Thursday, August 25, 2016

Anderson Cooper 180

     I call it that because that's only half the story.
     A few days ago, a few blogs, some Twitter accounts and an apathetic smattering of MSM outlets reported the news that Donald Trump donated between $100,000 to $250,000 to the same Clinton Foundation that's he's been decrying and demanding to be investigated. So, essentially Donald Trump is calling for an investigation of himself.
     If Trump is trying to position himself as the innocent here by claiming he didn't know it was a whorehouse when he walked in to use the bathroom, he's doing a pretty piss-poor job. Seriously. He's going to have to do a helluva lot better than to say, "The Clinton Foundation's a pay-to-play scam but when I kicked in a small fortune, it was perfectly legit." Uh huh.
     But as I said in the beginning, this is but half the story and Anderson Cooper, true to his Vanderbilt 1% roots, didn't go after the DNC (which is to say, the Clinton campaign) for, in turn, shoveling countless millions of dollars of its own into Trump-owned businesses.
     Granted, we're talking about several financial entities, from the Trump and Clinton campaigns to the DNC, the Clinton Foundation, etc. And perhaps the bewildering array of said entities is the point. After all, this is how money-laundering is done, through at least two such organizations.
     You can download the spreadsheet right here ( then just scroll down until you get the countless consecutive listings with Trump's name and 725 Fifth Ave. Here are some screenshots to get you going:

     As stated, the story of Donald Trump giving up to a quarter of a million dollars to Clinton's sham charity looks bad enough but when you look at the entire story, it gets exponentially worse. And when one looks at the big picture, it's absolutely impossible to see how it looks good for anyone involved. The optics are horrible for Trump, for Clinton, for the DNC, etc.

     The image one gets is of a giant revolving door in which large sums of money get passed from one presidential candidate to the other then large sums of money get passed vice versa, sort of exactly the same way when one paid at least a million dollars to the corrupt Clintons' "Foundation", one got some face time with Hillary and maybe, if you're generous enough, a spot on an important committee or even a lucrative weapons deal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tweets From the Edge, Part ∞

Oh, Shit, Here We Go Again...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mr. Bill Will Not Save the Day

     On Saturday, I posted an Assclowns of the Week in which I'd briefly mentioned the devastating floods in Louisiana these past two weeks. I admit, that was mere token lip service and I haven't done justice to this tragedy. But one trend I've been seeing on both right wing media and even the mainstream media is how Obama's at fault for not being there to provide empty comfort and continuing his vacation.
     Not a word has been said, as far as I can tell, of Bush's inexcusable behavior during at least three trips to New Orleans in Katrina's wake in 2005 and the fact that he was on vacation himself when disaster struck the 9th Ward and elsewhere.
     I'm amazed that people forget this simple fact of our national security protocols:
     Everywhere the President of the United States goes, there's a two mile-wide halo over his head and that halo is called a no-fly zone. It is forbidden for any aircraft not approved by the government, regardless of the nobility of its mission or intentions, to fly anywhere near the president. Bush was painfully unaware of this or blithely dismissive of it when he and Laura Bush made successive trips to New Orleans for their Goddamned photo ops. One of them was when Laura Bush took over a Red Cross aid station for eight hours while they were trying to update their site to tell people where the relief stations were. And the Secret Service threw everyone out so Bush could hand out a single loaf of bread to several people during a transparently superficial and self-serving photo op.
     While Bush was in New Orleans, rescue and recovery helicopters were stranded while Bush pretended to get briefings from idiots such as Michael Brown, as in this famous picture:

     For once in his life, Gov. Bobby Jindal, perhaps remembering Bush fucking up the recovery efforts during his photo ops, acted like a leader and forbade politicians from going to Louisiana. If you're not going to help, he said, don't come and interfere with police and other first responders. Of course, that didn't stop Donald Trump, who's being cheered by right wing mouth-breathers as a hero for showing up anyway with Mike Pence and handing out Play-Doh for exactly 49 seconds before calling it quits and then giving $100,000 to professional homophobe Tony Perkins so he could rebuild his house.
     And Obama's a bad guy for being on vacation.
     Obama is doing the right thing by not being there. If he'd gone there for self-serving, superficial photo ops, he'd simply be doing more harm than good. Once the president's vacation is over and the water pumped out of the flood zones, I'm confident Obama will do right by his fellow Americans and allocate emergency funds. When the rescue and recovery efforts are concluded, I'm equally sure the president will visit the areas and console the locals.
     So get the fuck off the President's back. Just because he's on vacation it doesn't mean he's powerless and cannot do anything. I'm sure he's been on the phone with Governor Jindal several times and is getting up-to-date briefings and, unlike Bush, actually is engaged. New Orleans is cynically used by white, right winger politicians during every disaster to briefly show their compassion for black people. And it sickens me that the same cocksuckers who called the victims of Katrina "deadbeats", "losers" and "looters" are now feigning concern about them so they can slam President Obama for doing the right thing by not callously hampering the rescue and recovery efforts.

"Excuse my dust."

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
I'm sure that Dorothy Parker would be mortified to still be alive today and more mortified still to learn today would've been her 123rd birthday.
     As many great writers are, Dorothy Parker was what people charitably refer to as "complicated." She was self-effacing (unlike many writers) but she was just as merciless toward those in positions of power, especially right wingers and bigots. She was sitting at the Algonquin Round Table she helped found when news came of Republican Calvin Coolidge's death. It inspired Parker's most famous quip: "How could they tell?" In person, Parker was soft-spoken, which only enhanced and amplified the acidity of her barbs. It was even rumored that when Dorothy Parker was holding court at the Algonquin Table (that decades later she'd come to repudiate), people were reluctant to leave before her for fear of what she'd say about them in their absence.
     Yet Parker's brilliance as a writer and master of the vitriolic aphorism has overshadowed her career as a left wing activist. The overshadowing of her more serious avocation as a liberal muckraker is understandable: Of Viking's famous Portable series, The Portable Dorothy Parker is one of only three still in print (along with Shakespeare and the Bible). Her talent was widely spread out in short stories, verse, poetry and song lyrics, journalism, plays, radio scripts, screenplays, book reviews and virtually every other genre and medium. The winner of two Oscar nominations and an O. Henry Award in 1930, she is generally regarded as one of America's greatest authors of either gender.
     However, Parker's political activism began while she was in her early 30's, specifically during the Sacco and Vanzetti trial of 1927. From that point until her death just nine days before the Monterey Festival in the famous Summer of Love, Parker was increasingly devoted to progressive causes and Civil Rights. In fact, she was so notorious that her co-founding of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League (actually a thinly disguised front for Communist causes- Parker was a card-carrying member of that party) was more than enough to earn the attention of J. Edgar Hoover's infamously Learesque FBI: His Bureau had compiled a 1000 page dossier on the writer.
     But it didn't stop with Hoover. Parker had also appeared on the radar screen of Joe McCarthy, the notorious Communist-hunting senator from Wisconsin who, through his hearings, had ended the careers of many Hollywood luminaries. Parker, despite her two Academy Award nominations, was not exempt from McCarthy's baleful ken.
     And lest one think that Parker's concern stopped at American borders, you'd be wrong there. She'd formed an organization called Project Rescue Ship that transported Spanish Loyalists to Mexico and headed the Spanish Children's Relief and even chaired the Joint Anti-Fascist Rescue Committee. While they may have been fronts for Communist causes, no one could doubt Ms. Parker's loathing for and opposition to fascism and right wingers on either side of the Atlantic.
     When Parker died of a sudden heart attack in New York City at the age of 73, the childless author's will bequeathed her entire estate to Dr. Martin Luther King and, when he was tragically assassinated less than a year later, it was transferred to the NAACP. On the 95th anniversary of her birth, that civil rights organization erected a cenotaph at the site of Parker's birthplace in New Jersey. During that 21 year interregnum, it would've amused Parker to know that, since no one claimed her ashes, they sat, fittingly, in her attorney's file cabinet for 17 years. (Her proposed epitaph was, "Excuse my dust.")
     While Parker had friends and more lovers than posterity will likely ever get to count, it can be said her love for humanity was exercised at a more abstract level through her political and social activism. She was often a sad, lonely woman who, like Billie Holliday, was a brilliant and gifted lady who nonetheless made an unbroken string of bad choices in men. And it was that brilliance that answers the occasional question of why she has never fallen into disfavor or neglect in the nearly half a century after her death.
     That is because, like Sylvia Plath and several others, Parker showed us how dangerous and devastating a lady of intelligence and a sharp wit can be in a male-dominated society. Yet let us not forget Parker's lifelong commitment to progressive causes that she'd effortlessly juggled with and folded into her immortal literary canon.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

...And Sometimes CNN Gets it Just Right

     It looks something out of The Onion but that's because it's as if The Onion is scripting the Donald Trump campaign. This screengrab was taken from a Youtube video of a CNN panel that went berzerk when the Trump apologists opened their mouths to claim Donald Trump was a Civil Rights champion because he allowed blacks and Jews into one of his country clubs. Yes, they actually think that qualifies as civil rights activism.
     Forget that Malcolm X and Dr. King lost their very lives to that end or that Rep. John Lewis had his skull bashed in in the good name of Civil Rights or that Bernie Sanders was arrested for trying to integrate a university or that three young Civil Rights workers were murdered in Mississippi in the fight for equality. To the white twit you see above, expanding country club admission policies is equal to all those risks and often fatal consequences.
     The original video can be seen here. I've already had my fun.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Assclowns of the Week #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition

      For anyone with common sense and/or an allergy to bullshit, these past couple of weeks in this quadrennial are especially trying. We have another corrupt Olympics taking place in a sewer dressed up like a Potemkin village and bought and sold by corporations and, of course, we have another presidential election in which, as usual, we're given the choice of two elderly right wing oligarch psychopaths to vote for as President. And, to top it all off, thanks to a tragically misguided artist with national pretensions, we now have a good idea what one of them looks like naked.
      But even among those of us who wish to tune out and drop out, there are the assclowns that overrun the streets like so many bulls in Pamplona. To a guy like me, that's like Michael Corleone, just when he thinks he's out, getting pulled back in. To wit:
      Debbie Wasserman Schultz (5) for finally coming out of the closet and announcing her love for Hillary Clinton (3); Ryan Lochte (8) for reminding us Michael Phelps' bong wasn't all that bad, after all; Trump (4, 1) bag boy Chris Christie (6) for handing Trump yet another bag, this one filled with money and libertarian bag o' douche Peter Thiel (7) for silencing one of his critics. So let's hop aboard the Crazy Train and review this week's assclowns and, with a greatly expanded Dishonorable Mentions, much, much more!

10) Rudy Giuliani
     In a truly awe-inspiring bit of revisionist history worthy of Michele Bachmann and Katrina Pierson, Mayor Rudy got up before a crowd of right wingers just before Donald Trump's foreign policy speech and claimed. "Under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States."
     Had he forgotten all about the defining day of his political career? Or does Rudy just have such high standards of excellence nearly 3000 deaths and three buildings being destroyed and the Pentagon damaged not qualify as "successful"?

     Or the thousands of times he'd mentioned 9/11 as his sole campaign platform plank during the 2008 election? Or refuting Donald Trump's claims that thousands were celebrating 9/11?
     How hard did Rudy hit his head a couple of weeks ago?
     The next day, Rudy claimed he didn't forget about 9/11 and blamed his gaffe on "abbreviated language." More like abbreviated brains. 

9) Attorney General Loretta Lynch
     I'm just going to come right out and say it because it's always up to me to say what's on the minds of many people who are too craven to say it out loud: Women have destroyed the Democratic Party. You want to know why it's turned into Republican-Lite? Women. Women like Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Roberta Lange, Donna Brazile, Barbara Boxer and last but certainly not least, AG Loretta Lynch. And men let them get away with it for fear of being viewed as sexist or misogynistic. Or maybe they're as corrupt as the women.
     Lynch made the news and the grade this week by spiking yet another investigation into Hillary Clinton's semi-open sewer of public service. Last month, Lynch put the kibosh on an investigation into Hillary's email irregularities that should've ended with the formation of a grand jury but didn't. Then this month, Lynch killed another investigation before it had even begun, even in contravention of the FBI's wishes, into the astoundingly corrupt Clinton Foundation. And before all that, Lynch killed a third investigation into Clinton in the wake of Clinton Cash.
     I think we all now know the real reason why Obama installed Loretta Lynch as Attorney General and it certainly wasn't for her legal skills. Now, if only Lynch can stop having inappropriate secret rendezvouz with Slick Willie while the wife isn't around.

8) Ryan Lochte
     It's difficult enough for American tourists to shed the stubborn image of the Ugly American and to that end Olympic swimmer and world's oldest frat boy Ryan Lochte certainly didn't do the rest of us any favors. A week ago, Lochte claimed he and his fellow swimmers were held up by black Brazilians masquerading as police and were robbed at gunpoint of all their cash. In the cab with Lochte were fellow Olympians Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz.
     Then on Thursday, their story fell apart faster than a Hillary Clinton campaign promise. It was revealed that the quartet of swimmers were drunk the night of the "incident" and pulled a Mötley Crüe by trashing a gas station bathroom then refusing to pay for the damages. The scary black men in police uniforms turned out to be an armed security guard who never pulled his gun. According to this game of Telephone, being told to pay for their damages constituted being robbed at gunpoint. And, to this day, Lochte and his co-conspirators refuse to publicly disavow their original story.
     Blaming fictional black bogey men for crimes committed by white people is a tried-and-true American evasion and diversion that works. Every. Fucking. Time. It brings to mind Ashley Todd, Charles Stuart and Susan Smith for their initially successful attempts to blame black men for crimes they themselves commit.

7) Peter Thiel
     There's something deeply wrong with a nation that officially recognizes billionaire bribes as "free speech" while places such as Gawker get hounded out of existence by one of those same billionaires for legitimately exercising their 1st Amendment rights.
     Those of you who have even minimal internet contact must know that Gawker's ending their operations as of this week, a direct result of a bankruptcy filed in the wake of disgraced racist Hulk Hogan's lawsuit over Gawker having published a sex tape with him in it. Incredibly, the Donald Trump VP-wannabe won $140,000,000, so I guess the world's most muscular Klansman's feelings were very, very hurt by watching himself buck naked, fucking his friend's ex-wife.
     Then, before Univision bought Gawker's six online entities for $135,000,000, libertarian scumbag Peter Thiel finally stepped from the shadows and admitted he was the one who'd financed Hogan's lawsuit. The cynical partnership was forged, it was discovered, because of Gawker's own hard-hitting pieces about Thiel and his right wing buddies in Silicon Valley. Oh, and Gawker outed him, which also hurt Thiel's tender feelings.
     Gawker was a valuable source of news and commentary that was extremely popular among millennials and others. Their style of gonzo journalism at a time in which people across all age groups are at best cynical about the MSM was a much-needed breath of fresh air. And the bankruptcy Gawker was forced to file in the wake of a farce of a trial that put a fortune in the pockets of a disgraced racist, and bankrolled by a misogynistic oligarch who ought to be disowned by the LGBT community, will only have a chilling effect on American journalism. The Gawker lawsuit will set a dangerous precedent for vindictive right wing douchebags such as Peter Thiel, who just spent $10,000,000 defending a guy he doesn't give two shits about in order to preserve a reputation that he only made worse.

     Bravo, asshole. Well played, well played.

6) Chris Christie
     It appears as if Chris Christie spent 25,000,000 New Jersey taxpayer dollars for a Vice Presidential gig he didn't get. He did, however get a consolation prize as the head of Trump's transition team. As the NY Times put it on the 16th,
The total, with interest, had grown to almost $30 million. The state had doggedly pursued the matter through two of the casinos’ bankruptcy cases and even accused the company led by Mr. Trump of filing false reports with state casino regulators about the amount of taxes it had paid.
But the year after Governor Christie, a Republican, took office, the tone of the litigation shifted. The state entertained settlement offers. And in December 2011, after six years in court, the state agreed to accept just $5 million, roughly 17 cents on the dollar of what auditors said the casinos owed.
     So essentially, Christie arrived at the Governor's mansion with a serious budgetary shortfall and he hamstrung his own state auditors who'd been after Trump for at least five years to pay his taxes. Furthermore, Christie let Trump plea-bargain down his original debt to 17 cents on the dollar of what he actually owed.
     And how did Trump pay him back five years later? By making him his bag boy and giving him a job he'll never get to fulfill.
     And if in your eyes that didn't qualify Christie for the #6 spot, then maybe what Christie did last Tuesday will.

5) Debbie Wasserman Schultz
     Last week, disgraced ex-DNC chair and glorified Clinton temp worker Debbie Wasserman Schultz had a debate with her opponent, Tim Canova. And during it she actually thought it would be a selling point with FL-23 voters to remind them as to why she was a disgraced ex DNC chair- "The work we did to prepare for Hillary Clinton, to be our nominee and then make sure we could get her elected President."
     Which, of course, is at stark odds with DWS lying to the faces of the American media and public and piously claiming both she and the DNC have been impartial and completely upfront and above board with the Sanders campaign. The lies and the glasnost of her corruption seem to be paying dividends- As of last Wednesday, one poll showed her crushing Tim Canova in the Democratic primary race.
     Take heart, Bernie fans. Just because Hillary Clinton's indictment and trial fizzled thanks to a certain corrupt Attorney General, how many times can lightning not strike? In case you didn't see this startling admission, here it is in its full glory:

4) Donald Trump
     Right around the same time that Donald Trump gave a foreign policy speech in which he gave the right wing's version of a hippie dippy, all-inclusive, tolerant society, he put up something alarming on his campaign's website that (Gasp!) may actually conflict with his Utopian mantra of enfranchisement for everyone. It's essentially a sign-up sheet for anyone who may want to be a "Trump Election Observer," which for us older folks may bring up unpleasant memories of a similar Republican move from 1981 that the DNC, when it was still the DNC, had a federal court strike down.
     Within minutes, it seemed, this resulted in a toxic sludge tsunami of tweets like this one (read my rejoinder):
     But in the act of asking his supporters to act as challengers, he could be violating the Consent Decree from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
     So, sure, come into Donald Trump's all-inclusive and tolerant America. But if'n'when y'all try to vote, we'll be watching you and if'n y'all try any o' them there shenanigans, we'll disappear you like a few Civil Rights Workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi we can think of.

3) Hillary Clinton
     It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Hillary Clinton, a pro-fracking, pro-TPP Republican in donkey's clothing, one who publicly complains about the "revolving door in politics", would appoint Ken Salazar to be her transition chairman. Salazar, a former Interior Secretary who is himself pro-fracking, pro-KXL and pro-TPP, never met an oil company executive whose cock he didn't immediately suck. If God forbid Clinton wins, he'll be overseeing the appointments and nominations of 4000 government jobs that, with Clinton's and Salazar's involvement, is predestined to be filled with party hacks, executives and corporate lobbyists that already infest the Clinton campaign like fleas on a junk yard dog.
     Remember, in 2014, Salazar went to the NAPE Expo (basically Comic Con for planet-eating polluters) and, channeling former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, actually said in public, “We know that, from everything we’ve seen, there’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone.” (The post-Jackson EPA disagrees but who cares what Tricky Dick's liberals think, right?) By the time Clinton & Salazar are through, the White House is going to be merely a K Street Who's Who (as if it hadn't already been made that way by Obama).
2) George Soros
     In a Wikileaks-scale data dump, it became apparent that perhaps the right wingers were right about George Soros all this time, albeit for the wrong reasons. It's difficult to get an unbiased view of this massive, years-long hack of 2576 documents (naturally, it's hardly been mentioned on left wing, let alone mainstream media sites but has plenty of coverage, natch, on right wing sites such as Breitbart and American Thinker). The bottom line exposes how Soros, who's indisputably in the tank for Clinton, has influenced world affairs to a larger extent than in even the most fevered right wing conspiracy theories.
     It's ironic that Soros' Open Society Foundation had to be hacked before we could see how many levers the old man was pulling from behind the curtain and which ones but it is what it is. Whether you're a right wing nut job claiming it's the result of Russian FSB intelligence or if you take DCLeaks at face value (“launched by the American hacktivists who respect and appreciate freedom of speech, human rights and government of the people.”), one fact remains clear: Soros' involvement in world affairs as well as domestic ones only lend credence to the old conspiracy theory of a few well-monied men controlling the world from the shadows of board rooms.
     Of all the sites I've been to, The Daily Caller seems to have the most balanced and unbiased response to this data dump. Here's their overview:
The documents are from multiple departments of Soros’ organizations. Soros’ the Open Society Foundations seems to be the group with the most documents in the leak. Files come from sections representing almost all geographical regions in the world, “the President’s Office”, and something named SOUK.
     “The President’s Office”?! Yeah, you've gotta check that one out. When you go to the first link I'd posted at the top of this segment, you'll be amazed at the different places (think entire continents) where Soros' "Open Society Foundation" has enjoyed influence. Among them: USA, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and so forth. Among the revelations: That Soros had donated $650,000 to Black Lives Matter (which alone made right wing maws froth enough to rival the Louisiana floods) to cynically court them to Hillary's side.

1) Donald Trump
     You ever wonder what it would be like if Charlie McCarthy morphed in Joe McCarthy? Here's your answer.
     Donald Trump delivered what was billed as a foreign policy speech that sounded instead more like a "Ve must guard der Fatherland" boilerplate. This is part of what he'd said in Youngstown, OH:
Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into our country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country — and to embrace a tolerant American society — should be issued visas.
     Ja, seig hiel, mein Fuh...! Wait, what?
     Yes, you read that right. In one albeit disjointed sentence, Trump had brilliantly turned xenophobia and Islamophobia into a clarion call for peace and tolerance and the screaming Gadsden flag-waving goobers in Ohio actually fell for it. This is what the Chicago Tribune went on to write:
The Republican nominee has made stricter immigration measures a central part of his proposals for defeating the Islamic State, a battle he said Monday is akin to the Cold War struggle against communism. He called for parents, teachers and others to promote "American culture" and encouraged "assimilation."
     Oh, yeah, because being assimilated and indoctrinated into so-called "American culture" worked out so well for countless thousands of Indian children in American and Canadian resident schools. The dog whistle language that Trump's now using is clear when you unfilter it: We'll let you in if you swear a loyalty oath to the bits and pieces of the Constitution we recognize and, uh, leave your own culture and language at the door. We ain't got no use for it.

Dishonorable Mentions

 Pam Geller
(Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors)
     It seems online crank and right wing mob wife Pam Geller's at it again. Or rather, still. For six years now, she's been waging a war against unlabeled halal meat and insists it should be labeled as such just as Kosher food is. She even took the extraordinary measure of petitioning the USDA five years ago to get Muslim meat labelled lest it cause a tsunami of "back door sharia."
     If anyone needs a six foot falafel stick shoved up her ass, it's Pam Geller. You'd think she'd be much more concerned about the lack of labeling in Frankenfoods made by Monsanto. But this is Anders Brevik's muse we're talking about here.

      The Obama administration had a problem with Aetna, already the third largest health insurer, acquiring Humana in a possible breach of antitrust laws. Aetna had already warned the US government that if they stepped in and blocked the merger, they'd retaliate. Last week, Aetna did just that by dropping out of ObamaCare exchanges in 11 states, reducing Aetna's involvement to just four. It's not very often you see a major corporation having a public temper tantrum over not getting its way, so enjoy this while it lasts.

Natalie Morales and Billy Bush

     Watch the white people get all in a righteous lather when the nasty black man starts criticizing one of their own. Al Roker lays it all out then lays out Ryan Lochte's white apologists who keep calling the 32 year-old frat boy "a kid" and that we shouldn't "rush to judgment". Idea: We should make by an act of Congress any reference to Ryan Lochte as the Affleunza Aquaman.

Donald Trump & Mike Pence
      When the flood waters engulfed Louisiana, former Gov. Bobby Jindal was able to suppress his inner exorcist long enough to issue a common-sense warning to others to not go to his state for just a photo op, as it would hinder rescue efforts by first responders. So naturally, Donald Trump in his supreme arrogance completely ignored that common-sense warning and showed up with Mike Pence so they could be pictured handing out Play-Doh for precisely 49 seconds before beating it out of there. That's right: Mr. Bill and Mr. Tiny Hands are here to save the day.
     Shit, even Bush did better than that after Katrina 11 years ago!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mail Bag

     Every once in a great while, I'll pen a screed to a reader that's really too good to waste. This is one of those times. This is an email I got this afternoon from one of my readers:
If Clinton is increasing her lead due to Trump's self-destruction, then why should her supporters be concerned about what Stein does?
      They can't win with class. They were nasty with Sanders and his supporters and they're even nastier (not to mention misogynistic) with Stein.
      Or maybe they're not as confident of victory in November as the mainstream media makes it out to be.
     I responded by simply commenting on the irony that by going after two Jewish presidential candidates, no one has ever accused Kamp Klinton of antisemitism. Then I penned this later:

     This is ironic, now that you mention misogyny... Peter Daou, who's just gotten on my radar screen and is now my second career, is forever accusing Clinton critics of being "sexist" simply for criticizing her. 

     In his hysterical screeds begging to know why Bernie backers hate Clinton so much, he comes thisclose to calling us misogynists just for the simple group thoughtcrime of not backing his Goldwater Girl. What Daou and Hillary's other little Goebbels don't get is we hate her so much because she's almost radically different from Sanders & Stein and we recognize her as the mainstream right wing. And we hate her and her surrogates for lying on us, being so vicious with us on social media and using right wing tactics.
     And I don't want to hear any shit about how Sanders & Clinton have little daylight between them because they voted on the same side of bills 93% of the time in the Senate. A voting record is, at best, a poor & unreliable barometer of political ideology. Lawmakers vote for and against bills all the time in the spirit of compromise, such as a Democrat voting against an otherwise progressive bill because some scumbag Republican put in a poison pill.
     It should be screamingly obvious to anyone with one eye or more than two functional neurons that Clinton's been in the tank for right wing causes since she was a 16 year-old Goldwater Girl. And she's only gotten more right wing in her old age.
     Of course, peckerheads like Peter Daou can't or won't see that because he got sucked into her cult of personality. The rest of the morons at Blue Balls Review do what they do because they were paid off. But Daou's a true believer as he used to work for the witch and is happy to be one of her flying monkeys. That's why I've so quickly grown to hate him so very, very much.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Assclowns of the Week #102: Orange is the New Fat edition

     Hi ho, Potterinos! As we enter the final stretch of this Salvador Dali election cycle, one has to wonder if both the Republican and Democratic parties have completely lost their collective minds or if they've even had possession of their faculties in the last generation.
     Indeed, it seems as if this entire general election cycle was scripted by David Lynch for a Pirandello Theater of the Absurd production and adapted by Mike (Idiocracy) Judge. To wit:
     NJ Gov. Chris Christie (5) for knowing all too well about his spontaneous production of Bridge On the River Crybaby; Jon Voight (10) for defending Donald Trump (1, 6) for his 2nd Amendment remedy and ex-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (9) for some wonderful right wing projection from the grave. So pile on aboard the omnibus of Regression as we review these top 10 assclowns and much, much more!

10) Jon Voight

     When people say of liberal celebrities, "They should just work and shut up about politics," Jon Voight is the kind of celebrity at whom they should aim their invective. The former actor-turned Hollywood & Vine madman had once stumped for McGovern and protested the Vietnam War. But somewhere along the way, or right around the time we elected a black man as President, the Midnight Birther burst a blood vessel.
     And his latest political stunt proves that, with right wing nut jobs, Koolaid is actually thicker than blood. Voight has been a vocal supporter of Trump for over a year, as is his right to be. But one would think that even a rabid right winger like Voight would think twice about supporting a guy who's repeatedly badmouthed his daughter, progressive icon Angelina Jolie. And Voight's op-ed in the virtual pages of Breitbart (naturally) actually backed up Trump after he'd called on "2nd Amendment people" to take care of his Hillary Clinton problem.

     This was Voight's reaction when he was cornered at a restaurant and asked to explain this bizarre op-ed. It's the exact moment that Voight transformed himself from a respected actor/conservative activist into a street corner lunatic. Will someone please admit this 77 year-old relic into a nursing home?

9) The late Rob Ford

     Yeah, yeah, he's been dead since spring. Yeah, yeah, this is old news. But this full, rereleased video of Rob Ford smoking crack back in February 2013 bears repeating. And, let's face it, his very election as mayor of Canada's largest city was indisputably a low point for that nation's political IQ. If you ever play it, much of this video is unintelligible and censored of obscenities.
     But what strikes me about this video is the sight of Rob Ford, the sitting mayor of Toronto, Canada, legs splayed, stomach hanging out, shirttail out, sucking on a glass crack pipe while calling former prize fighter and future Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "fat dick." It's the epitome of right wing projection and cluelessness. And the crack whore narrating the video was praising Ford, as he was smoking crack, for his devotion to children and families, betraying the overall intelligence quotient of your right wing North American voter.

8) Katrina Pierson 

     You're really not very good at this, are you, Katrina?
     In a masterpiece of right wing revisionist history packed into a few seconds, Katrina Pierson, Trump's main spokeswoman, actually said that Afghanistan was "Obama's war" and that we'd never entered that country until he was elected President.
     Yes, she actually said that.
     No, really, she did.
     And the look of amazement on the CNN anchor's face when she made this amazing Michele Bachmann-class historical gaffe is alone worth sitting through the compressed four and a half minutes of painfully burning stupid. And when you see Trump organ donors such as Pierson yakking to one talking head after another and proving she has no intellectual advantage over a department store mannequin, you have to wonder what other idiots the Cheese Puff Jesus would put on his Cabinet and the Supreme Court.

7) Peter Daou
     There are several rules for journalism or there should be:
     Never punch upward. It takes something off your shots. Here's another: Stop masquerading as an independent, objective journalist while shamelessly and obliviously pimping for the same crooked right wing politician for whom you used to work (And no, Petey, disclaimers at the end of articles make for lousy fig leaves). Apparently, these lessons will forever be lost on aspiring journalist Peter Daou, who viciously slanders and libels Maureen Dowd on both Twitter and his shitty little perch at some online rag called Blue Nation Review. That much became obvious when he posted a scurrilous, sputtering screed on his byline (one, apparently, of a series, his rage at Dowd's fixation on the Clintons betraying projection for his fixation on her) in accusing Dowd of racism for calling out Obama and the Clintons in an entirely factual August 13th op-ed.
     As I told this blubber-lipped baboon on Twitter last night right before he blocked me, he must be trying like a one nut on his honeymoon, to quote Robert Penn Warren, for that Press Secretary gig in the Clinton presidency that'll never come to be. I guess that kind of envy comes from the fact that while he's toiling away at Blue Nation Review in the hind end of cyberspace, Dowd's been with the NY Times for upwards of a quarter century and has a Pulitzer Prize to show for her efforts. Dowd may be at least a useful idiot to anti Trumpers and Berniecrats but, unlike Peter Daou, one thing she will never be is a political Cassandra.

6) Donald Trump

     Well, gee, Donald, if you want the media to contact you, you have to stop banning it from your rallies.
     In a magnificent series of Twitter rants on Sunday that was nearly as incoherent with choked rage as a Joe Dave Chadwick "book review", Donald Trump excoriated the NY Times for some unfriendly articles they've written about him of late. Among his charges: They didn't contact him for corroboration, which somehow I doubt. How many times do we read on a daily basis, "So-and-so did not respond to requests for comment" regardless of the prestige of the outlet? And the Trump campaign, especially, has been even more furtive and paranoid about the media than the rest.
     Oh, and after banning the WaPo, Politico, the right wing National Review and countless other outlets from attending his Two Minutes Hates, Cheetos Jesus has threatened to ban the Gray Lady, as well. Which will just give her even more incentive to write whatever she wants about him. Well, at least Mike Pence believes in freedom of the press... as long as they're exposing Hillary Clinton and not his bloated vestigial twin Trump.

5) Gov. Chris Christie
     Chris Christie. US Attorney. Governor of New Jersey. Republican Presidential Candidate. McDonald Trump's flunky.
     One thing he'll never be is Trump's Transportation Secretary, if the allegation made by one of his ex staffers is to be believed. In a document filed in New Jersey federal court, a Christie aide was supposed to have texted another that Christie "flat out lied" about him or his staff knowing of or getting involved in the 2013 Bridgegate scandal that brought traffic on the GWB to a standstill. That would be the same scandal over which Christie had spent over a million taxpayer bucks so a Christie-friendly law firm (rather than an objective court) could find him innocent.
     Considering what a brash, rude vindictive asshole Christie has been all his life, it's the richest form of schadenfreude to see Donald Trump treating him like a week-old cum rag: Trump's used Christie as his errand boy, told him seconds after getting Christie's endorsement, "You go down" and "Get on a plane and go home" and hogged an umbrella all to himself while Christie stood in the rain.
     In other words, Donald Trump is Chris Christie's karma for being such a snarling, lying asshole his entire life.

4) Claire McCaskill
     Wow. Just... wow.
     Watching politicians and wouldbe politicians during this election cycle is somewhat akin to being the only adult elementary school playground monitor. Because when Democrats lower themselves to abysmal Republican levels of childishness by playing the "I know what you are but what am I?" game, it's not fun for anyone but the pundits and satirists.
     Recently, Sen. Claire McCaskill went on Fox "News" (although God only knows why) to answer Donald Trump's ridiculous charges of Obama founding ISIS. So what did Claire say in response? That Trump and "his buddy" Putin are actually the founders of ISIS. Which is a marvelous bit of projection since it could be more plausibly argued that Claire's Goldwater Girl helped found ISIS largely through her military adventurism in Libya that provided the next phase in the Daesh terror network's revolution, namely in Syria. It could also be more accurately stated that Obama taking three years to get us out of Iraq even violating SOFA by redrawing Baghdad's city lines, helped to stoke sectarian anger that also fueled ISIS and ISIL. Which, of course, Claire doesn't mention.
     Claire doesn't mention a lot of shit in this interview with Chris Wallace.
     Shut the fuck up, Claire.

3) Paul Manafort
     Russian anti-corruption investigators recently discovered a cache of documents, including hand-written ledgers, that show the extent of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's business dealings with Russian strongmen and oligarchs. Apparently, Manafort had an office in Kiev until this past May. In the handwritten ledgers was a notation describing a payment to Manafort to the tune of $18,000,000, money that his shyster, naturally, is saying his client never received. It ought to be mentioned that Manafort's biggest client at that time was Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed pro-Russian dictator of the Ukraine and that the payouts were to influence Russian elections.
     And, lest you think this collusion and corruption extends no further than the Republicans, think again. Since 2014, one of the Ukraine's biggest natural gas companies has sitting on its board no less than the Vice President's son, Hunter Biden, a company that has been accused of having tens of millions of dollars in illicit assets.
      Just keep telling yourself, comrade, it's not international corruption. It's all in the good name of globalization and "shaping election results.".

2) Holy Angels Catholic Academy

     Danny Fitzpatrick was a lovable 13 year-old boy on Staten Island, New York. Danny also came from a loving family whose only mistake was to enroll him in Holy Angels Catholic Academy. Danny had been bullied for not fitting in, for "being weird." Peer pressure cost him his few friends. Complaints he'd made to the school's administrators fell on deaf ears.
     So last Thursday, 13 year-old Danny committed suicide by hanging himself. And in his suicide note, he'd complained the school wasn't taking his bullying problem seriously. When the news broke about his suicide, the school piously churned out a bunch of the usual nothing, saying,
In light of this tragedy we are reexamining all bullying prevention policies and training. The principal, teachers, and staff of Holy Angels Catholic Academy are heartbroken over the loss of Danny Fitzpatrick. We take the issue of bullying very seriously and address every incident that is brought to our attention.
     No, it's not the policy that needs to be reexamined. It's the faculty that is supposed to implement and enforce those policies but isn't that needs to be reexamined. And since they're obviously not, then that blows out of the water your insistence of taking "very seriously and address(ing) every incident that is brought to our attention." If your deeds matched your boilerplate, that boy would still be alive.

1) Donald Trump
      When even a hard line right wing nut job like Hugh Hewitt tries to help you along and suggest you were being sarcastic in saying Obama founded ISIS, then perhaps you should listen. But then again, Donald Trump was never much good at listening to anyone but himself and the equally loony voices in his double-woven head. Because, in the words of the Rude Pundit:
     Of course, what Trump did by making that incredibly stupid and reckless allegation then say on successive days he meant it literally, then was being sarcastic and then he wasn't being all that sarcastic, he'd painted a target on the President's back for the dubious edification of the Islamophobic screaming hordes that make up his base. And, incredibly, this clarification of his revisionist history that seems to forget Bush was the one who invaded Iraq came the day after being talked to by the Secret Service for his equally reckless call to "2nd Amendment people" to do something about Hillary Clinton. Meaning that with these two statements that bring to mind regicidal ancient Rome, Trump's single-handedly trying to turn the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Brutus.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Night Music Blogging

     This is a song I'd first heard in the last season of AMC's Hell on Wheels and "Annabel" by the Duhks had always stayed with me. And that's because it's absolutely haunting in its poignance and sheer beauty. As I'm a head banger/heavy metal enthusiast, I acknowledge this is a rather radical departure for me in terms of music. And, since it's captured my heart, I'd like to share it with you if you haven't already heard it and, hopefully, you'll like it, too.
     This is also just to let you know I haven't gone anywhere and the reason for the dearth of posts is because I've been working on a couple of literary projects plus a new Assclowns of the Week that's shaping up to be one of my best ones, yet. As I'm over 80% of the way through it, it should take me only until tomorrow to fill out the remaining two spots.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Another Right Winger, Another "2nd Amendment Remedy"

     In one of the very few times he's actually resorted to dog whistling, Donald Trump today told a rally in North Carolina, that bastion of liberal tolerance, that "2nd Amendment people" would have to stop Hillary Clinton. You may recall a little over six years ago, Sharron Angle, the Teabagger darling turned Republican primary winner in Nevada, used the phrase "2nd Amendment remedies" while campaigning against Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. 
     And it was just the year before that Sarah Palin posted something online that showed Democratic districts marked by crosshairs, including that of then Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the victim of a horrendous assassination attempt that claimed the lives of six innocents. Palin's caption's meaning was unmistakable: "Don't retreat, instead- RELOAD!"
     And yet, despite that, right wingers are still using the same tactics when they know they can't legitimately win an election.
     Now, God knows I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton. Everyone who's read this blog for more than two minutes this year can plainly see that. I will never, EVER stand down from my belief that if Clinton gets elected, she won't just be our next president, she'll be our last.
     But this eliminationist rhetoric bullshit has to go. If we start assassinating, or calling for the assassination, of political candidates no matter how unfit they are, then we're no better than a Third World banana republic in which assassins and death squads routinely play a part in the political process.
     Trump has already gone down on record as saying that Clinton was working in cahoots with the Russians and that Russian agents have infiltrated her campaign (strange charge to make, since the official narrative is that Russian agents were responsible for the DNC leaks that came out on the eve of their convention). Yet by not so subtly telling Americans that Hillary's the enemy and that she's fair game is a new low for Republican tactics which for decades has been sliding into a steady decline of new lows.
     This slimy tactic, of getting your garden variety George Zimmermans up in arms only to throw your hands up and say, "Hey, I didn't tell him to pull the trigger!" is a tried-and-true right wing tactic that one of these days will result in fatal, history-changing consequences.

     Yes, Donald Trump could've called on Values voters or constitutional literalists or just plain ole abstract conservative voters to defeat Hillary in November. Instead, he singled out 2nd amendment fanatics, that foaming at the mouth faction that literally prize their firearms more than their own children, those lunatics who only see, read or remember the 2nd amendment while piously raving about their Constitution (well, all but the "well-regulated" part).
     It was a slimy loophole in the making, literally a call to arms because Trump's barely smart enough to read the polls and know that he's losing to Hillary big time and has now begun his end game. Don't forget that at a rally, when a protester was being rudely ejected, Trump exhorted his brownshirts to do whatever they wanted and that he would pay their legal bills.
     Perhaps, under that vague promise made long ago to someone else, some deranged individual with an agenda will remember and take that to heart and fully expect Trump to pay his legal bills.

He Can't Stop Doing the Hand Thing

     During his internet travels yesterday for his epic Donald Trump quote post, Mike Flannigan came across an article telling a bizarre story and passed it on to me: For at least a quarter of a century, Donald Trump has been sending pictures of his hands, always circled with a gold Sharpie, to a certain guy at Vanity Fair. Apparently, the Donald has a certain perception problem with the size of his hands, something almost surely tied to the old trope about a man's hand size being an indicator of the size of his, er, Little Donny.
     Frankly, this strikes me something that a serial killer would do only with the body parts of his victims but, hey, who am I to judge? So when Mikey passed on the link, this legendary and super creepy Youtube video almost immediately came to mind.
     I wonder if Donald Trump is still doing the hand thing? What do you think?

Monday, August 8, 2016

The 50 Least Presidential Things Donald Trump Has Ever Said

(By American Zen's @mikeflannigan59, on loan from Ari)
On Fatherhood
If Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her." - 2006
"We don't know whether she's got this part yet, but time will tell." Referring to then infant daughter Tiffany's breasts, 1994
“The hardest thing for me about raising kids has been finding the time. I know friends who leave their business so they can spend more time with their children, and I say, ‘Gimme a break!’” -2004
"I won't do anything to take care of them. I'll supply funds and she'll take care of the kids. It's not like I'm gonna be walking the kids down Central Park. " -2005
"Right, I'm gonna be walking down Fifth Avenue with a baby in a carriage. It just didn't work." -2005

On People of Color
“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” -2015
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” -2015
"Look at my African American over here!"-  2016
“I have black guys counting my money. … I hate it. The only guys I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes all day.” -1991
“Laziness is a trait in blacks” -1991
“Who the fuck knows? I mean, really, who knows how much the Japs will pay for Manhattan property these days?” -1989
“Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.” -2015
"They don't look like Indians to me." - Testifying before Congress, 1993

On Women
“Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”-2012
“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’” -2006
“Rosie O’Donnell’s disgusting. I mean, both inside and out. You take a look at her, she’s a slob.” -2006
“I have really given a lot of women great opportunity. Unfortunately, after they are a star, the fun is over for me.” - 1994
“I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing.” -1994
"(W)hen I come home and dinner's not ready, I go through the roof." -1994
“There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."- Trump on Megyn Kelly, 2015
“When a man leaves a woman, especially when it was perceived that he has left for a piece of ass—a good one!— there are 50 percent of the population who will love the woman who was left.” -1990
“I’ve known Paris Hilton from the time she’s 12. Her parents are friends of mine, and, you know, the first time I saw her, she walked into the room and I said, ‘Who the hell is that?’ … Well, at 12, I wasn’t interested. I’ve never been into that. They’re sort of always stuck around that 25 category.” -2003
“You have to treat ’em like shit.” -1992
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” -1991
“I was bored when she was walking down the aisle. I kept thinking: What the hell am I doing here? I was so deep into my business stuff. I couldn’t think of anything else.” - On wife #2 Marla, 2005
"Number one, I have great respect for women. I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women, more than anybody in the construction industry."-2016

On Himself
“Oftentimes when I was sleeping with one of the top women in the world I would say to myself, thinking about me as a boy from Queens, ‘Can you believe what I am getting?’” -2008
“I want a very good-looking guy to play me.” - 2005
“I have a total net worth and now with the increase it will be well over $10 billion, but here total net worth of $8 billion. Net worth—not assets, not liabilities—a net worth. … I’m not doing that to brag. Because you know what? I don’t have to brag. I don’t have to. Believe it or not.” -June 16, 2015, on announcing his candidacy for president
"I'm really rich." - At the same event
“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” -2016
“I look very much forward to showing my financials, because they are huge.” - 2011
“It’s none of your business. You’ll see it when I release, but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.” - 2016
“People say the ’80s are dead, all the luxury, the extravagance. I say, ‘What?’ Am I supposed to change my taste because it’s a new decade? That’s bullshit.” - 1997
“I really value my reputation and I don’t hesitate to sue.” - says the man involved in 3500 lawsuits, 1979
“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”- 2011
“I do whine because I want to win, and I'm not happy about not winning, and I am a whiner, and I keep whining and whining until I win.” - 2015
“The mind can overcome any obstacle. I never think of the negative.” - 1983
“It’s been said that I believe in the power of positive thinking. In fact, I believe in the power of negative thinking.” -The Art of the Deal, 1987
“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it!” -Twitter, 2013
“I was always very much accepted by my father. He adored Donald Trump … ” -1990

On Politics
“It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.” -2000
“Karl Rove is a total loser.” -Twitter, 2013
"John McCain is “not a war hero. … He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, OK?” -2015
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible." - 2016
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.” -1999

“I like the challenge and tell the story of the coal miner’s son. The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son. If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people don’t have the imagination—or whatever—to leave their mine. They don’t have ‘it.’” -1990
“…I’m married to my business. It’s been a marriage of love. So, for a woman, frankly, it’s not easy in terms of relationships. But there are a lot of assets.” - 2004
“I don’t do it for the money.” - 1987
“… the same assets that excite me in the chase, often, once they are acquired, leave me bored. For me, you see, the important thing is the getting, not the having.” -1990

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