Category Archives: Stupid Republican Tricks

America Held Hostage Day 34

Donald Trump isn’t used to anyone saying no to him. He doesn’t handle it well. That’s what happened yesterday when he tried to force his way into the House chamber for the SOTU, which should be rechristened SOTC. C is for chaos or clusterfuck.

Nancy Smash has no problem with saying no to a petulant president* even after a day in which the high priests of the cult of savvy decided he might have a plan. As usual, they were wrong: the Insult Comedian folded after the Speaker called his bluff. No surprise. Trump always folds but it usually doesn’t take this long.

The Kaiser of Chaos used a new word in reacting to NDP’s disinvitation:

“We just found out that she’s cancelled it. I think that’s a great blotch on the incredible country that we all love. It’s a great, great horrible mark. I don’t believe it’s ever happened before and it’s always good to be part of history but this is a very negative part of history.”

Blotch? Really, Donald? Is that the best you can do? I thought you had “all the best words” stored in your “very good brain.”

Trumpberius looked deflated as he made those incoherent comments. Once again, he’s been outmaneuvered by the wily speaker. His fragile ego has a hard time dealing with so much losing, especially at the hands of a skirt. The *real* author of The Art of the Deal nailed it on the tweeter tube:

Remember when people on the hard left and squishy right of the Democratic party wanted Nancy Smash to step aside? We’re not hearing much from them right now.

A day after his SOTU cave, the Insult Comedian floated a new slogan:

This is so stupid and simplistic that I’ll let his co-author dispatch him again:

One of the worst things about the current hostage crisis is that stories of human suffering do not move Trump. He long ago wrote off federal employees as Democrats. He cannot even muster a scintilla of fake empathy for the havoc his wall fetish has wrought. Disorder and disruption are his specialities. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

There are finally signs that the Trump shutdown may be winding down. While Trump pretends not to believe the “fake polls,” they’re dire for him. It’s past time for him to fold and declare victory. There is no plan, there is no end game. It’s time for the Insult Comedian to lie his way out of this mess. It’s what he does best.

Finally, I’m fascinated by Trump’s inability to coin a nickname for Speaker Pelosi when there’s an obvious one out there. It’s inspired by the venerable hit musical No No Nanette. He could call her No No Nancy. It’s alliterative as all get-out. Of course, the president* hates being told no, so it’s a non-starter for him but I may add it to my nickname arsenal. It’s not as smashing as Nancy Smash but it fits the times we live in, no?

The last word goes to Ringo:

America Held Hostage Day 31

The Trump shutdown goes on and on and on. As does the president* himself: he tweeted 40 times yesterday according to Politico.

The Insult Comedian’s attempt to impose a “compromise” flopped. Bigly. It’s what happens when the “negotiations” involve only Republicans. It pissed off anti-immigration hardliners and was rejected out of hand by Nancy Smash *before* Trump spoke. She continues to play contract bridge while the president* plays go-fish.

The Turtle finally poked his head out of his shell but the proposal went nowhere Saturday and will not get 60 votes in the Senate. Democrats remain united even though reports of suffering federal employees are painful. We can’t negotiate with a gun pointed at our heads. If we give in, Trump will pull this stunt over and over again.

It’s Martin Luther King Day everywhere in the country except in Mississippi and Alabama where it’s MLK/Robert E. Lee Day. The Lost Cause dream dies hard in the cradle of the confederacy. I wonder if Jeff Beau Sessions is wearing gray today?

It’s “we wuz robbed” day in New Orleans after that egregious blown call in the NFC Championship game. There are even calls for a Saints parade on Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not crazy about the idea. I’d prefer placing the refs in the stocks and pelting them with stale King Cake, but that’s just me. Vengeance is sticky…

That concludes this edition of America Held Hostage. The last word goes to U2:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – fallen zeros edition

Before we get to the Freeping idiots, The Darnold says : “Hold my tequila!”

(mind you, this is from FOX news)

President Trump says to reporters that San Antonio, a town 157 miles from U.S. border, has a wall

While addressing reporters ahead of a special announcement Saturday on the partial government shutdown and border wall funding, President Trump cited San Antonio as a city that had its crime problem solved after getting a wall.

“You look at different places, they put up a wall, no problem,” Trump said. “You look at San Antonio, you look at so many different places, they go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country to one of the safest cities immediately.”

San Antonio does not have a border wall. It is located 157 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

There is, of course, a wall around part of the Alamo (8 /10 feet high), but that didn’t really stop any Mexicans from climbing it.

Yeesh – he must think everyone is as stupid as he is.

Speaking of stupid – Hail To Da King, Baby!

White House: Rep. Steve King’s white supremacy remarks ‘abhorrent’
PBS ^ | 1/16/19

Posted on 1/16/2019, 10:58:57 AM by Blue House Sue

WASHINGTON — The White House is describing comments by Republican Rep. Steve King about white supremacy as “abhorrent.”

Presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is praising the move by House Republicans to strip the nine-term Iowa lawmaker of his committee assignments.

1 posted on 1/16/2019, 10:58:57 AM by Blue House Sue
.
So – not only did The Darnold call King’s blather “abhorrent”, he sent Baghdad Boob out to the assembled press corps to say so.

.
I’m sure this  dolchstosslegende  is going to bring down the wrath of Freeperville on ole Tweety Amin.
.
No?
.
To: Blue House Sue 

Horse crap.

That’s no way to talk about your Fuhrer.

His comments were no such thing. Vilification of someone asking a question regarding today’s political discourse, or the lack thereof, is eroding our representative foundation.

2 posted on 1/16/2019, 11:01:18 AM by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)

To: Blue House Sue

 

Jeez…yet another successful political assassination by the New York Times Trump.

4 posted on 1/16/2019, 11:02:21 AM by House Atreides (Boycott the NFL 100% — PERMANENT)

FIFY.
To: House Atreides
Jeez…yet another successful political assassination by the New York Times. 

The New York Times didn’t spy on the guy and illegally record his conversations.

He sat down and gave them an ‘effing interview.

I have no sympathy — and no patience — for a moron like this. I hope he resigns soon, so he can be replaced by someone who has an IQ above 80.

6 posted on 1/16/2019, 11:05:29 AM by Alberta’s Child (“In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey.”)
.
Well, that rules out The Darnold.  I hear that Randy Quaid is available…
.
So – there’s two schools of so-called thought here – King was an idiot for saying this shit on the record, and King is an upstanding true American for saying this shit on the record.
.
And not one person from either of these two special needs schools is blaming The Darnold for his stabbity-stab in the back of the once and future King.
.
Not one.
.
To: Blue House Sue
Just what in the hell did Steve King say that was so abhorrent?That he was a white nationalist. 

Well so am I. I’m a white male

What a shocker!

and I love my country and I hate seeing where the commiecrats are taking us.

10 posted on 1/16/2019, 11:13:17 AM by puppypusher ( The world is going to the dogs.)

One Freeper ALMOST goes there :
To: Blue House Sue

 

Why is the White House falling for this NYT smear?

White House can not afford to throw conservative leaning legislators under the bus every time someone on the left attacks them.

Foolish.

11 posted on 1/16/2019, 11:16:39 AM by unlearner (War is coming.)

.
DangerClose
.
Fortunately for “unlearner”, nobody responds to his little tiptoe through the minefield.
.
Join me below the fold for Ann Coulter’s wall squall.
.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Republicans In Disarray

It’s been a bad week for the president* thus far. His wildly unpopular shutdown enters its 27th day, he’s been mocked for serving cold hamberders to jocks from Clemson, and his administration* has been leaking like a sieve. The stories about his NATO-phobia and Interpretergate have been particularly damaging as well as damning. It’s been an excellent week, however, for Putin’s plan to foment chaos in what used to be called the free world. We’ll just have to keep on rockin’

Enough of the Insult Comedian, let’s talk about *other* Republicans in disarray. Two past malakas of the week have been in the news: Steve King and Chris Christie.

The Same Old Racist Iowa Cornholer: Emulating Captain Louis Renault in Casablanca, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is shocked, shocked to learn that Steve King is a bigot. Based on his legendary “untrustable in hungria” comment, McCarthy is not the brightest bulb in the lamp. He’s also not very observant: Steve King was a racist long before he was stripped of his committee assignments.  I wrote about it in a 2017 post called King Of The Bigots and Trip Gabriel of the Failing New York Times has compiled Steve King’s Greatest Hits. What a long, strange Trip it’s been.

Perhaps Kevin hadn’t noticed before because his head is so far up Trump’s ample rump that he’s been blind to King’s racism. It’s a lame excuse: King has been saying this shit since he was a member of the Iowa lege. This quote comes from 2002, when the Trump presidency* was just a bad dream:

Mr. King, in the Iowa State Senate, files a bill requiring schools teach that the United States “is the unchallenged greatest nation in the world and that it has derived its strength from … Christianity, free enterprise capitalism and Western civilization.”

The Congressman from next door Metry and past malaka of the week, Steve Scalise, has been too busy selling books and pretending NOT to be a more politically viable David Duke to notice King’s bigotry either. Scalise prefers code words to raw naked hatred but he’s guilty of Renault-ism as well:

The King of Bigots took to the House floor yesterday to defend himself:

Dolts like King always twist history to justify their words and actions. Many abolitionists were racists and preferred emigration and separation to integration and equality. I wonder if King has ever heard of Liberia.

The only reason Republicans stripped the bark off King’s committee assignments is that House Democrats voted to rebuke the Iowa Cornholer’s latest statements. The vote was 424-1. And the no vote came from Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush who thought the House should censure the King of Bigots.

Let’s move on to our next example of Republicans in disarray. The post title feels slightly illicit since it mocks a million such stories about Democrats in Tiger Beat on the Potomac aka Politico. Perhaps I’ll win the morning.

Governor Asshole’s Revenge: There’s a consensus out there that the Trump regime operates like a mob family. I’ve even given him a wise guy name: Don Donaldo Il Comico Insulto.

The man who wanted to be Clemenza to Trump’s Godfather has written a book that verifies the old Sicilian adage “revenge is a dish best served cold.” I wonder if the dish is pizza? I happen to like cold, leftover pizza for breakfast. I’ve also been known to hold a grudge.

Back to Christie’s upcoming tome, Let Me Finish. Yesterday, the Guardian published an exclusive article about the most explosive parts of the book, which involve the Governor Asshole/Slumlord Jared blood feud:

Christie blames this key player[Kushner] in the president’s inner circle for his ignominious dismissal shortly after Trump’s election victory in November 2016. Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, writes that Kushner’s role in his sacking was confirmed to him by Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chief, in real time.

As Bannon was carrying out the firing, at Trump Tower in New York, Christie forced him to tell him who was really behind the dismissal by threatening to go to the media and point the finger at Bannon instead.

“Steve Bannon … made clear to me that one person and one person only was responsible for the faceless execution that Steve was now attempting to carry out. Jared Kushner, still apparently seething over events that had occurred a decade ago.”

The political assassination was carried out by Kushner as a personal vendetta, Christie writes, that had its roots in his prosecution, as a then federal attorney, of Charles Kushner in 2005. The real estate tycoon was charged with witness tampering and tax evasion and served more than a year in federal prison.

Apologies for the long quote but I couldn’t quite channel my inner Mario Puzo or David Chase this morning, so I let the Guardian guys do it for me.

I’ve missed having Governor Asshole to kick around. I’m glad he’s publishing an *almost* tell-all book about the Trump regime. I say almost because he’s softer on Trumpberius than on anyone else:

At his first meeting with Trump in 2002, at a dinner in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, in New York, Trump ordered his food for him. He chose scallops, to which Christie is allergic, and lamb which he has always detested. Christie recalls wondering whether Trump took him to be “one of his chicks”.

At another dinner three years later Trump told the obese Christie he had to lose weight. Addressing him like one of the contestants in Miss Universe, the beauty contest organisation that he owned, Trump said “you gotta look better to be able to win” in politics.

Trump returned to the theme of girth during the 2016 presidential campaign, exhorting Christie to wear a longer tie as it would make him look thinner.

Christie hates lamb? Fuck him and the long red tie he rode in on. Was that a bridge too far? Nah, in the immortal words of Bobby Bacala:

No, Bobby, I don’t. It’s what I do.

There’s one more example of Republicans in disarray. Chinless Mitch may be preventing a vote on re-opening the government but he lost a vote yesterday, which had to be one of the most newsworthy Tuesdays in history. One could even call it Christie Gras.

The Oleg Deripaska Sanctions Blues: Team Trump wants to lift sanctions on the Russian oligarch to whom Paul Manafort owes millions of dollars, Oleg Deripaska. 11 Republican Senators joined Democrats to stop this move in its tracks; one of whom, to my great surprise, was Gret Stet Senator John Neely Kennedy of Neelyisms fame. As Neely himself might put it, even a blind pig finds an acorn sometime. Boy howdy.

This was a preliminary vote: they need 2 more GOP votes to stop Mnuchin’s folly but any sign  of Republican disarray is inordinately pleasing. Props to Chuck Schumer for organizing this mini uprising. He’s showing more backbone since Nancy Smash became Speaker. Keep it up, Chuck.

That concludes this episode of Republicans In Disarray Theatre. The last word goes to the Gin Blossoms who have anthropomorphized disarray.

Punching Above Her Weight

I was an agnostic on the subject of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez until recently. She ran a great primary campaign against a complacent incumbent but she’s a freshman, which gives her little to no power. That, and my opinion of her, changed when the conservative media began its campaign to elevate her. That was not their intention but their idiotic and downright hysterical attacks on AOC have transformed her into one of the stars of the class of 2018. Holy unintended consequences, Batman.

Thus far the flying monkeys of the far right have attacked AOC for:

  • Being factually challenged. Compared to Trump, she’s Norm Ornstein.
  • Being a bartender. So much for the dignity of work. Besides, her former vocation has given her the ability to out-shout and out-heckle her enemies.
  • Going by the nickname of Sandy while in college. They seem to think this should be a hanging offense. Oy, just oy.
  • Dancing and looking vaguely goofy on a video from her college days. Her response was to post a video showing herself dancing into Congress. Dance shaming did not work.
  • Taking a selfie of her bare feet whilst bathing. This was debunked by foot fetishists at something called Wiki Feet. I am not making this up.
  • Calling Trump a racist. That’s called telling the truth.
  • Rush Limbaugh called her “uppity” not long after Ed Rollins dismissed her as a “little girl.”  Perhaps she should be more like Butterfly McQueen as Prissy in Gone With The Wind.

The result of these ludicrous attacks has been to dramatically raise her profile. Typically, rookie Congresscritters aren’t interviewed by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. One could call that encounter AC meets AOC. She even has her own acronym: talk about branding.

AOC is a helluva counter-puncher. Thus far, her responses to her critics have been pitch perfect. She’s a social media ninja who knows how to make her critics look small and petty. It helps that they are.

These bizarre and ineffectual attacks are rooted in the fear of strong women that pervades the political right. The attacks on AOC have empowered her instead of taking her down. They need a new playbook. White male hysteria isn’t working for them.

Speaking of white male hysteria, here’s how the great Dahlia Lithwick put it:

These men aren’t afraid of these women because they’re part of a movement, although they are. They’re terrified because these women are empowered professionals who have parlayed careers in institutions of power to become formidable political actors. Calling them uncivil or bad mommies or child-like isn’t effective when women are legitimate holders of high office—and yet, as we see, it continues in ever-more comically depressing forms. As Virginia Heffernan notes, “These moth-eaten virgin-whore tropes have become self-satirizing. If you think misogyny has faded since ‘Mad Men’ days, you’re wrong. In fact, as women pack the halls of power, it seems more virulent than ever, as conservatives convulse in fear at losing their old rubrics of control. They lash out more than Don Draper ever did.”

As a retired Mad Men recapper, I think Tucker, Rush, and their ilk are much worse than Dapper Don Draper. He came to accept Peggy and Joan as powerhouses. AOC’s critics are too busy fluffing Trump to evolve. Until they do, she’ll keep punching above her weight.

We conclude this episode of Dance Shaming Theatre with a little ditty from the Seventies:

No Plan, No Endgame

I didn’t get all the agita yesterday about Trump’s Oval Office speech. It lived up (down?) to my low expectations. He’s a terrible, and worse, boring speaker without an audience. To quote the man himself, it was low energy. Additionally, nobody except his hardcore 25-30% believes anything he says. The only people capable of being hoodwinked already wear pointy hoods in private.

Nothing Trump said last night matters. It was his greatest hits with a dull delivery. It’s hard to cry wolf when you look ready to nod off at a moment’s notice.  He made absolutely no news, which made the speech an exercise in futility. It was also an exercise in distraction. The Trump regime is slowly but surely circling the bowl and they know it:

Trump’s aides fear he has given himself no way out. “The president put himself in a box,” the former official in touch with the White House told me. “The problem is there’s no endgame. Right now the White House is at a seven on the panic scale. If this thing goes on past the State of the Union they’re going to be at an 11.” Another prominent Republican close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Trump’s handling of the shutdown as “total fucking chaos.”

That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

The box in question is his political coffin. In the article quoted above, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman called the Mexican stand-off that is the shutdown, “Trump’s Alamo.” The president* is likely to identify with Davy Crockett, after all. Crockett was a peckerwood with a coon skin cap atop his head and Trump is an Insult Comedian with a dead nutria pelt atop his head.

I’m convinced that the main reason Trump gave that lame racist speech last night is jealousy. The Democratic House is the bright shiny object in town and they’ve gotten tons of favorable media coverage. Trump not only thrives on the spotlight, he needs it. He’s afraid he’ll disappear if he’s not the center of attention 24/7/365.

Chuck and Nancy have become a formidable duo but the staging of their response last night was downright weird. It was summed up neatly by Herriman biographer and parade route book signer Michael Tisserand:

Others have compared them to the immortal hicks in Grant Wood’s American Gothic. They *were* stiff, but Nancy from Balmer and Chuck from Brooklyn are way too urban to be immortal Iowa hayseeds.

It’s time for people to stop thinking Donald Trump has supernatural political powers. He’s an unpopular president* whose party lost the midterm popular vote in a landslide. Last night’s speech was a dulled down distillation of his 2018 stump rants. It didn’t work then. Why would it work now?

The Trump shutdown shows the perils of winging it. House Republican leaders are worried that dozens of their members will rebel and support Speaker Pelosi’s efforts to reopen the government. At least four GOP Senators are making noises about reopening the government; one of whom is Colorado’s Corey Gardner who is already atop the Senate Dems 2020 hit list.

Trump lies about everything. He should take Chuck and Nancy up on their offer to reopen the government and debate the stupid wall later. Then, he could lie about it and declare victory. It would be a small lie by his standards. I bet them dead presidents would approve.

Is this Trump’s Waterloo? I’m not sure about that but he’s certainly circling the loo.

This is what happens when you cry wolf without a plan or an endgame.

The last word goes to Todd Rundgren:

Any. Minute. Now.

Trump will literally be herding people who mildly criticize him into cattle cars OH WAIT and Republicans and pundits will be going NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME FOR SOMEONE TO STAND UP TO HIM:

You know when else would have been a good time, Jenny? When he fucking declared his candidacy by calling Mexicans rapists and murderers. When he was screaming LOCK HER UP from the podium and mocking disabled reporters and passing off “grab them by the pussy” as “locker room talk” and all any of your glorious principled conservatives did was rub their foreheads and duck the mic.

And if Mitt Romney does this tonight or tomorrow morning he doesn’t get a cookie and neither does any other Republican senator because they could have stopped this any old goddamn time.

Fucking Christ. They are not going to stand up to him. They were not going to do it when he stood next to Putin in Helsinki and said look, I don’t believe our own intelligence services I believe his lying butt face. They are not going to stand up to Trump because they don’t want to. Because it doesn’t benefit them. Because they don’t see what you see.

What you see is the course of history or whatever Mr. Smith/Washington fantasy and you think this is some kind of goal, being brave. What they see are dollars and voters and they recognize that they’ll keep getting both if they just keep their mouths shut and letting Trump’s manners obscure their machinations.

His policy aims are theirs. His goals are theirs. His voters are theirs. For 40 years this has been true and you expect somebody like Mitt Romney, who is like if a webinar was a person, to be a hero? What FOR? What does he want that Donald Trump does not provide?

You can’t answer that, you have no business asking the questions you’re asking.

A.

Recharging

Thanks to the idiot president* the news hasn’t slowed down over the holidays but I’ve slow walked my punditry. The pace of events this year has been exhausting and, unlike Reddy Kilowatt, I’m not wired to keep going 24-7-365. I pulled the plug on following presidential* antics as closely as usual on Christmas day. I see no reason to plug back in until 2019.

What have I missed? The casual cruelty of the Insult Comedian and his minions regarding “illegal aliens.”  Two children died while detained by the Department of Homeland Insecurity. The Trump regime’s response has been to blame the victims and Democrats. Congressman Peter King’s response has been to praise the government’s safety record. I believe King also praised the Provisional IRA’s safety record during the Troubles.

The Trump government shutdown continues apace. To everyone’s surprise, the president* has stayed at the White House instead of decamping to Mar a Lago. This is his idea of sacrifice: he’s also afraid of being handbagged by the Coultergeist. Repeat after me: Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Trump seems convinced that if he holds his breath until he turns blue, he’ll get taxpayers to fund his stupid wall. I thought the Mexicans were supposed to pay for it. Trumberius seems to have said adios to that notion:

I don’t do New Years resolutions, but I remain resolved to relentlessly mock the Party of Trump and all its malefactions. Mockery is the best remedy to a president* who is unable to laugh at himself.

Another reason I’ve been recharging my blogging battery is that I caught another cold. (Another seems to be the word of the day.) I made the mistake of eating some broccolini off the plate of an elderly friend at Christmas lunch. I hate to see food wasted. Unfortunately, she informed the table that she was coming down with a cold after both her daughter and I ate her leftovers. And I thought vegetables were supposed to be good for you.

Happy New Years from New Orleans.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “fools and their money” edition

Get suited up, everybody – the coolest thing in the history of Freeperdom is happening, and you can smell the excitement in the air.

At least I think it’s excitement….

LIVE THREAD: GoFundMe for Trump’s Border Wall Hits $7 Million and Is Rising 

The EpochTimes ^ | JACK PHILLIPS

Posted on 12/20/2018, 4:15:55 PM by naeim.darzi

A GoFundMe page titled, “We The People Will Fund The Wall,” has raised more than $7 million out of $1 billion as of Dec. 20. In less than an hour late on Thursday, donors contributed more than $500,000.

The page was set up by Brian Kolfage, a triple-amputee Air Force veteran who received the Purple Heart.

“As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society,” his page reads.

1 posted on 12/20/2018, 4:15:55 PM by naeim.darzi
Colfage’s little scam is going to need some people to handle all of that groovy cash, right?
I hear these guys are available:
GoFundMeScammers
Whoops – perhaps not.
ScmmersInJail
Anywhoo – this should get a hearty round of applause from the Freeperati.
To: naeim.darzi
While I appreciate the sentiment, this is foolish. 

What exactly is the governmental mechanism that enables a direct cash donation to a specific government project?

(hint – there isn’t one)

Do people not pay enough taxes to push funding for the wall as it is?

2 posted on 12/20/2018, 4:22:47 PM by Future Snake Eater (Get a handle on vote fraud or we’re likely finished in 2020.)

To: naeim.darzi

 

It’s GoFundMe Fantasy Wall Game! Where fools and their money are soon parted!

6 posted on 12/20/2018, 4:25:41 PM by backwoods-engineer (Enjoy the decline of the American empire.)

Well, it IS Free Republic, isn’t it? Fools-wise, it’s what they call “a target-rich environment”.
.
That reminds me – they finally finished the Fall Freepathon last week, and there’s only a week to go until the next one starts. Yowza!
.
It’s time for the fantasy footwall players to get creative :
To: Future Snake Eater
Just off the top of my head, the government could sign a $0 contract to build the wall with a non-profit entity or with a contracting company whose costs are paid privately.Funding may be tantamount to legislative authorization, but does the President really lack authorization? I don’t think so.

36 posted on 12/20/2018, 4:53:36 PM by cmj328 (We live here.)
FacebookThatsNotHowThisWorks
To: cmj328

 

And Nancy Pelosi might vote for wall funding. About the same kind of fantasy. You people are trying to emote your way out of an invasion.

43 posted on 12/20/2018, 5:00:46 PM by backwoods-engineer (Enjoy the decline of the American empire.)

More after the invasion…

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

That’s Why I Call Him The Kaiser Of Chaos

Twas the Friday before Christmas and all was not quiet in the house or in the country. All Americans want  to do is to focus on holiday prep and look forward to time away from work and school. We need a break from the frenetic news cycle of the last two years. It was not to be. There are a series of crises involving the federal budget, major tsuris at the Justice Department, and the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The result is chaos and not the sort of chaos involving wrapping paper, presents, and family fights. I’m talking man-made chaos, Trump style. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

In stark contrast to his soon-to-be former boss, Mattis went out with style and class. He offered that rarity in our political history: a protest resignation. Mattis is the first Secretary of Defense to ever do so. Protest resignations by senior American cabinet officers are rarer than snow in South Louisiana. The only one I can think of in my lifetime was Secretary of State Cyrus Vance’s resignation in protest of the Carter administration’s botched hostage rescue raid in 1980.

Trump’s impulsive decision to withdraw from Syria was the last straw for Mattis. Here’s the deal: I’m not wild about the Syria deployment BUT a process is required for troop withdrawals. Trump is not big on process, the military is.

It’s also creepy that Putin and Erdogan are as pleased as punch by Trump’s Syria move. Putin wants a free hand in his client state, and Erdogan regards the Kurds much as the leaders of the Ottoman Empire regarded the Armenians. The Kurds are our only allies in the Syrian mess. When in doubt, Trump dumps on our allies, not our adversaries.

The Justice Department blew up with the news that Acting AG and Lex Luthor lookalike, Matt Whitaker, ignored the advice of DOJ ethics types to recuse himself from supervising the Mueller probe and issued his own findings. The DOJ issued conflicting accounts of what happened but that’s the bottom line. And the guy Trump has nominated as the permanent AG, William Barr, also has extreme views on the Mueller probe, which he offered in an unsolicited memo to the DOJ. Whitaker, Barr, and Trump agree with Tricky Dick:

On Wednesday, it looked as if Trump was prepared to fold on the government shutdown front. Then the flying banshees of wingnuttia began to circle the presidential* carcass like vultures around road kill. The government is shutting down because Rushbo and the Coultergeist challenged the Insult Comedian’s manhood over the wall.  Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

It doesn’t matter that Republican congresscritters want to go home for the holidays instead of being blamed for a shutdown: the wall is all. The votes aren’t there and the Mexicans won’t pay for it but the wall is all. Make that wall:

Here’s one of the weirder dimensions of late 2018 Trumpism. For reasons that are not entirely clear to me the word has apparently come down from the White House that the wall, as in the wall to be built along the southern border, must now be called “wall”. In other words, no definite article, no “the”. President Trump now does this. It was part of a DHS press release a week ago. And today in a congressional hearing, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Rep. Tom Marino: “From Congress I would ask for wall. We need wall.”

Everything is weird about Trumpism, Josh. From provoking a government shutdown for which you will be blamed to shitting all over our allies to the president* recreating the madness of King George III. Nothing makes sense. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

The last word goes to Pink Floyd:

That was a bit too obvious. Now that I think of it, there’s another classic rock song that applies to Trump himself. Here’s how Ian Anderson explains the title: “it means as intelligent as a lump of shit.” That’s the president* in a wingnutshell.

Tweet Of The Day: Jim Carrey On Stephen Miller’s Hair

In a sign of how bad things are going for the Trump regime, Stephen Miller appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation last Sunday. The Trump henchman emulated his master by augmenting his hair. The Insult Comedian has a weave, Miller has a spray can.

Instead of posting pictures of Miller’s spray-do, I prefer to post Jim Carrey’s take on Miller’s Sunday show prep:

Shit for brains? It’s hard to argue that point.

The Fog Of Scandal: No Sympathy For The Devil

I wrote a rather sympathetic piece about Michael Flynn after Team Mueller filed its sentencing memo. I’m not *retracting* that post BUT my empathy for the disgraced General is gone, baby, gone after the unsentencing hearing in Judge Emmet Sullivan’s courtroom. I’ve gone from “let him up easy” to “lock him up” in less than two weeks.

Flynn’s high-priced lawyers, from the establishment firm Covington & Burling, violated the first rule of litigation: NEVER PISS OFF THE JUDGE. Hell, I learned that on the first day of law school from my Jimmy Stewart soundalike civil procedure  professor, Gary Roberts.

The sin of Flynn’s mouthpieces was to imply in *their* sentencing memo that Flynn was tricked into lying to the FBI by Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe. They are, of course, the Feebs who have been demonized by the harpies of Trumpistan. Furthermore, the memo claimed that Flynn didn’t know that lying to the FBI was a crime.

To say these assertions are laughable is an understatement. Entrapment is a defense that rarely, if ever, works in Federal Court; just ask the Abscam defendants. Conspiracy theories are even less effective: stuff that flies on Fox News or Info Wars gets shot down in court.

Judge Sullivan was not amused:

Sullivan unloaded on Flynn for lying to the FBI in a January 2017 interview while he was serving in the highest levels of the federal government. The judge appeared outraged by assertions that Flynn was “entrapped” into making false statements to federal agents, as Flynn’s defense attorneys and supporters have suggested over the past few days.

Sullivan asked Flynn if he wanted to delay his sentencing in order “to challenge the circumstances under which” he was interviewed.

“No, your honor,” Flynn replied. “I was aware that lying to the FBI was a crime.”

“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense,” Sullivan said.

What’s the first rule of lititgation?

That’s a picture of my new hero, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. The specious and downright ridiculous arguments by Flynn’s attorneys led to some plain speaking by the Judge.  It’s what the Brits would call a right bollocking.

When I first read the defense memo, I was gobsmacked by the refried conspiracy theories therein. It was a dumb move after the glowing words about Flynn’s co-operation from the Special Counsel’s Office. The memo blew up what should have been a semi-routine hearing and led to a delay in sentencing. Judge Sullivan would have sent Flynn to jail yesterday. I’m beginning to think that’s where he belongs as well. Watergate whistleblower John Dean was sentenced to 16 months and wound up serving 4 months in the slammer. After this stunt, why should Flynn get a sweeter deal than John Fucking Dean?

I’m not exactly sure what motivated this fuck up by Flynn’s lawyers but hubris is one word that comes to mind. Many wonder if they were fishing for a pardon, but once the extent of his co-operation is revealed, the president* may call Flynn a rat too. Remember: Judge Sullivan has read all the redacted bits of the sentencing memos. He knows the full extent of Flynn’s crimes. I suspect that the reason the Insult Comedian has been fluffing Flynn is that the disgraced General has implicated him. The worst case scenario remains in effect.

One of the sweetest things about the Flynn hearing is that it left egg on the faces of wingnut conspiracy theorists and Trump lackeys alike. Oh, happy day.

Since this is a followup to the more favorable The Fog Of Scandal: Hey Nineteen post, it has the same format including a featured image of the single cover. I somehow doubt Steely Dan would mind being lumped in with the Rolling Stones.

The last word is obvious:

Make that No Sympathy. LOCK HIM UP.

Butina Your Lip

Former Gret Stet Governor Bobby Jindal with Maria Butina.

I have been accused of constructing posts around a punny title. I plead guilty as charged. There’s a lot of that going around this week. The latest to cop a plea is Maria Butina. I have abandoned my futile attempt to popularize the Russian spelling of her name. She’s Two-I Mariia no more. Life goes on and on and on; much like this introduction.

The facts of the Butina case have become somewhat murky. Initially, I compared her to Elizabeth Jennings of The Americans but it looks as if she was more of an influence peddler than a spy; as much K Street as Kremlin.

The prosecution has even withdrawn some of the more sensational characterizations of her activities:

Yet even as prosecutors secured Ms. Butina’s conviction and cooperation, they faced questions about their initial portrayal of Ms. Butina as something like a character out of “Red Sparrow,” the spy thriller about a Russian femme fatale.

Prosecutors had already been forced to back off the most salacious accusations against Ms. Butina — that she used sex as spycraft — and acknowledged in court filings this week that she genuinely wanted a graduate degree, and was not simply posing as a student to live in the United States. They also dropped accusations of her being in contact with Russian intelligence agencies, and that she was only using Mr. Erickson to gain access to other influential Americans.

Agents come in many forms: from the covert to the overt. Butina appears to have been the latter. She bamboozled American gun nuts in broad daylight, revealing them as gullible fools willing to fall for a pretty face and a ridiculous story: a gun rights group in Putin’s Russia? Yeah, right.

There was even a memorable public exchange with the Insult Comedian:

While I still hope that Butina can damage the NRA, it’s unclear how much she knows and who, other than her boyfriend/whatever Paul Erickson, she can hurt. She certainly played them for fools, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Those pictures with PBJ, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, and Wayne LaPierre are priceless.

The minute I heard that she’d agreed to co-operate, I knew that she was not a spy. We usually trade their spies for our spies. I’m puzzled by Butina’s motives in co-operating with prosecutors as she still faces deportation. Failed Russian agents tend not to have a long shelf life when they return home.

Our readers have surely noticed by now that my mind works in weird ways. This time, it has connected Maria Butina and the Rolling Stones. Her American adventure involved making connections with the NRA in the hopes of influencing the Republican party. That, in turn, evokes a song from the 1967 Stones album, Butina the Buttons:

The album’s real name is Between the Buttons and, in the end, the real connection Maria Butina made was with federal prosecutors.

The post title is also Stones inspired. The opening line of Mixed Emotions is “button your lip, baby.” It wasn’t much of a leap to Butina Your Lip.

The Rolling Stones get the last word:

Staff Infection

Photo via Vanity Fair.

I used to think the Bush-Cheney administration was the most incompetent of my lifetime. But they occasionally looked as if they knew what they were doing. That’s something that can never be said of the Trump regime. If there’s a way to fuck something up, they’ll find it. It reminds me of a venerable military acronym: FUBAR. That stands for “fucked up beyond all recognition” although there’s a G-Rated version that substitutes “fouled up.” Fuck that version: Team Trump is fucking up the country, not fouling up, the foul stench emanating from the White House notwithstanding.

The ongoing saga of John Kelly’s departure from the White House is the best example of Trump’s staff infection. Kelly’s firing has been rumored since March but he’s become the Trump regime’s Keith Richards: a human cockroach who refuses to die.

The Kelly gag was perfected on Sunday when the guy who was expected to replace him, Nick Ayers, turned the job down. Hilarity and chaos ensued. Ayers is Pence’s chief of staff and a greedy hustler who wants to return to the private sector to cash in on his White House connections.

There are manifold reasons for Ayers to leave. Trump’s legal woes have led to an exodus of staffers who don’t want to have massive legal bills. Reporters have started asking Ayers questions about how a 36-year-old political consultant has amassed a vast fortune. The shortest reason is a classic: rats flee sinking ships. And Ayers is a blonde rat with a blonde wife and a blonde family. One could even call his life story Blonde Ambition but I think Reese Witherspoon would object. Who could blame her?

The main reason the Kelly exit is so FUBAR is because the train is being driven by the Slumlord and the Princess. Make that trainwreck:

After Nick Ayers, the Georgia political operative who was the president’s top pick, declined the job — something of a plot twist in a presidency notorious for its episodic cliffhangers — Mr. Trump is without a Plan B. Several of his aides expressed frustration that months of intense campaigning to replace John F. Kelly — an effort led by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s elder daughter and son-in-law — resulted in yet another chaotic staffing scramble in a White House splintered by factions and rife with turnover.

“Why would anybody want to be Donald Trump’s chief of staff unless you want to steal the office supplies before they shut the place down?” said Chris Whipple, who wrote a book on White House chiefs of staff called “The Gatekeepers,” expressing the views of many outside the White House about Mr. Kelly’s job. “If you’re coming into that job, you’ve got to lawyer up.”

The Other Mr. Whipple knows his shit. Javanka should have squeezed the political Charmin before assuming that Ayers would do their bidding. This was a shit show even for Team Trump.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m on about, here’s one of the “don’t squeeze the Charmin ads” featuring Mr. Whipple that ran for some 20 years:

The terlet paper analogy is apt. The Trump regime seems to be circling the bowl right now. His legal situation is dire and nobody reputable wants to be his chief of staff. Leo McGarry weeps. Perhaps Trump should hire an EMT for the job, they’re used to running toward danger.

As someone who watched a certain shitty reality show so you didn’t have to, I have some suggestions for the next chief of staff among Celebrity Apprentice contestants:

  • Gary Busey would appeal to the Trump base; ain’t no man whiter or angrier than Gary Busey.
  • In the unlikely event that the president* wants to expand his base and appeal to black voters, there’s always dreadlock wearing rapper Lil Jon.
  • If Trump wants to retain the support of Gret Stet Senator John Neely Kennedy, Meat Loaf is his man.

A side benefit of the latest White House shitshow is that it’s serving up an extra dose of humiliation for the ultimate Trump dignity wraith, John Kelly. The retired general has been behind Trump’s horrific immigration and detention policies from the git go. Instead of being the adult in the room, he was the other bigot in the room.

I will never forgive Kelly for lying about Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and dismissing her as an “empty barrel.” John Kelly has reached the bottom of the barrel. I hope he drinks deeply of the dregs and sickens himself.

Team Trump’s staff infection shows why nepotism is frowned upon in our government. The Slumlord and the Princess may be grand in a way that their cruder fathers never will be, but they haven’t the foggiest idea of what they’re doing.

As Trump’s legal woes mount and his popularity plummets, he will rely more and more on Javanka’s bad advice. The FUBAR watch remains in effect for the duration. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. Believe me.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati -Judgement call edition

Hi, readers –  back from Playa Del Carmen. Still unpacking, but there’s time for a short and sweet “Obsession”.

Trump Unleashes on ‘Dumb as a Rock’ Tillerson: He ‘Didn’t Have the Mental Capacity’
msn ^ | 12/7/2018 | Josh Feldman

Posted on 12/7/2018, 3:11:27 PM by detective

President Donald Trump is clearly not happy with comments from his former Secretary of State.

Rex Tillerson got candid today not just about his time at State, but about the President and how “undisciplined” he is. He also claimed that he had to explain to Trump that various things he proposed were illegal.

Trump clearly heard about the comments, and he fired back with some choice words for the man who once reportedly called him a “moron”:

“Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him,” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon. “His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!”

1 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:11:27 PM by detective
IknowYouAre
To: detective

 

Rex was the third most incompetent and lazy SoS in history, just after Hellary and Kerry the Klown.

Thankfully we had a strategic genius of unsurpassed wisdom and courage in the WH keeping things running !

4 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:15:31 PM by WashingtonFire (President Trump – it’s like having your dad as President)

I can only assume he’s referring to the janitor…
.
After a few Tillerson-bashing / derp state posts, someone finally poses the real question:
To: gibsonguy

 

Question—. If Tillerson is so dumb, such an idiot, etc. Then why in the heck did Trump pick him in the first place?

10 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:21:09 PM by Dilbert San Diego

Good question.
To: Dilbert San Diego

 

He has made a lot of dumb hires. In that respect he is very naive, he thinks everyone is as sincere as he is in service to their country.

18 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:24:09 PM by Dont tread and Live (waso)

So, what you’re saying is that The Darnold is easily fooled?
Duh, motherfucker.
To: detective

 

Sometimes Trump can be ineloquent – but you know where he stands and that is rare in a politician

12 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:22:06 PM by laconic

Alzheimer’s is also rare in a politician, but Reagan spent his entire last term drooling into a napkin.
.
Also:
.

Trump “Gibbery gibbery gibberish, la la me, best, biggest, blaggety blah blah tremendous blageddy gibberish.”

Trump supporter in the stands “We love him because he says what he’s thinking!”

To: detective

 

Every one of you misses the point. The point is not that Trump is “man enough” to tell it like it is. (rolls eyes)

The point is, he – TRUMP – is the person hiring all of these “dumb as a rock” people to Cabinet positions. What does it say about his judgement? THAT, is the point.

19 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:24:19 PM by TangledUpInBlue

To: SaveFerris

 

Exxon is a corpocracy. Trump operates an oligarchy type business. (,,,)

33 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:54:25 PM by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchaged our dreams for survival. We just ha va few days that don’t suck.)

Sssh – you’re not supposed to say that out loud.
To: detective

 

Trump has made himself look petty… again. I really wish he would not do that. If he didn’t do this he would be a really great man. He could defend himself without being so much like a 12 year-old.

35 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:57:47 PM by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchaged our dreams for survival. We just ha va few days that don’t suck.)

No.
No, he can’t.
Trump IS a 12 year-old, and he will always BE a 12 year-old.
More after the temper tantrum.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Life Imitates The Godfather: Paulie, Won’t See Him No More

Clemenza and Paulie Gatto in The Godfather

There’s something about the Manafort-Trump relationship that makes me think of gangster movies. Imagine that. During Manafort’s trial, the Insult Comedian rhapsodized about Al Capone as a stand-up guy, so naturally I wrote a post called Life Imitates The Untouchables: Scarface Paul Manafort?

I’ve tried to avoid Godfather references in order to stand out from the mobster movie analogy crowd. And I realize the Clemenza-Paulie Gatto analogy is imperfect because Paulie G was whacked for betraying his Don whereas Paulie M first betrayed, then stood by Don Donaldo Il Comico Insulto. I should apologize for that long sentence but it would break my momentum. I don’t mess around with either Jim or Big Mo. The Seventies references are really flying today.

Now that I’ve Godfathered the hell out of you, let’s turn our attention to the Manafort at hand. After weeks of quiet, the Manafort case has exploded. Team Mueller pulled out of its plea deal with Manafort because of his incessant lying. Imagine that. Then, it got messier when the Failing New York Times broke the story that Manafort’s lawyer has been briefing Trump’s lawyers about their discussions with Team Mueller. There *was* a co-operation agreement between Teams Manafort and Trump but such deals usually end with a plea bargain. This is sleazier than hell but may not be illegal. It may, however, be actionable by the relevant bar association. Stay tuned.

Making matters even stranger is that mob buster turned wartime consigliere Rudy Giuliani was the source for the bombshell NYT story. We’ve gone from Gatto to Gotti in a heartbeat, a lovebeat. It’s unclear if Rudy did this out of an inability to NOT brag about the contacts or because he’s a stupid twat who thinks this helps his client’s case. It does not. It makes Trump look guilty. But Team Trump agrees with Tricky Dick:

This gambit is classic Manafort. He’s an expert at playing both ends against the middle. It’s why he’s in the jam he’s in today. But at least Trumpy loves him again.

I agree with those who think Manafort is playing for a pardon. He’s also playing the long game. Even for Trump, it’s politically impossible to pardon Manafort before the 2020 election. In his more lucid moments, the artist formerly known as Mayor Combover has admitted that a Manafort pardon would be disastrous politically. Of course, his idiot client is quite capable of impulsively issuing one just to blow shit up. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

There are many Manafortian theories out there. Former US Attorney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and MSNBC legal eagle, Harry Litman, has written a must read op-ed analyzing them. Unlike Litman, I believe that Manafort has a legitimate fear of being whacked by Russian spooks or wise guys in jail. It’s why he’s in solitary. It’s a plot line straight out of  The Americans.

The other Manafort news involves a story in the Guardian describing three meetings between him and albino devil Julian Assange. Many have discounted the story because of its sourcing. It *is* possible that the Guardian got played but the suspicion of the story strikes me as rank provincialism. The Guardian is one of the world’s great newspapers so its stories should be accorded the same respect as those in the NYT or WaPo. Besides, its sourcing is quite similar to many Woodstein Watergate stories. I also think the Steele Dossier implicitly supports the story. Stay tuned.

I’m used to making Watergate or Iran-Contra references about the DC scandal of the day. I am, however, unused to comparing our politics to gangster movies. What can I tell ya? I call them as I see them.

The last word goes to Corleone Caporegime Peter Clemenza:

Sorry for the last word fib, but I would be remiss in my duties as a mob movie maven if I didn’t post Clemenza’s lines after Paulie G met his maker:

Mississippi Goddam

Source: Cindy Hyde-Smith’s Facebook page via the Bayou Brief.

I feel like an interloper to this story. Athenae wrote a slam-bang post about it yesterday and my friend and Bayou Brief publisher, Lamar White Jr. broke the story of Cindy Hyde-Smith’s bigoted comments. I also could not resist using the Nina Simone song for the post title. I know I’m not the first to do so, my friend Kat did it at Sky Dancing. I am a derivative motherfucker. I do, however, have talented friends.

While I’m giving credit where it’s due, there’s a remarkable piece in the Jackson Free Press by Ashton Pittman (names don’t get more Southern than that) that fills in many of the blanks about Cindy Hyde-Smith aka the Racist Lady. Nobody should be shocked that, not only did the appointed senator attend a “segregation academy,” she sent her daughter there. And yes, she was an elected official when her daughter matriculated. It doesn’t matter to prosperous white Mississippians. It’s what they do, y’all. Cannot mix with “those people.”

Another note about Lamar’s reporting. He tells us exactly who and what, Greg Stewart, the guy in the Facebook pictures with the Racist Lady, is:

In the early 2000s, Stewart was specifically identified as a leader of a recognized hate group- Free Mississippi- by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group went defunct, and as a result, it was de-listed by the SPLC. But you can still find his name on their database. He  served as the group’s “parliamentarian.”

You can also still easily find him on Facebook, where he makes it abundantly clear that he is very much still involved in the business of the Lost Cause. (Stewart enthusiastically supported Chris McDaniel in the general election and is now cheering on Hyde-Smith).

McDaniel is the arch teabagger and Lost Causer who opposed Thad Cochran in 2014. He’s also the creep whose supporter harassed the Senator’s elderly wife in her nursing home. I am not making this up.

Back to Cindy Hyde-Smith. I wish I could say that her racist remarks and inept campaign will defeat her but I don’t think they will. Her Democratic opponent, Mike Espy, is infinitely more intelligent and qualified to serve in the Senate. He’s also black and the vast majority of white Mississippians will never vote for a Democrat let alone a black Democrat. It’s the party of “those people.”

I’ve watched with amusement people who know nothing about the South opine on cable news about the Mississippi runoff. I saw one otherwise intelligent person say on AM JOY that Espy will win because there was not supposed to be a runoff in this race. Wrong. Chris McDaniel nearly unseated an incumbent Senator in the 2014 GOP primary. He only got 17% of the vote this time, in part, because Trump supported the Racist Lady in the first round. He’s still popular with white voters in the Magnolia state, alas.

What Cindy Hyde-Smith’s bigoted bumbling has done is to make the runoff closer than it should be. Republican political pros are nervous about the race but think she’ll pull it out after Trump rallies the peckerwoods later today. Their mantra is: “We don’t want an Alabama.”

They’re referring to Senator Doug Jones’ thrilling win last year in his race against Judge Pervert. I think that’s unlikely for reasons stated on the tweeter tube:

Alabama is NOT a progressive paradise but it has some big cities, a major medical research hub in Birmingham, and the rocket eggheads in Huntsville to partially offset the rural peckerwoods and rednecks. Also, Doug Jones is white. An African American candidate would not have beaten Judge Pervert, alas. The Bradley effect remains in effect in the South, as we saw in Florida where many white voters could not bring themselves to vote for Andrew Gillum.

I think Mike Espy has a good chance to get 45% of the vote if his GOTV effort is strong, otherwise he’ll hover at around 40%. If it’s the former, it’s a Beto-style moral victory. I hope I’m wrong and we wake up to an upset victory on Wednesday morning.

One thing that national Democrats seem to have learned this year is to CONTEST every race even those that look difficult. You never know when an inept candidate will talk about hanging or disenfranchising their opponents. In another state, those comments would have destroyed the appointed senator’s campaign. It’s a sign of progress that they damaged it severely. And in Mississippi of all places. Goddam.

The last word goes to the great Nina Simone:

Trump’s Raking, California’s Burning

There have been so many pinch me moments since Donald Trump became president*. The latest came with his bizarre response to the California wildfires. As always, this fucking moron thinks he knows everything when, in fact, he knows absolutely nothing. It’s always made worse by the refusal of anyone around him to tell him when he’s wrong, which is more often than not. The only Yes-men I’ve ever cared for were Anderson and Squire.

About the featured image. I felt it was important to translate it to the original Astoria-Queens dialect. If I could line up Joe Pesci for a reading, I would. My cousin Vinny knew a thing or two about da utes.

Back to Donald’s Excellent California Misadventure. Make sure you click on the embedded video in the tweet:

There’s just so much to unpack from Trump’s latest big bag of stupid. First, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said he NEVER said anything about raking to Trump. Second, Finland is a small-ish, cold, and wet country. California is vast and dry from an epic drought. My home state is inherently prone to wildfires and all the raking in the world will not end that. Additionally, most of the forests there are managed by the Federal, not state government. But when did the Insult Comedian ever let the facts get in the way of making him look stupid?

When did da president* from Noo Yawk become an expert in forestry? Has he ever even wielded a rake? Perhaps he’s thinking of the kind of rake described in this tweet:

I attempted to post that tweet at a rakish angle but it proved impossible. Unlike the Current Occupant, I know when I don’t know something, you know.

One of Trump’s few talents is his eerie ability to make everything about himself. In this instance, it’s a horrific talent: 76 people have died and over 1000 are missing as of this writing. The Camp fire is a bona fide tragedy that all the raking or Smokey Bear bashing in the world will not solve. Yes, I said Smokey Bear bashing:

I would loved to have been a fly on the wall when Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsome discussed the presidential visit.  I thought I saw Jerry grit his teeth when Trumpberius went on about raking. The temptation to put the business end of a rake where the moon don’t shine must have been overwhelming. I applaud the outgoing Governor for his restraint. It must have been hard for Jerry: he doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Nero had his fiddle, Trump has his rake. Dave Alvin has the last word:

The Crazy Is Contagious

I’m not sure if the inmates are running the asylum, but they seem to be running the White House. The president* has been in a week-long funk since he proclaimed victory in the midterms, a lie that not even he believes. He’s been lashing out, picking unnecessary fights, and behaving like a man who should be wearing a straitjacket, not an overlong red tie. Hence the featured image of Houdini in a straitjacket. There’s occasionally method to my madness.

Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has filed a bone-chilling report about West Wing craziness:

As Donald Trump’s West Wing careens through one of the most turbulent weeks of his presidency, White House officials are struggling to understand the source of the fury fueling the president’s eruptions. “This is a level of insanity I’ve never seen before,” one former West Wing staffer told me. Current and former officials are debating different theories for Trump’s outbursts, ranging from his fears over his son Don Jr.’s legal exposure to the prospect that House Democrats will unleash investigations in January. “He’s under a tremendous amount of mental stress,” one prominent Republican close to him told me.

<SNIP>

Trump remained in a dark mood during his weekend trip to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. As The Washington Post reported, he got into an argument with British Prime Minister Theresa May during a phone call on the flight across the Atlantic on Friday. On Saturday morning, Trump skipped attending a rain-soaked ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to honor the Battle of Belleau Wood. When his absence became a scandal, the White House said the decision had been made because Marine One reportedly could not fly in the rain, and Secret Service did not want Trump traveling by motorcade. One Republican briefed on the internal discussions said the real reason Trump did not want to go was because there would be no tent to stand under. “He was worried his hair was going to get messed up in the rain,” the source said. “[John] Bolton and everyone was telling him this was a big mistake.” A former administration official said Trump hates being outside in wet conditions. “What I honestly think? He woke up and said, ‘It’s pouring rain. This is a joke and I’m not doing this.’”

So it really was his hair. We’d all been making those jokes but even I didn’t think that was it. I wrote it off to another tantrum when it was a hairy tantrum. The whole incident is the best example yet of his lack of political acuity. The fact that this would become a huge mess was predictable but the president* was shocked. Listening to people can be a good thing. Try it sometime, Donald.

The Insult Comedian’s weirdest public quote of the week was this:

“The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes. When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this. Of course, I’m relatively sane.

A change of shirt is not enough, I’d add this to make it a better disguise:

Has this bozo ever actually gone to a polling place? We know that he was a sporadic voter before running for president* and it shows. This is what happens when low information voters elect one of their own.

The other White House crazy comes from the East Wing. Melania Trump got John Bolton’s right hand woman, Mira Ricardel, shitcanned. That was weird enough but the crazy was compounded by this:

In a White House where the drama has been constant, but almost always behind the scenes, an email to reporters on Tuesday from Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, was unusually direct: “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”

This led to lazy comparisons to Nancy Reagan’s problems with Ronnie’s second chief of staff, Don Regan. I never thought I’d defend Nancy BUT that dispute was largely kept behind closed doors. Nancy’s spokesperson did not issue a statement. It became a bigger deal upon the publication of Regan’s book about his time in the two-A Reagan administration. Unlike the Trumps, the Reagans were famously close: Nancy probably rolled over in bed and said, “That one-A Regan has gotta go.”

Back to Ricardel’s ouster. Who’s going to wax and oil Bolton’s mustache now? I was working on a Ricky Ricardo pun on her last name but decided to cut her some slack. Why? I’ll never know.

Finally, in the world of crazy there was this story out of Baltimore:

A man shouted a pro-Nazi and pro-Trump salute during a performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre on Wednesday night in an outburst that some audience members feared was the beginning of a shooting.

Audience member Rich Scherr said the outburst happened during intermission. The man, who had been seated in the balcony, began shouting “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump.” Immediately after that, “People started running,” Scherr said. “I’ll be honest, I was waiting to hear a gunshot. I thought, ‘Here we go.’ ”

The man was escorted out a few minutes later and the show continued. But Scherr, 49, said it was hard to focus on the play after that. “My heart was just racing. I didn’t even really pay attention to the second act.”

Oy, just oy.

I think David Simon nailed it when he RT’d the Sun story:

Circling back to our featured image, this Nazi creep wouldn’t liked Harry Houdini any more than Tevye. Houdini’s father was a Rabbi.

The last word goes to Dave and Phil Alvin:

Profiles In Phony Courage

It was quite a week for president* Trump. He pitched fit after fit, tantrum after tantrum. He confirmed that his picture is in the dictionary next to narcissist. He claims to have “won” the midterms, if so, he is an even sorer winner than usual. And his foray to France was the worst presidential* trip abroad since his trip to Helsinki.

Trump proved over and over again why I call him the Insult Comedian. He confuses bluster with bravery, whinging with winning, invective with courage.

It is not courageous to berate Jim Acosta and revoke his press credentials. Acosta *is* a loudmouth and a showboat, BUT he’s in the tradition of such pitbull teevee reporters as Dan Rather and Sam Donaldson. Donaldson was a burr in the saddle of both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. They dealt with it like adults, not professional wrestlers. Donaldson and I have a mutual acquaintance who assures me that Sam *is* a “rude, terrible person.” Dealing with obnoxious reporters is the Acosta of freedom.

It is not courageous to abuse black female reporters by calling them stupid and accusing them of asking “racist questions.” It seems to disprove the notion that the Insult Comedian is “the least racist person ever.” #sarcasm

It is not courageous to refuse to attend a ceremony honoring the Great War dead because it’s raining. Who is he now? The wicked witch of the West Wing? Is he afraid of melting?

It is not courageous to attack the people and government of California as wildfires rage. Is he suddenly a forestry expert? The only trick Trumpy missed was blaming Jerry Brown and calling my home state a socialist hellhole. He’ll have to blame Gavin Newsom after January. The taunts could even involve Trump Junior’s dating Newsom’s ex-wife. Stay tuned.

It is not courageous to make baseless allegations of voter fraud. It may, however, be a preview of 2020 if Trump is on the ballot and loses.

It is not courageous to scare the shit out of people over THE CARAVAN before the election, then drop the subject immediately thereafter.

I could go on and on about Trump the fake tough guy. Like former Vice President Dick Cheney, Trump is a scaredy cat pretending to be a bad ass. He’s all profile and no courage.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.