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.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Opera vs. Trump (Rossini Edition)

Sheer genius!!!! Grazie!!

And then there's this, from Harper's Weekly:

June 6, 2017
By Joe Kloc     

U.S. president Donald Trump, whose golf course in Ireland once requested permission from local authorities to build a wall to protect against sea-level rise, pulled out of the Paris climate agreement; defended the decision by saying he was elected not by Paris but by Pittsburgh, a city he lost in 2016; and proclaimed June to be National Ocean Month. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump was the "best messenger" for his administration, and a poll found that 61 percent of Americans think Trump hurts his administration when he speaks. Trump asked his Twitter followers to figure out the "true meaning" of a word he invented as part of a sentence fragment he tweeted the previous night, Trump's communications director resigned, four candidates asked to fill the job opening told the White House they did not want to be considered, and other potential candidates equated the job to "career suicide" and "a horrific bungee-jumping accident." One White House official issued a statement saying that Trump had a "magnetic personality" and "exuded positive energy," and another White House official told a reporter that Trump had become "glum," gained weight, trusted no one, and "now lives within himself." 

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is currently a person of interest in the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign for allegedly attempting to establish a secret communication channel between the Trump Administration and the Kremlin, was reported to have met in December with Sergey Gorkov, a former FSB classmate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who later appointed Gorkov as head of the state-owned VneshEconomBank, which was sanctioned by the United States and later the European Union in 2014. The White House said the meeting between Gorkov and Kushner covered diplomatic issues, and Gorkov said it was a business meeting. Trump tweeted a news story claiming that anonymous sources say Kushner did not attempt to set up communications with Russia, and Trump also tweeted that it is "very possible" stories citing anonymous sources are "made up." 

A Republican congressman from Nebraska refused to say whether people were "entitled to eat," Veteran's Affairs secretary David Shulkin said the aim of reducing the number of homeless veterans to zero was not "the right goal," and a Gallup poll found that more than half of those living in military communities in the United State now disapprove of Trump, who once compared his efforts to avoid sexually transmitted diseases to those of "a soldier going over to Vietnam." Three men in London drove a van into a crowd, exited the vehicle, and attacked patrons of a nearby market, killing seven people; and Trump tweeted in response to the attack that it was time to "get down to business" and then went golfing for the 23rd time since he took office. A Democrat in Iowa withdrew from a race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives because she had received death threats, and a Republican state representative in Texas threatened to shoot his Democratic colleague. A G.O.P. county chair in Oregon recommended that Republicans employ private militias, and a former Trump campaign official was sentenced to seven years in prison for organizing an armed militia to aid in a standoff against the U.S. government. 

A conservative radio host called for "a more violent Christianity," a noose was found at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, a white man in California shouted racial slurs at a black man and then attacked him with a machete, a white man shouting racial slurs ran over two members of the Quinalt tribe with a monster truck, and a white man riding a Portland train drank sangria while shouting racist slurs at a woman wearing hijab, then stabbed to death two people who attempted to intervene. "I'm sorry the world is so cruel," said a bystander to one of the dying men.

Seriously, you cannot make this shit up. As an antidote, I've taken to reading early Le Carre and just finished rewatching all seven seasons of The Sopranos. These just feel like appropriate responses to the madness.  A kind of rearming for what's ahead?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

We Call Him Macaron!

Oui, Mac-a-ron ... 'cuz watching him dress down tyrants is sweet!

How Do You Spell....?

Google has produced a map of the US that displays the word spelling most often googled by state. Somewhat revealing...  Rhode Islanders had trouble with the word "liar"?  Talk about the dumbing down of America ... Hawaiians can't spell "people"? What's become of American education? Click here to see a big map.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nuff Said?

... did someone say "war dance"?

And what's this trip really about? Find out here,  as Robert Fisk explains. Already US journos, including the Times, are distracted by wishful thinking as they focus on the hoopla (see above) rather than doing a little good old fashioned digging... glad someone's doing their homework.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Because the Past Matters

From a NY Times commenter today:

J. T. Stasiak Hanford, CA 3 hours ago
James Comey has an extensive reputation as an honest, intelligent, competent and strong career prosecutor who stands up to power. This was well demonstrated in 2004 when as deputy AG he successfully resisted White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and President George W. Bush's chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr's efforts to steamroll then AG John Ashcroft into reauthorizing Bush's domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department determined was illegal. This circus was occurring while Ashcroft was seriously ill in a hospital ICU.

Comey was well respected by FBI rank and file as a strong and effective leader--there was no clamoring from the FBI for his dismissal. By all accounts, he was handling the Russian hacking of the Presidential election investigation well--he was the right guy for the job. One suspects that he was getting too close to the truth for Mr. Trump's comfort.

There is no new information regarding Comey's handling of the Clinton e-mails that would justify such an abrupt and unexpected dismissal. If Comey truly needed to be fired--debatable if not doubtful--this should have been done on the basis of the evidence at hand when Mr. Trump took office.

This dismissal reeks of obstruction of justice and could very well be an impeachable offense. The real tragedy is that The NY Times and its opinion writers squandered their credibility by their constant high decibel caviling about Trump's minor offenses. That wasted credibility is badly needed now.

Reply 12Recommended