Category Archives: Michael F

America’s Mayor

 

Certainly an October surprise, maybe not one Team Trump wanted, but as a GOP sage once said, you go to war with the army you have…

Pretty sure Rudy bounced back to DJT’s who?-I-hardly-know-him list.

Oh, and if this had been a significant advisor to a Democratic candidate?

The press would already be publishing post-mortems about how the campaign was lost.

There are Clinton rules, but also more generally, GOP versus Democratic Party rules…and then there’s Trump himself.

This week Eric Boehlert noted DJT’s reaction to Covid isn’t merely stupid and inept, but has sinister undertones

For longtime Kremlin watchers, what Trump is doing looks familiar — he’s using the Vladimir Putin playbook and what observers in Moscow have called the “fog of unknowability.” It’s an insidious form of state-backed propaganda that Putin has been practicing years on the Russian press.

This isn’t a distracted White House bumbling its way through a crisis. This is an administration waging war with the truth, just like Putin does. The press needs to stop being amazed that Trump’s creating confusion and contradictions, as the pandemic shows no signs of abating.

This ties in with previous observations about Trump. Like Putin, he weaponizes lies. It’s a particularly cynical and evil means of expressing political power. Truth is what they say it is.

And that’s why he’s got to go. Rudy Giuliani might be a clown, but DJT is Pennywise.

Super Spreader Man

Just another week in bizarro world, where Trump is still the actual POTUS running for actual re-election…

And while the nightmare isn’t over until it’s over, there’s clearly a WTF element to his act — the Superman nonsense, the half plea, half threat to “suburban women” (which sounded like a creep at a bar, unhappy that his Andrew Dice Clay pickup lines didn’t go over all that well) — Campaign 2020, Pandemic Edition (Camdemic?) sounds a bit like a Farewell Tour, or at least I hope it does.

That said, Trump leaves a legacy, and the larger GOP is still his evil spawn for as far as I can see.

In addition to the GOP generally, Trump leaves us three Supreme Court justices.

He’ll also have enough lower court bench sitters to remind us — for a long time — how different GOP rhetoric is from GOP ideology.

So let’s give a big thanks (sarcasm) to those (looking at you, elite media and “moderate, reasonable types”) who naively and dutifully insisted Repubs believed in limited government, and not all-power-to-the-plutocrats-by-any-means-necessary.

The goalposts were moved so far right that virtually the entire field’s been ceded before a play has even been run.

Consider: we’re actually looking, straight-faced, at whether or not a brazenly corrupt, openly racist, fascist, and utterly incompetent incumbent can somehow cheat his way to a hollow electoral victory…during a pandemic made even worse by his incompetence.

And don’t expect the GOP legislative and judicial office holders to help clean up the mess. If anything, they’ll try like hell to make things worse.

Damn.

 

Extreme Unctuous

All that was missing from Pence’s performance was a papal sedan chair throne to ensure his more-in-sorrow-than-anger furrowed brow and sneer was directed downward.

What an oily, sanctimonious, condescending, and yeah, patronizing piece of shit. No wonder he attracted a fly.

To tell the truth, I didn’t notice it, probably because I was busy doing other things. The debate was strictly a grim citizen’s duty. Watch and hope my preferred candidate was deemed worthy by my preferred punditry. Sigh.

I’m beginning to think debates aren’t useful for much of anything. It’s filler/content for the gaping and never satisfied cable news maw. There’s way too much armchair psychoanalysis, way too much noncommittal talk from the chatterers until they coalesce around some agreed upon gotcha moment. Maybe in times past with a more limited amount of media they offered voters a chance to see candidates react in real time, but now it’s just more endless, dreary spin.

Having said that, I still think Pence was and is full of enough shit to sink a garbage scow.

Fuck him.

Credit Where It’s Due

Dana Bash accurately called it a shitshow.

The media spin, distinct from the candidates’ efforts to push opinion, is focused — for once, as it should be — on Trump’s 90 minute bratty child act and his wink to the Proud Boys.

I sure as hell hope the country, or at least enough of us, are tired of it.

Trump IS exhausting.

I assume that’s a feature, not a bug.

Amp the bullshit to eleven, and the wholesale grift, fraud, and manic incompetence is slightly less noticeable.

Just trying to keep track is an effort.

For instance, anyone remember the ridiculous government shutdown (well, ridiculous for us…stressful as hell for laid-off workers).

But do you remember it was the second shutdown of this administration?

Trump was impeached less than a year ago; the Senate vote to not convict was in February…Chris Wallace didn’t even bring it up.

Trump’s personal financial shitshow was mostly ignored.

Not that it would’ve mattered, I guess, when you’ve got the world’s oldest baby throwing the mother of all public tantrums.

Sadly, it probably didn’t cost him any votes.

Hopefully, it didn’t win him any.

If anyone’s really undecided about the election, they should be checked for a pulse.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It…Or A Banana Republic Under Trump

The only surprise is no surprise.

DJT is telling us what he really thinks, and how he intends to get there.

Way to go, everyone who was so sure he’d never win that Hillary’s emails became a campaign fetish object, a means by which to kneecap an incoming administration, step one of a process that would conclude with gossipy books offering insider revelations of a Clinton administration in disarray. By playing that game in 2016, you managed to put what’s left of representative democracy in jeopardy this cycle.

Nice work, dipshits. Hope you’re proud.

Hell, at this point, I would not be at all surprised if Team Trump claimed election fraud, and if asked how they know, say because they committed it themselves.

I vaguely recall an election in, I think, Nigeria, in the mid 1990s, when the ruling party did just that, and cancelled the vote.

Though, if I remember, they were forced to step down after massive protests.

I have no idea what might happen here…

Grotesque

I did not know this, but Grotesque is an architectural term, a sort of generic Gargoyle, i.e., not all Grotesques are Gargoyles, but all Gargoyles are Grotesques…

And what’s a more appropriate monument to the Trump era?

His policies and rhetoric are political runoff wastesewagebilge water.

Just add some gold paint that looks like gold leaf…paint because he’d peel off actual gold leaf and stuff it into his pocket or under the first available mattress.

The election will be more than just the cult of Trump versus, well, those of us who aren’t brainwashed.

It’s grotesque superstition versus the modern world.

Not really much of of a choice if you think about it, no pun intended.

You Can’t Shred Digital Recordings

And you can’t erase 18 and 1/2 minute gaps when someone else has copies.

But let’s not slather Bob Woodward in praise while draping him with rewards and awards…as others note, he sat on quite a significant story for months while millions were infected and hundreds of thousands died.

For me, this is just another example of how deep the rot is. We all know Trump is the lowest form of lying scum, a con artist and cult leader (aside: Gret Stet Senator/Cletis-The-Ignorant-Yokel wannabe/and cult initiate John Neely Kennedy all but squinched his eyes shut and put fingers in his ears in denying Trump said what he said, and that it’s on tape), anyway, we’ve known Trump is a fraud, but the elite media, like Woodward, spent the entire 2016 political campaign sitting on story after story, while obsessing over the nothing burger of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Then they spent the next four years normalizing an administration that wasn’t just criminally venal but remarkably stupid and inept. It’s as if Trump managed to combine Nixon’s evilness, Reagan’s vacuousness, Bush Senior’s creepiness, and Junior’s incompetence into a single flabby, vicious, amoral orange blob.

If the coronavirus hadn’t plunged the country into a genuine crisis, I’m guessing the odds are pretty good the chattering classes would be furrowing their collective brows over Hunter Biden and Burisma…and who knows, they still might, because, you know, both sides…

And while I suppose on the one hand it’s better-late-than-never that at least some of this is finally coming to light, and hopefully in a way that ensures Trump’s first term in office is his last/only term, it’s nonetheless troubling that it’s taken this long to expose what I believe is still just the tip of the Trump iceberg of fraud and corruption…

And what will come next?

Raging Bullshit

The ongoing toxic waste discharge that’s the Donald Trump administration couldn’t have been without a little help from his friends like those at the failing New York Times. You probably saw this link yesterday, a write up that did everything to normalize the possibility of a GOP coup in the guise of Democrats-will-be-in-disarray-if-this-happens…um, not to mention that it would be a putsch, use of the term putsch intentional.

Grotesque understates it.

I’m sure Trump revels in it.

And when the media’s not actively enabling it, the bullshit is still so thick and relentless it’s like it’s getting shot out from a water cannon.

There’s just not enough time to process the degree to which Trump deliberately trashes the system in an attempt to stave off defeat, doing whatever he can to sow chaos, while stuffing his pockets with anything that isn’t bolted or riveted down.

It’s exhausting to simply try keeping up.

And it’s not normal.

Lickspittle Spoke

Only a grim sense of civic duty kept me from ignoring the gathering of the Trump cult, last night’s episode capped off with an extended word from Second in Command but Toady in Chief Mike Pence.

Wow. I don’t know what was more, I don’t know, amazing: the boot-licking fealty or the dire predictions of life under a Biden administration that sound a lot like the reality of the present one.

About all that was missing was a collective statement insisting that Donald Trump was the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being they’ve ever known in their life. And Joe Biden is Satan (well, Lou Holtz…)

One last attempt to peel off a few suburban suckers, um, voters. Will it work? I hope not.

I’m also thinking that, whether it will work or not, the Trump Cult up to and including Dear Leader, will do everything they can to encourage the kind of rioting and unrest you’re seeing in Kenosha and elsewhere. It’s all they’ve got. Amp up the chaos, see if they can slither through.

How’s that for a strategy?

It’s The Right Wing Nut Thing To Do

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Of course he’ll go all in with the batshit crazy — he’s chosen to do so his entire life

President Trump on Wednesday offered encouragement to proponents of QAnon, a viral conspiracy theory that has gained a widespread following among people who believe the president is secretly battling a criminal band of sex traffickers, and suggested that its proponents were patriots upset with unrest in Democratic cities.

“I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” Mr. Trump said during a White House news conference ostensibly about the coronavirus. “So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.”

We knew it was going to be an excruciatingly ugly campaign, but when it begins with a Qanon endorsement, you wonder just how low it will get, and how much more damage will occur.

And to think that only four years ago the scandal was a nothing burger over email. Hope all their finger pointing and condescending sneering over Hillary Clinton’s “poor judgment” was worth it to them.

The Rot Runs Deep

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Not to get ahead of things — sending Trump packing, and fitting him for a matching orange jumpsuit, is still Step One  — but goddamn if there’s not a whole lot of stupid out there

Marjorie Taylor Greene triumphed in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, one of the reddest in the country, meaning she’s odds-on to win the general election in November, too. She won 58 percent of the vote in a matchup with Dr. John Cowan, a neurosurgeon. (“She is not conservative—she’s crazy,” Cowan said of Green. “She deserves a YouTube channel, not a seat in Congress. She’s a circus act.” Clearly, she’s what Republicans in the 14th district want.) Green runs a construction company with her husband, and also believes that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against a cabal of Satanist pedophiles in the Democratic Party, the media, and beyond. She has also suggested Muslims should not hold public office; called George Soros, who is a Holocaust survivor, a Nazi; and said Black Americans “are held slaves to the Democratic Party.” Naturally, she has the support of the President of the United States.

Greene is the most likely to win in November, but she’s one of many QAnon believers who are gunning for seats in the national legislature. In this equation, they will serve side-by-side with at least some people they believe are engaged in the ritualistic sexual abuse of children. This does not sound like a recipe for bipartisan cooperation. But it’s far worse than any of that. The QAnon thing, as an article in The Atlantic laid out in June, is far closer to a religion than any run-of-the-mill Internet conspiracy theory at this point. It is completely impervious to evidence, real-world events, and reason. It sprung from a prior conspiracy theory, Pizzagate, which held, among other things, that a Hillary Clinton-led child-trafficking ring was operating out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. The establishment, Comet Ping Pong, does not have a basement

There’s a reason these folks keep accusing people, basically at random, of engaging in pedophilia. They fantasize about the day Hillary Clinton will not just be arrested, but summarily executed. Will there be a trial? Who needs one when you’ve done your own research? And what happens if the arrest never comes, and Donald Trump fails to win re-election, and these people believe the pedophiles are running free at the summit of world power again? What will they do to find their own version of justice?

Would be nice if the corporate media gave QAnon the Hillary’s-emails treatment, but sad to say I’m not holding my breath.

Scandals Large Or Small, He’s Got Them All

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Yeah, I’m sick and tired of winning.

Yesterday President I-Alone-Can-Fix-It insisted kids are “virtually immune” from Covid-19, a day earlier he mangled the pronunciation of Yosemite (Freudian slip?); he’s continued to brag about a has-grandpa-lost-it cognition test as if it demonstrated his very stable genius…as to-the-ongoing-and-showing-no-sign-of-letting up pandemic, we got a very presidential it-is-what-it-is, which is maybe ever so slightly less batshit insane than “It will go away — like things go away,”  except that he said that, too.

While the pandemic races out of control, the economy continues to implode

Oh, and Deutsche Bank, which is known for being as sleazy, um, as controversial as the president and is not surprisingly, his preferred bank (or maybe it’s the only bank who’ll have him as a client); anyway, Deutsche Bank revealed they’ve complied with subpoenas related to investigations of alleged Trump organization bank and insurance fraud.

And this is just the recent stuff.

Definitely sick and tired.

The Emperor’s New Tone

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I think it was just this past Monday when the corporate press insisted en masse that DJT was changing his tone.

Um…

As we have seen in cities and towns across our nation, it’s not just Texas oil that the radical Democrats want to destroy, they want to destroy our country. These people are sick. They are sick and you better get used to hearing it because they have some real problems. They don’t love our country. In any way, shape or form, they don’t love our country. There’s no respect for the American way of life. There is no way of life ever in history that’s been like the great American way of life. There’s no respect but there is by you and there is by 95% of our people. Our people love our country and our people love our anthem and they love our flag. Remember that. The radical left wants to tear down everything in its way and in its place they want power for themselves, they want power. Hard to believe, power. They want to uproot and demolish every American value. They want to wipe away every trace of religion from national life. They want to indoctrinate our children, defund our police, abolish the suburbs, incite riots, and leave every city at the mercy of the radical left. That’s not going to happen. That’s not going to happen. By the way, I just ended the rule on suburbs. You know the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home. There will be no more low income housing forced in to the suburbs. I abandoned and took away and just rescinded the rule. It’s been going on for years, I’ve seen conflict for years. It’s been hell for suburbia.

It’s been hell for suburbia. We rescinded the rule three days ago, so enjoy your life, ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy your life. The proud people of Texas will never bow, kneel or surrender to the left-wing mob. You will always stand tall and strong for America.

The only change in tone with DJT will what shade of orange, and that will depend on how much fake tan he has slathered on himself.

The Cruelty Is The Point…And So Is The Rage

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I’ve been thinking along the same lines (it’s less left vs. right and more modern vs. medieval, etc.) but Roy Edroso puts it way better than I’m able to

…Trump wants the rage and the virus and the unemployment and the financial collapse to continue and, if possible, get worse — because wants his people to have something to be mad about.

He won’t give them any of the stuff he and they claimed he was going to give them in 2016, like mining and manufacturing jobs, new respect in the world, and an improvement on Obamacare. And you know what? I think they know it. In fact, I doubt they ever really thought he would give them those things.

Because just as he wants them to stay mad, they just want to stay mad, too. They want to stay mad that their coal and factory jobs never came back — and they don’t care that it was the globalization their own Republican politicians supported that killed those jobs. They want to stay mad that America is seen globally as a pitiful giant — even though it was Trump who made us a laughing stock. They want to stay mad that protestors are out in the streets of cities they’ll never even visit — even though it’s the smoldering, stinking mess Trump and the Republicans made of everything that put protestors in those streets in the first place.

That’s the really horrifying thing about the situation we find ourselves in now. It’s not a struggle between competing vision of how to fix the country — it’s a struggle between people who want to fix the country and people who just want something to piss and moan about.

Oh, and any major media report citing Trump’s change of tone is bullshit.

The Good Old Days

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I dunno, but citing the Donner Party as inspiration and motivation could be a sign you’re scraping bottom.

Though, that’s probably as accurate a reflection of the modern GOP as any.

STFU, too bad, so sad, and now get back to work, serfs, because unless and until they’re affected personally, Rush and the rest of them need to be fed, and sure as hell can’t do it themselves.

However, if I remember, Rush Suck-It-Up-Law-And-Order Limbaugh certainly discovered his inner, compassionate, there-are-alternatives-to-prison-side when he got caught.

Conservatism has come full circle. Oh, it was always full of shit, but at one time there might have been a few who believed in leaner, faster, better, cheaper…but now it’s revealed as a horrid, flaccid blob, incapable of anything useful, demanding human sacrifice to feed its raging maw and ego.

Which makes Limbaugh, or Trump, a perfect symbol.

Trump Takes The Low Road…Imagine That

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And we’re only at the beginning

At Mount Rushmore, Trump warned that a “left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.”

But he has positioned himself as the defender-in-chief not only of the Founding Fathers but of Confederates who actually tried to dissolve the Union and made war on it. And he has chosen to race-bait in an era in which protests for racial justice have broad and diverse support.

A new Trump attack ad alleges a Biden administration will result in emergency calls routing to answering machines, while rioters, looters, murders, and rapists, turn city streets into Death Wish-like war zones–interesting how with Trump, it’s always rapists (and always hellscape city nightmares from a generation ago).

It almost makes George Wallace seem quaint.

Racism is all Trump has left…and by the fall, it won’t surprise me if Trump’s recycling old White Citizen Council or Klan material more or less verbatim.

Oh, and then there’s the pandemic, which shows no sign of abating any time soon.

All this winning…

 

Covidiot

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So it turns out the Apprentice POTUS is just as much of an ignorant blowhard when the cameras are off. Go figure.

It makes a kind of pathetic sense: Trump is more a reality TV show president than an actual one, and from what I’ve seen, being an insufferable ass is a defining trait for  reality show contestants, or at least the memorable ones.

And that’s probably the extent of DJT’s moral and intellectual development. Reality television. Triumph of the Tiny Intellect and Small Mindset.

The election is less left versus right than modern versus medieval. Possibly the only surprise so far is that I haven’t heard anyone offer thoughts-and-prayers for COVID victims, though that could be because they’re in denial (fewer tests).

Meanwhile, reality television turns out to be different from reality itself. If Trump continues to ignore this, and all indications are he will — after all, he’s lived his entire life as if it was a television show — reality will bite.

Let’s hope so.

Losing It

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So, perhaps a little soon — it’s only June, there’s still almost five months before Election Day…Trump admittedly is like a movie villain with his feral survival instincts…

Biden’s far from perfect, and lord knows the media is feckless and lazy…but recent news and punditry suggests, at long last, enough of the public is ready to can amateur hour.

Sure, the lunatic base continues to be both. But you can only go so far with the crazies, particularly when some of them are peeling off (though Bolton’s more asshole than dumbass).

It might also be a matter of reality. I noted briefly a few weeks ago that real America is not rural diner America, no matter how many reporters seek wisdom in the first small town eatery they stumble upon. The recent demonstrations, um, demonstrate a diversity that ought to shatter any lingering myths about who we are.

Then there’s the disaster Trump’s presiding over. Even with a media that will do flips when a conservative Republican barks an order or offers a treat, it’s painfully obvious that Trump–and the GOP, generally–are out of their league if not their time zone if not their universe in dealing with a real crisis like the pandemic. They’ve lurched between denial and anger, with a bit of bargaining. Trying to sell hundreds of thousands of deaths as a smashing success won’t sell even with the press in their pocket…

Finally, some are pointing out that the grievance politics of DJT, the white male anger over being challenged for supremacy…won’t work particularly well against Joe Biden. Hmm…that’s entirely possible…and if that’s what it takes to make Trump a one-term mistake…

But Then Reality Screwed Up All His Plans…

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So, in a grim reprise of the old line The Show Must Go On, DJT, at least for the moment, still insists on at least one episode of his perverse victory-lap-from-hell/dance-with-death…because, among other things, it’s all he really knows how to do.

It’s not like his response to the actual crises reality delivered to his front door has been any different.

Trump, in real time, has reacted with demented, free-association rantings, alternately insisting his haphazard, stumblebum performance is perfect, while whining about the unfairness of it all…to himself. I think once, maybe twice, he expressed some measure of sympathy before swinging back to what really matters, Donald J. Trump.

The president of greed. Narcissus has nothing on him.

Maybe that’s what he means by his good genes.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us, it’s hang on, and good luck. We’re on our own for the next six/seven months, and heaven forbid, four years after that…

Miller: Ghostwriter Or Ghoulwriter?

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So, I’m not sure if the Trumpsters are still planning a televised address on race relations with Miller scribbling the words. For a while that seemed to be in the works, perhaps followed by Harvey Weinstein soberly expressing his sincere respect for women…

Who knows? Maybe they changed the plan.

Or maybe there’s no plan at all.

I’ve said before I think DJT is bluffing and I still think so. He’s reacted to actual crises about as systemically as the pea rattling around in a can of spraypaint.

Five stages of grief? Not a chance — instead, back and forth between denial and anger, occasionally a bit of bargaining.

Toss in a random act of bugfuck bizarre…

And let the press carry his water, which they’ve done for four plus years — offhand, just wondering if the media kid gloves began in earnest after DJT publicly insulted their Prince Charming, Saint John McCain, and got away with it — anyway, it’s real enough that we’ve got a Commander in Chief who fits the textbook definition of psychopath sitting in the Oval Office during a pandemic and political crisis of the kind we haven’t seen in a generation. 

Though, if nothing else, the past two week have — possibly — demonstrated to the press and public that Americans are significantly different and far more diverse than the rural diners elite journalists prefer when profiling “real” Americans.

That should give them, and Team MAGA, reason for reflection, televised address ghoulwritten by Stephen Miller, or not.