Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Still No End In Sight

Fifteen years ago George Bush destroyed Iraq.  From The New York Times:
Fifteen Years Ago, America Destroyed My Country
And fifteen years later, the demons his Republican Party turned loose to make their war the Great Litmus Test of Patriotism still walk among us unmolested:
No one knows for certain how many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago. Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again. The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a crime. Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of Trumpism and a mostly amnesiac citizenry. (A year ago, I watched Mr. Bush on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” dancing and talking about his paintings.) The pundits and “experts” who sold us the war still go on doing what they do. I never thought that Iraq could ever be worse than it was during Saddam’s reign, but that is what America’s war achieved and bequeathed to Iraqis.
And the process those demons put in place to use the media to wipe their catastrophes from history and exonerating themselves over and over again of any responsibility for the evil that they do over and over again have damn near destroyed this country.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Woman Tempted Me And I Did Redecorate

It today's episode of "Which Trump Administration Douchbag Is The Douchiest?" Donald Trump's pet grifting superjesus fanboy, Ben Carson, jumps into the lead by feeding his wife to the wolves.
Ben Carson throws his wife under the bus for purchase of $31,000 dining set

Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, suggested Tuesday that his wife, Candy Carson, was to blame for the purchase of a $31,000 mahogany dining room set for his office.

During testimony before a House committee, Carson said HUD's dining room furniture needed to be replaced for safety reasons...

"I left it with my wife," he said. "The next thing that I, quite frankly, heard about it was that this $31,000 table had been bought."

A HUD spokesman initially denied that Carson and his wife had anything to do with the purchase and said the table was bought by "career staffers in charge of the building."

But internal emails show that HUD staffers repeatedly consulted with Candy about redecorating the office.
The GOP is nothing but monsters all the way down.

Breaking: Facebook Unveils Its New Digital Personal Assistant

Monday, March 19, 2018

Walt Whitman: A Land of Contrasts

When David Brooks' Liberal straw men are in the shop being restuffed and restitched and he has momentary run out ways to lie about Both Sides being to blame for the depravity of his Republican Party, The New York Times pays him to a giant pile of American money to write Another Book Report About National Greatness.

One of my favorites of these lab reports is Walt Whitman’s essay “Democratic Vistas,” published in 1871...

Whitman had hoped...

Whitman feared...

...[Whitman] believed

Whitman wrote...

[Whitman] observed...

Whitman was not, however...

Whitman spent...

[Whitman] thought...

[Whitman] pointed out...
-- joins Mr. Brooks previous half-assed contractual-obligation dropping in this genre.  A list which includes but is not limited to...

So there you go.

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Poo-Flinging Shitgibbon Sick Of All The Poo-Flinging

"Sanctification"? Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Good to know.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Bobo Wormtongue Moment

A well-placed poisoner inside the castle is worth 10,000 troops outside the castle.
-- driftglass

As I'm sure you nerds know, in the Lord of the Rings, Gríma Wormtongue was the chief counsel to King Théoden of Rohan and a spy for Saruman the wizard.  The horsemen of Rohan were a direct threat to Saurman's plans to conquer Middle Earth on behalf of his boss, Lord Sauron, so Wormtongue's task was to cripple the kingdom of Rohan and by keeping its king under a spell of confusion and impotence.  Under the thrall of Wormtongue, the king sat decaying, blind and cobwebbed on his throne issuing orders which broke alliances, impoverished his people, exiled his most capable commanders and nearly destroyed his family.

Which brings us to Mr. David Brooks, who The New York Times has employed at considerable expense to whisper slight variations of the same, honeyed lie into the ears of its 500K daily readers twice a week, every week, for the last 14 years.

The same lie. 
The same goddamn lie. 
The same goddamn ludicrous lie. 
The same goddamn toxic treason-enabling lie. 
Over and over again. 
Week after week.  For decades.  With the Sulzberger family not just happily footing the bill for the all of it, but bolstering the ranks of these liars with the likes of Ross Douthat, Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens.

But to use Lamb’s victory as a club against “identity politics” or “cultural issues”—which, in this context, means people of color and other groups fighting against a kind of re-marginalization that seems somewhat popular among the economically insecure—is to end up in the intellectual junkyard in which we find our old pal David Brooks on Friday morning. Brooks is flailing so desperately to avoid the responsibility he and the rest of movement conservatism have for foisting a vulgar talking yam on the Republic that he drafts Lamb into his Church of the Poisoned Mind. 
There may be a different scaffolding from time to time --  a different Christmas on which Mr. Brooks can hang his shitty Both Siderist trinkets -- but the ornaments themselves never change.  The tenor and target of his lies never change.  They are lies calculated to convince the Good Guys to never stand up and fight back against the metastasizing monster that his Republican Party has devolved into.  To never raise our voices.

From Mr. Brooks today:
...Trump asked for the party’s soul, and he got it. That was the story of 2016 and 2017.

The question of 2018 is whether the Democrats will follow suit. The temptation will be strong. In any conflict the tendency is to become the mirror image of your opponent. And the Democrats are just as capable of tribalism as the Republicans, just as capable of dividing the world in self-righteous Manichaean binaries: us enlightened few against those racist many; us modern citizens against those backward gun-toting troglodytes. Listen to how Hillary Clinton spoke in Mumbai last weekend.
No, the question of 2018 is the same as the question or 2017 and 2015 and 2012 and 2009 and 2007 and 2004:  Why the wide world of sports are men like Mr. David Brooks paid astronomical salaries by once-respectable national media institutions to repeat these particular lies over and over again.

Lies that are so manifestly ridiculous.  Lies that are so easily debunked.  For example, the now-universally agreed upon Beltway lie about the origins of the disaster we are all living through.  The lie which proclaims that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with Mr. Brooks' Republican Party.  That until two years ago, his party was just fine. and then somehow single, depraved person sprang fully-formed out of nowhere to seized control of all it. 

From Mr. Brooks today:
In the decades before Trump, the Republican Party stood for an idea: character before policy. To Mitt Romney, John McCain, the Bushes and Ronald Reagan, personal character and moral integrity were paramount. They stood for the idea that you can’t be a good leader or a good nation unless you are a good person and a good people.
They are lies to lull Mr. Brooks' colleagues and fellow influencers in the media into never calling out the fucking troglodyte Right for who and what they truly are in blunt, clear language -- 
Putting a higher love, like nation, over a lower love, like party. Going against yourself — feeling that urge to lash out with the low angry insult, and instead rising upward with the loving and understanding response.
-- as if the Obama Administration had never fucking happened.   As if we had not all just lived through an eight-year real-time beta test of what happens when the unending, unhinged seditious sabotage and slanders from the racist Birther/Death Panel Republican Party is countered with a bottomless well of nearly-superhuman patience, civility, and open-handedness.

What happened -- over the increasingly hysterical denials of Mr. David Brooks -- is that the Republican Party nominated, elected and stands firmly and giddily behind the anti-Obama.  A racist, pig-ignorant fire demon who, in every way, reflects exactly who and what Mr. Brooks' Republican Party always has been.

Ah, but that's the trick, isn't it?  The fact that no one but a few of us dirty hippie outcasts dares to remember that as recently as two years ago Mr, David Brooks of the New York Times was confidently writing shit like this: the most perfectly Brooksian denialist title  -- "Donald Trump Isn’t Real" -- that any of us had seen in a long time:
The amazing surge for Marco Rubio shows that the Republican electorate has not gone collectively insane.
But of course Trump was real.  Because Trump is the Republican Party and the Republican Party
is Donald Trump.  And no matter how loudly Mr. Brooks may thunder his Centrist sermons from the pulpit of the High and Holy Church of Both Side Do It, there no parity whatsoever for this on the Left. 

The disease that is killing this country is David Brooks' Republican Party.  Period.  Full stop.  And nothing on Earth scares the shit out of squirmy little Quislings like David Brooks more than the thought of this plain truth being spoken everywhere, out loud and unafraid.

To save the country the spell of Bobo Wormtongue must be broken. 

Please do what you can to break it.

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Professional Left Podcast #432

"I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good."
-- Martin Luther King Jr.
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

I Am David Roberts

No, I am actually not David Roberts.

But in our current words-by-Kurt-Vonnegut-music-by-Philip-K-Dick universe, it is a genuinely surreal experience to crack open a real "paper" with a paid writing staff and read things for which many of us on the Left were cast out of polite society as untouchable pariahs for saying on our dirty, hippie "blogs" not so many years ago.

From Vox:

The real problem with the New York Times op-ed page: it’s not honest about US conservatism

It wants to challenge its readers, but not with the ugly truth.

By David Roberts @drvoxdavid Mar 15, 2018, 9:30am EDT

[New York Times editorial page manager James] Bennet clearly believes liberals live in a bubble. He wants to challenge them. It still hasn’t occurred to him to challenge them from the left, so he goes out looking for more conservatives.

But what kind of conservatives are on offer at NYT?

Consider, oh, David Brooks. His conservatism, of Sam’s Club affectation, fiscal conservatism, tepid social liberalism, and genial trolling of center-leftists at Davos — whom does it speak for in today’s politics, beyond Brooks?

Or Ross Douthat. He is sporadically interesting, often infuriating, but above all, pretty idiosyncratic. His socially conservative “reformicon” thing — whom does it speak for in today’s politics, beyond Douthat?

Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss are a familiar type of glib contrarian. Their opposition to Trump has given them undue credibility among Washington lefties, whom they relentlessly (and boringly) troll. But whom are they speaking for? What has the Never Trump movement amounted to?

These writers are, to a (wo)man, alienated from the animating force in US conservatism, which is Trumpism. They command no divisions. They have nothing to do with what is going on in American politics today.

They might serve the purpose of challenging liberal thinking, but they do not serve the purpose of exposing NYT readers to the people and the movement from which they are allegedly alienated.

If Bennet wants to do that, he needs to be clear-eyed about what the right is today...

So how many of these “true” conservatives did there turn out to be? Almost none! A few intellectuals and writers have jumped ship (David Frum, Bill Kristol, George Will), but the Wall Street Journal, Fox, Breitbart, and the rest have happily adapted to acting as state media. For all intents and purposes, Trump commands the support and loyalty of the GOP coalition.

The ragged band devoted to the principles of conservative governing philosophy is in exile, with no home. It was, it turns out, almost entirely epiphenomenal to the movement; its roots were an inch deep.

So what motivates this swell of right-wing support for Trump? At this point, though many people on all sides still refuse to acknowledge it, the evidence is overwhelming: It was cultural backlash, against immigrants, minorities, uppity women, liberals, and all the other forces seen as dislodging traditional white men from their centrality in American culture.

The people who support Trump have been embedded in a hermetically sealed right-wing media bubble for so long that they only know liberals as horrific caricatures and only experience politics as a war to save white Christian culture from its sworn enemies. They are exposed to endless lies and conspiracy theories designed to keep them in a frenzy, convinced that antifa is around the corner and Sharia law is imminent.

If the New York Times wanted to expose its readers to the motive force of contemporary conservatism, that’s the kind of stuff it would run.

But let’s be real, James Bennet is not going to run that stuff in the NYT...
Obviously, I agree with almost everything in the article, because it is virtually identical to what I have been writing on my own blog every day for the past 13 years. And saying out loud (often very loud) to friends for much longer than that. 

What bothers me is where the author stopped short.  He got the "who" and the "what" right.  Screwed up on the "when" somewhat, considering that this madness has been loudly metastatizing inside the Republican Party for decades.  But I was really let down in the "why" department.  Because if the facts presented here are true -- and I certainly believe them to be -- then the indictment of The New York Times op-ed page also applies to the Washington Post op-ed page, which enthusiastically participates in the same farce.  It is also an indictment of every major network Sunday morning political show.  Every PBS political discussion program.  Every public affairs program on NPR.  And the overwhelming majority of cable news network programming. 

And so the question remains, why?  What is the motive behind a conspiracy this comprehensive to deny the existence of a calamity this huge?  And remember, this conspiracy of conspicuous and malignant silence is not being carried out by dentists or farmers or long-haul truckers.  It is being carried out by journalists: members of a professional which enjoys unique protections which the founders wrote into the Constitution so that our free press would be able to tell us the truth about what the rich and powerful are getting away with behind closed doors without far or favor.

I have my own theories derived from decades of careful observations, deduction, and refinement.  And they hold up remarkably well.

But for all of that, I'm still just some guy in a cornfield in the middle of Middle America who is not David Roberts.  I have no access to primary sources.  No friends in the business who owe me a favor or will confirm or deny my informed speculations.  There is almost no one in the media who has ever replied to an email from me and none who is ever going to spill the beans to me about exactly why the corporations who own the Beltway media have made a fetish out of protecting this particular lie at all costs.  The closest I have gotten so far is when I asked Dave Weigel at Netroots Nation why in the nine billion names of God do people in his industry media still fete Newt Gingrich like a favorite uncle and put him on teevee as if he has something to offer other than unalloyed wingnut bullshit.

Mr. Weigel laughed and laughed and walked away.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Space Farce: Days of Rumsfeld Past

It shocks me not at all that President Stupid's stupid idea du jour --
Trump introduces idea of 'Space Force' Trump introduces idea of 'Space Force'  

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his new national security strategy recognizes that space is a theater of war, and he floated the idea of creating a Space Force, a branch of the military that would operate outside of earth's atmosphere.

"Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea," Trump told a an audience of service members at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. "We may even have a Space Force, develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force, we'll have the Space Force."

The president described how he'd originally coined the term as a joke, while discussing U.S. government spending and private investment in space. "I said, 'maybe we need a new force, we'll call it the Space Force,' and I was not really serious. Then I said, 'what a great idea,' maybe we'll have to do that," Trump told the crowd of Marines.

"So think of that, Space Force," Trump continued, "because we are spending a lot and we have a lot of private money coming in, tremendous. You saw what happened the other day, and tremendous success. From the very beginning, many of our astronauts have been soldiers and air men, coast guard men and marines. And our service members will be vital to ensuring America continues to lead the way into the stars."
-- is virtually identical to one of Donald Rumsfeld's stupidest ideas from the darkest days of the Age of Bush.

Did I write about it way back then?

Don Rumsfeld has seen The Future -- and "Smoking Rockets, Commander!" and it looks just like this.

The citations from the NYT in this post run long. I’ve excerpted it, but I use this blog a lot for my own notes and virtual-memory-dump as well as nattering on about stuff, and there are a lot of salient details that I did not want to get lost. So as with the rest of the online universe, scroll past whatever you’d like, but for me, stories like this really trip my trigger, and the specific details are what make it come alive.

Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for Space Weapons Programs

Published: May 18, 2005 
The Air Force, saying it must secure space to protect the nation from attack, is seeking President Bush's approval of a national-security directive that could move the United States closer to fielding offensive and defensive space weapons, according to White House and Air Force officials.
The proposed change would be a substantial shift in American policy. It would almost certainly be opposed by many American allies and potential enemies, who have said it may create an arms race in space.
Any deployment of space weapons would face financial, technological, political and diplomatic hurdles, although no treaty or law bans Washington from putting weapons in space, barring weapons of mass destruction.
A presidential directive is expected within weeks, said the senior administration official, who is involved with space policy and insisted that he not be identified because the directive is still under final review and the White House has not disclosed its details.
With little public debate, the Pentagon has already spent billions of dollars developing space weapons and preparing plans to deploy them. 
"We haven't reached the point of strafing and bombing from space," Pete Teets, who stepped down last month as the acting secretary of the Air Force, told a space warfare symposium last year. "Nonetheless, we are thinking about those possibilities." 
In January 2001, a commission led by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the newly nominated defense secretary, recommended that the military should "ensure that the president will have the option to deploy weapons in space." 
It said that "explicit national security guidance and defense policy is needed to direct development of doctrine, concepts of operations and capabilities for space, including weapons systems that operate in space."
In 2002, after weighing the report of the Rumsfeld space commission, President Bush withdrew from the 30-year-old Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which banned space-based weapons.
The Air Force believes "we must establish and maintain space superiority," Gen. Lance Lord, who leads the Air Force Space Command, told Congress recently. "Simply put, it's the American way of fighting." Air Force doctrine defines space superiority as "freedom to attack as well as freedom from attack" in space. 
The mission will require new weapons, new space satellites, new ways of doing battle and, by some estimates, hundreds of billions of dollars. It faces enormous technological obstacles. And many of the nation's allies object to the idea that space is an American frontier.
A new Air Force strategy, Global Strike, calls for a military space plane carrying precision-guided weapons armed with a half-ton of munitions. General Lord told Congress last month that Global Strike would be "an incredible capability" to destroy command centers or missile bases "anywhere in the world."
The Air Force's drive into space has been accelerated by the Pentagon's failure to build a missile defense on earth. After spending 22 years and nearly $100 billion, Pentagon officials say they cannot reliably detect and destroy a threat today.
Another Air Force space program, nicknamed Rods From God, aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground, striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon.
Despite objections from members of Congress who thought "space should be sanctified and no weapons ever put in space," Mr. Teets, then the Air Force under secretary, told the space-warfare symposium last June that "that policy needs to be pushed forward."
They think that "the United States doesn't own space - nobody owns space," said Teresa Hitchens, vice president of the Center for Defense Information, a policy analysis group in Washington that tends to be critical of the Pentagon. "Space is a global commons under international treaty and international law."
No nation will "accept the U.S. developing something they see as the death star," Ms. Hitchens told a Council on Foreign Relations meeting last month.
International objections aside, Randy Correll, an Air Force veteran and military consultant, told the council, "the big problem now is it's too expensive." 
The Air Force does not put a price tag on space superiority. Published studies by leading weapons scientists, physicists and engineers say the cost of a space-based system that could defend the nation against an attack by a handful of missiles could be anywhere from $220 billion to $1 trillion.
Richard Garwin, widely regarded as a dean of American weapons science, and three colleagues wrote in the March issue of IEEE Spectrum, the professional journal of electric engineering, that "a space-based laser would cost $100 million per target, compared with $600,000 for a Tomahawk missile." 
"Space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny," he told an Air Force conference in September. "Space superiority is our day-to-day mission. Space supremacy is our vision for the future."
In the long history of fucking de-range-edly bad ideas, Weaponizing Space comes near the top of my list; Just after “starting a land war in Asia” (check) and “giving an electoral mandate to an anti-Science, pro-Rapture Evangelical Wingnut Party” (check) and just before canceling “Homicide”.

And just to get it out of the way, IMHO any program with a component called “Rods From God” being pimped by a Mr. Teets and General named Lance Lord, who is practically quoting Darth Vader about our “destiny” has got barely-sublimated-sexual-orientation AND obsessive-penis-compensation-issues spray-painted all over it in 40-mile-high flaming (yes, that kind of “flaming”) letters.

Don’t get me wrong: I am completely in favor of space exploration and the eventual establishment of colonies and commerce. I am unabashedly pro-NASA (well, Old School NASA, not the LEO-focused, It-can’t-cost-more-than-nine-bucks, And-lets’-skimp-on-the-safety-budget asshats who set policy these days) and will bore almost anyone into faking a seizure to get out listening to my 1,001 pragmatic reasons why space exploration should always be one of our top three priorities.

But Weaponizing Space has nothing to do with exploration: when all of your Low Earth Orbit scopes and gun-sights are pointed DOWN are whomever we’re hating and fearing this week, you cannot responsibly argue that you goal is to look UP. And anyway, Weaponizing Space has absolutely nothing to do with responsible and reasonably debate to begin with. I f you follow the bouncing ball of the Weaponizing Space arguments they play out in exactly the same ludicrous way as the Bush tax cuts.

You all remember the original rationale for those massive tax cuts for Plutocrats from back in the olden days, right?

Back when we needed a tax cut for billionaires to spend down the surplus.

And then when we had no surplus, we needed it to “stimulate the economy”…as if the wealthy, who had already made out like fat rats during the Clinton Years, aren’t positively swimming in so much lucre that they could “stimulate” the economy as briskly and effectively as a million Horse Fluffers-in-Chief jerking off a million Clydesdale’s…if they wanted to.

And then when we ended up in a protracted war and are running debts and deficits as far as the eye can see…the solution is to make tax cuts permanent because, well, uhhhh, ummm…

Because the naked truth is Tax Cuts are Holy Writ, everything else is negotiable, and so Tax Cuts becomes another shitty pile of Republican dogma eternally in search of a shiny, bogus rationale so it can be packaged and marketed to the toe-counters and the Politically A.D.D.

To those who scab up their chubby knees worshipping Mammon, NOTHING is more sacred that tax cuts. Not the security of the nation. Not freedom. Not the commonweal. Not the future. Not the education of our children or respect and care of the elderly. Any talk of simply rolling back the tax cuts to Clinton Era levels for the wealthiest human in history is apparently worse than, say, using the Constitution as kindling to set fire to Jesus.

Like energy policy, like environmental policy, like Social Security and most especially like Iraq, the Administration makes up it’s mind and plots it’s course not based on facts or history or reason but based on that now-familiar fucktard witchbag of an infantile, dry-drunk comprehension of the world, the most dangerous kind of Fundy paranoid superstitions, the whims of the GOP’s Corporate Masters and the Neocon opium dreams of American Hegemony.

And then they just make up whatever shit they feel they need to market their New and Improved Lunacy.

Sometimes half-truths, sometimes just bald-faced lies, but they act in the knowledge that the Ultras will obediently and unquestioningly bellow whatever slogans they are ordered to bellow – even if the message is changed 180-degrees mid-scream -- and the so-called-Moderates like Lincoln Chafees and Olympia Snows and John McCains of the world have long since had their political tubes tied and are now far too gelded and gutless to stand up to the thugs that stole their Party.

And so we come to Weaponizing Space: yet another Neocon “Wouldn’t it be cool if we were, y’know, like, Gods!” fantasy in search of a rationale. Shithouse Rat Crazy Don Rumsfeld has dusted off the same plan that was so roundly rejected and laughed off the stage in 2000/2001 and is making another run at it.

Jeez. Knock me over with a feather. I’m shocked.

So why is Weaponizing Space a terrible idea? Oh, let me count just a few of the ways:

1. No enemy. The whole bad idea was to build a shield capable of knocking out as massive, Soviet missile attack. Which, of course, would (and did) simply up the ante on cranking out more missiles, both live and decoy, land-based and sub-based, short and long-range. Fire enough hardware at any defense/deflection system and some will always get though. Always. But be that as it may, the Soviet Union's dead Jim! Dead and gone.

2. It was a bluff! Does anyone even remember that the whole SDI hoo-ha was more-or-less laughed off by the likes of James Bakker after the Evil Empire imploded as being the biggest single see-and-raise bluff in the history of Cold War Poker? That whether or not it would have actually worked (which it most emphatically wouldn’t have) was secondary to head-faking the Russians into spending themselves broke on countermeasures.

3. We’re broke. Hello! No money for infrastructure. No money for education. Fuck Social Security. Deficits forever. Iraq war burning through how many billions of my tax dollars every week? How much money has been pissed away through phony reconstruction schemes and out-and-out war profiteering...and bonuses for those very profiteers? How much money will it actually cost when we really will have to rebuild that country…or buy them off as we bolt for the exit. Prescription Drug benefit. More!more!more!more! tax cuts for the plutocrats who hold the Preznit’s leash. But I think we might have finally paid off that little Bush 41 Savings and Loan And Keep My Sons out of Federal Prison Bailout, so we’ve got that going for us.

4. Further alienating the rest of the planet, if that’s even possible. I know the President Fredo and the rest of the Gang that Couldn’t Talk Straight have nothing but contempt for the rest of the human race, but at some point we’re actually going to have to cooperate and work other countries, like, say, Russia, who already went ballistic (pun intended) when Bush decided to unilaterally feed the AMB treaty through the shredder.

If you think that was exciting, imagine how much more irredeemably furious the rest of the planet is going to be when we announce that we’re going to start mounting laser and gamma-ray cannon in orbit, pointing right down the throats of any nation that, say, doesn’t want to sell us their oil at our price…or let our Evangelicals come on in and and preach the Revealed Word of George Walker Boosh?

5. Force protection. First you dream up a completely fictional enemy to justify putting weapons in space. Then, since you’re clearly smoking some CIA-grade weed, you start imagining that you’ll need to defend your cool, new “He-Man, Woman Hater’s” Clubhouse in Space from the imaginary enemy who might want to knock it down. Which means “Space Marines” or somesuch. And remember, we’re a country that has already given up our Apollo infrastructure after we tagged the Moon first at told the rest of the world “We Win!” and haven’t been able to mount a shuttle launch in over two years.

And if you think I’m exaggerating, just go look up the rhetoric from this argument from a mere five short years ago. You remember, back when most of the country sorta though having a Shithouse Rat Crazy Secretary of Defense was a bad thing.

6. Hit this. The most devastating attacks against us in modern history came from commercial airliners being flow into buildings. Around the world, war is waged with car-bombs, IEDs, and back-packs left on passenger trains. The guidance system of the average “smart bomb” used to target Americans is a teenage Muslim boy. This is the world we live in, and these are means by which death will be delivered to our doors…and none of them will ever be able to be hit from orbit by the USS Deathstar, I don’t care how many trillions we pour down the SDI rat hole.

It’s a bright, shiny distraction that the GOP can dazzle you with in the hopes that you’ll forget that they have failed so utterly on the meat-an-potatoes issues that warfighting is really all about.

7. Barges, bitches. A thousand nuclear warheads is an arsenal. Anyone who has developed such an arsenal has done so as part of an overall strategic plan to win a war by destroying his or her opponent’s ability to wage war and retaliate. To take out air forces and missile silos. To kill cities. But a single nuke is a terror weapon. The goal with a single nuke or a dirty bomb or a chemical weapon in a subway has nothing to do with taking out your enemy’s capacity to retaliate. It has everything to do with scaring the hell out of them to accomplish a political end. A nuke floated in on a barge or flown in on a Cessna is every bit as effective as a terror weapon as a missile…and one helluva lot cheaper.

8. How to fuck up an orbital defense platform. Take one ballistic missile rented from Russia or China or the European Space Agency. Pack it with a few bags of aluminum nails, gravel, potsherds and broken glass. Shrapnel: a few hundred pounds would probably do. Once in space, dump your load of scrap into an orbit that runs counter to the American platform(s). Then wait and watch the fun as, day by day, orbit by orbit, your six-hundred-dollars worth of shop-floor debris gradually shreds United State’s new trillion-dollar-toy.

There is every good reason in the world for taking a sane, rational, globally-cooperative approach to the scourge of terrorists, but there is no rationale whatsoever for Weaponizing Space. It would, in fact, have the opposite effect: make creating a true global coalition just that much harder, and make the United States appear to be just that much more of a mad, Empire-drunk pariah.

Weaponizing Space is nothing more than little dick-ed men trying to win a global Giant Cock Contest. It comes down to pasty little creeps like, oh, say, Paul Wolfowitz wanting to feel like Zeus. Wanting to tell their wives that won’t fuck them anymore, or their mistresses who mock them, or their pet Eight Inch Cut Manwhores, “I can summon lightening from the Heavens to smite mine enemies. I can level cities and set the waters of the Earth ablaze. I am a GOD…so quit laughing at my tiny penis!!”

Two things.

First, the only things Republicans recycle are shitty, shitty ideas.

Second, when I dig through my archives from Long Ago I am always a little braced when I see how accurately we on the Left were naming and shaming the treachery and madness at the heart of the GOP in explicit detail long before Donald Trump glided down the Escalator of Doom and into their hearts.

Behold, a Tip Jar!