Sunday, May 31, 2020

Gotham City Digest: Most Vicious Dogs and Ominous Weapons edition

(A brief rundown on the events taking place in Floyd protests all over the world.)

    THIS is an interesting development. It doesn't prove anything, of course, but then again, it could establish a history between Chauvin and Floyd. I'm going to stay on top of this angle.

     Wow, I never saw THIS coming. < /sarcasm>

     "I want a divorce." The news just keeps getting better for this asshole, doesn't it?

     Trump has his, "Smithers, release the hounds" moment.

    "Lynching is still not a federal crime. The Senate passed a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime in 2018, and the House passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act in February of this year. There have been lynchings during many of our lifetimes. Neither bill has been signed into law."
     This is all you need to know about this worthless, racist administration.

     "Mr. President, it's time to impersonate a human being again."
     "Oh, fuck me. Do I have to?"

     Berlin Barbie: Trump knows all about police brutality through the Mueller probe,. Oh, if ONLY Mueller had put his knee on Trump's neck.

     Explain to me again how this qualifies as law enforcement and shouldn't be classified as thuggery?

    You want to know why "hitler youth" was trending on Twitter yesterday? Because some (tautology alert) cowardly, right wing assholes with access to weapons and riot gear thought it'd be a corker of an idea to send out their kids to confront Atlanta protesters. This is real, folks. These were Junior ROTC children shoved out to face angry protesters.
    The Georgia National Guards said they weren't children. They were "short soldiers." They don't allow soldiers who aren't even five feet tall.

    Penguins go on a field trip to an art museum. This is endlessly adorable.

    Dead black men, cities in flames, a pandemic destroying human society, 41 million unemployed and this is what gets you upset. Fuck you and your 1st World problems. She's Trump with fake tits.

    Between the time Philando Castille was shot and killed with impunity and George Floyd was strangled on Memorial Day, several reforms were suggested and even passed for the Minneapolis PD. But the state legislature and the department failed to adequately implement or ratify them.

     Meme intermission,

    Oh dear, Trump's trying to act like a human being again. He called George Floyd's brother and then wouldn't let him talk.

     CNN? Fake news? Great, this is all Trump needs to hear.

    Sounds as if the Hennepin DA better start writing up a couple of new murder three charges.

   Meanwhile in NYC, NYPD cruisers are mowing down protesters and in Minnesota, police are using journalists for target practice. Stupid cops just don't get it. It's this thuggish, Nazi behavior that starts riots.

     Yeah, we're getting fed up with all the assholes, including you, Fox "News."

     Anonymous is about to doxx the Minneapolis PD. Go get 'em, guys. It's on.

     This is a brief rundown of the insanity that happened in the US last night.

     What this boils down to is, the DoD was brought in to monitor police brutality protests in 7 states. What it comes down to is, this is an even bigger clusterfuck waiting to happen. The military isn't trained for urban pacification and the police nationwide haven't got the temperament for it.

    So naturally, Trump & Barr, aka Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumber, are choosing to blame just t he left for the riots, not the Boogaloo Bois & other far right elements that just just want to destroy government. In other words, "very fine people.

    The head of the Minneapolis Police Union spoke at a Trump Nazi hate rally just last October. This is the fascist pig who told us "not to rush to judgment" in the George Floyd murder,despite ample video evidence.

    Since last night, we've been reading news stories and seeing videos of cops resorting to what is plainly criminal activity. These are pigs in Denver shooting a man in the face in what's literally a driveby shooting. But Antifa's the terrorist organization, according to Donnie Dumbo.

    Elle Honig, a CNN legal correspondent, got a copy of the criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin, Apparently, it doesn't complain enough and they've omitted key facts. In other words, the Hennepin County prosecutors are already spiking the trial and will try to throw it, like I expected.

     NYPD stormtrooper pulls down black boy's mask to pepper spray him. Note the Boogaloo Boi standing just six feet away to his right, the one who DOESN'T get pepper sprayed.

     "Sure, let's do it again and take a knee, since it worked out so swimmingly in Minneapolis."

     It's the cops who are rioting. Pass it on.

    The protests in Trafalgar Sq. and at #10 Downing officially made the George Floyd movement global. Note not one cop in riot gear. It's completely civilized in London. Same in New Zealand.

     Authorities across the country have told the DOJ the out of state factions are right wing ones.
     So naturally, Fat Bill mentions just Antifa.

     Trump's terrified of protests. So's Putin from what I hear. And finally...

     Yeah, Trump's inner circle is telling him to tone it down, not because it's the right thing to do and because it would help save lives but because they're afraid his violent rhetoric will hurt him and other Republicans in the election. Typical right wing priorities.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Minneapolis Burning

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
If anything, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has redefined the phrase "chauvinist pig" and expanded the definition to include hatred of black men.
     Hours after Donald Trump playacted at being the president after a weekend of golfing in Northern Virginia to lay a Memorial Day wreath at Fort McHenry in the same city where Freddy Gray was brutally murdered, Derek Chauvin was strangling the life out of George Floyd in broad daylight and with the protection of his own cronies. The next day, all four officers in Floyd's extra-judicial lynching were fired.
    But it still took four more days for his comrades in arms to get around to arresting Chauvin on suspicion of murder. The day after Memorial Day, mostly African American protesters peacefully assembled near the scene of the crime and demanded justice, an all too familiar ritual in latter-day American society. And the Minneapolis PD was all too glad to provide another American ritual- Mostly white cops showing up in riot gear and firing tear gas at them when the blacks got too uppity.
    Amanda Marcotte in the pages of Salon was struck by the stark difference between the initially peaceful protests in Minneapolis and the police response to that (essentially identical to Ferguson) and the almost exclusively white thugs showing up at state capitals armed to the teeth, several threatening to lynch their own governors (Beshear in Kentucky and Whitmer in Michigan) while cops not in riot gear strenuously ignored them even while these lunatics were screaming in their faces.
    Several of the so-called anti-lockdown protesters have been identified as members of the fascist "Proud Boys" movement, essentially a bearded Bund comprised of overweight incels who glorify in their self description of being, ironically, "western Chauvinists." You would think law enforcement would be clued in as to who the real threat is (Hint- It may be the aforementioned white incels who show up in fake camo gear cradling semi-auto rifles, threaten to lynch the governor and try to storm the legislative chamber that that same governor had to shut down.).
    But the difference in law enforcement's response, which is completely based on the overall skin hue of the protesters, is in itself a symptom of the problems we still face nearly 250 years into our history that boldly started with the proposition that all people are created equal but some are more equal than others.
    We saw it in Selma in the '60's when black protesters were simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights of peaceful assembly were petitioning for the right to vote, a right they already had in the Constitution. Protests inevitably start out as peaceful, the cops show up in riot gear, armed with tear gas, they escalate the situation and it's on.
    White cops see black people who are aggrieved, demanding a redress of their grievances, and, the unholiest of unholies, amassing in large numbers (something made legally prohibitive in mid 19th century Charleston, South Carolina). Then the cops needlessly escalate the situation. We saw this in Ferguson when black homeowners were tear-passed by city cops just for standing in their own yards. We saw it in Baltimore after Freddy Gray's murder when kids on a school bus were stopped by Baltimore police and made to exit the bus and held in a tight circle in a transparent attempt to manufacture an incident.
     It's this behavior that black demonstrators are trying to tell cops about yet all they see is a threat to their way of life and their authority.

Back Up, Boogaloo
Of course, cops, being among the stupidest and most hardheaded people on the planet, oafishly obeyed the dictates of their DNA that goes all the way back to when their 18th century forebears were legally empowered to kill escaped slaves on sight, and reacted in a hostile, defensive and retaliatory way. By Tuesday night, the night after Floyd's murder, Minneapolis's 3rd Precinct, to which four of the fired officers had been assigned, was evacuated and completely in flames.
     Black people nation-wide have reached a tipping point and George Floyd and his murderer Derek Chauvin provided that flashpoint that had been primed by the February 23rd murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the March 13th murder of Breonna Taylor in her own bed in Kentucky as she slept (police, as usual, got the wrong house). And what made the Floyd and Arbery murders especially egregious was that they were not only committed in broad daylight, but seemingly with the blessings of law enforcement.
     The last time I counted, 25 American cities were in flames today. Considering that coronavirus has been dominating the news as completely as it has for most of 2020, it would have taken one hell of a story to get us to forget about the pandemic for a minute and fallout over George Floyd's murder provided it. Yes, our African American community has reached a tipping point but there's no absolutely no indication whatever that police have reached their own tipping point beyond evacuating and abandoning one of their own precincts when protesters showed them their own tipping point.
     This is shaping up to be a summer of anger like the endless summer of 1967 (ironically nicknamed the "summer of love") that saw nearly 160 US cities go up in flames, and, less than a year later, more of the same after Dr. King's assassination in Memphis. In every single instance, police responded with the only two languages they knew- Violence and escalation.
     City and county prosecutors, heavily dependent on the work of law enforcement to help them make airtight cases and advance their political careers, are often loath to do their jobs when those same cops become the defendants when they, in turn, commit crimes. This was one of the reasons why the protests quickly turned violent. Even before the first tear gas canister was fired by Minneapolis police, the Hennepin County prosecutor said that he saw no grounds for a case against Chauvin. When Minneapolis went up in flames, he quickly changed his tune and Chauvin was charged with the ridiculously lenient felonies of third degree murder and manslaughter.
     Public opinion is thisclose to turning against the protesters because of the acts of arson and looting that have been occurring since night two of the rioting. But things decidedly took an uglier turn when the infamous Boogaloo movement decided to have their own spring break in Minneapolis. If you look real close at some of the file footage, you can identify them by their Hawaiian print shirts (their more or less official tunic). We know such right wing factions were instrumental in casting the protesters in Ferguson in a bad light when they committed petty acts of vandalism and larceny in the hopes it would be blamed on the black protesters.
     As usual, up to a point, it's working. Social media is still ablaze with white people condemning the black protesters with others defending their black brothers in arms for setting fire to Minneapolis and even bringing up the specter of the Boston Tea Party and how that elevated white people impersonating Indians and how that elevation was hypocritically denied black protesters. But the vast majority of the real protesters are doing no such thing even as Boogaloo thugs pretend to take up their cause so, again, black people will be blamed. That's because it honestly never occurs to white people to believe that when riots break out, especially when one hockey team or another wins the Stanley Cup, it's because of white assholes. Think I'm lying? I give you Lansing, Michigan.
     Nothing will change until attitudes change. But, to quote another Ringo Starr hit, "It Don't Come Easy."

Friday, May 29, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(Minnesota looks pretty liberated to me. Be careful what you ask for, asshole, because...)

    If the 21st century had an iconic image of police racism and brutality, this would be it. Note how casual Chauvin is, unmindful or uncaring that he's causing someone serious medical distress. Note the hands in his pockets as if doing this is the most natural thing in the world. The touchy, petulant look on his face suggests outrage his tactics should ever be questioned.
     Now look at the man beneath his crushing knee. Floyd's horrified expression more than suggests a man terrified of death yet was just then realizing he's about to die in these, his final moments on earth. Maybe he was thinking of Ahmaud Arbery or maybe his wife, knowing he'll never see her again.
    Take a close look at this picture. Remember every detail and remember that one is dead after an execution in the public square.

     I'll never be on board with the looting because business owners had nothing to do with this. But some part of me is glad this has happened, that our black brothers and sisters have finally had enough of this racist bullshit and are doing something about it. This is already bigger than Ferguson, bigger than Baltimore and maybe even bigger than LA after Rodney King. This is going national. And I hope they're taking the proper precautions against contagion.

     When pigs fly in the face of the First Amendment.

     Says the right wing asshole and fraud who divorced his wife while she was in the hospital fighting cancer as he was drafting articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton.

     Are we great again, yet?

     Why do I get the impression they didn't arrest this pig but took him into protective custody? Even after they fired him, they still surrounded his house protecting him and the county prosecutor claimed he hadn't enough evidence to press charges.

    While the fascist cunts at Twitter are treating their fellow fascist with kid gloves, this asshole's doubled down and once more called for looters to be shot, a typical white, right wing response. Let's get one thing straight- Looting is a felony but it isn't a capital crime. This racist fuck is trying to normalize the extra-judicial murdering of more black people.

    Cartoon intermission.

    Let's call him President Karen.

    Sens Tim Kaine & Bob Casey both have coronavirus, So does Kaine's wife. Our nation's very capital is diseased. So stop waiting for this asshole to pull a miracle out of his bloated ass.

    Rick Wilson hammers Trump yet again.

    I don't see this as being a tipping point on their end. Remember, they came out in riot gear and fired tear gas at what were initially peaceful protesters. And you just know they'd love to defend Derek Chauvin. But somewhere in their reptilian brains, even they know Chauvin is more radioactive than Chernobyl's Reactor Four. And they know better.

    "The surveillance (Predator) drone is flying in a circle above the city, which has broken out in protests over the police killing of George Floyd."
     You know, like vultures typically do.

    Trump's childish "Executive Order" isn't about "free speech." It's about his free speech and his self-perceived right to advance any right wing conspiracy theory he wants.

     I'm thinking Markie Mark should've sat this one out. It doesn't help matters any that he criticized Twitter for mildly fact-checking Trump to Dana Perino on Fox. Shut the fuck up, Fuckerberg, and stay in your lane. You've already done enough damage by getting a fascist artificially installed in the White House.

      Remember, these charges were filed by the same worthless asswipe Hennepin County prosecutor who'd originally said in his rush to non-judgment, that there was nothing he could see on which to prosecute Chauvin. It took the immolation of a major American city to get this this cop-coddling shyster to even fulfill a baseline of his prosecutorial duties.

     "That's OK. I'm not going to jail."

    So, we know Mitt Romney's niece voted by mail, that Kayleigh McEnany voted by mail, that Kellyanne Conway voted by mail, that Donald Trump voted by mail. But as always, the right wing says, "For me, not for thee, motherfuckers."

     PA GOP: "We're asking that you stay at home and not to walk off the cliff into Hell's Lake of Fire."
     "No, Trump told us to and we WILL!"

      John Ratfuck, the DNI with no intelligence experience whatsoever, released partially declassified transcripts and even in in partially redacted form, is really damaging to Flynn and Barr's case to have all the charges dismissed.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(Mind if I play through? Of course you don't. You're dead.)

     Commander Covfefe de la COVID has a new conspiracy theory about the Times- They make shit up by quoting his own words and reporting his actions.

.    Good. George Floyd's murderers got shit-canned. That's a good start, but only a start.

     Of course he doesn't think this was racist. Of course he's feigning outrage over being called racist. Of course he's done this many times before.

     I never forgot this poor child who was so close to freedom and having his life spared, only to have the Milwaukee police hand him right back to Dahmer. In fact, many years ago, I even wrote a long article about it.

    Amanda Marcotte makes a legitimate point but it's one I'd anticipated last month. When writing about the brazen right wing thuggery going on in Lansing and cops turning a blind eye to that white, heavily-armed grievance, I'd said more than once if those people were black, Lansing would've turned into Ferguson within nanoseconds.
     I give you Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    This is another white, entitled asshole who refuses to wear a mask because, "I can't breathe." It also doesn't surprise me she shops at Walmart.

    Here's an idea, lady- How about you follow the laws of the land instead of the people in it? The same exact thing happened to my son in Marlborough, MA last year. He wound up getting arrested for an assault that never happened.

     So, he recreationally takes Adderall and hydroxychloroquine. Now he wants to experiment with insulin, a hormone already made in his body.
     This man is an unfunny version of John Belushi.

     I am so sick of these white assholes who think 911 is a speed dial to their private security. The smug, smarmy asswipe in the picture is Tom Austin. Apparently, Tom doesn't like Native Americans, either. Here's a pleasing post scriptum- He just lost his lease.

    The bad news is, our country's filled with these lunatics. The good news is, they're stupid and get themselves fired by being conspicuous in their stupidity. They're essentially vocational suicide bombers.

     The best people, nothing but the best.

     It seems that even as the world burns down from coronavirus, the only people that are still working are the grifters both in the government and those who only pretend to.

      By now, you may have heard of the infamous Ozark pool party attended by hundreds of redneck goobers. One of them featured a woman wearing a bikini made of nine surgical masks.

      Let's keep putting this dear man on the road. He's the gift that keeps on giving.

     "Virtually worthless"?!

     So, the PA state GOP knew one of their own was diseased with COVID-19 yet kept it under wraps for a week? Way to go, guys.

     Have you ever wondered what McCloud would've been like if he had a degenerative brain tumor?
     Wonder no more.

     I've been meaning to ask about this as it seems it's taken us forever to get to the dreaded 100,000 mark. With 2-3000 Americans dying every day from this disease, it seemed odd to me that for about a week straight we never crossed the threshold into even 99,000, let alone 100,000. It seems someone was kinking the statistical hose.

    The TX State Supreme Court denied mail in ballots to voters. They decided this remotely to protect themselves. Once again, the GOP says, "For thee, not for me, motherfuckers."

     Meme intermission.

   Earlier, I'd posted a link to an article that highlighted all the crooks, assclowns, scumbags, criminals and con men that have been given no-bid "firsttime contractor" contracts. Ex Trump stooge Zach Fuentes is one of them. This, to me, is the equivalent of sending smallpox-riddled blankets to Indian tribes in the 19th century.

    Another example of right wing, "For me, not for thee." We know Kayleigh's voted via mail 10 times in the last 11 years.

    This is ridiculous. You don't honor a murder victim by looting a Target in his name. An AutoZone also burned down today.

     If only there was a way to subtract with surgical precision just the stupid in our society.

     Susan Collins is toast. But we've known that for years.

     The Lincoln Project's new ad takes aim at #RichMitch.

     So, Twitter fact-checks Trump for the first time ever and the Toddler in Chief decides to sign an executive order that essentially is designed to let right wing assholes say whatever they like unchallenged on social media. Twitter should delete his account just over this.

    I'm not a huge fan of Pelosi but she nails Zuckerberg right here for his hypocrisy & sycophancy of Trump. If you coddle a narcissistic psychopath like Trump, this is what you get.

    And, as another illustration of this, this is what Trump's ghost writer has to say about him, although hardly any of it is a revelation.

     That's because the numbers are in the toilet. Like the Biden campaign, they're playing what I call the "Wait & Switch" game. Vote for either guy then let the horror wash over you in the sticker shock of the ages.

      It's not very often that you leave Kayleigh speechless. This is Jeff Gannon all over again.

      "The president* was in Florida to play golf at his Palm Beach course on the weekend of March 7, which was during the state’s early voting period. Trump even drove past an open voting site at a nearby library at least six times on that visit, CNN reported. He did not stop by any of the other 15 early voting sites open in Palm Beach County that weekend.
     Nonetheless, Trump requested an absentee ballot on March 9, and he voted by mail in the primary."
      The irony is if he did vote, he did it illegally because, according to a prior arrangement he made to Palm Beach county officials in the 90's, Mar a Lago is considered a resort, not a residence.

      Oh dear, that could've gone better.

     And even if you could shut down Twitter, you'd essentially be shutting down yourself. Then Trump asked Bill Barr to tell him about the rabbits again.

    The IPS has been putting out weekly updates on unemployment figures as well as steadily charting how much more the bloated the 1% have gotten. 2.1 million more Americans filed for unemployment that many will never get, bringing the total to 41 million out of work. At the same same time, billionaire saw their fortunes rise by half a trillion dollars. Jeff fucking Bezos alone saw his wealth leap by $30,000,000 since the pandemic hit us.
    And even though I don't advocate for violence against anyone, I won't be convinced shit will start changing until I see guillotines loaded on flatbeds screaming toward every corporate headquarters in America, starting with Amazon's in Seattle. Because our worthless fucking legislators sure aren't doing shit to help us out.

     607,000 vials of potentially lifesaving medicine were sent to the wrong hospitals. One more time: He. Is. Trying. To. Murder. Us. All. Lock. Him. Up. And finally...

      You'd think even a glorified ambulance-chasing shyster like Bill Barr would know the legal definition of censorship.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

It's the End of the World as We Know It But Do You Feel Fine?

     Recently, I got an email from a friend and reader of mine and I was told of the story of a friend of theirs in New York who was at a Whole Foods who tried to tell a woman she was going down the wrong direction of an aisle (as they're all one way now). Not only wouldn't she move her cart for him, she bumped his cart with her own just to be a vindictive asshole.
     A very minor episode, true. But it serves as a synecdoche of the way Americans are getting decidedly more uncivil toward each other. If you trap enough rats in a bag or box that's small enough, eventually they'll turn on each other if not kill one another to get a little extra space.
     I can't speak much for what's going on elsewhere in the world but human behavior is fundamentally the same the world over. Here in the US, we're bursting apart at the seams. We're seeing an uptick in cases where white assholes call the cops on black people for no reason (it happened the other day in Minneapolis not far from where George Floyd was strangled on Memorial Day, as well as Amy Cooper, who got fired and lost her dog after calling 911 on a black man in Central Park just for asking her to leash her dog).
     Asians are getting assaulted all over the world, here especially, Latinos are getting yelled at for playing Latin music, and a woman was arrested after stalking an Ecuadoran family for miles then came after them with a claw hammer in her hand.
     And, of course, there was the infamous Ozark pool party, featuring an overweight woman wearing a homemade bikini composed of nine surgical masks.
     It's intellectual laziness and complacency, a bloated sense of eternal dominion was what spelled doom for the Roman Empire in AD 476 when they were sacked by the barbarians from the north. So America, an empire since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, will fall, perhaps sooner than we expect. And what better agent to bring that about than COVID-19, except our impenetrable arrogance and callousness toward the lives and safety of others?
     We're so entitled as a race, we white people, that we refuse to wear masks because suddenly the master race has medical conditions that make breathing difficult. Yeah, tell that to Eric Garner and George Floyd.
     Coronavirus has, pardon the pun, pulled back the mask of who and what we are as Americans. We've been revealed as a bunch of racist, angry, bloated, arrogant, ill-tempered louts who couldn't and shouldn't be entrusted with running a hot dog stand let alone an undeclared empire like America.
     The Communist Chinese, who for decades have been buying up massive US corporations, tracts of land and even public works are silently waiting and biding their time. The bald eagle, which once soared over the world, its dominion unchallenged, is losing its pinions at a frightening and alarming rate and will soon be grounded.
     Where the predators below await, licking their chops.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(Suddenly, we like plexiglass.)

     Is anyone else a little jittery about tomorrow's space launch? After all, it wasn't terribly long ago that Elon Musk's rockets were blowing up on the launch pad.

     "At the outset of the final video, he interrupted his testimonial to accept a bag of fast food from a restaurant worker through a drive-thru window."
    Yeah, this will do wonders for dispelling the biscuits and gravy stereotype of the latter day redneck.

     This is the kind of self-loathing, Uncle Tom bullshit that's, well, deplorable. To me, voting for a racist like Joe fucking Biden is like drinking a glass of Flint water. And this guy Chauncey is like the person who accuses me of wanting purity in that water if I refuse to drink it. Hold your nose and drink it, he says.
      No. I will not. And peer-pressuring me is going to make me 100 times more stubborn.

     There's something really stereotypical and emblematic about a bloated sow in the latter day United States clutching a Big Gulp that's in all likelihood spiked and screaming at Hispanics playing their country's music. This... is IDIOCRACY.

    I'm glad to see the feds getting involved in the Arbery murder case because this is obviously a county-wide conspiracy.

     Remember when Zuckerberg gave $100,000,000 to Newark and most of the dough was blown on consultants and got nothing in return? We're about to see the same thing across the Hudson. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC.).

   As Mike Flannigan wrote yesterday, deciding to vote for Biden doesn't involve any "moral calculus" but an amoral one. Every four years, we find ourselves in this position and say to each other, "We need to vote for this Democrat to get out the Republican that our last shitty Democrat helped put in!"

     Cartoon intermission.

     Vote for Joe because our rapist and child molester is less prolific than yours.

     And it's because of dog shit Democrat candidates who are virtually guaranteed to put and keep right wingers in office that over half of all of Bernie's supporters are in favor of starting a third party. So why can't they get organized well enough to actually do it? Bernie still has tens of millions in his war chest. That would be some serious seed money for a third party that's actually progressive.

     11,687 new cases in one week in Brazil. "A little flu."
    When's the human race going to realize right wingers are completely worthless in an emergency and stop electing them to public office?

     And now, the latest from Miss Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian.

     I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice that Trump always looks like he learned to stand upright just yesterday.

     I guess forgery in Minnesota gets you the death penalty.

    How has Trump failed this country just during the pandemic? Let us count the ways, all 320 of them.

     Another IG bites the dust.

     Yeah, we may see a V-shaped recovery on economic graphs. That's because we've got nowhere to go but up and that'll only be after we artificially reopen the country and expose millions more to coronavirus.

    Trump going golfing on Memorial Day weekend was dispiriting yet hardly surprising. It'll be compared to Nero fiddling while Rome burned and for centuries to come.

     One less male chauvinist pig to worry about.

   So, now Joe Biden wearing a mask in accordance with Trump's own CDC's guidelines is "peculiar"? No, having a press secretary named "Kayleigh" is peculiar. "Kayleigh" is the name of a Pop Warner cheerleader.

    This is the latest “The New Abnormal” podcast hosted by the improbably-paired Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. In this episode, Julian Castro pinpoints the exact moment Ted Cruz became a national joke and the most hated man on the Hill.

     Damned good idea, Governor, but it comes after the jackass ran out the barn door.

     Now, this is an interesting little geographical curiosity.

     So, naturally, the head of the House of 100,000 Corpses is whining and raging about how unfair the world's been to him.

     Good God, they're spawning. And finally...

     The fix is in and the DOJ has already staked its tethered sacrificial goat in Richard Burr.

Injecting Something Worse Than Bleach Into the Body Politic

     Imagine, if you will, a drug or some substance that, if you inject it into your body, would actually animate and amplify coronavirus already in your body. Something worse than, say, bleach, another disinfectant or hydroxychloroquine (which would actually kill the coronavirus, along with you.).
     This is what Donald Trump is doing to the body politic- He's injecting toxins into the national discourse, or what passes for it, like racism, conspiracy theories, misogyny and various and sundry bigotries.
     Even by his own abysmal standards, Trnump's Twitter feed this past Memorial Day weekend was a master class to psychology and psychiatry students as how it looks in real time when a human mind descends into a self-destructive spiral of madness that makes the final days of the Nixon administration look like a model of mental health.
     He disparaged Stacey Abrams because of her weight.
     He insulted Nancy Pelosi for her looks (I guess mirrors, understandably, are forbidden in the White House's Executive Mansion).
     He resurrected, again, the conspiracy theory that Joe Scarborough, one of Trump's most vocal gadflies, murdered his staffer despite being 1000 miles away in DC when she passed away after a cardiac episode.
     He ragged on Barack Obama again for playing golf at Andrews Air Force Base during an ebola outbreak that killed exactly two Americans.
     He whined that he wasn't getting enough credit for his nonexistent or delayed coronavirus response while saying at the same time time he was getting great ratings for it, as if a pandemic that's killed over 100,000 Americans is nothing more than a giant-sized reality TV show.
     The list is endless. His toxic rage and prolificity on Twitter set a new standard for him in between rounds on the links.
     Donald Trump is an object lesson on how far in life a man can get with just a brain stem, a pair of tiny thumbs and a Twitter account. And while it's a given that Trump's bloated following on that platform is at least 50-55% bots, tens of millions of "very fine people" legitimately follow him and get 100% of their news from his Twitter feed, which is sort of like living off the food in a vending machine or getting all your social and dating tips off men's room walls.
     And, as Amanda Marcotte pointed out today in Salon, it's being wildly applauded by those same "very fine people" because Trump is "owning the libs."
     It doesn't matter to them that among that 100,000 death count (which is likely higher, due to the lack of postmortem testing) are their fellow conservatives, which also includes at least 31 ministers who chose to ignore social-distancing guidelines and held services in violation of state law.
     Also on Twitter, Trump claimed he acted "very early" on his Chinese travel ban (March 12th), despite getting warnings from his own government as far back as January third that a pandemic originating from China could hit us. In that same tweet, he suggested we wouldn't surpass 100,000 and that that was the new benchmark for success,
     There's nothing in the numbers coming in from Johns Hopkins to even suggest the curve's been flattened, yet all 50 states are beginning to reopen.
     You can almost see the coronavirus licking its chops and rubbing its hands at the thought of all those beaches, restaurants and bars that have reopened, so round, firm and fully-packed with tens of millions of Trump's "very fine people."
     I used to think that Trump was obsessed about the economy because all he cares about is the nation making money again. But then today, I recalibrated my thinking and realized he doesn't give a shit about the economy, either, except in a secondary sense. Like a typical Republican, Trump knows or thinks his poll and approval numbers are going to be tied directly to those economic numbers.
     But the fact is, countless economists are warning us that we're already sliding into a Great Depression that could dwarf the original one of 1929. The official unemployment numbers state that 38.6 million Americans are out of work, which already puts the unemployment rate at a Depression-level 25%. And the BLS, again, only counts those people who have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance. Include those people and the unemployment rate could easily be 30% or higher.
     And many of those now out of work folks also lost their health insurance and were handed a bad joke known as COBRA because decades ago we decided a person's health coverage should be tied to their jobs.
     Oh, but Obama golfed in 2014! Look at that!
     And his brain-dead supporters are lapping it up because who needs good governance and guidance from the White House when we still have the black guy to kick around?
     It'd be tempting for me to just throw up my hands and welcome the deaths of these right wing lunatics (and I do sincerely, dearly want them all to die, posthaste) when they go to the beach or crowded bars and eateries, wave their 7.62 caliber prosthetic penises at state capitals and threatening the lives of their governors and assaulting people who insist on wearing masks.
     But they come into contact with those well-meaning people who are wearing masks, going out only when necessary and practicing social distancing guidelines. And I don't want to see good, socially-conscious people die because of some ignorant right winger who, whether they know it or like it or not, now belong to Trump's death cult.
     The same Tea Baggers who screamed about Obama's "death panels" when the ACA was being debated a decade ago and hoarsely bellowing (falsely) that abortion providers would get federal funding through the ACA now suddenly aren't so concerned about human life, not even their own, now that one of their own is supposedly in charge.
     And it's no accident that within weeks, sometimes days, of Trump saying or writing something colossally idiotic, we see or hear it repeated by one of his hillbilly followers whether it's an assault on Asian-Americans, flouting CDC guidelines or whatever diseased conspiracy theory or racism drops out of Captain COVID's brain pan and onto Twitter.
     This is the Washington Death Trip and we are all 19th century Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Two Sides of the Same Counterfeit Coin

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
These days, my mind keeps going back to that famous panel in Walt Kelly's Pogo in which the immortal punchline is, "Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us." 
   And those of us who railed against the Bush administration and jeered his supporters for employing intellectual gymnastics in excusing everything that wet-brained idiot said and did are guilty, egregiously guilty, of using the same exact dismissive head-shaking tactics. Indeed. We have met the enemy and it is us.
    So-called liberal voters have become the new right wing.
    It took the existential threat of Donald Trump to make a historically unelectable guy like Joe Biden that now we've decided (through the collusion, as usual, of Barack Obama, right wing donors, the establishment Democrat Party, the DNC and the corporate mainstream media) this finally is Joe's time... just as he's noticeably slipping into dementia.

     And the big "D" Velcroed at the end of his name should stand for that- Dementia, not Democrat, because there's nothing even remotely "Democratic" about a guy whose office proudly issued a press releaee in 1995 proclaiming he was the fifth most conservative "Democratic" senator. Now he's trying, not altogether successfully, especially among Bernie Bros, to rebrand himself as a progressive because that's the role expected of him.
     Not that it matters if he fits that role about well as a square peg in a round hold to those most vocally supporting him and his artificial impending nomination extruded through the electoral process like the sausage from Hell. Who cares that he's only now "winning" his first primaries in three presidential campaigns, that everything went to that much-visited Hell, for which we should get frequent sloucher miles, that the exit polls were wildly off in primaries that Biden "won", that Biden, like Trump, the GOP and the Republican-run state supreme court, exhorted voters to physically go to the polls in Wisconsin on April 7th to vote even in the middle of a pandemic (an unforgivable miscalculation that cost three Wisconsinites their lives)?
     Who cares that he, too, has a rape allegation hanging over his hair-plugged head ("Yes, I believed Blasie-Ford but Tara Reade is lying"), that he snarls at and threatens voters just as Trump does and that the Democrat Party's overarching strategy is to literally keep Joe in his basement in Wilmington until after Election Day as if preparing for the most horrifying Bait and Switch of all time?
     Biden, Biden, he's our man, if he can't do it, maybe... Klobuchar can. (Sweaty, uncomfortable fact- Klobuchar was such a weak, unappealing candidate in her own right she couldn't even win eight delegates.)
     Yes, I get it. Donald Trump is horrible. He's the real-life Buzz Windrip of Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, a real-life Charles Lindbergh in Phillip Roth's The Plot Against America, the brain-damaged second coming of Adolph Hitler. He's stupid, scientifically illiterate, unbearably immature, hideously vindictive and cares about no one but himself, his cronies and his spawn.
     And you would think the Democrat Party, even if it's unofficially run by Barack Obama, the most Republican Democratic president ever, would seek to nominate a candidate who's the most polar opposite of Donald Trump, somebody, like, say Bernie Sanders.
     Instead, they picked Joe Biden, a rickety right winger about a decade past his shelf life whose biggest selling points were that he was the Vice President to the aforementioned most Republican Democratic president ever and that his name isn't Donald Trump. And that's how low the bar has sunk, ladies and gentlemen, that we're propping up such a man in a process that looks more and more nauseatingly like a cross between Idiocracy and Weekend at Bernie's.

Know Your Biden
Last month, Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept wrote an enlightening article that questioned the "moral and strategic calculus" of voting for Joe Biden. I'd found little to nothing to disagree with my colleague's positions and conclusions except to point out that choosing Biden over Trump and especially over Bernie involves not a moral calculus but an amoral one.
    Trump and Biden are just opposite sides of the same counterfeit coin. And most Americans are simply too stupid and/or stubborn to acknowledge that. And it took an existential threat like Donald Trump these days to make people wave away Biden's virulent, right wing history when a mere charge of plagiarism 32 years ago was more than enough to derail his first run for the White House. 
    Now suddenly, it's more convenient to wave away charges of sexual assault simply because it would hurt your guy. Those who screamed about the war in Iraq are suddenly very comfortable with Biden's vote for it. And we've so completely forgotten what actual statesmanship looks like that Bernie Sanders looks more frightening than Ridley Scott's alien.
    The trouble is, there's so little daylight between Trump and Biden that one can hardly make a viable, and honest, comparison between the two. The sledgehammering of progressive policies for which FDR and JFK were justly renowned has been so complete that actual, nation-altering legislation such as the New Deal, the Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Acts and Medicare are looked at as mere necessary programs for our ancestors and nostalgically and passively viewed through a sepia-tinted lens.
     But Joe Biden had a hideous record on all those issues. Regarding Civil Rights, Biden sought the help of racist Mississippi Senator James Eastland to stop integrated busing. He also wrote the crime bill of which he still brags (and about which he still lies)  that put a half a million black men in prison for nonviolent offenses. And then there was his Hindenburg of an interview on the Breakfast Club in which he said those black voters who don't know whether to vote for him or Trump "ain't black."
    On the health care front, Biden, during a pandemic, still opposes Medicare for All, Bernie's signature proposal and one that still enjoys broad support with the vast majority of Americans, in favor of a more watered-down plan he can't be bothered to roll out and that in all likelihood doesn't exist.
     On the Social Security front, Biden bragged about trying four times over four decades to steal that from us despite the screamingly obvious fact it doesn't add a red cent to the debt or deficit. He was still bragging about working with Paul Ryan about proposed Social Security cuts as recently as 2018 at the Brookings Institute, in which he creepily whispered, "Social Security" into the microphone like the Grim Reaper he is.
     At the end of his disaster of an interview on Friday, Biden challenged, “Take a look at my record, man!"
     Yes, let's. Then let's be honest about what we see.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(Trumpish for, "very stable genius.")

     So, this is the guy whom you wanted to replace Joe Biden, huh?

     OK, I have to ask- Are you Democrat voters SURE Joe Biden is the hill you wanna die on?

    Poor guy. I think we're going to see an uptick in cases like this as the virus REALLY spreads. Sorry, with our shitty leadership, I don't see COVID going away anytime soon. Kudos to the NYPD for their fine work in this case.

     Portnoy's new complaint.

     Instead of just giving up on this whackjob and allocating resources elsewhere, the Oregon GOP is reluctantly supporting a QAnon conspiracy theorist because she's the nominee.

     Trump's already resuming his Marie Antoinette lifestyle, I see.

     "(T)he entire GOP= which just nominated a QAnon believer as its Senate candidate in Oregon- is becoming a modern-day Know Nothing Party, a cesspool of prejudice and irrationality. What was once the fringe has now moved into the mainstream- and will become even more prominent as a result of the coronavirus crisis." - Das Boot

    The Trump maladministration just allowed oil companies to set their own royalty rates for drilling on public land, meaning they'll wind up paying next to nothing. And all under the guise of pandemic relief they plainly don't need nearly as much as the labor force.

    In a crowning irony, Donald Trump is a mark and Brad Parscale is the con man who's scamming him. And the really ironic thing is that the squeezes of Trump's own sons, Lara and Kimberly, are making out like bandits through Parscale's largesse.

    Only Ivanka would take a grueling ordeal brought about by desperation and turn it into a PR opportunity for a cycling federation.

    “The COVID virus has been a gift from God,’ began Ken Eldred. ‘The kingdom of God advances through a series of glorious victories, cleverly disguised as disasters.’"
     Yeah, let's hear more conspiracy theories about Obama's death panels.

     When the going gets tough, the tough get going... back to their home states for a nice vacation.

     But, but... Uranium One! I'll bet you still haven't heard about the harpist at the Madison Dinner, have you? Yeah, we paid for that. Next, we'll be hearing about Pompous Maximus hosting orgies with hothouse grapes and gladiators.

   Today, the NY Times published just the names of 1000 people who've died from coronavirus... just one percent of all those who have died from it in the last couple of months.

     If Hitler lived in the digital age, this is exactly what he would've done.

     Another example of the anti Blue State bias by the fascist twat in the White House.

    This is a synecdoche that highlights a much more massive problem- When corporations are allowed to turn away state health officials and the officials are then mollified with emails claiming precautions are being taken. State and federal health officials are legally empowered to call law enforcement when prevented from conducting state and federal business. But this official in Tennessee chose not to "escalate" matters.

     Meme intermission.

     Boy, I'm sure glad Trump drained that swamp, aren't you?

     I believe this is what they call "karma." Sorry, I have zero sympathy for Allen fucking West.

     We're all angry, at least those of us who have the sense to be angry at the right people.

     "Human capital stock"?! WTF is the matter with these people?!

     When flab makes right. IDIOCRACY is now complete.

    "In a span of less than nine months, we have seen the president of the United States, apparently just spitballing, suggest detonating nuclear bombs inside hurricanes and injecting household disinfectants into human bodies. Lest we forget — and the human mind cannot encompass all the absurdities — Donald Trump also suggested buying Greenland from the Danish government, and that one wasn’t a freestyle brainstorm yanked directly from his capacious ass."

    “It happens but it’s very infrequent and it’s not something confined to Democrats. The most prominent case was a Republican doing it. So I think Republicans should not push back on this in the way that they are.”
      Look for Trump to try to pump federal funding for OANN's conspiracy theory channel.

    It's no coincidence that the most infected countries in the world are those led by oppressive dictatorships, especially right wing governments like England's, ours, Sweden's and Brazil's.

     And where were the police when they massed in front of the governor's house and hung him in effigy while sporting weapons? Oh, yeah Open Carry and WHITE.

      So, the clown that stole control of the coronavirus task force and fucked up the response, fucked up the Middle East peace plan and just about everything else he's put his grubby fingerprints on is now going to shrink the 56 page GOP platform "down to a single card that fits in people's pockets." This will include the complete eradication of the word "freedom" because it'll be off-putting to black voters who aren't going to vote Republican, anyway. Oh, this will be entertaining.

     I can't convey in words how ashamed I am of this country right now in light of the emerging stupidity, hatred, ignorance and racism that's encouraged by our "president."

      Church is essential but golf, obviously. is even more essential.

     I'm sorry but every time I hear the phrase "black Republican", I have to laugh at those Uncle Toms. And finally...

      Why can't Americans, albeit the stupidest carbon-based life forms on the planet, understand that both men are demented and manifestly unfit for the office of the presidency?

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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