Fucking Bagpiper Strikes Again

I had hesitated to post this bit I wrote the other day, because, you know, we’re all overdosed on the inescapable partisan poison, the piece could seem to put my Catholic brothers and sisters in a bad light (because of a few supremely ‘bad apples’) and everyone knows what a shameless, smug, provocative contrarian piece of shit Trump’s personal AG is — so, I decided to leave it be.  

Then I heard Barr’s comments today about “communities” (black and brown people) having to show more “respect” for law enforcement or they’d find police turning their backs on them when police protection was needed.   You have to love the way this self-righteous pig-faced fuck just continues doubling down in his righteous assholishness, tirelessly carrying the president’s piss bucket, including, it now appears, POTUS’s  most racist urine (which is champagne to some of the finest in his 39% base).  

Barr tells an audience of law enforcement officials that  THEY (complaining urban communities of brown people) have to show “more respect” to police or the ungrateful bastards will “find themselves without the police protection they need”.  You don’t have to read between the lines here:

“They have to start showing more than they do – the respect and support that law enforcement deserves,” Barr said. “And if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”

 Read all about it.

So, yeah, fuck that fawning lapdog of American autocrats.  Here’s the post.

Once again, as before his cunningly orchestrated slow-motion release of the “exonerating” Mueller Report, AG Bagpiper Bill Barr gets out in front of a DOJ report on an investigation to impose his counterfactual spin on it for the sharply divided public.   He initiated a criminal investigation into partisan traitors in Obama’s DOJ who allegedly used the infamous Steele Dossier as a pretext to launch a campaign of illegal “spying” on candidate Trump and after his election started a baseless partisan witch hunt against the innocent president-elect.   The new report, apparently, does not confirm this anti-Trump conspiracy.   Barr comes out swinging, a week before he releases the report, giving a spin that will dominate and muddy the public discussion until the conspiracy-debunking report is released and long afterwards.   FOX will have the AG’s Trump-vindicating soundbites to play to Trump’s beloved low-information voters through the 2020 election.

Barr is a partisan, a reactionary and a shameless front man for a shameless president.   A conservative religious Catholic who went to all the finest private schools (he graduated from Roy Cohn’s alma mater, Horace Mann), during a time when radical social changes were being demanded by organized activists, he was raised by a father who seethed against the erosion of morality.  As reported recently in the Vanity Fair piece about Barr and his father Donald Barr, Bagpiper’s beloved father Donald used his influence as imperious headmaster of the Dalton School to energetically, sometimes unscrupulously, fight the winds of social change blowing in the late 1960s.  The elder Barr hated the pot smoking, libertine young anarchists irrationally intent on bringing down the system, trying to swing the pendulum away from discipline, class and tradition toward chaos.  Donald Barr was never shy about being a provocative right-wing  contrarian, even when it eventually cost him his job as headmaster at Dalton.  

Donald Barr’s son Bill apparently feels the same way as his tough as nails dad.  What we need is morality, good, old-fashioned Christian piety and a government led by a powerful and unchallengeable CEO who will do God’s will here on earth.  It continues to amaze me when a religious Christian endorses someone like Donald Trump in the name of Christ, though, really, at this point, why should it amaze anyone?     As a Jew, admittedly, I have only the most fleeting understanding of the teachings of Jesus.   I always thought Jesus’s message had to do with humility, modesty, protecting the weak, loving one’s neighbors, being eternally ready to forgive.  Then again, what the hell do I know about it?

Still, it’s hard not to notice, in addition to the many devout Evangelical defenders of the Flawed Vessel of God’s will that is Mr. Trump, the several prominent, very conservative Catholics who have risen to the top ranks of government under the magnificently Imperfect Orange Vessel.   We have the two Jesuit educated Georgetown Prep alumni Trump appointed to the Supreme Court, Messers Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.   We have Barr.  We have the incomparable Mick Mulvaney.   We have, it emerges, current lead White House counsel, Pat Cippolone, a Catholic so impressively pious he influenced Fox’s Laura Ingraham (Cippolone’s wife worked for Fox, that’s how they met) to convert to Catholicism.   Cippolone, we note, is a pitbull for the president, in the same league as blustering bulldog Barr.

God only knows why I am even writing this…

The Body Knows

In the same way that animals instantly know when a tsunami or other natural disaster is about to happen, and begin fleeing the soon-to-be killing zone, our bodies know many things before we are aware of them.

Years ago I watched my father bully his granddaughter, my niece.   She was about five, it was the evening before her birthday and my father asked her where she wanted to eat the next day to celebrate.  She told him and he shook his head.  No way.   When she tried to argue a case she shouldn’t have needed to argue, her grandfather cut her off with a smiling “you show me a girl who insists on going to Shells and I’ll show you a girl who doesn’t get the bike her grandparents bought for her.”  This bike, by the way, a sparkly little purple number with training wheels and girlish streamers coming out of the handlebars, long coveted by the birthday girl, had already been purchased.

The girl’s parents remained silent.  I tried to reassure my niece that we’d go wherever she wanted, but she ran upstairs crying.   A few minutes later, when I went up to say goodnight before heading back to where I was staying with my father, the bully, my niece smiled and pretended she was fine.   She’d been taught to do this and was already, at five, a master of the fake, but very ingratiating, smile.  I later learned that as soon as we left she ran into the bathroom and vomited.    She was 100% right to vomit.   She couldn’t have articulated, perhaps, the exact reason she was puking her guts out, but any observer of the scene with her mean grandfather and her silent parents could get a pretty good idea of what had upset her so much.  Her body had no hesitation to vividly express her feelings for her.

Five or six weeks ago I pushed myself a little too hard on a nine mile hike that, with my arthritic knees, was a little too strenuous.   The hike was beautiful and painless, except for the steep, rocky descent and climb back up which were very painful for my knees (the descent had been particularly excruciating).  I needed to rest after the climb, as I’ve learned to do periodically when walking, to take the stress off my knees for a few minutes, but my fellow hikers, none of whom have arthritis, continued happily on and I grimly struggled to catch up over those last few miles.  

I felt fine after the hike and woke up the next day, after a long sleep, feeling fine. That evening, in the car, I suddenly found myself unable to speak.   The sounds I made were the incomprehensible sounds of nonfluent aphasia.   One syllable expletives, expressing my frustration at not being able to speak, were about the only intelligible things I could get out.  

By the time we got to the ER, a few minutes later, my episode of transient nonfluent aphasia was over.  I was able to explain exactly what I’d experienced during those twelve to fifteen minutes of not being able to speak.   Sekhnet reminded me, in telling the doctors, that I’d maintained my ability to say “fuck” and “shit” and things like that.   I was rushed through several tests to rule out an ongoing stroke and determine the severity of this TIA, transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke.   None of the tests showed any reason to keep me in the hospital, I felt fine, my blood pressure and heart rate were normal.   They gave me a pill to take, an anti-coagulant called Plavix (clopidogrel to you and me) that is apparently part of the post-stroke protocol.   I swallowed the first dose in the ER, as instructed, and filled a prescription for the drug the following day, as I found a neurologist to follow up with.

Before it was time to take my second dose of clopidogrel (where do they get these names?) I had dinner and went for my customary walk.   About a mile from the house I suddenly experienced severe abdominal cramps.   I stopped and waited for the rumbling to pass, googling the side effects of clopidogrel (prominent among them were bloating, cramps and diarrhea), and, in the moment that followed, learned the terrible truth of the cliche about when you’re old never pass a bathroom and never trust a fart.  I have long understood the first part of that adage, and I live by it.  The wisdom of that odd bit about never trusting a fart suddenly became clear to me for the first time.

The back of my pants suddenly felt damp and, I’ll be damned, there was a little wet spot,  quickly becoming a cold wet spot.  I shook off my horror and headed home in mounting discomfort, my intestines groaning as I made my way through the residential neighborhood I walk in, where, I thought ruefully, every house I passed has several bathrooms.  As I got close to the house I called Sekhnet in panic, telling her to unlock the door and clear the path to the bathroom.  It was one of the most terrible miles I’ve ever walked.  Arriving at home at last, I pulled open the unlocked door, climbed the first step, and as my foot hit the second, learned the sinister Latin meaning of Plavix:  “explosive diarrhea while walking”.

The neurologist I consulted told me to discontinue the aptly named clopidogrel and I did.  The trauma to my excretory system persisted, day after day, week after week.  Clopidogrel had apparently ripped the hell out of my insides.   This side effect is only experienced by a statistically very small number of patients, and there appears to be no lawsuit related to it among the many against the makers of the drug for several other terrible, even deadly, side-effects.   If I’d had a serious stroke or heart attack, most doctors would have insisted I take this drug.  For a suspected mini-stroke, the protocol apparently requires it.   But it’s some fucked up shit if you fall into that statistically insignificant category who get 100% of side effect number 26, I can tell you from hard personal experience.

As the sudden spasms in my colon continued, punctuated by stirring episodes of what can only be described as a spastic colon, I began a liquid diet.  After 48 hours without solid food, the spasms eventually subsided.   I cautiously began introducing solid foods, noting on paper what I was eating every day.  Brown rice was fine, so were carrots, oddly enough and popcorn, steel cut oatmeal and whole wheat bagels were fine, even with tofu spread, tofu was also fine, persimmons and grapes were OK, raisins immediately brought back all of the symptoms.  

This has been an ongoing dance since October 21.  It’s been improving slowly and by Thanksgiving I ate virtually everything (our host made everything vegan, except for the turkey), in moderate portions, and I was fine.   Even the fine scotch went down without any problem.  I figured I was finally OK again.    Last night, throwing yer proverbial caution to the proverbial wind, I ate a normal dinner with friends, celebrating Sekhnet.  A few hours later my colon announced, with an unmistakable lack of ambiguity, that I’d once again be paying certain prices for my imprudence.

It occurred to me the other day that my colon is absolutely right to be freaking out, roiling and lashing out spastically.  

I follow the news closely and even do a little side reading to get some of the backstories.   The most recent post here, for example, is about the little side story that 3/5 of the president’s original campaign brain trust are now convicted felons.   The fourth was fired early on and was not directly implicated in any improprieties or illegal acts.   The fifth, a pugnacious, crew-cutted twat who should have been held in contempt of Congress for his open contempt, started a lucrative lobbying business across the street from the White House with direct, friendly, personal access to the most “transactional” president in history.   Presumably he is now very wealthy– and loyal to his president beyond question.

The Democrats, we hear, are reluctant to bring the damning conclusions of the Mueller Report (based on specific sworn testimony) into Trump’s impeachment.   (My colon tightens slightly as I write these sentences).  Their reasons for this are practical.  They cannot prove, without sworn testimony from those same witnesses, that the president engaged in the pattern of obstruction Mueller laid out because — the president continues to obstruct access to all fact witnesses who testified to Mueller under oath and all related documents.  It could take more than a year for the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the president’s clearly obstructive behavior.  (An abdominal sonogram ruled out an obstruction in my digestive system, by the way).

This ongoing obstruction by Trump and his myrmidons continues the pattern of the president’s successful obstruction of the original investigation into his campaign’s collusion in massive Russian interference in the 2016 election.  Trump interfered enough, by continually denouncing the “witch hunt” “hoax”, refusing to cooperate, giving “inadequate” evasive, lawyerly written answers and intimidating, praising and floating pardons to witnesses, to ensure that the investigation produced “insufficient evidence” of criminal activities, though Mueller’s report also, explicitly, if almost silently, did not exonerate him of the crime of obstruction of justice.   Mueller’s investigation also put several of Trump’s closest associates (3 of the 5 originals) in prison for felonies related to this obstruction.

My gut correctly points out that it is not intemperate, nor hyperbole, to call the aggressive, diehard, fact-denying followers of Mr. Trump Nazis.   Nazi officials under Mr. Hitler were supremely ambitious men guided by only one principle: das Führerprinzip, the “leader principle” [1].   This meant their supreme duty was loyal, absolute obedience to the will of their leader, their Führer.  As Nazis themselves would put it, even the fine, decent Nazis our president praised after their march in Charlottesville: Führerworte haben Gesetzkraft — the leader’s words have the force of law.   Keep repeating any theory Trump spouts — that is the surest ticket to the leader’s approval and support.

Check out the party of Lincoln now, says my twisting colon.  It’s the party of Trump. We read that he now actually controls all the money the RNC raises, he decides which candidates get party funds for their campaigns and how much they get.   The party strongman is unprincipled, uncurious, viciously opinionated, vindictive, petty, cruel.   The perfect kind of man to blindly obey, if you are an ambitious Nazi.  When Nazis are ascendant, and “facts” no longer even exist, guys like me start getting the heebie jeebies.  So I don’t blame my guts at all for being in an uproar, even as I do my best to calm them.

I sip my broth and think about making a cup of tea.  Yes, my twitchy colon says, a little pineapple chamomile sounds about right.



{1]   The Führerprinzip [ˈfyːʀɐpʀɪnˌtsiːp] (About this soundlisten) (German for “leader principle”) prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that “the Führers word is above all written law” and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of this end.[1] In actual political usage, it refers mainly to the practice of dictatorship within the ranks of a political party itself, and as such, it has become an earmark of political fascism.


I wish it was different…

You look at Trump’s “best people”, the Trump uber alles crew, and it’s hard to avoid the thought that “best” has a specific, unpalatable meaning in TrumpSpeak. 

When Trump hired the pugnacious Corey “I have no obligation not to lie to the lying media” Lewandowski as his original campaign manager in January 2015:

Trump’s political staff consisted of three people: his lawyer Michael D. Cohen, veteran operative Roger Stone, and aide Sam Nunberg.[31] In April 2016, another veteran GOP operative, Paul Manafort, was hired; the following month Manafort was named “campaign chairman.”[32] Nunberg was fired in early August 2015;[33] he believes that it was Lewandowski and campaign press secretary Hope Hicks who asked Trump for his ouster.[34] Stone left the campaign a week later.[35]

Lewandowski’s motto as Trump’s campaign manager was “Let Trump be Trump”; those words appeared on his office white board.[36] Trump said of Lewandowski, “He leaves me alone, but he knows when to make his presence felt.”[20]

Of the original five members of the Trump campaign, three have since become convicted felons, victims, we are reminded by other “best” people, of a totally unfair Democratic witch hunt and presumably totally illegitimate trials by so-called judges.  

Manafort and Stone, one in prison, the other awaiting sentencing, were bold pioneering lobbyists, partners in the political consulting firm Black, Manafort and Stone [1], who made millions with their access to presidents, senators and congressmen they’d helped to elect.  The felonious partners had worked on Ronald Reagan’s winning presidential campaign and immediately became lobbyists to the lobbyists, brokering unprecedented access for their fellow corporate influence peddlers.  

After his ouster from the Trump campaign in June 2016, and Trump’s unexpected, brilliantly engineered 78,000 vote Electoral College victory, Lewandowski followed in Manafort/Stone’s lucrative footsteps:

On December 21, 2016, Lewandowski and [71] Barry Bennett, a “former Trump senior adviser”, whom Lewandowski had known for ten years,[72] co-founded as equal partners a political consulting firm called Avenue Strategies.[73] They were joined by other Trump presidential campaign veterans.[73] Bennett, Mike Rubino, Jason Osborne, and most of Lewandowski’s associates at Avenue Strategies filed lobbying registrations.[71]

Mainly because of Lewandowski, Avenue Strategies soon became one of “the highest-profile government-affairs outfits in Washington”.[73] Avenue Strategies’ office “overlooks the White House”, and Lewandowski has “relatively unimpeded access” to President Trump either by phone or in person at the White House.[71] Access to President Trump can be “highly lucrative” — “relatively few established K Street powerhouses have ties to the new president”.[73]

In February 2017, Avenue Strategies “quietly agreed” to lobby for Citgo Petroleum Corporation (Citgo). In April they signed a $25,000 a month contract as tensions mounted between the United States, Venezuela, and Russia.[74] Citgo is headquartered in Houston, Texas, but is owned by the government of Venezuela. Citgo took out a loan from Russian state-owned oil giant, Rosneft in December 2016 that it has been unable to pay. It is under threat of a takeover by Rosneft.[71] By early May the legally required paperwork had not been filed revealing the contract to the U.S. Government through the Senate Office of Public Records.[74]

The governor of debt-ridden Puerto Rico hired Avenue Strategies to lobby Congress for funding.[73]

Avenue Strategies also “operates a fledgling super PAC to help Trump win re-election”.[72]



The firm has represented, and lobbied the US Congress on behalf of, numerous foreign governments and heads of state from both representative democracies and unelected dictatorships including Mohamed Siad Barre of Somalia, dictator Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines,[4][5] dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire,[6] andJonas Savimbi of Angola. According to “The Torturer’s Lobby”, a report published by The Center for Public Integrity, the firm received $3.3 million in the early 1990’s for their work with dictators.[7]

During the 1988 presidential campaign in the United States, it was disclosed that Black, Manafort retained the island nation of the Bahamas as a client at a time its leadership was being attacked for alleged ties to drug traffickers. BMSK officials insisted that they intended only to help the Bahamas obtain more United States aid for efforts to curb drug smugglers.[1]

Domestically the firm represented Bethlehem Steel and Tobacco Institute, helped elect Senators Phil Gramm,Jesse Helms, Charles McCurdy Mathias Jr., Arlen Specter, Paula Hawkins and David F. Durenberger—and worked on legislation that benefitted the firm’s clients.[citation needed]

Even on Thanksgiving…

I wake up thinking that the most famously unscrupulous, inept, attention-craving and litigious man born to great, unearned wealth in the United States became the most unscrupulous, inept, attention-craving and litigious president in history.   He uses the courts, as he was taught by his surrogate father, the disbarred Roy Cohn, to exhaust opponents, bankrupt them, play out the clock on statutes of limitations, extract favorable settlements with no admission of guilt.   This is what I wake up thinking on Thanksgiving, a day I should be thinking about tomorrow’s fabulous sales.    

Instead I’m thinking “Jesus, he successfully obstructed justice in the Mueller probe.”   Key witnesses to his campaign’s collusion with Russians, at his urging, with pardons dangled, lied to investigators and destroyed evidence — resulting in a finding of “insufficient evidence” of a criminal conspiracy with Putin, although there was substantial evidence showing repeated coordination between the parties and that Putin exerted great influence in his useful idiot’s 78,000 vote Electoral College mandate.   Mueller and the Republican-controlled Senate both concluded there was massive Russian election interference in favor of Putin’s preferred candidate, the guy who won in spite of losing the election by 2.9 million votes.

He is successfully using an absurdly broad blanket claim of “protective immunity”, conjured by his corrupt AG Bill Barr, to silence fact witnesses and prevent the disclosure of evidence in his own impeachment.   I say successfully because, although he keeps losing in court he is able to appeal each time and he only has to run out the clock on these claims for a few more months in order to successfully obstruct the impeachment of history’s most openly unscrupulous, inept, attention-craving and litigious president.   Roy Cohn lives!  

Many of us have a lot of reasons to be thankful on this Thanksgiving, but having this brazen sociopath in the world’s most powerful position (outside of the Kremlin), using the Department of Justice and the American judicial system, the appeals courts in particular, to subvert the lawful administration of justice, defy legal process and pervert all democratic norms sure ain’t one of them.  

I’d be thankful for a day I don’t wake up hearing the list of who this sick puppy has attacked on twitter while I was sleeping.  As a citizen of the world’s still most powerful country, and also one of its multitude of famously powerless consumers, I wake up praying for the serenity to not get angry as hell just thinking of the fucking serenity prayer.

Timeline of Trump’s conspiracy to shake down Ukrainian president Zelensky

Trump’s conspiracy to get dirt on a political opponent just keeps getting deeper and dirtier.   As time goes by, more and more of the concealed details of the conspiracy to enlist foreign aid to smear an American political rival come to light.   More and more key players, Secretary of State Pompeo, Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Personal lawyer Rudy Giuiliani and a large supporting cast working to keep the details secret, are directly linked in the long, coordinated plan to have Ukraine announce a corruption probe into the company Joe Biden’s son worked for.  As more interviews are conducted, under oath, and more public testimony is taken, more connections emerge.   All this confirms Robert Caro’s statement that truth takes time.  Every investigator I’ve ever heard discuss research has said something similar– time is crucial for developing and following the path to true facts.

The incriminating July 25 “I need you to do me a favor, though” phone call between Trump and Zelensky was just one part of a coordinated plan that began months earlier and included the smearing and removal of the US Ambassador to Ukraine, and didn’t end until after Trump was made aware of the whistleblower’s August 12 complaint and released the aid to Ukraine a month later, two days before Zelensky was scheduled to make the announcement of the corruption probe into Hunter Biden and Burisma on CNN.

If not for that complaint, which every attempt was made to conceal– to “prevent leaks”– there would be absolutely nothing to see here!   Another baseless, hate-fueled hoax perpetrated against our eternally innocent Victim-in-Chief by super- rich liberal Jews, among others, who spend endless dark money to besmirch our Commander-in-Chief.   Like the Mueller probe, its origins now under criminal investigation by Trump’s new Roy Cohn, AG William Barr.

I read a detailed timeline of the plan to get the Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden’s son’s role in Burisma, a company investigated for corruption that occurred, according to a Ukrainian source, prior to 2014, the date that Biden’s slimy son began his well-paid job for Burisma.   Hunter, we note, “worked” for Burisma from 2014 to 2019, pulling down a very high fee for minimal services rendered.  

Here is one day’s entry from that chilling timeline put together by factcheck.org.

Sept. 26 — The House intelligence committee releases a redacted copy of the whistleblower complaint, and hears testimony from Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence.

Maguire says the whistleblower acted in “good faith” and “did the right thing.” Democrats on the committee press him on why he did not initially turn over the whistleblower’s complaint. Maguire says it was an “unprecedented” situation, and he was concerned about the possibility of “executive privilege,” so he brought the matter to the attention of the White House and then the Department of Justice. He said he did not initially release the complaint based on the advice of lawyers in the Department of Justice.  [emphasis mine].

In an interview with the Washington Post, Lutsenko says of Hunter Biden: “From the perspective of Ukrainian legislation, he did not violate anything.” He went on to say that an investigation of Burisma’s owner involved activities that occurred before Biden joined the company’s board. “Hunter Biden cannot be responsible for violations of the management of Burisma that took place two years before his arrival,” Lutsenko says.

Check out the detailed timeline of Trump’s Ukraine/Biden conspiracy compiled by factcheck.org.   Unlike many such organizations, factcheck is a model for donor transparency [1].  It is hard to call it a front group for any particular political ideology, though, of course, we know how that works.  

For example, some of the best people are saying Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was rightfully smeared, by people working for the president, as an agent of that notorious radical Jew billionaire George Soros, while those same truthseekers pushed the, arguably, unfounded, counterfactual conspiracy that Ukraine, not Russia, had hacked the 2016 US elections– contrary to the findings of US Intelligence agencies, the Mueller investigation and the Republican majority Senate’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. [2]  Hey, it’s a free country, yo.



[1]  Factcheck.org:

Our policy is to disclose the identity of any individual who makes a donation of $1,000 or more. We also disclose the total amount, average amount and number of individual donations.

In 2015, Inside Philanthropy praised our disclosure policy for “exemplifying nonprofit transparency.”

“FactCheck.org is totally transparent about its funding sources — going so far as to list a detailed breakdown of financial support by every quarter, the same standard expected of political campaigns and party committees,” it wrote. “So, quite apart from its stated mission, FactCheck.org is making a contribution by exemplifying nonprofit transparency.”

[2] The Senate report was quietly released, with a bit of fortuitous und grotesque irony, the day Mueller testified, completely and totally exonerating Trump of criminally conspiring with Russia’s sweeping and systematic attempts to elect him president.  The very next day the totally exonerated Trump called to shake down the Ukrainian president for dirt on Biden…