Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No Moore

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
If God forbid Roy Moore had been elected to the Senate last night, he would've been the first one to take the oath of office on a copy of Lolita.
     And the bombshell pedophilia allegations made against him right after the Republican primary were just some of the reasons for Moore losing last night to upstart Democratic contender Doug Jones. In a previously crimson state in which Trump won 13 months ago by 28 points and where his approval and disapproval numbers are split down the middle at 48, Alabama voters sent a clear message to Capitol Hill- "We're not as red as you thought."
     Unless you've been living under a rock in Upper Volta since the heyday of the Civil Rights movement, one needn't belabor Alabama's history of racism and deep red state voting trends. The last time Alabama voters sent a Democrat to the US Senate was when turncoat Richard Shelby won in 1992, a full quarter century ago, who then became a Republican two years later.
     But aside from the abstract result of the election, a Democrat getting elected, there are some ironies and huge takeaways about it that cannot be ignored. For one thing, despite a race-based oppressive Voter ID law demanding registry-issued identification and the state then closing down registries in exclusively black neighborhoods, the African American vote comprised 29% of the electorate and 92% of it voted for Jones, beating the total when Barack Obama won that same voter bloc by 91 points in 2012, a year in which the black vote accounted for 28%. That's right- a white centrist Democrat beat the numbers of the nation's first black president. Only 4% of the black Alabama vote voted for Moore.
     The irony comes in Jones, a law and order Democrat who convicted Klansmen for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, replacing Jeff Sessions, whose own history of racism simply cannot be denied. Then also, there's the question of last night's election lengthening Trump's losing streak.
     It all started with the loss of Trump's boy, Luther Strange, in the GOP runoff election earlier this fall. Trump supposedly was talked into supporting him by Mitch McConnell. who became a heavy-hearted foe of Roy Moore. It continued during last month's pre-midterm elections across the country that saw one Trump ally and lap dog after another lose to Democratic upstarts and political novices. If last night's stunning upset victory for Jones showed one thing, it's that the Trump magic that saw his anointed ones going 4-4 earlier this year had long since worn off. Absolutely this was a referendum on Trump's universally loathsome agenda and character.

As usual, virtually all the polls and pundits were absolutely wrong. Until recently, it was a statistical probability in politics for straw polls to get more accurate the closer a race gets. But last night simply wasn't the case. Right wing blowhard and aspiring journalist Mike Cernovich took to Twitter last night and dared people to screengrab his prediction of a Moore victory. One poll had Moore ahead of Jones by 5 points. Others had Jones up by 10. Every one was wrong. In short, the polls leading up to last night's election were "all over the place."
     In a typical Republican dick move, Moore has yet to concede, thinking that a recount he'll have to pay for out of his own pocket (since Alabama law stipulates margins of a victory of 0.5% or less mandates an automatic recount) will save the day for him. Only after the balloons and confetti had been swept up was Trump himself proven right (albeit after the fact, with even Trump's hindsight being 20/20, even though just yesterday he predicted a win for Moore.)- Alabama voters did do the right thing.
     Of course, the importance of this very rare Democratic win in Alabama cannot be overstressed. With Republicans about to see their majority in the Senate shrink to 51-49, this makes Democrats' chances of retaking the Senate a distinct possibility. However, there are a lot of ifs, ands and buts for that scenario to become true. In this year's midterms, 23 Democratic Senate seats are up for grabs as opposed to just eight Republican seats and those eight tend to be in very red states. That means in order to avoid the scenario of a tie-breaking Mike Pence balefully lurking in the wings, Democrats have to win back every single one of their seats plus grab two more from Republicans in states that are historically hostile for Democrats.
     Such as Alabama was until last night. And last night's mind-blowing upset victory had energized Democratic operatives and candidates with a fervor that we haven't seen since Hillary Clinton mugged Bernie Sanders in the primaries a year and a half ago. Alabama voters, led by African Americans and females were appalled by Moore's very existence and short-term viability as a Senate candidate, sent a clear message to the Beltway- "If we can win in Alabama, we can win anywhere."
     That new President smell has long since been lost in empty McDonald's wrappers and cans of Diet Coke. The Trump mystique is over and it's showing as more and more Trump voters experience sticker shock. They're proving it at the ballot box as they realize the depravity of the toxic Republican agenda that only uses Trump as a very temporary useful idiot who has vowed, like them, to give massive tax giveaways to the 1% while shortchanging those on Social Security and Medicare.
     The only thing that remains to be seen is how Democrats fuck up the probationary breathing room voters across the nation are poised to hand them in both chambers in this November's incipient bloodbath. Because the last big takeaway from last night's election is that machine Democrats in both the DNC and Senatorial Campaign Committee had already conceded the election to Roy Moore and gave virtually no help to Doug Jones.
     That is, until the very last minute. I think Dr. Samuel Johnson would have a thing or two to say about blatant opportunism.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Most Busted Name in News

     As stopped clocks tend to be twice a day (or, in Trump's case, twice a year), Donald Trump and the Trumpettes were right about CNN ("the Most Trusted Name in News ™") after it was revealed last night that their breathless, exclusive exposé was a steaming pile of dog shit. It even gave rise to a right wing bot-driven hashtag on Twitter: #ThingsItrustmorethanCNN.
     And, believe me when I say it pains me more than you'll ever know since I've never been the biggest fan of either the WaPo or Glenn Greenwald but... I have to give credit where it's due and link to Greenwald's article of this morning in the Intercept. It was up to the Washington Post, with its second "scoop" in as many weeks, to set the record straight.
     It's all about the "exclusive" that CNN pimped for hours and hours, which everyone in the Democratic Party, it seemed, principally Rep. Ted Lieu on his Twitter account, had disseminated. And that "bombshell" that turned out to be a smoker grenade was about some guy named "Michael J. Erickson" who'd sent an email to Donald Trump, Jr on September 14th last year (remember that date) telling him about a massive cache of hacked emails that was offered to the Trump campaign by Wikileaks.
     Except CNN, in its finite wisdom, and without even reading the email in question, reported that the email was sent to Trump's namesake on September 4th instead of the date it was actually sent, which was September 14th. This week and a half is a crucial distinction to remember because by September 14th, Wikileaks had already made public the cache of emails that had been hacked by (take your pick). In short, all this "Erickson" was doing was offering Don Jr and the Trump campaign purloined emails that were already in the public domain.
     Further fanning the fake flames was that this Erickson was offering Don Jr a GRU encryption key to unlock the Wikipedia cache of Clinton emails. If we were take this at face value (which millions of Trump haters did in the MSM, Capitol Hill and social media), this would seem to be the smoking gun that would finally tie the Trump campaign to the collusive Russians and their so-called conduit in Wikileaks.
     To make matters worse, CNN had dug up an old tweet from Don Jr that mentioned the Clinton emails on September 4th, the date originally given by CNN and, later, CBS and MSNBC, as the date Erickson had sent the email to Donald Trump Jr. Of course, that tweet is worth the paper it was written on.
     Making this fuckup even more maddening, after they'd solemnly and quietly wiped the remnants of the prank cigar off its collective puss, CNN then refused to give any transparency about how the aforementioned fuck up even was possible. In other words, as with administrations and political parties and other powerful organizations the world over, they're circling the wagons, deleting or quietly amending stories without even offering an apology for essentially lying to the American public with, you got it, real fake news, this time. Their arrogance and complete lack of transparency and contrition is breathtaking.
     Of course, the Trump Misadministration that's been treating CNN like a red-headed stepchild since it was the Trump campaign, has been short-stroking this and will be milking it like a 10,000 pound cow for the rest of the winter. Of course, this does not invalidate in the least CNN's credible and factual reporting on the Trump team's collusion with Russia or Robert Mueller's findings.
     And one had to wonder if the two unnamed sources who'd fed this email that CNN, incredibly, couldn't even be bothered to read, were operatives working for the Trump White House to discredit CNN. Knowing of the dirty tricks done by and on behalf of the Trump administration, it's certainly within the realm of possibility. If so, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and perfectly predicted CNN's laziness and sloppy reportage of this non-issue.
     Maybe it's time for Winston Smith to retire from MiniTru.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

If This Really Was Gotham City


     ...I'd appeal to Bruce Wayne for help and the closest thing we have to Harvey Dent is Robert Mueller and he's kind of busy at the moment.
     If any of you read my last fund raising post, you may remember that I had my food stamps shut off last autumn. To date, they haven't been reinstated due to some bureaucratic foul up at the MA Office of Transitional Assistance. This means that I'm forced to pay for food out of pocket whereas my former allotment covered that. And I'm still far from my next significant disbursement (half of which is eaten up by my predatory slumlord), meaning there is going to be way too much month left at the end of the money. And I haven't even begun shopping for Christmas dinner let alone presents because I’m more focused on keeping the lights and gas on and a roof over my head.
     The good news is that I’m wrapping up a new novel, a sequel to TATTERDEMALION entitled THE DOLL MAKER that I’m sure agents will be interested in seeing. Plus I have another agent looking at book one of the Scott Carson saga, so keep your fingers crossed for us.
     So please, please, please, any assistance you can spare this holiday season would be tremendously appreciated. I have less than $200 in the bank and less than $170 in Paypal. As is stands, the only way I'll made it this month is if I put January's rent money back in the bank and that's just going to roll back my monthly shortage until there won't be anything left to put back in the bank.

Life's Circular Little Ironies

     Remember her? That's Kim Davis, the Clerk of Rowan County, KY. See the guy on the right? That's David Ermold, to whom Davis had denied a marriage license, filing his candidacy with County Clerk Kim Davis to unseat Kim Davis.
     Ya gotta love life's circular little ironies.

     If you're on Facebook. go check out what happened when I posted this little tidbit on my wall. It went viral. If you can go there, check out the huge comment section. It's hilarious, thanks in no small part to the Bible-thumping right wing trolls it's (inevitably) attracted. I wouldn't be surprised if one of them was Chadwick.

Harvey Dent Didn't Save Gotham City

     ...although he came damned close. Now it's Mueller Time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Good Times at Gotham City, 12/5/17

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Who Are the Dreamers Here?

     Well, the cocksuckers finally did it.
     Typically, the Republicans rammed through a bill (51-49) that didn't exist until moments before the vote, held in the dead of night, giving Democrats mere hours, if that, to read all 479 pages, some of it scrawled in longhand. One of those last minute scrawls that was illegible to Senator Jon Tester (D-MN) was to shield a conservative college from paying taxes on their endowments. That college, Hillsdale, the only one meeting the razor-narrow criteria of the bill, has a connection to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a billionaire.
     Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) saw the bill for the first time in the hands of a lobbyist. Yes, Republicans had so effectively sealed off the Democrats, lobbyists saw the fucking tax scam bill before they did. So why didn't the Democrats filibuster the bill? Well, the Republicans had that thought out in advance, too. They used an old Senate rule that effectively bypassed a Democratic filibuster, leaving as their only recourse screaming and ranting on social media, you know, sort of the way Republicans do when they think they're getting excluded even when they aren't.
     So, it looks as if they don't need Roy Moore, after all, and don't have to defend a known pedophile. Don't think the upcoming Senate election in Alabama on the 12th had nothing to do with it.
     And what does this massive looting of the Treasury Department, headed by another billionaire in Steve Mnuchin, mean for the peons? Well...
     It utterly ignores the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's estimation that will add $1.4 trillion to the deficit. It will somewhat pay for these massive cuts for those least needy or deserving of them by raising taxes on poor and middle class people, kick 13,000,000 off their existing health insurance plans, give tax breaks for private jet owners, end an Obama-era abatement on taxation of student loan interests...
     In other words, the Republicans just did everything their redneck, mouthbreathing goober constituents have feared for decades what tax and spend Democrats would do to them. This time, they can't blame the liberals or the Democrats for raising their taxes, handing that money to the 1% and corporations. It also calls for significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other government programs the needy depend upon.
     A few Republicans waffled.... briefly. Susan Collins (R-ME) had her misgivings about the bill until McConnell whispered sweet little nothings in her ear, such as his and Trump's promise to shore up the very same ACA that Republicans have tried to destroy since 2009. Jeff Flake also wavered until the same serpent Mitch McConnell cooed soothing promises in his ear about the Trump administration's nonexistent pledge to help the Dreamers stay in this country despite the administration's brutal deportations.
     And John McCain? Well, who knows how much McCain's brain cancer influenced his decision but after voting Nay on both Bush-era tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, he decided this one was worth voting for, even though it's far more catastrophic than either Bush tax cut. In the balance, it seemed like the kind of Aye vote that would be cast by a guy who married into 10 homes and a $100,000,000 beer fortune.
     The only Republican who voted against the bill was Bob Corker, who's retiring this January and has nothing to lose anyway.
     So call your Senators and representatives while they hash out the reconciled version of the bill. It won't do you any good. Even if they know this vote will get them thrown out of office in this November's midterms, they'll still have the tax cut to fall back on since most of them are multimillionaires, anyway.
     In the kingdoms of olde, the King or Emperor never got taxed. He did all the taxing, of the peasants. We're now living in a gigantic fiefdom, so start building your wattle and mud huts. We're in for some lean years ahead.

Friday, December 1, 2017

In With Flynn

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
"(N)othing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn." The White House, December 1, 2017
Guess again. The Trump administration has been breached. Finally. And the Trojan Horse is Michael Flynn.
     Just before Halloween, the glacially-moving Mueller probe finally coughed up an hors d'oeuvre in Paul Manafort, with Rick Gates and, eventually, George Papadopoulos (who immediately entered a guilty plea for, as with Flynn, lying to the FBI) thrown in. Today, Michael Flynn, the shortest-lived National Security Advisor in American history, entered a guilty plea before a judge confessing to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.
     To date, this offers the clearest picture thus far of the Trump teams in the campaign, transition and administration and its collusive ties with Russia. And many legal experts are saying that Flynn wouldn't have entered a guilty plea so willingly unless he was offered a sweetheart immunity deal from the Mueller team. Among the bombshells that came out during Flynn's court appearance was that he was directed to contact high-ranking Russian officials such as former US ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the behest of "very senior transition officials."
     It hasn't been conclusively confirmed but the tea leaves are spelling out that Jared Kushner is at least one of those "very senior transition officials" that pointed Flynn in the wrong direction. From a purely conjectural standpoint, and knowing how disingenuous this administration has been from the very start, painting Kushner as the guy who pushed Flynn in Russia's direction makes perfect sense.
     Just yesterday, Vanity Fair reported that both CNN and The New York Times reported that for about an hour and a half last month, the Mueller team interviewed Kushner about his interactions with Flynn. While there are no flies on the wall who can tell us what was said, we can be reasonably sure that Kushner summoned whatever little plausible deniability he had and denied directing Flynn to the Russians. Or maybe he, too, began negotiating a plea deal and plans to turn state's evidence on Trump. After all, his father's a jailbird. Why shouldn't the same apply to his father in law?
     So in one fell swoop, the Mueller probe penetrated both Trump's administration and his family. And, after imposing a nearly $12 million bail on Manafort and seizing all three of his passports (that we know of) yesterday, that means the Mueller probe will soon graduate into actual criminal trials, with its centerpiece being Donald Trump.

Whoa, Whoa, Did I Say Papadopoulos?!
Why, yes. Yes I did.
     Papadopoulos and his guilty plea is so important to this dismantling of the most ruinous, corrupt and treasonous administration in all of American history because it proved two things- That this "junior, low-level" transition team member not only facilitated contact between Trump and the Russians but that he even acted in bad faith in helping to broker a deal between Trump's two eldest sons, Paul Manafort and several other key people regarding the Russian hack of Hillary Clinton's emails and promising Donald. Jr. to reveal dirt on her.
     Incredibly, even given Clinton's staggering corruption and double-dealing, the Russians had bupkiss on her when a former KGB agent and a Kremlin-linked lawyer met with Donald, Jr. and Eric Trump as well as Manafort at Trump Tower in June last year. When the story broke July of this year, Trump was reported as having literally dictated his son's response, which was to risibly claim the meeting they'd never owned up to until then was all about adopting Russian babies. And this means one thing:
     That Mueller doesn't necessarily need Flynn to reach Trump's crime family. He has at least two ins: Flynn and Papadopoulos. Who, in case you've forgotten, have both pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their dealings with the Russians. And, in case, you've also forgotten, Flynn was the guy whom Trump wanted Comey to lay off from during a now-infamous Valentine's Day one-on-one with James Comey. 
     Comey wouldn't play ball. Then Trump fired him on May 9th. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired a long time before that for trying, three times, to warn administration officials about Michael Flynn being compromised. Ms. Yates had testified before Congress about the circumstances surrounding her dismissal. Which, perhaps no coincidentally, was the very day before Comey also got the axe.
     There's an old saying in law enforcement; The one putting up the most opposition to a criminal investigation is likely guiltiest one and is the guy you're looking for. The Trump administration tried to cover for Michael Flynn as long as it could in the interests of self-perservation until it realized it no longer could. And you could expand upon that old law enforcement saying to include, "And the one being protected the most viciously by your biggest opposition is the lynch pin tying the whole thing together."

Flynn Guilty

Minutes after Michael Flynn pleaded guilty, Jared and Donald prepared Ivanka for a spontaneous trip to Russia.
     Michael Flynn is out and it's fabulous.
     No, he didn't come out as gay but this is better. Because just minutes ago, Michael Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and doing so at the behest of the Trump campaign and transition team. And even legal experts agree that Flynn never would've rolled over on Trump like this unless he had a sweetheart plea deal.
     More, much more, on this later. I have some adulting to do. But we're looking at the third shortest presidency ever and the most corrupt.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Assclowns of the Week #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition

     Gobble, gobble, lads and lasses! Now that we've eaten all the Thanksgiving leftovers, the nation looks forward to the Christmas holidays and the madness that goes with it. And by madness, I don't mean just Black Friday Thursday Wednesday but the assclowns on Capitol Hill running wild on the Potomac like the expensively-upholstered jackals that they are. To wit:
     Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe (2) for trying to punk the WaPo and failing spectacularly; Donald Trump (10, 8, 6. 5 and 1) for desecrating yet another occasion and Franklin Graham (9) for essentially saying, "Let's give child molesters a chance." So jump aboard the hay ride and let's review this week's assclowns and much, much more!

10) Donald Trump

     It's hard to imagine a "president" who's been more disrespectful to party leaders, especially Democrats than Donald fucking Trump. Honestly, even Bush at the nadir of his so-called presidency never dared to informally call Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer by their Christian names let alone "Chuck and Nancy." But this was the tweet that Trump sent out that put the kibosh on the proposed meeting between him and the Democratic party leaders.

     In other words, according to the guy who had ghost-written for him a mega hit entitled The Art of the Deal thinks the best way to deal is to automatically invalidate and reject out of hand the perceived proposals of those with whom you're about to negotiate. In other words, "My way or the highway," which will get you nowhere at warp speed in politics. But this is what you get when you elect a clown with no political experience whose "art of the deal" had earned him four bankruptcies. Thanks again, hillbillies.

9) Franklin fucking Graham

     If I had a time machine, perhaps the first thing I'd do is go back to 1951 North Carolina and give Billy Graham a condom.
     Because what else can you say about a religious huckster who demonizes Muslims and the LGBTQ community then defends an accused child molester like Roy Moore? Because, you know, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and Senator of a state I don't live in. Last Tuesday, Graham ripped a page out of Donald Trump's playbook and used the annual Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Celebration in Charlotte, NC to defend accused pedophile Roy Moore and even had the nerve to bring up Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. In fact, Graham amplified his statements by writing on Facebook, "I met Roy Moore when I was in Alabama last year, and I talked to him a few days ago from Norway and asked him if these allegations were true. He said absolutely not." Like when Trump supposedly asked Putin during the Asia trip if he had anything to do with subverting the American electoral process and Vlad said, "Nyet" and Trump said, "See? Nuttin' t' see 'ere." In other words, he said it, I believe it, that settles it.
     Problems with that, O Billy Graham's wasted sperm: #1, you weren't in Roy Moore's house in 1979 when he came on to that 14 year-old child and, #2, at least Monica was of consenting age.

8) Donald Trump

     Yes, in the space of two generations, we've gone from "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" to this dog shit. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, our Chief Executive thought retweeting this video of a boy getting tossed off a roof and beaten to death would be a good idea. The problem is, it was posted on the account of Jayda Fransen, who's essentially the UK's answer to Pam Geller, retired mob wife and self-appointed Islamophobe Laureate of the US.
     And that was just the third in a series of retweets Trump made early Wednesday morning from this psychopath, all with the intention of showing Muslims in the worst possible light. The problem with Trump is that he either doesn't realize, or (even worse) realizes all too well, of the awesome magnification and amplification the highest office in the land gives him. He's like one of those naked toddlers who took the stage at Woodstock between acts, only with none of the cuteness, and is obviously trying to incite violence against innocent Muslims who are already on the shit list of his red meat supporters.

7) Wes Goodman

     A little over a week ago, another fundamentalist Christian and married family man, a former Ohio State Rep, was caught literally with his pants down. This time it was the ironically-named Wes Goodman who was bagged having sex with another man in his official state office. Goodman did Ohio a favor by doing this before his first term was even up. And what was Goodman's defense? He said that his packing fudge with the other guy was "consensual." Which, of course, isn't the issue. The issue is that Goodman ran on a family values platform and voted against any measure that would give any sort of rights and relief to the LGBTQ community. And, typically, GOP leaders in Ohio knew about the allegations and tolerated his hypocritical behavior, anyway.

6) Donald Trump

     Apparently, the Trump Foundation thinks among the worthiest recipients of its largesse is Project Veritas, the nation's foremost and premiere video editing service for the right wing. In newly released documents, it came out that in 2015, Trump's foundation donated $20,000 to Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe's Project Veritas. The original filings for the Foundation had shown just half of that donated to Veritas.
     This essentially means that the crazy old man who lives on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who constantly screams about fake news is subsidizing fake news. This comes as a very interesting development considering the stunt that O'Keefe had recently tried with the Washington Post in an effort to destroy the credibility of the paper, hence Roy Moore's accusers.

5) The Trump Administration

     In the latest of a seemingly never-ending string of laughably inappropriate appointments and nominations, Donald Trump thought it would be a corker of an idea to appoint Crack Whore Barbie, aka Kellyanne Conway, to the top post of fighting the opioid epidemic. It's hard to see just how Conway is qualified for a top post that until lately had been occupied by Chris Christie who, as New Jersey's Governor, had an honest, vested interest in fighting this health crisis. Conway's a shyster and ran a polling company.
     Really, Donnie Dumbo? This was the best you could do? What happened? Was Keith Richards not available?

4) The Koch Brothers

     "Hey, Dave."
     "Yeah, Chuck?"
     "Bezos bought the Washington Post for a quarter billion."
     "Yeah, I heard. So what?"
     "Let's buy a bunch of magazines for nearly three times that much under some company named Meredith."
     "What do you have in mind?"
     "Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune... You know, Time, Inc."
     "Well, that's one way to get Trump's jiggling orange puss on Time's cover."
     "Bwah ha ha ha!"
     "Bwah ha ha ha! That'll show Bezos!"
     "Let's wear our thongs for the cover of the Swimsuit Issue!"
     "Bwa ha ha ha!"
     "Fuck it, let's do it."

3) Congressman Joe Barton

     In an eerie and, frankly, repulsive reprise of The Blob, Joe Barton channeled his inner Weiner and showed his outer weiner in a nudie text message to a woman who wasn't his estranged wife. But here's the kicker: Unlike in the Weiner case, which resulted in a prison sentence for the former Congressman, Sarah Dodd of Dodd Communications, spinmeisters hired by Barton to do damage control, said this is a case of "revenge porn" and "is a violation of his privacy."
     In other words, Barton's the victim here. For texting pictures of his little oil derrick. To a woman to whom he wasn't married. And reasonably expected, in a climate that's fatal and toxic to sexual abusers, to never leak out. But what can you expect from a guy who actually said this about wind power on the floor of the US House?


2) Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe

     Let it not be said that Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe, journalist provocateur/telephone repairman/wouldbe New Hampshire voter/Occupy Wall Street protester/Pimp Daddy/election influencer, isn't a job creator. In fact, just a few days ago, O'Keefe hired a woman to pose as a Roy Moore rape victim, telling a cock and bull story to the Washington Post about her getting pregnant by him in 1992 and having to get an abortion. This half-assed actress, Jaime T. Phillips, tipped her hand by asking the WaPo reporters if her story was going to derail Roy Moore's senate run.
     One of the problems that cropped up immediately, that our fourth rate Inspector Clouseau didn't bother checking up on was Phillips not taking down her GoFundMe drive (Funny how anti-socialist right wingers love the socialist structure of crowd sourcing when it suits them, isn't it?) dedicated to fighting the "liberal MSM". Then, without knowing she was tailed, drove to Veritas' HQ (located in a strip mall between an Albanian hair removal salon and Kevin's Authentic Indian Food) and walked in for an hour-long meeting with, presumably, O'Keefe. Then the WaPo ambushed O'Keefe that day, thereby making Jailbird Jimmy commit the biggest cardinal sin of journalism- Becoming the story.
     Really? Is this right wing stooge the guy who brought down ACORN with a badly-edited and misleading video?

1) Donald Trump
     If by some miracle Trump survives that long, I can see his next trick being having Holocaust survivors at the White House and under a portrait of Adolph Hitler making Anne Frank jokes.
     Early this week, Trump hosted a trio of the surviving Navajo Code Talkers, without whose help we could have lost the second world war, before a portrait of Andrew Jackson. That was bad enough, in having prominently displayed throughout the entire ceremony the portrait of a guy who brought about the Trail of Tears in which tens of thousands of Native Americans had died as they were forcibly removed from their lands when Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act.
     But then Trump, as usual, had to drag the event into his particular primordial ooze by taking a page from former Senator Scott Brown's campaign and calling Massachusetts senior Senator Elizabeth Warren "Pocahantas" during an event intended to honor the Navajos. This, predictably, resulted in a swift backlash within minutes from Warren on Trump's favorite network. Really, can anyone recall a single instance in which Trump didn't take a pot shot at some perceived enemy at an event intended to honor and not dishonor someone or a group?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Moore or Less the GOP's Soul

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
The right wing's ambivalent rallying around accused child molester Roy Moore involves more than just the soul for the state of Alabama- It involves what passes for or what's left of the soul of the Republican Party's. The nadir of this debate was delineated perfectly on Sean Hannity's show when during Hannity's broadcast, the Fox chyron openly asked, at the expense of some big sponsors, "What if the child consents though?" As if that's even up for debate, as if children that age are legally able to give their consent (In Alabama in 1979, as now, the age of consent was 16).
     Some Republicans have done the right thing even if only in the interests of political survival. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, an otherwise scurvy and reliable human sawhorse to anything remotely resembling human progress, has called for Roy Moore to drop out of the Senate race. But that's in 15 days and Alabama law dictates that a candidate dropping out of a race has to give 76 days notice for the simple reason that the ballots are printed up that far in advance of an election. So they're stuck with Roy Moore as their man whether they like it or not.
     While Trump has decided not to campaign for Moore (look what his support did for Luther Strange in the GOP runoff election). he's tacitly putting his support behind a man who's been accused by a woman for fondling her and soliciting her for sex in 1979 when she was still a 14 year-old child. Then there's the story, albeit unproven, that Moore during roughly this time having been banned from a mall in Gadsden, Alabama for ogling and approaching other underage girls. Then there's the growing list of other women who said they'd been approached if not sexually assaulted by Moore, many of them while they were in their teens.
     In a way, Moore is like Trump redux, who himself had pending litigation in Manhattan for raping a 13 year-old girl while she was held captive in the apartment of fellow billionaire Jeffrey Epstein (before the charges mysteriously and quietly were dropped, again, just before Election Day). Many mainstream Republicans, of which McConnell was not one (Trump's Transportation Secretary is his wife, after all), had opposed Trump. John McCain, after tacitly giving his endorsement to Trump even after his, "I like guys weren't captured" comment, quickly withdrew his endorsement exactly a month before the election, a political rarity on a par with a lawmaker kicking a lobbyist out of their office. McCain's outgoing colleague Jeff Flake has taken to social and print media as well as the airways to publicly humiliate Trump. Bob Corker, another retiring Republican, is doing much the same.

     And as anyone can tell you, the waning Republican support for Roy Moore, a guy who hasn't held a public event in 10 days, revolves around one single issue- The tax cut for the rich bill. Trump can't get ObamaCare repealed much less TrumpCare passed, almost entirely because of John McCain, so he's pinning what may prove to be his legacy on the tax cut bill that will devastate poor and middle income families while providing tax cuts on corporate jets and savings to the Walton and Koch families to the tune of tens of billions.
     Here's the problem- The Republicans hold a slender 52-48 majority in the upper chamber, meaning if the Democrats win back three of their seats (even though virtually all of them are in deeply crimson states), they get the majority and Trump's tax bill goes down in flames like the ObamaCare repeal had.
     And Republicans can't have that. That is why people like Hannity and the Trump-backed Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe's Veritas Media are busy trying to do everything to discredit Moore's accusers regardless of how tender their age at the time of their encounters rather than giving Alabama voters an actual reason to vote for Moore aside from him having the "R" after his name. Jeff Flake calls the GOP support of Roy Moore, "political tribalism at its worst."
     The congressional majority leaders McConnell and Ryan practically have dry heaves when the subject of Trump comes up. They secretly acknowledge that getting into bed with Trump was the biggest mistake of their political careers but they acknowledge that he's a useful idiot and will sign any legislation that's a boon to their wealthy bosses on Wall Street and their overseers in the Bible Belt.
     Except Trump hasn't signed any major legislation. Aside from ramming or shoehorning in religious and Big Business zealots into the Cabinet, it can't be said Congress has done a hell of a lot, either. And now, Republicans are handed seemingly a golden opportunity to welcome into their ranks a fellow Republican who's a sure vote for tax "reform" who also just happens to be an accused child molester, one who had not actually denied the allegations as much as he's simply avoiding the media and the voters of Alabama.
     Is it worth their soul to help this man get elected, for one vote that will take all of five minutes? This is what Republicans, and Alabama voters, have to decide. And if they do help get this man elected, or to at least not stand in his path to Capitol Hill, it may not even be a question of whether or not they save their soul but the outcome determining whether they still have one.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Banality of Evil

     Donald Trump is finally right about something. Although it recently won two Pulitzer Prizes, the New York Times failed.
     Two days ago, the NY Times took a lot of heat for this article and for damned good reason. They completely blew it by shifting Overton's Window ever more to the far right in normalizing this neo Nazi in Ohio. A reporter from MoJo, oddly, defended the piece, saying that white supremacists are normal citizens who've always been among us since the Revolutionary War. Their response (not an apology as much as a whiny defense by their national editor) was absolutely pathetic and they weakly made some amendments to the article, including removing the link to it that had already been disseminated all over social media.
      But the Times blew it in not adequately delineating the difference between the outward normality of their lives and abnormality of their thinking. Hardcore white supremacists who are committed to join (or, in this case, to actually found movements) are, thankfully, in the vast minority in this country. While a marginal segment of a national population shouldn't be marginalized just for lack of numbers, we can comfortably make an exception for neo Nazis and white supremacists who assault and murder people like Heather Hyer. These people are social dinosaurs who are terrified that the white man's control over the world is slipping away in the ever more insistent tide of multiculturalism. And having nice manners and going food shopping just like us normal folk does not make them any less morally repugnant.
     Bess Kalb, a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, wrote in response,
You know who had nice manners? The Nazi who shaved my uncle Willie’s head before escorting him into a cement chamber where he locked eyes with children as their lungs filled with poison and they suffocated to death in agony. Too much? Exactly. That’s how you write about Nazis.

     In other words, this was the failing of the NY Times, in seemingly giving credence to Donald Trump's despicable comments about some of the white nationalists and NeoNazis being "very fine people." This is how Overton's Window keeps shifting to the right- Not through government propaganda but with the apparent blessing of our mainstream media.
     In normalizing this guy, in initially linking to a neo Nazi merchandise site, showing a cute furry cat on a bookcase containing books glorifying white nationalism and Nazism, talking about his upcoming wedding and this guy's attempts to put out his message with "satire" and in not highlighting the cruel irony of a neo Nazi who likes Seinfeld and National Public Radio, they're just unpacking that famous quote by Hannah Arendt: "The banality of evil" while seeming to be disturbingly comfortable with how banal we've allowed it to get.

Friday, November 24, 2017

What I'm Thankful For

(By Cyril Blubberpuss)
     How!
     At least that's what the red squatters used to say when they lived here. Alright, maybe I'm a little late for the giving of thanks but it was only within the last hour or two that I was able to move again after yesterday's feast at Kevin's Authentic Indian Food on 1st Avenue (Funny, isn't it, why more Indian restaurants aren't open on Thanksgiving considering they stole the idea from us?).
     Anyway, I'm here to tell you all about what makes me thankful, because, after all, that's how Thanksgiving's been co-opted. And, as usual, it's up to me to revise history for you ignorant slobs so you'd better listen up.
     It all started sometime before 1900, maybe a good time before that, when people from England and Holland came over supposedly to escape "religious persecution." Well, maybe the English (and especially the popish micks later) had a beef but the Hollish actually had a lot of religious freedom back where they came from in the Netherregions.
     In our revision of history, we adopted the erroneous narrative that the Limeys and the Hollish came over to escape religious freedom and to pioneer a brave New World that would one day proudly proclaim. "Feed a man corn, you feed him for a day. Teach him how to plant corn, he will rape your wives, acculturize your children, turn you into rotting corpses and steal your land."
     But that's not what it was really about. The American colonies were started as profit centers, a place in which religious freedom was paid lip service and tolerated like the dried-out piece of bubble gum that used to come with the trading cards. The Dutch were especially keen to do more than just eke a living out of Manhattan, for instance. My native city was, in fact, once named New Amsterdam before the Limeys looked at the Hollish and said, "Oy, we want some o' that shite!" or whatever they said between drinking songs and lap dances at the inn.
     Wealthy and well-to-do merchants came to our shores fleeing the brutal English and Dutch winters looking for ways to grow tobacco and cotton and, with the help of some contract workers from Africa, succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. The industry flourished under this new temp program between here and Africa for close to 250 years before Abe Lincoln fucked it up.
     In a way, that's what Donald Trump, the first bald President since Eisenhower, has done on this same Manhattan Island. With the help of some penniless, rootless Polack workers, he built Trump Tower, the Kremlin of 5th Avenue, and turned this borough into something. The Russkies, yearning to teem the shores of the internet, wanted in and he graciously let them with the help of Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg.
    
     And, in a way that's the same exact entrepreneurial spirit that my baby brother Cecil brought from eastern Europe when he founded www.cecilsprays.com. It had and always will have the distinction of being the world's first internet sex chat room and Cecil put the "ho" in SoHo. From an abandoned sex doll factory in what used to be Yugoslavia, these scantily-clad Aryan Adonises worked their magic catering to the fevered fantasies of horny Republican men from coast to coast.
     And up until the moment before ICE and the FBI raided his SoHo loft whilst he was in mid-orgasm, Cecil was giving these former college students bound for dreary careers in medicine, law and engineering a taste of the American dream. Because it is the right and Manifest Destiny for white American males to show the rest of the world and the other races what they can truly achieve if they but dispense with silly notions about cultural identity and "freedom."
     You want to know what real freedom is? Freedom is the ability to clutch a warm, smoking gun and knowing that you just made a horrible rash decision in the heat of the moment because George fucking Washington and his bewigged friends said you could.
     But that is how America was founded, ladies and gentlemen, by the Hollish and the English looking to make a fast buck then hiring temp workers from the Middle Passage when they realized how back-breaking the work was. And, thanks to the tobacco and textile industries giving those African temp workers a leg up in their own pursuit in the American dream, now they're able to make rap videos at poolside wearing hubcap-sized bling and backwards ball caps made of white ermine.
     So let it never be said the white man did not give them and so many other races more than a tantalizing taste of the American Dream. We started as a brutal profit center and may God grant us another 250 years of brutal profit. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go mail off some estrogen to my baby brother Cecil at Riker's Island.

I am From the Apples, Yes?

     Some assholes from this number, 240-237-1031, have been calling me on my cell about 2-3 times a day, including twice today. I never answer calls that aren't on my contact list but getting calls from this number 2-3 times a day is still irritating.
     So I decided to turn the tables on them and I called them back at the number they left on my caller ID.
      "Hello, Apple Support," answers the man with the Indian accent.
      "Hello," I said in my best Apu accent, "I am Christian calling from the Apple Support and we may have to terminate your iCloud account over suspicious activity. Are you near your computer, sir?"
      "Who is this...?"

      Then I told him to stop calling my fucking cell phone, over a constant stream of F bombs on his end, or I was going to report him and his scam outfit to the Federal Trade Commission. This number's been reported for all sorts of scams and is a classic Danny Chadwick (twin brother of you know who) scam.
      They really don't like it when you turn the tables on them. I strongly suggest more of us try this.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

     ...from our home to yours. This is our usual spread: Pork loin, mashed spuds, cheesy potatoes, corn, squash, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce (not shown), olives with a good Riesling. Pumpkin pie later. That's the obligatory Arlo Guthrie CD on the table. Hope yours was as happy as ours.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What Sergeant La David Johnson Did Not Sign Up For

     Is this going to require a second funeral, with an exhumation? The DoD is making her relive this Hell all over again because of their sloppiness. I didn't want to make this into a racial thing but... the war profiteers flying the chopper DID leave the only black guy behind WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE, they DID take two days to find his remains and they did NOT get them all. And what does the Slanderer in Chief say to the widow? "He knew what he signed up for." Without once mentioning his name.
     No, you double-woven fucking hairball, I'm sure Sgt. Johnson did NOT sign up to be abandoned by war profiteers to slug it out against 50 ISIS terrorists then to have his body shipped back to the States in separate trips and to have the fucking Pentagon lie to his wife and refuse to let her see his remains. There is no excuse for this sloppiness.
     What he DID sign up for was to have his six watched by his fellow Rangers, not to be left behind like a bag of groceries in a supermarket parking lot.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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