Schematic of Psychotic Injustice Barr/Flynn edition

I am not a psychiatrist, so I use “psychotic” in the ordinary, generic way, to mean shockingly sick, destructive and otherwise not susceptible to reasonable discussion.

Check out the schematic of this latest unappealable Trump/Barr Department of Justice reversal of logic and legal fact.   Granted, Barr dropped the case against the admittedly guilty Mike Flynn to please the most destructive and unreasonable two year-old ever to hold the world’s most powerful office, but, still.   Strikingly disturbing, when you consider it boiled down to it’s essence, the counter-factual  way the current “victors” are rewriting history in real time and peddling it to the credulous.

Barr’s reasoning is simple: no Flynn crime/plea/conviction, no need to fire Comey over refusal to drop Flynn probe, no need for Sessions’ recusal, no need for the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate Trump.  No problematic Mueller Report, no grounds for partisan impeachment, end of story. Trump innocent of any and all hints of anything but being the greatest ever.

The facts of the story Barr has tried to rewrite are easy enough to follow:

General Mike Flynn, who led the chants of “Lock Her Up!   Lock Her Up!” at Trump rallies (and also at the RNC, if memory serves) was made National Security Advisor by Donald Trump after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.  

Prior to Trump’s assumption of power in January 2017, during the transition period when the Obama Administration was still in power, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador, assuring him that in spite of Obama’s sanctions and the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into later well-documented Russian interference for Trump in 2016, that Russia-US relations would be fine once Trump was sworn in.

News of this illegal conversation reached Vice President Mike Pence, who questioned Flynn about it.   Flynn lied to Pence, assuring him that he’d never had any contact with the Russians.   Pence repeated this lie on national TV.   Pence subsequently learned Flynn had lied to him.   Trump, with great reluctance, fired Flynn for lying to Pence.   He explained the necessity to fire Flynn, a wonderful man and a hero, to a saddened nation via Twitter.

There had been an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, sunce the summer of 2016.   Mitch McConnell had successfully intimidated Obama out of making a public announcement about the government’s concern (well-founded, it turned out, and amply documented now, in several official bipartisan reports) with widespread Russian interference in the 2016 election.  The news of the DOJ investigation into pro-Trump Russian meddling would not break until after the election was over [1].   

Now Trump, as president, asks everyone else to leave the room and asks FBI Director Jim Comey if he has his undivided personal loyalty.   He tells the uncomfortable Comey that Flynn is a good guy and that the FBI needs to drop this “Flynn thing,”  as a show of good faith toward the new administration.    Comey balks.   Trump fires and attacks Comey.  Comey, according to Trump, is a very sick and dangerous man.

Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General, is caught lying under oath in the Senate (by then-Senator Al Franken) about his own contacts with the Russian government during that same transition period.    Sessions seeks the advice of the DOJ Ethics lawyers and correctly recuses himself from overseeing the Russia election interference investigation.   He could not have ethically supervised a probe into a matter he had lied about his participation in.  The appearance of impropriety would have cast a foul stench of bias over any investigation.  For perhaps the only time in his professional life, Sessions did the right and honorable thing.  Trump was furious at this betrayal by the weak, disloyal Sessions and repeatedly attacked him.

Assistant A.G. Rod Rosenstein now headed the DOJ investigation of Russian interference.  Within days of the Comey firing he was pretty much forced to appoint a Special Counsel, the well-respected, straight-shooting, devoutly Republican Robert Mueller III.  On May 17, 2017, when Trump found out about the appointment of the Special Counsel, he had a shit fit in the Oval Office, saying that he was fucked, his presidency was over, that a president can’t do his job once an investigation like this started.   He then lashed Sessions at length for his cowardice under fire, for his failure to loyally protect Trump from the Deep State traitors that surrounded him.

Mueller’s investigators interviewed Flynn.   Flynn had already arranged an interview with the FBI, and lied to them essentially the same way he’d lied to Pence. Flynn cooperated with Mueller’s investigators, with the understanding that it would help him avoid the maximum sentence for the crime of lying to the FBI.   Flynn was prosecuted for a federal crime and pleaded guilty, twice, under oath.

So, to recap.  No Flynn lies about his own misconduct, no demonstrable Pence lie on TV, no firing of Flynn, no need for the special favor from the sick and dangerous Jim Comey, no firing of Comey,  no recusal by weak A.G. Jeff Sessions in overseeing the quiet, ongoing Russia investigation — most likely never any Robert Mueller investigation.   

Now the game for Trump is, as it was when Mueller concluded he could not exonerate Trump for obstruction of justice (a felony, boys and girls),  to take the findings of Robert Mueller and dismiss them as the unprincipled accusations of a partisan coward too weak to do his job, which was to fully uncover the hoax of the false  claim that the Trump campaign had actively coordinated and colluded with Russian agents and to completely debunk the scurrilous innuendo that just because Trump was in a fury to end the Mueller probe, tried numerous times to do so, in fact, successfully obstructed justice (due to much perjury and destruction of documents, insufficient evidence of criminal conspiracy uncovered) … well, nothing to actually see here.

In other words, complete and total exoneration by the witch hunters determined to destroy Trump no matter what.

The story Barr and FOX immediately started repeating was that so-called Eagle Scout Mueller and his team turned out to be a Never-Trump sleeper cell working for Obama, the Mexicans, the Muslims, disloyal Jews, Hindus, the Clintons, George Soros, the traitorous Deep State, the Fake News and so on.

So, by dismissing the charges against a man at the center of the Mueller probe, who twice, under oath, admitted his guilt about lying (and lying multiple times, ruling out accidental untruth) about his illegal contacts with Russians, the lynchpin of the whole anti-Trump enterprise falls away leaving: NOTHING.  

A big, fat, Bagpiper Bill Barr-sized HOAX.   Communists, everywhere, we are upping the danger alert to RED.  RED!!!  VERY DANGEROUS!!!  Buy duct tape!  Return to work!   Save America from those who hate our freedom!!!! 

 

 

[1] Note: McConnell has staunchly resisted any and all efforts to protect the 2020 election from this ongoing interference, set out in great detail in Robert Mueller’s report (as well as House and Senate reports)  since it was favorable to his party, resulting in the historically great administration of  the unimpeachable Donald Trump, the best friend the radical right-wing has ever had in office.    Suck it, LOSERS.

 

Nazi Fuck of the Week

The honor this week goes to one of the smartest, angriest and most contemptuous of this extremist group we have in power right now.   He has pushed the justice envelope farther than any before him, demonstrating in the process how smoothly he combines the most salient traits of Hermann Goering (the contemptuous bully) and Josef Goebbels (the cunning, contemptuous propagandist).   Bravo, Bagpiper, take a bow, you beefy Nazi fuck.

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Barr worked in government alongside fellow right-wing zealots Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in the years after Nixon’s disgraceful resignation under threat of bipartisan impeachment.   Congress and the Court put limits on presidential power, because we’d had a president who lied about not being a crook, abused the powers of his office to attempt to brazenly obstruct justice and so forth.  

These fine, ideological men, Barr, Rummy, the aptly named Dick Cheney, were among a powerful core of super conservatives who believed it was totally unfair of the other branches, the so-called Checks and Balances, to limit the powers of the Unitary Executive, the most important man in government, the equivalent of the corporate CEO, just because one was unfairly caught in criminal activity, repeatedly lied about it and was unconscionably disgraced and forced to resign.

Barr was as adamant as the others that the powers of the president (if he was of their political persuasion, of course) could not be limited in any way.   It was a long-time dream of these hierarchically thinking men of power that in any just system you have an all-powerful boss, and his loyal supporters who are well-rewarded, and the rest just do what they’re fucking told and be happy about it or shut the fuck up.  In Germany they had a phrase for this, for life under their infallible CEO boss from 1933-45: fuhrerworte haben Gesetzeskraft: the leader’s word has the force of law.

Prior to the new president’s inauguration in 2017, the incoming National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, contacted the Russian government and told them not to worry about Obama’s sanctions for their election interference, that they’d work things out once Trump was in power.    Then he lied to Vice President Pence, told him he’d had no contact with the Russian ambassador or anyone else.   Pence repeated the lie on national television.    Pence later confirmed Flynn had lied to him.   Trump fired Flynn, with regret, for lying to Pence.  

Meanwhile, it turned out, Flynn had also lied to the FBI when they questioned him in connection with their investigation into now well-documented Russian interference on behalf of  Trump in the 2016 election.   Flynn was referred for prosecution by Robert Mueller III (Bobby Three Sticks), and twice pleaded guilty in federal court, under oath, to lying to the FBI.  

He stated while making his pleas that God had told him he must take responsibility for his actions, plead guilty, make amends and move forward with his life.   Then Trump started having regular shit fits on twitter, FOX got involved.

Sean Hannity made the case that even though Flynn volunteered to be interviewed by the FBI, that it was arranged days in advance, and conducted in Flynn’s office, that Flynn had been viciously trapped.   The FBI, FOX argued, had set Flynn up.  For one thing, they never told him lying to the FBI was a federal crime, and they deprived him of the right to counsel.  Every skel and scumbag in the world, charged with a crime, gets the right to a lawyer, but not Flynn.   The irrational hatred of Trump, you see, went so deep in the Deep State, they were berserk and venegefully determined to get Flynn, no matter what.   Made sense to Hannity, to Trump, to Barr, to Flynn.  Trump began randomly tweeting about what a great, unfairly victimized man Flynn was.

This outpouring of support, rational or not, caused Flynn to stiffen his spine.  He got a new legal team, and attempted to withdraw his two guilty pleas.  He’d apparently heard further from the God he prayed to, the one who at first told him he had to be accountable for the crime he’d committed, and that God, on reconsidering, apparently, told him the Deep State had persecuted and trapped him, like Judas and the Romans did to Jesus Himself, and Flynn resolved that he’d go to hell before allowing himself to be sentenced to prison for a “crime” he realized now he did not even commit.  He wanted to withdraw both of his guilty pleas.  After all, is loyalty a crime?   Is love of country a crime?   Is protecting the president a crime?

Barr recently decided Flynn had been crucified long enough.   He directed a motion be made to the court that was about to sentence Flynn. the DOJ moved to dismiss the case “in the interests of justice.”   Hermann Goering is high-fiving our attorney general from his grave.   What a ballsy move, comrade!   In your fucking faces, Social Justice losers!  

Then comes the real kicker, Barr’s in-your-face contempt of everything he claims to stand for:

Barr told CBS News he believes the Justice Department’s “duty, we think, is to dismiss the case.”

“A crime cannot be established here. They did not have a basis for the counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage,” Barr said.

When asked if Flynn lied to the FBI, Barr responded, “Well, you know, people sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes.” [2]

Barr insisted Thursday that he wanted the dismissed charges to “restore confidence in the system” and show people “there’s only one standard of justice.”

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Barr also said, with his trademark pugnacious smirk — ah, I’ll let the Daily Beast tell it, they put it nicely:

Trump had previously hinted that he was considering a pardon for Flynn. After denying he was doing Trump’s bidding, Barr was asked how history would remember this move.

“History is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who is writing the history,” he said with a sly smile.

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Naturally, Barr, who has never been able to refrain from gloating as his evil enemies fume, also said other provocative things, with a glint in his steely eye, which is one more reason he is our top Nazi Fuck of the Week:

Barr insisted Thursday night that he was not dragging politics into his decisions, suggesting the real bias at work was against Flynn, who had pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents in an interview about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

“I want to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There’s only one standard of justice,” Barr told CBS News. “It’s sad that nowadays these partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice.”

Asked whether he was doing Trump’s bidding, Barr said: “I’m doing the law’s bidding.”

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“Sad,” you understand, “that nowadays these partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice.”   And, by people, of course, I refer to you eternally angry, damned to hell godless evildoing partisan losers.

Barr decided the interests of justice detemined that Flynn was the victim, as Trump is always the victim, as Barr himself has always been the victim.  Their type are understandably sick and fucking tired of being victimized by merciless partsan hacks just because they answer to a much higher calling than the average powerless loser.   They will not stand for it!   NOT ANY MORE!

I will give Neal Katyal the last word, the piece he wrote with fellow Georgetown law professor Joshua Geltzer, really puts Barr’s latest atrocity against justice into stark perspective.   They call it THE APPALLING DAMAGE OF DROPPING THE MICHAEL FLYNN CASE.   Appalling it truly is.    Our experiment in democracy has now been concluded, please continue to hold…

 

 

 

[1]  The legal basis for the interview with Flynn, was laid out with irrefutable legal precision by Mary McCord, the acting assistant attorney general who reviewed all the paperwork in the case.   Her clear, concise Op Ed is entitled BILL BARR TWISTED MY WORDS IN DROPPING THE FLYNN CASE.  HERE’S THE TRUTH.

[2] As for Fuckface himself:

Trump has also naturally praised the DOJ’s decision, telling reporters Thursday that Flynn is an “innocent man” who is now “an even greater warrior.” “He is a great gentleman. He was targeted by the Obama administration and he was targeted in order to try and take down a president, and what they’ve done is a disgrace, and I hope a big price is going to be paid,” Trump said.

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Welcome to the Fourth Reich

Looking back in history, with that keen vision hindsight sometimes provides,  it’s often easy to find the moment when the deal was sealed, the signal event that made what happened next appear inevitable.   In Nazi Germany, I’d say that moment was eighteen months in, when Hitler sent out goon squads to kill his enemies all over Germany on the last night of June 1934.   One of the dead, in that Night of the Long Knives, was General Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler’s predecessor as chancellor, the German equivalent of a more right-wing Colin Powell.   The initial claim in State media was that the “traitor” was shot dead in a gun battle while resisting arrest for his crimes.  Within a very short time they dropped the lie, the Fuhrer was nonchalantly telling Germany about the night “when I had Schleicher shot.”   Of course, the whole point of that coordinated, murderous purge was to demonstrate that even a popular right-wing celebrity politician wasn’t safe from summary execution if Hitler perceived disloyalty or threat.  

So it is with this lawless, insecure, bullying reality-TV con-man president we have up at the podium now.   He also uses fear of angry reprisal, demonstrated in consistent threats and public acts of vilification and revenge, to rule by fear.  Riding the ample ass of his deeply religious, fanatical Attorney General who believes, and always has, that the ends justify the means, he would appear infallible.   The ends, for Bagpiper Bill Barr, are a moral nation-state as Jesus would have wanted it (as Barr fervidly imagines his messiah would want it, anyway).   Barr wields the law as a righteous sword, the way the original Jesuits, Defenders of the Faith and lawyers for the Spanish Inquisition, did. 

You fervently want justice, God’s justice on earth.  To get Divine justice, to be righteous instruments of His will, you must put heretics to the flames, to the sword, the strappado, the water-board, the rack.   It’s just what the Prince of Peace would wish for us sinners here on this troubled earth, to bring Jesus’s mercy to mankind by any means necessary.  So, as a lawyer for God’s representatives on earth, you reason backwards from the result you want, and craft your legal rationale to make the practice legal, permissible, and even highly moral, no matter how perverse or obscene what you are advocating might otherwise seem. 

Barr has always been supremely creative this way, an innovator, really.   He crafted the first-ever preemptive presidential pardon on the eve of a felony trial (Caspar Weinberger’s) that would have spilled the toxic beans on lame-duck president HW Bush and destroyed his legacy.  He substituted his overbearing and demonstrably false interpretation for the damning facts of a careful report that explicitly did not exonerate his boss of a seamless (and ongoing) pattern of Obstruction of Justice, smearing a highly respected Eagle Scout colleague, and political fellow-traveler, in the process.  Since exonerating his guilty boss he has empaneled a zealous criminal investigation into the “HOAX” investigation of what both parties have concluded in official reports was massive Russian interference in the 2016 election, with the active connivance of Trump’s campaign, and on and on. Thus:

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Granted, I should not have clicked on the NY Times at 4:13 a.m. — one of the dangers of having a phone next to your bed.    Hell of an hour to get the bracing news that I was now living in the Fourth Reich.   I read the Grey Lady’s analysis the next day, measured, well-written, a range of experts expressing dismay, alarm, a hint of outrage.   You can read it here, nicely done, I suppose, as far as it goes.

You will not get what you need from the New York Times, of course.  It’s not their job to get you into the streets, mobilized against the subjugation of our legal system to advance the corruptions of the most evil among us.   That is the job of the millions of professional and freelance canaries in the coal mine [1] — to raise the alarm.  

The Department of Justice was created under the Fourteenth Amendment, enacted after the Civil War.   The Fourteenth Amendment was the needed improvement to the Constitution that now guaranteed the rights, privileges and immunities of citizenship to the recently freed slaves, to ensure that outfits like the Ku Klux Klan could not continue to impose their enraged will through brutality and terror, that former slaves and their defenders would be protected from mob violence.  In the antebellum days when you could own other human beings as chattels, you didn’t need a Department of Justice to enforce the rights of these human mules, cows, goats — such persons had no rights under our laws.  

The Department of Justice has been at the center of every important advance in social justice, certainly in terms of enforcing federal laws against in-your-face racism and other hate crimes.  It has also been a bulwark against government corruption and a protecter of those who risk exposing government corruption.   It is no longer in those businesses anymore.

The Department of Justice is currently in the hands of a zealous, angry man who believes that Abuse of Power, when the righteous wield it, or when it is expedient to righteous goals, anyway, is neither a crime nor a vice.  The ability to vastly expand his existing powers, even abuse them (if you want to quibble) is a gift he no doubt believes he has received directly from Christ Himself, that His will may be done here upon the earth as it is done in heaven.  

Heaven help us all here in the Fourth Reich.   The Third one did not go well for millions and millions of people.   If these power-worshipping fanatics wind up in power again after November 2020, and they certainly have a puncher’s chance to be there, no matter how much more they fuck up (a far from stellar first term didn’t hurt Bush and Cheney in 2004) when you and I get to the camp, after that long, crowded train ride, remind me to ask you again if you still believe I’m being hyperbolic in my concerns about these Nazi-emulating motherfuckers.

 

 

[1] Kurt Vonnegut compared creative types to the canaries British coal miners used to carry into the mines to detect odorless poison gases like carbon monoxide.    When the tiny-lunged bird keeled over in his cage the miners knew it was time to get out of there.   (This practice was apparently stopped in 1986 when electronic sniffers replaced the wee birds).  Vonnegut meant by this comparison that those who fret and worry about communicating to others are often more prone than the rest to succumbing to the invisible deadly gases that are looming to kill everyone.

What is wrong with us, America?

The New York Times, a highly literate, aspirational outlet for its liberal-minded, well-to-do demographic, sometimes publishes extremely well-researched, important stories.  I have serious concerns with the many things they do not report, their reflexive decision to couch every story, no matter how outrageous, in reasonable-sounding terms, the way they have sometimes directly colluded with the worst things our government does (often simply by agreeing to silence), the massive influence they exert in allowing a murderous status quo to function smoothly and efficiently, but I appreciate that they are also a vital and important news source.   They ran this headline yesterday:

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This widespread child hunger, among young children, in the wealthiest country in human history, is happening as American farmers are destroying massive quantities of food, plowing it into the ground, dumping it, trashing it.   Thousands of tons of edible crops, eggs, dairy products, disposed of because the market for these foods has been eroded by the mass closures necessitated by our efforts to control the pandemic.  

A caller to a radio show recently asked a supremely reasonable question on-air: can’t the military or the national guard send trucks to collect this food and get it to hungry Americans who are already lined up, waiting for it?   The earnest politician she was asking spoke of a few related matters, but they ran out of time for him to answer that specific, excellent question.  I’d love to hear a good answer to why that isn’t being done, as at least one in five young children in America is malnourished and farmers are destroying vast quantities of food.

Presumably shipping that food directly to poor people would be Communism, an unAmerican affront to freedom and liberty.   Indecent, unAmerican, to distribute free food it is much more cost-effective to simply destroy on the spot since it can’t be profitably sold.  

In any case, the president clearly does not care how many low-income Americans have to die, as long as his ratings stay above 38%, the stock market remains upbeat and his chances of winning reelection are viable.   Don’t forget, he registered his 2020 re-election campaign on the day of his inauguration in January, 2017.    

One in five young American children are hungry in our land of food abundance, reports the New York Times.

What is wrong with us as a people?

Low-paid workers, many of them migrants, are recently ordered by the president, by scrawled Executive Order (as he refuses to use the Defense Production Act to order companies to produce needed personal protective equipment, tests, ventilators and other things vital for combating the plague), to show up for their shifts in American meat processing plants.  Never mind safety, never mind health, to hell with the pandemic — the nation needs warriors, says the president, to hack up those slaughtered animals and turn them into meat!   No matter, really, if  he winds up having to walk back this or that particular order, edict or pronouncement, he will announce he was being sarcastic, or meant the exact opposite of what he said.   He’s playful as a puppy!

The same cannot be said for the strongman of the Senate, the man who takes grim pride in his nickname, The Grim Reaper.  He is the proud, rictus-faced murderer of any humane bill that reaches his desk, he simply leaves them on his desk to die of neglect.  No vote, no nothing, make me do it, loser!   This well-married son of a couple of non-entities is not going to let any Commie-style legislation past him.   Getting a law past him that favors the average person over the extraordinary persons he represents, those well-funded corporate persons who keep him in power, is harder than getting a pork chop past a hungry wolf.  

You can read about what motivates this sick, destructive, unprincipled, soulless fuck in great detail in  How Mitch McConnell Became Trump’s Enabler-in-Chief  an exhaustively researched article by the great Jane Mayer.   He is presently seeking to pass legislation to protect our largest corporate persons from that fearsome army of aggressive plaintiff’s lawyers always ready to frivolously sue any business who negligently kills anyone or doesn’t protect their imagined health or rights sufficiently.  Shades of the legislation, at the dawn of the eternal War on Terror, to immunize mercenaries and other military contractors for things like torture and collateral damage.

Lewis Black got several of the last great laughs out of my mother that she ever had, in his one man show from the Kennedy Center, which we watched together on TV in the spring of 2010.  A big laugh came when he aptly described our electoral process. He asked the audience:  when was the last time you went into the voting booth and cast your vote for somebody you really believed was an excellent person for the job?    (For my parents it might have been Adlai Stevenson, who lost against Eisenhower a couple of times and then lost the 1960 Democratic primary to JFK)   No, said Black, you don’t get to vote for that person, ever.  You go into the voting booth, pull the curtain  AND IT’S TWO BOWLS OF SHIT, YOU GOTTA PICK ONE!

Our current reality TV-star, largely ignorant, compulsively  “sarcastic” president ran against Hillary Clinton, a highly competent but problematic politician.  The Democrats went with her because it was “her turn”.   During the lead-up to the 2016 election I heard that Donald and Hillary were the first and second most hated politicians in America.  Sounded about right to me.   I don’t recall which was number one most hated and which was number two, (both smell like number two to me) but, apparently, the best man won, by 78,000 surgically applied votes in every county in the three or four states the big man needed to win the Electoral College.

The bowl of shit the corporate Democrats are proposing as their candidate to beat Trump “like a drum” in 2020 is a vain, surgically enhanced old man with a famously winning televangelist smile and a dodgy political past featuring a lot of right-wing compromises.  He was the long-time senator from Delaware, the corporate incorporation capital of America, after all.  

To be clear, as I did with Ms. Clinton in 2016 (and her husband before that), I will vote for the clear lesser of two evils, hold my nose and choose the bowl of shit not labeled “Trump”.  I will urge everyone I talk to to do the same.   I won’t pretend, though, as the New York Times will, that President Biden will bring about a return to decency, make everything normal again here in the land of the feee and the home of the brave.  He will be a better president than Trump, without a doubt, but so would almost anybody.  After all, Trump is the worst president in American history by a country mile.  How bad?   He makes people, even on the left, nostalgic for his runner up as worst-ever president, George W. Bush.

May we be objective here for a moment?   The smiling blue collar Biden is something of an unapologetic jerk.   He charms his way out of the worst accusations thrown at him, using folksy, workingman’s humor.  After he was publicly admonished for touching women who didn’t want him to touch them he made a joke, putting his arm around a male on the stage with him.   “Look, I asked his consent, he said it was OK,” Biden said to the crowd, who gave him a hearty laugh.   It was probably less funny to any woman he’d been inappropriately handsy with.    Listen to Jeremy Scahill’s excellent analysis of the giant turd in the Biden/Democratic punch bowl

Trump is an absolute pig who takes pride in being that way and has threatened to sue every woman who ever accused him of being what he undoubtedly is, (particularly the ones who are not his type, women he wouldn’t rub against with Mike Pence’s dick).  He was lying about suing them all, it turns out, but then, that’s just his way, he’s litigious, full of puffery.   On a more sincere note, he nonchalantly indicated he’d like to have sex with his daughter Ivanka, you know, if he could get away with it.   He said it like a joke.   “I’d definitely date her,” he said, as his favorite daughter cooed uncomfortably next to him during the TV interview.   He said many other things about women much worse than that.   If you have no problem with a guy like him, he’s probably your man.  Join that solid 38% who love him no matter what he does.

But Joe Biden, self-proclaimed champion of women, has got some serious credibility problems of his own in the matter of his treatment of women, including his occasional unwanted shows of physical affection to women he interacts with.  I thought Jeremy Scahill’s was the best presentation of this truly perplexing situation that I’ve heard yet.  His recent interviews with journalist Melissa Gira Grant and former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores were detailed and thought-provoking.

We don’t always stop to think that when a powerful man says, of an accuser’s allegation, “it never happened” it also means “she’s lying.”   Joe Biden says, unequivocally that it never happened, that he never pushed his aide up against the wall and shoved his hand up her skirt and down her panties; therefore, the then young aide, Tara Reade, is lying, she’s a vicious liar.  

The Democrats have been insisting loudly, especially during the administration of a proud serial sexual violator,  that we must give women who complain of mistreatment by powerful men the presumption of credibility (ask former Senator Al Franken, lynched by zealous members of his own party).  As Biden himself said during the Boof Kavanaugh hearings:  

“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.” 

Which, of course, is quite different from what he’s saying now, about Tara Reade’s allegation — in her case, she’s simply lying.

Recall his words and actions as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Anita Hill made allegations against now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  Note that Biden did not even support Thomas’s nomination, he was among the 48 who voted “nay” in the 52-48 confirmation [1].   He chaired that committee around the time he is accused of feeling up his young aide in the rudest possible manner.  

He allowed Anita Hill no corroborating witnesses, allowed her to be roughed up by the men of the committee who were allowed to ask her to tell them repeatedly exactly what she claimed Clarence Thomas had said about her lovely breasts and the pubic hair on the Coke can, and how she felt, (was she really humiliated or just flirtatious and later feeling scorned, as women do?)  and why she made no complaint,  and then was forced to tell the same shameful things again, and grilled about why she continued to have a professional relationship with her former boss if he had actually sexually harassed her and made her feel so humiliated, why she didn’t use the brand new sexual harassment laws to bring him to court and humiliate herself … etc.   Biden chaired the circus, which Thomas indignantly called a “high tech lynching”, Biden held the gavel, had the power to make the abuse of Anita Hill stop at any time [2].  

Biden never apologized to Anita Hill, beyond saying, around the time he threw his hat into the ring to be the 2020 Democratic bowl of shit, that he wished there was more he could have done to stop what was done to her.  (Note the lawyer’s use of the passive voice– what was done to her– not what he, or anyone else did– nobody actually did anything, it was simply done, shit happens, gosh…).  It’s not as though he had the power to do more than he did … it isn’t like he was the chairman of the committee, representing the majority on it, or anything like that…

Besides, as he points out, this lying woman, Tara Reade, is talking about something that never happened twenty-seven years ago!   Where was she with her false claim all these years when he was being vetted over and over again?   Since she said nothing all those years, why believe her now when it’s very politically convenient to suddenly come out with this smear?   Biden’s most visible female surrogates, vice presidential hopefuls all, are forced to point out that they believe Joe and that the New York Times reported, about Tara Reade, well, she, there were some holes in her story, and other reasons to doubt she was the most reliable historian… and… and… the New York Times did a thorough investigation several weeks ago and determined…

Get ready to hold your nose, folks.   Joe Biden is the man Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic brain trust have chosen for you, brought back from the dead on the eve of his defeat, by the coordinated Super-Tuesday eve efforts of a united national party intent on not allowing a vigorous debate about the future of America, the minimum standard of decency we citizens actually deserve, what protections for human citizens are actually needed against merciless corporate persons.   We’ll chose the bowl of shit the Democratic party puts in front of us, if we know what’s good for us.   What choice do we really have?   Do we really want to wake up in November living in the Fourth Reich?  I don’t think so.

What is wrong with us, America?

 

 

[1] The ultra-conservative Thomas received 8 confirmation votes from Democrats; one each from Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia; he got both motherfuckers from Louisiana and Georgia.   Proving how much times have changed her in American race relations, even white southerners recognize the value of putting a black klansman on the nation’s highest court for his lifetime.

[2]  The Republicans who confirmed temperamentally unsuited right-wing extremist Boof Kavanaugh to his lifetime post on our highest court, learned a valuable lesson from the Thomas/Hill shit show.   They enlisted a woman to sympathetically grill Kavanaugh’s main accuser, Christine Blasey-Ford.   As a result, Blasey-Ford’s testimony was heard in full, and believed by most Americans who heard it.   During the break FOX news was in despair, it appeared to be over for choir boy Brett.   It would be up to the angry white Republican men on the committee, led by a crying Lindsey Graham,  to support the indignant, snorting, crying Kavanaugh so he could be confirmed.   Fucking babies.

Corporate/Public Partnership During a Worldwide Plague

As I’ve noted, Nazi-admirers and other authoritarians (and our greediest wealthy citizens) wake up every day on fire to consolidate and expand their power.   They eagerly use any means necessary, since they believe themselves in an existential struggle against a host of murderous evils.   They see themselves as underdogs, eternally under attack and fight like well-organized, maniacally disciplined devils for what they deeply believe in.   They believe themselves surrounded by superhuman enemies, and therefore they give no quarter in their quest to prevail over these inhuman creatures.   They go to sleep dreaming of the glorious fight and wake up fighting violently to change the world.

The large masses of average people just want to live decent lives, share adventures, take care of the people they love, help strangers when they can.   They tend not to be organized into quasi-military hierarchies, not to march in huge, angry rallies, not to brandish weapons and chant things like “Death to the Other!”   They seldom threaten to break anyone’s bones, burn anyone alive or hang traitors from lamp posts.  The masses of ordinary people are, as these tough-minded warriors see them, a bunch of passive pansies fully responsible for their own powerlessness. And, of course, contemptible for their weakness.

I’ve been trying to use my own unfortunate situation regarding twice-canceled public/private health insurance to illustrate how far this authoritarian belief system has come in recent decades.    If you are low-income, tamp your expectations for fair treatment, quaint things like “due process,” way down — there is a whole separate body of laws that protects what you losers believe to be your rights.  Our Free Market explicitly blames the poor for their poverty, the homeless for living outside, the weak for needing our help.   This is the prevailing public narrative of our “Free Market” system — a system which, naturally, provides generous support for our largest private enterprises and our most successful hoarders of wealth.    

The unexamined truism among many hardworking people is that if you had every opportunity not to be low-income, and were too lazy to work hard for it, something is fundamentally wrong with your values if you choose to live a life of outsized degradation.  If you choose to live this kind of disempowered lower class life, you have only yourself to blame for the unfair treatment you might receive.

Here, in a nutshell, is what our Free Market does when it comes to profit-driven health care, which grinds on obedient to the corporate bottom line, even during a worldwide plague.   You are notified that you have successfully re-enrolled for low-cost health insurance in 2020.   You call to pay and are told you missed a ten day grace period.   This private company insists that no notice is required before they can terminate your policy, lawfully, during this once-a-year chance for private insurance companies to terminate unprofitable, low-cost health insurance policies subsidized by the government.   You manage to get this “erroneous” ruling overturned and have your insurance restored.    Three months later, with notice from a government agency only to the private insurance company, your insurance is summarily canceled without notice.   You only find out by accident that you have no health insurance, during a plague, ten days after it is cancelled.

Fair is fair, of course.  No court in the nation will hear your case, particularly in a nation currently overwhelmed by mass infection, frightful deaths and dislocations. Two documents are produced by the State that offer the fig leaf of proof of the notice you never received.  It is the word of an angry person who made a clear error of omission (fixed 45 days too late) versus the word of government/corporate partners who claim to have followed the law to its letter, whatever that law might be.  

A law that, by the way, you have no right to know.  The government agency that regulates the private insurance company does not know the law, or if they do, they’re not obliged to inform a member of the unwashed public.  In fact, the agency returns your call to reiterate that it has no jurisdiction, you must appeal to the separate agency that administers programs for poor people, they operate under an entirely separate, but presumably equal, body of law.   The law has an apt phrase for this: “de minimis non curat lex” — the law doesn’t give a rat’s armpit for your hurt feelings, jerk-off.

Nothing to see here!  

Look, I am actually privileged, very much so.  I will have my insurance back in a few days, as opposed to the four and six month waits the last two times it was cancelled or held up due to the overwhelmed NYS agency’s own errors.  I have no major disease or health crisis requiring immediate medical care.   I am not at risk of homelessness, starvation, preventable death from undiagnosed heart disease or cancer or any other silent killer.   Tens of millions of Americans are in desperate situations, increasingly facing hunger, terror and actual death — I am not.      I live on a modest income but I am not suddenly unemployed and hopeless in a nation where the CEO of the non-profit corporation that twice terminated my low-cost health insurance in 2020 made $1,900,000 last year.  FAIR IS FAIR.

Thankfully, this headless galloping insanity might be slowed after November 2020, assuming the bulk of the electorate is allowed to cast ballots.   The opposition candidate, the gaffe-prone near-octogenarian with the million dollar smile, the man who can turn this all around and give us back both Hope and Change, is keeping pretty much quiet during this historic crisis.   A wise strategy by his strategists, minimize the damage he can do to own his campaign by staying as low on the radar as possible.   Hope and Change, baby!   Leadership on demand.  The best losers can hope for, one supposes, certainly the best we deserve.  And if not, blame us!

 

Broken Record, Hitler’s Birthday edition

I’m aware that all I can seem to do is viciously criticize Nazi-admirers, instead of sometimes acknowledging any of the great things they also do.   I’m a broken record with a suspiciously Yiddish accent, what can I say?   This today:

In environmental news, the Trump administration has rolled back regulations on emissions of toxic mercury and other pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The new rule changes how the Environmental Protection Agency will run cost-benefit analyses for power plants: The perceived health benefits of cutting pollution will be reduced, while the economic costs of curbing pollution will be increased. Mercury is a highly toxic metal that causes brain damage and birth defects.

source

I know, I know.  There’s nothing any of us can do about it, mercury has probably not damaged any of our brains, why can’t I just shut the fuck up and take my increased air-borne mercury like a man?   The $64,000,000,000 question, I suppose.

Mass death helps the right-wing anti-government crusade, y’all

Graph from yesterday’s New York Times:

Screen shot 2020-04-14 at 2.04.54 PM.png

The graph speaks eloquently for itself.  Two nations are hit, on the same day, by the same pandemic.    In a nation whose federal government is led by a party that believes government is the enemy of freedom, the results are fairly predictable, a radically multiplying death count.

Total deaths in South Korea, where prompt govenrment response flattened the curve effectively:  about 220.   America, no longer a laughingstock, is number one in the world in coronavirus deaths at (as of 4/13/20) 22,000 and climbing.  source

Those of us who want to survive this plague are up against two formidable enemies: a highly infectious virus and a racist, right-wing political movement dedicated to the concentration and protection of vast wealth for the few.  

That the poor are disproportionately dying in this pandemic is a great boon for these Nazi-admiring patriots.  “Fewer votes we need to suppress!   If all these angry fuckers survived, and managed to vote, our people would be voted out instantly.   Fortunately, that won’t happen, because we live in the greatest nation Jesus Christ ever created.   USA!   USA!!!”