Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Continued Stray Thoughts on the Current Political Climate

With the cascade of stupid, immoral, illegal, subversive, un-American, and possibly treasonous things emitted by der Sturmtrumper, his pet Congress, his supporters, and his administration reaching levels that make it nearly impossible for any sane person to keep up with, I’ve started just keeping a running list of observations on the matter.  Every time the list reaches critical mass, I suppose I’ll post it and start a new one.  Can’t hurt; might help.  Here’s the most recent list:


1. So Michael Cohen, der Sturmtrumper’s lawyer, has had his office raided, and if you don’t understand what a big deal that is then you aren’t paying attention.  This isn’t something that is done lightly – in point of fact, it’s never been done before to a sitting president’s lawyer.  That’s because the bar for doing this is incredibly high.  A law firm can only be raided if the federal government thinks that less intrusive measures won’t work – i.e. that the attorney in question either would not turn over documents as legally required or would actually destroy those documents rather than see them approved.  “You don’t just have to have evidence that the documents may or may not exist,” said David Gomez, former FBI agent and a fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, “you have to show that there’s no other way to get them besides serving a warrant on the attorney.”  Such a raid requires very high-level approval and an elaborate review process.  In this case, high ranking officials at the Department of Justice need to sign off on it, as does the US District Attorney’s office in the region, and it needs to be approved by a federal judge.  The fact that all of them did so indicates that they were presented with clear, convincing, and unambiguous evidence of crimes being committed by the attorney in question as well as his client.  Yes, der Sturmtrumper can howl at the moon in his barking mad kind of way that endears him to his slavish supporters, but the fact is that the mere existence of this raid indicates serious legal trouble for him.

2. Just pointing this out:

3. While der Sturmtrumper continues to insist that this is some kind of partisan witch hunt, the fact is that almost all of the major players here are Republicans.  Robert Mueller is a registered Republican.  Ron Rosenstein, his boss, who would have had to approve this, is a Trump appointee, as is Chris Wray, the current director of the FBI, and Geoffrey Berman, the federal District Attorney whose office executed the raid.  Berman in fact is a former law partner of Rudy Giuliani and was hand-picked for the post by Our Confederate Attorney General himself.  This is not partisanship no matter how much der Sturmtrumper howls at the moon.  It’s the law closing in on a corrupt president.

4. Please note that attorney-client privilege does not apply when “communications between an attorney and client are in furtherance of criminal activity,” according to John Q. Barrett, former associate special counsel in the Iran-Contra Affair.  This is called the crime-fraud exception, and it is one that der Sturmtrumper is about to become very familiar with.

5. Even Republican senators are defending Mueller’s job in the wake of this, though with the exception of Lindsey Graham and Thom Tillis, who have introduced separate bills to do just that, they’re not actually willing to do anything more than say so and Mitch McConnell, the Least Honorable Man in Washington, is on record as absolutely refusing to allow any constructive measures to come up in the Senate that would actually protect Mueller from being fired by der Sturmtrumper and setting off a full-blown Constitutional crisis.  So make of that what you will.

6. Stormy Daniels continues to outwit der Sturmtrumper on the legal front and is apparently cooperating with federal investigators looking into the money that Michael Cohen paid her to keep quiet about her affair with der Sturmtrumper.  There isn’t enough popcorn in the world for this.

7. Der Sturmtrumper actually had the unmitigated gall to declare that this was an attack on the entire country.  No, you idiot – 9/11 was an attack on the entire country.  Conflating an attack on the president (assuming that’s what it was – it’s entirely possible that Michael Cohen is being investigated for any number of other crimes he may have committed independent of his association with der Sturmtrumper – and in this context, it’s worth remembering that Cohen is also the Deputy National Finance Chair of the RNC) with an attack on the nation is a move straight out of Louis XIV.  The etat ain’t tois, boy, now pipe down and get your head out of your ass before you hurt yourself.

8. Meanwhile back in the rest of reality, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is now reporting that the GOP Reverse Robin Hood Tax Law shoved through the legislature to much acclaim a few months ago will add $1,900,000,000,000.00 to the national debt over the next decade or so.  Naturally the GOP has a problem with this, namely that they do not like the fact that the CBO has pointed this out.  The attacks on the CBO have therefore been unrelenting and borderline hysterical. But hey – reality doesn’t care what you believe, folks, and the simple fact is that supply side economics do not work in a demand side economy.  Never have, never will.

9. It is now clear that Mike Pompeo, der Sturmtrumper’s choice to run the CIA and recently confirmed by the Senate GOP to replace Exxon’s Own Secretary of State Tillerson, failed to disclose that he owns a business that is directly linked to the Chinese government.  The director.  Of the main US intelligence agency.  Owns a business linked to one of our main opponents in this world.  And didn’t think to tell anyone.  At some point the difference between incompetence and malevolence becomes irrelevant.  Jim Wright noted that “As a member of the US intelligence community, I held one of the highest security clearances in the United States for more than 20 years.  If I had failed to disclose that I owned a business, LET ALONE links to the Chinese government, I would be in prison right now.”  Any bets on whether der Sturmtrumper will take any action against one of his own having unlawful and unethical ties to a foreign power, or is that hitting too close to home?

10. Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan has decided to call it quits rather than face the voters this November, which is in character since he hasn’t actually held a town hall meeting in his home district in nearly three years.  For a guy who started off as your basic unremarkable Ayn Rand drone – a man who grew up and was educated on the public dime and spent his entire career sucking off the public tit while trying to ensure that nobody else would ever have the same advantages that he enjoyed, which is typical of the libertarian wing of that party and, from my own experience with them, of libertarians in general – he seems to have ended up as der Sturmtrumper’s buttboy.  A sad ending to a sad career, and maybe he’ll find redemption someday outside of the limelight.  I’m not holding my breath, however.  I’ve met him a couple of times.  He’s your basic schlemiel – not a bad guy one on one, not nearly as clever as he thinks he is, possessed of overweening ambition backed by not enough talent, willing to do pretty much anything for power except stand on principles.  He’d have been a passable middle manager at a small manufacturing company but was a Post Turtle during his time in Congress.  My guess is that he is simply positioning himself for a presidential run, either in 2020 if der Sturmtrumper gets tossed before then or in 2024, in either case where he can say he is somehow untainted by the unfolding disaster that the GOP has become and ride in as the savior on a white horse.  But he is tainted – he, more than any other figure in Washington aside from Mitch McConnell, has been instrumental in der Sturmtrumper’s takeover of the GOP. 

11. I’m not sure whether to be more disturbed by the fact that the National Enquirer has an established pattern of buying and then burying news stories that are damaging to der Sturmtrumper – such as paying off a former Trump Tower doorman to eliminate a story about yet another der Sturmtrumper affair – or the fact that der Sturmtrumper’s base apparently reads the National Enquirer for the news items.  It would explain a lot, really. 

12. You know things are bad for the GOP when the libertarians are turning against them.  Reason Magazine, the online mouthpiece of articulate libertarianism – and make of that what you will – has finally come around to the conclusion that I noted publicly here in 2012, that the reputation of the GOP for fiscal responsibility is one of the biggest con jobs in all of American politics.  After describing the effects of the GOP fiscal policy under der Sturmtrumper as listed in the CBO report described in Item 8 above (which they note is, if anything, understating the problem), Reason points out that:

This is the opposite of fiscal responsibility.  It is, if anything, an active disdain for the sort of fiscal restraint that Republicans so often claimed to support under Obama.  And it strongly suggests that the GOP’s criticisms were merely opportunistic.  Under Trump, Republicans have demonstrated that they are the party of fiscal ruin.

To be more precise: They have demonstrated it once again.  The behavior we have witnessed under Trump is not a twist or a reversal or an unpredictable turn.  It is simply how Republicans have behaved whenever they have been given the opportunity since at least the turn of the century.

And yet the GOP continues to insist that they are somehow the party of fiscal responsibility, in much the same way they insist they are the party of values – equally hallucinatory, equally wrong, and equally offensive to anyone with any grasp of reality.

13. If you’ve ever wondered just how low the GOP has sunk, you need only reflect on the fact that the Republican National Committee – the party’s central governing body – has actually paid for a website called “lyincomey.com” whose sole purpose is to throw 3rd-grade insults at the former director of the FBI – a Republican himself, who was appointed as a deputy attorney general by George W. Bush and whose hatchet job on Hillary Clinton was praised by der Sturmtrumper on the campaign trail before he fired Comey for doing his job by investigating der Sturmtrumper’s subservience to a foreign power.  In fact, as one investigation has shown, they have paid for more than a dozen other similar website domain names.  That will tell you all you need to know.

14.  So we’ve now bombed Syria, because Reasons.  Once again, we have a president usurping the warmaking powers of Congress and launching unconstitutional attacks on a sovereign nation, though in fairness this is something der Sturmtrumper has in common with every single president since Truman.  More to the point, it’s not really coincidental that this attack came less than 48 hours after James Comey’s book was leaked, and less than a week after Michael Cohen’s offices were raided by federal agents.  Wag the dog all you want, der Sturmtrumper – it will not work.

15. And it hasn’t worked, at least not yet.  The vast majority of Americans view Comey as far more trustworthy, which only goes to show you that people aren’t quite as stupid as der Sturmtrumper thinks they are.

16. What’s interesting about der Sturmtrumper’s raging shitstorm of twitter nonsense about Comey is that he is actually surprisingly honest about the fact that he fired Comey for purely political reasons – for not persecuting his political opponent when ordered to do so.  It appears the little dictator cannot handle the fact that there are laws and Constitutions in place to keep him from doing whatever his latest whim demands, and that is – at least for the moment – the difference between the US and a tyranny.

17. Did anyone happen to notice the cynically immoral ploy to amend the Constitution by House Republicans?  First they destroy the fiscal health of the United States by passing the Reverse Robin Hood Tax Bill – a trillion-dollar-plus giveaway to the already wealthy, to be funded by attacks on the poor and middle class, notably a raid on the Social Security that Americans have paid into for decades – and then they propose a Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget to lock in that immorality forever.  It failed, because the GOP doesn’t yet have the required supermajority in Congress to push through this bald-faced assault on American citizens, but 233 Republicans voted to strip away every vestige of humanity and morality from the US government in order to benefit their puppeteers.  Your “party of values,” good citizen.

18. Looks like we have another casualty of the latest GOP adultery and high finance scandal with ties to Michael Cohen and through him to der Sturmtrumper.  GOP donor Elliot Broidy – a major figure with close ties to der Sturmtrumper’s White House – resigned as deputy finance chairman of the RNC after it became public that he had paid $1,600,000 to buy the silence of a women with whom he had had an affair while he was married.  The deal, notes the New York Times, was brokered by none other than Cohen.  Now, leaving aside the fact that Broidy was charged more than ten times the amount that der Sturmtrumper paid to Stormy Daniels (which suggests, if nothing else, that he’s not even as good a businessman as der Sturmtrumper – a pretty low bar indeed), there does seem to be a pattern here.  Can any of these “family values” guys keep it in their pants?

19.  According to two sources familiar with the Mueller investigation (which, given the control that Mueller has so far exerted over his activities, suggests that this leak is at least in part intentional) there is now good evidence that Michael Cohen secretly made a trip to Prague late in the 2016 presidential campaign where he may have met with Konstantin Koschev, a prominent ally of Vladimir Putin, to discuss Russian influence on the US election.  That this trip happened at all, despite the vehement denials of der Sturmtrumper and his minions, strengthens the idea that the Steele dossier (you know, the one that described der Sturmtrumper’s urinary adventures with Russian hookers?) is at least substantially accurate.  Seriously, not enough popcorn in the world for this shitshow of an administration.

20. Der Sturmtrumper pardoned Scooter Libby the other day.  For those of you whose version of history only stretches back a month or so, Libby was the lowlife who was convicted in 2007 (i.e. during the Bush Jr. administration) of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to the FBI regarding the deliberate outing of a covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame.  It was thoroughly well established that Plame’s outing – which put her life in danger and threatened larger covert operations taken by the CIA in the name of national security – was GOP revenge for then ambassador Joe Wilson, Plame’s husband, punching holes in the shoddy rationalizations that led to the Iraq War.  Despite hard lobbying from Vice President Dick Cheney, George W. Bush refused to pardon Libby, noting “if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable.”  Of course der Sturmtrumper’s only relationship with the truth is adversarial, and as he is being backed into a corner by the inexorable progress of Mueller’s investigations into his many crimes, he lashed out in order to send a message.  “It’s very clear that this is a message he is sending, that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned,” said Plame.  Any guesses as to where that will lead?  Three chances, first two don’t count.

21. “If you want to know whether a post-1976 president increased or decreased the deficit, the only thing you need to know is his party,” notes the New York Times.  Yeah, again, as I said back in 2012: the GOP reputation for fiscal sanity is the greatest con job in American politics. 

22. Oh, brother.  It turns out that Michael Cohen has had only a handful of clients in the last year or so.  One of them was der Sturmtrumper, for whom he claims to have – on his own initiative, on his own dime, without so much as informing his client – paid $130,000 to a porn star to cover up an affair that he and his client insist did not happen (and if you believe any of that, seriously you need medical help).  One of them was Elliot Broidy, for whom he arranged a $1,600,000 million payment for an affair he had with a Playboy model.  And another was Sean Hannity, whose job for the last few months has been to go on Fox and complain about the investigations into … Michael Cohen.  Curiouser and curiouser.

23. And just so you don’t forget the fact that racism is the core value of the modern GOP, the Tennessee House voted on pretty much straight party lines to punish the largely black city of Memphis for having the audacity to remove two Confederate monuments – one of the treasonous CSA president Jefferson Davis, and one of CSA general and KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest.  In a last-minute amendment to an appropriations bill, Republicans took away a quarter of a million dollars that had been previously approved for Memphis’ bicentennial celebration next year because the city – having been banned from removing the celebrations of traitors by the Tennessee GOP – sold the parks they were in to a local nonprofit organization, which then promptly did what the GOP doesn’t have the morals to do and removed those monuments.  Seriously – there is nothing so racist or petty that the GOP can’t support it, is there?

24.  Boy, the hits keep coming.  After losing in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court – which ruled that their arrogant partisan gerrymandering violated the state Constitution – the PA GOP has done its best to ignore the express orders of the court in order to maintain its illegitimate grasp on power.  PA House Bill 722 – a bipartisan bill, oddly enough, with nearly 100 cosponsors – sought to establish an independent citizens commission for redistricting, yet for over a year it has been buried in committee by the GOP leadership, Majority Chair Daryl Metcalfe.  This month Metcalf completely rewrote the bill himself to replace the citizens commission with a partisan committee carefully stacked in favor of the GOP, and he hopes to shove that through the legislature instead in order to preserve the unconstitutional gerrymandering that he has been ordered to remove. Not that this should surprise anyone.  The GOP cannot win free and fair elections, and when faced with the prospect of actually following the law they will do almost anything rather than give up power or respect the will of the citizens they supposedly represent.

25. GOP fool Kris Kobach has been found in contempt of court for his “history of noncompliance and disrespect for the Courts decisions in this case,” according to a ruling by Federal Judge Julie Robinson (who was appointed by George W. Bush).  Kobach, whose basic position is that people who aren’t likely to vote GOP shouldn’t be allowed to vote at all, made an utter ass of himself in court last month, and federal judges do not take that lightly.  Here’s hoping he sees jail time for his criminal activities.

26.  And now we have Nazis – actual God-damned Nazis – openly marching in the streets of Georgia and burning a swastika in honor of their KKK brethren in white stupidity.  This country used to give out medals to people who shot Nazis, and we called those people the Greatest Generation.  Remember that.

27. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of neo-Nazi groups in the US increased from 99 to 121 in 2017.  Neo-Nazis are, if anything, worse than original Nazis, because these are the twisted losers who looked at the horrors of the Third Reich and WWII and said, “Yes, give me more of that!”  And now, three-quarters of a century after the world tried to banish this evil, after millions died to ensure that Nazism would be wiped from the earth, here they are.  Emboldened by a president and a right-wing party that sees them as “fine people.”  MAGA, right?

28. Seriously, fuck the Nazis.  And everyone who supports them.

29.  Sometimes you just have to wonder how seriously insane the NRA has become.  Commenting on the most recent mass shooting (or the most recent as of this writing – I have every faith that there will be more of them, plural, in the couple of days between the time I write this and the time I post it) – a shooting that, by the modern American definition, is clearly not terrorism because it was committed by a white man, even if he was mostly naked at the time and specifically targeted nonwhites as victims – NRA spokes-idiot Grant Stinchfield praised James Shaw for his heroism in disarming the murderer and saving lives, but then went on to criticize him for not being armed in the process.  Think about that.  Shaw goes up to a whackaloon with a military grade firearm, unarmed, and takes it away from him, and all the NRA can think about is MORE GUNZZ!!!  Can we ship them off to a padded cell somewhere far from civilized people now?

30. On the one hand, the fact that der Sturmtrumper has spent about a third of his reign (149 out of 457 days so far) on vacation or golfing at his own properties, swelling his own coffers with my money even as he refuses to do his job, is a sad state of affairs, especially since there is no particular outrage among right-wing media as there had been for the far more business-like and focused Obama, who took only a fraction of that time off.  On the other hand, well, anything that keeps der Sturmtrumper occupied and away from substantive action is pretty much by definition a good thing.

31. As a general rule, I find that if I want to understand what right-wingers are doing, I need only look at what they accuse others of doing.  Works almost every time.

32. Sometimes you just have to wonder if the GOP really is that stupid or whether they’re trolling us.  And to that end I give you Utah Republican Mike Kennedy, arguing against the expansion of Medicaid in his state.  “Sometimes access to health care can be damaging and dangerous,” said Rep. Kennedy, presumably with a straight face.  “I’ve heard from National Institutes of Health and otherwise that we’re killing up to a million, a million and a half people every year in our hospitals.  And it’s access to those hospitals that’s killing those people.”  Seriously, how does the rational mind even respond to something that stupid?  How does an actual grown-up even begin to explain the reality of what people’s lives are like to someone stunted enough to bring this line of attack into the public sphere?  It’s a mystery.

33.  Fortune Magazine, citing data compiled by Bloomberg, notes that “U.S. stocks are on track to have their worst April start since 1929.”  And 1929 ended so well, didn’t it?  Thanks to a grotesque giveaway to the wealthy that has already started to drain the US Treasury faster than even its fiercest critics thought possible and a toddler-level trade and tariff war started by der Sturmtrumper to demonstrate to his base that he’s just as ignorant of actual economic reality as they are, we’re just ready for So Much Winning (tm). 

34. Religious conservatives in Louisiana –a hotbed of right-wing lunacy in the best of times, which these most certainly are not – have banded together to oppose a new bill that would ban bestiality.  Seriously.  They’re on the side of people fucking dogs.  Why?  Because they’re convinced that if Louisiana bans dog-fucking, then next thing you know they’ll allow gay people to have sex.  Let that sink in for a bit, I’ll wait.  First of all, gay people are already allowed to have sex, Louisiana state law notwithstanding.  Second, how you make equivalencies between those two things is entirely inexplicable to the rational adult mind.  I have no idea how much antifreeze you have to drink to make that idea seem like it isn’t the most batshit insane idea ever put on paper, but it’s far more than I’m willing to consume.  And third, seriously, dog-fucking is okay with people who loudly call themselves “Christian” but consensual sex between non-family adults is not?  If you ever wanted to know why the fastest growing religious affiliation in the US is “unaffiliated/agnostic/atheist” then look no further.

35. At least some of der Sturmtrumper’s minions are honest about the depths of corruption and depravity that they embody.  Mick Mulvaney, der Sturmtrumper’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, spoke to 1300 bankers and lobbyists at the American Bankers Association conference on April 24 and flat out told them, “We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress.  If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you.  If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”  Pay to play, now that’s that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they created this government, right?

36. You know, it’s not bad enough that der Sturmtrumper is a thoroughly corrupt wannabe petit-Fascist feverishly undermining the American republic, but he’s also an incompetent thoroughly corrupt wannabe petit-Fascist feverishly undermining the American republic.  Apparently he decided – in a move that no doubt caused the heads of whatever lawyers he still has working for him to explode – to speak directly to Fox & Friends, his very favorite TV show.  In what Vox described as a “rambling and angry interview,” der Sturmtrumper essentially destroyed many of his own arguments against the recent federal raid on Michael Cohen’s office.  Not enough popcorn in the world for this one, folks.

37. In the current election year there are four mainstream GOP candidates with reasonable chances of winning and the full backing of their party (i.e. not fringe candidates) who are convicted criminals – “Sheriff” Joe Arpaio of Arizona, Don Blankenship of West Virginia, Michael Grimm of New York, and Greg Gianforte of Montana.  Three of them are in fact bragging about their crimes as a way to excite GOP voters, because crime and a lack of morals are apparently selling points to Republicans these days.  By contrast, there is exactly one Democrat running who is a convicted criminal, and the Democratic Party has openly declared him to be “not fit to run for office.”  So if you have any moral fiber at all, the choice between parties is actually pretty clear.

38. There is no such thing as an “incel.”  There are only misogynists and assholes.  If you self-identify as someone who couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse, that’s on you and maybe you should look deeply into a mirror to see why this is so.  In the meantime, guys, remember a few things.  You don’t have a right to sex.  You don’t have a right to women’s bodies.  You don’t have a right to kill people to make up for your own shortcomings.  And if you think you have those rights then you are a complete waste of oxygen and we’re all much better off for the fact that you’re outside of the gene pool.

39. Natalya Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who met with high-ranking officials from der Sturmtrumper’s campaign at Trump Tower in 2016 has now admitted publicly that “since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general,” working closely with that office to block a US Justice Department investigation of a well-connected Russian business.  So der Sturmtrumper’s campaign was meeting with active Russian agents?  Well that shocks … um … exactly nobody who’s been paying attention to this whole sordid mess.  Remember folks, we used to execute Americans who worked with Russian agents.  Just saying.

40.  My friend Eric is a trial lawyer, and he notes that Michael Cohen’s announcement that he would plead his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination regarding the civil case brought against him by Stormy Daniels (you know, the porn star that der Sturmtrumper tried to silence but failed) is essentially an admission of defeat.  “In a criminal proceeding, the State can’t argue that invoking your right not to testify is an indicator of guilt.  There’s no such rule in civil proceedings.  And the State can’t compel a criminal defendant to take the stand; no such rule applies in civil proceedings.  So where this leaves Cohen is that Stormy Daniels’ lawyers can call him to the stand (or force him to be deposed) and Cohen has to sit up there; and Daniel’s lawyers get to ask him whatever, and he has to hem and haw and say he can’t answer that because he’s invoking the Fifth; and Daniels’ lawyers get to say, “Oh, isn’t THAAAAT INTERESTING! … [T]his basically means Cohen is effectively rolling over and abandoning defenses and counterclaims.  He’s basically lost, in other words. … Cohen doesn’t really have a choice.  He’s chosen the route where he’s less fucked, but less fucked is still fucked.  And he’s fucked.”  So where does that leave us, one wonders…

41. Just asking… 

42. Paul Ryan fired the House Chaplain the other day.  Leaving aside the larger issue of just why we have a chaplain on the taxpayer’s dime, this is a rather disturbing event.  The root cause of this was a prayer offered by the chaplain – a Jesuit, and one of the few Catholics who have held this post – which sought to remind Congress that they should legislate for the good of all Americans and not just a few.  This is completely counter to the GOP platform, of course, and heads had to roll.  Your party of values at work, folks.

43. If you’re still not convinced that the line separating the GOP from the American Nazi Party is fast disappearing, consider the fact that the leading candidate in the GOP primary field for California Senate is openly calling for “a government that makes counter-semitism central to all aims of the state” with the ultimate goal of a United States “free from Jews.”  This asshole has a 10-percentage-point lead on his nearest GOP challenger as of this writing.  Little is also a big supporter of Paul Nehlen, the raving Nazi running to replace Paul Ryan here in Wisconsin.  Nehlen for those not familiar with the man, is such a right-wing lunatic that even avowed white supremacist Richard Spencer thinks he should “just go away” as an embarrassment to their cause.  Again, for those of you slow on the uptake, this country used to give medals to people who shot Nazis and we called them the Greatest Generation.  Just pointing that out, as a historian.

44. Do you ever wonder whether there is anything that der Sturmtrumper can’t screw up?  Just the other day he tweeted out a threat to FIFA, saying that the US would retaliate against any country opposing its bid for the 2026 World Cup.  FIFA responded by noting that its own rules of conduct prohibit governments from making exactly such statements.  No doubt this is pretty much the end of that bid, since the rest of the world has already pretty much had it with der Sturmtrumper’s antics anyway – we’re quickly becoming a pariah nation, which (much to the surprise of the MAGA crowd) isn’t a good thing.  The kicker of it, of course, is the dynamics of it all.  As Mary Papenfuss noted in the Huffington Post, “being schooled on ethics by FIFA marks a surprising low.”  It’s like being criticized for avarice by, um, der Sturmtrumper.

45. The NRA, which advocates putting guns in every conceivable location in America from churches to pre-schools, has banned guns from its own convention.  How does the sentient mind even begin to react to this kind of nuclear-powered stupidity?

46. Don’t fall for the distractions, folks.  While der Sturmtrumper and his minions were crybabying over Michelle Wolf’s entirely on-point comedy routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the Justice Department quietly updated its manual for federal investigators.  The entire section entitled “Need for Free Press and Public Trial” was deleted, as were all references to the Justice Department’s battles against racial gerrymandering.  There was, however, a section added on fighting information leaks of the sort that are just so embarrassing to der Sturmtrumper.  All of this, of course, is of a piece with other similar deletions across the federal government.  The US Citizenship and Immigration Services office deleted the phrase “a nation of immigrants” from its mission statement.  Ben Carson’s HUD has deleted all anti-discrimination language and the agency’s vow to create “strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.”  Betsy DeVos, our Secretary of Ignorance, removed over 70 documents spelling out the rights of students with disabilities.  This is how wannabe petit-Fascists work, people.  Pay attention.

47.  Speaking of Michelle Wolf, somebody needs to remind me why I should care whether she offended der Sturmtrumper or his supporters. 

Like most schoolyard bullies, they can dish it out but they can’t take it.


Ewan said...

toi, not tois, perhaps?

Ewan said...

And... it's your blog, but I read the repeated innuendo that it would be a good idea to pick up a gun and start blazing at the closest US Nazi idiot as being beneath you, David.

LucyInDisguise said...

And awayyy we go >>>>

3. It is, in point of fact, a partisan witch hunt. (i.e., we be huntin’ the part of the son that thinks he can do whatever he pleases. Witch is, of course, the patriotic thing to do!)

6. Not to take anything at all away from Stormy, but my wife’s newborn kittens could outwit der Stormthumper whilst high on catnip. Jus’ Sayin’.

8. Really? Made us all count the zeros, you did.

10. I’m not at all sure (gonna have to do some research), but I think there’s a contender in there for the most convoluted run-on sentence ever posted on Blogger.

11. It is a toss-up, yes it is.

17. I did! I did!

18. It was 10 times more because there was an abortion involved. Reporting wasn’t all that clear precisely who or what was aborted. May have been the frump. I’m certain that the family values were upheld in the traditional manner.


29. Can a corporate body actually be insane, or merely the people running it? Inquiring mimes, and all like that …

32. I believe that we’ve talked about a few of the thousands of reasons I had for escaping from that state. And, really? It’s not a mystery: that kind of inside-out, upside-down, reverse polar logic is absolutely normal for Utardians. At least I got a good belly laugh when Orrin managed to piss of the LDS church with his little “babies in the Senate” comment.

33. Uncle! I’m ready to stop winning now.

34. It may be possible that the folks running Louisiana may be crazier than the Mormons.

38. That’ll leave a mark …

40. Eric. Hero extraordinaire.

41. Keep asking. Maybe someday …

42. Did you catch the bit about the Rep that thinks the next House Chaplain should be anything but Catholic, be married, and have adult children?

43. Point of odor. When, in recent memory, has there been a line to disappear?

44. No. Full Stop. Don’t even need to read the rest of that paragraph.


And FIFA is several orders of magnitude higher on the morality scale. Seriously. Like a googolplex. or something.)

45. Most sensible thing they’ve done in four or five decades, if you ask me …

46. Please stop calling them petit-Fascists. There is nothing petty about them in any way, manner, shape or form. Or definition. Too.

And, Ewan is right., it’s toi. (I know just enough French to ask how you’re doing, and maybe get all the way through Frère Jacques without some smart-ass Frenchman rolling on the floor farting and peeing all over himself.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXI7KEUbSxM

(As far as that goes, I also know just enough Spanish to get myself into a really good fight within about 2 minutes in any bar in town …)

Note to Ewan: I think you had to walk the long way around that block to get to the point where you could read any form of innuendo from a mild-mannered History Professor reminding everyone that in the past, we used to give medals to people who shot nazis. No one’s done it recently, & no one, especially David, is advocating for such a thing now or at any time in the foreseeable future.

And that’s the truth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJMKupYF14I


Oh, and David? You’re doing a sweetheart job of breaking it up and making it more readable. Just so you know I noticed.

David said...

Hi Ewan -

I'll defer to you on the French. My knowledge of French is pretty much nonexistent.

I do not imply that one should take up arms and start shooting people randomly, even Nazis. What I imply - what I say flat out - is that there was once a time when people in this country understood what evil was and treated it accordingly, and I'd like to go back to that time rather than this twisted notion that there are "fine people" on both sides. There are not fine people on the Nazi side. By definition. They are evil and should be treated as such.

My apologies if that was not clear.

David said...

Hi Lucy -

8. I like putting all the zeros in because it makes the number more real - I find that if you say "$1.9 trillion" people glaze over, but putting in the zeros brings the magnitude of the number home. I do this trick when I go over Weimar Germany's hyperinflation in the early 1920s, showing the exchange rate of marks to dollars. They always gasp when I put in the last set of zeros.

10. Convoluted, sure, but run on? Where?

17. You win the Good American prize! Share it with your friends! :)

28. Metaphors, metaphors. The actuality of the thing would be, um, icky.

29. Wait, weren't corporations people too? Isn't that what the Mittster said back in '12? I lose track.

32. I missed Hatch's baby comment - so much nonsense flowing by so quickly it's hard to keep up.


34. Louisiana is definitely its own thing. Great food. Nice place to visit in the cooler months. Yeah, not going to live there.

40. Eric knows how to get a point across, yes he does.

42. No! Did they really say that? Sweet dancing monkeys on a stick that's stupid. The modern right wing rests on an alliance between evangelical Protestants and Catholics - two groups that hated each other with a passion up until the late 1970s. Putting wedges into that alliance and beating them with a hammer can only end sadly for the GOP, which is a win for the rest of us, granted.

43. I think the emergence of full-blown Nazism in the GOP as more than just a lunatic fringe is fairly recent, actually - certainly no more than the last decade or two. Reagan, much as I thought he was a disaster, was no Nazi sympathizer. I never got that from George W. Bush, either - Cheney was an authoritarian nightmare, but within the normal bounds of American discourse. I think the last decade has brought the unhinged lunatic fringe of the right wing into the mainstream of the GOP in ways that are in fact rather new. And now they're emboldened by their president - something they are actually quite explicit about if you listen to them.

46. I call them petit-Fascists not because they're less threatening but because their aims, intellectual heft, and grasp of reality are so much less than the actual Fascists of the early 20th century. Say what you will about the Fascists - say that they were evil fuckers bent on destroying Western Civilization and most of the people in it in the name of a twisted ideology based on hallucinatory views of the past - but they were in their way ambitious, intellectually coherent, and ruthlessly focused on the present reality (if not the historical one). These amateurs can't even manage that.

I'll bow to you on the French as well as Ewan. I know zero French, and was mostly just following the classic quote. I know enough Spanish to find a bathroom, which is probably more useful.

Again I do not advocate shooting the current crop of Nazis at random (though if it is war they want, then let it begin here). I do advocate recognizing that they are evil and refusing to grant them any political, social, or cultural legitimacy.

I have made this point at some length here.

My apologies again if that was not clear.