Facebook supports Donald J. Trump

It’s pretty straightforward.  Facebook will allow political ads that contain easily verifiable lies — like the ones a certain presidential candidate compulsively spouts.  A political ad can make any claim on Facebook and be directed, by ingenious algorithms, directly and exclusively to its target audience.  That’s fine with Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.  He argues, essentially, that in a deeply materialistic, competitive democracy nobody has the right to restrain Facebook’s ability to make unlimited money and wield political influence.   His policy of allowing political lies on Facebook directly favors the lying political candidate. His policy favors Donald Trump, a candidate Zuck likely doesn’t much like.  Supports him, yes, considering the alternative, but Mr. Zuck, in all likelihood,  likely don’t like Mr. Trump.

Although political ads account for only a tiny percentage of Facebook’s revenues, the incursion into Facebook’s right to decide all matters of policy is intolerable to Zuck.  The regulatory camel getting it’s nose in the proverbial tent.   A leaked recording of a recent Mark Zuckerberg address to his Facebook troops contained the following passage, responding to the potential challenge of a President Elizabeth Warren and the lawsuit that would try to prevent her promised regulation of gigantic, influential entities like Facebook.

“Does that still suck for us?  Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government.  That’s not like the position you want to be in.  We care about our country and want to work with our government to do good things, but look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.”

What is ‘that existential’?  The right to increase the value of Facebook (and Zuck’s personal wealth, currently a measly $70,000,000,000) without interference of any kind from anybody, and at any price to democracy (or anything else).  Only in America can someone make that argument with a straight face.  “I only have seventy billion dollars, several people have more.  I have every right to double or triple my personal fortune, without any interference from fucking bastards!  It’s called liberty, you Nazi assholes!”  

A billionaire’s right to unlimited additional wealth is an argument so basic to American society that it never need be explicitly made.   The belief is as deeply ingrained as the ubiquity of commercial (and increasingly political) advertising. Nobody is challenging Zuck on his right to amass as many additional  billions as his genius can secure.  Anyone in Zuck’s position, we assume, would feel exactly the same way, go to the mat for his right to infinite wealth.  The billionaire is, in the common American perception, an exceptionally brilliant species of human, a genius, an object of worship here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Elizabeth Warren, and others, recognize the dangers posed by the outsized power of unregulated corporate “persons” like Facebook.   Facebook is a leader in what Shoshana Zuboff calls “surveillance capitalism” its corporate genius is using customer data to target individuals and prey on their expressed desires and weaknesses. [1]

All corporations are psychopaths, that’s the kind of “person” they are.  Watch the trailer for this excellent movie if you have any doubts on that score (the whole movie is here)  Corporate persons have one interest only: the bottom line.  They employ any means necessary to pursue that bottom line.   Social Media corporations are uniquely well-equipped to feed in an ocean that is almost entirely unregulated.   That’s some existential shit, elected representatives seeking to impose rules to restrain the things that corporations, driven by eternal appetite, do in their ravenous quest for ever more prey. 

“Something ‘that existential’. you know, the right to have no obstacles to increasing my mere $70,000,000,000 net worth.  I am one of the greatest geniuses mankind has ever produced and I strenuously object to lesser, non-corporate, persons telling me what I can and cannot do.  I will go to the mat.  To the fucking mat, do you hear me?”

We hear you, baby.

 

[1]  Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for A Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.

transcribed for you…

In Atlanta on Friday, America’s greatest winner said (to a smattering of applause from an all-time record crowd, a historic crowd, gigantic, standing room, lined up outside the immense, overflowing hall all the way to the Georgia/Florida border):

“Now Democrats and the media have launched, and they are partners, you know that, the deranged, hyper-partisan impeachment witch hunt, a sinister effort to nullify the ballots of sixty-three million patriotic Americans, it’s not happening, by the way, it’s failing, it’s failing fast, it’s all a hoax, it’s all a hoax, it’s failing fast… Democrats are willing to destroy the foundations of our society and the pillars of our justice system, and judicial system, in their craven pursuit of power and money.”

And God bless these United States.  (See my previous post for a quick fact check, I’ll get off this nauseating subject soon, hopefully)

Republican talking point about impeachment — not entirely true

Update:  This is what you do when you fuck up and say something that is factually wrong.  You acknowledge your mistake and correct it.   Novel idea, I know.  Here we go.

WHOOPS, this Republican claim about Clinton’s impeachment not starting until his second term is entirely true. I was wrong about the date, completely and clearly wrong.   He was elected to his second term in 1996.  The impeachment began well after that date, as the Republicans have been pointing out in support of their idea that Democrats are trying to nullify the will of the voters who put Trump in office. (see footnote 3)

It’s not that Republicans didn’t do everything possible to hobble, compromise and humiliate Clinton before impeaching him, it’s just that they didn’t have firm grounds for it yet during his first term.  The story line of how they got the Clinton perjury and obstruction charges gets a little complicated.

The Supreme Court didn’t allow Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit against sitting president Bill Clinton to go forward until 1997, during Clinton’s second term.  It was a unanimous Supreme Court decision, by the way.   Once that lawsuit was allowed to go forward the Jones lawyers were able to subpoena Monica Lewinsky.  Monica Lewinsky was grabbed by the FBI under Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s direction (they called the grab “Prom Night”) and threatened her with a long prison term for her perjury in an affidavit (denying having had sex of any kind with Clinton) she wrote in connection to her subpoena in the Paula Jones suit.  Kenneth Starr’s team got the goods on Lewinsky and her affair with Clinton from her confidant Linda Tripp, who gave them audio evidence of the affair and led them to the Blue Dress with Clinton’s DNA (in the form of his semen) on it.  

The impeachment was started in October 1998, during Clinton’s second term — well AFTER his reelection in 1996, after Starr’s team had secured Clinton’s perjury relating to Lewinsky also lying about it in the Jones case (thrown out of court, appealed and settled by Clinton prior to the appeal being heard with an $850,000 payment) [1].   Familiar conservative lawyers played key roles in the case. {2]

I don’t know what the hell I was thinking when I wrote this piece I posted the other day  — and apologies to Brian Lehrer, he was right as rain.  Take the following with a grain or two of salt– my facts are dead wrong in relation to WHEN the impeachment started, it wasn’t right before the 1998 presidential election, that’s for sure.   I’ve corrected the errors in the original, like so:

Republicans have taken to calling the Trump impeachment inquiry an unprincipled, anti-democratic Democratic end-run around the will of the People. [3] Let the American voters decide in 2020, they say.   They point out that when they were in power they didn’t start the impeachment against the hated liar and fornicator Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton until after his re-election.  I heard Brian Lehrer repeat this inaccurate statement the other day on his otherwise excellent Impeachment, a daily podcast (I need to drop Brian a line, he’d want to know).

History is history and, although it is easily enough forgotten and ignored,  you can look up the dates that certain things happened and read certain undisputed details of public events.   You can make a confident declaration about some verifiable event in the past and simply be — inaccurate.  (AS I WAS IN THIS POST, AS TO THE TIMING OF CLINTON’S IMPEACHMENT)   It’s very easy to verify things like dates using the phone in your pocket 24/7– if you’ve got the time (or if you think for as long as it takes to recall that presidential elections occur every four years, 00, 04, 08, 16 etc.) . Just the facts, ma’am (though no longer in support of my original idea):

The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated on October 8, 1998, when the United States House of Representatives voted to commence impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, for “high crimes and misdemeanors“. The specific charges against Clinton were lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones and from Clinton’s testimony denying that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.  The catalyst for the president’s impeachment was the Starr Report, a September 1998 report prepared by Independent Counsel Ken Starr for theHouse Judiciary Committee.[1] 

You can look it up, or just read the summary here.  One month before the 1998 presidential election [WTF?  the election  was two years earlier, the date is always a multiple of four– ed.], Newt and the boys started taking America back.   Talk about your October surprises.

Just sayin’…

 

[1]   Wikipedia:

Jones’s suit was dismissed as lacking legal merit prior to Clinton’s impeachment and the exposure of the Lewinsky affair. But in August 1998 Clinton’s relationship with Lewinsky, and compelling evidence that he had lied about it under oath in the Jones suit, was brought to light. At that point Jones appealed the ruling, and her appeal gained traction following Clinton’s admission to having an affair with Monica Lewinsky in August 1998.[1]

On appeal, Clinton agreed to an out-of-court settlement, paying Jones and her lawyers $850,000 to drop the suit; a substantial portion of the settlement was expected to pay Jones’s legal fees.[2] Clinton’s lawyer said that the President made the settlement only so he could end the lawsuit for good and move on with his life.[3] Jones and her lawyers have said the payment is evidence of Clinton’s guilt.

[2]  Wikipedia:

[Ann] Coulter first became a public figure shortly before becoming an unpaid legal adviser for the attorneys representing Paula Jones in her sexual harassment suit against President Bill Clinton. Coulter’s friend George Conway had been asked to assist Jones’ attorneys, and shortly afterward Coulter, who wrote a column about the Paula Jones case for Human Events, was also asked to help, and she began writing legal briefs for the case.

Coulter later stated that she would come to mistrust the motives of Jones’ head lawyer, Joseph Cammaratta, who by August or September 1997 was advising Jones that her case was weak and to settle, if a favorable settlement could be negotiated.[21][137] From the outset, Jones had sought an apology from Clinton at least as eagerly as she sought a settlement.[138] However, in a later interview Coulter recounted that she herself had believed that the case was strong, that Jones was telling the truth, that Clinton should be held publicly accountable for his misconduct, and that a settlement would give the impression that Jones was merely interested in extorting money from the President.[21]

 

[3]  Leave aside that the will of the People was to elect the almost equally unpopular Hillary Clinton, by about a 3,000,000 vote margin.  Trump won the Electoral College, fair and square, by about 78,000 votes in three brilliantly played key states.

Jamal Khashoggi dismemberment notes

I recently found these notes from a year ago in a pile of drawings.   They track the shifting lies told about the deliberate, gruesome murder of a Saudi journalist critical of the super-wealthy, rabidly power-mad. mass-killing “reformer” Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) who came to rule Saudi Arabia after jailing countless possible rivals from the gigantic royal family, including his mother, I believe.  

The line Americans are always fed about the modern-day monarchy running an extremist religious state is that they are friends of the US, they supply petrol and buy billions of dollars worth of US armaments regularly.   Job creators.  Dubya Bush was photographed holding hands with a Saudi prince right after 9/11, as well-connected Saudis, including members of Osama bin Laden’s family, were allowed to secretly leave the US en masse before any other planes were cleared for take-off, and before the FBI could interview them.  You remember Trump did that sword dance with them on his first state visit anywhere as president, the one with the glowing orb they all reached out to.

American news started reporting the shifting story of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist critical of MBS. Khashoggi was a US resident who worked for the Washington Post.  Saudi Arabia initially claimed to have no idea what happened to the pain in the ass journalist who was last seen going into the Saudi embassy in Turkey to get some papers he needed so he could get married.  No idea, the Saudis had no idea what could have happened to him.    Trump was good with this strong denial, he noted it was a “strong denial” — which should be good enough for most people.  

To follow up, and prove their innocence,  the Saudis released a surveillance video of a man Khashoggi’s basic height and weight, dressed in the clothes Khashoggi was wearing when he entered, leaving the embassy under the watchful eye of the camera.   See?  Nothing to see here, the fucking guy left the embassy, we didn’t kill him, he’s setting us up, fucking lying fuck that he is.   Then, oy, another twist, new information from leaking traitors in Turkey, with no respect for diplomatic immunity,  revealed some troubling things including flight records that showed a Saudi hit squad, with close connections to MBS, including a surgeon with bone saw being flown into Turkey for a few hours, to do a specific job.  Khashoggi’s  body was never found, a troubling detail later explained by the surgeon and the bone saw.

Anyway, you can read my notes on the hit, I think they’re fairly accurate.   As always in such matters, the guilty parties will never be held accountable in any way.   That is how real power works, yo. [1]

 

20191107_043818.jpg

 

{1] See, e.g., Edward Norton’s masterpiece Motherless Brooklyn.  Note the speech the Robert Moses character delivers to the gumshoe in the movie’s penultimate scene.

Good vs. Evil — November 2019-style

This post previously began:

At the risk of a simplistic formulation:

I realized the risk was a stupid one, in these troubled times when good and evil take their cast from political “ideology”.   So to clarify what I am setting out — good, in the abstract, is what we’d wish on ourselves and our loved ones,  if extended to everybody, would make life better, increase contentment, peace and understanding; evil, in the abstract, things done with knowledge that people are being seriously harmed, but the thing done benefits you, so what the hell?  We’ve always had war, what’s one more?)

Our fundamental moral choice as humans is to act toward others in a way that helps or hurts.   In most situations the outcome of this choice is clear, though there are complicated situations when it’s not always easy to know if our actions will result in harm or benefit.    People who routinely act based solely on what’s best for their own narrow self-interest tend to hurt others more than help them.  It’s the way justice and fairness works out in a competitive world of limited resources.  Doing good requires a high regard for others, evil uses the much lower standard of what’s better for me right now and fuck everybody else.  Sometimes this attitude of “winning” is called being “transactional”– everything is a business deal where the only consideration is being the greatest artist of the greatest deal.

On Saturday the New York Times ran an article entitled Trump Stymies California Climate Efforts Even As State Burns.   The article summarizes Trump’s long, ongoing, transactional denial of Climate Change, noting that he “directed the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back nearly every federal policy designed to curb the heat-trapping fossil-fuel pollution that is the chief cause of global warming.”  [1]    As climate change-exacerbated wildfires burn, Mr. Trump continues to double down in an attempt to force the big blue state to back down from more stringent fuel emissions standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow down the rapidly worsening climate catastrophe.   The only “good” that comes from denying what we are all seeing, that alarming trend that scientists have documented for years, is that reduced regulation on pollution increases profits for some already very wealthy toxic polluters.

Trump spokesman, Judd Deere, is quoted as saying California leaders “support destructive liberal policies” and the state “should focus on its own affairs rather than trying to regulate 49 other states with its big-government policies.”   Trump, for his part, seeks “to eliminate California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set standards on planet-warming tailpipe pollution that are stricter than those set by the federal government”.   

The Trump administration has also threatened to withhold highway funding, opened an antitrust investigation into California’s deal with the carmakers [who’d agreed to the more stringent emissions standard] and filed suit to block part of a state initiative to limit greenhouse gases from power plants.

Wildfires rage in increasingly hot, dry California while Trump pursues political goals for himself and his powerful backers, in this case the fossil-fuel industry and the major American automakers.    He doesn’t read the NY Times, but if he did this line might have hit home: 

“Hotter temperatures means drier vegetation, making it more likely to burn.” 

On the other hand, he no doubt reasons, fossil-fuel is a dynamite product and there’s nothing wrong with selling what the people need and want —  including big, powerful SUVs — and, that repeatedly and forcefully bitch slapping liberal California, a gigantic and powerful state that clearly is against him, is simply good politics.   I have to once again state the obvious, Trump does not “reason” in the usual way people come to reasoned conclusions — he thinks and acts the only way he knows how — by reflex.

I had a close friend for many years who was stuck in the Repetition Compulsion, painfully fighting the same fight over and over.   He had no choice, he simply had to endlessly reenact the same primal battle, with everybody he met.   It no doubt started in early childhood when, the youngest of three boys, he used to hide his candy from his older brothers and vigilantly wolf down his food at restaurants so his brothers couldn’t poach his fries.   It may seem simplistic to say, but he simply could not act any differently — not as a child, not as a teenager when I met him, not as an adult.   

He always felt he was being short-changed and would wheedle, whine and cajole his way to the better end of every deal he ever made– with the predictable result that he also eventually wore out and alienated everybody he triumphed over.  Whenever the inevitable alienation happened he always felt that he was the victim of a totally unfair “putz”.   When he ran a small business, he underpaid and exploited everyone who worked for him.  There was a lawsuit for years of unpaid overtime brought against his business right after he died.   There was no joy in any of this regular winning he did, it was simply the way it had to be for him, for no doubt painful reasons he couldn’t bear to examine.

I think of the president very much the same way.   It’s not that he wants to lie all the time — it’s pretty clear he can’t help it.   There is some demon driving him to tell lies intended to make others admire him, cheer for him, like him, love him.    We might call this the mark of an empty soul, to live entirely for the falsely-stoked admiration of others, but why be judgmental?   It’s clear he doesn’t choose to lie in the strict sense, lying is a tic he can’t control [2].   It’s the same with his reflexive need to constantly “double down.”   He doesn’t know another way to react in the zero-sum game that is the high-stakes life of a glorious winner among pathetic losers.   The thought of being seen as a “loser” is a “winner” like Mr. Trump’s ultimate nightmare.

Trump is often referred to as a narcissist.   He does tend to make everything about himself, sometimes inappropriately.   He needs praise desperately.   He expressed dismay the other day that the heroic, “talented” K-9 that chased down al-Baghdadi (to “die like a dog”) was getting more credit for the death of the notorious terrorist than he was.   He told voters in Kentucky, the night before the gubernatorial election, to think of how he, Trump, would look if a Democrat took the governor’s mansion– what a bad reflection that would be on Trump.    His business pursuits while president are another example — no reason to divest himself of anything for a mere appearance, the presidency is already costing him billions, he says, the effort to selflessly make America great again while trying to simultaneously maintain and strengthen his super-profitable worldwide brand — very, very hard!

There is a strong case to be made that Trump is a Malignant Narcissist.  This is the clinical diagnosis for someone whose narcissism causes him to be destructive to others in the eternal pursuit of elusive self-love (or whatever it is that drives this type).   Malignant Narcissism is also as close to a clinical definition of evil as we will find in the psychological literature.  Somebody (probably not wearing a MAGA hat or a Read The Transcript! t-shirt)  has filled out a scorecard for Mr. Trump, based on the clinical criteria for this horrific disorder (note, I’ve located and swapped in the same checklist, without the check boxes checked, in the name of fairness to Mr. T — you can mentally tick the boxes you thing apply):

Malignant Narcissism.jpg

Diagnostic criteria are famously open to interpretation, so even though many of these check marks might seem justifiable in the case of Donald Trump, based on what we can observe of his personality and behavior, even though we are not trained professional psychiatrists who have personally examined the president, are we?   There is no magic formula to accurately pigeon-hole the quirks of every person who seems to be acting under the sway of some psychological disorder.   You might be more comfortable comparing the president’s behavior with the checklist on this chart, which is perhaps a little less damning:

psychopathy.jpg

However you slice it, if you put the president’s words and actions on the table and sort them into two piles —  Probably Good and Probably Evil —  you know which pile most of his tweets, verbal attacks, insults, accusations, exaggerations, threats, lawsuits, lies, political appointments and policies would go onto.   

UNLESS, of course (and this is HUGE): you stipulate that all this black and white dividing and knee-jerk condemning of the president’s words and actions is part of a ruthless, calculated, well-orchestrated, sinister, dark money fueled conspiracy of  powerful Never-Trumpers, haters, losers, jealous, powerless, sick, dangerous politically correct Justice Warrior cucks with a vicious ax to irrationally grind against the greatest American history has ever produced.  HOW ABOUT THAT?!   WORDS TELL THE WHOLE FUCKING STORY, DON’T THEY?    READ MY SHIRT!!!

 

[1] In fairness to the president, he claims that Climate Change is an anti-American Chinese hoax and that ‘heat-trapping fossil-fuel pollution’ has nothing to do with anything, it’s a vicious anti-freedom Communist talking point promoted by the failing NYTimes fake news service by sick, dangerous people who irrationally hate Trump for winning, completely on his own, in 2016 (in the largest presidential landslide in American history). 

[2] Hence, any proceeding in which he is sworn to tell the truth is, inevitably,  a “perjury trap”– he has no control of his need to lie.

Trump’s Secretary of State employs Lewandowski Doctrine

A career diplomat, Michael McKinley, the Secretary of State’s former senior advisor, appointed by Secretary of State (former CIA director and handpicked Koch congressman)  Mike Pompeo, testified under oath about conversations with his boss that Pompeo had already denied knowledge of on television.   McKinley testified that he’d spoken to Pompeo, on three separate occasions, about issuing a statement of support for abruptly dismissed U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovich.    Mr. Pompeo had previously stated on television that he’d never heard a peep out of this distinguished diplomat, who has since resigned, about anything concerning Yovanovich’s dismissal.

Here is the actual bone of contention:

“From the time that Ambassador Yovanovitch departed Ukraine until the time that (McKinley) came to tell me that he was departing, I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns with respect to the decision that was made,” Pompeo said of McKinley. “Not once … did Ambassador McKinley say something to me during that entire time period.”

McKinley testified that he chose to resign because of what he saw as the use of ambassadors “to advance domestic political objectives” and a failure of the State Department to offer support for those officials caught up in the impeachment inquiry.

“The timing of my resignation was the result of two overriding concerns: the failure in my view, of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry; and, second, by what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives,” McKinley said. “To see the emerging information on the engagement of our missions to procure negative political information for domestic purposes, combined with the failure I saw in the building to provide support for our professional cadre in a particularly trying time, I think the combination was a pretty good reason to decide enough, that I had no longer a useful role to play.”

The State Department did not respond to CNN’s request for comment about the contradiction.

source

A career diplomat, speaking under penalty of perjury, versus a  loyal gunsel [1] of the president’s, speaking on television in defense of his unfairly beleaguered  boss’s innocence.    Who to believe?   Your view of who is telling the truth will depend on which side you’re on: the greatest president this nation has ever had or the despicable, treasonous, dangerous DEEP STATE who are hate-filled, vengeful, unscrupulous partisan snakes!

I will assume, for purposes of this post, that Mr. Pompeo was not being entirely truthful when he, arguably, deliberately misremembered on TV.  Now, before you rush to argue, let me set out Mr. Pompeo’s defense for this apparent calculated set-aside of candor (or simple compound memory lapse).   Pompeo is following the Lewandowski Doctrine, which can be summarized as:

I have no obligation to be honest with the media.

There is no doubt that a person has no legal obligation not to lie, except under very few, carefully delineated scenarios.   Lying under oath is perjury, and people can go to jail for it (though for a surprisingly short time, it turns out, in the cases of powerful liars).   There is libel — a specific circumstance when one side proves in court that the other side deliberately and maliciously spread a lie to damage the other person’s reputation.   There is a statute here and there about other kinds of lies being forbidden, but as a general rule: LYING IS NOT A FUCKING CRIME IN AMERICA, ASSHOLE!

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, confronted with videotape of himself that proved he was either lying on TV or had lied under oath, defiantly spat this doctrine at his accusers during testimony before Congress.   The media lies all the time, he said, why should anyone on the lying media be held to a higher standard?   His tough guy audience of one no doubt loved him for that bravura display of omerta-scented bravado [2].   

The Lewandowski Doctrine  is not a doctrine to build an empire on, I don’t think, or a just society, for that matter, but solid enough for someone like Mike Pompeo to rely on in telling anyone who thinks his arguable lying on camera is wrong to simply FUCKING FUCK OFF, ASSBITE!

Here’s a well-done short piece about Lewandowski’s contentious testimony before Congress. 

 

[1] check out the puckish definition here

[2]     “Omertà is a Southern Italian code of silence and code of honor that places importance on silence in the face of questioning by authorities or outsiders; non-cooperation with authorities, the government, or outsiders; and willfully ignoring and generally avoiding interference with the illegal activities of others.”   Wikipedia

 

A Thought About Brett Kavanaugh

In the competitive field of the most disgusting things Trump did and continues to do as president, the open hate speech, the public attacks on everybody, the murderous abandonment of military allies, the association with a series of close advisers now convicted of felonies done in his service, the deliberately cruel separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border and their warehousing, the race baiting, the misogyny, the homophobia, the pathological bragging, the uncontrollable lying, the open obstruction of justice, the claim that Article II gives him unchallengeably broad powers including immunity for anything he does while president, including public murder on Fifth Avenue, the assertion of bogus blanket privileges to stall disclosure of evidence of likely crimes, the insistence that the whistleblower law is BULLSHIT etc.  the forced 50-48 appointment of doctrinaire conservative partisan Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court was perhaps the most disgusting.   

I recently heard an interview of the New York Times reporters who wrote a book about the Kavanaugh confirmation, about the severely truncated sham FBI investigation into troubling allegations that revealed, after less than a week, “nothing to see here” without even interviewing the people involved in the alleged incidents.    The authors’ presentation was quite nuanced, and it got me to thinking beyond my reflexive hatred of an openly partisan judge like Kavanaugh.   

These authors determined, after a great deal of research and interviewing, that Kavanaugh as an adult is nothing like the awkward, drunken, puke-prone adolescent who sometimes got shit-faced enough to pull his penis out at a party, or try to forcibly feel up a cute fifteen year-old at an informal afternoon gathering at a house where the adults were away.   He has matured, seems to show great respect to women and females of all ages.  I’d say that’s a good thing.

Of course, in American politics, in America in general, one does not apologize or admit jack shit.   Kavanaugh presumably could have conceded he had a rough patch as a teenager at his high pressure prep school, when he sometimes drank too much and did stupid things, but thankfully he straightened himself out and is a different person today than the kid who did some stupid and regrettable things.   Not so hard, really, even Dubya did something similar when he recounted how he was reborn, from a drug sniffing alcoholic until the age of 40 to his rebirth in Jesus Christ– two totally different individuals, I swear to Jesus.   But in Kavanaugh’s case there was a chance that even an admission like that could have sunk his divisive nomination.   He consulted with Trump who told him exactly what to do.   He did it.   Which is one part of what makes his whole confirmation as an impartial, an unappealable lifetime arbiter of basic rights so disgusting.

As Trump did at his debates with Hillary, when he came out sniffing and snorting like a hopped-up coke fiend (some people say he had a few hits of Adderall [1] before taking the debate stage for those hideous showdowns between Americas two most hated and divisive politicians) Kavanaugh, who’d spent an entire day at the White House prepping (between appearances on TV with his wife and daughter and penning editorials and infomercials arguing righteously for his impartiality) came out sniffing and snorting, ready to defend his good name by taking on the traitors who set him up with a tangled conspiracy of total lies.   Trump had apparently told him — you want this?  Show some balls!   Do like me!

Kavanaugh was one name off Leonard Leo’s list famous list of vetted, diehard, ideologically pure Federalist Society-selected judicial candidates.  Trump had promised to choose his Supreme Court nominees from this list and, as a man who always keeps his promises (and I have to admit, I am loving my almost free, incredibly comprehensive Trumpcare) picked the single most divisive name off that list.   The choice of Kavanaugh above all the others with less extreme partisan baggage was a matter of triggering the libtards, fanatical cucks (their girlfriends and wives are constantly cuckolding them) who need to be kept in their enraged, snowflake state of powerless outrage.

The snorting Kavanaugh, whose right wing bona fides are impeccable [2], delivered this defense of himself, a defense that in a properly functioning democracy should have disqualified him from consideration as an unappealable interpreter of the US Constitution, to wit:

A calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with pent-up anger about president Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars from outside left-wing opposition groups.

I will not be intimidated by the coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name.

When I did at least OK enough at the hearings that it looked like I might actually get confirmed, a new tactic was needed…

etcetera

As it always is with the well-funded, billionaire endorsed anti-majoritarians who seek public office, they are the innocent victims of unscrupulous, well-funded, conspiracies.   Obama’s nominee (who was denied a hearing by Moscow Mitch McConnell), Merrick Garland, a centrist, we are told agreed with Kavanaugh on 90% of the cases they heard together on the DC circuit.   Susan Collins gave us that stat in defending her vote for the divisive Mr. Kavanaugh.   Most legal cases are decided on the law and there’s little wiggle room in a judge’s discretion.  In a small number of cases, an interested judge can be creative in crafting a decision.    A look at the 10% of cases where Kavanaugh and Garland disagreed would have been most instructive, methinks.

Of course, even if Trump winds up impeached, improbably removed from office, prosecuted, convicted and jailed, we are stuck, for the rest of our lifetimes, with lifetime appointee I fondly refer to as Boof Kavanaugh (for his harmless lie under oath about not bragging in his prep school yearbook about ingesting alcohol through a tube shoved up his ass– he said it was a reference to his flatulence.  So be it.)

Have I, somehow, against all odds, created a meme by constantly referring to this despicable example of entitled judicial arrogance as “Boof Kavanaugh?”  Hopefully:

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[1]  Adderall is a combination medication containing four salts of amphetamine. Adderall is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. It is also used as an athletic performance enhancer and cognitive enhancer, and recreationally as an aphrodisiac and euphoriant. Wikipedia

[2] As a law student Kavanuagh was a charter member of the doctrinaire Federalist Society, was then Kenneth Starr’s most zealous assistant in the Clinton impeachment, was part of the legal goon squad sent to Florida by the Dubya Bush campaign to stop the recount of the 2000 election, was a dependably partisan lawyer in the Bush White House whose many legal opinions were kept secret from the Judiciary Committee, to avoid revealing the full extent of his loyal partisanship. 

His record as a federal judge should also have been disqualifying, though only in context with the rest of his lifelong bias in favor of one side– the powerful, and one party – and seen in light of his tearful, snorting partisan rant about the vast left-wing conspiracy (and their unlimited outside money)  intent on viciously and unfairly destroying his entire entitled life.