Monthly Archives: August 2018

Remembering John McCain

In these contentious days where some Republicans and Democrats are literally ready to kick each others’ asses if only they could just get off Facebook long enough, it’s hard to remember that on the other side of “the aisle” in politics there are people with heart. Even if their views on how society should be shaped seem lacking in morality or are intellectually offensive in some way, you know that these people love just like you do most of the time. I believe we want to go to the same place, we just have very different ways of how to get there.

No. That’s bullshit. A lot of people can go get bent. You’ve all gone fucking crazy and you should be put down before you infect the rest of the herd.

I think Senator John McCain is one of those who had heart though, even if he allied with forces I do not understand anymore for most of his political career. Since that is so, I am very saddened to see him begin the process of leaving.

For those of us born yesterday, you’ll probably remember John McCain best for dramatically torching the Republican attempt to “skinny repeal” Obamacare. It went something like this:

 

That thumbs down may have well been a middle finger to Yertle The Turtle and his entire crooked-ass quorum. While the Republican assault on healthcare continues, it was nevertheless rousing to see someone over there say at a critical juncture, “Enough. We’re being bigger dicks than I am comfortable with. Enough.”

Then there was that time when he talked some fearful, whacko racist constituents down from their conspiratorial perches at a campaign stop in 2008. As you all know, conservatives have been fed a steady diet of hateful, dangerous media blather for almost 30 years now, beginning with Rush Limbaugh and the emergence of Fox.

And McCain just couldn’t. He listened patiently, but he couldn’t.

Those were probably the most television-worthy moments of John McCain’s tenure in politics in my adult generation. I could be missing much more vintage McCain, beginning with the footage of his captivity in Vietnam because I am still relatively young.

I should not fail to mention that he also took a courageous stand against our wanton use of torturing combatants during the Bush era when we were collectively balls-deep in avenging ourselves upon anyone we could catch for those buildings that came down in 2001. More recently, he’s been a vocal opponent of the nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA.

Of course, there are moments I remember which are regrettable. He made a star out of Sarah Palin. He will always be known as the old man who joked about bombing Iran to a Beach Boys tune:

And long before I became interested in politics or even my own johnson, he was a member of something called the Keating Five in the 80s. You see, back in the day from what I gather, buying a politician was not as easy to hide, and savings and loan king Charles Keating wanted some regulations undone to expand his empire. So, he feted a few key senators in order to achieve his goal. Apparently that was weird back then. In an ironic twist, he helped Russ Feingold enact campaign finance reform, though.

And that’s kinda the lion’s share of what I know about John McCain. I suppose that’s not much. I wonder, am I sad because he’s been famous for much of my conscious political life, or am I sad because he was an OK guy and that’s what you do when OK people are dying or dead? Maybe it’s a little of both, I don’t know. Famous deaths may remind me of my own fleeting mortality. It’s been on my mind.

Whatever the case, peace be upon John and his family. I think the only regret he might have about leaving at this time is that his passing will interrupt, at least for a little bit, the news of the unraveling of that dumb son-of-a-bitch who said to him that he preferred soldiers who don’t get captured.

 

 

Winner Winner Prison Dinner

I’m an Augustan. Today Reality Winner was sentenced to prison for 63 months in our courts after already spending over a year in the clink.

That doesn’t really make me any closer to Winner’s story. In fact, I’ve been totally silent about her. That’s not due to lack of interest at all-my small readership can readily see that I have been silent about just about everything lately. I have a lot of time on my hands, much more than most folks-and yet I am doing less than I ever have on this mortal coil.

This could be partly due to my absorption into Facebook. It’s become a web browser-within-a-browser for me, and I suspect you are no different. It’s a problem because Facebook sorts and dictates what I look at, but on the other hand I guess it’s no less useful than any digital newspaper subscription so long as I like the right information outlets and keep woke friends. I’m contributing to the death of independent journalism by not doing this old school-by going to the source and patronizing the fresh voices, but we’ve killed or co-opted nearly everyone who was good at it already. This blog, and the form itself is mostly moribund. I’m pretty much writing out of the conceit that I can, so bless you for looking and I am sorry that Tucker Carlson is such an asshole that I can’t show you clips anymore because his whole show is him being a wall to wall asshole. I am also sorry for myself that Nancy Reagan cannot resurrect and blow half of Hollywood so I can bring that useless tidbit to you again. These are the things you are into according to my stat counter.

Well, now that we’ve got the by-now obligatory whining about my personal difficulties out of the way, let’s reflect on people with bigger problems like going to a pen for five years for calling out a customer on their shady shit. That customer happened to be Uncle Sam, who in this dark age will fuck your ass up with the long arm of his arcane laws if you air his dirty laundry.

And really, it wasn’t even Uncle Sam’s laundry. It was a report with an unnerving conclusion: that Russia was fucking with our election process. Now it is of course well known at this point that Russia was and is quite busy playing games with our increasingly vulnerable democracy, and Winner’s leak was but one stream of information that said that 2016 was under siege months before a contentious, paradigm- rattling election. The extent of the cooperation between His Excellence The Spraytanned Trash Spewing Machine and Russia is slowly but surely being revealed, painful bit by painful bit by regular journalists, gossipers, angry lovers’ lawyers and the thresher of perps that has become the Mueller probe. It’s obvious to any unbiased eye, if such a thing exists anymore, that Donnie Dummkopf is complicit, obstructive and a willing conspirator and it’s only a matter of time before we get rarer, tastier meat on the hook that will hopefully send this cabal of plutocratic hucksters away, hopefully to the prison they so richly deserve after getting away with murder their whole privileged fucking lives so long as Jeff Sessions can hold the line. He’s showing amazing spine as Republicans go so far.

Think about that. Jeff “You There Boy, Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana” Sessions is actually scrupulous enough to keep Edward Twitterhands from running roughshod over the Justice Department, aware enough from jump that these were fleas he didn’t want to wake up with. I’ll take it as a sign that there might be something benign watching over us with a warped sense of humor. You motherfuckers better get out and vote THE RIGHT WAY PLEASE because there might be hell to pay if you don’t.

But anyway, back to Reality.

It’s past too late for me to recap this story for you in detail, but let me just say that she may have picked a turncoat to leak to. As many of you lefties know, Glenn Greenwald today is not the same perspicacious and prolific lawyer we all got to know from Unclaimed Territory in the days of yore. Glenn now makes his bones running The Intercept, and from there he seems to have gone so far down the rabbit hole that the Russians are the good guys. Look, I am no fan of US imperialism but Russia ain’t your buds either, folks. If given the wherewithal to run the globe the way America does, they’d be a slightly shittier version of us. They are the other side of one coin. This is the way the world is; dualist but also quite similar. At least we keep the appearance of having democratic values here and occasionally dust off the constitution to preserve our rights. It’s the system I know, and with that system I go.

So Winner, obviously a lefty, thought she knew where her damning document on Russia would be appreciated. She picked Greenwald’s outfit. What happened at the Intercept then was journalistic malpractice of the worst kind; in the course of verfiying the document with the NSA, Intercept staff practically laid a breadcrumb trail to Winner’s printer. She was arrested after The Intercept released the document. Glenn and Co. failed to protect their source in every way imaginable, which makes no sense as they had handled docu-dumps from Ed Snowden and know damn well how to keep a lid on their information sources. Reality chose The Intercept for its integrity; sadly, she was burned for trusting someone who she thought would do the right thing with the material.

Questions abound: Greenwald has been making goo-goo eyes at anyone who opposes the US at the pole position, to include Russia. He’s one of those self-destructive progressives who will happily cut off his nose to spite his face, kind of like the Berners who couldn’t handle an ounce of impurity in the Democratic nominee and so threw their vote away or withheld it because Hillary Clinton was not Perfect. And she wasn’t; she had work to do. But unlike Republicans, Democrats are often capable of learning and responding. You’ve already seen what the alternative is all about. It’s been raining shit for 20 months straight and all this could have been avoided, and the work that Barack Obama had begun could have been continued or improved. And if we stayed engaged, we could have been the change we wanted to see. I know that sounds so corny and contrived right now but 2016 was a really shit point to decide that the whole system was hopelessly fucked no matter who sat in the White House, mostly because of the peculiarities of the Democratic Party’s nomination process.

Thanks for that. Keep holding that breath, it’s working. No, really.

Now I really don’t want to go too far into conspiracy theory and straight up accuse The Intercept of burning a source because it implicated Russia. I’ll leave it for you to do your own sleuthing and put the pieces together. While you do that, Reality Winner is going to jail for almost a half dozen years because she brought to the fore what should not have been a secret, one which has since become absurdly obvious. And she should have been cloaked. That’s all I’m saying.

I’ll conclude with pictures of her entering the courthouse today. I hope the playful spirit shown below before she learned of her fate continues to shine within her. Hang in there, kiddo. I’m sorry.

Reality

reality2

 

 

Clownland

So it looks like Donald Trump is going to try on at least one more hat before he faces the music on Pornstar/Russia/fill in the blank.

He’s a fucking comedian now.

That has got to be the only explanation for Space Fooooorce. Not only can he shoot someone on 5th Ave. and get away with it, but he can say just about anything he wants and it will get applause at the Two Hours Hate that is a Trump rally. He could say “Babyshit telephone cockhole mango-flavored highbeam hobby humpers on a cruise ship to Fuck, right? You’re all a bunch of rubes. I love the rubes. They don’t even know what a rube is, do you folks? No. No you don’t. That’s beautiful. The beautiful rube elite. I’d teabag all of you if I could after sweating through nine holes with Rodrigo Duterte. I really really would. Wall to wall teabagging. And you’d say ‘Mr. Trump, I’m tired of all this teabagging’. Then I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to keep teabagging, teabagging, teabagging until we make my America enlar…uh, great again.”

This is really big league embarrassing, people.

Perhaps what is more worrisome than the President Of The United States thinking that Star Wars isn’t fiction is the complete lack of a reaction from his slackjaw supporters that he thinks a space army is viable. Not a blink.

War is hell. Typically you have to dangle a lot of treats in front of kids to get them to the recruiting office as it is. So I’m having a little trouble imagining that legions of people will line up for the possibility of brittle bones for life and dying for your country in the breathless vacuum of space during a routine training exercise. You also have to be smart to go to space, but if you are smart you know to stay out of the goddamn space army. Catch-22.

The last arms race almost ended our existence as a species. Now, granted, the idea of space-based defense ended it because even Gorbachev knew weaponizing space was lunacy. But we have no great enemy right now to worry about. Trump solved Russia, after all. So that means that we are actually up for another peace dividend, not a ratcheting up of aggression. It goes without saying there are so many other things that an actual executive of America could focus on. Real people got real problems down here, motherfucker. But that’s no matter to our entertainer president.

Donald Trump is a perfect portrait of arrested development. Everything he does, he does because he thinks he can get away with it, like the proverbial child testing his boundaries. He’s the physical and mental manifestation of the peeing Calvin on a million American pickup trucks. Getting away with everything he is doing is the ultimate juice for him. If he manages to bullshit his way through a Mueller deposition it will give him the kind of wood that his wife doesn’t give him anymore because she’s starting to look a little like Derek Zoolander in the face.

Trump is becoming quite a juvenile jester, a pernicious social media troll who loves to be hated by the people who so desperately need him to get popped for his myriad crimes and complete debasement of the office of the presidency. He can’t believe how many people are abetting his monkeyshines any more than you or I can. It makes me furious when useless, privileged assholes like him are having the time of their lives conning the shit out of people. But that’s a symptom of these times; this parade of horribles we are being governed by are gaining strength everywhere, not just in America. It is the age of the Auto-Plutocrat. And Trump is happily sidling up to other rich dictators and moguls who want to do some Business- in other words, rape the land, exploit workers and put as much money from the public coffers into private hands before their time in office ends. It is, I am afraid, the way things have been.

For a while. Longer than we care to consider. You are a sucker if you believe otherwise.

I’ll admit, I’m scared a little. Because this particularly noxious group of fascistic corporatists we have in charge now are trying to stay in power through multiple avenues of fuckery. They gaslight their gullible followers with paint-by-the-numbers buzzy agitprop, eat away at voting rights protection, keep the majority of us near penury so we are too busy or scared to stand up, demonize experts and journalists, steal Supreme Court seats, gerrymander the poor out of representation, and, as we are seeing, will stop at just about nothing to tilt elections to themselves. And that’s just a general overview. The details are much messier, worse than I feel like recounting here. The weather for tomorrow is dystopia with a fifty percent chance of portly, heavily armed, hastily deputized “nationalists” with no chins patrolling your neighborhood.

This had better be their last con, people. If you let Trump rawdog democracy by not filling the streets after the next Saturday Night Massacre or let the perfect be the enemy of the good by not voting or fucking around with boutique candidates in 2018, you might as well be as dumb as a Trump supporter for all the good your smarts do.

As for the rest of you: Space Force is a joke and the punchline is you. After you bought the pointless wall, after you salivated over a goddamn military parade like we lived in the Eastern Bloc, you should be ashamed-but how can you when you know so little of yourself?

 

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