Saturday, July 28, 2018

Trump Wants Us to Talk About Michael Cohen




This is part of an ongoing scam designed to get people to not talk about the fact that kids have been stolen from their parents and put in jail and that Putin owns Trump's ass outright:

Donald Trump has unleashed a public attack on Michael Cohen after his longtime personal attorney claimed the now-president had prior knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The president, in turn, claimed Cohen was fabricating stories about him to take heat off himself. He tweeted Friday morning: "I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?)" Trump mentioned taxis in reference to Cohen's links to New York’s “Taxi King” Gene Freidman who was hit with a $1.34m judgment last month over claims he sexually harassed and later retaliated against a former assistant. Trump also speculated that Cohen's choice of lawyer—former special counsel to Bill Clinton, Lanny Davis—was influenced by the Clinton family. He said: "[Cohen] even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!"

I'm so tired of all of these scumbags. I just want them to go away. I mean, Lanny fucking Davis? Really?

Go the fuck away.

It all fits a particular media narrative that I find irritating--a loyal person is now disloyal, it's Cohen vs Trump, it's the president betrayed by his fixer. This is the horserace that the media loves, and I can guarantee you one thing--they're replace it with something else if it doesn't make them money. They'll find another bimbo to chase, another outrage that needs to be stoked, and another salacious story to run with. Trump can control this narrative easily. He just tweets his lies and watches the media chase its own ratty tail.

Meanwhile, there are babies in jail. Poor people are suffering. The tax cuts aren't working for anyone who makes less than a million dollars a year. Trump and his cronies are shoving cash into their pants as fast as they can steal it. Nothing is being done to help anyone with their student loan debt. Health care is disappearing as an affordable commodity. American foreign policy is a dog's breakfast. Gas prices are up and no one knows why. The price of untold numbers of goods is about to go up because of Trump's stupid trade war. And nothing is being done to secure the 2018 mid-term elections from further Russian interference.

Oh, and when Putin says jump, our fat fuck of an illegitimate president flaps his baby-sized hands and floats up into the air, as if by magic.

So, pardon me if I'm not interested in this fucking sideshow. Cohen is the goddamned scum of the Earth, and everyone making hay off of this story is in it to be a part of something that isn't going to do one thing to solve the real problems we face. When Robert Mueller says what he needs to say, then I'm going to pay attention. Until then, who cares about some lowly fixer and his bullshit attempt to be the number one story in the country?

Bernie Sanders Can't Get Anything Done




Hey, thanks for pointing out the obvious:

When a person is arrested, they are brought before a judge to evaluate the charges against them and decide whether or not to set bail — and, if they set bail, at what amount. But bail is not supposed to be set above a person’s ability to pay; people should not be sitting in jail awaiting their trial simply because they are poor.

In 2016, the average length of stay in jail for the entire jail population was 25 days, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It might not sound like much, but the sad truth is that people who can’t afford bail, and who thus spend 3 or 4 weeks in jail awaiting trial, are likely to lose their jobs and their income, they won’t be able to pay their rent and may find themselves homeless, and they may even lose custody of their children — all because they don’t have enough money to buy their way out of jail.

This country suddenly realized that there were poor people when Hurricane Katrina hit. Since then, each and every Republican-controlled version of Congress has declared war on the poor. They have cut every Federal program and they have hurt the working poor every single chance they have ever gotten. If it wasn't for a handful of Democrats, would we even have a SNAP program or unemployment insurance or even health care? No, we wouldn't.

It's great that Bernie Sanders is drawing attention to this, but he has no realistic chance of doing anything about it. He won't get any legislation passed, he won't change anyone's mind or their vote, and he seems to want to piss all over the Democratic Party and raise money from earnest lefties who think he's going to do something.

Tell me again why this guy is even running in 2020? Because he is sure raising money like he is going to run.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Automatic Russian Bots Multiply Everywhere




Today's word salad is brought to you by Russia, Incorporated. 

There's an attack on our democracy underway, and while this worthless account has already been suspended, there are millions more just like it, waiting to be born in the fevered imagination of someone who can't quite grasp Engrish. 

Social media platforms and the Federal government are woefully unprepared for the 2018 mid-terms, and this is not by accident. They don't care if Russia hacks the election. Republicans will win if they do.

It's as simple as that.

Trey Gowdy is a Fraud and a Coward




Trey Gowdy is the Republican House member who was caught falsifying the Benghazi evidence in order to frame Hillary Clinton. He would also like you to think that he has the credibility to say this in public and get away with it.

Rep. Trey Gowdy told FNC's Bret Baier on FOX News Sunday that while there are documents he has not seen, he knows that if there were any evidence that President Trump committed any crime with regard to Russia "Adam Schiff would have leaked it."

Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said this week that President Trump is compromised by the Russians, offering possible recordings of his meeting with Putin as evidence. Later on Sunday morning, Schiff suggested Trump's businesses were Russian money laundering operations.

"I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, collaborated, with Russia. And neither has anyone else, or you can rest assured, Adam Schiff would have leaked it," Gowdy said. "That is why they have moved on from collusion on to obstruction of justice, which is now their current preoccupation."

Gowdy leaves Congress at the end of this term having gotten exactly none of his main targets. He can't defend his record, he can't stand for re-election, and he has to skip town and evade the scrutiny that comes with lying on behalf of Trump. So what else is there for Gowdy? He gets to act out his shitposting in real time on Fox News with a clown like Bret Baier. 

This attack on Representative Adam Schiff has no credibility behind it whatsoever. It is cowardly and irresponsible, given that there's no evidence to suggest that Schiff is as scummy as his counterparts on the other side of the aisle who are leaking everything they can get their hands on.

In fact, most Democrats will readily tell you that they wished Schiff was more like his GOP colleagues and would leak information that damages Trump. Instead, we get a more thoughtful and responsible lawmaker in Schiff who refuses to run away from this fight and will stand up to Trump and the Russians.

Have you ever noticed that, just when Republicans in Congress should be fighting the Russians, their preferred choice is to abandon the people they represent and go make money lobbying? Why isn't this front page news?

History is going to take a huge crap all over these people, and they're going to end up in obscurity, pretending they aren't who they really are in order to get free coupons for bullshit they don't need.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Michael Cohen is a Bit Player




This is quite a sideshow we have going here:

President Donald Trump has condemned his former lawyer Michael Cohen amid US media reports that he secretly recorded Mr Trump discussing payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The tapes were reportedly discovered during an FBI raid on Mr Cohen's property earlier this year in New York.

Mr Trump tweeted that such a raid was "almost unheard of".

He added that a lawyer secretly recording a client was "totally unheard of and perhaps illegal".

The advantage of having someone like Cohen around is that it is easier to discount their actions and jettison them when it becomes advantageous. Trump never brought Cohen to Washington D.C. because he had already made up his mind that Cohen was an exposed flank as far as his personal dealings were concerned. It doesn't seem like there was much to the business deals, other than the fact that they were blatant conflicts of interest and probably involved bribes.

Rachel Maddow already exposed the reason why the recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen is a red herring. The New York Times is more than willing to carry water for Trump and Giuliani, et al, in exchange for access. It just seems to me that Cohen is going to try to reveal some sordid details about what Trump has done in the past in order to save himself from getting railroaded for being a douchebag fixer.

The real crimes are conspiracy to steal the election by accepting Russian help and obstructing justice. Anything that distracts from that is designed to minimize the damage to the presidency and his legitimacy to hold office. I don't know where Cohen really gets us as far as the major crimes. He seems like the sideshow. I'm starting to think that, if we focus on Russia and obstruction of justice more than Playboy models and hush money, we'll have a better idea as to whether or not we can actually get rid of Trump once and for all.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Russia is Still Afraid of NATO




Right now, a relative handful of U.S. Marines are in Ukraine, doing what NATO troops are supposed to do--train together in order to fight effectively together in a current or future conflict. You'd think that a handful of Americans would pose no threat to Russia, but that's not the case:

The Corps has been bouncing all over Europe the past several months, participating in exercises with allies and vowing to boost its presence in Norway to strengthen cold-weather training — moves that have caught the ire of Russia.

And this time, Russia is aghast over a recent U.S. land and maritime exercise in the Black Sea region that kicked off July 9, which involved roughly 50 U.S. Marines and hundreds of sailors. The training took place near Russian-annexed Crimea and contested areas in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian government since 2014.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a July 12 Moscow briefing warned of possible “consequences” over the exercise, and described the training evolution as tension-provoking and potentially destabilizing in southeastern Ukraine and the Black Sea region.

“Military activities will take place in direct proximity to the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine where Ukrainian military units continue to shell peaceful Donbass cities every day despite a ‘bread truce’ announced on July 1 by the Minsk Contact Group,” Zakharova said. “Attempts to flex muscles in these conditions will hardly help stabilize the situation in this region.”

The small Marine contingent from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, participated in the 18th iteration of exercise Sea Breeze, where they integrated with the Ukrainian military aboard the Shyrokolan Range north of Mykolaiv, Ukraine.

Everything that's going on in the background, whether it be between Trump and Putin or in the diplomatic sphere, it is this kind of thing that Russia is trying to put an end to:

Russia has vowed to retaliate if Norway invites the United States to more than double the number of Marines stationed in the country.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the Russian Embassy said it made the Scandinavian country "less predictable", while warning it "could cause growing tensions, triggering an arms race and destabilising the situation in northern Europe,” 

It added: “We see it as clearly unfriendly, and it will not remain free of consequence.”

The response came after Oslo announced earlier this week that it would ask the US, its Nato ally, to send 700 marines to train in Norway from 2019. There are around 330 US Marines in Norway at present.

To my recollection, Trump hasn't mentioned the fact that Defense Secretary Mattis has sent Marines to Europe once again this year to train with our allies. It's almost as if the President of the United States is embarrassed that the Marines are out there. Putin is on record yesterday warning the U.S. that we had better not be cultivating stronger ties with Ukraine or Georgia. A real president would have told him to go pound sand.

Putin is still afraid of NATO, and the possibility that the alliance will not tolerate his expansionist goals. He doesn't give a shit what happens in America, but he does want to know if the Ukrainian Army can stand up to the men he sends into the region to cause trouble.

Trump won't talk about how training with NATO forces makes our military bonds with our NATO allies stronger and more effective because he's afraid they're not spending enough on defense. A real president would have visited with these troops. What a photo op that would have been--Trump leaves the Helsinki summit and then flies to Ukraine so he can have lunch with a small contingent of Marines training with the Ukranian military. What better way to show a commitment to both NATO members and a non-NATO state like the Ukraine.

Hey, maybe if the troops were training on a golf course, Trump would have shown up to say hello.

More Proof Everything is Stupid




If there's one thing we don't need, it is an "undetectable" gun made out of the same stuff they use to make Legos:

Gun-rights activists have reached a settlement with the government that will allow them to post 3-D printable gun plans online starting August 1.

The settlement ends a multi-year legal battle that started when Cody Wilson, who describes himself as a post-left anarchist, posted plans for a 3-D printed handgun he called "The Liberator" in 2013.

The single-shot pistol was made almost entirely out of of ABS plastic -- the same stuff they make Lego bricks out of -- that could be made on a 3-D printer. The only metal parts were the firing pin and a piece of metal included to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act.

The US State Department told Wilson and his non-profit group Defense Distributed to take down the plans. It said the plans could violate International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which regulate the export of defense materials, services and technical data.

I'm guessing that they want to give these things to disgruntled employees, the mentally ill, everyone with dementia, little kids, and the criminally insane because freedom, right?

Is it really that difficult to protect the safety of the American people? All you have to do, in most cases, is not do stupid shit like legalize the printing of 3-D guns that can't be detected. I guess we still can't expect common sense or even decency, can we?

 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Every Day of this Crisis is Overwhelming




This grouping of stories on CNN.com probably looks amazing if you're sitting in Russia right now, afraid that your boss Vladimir Putin is going to start overreaching a bit.

I know it is discouraging, but Putin is famous for his greed and his arrogance, and that will be his undoing. As he amasses vast personal wealth and kills as many enemies as he can, remember that there are at least a thousand men in Russia right now who imagine themselves as his successor. None will hesitate to kill Putin if given the chance. So, there's that.

But it's important to note that the media is beginning to wake up to the fact that, hey, this Trump guy is a liar. He should be mocked for that! And so, they're doing it, a year late, but you have to take your victories where you can find them.

The narrative that is being established is, "Trump is weak, compromised, owned by Putin, probably a traitor, and Republicans have to be voted out in November." As this takes hold, note the hard work being done by people who are in the front lines against Russia's attack on Western democracy. Not just in this country, but all over the world where democratic countries are besieged with efforts to drive wedges between population groups that have been picked apart by the analytics people who should, rightly, be driven out of business.

A judge in California has said, enough of this bullshit, no way we're going to let people vote on splitting the state into three entities. You'll conveniently note that this would send four extra Republicans to the Senate, which would cancel out the two Democrats that are already there. It would probably allow more Gerrymandering and allow the Republicans to add ten more members of Congress to their totals as well, if not more. If this country was more like California, I think we'd be better off. Common sense seems to prevail there, despite all of their problems. At least the answer out there is, "let's do something smart to fix this" as opposed to, "let's do stupid shit so we can own the libs."

How can you write about all of this? I simply can't keep up. But, I do know one thing--it is beginning to dawn on people that it's obvious Trump is Putin's Poodle. As this takes hold in the public consciousness, remember that these narratives are important for people who don't follow politics and don't usually vote. Motivating people to get to the polls in order to throw Republicans out of office is the Lord's work this year. Everyone working to make that happen is an angel who will save our country.

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Why, There's Treason Everywhere!




Awkward!

The Justice Department on Monday charged a Russian national, Mariia Butina, also known as Maria, with conspiring against the US as a secret agent.

That means that she is a spy, and that we have caught her, and there is nothing that Trump or the Russians can do about it because she is now in the system. As in, the Justice system. As in, unless they trade her for a certain Mr. Snowden, she ain't going anywhere.

The photo you see above is splashed all over the newspapers in Wisconsin. I'll bet that'll help people make up their minds this November about how they want to vote and what kind of government they want in that fine state.

Miss Butina has, shall we say, honey trap written all over her. Not that I'm speculating, but, wow, how can you not speculate, right? She's probably a good girl from Novgorod or somewhere like that, and she's probably only been a spy for the last decade or so, right?

But, oh, the places she's been!

In 2015, Butina met privately with a political candidate. She also discussed a plan for Torshin to buy a plane ticket for a US congressman to visit Moscow.

Butina met leaders of one political party while being called "a representative of informal diplomacy" for Russia, the affidavit says.

At one point in 2015, she and an American discussed a $125,000 budget for her "special project," to participate in major Republican conferences. The American told her she would have unlimited ability to meet American companies if she could be a potential intermediary to the Russian government, the complaint stated.

Later, following the 2016 presidential election, Butina and the Russian official discussed a possible pro-Russian converence that US members of Congress could attend, according to the documents.

Now, are we talking about Scotty here? Maybe, maybe not. There's no shortage of winner, winner chicken dinner when it comes to the association of Miss Butina and the whole of Republican oligarchy in this country. If you follow this thread, pretty much everyone who is anyone is on there, even Bobby Jindal!






I'm thinking they wasted their money on ol' Bobby, but there you have it. 

Pretty much since the beginning of this whole 2016 election fiasco, I have said, "they are all traitors." Well, today, another shoe dropped, and I feel pretty good about what I've written and what I've done. I have to admit--I have quit in frustration, I have been dejected, and I have had my doubts.

Well, not anymore. Treason is in the air, and it comes at you fast when you get caught snuggling up to a trained Russian spy.

Monday, July 16, 2018

America Has Surrendered to Russia

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="900.0"] This is the day democracy died... This is the day democracy died... [/caption]


From here on in, a curious thing is going to happen when you go to the voting booth in America. Your vote against Republicans is not going to be counted. It might be changed or deleted or sent off into the ether. It might help elect a local clown dog catcher. Federal elections in the United States of America are now owned by Russia, Incorporated.

It was on June 13, 2016 that I blogged about something James Fallows had written. It was still at a point where Trump could definitely have been beaten and it was when he was vulnerable to being removed from consideration for the Republican presidential nomination altogether. But what he said that day was allowed to slide:

"We're led by a man who is very -- look, we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind. And the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it."...

"People cannot believe, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and he can't even mention the words 'radical Islamic terrorism.' There's something going on. It's inconceivable. There's something going on."...

"He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable."

Fallows correctly translated these awful statements:

I am not aware of any modern precedent of a major-party nominee publicly accusing an opponent, let alone a sitting president, of treason. Sure, each side has harbored dark fantasies about the other — and, sure, the rhetoric of the early 1800s and the Civil War era was very dire. But in the conscious lifetimes of today’s adult Americans, no major-party nominee has, before today, publicly suggested that his opponent might actively be a traitor.

You could see this as a linear extension of Trump’s “other-ing” of Obama, through his earlier insane birth-certificate crusade. But the step he has now taken should be noted. He is suggesting that a serving president is not just possibly foreign-born but also perhaps a foreign agent. This is the man Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, John McCain, Bob Dole, and the rest of the Republican “establishment” say deserves their support.

Today you saw Trump do exactly what he accused the other side of doing--he has "something else in mind" when it comes to defending America against Russian aggression.

Everyone who criticized me for calling them traitors, for being treasonous--go fuck yourselves. What happened today, in real-time, was the betrayal of America and the end of our democracy. Everything that happens from now on has to constitute the restoration of the republic and the renewal of democracy. The shitheads who hold power right now have killed it.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Always Mock the Dictator




It has not been a great trip overseas for Trump so far, has it?

No, it has not. In fact, how many other American presidents have traveled overseas and have been so roundly mocked and protested as this one? And the trip isn't over yet.

It is incredibly important to note how the British went about their protests. They mocked Trump, and they did it in every way possible. They didn't worry about whether it was fair. They just set up camp in the vulgar gutter of modern political discourse and used the words "shitgibbon" and "cunt" as interchangeably as they possibly could. This is how you fight the dictator--by mocking him and showing him for what he is--the reason for the need for that language in the first place. Trump set the rules by grabbing them by the pussy and talking about "very fine people on both sides" and women as if they were there to pleasure him. He is not, all of a sudden, going to stop saying these things.

I'm as tired as anyone of the civility police, and I think that this misses the point entirely, whether we're talking about Trump or his knee-jerk enablers:






Don't police the rhetoric of people on your side; the only way the message is going to get through to the American people is through the same harsh language Trump and his surrogates have been using for years. I don't care if Rand Paul is a traitor or not, but if someone thinks his statements in public amount to treason, I'll let them make that argument.

I'm more interested in the fact that we can't call Republicans traitors. Really?

I have said all along that the act of seizing the office of the President of the United States is an act of war against this country. If you put Trump in power, you definitely did commit election fraud. And that's serious. But you also seized the office and the power of the Commander in Chief of our armed forces. That's an act of war. Anyone who aided and abetted the Russian effort to install Trump in office betrayed this county and committed acts of treason.

Full fucking stop. And the media ain't saving us right now, is it?

You are not going to beat Trump with prissy, exact language and stepping on your dick when you stumble towards polite discourse. People hate the Democrats because they cave in and won't fight in the gutter. If you want to save American democracy and all the other nations that depend on it, you might want to acquaint yourself with how the gutter looks. This is not a rhetorical argument about policy. This is about fighting the guy who will not observe the same rules of courtesy and decency. Due process and the law mean nothing to Trump. Everyone better remember that. By all means, get him with the law. Use the rule of law. But, on the edges, you better be prepared for Trump to cheat, always.

Who is in power right now because of Russian help? Who refuses to enact strong sanctions against Russia and then enforce them? Who met with the Russians in the bowels of Trump tower? Who got caught setting up a back channel to Russia to evade surveillance by our intelligence agencies? Who met with the Russian ambassador? Who consistently criticizes everyone from the leaders of our allied countries and pop stars and actors and whoever else more harshly than the murderous thugs in Moscow?

Trump wins when the civility police muddy the argument that is before the American people. I didn't spend the Fourth of July in Moscow kissing Russian ass, so fuck that shit. Celebrate the fact that the British have shown us new and exciting ways to mock the dictator, and now I want to see that balloon flying over Lafayette Square.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Republicans Are at War With the FBI




My first rule is, "none of the people making decisions about Trump, Russia, and collusion in 2016 were heroes." My second rule is, "always bet on the Republicans in Congress to make themselves look bad:"

Even by the clown show standards of the House of Representatives, this was not democracy's finest hour.

A hearing starring Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who presided over the start of the Russia probe, degenerated Thursday into a theatrical display of sanctimony, mock outrage, all-out partisan bickering and character assassination as grandstanding members on both sides of the aisle played to the TV cameras.

Republicans, posing as grave prosecutors of a state crime, sought to paint Strzok's anti-Trump political commentary in texts to a former lover as a symptom of institutionalized bias that should invalidate special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election -- from which Strzok has been removed.

Democrats battled to defend him from attack after attack, and to turn the focus back onto alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    And Strzok, who often wore a bemused smirk as lawmakers squabbled and talked over one another, barged into the hearing loaded for bear. He shouted back at his inquisitors as they bellowed at him and drove them to distraction by refusing to answer questions. He also delivered a passionate and angry defense of the FBI from a GOP attack that he said "deeply corrodes" the bureau.

    Strzok is a counterintelligence guy. You want him to be difficult, brazen, driven, and a complete and utter asshole. You want him on your side. You want him to go after people who are concealing themselves in a cloak of plausible deniability. He is the guy leading investigators down a path that can sometimes end up nowhere. He has to direct and organize the effort to determine who might be really good at looking innocent. He is the guy who has to take a look at someone and decide whether or not they are betraying this country. So, at the end of the day, a person charged with rooting out traitors and spies is going to have all sorts of things about him you will probably not like. Strzok ended up looking like he was good at his job and the Republicans in Congress ended up appearing as if they have no idea what oversight and compliance looks like.

    It was a shit show, top to bottom.

    This Republican Congress, which isn't led by anyone anymore because Paul Ryan is the ambulatory version of ¯_(ツ)_/¯ and doesn't care if the whole thing burns down because he's got his, is a face in perpetual need of punching.  I still can't believe they don't understand that, one day, the FBI is going to investigate Democrats. I can't wait for that day. Because then, in a very delicious manner, someone's going to put their feet up on the desk and say "Peter Strzok, motherfucker." And that Repub puke is going to have to sit on his hands after he eats his own hat.

    Does it matter? No, it really doesn't. The GOP is supported by people immune to the truth. Facts are meaningless because they've been conditioned to believe the news is lying about THEIR PRESIDENT. It is THEIR country and all the people they don't like are taking it over, so the personification of this, the Republicans in the House, are an extreme group of men and women who are useless and terrible at what they do. They are goosed along by a conservative media establishment that has no standards, only clicks to give, and they are designed to operate like Buzzfeed. Here's a story about a guy who turned in three blank pieces of paper. The headline reads MASSIVE FRAUD DETECTED WHEN MANUSCRIPT CONTAINING HILLARY'S BRAIN APPEARS, and we're off to the races. The caged animal that is the conservative movement in this country has to be stimulated and stoked, constantly, or it will notice that no one is giving them jobs, health care, safety, security, education, quality of life, good government or a future for their kids.

    Substance doesn't come into any of this. These people don't want substance. They want click, outrage, reassurance their guy is solid, and then a sexy picture of a girl with big boobies and a gun before they're on to the next dumpster fire.

    For all other thinking Americans, today was as bad as it gets in a country where tomorrow promises something worse than you could have imagined. There is no bottom. When Louie Gohmert goes after Strzok about committing adultery, he's just feeding the conservative movement another pound of stinking, rotting red meat. Tomorrow, someone has to throw more offal and guts into the cage to keep the beast howling and thrashing in all directions.

    When the cage falls apart, and you see this every day when the public arena is shattered by racist acts, the full wrath of white, racist America is trying to break out into the open. Often, it succeeds and we wonder, "how is this happening in 2018? Everyone who made it happen is looking for the exit. The culprits are leaving this Congress in droves. They produced the red meat, they kept Trump in power when it was apparent over a year ago that they should have quickly impeached him, and now they don't know which lullaby will put the monster to sleep.

    Someday, the Republican Party is really going to need the FBI. My fervent belief is that everyone in that goddamned organization is now fully awakened to the fact that the GOP has slathered them up with whatever it is that caged beast is hungry for as they packed up and left town. Someone's going to let this red-eyed, bellowing demon out into the open so it can consume itself, and then someone's going to have to put the country back together. 

    Yeah, that's you and me. Our days are going to have to be spent fixing all this broken shit, and I'm not happy about it, either.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    How Could You be More of a Disgrace Than John Kelly?




    If John Kelly is still White House Chief of Staff five years from now, a typical Wednesday blog post around here is going to be, "Kelly stood by and did nothing while a shirtless, baloney-covered President Trump whipped the retired Marine general's bare ass with an electrical cord and gurgled like a drowning seal."

    White House chief of staff John Kelly may have appeared notably agitated while President Trump lashed out at Germany at a NATO breakfast in Brussels on Wednesday, but that’s only because he was “expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese,” according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    And here's another thing we'll be writing in the dark days that lie ahead. "Inexplicably, the national press accepted something that Sanders said without questioning any aspect of it."

    Sanders told The Washington Post that Kelly’s body language at the time was not because he was embarrassed by the president, as many speculated once video of the meeting went viral, but because he was “displeased” with his breakfast options. Kelly was not the only official present to appear uneasy as Trump claimed that “Germany is totally controlled by Russia,” however. U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison was also caught on camera looking uncomfortable as Trump made a series of comments that shocked top NATO officials. It was not immediately clear if Hutchison was also disappointed in meal options.

    This isn't even bullshit anymore. Bullshit, the people could handle. No, this is terrible fan fiction written by the twisted clowns who inhabit the White House. This is the stuff they find in the trash behind the worst creative writing class your local middle school held last year.

    None of these people has any credibility or dignity anymore and, for that, they all need to be mocked and humiliated for the next hundred years. Babies and old women should scream in their faces in public. Teenagers should routinely make a game of breaking into their cars so they can shit on the floorboards and pour Valvoline onto their bucket seats. Decent people should shun them like junkie airline pilots who left nothing but wreckage and roofless houses behind.

    There is no greater disgrace to the republic for which it stands than men and women who will debase themselves for a cult of personality based entirely on white supremacy, a noticeable blonde-with-big-boobies fetish, and Big Macs.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    NATO Has to Stop Putin




    Russia's ongoing multi-front confrontation with Western Democracy is the perfect battle for NATO. Instead of a loosely-allied group of countries with limited military involvement, it should be rebuilt to confront Russia's cyber capabilities and it should function as a force for stability throughout all of Europe. 

    Instead of waiting for Russia to infiltrate hard-right organizations, NATO should be the thing that roots them out and exposes them for what they are. And NATO should respond to every incursion by Russia into the democratic process, whether it is the Brexit vote or the 2016 presidential election or everyday life in the Baltic countries. NATO has to be the thing that stops Putin.

    Oh, and NATO has to stop Trump, too:

    President Donald Trump continues to wrongly claim that the United States is paying as much as 90 percent of the cost of operating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    In reality, the U.S. share of the commonly funded NATO budget is currently just over 22 percent, according to the most recent figures from NATO.

    Trump’s complaints about NATO spending are actually based on how much the U.S. spends on its own defense compared with what other member nations spend on theirs.

    Still, the U.S. share of total defense spending by all alliance members in 2017 was an estimated 67 percent, according to inflation-adjusted figures from NATO.

    I think we have less than another year of Trump to worry about, but only if the Democratic Party can take Congress this fall. This is the most important thing to remember--Trump's agenda and base of power will collapse only when the spell is broken. What drives the spell Trump has over the American people is this idea that he might be innocent. Thinking people know otherwise, but Trump has to be exposed as the criminal he is. Robert Mueller might weigh in with his take on Trump's kleptocracy, but what would really help is having a dozen or so Congressional committees with subpoena power to chase Trumpism back to Manhattan.

    We're about five months away from this possibility, however, and if Russia manipulates our mid-term elections (and why wouldn't they?) then we're screwed. NATO could take steps now to thwart Russia and highlight the dangers of Putin's black hat government. Once the American presidency is wrested out of the hands of the current cabal, the next president has to emphasize the repositioning of NATO as an entity that will preserve democracy and bring about the soft end of Putinism. 

    The Russian people are going to have to save themselves, just like the American people have to get off their asses and vote this November. NATO can't do either one of those things, but it can provide the tools to help stop Russia's imperialistic attempt to manipulate democracy into killing itself. Sending a battalion of Dutch Marines isn't going to cut it--NATO needs to get into the business of stopping the Russians everywhere they operate. This could be the thing that saves us all.

    Chris Cillizza is the Epitome of Everything Wrong With the Media




    Hey, have you heard?

    Women are going to lose their access to abortion and will no longer have control of their bodies, so Chris Cillizza offers you a heckuva joke to get you over your sorrows and cares. A whiz bang joke it is, too! 

    Americans are going to lose their right to vote, ensuring Republican control of Congress for the rest of this half of the century!

    Yuk yuk, don't ya know.

    Money will continue to corrupt our politics, health insurance will become rare and expensive, and the Supreme Court of the United States will be populated with a voting bloc of conservatives for the next twenty years or more. A generation of advances in rights for marginalized Americans will be lost as soon as conservatives can bring cases before the court that will eliminate the very idea of marriage equality and protections for Gays, Lesbians, Bi-sexuals, Transgender people and everyone who finds themselves on the wrong side of what we should call the most "catholic" of ideas.

    But Cillizza says, "I'm an insider, and things that matter to you don't matter to me because everything is a fucking joke to be had at the expense of the common good."

    Swear to God, what a debacle for this country to have on its hands. Everywhere a crisis, all we get are jokes from fools. Which would be fine except for the position Cillizza holds within the infernal machine known as CNN which, in a fit of insanity, has given him a platform with which he daily accomplishes nothing but the debasement of a country losing its democracy by the hour.

    Sunday, July 8, 2018

    America is Now Against Breastfeeding




    You may ask yourself, how can the U.S. Government be on the side of evil when it comes to breastfeeding? In the Trump era, everything is on the table, and they've already sold their souls to the devil:

    The U.S. government reportedly threatened representatives of other governments at a recent World Health Organization assembly in a bid to alter a resolution on breastfeeding to appease infant formula manufacturers. Citing several government officials and diplomats who attended the World Health Assembly in Geneva, The New York Times reports that the U.S. delegation wanted to remove a section of the resolution urging governments to “protect, promote, and support breastfeeding” and another section calling for restrictions on the promotion of other food products that are believed to have harmful effects on children.

    American officials, acting in the name of the American people, actually "threatened" other governments over some bullshit language in a resolution. Clearly, they were bought off and clearly, there is a corruption trial here, waiting to happen.

    Don't we already have an official position on breastfeeding? Of course we do. Here's just one example of what it looks like when our government is doing the right thing [PDF warning].

    With Trump and his goons running things, it all turns weird:

    U.S. officials threatened Ecuador when it opposed the attempt to water down the language, vowing to withdraw military aid and impose strict new trade measures, according to the report. Several other nations also reportedly backed off after threats of retaliation. “What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health,” Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, told the Times.

    Instead of being on the right side of history, someone shoved cash into their pants and lined up on the wrong side. Threatening Ecuador is what thugs and autocrats do when they're feeling insecure about their place in the world. Americans want their government to lead the way and set the right example. We should remember our checkered past and do the right thing whenever possible. When it looks like someone has been peddling their influence, we encourage the law to take them apart, piece by piece, and throw their greedy asses into the appropriate holding facility.

    Oh, and the kicker here:

    U.S. officials were ultimately unsuccessful in changing the resolution—but only because of an apparent unwillingness to threaten Russia, which had introduced the measure.

    Those Russians seem to own Trump and his erstwhile "government." These guys can't shoot straight, and they're owned by Moscow. Welcome to how we live now.

    Saturday, July 7, 2018

    Beto




    Beto O'Rourke is the hardest working politician in America, and he has the crowds to prove it.

    The picture above is from a rally held today in Farmers Branch, Texas. These folks came out on a Saturday afternoon to hear a Democrat's pitch for a Senate seat.

    Wow.

    Here you have a politician who is working hard, putting in the long hours, and he's already visited every county in Texas. His message must be popular because people are flocking to his events and sending him money. Who cares about Trump-lover Ted Cruz? He and his Goldman Sachs money can go pound sand.

    This was not a one-time visit for Beto. He was in Farmers Branch this past January, and it's hard to estimate, but I would guess that his turnout today (top) is double that or better than it was in January (below). 






    Every time I hear how difficult it is for a Democrat to win in Texas, I ask myself why that is. The answer seems to be, "nobody votes." It's a non-voting state. Democrats can win in Texas despite Gerrymandering and and that dreaded old enemy of getting things done, apathy. But they have to get out there and do the hard work of ensuring they have registered to vote and then they have to make the commitment, otherwise all of this is for nothing.

    Republican policies are deeply unpopular. Democratic ideas are gaining momentum. The media won't say it, but that's how things are shaping up for the election.

    Does any of this look like apathy to you? Beto is doing the work. Everyone else has to pitch in and do their part this November. If the crowds are this big now, how can he lose?

    The Collapse of All They Hold Dear




    It didn't take long for the Trump Regime's bullshit policy with North Korea to collapse, did it?

    On Saturday, after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finished talks with North Korean officials in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un's foreign ministry accused the Trump administration of a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization." It was an immediate and sharp contradiction to President Donald Trump’s rosy descriptions of his North Korea diplomacy.

    The harsh statement also illustrates the risks of putting so much stock in a ceremonial summit, now that last month's meet-and-greet between Trump and Kim in Singapore is colliding with the hard-nosed reality of enormously complex nuclear negotiations.

    This dissonance between fact and fancy was made clear earlier this week. After NBC News first reported that Pyongyang was in fact expanding elements of its weapons program, the president tweeted, “Many good conversations with North Korea — It is going well!” He added: “If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!”

    Let's see, we elevated Kim to world leader status, screwed our South Korean allies over, and suspended training exercises to appease not only Kim but the Chinese and the Russians, who are extremely sensitive to the fact that we can project power around the globe with ease and make everyone who fights alongside of us stronger and better. That's what we traded in order for the North Korean policy to collapse. That's what we gave up in order for the an American Secretary of State to fall on his ass and look like a boob.

    What is there to salvage? The North Koreans have pulled down our shorts. American credibility is gone. American prestige is a thing of the past. American diplomacy is in the hands of an illegitimate band of comatose meatbags of shit. And America's allies are looking for alternatives.

    If, by magic, they can smooth all of this out, who seriously believes North Korea will figure out that "denuclearization" means they have to give up nuclear weapons and technology and the means to deliver weapons? Hey, I have some magic beans for you, sucker. All you have to do is trade away everything that keeps you in power and you can have them.

    I mean, what the hell, people? It's not like all of us darned liberals haven't been telling you how this would turn out.

    Millionaires Are Not Fleeing California




    Oh my goodness--the State of California lost 138 millionaires because of higher taxes. It's a calamity!

    According to new research released by Charles Varner, associate director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, California lost an estimated 138 high-income individuals following passage of the Proposition 30 income tax increase championed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and approved by Golden State voters in 2012. 

    This new research by Varner updates a previous paper released six years ago that looked at domestic migration to and from California following a 2004 income tax hike. 

    “One reason we wanted to update our previous paper is that this tax change in 2012 is the largest state tax change that we have seen in the U.S. for the last three decades,” Varner said.

    Prop. 30 raised the state’s top income tax rate by more than 29%, increasing it three percentage points from 10.3% to 13.3%, which is now the highest state income tax rate in the nation. Prop. 30 also hiked the tax rate on income between $300,000 and $500,000 by two percentage points (a 21.5% rate increase), and raised the rate on income between $500,000 and $1,000,000 by three percentage points (a more than 32% rate hike). 

    This is some first-rate hackery from Grover Norquist's very own shit sandwich of a phony organization called the Americans For Tax Reform. The fact that this even ended up being published is laughable enough, but here's the part they left out.

    California has well over a half of a million households that are considered millionaire households.






    And if high taxes have driven out a paltry 138 of those households over the last six years, that means that fewer than .02% of the state's millionaires decided to leave. More people probably decided to leave because they were tired of the local news than that.

    Here's the other part of this equation--where would you rather live? According to the article, California and Maryland are desperate, screaming hellholes because of high taxes. Umm, except they're not--they're both ranked in the top ten of all the state economies, despite the fact that they allegedly tax the living shit out of people:






    California's economic health is getting better and better, thanks to the fact that the state is being competently governed and led by Jerry frickin' Brown, which I don't think gets anywhere near enough attention. Brown has solved a lot of what was ailing California. Maryland, on the other hand, has a Republican governor who acts like a Democrat and wants nothing to do with Trump.

    Hackery abounds, and it has to be stomped on wherever you see it.

    This Cruel Government of Ours




    We are one week removed from a massive outpouring of condemnation for our cruel and incompetent government. Lawyers for the Trump Regime are begging for more time to try and fix something that never should have been broken in the first place:

    The US government has asked for more time to reunite migrant families separated at the US-Mexico border as it emerged that some children's parents have already been deported.

    In a two-hour hearing on Friday, a government attorney said that 19 parents of children under the age of five held in custody had left the US.

    The justice department has a deadline to release these children by 10 July.

    But it says that more time is needed to perform the necessary identity checks.

    On Thursday, the US Department of Justice issued a formal request to Judge Dana Sabraw, a federal judge in San Diego, for relief regarding the earlier court order to release 101 children aged five and under by next Tuesday.

    If you want a winning issue on which to run in the mid-term elections, you could do a lot worse than campaigning against a government that has no idea how to govern or do simple, basic things like not take kids away from their parents, ship them off to the four corners of the country, and then lose track of them. The mantra should be 'Republicans can't do anything.' They can't do foreign policy, domestic policy, trade, finance, or military policy. They can't do a goddamned thing right.

    Imagine being a regular reader of the BBC and discovering that Americans now put babies in cages. It's the stuff of mad satire or poorly conceived fan fiction. Trump's cruelty is the feature, not the bug, and this is how we live now.

    Friday, July 6, 2018

    Trump's Sexist, Racist Attacks on Senator Elizabeth Warren Are Horrific




    I'm glad we're seeing more and more of that civility we were warned about:

    President Donald Trump launched a sustained attack Thursday on Sen. Elizabeth Warren — a leading potential 2020 rival — during a midterm campaign rally here.

    Reviving his "Pocahontas" nickname for the Massachusetts Democrat, Trump asked his audience to imagine him on a debate stage challenging Warren to submit to genetic testing to prove that she has Native American ancestors.

    "I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you're an Indian," he said. "I have a feeling she will say no."

    Trump added, "She's based her life on being a minority."

    So, in order for a woman to run against Donald Trump, she has to submit to DNA testing to prove she is Native American? Is that the requirement now? Is that how low we have sunk as a country? To where the President of the United States can say that and make his supporters cheer like screaming maniacs or Nuremberg Rally participants? Who the do these people think they are? Someone behind Trump is feeding him this garbage and he's eating it up.

    Here's the kicker, though:

    Trump imagined himself sparring with Warren on the debate stage and told the crowd that he would toss her a DNA kit, “but we have to do it gently because we’re in the #MeToo generation, so we have to be very gentle.”

    He then made a throwing motion and said that “we will very gently take that kit, and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm.”

    Nobody should have to prove that they are an American to the likes of the racist trash running this country. To do so would be the most un-American thing imaginable.

    Nobody should be subjected to this nonsense. This is the normalization of a shocking indecency and the acceptance of a low standard of behavior. It is demeaning and sexist on a scale that should be condemned everywhere. We already know the media will shrug and temper their response so as not to lose access to the Trump Regime. We already know this will blow over by Monday morning.

    If Senator Warren were to call their bluff and do it, and if it came back she was some percentage Native American, so what? It wouldn't be enough for these bloodthirsty shitheels. They would hound her some more, encouraged by the freak show presidency that has been inflicted upon us. I expect the entirety of any campaign against her to focus on the fact that she's supposedly not fuckable anymore, and I wouldn't put it past the media to frame things in this sickening manner.

    Why does this sound exactly like the sustained effort to delegitimize President Obama by insisting on seeing his birth certificate? Or the equally laughable effort to paint him as a homosexual because of his attractiveness? The superficiality of Trumpists is always on full display.

    The most offensive part of this isn't even calling her by the name "Pocahontas." It's the whole "she's based her life on being a minority" crack and it is fundamentally racist and degrading in nature. That is not what Senator Warren has done. She has based her life on serving the American people. No wonder they hate her so much.

    Every Republican who fails to condemn this sickening bigotry is complicit in a crime against the American ideal. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. What matters is that you're not a steaming turd pile like Trump, of course.

    Thursday, July 5, 2018

    Is Someone Going to Indict Scott Pruitt?




    I'm having a hard time believing anything anyone says about the resignation of EPA head Scott Pruitt:

    President Trump told reporters on Air Force One EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's decision to resign was “very much up to him."

    “He did not want to be a distraction," Trump said. "And I think Scott felt like he was a distraction.”

     Trump said there was “no final straw," and said the decision had been in the works “a couple of days" and that they had been "talking about it for a little while."

    Was he about to be indicted for being a corrupt asshole? An inherently corrupt son of a bitch at that? Or was it just time to take the money and run.

    If someone wants to wait and indict Pruitt after Trump and Pence are thrown out of office, I'm fine with that.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2018

    The Special Counsel and the NRA




    Analysts believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller already has a treasure trove of NRA documents, and that his office is following the money:

    For months, the National Rifle Association has had a stock answer to queries about an investigation into whether Russian money was funneled to the gun rights group to aid Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

    The NRA, which spent $30 million-plus backing Trump's bid, has heard nothing from the FBI or any other law enforcement agency, spokesman Andrew Arulanandam reiterated in an email the other day.

    Legal experts, though, say there's an easy explanation for that. They say it would be routine for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, who are looking at the NRA's funding as part of a broader inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, to secretly gain access to the NRA's tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service.

    On the returns, the group was required to identify its so-called "dark money" donors - companies and wealthy individuals who financed $21 million of the group's publicly disclosed pro-Trump spending, as well as its multimillion-dollar efforts to heighten voter turnout. The NRA's nonprofit status allows it to shield those donors' names from the public, but not the IRS.

    A central question for Mueller's office is whether any of the confidential donors' names hold clues that could enable investigators to trace a donation camouflaged to hide its Russian origins - such as a shell company that might be the end point in a chain of offshore transactions.

    It is illegal for foreign funds to be spent to influence U.S. elections.

    The Russian at the center of this inquiry is Alexander Torshin, and they're trying to figure out how so much Russian money he controlled ended up in the hands of Trump-supporting organizations like the NRA. I can't believe there's just one super-evil pro-Trump advocacy group out there. Behind the scenes, there were probably dozens more that desperately reached out for foreign cash, and not just from Russia. We know that, as far as Michael Flynn is concerned, Turkish money was just as easy to get and just as illegal to use to influence an election. If they didn't get their money from Russia or Turkey, they probably got it from the Mercer family or some other right-wing family in this country looking to skirt the spending limits.

    Let's state the obvious. No one decent would ever give Trump money without expecting services rendered in return. With so much blatant corruption being done right in front of everyone, how is it that these people aren't in prison already? 

     

    Monday, July 2, 2018

    The Fixer is Shopping For a Deal




    Trump's personal lawyer acts like a man who knows he has committed multiple felonies and wants to spend less than ten years in prison:

    President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, who once said he would do anything to protect the president, told ABC News in an interview released Monday that he now puts "family and country first."

    In Michael Cohen's first interview since federal agents raided his home and hotel room as part of a probe into his personal business dealings, he was asked what he would do if prosecutors forced him to choose between protecting the president and protecting his family.

    "My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will," Cohen told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an off-camera interview that was reported on "Good Morning America." ''I put family and country first."

    Prosecutors may not have already explained what they intend to do to Cohen, but it's readily apparent that the FBI walked off with enough physical evidence to bury Cohen under a mountain of charges that he knows he's not smart enough to get out from under. And you have to give Cohen credit for knowing that he's screwed himself. He's doing exactly what a man in legal jeopardy has to do when the Feds have him dead to rights. He's cooperating, and that spells trouble for Trump.

    That's my impression of the whole thing--the tough, smarter-than-you bravado is gone. There's no talk of stormtroopers rifling his belongings or attorney-client privilege. There's just the humble realization that the law has caught up with a man who probably always figured Trump would abandon him. There is one thing you can count on with Trump--he will answer everything with cruelty if it isn't flattering.

    Doesn't this seem like it's happening in a weird bubble? This is the personal attorney of the President of the United States. How the hell does Trump not resign in shame over this? Cohen flipping for the Feds is a catastrophic event, one that should have half of Trump's aides running for the doors (the other half being too stupid to see what's coming). We are about to get more insight into Trump's business dealings, which seems to be an exercise in wading through the filth and slime of a life spent screwing anyone and everything in order to make a dishonest dollar. And we're probably going to learn the names and faces of a whole lot of women who probably thought that getting paid to stay silent was the best deal they could get.

    Honestly, though, I believe that what the Feds have on Cohen is going to shock the living hell out of a lot of people.

    Sunday, July 1, 2018

    You Have Been Warned




    The President of the United States just warned Americans that they had "better take it easy" when it comes to exercising their inalienable rights:

    President Trump on Sunday urged his critics to “take it easy,” claiming those protesting his policies are “very dangerous for the country.” In an interview on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, the president was asked what he could do “to bring the country together” amid a wave of criticism and public protests against his administration. He responded by first praising his one-of-a-kind base before issuing a word of caution to critics. “There’s probably never been a base in the history of politics in this country like my base,” he said, adding, “I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy.” “Because some of the language used, some of the words used, even some of the radical ideas, I really think they’re very bad for the country. I think they’re actually very dangerous for the country,” he said.

    This is a president at war with decency and with ideas. He sits on top of an obscenity instead of an administration. He is the proper head of a third world regime that restricts the freedom of the press and encourages mob violence. Today, he ratcheted up the rhetoric and hit back at the very idea that it is acceptable to criticize him and the policies that he has enacted--so much for patriotism, right?

    What a foolish threat to make in a country full of men, women and children who are already so angry they can barely contain themselves. The people who oppose him in public are in danger because there is no bottom that Trump is going to hit on his way to demonizing any American who does not line up entirely behind his horrible agenda. Might as well slap the generalissimo uniform on Trump now and save time.

    Let's state it very plainly. He is mobilizing his army of flying monkeys to terrorize anyone who opposes him. That is not decent, proper, civil or even remotely normal.

    Trump and His Kids Have Always Been Crooked

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="736.0"]  Trump Portrait,  paid for with charity funds. Trump Portrait, paid for with charity funds. [/caption]


    If any Democrat anywhere ran a charity that was one tenth as crooked as the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Republicans would hold hearings from now until the middle of this century:

    Barring an unexpected change, the Donald J. Trump Foundation will be defending itself in a New York courtroom shortly before this fall’s midterm elections. The proceedings seem unlikely to go well for the institution and its leadership; President Trump and his elder children, Ivanka, Donald, Jr., and Eric, are being sued by New York’s attorney general, Barbara Underwood, for using the charity to enrich and benefit the Trump family. On Tuesday, the judge in the case, Saliann Scarpulla, made a series of comments and rulings from the bench that hinted—well, all but screamed—that she believes the Trump family has done some very bad things.

    The judge seemed frustrated, even confused, that the Trumps were fighting the case at all. At one point, she told a lawyer for the Trump children that they should just settle out of court and voluntarily agree to one of the sanctions: a demand by the Attorney General that they not serve on the boards of any nonprofits for one year. (The case will be tried in civil court, and the Trumps aren’t facing any criminal charges.) That’s far from the worst sort of punishment, but to accede to it would be a public embarrassment and an acknowledgement that the family did, indeed, use the foundation as something of a private slush fund to enrich themselves and reward their cronies. Judge Scarpulla made clear that she felt the children should agree to the sanction now, and that, if they don’t, she will probably impose a similar restriction “with or without your agreement.”

    The case against the Trumps appears damning. Charitable foundations are governed by a crucial compromise: they can operate without paying taxes on the condition that their leadership insures that all money spent is spent in pursuit of the public good. The case brought by Attorney General Underwood shows that the Trump Foundation was neither well-managed nor focused on what would generally be considered the public good. Its operations were shockingly sloppy; at least one of the organization’s official board members said that he had no idea he was on the board and that the board had never met, to his knowledge. No surprise, then, that the other controls that normally govern nonprofits were absent. As David Fahrenthold, of the Washington Post, exposed in a series of stories in 2016, the Foundation did virtually none of the charitable things it claimed to be doing.

    How could anyone get away with being so blatantly evil? Well, I think the last couple of years answers that question.

    I don't think this case will be heard before the Mid-Term elections; I am expecting the Republicans to insist on shutting down as many investigations as possible so they can squeeze out a few razor-thin victories here and there. I think the House is already gone, thanks to retirements and I think the Senate could go if people would just frickin' vote. It will take massive turnout to gain control of the Senate.

    The Trump Foundation is such an embarrassment. How do you get caught self-dealing and how do you get away with it? It's not just the portrait--they regularly promised money and support to people and failed to follow through. They had a chance to actually help people and, instead, they just lined their filthy pockets. Trump and his kids were, allegedly anyway, already wealthy. What kind of a sick and twisted person do you have to be to have a charity and then use that to make yourself wealthier? 

    Alarm bells should be going off, but they're not. Trumpkins don't care. They just want to own libs. They're not even paying attention to this stuff because I can't imagine that they honestly don't see this as a warning sign. They know it's there. They're so detached from reality that they can't even imagine a scenario where their mind might be changed by facts, evidence, and actual judgments in a court of law.

    Honestly, I would be willing to bet you there are Trump supporters who cling to him feverishly because they are deathly afraid of having to admit they were wrong. I don't know if those people are just going to stay home and not vote this fall. But I do know this--they're never going to vote for a Democrat, and they don't care how much of a criminal Trump and his kids are because that would be too much of a challenge to their view of the world.