Saturday, March 17, 2018

'T is an Oldie But Goodie, 'T is

     A conservative Irish judge went pub crawling after a hard Friday at court. He was known as a law and order judge and had an image to maintain but after such a hard day, his Irish thirst was raging.   
     After he crawled out of his 6th pub, he vomited all over his brand new suit and racked his reeling brain for what to tell his teetotaling wife Brigit. Then he got a brilliant idea.
     He poured himself through the front door and said in an outraged voice,
     "Ah, Brigit, you'll never guess what happened to me this very night. I was walking home from the courthouse and this drunken yobbo staggers up to me and threw up all over me brand new suit. Well, I had him arrested and when I see him in court on Monday, I'll be givin' him 30 days in gaol, I will. Now, be a dear, Brigit, and clean me suit, will you? There's a lass."
     "Very good, your honor," said Brigit and she set about cleaning his suit.
     The weekend passed and Monday morning arrived. The conservative judge, dressed in his newly-cleaned suit, thought it prudent to reinforce his lie one more time. At breakfast he said to his wife,
     "When I see that suit-soiler in court today, I'll be givin' him 30 days, I will!"
     "Well, your honor," began Brigit, "you'd better be giving him 60 days because he shit in your pants, too."

Friday, March 16, 2018

Gotham City News Digest

     We digest the news. The rest is up to you.

     From the "Duh, Thank You, Congressman Obvious!" files...
     House Republicans are now beginning to suspect that maybe, perhaps they acted a bit too hastily in ending their so-called Russia probe a teensy bit too early, and in the process, so says Alternet, with tongue fully in cheek, "undermined their credibility."
     Credibility. This is the same intelligence committee that saw fit to make Devin Nunes their chairman. You remember Devin, don't you? He was the guy who was caught sneaking in and out of the White House in the dead of night like a back door lover with classified intel to give to the Trump junta.

     Well, this is certainly interesting. By now you must know that Donnie Dumbo Junior's wife filed a divorce suit. Bet you didn't know that she hired not a divorce attorney well-versed in family law but a criminal defense attorney at the same time that Mueller's probe is closing in.

     And this is the woman who's been vilified by the right wing for decades for being a liberal icon? Folks, this isn't your parents' Democratic Party. This is your grandparents' Republican Party. One guy told me on Twitter after Jesus' General (11 on a manly scale of 10) retweeted this, "If given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat that votes like a Republican, I'll vote for the latter." So, in other words, my esteemed colleague, if given the choice between a shit sandwich with the crust and a shit sandwich without the crust, will choose the latter without looking for something better on the menu. Smart. Good luck with that.

     Because Mike Pence is just too damned unutterably masculine to be seen with a homosexual. Maybe he was embarrassed because of that tightness in the crotch of his pants when Trump put his hand on his knee at Billy Graham's service. Perhaps someone's due for an intervention. But poor Pence couldn't bear to be seen or photographed with a gay man, even if he was the Irish Prime Minister. But this is why they pay you the big bucks, to hobnob with homos so Donald Trump doesn't have to. So suck it up, Mikey. In a manner of speaking...

     Speaking of the Tangerine shitgibbon, he has a shockingly brilliant theory as to why there's so much antisemitism going on since he became "president": The Jews are doing it to themselves to make him look bad! So, you see, the Jews aren't the victims, they're the perpetrators and Trump's the actual victim!
     As proof, note these undercover lib'rals at Charlottesville last year who were financed and planted by the likes of George Soros and the skeleton of Saul Alinski.

     This is what inevitably happens when you vote in nothing but Republicans- Financial ruin. God only knows why they gave these massive tax cuts to the oil and gas industries. It wasn't if the companies could just take their oil and gas fields and set up shop elsewhere. Look what happened in Kansas during the Brownback administration. So what's the obvious solution? Raise taxes on cigarettes! (Which a court struck down). Uh, cut social services and school budgets!
     Which was the fucking plan all along. Then they can bring in the charter schools that Betsy DeVos has been slavering for so they can finish bankrupting the state until Oklahoma is nothing but an empty bank vault with a few scattered pennies on the floor.

     "Secretary Zinke, my grandfather suffered so greatly in the Japanese internment camps that it took him until late in life before he could speak of it."
     “Oh, Konnichiwa!
     Someone please slam that $139,000 door on his balls? Like, repeatedly?

     Have you ever wondered why evangelical nut bags still support a guy who's had five children with three women, cheated on every one of his wives and is a Biblically illiterate homunculus (despite them being evangelical nut bags)? Well, wonder no more. They see him as bringing about the End of Days they're slavering for.

     So, "Obama was a liar, too, so it's OK if Trump does it"? Yes, Obama was a liar. He just wasn't quite as prolific as Trump.

     For them there Allerbammer sheriffs, those mirrored sunglasses and Sam Browne gun belts cost money! And so do $750,000 beach houses. Money shot: This kind of graft is perfectly legal in Alabama even if inmates are forced to eat corn dogs twice a day for weeks on end to save money. Now you know why so many of them run for public office.

     And, lastly, in case Nancy "I Love Blue Dogs" Pelosi has forgotten (and she obviously has), this is what a real liberal Democrat looked like.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Truth is Flexible

     (By Cyril Blubberpuss, Conservative-American)
     "The truth is flexible," as my brother Cecil used to say while ogling male Olympic gymnasts, "as flexible as those studs, yeah," he'd breathe, face inches from the screen before bemoaning the fact the male gymnasts were never as young as the females.
     Truer words were never spoken, I say, and as the very avatar of alternative facts and flexible truths, I give you my old friend Donald John Trump, President of the United States! Take his latest fundraising speech in Missouri, in which he related this fascinating tale of the malleability of so-called facts.
“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’ Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed.
“... So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. ... I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it.’
‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. We have no deficit, but that doesn’t include energy and timber. … And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible.”
     Now that, my friends, is some magnificent improvisation designed to look as if Trump is fully prepared with facts and figures that he doesn't ever, in fact, have. In other words, as the 70's expression goes, "If you haven't got your shit together, dazzle them with bullshit," or words to that effect. It works for the best poker players in the world, so why not the President of the United States? Of course, with Trump's propensity for making shit up as he goes along, that anecdote could also be a load of horse shit but who cares? Certainly not me or his other voters!
     Flexible truth, or what Crack Whore Barbie, as I affectionately call Kellyanne Conway when I visit Trump at the White House, refers to as "alternative facts" is absolutely necessary in our nation and the world because those of us who know the real facts are the only ones who can handle the truth. Why, just the other day at that same White House, Trump was trying to impress me with how much classified knowledge he had.
     "Cyril," he said pointing to his double-woven head as we sat in the Oval Office, "you wouldn't believe the classified shit people tell me. It's great, just great! You wanna know something about Area 51? OK, here ya go-
     "There are no UFO's there. They built that big ass base there during this project they called Skunk Works just to mislead the American public. The buildings are empty! There ain't nothin' goin' on at Area 51! At least, that's what the Joints Chiefs tell me every time I bring it up. 'Nothing to see there, Mr. President', they always say while lookin' at each other. Then I wink at these guys with scrambled eggs on their hats, these admirals and generals and I say, 'Right. Keep up the good work, men' and I give 'em a thumbs up."
     You see, the truth is completely unpalatable to those of us not in the know, such as the fact that Donald Trump, after 14 months on the job, is really no more knowledgeable and probably less intelligent than the guy at the end of every bar constantly reliving and bragging about his one good year in high school. That's something that's been ably kept by the actual sane and pragmatic men and women with whom Trump has to surround himself.
     Because we can't let it get out to North Korea that Trump's softer than a Hefty bag full of baby shit and even crazier than Kim Jong Un. It'd be like when Kennedy met Khrushchev for the first time and that liberal asshole walked out with the Russian Premiere's footprints all over his aching back.
     I remember sitting in on what was supposed to be a classified meeting between Trump and the skeleton crew of the State Department. I was sitting on the couch eating some Chicken McNuggets that Trump always has in a candy dish at the table. Tillerson didn't want me there and Trump just kept telling him, "Shut the fuck up, Rex, and read the report to me."
     Tillerson glared at me while arching those weird Thomas Edison-like eyebrows while I stuffed my face. Then he tried to tell Donnie that getting into a nuclear war with North Korea would be a bad idea because #1, we have 32,000 troops along the border and, #2, it would inevitably draw in North Korea's only ally, China.
     "Yeah, but what's that gotta do with cost of tea in China?" Trump brilliantly retorted while Tillerson looked at him for a full 30 seconds before pinching the bridge of his nose.
     A week later, Tillerson was gone. Because he couldn't handle the truth that our President is a raving fucking lunatic who gives the middle finger to the portrait of every Democrat in the White House.

     Sometimes he'd have Kennedy's portrait shipped to Mar-a-Lago or where ever he's playing golf that weekend just he can wave his genitals at it ("See how Kennedy's looking down?" he once told me with a wide, lopsided grin, "It looks like he's admiring my junk, huh?").
     Bet you wish you didn't know that, huh?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Lamb in Wolf's Clothing

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
"(H)e said he would not support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic leader if a blue wave swept the House in 2018, echoing his support for the Second Amendment, and telling voters he personally doesn’t believe in abortion,,," - Ella Nilsen, Vox, 3/14/18
It wasn't an "upset." Let's just get that out of the way right now.
      Capping off a wild, almost surrealistic day that dragged well into the morning like a party that didn't have the sense to quit, Conor Lamb edged out Rick Saccone in PA18. It was a day in which three administration officials were fired, including the Secretary of State, one Cabinet official (Mike Pompeo) tentatively snapped off at Langley and snapped on at Foggy Bottom to replace Tillerson. And it was also a day in which famed physicist Stephen Hawking, who was born exactly 300 years after Galileo died, passed away on Einstein's birthday and National Pi Day.
     Lamb won by just 627 votes in a district in which he was unknown until January, that Trump took in 2016 by about 20 points. With about 227,000 votes cast, those 627 votes comes out to a 0.2% difference. Luckily for Lamb, Pennsylvania's election laws don't mandate an automatic recount if certain thresholds aren't reached in non state-wide races. If Saccone wants a recount, he'll have to pay for it out of his pocket.
     This special election was billed throughout this winter as a David vs Goliath battle in which Lamb didn't stand a chance. Trump went to PA18 twice, dispatched Don Jr and Ivanka to stump for him in the 11th hour, timed his tariff announcement so Saccone could revel in its dubious reflected glory. The RNC and right wing special interest groups pumped $10.7 million in mostly out of state money. Nonetheless, Conor Lamb, who'd outraised Saccone by a margin of over 4 to 1, persisted.
     Yet as many of the races in last year's pre midterm elections showed time and again, even winning Democrats are too scared to run as true progressives in Bernie Sanders' mold. They're more inclined to be #Stillwithher than Bernie Bros. And last December, Doug Jones, the bluest of the Blue Dogs, proved that when he beat Roy Moore by just 1.5% in crimson Alabama. The GOP had enjoyed a 15 year stranglehold on PA18, due entirely to the incumbency of Tim Murphy, who was forced to resign last year when it came out that he pressured his paramour to have an abortion.
     But Lamb is personally as much a pro-lifer as Murphy was purported to be. He was also pro-gun, pro-tariff and pro-coal. It was essentially a sheep in wolf's clothing opposing the actual thing. In fact, Lamb was so right wing during his brief campaign that House Republicans and the Trump White House are even claiming credit for his win by bringing up that he was aligned with Trump's policies. In fact, last night Lamb actually thanked Trump supporters for voting for him, giving additional insight as to why his nickname is "Lamb the sham."
     That's not entirely true. Nor is it entirely untrue.

I Am Number Five
So, the US House Democrats shift a bit more toward its goal of retaking that chamber this November. But at what cost?
     Lamb essentially beat a guy who'd shamelessly billed himself as "Trump before Trump was Trump." Saccone is either an idiot who can't read the tea leaves or he had a lousy focus group. That group should've reminded him that the last four guys in a row Trump had personally endorsed had crashed and burned (Luther Strange being #3 and Roy Moore being #4). The reason Lamb had won was because he brilliantly and sleazily embraced Trump's policies without even mentioning Trump's name. In other words, hate the sinner but love the sin.
     Saccone's mistake was in synonymizing Trump's name with his policies. Remember, the Affordable Care Act is popular among a lot of right wingers until you call it by its colloquial name, Obamacare. And Saccone didn't stop there: He wanted to remind people that he was Trump 1.0, the prototype.
     This special election was billed, as were all the ones going back to last year, as a referendum on Trump's policies, another bellwether of the so-called bloodbath to come this November, Yet in last year's pre-midterms, Blue Dog after Blue Dog got elected with very few actual progressives winning more than state-wide seats. And many of them were races just as tight as last night's, meaning liberal voters who salivate over a Sanders/Warren 2020 ticket aren't yet ready to embrace the FrankenDemocrats exemplified by Conor Lamb and Doug Jones.
     It proved nothing except that so-called Democrats such as Conor Lamb haven't got the guts or the ideological purity to run as actual progressives, especially in red states such as Alabama or districts such as PA18. And now, all the Democratic pundits are telling us that Trump lost Pennsylvania, a state he'd taken from Hillary by a mere 1.3 percentage points in the 11th hour trifecta of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that sealed his Russian-backed win.
     He did not. Trump is like a custodial parent who lost physical custody of a child but retained legal custody of it. Remember, Lamb would've lost this race if a few streets in PA18 went for the real deal. If it weren't for absentee ballots, which traditionally skew Democratic, he would have lost. He almost lost simply because he ran as a Democrat. Progressives stayed at home and waited for their real deal that will not arrive any more than had Godot.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Out With the Old, In With the Slightly Less Old

     This time the rumors were true: Rex Tillerson's been voted off the island.
     And so's his assistant Steve Goldstein for contradicting the White House about it. He'd been on the job only since December 4th.
     Oh, and Rob McEntee, Trump's body man, is also out. But he landed softly as he got rehired by the Trump campaign.
     It's barely afternoon as I write this (1:37 PM).
     What you see above are just 22 of the 36 people that have either been fired or had resigned within the first 14 months of Trump's International Rolling Dumpster Fire Show. Note that three of them were around so briefly or were so furtive in their duties that they never had official portraits done. Their blank avatars stick out in that graphic like three Unsubs in an FBI organized crime chart.
     Which is a more apt description than we know.
     In keeping with Trump's dickish management style, he never personally told Tillerson he was being fired. In fact, the Secretary of State didn't know about it until he read Trump's tweet announcing his termination. Which is more or less how former FBI Director James Comey found out about his termination last May 9th.
     So, who's going to replace Tillerson at State? Well, Trump's got that covered, comrades- He's going snap off Mike Pompeo at the CIA and try to snap him on at Foggy Bottom pending Senate Republicans rubber-stamping the nomination. Which is going to be very interesting considering Pompeo is one of 17 intelligence chiefs who unanimously agreed that Russia did indeed meddle with our election.
     Statesmanship by social media. Beautiful thing, isn't it?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Prince of Toads

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
I remember telling him that if Franklin Roosevelt could work with Joseph Stalin to defeat Nazi fascism, then certainly Donald Trump could work with Vladi­mir Putin to defeat Islamic fascism.” - Blackwater founder Erik Prince before Congress, November 2017
Erik Prince is your classic Dollar-a-Year Man. But, as with the Iraq War off of which he'd profited very handsomely, he could wind up making much more than a dollar a year of tax-payer funds if Trump decides to hire Prince and his private security arm of the killer elite that formerly went under the name Blackwater.
     But first things first. Just yesterday, it emerged that Robert Mueller could have more on Donald Trump than even the most wildly expectant of us could've asked for. And Erik Prince's name popped up. It seems, thanks to the testimony of one George Nader, a Lebanese businessman who'd helped broker a meeting between Prince and another prince, this one Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. But the skeikh wasn't the only one in attendance at this Seychelles meeting that took place around mid January last year, or about a week before Trump''s inauguration.
     Prince had also met with an Emirati delegate as well as Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a hedge fund controlled by the Kremlin. So, what was so alarming about this seemingly innocuous business meeting to which Prince went, so he averred to Congressional investigators last November, as a private businessman?
     Several things, actually. While laughably denying he was there as an envoy for the incoming Trump administration, it's come out from Nader that Prince asked the Russians for a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the White House. You know, sort of like what Kushner had tried just the month before.
     This isn't a wild guess or an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. We, and the Mueller team, got this straight from Nader himself, who'd brokered the Seychelles meeting about a year before he was picked up by the FBI and served search warrants. He's reportedly testified before the grand jury at least once and with Mueller's team on several occasions.

Another Nader as Spoiler
George Nader, not to be confused with the late TV and film actor or Ralph Nader, the spoiler in the 2000 election, was chosen to broker this meeting for obvious reasons. Being a Lebanese-American, Nader had done business on countless previous occasions with the UAE as well, apparently, Trump's senior aides. He could be trusted to navigate Prince and others through what is obviously very complicated diplomatic waters in the Middle East.
     When Nader was picked up at Dulles, he was on his way to Mar-a-Lago supposedly to celebrate Trump's first year in office. Making this meeting especially suspicious was the fact that just after the 2016 election, Crown Prince Mohammed visited Trump at Trump Tower without even notifying the outgoing Obama administration. And this was at the exact same time Kushner met with Sergei Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the US, about setting up the back channel between the Kremlin and the White House.
     Then there's also the UAE's vast sums of money, much of it being funneled into Dmitriev's Kremlin-controlled hedge fund (specifically, $6 billion in 2013). This raises the issue of whether the Trump campaign accepted foreign money, which is strictly forbidden. And it holds out the very strong likelihood that Prince lied in his testimony before Congress last November about the meeting.
     That would be the infamous "after meeting" between Prince and a member of the Emerati delegation, which Prince risibly downplayed as just a friendly 30 minute-long chat between two guys having a beer. If it's ever proved that Prince was there to set up a back door channel between Putin and Trump, it means he perjured himself when testifying before Congress (which wouldn't be the first time) when he claimed he went to the Seychelles as a private businessman.
     And that brings us to Prince lobbying hard to set up his own intelligence network within the government with the avowed purpose of fighting so-called "deep state enemies" within the established government intelligence community that Trump's been sneering at since he was on the campaign trail. As proof of how scummy this hare-brained scheme is, they've even brought in Oliver "Snow Tires" North (who'd also lied to Congress after Iran-Contra was broken) for credibility's sake and that CIA Director Mike Pompeo is fully on board with this plan to undermine his own agency.
     Which, as Prince's sister Betsy DeVos had proved time and again, is exactly the reason why Trump picked his kakistocratic Cabinet.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Maybe He Shouldn't Have Handed Out So Much Free Candy

     Roy Moore is in dire financial straits and he needs your help!
     Because Alabama's most beloved pedophile (whose Facebook page is still inexplicably named "Judge Roy Moore for US Senate," even though he was fired twice as a judge and is no longer running for the US Senate) has legal fees for an unspecified charge. And all he needs is a quarter of a million dollars of your hard-earned money!
     What follows below is the full text of what Moore put out a couple of days ago on his dead campaign's Facebook page. It's got some whoppers in it, enough so that Moore was trending earlier today on Twitter.
First, I wanted to write you to say thank you most sincerely for your support and prayers for my campaign for the U. S. Senate. Your financial contributions helped me fight over $50 million dollars from Washington insiders who did not want me to bring the truth about God and our Constitution to Washington D. C.
     I don't know where the fuck he got $50 million dollars (sic) from, since the DNC establishment and the Democratic Senate essentially let Doug Jones twist in the wind until literally the last minute. Notice right wingers start whingeing and whining about big money in politics only after they get outspent and out voted.
I have no regrets!
     I regret nothing!
Together we fought the good fight, we finished our course, and we have kept the faith. And we do not intend to quit! The future of our children and grandchildren is at stake.
     ...because Roy Moore is still on the loose in Alabama.
I now face another vicious attack from lawyers in Washington D. C. and San Francisco who have hired one of the biggest firms in Birmingham Alabama to bring another legal action against me and ensure that I never fight again.
     However, nowhere in his constant hard begging for hundreds of thousands of dollars does Moore ever tell us why he's being sued and what the charges are.
However, I will trust God that he will allow truth to prevail against the unholy forces of evil behind their attack.
     You would think an evangelical bozo such as Moore would know enough to capitalize the pronoun "He" when speaking about God. Then again, everything this asshole knows about the Bible is in Leviticus. And, gee, I've never heard of a Blue Dog Democrat such as Doug Jones being included in with "the unholy forces of evil."
I have lawyers who want to help but they are not without cost and besides their fees, legal expenses could run over $100,000. I have had to establish a “legal defense fund, anything you give will be appreciated.
     So, just on the safe side, I'm going to ask for two and a half times that amount. Trust me, it'll all get spent on billable hours. Or, something...
The liberal media, in association with some who want to destroy our Country do not want my influence in the 2018 elections and are doing everything they can to stop me.
     Note that Moore, a shitty Christian but ever the white nationalist, makes sure he capitalizes "Country" even when it doesn't have to be. And doing "everything they (could) to stop (him)" was called a free election in a democracy.
Gays, lesbians, and transgenders have joined forces with those who believe in abortion, sodomy, and destruction of all that we hold dear. Unless we stand together we will lose our Country.
Christians can no longer afford to remain silent in these “perilous” times. For we know that in such time men shall be come lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
      Gays, lesbians and transgenders such as this. for instance?
     And if the incontinent are included among your enemies, does that mean David "Huggies" Vitter is one of your antagonists?
     And don't ask me why he put "perilous" in scare quotes. These certainly are perilous times, thanks in large part to his reluctant cheerleader, Donald Trump.
     But Moore may have a point about men who are lovers of selves. After all, that's the kind of man who would endlessly bitch and complain about losing an election in which... Oh, wait. He meant that in an Onanistic way. Gotcha.
We must fight, an appeal to the God of Heaven is all that is left us! Please help me fight this battle for the heart and soul of this Nation. Your financial contribution to my legal defense fund is crucial. After over 40 years of public service I cannot back down now.
     We will fight them on the playgrounds, we will fight them in the Chuck E. Cheese's and the McDonald's ball pits...
When I stood to bring these values and truths to Washington D. C. I was forced to fight the Washington establishment, the Republican Party, the Democrat Party, the ultra-liberal media and people such asGeorge Soros, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and many others who fear the truth. I’m sure that you cannot imagine how this has taken a toll on my wife, my children, and even my friends.
     You mean the Republican Party that was holding out some vain hope that you would, pardon the phrase, pull it out so they could get your vote on the tax scam bill? And what's this "ultra-liberal media" of which you speak, stranger? Perhaps, compared to your Apocalyptic world view, Fox "News" would look a little less conservative than it is but it's impossible to see what you mean by an ultra-liberal media.
My resources have been depleted and I have struggled to make ends meet
     OK, time out here, time out. Do you not own a 4300 square foot home in Etowah complete with a seven car garage and horse stables well-stocked with horses and had the valuation of your home reduced by over $41,000 to lower your property taxes? Did you not skim over $1,000,000 from a nonprofit charity you ran with your wife? Is the land upon which your charity sits not valued at $540,000? Do you not receive $180,000 annually for part time work for said charity after claiming you had no regular income?
     I suppose that's all "ultra-liberal" bullshit troweled out in your own financial disclosure forms.
But I have not lost my faith in our God, who is our true source of strength and will never leave or forsake us. I am truly thankful for your support, your cards, letters and words of encouragement.
     He especially likes the cards with little girls on the front.
As I was writing this letter, a young lady handed me a note from her brother, Steven and a cash contribution of $84. This is what Steven wrote:
“I read your book and am currently reading your court opinion on gay marriage. Sir, you are an American hero. You have inspired me. I won’t forget the poems of yours that I’ve read or the stands you’ve made against those trying to disfigure our Country and its heritage. I and so many others are with you, sir, and will help in any way to defend your character.”
     I guess part of that "disfigurement" is insisting that America was not exactly at its best during the days of slavery. At least, that isn't as bad a disfigurement as Roy Moore's ultra right wing poetry disfigured the English language.
Steven’s $84 will be deposited in my defense fund as he wished, and his words of encouragement will continually remind me of others who have expressed similar sentiments.
     Because, considering Steven's odd amount, I will just naturally assume it is not all his allowance or babysitting money he's given me and I'll make sure it gets spent on artificial insemination for Sassy. And if she foals a boy, I'll be sure to name it after you.
I do not profess to be a hero, but I will not forget so many who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve this land and our form of government, with which we have been truly blessed.
     Good thing, too, because I can't think of any heroes who were barred from a mall for ogling underage girls.
Thank you in advance for anything you can give to help me in my defense, and if you can’t give, I would appreciate your prayers and moral support.
May God bless you!
                    Judge Roy Moore
     How about thoughts and prayers, instead? I'll think of you being in prison and pray it happens within my lifetime.
P.S. The political Left is filled with men and women whose sole aim in life is to overthrow our God-ordained rights which are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. It is your responsibility and mine to stand up to this vile encroachment on our rights, and defend that for which the Founding Fathers sacrificed so greatly. Please send a generous gift today to the Roy Moore Legal Defense Fund to help me defeat, once and for all, those who would destroy America in order to usher in their anti-Christian “kingdom.” May the Lord richly bless you as you stand with me in this critical fight!
     Would those be the Founding Fathers who put up that wall separating church and state, a wall you'd unsuccessfully tried to knock down as if it was a sand castle built by a five year-old and which got you fired as Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice for the first of two times?

Shots at the White House

     Shots have been fired at the White House. How's that lack of working, guys? Our country's turned into an action movie.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Intergender Wrestling Title is Not Safe

     Because Jailbird Joe Chadwick has got his sights set on it. And, unlike Andy Kaufman's stunt in the 80's, this ain't performance art.
     Today, a well-placed source gave me this tip that's the best, yet. And while I hate writing about this evolutionary dropout who's been stalking and harassing me for going on four years, how could I not write about something like this?
     That's Chadwick's GoFundMe page for funding to further his dream of being a professional wrestler. Yes, at age 37, he's trying to break into the ranks of men who are essentially steroid engorged human dinosaurs and he needs just $15,000 of your hard-earned money for him to achieve that end. (To date, he's only collected $148, $50 from his twin brother Danny, just enough for a large jar of protein powder or maybe 50 Intergender Champion tee shirts).
     Now, far be it for me to drag the stylus across any middle aged guy playing "Gonna Fly Now" while he prepares to run up and down the steps of the Weber County Sheriff's Department and get chased by Farr West's trailer park sterno bums and stray dogs. But I'm thinking this is, to put it charitably, a new career path for our Pal Joey. He's back in Farr West, to judge from the visits I've been getting lately from a certain IP address using one of XO Communications' free wifi access networks and the usual idiotic comments that get deleted unread as spam.
     I'm thinking this completely different career trajectory is a response to getting shit-canned from King Solomon, which graciously allowed Chadwick to fail upward after he couldn't cut it as a content creator and was made an executive that essentially consisted of him screaming on the phone to elderly authors and extorting money from them to get their own rights back.
     Even though Jailbird Joe never told his so-called fan base about it, he never mentioned that sweet deal at Masada/King Solomon or his move to Israel (His profile on GoFundMe lists him in Ogden, Utah). I think maybe this time, actually mentioning that gig that he got 23 months ago would be an equivocation. Because leave it to Dickhead Dave Chadwick to fuck up the sweetest gig that he ever had handed to him in his privileged, right wing excuse of a life.
     So, are you listening, Vince McMahon? There's a new wrestler in town and all he needs is $14,852 more to realize his dream of maybe tag teaming with his other obsessive interest, Becky Lynch. He needs money for training, for theme music (Like this, for instance). After all, we've seen novelty wrestlers such as midgets. Why not open a division for mental flyweights?

Breaking News

     ...and Welcome Back to Gotham City ensures it stays broken.

     Looks as if Ben Carson might be having a yard sale of barely-used furniture. By now, you may have heard that our hoity toity HUD Secretary ordered over $31,500 of custom dining furniture as part of his office's renovation. Anything over $5000 for an official's office renovation requires Congressional approval. Carson claims to be completely surprised by this order to renovate his own office even though his wife Candy (Yes, her actual name is Candy) strong-armed an aide to find a way to circumvent the $5,000 spending limit. This apparently, was so excessive that Trey Gowdy, who recently announced he's not seeking re-election, found his inner fiscal hawk and sent Carson's soon-to-be renovated office a three page letter explaining the order. Trump's also pretty furious about it. You know, the guy who bankrupted the Secret Service within six months.

     Last week, you may heard about the son of Sun Myung Moon planning on holding a blessing ceremony for parishioners' AR-15s. Well, the stupid bastards went ahead and did it, and they terrorized the local community so much, the nearby school canceled classes for that day.
     Here's an actual shot of them during their blessing ceremony. I don't know, maybe it's me but does this remind anyone of something else that looks familiar?
     Yeah, that's it.
     Hey, at least these Moonies aren't religious fundamentalist extremists like those other guys, huh?

     Cue "Another One Bites the Dust". Today, Hope Hicks, who'd just testified that she'd told "little white lies" for Donald Trump before the House Intelligence Committee, became the 33rd administration official to leave or get fired in the 13 months of this reality shit show we're forced to call an administration. To put that into better perspective, that''s an average of nearly three departures a month and Hicks is the third Communications Director to leave or get fired, making that post the Star Trek red shirt of the US government. Apparently, Trump's former squeeze and wife beater Rob Porter's former squeeze and woman-abusing Corey Lewandowski'a former squeeze, was berated by Trump right after her testimony, calling her "stupid." Even for a woman who continually gets romantically involved with misogynists, this was too much for her.
     Yes, Trump called her stupid, the same stable genius who said we need to do something about women giving birth in their ninth month.

     By now, you no doubt have heard about Jared Kushner's security clearance downgrade. There are three major reasons for this: Russia, Russia and Russia. It also had something to do with four different nations (surprisingly, neither of the ones listed by the WaPo included Russia) that spoke about how to exploit Kushner partly because of his financial troubles and using that for leverage (Kind of like something out of a mob movie: "Do dis fer me an' th' slate'll be rubbed clean, capish?"). Another reason is Kushner lying on his SF86 form and the two subsequent revisions to it that gave him two more opportunities to come clean about over 100 contacts with Russian officials, including the now infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Don Jr, Kushner and Manafort with a Kremlin-linked lawyer and spy and a former KGB agent. And the biggest reason why Kushner had his clearance downgraded was because of the Mueller probe, which has Trump's son in law squarely in its cross hairs. Amazingly, despite lying about over 100 Russian contacts, some with very high-ranking officials and spies, this man still has a job at the White House.

     Gee, trickle down economics doesn't work... again! Who could've predicted that?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Arm the Teachers?

     Remember about a week or so ago when Donnie Dumbo got the brilliant idea (an NRA trope) to arm the nation's school teachers? Yeah, well, uh...
     That idea only works for 90's action film fans looking for semi-plausible scenarios of teachers and principals who go to school packing. And some teacher in Dalton High School just northeast of  Atlanta got it into his head today to whip out a gun and fire at least one shot, making his students take to the hallways in a blind panic. I'm sure Donnie Rambo will go rushing into Dalton High as soon as someone tells him it's safe and that he owns a golf course nearby.
     There are many reasons why arming teachers is a horrible idea. And as for the reasons to do so? Honestly, I can't think of one.
     What happened today in Dalton High is one reason. You can't just give carte blanche to all teachers to carry because, obviously, some of them aren't all there.
     Plus, having teachers packing, with their guns in plain sight, will be a distraction for the students. Imagine what would go through their minds, worrying if they'll get shot for giving the wrong answer or making a sudden move or being caught passing notes. Schools are supposed to be Switzerland, neutral safe zones for kids trying to get an education that will prepare them for college. They do not need to live and learn in fear of fellow students, random gunmen or their own instructors.
     If there is a shooting (and if this time the police actually have the balls to enter an active shooter situation), how will they be able to tell who are the good guys with guns and who are the bad guys with guns? (Especially if the bad guy, as in today's case, turns out to be a teacher?) Well, then you could easily be talking about what soldiers and cops heartlessly refer to as "collateral damage."
     Teachers aren't trained for tactical engagement and giving them a free gun lesson, as they're doing in Ohio, or handing out concealed carry permits to teachers in Pike County, KY is not going to make them eligible for Seal Team Six any time soon. Innocent kids could get shot not just by the actual perpetrator but even their own teachers. How we think we'll react to a tactical situation and how we do are two entirely different things even if we have experience in firearms usage.
     One of my Facebook friends wrote a lengthy post recently about her experience at Quantico. She's a crime novelist like me and she took advantage of what's known as F.A.T.S.- Firearms Training Simulator. It's open to civilians, obviously, and even those with experience and training in firearms generally embarrass themselves.
     Out of all the people at the simulator that day, my FB friend was the only one who scored 100%. The simulator is computer-generated, a more high tech version of the dueling range in Hogan's Alley at the FBI Training Academy at Quantico. The instructors can change the simulation on a dime, adding or subtracting virtual people at will. They give you a realistic-looking weapon that fires infrared beams, sort of like Lazer Tag.
     After running through her simulation, my friend overheard the instructors talking to some of the "firearms experts" after their own runs. She heard things such as:
     "You think you fired only six shots, sir? You fired 23."
     "Congratulations. You just killed one of our undercover agents and seven innocent civilians."
     And, in one horrifying exchange, she heard an instructor tell a woman that not only did she not hit anything she fired at, she aimed at and missed a building.
     These were self-described gun experts.
     Places like Butler County, Ohio and Pike County, Kentucky have long since fallen in with the NRA's ridiculous mantra of "More guns!" Such thinking is like claiming if you pour enough gallons of gasoline on a gas fire, eventually the liquid will extinguish the flames. Of course, the NRA will say anything to that effect as long as it leads to more guns being sold to the real people they represent: The gun and ammo manufacturers.
     Because passing out guns and bullets like Halloween candy is going to make law enforcement's job that much harder as they enter a highly emotional and chaotic active shooter scenario and may not be able to distinguish the good guys from the bad ones.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

No, We'll Talk Now

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
If Dana Loesch, who once had the wisdom to block me on Twitter, didn't get her tires slashed after the NRA Town Hall last week, then it was a miracle. As it was, it was a minor miracle the spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association even had the guts to show her face and answer pointed questions from the same high school students who'd survived the massacre at their school.
     The virtually non-existent gun control lobby finally had a face and a name in Emma Gonzalez and during the testy exchange at the Town Hall, Loesch looked as if she wanted to bite that face right off Gonzalez's skull. The sentiment was apparently shared.
     From his laughably diminished perch, Bill O'Reilly, of all people, asked if the media should be giving emotionally overwrought teenagers air time. Gun nuts and other conspiracy theorists are so desperate not to lose their firearms they've even yeasted up a fantastic story that the Parkland students were nothing more than paid crisis actors. The pro gun lobby has even taken to hating on the students who, unlike most of the NRA's 5,000,000 members, actually stared down the barrel of a semi automatic rifle and lived to tell the harrowing tale.
     Donald Trump, predictably, had the most bottomlessly despicable line when on Twitter, of course, he started by talking about the Parkland shooting then, within the space of 280 characters, somehow managed to turn the true subject of his tweet back to himself and Russia. (Check out his latest tweet from 1:54 this afternoon, which calls for armed teachers in a tweet that reads like a Craigslist ad written by a brain-damaged chimp).
     Yes, Donald fucking Trump, the Tangerine Shitgibbon, metaphorically stomped on the dead bodies of those 17 students while ragging on the FBI again. For added measure, after the obligatory photo ops were over, he also played golf at the Trump International Golf Club while the families began laying their children to rest just miles away.
     The conclusion that all sane American adults have reached is these kids are smarter, classier and more mature than the psychopaths we elect. By their very poise, maturity and presence, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students made their own case as to why we need to protect these children, our very future. It ought to be remembered that the high school that had been sullied and put in national headlines on Valentine's Day was named after a progressive activist.  Douglas, who passed away nearly 20 years ago at the remarkable age of 108, would've been so proud to hear these students who attend the school named after her.

Shut the Fuck Up and Listen
Not to downplay the horror of what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, but it's amazing that more horrendous school shootings hadn't had the catalytic effect that Parkland has had. 33 were killed at Virginia Tech over a decade ago. Sandy Hook saw 26 fatalities, including 20 first graders. Yet for some reason, Parkland was the tipping point where people, and the media, have had enough. This time, television networks such as CNN were smart enough to stick microphones in front of kids' faces and let them talk.
     And they did. Passionately. Eloquently. They were media darlings, good for ratings and great for shareholders, sure, but their message was finally getting out. And the kids were smart enough to keep the momentum going and not be content with their 15 minutes. And the more the kids talked, the more the adults listened. Impromptu interviews turned into a rally and a protest at the Florida state house in Tallahassee, also heavily televised, which in turn was rapidly succeeded by a nationally televised Town Hall that saw Dana Loesch and Marco Rubio have their feet put to the fire.
     And the more the adults listened, the more they closed their wallets or threatened to and then corporations began to listen and rapidly distanced themselves from contracts with the NRA. Again, as with the students and their newly minted status as ratings gold, these corporations are just protecting their bottom lines and that of their shareholders. But, at the end of the day, these companies are nonetheless doing the right thing.
     At this time, the exodus began with the First National Bank of Omaha, the largest privately-owned bank in the US, pulling their NRA Visa cards. Then followed Delta and United Airlines, then the Hertz, Avis and Enterprise car rental companies, Then insurance giant Chubb, Symantec, Wyndam and Best Western Hotels also backed out.
     Like Harvey Weinstein, it's a classic Domino Effect. Just as the Weinstein accusations multiplied and eventually claimed countless careers, reputations and businesses in the entertainment industry, so the Parkland shooting survivors are having a Domino Effect on a massive gun lobby that buys and sells Republicans as easily as guns at a Dallas gun show. As with Weinstein, who'd had his toxic way with women for decades with impunity, so the NRA's time has come and gone. Their only solution will be to roll with the punches and begin evolving.
     But if Wayne LaPierre's appearance at the toxic clown shit show known as CPAC and Dana Loesch's shocking performance at the Town Hall were any indications, it's safe to conclude that day, to say the least, will be very long in coming.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lucky 13

     Everything about this was predictable.
     It was predictable that, according to DC tradition, the news of Mueller's grand jury handing down indictments for 13 Russians would be dumped on Friday.
     It was predictable that Mueller's Justice League would find and present enough evidence to sway the grand jury to indict.
     It was predictable that Donald Trump's response would engage in more lies in rebuttal. The roar could be heard all the way from Air Force One 35,000 feet in the air as Trump headed for another weekend of golf in Mar-a-Lago, followed by the sounds of stubby little fingers typing on a cell phone.
     It was predictable that Trump would drag Hillary's name into it.
     It was also predictable that Trump would lash out against his own national security advisor, Gen. H.R. McMaster for his comments in Germany last Saturday about the indictments.
     And it was all too predictable, not to mention bottomlessly despicable, that later that same night Trump would use the deaths of the 17 Floridians in Parkland to blame the FBI for spending too much time investigating him over Russia.
     For the first time since his improbable "election", Donald Trump has to confront the reality that the Kremlin and not the love and adulation of the American people, that Russian dirty tricks and collusion got him in the Oval Office and not his personal charm and dashing good looks.
     Here's what the "failing" NY Times said right below the lede:
The Russians stole the identities of American citizens, posed as political activists and used the flash points of immigration, religion and race to manipulate a campaign in which those issues were already particularly divisive, prosecutors said.
      Agitprop, in other words.
     The indictment takes up 37 pages, essentially refuting everything Trump has said regarding Russia's role in meddling with our last election. Now, in the spirit of fairness, keep in mind the grand jury's indictment does not conclusively prove collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. But this is just another wave of charges in what will prove to be many. And keep in mind the truism that the FBI doesn't go after individuals: They go after organizations. And if anyone will sniff out that smoking gun, it's Robert Mueller.
     And Trump's assertion that the Russians began plotting to help him before he'd ever decided to run for the presidency is pure bullshit. He ran in 2012 and signaled for quite a few years before and after that he wanted to be president. And wow, how coincidental is it that the Russians launched their campaign two years before Trump launched his own, starting the very same year (2013) he went to Moscow to host the Miss Universe pageant? It makes far less sense that the Russians decided to help Trump before he'd declared his candidacy than it is to conclude that the Russians, starting with Putin, TOLD him to run, making him literally a Manchurian Candidate.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Russians Aren't Coming. They Done Came.

     When asked about Robert Mueller charging 13 Russians from the "Internet Research Agency" for meddling in the 2016 election, Trump said, "Нет! Никакого сговора! Поддельные новости!"
     Much more on this over the weekend. And what a way to kick it off.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre 2.0

     (If I'd known Tuesday night when I wrote yesterday's post that the very next day Nikolas Cruz would shoot up a high school in Parkland, Florida, I never would've used that title. As it is, somewhat using the same title is inevitable.)
     Well, we can't prove Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer but we do know the guy who shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is a Cruz. And he also trained with a White Nationalist militia group called the Republic of Florida (which seems curiously blase about his mass murder of 17 people).
     The 19 year-old, before he was expelled from the school he shot up, was also known to wear a Trump MAGA hat to class. Which, in the eyes of our Commander in Chief, makes him "a very fine person."
     Gov. Rick Scott (R-NRA) in 2014 signed into law five very NRA-friendly bills into law, including those that put that AR-15 into the hands of Cruz. After the Orlando nightclub shooting, he said that every time something like this happens, we want to have that talk and that we were going to have that talk very soon. That was 613 days ago and we're still waiting to have that talk.
     So far as of yesterday, according to the Gun Violence Archive, 2018 has seen:
     •6626 gun-related incidents
     •1,835 gun deaths
     •3,165 gun injuries
     •69 children shot or killed
     •347 teenagers shot or killed
     •181 incidents of defensive gun use
     •216 unintentional shootings
     •30 mass shootings
     •11 school shootings with injury or death
     ...and we're still barely halfway through February.
     The 10 Senators (almost all Republican) who have vacuumed up the most bribes from the NRA had collected $42,822,711, with no end in sight. That's enough to pay for 6117 full funerals with a $7000 average.
     The 10 Congressmen who had accepted the most bribe money from the NRA took in another $4,292,241, enough to pay for another 613 funerals, making a grand total of $47,114,952 just to 20 lawmakers. Imagine how much more the 515 other members of Congress have raked in during their "public service" careers.
     The original St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929 killed seven people, 10 fewer than Cruz, back in the good old days when thugs with guns showed some restraint.
     And still, America reels when weapons designed to kill human beings are once again used to kill human beings then we inevitably throw up our hands and say we can't do anything about civilian mass gun violence that occurs nowhere else in the world.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of Rational Thought

“Please get me up, my friends... No payrolls. No wells. No coupons. That would be entirely out. Pardon me; I forgot I am plaintiff and not defendant. Look out. Look out for him. Please. He owed me money; he owes everyone money.” - Last words of Dutch Schultz, 1935
(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Yes, I know it's Valentine's Day. My wife keeps having to remind me why everything in America turns pink starting the day after Christmas. But I'm a political writer. Deal. And I have something else to say that doesn't involve forced declarations of love through processed sugar and questionably aromatic, rotting vegetation.
     Aside from Donald Trump getting "elected" President of the United States, the 2016 general election should be remembered for one thing if nothing else: It was an extraordinary case of 127,000,000+ voters who were willing to overlook or be blind to the palpably obvious corruption and unsuitability of both major candidates. I hate to be the one to break it to you, folks but there is no either/or. We had, once again, forced upon us the choice between two elderly crime waves masquerading as humans.
     But for one brief shining moment, it looked as if we at least had a choice between an actual intelligent human being and a gibbering buffoon. That was the night of the first presidential debate between wedding buddies Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
     Aside from screaming about 400 pound guys on their beds hacking into the DNC's servers in a transparently pathetic attempt to deflect and distract attention away from the real culprits (i.e. the little bastard sons of Vlad Putin), Trump even used the first of the three presidential debates to give himself a pat on the back for being the powerful wealthy white man who racially profiled the President of the United States. Essentially, Trump was Sheriff Joe and the president a Hispanic motorist pulled over and asked to turn over proof of his citizenship and still not being believed.
     Because Trump is never wrong, even if he always is. Just as he's still right in calling for the death penalty of the Central Park Five 28 years ago after taking out $85,000 in full-page newspaper ads calling for their immediate execution (In kind of a mini pre-Facebook moment when the greed of the largest newspapers in New York City, in an attempt to look nonpartisan and disinterested, got the better of them despite the recklessness of the message.).
     You old farts 40 and older remember the Central Park Five, don't you? They also said they were innocent. For over a decade. Only, unlike Rob Portman and David Sorenson, the most beloved serial wife beaters who ever walked into the White House, they were. Take away the money, fine clothes and gilded trappings of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and you'd have an episode of COPS.
     You see, Dear Reader, the problem with Donald Trump isn't so much the presentation, which is adolescent on a good day: It's the fact that he's a true believer of his own bullshit. Like David Chadwick, Israel's most admired stalker and no-talent bum, earnestly believing he is "superior in every conceivable way" to the proprietor of this blog, Trump honestly and earnestly believes to this day that the Central Park Five should have been executed without even the benefit of due process. This results in his belief that all white men and conservatives deserve the benefit of the doubt while biracial Presidents free of personal scandal are lying about their birthplace even when such evidence to the contrary was released way back in 2013. White nationalists and neonazis are "very fine people" but all-around good guys like Colin Kaepernick are "sons of bitches" for kneeling during the anthem to protest black people getting killed by plainly racist cops.
     Birth certificates and DNA evidence be damned! I said it, I believe it, that settles it!
     And such delusion and an inability to admit to being at fault and to apologize for making rash statements gives us things such as Charlottesville, San Juan, outlandishly elaborate combovers that fall apart with a puff of wind and clownishly long ties that he still won't tie properly.

I am plaintiff and not defendant.
This attitude, and Trump's phantasmic grip on sanity, are why Trump's legal counsel are feverishly trying to negotiate with the Mueller team, which is in a very strong position and doesn't have to negotiate with anyone, not even the Oval Office: During this nine month-long ordeal of the Mueller investigation, Trump has been positioning himself as a victim and even a possible plaintiff, rather than a defendant in a very serious federal probe. Paul Manafort tried that and crashed and burned like the Hindenburg. His old boss personally released the Nunes Memo, which actually implicated the FBI moreso than it exonerated Trump.
     He still believes he won the popular vote (if one arbitrarily removes 3-5 million votes from illegal aliens), his inauguration crowd was the biggest on record, that he's accomplished more than any first year president, that the Dow was doing great until recently because of him, that 2017 being the safest year for air travel on record was because of him doing nothing about it, that he's a stable genius and that black people love him.
     As New York Magazine concluded last year- Trump's no liar: He's simply delusional and is not grounded in reality. His public and private statements sound like the incoherent ramblings of a dying Dutch Schultz after he was gunned down in 1935- They're a bunch of non sequiturs not even tenuously strung together with even a gossamer thread of thematic unity. Trump tells these falsehoods even in private when he doesn't have to.
     He still believes Obama was born in Kenya, that the Central Park Five are guilty, that he won the popular vote if you assume massive and unsubstantiated voter fraud, that Hillary conspired with the Russians to sell them 20% of our uranium and that it wasn't him on that Access Hollywood tape in which be bragged about sexually assaulting women.
     Perhaps now you'll understand why Trump's lawyers are hoping that he won't have to open his pie hole to Robert Mueller. It would be like opening Pandora's Box in a JPL wind tunnel. And the only thing that's scarier than Trump honestly believing these things is that 25% or more of his 2016 voters believe it. But no one's fact-checking them. And they will be left behind for us to deal with long after Trump's buried under the ash heap of history.
     Because if there's just one lasting legacy Trump will leave behind after this abomination of a presidency, it's this: He will be the first "president" who so completely convinced so many to hate the truth when it merely becomes inconvenient, to con so many tens of millions of people to jettison whatever tenuous notions they ever had about basic logic and cognitive thinking as long as doing so promises to piss off liberals. Like all great con men, Trump's indelible impact on America will be in his faithful singing his praises long after their pockets have been picked clean, in lovingly remembering when company's over that nice man in the nice suit who took their life savings for a Bible he never had or ever will have to sell.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Good Times at Gotham City, 2/12/18

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sturm und Drang

     (By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
"This memo totally vindicates 'Trump' in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!" - Donald Trump on Twitter, 2/3/18
Sturm und Drang. Colloquially translated from the German, it means "storm and stress." It was used to describe a late 18th century proto-Romantic literary movement in Germany. It was an emotional reaction to the constraints seemingly placed upon it by the Age of Reason and Enlightenment. It was, in essence, scenery chewing, with much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments with the objective intellect and cognitive functions taking a back seat.
     ...which is a perfect description of the current kabuki shit show at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from the start.
     The memo that Donald Trump referenced was, of course, the Nunes Memo, the political version of Capone's vault. When it was at last released by, of course, Donald Trump, James Comey asked on Twitter, "That's it?" Bill Maher called it a Facebook conspiracy theory post you'd briefly skim before hitting the unfriend button. It was essentially, a big let down that Trump's addled mind had somehow yeasted up into a huge conspiracy regarding the FBI's alleged partisan witch hunt that still, even were it true, doesn't equate with an official vindication of wrongdoing.
     The Mueller investigation is thought of as some shadowy animal, a blur of glacial movement in the distance, and this is largely because of the hermetic security of the probe. But perhaps we should think of it more like an octopus, a legal leviathan with at least five tentacles slowly but surely wrapping around this comically listing ship of state and relentlessly exerting its pressure. Because, as far as those of us on the outside looking in can see, the Mueller probe has at least five fronts.
Dirty Deeds Done Not so Dirt Cheap
Money laundering and pre-campaign business deals is one of the longest and thickest of the tentacles. This may have originated with suspicions of money laundering on the parts of Paul Manafort and his old running buddy Rick Gates, the first two Trump staffers to be indicted. Last October, Manafort was handed a list of charges longer than War and Peace. Among them: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, false statements to the FBI, acting as an unregistered agent as a foreign principal, making misleading statements in violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act and seven counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. That's an even dozen, in case you lost count. Among those bland-sounding charges are the millions Manafort had made partly lobbying for the Ukraine's then pro-Putin puppet government. And with Rick Gates having presumably agreed to a plea deal, that could lead to what's known as a "superceding indictment" that could actually add charges on to Manafort's already cracking plate. Then there are the financial documents magnanimously coughed up by Deutsche Bank (after they were subpeonaed by Mueller) could show Trump got a significant loan from the very German bank that had been stiffed by Trump to the tune of $300,000,000 at the same exact time Deutsche was caught money laundering Russian money funneled in from London then to New York.

Cozy and Fancy, the Careless Bears
Given Russia's national symbol of the bear, it was inevitable that two different Russian intelligence outposts would be named Cozy and Fancy Bear. To show how careless these idiots were, the Dutch intelligence service AIVD pinpointed Cozy Bear's den to a place near Red Square and even hacked into their cameras and got screengrabs of some of the operatives. The WSJ and the WaPo reported that at least six of the Cozy Bears were Russian intelligence operatives, nothing like Trump's 400 pound guy in a bed. They hacked not only into John Podesta's and the DNC's emails at about the time Trump invited them to but also into Republican servers. They were surely a conduit to the now-revealed evil entity Wikileaks to act to both discredit the Democrats and the DNC but doing so in the interests of helping Trump get elected.

Troll Farms
These Russian douchebags, probably the real 400 pound guys who piss and shit through holes cut into their computer chairs, couldn't have been predicted even by Orwell on his best day. If during the election you found yourself arguing on Twitter and Facebook with someone you thought was a deplorable redneck Trumper, you were in all likelihood actually going back and forth with a mindless bot or troll from Russia. I had gotten an email from Twitter a couple of months ago informing me I had interacted with one or more of them. It was entities such as these that put the phrase "troll farm" into the popular American lexicon. And they were well-financed, to judge by Facebook's own admission that one of them had paid Mark Zuckerberg $100,000 in rubles to put their propaganda on Facebook. Now, you might be wondering right about now why Mueller is investigating this and what it could possibly have to do with Trump and/or his administration. The answer's simple. Two words: Cambridge Analytica, the company of which Steve Bannon was an officer. Cambridge had coordinated with not only these Russian troll farms but had definitely contacted Julian Assaange's Wikileaks in order to have him disseminate Clinton's hacked emails that Trump had asked the Russians to hack.
     Oh, and Cambridge Analytica was also the Trump campaign's data arm as well as that for a pro-Trump Super PAC.

From Russia With Love of Trump
Of all the five tentacles, this one is the sexiest and gets my vote for the hottest anime tentacle rape. Or for those of you not into Japanese animated porn, think of this as a lightning-fast Sicilian Trap in a legal game of chess that seductively jiggles out the possibility of quickly establishing illegal collusive ties between Kremlin-linked Russian officials and Trump. One of the most damning pieces of evidence, obviously, is Donald Trump Jr's meeting with Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked attorney/spy. That now-infamous June 2016 30 minute meeting at Trump Tower, also attended by Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, as well as a former Russian intelligence agent, lured the stupid and gullible Trump Jr with vague promises of dirt on Hillary Clinton. When Junior finally realized in the dim recesses of his greasy, reptilian brain that there was no dirt and that all Veselnitskaya wanted to talk about were easing or eradicating Russian sanctions was the meeting terminated. Later, on Air Force One, after the scandal had broken 13 months later, Trump Sr. tried to provide cover for his namesake Fredo by dictating the now-official narrative that the meeting was really all about adopting Russian children.
     Last October, George Papadopoulos admitted to lying to the FBI about those same Russian contacts. As did Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his Senate confirmation hearings (those contacts, still denied by him to this day, are the reason why he had to recuse himself from any DOJ probes involving Russia which, in a sane world, would've mandated his immediate resignation). As did Michael Flynn, who lied about talking to the Russians about lifting sanctions to Mike Pence (the reason for his ouster). As did Kushner when applying for his security clearance and its two subsequent revisions. As did Donald Trump, Jr. As did... Oh, you get the hint. The entire Trump team is lying about their contacts with Russia. You do the math.

And Finally...
Drum roll, please...
     The Ed Armbrister Award winner hasn't been announced, yet, but Trump seems to be a shoe-in for his palpable attempts at obstruction of justice. This started about a year ago when Trump fired Acting AG Sally Yates while Jeff Sessions was busy before the Senate slapping his little forehead and vainly trying to remember meeting with the Russians during the campaign. Yates was terminated from her post immediately after her third trip to the White House to warn the Trump administration through White House Chief Counsel Don McGahn that Michael Flynn could be compromised by the Russians. Suspicion of obstruction was then ramped up to stratospheric levels when Trump rashly fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9th when he was just starting his own investigation into Trump. During a now well-known private dinner, Trump asked Comey to swear a loyalty oath and requested he lay off Flynn because he was "a good guy."
     As far as we know, this is the only tentacle that stretches directly into the Oval Office but it may be enough if it's proven obstruction was committed. To judge by the nothing burger that was the Nunes Memo, one cobbled and cherry-picked to discredit the FBI and making unsubstantiated charges of partisan influence, the same Nunes Memo that, again, Trump personally had released, then there is indeed a lot to hide and many reasons for this attempted distraction and deflection.
     These are just the known knowns, and they're damning enough as it is. Obviously, there's a lot that the 4th and 5th estates are not aware of and perhaps never will be. But if what we do know looks damning to Trump and his fascist junta, imagine how damaging the classified facts will prove to be.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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