Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thought o' the Day

Douchebag Donnie Strikes Again

     If you found something like Donald Trump on your dog's ass, nut sack or anywhere else, you'd pluck it out with a pair of tweezers, burn it under a Bic until it pops then flush the remains down the toilet before sterilizing the tweezers in rubbing alcohol.
     That's what you're supposed to do with parasites like Trump. This umber-faced cunt and his spawn has been a massive drain on the nation's coffers with his neverending vacations to Mar-a-Lago, maintaining three residences and Secret Service protection for the aforementioned spawn so they can bust a nut putting extra-Congressional Trump-branded massage parlors and "escort services" all over Communist China.
     Then, in a typical right wing dick move, Douchebag Donnie then takes to the media, specifically Face the Nation, to insult said media by calling ir "Deface the Nation." Then no doubt he'll take to Twitter later today and wonder, like an abusive husband, "Why won't those media twats love me?! Maybe I oughtta knock some more sense in their heads."
     "Deface the nation"? This, coming from a corporate fuckstick who immediately began rolling back all Obama-era regulations geared to protecting the environment. You know, defacing the nation, Republican-style.
     Expect the Republicans to cling to this 200 pound-plus tick and get a rude awakening when Democrats take back both chambers of Congress next November. Then they'll realize they should've reached for the rubbing alcohol and tweezers when they had the chance.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The First 100 Days Should be the Last

     Let's face an uncomfortable reality:
     Being a political blogger is very similar to being one of the blind men feeling an elephant. According to the old Indian legend, one man felt the trunk and thought it was a rope. Another felt the abdomen and thought it was a wall. Yet another held the tail and thought it was a vine. The point of the story, of course, is if you completely lack context (or in this case, sight) and try to form an opinion about something large, you're likely to focus only on the small part you can actually get your hands on. And, of course, your very limited perception is always going to be wrong.
     With the party running the current administration, the Supreme Court (which should NOT be run by a particular party) and Congress, the elephant metaphor makes for an apt symbol, indeed. No matter how well connected we think we are (and some in the 5th Estate are), we're still on the outside looking in. Or, as with the Indian story, fumbling around the elephant and focusing on particulars that are guaranteed to lead us astray.
     Take the current situation brewing between us and North Korea. Kim Jong Un, another in a long line of soft, blubbery, genocidal second generation dictators, is waving his nukes in our general direction. This, to judge by him addressing the entire Senate at the White House last Wednesday, is making Trump flare his orange neck wattles in North Korea's general direction.
     OK, the time for jokes is over. Trump's seriously going where neither Bush nor Obama ever went before and that's forcing a showdown between us and a nation that has The Bomb. We don't know if they have the H Bomb or how effective their delivery systems are. When nukes are involved, we have to assume the other guys know what they're doing. To play Devil's Advocate, think Dick Cheney's One Percent Doctrine.
     We'd made Trump the butt of countless jokes, many for good reason. But in his first 100 days, he has managed to do this:
     1) Get both his Muslim travel bans shot down in federal court.
     2) Made no progress on his vanity wall, save for stealing land from Texas residents (who voted for him) through "eminent domain" for something that hasn't begun to be built, yet.
     3) He has alienated Australia.
     4) He has alienated Mexico.
     5) He had alienated Germany.
     6) He had alienated North Korea.
     7) He has alienated South Korea.
     8) He has alienated China.
     9) Rex Tillerson, his so-called Secretary of State who seems to have been installed merely to ensure that all the proposed oil pipelines, especially Russia's, get built according to schedule, otherwise doesn't seem to have a fucking clue what else is going on.
     10) The same day the Senate was briefed on North Korea at the White House, Rep. Elijah Cummings openly said the White House acts as if "it has something to hide." Meaning Russia.
     11) After trying to get rid of it for seven years, the GOP couldn't get enough votes to kill ObamaCare despite having the votes in both chambers to do so.
     12) Congress today had to pass stopgap measures to prevent the government from shutting down because Trump vowed he would do that if he didn't get his way.
     13) His former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, is of the liveliest interest in the halls of Congress and is not being offered an immunity deal.
     All this in the first 100 days. And these are just the bullet points.
     In the case of the Trump administration, it's not so much what we know as what we don't know is what should alarm us.
     We don't have Trump's tax returns that he'd promised to disclose on the campaign trail.
     We don't have access to the intelligence documents proving Michael Flynn did not seek permission for, or disclose, some large payments from Russia.
     We don't have the Trump dossier assembled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele.
     We still don't know the extent of Trump's ties to the highest levels of the Russian government as well as Russian organized crime.
     We don't have the transcripts of the conversations held between Russian spy diplomat Kislyak and virtually all the top men in Trump's campaign, transition team and administration.
     We don't know any of this shit. We're feeling the tail and thinking, "Vine" and so forth.
     Yet as the Teapot Dome scandal and Watergate and many other political scandals have proved, the coverup is always worse than the original crime. It wasn't Watergate that toppled Nixon, it was the subsequent coverup.
     Those of you in your mid 50's and up may remember Watergate. That was back in the good old days when Nixon's own party was prepared to impeach him at the risk of seeing their own party lose in the upcoming 1974 midterms. And it was only when Barry Goldwater walked into the Oval Office to inform Nixon that the Senate had enough votes to impeach that Nixon got out while the getting was good.
     Well, between Trump's malfeasance with the levers of power, the blatant dishonesty, the recklessness and the ridicule he's heaped upon this country in such a short period of time, with the 2018 midterms looming closer and closer, the GOP may once again consider defenestrating one of their own and throwing Trump's bloated carcass off the bus and under its wheels. The longer this administration shambles to what is guaranteed to be a horrific climax, likely with North Korea, the more Trump pushes them into that corner. They're about to pay for their partisanship and support of this clearly insane man if they don't 25th amendment this lunatic even if just for cynical reasons such as incumbency and party supremacy.
     We on the outside looking in can only guess at what's producing the fever and the fret we're seeing in the West Wing, the constantly conflicting signals given to us by Trump then his flaks who insist Trump was speaking only metaphorically. We can only extrapolate conclusions from the evidence we're seeing. We're legally blind and grasping at shadows, forms, outlines, blobs of color.
     But what we're permitted to see with our necessarily limited ken doesn't portend anything good. You don't need vision to know when a crowded building is on fire. You'll still hear the people screaming when they run out and the fire engines' sirens. You'll feel the heat, smell the smoke.
     And a sane person wouldn't continue their walk, glad to be blind, pretending the world isn't burning down around their ears.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The First 100 Days of Orange Haze

     So, in the first 100 days of Trump's misadministration, this is what we've heard:

     Who knew health care would be so complex?
     Who knew being president would be so hard?
     "It's a ban."
     "It's not a ban."
     "It's a military action."
     "It's not a military action."
     Frederick Douglass is still alive.
     Obama spied on him during the campaign (then kept the results to himself.),
     Tens of millions of fraudulent voters!
     If the election were held today, I'd still win the popular vote (He lost the popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes.).
     Countries like Germany owe money to NATO when in fact their military involvement comes out of their respective defense budgets.
     Said aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was on its way to North Korea when it was 3700 miles away and traveling in the opposite direction.
     His former National Security advisor was a double agent for Russia and Turkey.
     Key members of his campaign, transition team and administration met with a Russian agent many, many times then lied about it even to Congress.
     His executive orders are written by the former CEO of an online right wing rag and signed without being read.
     Four members of his administration were led out of the White House by the FBI for lying about their credentials.
     He bombed an already heavily-bombed nation for no reason but, hey, there was a gorgeous chocolate cake involved.
     Then he forgot which nation he bombed.
     Told the Japanese Prime Minister he was obsessed with his translator's breasts.
     Hung up on the Australian Prime Minister.
     So alienated Mexico that their President called off a meeting with him.       
     His Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he "hasn't a clue" what sanctuary cities are."
     He also said, "Nobody Has Any Idea What Is Going On."
     Rick Perry thought being Secretary of Energy meant being an ambassador to oil & gas companies.
     Betsy DeVos thinks we need guns in classrooms because... BEARS.
     Rex Tillerson thinks his plane would fly faster if there weren't reporters on board.
     Ben Carson thinks slaves were "immigrants."
     Press Secretary Sean Spicer thinks Hitler didn't use chemical weapons on his enemies.
     He also insisted in his first meeting with the press that Trump's inaugural crowd was the biggest one yet despite much photographic evidence to the contrary.
     Kellyanne Conway thinks there are legitimate alternatives to facts.
     She claimed Obama spied on her boss with microwave ovens.
     AG Jeff Sessions (R-Lucky Charms) thinks Hawaii is merely an island in the Pacific.
     He also thinks separation of church and state are unconstitutional even though it's in the Constitution.

     Yeah, knowing this rabid pack of right wing assclowns are calling the shots greatly enhances my sense of security. How about you?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Good Times at Gotham City, 4/19/17

Work Your Ossoff

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein)
The kid almost pulled it off last night with a single knockout punch but there has to be a round two.
      When "President" Donald Trump tapped Tom Price to be his HHS Secretary, I'm sure his aides and advisors, or those few whose voices he heard over his own, assured him, "Go ahead and nominate Tom Price, Mr. President." "It's a solidly red Republican district," they said. "Georgia 6 has been in GOP hands since 1976," they said. "They could put out a flour sack with Newt Gingrich's face scrawled on it and it'd win," they said.
     Not so fast, Georgia 6's voters said.
     Last night, documentary filmmaker and political neophyte Jon Ossoff almost pulled off the impossible and came within 1.9% of winning the mandated 50% he'd've needed to win the seat outright. And his 48.1% of the vote was against a crowded field of 18, including 11 Republicans, four other Democrats and two Independents. The next-best finish by a Democrat was when Ragin Edwards and Ron Slotin each finished with a measly 0.3% of the vote, or 990 votes between them.
     It was supposed to be a cakewalk for Karen Handel, former Georgia Secretary of State and a safe choice, so thought the Powers That Be. Ms. Handel is thought of as an establishment-friendly Republican. This wasn't supposed to be a bellwether election, a test of Trump's so-called mandate, a synecdoche of the bloodbath to come in next year's all-important midterms that, historically, go against the party of a new President (something that's failed to happen only twice, in 1934 and 2002).
     But the stage for this battle royale of legitimate contenders and wannabes had already been set Election Day last year and before that. Consider that in 2012 when he ran against President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney took Georgia 6 by 23 points. Yet when Trump ran last year, he edged Secretary Hillary Clinton by a razor-thin margin of 1.5%, nearly the margin that kept Jon Ossoff from being a Congressman-elect today.
     During that same election, Tom Price romped to victory by winning 62% of the vote. But then Trump settled into his three White Houses and tried acting presidential, promptly breaking virtually every promise he made on the campaign trail. He'd release the tax returns then he wouldn't. He'd leave Syria alone then he bombed them. He'd leave Social Security alone then went after it. The Mexicans would pay for the wall then we would.
     Enter the rise of the white collar voter and Jon Ossoff.

Revenge of the Jedi
In our cinecentric day and age, it doesn't hurt to make an occasional cultural reference for the sake of context, provided it's an apt one that helps to illustrate the writer's point. So let's look at this in a Star Wars context (Not my idea, but Ossoff's and the Republicans', except theirs failed spectacularly)- Jon Ossoff is the young Jedi knight who's trying to rally the defeated rebellion of Georgia 6. At 30, he'd be barely old enough to run for the US Senate.
     He seeks to replace a bland Darth Vader in the person of Tom Price, whose new job as HHS Secretary is to kill as many Americans as possible without having to resort to Tomahawk missiles or MOABs or an Imperial Death Star. The Emperor, played by Donald J. Trump, elevates Tom Price to his new role as Darth Vader because, really, what could possibly go wrong?
     This part of the Evil Empire has been in (un)friendly hands for 40 years, as has the entire state of Georgia. But they didn't count on young Luke Skywalker, played by young Jon Ossoff, to try to rally the troops of the beleaguered Rebellion in this tiny outpost of the Empire (Georgia 6). The problem was, the Emperor and poor Darth didn't count on Ossoff's personal appeal and good looks to earn him so much assistance from outside the outpost.
     They didn't count on Ossoff, a quick-witted and knowledgeable Georgetown Political Science major, to amass a war chest of $8.3 million, 95% of which coming from outside the state. Ossoff spearheaded a one man Democratic juggernaut behind hostile enemy lines and, when the straw polls began rolling in these past few weeks, it became obvious to the Empire that it was all they could do to keep young Luke from retaking the outpost in one fell swoop. They knew they wouldn't score a Round One knockout, so the little wannabe Tom Price's swarmed and clinched, praying they'd be saved by the bell.
     Something else the Emperor, or Vader, didn't count on- that Georgia 6 is the most highly educated of the Empire's 435 outposts (and the Empire's candidates historically don't fare very well in districts where voters have some education) and that it would contain a lot of disaffected Caucasian white collar voters who seemed to like Tom Price well enough but were left cold by Trump (Remember, he took the district last November by just 1.5%). That doesn't exactly make a mandate.

A New Beginning?
Let's keep some facts in mind- While Handel may have won another spot at the table, when Republican voters in GA6 had an actual choice, she got less than 20%. She may bill herself as a Trump supporter but she hardly mentioned Trump at all. In fact, it can be said her approval of Trump's first 100 days has been more tepid than that of her Republican rivals. Even Ossoff, whose campaign was billed as, "Make Trump furious again", hardly mentioned his name. Despite his robocall recordings, Trump's essentially as much a nonentity in GA6 as he was on Election Night last year.
     Trump and his team of psychopaths infamously live in a bubble and they honestly thought they had this seeming bellwether of a race in the bag. There were the usual Republican dirty tricks, such as stolen voting machines out of a precinct manager’s car, which wasn't immediately reported as stolen, before the election, a "corrupted" data card that held up the results and deliberately deceptive data from a Republican company.
     Still, Ossoff wound up with almost as many votes as his 17 rivals combined. In fact, if the run off election was held today with exactly as many voters casting their ballots today as last night, Ossoff would still lose by just 2.7% of the vote (50.8% to 48.1%). Now, polling data is wonky these days to begin with and that's no truer than in runoff and special elections. But not all Republican voters are going to rally around Handel as the establishment GOP's already doing. It can be assured that Ossoff's base will not desert him, especially considering the dismal showing by his two closest Democratic rivals.
     The speeches delivered by the candidates and the available polling data we have show that, at best, it's a dicey proposition latching onto Trump's coattails and oversized Rodney Dangerfield tie at least in this district. And, with the close scrape in Kansas' 4th district earlier this month (if anything, KS4 was an even redder district than GA6) that saw Ron Estes emerge victorious but battered shows voters are having buyer's remorse and political sticker shock.
     The Republicans have the advantage in GA6 in that they have the structure and longtime brand name recognition. And,  should they unanimously rally to Handel's side, they certainly still have the votes to pull off another slim win. But Ossoff's base is growing and his support came all the way from the Beltway. This is like Ned Lamont Redux.
     Let's just hope that, unlike Lamont, Ossoff doesn't get talked into watering down his message by focus groups just looking for a 1% mandate.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Let Him Eat Cake

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein)
(Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Mrs. JP for this priceless catch)
You don't need to have a Major in Political Science or a Doctorate in Psychology to know that there is something deeply, and dangerously, wrong with Donald John Trump.
     Here's a man who bombed a virtually deserted Syrian air field, after alerting Putin about it a half hour beforehand (and, as the game of Telephone dictates, Putin then helpfully told his other buddy Assad). A nearly forgotten, throwaway paragraph in the Daily Telegraph article told us this in passing:
Six Syrian soldiers were reported to have been killed in Friday’s missile strike, which destroyed as much as 90 per cent of the base. Syrian officials said nine civilians, including four children, were also killed.
     But thank God chocolate cake was involved.
     As with his first military action in Yemen on January 29th, Trump gave the order to bomb Syria while having dinner, this time with Chinese President Xi. Then Trump told a panting Maria Bartiromo on Fox this morning about the Chocolate Cake (because it deserves to be capitalized). As usual for the weekend, he was at Mar-a-Lago, a place that sounds like an hourly rate, hot bed motel in a Carl Hiaasen novel.
     Then he decided to whip out Donald, Jr (not the oleaginous figurative prick, the literal one), kneaded it in front of the Chinese President and when he was ready to launch, said, "Hey, watch this."
     The Chinese President wiped his face and approved because it was all about the 34 children that were gassed to death in Syria, don't you know, and what's 4 compared to 34? And, besides, Ivanka had a sad so Daddy decided to bomb a nation (and 14 innocents) because, well, nobody puts Baby in a corner and makes her cry.
     But the important thing to remember is not only was there chocolate cake but
     "We're now having dessert—and we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen—and President Xi was enjoying it."
     Now the narrative we're hearing in the MSM is that this proves once and for all that there is no Trump-Russia connection, despite that his onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort accepted $1.2 million from a Ukranian pro-Russia group (under the table, of course) and that key members of his campaign, transition team and administration met with Russian spy ambassador Sergey Kislyak then lied about it under oath while testifying before Congress.
     And we're also hearing that Putin's hopping mad at Trump over having created relatively minor collateral damage that didn't even keep the Syrian planes grounded for more than a day (except if you remember those 14 innocents who were killed that no one seems to want to talk about). And now Trump's blaming Putin for the chemical gas attack used against Syrians that Trump would never let in this country on a dare (that would be a little too compassionate because those little brown kids might eat up all that delicious chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago).
     It's all theater, shadow boxing designed to look as if Putin had no hand in throwing the US election to Trump and his pork rind-stained minions, that there really weren't millions of transactions between the Russian elite and Trump and his Russian properties and that he really doesn't have a verifiable track record with Russian mobsters, after all. Fake news.
     To put a nightmarish cherry atop this chocolate cake anecdote, when Trump was dishing about this courageous strike, this $100,000,000 (oddly enough, about how much, well, cake Trump has made off Russia), 59 Tomahawk missile way of saying, "I'm not Putin's Cum-Smeared, Sobbing Fuck Doll!", Trump forgot which nation he'd bombed. He told Bartiromo, who was breathlessly panting as if she was going to ask for war porn photos of the dead, twisted and dismembered bodies of the 14 innocents who were killed, that he'd bombed Iraq.
     "Syria," Bartiromo helpfully says just so Fox viewers don't get the right idea, which is that our nation and the Free World is run by a walking brain stem. Trump looks at her uncertainly and says, "Yeah, Syria."
     Because, really, when we're talking about dirty brown people, which country you just bombed really doesn't matter, does it?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"Thanks for flying United and may the odds be ever in your favor."

     (Special tip o' the tinfoil hat to constant reader CC for the documentation)
     Because this country is getting so nasty, especially to non whites, that we're inexorably becoming the world of the Hunger Games. If you don't step forward in tribute, get the shit knocked out of you.
     By now, I'm sure you all know about the savage beating suffered yesterday by Dr. David Dao. Apparently, even with computers and software that does all the work for them, United Airlines is still too stupid to count and they overbooked Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, KY. Realizing their error and trying to make room for additional crew, they asked some passengers at random if they'd give up their seats for $800. None of them took the offer because, I guess, like Dr. Dao, they judged getting home in a timely manner was worth more to them.
     The Chicago airport police then grabbed Dr. Dao, a paying passenger, at random, beat him until he was bleeding from the mouth, yanked him out of his seat then literally dragged him down the center aisle in front of dozens of horrified passengers. The assault was documented from at least two angles.
     This is horrific enough as it is, that the third largest airline in the world would think so little of a paid passenger that they'd use airport police as their personal goon squad to make room for some of their employees. But what followed was even more horrific, if you can believe that:
     I can't recall the exact wording of yesterday's first press release by United but they've since scrubbed it from their newsroom page. But, true to form, United laid the blame squarely on the passenger. Since then, it's been replaced with more conciliatory press releases, including this masterpiece by United's CEO, Oscar Munoz, who earlier today called Dr. Dao, "belligerent" and essentially said he got what he deserved.

     Then, after United lost well over half a billion dollars on Wall Street's trading floor yesterday (at one point their share losses were as high as 4.4% or $990,000,000- Remember, it took even a world-class fuckup like Donald Trump all of one year to lose $918,000,000), this is what Oscar said:
     The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
     I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.
     It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
     I promise you we will do better.
     Oscar, Oscar, Oscar...
     Using weasel words and phrases like "what happened", as if the assault happened spontaneously and was beyond everyone's control, is not going to put oil on the waters. Your underlings fucked up, overbooked a flight then instructed O'Hare's goon squad to pick a person at random to make way for one of your people. Which no one with a sound mind is interpreting as you putting employees first, as the narrative now goes.
     And shaming the assaulted passenger for prior transgressions is not going to make your own crime any more justified by conspicuous relief or with time. Yet this is the narrative we're reading in right wing outfits such as the Moonie Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as as local TV stations and other outlets.
     Oh, speaking of the pro-corporate Wall Street Journal, their first article about it today, in which they quoted Munoz as calling Dao "belligerent", has since been rewritten and had adopted a softer tone, as has the beleaguered CEO, into this.
     Winston Smith lives and it's on the internet.
     Meanwhile, the Daily Mail in the UK and (typically) Business Insider as well as just about every other mainstream media outlet has started piling on the victim because, well, his criminal past meant he should keep paying for his crimes even after he had.
     But the airport cops didn't know that when they just grabbed Dr. Dao at random and beat him to a pulp before literally dragging him off the plane as if he was some jihadi terrorist. Not that their violence would've been excused, since the man had already paid for his crimes. And, without that context, he could've just as well had been the Dalai Lama in mufti, for all they knew.
     But this attitude goes far beyond United Airline and even the airline business in general. This goes to show how much corporations and banks loathe their own customers. They will use local police as their goon squad (and cops will always hop to when a call comes in from a moneyed individual or entity). We saw this thuggery during Occupy Wall Street, we saw it again a year ago with the Dakota Access Pipeline and where ever people all over the world protest these actions.
     Because with money and power comes a lot of sociopathic arrogance and the only thing that will make them even disingenuously conciliatory is when their bottom line is threatened on Wall Street or elsewhere.

Update: Thanks to a timely comment on Facebook from other longtime reader Mithras, apparently not only has United dropped $1.4 billion from its market cap since yesterday, but this whole incident is affecting the stock price of nearly every major airline.

Monday, April 10, 2017

IOKIYAR and a Fucking Redneck God Bag

     I'm sure it was strictly for a Bible Study retreat.
     It makes no sense to me that Don Siegelman went to prison on trumped up if not outright fabricated bribery charges (and didn't even get a pardon from Obama) while Bentley gets to slither out of the Governor's mansion in Alabama relatively unscathed. It also makes no sense to me that Bill Clinton, former President of the United States, got impeached for lying about a blow job while this evangelical hot prick Bentley never came close to impeachment even after also lying about it and even threatening people to maintain the coverup.
     Oh yeah, and he also has to answer to two misdemeanor charges that include using campaign funds to pay for private use and failing to file a major contribution report.

     This is his smiling mugshot taken today at the Montgomery County Jail when he officially resigned. Says the WaPo:
The events leading to the end of Bentley's career were spelled out in the 3,000 pages of a report released by the House Judiciary Committee attorney Friday detailing various indiscretions the governor may allegedly tried to keep secret as he carried out an affair with his married aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

     The report says Bentley texted heart-eyed emojis to Caldwell -- texts that were linked up to his now ex-wife's iPad -- and made threats to the first lady's staff to keep the affair secret. The report also detailed what allegedly went on behind closed doors when Mason, according to the report, left the office “with her hair tousled and her clothing in disarray.”
     So he resigned and pled guilty to the misdemeanor charges to avoid jail time, which he almost surely will. A $37,000 pay out and he gets to resume his life.
     I don't know what's wrong with Alabama but the state that was the last to jettison its ban on interracial marriage saw fit to install a State Supreme Court Justice in Roy Moore then kick out, twice, and a Governor who couldn't keep it in his pants and had the audacity to say no one has the right to judge him because he'd already answered "to a higher authority."
     What do they both have in common? They're both arrogant fucking God bags who think the law doesn't apply to them and that they're immune to tepid criticism because they chose to believe in a certain sky wizard. 
     Well, that higher authority wasn't powerful enough to save him from the comeuppance of the Alabama Ethics Commission and the state House Judiciary Committee. The Big Kahuna also didn't have the juice to keep him in the Governor's mansion, either.
     Good riddance. Bentley, go fuck yourself, you Bible- and Aide-banging hypocrite. The very fact that a woman called you "delicious" is enough to make me vomit everything I've ever eaten since 1959.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Found on Facebook Last Night

      From Brent Terry: "If, as ABC News is reporting, the US warned Russia of the missile strike, and if, as it appears, Russia warned Syria, that leads to a very interesting possible conclusion. Consider the implications: Trump warns Putin, who warns Assad, which means the three of them were working in concert in what becomes not a military operation against a foreign enemy, but a staged event, a stunt, a piece of political theater. But to what end? The only thing I can think of is that it was an elaborate scheme to provide Trump with political cover at a time his entire presidency was imploding. Now we know enough about our narcissist in chief to see that on his end this is a perfectly reasonable assumption. But what does Putin have to gain? Well, he has invested years and who knows how much money in shepherding Trump into the White House, so he has plenty of reason to prop him up. And Assad? He will do what Russia tells him to do.
      This seems to be the direction the dominoes are falling, and the repercussions will be earth shattering. I mean a US president colludes with not one, but two foreign leaders who are antagonistic to our national interests at the very least, in order to stage a phony and staggeringly expensive "attack" for the sole reason of propping up a president in free fall. Let's look past the obvious betrayal of the American people and the latest seemingly treasonous actions of a mad president, and look at the deeper moral implications.
      Trump used the gas attacks perpetrated by Assad against his own people, and which caused the suffering and death of many children, as an excuse to launch the missles, but in actuality was working with the monster who gassed the children in the first place. He had no problem whatsoever using the suffering and death of children to manufacture political cover. And then he went on television and dared to present himself as the defender of "God's children." No American president that I can think of has put on such a depraved and inhuman performance. How much longer can we allow this monster to run this game, allow him to be the face of this country?
      Do I know this is what transpired? No. Does the evidence point in that direction? It sure seems to. This monster has to go. What say you?"
      This is pretty much how I see it. One would have to have about 100 pounds of brain damage (and most right wingers, especially Trump supporters, do) to believe that Trump would pick up where Obama left off and actually do what he did, which was fight a proxy war against his old buddy Putin to take down Assad's government.
     The mayor of Homs, Syria claimed that five men died in the bombing raid. If that's so, that means Trump spent millions on 50 missiles and killed five innocent human beings just to give himself some wag the dog action. And if this extra-Congressional missile strike proves anything, this just brings Trump's complicity with Putin into greater relief. By that I mean, as a partisan political stunt, it failed miserably because it further exposes that Trump's even deeper in Putin's hip pocket than we'd ever thought.
     And the consensus I'm hearing that Assad did indeed launch that chemical weapon strike is disturbing and not benefiting from serious analysis. Obama's administration had been saying for years that Assad's been using chemical weapons against his own people without providing a shred of evidence to support those allegations. And if Trump, Putin and Assad would work in concert to keep a blithering idiot like Trump in power, is it so much of a stretch to believe that either the Russian or US president wouldn't think twice about killing 31 children and more adults for a political stunt? Both Trump & Putin are fucking ogres and would think nothing about killing children to achieve a short term political end (especially after Trump's thoughtless misadventure in Yemen in January that killed almost a dozen other children, one of whom being an 8 year-old girl who was a US citizen.).
     And if Trump cared so much for "God's children" he wouldn't be cutting federal funds to sanctuary cities and he wouldn't be stopping Syrian refugees from coming into our country. He'd be showing compassion toward these people, not bombing their country into the Stone Age.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Good Times at Gotham City, 4/7/17

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fool's is the Cruelest Day

     To show you what a topsy-turvy two and a half weeks it's been, allow me to summarize:
     On the 15th, I got a contract offer from a British publisher to bring out Tatterdemalion and four other Scott Carson books. He said he'd send me the first draft of the contract in two weeks and that passed three days ago. Since the 16th, I've been working feverishly on the sequel, The Murder Machine, not knowing how short of a deadline he'd give me to finish it.
     Then, two days after I walked around in just a tee short and very comfortably, Mother Nature essentially says, "Fuck you, it's not spring until I say it is" and dumps several inches of snow on us since last night (it's still snowing). That pretty much scuttles our plans to watch the Red Sox season opener against the Nationals at the Naval Academy. And maybe not spending that money's for the better because when our landlord showed up this morning to do the snow removal, he handed us something that I only wish was an April's Fool's prank:
     He's raising our rent by $100 a month and if we don't like it, the cocksucker's giving us just 30 days, the bare legal minimum, to get out. Obviously, we have nowhere else to go and will be forced to sign the new lease when he gets around to drafting it out.
     It goes without saying this will make things that much tougher for Mrs. JP and me for the remainder of the time we'll be living in this dump. God only knows why our landlord thinks our place is worth $750 a month- The sole entrance to our unit is so narrow we can't fit a couch through the stairwell (Yes, we haven't had a couch in over eight years). There's no cabinetry or counter space in the kitchen and we have a jury-rigged shower involving a garden hose installed in our 100+ year-old claw foot caste iron tub. But it is what it is.
     Obviously, we're going to need a bit of help, to the tune of $100 more a month just to cover the rent increase. To add to our growing list of troubles, I will not be able to drive my car legally as of today because the corrosion of the undercarriage will prevent my getting an inspection sticker which expired yesterday, so we'll need to get another second hand car.
     The timing may look suspicious as this is the time of year when people get their tax refunds but that wasn't my intent, regardless of how bad the optics look. It just so happens that this shit is hitting us literally all at once and on April Fool's day at that.
     So any help will be even more appreciated than usual until (hopefully), the money starts coming from my book royalties in about a year and we can finally stand on our own two feet. In the meantime, please make use of the Paypal button on the top right of the bottom of any post.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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