Monday, February 17, 2020

Gotham City Digest: The Dulling edition

(Where we ask the tough questions, such as, How come the machine Democrats haven't asked Bloomberg for HIS tax returns?)

     Yeah, yeah, that's all good and well but when are you gonna start ladling out the Koolaid?

     Here in America, we call them Republicans.

     Can we blame Trump for this? The jury's still out on that one. He hasn't been virulent to Jews as much as he's been bumbling, clueless and casually prejudicial toward them. But he's based much of his "presidency" on fascist hatred of Hispanics and Muslims and when you predicate a government on paranoid fascism, it only follows that eventually the traditional targets of fascism are going to get singled out for attention. My friend Denise Baum, a New York City resident, sends me stories like this on Messenger from time to time for a reason. This is turning into a national epidemic. And another four years of Trump's Fourth Reich could be the tipping point that turns us into a fascist state if and when Trump and his goosestepping goons finally dismantle the Checks and Balances that currently constrain the Executive Branch.

     How considerate it was for Stephen Miller and Katie Waldman to marry each other so only two people are miserable instead of four.

     "No competent evidence", my ass. Your tree-killing poison was found on the 30,000 trees you killed on that man's peach farm.

      Fox is Communist. Pass it on.

     This asshole is trying to kill us all. And this is just the next chapter in IQ 45's petty pissing match with Andrew Cuomo.

     #Bernie Does Denver, bigly.

     Before Mayo Pete's Nigerian, there was this other black appropriation scandal that didn't involve all black people. I guess all Mayo Pete needs now is a campaign contribution pledge from a Nigerian banker.

      This elitist 1% twat rich white mansplained about farming. "You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn."

    The reason so many people are afraid of Bernie Sanders is because they've forgotten what Democratic Socialism is and how Democrats used to use it to give us programs we still have in place. Like Social Security, for instance. It's no coincidence that those most opposed to Sanders, like Bloomberg, are also the same ones who want to steal our Social Security.

     Yes, this is real. The cult is real. The threat is existential.

     Not yet she is but on Nov. 3rd she will be.

   Right about now you're probably wondering where the DNC finds their anointed ones like Bloomberg every general election...

     Let me guess: The gendarmerie ruled it a suicide and the investigating officers and the coroner are all suddenly wearing Gucci and driving Ferraris.

     Brad Parscale is a fucking idiot, plain and simple. In the real world, he wouldn't get hired to clean up dog shit at a Buddy Dog kennel.

     There isn't much about Pete Buttigieg to defend but this is one of them. If Limbaugh thinks his 3 marriages making a mockery of marriage is morally superior to a gay man happily married once, he can go fuck himself with his presidential medal of freedom.

      Try watching your kids torn out of your arms and thrown in cages when you've committed no crime then getting deported back home to a virtual death sentence without them.
       Until then, suck it up and rub dirt on it, buttercup. Welcome to Trump's 4th Reich. If you vote for a fascist, expect a whiff or two from the gas ovens.

      Michael Avenatti: Tries to shake down a multi billion dollar publicly-traded company of One Percenters for $20m: Gets convicted on all 3 counts.
     Donald Trump: Tries to shake down an impoverished ally over $391m in violation of the Constitution, gets acquitted on both articles with no witnesses or evidence allowed.
       America: What a country.

     Meme intermission.

     It wasn't actually a snake sex orgy but a routine meeting at DNC HQ.

    Suppressing allegations by dozens of women alleging sexual discrimination, assault and harassment and videos of him justifying Stop & Frisk and we still haven't seen his tax returns. Yes, what a refreshing change of pace from Trump.

     This black guy's been in prison since the mid 80's for stealing $9. So I don't want to hear any bullshit from white grievance performance artists about Roger fucking Stone.

      No, this isn't the Onion.

      Marc Short-On-Facts: "Investigating the *president for crimes is a crime in itself."

     1100 former DOJ officials have demanded that Barr resign. I suppose Trumpie the Klown will call them 1100 Angry Democrats.

      Four years ago, Sanders only had to beat two people in New Hampshire. This year he beat 10. But that's supposed to be a liability and constitute a "ceiling" that spells doom for Bernie. NBC might as well just merge with Fox at this point.

      An emotional support Trump cutout? Jesus Christ, these people are sad.

      This is like something out of an old European children's storybook.

      How the GI Bill was denied to 1.2 million African American WWII vets.

      In Black History Month, we should all honor Lt. Manning for his service and ultimate sacrifice.

      ER doctor: "Can you tell us who beat you half to death?"
      "Senator Amy Klobuchar."
      "Why did she beat you?"
      "I forgot to tell her the name of the Mexican president."

      It's hard to imagine this Mr. Bill-Sluggo "presidency" being more dangerous yet here we are.

      This is lazy-ass journalism. When you make a lazy, dismissive statement like we haven't found the slightest shred of evidence of extraterrestrial life so you can then make a ridiculous and easy hypothesis such as this, then I guess anything's possible.
      Among the things he's dismissing are credible accounts of alien abductions (Travis Walton, Barney and Betty Hill, etc), dozens of extraterrestrial artifacts pulled from the bodies of people by a podiatrist (Roger Krevin Leir) who'd collected them, and countless UFO sightings that can't be dismissed and were seen by thousands (such as the Phoenix Lights in 1997). And don't even get me started on the countless anomalies on the moon and Mars that we've been photographing since the 60's.
      We've uncovered loads of evidence of extraterrestrial life and it's unfair to dismiss all of it in one fell swoop because one idiot thinks the government and NASA are the sole proprietors of the truth and that any other source has no validity. The government lies to us all the time, especially NASA. And the 1958 bill that created NASA even had written into it a provision that stated they had no legal obligation to share with the American people its findings even though we're the ones who are funding their research.
      They are not only out there, several alien species are already here and working with our scientists. Do some research into the "Tall Whites" in Areas 53 & 54 in Indian Springs. Nevada. Read about the war that broke out between us and our guests in Archuleta Mesa in 1976.

      Sorry, I cannot and will not respect anyone who supports this fascist Bloomberg. Yes, that is how much I loath this opportunistic, right wing scumbag.

     "Virtue signaling"? We're really going there? I can't believe so many people I know think that electing another right wing oligarch from New York is a great idea since it worked out so swimmingly the last time. I've said it before and I'll say it again- We are indisputably the stupidest fucking nation on the planet.

      This is part of the reason for the pissing match between trump and Cuomo.

     What was it Lamar Alexander said about Trump learning his lesson & thinking twice before breaking the law?

     Now we're invading sanctuary cities. In the US. Remember back in the good old days when we had posse comitatus?

     A damned good article about Bloomberg that misguided people thinking of voting for him ought to read.

      I'm embarrassed every time I see articles like this coming from across the pond.

    Yet, now that he's running for President, all these right wing policies have suddenly & magically evolved!

      Yeah, the moron thinks he's a King and that Ralph Waldo Emerson saw him coming.

      AOC's right, of course, but you get the sense that Business Insider is gleefully using her words to get a dig in at Sanders. You can tell by how contemptuously the author uses the words "Liberal" and "left wing" You can just feel the contempt dripping off those words. (Tip o' the tinfoil to Constant Reader CC)

      I find it impossible to believe that racist asshole Bloomberg is polling at 22% among black voters, better than Bernie. Doesn't anybody read or listen to the fucking news anymore or have any long term memory?

    One by one, the house of greasy marked cards falls until there's nothing left to support the paranoid conspiracy theories of this fascist Reich posing as a real presidential administration.

      I can see that 1% cocksucker doing that, too. And finally...

      Yeah, they look real enthused about his campaign. Half of them look as if they're wondering if the check will clear.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Manuscript Wish List Follies

     These are just some of the more ridiculous pleas from literary agents and wouldbe literary agents on Twitter's #MSWL hashtag. I swear I did not make these up:

"A gender-bending James Bond-esque character (but not as smarmy) who's an eco-warrior on a mission to save the earth."

"I’d particularly love a queer rom com at a boarding school or first year of college. Just saying. Like Sara Zarr’s ROOMIES, but romantic and, you know, gay af."

"I have a sudden craving for a mystery like Knives Out, but set at a quilting retreat. Anyone know of a book like this? Or have a manuscript like this?"

"Rom-com where the protagonist works in a biobank/fertility clinic."

"Protagonist: Masculine of center minor celebrity
Genre: thriller
If you've written something like this, please send my way!"

"On top of seeing some atmospheric lighthouse submissions hit the inbox, I wonder if anyone is writing some good SF around isolation - something that makes me feel like a microscopic dot against a microscopic dot. I'd also love a fast-paced UK/European thriller."

"We're open to queries! Right now we'd love a book involving genies in space."

"I just realised my ideal YA book would be a horror version of #loveisland
, PLEASE can someone write it for me"

"Hello! I am on the hunt for a dark, magical YA that has elements of romance but is more largely focused on Some Grand Mystery/Threat, in the vein of Chime or The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Gimme that spooky, transportive grit, especially if it’s from a BIPOC perspective!"

"I can't tell you how often I think about films like Birdbox and A Quiet Place, and how badly I want to read more novels about parents fighting for their kids and found families in apocalyptic settings.
I mean, I also DON'T want to read them, but also I do.
Send me those!"

      In other words, the hell with keeping an open mind and waiting for quality mss to come in. Write a ridiculously specific novel to tickle my fancy.
      Right. I'll get right on it, buttercup. Because we authors are your personal fucking literary juke boxes.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentines Day from Bernie Sanders.

      "Because the top 1% get more Valentines than the bottom 50%. That's a grossly unequal distribution of Valentine wishes from those who subsidize the corporate holiday card industry. We need to stop this Valentine welfare for greedy oligarchs & corporations."

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(We only join the right parties.)

     This is a pretty good analysis of the furtive rat fuckery that happened in NH last Tuesday night that more than merely suggests electoral fraud for the second time in a row.

     Last Tuesday's NH primary was a quasi-successful rat-fuck. Buttigieg lost but split 18 delegates with Bernie by the DNC kinking the hose on him and stealing his votes to further ensure a brokered convention. As usual, even when Bernie wins, he loses.

     He won by just 2%. The last straw polls taken before the polling places opened had him at 7%, with the usual margin of error being 2.5-3%. Remember, the closer we get to an election, primary or caucus, the more accurate the polling gets. And, since I was of course closely following the results as the precincts reported in, I noticed with about half of them doing so, Bernie was up over Buttigieg by 6.5%. Well within the margin of error.
     But as the reporting percentage got higher, Bernie's lead shrank more and more. He wasn't faring as well in the suburbs. And, by the time 86% had reported in, Bernie's once dominant lead shriveled to a paper-thin 1.3%.
     Then he finally widened it back up to 2% and finished at about that. Everyone, including Sneaky Pete, was chiding Sanders for not winning 60% of the NH vote as he had when he won by 20% in 2016.
     What they chose to delete from the record was that four years ago, there weren't 11 candidates in the swim as there were Tuesday night. The vote got diluted and spread out among almost a dozen candidates, three of them being essentially zombie campaigns from two guys who'd dropped out today and one who should've.
     But those stubbornly running ego campaigns were the biggest reason why Bernie didn't get more than 28%. There are only so many votes to go around especially when one factors in the historically low turnout on primary and caucus nights (For instance, Iowa is state of 3.2 million yet only 170,000 came out Monday last week to caucus with the Democrats).
     But, a W is a W, right?

    Flailers are gonna flail. And Warren, my own senior senator, has really been disappointing me during her presidential run.

    When did we become a nation of craven, wet-legged pussies? 9/11/2001, that's when. That's the day America's balls dropped off.

    Trump-loving conspiracy theory nut pleads guilty to terrorism charges, will get less than a decade in prison.

     Making America Great Again: One cancer cell at a time.

     Pelosi calls for an investigation into Trump's interference in the Roger Stone sentencing. I've got a better idea: Impeach tRump again.

     So, by Mark Levin's rubric, he must also be racist because he has homes in Leesburg, Virginia (over 70% white) and Jupiter Island, Florida (over 90% white), the latter being whiter than Sanders' Burlington, Vermont (some 85 percent white). Both are also richer than Burlington. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader CC.)

     Hookers For Jesus? Wait, WHAT?!

     What happens when the DOJ collapses under the weight of its own corruption.

     Shorter Trump: For me, not for thee.

     Make it over 100.

     The REAL story behind Mayor Pete's "military service" in Afghanistan. He pulled strings, got in with no training or boot camp & did office work in a cubicle on a base in Afghanistan for a few weeks and darted out as quickly as he came.

     Meme intermission.

    Hollywood has many dark, open secrets. The sexual predation of women is one. Racism is another.

     "...far more qualified politicians such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker." Who are no longer in the race, stupid. How about Bernie? He's only been in the fucking Congress for three decades, more than twice that of Harris and Booker combined.

      Call me cynical but I don't see this "curse of knowledge" afflicting right wing writers.

     Yang is out. Come join us in the Bernie camp, Yang Gang. We'll give you something better than a UBI, like higher wages, a Green New Deal and #M4A.

     I guarantee you Zelensky never would've THOUGHT to do this is if Trump was convicted and expelled.

     Mitch McConnell's wife broke the law to keep her husband Moscow Mitch in power? Say it ain't so!

     So, who's going to investigate this admission of a massive scandal? Barr's DOJ?

    To paraphrase Reagan, I didn't leave the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party left me to go to Wall Street.

     Jonathan Last is a piece of shit for comparing us to Nazis but Chuck Toddler became the entire pasture when he quoted him on MSNBC. His arrogant right wing bias is intolerable as it is (he blocked me on my now-suspended Twitter account for calling him on it) but this should get him fired. Bernie lost much of his family to the Nazis. And comparing him and his supporters to Nazis for showing enthusiasm for his candidacy is bottomlessly despicable.

     Looks as if MSNBC's right wing bias against Bernie Sanders finally blew up in their fat, satisfied faces. Of course, Chuck Toddler didn't help his network any by calling us "brown shirts."

     If he's innocent, it's murder.

     Snowflake triggered. Film @ 11.

    White privilege in action. Trump has a Tourette's episode on Twitter, so his lawyer Bill Barr heaved his bloated carcass into action.

     “As he walked off, a man accompanying Grant asked a group of reporters if they were aware that “sodomy” was once considered an offense worthy of capital punishment. He declined to give his name."
     You have to wonder when was the last time they had a rabbi or an Imam deliver the prayer. Which is a violation of the law separating church from state.

     I don't think of this racist douchebag Bloomberg as a Democrat any more than I acknowledge that Trump's the president. He's a neocon on steroids.

     This is bullshit and I wish Abby Martin good luck in her lawsuit.

     Uh uh, that ship done sailed. He's running as a Democrat because he knows he wouldn't stand a chance at the GOP nomination against Trump and his antisemitic base. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC.)

    Yes, we just blew up the bones of Native Americans for a wall that those same Native Americans should've built in the 17th century to keep our ancestors out.

     Rip off millions from the federal government with a shady HMO, you can evade all charges, get elected then reelected Governor of Florida then to the US Senate of that same government you'd defrauded.
     Be a poor family, working several jobs and fall behind in your medical bills, get thrown in jail. America. What a country!

     The time (last Saturday) that Mayor Pete tried to have Norm Solomon arrested for telling the truth. This asshole's a mini Trump.

     Justice is supposed to be color blind, too, you racist asshole.

     One more time: Nancy Pelosi should have announced a new round of impeachment inquiries at the National Prayer Breakfast. She should've squatted down and pissed all over his victory lap.

     Scorpions & mafia dons can't stop acting out their natures. He admitted to the Russians the day after that he fired Comey to relieve pressure on him now he's admitting he fired the Vindmans out of retaliation..

    After the debacle in Nevada four years ago, Emily Goldman should be barred for life from engaging in any electoral process anywhere in the country. It was so nakedly corrupt, it looked like something out of the Boss Tweed years at Tammany Hall.

     Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea, after all, in my not building a credit history all these years.

     Once again, even when Bernie wins, he loses.

     Oh, look. Welfare queens.

    There's no way anyone can tell me that everything that Trump does, such as lifting a landmine ban,. isn't motivated by pure evil and, at best, passive sadism. And finally...

     Sweet Jesus but Biden is fast getting to be as big a liability to the Democratic party as Trump is to his.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Endless War Against Uncle Sam

     Buried or forgotten in American history are the stories of when individual states and cities openly defied the federal government, often over one draconian law or another. Of course, the supreme example of this is the Civil War itself in which several southern states broke off from the Union over the right to own and use slaves. In fact, roughly 170 years ago, slavery and abolition was the main sticking point between states and cities and the federal government and it wasn't just the southern slave-owning states that openly defied Uncle Sam. And in order to fully understand how the federal government has and had run counter to the interests and ideologies of certain states and cities, one has to study New York City and especially Boston, Massachusetts.
     The New York City Draft riots in the summer of 1863 were about just that- The draft for the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln was deeply unpopular in New York City especially because of the draft. This conflict of ideologies isn't so unusual even in a modern prism because Lincoln was a moderate Republican and New York City was dominated by the Democrats in Tammany Hall. Boss Tweed was still eight years away from getting toppled partly by the cartoons of Thomas Nast and its open corruption (George Washington Plunkitt of Seneca Village, a state lawmaker, once famously distinguished between his and Tweed's brand of graft, or what he called "honest graft", from dishonest graft that never served the public interest).
     But the infamously corrupt Tammany Hall, through its sachems, bosses and ward heelers (enforcers), were also brilliantly devious. In order to keep voters going to the polls to vote for their candidates (usually several times an election day), Tammany would court both the poor Irish immigrants still streaming in because of the Potato Famine as well as free African Americans and fugitive slaves. The Big Tent of Tammany may have been stained with graft but it was at least a big, all-inclusive tent. Tammany bosses such as Tweed knew better than most that a black man's vote (or several) was just as good as a white man's.
     This was canny and very smart because it gave Irish and black laborers alike the perception or at least the illusion that they had a powerful political machine giving them the voice that was denied them by Nativist No Nothings and other political factions. But then the draft came to New York City in 1863.
     Due to a confluence of events, several draft offices and newspaper buildings were torched and the week-long riot resulted in the deaths of over 100 people.  Many of the men serving the Union Army were white, lower class laborers who already resented being drafted into a war for which they had no stomach and all in the name of emancipating the very people they resented for taking their job opportunities. Several of the dead were African Americans lynched and/or burned alive in the streets of Manhattan.
     As well as being a city's defiance of federal law, it's also a supreme exemplar of the successful manipulation of class warfare. The Irish resented African American laborers but not the fat cats at the top who used the black workers to undercut their wages. They also seemed to lose sight of the fact that the wealthy had a Get Out of the Draft card in the form of a buy out whereby these men and their sons could escape conscription by simply paying $300 to the government and sending someone else who didn't have that kind of money in their place. It remains the largest racially-motivated riot in American history.
     But the instance of civil disobedience that most readily springs to mind is that of Boston in the mid 19th century. My ongoing research into the history of slavery for a prequel to my novel GODS OF OUR FATHERS informs me that Boston, 120 years before the busing riots and a decade before the Confederacy did so, went to war against the government. As part of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, or the Great Compromise, the Fugitive Slave Act was signed into law by Millard Fillmore on September 18, 1850. Cities and states, especially in Boston, Massachusetts, enacted state and municipal statutes that were in direct contravention of the Fugitive Slave law.
     For instance, even if a fugitive slave was captured in Boston, federal officials were forbidden from using state facilities to detain or even try the slaves. There was the case of three slave catchers from Georgia who were sent to Boston to reacquire the Crafts. This was supposed to be the first big test of the new slave law.
     However, the slave catchers, even with the weight of the entire federal government at their backs, were beset with delays from foot-dragging city marshals, harassment from the city's residents and countless arrests by the local constabulary. Finally after several weeks, the trio went home empty-handed.
     By the following February, a slave owner had gotten a line on a runaway slave of his, Shadrach Minkins, from a letter the latter had written to his brother. This resulted in the arrival of a forbidding character named Jonathan Capeheart. Nothing has been preserved as far as I know about what happened to Capeheart after his arrival in Boston but he was able to swear out a warrant for Minkins' arrest with the city marshal.
     They got Minkins almost exactly 169 years ago to the day, February 15, in a sting operation at the coffee house where he waitered. But two hours after his capture, members of the Boston Vigilance Committee, a major abolitionist group, stormed the federal courtroom and literally carried Minkins out bodily, installing him in and out of various safe houses. By 3 AM the next day, he'd already been driven to Concord, eventually ending up in Canada.
     The Crafts and then Minkins were to be the first major test of the deeply unpopular Fugitive Slave law. Boston was in the center of the Beltway's baleful crosshairs and with each foiled slave catcher frustrated on the City on a Hill, the federal government grew more and more obsessed with Boston. Unlike New York City, in which blacks were openly lynched over a civil war being fought on their behalf, Boston shielded and protected African Americans, especially slaves who'd run away from places such as Norfolk, Virginia (where Minkins and the Crafts were enslaved).
     It wouldn't be until the successful capture, conviction and expulsion of Anthony Burns three years later (That served as the historical backdrop for GODS OF OUR FATHERS, as Minkins' capture and breathtakingly brief detention serve as the backdrop for its prequel, BEFORE GODS, THERE WERE TITANS.) that the law was successfully enforced. With the Minkins example still fresh in everyone's minds, President Franklin Pierce took no chances and, 24 years before Posse Comitatus, sent 2000 federal troops to Boston\ at the exact moment the Boston Police Department was unified and professionalized
     While the New York City Draft Riot that came a little over nine years later became the largest racially-charged riot in all American history, with the Burns arrest and mock trial (the Fugitive Slave Law forbade black defendants from testifying on their own behalf), Boston burned for much longer than a week. In all, it cost the federal government just over a million dollar in today's currency to reunite one slave with his owner. An example had to be made even if the Fugitive Slave Law wouldn't remain on the books for much longer.
     So even in the early to mid 19th century, several sanctuary cities, led by Boston, had defied a federal government viciously pursuing enforcement of deeply unpopular and cruel laws.
     The difference between that time and ours is, at least federal officials such as Fillmore and Daniel Webster staunchly supported the Slave Act of 1850 (even if they privately opposed slavery) out of a sincere commitment to forestall a civil war with the slave states. This bullshit with sanctions against today's sanctuary cities is out of concern for no war and is carried out because of one man's demented racism.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(Swallow it! I said, swallow it!)

     Let the scorched earth campaign begin. Vindman was scheduled to be rotated out in less than a month but Trump had to make an example of him and have this decorated war hero and his twin escorted out of the White House. At the National Prayer Breakfast, Pelosi should've announced a new round of impeachment inquiries just to drive him over the edge so we could all see what a fucking monster he truly is.

     Remember when the court in Florida issued a warrant to take a cast of Ted Bundy's teeth? He fought them every step of the way and they had to strap him into the chair and force his jaws open. We're seeing the same thing here with Trump refusing to submit to a DNA test in his upcoming rape trial. This is how guilty men act.

     Aw, Bernie Madoff's dying and wants to get out early. Yeah, that ain't gonna happen because he ripped off the wrong people-The 1%.

     Because as we all know, the National Prayer Breakfast is the perfect venue for slamming your political rivals.

     Oh, thank God. Tom Perez is on the case.

     President Hatbox Head went off the rails yet again. And the peasants rejoiced.

     It turns out that Mayor Cheat called the IDP (Iowa Democratic Party) manager, who then called DNC chair Tom Perez, who sprang into action like a bald Batman to further confuse the Iowa caucus results & screw Bernie again. Cue the Nelson Riddle music.

     At last. An explanation as to why the backup hotline crashed after the app did- Right wing scum and their usual dirty tricks.

     Jesus, it just never ends for this poor woman, does it?

     Don't forget, this essay on wet-legged Republican cowardice was written by an insider.

     In other words, Trump's base.

     Sweet Jesus, I'm getting sick and tired of listening to this glorified bleacher bum.

     But she graduated from medical school in Barbados! Sounds legit to me!

     Maybe Senate Republicans were a tad hasty in their acquittal.

   So I don't want to hear any more bullshit about how Bernie's not "a real Democrat." Like Bloomberg is? (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC.)

     I'll go with the flaming rock in the total extinction event.

     Yeah, asshole. That'll happen. Dream on.

     How Neanderthals survived before elaborate combovers and spray-on tans.

     Meme intermission.

     And the Night of the Long Knives begins...

     I think the most amazing thing about this article about Orson Bean getting turned into road kill is that Andrew Breitbart was his son in law.

    So, while Democrats were burning down Trump's legacy, Trump was busy burning down the government.

     That's right. Trump wants to blow up the ancient bones of Indians for his border wall.

    Another guy I grew up watching has just passed away. WILD WILD WEST was one of my favorite TV shows ever.

     Apparently, the only way to keep people voting right wing is to keep them rich or keep them dumb.

     Well, Trump always wanted to be unto the world's dictators and he succeeded.

     And then cops wonder why we hate them so fucking much.

     This is amazing but what's most amazing is that this had to be done with low tech radio waves.

     I can't believe anyone would ever seriously consider voting for this weasel even for mayor of South Bend let alone president.

     Basically, what these executive douchebags are saying is, "For thee, not for me."

     He admitted as much when he had those two Russian stooges over in the Oval Office the day after.

     I see what Dionne is saying here. But I don't think he even begins to go far enough in condemning Trump for his atrocious conduct at the National Prayer Breakfast and the Professionally Pious who organize it. And weasel phrases such as, "You worry that this is as much about preening as praying,” don't come close to getting to the heart of the issue.
    And the issue is that the National Prayer Breakfast shouldn't even exist. Whatever the main motivation for its founding, it's an affront and brazen rebuke of the First Amendment and the wall separating church and state. It also arrogantly promotes one religion (so-called Christianity) over all others in the name of religious primacy.
     And then there's the issue of the true reasons for the existence of this annual shindig- It's a way for some of the most corrupt people in this country and those who have corrupted them to meet in the halls of power. Maria Butina, the convicted Russian spy, attended two consecutive events. It's a way for political insiders to meet to advance their often corrupt if not evil agendas and all of it made to look devout and patriotic behind the rotting fig leaf of institutionalized Christianity.

     "The only good news in the proposed executive order is that Trump has not insisted on having his name emblazoned on building fronts." As it is, he might as well have his name on the Dept. of Justice's building as the DOJ is essentially his private law firm.

    Come on, did you ever really expect better from Brian fucking Kemp, the guy who stole the Georgia Governor's mansion?

     Duh, that's the idea.

     Vultures of a feather... And finally...

     Good on the judge. Basic human compassion shouldn't be criminalized.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Iowa's a Rotting Corpse

     Those of you who know the first thing about me know that I almost NEVER link to Fox "News." But the numbers they quote here jibe with what I've been hearing elsewhere and no other news source lists them comprehensively in one article. Here's the money shot:
     "As a precinct captain in DM 06, I know for a fact the numbers reported for that district for every candidate who got more than 0 votes are wrong. 185 people caucused there. They say only 92 did."
     Note the now-unavailable tweet the Iowa Democrats put out claiming they'd heard from 100% of their precincts. Those sleazeballs simply rounded off 99.5 to 100. There are still some precincts that haven't reported results, yet after all these days and God only only knows how many votes deliberately weren't counted (as in DM-06).
     "But, wait," you may ask, "didn't Bernie beat Mayor Pete by 6000 votes?"
     Why yes, yes he did. So why is Buttigieg poised to walk away with 13 of Iowa's 41 delegates and Bernie only 12? This is why:

The state party's numbers showed that Pete Buttigieg would be awarded 564 SDEs, or state delegate equivalents, while Bernie Sanders would receive 562 SDEs. Sanders held a sizeable popular vote lead, though, and finished ahead of Buttigieg by a 43,671 to 37,557 vote margin. He fell behind in delegates due to Iowa's unusual voting system that gave different delegate weights to different precincts.
After the "second alignment" -- meaning the popular vote after the elimination of candidates who received less than 15 percent of the vote in the first round of caucusing -- Sanders was still ahead of Buttigieg, 45,826 votes to 43,195.
     "Unusual voting system" is a nice way of putting, "Still don't know their asses from their elbows even after 150 years." And, please, let's not mention that Mayor Pete had thrown $42,000+ in business to the company that created the app that made a laughingstock of Iowa. That's right, peeps- A presidential contender gave over $42,000 in business to a company that made an app by partisans hostile to his biggest rival to tabulate and transmit voting results in a caucus in which he was running. Even considering how low Trump, the GOP and the machine Democrats have set the bar in electoral integrity, this is pretty fucking filthy.
     And Trump can hardly talk about the clusterfuck that is the 2020 Iowa caucus considering his own party's even longer clusterfuck in Florida after the 2000 election that was stolen by the Bushes. But there's really no excuse for this horseshit. If they had the paper trail to use as a backup, then why didn't they use it? How can it be when a guy gets 6000 more votes than his nearest rival, he still winds up losing? It's like the 2016 Wyoming caucus all over again. And don't be waiting for Tom Perez's recanvassing of the districts (that took place immediately after getting a phone call from the IDP which got a call from Buttigieg's campaign) will reveal any dramatic changes.
     Maybe the answer lie in getting holdovers from the Clinton and Obama campaigns involved in the train wreck of an app they thought would be better than Microsoft's. The fact remains that every name attached to that app, from Clinton, to Obama, to Robbie Mook all the way down to Sussman and Klarman, have all gone down on record in both word and deed as being dead set against a Sanders presidency.
     Before all the results were even in, CNN's Chris Cuomo essentially held up Pete's hand and declared him the winner, so the corporate media, obviously, is in on the fix just as they were in 2016.
     The New Hampshire primary is in three days. Since we all know that the closer you get to a primary, caucus or election, the more accurate poll results get, these are the latest numbers from Monmouth:

      Now, with these numbers, if Bernie gets mugged again like he did in the Iowa Caucus, everyone will know for sure the fix is in. But after Iowa, I think we have little doubt there's something rotten afoot. Iowa's a rotting corpse. Bernie's already washed his hands of it after having declared himself the winner based on raw vote totals and he's already in the Granite State. Declaring one or the other the winner will have no impact any more as it would have on Monday. The Republicans got all their numbers in that night. We're now at the other end of the week and the Democrats STILL haven't done that. And that's something we'll never live down.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

"Follow the Money."

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
"We are confident in the security systems we have in place." - Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price, January 26, 2020
The argument the party is using is effective at preventing public oversight, but it’s not effective at protecting against cyber threats." Douglas Jones, cybersecurity expert

My, my, what a difference a week and a half makes. If the Wall Street Journal reporter who'd written that piece on January 26th had any prescience, she would've entitled it, "Famous Last Words."
   Of course, that journalist couldn't have known about the actual origins of the app and its connections to Mayor Pete and two anti-Sanders billionaires unless she'd actually done some investigative reporting for the WSJ instead of engaging in the usual brainless stenography to which the MSM has been reduced the last several decades.
    By now, many of us who have been paying attention know that the app that replaced the one developed by Microsoft (that had tabulated 95% of the poll results four years ago in four hours flat) and used in the last Iowa Caucus was made by a firm with the brazenly sarcastic name of Shadow, Inc and that Shadow is run by several Clinton and Obama stooges as well as operatives from Silicon Valley.
    What most of you don't know (and you and our stenographic WSJ reporter can be forgiven for this lapse in knowledge, given the machine Democrats' lack of disclosusre) is that Shadow, Inc is owned and was founded by ACRONYM, a dark money Democratic nonprofit which midwifed, at around the same time as the app, an equally shadowy Super PAC called Pacronym. At last count, Pacronym had $7.7 million in its dark, cloistered coffers.
    Of course, that figure could have gone up considerably considering that Pacronym is largely funded by a hedge funder named Seth Klarman, one of the aforementioned anti-Sanders billionaires who had also contributed to Buttigeig's and Klobuchar's campaigns. Unlike the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, billionaires who freely and openly spread their countless billions in the form of largesse to right wing causes, Klarman has largely flown under the radar and, if you're Seth Klarman, that's exactly the way you like it.
    Klarman may give generously to machine Democrats but that hardly makes him a liberal smelling of patchouli oil. Klarman's also a huge pro-Israel booster of the illegal settlements in Palestine. Klarman's also the owner of the right wing Times of Israel, a rag that is so virulently anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian that it had once published an op-ed calling for Palestinian genocide that was taken down only after some serious public blowback.
     And just to dispel any lingering doubts as to whether or not Seth Klarman is a wild-eyed liberal, back in the day he used to donate heavily to right wing candidacies and supported Donald Trump until Trump began calling for Puerto Rico's debts to be forgiven. Maybe that's because Klarman owns about $911,000,000 of Puerto Rico's debt that he'd obviously acquired through a vulture fund and, well, he couldn't have that. That's when he began supporting Blue Dogs such as Klobuchar and Buttigieg, eventually getting access to His Honor's now-notorious wine cave. For good measure, he'd also thrown in some cash to the now-dead campaigns of Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.
     Not content with mere propaganda posing as journalism, Klarman's also a principle funder of the now-defunct Israel Project, Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the American Jewish Committee. And then there's also the Friends of Ir David Inc, which helped the US government expel large numbers of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Not content to leave any bases uncovered, Klarman also has his grubby fingers in Birthright Israel, an AIPAC-founded Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neocon think tank that formulated Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran.

Sussinng Out Sussman
But don't believe me. The sudden reversals in the positions of Buttigieg and Klobuchar, two beneficiaries of Klarman's cynical largesse, are proof that money speaks louder than words or the will of the people. Until very recently, Mayor Pete used to be all for cutting Israel's $3.8 billion in annual US aid if they continued annexing the West Bank. That is, until eight days ago with this testy exchange with a Jewish voter and advocate of Palestinian human rights. And also last month, Amy Klobuchar suddenly vowed to support Trump's insistence on relocating our Israeli embassy from its real capital in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the real capital of Palestine.
    But, as proven four years ago, as much as Klarman loves Israel and its genocidal policy toward Palestine, even threaten to get between him and a massive payout like Puerto Rico's debt and he'll immediately start funding someone in a blue jersey, in this case, Hillary Clinton. And that brings us to Donald Sussman, another hedge funder who'd supported Queen Hillary four years ago.
    As with Klarman, he's also given a cool million smackers to Pacronym, the Super PAC of Acronym that created the app that slowed the Iowa Caucus results literally to a standstill. He'd donated to Hillary and even got tens of millions he plainly didn't need during the corporate welfare bailout 11 years ago.
    Sussman owns Paloma Partners, a typically shadowy organization that's actually composed of a bunch of offshore shell companies (Think Cayman Islands) set up to dodge US taxes. It's essentially a huge garbage bag full of empty water bottles that nonetheless saves Sussman countless millions in unpaid taxes. Unlike Paul Singer, who donates tens of millions exclusively to right wing causes, Sussman had donated nearly $42,000,000 to strictly Democratic causes, according to Open Secrets, in 2016 alone. But don't think Bernie Sanders got a penny of those bribes (Not that he would've accepted a penny.).
     Sussman and James Simons, who owns the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, combined blew $7,000,000 in the 2016 cycle alone on Priorities USA Action, a so-called "liberal" money spigot that has a comically horrible success rate (20%) among those whom they support. They backed Obama in 2012 then Clinton in 2016. For good measure, Sussman's daughter, Emily Tisch Sussman, is a talking head on MSNBC who reliably sneers at Bernie Sanders every chance she can get, even saying that "if you still support Sanders over Warren, it's kind of showing your sexism."
     And then, just hours after the results hit the bottleneck ordered by the Iowa Democratic Party (but more likely Tammany Hall 2.0, aka the DNC), Mayor Pete, the one receiving the most bribes from Sussman and Klarman, began crowing on social media that he was the winner. It was eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush's sleazy confidence that he'd "won" the 2000 election as he sat smiling next to his Pappy George HW.
    So, the app brought into being by Clintonistas and Obamabots who'd helped run campaigns financially supported by two hedge fund billionaires, heavily funded by the same two tax-dodging billionaires, essentially brought in results that were in opposition to every exit poll that proclaimed Sanders and not Buttigieg would win. That would be the same app whose provenance was kept a state secret by the DNC. 
     Of course, all this doesn't actually prove anything and it would get knocked down even by the ambulance-chasing shysters who made up the Trump Impeachment defense team. But, as Mark Felt, aka "Deep Throat" once told Woodward and Bernstein, "Follow the money", a piece of fatherly advice that, in the wake of Citizen's United, has just gotten truer and more relevant with time.

Gotham City Digest: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Laws edition

(We neither forgive nor forget.)

    Hmmm... Why the Iowa Caucus' gold standard for caucusgoers' register poll suddenly pulled back?

     The Gucci belt on the one on the left's a nice touch. If you must be a terrorist one must at least be stylish at all costs.

     Says the professional son in law.

   Chris Wallace completely destroyed Amy Klobuchar on national TV over how her office railroaded that 16 year-old kid for a murder he plainly didn't commit and I say good on him. He told her she wasn't going to be the Democratic nominee.

     Blue Dog right wingers who'd plotted to rig #IowaCaucus against #Bernie project he'll try to rig #IowaCaucuses.

     It's #GroundhogDay for Bill Murray all over again.

     “The Montana Republican Party wholeheartedly condemns the comment that was made and under no circumstance is violence against someone with opposing political views acceptable.”
     Except if your name is Greg Gianforte, obviously.

     "And history, God help us, is written by the winners."
     Or, as my alter ego Scott Carson said in TATTERDEMALION, it's also rewritten by the winners.

     I love it when right wing meat heads eat each other... especially when they're related.

      "The State Department has not confirmed whether Gebert is still being paid, but his name does not appear in the State Department directory, and an operator could not locate his name to transfer calls."
     So, yeah, LET'S talk about the "deep state." This fascist asshole is so deeply embedded in the State Dept. even his own coworkers can't find him.

     Because trying to stop the most popular candidate in your party is the PERFECT motivation for running for the highest, most powerful office in the free world. Fuck you, Kerry. Just go back to your yacht.

      Guess again, asshole. This is only going to encourage him.

     "Man" who looks like something out of a Thomas Nast cartoon calls Meghan McCain "fat."

     Miss Wiggy wants to impeach Biden if he's elected... if she can keep herself from getting voted out of office.

     Meme intermission.

      A Native American aunt searches for her missing niece, one of many missing in the Midwest.

     Fucking moron. Geography really isn't his strong suit, is it? But, to Republican scum, even when Trump's wrong, he's right. I give you Matt Schlapp:

    Also Matt Schlapp: I once traveled all the way to Rome, New York just to see the Colosseum. Didn't see one fucking gladiator, let alone a Colosseum. It had a few Little League ball fields. That's it. What gives?

     I don't feel sorry for this asshole one bit. Like a typical right winger, he's all for Trump's hateful, racist policies until it directly affects him.

     How a white nationalist wormed his way inside the Leadership Institute, which counts among its members McConnell, Pence & Jim Jordan. He writes under the name Paul Kersey, the character in the Death Wish movies.

     Another very fine person in this flaming dumpster fire of an administration bites the dust.

     This was really nice of him.

     Yes, I can see the DNC actually doing this. In fact, I was taking it seriously until I saw it was The Onion.

     Maybe he should ask Trump for a handout. I hear he's loaded.

     For any Hillary holdovers, let it be known that the app that caused this clusterfuck we're now calling the #IowaCaucusDisaster was created by a company called, get this, Shadow, which was founded by Clinton fanboys.
      This conclusively proves that if you let anyone even tangentially related to Hillary Clinton & her toxic 2016 campaign get anywhere near your election, primary or caucus, things WILL get fucked up. They are the political Murphy's Law.

      The Master Race.

      Longest. Amateur. Hour. Ever.

     I'm amazed they didn't make Ben Carson sit in the back of the bus.

     As usual, it's, "I can dish it out but I can't take it."

    *President facing impeachment vote right now gets highest approval ratings ever, officially making America the indisputably stupidest fucking nation on earth..

     Well, the stupid little cocksucker finally did it. And John fucking Roberts let him.

     I've heard of Joshua trees but Bruce Jenner trees?

     As regards James Carville, the sole satisfaction I get is in knowing that every morning, he has to wake up next to Mary Matalin.

     This is bullshit. They essentially gave Buttigeig the #iowacaucus by grading the results on a curve. As in 2016, even when Bernie comes in first, he actually comes in second.

     Why we pay so much attention to Iowa and the archaic #Iowacaucus is beyond me. It's a state with 3.2 million people yet only 170,000 could be bothered to vote and over 97% of them were white.

      Funny how we didn't hear about this Tuesday night. No wonder Pelosi tore up his speech.

     Breaking: "Human scum" enjoys temporary relevance. Film @ 11.

     Republicans beat and sodomize the rule of law to death. And finally...

     We are all Spartacus. We are all Kirk Douglas. Kirk wasn't just gutsy on screen, he was also so in real life. He shattered the blacklist by hiring Dalton Trumbo for Spartacus, essentially risking his career and legacy so Trumbo could work again.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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