Author Archives: mmferry1965

President Know Nothing

Trump_Citizen_Know_Nothing

“Racist Ass” description courtesy of Ted Lieu. 

In what barely qualifies as news, Trump’s re-election strategy, to the extent he has one, is letting his racist (to the bone), xenophobic, nativist freak flag fly.

Last night’s hate fest was just the latest chapter in the ongoing shit show.

Yes, Trump’s base will be fired up, and the idiot media, continuing their malpractice from 2016 (her emails!), will insist his base embodies Real America (it doesn’t).

The 2018 midterms weren’t an accident. Trump might be popular with his base, but his base isn’t enough to pull out a win.

The Democrats might be able to pull out a loss, but that’s another story.

In the meantime, sure, it’s ugly, but I’m not ready to cede the country to them.

When The Levee Breaks Breaches

ten_commandments_NOLA

What is climate change? (I still call it global warming)

This

The storm’s timing is unique: In 168 years of hurricane records, a July hurricane in Louisiana has only happened three times, and all of those occurrences have been within the past 40 years. There’s a growing body of research that shows that as the Gulf of Mexico waters warm because of climate change, early-season hurricanes like proto-Barry could become more common. (Right now, water temperatures in the Gulf are at near-record levelsmore typical of peak hurricane season.)

More concerning than the storm’s early timing, however, is its bad timing. The Mississippi River has been continuously flooding southern Louisiana since January 6, the longest flood in recorded history for the river in this region. Spring floods aren’t supposed to last until mid-July, and after 185 days of high water, it’s unclear Louisiana could handle any more. A potential worst-case scenario could prove disastrous for Louisiana, and shows how unprepared we are for the scary new era of overlapping climate disasters.

And this

University of Georgia atmospheric sciences professor John Knox offered one of the most compelling and clear analogies to explain why an anthropogenic climate change signal is increasingly associated with events like the European heatwave. Knox wrote:

The old record for the nation was 44.1C (111.4F), from the deadly 2003 heat wave in Europe. So, France just bested its high temperature by 3 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a lot. As with, say, 100-meter dash records in seconds, national temperature records in degrees should be broken in tenths, really hundredths–not integer values.If this were the world of track and field, a new record of this extremity would prompt immediate concerns about doping. The runner is fast, but no way is he or she THAT fast.

Welcome to the future.

2020 Prequel?

border_vitter

Apologies for a short post, and one without links. However, I’m on a long overdue vacation and, um, pretty far away, with at times limited internet.

The guy in the foreground is David Vitter. Louisianians rejected his bid to be governor in 2015, but made him a Senator/Sinator in 2004 and in 2010, even after Mr. Family values proved to be more Mr. Moral Relativism.

His major re-election strategy in 2010 was insisting, without any evidence, that Loosiana [sic] was overrun by illegal immigrant hordes. Hordes that looked a lot like the refugees DJT is abusing.

I’m not a betting person, but I’d put money on Trump taking his manufactured crisis and playing a strategy of “they’re overwhelming us at the border.” The concentration camps become a feature, not a bug, and help create that impression.

Sick, depraved, appalling? Yep. But that’s Donald Trump…oh, and the entire GOP. A feature, not a bug…and a tradition.

Again, apologies for no link. I’ll be back to more normal stuff next week. Cheers.

Versus This Guy

Trump_Hector_Salamanca_575

Prior to boarding Air Force One for his trip to Japan, Trump gave us another glimpse into what makes him tick —  voices in his head

On Wednesday morning, hours after news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before Congress in a public setting on July 17, President Donald Trump called in to Maria Bartiromo’s Fox Business show for a lengthy phone interview that was especially unhinged, even by his standards.

It was a surreal affair from start to finish. But even during its wildest moments, Bartiromo pretended to understand what Trump was talking about and acted as though he was making profound points. In that respect, it illustrated how Trump-friendly media — Fox News and Fox Business in particular — normalize an obviously abnormal president.

Shortly after the interview ended, Bartiromo appeared on Fox News and pretended as though Trump’s performance was normal.

”The president is who is he, and that’s why he has his base and the loyal supporters that he has,” she said. “He’s not afraid to say — to tell it the way it is. And he was very straightforward and I think that’s why people like him.”

And that’s the real debate. Right there. Regardless of who emerges from the Democratic Party’s nominating process, they’ll face off against a guy who regularly sounds like he’s gone off his meds, but who nonetheless has a lock on the GOP base. Fox Noise will do their best to normalize him. The rest of us will hopefully see who him for the idiot, narcissistic, lunatic crook he is.

As for last night, I’d choose ANY of them over Trump. And I’d take any of the one’s scheduled for tonight, and what the hell, I’d even take any of the two or three who didn’t make the cut.

Trump’s a nut. He must go. It’s that simple.

What They See

trump_oru_prayer_tower_cult

Here’s as good an example as any of the sort of people Joe Biden thinks we can work with if we’ll only get back to civility.

These guys really aren’t even trying to hide how feckless and corrupt they are anymore, are they.

On ‘All in With Chris Hayes’ this evening, Republican congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin made the argument that a robust economy in Wisconsin during the presidency of Donald Trump means it’s perfectly okay for Donald Trump to commit impeachable offenses.

Duffy’s no James Eastland or Herman Talmadge. But do you really think he’ll reach across the aisle for any reason other than maybe to grab someone by the shirt…or the hair?

The MAGA-ts are fully brainwashed. They’re in the cult. Oddly, the media is as well, but that’s more proof they’d brag about the money they made selling the rope used to hang them.

However, there is hopeful news. Despite everything, Trump’s support peaks at about 45-46 percent in polls (and right now it’s a bit less). Of that, most are likely the cultists, and sure, it’s a damn uphill battle with the idiot media pushing the horse race, and the gerrymandering, the voter suppression, and so on. But Trump, despite all this, is weak. He only wins with another fluke inside-straight election. Playing to the base isn’t enough.

So…when it comes to civility, or whatever…nope. This election is straight up strength versus strength. From a campaign perspective, it’s pretty much over, except for who can turn out their voters. Game on.

Democratic Leaders: This Will NOT Happen

frogmarch_large_trump_2

No, Trump will not self-impeach, any more than he’d self-indict or self-arrest/self-perp walk/self-frog march. And every day you allow Trump to stomp on small “d” democratic norms, or worse, you enable his degrading of what’s left of self-government to the aesthetic of tawdry, reality-show, dictator chic.

Nor will “Republican heroes” save you. With the sole exception of Justin Amash, they’re all in. Duh. Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao rival DJT in overall corruption, if not pussy grabbing sleaziness. The House hearing this week where John Dean was all but called a rat for choosing the rule of law and the Constitution over blind loyalty to the caught-on-tape felon Richard Nixon is only the most recent example of Congressional GOPers behaving more like a criminal gang than a political party.

Besides. Trump. Is. Bluffing. He’s. Not. Playing. 11. Dimensional. Chess. Shit, I doubt the guy can play a decent game of, I don’t know, spin the bottle, and spin the bottle might be the one game he’d like, other than hectoring, bullying, and bluffing his way to what should have been defined–or at least spun like there’s no tomorrow–by the big “D” Democratic Party as an illegitimate administration, enabled by blind dumb luck and stupid, freak rules.

If they let this clown sociopath gain any more of a toehold than they’ve already given him…then what’s the fucking point?

History will judge Nancy Pelosi…and will judge harshly if she, and sorry to harp on this, but if she normalizes Donald Trump. And every goddamned day she, Schumer, and the rest of the alleged Democratic leadership fail to object — forecfully — is another day Trump’s disgraceful performance gets more normalized.

You don’t win by playing not to lose.

The Four Horses’ Asses Of The Apocalypse

apocalypse_triptych_3

No, you don’t have to hold an impeachment vote tomorrow, but yes, as Adrastos noted in a comment thread last week (and yeah, the reply was to me), call it what it is. Control the narrative. Trump’s already been too normalized. We’ve got blind, dumb luck to thank if we’ve not been hurt by his policies (while some people HAVE been hurt).

Move the process forward. Besides, if you do it right, you can negate any attempt by McConnell to sandbag. Investigate thoroughly, hold hearings, and sure, if it just happens that Trump’s impeachment is an October surprise…surprise.

And if that’s not enough to prevent his re-election, then…I don’t know what. Welcome to the Hunter Thompson nation of “used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”

But not fighting is the surest way to lose. By not fighting the Overton window’s been moved so far to the right that Barack Obama was labeled a socialist, Bill Clinton was impeached, and Hillary Clinton was slimed as a crook — slimed by Donald Fucking Trump.

And Trump thinks/assumes he’ll get away with it…like he always does.

Well, he will if they let him.

Today’s the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Europe invasion. Democrats, it’s not like we’re asking you to storm the beaches. We’re asking you to show a little spine in the face of a guy who’s a con, a cheat, a bluffer…a horse’s ass. Take control of the narrative and above all, don’t lay down to him. Please.  We’re asking nicely.

Does Mueller Have To Spell It Out?

I_Mpeach_450

I’m with Charles Blow on this

What the hell is it going to take, Democrats?!

What evidence and impetus would compel you to do the job the Constitution, patriotism and morality dictate?

What is it going to take to make you initiate an impeachment inquiry?

Your slow walking of this issue and your specious arguments about political calculations are pushing you dangerously close to a tragic, historic dereliction of duty, one that could do irreparable damage to the country and the Congress.

Political calculation, like it or not, gives at least the impression of political cowardice, and this is exactly the wrong time for cowardice.

Sure, Trump is popular with Republicans, although Justin Amash has demonstrated some political principles, and in doing so, done the Democratic Party an enormous favor. Having said that, it’s not like Democrats will EVER win Republican votes, so I can’t understand why Pelosi thinks she must somehow get the GOP on board.

The job of the political opposition is to OPPOSE. In this case, the opposition has the additional incentive of standing up for the rule of law against a corrupt president who very clearly broke the law, and for whom there’s more than a little evidence of political  and possibly financial ties with Russian crooks. A president who is compromised by a foreign adversary.

Besides, Trump is, I’m convinced, winging it. He has no grand plan, other than to rely on Democrats being weak and mealy-mouthed. He’ll “just figure it out.” Cringing and laying down on this is as much political malpractice as it was media malpractice when the press gave him the freest of free rides in 2016.

Does anyone think the GOP wouldn’t have impeached Hillary Clinton by now? Consider: with little more than an election decided by odd rules, voter suppression/foreign meddling in key states, and dumb luck, they’ve shoved through two Supreme Court nominees — and McConnell openly gloats about how he gave Democrats a big old middle finger with one — they’ve pushed through what amount to abortion bans in four states and are working on more, they’ve gone so far as to insist that in an age of global warming that fossil fuels are “molecules of freedom,” whatever the hell that means…

Barack Obama won two elections decisively. That didn’t stop the GOP from adopting a scorched earth opposition. Politics is…politics. You compromise if you must, but you don’t play to compromise. You play to win, and Democratic issues are winning issues. Geez.

FDR, in 1936, “welcomed [the] hatred” of people far less worse than the corrupt, crooked, and incompetent Trump MAGAt crowd. He sure didn’t betray his own principles for an infrastructure deal that would never go through anyway…

How They Roll

Liars_Poker_Mnuchin_2

Not exactly a fun day for Steven Mnuchin — he spent it on Capitol Hill trying to justify his violation of law in refusing to hand over Trump’s tax returns — but he nonetheless managed to pull off a classic dick move of the kind the GOP routinely do, announcing publicly that the twenty dollar bill redesign to honor Harriet Tubman has been delayed until, well, he’s no longer Treasury Secretary.

“It’s not a decision that is likely to come until way past my term, even if I serve the second term for the president,” Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee. “So I’m not focused on that for the moment.”

 

“The ultimate decision on the redesign will most likely be another secretary’s down the road,” he said.

 

To be sure, this isn’t THE most critical issue facing the country, yes, it’s mainly a symbolic gesture, Andrew Jackson would probably shit a brick if he found out his face was on paper money, and geez, I don’t use cash all that much anymore…but this is exactly the sort of stuff that’s their stock in trade. Even the smallest issues are matters they’ll fight and claw over. They’ll never pass up a chance to do something that reeks of wingnut.

In contrast, Democrats, faced with Trump making Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan look like twin pillars of gravitas and moral rectitude, continue to play a “let’s-see-if-we-can-meet-them-halfway” game. That’s exactly how, over the course of a generation, we’ve devolved from Reagan to Bush to Trump. Even Clinton and Obama were, in their own ways, GOP-Lite.

I’m not saying Democrats should act like shitheels. But it’d be nice if every once in a while they’d push hard on things they believe in.

The Trump Brand IS The GOP Brand

new-coke_trump_2

And the brand is toxic. It’s New Coke.

Which is why it’s so … frustrating to watch the Democrats flailing about (via) with half-assed, mincing, “self-impeachment,” better-test-the-political-winds-for-the-thousandth-time, milquetoast expressions of timidity while Trump and his fellow party members — they are one and the same — look for another dumpster fire to toss the Constitution into, because, hey, who’s going to stop them?

Geez.

No, they don’t have to hold an impeachment vote tomorrow, but a little bit of spine wouldn’t hurt either. To repeat yet again, if the tables were turned, does anyone think the GOP wouldn’t be investigating, subpoenaing, holding hearings, demanding documents and otherwise doing all they could to oppose?

Um, they did just that for eight years, and after being clearly beaten in two presidential elections.

Trump himself is clearly criminal…and stupid. The Repugs have gone all in with him. Their ONLY option is to shrink the electorate by any means and promise as much red meat to their evangelical, white supremacist base…and hope that Dems will cringe, cry…and act like losers. Maybe promise to be just a little less conservative. You know, like they’ve always done. Because of, I don’t know, infrastructure or something.

Meanwhile, the public, who never much liked Trump anyway — how many times do we have to repeat that he lost the actual (not “popular”) vote? — delivered a clear message with the midterms. They like him about as much as they liked New Coke.

So, Democrats, don’t insist the answer is to offer Pepsi…

Dear Democrats: Show Some Spine, Don’t Back Down, Don’t Be Intimidated

jellyfish_dnc_logo

Don’t make this the new DNC logo

Trump’s been wounded — by the Mueller report, by the recent NY Times revelations, Deutsche Bank is allegedly cooperating with investigators, etc., etc. — and like lots of wounded animals, his feral survival instincts are kicking in.

So yeah, he’s lashing out, he going all-in with the only thing he knows how to do: the Roy Cohn defense. Petulance as policy. Threaten, holler, play the victim, scream about your enemies…but hope like all hell they back down.

Because it’s all a bluff.

Sure, if they let him, Trump WILL destroy whatever he can to save his skin…and he’s got an ally in the GOP itself, which met him more than halfway long before he descended the escalator. But he’s not invincible…yet.

So, Democrats, please don’t play political calculus games, don’t pore over polling data, don’t twist yourself in knots trying to placate the non-existent Reagan Democrats.

Investigate the hell out of this crook, and if it leads to impeachable offenses (hint: it does), impeach.

He’s a fucking full-service laundromat for mobbed up cash from all over the globe. He’s a loser businessman with terrible instincts  — so if he thinks impeachment is an out/will let him off the hook, consider how wrong he always is. He got “elected” only by the weirdest of flukes, while benefiting from some particularly heavy-handed Clinton bashing by foreign governments, the FBI and The Village/Establishment. He’s not popular. He obstructs justice. If allowed to, he’ll kill whatever’s left of our democratic institutions.

If that still doesn’t register, think of it like this: if Nancy Pelosi went after Donald Trump and the GOP with half the zeal with which she’s gone after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the other recently elected Democrats (who, ahem, represent the party’s future), consider how far she might get…just saying.

Cultists

enver_hoxha_trump_barr

Why not call it a cult? That’s what they sound like from Barr on down as they look for any reason to excuse Dear Leader…

Then there’s James Comey’s sad realization, part deprogrammed former believer, part wide-eyed person pleading, imploring, “it’s a cookbook!” as others board the ship.

Gee, would’ve been nice if you noticed or thought of that two and and half years ago, James, instead of looking for ways to kneecap Hillary Clinton.

And the same to whoever else figured the very idea of President Trump was so preposterous that they might as well pull Hillary down a rung or two, either to play hardball or just for fun. Message delivered.

Gaslighter In Chief

gaslight_pelosi_trump

No real surprise with this or any other stunt Trump pulls between now and election day. He’s testing, prodding, pulling, doing whatever he can think of to undermine both traditions AND actual laws while insisting it’s either all in our minds, or that he’s the real victim, or what about Hillary, and, hey, look over there…

Of course the elite media eats it all up, playing the we’re-so-savvy game…I’ll bet at least some of them can hardly wait to ensure they’re not tainted with librul cooties and take a rental car to the nearest Real-America-Diner-and Coffeeshop, where two regulars at the counter morph into The People.

Christ.

Trump, for all his rabid, fervid, base — and his “feral survival instinct” — is weak, and should be treated that way. He’s bluffing, like he’s done his whole life (bankrupting a casino? How do you do that? It’s like falling off the floor)? He’s hoping he can bully and bluster his way through.

Caution won’t work. He has to be confronted. Otherwise…yeah.

“No One Said Anything About The Full Mueller”

fullmueller_525_redacted

That’s what I think Barr will be repeating over and over shortly from now as he and the rest of the team see just how thoroughly they can spin and how gullible the press corpse [sic] might be in swallowing, hook, line, sinker…rod and reel…whatever bullshit they can push (“lightly redacted”???).

And…not to get all political, but…to get all political, it’s not like anyone’s mind will be changed by this report, or any report. The Trumpeteers are all in, Trump has decided that’s his play for another term, i.e., divide the country and see if he can squeak out another Electoral College win or at best a bare victory that he’ll insist (“many people are saying”) is the greatest and best of all time…and his cult will hypnotically nod in agreement.

Oh, hell, who am I kidding? They won’t nod hypnotically, they’ll scream, yell, stomp their feet, burn rubber in parking lots, and otherwise continue to be as obnoxious as ever…or worse. Much, much worse.

Stay tuned…

A Somewhat Personal Opinion of The Trump Base

trump_voters_750

Somewhat personal because I agree with Adrastos and assume most of you feel the same. To use a metaphor in honor of the first black hole photo, they’re beyond the event horizon. To steal a line from Malcolm Tucker, they’re so dense, light bends around them.

They’re also arrogant. It starts at the very top, but William Barr’s testimony dripped with contempt…and then there’s the flat out refusal to comply with a clear law giving Congress authority to review tax records.

It’s the read meat — please the base by owning the libs.

But I still think it’s a bluff, and I still think it’s pretty much all they’ve got. They’re hiding something, and it’s likely awful (though the base won’t care because…beyond the event horizon)…

Without anything better, they’ll try to brazen it out, see if they can score points by portraying the Democrats as both weak AND monstrous socialist menace (consistency’s not a strong suit with the MAGASSes).

And part of me fears the Dems might fall into the trap. They’re complaining, but so far I haven’t seen much else. That’s not good.

I keep trying to imagine the shit-storm if the tables were somehow turned … difficult, given there’s really no Democratic Trump or rabid Fox Noise watching base … but, then again, it’s not like they were particularly civil to the legitimately elected and not-at-all-corrupt Obama administration.

But all that said, bluffs and cons are all Trump knows. And his core supporters? Hopeless suckers…

He’s Bluffing

bluff_3_Trump

Not exactly ground breaking news to anyone who regularly keeps up with things, but between his weird language spasm and what’s sure to be an upcoming Twitter bender, Trump is the ultimate anti-poker face (he’s also a compulsive liar, which is why when he says “no collusion,” that’s all the proof I need). About all that’s surprising is how readily people who should know better — ahem, librul media — insist on marching to his orders.

Sure, he’s got his minions who will stick with him to the bitter end…and sure, their numbers are large enough to be a concern…but the whole operation has been a con job from the beginning. Trump is…weak. His getting elected was due to odd rules, dumb luck, voter suppression, and, ironically, fake news, which blew the email non-scandal out of proportion while giving Trump a comparatively free pass.

He’ll keep playing the same game. After all, it worked in 2016 (though, ahem, it was a disaster in the midterms). But bluffs only work if your opponents let them…

Twit Declares Victory, Takes Twit Victory Lap

trump_twit_of_the_year

The dust is starting to settle, but I’m amazed that the press, even and including allegedly librul MSNBC, spent a few news cycles falling for Team Trump’s bluster and spin. Geez.

You’d have thought the pope himself had lain hands upon the crusty orange thing that sits above Trump’s skull … anyway, of course they were going to loudly grasp whatever straws William Barr threw in their direction. That’s their way…and that’s the GOP way, too.

The country is, as we all know, divided. The hard core Trumpeters won’t budge (about the only thing chronic liar Trump says that has a grain of truth — a grain — is that he could shoot someone and not lose his base). Yep.

And that’s Trump’s strategy, to the extent he’s got one: divide the country, play loud and long to the base, hope to come up with another inside straight, or, with incumbency, a bare plurality.

Welcome to campaign season, and get ready for a long and ugly ride.

Pretty Weird When This Could Be An Actual Headline

trump_oldmanyellsatcloud_linear_burn

Well, assuming John McCain went to, you know, the good place

He said he gave Mr. McCain “the funeral he wanted, and I didn’t get ‘thank you,’” exaggerating the role he played in honoring the senator’s death four days before his 82nd birthday.

“I have to be honest: I’ve never liked him much,” Mr. Trump said, about 10 minutes into a freewheeling speech that was ostensibly about the resurgence of manufacturing jobs. “Hasn’t been for me. I’ve really — probably never will.”

OK, points for honesty, I guess. Whining about a dead person not thanking you for pretty much anything certainly suggests animus…and bug fuck lunacy.

Meanwhile…this week marks a grim anniversary

torquerumsfeld2

Sixteen years…even worse is the utter lack of any self-reflection, much less remorse, from the people who didn’t just “bring it on,” but who insisted on it…and who questioned our loyalty and patriotism for opposing. That they’ve not been drummed out of public life and/or are in a state of perpetual apology for demanding this moral and strategic disaster … might explain why we’ve got a cretin like Trump in the Oval Office.

At Least We Were Spared The Otherwise Blameless Life Nonsense

cherub_manafort_3

OK, Manafort’s prison sentence was doubled, and as a bonus, New York State filed charges that are beyond Trump’s pardon power, so he’ll be wearing jumpsuits for a while.

And this is still early on. We have no idea where this ends.

Which is why, to change the subject a bit, I was disappointed to hear Nancy Pelosi flat out reject impeachment earlier this week. Sure, you don’t want to jump off the cliff, but neither do you want to bring a white flag to a gun fight. She’s worried about dividing the country? The country is already divided — on one side you’ve got the downward spiral of a major political party into a cabal of utter dirtbags without the slightest sense of anything approaching a rule-of-law mentality, while on the other side, there’s…who?

Show some spine: if Trump commits impeachable offenses, impeach. If the idiot Repugs (I repeat myself) refuse to convict, use it against them.

They. Are. Crooks.

The Otherwise Blameless Life Of God’s Littlest Angel, Paul Manafort

cherub_manafort_2

Sigh, I caught more than beads at this year’s cold and at times rainy Lundi/Mardi Gras, but am awake/alert enough to give Tommy T a hand today if he doesn’t object.

From Franklin Foer, a nice rundown of Paul Manafort’s blameless life

In an otherwise blameless life, Paul Manafort lobbied on behalf of the tobacco industry and wrangled millions in tax breaks for corporations.

In an otherwise blameless life, he helped Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos bolster his image in Washington after he assassinated his primary political opponent.

In an otherwise blameless life, he worked to keep arms flowing to the Angolan generalissimo Jonas Savimbi, a monstrous leader bankrolled by the apartheid government in South Africa. While Manafort helped portray his client as an anti-communist “freedom fighter,” Savimbi’s army planted millions of land mines in peasant fields, resulting in 15,000 amputees.

In an otherwise blameless life, he stood mute as Yanukovych’s police killed 130 protesters in the Maidan.

In an otherwise blameless life, Manafort was found guilty of tax evasion on an industrial scale. Rather than paying his fair share to help fund national defense and public health, he kept his cash in Cyprus and wired it home to buy more than $1 million in bespoke clothing.

In an otherwise blameless life, he disguised his income as loans so that he could bamboozle banks into lending him money.

Oh, and this same judge sentenced Congresscrook Bill Jefferson to thirteen years…just saying.