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Rattled By The Rush

Show of digital hands-which of you putatively liberal motherfuckers bowed out of voting in ’16 so you could see everything fall apart?

You’re a lot harder to find than you used to be. I’m glad that most of you have been shamed into silence.

All I can say is that you are lucky that Trump is a boob. You better hope he doesn’t find his stride, because he’s still dreaming of a white, Christian, corpo-fascistic police state.

He’s trying to silence the media. He’s given over Cabinet positions to people who want to destroy the cabinet they preside over. He’s picking at your healthcare. He’s ready to sell the globe to the highest bidder. Oversight from Congress is dead in the water, and the Attorney General sees no evil nor hears it. People are disappearing into the clutches of border security because of their nationality or race. Trump has a Supreme Court pick in his pocket that could end women’s privacy rights. I could continue, but you’re a smart bunch, you have read all this elsewhere.

And some of you good liberals brought us here, thinking that yucky medicine would stop the sickness that you perceived that America had come down with.

I’m ready to be done with this line of thought. We dodged a bullet when we drew Trump. He might be too stupid to be a true reactionary. But I don’t think a lot of you would have let the election go by if the enemy were more competent. I’d like to think that, at any rate.

What I’d like to do is challenge the notion that we need to be dropped on our heads before we do the right thing.

I’d at least like to make the case that in a post-Trump world, we don’t have to get dropped anymore to attain the type of change we want. It’s actually dangerous, and may cause lasting damage.

I may be totally wrong. We might be living in Bedlam, where repeated shocks to our systems are the only cures for our true ills. If this political theory of occasional shock treatment is to hold, we must come to the conclusion that we are no better than rats who learn which pieces of cheese are electrified, or dogs who know not to cross the flags in the yard. We must be terrorized and kicked for our own good once in a while, so we don’t forget what happens when we break the rules.

In other words, we don’t know what’s good for us unless we are shown forcefully what is bad. And I have to say, that’s a very, very dangerous place to be. Political divisions aside, we are still an advanced, democratic, educated and interdependent society whose machinery is too sophisticated to need a spanner to be thrown into it just so a trusty repairman can come and fix it. Don’t follow leaders, and watch your parking meters. Maybe I’m looking at us with rose-colored glasses, but I like to believe that along the way, most of us have learned to be good on our own, with a few tried and true rules to guide us. Rules, not rulers.

I just feel the need to disagree with this negative way of looking at America, and being hopeful like that is alien to me. But two steps back for one step forward is bad math. And we never get what we want by not buying in. It is hard to believe in retrospect that the dazzling, positive energy of the ‘sixties culminated in the election of Richard Nixon. We went into a dark place populated with things like enemies lists, critic silencing, Kent State, Cambodia and Laos and the shattering of the middle class. Sound familiar? The left said All or Nothing and everybody got Nothing. Hubert Humphrey may have been boring, but he wasn’t and would never be the creep that Nixon was.

That just happened again. We on the left gambled after Bernie Sanders succumbed to Hillary Clinton and got Nothing-we asked for and got the Trump administration. Jesus, I am still having trouble putting the words “Trump” and “administration” together. As I said, were he competent, all the puzzle pieces are in place for him to silence his enemies, circumvent the press, rob the joint blind with his golf buddies, start a hot war and pave the way for the next generation of bleached, unquestioning, obedient citizens who will happily allow another generation of Jesus-loving, vicious faux-patriotic thieves to take what’s left of what belongs to all of us.

Alright. Much too much chatter, I need to get to my point. I’m obviously still smarting from how this whole thing went down, where a bozo supreme like Donald Trump made liberals fight amongst themselves the way we have.

It would appear that I am breaking my own neck to say we deserve better than Trump. I’m trying to fight my natural bent towards looking at things negatively and saying we got what we deserved. I’m looking over this and wondering who the hell wrote it, which is a feeling I am familiar with, I fear.

But for some reason, I can’t let this go by anymore.

I think we are playing with fire. I don’t find the glibness comforting, nor do I support the thesis which is: we have to put the crazy in charge to usher in the sane. It’s highly presumptive. Every damn article I see like this always assumes everyone will wake up and never let the bad thing happen again.

I have an idea: how about preventing the bad thing before it fucking happens? Because one of these days, and it may come sooner than you think…the half-nelson that Trump and his banditos have this country in might get ratcheted up so it hurts to strike back. Do we need to bleed, or did we already know well in advance of the election that Donald Trump was a dangerous maniac?

We shouldn’t have to make teachers  go to the streets to retain our rights. They already do something called educating our children. They need dry erase markers, not picket signs. Parents don’t have time for this shit either, they being employed themselves.

I have a great idea-let’s send Ben Cohen and those who think like him to go into the streets since he’s obviously got it sussed. I don’t think an opinion column writer should be the one blowing the shofar when people’s jobs are in jeopardy if they act out. It’s just irresponsible to predict revolution when you are not in the corps.

We knew what Trump was. We knew how audacious his warped vision was. Yet some of you let him pass, assuming he would destroy himself. I am not convinced he will-and I’m not sure that allowing a gargoyle like Betsy DeVos to even consider privatizing and Christianizing the school system is acceptable. We should have howled long before the brick hit. Because this Congress will dole out those vouchers and it could be your school that takes a haircut. If you’ve been vaguely aware of political goings on, you know this has been an interest of the Republican party for a while now. Now it’s dark.

What I am trying to say is: don’t assume bad medicine is the answer to everything. Don’t be glad the fox is in the henhouse, when you knew the nature of the fox already. It’s not a long term fix, and it’s a dodgy short-term one as well that asks a lot of the already burdened. We have been given the gift of foresight along with our opposable thumbs and bipedalism. Let’s telegraph these punches to the body politic next time around, stay informed, and vote strategically. I’m ready to go into the street, but I don’t have to be happy about it, and I certainly don’t need a goddamned newspaper columnist to tell me I need to go.

 

 

Twitler Gets Something Right

So when last we talked, I was relaying to you how gobsmacked I was and continue to be that we have elected ( I know we really didn’t, relax) the most terminally vain uncurious mercurial impish hyperprivileged puckerfaced whitebread tiny dicked fascistic jingo know nothing illiterate conspiracy loving con artist fraud huckster crybaby prick pervert whackadoodle media slut bunco dealer we could find.

Somebody clearly did not place limits on their child. Frederick Christ, I’m looking at you in hell, sir.

Everyone except Donald Trump seems to know that the wheels are coming off his bus. That’s not necessarily true, I guess, seeing as how the percentage of the popular vote Donald got roughly equals the percentage of approval he enjoys, or does not enjoy since he thinks that all numbers pertaining to him are fake, unless of course we’re talking about numbers that he pretends are his even though he’d been in office for a week when the tabulations were made. But I hear he is on a constant diet of Fox News, who is happy to massage Trump’s ego by showing tight camera shots of massive”pro-Trump” events while suggesting that protests against Trump are by violent anarchists and professional agitators paid to attend.

I have seen the comparisons of Trump to Hitler. And I guess I understand that. I’m reading “It Can’t Happen Here” at bedtime and Donald Trump is Buzz Windrip without the folksy charm, starring Steve Bannon as Lee Sarason and Mike Flynn as Dewey Haik-and the Republicans are more properly named as the “Corpos”. It’s troublesome that comparisons to these real and fictional fascists are to people whose rise to infamy presage horrible wars. Trump can start a shooting war whenever he chooses as long as he lets Congress know why he’s doing it in 48 hours. He’s used belligerent language toward China and Iran, most notably, and his favored dog whisperer thinks that a Sino-US war is inevitable.

I still think Donald Trump is more like Howard Hughes than Adolf Hitler. Guy’s fucking crazy, putting up gilded fucking drapes in the Oval Office and will probably screw himself out of this job by pissing off everybody in government, even his own Congress who can’t wait to get hold of his signature so they can destroy said government like they always say they will.

But I really can’t wait until Trump’s dealings with the Russians are exposed. I think that’s the most interesting thing that we need to see. Donald Trump has lied about his relationship with Putin, even going so far to pretend that he had never met the guy before the election amidst charges that the Russian government was responsible for the DNC hacks. He’s on record for complimenting the autocratic thug repeatedly.

If there’s one thing we know Donald Trump likes, it’s money. And I believe that Vladimir Putin, fellow oligarch, is making plans with him to divvy up the globe to enrich each other. During the Obama administration, we had lots of trouble with an adventurous Putin in Ukraine and Syria. He was an adversary, trying to break free from the cage NATO put around him. The Cold War never ended, really-Russia imploded in the 1990s and reemerged as an aggressive world power to be reckoned with under Putin. Like most “communist” nations, they reshaped themselves as capitalist dictatorships, using the State to enrich business interests and their whores in the government.

If that sounds familiar, it should, and it should bother you. But we can discuss that at length some other time. Maybe after I feel like digging up more examples showing what an asshole Tucker Carlson is. Don’t hold your breath, I am easily distracted.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Trump did an interview in his safe space with Bill O’Reilly. And if you think Don The Con has been um…unstable up to here, you missed this:

“President Donald Trump appeared to equate US actions with the authoritarian regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview released Saturday, saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump made the remark during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, saying he respected his Russian counterpart.
“But he’s a killer,” O’Reilly said to Trump.
“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump replied.”

Now I’m not sure if Donald Trump knew what he was saying-he may have just sputtered that in a hasty defense because he got pushed in a corner. It caused a lot of people-like old military hand Barry McCaffrey-to perk up and lose their cool:

JACKSON: MSNBC military analyst and retired four-star general Barry Mccaffrey, who is joining us here. General Mccaffrey, thank you for being here. President Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin is really backing the headlines in a big 
way. You heard what he said about Putin and Bill O’Reilly’s comments that Putin is a killer. How concerned are you about not just what the president is saying but the relationship that the U.S. Is going to have with Russia, where that’s going to go from here? 

MCCAFFREY: Hallie, I’m actually incredulous that the president would make a statement like that. One could argue that’s the most anti-american statement ever made by the president of the United States, to confuse American values with Putin, who is running a criminal oligarchy, who kills people abroad and at home, who imprisons journalists and takes away business property, who shares it with his former K.G.B. Agents, who invades and seizes crimea in eastern Ukraine, this is an astonishing state of affairs. It’s hard to know what to think about it.

It’s halfway to crazy to be dismissive of the danger Vladimir Putin represents, and shrug about how his regime takes care of its dissidents. Trump says…so what? We are killers too.

I expect this kind of thing to come out of Ajamu Baraka’s mouth. I don’t expect it from a Republican. Was it candor? I didn’t really think that Donald Trump was capable of critical thought. Maybe he did read the briefings, and his loose lips opened under fire.

 

Whatever the case may be, Trump dropped a truth bomb.

We are not innocent-not even our best and brightest are beyond reproach. We have laid waste all across the globe as a nation since our inception and we have not let up since. In my war of conquest (and don’t let anyone tell you it wasn’t one), it is estimated that we killed almost 200,000 civilians and incinerated entire towns that were unfortunate enough to harbor our enemies. God only knows how many we maimed. You can feel free to hit the history books anytime you like and string together our atrocities, or let someone like Noam Chomsky contextualize and enumerate them. Hell, read Howard Zinn to find out how we spread destruction and death and penury and torture in our own country.

I’m sorry to say-perhaps not sorry, perhaps a bit relieved in a way, that Trump got something objectively correct. But it won’t change my general opinion that he is still an insane clown. It won’t wake anyone up that needs waking. It won’t make me take to the streets and break some car windows of my own. I’m a coward (so far) when it comes to certain forms of direct action. The worst thing that will happen is that people get inured to the idea that we can tolerate and horse trade with someone who acts like Vladimir Putin does when it comes to attaining his objectives. Then again, we don’t pay much mind to the criminal regimes around the world that we support already because it’s in our “strategic interests”(read: whatever perpetuates our super-hegemony). There are already people on the right wing who think that cracking skulls and maybe even some killing right here in America are spiffy ways to manage dissent. So we would do well to be extra wary of Donald Trump and the people he runs with. He may know just enough to be dangerous, as they say. The seeds of tyranny, well sown in our history, are beginning to germinate, and the world could be in grave danger with the two most powerful oligarchs in the world getting ready to carve it up for themselves and their business associates if we let them.

 

 

 

 

Ghosts

Alright, you guys.

Enough already.

It is time to stop assuming that the Trump administration is acting surreptitiously. It is also time to stop saying that proclamation X is just a diversion from action Y.

They’re not that clever, folks.

Day after day, hour after hour I read articles saying that that they’ve got Trump sussed; that he is a master at distraction and we should stop watching what he says and instead watch what he does, or some variation of this.

As if we cannot do both. As if both are mutually exclusive.

Donald Trump’s presidency is a national embarrassment and an outrage against good governance. But that doesn’t mean we can’t stay on his ass as concerned citizens by pointing at his speech and his gestures.

Mostly, his speech tells us he is an illiterate and a pretender to power.

His actions say that he is in thrall to opinion polls of his presumed electorate.

He is the pathetic narcissist that everyone thinks he is.

Oh, sure, it’s fair to say that Donald is probably not acting alone. Like Karl Rove before him, it is very likely that Steve Bannon is animating policy. Both men get what they need from each other-Bannon gets to shape the right wing in his image by destroying it, and Donald Trump gets someone who might actually know how to pull the levers of power that his tiny fingers and mind cannot grasp.

We are seeing the unitary executive theory on steroids in the age of Trump. It has been a long time coming. This presidency is going to test the limits of what is and what is not executive prerogative, and those limits will be set by the courts. This is troubling because Trump has a SCOTUS appointment in his pocket, so injunctions against his orders may not survive appeal. Then again, the conservative wing of the court may be as hostile to Trump doctrine as the vanguards of the Republican establishment are.

It all sounds quite daunting. It is, in actuality. But my point is the Trump administration isn’t fooling anybody. There’s no legerdemain happening here. What you see is what there is.

I have seen too many amateur sleuths trying and failing to ferret out the true aims of this administration. To me, it seems rather obvious. We have a full-retard for a President and he’s willing to sell us out to stroke his own ego, and by extension make himself a few shillings in the process. Enough thinkpieces, enough accusing Trump of pointing furiously at a unicorn. We are perfectly capable of understanding and combating Twitler, and by my lights, we’re going to the mat with him without pause.

UPDATE: Five Thirty Eight comes to my emotional rescue and reminds us that what Trump is doing is totally above board.

 

 

 

 

OK, Let’s Stop Using This Phrase

“Fake news”.

Culture, you’ve lost your right to use these words together.

We used to call this stuff “misinformation”, “tabloid journalism”, “hoaxes”, or just “lies”. Then 2016 happened, and the old-time press started calling internet bullshit “fake news”.

They didn’t realize it, but they birthed a monster, one that attacked its parents.

Perhaps you all remember a guy named Karl Rove. He is best known for helping the  soon-to-be second biggest fucking idiot ever to claim the title President get elected, George W. Bush. One of his trade secrets was how to deflect charges of weakness in his candidate. In Rove’s political parlance, the dictum was:

“Accuse your opponent of what they are going to accuse you of.”

It’s a peculiar form of what psychologists have called projection. And it is hard to combat.

It wasn’t too long ago when the term “low-information voter” entered the lexicon, brought into use by liberals.

Rush Limbaugh, who is smarter than I give him credit for, understood the power of those words together and since conservatives usually don’t have anything original to add to a conversation, used the HELL out of it until you only heard it in right-wing circles to describe liberals.

That’s about where we are with the words “fake news”. Maybe it isn’t liberals’ fault that the concept boomeranged on them, but we started overusing it, often in internecine warfare between the newest wave of left-wing political bloggers who often employ sensationalism to steal clicks from what is now the internet establishment. I’m not gonna name names here, because I believe that calling out lefty blog sites, however misleading they are, is part of what allowed the concept of “fake news” to slip the leash and become a weapon for conservatives.

The situation right now? Well, you all know. The President-the-fuck-Elect thinks that the august and, to be sure, often fatally flawed CNN is “fake news”. Low poll numbers are now fake news.

Fake news is now defined as something you don’t want to hear about irrespective of its veracity.

Its misuse is spreading like typhoid. Bill Donohue, who is a truly repugnant religious fuckwad, wants to help spread this redefinition of “fake news”. A gay man was fired from teaching at a Catholic school because he posted about his marriage on Facebook. Nobody asked him, but Donohue, ever the moral scold, couldn’t help inserting himself into the issue. He refuses to admit that men can get married because…because…oh, screw it, I’ll let him tell you:

“I know that the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage,” says Billard, “but I don’t think my commitment to my husband [sic] has any bearing on my work in the classroom.” [Note: husbands are men and wives are women, so if Billard’s partner is his husband, that would make him his wife, and no one really believes that to be true. The Catholic League does not tolerate fake news.]

The phrase has been reduced to meaninglessness. And it’s only going to get worse-it will prove to be an impossible box to close now that the titular leader of the country thinks anything disagreeable written about him is fake. We’re going to lose this war, liberals, because they are better at projecting than we are. We need to be more careful in the future how we use shorthand like this. We need to deal in facts more than we need to glibly call out lies. There’s probably enough people listening to win the next election.

 

Putting The “Con” In Conway

I thought Kellyanne Conway was going to need close 24-hour supervision after the presidential campaign, especially if the Trumpers lost the election. Oh sure, you have your Scottie Nell Hugheses, your Sean Spicers, but no one did more heavy lifting to dissemble, lie and distort the things that Donald Trump said than Kellyanne Conway. Her hair and living-dead countenance was all one needed to see that she was the hardest working flack in America.

Her stalwart performance has been rewarded, as she is now joining Trump’s inner circle. But she’s still out there taking damage for her chickenshit boss who tweets instead of talking because the press will eat his lunch in a conference.

We’re about to revisit for the umpteenth million time the day that Donald Trump made fun of  journalist Serge Kovaleski’s arthrogryposis because he called bullshit on Donald Trump’s claims that Muslims were dancing on their rooftops when the Towers got hit. Meryl Streep, after accepting a Golden Globe yesterday, lit into Trump, highlighting this slug-low attack. Trump of course, hid behind his Twitter and called Streep overrated(the projection level here staggers the mind), etc.- and denied, as he has done in the past, that he was making fun of the reporter’s impediments.

Here’s Serge Kovaleski:

serge

 

Here’s Donald Trump talking about Serge Kovaleski:

 

Let’s stop the video and show a side by side:

serge2

Now, people are out there helping Donald deny that he is a piece of rancid garbage, by showing cuts of Trump making fun of non-disabled people in a similar manner. It’s not quite the same, but you can go look for yourself. It seems clear to me that in the case of Kovaleski he was imitating him physically and using speech affectations of the disabled as well, or more specifically whatever Trump thinks mentally challenged people sound like. He is, after all, twelve years old.

But anyway, Trump must have sent Kellyanne to do damage control on the air:

CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo called out Trump for mocking a disabled New York Times reporter during a 2015 rally. But Conway insisted that’s not what he was doing.

“That is not what he did and he has said that 1,000 times,” she said Monday morning. “Why can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?”

Cuomo shot back, “He can say it a million times but look at the video… he’s making a disgusting gesture on video.”

Had Barack Obama, in some alternate universe, done this to someone he would have said he was sorry about the gestures if it looked for a second like that’s what he was doing. But Trump doesn’t do apology. Instead, we get this from Conway:

“Why is everything taken at face value?” she asked. “You can’t give him the benefit of the doubt on this and he’s telling you what was in his heart, you always want to go with what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart.”

I really don’t know what to do with this. Maybe repeating the part that hurts will help.

 you always want to go with what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart

Pure. Fucking. Desperation. She has no recourse to “Well, Clinton did this” and now she’s reached the end of her rope trying to explain away her employer’s incurable foot in mouth disease. She wants us to not listen to what Donald Trump says anymore, because it means nothing-nothing compared to the man’s hidden speech… that speaks of nothing but love and poetry and compassion. The real Donald Trump, not @realdonaldtrump.

She overheated like a dry car radiator and I’m surprised the interviewer didn’t chuckle.

Kellyanne Conway, you are a twit and a liar and a shameless, witless shill and you are going to hell for trying to humanize this dickhead whose coattails you rode to what I hope for your sake is a fat payday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eye Of Newt

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about the possibility that Trump is purposefully distracting the media with outrageous tweets and playing up drama so he can assemble the Cabinet Of Darkest Evil and run away with the taxpayer’s money. I said I doubted he was that smart and I stick by that. For example, he’s hooked on Twitter like I’m hooked on Facebook. He’s locked in mortal combat with his detractors-even when they are 16 years old. He doesn’t like that he got caught with no evidence of the massive voter fraud that he alleged took place, so he asked people to prove that there wasn’t any.

Oh, brother. This is like people asking me to prove that God doesn’t exist after I ask for proof that he does. This is known in smart people circles as “trying to prove a negative”, which, as I understand it, is often not possible nor useful to a logical argument. I could make up just about anything, much like Mr. Trump-and demand proof that what I said is not true and you will not be able to do it if my claim is outrageous enough and beyond the realm of disprovability. Therefore: if you have no proof that God doesn’t exist, he must. It’s absurd on its face. If you have become an Internet ninja, you know that these logical fallacies are verboten, almost as bad as not knowing how to punctuate or use their/there/they’re correctly. Me, I’m still an apprentice ninja, because advanced formal logic involves word problems and math, neither of which I will ever be any good at. I can spot some of the easy ones, perhaps maybe someday I will be a better arguer.

Anyway, Newt Gingrich has come to his defense on Fox, and he is confident that Donald Trump is playing games with the media on purpose by pushing false or misleading information:

During an interview with Fox News, former House Speaker Gingrich said that Trump’s success on the show The Apprentice taught him how to play up the “tension” and “showmanship” surrounding his incoming presidency.

Gingrich explained that Trump diverts the media with “rabbits,” or unimportant stories to throw them off from pursuing real stories.

“[Trump] understands the value of tension. He understands the value of showmanship. And candidly, the news media is going to chase the rabbit. So it’s better off for him to give them a rabbit than for them to go find their own rabbit.”

I think from his perspective, that’s terrific. It gives everyone something to talk about.”

“He does not think of this as chaos. He thinks of this as creativity,” Gingrich added.

Try not to throw up or throw something after reading that.

Let me get this straight, Newt- what you are saying is: it’s OK for the president-elect to make up things, spread disinformation and dissemble…I mean, c’mon people, that’s just his style! It made great TV, so it’ll make a great presidency! What chaos?

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. From being the most dangerous Speaker of the House in modern history to flacking for the most mentally challenged man ever to assume the presidency.

Newt, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to provide a little more proof that Donald Trump’s behavior is “creative”. In a twist of logic, it would be easier to prove that he isn’t. Just roll the tapes.

Burning Questions

1984: Joey Johnson, a communist rabble rouser, went to Texas to protest Reagan administration policies at the Republican National Convention. He and his comrades trashed their protest route, spray painting and vandalizing businesses. One of them pulled an American flag from its pole along the way. At the Dallas city hall, Joey lit that flag on fire.

Common sense would suggest that everyone in the group should’ve been arrested for their various antics. But that’s not how things work in America. Only Joey Johnson was arrested-because of what he did to that flag. You see, Texas had a law about destroying “venerated” symbols and representations. He was convicted, and received fines and remanded to a year in prison.

Yes, back then you could get majorly busted because you disrespected a piece of cloth. Johnson and his lawyers appealed the conviction, and after upholding and turnover by lower courts, his case went to the Supreme Court. They ruled in Johnson’s favor, citing first amendment concerns regarding his right to free speech. Even Antonin Scalia, who was never much for extending rights that offended his sense of originalism, concurred that flag burning is symbolic speech.

1989: Congress passes a new version of a flag protection statute. This did not survive a Supreme Court challenge.

1995-2006: Every session of Congress tried to pass a flag desecration amendment. Failure. It would have been the most bizarre use of the Constitution since Prohibition, the only time it was used to limit freedom and action.

So it’s settled. Now, it has been pointed out to me that just because something is settled case law doesn’t mean that good jurisprudence has been applied. We can look at things like Dred Scott or Plessy and know this to be true. But it seems like there is no judicial or political will great enough to stop someone from burning the flag. Personally, I agree with the courts-it’s just a flag and if you are not proud of it, you don’t have to respect it. That is your right in what is ostensibly the freest country in the world. A lack of patriotism is not a crime. Now of course that offends certain sensibilities because the first thing some like to cite when getting enraged about disrespect for the flag is that so many soldiers died fighting under the colors for “freedom”. I’m a veteran who wore the flag on my shoulder and I think that argument is garbage-it should be fairly clear to anyone with an acquaintance with the nearly unbroken string of wars we have participated in that we are rarely, if ever in it for freedom’s sake. Start by asking the Indians and work your way up to Iraqis to find out how we do freedom. I asked the Iraqis. They were fucking pissed, because in removing Saddam Hussein, we scorched that country with ruthless destruction and the whole country fell apart as a result. You will remember that primary targets were infrastructure in our “shock and awe” campaign, and I still don’t think they can keep the lights on all day in Baghdad. We know well now what Iraq was really all about-selling off the country’s resources to the oil companies and enriching friends of Dick Cheney.

Anyway:

November 29, 2016: President-elect Donald Trump tweets that flag burners should lose their citizenship and go to jail.

What the everloving fuck? Where did that come from? Is this occurrence an impending epidemic that requires a statement from the guy’s who’s going to run the planet? Did someone torch a flag in public lately?  Trump must’ve seen this story on Fox. I mean, I know Trump’s a born again fascist and he’s really enamored of the colored cloth as you can see here:

Donald Trump

Yeah, I can’t believe he’s gonna be president either. I’m revulsed and shocked by this bizarre hypernationalistic display, not to mention how it showcases the president elect’s  mental juvenility by hugging a fucking inanimate object. And  the bitch of all this is that it’s not the flag he cares about, it’s why the students burned it-because of his win of the presidency. And like a whiny ass titty baby, his thin skin couldn’t take the affront.

In the wake of the tweet, the media has gone in a few directions with interpreting it. One popular reaction is to stop paying attention to Trump’s online behavior because it is a red herring deployed to get us not thinking about what he’s really up to with his controversial staff and cabinet picks and his conflicts of interest that show that Trump is out for nothing but to enrich himself. I don’t think this theory holds much water-there is ample journalism available to watch Orange Caligula lose his head on social media and point out that his advisers are maniacs, lackeys, and deregulation freaks as well. Highlighting both paints a more complete picture of this fucking nutbar. Another strain of thought is that he is working on undermining the media by bypassing it, and this makes it very difficult for journalists to fight against that because you’ve got a self reinforcing rightwing news system(of which Fox is a large part of) that will report anything this idiot says. And when straight journalism tries to undo the lies and misinformation and just plain lunacy, he can say that the media is biased. Believing Trump’s tweets are a great way to have shit for brains and never have any real information, but some people, namely 1/2 the country like it. But the point is that it becomes harder for journalists to do the persuading that needs doing because Trump’s conditioning people to not listen. Ominous, eh? However, I don’t think Trump is smart enough to know that he’s declawing the press by lying and making up things that they will find false and therefore show their bias. He’s as much a victim of the phenomenon of instant communication as we all are, where any unexpurgated brain rot can be shared with hundreds of thousands of people.

As for me, I think it just makes him look like the ill-informed, oversensitive caveman he is and we should broadcast his dribblings far and wide in the hopes that the Electoral College will save us.

Hah! I’m kidding, the electors are morons appointed by the parties. Good fucking luck with that. Good fucking luck to us all, we’re gonna need it. I picked a terrible time to stop drinking.

burning-american-flag250.jpg

UPDATE: Mitch McConnell says that Donald Trump can eat his unwiped asshole if he tries to bring the flag burning issue before Congress. Mitch Fucking McConnell, who busied himself subverting the Constitution nearly all of this year by withholding advice and consent from President Obama on the Court vacancy, is on the correct side of this issue. And his disinterest in Donald Trump’s brain droppings remains even as he prepares to make McConnell’s wife part of the Cabinet. I look forward to these two weasels fighting each other in the future.

Follow Suit

What is Donald Trump?

It’s actually hard to know. Because you can listen to the man, and be befuddled by his musings. Then a whole bunch of professional apologizers and explainers burst from the woodwork to tell you what he actually said or meant.

Donald, at bottom is a fraud. He actually doesn’t know what he’s talking about-and that’s why he’s so hard to take and so hard to handle as a candidate. Really, it makes him a perfect Republican-there are some serious airheads who say amazingly stupid shit and are sitting members of Congress, for example. But he’s demonstrated absolutely no acumen indicating that he should be a president. None. Even George W. Bush knew how to give a moving speech off a teleprompter. Trump forgoes that technology, having convinced himself that authenticity is really the issue that separates voter from candidate. It may be in certain circles. But judging by the poll numbers of late, more people prefer experience, knowledge and poise over what is being passed off as “down to earth”, as if Donald Trump has ever walked even two feet in a working poor person’s shoes. Trump is a fake populist demagogue- promising privileged, uncritical, uneducated and unsophisticated people success, weapons, primacy, pride and all the blessings of God if they would but vote for him. People gravitate towards him because his rhetoric is as hopelessly fractured as the mindset of his adherents. He talks in sound bites that contradict each other. But his supporters never notice the lack of consistency contained in even a small bite of Trump truisms.

Anyway, here’s some classic Donald doublespeak that I found on Think Progress. He’s asked about freedom of the press. Now, Trump lives by the press; he’s saved absurd amounts of money by saying outrageous and unprecedented bullshit on the internet and on camera, and the major media purveyors couldn’t get enough of it. However, one of the things you must do as a conservative is have no respect for the media. This is where Donald ultimately dies by the press. The minute he began to turn on and abuse the mainstream media, they set out to destroy him, challenging his ramshackle policies, calling out his lies and distortions, and ceaselessly reporting the myriad scandals that he is embroiled in.OK. Here’s the transcript:

DEFEDE: Again you’ve brought up the press. In the past you have talked about wanting to amend laws to and rework things to make it easier to sue do you think there is too much protection allowed in the first amendment?

TRUMP: Well in England they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it. And i think we should go to a system where if they do something wrong… I’m a big believer tremendous believer of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me but if they make terrible, terrible mistakes and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people. I’m not just talking about me I’m talking anybody else then yes, i think you should have the ability to sue them.

DEFEDE: So you’d like the laws to be closer to what they have in England?

TRUMP: Well, in England you have a good chance of winning. And deals are made and apologies are made. Over here they don’t have to apologize. They can say anything they want about you or me and there doesn’t have to be any apology. England has a system where if they are wrong things happen.

England? I don’t know why Trump is waxing thoughtful on the English press. I think he’s been hanging around Ben Carson too much or something. And Trump has not been stopped from bullying who he pleases for slander or libel. Generally, people go to press on things because there’s something to say. Now, supermarket tabloids corner the market on made up stories, and I guess to him the media looks like one giant Enquirer. But he misunderstands professional journalism. The majority of the media does not want to go to press with nothing substantial; credibility is the currency of coverage, despite what hayseed “ah don’ trus’ the MSM “wisdom wants you to believe. Being dishonest will ruin a media enterprise because of the public’s ability to associate freely with our outlets for information, unless you dig Fox News-in which case there’s enough suckers out there who don’t want to hear the truth. That is not the case here. Donald Trump hates the press because it tells the truth about him. But in this interview, he wants us to know that he loves freedom of the press. At any point, however, Donald would like to reserve the right to threaten it if it does not do his will. It’s a chilling interpretation of our constitutional rights. Outlets without lawyers on retainer and cash on hand will be silenced. He’s already bullied several tiny Internet sites with cease and desist threats that demand retractions and apologies.

If anything, our media isn’t tough enough. Perhaps it is because they have to deal in an industry that asks questions of the powerful that they pause and give deference. Maybe there isn’t enough thirst for rawer news, which is doubtful, since internet news is shaming old media as far as good journalism goes. But whatever the case, I don’t want Trump’s freedom of the press-no way-because that’s precisely what it isn’t. And I need a president who really means it when he says protect and defend the Constitution, not some slippery, aging crybaby playboy who’s looking for the ultimate power trip.

 

 

 

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Well.

The third debate is in the bag. I’m up early so journalism is still beginning its writeups and analysis of the performances.

All I know is that UNLV needs to check for contamination around Donald Trump’s podium. Because Hillary Clinton dropped a neutron bomb on the poor fucker.

He was outclassed from the opening salvos. Hillary Clinton had command of every topic that was brought up and was utterly unshakable. Donald Trump was reduced to blithering conspiracies by night’s end.

It was better than the first debate. We had lots of laughs about that one but this time Hillary Clinton came to fuck Trump’s shit up. She brought out the worst of him. Laid him bare. Filleted him at every turn.

If you didn’t see Donald Trump lose and lose bigly last night, you’re a fucking moron. He’s like the Black Knight from The Holy Grail; he’s lost all of his limbs but still continues to insist that he can win a fight. He got beat so bad that I don’t think his rallies will be the same. But I could be wrong. If there’s one thing that Donald Trump lacks, it’s self awareness. He will continue with his boring, pathetic campaign until he gets stomped in the only referendum that matters in a few weeks.

Anyone who is afraid to lose a bet about who wins can now comfortably lay money down today. It’s over. To quote the late Bill Nunn:

“Ooh, it’s a devastating right and Hate is hurt, he’s down. Left-Hand Hate KOed by Love.”

 

 

Right Wing Resume=Blank Sheet Of Paper

Still listening to the tube. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who spins bullshit faster than a cyclone is going on about how Donald Trump is the right man for the job because he’s the outsider candidate who has never been in politics. That totally brought me back to the time when he said it was best for him to not know too much about NATO. Then I look at my Facebook and see that Gary Johnson is saying that him not knowing anything about the wider world is a point of  strength for him.

One thing is screamingly obvious: there is a strong correlation between right wing politics and rank dilettantism. And I want to know why it’s a feature and not a bug. I am probably not eloquent enough to tell you. I can ask the question and lay out some of the evidence. I fear that the answer would take a book length discussion.

Populism is the belief in the power of regular people. It sounds real good, as long as you’ve never actually met any people.

Let’s put aside the fact that Gary Johnson and Donald Trump aren’t regular people. What I’m trying to figure out is why certain people are reticent to hire professionals for an indescribably complex job. As has been said in many places, politics must be the only service industry where you don’t want to hire someone who knows how to do the work.

I want a lawyer to be able to read a bill, for example. Little stuff like that.

But instead, we’re half as likely to let anyone run us in the name of God or Mammon as long as he has “our values”.

The word “demagogue” is old. They are everywhere, as always. Danger on the edge of town. The American people love a good demagogue and will listen to lies that confirm their narrow prejudices about their neighbor-be they next door or across a sea- whom they are frightened, spiteful, and wary of.

It goes like this, I guess: simpleton ‘personalities'(lacking a better word) ingratiate themselves to simpleton followers and that’s how you get dumbasses thinking they can run a government. A government, I might add, that the right wing hates. The function of a right wing politician is not to fix government, but eliminate it. So he/she doesn’t have to be any good at being in office, since he/she’s not going to do the job.

This distaste for government and a total dismissiveness of effective leadership is a funhouse distortion of the ideals of our revolution. Few seem to remember that our baby nation couldn’t keep its shit together for a decade after the last shot of the war. Brave and brilliant men were sent to Philadelphia in 1787 to do a better job in what? Governing.

These were men of letters. Men of reason. They listened to each other, argued passionately and did the best they could to craft a new government-surely an imperfect one-but one that the fledgling states could abide by.

It is wrong to hire idiots to uphold the binding document they produced. I don’t care how much he or she “thinks like you”, “stands for your values” or “tells it like it is”, you must insist on someone better than yourself to run a country, unless you got the time.

Donald Trump and Gary Johnson are idiots. Their ideas about politics, if you want to call them something, are terrible. And they come to you with a resume that doesn’t fit with the job they are interviewing for. And I want to know why you, the conservative employer, thinks “that’s the guy I want to leave a call back number for”.

They’re literally advertising how dumb they are.

Why is that OK with you?

 

 

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