Friday, August 28, 2020

That Was Some Weird Shit

If you were lucky enough to see even a small part of Trump's acceptance speech/white grievance address at the Republican National Convention last night, you already know that that was some weird shit.

The entire four day convention boiled down to showing things that are happening right now in America and then saying, "look what will happen if you elect Joe Biden."


Four more years of this and everything will lay in ruins, you dumbasses.

It's the most insane fucking argument that an incumbent president could make. Instead of showing all the bad things that are happening, they should have spent the entire four days counter-programming the news by showing normal, every day activities in America and then completely ignore what's really going on. That would have been more effective.

This was a four-day, prime-time infomercial that benefitted the idea that we have to vote every single Republican into oblivion, repeatedly and without equivocation, for the next fifty years. Not a one of these people should ever be allowed to control any budget larger than that of fifty dollars and even then I wouldn't expect to find a nickel of that has been spent wisely. This was a political convention that was inadvertently designed to make you want to remove these people from power and vote for the other guy. In other words, this was a dumpster full of tires, exploding buckets of shit, and open paint cans that burned itself out. Removing it will require a roll-off truck and plenty of muscle.

The problem with that is that the entire conservative media establishment is conditioned to show chaos, anger, and outrage in order to frighten the base of the Republican Party into voting out of fear. That has been the Fox News business model since its inception. Show graphic violence and tell stories that terrify older, white Americans and then watch the cash roll in.

There was nothing in the RNC that would sway a swing voter or someone who hasn't made up their mind as to who to vote for. This was all designed to keep the base from abandoning Trump. It was a greatest hits package of all the things that scare the living shit out of white people in their 80s who are staring into the abyss.

Anyway, it's over. And it was the weirdest shit you could have ever imagined, and that's saying a lot.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Russian Troops Are Attacking Americans in Syria

Russian troops in Syria are apparently trying to kill Americans and collect bounties:
U.S. service members were injured after an altercation with Russian forces in northeast Syria this week, according to a draft military statement and a person familiar with the matter.
Four troops have been diagnosed with mild concussion-like symptoms after the incident, according to draft Pentagon statement reviewed by POLITICO. A second U.S. source briefed on the matter confirmed that multiple U.S. troops were injured.
Videos of the encounter that emerged on Twitter on Wednesday appeared to show a Russian vehicle ramming an American vehicle, and a Russian helicopter flying low over U.S. forces.

Pentagon spokespeople declined to comment or confirm the videos.
The draft statement POLITICO reviewed, written by U.S. Central Command, said a Russian vehicle intentionally rammed a coalition vehicle, and that four U.S. troops were injured. The Russian vehicles unsafely pursued U.S. forces, according to the statement.
The U.S. has roughly 500 troops in Syria, primarily in the northeastern part of the country. The American troops are fighting alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces to destroy the remnants of the Islamic State militant group.
I would not believe ANYTHING in this statement. I wouldn't believe that the number of Americans injured is only four and I would tend to believe that this is a heavily sanitized version of events until it is confirmed and proven and then confirmed again. The political pressure that is being directed at maintaining "friendly" and "compliant" relations is enormous given the very evident fact that Trump is a Russian asset.

This is being timed to further destabilize American politics and throw more chaos and confusion into our foreign policy. The Russians know that, if Trump is removed from office, the Department of Defense under a Biden Administration will be much more difficult to push around.

There is no mistaking the fact that an American Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle was deliberately rammed by Russian troops in the field.

After reviewing the video, you can clearly see that the Russians are not interested in working with us nor are they capable of being any kind of coalition partner when it comes to operating in Syria or anywhere else. Putin's troops are so poorly led and trained that it is a wonder no one was killed. This is similar to how their aircraft "buzz" ours and engage in aggressive activity in order to intimidate our pilots and air crews.

Here is another video:
Nothing is preventing the Russians from killing our troops. A normal, functioning Pentagon led by actual professionals and capable political appointees would have already separated our operations from those of the Russians or would have taken the necessary steps to withdraw our troops from that part of Syria. There is no reason for us to be there, carrying out operations with the Russians in proximity to our troops, if they are going to be aggressive and reckless.

We should take steps to protect ourselves from any Russian forces that come into contact with U.S. or NATO forces. They are not our friends or partners. They are rivals and adversaries.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

He Wanted to Get Medieval on Their Asses

Miles Taylor used to go into meetings with Trump and hear things that would make a normal person leave the room screaming.
The national security official couldn’t get through a meeting “without him doing 20 tangents, becoming irascible, turning red in the face, demanding a diet Coke, spewing spit,” Taylor explained. “Literally out of goddamn nowhere, he'd be like, ‘You know, who’s just my favorite guy? The MyPillow guy. Do any of you have those pillows?’”

When it came to the border wall, Trump would dream up “sickening” medieval plots “to pierce the flesh” of migrants, rip all the families apart, “maim,” and gas them, Taylor claims. “This was a man with no humanity whatsoever,” Taylor says. “He says, we got to do this, this, this, and this, all of which are probably impossible, illegal unethical,” Taylor recalls, but he was writing them down as the president spoke. “And he looks over me and he goes, ‘you fucking taking notes?’”
Aside from the fact that this is just more proof that Trump is crazy, why aren't we talking more about the fact that he's cruel and insane? And seems to be a ripe candidate for ADHD drugs? And averse to reason? And incapable of focusing on what's happening? And unable to concentrate or read? And unfamiliar with how to function as a normal adult? And how he totally gets a pass from the media who have been conditioned to let Republican Daddy hit them and call them names? And how he doesn't understand the law? And how he is terrified that someone is writing down the actual things that he says?

Why aren't we talking about Trump's illegal use of pardons? Taylor goe

s on to say that Trump offered pardons to Homeland Security officials if they would just forget their understanding of America's laws and put in place his criminally insane and negligent immigration policies.

I mean, what the fuck? Why didn't Taylor pull the whistleblower lever and tell this to everyone AS TRUMP WAS BEING IMPEACHED. What a sniveling little shit. I'm sorry, but if you knew this was going on and did nothing, hell is too good for you and Heaven is beyond your reach.

And on and on and on. I'm afraid that Woodward's new book, and the one that he writes about Trump after this, are going to be too kind to this dumpster fire of a presidency.

Jesus, these people. They exhaust the hell out of you with their bullshit, don't they?

Monday, August 24, 2020

Handpicked Criminal Denies His Criminal Activity

This is the sort of question everyone should ask of a Republican these days.

"Has Donald Trump promised to pardon you?"

When asked that question today, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy shat himself I mean stammered and what the hell is going on with these people?

This is how bad the criminal activity has gotten. When asked about it in the open, Trump's lackeys are stumbling around for answers. A flat "no" is all they have to say. Unless, of course, they're planning on having some wiggle room when the FBI begins questioning them in February or March of next year.

Meanwhile, CREW has filed a criminal complaint against DeJoy for, among other things, being Trump's handpicked criminal to carry out crimes so that Trump can stay in office and keep criming. No, you couldn't make this up if you tried. Yes, these people are going to prison.

And, no. None of this is normal and no Democratic appointee would ever be allowed to act like this in public.

Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago?

This is a poll result that I really don't understand.

By any objective measure, the United States is not better off than it was four years ago. In terms of unemployment alone, no one can say we are "better off." In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, nope. Not better off. And in terms of our national political discourse, no way. We are not better off.

Republicans believe they are better off because they have put their faith in Trumpism. This is an all-encompassing state of delusional thinking. We should not be shocked to see the rise of the Qanon conspiracy theory cult because there are far too many people being swept up into a belief structure that requires ignorance above all else. You have to be completely disconnected from reality to think that Trump is doing a "reasonably good" job of leading the country.

I think that will fade when Trump is driven from office. There will come a day when you will not be able to meet anyone who will admit to having been fooled by Trump. They will quietly cover up their complicity. But, then again, there will always be about 33% of the population that will reflexively hate the other side and go down believing "their" president over empirical evidence. These people could literally be sitting in the burned out remains of their business and think that the man who poured gas on the floor and set it on fire was the only person not to blame for what was done to them.

Anyway, a poll of "national registered voters" is not even an objective measure of the population. This excludes people who haven't registered to vote, of course, and it skews heavily against people who have a plan to vote Trump out of office. I would say that the numbers of people who think we are better off are populated with voters who have been conditioned to ignore the news and vote with their "gut" instinct.

Americans will continue to vote against their economic self-interest until they finally wake up. That's the real lesson here. No matter how bad it gets for them, they will still pull the lever for the political party that is trying to crush them.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Yard Signs Don't Matter

This election season is supercharged with passion, negativity, and white hot anger. Plus, everyone's been cooped up for months and families have been screaming at each other over mundane things, like fish sticks and margarine vs butter.

Basketball game playing person coach Stan Van Gundy has asked people if they have some advice.

Here's my advice: don't even bother putting up a sign. Vote on November 3. That's far more important than what sits in your yard.

In the event that you find yourself wondering if yard signs matter, please understand one thing. Political yard signs are meaningless. What matters is if you actually vote. Yard signs don't sway voters or change their minds. What they accomplish is essentially meaningless. They may give you a sense of how things are going to go in your community. However, yard signs really don't translate into votes or anything other than opportunities for people to commit misdemeanor crimes.

Police officers have better things to do, even in 2020 when it seems like those things always end up on the news for the wrong reasons. When someone reports the theft of their political signs, understand that all this means is that they're stating a preference for a candidate by putting something in their yard. It does not mean they're actually going to vote, nor does it mean that the sign itself is going to compel someone else to vote for their candidate. It's visual static, something that gives the person who displays the sign a false sense of belonging to a specific tribe.

Don't steal election signs. Let them be! Speaking words of wisdom, let them be! Listen to Paul McCartney, he had it right, mostly.

You're entitled to disagree, but it won't do any good because I'm right. Yard signs don't matter. Take my favorite person in the world, which is me, of course. I already know who I'm going to vote for! I'm voting for Joe and Kamala. I don't give two fucks what you're going to do! This is America! Do whatever your freak flag advertises.

Your oversized yard signs, t-shirts, bumperstickers, and MAGA hats don't mean shit to me. They cannot change my mind, not even subliminally, which is what yard sign advocates usually cite to refute people like me who tell you the truth. Subliminal advertising cheese works cheese but only on the cheese really weak-minded people who cheese can't seem to sort out what is cheese and what is cheese and I'm committing a crime against cheese here so I'll stop.

There are people who say, "how can I tell people what I think about things?" Well, one way to do that is to, yes, put a political sign in your front yard. News flash! No one -- and I'm including your mom and your dumb cousin who wants power and prestige -- cares what you think about anything so long as it doesn't directly affect them or contradict their closely-held beliefs. Don't believe me? Put a sign in your yard that says GOD DOES NOT EXIST.

See what happens!

Well, for one thing, few people will actually care except for well meaning, overly concerned people who want to "change your mind" and "save your soul." Beyond that, the sign will probably fade away before anyone steals it. In most cases, a stolen political sign is the handiwork of bored kids. Honestly, no one cares what is in your yard unless it's your Home Owners Association and it is something, like a Trump sign, that lowers the value of the properties around it.

A weak-minded, low-information voter who votes based on the last sign they see before they go into the voting booth is rare and is actually more likely to not show up at all or write in Mickey Damned Mouse. That's America! YOU CAN BE STOOPID OF COURSE. But, if your mind can be changed so easily, it's relatively clear that you shouldn't even be driving to the polls much less voting.

All the Trump signs, Trump boat parades, Trump memorabilia, and Trump steaks in the world are not going to persuade an informed citizen to do something stupid on Election Day. That's just background noise that gets tuned out.

Be smart. Vote! And ignore the trappings that go with elections. Sure, it's fun to put a sign that tells people to vote for Judge Bo Bippity to be the next 3rd Circuit Judge of the Fallen Timbers Region but who the hell is going to see that sign and then remember to turn the ballot over and vote for each of the no-name clowns on it? So, why bother? Is your idiot cousin running for the school board? Put a sign in your yard and try not to laugh when they get 345 votes after 80,000 people vote to put someone smart on the board. Play along, but remember:

Yard signs don't matter.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Area Hobo Awaits Presidential Pardon

When you're out there doing crimes, make sure you already have a presidential pardon in your hip pocket: 
New York federal prosecutors on Thursday charged President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser Steve Bannon and three others with defrauding donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a fundraising campaign purportedly aimed at supporting Trump's border wall.

Bannon was arrested Thursday morning, according to a spokesman for the US attorney's office. Bannon's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bannon will make his initial court appearance in New York later Thursday, according to the US attorney's office.
The four men are indicted for allegedly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to a group called We Build the Wall and using the funds for personal expenses, among other things.

According to prosecutors, Bannon, through a non-profit identified as Non-Profit-1, used more than $1 million from We Build the Wall to "secretly" pay another defendant, Brian Kolfage, and cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bannon's personal expenses.

In a banana republic, friends of the dictator always skate on charges like this. It's a simple matter of fleecing the MAGA rubes who throw eleven dollars at something they hate because they're flush on beer and meth. Bannon saw his chance to wring a few bucks out of them. This is the tip of the conservative movement iceberg. To see, what the indictment alleges, "hundreds of thousands" of these people get ripped off is a magical moment in American political discourse.

Not one of them will be mature or self-aware enough to process the fact that they were robbed blind by Steve Bannon, a man who just rolled out of a dumpster so he could congratulate himself for not shitting his best pair of pants.

Bannon probably thought he was going to get away with it otherwise he would have been in Europe or the Middle East right now. This isn't the last you're ever going to hear of Bannon. He's heavily involved in what amounts to a dozen other schemes to rip people off and escape accountability through his personal connection to Trump. The green light was given to these animals a long time ago. Gather your acorns and wait for the papers to drop.

Will Trump pardon him? It depends. Bannon has leverage on him by virtue of knowing how the Cambridge Analytica scheme worked. But then there's that tried and true adage that if Trump doesn't need you or fear you, he's already dropped you. So, I have no idea. What I do know is that if we had a real Justice Department, Bannon would have excellent company in Federal Prison.


A short list of individuals associated with this Build the Wall scam: -Bannon -Kris Kobach -Erik Prince -Curt Schilling -"Sheriff" David Clarke -Tom Tancredo

Monday, August 17, 2020

Count on Biden Winning by Six Points

The media loves a horserace, and 2020 is no different. My opinions are not meant to convince you or reassure you, but here's what I believe will happen on Election Day.

Trump will try to steal the election. He will be assisted in this endeavor by the Russians, the Saudis, and probably some combination of the UAE, China, and Turkey. Their efforts will largely fail because the turnout will overwhelm previous elections and hew very closely to the 2018 Blue Tsunami that swept the GOP out of power in the House and out of power in numerous states. The rejection of Trumpism will mean electoral defeat.

I think Biden will win the popular vote by at least six points, perhaps seven million votes in total. That may be conservative, but he is not the same figure as Hillary with the same baggage. The panic you see right now ignores the fact that it is still summer and the numbers won't start to harden for at least a month, if not longer. Trump has done nothing to appeal to the center and he has done nothing but celebrate an unstable, unreasonable base that will vote only for white supremacy. There is no other appeal with Trump, nothing else that redeems him and no other way that he appeals to Americans. He represents white power and nothing more.

Remember this phrase. "The cake is baked."

That means that the race is largely already decided. Trump is not going to win any more voters over to his side. The opposition to his presidency hardened within weeks of him taking office. Americans have to turn out and vote if they want change. I believe that there are enough to end his presidency and these are the voters who voted in 2018 to put a stop to the criminal insanity of GOP governance. Structurally, the Republicans control enough of the country to hold back a massive landslide that would otherwise leave them with 30 Senate seats and 100 House seats.

If we're really, really lucky, that's what Election Day 2022 will look like in terms of repudiating the last four years. But that's the optimist speaking here. The realist says we're in for a tough road ahead.

What concerns me is that the American people are never going to be "reasonable" in the years ahead. What should be a four hundred electoral vote for the Democratic candidate blowout will probably be about 325 for Biden. It will be convincing enough to force Trump and his army of lawyers to fight a rearguard action against being hurled out of office that will fail. They will scare people, they will muddy the transition, and then the pardons will come in a flurry. Biden and Harris will take over a broken government that is littered with destruction, empty chairs, and overflowing paper shredders.

The media will be depressed by this outcome. They want four more years of chaos and upheaval. The far right wants to crush their enemies, who happen to be other Americans. The far left wants a 1917 styled revolution that destroys the moderate wing of the Democratic Party as well as all other pretenders. Nobody will be happy.

The thing I have to remember is that a centrist campaign for the presidency is going to drive me crazy. Biden will appeal to every single voter that he can get and try to win Ohio, Texas and Georgia. This is probably not the wrong strategy, but it won't inspire the people who handed him the nomination.

If the GOP holds the Senate, we're in for at least two years of paralysis and gridlock, which the media will love.

I'm probably wrong, but there it is.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Trump and Melania Are No Longer an Item

It is clear to everyone who notices these things that Trump cannot put his hands on Melania without causing her to turn, pull away and reject his attempts to hold on to her. This is due to several factors. One, Trump is terrified of falling and needs her to be there to help him. Two, she does not want him to touch her. Three, she doesn't care if there are cameras rolling or not.
It has become a form of Kremlinology, watching her all but scream "no! do not touch me!" every time they are accidentally next to one another. How can you conclude that these people are even still married given how she reacts when he is in proximity to her? It's a farce. They're not a couple anymore. They're linked by something sinister and wrong.

If this was a Democratic couple, the tea leaves would have already been read. We have been subjected to endless commentaries on the personal relationships of Democratic politicians and their spouses. We will see more of this in the months ahead. The media ignores the fact that Melania is openly refusing to have physical contact with her husband because they are afraid of right wing pushback on the idea that theirs is anything other than a marriage of expedience and temporary insanity.

This is clear evidence of the hypocrisy in how the different sides are covered. What is happening in plain sight is ignored in favor of maintaining access to Trump's sycophant-riddled fiasco of a regime.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Birther Movement Returns

If you were waiting around to see what the right-wing media complex would coalesce around in terms of opposing Senator Kamala Harris, look no further:
Interestingly, this recitation of the original meaning of the 14th Amendment Citizenship Clause might also call into question Harris' eligibility for her current position as a United States senator. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution specifies that to be eligible for the office of senator, one must have been "nine Years a Citizen of the United States." If Harris was not a citizen at birth, we would need to know when (if ever) she became a citizen. Her father's biographical page at Stanford University identifies his citizenship status as follows: "Jamaica (by birth); U.S. (by naturalization)." But there is some dispute over whether he was in fact ever naturalized, and it is also unclear whether Harris' mother ever became a naturalized citizen. If neither was ever naturalized, or at least not naturalized before Harris' 16th birthday (which would have allowed her to obtain citizenship derived from their naturalization under the immigration law, at the time), then she would have had to become naturalized herself in order to be a citizen. That does not appear to have ever happened, yet without it, she could not have been "nine Years a Citizen of the United States" before her election to the U.S. Senate.
This is all racist, bigoted nonsense. John Eastman is using the faded legitimacy of Newsweek to air out nonsensical legal arguments against Harris as a way of launching a million Republican birther fantasies.

His reading of the law is a fever dream:
Harris is a citizen of the United States and has been since birth.
She was born in Oakland, California, on Oct. 20, 1964, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Her parents were both immigrants — her father from Jamaica and her mother from India.
By virtue of her birth in California, Harris is a natural-born U.S. citizen.
The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment provides that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
And that's not dependent on their parents' citizenship. "Anyone born on U.S. soil and subject to its jurisdiction is a natural born citizen, regardless of parental citizenship," according to the Cornell Legal Information Institute.
Parental citizenship is relevant to an individual's citizenship status only if the individual is born outside of the United States.
In other words, Eastman knows he's wrong but he doesn't care. What a fumbledick.

And, due to the fact that people like Chris Cillizza, et al, remain in positions of influence at large media organizations (and thus, know nothing), we are about to be subjected to months of this garbage. We will see variations on this theme from here on in because, no matter how many times you discredit these people, they keep finding a way to ooze out from under the rug and look for useful idiots in the media to amplify their message of hate and intolerance.

You're telling me that Kamala isn't an American and probably isn't even legally a United States Senator? And this is the guy picked to deliver that message? Expert takedown by the great James Fallows here:

What a bunch of horseshit. Thanks to Trump, this is what people like Eastman are going to get away with from now on any time a person of color appears on a national ticket.

The 14th Amendment is a relic of an outdated time. You can be born somewhere else, come to America, end of loving this country and what it represents when it is run the right way, and you should be eligible to run for president. There is nothing more American than that.

This latest trial balloon is going to be recycled through numerous outlets and it will be swatted down, you can bet on it. That's because racist attacks on a person's legitimacy and right to hold office is a thing you can pull from the standard Republican playbook. Anyone who isn't white is not a citizen, and they will beat that fucking drum until they can't beat it anymore.

What a disgrace these people are to the idea of democracy and decency.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

This is the Country I Want to Live In

When I look at this picture of Kamala Harris, it tells me that this is the country I want to live in.

It tells me that this is a person who was brought into this world and given the slimmest of chances to succeed and prevail and she did. She built a life for herself and is now the nominee for Vice President of the United States of America.

No one handed her a goddamned thing. No one gave Joe Biden a free ride, a half a billion dollars, a golden ticket, a brass ring, or a Cadillac dealership. These are the people who came up in an America that wasn't free, wasn't equal, wasn't fair, and wasn't built for a working class man or an African-American woman.

They walked on different paths to this moment in American history. The sheer terror of it all must have been something for each of them. For Biden to lose his wife and his children and all that and still be a decent man who helps others without hesitation and uses every ounce of his accumulated power and prestige to be a benefit to anyone within earshot is amazing, in and of itself.

Here is a person who attained virtually everything every white man in America feels he is owed and has never once held back in his desire to lift others up the ladder ahead of him. That's a man special enough to be the fucking president. He has none of Trump's pathetic need to be recognized as a powerful, wealthy, successful man. He has none of Trump's broken soul in him.

And for him to pick Harris and lift her up and put her on a path that will continue, I hope, to something ahead of what he has achieved is really something for our country to be proud of. When you lift others up, you do so knowing they will get ahead of you. To do that, day after day, in public life, is the thing that makes the country believe in itself again. Picking Harris is a nod to the greater good.

Now is the time to spit on both hands, grab something heavy, and start hacking away at making President Biden and Vice President Harris happen. It's time to get the fuck on with this and get to November third. Wastrels, weasels, and purity trolls need to be driven into the wilderness and Republicans need to be chased out of office.

Don't boo, vote.

This is the country I want to live in.

Monday, August 10, 2020

This is How Trump Destroys America

Making sure that old people starve to death and live in abject poverty is just one of those added features of having Trump as your president:
his executive action suspending collection of payroll taxes hands the Democrats the kind of issue that can sink a candidacy. It is nothing less than a declaration of war on Social Security and Medicare. The payroll tax funds those two vital and beloved programs. When you suspend collection of the revenue that funds those two programs, you endanger their viability. Say it with me, Democrats: Donald Trump wants to gut Medicare and Social Security.

The Center for American Progress jumped on this like a duck on a June bug. Even before Trump announced his executive order and three memorandums on Saturday, CAP was out with a memo slamming the President. CAP says that if his scheme works it "would divert hundreds of billions from Social Security and Medicare." Every Democrat should repeat that.

Trump is an impulsive, impetuous man; that we know. But on the issue of cutting Social Security and Medicare, this is not his first attempt. His 2021 and 2020 budgets each proposed deep and painful cuts in Social Security and Medicare. How deep? How painful? $2 trillion over ten years, according to the Wall Street Journal. What a coincidence: that's about how much Trump's 2017 tax cut for corporate America cost. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Trump's corporate tax cut has a price tag of $1.9 trillion.
Normally, I would not link to a Paul Begala op-ed piece, but this is the essential point that has to be made--Trump is handing the Democrats an election year issue that would destroy any other candidate in mere minutes. In the Trump era, it means we get to hear "both sides" of the issue and someone will likely blame President Obama for not already destroying Social Security when he had the chance (whatever that means).

In any other era of American politics, calling for the end of Social Security and Medicare would put you on the ash heap of history along with all the other nutjobs who ran dead last in the cranks-only primary. With Trump, you get to see what colossal stupidity looks like when the elite media takes it seriously.

Democrats should start running ads immediately. Trump plainly says he wants to end the payroll tax that funds these critical programs, and that's tantamount to making this a third world country where people die of fear and neglect. I am hoping they pick up the football and run with it. I suspect they'll just pretend to be concerned and write a sternly-worded letter that will go right into the circular filing cabinet.

What the Hell Happened With Kodak?

When I wrote about this earlier, I was convinced that this was an example of Trump-era insider trading. It's the kind of thing that is blatant, out in the open, and will largely go unpunished because there's no one minding the store.

Turns out, there are some legs to this story:
Shares of Eastman Kodak Co. KODK, -24.93% plummeted 45% in active premarket trading Monday, after reports the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. is withholding its planned $765 million loan after the deal came under regulatory scrutiny. The stock had rocketed 13-fold in two days, after it was announced on July 28 that the IDFC would provide Kodak a the loan to help produce the ingredients to maker generic drugs. Under question how Kodak controlled the disclosure of the loan, as the stock soared 25% in active trading the day before the news was reported, amid active stock option trading. Kodak disclosed on Friday that it appointed a special committee to oversee and internal review of recent activity by the company and related parties in connection with the announcement of the potential government loan. As of Friday's close of $14.88, the stock had pulled back 55% since July 29.
I'm still not convinced anything will come of it. Senator Kelly Loeffler and Senator Richard Burr should have been forced to resign for their COVID-19 profiteering. In the Trump era, the only maxim that applies is, "you must let me wet my beak."

Friday, August 7, 2020

Hot Gun Mama

Years ago, a delusional nut job named Dana Loesch was trying to get herself a new line of work.
Loesch has fast gained notoriety as the NRA spokeswoman representing the organization amid intense backlash after the Parkland school shooting last week. Her newfound fame must have triggered a memory for “NCIS: New Orleans” and “The Librarians” producer Paul Guyot, who tweeted about a sitcom idea he says Loesch pitched him several years ago.
“Dana Loesch came to me 10yrs ago pitching a sitcom starring herself: ‘A hot young mom who does far right radio show,'” Guyot wrote Wednesday, the night of Loesch’s much-talked about appearance at a CNN Town Hall on gun control. “Said her age & looks would make 1 side hate her & 1 love her so everyone would watch. Was obsessed w the potential fame & money. I turned her down.”
I just don't think it's going to happen now that the State of New York has decided to turn the NRA into a pile of dust. If Trump gets re-elected, maybe the networks will come calling.

All We Asked For Was Justice


The simple act of asking for justice is happening in Louisville right now.  What's extraordinary about this effort is that it even has to happen at all. The lack of justice here is breathtaking. An African-American woman was killed in her own home by overzealous, militarized cops looking for the wrong person. 

How much longer do you think people are going to be polite when this is going on?

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

While You Were Distracted

Senator Richard Blumenthal is probably not the best messenger for this type of warning, but it is interesting to note that someone is at least trying to cut through the noise and static and warn the American people.

I think it is a warning that should come from the leadership of the Democratic Party in the Senate, and Blumenthal should have coordinated this with the other members of the Senate caucus. At the very least, he should have other Senators weighing in with him and joining in calls that demand accountability. Senator Mark Warner should be right with him on this, at a minimum. As of right now, Warner is focused on other issues.

If there is, in fact, ongoing foreign interference and sabotage of our election process, one Senator tweeting about it is not the way to disseminate the information. It needs to be shared in a responsible way that does not compromise classified information. That, in and of itself, is entirely a separate problem. The public's right to know what is happening is far more important than keeping this classified and hidden from view. If anything, 2016 should have taught us that countering this effort should not be kept secret. There should have been more warnings about how the Russians and the GOP were working together.

What's also of note is that Blumenthal might not even be referencing the Russians. A whole host of nations are now invested in the idea of keeping a weak, bumbling, feeble Trump in power. And all this is going on while people are distracted by bullshit.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Nothing Else Matters

Because you and tens of thousands of dead Americans don't matter, Trump is on his way to his personal golf club in Sterling, Virginia:

These are the actions of a man who knows that the fix is in. He's not concerned with trying to win re-election. He doesn't care about the economy or COVID-19 or any of the other problems facing this country. He simply doesn't give a shit if people are dying. He can't hold rallies, so his attitude now is "fuck it." If this isn't a pretty clear sign that Russia and a host of other outside elements are going to intervene on his behalf and steal the election, I don't know what is. Yesterday, the Speaker of the House had to shame a government official into admitting that the Russians are already well into the process of interfering in this election.

What's it going to take to wake people up?

Trump has always acted like the election was a nuisance rather than a necessity. Four years ago, he was busy trying to win the 2016 election by doing things like this:

You can see how far we've fallen as a country. This is the man that got elected. A man who would attack the family of a soldier killed in the global war on terrorism, a man who specifically went after a Gold Star mother because he knew he could attack her because she practiced a faith that wasn't Christian. And millions of Americans endorsed his comments and turned on the late Senator John McCain for daring to speak up on behalf of decency.

This is where we are, four years later. We're a country that is collapsing but, don't worry. Trump's golf game is what matters to him. Millions of Americans are perfectly fine with this even as many of them are literally dropping dead.

Perhaps we should stop worrying about who gets the nod for Vice President and go about the serious business of electing Joe Biden. Nothing else matters.