Thursday, July 27, 2017

You Tell 'Em I'm Coming! And a Sternly Worded Letter Is Coming With Me!

From NBC:
‘Holy Hell To Pay’: Graham Warns Trump on Firing Sessions

A prominent Republican senator warned President Donald Trump Thursday “there will be holy hell to pay” if he fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions and dared the commander-in-chief to “accept the consequences” if he made such a move.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the many GOP lawmakers furious over Trump’s escalating attacks on Sessions, let the president know in no uncertain terms that cutting the former Alabama senator loose from his Cabinet would be met with repercussions.

"There will be no confirmation hearing for a new attorney general in 2017. If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay," said Graham, who has been critical of Trump...
Fake Butch Lindsey Graham --

-- is the funniest Lindsey Graham of all

A Skinny Coup d'état

Before he was run out of town by a rat in a $20K suit and a pointy stick, the White House's official spokespinata, Sean Spicer, declared officially that (from CNN):
White House: Trump's tweets are 'official statements'

Washington (CNN)White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday President Donald Trump's tweets are indeed official statements.

"The President is the President of the United States, so they're considered official statements by the President of the United States," Spicer said, when asked during his daily briefing how they should be characterized. Spicer did not indicate whether that included both of the President's Twitter handles: @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS...
Official statement.  Period.  Full stop.

Jump to last might when, using this official channel, President Stupid officially order the armed services to do the following horrible thing:

Now of course President Stupid lied about consulting "with my Generals and military experts" because President Stupid lies all the time about everything, but so what?  The White House's own public standards make it quite clear that this was an "official statement" by President Stupid, and therefor a lawful order issued by the Commander-in-Chief to the military.  And while the Uniform Code of Military Justice does have shit to say about the specific medium of "tweets", it has lots to say about the legal consequences of disobeying a lawful order.

Which means, unless I am very much mistaken, that this announcement by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (via Politico) --
Joint Chiefs: 'No modifications' to transgender policy from Trump tweet

'We will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,' Marine Gen. Joe Dunford writes.

There will be “no modifications” to the military’s transgender policy as a result of President Donald Trump’s declared ban on transgender men and women on Twitter, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs said in a message to top military officers on Thursday -- the latest sign of the disarray following the commander-in-chief's abrupt announcement.

Marine Gen. Joe Dunford also wrote in the message, which was sent to the chiefs of the military branches and senior enlisted leaders, that the military will continue to “treat all of our personnel with respect.”...
-- an act of mutiny.

A Skinny Coup d'état if you will.

And frankly, if this mutinous conspiracy by the Joint Chiefs to negate civilian control over the military is not covered wall-to-wall on Fox News for the next, say, seven days, well I for one will never watch Hanoi Hannity again!

But This Ship Can't Sink

She's made of iron, sir. I assure you, she can. And she will.

It is a mathematical certainty.

Our government is made not made of laws or traditions or buildings of marble and granite. Laws become meaningless when no one enforces them. Traditions become tale tales from a bygone era when they are openly flouted without consequence. Marble and granite edifices become parking garages and ruins when no one is left to maintain them and imbue them with purpose.

Our government is made of men and women. And that government is now cracked to the keel and sinking not because it struck an iceberg, but because, decades ago, the Republican Party dedicated itself body and soul to the proposition that the United States government is a hostile alien monster that needed to be gutted and destroyed at any cost.

It took many years and billions of dollars to bring the United States government to the brink of collapse, but the Republican Party finally accomplished what it has been saying very clearly out loud for my entire adult life that it intended to do. And now it appears to be a mathematical certainly that the answer to their depraved prayers is finally at hand.

And yet, as we stand at the very brink of realizing their dream of blowing it all up and enabling demented bigots to rule by decree on behalf of theocrats, plutocats and Mother Russia, suddenly some of the Republican's most loyal enablers are losing their nerve.  It's too late to reverse the engines -- to unbrainwash the +60M wingnut zombies that they programmed to Destroy!Destroy!Destroy! and tell them that it has all gone way too far, and there is no longer a Kenyan Communist Muslim Sleeper Cell Usurper on-hand to blame for their sins and crimes against democracy.  Which is why the world is suddenly alive with the sound of their lifeboats hitting the water as hordes of newly-minted "independents" row frantically away from the listing hulk of the great ship they worked so hard to wreck.

And they'll probably get away with it. After all, thanks to a mountain of Koch money, relentless marketing by Fox News and the rest of the Hate Media ecosystem and, crucially, the complicity of the Beltway media, they pulled exactly the same stunt eight years ago, and there is no evidence that any of the meatheads and fascists and media quislings who conspired to get the GOP off the hook last time have grown a conscience in the last eight years.  

Which is why this time, it falls to each and every one of us to do all we can to burn their lifeboats.   The Republican base and their enablers in the Both Siderist media sank the ship and at the very least, Republicans their enablers in the Both Siderist media should be forced to go down with it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Newt Gingrich: The Greatest Wingnut Welfare Queen of Them All

The Definer of Civilization has another shitty book out.

It is called "Understanding Trump".

It has a forward by Eric Trump.

It has a breathlessly excited blurb by Sean Hannity.

It has a glowing write-up in Breitbart the official house organ of GOP's General Directorate for the Moral Hygiene of Party Members:
Newt Gingrich: Donald Trump One of the Smartest Presidents Ever

Discussing his new book, Understanding Trump, with Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow on Monday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich explained why he believes Donald Trump is one of the smartest people ever to have served as President of the United States.

“What always surprises members of the elite is I believe he is one of three or four smartest people ever to be president,” Gingrich said, adding:
I think he’s in the same league as someone like Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt … I also think he’s one of the most energetic since Roosevelt, which is why you get these tweets at five in the morning, when he wakes up he has too much energy. I think also he has an instinct for disruption comparable to Andrew Jackson… He is constantly looking for ways to fix things, to change things, to breakthrough.

So why is The Offal That Walks Like a Man being interviewed by the once-venerable NPR as if he were a serious thinker?

Because until they are cast into Mount Doom, The Gingrich Rules are forever.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Republican God Demands Blood Sacrifices

And as headline-grabbing as they may be, America's periodic mass shootings weren't calculated, sadistic or widespread enough to slake the thirst of the Republican's God of Blood and Soil.

So now, this...

See, Republicans never really cared what was in the bill:  as long as it made Libtards sad and immiserated and terrified tens of millions of poor and working class people on the way to sickening , bankrupting or killing hundreds of thousands of them, they were gonna be cool with it.  

As I warned on this little blog of mine eight long years ago...
So now we have to chase the wingnuts through time.

We have to chase them and beat them because they are on the verge of having everything they believe in -- their entire, globally-destructive boondoggle of plutocrats and pissy sociopaths –- bookended in history for all time as a transient, tragic spasm of cultural psychosis between New Deal Classic and New Deal 2.0, which makes them more desperate than ever.

Because outside of our hopeful little, wavering campfire circle, darkness is always waiting. Always busy, circling, sniffing, hunting for a way back in.

And if we leave the agents and emissaries of darkness alone back there in the American time-line, unchallenged, rewriting our past, salting our history with their lies, then sooner that you'd believe possible they'll be back.

Raging back, skulls stuffed full of manufactured legends and synthetic grievances, hearts steeped in ignorant fury, with Limbaugh cranking at enough decibels to drown out every other sound in the Universe.

Raging back to snuff out freedom and tolerance and the hated Middle Class once and for all.
But, y'know, those emails.

And stuff.

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: 2006 Redux

I am here, girl, because I put no trust in a desert god and his mud-pit prophet. I prospered because I bowed lower than my brothers before the Egyptians, and now the Egyptians bow low before me. Joshua wanted you... Baka wanted you... but you belong to me... a gift from Rameses to His Excellency. -- Dathan the Overseer (The Ten Commandments) explains how to prosper under President Stupid

Although many historians and most Republicans deny it, once upon a time there really was a Bush Administration.  

It really was led by an ignoramus who was, in turn, manipulated by monsters.  It's president really did lose the popular vote and then take office under the sketchiest of circumstances.  It really did reel from one catastrophe to the next because its only road map was a failed ideology and the council of evil men.

And the Beltway media really did roll over for the Bush Administration.  Over and over again.  Despite overwhelming evidence that it was a rolling disaster that just kept getting worse.

And because many historians,  most Republicans and even the Teacher of the Rules of Civilization himself (h/t Heather and Blue Gal at Crooks & Liars) --

-- have labored so mightily to pretend the Failed Bush Administration never happened (and therefor cannot be used as a guide to help us find our way through the Failed Trump Administration), before proceeding I believe it is necessary to pour a wee dram from a January, 2006 cask of "Sunday Morning Comin' Down":
...when it comes to the U.S. unsheathing the saber in Iran, George Will [On "This Week...'] put a grim, angry smile on my face.

Will unpacks his wee soapbox, clambers atop it, and says, sure, we can bomb the crap out of Iran and knock it back ten years or so.

But, Will asks, “Then what?”

“That’s the question. That’s the question we didn’t ask bef…”

And in that perfect little jewel of a moment you could positively smell Karl Rove tickling the joystick that controls the high-voltage, barbed wire cock-ring that the GOP keeps wrapped around the withered sac of its pet journalists.

George unwrapped his lips from around the words he was just about to say like a man stung in the gums by a wasp the size of an Escalade. He then quickly shifted gears and began nattering on about Admiral Yamamoto telling the Japanese high command that, sure, he could attack the U.S. fleet and run wild in the Pacific for a “year and a day.”

…but “Then What?”

Of course the statement Will was verging on making before Karl the Klown jolted him back to goodthinkfulness was this:

“That’s the question. That’s the question we didn’t ask…before we invaded Iraq.”

But of course, that’s kind of a sore subject; one that the Stalinist Right has striven mightily to stomp down the ol’ Memory Hole and piss away into the mists of forgotten myth and lore.

Because, of course, people did ask that question before Dubya rolled our children into Iraq to be slaughtered behind his PNAC fantasies and petroleum dream, didn’t they George?

Millions and millions and millions of people asked that very question.

Very Loudly.

They were called Democrats, George.

And your Party called them unAmerican, remember George?

And even the Democrats who supported the invasion of Iraq –- and there were many of them -- made it very clear that they were not giving your President a blank check.

The Dem’s made it abundantly clear that there needed to be concrete, convincing evidence of an imminent threat. Evidence of WMDs delivered by inspectors on the ground. Evidence of some linkage to 9/11.

They demanded that enough troops be used to get the job done. And they insisted on a clear exit strategy.

And your President mumbled, “Yeah…Ok…whatever”, blew off every warning and caution, grabbed the keys to the car and drove it right off the fucking cliff, didn't he George?

And the Democrats who had made the epic mistake of trusting a dim little creep like George Bush to behave responsibly with the national Credit Card?

Your Party called them weak and cowardly, remember George?

Funny how you seem the effortlessly remember, oh, say, every stray stat surrounding Cal Koonce’s ERA, but can’t seem to remember these rather vitally important, life-and-death facts about your Party and President, isn’t is George?

Joe Klein thinks its “absolutely shameful” that the President keeps using national security for political gain.

Gee, Joe. Really? Wow? Who'da thunk it?

On The Chris Matthews' Show...Also a thematic rerun of last week’s twaddle.

Every single fucking question framed as “Just look what at what a muslim-whippin’ badass Bush is! How vewwy vewwy manly. Look how snugly his balls fit in my mouth.

And Holy Crap what a bunch of whiners and quibblers the Democrats are! With all their whinging and wheezing about this mysterious Constitution and 'civil liberties'.

Jeez! What a buncha brittle old women the Dems are talkin’ about the fact that the foundation stones of American Democracy are being sledgehammered to sand by that tough, musky, Hombre-In-Chief, a man who’s taint sure tastes like peppermint ice cream to me!"

What was missing was anyone uttering a discouraging word.

Last week the Bush-luvin’ pee party was at least momentarily broken up by…

Cynthia Tucker throwing a hard elbow right in the throat of the cocka-suckas on her right and left. She actually said the words, “Southern Strategy.” Spoke of the Original Republican Sin of choosing to deliberately and shamefully pander to racists. Of always swinging through the Segregationist Academy of Bob Jones University when out making the presidential campaign rounds.

Which was followed by…silence. In memory, what seems now like a million years of crickets, broken only when Andrew Sullivan announced that he thinks the President is genuine. In his heart. It is wrong and irresponsible to ascribe racists motives to Blah Blah Blah.

Cynthia Tucker didn’t say Dubya’s a racist. She didn’t say Dubya hates black people. No, Dubya hates poor people: he just sucks a lot of racist dick, uh, recreationally.

But alas, that was last week.

This time around Chris made sure no one was on the panel who would challenge him when he leaped up on the table, ripped his shirt off to reveal his Bush/Cheney ’04 pec tat and commemorative GOP nipple clamps, and screamed:

“Sure Dubya might be a liar and a dimwit, torturer and thief. But for God’s sake people: just look at the ass on that man and tell me you could say “No” to that!”

That was January, 2006.

Within a year it had become embarrassingly obvious that the Bush Administration had not only used 9/11 to lie us into the wrong war, but that they were fucking that war up very badly, and were bankrupting the country and breaking the army in the process.  This, added to all the other failures of the Bush Administration, meant that the sheer weight of ongoing Republican perfidy and incompetence could no longer be merely shrugged off or papered over or shouted down.

For one, brief moment it all became too much and suddenly a few Actual Liberals were allowed on the teevee machine!

Sure, they were paired with Both Siderist stooges like Harold Fraud Junior so that establishmentarian testicle cozies like David Gregory wouldn't get any of the career-killing Liberal stank on him, but there they were:

But soon enough Lords and Ladies of the Beltway decides they were just not, not, not going to discuss the Failed Bush Administration anymore, because any such discussion held the very real risk of leading quickly to the subject of the craven complicity of the Lords and Ladies of the Beltway.

And so, just as suddenly as they had arrived, Actual Liberals were gone.  Poof.  As if they had never existed.

Instead, the still-burning, still-bleeding history of the Failed Bush Administration was welded into an oil drum and sunk into the Potomac, while Bush Administration hacks and speechwriters -- the men and women who had crafted the words and policies that nearly destroyed this country -- were rewarded with lucrative and well-protected sinecures throughout the media.

Human hassocks like Harold Fraud Junior remained a permanent fixture in the new order because nobody can slide that entire Both Siderist kielbasa down his throat quite like Harold Fraud Junior.

Newt Gingrich was raised from the dead to became to most frequently invited guest on Meet the Press.

And Peggy Noonan's Collaborator's Prayer (which she rolled out just three months after Barack Obama was inaugurated) --
God, grant me enough gin to look the other way when artrocities are committed by my friends and benefactors,
Enough rum to actually go on teevee and say this shit in pubic,
And enough fellow media collaborators to know that I'll never have to pay a price for any of it.
-- became the Beltway's holy writ and Both Siderism became their state-within-a-state religion.

Of course in this brave new world of every act of explicit Republican barbarism and sedition being reported as "Why Won't Obama Lead?", there was no place for those of us who knew that the obvious answer to that questions was "Because Republicans are depraved motherfuckers.  Because Republicans have been depraved motherfuckers for as long as anyone can remember.  Holy shit, didn't we already settle all of this with you goofs ten minutes ago during the Bush Administration?"

And so the entire Bush Administration went down the memory hole.  The entire Republican base was allowed to re-brand itself as "independents" just in time to pour into the streets demanding the impeachment of the Kenyan Usurper.  And Liberals -- the ones who had been right about the Right all along -- were given a "Best of Luck in All Your New Endeavors!" card signed by no one and escorted out of the building.

And in no small part because the Beltway media collectively decided that it was in their financial interest  to sell the country out, look the other way and "just keep walkin'

no matter how racist or deranged or destructive the Republican Party became, we now have another, exponentially-worse Republican ignoramus in the White House who is being operated by even more lethal cabal of evil men.

So it is not it is not entirely impossible that, once again, for a brief period of time as the Failed Trump Administration burns right down to the waterline and sinks, Actual Liberals may actually be asked to step in front of the cameras once again and help explain what we are witnessing.

And my advice to them is, this time, ignore whatever Harold Fraud Junior they pair you with to insulate the themselves from your icky Liberalness, focus your attention directly on the host and go full Rustin Cohle on their ass until the ask you to leave.

Because sooner that you will believe possible, Peggy Noonan will be along once again to remind the Lords and Ladies of the Beltway to look away, look away, look away from all the unpleasantness, because "sometimes life has to be mysterious".

Behold, a Tip Jar!


aka McConnellCare
aka RyanCare
aka RepubliCare
aka WealthCare

Death of the Cool

New York Time's employee and America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual, David Brooks, spends an entire column explaining what "cool" means

No.  I'm not kidding.

How Cool Works in America Today 
The cool person is...
Then, inevitably, comes the several paragraphs of paraphrasing someone else's work.
In his entertaining book “The Origins of Cool in Postwar America,”...

Dinerstein shows that cool isn’t just a style...

It emerged specifically within African-American culture...

Cool had other social meanings...

To be cool was to be a moral realist...

In an interview, I asked Dinerstein if cool was dead...
Then, inevitably, the Blob of Mayonnaise That Walks Like A Man dives right in and starts gassily opining about That Which He Does Not Know Shit.
I started to look around to see if there might be another contemporary ethos that has replaced the cool ethos.

A better candidate is the “woke” ethos.
Jesus take the wheel.
The modern concept of woke began, as far as anybody can tell, with a 2008 song by Erykah Badu. The woke mentality became prominent in 2012 and 2013 with the Trayvon Martin case and the rise of Black Lives Matter. Embrace it or not, B.L.M. is the most complete social movement in America today, as a communal, intellectual, moral and political force.
And of course, peering from his orbital platform high above planet Earth and the lives of actual humans, the Blob of Cultural Appropriation That Walks Like A Man decides that what the whole concept of "woke" really needs is a big helping of Both Siderism.

 Because everything goes better with a big helping of Both Siderism!
The woke mentality has since been embraced on the populist right, by the conservative “normals” who are disgusted with what they see as the thorough corruption of the Republican and Democratic establishments. See Kurt Schlichter’s Townhall essay “We Must Elect Senator Kid Rock” as an example of right-wing wokedness.
It's going to be a long, long day.

Here Comes The Chopper To Chop Off Your Head

From CNBC:

Trump administration scraps Obamacare signup assistance in 18 cities
  • The Trump administration has ended Affordable Care Act contracts that brought assistance to 18 cities.
  • People will have 45 days to shop for 2018 coverage, half the time of previous years.
  • President Trump has said in multiple interviews that he would like to "let Obamacare fail."...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Senator Chuck Grassley Decides To Let Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Junior Lie With Impunity

No oath will be administered and it will all be conduced behind closed doors, presumably with unlimited life-lines permitted to let them consult with their Russian handlers.

From The Hill:
Franken: Trump Jr., Manafort need to testify under oath

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said on Sunday that Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort should testify under oath.

During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Franken was asked whether it was good enough for the two to testify behind closed doors and not under oath.

"No, that's not good enough," Franken said. "It should be under oath."

Franken said he would like to ask questions about whether they had any other meetings with the Russians. 
The comments come after lawmakers announced last week that Trump Jr. and Manafort reached a deal with the Senate Judiciary Committee to avoid appearing at a public hearing.
On the one hand, the last six months have proven beyond debate that every member of this Administration will lie at every opportunity unless they are forced into a corner and given no other choice.

On the other hand, Republicans have a long tradition of going out of their way to spare presidential administrations public embarrassment... long as that administration is Republican: