Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thanks?

From an email I got on Thanksgiving Day...
"First, just by reading this, you are more fortunate than close to a billion people all over the world who cannot read at all, due to a lack of educational resources. Think you don’t make much money? If your family income is at least $10,000 a year, you are wealthier than 84% of the world. If it’s $47,500 or more you are in the top 1% of the world. If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, that’s more than 75% of the planet can say. Similarly, if you have access to health care, air conditioning, clean drinking water, and a flushing toilet, you can make a claim that most of the world cannot. In reality, in comparison to virtually the entirety of humanity, you are a King." 
Yes, I am grateful for what I have. And I try to remember, when I'm unsatisfied with certain circumstances in my life, that I still have it better than the majority of my fellow humans on the planet. But at some point, that gratitude turns to anger and sadness and I think, "Wait, not sleeping on the sidewalk, in a modern domicile, with basic comforts makes me a king? What kind of a fucking world do we live in?!"

Monday, November 19, 2018

Trump Isn't The Rotting of Conservative Values Just Its Most Potent Symbol

You would think Cadet Bone Spurs would have, at least, a smidgen of respect towards the people who, unlike himself, put their lives on the line and oftentimes made the ultimate sacrifice. But as we've seen, time and time again, this narcissist PoS will retaliate against any perceived slight, no matter how inappropriate it would be to do so, regardless of circumstance.

And if that wasn't bad enough, his sycophants will defend him no matter how despicable the remark and who it's intended for: war heroes, Gold Star families...you name it. The military are just props for these people. Nothing more.

If there's one thing we can all be grateful to Trump for is the unmasking of legions of conservative hypocrites in Washington and around the country. The fake military supporters who never call him out on these transgressions; the so-called Christians who make excuses for the Pussy Grabber-in-Chief; and those defenders of the Constitution only when it's convenient and lines up with their partisanship, are all part of the same ratty tapestry of duplicity and hypocrisy that is eating away at the fabric of conservatism in this country.

They can never be the family/moral values, patriotism people ever again. They've shone their true colors and they have faded like a 50¢ t-shirt.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Recipe for Graham Cracker Pie

In a recent WaPo OpEd piece, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin points out that Rep. Mark Sanford [R- SC], after mildly criticizing Chumpie, was primaried by a “cheerleader for President Trump” who was then in turn beaten soundly by Democrat Joe Cunningham in a county described by Sanford as the most “conservative district in the country to flip to the Democrats”.

So the local GOPers went for the Chumpbot but the overall populace went blue. Hmm. According to Sanford, one of the reasons for this is current, Trump-inspired, Republican incivility: “I heard it from young soccer moms and longtime Republican voters alike. They don’t want to condone behavior that is counter to what they’ve taught their children.

 Rubin suggests that by Sanford primarying the rat known as Sen. Lindsay Graham [R-SC], he “would do his party, state and country a service” and characterized Graham’s born again Trumpism as burning “with a fervor that stuns colleagues and friends of his former ally, the late senator John McCain (R-AZ)”, further bemoaning Graham’s vote in favor of “a budget-busting tax bill, but he’s also become an all-purpose apologist for Trump’s lawlessness (e.g., illegally putting an unfit acting attorney general in charge of the Russia probe, undermining the credibility of elections, smearing the FBI).” Rubin believes “Sanford has the unique ability to primary him from the right while bashing him for enabling Trump.”

The interesting thing is that those in the know not only agree with Rubin but have stated that Graham’s conversion to Chumpism stems from a fear of losing his seat, not to a Democrat but to a fellow Republican in the primaries. Sanford could be the one.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Line of Blood in the Sand

I recently saw Dave Chappelle being interviewed on CNN and the one thing that stuck with me from that exchange was his assertion that he still could not understand how families and friendships had been frayed due to politics. What I don’t understand is how Chappelle could not comprehend such a thing.

We’re not in the realm of arguing over tax cuts and funding for Sesame Street and the NEA anymore; those quaint days are behind us. What we have now is a significant portion of our citizenry supporting a PROVEN bigot, con man, misogynist, sexual predator and thief who cannot and will not acknowledge his role in fanning the flames of hatred and division in this country, not in the furtherance of an ideology or philosophy but simply to pamper his fragile ego. A man whose increasingly despicable actions and pronouncements are seen as daily reminders of past authoritarian regimes by those who have managed to survive them, including Holocaust survivors. And listen, I don’t know about you, but if someone who lived thru the horrors of Nazi Germany tells me to pay attention to what’s going down, I’m gonna pay attention.

Trump has drawn a line of blood in the sand, one that dares decent people to continue to follow him. And for many of us who see this waste of human life for what he truly is, being apologists for his followers is simply not possible. In the end, my question is not why Mr. Chappelle doesn't understand the reason behind these aggressively divided families and friends, but why would he expect anyone to look the other way at an allegiance to the monster that has created this divide?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Who You Gonna Call?

We can criticize this individual all day for anonymously going to the NYT and denouncing the terrifying disaster that is the Trump presidency(not that anyone paying attention has been surprised), but where else could s/he go? To the borderline treasonous Congress? To the Pentagon to ask they stage a coup?

Congress was designed for instances in which a dangerously inept con man in the White House needs to be taken down. But who's gonna lead the charge? Paul Ryan? Mitch McConnell? Devin PoS Nunes? The fiasco and travesty that is the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings is proof we cannot trust the Republicans to do the right thing.

So, again, where was this whistle blower supposed to go?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

With His Batman Now Gone, Sen. Graham's Robin Has Joined The Joker in the White House

WaPo:
"On Tuesday, [Sen. Lindsey] Graham took a seat on the couch of Fox & Friends, President Trump’s favorite show, and sealed his transition from apostate to Trump apparatchik...Having echoed Trump’s no-collusion line (as if that were the lone issue), Graham, a former military lawyer, picked up Trump’s attack on the justice system...From there, the South Carolina Republican echoed all of Trump’s attacks against the Russia investigation...Incredibly, Graham even joined the 'lock her up' movement...Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, could not have said it better." 

Watching the eulogies given by Meghan McCain and President Obama, I was wondering what the hell Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were doing at Sen. McCain's service. Later, I read Sen. Graham had asked Cindy McCain permission to invite them, who accepted his request.

First of all, it was terribly inappropriate for Graham to ask Mrs. McCain for such a thing and put her in such a painfully awkward and unnecessary predicament. To invite Trump family members who never uttered a peep of disapproval when that walking sewage drain in the Oval Office repeatedly demeaned John McCain's military service and attacked him personally, even as he fought a deadly disease, was naive and insulting, at best. But seeing it is part of his re-election process, in which he's obviously going all-in kneepads for Trump, is both incredibly craven and despicable.

Lindsey Graham, you are one toxic piece of shit, sir.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Nixon's Silent Minority

Lots of buzz over last night's gubernatorial debate between the incumbent, Andrew Cuomo and upstart Cynthia Nixon. And with this race, as well as many others, there's been a lot of talk about upsets and fresh blood within the Democratic party, all good stuff. But in this case, no dice.

Here's the cold hard truth: African-Americans and Hispanics make up more than 40% of the party in NY. And Nixon's numbers among that bunch, to put it mildly, pale in comparison to Cuomo who has something along the lines of 75% of that demo's support.

Basically, we can predict what happens to a statewide candidate in NY with negligible black and brown support, right?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Perfect Orange Shit Storm

Here's a crazy idea...

Could it be that Chump's harping on an on of late about Mueller's investigation, Sessions' recusal, etc. is his bid to distract us all from what he fears is the monumental shitstorm that will come from the fall of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, plus the cooperation with the Feds from David Pecker and the Trump Organization's CFO?

You know what they say: It never looks good for the boss when the accountant has the Feds' ear.

Oh, and just a friendly reminder: the POTUS can't pardon anyone for state and local crimes. This means you Jared, Ivanka, Uday and Qusay. Sorry.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Get Your Shit Together, Democrats

I was reading an online Op-Ed piece at CNN critical of what one could call the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, written by Froma Harrop, an author/writer who the conservative/libertarian think tank The Heartland Institute has called her its "favorite lefty”. Not good.

And it shows in the CNN piece. Harrop takes on what I would call a benign Fox News tone, respectfully criticizing but not pulling her punches, as she details the sins of the hard left and their effect on the party’s losses over the last two decades.

She does make some good points, though: It’s a fact plenty of folks irresponsibly and/or naively gave their vote to the Ralph Naders and the Jill Steins and then bemoaned getting Bush or Trump in that Faustian bargain. And yeah, the Ocasio-Cortez-type candidates are not going to appeal to the Dem base in every district. But the biggest takeaway for me was her allegation that the party’s hard left was more interested in dethroning establishment Democrats than winning the November midterms. And frankly, that doesn’t seem a far-fetched accusation when you factor in what went down in the 2016 Democratic primaries and campaign and what we’ve seen and heard since.

Listen, it’s time for Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the rest of their ilk to hit the road. But let’s keep the eye on the ball: the goal of the 2016 midterms is to gain majorities in Congress not settle internal scores or make dramatic, symbolic purges for the fuck of it. We need to win. Badly. I’d rather hold my nose a little bit and see a Democrat I don’t see completely see eye to eye with win the election, than have another Louie Gomer Pyle or Rapey Roy Moore-type go to Washington.

Democrats are routinely mocked for being more than able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We don’t have the luxury this time. Get on message and stay there, Democrats. We can deal with our dirty laundry after we’ve won back Congress. Don’t fuck this up.

[CNN: Democrats Pop The Movement’s Balloon]

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

GOP Rolls Over and Plays Dead With Anti-Lynching Legislation

Incredibly, the US Senate has not been able to pass anti-lynching legislation for over 100 years. Right now there is a bill in the Senate to make lynching a federal hate crime. It has 26 sponsors. 25 of them are Democrats. The lone Republican? Tim Scott of South Carolina, who happens to be African-American.

Scott, when asked about the absence of GOP sponsors to the bill, graciously defended his scumbag colleagues and called himself “the first” Republican to support the bill, not the only one and seemed quite hopeful in this regard.

You know, the allegations of black (and brown) folks that Democrats take them for granted have a certain validity, and Republicans have been known to piggyback on this narrative in a futile attempt to win over PoC. And I say futile ‘cause how the fuck do they intend to win over the African-American community when the GOP can’t even get behind an ANTI-LYNCHING BILL?!

Welcome to Trumpistan.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Grifters

How corrupt and sleazy are the Republicans in power? Every day we discover more and more evidence of their thieving ways. But here's a nice little nugget you may have missed regarding Trump's Robin-Hood-in-reverse tax scam, courtesy of Organizing for Action (emphasis theirs):
Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16) -- a member of the Ways and Means Committee that wrote the bill, and a Congressman personally worth an estimated $74 million -- bought a massive yacht for himself on the same day he voted for the bill. Just to be clear: Rep. Buchanan wrote and voted for a tax bill that put millions of dollars in his own pocket -- and cashed it in with a yacht the very same day.
Replenishing the swamp, I see...and yet Trump still has the gall to call HRC "crooked".

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Liberal Apologists for Chumpbots Are Ruining The Country, Too.

Didn't mean to do the pop culture crossover but this is an apt instance, politically and socially speaking.

Some rare exceptions aside I loathe reality shows. And the likes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette I find particularly revolting. So when I read this piece on how the most recent season of the latter show had the liberal girl choose a racist bro who thinks David Hogg of the Parkland, FL massacre is a “crisis actor”, I came very close to losing my dinner. And for multiple reasons.

Let’s not get so much into the incredibly disappointing choice she made by picking a troll over a dude who she connected with; whose politics align with hers; one who her family is said to have preferred; and who actually happens to be a survivor of a school shooting himself. Or how some dudes will take it as proof that women don’t want a good man. Who gives a fuck? It’s stupid show. Whatever.

But let’s look at the fact that she chose the Alex Jones-type dude because she allegedly wants a man to challenge her as the broader statement it makes in these times. And that is, that we should forgive the fucked up transgressions of asshole bigots who have not done the work to deserve it, just for the sake of  “coming together”, “healing the country” or whatever offensive, new age-y bullshit clueless, apologist liberals keep regurgitating.

Good motherfuckin’ grief!

[Esquire: The Bachelorette Finale Was a Choice Between a Parkland Conspiracy Theorist and a School Shooting Survivor]

Monday, August 6, 2018

Grand Old Putin

I firmly believe that if the vast majority of Trump supporters were to discover that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Putin tilted the 2016 election towards Trump, they would be grateful to the Russian thug. I've said this often. And now we have proof.


The t-shirt acknowledges two things:

- Gratitude to Putin for delivering the Last Great White Hope.
- The implication that Russia as a staggeringly white country, is preferable to them than the melting pot that is the Democratic Party.

Treasonous pieces of shit.

But "They're hurting." Fuck off with that bullshit.

Hey, liberal apologists (looking at you Van Jones, Jon Stewart, et al) do you need any more proof that these are evil motherfuckers?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Dumb Question of the Day

So, the Republicans and their Chump-supporting satellites are campaigning hard on the fear that Democrats will impeach the Orange Turd if they regain control of House, whipping the Chumpbots into a tizzy.

Now, I know Cult 45 don’t respond to reason but shouldn’t they ask themselves this:

How/why could an innocent man—as they believe he is—be impeached?

Yeah, I know—Deep State, Hillary, Soros, etc. But I think these people actually know their Mango Mussolini has cut corners and fucked up somewhere and the thought of losing their Last Great White Hope, brought down by, again, the Deep State, Hillary, Soros, etc. is too much to bear.

“We’ll see”, said the blind man.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Build The Wall (between us)

I will readily accept that my political musings can lead to folks seeing me as an über partisan. I get that. And, truth be told, at this point, I don't really care.

You see, I firmly believe that we are divided beyond hope in this country; the point of no return long behind us. It's not just that we have differences of opinion on the major subjects of everyday life, but that we have become, more than ever, an extremely polarized populace, distrustful of the other side and often seeing each other as enemies to their respective ways of life.

And sure, Trump's hatemongering is to blame, but he just stirred up a shitstorm that was already brewing, which gained speed and strength when the ones HRC later called deplorables lost their minds over the election of a black POTUS.

The best we can aspire to, frankly, is benign indifference/social segregation. Right now our living situation is akin to being roommates with an even worse version of Puck from MTV's The Real World (showing my age here, I know) without the option of taking over the lease and kicking him out.

Now, this realization is not new being that every single day there is some development or incident that confirms this perspective of mine. But to witness such absurdity as that depicted in the above painting, the impetus behind it and knowing that a substantial portion of the populace agrees with the sentiment it portrays, is further confirmation that we are living the tail end of the great American experiment.

So, yeah, build the wall. But between these two deeply entrenched and rapidly dissimilar folks. I, for one, want nothing to do with those people. Ever.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

GOP Congressman: Welfare Recipients are Parasites

CNN unearthed audio from 2012 in which Rep. Jason Lewis [R-MN] called people on welfare "parasites" and "scoundrels".

But it's liberals who are the elitists, right?

Racist scumbag.

[CNN: GOP Rep. Jason Lewis Called People on Government Assistance "Parasites,' Said Blacks on Welfare "Plantation"]

Steve Schmidt Calls Out Trump's Foreign Policy

Watch and listen to the former GOP strategist talk about Trump’s “reality show diplomacy”, how “the country is more endangered because we had an unprepared, ignorant president” who prepares “with the same level of rigor that he would plan an Apprentice episode with Meatloaf and Lil John” and calls him "an agent de-facto of Russia's foreign policy."

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

I’m OK. You?

My father was of the firm belief that good is much more prevalent than evil in the world. And the proof, as he saw it, was that we would not be able to live in a world where evil overpowered good. Such a thing would be unfathomable, he believed. And that it only seemed that there was more evil than good in the world because terrible things were always more noticeable and more life altering than positive ones. Along those lines, his favorite analogy when broaching the subject, was to imagine a car in almost perfect condition with the exception of one engine part that rendered the vehicle immobile. Chassis, transmission, steering, tires…all in perfect condition but that flawed engine part that kept it off the road.

It never occurred to him that his analogy actually disproved his theory. Yes, 99% of the car was in excellent condition but the lone imperfection disrupted the whole purpose of the car’s existence, which was to be driven and transport its passengers. So, in the end, the bad outweighed the good even if it was just a solitary actor’s handiwork.

I thought about this recently as I was mulling over what it means to be a good person.

Watching the trailer for the upcoming film Operation Finale, about the capture in Argentina and trial in Israel of the Nazi’s infamous Final Solution architect Adolf Eichmann, I was thinking about philosopher Hannah Arendt’s controversial “banality of evil” which she coined in describing her impression of Eichmann as a detached follower and servant who saw his monstrous crimes as simply the job he was entrusted with carrying out. And, more importantly, an explanation as to how the average person can commit the most heinous atrocities with little acknowledgement of the inherent evil involved.

My intention is not disprove or support Arendt’s analysis per se but to recognize how it made me arrive at certain conclusions in so far as how we characterize ourselves regarding good and evil.

Too often we consider good people—including ourselves—those who simply do no harm to others, as if being a passive bystander is an immediate virtue. I have come to understand that being a good person requires an active effort in that regard and that residing on the sidelines is no real path to honor or nobility, let alone merit.

It has been my lifelong intention to avoid causing deliberate harm and for the most part I have succeeded. But that’s about it. Now, if I were alleviating some kind of suffering, helping with the wellbeing—physical or spiritual—of others, making a tangible positive difference in others’ lives, well, then I would be the first to describe myself as a good person. But merely abstaining from evil is not enough. Sadly, I’m far from alone in this category.

My younger brother, on the other hand, has put his life on hold to care for our elderly and memory-challenged mother. He’s been doing this for a few years now, with loving care and devotion, even at times when she can be incredibly but involuntarily difficult because of her deteriorating condition. And yes, one can point readily to her devotion to him when in his ‘tween/early teen years he was the one who needed constant care and attention after a bad car accident, as the catalyst or motivation for his fidelity to our mother in this trying situation. But as a close friend pointed out, other children with a similar history and predicament have chosen to absolve themselves partially or completely from all responsibility when it comes to the care of their parents or other loved ones, but my brother has faced this challenge with patience, grace and love. He, is a good person; I’m just OK.

Those of you actually doing good out there, thank you. We OK people need to catch up to you. It’s the very least we can do if we want to be even remotely considered decent people. OK, then.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Keep Your Eyes on the Ball, Folks

In one of his typical attempts at misdirection Chump is lashing out on Twitter and even threatening to shut down the government. Fuck that. Let’s concentrate on how his failed tariff war has led to bribe his supporters in the farming industry with a $12B bail out to ensure their vote and how the non-Chumpbots in Flint, whose water was poisoned by the, um, mismanagement of a Republican governor, don’t get jackshit in comparison.

Like Katrina and Maria also taught us, you can fuck with the health and safety of American PoC and get away with it, but if white people have their profit margins affected we must IMMEDIATELY come to their rescue.

We have looong memories, assholes. Remember that.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Federal Judge Allows Emoluments Case Against Trump to Proceed

WaPo:
The ruling, from U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in Greenbelt, Md., will allow the plaintiffs — the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia — to proceed with their case, which says Trump has violated little-used anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution known as emoluments clauses. This ruling appeared to mark the first time a federal judge had interpreted those constitutional provisions and applied their restrictions to a sitting president. If the ruling stands, it could bring unprecedented scrutiny to Trump’s businesses — which have sought to keep their transactions with foreign states private, even as their owner sits in the Oval Office.

It's not about convincing his followers or shaming the GOP to do the right thing but to go after him for the illegal bullshit he's knowingly and blatantly perpetrated. Godspeed, folks.

Monday, July 23, 2018

It's A Black Thing, You Wouldn't Understand

One of the more telling aspects of the 2016 Democratic primary was not that Hillary Clinton had a strong following among the African-American community—before Obama became POTUS black people used to jokingly, albeit with affection, call Bill Clinton the first black president—but that many of Bernie Sanders’ followers had no idea of this long-standing relationship. (I knew this would not bode well for the Sanders camp and the frustration it engendered manifested itself in instances of racism I did not expect from fellow liberals. It was both disgusting and heartbreaking, although, admittedly, I felt more of the former than the latter.)

This is particularly important at this juncture in Democratic politics, when there is talk of pushing aside the establishment Democrats in favor of new progressive blood, as we saw with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent upset and the rise of Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial candidacy. But here’s the rub: like Sanders before them, guess what sector both of these candidates are lacking support from.

Yup.

So, one has to wonder whether Ocasio-Cortez is or not an outlier and if Nixon can win without the most loyal demo in the Democratic party. And there is already some unrest: despite her impressive and historic victory, some have taken to derisively calling Ocasio-Cortez, “the gentrification candidate” due to the widespread, game-changing support she got from neighborhoods whose demographics have been rapidly changing. (To a brown native NYer like her you know that’s gotta hurt.) And while Nixon has amassed an impressive tally of Hollywood backers and endorsers, she’s not garnering much steam with black folks: she’s at 17% with them, while Gov. Cuomo has a 74% approval rate among African Americans.

As always, “We’ll see”, said the blind man.

[CNN: Cynthia Nixon, Like Bernie Sanders Before Her, Has A Problem With Black Democrats]

Fake Haiku of the Day

90% of Republicans support Trump
40% of Americans are Republican
Do the math and vote

Sunday, July 22, 2018

With Venezuelan Oil Industry on Verge of Collapse Are The Chavistas Dancing In The Streets Yet?

The Independent:
Despite having the greatest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela’s government is being forced to spend millions of dollars a day importing crude to prop up its ailing industry. Petrol remains the only cheap commodity left in Venezuela amid the collapse of most of its economy, but the oil industry is now also struggling to meet basic domestic demands. Experts say the industry is operating below 40 per cent of its potential output. Last month, the International Energy Agency reported that Venezuela is and will probably remain “the biggest risk factor” in a global supply crisis that may soon tip the market into deficit.
Fucking criminals every last one.

By the way, I blame Rafael Caldera for the monumental disaster that now grips a once proud country in a death-like vise. Despite his noteworthy achievements in his two stints as Venezuelan president, his pardon of those involved in the failed 1992 coup d'etat, including its leader Hugo Chavezwho, as a treasonous colonel, had an assured date with the firing squadwas an infamous decision that eventually led to the fall of Venezuela.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Get In The Ring, Democrats (part 2)

After reading a piece in Esquire that called for former President Obama to call out Trump and his numerous transgressions against our country by name—which Obama has refused, seemingly adhering to past protocols of not publicly chastising one’s successor; as if Trump will ever do the same once we remove him from office he steps down—it occurred to me that the Democrats should name an official pit bull.

And by that I mean, ideally, an Alan Grayson-type to be in charge of attacking this administration and its preposterous policies on a daily basis. Sort of like the lawmaker who offers the opposing side’s take on the State of the Union. But with teeth. This individual must not be someone who is in or seeking office but a consummate Democrat with the balls (or ovaries) to say what needs to be said, conclusively, effectively and without filter. Like a message czar or something.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that party chairman Tom Perez’s job?” Should be. Somebody should wake him up and let him know.

Get In The Ring, Democrats

For as long as I have blogged, discussed and debated American politics I have continually made it a point to decry the across-the-board milquetoast attitude of Democrats in how they've made policy, defended their gains and sold their message over the last couple of decades. In other words, I have bemoaned their lack of a killer instinct—the absence of a penchant for being aggressive and yes, playing dirty, when need be. Well, on this front, it seems that I’m not as alone as I have believed.

Citing political scientist David Faris’ new book, It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, Rob Goodman's recent Politico piece is from a man after my own heart.
Grant statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico, and break California in seven, with the goal of adding 16 new Democrats to the Senate. Expand the Supreme Court and the federal courts, packing them with liberal judges. Move to multi-member House districts to roll back the effects of partisan gerrymandering. Pass a new Voting Rights Act, including nationwide automatic voter registration, felon enfranchisement and an end to voter ID laws. Grant citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants, creating a host of new Democratic-leaning voters: “Republicans have always feared that immigration would change the character of American society. Democrats should reward them with their very worst nightmare.” 
Amen.
Granted, there’s at least a plausible case to be made that a “spiral of conflict” is a bad model to describe the state we’re in, because Republicans do not look to Democrats for permission or precedent before breaking norms. There was no precedent for the theft of the Supreme Court seat now occupied by Gorsuch; there was no provocation for purging voter rolls or suppressing turnout. Given this asymmetry, isn’t the idea that Democrats are responsible for stopping an escalating spiral the worst kind of both-sides-ism? I don’t think so. If the Normal Is Over caucus can imagine a unified, genuinely radical Democratic government in the next four or eight years, they’re also responsible for imagining an enraged opposition, strong in the conviction that the Democratic government is illegitimate. We saw exactly that the last time there was a Democratic government. And we can fully expect next time to be worse, because the culture of self-restraint is weakened with each iteration of the cycle. 
If only the Dems weren’t so chickenshit and had the balls and ovaries to see this thru…

[Politico: Hey Democrats, Fighting Fair For Is For Suckers]

Friday, July 20, 2018

"Exactly who are these people, and what have they done with my party?"

Former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough questions the identity of the current GOP in a WaPo OpEd piece.

Quote of the Day

"The rest of us have to come to grips with the fact that there is no real mystery any more. The president* of the United States is a reckless vandal who is in thrall to a man whose only real goal in life is to loot his own failing country and hobble this one. Putin is a brutal con-man who has found a transparently bad one that he can play like a cheap violin. How the president* got into this situation almost seems irrelevant at this point; there well may be a video of some icky water-sports in a Moscow hotel, but I still think it’s all about money that Russians needed to clean, and that the president* needed to keep his Potemkin empire afloat. In that context, this latest, scarcely believable plot twist has a certain mad logic to it. In for a dime, in for a ruble." 

 - Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire magazine.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Overwhelming Majority of GOPers Approve of Trump's Helsinki Debacle

A recent poll found that 79% of Republicans approve of the president’s handling of the Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin. And 85% of them believe probing into Russia’s meddling in our elections is a distraction.

Anyone surprised? Anyone still think these are people who can be reasoned with and not sycophantic worshippers at the feet of their orange-hued Last Great White Hope? Wake the fuck up! Democrats have to get out the vote and bring along as many as Independents as possible. Period.

The poll found disapproval among Democrats at 91% and Independents at 62%. The overall tally was 58% disapproval and 40% approval.

Republicans Block Subpoena for Helsinki Summit Translator

If anyone needed further proof that talk is cheap, they can refer to the condemnation and outrage by certain GOP lawmakers in the wake of Trump's treasonous performance in Helsinki, which they backed by blocking a move to subpoena the translator in the room during the recent private meeting between Trump and Putin. Democrats sought to lean what was discussed in the private meeting, in light of Trump's betraying and dangerous sycophantic defense of Putin afterwards, fearing Trump may have gravely compromised national security in the process.

So much for patriotism over politics, eh, Republicans?

[NYT: Republicans Block Subpoena for Helsinki Summit Translator]

Make America Hungry Again

Under the bullshit argument that the economy is thriving and therefore government assistance should be reduced, Republicans want to cut food stamps (aka the SNAP program). I agree.

The vast majority of the folks enrolled in SNAP are Trump supporting red staters, so let them eat their MAGA hats.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst

In the aftermath of President Trump’s disgraceful and treasonous display of fealty to Vladimir Putin, there has been much bipartisan backlash, even from staunch defenders like the folks over at Fox News. And while many see this as a turning point, the crossing of a line that could not be crossed, I’m not so sure. First of all, verbal condemnation is not tangible censure and even the Republican lawmakers and party elders who disagree with Trump are too afraid of a party base that is wrapped in a vicious cult of personality to do anything conclusive and/or decisive. That leaves the Democrats.

OK, what other options are there?

Seriously, tho, Chumpbots are not going to flinch in their support of this POTUS, even if he is indeed proven guilty of treason. You see, if Putin and his minions in fact pushed the election towards Trump, they have the Russian thug to thank for the man who they see as their Great White Hope against the tide of diversity, equality and tolerance. In other words, if Putin made Trump’s presidency a reality, then in the eyes of these people Putin can do no wrong. So, appealing to their sense of patriotism vis-à-vis Trump’s acceptance—or abetting—of Russian electoral meddling is a non-starter.

As I have stated before, I see only two options at this point.

First is keeping Trump off the ballot in as many states as possible, until he produces his tax returns (which he won’t), and limiting his chances of winning or even running in 2020.

If this isn’t legal or feasible for whatever reason, then one word: Alabama. And by that I mean mounting a nationwide effort to replicate the groundswell of support that made Doug Jones senator over the despicable Roy Moore in that incredibly red state. How? By getting as many Democratic voters to the polls, both now and in 2020, and by any means possible. Of course, the catch is once again—you guessed it—Russia.

“We’ll see”, said the blind man.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump Surprised By Averse Reaction to Putin Meeting

Stable genius? More like clueless idiot.

CNN:
Immediately after his news conference, Trump's mood was buoyant, people familiar with the matter said. He walked off stage in Helsinki with little inkling his remarks would cause the firestorm they did, and was instead enthusiastic about what he felt was a successful summit. By the time he'd returned to the White House just before 10 p.m. ET on Monday, however, his mood had soured. Predictably, the President was upset when he saw negative coverage of the summit airing on television aboard Air Force One. It was clear he was getting little support, even from the usual places.
Good fucking grief.

NY Daily News Calls Out 'Benedict Donald'







When it comes to bashing the Pussy Grabber in Chief, my hometown paper (and Trump's) does not disappoint. Read the editorial, too.



Monday, July 16, 2018

Trump Genuflection Before Putin Calls For Drastic Measures

I don't know if it's legally possible, but after another one of Trump's "both sides" bullshit pronouncements, this time as an excuse for previously icy Russian-American relations, states must go forward with their threat to exclude Trump from election ballots until he produces his tax returns. (And make this a permanent thing going forward.) Because at this point, no sane person, whether they admit to it or not, is under the impression that Putin doesn't have dirt on Trump. And those tax returns are the skeleton key to unraveling the nefarious nature of Trump's otherwise unexplainable fealty to Putin.

Now, please.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Rosenstein Weighs In On Indictment of Russian Dirty Dozen

During his press conference this past Friday, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein said the following regarding Bob Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents involved in meddling with the 2016 presidential election:
“When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it is important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans. Our response must not depend on which side was victimized.”
That last sentence is key.

Rosenstein is clearly avoiding stating the fact that the side which was obviously victimized is not the one in power, thus tiptoeing around the legitimacy of the current administration, much to the displeasure of Democrats everywhere. But he's also sending a message to Trump acolytes that his presidency might be built on quicksand and to prepare accordingly.

"We'll see", said the blind man.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

What's Fake Is Your Presidency, Chump

If there's one thing that Robert Mueller's recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents makes perfectly clear is that Putin's Puppet was aided and abetted by members of his campaign and Russian agents in order to rig the 2016 election. 17 US intelligence agencies had already come to that conclusion but this indictment has laid it bare in stunning detail.

Donald Trump's ascension to the presidency was rigged. And, as such, illegitimate. No amount of spin can claim otherwise. As Lucian K. Truscott IV states in Salon:
Anybody who gets elected to office in this country with the help of the intelligence agents of a foreign power has been elected illegitimately. It’s not a tough call. Donald Trump is president because Vladimir Putin wanted him to be. He acts like he owes Putin every single day. Twelve agents of the Russian intelligence service the GRU didn’t do all that spearphishing and email disseminating all by themselves. They did it on orders from Putin. That’s why Trump owes Putin. Read it for yourself. It’s right there in the indictment.
One can only imagine what else Mueller has in store. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Today's GOP: Make America Racist Again (and again and again and again and...)

To get a feel for his would-be colleagues, Grossman should hang out with his fellow congressional aspirants. Oh, wait, that's right: they're anti-Semites. My bad.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Strzok Ain't Gonna Roll Over For You, Gowdy Doody

South Carolina congressman, Curt “Benghazi!” Gowdy, who happens to be the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is a two-bit hustler with a law degree, who believes his former professional life as a prosecutor gives him carte blanche to bully and railroad those who by virtue of doing their jobs become obstacles in his efforts to politicize and dismantle our country and institutions in the name of partisanship. It didn’t work with HRC and it really didn’t pan out with FBI agent and go-to villain of the tin-foil hat wearing Chump apologist lot Peter Strzok, who appeared before the committee while ably and stridently defending himself from the chicanery and hackery that is Gowdy’s stock in trade.

Yeah, people are just not gonna take your shit, Gowdy Doody.

 

Patriotic Correctness Will Doom Us All

GQ:
It’s actually quite shrewd to troop-ify every other armed public servant, as far as Trump’s feeble, damp brain is concerned. He’s hardly the first politician to play up the bravery of men in uniform and then use them as a kind of human shield (his boy Rudy Giuliani has been a walking 9/11 billboard for 17 years now), and he won’t be the last. When people like Trump want to deflect criticism of the missions tasked to our armed forces and law-enforcement agencies, they go ahead and remind people that the officers involved are in harm’s way (never mind the potential harm they may cause others) and that you, the civilian, are a wuss who has sacrificed nothing and has no right to criticize someone willing to serve their country. That latter sentiment is effective because, of course, there’s truth in it. I have not served in the military, and I have the standard male guilt complex about not having fought in a war when my forebears did. Trump, with his five deferments, apparently suffers from no such guilt... 
Keep in mind that the Trump administration is actively trying to privatize the VA and fuck over veterans while this is all happening. You can apparently support the troops now without actually supporting them, and doing so makes you more infallible than the troops themselves... 
And with Trump spreading hate every fucking day on TV, it’s not gonna get any better. Because when you create a culture where the troops—and other agencies that are unofficially deputized as such—can essentially do no wrong, you’re giving them carte blanche to do as they please, even when a majority of the public is vehemently against it... 
Wait till Trump’s power is legitimately threatened and he steers this metaphorical battleship into anyone else who dares challenge his authority. That’s going to happen, because we have glorified the troops and ordained them as holy defenders against every last kind of international bogeyman, and it’s going to cost us everything. You are being constantly disgraced and ripped off by this administration, but who’s gonna defend you from it now? John Kelly? The police? ICE? ICE is supposedly serving this country right now by tearing families apart at the behest of the corrupt, and leaving scores of women and children broken, helpless, and alone. That deserves no support. That deserves no salute. In fact, there’s a word for the kind of people who would voluntarily cause such misery: animals.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday News Wrap

Donald Trump’s collusion with Russia might be deeper and greater than imagined. [New York]

Despite claims by Trump and his administration that ICE is putting away the bad guys, the agency has been following a pattern of indiscriminate arrests including DUI, traffic tickets and other minor offenses. [HuffPo]

Two members of Theresa May’s cabinet resign over Brexit delivering a tough blow to the British PM. [Reuters]

Ivanka Trump’s Chinese-made products are spared from Daddy’s tariff war with China. [Daily Dot] Meanwhile, Morning Joe pointedly counters Rudy Giuliani’s assertions of the Mueller probe being corrupt by enumerating Trump’s numerous corrupt practices over the last year and a half. [YouTube]

Congressional watchdogs are calling for the Office of Congressional Ethics to conduct an inquiry into whether Rep. Jim Jordan [R-OH] ignored complaints of sexual harassment from members Ohio State’s wrestling team. [Dayton Daily News]

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Jim Jordan, Do You Need A Calculator For Your Story?

This doesn't add up.

So, as has been reported everywhere, numerous members of the Ohio State University wrestling team were the victims of rape and sexual assault during a 20 year span from 1978-1998, primarily at the hands of Richard Strauss, the university’s former athletic doctor, who committed suicide in 2005. Congressman Jim Jordan [R-OH], who was the team's assistant coach from 1986 to 1994, a timeline that coincides with much of the abuse reported against Strauss, claims he knew nothing about the alleged abuse and vehemently denies that any of the victims came to him with their accusations.

But as Politico reports...
The situation was so egregious that former wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson would at times have to physically drag the gawkers out of the building, several sources familiar with his actions at the time said. Hellickson also pleaded with the university multiple times to move their athletes to a private facility, the sources said. Jordan served as Hellickson’s No. 2, and the coach has been described as Jordan’s mentor. 
“I never knew about any type of abuse,” Jordan said in an interview this week. “If I did, I would have done something about it.” 
Jordan's boss and mentor was actively trying to protect their guys from sexual predators but Jordan was in the dark about the whole thing. And no one complained to him about it. Yeah, OK.

Except...
Multiple former wrestlers have accused Jordan, a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, of being among the faculty members who turned a blind eye to inappropriate behavior by the late Richard Strauss, the university’s former athletic doctor. Strauss allegedly preyed on male students during physicals, groping them to the point of making them ejaculate, according to one nurse who witnessed it and recounted the story in a video produced by alleged victims and obtained by POLITICO...Dunyasha Yetts, a former champion wrestler at the university...said he was easily the most vocal person on the team to complain about Strauss...Yetts claimed he not only told Jordan about Strauss’ behavior, but asked Jordan and Hellickson to confront the doctor with him.
As an assistant coach he let a pervert roam free and now, in his powerful position as leader of the Congressional Freedom Caucus, he's helping a traitor get off scot-free. Jordan is an example of what the corrupt, immoral GOP considers family values and patriotism. To call them disgusting is to celebrate them.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Year of The Woman: MJ Hegar

The former combat veteran, running as a Democrat against a Republican incumbent congressman in a deep red Texas district, distills her life story in a stunning campaign ad.

 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Next SCOTUS: Not Just Roe v Wade but Trump vs USA, Too

Yertle the Turtle rolled over Obama on the Merrick Garland nomination to the SCOTUS ostensibly because it was an election year. Well, guess what? This is an election year, Democrats. (In case you may have forgotten.) But aside from the long-term implications of a conservative leaning court, which is already bad enough, there's the slight matter of a president who is under investigation picking a Supreme Court justice who might very well weigh in on said president's case. In other words, Trump is going to pick someone who might side with him if it gets dicey vis-a-vis the Mueller investigation.

The GOP fears a Democratic landslide victory or at least losing their majority in Congress in the midterms and the very real possibility that the SCOTUS might have to, in some capacity, step into the Mueller investigation. This is why they are accelerating the process. So, if the Dems have any semblance of a spine left, derailing this trainwreck at any cost is the only proper course of action.

"We'll see", said the blind man.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Barack Obama's Dilemma

I could never really reconcile Barack Obama's belief that we were, as a country, good people with some notable exceptions, with my understanding that the evil, resentful folks were quite numerous, not a fraction; that they were legion and quite simply, just not in the spotlight, but lurking in the shadows and waiting to pounce. The election of a black president took care of that. That they supported and continue to rally behind a man who inflames the politics of division and fear and whose slogan is a thinly-veiled call for a return to an era when only the straight, Christian, white man had any voice or power, and who kicked off his political career by questioning the citizenship of the first black POTUS, well, that is not a coincidence by any stretch of the imagination.

But, at the time, I thought, "If this, in my opinion, misguided concept of the United States of America is what inspires Obama to keep pushing on, more power to him."

Sadly, this ugly side of the US, thriving with every passing day it seems, is confirmation to our international detractors that we are the greedy, ignorant, pompous, racist hypocrites they've always seen us as. Trump is undoubtedly the Ugly American stereotype come to life to grab the White House, but his millions of followers underline the fact he's not alone and has tapped deeply into the vast sea of deplorables.

I was reminded of all this as I read the esteemed Charles P. Pierce today.
Obama never really understood the American people the way they are. He understood them the way he wanted them to be. The constant appeals to the country’s better angels rang hollow through history; even Lincoln couldn’t really summon them, because he got shot in the head, and then Andrew Johnson found political advantage in stirring up the race hatred that still burned throughout the country. The Cynic still believes, as he wrote the first time that he considered the phenomenon of Barack Obama:  
"Why would anyone have faith in America, which is not tough but fearful, not smart but stupid, and not shrewd but willing to fall for almost anything as long it comes wrapped in a flag? Why would anyone have faith in Americans? Barack Obama says that he has that faith because of his own life, because he was able to rise to the point where he can be thought of as president of the United States. He is the country's walking absolution. That's his reason, the cynic thinks, but it's not mine. There has to be confession. There has to be penance. Being Barack Obama is not enough. Not damn close to enough. And it wasn’t. Virulent racism and crazy conspiracy theories attended his every move for eight years. One of the craziest was pushed by the guy who became his successor. This was not an accident."
All of the forces that produced the current president* were on vivid display during Obama’s eight years in office—the racism, the xenophobia, the lust for “taking our country back.” Guys with guns used to stalk the parking lots of arenas in which Obama was speaking. For eight years, Obama was presented with prima facie evidence that everything he said in that famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention was sadly wrong, that his optimism was misplaced, and that the better angels of our nature were, as they are from time to time, off-duty or rolling sevens in Vegas.
The 44th POTUS is out making speeches, emailing Democratic constituencies and exhorting us all to put up a fight in light of the further destruction of our beloved country by the toxic orange cloud and its henchmen. But I've got to wonder, is Obama's recent presence on the national stage, part of his trying to still convince us of his view of a united state of America that, frankly, never existed? Is he attempting to make amends for not fighting enough and by virtue of inertia being somewhat complicit in this disaster? Is he embarrassed he got played by the GOP on the ACA? Is he regretting not standing defiantly behind Merrick Garland's nomination? Is he ashamed he let Mitch McConnell con him into not alerting the American public of the Russian election meddling? I hope so.

Yes, he was and is a good man. I, for the most part, continue to be proud of the job he did as my president. And the disrespect he was subjected to, essentially for being a man of color who dared to become POTUS, I will NEVER forget and will NEVER forgive the perpetrators of such assaults on his character and his family. But the dude fucked up some major shit by not being the stereotypical Angry Negro his foes, admittedly, were salivating to peg him as. But sometimes you just gotta say fuck it. And now, it's too late.

[Esquire: Barack Obama Needs To Get His Hands Dirty]

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

...And Then They Came For the Americans

A few months ago I mentioned that green card holders aka legal resident aliens, have been actively applying for US citizenship, fearing even the mildest infraction could be grounds for revoking their permanent resident status and even deportation. And it's been happening so the fears are not unfounded. So, I asked myself, 'How long before they revoke the citizenship of naturalized immigrants (foreign born US citizens) or US-born, first generation citizens like myself?' 'That wouldn't happen', you say? Sure you wanna bet on that, with these sewer dwellers in charge? Especially, if the Orange Turd is re-elected and has 4 more years to finish destroying this country? Well, I guess we now have an answer.

The conceit of naturalization is that it makes an immigrant not only equal to natural-born citizens but indistinguishable from them. 
[In early June], it emerged that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (U.S.C.I.S.) had formed a task force in order to identify people who lied on their citizenship applications and to denaturalize them. Amid the overwhelming flow of reports of families being separated at the border and children being warehoused, this bit of bureaucratic news went largely unnoticed. But it adds an important piece to our understanding of how American politics and culture are changing. 
L. Francis Cissna, the director of U.S.C.I.S., told the Associated Press that his agency is looking for people who “should not have been naturalized in the first place”—for example, those who had been ordered to be deported earlier and obtained citizenship under a different name—and this sounds reasonable enough. It’s the apparent underlying premise that makes this new effort so troublesome: the idea that America is under attack by malevolent immigrants who cause dangerous harm by finding ways to live here. 
Historically, denaturalization has been an exceedingly rare occurrence, for good reason: by the time a person is naturalized, she has lived in this country for a number of years and has passed the hurdles of obtaining entry, legal permanent residency, and, finally, citizenship. The conceit of naturalization is that it makes an immigrant not only equal to natural-born citizens but indistinguishable from them. So denaturalization, much like the process of stripping a natural-born American of citizenship, has been an extraordinary procedure reserved for very serious cases, mostly those of war criminals. 

This was intended to weed out those who may have fraudulently made a case for US citizenship, which is fair. But would you honestly entrust someone's eligibility to remain here on the hope of this administration's Grifter-in-Chief and his henchmen doing the right thing, let alone granting due process?

[New Yorker: In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence]

This One’s on Obama

Not only did the SCOTUS deliver a decisive blow to pro-choice advocates and uphold this POTUS’ odious Muslim travel ban but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the opportunity to gloat over obstructing Merrick Garland’s nomination to the court. So, let me ask the Clinton haters a question: Do ya think Slick Willie would’ve rolled over and played dead, like Obama did, and let Yertle the Turtle best him over a Supreme Court justice nominee of his choosing?

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Meanwhile, as the scumbag at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave holds rallies where he keeps insulting those who question and/or displease him and lies about everything else, Democrats like Congresswoman Maxine Waters are are being chastised for being uncivil.

Good grief!

This is politics, not charm school. Politics is supposed to be a bloodsport; in your face, take no prisoners; 2x4 'em into submission. I want to see more fire-breathing Democrats like the aforementioned Waters and Alan Grayson not milquetoasts like DNC chairman Tom Perez (Dude, where the fuck are you?!) or appeasers/apologists like Nancy Pelosi.

Democrats, you are a disgrace. And so is any liberal/progressive clamoring for civility in the face of hostility. So keep debating etiquette while the Orange Turd burns the place down. Grow the fuck up, all of you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Snooze Button Will Kill You

Enough already.

The ‘they go low, we go high’ approach has done enough damage. Bringing flowers to a gun fight is absurd, ridiculous and ultimately dangerous, if not life-threatening.

Pay attention to Rin Chupeco. Every liberal who is an apologist/appeaser of Chumpbots and other sycophants needs to read every word of the Filipino author's tweets.
"Speaking as someone born in the last years of a dictatorship, you Americans are already several steps in one. Ferdinand Marcos' greatest trick was convincing people all protesters were communist animals, so when they went missing, few cared. Even after bodies were discovered.
Oh, but they're hurting.

Yeah, keep sleeping on that side of the bed. But when you wake up in a dictatorship don't blame the alarm clock 'cause you chose to leave it on snooze.

Here's just a taste of Chupeco's tweets:



Monday, June 25, 2018

Lapdogs for President 'Grab 'Em By The Pussy' In a Tizzy Over Dinner Disses

Yeah, so last week DHS head Kirstjen Nielsen got heckled at dinner in NYC, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders was politely asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia. And so, sycophants for the racist, foul-mouthed PoS in the White House are clutching their pearls over the so-called lack of civility. (In fact, the handling of the Sanders incident by the restaurant's owner was so civil it was an object lesson.) Give me a motherfucking break. None of these people said a damn word when Obama and family were being depicted as monkeys and worse. And I don't hear them complain about the crowds at Trump rallies chanting "Jew York Times!" at the press or the tiki torch-carrying "Jews will not replace us!" crowd. So fuck 'em all.

But the mind-blower was Stephen Miller called "a fascist" at a MEXICAN restaurant. Yes, you read right: a MEXICAN restaurant. This racist sewer rat had the gall to go eat at a MEXICAN restaurant??!!

Good grief!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Schmidt Quits "Indecent and Immoral" GOP

The Daily Beast: 
Top Republican strategist Steve Schmidt—the senior adviser for John McCain’s presidential run in 2008 and senior staffer for George W. Bush—has announced that he’s quit the GOP because it’s become “fully the party of Trump.” In a string of searing tweets Wednesday morning, Schmidt—who was also the campaign manager for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election in California—attacked the “corrupt, indecent, and immoral” party that he said was “filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders.” The Republican strategist went on: “The first step to a season of renewal in our land is the absolute and utter repudiation of Trump and his vile enablers in the 2018 election by electing Democratic majorities.” He said the GOP has become “a danger to our democracy and values” and will from now on he will be “aligned” with the Democratic Party.

Looks like family deportations did the trick for Schmidt. I wonder what his former boss' daughter and GOP apologist, Meghan McCain, thinks of Schmidt's defection.

Follow The (Russian) Money

Aleksandr Burman, a Ukrainian who engaged in a health care scheme that cost the federal government $26 million and was sentenced to a decade in prison, paid $725,000 cash for a condo at a Trump Tower I in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. in 2009.

Leonid Zeldovich, who has reportedly done extensive business in the Russian-annexed area of Crimea, bought four Trump units outright at a cost of more than $4.35 million, three of them in New York City between 2007 and 2010.

And Igor Romashov, who served as chairman of the board of Transoil, a Russian oil transport company subject to U.S. sanctions, paid $620,000 upfront for a unit at a building adorned with the future U.S. president's name in Sunny Isles Beach in 2010.

Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in South Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.

“The size and scope of these cash purchases are deeply troubling as they can often signal money laundering activity," said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a former federal prosecutor. "There have long been credible allegations of money laundering by the Trump Organization which, if true, would pose a real threat to the United States in the event that Russia were able to leverage evidence of illicit financial transactions against the president."
[McClatchy: Buyers tied to Russia, Former Soviet Republics Paid $109m for Trump Properties]

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Happy Juneteenth!

Crowdfunding For Separated Immigrant Families Raising $2K per Minute

The fundraiser started Saturday morning amid reports that nearly 2,000 kids had been taken from their parents under the Trump administration in six weeks...The goal was initially to get $1,500, enough to cover the bond fee for one jailed parent so they could get their child back from government custody while waiting for court. But then it took off. Private donors contacted [Charlotte] Willner, whose LinkedIn says she works at Pinterest, to offer to match the money raised. By Sunday night they’d passed the $1 million mark. 
[Money: This Couple Is Raising $2,000 Per Minute to Help Reunite Immigrant Families Separated at the Border]

Newspapers Fear Industry Collapse from Trump Tariffs

Cox is hardly the only publisher bracing for an industry collapse as a result of the Trump administration’s tariffs. Across the country, newspapers are frantically warning about a wholesale gutting of outlets. That problem has been especially pronounced for more rural areas that lack broadband access and rely almost exclusively on print. The threat has become so dire that it’s produced a dramatic role reversal. Usually in the practice of covering influence-peddling campaigns, newspapers are now engaging in a lobbying effort of their own, dispatching top officials to offices across the Capital to try and stem the bleeding.
[Daily Beast: Newspapers Become Lobbyists as They Try to Save Their Industry From Trump’s Tariffs]

Monday, June 18, 2018

Had a Bad Day? Was It Elizabeth Holmes Bad?

Vox:
Elizabeth Holmes, once a darling of Silicon Valley, vowed to disrupt health care with inexpensive, accessible finger-prick blood tests. Now the 34-year-old founder of the biotech startup Theranos is facing federal criminal charges. On Friday, the US attorney’s office in San Francisco wrapped up a two-and-a-half-year investigation of Theranos by indicting Holmes and her ex-boyfriend Sunny Balwani, Theranos’s former president and CEO, for alleged fraud. The federal prosecutors allege Holmes and Balwani defrauded doctors, patients, and investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Yeah, sucks to be her, huh?


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Duh: Stephen Miller Behind Border Family Separations

If you're surprised senior White House advisor and all-around magnificent PoS Stephen Miller is the key figure behind the administrations's push for separating undocumented families at border crossings, you haven't been paying attention. Frankly, I'd be more surprised if the Chumpbots reacted negatively to the border disgrace.

Trump himself is backpedaling publicly even though he has vehemently defended the practice in private, his implementation of the draconian measure being much to the chagrin of supporters like Pastor Franklin Graham and cabinet members like head of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen.

Miller, however, is an evil, shitty motherfucker who doesn't care. (Just like the little Confederate elf.) And I hate to take it there but this is the handiwork of a man whose ancestors fled Russian anti-Semitism. I pity the parents of this sad, sorry excuse of a human being who must frequently wonder where they went wrong.

[NYT: How Trump Came to Enforce a Practice of Separating Migrant Families]

Of Rats and Men or Thanks, Comey

In the end, Trump’s ill treatment of James Comey, despite it now being confirmed via the recent investigation and report by the DoJ’s Inspector General, that the former FBI director actually helped Trump win the presidency with his “insubordinate” actions, is both karmic and ironic. But that’s feeble consolation when the end result is Mango Mussolini in power.

Charles P. Pierce touches upon the report in Esquire:
“But, by and large, the report’s most basic implicit conclusion—that Comey’s blundering at least played a role in installing the current administration*—is so clear and irrefutable that it seems that the president*’s defenders are caught between giving the report a good leaving alone and clumsily attempting to use its findings to discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation, a lie so stupendous that the president* couldn’t wait to use it Friday morning.” 
But there's also the repercussions brought about by the actions of the corrupt slush fund otherwise known as the Trump Foundation:
"[The Trump Foundation malfeasance] was reported at the time by David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, who eventually won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. Yet, in the campaign coverage, the sense of unreality was virtually unshakable. A political campaign, functioning as an allegedly genuinely corrupt criminal enterprise, and aided and abetted by a seedy network of ratfckers and bagmen from across the pond, was forcing the American political establishment, and especially its elite political press, to cover it according to the rules that the criminal enterprise established for itself." 
To compare these people to sewer rats is to malign the actual rodents.

[Esquire: This Nation Is Politically Deranged]

Friday, June 15, 2018

Manafort Goes To Jail

Paul Manafort, the former chairman for Trump's presidential campaign chairman, is going to jail while he awaits his trial for foreign lobbying charges.

One down, many, many more to go.

(Meanwhile, Michael Cohen has let it be known he will cooperate with the feds.)

Noted Editorial Cartoonist Axed for Being Critical of POTUS

Rob Rogers, a Pulitzer finalist editorial cartoonist who was a 25-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was fired over disagreements with management regarding anti-Trump cartoons. Basically, the paper’s publisher John Block and its editorial director Keith Burris, who are Trump supportersBlock was even photographed posing with Trump on the candidate’s campaign plane in 2016nixed the publication of a series of Rogers' editorial cartoons, and fired him on Thursday.
Below are some of the editorial cartoons the paper refused to print.




Detainee Facility Has Mural Of Trump Quote About Evicting Tenants

At a Texas facility holding nearly 1,500 migrant children, a mural of President Donald Trump with a quote about his past attempt to evict New York tenants greets the children detained there.  
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war,” the quote, printed in both English and Spanish, reads. 
The quote from his [1987 book The Art of the Deal] references Trump’s failed attempt to evict tenants from their homes in 1985. “This is a story about a group of tenants who fought very hard to keep me from tearing down the building they lived in and constructing a new one in its place,” Trump continued in his book.

Three Little Words

The Dangers Facing Journalists Covering The New Far Right

Last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recorded 44 physical attacks on journalists in North America. Alexandra Ellerbeck, the CPJ’s North America Program Coordinator, says that “the vast majority” of these attacks occurred during protests. Ellerbeck sees it as part of a sea change in the relationship between political activists and the press in the digital media era. 
“You used to be seen as neutral. You used to be seen as useful, because protesters were trying to get their message out. You used to be given some protection,” Ellerbeck says. “Now people can get their own message out through their own platforms. There’s less of an incentive to befriend the media. Journalists can be seen as a threat to protesters’ ability to control narratives,” she says. 
Ellerbeck also cites the “trickle-down effect” of rhetorical attacks on the media by politicians including Trump. She says that when CPJ counted Trump’s Twitter attacks on the media, they found more than 1,000 between his campaign announcement and January 2018. “There’s been a constant barrage of conspiracy-mongering and hate-mongering towards the press” by the president, Ellerbeck says. She says that harassment of journalists stepped up during Trump’s campaign, peaking just before the election, and has returned in waves ever since.
[The Guardian: Doxxing, Assault, Death threats: The New Dangers Facing US Journalists Covering Extremism]

Thursday, June 14, 2018

63 Million Reasons Why

This week, Republican hypocrisy and double standards sank so low it only failed to sink any further due to Trump’s praise for a murderous despot and his regime clogging up the bottom.

After childishly and pointlessly insulting, arguably, our closest ally over a subject that could've been addressed without bullshit chest-thumping, he then goes to Singapore and praises a murderous thug, while weakening the security of another ally in exchange for...zilch. Forget about how Republicans mocked candidate Obama as a naïve appeaser of tyrants and thugs when he admitted he would seek out and meet with our enemies if it was in the service of peace, the White House’s current resident clown got played. He needlessly antagonized Canada, compromised South Korean security, saluted a general from a totalitarian regime, and gave Kim Jong Un a spot on the world stage. I believe the t-shirt should read “My President Went To Meet With A Murderous Dictator And All We Got Was a Photo Op.” But, honestly, did anyone expect a better outcome?

And yes, we can go into the repeated instances of Trump praising dictators and thugs while belittling longstanding, tried and true allies but that’s a waste of time: it’s a given that Trump is a wannabe Mango Mussolini who wishes he could run this country like one of his bullshit real estate properties, where his word is law and minions worriedly scramble to be in his favor. Unfortunately, it seems as if with each passing day we come closer to the above scenario.

Trump is but one man, of course. However his cult is strong. While two thirds of the country disapprove of the man, almost 90% of Republicans are on his side. These are the people who don’t bat an eyelash when it comes to supporting a bigoted, corrupt, inept, lying, morally corrupt, shell of a man and his horrible acts and policies. And it’s pretty cut and dried: they’re either too stupid to get it (that $800m in Medicare cuts is not only going to affect liberal senior citizens, you know?) or they do get it ("I got mine. Fuck everybody else!") and approve.

These people were tired of everyone else having a voice and them not being able to further impose theirs. In their minds, it was time these uppity negroes and spics and queers and man-hating feminazis were put in their place. A black president was the last straw—someone needed to rescue America from this calamitous pursuit of equality and the choking grip of social justice and show those warriors to be the terrorists they actually are, among other thoughts swamping the pool of bitter resentment these Chumpbots’ hearts (or lack thereof) swim.

And so, along came a modern day snake oil salesman—what more could reality TV unleash on us?—defender of dictators and Nazis; with a legal and public history of corrupt and racist acts; an avowed misogynist and fake Christian who shared their ignorance and hate. Their Orange Messiah had arrived. By God, he’s finally come and they’re not letting go.

So, let’s stop putting all of this on Trump. 63 million voters freely and openly sided with this PoS. And the vast majority of those still have his back. Again, Trump is but one; but they are legion. The blood is on their hands. The enemy is us.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Is Michael Cohen About To Renounce His Orange Messiah?

Has he finally figured out that Chump can't pardon him for crimes committed under New York State jurisdiction?

[ABC News: Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen Likely to Cooperate As His Attorneys Leave Case]

[CNBC: Michael Cohen Expected To Lose Current Defense Lawyers and Likely To Cooperate With Prosecutors]

[CNN: Trump's Personal Attorney Splits With His Own Legal Team]

[NBC News: Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Expected To Split With His Attorneys]

[USA Today: Michael Cohen Is Expected To Split With Legal Team. Will He Cooperate With Prosecutors?]

[Vox: Reports Suggest Michael Cohen Is Thinking Of Flipping]

Two Buildings

John Heilemann, a journalist and national-affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, as well as co-author of Game Change, the best-selling book about the 2008 presidential campaign, breaks down why he believes the nefarious dealings behind 666 5th Ave and the never-built Trump Tower Moscow could be what ultimately brings down the Trump cartel.
"These buildings and the compromises entailed in them are going to be a big part of the story of wherever we land at the end of this."
Check it out at the 6:00 mark:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Esquire Nails US-North Korea Summit

[T]his was a singularly absurd spectacle, as well as one of the strangest episodes in the history of cable news, a real-life anime exercise to rival all those shots of an empty podium that so enthralled the nation during the 2016 presidential campaign. Endless shots of an empty road in Singapore, “live coverage” of a closed-door meeting, of which there is no official record, between two of the most notorious bad-faith artists ever to lead sovereign nations. Meanwhile, pundits in Washington, D.C., practiced their remote viewing skills on camera.
Then, there was this press conference to remind us who we’re dealing with here as our president*. I slept through it, and I feel confident that I made the right choice.

[Esquire: Two Truthless Leaders Just Signed an Agreement That Commits No One to Anything]

Monday, June 11, 2018

Steve Schmidt Reacts Timidly to Trump G7 Performance

Nah. Just kidding.

The MSNBC political analyst and former campaign manager for John McCain's 2008 presidential run ripped POTUS45 a new one on Twitter this past weekend. Schmidt—who included fellow Republicans in his dis of the man-child Cheeto in chiefhas pummeled Trump in the media on countless occasions but this was a doozy.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

With Peter Navarro Remarks Trump Sycophancy Hits New Low

Newsweek:
Peter Navarro, the Director of the White House National Trade Council, scolded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Sunday for comments he made during the G-7 summit this weekend.

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” he said to Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. “And that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”  
He added, “That’s what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did and that come right from Air Force One. And I’ll tell you this: to my friends in Canada, that was one of the worst political miscalculations of a Canadian leader in modern Canadian history.”
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain [R-AZ] put Navarro's boot licking in perspective and spoke for those of us who gravely disagree with the dangerous clown show Trump puts on in lieu of proper diplomacy.


But her emails...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Putin's Trump Investment Keeps Paying Off

So the G7 Summit ends in acrimony as the United States' manchild-in-chief further alienates our closest allies with a ridiculous but not unexpected plea to reinstate Russia in the coalition (a decision made as a result of Putin's violation of the Ukraine's sovereignty, via the annexation of Crimea, a development Chump blames on Obama due to it occurring on POTUS44's watch), while picking tariff fights with Canada and France. All of this is meant as red meat for the ignoramuses of his base who, not unlike their Cheeto Messiah, view bluster without substance as a valid substitute for diplomacy.

But her emails...

[CNN: Trump Plunges West Into Crisis Over Summit Spat]

I Want A New Drug

Over the last few decades, western society, if not the world at large, has been moving in a more inclusive, open-minded, tolerant direction....