Deep Montenegro Thought

Perhaps Trump’s hostility to the tiny Balkan nation, like his immigration policy, is rooted in ignorance and bigotry. It’s not impossible (a Trumpian double negative) that he thinks the country was founded by a guy named Monte Negro, and was named for its founder like Kenya. Kenya? Obama must be involved. Mayhaps that’s why the Kaiser of Chaos shoved Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at last year’s NATO summit.

Yo, Trumpy, if the “aggressive” Montenegrins attack anyone, we don’t have to come to their rescue. They’re on their own: article 5 only kicks in when they’re attacked. Tell your little friend Tucker while you’re at it. As if that silver spoon motherfucker’s spawn is going to fight anyone with anything other than his mouth.

PS: This turns out to be the second iteration of the Monte Negro pun. The first was in a post about  last year’s NATO summit:

I guess he thought the Montenegrin PM was a waiter named Monty Negro or some such shit. The help is always abused in the racist alternate reality known as Trumpistan.

Friday Catblogging: The Krewe Of Cats Named For Perry Mason Characters

It’s time for another picture by ace catsitter Christy of Petit Pet Care fame. She thinks this shot reads album cover. She may be on to something.

If Della Street and Paul Drake start a rock band, they should cover the Tubes’ Crime Medley. It consists of the theme songs of Dragnet, Peter Gunn, Perry Mason, and The Untouchables.

The Fog Of Scandal: The McFaul Guy Gambit

Wednesday is often referred to as Hump Day. Yesterday, Wednesday, July 18, 2018 will be remembered as a day that America was humped by its idiot president* and his criminal administration. Fuck it, strike the word humped, we were fucked. The only way the situation can be un-fucked is with massive turn out at the polls this fall. We seem to have finally hit the much ballyhooed constitutional crisis. Believe me.

The president* spent the day sowing confusion over his remarks at the infamous Helsinki presser. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. He inches up to admitting that Russia interfered with the 2016 election but adds qualifying language because a full admission means that the Mueller probe is NOT a witch hunt. It’s why he cannot go there. His endless denials and denunciations of the investigation are signs of guilt. People with nothing to hide do not act like this.

The Failing New York Times broke a monster story on Hump Day eve. It shows why former CIA director John Brennan’s hair has been on fire. Make that would be on fire if he had hair. I still detect a faint whiff of burning edges…

Here’s the money quote:

Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.

By my estimation as a lapsed lawyer, this makes Trump an accessory after the fact to a criminal conspiracy. It’s time to ditch the word collusion. It’s not a legal term and it has been used to envelop the Mueller probe in the fog of uncertainty. C is for Conspiracy, not Collusion. C is also for Cover Up and Constitutional Crisis.

It’s been abundantly clear for quite some time that the president* has been compromised by the Russians. That view has finally gone mainstream after the Helsinki summit. Welcome to the fight, y’all. The acknowledgment that Trump is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin is more important than the details. We may not learn the nature of the kompromat for a while but once again: actions speak louder than words. I say money, you say pee tape. Let’s call the whole thing off. What would I do without Ira Gershwin?

There was a brief flurry of condemnation from GOPers after the “I don’t know why it would be Russia” outrage. Once again, it involved words, not action. Trump’s  follow-up statements were made to allow Republican office holders to crawl back under their beds and hide. There *is* political collusion between them and their dear leader. Republican Senators, even those not up for re-election, are terrified of their base, so they fall in line when they should heed Athenae’s advice and CAUCUS WITH THE DEMOCRATS.

Speaking of spineless Republicans. If former Indiana Senator and current Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coates, had any gumption he’d resign after months of disrespect from his boss. They seem to have banned gumption for the duration of the Trump era. Gumption is another word I’m trying to revive. Use it and pass it along.

One of the most sinister things to happen at the Helsinki summit was the private meeting between Trump and his spymaster. The Russian side are talking up various “agreements” between Putin and his puppet. We’ve already heard about the “incredible offer” to exchange law enforcement information. I call it the “let the fox investigate the chicken coop” offer. It’s truly an incredible offer per the second definition offered by Dictionary.com:

  1. so extraordinary as to seem impossible: incredible speed.
  2. not credible; hard to believe; unbelievable:The plot of the book is incredible.

This entire story is incredible. A book publisher would reject it out of hand as totally (another favorite Trump word) incredible.

Things got even more bizarre yesterday when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to rule out allowing the Russians to interrogate American citizens such as former Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul. Sanders declined the offer and gave her stock ignorant reply: “I’ll get back to you on that.”

The State Department later ruled it out BUT this was a no-brainer except for this brainless administration. We do not hand over our former officials to the Russian secret police just because Putin hates them and they did not vote for Trump. As of this writing it’s unclear what the Trump regime policy is.

Hopefully, they won’t make Michael the McFaul guy. You were probably wondering when I’d circle back to the post title. I like to keep y’all off balance.

Despite Putin’s McFaul guy gambit, the Ambassador is nobody’s patsy. He’s not going down without a fight:

Upon hearing of the McFaul guy gambit, I had a shot of bourbon and tweeted this out:

The Daily Beast’s crack national security reporter, Spencer Ackerman, surveyed past and present American diplomats about the McFaul atrocity. The last word went to a current US official who used what the Grey Lady would call undiplomatic language:

The current U.S. diplomat said the openness to turning over McFaul capped off a shocking week for U.S. geopolitics.

“The president has first and foremost his interests at the top of his mind, as opposed to the government’s. That’s very clear over the past week and a half, between shitting on our NATO allies and kissing Putin’s ass,” the diplomat said. “He cares more about himself than the nation and any of us who serve it.”

The diplomat continued: “Either he’s compromised by Putin or he’s a pussy, in which case he should grab himself.”

I wish I had thought of that.

My last word goes to my countryman, Toronto Star cartoonist Theo Moudakis, who is not a malaka unlike this organ grinder and his monkey:

Drink Up, Cultists

orange_kool_aid_trump_600

Even as Trump demonstrates how crazy and unsuited for office he is, the GOP doubles down on him because of his popularity with the base (what’s the line? something like Democrats despise their base, Republicans fear theirs?).

Almost every elected Republican we talk to privately thinks President Trump’s warm embrace of Vladimir Putin was unexplainable, unacceptable and un-American. Yes, they wish they could say this publicly. No, they won’t — not now, and probably never.

The cold, hard reason: They see no upside in speaking out — and fear political suicide if they do, numerous Republican officials tell us.

Headed into a election that’s expected to favor Democrats, a top GOP Senate strategist says Republicans are counting on President Donald Trump’s media dominance to turn out their voters in November — and drown out opponents’ messaging…

“Everybody thinks that President Trump is some kind of drag on the Republican Party, [when] in this case, he’s just the essential ingredient,” said [Josh] Holmes, who’s helped engineer his party’s Senate strategy for the past 16 years as a chief aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

In other words, forget any appeal to better angels, compromise, reasonableness, whatever. DT’s done everything short of acting as Vladimir Putin’s personal footstool, but it’s not enough to shake the base, who cling to him…as strongly as they do to their guns and religion. Hell, Trump is pretty much their religion, and they fetishize him as much as they do their precious weapons.

And if he and they manage to eke out a win in the midterms…

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Nice Guys Finish Dead

It’s all in the title this week.

Tweet Of The Day: PBJ Meets Mariia Butina

I keep waiting for former Gret Stet Goober Bobby Jindal aka PBJ to re-surface as a member of the Trump administration. I believe he’s already grovelled his way out of trouble for calling the Insult Comedian names when PBJ was a presidential candidate. PBJ is an expert brown noser when need be. It’s part of his kiss up, kick down persona.

Thanks to Shannon Watts, PBJ is back in the news after the indictment of Russian agent/NRA fan girl Mariia Butina. FYI, I conferred with a Russian speaker of my acquaintance and was informed that Butina is a 2-i Maria. You’re not seeing double, it’s spelled Mariia. That reminds me of the fine Louisiana name Couvillion. There are two-i and one-i Couvillions. My main man Eddie was a two-i Couvillion. The ayes apparently have it.

Ms. Watts is a pro-gun control/anti-NRA activist with 245K twitter followers. This week she posted a series of pictures of the Russian redhead with well-known wingnuts including the man who sacrificed the Gret Stet’s economy on the altar of his futile national ambitions.

One of the ginger influence peddler’s specialities is posing for pictures with defeated GOP presidential candidates. Here’s one with former Senator Man Dog Sex:

Rick Santorum is still a colossal dick as well as a Russian dupe.

Here’s Doc’s buddy Scott Walker with the gun nut femme fatale:

Finally, it’s the Grand Vizier of gun nuttery’s turn in the Butina barrel.

I’d like to thank Shannon Watts for posting this treasure trove of tweets. Keep up the good work.

I suspect PBJ may even be grateful for the attention. Unlike, Mariia Butina, he can’t even get arrested.

Quote Of The Day: Trump As Bill Laimbeer

 It comes from an Esquire piece by Ryan Lizza:

Jenkins, the congresswoman from Kansas, relayed a conversation she recently had with a factory owner back home, who told her that while the guys on his shop floor “hate” Trump—they are from the Bible Belt, after all, she noted—“they love what he’s doing.” She then offered the most honest explanation I’ve heard for this phenomenon. “It’s kind of like supporting your favorite team and there’s a talented trash-talking personality on the other team,” she said. “That player is the worst human being on the face of the earth, but if that same talented player is on our team, well, you know, they’re our team, so we give him a pass.”

I realize that the Bill Laimbeer reference is dated; make that deliberately dated. He retired from the NBA some 24 years ago. The closest thing in the current NBA is Draymond Green of the Warriors. I googled Green’s politics and learned that he’s a liberal who has been sharply critical of the Current Occupant. Bill Laimbeer, on the other hand, is a wingnut whose relative silence about Trump has more to do with his job as head coach of the WNBA Las Vegas Aces than anything else. Draymond may be a dirty player BUT he doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with the Insult Comedian. Laimbeer does.

In a 2015 malaka of the week post I described Laimbeer thusly:

Bill Laimbeer was the ultimate hiss-provoking cartoon villain of the 1980’s NBA. He was the biggest asshole on the jerkiest great team of all-time, the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons.

<snip>

In his time in the NBA, Laimbeer was the biggest braggart and blowhard in the game. He and his fellow goon Rick Mahorn were known as the “bruise brothers.”

Back to the quote of the day. It strikes me as bang-on correct, which is one of many reasons that I think Trump’s support will slowly wither and die except among hardcore MAGA maggots. It was rocked by Monday’s submissive and low energy performance at the presser with his spymaster. Here’s hoping that more of them will realize that he’s playing for the other team. You know, the one coached by the short guy who’s into poisoning his enemies.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Shel Silverstein

The late Shel Silverstein was best known as an author/illustrator of children’s books. He also had a lively side hustle as a singer-songwriter. He was one talented dude.

Here’s a selection of album covers, presented in chronological order. Oddly enough, only one features an illustration by Silverstein:

Here’s Freakin’ At The Freakers Ball in the YouTube playlist format:

Self taught, self made, bet, self styled

This, pretty much:

I always feel like at least part of it’s projection, like if you did it all yourself then nobody can take it from you. If you did all this yourself, and you weren’t beholden to any system you didn’t control, then not only do you get to give yourself credit but you get out of fear-jail free. It’s all you, and you know what you can handle, right?

And you want your work to be enough. If you’ve been busting your ass, since high school or before, you want that to have been enough to make you because it was so fucking hard. Even people who have it relatively easy — born white and middle class in America — can still work their comfortable honky asses off and get to middle age thinking goddamn, I hustled this shit hard. Thinking of the ways you benefitted from things — public libraries, good schools, books in your house, parents with the leisure time to take you to plays and museums — seems to diminish that.

It doesn’t have to, though. If you look at the way you were made, the parts you did yourself and the parts other people helped you do, as a model for what you have to give others instead of a list of what others should be denied, it multiplies your work instead of dividing it: Yes, I started on second base, but I made it home, and you’re gonna make it home, too, no matter where you started from.

A.

How DID the GOP Become the Party of White Supremacy So Fast?

It’s an eternal mystery.

IRWINTON, Ga., Jan. 21— G. Harrold Carswell, President Nixon’s Supreme Court nominee, during a campaign for the Georgia Legislature in 1948, made a speech in which he said that he would always be governed by the “principles of white supremacy.”

A.

Caucus with the Democrats

Hey, Jeff Flake.

Hey, John McCain.

Hey, Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski. Ben Motherfucking Sasse.

Hey, Bob Corker, probably. I mean, I haven’t looked, I assume he’s still a disingenuous attention-whoring shitbag like the rest of them.

Hey, all you assholes.

STFU. Get off Twitter. Get off TV. And start making phone calls.

Because until you caucus with the Democrats to stop this bullshit, I don’t want to hear another word out of your cheeto-dusted mouths.

In the early days maybe this shit was cute, this whole “the president of the United States is a traitor I am powerless to stop although I am uniquely empowered to stop him” dodge you’re pulling where you can handle some treason if it comes with abortion bans and guns.

It wasn’t cute to me or anyone else whose life was on the line but I could see where if you were some kind of reality-impaired solipsistic DC douchemook, you found that kind of thing amusing. You got to give important speeches and people clapped.

It hasn’t been cute for some time. The solution to the problem of your overwhelming angst and this country’s ongoing shame is pretty damn simple. In fact, it’s so easy people have already started wondering why you haven’t done it.

Caucus with the Democrats.

Yes, the hated Democratic Party, we of abortion on chipper demand and two-gay-weddings-for-the-price-of-one, we the gun-grabbing black president-electing welfare queens who want to take all your tax dollars and use them to kill cops. The people you’ve been telling your base for years are amoral fifth columnists. Those Democrats. Caucus with us.

Because we may want to put condoms in every happy meal. We may want you to be able to get Plan B at Kwik Trip. We may tell you your “Hillary’s a Cunt” t-shirt is a little bit sexist.

Sometimes we even listen to rap, but motherfucking shit goddamn we are not standing next to someone who attacked this country and saying, basically, “whatevs.” 

Yes, that’s a low bar. But you’re #NeverTrump Republicans. Baby steps.

You caucus with us, and this all stops. Tomorrow. Today. You caucus with us and the Senate shuts down. The unchecked madness comes to an end. You hold hearings. You draft censure resolutions and you vote for every single goddamn one.

You impeach everyone you have to impeach until you find someone untainted by this disaster even if it’s Bill Clinton’s last fucking tailor. That guy gets to be president before anyone Putin’s nasty withered fingers touched.

Oh, your base will howl? Fuck ’em. Your state voted for Trump? Fuck them too. You didn’t swear an oath under your state flag with your hand on the legal code of Nebraska — or whatever the fuck — to serve your constituents.

You swore it under the Stars and Stripes with your hand on that Bible you like to say is so important to you. You swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

You won’t be able to work once your mouthbreathing Hills-Have-Eyes-casting-call voters drum you out for this? TOO FUCKING BAD. You don’t get to make bank on MSNBC deploring the president and wink at the human detritus as you float above them on some kind of whiskey-tango life raft made of four meth lab couches zip-tied together.

You stand for what you stand for all the time, so until you actually stand for it, and caucus with the Democrats, you can keep your sternly worded statements and your oh-so-weary denials. You can shove them in the dark hole where you put things you don’t want to think about, like immigrant children, Merrick Garland, your humanity, and the entire basic motherfucking concept of the Land of the Free.

Schmucks.

A.

Straight To Helsinki

Donald Trump’s stock in trade as a political figure is confirming our worst fears. It happened again during that disgusting press conference at which he once again accepted Vladimir Putin’s word as to Russian non-involvement in the stealing the 2016 election. People need to stop calling it “meddling” when the operative word is stealing.

In his refusal to even hedge about Russian hacking, Trump verified that he is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence. He could have said something like “Russians did it but President Putin knew nothing about it.” Instead, Trump attacked Democrats, the “rigged Mueller witch hunt,” and all the usual Trumper suspects. He forgot, however, to call Mexicans rapists and to blame it all on MS-13.

There was even a public Trump meltdown after a question as to whether Russia had any compromising material on him. Putin issued a bland non-denial denial and Trumpy erupted into a tirade about witch hunts, Crooked Hillary, and Peter Strzok. He was half-right about Strzok, those hearings *were* a disgrace, but to the Party of Trump, not to the FBI agent.

I saw calls on twitter for mass resignations in protest from the Trump administration. There will be none. The Republican party is a wholly owned subsidiary of a president* who is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence.

I wish I could say I was shocked but I was not even if it was worse than expected. It’s time for the pundits to stop being mystified and tell it like it is. When someone acts *this* guilty it’s invariably because they are.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Mods gone wild!”edition

Good morning, all!

You know, being a mod in Freeperville has to be a thankless gig. You work for free while Jim Rob and his son rake in all the sweet Freepathon bucks (BTW, the Spring freepathon has now officially overlapped with the Summer freepathon)  and you have to constantly patrol to make sure all the posters are using “G_d” instead of “God”.

And then there’s the “Q” threads, which are too conspiracy-y even for Freepers:

Q Anon: 07/11/18 “Trust The Plan”
qanon.pub/ ^ | 07/11/2018 | FReepers, vanity

Posted on 7/12/2018, 12:42:10 AM by ransomnote

Thank you to all who submitted links to good Q resources. I am presently creating an “overflow table” that will house and good resource and information that doesn’t end up on the table above. Thank you for your patience while I sort through and rearrange information. 🙂
1 posted on 7/12/2018, 12:42:11 AM by ransomnote
I’ll cut to the chase here and let you know that as of this thread’s date, “Q” has disappeared and no cryptic messages (“drops”) have been issued for over a month.
To: ransomnote; 1_Rain_Drop; 103198; 31R1O; 4Liberty; Hemingway’s Ghost; acrolect; Aevery_Freeman; …
Q Ping – NO NEW Drops
3 posted on 7/12/2018, 12:53:15 AM by ransomnote (IN GOD WE TRUST)
And no dew drops!
And then:

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Wow. That’s four out of five posts in a row!

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I wish I had found this thread early enough to capture these deleted comments before the mods did.
But there is one undeleted reply that quotes one of the dispatched posts:
To: 1_Inch_Group
“Don’t make it seem like it’s real. Because it isn’t.”
What’s your PROOF that it isn’t real? 

51 posted on 7/12/2018, 4:44:51 AM by MagnoliaB (You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime you might find, you get what you need.)

FallacyProofReversal

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To: 1_Inch_Group

Are you kidding me? So you come on here yakking about crap and you don’t even know what you are talking about. I’m not going to drop the hammer because I don’t have time to go through a year’s worth of proof to you. I think you are done here since you are not willing or able to offer one itty bitty smidgen of proof that it’s fake. Shouldn’t you be able to if you really knew anything about it?

In the past I have scoffed at a LOT of ‘conspiracy theories’. There was one in particular, which I won’t go into, a MAJOR one that I thought was so stupid for people to possibly think was not as it seemed. Of course I was stupidly naive at that point too. One day I was looking for something to watch on Youtube and I landed on a person that was going to explain the inconsistencies of the event. My thought at the time was ‘OK sweetheart, give me your best info’. By the time I finished watching, I was sick to my stomach and MAD at how badly this country was duped. In case you are wondering this documentary wasn’t about 9/11.

But enough about Hillary’s pizza parlor basement…

People that come to this thread calling people names and claiming it’s a cult, blah, blah, blah but are unable to offer ANYTHING to back up their claim that it is fake are SHILLS.

59 posted on 7/12/2018, 5:55:01 AM by MagnoliaB (You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime you might find, you get what you need.)

Rebuttal?
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(Moderator grabs Playstation controls more firmly)

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This may take a while.  The rest after the jumparoonie…

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Stop Expecting Shame To Do the Job Votes Will

By the framework of politics pre-Bush administration, most of this would have ended somewhere around “lock her up” or the pussy-grabbing tape or on day one where he called Mexicans rapists so the fact that it hasn’t should really tell you something:

There is no shame anymore. That was the real Bush doctrine. A woman named Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Bush’s bullshit war, asked to meet with the president and when he refused she parked herself outside his dumb fake ranch and said she was gonna sit there until he came to meet her.

He never did, and now he’s our lovely “even Bush wasn’t this bad” uncle who goes on talk shows and talks nicely about his paintings and we’re all nostalgic about him. Fuck him. We are where we are because he figured out that once in office, he could do whatever he wanted no matter how low his approval ratings got.

That’s it. That’s the whole damn secret. He killed Washington shame dead, and no scandal would force him out. Whole war is a lie? Ignored warnings about 9/11? Let hundreds of people die and drown because ya can’t be bothered during a hurricane and besides, government sucks? NONE OF THAT had to matter unless he thought it mattered and he didn’t.

There were thousands of people in the streets against him. I was one of them. And he didn’t care.

He didn’t have to. He was in office. So what if his approval ratings were bad? There’s no law that says if you dip below 40 percent you gotta call an election. There’s no law that says you have to answer questions from the press if they’re not kissing your ass.

If Congress is on your side, or cowed and weak, there’s no law requiring you to answer to anyone. Bush explicitly argued in court that the executive didn’t have to answer to the judiciary. In 2003. They’ve been setting things up this way for a long, long time.

And yet we keep expecting shame to reassert itself. Kids in cages: Anybody gonna quit over that? Nah. They don’t have to. Trump’s approval worse than Nixon’s? So what? We keep posting videos and repeating the very obvious facts that they have subverted our democracy and stole two presidencies and two Supreme Court seats and saying THIS IS A SCANDAL and they know. They’re not ashamed of themselves. They have no reason to be.

The only thing that matters is voting them out, from the state house to Congress. No shame will do the job the votes will. No shame will do the job unemployment will.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

Those of you moaning that nothing will ever change? Read this before you tape your pieholes shut: 

Love is a lawyer tirelessly devoted to an immigrant sector most in need of legal aid: the rural one. In 2014, she launched the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, which serves immigrant families where there is traditionally no legal aid. Love and her team of three other lawyers go out to the people—via a roaming RV office, community center, and church pop-ups, and by organizing community leaders.

The whole thing is amazing. We are saving one another every single day, and always will.

Donate here.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Dimming Of The Day

New Orleans Window by Lee Friedlander.

Happy Bastille Day. I’m not planning on storming anything, it’s too damn hot for that. I *am* spending some time in the heat by attending San Fermin New Orleans. It’s our zany version of the running of the bulls in which the bulls are rollergirls with plastic bats. I’m not running, I’m drinking mimosas, eating donuts, and hanging out with Dr. A, our friend Cait, the child army, and whoever else shows up. It’s a sweaty, fun, and deeply silly time.

I predicted that the president* would make an ass of himself in the UK and he has done so. He gave an inflammatory interview to the Murdoch owned Sun wherein he praised Boris Johnson, criticized Theresa May, bashed immigrants, and wished people would call the country England again. He apparently re-annexed Ireland while he was at it. The next day, he denied attacking May and called The Sun “fake news” even though it’s owned by his pal Rupert. It was just another day in Trump World.

The featured image is one of my favorite photographs from the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Lee Friedlander in Louisiana exhibit. The New York based photographer has a passion for New Orleans, which is on display at NOMA until August 12th.

This week’s theme song was written by Richard Thompson for Pour Down Like Silver the third album he and then wife Linda recorded together. We have three versions for your listening pleasure. The original version followed by covers by the Neville Brothers and Bonnie Raitt. RT plays on the latter recording.

Now that we’re feeling a bit on the dim side,  let’s brighten things up by jumping to the break.

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The Strzok Hearing: Shitshow Or Kangaroo Court?

The post title is a rhetorical question: that fakakta hearing was both. It was inevitable in the Trump era that a joint hearing of two Congressional committees would be a shitshow.

I only watched a few hours of the Strzok hearing. In addition to having other shit to do, I found the posturing and Kangaroo Court antics of Congressional GOPers to be tiresome in the extreme. Perhaps that’s because they’re extremists as well as extremely stupid. I’m old enough to remember when *some* Congressional right-wingers were intelligent. The door slammed on that era in 2010 with the teabagger wave election.

As to the witness, he’s a badass with an awesome first name. Peter Strzok held up under withering fire and never called Louis Gohmert Piles and Jim Jordan stupid or Trey Gowdy a weasel. It must have been hard: Strzok is so much smarter than the Kangaroo Court critters who were grilling him. To use a grilled cheese analogy, he did Gouda…

Republicans tried to flip the old adage “actions speak louder than words” on its head. As far as they were concerned, Strzok’s texted words were more important than the fact that he never acted on them. The hearing could have been shut down after the witness pointed out that all he had to do to torpedo the Trump campaign would have been to leak word of the investigation. Instead it went on for 11+ hours of madness.

I learned this week that Peter Strzok was the counter-intelligence agent who cracked the case that inspired The Americans. I saw some members of the twitterazzi compare Strzok to Stan (The Man) Beeman when in fact (fiction?) Strzok is comparable to his first boss, Frank Gaad who was played by Richard Thomas. Good night, John Boy.

The Strzok shitshow won’t change any minds. It was a performance piece staged by House Republicans to support the Kaiser of Chaos by blowing enough smoke to cover the Capitol Dome. You cannot shame the shameless.

Let’s circle back to the post title.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a Kangaroo Court as:

  1.  a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted
  2.  a court characterized by irresponsible, unauthorized, or irregular status or procedures

I first heard of Kangaroo Courts when I was a kid. It’s customary for baseball teams to hold them to boost morale and esprit de corps. The judge is usually a veteran player, the best player on the team, or the funniest guy in the locker room. Holy locker room talk, Batman.

Two of the greatest players of the Sixties, Bob Gibson and Frank Robinson, were the judges for the Cardinals and Orioles respectively. That was a long-winded way of posting a picture of Judge Robinson and teammate Davey Johnson both of whom were later managers:

Obligatory San Francisco Giants reference. Frank Robinson was not only the first African-American manager in baseball history, he managed the Giants from 1981-1984. F Robby could do it all: hit, run, field, manage, and judge.

Friday Catblogging: PD’s Got A Brand New Bag

One morning Paul Drake decided he didn’t want Dr. A to go to work. She declined to bag it even for a cute cat in her bag,

Projection Thy Name Is Donald

It’s tricky writing about something like the NATO summit in the Trump era. One never knows whether he’ll be satisfied with sowing chaos or will get down to some real destruction. As of this writing, it appears to be the former BUT that could change if he gets an itchy twitter trigger finger. This is no way to run a railroad, let alone an alliance.

The president* trotted out two of his personas at the summit: the Kaiser of Chaos and the Insult Comedian. He attacked Germany for having business dealings with a Russian oil company. Uh, Donny, Germany doesn’t have any oil. That’s one reason they lost World War II, which was a good thing in case you forgot what side we were on. Better yet, the Russians were our allies in that conflict. Who knew? Not Trumpy.

It was in his comments about Germany that the Insult Comedian did his projection trick. I’ll let a tweet from a friend of mine explain:

Thanks for the definition, o hairy one. Trump also said that Germany was in “Russia’s pocket.” It must be crowded in there, Donny. Perhaps Putin has a huge overcoat with massive pockets. It gets cold in the former Soviet Union even for spies who have come in from the cold and become presidents.

Getting offended is fashionable in 2018. I don’t offend  easily. But I *was* offended on behalf of Chancellor Merkel who grew up in East Germany, which was a vassal state of the Soviet Union. Why? Trump also referred to Germany as a “captive of Russia.”

Merkel’s public response was meek, which is her strategy in dealing with the Kaiser of Chaos:

“I myself experienced a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union, and I am very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany. We decide our own policies and make our own decisions.”

I wonder if someone on Team Trump told their master that the Warsaw Pact countries were often called “captive nations” during the Cold War or if he just stumbled into that infelicitous phrase. We all know that he “don’t know much about history.”

Merkel’s handling of Trump reminds me of Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy when he was an older boxer. Merkel is trying to wear Trump out and outlast him. It’s obvious that he has the attention span of a puppy who isn’t house broken. The stupid fucker pisses on everything in sight, after all.

Trump hasn’t the foggiest notion as to how an alliance works. Slate’s Fred Kaplan nailed it in his piece about the summit:

Trump is wrong, and dangerously so: He displays no understanding of how NATO works, no appreciation for the inherent value of the alliance, and—when it comes to his most solid complaint, the failure of most members to spend 2 percent of their GNP on defense—no awareness of what that target really means.

Trump seems to think that the members of NATO are like the tenants in one of his apartment buildings. They owe a certain amount in rent; they haven’t been paying the full amount; he’s been filling the gap; so now they need to pay him back—or else. I am not exaggerating.

Real estate developers are the worst, y’all.

The next leg of Trumpy’s travels takes him to the United Kingdom, a country with enough problems of its own as the Tory government melts down over Brexit. A normal US president might try to buck up beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May *or* mind their own business. But the Kaiser of Chaos wants to meet with Boris Johnson who just resigned as Foreign Secretary over May’s attempt to execute a “soft Brexit.” Bozza compared selling that policy to “polishing a turd.” Perhaps he should give Sarah Huckabee Sanders some tips. Her job is all about turd polishing.

It’s scary that the NATO summit could have been worse. Trump signed the communique and declared victory even though it’s unclear what he won. He’s all about “winning.” I wonder if he’ll taunt Queen Elizabeth about England’s loss in the World Cup?

I have a suggestion for NATO member states. Remind Donald that the 2% defense spending solution was proposed by the Obama administration in 2014. It’s the surest way to get him to change what passes for his mind.

The last word goes to Athenae’s boyfriend:

This Is Your Brain On Trump

brain_trump_projection

President-as-Amateur-Hour/Putin’s Stooge continues on…sure, the extended white wingnut cri de coeur (cri de Coors?) is the reddest of red meat to the GOP base, but I think that underscores the real division in the country. It’s less left versus right and more grownup versus selfish brat.

I’m not sure what else we need to motivate grownups to get out and vote. Trump’s an embarrassment, an affront to the democratic process, a sexist, racist, boor…and the living embodiment of undiluted white, racist, wingnut id. Hell, THEY’RE motivated, motivated enough to attend rallies where the scatterbrained ricochet reactionary babbling incoherence is the main attraction

November is our chance to demonstrate what sort of country we are. Let’s hope the answer is a country that at the very least isn’t a shameful embarrassment.