Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lucky 13

     Everything about this was predictable.
     It was predictable that, according to DC tradition, the news of Mueller's grand jury handing down indictments for 13 Russians would be dumped on Friday.
     It was predictable that Mueller's Justice League would find and present enough evidence to sway the grand jury to indict.
     It was predictable that Donald Trump's response would engage in more lies in rebuttal. The roar could be heard all the way from Air Force One 35,000 feet in the air as Trump headed for another weekend of golf in Mar-a-Lago, followed by the sounds of stubby little fingers typing on a cell phone.
     It was predictable that Trump would drag Hillary's name into it.
     It was also predictable that Trump would lash out against his own national security advisor, Gen. H.R. McMaster for his comments in Germany last Saturday about the indictments.
     And it was all too predictable, not to mention bottomlessly despicable, that later that same night Trump would use the deaths of the 17 Floridians in Parkland to blame the FBI for spending too much time investigating him over Russia.
     For the first time since his improbable "election", Donald Trump has to confront the reality that the Kremlin and not the love and adulation of the American people, that Russian dirty tricks and collusion got him in the Oval Office and not his personal charm and dashing good looks.
     Here's what the "failing" NY Times said right below the lede:
The Russians stole the identities of American citizens, posed as political activists and used the flash points of immigration, religion and race to manipulate a campaign in which those issues were already particularly divisive, prosecutors said.
      Agitprop, in other words.
     The indictment takes up 37 pages, essentially refuting everything Trump has said regarding Russia's role in meddling with our last election. Now, in the spirit of fairness, keep in mind the grand jury's indictment does not conclusively prove collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. But this is just another wave of charges in what will prove to be many. And keep in mind the truism that the FBI doesn't go after individuals: They go after organizations. And if anyone will sniff out that smoking gun, it's Robert Mueller.
     And Trump's assertion that the Russians began plotting to help him before he'd ever decided to run for the presidency is pure bullshit. He ran in 2012 and signaled for quite a few years before and after that he wanted to be president. And wow, how coincidental is it that the Russians launched their campaign two years before Trump launched his own, starting the very same year (2013) he went to Moscow to host the Miss Universe pageant? It makes far less sense that the Russians decided to help Trump before he'd declared his candidacy than it is to conclude that the Russians, starting with Putin, TOLD him to run, making him literally a Manchurian Candidate.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Russians Aren't Coming. They Done Came.

     When asked about Robert Mueller charging 13 Russians from the "Internet Research Agency" for meddling in the 2016 election, Trump said, "Нет! Никакого сговора! Поддельные новости!"
     Much more on this over the weekend. And what a way to kick it off.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre 2.0

     (If I'd known Tuesday night when I wrote yesterday's post that the very next day Nikolas Cruz would shoot up a high school in Parkland, Florida, I never would've used that title. As it is, somewhat using the same title is inevitable.)
     Well, we can't prove Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer but we do know the guy who shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is a Cruz. And he also trained with a White Nationalist militia group called the Republic of Florida (which seems curiously blase about his mass murder of 17 people).
     The 19 year-old, before he was expelled from the school he shot up, was also known to wear a Trump MAGA hat to class. Which, in the eyes of our Commander in Chief, makes him "a very fine person."
     Gov. Rick Scott (R-NRA) in 2014 signed into law five very NRA-friendly bills into law, including those that put that AR-15 into the hands of Cruz. After the Orlando nightclub shooting, he said that every time something like this happens, we want to have that talk and that we were going to have that talk very soon. That was 613 days ago and we're still waiting to have that talk.
     So far as of yesterday, according to the Gun Violence Archive, 2018 has seen:
     •6626 gun-related incidents
     •1,835 gun deaths
     •3,165 gun injuries
     •69 children shot or killed
     •347 teenagers shot or killed
     •181 incidents of defensive gun use
     •216 unintentional shootings
     •30 mass shootings
     •11 school shootings with injury or death
     ...and we're still barely halfway through February.
     The 10 Senators (almost all Republican) who have vacuumed up the most bribes from the NRA had collected $42,822,711, with no end in sight. That's enough to pay for 6117 full funerals with a $7000 average.
     The 10 Congressmen who had accepted the most bribe money from the NRA took in another $4,292,241, enough to pay for another 613 funerals, making a grand total of $47,114,952 just to 20 lawmakers. Imagine how much more the 515 other members of Congress have raked in during their "public service" careers.
     The original St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929 killed seven people, 10 fewer than Cruz, back in the good old days when thugs with guns showed some restraint.
     And still, America reels when weapons designed to kill human beings are once again used kill human beings then we inevitably throw up our hands and say we can't do anything about civilian mass gun violence that occurs nowhere else in the world.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of Rational Thought

“Please get me up, my friends... No payrolls. No wells. No coupons. That would be entirely out. Pardon me; I forgot I am plaintiff and not defendant. Look out. Look out for him. Please. He owed me money; he owes everyone money.” - Last words of Dutch Schultz, 1935
(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Yes, I know it's Valentine's Day. My wife keeps having to remind me why everything in America turns pink starting the day after Christmas. But I'm a political writer. Deal. And I have something else to say that doesn't involve forced declarations of love through processed sugar and questionably aromatic, rotting vegetation.
     Aside from Donald Trump getting "elected" President of the United States, the 2016 general election should be remembered for one thing if nothing else: It was an extraordinary case of 127,000,000+ voters who were willing to overlook or be blind to the palpably obvious corruption and unsuitability of both major candidates. I hate to be the one to break it to you, folks but there is no either/or. We had, once again, forced upon us the choice between two elderly crime waves masquerading as humans.
     But for one brief shining moment, it looked as if we at least had a choice between an actual intelligent human being and a gibbering buffoon. That was the night of the first presidential debate between wedding buddies Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
     Aside from screaming about 400 pound guys on their beds hacking into the DNC's servers in a transparently pathetic attempt to deflect and distract attention away from the real culprits (i.e. the little bastard sons of Vlad Putin), Trump even used the first of the three presidential debates to give himself a pat on the back for being the powerful wealthy white man who racially profiled the President of the United States. Essentially, Trump was Sheriff Joe and the president a Hispanic motorist pulled over and asked to turn over proof of his citizenship and still not being believed.
     Because Trump is never wrong, even if he always is. Just as he's still right in calling for the death penalty of the Central Park Five 28 years ago after taking out $85,000 in full-page newspaper ads calling for their immediate execution (In kind of a mini pre-Facebook moment when the greed of the largest newspapers in New York City, in an attempt to look nonpartisan and disinterested, got the better of them despite the recklessness of the message.).
     You old farts 40 and older remember the Central Park Five, don't you? They also said they were innocent. For over a decade. Only, unlike Rob Portman and David Sorenson, the most beloved serial wife beaters who ever walked into the White House, they were. Take away the money, fine clothes and gilded trappings of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and you'd have an episode of COPS.
     You see, Dear Reader, the problem with Donald Trump isn't so much the presentation, which is adolescent on a good day: It's the fact that he's a true believer of his own bullshit. Like David Chadwick, Israel's most admired stalker and no-talent bum, earnestly believing he is "superior in every conceivable way" to the proprietor of this blog, Trump honestly and earnestly believes to this day that the Central Park Five should have been executed without even the benefit of due process. This results in his belief that all white men and conservatives deserve the benefit of the doubt while biracial Presidents free of personal scandal are lying about their birthplace even when such evidence to the contrary was released way back in 2013. White nationalists and neonazis are "very fine people" but all-around good guys like Colin Kaepernick are "sons of bitches" for kneeling during the anthem to protest black people getting killed by plainly racist cops.
     Birth certificates and DNA evidence be damned! I said it, I believe it, that settles it!
     And such delusion and an inability to admit to being at fault and to apologize for making rash statements gives us things such as Charlottesville, San Juan, outlandishly elaborate combovers that fall apart with a puff of wind and clownishly long ties that he still won't tie properly.

I am plaintiff and not defendant.
This attitude, and Trump's phantasmic grip on sanity, are why Trump's legal counsel are feverishly trying to negotiate with the Mueller team, which is in a very strong position and doesn't have to negotiate with anyone, not even the Oval Office: During this nine month-long ordeal of the Mueller investigation, Trump has been positioning himself as a victim and even a possible plaintiff, rather than a defendant in a very serious federal probe. Paul Manafort tried that and crashed and burned like the Hindenburg. His old boss personally released the Nunes Memo, which actually implicated the FBI moreso than it exonerated Trump.
     He still believes he won the popular vote (if one arbitrarily removes 3-5 million votes from illegal aliens), his inauguration crowd was the biggest on record, that he's accomplished more than any first year president, that the Dow was doing great until recently because of him, that 2017 being the safest year for air travel on record was because of him doing nothing about it, that he's a stable genius and that black people love him.
     As New York Magazine concluded last year- Trump's no liar: He's simply delusional and is not grounded in reality. His public and private statements sound like the incoherent ramblings of a dying Dutch Schultz after he was gunned down in 1935- They're a bunch of non sequiturs not even tenuously strung together with even a gossamer thread of thematic unity. Trump tells these falsehoods even in private when he doesn't have to.
     He still believes Obama was born in Kenya, that the Central Park Five are guilty, that he won the popular vote if you assume massive and unsubstantiated voter fraud, that Hillary conspired with the Russians to sell them 20% of our uranium and that it wasn't him on that Access Hollywood tape in which be bragged about sexually assaulting women.
     Perhaps now you'll understand why Trump's lawyers are hoping that he won't have to open his pie hole to Robert Mueller. It would be like opening Pandora's Box in a JPL wind tunnel. And the only thing that's scarier than Trump honestly believing these things is that 25% or more of his 2016 voters believe it. But no one's fact-checking them. And they will be left behind for us to deal with long after Trump's buried under the ash heap of history.
     Because if there's just one lasting legacy Trump will leave behind after this abomination of a presidency, it's this: He will be the first "president" who so completely convinced so many to hate the truth when it merely becomes inconvenient, to con so many tens of millions of people to jettison whatever tenuous notions they ever had about basic logic and cognitive thinking as long as doing so promises to piss off liberals. Like all great con men, Trump's indelible impact on America will be in his faithful singing his praises long after their pockets have been picked clean, in lovingly remembering when company's over that nice man in the nice suit who took their life savings for a Bible he never had or ever will have to sell.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Good Times at Gotham City, 2/12/18


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sturm und Drang

     (By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
"This memo totally vindicates 'Trump' in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!" - Donald Trump on Twitter, 2/3/18
Sturm und Drang. Colloquially translated from the German, it means "storm and stress." It was used to describe a late 18th century proto-Romantic literary movement in Germany. It was an emotional reaction to the constraints seemingly placed upon it by the Age of Reason and Enlightenment. It was, in essence, scenery chewing, with much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments with the objective intellect and cognitive functions taking a back seat.
     ...which is a perfect description of the current kabuki shit show at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from the start.
     The memo that Donald Trump referenced was, of course, the Nunes Memo, the political version of Capone's vault. When it was at last released by, of course, Donald Trump, James Comey asked on Twitter, "That's it?" Bill Maher called it a Facebook conspiracy theory post you'd briefly skim before hitting the unfriend button. It was essentially, a big let down that Trump's addled mind had somehow yeasted up into a huge conspiracy regarding the FBI's alleged partisan witch hunt that still, even were it true, doesn't equate with an official vindication of wrongdoing.
     The Mueller investigation is thought of as some shadowy animal, a blur of glacial movement in the distance, and this is largely because of the hermetic security of the probe. But perhaps we should think of it more like an octopus, a legal leviathan with at least five tentacles slowly but surely wrapping around this comically listing ship of state and relentlessly exerting its pressure. Because, as far as those of us on the outside looking in can see, the Mueller probe has at least five fronts.
    
Dirty Deeds Done Not so Dirt Cheap
 
Money laundering and pre-campaign business deals is one of the longest and thickest of the tentacles. This may have originated with suspicions of money laundering on the parts of Paul Manafort and his old running buddy Rick Gates, the first two Trump staffers to be indicted. Last October, Manafort was handed a list of charges longer than War and Peace. Among them: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, false statements to the FBI, acting as an unregistered agent as a foreign principal, making misleading statements in violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act and seven counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. That's an even dozen, in case you lost count. Among those bland-sounding charges are the millions Manafort had made partly lobbying for the Ukraine's then pro-Putin puppet government. And with Rick Gates having presumably agreed to a plea deal, that could lead to what's known as a "superceding indictment" that could actually add charges on to Manafort's already cracking plate. Then there are the financial documents magnanimously coughed up by Deutsche Bank (after they were subpeonaed by Mueller) could show Trump got a significant loan from the very German bank that had been stiffed by Trump to the tune of $300,000,000 at the same exact time Deutsche was caught money laundering Russian money funneled in from London then to New York.

Cozy and Fancy, the Careless Bears
Given Russia's national symbol of the bear, it was inevitable that two different Russian intelligence outposts would be named Cozy and Fancy Bear. To show how careless these idiots were, the Dutch intelligence service AIVD pinpointed Cozy Bear's den to a place near Red Square and even hacked into their cameras and got screengrabs of some of the operatives. The WSJ and the WaPo reported that at least six of the Cozy Bears were Russian intelligence operatives, nothing like Trump's 400 pound guy in a bed. They hacked not only into John Podesta's and the DNC's emails at about the time Trump invited them to but also into Republican servers. They were surely a conduit to the now-revealed evil entity Wikileaks to act to both discredit the Democrats and the DNC but doing so in the interests of helping Trump get elected.

Troll Farms
These Russian douchebags, probably the real 400 pound guys who piss and shit through holes cut into their computer chairs, couldn't have been predicted even by Orwell on his best day. If during the election you found yourself arguing on Twitter and Facebook with someone you thought was a deplorable redneck Trumper, you were in all likelihood actually going back and forth with a mindless bot or troll from Russia. I had gotten an email from Twitter a couple of months ago informing me I had interacted with one or more of them. It was entities such as these that put the phrase "troll farm" into the popular American lexicon. And they were well-financed, to judge by Facebook's own admission that one of them had paid Mark Zuckerberg $100,000 in rubles to put their propaganda on Facebook. Now, you might be wondering right about now why Mueller is investigating this and what it could possibly have to do with Trump and/or his administration. The answer's simple. Two words: Cambridge Analytica, the company of which Steve Bannon was an officer. Cambridge had coordinated with not only these Russian troll farms but had definitely contacted Julian Assaange's Wikileaks in order to have him disseminate Clinton's hacked emails that Trump had asked the Russians to hack.
     Oh, and Cambridge Analytica was also the Trump campaign's data arm as well as that for a pro-Trump Super PAC.

From Russia With Love of Trump
Of all the five tentacles, this one is the sexiest and gets my vote for the hottest anime tentacle rape. Or for those of you not into Japanese animated porn, think of this as a lightning-fast Sicilian Trap in a legal game of chess that seductively jiggles out the possibility of quickly establishing illegal collusive ties between Kremlin-linked Russian officials and Trump. One of the most damning pieces of evidence, obviously, is Donald Trump Jr's meeting with Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked attorney/spy. That now-infamous June 2016 30 minute meeting at Trump Tower, also attended by Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, as well as a former Russian intelligence agent, lured the stupid and gullible Trump Jr with vague promises of dirt on Hillary Clinton. When Junior finally realized in the dim recesses of his greasy, reptilian brain that there was no dirt and that all Veselnitskaya wanted to talk about were easing or eradicating Russian sanctions was the meeting terminated. Later, on Air Force One, after the scandal had broken 13 months later, Trump Sr. tried to provide cover for his namesake Fredo by dictating the now-official narrative that the meeting was really all about adopting Russian children.
     Last October, George Papadopoulos admitted to lying to the FBI about those same Russian contacts. As did Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his Senate confirmation hearings (those contacts, still denied by him to this day, are the reason why he had to recuse himself from any DOJ probes involving Russia which, in a sane world, would've mandated his immediate resignation). As did Michael Flynn, who lied about talking to the Russians about lifting sanctions to Mike Pence (the reason for his ouster). As did Kushner when applying for his security clearance and its two subsequent revisions. As did Donald Trump, Jr. As did... Oh, you get the hint. The entire Trump team is lying about their contacts with Russia. You do the math.

And Finally...
Drum roll, please...
     The Ed Armbrister Award winner hasn't been announced, yet, but Trump seems to be a shoe-in for his palpable attempts at obstruction of justice. This started about a year ago when Trump fired Acting AG Sally Yates while Jeff Sessions was busy before the Senate slapping his little forehead and vainly trying to remember meeting with the Russians during the campaign. Yates was terminated from her post immediately after her third trip to the White House to warn the Trump administration through White House Chief Counsel Don McGahn that Michael Flynn could be compromised by the Russians. Suspicion of obstruction was then ramped up to stratospheric levels when Trump rashly fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9th when he was just starting his own investigation into Trump. During a now well-known private dinner, Trump asked Comey to swear a loyalty oath and requested he lay off Flynn because he was "a good guy."
     As far as we know, this is the only tentacle that stretches directly into the Oval Office but it may be enough if it's proven obstruction was committed. To judge by the nothing burger that was the Nunes Memo, one cobbled and cherry-picked to discredit the FBI and making unsubstantiated charges of partisan influence, the same Nunes Memo that, again, Trump personally had released, then there is indeed a lot to hide and many reasons for this attempted distraction and deflection.
     These are just the known knowns, and they're damning enough as it is. Obviously, there's a lot that the 4th and 5th estates are not aware of and perhaps never will be. But if what we do know looks damning to Trump and his fascist junta, imagine how damaging the classified facts will prove to be.

Friday, February 2, 2018

UnAmerican Psycho

     This was the Dow Jones Average at the last trading bell. Rounded off, this means the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 666 points today, which perhaps isn't a coincidence considering the Lord of Dankness in the White House.
     Don't go looking for Trump to take credit for this one, because he can only take credit for the actual achievements of others. And I'm sure this is the black guy's fault. It can't be a result of the Papadopoulos indictment being unsealed today or the Nunes/FISA Nothingburger Memo being released by Trump the same time in a transparent non-attempt to deflect and distract or any of the other assclownery going on at Capitol Hill.
     It's just a lot easier to blame the black guy when things go south these days.

We Join You Live Now...

     ...with this shot of Michael Flynn, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos in Robert Mueller's office.
     Just so you know, the timing of the release of the cherry-picked Nunes Memo wasn't coincidental.

Groundhog Day

     MAGA maggots on Twitter are laughing themselves sick as they tell the same joke over and again, that Punxsutawney Phil saw his own shadow, meaning seven more years of Trump.
     No, actually, Phil saw Robert Mueller's shadow, meaning several more months of grand juries, testimonies and investigations.
     Laugh at that, assholes.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The GOP is Literally a Train Wreck

     If you want an iconic photo from Donald Trump's first and last State of the Union Address, then look at this lead image. It seems when the GOP feels the need to pretend to champion the little guy, they just pull some Joe Blow out of Ohio. In 2008, it was Joe the Plumber. This time, Donald Trump felt the need to diversify. So, instead of a white, bald-headed, right wing racist and fraud, they plucked out of obscurity Corey Adams, a black welder from Dayton.
     Because Adams is supposed to be proof that Donald Trump really does love people descended from shithole countries. In fact, Trump was perilously close to saying, "Look at my African American!" The problem was, Adams was forced to sit on the steps because no one had thought to give him or reserve for him a seat.
     That's right. Donald Trump invited a black man to listen to the State of the Union but couldn't be bothered to get the man a seat, a fact that went totally ignored by CBS and the other networks.
     Trump's speech before Congress and the nation was like his joint address to Congress last year and his inauguration speech- Spoken in a measured, reasonable-sounding tone of voice that promised little if anything and nothing extraordinary until you actually began parsing the words and using the racist dog whistle decoder.
     Because even as Trump was talking about the Dreamers and how he'd like to help them, he cleverly kept them as the subject while also inveighing against the dark-skinned people being the reason for the opioid epidemic (not the white executives of Big Pharma that actually started and maintained it) and MS-13, the street gang with which Trump has become irrationally obsessed. In short, he presented himself as a magnanimous statesman calling for the end to partisanship (In other words. "Do things our way, Democrats.") who really, really wanted to help the Dreamers.
     This was the guy, incidentally, who shut down the government by demanding a bipartisan solution to DACA and when Congress uncharacteristically gave him such a spending bill (of which DACA should not have been a part any more than CHIP should have been), Trump vetoed it without any reason before jetting off again to Mar-a-Lago to watch videos of himself ragging on Obama for the last GOP-engineered government shutdown.
     Not mentioned was the Mueller investigation, the charges of Obstruction of Justice and mentioned the name Russia only once while abstractly talking about competition from them and China. Completely glossed over was Trump asking Rod Rosenstein for a loyalty oath (sound familiar? It should) and even suggesting to the same Congress he was addressing what questions to ask Rosenstein before the Deputy AG overseeing the Mueller investigation testified before the House Judiciary Committee on December 13th.
     Also not mentioned is the hottest topic, perhaps, in the nation: The Nunes memo, which the FBI had publicly criticized yesterday as being incomplete and carefully edited of facts (sort of like a James O'Keefe video). In fact, after the 80 minute-long State of the Union, Trump was overheard telling a Republican lawmaker that he was "100% releasing the memo." Of course, Trump has no interest whatsoever in transparency as he's more interested in releasing this tightly-sealed memo showing the FBI had "illegally" requested a FISA extension for Trump stooge Carter Page after he flew to Russia in July 2016.
     Trump also didn't mention the clash with the FBI Director, Christopher Wray, for not only releasing that press release discrediting the Nunes memo but for also, after Andrew McCabe resigned yesterday, naming as FBI Deputy Director David Bowditch who is, in one Twitter user's words, "Trump's worst nightmare... a mini Mueller."
     What was mentioned was Trump taking credit for the significantly lower unemployment rate among African Americans, which has gone down just 1% under a year of Trump. Of course, the lion's share of that credit goes to President Obama. But Trump cannot bring himself to credit the black guy for anything. Instead, he's devoted the entirety of his so-called Presidency to three things: Profiting off the government, reversing everything Obama had done and trying to stay one step ahead of the Mueller investigation.
     So, in a way, it's only fitting or at least highly symbolic that late this morning, a train load of Republicans heading to a retreat in West Virginia would hit a garbage truck, scattering trash all over the landscape. The truck may have gotten the worst of it (one person on the truck was killed), but it's almost perfectly symbolic of the Trump Train about to get derailed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

State of the "Uniom"

     Trump's State of the Union Address was just leaked and, as always, Gotham City has the exclusive.
     Public Appeal: Do not play the Trump Drinking Game in which you have to take a drink every time Trump says there was no collusion between him and Russia. You could do irreparable damage to your liver.

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Lucky 13

          I almost forgot. In fact, not only did I not write anything here yesterday, I screwed myself out of the chance to use this space to commemorate my 13th anniversary as a blogger. 13 years in this business makes one the IF Stone or Helen Thomas of this form of media. In 2005, many of us had put out our shingles, including d r i f t g l a s s, Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake (Now Shadowproof) and America's most beloved plantation owner, Arianna Huffington.
     And in July, it'll be a decade since I started this, my third political blog. My, my, how the time flies while Republicans and Democrats hollow out this once great nation like a school  of piranha tearing through a water buffalo carcass.
     I can't even tell you how many articles I've written these past 13 years (It must be well over 4000) since penning my first one. But I've survived three presidents, two of them fake, and nearly four general elections, coming up on four midterms and, tomorrow, 13 States of the Union.

     ...or "uniom", depending on which party you belong to.
     So I might as well take this opportunity to tell you in this belated anniversary message that we need a bit of help until we get our benefits back from the Office of Transitional Assistance. Many of you don't know that our rent was raised by $100 last April to $750 a month. This happened when our piece of shit landlord decided to let our lease expire last February without renewing it. Now he'd artificially made us tenants-at-will, as despicable a designation as "employee-at-will", our landlord gave us no leverage as he presented us with a termination of tenancy notice informing us if we didn't agree to pay an extra $100 a month starting in May, sign the form and get it back to him by April 13th, we had to vacate the premises by the end of the month.
     That $750 comes out to literally half of our income for as long as it lasts. So if you're reading this and if you haven't done so lately, please consider donating to Pottersville (or Gotham City, which it will remain until the end of this shitshow of an administration). It's not for bandwidth or operating costs, obviously, but as a way of keeping our heads above water in the real world. There's a Paypal button at the top right of this page and at the end of every single post on this blog.
     I'm not the first blogger who ever resorted to crowdsourcing to keep the lights on and I doubt I'll be the last. And considering I've taken so many hits for the team by suffering through countless right wing articles, crawling through the sewage of right wing comment sections and thousands of hours of watching Fox and other right wing videos, and have done it for 13 years, I think that deserves a little monetary recognition.
     I'm not doing this for the money, people, because the donations have dried up to almost nothing as my readers and past contributors have died, retired or just faded away for unknown reasons. Maybe we're already irrelevant, even though when I made my inauspicious debut in January 2005, blogging was still a new and exciting medium that forever democratized how political news and commentary was disseminated.
     Although that new car smell has long since faded from bloggerdom, I still believe in it and the power it theoretically puts in our hands. And I still believe that the time is always right for good-hearted people to do the right thing and speak out against injustice, cruelty and stupidity. It just so happens that behind the pages, bills have to be met, corporations, bureaucracies and other creditors have to be satisfied.
     So please give whatever you can either one time or as a recurring gesture.

Cross

     Donald Trump's been crossing his arms a lot, lately. And while body language experts say that not arm crossers do it for the same reason, a cop trained in interrogations and the body language presented will tell you that Donald Trump (who will soon be interviewed by Robert Mueller) has a lot to hide.
     Take the fact that when he crosses his arms, he always hides his hands, which one can construe as further proof that he's been being closed-minded, guarded. Or, as others have intimated, he could be hiding hand tremors, as incipient palsy is common among the elderly.
     It seems the only time this fucking idiot doesn't cross his arms is when he's supposed to, as this not at all embarrassing photo from the recent ASEAN summit attested.

     In fact, it appears to the astute observer that Trump's newest habit of crossing his arms in public is a sign that he feels the growing pressure as the silent, leak-free Mueller Russia probe reaches its glorious apotheosis. His inner circle has been given the third degree from Mueller and his investigators, including Sessions, Michael Flynn, his son in law Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, in short, just about everyone who significantly contributed to Trump's rise in this Richard Conden/Stephen King crossover novel of an administration.
     I'm sure these people all dutifully went back to Trump for the usual debriefing and reported to him or his legal counsel what was asked of them and the answers they gave. But missing from Trump's legal strategy are the conclusions Mueller's team drew from these interviews. Add to that the pressure, as it was just revealed today, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who'd sicced Robert Mueller on Trump's slime trail, had earlier requested the extension of the FISA surveillance on Carter Page after it was learned he went to Russia in July 2016 (the month of the GOP convention in Cleveland).
     Now Trump is privately fuming, again, that he wants to fire Rosenstein and for the same reasons he wants to fire Jeff Sessions: Because Trump, the ultimate oligarch, thinks the Justice Department is there to provide him with cover, as if the Department of Justice itself is his private law firm whose sole remit is to provide him with legal indemnification. In fact, one would be surprised to learn that the Russia probe wasn't related at all to Andrew McCabe resigning today as Deputy Director of the FBI.
     Frankly, I also wouldn't be surprised if Trump delivers his State of Union Address tomorrow with his arms crossed the entire time. As it is, I think much of it will consist of him saying, "One year of Russiagate is enough," just as Nixon had said 44 years ago tomorrow that, "One year of Watergate is enough."
     He may be keeping his cards close to his vest, as guilty men ought, or he may be hiding palsy hand tremors. Or perhaps he's preparing for that inevitable day when he's finally fitted for a strait jacket.

     As it is, I'd be very surprised to not hear, as we pick through the historical ash heap of this administration, that Trump was muttering to oil portraits of his predecessors during this time just as Nixon had.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

No Mulligan From Mueller

     (By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
"President Trump (sic) ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive." - New York Times, 1/25/18
As ledes should be, that one says a mouthful and the abstract fact that Trump tried to fire Robert Mueller a month after the Special Counsel's investigation was put into motion by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein could be Trump's political death knell.
     It would mean, as if his prior and future actions haven't already proved, obstruction of justice on Trump's part. Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. Obviously in between tweets, Trump hadn't had that part read to him of the "President of the United States" Wikipedia page. As tacit proof of that, White House sources are telling CNN that Trump's fuming about the latest disclosure and, in spite of denouncing this latest bombshell as "fake news", now wants to fire Rosenstein.
     You don't need to be a Poli Sci major or political historian to see the similarities between the current brewing scandal and what happened during Watergate, especially during the Saturday Night Massacre. To put it in a nut shell, the Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, was ordered by Nixon to fire the Special Prosecutor he'd appointed to investigate Watergate, Archibald Cox. Cox had just asked Nixon to hand over the Oval Office tapes and Nixon refused, citing Executive Privilege. Nixon then laughably offered a "compromise": Handing over the tapes for review and summarization to Mississippi's Senator John Stennis, who was famously hard of hearing. Cox rejected this.
     That's when Nixon ordered Richardson to fire Cox and he refused and resigned in protest. Working his way down the chain of command, Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox and he refused, also resigning in protest. Finally, Nixon had Solicitor General Robert Bork limousined to the White House to be sworn in as Acting Attorney General, whereupon his first act of office was to write the letter firing Cox.
     It ought to be said that a Special Prosecutor should not be fired unless there's clear evidence of malfeasance or "gross improprieties" on the part of the Special Prosecutor. In Archibald Cox, a highly respected attorney, there plainly was none. And, less than five months into his abbreviated second term, Richard Nixon set the stage for the rest of the Watergate scandal and his presidency. It proved indelibly the political truism that the only thing worse than the original crime is the subsequent coverup.
     Fast forward 45 years into the future: Less than five months into his first term, Donald Trump then moved to have Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III, the highly-respected attorney and former FBI Director, fired tribally to keep his tiny hands clean. He ordered his Chief White House Counsel, Don McGahn II, to do his hatchet work by writing a letter to the DOJ demanding Mueller's termination and McGahn threatened to quit if Trump pushed the issue. Even a dimwit like Trump realized that without his White House Counsel running interference for him, he was defenseless against Mueller's investigation.

The Ladies Man Doth Protest Too Much
Trump's three assertions impugning Mueller's fitness to lead an investigation into his dealings with Russia, financial malfeasance and money laundering and obstruction of justice were quite risible even by Trump World standards.
     First it was a dispute over fees between Mueller and the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, VA, of which he was a member. Mueller eventually canceled his membership. Then Trump tried to claim that Mueller working for the law firm that had once represented his son in law Jared Kushner meant he couldn't be impartial (You would think Trump would think that was a plus but this is Donald Trump we're talking about). Then Trump, clearly grasping at straws with his tiny little hands at this point, tried to claim Mueller couldn't be impartial because he was interviewed to take over the FBI as Director again (A situation Trump himself created by firing Comey on May 9th) the day before he was named by Rosenstein to be Special Prosecutor.
     By last fall, the Tangerine Shitgibbons' brain-damaged surrogates were reduced to demanding Mueller be fired over a handful of anti-Trump texts by two of Mueller's staffers who were nonetheless terminated because of them. Obviously, Trump cannot use the Nixon-era excuse of "gross impropriety" to fire Mueller, who, by all accounts is running a very tight ship regardless of Trump's own legal team attempting to prove political bias on the part of the Republican Special Prosecutor.
     Don McGahn, a woefully mismatched attorney who specializes in campaign finance law, was nonetheless enough of a lawyer to know that even asking the Justice Department to dismiss Mueller (we still haven't any idea what Trump's relayed rationale would've been) would've triggered much the same Constitutional crisis as Nixon's removal of Archibald Cox had caused.
     As recently as the Davos Economic Forum Let's Slice the Planet Up into Slices and Laugh at the Proles Fighting to the Death for the Crumbs Shindig, Trump called the NY Times' revelation about his move to fire Mueller, you guessed it, "fake news". Sean Hannity made the mistake of taking his cues from Trump and also swiftly denounced the breaking exclusive as fake news before having to admit that it was backed up by credible sources then mysteriously having his Twitter account temporarily deactivated.
     If you're a well-informed voter and news consumer, you don't need me or anyone else to reconstruct the timeline of desperate behavior and attempted illegal actions of this so-called President from the very start of his first and only term. These are things that only a guilty man would do, Trump is using or trying to use his attorneys to either fire Mueller or do opposition research on the Special Prosecutor who is making serious inroads to building a multi-pronged case against him ranging from money laundering to Russian collusion to obstruction of justice.
     Let me say that one more time: Only a guilty man acts like this.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

All is Said But Not Done

     Earlier this month, I'd written a post trying to explain why I had brain freeze and found myself saying the same things over and over again about this shit show of an administration. I discovered it was getting increasingly difficult, if not outright impossible, to continue writing commentary about said shit show. I began to suspect I was losing my mojo. Perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough. Between September and December last year, I'd drafted a complete novel and a week later this month had begun another. Perhaps my mind was divided, I thought. But bifurcation isn't an excuse considering since I'd begun blogging almost exactly 13 years ago and had written by my estimate over 4000 posts totaling at least a couple of million words, I'd written or finished four novels of 130,000 words or more and another of 117,000 words. I'd started about two dozen others.
     So, it wasn't that. And then I realized something today- Everything we ever needed to know about Donald Trump we already knew during the campaign. From the day he rode down that escalator like a bored mall husband then started talking about the wall to the lackadaisical and glacial pace of the transition team, we'd had already known all about Donald Trump and what he stands for well before Inauguration Day. All he's done is confirm what we knew or suspected.
     So why are we so obsessed with him? Even though tens of millions still stubbornly refer to him as the president, the amount of press he gets exceeds even that of his most recent predecessors. And Trump is in a unique position to both deliver policy and be the official conduit of the fake news that he keeps spewing forth. Through his Twitter account, the army of journalists and bloggers who follow his every move, Trump is uniquely positioned to, through his very physical and online presence, reshape reality, logic and mathematics itself moreso than any of his predecessors. In short, Trump is radically altering the ontology of the United States,
     And since those of us in the reality-based community know Donald Trump is a lying, furtive, tax and draft dodging, womanizing psychopathic racist, the only things we have to write about is the fallout of a man who'd elevated identity politics to monstrous proportions (It was identity all along, as the man has proven time and again he has no policy positions rooted in pragmatism, reality or even basic human compassion).
     While President Obama maintains a Twitter following of an even 100,000,000, Trump tells his 47,000,000 followers (over half of which are as fake as his first campaign crowd in Trump Tower in mid June 2015) what he feels he needs them to hear and, of course, 99.99% are lies, innuendo and bullshit. But the feedback and efficacy that Obama had enjoyed is dwarfed by that which Trump gets. Any truth that emerges from Trump are Freudian slips that it's up to the rest of us to decode and follow to its logical conclusion. And we're waiting for the shit show's glorious or inglorious conclusion, an amorality play that never seems to end.

     Two and a half years ago, while researching a novella I was about to write, I'd learned about a train crash that had occurred in Crush, Texas on September 15, 1896. It wasn't an accident but a staged train crash that was thought up by an executive of the Katy Railroad, the aptly-named William George Crush. After putting the two trains on a nationwide tour, one painted red and one green, Crush had incorporated Crush, Texas for one day, immediately making Crush the second-biggest city in the Lone Star State.
     People were given free train tickets so they could travel to the ostensibly controlled carnage of two trains colliding with each other, each traveling at a speed of 45 miles per hour. Then the big day came. Scott Joplin himself had been commissioned by the Katy to write a song commemorating the event, the "Great Crush Collision March." Every one of the 40,000 in attendance knew what to expect. Or they thought they knew.
     Because seconds after the collision, debris rocketed out of the train wreck at supersonic speed. Both boilers on the trains exploded and two or three people were reported killed. Mortified, the railroad fired Crush until they realized that, despite the heavy hype and publicity in advance of the crash, fewer newspapers than expected had reported on the carnage. In a telling move smacking of corporate privilege, the Katy had rehired Crush the very next day.
     This is what we're waiting for. Aside from the millions who still support Trump no matter what he says and does as long as his murderous and ruinous policies are enacted, we envisioned the train wreck that would result from Trump's election. Humans have always been attracted to destruction on a large scale. We watched in awe as the first fruits of the Manhattan Project sent up mushroom cloud after mushroom cloud, then gawked at the even larger mushroom clouds that resulted from the first H bombs. We marveled at the scope, scale and destruction of the Twin Towers and Pentagon being hit and, again, when the Twin Towers and WTC 7 inexplicably fell. There was an element of horror, yes, but also a sense of wonder that we would be privileged to see so much destruction on such a large scale.
     This is why humans have to look at train wrecks that they know will happen. In that respect, we have not changed one bit as a species since our ancestors in 1896. Creation, while often a beautiful thing, is always on a smaller scale or too incremental to hold our increasingly beleaguered attention. Destruction, as is the wont of that selfsame species, can be offered on a much more massive scale. We're drawn to it like moths to a flame.
     This is why we watch Trump so obsessively, record every move this lumbering oaf makes. It's not because he's so fascinating. Trump is bottomlessly superficial, a man living in an ever expanding inner universe where the population always stands at one. We've run out of things to say about him because there is nothing new about him that can be said save for what had gotten chucked into the memory hole.
     We all know Trump cannot last four years or even two because, to quote Yeats, the center cannot hold, especially if there is no center. We're all figuratively eating our peanuts and popcorn and wondering, as we watch this sick, doddering, crazy old man shamble from golf course to golf course, if this will finally be the day.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Shutdown, Schmutdown!

(By Cyril Blubberpuss, conservative-American)
     "Shutdown, schmutdown!" I cried while urinating on a homeless man on Wall Street (I assumed someone would soon set him on fire). "This government could do with some pipe-cleaning, wouldn't you agree, Mr. Homeless and Legless Iraq War Veteran?"
     We've been hearing about who's to blame for this latest government shutdown for weeks now, the second one in four and a half years (Only this time without, alas, Ted Cruz reading from Dr. Seuss). The Republicans say the Democrats are to blame, the Democrats say the Republicans are to blame, Trump's blaming Chuck Schumer and Congress and the liberal media's blaming Trump.
     I'd love to smack all their under ripe melon heads together and say, "Enough is enough! The government's been shut down again. Isn't that a win-win for everyone?" After all, isn't that the ultimate goal of Republicans, to shrink government so you can drown it in a toilet while still getting your pay, perks and benefits?
     So what if people bought tour tickets to the Statue of Liberty only to be turned away at Liberty Island? "Give us your poor, your huddled masses, as long as we're open for the time being!" is what Emma Lazarus should've written. So what if the NOAA has to struggle to give us weather alerts by putting a beanie on their Director and sticking him on top of the Empire State Building to warn us about the wind?
     Really, these days I'm missing Michele Bachmann preening for the cameras at the closed veteran's memorial and blaming Obama for this latest shutdown, which, of course, he is to blame. Shutdowns are only bad for business when the proles get uppity and start bleating about working 120 hour work weeks and getting their extremities chopped off in their "unsafe working conditions."
     Uncle Sam should be put out to pasture once in a while so we can all enjoy how nice it is not have some avuncular old fart holding out his hand begging for taxes or breathing down our necks carping about pollution and Wall Street greed, blah blah. Hell, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a good friend of mine, falls asleep all the time after 11 AM even when negotiating with the Chinese, The rest of the government just followed his lead.
     What is disastrous is when this happens in the private sector, especially when the government gets involved.


     Why, my family and I still vividly remember the pandemonium that ensured when my baby brother Cecil's online business, www.cecilsprays.com, was shut down by the feds back in the 90's. Apparently, Uncle Sam's long reach extended even into Yugoslavia, in which their government authorities supposedly "rescued" over three dozen sex workers who'd been lured out of their hostels and given an alternative to a higher education.
     Those poor 37 boys were then thrown out of a job and forced to seek refuge in the European colleges from which they were lured. God only knows what they teach them in those European colleges: Probably French cheese and wine swilling and the finer points of Greek sodomy. And all because one ungrateful little whelp saw fit to saw off his own foot to escape into the Slavic wilderness and tattle on my kid brother. There's gratitude for you!
    
     And don't even get started on my baby girl, who'd once hopefully started a business beside a highway in New Jersey. It was a female-only truck stop called "Rose the Riveter's". Alas, my little girl didn't do the proper research on her demographic and overestimated the number of female truckers here in America. (Of course, the questionable items in the adult-themed gift shop didn't help any, especially as she neglected to get batteries for many of the items offered).

     But the government's not shut down for everyone, as President Trump showed in this photo op taken last Friday just before he waddled out of the White House to go to Mar-a-Lago for a rare weekend of golf. Thinking ahead, he even put on one of his famous $40 ball caps to protect his full head of hair from getting disheveled from the inevitable winds of change. It's a busman's holiday for the president as he engages in white knuckle negotiations on the back nine with heads of state and Cabinet heads as to who gets to be the first to shout, "Shockingly brilliant shot, Mr. President!" every time he slices one into the rough. And, yes, rehearsing his best moves from five years ago to trundle them out again.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

One Year Report Card

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
As with disasters such as Kennedy's assassination and 9/11, Americans years hence will be asking themselves in shell-shocked wonderment, "Where were you on January 20th 2017?"
     As the lead picture above shows, we should've taken a clue of what to expect just by looking at Barron Trump's face as he watched the historic transfer of power. To look at him, he'd seemed uncomprehending of the horrors about to unfold as well as of the stupidity and racism that went behind his father's election to the highest office in the land.
     To those of you who'd read Fire and Fury in its entirety, you'll know no one in the Trump campaign thought they had a chance. Melania was reportedly in tears on Election Night, not out of joy that her husband had won but that she'd be pressed into service as the First Lady, a post she'd never wanted. She wanted to continue living a trophy wife life, jet-setting to foreign, exotic locales and shopping on 5th Avenue. No one, not even Trump, thought the American electorate would be so stupid as to elect a serial adulterer, tax and draft dodger who'd bragged on a hot mic to a giggling member of the Bush family that he liked to grab women by their genitalia because he was rich and famous.
     Indeed, Trump's fanatical hold on power he never seriously thought would be his stands in stark contrast to the mass purge we've seen of like-minded sexual perverts we'd seen last year. From Bill O'Reilly to Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer to Mario Battaglia, men once considered invulnerable to criticism or feminine comeuppance had been toppled from power like dominoes. It was the classic snowball effect. And yet Donald Trump, perhaps the most rapacious and misogynistic of them all, retains, for now, a firm grip on the reins of Russian-conferred power. How did he survive the avalanche?
     Perhaps it was a mere matter of timing. The Hollywood Access tape wasn't released on the internet until September 7th 2016, a mere two months before the election. This was a full year before the mass purge of sexual predators really got into full swing and, if the election were held last year, even the politically and physically crippled Hillary Clinton and her corrupt band of lobbyists would have prevailed.
     Alas, it was not to be and, as Alexandre Dumas once said through the mouth of Cardinal Richelieu, treason is a matter of timing, so too is political comeuppance. You don't need to be a political science major to know that no president has even been toppled by a sex scandal. In fact, Richard Nixon is still the only one to resign from the office. Yet sex scandals had toppled several Democrats in their quest for the White House from Gary Hart to John Edwards. Yet Trump, admittedly through Putin and his stooges and tens of millions of racists desperate to elect anyone with an R after their name and wasn't dark-skinned, prevailed.

Après Moi le Déluge
Assuming Trump actually knows the language of diplomacy (he can't seem to master plain English), one could reasonably expect this famous phrase of Louis XIV to migrate to his Twitter feed. Yet, as Robert Mueller looms ever closer and more baleful over the horizon, some earthy iteration of the Sun King's motto will no doubt eventually emerge ("Ya better be grateful for this time I'm your president cuz Mueller wants to piss in the pool with his fake Russia investigation! #MAGA!").
     But, really, on this first anniversary of the day Democracy Died in Darkness, to paraphrase the WaPo, Trump can only point to one significant domestic or foreign accomplishment in his first 365 days- The GOP Tax Scam bill. And that is reviled to the point where even Trump's backers are beginning to question his campaign trail commitments to the poor and middle class (I know. I sadly chuckle when I hear them, too.)
     His response to the hurricane floods in Texas and especially Puerto Rico were a bad joke only a racist Republican would get. Nearly six months after the hurricane, literally half of Puerto Rico is still without power. And between rolls of paper towels thrown to the peasants while he laughed, Trump couldn't stop talking about Puerto Rico's debt, even though his failed golf course saddled them with part of that red ink.
     As proof he doesn't like Muslims, one of his first acts in office was to sign an executive order banning Muslims from first seven then six Muslim-majority nations (coincidentally, Trump had business interests in none of them), both of which were struck down by several federal judges. Despite that judicial wake-up call, however, the ICE raids that are tearing families apart each and every day continue apace while the media look the other way
     Then there was Charlottesville. Alt-right protesters held a protest rally in response to a statue of Robert E. Lee being taken down and by the time the fur stopped flying, an innocent woman was dead. Without once mentioning her, Trump defended the alt-right and diffused the blame for the violence on everyone who was there, citing, "many sides, many sides" were to blame. The next day he was shamed into making a robotic condemnation of the alt-right and, the very next day after that in Trump Tower, Trump again found his inner racist that vibrates just beneath his umber-powdered skin and called Richard Spenser's neo Nazis, white supremacists and David Duke's KKK "very fine people."
     The rest of the time had been filled with mass firings and resignations from Sean Spicer to Steve Bannon to Reince Priebus to Anthony Scaramucci and others almost too numerous to count. Key spots in the State Department and the federal judiciary remain deliberately unfilled as if Trump's downsizing a failing corporation, Congress can't seem to repeal ObamaCare or a spending bill or anything else of consequence aside from massive tax cuts for those least needing and deserving of them.
     So much winning, we're told.

"The Best President We've Ever Had."
In what was a wake-up call to even Republican pollster Frank Luntz, the Grand Poobah of the Right Wing Euphemism, Luntz held a session with a focus group composed entirely of Trump voters. Three minutes into the discussion, one man raised his doubts about Trump's commitment to working class people and claimed he was sold a rotten bill of goods. Immediately, he was shouted down and Clinton's name came up in rebuttal. One woman, a retired educator, actually said that Trump was "the best President we've ever had," which shocked even Luntz.
     The way that the man in back questioning Trump's honesty was attacked was more telling than virtually anything that was discussed or expressed. This is proof that Trump not only had altered peoples' perceptions of what's true or not for a single election cycle but had altered seemingly forever their tactics for dealing with dissent in a political debate. And the way Trump had infected these obviously low-information voters is something from which one cannot easily come back, if at all. Many Nazis, even those who weren't party members, including Goebbells' secretary, never wavered in their commitment to the Third Reich even well into their hundreds.
     Considering that Trump has spent literally a quarter of his illegitimate "presidency" on vacation and bankrupting the Secret Service, such die-hards honestly have nothing of any substance in the way of presidential accomplishment save for a tax bill that almost entirely excludes them to which they can point. So, if their unwavering loyalty to Trump isn't based on what he's done, then that leaves just one possibility- It's not what Trump is but what he represents to them.
     It doesn't faze them one bit that Trump's called neo Nazis against whom their forebears had fought "very fine people", or that he called for the end of births after the nine month gestation period or that he walks past his presidential limo so massive it's named "the Beast" or that he announced to Israeli officials in Tel Aviv that he'd just left the Middle East. It's Donald, Donald, he's their man. If he can't do it, no one can!
     Honestly, at this point, Trump could butt fuck a dead Palestinian kid on the Resolute Desk in full view of TV cameras and his supporters would cheer him on that it will drive liberals and Palestinians crazy.
     Because it's all about spiting the liberals. Who knows how many of his dwindling base have named their kids after him over the last two and a half years or eat their steaks well done and slathered with ketchup just like Trump. Their foaming at the mouth hatred of anything even remotely to the left of Hitler and deemed lib'ral is enough to drive them into a frenzy. Such is the success of the right wing's ongoing smear campaign against liberals who are hardly in evidence in Congress.
     So there you have it- The legislative agenda isn't there: Trump's signed fewer bills into law than any modern President since Eisenhower. He's spent more vacation days in one year than any president (and, no, none of them were busman's holidays). The wall hasn't come close to being built, at least if you exclude the land grabs along South Texas, land grabs of Trump voters who'd, ironically, voted for Trump because of his promise of a wall that'd be paid for by Mexico.
     At the risk of oversimplifying what amounts to a simple mindset, it seems Trump's greatest appeal to them is not having a vagina and not having black skin. They've mistaken ignorant stubbornness for strength and resolve, racism for patriotism and his particularly toxic brand of fascism as the kind of conservatism they can at last understand.
     So it's perfectly appropriate that Donald Trump's first year as "president" would arrive on the day the government shut down.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
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