Category Archives: Michael F

Send In The Clown

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If anyone’s wondering how deep the GOP rot is —

Tom Cotton: Send In the Troops

The nation must restore order. The military stands ready.

There’s the rising star/the future.

Toss aside the Lee Greenwood and cue up the Barry Sadler…or Richard Wagner.

Crack some skulls, provided of course, they’re the appropriate skulls to crack…my only surprise is that he didn’t conclude with “exterminate the brutes.”

And of course Senator Cotton is permitted to express his views on Twitter, um, no, on his blog, um, no…in the pages of the New York Times.

The librul media.

Both sides.

First amendment, freedom of assembly?

Opinions differ.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump claimed a new title, and you know, it might even fit: Official Bunker Inspector

 

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Sure, I can see that.

Give him a cubicle, a badge, some carpet samples, a red stapler…

When he’s not inspecting the bunker, he can play golf.

Because he’s done enough damage.

Winning

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Real life has me busy, so I have to be short but…anyone remember this?

…We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’ You’ve heard this one. You’ll say ‘Please, Mr. President, we beg you sir, we don’t want to win anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else…And I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to keep winning, winning, winning, We’re going to make America great again.’”

Donald Trump, 2016

Sick and tired of winning yet?

Still Batshit After All These Years

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I guess we’re at the Bush II administration build a school/paint a school/insist that building a school/painting a school is evidence of the phenomenal success in Iraq point in DJT’s own crash-and-burn.

If only we wouldn’t test, if only people weren’t dying, if only our health care system wasn’t stressed to the limit while the overall economy implodes…everything would be awesome.

Yet…it’s all just another day, another IOKIYAR…

And now the grand experiment begins, i.e., looks like they’ve decided a month and a half or so of quarantine is more than enough — you’d think the MAGAts who like to hunt, fish, boat, etc., would be doing just that, but I guess with a second term on the line it’s shop till you drop with them…literally.

And, just me perhaps, but I can’t decide if it’s the spineless Democrats or feckless press or some combination of both that allows Trump to continue to suck up all the media oxygen without someone, anyone, pointing out how bugfuck insane this all is.

He STILL thinks the pandemic is an annoying obstacle to his re-election, and not, you know, a pandemic.

We’ve normalized mass death, epic grifting, flouting of constitutional norms, impeachment (sure, he was acquitted, but you’d think that alone would be a powerful rhetorical weapon for the party that’s, um, the opposition)…nepotism, and so on…at least for the GOP.

And if they get four more years, you can be sure it’s game over/no replay.

The Trump Administration Unveils The New Plan

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And…joke’s on us, the new plan is the same as the old plan, which was no plan.

Plan?

It is shocking. More than 60 days after President Trump declared a national emergency over the novel coronavirus, there is still no clear national plan for what comes next. “The lockdown is not meant to be a permanent state of affairs; it’s intended to be a giant pause button that buys you time to get ready for the next phase,” Jeremy Konyndyk, of the Center for Global Development think tank, says.

But the Trump administration wasted the pause. Over the past two months, the US should have built the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine infrastructure necessary to safely end lockdown and transition back to normalcy — as many of its peer countries did. Instead, Trump has substituted showmanship for action, playing the president on TV but refusing to do the actual job. He has both dominated the airwaves and abdicated his duties. As a result, America’s progress against the coronavirus has stalled, even as the lockdown has driven the economy into crisis.

And it’s not just DJT, though he’s certainly their inspiration, their true voice and distilled essence.

He is the GOP and the GOP is he.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ coronavirus stay-at-home order Wednesday, ruling that his administration overstepped its authority when it extended it for another month without consulting legislators.

The 4-3 ruling essentially reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants. The Tavern League of Wisconsin swiftly posted the news on its website, telling members, “You can OPEN IMMEDIATELY!”

What, you want to live forever?

Until it affects them personally, and probably even after that, the wingers will react to a global pandemic they way they react to anything: how can they own the libs?

Deny, then lie.

Fondle and brandish their guns.

Scream about minorities and foreigners.

Wave a Confederate flag.

Rinse, repeat.

They knew he was a snake…they just didn’t care.

 

“I Alone Can Fix It Take No Responsibility”

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Not that we didn’t know already, but the crisis, as crises tend to do, tells us a lot about the real DJT, and it’s not a flattering picture. Zero consideration for anyone/anything, vainglorious, petty, vindictive, shallow, scatterbrained…he wants untold numbers of people to die for vanity in a self-declared war where he reigns as general in chief (though as Jeet Heer describes, not Grant, Pershing, or Eisenhower, but Custer, Haig, Westmoreland).

Oh, also keeping with his true self, there’s the nepotism…and the grifting.

The fumbling search for new supplies — heralded by Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner as a way to pipe private-sector hustle and accountability into the hidebound federal bureaucracy — became a case study of Mr. Trump’s style of governing, in which personal relationships and loyalty are often prized over governmental expertise, and private interests are granted extraordinary access and deference.

At least one tip the volunteers forwarded turned into an expensive debacle. In late March, according to emails obtained by The Times, two of the volunteers passed along procurement forms submitted by Yaron Oren-Pines, a Silicon Valley engineer who said he could provide more than 1,000 ventilators.

Mr. Kushner’s volunteers passed the tip to federal officials who then sent it to senior officials in New York, who assumed Mr. Oren-Pines had been vetted and awarded him an eye-popping $69 million contract. Not a single ventilator was delivered, and New York is now seeking to recover the money.

 

“There’s an old saying in emergency management — disaster is the wrong time to exchange business cards,” said Tim Manning, a former deputy administrator at FEMA. “And it’s absolutely the wrong time to make up new procedures.”

And, the narcissism

“They always said Lincoln – nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”

If anyone’s still on the fence or undecided about Donald Trump, they should have their pulse checked.

American Lickspittle

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Obsequious doesn’t even begin…

When asked about this grotesque breach of protocol, the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force replied, according to The Week:

“As Vice President of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus,” Pence said later Tuesday, citing CDC guidance that says masks help stop people who have the coronavirus from spreading it. “I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you.

Yes, that is the vice president* of the United States, and the White House point man on the greatest public-health crisis in a century, admitting that he doesn’t know the difference between a mask and a blindfold. It makes a public mockery of everything Pence and his task force allegedly are doing. It makes a mockery of all the people who have upended their lives on his advice.

OK, so Mike Pence is a bag of hammers. We’ve known that for years. But it’s hard not to conclude that his boneheaded recklessness on Tuesday was prompted by Pence’s desire to prove to the president*, who’s already said he won’t wear a mask because it poses a danger to his perpetually threatened manhood, that Pence is on the team. In other words, Pence didn’t have the simple decency to appear masked in a hospital clinic in the middle of a pandemic because, in this administration*, simple decency is an act of courage beyond Mike Pence’s capabilities. He has the gallows in one eye and Nikki Haley in the other.

Or you could say it’s not so he could look other people in the eye…it’s so he could kiss one particular person’s orange, fat, lard ass.

Have the meatloaf, Mike.

As Seen On TV

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Oh, and heard on the radio (Limbaugh)…until it wasn’t.

Hydroxychloroquine got dropped like a campaign slogan that focus grouped lower than Dick Cheney.

Down the memory hole.

President Donald Trump and his allies in conservative media have subtly scaled down their hyping of hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for the coronavirus, according to a POLITICO review of White House briefings and cable news coverage.

Although Trump had repeatedly promoted the decades-old malaria drug since the early days of the disease’s outbreak in the United States, his public statements regarding hydroxychloroquine have diminished significantly over the past week for reasons that remain unclear.

Unclear? Or maybe it’s because promoting untested drugs that don’t work is televised quackery

A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported.

Now Trump is doing the same who?what?never heard of it/him…he pulled when Michael Cohen was arrested. Soon to be a non-entity

I don’t know of the report,” … “Obviously there have been some very good reports and perhaps this one’s not a good report — but we’ll be looking at it.”

And Fox, like any loyal propaganda outlet, has moved on

DJT, of course, doesn’t give a shit. To him, truth is just one more thing to manipulate as a demonstration of political power. The pandemic itself is an annoyance, strictly a snag in what was supposed to be Victory Lap 2020. The suffering and deaths, the economic gut punch, the overworked medical staffs, and so on, aren’t even incidental. To him they might as well not even exist. His daily press briefings aren’t — they’re feeding events for a troll.

It’s A Dessert Topping, AND A Floor Wax, AND A Nutritious Breakfast…

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…AND a fucking pandemic.

Jeeeeesus, these people don’t just faceplant, they faceplant early, often, and epically.

Kellyanne “Alternative Facts” Conway

This is Covid-19, not Covid-1, folks. You would think that people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that.

They’re evil.

No, they’re stupid.

No, wait: they’re evil AND stupid.

And incompetent.

They’d not only repeatedly step on a rake, but would otherwise have no clue how to use it, except maybe as some sort of crude weapon to hit or stick people with.

By the way, and a little off topic, but just wondering: has Trump made any real statement of condolence to anyone? The victims, their families, loved ones, or friends?

Has he offered any expression of thanks or gratitude to the millions of people either directly involved in caring for patients or engaged in critical occupations that allow the rest of us to obtain basic necessities?

I’d barely be surprised if he tweeted about how perfectly he’s responded to Covfefe-19.

And if Conway compared it to Obama’s reaction to the Bowling Green Massacre.

Who Wouldn’t Be Reassured?

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That’s Robin Vos, speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, assuring the public it’s incredibly safe to vote in person during a pandemic.

And, who are you going to believe, Robin Vos, or your lying eyes?

What’s next? That Amity Island expects a blockbuster tourist season and there’s nothing to all those silly rumors about a vicious, man-eating shark?

Or will he go with some variant of segregation now, tomorrow, and forever?

The GOP, most visibly in the person of DJT, but across the nation, is combining evil and stupid, with predictable results.

Wisconsin’s sick spectacle of a pandemic primary, is yet more proof.

Hell, I would’t be at all surprised if, after having the nerve to hold it, they’d cite it as an excuse to call off elections down the road, up to and including Decision 2020.

You know, because they care…

Anyone Else Remember “The Soft Bigotry Of Low Expectations?”

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There’s a whole new meaning to “practicing leadership” with DJT. He manages to go three or four whole sentences without a childish tantrum, or an epic faceplant, and, wow.

100 to 200 thousand victims is the new Mission Accomplished.

All that’s left is a victory lap on an aircraft carrier — maybe the USS Theodore Roosevelt is available.

Jesus H. Fuck Christ.

Trump’s using this crisis to run what’s undoubtedly the most perverse Rose Garden campaign strategery in history while the rest of the GOP is now falling in line with his die for DJT and/or the Dow plea (like Pierce says, they’re welcome to go first), and the political press is treating this as…Campaign 2020. Cue up the patriotic music.

Moral relativism, anyone?

On second thought — they skipped right over that to a stunningly cynical moral calculus. Objectively Pro Death.

Oh, and is it just me, or does anyone else find it odd/strange that, despite spending something like $3.6 trillion-with-a-t dollars a year on health care, there’s nonetheless a shortage of basic equipment? Almost like how, during the last Mission Accomplished, the then half-trillion dollar annual military budget still required supplements for actual costs of war. Just saying…

Oh, For Fuck’s Sake

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Lindsey Graham had a loud harrumph and muttered out loud about how difficult it is to find good help these days before presumably waddling off to get fitted for a monocle, tailcoat, and whatever other snob apparel suits someone worried that a few extra dollars for a few extra months will bring on sloth and other undesirable traits.

Fuck him, fuck them, fuck ’em all.

Lindsey Graham makes a hundred and seventy four thousand dollars a year plus expenses to work part time. He could easily ride out months if not years of forced unemployment, not that he’ll have to. His paychecks didn’t vanish overnight…and have left him with a tidy little nest egg. Meanwhile, millions of people who’ve been working harder than ever for, when adjusted for inflation, less and less money…and are now being accused, on the record, of being lazy and greedy.

Want to see lazy and greedy, Senator Graham? Take a look at yourself and your colleagues.

And fuck the fuck off.

End Of The Line

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Vote enough incompetent dingbats into office and eventually you’ll get an incompetent dingbat response to a genuine crisis. And so it’s proving to be with DJT, who follows a long line of not-ready-for-prime-time GOP executives…or candidates for executive. Reagan was their darling, but Robert Taft and even Alf Landon did their best to deny reality and insist 19th Century governing styles were…plenty good enough.

Nope. Not in the 20th Century and sure as hell not now.

The era of big government being over was always bullshit triangulation, and the trope about it being the problem was always a mask for bigotry. People were never really upset about the size/spending of the feds…it was always a matter of who it allegedly went to (as we all recall, the Gipper insisted it went to “strapping young bucks” and “welfare queens.”)

So…the GOP has discovered their inner Keynes, and lord knows there are a ton of people who could use a few extra dollars — or simply a few dollars — now that their income’s been slashed or eliminated (not to mention squeezed over the course of decades). But the national leadership to guide us through this crisis, at least from the GOP, simply doesn’t exist.

We’ll have to ride it out as best as we can, and hope that once it’s over, there are enough pieces left to pick up and put back together…

Does He Really Look Like A Guy With A Plan?

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Wow, what a flop, though as usual, major media is doing their best to downplay what had to be the weirdest address-from-the-Oval-Office-to-reassure-the-nation ever.

Looking and sounding like he was on strong medication or had just been awakened, DJT managed to stumblebum/blunder his way into falsely claiming a ban on European “cargo” — lotta good that would do — while oddly exempting the UK from travel restrictions because…well, not really sure why.

And he concluded — to be fair, after he thought the camera was off — with something that looked for all the world like an orange-stain-take-on-the-Looney- Toons-signoff.

That’s All, Folks.

And the political press is gearing up for a months long cycle of Biden-is-gaffe-prone stories?

Goddamn.

We’re still at the beginning of this, and who knows whether it will be a matter of worst fears being realized or not, but I can’t think of a more incompetent reaction than what we’ve seen from Team Trump. It’s stupid…on an epic level.

Think of what sort of reaction we’d see if the president was a Democrat. Fox Noise would literally be that, and I’m guessing the rest would, sheeplike, follow along (“the administration was caught off-guard and is scrambling to restore trust”)…yet for Trump, they’ve set the bar so goddamn low you need a backhoe to find it.

But…Burisma.

Fuck.

One Small Step

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Six/seven hours to vote? That’s ridiculous…though also hopeful. People willing to wait that long to cast a ballot must really want to make a statement. And if the ballot is in the Democratic Primary — a primary — the statement is presumably not one in support of Orange Narcissus.

But it also underscores just how cynical and ugly the entire GOP has become. Long lines, reduced early voting hours, onerous registration processes…

This is voter suppression. It’s election theft.

And, oddly, barely reported as such by the allegedly librul media.

Just another way the game is being played by GOP rules and on their playing field. I’m trying to imagine the spittle-flecked rage from Hannity or Carlson if GOP voters were subjected to long waits. Hell, I’m so old I remember Bill O’Reilly screeching about the New Black Panthers (who, if I remember, weren’t even at a white suburban precinct…just saying).

Not that I want to settle for yet another lesser-of-evils — I’m getting old and can’t really remember an election when I wasn’t lesser-of-evil voting — but with basic stuff like voting itself on the line, and with the alternative being, sorry to repeat, a second term for Trump, i.e., the Vengeance-is-Mine farewell tour, maybe it’s an election where we need to.

Because if we don’t…game over?

And Another Reminder…

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…of the kind of person who epitomizes the DJT — and now GOP — approach to government, short-lister-for-getting-cast-as Nosferatu-if-there’s-ever-a-remake and until recently Washington’s least eligible bachelor, Stephen Miller

One afternoon in November, a half-dozen government officials sat at a conference table in the White House, waiting for the arrival of Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Donald Trump. Miller had summoned officials from the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Justice to discuss a new Administration policy initiative: a series of agreements with the governments of Central America that would force asylum seekers to apply for protection in that region instead of in the United States. Miller, who had helped make the deals, wanted to know when their provisions could go into effect…Miller has a habit of berating officials, especially lower-ranking ones, for an agency’s perceived failures. Chad Wolf, now the acting head of D.H.S., used to advise colleagues to placate Miller by picking one item from his long list of demands, and vowing to execute it. “It’s a war of attrition,” Wolf told them. “Maybe he forgets the rest for a while, and you buy yourself some time.”

One participant in the November meeting pointed out that El Salvador didn’t have a functioning asylum system. “They don’t need a system,” Miller interrupted. He began speaking over people, asking questions, then cutting off the answers.

As the meeting ended, Miller held up his hand to make a final comment. “I didn’t mean to come across as harsh,” he said. His voice dropped. “It’s just that this is all I care about. I don’t have a family. I don’t have anything else. This is my life.”

Miller, who was a speechwriter during the campaign, is now Trump’s longest-serving senior aide. He is also an Internet meme, a public scourge, and a catch-all symbol of the racism and malice of the current government. In a cast of exceptionally polarizing officials, he has embraced the role of archvillain. Miller can be found shouting over interviewers on the weekend news shows or berating reporters in the White House briefing room; he has also vowed to quell a “deep state” conspiracy against Trump. When he’s not accusing journalists of harboring a “cosmopolitan bias” or denying that the Statue of Liberty symbolizes America’s identity as a nation of immigrants, he is shaping policy and provoking the President’s most combative impulses.

Of thirty current and former officials I interviewed, not one could recall a White House adviser as relentless as Miller, or as successful in imposing his will across agencies. These officials resented him as an upstart and mocked his affectations—his “arrogant monotonal voice” and tin-eared bombast—but few were comfortable going on the record, even after leaving the government. Miller is famously vindictive, and, as Trump runs for a second term, he is sure to grow only more powerful. “Miller doesn’t have to get Trump to believe everything he does,” one of the officials told me. “He just has to get Trump to say it all.”

When Miller and I spoke by phone, it was off the record. Without an audience, he gave the same message at half the volume—a litany of talking points about all the ways in which the President had delivered on his campaign promises. Afterward, the White House sent me a quote for attribution: “It is the single greatest honor of my life to work for President Trump and to support his incredible agenda.”

Imagine Stephen Miller in a second Trump term.

There’s nothing wrong with a serious discussion/debate, or whatever you want to call it, to consider and select the best candidate to take on, um, not to mince words, the nascent fascism of Trump. But whether the winning candidate is my personal preference (her last name rhymes with Soren) or whether I once again grimly exercise my civic duty by opting for the lesser of evils, Trump will forever remain the greater of evils, in no small part because of people like Stephen Miller.

Oh, and that certain idiot Dems (e.g., Chris Matthews) and ostensibly Never Trumpers (Bill Kristol) think Bernie Sanders is too much…goddamn.

It was bad enough that Democrats abandoned George McGovern in 1972 for Nixon…but Donald Trump is no Dick Nixion. He’s much worse.

Begging Pardon

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So, am still far, far away from the USA, which means I wasn’t around for last night’s debate or DJTs festival of pardons on, I guess, Tuesday… but in what I hope doesn’t become something that bores people to tears, I’ll repeat last week’s mantra: Anyone but Trump…

And yeah that even includes, gag, Mike Bloomberg, though god knows I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Trump this week was a preview of Trump, The Second Term. Just like how super storms these days are a preview of the new normal after global warming.

Imagine this week’s Trump…every week.

I can’t.

A Modest Reminder

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So, am fortunate to be traveling/taking a break from, well, everything up to and including the Northern Hemisphere. But while out of the loop, I’m not entirely disconnected.

I did see, though, some hand wringing from the usual suspects. Democrats in disarray. Is Bernie too far left?

Well, to repeat what Adrastos said below, the house is on fire. The enemy is the guy pictured above.

If Sanders wins the nomination, I’ll vote for him. Same with Buttigieg. Same with Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, or even Joe Biden if either of the latter two gains any traction (and as an aside, more than ever I think Iowa and New Hampshire have outweighed any usefulness in first-in-the-nation status. Time to move to national or at least regional primaries)… sorry to digress, but I’ll vote for any Democrat over Trump.

And if you think otherwise, um, that means you’re part of the problem.

Because if you think Trump is awful — and for fuck’s sake, he is — imagine what a re-elected Trump will be.

Same As It Ever Was

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Sure, credit where it’s due, but let’s not elevate Mitt to the status of house god, Republican Daddy Hero, Last Honest Man in Washington, etc., etc.

Romney took a look at Pennywise and applied his conscience and Mormon faith (where he’s worked in an official capacity) to reach the unsurprising conclusion that DJT was self-serving and crooked.

Makes me wonder what’s going on with other GOP senators who claim to be faithful (assuming they’re not prosperity Gospel types).

Oh, and Mitt’s “suffering” will be, what? Estrangement from a man and movement that went out of its way to publicly humiliate him? Aww…poor guy. He can cry in his non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage in any of his half dozen houses or three story garage.

Or he can become a fixture on some cable news network. Howard Baker for our time.

The foregone conclusion of the impeachment trial is another example of how we can’t rely on or expect any GOP hero to come to the rescue. Handing Trump his walking papers will have to be done by ourselves, because Trump and the GOP have merged/morphed into a freak show carnival ride alliance that all can see is deranged and damaged, but from which none of them can jump off.

Besides, while it’s not going to be easy to show DJT the door, it can be done. Sure, his minions are rabid creeps, but we outvoted them four years ago. He’s president by arcane rules, not a popular mandate, no matter how often he tries to pass off that lie.

We shouldn’t forget that.

See No Evil

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The show will go on for a few days, or a few days more if, by some odd set of circumstances, you don’t get the rest of the GOP caucus — excuse me, the GOP cult — to fold like, take your pick, Cory Gardner or a cheap card table.

C’mon…Mitt? Hahahaha.

Sure, watching Bolton testify wouldn’t hurt, but how much more evidence do you need, and how much more evidence will the MAGAts ignore?

Lev Parnas — who’s wearing an ankle monitor — is less delusional than the cultists, who’ve gone all in.

And, for who? Donald J (could be for John, could be for Jackass) Trump.

What the hell? Is George W. Bush just a lesser-of-evils in their eyes? He’d get their vote, but is kind of sophisticated and nuanced?

At this point, I doubt evidence that Trump was Putin’s personal valet would change any GOP mind. I can picture his Senate defenders saying, sure, he’s a paid Russian agent looking to destroy the country from within, but if you’re the president, that’s ok…

And the GOP base would erupt in cheers. Drink up.

Damn.

Coming Attractions

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On Tuesday, Moscow Mitch — who hates being called Moscow Mitch — anyway, Moscow Mitch was so determined to display how thoroughly zombified his caucus is that he earned a new nickname from Carl Bernstein…while his zombie caucus stumbled and shuffled across the floor of the chamber, dutifully doing as they were told in vote after vote.

Yesterday they did the same as the House Democratic Managers presented a devastating case.

Today will be no different.

The final vote, when it comes, will be Democrats on one side, Zombies (Zomblicans?) slowly shuffling around on the other.

DJT will proclaim it the greatest victory ever, far surpassing the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Which means that, while impeachment definitely will leave a mark, Trumpism — which is now the entire GOP — can only be defeated at the ballot box.

And even then, it will continue to shuffle around, undead, looking for brains to consume…