Thursday, November 30, 2017

Madman




The New York Daily News has undertaken a new and spectacular effort that is designed to ensure that no one from the paper is invited to the White House for the annual Christmas party.  I believe this will work, but I remain skeptical.

There are probably some employees at the paper who are miffed that the editorial page has gone about this the wrong way. If invited, you politely decline by stating, "I'm sorry, I have other plans and they are more important to me." Then you arrange to have yourself photographed entering a laundromat with your roommate's dirty unmentionables in an overstuffed duffel bag with an Adidas logo on the side. "These things happen, and I'm just trying to help out because I had nothing better to do."

Other employees at the paper are savvy enough to know that the knuckle-dragging shitheels who serve Trump are probably going to be in the back licking all the finger food that will be laid out on the tables. The people working for Trump who aren't in the civil service look like the "spit on your burger" type. Who wants conjunctivitis or a viral infection from one of these pricks?

No, no one wants to go to the Christmas party.

I know it is very popular to scream profanity into the wind and extend both barrels of a middle-finger salute when the subject of Trump comes up. That's a version that makes people stare at you for a moment and hurry around the fracas. Not everyone is obsessed with politics. I don't know any of those people, either.

I would submit that, when the date was, oh, say, Summer of 2015, it was pretty much in evidence that Trump was a madman. I haven't seen anything happen in the last year that I wasn't aware of before this man was elected president. I saw enough in the previous two decades to know he was a charlatan and a fraud. I'm proud to say I never liked him, not one bit, and I've never watched his show. He has always represented charmless wealth to me. Who needs it?

Congratulations, New York Daily News. You can count yourselves among the lucky disinvited.


















 

 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Trump Still Believes in Birtherism




How much more of a racist can Trump be? Would you believe me if I told you that Trump still thinks President Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake? Of course you would because you've been paying attention for the last year:

President Donald Trump is still questioning the authenticity of former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate behind closed doors, according to a new reportfrom The New York Times. In addition to throwing doubt on the legitimacy of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, Trump has also, in recent months, reportedly revived the birtherism conspiracy theory that aided his rise to political prominence. The story cites an unnamed U.S. senator who “listened as the president revived his doubts about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.” Trump, he said, “has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States.” In September of last year, then-candidate Trump held a press conference to declare that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” before inventing a new lie that Hillary Clinton had “started the birther controversy” during her 2008 primary run against Obama.

You're doing a heckuva job, General Kelly.

The media should state, unequivocally, that Trump is racist every time they talk about him. When CNN talks about Trump, they should add the following caveat:

Trump, who has made numerous racist statements and is, in fact, a racist, said...

And that isn't even the half of it. What's worse than being racist? Trump is delusional. Trump is not of sound mind. Trump is so far out there, I'll bet they have to hang a bell on him so that he doesn't wander off in the middle of the night.

Whoever cursed us with this nightmare didn't know the half of it. There is no bottom. There is no floor, no end to the horror, no chance we've even heard the worst thing to come out of Trump's mouth as of yet. There's no where to go but on and on, endlessly, through the dark recesses of an addled mind so sickened and so twisted, it boggles the Goddamned mind. 

In any other era, Trump would have been removed from office without fuss or fanfare. We are so completely and utterly fucked. History will judge this man's enablers with a profoundly American fury.
















A Hiring Freeze Hurts Veterans




White House budget director Mick Mulvaney usurped power at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today and instituted a hiring freeze:

Mick Mulvaney said Monday that he is imposing a 30-day hiring freeze for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the AP reported. President Trump named Mulvaney, who is also the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the CFPB’s interim leader, though outgoing director Richard Cordray—an Obama appointee—had already picked Leandra English, the agency’s new deputy director, for the post. Mulvaney said Monday that his view that the CFPB is an example of “bureaucracy gone wrong” has not changed since his appointment. He also said he plans to implement new rules and run the bureau, which was created through the Dodd-Frank Law, differently than under the Obama administration.

This hurts everyone trying to secure a Federal job, and this includes Veterans:

President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze may hit veterans hardest. It's a primary source of civilian employment post-service because of its preferential hiring practices toward veterans. A third of federal workers are veterans.

Republicans hate governing, they hate actually having to do anything for Veterans, and they love to "starve" the Federal government of workers because of some sadistic need to "cut" things that don't need to be cut.

It's shameful.


















 

 

 

Monday, November 27, 2017

This is Why Trump Deserves No Courtesy or Respect




How on Earth do you send your press secretary out to defend remarks such as these?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders probably didn’t think she would have the spend the bulk of her first White House press conference after Thanksgiving weekend defending President Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” to refer to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) during an event honoring Native American veterans. But there she was Monday afternoon doing just that.

“You’re very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump told the group of Navajo code talkers. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.” (Actually, it’s mostly just Trump who calls her that.)

Today is an embarrassing day to be an American. Today is even especially embarrassing given that Trump was trying to honor veterans of World War II who, despite all of the discrimination they faced, still served this country with honor and distinction.

There are days when I just don't have the words anymore. Today is one of them.
















Sunday, November 26, 2017

Leandra English Files Suit Against Trump and Mulvaney




Even though this seems like a minor thing, it really isn't. It's a direct challenge to the power of Trump to ignore the law and use the Justice Department to intimidate the bureaucracy of the Federal government.

Leandra English is not fighting for her job. She's knows that she won't have a job, and she knows that the Republican-controlled Senate will hold hearings and confirm whoever Trump nominates to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. No one is delusional here. What English is fighting for is the rule of law in the age of Trump. If the Democratic Party does not take notice of this and support here, they are making a foolish mistake.
















Steve King is a Racist Prick




I actually think the voters who send Steve King to Congress each year are just as bad as he is, and proof that the people in flyover country aren't as noble as some would think:






"Defend Europa" is a white nationalist organization run by an individual who is an open Hitler supporter. Why a backwater Congressman would make common cause with European racist fucks is beyond my comprehension. You'd think that the voters in Iowa's 4th District would be more worried about the next farm bill, but, no, they're worried about white purity in Europe like the fucking scum they are.

The Trump era has enabled all sorts of horrible people to repeatedly reveal exactly what they believe and exactly what they are. When it's over, there's no walking any of this back.
















Trump Now Believes the Access Hollywood Tape is Not Authentic




So that thing that everyone heard Trump say? It's fake, according to the guy who actually said it and cannot bear to acknowledge it because of how awful it was.

Really, what are you going to add to this? The President of the United States of America is nuts.

 






 ¯_(ツ)_/¯
















Saturday, November 25, 2017

Robert Mueller Has Seen Trump's Tax Returns




I think that, from now on, the FBI should see the tax returns of everyone who runs for President, no exceptions.

This is a bullshit story on the efforts undertaken by the Internal Revenue Service to spend good money on a super-secret vault to protect the tax returns of the various VIPs who enter their system. Really, it's meaningless--who is going to use that information to harm a president or a former president? They are protected by numerous laws already. Anyone who tries will be subjected to intense legal pressure and there's nothing wrong with that. We accept that a president will be protected from harm if someone tries to take advantage of them. But their tax returns are no more important than yours or mine. The IRS should work on behalf of all Americans and it should understand that transparency is in the public's interest.

Enhancing the agency's security is really a head fake. It's not to keep anyone out. It's to keep those who are "in" the agency from leaking Trump's returns. Someone somewhere has a strategy at work here. The returns will be presented when someone like, I don't know, perhaps Robert Mueller goes to a Grand Jury and indicts the president. That's what I think is probably going on right now. A court order has already released Trump's full returns, probably going back forty years, to someone working for Mueller. Talk about a fun read.

All Americans should care about this because, once Trump got away with it, he made it so no one has to release their returns ever again (unless they're a Democrat). What is important is being able to see who pays the president and how much they are making. We have now virtually normalized the idea that a president should not be subjected to even the most basic forms of public disclosure when it comes to financial ethics. Wading through the paperwork that Trump's campaign filed was like a goldmine of insanity--they had to return millions of dollars in contributions because people tried to give him too much cash. 

Here's what I'll guarantee you--this won't be an issue until someone wealthy who makes the mistake of self-identifying as a Democrat runs for president. Then, and only then, will the tax returns be an issue. You'll see a parade of Republican members of Congress screaming for those returns. It will look like a late Sunday afternoon at the buffet line when they run out of lobster tails and charred steak. Nothing makes old, white men howl like an empty tray under a sneeze guard after they've paid their seven bucks.

If a presidential candidate won't release their tax returns, neither party should nominate them. If they run and win the presidency, the Congress should vote immediately to make their tax returns available for review. At a bare minimum, the FBI should review the returns and ensure that the president is not dependent on foreign money.

Of all of the ridiculous things we have endured over the past year, this one takes the cake for me. Of course we need to see Trump's tax returns. We should have seen them before Christmas of 2015.

Think of the horrors we could have avoided.
















This is Why Republicans Cannot Govern




Republicans don't care about any of the laws that thwart them when they want to establish dominance and control over Federal agencies that look out for the American people:

President Donald Trump named an interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shortly after the outgoing director appointed his own successor, signaling a potential showdown over who's in charge of the federal watchdog agency.

Trump named Mick Mulvaney, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, as interim director of the consumer watchdog agency.

"Director Mulvaney will serve as acting director until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed," the White House said in a statement Friday. 

But hours before, the consumer agency's outgoing director, Richard Cordray, had sent a letter to Trump, declaring he was officially done leading the agency once the clock struck midnight.

Cordray named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as deputy director, which essentially establishes her as the bureau's acting director.

And that should be that, right? The law says that the appointed head of the agency can pick a temporary successor until the president nominates a person for the job. The separation of powers gives the U.S. Senate the responsibility of reviewing that person's qualifications for the job. But, no, we're living in the age of Trump.

The law means nothing. These assholes cannot govern. Everyone knows it.

This is an agency that looks out for the American people, and so the Republicans want to destroy it. I mean, how can you not admire a Federal Agency that puts money into people's pockets like this:

Securing Almost $12 Billion in Consumer Relief

The CFPB helped over 29 million individual consumers receive $11.8 billion dollars in due relief, while responding to over 1 million consumer complaints since openings its doors.[2]

Through enforcement action alone, the CFPB reduced $7.7 billion in consumer debts while winning $3.7 billion in compensation for consumers.[3]

Nearly 50 million households have benefited from new CFPB mortgage servicing protections that protect consumers from surprise costs and terms when repaying their mortgage, and offer additional protection if a borrower falls behind on their mortgage payment.[4]

More recently, the CFPB, partnering with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, uncovered deceptive banking practices at Wells Fargo Bank defrauding millions of customers.[5]  Enforcement action by the CFPB forced Wells Fargo to pay full refunds to consumers harmed by illegal practices and to pay a $100 million penalty for their wanton behavior.

Protecting Service Members from Predatory Practices

The CFPB’s enforcement actions provided $130 million in due compensation to service members, veterans, and their families that were harmed by illegal private sector predatory practices.[6]

In collaboration with the Department of Defense (DOD), the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the CFPB visited more than 145 military installations, handling over 71,000 consumer complaints from service members and their families,[7] and advised DOD on better rules to protect service members from financial exploitation.[8]

Saving Consumers $16 Billion in Undisclosed Credit Card Fees

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, now under CFPB jurisdiction, reined in the usurious late fees charged on credit cards, limited predatory practices targeting young consumers on college campuses, curtailed sharp interest rate hikes, increased access to consumer credit, and made credit card costs more transparent, saving consumers more than $16 billion in undisclosed fees.[9]

The number of new consumer credit cards increased steadily since implementation and enforcement of the CARD Act to 6.5 million new credit cards and $37.5 billion in available credit in July of 2016.[10]

In collaboration with private industry, the CFPB made it easier for stay-at-home spouses to gain access to credit cards by allowing them to use total household income in their applications for new accounts or higher credit limits.  This has helped more than 16 million married individuals who do not work outside the home access necessary credit.

Not enough people voted in 2016 to prevent this from happening, and what we have now is a banana republic, so that's that. This is the 'freedom' the Republicans want to bring to the American people--the freedom to be ripped off, turned out into the cold, and abandoned to the wolves. I'm surprised Trump hasn't written an Executive Order dismantling the CFPB already. Maybe he has, and lost the crayon he uses to sign these things--who knows?

I find it hard to care. The Democratic Party is all too eager to throw itself under the bus and revisit the debacle of nominating Bernie Sanders for president. I am of the opinion that we should be done with anyone who ran in 2016 and we should look for new ideas, new voices, and someone to lead the party against Trump. No more retreads, no more apathy. Vote, Goddammit. Vote for someone who can do the job of governing.
















Friday, November 24, 2017

Ivanka vs Tillerson




Rex Tillerson is actively daring Trump to fire him now:

Days ahead of what should be a major moment for Ivanka Trump on the world stage, CNN has learned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson isn't sending a high-level delegation to support her amid reports of tensions between Tillerson and the White House.

Multiple State Department officials, as well as a source close to the White House, have told CNN Tillerson's decision not to send senior State Department officials to this year's Global Entrepreneurship Summit, being held in India next week, is not related to his key project of slashing the Department's budget, and is more to do with the fact Ivanka Trump is leading the US delegation this year. Trump was invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, and this year's theme is supporting women entrepreneurs.

The State Department puts on the large yearly event, which Secretary of State John Kerry and even President Obama attended multiple times. But this year, according to one senior State Department official: "No one higher than the deputy assistant secretary is allowed to participate. The secretary and his top staff have insisted on approving all travel-- even the most minute details."

It's an unprofessional and spiteful act of gross incompetence, of course. Who benefits if the U.S. and India have poor relations? Russia, of course. Are we even certain Tillerson has a "senior team" in place? From what I've been reading, there are a handful of people around him that know what is going on. The rest are pounding sand.

If a State Department run by a Democrat acted this way, there would be hearings on the Hill and condemnations all around. Nowadays, this is just a Friday news dump item no one in Congress will act upon, ever.

For Tillerson to actively seek out Ivanka Trump's withering gaze of disapproval means he's ready to go home. The damage to the State Department has been done, and his Kremlin paymasters have to be very pleased with his work, indeed.
















Thursday, November 23, 2017

Michael Flynn Has Already Turned Against Trump




The timing of this revelation couldn't be better:

The legal team representing former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn has notified President Donald Trump’s own lawyers that they will no longer discuss the investigation currently being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, the New York Times reports. The end of Flynn’s legal cooperation with the president’s team indicates that Flynn may be cooperating with prosecutors, or negotiating doing so. Flynn’s defense team had been sharing information related to the investigations with Trump’s lawyers, but recently terminated the agreement. Mueller has been tasked with leading a broadening investigation into Russian interference with the U.S. presidential election in 2016, and examining allegations of collusion between the Russian government and Trump’s campaign and allies.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Whoever is sitting around the table with Trump right now is in for some stinkeye and reproach.
















Trump is Now Responsible for the War on Terror




This is a very, very important development in the war on terror, if only because Trump has now taken ownership of the strategy and the outcome by talking about how the military is "really winning."

Disloyal and dishonest generals like McMaster and Kelly and Mattis can no longer scapegoat Obama's national security team. They have been given free rein to wage war with minimal civilian control of the military. This has led to indiscriminate bombing and a foolish escalation of the war on terror into Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We should not have any footprint in Africa. We are ignoring Venezuela and the wars of the Mexican drug cartels. We have no business abandoning our NATO commitments. I wish Obama had told the generals in 2009 that their war was over and I wish he had brought the troops and the drones home for good.

Ongoing operational successes do not add up to victory; in Afghanistan, in particular, this is no "winning" because controlling territory is a seasonal reality. The Taliban have a near-permanent foothold in the areas it is interested in controlling. They can launch attacks into other areas whenever they want. There is an Afghan government only because the U.S. military is still in the country propping them up. If we were to remove our forces, the Taliban would fight the government until it won what it wanted to win. To say that Afghanistan has been "turned around" in three to five months without understanding what that means indicates that someone has been blowing a massive amount of sunshine up Trump's ample rear end.

The Syrians and the Russians are fighting ISIS, too. Does anyone really think Assad does not have total control over enough of his country to hold on to power indefinitely? The only person missing from Assad's embrace of Putin is Trump. If that's winning, then what the hell does defeat look like?

When we hit late January of 2018, the full effect of a year of Trumpism will be evident. Blaming Obama for not letting the troops "win" reminds me of that line in the old Rambo sequel. 

"Sir, do we get to win this time?"

Trump makes his own reality and lives out his own myths. Meanwhile, Americans are dying and if there's an overall strategy that doesn't involve doing whatever it takes to flatter Trump, I have no idea what it is.
















Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Joe Barton and a Curious Disclaimer




Pink pudding bag Joe Barton is a Republican who represents Texas in Congress. Today, the shit hit the fan:

 Ennis Rep. Joe Barton is apologizing Wednesday for a sexually explicit photo now circulating online, but doesn't plan to resign. 






In a statement released to The Dallas Morning News, the longtime Republican said the image -- which first surfaced on social media earlier this week -- was taken while separated from his former wife in recent years.

After scrubbing my eyeballs with bleach, the thing I want to focus on here is a very, very curious disclaimer in his statement:

"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," Barton, who is twice-divorced, said in the statement. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down."

That's nice. But, why do you emphasize that you had sex with "mature adult women?" Shouldn't we already assume you've had sex with mature adult women (and mature adult men would be fine, too)? Why do you need to add that fact to your statement?

Is there a current situation where a Republican has had sex with anything but a "mature adult woman?

My take on this is that Barton should keep his job (SEE BELOW). This isn't anyone's business. I'm just curious as to why he said what said. It's like there's something going on, right?

UPDATE: If true, this changes the entire size and scope of this scandal:

The Twitter user who posted the naked shot and graphic text claims to also have several videos of Barton masturbating -- and tagged the Twitter accounts of President Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. It's unclear if the tweeter is the woman to whom Barton admits sending the photos -- but the person claims he/she is being "harassed" by Barton.

This is not simply a matter between consenting adults. This has moved into the realm of harassment.
















Gary Cohn Totally Did This




It is conventional wisdom that the Trump Regime is a complete and utter fiasco. Anyone who doesn't believe this story is a fool:

A senator's claim that the White House's chief economic adviser faked a bad connection to get President Donald Trump off the phone during a long call drew immediate pushback Wednesday from the White House and multiple people in the room.

Sen. Tom Carper made the claim Wednesday morning during an interview with CNN that chief economic adviser Gary Cohn abruptly ended a conversation about tax reform that the President had called into while he was traveling in Asia earlier in November.

The Delaware Democrat said that he had been meeting with Cohn, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short and other members of the Trump administration, as well as moderate Democrats, when the President called in from his Asia trip. 

Carper noted that it was "nice of him" to call, but claimed that "15 minutes later, the President (was) still talking."

    "I said, 'Gary, why don't you do this, just take the phone from, you know, your cell phone back and just say, 'Mr. President, you're brilliant, but we're losing contact, and I think we're going to lose you now, so good-bye,' " the lawmaker recounted on "CNN Newsroom" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman.

    Democrats should do whatever it takes to continue driving wedges between Trump and his own cabinet. What better way to ensure that invoking the 25th Amendment will actually happen?

    How much do you want to bet that Senator Carper has proof that this was what Cohn really did to Trump?
















    Tuesday, November 21, 2017

    Trump Supports Nationally Recognized Child Molester




    When it comes to child molesting Senate candidates, Trump is okay with them as long as they deny they did anything wrong:

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended embattled Alabama Republican Roy Moore, all but endorsing the Senate candidate who has been accused of sexual assault.

    "He denies it. Look, he denies it," Trump said of Moore. "If you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours. He totally denies it. He says it didn't happen. And look, you have to look at him also."

    Several women have come forward and accused Moore of pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, and several others also have accused him of assault.

    If you take a knee before a football game, you're a son of a bitch. If you molest some kids, you're okay by Trump as long as you deny it. That's the new standard now. This is how American democracy works, and there's nothing you can do about it because Trump believes Roy Moore.

    There are, literally, no standards anymore when it comes to public life.
















    Rex Tillerson is a National Embarrassment




    The Secretary of State of the United States of America has a lot of important roles to play when it comes to protecting the vital interests of this country. One of the easiest roles is that of "decent human being" and our allies and partners all over the world count on us to take that responsibility seriously.

    In the case of Rex Tillerson, nope. We are soiled and humiliated with this man running the State Department. We are unprotected and left wanting. We, as a nation, should be overwhelmed with shame at the very idea that this man is in charge of American diplomacy.

    There is a laundry list of experience and expertise cited above. Going against those people is going to hurt America deeply, and I hope that those individuals understand the necessity to resist all forms of Trumpism and everything that it stands for.
















    Sunday, November 19, 2017

    Ken Starr Was Wrong About Everything




    Professional dipshit Ross Douthat was allowed to publish this in the New York Times because it is the paper of record when it comes to recycling hit stories about the Clintons:

    The sexual misconduct was the heart of things, but everything connected to Clinton’s priapism was bad: the use of the perks of office to procure women, willing and unwilling; the frequent use of that same power to buy silence and bully victims; and yes, the brazen public lies and perjury.

    Something like Troopergate, for instance, in which Arkansas state troopers claimed to have served as Clinton’s panderers and been offered jobs to buy their silence, is often recalled as just a right-wing hit job. But if you read The Los Angeles Times’s reporting on the allegations (which included phone records confirming the troopers’ account of a mistress Clinton was seeing during his presidential transition) and Stephanopoulos’s portrayal of Clinton’s behavior in the White House when the story broke, the story seems like it was probably mostly true.

    I have less confidence about what was real in the miasma of Whitewater. But with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, we know what happened: A president being sued for sexual harassment tried to buy off a mistress-turned-potential-witness with White House favors, and then committed perjury serious enough to merit disbarment. Which also brought forward a compelling allegation from Juanita Broaddrick that the president had raped her.

    The longer I spent with these old stories, the more I came back to a question: If exploiting a willing intern is a serious enough abuse of power to warrant resignation, why is obstructing justice in a sexual harassment case not serious enough to warrant impeachment? Especially when the behavior is part of a longstanding pattern that also may extend to rape? Would any feminist today hesitate to take a similar opportunity to remove a predatory studio head or C.E.O.?

    The longer one spends with these stories, the more often one finds them connected to massive injections of right wing nonsense. They run the gamut from the absurd to the sickening and come back around again for more. There is no 'there' there and there never was. They are endlessly repeated innuendoes and lies that exist because, in the 1990s, the working media did not do its job. The only reason why you know who the likes of Ann Coulter, Kellyanne Conway, and Bill Kristol are is because they traded in the wing nut welfare that spread lies about the Clintons on dozens of news outlets, non-stop, for years. We are still seeing the effects of that today.

    Rehabilitating the reputation of Ken Starr isn't going to work, either. Once his work was done, and once he ended up at Baylor University, the real Ken Starr was revealed. He is incompetent. He has no ethics. He has questionable command over facts and procedure. And he had no reservations about tolerating sexual improprieties as long as they were carried out by football players instead of Democrats.

    It is shocking enough to see the media try to resuscitate the long-dead stories about Bill Clinton, all of which were debunked almost as soon as they bubbled up from someone's fevered imagination. Stories that were made up twenty-five years ago by jackasses live and breathe today because outlets like the New York Times have never reconciled their own complicity in the destruction of decent people.

    The scandal is not that Bill Clinton got a blowjob. The scandal is that people still believe every single easily-debunked lie should be recycled again and again in order to keep Democrats from saving what's left of the social safety net.















    Saturday, November 18, 2017

    A Russian Billionaire Arrives Just in Time for the Holidays




    Another example of everyday life in these horrible times:

    The 533-foot Eclipse, valued at $400 million to $500 million, comes equipped with a pool, helipad, submarine and room for a crew of 92, according to marine websites. It made its way past The Bahamas and docked at 1:15 p.m, taking the slip normally reserved for the Grand Celebration, a cruise ship currently on hurricane-relief duty in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

    Originally booked to stay through Dec. 5, the Eclipse may have to leave Dec. 1, as it is being followed by the 644-foot World, billed as “the largest private residential ship on the planet,” which is scheduled to arrive that day.

    Where will the Eclipse go?

    According to the MarineTraffic app, she plans to head south on the Intracoastal Waterway, toward downtown West Palm Beach.

    Note to Transportation Security Administration: That would put a Russian submarine within a mile or so of the winter White House.

    Forbes lists [Roman] Abramovich’s net worth at $9.5 billion, the world’s 139th-richest person, with major holdings in steel, nickel and oil companies, as well as Britain’s Chelsea soccer team.

    The people who own this country are here to take a look around. I think this one is here to remind Trump who he really works for. 
















    Friday, November 17, 2017

    Only the Best People Are Getting Hired




    This is the sort of thing that doesn't even register during the Trump Regime:

    Rev. Jamie Johnson resigned Thursday as the head of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security after a CNN KFile report revealed inflammatory past comments he made about the black community and Islam.

    In past radio appearances, Johnson had said the black community was responsible for turning major US cities into "slums" and argued that Islam's only contribution to society was "oil and dead bodies."

    This would be a page one story if the president were a Democrat. Instead, we live with chaos and permanent fiasco. I would be willing to bet you that, when they compile a list of major scandals and embarrassments for Trump, this incident doesn't even qualify.















    Thursday, November 16, 2017

    Sucking in the Seventies, Again




    As we try to sift through the horrible reality of what Senator Al Franken did, I want to acknowledge that he has, at least, delivered an adequate apology that has been accepted by the woman that he victimized. There is no shortage of condemnation for his actions. In the short term, people are going to try and savage Leeann Tweeden and find a way to exonerate Franken. In the long term, the voters in Minnesota will decide his fate. My guess is that he won't seek re-election, but who knows?

    If you want to understand the thing that brought us here, allow me the casual and unfair overgeneralization of "Baby Boomer" comedy as being nasty as hell and inappropriate in the 2010s. Bear with me here. I want to shift the discussion away from the very legitimate complaints of the victim and talk about the culture that created a situation where this used to be acceptable. What would have been considered funny forty years ago isn't that funny anymore, is what I'm trying to point out.

    Franken's comedy is rooted in the 1970s and New York City. He sort of fell into the greatest comedy writing job anyone has ever had. He wrote for the greats on Saturday Night Live. He created a persona that allowed him to have a 15 year run on that show, and it also gave him the chance to make movies and have a career and a life. Successful, yes, but how did he get there?

    SNL delivered sexist, racist, and disgusting forms of comedy. It was where Richard Prior delivered the line "Dead Honky" after hearing a white man utter the 'N' word. It was where Dan Aykroyd bled out as Julia Child. This was the era of "Jane, you ignorant slut." The women who performed on that show were every bit as good as the men but were treated horribly, onstage and backstage. The women who wrote for the show suffered cruel indignities. When people weren't on drugs, they were doing vicious things to one another. This was the show that situated itself at the pinnacle of what was hip, delivering a counterculture message to people who were sick of their parents bullshit.

    Franken was part of the staff that wrote those sketches and used that need to shock  people to great effect. I happen to believe that this was good on many levels because it forced people to confront their own ideas about what was right and wrong. If you can recognize it in the culture, you can spot it in your regular life. If someone uses their art to get you to think, it's up to you to figure out right from wrong. Unfortunately, this Baby Boomer take on things persisted well into the 2000s. Look at the backlash happening right now against the Apu character on the Simpsons. Look at how people react to the comedy of that era. I think in this case, you also have to conclude that Franken's comedy didn't evolve much.

    The Al Franken you see pretending to grope Leeann Tweeden is still a child of the 1970s in that moment. He's playing to the camera and he's not copping a feel. It's the Al who wants to shock, to push the envelope, and to be naughty in public. Never mind the fact that, in real life, Al wouldn't grope a woman in a public setting (yell at me when someone comes forward, please). Never mind the fact that he was groping a bulletproof vest. It was an immature act committed by a man old enough to know better. That's where the disappointment comes from.

    Here's a great illustration of what that Baby Boomer mentality can deliver:

    That bad patch was the result of a spate of blog posts disseminated by Franken’s Republican opponent in the 2008 election, Norm Coleman. They focused on two incidents from Franken’s comedic past. The first was a 2000 humor piece commissioned by Playboy, in which Franken recounts a (fictional) visit to a “think tank” specializing in pornographic virtual reality. The second was a 1995 story in New York about SNL, in which, during a late-night brainstorming session, Franken is described pitching an ending to a sketch about 60 Minutes humorist Andy Rooney that would have Rooney running amok on drugs and raping co-host Lesley Stahl in a closet. “Understand,” Franken writes, “that I was not intending for this extremely dark joke to be aired on American television. It was a joke ‘for the room’ suggesting a direction for the turn”—that is, toward the extreme. But few things are harder to explain to outsiders than “the culture of a comedy rewrite table at two in the morning.” (The final version of the sketch had Rooney sedating Mike Wallace and photographing him nude.)

    In Giant of the Senate, Franken includes the many drafts of the statement he made about this controversy at his state party convention. “All campaign long,” he writes, “I’d avoided apologizing for things I’d said or written because it felt like doing so would mean apologizing for everything I’d done over 40 years in comedy. ... To say I was sorry for writing a joke was to sell out my career, to sell out who I’d been my entire life.” Ultimately, he and his staff came up with an apology that didn’t quite repudiate his past. (“It kills me that things I said and wrote sent a message to some of my friends in this room and people in this state that they can’t count on me to be a champion for women ...”) But it’s notable that this crisis hinged not on anything Franken ever did or claimed to do, or even on anything Franken said or wrote in earnest. It was a fight about comedy, specifically satire, and its peculiar, unstable relationship to reality.

    Satire always has some grounding in the truth—otherwise, it wouldn’t be satire. A Modest Proposal works not because Jonathan Swift believed it was a good idea to turn Irish babies into dinners; it works because readers believed that Ireland’s British rulers just might be heartless enough to entertain the idea themselves. But every satire ever produced has been taken seriously by someone. Often that’s because some reader is too unsophisticated or literal-minded to spot the giveaways. (On the internet, this is known as Poe’s law.) But in Franken’s case, opponents who knew he was kidding deliberately presented his comedic writings as serious; in Giant of the Senate he refers to this move as running things through “the DeHumorizer™,” something his staff has learned to do pre-emptively to all his public statements because “even after all this, my instinct is still to at least try and go for the joke.”

    When Al decided he was going to be a serious person, his past came back to haunt him. The struggle was real. He knew that he was responsible for comedy that violated a lot of norms in our society, and he knew that he was going to be called to account for it, fairly or not. 

    I don't care about Leeann Tweeden's politics. I think she has a right to be angry ten years later. Her delivery of this "gift" to the culture should be appreciated for what it is--a chance to remind people that a lot of awful things have been done to women in the guise of comedy or satire and we need to take ownership of that, whether we were entertained by it or whether we created it as a culture. I also agree with her--Al Franken should not lose his Senate seat over this. But, even if he does, there are many, many capable people in the State of Minnesota who can do that job. Trust me, it's a deep bench.

    The correct thing to attack is the idea that sexist, degrading humor similar to what we saw in the 1970s should be dismissed as harmless. Clearly it wasn't then and it isn't now. Franken has carried that mentality well into the modern era. He never left it behind, and it continues to work against him as he tries to be a capable, responsible member of the United States Senate. When the worm turned for him today, you saw a man evolve before your eyes. 

    Upon him is cast the envious eye of every Republican who still thinks it's okay to grope women. Al's ride in the barrel isn't over yet, but maybe we should try to understand why it was hip to enjoy that kind of humor in the first place before we celebrate anything. 















    Fox Should Replace Hannity With Chris Hansen




    How much longer will Fox News put up with this jackass?

    Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity ultimately said Wednesday he couldn't be the judge of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

    It was an odd conclusion to a televised ultimatum. Hannity, whose words carry weight among conservatives because of his large nightly audience, had given Moore 24 hours to explain "inconsistencies" in his response to allegations of child molestation or quit the Alabama race.

    Hannity read a letter from Moore, who said he never dated "underage girls." Moore questioned whether a 1977 yearbook inscription written by him to a girl who accused him of sexual assault was a forgery.

    The Fox host didn't say whether he found those answers convincing.

    "The people of Alabama deserve to have a fair choice," he said. "I'm very confident that when everything comes out, they will make the best decision for their state. It shouldn't be decided by me, by people on television, by Mitch McConnell."

    It was an anticlimactic ending to a self-generated television drama. Hannity played out the string, waiting until the end of his one-hour show to discuss Moore's response.

    You can't escape the avalanche of bad news coming out of Alabama, and everyone clinging to the mast of Moore's sinking ship has that look of desperation and panic common to anyone who's ever walked into a house and found Chris Hansen instead of a teenaged girl.






    I think someone should seriously consider asking Hansen to reprise his role so we can get to the bottom of what's happening in the GOP. All he has to do is see how many times Roy Moore shows up at a split level house in the 'burbs with three hundred bucks, two condoms, a jar of lube and that sexy cowboy hat he's been wearing on the campaign trail. 

    If Hansen only catches him three times between now and the election, maybe Hannity can claim it was entrapment or a mistake or a situation where Moore got lost looking for a Jesus meeting or something.

    Honestly, though--Hansen is a much better broadcaster than Hannity. He can travel the country, making up stories, catching predators, filming himself having affairs with women, and your average Fox viewer won't be able to tell the difference between what they're getting now and what they could get with Hansen.

    Mr. Hansen, please get in touch with Fox News. Our creeped-out nation turns it's lonely eyes to you...















    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    Juli Briskman Deserves Every Penny




    There is some justice in this world:

    On October 29th, Juli Briskman was photographed giving the middle finger to President Donald Trump's motorcade during a weekend bike ride in Virginia.

    The photo quickly went viral. The Monday after the photo was taken, Briskman told her employer, government contractor Akima, that she was the cyclist pictured. The next day, she was fired. Akima said she was in violation of the company's social media policy because she had used the photo on her Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    The mother of two does not regret her decision — as she told HuffPost"In some ways, I'm doing better than ever" — but financially, Briskman must deal with the reality of being unemployed.

    Enter Rob Mello, of Hudson, Massachusetts. Mello created a GoFundMe campaign to support Briskman and her family, reports the New York Post

    As of today, the campaign has raised over $100,000 from over 4,000 donors and has been shared more than 10,000 times.

    What Miss Briskman would probably prefer is her right to free speech and a job, and those things are what she deserves as well. We should all resist the tyranny of small-handed men wherever possible.















    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    Roy Moore is Into Leather




    Here are some of the things Roy Moore likes:

    1. Leather vests
    2. Young girls
    3. Small Guns
    4. Cowboy hats
    5. The Ten Commandments

    Here's something Roy Moore does not like:

    Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore says he's being hounded by the news media over sexual allegations against him, while briefly addressing the controversy Tuesday night. 

    "Why do you think they're giving me this trouble? Why do you think I'm being harassed by media and by people pushing allegations in the last 28 days of the election? ... After 40-something years of fighting this battle, I'm now facing allegations and that's all the press wants to talk about," Moore said while speaking at a church conference in Jackson, Alabama.

    Moore, an evangelical Christian who was twice ousted as Alabama's chief justice, suggested he's being attacked for his hardline views on faith in public life as part of an ongoing "spiritual battle."

    "But I want to talk about the issues," he added. "I want to talk about where this country's going, and if we don't come back to God, we're not going anywhere."

      Multiple women have said that Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers while he was in his 30s. One woman said she was 14 years old when Moore initiated sexual contact with her. And on Monday, a separate Alabama woman alleged Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, and described her experience at a news conference, represented by attorney Gloria Allred.

      Honestly, was God with Roy Moore when he was kicked out of that mall for harassing young girls? Was Roy Moore out there riding around with God when he was sexually assaulting young girls or was God busy with other things?

      This is the level of sickness we are now dealing with thanks to this man:

      A powerful lawyer in Birmingham who knows Moore and asked not to be named was also inclined to vote Republican, despite the Post’s report. “This does not seem consistent with his character, O.K.? If what the youngest of them says was true, it was pretty horrible and he shouldn’t be senator,” he said. “But I question the accuracy of it.” He went on, “For a thirty-year-old man to ask out an eighteen-year-old girl to have a Coke, to me, is maybe improper. I don’t like it. But I’m not sure that’s pursuing an immoral relationship. A lot of us have dated younger women. And, remember, we’re talking about Gadsden, Alabama.” He predicted that other Alabamians would have a similar response to the allegations. “The Washington Post isn’t the most authoritative source in Alabama,” the lawyer said, “especially not in Coleman, or Gadsden, or Opp. I could be proven wrong. I thought Nixon was a good guy until I heard the tapes. But, right now, it doesn’t change my vote. I’ll vote Republican.”

      OK, asshole. He was 32. She was 14. Get your numbers straight. Look how he blows past sexual assault and attempted rape and ignores the fact that the local cops were all on the lookout for Moore whenever there were teenaged girls congregated in one place.

      And then he blurts out "a lot of us have dated younger women."

      Really? Well, do go on, sir.















      Jeff Sessions Just Stepped Into a Trap




      It certainly seems like we will have a new Attorney General before the year is out, doesn't it?

      President Donald Trump's repeated public comments attacking the Justice Department have not influenced the department or ongoing investigations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday during a contentious House judiciary committee hearing.

      Sessions said although his Justice Department will consider investigations into Hillary Clinton, he could not say whether he would recuse himself from the matter, contradicting his previous statements on the matter. He said there was not yet enough evidence of impropriety to merit assigning a new special counsel.

      "'Looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel," the attorney general said.

      Sessions also testified that he now remembers a meeting with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, whose work is now a focus of Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling, but denied having a clear memory of the full conversation.

      Watch what the Mueller team does in the days ahead. They will parse the testimony Sessions delivered today and they will start laying down the appropriate cards in response. Another shock indictment, perhaps? More details about what Papadopoulos said to keep himself out of prison, I would imagine. By the time Rachel Maddow comes on tonight, I'd be willing to bet you someone somewhere leaks proof that Sessions perjured himself yet again.

      The GOP led House is a boiling mass of horror right now, and everyone is wondering when they can announce their retirement. No one wants to face a howling mob in the primaries.

      The Trump campaign was up to its eyeballs in contacts with the Russians because they're the ones who had the information that would give Trump a viable path to victory. They could have run a clean campaign, but Trump has never done anything clean in his life. They wanted to seize power in America and that's exactly what they did. Trump is the head of a crime syndicate that will have to be broken into pieces, vaporized, and broken down even further.

      They didn't "win" the presidency. They seized it.

      When someone says, "this wasn't treason!" you can point out to them that when Americans hostile to the Constitution and our laws act to collude with a foreign government to seize the presidency through acts of fraud, they are making "war" on the United States. Russian interference in our election was an act of cyberwar, and any American who acted in concert with this effort was giving aid and comfort to the enemy and providing them a means to secure a victory against the United States.

      It's that simple, it really is. They are all traitors, and they will all perish while in custody. Sessions is looking for a way to step down or get fired that will leave him able to grab at some sort of immunity. Mike Pence may have beaten him to it, but only in his own mind. Never forget that the most crooked Attorney General in modern American History has his own criminal defense attorney because that's the way we roll now. Deviancy is normalized and criminals hold power in American.















      Monday, November 13, 2017

      Grand Old Pedophiles




      Hey kids!

      An Alabama woman alleges Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, her attorney Gloria Allred said Monday.

      Allred said her client, Beverly Young Nelson, would be willing to testify under oath and called on the Senate judiciary committee to hold a hearing and subpoena Moore.

      "Mr. Moore attacked me when I was a child," Nelson said, adding that she was 15 when he began flirting with her and 16 at the time of the alleged assault. "I want Mr. Moore to know that he no longer has any power over me."

      The allegations of force, if true, would be considered sexual abuse in the first degree, but the statute of limitations in effect at the time would have passed.

      Even jaded old Republican operatives have turned against Roy Moore:

      The sad, sick saga of Judge Roy “Bad Touch” Moore (R-Lolicon), Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama and alleged child defiler is the rare case where farce devolves into tragedy and not the other way around. In a just and sane world, Roy Moore would have already been disqualified, but in the era of Bannonite Republicanism, the gravity, credibility, and seriousness of the accusations against Moore aren’t disqualifiers; they’re selling points to a faction of the GOP intent on showing the world just how low they can sink as a party and as humans.

      I am not surprised that pedophilia is now A-OK with the God Botherers of the Deep South, and the fact that this is all over a Senate seat does not shock me in the least. The people who vote for and support Roy Moore are unfazed by such things. They won't abandon him for a second unless it is determined that he prefers gay sex with dead clowns in church in the front pew while reading Noam Chomsky. And, even then, this is the crowd that might figure, aw, hell, if it bothers the liberals, why not?

      Pass the Vaseline, y'all. And hold up that dead clown's head. He's got a purty mouth on him.
















      Monday, November 6, 2017

      You Must Resist




      I have spent the better part of a week wondering why it matters to comment on things, and I doubt I'll ever have the right answer.

      In the case of Juli Briskman, resistance to Trumpism is the only sane thing out there. It really is. I thought her firing meant that I should "get out of the arena." No, that's wrong. The fact that Birkman was fired only means one thing--you must resist.

      We all should be resisting Trumpism. We should be encouraged by the fact that Republicans and moderates are resisting Trumpism. We should support anyone who resists at all costs. We shouldn't just stay in the arena, we should do amazing things while we are here.

      It took me a few days to realize this. Everyone has their limit to what they can stand, and I am continually reaching my limit with today's political and social situation. Questions that were settled decades ago are being litigated again and again now, and it's as if all of the pain and suffering that got us here was for nothing. I certainly hope not

      Saturday, November 4, 2017

      This is All You Need to Know About Donna Brazile




      Donna Brazile's career is over now, thanks to this nonsense:

      Former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile writes in a new book that she seriously contemplated replacing Hillary Clinton as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee with then-Vice President Biden in the aftermath of Clinton’s fainting spell, in part because Clinton’s campaign was “anemic” and had taken on “the odor of failure.”

      In an explosive new memoir, Brazile details widespread dysfunction and dissension throughout the Democratic Party, including secret deliberations over using her powers as interim DNC chair to initiate the process of removing Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) from the ticket after Clinton’s Sept. 11, 2016, collapse in New York City.

      Brazile writes that she considered a dozen combinations to replace the nominees and settled on Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), the duo she felt most certain would win over enough working-class voters to defeat Republican Donald Trump. But then, she writes, “I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.”

      Yeah, sure. Whatever.

      I can just see it now. Brazile removes Clinton and Kaine and replaces them with Biden and Booker and everyone is thrilled and happy and no one says a thing. Then, Bernie Sanders shows up and hugs Donna and a unicorn flies out of his ass.















      Friday, November 3, 2017

      Donna Brazile Does Not Want Democrats to Win




      Donna Brazile's book is going to make her a little cash money, and that's okay. If you want to piss all over the accomplishments of the Democratic Party, then be my guest. Her stance on what happened in 2016 during the primaries is about as wrongheaded as anything I've ever seen. If Brazile's point is that Hillary Clinton stole the primary away from Bernie Sanders, all I have to do is single out the fact that one of those people has raised hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Democrats and the other wants to hurt Democrats because he is too "pure" to join the party.

      Hillary Clinton's accomplishments are many; Bernie can't get anyone elected dog catcher. Hillary bailed out the DNC; Bernie never gave it a dime or shared his e-mail list with it. When Hillary was trying to define Trump, Bernie was talking about Wall Street and trying to win a primary he had already lost, forcing her to spend millions she couldn't afford to keep him from hurting her. The fact is, he hurt her badly in the early summer of 2016. The fact is, he helped normalize the idea that a candidate doesn't have to release their tax returns. The fact is, he kept every penny for himself and hurt the Democratic Party last year and he continues to fund raise and draw money away from the party.

      This has all helped Trump. So, fuck Bernie Sanders.

      As a Democrat, Brazile's time is up. If the Democrats ever turn to her for assistance ever again, I'm going to raise holy hell about it. She has been central to two of the most consequential losses in American History. I can see why someone who gave us Donald Trump and George W. Bush would want to start rewriting the narrative as soon as humanly possible. 

      If Democrats win, and if she's not a part of the victory lap, then it further reinforces the fact that she couldn't win the big races. If Democrats lose, she can criticize from afar because that's what losing consultants do. Honestly, if you want Democrats to win elections, the last thing you're going to do is dredge up 2016 and further alienate the voters that could flip the next House or Senate race. If we don't take the House and Senate in 2018, Trump will survive. We can't have that.

      My point is, "fuck that shit, Donna," and here's what Democrats are really about:

      "It's unprecedented," Virginia Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring says. "I think this is just the start. The charge for us is to keep this up. This is just the beginning, but I do believe we'll see legislatures across the country look different and more representative."

      'I realized, why not me?'

      Herring says she's heard repeatedly from Democratic candidates in Virginia that women are refusing to simply stand idly by anymore.

      It's the same sentiment being expressed to national organizations who encourage women to stand for election.

      The numbers they are seeing tell the story of a movement that doesn't appear to be letting up. 

      920 to more than 19,000 -- the number of women contacting Emily's List about standing for election in the entire 2016 cycle,and just since the election of Trump. 

      1,800 to more than 15,000 -- the average number of annual inquiries to the She Should Run advocacy group, and then the number since the 2016 election

      Up 87% -- applications to Emerge America training courses for women candidates from 2016 to 2017.

      Up 60% -- the number of women standing for the Virginia General Assembly next week, compared to the last time all seats were up for election.

      51 women from major parties are on the state ballot. 43 women are fighting to represent the Democratic Party in the 100-member Virginia House of Delegates.

      And of the 43, 26 are standing in their first-ever public election. 

      While opposition to Trump may be fueling some of the drive behind women's engagement, he is also setting an example for them, says Erin Loos Cutraro, co-founder and CEO of She Should Run.

      So long, Donna. Take Bernie with you. Take Elizabeth Warren, too.

      If you're not going to help us win elections and save the free world, then we don't need ya.















      Alex Ovechkin Loves Vladimir Putin a Little Too Much




      Washington Capitals franchise superstar Alex Ovechkin has decided that his love of Vladimir Putin is going to reveal itself this season in ways that the team's front office probably isn't happy about:

      Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has long supported Russian President Vladimir Putin on social media, but Thursday afternoon, he took it a step further with an Instagram post, announcing the creation of a social movement in support of Putin that he’s labeling the Putin Team.

      “Personal achievements and medals – all of this great, but in hockey, like with everything, to win it’s important to have a team. Only a team is capable of changing the course of a game, achieve the impossible,” Ovechkin said in the post, which was translated by The Washington Post. “Lately, in the Western Press, I’m noticing a comparison to Putin’s team. And you know, I really liked that comparison. Personally, I’m ready to be a member of that team. I never hid my relationship with our president, always openly supported him.”

      Ovechkin continued: “I’m certain that there are many of us that support Vladimir Putin. Let’s unite and show everyone a strong and united Russia. Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of Putin Team. Be a part of this team – to me it’s a privilege, it’s like the feeling of when you put on the jersey of the Russian team, knowing that the whole country is rooting for you.”

      After the Capitals’ 4-3 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night, Ovechkin explained why he decided on this public show of support for Putin.

      “I just support my country, you know?” Ovechkin said. “That’s where I’m from, my parents live there, all my friends. Like every human from different countries, they support their president.”

      Asked if his support of Putin means translates into a support of Putin’s political ideals, Ovechkin said, “It’s not about political stuff.”

      “I don’t try to be politics man or someone like that,” Ovechkin said. “I just support my president and just support my country because I’m from there, and you know, if people from U.S. came to Russia, they care about what happening in U.S. So, I care about what happening in Russia because that’s my home and that’s where I’m from.”

      In other words, "I support Vladimir Putin, but please don't be bring up the fact that he is a murderous kleptocrat who rules Russia with an iron fist."

      Ovechkin can't be forgiven for this. Someone will try to wave this away as a free speech issue. But that's not the issue here. No one is denying that Ovechkin can be an open and proud supporter of Putin. What cannot be ignored is that this is a public relations disaster in the making. Does the franchise agree with Ovechkin? What about his teammates?  The Capitals were already in a huge bind because in a few short months, Ovechkin will abandon them in mid-season to go play for the Russian national team.

      Let's be honest here. He's not naive. He's a multi-millionaire who has played in the NHL since 2005. He loves Putin, and he plays for the team in our nation's capital, which has been rocked for the last year by revelations that the Trump regime used Russian assistance to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton.

      This is a bridge too far. If you're working in a public relations position for the Capitals, you have to be mainlining antacids and praying that Ovechkin decides to abandon politics, stick his head down, and help the team get back to the playoffs. Did he run this by the coaches and the General Manager and the owner of the team? I'm thinking that the person who was supposed to sign off on this probably wasn't paying attention to either what Ovechkin and his interpreter were telling them or to any news anywhere in the United States. 

      The problem is, how do you keep a player like this on your roster? How do you handle the fallout when the fans decide that they don't want to cheer for this guy anymore? Ovechkin can endorse Putin, but the fans can vote with their feet. And if your stands are full of Pro-Putin demonstrators, you have an entirely new and difficult problem. This will reach out beyond hockey and end up being a career-ending decision for someone.

      I mean, how do you sign an endorsement deal with this guy now? How do you ask him to make an appearance on behalf of a local charity? I have to believe that all o that is done.

      Ovechkin's admiration for Putin is sickening. Putin has the blood of so many innocent people on his hands that I don't think hell could swallow him up fast enough. He's the killer of journalists and civilians and non-combatants that The Hague was supposed to solve and has failed to do so. Putin's rise is as much an American problem as it is a failure of the whole world to enforce some kind of standard when it comes to Russia. 

      I guess he can count on Trump's support, right? I expect Ovechkin will be showered with Trumpian praise soon. Here you have a player that is both a Hall of Famer and a complete and utter disaster, all at once. The window is closing on the team's chance to win a Stanley Cup with Ovechkin. In some respects, this is a year that they can't afford to lose. And yet, it would appear that Ovie has already decided to thrown his support to Team Putin.