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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Motel Hell

Get a load of what suckers with too much money are paying for these days:


Welcome Amway regional managers! Be sure to enjoy the many fine amenities here at Doubletree Fresno!

Supposedly this is the omelet bar at Fuckface's rat-infested Florida shithole -- you know, the one he went to right after declaring a national emergency. Maybe the real emergency is the idea of putting ketchup on an omelet, which you know is a thing he does, at least when they've run out of Mrs. Butterworth.

But yeah, this is so fucking perfect, it's just about impossible to parody. It's basically what a comedy writer would have rejected for being too on-the-nose. I love it, the whole thing -- the chintzy furniture and tacky, ancient carpet; the omelet bar that looks like it was stolen from a hunting lodge; the ketchup bottles (again); the poster of Trump behind the hapless server (apparently this was from a -- get this -- fitness campaign partnered with Walgreen's, which involved Celebrity Apprentice pedometers, from a guy who takes a golf cart to the bathroom). The place looks like an airport food court. There's probably a filthy Sbarro's just out of the shot, with a fake Time cover of him on its wall.

Anyone spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to be within a hundred miles of this dump:
  • deserves to get taken for every cent;
  • didn't work nearly hard enough for it;
  • needs to get taxed at a 120% rate.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

If there was somehow any shred of reasonable doubt in the mind of any honest broker as to the thief executive's mental stability and/or acuity, it has to be completely gone after yesterday's dunk into sheer weirdness.

From the bizarre sing-song about the courts, and the national emergency, and the appeals, and so forth, to -- Christ, obviously the whole fucking thing was off the rails. Seriously, who supports this deranged goofball anymore, other than the scumbags in Congress whose careers depend on him?

Obviously, it was really another campaign rally, rather than any sort of policy speech, but considering the locale and the preliminary subject, there have to be some sort of norms and mores enforced regarding some of the more contemptible things he uttered.

One is that he openly scorned the data from his own federal Drug Enforcement Agency, for no better reason than that their data regarding drug interdiction contradicts his weird sex fantasies about bound and duct-taped women being smuggled across the Rio Grande three and four at a time, in the back of a windowless van. This is just plain stupid, and if no one from the DEA or ICE or the Border Patrol is going to step up and say no, that isn't true, then they're part of the problem, period.

Second, and more importantly, is when Trump alluded that Obama had told him privately (presumably during the transition period) that Obama was about to start a "big war" with North Korea over their nuclear program. I don't see how this can be dismissed; obviously, any such conversation would have been highly privileged and not for open reveal, and it poses huge potential implications for national security. If nothing else, Obama himself needs to issue some sort of verbal or written communication clarifying this.

It cannot be said enough times:  the reason this fucking monster got this far, and keeps getting away with everything, is because no one has the goddamn stones to step up and say no. Fuck no. Why is this so hard to understand?

Look, I do get it. The assumption among each of the parties he defames or insults is that it won't do any good to refute or respond, people will either just believe it because they're in the cult, or move on because there's so much going on every moment. Fair enough. But there's always a statistical chance that speaking up might accomplish something, and that speaking up every time could have a cumulative effect at some point, while doing nothing is guaranteed to enable and embolden him for the next stunt.

The "national emergency" declaration has very little to do with the wall, which he only wants in the first place as an abstract affirmation of his power and glory. It will make the cult morons that much more devoted to his nonsense. All those losers have to brighten their dismal, failed lives is the mistaken notion that their addled clod-emperor is making libtard snowflakes cry.

But what this is really about is him pushing and testing the limitations of executive power, with the knowledge that the senators in his party will not challenge him on anything. He could propose to nuke an American city ('specially a libtard city, amirite?), and Graham and McConnell would be okey-doke with all that, while Sasse and Romney would stroke their chins and murmur disapproval before voting along with it anyway.

It's also an attempt to distract from what's coming, from his dipshit son being indicted in the next few weeks, from his campaign manager about to spend the rest of his miserable life in Club Fed, from the federal districts in New York and Virginia getting ready to take turns crawling up his fat ass and making him broke again. He's terrified of having his tax returns made public, and it might be something if just a few of those devoted rally dupes asked themselves why that is.

Then you have folks like Jim Kunstler, who pretends to not support Trump, but never seems to actually oppose the constant mendacity and lies. Kunstler not only thinks the Mueller investigation is bogus, but apparently subscribes to some ludicrous QAnon-style conspiracy theory that postulates that the entire Department of Justice plotted to ruin this good Christian outsider who just wanted to drain the darn swamp, doncha know. They musta legalized some ultra-high-grade weed in that state, 'cause homey's brain deep in some serious dank to believe that ass-backwards bullshit.

I sincerely hope Kunstler someday gets the opportunity to float that air biscuit past Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Thuhd, a loyal lackey who surely would have sucked a roomful of filthy hobo cocks for the chance to nail Hillary Clinton's hide to the wall. Kunstler seems never to have heard of Ockham's Razor, preferring to believe a hopelessly baroque sequence of events and causalities, the exact opposite of what's right in front of our eyes.

This hapless gang of dipshit PR flacks and criminals, noisy assholes like Roger Stone and lifelong bastards like Paul Manafort -- who have been business partners for over thirty years and both known Trump for even longer, Manafort lives in the fucking tower, a couple floors below the Russian mobsters and the Saudi embassy, for fuck's sake -- have done every conceivable thing to make it clear that they were all in cahoots on this.

You want to change history with a time machine, the day after you throw Baby Hitler off a bridge, head for NYC in the late Fifties and shove Roy Cohn in front of a fucking train. Seriously. Stone, Manafort, and Trump all learned the fine art of ratfucking and propaganda at the rug-burned knee of Uncle Roy.

But no, Kunstler is determined to believe that cabals of bland career derp-state bureaucrats were just waiting around their entire lives for this comic-book goon to engineer an improbable electoral victory, just to give Andrew McCabe and his fellow empty suits a chance to collude and obstruct and foment a coup. Okay then.

The main reason Kunstler is still on the blogroll is for sheer comedic value, a cautionary tale at best. I suppose he finally exhausted his stockpile of "back to an energy-free feudal state" collapse fantasies, and had to cultivate a different set of fantasies, but this is around the bend and back again. I wish he'd go back to his usual schtick of predicting total free-fall into violent anarchy every other week. That actually made some sense.

Thing is, a lot of people prefer to believe the sort of foolishness Kunstler's peddling, instead of what's right in front of them and has been for a very long time -- that Trump has always been an inept con-man, preferring loyalty over competence in his lackeys, with a higher disparity in those factors than most.

His sons have been balls-deep with the Russians for years, and bragged about it repeatedly; his son-in-law has the Saudis and Qataris on his personal WhatsApp, and got them to carry the paper on his billion-dollar white elephant at 666 Fifth Avenue. Trump sucks up to Putin like he's auditioning for the lead in a Deep Throat reboot. He's had five closed-door meetings with Putin, and he personally seized the interpreters' notes from those meetings. Totally innocent behavior.

And now today's Rose Garden fiasco, which is simply the latest in a long string of similar performances -- lies and innuendo and calumny, strung together with zero coherence, not even trying to conceal the brazenness of it all, defying you to call him a LIAR.

How dumb do you have to be to ignore all that evidence right in front of you? Hold my beer, says Kunstler. Whatever. We don't have time for that bullshit anymore. Liars and fabulists need to be cut loose from the realm of objective discourse. Fortunately Kunstler's crankery still has some humor value. But the nonsense still needs to be pointed out, like the lies and criminality of dangerous retards like Trump and his henchmen. Can't let it stand anymore.

Monday, February 11, 2019

I Really Don't Care, Do You?

A few points about what's important, what's meaningless, and why certain individuals in the corporate media system should be asking you if you want fries with that:
  • I don't care if Ralph Northam resigns or not; in fact, I hope he tells everyone to go fuck themselves, stays on, gains some sensitivity, and uses this experience to push more policies that will help minorities.
  • I don't care that Elizabeth Warren pretended to be Native American years ago. At this point, I wouldn't care if she had pretended to be black. It would be nice if she could avoid any more unforced errors, though.
  • I don't care how Kristen Gillibrand eats fried chicken, just like I don't care how Trump eats pizza.
  • I don't care that Kamala Harris used to date Willie Brown, although he is a shady lech.
  • I care a little bit that Amy Klobuchar may have been abusive to some of her staff, but uh, maybe you've heard a few things about what kind of boss Trump is. Klobuchar's real problems are that her proposals are as dull and lukewarm as a front-lawn kiddie pool full of piss, and no one is sure how her name is pronounced. Maybe she can rent a sense of urgency from someone.
  • I don't care about whatever it is that Tulsi Gabbard has supposedly said or done. See previous point.
  • I have river rocks in my back field. I could pick a random one, paint a face on it and give it a wacky name, like "Stone Rockwell" or "Dick Hertz," and it would be better than what we have now. You could pick a random dipshit from the stands at a Raiders game, and it couldn't be any worse. There is virtually nothing any Democratic candidate can say or do that would make me not support them against this motherless fuck -- unless they fail to go full-tilt against him. Failure to do that will only bring failure; fake Republicans and real ones, yada yada.
  • I don't care that Rob Lowe made a lame funny about Warren's fake Injun heritage. I don't know what his politics are, and I don't care. I do recall that it was the Fox News website that seemed to be pushing the "story" the most, and that Lowe has a new career as a game show host. The show premieres on -- wait for it -- Fox in a few weeks. Hmmmm.
  • I don't care that Liam Neeson clumsily used a story about vicarious revenge fantasies to promote his Mr. Plow's Revenge movie.
  • I don't care about the Covington Catholic failsons (remember them from way back when?). Give 'em another fifteen years; the ones that survive their twenties will be ones you want to worry about, because they're exactly the kind of smug, dopey little shits that run city councils and local chambers of commerce, and eventually become judges or congress-critters.
  • I don't care that Trump laid out a fast-food spread for the Clemson Tigers to celebrate their BCS championship, although if you think that being invited to the White House to have dinner with the chief executive is something of a special occasion, how special is it when you're fed something that a ten-year-old can get by walking around the corner and plunking two bucks on the counter? I mean, did he give them fucking Happy Meal toys while he was at it? He couldn't kick down for a few dozen of those fucking horsemeat steaks from his rat-infested resorts? Cheap, tacky asshole, through and through.

I really don't care that Trump is a lazy sack of shit who considers his morning routine of rage-tweeting and jerking off to Fox and Fiends to be "working." Are you fucking kidding? We will look back at this time and think about how lucky we were that he wasn't just stupid and arrogant, making his mendacity easy to follow and track (and prosecute), but lazy as well. The next one of these toxic faux-populists that comes along won't be as obvious, nor as useless.

A real dictator with energy and ambition would be rounding up opponents; Trump is just a whiny, needy old man who can't figure out why everyone doesn't love his tired insult-comic routine. His only friends are merciless butchers. How pathetic is that? He has to know that when that last White Castle slider finally does him in, they'll have to lock his remains in a hidden crypt somewhere. People would be lining up for miles to take a huge shit on his grave, and that's not a joke. I would be one of them.

But it's more because of how obnoxious he is in his uselessness. He's neither Hitler nor Stalin, nor even a tinhorn banana-republic despot like Trujillo or Noriega. He's a cartoon character who jacked up the deficit so that his country-club customers could have another layer of filthy money to do their Scrooge McDuck dives into. He could have actually done something, he could have done things to benefit all Americans, but he chose to....well, just look.

I call him a "barstool drunk" pretty frequently, and that basically covers it. Any Barney Gumble from any Moe's Tavern could have done what Trump has done. And he's clearly not capable of anything more, or anything else. Not only is this what he is, but it's all he is, and all he'll ever be. No matter how much or how fervently the cultists project their own sad fears and dark fantasies on him, this is it, just lying and shit-posting, all the way down. It didn't have to be this way, but this is how it is, and it's his doing.

But make no mistake:  he's set a lot of unhealthy precedents, and opened a lot of doors that should have been nailed shut. The next version will be a lot slicker, smoother, more driven, more adept at getting the necessary people on his side to create a real movement with some real motion. This is just a bunch of elderly losers, sitting in their haunted hick-town diners "just asking questions" about why those people are so uppity. Imagine someone like, say, Ben Sasse, but evil and mendacious.

(I don't much care for Sasse either, but it's more a matter of degrees of disagreement. But he's young, charismatic, reasonably intelligent. So imagine someone with those traits, but also savvy enough to cultivate an online presence that builds up the kind of name recognition that was really Trump's ace in the hole all along. That's the person to watch out for, and there's no rule saying it has to be a guy. Look at the female weirdos and creeps and assholes on that side of the fence, from Ann Coulter to Sarah Huckabilly Sanders to Tomi Lahren. Women can be complete fucking assholes too. Never forget that.)

The internets have turned into a ginormous Skinner box, and we're all just rodents conditioned to smack the metal bar for our daily outrage pellet, sputtering our impotent virtual outrage at friends, strangers, bemused passers-by. There are certainly things we should be pissed about, but Kirsten Gillibrand's eating habits are never going to be on that list.

But again, there are some bad actors in our corporate media, jerkoffs who disgrace their profession by playing their stupid little horserace games. Obama with the mustard, Kerry with the Swiss cheese. Those things are not "news," they're cheap heuristic signifiers, semiotic tricks to be played on addled halfwits who for some reason actually vote. And fuck anyone out in the free market that actually consumes that tripe. They're the real fucking problem. These useless asshole theater critics, they can all go jump into the nearest wood chipper. They hate this country and everyone in it.

This is the problem that everyone faces, regardless of political position -- when infinite amounts of free data are available, no one values it anymore, and they eventually forget how to value it, how to corroborate and prioritize such data so that it becomes useful information. It's just something that is reacted to or ignored. It is no longer connected to a coherent epistemology. It simply becomes a consumer choice, a way to idle the time until the next virtual be-in for the next imaginary outrage.

So what should we care about? How about that the planet we leave for our children and grandchildren is even more likely to be severely compromised than we previously thought -- and sooner than we previously thought. From mass extinctions to more and worse episodes of extreme weather events to inexorably rising sea levels, this century is not going to end well for our descendants.

Unless you're one of the increasingly rare breed of swells living the pelf-driven life, the fortunate few whose wealth insulates them from the consequences of the real world. Wealth and income inequality is the other major thing worth caring about, because like climate, it will impact everyone, and there will be a high degree of wasted production and potential contained within.

We like to tell ourselves that the super-wealthy earned every dime, that we shouldn't punish success and hard work. But most average and poor people work hard too, and they don't even make enough to get by, much less get ahead and enjoy that good life. A good chunk of those one-percent fuckers didn't work for a dime of it. Plenty of spoiled failsons and lazy mediocrities who will live lives of luxury, while millions bust their asses in eternal futility. Is that the "meritocracy" we've heard about? You know it is.

The idea that three individuals (even if they actually earned it) own more wealth than fifty percent of the population should at least give consideration to the small corrective notions of a 2-3% redistribution tax, or a debt jubilee, or just making them pay their fucking taxes without any abatements or loopholes or repatriation of offshored funds.

It all ties together, folks. The same merchant princes who get rich from despoiling the earth and polluting your water table are the exact same ones who own the media and rent the politicians and game the system to their own ends. Because they don't know what the word "enough" means. Because they have a warped, perverted relationship with money, and they have a selective memory of how they got it, so they are willing to step across lines -- lines that don't even exist for most people -- to keep their hoard and add to it, out of your pocket if necessary. (And -- but you already know this -- it's always necessary.)

So imagine yourself as one these billionaire merchant princes. Would you use your media minions to keep the rabble distracted by nonsense, and occasionally pit them against each other, anything so long as it diverts them from the hands that are always in their pockets? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. It doesn't matter, because they are doing exactly those things. Because it works, and because no one has ever given them a reason not to do those things.

The peons do have some small power to give them that reason, but again, it requires work and attention. Ballots and wallets, folks. Yes, we can all do the Bernie-bro snipe about voting for two sides of the same coin or whatever. But ask yourself honestly how things might be different if just eighty thousand people in three rust belt states had shown up on that day. You know? All the talk about the game being rigged and votes being suppressed and all that is true, no doubt.

But everyone has a camera in their pocket now, and everyone can film the corruption of the process, the worker at the voting precinct who "can't find" the Democratic ballots, or the rows of voting machines that "just happen" to not have any power cords. As I mentioned recently, when North Carolina had their transgender bathroom ban weirdness a couple years ago, corporate 'murka got fuckin' woke hard. But the state of Georgia disenfranchises tens of thousands of black voters, and corrupts its process right out in the open? Not a goddamned peep from anyone.

I support the right of NFL players to kneel during the anthem, and to write op-eds protesting law enforcement treatment of black suspects, even if those things have had no actual effect. But in that spirit, could a few of them have taken it upon themselves to protest the Super Bowl, held in a state that had just had an election that was more befitting a Third World country? Real fuckin' integrity y'all got there, folks. No one's saying you have to (or even should) protest every single thing, but voting rights? Come on.

Another example -- the Ricketts family, who owns the Chicago Cubs, is a bunch of irredeemable racists. So, uh, maybe boycott the fucking Cubs, as well as TD Ameritrade (which is where Joe Ricketts made his money)? Can we find any sort of pattern here, one that can be deployed against these fuckers?

We've always been wise to the bullshit propagated by the Gilded Age wannabes, and they've always known and not cared. Make them care. The challenge with bottom-up action [giggity] is that you never know who else is going to join in and make it a truly collective action. Are you doing this all by yourself, and if so, why?

But that's the same challenge of voting, or even of becoming a fan of a new band or teevee show. Am I the only one watching this show or listening to this band? Will the band break up, or the show get cancelled? But you keep doing it simply because you know you should, because the rightness (not the righteousness) of it resonates with you.

In the end, it's simply a secular Pascal's wager, where the best outcome is a return to the dull thrum of gutless incrementalism and boring technocrats plying you with empty promises to not send your job to a Third World country. Which is still a better outcome than the doddering priapism of a preposterous grifter and his scummy lackeys, but still, very difficult to stay motivated about.

But some good things happened last November, and so it's actually possible that even better things can happen in November of next year. It all depends on attention and motivation. It's up to you.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Monsters Are Governing America

It's like the entire raisin detree for these media halfwits is to prove me right. Jesus, they don't even make it challenging anymore. It's not even worth the trouble to give the play-by-play rundown on this embarrassment, trudging through a paragraph at a time, counting the lies and evasions. Suffice to say that it's a waste of fucking time, since Margaret Brennan just sits there and gives him a platform to spread the bullshit like it was room-temp butter.

Let's take just one prime example though, simply because it's one you can also use on the idiots in your life that also spout this nonsense:  About midway into the "interview," Trump whines his usual plaint about the Mueller investigation, why aren't they going after Hitlery and her eeeeeeemails?

So here's the deal, and it would have been a key spot for Brennan to push back just a little on this lying sack of orange lying shit, who was lying:  You're the fucking president, dipshit. You can go talk to your Attorney General, any time you want, and ask him to appoint another special prosecutor to go check out all that email stuff. You can do it tomorrow. You could have done it a year ago, or two years ago.

So the real question is not why don't they investigate her emails, the question is why you don't appoint someone to do that. Because, you know, you can do that. That useless tube-steak "acting" as the Attorney General has probably sprayed quarts of man-chowder around his office fantasizing about that very conversation. So what the fuck are you waiting for, numbnuts?

Friday, February 01, 2019

Mastering the Art of Gaslighting America; Or, Media Assholes Going Along

A week ago, Roger Stone was finally arrested, mostly just for being an all-around creepy fuckface. Within hours, he was sprung on bail, and instantly bounced from chat show to chat show over the next several days, as the poli-media ecosystem largely subsists on digesting the clusters of algae and scum at the surface of the political swamp. Never mind that Stone, like his boss, has a very long track record as a liar. There was once a time when such a trait would have been disqualifying from respectable outlets. This has not been the case for a very long time.

Obviously, politicians and their henchmen have always maintained some degree of artifice and mendacity instrumental to their goals and outcomes, but more and more -- and more than ever with this human centipede of an administration -- the mendacity itself is now the goal, the sole desirable outcome. There is an internal goal with these individuals, of course; if this group has a discernible policy or outcome in mind, it is basically to function as a chop shop, for the nation and its ordinary citizens, parting out and selling off the resources, leaving the suckers holding the bag.

Therefore, it is essential to lie simply as a way of keeping the ball rolling, to lure onlookers further and further away from the real wrongdoing. If people are arguing over the latest lie or set of lies you told, rather than the crimes you have committed, you start getting away with things. That's Donald Trump's entire life in a nutshell. Even in the rare instances in the past where he was held accountable to some extent, he'd just use his credulous lackeys in the corporate media ecosystem to leverage some industrial-grade bullshit to get something else going.

So, for one example, even though American commercial banks refused to lend him money after 1999, a few years later he hooks up with barrel-scraping "reality" huckster Mark Burnett to foist the notion of himself as a competent -- successful, even -- businessman. No shame in their game.

Now, to cite a much more recent and important example, earlier this week the intelligence community released its annual threat assessment. While the terse, rather sterile nature of the commentary does not lend itself well to full contextual analyses, many of its conclusions are clear, and at stark odds with what Trump has bloviated periodically from his fortress of ignorant indolence.

In the Middle East, Trump is intent on presenting Iran as an imminent danger, and on getting out of Syria as soon as possible, because the Saudis shovel cash in his and his children's direction, and that is what they want. For North Korea, Trump insists that relations are improving and the Norks are on the path to denuclearization, even though Kim Jong Un has made it very clear that he will never relinquish the "treasured sword" his father and grandfather bequeathed him. But our fearless "leader" desperately needs something that looks like a win to his base of dead-ender rubes, and so he insists on humping Kim's leg, even though it is clear to all that Kim is playing his own game here.

Certainly the American intel community has been responsible for a lot of shady shit over the years, from Iran and Guatemala in the Fifties to Allende to El Salvador, and on and on. But even their detractors don't deny their competence in acquiring and analyzing information. Except, of course, for the jabbering dunce in the White Castle. That fat, useless fuck thinks he knows every goddamn thing, when it's clear he doesn't even know one thing. Forget the fox/hedgehog debate, you have to add the dung beetle to the mix. (Which isn't really fair to dung beetles; even they serve some useful function in nature.)

So DNI Dan Coats and CIA head Gina Haspel testify before Congress, on live teevee, as to the veracity of the written threat assessment. It's all laid out clearly, in print and in testimony under oath, for all to read and hear. There is no question as to what the American intelligence community considers vital to our interests around the world. You can agree or disagree with the political bent of those observations and recommendations, and to whose service they are really meant for, but the fact is that the analyses are carefully culled from data gathered by field agents and technological means.

So of course Preznit Tide Pod Challenge has a wittle tantrum, that these so-called "experts" and "professionals" dared to use their "facts" and "experience" to derive a different analysis of the situation from his 4:00 AM twit-kake spatter. He wasted no time in calling them stupid, and then calling them on the carpet to inform them that they actually agreed with his analysis that the Mexican border and Iran were in fact our biggest dangers. To the damnation of their souls, Coats and Haspel meekly complied and scuttled off, leaving the nation's security under the purview of a doddering maroon who gets most of his "facts" from Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro.

It's actually kind of surprising that he hasn't made Steve Doocy chief of staff or SecDef or something, or given a plum job to the interchangeable bottle-blond tit-monster on the couch next to Doocy. Might as well. But this is an unprecedented and frightening thing, that the chief executive has massive, unparalleled intel sources pulling in data from all over, and analyzing it at the top levels, and still coming away with completely unfounded reasons to shit on their findings. And it's all just accepted with a shrug. Well, whaddaya gonna do? Indeed.

What the New York Times does is interview him, that's what they do. Because like his hench-people, he hasn't had quite enough platforms to keep spouting all his lies. So let's just give him another, shall we? You keep thinking that at some point, the vaunted notion of journalistic integrity and responsibility will win out or at least show up, but that day never seems to come for some of these people.

The stupid wall is another prime example, as he contradicts himself daily as to whether the wall is being built or if it's a national emergency because Nancy Pelosi refuses to give him money to build it with. (And if it is a national emergency, then we are in truly deep shit, because even if Congress gave him $100bn tomorrow for it, and they got the thousand miles of Texas border expropriated under eminent domain overnight, it still would take months and years to get all that built. So which is it? If only we had an objective media obsessed with facts and accuracy, rather than access and stenography, to help sort all that out.

None of this happens without them, you know -- and by this I mean look around you, and by them I mean the complaisant, lazy, facile shih-tzus posing as pit bulls, with their tiresome "last bastion of democracy" schtick. There's a small number of honorable individuals, but most of them can fuck entirely off. This is their fault, right from the very beginning, all the way back to the Eighties. It's their job to be skeptical, and instead they were credulous, simply because this mouthy asshole returned their calls and gave them something quotable. (And it's our fault as well, for being so collectively lazy and mendacious ourselves, and for falling for this shit over and over again.)

And now they're all just overwhelmed, because these fuckers have figured out that if you just keep lying, the journos will then set about discussing the latest lies, spiraling further out in orbit, while the original crimes diminish in the increasing distance.

It would be something if they set about trying to fix this problem they've created. Instead they keep interviewing him, letting him lie and dissemble, encouraging him to make shit up and deny what we all see right in front of us -- deny even what he's said himself.

We need a new political system, and we need a new media system. Because enough of these systems are pure shit, and the parts that have not yet been corrupted do a piss-poor job of self-regulating the corrupt and lazy elements out of their respective bloodstreams.

Make Alan Go Away

Seth Abramson gets some measure of criticism from some circles, primarily for his penchant for earnest, intensely researched, frequently overlong tweetstorms, some of which have run in the neighborhood of two hundred(!) consecutive tweets. But Abramson does solid research, explains it in a way that doesn't require a law degree to understand, and has reined in the more extravagant thread lengths. I haven't read Abramson's Proof of Collusion yet, but he's proven himself to be a thorough, diligent researcher, passionate about his subject.

Abramson has carried on a Twitter skirmish this week with legal shithead emeritus Alan Dershowitz, who seems to be hellbent on sealing his rep as a scumbag who will defend anyone for anything, but is currently busy slithering on to any panel show that will have him, to speak on the behalf of one Fuckface von Clownstick, a man whose personal corruption and intellectual slovenliness make Warren Harding look like Thomas Jefferson.

Abramson frequently flashes his legal quals by mentioning that he earned an A+ grade from Dershowitz at Harvard Law -- which, okay, great, but it doesn't make Dershowitz any less of a turd. In addition to infamously representing wife-murderers such as Claus von Bulow and O.J. Simpson, Dershowitz is also currently "advising" convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, because his simultaneous representation of the scumbag lawn-darting the United States is just not quite enough.

Apparently there are enough people out there who actually regard Dershowitz as something approaching a respectable legal scholar, when in fact he's just an asshole who has spent his entire adult life helping criminals avoid justice with skillfully applied technicalities. I don't know how to make it any clearer. The only reason his likeness isn't planted on dozens of bus benches in the Greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area is that he had enough famous clients to push him into a different circle.

It's well-established that Dershowitz has no ethical core, is not yoked to any recognizable moral compass, and is willing to do or say anything in the service of literally the worst sort of people, in order to play around with legal fripperies and semantic nonsense. In short, he's a fucking weasel, always has been, and anyone engaging with Alan Dershowitz should really check their priorities.

Abramson's a sharp guy, obviously, which makes it all the more perplexing why he'd bother exerting himself so much to engage Dershowitz point-by-point. He has to know there's no upside whatsoever to any of that; as a proud paid professional liar with a lifetime experience working in the outhouse of humanity, Dershowitz will merely shrug his shoulders and move the goalposts if Abramson refutes him. Abramson might as well challenge Kellyanne Conway or Ann Coulter or Sarah Huckabilly Sanders to a debate, for all he and his readers will get out of this.

Considering Abramson wrote a well-received book on the subject, and is apparently working on the follow-up, he should know better than most that we are in a very different world, one where antiquated notions such as honor and honesty and facts don't really matter anymore, especially to a scummy hack like Dershowitz, that 11/9 really did change everything, and that we're all on the other side of all that. People believe what they want to believe, and Clownstick's supporters don't know or care who the fuck Alan Dershowitz is, or what he says about anything, and so they don't give a shit if someone refutes his nonsense.

People like Dershowitz (and Clownstick himself and the rest of the scum that encircle him) are attention vampires -- they know exactly what they're doing, lying instrumentally, with intent and purpose, the purpose in this case is to suck attention away from the facts and into "debating" on intellectually dishonest terms. This allows the corporate media to pretend they've "heard all sides" in the argument, while never resolving anything, which is the object of their game, since conflict is their true product.

But at least the corporate media shills get paid for their efforts. Abramson's doing this social-media argument for free.

It is an ugly and destructive symbiosis. Dershowitz is eighty years old, and I really couldn't care less whether he lives another ten minutes or thirty years, so long as he knows that the world is a worse place for him having been in it. He's no better than Giuliani or Gingrich or the rest of that pathetic lot. Stop engaging this putrid, lying hack already. Quit feeding the vampire.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Venezuela

Anyone who says they know how to "fix" Venezuela's many problems is full of shit, and/or has an agenda. But you can be sure that Elliot Abrams will find a way to make it worse. That turd should have been flushed twenty years ago, but the Cheney regime made sure to fish him out of the bowl and put him back to work.

There is some truth to that "drain the swamp" stuff, you know. It's just that there's more to it than simply swapping in your own gators.

The US has been sniffing around Venezuela since oil was discovered at Maracaibo back in 1905. Nowadays, it's also about the coltan and other valuable metals and minerals there, and a desperate, destitute populace that will settle for just about any respite from million-percent inflation and non-stop crime.

Where it gets a bit strange is that Russia is supporting Maduro and bucking our support of Guaido. I don't think this turns into another Syria, but odds are there's already a few cells of mercs and spec-ops guys setting up shop outside Caracas, training irregulars in "counterinsurgency" techniques. With Abrams' involvement, it could be another Guatemala or El Salvador. 

Competence

So many excellent turns of phrase in the latest David Roth rundown, all pointing to the same indisputable conclusion -- Fuckface Von Clownstick is a lazy, incompetent dirtbag. He's content to float the same raft of drunk-uncle email tales of third-hand mayhem, random factoids that even his own minions cannot support factually, put forth in order to bolster a fake policy that consists of a non-solution to a non-crisis.

He lies instrumentally -- that is, on an ad-hoc basis to achieve whatever immediate need happens to be in front of him at any given moment. If a clinical narcissistic personality can be said to have any inner world apart from filling the base primal need for adulation, this is it, just lying and continuing to lie, and denying the previous lies with more lies. This is all Clownstick's life has ever been, this is all his tenure as chief executive has been so far, and it's all he and it will ever be. He's incapable of anything else.

The one thing he knows is what every cult leader knows, which is that the flock cannot see the leader as weak, but that they will -- they need to -- believe the constantly shifting explanations. The lies are much tastier than the truth, and so they gorge on the lies, and he has an endless supply of them.

But what they won't be able to get around is the fact that he's not getting the fucking wall. Period, end of sentence, full stop. He failed, and he knows it, and they know it. He bought himself three weeks to find some bullshit excuse, and come February 15th, there still won't be a fucking wall.

Already he's backpedaling, spouting mealy-mouthed bullshit about it's not like he meant a full 2,000-mile wall, guys. Uh-huh. Okay, then, Grampa Walnuts. Whatever you say. Until you say you didn't say that, as if we don't have years of video.

This is the desperate flailing of a doddering con-man who never knew nor cared about the actual mechanics of governance, the processes and procedures that make the machine hum. His balls are parked in I Call Her Nancy's purse not because she's a brilliant supergenius, though obviously she is extremely knowledgeable about what she does and how things get done. It's because, after all the trash talk and cheap shots about the wet bag of oatmeal that passes for his brain, all you have to do is listen to him for about two minutes on any given subject, and realize that he really is a fucking idiot.

And all but his most devoted cultists have to start seeing that, little by little, that he is very bad at this presidentin' thang, even by Outsider Draining Elitist Swamp bog-standard cult dogma. Just using his own rational political self-interest as a metric here, and nothing else, he would have been much better off if he had done nothing at all, and let outgoing shithead Paul Ryan push through the continuing resolution to keep the gubmint funded.

Instead, his opening gambit was a filmed encounter with Pelosi and Schumer in the Oval Office, where he opened negotiations by conceding in video that a shutdown would be on him. That devolved into a spate of surreal episodes, such as the staged visit to McAllen that Roth mentions, cartoon plutocrat Wilbur Ross trying out various let 'em eat shit lines that even rich assholes usually know better than to say out loud, Trump himself spouting bizarre shit about federal workers running up tabs with understanding grocers and supermarkets, culminating in the head of the flight attendants' union calling for a general airport-worker strike a week before the Super Bowl, with a one-hour FAA shutdown at LaGuardia as a taste of what was to come.

Net result:  a five-to-ten-percent approval drop, permanent loathing from the entire federal workforce, scorn from a significant portion of the cult base. When you lose Coulter and Breitbart, you're in trouble. This is neither art nor deal, and even the dopey maroons out in the haunted Pennsyltucky diners can see that. This is what incompetence looks like; this is how a complete dipshit runs a business and negotiates. People who have haggled five percent off a used car at a lot have better skills than this fucking asshole, and they know it.

This all could have been avoided, you know. No, really. There was a path where even a cartoon clown like Donald Trump could have succeeded at the job of president. All he had to was act like a normal human being -- listen to people who know things; throw opponents a bone once in a while; read a fucking book now and again; watch something on teevee other than base propaganda. But that would require humility, skill, competence, an understanding of one's own limitations and mortality.

Obviously he's incapable of any of those things, so of course it's a fuckin' dumpster fire. But it's important to note along the way that it didn't have to be this way. But this is the path he's chosen, and he's sticking to it, so deeper into the desert he goes. We'll see who he takes with him, hopefully McConnell and Cornyn and Graham and Cruz, and the rest of that miserable lot. It's no exaggeration to say that their thoughts and actions have made this country a worse place. History will not remember them well, and Americans will and should defecate on their graves after they're gone. Hell, go take a fucking dump on their lawn right now.

It's about to get a lot worse for the cultists, you know. Junior is going to be indicted soon, and Mueller will have more evidence to drop, and we'll all be subjected to their widening gyres and contortions, anything not to believe what's been right in front of them since the Eighties. You thought it was weird already, it's about to get weird.

I have to say this for him, if nothing else:  as despicable as Trump is and has always been as a human being and a businessman, as much of a shit sandwich as this rotten cloaca of an administration is, it's been entertaining. Never a dull moment with these dismal fuckers.

I don't know if we ever get back to boring, not for a while. But it's a worthwhile goal.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Endgame

So the gubmint shutdown has been "temporarily" lifted -- like that's a thing -- and Nancy "I call her Nancy" Pelosi didn't budge an inch on anything.

(Incidentally, the key takeaway of the "I call her Nancy" stupidity is not that Trump's a retard, though of course he is. Nor is it that his insistence on referring to Democratic legislators by their first names is intentionally disrespectful, though of course that's his purpose, and I look forward to them returning the favor at some inopportune moment. It's that the fact he hasn't come up with some cheap, demeaning, smarmy "Crooked Nancy" or "Lyin' Nancy" type of nickname for her shows that he's scared shitless of her. He pulls that Pocahontas shit on Pelosi, he'll be wiping his greasy ass with a stump, and he knows it.)

It would be tempting to credit Trump's public capitulation this afternoon to this morning's arrest of professional fuckface Roger Stone, but I think the main share of credit for this one goes to Sara Nelson, the head of the flight attendants' union. Nelson had been calling for a general strike among airport workers earlier this week, and it was only a matter of time. LaGuardia shut down for an hour this morning, and it would interesting to find out whose calls made it to the White HouseCastle, because shortly after that, Fatboy's on the lawn in the Rose Garden, reading from a TelePrompTer and handing his balls to  I Call Her Nancy.

I was anticipating this, and had actually planned to write a post over the weekend predicting a strike and its potential impact, but events beat me to it, as they are wont to do. (Serves me right for having a day job.)

But the fact is, the Super Bowl is next weekend in Atlanta, which also happens to have the world's busiest airport. Hartsfield-Jackson is a massive hub airport, and a walkout there on the busiest sports weekend would be catastrophic. I was actually hoping it would go through, but clearly the LaGuardia shutdown got the message across.

He has no hand to play, the Republicon senators are at each others' throats and defecting, and now the base knows he's every bit the fucking pussy and blowhard most of us were saying he was all along. The tasty librul snowflake tears have long dried up. They decided they would rather be feared than respected, and now they are starting to realize that this is what it looks like when you have neither fear nor respect, just anger and retribution. That noise they hear is the whirlwind they reaped.

I know there have been countless "beginning of the end" moments just in the past few weeks or months, but it's really starting to feel like it now. You'll know it's the real deal when corporate media coverage turns from fear and scaremongering to mockery and ridicule. And it's starting to do just that now. They see what should have been obvious all along -- that he's all talk, no walk. He's a mouthy barstool jerkoff yapping about what he'd do, nothing more.

He's not Hitler or Mussolini; at best his tenure most resembles that of bunga-bunga kleptocrat Silvio Berlusconi. But at heart he's really just Wile E. Coyote, minus the sad charm. If he got his wall he'd be painting a tunnel on the side of it, or trying to trap Pelosi with a pile of bird seed beneath an anvil.

It would be something indeed if, even in the face of all the evidence and indictments and guilty pleas attesting to the hard truth that the chief executive conspired with a foreign power to rig the 2016 election, the individual who really catalyzed the eventual unraveling of the whole shitshow was a milf flight attendant who pushed back and showed them for the cheap hucksters they all are. It's also fitting that the only one who isn't going to flip on him (yet) is a weird old fop who dresses like a Batman villain and likes to watch his wife get spit-roasted by other men (NSFW).

Fatboy's going down, and hard. It will take a while longer, but it's happening. Junior is going next, and the failson-in-law ain't far behind. The whole fam damily is on their way to Leavenworth at this rate. Fuck every last one of them, forever and ever, amen.

The only way it could get better is if he takes McConnell and the rest of the traitors down with him. Because that is exactly what they are, and the time for reconciling or compromising with them is long gone. They must be rendered defeated and destitute and unemployable, unfit for any respectable work.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Mediocracy

I bet you won't fall on your face, your belly will hold you in place. -- Iron Maiden Be Quick or Be Dead<./I>

Since we're talking about the importance of accountability for a bunch of dipshit teenagers, let's also mention how much more important that ideal is for the cadre of adult professionals who monger opinions and convene panel circle jerks and such like. Obviously the Covington Catholic controversy sets right in their collective wheelhouse. They can spend the next week going over video swatches like the fucking Zapruder film, frame-by-frame analysis that ultimately confirms whatever a given observer has already chosen to believe beforehand.

I guess it beats reporting on whether the school is tax-exempt, as many religious schools are, and if so, how that status squares with the school bussing children wearing political endorsement swag to a political protest to advocate a highly specific -- and contentious -- point of view. But then again, let's face it -- the 501(c)(3) status that churches and religious organizations enjoy is one of the most ridiculous and least enforced legal fig leaves in existence. It barely falls under the scope of pro forma.