« Why the Heck Not? – Weekend Open Thread | Main | Silence »

March 22, 2018


Don't forget the Biden/Trump cage match...

Though maybe that should wait until Joe is President, as it would be so much more seemly if they were of equal rank.

The Biden/Trump cage match is what inspired the post! No note or link because I didn't want to upset my ignorance about the whole thing.

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." - Karl Marx

But we have moved on. We're skipping the first time and going straight to farce. (Now if we just avoid tragedy....)

It’s the free market at work. Farces sell better than tragedies.

President Trump tweeted, “I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.”

Bolton as National Security Advisor. OK, now I'm seriously worried.



I thought Bolton was just the token US nutter employed to appear on late night BBC new programmes (almost ubiquitous on Newsnight a decade back).

Time to dust off those old duck & cover videos.

Not to worry, Nigel. Whoever Trump, egged on by Bolton, gets us into a war (wars, plural?), that will have no reason to target the UK.

Since when did reason come in to it ?

I think huuuuge foam clubs would be a better choice than fists for that clash of the titans. My bet is on Sepp Biden curbstomping Sum(p)o Orange despite the handicap of not being allowed to hurt the possum on top.

Bolton, when working under Dubya, dropped some hints that he was reading NSA intercepts of Dubya's political opponents.

But, not to worry, the Trumper's plans can be foiled if we all use ROT-13 encryption.

Could Congress pass a Declaration of Non-War against North Korea? How about a Non-Authorization to Use Military Force in Iran?

I'm not asking whether the current McConnell-Ryan collection of He, Trump's toadies ever WOULD do such a thing, naturally.

I'm just trying to suggest plot twists to the Great Script Writer in the Sky, or (and this is my current theory) to the adolescent demon who seems to have taken over the keyboard while the GSWitS is taking a bathroom break.



But I see we knew that. Bolton's office reportedly will be located in a bomb shelter hundreds of feet beneath the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.


Mueller will be murdered soon.

The Republican one, the one outside the imagination.

Holy shit, Bolton.

Well, ya know, what if we do go to war with Iran. Send some cruises and stealths Iran is no wuss they sink a carrier we bomb harder they do some damage...Trump drops a nuke.

It maybe ain't the world you think. Doesn't always escalate, used to be one side won. Russia and France do not sacrifice their populations. What for? Maybe not even Iran, maybe they surrender. Probably, faced with madmen.

Long been saying we are just now escaping Republican Rome analogies. Maybe American Empire is just now starting. The job is, as Trump understands very well, now about complicity. Do something so bad that every American will suffer its consequences. Hard, fatal choices maybe coming.

An American Empire, that acts like Rome or Britain or Nazi Germany, that actually murders and enslaves and terrorizes the world I have long thought is possible. We have such a military advantage, still good resources, plenty of young men and money...a compliant and demoralized but overworking populace. Of course unstable and immanently violent...constant war.

I still wonder if we underestimate the man with Mein Kampf as bedtime reading.

Bolton has agreed to at least trim the hated moustache, which disqualified him the last time with mp for "public service", the better not to tickle mp's perineum as millions of human beings are murdered by republican American vermin in Iran, North Korea, and Sacramento.

"Bolton has agreed to at least trim the hated moustache,"

So, he's removing the two sides, just leaving an inch or two in the middle?

Sounds plausible.

Trump seems to be picking up all the "As Seen on TV" bargains.

Stoking the armed republican base for the massive killing genocide of liberals in the pigfucking American homeland:



Just to be clear for the boggled, nearly everyone who writes for the American Conservative is a conservative AND republican.

Rod Dreher is willing to go along with nuclear holocaust, but only if the victims are confined to cross-dressers and those in transition.

And here I was, thinkin' "The Stupidest Environment Imaginable" was a direct reference to the Bolton news. But, nope, that's just a postscript. I dunno if it's a level of enlightenment, exactly, but I'm pretty sure I've achieved "unsurprisable".

Meanwhile, the CLOUD Act was attached to the spending bill and appears to have broad bipartisan support - at a time when privacy rights and unsettling relationships between the White House and foreign entities are front and center. Well, as front and center as it can be between porn stars and playmates.

Ohio republicans want to arrest and murder pregnant women and their doctors, but only after they rape them first:


Bonespur Trump and "I don't want to die" Bolton. Fitting successors to "lifetime pursuit" Bush and "other priorities" Cheney.

Stormy, Summer, and Karen ... Charlie's Angels to the rescue:


I'll wager at least two of them are registered republicans as well, unimaginable as it seems.

In fact, until mp fingerfucked them and then threatened their lives, they would have been up for high Cabinet positions, outside their areas of expertise of course.

That's how fucked up republican america is. God be with you and gesundheit, ya fucks.

I spit on elections.

Mattis is, for some reason, held in moderately high regard by even liberals, thought to be a leash in mp.

No, he's a murderous fucking subhuman anti-American ghoul, like all of them:



John fucking Bolton?

fuck you, GOP


i say biden and trump go for best out of seven in one-on-one pickleball.

regarding bolton - it was meant to be. two old white guys yelling at the world, it's kismet.

Holy shit, Bolton.

I endorse this message. Stocking up on out of the money stock market index puts. The time has come.

you know the thing where somebody goes into an art museum, looks at a painting, and says "hey, my kid could paint that!".

this is the government version of that.

We have such a military advantage, still good resources, plenty of young men and money.

9/11 was 20 guys (19 plus the no-show) and half a million bucks. you can buy a pretty good drone for a couple hundred bucks at best buy. put a camera and something that goes bang on it, and you've got yourself a poor man's intelligent munition.

put 100 of those in the air in any large US city and see what happens.

even with dick's and walmart out of the game, you can buy an ar-15 in pretty much any town in the US that will let you give the cops or your local national guard unit a pretty good run for their money.

if it comes to war, it may not be on our terms.

20 guys, half a million bucks.

this is the government version of that.

it really is.


and now we know Roger Stone's pal, "Guccifer 2.0", was in fact a Russian intel officer.


Interesting take on . Not comforting.

Sorry. Messed up the html. Meant to say:

Interesting take on John Bolton.

Must learn always to Preview.

OMG, sapient, that's a particularly terrifying piece, given that it's written by someone who has such relevant experience of the man.

"Must learn always to Preview"

Especially before going in the voting booth. Will RWNJ Amurrikans learn? Sadly, no.

A companion piece to sapient's:


Interesting take or confirmation of worst fears? The comparison to Cheney is chilling. I guess the big question is how deftly he can wield the dysfunctional machinery at hand. I hope he's stymied into paralysis by the whole mess - not the least of which is Trump's affection for Putin - and his tenure lasts exactly 1 Mooch. But it's a coin flip between that and him MadMaxing the apparatus into war with Eurasia.

Interesting times, anyway.

From November 15, 2016:

"Before the election, many people were questioning the wisdom (or lack thereof) of giving a temperamental, vindictive, and irresponsible man like Donald Trump control over America's nuclear arsenal. Those fears hopefully will never be realized, but letting John Bolton set the country's foreign policy does nothing to calm the nerves."
Five Horrifically Bad Foreign Policy Ideas That Should Disqualify John Bolton From Being Secretary of State: Calling for the preemptive use nuclear weapons, and other potential catastrophes from America’s mustachioed warmonger.

On that Digby's link the Count posted about Stormy, Summer and Karen, and how the female vote is ebbing away from Trump even in his base, I also think it will affect a lot of women (and maybe some men) to hear that in at least 2 cases Trump offered money to women after they slept with him. It makes him look bad because a) it's insulting and b) he's obviously not confident enough to think that women sleep with him because of his magnetic manly attractiveness.

and c) he's treating them like they're literal prostitutes - which implies that he has experience with prostitutes.

Yes indeed to your c), and that's the insulting bit, but you're right about the corollary cleek: why on earth would a devastatingly attractive man like Trump ever need to pay for sex?

I would pay a lot of money for someone to ask Sarah Sanders how many prostitutes Trump has slept with in his life.

More on Bolton:


Karen McDougal is not only a republican, she voted for mp, so I expect Mike Pence's wife is feeling a little fingerfucked her own self.

What does a republican evangelical ask for off the menu at a brothel?

Sucking, fucking, and bombing the shit around the world.

Oh, I know, I'm so terrible.

Kellyann ConnedFiveways' husband still has those alleged Clinton dic pics in his sock drawer.

"to hear that in at least 2 cases Trump offered money to women after they slept with him."

It's America. For every two votes he loses on account of the monetization of his notion of the nasty, he'll gain three in admiration of it, and a fourth after he has the three women murdered.

Rod Dreher gets a little nervous that when the nukes fly, he will be incinerated along with the trans folks:


The Mercers are running the government. I wonder how often they confer with Putin.

The one potential bright spot (definitely grasping at straws here!) in that article cleek links to: Bolton "does not suffer fools gladly." How long will he be willing to suffer Trump, in order to do the things he has always wanted to do?

Too long, for sure. But perhaps not all that long even so. Let us pray!

Do you suppose there is a way to convince Trump that Bolton is so high profile that he, Trump, is being upstaged? Especially if the talking heads on Fox start suggesting that Bolton is leading Trump around by the nose, it would push all Trump's narcissistic buttons. Here's hoping.

that goes for Kudlow, too.

all those TV blowhards probably aren't going to enjoy having to sit in the shadows while Boss Trump gets all the camera time.

pray for injuries

I think Bolton will manage. Kudlow will be out by this time next year, if not by the end of summer.

And now,

President Trump said he might veto the sweeping $1.3 trillion spending bill passed early Friday — a move that likely would lead to a government shutdown — because it does nothing to address the fate of young undocumented immigrants and does not fully fund his border wall.
Naturally, he blames the Democrats. But if the government shuts down because he vetoes the spending bill, history suggests that the country will blame him and nobody else.

he just tweeted that there will be a new conference at 1pm concerning the Omnibus

Remember when all the neocons wanted to go to war in Iraq so we could sort of shake the middle east up and see where all the pieces landed?

Now we're doing that to ourselves.

Other possible causes for (hyper-cautious) hope regarding Bolton:

He still passionately supports the Iraq War, a conflict President Trump has often criticized. Bolton is an avid free-trader, while Trump is slapping tariffs on trading partners right and left. Bolton is a virulent anti-Putin advocate, seeing him (correctly) in the mode of aggressive expansionists and destabilizers. Trump, of course, has a weird aversion to criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin or taking meaningful actions against Russia.
Anti-tariffs and anti-Putin. If he argues with Trump enough on those, he might be out the West Wing revolving door pretty quick.


Bolton anti-Putin?

Not so much.

and of course he's going to sign it. whatevs

He likes being unpredictable. What that actually means is that he's predictable, since he just does the opposite of what he says he's going to. What a fncking buffoon.

Now we're doing that to ourselves.


note to America: this is what "burn it down" actually looks like

Well, I was reading this today wherein I found a link to this, and I immediately thought of CharlesWT.


Now we're doing that to ourselves.

But fun, no? Bullshit theater replaces "shaking things up". I can only hope that Marty was right with his prognostication that Trump couldn't possibly fuck things up "too badly".

I'm going long popcorn futures.

Bolton and murderers in Iran:


There is more than one way to interpret this statement:


Well, I was reading this today wherein I found a link to this, and I immediately thought of CharlesWT.

I don't normally read LGM. Is it just me, or is it super insider-ish. I can't quite tell what people mean much of the time, like they have their own little dialect that I'm not familiar with. Maybe I'm just not clever enough.

I notice Warren Terra in the comments. I knew what he was getting at, at least. Doesn't he like us anymore?

Is it just me, or is it super insider-ish.

I enjoy the site, but stopped reading the comments long ago (too many of them too fast). The contributors tend to be a bit self-referential with all the directed hate against Jill Stein/Glen Greenwald type "leftists", but they never stop laying it heavy on the GOP and the right in general, unlike the JS/GG left that expends so much energy hating on the Democratic Party....so mutual dislike there. And don't even get me started on "Bernie-Bros", whatever those creatures are.

There is more than one way to interpret this statement:

"Shake things up" - not.
Brazen publicity stunt - yep.

So yes. More than one way.

I enjoy the site, but stopped reading the comments long ago (too many of them too fast).

Many of the commenters there are amazing. I find it really enjoyable to read. Almost always, there are people there with whom I agree. And the Glenn antipathy is music to my ears - they get him just right.

It does move quickly, and is sometimes hard to keep up with if you don't tune in full time. Which I don't usually, but sometimes it's hard not to because it's addictive.


I was thinking more long the lines that he won't be available to sign another bill like that or any other.


Thanks to Colion Noir (I'm sorry I have to know his name; perhaps it will be forgotten soon in an unmarked grave), the country knows the names of the 17 pieces of dead meat one of his organization's afficianados, armed with weapons the NRA supplied, slaughtered.

I'm quite sure the 17 dead would rather have remained anonymous and alive.

How can you not be uplifted by this?

Only the best people....

So how can these people be running around unindicted?


It does move quickly, and is sometimes hard to keep up with if you don't tune in full time.

It's gotten worse since they started using Disqus for comments.

It's gotten worse since they started using Disqus for comments.

The adoption of threaded comments seems to be the downfall of comment quality on a lot of sites. Especially those with a lot of commenters.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

We're gonna need more commas.

Heads up for the addendum:

To make room for the rights of the pro-gun snowflakes, the rest of you suspects shall have your natural right NOT to wear ID infringed. (My ID will read, "Hello, my name is Countme and haven't shot anyone ... yet, so what's the problem?") Your right to wear a non-transparent, opaque backpack is out the window. Your right not to be wanded on the way to gym class ... adios. Your right to have your body cavities unmolested by authority is up for pussy-grabs.

So how can these people be running around unindicted?

Personally, I'm hoping that they have been indicted. But, for the moment, the indictments are sealed. (Like which happened with the indictment for Papadopoulos.)

wj, you are truly my friend.

What I truly am is an optimist. ;-)

Good enough!

Yeah, that commenter "cleek" on LGM is really insufferable.

Not like the one that hangs around here.

cleek is a commenter? I thought cleek was a legend.

I was wondering whether the Kochs and Mercers are friends or rivals. I think friends.

But I wonder how far it goes.

The republican party wants savagely violent Civil War:


that commenter "cleek" on LGM is really insufferable.

he can be.

America wants a nuke up its ass:


Cripes, Channel 4 News are on fire! They're currently on (no link yet) with a whistleblower from the Brexit campaign who still supports Brexit, but who has gone with two colleagues to the Electoral Commission to show how the Vote Leave campaign cheated, partly by concealing spending way over what they were allowed, and partly by using a Data company AIQ heavily connected to Cambridge Analytica. And all of this is connected hook line and sinker to Theresa May's closest adviser, who has now outed the whistleblower (a Briton of Pakistani origin) as his ex-boyfriend. Caramba.

Gosh, Carole Cadwalladr was writing about AIQ in May of 2017, in an article I almost certainly posted here:


It was with AggregateIQ that Vote Leave (the official Leave campaign) chose to spend £3.9m, more than half its official £7m campaign budget. As did three other affiliated Leave campaigns: BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the Democratic Unionist party, spending a further £757,750. “Coordination” between campaigns is prohibited under UK electoral law, unless campaign expenditure is declared, jointly. It wasn’t. Vote Leave says the Electoral Commission “looked into this” and gave it “a clean bill of health”.

For about 40 years now, we've been listening to "leaders" tell us that government is the problem, there is no society, that the way to peace is well-managed wars, that the poor and underserved are living exactly the life they have earned, and that the way to prosperity is to let the most greedy and ambitious among us have free rein to do as they will.

It's a toxic and vitriolic point of view, but it's remarkably popular.

You'd think that getting bitten in the ass by it over and over would lead to people discovering exactly how profoundly screwed up it is. So far, that is not in evidence.

Reagan was a saint. "Poppy" was the friendly grandpa version. W was a steely-eyed missile man. Trump is the working man's champion and a guy who tells it like it is, to folks who need to get their heads out of their butts and hear it like it is.


When I was a toddler, my mother was concerned because I wasn't taking to toilet training quickly enough. Our family pediatrician advised her, "When he gets sick of sitting in his own shit, he'll figure it out". My old man thought that was hilarious, which annoyed the hell out of her. They're both gone but I still get a laugh out of it.

Apparently, as a nation we have not yet arrived at the point of being sufficiently sick of sitting in our own shit. I'm not sure what it's gonna take to get there, exactly, and I'm kind of afraid to ask. I'd like to think that whatever big old bag of mayhem Bolton cooks up might scare some sense into us, but I'm not gonna put any money on it.

Here we go, from merely crazy around the edges, to full-on delusional.

Best of luck, everyone.

Ha, I got it wrong. It was steely-eyed rocket man.

The woman can turn a phrase.

just realized, 15 years to the day since that was written.


The woman can turn a phrase all right, but all in the service of an argument which is wrong in every particular, and which I'm guessing most of us here knew then was wrong. And that kind of romanticisation of America (although God knows I'm vulnerable to it myself) is probably one of the things that has allowed things to go so very wrong with it.

show how the Vote Leave campaign cheated, partly by concealing spending way over what they were allowed, and partly by using a Data company AIQ heavily connected to Cambridge Analytica.

So, is there provision in British law to reverse, or nullify, the results because they cheated? In the US, you'd have to show actual tampering with the vote and results, not just illegal campaigning. Is it the same there?

So, which politician does this take on Zuckerberg remind you of?

Facebook’s business relies on three elements: keeping users glued to their screens, collecting data about their behaviour and convincing advertisers to pay billions of dollars to reach them with targeted ads. The firm has an incentive to promote material that grabs attention and to sell ads to anyone. Its culture melds a ruthless pursuit of profit with a Panglossian and narcissistic belief in its own virtue. Mr Zuckerberg controls the firm’s voting rights. Clearly, he gets too little criticism.
Somehow, I won't be sorry to see either one of them come to a bad end. Small-minded of me, I suppose.

wj, IANAL but I think not, I think it's the same as in the US. What I think it will come down to is the court of public opinion. So far, nothing has moved the polls enough to make it worthwhile for even the Remain Tories (of whom there are a vocal number) to raise their heads above the parapet to demand a new referendum. And enough progress in the negotiations seems (finally) to have been made in the past few days, according to the pundits, to make even some of those types give up any idea of Brexit not happening. And Jeremy Corbyn has been anti-EU for decades, so not much help from Labour either. I'm not hopeful (although I would still like nothing better than for the whole bloody thing to be reversed).

So far so good. The war has begun, and the world hasn't ended (alarmists, pessimists and prophets on left and right please note).

Written 4 whole days in. People get paid for doing this. (Sorry, bygones...)

So far, nothing has moved the polls enough to make it worthwhile for even the Remain Tories (of whom there are a vocal number) to raise their heads above the parapet to demand a new referendum.

I understand that the EU is still undecided whether the Article 50 notification can be withdrawn.

One of Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s campaign slogans, “Come down and participate”, has an air of desperation. Polls opened today for the three-day presidential election, with results expected on Thursday. Not that anyone is in suspense: the incumbent will win what is, in effect, a one-man race. Mr Sisi’s serious rivals were arrested or intimidated into silence. The token challenger previously ran a campaign to re-elect him.

[from the Economist's daily email newsletter]

It occurs to me to wonder. Dictators, from al-Sisi to Putin, hold sham elections to try to establish some kind of legitimacy. (No idea why they think anyone will be convinced.) But what would happen if those opposed to them actually turned out and voted for the sham opponent? Just thinking of the amusement of having a tyrant lose anyway.

But what would happen if those opposed to them actually turned out and voted for the sham opponent?

I suspect that, in many cases, they have backup ballot boxes stuffed and ready to go.

Oh, there are different possibilities. The sham candidate can refuse to accept the election for various reasons, 'irregularities' can be found leading to annulment, the whole counting could be a sham, so the actual votes don't matter, the winner could meet a sticky end (attributed to a member of the opposition, terrorists etc.)...

In Eastern Germany one of the camel-back breaking straws was the falsification of election results in one precinct where The Party got 'only' 95% of the real 'vote' which was intolerable for The Party's leadership. So they changed it to the usual 99+ % (after a compromise proposal of 97.X % got soundly rejected). Unfortunately, voters in that precinct had been conspiring and knew exactly in advance how many 'no' votes* there were and went public. Attempts to suppress it failed and it became a huge embarassement. Everyone knew that the elections were a sham but the '95% is not enough for us' displayed there was too much and was one of the ignition sources for the revolution in 1989.

*GDR ballots gave a list of candidates, a large YES box and a tiny NO box. Alternatively, voters could cross out individual names from the list (then the NO box was missing). Election results were announced as 'For the proposed candidates X% voted, against Y%'.

Dictators don't get to dictate by dint of their own personal brawny arms. They need loyalty from their lieutenants. One way to purchase that loyalty is to demonstrate that they have the populace sufficiently cowed to vote 90+% for the dictator. The dictator, the lieutenants, and even the populace may know perfectly well that it's all a sham, but the very fact that he can pull it off is enough to intimidate the populace and keep the lieutenants loyal to the dictator.

This is why dictatorships fall quickly when they do fall. Everybody hates the dictator but nobody has the courage to say so out loud. When somebody manages to say it loudly enough, the populace does not have to change its opinion of the dictator, but merely acknowledge it.

And that's where mass demonstrations like Saturday's can make a difference, and scare the crap out of tinpot dictators like Wayne LaPierre and his lieutenants in Congress.



And once again, the State of California is taking taking the administration to court.
This time, over the citizenship question for the census. Given their track record, I wouldn't bet on them failing on this one either.

The comments to this entry are closed.