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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coming Up for Air

The point of waterboarding someone is to simulate the feeling of drowning, of going under, to induce a state of panic and surrender. The problem with using that as a method of eliciting useful information is that a person in a state of existential panic will say whatever you want them to, just to get it to stop.

In the nearly two years since El Caudillo HRH Fuckface Von Clownstick descended his golden escalator in front of a bunch of chumps who got stiffed on the fifty bucks they were promised, it's safe to say that most Americans have thought about this pathetic asshole on a daily basis, sometimes many times a day. This has left us collectively traumatized, willing to say or do anything to make it stop and return to sanity. It has also left us with several inescapable conclusions:
  1. Clownstick sucks. Mendacious, corrupt, and deeply stupid. No redeeming features whatsoever. I mean, I despised Dubya and Cheney, but Dubya is at least fairly amiable and sincerely loves his family, and Cheney is legitimately intelligent and can articulate his train of thought, as demented as it may be. But FVC is simply an awful human being. He's going to fuck up bigly, it's going to cost a lot of lives and money, and he doesn't care one bit, as long as he and his shitbird family can loot and profiteer.
  2. The media, in the aggregate, are absolutely fucking terrible. Seriously, how the fuck is this a "transcript"? It's so heavily redacted and rambling it makes even less sense than a full transcript would have. And what the hell is this, this decontextualized boilerplate? It's this sort of lazy, enabling bullshit that made it possible for this wretched clown to stay in the ring long enough to do some real damage. Thanks forever, you assholes.
  3. The American people have enabled all of this. We are complicit. We are terrible as well. Half the voters use "make librul snowflakes cry" as their rationale for self-destruction; they seem quite literally to be more than willing to wreck the country if it screws over the right people along the way. They'll burn their own house down if it takes out their neighbor's house as well. Awesome. They deserve to have him welsh on his "contract" with them, just as he has done with every other contract in his miserable existence. The other half is starting to get the message, but still needs to realize that all the protests and marches and complaints to the Office of Government Ethics are meaningless if you don't get enough of them at the ballot box to put their candidates in office.
The thing is, none of have any control over people -- voters and politicians alike -- being stupid or corrupt. Somehow, the king of internet trolls got in, because we all forgot the golden rule of trolls, and we fed him, and keep feeding him. A doddering, senescent, declining, incompetent empire selected someone who has all of those characteristics in spades. He's an ideal reflection of what this nation has become and is still slouching into, and as such will accelerate its collective transition. Rather than obsessively commenting on the dumpster fire by the hour, it might be a good idea to start figuring out how to build that life raft, or at least just live a life outside the thunderdome.

So I think The Ornamental Hermit has the right idea here, one I've been thinking about for quite some time as well. I've got other projects and opportunities that need time and attention, and I'm tired of handing those precious commodities over to this greasy, useless cocksucker-in-charge, for nothing in return except more grief and stress.

I can't promise a Clownstick-free zone; the outrages pile up relentlessly, and get worse all the time, and some of them do demand attention, scrutiny, discussion. We haven't heard much about Russia lately, mostly because Congress has been on vacation [Ed. -- from what?], but it's about to break again, bigly. We might squeak out of this yet, if he can be neutralized by scandal, if arrogance and incompetence do their thing, if enough people get off their lazy asses and vote without expecting some kind of fucking reward for being a responsible citizen.

But we all have to get back to living our lives, and stop giving this soulless vampire and his cult of morons things they do not deserve. Let them live with his lies and broken contracts, and let them choke on the consequences. If we could send Clownstick on a rocket to the moon with Mark Burnett and Jeff Zucker, the world would be a much better place instantaneously. Until that frabjous day, maybe we need to just boycott them all as much as possible.

Judas Factor

Let's cut the shit -- Jason Chaffetz is a gutless turd, a toxic worm whose presence has lessened an already rock-bottom Congress. He's the mystery chum some dumb bastard has to mop up from the floor of a back room of a pet store in Reseda after a gay porn shoot. He's the floater that refuses to fucking flush already. Fucking dirtbag.

There are players in this bloodsport that controls our lives and fortunes, where you can say, "Well, he's an asshole, but he did this and this and that. He's not entirely awful." Chaffetz is not one of those players -- he's entirely awful. He's sold his country down the river, chasing shadows on the Benghazi nonsense, only to cede power to Grampa Poopypants and his Russian investors.

He probably thinks he can toddle off to be a lobbyist or some such, rake in such real money. Knowing the dumb fuckers polluting this country, he's probably right. But if he's thinking about running for another office, hopefully the folks in the Beehive State wake up and reckanize who's their friend and who isn't. Because Chaffetz is just another weasel who knows how to look like he knows what he's doing, while actually doing nothing.

I'm sorry he and his family are receiving death threats, and that's certainly wrong and awful, but it's also useful to recall that "death threats" encompasses a wide variety of statements, such as (for example), "It would be a shame if an asshole such as yourself were to die painfully in a house fire." So we don't know with any specificity or precision what exactly was sent to him or his family. None of this changes the fact that he sucks rhino balls.

Seriously. Fuck Jason Chaffetz. He's a prick who has harmed this nation far more than he's served it, and his family and constituents should be reminded of that at every opportunity. Let him go out into the job market and find honest work. He won't, because he's a useless asshole who deserves to spend the rest of his life on a sidewalk spinning a sign trying to entice people into a Little Caesar's franchise, and because the system rewards incompetence and mendacity better than it does anything else.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

You Can Take the Cracker Out of the Trailer Park, But....

So this happened. I must have missed the news that they're now selling deep-fried Twinkies in the Oval Office. Take your goddamned hats off, you cousin-fucking mutants.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

There are at least two certainties when it comes to what we like to think of as "the democratic process" or (snicker) "free and fair elections":
  1. Self-styled liberals and progressives have a good chance of showing up to vote, but don't be too surprised if something else comes up, at which point the usual bullshit "off-year election" excuse comes up, as if midterm, off-year, or special elections don't count as much as the quadrennial circus that's ramrodded into every orifice two years in advance.
  2. Asshole conservatives will definitely show up. Every. Fucking. Time.
  3. If an election is looking too close for comfort, the asshole conservatives will conspire to nudge it in their direction with the usual "oops" shenanigans, a list of "dog ate my homework" excuses that would embarrass a fourth-grader who just didn't feel like reading the book for the report.
Which brings us to the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, to replace "Doctor" Tom Price, whose insider trading makes Martha Stewart look like a piker (which she was anyway), and nevertheless was confirmed to, you know, oversee the nation's health-care racket.

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff faces a clown car of Republican opponents, but need fifty percent to avoid a runoff in June. A few days ago, four electronic voter logs were stolen from the pickup truck of the poll manager, who left it unlocked at a Kroger while he went fucking grocery shopping. Somehow this dipshit still has a job; he shouldn't even be allowed to volunteer. I am willing to bet money that most of us who have jobs of any significance, if we had left crucial proprietary materials in our personal vehicle while we took care of a personal errand, and they were stolen out of the vehicle, we would be held accountable, as in fired. This asshole should be fired, even if he wasn't involved in anything nefarious. At the very least, though, the FEC needs to crawl up his ass with a microscope, and make sure he doesn't have any unsavory associates, maybe a collection of maga swag.

And now, tonight, while the election is underway, and Ossoff has fallen just a hair below 50%, the last county (Fulton) of the three in the district to report precincts, is having "technical difficulties." Oh, and Georgia is one of those states that does not require paper receipts for its electronic voting machines, because as always, accountability is for other people. And Ossoff's main opponent is Karen Handel, who is from Fulton County, and who, as Georgia's Secretary of State, would have overseen the placement of these voting machines. Handel will pull every string and call every back-room favor in order to steal the runoff in June.

It's a red district, and even if it heads to a runoff, Ossoff has done well, and has a fighting chance in June (until, again, Handel steals it). This isn't over at all, but that's not the point here. The point is being able to have an election anywhere, without this sort of transparent interference. It's times like these where you seriously wonder why we should bother having elections at all, when they're neither free nor fair unless you watch these thieving, traitorous scumbags like a hawk. They are disgracing their country, and everything they think they stand for.

The Special Club

Oh good -- Mister Man has signed another executive order. Buy American, Hire American! What a fucking tool. The American hotels that he slaps his name on are built with Chinese steel by illegal Polacks. He hires foreigners to do the scut work at his shitbox E. coli country club (pro tip: try the room-temp ham!). All of the shitty, low-quality products he slaps his name on are manufactured in twelve different countries; only his cologne (Sauerkraut, available in gallon jugs at your local True Value hardware store) is made in the USA.

Even his family and history exists largely from afar. His mother and his current wife came to this country under at least questionable circumstances, and may in fact have been technically illegal.

I don't really care about any of those things, except insofar as he thinks and acts as if he's in some exalted class of exception. The rules don't apply to him, you see. He lectures and warns and preens this "buy American" horseshit, as if American companies aren't supposed to do what he does routinely -- seek out the best available price for materials and labor, optimize the cost of goods sold.

This isn't going to work, of course; in fact, it will no doubt antagonize the tech and movie companies, which are heavily dependent on H-1B visa workers. It won't happen, it never does, but it would be sweet if just one (1) person with a large enough megaphone, whether a reporter or a business typhoon, looks at that stupid "order" and says, "Hey asshole -- you first."

Give Us This Week Our Weekly Fuck 'em

I have no idea why our insipid intrepid mediots continue to plumb the wisdom of the rubes, but three months in, and their tears of stupid are not even a leetle bit old, they are in fact quite tasty:

Usually, this pathway outside Parx Casino is reserved for self-flagellation, a private lament at the last hundred lost. But lately, as with most any gathering place around here since late January — the checkout line, the liquor store, the park nearby where losing lottery numbers are pressed into the mulch — patrons have found occasion to project their angst outward, second-guessing a November wager.

“Just like any other damn president,” sighed Theresa Remington, 44, a home-care worker and the mother of two active-duty Marines, scraping at an unlit cigarette. She had voted for Donald J. Trump because she expected him to improve conditions for veterans and overhaul the health care system. Now?

“Political bluster,” Ms. Remington said, before making another run at the quarter slots. She wondered aloud how Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont might have fared in the job.

Well, gee whiz, I dunno, you stupid cunt. You clearly have the decision-making process of an angry chimp slinging its feces at a dartboard. What could possibly go fucking wrong?

Seriously, let's break this down just a touch -- the only way you end up finding a genuine dilemma in choosing between Clownstick and Sanders, two of the most diametrically-opposed candidates on every issue imaginable, is if you literally never read or watch or discuss with friends any sort of news or current events, or if you're simply a foaming-at-the-mouth Never Hitlery dipshit. Either way, you get what you deserve. Good luck with your fucking health-care plan, dumbass. Considering the system is now being headed by a crooked congress-critter who should have been disqualified for profiteering, literally buying and selling stocks in the companies he was approving legislature for, but wasn't because we are now officially a banana republic, the outcome doesn't look too promising. Maybe your slot winnings will cover it. I mean, for fuck's sake.

Then there's this asshole:
“It’s not what he’s done, it’s what he’s trying to do,” said Bill Yokobosky IV, 33, a train engineer from Langhorne, Pa., who was waiting for a haircut at a strip mall. “He hasn’t succeeded, really.”
Nonsense, Bill the Fourth, he's succeeding bigly. He's doing precisely what he set out to do -- make as much fucking money as possible. That's why he's installed his daughter and son-in-law in the roles they have now, to monetize every damned thing, to steal everything that isn't nailed down -- and if it is nailed down, steal the nails while they're at it.

On April 6, Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world's second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago, her father’s Florida resort.

The scenario underscores how difficult it is for Trump, who has tried to distance herself from the brand that bears her name, to separate business from politics in her new position at the White House.

This is a fatally flawed assumption on the part of a media that at this point (in the aggregate, with precious few exceptions), can only be either inept or complicit. It's not "difficult" for Ivanka at all to "distance herself" or "separate business from politics," because there's been no attempt to do that, nor will there be. I can't believe a serious journamalist actually typed that sentence out without either laughing or crying, because it's not remotely fucking true. She's there to embrace the many monetization opportunities that will present themselves in dealing with the Chinese, who make us look like amateurs when it comes to checkbook diplomacy. They understand all too well that there's absolutely no need to get into an argument with a rival, when you can easily buy them off. That's her role, and her husband's role, to wet the family beak.

What's annoying is that yabbos from the NYT article like Bill the Fourth and Slots McHealthcare would be apoplectic if But Her Emails was doing one-tenth of the shit their hero does right out in the open (hell, I would have called her out for it); what's pathetic is that they seriously believed that a guy who has never not been an obvious, inept con-man had any intention whatsoever to "look out" for people like them, their families, their communities. The guy has managed to do at least one thing every single week that completely contradicts what he spent years whinging about on his Twitter account. Face it, you fucking assclowns, you endorsed someone who's biggest qualification is giving dating advice to Twilight actors. Enjoy that whirlwind.

The least we can do, once the majority of this idiot country finally gathers up their balls and brains and runs these shameless hucksters out on a rail, is make sure to start a fund to provide these simple, well-meaning foke with full-ride scholarships to Clownstick University. In the meantime, this is your fault. You made the choice to cut off your noses, I have no interest in helping you out with the plastic surgery. Own it.

[Update 4/18/17 6:48 PM PDT:  Holy fucking shit, the stupid never stops with these goddamned people (h/t to LGM commenter Outside Counsel):
"We love him," said Keith Muhlenbeck, 46. "We support him in everything he's doing. He's a businessman who knows how to get things done, and you can tell he has America's best interests at heart."

Washington pundits might be criticizing Trump for his recent reversals on a number of policy issues, including trade with China and the future of the Export-Import Bank. But Bobbi Muhlenbeck sees the president as a tough talker who stands his ground.

"I like that he doesn't back down," said Muhlenbeck's wife, 49.

Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad found that out the hard way, her husband noted, citing Trump's decision to bomb a Syrian air base to retaliate for Assad's use of chemical weapons on his own people.

"This country used to stand for something, and now we're a joke," he said, arguing that former President Barack Obama projected weakness – something Trump obviously doesn't do.

"There's iron in the glove now," he said.

As for Trump's proposed budget cuts, Muhlenbeck doesn't worry that the food bank his family depends on will be forced to shut down.
"I'm sure they'll find the money somewhere," he said.

....

The Muhlenbecks, who live on government disability payments due to assorted ailments and injuries, were among about 200 people who lined up in a parking lot outside the Cornerstone Outreach Center for free groceries last week.

[emphasis added]

These morons are impossible to parody, but I sincerely hope they get what's coming to them. I'm beginning to see the appeal to being a Republican, where you don't have to pretend to give two shits about what happens to these thankless slobs when you cut them off from their free food and disability payments. Fuck 'em, good and hard. See how they like that "iron in the glove" when they're scrounging for garbage in the dumpster behind the donut shop by the tent city.]

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Death and Taxes

Here's a thought for next year's tax day protest, while Mister Man waves his short, stubby middle fingers at us all:  what if, instead of marching around in circles with slogans and chants, all of those people and more collectively decided to file for bankruptcy, and not file taxes. It won't happen, of course, but if enough people did it, they wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

You have to give them credit for trolling his Twatter feed, and hopefully they're also writing their congress-critters, trolling their GOP politicians' town halls, etc. Make it so that by the end of it all, this piece of shit wishes he'd just released him (though of course he can't).

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

It is difficult for the ordinary voter to come to grips with the notion that a truly evil man, a truthless monster with the brains of a king rat and the soul of a cockroach, is about to be sworn in as president of the United States for the next four years....And he will bring his gang in with him, a mean network of lawyers and salesmen and pimps who will loot the national treasury, warp the laws, mock the rules and stay awake 22 hours a day looking for at least one reason to declare war, officially, on some hapless tribe in the Sahara or heathen fanatic like the Ayatollah Khomeini. -- Hunter S. Thompson, SF Examiner column, September 14, 1987, reprinted in Generation of Swine, Gonzo Papers Vol. 2, p. 281

It's a difficult thing to internalize what legitimately appears to be an impending catastrophe, and still go through your daily routine, your regular life, as if it will work according to plan. All the while knowing full well that the worst is yet to come, and in unpredictable ways at best.

More to the point, it's difficult to guess which will be worse -- the entirely predictable things to come (more voter-suppression tactics; national right-to-work laws; various authoritarian measures under the guise of "safety" and "security"), or the "black swan" events that are bound to occur (the most obvious example would be positing how far they'll go when the next terrorist attack or mass shooting takes place), and the reasonable assumption that they'll be underprepared for it and use it as pretext for something more awful (martial law). Let's just agree for the record that it's going to be pretty bad either way.

So far, it seems safe to say that this administration intends to "govern" the exact same way the scampaign was conducted. Its operational principle can be summed up in two words, stated as a defiant question, a dare: Or what? That is their default response to all the horrified plaints from the media and critics. "You can't threaten judges and reporters for being critical of you!" Or what? "You can't ban people based on their religion!" Or what? "You can't surround yourself with white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, and replace generals on the Joint Chiefs of Staff with your son-in-law and the alky editor from Breitbart!" Or what, motherfucker? What are you gonna do about it? Vote? Did you see how many millions of people out there are more than willing to line up and believe whatever I tell them, even when they know it isn't true, just because it pisses you off?

The first thing they will go after is your right to vote, especially if the early town-hall crowds we've been seeing gain momentum heading into the midterms next year. The pieces are already in place, simply by spreading the lie. When pressed for evidence, they just lie some more. Again, what the fuck are you gonna do about it, son?

The biggest truth to face now....is that I don't think people give a damn whether the planet goes on or not. It seems to me as if everyone is living as members of Alcoholics Anonymous do, day by day. And a few more days will be enough. I know of very few people who are dreaming of a world for their grandchildren. -- Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country, pp. 70-71

The catchy boutique phrase is "fake news," but it would be phrased better (though less catchy) as epistemic closure. The gap between the average Clownstick supporter and the average Clownstick opponent is a widening impasse, a canyon at this point. And the gap is not political so much as epistemic. They are in their own universe of bullshit and agitprop, ad copy from the alt-right basement brigade designed specifically not to inform, but to enrage, to affirm misconceptions, to create and broaden a divide. These alt-right assholes will probably never understand that they too are being used, by a handful of bastards to regard the unwealthy as a lesser species in need of management, much like beef cattle on a feedlot, placidly awaiting a fate unknown to them until they head up the ramp, at which point it all happens with brutal alacrity.

The massive Harris Ranch sits astride Interstate 5 in California, about halfway between Sacramento and Los Angeles. The ranch is the largest west of the Mississippi, with hundreds of acres and tens of thousands of cattle. It is fully self-contained along the entire spectrum of turning a cow into hamburger meat, from breeding to packaging. The ranch is famously well-run, and the meat is very good, supplying the In-N-Out Burger franchises (as well as many other fast food franchises).

Being a lifelong resident of California, and having driven up and down the state along I-5 countless times over the years, I can tell you firsthand that there is nothing quite like the olfactory assault that lets you know you are approaching the ranch, miles before you actually see the crowded feedlots, packed with cattle awaiting their fate. The restaurant is excellent. They are extraordinarily good at what they do, which is using industrialized mayhem to produce something which is very good and nutritious in proper measures, but will eventually kill you if it's the only thing you ever consume.

People didn't change. They grew into what they had always been. -- James Lee Burke, Light of the World, p. 407

You know who had Clownstick's number right from the very start was the late great Jimmy Breslin. The man who once infamously gutted Rudy Giuliani by characterizing him as "a short man in search of a balcony" knew that Clownstick was nothing more than a loud mouth in a suit, a braying jackass who would never be anywhere near as smart as he thought he was. He had many wonderful turns of phrase, Breslin did. He also noted that "media" is "the plural of mediocre," a beautiful understatement.

Breslin cannily saw that Clownstick was just sharp enough to get the media bozos to give him free publicity. Not much has changed since then, has it? Here's how it was back in the day:
Trump will call and announce his rise. The suckers will write about a heroic indomitable spirit. Redemption makes an even better tale. So many bankers will grab his arm the sleeve will rip. All Trump has to do is stick to the rules on which he was raised by his father in the County of Queens:

Never use your own money. Steal a good idea and say it's your own. Do anything to get publicity. Remember that everybody can be bought.

The trouble with Trump's father was that he was a totally naive man. He had no idea that you could buy the whole news reporting business in New York City with a return phone call.
These jamokes ought to be ashamed of themselves, but they are careerists at heart, and that's that. Some of them, such as Jake Tapper at CNN, have gotten woke, as the kids say, and are calling the lies for what they are. More will follow, and maybe it's not too late. But it will take work, because the lies are non-stop, and each demands attention, and people only have so much attention to give to them before they become desensitized to it all. Or in the case of your cult followers, the lies are a feature, not a bug.

The lies are strategic, not accidental. This is not at odds with the fact that Clownstick is a paranoid old man who doesn't seem to have any expertise or knowledge of anything other than himself. But you don't have to be all that clever to know how to manipulate people, especially if you have a reserve of money and name recognition -- and now power, and the will to use it as an insufferable authoritarian who cannot only not tolerate dissent, but can never even admit that he's wrong about basic empirical facts that are obvious to all. Again, there is a strategic element to that.

Another part of the strategy is to keep the media jabbering about the lies, spending time and bandwidth showing the homework and proving him wrong on the facts, while he has moved on to other things and taken his flock -- indifferent to facts and fate, bored except for the opportunity to vicariously drink the tears of pussy librul snowflakes in between infusions of whatever reality-teevee bullshit they're mainlining this week -- with him to the next pasture.

These are people who, for all practical purposes, have given up on the idea of living a self-actualized existence, because for them, self-actualization has been reduced to trolling people on the internets. This type of intellectual perversion is now the norm. If "facts" are not only in contention, but have stopped mattering, then there is no longer any basis for discussing ideas or policy objectives. "What happens if a massive tax cut is (barely) disguised as a plan for health care reform, and millions of people lose coverage?" Eat shit, beta cuck libtard faggot! Lock her up! Build that wall! Derp de derp! MAGAAAAHHHRRGH!!!1!1!!

The dangerous thing about arguing with morons is people might not be able to tell the difference after a while, because it's wearying and demoralizing to the one arguing with the moron. The moron loves it, they crave the attention. They refuse to do the honorable thing and jump head-first off the fucking Hoover Dam already.

It's a no-win situation -- engaging with them is a waste of time, but leaving their noxious bullshit unchallenged is not a viable alternative for a healthy society. And like many a catastrophically-ill person, we won't see the sheer scope of the problem until the patient is terminal, too late for treatment.

It may already be too late. The amount of destruction Clownstick's candidacy and election has already wrought is significant, and that amount will only increase. The problem with over-using words like "norms" is that they undersell the importance of the things they refer to. A better phrase would be "rules of conduct."

I like to think that I have a creative temperament, and as such, I tend not to have much use for rules and traditions and such like, unless they make sense have some utility. If something works, use it; if not, use something else. If it sounds good, it is good. That sort of thing. But there is always balance -- when I pick up my guitar, I play what I want to play, without worrying about whether it's "right" or not, but I took the time to acquire a working knowledge of music theory along the way, because balance and structure are important as well.

So what we might regard as the tedious sausage-making processes of governance are, in fact, structures established to ensure continuity. Presidents come and go, and each has their own management philosophy, but ultimately they all adhere to established procedural structure. Players retire, and committees tweak rules here and there for playability, but it's understood that they're all still playing football. Implicit in this is that breaching those norms too drastically would grant unintended powers to future occupants of the office. This is already a problem, as the Cheney regime breached some of those norms in plunging the Middle East into the abyss, and Obama was all too willing to use those expanded executive powers to step up drone attacks extrajudicially.

But the current team of loons and outcasts are much more transgressive; indeed, it's not an exaggeration to say that transgression is a strategy for them. They are not playing football, they are playing Calvinball, where the guy with the ball makes the rules up as he goes along.

Right now and for the foreseeable future, the ball is in the hands of a demented old man who poops his rage-tweets out to a captive audience in the middle of the night. The cult followers insist that the ordure is the finest of chocolate, but people with working noses know the truth.

And once Grampa Walnuts shuffles off the stage to smear his poop on his tacky marble walls, the system faces some hard choices -- do we continue with these new norms, stretched out in unpleasant directions, or do we agree to dial things back? The trend has been toward polarization for twenty years now, how do you think that question will be answered? The Republican party has lost its collective fucking mind, and if Clownstick sees through his term(s) and is succeeded by someone from his (newly adopted) party, they and their cult followers will simply see that as a ratification of the corrosive dialogue Clownstick has ushered in.

The Democrats face a much tougher dilemma, regardless of how things proceed. Let's assume for the sake of argument that Clownstick does not start designing his own military uniforms and declare himself caudillo permanente. He will leave office at some point within the next eight [fuck!] years. Let's further stipulate that he leaves office in one of the following scenarios:
  1. Early removal from office -- impeachment, scandal, run out of town on a rail just for being an all-around cocksucker.
  2. Voted out after one term -- Dems win in 2020.
  3. Retires after one term, succeeded by Republican.
  4. Serves two terms, succeeded by Republican.
  5. Serves two terms, succeeded by Democrat.
Only in the first scenario is it even possible that the Goopers might be encouraged to return to playing by the traditional rules, but even then it's a low-probability bet, as Merrick Garland can tell you. This is purely a risk-reward situation, and the only way they stop doing what they've been doing is if they get punished by the electorate.

As for the Democrats, thinking solely in game-theory outcomes, only the first two work to their advantage, and then they have to decide whether to engage in punitive retribution or reconciliation. Personally, I think a balance of both would be useful -- give the moderate Republicans a come-to-Jesus option and openly vow a return to some semblance of bipartisanship, while weeding out the hardcore cracker contingent, who are fucking useless and worthless as politicians and as human beings. Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Scott DesJarlais, that type. Put 'em up against the wall, figuratively of course.

That's what the Democrats should do in those instances. What they are most likely to do is adopt their usual spork-to-a-gunfight stance, offer to play nice (which under these circumstances is essentially punting on first down), and revert to their traditional role as the pawl to the Goopers' ratchet. It's what they know, and the adversarial pose keeps the money rolling in, and provides a great excuse for not actually getting anything done for working class Americans.

So far, they've done fairly well, letting the Goopers trip on their dicks and bluster their way into a corner. They understand that arrogance, stupidity, and incompetence are measurable physical forces, like gravity. They are letting gravity do its thing for now. They would do well to compose a more compelling narrative to sell themselves, not just as a "we're not them" option, but as an "I am voting for the Democratic candidate because ___________" option. Bringing Clownstick down is a net positive, but will not bring the cultists along at all, and may even set some of them off.

There has to be a reason why one side is better, rather than an ongoing teleology of how the other side is worse. Endlessly increased polarization of the electorate leads probabilistically to civil war of some sort; in a country as large and diverse as the US, it would likely take the form of ongoing terrorist-style attacks here and there, and the ongoing delegitimization of the electoral process itself (think of the natural consequences of Clownstick's "rigged" claims throughout October, had HRC won).

The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs. -- Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me, p. 79

One of the more annoying cultural trends here (perhaps it exists in other countries; don't know or care) is the empty longing of nostalgia. This is most aptly characterized by the slew of Facebook memes with inane proclamations such as "Share if you miss The Dukes of Hazzard!" or "Bring Back Bugs Bunny!"

This is not at all an aesthetic judgment, although it is indeed tedious in that aspect as well. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with either of these entertainments, nor anything else from that era. I don't buy into any SJW nonsense about the Dukes perpetuating racism because of the traitor slaver flag on the General Lee. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

What's annoying about these memes is that for the susceptible, they hark back to a simpler, "better" time, in the Those Were the Days sense. Cultural mores, expectations, and roles are inextricably tied and assigned, and woe betide the persons or groups who step outside those lines. It is an especially pernicious form of political correctness, one that (like its campus SJW doppelganger) stifles dissent with overt social pressure.

This is the social subtext of the typical Clownstick voter. If Americans (in the aggregate) were looking to time-travel back to the good ol' days, they overshot the imagined Elysium of their '70s-'80s childhood, and went all the way back to the 1930s. Clownstick presents himself as anti-establishment, which is a classic marketing technique, and the rubes buy into it, but he (and they) are anything but rebels or mavericks. They are counter-reformationists, antidisestablishmentarians, the squarest of the square, the most proudly regressive of all animals.

And in this particular social context -- the world on the cusp of generational crises revolving around refugees, religious fundamentalism, and water scarcity; declining economic stability and mobility in the wake of a supposed recovery; weariness and frustration with politicians who make promises and never follow through; entire communities of people who have simply given up -- the regressive squares seek the comfort of the myths they know and remember.

It doesn't take a genius to know that people would rather be lied to than ignored. The problem is that the path of empty nostalgia, reactionary isolationism, and revanchist demagoguery all lead directly to authoritarianism and fascism, a reflection of their desperate need to control reality simply by insisting that the delusion is real, and facts can be ignored or willed away.

We've become a land of fractal, selective narratives, but when all of those narratives and the political system are overtly controlled by the same club that pits us all against each other, how do we back out of the corner we've gotten ourselves into. Stability is predicated on norms and order, but these people use disruption and chaos as a strategy. Again, these things are not accidental.

He'd meant well, or at least he hadn't meant ill. -- Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake, p. 284

Larger-scale changes have been going on that not only underpin this recent sea change in the electorate, but will reinforce it in the coming years. The hollowing out of the Democratic Party, much of it self-inflicted, continues apace, with no bench at all at the national level and very little structural integrity at the state and local levels in most of the country. At least they are starting to apprehend the lessons that their Republican counterparts applied to Obama every chance they got -- obstruct and pontificate every chance you get, even if it's just symbolic; do not go along for any reason whatsoever.

I might complain about California every now and again, but there are very few other states -- like, fewer than five -- that I'd even consider living in, or even visiting. Most of them seem to be well into their toxic economic spirals. If I want to see towns full of clapboard destitution and angry morlocks putting the same inane tattoos on their arm fat, there are more than enough places throughout Cali to do just that.

Case in point: if we accept the premise that we are more or less in a perpetual campaign cycle these days, then it would behoove the Democrats to start their search for the 2020 candidate right away. So what nationally known Democrat looks like a viable contender right now? I do think Cory Booker and perhaps Kamala Harris have potential (and Kirsten Gillibrand seems to be sensing -- correctly -- that there's no time like the present), but we're talking now, like they need to start fundraising ASAP and be ready to throw in by summer 2018. Julian Castro also seems like a possibility, and was on the short list as a Hillary running mate, but it's noteworthy that you've heard nothing about him since. I don't even recall reading anything about whether he (for example) campaigned for her in Texas.

So it's looking pretty grim right now for the opposition, and their best hope for a comeback in 2018 and 2020 is that the Clownstick regime is as incompetent and mendacious as they appear to be. So far they are exactly those things. He and they can be counted on to be both arrogant and stupid, a combination that guarantees negligence and/or overreach. Whether it's another 9/11 or Katrina or attempt to privatize Social Security or Yosemite, they will find a way to fuck things (and by consequence, people) up.

But in the meantime, even larger dynamics than those are in play, gathering momentum, and will only heighten the contradictions. One is that there are simply more people than there are things for them to do, as far as careers and gainful employment go, and that's not going to change -- in fact, thanks to automation, commodification, and outsourcing, it's only going to get worse. And the rageaholics in their blown-out factory towns are going get it snapped off in their asses bigly.

Second, and just as worrisome, is that the corporate media (MSM, whatever term of endearment you prefer) is dying, and they know it, but they have no idea what to do about it. Caught in a merciless landscape of niches competing for the gnat-like attention spans of illiterate morons who no longer have any use for facts or information, corporate entities are basically being put in the position of having to go along to get along.

The Clownstick regime will be quite literally an existential dilemma for the press monkeys: on the one hand, all they have to do is follow the money, he's not even bothering to conceal the self-dealing and profiteering; on the other hand, they have to beat it home and make it stick, again for indifferent idiots and vengeful saps.

The press are finally starting to realize that he is not their fucking friend. But some in the press and in gubmint are still operating under the fanciful notion that "values" and "norms" and "checks" and "balances" will protect us all from the depredations of the caudillo. I'll be damned if I know what the hell these people are thinking. Again, when the autocrat tells you who he is, believe him.

It is reasonable to implore folks to Do Something. Some of those Somethings are easy enough to agree with -- for example, if there is an issue near and dear to your heart, you can and should write eloquently and often to your elected representatives, at all levels. That's their best barometer of how they're doing, and aside from their interactions with the donor/owner class, it's their primary source of contact with constituents and voters.

But the whole takin'-it-to-the-streets bit? Good luck with that. I can't think of a bigger pound-for pound waste of time and energy, statistically speaking. The only time people notice that shit is when someone gets hurt or killed. Or maybe you get arrested, and find yourself on the hook of the profiteering carceral state for a while, which is the real hidden future of what's left of our fair republic. Either way, your voice, such as it is, is effectively silenced. The media will not memorialize your principled martyrdom; whether it's forgotten while you're paying down a fine, getting raped in the showers at Rikers, or being buried in a potters' field makes little difference.

And for what? The longevity of any given "protest" means nothing -- how long did Occupy Wall Street sit there outside Goldman Sachs, only to be ridiculed by former GS staffers turned news-readers such as Erin Burnett? What was the eventual outcome of all the riots in Ferguson or Baltimore? The massive Iraq War protests across the nation and around the world in 2003? The post-election protests in November 2016?

In fact, you can count on a mathematical, directly proportional relationship between the length of a protest, and the likelihood of the media -- and therefore, the public at large -- to delegitimize the protesters, and by association whatever their cause is. It starts with the usual "don't these people have jobs to go to" jabs, then quickly degrades outright into the collective assertion that the protesters' supposed refusal to engage with a political system that openly and routinely neglects and ignores them, proves by the Axiom of Transitive Bullshit that they are not "serious" enough to be taken seriously.

I'm going to suggest that there are much more effective modes of protest that are infinitely simpler -- in fact, people literally don't have to get off their asses, and they can still make an actual difference. The trick is that there have to be enough people to do it.

For some years now, the ongoing "joke" has been that our two-party system is really one party (the Democrats), and a coalition of extremists and Jesus freaks all trying to get their pet obsessions legislated. There has been some truth to that, as far as it goes, but again, the 2016 election exposed some catastrophic flaws in the "responsible" party (depending, of course, on one's perspective).

Let's say for the sake of argument, that in a strictly operational sense, in the sense that a political party is an organized entity that advocates the interests of its constituents, that a party should reflect and fight for those concerns, that the United States of America has no true political parties as such. Rather, we have two organizations that pretend loudly to serve the interests of their bases, while quietly promoting and advancing the financial interests of the corporations that fund them.

More to the obvious point:  this is entirely a money game, and therefore you either donate enough to own a share of the system and its players, or you are just a spectator. This is a game played by millionaires, on fields owned by billionaires, and we're all just the chumps out there in the stands, with our fan cosplay and face paint and team swag, maybe the big wooden letter "D" and a few feet of picket fence. We think our cheering has an effect on the outcome of the game.

But the outcome of the game is completely irrelevant, except insofar as we are fans of one or the other of the participating teams. I've been a fan of the Oakland Raiders for over forty years, since I was in second grade, and it's nice to see them back in the playoffs after more than a decade. But they could win the Super Bowl and it won't put a dime in my pocket, unless I happen to be involved in helping them build a new stadium (the cost of which then gets amortized throughout the community for the next generation). Money still changes hands all over the place, from ticket sales to parking fees to concession stands to jersey kiosks to television revenue packages. But 99% of the money exchanged amounts to an upward transfer, from fans to owners, in various ways.

Now, if a sports franchise consistently puts out a shit product, there are direct consequences. Fans simply stop buying tickets and swag and NFL Sunday Ticket packages, and the revenue starts drying up. The team and the league have to be responsive, or continue to lose money. This provides a useful model for real political protest, especially now that the pelf-grubbing Clownstick regime is coming in.

Take, for just one example, the reality teevee shitshow "Celebrity" Apprentice, the vehicle by which Hair Fuhrer kept his public profile since 2004. The show will now of course be hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Clownstick will retain an executive producer credit, meaning he will still earn money from whatever entertainment value is to be had from watching "Snooki" and other washed-up has-beens and never-weres try to run a taco truck or whatever. So what would happen if enough people got together and collectively boycotted every company that advertises on that fuckfest, and emails those companies and tells them precisely why they're boycotting?

Or take Mark Burnett (please), the limey asshole who created the Apprentice, as well as Survivor, The Voice, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, and many other lesser-known contributions to lowering the lowest common denominator. Burnett has made a career of turd-mining; his content model seems to almost literally be to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. And it's all shit.

So Burnett is bad enough simply because he's made an impossible amount of money somehow finding a way to make American television even worse than it already was. He also makes shitty Bible features, perhaps as some sort of atonement (even though simply going the fuck away would be acceptable). Informed speculation in the closing weeks of the election had it that Burnett was sitting on any number of inflammatory Apprentice outtakes that had Clownstick saying the n-word, the c-word, and more. Not that it would have mattered, but the fact is that Burnett is an admirer of Clownstick, and closely aligned with him. So what about boycotting as many of the companies that advertise on Burnett's various bags of fertilizer as possible?

Look. There is a practical limit, thanks in no small part to various levels of vertical integration, to how much you can boycott and still lead a normal life. But the beauty of it is, you don't need to hit all of them, just one or two. They're herd animals; even the shadow of a lion will empty out the watering hole with a quickness. Just pick the top three companies on Burnett's top three shows, and let them know. That last part is key; I wasn't watching any of his fucking crapfests anyway, but I buy stuff, and so do you. These programs exist solely to put butts in seats and sell cars and pharmaceuticals and cell phone plans. If a million people tell Toyota and T-Mobile that they'll never buy their products again because they're buying time with someone who has actively participated in ruining the nation on cultural and political levels, they'll listen.

We're all still a little bit shell-shocked from the last eighteen months, and bracing ourselves for the shit tornado brewing on the near horizon, heading straight for our collective trailer park. Beyond the usual name calling and partisan sniping, the hate toward the Berniebros and the idiot pollsters and the prevent-defense candidate that lost to a reality-teevee clown, and on and on. Maybe the unspoken source of anger and frustration on the part of Hillary voters is finding out the hard way that your country isn't what you had thought and hoped and believed it was....or perhaps worse yet, realizing that it was, in the end, exactly what you had feared.

Truth is, both of those things are true. It's a big fucking country, obviously, 325 million people and counting. By the law of averages, some of them are assholes. What still holds true is that everyone has the right to be wrong and to be asshole about it. And each side considers the other assholes -- except, of course, some of them are friends or relatives, individuals we actually know and respect and care about. But civility may be out the window for some time; there is clearly nothing gained by taking the so-called higher ground, and in fact there is something cathartic about sniping at them, at him. Just as the occupant before Obama was never referred to by his given name, and certainly not with the P-word, I will never refer to Clownstick by his given name, or by his acquired title. It may be petty and futile, but that's all we got at this point. Knowing that he would be annoyed by it makes me smile, and those are going to be harder to come by until these fuckers are gone.

Better yet, give their bullshit right back to them -- when they pulling their fake-tough nonsense, respond with Or what?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

So there's a lot of cautiously optimistic crowing about the near-miss by the Democratic candidate in the KS-04 House special election to replace new CIA director Mike Pompeo. And there's definitely some good to be observed from this -- where Pompeo retained the seat by a 2:1 margin just six months ago, GOP turd-burglar Ron Estes comparatively squeaked by, 52.5-45.7%. A seven-percent margin, just six months after a thirty-point margin, is certainly noteworthy, especially for a district along the Kansas-Oklahoma border, where the spread at the top of the ticket was roughly the same. And the Goopers pushed hard on this one in the homestretch, with robocalls from Clownstick and his beady-eyed sidekick.

And yet, it must also be mentioned that in the end totals, this was eminently winnable. In the 2016 election, Democratic challenger Daniel Giroux racked up 81,495 votes against Pompeo, while in Tuesday's special election, James Thompson got only 55,310, and Estes received 63,505 votes. We all get that "off-year" and "special" elections get lower attendance, but I guess my question is -- especially given the current circumstances -- why?

Presumably every one of the 81,495 people who voted for Daniel Giroux also voted for Hillary Clinton, and therefore were dismayed by the unlikely ascension of Grampa Walnuts and his ever-changing daily word salad. If only 80% of those people could have mustered themselves to show up to something that takes just a few minutes, it would have been a yuge finger in the eye of this dumpster fire of an administration.

What does it take to motivate people to fucking show up? Do they need a pat on the back, a fucking parade for doing the least bit of engagement to be imposed on a (hopefully) informed citizenry? Seriously, this is the same reason Obama's terms ended up being largely ineffective and ultimately derailed -- because a significant chunk of these lazy fucks don't show up for the midterms. They take it all for granted that Somebody Else Will Do It For Them, and then they're just shocked that Sam Brownback gets re-elected to gut state services some more, that the most inept con-man grifter in recent memory gets the top spot to loot and pillage to his shriveled heart's content.

I'm glad Thompson gave Estes a run for his money and made it close, and I hope he builds on that momentum by throwing in for the regular election in eighteen months, and spends that entire time becoming Estes' worst ankle-biter, tethering him to an increasingly unpopular chief executive and his nepotistic clusterfuck of an administration. And Tom Perez better stake him with plenty of money and support. That's the only way to root out the entrenched scumbags, and put an end to their hypocritical holy war.

But none of it matters if these lazy fucktards don't fucking show up. Ignorance is neither an excuse nor an option. Every single one of these dumbasses can conjure up maps and restaurant reviews and whatever the hell else they want in seconds on their phone. They can sure as fuck take a minute once in a while and check in on the world of people who run their world.

Or not, and then they can get more of the same, while it all swirls down the drain. If Tom Perez wants to send me some cash, I will be more than happy to head out to twine country and smack them upside the head. Here is the day of the election, do you have fifteen minutes to spare that day and do one thing for your country, maybe take a break from uploading pictures of your malformed genitals to Tinder?

I think we all have a touch of nihilism, and mostly I've engaged in the usual sarcastic variety, but the last 12-18 months has stripped away much of the sarcasm, and left a core of really wanting the fucking meteor to hit. And it's stupid shit like this that explains why -- because it doesn't have to be that way, because the little things do affect the larger things, because the people most likely to be adversely affected also seem to be the most indifferent and apathetic. And I'll be goddamned if I can figure out why that is.

Your Liberal Media

The problem with Jeffrey Lord is not that he's "conservative," a word which no longer has any consistent meaning anyway. The problem is that he's a supercilious twat who thinks his moronic pronunciamentos cast him as some sort of Last Honest Man contrarian, the sort of dipshit who thinks he's only one who's got the guts to say it.

The reality is that everyone else is just incredulous that anyone is willing to pay this useless cocksucker for anything. But then, Jeff Zucker is also a useless cocksucker with a dead soul, who loves filthy pelf more than he loves his country, and it ain't even close. He'd have David Duke on as a "commentator" if he thought he could turn a buck out of it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Best People

Barely eighty days in, and Sean Spicer's best excuse might be to claim that he's retarded. Then again, these are the people who could literally fuck up an Easter egg roll, so Spicer really is the perfect PR flack for them. It would not make sense if Spicer happened to stumble across any core competency on his sordid journey through what passes for his life.

And hey, when they bounce his worthless ass to cover up for other (ahem) shortcomings, they can just demote him for that upcoming special day.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fly the Friendly Skies

I haven't flown in years, since before 9/11 in fact, and since I can't afford to go anywhere cool, it's entirely possible I'll never fly again, and even if I could afford to, I'd avoid it as much as possible. The United incident only underscores why, and while it might be fun (and perhaps even accurate) to pick on United and threaten a boycott, they are clearly a symptom of a much larger problem.

Between the lines, the delays, the invasive searches, abusive personnel, and ridiculous security theater rituals, being overcharged for food and drink at a shit airport restaurant while you wait for your flight well past schedule, only to get on the plane and wait some more on the tarmac (no doubt with a screeching infant right next to you). Yeah, that all totally sounds worth it for a few days in Hawaii. Where the fuck do I sign up?

Frankly I'm surprised, after reading countless horror stories over the past fifteen years, that people are willing to put up with this pointless exercise in abuse, and that's really all it is. You're treated like absolute shit, like a farm animal, like a terrorist, from the time you enter the airport to the time you arrive at your destination. This has been going on for years, and it's not getting any better. And it won't until enough people say, "You know what? Fuck you. I don't need to go to Cancun that badly."

Sunday, April 09, 2017

To Protect and Serve

You may recall a recent post regarding a horrible decision regarding the Lake County, Florida Sheriff's Office shooting of a civilian, Andrew Scott, which was handed down by the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Scott was shot because the LCSO fucked up, and they have a bizarre policy of not identifying themselves as law enforcement when they bang on civilians' front doors in the middle of the night.

Well, the LCSO just doubled down on its commitment to serving the community:



One assumes that they are about to set fire to a hostage in a cage. This is what you get when you let thugs with badges do whatever the fuck they want, and people are fine with sacrificing their liberty for some false reassurance of safety. Nothing good can come of this.

Backfire

AmCon's Daniel Larison concisely nails why Clownstick's Syria sideshow fails even as a temporary distraction:
Launching an illegal attack on another government doesn’t communicate seriousness or strength. It is something that someone desperate to be taken seriously will do, and in so doing he reminds everyone how ridiculous he is. The attack on Syria hasn’t impressed people in China, and insofar as it was intended to “send a message” to North Korea it will likely just confirm their determination to continue developing their nuclear and missile programs.
The only thing I would (mildly) disagree with is the implication that Clownstick ordered the missile launch because he is "desperate to be taken seriously." Obviously, everything he does and says has that as a prime factor; the man's entire life is an eternal cry for help.

It's some sad shit to consider the literal fact that at this point, there are at least a few human beings who would still be alive if Fuckface Von Clownstick Senior had given his son a hug once in a while, told him that he loved him, anything to keep him from inflicting his lifelong ego trip on a hapless citizenry. But that is where we are right now.

It's difficult to imagine the sort of diehard rube who, barely forty-eight hours removed from the missile attack, still buys into the idea that it had any strategic or even humanitarian purpose. I asserted the other day that he may have had "sincere motives" in initiating action, and he may even think that he does, but given the subsequent Twitter droppings of his that emanated in 2013, after Assad had used chemical weapons for a much higher casualty count, I can't in good faith stick to that assertion.

It's frequently difficult with this guy to tell in a given instance if an action or quote is driven by stupidity or cynicism. It's easy to forget momentarily that those things are not mutually exclusive. Clownstick no doubt sees no disconnect between his 2013 backseat-driving of Obama's foreign policy decisions, and Clownstick's own actions four years later. When Nixon said that if the president does something, it's not illegal, people understood this instantly as an excuse proffered by one of the most nakedly cynical politicians we've ever had. But that has always been Clownstick's operational standard. It's literally how he thinks. I'm, like, a really smart guy, and I did this, therefore it was, like, a really smart thing to do. It doesn't matter if someone else did the same thing previously, they're dumb because he thinks they're dumb.

This is the sort of a priori cognition one normally finds in children and animals, creatures of limited sentience but enhanced solipsism. A child sees the rest of the world as a milieu for his own volition, making excuses and rationales as he goes along. For most of us, socialization smoothes those edges early on; assholes learn pretty quickly that they won't have any friends if they persist in being assholes.

But when you're wealthy enough from birth to insulate you from the real world, and you hire people to suck up to you, and your natural tendency is for self-aggrandizement, to the point where you are never wrong about anything, the smartest and best at everything, etc., you never have to grow up. Which is fine when people can choose whether or not to watch the show. But now we're all stuck with this schmuck.

General Housekeeping

From what I've seen of Twitter over the years, most of it still seems like the truck-stop shithouse wall of the internets, and I have neither the time nor interest to start up a page for any reason.

That said, especially as the Putingate story gathers momentum -- and despite Clownstick's dismal attempt at distraction, it's gaining steam daily -- several Twitter accounts have become regular reading for me, and so there's a new category below the blogroll. It would be something if these treasonous, thieving scumbags ended up getting brought low by a bunch of keyboard warriors, but obviously far stranger things have happened in recent months. I heartily recommend all of them, and will add to the list as more come up on the radar.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Everybody's Fuck 'em for the Weekend

I refuse to apologize for being petty enough to say, "Fuck this dunce." Because seriously, fuck her and everyone like her in the neck. Guess what, dummy, elections have consequences, especially when you're in a vulnerable demographic, one that's been targeted even. Now you know. Jesus H. Christ, what's wrong with these people?

I know we're supposed to support the high-minded ideal of not only letting but encouraging everyone to vote, but this is a perfectly good case study in why it might be best practice to dissuade the maroons and halfwits from engaging in the process. Stay home and fornicate and deep-fry Twinkies or whatever. Let the fucking adults handle the serious stuff.

I'm not going to apologize. This makes me happy, brings me joy. I love watching people get what they voted for. I don't give even half of a fuck whether or not they ever let her husband back into the US again at any point in time. I don't care if her kids can only travel to Mexico if they ever wish to see their father again. This is what you wanted, this is what you get.

You voted for this, you fucking dummy. Own it.

War-ons and Wargasms

So Clownstick spends $90M last night lobbing five dozen Tomahawks into a pre-cleared Syrian airfield with no follow-up plan or policy, literally the lamest and most obvious sort of fo-po theater, and the dipshits at CNN fall for it right away. Someone should tell Chris Cillizza and Fareed Zakaria that the wingers who want to hear empty, mewling genuflections are already watching Fixed Noise for that shit.

No, Clownstick did not "become president" last night, anymore than he did a month ago when he used a KIA Navy SEAL as a prop in a (gasp!) teleprompter speech. He will never become president, not in any meaningful way, because it's never going to be in his skill set. He's going to fuck something up in the next three or four days, because he can't help himself, and this dopey, useless distraction will be forgotten.

When news broke of the sarin attack the other day, two questions immediately popped to mind, neither of which has been adequately answered, near as I can tell:
  1. Wasn't the key to Obama supposedly abrogating his "red line" stance on Syria the promise from Putin that Syria's chemical weapons would essentially be taken away from them -- in which case, how did they get them back?
  2. What strategic purpose for Assad would be served by using chemical weapons? After all, he's been dropping barrel bombs -- which cause plenty of damage and carnage -- for years, and no one's said shit. He could wipe out a hundred people easy with one or two of those. So what's in it for him to use the chemical weapons that were supposedly taken from him in the first place?
Assad's an amoral monster just like his old man, but he's neither insane nor stupid. The dynamics of the Syrian civil war are beyond the grasp of most Americans because the corporate media sucks balls and is comprised of a bunch of armchair Hemingway types whose dicks get as hard as a full-blown jingo's at the sight of a few lobbed missiles.

But the nutshell version is this:  the Assad family and their regime are mostly Alawites (Shi'a), ruling an overwhelmingly Sunni populace with generations of brutality and coercion. Push comes to shove and the regime topples, Assad and his family might get out, hand over a suitcase of cash to Putin and spend the rest of their days at a dacha outside Sochi. But the sultan's dogs would meet a fate not unlike that of many in neighboring Iraq after we kicked over their applecart, revanchist death squads roaming Baghdad with cordless power drills to run through the faces of their victims.

Of course, the missile strikes don't affect the equation or outcome in the slightest, because there will be no follow-through, because Clownstick is a dipshit and an oaf, and thinks strategically like old people fuck. He has no second move. He seriously thinks that the missile launch serves multiple purposes, and will signal the Chinese and North Koreans (and who knows, probably the Iranians while we're at it) that He Means Business. I'm sure Xi Jinping is trembling in his boots.

Xi is headed to a state dinner at the fucking Maga-Lardo country club, with its iceberg wedges and lobster mac-and-cheese and rich-asshole lemon parties, for one thing only -- a price. Xi will tell Clownstick what his foreign policy expectations are from us, and will make Clownstick an offer, and they'll haggle over the final amount, and Clownstick's little crime family will line their pockets once more (just like they are by holding official events at his business). That's all that is; Xi couldn't care less about the "show of strength" in impotently throwing money into a military runway that's already been repaired and is operational again, less than thirty-six hours later.

Xi is not going to get rolled or bullied on North Korea. Even a retard fake negotiator like Clownstick has to realize that the Chinese are in a position of strength here and we are not. There are no manufacturing jobs being repatriated from China, nor is there going to be a tariff slapped on Chinese imports. Everyone seems to get this but the master negotiator. There is no way to do those things without damaging the American economy, bigly. That's not politics, that's math.

Clownstick is such a joker and a loser that even his closet-case alt-right cargo cult is all butt-hurt on this one, insisting that the "globalists" headed by Clownstick's J-O-O son-in-law and daughter pushed him into this move on (heh-indeedy) humanitarian grounds. Setting aside Clownstick's Being There garden jabber about the "beautiful babies" being killed by the chemical weapons, it again occurs to one that more of those babies will be killed by the next round of barrel bombs, and again no one will say or do jack shit.

Observers are overthinking this whole thing. The alt-right cuck-tards are postulating a neolibcon takeover of their movement, pushing out Foster Brooks Steve Bannon in the purge. Even more stupidly, the putatively librul corporate mediots are proposing an even more ridonkulous theory -- that the missile strike is the opening gambit of some sort of grand strategy or (for fuck's sake) doctrine.

You wanna know what the fucking Clownstick Doctrine is? Here it is -- and listen close, 'cause it's a wild one:  make money bigly. I mean, there's some of the usual narcissistic self-aggrandizement baked into everything he does or attempts to do, because that sort of shit is to him what breathing and taking a dump is to us mere mortals. When he talks about being the smartest and bestest at every damned thing, remember that he's talking to himself, not to us.

But it shouldn't even need to be said that there's nothing at all beyond that, certainly not a strategy. Good grief, when it comes to strategery, compared to Clownstick, even Fredo W. Arbusto is fucking Garry Kasparov. Clownstick doesn't do strategy; he'd probably lose two out of three to a tic-tac-toe-playing chicken at the county fair. It's all id and impulse, there's no other gear with this guy. There is no strategic interest for the United States in Syria right now, other than containing ISIS and al Qaeda and the rest of that lot. But the continuation of those groups has as much to do with the Gulf states paying them protection money, and Turkey controlling all the water for the region, as it does with the atrocities of the Assad regime.

On the other hand, I tend to believe Clownstick also had sincere motives in lobbing the missiles for those beautiful babies. That is clearly how his mind works -- he's an addled, sundowning old man who gets every drop of his "information" and "knowledge" from the teevee. So he saw that shit on the teevee and had to Do Something. Coupled with his idée fixe that nothing says "diplomacy" like a big swinging dick (even when all can see that it's just a shriveled orange worm), he timed it against the Chinese state visit for maximum effect. But there's no doubt he seriously thinks that his show of force got ol' Assad all a-skeert and what-not. Sure. Problem solved. No more bombed babies.

Imagine your foreign policy and geopolitical strategy run by Mark Burnett. That's what you've got here, with less polish and suspense. He's gonna fuck this up just like he's fucked up everything else he's touched in his too-long life. It is the universe's weird, ironic sense of humor that his skeevy avarice and utter incompetence at the simplest of things will end up being the main things that keep us out of a nuclear war or an even greater depression than Shrub got us into a decade ago. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

He Went to Jared

On a day where Syria gassed dozens of civilians and North Korea launched another missile, let's all pause for a second and recall that El Caudillo Fuckface Von Clownstick has delegated pretty much every major job to his son-in-law, whose sole qualification is that he inherited his business after Chris Christie put his dad in prison.

Here's what is almost certainly an incomplete list:
  • Kushner is in Iraq right now "consulting" with generals on how best to retake Mosul and defeat ISIS (recalling that Clownstick had a secret 30-day plan for that).
  • Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
  • Diplomatic negotiations with China this weekend, in which the Chinese have made it quite plain that they are simply finding out what the asking price is.
  • Diplomacy with Mexico. Apparently we don't have a State Department anymore, just Tex Drillerson working on Exxon's next deal with the Russians, and Jared handling everything else.
  • Reforming the Veterans Administration's health care system.
  • Reforming the criminal justice system.
  • Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US. Hey asshole, try starting with the "signature lines" pimped by your wife and your father-in-law.
  • Addressing the US' opioid epidemic. Good luck with that. Here's an idea:  shut down the doctors handing this shit out like candy. That's one way to meet the lobbyists from Big Pharma and shake their tree.
  • Heading the so-called Office of American Innovation, the stated goal of which is to reform and streamline government operations.
Obviously, it's not that the above items don't need to be addressed; in fact, it's the opposite. These are all serious problems that require attention from people with knowledge and expertise. Kushner has no experience or ability with any of these issues, and is at best a dilettante. But the angry cheeto is fat, stupid, and lazy, and therefore has to farm out all of the job duties for which his dipshit fan base anointed him.

Of course, this is just a way to stay hands-on to monetize these areas where possible for the family rackets. China will literally hand over duffel bags stuffed with cash if it reduces American strategic presence in the Pacific theatre, if we leave them alone on Taiwan, Tibet, the South China Sea, Africa, and everywhere else China is expanding their trade empire. The criminal justice and prison systems are well on their way to privatization anyway, it's just a matter of working with the "right" companies to secure and expand, especially if they're publicly traded. Ditto the VA system.

These are just market opportunities. Hell, it wouldn't be a surprise in the least if the Israel-Palestine thing got monetized as well, perhaps with Kushner buying a company that manufactures modular homes, and Netanyahu's government purchasing them to help settlers push Palestinians off their land.

Certainly we have seen our share of shameless politicians and administrations in this country, but never a group so eager to openly emulate the tactics of authoritarian strongmen, from Putin to Erdogan to Hugo Chavez. They're not even bothering to conceal it. Way to go, Drumpfkins. Enjoy watching these dirtbags snuffle boatloads of cash from the trough, while you die all the same in your broke-down home in your broke-ass town.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Truth Hurts

It took the DNC long enough to select their chairman post-election, but if this is any indication of how Tom Perez will roll, I like it:
“Women marched all over the world and said: Donald Trump, you don’t stand for our values!” Perez said. “That’s what they said. Donald Trump, you didn’t win this election!” If anyone didn’t want to hear this, Perez had an answer: “I don’t care, because they don’t give a s--- about people.”

Hours later, the conservative Daily Caller posted clips of Perez’s remarks for a story that was shared on Facebook more than 18,000 times. Ronna Romney McDaniel, the new chair of the Republican National Committee, demanded an apology for the “dangerous” remarks, snarking that Perez “needs a lesson on how the electoral college works.”
Not sure what the electoral college has to do with Republicans not giving a shit about people, but whatever the case, Ronna Romney McDaniel is entirely welcome to get bent, and then go have a talk with the head of her own party about how he talks about his opponents. Maybe she'll find herself on his 3:00 AM drunk-tweet shit-list. Sad!

Anything that gets these pearl-clutching humps rattled is a step in the right direction. No offense to the late Alan Colmes, but the fact is that part of the reason people have trouble identifying with Democrats and liberals is because of the perception of bloodless, dispassionate, milquetoast commenters thinking that their repository of "facts" and "ideas" will win the day. It's a nice thought but I think we've all figured out the hard way that it just ain't true. You want to motivate people and galvanize a movement, you gotta give 'em a little pepper. Facts have more impact when conveyed with passion and conviction.

That's the real beauty of all this -- the Dems don't even need to stretch or invent anything. They're up against incompetent bozos who would seriously find a way to fuck up a lemonade stand. Great businessman? Ask the working-class dogs he screwed over as part of his revenue bankruptcy model. Great negotiator? The House voted more than fifty times to repeal Obamacare, yet when they finally got the chance to push their own plan, they dumped it right out of the gate. This guy's nothing more than every cheese-dick sales-douche you learned to avoid long ago. If you bought a used car from him, you'd regret it before you got out of the lot.

Bill Clinton, of all people, put it most succinctly: People would rather be strong and wrong than weak and right. That's really all there is to it, and it doesn't necessarily mean the mindless strutting of the Drumpfelthinskin bowel movement. The one thing about Clownstick that merits some respect -- even if he takes it to the most petty, vindictive extreme -- is that he doesn't take shit from anyone. He dishes it out with a backhoe, and won't take back so much as a dirt clod. And it's worked quite well for him.

We may not like it, we may wish that the formation and implementation of public policy colored within established lines, but those days have been over for some time, and you either adapt with the mammals, or get wiped out with the dinosaurs. Every time Tom Perez tells these assholes to go fuck themselves, and their talking heads and media monkeys sputter and fume about it, an angel gets its wings. They can take their fake facts and slanderous bullshit, and go fuck off and die in a fire already.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Novo Zek

You know, fuck Mike Flynn. I'm not going to waste any time on this hypocritical, Russian-owned douchebag, except to say that it is my advance Christmas wish that Adam Schiff nails Flynn's worthless hide to the wall. Among other things, Flynn famously claimed that if he "had done one-tenth of what she did" he'd be in jail today. Well, you did at least that much, you traitorous cocksucker. See you in Leavenworth.

The Fuck 'em Never Stops

If there's anything more useless than a focus group of Drumpfkins helping their cult leader slow-walk his empty promises, it's a pwoggie trying to lib-shame people who also have a legitimate right to be angry about things. Look, now is the time for these incoherent motherfuckers to learn that elections have consequences, and that the revered country Drumpfkin is going to bear the brunt of it.

And while Markos Moulitsas and rich Frank Rich might be down-punching a bit in their rhetoric, after nearly two years of vile, ugly spewing not just from the wampeter but from the cult followers themselves, it would take someone with superhuman forbearance to let it all slide. Guess we're going to get caught in an ongoing cycle of recriminatory fuck yous, because some of us are not in a mood to make nice with people who refuse to listen to rational argument anyway.

We're tired of being told we're not real Americans, simply because we have better things to do than pick on gays and immigrants. We're tired of their "Fuck Your Feelings" and "She's a Cunt" tee shirts. We're tired of their stupid chants and stupider rants. Tired of the chest-puffing fatties who think they're bad-asses, just a Moon Pie away from keeling over. Tired of the morons who think that voting for a certified con man whose goal is to wreck the world counts for something good. Tired of the mindless excuses and endlessly shifting goalposts. Tired of the mediot smart set pontificating that We Must Reach Out To Them, while never so much as implying that maybe it's a two-way street.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

All Your Base Are Belong to Lulz

The big debate amongst Dems, libs, pwoggies and such like, is how hard the Democratic Party should "reach out" to the white working class (aka WWC, which fittingly sounds like a discount pro-wrestling organization) voter, who obviously went deep into the Clownstick pocket. It's a dilemma whether to "write them off" or "bring them aboard" with the proviso that tolerance is a requirement; in other words, for most it is not really an option to dismiss issues revolving around LGBTQ rights or Muslim bans or what have you.

It's a fair discussion to have, and in fact such dialogues should be had by all factions of all parties on basically a continuous basis. Ideally, that's how you arrive at improvement.

But I wouldn't expend to much energy in trying to win the deplorables over. Take a look at the folks who attended the pro-Clownstick "rally" (there were apparently somewhere between ten and fifty people there, so....) in Jefferson City, MiseryMissouri. Tell me which ones you think are remotely open to being swayed. They were playing The Ballad of the Green Berets while they waddled around the plaza, for fuck's sake.

I mean, think about it. These are obviously people who eke their way through life on a pittance, and here they are voluntarily showing their heartfelt support for a spoiled hectomillionaire who's in hock to the Russian mob and using the office as a profit center for his deals with the Chinese, who wouldn't piss on their heads if they were on fire. Clownstick doesn't give two shits about them, or anyone else besides himself. If they've paid any attention at all to his life history before the scampaign infomercial-rally bullshit, they know this already, whether they admit it or not.

This doesn't mean completely write them off, but it also doesn't mean the Dems should expend too much effort chasing after them. The phrase "come correct" comes to mind, that if Dems approach these folks with respect and understanding, they might get an audience. But it might also be political version of Winter's Bone, where people are the way they are, because that's how they've always been, and they're not interested in learning or changing much of anything.

Despite the innate skepticism many on the left have about the "economic anxiety" bloc, many of the Clownstickers are economically anxious, and in any case, what they really want is to see and hear that more attention is being paid to those issues than to transgendered bathroom use or whatever social justice cause is making the rounds.

This is not to minimize those things at all, but it is a call to look at the aggregate numbers realistically and play the odds accordingly. And the real numbers are in motivating non-voters to get out and vote, but it wouldn't hurt to at least cast a glance in the direction of the deplorables and see if they'll at least listen for two seconds. But it's an uphill struggle convincing low-info voters. Obviously they care very little about empirical facts as much as they need to feel that you will walk your talk.

I sincerely believe that if an agenda of economic justice for all is pursued, the social justice issues will fall into place much more easily. People who have a little more discretionary income and hope for the future do not have time to fixate on who's using which bathroom. And the Democrats are in a fine position to test that theory.

This Must Be More of That Winning We've Been Hearing About

So who gets to explain to Grampa Walnuts that NATO is not his country club:
We all knew that the White House meeting between President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been awkward. But things were even more uncomfortable than we thought. Turns out Trump’s version of diplomacy with one of the country’s most important allies in Europe involves handing over a bill for billions of dollars that the White House believes it owes NATO, according to the Times of London.

One German minister did not hesitate to qualify the invoice as “outrageous,” saying the intent was clear. “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” the minister said.

Although no one confirmed how much the total invoice was for, a calculation by the Times suggests the total was around $312 billion for the shortfall in spending and around $62 billion in interest.
It shouldn't need to be said, but apparently it does -- while NATO has members, in the sense that it is a security alliance, there are no membership dues. The members do not pay x dollars, pounds, or euros to each other or any central administrative entity. No money exchanges hands.

Everyone knows this except the people who are "running" this country, apparently. NATO members pledge to spend at least 2% of their GDP on their respective defense budgets. That's it. Germany, in particular, has actually been discouraged somewhat from ramping up defense spending (in terms of troops and weapons), and pushed in the direction of using more diplomatic means to resolve conflicts. Anyone want to venture a guess as to why that might be?

Even so, Germany is ramping up their defense spending to meet the NATO requirement, so they are complying. Free-riding was an issue with the last administration as well, but because Chocolate Hussein Thunder is an adult, the issue was handled with more (that is to say, in contrast with these morons, any) grace and diplomacy. Since we keep thousands of troops in their country, there are trade-offs here and there, and something (accumulated over many years) that amounts to about half of our annual defense budget is one of those trade-offs. This is shameful anyway; Germany sent 5,000 troops under the NATO agreement to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan after 9/11, and have lost 57 soldiers over there.

The advantages of being the big dog come with some costs, and this is simply one of those costs. Again, adults and strategic thinkers understand this. God-Emperor Man-Baby and his boozehound grand vizier don't understand anything.

So, uh, sixty-five days in and here we are -- compromised up the wazoo with the Russians, every close ally pissed off at us, no credibility with anyone, already out of juice for domestic policy. If we're lucky, these people will prove to simply be too incompetent to do too much damage, and once get an adult back in the chair, we can repair our damaged credibility with the countries who thought they were our friends. Anyone tired of all that winning yet?