Monthly Archives: July 2018

Speaking of the State of Journalism

Bugs Bunny should saw it off the country and let it fall into the sea:

But I’ve evolved. It’s been 11 years since we launched PolitiFact, and I think it’s time to move beyond my beloved meter. I am heading a project at Duke University that is developing ways to automate fact-checking—including new ways to present the conclusions. I think the Truth-O-Meter’s ratings (which now range from True to Pants on Fire) are still effective for many readers. But I have come to realize that in our polarized environment, the meter I invented is not reaching everyone, and not reaching conservatives in particular.

BECAUSE THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN FACTS JESUS CHRIST THEY’RE IN A DEATH CULT OF COURSE A FUCKIN’ TRUTH-O-METER (this was always so goddamn dumb anyway) DOESN’T “REACH” THEM. To reach someone they have to be reaching back, not macing you backwards as they run from the life preserver you’re throwing them.

The stupid ratings system (FOUR PINOCCHIOS! THIS WILL SHOW THEM!) with its stupid cartoon illustrations was always garbage. People smart enough to care where someone’s statements fell on the meter were insulted by the childishness of it, and people who needed the info resented being told their favorite fanboy’s pants were on fire.

This is the journalism headline right now. This is what we’ve all decided collectively to give a shit about. Journalism employment is in the toilet and executive bonuses are through the roof and every time some reporter asks for more money to cover something the entire company gets rebranded to “wheeze.biz” so a consultant can talk about feeding content into a funnel.

But please, do let’s jerk ourselves off about the stupid cartoon names we use to designate politicians lying, because no matter how dumb they are some conservatives will FEEL VERY ATTACKED BY PEOPLE FLAUNTING THEIR INTELLIGENCE AND ABILITY TO KNOW THINGS AND READ WORDS.

A.

Not Everything Sucks: Iraqi Edition

People will always try to save each other. Always: 

‘My 15-year-old son, one of the best students in our province, decided to take up arms and go to battle without informing me or his father. It was a big shock for me. I thought that my son would go to battle and die. For around 20 days I searched for him.’

Fatima al-Bahandly was able to convince tens of other young men to disarm, along with her own son. She is the director of Al Firdaws Society, an NGO founded in 2003 in Basra, Iraq. She works to demobilise and reintegrate young people and children who have been recruited by militias. She has overseen a number of projects in a range of areas, including issues of literacy, conflict resolution, women’s political participation, and violence against women.

A.

Paul Manafort Meets Dollar Bill Jefferson

I’ve been reluctant to write anything about the Manafort trial because I expect him to cop a plea before it starts. Why? The evidence against him is overwhelming and a guy who worked for foreign dictators is not the most sympathetic defendant imaginable. Additionally, his wing man Gary Gates is the prosecution’s star witness. Hopefully, I’m wrong because the trial is bound to be entertaining and informative.

The pre-trial period has gotten me thinking about my former Congressman, Dollar Bill Jefferson. The main thing Dollar Bill and Paul Manafort have in common is the most eccentric judge on the federal bench, TS Ellis. I followed the Jefferson trial closely and enjoyed Ellis’ judicial antics. He walked up to the boundary of reversible error in that case but never quite crossed it. Judge Ellis hasn’t changed, he’s as quirky as ever. Rachel Maddow has had a great time reading the pre-trial transcripts aloud on her show, which is another reason I hope the trial proceeds. I’d hate to deny Rachel that pleasure.

Superficially, Manafort and Jefferson have little in common. One is an Italian-American Republican, the other an African-American Democrat. In addition to Judge Ellis, they have three things in common: intelligence, greed and, most fatally, hubris. Dollar Bill was, perhaps, the smartest man in Gret Stet politics but greed led him to overreach, which, in turn, landed him in prison. At least he never worked for a foreign dictator, which makes Manafort far worse. I have also come to the conclusion that Manafort was planted on Team Trump by the Russians. Dollar Bill betrayed his constituents, Paul Manafort betrayed his country.

In a piece I wrote for the Bayou Brief last December, I described Dollar Bill as follows:

In 2017, Dollar Bill is a living, breathing cautionary tale.

<snip>

Dollar Bill’s political legacy was swept away in a tide of graft, greed, and corruption. He got away with it for so many years that he thought he was bulletproof. He was not. It’s a shame because he could have been a great man instead of what he is: a convicted felon who was so disgraced that he lost his final race in 2008 to a Vietnamese-American Republican who had never before held a political office, Joseph Cao.

Dollar Bill went to trial, the same path Manafort is on today. He should be a cautionary tale for Manafort as well: he was convicted and Judge Ellis threw the book at him. Ouch.

Finally, since it’s First Draft’s annual fundraiser and the Manafort-Jefferson connection is fueled by money, I thought I’d let Dollar Bill do some tin cup rattling on our behalf:

Click here to see Athenae’s fundraising post and please give until it hurts. Thanks, y’all.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “This is fine” edition

Morning, all!

I know you’re familiar with the “This is fine” dog, right?

In Freeperville lately (which has drifted down from the #5 “conservative” website to 35th in traffic) – it’s pretty much like that.

I’ve been taking up too much front page space lately,  so one shortie before we get to the fine part.

Alex Jones Threatens To Shoot Robert Mueller
MSN News ^ | July 24, 2018 | Benjamin Fearnow, Newsweek

Posted on 7/25/2018, 12:22:01 AM by 2ndDivisionVet

Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ramped up threats against special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday, calling him a “monster” and described shooting the former FBI Director.

Jones’ nearly 3-hour July 23 InfoWars broadcast ranged from rants about Hollywood pedophilia to social media “shadow bans” to outlandish allegations Mueller was personally involved in a child sex ring composed of left-leaning political figures.

The InfoWars host went on to illustrate a “real world” threat against the former Marine Corps officer and Vietnam War veteran currently in charge of the Russian interference investigation of the 2016 presidential election.

Jones took on a particularly insidious tone during his Monday show, accusing Mueller of violent child sex acts before dramatizing a hypothetical “wild west” shootout with Mueller, a Republican appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to lead the Russia investigation in May 2017.

While playing spaghetti western music riffing off The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme song, Jones detailed how the only thing about Mueller that scares him is Jones “not manning up.”(continued)

*************************

That’s not helping us.
1 posted on 7/25/2018, 12:22:01 AM by 2ndDivisionVet
YaThinkNickCage
To: 2ndDivisionVet

 

The enemy of my enemy is my friend a batshit-crazy embarrassment, warts farts and all.

3 posted on 7/25/2018, 12:24:41 AM by Flaming Conservative ((Pray without ceasing))

Fixed it for ya.
To: Flaming Conservative

 

I don’t think you want Alex Jones as your friend. He’s making the same verbal mistakes that Frank Chappell did in his newsletter back in the 60s/70s, that is, taking a little information/facts and blowing them out of proportion or into a conspiracy where non existed.

There are enough legitimate leftist conspiracies out there to document and expose. Making up stuff hurts our side very badly as the Left is just waiting for even one little phrase or sentence that they can use against legitimate conservatives and libertarians.

Our credibility is our best weapon so we most guard it at all costs.

13 posted on 7/25/2018, 12:37:54 AM by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

I’m still giggling over the handle “flaming consevative”…
To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper 

Comeystain

That’s a new one….

confronted President Trump with a nasty conspiracy rumor about a pee-pee video tape and attempted to blackmail him with “what if” this “news” ever got out, and low and behold it did.

All sorts of figures in the media traffic in foul conspiracy theories every day and in the MSM. What network is Alex Jones on?

26 posted on 7/25/2018, 2:08:32 AM by a fool in paradise (Spygate’s clock began in 2015 – what did President Obama know and when did he know it)

Followed by :
To: a fool in paradise

 

There was a time when such language wasn’t allowed on FR.

27 posted on 7/25/2018, 2:37:17 AM by donna (Arizona senate: Kelli Ward supports President Trump. McSally is a RINO.)

ThatShipHasSailed
More after the you-know-what…

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Sunday Catblogging: FEEEEEEEEED

FEED THE KITTY.

Ada is sad because she’s hungry. Click here to hit the tip jar and feed her. 

A.

GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!

UPDATE THE THIRD: We did it! Thank you to everyone who contributed. This Sunday look for special Kick-and-cats-blogging in joyful celebration, and we really, really appreciate the ability to keep the lights on around here for another year!

Update II: CRAZYTOWN WE ARE ONLY $400 AWAY FROM OUR GOAL. You guys get a Kick and Catz video if you put this thing away by midnight! 

Update: WE ARE HALFWAY TO OUR GOAL AFTER 2 DAYS. You guys are amazing. Thank you all so much. Click here to keep it going! 

Hey, the earth is caving in, help us keep the lights on until it does! 

Here’s what we’d like to do this year, in addition to covering our hosting fees and getting my laptop a new battery: Continue to deal with the general stupidity of the state of government and chronicle the trash fire that is American journalism. Pay the electric bill. Keep Paul, Della, Slade, Ada and all our other asshole pets in Fancy Feast. Continue Kick’s education by buying poster board for her to spell our protest signs. COVER THE DANG MIDTERMS.

For 14 years (JESUS) we’ve only ever asked once a year for your support. Our goal this year is $1,650. Can you help us get there by next Sunday? I have something special planned if you do.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Sweet Dreams

Any Eye For A View by Paul Fleet.

I vowed not to complain about the heat this week. It’s always hot in New Orleans in July, after all. Besides, much of the world is having a heat wave so we’re not alone. Suffice it to say that even people who like warm weather are complaining about it. I’m trying my best to be stoical in the face of it all. I’m not sure if I’ll succeed in this but who the hell wants to hear a grown man whine about the humidity?

A big local story was the anointment of Zach Strief as the new play-by-play announcer of the New Orleans Saints. He has huge shoes to fill: Jim Henderson was to the Saints and their fans what Vin Scully was to the Dodgers. I’m skeptical that the inexperienced Strief is up to the job: he’s a recently retired Saints offensive lineman, and while he’s a bright, articulate guy, he’s unqualified to be a play-by-announcer.  Of course, this is the age of the unqualified.

Our theme songs this week are variations on a dreamy themey. Patsy Cline’s Sweet Dreams was written by Don Gibson who recorded it 8 years before Patsy. Her version is the one we remember. Sweet Dreams was also the title of the fabulous Jessica Lange starring 1985 bio-pic.

Yes’ Sweet Dreams comes from their second album, Time and a Word. They were still finding their way in the musical world at that point.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) was a monster hit for the Eurythmics in 1983. There was an epidemic of teenage girls who cut their hair very short because they wanted to be Annie Lennox. Who could blame them?

That concludes this foray to Disambiguation City. It’s time to awaken from your dreams, sweet or otherwise, and jump to the break.

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The Fog Of Scandal: Liars Calling Other Liars Liars

This is the week Michael Cohen and Donald Trump finally broke up. Their relationship has been slipping away ever since the raid on the former Fixer’s office but this week divorce papers were filed in the form of leaks and tweets. It seems that Cohen has gone from a willingness to take a bullet for Trump to shooting at him. In the immortal words of Lynyrd Skynyrd: Gimme back my bullets.

The Cohen-Trump recording released at the beginning of the week offered more questions than answers. Other than proving that Trump lied about paying off Karen McDougal, its legal relevance is dubious.

Last night’s leak was a horse of a different color; not that either Trump or Cohen knows anything about horses. All I know is what I see during Carnival parades whereat I’m impressed that horses can shit and walk at the same time. Michael Cohen can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.

Back to last night’s breaking news. Cohen confirms what has been obvious to anyone without a pro-Trump bias: Trump knew in advance about the June, 2016 meeting between Manafort, Junior, Slumlord Jared and some connected Russian shitbirds:

According to sources with knowledge of the situation who spoke to CNN, Cohen claims he was present when Donald Trump Jr. told Donald Trump about the potential meeting with a Russian lawyer, promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, and Trump green-lit it. While he doesn’t have any evidence to validate his claims, Cohen is reportedly willing to share that information with special counsel Robert Mueller.

This, in turn, led liar Rudy to claim that liar Cohen was lying:

“I don’t see how he has any credibility,” he said. “There’s nobody that I know that knows him that hasn’t warned me that if he’s backed up against a wall he’ll lie like crazy, because he’s lied all his life.”

Projection thy name is Rudy.

The world knows that most of Cohen’s lying has been in service of  big fat liar Donald Trump.  Who believes any of these lying liars? Cohen’s yarn is plausible but needs corroboration. One reason I’m inclined to believe it was this morning’s Trump twitter meltdown. It’s what happens when he feels cornered.

The most alarming sub-plot of this story is the statement drafted for Junior when the first story about the meeting came out. Here’s Josh Marshall’s take:

Then there’s what happened in the aftermath of the Times stories breaking the news about the Trump Tower meeting that were published just over a year ago. Mueller’s investigators have focused closely on the fact that President Trump dictated a statement which was released in the name of his son Don Jr. about the meeting. It was a false cover story which quickly fell apart. He claimed it was about adoptions. How did he know about it? Well, it seems that he knew about it in advance. But there’s another thread to the story.

Trump dictated that false statement, with the cover story about adoptions only hours after he had a one on one meeting with Vladimir Putin (with no other US persons involved) which was apparently also about adoptions. As I explain here, if you put all this information together, there’s a pretty strong case to be made that not only did President Trump know about the Trump Tower meeting in advance but that he concocted his false cover story with the assistance of Vladimir Putin.

Was this discussed at the one-on-one Putin-Trump meeting? Enquiring minds want to know. Of course, if David Pecker had the story, he’d sell it to the Donald.

Speaking of peckers, a closing note about Junior’s new squeeze former Fox News bot, Kimberly Guilfoyle:

 Six sources said Guilfoyle’s behavior included showing personal photographs of male genitalia to colleagues (and identifying whose genitals they were), regularly discussing sexual matters at work and engaging in emotionally abusive behavior toward hair and makeup artists and support staff.

Was it Junior’s pecker? Eww, just, eww. It may be time to hurl, and I’m not lying about that.

Friday Catblogging: You’re A Good Man, Gunga Paul

I think Kipling would have liked this post title. But he would have been confused by plastic water bottles and Paul Drake’s love of sitting atop them. I know I am.

 

Wingnuts Can’t Count

I hate what the Republicans have done to the House of Representatives. It was never a perfect institution (nothing human ever is) but, beginning with Newt Gingrich, they’ve transformed it into a theatre of the absurd. I almost called it a Kabuki theatre but I don’t want to confuse Jason Spencer into thinking that’s a Chinese, not Japanese thing. Kanichiwa, Sushi, Sony, Nissan. Sorry, I just can’t let go of Malaka Spencer a man who puts the dim in dim sum.

The latest empty GOP gesture comes in the form of articles of impeachment filed against Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. The so-called Freedom Caucus is the author of this idiot plot led by the Tar Heel twit, Mark Meadows, and the Buckeye rape enabler, Jim Jordan.

The charges are specious. Essentially, Rosenstein is accused of insufficient servility towards House GOPers and failure to aid and abet Trump’s Kremlingate cover up. The votes don’t appear to be there but the Insult Comedian is pleased: he likes others to do his dirty work for him. Jim Jordan seems to be his new fixer. He’s even dumber than Michael Cohen and that’s saying a lot.

Rod Rosenstein has turned out to be the unlikely hero of this sordid mess. He looks like the sort of guy who got stuffed into lockers in high school by louts such as Jim Jordan. Rosenstein turns out to have a steel spine and brass balls. He rarely lets House wingnuts see him sweat and he shouldn’t sweat this fakakta impeachment effort.

The House Wingnut Caucus does not appear to have the votes for this abuse of democracy. They don’t care. It’s all about publicity and sucking up to the Insult Comedian. It’s a sham and a shame, but one cannot shame the shameless or those who cannot count.

Here’s Jim Jordan trying to count:

He *may* be able to count to 20 by using all his fingers and toes but I have my doubts.

This preposterous impeachment is yet another reason that Democrats need to retake the House. Let’s put Jordan and Meadows out to pasture.

The Michael Cohen Mixtape

Cohen_Mix_Tape

So, this is just the first of many, possibly over a hundred, recordings that demonstrate that, duh, the president every bit the sleazeball we know he is. Go figure.

Imagine almost any other politician getting caught up in something like this…

Yet, in a you-can’t-possibly-make-this-up scenario, the nuttiest of the GOP wingnuts filed impeachment charges against Rod Rosenstein.

I’m so old I remember when character issues were allegedly a big deal. Sure, they were always full of shit, but you’d think they’d be a little less openly shameless. Nope. They’re all in…and let’s hope come November, we can throw the bums all out…

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The High Window

I’m in a Marlowe mood this week: Philip, not Christopher.

The High Window was Raymond Chandler’s third book featuring Marlowe. It’s been published with a wide array of covers over the last 76 years. Here are two representative ones:

Ron Rosenbaum On TRONC: Destroyer Of Newspapers

I realize that Athenae walks the TRONC beat around here but I felt like taking a few shots at them myself. In this case by posting two tweets from the great Ron Rosenbaum who hates everything about TRONC, especially that stupid name:

TRONC recently sold off the Los Angeles Times. The new ownership is moving the paper out of the gorgeous art deco building erected when the Chandlers owned the paper. One reason cited for the move was high rents. As a part of their asset stripping strategy, TRONC sold the building two years ago, which is why the rent got too damn high. Once they’re done firing people, they’ll do the same thing at the Daily News. Asset stripping is what these fuckers do.

That concludes this post about TRONC: Destroyer of Newspapers.

Malaka Of The Week: Jason Spencer

We live in an era of fake tough guys. It’s a phenomenon made worse by social media, which is full of nebbishes with keyboard courage. I don’t do Reddit but Twitter is jam-packed with tough talking bullies who are cowards in real life. As Dashiell Hammett put it: “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”

The latest phony hard man to be exposed is Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer (R-Dipshit.) Sacha Baron Cohen literally pantsed this jerk on Who Is America? And that is why Jason Spencer is malaka of the week.

The first time Malaka Spencer came to my attention, he was in Lost Causer mode. He made empty threats against LaDawn Jones a former black legislator who supports removing Confederate monuments.

The lowest point was when Spencer told her that if she and others kept up their fight to rid the state of Confederate monuments, “I cant guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive.”

Later, removing any doubt, he said the people who want the statues gone “will go missing in the Okefenokee,” referring to a swamp and national wildlife refuge near his home town. “To many necks they are red around here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

That’s one of many reason this little creep deserved the comeuppance served to him by Erran Morad, Cohen’s Mossad agent character. Cohen convinced this idiot that, if he screamed the N-Word and pranced about with his pants down/ass out, that would somehow protect him from terrorists. You have to see it to believe it.

Spencer’s attempts at damage control were almost as ridiculous as the bit where he posed as a Chinese tourist who spouted off random Japanese phrases. They’re not the same, dude:

“Sacha Baron Cohen and his associates took advantage of my paralyzing fear that my family would be attacked. In posing as an Israeli Agent, he pretended to offer self-defense exercises. As uncomfortable as I was to participate, I agreed to, understanding that these ‘techniques’ were meant to help me and others fend off what I believed was an inevitable attack.

“My fears were so heightened at that time, I was not thinking clearly nor could I appreciate what I was agreeing to when I participated in his ‘class.’ I was told I would be filmed as a ‘demonstration video’ to teach others the same skills in Israel.

That’s the problem with fake tough guys like Spencer and his hero, Donald Trump. They’re motivated by fear. They try to fend it off by picking on people. It’s not only cowardly, it’s downright stupid. Who the hell is intimidated by a malaka with his pants down? Or by an Insult Comedian with a dead nutria pelt atop his head?

Top Georgia Republicans are calling for Spencer’s head based on his racist behavior. They should add another charge to their political indictment: he’s too stupid to represent a district in the state lege. And that is why Jason Spencer is malaka of the week.

UPDATE: Spencer will be taking his malakatude to the private sector. He’s announced that he’s resigning his seat at the end of the month.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Led Zeppelin

I’ve never been much of a Led Zeppelin fan. Their music is pretty good but I’ve never cared for the vibe surrounding them. It’s rooted in my memories of their infamous 1973 gig at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. In a sign of bad taste, their fans booed the Tubes off the stage, and their crew and manager assaulted some of Bill Graham’s staff backstage; one of whom was the older brother of a friend of mine. Ugh.

I’ve had them on my mind because of the skillful use of their music in the HBO mini-series Sharp Objects. Besides, what’s not to love about the cover of their debut album?

Another reason I don’t care for Led Zeppelin was the heavy-handed way they dealt with this brilliant parody by the San Francisco band, Little Roger and the Goosebumps:

Here’s the album via the YouTube playlist format. It’s probably my favorite of their records for its lack of pretension and mystical mumbo jumbo.

Nimble. Agile. Digital First.

These justifications are always such fucking crap:

They have no idea what they’re doing, journalistically, and they have no idea in any other sense besides making the quarterly earnings report look slightly less shitty. That’s as far ahead as TRONC! (see previous examples of fuckery here, here, here, here and here) can manage to think.

Let’s review how we got where we are, shall we? 

In the late 1990s/early 2000s, media companies bought up newspapers. They then took those newspapers, profitable operations mostly and profitable by double digits, and tried to make them profitable by triple digits.

They did this by cutting the stuff that made them profitable in the first place because that stuff was expensive.

Journalists are not expensive. Journalists are cheap.

First they cut the distribution, or pared it down. They cut out printing popular sections. They cut out delivering on people’s porches, and eventually, to people’s homes. They cut in-house distribution and farmed it out to non-union mouthbreathers who were as likely to throw the paper in the bushes as get it to the customer.

They cut marketing, too, at a time when the housing market was booming and people were moving place to place at accelerated rates, so that you had no idea when you moved into a community what papers was yours.

What else could they combine or cut? Editorial design. Centralize it and put it in the hands of people who wouldn’t notice if a place was misidentified or spelled wrong. Copy editing! Who cares about spelling, anyway? Local opinion coverage, because syndicated columns about how young men need to pull up their pants are obviously more relevant to readers!

Shockingly, these things didn’t magically make the papers more money. In fact, they started bleeding readers, and the advertisers followed. You’ll notice I haven’t talked about THE DASTARDLY INTERNET yet. That’s because while all this was going on the Internet barely existed.

When it finally came to be, and mobile devices brought news to people wherever they were, news organizations were enfeebled, directionless creatures wounded by so many years of mistreatment that they couldn’t take advantage of a new medium even if they wanted to. And let’s be honest, a lot of the people involved didn’t want to take advantage of the Internet. They wanted to take a damn nap, and could you blame them really.

So the flailing began. Let’s be hyperlocal! Let’s have a paywall! Let’s not have a paywall! Let’s have a paywall that can be hacked by a halfway competent barn cat and put nothing behind it but wire copy and comic strips! Let’s do “longform,” whatever the fuck that is. Let’s do Facebook bots!

LET’S RENAME OURSELVES FUCKING TRONC.

When none of that worked because they’d squandered every ounce of goodwill and every drop of brand loyalty built over decades, they started cutting again. And this time there was nothing left to cut but newsroom jobs. So they cut those, and kept cutting, and kept cutting.

That’s where we are right now. None of it has diddly shit to do with the Internet, which some in the industry are just now, 20 fuckin years in, waking up to. All of it has to do with viewing a public goddamn service as just another piggy bank to be smashed when you need change for penny candy.

A.

To Hell With The Trump Base

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about the vaunted Trump base. It causes Republican Senators to retire and Congresscritters to wet their pants in fear. Their entire political world is based on doing nothing that will upset the Trump base. They’re obsessed with Republican primary voters, which will cost them dearly in the next general election as long as our people turn out.

The power of the Republican base is wildly overrated. It’s ridiculous nonsense to anyone who can count. The number of voters who identify with the GOP has been declining for years. There are currently 25-26% of the voters who call themselves Republicans. That means the 88% of Republicans who support Trump make up 23-24% of the total electorate. That’s why the GOP has long been devoted to voter suppression culminating in 2016 where the Trump/Bannon/Russian strategy was to depress the Democratic vote. It worked then but we’re on to them.

The bottom line is that the vast majority of Americans do not support this president*. If they turn out to vote in November, Republicans will lose the House and hopefully the Senate and a slew of state house races. There is a solid anti-Trump majority in the country and the hardcore Trump base makes up at most 1/4 of the voting public. Their only hope is that Democrats and Independents stay home. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Vote them out. As Al Gore was fond of saying in 1992,  “It’s time for them to go.”

I was probably too polite in my post title. Here’s what I should have said:

FUCK THE TRUMP BASE.

That concludes this political pep talk. Class dismissed.

Life Imitates The Americans

There are, of course, substantial differences between Elizabeth Jennings of The Americans and Mariia Butina. Elizabeth operated in the shadows whereas Two-I Mariia was openly trying to influence the NRA while keeping her real motives under wraps.  Another difference is that Elizabeth got away with it whereas Two-I Mariia is in jail. What they have in common are guns and honey traps.

There was some derision among the dimmer twitter types when the Butina scandal turned to sex. There are too many people on both the left and right who react to news stories based on their ideological predilections. Butina’s honey trap exploits are not the most important part of the story but they’re integral to it.

The woman, Maria Butina, carried out her campaign through a series of deceptions that began in 2014, if not earlier, prosecutors said. She lied to obtain a student visa to pursue graduate work at American University in 2016. Apparently hoping for a work visa that would grant her a longer stay, she offered one American sex in exchange for a job. She moved in with a Republican political operative nearly twice her age, describing him as her boyfriend. But she privately expressed “disdain” for him and had him do her homework, prosecutors said.

Butina gets an A in honey trappery. The schmuck she conned is a GOPer named Paul Erickson. TPM has a hilarious piece about this malaka, which is must reading. Erickson’s strings were pulled by Two-I Mariia and her handlers for 5 years before her exposure. He was shocked, shocked that a Russian woman nearly thirty years his junior had ulterior motives. Erickson thought he was her dream man, instead he was her dream patsy.

Butina’s exploits have to give one pause. It looks as if Donald Trump isn’t the only American compromised by the Russians. The NRA seems to be too. They fell for Butina’s claim that a “gun rights” movement was starting in Russia supported by the Kremlin. They’re as gullible as the dipshits who fell for Sacha Baron Cohen’s Kinderguardian scam.

Elizabeth Jennings would be proud of Two-I Mariia’s exploits. She influenced US policy, infiltrated the NRA, asked the Insult Comedian a question at a public event, and made fools of a bunch of horny middle-aged men. The only thing she did wrong, Russian spywise, was to get caught. Federal prosecutors were right to hold Butina without bail, her picture is in the dictionary next to flight risk.

I’d like to thank the Russians for giving me a pretext to write about The Americans again. The Two-I Mariia scandal has temporarily put my Jennings withdrawal symptoms into remission. I cannot wait for the Free Mariia Butina movement to shift into high gear.

I wonder who the Russians are willing to trade for her: how about Philip and Elizabeth? The Trumpers could be fooled into believing that they’re real, not fictional. All it would take is a private meeting between Trump and Putin. Donald believes everything Vlad says, after all.

I considered posting a song used in The Americans BUT nobody does it better than Carly Simon or James Bond for that matter:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Immoral Values edition

Morning, good people – today we’re going to pry open the rancid drum of Freepitude marked “moral values”.

I’ve put up special splash guards for this one, so everyone behind the plexiglass!

First up – A good slut is hard to find!

GODLY MEN PREFER DEBT-FREE VIRGINS WITHOUT TATTOOS
The Transformed wife ^ | July 19th 2018 | Lori Alexander

Posted on 7/19/2018, 7:24:40 PM by Mechanicos

As many of you know, my post Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos went viral and is causing quite a stir. I should have definitely titled it “Godly Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos.” I want to make clear that the audience I teach are those young women who want to learn biblical womanhood as according to God’s instructions in Titus 2:3-5. They love the Lord and His beautiful ways.

1 posted on 7/19/2018, 7:24:40 PM by Mechanicos
Here comes the God Squad!
To: Mechanicos
In my generation, (1970s) woman with tattoos were considered sluts.
Whenever I see a beautiful woman with tats, I immediately conclude that she is a SKANK! 

4 posted on 7/19/2018, 7:27:59 PM by Flavious_Maximus

Wait for it….
To: Flavious_Maximus

Whenever I see a beautiful woman with tats, I immediately conclude that she is a SKANK!

Hey, me too – know where I can find any?

8 posted on 7/19/2018, 7:31:06 PM by atc23
To: Mechanicos

 

Everyone knows: Credit cleanliness is next to godliness.

12 posted on 7/19/2018, 7:35:02 PM by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)

Heh.
To: kaehurowing

 

[The one I truly don’t get is tattoos and piercings. Why women choose to permanently disfigure themselves is beyond me.]

There is a phenomenon today where some women actually work to make themselves unattractive.

15 posted on 7/19/2018, 7:36:46 PM by headstamp 2 (My “White Privilege” is my work ethic.)

To YOU, dipshit. They work to make themselves unattractive to YOU.

Saves on taser batteries.

Of course, there’s the occasional Freeper who’s actually READ the bible…

To: Mechanicos

 

i’d rather have the woman that God provided for me.

As for the article, i’m sure that if Mary Magdalene had access to them she’d find it amusing.

God is in the business of making new creations out of fallen people.

26 posted on 7/19/2018, 7:55:22 PM by Calvinist_Dark_Lord ((I have come here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum…and I’m all outta bubblegum! ~Roddy Piper))

To: MV=PY 

Call me sexist.

…or a cab…

Men with tattoos, okay. Women, yuck! I never approved of tattoos until the most wonderful man in the world asked me to be his wife (he has 5 of them, but in a suit you would never know).

29 posted on 7/19/2018, 7:58:15 PM by TheWriterTX (Trust not in earthly princes….)

IronyHypocrisyMeter

INCOMING!!!!

To: Mechanicos
GODLY MEN PREFER DEBT-FREE VIRGINS WITHOUT TATTOOS  

So i guess because i have tattoos and am a tattoo artist and i’m married with 4 kids and in debt mildly i’m not a Godly man

That’s wonderful !

Good to know !

35 posted on 7/19/2018, 8:11:17 PM by ATOMIC_PUNK (;I’m not a psychopath, I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.” Sherlock Holmes)
To: Mechanicos

 

pffftttt……

Godly men wanted to kick a poor widow out of the synagogue.

how very pious of you.

Some of the most gentle and God loving souls I’ve met are covered in tats.

Get lost Mr. Lukewarm.

46 posted on 7/19/2018, 8:28:12 PM by Hammerhead

Another Freeper weighs in on the “know where I can find some?” side :
To: atc23
“women with tats”Woody: Back in Iowa we had a saying about that.

Sam: Yea, what’s that?

Woody: Let’s date ’em.

 

39 posted on 7/19/2018, 8:23:36 PM by Deaf Smith (When a Texan takes his chances, chances will be taken that’s fore sure)
To: Mechanicos

 

Well, a lot can be forgiven if they have a bass boat, trailer and pickup.

42 posted on 7/19/2018, 8:27:00 PM by Tijeras_Slim

Well, there IS that…
.
And now – the post of the thread!
To: BenLurkin

 

Three guys got into a car crash and all died. They all get up to heaven and meet St. Peter at the gates. St. Peter said “Okay everyone can come in, but whatever you do don’t step on a duck.” The gates open and there are ducks everywhere, all over the floor, on tabletops, everywhere. The first guy walks in and accidentally steps on a duck. St. Peter comes along and handcuffs him to the ugliest woman in all the world and says, “Now you must stay handcuffed for all eternity.”

The other two see this and do their best not avoid the ducks. The second guy goes months and months without stepping on any duck. Then one morning he wakes up and as he is getting out of bed he steps on two ducks. St. Peter comes over and handcuffs him to the most atrocious looking and smelling woman and says, “Now you must stay handcuffed to each other for all eternity.”

Now the third guy goes years and years and doesn’t step on any ducks in all that time. Then one day St. Peter comes along and handcuffs him to the most beautiful woman he as ever seen. St. Peter says, “Now you must stay handcuffed to each other for all eternity.”

The guy happily says, “Oh my God, what have I done to deserve this?!” And the woman says, “I don’t know what you did, but I stepped on a duck.”

34 posted on 7/19/2018, 8:09:47 PM by unread (Joe McCarthy was right…….)

More immore-ality below the fold…

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Racism. It’s Racism. It’s Always Racism. (Sometimes Abortion, But Mostly Racism.)

In which the Washington Post twists itself into a pretzel trying to understand what’s in like the third paragraph of their own goddamn story:  

At the same time, many have acknowledged the awkwardness of being both self-proclaimed followers of Jesus and the No. 1 champions of a president whose character has been defined not just by alleged infidelity but accusations of sexual harassment, advancing conspiracy theories popular with white supremacists, using language that swaths of Americans find racist, routinely spreading falsehoods and an array of casual cruelties and immoderate behaviors that amount to a roll call of the seven deadly sins.

The predicament has led to all kinds of reactions within the evangelical community, from a gathering of pastors in Illinois described as a “call to self-reflection,” to prayer meetings with Trump in Washington, to hours of cable news reckoning in which Southern Baptists have taken the lead.

There are two reasons for these so-called Christians to vote for Trump:

Racism.

The idea of putting in place a Supreme Court that will outlaw abortion, which isn’t about ending abortion but is about denying it to sluts, which isn’t even about that so much as it’s about performing to your fellow churchgoers that you are moral. Narcissism, basically, then.

That’s it. That’s all this is but let’s have another 5,000 words about how difficult the dilemma these white people face. I mean, come on:

A few leaders have publicly dissented from such views, aware of the Southern Baptist history of whiffing on the big moral questions of the day — such as during the civil rights era, when most pastors either defended segregation or remained silent.

I wonder what the common thread here is?

To her, this was a moral threat far greater than any character flaw Trump might have, as was what she called “the racial divide,” which she believed was getting worse. The evidence was all the black people protesting about the police, and all the talk about the legacy of slavery, which Sheila never believed was as bad as people said it was. “Slaves were valued,” she said. “They got housing. They got fed. They got medical care.”

It’s a mystery.

This story, by the way, is beautiful and compassionate and loving toward the people being quoted, and it’s wonderfully written, and I wish literally any other group of political constituents got this kind of humanizing on a daily basis. I wish the people making truly hard moral choices were lionized the way those failing them are.

A.