Category Archives: Stupid Republican Tricks

Demon Semen Is The New Bleach

I struggled mightily against writing about President* Pennywise’s latest pandemic related stupidity. It’s been beat to death for days so if I were a wiser man, I would resist the urge to comment on this nonsense but I’m a wise ass, not a wise man or a wise guy for that matter. I also came up with a good title and you know how I am about titles.

Trump keeps some weird company:

 Trump used Twitter to share a video in which a Houston doctor and preacher named Stella Immanuel argues that wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is unnecessary and makes (medically unproven) claims about the effectiveness of the drug hydroxychloroquine in treating the disease. As the Daily Beast subsequently reported, Immanuel also believes that “gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are … caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches” and has said that many individuals in positions of power are actually lizard aliens.

We’ve met the lizard people before, but demon sex is a new one on me. It’s unclear if Dr. Quackenbush (the original name for Groucho’s character in A Day At The Races) has any plans to treat Congressman Covid aka Louis Gohmert Piles. I bet he’d be open to some alien DNA treatments if he doesn’t have to wear a mask.

It’s astonishing that the Kaiser of Chaos keeps going to the “freak show treatment” well after the bleach drinking debacle. Anything to distract attention from the worst economy since Herbert Hoover and a pandemic death toll of 151K and rising. Distraction and confusion are the only weapons Trump has left in his arsenal.

In addition to the title, the other reason I broke down and reluctantly wrote about the latest presidential* imbecility is this:

That’s Lesley-Ann Brandt who plays the demon Mazikeen aka Maze on Lucifer, which Dr. A and I have been devouring on Netflix. Demons, devils, and angels aren’t usually my cup of tea, but this show has got me hooked. When it comes to my favorite demon, resistance is futile.

I’d like to unleash Maze on the Mask Deniers. She’d soon make short order of Dr. Quackenbush, Gohmert, and their ilk. I wish the news of Herman Cain’s Trump rally related death would give Gohmert pause but I know better. New information is meaningless to ideologues. They know everything already even though:

Repeat after me: neither bleach nor demon semen is good for you. Don’t drink either even if your friendly neighborhood president* tells you to do so. Never trust a teetotaler who spends too much time in a tanning bed.

The last word goes to Guster:

Ted Cruz Can Go Fuck Himself

I posted the National Enquirer front pages as a reminder that Ted Cruz has sold his soul to the devil aka President* Pennywise. It also gives me an excuse to type this name: David Pecker. Surely someone in the Pecker tribe changed their name. Who the hell wants to be a Pecker? Imagine if a Pecker married someone named Head. Who the hell wants to be a Pecker-Head?

There’s a fresh reason why the hopefully soon-to-be senior senator from Texas can go fuck himself. Tailgunner Ted went on Face The Nation yesterday and made an ass out of himself again:

Except, the problem is, for 68% of people receiving it right now, they are being paid more on unemployment than they made in their job. And I’ll tell you, I’ve spoken to small business owners all over the state of Texas who are trying to reopen and they’re calling their- their waiters and waitresses,–

–they’re calling their busboys, and they won’t come back. And, of course, they won’t come back because the federal government is paying them, in some instances, twice as much money to stay home as–

I used the transcript because I’m not going to clean up after Ted’s mess. I’m sure he wouldn’t tip me if I did. I’d rather spit on his word salad.

I almost said that Cruz put his foot in his mouth, but this reflects the position of most Republicans. They believe that working Americans are lazy and would rather hang out with St. Ronnie’s Welfare Queen than work.

The truth of the matter is that people are afraid to return to work because they don’t want to catch COVID-19, spread it to friends and family, and possibly become one of the 300,000 Americans projected to die this year because of the grotesque incompetence of the Trump regime and GOP Governors such as Greg Abbott of Texas.

That may have been the longest sentence I’ve ever written. It’s what happens when you’re writing about a windbag like Ted Cruz.

I grew up in a restaurant family. I bussed and waited on tables when I was younger. It’s hard work but it can be rewarding as well. Most of the restaurant people I know miss their customers, co-workers, and the buzz of getting through a challenging service. They provide a vital service and should be treated with respect instead of contempt.

Ted Cruz personifies the worst of the so-called “free market, small guvmint” conservatives. He sounds like Mr. Potter in It’s A Wonderful Life:

Mr. Potter was talking about loans from the Bailey Brothers, but the point remains the same: if you give working people a helping hand, they’ll take advantage of you.  Fuck you, Mr. Potter and Ted Cruz too.

Ted Cruz *should* have a hard time looking himself in the mirror. Perhaps that’s why he grew a beard: there’s less mirror time when you don’t shave every day. But Cruz is shameless. He somehow thinks his sycophancy to the Impeached Insult Comedian is okay because it’s politically expedient. There’s a special place reserved in hell for lackeys such as Ted Cruz.

Crooks & Liars has an excellent summary of the online reaction to Cruz’s egregious malakatude.

Repeat after me: Ted Cruz can go fuck himself.

This is the third in my Go Fuck Yourself series. Once again, Harry Nilsson gets the last word:

Yoho Ho & A Bottle Of Dumb

I originally hadn’t planned to write about AOC’s smackdown of Florida Congresscreep Ted Yoho until this post title occurred to me. That happens more than you think. It’s why haven’t done a malaka of the week post in quite some time. If anything, there’s more malakatude in the world, but if you have a catchy title, you run with it, especially if it’s piratical.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they call her a bitch? A “fucking bitch” in this instance.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they issue a non-apology apology? Good on AOC for rejecting it.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they talk about the women in their lives? Being married with daughters is not proof that you’re NOT sexist; mentioning them means that you’re probably a chauvinist pig.

Hell, the Impeached Insult Comedian has two daughters. Does that make him a SNAG? That’s Calvin Trillin’s term for a Sensitive New Age Guy. Trump is an accused rapist and notorious misogynist so I guess it doesn’t.

I remain gobsmacked at the poor quality of House Republicans. Is being crazy and/or stupid part of their recruitment program?

I recently posted a list of the worst House Republicans on the Tweeter Tube. I somehow missed Ted Yoho. Here’s a revised list:

  1. Steve Scalise
  2. Gym Jordan
  3. Louis Gohmert Piles
  4. Matt Gaetz
  5. Ted Yoho
  6. Doug Collins
  7. Clay Higgins
  8. Paul Gosar
  9. Mo Brooks
  10. Steve King

The only reason the King of Bigots brings up the rear is that he’s been retired by the voters. It is, however, sad not to have Ratcliffe and Meadows to kick around anymore. They’re now being kicked around by the Kaiser of Chaos.

Back to AOC. Once again, she’s proven herself to be a master politician. As I watched clips of her speech on the House floor, I pictured the head of every woman I know nodding in agreement. They’ve all been Yoho-ed at some point. The malakatude, it burns.

Ted Yoho is cursed with a punworthy name. Try replacing Yo-Yo with Yoho in this Kinks song. It works beautifully. That’s why they get the last word:

John Neely Kennedy Can Go Fuck Himself

The junior Senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana is at it again: 

“America is going through a rough patch right now,” Kennedy said. “Some people seem to be enjoying it. Maybe they just hate America. Maybe they just enjoy watching the world burn. I think some are liking the chaos because they think it gives them a political advantage. Part of that chaos is being caused by our schools closing. For our kids, we need to open them.”

If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was describing the Kaiser of Chaos. He’s the one who enjoys watching the world burn and uses chaos as a political weapon. Projection thy name is Neely.

I’ve called Neely many things over the years but McCarthyite is not among them. There’s a first time for everything.

People who are worried about the impact of a premature school re-opening, don’t hate America. I know I don’t. I hate President* Pennywise. They’re not synonymous despite what Neely, Hannity, and their ilk think.

Fuck you, Neely.

On with Neely’s rant:

“I can promise you for many of our kids, keeping these schools closed is going to hurt them far worse than the coronavirus can. France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Vietnam. Even Vietnam has opened their schools,” the Senator said. “And they’ve done it safely and we can too and we should too and if I can say one of the thing.”

They’ve opened their schools because their governments handled the pandemic competently and reduced the number of COVID-19 cases to a tolerable level. We’re currently experiencing an explosion of cases because of premature and ill-advised re-openings. Heckuva job, Trumpy.

What baffles me about the GOP response to the pandemic is that it’s good politics to be on top of it. Angela Merkel’s popularity was at an all-time low, but her handling of the pandemic has made her “mother of the nation” again as she leaves office. In contrast, Donald Trump is the shame of the world six months before he leaves office.

Fuck you, Neely.

“I know some people in good faith disagree with me and I respect that. Let’s have the debate. But there are some people who want to keep our schools closed because they think it gives them a political advantage. And they are using our kids as political pawns and to them, I say unashamedly they can kiss my ass. That’s wrong to do that the kids of America. Not the people in good faith but those who are just enjoying the chaos because they think it’s going to help them in November,” Kennedy finished.

Nobody wants the schools to stay closed indefinitely. I agree that kids are better off in school but they’re not better off if they risk contracting and spreading this deadly virus. I suppose the born again McCarthyite Senator agrees with the old wingnut aphorism, “Better Dead Than Red.”

I do not.

Neely’s extended whine shows that Republicans know that they’re in deep shit and sinking fast. There’s nothing more ridiculous than a politician attacking other politicians for being political. Fuck you, Neely.

It’s a pity that the Louisiana Democratic Party is so dysfunctional and inept that it isn’t mounting a stronger challenge to Neely’s colleague Double Bill Cassidy. At least the current chair, Karen Carter Peterson, will be gone soon. The most noteworthy thing that happened on her watch was her attempt to force John Bel Edwards out of the 2015 Governor’s race. I am not making this up. I wish I were.

Back to Neely. Cussing out your enemies may sound all manly and shit but it’s a sign of weakness and desperation. It makes Neely sound like the bat shit crazy criminal who is leading his party to defeat in November. There’s nothing phonier than a fake tough guy and that’s what Neely, Trump, Hannity, and the whole crew are: fakes in the news as opposed to fake news.

I wish it were anatomically possible for Neely to kiss his own ass or better yet go fuck himself. It’s what he deserves; that and serving in the minority in the 117th Congress.

The last word goes to Harry Nilsson:

The actual title of that tune is You’re Breaking My Heart, but I prefer to be direct when it comes to John Neely Kennedy.

Fuck you, Neely.

H Is For Hypocrisy

The idea that Republican office holders are hypocrites is not a novel notion. There has been, however, an explosion of it this week. One might even call it a pandemic of hypocrisy.

In the state of Texas where manly he-men rule the roost:

The Republican Party of Texas will hold its disputed in-person convention but elected officials including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have opted to offer their remarks virtually.

Abbott, of course, is the manly he-man responsible for that state’s premature “reopening” and for tying the hands of local officials to deal with the pandemic. After an explosion of COVID cases, he crawfished on his previous positions. Freedom, man.

Lt. Gov Patrick is the manly he-man who thinks seniors should die for the economy but he’s afraid of catching the bug himself. Freedom, man.

These bozos are Texas-sized hypocrites. They should quarantine themselves at The Alamo along with the ghosts of Travis, Crockett, and Bowie. Freedom, man.

New Hampshire’s nickname is the Granite State and its motto is “live free or die.” Freedom, man.

The second Governor Sununu had this to say about an upcoming Trump rally:

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Sununu told reporters that even though he was going to “greet the President as the governor” when Trump arrives at Portsmouth for the outdoor rally, he himself won’t be going to the event.

“I will not be in the crowd of thousands of people, I’m not going to put myself in the middle of a crowd of thousands of people,” said the governor.

“Unfortunately, I have to be extra cautious as the governor, I try to be extra cautious for myself, my family,” he added.

So, it’s too dangerous for “important people” like the Governor but not rank and file Trumpers. I call bullshit and, you guessed it, hypocrisy.

Glad to hear that Sununu wants to keep his political dynasty viable for a third generation. One way to stay safe politically is to hide from President* Pennywise’s super spreader tour. It would be nice if Sununu wanted to keep his constituents safe as well. Freedom, man.

Finally, a shit ton of Republican Senators are bailing on the hastily and poorly organized Jacksonville convention:

According to the Washington Post, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have now joined Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in opting out of their party’s convention as coronavirus cases continue surging across the country.

Collins whose re-election campaign is on life support will spend the convention hiding under the bed. I wouldn’t open your anxiety closet if I were you, Sue. Justice Bro lurks therein. Freedom, man.

The sole GOP solon I’ll give a pass to is Willard Mittbot Romney who was the lone Republican vote to remove the Impeached Insult Comedian. To circle the post back to Texas, the other Republican senators are all hat and no cattle. Selfishness is not a substitute for courage.

Freedom, man.

The last word goes to Bob Marley & The Wailers:

‘Aggravated Battery’

Of course he’s white, you knew that from the convention of referring to him as something other than a THUG or a TERRORIST: 

A judge has released the man accused of opening fire and shooting a protester. Police say Steven Baca is the man seen on video opening fire at last Monday’s protest regarding a statue of conquistador Juan De Oñate, sending one man to the hospital. Much of the District Attorney’s case was centered around 10 primary witness videos, one of which shows the moments leading up to Baca firing his gun.

While Baca is most known for firing shots, he is not currently facing any charges for it. Baca is facing aggravated battery and two battery charges for allegedly assaulting three female protestors.

Police initially charged Baca for the shooting, but the District Attorney dropped that charge pending further investigation. Baca’s attorneys have argued he fired his gun in self-defense because he was being hit with a skateboard.

In court, Monday, the District Attorney’s office argued that Baca was only at the protest to start trouble. However, with no criminal history and the state not yet finding any of the women Baca is accused of hurting, Judge Charles Brown released him on his own recognizance.

The story is an incoherent-ass mess — police don’t file charges, DAs do, and what does “most known for firing shots” mean, and there are other typos in the parts I haven’t quoted, but …

This guy brought a gun to a protest expecting there would be someone there he could shoot. He showed up at a place where people were protesting, with a gun, to make what point who the hell even knows, to defend the honor of dead conquistador, with firearms. What the FUCK.

There is one intention for something like this and it’s to intimidate people from protesting. From taking down statues. From creating in the world the images of it they feel should be represented. You don’t show up to that with a gun to protect yourself from being possibly hit with a skateboard, come on.

I know it’s tiring to point out how few consequences right-wing white men face for actions like this. Those Bundy assholes, everyone who ever attacked an abortion clinic, who get referred to in the press as acting in some kind of heroic insurrection against an oppressive government. I don’t know if this is a hangover from the Revolutionary War or what, but we keep treating these dinguses like they’re Paul Revere and it’s poisonous.

I went looking for this piece after McArdle opened her mouth hole about something stupid again last week, because it’s one of the most aggressive examples of “my oppression justifies everything, yours is all made up” I’ve ever read in addition to being dumber than a two-day-old tofurkey: 

Using the political system to stomp on radicalized fringes does not seem to be very effective in getting them to eschew violence.  In fact, it seems to be a very good way of getting more violence.  Possibly because those fringes have often turned to violence precisely because they feel that the political process has been closed off to them.

Now contrast that compassion and generosity — extended, in the above case, to the murderer of a doctor — to what is generally said among the I’m No Conservative But crowd about the Black Lives Matter protests today.

I wonder if anyone thinks maybe, just maybe, the political process has been closed off to them?

Nah.

They gotta just be doing it for fun.

It’s not like they’re white, after all.

A.

Flopping With President* Pennywise

Image by Michael F.

I wish I could say that the Impeached Insult Comedian’s attack on Buffalo activist Martin Gugino showed that he’d hit rock bottom but there is no bottom with this fucker. It’s merely the latest new low.

Yesterday, Trump applied his unique brand of Twitter crazy to what happened in Buffalo:

 

I’m surprised he didn’t call it a flop, which is what an exaggerated fall to draw a foul is called in the NBA:

 

Flopping used to work but eventually the refs caught on; much like the voters with President* Pennywise. Everything he does, says, or tweets strikes the wrong note. His aides are said to be despondent over the how the flopping tweet flopped. Good. They *should* be despondent about what the Trump regime is doing to the country.

The reason I’m bringing up yesterday’s example of cluelessness, insensitivity, and cruelty is the nature of what happened. I’ve spent a lot of time around elderly people in the last 15 years. The thing they, quite rightly, fear most is falling. A broken hip can transform a spry old man into a broken one. Hopefully, Mr. Gugino will bounce back but he’s unlikely to ever be quite the same after being pushed around by the police.

I just came upon this tweet from a friend of Martin Gugino:

 

President* Pennywise is spiraling as his failures mount. In the past, he was able to recover from his missteps because the crises were largely self-inflicted. This time, events are in the saddle, riding him. It’s about fucking time.

The sharks sense blood in the water. Suddenly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is willing to stand up to the Kaiser of Chaos. When the kneeling shit hit the fan in 2017, the NFL was paralyzed with fear. Goodell is not mouthing Black Lives Matter rhetoric out of conviction; he’s blowing with the wind. The prevailing breeze is NOT coming from Trumpistan. Hell, even Drew Brees is suddenly a repentant sinner.

The White House somehow thinks that an oval office address on race and policing is the cure for what ails it. Such a speech has never helped Trump before and this one is being written by neo-Fascist Steven Miller. It’s unclear who will translate the text from the original German. Maybe William Hermann Goering Barr can lend a hand. He should change his name to Wilhelm.

Finally, it’s time to pitch a new theme song to President* Pennywise. It’s a tune that fits the moment even if it’s 53-years-old. That’s still younger than Martin Gugino. The last word goes to The Hollies and CSNY:

 

 

The Courage of Republicans

Wow, Bush and Romney won’t support Trump for re-election: 

WASHINGTON — It was one thing in 2016 for top Republicans to take a stand against Donald J. Trump for president: He wasn’t likely to win anyway, the thinking went, and there was no ongoing conservative governing agenda that would be endangered.

Yeah! Why bother calling out fascism if it was just gonna go away by itself? That’s usually how that kind of thing works, and better to hide in a conference room and pretend your party isn’t burning around you.

The New York Times cannot get over the courage of these people:

The 2020 campaign is different: Opposing the sitting president of your own party means putting policy priorities at risk, in this case appointing conservative judges, sustaining business-friendly regulations and cutting taxes — as well as incurring the volcanic wrath of Mr. Trump.

POLICY PRIORITIES? Like fucking WHAT, exactly? Apparently it’s no longer a policy priority of the GOP to keep large numbers of American employed and alive, is what we’re saying, so what do they have left? Abortion and guns and humping the flag, the latter quite literally. That’s what is at risk here. That’s definitely worth the lives of a hundred thousand of your countrymen.

And oooh, the “volcanic wrath” of Mr. Trump! The big bad bunker baby might say mean things about you on Twitter. Christ, Bush was PRESIDENT, you’d think at the very least he wouldn’t be scared of people calling him an asshole. You think, given his actual presidency, he’d be used to it.

Former Republican leaders like the former Speakers Paul D. Ryan and John A. Boehner won’t say how they will vote, and some Republicans who are already disinclined to support Mr. Trump are weighing whether to go beyond backing a third-party contender to openly endorse Mr. Biden.

Yes, heaven forfend they actually vote for the guy who is most likely to keep the country in one piece. That would be a major, major, major act of courage, not unlike parting the Red Sea. What the fuck is wrong with political journalism that its practitioners think stuff like this is real? The cities are burning, a hundred thousand dead of a pandemic that didn’t have to run rampant here, he’s still ripping kids from their parents’ arms, but however will Paul Ryan dig deep enough to buck a movement that threatens to unleash the riot control bees?

Yet it would be a sharp rebuke for former Trump administration officials and well-known Republicans to buck their own standard-bearer. Individually, they may not sway many votes — particularly at a time of deep polarization. But their collective opposition, or even resounding silence, could offer something of a permission structure for Trump-skeptical Republicans to put party loyalty aside.

A permission structure. The fucking earth is caving in and Bush and Romney and this entire cavalcade of pussies are waiting for a PERMISSION STRUCTURE to oppose violations of every article of the Constitution and all 27 amendments.

You know who didn’t need a PERMISSION STRUCTURE not to be fucking fascist? The goddamn majority of this country that voted against this shit without waiting for a Zoom call outlining precisely how and when NOT TO BE A FUCKING NAZI. Nobody came around and led us by the hand and told us it’s okay, you’ll be fine, the mean man won’t sic his followers on you, you can not be A STUPENDOUSLY HUGE BIGOT, I know you can do it.

Christ, if we’d known Republicans needed a fucking sticker chart, I could have made one, I have some left over from when Kick was learning the intricacies of the potty.

Put your shoulders into it, Republicans, and every time you’re not a racist I’ll give you a green M&M as a reward!

As for Mrs. McCain, she has sought to stay out of partisan politics. “Picking a fight with Trump is no fun,” said Rick Davis, a longtime McCain adviser who’s close to the family.

You know what else ain’t any fun, Cind? A knee on your neck. Dying alone on a respirator. Watching your toddler and ten year old through the bars of a cage.

But maybe that’s not worth making book club awkward this week.

A.

Twit Takes On Twitter

President* Pennywise has been a busy boy of late: pitching fits and issuing orders left and right. Far right.

It’s unclear how meaningful Trump’s social media executive order will be. I was initially dismissive but the good people at TPM think it will, at the very least, cause chaos and confusion. It’s all the Trump regime seems capable of right now. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

One group that seems likely to benefit are lawyers, which is ironic given all the Republican fulmination about trial lawyers, especially here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Phony Eddie Rispone spent much of his losing campaign attacking billboard lawyers. So it goes.

As with so much of Trump’s recent flailing about, the twit taking on Twitter is a sign of weakness. Twitter was afraid of Trump until recently. His inane and untrue rantings put the platform on the map: people who wouldn’t know a twit from a tweet have heard of it thanks to the Impeached Insult Comedian.

The fact that Jack Dorsey and his minions have turned on Trump is a sign that he’s losing. So much for all the winning the Kaiser of Chaos promised his supporters. It’s another sign that he’s following in the footsteps of Charlie, not Martin Sheen. The latter played a fictional president who was re-elected. That prospect is slipping away, which brings us to a brief musical interlude;

That song should be inapposite as it’s about a lost love, but Trump is acting like a scorned lover rejected by the Tweeter Tube. Oh well, he’ll always have Mark Zuckerberg.

I stumbled into a piece this morning that perfectly captures Trump’s latest toddler tantrum:

And what kind of president issues an executive order only to defend himself? This action is only because his feelings were hurt. This executive order doesn’t have anything to do with protecting anyone except Donald Trump. While the Trump cult and Republicans label liberals as ‘snowflakes,’ they are the most vicitimed and whiny people on the planet. Their leader is such a snowflake that he’s issuing an executive order because his feelings were hurt. In case you’re a Republican, THIS is why there’s a great big giant Trump Baby balloon. And the worst thing is, Twitter hasn’t even restricted him. He can still lie and defame people on Twitter without any empathy.

In short, Trump is what a friend of mine calls a whiny titty baby. He should stick a pacifier in his big fat bazoo and STFU. We all know he’s incapable of that, but I can dream, can’t I?

The last word goes to Richard Thompson with a song that fits Trump’s current losing streak:

The nerve of some people. I don’t know who you think you are.

The Age Of Overkill

It’s hard to know where to start some days. There’s so much happening that my mind reels like the drunk monkey in the ancient koan. Overkill is the koan of the realm in 2020. Pun intended; it always is.

It should come as no surprise that there’s rot at the core of the federal government. The Impeached Insult Comedian has been on a firing bender of late. A sinister one indeed: he’s been firing Inspectors General. They’re the ones in charge of keeping the various departments on the straight and narrow. That’s impossible during the Trump regime. Straight is out, crooked is in. It’s the age of overkill, after all.

The most worrisome of the firings is at the State Department where Mike Pompeo was being investigated for various abuses of power including turning his staff into servants. Inspectors Generals frown on civil servants walking their bosses’ dog. They’re only supposed to walk government dogs but since they don’t exist, dog walking is out.

I wonder if anyone in Trumpistan is literate enough to be familiar with Nikolai Gogol’s satirical play The Inspector General aka The Government Inspector. It mocked corrupt provincial officials in Tsarist Russia. In 1949, Hollywood reduced Gogol’s biting satire to imbecilic farce. Imbecilic farce certainly describes the Trump regime’s bumbling response to COVID-19. Make that deadly imbecilic farce.

Notice Danny Kaye’s orange skin in the poster below. I hesitate to make a Trump comparison since Kaye was a leading Hollywood liberal. Besides, he had much better hair than the Kaiser of Chaos:

Back to Gogol. Perhaps Mike Flynn discussed him in one of his many conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. You know, the ones he lied about to protect himself and President* Pennywise.

In other news, Trump has been making outlandish and untrue statements on a daily basis. No surprise there: he’s the personification of overkill, after all. He gave a whole new meaning to the term American exceptionalism with this deeply stupid remark:

When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing — I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better. … So I view it as a badge of honor, really.

Really? A badge of honor? The only good thing about this loony remark is that it gives me an excuse to post this:

Where is my badge? Indeed, sir.

You’ve surely heard the Trumpian claim that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to keep the coronavirus at bay. He’s lying, deeply stupid or both. Given what Nancy Smash called his “morbid obesity,” I wonder if he’s ingesting these instead:

It’s hard to top that sight gag. Attempting to do so would be overkill.

The last word goes to Men At Work and Colin Hay with two versions of an insomnia song I forgot to post last week:

You Don’t Understand, or You Do, And in Either Case We’re All Dead

The Journal Sentinel’s editorial board: 

But it’s not the court’s fault that the governor and top lawmakers can’t work together for the common good. Nor is it the court’s job to set public health policy in Wisconsin. That’s the job of the governor and Legislature. So do your jobs, Gov. Tony Evers, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Adopt clear rules for the state moving forward. Do so now, so the novel coronavirus is contained.

The governor issued rules and Republicans and the State Supreme Court blew them up. Yelling at them all to do their jobs assumes everyone didn’t. For decades Republicans have been detonating government without any kind of plan for what happens afterwards, and the answer is always this kind of scolding bullshit about how everyone needs to compromise, as if everyone is trying to, equally hard, and just needs a nudge.

Look, this isn’t a case where you can split the baby (AND THE FUCKING POINT OF THAT STORY IS THAT SOME COMPROMISES CAN’T BE MADE JESUS CHEESY FRIES CHRIST). The governor did something within his power to do, and Republicans didn’t like it and blew it up. Everybody technically DID do their jobs here. I don’t see how it’s always the Democrats’ fault when poop-flinging GOP monkeys fail to stop flinging poop and start playing the violin.

There’s no middle ground there. You’re either performing Vivaldi or you’re covered in shit.

Once and for all the marbles in the land, can anyone name me a single case of Republican acquiescence to a policy they don’t like? Can anyone name me a time in recent memory when the GOP was like, well, we’re not fond of that, but we’ll deal with it because you won an election. Democrats are out here bending over backwards and under and THROUGH in order to give Republicans something, anything, and Republicans are using their contorted bodies as roadblocks to prevent those of us without our heads up our asses from going anywhere.

Democrats voted for Republican judges and Republican tax cuts and Republican limits on abortion and Republican limits on spending and Republican limits on food stamps and Republicans’ staggeringly unlimited WARS. Democrats voted for the impeachment OF THEIR OWN GODDAMN PRESIDENT.

Democrats voted over and over and over to compromise, and we’re still hearing that “nobody” is doing their job, that “nobody” wants to compromise, that “nobody” can find any solutions.

Democrats have found solutions. They’ve found good ones and half-a-loaf ones and they’ve reduced them to a quarter of a loaf to try to get Republicans to vote for them, every time, they are like out here begging please, please compromise with us. And Republicans won’t, and the only reason you don’t see that, as a professional Knower and Explainer of Civic Life to Citizens, is that you don’t want to see it, and whichever one it is, it’s killing people.

We hear day after day after day about DEMOCRACY DYING IN DARKNESS as if there’s a fundamental difference between a dead newspaper and one that cedes its institutional voice to a fucking parrot that just flaps and screams BOTH SIDES BOTH SIDES regardless of what kind of seed’s in its bowl. This isn’t me being a Democrat, here. This is me looking at the way things are going, at what went down, and saying this isn’t true, it isn’t correct. It’s not just politically slanted or biased or influenced, it’s flat-out factually WRONG.

You all follow me on a bunch of platforms, I’m not exactly opposed to telling Democrats what to do (call me, guys), but in this case it’s like:

EXT. A WARM SUNNY DAY, NOT TOO HUMID, OF WHICH IN WISCONSIN THERE ARE PRECISELY SIX AND THEY MUST NOT BE WASTED. OUTDOORS, BESIDE A LAVISH INGROUND POOL.

POOL IS FILLED WITH DEMOCRATS IN VARIOUS DONKEY-THEMED SUITS AND TRUNKS, SWIMMING, SPLASHING, HAVING A GOOD TIME BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DO IN A SWIMMING POOL.

REPUBLICANS, STANDING AROUND PERIMETER: Water is communist. This is a giveaway. We’re not getting in.

DEMOCRATS: Guys, do you need more room? We can move over. Axelrod, get that inflatable duck out of the way.

REPUBLICANS: Nope. Not swimming today. Not doing it.

DEMOCRATS: But it’s so nice here. You’ll feel better after you cool off. Here, you can share our lounges and beer, too. Is the water too cold? Jimmy, is there any way to warm up the water? Look, we know Billy was being inappropriate, and we’ve told him he can’t come back if he can’t keep his hands off the lifeguards. Here’s a 20-page anti-lifeguard-harassment policy we wrote. Brad, hand out the binders. We even ordered you guys extra hot dogs!

REPUBLICANS: You’re all stupid and we’re not doing this.

JOURNAL SENTINEL EDITORIAL BOARD: *marches in wearing matching purple objectivity visors* EVERYBODY GET IN THE POOL!

REPUBLICANS: We will not get in the pool until they accede to our demands. This is tyranny.

DEMOCRATS: *looking around* Um, we’re already in the pool, and they won’t tell us what they want, so here’s what we offered them, and uh, they still won’t get in, so I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do here …

JS EDITORIAL BOARD: *pulls out bullhorn* THE PROBLEM WITH POOLS IS THAT NO ONE WILL SWIM IN THEM, EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET IN.

DEMOCRATS: Oh for fuck’s sake.

EXEUNT.

Swimming pools aren’t the problem. You could at least be honest, and tell Republicans they have to stick their toes in the water, and pretend to have a good time, it’s a party.

A.

Quote Of The Day: Howard Stern On Trumpers

Stern-Trump mashup via New York Magazine.

I don’t listen to talk radio so my exposure to Howard Stern has been somewhat limited over the years. I am, however, aware that the Impeached Insult Comedian used to bloviate on Stern’s show. Stern considers Trump a good radio guest and a terrible president*.

One thing Stern and Trump have in common is a penchant for crude sexist humor. Hence the featured image mashup. Much to Donald’s chagrin, Howard has better hair.

I stumbled onto an interesting piece in the New York Dauly News. In it, Stern tells the world that Trump hates his supporters. Here’s the money quote:

“The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most. The people who are voting for Trump for the most part… he wouldn’t even let them in a fucking hotel. He’d be disgusted by them. Go to Mar-a-Lago, see if there’s any people who look like you. I’m talking to you in the audience.”

I undeleted the expletive the NYDN deleted. It wouldn’t be a Howard Stern quote without an F-bomb, now would it? Fuck, no.

One more quote:

“One thing Donald loves is celebrities, he loves the famous,” Stern said on his SiriusXM show Tuesday. “He loves it. He loves to be in the mix.”

You know what that makes President* Pennywise? A Starfucker:

I’m forever undeleting expletives deleted. It’s delightful, it’s delirious, it’s de-lovely.  In an effort to lower the testosterone level of this post, the last word goes to Anita O’Day:

Only The Stupid Or Cynical

I’m sure many of you have argued with elderly relatives as to whether President* Pennywise is stupid. Fellow rich guy Rex Tllerson called him a “fucking moron,” after all.

My argument is weirder than yours. My elderly relative is a Hillary loving liberal who loathes Donald Trump, but she refuses to believe that *any* president can be as stupid as Trump seems to be. We’ve gone round and round about this for years.

She stubbornly maintains he’s merely ignorant of the things a president typically knows. I think she’s confusing him with Dubya or Reagan. They were ignorant of some things but not inherently stupid. Their ideology led to them to do stupid things. Reagan was smart enough to listen to his advisers and he even read his briefing books. Imagine that.

I’ve repeatedly pointed out that there’s a difference between lacking curiosity and stupidity. Trump is flat-out, painfully stupid. He’s an idiot, a moron, a dipshit, a dunce, a dolt. Whatever your favorite epithet for stupid is, he’s it.

My elderly relative is a worshiper of mammon so she refuses to believe that a rich person can be as stupid as Trump seems to be. She waives off my argument that he inherited a real estate empire from Fred Trump and ran it into the ground. Who else has ever lost money running a casino?

I’ve been tempted to argue that I’m a semi well-respected internet pundit but if it’s not in print, it doesn’t count. She’s a nonagenarian so making such a pretentious argument wouldn’t work in any event. To paraphrase what I said about Brokaw’s Greatest Generation in Tongue In The Mail: They won the war, so they don’t have to listen.

As everyone already knows, the Impeached Insult Comedian reached peak stupid yesterday:

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” he said during the White House’s daily press briefing. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? ‘Cause you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs.”

The makers of Lysol felt compelled to issue a safety warning. They should add a new warning label: Listening to President* Trump is hazardous to your health.

After the inject or ingest bleach statement, it’s become even more obvious that only the stupid or cynical can continue to support President* Pennywise. I’ve long thought that the vaunted Trump base is much smaller than people think it is. He lost conservative-leaning college educated suburban women in 2018. He’s never getting them back.

The only way the Impeached Insult Comedian can be stay in office past 2021 is by massive fraud or cancelling the election outright. I remain dubious that he’ll do the latter because he’s so deluded that he still thinks he will not only win but in a landslide. There will be fraud that makes 2016 look like the most honest election in history. Be alert: Don’t let the fuckers steal another election. Your life may depend on it.

As to my stubborn Trump-hating relative who refuses to believe he’s stupid, I’ll quote my favorite dead writer:

The last word goes, not to GV, but to XTC. They, however, anticipated that a President Kill would massacre people by war, not virus:

The Continuing Chaos Chronicles

Are you ready for a follow-up to yesterday’s post? I certainly am.

I focused on the GOP’s chaos principle and the wildly mixed messages they’re sending the public. I particularly had Georgia on my mind:

In Georgia, nitwit Republican Governor Brian Kemp thinks that there’s a safe way to get a haircut. I don’t know about you, but my barber gets up close and personal when shearing my locks. There will be blood on the floor, not hair if any barbers or hairdressers prematurely open their doors. Better shaggy than dead.

Kemp thought he was doing the  Kaiser of Chaos’  bidding but he was betrayed at last night’s campaign rally briefing:

During his daily press briefing on Wednesday evening, Trump said that he wasn’t on board with Kemp’s decision to allow non-essential businesses, such as gyms and salons, to reopen.

Trump told reporters that while he likes and respects the governor, “maybe you wait a little bit longer until you get into a phase two.”

“Would I do that? No. I’d keep them a little longer,” the President said of the social distancing guidelines that encourage non-essential workers to stay home. “I want to protect people’s lives.”

“I’m going to let him make his decision,” he added. “But I told him I totally disagree.”

In keeping with the continuing chaos principle, Kemp is sticking to his guns but Trump gave the Georgian’s enemies ammunition to attack him with. Since Kemp stole the election, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Totally.

It’s unclear what Trump’s reaction qualifies as: throwing Kemp under the bus? Backstabbing? Stabbing him in the front?

The last word goes to The O’Jays and Nick Lowe who have different theories as to what happened:

Another day, another last word fib. How can I skip the state song?

My Pillow Talk

Holy misdirection, Batman. I’m not writing about the Doris Day-Rock Hudson-Tony Randall classic, I’m talking about one of President Pennywise’s special guests stars at one of his campaign rally style briefings: the My Pillow Guy.

President Donald Trump used Monday’s White House daily briefing on coronavirus to again parade out private company executives — including My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, who used the platform to praise Trump and tell Americans amid a global pandemic to “read our Bibles.”

MyPillow CEO Lindell said his bedding company would be dedicating 75% of its manufacturing to producing cotton face masks, aiming to get up to 50,000 a day by end of this week. He then said he would read something he wrote “off the cuff.”

“God gave us grace on Nov. 8, 2016, to change the course we were on,” Lindell said, referring to the day Trump was elected. “God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God.”

“And I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the ‘Word,’ read our Bibles and spend time with our families,” he added, touting “our great president” and “all the great people in this country praying daily” as key to getting through the pandemic.

Did he mean preying? Creeps like the My Pillow Guy and his orange messiah have been preying on our fears for years. If people want to pray, that’s okay with me but there’s a price to be paid for believing in a false prophet; make that profit. They profit and you lose.

The best response to this mishigas came from former Gambit editor Kevin Allman:

I wish I had one with Doris and Rock on it but there’s always this:

A reminder that Pillow Talk was racy for 1959. Here’s one more number from the movie featuring Doris and Perry Blackwell:

Shecky’s Bleak Week In Review

I added my nickname to the post title as a signal that my satirical mojo appears to be rising. What the world needs now is to live up to Chuckles the Clown’s motto: ” A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down the pants.” But at a safe distance.

When times are tough, it’s time for the tough to get going. I have no idea what that means but it sounds like inspirational coach speech to me. It’s time for some random and scattershot observations about the latest week from hell.

Insider Trading: The news about 3 GOP Senators selling stocks after a January COVID-19 briefing has resulted in a well-deserved epidemic of condemnation. North Carolina’s Richard Burr is the best known culprit, Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe is the dumbest, and Georgia’s Kelly Loeffler is the richest. Dollars to doughnuts that when Trump is asked about this story, he’ll comment on Loeffler’s looks.

ProPublica described Burr’s action as a stock dump. He took such a big dump on the country that even Tucker Fucking Carlson is calling for his head on a platter:

I’m unsure if this is the sort of insider trading covered by the securities laws but if it is, Burr and his colleagues are in deep shit. My friend Kevin Allman has a novel notion about how this should be treated:

Using my best Ted Allen voice, Senator you have been chopped.

The last word of the segment goes to Van Fucking Morrison:

Kung Flu Fighting? Republican racists are at it again. Following the lead of the Impeached Insult Comedian, they’re calling a stateless bug the Chinese Virus. Past malaka of the week and infamous asshole Texas Senator John Cornyn’s comments were typical:

“China is to blame because the culture where people eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that,” Cornyn told reporters. “These viruses are transmitted from the animal to the people, and that’s why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses like SARS, like MERS, the swine flu, and now the coronavirus.”

That’s why I call him Senator Cornhole. Go eat an armadillo or a rattlesnake, asswipe.

An unknown White House staffer made like the Unknown Comic and called it the Kung Flu.

The origins of the following proverb are in dispute but it surely fits a party whose leader is President* Pennywise:  A FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN.

The last word of this segment is beyond obvious:

Let’s close things out with something positive even if it’s a teevee series based on a dystopian work of what-if historical fiction.

The Plot Against America: I read Philip Roth’s brilliant book when it came out in 2004. The David Simon-Ed Burns 6-part adaptation debuted on HBO this week. The first episode is as good as it gets. No, not the Jack Nicholson flick…

Roth’s premise was that FDR lost the 1940 election to Charles Lindbergh. Lucky Lindy’s  fictional win turned out to be bad luck for America. The premise is plausible: the GOP did not nominate an isolationist to run against FDR. The Barefoot Boy from Wall Street, Wendell Wilkie, was an avowed internationalist with few differences on foreign policy with the incumbent. I think Lindbergh would have lost in the real world BUT he might have done much better than Wilkie.

I considered recapping the series but the only show I could do that for was cancelled in 1994: Short Attention Span Theatre.

Finally, please consider contacting your local blood bank about donating blood. I’m not sure what the pandemic process will be but they’re bound to need your blood but not your sweat or tears.

The last word goes to Pete Townshend and David Gilmour:

Pointless Triangulation

I know, I know, it’s Jacobin, but it’s not all that different from something really poisonous in our political landscape right now which is the tendency to act like it’s 1992: 

Joe Rogan has some views on trans issues that anyone on the Left should oppose. Unfortunately, at least half the country holds similar views. The issue isn’t whether Bernie Sanders should compromise with such positions. As a matter of principle, he can’t and shouldn’t do that. The question is whether the best way to build a movement that appeals to rather than alienating the tens of millions of Americans who have reactionary views on at least some issues is to moralistically condemn them for those views or whether it’s to welcome them in an open and compassionate way while continuing to educate them, and while sticking to our own principles.

As a matter of real-world power, it’s also worth noting that the person Rogan said he is probably going to vote for is the most pro-trans candidate in the race. Sanders was a pioneer in the support of trans rights and he hasn’t changed course. Despite the ideological flaws Rogan has on these questions, the material meaning of his announced intention to vote for Sanders is that he plans to help empower a candidate who wants medical transitions to be paid for by the only insurance program that will continue to exist after the enactment of Medicare for All.

Anyone who’s serious about changing the world has to think hard about what compromises they might be willing to make in order to achieve power. This issue has preoccupied organizers for as long as struggles for justice have existed. It’s one thing for people operating in good faith to disagree with each other about those questions. It’s quite another to denounce Sanders for “touting” an endorsement which required no such compromises.

I don’t give a fuck about Joe Rogan or, to be honest, Bernie all that much. Of course I will vote and campaign and cape for Bernie every single day if he is the nominee, post memes and declare my undying love, etc etc. You all know this by now. WRT Rogan of course I start from the assumption that any popular white male podcaster/YouTuber is a douchemook and ask them to prove me wrong and so far Rogan … has not. But this isn’t about Bernie, or Rogan, or the necessity of endorsements.

It’s about the calculation that you can win over people who don’t want to vote for you by shitting on the people who do. And more poisonous than that, that you can win over people who don’t want to vote for you by shitting on people who need you to get elected to save their goddamn lives.

Saying we should throw trans people under the bus so that we can prove ourselves to be Real Serious People is utter horseshit and I’d rather lose every election from now until the end of time than engage in this kind of pointless pandering to miserable bigots who are lying about their bigotry.

I mean they are lying. “I wouldn’t have to be a Nazi if you didn’t want to recognize trans people’s existence” is not a thing said by people who want to support you and are persuadable. There are no legions of suburban mommies out there who want to vote Democrat except for how you all support trans people. For literally no one is that their number one issue, not that that matters, your degree of bigotry has fuckall to do with anyone else’s right to exist anyway.

You know what is somebody’s number one issue? Being alive, being able to go to work and go home and go out and yes, go to the bathroom, without fear of firing or harassment or goddamn being murdered. THOSE are some real-ass stakes. Kids getting medical care, that’s skin in the game. The right to privacy, to a life free from fear, that’s a real thing, not like Gated Community Gretchen’s comfort level at book club.

Gated Community Gretchen is going to hold her nose and vote for Trump because “those people” are “taking over,” anyway. This is the thing. We act like there’s some magic denunciation of our own that will make people who dislike Democrats stop disliking Democrats and aside from it being morally monstrous it won’t even WORK.

Like in addition to that, Mrs. Lincoln, the play fucking SUCKED.

Maybe once upon a time this worked, this triangulating “I love everything about being a Democrat except all my fellow Democrats” bullshit, this “I will denounce my own party and all its works in order to win the primary to represent my own party and all my icky morally deficient supporters who need to pull up their pants and stop buying designer handbags with their food stamps.” Did it?

I feel like maybe there was a time before everybody saw through the con, but it’s 2020 and we know things now, and one of the things we know is that if a cheese-faced fascist mobster-wannabe appeals to you after he’s put immigrant kids in cages you probably have more going on than thinking trans people are icky.

Every successful presidential campaign is by definition a coalition of voters who don’t agree with each other about everything but are willing to get behind a given candidate and their platform. The question is whether we’re so allergic to having people in our coalition who haven’t yet reached progressive positions on every issue that we’re willing to risk losing what is arguably the most important election of our lifetimes.

Which is more important — stigmatizing Rogan for his bad views by refusing to make any welcoming gestures when he expresses interest in joining our coalition, or shutting down Donald Trump’s concentration camps?

We heard this shit in 2004, that Gavin Newsom First of His Name, King of the Andals, etc etc was going to ruin everything on earth for Democrats forever by marrying same-sex couples. How’d THAT work out? Last I checked Gavin was presiding over the country’s largest economy and the Democrats who did lose elections on the back of marriage equality were the milquetoast half-a-loaf ones who couldn’t commit to the idea that people are people and displayed all the moral courage of wilted flan.

Take a lesson, assholes. Our fate is your fate. We are all of us safe or none of us and that is not something you can negotiate. The way this works now is people get on board with who they want to support, not the other way around. If the Rogan coalition is impossible to win without, then they’re the ones facing pressure, not the rest of us, and that’s the way this needs to be talked about. If Rogan’s audience is expected now to vote for Bernie then they’re the ones who have to get to where Bernie or WHOEVER is going. Bernie, to his credit, seems to get this.

People horny for the first Clinton administration, not so much.

We should be long past disposing of people’s fundamental humanity to appeal to some mythical as-yet-unseen voters who could show up anytime they wanted without us needing to yell slurs to get them here.

A.

VetBro Branding

Inject this into my veins: 

Baker, like all MercMerch™ vetbro entrepreneurs in MAGAmerica2020™, deploys one of the strongest weapons in the veteran’s arsenal—shame—against others, the way the Air Force deployed Agent Orange in Vietnam, while somehow remaining immune himself to any of the weapon’s ill effects. It’s the audacity of dopes: The average pirate in the Gulf of Aden has more integrity than a guy who left the Marines, war unwon, to make more money killing people overseas for a private contractor before his next act—pulling the service-disabled veteran card to sell coffee and build his bro brand.

Patch, please hear this message from one service-disabled veteran small-business owner to another: It’s time to cut the shit, bud.

These brands are, of course, just responding to the incredible demand from couch-surfing pussies who wet themselves when a car backfires in their cul-de-sac and shouldn’t be allowed on the same continent as combat. The tactical flipflops, I mean, come the shit on. That’s almost poetry, that there. Anyone who’s on their feet more than half an hour a day knows if you don’t protect your toes from getting hurt your toes WILL exact revenge.

(I’m not anti-flip-flop, but I wouldn’t wear them to mow my lawn, and that’s the least dangerous activity someone should be doing if they want to get within 1,000 miles of being able to use “tactical” as an adjective.)

This entire subsection of our culture is so fucking dumb and loud and it’s all we see in suburbia. The MAGA-hatted among us love to believe that they’re in some kind of pitched battle against, I dunno, being forced to see non-white people on TV or something, and they need to GEAR UP for that fight.

None of them are going to fight anything scarier than traffic to the H.H. Gregg’s, but they don’t need to. Since 9-11 we’ve conflated cheering for a war with fighting it, and instead of naming and shaming every warblogger fuck who made their bones calling actual veterans terrorist-loving commies, we put them on our editorial pages and invited them on the Sunday shows.

Instead of forever mocking cowardly hypocrites like Jonah Goldberg, we gave them a whole-ass major political party, fully two-thirds of our national discourse, and elected the entire ethos president in the form of Donald Trump. The bullies are in charge now, and they need outfits and accoutrement. The VetBros are stepping up to provide it, and thank goodness. Otherwise what would all these brave men and women wear, while their brownshirts were in the wash?

A.

Quote Of The Day: State Of The GOP Edition

I originally planned to post this last Friday before the Liar’s War heated up. Hopefully, tensions have been reduced to a simmer. Besides, I’m tired of writing about the Impeached Insult Comedian’s latest fuck up.

Last week, Stuart Stevens, who was Mitt Romney’s chief strategist in 2012, wrote an Op-ed for the WaPo about the current state of the GOP. Here’s the money quote:

Republicans are now officially the character doesn’t count party, the personal responsibility just proves you have failed to blame the other guy party, the deficit doesn’t matter party, the Russia is our ally party, and the I’m-right-and-you-are-human-scum party. Yes, it’s President Trump’s party now, but it stands only for what he has just tweeted.

We’ve seen that clearly this week. Senate GOPers are prepared to stage a token impeachment trial and nobody in the GOP was taken aback by Trump’s conducting foreign policy by tweet. Repeat after me: that’s some dangerous shit.

Unlike some never Trumpers, Stevens understands that President* Pennywise exploited existing conditions in the GOP on his way to taking it over:

Trump didn’t hijack the GOP and bend it to his will. He did something far easier: He looked at the party, saw its fault lines and then offered himself as a pure distillation of accumulated white grievance and anger. He bet that Republican voters didn’t really care about free trade or mutual security, or about the environment or Europe, much less deficits. He rebranded kindness and compassion as “PC” and elevated division and bigotry as the admirable goals of just being politically incorrect. Trump didn’t make Americans more racist; he just normalized the resentments that were simmering in many households. In short, he let a lot of long-suppressed demons out of the box.

Donald Trump as Pandora? I like it. His hair, however, is like Medusa’s.

I keep posting surrealist art because it fits these crazy times. The last word (image?) goes to Rene Magritte and his take on Pandora’s Box:

It’s A Plame Shame

The MSM is full of former Bushies trying to convince the public that President Beavis was a prince among men compared to the Current Occupant. While it’s true that Dubya had better table manners, it should not be forgotten that the Beavis-Duce administration was almost as fond of smear tactics as the Trump regime.

According to Team Bush-Cheney, those of us who opposed the Mess in Mesopotamia were soft on terrorism at best, traitors at worst. The difference between Bushies and Trumpers is that most of the time Dubya let others do the lying and smearing on his behalf.  Genuine upper-class twits swells let the help do the dirty work for them: Poppy had Lee Atwater; Junior had Karl Rove. The Insult Comedian enjoys wallowing in the mud alongside Gym Jordan, Devin Nunes, and John Neely Kennedy. More about the latter next week at the Bayou Brief.

That brings us to two people the Bush administration gleefully smeared: the late Ambassador Joe Wilson and his then CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame. Scooter Libby was convicted of disclosing Plame’s identity: his sentence was commuted by Bush; Trump pardoned him in 2018. Karl Rove escaped indictment by the skin of his teeth; surviving to take up residence as a Fox News pundit. Robert Novak the right-wing columnist who published the story was not indicted either, but the man known as the Prince of Darkness finally went to hell in 2009. It’s unclear if he went there in a bucket: 

I think of Valerie Plame with each Republican demand that the Ukraine scandal whistleblower be outed. Here’s what the spy who was forced out of the cold has to say about it:

“I feel personally for this whistleblower. I know what he’s going through,” says Plame. “His career is over. His world, it’s already been upended. I don’t think he’ll remain anonymous for long.”

The good news is that Valerie Plame survived the Bush smear campaign, moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and started a new chapter in her life. After a tough year in which her father and husband died, she’s landed on her feet again. She’s the subject of a flattering profile in the WaPo and is running as a Democrat for a House seat in New Mexico. This ad is a knockout:

The Plame-Wilson affair was such a cause celebre that a movie based on their respective memoirs was made in 2010, Fair Game. Naomi Watts and Sean Penn played the couple. It’s the rare case in which the real people were more attractive than the actors portraying them. It’s a good movie, check it out if you haven’t seen it.

There was also this song by The Decemberists:

The next time a Bush acolyte tries to tell you that their guy is a much better man than President* Pennywise, remember the smear campaign against Valerie Plame. Dubya just knows what fork to use and would have had the good sense to stay off social media. Otherwise, he set the table for the Insult Comedian’s smear tactics.

I couldn’t resist a rock and roll pun in the post title, so the last word goes to Peter Frampton: