Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hold the front page!

Image result for frederica wilson hats No contest.  Nasty Woman of the Month Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL).  Reminds me of Bella Abzug, and not just for the hats.

It's the Great Trumpkin!

Another bad week for Putin's stooge, another good week for the world.  And it's only Tuesday.

Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly struck down the ban on transgender military people tweeted last summer, saying that among other things, it violates due process.  Out of sight in his office in the Pentagon, Secretary Mattis quietly celebrated.

The border patrol finally caught up with this would-be drug mule/terrorist, currently in a detention center in San Antonio.  Rosa Maria Hernandez is ten, developmentally disabled, and suffers from cerebral palsy, but you can't be too careful.  She was taken from her hospital bed after emergency surgery and may be deported to Mexico, a country she left at the age of three months.  Sleep well, America.

The man who unleashed ICE while he was Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, went on Fox to double down on his racism offer his analysis of the Civil War.  Like his boss, he thinks it could have been avoided through compromise.  He also praised the patriotism of Robert E. Lee.  Kelly may have been a Marine general, but he's no Smedley Butler.  Or much of a historian.  But whoever called him the "moral center" of the Trump regime was right-on.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico has cancelled the $300 million contract FEMA awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings, a tiny Montana outfit with, as they say, close ties to corrupt Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.  Tiny as in two people, but they promised to hire more to get the lights back on by December at the latest.  The grift, it is strong in this one.

Robert Mueller's Mischief Night gift was the indictments of Paul Manafort and a minor player called Gates, but the really intriguing news was the guilty plea of one George Papadopoulos, to lying to the FBI.  The information is fascinating, especially the part about a mysterious European called The Professor (Moriarty?) and Papadopoulos's energetic attempts to get a Trump-Putin face-to-face during the campaign.  (Like the Paul Sorvino character in GoodFellas, Putin apparently doesn't like to use the phone.)  Then there's a woman claiming to be Putin's niece...just read it.  As always, the MacGuffin was the elusive "dirt on Hillary."  Trump has already denounced Papadopoulos as a "liar," so I completely believe him.  Oh, and he barely even heard of campaign chairman Manafort.  Manafort?  Is that a Mexican name?

O media, o mores...Trumpologists are having a rough time of it.  Mark Halperin was fired by NBC for sexual misconduct while at ABC.  (Being a creep makes you unemployable, at least for a while, but I didn't know the toxicity reached across corporate lines.)  Sean Hannity came near apoplexy during a rant about the "crimes" of "President Hillary Clinton."  He may need a change in medication.  His entire network is a laughingstock for its efforts to distract from the Russia story by reporting absolutely anything else, up to and including the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.  I was glad to hear about the popularity of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups -- I love those things.  Hey, Doocy, who killed William Desmond Taylor?

Robert Mueller is finding out what it feels like to be Hillary Clinton.  He's now under siege from the Murdoch cartel, Alex Jones, John Kelly and the rest of the White House, Russian troll-bots, and for all I know King Xi of China.  (Well, that's what Trump calls him.)  So here...

That glowing, globular orange thing?  I'm afraid it's not a pumpkin.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The windows are open

CNN announced last night that one of Robert Mueller's grand juries voted its first indictment in the Trump-Putin treason case.  The judge has sealed the indictment until Monday, giving punters the weekend to place their bets.  As of 5 pm:

Manafort 5-9
Flynn Sr even
Kushner 4-2
Sessions 7-1
Trump Jr 8-1
Conway 12-2
Pence 20-1

The track is unusually sloppy, with everyone from Tweetledumb to Sieg-heil Gorka trying to distract the grandstand with cries of "Uranium!" "Benghazi!" "Whitewater!" "Pizza pedophilia!" and "Hey, look at all those sexual predators everyone does it fake news opioids Hillary paid the hookers to pee on Trump two women and a cute dog rescued at sea fake news FAKE NEWS kids in Halloween costumes can say Merry Christmas again!"  Also too, worse than the Rosenbergs execute her!

Remember, all proceeds go to Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands reconstruction.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vandalize my name

When Abraham Lincoln met Sojourner Truth, I read recently, he addressed her as "Auntie."  The Great Emancipator thought he was being respectful, but it makes you cringe.  The most basic kind of respect is to give the other person the dignity of a name.  A real name.  Pullman porters, all of whom were African American, were called "George" as a matter of company policy, because that was Pullman's name and also to save passengers the bother of learning their real names.  Well into the twentieth century, black Southerners were belittled and degraded by being called by their first names by white people who barely knew them, without regard to their ages and professions.

In the interests of Making America Great Again, we seem to be witnessing a return of this low-grade but insidious racism.  Myeshia Johnson has now had the dubious pleasure of two phone calls from Trump, and she maintains that he still has not used her dead husband's name or indicated that he even knows it.  Probably it's on a piece of paper in front of him, so it's more likely he just doesn't care.  Last week John Kelly lied outrageously about Rep. Frederica Wilson without even speaking her name, referring to her as an "empty barrel."  And today, Tweetledumb decided to get ready for his lunch with Senate Republicans by reviving his feud with one of them:  "Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee is now fighting Tax Cuts."

It's a classic.  Words capitalized at random (could his first language be German?), an obvious lie (Corker was twice elected to the Senate by comfortable margins), and the backhand smear of "President O" -- can't even make his tiny thumbs type "Obama"?  Which pharaoh was it who had his hated predecessor's name hacked off every structure he could find?  Now the "lazy," "illegitimate" black president will be disrespected in the same way, if Trumpnose I has anything to do with it.

Don't be too shocked if a future executive order to be decorated with that monkey-scratch signature reverses Harry Truman and re-segregates the armed forces.  "Many people are telling me it will look better to have all white or all black marching with my Tanks and Missiles on 4th of July!"

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Count this

In a few hours, "National Character Counts Week" will be over.  Some highlights:

Gen. John Kelly lied about a member of Congress and expressed "pity" for Americans who have never been in the military (President Bonespurs excepted, of course).  He then took questions from reporters, but only those related to, or acquainted with, Gold Star families.  When he left, the Sanders woman asserted that it was "highly inappropriate" to debate him because he is a four-star Marine general.  Even David Petraeus found that seriously fucked.

The Gold Star Johnson family reported that Trump, who says he was "very nice" to them, still does not seem to know LaDavid Johnson's name.  His funeral took place yesterday.

Col. Jack Jacobs, NBC military analyst, suggested that Kelly "just apologize" for his performance on Thursday.  Now Trump can tweet abuse at Jacobs, a Medal of Honor recipient.  Or maybe just go out to Arlington and take a dump on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Attorney General, Jefferson "Poison Dwarf" Sessions, would not rule out arresting journalists who write things he doesn't like.  Meanwhile, the "Justice" Department has begun investigating "black identity" organizations, while ignoring the violent activities of white nationalist terrorists.  Sessions is still prosecuting the woman who laughed at his confirmation hearing.  Perjury is not funny, missy!

After spending millions of dollars and countless hours "investigating" the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Rep. Tres Gowdy finally acknowledged, "Whether or not [security] could have gotten there in time, they couldn't.  I don't think there's any question about that."  So, no order to "stand down," from Sec. Clinton or anyone else.  No apology either.  But Sen. James Inhofe (R-Dumbass) says comparisons between Niger and Benghazi make him "physically sick" because Hillary totally knew all about the Libyan attack months in advance and probably ordered it, or at least paid for it.  Something.  Hearings!  More hearings, damn it!

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands continue to struggle with the aftermath of nightmarish hurricanes.  The last five real presidents appeared together at a benefit concert at Texas A & M which raised $31 million for relief.  Trump played golf.  Thousands of people from the island territories are expected to relocate to the mainland, where among other things, they will have to deal with resurgent racism whipped up by the administration.

Vladimir Putin says we should treat Trump with more respect.  Perhaps he wishes he had chosen a less despicable stooge.

Trump tweeted a plug for a new book by Robert Jeffress, which he almost certainly has not opened except to search for his name in the index.  Jeffress, a Southern Baptist and big-time Trumpanzee, has called Mormonism a "cult" and says the Roman Catholic Church is evidence of "the genius of Satan."

Robert Mugabe has been appointed a goodwill ambassador of the World Health Organization.  Best face I can put on this:  he's 93 and will die soon.

Tom Price is back in the private sector, but his wife, a Georgia state legislator, wants to put people who are HIV-positive in "quarantine" camps.  Not clear if this would include heterosexual celebrities like Magic Johnson and Charlie Sheen.

We still don't know precisely what led to the "Niger ambush," as it is being called.  Let me guess:  Obama's fault?

Raqqa, or what's left of it, has been pronounced ISIS-free.  Let me guess:  Trump's genius?

Ayatollah Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran, says without any evidence that Trump is not as stupid as he seems.  Of course, they have never met.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Look! on the grassy knoll!

Trump says he'll order the release of all classified files relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Thursday.  A distraction this yuge can only mean the Niger debacle was far worse than anyone thought.  Or that Ted Cruz's father actually did it.

He's no Hitler

He draws, too!  This is what Donald Trump thinks the Empire State Building looks like.  Somebody paid $16,000 for it at an auction in Los Angeles.  It was drawn in black marker and is obviously the work of someone who knows and loves great buildings.  "Verisimilitude is not his strong suit," an art critic said, in what might as well be a description of the artist's entire life.

I don't remember the pyramid on top.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Thank you, MSNBC. Yes, I said it.

Some of the time---a lot of the time---I don't quite know why MSNBC exists.  Do we need a place for the likes of Michael Steele, George Will and Charlie Sykes to hang out when they are deemed too liberal for the big white couch at Fox?  Do we have to watch Brian Williams serve his penance for whatever grave offense he committed while he waits for Lester Holt to do something even more unforgivable?  Does there have to be a forum for Chuck Todd to commit random offenses against journalism on a daily basis, so he'll be all wound up for Sunday?  No, no and no.

And then there's a magical evening like last night, really a one-two punch to the belly of the Received Official Version.  First Rachel Maddow brushed aside the emotional response to the story of Sgt. LaDavid Johnson and his family, refusing to be distracted.  She delved at length into the recent history of Niger and why US troops are there as part of a coalition opposing the forces of Islamic State.  She explained that the most battle-hardened of these coalition troops come from Chad, which has mysteriously appeared on the latest version of the travel ban list -- maybe because of some nonsense about sample passports and paper shortages, maybe because the government has demanded substantial tax payments owed by Exxon/Mobil, whose CEO used to be our own Rex Tillerson.  Anyway, Chad withdrew its troops from Niger, leaving the Americans unprotected and, as we now know, under attack.  This, it seems, is the reason Trump ignored a reporter's question about what we're doing in Niger and instead praised himself (and smeared Obama) for calling the sergeant's widow.  I believe it's called "pivoting."  And nobody but Maddow saw through it.

Then came Lawrence O'Donnell to shut down all the teary applause rendered John Kelly's lecture of Thursday afternoon.  He gave the general full props as a Gold Star father who movingly described the military protocol for returning the dead to their families.  And he gave no quarter to the abuse of Rep. Frederica Wilson for daring to criticize Kelly's boss.  Kelly never used her name but repeatedly called her "an empty barrel" -- much as Trump "didn't even know [the] name" of Sgt. Johnson, calling him  "your guy," according to his widow.  He tried to call her an opportunist who "politicized" the sergeant's death, when in reality she had known him for years; he was in a mentoring program Wilson established while serving on the Miami school board.  Kelly went off on a maundering tangent about the good old days, when "women were respected" (General, have you met Donald Trump?), and without a trace of irony, trashed another Gold Star father, Khizr Khan, for addressing the Democratic National Convention.  O'Donnell was having none of it.  He, too, grew up in Irish Boston; he remembers well the racism and misogyny of Southie, which Kelly seems to have absorbed.   It is possible, evidently, to live every day with the grief of losing a son in war, and at the same time serve a racist louse with your own unexamined racism.  General Kelly lost a lot of his dignity when he agreed to work for this draft-evading imbecile, and he doesn't appear to be getting it back soon.

So thank you, MSNBC.  Give us more nights like October 19 and maybe I can overlook the endless commercials and the daily servings of Weinstein.  I know you have to keep the lights on.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The news goes on...

Curt Flood 58-69.JPG

...twenty-four hours a day, as Charles Foster Kane advised his editor when he barged into the New York Inquirer.  Does it ever.

But our heritage! our history!  Jefferson Davis Elementary School in Jackson, Mississippi, is being renamed -- for Barack Obama.  Vandalism will commence in five...four...three...

Jesus Campos, the hotel security guard who was the first casualty of Stephen Paddock's Second Amendment jamboree on October 1...has disappeared!  Conspiracy theories abound, but basically, Hillary killed him and buried him in the desert to cover up the Seth Rich-WikiLeaks connection and -- no, wait, there he is.  He was in Ellen DeGeneres's green room, waiting to appear on her show.  Never mind.  For now.

It appears the NFL will have its own Curt Flood (that's the gentleman above, in a Cardinals uniform which is barely changed today).  Flood was a three-time All-Star and a Gold Glove center fielder seven straight years, batting over .300 in six seasons.  In other words, not chopped liver.  But that was in the days of the reserve clause, which essentially made players chattel.  In 1969 Flood refused to accept a trade to another team and his career was over.  His case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, which upheld baseball's exception to anti-trust laws; however, the case laid the groundwork for the Players' Association (and Marvin Miller, who should be in Cooperstown) to challenge, successfully, the old system and institute free agency.  The players' contract with the owners specifically outlaws collusion.  Now the NFL faces charges of doing just that.  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is probably out for the season with a broken collarbone, and his replacements are, to be polite, lackluster.  Colin Kaepernick would seem to be the answer to their prayers, if only they had the guts to sign him.  Whaddaya say, Packers?  Got the guts?  Or will you collude with the other owners in shutting him out?  Some of the fans may complain, not to mention a certain orange slob in DC, but to paraphrase Jeffrey Cordova, there's nothing quite as soothing as a trip to the Superbowl.

A bipartisan solution to the health care impasse was cobbled together by two senators.  Yesterday Trump pronounced it "very good," and today he has denounced it.  Loath as I am to quote Bill Maher, I think he (and his writers) nailed it:  He's not bipartisan, he's bipolar.

Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) has shattered the old record for quick departure from Trumpenland, set by Anthony Scaramucci.  Marino was appointed "drug czar" and quit the same day, after he was outed as the sponsor of the law which makes it harder for the DEA to stop rogue opioid shipments.  He will be replaced by someone with less obvious connections to the drug industry.  "But I thought Kushner was going to handle the opioid problem, right after he reorganizes the federal government and straightens out the Middle East!" you cry.  Yeah, well, stuff he forgot to mention on his security clearance application keeps bubbling up from the Trump family septic tank.  Can't be everywhere.

I respect their expertise.

"He knew what he was getting into"

This is Sgt. LaDavid Johnson.  He and three other US Army soldiers were ambushed and killed in Niger almost two weeks ago while assisting in the fight against Boko Haram.  Yesterday, while his widow Myeshia was on her way to Miami International Airport to receive his body, she finally got a call from his commander-in-chief, who told her, "He knew what he was getting into," but it's sad anyway.  The call was on speaker and was heard by her mother-in-law, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, and by her Congresswoman, Frederica Wilson.  The caller denies he uttered these callous words and accuses Rep. Wilson of lying and being a Democrat.  Mrs. Johnson says, "He didn't even remember his name."

It gets better, or worse.  The c-i-c whined that he had been misquoted and would soon prove it with a "tape," like the non-existent tape of the Comey conversation.  He accused Wilson of "politicizing" Sgt. Johnson's death.  One of his flunkeys was dispatched to point out that calling widows is not even in the presidential job description, so they should just be grateful.  In perhaps the most monumental lie of October 17, he insisted that neither Obama nor Bush had ever spoken to the families of dead service people, especially Gen. John Kelly, whose son died in Afghanistan.  Lies like this are easy to disprove, and most of the media spent most of the day disproving it, when they weren't bringing us the latest in Weinstein.

In fairness, it has been busy-time at the White House.  At four this morning, Trump was already (or still) awake and tweeting about the kneeling football player outrage.  John McCain had made a speech attacking "half-baked nationalism" and denouncing the antics of the blood-and-soil boys in Charlottesville, so McCain had to be pre-threatened:  "At some point I will fight back and it won't be pretty."  (No doubt the ex-inmate of the Hanoi Hilton trembled all over when he read that.  Then he went back to fighting aggressive brain cancer.)  The latest version of the Muslim-North Korean-Venezuelan travel ban was overruled by another federal judge in Hawaii, which is an island surrounded by water but also a state.  Unlike Puerto Rico, where the desperate are using water from wells in a Superfund site and living in houses contaminated with mold.  Up on Capitol Hill Jeff "Poison Dwarf" Sessions spent most of the day lying about his earlier lies concerning meetings with Russian operatives during the campaign and pronouncing himself "insulted, suh!" when Al Franken tried to pin him down.  In an earlier era, this was called "perjury."  It was something attorneys general prosecuted rather than committed.  Good times.

I have to take a break.  There's a Gofundme raising money to put Sgt. Johnson's two children, and a third soon to be born, through college.  Give them some.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Guest editorial

“This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner—and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers—is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”

Gregg Popovich, coach, San Antonio Spurs

Saturday, October 14, 2017


There's a word for everything, and as it turns out, more reason to hate/fear Friday the thirteenth than in most years.

Tweetledumb finally got his revenge on The Black Guy, who continues to kick his fat orange ass in every poll not conducted by the Klan.  By writing his name bigly, without consulting those haters at the other end of the street, he crippled both the Affordable Care Act and the treaty that kept Iran from continuing to develop nuclear weapons.  When they fire up the centrifuges again, I guess it will be up to the Israeli air force to stop them.  That should stabilize the region, you betcha.

We learned that Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior and full-time loon, has had coins struck which he passes out as gifts; spends like a drunken sailor on travel for himself and wife Lola (really); and requires that his standard be raised whenever he enters the building, like Queen Elizabeth entering one of her palaces.  Wait till Trump finds out he has a flag, too. 

Addressing a convocation of the racist religious in Washington (hilariously billed as "Values Voters"),  Bannon the King-maker proclaimed, "This is not my war, this is our war, and y'all didn't start it, the Establishment started it!"  (He speaks fluent redneck.)  What war?  Well, speaking directly to Mitch McConnell he said, "They're just looking to find out who's going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar."  That could be a metaphor, but if I were McConnell I'd find an excuse to avoid the Capitol until these clowns go home.  ("Rosalind had a nightmare," for example.)

Newsweek scooped the competition by interviewing ex-con ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert and asking him if the "Hastert rule" has made bipartisanship more difficult.  Next week they'll be asking Jerry Sandusky his thoughts on Take-a-knee.

The story of Harvey Weinstein, the incredible predatory producer, continues to take up space on the TV newses to the exclusion of so many others.  Already forgotten, for example, is Republican Congressman Tim Murphy telling his girlfriend to "murder her unborn child," if I may borrow the anti-choicers' own devious locution.  Question:  If Weinstein ran a tax preparation company and harassed CPAs instead of A-list actresses, would anybody care?

I can't remember the last time a White House chief of staff held a press conference to tell reporters he isn't quitting, isn't being fired, and the president isn't nearly as feeble-minded as everyone says.  Truly we live in interesting times.

When something lodges among the dusty recesses of the feeble presidential mind, there's no dislodging it.  The thirty-three thousand deleted emails, the amazing stealth bombers he got such a great deal on, the woman who was killed by an undocumented man which is why we need a wall, and now the solution to gun violence in Chicago:  a motorcycle officer he met there last summer who assured him that if the police were freed from the iron grip of Rahm Emanuel and the Bill of Rights, they could solve the problem "in two days."  If only Trump had asked his name, or could remember it.  I guess we'll have to call him Joe the Cop.

The entire Bay Area, including San Francisco, is under a red flag warning, with over twenty million people at risk.  No, not so much as a tweet, and tomorrow is football day.  First things first.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

California burning

A firefighter covers his face while battling a wildfire near Morgan Hill, CA. CREDIT: AP/Noah Berger

In the real world, 21 people have died as a result of the fires in California, and over a hundred more are missing.  The Napa Valley is largely devastated.  In many places, the air is not fit to breathe.

In the Caribbean, Americans are dying and assistance will be slowed because the Jones Act waiver has expired.

In Europe, Spain is on the verge of partition following last week's Catalan referendum.  If the Catalans gain independence, the Basque will almost certainly resume their considerably more forceful demands for self-rule. 

And here's what is roiling the television screens:

Harvey Weinstein is a sexual predator!  Who the hell is Harvey Weinstein, you ask?  He's a movie producer.  A movie producer has been taking advantage of attractive young women who want to be in the movies.  Has this ever happened before?  I'm shocked, shocked, etc.  But he gives lots of money to the Democratic Party, so it's (say it with me) ALL HILLARY'S FAULT.  Also Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Manhattan DA who was supposed to indict him but didn't.  Why Manhattan?  I don't know, I keep zoning out when I hear the name Weinstein. 

We have a timeline on Morongate.  Last July, during one of his ragegasms about North Korea, Trump demanded a "tenfold increase" in nuclear weapons.  At that time, Rex Tillerson pronounced him a "fucking moron."  When this was revealed by NBC News, Trump denounced it as "fake news," a term he claims to have invented.  He demanded that Congress investigate NBC for quoting the Secretary of State.  When that went nowhere, he blustered about having the FCC revoke the network's license.  (The FCC licenses individual channels, not networks, and cannot revoke a license because of content.)  Yesterday he ranted to a reporter, "It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write."  Or, as William M. Tweed more succinctly put it, "Stop them damn pictures!"  And he demands equal time (or "Equal Time") to respond to those mean late-night hosts who make mean jokes about him.   

It gets better.  Trump thinks he and Tillerson should take an IQ test to show just who the moron is.  This will not happen.  He is too busy feuding with the NFL, Jemele Hill and "Liddle Bob Corker," the Senator who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and is not amused by the moron's attempts to abrogate the Iran nuclear treaty.  "It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center," Corker tweeted.  Not long ago he was an enthusiastic Trumpanzee, but better late than never, I suppose.  He is not running for re-election.

Tweetle-dumb had time to promote a new book about how pretty he is, but not to write his name bigly on a federal disaster declaration for California (see above).  His Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is a little slow to pick up his cues, and thinks we're still arguing about statues of seditious generals.  He warns that if this isn't stopped, "Native Indians" will want to demolish monuments to Grant and Sherman.  I don't speak for the first Americans, but I'm pretty sure this is not high on their list of grievances.  More like Zinke's extra-credit ego massage of the Great Orange Father between Cabinet meetings.  Catch up, Ryan, we're on flag worship this week.

"There has been no oppression in the last hundred years that I know of," says Mike Ditka, checking in on the Great Knee Outrage.  Somebody needs an IQ test.

Elon Musk wants to solve Puerto Rico's power problem with solar panels.  At the rate FEMA is moving, he could accomplish this before the water is back on.

Melania!  Ivana!  No pulling on the hair extensions, ladies.

Hang on, California.  Your president will be along shortly to toss you packages of marshmallows.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Exit through the grift shop

"Now this is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."    (Churchill)

If Rex Tillerson and Bob Corker have had enough, and are willing to be quoted, you can be sure that many others have, too.  One day soon, a delegation will visit the White House and say what the nurse in Streetcar says to Blanche:  "It's time to go."

That stunt in Indianapolis was not just a staggering waste of money and time; it was a signal to the believers that Pence will carry on the culture wars in his own way, pushing the same homophobic, anti-choice agenda he imposed on Indiana.  But he'll do it without all the crazy tweets and without a bunch of loathsome relatives, insidiously, colorlessly.  It will be the same racism and misogyny, because that's all the right has.  Hate is their oxygen.  David Duke and Steve Bannon and Richard Spencer will be unhappy; maybe they'll move to Idaho and start their own "country."  Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham will be unhappy, but they'll get over it, comforted by enormous paychecks.  We'll get tax cuts for the rich and repeal of the ACA and there will be no more idiot talk about The Wall -- Pence never promised a wall, did he?  And though his hands are far from clean, it's not Pence that Robert Mueller is closing in on. 

Trump has become a dead, decaying albatross.  The one thing he was good at was rallying the "base" to a high level of frenzy, getting them to attack reporters and even friendly non-whites, leading the "lock her up" chant and joining in a group orgasm of rage.  So what happened in Alabama, a state so deep-redneck you can't believe they walk upright?  He couldn't even get them to vote for a sitting senator. 

He's useless, a running joke, an international laughingstock.  One day soon, a delegation will visit the White House, like the one that came in the summer of 1974, and they will say, "It's time to go."  They will make him think it was his idea, because if they mention impeachment or the Twenty-fifth Amendment, he'll push back like a toddler who doesn't want to take a nap.  For health reasons, or for the good of the country, or because the old bone spurs are acting up, or to spend more time with his businesses, he will go.  He will go before the 2018 midterms.

"Our long national nightmare is over," Gerald Ford said, and it's hard to imagine Mike Pence coming up with anything better.  Like Ford, his one virtue is that nobody hates him -- there's really nothing there.  He knows how the system works and how not to crash around it like a bumper car with a loose wheel.  He won't throw paper products at Latinos or tag an unstable Asian dictator with a dumb nickname;  his racism is institutional, not emotional.  He may replace some of the more incompetent appointees, but why bother?  He has no more interest in the environment or the public schools or public housing than Trump.  The public will see someone who works hard, doesn't play golf every weekend, goes to church on Sunday and hides the Republican agenda behind a bland, modest, apparently sane façade -- fascism with a human face.  The late-night comedians will make a few jokes and give up.  In fact, they may continue to joke about Trump, still tweeting madly in his Fortress of Turpitude; his name alone will get cheap laughs, like Bill Clinton's blowjobs, because we already know the gag. 

The polls are not improving.  The agenda is not being enacted.  The white nativists are restless.  The delegation is forming.

Let the healing begin.   

Monday, October 09, 2017

Your taxes at work

On September 29, Tom Price was forced to resign as Secretary of Health and Human Services because he had spent over a million dollars to travel on private jets.

On October 8, Mike Pence spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars to fly to Indianapolis for a 49ers-Colts game, so that he and his wife could flounce out in fake dudgeon before the kickoff  because players knelt during the national anthem.  He was praised for this stunt by the moron who ordered it.

Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continue to struggle for water, food, and other basic necessities two weeks after catastrophic hurricanes.  Puerto Ricans were chastised for "throwing the budget...out of whack." 

As George Ade wrote, "Moral:  Don't try to figure it out."

Friday, October 06, 2017

Friday already?

The week flies when you're spun like Dorothy Gale by the swirling winds of a world unhinged.  And so, even in advance of the Friday night news dump, we glove up and dig in:

Frivolous Lawsuit of the Month goes to NYPD Officer James Frascatore.  In 2015 he tackled  professional tennis player James Blake for standing on East 42nd Street looking as if he belonged to a "credit card fraud ring."  As in knocked him to the ground and handcuffed him.  Blake subsequently described the officer as "out of control" in his memoir.  This is why Frascatore is suing him for defamation.  As a result of this and other complaints about excessive force, he is still employed by the NYPD but can only use force on his desk and the precinct vending machines.  According to his lawyer Whiplash Willie Gingrich Kevin Marino, he is also suing the New York Police Department and the Civilian Complaint Review Board for racial discrimination because they called him a racist.  Which is totally not true because everyone knows that only black people like Blake are racist (see Obama, Barack Hussein).

America, or at least the unarmed part of the population, learned a new term this week:  bump stock, a device for making regular assault weapons even shootier.  You know -- for kids!  It appears that Stephen Paddock purchased several of them prior to breaking into the history books as America's Boss Gun Killer.  Now several Republicans have said they might be open to discussing the possibility of maybe making it a tiny bit harder to buy them, perhaps.  But the NRA has essentially warned them off by pointing out that they weren't banned two years ago by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Thing That Go Boom, therefore the 58 people Paddock murdered are the responsibility of -- Obama, Barack Hussein.  Bump stocks!  Ask for them at your favorite gun show or big box store.  Perfect for backyard barbecues and Scarface parodies.

As our readers know, when they go low Buttermilk Sky goes high.  We don't normally comment on people's physical appearance when they can't help it, but at today's Mendacity Matinee Sarah Huckabee Sanders is wearing more eye makeup than Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.  Good grief, girl, at least pretend you're a professional.

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, to a predictable chorus of gripes and sniffs.  (I'm not sure a chorus can sniff, but let it go.)  The laureate himself rapidly named several writers he considers more worthy -- Murakami, Rushdie, Atwood, Cormac McCarthy -- so kudos for the modesty.  Of course, the film version of The Remains of the Day didn't hurt.  Careful, Academicians, that's two consecutive years you've honored someone known to more than three hundred people. 

You want to know more about this pillock Paddock?  I don't either, really, but I can't help it.  His girlfriend (somehow a jarring term for a woman over sixty) says he used to lie in bed wailing and sobbing.  She doesn't say if this began about the second week in November 2016.  He tried to purchase tracer bullets not long ago, but the dealer was out of them, Christmas shoppers I guess.  He scoped out music events in Boston and Chicago before settling on Las Vegas and, even without tracers, managed to hit a fuel storage tank at McCarran Airport.  (Or maybe someone else hit it.  The country's awash in freedom.)  His car was full of explosives.  His head was full of rage.  Enough.

Puerto Rico, which is an island surrounded by water, continues to struggle, with more than half its three million-plus people still lacking electricity, phones and basic necessities.  For this reason, the FEMA website has removed statistics which indicate the failure of their five year plan recovery effort.  Ignore enemies of the people and get your news from official sources only, patriots.

Hurricane Nate.  Gulf Coast.*  Sunday.  Keep your head down.   

We all need some happy news.  The House is short a Republican.  Tim Murphy, who represents a forsaken part of western Pennsylvania, is going back there sooner than expected.  That's because some Nosy Parker broke the news that the anti-choice congressman told his mistress to get an abortion.  Imagine.  A congressman with a mistress.

"Donald Trump is a moron."  Who said it?  Rex Tillerson?  Joy Behar?  Every non-moron who ever listened to him for more than four minutes?   In this instance, Beatrice Fihn, director of this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner the Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons.  Such a nasty woman.

Message from Mexico:  "Hello, America.  We're still here.  Burying our dead and trying to rebuild our capital.  We understand you have the attention span of a newborn squirrel, so we thought we'd check in.  We are maintaining a dignified silence at your presidente moronico's mockery of a Hispanic accent.  And no, we will never pay for his fucking wall."

And so on into the night.

*Maybe Louisiana.  Louisiana has parishes instead of counties.  Nobody knows this.  Many people have told me my people will have done an amazing job and really improved FEMA's brand in New Orleans, which is in Louisiana.  And also Mississippi, where that senator is in the hospital and couldn't vote.  And Ray Moore will be a great senator and will help us to repeal Obamacare which is imploding.  Needle nardle noo.




Thursday, October 05, 2017

Day Two: Morongate

The topic of the day is not Puerto Rico, gun control, North Korea, Russian hacking or opioids.

It is not DACA, NAFTA, the ACA or the NSA.

It is not even football players, private email servers or travel on private jets.

It is whether an old man called another old man a moron, or a fucking moron.

We are in hell's playground.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Miracle in Las Vegas

"What happened in Las Vegas was in many ways a miracle."  (Donald J. Trump)

MIRACLE (n) An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.  (Online Dictionary)

This is why it is pointless even to discuss the prevention of gun violence on a scale comparable to a wartime firefight:  it's a phenomenon we can't even comprehend, much less prevent.  Think loaves and fishes, or the raising of Lazarus.

So, on to tax cuts.

When I turned on the television, the Secretary of State was insisting that he is not about to resign and that he did not call the president a moron.  Reassured on both counts, I opened the computer and found this observation from Sen. John Thune (R-SD):

"I think people are going to have to take steps in their own lives to take precautions to protect themselves and in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe.  As somebody said, 'Get small.'"

Because that's the kind of thing you say when you are required to fellate the NRA for cash, and when you are a complete, utter, absolute, total waste of skin.  (I can do redundancy, too.)  And the ghost of George McGovern, whose seat you pollute, will visit you in the night and replace your precious bodily fluids with Sterno.

Apart from this fatuous advice from Thune, who is well over six feet tall, the response to the most recent exercise of Second Amendment freedoms has been so predictable, we might as well have started it last week:

1.  It's "too soon" to talk about gun control.  Not all the dead have been identified. 

2.  People will get guns regardless, so why have laws at all?  (This bit of chop-logic never applies to drugs, child pornography, abortion or the undocumented, much less white-collar crime.)  Chicago!

3.  Fifty-nine people were killed while listening to music because Society is riven with bad vibes like...disrespect for Trump (Pat Robertson) and not enough religiosity.  Also sanctuary cities, a new entry.
4.  ISIS!  They claimed "credit" and Alex Jones, for one, was happy to give it to them.  But surely Jones is one of them.  Wake up, sheeple, before you wake up under SHARIA LAW!

5.  The woman.  Not Hillary (so far) but Stephen Paddock's girlfriend, who was born in the Philippines and was out of the country when he decided to exercise his right to keep and bear arms into the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  Also he sent her a lot of money.  The police have questions and, unlike Adam Lanza's mother and Charles Whitman's wife, she is alive to answer them.

6.  Still too soon.

7.  Steve Scalise, still using crutches, thinks the Second Amendment is a beautiful thing.  No need for any kind of gun control.  How many Defending Your Life incarnations do you get before the universe throws you away?

8.  My personal favorite, the "law-abiding gun owner."  If you plan to go on being law-abiding, why do you need 43 guns, some modified for extra lethality?  Why do law-abiding gun owners need silencers and armor-piercing bullets?  Have deer begun wearing Kevlar?  Are they hoping to bag a rhino in Yosemite?  That Paddock bought his arsenal "legally" is our shame.

9.  Cars and knives and even feet can also kill.  Yes, but most people don't buy a car with the sole intention of murder.  White nationalists and al-Qaeda outliers, but that's a lot less than one percent of car owners.  The rest of us mostly want to get to the store and back.  And cars are regulated like crazy -- registered with the state, inspected annually, insured, and driven by people who have to pass a road test, a written test and a vision test.  Drivers can lose their privileges for being drunk, having a broken tail light, refusing to wear a seat belt -- imagine the outrage if hunters got pulled over in the woods for reeking of beer.  Also, blind people are not allowed to drive, but in Texas they can hunt.  So shut up about how you can kill with insulin, dental floss, flowerpots and kindness, OK?

10.  Mental illness.  He must have been "crazy."  White man, 64, nice house, girlfriend, financially comfortable (according to his brother), no known political affiliations or obsessions, no trouble with the law.  Used to work for the post office, but that was long ago.  His father once made the FBI "Ten Most Wanted" list for bank robbery, where he was described in lurid terms, maybe something there.  Just got a wild hair one day and decided to attack a country music festival (white performers, mostly white crowd, another dead end).  Crazy.  And only last week, who rescinded an executive order from Barack Obama intended (in the absence of Congressional action) to keep guns away from the mentally ill?  Guess.  Go on.

11.  Too late to discuss gun control.  Check back after the 275th mass shooting.  Tomorrow.  And by the way, didn't the first responders do a wonderful job?  Be proud. 

Nevada is an "open carry" state.  That means you can bring your long gun or sidearm to church, to school, to the 7-11, to a football game, to the library, just about anywhere except an NRA meeting.  They don't allow it.  Which is why my features (as Perelman would say) closely resemble a Japanese print.  Or maybe it's a Munch painting.

Senator Thune:  Would you support legislation to outlaw fireworks?  When Paddock opened fire, a lot of witnesses said they thought they were hearing fireworks.  That's why they were slow to "get small," hug the ground, or otherwise try to stay alive.  Would you and your fellow gun whores NRA supporters go that far? 

Everybody has a theory; here's mine for free.  Paddock (like Trump) didn't serve in Vietnam, but he watched the Lynn Novick-Ken Burns documentary and decided it was time for his war.  Any crowd would do.  He had enough weapons and ammo for Charlie Company and he chose to play all the parts himself.  He got up on top of Hamburger Hill and he pretended those people two blocks away were VC.  And then he didn't feel like a draft-dodger any more.  So what's yours?

I thought writing about this would make me feel less like homicide myself.  I know nothing will change, the slaughter will go on, and the cowards and thugs will continue to impose their madness on the majority.  The next time I turn on the television the same depraved imbeciles will be in Washington spewing the same swampwater.  Morons leave and other morons replace them, and wherever they come from the supply never seems to dwindle.  At this minute the fucks are buying out the gun emporia because the voices in their heads have convinced them that the derp state is about to seize their precious toys.  Which means that the next Stephen Paddock is driving home and going online to find the next music festival, farmers' market, horse show or third grade dance recital for the exercise of his Second Amendment rights.  Get small or get dead.  Or both.

No, I don't feel any better.