Category Archives: Immoral Values

‘An Apparent Casualty of the #MeToo Movement’

I love how he’s a victim of those mean women, and not, you know, a CASUALTY OF HIS SHITTY CHOICES AND BEHAVIOR: 

HARRISBURG — Marcel Groen, chairman of Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party, has resigned at the request of Gov. Wolf, he said in a letter released Friday morning, an apparent casualty of the #metoo movement.

The linked article has been updated to remove this language but … da fuq were you thinking in the first place? How is the #MeToo “movement” (if women not wanting to have dicks shoved at them in the workplace is a movement and not just, you know, LIFE) taking casualties now? It’s not like this guy stepped in front of a bus.

Every day I’m astonished anew by the number of people who think it is somehow difficult to avoid being accused of sexual harassment and that this “movement” will somehow “take them down.” Bros, it is your own behavior that is taking you down. Don’t touch your secretary’s tits and she will not sue you for touching her tits. Knock it the fuck off.

A.

The law and justice in the life of a parent in the Larry Nassar case

On occasion, the law doesn’t do what we want it to do. It’s a byproduct of our attempt to remain civilized in the face of uncivilized behavior. It’s a byproduct of being “the more powerful force” or “the better person” when we are forced to confront something truly horrific. Without this level of decorum and rule of law, we would be no better than animals and tyrants, we are told.

And all of those things are right. All of those things are true. We can’t just attack people for what we perceive to be inappropriate or illegal actions that wrong us or others. The law is what protects the weakest and the most disenfranchised among us. Without the law, all of the positive strides made by people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals and immigrants would be cast aside and only the white, rich and powerful would thrive.

I get it. I really, really get it.

And yet, sometimes… sometimes, polite society isn’t going to get us where we want to go. Sometimes, there isn’t enough years on a sentence or enough words to reveal our anger. Sometimes, we just can’t with the whole idea of “being a better person” or “knowing there is a special place in Hell for people like this.”

As pitcher Gene Brabender once noted in “Ball Four” about certain situations, “Where I’m from we talk for a while and then we start hitting.”

To say I condone the actions of Randall Margraves today would be difficult. I’m supposed to be more calm and rational than the monster that is Larry Nassar. I’m supposed to be more dignified than the scourge of anger or the fury of rage. I’m supposed to be better than this.

Unfortunately, I’m not. I totally get it.

My kid was in gymnastics for a short while and every day, I thought about the issues that are often associated with that sport. It carries a huge risk of injury, body dysmorphia, social awkwardness, biological alteration and more. It carries with it a huge commitment, both financial and physical. It draws on some of the worst instincts of parents and competitors (trust me, I sat in that observation deck and had to put on headphones to avoid the horrible things parents said about other kids and their own). I let it ride until she was about 7 when we decided to make her choose gymnastics or karate and we kind of nudged her toward karate.

I never once thought, “Hey, if she gets hurt I wonder if there’s a child-molesting asshole there ready to pop a couple fingers into the inner recesses of her body for his own sick pleasure.”

I never once thought, “I bet if there is a guy like that, he’ll be protected, covered for and overall allowed to do it to the point where CNN needs a goddamned scoreboard to keep track of the accusers.”

I didn’t think these things and that makes me terrified and it makes me understand guys like Randall Margraves. He knew all the “real” risks associated with this sport his kids loved. He understood the issues that come with this and how hard it is for people like his daughters to compete at the highest level. He accepted them and trusted the sport, the team and the support staff.

To be hit with something like a Larry Nassar is to be blindsided in a way that makes you question everything you are as a parent. To have to sit there and listen to lawyers parse the “degree” to which something happened or how the number of potential victims is really “not believable” has got to be more than even the most decent human being can withstand.

In a vacuum or in theory, we should condemn someone like Randall Margraves for his actions because, well, it’s just not what we do.

In practice, I’m surprised nobody tried this sooner.

‘a jobs program for disgraced white supremacists’

You don’t owe Steve Bannon your stage.

We keep hearing this from our elite totebag liberals, that we simply must invite the most cancerously dishonest wingnuts we can find into every place we can fit them, so as to promote the free speech which will eventually lead to the downfall of these human tumors.

If we do not, of course, we are Just As Bad because “not wanting to listen to someone scream about the master race” is Exactly The Same as “let’s put all members of this ethnic group in an oven.”

And it’s just such fucking crap I can’t even engage with it anymore. Look, if Bannon is owed a speaking opportunity at the University of Chicago, why isn’t he owed one at UIC as well? At Northwestern? At Loyola? At IIT? Why isn’t he required to speak at the Art Institute? At the Field Museum? At Brookfield Zoo? At NASCAR? At my kid’s birthday party? Wouldn’t that just be the height of enlightened discourse, and prove once and for all my commitment to free speech, letting him spew his nativist crap while a bunch of confused preschoolers eat blue-frosted cupcakes?

Institutions book speakers to send a message about what those institutions are about. Classical opera houses don’t do Fiddler on the Roof. Shakespeare companies are not doing Death of a Salesman. I don’t go to the Art Institute to look at live pandas and the zoo is under no obligation to hang Picassos. Private universities do not have to book in people like Bannon or Milo or Coulter. They do so to tell their students, faculty, staff and communities what they consider worthy of a hearing.

They can jaw on all they want about presenting all kinds of free thoughts on the issues of the day, but the stage on which they propose to put Bannon is not available to everyone. It’s not available to the people Bannon’s work in the White House displaced, terrorized and silenced, for example.

Look, it’s 2018. We have a whole Internet now, which happens to include several thousand sites which are just absolute buttholes of white supremacist nonsense where these people can get together and sing their little songs and talk about how much they hate black and Mexican people. Bannon had the entire goddamn White House from which to speak.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives him the sidewalk and the open air. That’s all he’s owed, and it should be all he’s given.

A.

Forced

Let’s talk about these conscience clauses, shall we? 

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it was expanding religious freedom protections for doctors, nurses and other health care workers who object to performing procedures like abortion and gender reassignment surgery, satisfying religious conservatives who have pushed for legal sanctuary from the federal government.

[…]

“President Trump’s promises are becoming a reality,” said Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council. “Americans should not be forced to choose between their faith and their desire to help patients.”

It has been a bugaboo in the religious wingnut community for 20 years now that someday a gay-hating pastor would be forced to marry two dudes. Like two dudes, who want to get married, are hunting around for an officiant, and are gonna walk into the Westboro Baptist Church and be like “I know your sign says ‘God Hates Fags’ but WE WOULD LIKE TO GET VERY GAY MARRIED HERE PLEASE.”

Because that’s a thing that happens a lot.

The gay-hating pastor would refuse, of course, because of JAYSUS, and the two would-be grooms would then sue, claiming their rights had been violated. Churches would be shut down, religious leaders imprisoned, dogs and cats living together, etc etc. All the gold crosses would be melted down to make into urinals to install at The Man-Hole.

This is the nightmare with which wingnuts whipped up their flocks in the early 2000s and its the nightmare they expanded in recent years to predict anti-abortion doctors sued for refusing to provide abortion services, and anti-birth-control pharmacists forced to handle the unholy demon Pill.

It’s not just the backwoods snake-handlers claiming this. I once sat at lunch and listened to a now-deceased Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago proudly declare to a roomful of rich bigots that he was prepared to go to prison rather than marry a same-sex couple. He got a standing ovation, because everybody’s ready to climb up on the cross until they see the box of nails.

Now our great religious leaders themselves know no such thing is about to happen, because they understand the difference between the First Amendment and the shit they put in their sermons. They’re not idiots and they have entire legal departments advising them for a reason, and those lawyers are not earning their cash if they’re not saying, “Your Eminence, no way in FUCK is anybody ever going to make you hitch ’em. Nobody wants to get married by a sour-faced old prick what don’t wanna be there.”

Their followers, though, accustomed as they are to respecting the church’s authority and taking what their spiritual leaders say seriously? (Which by the way, I don’t actually think is a terrible thing in the absence of this kind of bullshit?) Those followers believed it, and spread the word, and pretty soon we were one performative atheist protesting a city hall Nativity away from a full-on religious war.

Now we’re expanding the nightmare scenario yet again. Now a doctor who doesn’t want to provide surgeries for transgender people is somehow going to be forced to do so.

Forced.

Never mind that Jesus says exactly nothing in the Bible about gender transition and somehow this all got lumped into that one bit of Leviticus which bans same-sex blowies but also seems to prohibit football and polyester. Never mind, also, that to provide these types of surgeries you have to volunteer to be trained and then receive extensive training in, you know, how to actually do the surgeries in question. Never mind all that.

Just for funsies, let’s take the bigots at face value and play their little scenario out here.

You, a person who wishes to have genital sex-reassignment surgery: “Hello there, I would like you to operate on me please.”

A doctor who has Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs: “I am against such a thing and will not do it as it would violate my contract with God. I am strongly opposed to doing this. You are an abomination.”

You, an idiot: “I can think of no better person to be my surgeon for this insanely expensive, not-at-all-fraught, difficult operation than a person who hates the very idea of it, me, etc. I DON’T CARE IF YOU REFUSE, YOU’RE HIRED!”

Like in what universe do we imagine this is a commonplace occurrence? A doctor is out there advertising he or she will provide this surgery and then when an actual person comes in to request a surgery the doctor says LOL JUST KIDDING? Do religious conservatives think you can get these services at the Kwik Trip, like walk into any small-town ER and be like, “Time for my surgery now, Unlucky Intern on Duty!”

And don’t throw the bakery thing in my face unless you really want a lot of bad frosting analogies regarding the difference between purporting to offer services to the public and then gotcha-ing unsuspecting members of that public.

Forced. I mean.

What these jackholes really think is that they’re being forced to consider the lives of people not like them. They’re being forced to realize that where they are is not all the world. They’re being forced to justify the way they live based solely on the way they want to live and not on the absence of difference, and being forced to stand on their own ground and make their own arguments scares the shit out of them.

And that’s something they should very much be FORCED to do.

Schmucks.

A.

There are always people like this.

Somehow, she thought this was OK.

Something, somewhere in her life convinced Harley Barber that it was OK to open her mouth and pour forth a river of vile, putrid, ignorant racism.

Somehow, she figured she’d get away with it. Maybe it was her “finsta” profile, a fake Instagram account that she erroneously thought would provide her with the anonymity to act with impunity. Maybe it was alcohol or the invincibility that comes with youth that told her nothing bad would happen because nobody knew her or nobody took this stuff seriously. Maybe it was a life of privilege or a “mob mentality” that gave her a sense of protection from whatever might be out there.

Maybe, she didn’t care who saw it or what they thought.

After all, as she pointed out multiple times, she’s in the South, where denigrating people based on the color of their skin seemed to be as normal as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. After all, she’s from NEW JERSEY, which gave us such greatness as Chris Christie’s bloated bravado and the anger-soaked rhetoric of “The Sopranos.”

After all, she has a fur vest from Nieman Marcus, bitches, so don’t fucking think of “snaking” her again.

Like many people, I watched the first video, and shook my head at the stupidity of her thoughtless words. What the fuck is wrong with her, I asked myself. I wonder how she’s going to try to get out of this.

Like many people, I watched the second video where she… whatever the infinity factor of “doubled down” is on her racist tirade, dropping n-bomb after n-bomb as a dare, shouting that she couldn’t give a fuck less if it was Martin Luther King Day. It was like watching a car wreck unfold in front of me on the highway: First a swerve, then a skid, then suddenly it was flipping over and over and over before catching fire and exploding in the ditch.

As she finished up and the video halted, my throat locked and my mouth filled with ashes. I thought about her parents. I thought of them because of the simple rule my father gave me when he sent me off to college: “Have fun, do whatever you want, but don’t bring shame on the family. It’s my name, too.” I lack the capacity to imagine what my father would have thought if a horrific personal failing on my part had made the family name the number one trending story on the Washington Post’s website for an entire day.

(Her estranged mother stepped forward today and said she completely agreed with the decision Alabama made to rid itself of her daughter. She said the child was not raised to be a racist, although with the few exceptions of those people in scary documentaries on the Klan, I can’t think of anyone who would state their child had been raised for such a purpose.)

What I do know is that various people will take various things from this incident. Perhaps those who view the Greek system as elitist and racist will have another exhibit in their case against it. Perhaps students will see that there is no fool-proof level of privacy in a digital age and once again, we have a fool who proved it. Perhaps social media users will understand that they are always playing with live ammunition and that consequences exist for every action taken in the public arena.

Unfortunately, few people will take away the one thing we all need to understand when it comes to our humanity and our ability to live and breathe as a nation. For every poverty-soaked redneck who sees their losses as the black man’s gains and for every person who professes love for the “history” of the Confederacy and for “fogey” who “just grew up in a different time,” we likely have at least one Harley Barber.

Harley Barber is 19. She is from the “union” side of the fight. She has the money to attend an out of state school and pledge a sorority. On the surface, she would lack any reason to harbor the racist resentments we can so easily ascribe to those fungible elements of time, place and deprivation listed above. And yet there she was, not “making a mistake” of using race as a costume or “failing to fully grasp” what it meant to appropriate another person’s culture, but rather defiantly displaying her racial animus.

The thing people need to understand is that there are Harley Barbers all around us, quietly lurking, politely nodding and peacefully existing. They “pretend to like black people” enough that on the surface, there’s no reason to think otherwise. They are the “least racist people” you would ever know. Until they reveal themselves with an n-bomb, a “Miss Housekeeper” comment or a general flinch of disgust about “those people.”

In each of those people, under that polite surface and those occasional dermis-level glimpses rests the heart and soul of that video: A rich, thick hatred that only lies dormant because to release it would be to their demise.

The Economics of Matt Lauer and Others Like Him

Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism, and that was before we knew he was a criminal and a disgusting sex pervert.

He was fucked up and bullshit because for what he made, you could run a newspaper in a decent-sized city for ten years. For what he made interviewing the same six celebrities everybody else was interviewing so that America’s mom-bies knew what to talk about at playdates, you could have paid for any number of journalistic enterprises. And by that I mean papers. Magazines. Metro desks. You could have paid for them all.

Read this entire thread:

Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism because he did that thing that really only famous men are allowed to do, which is to float back and forth between being a talk-show-host celebrity bullshitter and being a serious journalist. I don’t love Katie Couric, okay, but when she wanted to hold down an anchor desk everybody laughed themselves sick. Yet Matt Lauer, who did her same job except worse, got to ask presidential candidates questions like he was some kind of authority and everybody had to bow down.

Like a guy who gets owned by Anne Hathaway should be given the keys to that particular vehicle. Like that’s a thing we should do.

Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism because he got owned by a 90-pound actress but NBC paid him like he was somehow essential to society. Like, democracy dies in darkness but here, this anthropomorphized circumcision of a human is our highest offering to the gods of the presses.

He got good ratings. People liked him, so NBC did what they had to do to keep him around, and somewhere along the way he started acting like he deserved to be liked instead of lucking into it. People like what they’re used to, so I guess you’d want to shell out to keep people comfortable with a show they’ve come to like.

But what I also know is that people can get comfortable with anything if it’s around long enough, and the way I know that is that we replaced Regis & Kathie Lee some time ago with a couple of other people and the Republic did not fall. It stands to reason, thereby, that at any point when Matt Lauer’s money or his antics became unsustainable he could be jettisoned for the next guy.

That he wasn’t, proves Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism. And as glad as I am that we are rid of him, there are a dozen others just like him, making his money, whose salaries should all be given to weekend photogs and whoever’s working night cops at the smallest paper in the market, because those people on their laziest days are working harder than Lauer ever did exposing himself to his interns.

A.

We have no good way to talk about this and we never have

We have no good way to talk about this and we never have.

As a good friend and feminist scholar told me when the Weinstein scandal broke, “This isn’t about sex. It’s about power. That’s why we can’t talk about it.”

And yet it is the sex that draws the attention as we discuss the imbalance of power, so the two remain inextricably linked, creating problems as we continue to have these revelations of misconduct come to light.

The latest name added to the list of groping, rubbing, jerking, fondling, grabbing and forcing is Sen. Al Franken. Leeann Tweeden came forth on Thursday with allegations of Franken groping and sexually abusing her during a USO stint. Photographic evidence and Franken’s own apology clearly supported those charges of misconduct, leading to some of the most awkward public arguments on a subject like this since Todd Akin introduced us all to the concept of “legitimate rape.”

To clarify and codify the general issue, we should consider two questions and their unequivocal answers:

Were all of the victims of Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Louis C.K., Al Franken and others diminished and violated by people of power?

Yes.

Have we, as a society and in many cases individuals, for too long engaged in victim blaming and illegitimate parsing of disgusting behavior like this?

Yes.

Taking these two answers as clear and definitive, we now lock this discussion into an awkward position for people who will have to answer for these actions and the people who support them.

The questions will come in droves:

“Is what Moore or Franken did rape or sexual assault or sexual misconduct or what?”

“Does the “law and order” morality of Moore make it somehow worse than what Weinstein or Franken did because, hey, they’re liberal hedonists anyway?”

“Is it worse what Spacey did to young boys or what Moore did to young girls?”

“Should Franken be forced out for one incident while Moore’s accusers are multiplying like tribbles?”

What so many people are awkwardly groping for is some sort of “sex crime conversion chart” in which one boob-grab equals two ass-pats or one photo equals three teen accusers and one signed yearbook or something. We have finally started coming to the necessary conclusion that shitty behavior is shitty behavior, but people with myriad agendas want to create a hierarchy out of these behaviors, as if hierarchy itself weren’t the reason these messes exist in the first place.

It doesn’t work that way because it’s not about sex. It’s about power.

The only demarcation reasonable people could draw is the one between adults and children. There’s a reason you can peruse 10,000 nude photos of people age 18 and older without a legal problem, but your ass will be in the joint if you own one such image of someone under that age. Society and law have dictated a bright line for most conduct involving children and to cross that line is to engage in the unforgivable.

To that end, and only that end, could a few of these acts be viewed as somehow worse than some of the others. Regardless, each and every case involved a man with power over someone he perceived as lesser and he used that to his advantage to demean and diminish that person.

Why can’t we see this? For two simple reasons:

  1. We are seeing a wide swath of accusations that range from things that “everybody” could agree are horrible and evil to well… what? If the Al Franken “grope” photo is as bad as Roy Moore trying to bone the “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” demographic, how many men might have to look really hard at themselves? That time they got handsy at the company party? That time they catcalled a co-worker? That time they tried to “impress” the intern? How much of that happened and how does it feel to be lumped in with the Roy Moores, Anthony Weiners, Louis C.K.s and Harvey Weinsteins? The “I would never do something that despicable” becomes, “Actually you already did.”
  2. To see it, we have to talk about it and we have no good way to talk about this and we never have.

Judge Pervert’s Ten Commandments Of Love

Athenae wrote a brilliant piece yesterday about the moral, ethical, and personal aspects of the latest Roy Moore scandal. She nailed it completely so I’m going to focus on the political, legal, and semantic aspects of this shitstorm.

I’m going to try something different and do it in a way the defrocked (derobed?) judge might appreciate if it weren’t aimed at him. Moore came to national attention by placing the Ten Commandments monument seen above at the Alabama Supreme Court. He’s obsessed with the Ten Commandments even if he violates many of them, so I came up with Judge Pervert’s Ten Commandments of Love. I know I should put quotes around the word love but I don’t want to come off all air quotey like an Alabama sorority girl: they’re too old for Ole Roy, after all. Besides, love has nothing to do with Roy Moore aka Judge Pervert.

FIRST COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt vote for Doug Jones.

The easiest way to keep Judge Pervert out of the Senate is for Alabamians to vote for his Democratic opponent. Jones is a distinguished lawyer and seems to be squeaky clean. Judge Pervert is neither. Unfortunately, many white Alabamians think voting for a Democrat is akin to supporting a member of the Satanic-Communist party.

Suburban voters should think twice before sending this embarrassment on two legs to represent them in the Senate. It’s a special election: the seat is up again in 2020.

Moore is still the favorite as of now but Doug Jones has a fighting chance,

The next commandment is directed at Senate Republicans if the pervert wins.

SECOND COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt not let Judge Pervert keep his seat.

Seating a Senator is a pro forma act and a past supreme court case involving Adam Clayton Powell established that Congress must seat even corrupt members. BUT there is no provision or precedent barring the Senate from expelling an odious solon. I direct you to an excellent op-ed in the failing NYT by a law professor at the University of Alabama.

Senate Democrats should do whatever they can to force a vote on expelling Judge Pervert. It would likely lose BUT it puts GOPers on the record on the Moore issue. Imagine the attack ads: “They voted to seat a pervert. Whatever happened to the party of family values?” Politically, it’s a win-win situation.

THIRD COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt remember that Roy Moore was unfit for office *before* the WaPo sexpose.

Roy Moore is a judge who was defrocked for defying SCOTUS. He led an effort to preserve a pro-school segregation clause in the Alabama state constitution. Moore’s rap sheet on important issues is so extensive that I’m not going into details. Suffice it to say that he’s to the right of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. He’s an extremist, not a conservative.

FOURTH COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt remember that Alabama is a corrupt, one party state.

Alabama Republicans are divided on Roy Moore who is financially, as well as morally, corrupt. The peckerwoods and wool hats are supporting their fellow asshole extremist. Business GOPers are queasy over his candidacy but they supported Luther Strange who was up to his eyeballs in the weird sex scandal involving former Governor Bob Bentley. One party states breed corruption and produce unfit politicians.

FIFTH COMMANDMENT:  Thou shalt honor and believe the victims of perverts, rapists, and sexual harassers.

Our society is programmed to look away from allegations of gross sexual misconduct, especially when the accused is an authority figure. Clarence Thomas is a Supreme despite Anita Hill’s compelling testimony against him. BUT the timing for Roy Moore couldn’t be worse. It comes on the heels of the exposure of so many powerful men as pervy assholes. It will be interesting to see if Moore survives it like Trump or is somehow recast like Kevin Spacey. I doubt if Christopher Plummer would be willing to play Judge Pervert.

I originally planned to go all Slate contrarian on the use of the term pedophile to describe Roy Moore. The word’s clinical definition involves an attraction to pre-pubescent children, which is not Roy Moore’s thing. BUT the correct clinical term for an attraction to mid to late adolescents is ephebophilia. It’s a mouthful and on the unpronounceable side, so I’m not going to be a semantic pedant in this instance. The word pedophile is clear and pronounceable so have at it. Judge Pervert deserves no mercy, semantic or otherwise.

SIXTH COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt be prepared for more shoes to drop.

A former colleague of Judge Pervert had this to say yesterday on CNN:

“It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird,” former deputy district attorney Teresa Jones told CNN in comments aired Saturday. “We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall … but you really wouldn’t say anything to someone like that.”

Holy Ephebophilia, Batman.

SEVENTH COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt remember that the publicly pious tend to be hypocrites.

Judge Pervert is the biblebanger’s biblebanger. He’s forever moralizing and sermonizing. Never trust a sanctimonious evangelical. They all have dark secrets and plans for their public redemption. Biblethumpers are big on forgiving those who agree with them. They love repentant sinners as long as they’re against abortion and gay marriage.

EIGHTH COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt heed the words of Doctor/Governor Dean:

Praise be unto the former party chairman who tweeteth the truth. Moore is already running against the Bezos/Amazon/Washington Post.

Hell, they’d think people from New Orleans were carpetbaggers let alone people from the North. They need scalawags who speak their own language, y’all.

NINTH COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt separate Sean Hannity from his advertisers.

Judge Pervert turned to the Fox News meathead in his time of woe. Hannity seems to have coached him to say the expedient thing and deny that he was interested in  teenyboppers. This has increased the pressure on Hannity’s advertisers. It’s fun to watch the Fox News meathead squirm. Squirm, Sean, squirm.

TENTH COMMANDMENT: Thou shalt give the last word to the pop song that inspired the post title.

There are some swell versions out there. Here are three of them. I suspect Roy Moore thinks this song is blasphemous. Fuck you, Roy.

 

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Rising Gorge edition

People – I’m going to have to ask you to turn the filter on your ISO suits to “OMFG!”.

Ready?

It’s time to pardon my blankie!

Pat Robertson: President Trump Should Issue A ‘Blanket Pardon’ And Shut Down Mueller Investigation
Right Wing Watch ^ | | October 30, 2017 2:55 pm | By Kyle Mantyla

Posted on 10/30/2017, 2:10:12 PM by drewh

On “The 700 Club” this morning, televangelist Pat Robertson reacted to the news that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller by calling on President Trump to issue a blanket pardon of everyone who might be implicated in the probe and to then shut down the investigation entirely.

Robertson claimed that Mueller’s investigation has been inexorably “tainted” by the fact that the Clinton campaign and DNC reportedly helped to fund an opposition research dossier during the campaign that alleged connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, insisting that any indictments that result from the Mueller’s investigation must therefore be dismissed and the investigation quashed.

Trump “can grant a pardon to everybody involved in this thing if he wants to,” Robertson said. “This whole thing has got to be shut down … He has every right to shut Mueller down and say, ‘You have gone as far as you need to and I have instructed my Justice Department to close you down.’”

“He can grant a blanket pardon for everybody involved in everything and say, ‘I pardon them all, it’s all over, case closed,’” Robertson continued. “I think that is what he needs to do … He’s got to shut this thing down, he’s just got to.”

1 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:10:12 PM by drewh
The unified “Four legs good, two legs BETTER chant starts immediately :
To: drewh

 

I for one would LOVE to see him issue some “F-U” pardons, just to watch the dems heads explode.

17 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:37:56 PM by qwerty1234

FacebookPissLiberalsOff
To: drewh

 

Yes, this should be done immediately. Robertson on target yet again.

22 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:55:40 PM by Max Tactical (MAGA Style!)

And then something very strange starts happening :
To: drewh

 

Shut up, Pat.

11 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:25:25 PM by Fido969 (In!)

To: drewh

 

I wouldn’t be taking advice from Pat Robertson. He’s been saying some wacky things in recent years.

13 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:28:24 PM by Buckeye McFrog

To: drewh
Pat needs to shut it.

Shouldn’t he be retired by now anyway? Somewhere OUT of the limelight, enjoying his great great grandchildren?

15 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:36:17 PM by softengine
You guys realize that G_d is gonna get ya for that, right?
To: drewh
That’s some terrible advice there.I read the entire 31 page indictment, and it is clear that he has been doing as charged, large scale money laundering, hiding assets in foreign banks, lying to mortgage companies.

All of this happened well before he was hired by Trump, who hired him for a particular job, and fired him only two months later, when that job – delegate wrangling – was complete.

Perhaps Mueller should resign, but I don’t see any reason for Trump to support Manafort – who is merely a common criminal who got caught.

(snip)

Manafort knew damn well he was cheating his taxes for years, he just thought he was too smart and well connected to ever get caught.

No sympathy from me, and I hope none from Trump either.

9 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:23:44 PM by Jack Black
Another Freeper corrects him :
To: Jack Black
All of this happened well before he was hired by Trump, who hired him for a particular job, and fired him only two months later, when that job – delegate wrangling – was complete.

Manafort worked for the Trump campaign from March 29 to August 19 of 2016, about four-and-a-half months.

And the indictment states that “In order to hide Ukraine payments from United State authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.” So while he may have started well before he was hired by Trump, Manafort’s criminality appears to have continued while he was working for the campaign.

18 posted on 10/30/2017, 2:42:12 PM by drjimmy
Picky, picky, picky.
Which brings me to what is possibly the best reply to The Darnold’s deranged tweets EVAR!
TrumpCrime
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Damn.
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I know you good people are here expecting to hear about the Freeperati reaction to a certain kiddie sex lover – well, follow me below the “read Moore”…
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If She Was Your Daughter

Do you know how many women I know, who told their fathers? Who told their mothers, their friends, a “trusted adult” that they were being hurt or had been hurt? Do you know how many of these people, who have daughters, did nothing?

Homeless shelters are full of girls and boys whose parents chose their abusers over them. It happens every day.

Let me tell you what they’d do, these upstanding Republican congressmen, if it was their daughters.

They’d say to their girls, their beloved girls who they taught to throw a ball just like a boy and who they said could do anything a man could do and whose report cards they pinned to the fridge, they’d say:

You’re making that up.

They’d say:

He didn’t really mean it.

They’d say:

You led him on.

 

They’d say:

You should forgive him.

You know why they’d say those things to the girls they read bedtime stories to every night? You know why they’d back down in the face of someone who bullied their own flesh and blood?

Because nothing matters more than the status quo.

Do you know how many of these men have already faced the fact that it was their daughters?

Do you know how many of them did nothing?

I can even understand it, you know. It’s a human instinct to protect your relationships, and so you gamble: You call out a man for hurting your child, he might leave. He might cause trouble for you. He might get you fired or fight you or find a way to make you less, turn all your friends against you, refuse to work with you, tell others and embarrass you.

Your daughter? She will probably stay. She will probably quiet down. She will probably stop talking about it.

She will probably minimize what happened in her own mind and minimize it for you, so that her relationship with you can stay intact. Nothing’s worth destroying your relationship with your family, after all. She’s been socialized since birth to provide for men’s comfort and that means comfort of mind as well as body.

You can hear her telling herself: She survived it. It wasn’t that bad.

It’s a much safer bet, to discount her version of events, so that’s your solution. It keeps everything the same. It keeps everybody comfortable. And she stays. And she feels just a little less important to you, and a little less real, because whether you think about it in these terms or not, you’ve demoted her. She was your daughter.

Now she’s just another woman, another wicked female, who you don’t believe.

So when someone who looks just like her goes on the news and tells everyone that a member of a political party you admire and identify with, or a celebrity you like, tried to assault her, hurt her, rape her, you don’t see your daughter.

You see someone who’s trying to do what your daughter tried to do. Upset everybody. Get attention. Get something out of this.

And if you face the facts and say out loud that this didn’t have to happen to this stranger, this girl you don’t know on TV who’s accusing a man who looks and acts just like you, is in politics just like you, if you say out loud that someone should have stood up for her, should have done something?

Then you face the facts and say out loud that this didn’t have to happen to your daughter, and you should have stood up for her. You should have done something.

And oh, then doesn’t the whole nice polite reasonable world come crashing down?

I said back when Trump and Billy Bush were cackling about grabbing women by the pussy that the most insidious person on that bus wasn’t Trump but Billy, because lots of of guys wouldn’t be the bully but they would be the coward who laughed at his jokes.

They wouldn’t react differently if Roy Moore had hurt their daughter. Chances are someone like him already did, and they didn’t believe her.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Swing Landscape by Stuart Davis.

We finally had a chilly day this week. New Orleanians tend to overdress when it cools off so there were many coats, sweaters, and scarves about town. This cold-ish snap is another example of how extreme the weather has been this year: the first cold weather doesn’t usually arrive until around Thanksgiving. I am opposed to turning on the central heat until November but dragged out the space heaters. It warmed up yesterday, but it’s going to be cold today. We’re back on the autumnal weather yo-yo. So it goes.

The big local story is the precipitous fall of celebrity chef John Besh. Picayune restaurant critic Brett Anderson spent 8 months investigating charges of sexual harassment in Besh’s empire. The story landed last weekend and Besh has resigned from his company and lost two casino based locations. I’d heard that he was a hound and a creep but hadn’t heard how systematic the problem was. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Besh since it followed the Weinstein revelations.  I am trying out a new word to describe the outing of sexual harassers: Beshed. It probably won’t catch on but if it does, you heard it here first.

Another big local news story popped up as I was Oddsing and Sodsing. It’s a flap involving  mayoral frontrunner LaToya Cantrell, her use of city credit cards, and the heavy-handed intervention of District Attorney Leon Cannizzarro who is supporting her opponent. So much for that campaign being dull. It’s New Orleans politics in all its seedy glory but I’m going to save it for the Bayou Brief. I’ll let y’all know when my column drops. I’m uncertain if it will be Ionic, Doric, or Corinthian. Corinthian leather?

Now that I’ve incited the wrath of Khan, let’s move on to this week’s theme song. It was composed by Charles Mingus in honor of his friend the great jazz sax player, Lester (Prez) Young.

Here are three versions for your enjoyment. First, Charlie’s original instrumental followed by Joni Mitchell who added lyrics for her Mingus album in 1979. Finally, a guitar driven version by Jeff Beck from his Wired album:

Now that we’ve tipped our pork pie hat to the great Lester Young, it’s time to say goodbye and jump to the break or something like that. Sometimes I even confuse myself.

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Bottom Of The Barrel

I decided to let the John Kelly-Frederica Wilson flap marinate over the weekend before chiming in. I thought that something that started as a diversion from the mess in Niger might fade or that General Kelly would take the advice of medal of honor winner Colonel Jack Jacobs and apologize to Wilson for smearing her. If Kelly were really the moderate, competent man depicted by the MSM, he would have done so. Instead, he’s stuck by the lie he told about her while conceding that Trump said what Wilson said he said to Sgt. Johnson’s widow. (That’s a lot of saids in one sentence, he said.) Trump continues to deny it and spent the weekend depicting Rep. Wilson as a wacky hat-wearing nutjob as if she were a character on a bad sitcom.

What we’ve learned about John Kelly is that he’s a more polished version of his master. He views Rep. Wilson as a three-time loser: a black female Democrat who deserves derision for doing what he himself did, which was to listen in on Trump’s now infamous phone call to Myeshia Johnson. They both had permission to do so but as far as Kelly is concerned a mere civilian should not have intruded whereas he has the right as a retired General.

There were many disturbing things about Kelly’s press conference but one of the worst was this ode to an America that never existed:

It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.

Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought — the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.

This sounds like either a bar room screed from an angry old white dude  OR  something overheard at a Trump rally. Women are sacred as long as they know their place, which Rep. Wilson clearly does not. Plus, she’s an uppity black woman who dares to blaspheme against a commander-in-chief who is better described as the pussy-grabber-in-chief. In Kelly’s world view, criticism of Trump is criticism of the troops. This is, of course, nuts as was Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ admonition:

“If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that is something highly inappropriate.”

First, he’s a retired General. Second, debate is what one does in a democracy. Third, when did John Kelly become sacrosanct in a way that Generals Grant, Pershing, Eisenhower, or MacArthur never were? One would think that a Marine could take the heat, especially one who works for Donald Trump who is a screamer as well as a liar.

Like everyone else with any common decency, I was appalled by this mendacious and dehumanizing passage from Kelly’s presser:

And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money — the $20 million — to build the building. And she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.

We subsequently learned that Rep. Wilson said nothing remotely like this and even if she had, it would not be improper. It’s the height of hypocrisy and the epitome of Trumper projection for the chief of staff to the braggingest man in the country to denounce someone else for braggadocio. Hypocrisy is one of the few things Team Trump is good at. I guess Kelly decided to play to their strength. #sarcasm.

I googled the phrase “empty barrel” since I was unfamiliar with it. It’s a surprisingly highfalutin reference for a man who works for a fucking moron:

Many credit Plato for bringing “empty barrel” into the vernacular: “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest babblers.” Some believe the proverb truly has Jamaican origins, while others credit it as Spanish. A book of world proverbs gives 21 variations of the expression.

Shakespeare channeled Plato in Henry V, writing, “I never heard so loud a voice issue from such an empty heart. It’s true what they say, the empty vessel makes the greatest sound.”

In short, it was Plato’s way of calling a loudmouth a loudmouth. That would make Trump the emptiest vessel of all. The odds of Trump knowing who Plato was are slim. He probably confuses Plato with Play-Doh…

Rep. Wilson has called Kelly’s use of the term empty barrel racist and, in context, it certainly is. It’s part of a pattern displayed by Trump and his lackeys of demeaning and dehumanizing minority and female critics. Trump and Kelly have sparingly used the names of Rep. Wilson and Myeshia Johnson while attacking them. They see them as uppity black women who should remain nameless because they don’t matter. So much for women being sacred.

There are many dreadful lessons to be learned from this dreadful mess. First, Team Trump’s response is the best illustration yet of its authoritarian proclivities, which is brilliantly explained in Masha Gessen’s eerily titled New Yorker piece, John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup. Second, this is another example of this administration’s tendency to distract attention from a problem with something that is equally bad. I don’t recall anyone attacking gold star families before the Insult Comedian began running for office. As far as he’s concerned, it’s okay if they’re Muslim or African-American. Finally, Donald Trump is only president* of people who voted for him: nobody else matters. The fact that Frederica Wilson is a Johnson family friend means that they are not worthy of Trump’s compassion.

John Kelly is the latest in a long line of Trump dignity wraith. Trump is toxic: he destroys everything and everyone he touches. It conjures up another barrel related image: everyone who associates with Donald Trump sinks to the bottom of the barrel and becomes the dregs of our polity.

Quote Of The Day: Movie Monsters Edition

I’m not talking about scary clowns, vampires, or reanimated monsters, I’m talking about monsters who make the movies.  One of the best things I’ve read about the Harvey Weinstein scandal, or as I call it Shitstorm Harvey, was written by Lindy West for the failing NYT:

It is unclear what possessed Woody Allen, of all people, to comment on the accusations of sexual predation against Harvey Weinstein, when he could have just not said anything, not expressed sympathy for an alleged serial rapist, not accused long-silenced women who said they were sexually assaulted of contributing to “a witch hunt atmosphere” and not felt compelled to issue a pouty follow-up statement in which he didn’t apologize but, in fact, reiterated how “sad” he feels for Weinstein because Weinstein is “sick.”

I’m kidding! It’s totally clear why Allen would issue such a statement — why he wouldn’t hesitate to include the astonishing confession that “no one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness,” implying that people did tell him about Weinstein but he, with that odd omniscience native to the very rich, deemed them insufficiently serious. It’s also totally clear why Allen felt untouchable enough to add that even if he had believed the “horror stories,” he wouldn’t have been interested, let alone concerned, because he is a serious man busy making serious man-art. He said people wouldn’t bother coming to him anyway, because, as he described it: “You’re not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie.” (That last bit is fair, actually. If I’d been sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, literally my last instinct would be to go to Woody Allen for help.)

It’s clear because the cultural malfunction that allows Allen to feel comfortable issuing that statement is the same malfunction that gave us Allen and Weinstein in the first place: the smothering, delusional, galactic entitlement of powerful men.

We already knew that monsters can make great films. Roman Polanski has. Woody Allen has. Harvey Weinstein has. I can still watch Woody Allen’s old movies with *some* enjoyment but I’ll never like them quite as much as I once did. For 25 years, Allen was my favorite film director even though hints of his perviness showed up in movies such as Manhattan. I think he’s made one good film in the 21st Century. At this point it doesn’t matter, his name has quite deservedly been dragged through the mud and I’m inclined to think that a guilty conscience has something to do with his artistic decline. I would hope that a man with his talent would have a conscience but it’s hard to tell as he natters on about witch hunts. STFU, Woody.

As to Harvey Weinstein, he’s a disgusting pig who was widely known as an asshole’s asshole before the shit hit the fan. It’s quite fitting that Ronan Farrow wrote one of the Shitstorm Harvey  exposes. He’s allegedly Woody Allen’s bio-son but, damn, he looks like Mia Farrow’s ex-husband Frank Sinatra. I’d rather have Frank in my gene pool than Woody any day.

The #metoo discussion that has popped up online in the wake of  Shitstorm Harvey has been moving and seems to be leading to a more open discussion of sexual harassment and assault. It seems that most women of my acquaintance have, at the very least, been subjected to unwanted groping.  It’s a sad commentary on the world and it’s been going on long before any of us were around. I hope that the open dialogue sparked by this will lead to improved behavior on the part of many men. I have no illusions that all men will pay attention but if there are fewer Woodys and Harveys out there, the world will be a better place.

My parents were conservative in many ways but my brilliant and accomplished mother was an instinctive feminist.  As a successful professional woman, she taught me by example that women could do anything and should be treated with respect. My father was sexist in some ways BUT he taught me to keep my hands to myself and treat women with respect and old-fashioned courtesy or as he liked to say, “be a gentleman, not a bum.” Bums groped, gentlemen did not.

The Jayhawks get the last word with a song that bids adieu to monsters of all types:

Swastikas & Pride Flags Are Not Equal Opposites

Speaking of free speech abstractions and people buying into their own bullshit:

Fuckin’ fuck’s sake. These aren’t opposing points of view:

Nazi wearing swastika: I want everyone who isn’t Aryan to die.

Gay person wearing a Pride flag: I would like to be able to live my life free of persecution and systemic inequality.

DO WE REALLY NOT SEE THE GODDAMN DIFFERENCE? Angus’s mentions are full of idiots who don’t. Intentions matter, and power structure matters, and incitement matters, and don’t throw antifa in my face until you can point to the number of concentration camps run by antifa and the number of congressmen who take money from antifa-sympathizing groups.

The only thing Nazi speech and antifa speech have in common is that both are produced by moving your mouth.

A.

 

It’s About To Get Bad Again. And Again. And Again.

Here we go again: 

In releasing a revised version of their legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, along with co-sponsors Dean Heller and Ron Johnson, claimed that their bill isn’t a “partisan” approach and doesn’t include “draconian cuts.” In reality, however, the Cassidy-Graham bill would have the same harmful consequences as those prior bills. It would cause many millions of people to lose coverage, radically restructure and deeply cut Medicaid, and increase out-of-pocket costs for individual market consumers.

As I was thinking about having to fight this again, when we’ve already defeated it twice (three times if you count the popular vote last fall), I went back through the Twitter hole and found this:

Listen to that. Listen to that roar. And be glad for the fight, because every day we’re still fighting is a day we ain’t dead.

There’s joy in the fight. To say that sounds like I’m trivializing it, like this middle class white chick is having a great time out there playing SJW, hippie-chic weekender posing for Instagram photos on stolen ground.

But there are lots of people out there who can’t fight, themselves. Who can’t show up. Who can’t come to the protest or sit all night in the congressman’s office or spend a morning making phone calls or hold up a sign. Who have jobs they can’t leave, or disabilities that limit their movement or speech, or lives they can’t risk by resisting.

If you can, that’s a kind of privilege, too, and you owe it to them not just to march but to march loudly, to make a big noise, to remind those sumbitches that they haven’t killed us yet. They haven’t made us small and they haven’t made us scared. Pissed, sure, that we have to do this AGAIN, but not miserable. Not beaten. Not tired.

A colleague said to me not long after the election that joy had to be part of our politics, and I’ve been puzzling over it ever since, and I think what I’ve come around to thinking about is that we think of joy like we think of prayer, as a feeling, a passive state of being, instead of as active and purposeful work.

There’s joy in the fight, in putting your hands to the task and knowing you’re giving what you’ve got in the direction you can go. And if you do get tired, if you are beaten down, if the noise you wanna make starts sound less like a joyful one and more like a dirge, just listen to the roar of the people in that video, who fought so hard and won. Listen to that sound, my country tis of thee America, because it’s our national motherfucking anthem.

Raise your voice and sing along.

A.

Mortally Wound Something, Then Say It’s Dying

It’s the GOP playbook: 

The truth is that most people don’t know the open enrollment dates, and they don’t know that the deadline this year is December 15 — not January 31, like last year. They don’t know that by shopping on Healthcare.gov they are likely to find a plan that costs less than a $100 a month. I know this, because my office produced reams of data that proved the overall effectiveness of outreach advertising.

Signing up for health care is a big decision, especially for those who have never had health insurance. People think it’s out of reach, that they can’t afford it, that it’s just too difficult — or they’re young and healthy, so why bother? And the ongoing public debate about repeal has only added to the confusion. So it’s no surprise some people will throw up their hands and roll the dice, betting they won’t getting too sick or too injured.

Advertising, backed up by an informative website and in-person assistance, can help people grasp that health coverage under the ACA may be more affordable than they think, leading them to sign up.

This shit isn’t magic. I know everybody thinks that with the Internet all you have to do is put something “out there” and everyone will flock to it but news fucking flash, lots of people aren’t online constantly, lots of poor sick people aren’t online especially, the communal computers at the library don’t have a waiting list because high-speed Internet is available everywhere, and basically this is like the least dumb thing we could be spending our money on.

You have to go where people are, and you have to pay for that. I wish there was a way around it. God knows lots of things would be easier without money, such as food and shelter and actual health care, but right now where we are is so fucked that it’s going to require buckets of money to pull us out.

I started thinking the other day about all the damage Trump is doing, and that the GOP has done over the past 40 years, destroying most of all the will to preserve the common good. I know so many rich/middle class people who genuinely believe paying taxes is like some kind of favor they do for poor people, like they don’t get roads and snowplows and parks out of it, like the water just comes out of the tap by magic. It’s become so easy, in our politics-as-persecution-theology, to imagine ourselves alone.

It’s going to take buckets of money to pull us back from that and our Dem leadership is so shitass scared of being accused of GIVING ALL YOUR MONEY TO THE BLACKS that they’re willing to bend over for every tax incentive that lifts its skirt, but not willing to be honest about how much shit costs AND how much we should be willing to shoulder those costs because of the benefits. Heaven forfend we appear to be on the side of the widow, the orphan, and the goddamn parents just trying to figure out how to buy milk.

Building things costs money. Flood remediation costs money. Healthcare costs money and I’m about done hearing that we should just GoFundMe every single disaster instead of using the giant GoFundMe mechanism known as government to get some shit done.

A.

Who We Picture

Yuuuuuup: 

We find that white Trump supporters randomly exposed to a black (versus a white) man in the context of soliciting their support for a housing-assistance policy were more opposed to the policy, angrier about the policy, and more likely to blame beneficiaries for their situation.

This is what comes of 40 years of screaming about “welfare queens” and dismantling the common good in favor of the wealthy while pretending the only people who worked hard were white people. My fellow palefolks can only get behind something if it looks like something they might get. If someone else might get it, and that person doesn’t look like them? Nah.

I swear this blanket resentment is a bigger sickness than the warmongering and that’s a pretty deep sickness.

A.

Fix The Lack of Lefty Media First

Wonkette Editrix speaks for me:

Look, we all spend days and weeks and months debunking Trump nonsense and making fun of bad Dem messaging and … I’m not immune, okay, to what this whole entire blog of mine is about, but Rebecca up there is right. The right funds its embarrassing Pajamas Media Assrocket Hannidate shit endlessly no matter how bad it is or how much stick they take, because the InfoWars pipeline eventually leads to the nightly news and the Oval Office, and they understand the long goddamn game.

The Professional Left? We’re mostly out here hooking for HoHos and hoping our day jobs don’t disappear so that we can keep personally subsidizing such unimportant liberal ideas as “science is real” and “we should give poor children food.” There are at least half a dozen liberal bloggers who, with a decent salary from some middling organization with a vague name, would be alive right now. Some of my friends died sick and broke and they were worth a thousand Hindrakers.

And while I agree with this in principle:

Nothing MATTERS until the media disparity is remedied. I mean, my personal desire would be for Ye Olden Investors to put some of their apparently limitless cash into local newspapers instead of letting wingnut chains buy them all up and gut them. But the current state of things means that even if Dems come up with the smartest possible slogan, the most damning of all possible Trump smoking guns, the most detailed plan to help every last man, woman and child in the Sainted Working Class, how the unholy living fuck is anybody even gonna know?

America right now is out there saving itself from drowning and burning, but you turn on Fox News and this is the sort of shit you read. If all there is is Fox, and Fox ain’t covering your shit, and Fox is pretending Trump is the best president EVAR!!11! and your Republican governor is a job-creating dynamo, no plan makes a difference.

It’s why Trump debunkings just annoy me now. Nobody’s even hearing them.

Nobody HEARD Hillary’s detailed social and economic policy proposals. Nobody heard Bernie’s, either, not really, and wouldn’t have if he was the nominee, don’t kid yourselves. Whatever hairdo with money we nominate next time will get the same treatment no matter how many cheesesteaks they make J.D. Vance watch them hork down. They’ll propose Universal Basic Income and every podiatrist’s office in the Midwest will be blaring SENATOR LIBERAL Q. CHILDRAPIST WANTS TO GIVE YOUR MONEY TO THE BLACKS.

People don’t just wake up one day and change the channel. Fox News for DECADES built its brand and didn’t care that its ratings sucked and didn’t care that everyone laughed and didn’t care that nobody cared about the stories they were covering. For 40 years, the Right has been subsidizing faux-bestsellers and taking over local opinion pages and funding things called “LifeZette” and holding conferences where they make stars out of any tit that can string a complete sentence together.

They’ve done that so we can be where we are now: With fully 60 percent of the county hearing a narrative that places white resentment and nationalist propaganda above any semblance of the common good. That can’t continue.

We’ve gotta build stuff, and we gotta make peace with the fact that 90 percent of it is going to be shit, for a long long time. We’ve gotta stop chasing them and start going where they’re not. Sure, Verrit is run by a Hillary stan and seems on its face like a solution to a problem nobody has. WHO FUCKING CARES? Let it suck. The lesson here is to fund the next thing, that doesn’t suck as much, and the one after that which is mediocre, and the one after that which is pretty good, and the one after that which is great.

I mean, we can keep going the way we’ve been going, and hope that if our August Traditional Media just assign the right emoji or number of Pinocchios to Trump that he’ll magically resign and end the GOP across the country by fiat, but that doesn’t seem to be working out so well for us at the moment.

A.

The Buck Passer In Chief’s DACA Debacle

We all knew it was coming. We all knew that Donald Trump would rescind DACA. I actually believe that he has qualms about ending the program, not because he “loves the dreamers,” but because even he understands the optics of rounding up some 800K young people and deporting them. The title of Josh Marshall’s blog post after the announcement says it all:

Trump Wishes Dreamers Luck as He Tosses Them Out of the Plane

As does this passage in Josh’s post:

What the President is doing is the executive action equivalent of flying the plane up to 10,000 feet, tossing the Dreamers out the door and yelling after them, “I hope you have a parachute or if you don’t that Paul Ryan can get you one really fast!’ Actually, one small difference. He had Jeff Sessions toss them out of the plane.

Yowza.

Trump the phony tough guy  once again proved his cowardice by having true believer white supremacist Jeff Beau make the announcement.  As always, Jeff Beau prevaricated and demonized his way through the statement. I’m surprised he didn’t gleefully rub his hands together in celebration like a cartoon villain. Bigots like Jeff Beau have much to celebrate: mass deportations of service people, first responders, teachers, and on and on and on. DACA has a rigorous vetting process so its beneficiaries are the best of the best. I doubt many people at the Trump White House could pass muster. Slumlord Jared would have to amend his form because he’s such a forgetful boy.

What Trump has done is to punt this clusterfuck to the Congress. The six month deadline is an arbitrary one and major legislation rarely passes both houses in six months or less. The president’s* sole aim is to accept as little responsibility as possible for this heinous and callous action. Feral Trumpers will howl in approval but this is yet another incredibly unpopular move done solely to placate the MAGA Maggots.

There *may* be majorities in both Houses of Congress to pass a new Dream Act. I’m uncertain if there’s a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and dubious that it can get past the so-called Hastert Rule in the House. The rule named for Coach Pervert applies to the Republican caucus: only legislation with majority support in the caucus reaches the floor. There are enough nutbars and white nationalists to keep it off the floor UNLESS the GOP leadership gets around a rule named for a convicted felon. It’s a caucus rule, not a law, after all. Stay tuned but I am not optimistic. Speaker Ryan is as cowardly as the Insult Comedian.

The administration* is sending mixed messages about its DACA debacle. Trump is holding out hope of a change in plans but nobody believes anything he says about anything. If LBJ had a so-called “credibility gap” on Vietnam, Trump has a credibility canyon on everything. I put more stock in a White House memo telling dreamers to prepare for deportation.

A detestation of buck passing was instilled in me as a child. I always got in more trouble with my parents if I deflected responsibility for my words and deeds. They went easier on me if I fessed up and took the blame. Donald Trump is incapable of taking responsibility for his actions. It’s never his fault, the finger of blame always points elsewhere.

Trump’s perennial buck passing made me think of Harry Truman who famously had “the buck stops here” sign on his White House desk. This is Trump’s second pairing with a man whose ass he is not fit to wipe. Trump’s stunning 2016 electoral college victory surpassed Truman’s 1948 shocker as the biggest upset in American political history. Thanks to the DACA debacle, Trump is now fated to be the anti-Truman. Just call him the Buck Passer in Chief.

A new nickname has been born. And a new benign earworm has hatched. Let’s hope it doesn’t come true.

I’ll give the last-ish word to the late Ted Kennedy. It’s the closing passage of his 1980 speech to the Democratic convention. It is *not* about the dreamers but it could be:

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

It’s time for people to both hit the streets and call their GOP Congresscritters. Make the fuckers squirm like the worms they are.

Just To Be Mean

There’s no reason for any of this.

DACA recipients aren’t taking jobs, they aren’t criminals, they aren’t hurting anyone. They’re working or going to school, they’re paying taxes, serving in the military, doing what we tell everybody a Good American and a Good Immigrant should do, and we’re gonna deport them just ’cause.

This is the fuck-you administration. TTo kick the weaker kid, to laugh along with the bully so the bully won’t bully you. Undo everything Obama did because it’s fun to pick on the black president these people hate, smack immigrant kids around because they can’t fight back.

Part of the frustration in dealing with this administration’s supporters comes from the attraction they have to this kind of bullying. I made the drug addict comparison a few months ago, with regard to the steady diet of meanness and hate people consume through their TVs and radios, and how that hate means more to them than their children and their friends.

It’s hard to argue with someone’s weakness, because their weakness is their fear, and you can’t argue someone out of a fear. They have to decide to take the leap to not be afraid of the bullies anymore, to not go along with whatever the meanest, loudest guy in the room is saying. Until they do, we’re going to keep looking for reasons they’re doing what they’re doing, when there isn’t a reason.

It’s just to be mean.

A.