Following the horse race

Because we live in a culture modeled after a casino — where great risk, if it succeeds, is rewarded with a great pay-out — our minds are shaped by the numbers, by the zero-sum, winner-take-all horse race nature of casino culture.   This guy is deservedly the richest guy in the world, having brilliantly monetized American laziness and addiction to consumption.  No wait, we have a young horse coming up fast on the inside, this genius monetized American loneliness and disconnection!  The American media discussion is always focused on the competition and, more than that, the big winners.  We don’t hear much about the many millions directly and indirectly fucked by the success of our most distinguished winners.  America loves a winner, we are told (and losers, you know, suck).

So Nancy Pelosi kept looking at the polls, studying the charts that map the movement of public opinion, to see how America was reacting to the latest Trump scandal.   Impeachment, she reasoned, might play right into the Victim-in-Chief’s hands, fire up his angry base when the Senate majority declared him an innocent victim of yet another partisan witch hunt and hurt Democratic numbers in 2020, so, by her logic, the numbers had to be watched carefully until the time was right.   

Before Nixon’s impeachment began in earnest, he enjoyed approval ratings as high as 68% (and they had to be high in those days, to approve of many of the things the angry, paranoid Nixon was doing).   By the time he resigned– although, in spite of impressive evidence of his wrongdoing, national support for impeachment never topped 60% — his numbers were in the proverbial toilet.   Here’s a graph Jeeves found for me:

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It’s quite possible that the graph above, although official looking, was pulled out of somebody’s rat’s ass, so here is a link to a more authoritative and detailed  source and a snapshot from that article:

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The point is, Mr. Trump, who has never had an approval rating nearly as high as the 68% once enjoyed by Tricky Dick, has had a steady, fanatically devoted base of about 39% to 44%.   His numbers don’t vary much no matter what he does or doesn’t do.   

You either think, as I do, that Mr. Trump is a vicious and empty-headed pile of noisome offal, or that he is a great man with unshakable belief in himself and the best interests of people who deserve it in his heart.  Either way, the needle does not tick much one way or the other.   Those who love him, love him.  Those who do not love him, do not love him (and why should we be different than either of his parents, anyway?) [1].

For those who love a good horse race, there are some numbers for you to thoughtfully chew on as you root your favorite horse toward the finish line. 

 

 

[1] this sickening, cheap-shot parenthetical is evidence of my vicious partisan bias.  Let me try to be fair.   How was it the young Trump’s fault that his parents were incapable of giving him the love and support he needed?   He acted out by becoming an increasingly problematic bully — they sent him to military academy.   He acted out by trying to prove he was a greater man than his ruthless, highly successful father– they gave him hundreds of millions to keep him from losing it all.   Still– it’s hard to think of that as love, based on how unhappy, selfish and perpetually angry the man turned out to be.

 

Corruption, anyone?

There’s a lot of chatter today on cable TV, in Congress, in the White House, at Bagpiper Bill Barr’s Department of Justice, between Rudy Giuliani and supporters of the president at Fox News, in the so-called liberal media, at the UN and all across America.    Almost everybody has a passionate opinion about the attempted squashing of a whistleblower’s credible complaint.  I have just one thing to add here:  the telephone call in question, with the president innocently asking the new Ukrainian president for a small political favor, took place TWO MONTHS AGO.   Let us not forget how we even know about it today, two months later.

This is another great example of why legal protection for whistleblowers is so crucial to the functioning of democracy.  Without legal protections for people who take the risk of exposing apparent government corruption by our most powerful elected representatives and their appointees you cannot have democracy.   The alternative to a system that protects whistleblowers is one in which unaccountable loyal appointees of an unrestrained president secretly cover up every shameful thing that looks remotely corrupt, embarrassing, illegal or compromising — even if those hidden things are actually innocent, as the president continues to insist his perfect chat with the Ukrainian president was.   

There could, in theory, be a reasonable explanation for why a president withholding military aid to an embattled ally was not using the promise of that needed aid as leverage when repeatedly asking a new foreign leader for a political favor.   The real danger to democracy is the cover-up that prevents us from even having the public discussion where that reasonable explanation can be offered and examined. 

On the right, among Trump’s staunch defenders, this is another baseless, animus-driven witch hunt like Mueller’s shameless partisan attack that completely and totally exonerated the president, according to the most openly corrupt, partisan Attorney General of our lifetime, a man who acts as the president’s personal attorney.  Trump’s base is incensed that partisans are treacherously seizing on this traitor’s treasonous “revelations” about the president’s alleged gross misconduct.  Mueller found nothing whatsoever, and now this fucking nothing-burger!

Mueller, of course, found more than a hundred instances of cooperation and coordination between the Trump presidential campaign and Russians who were actively working to influence the outcome of the 2016 election in Trump’s favor.   What Mueller reported he was unable to find, in part due to successful obstruction of his investigation by Trump and his allies, was proof of every element of a chargeable criminal conspiracy.   

Not that fine a point, really, there was collusion aplenty, but not a chargeable criminal conspiracy, based on the limited evidence Mueller was able to put together.   Mueller found that Trump and his allies welcomed Russian help in narrowly defeating Clinton in a surgically slim, precision targeted Electoral College victory that was massively influenced by sweeping and systematic Russian electoral meddling.   A boatload of identified Russian operatives was also indicted by Mueller.  “Russia, if you’re listening…” LOL! 

Several Trump employees are currently in prison, or awaiting sentencing or trial, for lying to federal investigators and other attempts to obstruct the DOJ investigation.  There are at least a dozen active criminal prosecutions in progress (all details redacted from the released report- ongoing matters).  The report explicitly did not exonerate Trump for the president’s long course of obstruction of justice, a course of conduct that appears to be continuing full-tilt daily, though it seems fractured since the disclosures about Trump’s attempt to get  dirt on political rival Joe Biden from the new Ukrainian president — and, even more ominously, falsely classifying it confidential for national security reasons.

Imagine if that government employee had not had the courage, and legal protection from reprisal, to make the credible and proper whistleblower complaint that the Trump administration used the Department of Justice to try to bury.   If that government whistleblower making this legitimate complaint had not contacted a lawyer when the complaint was not followed up, we probably would never had heard about it. 

Who got the complaint instead of Congress, as required by law?   William Barr, mentioned at least five times by Mr. Trump in the transcript of the president’s talk with Ukrainian president Vlodymyr Zelensky.  Instead of recusing himself, since the repeated invocation of his name had, at the very least, the strong smell of impropriety, Barr examined the complaint carefully and declared there was nothing to see in it, nothing urgent, no proof of a campaign finance violation, no proof of anything, nothing to see — as harmless to Teflon Donald as the toothless Mueller report which found absolutely no wrongdoing, according to the unimpeachable Mr. Barr.

What kind of democracy do we have without protecting whistleblowers?  The will of a handful of the most dangerous and driven maniacs among us.

Just one more note, on the matter of the ellipses in the transcript of the call that Trump immediately released.   It has been suggested by Trump-haters that these ellipses reflect things left out, things that could be further damaging to the president.   That is hard to prove, without the recording of the call to compare the transcript to.  In fairness to Mr. Trump, his unique speaking style is peppered with ellipses.    Here’s his spoken defense of the innocence of his July phone call to Zelensky:

The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place, it was largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine…

source

add ellipses to taste…

Complete and Total Piece of Shit

Many of us don’t want to believe in the existence of evil.  I never wanted to.  I preferred to think that supremely difficult people had suffered traumas that made them toxic, chronically unhappy, angry, grasping, vain, jealous, incapable of love and determined to reduce everyone else to that miserable state by any means at their disposal.   The toxic person is always crushingly selfish and most often cruel as well.   Their main characteristic is a pronounced lack of empathy.  Any power they are given will be abused to amass more prestige and to enforce their cruel, sometimes insanely vain, whims.  In the extreme form, the most driven and successful of these people are what we think of as evil.

Mr. Hitler is a poster boy, of course, his every mad utterance was immediately transcribed into the German legal code by an army of blindly ambitious lawyers.  We have always had a number of these types here in America too, Robber Baron types and their well-paid enablers and enforcers.  They believe that their will is the only true law of the universe, a universe rightfully ruled by the fittest.   The fittest, according to their view of nature, based on their understanding of science, are entitled to whatever they can wrest from those weaker than them.   They call their Might Makes Right worldview “Social Darwinism” (much as those who hated our first mixed race president tried to give themselves an obscenely tiny fig leaf of dignity by calling themselves “Birthers”).

My one time friend Mark who just died, friendless in the world, in the midst of great, hoarded wealth and many fine talents, was an example, in miniature, of this willful type.  No negotiation was satisfying in his zero-sum world unless he got the clearly better end of the split, the lion’s share.   You must be prepared to pay the price for living this way and you need some kind of force to enforce this brutally one-sided arrangement.   Often that force is not direct physical violence (though, in a pinch, why not?) but economic coercion — you offer a hard job at shit pay with no benefits, take it or leave it, there’s a long line of powerless chumps behind you, asshole.

We have long lived in a world where the only measure of human progress has been economic expansion and growth.   The Free Market, we are taught in American elementary schools, must constantly grow and expand throughout the globe  so that profits continue to rise and everyone’s standard of living keeps getting more comfortable.   Countless iterations of “a rising tide lifts all boats”, the misleading mantras of our most successful entrepreneurs and our top inheritors of vast wealth,  are inculcated in little American consumers throughout the educational process.

On the other hand, as is becoming more and more easily seen, the result of this extractive, expansionist worldview is massive inequality, widespread poverty and hunger, a devastated planet and mass extinction.    There is only so much oil in the ground, as the old Tower of Power song goes.   Even before it is all extracted, “refined” and burned, life on the planet for hundreds of millions of people — and countless animal and plant species that will leave the universe forever —  is over.   

The rising tide we all heard about in the Free Market myth is coming in the form of killer storms that flood densely populated areas and seas that are beginning to swallow real estate and homes.   Unless this escalating crisis is averted, huge cannibal hordes with nothing else to eat will roam a parched and crowded earth, seeking places to live that have not been drowned under rising oceans. 

The US Defense Department long ago studied the devastating national security effects of the looming and inescapable (on our present path) climate refugee/mass starvation crisis and ranked it as the number one security threat we face.   Measured against the massive march of desperate, homeless climate refugees, the president’s symbolic border wall is an expensive pile of children’s blocks.

Young people are rightfully concerned about the precarious state of our precious planet fifty years from now, when guys like me will be long gone.  Many older people also are very concerned, but some are not.   You can pretty much predict which ones find the prospect of an irretrievably ruined planet depressing, something that demands immediate, coordinated action, and which ones will let their crusty, naturally scented assholes do the talking.

Greta Thunberg, a fearless and articulate 16 year-old from Sweden, has become a worldwide leader of this student movement to force government action to slow and reverse the gathering climate holocaust.  She is suddenly everywhere, looking very young for her age and unflinchingly speaking the proverbial “truth to power.”   She speaks openly of being on the autism spectrum and how this allows her a certain dispassion and lower concern about how others perceive her.  She was at the United Nations the other day, passionately addressing a worldwide audience. 

At the UN, Mr. Trump predictably timed his brooding entrance to upstage Greta Thunberg’s speech.  She glared at our childish president, a man who refused to send U.S. representatives to the UN Climate Action Summit, since, according to his stubbornly moronic view, Climate Change is a Chinese hoax.   Trump spoke for a long time on the world stage, sounding many of his familiar themes, without mentioning the mounting climate emergency at all, though he made a point of waving red meat for the Christian block of his base — promising that we will protect the unborn, eventually worldwide, from the murderous intention of those who would kill them in their mothers’ womb. 

I don’t know if Greta spoke before or after Trump’s standard teleprompter campaign speech, but her remarks took on an angry, militant tone I’d never heard her use.   Her short, urgent call to action  is worth hearing and you can hear it here.

Here’s a visual soundbite from her impassioned speech:

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

How does a vain, myopic, self-serving, childish, attention-craving, eternally fighting old man respond to Ms. Thunberg’s well-reasoned argument?   The only way he knows how to.

Like a complete and total piece of shit, perfectly in character and stinking like the unholy mess he is:

 

Troll tweet.png

 

The teenager apparently immediately changed her Twitter page to out-troll our super impressive Troll in Chief:

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You go, girl.

QUID PRO QUO, yo

Trump is the (unintended) beneficiary of the long-game Charles Koch and friends have waged to reshape the U.S. government into a body that will tirelessly protect the liberties and privileges of our most privileged.    Attaining this “business friendly” government has been the death of a thousand cuts.   A series of Supreme Court decisions now clarifies the high bar for corruption in a federal court:  proof of an actual quid pro quo in public corruption cases. (It’s worth a click, if you’re interested, Zephyr Teachout does a great job explaining the problematic series of unappealable holdings about corruption). 

This weakening of anti-corruption laws was one of the deepest of the thousand cuts hacked into our democracy by a corporatist Supreme Court made possible by the indoctrination of literally dozens of Koch-funded institutions, including the famous Federalist Society, a national fraternity of lawyers and judges committed to the conservative/libertarian project of preserving the status quo and making it eternal.   In post-Citizens United America, if you can’t show that there was an actual negotiated deal involving you scratching my back in exchange for me scratching yours, and a formal exercise of governmental power involved in my scratching, you haven’t proved shit as far as corruption.  

So let’s say Trump didn’t tell Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick “Koch-funded Tea Party government shut down patriot” Mulvaney [1] to withhold $400,000,000 in military aid to besieged Ukraine until he spoke to the new comedian president of the Ukraine, Volodymyr (that’s kind of funny already) Zelensky, about getting dirt on the allegedly corrupt son of Trump’s possible sleepy rival for the presidency in 2020.    Let’s say Trump just called Zelensky and told him he needed dirt on the son of his adversary, to discredit the corrupt father and help Trump win reelection in 2020, without holding withheld military aid over Zelensky’s head.   No quid pro quo, nothing to see.   Just two guys being guys.

In other words, if the Trump-hating Washington Post hadn’t reported the other day that Trump ordered Mulvaney to place a hold on the promised $400,000,000 in military aid to the Ukraine back in July nobody would have been aware of the leverage Trump was exerting on the new Ukrainian president when he asked him for a perfectly normal favor — help from the Ukrainian justice department in discrediting a political rival here in America.   The real culprit here?   The liberal media again: enemy of the people.  So unfair!

The drumbeat is getting louder for impeachment of this arguably corrupt, arguably unimpeachable singularly Unitary Executive.   Senator Elizabeth Warren has been outspokenly for impeachment since the Mueller Report was released in redacted, hard-spun form more than five long months ago.   That report was a long-winded blueprint for impeachment, even as it reached no conclusions other than that the president could not be exonerated, based on the impressive evidence of his obstruction of justice.   The other day Warren used Twitter to challenge the inaction of Congress:

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In yesterday’s New York Times Michelle Goldberg had some excellent insights on the current Mexican standoff over impeachment.   After quoting from Nancy Pelosi’s arduously worded letter of “warning” to fellow House Democrats:

“If this administration persists in blocking this whistle-blower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us to a whole new stage of investigation.”

Goldberg wrote of Warren’s tweet:

Screenshot_20190923-224143_NYTimes

Well said, sister.

 

 

 

[1]  Wikipedia:

During his time in the U.S. House, Mulvaney aligned himself with the Tea Party movement.[36][37] He was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus.[38]

He opposed gun control initiatives and the Affordable Care Act.[39][40][41] In response to criticism for meeting with the extremist John Birch Society in July 2016, Mulvaney said, “I regularly speak to groups across the political spectrum because my constituents deserve access to their congressman. I can’t remember ever turning down an opportunity to speak to a group based on the group’s political ideology.”[42]

and

According to The New York Times, Mulvaney took “a hard line on spending during President Obama’s term, vowing not to raise the nation’s debt limit and embracing the term ‘Shutdown Caucus’ because of his willingness to shut the government down instead.”[40] In 2015, Mulvaney voted against a government-funding resolution, which would have prevented a government shutdown, in part because it included funding for Planned Parenthood.[44] Explaining his vote, Mulvaney said, “This is not about women’s health. It’s about trafficking in pieces of dead children.”[44] After his appointment as head of the OMB in 2017, he reiterated his conditional position of support for a shutdown.[45]

 

Is anybody dumb enough?

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This odd picture should really speak for itself.  Of course, it won’t, it’s got to be a fake picture, with its low rent set-up fit for the president of a small town PTA, certainly not our gold-plated POTUS.   I will let the man who is now obstructing the acting Director of National Intelligence from doing his duty under the law (supported by the cunning Jesuit legal contortions [1] of the unimpeachable William “Bagpiper Bill” Barr) explain.    

Today Mr. Trump is doing what he does so well, aggressively getting out in front of the story, claiming he had a “perfect”conversation with the comedian and TV star who is the Ukraine’s new president.   It was perfect because Mr. Trump has “the best words”.   He did not, of course, ask the president of the Ukraine to investigate the corrupt son of the sleepy Democratic presidential frontrunner with the capped teeth, hair plugs and nice, recent face lift that makes him look so deceptively youthful.  No matter what a so-called traitor “whistleblower” might have supposedly reported about the innocent, the perfect, chat.

fToday Mr. T is assuring everyone that his call to the Ukrainian president was perfectly cool, nothing to see but hysterical fake news spewed by the dangerous enemies of the people, after him as always.  Ho fucking hum.  This is a genius tactic for staying in front of a story:  I never screwed that porn actress right after my final son was born, I paid her $130,000 to shut the fuck up and we had an ironclad legal deal that she’d stay silent, in consideration of that fat check I had the liar Cohen give her, but she tried to rat me out like you’d expect a disloyal bitch like that to do. You can’t trust most people, which is why everyone I work with is sworn to silence and why we have courts, to enforce the deals against those lying shit heads.

A few days ago, when the story broke about Trump possibly asking the president of the Ukraine to dig up some dirt on Sleepy Joe’s son (and why is he working, at $50,000 a month, for Ukrainain petrol oligarchs anyway?), and people became incensed that the whistleblower’s urgent report about likely presidential impropriety was being kept secret, instead of having its details reported to the appropriate House committee (as the law requires)  Mr. Trump did what only someone of his genius can do.  He tweeted the “obvious”:

trump tweet.jpg

Obviously, you know, the president knows that people from the Deep State and other disloyal and dangerous people are listening in when the president calls a foreign leader.   That’s why when you have an important conversation with a world leader, like, say, Vlad Putin, you do it face to face, no witnesses, no notes, no transcripts, full and total confidentiality. privilege and immunity.   That’s when you can say all the inappropriate things you want.    Though, of course, you never would!   Certainly not on the phone.

Seriously, though, since Trump has so far never been held accountable for anything he’s done in his life — his youthful bullying, his father’s criminal tax evasion schemes that he was a partner in and the biggest beneficiary of ($403M), his reckless squandering of over a billion dollars in a decade, his idiotic hubris in borrowing $750,000,000 to build the mother of all Atlantic City casinos which put the two highly profitable Trump casinos in the same town out of business, along with the shabby new “Taj Mahal”, his serial bankruptcies, having a network of scumbags — starting with the King of Scumbags, his long lost mentor the disgraced Roy Cohn (who Trump abandoned when Cohn was dying of AIDS, disbarred and under indictment) — pulling strings for him (several are now in prison in connection with the rendering of shady services to Mr. Trump), paying $280,000 in hush money, on the eve of the vicious 2016 election, to two women he had sex with while married to his third wife (all of whom he committed adultery against), his lifelong reliance on nondisclosure agreements, lying, attacking, mocking, his open hatred of non-whites, of Rosie O’Donnell,  his nonchalant misogyny, his brutal child-separation policy — carried on in contempt of court orders, the forced shuttering of his fake charitable foundation,  the huge ($25M) payout he made to settle the suit against his fraudulent “university”, his imbecilic insistence that he has never in his life done anything wrong, his brazen policy of staffing crucial government posts with unconfirmed interim loyalists who do his bidding on pain of being easily fired at will, the more than a hundred coordinated actions between his campaign and Russia (“Russia, if you’re listening, LOL!”) that, largely because of his obstruction of the witch hunt investigation, did not rise to the level of provable criminal conspiracy, his ongoing obstruction of justice, his braying about COMPLETE AND TOTAL EXONERATION by the “conflicted” liberal partisan Bobby Three Sticks, his absenting the US from this week’s UN Climate Action Summit  — the list is too long to compile here — why would he care about new accusations?   

My point is, since he has never been held accountable for even his most despicable acts (how about all the Atlantic City businesses he stiffed for huge bills when the Taj Mahal and his other two casinos went under, contractors and other small businesses who, saddled with uncollectible Trump debts, then went out of business?) he has no fear of ever being held to account for anything.   He’s like a gigantically fat rat with no natural predators.

In office, so far, he has committed more impeachable offenses than the combined high crimes and misdemeanors of  Nixon, Clinton and Johnson in their most fevered wet dreams.   What was the crime that brought Nixon down?  He obstructed justice, tried to cover up his crimes by hiding evidence and firing a series of justice department officials who were on his trail.    Clinton lied under oath, about a blow job, but still — arguably a disgusting thing for a president to do, even if the effort to impeach him was 100% partisan.   Andrew Johnson, in a way, may have been the closest to Trump, he simply behaved like a dictator, ignoring Congress, the Constitution and the results of the Civil War, he was just not going to carry out laws made overriding his veto, laws that favored the accursed Negro over the superior white man.  His attitude was the same as Trump’s “make me, asshole.”  In the end Congress impeached him as the only way of “making him”.  After the impeachment, though he narrowly stayed in office, he was done.

Is anybody dumb enough to believe that Transactional Trump won’t always do what he thinks is best for himself and his wealth?   He has monetized the presidency (genius move, really) and has been openly enriching himself since he came into office, while claiming that his generous public service is costing him billions in lost business opportunities (only fair he get to make a measly few million from his hotels and resorts).

Let me try to be fair.   Admittedly, he did give all Americans the low-cost health care he promised, a plan that is so much better than the complicated mess Obama passed into law.   Admittedly, his trillion dollar tax gift to the wealthiest US persons and “persons” has led to massive prosperity for all Americans, as the benefits trickle down to all of us in that time tested way they always do when the rich get to keep even more of their own money.  Admittedly, he has laid the unappealable legal groundwork to protect the inalienable rights of American fetuses and embryos, come what may.    Admittedly, he has convinced at least 38% of 55% of active American voters that this easily observable Climate Catastrophe business is complete bullshit — no regulation of anything is necessary.   Admittedly, he has crushed terrorist networks worldwide, made us all safe and the United States is no longer a laughing stock.  A pariah, perhaps, but nobody is fucking laughing.

Which leads to one last point.  What is wrong with the Democratic party, the “Democrat” party, as it is disparagingly called with that dismissive echo of old time Southern Dixiecrat-speak?    The timid, calculating opposition party of a powerful political boss who wrings her hands and wastes month after month of dwindling time as she sniffs the political winds and insists only she sees the bigger picture — the 2020 election.   What the hell is wrong with you, girl?   The Constitution has only one mechanism for holding a rogue president accountable for the corrupt use, the open abuse, of his enormous powers.   Nobody is more corrupt that this man, born with the soul and temperament of a slave holder angry to be living in a land that has largely abolished slavery.  If not him, who?  If not now, when?   History will not paint a pretty portrait of the iron-willed near-octogenarian party boss who singlehandedly prevented the only action that could have saved what is left of our democracy.

 

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Anybody dumb enough?   Show of hands, come on.

 

[1]   The Jesuits, famous for their rigorous intellectual tradition, educated Barr and Boof Kavanaugh.   While the Kavanaugh confirmation freak show raged I read up on the Jesuits’ beliefs.  Apparently their cardinal belief is that whenever you speak to another person you must recognize them as an expression of godliness.  The God in you speaks directly to the God in them.  A beautiful idea, similar to one I read about in Jewish mysticism and other faiths.  

In fact, I was impressed when the American Jesusits took a principled stand, right before Kavanaugh disgraced himself and everybody else by delivering a snorting, tearful, disqualifyingly partisan temper tantrum in response to a credible account of a long ago playful, drunken sexual assault he probably honestly didn’t even remember.   The Jesuit magazine urged him to withdraw his nomination, on the eve of Christine Blasey-Ford’s testimony.   I was impressed with their stance and their reasoning.  It made no difference, of course, but I thought their principled withdrawal of support for their fellow Jesuit, based on a hideously believable appearance of impropriety (the foreshadowings of his Trumplike conduct at the hearings), was admirable.

I mentioned the Jesuits to a Catholic friend in France and he began to laugh.  He told me to look up their origins.   Whoops.  They were (I had forgotten) formed as the zealous lawyers for the Spanish Inquisition, fanatical defenders of the faith.   It might seem terrible to burn people alive for refusing to believe that all-forgiving Jesus Christ is the Son of God and belief in Him is the only path to salvation, but how does that compare to the eternal hellfire that awaits the nonbeliever?   The Jesuits made vigorous arguments that the auto de fe was an expression of God’s will.   They, in the persons of guys like Bagpiper Bill, Boof Kavanaugh and the late, great Antonin Scalia, make those kind of irrefutable God-based arguments today.   They can’t be wrong, you dig, because Jesus tells them what to do to defend the faith.  God’s will on earth and nothing less, my brothers and sisters.  Hallelujah!

 

 

Troll Time!

A comment from a reader, MelH, arrived on my phone yesterday as I left the cemetery in Peekskill.  Mel was apparently upset about what he felt was my unfair depiction of loyal Trumper Corey Lewandowski’s pugnacious appearance before the House the other day:

Wow, you need to get control of your blood pressure or your widow will be the one spending your next welfare check. Stay tuned, the TRUTH is coming out in an outstanding Perp Walk I hope you enjoy.

I thought of replying “You’re as witty as your president, Mel.  Thanks for stopping by, my brother, sorry I got you so upset.  Now — back under your bridge with ya.” or something equally innocuous, then thought better of it.   What would the point be of calling a troll a troll?

The only reason I don’t get a lot of these wickedly funny troll type comments is because few readers actually encounter these words of mine, opinionated words that speak for themselves.   A marketing failure, no doubt, that I don’t attract more readers like MelH.   On the other hand, if thousands read these posts daily I’d likely get dozens of puckish trolls chiming in regularly, so maybe I’ll just be grateful and take my internet obscurity for the blessing it also is.

We are free — human, “person” and bot alike — to express our opinions here in the USA  a privilege we must not take for granted.  Some, of course, are more free to express themselves than the rest of us (since money is speech), but we still have a right to express our thoughts, ideas, feelings and theories.  What Vonnegut said about knees applies to our government-protected freedom of speech and expression as well: take good care of them, you’ll miss them when they’re gone!

It appears the premise of my post bothered Mel.  Perhaps he felt it was unfair of me to suggest that Lewandowski appeared with a phalanx of lawyers provided by the “White House”.   Low blow, a handful of lawyers cannot “flank” anybody (and what’s with all these so-called “quotation marks”?).   I suppose it was also a sign that I was blowing a gasket to mention that at least one of these lawyers angrily interrupted the chairman of the committee with desperate, baseless legal objections.   

I can only imagine what Mel would have written if I’d highlighted (or even mentioned) Lewandowski’s money shot of the day.  Confronted with the clip of himself lying on national television (claiming no knowledge of what he’d already told Mueller about in detail under oath) he said he had no obligation not to lie unless he raised his right hand to God and swore not to — in which case he always told the truth.  “I have no obligation to be honest with the media,” said Corey who then instantly did the classic Trump double down/distraction/reframe: the liberal media lies ALL THE TIME, so what’s the big deal if he does too (hypocrite libtard cucks)?!

We could go through my assertions about the session one by one, and Corey’s answers, as thoughtful people used to do in assessing which way to go when forming opinions.   Or, we can see what’s behind door number two (and aptly named it is, give a sniff), shall we?   A thrilling world beyond reason, the superior, exciting world of pure emotion!   

Mel apparently saw, even if he only read the first few sentences,  that I went on and on about what Lewandowski said and how he behaved, how the respective parties on the committee went about their business, or maybe he just read “Lawyered Up” and he was off and running.  Shoot, maybe it was my remark about Trump’s extra-legal insistence on “absolute immunity” in all matters, the novel presumption of an all-encompassing presidential privilege amounting to a binding, pre-emptive, non-written Non-disclosure agreement that legally silences everybody he’s ever talked to about anything.    I can see how that assertion of mine might rankle somebody who devoutly loves the forthright, transparent Mr. Trump and the great job he’s doing.

My “wife” and I are suddenly on welfare (how could we not be?!  you don’t have to be smart to get this masterfully coded n-word, LOL!).   I am about to have a fatal heart attack, you know, because that’s what happens when you exert yourself to write a lot of words.   You see how this works?   

Welcome to America 2019, bitches, just in time for 2020!