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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?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

This Week In Fuck 'em

It's always sad when a family gets busted up for no good reason, even worse when that family seems to be nice, hard-working, well-liked in their community. But again, it's impossible to generate any sympathy for this dingbat. He told you what he planned to do, and now he's doing it. You chose to believe that the arbitrary classifier of "bad hombres" was something that he either knew or cared about.

Same thing with this fool; in fact, Kraig Moss might be an even less sympathetic character than Helen Beristain. This guy is just too much. I don't want to minimize the tragedy of him losing his 24-year-old son to a heroin overdose, it's too awful to fathom. But Moss attended 45 rallies, heard all the lies, the chants, the nasty hateful rhetoric from the cheeto and the mob alike. He was down with Locking Her Up and Building The Wall. But now he finds himself betrayed on the issue that he cares about, and the whole deal is off.

We're all tired of these "what are they thinking" stories; this is just a different flavor, a close cousin to those tedious ass-spelunking expeditions the scriveners take out to Real 'murka to get the pulse o' the people. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing more of this particular flavor of buyers' remorse, of Leopards Eating People's Faces Party voters shocked and dismayed that their face is getting eaten by leopards.

(Which is unfair to leopards, who are as majestic and noble creatures as you are likely to find. Hyenas are a much more appropriate comparison to the "movement" Clownstick and his cult followers represent. Or dung beetles, if dung beetles could attack people.)

These stories are meant to elicit a reaction of either contempt or pity, but it's hard to feel either of those things for either of those people. Mostly it's difficult to know what the fuck to make of them.

Helen Beristain is an immigrant herself, married an illegal immigrant who had already been popped once. She understood the stakes, and yet she chose to cast her lot with the reality teevee clown known primarily for colorful, self-serving lies, dismal treatment of women, ripping off contractors and shareholders, and being cut off from borrowing from any of the commercial banks in New York, despite having his own skyscraper literally on the same street as some of them. Her dopey, mewling nonsense shows that she still hasn't learned anything from this.

Kraig Moss is a different breed of rube -- he quit his business, stopped paying his mortgage, gutted the interior of his house, and followed the Chump Train around the country with his stupid songs, like a dipshit hippie following the Grateful Dead in a haze of bong-water mist and patchouli oil. The old joke about cons is that in a short con, the mark gives the con man all the money he has in his pocket right then and there; in the long con, the mark goes home and sells all his shit and heads back to give the proceeds from that to the con man as well.

They're nothing but marks, and there will be more to come, and it's damn near impossible to give much of a shit. I'm honestly surprised they aren't previous customers of Chump University, because they're exactly the type.

Man of the People

Goddamn, he's such a fucking child:


Adults understand that while the ACA has its flaws, the intent was to establish a framework that could be tweaked by subsequent sessions of congressional representatives who took their roles seriously. Children, ideologues, and opportunistic assholes say things like Clownstick does in the above tweet. His essential position on this is "rather than work on the flaws and improve the product, let's burn this fucker down and make a new one."

Never mind that the ACA was the culmination of efforts that began in the Truman administration, never mind that their "plan" was a vicious joke, people will die because these fuckers are content to let the ACA twist in the wind and implode. This should clarify to those who might still be wondering whether they are really as horrible as they seem. They're probably worse than you think.

The Fart of the Deal

The Clowncare fiasco the last couple days should make it clear to everyone that Hair Fuhrer's reputation as a master negotiator rests entirely under that thing on his reduced scalp. As with all things these days, it is clear only to the people who already saw it long ago.

None of the things he promised for two years would be done right away has really even been started. He spent months braying about how much smarter he was than the stoopid generals, and how his secret thirty-day plan to end ISIS was a slam-dunk. Sixty-five days in and you haven't heard a fucking word about ISIS.

Health care reform is even worse -- Thursday's initial failed vote was, like everything with these dipshits, meant to be symbolic, as it was the seventh anniversary of the passage of the ACA. So beyond the failure of Master Negotiator to bring his own party to heel, the plain fact is that these assholes had seven full years to come up with an alternative to the Worst Thing Evar, and all they have is a tax cut for the wealthy barely disguised as a health care plan. Even the inbred diehard cultists aren't quite dumb enough to fall for that, if only because they'll be the first ones affected by it.

The Wides of March

Here's some advice for the counter-maga protesters:  let the maroons have their little party, while they still can. Hold your own rallies tomorrow, or next weekend, and compare attendance counts. Take photos and harass them online. Our crowd is bigger than their crowd, that sort of thing.

Better yet, show up and harass your congress-critters, let 'em know what time it is, and that you won't forget in eighteen months -- in fact, you'll organize and mobilize and be back in greater numbers at the voting booth. Trust me, they are already noticing, and they are getting worried. Keep up that momentum and diversify your protest portfolio, and watch them run. Hit 'em where it really hurts, and keep hitting.

For the life of me, I have never understood the appeal of standing around in a public place with a sign indicating my opinion, as part of a greater group of like-minded souls. It just seems so....meaningless, a theatrical act of choir-preaching. Does it convince anyone of anything, has anyone ever changed their mind on something by observing a mob in the public square agitating for something or other? I know I haven't, and I'll bet you haven't either. I don't understand the point of candlelight vigils, either, so maybe it's just me.

Shot in the Dark

Let's just say it's not unreasonable to be just cynical enough to sincerely believe that at least part of this verdict and sentence is based on a white cop shooting a black child in Loozy-anna. As with most police shootings, though, race is more of a distraction than a useful observable component of an avoidable situation.

Officer Stafford and his partner fired a total of eighteen shots into the SUV in question; Stafford fired fourteen of those himself. The mitigating factor is that all of those shots, captured on video, were fired after the SUV had given up trying to flee, and the driver (father of the child) held both hands out the window, indicating surrender.

Based on the evidence and testimony, it sounds like the correct decision was made, but again, it's not difficult to believe that it wouldn't have even gotten this far if the cops had been white, and especially if the victim(s) had been black.

Forget all that for the moment. Compare and contrast the above case with this recent decision regarding another police shooting. If this doesn't infuriate and concern you, you aren't paying attention:
Andrew Scott and his girlfriend were playing video games in their Florida apartment late at night when they heard a loud banging at the front door. Scott, who was understandably disturbed, retrieved the handgun that he lawfully owned, then opened the door with the gun pointed safely down. Outside, he saw a shadowy figure holding a pistol. He began to retreat inside and close the door when the figure fired six shots without warning, three of which hit Scott, killing him. Scott hadn’t fired a single bullet or even lifted his firearm.

The figure outside was Deputy Richard Sylvester. He failed to identify himself as a law enforcement officer at any point. He had no warrant and no reason to suspect that Scott or his girlfriend had committed a crime. He did not attempt to engage with Scott at all after he opened the door; he simply shot him dead. And on Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that Scott’s parents and girlfriend cannot sue Sylvester because the officer’s conduct was not “clearly” illegal.
This is more than simply "bad" or "sad" or "wrong." This decision is monstrous, and extraordinarily dangerous. The practical ramifications of this ruling make it almost literally impossible for a person to defend themselves in their own home.

A few more details about the case in question, since the Slate article focuses on the legal consequences:
  • It wasn't just "late at night," it was 1:30 AM.
  • Scott was completely innocent; the Lake County police had fucked up and gone to the wrong apartment, pursuing a suspect who had fled on a motorcycle.
  • At no point did Richard Sylvester identify himself as law enforcement; in fact, it was the policy of the Lake County Sheriff's Department to not identify themselves, which seems bizarre, stupid, reckless, unnecessarily dangerous for cops and civilians alike. But, y'know, Florida.
So, to recap:  Andrew Scott is sitting at home, minding his own business, when someone starts banging on his door at one-thirty in the morning, without identifying themselves. Scott legally keeps a gun for self-defense, and reasonably assumes that something is wrong. He opens the door -- his door, to his domicile -- and sees some asshole lurking in the shadows, still not identifying himself as A FUCKING COP. Scott goes to close the door, still only holding his gun at his side, not having lifted it or pointed it at anyone, and is blown away in a hail of bullets.

Richard Sylvester and the Lake County Sheriff's Department, through poor policy and sheer incompetence, murdered Andrew Scott, pure and simple. The citizens of Lake County are less safe by having these uniformed mutants on the street. Sylvester should not be in the law enforcement profession, based on lack of qualification, and if he had any sense of honor, he would end himself for what he did to an innocent man in his own fucking house. I hope it haunts him to his final breath, never giving him a moment of peace.

That and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee, but it won't bring any justice for the murder of Andrew Scott, or the ongoing evisceration of our most basic rights to be safe in our homes -- not only from criminals, but from idiot fuck-up cops who think they have more rights than the people they're supposed to be protecting and serving. Maybe they do have more rights; if that's the case, then simply say so out loud, and we can all have that collective discussion.

But at the very least, maybe someone from the "justice" system or the sheriff's department should explain to the kids in the cheap seats what exactly Andrew Scott should have done, when a stranger beats the shit out his door in the middle of the night and refuses to identify themselves. Seriously, what the hell are you supposed to do in such circumstances? Scott literally would have been better off by shooting Sylvester right away, and trying his luck by claiming that he saw a gun and Sylvester didn't identify himself. He'd still probably have been murdered, though.

Maybe Scott should have kept a video camera handy to record the proceedings, but even then he probably would have faced prison time and had to defend himself over that. They have rigged the system in their favor, everywhere you turn. The rule is maximum accountability for the peons, no accountability at all if you carry a badge. Or not; it's surprising some criminal or gang hasn't made some sort of enterprise out of shaking down unsuspecting mooks under feigned authority.

Again, this guy was at home, minding his own business, when these inept cops showed up and gunned him down for no goddamned reason at all. It's bad enough that they did it in the first place; it should be completely unacceptable that they get away with it.

This is precisely how police states come into existence, when citizens stop questioning the insane, awful events occurring right in front of their noses, under the color of authority. They try to tell themselves that the person who got shot had it coming for whatever reason, even as they quietly keep the truth to themselves, thankful only that it wasn't their turn.

Yet.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nothing Beside Remains

Another day, another laundry list of transcribed LIES. As always, the whole mess richly deserves the FJM treatment, but to what end? More such lists erupt every week or so, or whenever some mewling scrivener feels it's their journamalistic duty to gain access to someone who has no intention of giving them a straight answer. So what's the fucking point?

Bonus points, though, for these gems:
  1. Literally referring to the National Enquirer as "the newspaper." Jesus H. Christ, he really is the angry drunk sitcom dad of our collective cultural subconscious.
  2. Seriously seems to believe that when he repeats unvetted bullshit that he heard on Fixed Noise or wherever, that when said bullshit is exposed it's not on him at all, but on the idiot who first pulled it out of their ass. Which begs the question:  if that's your standard for epistemic accountability, why not just recite claims from various late-night infomercials, or the scrawled claims on truck-stop bathroom stalls?
  3. "I'm the president, and you're not." Not for much longer, motherfucker.
The whole thing is just a pathetic pile of nonsense. The man can barely put together two sentence fragments in a row without a running start. These pieces do at least demonstrate quite clearly what clusterfuck of a human being he is, that his head is full of snakes and mirrors and sulfurous smoke.

He thinks that because he drew crowds in safe states that "the country believes [him]". Fine, asshole. Come to a state where people actually live and see how that works out for you. He won't because he's a chickenshit, like his sucker-punching cult followers.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Betting Pool

So the betting markets fucked up royally in predicting the election outcome, obviously, but so did the "professional" pollsters. With that caveat in mind, and acknowledging that we are barely sixty days into this amateur clusterfuck of an administration, it bears mentioning that there are at least existing bets one can place that these motherless fucks will be down the road before the end of the first term, and even by the end of this year.

It's a hair too soon to be overly optimistic, but something is brewing and gathering momentum. Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, and now Devin Nunes all appear to be up to their asses in alligators over the pattern of collusion between the Clownstick campaign and Russian intel. The only one of these assholes that's even a bit hard is maybe Flynn, and that's only because whatever his faults, he's still a general.

The rest of them? Pfft. Manafort just wants to go back to his dismal existence of serving as a bagman and PR flack for murderers and tyrants. Stone is a perv who literally likes to watch other guys fuck his wife; even more damning, he's a lifelong professional ratfucker. Page appears to be a broker between the Clownstick regime and the Russian oligarchs, and Nunes simply backed the wrong horse because he has way more ambition than brains or ethics.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Marching Morons

I don't read much on Twitter, maybe check in on Richard Nixon and Nihilist Arby's once or twice a week, but this thread neatly encapsulates why we are where we are, how we ended up with a cartoon character in charge. They're not outnumbering us yet, not overall, but they are outnumbering us in many regions, and the ratio seems to be accelerating. Turns out that Idiocracy was not only a documentary, but it was wildly optimistic about the timeline. It won't take five hundred years at this rate, more like fifty.

I don't want Democrats to devise strategies to win over the dumb cow described in the tweet-thread -- I want them to discourage her from voting at all, not to mention breeding, driving, or pretty much anything else. We have to collectively decide we have had enough of stupid people, and start disempowering them as much as possible.

In my imaginary benevolent despotism, I would happily give her a decent guaranteed minimum income to not vote and not pollute the gene pool. There are too many of these mutants making decisions for all of us with their bizarre flat-earth epistemology, and the sooner we figure out a way for them to fuck off and die already, the better off the entire planet will be.

Is that "intolerant" and "elitist"? Perhaps it is technically, but we have to draw our lines somewhere, and I humbly submit for the record that an adult who is too stupid to recognize an elephant because it has red dirt on it is stupid about everything else. Seriously, I don't know how these fools remember to breathe. Bottom line is, you can't fix stupid, so we need to find a way to keep it out of the fucking voting booth.

Strategery

Let's think about just a few of the high spots in diplomacy and foreign policy that Wile E. Coyote Fuckface Von Clownstick, Supergenius, is responsible for in just eight weeks:
  • Conducted sensitive national security discussions regarding North Korea missile launches in the dining area of his country club, allowing members to take photos and listen in;
  • Scolded the Australian Prime Minister;
  • Threatened Mexico with a military invasion to take care of the "bad hombres";
  • Accused the British of bugging his Manhattan lair;
  • Made implicit threats to China over territorial waters, as well as their handling of the NK situation.
And now, in keeping with this supergenius thing, we apparently think it would be a good idea to encourage the Germans to ramp up their military budget.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

First, They Came for the Snowflakes....

It's always interesting to watch assholes like Tim Allen flaunt their "conservative" quals, especially in the context of how persecuted the poor darlings are.

Why, Allen has been kept down so harshly by the lib-nazis in Big Bad Babywood, that despite having not been funny for roughly two decades, and riding his one joke into the ground back while Bill Clinton was getting his pole smoked in the Oval Office, he was given another show in which he can be a low-rent Archie Bunker. Smell the persecution, libtards!

The reason it's interesting is that, as most of us know, Tim Allen Dick did time in Club Fed after getting busted in an airport with over half a key of coke. He got his sentence reduced in exchange for ratting out a bunch of fellow dealers. He's one of those conservatives who sincerely believes that everyone who does what he did ought to get the maximum sentence, while he should be allowed to skate. Mainly he's one of those guys that feels like he should get to keep every dime he earned slaving that one grunt joke, and that commie Kenyan moooslin would just give it all to crack whores.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Con Way

When Kellyanne Conway says, "I'm not in the job of having evidence," she is, we all should admit, one hundred percent accurate. However artless her phrasing tends to be when she gets wound up, the fact is that facts are not her job. She is not in the business of disseminating information, or providing knowledge or insight.

She is nothing more nor less than a spreader of manure, a mechanism dedicated to the unholy task of fertilizing the media landscape with gin-you-whine, honest-to-Bannon, industrial-grade bullshit. And when the media play this tedious can you believe this shit? game with their readers and viewers, they are playing the game she wants them to play. Her goal, obvious as it is unstated, is to distract, to deflect, to muddy the waters and confuse the lines of questioning.

The easy slam would be to say she's "evil" like her boss, but the reality is that there are different shades and flavors of such a thing. The error in trying to categorize Clownstick's clear authoritarian tendencies is in trying to lump him in with other infamous political animals -- Hitler, Stalin, Mobutu, etc. And to be sure, Clownstick has the ethics of a termite and the soul of a banana republic caudillo.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Delete Your Job, Too: Frank 'n' Beans

Speaking of useless journamalistic hacks who, if they hung up their knickers tomorrow and sought an honest paycheck, you wouldn't miss 'em for a New Yawk second, here's food-critic-turned-political-theater-turd-miner Frank Bruni defending Clownstick's pathetic appetites:

[Clownstick] ordered his usual slab of beef in his usual manner, “well done and with ketchup, as if the entree would be accompanied by a sippy cup,” wrote my friend Tom Sietsema, The Washington Post’s restaurant critic. That’s a great line, and just as witty was Sietsema’s call for “a moment of silence for the cow, the condiment and what most chefs would call a forced marriage.”

Forced, yes, but not necessarily unhappy, and certainly not deserving of the gasps and guffaws it drew. A former restaurant critic myself, I fielded a media request for my appraisal of [Clownstick]’s epicurean trespass. “Let he who is without a bag of microwave popcorn in his cupboard cast the first stone,” I said, or something along those lines.

It goes on like that, surrendering the usual guff about how "it pegs Trump’s critics as exactly the sneering elites he says we are" and such like. Listen close, asshole: Clownstick is a fucking elite, by his own reckoning. He lives in a marble-and-gold penthouse, with gold-plated terlets and Louis Quatorze chairs. Yes, it looks like Saddam Hussein's palace decorator had a go at it, but still.

The fact is, if Clownstick were marginally competent and/or sane, the fact that he likes his steak the same way a five-year-old does wouldn't even be fodder for snark. No one would care. But what does it tell you that it gets attention? There is something wrong with someone who takes a New York strip steak -- not the best cut but a pretty good one -- and has it cooked to a crisp, and served with ketchup? Go try that at the nearest expensive restaurant near you. If the chef doesn't come out and berate you for being a culinary retard, he probably spit on it. Not that you'd taste the difference.

Delete Your Job; Or, Just the Hacks, Ma'am

Steve has already covered this thoroughly, but it pisses me off to no end, and so I feel compelled to hurl my voice into the internets void:  I fucking despise these people down to their very molecules.

What Amber Phillips has scrawled on the virtual wall deserves to be roundly fisked, FJMed, deconstructed to a atomic level, refuted right down to Phillips' choice of verbs. But life is too short, so let's just grab a few of the high notes. Take a look at Bernie Sanders' tweetstorm this morning, whence comes Phillips' worthless analysis:



Near as I can tell, the good senator bookended three objective, empirical verities of very recent vintage with two salient, if somewhat objective, assertions. He essentially said that a leader who lies -- and this is important -- so flagrantly, and about things that are easily refuted, not only is no leader, but he undermines the credibility of the nation in the eyes of the world, and Sanders provided three fresh examples to support his argument. This is very solid work, in fewer than seven hundred characters, far fewer than the number of helpless pixels Phillips expends in her shameless hackery.
A prominent U.S. senator just described the president of the United States as a frequent and “shameless” liar, a claim that for reasons I'll explain is difficult to prove.
Yeah, except she doesn't explain it at all, except to assume that maybe Fuckface Von Clownstick legitimately does not know the facts regarding the things he asserts. In other words, despite having the facts explained to him over and over and over again by the very media outlet (among many others) for which Amber Phillips haplessly plies her trade, Clownstick may sincerely believe that millions of people voted fraudulently, that his inauguration crowd was record-setting despite all photographic evidence to the contrary, that Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii.
That's why this ultra-tense Democrat-Trump relationship is more than just he-said, she-said politics. Because Senate Democrats can require 60 votes to approve any piece of legislation, they have leverage over Trump and congressional Republicans, who have only 52 members in the Senate. Trump needs at least a handful of Democrats to help him repeal and replace Obamacare. And carry out his plan to restructure the tax code. Or pass a $1 trillion infrastructure package.

Right now, the exact opposite is happening: Democrats are blocking Trump in historic ways, like stalling committee hearings for key Cabinet posts or threatening to filibuster his Supreme Court nominee.
To read this tedious nonsense, you would never guess that we just spent the last eight years watching a Democratic president (who won by margins much larger than that of the current occupant) get kneecapped by the opposition party for no good reason at all, out of sheer obstructionism. But this asshole selects for his cabinet fellow skeevy billionaires and feckless morons who promise to destroy the agencies they have been appointed to lead. This is a strategy, albeit a demented one, employed by someone who has spent the better part of the last two years campaigning on the most toxic lies and corrosive rhetoric in modern memory. But it's the Democrats who are being meeeaan. Hey, fuck you.

Phillips lards the rest of her turd-burglary with weasel phrases such as "Democrats say," as if they were making unsubstantiated claims just to be dicks, as opposed to using facts to respond to someone who is making unsubstantiated claims just to be a dick. Repeated throughout, this serves as a cheap hack-media device to separate the writer from their intrinsic fear of "editorializing," as if this was all just a matter of partisan opinion-mongering.

The whole column is a pile of shit that should be flushed twice, but again what really takes it that extra turd-mile is this butt-nugget near the end:
It's possible Trump believes the allegations he's making, which seem to have surfaced on a conservative news site one of his top aides used to manage. Several top House Republicans haven't brushed off the wiretapping claims, with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, saying he'll look into it.
[emphasis in original]

Lots of things are possible. It's possible that I have a billion dollars in the bank and a twelve-inch cock, which I use on Salma Hayek several times a day. It's possible that the corporeal entity we know as "Donald Trump" is actually two hyperactive children piggy-backed under a trench coat, like trying to sneak into an R-rated movie in a cartoon. It's definitely possible that Amber Phillips should have reread the nonsense she was writing before she sent it in to her editor.

Because Phillips' own logic undermines her own argument. By her logic, this fucking jerkoff is either a pathological liar or the dumbest fucking guy on the planet. Because all of his lies -- and let's stop fucking around here, folks, he's lying and he knows it, he just doesn't give a shit -- have been refuted over and over again. Whether he chooses to read anything besides Breitbart, or watch anything besides Hannity or Fox and Friends, is irrelevant. You can cut a dropout oxy addict in Bumfuck, Ohio some slack for not having their facts straight; it is an existential danger and a complete abdication of responsibility to cut the guy in the Oval Office such slack. Also, Devin Nunes is a shameless douchebag who would probably chug Steve Bannon's pole on the White House lawn if told to do so. [Ed.-- But he'd wait for Jason Chaffetz to finish his turn.]

You might expect more out of a corporate media entity than a cheap reiteration of George Costanza rationales. You would be wrong to have that expectation.

Word of advice to the "legit" media -- the only thing required for you to do your job is that you call people and things what they objectively are. Stop using weasel words and pretzel logic and idiotic false equivalences, especially in what is essentially an opinion column.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The Continuing Adventures of Fuck 'em

As Charles Pierce and John Cole ably point out, it's impossible for any sentient being to have sympathy for what's going to happen -- what is happening, in the case of the WV coal miners -- to the Clownstickers. They elected to burn the house down, and they're in the weediest parts of the house, the parts that will incinerate hottest and first.

The coal communities are a particularly stark case study in this phenomenon. Those jobs really aren't coming back, and everyone seems to know it except them. Imagine a scenario a hundred years ago, where a town built around the buggy whip factory wanted to shut down the auto industry so's they could keep on making those buggy whips.

This is what's happening now, except much worse. Clownstick and his buddies tricked these rubes. The regulations will get lifted, and the streams and water tables and caves (West Virginia has the finest cave system in the country) and towns will get coal ash and chemicals dumped into them. The mines will be more dangerous, less accountable for, say, a collapse. And no coal jobs added, because again, no coal jobs needed.

Welp, that's what you get in Kin-tucky for voting for Bitch McConnell over and over again, for voting for a meathead governor whose mission is to fuck you out of your health care. Same as WV, these folks are in dire need of help and seem to not want it -- or worse, insist on voting for people who will take what little they have and gut them in the process. It will happen in other states, just give it time.

These highwaymen told them exactly what the deal was, what they intended to do. The good voters of the Real 'murka states voted for them by a landslide. So a landslide is what they get, perhaps literally, once the regulations are removed. Hope they enjoy digging themselves out.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Ozymandias

If there was one useful feature of Duh Big Speech last night, it's that it sorted out the actual journamalists from the useless theater critics. Hacks from Chris Cillizza to Van Jones fell all over themselves praising Clownstick's uncharacteristically sober teleprompter reading. All of it bore the same damning whiff of faint praise, of a bar lowered well below sea level. Grampa Walnuts didn't make a boom-boom in his Depends this time! Yaaayyyy!

And of course, Clownstick garnered the most praise for what may be one of the most transparently cynical (even for these stupid pageant events) ploys in some time -- the eulogizing of Navy SEAL Senior Officer William "Ryan" Owens, who was killed in the recent Yemen raid.

Bringing up Officer Owens in and of itself is fine and good; obviously such things are a staple of these events. But there are a lot of issues boiling right under the surface of Clownstick's bluster about the yuge success of the mission that killed Officer Owens. It was reported just a few days ago that Owens' father refused to meet with Clownstick, and is calling for a full investigation. Questions about the raid being botched have been raised, as has been the possibility that Owens met with a fate not unlike that of Pat Tillman.

Whatever the case, no reportable intel has been gleaned from the mission (contra Clownstick's claim in the speech); the success of the mission is highly debatable (especially in the cold calculations of whether the loss of a SEAL Officer, which represents millions of dollars invested in training, offsets the gain of killing a dozen al-Qaeda scrubs that probably could have been nailed with a drone strike); and in fact Clownstick had spent the first part of the week trying the push the buck over to the generals, Obama, whoever, anything to distract from the fact that he, Clownstick, approved the mission while having dinner with Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, and later that night resumed his favorite hobby of troll-tweeting the failing New York Times.