsday Clock was at 100 seconds to midnight, a closeness to doom as we have ever been as far as the Atomic Scientists were concerned.

He hoped that I wasn’t taking their concerns as “science”. I replied of course I wasn’t, but that didn’t invalidate the points the group were making about things like nuclear war and climate change. We went back and forth and he said something startling to me; that the end of humanity will occur in a flash and no one will be able to do anything about it.

I guess that’s cold comfort in a world of uncertainty, but the truth of the matter, as you and I know, is the end of humanity is being hastened by processes in motion RIGHT NOW and if we don’t repent, we are going to end in that flash my friend mentioned.

But make no mistake, our destruction has been on slow boil for a while now; we are only recently getting smart enough now to be dimly aware of what we have really done to the planet. And perhaps that’s one reason why that clock keeps edging close to midnight because the news is bad, worse than we ever dreamed. And I am fully aware that the earth will shrug our species off and in a few million years sentient roaches will take our place-but the point is to preserve the planet for our crew for as long as possible.

The other reason the scientists worry is because of the proliferation of nuclear weaponry. Let’s see…we’ve got Pakistan and India getting hot about Kashmir, our wetbrained American president pulled us out of the Iran nonproliferation deal and in retaliation they have begun to enrich nuclear fuel to more refined levels, and now I see we’re gaming out nuclear scenarios that will not result in MAD. Yeah, right. I’ve long suspected the U.S. is also gaming out getting away with a first strike unanswered, but a limited exchange like the ones described in the article seems unlikely. I don’t think there is such a thing. It’s like that old movie from the 80s said: the name of the game is Global Thermonuclear War. There’s no other options-everybody dies in every scenario, unless perhaps we sit down and play some chess if we have a hankering for a contest.

The easy route is to do nothing and let our destructive ways claim us. But I believe we have a choice still. There’s so much work to do towards that. We don’t let the rope go slack because of a hard tug. We have to stop the brinksmanship now. Because that clock, however unscientific it is, is fucking ticking and we need to confront the existential challenges this species is faced with while we still have a minute and change left.

Avoid Addictive Plea

It was time for me to ditch another persistent addiction.

Yesterday, without a word, I deactivated Facebook for the third and hopefully final time.

Addicts: you know how you kick something, and then you relapse and it’s like a hundred times worse than last time?

That’s kind of how my last Facebook jaunt went. I was only back for a few weeks and I literally could not get out of this chair because I kept getting notifications.

Laundry piled.

Bathrooms were gross.

Gym? Nope. Couldn’t miss a notification. Always had an excuse. Maybe next Monday.

Self-care? Just barely.

And lots of other minor things, just things that need doing when you are the housekeeper and a disabled 48 year old man with responsibilities to yourself and your family.

I knew what all of this meant: Facebook was causing depression when I wasn’t on it. And I kept Facebooking to stave it off. Sure, you can’t snort, smoke, or shoot Facebook, but that right there is a textbook definition for maintenance of an addiction.

So, upon the suggestion of my wife, I shut it the fuck down with prejudice, not even a goodbye post. I handled it like I had picked up something hot and I needed to drop it quickly. I didn’t think there was any way to cut down on my Facebook time. I was a junkie, and I suspected Facebook was going to be one of those drugs that I was not going to be able to step down from.

Cold turkey is tough too. Because I’m going to miss my political allies. Fellow atheists. Family. Old friends. New friends. I will miss all of the music groups I was in that steered me to fascinating bands and outfits. I can’t share my wife’s online life. My mouse lingers over that big blue F on my homepage and I accidentally click it still out of habit. I know I have twenty or thirty messages already since leaving. But Facebook will consume me if I go back.

I don’t know what it is about Facebook in particular that causes this. Maybe you do (here’s some scholarly stuff on it). Because I’m an active Twitter user, and I don’t feel the same addiction potential that I know exists for Big Eff. There is a quest for followers that could cause some issues, but mostly I enjoy reading it because I get to rub elbows with famous and smart people and folks who used to blog back when doing what I’m doing right now was hot shit. Twitter is very sparse, with its limits on how much you can say and how correct you have to come-you will find out what kind of an idiot you are very fast if you say the right thing the wrong way and vice versa. But the bottom line is it’s easy to get up from.

For now.

I’m not well known enough on Twitter that I get a response, a like, a retweet or a follower note every minute. So perhaps Twitter may in due time become as bad a drug as Facebook, but for now I’m just chipping. And that’s far, far better than the dope I was into yesterday.

On The Other Side

Well, that charade was exhausting, wasn’t it?

I’m glad it’s all over. Really, hoping something was going to break our way when all signs pointed to shitsville was tiring in itself. Weeks of masturbatory journalism about which way the trial was going to go made me numb. I should have tuned all of it out, but history was happening.

Listen. If we really thought for a minute that Mitch McConnell, a Majority Leader who had the sheer nerve to deny a sitting President a Supreme Court pick was going to let his partner-in-crime president swing for abuse of power then we’re not as bright as we think we are. As he did in the past, he kept his Republicans together-this time, just long enough to get Trump off the hook for putting Ukraine on one. If it had to go on any longer, maybe things might have been different. But it couldn’t, because no substance-no evidence, not a damn document whatsoever was allowed to be considered in the trial. It was a colossal waste of the American peoples’ time and an atrocious use of the Senate’s power to try impeachments. It had to collapse from its own emptiness.

You’ll also recall that McConnell nuked the Supreme Court rules to enable an alleged rapist to sit on the SCOTUS just to get a 5-4 conservative majority for at least the next 20 years. Remember also how his accusers were simply ignored by Judiciary.

Then think back at how Bill Barr strangled the Mueller report in its crib. We thought that was going to be the end of the Trump misadministration too. Once again, the right crooked people positioned at the right chokepoints ensured that Trump would not be scrutinized.

We the hopeful are the proverbial Charlie Brown, and the Republicans keep pulling the football away. We forget what a cunt Lucy is.

I’m done with thinking the system will burn out an infection. In the words of George Carlin: fuck hope.

It’s all so hard to believe sometimes, because of what a nitwit Trump is. We keep expecting him to trip over his red power tie hard enough and break the law so egregiously that no one can save him. But that event has not materialized and the bar is now pretty fucking high for the rest of this term. I mean, the Ukraine story was fucking airtight. He totally did it and got away with it (with OJ’s defense lawyer!), thanks to a jury who couldn’t accept their solemn duty to try the President. Party over all. It’s the Republican way.

The system and the people currently running the system are rotten to the core. The check is gone. The balance has tipped wildly in the executive’s favor. And no pollyanna reasoning is going to remove that fact. When it was certain that McConnell had the votes to block witnesses, this is what Trump tweeted:

Go fuck yourselves, America! Now watch this drive.

With that tweet in mind, there is a silver lining in all of this, one I return to; people are tired of Trump’s act. It’s boring, annoying, and everyone is starting to wonder if all he does is tweet, hold rallies for his trash people, and golf. And they are pretty pissed about all the shenanigans I’ve listed above and then some. As far as the impeachment goes, a majority of Americans wanted to see an actual trial with witnesses and evidence. I think people have been watching while the Republicans helped the rich help themselves to a nice tax cut while putting things like Obamacare on life support. They see that it’s the Republican led Senate that is refusing to do its job and vote on legislation. Sure, plenty of Americans are still in the Fox/hate radio bubble but I think there’s more woke people than not, especially since our young folks are coming to the polls and they are not into MAGA as a generation. Flooding the zone with hot garbage and screaming fake news all the time has provided diminishing returns.

There’s still eight months for more people to see that Republicans are bad for them. We may not have retired Donald Trump via impeachment, but the scandals and the incessant bad news will not stop. I think Mitch and the rest of the GOP knows they’re about to become a minority party and they are just destroying assets, fucking shit up as they retreat. But that’s the point. They know Trump’s a turd. It doesn’t matter to them; they are doing exactly what they came to do- monkeywrench the state and stop it from functioning. In this sense, Mitch McConnell is the most successful, most consequential party leader of our times.

Republicans probably aren’t going to be able to hack the vote enough to stop the massive blue wave that is coming to drown them in November. That’s the only hope I can’t fuck. Because voting is the last remedy of the American people. We don’t have a great track record, having invited this fucking incubus upon Lady Liberty in the first place. So, to my fellow lefties I say: let’s get active. Register. Get out that vote. Talk to your friends on the fence. We have the numbers (and that is a fact), we just have to show up. We cannot afford another four years of Trump undoing all the progress made under Obama. Shit, under any administration who offered something to the people instead of taking it away.

If you don’t recognize America now, wait until Trump 2.0 grabs its pussy.

Japanese Pink Film Star Singing

There.

That’ll do for a title until I think of something else. It’s what I’m currently listening to, and besides, you weirdos only come see me for my dirt on Nancy Reagan anyway. If you are interested, the album is actually really good, even if it didn’t have her moaning over every song (she sings but there is a moan layer over everything). There is one BDSM track. The music? It’s like what would happen if Quentin Tarantino scored a James Bond film. The artist/actress is Reiko Ike, and she came to me by way of purchasing a used copy of Ween’s swan song, La Cucaracha (which is a pretty good album and you can fuck right off if you don’t think so). Reiko was tucked away in the fold. Ween fans know what’s up.

There aren’t whole lot of photos of Reiko with clothes on, so I’ll offer up the album cover and hope that social media doesn’t notice.

Now that I’ve opened with that, I’m feeling a bit gauche now because I wanted to talk about how seemingly fucked up it was to wait nine days to tell the public that US servicemen and women were casualties when the airbases were attacked in the Iranian response for whacking Soleimani.

This kind of hiding casualties is unprecedented to me. Every time a soldier was wounded or fell in Iraq it was recorded and reported. And that war, I don’t have to tell you, was soaked in blood on the regular.

Now in one way, this looks like classic Trump, to run away from a decision that has any real gravity. Because had he had to break the news that our people were hurt by Iranian missiles, we would have to respond inside Iran.

War. Maybe World War 3.

So he did what he knew best to do. He lied. “All is well.” “So far so good.”

Nine days later, we report hurt soldiers. What the fuck? I’m sorry, it never takes that long to count casualties, much less report them.

But damn, I mean he got the Pentagon, the DOD, the Chiefs, everyone to stand down and let the reporting lapse.

How???

It’s entirely possible that anyone in office may have delayed the news of the injured soldiers because actually attacking Iran itself is one hell’s bell we truly can’t unring, one that could possibly begin or end with a nuclear bomb exchange and everyone who could conceivably deploy that weaponry knows it. So there was simply no tat for Iran’s tit that made any existential sense; even a boob like Trump must know this on some base level, and if he didn’t someone responsible made sure he couldn’t do something rash.

So we waited until the heat of the moment passed to release the assessment. Perhaps that was the right thing to do in a moment that could have decided humanity’s fate. Thank god no one died. It would have been on like Donkey Kong if we had to give a name to the American public.

And to that effect, Iran did its best to bruise us instead of burn us. They too know how far they can run up to the line before it’s too late to turn back.

Blink If You Understand

So! We are still here.

For now.

I bet you’re all pining for fucking 2019 about now. Someone has got to bring this year to heel already.

On January 3rd, Donald Trump nearly started World War Three by extrajudiciously and egregiously assassinating a venerated Iranian general who had nothing at all to do with the US embassy attack in Iraq. Last night, Iran responded by launching missile attacks on two of our bases in Iraq. There is no official report of casualties as I write this. It’s 8:45AM the following morning.

As we watched our TVs last night to see if we needed to start praying, we longed for a leader to make a speech, something to make us feel more secure that things we going to be OK, one way or another. At least I did. I’m not a follower per se, but I feel there should be people who know how to tend others besides themselves in any group.

Of course, all we got was this inane tweet telling us shit we already knew because we use the same fucking internet and have the same access to journalism as King Asshole does:

Day late and a dollar short, Zippy.

Anyway, the world’s existence, nay, the human race’s existence is largely dependent on which Donald Trump shows up for work today.

That’s a scary ass truth, ain’t it? Like I said, gimme back 2019.

We could get the Paper Tiger Trump. This is my favorite Trump; it attempts to be hyperaggressive one day only to back down the next day or so. Remember when Trump dropped a MOAB in Afghanistan when he first got elected and then just forgot about that war? That Trump. We need Paper Tiger Trump to show up today.

The other Trump that may come to work is Belligerent Trump. Sometimes Trump loves the smell of his farts and believes his own hype about what a tough guy he is. This Trump will continue to attack tit for tat with Iran, who could conceivably attack dozens of allies around the globe and then someone drops a nuke and then it’s buckwheats for the world.

A final possibility could be the Oppositional Defiant Narcissist Trump. This Trump is similar to the Belligerent Trump, except this one is convinced of the superiority of his own intellect and will do the opposite of what people who know what the fuck they are talking about tell him to do. This is “I alone can fix it” Trump. You notice that experts are leaving this administration in droves; that’s because they hate Oppositional Defiant Narcissist Trump. Will also cause WWIII.

Anyway, Iran has announced that it has extracted its pound of flesh, whatever that amounts to; now all we have to do is just be magnanimous and ask for a truce. Trump needs to blink because this is not about him, it’s about billions of us- and he needs to fucking wake up to that reality and take this chance to look like a goddamn statesman with grace, integrity and perspicacity just once in his shit political career.

UPDATE 10AM: Iran missile strikes designed to avoid casualties. We need a steady fucking hand right now and I don’t like our chances.

Iran So Far Away

Confused about all the hullabaloo surrounding the assassination of the Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani?

You sure are not alone. I know I’ve been. It’s taken me far too long to piece it together.

There are two ways to look at the way Trump has gone about violently retaliating against Iraqi-Iranian assets.

One is that the tail is wagging the dog, and that he’s just trying to start a fight to distract from all the trouble he’s in. I do not favor this interpretation, as it does not keep him out of hot water any more than, say, impeachment increased his standing in the polls. It’s just something people say when they don’t know what else to say. Trump crimes right in front of our fucking faces all the time and if this donnybrook wasn’t around he’d be flooding the zone with some other garbage. All this hamfistedness and risk is not necessary if the goal is to keep you from looking the other way. Furthermore, Trump is already on his way to making what he’s doing just one more impeachable offense-he failed to alert Congress, contravening the War Powers Act. So he can’t even wag the fucking dog right.

The second way is to look at this as a simple chain of events gone horribly wrong. Someone chucked a shitload of rockets at an Iraqi airbase, killing an American contractor and wounding several U.S. troops. Days later, CENTCOM concludes that a group called Kata’ib Hezbollah was responsible for the attacks. But that’s a bit on the odd side, because since 2016 Kata’ib has been part of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an amalgam of paramilitaries allied with one goal: killing ISIS wherever they find it in the Middle East, particularly Iraq and Syria. In fact, they’re actually considered a wing of the Iraqi army, so I’m not ready to buy this story. The US has a shit track record on who to blame for what so I don’t know what to think. Anyway, our response was disproportionate and inadvisable, striking targets in Iraq and Syria, killing 25 Popular Mobilization Forces militamen and wounding dozens. Two days later the US embassy in the Green Zone is breached and overrun by angry protestors waving Popular Mobilization flags. And again, our response was a wild overreaction. We droned the No.2 of The Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis- and quite possibly by accident, the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, the aforementioned general Soleimani. The Quds Force is kind of a big fucking deal to the Iranians, so we’ve kind of stuck our dicks in the mashed potatoes, so to speak. The safety of Americans around the world is now in jeopardy. Hell, the safety of any of our allies’ people for that matter. He was a no-good customer to be sure, but I hope the blowback for this fuckup is minimal.

It’s a hell of a speculation I’m engaging in here, but it’s not illogical. Trump may have blundered (that would sure be weird) and offed the wrong guy and now he has to get all belligerent with Iran like he meant to do this. Now the Iraqis want US troops out to smooth over tensions (for which Twitler says he’ll sanction Iraq like Iran. WTF?). No matter what is true, the next few weeks might be tight, because Trump’s too dumb for diplomacy and I can’t say for sure what might happen if we hit targets inside Iran. It could be catastrophic, because there may well be a limit to how much the rest of world is willing to put up with from these United States of America.

The Impeachment Song Of J. Donald Trump

I was snoozing on the couch when it happened. I was dreaming about the vote, and halfway through it I woke and found myself watching the official count and its tally. I had gone to sleep to Morning Joe, having forgotten that Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, scheduled the vote for 10AM.

President Trump will soon have an asterisk in the history books next to his name as having been impeached for obstructing Congress and abuse of power. He will be the third executive in American history to be noted thusly.

I am happy it’s finally here, but remain rather underwhelmed. Donald Trump is getting away scot-free for several, if not many crimes which had already been limned out in the Mueller report. My hope was that the Democrats did the GOP like they did Benghaaaazi except it’d be real and drag the shitshow, with its endless fount of malfeasance to work with, all the way out to November where no one but the truly crazed will pull a lever for that rat bastard. It’s not like they’d have to do a whole lot of legwork, because the GOP, to include Trump, is very bad at criming. We could have gotten that slimy cocksucker and his cheerleaders to resign. There’s no reason why we couldn’t have invoked contempt and start fining and jailing people until they testified once we dislodged the OLC “protections” through a court order.

Or was there? I am not wise enough to know.

That said, they’ve been very good at circling the wagons so far to protect everyone who crimed, and there’s always the possibility that Bill Barr and McConnell have aborted Democratic efforts to convict. Absent the House, Trump and his cronies can bury their shenanigans, and to that point he will not be removed and the worst that can happen is that all we have done is played a safe hand that will win us little. This is the party over principle crew, and if you are still a fan, you’re pretty fucked up in the head and you need to go to church and ask Jesus for forgiveness and watch something besides Fox. Not that that will unfuck you, since you’ve been conditioned to hate the news in general.

Yet, I refuse to believe that the Democrats brought us this far to check a box while Trump can skate away from charges stemming from the testimonies of experts and corroborators whom the public is unfortunately only vaguely familiar with. I want to believe that we’re going to gobsmack the GOP with our surgical articles so completely that to acquit would mean the end of their careers at the very least, and perhaps the beginning of new investigations at best.

This feels rushed, but maybe that’s simply because we have what we need. Time will tell. I’m hearing rumblings that Chief Roberts is going to have a bone to pick with McConnell and senators who have already signaled that they will be flipping off this trial without looking at the evidence, so there’s that in the mix too.

I don’t know if we are in the middle game or the end. Your guess is good or better than mine. They got Al Capone on tax evasion; perhaps airtight but simple articles will bring the criminal in the White House to his knees as well.

Hill Or High Water

I’ve been shying away from the impeachment hearings, as I believe that there’s not much chance that Republicans are going to actually listen to the facts brought forth and weigh in on the merits to the case of a quid pro quo by President Trump to gain uncomfortable information on who he thought would be his rival in the 2020 showdown.

That was a mistake on my part. These hearings are fascinating.

Comparison to Watergate is inevitable, but perhaps in-congruent. Nixon and Trump, true, were/are both raging paranoiacs who used cheap and dirty tactics to discredit their opponents. Nixon, smarting from the release of The Pentagon Papers, tried to defame Daniel Ellsberg as some sort of kook. When there was no more daylight between him and the burglary, he quit because he had no friends left, except maybe Kissinger.

I currently think that Trump will eventually resign as well but he’s proven to be a lot slipperier that Nixon. He’s sealed off what’s left of his inner circle from the impeachment inquiry, as if they had all signed an NDA- the OLC is currently providing legal cover for them to decline a subpoena just by being in the employ of the president, a notion that is challengeable in court I imagine. He’s got GOP rank and file ready to fall on swords throughout Congress. Tens of millions of people still say Trump or bust.

If you were there, might I ask- was the entire right side of the aisle riding Nixon’s jock until the dots couldn’t be ignored? Did Nixon habitually lie to confuse people? Was there something like Fox News operating as a cheering section for the troubled president? It’s just crazy. This has got to be worse than Watergate. During these hearings, witnesses have testified to Democrats what they knew about Trump’s missiles-for-dirt pressure campaign upon Ukraine’s President Zelensky. Then the complicit Republicans fulminate for their time, trying to cook up a reverse narrative, that it was Trump trying to root out corruption in the new government, corruption that may have involved the son of the man he thought would be most likely to oppose him in the general. I figure they were going to wait til later to throw that grenade, but circumstances demand that they throw it now because otherwise it’s all Democrats all day building a case so what they have tried to do is use their five minutes to lie and spout calumny about the nature of the inquiry and those testifying against Emperor Zero and then Hannity and Fox and Friends take the ball from there, snipping it all up making it look like Republicans had carried the day.

That couldn’t be further from the truth, though. I finally sat down to watch some testimony today, and boy, did I pick a hell of a day. The erudite and now famous Dr. Fiona Hill came to speak, and she did not come to jack around. She recalled incredible amounts of information that did real damage to the Trump claim that he was not trying to play fuck-fuck with a new Ukrainian government. Adam Schiff has been squeezing the tube from the bottom, just like he should, setting up grander questions for bigger fish thus calling for an undeniable need for Trumpists in positions of power to spit out what they know under oath. That would be game, set and match, the conditions under which I believe Trump would take a powder rather than get removed.

The hearings were amazing today, and everyone should avail themselves of all of the testimony given so far. It’s quite riveting if you ignore all the idiotic, whiny GOP noise masquerading as cross examining (none of them, save counsel, had questions) that is no doubt being digested as I write this by easily conned Fox viewers.

Two things stood out for me today that bear note. Here’s Fiona Hill patiently and succinctly warning everyone about the intent of Trumpublicans to counterspin the Trump/Zelensky fiasco as if the Ukraine were attacking our elections, and she doesn’t mince words about where that notion came from.

Boom.

You’re all Putin’s bitches.

Also, Eric Swallwell sent Devin Nunes a little chin music, disclosing that he has ties with the Giuliani goons who almost fled prosecution.

If you are free from the singsong of the right wing Wurlitzer and actually watched the proceedings, you clapped in your living room several times today even though no one else was there. Then you thanked god as you came to know him that there’s still some fucking professionals left in the government to expose a pissant president and his eagerness to sell this country out to Russia to personally enrich himself in any way he can.

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