Category Archives: Uncategorized

Knockdown In Round Two

Yesterday, it seemed like the end for the struggle to preserve benefits, protections and entitlements for millions of people across the country was imminent. The GOP looked unified enough to pull it off and take it all, desperate for some sort of victory no matter how Pyrrhic it would be once regular people felt the bite. They were ready to commit massive legislative arson just so they could please their wealthy donors in this cussed Citizens United era.

There was a snag last night when deficit hawks had reservations, but we’re all still on the hook at the moment. We might be losing the light yet.

But fuck all that. I know it’s important, but hang on.

Robert Mueller pulled another string.

He’s got Michael Flynn in his talons and he ain’t going to jail even a minute for one Donald J. Trump.

As they say in chess: Check.

And it looks like an ugly check, a nasty, sickening game-fucking fork that will cost King Dipshit his protective pieces, and when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before white chases him around the board where no space is safe.

I knew something was up yesterday. Trump is erratic at best on normal days, so it’s hard to read anything into his behavior. But he went berserk this week. It started with “honoring” Native American veterans in front of a portrait of the asshole who signed the Indian Removal Act, and like the 6 year old imp that he is, he proceeded to take a bizarre shot at Elizabeth Warren (as if to say “While I’m on the subject of Indians…“), a shot that no doubt confused the honorees and eventually pissed off much of the Native American community. He accused Joe Scarborough of murder, mused as to whether the pussy grabbing recording was real, told people in private that he still isn’t sure about Barack Obama’s birthplace, dribbled something about a fake news contest, dragged NFL players, CNN, The New York Times, I mean he whipped out all the greatest hits and made up some new ones. And then yesterday, he’s out there retweeting British anti-Islamic/white supremacist material, material that was without basis in reality. Now since Trump has been in office, he has NEVER taken responsibility or apologized for anything he has said or done and that did not change here. Sarah Sanders dutifully put on her ever increasing volume of warpaint (perhaps to unnerve the press corps) and basically said Trump is right, even when his proof is wrong. Oy vey.

All of it made my spidey senses tingle. I’ve never been fond of the notion that this twat of a president has any clue what he is doing. So many pixels have been wasted positing that Trump is a master of distraction. But the sum total of his miscues and outbursts this week suggested to me that his nerves were frayed about something. There may or may not be a little bird who has seen Mueller’s flop cards whispering in Humperdoo’s ear. This may be causing a bit of mania and rightfully, paranoia. Again, the things he does, says and types unintentionally muddies the water. Put simply, the dude is spazzing out. And the level of spaz might be a hint that trouble is coming…coming for him.

We may yet lose this country, what’s left of it for us normal folks anyway. But Justice, a severe and merciless bitch of a goddess, will not be denied her sacrifice. Maybe we will come out the other side of this caring more about each other after having been lied to and treated so badly by our putative leaders. My hopes are chastened, though. It only took five short years after Nixon left town in disgrace to bring us to Ronald Reagan’s senile reign of error.

We don’t learn from our mistakes here in America. We repeat them, with pride. But for now, let’s celebrate that our modern Caligula, this mad hatter of a misbegotten president is going down soon, hopefully taking his conspirators with him.

 

 

 

America Bleeds Blue

So, what, if anything, do last night’s election results mean?

It seems that the American people are out for incumbent heads once again. Non-presidential elections always seem to be bloodbaths for the majority party. And while I am glad the pendulum is swinging leftwards-politics being what it is here, nothing will get done that helps anyone because of the incredibly steep hill we as a Democratic Party must climb to triumph, and when we don’t make it to the summit, then the pendulum will swing right again (sorry about the mixed metaphors). If there’s anything you can count on in this world, it’s the shitty memory of the average US citizen. It doesn’t help that they are being lied to by half the radio dial, hundreds of crap dailies, and a major “news” channel either about what’s good for them. We’re a perpetually unsatisfied bunch, on the whole, and that is probably by design.

That’s my cynical take.  I could be wrong, last night’s blue wave might be a harbinger of things to come. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, because we’ve gotten to the summit  before(2008 until we lost Ted Kennedy and got Scott Brown). Really, the big important takeaway is that Donald Trump is really only good at one thing, and that’s alienating people. If there is any meaning at all to yesterday, it’s that Trump is not magic like he’d have you believe. In his mind and his stunted supporters’ minds, it was his charisma and vision that propelled him to victory in 2016. His statistically improbable win gave rise to a variant of The Trump Effect, which posited that his upset victory made him and Republican candidates who hewed to him invincible, all the way to 2020 when he would be elected again.

Now I was dead wrong about 2016. I fully expected an establishment election, with Bush losing to Clinton. But because of the weaknesses in the Republican field there was room in the national conversation for a blustering, self-promoting demagogue to turn the right wing in this country into a cult of personality seething with hatred and resentment towards its neighbors and anything else that wasn’t ‘Murican, which is to say white, male, straight and Christian. But I don’t think I’m going to be monumentally wrong again in that manner, and if I am, I should just turn in my pundit pin and go think in a dark room for a few months. Donald Trump is a fraud, a phony, a Pied Piper for idiots, and most of us have already figured that out. There will always be that perpetually blind 25% or so of people who really are Nazis, alt-righters, supremacists and racists, to whom Donald Trump seems like a godsend. But no one who wants to keep their job in Washington really wants to get any closer than arms length to Trump, and Republicans may forgo the huckleberry vote in a bid to hold the center, which is the sweet spot every perennially successful movement wants to be in.

That sweet spot is currently held by Democrats, if we can impose a little discipline on ourselves( looking at you, Donna Brazile, Bernie-hangers on, etc.). My best self is socialist, but I will wait patiently while we discover ways to make its principles palatable to a country obsessed with outmoded caricatures of “individuality”, which may have made for good novels while we were still stealing land expanding as a nation but is wholly incompatible with the modern interdependent society where we don’t have to leave our neediest behind, work our lives away and grossly enrich ourselves as others struggle simply because they weren’t born fortunate. Now, I’m white, male and straight, and taken care of by the Veteran’s Administration and so I realize that my ability to “wait” is privileged to the point of being odiously gauche. But there it is; calls for revolution will not sit well at the center. We must nudge and not shove. It’s either that or a second civil war, one that crushes all the oppressive forces of patriarchy and racism and sexism and superstition and lack of understanding. I mean, I know what side I’ll be on if it goes down, but do we have to get to that point before we tolerate each other? Who of us will be counted when we do? Most of us have work in the morning.

Let’s hope politics is the answer. Indeed, it may be our last.

 

Race To The Scoop

This country been on a steady diet of terrible news in the last year. It was like castor oil and thin gruel and we hated every miserable minute of it, like in most diets.

But yesterday, the sane wing of this country broke their fast and supped mightily and greedily.

It was Motherfucking Mueller Time.

The venerated counselor made his first moves as special counsel after a five-month investigation. Paul Manafort and an associate are facing life in prison, on charges stemming from false statements to conspiring to defraud the United States. A parallel and equally damaging (some would argue more damaging) story ran today that another Trump advisor, George Papadopolous had pled guilty to lying about trying to get at the “dirt” the Russians were offering on the DNC and Hillary Clinton. A separate and lesser known case is being assembled against him for having entirely too many vowels in his last name.

Truly delicious. But as people starved of hope for so long, we want Mueller to feed us yet more. We want a shock and awe campaign that will make dumb Donald’s head spin every damn day, revelations that he can’t possibly tweet his way out of.

We don’t know what cards Mueller has, and that’s sort of a good thing. I think letting the ramifications of these two cases sink in is sensible. There’s plenty of places for Mueller to go with Manafort and Papadop…whatever. Flipping Manafort is a strong possibility, because his life is effectively over if he is convicted unless Chump pardons him, which is probably a bad move that would indicate his own guilt while the investigations intensify. There’s really no good move here for President Fumblefingers-he’s acting like the proverbial frog in the simmering pot of water at the moment, tweeting denials and lies like usual and my hope is that things stay that way until he is cooked through.

So. Now that Black Monday is over, where do we go from here? It’s 7AM here in the East and Robert Mueller is still brushing his teeth, so anything could happen that negates what I’m about to proffer.

Yesterday afternoon, something interesting was noted by a McPaper reporter in the DC court docket. I tried like hell to reproduce this graphic by searching the court’s website but got nowhere so I couldn’t really tell you where this is from. His name was Steve Reilly, and he tweeted this image.

indict

Papadoodledoo was the case prior to the ones above. And I can confirm that 17-201 was Manafort. I got at least that far on the site. So this raises some questions as to the nature of the sealed indictments between Felix Pappalardi and Manafort’s. Are they more bullets in Mueller’s bandoleer?

Well, truthfully, we can only speculate for now. But that hasn’t stopped a couple of news outlets from letting it fly and claiming these mysterious “in between” cases are aimed at Trump.

I became aware of this graphic because a friend, who is smarter and more perspicacious than I am, posted that to Facebook.

No sources were given by the person who she got the graphic from. So I decided that it would be best if I did due diligence and seek out more information on these sealed indictments.

I googled.

I googled some more.

I continued to refresh my searches for hours after her post.

Nothing…until later in the evening. Boom. The Palmer Report and Patribotics were claiming that more indictments were forthcoming.

Now, this is not the first time these websites have been seen together in a search. In fact, it often looks like Louise and Bill are trying to outdo each other. If Palmer claims five, Louise claims infinity kazillion.

The two sites were alone in reporting more Trump indictments. No one in the above ground media wanted a bite, which is important because if you have proof of those indictments you don’t wait for another paper to scoop you. It’s also worth mentioning that McPaper, who Steve Reilly works for, did not publish a story based on the graphic.

So: either these two sites are dodgy as fuck, or they are somehow Chosen by a Deep Throat-type insider to get the news out.

A little history of Mensch and Palmer is in order.

Louise was a right-wing ex-MP before she became an internet sleuth. She moved to America with her husband, and began work in online journalism which was aimed at conservative women. She has always been something of a rogue wherever she goes, getting embroiled in controversy.

She hates Vladimir Putin. So much so that the subtitle of Patribotics is “Exposing Vladimir Putin’s War On America”. By extension, she hates Donald Trump for going balls deep on Vlad. So, even though she’s a conservative, she’s yet another strange bedfellow in the quest to remove Trump from office.

Can she be trusted, though?

A media bias website calls her work “questionable”. To wit:

A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, overt propaganda, poor or no sourcing to credible information and/or is fake news.

While Patribotics does produce factual content, they also promote numerous unproven conspiracies…Overall, this source does produce some quality investigative journalism, but there are also many unproven and un-sourced claims that render this blog questionable.

Oh, and she’s rather hostile when challenged.

I don’t know about you, but when my media isn’t consistent, it’s useless to me. I don’t have the time to separate fact from fiction just so I can get a jump on certain stories, because there is too much fiction out there to wade through as it is.

Let’s begin to discuss Bill Palmer by talking about one of his writers, Claude Taylor. Claude, an old Clinton hand, has a Twitter feed called TrueFactsStated. He has a habit of tweeting outrageous unsourced bullshit that cynically uses peoples’ confirmation bias as bait to his feed. I got taken in by Claude a while back, posting on Facebook a tweet of his in August that said that high level Trump indictments were forthcoming soon (Louise Mensch, incidentally, also promulgated this story as well). My perspicacious friend waved me off of the story. In my defense, I gave people fair warning that it might not pan out to be truth. But anyway, Claude Taylor is dead to me. I don’t give a shit what he says even if it is right-he’s not to be trusted. We need to fight left-wing fake news just as hard as we fight right-wing fake news. In fact, we should fight lefty horseshit harder, because we need to be as correct as possible. It only takes one fuckup and the wingnuts will present it as evidence that the entire left movement is untrustworthy. They do it all the time inside their alternate media universe. We good liberals have to work harder because the opposition has traded truth for propaganda, and propaganda is much simpler than the facts and therefore easier to spread to the uncurious that need their news spoon-fed.

This is my way of saying that Bill Palmer has one strike on him for associating with a liar. Yet, my perspicacious friend loves the guy. I’m torn, because a) my friend is whip-smart, b) I have been burned by his staff and c) there’s enough skepticism of his work that suggests I probably ought to pass on his bombshells.

Not much is really known about Bill. He’s been behind the creation of several online publications, most notably the DailyNewsBin, an anti-Trump site which kind of morphed into Palmer Report. To me, he came out of nowhere. Snopes is a bit wary of Palmer, who notes that several blasts of his have no foundation in provable veracity (Palmer is derisive of the site’s usefulness).  And the same media bias/fact check website I used to observe Louise Mensch’s record finds Palmer’s record mixed and questionable as well. Palmer is embroiled in a fight with that site too, and has angrily lashed out at other critics much like Louise Mensch has. To me, this type of combativeness indicates an inability to let the facts speak for themselves, if indeed they are facts.

Anyway, Palmer published a story on the USA Today graphic. He’s hedging, as you can see by the title, filing the story in his “Opinion” section. It’s a fairly thin piece, with strange leaps of logic like “That doesn’t prove that the four cases are all Trump-Russia cases, but it means that they most likely are.”

Huh? How does that follow?

Am I too dense to understand that? That is entirely possible. Is the Palmer Report like a soap, where I need to have been with the story from the start to know what is going on?

After a bit of time had elapsed last night, someone/something recognizable went with the story.

Fucking Hot Air. Michelle Malkin’s old folk’s home for conservative bloggers. Many of you old bloggers will know some of the names. There’s Ed Morrissey, who ran the fever swamp “Captain’s Quarters”, and Jazz Shaw, who was honest enough back in the day so I was surprised he was consorting with a crazy bitch like Malkin. There’s also Allahpundit, who I never read but I know the name.

Allahpundit wrote up the piece on the potential Trump indictments. Much as it pains me to say this, it’s a good read, better than Palmer’s for sure-even with the conservative bias. He raises the point that sealed indictments are common and typical, and with a little math and a tip from a lawyer, finds that four sealed indictments over 22 days is in line with their frequency as a whole.

That’s the kind of skepticism I can use, especially when we are just guessing at the contents of those sealed indictments. I have enough trouble with my own confirmation bias as it is without somebody dangling a juicy “exclusive” scoop at me.

I need to go to a doctor’s appointment. It’s 10AM, and I will close this piece by doing one last google search for something that corroborates the speculation that there are sealed indictments related to Trump all ready to drop.

12:30PM

Nothing. Same returns as last night. So here is what I’m gonna do: I’m going to watch this story and only this story from Palmer as a test because I believe my friend would not steer me wrong. But if he can’t produce the goods, I wash my hands of him. If he is correct about the nature of the indictments, I’ll become a fan and issue a mea culpa here and say sorry to my perspicacious friend for doing a hit job on their favorite newsbreaker. I’m no stranger to being wrong, so do your own research about sources and come to your own, hopefully better conclusions.

 

 

 

Driven To Distraction

I’ve spent a good deal of time maintaining that the things that Donald Trump and Co. do on a daily basis are NOT the products of any particular rational, intellectual or logical machinations. It was fact to me that they simply didn’t know what the fuck they were doing because the president is a miserable, pathetic, deranged mental midget. People cried “distraction” from this or that ad infinitum. Like Martin Sheen said to Marlon Brando in “Apocalypse Now”, I didn’t see any method at all.

But around about Thursday, my spidey senses tingled as I watched Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy inexplicably open investigations into Hillary Clinton, on spurious charges that a Google search could have debunked. Duh Fuhrer eagerly seized on the news, making the outrageous claim that she was the target of the Russia investigation and that it was already “common knowledge” that he was innocent.

I said to myself, “Now THAT’S some damn distracting”.

Ham handed as it was like anything involving Trump, it all smacked of desperation that had a different vibe to it. There were so many people muddying the waters in the last few days to conceal headlines that put the lie to the new allegations against Clinton-like the one that found that a conservative newspaper asked for what became the Steele dossier. Fox News began a concerted misinformation campaign (even more hysterical and obsessive than the usual bullshit they peddle)to hastily report all the truffles that the Trump cabal dug up.

Something was up. All hands were on deck to try to get people to focus on hackneyed headlines about Hillary Clinton, hoping that enough people were blissfully unaware of the fact that she wasn’t the president.

Now we know what the sound and fury was all about.

Mark yesterday on your calendar so you can tell people where you were and what you were doing when the worst scandal in the history of this country broke wide open.

The next two days are going to be full of follies trying to pretend that some Trumpist is not  gonna be wearing cuffs soon. When the charges were publicized, Hannity barely blinked and asked when Hillary would be indicted. Ben Stein tried to downplay the scandal by downplaying Watergate. So pop your popcorn, because this weekend and beyond is gonna be hilarious if your gallows humor is still intact.

 

Paging Judith Miller

When my wife would ask me if it was in the realm of possibility that we would drop a fat man or ten on North Korea, I’d always confidently say that even Donald Trump has enough brain cells not to irradiate the peninsula. She still doesn’t believe shit that I say, because I blew the election call like everybody did(with the notable exception of Michael Moore). Anyway, she’s now an adherent to Murphy’s Law when it comes to politics. I can’t really blame her, given the fuckery we have witnessed over these last ten dreadful months.

I’m still saying that the odds are against us nuking the hermit kingdom, but there have been some subtle indications that potentially point to an attack in the future.

Twitler and Kim-Jong-Un have been very busy trading threats and japes since the inception of fucking moron’s tenure. It’s like listening to two lobotomy patients doing The Dozens. I blew it off because it didn’t take me long to figure out that Donald Trump was all hat and no cattle, a man unable to get the simplest things done because of his big fat made-for-KFC facehole.

In August, everyone had a laugh over President Humperdoo’s claim that he ordered the nuclear arsenal to be modernized. That modernization was begun under Barack Obama, but like a typical white supremacist Trump stole the black guy’s accomplishment. He tweeted that it was “far stronger and more powerful than ever”, an idiotic brag aimed at Un that was met with eyerolls from our arsenal’s keepers. So I shrugged, once again. Trump found a shiny, and like a child he would drop it when he found another thing that he could put in his mouth to explore the world with.

Lately, however, dribs and drabs  in the press are giving me pause. Trump ordered bombers to 24-hour ready status, a move denied by the Air Force but officials left the barn door open on the possibility of it happening in the future. Then, as quick as you please, Chump signed an EO allowing the recall of retired pilots. Once again, the air force ambiguously claimed that it was not going to do that…right now.

But the strangest indication of all to me came out yesterday. I am a regular reader of The Raw Story. It’s a reliable liberal news catcher. And yesterday, they splashed a report that North Korea has biological weapons and has the knowhow to weaponize them.

I don’t need to tell you how this story goes if you were conscious for 9/11/2001. Or 3/20/2003.

But I said to myself that Raw Story wouldn’t peddle naked agitprop for war. But that’s exactly what they did.

They lifted the story directly from the International Business Times, a popular and powerful online news outlet that swallowed up Newsweek. Their story touted a Harvard study that concluded in a 46-page report that Un had bio-WMD.

Here’s where it gets weird. The IBT is affiliated with a kooky South Korean Christian group known as “The Community”. There are familial and scholarly ties to a David Jang, who like many Christians, would like to immanentize the eschaton. Nuking North Korea is considered by many to be an act that would bring about a third world war, which checks all the boxes as an end of the world scenario.

So what I guess I’m getting at is that this seems to be a plant to get people softened up to the idea that the problem of North Korea must be solved with a hammer, and quickly. It is quite surprising that Raw Story would publish the piece verbatim without critical discussion. But I guess it’s still the age-old problem concerning the mix of press and money; if it gets clicks and eyeballs, let it fly-even if it means doing the bidding of the gods of war.

Looking at you, Gray Lady.

 

 

I Can See Russia From My White House

Notably absent from this notably absent blog is talk of Russia. That’s largely because I ain’t Mother Jones and I can’t keep up with this 80-armed Octopus that is their interference in our politics. So many people are going to get SO busted for their complicity in the plot to tear a Gazprom-sized hole in our democracy, so long as Robert Mueller doesn’t expire in the midst of his thoroughness. I think we’ll all be fascinated by the number of people who go to the pokey for conspiracy and obstruction. Or maybe it’ll fizzle like Iran-Contra and all the culpable bastards will be pardoned or secure commutation. Depends on how big this thing gets.

I’m not exactly slow to learn, but I am sometimes late for the game. For example, this whole “bot” story is blowing me away. Y’all hear about this?

As I understand it, these little automated pieces of software can be very useful in handling simple tasks that could potentially speed up the response time of a customer service center, for example. I’m sure all of us by now have chatted in real time with a bot at some point while trying to contact someone over the internet about a problem you are having with a product or service.

But they can be used for evil. They can crash a site by swarming it, steal your information, wreck your online gaming experience, and defraud your company. But their most nefarious use was (and still is) shitposting accolades and defenses of Donald Trump all over the internet, all in the service of one Vladimir Putin. How do we know this? Because we can trace these bots’ origins straight to Russkieland.

Does everybody remember this?

 

Yeah. That was Hillary literally warning us that Donald Trump was going to tongue-polish Putin’s little purple-hatted fireman if elected. And did we heed her? In fairness, more of us did than didn’t. But the bots, the geographical peculiarities of our electoral system, vote suppression, the Comey Bomb, and good ol’ fashioned sexism caused the sane candidate, however imperfect, to lose the tally.

Anyway, the internet is full of garbage information coming from Russia, and if you are a Trumper, you probably have retweeted a bot, shared a bot-generated story, or upvoted a bot comment unkowingly. Or maybe you know and don’t care because it says what you want to hear. Fuck you.

So anyway, let’s fast forward in the Russian intrusion/collusion story to round about now. Emperor Zerohito is in a fight with another Gold Star family, and he’s been trying to get sports figures who take the Kaepernick knee fired. It’s pretty fucking pathetic and the press and people in general are letting him have it. And guess who came to Trump’s defense:

“Mr. Trump was elected by the American people. And at least for this reason it is necessary to show respect for him, even if you do not agree with some of his positions,” Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club when asked what advice he could give his U.S. counterpart, according to state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

Putin said that “disrespect is shown for [Trump]” in the U.S., which he called “regrettable.”

“One can argue but one can’t show disrespect, even not for him personally but for those people who voted for him,” he said. “I believe that the president of the United States does not need any advice because one has to possess certain talent and go through this trial to be elected, even without having the experience of such big administrative work. He [Trump] has done this.”

Putin said that Mr. Trump “won honestly” in the 2016 presidential election.

Hey, Vlad?

Suck my dick. Don’t you dare come from your giant permafrost fiefdom to lie and tell me how I should behave towards my American president. I will call the president a fuckball wherever I want. Were the president a respectable man, we might agree. But not this guy. No goddamned way. You don’t get to tell me how to respond to one of the stupidest, most worthless heads of state this country has ever produced. And you obviously don’t comprehend what makes Americans free. As a matter of fact, neither does your assboy Trump. You are each tinpot despots, demanding respect when none is given and you can both take a flying fuck at a rolling donut for that.

Ahhh. That felt good.

As sinister as the Trump/Putin axis is already, the intrigue has deepened rather quickly. As has been well documented, Putin likes to kill dissent by, well, killing. Today, a journalist critical of Putin was stabbed in the neck in Moscow. Also, a man named Bill Browder, who uncovered evidence of colossal Russian fraud is now on the run from INTERPOL for the killing of his countepart, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky-and it looks like a frame job because Putin is probably the one who tortured and executed him in prison. And at the same frigging time, the State Department revoked Browder’s visa so nowhere is safe.

Some people may think that Putin isn’t getting his money’s worth for helping fix our election. But perhaps he is, in ways that aren’t screamingly obvious, ways lost in all the other noise generated by this administration.

UPDATE: Browder’s visa has been reinstated. Evidently this move went over like a lead zeppelin and Tillerson backed off.

You’re In Suspension

It’s Thursday!

That means that there are only three more full days left in the week for Donald Trump to do or say something stupid. This is of no condolence to anyone, because he typically doesn’t rest between fuckups. Even on his golf vacations he never misses an opportunity to not make the papers with his latest embarrassing utterance. You can bet he’ll be there at 6:45am Sunday, still stoned on Halcion, fuming about his latest feud with black football players, dreamers, transgendered people, the entire island of Puerto Rico, the media, Democrats, Republicans, Congress, Gold Star families, his cabinet, the intelligence community, “activist” judges, John McCain and this list is nearly interminable so I will stop here.

Some of you out there like to think he’s a disruptor on purpose, judging from the volume of internet punditry that keeps writing the “here’s what Trump did today while you were talking about (see feud list above for examples)” story even though I am aware of no rule that says we internet sleuths can only focus on one outrage at a time.  But anyway, I still don’t know. Maybe there’s something to it, maybe he thinks he’s an effective one, but you cannot ignore the fact that he even does that really badly. In most of the fights he picks, he punches himself in the face first real hard. The rest of his obsessions, well, he kind of just leaves them in the air, arbitrarily picking the nearest hornet’s nest to hit and then he moves on suddenly, which is somehow less scary than him actually focusing on something. His lack of curiosity and distaste for detail and nuance are probably the only things stopping us from a hot war with the rest of the Axis Of Evil.

Whatever you’d like to say Trump is up to-is he any good at it?

An old friend said something approximating the truth-Trump is good at getting himself noticed. He can’t seem to stand not being the center of attention, which bespeaks of an unfortunate upbringing. Positive or negative, all press is the same, echoing that old dictum about publicity. He takes all comers no matter whether or not he has a leg to stand on- and he usually doesn’t. Truth to Trump is totally relative to whether or not it serves his interests at any particular moment-one only need observe the hilarious phenomenon of being able to zing Trump using tweets he lobbed at Barack Obama during his presidency. I don’t even know if the word hypocrite really begins to describe it-perhaps some of these synonyms are fresher and more accurate. Trump may be dimly aware of Adolf Hitler’s counsel about lying big or going home, which is a charge I am reticent to make but the man lies about everything. Today, I fully expect him to keep lashing out about what he did or didn’t say to a grieving mother who lost her son serving, even though someone’s already leaked that he’s sort of contrite about the whole thing.

Now, if we were living in normal times, this guy would have been pinched for abusing and shitting up the office long ago. But we don’t live in a normal political climate. For example, during my lifetime, I have watched or listened to the right wing make an enemy out of the free press. You see, Donald hasn’t been the only one to use big lies. The right wing movement in America been slowly but surely undermining the trust in professional storytellers for at least 30 years, first by taking over the AM dial and then by forming its own TV station. I often hear that Democrats like to divide people, but if you step out of the bubble you find out who the real dividers are. So I’m not going to give Trump too much undue credit for the mind-humping poll that says that 46% of Americans don’t believe what the media reports about Trump. This number is unnervingly aligned with the outcome of the popular vote in 2016. Clearly, our people isn’t learning.

President Poopypants has successfully sold himself as a victim, not realizing that he is dying by his own hand. But the putzes and outliers that voted for him don’t seem to notice. Trump and his henchmen will carpet bomb the truth with nonsense and disinformation at every turn, whether intentionally or not. They may still be the gang who can’t shoot straight, but I’m afraid hitting the soft-headed fish they’re aiming at doesn’t really take all that much talent anymore.

Western Town, A Dead End World

I seem to be hitting a little speedbump in titling screeds about Tucker Carlson and how much of an asshole he is. So I twisted a Pet Shop Boys lyric a little, in part because that’s what I thought they were saying all these years after MTV brought them to me.

So. Bill O’ Reilly is gone, leaving a huge vacuum in the Fox universe, one waiting to be filled by some other conservative apologist and railer against any kind of change in the world. Enter Tucker Carlson. Now, I expect Bill O’ Reilly to pine for the days of white yore. He was old. Tucker, on the other hand, is only a few years older than I am. The “things aren’t how they used to be” bitching doesn’t work coming from him, there’s just an inescapable inauthenticity in his shtick.

Basically, he’s full of shit. I am unsure that he is aware of this. Either Fox told him to imitate O’ Reilly or he’s a cranky geezer in a 48 year old body that thinks anything old must be good. Here’s Tucker, defending fucking Christopher Columbus, with the disingenuousness turned up to 11 as usual:

You can parse all that bullshit for yourself, if you like. I haven’t the time nor the inclination to stop and start this half-assed Gish Gallop of nonsense. Sorry.

So-it’s a war on “the West”, eh, Tucker? Fuck you. You and I know that’s just doublespeak for white European culture, which Carlson thinks is the only thing that has helped all of the mud people in the world walk on two legs and read a Bible.

This is all very amusing coming from the right wing, who hates an actual victim but being a pretend one is A-OK.

“Reason, tolerance, free inquiry – those are Western civilization’s central gifts to the world”, he says, after taking a dump on any type of inquiry that doesn’t genuflect to traditional thinking.

I know he thinks he’s cute and clever. I’m guessing his smarmy, smug, face-punchable act is going over well with the AARP demographic who is happy to see that some young people were brought up right. Fortunately, the trend of education and knowledge in today’s young folks is heading the opposite way, learning real tolerance and out-of-the-box thinking, and we know that because of the proliferation of simpletons like Tucker coming to the rescue the indefensible in our history. Conservatives are scared and confused because they live a lie. They have their own universe in which nothing needs to change, buttressed by an information stream replete with assholes who keep the comfortable lies fresh, fresh as if they were something new.

 

Dotard. Retard.

 

My wife had MSNBC on this morning when I woke up. That’s the default station for background noise in the house.

It has not been fun to listen to (to the degree that any news is) because every day they broadcast stuff about Donald Trump. Sometimes they play him speaking.

I know several people who cannot stand to listen to the president’s voice. And these are no snowflakes, either. I think Trump’s chief of staff is one of them.

kelly

That voice makes them uneasy, sad, and angry because it belongs to a fucking grandstanding pathetic lying irritating moronic id-driven maniacal imbecile who loves the smell of his own farts that is utterly unfit to serve a free and democratic people. I am also one of these folks. I would have never guessed that the weird day would come when the mere sound of someone could do what Trump’s voice does to me. I avoid listening whenever possible.

Yesterday, this goddamned changeling of a “leader” was out throwing chum to some of his dumbshit followers (who should all be tagged and chipped for our safety) in Alabama at one of his “rallies” (which are nothing but an extended version of the Two Minutes Hate), after a long week of embarrassing America in front of the whole world by blathering on about how great we have gotten over the last 9 months, fearmongering about the perils of the world, threatening to drop a big one on North Korea’s ‘Rocket Man’ (I can hardly type this without freaking myself out about how mindfuckingly infantile the clownshoe with the football is), criticizing the Iran nuclear deal out of the blue, making jokes about socialism that are only funny in the fever swamp of conservative American patter, and a bunch of other boilerplate that he didn’t look over until it was time to talk.

During this gathering of the Duh-ggalos, he called for the benching or outright firing of sports figures who take a knee during the national anthem in protest of the way America treats its minorities, particularly its black ones. They were, in the president’s words, “sons of bitches” who disrespect the flag.

This is highly alarming rhetoric. I have always had a problem with some people’s need to defend a piece of cloth. Implicit in our national compact is the freedom to call the American government out when it is wrong. Hating America’s policies is not the same as hating America, but some folks cannot tell the difference. But anyway, symbol worship, and to a larger degree, nation worship are slippery rungs on a slide to real, actual fascism.

The question we are still trying to answer is this: is Donald Trump reading from the fascist playbook, or can he read at all?

It has not always been easy to decide what the true character of recent Republican presidents are. Was Ronald Reagan a senile fool, or a brilliant tactician who threatened to weaponize space if the Russians refused to negotiate? Surely most of you remember when we couldn’t decide whether George W. Bush was the dipstick hayseed scion of a powerful political family or an evil piece of shit who set America on its present course of endless war.

And so it is with Trump. Even after 9 whole months of pure uncut ineptitude people are still undecided as to whether or not he has any idea what the fuck he is doing. Yet every fucking day I run into the latest thinkpiece about Trump’s brilliant use of legerdemain. There is little more tiresome to read than this type of analytical twaddle.

I implore you: be done with this. I am not saying don’t be afraid of Trump; his reign is indeed fearsome because the country is in the hands of a dolt. But the last thing I am gonna do is give him credit for anything resembling clever.

Truthfully, Donald Trump knows only one thing rather well; how to get people to pay attention to him. I still think that even though he is behaving like a deranged, militaristic, fascist power-grabbing authoritarian, it’s not something he actually thinks about consciously. I know it sounds a little crazy, but it’s highly plausible that this is just who he is, and not the product of any intelligent calculation based on study of creating a political movement. He’s a moron, simply in tune with morons like himself. Morons need to be led, and they will believe anything you tell them if you pack enough of them together or get enough of them to watch the same TV channel.

Folks, the emperor has no clothes, save for a red power tie and a stupid baseball hat. He will never be a tenth of the president that he succeeded, and that is truly what drives him-envy, not brains. We should consider ourselves fortunate that Donald Trump isn’t anywhere near as smart as he thinks he is. Moreover, we should also breathe a little easier knowing he isn’t as smart as we think he is either.

 

 

Special Counsel

I have just moved…hopefully for the last time for at least the next 10-20 years. It was a nightmare, worst fucking move I’ve ever had and I have had more than a few. I’m going to smear my movers up and down the Internet if they don’t pay for all the shit they broke.

The control center is taking shape. Just have to unpack my music, hang a few things, and I will have an office and little practice studio for to make bad noises from.

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This has been a mentally and physically challenging experience, but as you can see, I’m bold as love. Just ask the Axis. He knows everything.

Now. Let’s talk a little about judging. But first, some background.

Even the most ignorant among us knows the name Joel Osteen. And if you have been on the Internet for five minutes in the last few days, you know it rained thunder and hell on Joel for locking its doors when Hurricane Harvey rained thunder and hell on Houston.

An onslaught of angry people went online to condemn Osteen for not living the Word and refusing to help people in need with his space, space that had room for 16,000 behinds. I happily passed that shit around, because I’m not a fan of religious hypocrites. Now you may ask, why did I have to specify that I don’t like religious hypocrites? Why not all hypocrites? Well, the reality is that we all have our moments of hypocrisy, owing to our human nature and monkey ancestry.

Sometimes a level of hypocrisy is necessary to excuse that which we have no excuse for. Hypocrisy is also great for deflection from your own faults. An easy example- I just had hamburgers for dinner. Animals died in horrific misery to fill my belly. Yet animal abusers make me furious. Hypocrite much, Ron?

Yes. And you’re kidding yourself if you are not part of the misery of animals too. Even vegetarians and vegans who object to slaughter often live in habitats that have been robbed from another animal. So there’s really no end to the finger pointing. It’s a matter of gradation, tolerating hypocrisy. We all have to choose what evil we can live with.

Anyway, so I answer the question thusly: because too often you religious folk try to hold yourselves and eventually everyone else around you to a standard which few can abide by. It’s bad for your mental health and annoying as shit to others. Besides, with God as your co-pilot, you should be hypocrisy-free. But you’re just like the rest of homo sapiens, if you but knew. So please, religious hypocrites, rend your own garments but stay away from me.

So Joel Osteen is a nebula-sized religious hypocrite who deserved to have his name passed around as belonging to a piece of shit, right?

We thought so, until a notorious atheist said hold up. We might be over our skis kicking Osteen around because of information he’d gathered that said the roads to his church were closed and some of his assets were halfway under water.

When one of today’s leading online atheist voices wants you to lay off the religious guy, well, you should probably listen because we usually never miss a chance to make a fool out of a fanatic. At least that was the litmus I used. But evidence kept rolling in, testimonials and pictures that suggested that Osteen was holding out from having to share his space with people who didn’t tithe. Eventually Joel, who makes a living out of appearing unimpeachable, had to throw the doors open to the needy. The last thing any pastor needs is a scandal.

The wife and I run in some online circles together, sharing mutual acquaintances, and we and our friends chewed the fat about Osteen and I brought up Hemant’s piece about cutting Joel some slack. So we digested that, and moved on until one of our mutual acquaintances said we were “Christian-bashing” (there were believers in this conversation) and that it wasn’t for us to “judge” good Pastor Osteen.

That was Jesus’ job, she relayed. The thing for good Christians to do was only to bring people to Christ.

Believer and heathen wasted no time telling her to sod off with that bullshit.

If I learned anything from my days as a Randroid, it’s that you must judge because surely you will be judged. Old Ayn, a huge hypocrite herself, was at least more of a student of the human psyche and certainly more a realist than Saint Paul. If you think about it, judging is one of the fundamental things any living creature does. It’s why we evolved senses, because misjudging what you saw or tasted might get your ass (if you had evolved one) hurt or killed. But we must pass judgment on those of our kind who are no good to anyone. Rapists, most killers, child abusers, Republicans…those are egregious examples which I think we can all agree that it’s a little OK to judge those people. And while the idea of what is ultimately Good is a bit rubbery, we have some basic roadmaps in our genes on how to get along in a functioning society. And it sticks in our craw to see that some people don’t know how to follow the basic rules. And one of those things you just shouldn’t do is take and not give back. That was Joel Osteen’s crime, and we collectively made sure he paid by damaging his reputation as a force for good in the world. This whole episode certainly came as no surprise to those of us already familiar with the prosperity scam he hawks that tells believers to ignore that pesky part in the bible about where Jesus said to build riches.

You gotta size up people.  There’s no getting around it, and no amount of Scripture-twisting is going to stop people from doing it. I’m certainly not going to wait until an unlikely afterlife to wait for unease to come to a bad person. No. You find them, you name them and you shame them, or worse. Those are the rules.

 

 

 

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