Friday, October 21, 2016

The Reverse Chicken Little Scenario

     Behold, the Democratic political landscape of 2016. This is the image put in my mind after nearly two straight weeks of the leaked emails from John Podesta's account. We're easily up to tens of thousands of hacked and leaked communiques, many of them giving us in stark, merciless detail an ever-growing pile of vile refuse.
     It's like watching a big city sanitation strike and seeing the piles grow higher and higher. Yet, despite the stink, despite the ready evidence of an obvious problem, life still, stubbornly, goes on. We just as stubbornly refuse to look at the growing horror of our landscape, sort of like whistling by the graveyard. Or, more accurately, it's like a reverse Chicken Little scenario:

     Once Twitter went back up, I continued commenting on the #podestaemails14 hashtag and here are the best results:

Denial of Service? Aw!

     Today, Twitter got hit with a DDoS attack (Denial of Service), which paralyzed them and still paralyzes them at present. Apparently, after the #podestaemails14 came out, this massive DDoS attack hit not just Twitter but Amazon, Spotify, Paypal, Netflix and others, none of whom I feel any sympathy for since I have massive issues with most of them.
     But considering I'd had three accounts shadowbanned or censored on two consecutive days, this is how I look at Twitter's present situation:
     Welcome to my world, you fascist cunts. Sucks being me, doesn't it?

(Addendum: Apparently, this attack in global in scale. A major rerouting and traffic management company named Dyn just north of me in New Hampshire, resolved a massive DDoS attack a few hours ago then a few hours later found itself fending off another attack. So, whatever miscreant(s) is doing this, it's relentless. It's serious enough so that the Dept.of Homeland Security is closely monitoring this situation.
     So if you live on the east coast like me, you're basically fucked if you social network on Twitter or Reddit, buy or sell shit on Amazon (although they seem to have resolved their issue), watch TV or movies on Netflix, listen to music on Spotify or do your banking, as I do, on Paypal.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Last night, Donald Trump hurt himself.
     He'd hurt a lot of people both officially and emotionally attached to his snake oil traveling roadshow of a campaign, none of whom are deserving of any pity or sorrow but that's beside the point. He plainly lost last night's debate, which I didn't even bother watching. For the purposes of half-assed punditry, it was enough to just read the analyses of better writers than I in the Yahoo alerts that came streaming into my Android.    
     And this old song, originally by Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails, could serve as the epitaph we all need to rehearse when we see or feel the end is nigh and it especially serves Donald Trump in the twilight of his own self-absorbed life.
     However, there's the matter of self-awareness. That's lacking. Self absorption does not necessarily mean self-awareness. A human should at least understand and fully appreciate that epitaph when it's tried on for size in that 11th hour and Donald Trump simply does not have that.
     He hurt himself today, too.    
     Donald Trump did that by telling an equally clueless crowd in Delaware, Ohio that he would respect the election results... provided he won. Then he would deign to accept the presidency that his namesake said would be "a step down" for his father. Sure, running for the highest office in the land involves, as Hemingway said, a "built-in, shockproof shit detector" (or, in this case, a generator) and morally one must always wear hip waders during political campaigns.
     But that wasn't what Junior meant. He knows it, you know it, we all know it. It's the preamble to the old sour grapes tune that Trump sings when he doesn't get what he wants or when his hand is caught in a cookie jar (or, more accurately, up some pretty girl's skirt). "She wasn't attractive enough. Look at her!" And, after Nov. 8th, it'll be, "The election was rigged, anyway. And I never worked a shitty job for just $400,000 a year even right out of college."
     Last night during the third and final debate, Donald Trump told Chris Wallace and the American people, again, that he would contest the election results if it didn't go his way. This would be a first in American history. Not even a scumbag like Richard Nixon contested the results of the 1960 election despite losing to Kennedy by a razor-thin margin. Even though they could have pressed it harder and for legitimate reasons, Gore and Kerry could've contested the 2000 and 2004 elections, respectively.
     But they hadn't.
     Because they were bigger than that. They put this democratic republic higher than their aspirations and egos.
     Donald Trump can't and won't if he doesn't get his way. And a man born to a vast fortune and a man who had grown that vast fortune into a dynasty isn't used to not getting what he wants.
     It could be plausibly said that no major party nominee for President in US history has run a campaign so firmly identified with all the worst elements that American society can inflict upon the world. What Trump is setting up is a civil war, a needless one, that could result in Hillary Clinton's assassination. And if God forbid that happens, that another president or a President-elect is gunned down because that assassin's iconoclastic Godfather told him that woman's elevation to the Presidency of the United States of America was illegitimate, a sham...
     ...then Trump will fade back into the shadows or behind a wall of American flags, hold up his tiny hands and say, "I didn't do it!"
     The equally spoiled and coddled Mitt Romney was genuinely stunned he didn't beat Obama four years ago. Another man used to getting what he wants, when he wants it, how he wants it, still took the news with enough good grace to go into that good night without even breathing a word the contest was rigged.
     Because even a sociopath like Mitt Romney knew that President Obama beat him fair and square.
     Trump has been humbled several times in his life. Two wives divorced him, the second at a time when Trump almost lost his empire and had to get by on a mere $460,000 monthly allowance given him by a Wall Street bank. Only bridge loans and his 12 carat-plated brand name kept him afloat during those less-than-palmy years. You'd think the early 90's would've taught Trump a lesson in humility but you'd be very wrong.
     He went back to dodging his taxes, groping women, attacking and suing people with little or no provocation. Then he bragged about it and is still bragging about it on the most widely-watched television broadcasts of 2016: The presidential debates. And after last night, Hillary Clinton should've sent to Trump's suite a dozen red roses. Ten dozen of them. Because last night, with three weeks to go before Election Day, Donald Trump gave Hillary Clinton not just the White House but the keys to the entire District of Columbia.
     Donald Trump is willing to risk Civil War and having another chapter of American history scrawled in blood to satisfy his ego because he honestly believes in his combovered, double-woven mind that no one can defeat him, that no one should defeat him for the most powerful office in the free world.
     He is now the very definition of a loose cannon. Even after his own campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and his own running mate Gov. Mike Pence said they'd be at peace with the election results either way, Trump is having none of it. And the man who'd months ago called for "2nd Amendment people" to do something about this "rigged" election doesn't care how many people die or who they will be, starting with the President or President-elect. It would be a constitutional crisis unlike any other in American history.
     And if Trump gets his way, he will turn this nation from one of laws into one representing one man, himself, a man fueled by rage, avarice and lust for more, more than the world can reasonably give even in this new Gilded Age.
     Donald Trump is simply a monster, one created by American politicians who write those tax loopholes Trump has used to maximum effectiveness for nearly two decades. The Republican Party owns this Frankenstein monster who's never been, isn't now nor ever will be man enough to take No for an answer even when it's said to him on Election Night 50,000,000 or more times.
     Donald Trump, in the midst of his empire of gold dust, unpaid bills, empty casinos and people he's put out of work through his bottomless greed, incompetence and arrogance, has hurt himself today. He did it last night and he will America tomorrow because of an insult to his wholly unjustified megalomania.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mr. Winston Smith Goes to Washington

     Those of us on Twitter, especially those of us who aren't in the semen-spattered, shit-stained Big Tent of Hillary Clinton, have noticed something particularly pernicious going on in this election cycle: Censorship or what is known in the Twitter community (it even has its own hashtag): Shadowbanning. It's known by many other names such as stealth banning, hell banning but for the purposes of this exercise we'll just use shadowbanning.
     Now, shadowbanning, the censorship most commonly used by Twitter's automatic algorithm, was set up to isolate and silence trolls (which, to judge by the Clinton and Trump supporters' constant engagements of Bernie and Jill backers, isn't working or isn't being used) and spammers (unlike the sanctioned spammers who pay to bother people with "sponsored content" or the official spamming and trolling given the little blue bird's housekeeping seal of approval). It's plainly been perverted from its original semi-noble use and is now used as a weapon for people to game (and it's absurdly simple to game an algorithm if you can get a few like-minded trolls on board with your agenda) and to silence those who hop on a hashtag that just happens to be popular. Just last month, my main account got censored for eight and a half days in a row just for tweeting about the Patriots-Texans game, so I guess I ran afoul of at least a few redneck Houston fans.
     Shadowbanning is a particularly craven and cowardly way to temporarily censor people, and the censorship always lasts for at least 24 hours, without suffering any comeuppance for their stalking and trolling. All they have to do is have you blocked enough times within a certain time and Twitter's algorithm brainlessly obliges these cowards. Or it could be Twitter has moderators whose sole job it is to find those using a certain hashtag, typically one embarrassing and unflattering to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in general, and they do the banning. Whichever the scenario, blocking strangers you immediately decide you don't like has no downside because among the many things Twitter doesn't share with you (such as who blocks or mutes you) is who's clicking on your profile, the first step toward them blocking you.
     Either way it's happening, it's an incredibly cowardly way to silence those from the shadows of cyberspace who don't agree with you or management's political positions. Indeed, it can now be said that Twitter is no longer in the social networking business- They're now, as is Google, in the opinion-shaping business and that includes using sneaky weapons such as shadowbanning and manipulating autofills so the hashtag you're trying to use through autofill doesn't complete or gives you options that are similar but not the same as the actual hashtag that is often, if not always, much more active.
     For instance, today started out typically for me: I began using the #podestaemails12 hashtag and within minutes, my main account @jurassicpork59 was censored. Furious but undeterred, I went to my @mikeflannigan78 account and continued using the hashtag. Within mere minutes, that was censored. Now livid with rage, I went to a secret account I haven't told anyone about and within a half hour, that one was censored. I'm now using a fourth account and, so far, that one hasn't been shadowbanned (But the day is young).
     The easiest way to tell if you've been isolated from your followers is to look at your analytics. You can check those on both your Twitter feed using the analytics button or to go straight to your analytics page. If your once-heavily-trafficked account is now getting views in single and low double digits and if your timeline suddenly disappears from the analytics page, you've just been cravenly censored.
     Those of us who've been paying attention know that Twitter is completely in the tank for Hillary Clinton. Earlier this year, they hosted a fundraiser that Google, natch, doesn't want you to know about. And it's telling that I have never once heard of a Clinton surrogate or supporter to complain about being shadowbanned while many Bernie and Jill supporters (and quite a few right wingers like Scott Adams and Milo) have. While it's difficult for me to feel any sympathy for any right winger, especially a Trump backer, it's still unfair to them because everyone should have the right to express their political opinion regardless of how misinformed it may be.
     DailyKos noticed this last February, just days after Twitter founder Jack Dorsey had the audacity to lie his site wasn't censoring anyone. The question at the time was did Twitter executive Omid Kordestani and others censor the accounts of those using the enormously popular #WhichHillary hashtag and did it deliberately knock it from the top 10 trending hashtags? I was heavily using the hashtag that night myself until I got muzzled and soon a chorus of boos from mostly Bernie backers began to rise that they, too, were shadowbanned by Hillbot lurkers, possibly paid operatives, stalking the hashtag and those who used it.
     It's become screamingly obvious that Twitter's no longer interested in social networking, at least until Nov 8th, when I predict the censorship will suddenly subside to minimal levels, any more than Google's interested in giving people honest and comprehensive search results.
     And this shadowbanning of three of my accounts today (and two of them have very small followings, making this paranoid stalking of me and other Bernie and Jill backers ridiculous) seems to have a preemptive feel to it. After all, the third and final presidential debate is tonight, a night when people can usually clean up on "impressions" and even gain like-minded followers. And three of my accounts have already been neatly censored many hours in advance of it.
     So,at least until Election Day, when it won't matter what we say about Hillary whatever the outcome, it'll be, "#podestaemails12, @jurassicpork59 and @mikeflannigan78, unpersons. Shadowbanned."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Keeping it in the Family

     No wonder the FBI gave these crooks immunity like Halloween candy.

Good Times at Pottersville. October 18, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

12 Reasons to Hate What Our Country's Become

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Culled from actual news sources or those still worthy of our trust:
     George Zimmerman murdered unarmed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin after stalking him and got off scot free but the guy who only shot at his car just got 20 years in prison.

     Democracy Now's Amy Goodman had a warrant put out for her arrest for inciting a riot while filming police attacking peaceful protesters with attack dogs and pepper spray.

     Shailene Woodley, star of Divergent, was arrested for trespassing, the original charge on which they'd issued Goodman's arrest warrant until they found out that wouldn't stick.

     Despite over 140 arrests and the mauling and assault of peaceful protesters, the mainstream media still has hardly reported on the pipeline protest while the Bundys and their "peaceful" followers were given wall-to-wall coverage 24/7 for months when they tried to steal federal land before any action was taken on them.

     Bill Clinton sexually assaulted several women and Republicans are still going after him with hammers and tongs. But his wife's opponent, an accused child molester, despite bragging about sexually assaulting several women and ogling little girls, is presidential material.

      Right wing nut cases who wanted Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning hung by the balls for embarrassing the Bush administration today love him now that he's going after "Democrats" like Clinton.

     The United States is much better at "shielding" gun and ammo manufacturers from lawsuits after school shootings like Sandy Hook than it is at shielding children from their bullets.

     While Obama is bearing down on whistleblowers like Assange and Manning at an unprecedented pace, that same president is giving safe passage to ISIS terrorists out of Mosul to Syria, a nation we're blowing to smithereens.

     A GOP field office in North Carolina was ineptly firebombed and Republicans are wringing their hands and clutching their pearls yet defended or were silent when bricks were being thrown through Democratic congressional office windows during the 2009 town halls on Obama Care.

     Junior thinks that women who can't take sexual harassment shouldn't be in the workplace without once stumbling on the irony that Senior's inability to entertain any kind of criticism automatically disqualifies him from the presidency.

     The surreal, Onion-esque spectacle of US Navy SEALs battling light sabre-wielding terrorists is perfectly acceptable entertainment at Trump's Republican Hindu Coalition but the next day Amy Schumer criticizing Trump isn't.

     Publicly, Hillary Clinton is "skeptical" of fracking.
     Privately, Hillary Clinton is all for fracking.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pot Luck Sunday

     What, you think I save all the tastiest bits for you? Guess again, Bucko.

Friday, October 14, 2016

I Win the Internet

     There was a Twitter hashtag yesterday, #TrumpDrSeuss.
     I won.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

How John Podesta Killed the Clinton Campaign and Blink 182

     Now, don't get me wrong.
     I'm just as disgusted as you are by the antics of the Clinton campaign, the DNC, David Brock's countless Super PACS, the mainstream media, the army of lobbyists infesting Camp Clinton like fleas and all the other scumbags, hired assassins and political piano wire operators. The Podesta email disclosures, courtesy of Wikileaks, is now on #6 and counting. And I'm not saying we should stop paying attention to this tsunami of sleaze from Tammany Hall 2.0. Far from it.
     However, a qualifier is called for here and I entreat you to stay with me because this is really good stuff.
     Now, when I began political blogging going on 12 years ago (which, I guess, makes me the Helen Thomas or I.F. Stone in internet years), there was a huge learning curve I had to surmount. And, I'll admit, the more I learn about politics and political science, it seems the less I know. But I've learned enough about politics, particularly in the Beltway, so that I can write credibly about it.
     But politics isn't my only obsession.
     While I've always been interested in the phenomena, my own obsession with this pseudo science has really kicked into high gear these last few years, especially when we'd sent the Curiosity Rover to Gale Crater on Mars. And in a very short span of time, I've learned more about the UFO phenomena and extraterrestrials than I have about politics, which is saying something.
     Having a skeptical but very open mind about these things allows me to put things into a cosmic perspective. I'm very well aware we are not alone (Go to Indian Springs, Nevada every full moon, if you don't believe me. That's where Areas 53 and 54 are) and that no matter which psychopath gets elected President, they will not. Be. In. Charge. Of. Shit. The government will never admit to that unless and until a mother ship lands on the front lawn of the White House but our G Men are not in charge.
     However, this, as with its last two predecessors, being a political blog, I keep the UFO references and research and findings down to more than a bare minimum. This is because #1, it's a political blog and #2, I don't want to give my readers the idea that I see little green men behind every bush and around every corner (they're actually grey, but that's beside the point).
     Therefore, when doing some brief research so I could make a little joke about John Podesta on Twitter, that's when the little white rabbit hopped out and invited me in. I haven't come out, yet.
     Because you see, without again minimizing the importance of the Clinton campaign's scumminess, the most interesting emails released by Wikileaks (to me) prove the Clinton campaign's sleaze isn't nearly as important as we thought. Because the most fascinating emails hacked from Podesta's email client reference UFOs and extraterrestrials. And some of them were written to Podesta or about him by Tom DeLonge, the former lead guitarist of every Millennial's favorite band, Blink 182.
     Now, one cannot do any in-depth research into UFOs without running into Podesta's name time and again. Podesta, you may remember, was Clinton's Chief of Staff in the 90's before becoming an aide to Obama and, eventually, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager. But politics isn't his only interest.
     Podesta has famously, if not infamously, been pressing the US government into making disclosures about the UFO phenomena that would necessarily involve declassifying certain documents, including those pertaining to Roswell. For the most part, he's been unsuccessful. In fact, Podesta himself said in 2014 that his biggest failure that year was in not getting Uncle Sam to turn over those documents in question. Other nations such as France, Belgium and Mexico, more committed to transparency than we, are waiting for us to make our disclosures so they can make them to their people. And these other governments are getting increasingly frustrated with our government's fetish for furtiveness and secrecy.
     To give you an idea of Podesta''s own obsession with flying saucers and aliens, when he was still Clinton's Chief of Staff, he actually ran an X-Files fan club out of the White House. And, his failure in getting the government to play ball notwithstanding, he appears to have made some inroads with some seriously heavy hitters.
     And Tom DeLonge is just one of them. In fact, one could even say he's the least of them. I'll just let the opening paragraph speak for itself:
The recent WikiLeaks of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta’s, emails have upset and embarrassed her campaign. It has also brought media focus on Podesta’s interest in UFOs, and one of the most intriguing string of emails reveals a Google Hangout meeting that took place between rocker Tom DeLonge, a couple of USAF generals, and an executive of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division. Skunk Works is the group that worked with the CIA to build Area 51, and still develops advance, top-secret, air craft there to this day.
     That's right- Skunk Works, the Lockheed Martin program that gave us the most secretive place on earth, Area 51, the kind of place where employees have to be not bused but airlifted in from Las Vegas (they're known as "JANET" flights, or Just Another Non Existent Terminal.).
     Among the literally thousands of disclosures, few of them good for the Clinton campaign, is the revelation that Podesta had joined in a super secret Google Hangout discussion that involved not only Delonge but, as the article's opening paragraphs says, top Air Force generals with serious security clearances as well as an executive with Lockheed Martin whose security clearance may even be higher.
     Eventually, the names Spielberg, Dreamworks and the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell of Apollo 14 turn up. Apparently, DeLonge is spending his entire post music career brokering movie, fiction and non-fiction deals that involve Steven Spielberg, obviously another UFO enthusiast.
     DeLonge has always been obsessed with UFOs in his own right. Back in 1999, in the Enema of the State album, Blink 182 released a track called "Aliens Exist." And when his obsession with UFOs and aliens grew to such proportions that it overshadowed his interest in music, he began learning about Podesta's one man crusade to prise these secrets from the government's hands to no avail. So, it could be said that, without trying, Podesta broke up Blink 182.
     I and others have been talking about the strange bedfellows this election cycle has created but none of them, in my mind are as strange as of Podesta, a straight-laced, buttoned down guy, hobnobbing with a rock and roller. However, aliens and flying saucers will do that.
     And they listen to each other intently.
     Here's the bulk of the text from one of DeLonge's emails to Podesta, whom he'd interviewed January 2015 in an as yet released television program:
Things are moving with the project. The Novels, Films and NonFiction works are blooming and finishing. Just had a preliminary meeting with Spielberg’s Chief Operating Officer at DreamWorks. More meetings are now on the books-
I would like to bring two very “important” people out to meet you in DC. I think you will find them very interesting, as they were principal leadership relating to our sensitive topic. Both were in charge of most fragile divisions, as it relates to Classified Science and DOD topics. Other words, these are A-Level officials. Worth our time, and as well the investment to bring all the way out to you. I just need 2 hours from you.
     And this is where the rabbit hole really gets black and interesting.Why was the front man for an old rock and roll band allowed to speak with "A-level officials", how did he get Podesta's email address in the first place and why would they tell DeLonge anything when he lacked security clearance? Or did someone give DeLonge the necessary security clearance from within our government? One would think, since Podesta left the Obama administration in 2014, and since granting security clearances was never his purview even when he was Clinton's Chief of Staff, DeLonge couldn't have gotten it from Podesta except if the latter knew people who owed him favors. Or if he knew which dicks to twist.
     Blink 182 was pretty big in its day but Tom DeLonge is hardly a household name unless you eat, drink, sleep and breathe UFOs. Spielberg is another matter entirely. Steven Spielberg's leverage over virtually every aspect of life is immense, which just makes DeLonge's involvement that much more mysterious. Why was he permitted to sit in on an internet chat room with John Podesta, a couple of top generals and a Lockheed executive? After all, we're talking Skunk Works here, people. That name alone involves some pretty heavy hitters, such as Executive VP Rob Weiss.
     This is not some Majestic 12 bullshit, folks. DeLonge and Podesta actually spoke with these guys online for a couple of hours last year. In fact, DeLonge even told Rolling Stone in an interview about the band's breakup, "I couldn’t tell the band I was working with people in the government."
     These particular leaked Podesta emails, which have only been noticed and written about in the UFO community, prove this wasn't arrogant cockwanding.
     But how did he reach those with the combination to the safe containing our most zealously and jealously-guarded secrets? Even DeLonge had to rhetorically ask that question to Rolling Stone: ""It's very hard to think, 'How did this guy in a band get access like that?' It sounds crazy. But it's because I can speak to a very specific audience. I earned their trust. I knew my material." Well, I know my shit, too, and no one's asking for my opinion or help. And it's hard to see how a guy who once ran around naked in music videos for a living was able to access that rarified a level of security.
     And yet, DeLonge had. He's already written at least one of a proposed nine novel cycle in the Sekret Machines series (Chasing Shadows). DeLonge promises that, as with certain major sci fi movies (namely Spielberg's) and TV series (such as the X-Files), the series is studded with actual information given to him by the highest levels in government and corporate circles. Also in the works is a TV series, a movie and a graphic novel, all, seemingly, done with the blessings of people whose blessing count for very much, indeed. DeLonge is all in, obviously.
     Whichever way you choose to look at this very strange story, these particular Podesta emails that of course were never intended to be viewed for public consumption, provide at the very least a necessary palate cleanser to temporarily distract us from the unremitting slime of the Clinton campaign.
     And some of us, yours truly included, tend to look at them with something amounting to more than just mere transitory interest.

Grab those pussies...

     ...and get them out of Congress.
     Oh, no, no War on Women here, ladies and germs, not even when four Republican lawmakers who'd denounced Donald Trump over the weekend had slunk back to him. Because, what's a little misogyny among fellow Republicans, especially if tolerating it keeps a woman from getting in the White House?
     What's especially disheartening is one of these stalwart souls who'd called for Trump to delete his campaign and turn the reins over to Pence (and it doesn't work that way, btw) is a woman. Sens. Deb Fischer (Nebraska), John Thune (South Dakota) along with Reps. Bradley Byrne (Alabama) and Scott Garrett (New Jersey) all decided, once cooler heads prevailed, to ride the Trump coattails or weather the fallout when the next session of Congress resumes.
     Talk about profiles in courage, huh? Keep in mind, the women coming forward about Trump groping them are coming out in greater numbers than the Podesta emails from Wikileaks. And speaking of which...
     I'll be back later today with a much, much bigger and substantial post about the latest wave of John Podesta emails but it won't be what you think: Here's a clue-
     Spielberg, Tom Delonge, Lockheed Martin, Area 51, USAF generals, Edgar Mitchell, John Podesta.

     Think that one over and I'll see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Great Moments in Signage

     Except in this case, it's not the sign that's so noteworthy but who's holding it up. I guess they're still awaiting Donald Trump's African American to arrive, in the back of the bus, no doubt. In case you're confounded by the teleprompter, the sign says, "Blacks for Trump." Which right now is a very active hashtag on Twitter.
     There's another active hashtag: #repealthe19th. As I'm sure virtually any woman reading this already knows, that's the constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote in 1920. So, where did this movement begin?
     By morons like the one you see above who read a recent Nate Silver article that calculated that if only men voted, Trump would win the election. So, Trump supporters doing what Trump supporters do, they curated the #repealthe19th hashtag, actually thinking Congress would repeal the 19th Amendment. Some women have actually taken to social media to say they would gladly give up their right to vote to see an accused child molester like Donald Trump get in the White House instead of Hillary.
     Let's not forget, people, these monsters will still be among us even after Trump loses. They were always with us. They didn't just spontaneously appear like sea monkeys. That's how insane these people are, these people we have to share this country with.
     And, yes, this is the hill they want to die on.
     No pun intended, of course.

This is What I Mean When I Say...

     ...if Clinton gets elected, she'll be our last President.
     If the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs tells Congress that a no-fly zone over Syria is tantamount to going to war with both Syria and Russia, and Clinton blithely ignores (as she did in the last debate) this elementary bit of geopolitical wisdom, that in itself should disqualify her from any serious consideration for the most powerful office in the Free World.
     She wants to wage war in Syria, a nation where we don't belong, at the same time she wants to give out tax breaks.
     Which is what Bush did, without precedent, and look how well THAT turned out for us. We're tired of war. The children who began their sophomore year of high school this fall have never known a United States that hasn't been at war with someone. The note from Iraq will keep coming due like any credit card bill for decades to come. Now Clinton wants to hand the American taxpayer another one, which I guess we'll just pay off with the wonderful tax cuts she'll give out in her bread and circus first year in office.
     And self-identified limousine "liberals", arrogant douchebags like George Clooney, viciously defend this psychopath with the single-mindedness of the Bund. Or Trump supporters.
     At least Trump has put himself in a conciliatory posture with Russia. Going to war with them would mean the loss of a very lucrative source of income for him.
     Meaning, in this funhouse mirror election cycle that has made the strangest bedfellows and turned the Republican nominee into a dove with Russia and the Democrat into a bloodthirsty warhawk against that same country, we're placed in the absurd position of hoping for Donald Trump's corporate greed to save the day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's Not His Party and He Can Cry if He Wants To

     Wow. And on National Coming Out Day, too.
     Were it not for his long public record, one would almost swear that Donald Trump started out life as a mercenary, got thrown in a hole in Central Asia with other prisoners and came out as Bane. Because from the start, that's what this Batman villain campaign of Trump's has reminded me of. He sweeps into our Gothams, tells people to do whatever they want, let Freedom Ring and that under him, life will be glorious. He promises kangaroo courts and all the while we don't hear the countdown to Armageddon.

     Tom Brady, please check under your feet next time you throw a pass.

     And now Trump is off the rails for good when his leaked tape from 2005 and disaster of a debate performance is making Republicans recoil from him like Elsa Lanchester from Boris Karloff. In short succession:
     One GOP Senator called him "a malignant clown"; House Speaker Paul Ryan, while not officially rescinding his endorsement, has cancelled all campaign appearances with Trump, citing his concentration on down ballot races (meaning his own); Sen. John McCain did rescind his endorsement, making one wonder why he'd given it in the first place after Trump's, "I like guys who weren't captured" comment; Rinsed Penis, chair of the RNC and glorified Kenosha political operative, has cut off Trump's funding, again, citing down ballot races, while insisting, "We have a great relationship" (hashtag: #batteredwifesyndrome). Finally, a toxic fugue of Republicans are actually resigning themselves to cutting bait, minimizing their losses and calling for Trump to drop out. Which he won't because of his massive ego, even if it means the destruction of the party that once embraced him.
     Despite the insanity of his budget proposals and supporting Trump in the first place, Paul Ryan is a smart guy. He must be painfully aware that he's painted himself into a corner and is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. He's trying to negotiate that high wire act in a high wind but it ain't working. The more rabid faction of the GOP, the Teabaggers, will revolt against Ryan if he doesn't publicly support Trump. Establishment Republicans and mainstream conservative voters will remember Ryan's stupidity in supporting Trump in the first place. Either way, the Trump Effect could endanger not only his Speakership but even his congressional seat.
     So now Donald Trump has put the full reverse to his Titanic of his campaign and is hitting the iceberg over and over by taking to, of course, Twitter to lambaste the GOP. In a few hours, I expect this to come out:
     Cue Jim Morrison and the Doors.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I Looked, and Behold, a Purple Horse, and They Who Sat On it Had the Name Clump

     It took me four accounts before I could finally live-tweet the debate as the Totalitarian Twats of Twitter did what Twitter does and censored the first three for who knows how long this time. But live tweet it I did, even though I had to co-opt one of my book and writing accounts to do so, which must have looked strange to my bookish followers. But this post is based on those first impressions as I'd watched the live stream on that fascist social media site.
     First off, don't be fooled by the pyrotechnics of last night's debate, The Sham, Part Two. What we saw last night in Washington University in St. Louis was nothing more than inspired kabuki theater, two elderly, pasty white oligarchs trying to play the game of Statesmanship.
     And, secondly, that's what this whole charade is to them- a game. Let's not forget just 11 years ago, these two ate the same wedding cake and Trump once called Hillary Clinton "very qualified to be President."
     Thirdly, we saw and heard much of the same bullshit from the first in this rancid series: Trump interrupting Clinton, Trump interrupting the moderators, neither answering questions directly or honestly, Trump attacking Hillary on Iraq, Hillary attacking Trump on not paying his taxes. As with the first debate, Trump was sniffing so much that one expected to see a rolled-up $20 bill to fall out of his nose and John Goodman at stage right, his trusty bag in hand, asking someone, "OK, who's floating this enterprise?"
     Except this time around, there were two new wrinkles: The Trump tapes and Trump chillingly vowing he would have his Attorney General (knowing him, that'll be Birther Queen Orly Taitz) appoint a special prosecutor to look into her emails and try to have her thrown in prison.
     Now, I admit to being a bit bifurcated about this: While I admit to feeling some rush of titillation at hearing Trump mentioning Clinton and prison in the same sentence more than once, because her high crimes and misdemeanors certainly call for it, it was chilling to hear this during a debate.
     Never before in the 56 year-long history of televised presidential debates has one candidate vowed to put the other in prison. If this was intended to be red meat that he threw to his rabid deplorable herd, then I would say it worked and probably left them slavering for more. But the idea of a debate, or one would think, is for one candidate to make his or her policy positions clear in order to give the voters a reason to vote for them, not to vote against one or the other. It's not within the usual purview of a presidential candidate to threaten to throw his or her opponent in prison. Hitler did that and worse when he took over Germany in 1933.
     Besides, while a President Trump would have the power to appoint his own AG and every one of the 93 US Attorneys according to his pleasure, the Justice Department is still full of careerists who do not fall under presidential purview. The DOJ is the Place Where Clinton Investigations Go To Die, the abattoir of accountability, and the corrupt Loretta Lynch is only where it starts. Trump wouldn't be able to remake the entire Justice Department in his image but he's too stupid and/or ignorant to know that.
     But a party nominee threatening to throw his opponent in prison? Very chilling stuff, indeed, and we've seen this sort of thing before.
     The debate started off creepily enough even before it had begun.

     Trump had the chutzpah to hold a press conference with three of Bill Clinton's accusers and, seated to his immediate left, the woman who was raped as a 12 year-old child and had to see her rapist get off with a slap on the wrist after he was defended by Hillary Clinton (who also smeared the child's character in doing so).
     Dickens or any soap opera or legal thriller hack couldn't have planned that any better. But this Ghosts of Rapes Past scenario had no place just minutes before a presidential debate. For good measure, in some ham-fisted attempt to rattle Hillary even further, he had the quartet seated exactly where Clinton could see them.
     Of course, that sort of tactic could only work with someone who actually has a conscience, thereby disqualifying Hillary Clinton.

     At the sane time the Trump "locker room" tape came out, so did the hacked John Podesta emails that quoted Hillary Clinton as saying, "You need to have a public position and a private position on policy." In other words, "I'll tell the rubes one thing to keep them placated but I'll give the straight skinny to you One Percenters provided you keep paying me me $225,000 an hour."
     Therefore, it quickly became impossible to know if any of Clinton's answers were her public or private policy positions, since she wasn't in a boardroom or a conference hall filled with billionaires and multimillionaires like her but directly and indirectly addressing regular voters.
     When he wasn't threatening Hillary Clinton with his Night of the Long Knives, he was hammering Clinton on things that neither elevated his position or further lowered hers. Therefore, while she droned on and on about why she voted to go to war with Iraq and lied about a whole host of other things, Trump, as in the first debate, continually interrupted her and the moderators like the boorish asshole he is. In fact, at one point, Trump even whined that Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz were in league with Clinton and that it was "three against one."

     In short, the debate had all the elements of a good soap opera minus the dramatic tension and, as usual, Dr. Jill Stein won the debate from her detached platform on Twitter. We'll never know if Trump was in earnest when he threatened to put Hillary in prison but the trained observer could see the chummy, if momentarily antagonistic, familiarity between the two as they called each other by their first names. It was essentially a 90 minute-long medley duet driving home one point to that trained observer: Neither are fit to be President.

     Finally, I leave you with this image: Hillary Clinton seems to attract more flies than actual dedicated investigators. Yes, that's a fly on her face that she didn't bother swatting off.
     Jesus Christ, is there anything about this fucking election cycle that isn't reminiscent of a Clive Barker movie? Because when we hear virtually nothing but Pay-to-Play, child molestation, rape and other such rubbish that's fit only for the headlines of supermarket tabloids, then something has gone seriously wrong with our electoral process.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Clump

     Open thread.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

No Beating Around the Bush

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution. - Hannah Arendt
Fridays are a notoriously bad time to divulge exposés and scandals. It's at the end of the weekday news cycle, so there could have been better times for the latest outrages to come out than last night. However, in the case of Donald Trump, the release of the #Trumptapes (the #1 trend on Twitter since last night) guarantees wall-to-wall coverage all weekend long of Trump's 2005 conversation with GWB's cousin Billy Bush.
     However, there was yet another Wikileaks dump that came out at almost the same moment, one that was overshadowed by the more sensationalistic and salacious Trump tape- It's a large cache of documents hacked from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's email account. Both are qualified bombshells that show there's only one sane, ethically upright person still in this race: Dr. Jill Stein and that all the others are unqualified.
     If you haven't heard it already, the Access Hollywood Trump tape is horrifying in its sheer level of casual misogyny, so horrifying that actor Robert DeNiro wants to punch him in the face. Trump has made no friends with these comments that nearly rise to the level of an Ipecac emetic. A source to his running mate's family stated off the record that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is outraged (enough to boot out his reporter pool when they broke the news to him as he was trying to eat at a restaurant in Ohio) and his wife is "beside herself" over Trump's comments. The Governor said he hoped Trump would "show what is in his heart" (while cancelling a campaign event for tonight). 
     House Speaker Paul Ryan also weakly hoped Trump would apologize for his comments and show that's not how he truly feels about women but also said he'd disinvited Trump from one of his campaign events in Wisconsin (he doesn't even want to be seen with Mike Pence, who had nothing to do with this). Republican Illinois Senator Mark Kirk called Trump, "a malignant clown" on his Twitter account. And, perhaps most damning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, one of Trump's most supportive surrogates, essentially threw Trump under the bus on which he was recorded and said,  “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
     Melania herself isn't very thrilled with the tape herself and can scarce believe these words came from her husband's mouth (especially as they were uttered mere months after she'd married him).
     But then, as with Ryan and Pence, Priebus broke out the lipstick tube and tried to smear it on Trump's foul mouth. Because the election is in less than five weeks and, to paraphrase Abe Lincoln, you don't change pigs in the middle of the sty.

The (Republican) Party's Over

     Remember when we thought this Bozo was the worst we could possibly do?
     Miss him, yet?
     The one bad thing that could never be said about Bush was that he was a lecherous, skirt-chasing womanizer (the occasional ass-grabbery notwithstanding) and the same applies to his patrician father (the occasional ass-grabbery notwithstanding). That doesn't mean, however, that the dead-enders who voted for them back in the day weren't casually dismissive of such behavior. What follows below are actual comments from the Youtube video I'd linked to and are all, nor surprisingly, from males:
"agreed... happens to the best of us once in our lives... even Trump is human ;)"
"He was 49 when he said it. I don't like the infidelity, but I don't know what his marriage arrangement is. Besides that. No big effing deal."
"I'd rather have Trump because I care about my country's sovereignty. I won't vote for Clinton because corrupt, liar and globalist bitch who would sell the country to the highest bidder. Also, I not voting for a pastor of the US but for a president."
"what he meant by sayinh grab her by the pussy is akin to just playing with her pussy...nowhere on that tape does he say he would grab her by the pussy withoit jer consent, so wheres the sexual assualt at? THIS IS HOW MOST MEN TALK. HE WAS TALKING HYPOTHETICALLY"
"He didn't demean women. Do you know where babies come from?"
"The more rocks you throw at Trump the more he kicks a:s:s. APOLOGY ACCEPTED MR. PRESIDENT!  Now GO take that hag killary for a spacewalk KILLARY FOR PRESIDENT OF MORON AMERICANS. Let's keep destroying America. That's what the Chinese and many others want."
      All these (often misspelled) comments could've been written by the idiot cousin of the idiot above. On the tape, Billy Bush could be heard giggling at Donald Trump talking about grabbing pussies like a 13 year-old hanger-on in a high school locker room listening to the quarterback boasting about his sexual conquests. 
     The single greatest mistake we could possibly make in this matter is to conclude that Donald Trump owns Republican misogyny, that we've never before heard proof of the Rio Grande-wide streak of misogynism that runs through the Republican Party like an inherited defective gene. As recently as the RNC convention in Cleveland last July (and I saw shit like this while on assignment there), the GOP tucked into anti-Clinton-based misogyny like a trencherman into a seafood platter (here are some more examples from the convention, if that didn't sufficiently turn your stomach). Plus, it can't be said the infamous War on Women started within the ranks of the Democrats.
     It wasn't much farther back than that when Todd Akin lost his bid for the Senate because of his infamous remarks about "legitimate rape". Then there was SC state Sen. Tom Corbin's crack to a female colleague about women being "a lesser cut of meat". Then Senate candidate Tom Smith said being forced to have a child after a rape was analogous to having a baby out of wedlock. Later in the campaign, the same fool claimed that women were talking about shoes at a Paul Ryan campaign event.
     Six years ago, the Ohio GOP sent out a flyer calling to put Rep. Betty Sutton "back in the kitchen." And, back in the present day, New York's Republican leaders actually tried to wedge some daylight between Trump and his comments by playing the "hate the sin, love the sinner" game.
     Obviously, this is a far from exhaustive list of examples of Republican misogyny but I disagree with Ana Navarro in her diatribe last night about Trump: Donald Trump absolutely shares Republican values.

From Touchy Feely to Out of Touch
     Meanwhile, in non-vagina-grabbing news, the emails of John Podesta were hacked and released on Wikileaks' website. They weren't the full transcripts of the Wall Street speeches for which we've been clamoring but the excerpts already solidify what we've all suspected they would contain: In fact, there's a bullet point at the beginning of one of the emails that blatantly states, "*CLINTON ADMITS SHE IS OUT OF TOUCH*". Which she is. This is Hillary Clinton in her own words to Goldman Sachs on Feb. 4th, 2014:
I'm kind of far removed from the struggles of the middle class because the life I've lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy.
     Keep in mind, this is from a woman who makes $225,000 an hour to give a speech but thinks you're not entitled to more than $12 for that span of time for your hard labor.
     The mass email to the campaign (dated January 25 of this year) starts out with, 
Attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy.
     In other words, s/he was already warning the campaign about what to "scrub" should the transcripts, for some reason, ever come out (almost as if s/he was anticipating the hack and subsequent leak). And this staffer was savvy enough to know that no amount of Bleachbit would ever scrub these comments that expose Clinton as just another out-of-touch psychopathic oligarch who thinks the presidency should be given to her by fiat.
     There's a reason why, as the staffer says, Hillary Clinton's speech transcripts are neatly segmented into universities and corporate speeches and guess which ones only are released to the press? This is because Hillary's a triangulating politico who says one thing to Wall St and another to impressionable Millennials whom she privately says are themselves out of touch and unrealistic when she herself is the one trying, and unsuccessfully at that, to mislead them.
     Hillary Clinton is an example, virtually a unique one, in American politics: A self-loathing female misogynist who has no problem with whipping out and co-opting the female victim card on behalf of others who are offended by Trump's statements. But secretly, Clinton seethes with fury she was born a woman and had to wait until she was nearly 70 years-old to secure a party nomination for the presidency. But it can hardly be said her easy, cookie-cutter feminism has paid any dividends for women who are much more powerless than she.

We Came. We Saw. We Created a Terror Network. Elect Me.
     Since the invasion of Libya and the forced regime change, as we now comfortably euphemistically refer to overthrowing the governments of sovereign countries, it's generally accepted in the MSM that female empowerment hasn't exactly been on the rise. Yet rarely if ever, as this article proves, the blame for this serious setback in women's rights is ever placed on Hillary Clinton's doorstep in Chappaqua. In fact, rarely if ever is her name even mentioned, even though the overthrow of Gaddafi's regime was solely her brainchild (it received the sanction of neither the UN or the US).
     In short, what Bush did in Iraq, deposing a dictator and letting militant forces run wild to protect petroleum interests against nationalization and standing idly by while those militants turned into a terrorist network, is exactly what Hillary did in Libya. Yet we as a nation have yet to make that analogy, especially in an election year in which Hillary promises more of the same. Why?
     The consensus of the leaked Podesta emails is that Hillary Rodham Clinton, who cynically keeps using her husband's name for the brand recognition, has no friends outside of the boardrooms of white shoe Wall Street banks and other firms. She is no friend of the poor and middle class, she is no friend of Millennials she insists on stereotyping as "basement-dwellers" living with Mom & Dad, she is no friend of Muslims who don't toe the corporate line, she is no friend of African Americans and Black Lives Matter activists and she is certainly no friend of women.
     As she did when she was Secretary of State, she would continue playing both sides of the fence in her dealings with Israel and the human rights abuser Saudi Arabia for whom she'd paved the way for arms deals in exchange for massive bribes to the Clinton Foundation.
     What the simultaneous disclosures of both Trump and Clinton in unguarded moments did was indelibly prove neither of these power-hungry sociopaths is fit to be dog catcher let alone the most powerful person in the Free World.
     The great Jewish journalist and political theorist Hannah Arendt once wrote, "Where all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing."
     This is usually the story of our nation. It is one in which high crimes and misdemeanors are not hatched spontaneously by the powerful and well-monied in the arable land of events, as Keats once put it. They are toxic crops of which we are both farmers and gleaners, ones in which we all share an awkwardly equal guilt. We created Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, allowed them to grow to their present outsized proportions. And, one way or the other, we will reap the flesh-ripping whirlwind.

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