Category Archives: The Darnold

Saturday Odds & Sods: The Forecast (Calls For Pain)

Rockwell

The Problem We All Face by Norman Rockwell.

We’re back on the weather roller coaster in New Orleans. One day it’s unseasonably warm, the next it’s colder than average. It’s almost as crazy as the Current Occupant of the White House. Did you see that insane press conference by the least racist and anti-Semitic person ever? In response to the crazy, I tweeted this:

I hope all the Busters and Steiners are happy right now. They insisted that there was no difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They were wrong. She’s sane.

Did y’all see the cartoon that was based on the Norman Rockwell painting that’s this week’s featured image? Here it is on the Tweeter Tube. I refuse to upload it:

That’s right, folks, Cartoonist Glenn (Not The Real) McCoy compared billionaire dilettante Betsy DeVos to NOLA’s own Ruby Bridges That’s preposterous and typical of the whiny titty babies on the Right in 2017.

Btw, BuzzFeed: You got something wrong.

On Sunday, the Belleville News-Democrat published this cartoon by Glenn McCoy. It appears to equate Betsy DeVos, Trump’s controversial pick for secretary of education, with Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white school in the South.

Ruby Bridges *was* the first black student to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans in 1960. She was not the first overall: that honor belonged to the Little Rock Nine in 1957. The last I heard New Orleans was in the South. Y’all should spend less time cutting and pasting tweets and more time on research.

This week’s theme song fits both my mood and the temper of the times. The Forecast (Calls For Pain) comes from Robert Cray’s brilliant 1990 album Midnight Stroll:

It’s time to take a midnight stroll to the break. The forecast is for more mirth than pain on the other side.

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Journalism: A shitty job in a nuclear winter

One of my former students became a science reporter a few years out of school and once found himself on a trip to Chernobyl. A group of researchers were collecting stool samples from people who lived adjacent to the old Russian nuclear reactor, trying to see if they were suffering from any radioactive poisoning nearly three decades after the meltdown.

He sent me a post card from the area with a final line I still love:

“Journalism. It’s a shitty job but somebody has to do it.”

I thought about him and that trip today when I was trying to read anything in my social media feed that wasn’t about Trump’s press conference. When all I was left with was if Steve Kerr was going to play Russell Westbrook alongside his four Warriors in the All-Star Game and Draymond Green clarifying his “slave-owner mentality” statements, I gave up.

Trump’s hour-plus screed was a brick of uncut alternative facts, packaged in a wrapper of vulgar abuse and denigration. The word “rambling” might be overused at this point and I don’t think it goes far enough. It was like he took every topic of interest or a point of pride he has, wrote them on bingo balls and then had the machine spit them out to determine the order of his talking points.

The biggest problem came when he started taking questions from the press, one of his favorite targets of abuse. A reporter from Ami Magazine, a conservative orthodox Jewish publication, offered Trump the olive branch he was desperately seeking, a pass on personal anti-Semitism. However, as Jake Turx tried to ask Trump to explain how he planned to fight this problem, Trump just stepped all over himself, assuming Turx was calling him anti-Semitic and then told him to sit down and shut up.

When a reporter refuted Trump’s claim that his 306 (actually 304) electoral votes was the most since Ronald Reagan, he dodged with “I meant Republican victory.” He then was told Bush 41 had way more, which led Trump to blame his staff for the information.

Perhaps the worst moment is the one most people are noting: Trump’s clash with April Ryan, a long-time member of the White House press corps. Ryan, who is African-American, asked about Trump’s plans to improve urban areas that he often referred to as terrible hell holes and wondered if he’d reach out to the CBC and Hispanic caucus in congress. Trump seemed unaware of what CBC stood for, but upon learning it stood for Congressional Black Caucus, asked Ryan if she’d set up the meeting for him.

“Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?” Trump asked her in what could only be described as a confrontational tone.

At this point, I had two thoughts:

  • Based on his “you all know each other, right?” approach, I was amazed Trump didn’t start off with, “Hey, I loved you in ‘Hidden Figures!’ What’s your question?”
  • If you believe that Sean Spicer isn’t getting fired, buy stock in Orbitz. This guy is going to put a dent in our national supply by Saturday.

This press conference, naturally, scared the living shit out of me as a citizen, but my one saving grace is that I can turn off the TV or ignore the news. The journalists who have to work in this environment are like the people at Chernobyl in 1986, going shirtless and using some Windex to clean up the mess.

Journalism has always been a shitty job and it takes a weird breed of person to do it. If you don’t believe me, you should have been in our student newspaper’s newsroom this week. Conversations regarding a dead squirrel, double entendres about a professor “coming” and whether Meatloaf’s “I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that)” was about anal were among the most acceptable for public consumption.

The kids do this for almost no money, which will get them ready for a career in a field where cutting positions and salaries is an annual ritual. They talk to people who don’t want to talk to them about things everyone wants to know but no one who knows is willing to disclose. (A student told me an administrator offered him about a three-minute “No Comment” on a topic we had been covering. My first response, “Did you record it so we can use it as a quote?” The answer, of course, was “yes.”)

Abuse in this field is common. I’ve been called scum, an asshole, a weasel, a vulture and worse. One lady told me my mother didn’t raise me right. I’m sure there are worse ones that I’ve just blacked out of my memory. It got so bad that I used to have a recorder attached to my phone so I could record the abuse. That way, when the person on the other end became sweet as pie to my boss and accused me of random shit, I could just play him the tape.

The thing that amazes me about all of this is that we keep having more and more kids entering this field with the idea that each one of them probably has (at the very least) one Cousin Carl who believes everything not on Breitbart is fake news. Many of the kids I teach come from the Rural Red areas of the state where family members at Thanksgiving ask things like why they aren’t earning an “honest living” like “Gene the Retard” down the way who sells dachshunds out of his trailer.

One kid who recently changed majors to journalism sat with me after I mentioned that a long time ago, when I was changing from pre-law to something or other, Dad told me I needed to find a field where I could get a job.

“As long as you aren’t majoring in English or something else stupid like that, I don’t care,” he said. “You just need to be able to get a job.” (Incidentally, English was going to be my major right up to that moment…)

The kid’s dad had said something similar when he made the change to journalism and he wondered what was out there for him. I explained about the various ways the skills he picked up in journalism would make him a fine hire for a ton of great jobs. He relaxed and then asked, “Can you tell my dad that? He runs his own business and he thinks this is a stupid move.”

Of course it’s a stupid move, if you enjoy low-stress jobs with good benefits and career security. It’s also a stupid move if you enjoy being liked and you don’t want your illusion shattered when it comes to thinking the best of people. It’s a really stupid move for 1,001 other reasons that undercut sanity and longevity. Still, the kid felt like he found the right major, so like a moth to a flame, he decided to stick with it.

I was glad for that and I’m looking for more just like him because we need those guys and gals to fill in the ranks of reporters, editors and other journalists who push back every day against the tide of bullshit. Talking to kids who want to be the next reporter to be told, “Sit down! You’re fake news” really energizes me and makes me want to get them ready to go in the corner and fight for the puck. That’s why this weekend finds me at a journalism convention in Minnesota where kids from a lot of small-college Midwestern schools will show up and learn how to write, report, dig, challenge and fight better.

Best of all? The person running the convention told me the number of attendees this year is higher than it has been for the past several mid-winter conferences.

And, like any other decent journalist, I’ll make sure to check it out before I believe it.

Malaka Of The Week: William Happer

An eminent physicist who’s on the faculty at Princeton is openly campaigning to become the Insult Comedian’s science adviser. He has an impressive curriculum vitae and is certainly qualified for the position. There’s a rub: he’s a climate change denier. And that is why William Happer is malaka of the week.

Dr. Hapless Happer gave an interview to the Guardian wherein he shared his views on those of us who believe in climate change:

“There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”

Are they Moonies, Scientologists, or Hairy Fishnuts, Dr. Hapless Happer? They’re all inclined to be glassy-eyed and the first cult is pro-GOP. Scientologists are down with Trumpism because they believe greed is good and selfishness is where it’s at.

Dr. Malaka also supports the gag order imposed by the morons at the Brown House:

Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information.

“So many people are fed up of listening to the government lie to them about margarine and climate change that when something is actually true and beneficial they don’t listen,” he said, citing childhood vaccines as an example. “The government should have a reputation of being completely reliable about facts – real facts.”

Real facts, Dr, Malaka? Do you mean the facts as spoken by your dear leader? I wonder if you understand the Faustian bargain you’re entering into. Trump listens to no one and insists on unconditional subservience. Are you ready to lick Bannon’s jackboots and be humiliated by the president*? That’s what the job entails.

Dr. Malaka derides scientists who believe in climate change as members of a cult. He’s about to join a cult where staffers are required to clap every time the dear leader speaks and retweet his increasingly incoherent rants. The hapless Happer might end up on the streets banging a tambourine and selling MAGA caps as punishment for displeasing Trump or Bormann Bannon. The only one who’s drinking Kool-Aid is Dr. Malaka. It’s Trumper Kool-Aid.

Happer doubtless thinks he’ll be an important and influential man if he becomes Trump’s science guy. Wrong. He’ll be just another one of the Insult Comedian’s dignity wraiths who will skedaddle back to a cold welcome at Princeton when he quits or is fired. Dr. Malaka is not only a climate change denier, he’s a world-class naif. And that is why William Happer is malaka of the week.

 

 

 

Power Before Country

Comatose 2017

Krewe of Comatose float. Photograph © by Ride Hamilton.

It’s not original to think that the 21st Century Republican party *always* puts power before country. It’s Athenae’s pet hobby-horse. She wrote quite eloquently about it just yesterday. It’s time for me to climb on back of said rocking horse and join in. I’ll try not to break it. That would be too much like Henry Drummond’s Golden Dancer story in Inherit The Wind for my taste, and I try not to be overly derivative.

What am I on about? Read and learn:

I was seven years old, and a very fine judge of rocking horses. Golden Dancer had a bright red mane, blue eyes, and she was gold all over, with purple spots. When the sun hit her stirrups, she was a dazzling sight to see. But she was a week’s wages for my father. So Golden Dancer and I always had a plate-glass window between us. But—let’s see, it wasn’t Christmas; must’ve been my birthday—I woke up in the morning and there was Golden Dancer at the foot of my bed! Ma had skimped on the groceries, and my father’d worked nights for a month. I jumped into the saddle and started to rock— And it broke! It split in two! The wood was rotten, the whole thing was put together with spit and sealing wax! All shine, and no substance! Whenever you see something bright, shining, perfect-seeming—all gold, with purple spots—look behind the paint! And if it’s a lie—show it up for what it really is!

That’s how Republicans *should* have reacted to the Trump phenomenon from the git-go. The Trump “movement” is all shine and no substance, much like the Insult Comedian’s taste for gaudy, glitzy, goldleafy decor. I shuddered when I heard that the Trumps might redecorate the White House living quarters. It’s the people’s house and the thought of any of it resembling Trump Tower is nauseating. In the immortal words of Garth Algar: “I think I’m gonna hurl.” Holy crap, I’ve gone from Spencer Tracy and Fredric March to Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. And I’m okay with that. 2017 is the 25th anniversary of Wayne’s World, after all. Excellent. Party time.

Where the hell was I? Oh yeah, the rottenness beneath the surface shine of conservative ideology. They’ve made a deal with the devil to get tax cuts for the 1% and to take away people’s health care among other horrors. It’s being done in the name of freedom but it’s really just selfishness. In that way, Donald Trump epitomizes what has happened to the GOP since the Reaganite wave election in 1980. Who’s more selfish than the Insult Comedian? If you know anyone, please keep them away from me.

In the wake of the Out like Flynn moment, there was a fleeting notion that Congressional Republicans might conduct a proper inquiry of the improper Russian connection. That moment has already passed because they realize this fiasco is apt to land at Donald’s doorstep. He was warned weeks ago that Flynn was susceptible to blackmail and nothing happened until Monday night. Why? I believe Trump (aka Putin’s Pawn) knew of, and initiated, Flynn’s contacts with Putin’s people. Flynn is not the only senior administration* official who has been compromised by the Russians: every word spoken, and action taken, by Trump indicates that he is susceptible to KGB-style blackmail. As Josh Marshall put it this morning: Flynn doesn’t matter. This is about Trump.

I’m not sure where this is headed. Events have been Russian by at a break neck pace. Flynn resigned while I was publishing my post about him, which had my head spinning like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist. It’s certain that Trump administration* is headed for the rocks, it’s only a question of how extensive the damage is and who will be forced to jump overboard along with Flynn. It’s irrelevant whether he was pushed or jumped. The scariest thing about this week’s events is that Bannon is piloting the ship. The B3 Brownshirts are trying  to turn the White House into the Brown House. They’ve even unleashed Bannon’s creature Stephen Miller on the media. Unlike the rocker, he’s no Joker. Maurice would kick the little bastard in the balls.

There’s been a lot of discussion about prosecuting Flynn and other Trumpers for violations of the Logan Act. I, for one, am leery of that idea. The statute has been on the books since 1799 and it has only been invoked twice with no convictions. It was passed by a Federalist Congress and signed by President John Adams. It was aimed at the Jeffersonian Republicans who sided with the more radical factions of the French Revolution. In short, it was designed as political payback. It was mentioned by pro-Roosevelt forces during the isolationist America First moment but was never used. Wise choice.

Dusting off a 218-year-old statute to go after the Trumpers is a bad idea as far as this lapsed lawyer is concerned. It is a very frail reed and could easily be ruled unconstitutional if tested in the courts. That means anyone convicted under the law would walk and the GOPers would scream political persecution. The potential for backfire outweighs any positives.

The Logan Act is much like Golden Dancer in Henry Drummond’s story. A conviction obtained under it would be like Henry’s rocking horse: “The wood was rotten, the whole thing was put together with spit and sealing wax! All shine, and no substance!”

There’s an understandable temptation to fight fire with fire and sink to the Republicans level. I’m all for the resistance but we lose if we become carbon copies of them. Unlike our enemies, I believe in putting country before power.

I’ll give Spencer Tracy as the Clarence Darrow-like Henry Drummond the last word:

 

In Like Flynn

I took a few days off from following national politics as closely as usual. Of course, more shit has hit the fan. Splat. These bozos have only been in power for 24 days. It feels like 24 months.

The sordid saga of Trump’s nutty national security adviser Mike Flynn gets weirder by the moment. The MSM is positing that Flynn might get fired for lying to Mike Pence. Think on that for a minute. My nickname for the Veep* is Liar Liar Mike Pence On Fire. Everyone in this administration* lies incessantly, so firing someone for mendacity seems bizarre even for this crowd. His lies make Flynn fit in; hence the post title In like Flynn. It’s also an Errol Flynn joke but Mike Flynn is no Errol Flynn although, like the actor in They Died With Their Boots On, he may be headed for his last stand.

Every time I think it’s impossible for the Trumpers to be more incompetent, they top themselves. It’s a rare talent. What’s next? Who the hell knows. They’re conducting foreign policy as if it’s a game of pick-up sticks and the president* has no idea where they’ll land and no idea what do with them when they do. Incompetence in foreign policy is dangerous. Remember the last Republican administration? They couldn’t organize a two car funeral but this one is baffled by the logistics of a one car funeral.

Flynn is likely to go since his West Wing rivals are hanging him out to dry in the media they claim to despise. But they need to come up with a better reason than: “he lied to a liar.” In short, they need to lie about why Flynn is out instead of in.

I think the Trump administration* needs a theme song. Only one will do: Topsy Turvy Town.

INSTANT UPDATE: Flynn is no longer in but out. The crazy fucker just resigned.

Crass Menagerie

Crass Menagerie

Krewe du Vieux rolled on Saturday night. It was a blast to march through the streets of the Marigny, Quarter, and CDB. I did my share of spanking and handing out throws. The Krewe of Spank’s theme was strictly local as you’ll see below but several Krewes did Trumpian themes. Below are two of the better efforts.

First, the Krewe of Mishigas with a sci-fi twist:

Mishigas 2017

That’s right, it’s Jabba the Trump.

Second, the Krewe of KAOS. Their marchers dressed as droogs, which was simultaneously brilliant and simple.

Kaos 2017

The first set of photos were taken by my old friend Brian. He also captured us Spanksters as we milled about whilst stalled. I’m not in the picture but Dr. A is:

Spanksters 2017

Spank has always done local satire. This year’s theme took a poke at JazzFest. We’ll begin with two views of the float taken by my pal, Christy Boom Boom Brackenberg:

Spank Float 2017

Spank 2017

Dig that crazy Spank-o-vision, y’all.

One of our throws was a sensation and still has the twittering classes abuzz. It’s a two-sided post card-sized parody of the JazzFest schedule cubes:

Cubes front

Cubes 2017

The cubes are, of course, loaded with fictional and wildly inappropriate acts.

A few quick notes:

Krewe du Vieux is *always* cold except for 2017. It was in the mid-70’s, which meant it was hotter than hell as we marched in our costumes. It was unnatural. We’re supposed to shiver, not sweat.

There are people in Krewe du Vieux who didn’t get the Glass Menagerie pun. The Glorious Bird weeps.

The crowd was huge and better behaved in the Quarter than in past years. Of course, it helps when you’re wielding one of these:

Paddles

And yes, people want to be spanked on the parade route. I don’t have any pictures of me doing so, all I have for you is this tweet:

Carnival is hard work. And there’s more to come. Let’s close with some seasonal music:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – courting disaster edition

It’s the day of the 9th Circuit Court’s decision on the legality of the ban-which-isn’t-really-a-ban-but-sorta-is!

The Freeperati are ready to go! They can taste victory!

BREAKING: 9th Circuit to Issue Ruling on Trump Temporary Travel Ban at 6:30 ET

BREAKING: 9th Circuit to Issue Ruling on Trump Temporary Travel Ban at 6:30 ET
Gateway Pundit ^ | 2/9/2017 | Jim Hoft

Posted on ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎17‎:‎04‎ ‎PM by sheikdetailfeather

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced they will issue a ruling on President Trump’s temporary travel ban.

Washington Judge James L. Robart filed a temporary restraining order on President Trump’s refugee ban from seven terror states.

**********

Fox just announced this as well.
1 posted on ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎17‎:‎04‎ ‎PM by sheikdetailfeather
I thought you guys were calling Fox “fake news” these days?
To: sheikdetailfeather

In case of a loss on this issue, can Trump make other orders which are similar? Can he ban all immigration in the interestof National Security?

13 posted on 2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎23‎:‎50‎ ‎PM by DrDude (To the Victor go the spoils! Kick A$$ Trump.)

Only if he wants the U.S. to declare war against a country. And the way that crazy son of a bitch is going, that just might be on his fuckit list.
To: sheikdetailfeather

I’m going to be positive and say they will support Trump’s Executive Order.My reason….They don’t want to be put down by the Supremes.

16 posted on 2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎25‎:‎25‎ ‎PM by Sacajaweau
supremes
.
(tune in next week to see “sheikdetailfeather” and “Sacajaweau” call Elizabeth Warren “Pocohontas” – fun for the whole family!)
To: sheikdetailfeather

Probably 2-1 against. The Obama and Carter judges will go against Trump, the Bush one in his favor.Despite that, I do have a respect for the Carter-appointed judge that heard this case. He has the right temperament for a judge; the Obama one is a huge hack.

17 posted on 2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎26‎:‎01‎ ‎PM by Trump20162020
To: sheikdetailfeather

This is about an hour away now.The answer better be: Yep, President Trump has the authority.

Or what? You’ll un-appoint them?

Robart, shut up.

22 posted on 2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎28‎:‎30‎ ‎PM by backwoods-engineer (Trump won; I celebrated; I’m good. Let’s get on with the civil war now.)

“Let’s get on with the civil war now”?

How did that civil war thingy work out for you guys the LAST time you tried it?

.

To: sheikdetailfeather

Hmm Red Meat for the protesters

Or a bucket of Ice water down their skivvies?

57 posted on 2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎43‎:‎23‎ ‎PM by Gasshog (Clinton denies… Expect to see a lot of this)

I hope you’re wearing thermal undershorts.
.

To: eyeamok

I know! Sickening Huh?! Why even bother to have an election for president or senators – congressman when these asses have more power and control the trashing of the constitution by making up their own laws and enforcing the people to abide by their rules!

homerconstitution

This is so F!

59 posted on ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎44‎:‎23‎ ‎PM by RoseofTexas

Fastidious? Fine? Foreordained?
Fabulous?
 .
SNLgayGuy
.
Click on the “read more” with antici……
.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Night Parade

Spank Squad

Krewe of Spank float, 2015.

It’s the most wonderful day of the year, for me at least. Krewe du Vieux rolls at 6:30. That’s why the full-blown madness that is Saturday Odds & Sods has been dialed back this week. I’m too busy Krewe of Spanking, y’all.

I do, however, have a theme song: Night Parade from Robbie Robertson’s Storyville album. We march not far from where the red light district was located. It’s long gone. Time for some music. Hit it, Robbie:

I may not have a Saturday post extravaganza this week but I do have an Insult Comedian meme courtesy of my Spank krewe mate David M:

Trump Spank

That’s it for now. I’ll be back next week with a post that has more meat on the bone.

Riddler Meme

The Fog Of History: Explaining Trump

Ron Rosenbaum wrote one of the best books about the Hitler phenomenon and its persistence through the years: Explaining Hitler. In that brilliant work, Rosenbaum talked to some of the explainers-from the crazy to the reputable-to try to understand how Nazism could have taken hold in a country known for its literature, music, art, and cinema. Rosenbaum also endeavored to understand *why* Hitler’s demonic spell continued after his catastrophic failure and revelation as the war criminal’s war criminal. If you’re interested in the subject, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. What’s not to love about a book that has a chapter titled The Hitler Family Film Noir?

Rosenbaum was approached by some publications to explore comparisons between Hitler and the man some call Hair Fuhrer and I call the Insult Comedian: Donald J. Trump. He was initially reluctant to do so for reasons he explains in a brand spanking new piece in the Los Angeles Review Of Books:

Until the morning after the election I had declined them. While Trump’s crusade had at times been malign, as had his vociferous supporters, he and they did not seem bent on genocide. He did not seem bent on anything but hideous, hurtful simplemindedness — a childishly vindictive buffoon trailing racist followers whose existence he had mainstreamed. When I say followers I’m thinking about the perpetrators of violence against women outlined by New York Magazine who punched women in the face and shouted racist slurs at them. Those supporters. These are the people Trump has dragged into the mainstream, and as my friend Michael Hirschorn pointed out, their hatefulness will no longer find the Obama Justice Department standing in their way.

Bad enough, but genocide is almost by definition beyond comparison with “normal” politics and everyday thuggish behavior, and to compare Trump’s feckless racism and compulsive lying was inevitably to trivialize Hitler’s crime and the victims of genocide.

As a believer in Godwin’s Law until the 2016 election, I understand where Rosenbaum is coming from. It’s why I still prefer using the term Fascist to describe the Trump-Bannon “movement” and their loathsome followers.

Now that they’re in power, Rosenbaum detects a methodological similarity between the Trumpers and German Nazis. It’s rooted in both the big lie technique and the war on the press. In Hitler’s case, his fiercest foes back home in Bavaria were the reporters of the Munich Post who were referred to as “the poison kitchen” by the Nazis.

I really should let the master explainer explain himself:

But after the election, things changed. Now Trump and his minions are in the driver’s seat, attempting to pose as respectable participants in American politics, when their views come out of a playbook written in German. Now is the time for a much closer inspection of the tactics and strategy that brought off this spectacular distortion of American values.

What I want to suggest is an actual comparison with Hitler that deserves thought. It’s what you might call the secret technique, a kind of rhetorical control that both Hitler and Trump used on their opponents, especially the media. And they’re not joking. If you’d received the threatening words and pictures I did during the campaign (one Tweet simply read “I gas Jews”), as did so many Jewish reporters and people of color, the sick bloodthirsty lust to terrify is unmistakably sincere. The playbook is Mein Kampf.

Trump, of course, is not only incapable of writing a book on his own, he’s a notorious non-reader. Instead, he’s the teevee-watcher-in-chief. But Hitler was *not* an intellectual. He was a demagogue with an acute sense of his audience and what we would call his base. Trump may not be a true believer in the white nationalist ideology that Bannon and Miller have cobbled together BUT he *is* its best salesman.

Back to Hitler and the poison kitchen. The Munich Post did its best to expose the petty criminality and nationalistic bigotry that drove Hitler and the Nazis but in the end, we know what happened. They lost the kampf: Hitler came to power and plunged the world into an orgy of chaos, hatred, and violence. Steve Bannon is on the record as wanting chaos and destruction in order to bring on his own B3 new order and I’m not talking about the band of that name. He’s a right-wing Leninist. I’m a John Leninist myself.

Rosenbaum is even more worried about the normalization of Trump now that he’s the Current Occupant:

Cut to the current election. We had heard allegations that Trump kept Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, but somehow we normalized that. We didn’t take him seriously because of all the outrageous, clownish acts and gaffes we thought would cause him to drop out of the race. Except these gaffes were designed to distract. This was his secret strategy, the essence of his success — you can’t take a stand against Trump because you don’t know where Trump is standing. You can’t find him guilty of evil, you can’t find him at all. And the tactics worked. Trump was not taken seriously, which allowed him to slip by the normal standards for an American candidate. The mountebank won. Again.

Suddenly, after the inconceivable (and, we are now beginning to realize, suspicious) Trump victory, the nation was forced to contend with what it would mean, whether the “alt-right” was a true threat or a joke to be tolerated. Did it matter that Trump had opened up a sewer pipe of racial hatred? Once again, normalization was the buzzword.

And I remembered the Munich Post, defending Weimar Germany. I reflected on how fragile democratic institutions could be in the face of organized hatred. Hitler had been tricky about his plans until he got the position and the power to enact them. Trump had been tricky, neither accepting nor rejecting the endorsement of KKK leader David Duke. David Duke! The KKK! In this century! He claimed he didn’t know who he was. He couldn’t be disqualified because of someone he didn’t know. That’s where we all went wrong, thinking he was stupid and outrageous, not canny and savvy and able to play the media like Paganini. The election demonstrated the weakness of a weak democracy, where basic liberties could be abolished by demagoguery and voter suppression.

Rosenbaum is concerned that normalization is taking place in too many sectors of the public and press. The MSM wavers between exposing Trumpian excesses and normalization. I am cautiously optimistic that vast swaths of the American people do not accept Trump’s legitimacy and will never normalize his “movement.” Look at me: I am fundamentally a center-left Democrat who belongs to the “get shit done” wing of the party. That’s been suspended along with my adherence to Godwin’s Law. I am committed to resisting Trumpism and everything about it. This is not the time to make a deal with the devil. Trump regards offers of compromise as signs of weakness. I will continue to show him the same level of respect that Republicans gave to Barack Obama: zero, zilch, bupkis, nada.

People need to be patient. Given the current make-up of  Congress, Trump can only be removed if Republicans turn on him. That will only happen when they think the cost of supporting him outweighs the cost of pissing off rank and file Trumpers. That’s why public displays of disapproval are so vital. And the much ballyhooed 25th Amendment solution requires the support of his cabinet. It’s one reason why, with the exception of Generals Mattis and Kelly, the cabinet is loaded with wealthy political non-entities, sycophants, and right-wing ideologues. They *might* rebel if Trump continues his manic ways but it will take time. You know things are bad if I think Mike Pence is less horrific than Donald Trump. Why? He’s less likely to plunge us into a war caused by the last thing he saw on teevee. Trump puts the boob into boob tube as well as the idiot into idiot box.

Pressure and patience must be the watchwords of the resistance. We didn’t get into this mess overnight and we won’t get out of it quickly either. Satire is one of our best weapons. It hits Trump where he lives: he wants to be loved and admired. It’s our job to see that he’s neither. We don’t want him to think he’s Chaplin’s Great Dictator, Adenoid Hynkel. If Trump tries to dance with a global balloon, we need to pop it.

Vive les Maquis.

Tweet Of The Day: Introducing Rosie O’Bannon

I don’t usually spotlight one of my own tweets in this feature, but this one is different. Why? Cos I said so. Actually, it’s because I had a casting suggestion for SNL *before* things started to happen in what we laughingly call real life.  It’s not exactly my tweet, a friend quoted my FB thingee on the tweeter tube. It’s a crazy old virtual world:

Sometimes life imitates social media, a scary thought innit?

With Melissa McCarthy nailing her surprise gig as White House spokesperson Sean Spicer last weekend and Alec Baldwin killing it on the reg as President Trump, Rosie O’Donnell has volunteered to take on the role of Trump’s mysterious chief strategist Steve Bannon if Saturday Night Live is interested.

The comedian and frequent target of ridicule by Trump before he graduated from reality show host to leader of the free world, tweeted out the offer after a Twitter user noted that since the notoriously easy-to-rile commander in chief was, according to a Politico report “rattled” that Spicer was portrayed by a woman on the show’s most recent episode. So… maybe Rosie should “take one for the team?”

I wish I could claim it was my tweet by proxy (Lexy?) that Rosie saw. If I were a Trumper, I’d take credit but I’m not, so I won’t. Repeat after me: you don’t defeat lies with more lies. You defeat it with the truth. In this instance, it was great minds thinking alike or something equally banal.

The fact that the Gum Chewer is in deep shit with the Insult Comedian because a woman played him on SNL is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Throwing the woman he loves to hate in his face will drive Trump bat shit crazier. Remember: he ranted about Rosie in the first debate. I assumed shit like that would lose him the election. I was only half right. Damn you, electoral college.

In the spirit of driving Trump around the twist, here’s Rosie’s Newsweek cover back when it really meant something:

rosie newsweek

That’s right, Rosie’s shtick in the late ’90’s was niceness in contrast to bad hombres Geraldo and Jerry Springer. Rosie clearly did NOT clean up trash teevee. If she had, Trump wouldn’t have gotten a show and he wouldn’t be the whiner-in-chief today. And nobody ever called him nice other than one of his yes men. He’s a nasty, nasty man. Believe me.

I hope SNL takes Rosie up on her offer to play the Prince of B3 Darkness. She’s got the hair for the job. All they have to do is make her look like an unkempt college professor, Bannon-style. If she wears a brown suit and jackboots, she’ll be perfect. It’s irrelevant as to whether Rosie O’Bannon will be as funny as Melissa Spicer. What matters is sending Trump a one-way ticket to what my late father called “the laughing academy.” I can be as politically incorrect as the next guy for a good cause.

Writing this post has given me a benign earworm. Over The Edge is a Ray Davies song about lunacy. A sample lyric will suffice:

My next door neighbour’s totally snapped
He’s gone over the edge
He’s putting up barbed wire barricades
Around the garden hedge
And planting land mines on the lawn
He’s gone barmy
According to his wife, he’s formed a secret army
Ever since he got laid off
Something inside snapped
His wife says he’s gone ’round the twist
Now there’s no turning back
All night he waits in the garden shed
For the enemy to attack
A suburban vigilante
Dressed up in a union jack
He’s over the edge
Yeah, I know that was a long sample but what can I say? Here’s the song itself:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Religion Of Peace edition

Good morning, faithful readers – let’s get suited up and hit the ISO chamber, shall we?

The Freeperati have been taking The Darnold’s “fear of the other” football and running with it like Tony Dorsett on a good day.  What could possibly go wrong?

First, there was this:

Shooting at Quebec City mosque, reports of multiple wounded (Several dead)

Shooting at Quebec City mosque, reports of multiple wounded (Several dead)
CBC Montreal ^ | 01/29/2017

Posted on ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2017‎ ‎8‎:‎44‎:‎03‎ ‎PM by SouthernerFromTheNorth

Quebec City Police are outside of a mosque where multiple gunshots were fired.

Multiple people are feared wounded, according to CBC’s French-language service Radio-Canada. Their condition is not known at this time.

A number of ambulances are parked outside of the Islamic cultural centre of Quebec in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood.

Police have set up a perimeter around the mosque.

1 posted on 1‎/‎29‎/‎2017‎ ‎8‎:‎44‎:‎03‎ ‎PM by SouthernerFromTheNorth
I’m sure the Freeperati can be depended upon to treat this horror with the somber gravity they reserve for all mass murders.
To: SouthernerFromTheNorth

Okay, whose daughter dared to show some ankle?

2 posted on ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2017‎ ‎8‎:‎45‎:‎11‎ ‎PM by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland US. There’d be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)

Yep.
To: SouthernerFromTheNorth
There can be only one decent response to this “tragedy”
Tragedy.   In quotation marks.
…Canada must increase the number of refugees to be granted asylum to 100,000.
5 posted on 1‎/‎29‎/‎2017‎ ‎8‎:‎46‎:‎53‎ ‎PM by Gay State Conservative (Deplorables’ Lives Matter)
To: RummyChick

This is exactly what we need to flush out of the US.

Sorry if anyone is offended…

9 posted on ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2017‎ ‎8‎:‎48‎:‎04‎ ‎PM by Eric in the Ozarks (Baseball players, gangsters and musicians are remembered. But journalists are forgotten.)

Oh, I’m not offended at all.
In fact, I agree with you.
.
bissonnettewinking
.
“NowApproachingStupidityMidnight” has the inside scoop:
To: SE Mom

Unconfirmed, but here are the suspects names:

Bashir al-Taweed and Hassan Matti, two Syrians who entered Canada as refugees last week.

60 posted on 1‎/‎29‎/‎2017‎ ‎10‎:‎03‎:‎12‎ ‎PM by NowApproachingMidnight (Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.)

I KNEW IT!!!
.
Then, there was this :
Report: Quebec City Mosque shooter yelled, “Allahu Akbar”
Report: Quebec City Mosque shooter yelled, “Allahu Akbar”
Heavy.com ^ | 1/29/2017 | Jessica McBride
Posted on ‎1‎/‎30‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎48‎:‎27‎ ‎AM by NetAddictedSorry, I can’t copy text right now.

1 posted on ‎1‎/‎30‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎48‎:‎27‎ ‎AM by NetAddicted

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Click on the “continue reading” to continue reading, infidel!
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Continue reading

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You Can’t Argue with the Need to Perform

A story in a bunch of tweets from last week:

I keep seeing all these bewildered reactions whenever some massive Trump scandal or screwup or conspiracy is exposed. Why doesn’t this “stick?” Why doesn’t this change anyone’s mind? He’s going to let Paul Ryan gut their Medicare. Why doesn’t that matter? He’s hiring the entirety of the financial crisis and letting it run the economy. Why aren’t Trump voters feeling betrayed? Why isn’t THIS or THIS or THIS the breaking point for anyone who voted for him? Because none of that interferes with the central reason they voted for him. They keep telling you. They voted for him to give a big middle finger to women, black people, libtards, intellectuals, bureaucrats, feminazis, protesters, immigrants legal and otherwise, politicians generally and anything else that bugged them.

And he may be betraying every campaign promise but he’s not breaking the only one they cared about: The one to make them feel like they mattered again.

It’s performative. It’s the entire Republican thing, from before George W. Bush probably, and we keep wanting to make it make sense. Performances don’t make sense. You can’t argue me out of putting green and gold on and tromping up the stairs to Lambeau in 13 degree weather to watch my quarterback throw four interceptions while his receivers treat every oncoming football like it’s made out of bees. You can’t do it. I want to be a Packer fan. These people want to be FOR TRUMP.

And FOR TRUMP means they get to feel powerful. FOR TRUMP means they get to bully right back. FOR TRUMP means they get to tell their liberal sister-in-law that she’s a stupid bitch. FOR TRUMP means instead of respecting a black or brown person, they get to call that person names. FOR TRUMP means they get to turn off that nagging instinct, nurtured by the churches they say mean so much to them, that maybe they should help the big scary world that’s burning down outside their windows. FOR TRUMP means they get to feel like being mad is enough.

(Do some of them have genuine economic problems that could have been addressed by Democratic policies had Democrats not been sucking off every investment banker they saw? OF COURSE. That doesn’t address the reflexive FUCK YOU that is the response to anything Trump does now.)

It’s part and parcel of the performative aspect of politics generally. Try telling a movement pro-lifer that the best way to raise abortion rates is to outlaw abortion. They’re not going to argue the facts with you. They’re going to BE AGAINST abortion. They’re going to wear the T-shirt and they’re going to vote because they want to keep that part of the character they invented and put on like a suit. You can’t talk them out of their clothes, God’s sakes.

We used to say, all us internet grandparents who were around during the early days post-9/11, that this had given a lot of the population the excuse to be the assholes they’d always wanted to be. A lot of the bewilderment from well-meaning white progressives right now is the inability to accept that the simmering anti-lib dad anger, quiet nice-lady racism and selfishness of their parents and their parents’ friends wasn’t all that different from the white supremacists screaming in the street. When you get right down to it, they both always voted the same way. The former might be more dangerous, in the long run.

So what do you DO, a couple of people asked on Twitter. If facts don’t matter and arguments don’t matter and scandals don’t matter, do you just give up on these people? And my immediate reaction was yes, and with a couple of days to think about it I still think, kind of?

Kind of means you start treating them like the addicts they are. They’re high as kites on talk-radio distortions and you don’t sit down with a cokehead and calmly debate the merits of smoking up some pure clean LIFE instead. You get that cokehead into rehab if you can, but for God’s sake you stop giving him money. You stop feeding the beast with empathetic articles and moving to the right on social issues and other useless mollifications that I’m sure many highly paid consultants in DC are advising right now.

You find ways to save the people being hurt by the person all this performance put in power. You rally for the immigrants and you call your congressmen and you write to your senators and you volunteer at the shelter and you do what you can to save as many as you can. That’s where you put your energy. You take care of the person the rage-addicts hurt.

Maybe some of them will come around. When they do, when they get woke, you treat them gently, like newborns to the world of sense, and you give them work to do too. You don’t give them a medal for showing up but you give them a job. The more people have to do, the less time they’ll have to stew on the ways in which the world has wronged them.

And when comes the time to vote again? When that comes around? You make sure you and yours are THERE. Because there are more good people than bad, even if there are more quiet people than loud. You vote this shit down and out, you watch it die, and you move on.

A.

Your President* Speaks: Name That Bad Hombre

I didn’t plan to do another Your President* Speaks post until next week but the Insult Comedian has had a vintage day. We learned that he hung up on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, threatened to chase Pancho Villa into Mexico if he can dig up Black Jack Pershing, and has no earthly idea who Frederick Douglass was. I know you’ve already seen it, but let the stupid wash over you anew:

“I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.”

We’ve also learned that Black History month is about-you guessed it-Donald Trump. I knew he was a blackguard but had no idea he was a black dude…

I started some shenanigans on my Facebook feed tonight. I thought I should share:

After kicking that around awhile. I decided that game should be called-drum roll-Name That Bad Hombre. We can throw names out and guess if the Insult Comedian knows who the hell they are. The answer must be in the form of a Trumpism. Remember, he speaks Jerkish, not English so keep it simple, stupid. Speaking of KISS:

Gene Simmons? Yes. He was on Celebrity Apprentice. Amazing tongue, he’s doing a tremendous job with it.

Meatloaf? Yes. Cried too much when he was on Celebrity Apprentice. But Meatloaf is amazing, especially with ketchup.

Philip Roth? Not sure. Was he the gambler who went to Cuba with Tony Soprano? Tony is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.

Beethoven? One of the beatniks. A bunch of bad, smelly dudes. My yuuuuuuuge wall will keep them out.

Zapata? One of the cartel guys, right? A very bad hombre. Believe me.

Susan B. Anthony? Was she the ugly skirt with the ax? A very, very nasty woman. Sad.

George Patton? The General whose name I mentioned during my record-setting landslide win. Not sure what war he was in but I love his leather: Patton leather. Beautiful.

I could go on and on but I won’t. Name That Bad Hombre could easily turn into a tremendous drinking game and we all need to drink more while the Trump-Bannon regime is in power. Believe me.

 

Philip Roth On Trumpism

Roth

There’s been a lot of chatter about dystopian novels of late. I cannot imagine why. I’ll save my take on 1984 for another time, but if you haven’t read Philip Roth’s 2004 novel The Plot Against America, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. In the book, Charles Lindbergh is nominated by the GOP in 1940 and defeats Franklin Roosevelt on a platform of  isolationism and appeasement with the help of Nazi Germany. In the real world, the Nazis were paying off prominent isolationist Senators who, despite the rhetoric, put America second and their wallets first. It all sounds painfully familiar, doesn’t it?

The 83-year-old Roth has retired from writing but shared his views about Trumpism via email with the New Yorker’s Judith Thurman. Below are some excerpts of their electronic epistolary exchange. Try saying that four times. Dare ya.

Roth wrote in the Times Book Review that “The Plot Against America” was not intended as a political roman à clef. Rather, he wanted to dramatize a series of what-ifs that never came to pass in America but were “somebody else’s reality”—i.e., that of the Jews of Europe. “All I do,” he wrote, “is to defatalize the past—if such a word exists—showing how it might have been different and might have happened here.”

Last week, Roth was asked, via e-mail, if it has happened here. He responded, “It is easier to comprehend the election of an imaginary President like Charles Lindbergh than an actual President like Donald Trump. Lindbergh, despite his Nazi sympathies and racist proclivities, was a great aviation hero who had displayed tremendous physical courage and aeronautical genius in crossing the Atlantic in 1927. He had character and he had substance and, along with Henry Ford, was, worldwide, the most famous American of his day. Trump is just a con artist. The relevant book about Trump’s American forebear is Herman Melville’s ‘The Confidence-Man,’ the darkly pessimistic, daringly inventive novel—Melville’s last—that could just as well have been called ‘The Art of the Scam.’ ”

It’s hard to argue that point. Trump has become the most successful flim-flam man in American history. In fact, his white nationalist regime has stolen our history and put it on a perilous path of putrid populism. I love the smell of alliteration in the morning.

Another quote from the great novelist:

“It isn’t Trump as a character, a human type—the real-estate type, the callow and callous killer capitalist—that outstrips the imagination. It is Trump as President of the United States.

“I was born in 1933,” he continued, “the year that F.D.R. was inaugurated. He was President until I was twelve years old. I’ve been a Roosevelt Democrat ever since. I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English.”

That’s a tremendous analysis of a very, very bad dude. Believe me.

I would love to hear Roth’s take on the brown eminence behind Trump, Steve Bannon. I’ve been shouting from the rooftops about Bannon since last summer. I’m glad people are finally taking notice of this sinister albeit rumpled figure. Trump is not only Putin’s useful idiot, he’s Bannon’s as well.

I’ll give Philip Roth the last word:

“My novel wasn’t written as a warning. I was just trying to imagine what it would have been like for a Jewish family like mine, in a Jewish community like Newark, had something even faintly like Nazi anti-Semitism befallen us in 1940, at the end of the most pointedly anti-Semitic decade in world history. I wanted to imagine how we would have fared, which meant I had first to invent an ominous American government that threatened us. As for how Trump threatens us, I would say that, like the anxious and fear-ridden families in my book, what is most terrifying is that he makes any and everything possible, including, of course, the nuclear catastrophe.”

 

Save One

We are arguing about how much of the house is on fire, with the refugee/immigrant ban. We are arguing closet versus attic versus living room, instead of picking up a damn bucket and putting the fire out:

President Trump and his aides love to cite a small number and a big number in order to minimize the impact of the president’s executive order suspending the visas of citizens of seven countries.

But these figures are incredibly misleading, so let’s go through the math.

Let’s not, because it doesn’t fucking matter. I don’t care if this executive order affected one person.  I don’t care if this hadn’t affected ANYONE yet. In no possible world are any of our laws tested constitutionally based on how many people they affect. That’s not the measurement. That’s not the qualifier. You don’t get to say well, we only screwed over a dozen immigrant kids, so until we get to triple digits we’re cool. That’s not how any of this works.

Our laws were not designed to save as many as possible. Our laws were designed to save us all, and that means saving one. One person. One child. One family. One mother or father or brother or sister. Our laws were designed to weigh us all, one against the other, and say no one of us is worth more than any of the others.

It’s why our presidents, our congressmen, are subject to our laws. It’s why you can bring suit against those holding the highest offices in the land. It’s why you and I can — or should be able to — avail ourselves of the same legal system as someone who got here last week.

And that includes potential terrorists, for all the wingnuts in the cheap seats. I know you all think life is a nonstop episode of 24 and if President Trump doesn’t personally electrode a Syrian dude’s balls in the Roosevelt Room then we’ll all die in a nuclear attack, but a) that is not how anything is going to happen and b) at no point would such a scenario be endangered by said Syrian dude invoking a right to counsel. If Trump is hooking jumper cables to his nethers he’s already figured out that nobody can hear him scream.

Meanwhile, the non-terrorist families that just want to come here, get jobs, spend money at the local Wal-Mart and watch American TV are going to get handcuffed and deported back to the places we explicitly encouraged them to flee, and you’ll pardon me if I don’t want to wait until they’re a certain percentage of travelers or if they’re especially promising at geometry or any of the other bullshit narratives that have sprung up in the past 72 (holy shit, only 72) hours.

They’re human beings, and we are America. Let’s not go through the math.

A.

Bannon’s B3 Brownshirts & The Chaos Principle

It’s official: Donald Trump had the worst first week of any President* in American history. It was so bad that I debated with a friend as to whether he was already the worst ever. I still think it’s too early to tell since Buchanan and W are responsible for wars and economic calamity. Trump hasn’t passed Andrew Johnson either BUT he’s building a strong case for worst ever and he’s only been at it for 10 days. I don’t think our cause benefits from hyperbole and overstatement. You can only fight lies with the truth and delusion with reality.

I admitted the other day to knowing very little about higher maths. I have, however, heard of the Chaos Principle:

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.

It looks like Steve Bannon and his B3 Brownshirts are inspired by the Chaos Principle, at least by analogy. Team Trump is trying to inject so much chaos and confusion into our polity that repression will be required to maintain order. I seriously doubt if the Insult Comedian himself has such a plan: all he ever does is wing it without thought to the implications. Bannon, however, has emerged as first among equals in the West Wing. He’s capable of complex, devious, and downright evil thought. Bannon has Trump’s ear and the Dear Leader Wannabe seems to agree with the last person he spoke to.

In short, Bannon and his fellow white nationalists want to create the circumstances in which a right-wing revolution is possible. Those circumstances do not currently exist. Bitching about the government is as American as apple pie, it doesn’t amount to instant homegrown fascism. That is definitely a long-term threat but we have the mechanisms to stop it: people power and lawyers, lawyers, lawyers. Political courage on the part of elected officials seems to be in short supply but the longer this constitutional crisis lasts the bolder they will become. Talk of collaboration with the Trumpers has become much less common since they came to power.

The good news is that Team Trump’s Muslim ban was issued without co-ordination with the agencies obliged to enforce it and they didn’t even run it by their own lawyers. That makes it eminently susceptible to legal challenge. It was, apparently, pulled out of Rudy Noun Verb 9/11’s ass:

I’ll tell you the whole history of it. So when he first announced it he said, “Muslim ban.” He called me up and said, “Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.” I put a commission together with Judge Mukasey, with Congressman McCaul, Pete King, a whole group of other very expert lawyers on this. And what we did was we focused on, instead of religion, danger. The areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis. Not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible, and that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.

That is, of course, nonsense. The order discriminates against people because of their religion, and all the lies in the world won’t change that. The fact that an exception was made for Christians from the affected countries is proof of discriminatory intent as is Giuliani’s need to brag about his role in the ban. He’s really turning into his master. Giuliani’s success in masterminding the Comey coup has gone to his head, and he was already a raging egomaniac. This is terrific evidence for the legal eagles to pounce on. Thanks, Rudy. I can imagine Justice Anthony Kennedy’s head spinning as I write this. I am as likely to vote Republican as he is to uphold this executive order if it reaches SCOTUS.

This policy is based on Islamophobic fantasies, not reality. That’s a recurring theme for Team Trump’s Bannon wing. In addition to the Chaos Principle, they believe in what one might call the Goebbels corollary: the bigger the lie, the more believable it is. This is propaganda, not spin. The MSM is finally showing signs of coming to grips with that. It’s a pity that they didn’t do so during the late campaign. The MSM and the “Clinton is just as bad as Trump” crowd bear a lot of responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in. I hope the Steiners and Busters enjoyed the events of this weekend. They have a share of the blame. I may “Nazi punch” the next purity troll who tells me their vote didn’t matter because they were in a red state or some other lame excuse. Every vote in every election matters.

The Trumpers have clearly overreached. The order placing Steve Bannon on the National Security Council is the best example I can think of. That body has been moribund for many years BUT excluding the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sends a dangerous signal that Steve Bannon is running the show. It doesn’t get much worse than that but the order’s impact is symbolic for now. For now. That’s always the rub with this crowd.

One thing I’ve noticed about Bannon and his B3 Brownshirts is that they admire Soviet-style tactics. They’ve done some things that Stalin would have applauded such as placing what amounts to “political commissars” at cabinet departments and agencies. This sort of convergence of the far left and extreme right doesn’t surprise me at all.  This creeping Sovietism/Putinism is also reflected by their Holocaust remembrance day proclamation. It’s the first time an American administration has referred to the Holocaust without mentioning Jews. They’re pandering to the Holocaust denialists and minimizers. What’s next? An invitation for Davids Irving and Duke to visit the White House? Nothing would surprise me in the Chaos Principle era.

The one piece of advice I have for the nascent anti-Trump movement is to pace yourselves. The world is a complicated place and it cannot be changed in a day. This is going to be a long, hard slog and burn-out is a risk. Make sure to do whatever it is you do for fun It’s a lesson that New Orleanians learned during the post-Katrina/Federal Flood era. We were widely criticized for having Carnival in 2006. We knew better. It was necessary for our collective mental health. We continued rebuilding and pressuring the local, state, federal government for assistance but we took time out to enjoy life. It’s something that we can teach the rest of the country. There *is* a constitutional crisis now but stopping it won’t be helped by freaking out. Instead of freaking out: become better informed about American political history, and organize, organize, organize.

Vive les Maquis.

Your President* Speaks: The Trump Torture Challenge

There’s so much going on right now that I almost don’t know to begin. In the spirit of the Insult Comedian, I lied about that. It seems to be contagious, y’all. We begin with a brief post followed by a longer one later in the day. Uh oh, I’m speaking in the third person. Can I blame it on watching  Victoria or The Crown? Why the hell not: Trump does impulsive shit whilst watching teevee, so why not me?

The Trump Torture Challenge:  In between whining about bad press coverage and causing chaos at the nation’s airports, Trump has been talking torture. He likes it and he thinks it works. I think he learned this from 24. He does not, however, think that waterboarding is torture:

“So, waterboarding used to be used because they said it really wasn’t torture,” Trump told Hannity. “It was the one step slightly below torture. That’s why waterboarding…”

Hannity jumped in to say, “That’s why it was legal.”

“I mean, torture is real torture, okay?” Trump continued. “Waterboarding is — I’m sure it’s not pleasant, but waterboarding was just short of torture.”

The President added that he has spoken to people who said “absolutely it works.”

If it’s merely unpleasant, I hereby challenge the Current Occupant to undergo waterboarding. He *was* willing to subject the nutria pelt atop his head to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

It would be all manly and shit if he clambered to the top of Trump Tower and got waterboarded. You claim it’s not torture, prove it, Donald.

It’s time for some lagniappe in a segment I call,

Delta Ate My Homework: Twitter is where the Insult Comedian pitches his public toddler tantrums and searches for scapegoats. He was at it again this morning:

He should try blaming Russian hackers. People *might* believe that. Of course, his BFF Vlad would not like that one bit. And Trump has gotta dance with the ones who brung him to the White House. It’s hard to imagine him dancing with Comey who is a tall motherfucker but Putin is the right size to tango with Trump.

That concludes this edition of Your President* Speaks.

Your President* Speaks: Into The Muir Woods Edition

The advent of the Trump administration means it’s time to revive a recurring feature that predates my time at First Draft. It was predominantly used by Holden when he was the press gaggle maven here and President Malaprop was in office. Like Charlie Pierce, I have added an asterisk to the word President* since I vow to never refer to the Insult Comedian as such. Holy Ford Fucking Frick, Batman. That was the name of the baseball commish who put an asterisk in the record book after Roger Maris’ 61 homers in ’61. His middle name was not fucking but what’s a bit of dramatic license between friends? Frick the motherfrakker anyway.

Speaking of amateur theatrics, the whiner-in-chief gave an interview to ABC anchor David Muir. It had nothing to do with either Muir Woods or Stephen Sondheim but a pun is a pun is a pun. Hmm, Demure Woods sounds like a porn star name…

Let’s start with Trump’s “illegals cost me the popular vote” lie. I’ve heard of sore losers before but a sore winner is a new one on me.

MUIR: What you have presented so far has been debunked. It’s been called ….. false.

TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. Take a look at the Pew reports.

MUIR: I called the author of the Pew report last night. And he told me that they found no evidence of voter fraud.

TRUMP: Really? Then why did he write the report?

MUIR: He said no evidence of voter fraud.

TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he write the report?  According to Pew report, then he’s — then he’s groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they wanna write something that you wanna hear but not necessarily millions of people wanna hear or have to hear.

You know what the old song says, true love travels on a grovel road.

Next up, Trump’s dubious claims that his CIA speech (wherein he said the word I 120 times) was a tremendous success:

 MUIR: Mr. President, I just have one more question on this. And it’s — it’s bigger picture. You took some heat after your visit to the CIA in front of that hallowed wall, 117 stars — of those lost at the CIA. You talked about other things. But you also talked about crowd size at the inauguration, about the size of your rallies, about covers on Time magazine. And I just wanna ask you when does all of that matter just a little less? When do you let it roll off your back now that you’re the president?

TRUMP: OK, so I’m glad you asked. So, I went to the CIA, my first step. I have great respect for the people in intelligence and CIA. I’m — I don’t have a lot of respect for, in particular one of the leaders. But that’s okay. But I have a lot of respect for the people in the CIA.

That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, OK, I’ll mention you — we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming and — and they were all CIA. There was — somebody was asking Sean — “Well, were they Trump people that were put–” we don’t have Trump people. They were CIA people.

That location was given to me. Mike Pence went up before me, paid great homage to the wall. I then went up, paid great homage to the wall. I then spoke to the crowd. I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time. What you do is take — take out your tape — you probably ran it live. I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it.

Peyton Manning spoke at Langley? We all know the Darnold brought a claque of sycophants along to cheer him on just in case the “CIA Nazis” were unresponsive. The ovation was tremendous. Believe me.

After going on some more about the inaugural crowd, Trump compared himself favorably to past Oval Ones:

I can be the most presidential person ever, other than the great Abe Lincoln.

I have my doubts. With the obvious exception of W, most past Presidents could speak the language above a 3rd grade level. It’s nice that Donald thinks at least one previous President ranks above him though.

There was more crazy in the interview but I think three entries will do. I don’t want to, uh, torture you with Trumpisms, after all. Elsewhere on the internets, I referred to this interview in a Graftonesque manner: B is for bonkers, berserk, and bat shit crazy. That about sums it up.

That concludes this edition of Your President Speaks.

 

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – one toe back in the water edition

OK, folks – time to quit posting my musings from the Book Of Faces, and get back to some wingnut mockery.

But slowly….Let’s start with just one – Fake Flag Arms Alert!!

Donald Trump’s Bodyguard Has Fake Arms For This Reason
Frag Hero ^

Posted on 1/22/2017, 1:57:10 AM by TigerClaws

After yesterday’s presidential inauguration, many members of the military and law enforcement community noticed something very unusual about one of Trump’s bodyguards. The secret service agent, who happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitman Agent 47, seemed to have very stiff arms that were in an unusual resting position. donald trump bodyguard fake arms Upon further review of video and images, they noticed his hands stayed in that exact same position for hours.  The conclusion they reached, was that he did indeed have tactical fake arms. Take a look at the video and you can even see how they remain unusually still while he’s walking:

1 posted on 1/22/2017, 1:57:10 AM by TigerClaws
Wow.  “tactical fake arms”.  As opposed to “strategic fake arms”,  I suppose.
.
(Honestly, when I saw the thread title, I thought it might be referring to The Darnold’s Schutstaffel not being allowed to carry weapons, so maybe the SS fixed them up with look-alike water pistols or something so their collective manhood wouldn’t be impugned)
.
Freeperati?  How say ye?
To: TigerClaws

A few movie scenes come to mind…

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Gangs of New York

Spies Like Us.

3 posted on 1/22/2017, 2:03:15 AM by Organic Panic (Rich White Man Evicts Poor Black Family From Public Housing – MSNBCPBSCNNNYTABC)

….A Fistful Of Yen….
klahn

To: TigerClaws

Old news, i saw a stripper with an M16 for a leg……

Did you have a premature discharge?

But….i would love to get a fake arm and turn it into a flamethrower.

2 posted on 1/22/2017, 2:01:26 AM by Daniel Ramsey (MAGA)

yodareallife

To: TigerClaws

If this were true, what would be the point? Everyone would know this. Why use the distracting fake arms, after the second time. Why not just hold the gun under the coat?

Because they’re not fucking allowed to carry guns.

It’s like the fake lone pine tree in the city next to the freeway. Clearly it is a cell tower. Why bother with the tree facade?

5 posted on 1/22/2017, 2:09:26 AM by Yaelle

To: Yaelle

Cuz the neighbors like it. Or the birds like it.

It’s to avoid “visual pollution”- the same reason we oughta ban any more wymmyn’s marches.

8 posted on 1/22/2017, 2:16:44 AM by Pelham (the refusal to Deport is defacto Amnesty

Ban in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.
Oh – and if this is “visual pollution”, sign me up :
womensmarchmessing
.
To: Yaelle

I flipped the bird to them for a full quarter mile including right in front of the police station. Some say a perfect Christian wouldn’t do that. Correct, I’m not perfect  a Christian.

12 posted on 1/22/2017, 2:44:51 AM by steve86 (Prophecies of Maelmhaedhoc O’Morgair (Latin form: Malachy))

FIFY.
More after the fake jump..
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Alternative Facts Check

The tweeting classes had a lot of fun with Kellyanne Conway’s latest whopper. You know, the one about Sean Spicer and “alternative facts.” The only surprising thing about this episode is that *anyone* is surprised. This is how Team Trump campaigned and it’s how they plan to govern. The mendacity starts at the top: Trump is the liar-in-chief.

The Insult Comedian is a pathological liar. He’s gotten away with it his entire life. He lies like you or I would scratch an itch. His egregious lying got him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and there is no reason to think that he will stop. It’s what he does best. Everything about him must be the biggest or the best. If it’s not, he makes shit up.

The constant lying about insignificant things like crowd size will eventually take its toll on his staff. We’ll learn soon enough who among then has even a scintilla of integrity. Proximity to power is intoxicating but even power junkies get tired of being demeaned and insulted. Speaking of which, Trump has already dissed his hapless press secretary:

Loyalty is a one-way street in Trumpland. He is incapable of telling the truth without embellishment even when it’s in his self-interest. And he expects others to do likewise even on trivial matters. It’s what psychopaths do.

Past Presidents and Press Secretaries lied about things they believed to be important. This group lies just to stay in practice. Welcome to the post-truth world.