Denier-in-Chief and the ‘rational observer’

The easily manipulable winner in the Oval Office has a simple mantra, honed at the hideous breast of the evil Roy Cohn, “I know you are, but what am I?  Make me. loser!”  It is his life’s credo.   It has served America’s Greatest Winner well, eventually giving him the loudest megaphone in the world.

Yesterday, with great cosmic timing (right after two bloody mass killings by deranged white assholes with high-powered guns designed for military assaults) Cesar Sayoc, the guy who sent non-functioning pipe bombs to many of the president’s many vicious enemies, was sentenced to twenty years in prison.  

His lawyers made a plea for leniency, as every good lawyer must in advocating for their client.   Sayoc, portrayed by his advocates as a man of limited cognitive abilities, had been repeatedly raped by a priest at the Catholic boarding school he was sent to and was a chemically addled victim of his longtime steroid abuse.  He was a loner, estranged from his family and addicted to Fox News.   And, of course, he was madly in love with and devoted to father figure Donald J. Trump.

As Sayoc’s lawyers persuasively wrote:

At a rally in October 2018, around the time Mr. Sayoc sent the packages, President Trump announced that Democrats “destroy people. They want to destroy people. These are really evil people.” See Maggie Haberman & Peter Baker, Trump Taunts Christine Blasey Ford at Rally, N.Y. TIMES (Oct. 2, 2018).7
In his statements, Trump specifically blamed many of the individuals whom Mr. Sayoc ultimately targeted with his packages. For example, on June 25, 2018, President Trump tweeted:
Screen shot 2019-08-06 at 2.33.52 PM.png

A rational observer may have brushed off Trump’s tweets as hyperbole, but  Mr. Sayoc took them to heart.

This “rational observer” is the law’s “reasonable man” a person who does, in a given situation, what any reasonable person would do.   It is unfair to convict somebody of doing something any reasonable person would have done in the same circumstances, and so the law uses the standard of reasonableness to assess whether someone has committed a crime or just done the reasonable thing.   Still, the phrase has a deafening echo in today’s America:  “a rational observer”.   Where do we find such a creature?

Fox news apparently ran this headline in the immediate aftermath of the latest mass murders, in El Paso and Dayton, by enraged white cowards with assault rifles :   

“Dems unleash profane attacks on Trump, Republicans over mass shootings”

(here you go, have a good time)

A rational observer, cruder than myself, might say “I got your fucking profane attacks right here, you racist, fear-mongering, democracy-hating, tyranny-enabling, massacre-inciting, lying sacks of fucking right-wing shit”. Of course, that kind of harsh, angry language only plays into the Fox/NRA/Koch/Republic Party narrative. You see, in that universe, the real problem is that Dems are fucking sick fucks, dangerous, evil, some of the worst people, the worst people, traitors and criminals, with filthy fucking toilet mouths, too.

So, while it might seem to be irrational to keep appealing to a ‘rational observer’, I can’t help but notice a few things in the above section of the pleadings of Sayoc’s  lawyers.

As they wrote, citing a piece from the lying, failing, desperate, traitorous, freedom-hating, openly communist rag, that Enemy of the People par excellence, the NY Times:  

At a rally in October 2018, around the time Mr. Sayoc sent the packages, President Trump announced that Democrats “destroy people. They want to destroy people. These are really evil people.” 

In fairness to the president, the partisan Dems were then in the process of viciously and unfairly attacking his controversial extremist, charter member of the Federalist Society, former choirboy [1] nominee to fill Anthony Kennedy’s carefully orchestrated Supreme Court vacancy. [2]  Be fair!   Who among us was not, at one time or another, a blackout drunk at the expensive, exclusive prep school we went to?   Who among us, in a drunken state, did not at least once try to feel up a younger girl against her will?  Come on, now.

At that same Trump reelection rally where the president called Democrats “really evil people” he famously mocked the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, a troubled woman who clearly had everything to gain (aside from her lost privacy, death threats, being forced to move with her family several times, etc.) and nothing to lose (aside from her privacy, her home, freedom from hate mail and death threats, etc.).   Trump mockingly said, to a crowd that loved it, that Blasey Ford couldn’t remember anything.  Didn’t know where it happened, when it happened, whose house it was at, who was there, why she was there, all she recalled was that this well-loved girl’s basketball coach, unbelievably great judge and defender of America was the one who drunkenly fell on her and tried to take her clothes off. The crowd ate this delicious mockery up as Trump did that famous thing were it looks like he’s sort of smiling.

It would be crass of me to point out that the president was lying about most of this.  She knew when it happened, in the summer after her Sophomore year in high school, she knew the approximate date.   She did not know the exact location of the house she was in only once, but it was within walking distance of the country club she’d been swimming at and clearly belonged to the parents of one of a small handful of teenagers assembled there that day.   She explained that she knew who Brett Kavanaugh was, had seen him before.  She described the physical layout of the house, exactly where the assault took place, who else was there in that room with her and Kavanaugh, and exactly why the traumatic event was seared so photographically in her memory.

The pathetic Jeff Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who had already announced he was leaving the Senate, had a weak-kneed moment of conscience after pressure was applied to him following Blasey Ford’s credible testimony (recall that Fox was wringing its collective hands after she spoke to that Committee, every pundit on the air at the time predicted Kavanaugh’s nomination was toast.)   Flake eventually refused to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination going before Moscow Mitch and the senate until a severely limited FBI probe was promised.  

The “probe” lasted less than a week.  The FBI felt no need to interview Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh, or any of the many witnesses who contacted the FBI to be interviewed.  In that short five day time span, with severe pressure and limitations from the White House, the FBI was unable to determine whose house the alleged attack had taken place in (which would have enabled them to verify Blasey Ford’s detailed description of the layout), or find anyone who could remember that otherwise unremarkable day when a younger girl nobody knew was arguably groped, behind closed doors upstairs, by a well-known prep school drunk. Therefore, NOTHING TO SEE HERE, Justice Kavanaugh, sir!   51-49, done and done and suck it, libtard cucks.

Now all this would have been sickening enough, to a rational observer, if we didn’t have this to add to it.

Trump’s lawyers knew he’d be incapable of avoiding perjury if he spoke under oath to Mueller’s investigators.   The famous “perjury trap” that no compulsive liar can avoid, if pressured enough, or at all, or even if not pressured at all.  They prudently forbade him from answering spoken questions, consenting instead to written answers to written questions.  

Each of these detailed questions was answered “I don’t know, I don’t remember, I don’t have any independent recollection, I can’t seem to recall, I don’t recall being aware,  I can’t say for certain, I’m not sure, who could be expected to remember a detail like that? I had no reason to notice it…” and so on.

Dubya Bush’s moronic former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez testified in a similar fashion when he was summoned to Congress over something.  Jon Stewart (a comedian attacked by Trump) noted to Bill Moyers that Gonzalez would rather be seen as a ” low functioning pinhead” who could literally remember nothing than as someone disloyal to the president.   The only other possibility was that Gonzalez was a perjurer, so he went with pinhead who had zero recollection of anything.  The Extremely Stable Genius, same deal.  No memory of anything because, you know, fuck you.

I direct the rational observer to one final fun fact.   In those non answers Trump’s lawyers crafted to keep him out of his “perjury trap” (in fairness to Trump, his inability to tell the truth does not appear to be voluntary) one stands out as the world’s greatest example of what Mueller called, with mind-blowing understatement “inadequate answers”.  

It was the president’s answer to Mueller’s final original question (follow up questions were ignored by White House counsel).   The question was a minefield for Trump and his team of lawyers, it involved convicted but not yet sentenced (or pardoned) former National Security Adviser Michael “Lock Her UP!” Flynn.   Trump’s answer reads, in its entirety:    

TRUMP:

(No answer provided.) [3]

 

here is part of what the Denier-in-Chief squeezed out of his tweethole immediately after his new Roy Cohn, Bagpiper Bill Barr, completely and totally exonerated him of any wrongdoing, ever, in the past, present and future:

Screen shot 2019-05-16 at 3.02.56 PM

To a rational observer, “sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason” would be taken considering the hyperbolic, often hysterical sounding source.

To a disturbed, threatened white patriot with a powerful gun, surrounded by Mexican rapists, surly Negroes, politically correct Social Justice Warriors… what more needs to be said by the president to let you know what should happen now that it’s “finally time to turn the tables and bring justice” to these vicious, toilet mouthed criminal motherfuckers?

To a rational observer, I mean.

 

 

[1]  It has been my feeling, since seeing the former choir boy break down alternately crying and snarling at the well-funded cabal of dark-money Clinton-loving partisan liars who orchestrated Blasey Ford’s unfounded attack  for all of America to see, a sick attempt to “destroy his life”, that Kavanaugh– and I add that I have only a feeling, a mere opinion, a suspicion, not a jot or tittle of evidence — was most likely diddled by a priest in his day.  If this was so, who could blame him for his righteous rage?  

[2]  Kennedy, as part of his inducement to retire during Trump’s presidency, was given input into which of his former clerks he’d like to see nominated to fill his chair on the Supreme Court.  NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!!

[3] Read all the answers to the Special Counsel Trump claimed to have written by himself here.

 

 

UNTHINKABLE! (until someone thinks it)

When something is beyond the strictures of the popular imagination, a thing which is conditioned by a lifetime of mass media (and increasingly “social media”) consumption, it is unthinkable.   We cannot even entertain unthinkable ideas because they are simply… unthinkable.  Until they are thought, expressed, discussed, debated, formed into things we can now easily think about, talk about, make part of law and culture [1].

A quick thought experiment:

We presently have more than twenty political candidates from an opposition party, united in their determination to defeat a president who squeaked into power with a surgically engineered 78,000 vote margin in the Electoral College and has been stacking the federal courts with record numbers of ideologically pure lifetime appointees of the extreme far-right (thirteen more were confirmed by Moscow Mitch and his crew right before Congress went on holiday).    He put a controversial, pouting, crying, angry partisan on to the Supreme Court, 51-49 — fair is fair!  (Ain’t democracy great, folks?) 

This Electoral College president has done many cruel things, attacked countless foes, lied thousands of times and demands complete loyalty from a rotating cast of mostly unqualified sidekicks who are each busily doing maximum damage in their appointed spheres.    Picture the climate disruption denier-in-chief removing the US from the Paris Accords, itself a fairly weak attempt to avoid a deadly climate refugee apocalypse, and restoring the federal death penalty so as to, hopefully (they hope) execute Julian Assange, for a quick whiff of this guy’s style.

What do we do here in America in the face of this?   What we always do.  We begin the presidential election campaign a year and a half before the election and make every fart and hiccup of it daily news for months and months and months.   We hold a competition, a popularity contest, and put all the contestants to unseat this disastrous president (if they qualify by raising X millions in campaign funds)  into a game show format where they fight it out on live TV until there is only one candidate standing.   

Think of it as Political Survivor, a zero-sum gladiatorial contest won by brute strength, cunning and sheer determination to be the last one alive.  The spectacle gets great ratings, like the Hunger Games in that thinly veiled depiction of our dystopian society where the  majority of citizens don’t have the $400 they need to avoid an immediate crisis, or homelessness.   Everybody tunes in, everyone has an opinion about who won, who lost, who sucked, who sucked worse.  Advertisers line up to buy a spot during the most heated contests.

Unthinkable thought: instead of this contest have well-spoken representatives of various factions in the Democratic Party (or the Republican, or any party, really) sitting around a table making their best, crispest case for what their party stands for, ironing out a unified party platform that whoever their eventual candidate is will put into action once in office.   How about a few nights of televised debates as follows: 

Night one, a presentation of the many problems caused by global warming, a tight ten minute slide show, showing the scope of the problem, its causes, describing why we haven’t been able to make much progress (and here discuss Exxon-Tillerson and the Koch’s well-funded, exceptionally American ‘climate skepticism’ movement)  then set goals and talk about the best way to move toward them.   

If you like the “America’s got Talent” or “Dancing with the Stars” format, add realtime on-line voting about the propositions being discussed.   Run the numbers as they discuss various ideas, to add excitement and immediacy to the discussion of policies that will decide the fate of the planet and all life upon it.

“Oh, look, Dolores, that chyron shows 89% of Americans watching actually believe drought and flooding and heatwaves and wild fires are getting worse every year and it’s the government’s job to do whatever is necessary to slow this looming catastrophe down!”   

“Look, Ed, 91% think the government should regulate the polluting industries that put the most CO2 in the air.   58% support a carbon tax.   72% support regulations requiring more efficient automobiles that emit less CO2.   Who knew Americans were so smart?”

The next discussion would be health care.   Then poverty.  Then education, then the ongoing, silent crisis of American military veteran suicides, and so on.   A week after each show the party would present its platform on that issue, published on line, its essence delivered in a five minute prime-time spot.  Whoever becomes president from our party is committed to this set of principles.   Let Americans know what we actually stand for, exactly what we will fight for once in power.  

As it is now it’s up to the individual who survives the Darwinian winnowing process and emerges as the candidate to decide exactly what she or he is going to do as president and leader of the party.  If so, what’s the point of having a national party at all?   What’s the point of that party putting its considerable thumb on the scale during the nominating process?  (As it did when it decided in 2016 that Hillary Clinton had waited long enough for her turn and made her the candidate in a rigged primary system — she started the games with a several hundred ‘super-delegate” lead).

There are, of course, several reasons why this kind of thoughtful public policy party platform discussion is unthinkable. 

The first is that Americans are not used to it and might very well hate it.  We prefer exciting bouts where one person punches out the other and we raise the winner’s hand and everyone cheers.  We are used to gladiators.    We crave the excitement of blood sport.   How boring would it be to see a bunch of thoughtful people agreeing that the present administration has done these specific disastrous things and, when elected, we will do these specific things to fix the deepening problems these cynical hucksters have exacerbated?   Who would watch two hours of that?  Where’s the drama?

Instead we have an animated squabble  between vying contendets, egged on by celebrity moderators, about whether Medicare for All must eliminate the many private health insurance companies in business now or not.   Few Americans (unless they work for a health insurance related company– and millions are likely in this category) give a rat’s ass one way or another what entity helps them pay the cost of needed medical care.   The real debate is “do Americans have the same right as the French, the Japanese, the Germans, the British, Canadians, Iraqis under Saddam, for fuck’s sake, to decent, affordable nationalized health care?”   

The framing we have, and the jibing, sniping “how you gonna pay for it?  how you gonna pay for it?” (a question never asked about endless, unprovoked war) make a serious discussion of how to move forward almost impossible.  It’s like Reagan, cheerfully slamming Jimmy Carter over and over with “there you go again!”.   “I know you are, but what am I?”   “Keep talking, spongey gums, it tickles”   It’s a long gotcha contest where candidates wait for their star-making moment to distinguish themselves as the most poised under attack, the most stylish with a put-down.

As always, there are specific reasons why intelligent non-adversarial discussion is unthinkable.  First, it’s simply not the way it’s done here.   They go at each other in a robust debate, no holds barred, and we pick the one whose style, whose courage under attack, we like the best.    Elizabeth Warren turned to a fretful “how you gonna pay for it?” naysayer on the stage with her the other night, attacking her idea for redistributing 2% of vast, largely hereditary, wealth in a way that would benefit most Americans, and asked  him who “goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for?” 

Personally, I loved that answer.   Full disclosure, I’ve loved Elizabeth Warren since I first saw her interviewed by the great Bill Moyers many moons ago, when she was still teaching law at Harvard, talking about her idea for a federal consumer protection agency.

Second, everything in America must be paid for, we all know that.  TV time (supposedly publicly owned, remember) is very valuable.  If you don’t have viewers, no advertisers want to buy ads.   The network loses a ton of money.   That’s one reason Trump was so good for business.  Not every candidate can eat 50 corndogs, then bite the head off a live chicken and claim, bloody lipped and covered with feathers, that his vicious, lying opponent did the disgusting deed.   He was great for ratings.  You never knew if the zestful flag-humper was literally going to take a shit on stage.  The man was made for TV, reality TV, that carefully scripted alternative fact world so many Americans crave.   If we run thoughtful discussions about real, pressing problems and how to best solve them– we’d be fucking CSPAN, nobody would tune in.  No profits for anybody.   

Third, the mass media is run by advertising dollars.  Les Moonves, former CEO of the company that owns CBS,  (before he was “disgraced” over his non-consensual sexual practices and forced out with a gigantic golden parachute) said, during the lead up to the Trump presidency, that he didn’t necessarily like the man or what he stood for, but, by God, he’s making us a shitload of money!   More than one network showed the empty Trump podium, while bad for business Bernie Sanders addressed another huge crowd, uncovered by the cameras, after yet another improbable primary victory.   “We’re still waiting for Trump, he’ll be out in a minute to say something explosive (or possibly even take a dump on stage)!   Please stay tuned, we’ll return to his empty podium right after this important message.”

Fourth, in America it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.   We live in a profit-driven culture.  If you have a net worth of fifty billion there is no shame attached to an ambition to double that wealth — go for it!  The people we admire the most, as a culture, are the biggest winners.  In America we call these money-crazed oligarchs “philanthropists” and give their opinions about problem solving the greatest weight.   They have the money to form giant non-profit companies to put their ideas into practice.  Their ideas carry great weight because they are clearly brilliant, since they have amassed billions as a result of their obvious genius.  Even if they are born to their great wealth, they’re better than most people, in a materialistic culture that values only acquisition.

Fifth, the political parties themselves, and all of their candidates (with a few notable individual exceptions) are dependent on Big, Dark Money, corporate and personal, and lots of it.  Corporate lobbyists/colleagues/lobbyists are a big factor too, you can’t snub your old friends, and the powerful causes they represent, and expect to survive in the marketplace of “donations”.   Everybody seems to like this horse race model of electoral campaigning, keeps the money flowing.

Down through all the rest of the numbers here, the answer is the same.  People make money, a shit ton of money, from the way things are arranged here in our “free market”.   The mass media is run for money, every political debate is a source of revenue for multiple corporations.   We run our elections like the Super Bowl, a parade of the world’s most expensive and ingenious advertisements, made by the greatest advertising minds, vying for the coveted title of best Super Bowl advertisement.  If you have a billion to spend on your political ad campaign, versus an opponent with only ten million, chances are excellent that you win!  Money is speech, baby, Supreme Court said so, loud as hell, in Citizens United.   If you have a billion you just get to speak louder than a punk with a puny $390,000.  Freedom, you dig.

Children separated from their desperate parents, kept in filthy conditions in privatized child prisons?   Nobody is paying us for soap and water for these stinking little bastards!   Fuck you, Commie.   These kids are evil, illegal, alien.   You can do whatever you want to them, they have no rights, no humanity.   We’ll fight you to the death against charges that we don’t care about children, are deliberately cruel to deter these pricks from sneaking in to ask for asylum.   How fucking dare you?   Why have a bully pulpit if you can’t be a bully?  Suck my ass while I tweet about your ass-sucking, loser!

Unthinkable, really, to have intelligent people of different points of view squarely facing the most difficult actual challenges of our lives here– climate catastrophe, intergenerational poverty, massive American despair, rage, violence, addiction, untold American deaths from preventable diseases, suicide —  and hammering out the best ways to improve things.

Better for everybody to just let our most charismatic and well-funded gladiators hack each other’s arms off for our amusement.  Let the fucking games begin!  Anything else?  UNTHINKABLE!!!

 

[1]   A short list of long-time unthinkable ideas:

Constitutional abolition of Constitutionally protected slavery (1865)
alcoholic beverages made illegal in every state (1920)
alcoholic beverages made legal again (1933)
universal women’s suffrage (1920)
federal regulation of child labor and creation of the 40 hour work week (1938)
$15 minimum wage (adopted in many states and municipalities)
legalized recreational marijuana ( currently the law in eleven states, see map

Constitutional right to same-sex marriage in all states  (2015, but 5-4, watch out my gay brothers and sisters)
“pre-existing condition” right to refuse health insurance coverage abolished  (2010)

Losing the Propaganda War

Back in the day, in ancient Egypt, when a new dynasty came into power they’d send goons into the tombs of the rulers of the past.   These goons would scrape the images of the dead off the tomb walls, making sure to remove the faces wherever they were depicted.   It was a way of messing them up good in the after-life — try living forever in glory with no face.   It was a way of effacing their image, and memory, from history.    The same technique has been used a million times since.  Who are you going to believe — me or this asshole who literally has no fucking face?

It’s now common to call this process something like controlling the narrative.  In propaganda terms, you take a complex issue and reduce it to a phrase that will make people angry.  “Moscow Mitch” pops to mind, a great recent example of this technique (and, by the way, Moscow Mitch is fuming about this vicious, if not completely unfair, nickname).   Mitch McConnell, the long serving lady-killer from Kentucky, has used his position as leader of the Senate to block votes on all legislation, and every appointment, he doesn’t like.  He simply refuses to allow a debate or vote, that’s how you guarantee your enemies lose every time.   Losers.

Included on this list, most recently, is his ungentlemanly, anti-democratic refusal to bring two House bills about election security to a vote on the floor of the Senate.   These bills are to ensure that our electronic elections are protected from the massive foreign manipulation we can expect in 2020, in light of what the Mueller Report documented as “sweeping and systematic” Russian interference in 2016. [1]   Also in light of a recent government report that showed attempts to hack voting machines in all 50 states in 2016.  Moscow Mitch sees no problem with any of this, as long as his party, whose presidential candidate was openly favored by Moscow in 2016, and happily invited their help, stays in power.

So, instead of needing to say all that simply say:  Moscow Mitch.  The phrase stands in perfectly for a candidate apparently more loyal to Putin’s right to a favorable say in the election than any Democrat’s right to cast a secure ballot.   Hopefully the cool new nickname will help cost the obdurate, unprincipled, partisan obstructionist his job in the next election.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 3.41.19 PM.png

This sort of thing is common in politics, of course.   “Lock her up!” was used to great effect by a demagogue and his cronies in a recent election.  It was simply a way of channelling hatred for Hillary Clinton and all she stood for.   “Build the Wall!” was as feel good a chant as “Block that Kick!” at a football game.   Makes people feel part of something virile and powerful, to fullthroatedly yell in unison like that, standing and rhythmically pumping their fists.  Winners.  

Odd to say, the same simplifying principle is routinely employed by most of us in our personal lives.  From time to time we judge something another person did as crossing a line, beyond the pale (whatever that cliche actually means — [2]) and based on that transgression we write the final unflattering chapter of our history with that person.   Everything was fine until this person I was friends with for thirty years refused to take “I said ‘no’ and I don’t have to say why” as a final answer, the infuriatingly overbearing fuck!

Bringing people to one side or the other in these wars is largely a public relations battle, fought on the miniature battlefield of interpersonal relations.   It is routinely fought in families — who is to blame for what, who is the black sheep, who brought honor or dishonor to our family name, who is on whose side against whom.   It is fought everywhere people are angry about anything, which is to say, everywhere.  I give you the following highly hypothetical illustration which resembles nothing in anyone’s personal life, I assure you.

[illustration REDACTED]

A focus on the truth of what actually happened is often seen as misguided in our Moscow Mitch world, or, to be more accurate: irrelevant.   A simple, easy to embrace belief is better, in the all-important public relations/marketing/branding arena, than a well-researched, compellingly written thousand pages nobody will ever read, particularly if you burn the fucking book and the godless witch who wrote it. 

Mueller [3] was a godless witch, by the way, just ask Moscow Mitch.

 

[1]    “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” Mueller wrote in the 448-page document, which lays out new details about a Kremlin-backed plot that compromised Democrats’ computer networks and targeted state and local election offices.

source     note that this article is from April 19, 2019!   

[2]  Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 3.47.27 PM.png

[3] Bobby Three Sticks

One quick question, sir

Trigger warning:   this post contains the unexpurgated word “nigger”.

The president took a few moments the other day to viciously attack another critic who, even though the ever-honest president is “the most transparent president in history” and has “nothing to hide”, is still doggedly pursuing potentially compromising documents the president has lawyered up to refuse to provide. 

The chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, is the latest “person of color” to be crudely attacked by the president who pretended not to know who David Duke was when asked about the support of the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan during the run-up to his impressive 78,000 vote Electoral College mandate.   

The president, confronted with the multiple racist messages he had tweeted out against Cummings,  doubled down (it’s a reflex with the craven transactionalist), after attacking the chairman and the vermin “infested” city the chairman represents, calling African-American Elijah Cummings a “racist” [1].

Michael Cohen testified to Congress about the president’s long time racism, the disdain he has always shown toward poor blacks (he doesn’t have much more use for poor whites, of course, losers) who live in various American shit-holes.   Though he has posed with a few high profile black celebrity “friends” over the years (the demented Kanye West in the Oval Office comes to mind), Trump repeatedly reveals his deep racism through his statements and his actions.

So just one question, Mr. President, sir.  You pride yourself on plain talk, you speak like the average opinionated ignoramus and those who love you get a tremendous kick out of it.   You can double down one more time.  Why not just say what’s really on your mind?   “These goddamned niggers are out of control.”   

Don’t you feel better?

I know America would, to hear you simply say it.

 

[1] To translate the “dogwhistle” into the president’s own idiom:

That fucking nigger is the fucking racist, not me!  I don’t have a racist bone in my body, it’s the niggers who are the goddamned racists!

Oy, Nancy, Nancy

Defending herself against the charge that she is running out the clock on a House vote on articles of impeachment against a president she claims is currently engaged in criminal activities, as Congress goes on its August break, Speaker Pelosi said:

“We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed, not one day sooner.  And everybody has the liberty and the luxury to espouse their own position and to criticize me for trying to go down the path in the most determined, positive way.

Again, their advocacy for impeachment only gives me leverage, I have no complaint with what they’re doing, but I know ( … Mueller… presi …) what ( …uh, I keep calling him Special Counsel Mueller), Mr. Mueller said the other day CONFIRMED, confirmed in the public mind that the president has obstructed justice.  You know what he said. if he could have exonerated him he would have, but he didn’t. 

But he wasn’t able to investigate the president’s finances, personal business or otherwise,  and that is what we’re doing in the courts.  So I’m willing to take whatever heat there is there to say when we, the decision will be made in a timely fashion, this isn’t endless, and when we have the best, strongest possible case, and that’s not endless either, it may be endless in terms of the violations of the law that the president is engaged in, but that’s what I say to you.”

source

I’ve got only three words for you, Madam Speaker: what the fuck?

HOAX of the lying, conflicted, Comey-loving witch hunter

The Honorable Robert S. Mueller III testified to two congressional committees today under subpoena.   He agreed to be bound by Bagpiper Bill Barr’s recent letter limiting the scope of his testimony.  Bagpiper had a fairly low level assistant write a snitty little legal letter laying out the limitations, asserted under the expansive new protective presidential privilege not to be subjected to anything that could possibly lead to his impeachment. 

Mueller (a former DOJ employee, we note — currently a private citizen) was informed by the DOJ that he may not impugn the president or speculate as to his intent or motives (both of which Barr has spoken extensively and conclusively about in defending his boss.)  The former Special Counsel was warned against directly contradicting any of the false and misleading things that Bagpiper has publicly said and written.  He was instructed not to comment on any member of Individual One’s family, or go into any detail not explicitly included in the report, or step near any redacted material, etc.  Mueller, good Eagle Scout that he is, stated that he’d abide by these restrictions.

If you watched the hearings wearing a MAGA hat, you had to laugh at this regurgitation of old, harmless news that Trump-haters put so much faith in.  The president, who said he wouldn’t be watching the lying, conflicted, Comey-loving, hoax-mongering witch hunter (whose report nonetheless TOTALLY exonerated him) was tweeting about the HOAX during the testimony he claimed not to be watching.   If you support Trump (or even if you despise him) you understand that all Trump has to do is brazen this one out, and he has decades of experience being as brazen as they come.  He has his all-powerful Roy Cohn, finally, an unprincipled, ideologically pure right-wing zealot who has proved his loyalty and his willingness to go beyond principle to defend his Unitary Executive master.

If you believe, as I do, as anyone who has read any portions of Mueller’s report does, that there’s massive evidence of impeachable conduct laid out in the Mueller report, you saw many answers by Mueller that hammered this home.   The president refused, over the course of many months of negotiation, to appear before Mueller and his “perjury trap”.   Mueller explained why he didn’t subpoena Trump (though, per Barr’s recent letter, he wouldn’t answer questions about why Koosay Jr., or smug, silent Jared, for that matter, wasn’t forced to testify).   Mueller said that a subpoena for the president would have been tied up in litigation (by the Roy Cohn-trained obstructor-in-chief) and unnecessarily hold up the crucial investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.   

Mueller elaborated about Trump’s written answers, which not only were “inadequate” but often were contradicted by other evidence.  He would not speculate, or give his opinion of Trump’s credibility, though he did note that he wasn’t satisfied with Trump’s answers, formulations that were inadequate and, as he said, often contradicted by other credible evidence.

Mr. Trump is, I’m trying to find the right New York Times tone to use here, a fucking liar.  He’s known as a compulsive liar, meaning, he seemingly cannot help himself.  He simply says whatever he feels he has to say at any given moment, to get maximum leverage in any given transaction.   What is Mueller’s opinion about Trump’s credibility?   Well, he gave inadequate answers that were often contradicted by other credible evidence.   So what are you saying?  That this known liar was lying in his sworn answers?   

That he stayed out the “perjury trap” of testifying falsely under oath on the strength of his long reputation as a lawyered up, action-taking knave.  He had a team of lawyers craft the answers he falsely claimed to have written himself, answers that stated he didn’t recall, had no specific recollection, was too busy winning to notice the detail asked about, didn’t remember, was coming up blank, really didn’t know because it slipped his mind, if he ever knew about it, which, for the life of him, he couldn’t say for sure if he did or not.   Answers that were often contradicted by credible evidence.  Nuff said?

I didn’t see Mueller’s entire testimony, but I was waiting for somebody to direct Mueller’s attention to his final written question to Trump about obstruction.   It was a long, complex question about the nefarious actions of disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.  It was Trump’s firing of Comey, because not only did he refuse to declare personal loyalty to Trump but he wouldn’t let the Flynn thing go, that led to the appointment of the Special Counsel.   The multi-part question about Flynn was a particularly important question.   Trump’s answer was, literally, [no answer provided].     

Yo, Democrats, do I have to do all your work for you?   

If the testimony today had been part of an impeachment inquiry it would have meant far more than an exploratory feeler as to the public’s willingness to maybe not hold it against Democrats in 2020 if they upheld their constitutional obligation to investigate the corrupt and illegal acts of a famously corrupt and law-ignoring president, acts set out in great detail in a long, detailed report.   A president who calls false emergencies to thwart the will of Congress, a president who routinely ignores court orders, who calls democratic norms, and credible critiques “bullshit” and who is intent only on “winning”– whether it’s the fight over whether stinking, unsanitary child prisons should be called “concentration camps”, whether calling black athletes “sons of bitches”, black female critics “low IQ”, Mexicans “rapists” makes him divisive, hateful racist, misogynist, xenophobe, whether raking in millions from his various businesses, and giving personal access to preferred paying customers and patron-lobbyists, is a breach of his duty to at least appear non-corrupt.   Not to mention his numerous clock-running court challenges to every legal demand for documents and testimony or the sure to be overturned assertion of a blanket executive privilege against anything that could possibly put this innocent child of God in a less than blessedly Christian light.

If the Democratic House does not start impeachment proceedings, based on political handwringing, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will go down in history as America’s Neville Chamberlain.   I heard a recording of the former British Prime Minister, given after his famous Munich Conference with Herr Hitler.   He stated, in flowing, measured, confident tones, that at the outset he found Hitler to be unreasonable, but as they spoke Herr Hitler had convinced him of the justness of his request, that all he really wanted was for Sudeten Germans to be reunited with their countrymen.    Chamberlain arrived back in London to cheers, he had averted war and preserved “peace in our time” by turning British and French ally Czechoslovakia over to the Nazis.  In hindsight, he came to view it as a political mistake.   He lost his job and is remembered in history as a pathetic “appeaser” of one of history’s greatest tyrants.

Hindsight is 20/20, they say, and giving in to one of the world’s most notorious mass-murdering lying psychopaths looks bad on the old resume.   I’m not comparing Trump to Hitler [1] (all Trump has done, to date, is set up a network of stinking child prisons for little “illegals”, no death camps, NO DEATH CAMPS!) but if everything he’s done in his first two and a half years is left up to an election in 2020 that can be won by another beautifully engineered surgical 78,000 vote electoral college “mandate” (even if he loses the popular vote by 15,000,000 this time, instead of a mere 2,900,000) — we’re done.  America’s long, troubled experiment in democracy is over.   Stick a fork in us.   Get your tattoo and move on to indicated train to the assigned privatized processing center for re-education.

Impeachment is the only constitutional remedy for this kind of openly corrupt public official.    As no less an authority on our democracy than Robert S. Mueller III wrote, in his report:

The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of the office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.

 

 

[1] outside of his personality, his inability not to lie, his disregard for law, his scorn for custom, his autocratic nature, his limited intelligence (which he boasts about as genius), his open hatred of disloyalty, the vitriol he directs towards enemies, his demands for unconditional personal loyalty, a superhuman faith in his own infallibility, his inexperience and temperamental unsuitability for leadership, his violent and overwrought language, his readily combustible temper, his hatred of any opposition, his appeals to the irrational rage of a desperate base, his tendency to pout and throw tantrums, his sadism, his readiness to employ cruelty, his scorn for “democracy”, his demand to be obeyed, he insistence that his word is law, that his ample ass be constantly smooched and several other minor things like that.

Plus, look, to be fair, nobody ever accused Hitler of being corrupt or a money-hungry lover of incomparable luxury.

Warmest Month in Recorded History — ah, who cares?

It’s actually hard to believe how little most Americans seem to care about the rapidly approaching end of a habitable planet.    The scientists keep publishing ever more dire predictions, irreversibly deadly things are happening more quickly than the most alarming reports concluded even a few years ago, we can feel the results in our own skins week after week, but — eh.

The Democratic party decided a month or two ago that it wasn’t necessary to hold a debate on how we’re going to slow climate catastrophe.    The number one issue is not catastrophic climate change, yes, there was another deadly climate event the other day, sure, and we all know it’s getting hotter and hotter,  but voters, polls show, are more concerned with the racist rhetoric of our unhinged attention-craving president.   The leaders of the Democratic party decided, no doubt based on extensive polling, that talking about steps to avert climate disaster is not a winning strategy for 2020.

The month that just passed, June 2019, was the hottest June on record.  This month is on course to become the hottest month ever recorded.   You know, if you live in an air-conditioned home, have good AC in your car, everywhere you go is cooled to a beautiful temperature, all the humidity removed, the hottest month on record is not as big a problem for you as for many millions of old people, tiny children, people with asthma and worse, living in quarters without even fans, or outside.

Global warming, largely the result of the carbon released from the continual burning of millions of tons of fossil fuel, is a big part of the crisis, the thing that’s driving it.  When the planet gets hotter the polar ice melts, sea levels rise, the warmer ocean means more severe, wetter, slow-moving, storms, more flooding.   The increased heat also means drought, wild fire, water shortages.   Coastal homes will be under water soon.  Several island nations in the south Pacific will soon be under the ocean.   Every day more and more species of animals and plants become extinct.   Mother nature is very, very pissed. 

You add up all the reasons to care about the biosphere, there are too many to count. We are part of nature, our hubris aside, we are creatures living in nature.   We are homo sapiens the “wise ape” and some very well-paid geniuses are now figuring out how to “terraform” Mars — you know, some of us will want to survive when this shit-hole earth is completely used  up, everything of value extracted from it, only a toxic hell-hole left.

You tally up the reasons to continue destroying our planet: there’s gold in them thar hills!    

What the fuck?   Is it really as simple as “Manifest Destiny” (we have to kill all the indigenous savages who refuse to get out of the way because God said so)?    Seriously, what the fuck?

As near as I can figure, insanely wealthy old white men (I’m sure there are blacks, Asians and other “others” involved, but not nearly as many as old white psychopath bastards), profiting massively from the destructive fossil fuel industry, have decided that since they’re going to die soon anyway, fuck it, let’s rape the shit out of this place before we go.  Who cares?  We’ll be dead, and all of our efforts will not have been in vain if we can take everybody else with us.  

When these fossilized vampires reckon the price, the deaths of a million, ten million, a billion takers is a small item on the ledger.   Who cares?  What have these parasites ever produced, except for more parasites?   More than this earth can support.   It’s not as though love, care for others, stewardship of our natural world, our grandchildren’s future, is even remotely as compelling as the profit motive.  

It’s profits that make the world go ’round, exploiting the natural world for our advantage is our right as job creators.  How dare the weak, the useless, make any demands on us, try to use “democracy” to coerce us to curtail our liberty for the sake of some imagined future?!    Fuck them and their “future”.   Makers vs. Takers, motherfuckers.   

God bless the child that’s got his own, that’s got his own.