Saturday, August 12, 2017

Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto

So just to check in : A reminder by an astute commenter in the NY Times recently pretty well answers the puzzlingly ubiquitous question of "How we got here", in the World of Trump. This didn't happen in a vacuum.

" sdavidc9 is a trusted commenter Cornwall 3 hours ago

Republicans have wanted to shred the modern safety net ever since FDR started putting it in place. They used to be scared enough of safety net supporters to elect those of their ilk who also wanted to do the safety net and get votes from safety net supporters, but now they have driven safety net supporters out of their party. National Romneycare was proposed by a Democrat and fought by all Republicans, including Romney when he ran for President.

Republicans have been lying for years, ever since they adopted voodoo economics as their own and enticed the segregationists away from the other party with the lies of code words and dog whistles. They support the rule of law with voter disenfranchisement, extreme gerrymandering, and the routine demonization of the other side.

They do not like Trump's style or his inclination to run them down and mock them, which they know may reappear at any time. They do not like his untrustworthiness and unpredictability. But they have little problem with most of his agenda. After all, government is the problem and he is getting rid of it; refusing to staff it is almost as good as drowning it in the bathtub."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rick Perry: How Dumb Can You Get?

Rick Perry, Energy Secretary for the current Trump Administration, gets spoofed in phone call from Russian Comedy team posing at Kremlin Reps. You cannot make this stuff up!  Ship coal to Ukraine? How? Not to worry; Rick has you covered. Listen here.

Or copy and paste the following:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Again, To Summarize

VIVE LA FRANCE! Let us all celebrate the storming of the Bastille which occurred according to Donald Trump in 1917 and marked the beginning of WWI. Huh? Could he possibly be more of an insult to the French? I hope to god they laugh him out of town. And in case you missed just HOW DUMB this president is, here's his shockingly ignorant take on history aboard Air Force One on his way to Bastille Day celebrations. God help us.

From Harper's Weekly this week.  You Cannot Make This Stuff Up.

July 13, 2017
By Joe Kloc     

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of former vodka salesman and current U.S. president Donald Trump, was reported to have met during his father's campaign with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with alleged ties to the Kremlin who once referred to liberalism in the United States as a "fucking mental disorder." Donald Jr., who once said he prefers "Moscow over all cities in the world," issued a statement claiming that the meeting was "primarily" about "the adoption of Russian children." White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who previously said conversations between Russian officials and associates of the Trump campaign "never happened," told a journalist that "nobody said the word 'opposition research,'" and Donald Jr. tweeted that he went to the meeting with Veselnitskaya in order to "hear information about an opponent." White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the meeting was a "big nothing burger," an ethics lawyer for the administration of former president George W. Bush said the meeting "borders on treason," and Donald Jr. hired as legal representation Alan Futerfas, a criminal attorney who has previously represented associates of the Gambino and Genovese crime families, which in the late 1970s sold Trump the overpriced concrete used to build Trump Tower, where the meeting between Donald Jr. and Veselnitskaya occurred. Donald Jr. learned from reporters that emails he had sent about the meeting would be published; issued a second statement claiming that the meeting was organized by "an acquaintance" from the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump once owned, along with the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and a modeling agency accused by a former employee of practicing "modern-day slavery"; and then revealed that the acquaintance was Rob Goldstone, the agent of Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani pop star whose video for the song "In Another Life" featured Trump firing him and whose father is Aras Agalarov, a billionaire who owned the Moscow venue where Trump held his 2013 Miss Universe pageant and who once planned with Trump to build a Trump-branded tower in Russia, a project that according to Goldstone was led by Donald Jr. until it was canceled because "the economy tanked in Russia" as a result of U.S. sanctions, which Trump's former national-security adviser unlawfully discussed with the Russian ambassador while he was a member of Trump's transition team. Donald Jr. wrote that his father, who days before the meeting with Veselnitskaya had told the press he would soon announce incriminating information about his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, "knew nothing of the meeting"; and that during the meeting he received "no meaningful information" to help his father, who then did not announce any incriminating information about Clinton. Donald Jr. wrote of the meeting that Veselnitskaya's "true agenda" was to discuss the Magnitsky Act, a piece of U.S. legislation that imposed sanctions on 18 Russian officials believed to be responsible for the death of an accountant who uncovered a $230 million money-laundering scheme; that he "advised" Veselnitskaya that "her concerns were better addressed if and when" Trump "held public office"; and said that he had "no further contact" with Veselnitskaya, who continued after the meeting to represent Denis Katsyv, a Russian businessman who was charged in Manhattan with participating in the money-laundering scheme, until the case was settled out of court after Trump ascended to the presidency and fired the prosecutor. Veselnitskaya said that she never offered Donald Jr. any information on Clinton and denied that she worked for the Russian government, it was reported that U.S. prosecutors had evidence Veselnitskaya told a Moscow lawyer working to expose the money-laundering scheme that he would face consequences from Russia's intelligence agency if he continued his efforts, and a lawyer who claimed to have discovered new evidence of the money-laundering scheme said that his fall from the fourth-floor balcony of his Moscow home two months before Katsyv's case was settled was "no accident." Donald Jr. said that he wanted to be "transparent," then tweeted copies of his email exchanges with Goldstone, which revealed that Goldstone had offered to set up a meeting between Donald Jr. and a "Russian government attorney"; that the attorney would provide "information" to "incriminate Hillary Clinton," to which Donald Jr. replied "I love it"; that Goldstone said he would "send the names" of the people attending the meeting ahead of time to Donald Jr., who later claimed he "did not know" Veselnitskaya's name before the meeting; that Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who Donald Jr. had claimed attended the meeting without knowing what it was about, received the emails; and that Donald Jr. attended the meeting about two weeks before he said that the Clinton campaign's claims that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russia were "lies" that were "so phony" and "disgusting." Republican senator Orrin Hatch said Donald Jr. is a "nice young man," and Donald Jr. said he was "in the learning curve" when he accepted assistance in writing from the Russian government for his father's U.S. presidential campaign via an email exchange with Goldstone, who was a former judge for Miss USA and who once wrote that when an "idiotic child" falls into the hands of a 440-pound gorilla, he should be "shot." 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Teach a Pig to Sing?

"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."
Robert Heinlein

(Thanks to Gill for that one.)

I simply cannot process that Ivanka (with a head of hair that needed washing– a little stressed, Ivanka? In maybe just a wee bit over your head?) sat in for Daddy, right there between May and Xi at the table, while Daddy was canoodling with Putin. What can possibly be next??  And don't these two look chummy!  Note Putin's "thumbs up". Someone save us.

And there's this from BuzzFeed:

"Tillerson said that Melania Trump came in at the one-hour mark to try and get the meeting finished, but they all kept talking. Good times.
"Some experts downplayed the impact of not having a notetaker in the room."
I'm thinking a little time for Putin next to Melania (or Melanoma, as she's often called) was part of whatever 'deal' Trump made.  So now it's wife sharing on diplomatic jaunts?

And what must the other world leaders have thought, Trump essentially dissing them in favor of time with his bromance Putin? Just LOOK at the expression on Putin's face in the press photos of him and Trump. Smug, satisfied he has got what he wanted. Nothing like giving the rest of the world the old middle fingers, eh boys? Ah, the old days. When men were men. Or rather when boys were boys and NOT PRESIDENTS.
It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Senator King's "Shift and Shaft"


A surprisingly coherent and sharply detailed, insightful analysis of the health insurance debate. And it's health INSURANCE, not health CARE we're discussing. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chris Hedges: America as Tinderbox?

This interview is a few years old, but Hedges' prescient points are even more pertinent today as the fury smoldering out there among the people intensifies and reaches a breaking point. Will it? Or will the circus simply continue to entertain, until there is no bread.  Hedges warnings are essential about the possible public response to the "corporate coup d'etat" that is America in 2017. We have no more deeply committed thinker than Chris Hedges. A deeply spiritual, honorable man who stands tall in the face of truth.

I Got to Laugh to Keep From Cryin'

Sorry!  Here's a link to the video. Treat yourself. It's wonderful!

 I was grateful to have that little comedy to cheer me up this morning, but can't help but wonder how much worse things can get, will get, if this DC madness continues for 6 months, a year, more? It's strictly Down-the-rabbit-hole stuff every day, no end in sight. Black is white and up is down. If the citizens who voted for the GOP for the last 20 years fail to awaken from their wilful stupor, we're doomed. Because the Democrats are the party of Wishful Thinkers, like Mr. Leonhardt below, who simply are too nice to see that the New GOP nutjobs do not and will never play nice. Kinda makes you wish Jesus would come back and smite these fekkers good.

David Leonhardt's bit in the NY Times this morning wherein he "hopefully" expresses his wish (wishfully, that is) that Republicans might yet come to Jesus and stop being so damned stingy prompted some of the strongest, clear-eyed responses I've read in months.

Here's a sampling:

"As long as this neighbor versus neighbor attitude dominates the political landscape the masses will be the loser. They more politicians can play one group against another nothing will get accomplished accept the rich will get richer and the poor poorer. Citizens of the US don't seem to get it. Until they do they will suffer in this morass."


And from Don Shipp,

Homestead Florida 2 hours ago

"This bill is a moral Rubicon. It offers the clearest moral choice of any piece legislation since the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Any Senator who votes to cut 22 million poor and disadvantaged Americans from basic health care, defund planned parenthood, and raise the maximum allowable limit on senior citizen health premiums by 67%, in order to fund a sordid $800 billion dollar plus, tax cut for the wealthy, is guilty of a shameful political crime against the most vulnerable Americans. People will die prematurely if this bill passes.The ethically squalid, secret process, orchestrated by Mitch McConnell's "Baker's Dozen" was the epitome of political cynicism and only adds to the infamy of this legislation."

Thank you, Mr. Shipp, that summarizes things nicely.
What a shitshow we are living. 

Oh, the Horror!

Oh, and pulleese! Do NOT try and tell me Susan Collins is moved with compassion for her fellow Mainers. If you call her office, they'll inform you she's for dumping the Medicaid program on the states. Behind the scenes she has her eye on the next race for governor of this shameful state with its mad, vengeful current fascist provincial governor and milque toast legislature. There have been any number of things a woman of 'conscience' could have done in her position this year to stop the Trump Runaway Train; none of which she did when given the opportunity.

She's as shameless as the rest of them.