Wednesday, July 31, 2019

An Abundance of Talent and Competence




So, we had another debate tonight, and I liked more of the candidates than I probably should. I really wish some of them would drop out and run for the Senate, but oh well. If I had to pick a winner, it was clearly Senator Elizabeth Warren. She was fierce and she has a plan for that. And the lesson here is, “don’t show up to a debate and tell everyone we can’t do anything for the American people.”

This was one of those standout moments for me, a chance to signal to people that the Democratic Party is ready to engage the GOP on all fronts. Elizabeth Warren is visibly annoyed at having to tell John Delaney to think a little bigger, but oh well.

There is so much talent in each of the Democratic debates. The moderation is awful, the format is worse than awful, but you get a sense that there are at least seven or eight candidates who could actually be president. There are a lot of Martin O’Malley’s out there, candidates with good resumes who just aren’t going to break out and catch a second look. Delaney isn’t even one of those, I’m afraid. But he has the “we can’t do shit so why try?” vote locked up.

Anyone would be better than Trump. These are all functioning adults (even Marianne Williamson can be said to have the ability to speak in public) and any of them would be better than Trump. Really, it’s an embarrassment of riches on the Democratic side, and the Republicans are responding by retiring from Congress as fast as humanly possible.

In the first ten minutes of each of the last three Democratic debates, we have seen more ideas, more honesty, and more decency laid out in front of the American people than they will ever get from Trump. The A-list Democrats are ready to make their case and it’s a pretty compelling one—do you want to continue down the path of ruin? Do you want more of the same shit sandwich that’s been served open-faced while Trump and his minions have been stealing the country blind or the possibility of living in a decent country again?

What do the people want? More racism, more coddling of dictators, and more insanity? Come on. Who would want more of what we have seen? Only a sadist or a regular commenter at Breitbart.

That Trump guy sounds like an unpopular asshole, if you ask me.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Hideous and Awful by Design




The strategy seems to be, if Trump can make American politics terrible and relentlessly negative, it will drive away moderates. If moderates don’t vote, his base will carry him to victory.

Elijah Cummings is such a good man, and such a strong leader. His whole life has been shaped by what he has had to stand up against. He is telling us to fight for the country, and we had better heed his warning. The antidote to all of this is to engage Trump’s racism and nihilism on a daily basis, shouting it down and shaming those who support this monstrosity of a presidency. If you’re not ready to fight back against this, I totally understand. I go days without being able to do anything as well. It is just overwhelming, trying to figure out how to tune in and engage what’s happening and spread positive energy and hope.

Make your plans to vote, and make your commitment a strong one. Support the candidates you believe in, and be ready for days and weeks of this shit.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Americans Are Too Stupid to Realize What's Being Done to Them




I thought what happened today was pretty obvious. Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified to what was in his report, and a nation of dumbasses who can’t read and don’t understand what’s happening reacted as if this was a play or a TV show or something else entirely.

It really is embarrassing to watch people abandon the rule of law in order to score political points. The Republicans who abandoned our legal process and went all in on tin foil hat theories are exactly the same individuals who, in a few years time, will be screaming for the law to save their asses from the fire. It won’t make a damned bit of difference, but pointing out there hypocrisy is at least entertaining enough for future Twitter jokes.

Trump ran a game, and he won. He stole the presidency, he shit all over the investigation that was intended to find out what he did, and now we are sitting here with our hats in our hands, waiting for someone to explain how the Mueller Report itself isn’t enough for the whole country to come together and throw this man out of office.

Hey, that’s politics.

If your country is stupid, then that’s what you get for showing up and giving a damn.

The Republican Party respects only brute force. And that’s what it will take to dislodge them from power. The unmistakable, unrelenting will of the American voter to eject them from office and end their careers, Gerrymandering be damned. Polite society has to stand up and say no more to what went on today.

You get what you got today. Theatrics, and theater criticism, and no recognition of the very real, very damning substance that was presented.

In other words, a nation of dumbasses gets to keep being distracted by bullshit while democracy is dismantled and the whole thing is sold off for parts.

Enjoy the ride, you dumb motherfuckers. In five years, when there’s nothing left to save us, I don’t plan to listen to your screams or your outrage. And I can’t wait for a Democrat to be accused of accepting help from a foreign power to win an election. Spare me the phony outrage.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Won't Get Fooled Again




Robert Mueller assembled a massive amount of evidence that Trump and the people working for him broke the law. They used Russian help to steal an American election, and they lied about it. They proceeded to commit perjury and obstruction of justice en route to the release of the Mueller Report. And somehow, this wasn’t enough for the media or the American people.

Now we’re going to be subjected to the spectacle of Mueller saying little or nothing newsworthy because the Democrats in Congress can’t seem to string together a set of facts.

It’s a fact that Trump’s campaign welcomed the help of the Russians.

It’s a fact that the election of 2016 was stolen in part with the help of Russia’s FSB.

It’s a fact that dozens of people around Trump lied about it to the media and to the FBI.

It’s a fact that Trump obstructed justice to keep the American people from learning the truth.

You know it, and I know it, and everyone else knows it, so why are rehashing this bullshit?

It is true, of course, that Mueller’s investigation did not bring what many of Trump’s political foes — and some irresponsible media commentators — were hoping for: indictments of Trump or of his closest associates, possibly family members.

It’s also true that some of the media reporting and commentary over the past two years has been over the top: far too speculative about what the report would say and result in.

On Wednesday, the national media will be in “flood the zone” mode as Mueller finally testifies.

Not only will the hearing be carried live on cable news but the major broadcast networks will set aside their regular schedules to do the same. And there will be special reports aplenty, as well as a great deal of newspaper and other text coverage.

Some damage is irretrievable. Many Americans have made up their minds already about Mueller’s findings — and about Trump himself, no matter what he is or does.

I’m not going to watch because I don’t care what Republicans say about Republicans. If Mueller really believed in justice or the American way, he would reached the same conclusion everyone else has—Trump is a criminal and he obstructed justice.

We will not get to the truth of this matter until a kind of modern-day Warren Commission is selected to determine whether or not Trump should have been charged with high crimes and misdemeanors for conduct both before and after the 2016 election. Think of where we’d be right now if the GOP had impeached Trump in 2017. He would have remained in office, their hands would be clean, but we still wouldn’t know the truth.

I’m convinced we won’t get to the truth until Democrats really investigate what happened. A handful of Justice Department investigators came up short because they were hamstrung by criminally complicit and compromised individuals acting at the behest of the president, from Ron Rosenstein on down.

In the past, a special counsel was usually chosen from the opposite party. Mueller should never have been picked to do this—someone respectable and experienced from the Democratic Party should have been chosen (virtually any US attorney working for Barack Obama would have been a good choice). And now we have what purports to be the final word. It’s not the final word. There is more evidence out there, and Trump and his kids know it. They know what they’ve done to this country and they believe they can hide behind Mueller’s half-assed attempt to figure it all out. I don’t think he or his team had the resources or the skills to do it, and I don’t think the intelligence community cooperated with the discovery of evidence.

This is just my opinion, of course. But if you really think Mueller is going to save us, I have news for you.

America has to save itself from Trump. There are no white knights and there is nothing that voting every Republican out of office wouldn’t solve. Nothing.

Liz Cheney is Gaslighting America




Liz Cheney is just another mediocre nepotism hire for the GOP:

Rep. Liz Cheney, the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, pushed back on the notion that President Trump's recent attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color are racist and sexist, arguing the commander-in-chief's criticism of the progressive quartet is solely rooted in disagreements over policy.

"I think the news media really wants to make this about race," Cheney, the House GOP conference chair, said during a combative interview on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "This isn't about race. It's not about gender. It's not about religion."

Cheney suggested race is not a factor in the recent high-profile feud between Mr. Trump and Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Despite only one of them being foreign-born, the president said the four lawmakers should "go back" to the "totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." 

Why is Cheney defending Trump? She’s the scion of an establishment Republican family, one whose legacy was crapped on when Trump won the nomination. The differences between Dick Cheney and Trump run the gamut from foreign policy to contractor theft. Oh, hell. Maybe they’re just the same. Who can tell anymore?

Tens of millions of Americans heard Trump’s words and were incensed precisely because they were, in fact, racist. When someone says something racist, and when everyone looks up from whatever they’re doing and says, ‘that’s racist,’ then what the hell are you talking about, Liz Cheney? Her statement is not for you nor I. It’s for the Chamber of Commerce and all the Republicans out there who went weak in the knees last week and started violently scraping their Trump stickers from the bumpers of their Lincoln Town Cars.

You have otherwise squishy people who are afraid to say anything controversial who, last week, were unreservedly condemning Trump for being a racist piece of flaming orange shit. The needle has moved and the worm did a turn and a backflip on that one.

There was a minor revolt against the president after his remarks, and she knows it. We have to watch Trump’s approval numbers, because if he lost as much as five percent of his support after his racist attacks, that could prove fatal to his re-election prospects. Instead of broadly appealing to independents, he’s driving them away in large numbers with his insanity, his instability, and his un-geniuslike performance on the national stage.

Cheney is gaslighting everyone. Trump said racist things, and doubled down on them, and then he ignored all of the advice he was given and refused to apologize. This is a man who has crapped in his own hand and can’t stop admiring what he’s done. That’s how we have to live our lives, watching this debacle play out in real time.

Everyone who wants to remain politically viable for the next twenty years should have already abandoned Trumpism and disappeared. Instead, they’re stuck with this guy, and otherwise sane people are forced to appear on television and pretend Trump doesn’t have a fist full of his own shit to hurl at the American over and over again.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Racist President Keeps Doing Racist Things




This is how we live now:

President Trump popped into a wedding reception at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday night, prompting the bride, groom and guests to chant, "USA! USA!"

Groom P.J. Mongelli told CNN that Trump first dropped into the cocktail hour to meet bride Nicole Marie and other family members. Mongelli said they'd sent Trump multiple invitations but didn't know if he'd actually show up.

"It was a complete and utter surprise," Mongelli said.

Mongelli said he asked the President for a favor -- to greet the guests at the reception.

Video posted on social media showed Trump, wearing a dark suit but no tie, standing in a doorway and waving to the cheering crowd. The President motioned for the newly married couple from Staten Island to approach and they stood on either side of him, pumped their fists and led the chant, "USA! USA!" the video showed.

"He was such a gentleman," Mongelli said. "He was aces."

Mongelli said he and his wife are both strong Trump supporters, as were most of the wedding guests. The couple got engaged at the golf club in November 2017, he said.

The President was staying at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster over the weekend and returned to Washington on Sunday.

All of the racist things Trump has said over the last week have been forgotten. It all goes down the rabbit hole. No one points out that Trump has been hiding away in New Jersey because, well, he’s unpopular and has had a terrible week. If this is what counts for leadership, it would be nice if people finally acknowledged their own racist beliefs and their undying support for a white nationalist.

Shouting “USA, USA” at a man who just told women of color to leave the country is pretty fucking racist, if you ask me. Showing him the wink and a nod and supporting him in this way should not be excused as merely being “patriotic.” No, in the context of what Trump has done this week, it’s racist as hell and these people should be ashamed of themselves. They’re showing Trump exactly how they support his message and condone what he’s been doing this past week. What a country.

Trump is ripping the lid off of hate and nationalism, and he’s using it to further his political agenda. The media is along for the ride, refusing to acknowledge what we all know—Trump is ready for Americans to kill other Americans if it helps him hold onto power.

But, let’s unpack this further. Trump is, once again, promoting his own property and his own business interests by appearing at this reception. Is it appropriate? No, it wasn’t the first time he did it nor will it be reasonable or right to do it again. Trump’s post-presidency activity will likely be one long grift, trying to promote properties that are headed for oblivion because decent Americans won’t appear anywhere near them.

Why is he in New Jersey, anyway? What’s going with that? Couldn’t he at least make an attempt to do something that doesn’t cost millions of dollars in taxpayer funds every damned weekend?

Nostalgia




I resisted the idea of adding to the amount of nostalgia out there with regards to the moon landing because I’m not able to add much.
The whole Apollo program, to me, was just outside of my experience. I would have been nine months old at the time, and, by the time I started realize what was happening in the early 1970s, everything had turned to shit. There was a boom and then a bust, a time when people were captivated and then they weren’t. The American people abandoned the space program when it became boring. Buzz Aldrin knows exactly what that was about. Budgets and shortsighted thinking ruined it.
Right now, everything is shit. Horrible fucking people run everything and the people I voted for aren’t doing a goddamned thing about it. So, look upon past accomplishments if you want, and look for a little distraction when you can. I’m wondering when the future will stop sucking ass.
I mean, good God. What kind of a country is this, anyway?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Tom Steyer Wants to Be a Spoiler




This is the same self-serving bullshit that Howard Schultz couldn’t sell to the American people:

Billionaire Tom Steyer, a longtime friend and key donor to liberal candidates and causes, says he decided to run for the Democratic presidential nomination next year because no other candidate was offering a "mandate for change".

But by deciding to fund his long-shot bid with $100 million of his own money, some Democratic activists believe all he will end up doing is denying his money to grassroots organizations and candidates in Senate and House races that Democrats are desperate to win.

Steyer's political bona fides and passion are not in question. He has worked for years on issues of climate change and voter engagement and donated about $170 million since 2015 to his independent political action committees, Need to Impeach and NextGen America.

I don’t get why Steyer is refusing to acknowledge that over half of the Democratic field is more than qualified to offer a massive change to Donald Trump. The other half is merely decent and correct on most issues and would offer significant structural changes that would go well beyond whatever it is Steyer believes he can deliver. Every single Democrat running right now would be a tremendous improvement over Trump and the very act of stepping into the White House would extinguish the dumpster fire that is Trumpism as soon as they took office.

Is Steyer exhibiting a savior complex? Is he the only one who can solve all of our problems? And why would America turn to a billionaire businessman when they just watched a “billionaire businessman” wreck the government?

He’s trying to be a spoiler. Something about these candidates has thrown him off and he wants to derail them. Either that, or he’s delusional and thinks he needs to save us from something. The only way to save America from Trump is to vote for a Democrat. Plain and simple. Anything else throws the race to the GOP.

I mean, come on. Elizabeth Warren isn’t ready to deliver a mandate for change to the American people? This is ridiculous and demeaning of Steyer to espouse as his reason for entering the race. She offers detailed solutions and plans that he could only dream of developing on his own. Same for Joe Biden and all the others I’m in danger of forgetting because it is a massive field of well-qualified, optimistic and capable candidates.

Cory Booker offers a massive amount of change in the way things would be done. Kamala Harris would work night and day to effect change. The same goes for Amy Klobuchar and for Pete Buttigieg. Beto O’Rourke, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Kirsten Gillibrand and pick three others at random are ALL change agents and have plans of their own. Hell, I’m even going to say something nice about Bernie—he offers a substantive mandate for change that, while I don’t think is realistic, is at least as substantive if not more than whatever Steyer thinks he has to offer.

Excepting, of course, Seth Moulton and Marianne Williamson. Fuck those two. And whoever else is on the ass end of this thing that I don’t like.

Hell, Jay Inslee, in and of himself, is offering the climate change mandate and is the de facto Steyer candidate in this very same race. All the others want to undo the damage Trump has done and I’m just not able to recall which Democrat wants to keep things the same, do nothing, and let the planet burn. Sheesh.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Trump is Criminalizing Democracy




There is something far more insidious than mere campaigning going on here:

President Donald Trump on Wednesday intensified his attacks on four progressive Democratic congresswomen, painting them as the face of the Democratic Party -- as a fevered crowd chanted "Send her back!" about an American congresswoman of color.

Trump spent a significant portion of the rally railing against the group, known as "The Squad" on Capitol Hill, individually by name. That line of attack has become a strategy he and aides believe will cast the Democratic Party as a far left, radical group.

Trump is not merely running for re-election. He’s normalizing the criminalization of the act of opposing his policies.

Really, it’s not that difficult to figure out. He has the Justice Department violating all precedents and he’s shutting down any investigation that he can get his hands on. He has ended the normal back and forth of oversight and compliance with the House of Representatives, creating the very real possibility that, one day, a Democrat is going to tell a Republican House Committee Chairman to go pound sand (relax, oversight only applies to Democrats—this will never be allowed to happen). And now he is making it so that women of color who were elected to the Congress of the United States of America are now targets for his unhinged wrath.

I think of this young woman Ilhan Omar, and I wonder why people don’t grasp the fact that she is a duly-elected Member of Congress. She has every right to be treated with the level of respect due to someone holding her office, and that’s not happening here. This is proof that there is institutional racism as well as the dogwhistle racism practiced by Trump and his followers. No one has really grasped that Omar should be treated with respect because we have witnessed Trump’s normalization of treating his opponents like criminals with no rights or due process.

Democracy itself is dying and nobody can do shit about it. Don’t lay this at Nancy Pelosi’s feet—the House could impeach Trump twenty times over for everything on paper and it wouldn’t make a damned bit of difference because this Senate will not hear the charges nor would it convict him and remove him from office. Impeachment would rally the GOP even further. The only Pelosi has failed to do is tell everyone what people at her level already know—Trump is in the throes of dementia and no one has the courage to do the right thing.

That leaves us to watch the horror unfold, in real time, of a country being torn apart by a madman. A handful of Republicans could put the country first and stop this but they won’t. The bastards.

We need to bear witness to what they are doing and write everything down and record it. We need to know who embraces fascism and the end of America’s limited model of government. And then we have to vote in November 2020 and end the Republican Party as a force in politics. We need to defeat Trump and throw as many Senators out of office as humanly possible. And then we need to keep doing that for the rest of our natural lives.

There is no bottom with Trump. This will get worse before it ever thinks about getting better. But it will end, and it will end with everyone deciding that enough is enough.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Trump is Extremely Unpopular Among Normal Adults




I was curious whether or not Trump was really unpopular with people or just artificially popular with Russian Twitter bots.

It turns out, Russian Twitter bots love Trump and the rest of America, not so much.

If you look at the last two presidents who failed to be re-elected and served only one term in office, Trump is less popular than both of them:











Throughout George H. W. Bush’s entire presidency, he was more popular than Trump has ever been, and even won an actual war. Bush was not as jarringly evil nor was he surrounded by an army of howling death monkeys as Trump. And, what’s more, the establishment loved the first Bush presidency. He failed to be re-elected (largely because of the economy), but what are you going to do when you have a patrician WASP who has no idea what’s happening?

Throughout Carter’s presidency, which was underwater as soon as Americans were taken hostage in Iran, there were far more days above a 50% approval rating than Trump ever will. And he failed to be re-elected as well. The conventional wisdom ended up being against both presidencies. The American people were simply not going to reward either performance with a second term. Generally, the voters let you stay in office eight years. It’s been well over a generation since a president has been kicked to the curb, and we are due. That’s the conventional wisdom I sense right now—this isn’t going to last, and I don’t know what people are freaking out about.

Trump is really unpopular with functioning adults. He will always have about 40% of the electorate locked up, and those people will never be reached. They’ll never admit they were wrong. They may stay home on election day, but there aren’t enough of them to keep Trump from being hurled into the face of the sun by an angry mob of women voters.

Women are absolutely motivated to throw Republicans out of office. That’s just a fact.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Trump's Atrocity Squad




This is The Squad we should all be talking about.

If you can read body language, what this photo tells you is that they are normally a smiling bunch of right-wing politicians. They are used to spending all of their time glad-handing people and begging for money. There is no one here that can give them any cash. They can’t use this appearance to leverage others to do things for them.

This is the look of a group of people who are trapped.

This squad is here for the horror of watching human beings beg for dignity. These people are living it, breathing it, smelling it, and they can avert their cowardly eyes all they want but they are witnesses. They have agreed to a boondoggle. A free ride on Pence’s plane, a promise that they will have a nice dinner tonight and raise funds for re-election (not sure, but why would Pence even fly to another part of the country without tying it to campaigning?). Any time you appear in public with the Vice President of the United States, it’s a chance to burnish your credentials.

Do you see anyone looking like they are proud to be Americans?

Do you see the horror on their faces?

What do you think they’re going to tell their loved ones about the time they road on Air Force Two?

The companies who run these facilities, by the way, give campaign contributions to Republicans. The people in this picture are actually taking money from corporations that are taking Federal funds to run the facilities where asylum seekers are being held. Think of how that spreads even more corruption and greed through the country and its soul.

In the fall of 2020, every one of these people should have ads run against them in their states and districts, their home towns, the places where they represent. These ads should depict them as willing accomplices to the atrocities of the Trump Regime, committed against people legally requesting asylum in the United States. Crimes are being committed here. These are the witnesses to those atrocities. They are now tied to Trump, inextricably, forever and ever. There should be no post-Trump career for anyone in this photograph.

It is fitting that the men are stripped of their ties here. Their authority is non-existent, their decency and their honor means nothing, and the power that comes with wearing a tie has been removed along with their dignity.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Go Follow Brian Karem




Brian Karem should be a household name, and you can help make that happen by following him on Twitter. Karem has been working his ass off for decades. This is what guarantees us all the right to a free press—the fact that someone like Karem has been asking questions and getting fired and getting back out there in order to do his job is reason enough to thank a journalist, any journalist, for doing their job.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Don't Listen to This Old Fool




I must have stopped mocking Richard Cohen years ago. I figured he had been forcibly retired from his position as an absurd, out-of-touch liberal scold with the Washington Post. His work reads better if you imagine it as a skit from the Firesign Theater that got cut.

How could someone like him, with all of his past indiscretions with women in the newsroom, still have a job? Talk about a prime candidate for being a telecommuter.

Well, the premium that is being paid for unhinged flaky columns must be pretty high right now:

But the Democratic Party is on a tear. One by one, its candidates have embraced losing issue after losing issue. First came reparations for slavery, a noble idea lacking only popular support and practicality and possibly amounting to yet another attempt to right a wrong with money. Before that, the various candidates raised their hands in support of Medicare-for-all, which could strip millions of people of their private insurance plans. That is sure to be characterized by Trump as socialized medicine with the sick growing old and dying, covered in cobwebs while waiting to see the doctor. GOP strategists must be hyperventilating over all the goodies arrayed before them. This is a campaign even Trump could win.

The Democratic Party has a possibly fatal inability to prioritize. The urgent challenge is to rid the nation of Trump, not to mollify this or that identity group or wrestle over issues that could not be solved when they were relevant — such as busing. As it is, the candidates are campaigning in an America of their own imagination — a bit to the left of Sweden and as racially unified as one of those old Coke commercials. They pander to the extremes of the early caucus and primary states, thinking they can seduce the middle later on down the road or, in my case, giving me a choice of one of them or Trump. Sedate me first.

First of all, the voters have to get rid of Trump. I’m tired of having this argument with people. As soon as Nancy Pelosi says, fine, we’ll impeach the horrible bastard, the discipline that exists within the conservative movement will kick in and they will rally to Trump’s defense. It will give them a purpose again.

Second, the American people want socialistic programs without the socialism part, and they don’t want to pay for them, and they’d better work perfectly at all times, or else. This is the bill of goods that incompetent pundits like Cohen have been trying to push since the 1970s. The GOP simply has to act like the daddy party and say no and Democrats have to reinvent the wheel to convince people to stop allowing the looting of the treasury. Republicans promise the grandiose, but Democrats actually deliver working solutions. Republicans take care of their high-dollar donors, Democrats take care of working people. Really, this isn’t hard to figure out if you function normally in the real world.

Third, let’s not forget that Trump is extremely unpopular. The Republican Party is tied to his drowning coattails. There is no separation between anyone in the GOP seeking re-election next year and Trump. And what made all of them unpopular was their embrace of destroying health care in this country, giving a trillion dollars to the rich, wrecking the education system, deregulating polluters, wrapping their arms around corruption, and escalating the destruction of the environment. Democrats who campaign on saving the Middle Class, fixing the damage inflicted upon the Affordable Care Act, correcting the tax code so that it is fair once again, and dealing with global warming are all in line with mainstream voters who give a shit about things like democracy, decency, and breathing clean air.

Remember the first rule for dealing with the likes of Cohen. Democrats must be perfect and have flawless ideas that Cohen can take credit for. Republicans just need to show up, punch someone from behind, and run off.

So, quit with this notion that the Democrats running for the presidency are extreme or out of touch. They are all beating Trump like a drum in polls that should favor the incumbent right now. The Richard Cohens out there aren’t living in the real world and they certainly don’t have their finger on anything clean or morally upright, much less the pulse of the country right now. You can easily dismiss the complaints of a man who isn’t even allowed near the female interns anymore.

When it comes to the Trumpists, would you let your son or daughter anywhere near these pedophiles, rapists and thugs? Tell me again how they’re going to win re-election campaigning on four more years of Evil Incorporated.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Extortion Scheme Laid Bare




Jeffrey Epstein is probably one of the most successful human traffickers in history. Rarely does anyone enter that world and emerge from it a billionaire who, at least until recently, could not be touched. I want to draw your attention to one of the details that emerged today:

In a memo filed to the court, prosecutors outlined the scope of Epstein's vast wealth to argue that he has the means to flee the country and escape prosecution, noting that he not only has homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, New Mexico and Paris -- with his Upper East Side townhouse, of which prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture, alone worth $77 million -- but also owns a private island in the US Virgin Islands.

He also has three US passports, owns at least 15 vehicles and has access to two private jets, according to the memo.

"He is a man of nearly infinite means, your honor," Rossmiller told Judge Henry Pitman.

The prosecutor also pointed out what he described as Epstein's brazenness and willingness to flout the law. He specifically cited the trove of photos that were seized during the search of his house on Saturday, some of which were discovered in a locked safe along with compact discs with hand-written labels that read, "Young [Name] + [Name]," "Misc nudes 1," and "Girl pics nude."

And he said that when officials entered Epstein's Manhattan home on Saturday, they found "the massage room was still set up in the same way it was 15 years ago, with a massage table and sex paraphernalia."

Let’s highlight the part that shows us how Epstein became a billionaire:

…compact discs with hand-written labels that read, "Young [Name] + [Name],"

And let’s really focus on this part:

"Young [Name] + [Name],"

When James Comey famously said, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” this may or may not have been what he was referring to. And these may only be still photographs, but I suspect that what was discovered today was the extortion piece of the Epstein empire. Epstein has photographic or video evidence of a young female with a person that he is extorting information from.

Now, that may or may not be the case here. I do not claim to have insider information—I’m simply looking at what was released to the press today. What I think the Feds have discovered is that Epstein was planning on destroying this evidence or using it in some way. They may have flipped someone weeks or months ago, sent them in with a wire to talk to Epstein, and heard something that would convince a judge to authorize a search warrant of Epstein’s property.

Who was that person? And why does that remind me of everything the Feds do to gain an advantage, even when it comes to someone who was “made” like Epstein clearly was? And when I say 'made,’ I mean it in a more legitimate sense. Epstein was created by someone else and may have been a cog in a larger machine. He was made in the sense that the law couldn’t really touch him. This is what kicked off the whole thing—if it hadn’t have been for the sweetheart deals, this asshole would have been living under a prison somewhere.

Isn’t this what the Supermax is for? The Epsteins of the world?

The fact that he was so brazen is one thing. Why would he have that information on American soil? Why wouldn’t he have it offshore? Or did he ensure that if someone tried to kill him that there would be multiple facilities, both in and out of the United States, where an associate of his could leak fatally damaging information about the people he was extorting? It boggles the mind, unless you’re familiar with the Russian methodology of turning people through the use of compromising material.

Epstein could have created an elaborate system of blackmailing powerful men with pornographic images or what the Russians call Kompramat. That would likely include everyone from Prince Andrew and President Clinton on down to Trump and Alan Dershowitz (or none of them, because, hello, we just don’t know). He could have used dozens of men to manipulate markets, carry out business agreements, and he could have done so by holding this compelling information on them in order to get whatever he wanted. Within some limits of reason, of course. There would have had to have been a mutual advantage to dealing with Epstein that made the extortion tolerable. I think that is one likely explanation for being able to amass a large amount of wealth and then maintain defenders like Dershowitz. It may have been as simple as a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, but remember that I own you’ kind of arrangement.

I mean, holy shit.

Epstein had to have been very calculated and exacting in this manner because otherwise he would have been dead a decade ago. Did the FBI raid reveal one part of his extortion setup? Did they discover the back up files in a place that was hidden and known only to someone who has already been flipped?

Again, this is all mind boggling. And very, very Soviet, if you ask me.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Predicted America's Future




The most dramatic showdown during the first Democratic debate was between Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden over his decades-long opposition to desegregation busing. 
But on the sidelines of the re-litigated fight over busing -- and off the stage that second night -- was another candidate who waded into the busing debate in the 1970s on the opposite side of Biden: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
In her first law review article, published in 1975 in the Rutgers Law Review and recently unearthed by CNN's KFile, Warren sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling in the case Milliken v. Bradley, writing that it made it easier for school districts to stop busing students in northern cities.
Warren's law review article sheds light on a previously unexplored early career stance on busing that contrasts with Biden's approach during the same time period. Biden defended his past position in an exclusive interview with CNN this week.
This should be brought up at the next debate. Warren basically predicted that the ruling would have a negative effect on education and on the makeup of large cities, and she was right.
How you felt about an issue forty or fifty years ago probably ended up shaping who you are right now. When Elizabeth Warren was out there, doing her thing, she was probably on the right side of history more often than not. When she was engaged in the problems facing Americans, she was usually looking at it from the perspective of someone who understood how to stand up for working people. This is why she went from being a Republican to a Democrat.
Who in their right mind would ever think the GOP was a friend to working Americans?
Of course, there are going to be examples where someone was on the wrong side of history. Old Joe Biden is certainly realizing what that feels like, and Bernie Sanders has walled himself off from any introspection whatsoever when it comes to gun policy. The primary process allows voters to see the candidate and their history of ideas. This is another example where Elizabeth Warren was right all along, dammit.
Her entire career was a slow evolution from one kind of person into another, and that’s where we are right now. We have a slate of great candidates. I’m not at the point where I would say that I was going to vote for someone, but I’m getting there. When I look at the roads these people have travelled, I am starting to see how we can come to a consensus on a nominee.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Dementia




This is what Trump said on the 4th of July:

"In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified Army out of the Revolutionary Forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.

"Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant."

Aside from being confused and ridiculous, can we finally start to have a discussion about his somewhat obvious dementia? Or is it early onset of Alzheimer’s? Or is it some other mental health issue that has become more and more evident?

The danger here is that Trump could be diagnosed improperly. Here’s how you solve that issue.

Get three civilian doctors. All of them should be in good standing, no affiliation with the United States government, and they should be well regarded in the field of caring for elderly patients with cognitive issues. They should be well versed in diagnosing and treating patients who have a wide range of issues. Pick them randomly, but pick them soon.

It is pretty clear that Ivanka Trump is the handler for Trump’s public appearances. She is there to correct and guide him, primarily because he is less likely to explode in anger at her and start lashing out. This creates a crisis in and of itself—who is running the United States right now? If you want to put this issue to rest, give Trump a comprehensive examination and issue a report that can be verified and trusted. Until then, you can be rest assured that there is something wrong with Trump and no one wants to acknowledge it or deal with it.

I don’t trust the military doctors who have been treating him because they are subject to orders. Whatever that jackass Ronny Jackson did for Trump should be discounted. Trump needs to have his cognitive abilities assessed again because what we are seeing in public is a meltdown.

If Trump were a Democrat, every Republican alive would already be screaming for this to happen.

Shitshow




Congratulations, America.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Trump is the President of Nothing




Why is it only just now beginning to dawn on people that Trump is not only incompetent, crazy, and vile but that he is also politically radioactive as well?

White House aides have reportedly struggled to draw crowds to Donald Trump’s Fourth of July celebrations, with service chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps set to skip the planned display of military might.

Despite facing accusations that he is politicizing an important holiday, emulating displays in authoritarian countries and wasting taxpayers’ money, Trump is set to mark Independence Day by delivering a speech about patriotism on the steps of the Lincoln memorial.

The event, which Trump said would be the “show of a lifetime,” will also feature a flyover by Air Force One, a display of tanks and a lengthier-than-usual fireworks display.

In a morning tweet, Trump called the event “SALUTE TO AMERICA” and claimed people “are coming from far and wide to join us today and tonight for what is turning out to be one of the biggest celebrations in the history”.

The Pentagon said the administration has provided 5,000 tickets for Trump’s Independence Day event to the military. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign has also handed passes out to Republican allies and donors.

But White House aides have reportedly struggled to draw crowds to the event because of the last minute arrangements. Congress is not in session, and Washington typically becomes quieter over the holiday, as residents escape the city’s summer heat.

“They started this too late and everyone has plans already,” Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor, told Politico, which reported that even top level White House officials were also expected – but not confirmed – to attend.

Do you know what people are really paying attention to right now? Whether they can get re-elected next year. Get ready for another wave of retirements (basically, that’s what Justin Amash did with his decision to leave the Republican Party).

Why would anyone stand next to Trump in public right now? He’s the most unpopular incumbent in the history of polling. He has consistently faced disapproval ratings that would make any reasonable person think, hey, I’m bad at this, I’m bad at my job, and people do not like what I’m doing.

The problem for you and me is that he won’t do the right thing and resign. He won’t do what Lyndon Johnson did and decline to run for re-election. But, here’s what should give everyone something to think about. An energized Democratic Party is ready to pull out all the stops and fight for control of the White House. We have great candidates and a fantastic debate going on. The Blue Wave of 2018 was a tsunami, and Democrats are going to be able to run against an unpopular president who stages horrible things like what we’re seeing today. A shitshow at the feet of Abraham Lincoln is all it is. Elect a clown and you get the circus for free.

All of this reveals that Trump doesn’t lead America, nor is he really president of anything. The people are not behind him. If there was a cataclysmic event, the first reaction from a majority of Americans would be to discount or simply ignore anything Trump had to say.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Standing Up to the Sadists




Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doing exactly what every single male in Congress should be doing—she is standing up up for the weak, the oppressed, and everyone who is living at the mercy of what seems to be a veritable gang of thugs and sadists:

Democratic members of Congress decried the treatment of detained immigrants in border detention facilities following a tour of one such building here that has come under scrutiny following reports of squalid conditions. 

In a series of tweets, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said after touring a separate facility earlier in the day, "People (are) drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress."

"I brought it up to their superiors," she said in one tweet. "They said 'officers are under stress & act out sometimes.' No accountability.

Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with CNN that she did not feel safe.

"In the last facility, I was not safe from the officers," she told CNN's Natasha Chen on her way into the Clint facility. Ocasio-Cortez grew frustrated during the tours. She screamed at Border Patrol agents for trying to take selfies with her before she toured one facility, according to her spokesman Corbin Trent.

Ocasio-Cortez is seeing through the bullshit, and she is doing the Lord’s work in trying to get people to realize how bad things are for the people being held in these facilities. If she were a man, no one would be complaining about her language or demeanor. This is sexism 101.

Up til now, she’s been spot-on in her assertions and observations about things, so I have no problem going out on a limb to say that what she is seeing is probably as bad, if not worse, than what we’ve already been told. She has something very few people do right now, and that’s credibility.

She wasn’t alone, of course, but the pussies who are crying out that the mean little woman from New York City who yelled at them can’t cover up all of their crimes against humanity:

Lawmakers congregated in front of the beige facility Monday afternoon and decried the conditions, as protestors chanted over them. Chairman Joaquin Castro, flanked by his colleagues, said, "The system is still broken." Posters saying #Free the Children and "Humanitarian Aid Is Never a Crime Drop the Charges" floated overhead.

"It's not just about money, it's also about the standards of care," Castro told CNN. "We're going to have put a hell of a lot of pressure on the Trump administration, through appropriations, through investigations, to get them to change what they're doing."

In an interview with CNN, Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán expressed frustration about not getting sufficient answers from officials. "We're not getting any answers on some of the programming, like (Migrant Protection Protocols)," she said. The MPP policy requires that some asylum seekers wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration hearings.

Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania tweeted "conditions are far worse than we ever could have imagined" and that "this is a human rights crisis."

"(Fifteen) women in their 50s- 60s sleeping in a small concrete cell, no running water. Weeks without showers. All of them separated from their families," Dean wrote on Twitter.

This is the work of sadists, top to bottom. You cannot let situations like this get so far out of hand that members of Congress end up seeing the results for themselves. That is inexcusable, and for these people to fail to understand that it is the right and the privilege of members of Congress to inspect their facilities and see how taxpayer dollars are being spent is just impossible to comprehend. What did they think would happen?

Did they really think they could house people in filth and no one would say anything? Do the men and women running these facilities have no decency or self-respect? And do they not realize that if they’ve broken the law, they are going to be tried and punished? What the hell were these officials thinking? Congress is now going to bring the walls down around them if they find more evidence of wrongdoing and criminal behavior. Hell, this goes to the level of a massive human rights violation, right here in the United States of America. If these were white college girls from the University of Alabama being housed like this, they’d bury these guards under the goddamned jail.

What country do they think they live in? Just because Trump and the Republicans are in power, that does not excuse anything they’re doing, nor will the stain of what they’ve done be washed away.

There is, to be quite honest, hell to pay.

So, the Federal Government and the alt-right are trying to run a disinformation campaign against a group of Democratic members of Congress. Good luck with that.



The Dog and Pony Show




In Russia, tank parade lands on you!

Worried individuals are actively leaking the behind-the-scenes details of Trump’s decision to hold a military tank parade on Pennsylvania Avenue. You’d think someone was about to shit their pants:

National Park Service acting director P. Daniel Smith faces plenty of looming priorities this summer, from an $11 billion (£8.68bn) backlog in maintenance needs to natural disasters like the recent wildfire damage to Big Bend Park.

But in recent days, another issue has competed for Smith’s attention: how to satisfy President Trump’s request to station tanks or other armored military vehicles on the Mall for his planned Fourth of July address to the nation.

The ongoing negotiations over whether to use massive military hardware, such as Abrams tanks or Bradley Fighting Vehicles , as a prop for Trump’s “Salute to America” is just one of many unfinished details when it comes to the celebration planned for Thursday, according to several people briefed on the plan, who requested anonymity to speak frankly.

White House officials intend to give out tickets for attendees to sit in a VIP section and watch Trump’s speech, but did not develop a distribution system before much of the staff left for Asia last week, according to two administration officials. Officials are also still working on other key crowd management details, such as how to get attendees through magnetometers in an orderly fashion.

Has everyone been asleep since Inauguration Day, 2017? There is no moderation involved when it comes to the spectacle of Trumpism. It will be tanks on parade or nothing. Someone has to entertain the half-wits and the failsons of our Republican rulers.

Never mind that this is straight out of the old Soviet playbook. Always dress up what little of your military equipment is still working and drive it past the Kremlin so that the meek will tremble before the wrath of the mighty. How would you have liked to have been the poor sap whose T-64 broke down in front of the cameras? Off to the Gulag with you, then.

There was a time when Democrats and Republicans routinely mocked the Kremlin’s military parades. No more. The GOP is firmly adherent to the cult of Putinism via Trumpism. They are practically the same thing, although one comes with a saltier bag of dicks.

Really, it’s just a tragic reminder that a mere handful of Republican senators could stop this bullshit. GOP officials at the cabinet rank could solve everything and sign documentation invoking the 25th Amendment. But none ever will. There is no courage on the Republican side of the House or Senate. A fully independent judiciary routinely lets the Constitution end up in the toilet. And I have no use for the so-called “Never Trumpers” out there. Really, would you be so vocal if someone had given you a job working in the White House? Of course not.

These people have debased the very idea of America, all in the name of wringing liberal tears out of a horrified nation.