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February 10, 2020

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Trump and Putin photographs side by side on every elevator and every billboard in America.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-the-f-prank-shows-how-some-russians-really-feel-about-putin-2020-02-10?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Better to have one of those ... not sure what they're called, but they have lots of tiny plastic prisms, so that you see two different images from different angles.

One of Trump, one of Putin. Same pose, same background.

Just a small rant and complaint:

Americans increasingly rate this as the best economy since the late 1990s, with a recent surge in optimism, even though many economic metrics show striking similarities to the final years of the Obama administration.

Endlessly, endlessly, people here on this blog complained about the struggles of the white working class and the economically anxious, and how people were left behind, and blabidi blah blah blah. People have finally learned, I guess, but I wish they had acknowledged the numbers in 2016.

I know, I shouldn't still be angry and sad. Trying to look forward, folks, but not looking backward is hard.

For Ugh:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/in-radical-move-mlb-may-expand-playoffs-let-top-teams-pick-their-opponents-2020-02-10?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

OK, I give up. Why don't they just replay the entire season?

American milks the fun out of everything and ruins everything it touches.

We are a ridiculous, exceptionally greedy people.

I know viruses who would make a better world.

We have no respite from elections.

Hockey, basketball, college and pro, payoffs out the yingyang.

Musk satellites blotting out the night sky.

24 hour news cycles, 24-hour sports and political shit talk. 24-hour stock markets.

Why only one fucking SuperBowl? Why not six?

Please, aliens, get here soon and irradiate the country.

There used to be a gorilla at the Pittsburgh zoo decades ago who would sit in the center of his cage and in full view of the crowds every ten minutes and all day vomit up the contents of his stomach and then lap it up. Repeat, no rinsing. Sometimes he'd break the monotony by masturbating.

His name was America.

Like him, we are all in captivity now.

Hah!

On gorillas, or chimps actually, my first friend antagonized one at a zoo so much so that he was hit by the actual apocryphal poo flinging - he was six (my friend, not the chimp). This experience formed the basis for the essay part of his Ivy League application. No shit.

Post script: he got in.

JDT, why did you have to go and just suck the joy out of spring training? :-(

After all, there's always someone with some daft plan to redo the Iowa caucuses season from some sport or another. You have to learn to ignore them.

John - my boys are excited for spring little league. If this keeps up I may have to start coaching.........

It's easy to confuse common with vulgar.
Odi profanum vulgus et arceo
(I write odes to the commoners among the CEOs).

on the subject of obnoxious zoo animals==the walrus in the Tacoma zoo can shoot spit about twenty feet. he's an enormous animal, about 11 feet long and mean. he's a little slow in loading up on ammo, so tourists can see him getting ready. the zoo keepers ibstalled a low plexiglass wall so the gane is for him to tire to fire before the crowd ducks, he usually gets at least a few viewers wet

the walrus in the Tacoma zoo can shoot spit about twenty feet. he's an enormous animal

A shoe in for the Republican nomination in 2024.

the walrus in the Tacoma zoo can shoot spit about twenty feet. he's an enormous animal

"A shoe in for the Republican nomination in 2024."

Running mate: Joe the Carpenter.

We are the oysters.

How surprised is anyone here about how fast Biden seems to have fallen? I can't really decide. Part of me is surprised, but part of me isn't. And I wonder if he can yet recover. (I suppose is depends on what "can" means. Is it generally possible, given where we are in the process? I'd say yes. Do I think he's up to it? That I'm less sure about.)

i'm surprised.

his initial support must have been wide but shallow - name recognition. and the Ukraine stuff probably had an effect.

Also a tenant at the Pittsburgh Zoo back in the 1960s (my high school girlfriend introduced me to this creature) was a Rhinoceros who would position himself facing the crowd outside his enclosure, and as the expectant crowd grew, would slowly turn and exhibit his hindquarters and produce a water cannon of urine aimed at the crowd, who would then scatter in delight.

(If I'm not mistaken, the Denver Zoo housed a rhino who exhibited this behavior as well, which makes me wonder if it was the same animal, shunted among foster zoos when one too many incidents occurred)

The rhino would actually wave his derriere back and forth to include the outer edges of the human observers in his, well, golden showers.

It was not unlike the crowds that gather around the geysers at Yellowstone and sit patiently but with mounting excitement awaiting the next scheduled emission of hot water into the air.

In both cases, biological and geological, the resulting huzzahs from the crowds are calibrated to the size and power of the streams.

If you step back (which I recommend in the vicinity of the walrus, the rhino, and the gorilla) and think about this, you can understand the beasts' attitudes.

Reverse the tableaux and put the humans inside the cage and the animals wandering about as free, but paying onlookers.

The human wouldn't spit, urinate, or vomit at the animals, we would shoot at them with high-powered weapons, skin them, tan their hides, dry, cure, and later consume their flesh, render their fat and blubber, and then put their severed heads on the walls of our enclosures and call it free range farm to table dining and resource utilization, and our current dietary scheme to boot.

Really, the rhino, walrus, and gorilla shows are pretty much what goes on at a Trump rally, except that in the latter case when the spittle, vomitus, and shit hit the fan, the crowds move in closer to get it all over them and then are interviewed on FOX News to accuse liberals of making them do it.

As George Carlin noted, chickens are decent people. You never see a chicken hooking a guy's testicles up to a car battery and turning on the juice, do ya? No! Ya know why? Because chickens are decent people.

And now for something completely different. David Brooks takes a ration, including from me, but this quite long read about the evolution of the American nuclear family is superb, especially in the depictions of the surprising origins of its current and successful progress to something, if not better, than just as helpful to societal stability and an antidote to the loneliness of the long distance individual American.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-nuclear-family-was-a-mistake/605536/

Huawei before Huawei:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/02/crypto

It's remarkable how the worst of America's ideas and inventions are adopted so readliy by the rest of the world.

We are the oysters.

Alas, so very, very true.

The David Brooks article is worth reading, and unusually thoughtful. He says this though:

"In a recent survey by the Institute for Family Studies, college-educated Californians ages 18 to 50 were less likely than those who hadn’t graduated from college to say that having a baby out of wedlock is wrong. But they were more likely to say that personally they did not approve of having a baby out of wedlock.

"In other words, while social conservatives have a philosophy of family life they can’t operationalize, because it no longer is relevant, progressives have no philosophy of family life at all, because they don’t want to seem judgmental. The sexual revolution has come and gone, and it’s left us with no governing norms of family life, no guiding values, no articulated ideals. On this most central issue, our shared culture often has nothing relevant to say—and so for decades things have been falling apart."

As to whether "progressives" (by that he means college educated Californians, maybe) have guiding values, etc., what's really true is that people who have resources will do what's logically most beneficial for their children, in the context of current social norms, will choose that route. Having children in a system that's socially supported is the path of least resistance for most people if they can afford it.

Most people have "governing norms of family life, ... guiding values, ... articulated ideals" roughly in keeping with other philosophical or religious values, and usually having to do with loving and caring for people to whom one is committed. Conforming one's behavior to accommodate caring for those people is the most likely reason for the family behavior of college educated people with resources. People without resources make similar kinds of decisions, but possibly with different results since they don't have the financial means to finesse problems when they arise.

That said, it's good that Brooks is giving voice to the idea that systems other than nuclear family need to be recognized and supported.

I recall having heard, years ago, about elephants in a zoo picking up rocks and hurling them at people that were annoying them.

With major-league accuracy and power. Those trunks have a lot of muscle and plenty a long lever-arm.

Now to train them to bean MAGA-hat wearers. Elephants are smart, so I bet it's doable. They'd probably appreciate the irony also, too.

Years ago, the orcas at Sea World in San Diego could make a pass along the edge of the tank where they performed and dump a huge amount of water over the plexiglass wall onto the first five or six rows of the audience. That might have been a trained behavior, though.

Now to train them to bean MAGA-hat wearers. Elephants are smart, so I bet it's doable. They'd probably appreciate the irony also, too.

Don Jr. will be there with a bazooka in no time. I'm surprised they haven't already opened up the zoos for him and his pals to go on safari.

Brooks is an ass. Progressives have no idea of family life at all? Because they are not judgmental? In other words Brooks can't separate a judgmental attitude from having ideas. It's outside his frame of reference that someone might have ideas--and live by them--while not being judgmental. How did this idiot get to be a pundit?

How did this idiot get to be a pundit?

By feeding many people's need to feel morally superior to those other awful people over there?

(That's when he's not feeding people's need to feel above all the petty squabbling those other awful people over there are always engaging in.)

How surprised is anyone here about how fast Biden seems to have fallen?

It was always obvious (at least to me) that a big part of Biden's standing in the polls was simply name recognition. In many ways, it's similar to the advantages of incumbancy -- anyone running against an incumbant first has to get voters to recognize him. (That's also, of course, why Iowa and New Hampshire are important: they're ways for those less well known to get on voter's radar. See Carter, Obama, etc.) Once the campaign actually got serious, his name recognition head start would fade. The first question was/is: could he stay ahead thru losses in the first two contests?

The real question is, how much of Biden's standing with African-Americans is name recognition? Some is probably his association with Obama. But how much is each will impact how well he comes out of South Carolina. If he doesn't just win thete, but win big, he's probably toast.

Biden's other problem is that he appears to be less actively campaigning than some of his opponents. That may have explanations other than age, but it does keep the age issue prominent (for him; not so much for his equally old but more active opponents).

Has Brooks talked to anyone under the age of 30 ?

(Confession, I haven’t got around to reading the article yet, so an genuine answer would help me decide whether to bother.)

How long before a re-elected Trump demands the power to declare guilty, as well as pardon ?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/justice-dept-to-reduce-sentencing-recommendation-for-trump-associate-roger-stone-official-says-after-president-calls-it-unfair/2020/02/11/

... and more surprise by how long Biden maintained his lead than how quickly he fell.


He missed his chance four years ago. And might have saved us all an ocean of ordure, had he not.

He missed his chance four years ago.

I can't argue with this. He may (or might, JanieM?) have given it a shot had his son not died.

Making sense of New Hampshire:

Mike Bloomberg took home an unexpected bipartisan win in Dixville Notch (with three write-in votes).
Note that one of those was in the Republican primary.

Suddenly, all becomes clear. Or not.

but Klobuchar won the bigger Hart's Location contest !

Extrapolating electoral trends based on sub-atomic samples of non-representative populations. That's what news coverage has become. (Still better than Faux News, however.)

the time must be filled.

That's what news coverage has become

I thought these eccentric mini polls were traditional ?

No one actually thinks there will be a Klobuchar NH landslide, do they ?

nobody i know of.

a Klobuchar NH landslide

That would be a solid third place finish. If she's way ahead of Biden and Warren, then yeah, that's a landslide for her at this point.

LOL.

Hart's Location is more or less Crawford Notch, basically a creek bed passing through the White Mtns. If you go up north in NH, and don't go by way of Franconia, you drive through it. Ever so briefly.

It is pretty.

Population in the 2010 census was 43.

There was a famous landslide there, but not one that will make a difference today.

THREE of the DOJ attorneys on the Roger Stone case have now either resigned or withdrawn from it, in just the past few hours. But sure, the President order the sentencing recommendation changed....

the President order the sentencing recommendation changed....

I do wonder why he bothered. After all, he's probably going to issue a pardon anyway (to keep Stone from eventually breaking down and testifying, after getting tired of prison).

Maybe just because he can. "What good is absolute power if you can't abuse it?"

THREE of the DOJ attorneys

now FOUR.

GOP: the fail that keeps on failing.

Well, if the intention was to drive out some competent and ethical attorneys, to make openings to appoint more incompetent hacks, then it must be accounted a success.

In New Hampshire, Klobuchar appears to be having a good night. But in this big Super Tuesday state, what I'm seeing is stories like this:
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2020/02/11/klobuchar-under-the-microscope-for-teen-murder-prosecution/

To the extent that negative stories matter, that can't be good for her. I wonder who is feeding this stuff to the media?

I'm gonna miss Yang. He was fun to listen to. Very interesting take on things.

So, with 95+% of the New Hampshire results in, what do we have?

  • Sanders got the most votes, roughly 26%. Which, I note, is way down on his results in 2016.
  • Buttigieg finished a strong second, just over 24%.
  • Klobuchar finished a strong 3rd, at 20%. Way above expectations.
  • Warren tanked, failing to reach 10%. At this point, she's going to need a spectacular finish no later than Super Tuesday to stay in the hunt.
  • Biden also finished under 10%. And maintained his record, across 3 Presidential campaigns, of never finishing a primary or caucus above 4th. South Carolina might break the string. But it's not a great record for someone running on "electability".
Clarity? Still an aspiration.

I don’t know that Sanders getting many fewer votes in NH this time is as big a deal as the commentators are making it out to be. A lot of that last time was probably a combination of protest votes against Clinton and/or a desire to see an actual contest for the nomination. This time I think a lot of people just want to know what sort of cheese will be on the ham sandwich.

I wonder why he bothered...

It establishes a precedent, and sends a powerful message - or rather a message about the raw exercise of power.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/did-donald-trump-just-get-roger-stones-prison-sentence-reduced
Let’s suppose that we had a President, and an Attorney General, who is not interested in the appearance or doing of justice. And let’s also assume that that President called up the Attorney General and said that his friend was going to get a tough sentence and he really wished that he could get a lesser sentence. And the Attorney General said O.K. What you seem to be saying is that nothing in that chain of events is illegal.

Aside from obstruction of justice, there is not anything that comes to mind that makes that overtly illegal......

And it is not as though the DOJ is not starting to follow presidential instructions on whom to target for prosecution. No doubt he’ll weigh in to get sentences increased, in due course....

This is how democracy slides into tyranny.
Today’s Republican party has no sense at all that the judicial system is separate from the political.

Matthew Yglesias on Sanders:

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/11/21120061/new-hampshire-bernie-sanders

Vox on Bernie in NH:

Jackson told me the campaign knocked on upward of 475,000 doors before its final get-out-the-vote weekend ahead of Tuesday. Last Saturday alone, volunteers knocked on 150,000 doors.

The total population of NH is a bit less than a million four.

Folks may object to his policies and/or "the Bros" but the man knows how to get out the vote.

Google translate is brilliant.

I was delighted to learn that this 미국놈들 translated as 'Americas'....
and split into its constituent parts, it becomes 'USA bastards'...

'Americans', dammit.

but the man knows how to get out the vote.

he knows how to get people to knock on doors.

but his NH victory was hardly resounding.

if his goal is, as his campaign says, is to draw new people into the process who will replace boring old centrist Dems... well... the 'centrists' kindof kicked his ass, twice now.

oWell.

"This is how democracy slides into tyranny."

We're there.

Slides are for kids. How bout a more active verb. "hurtles?" might do.

There will be savagely violent Civil War and the overthrow and execution of the conservative movement Deep Fascist States tightening their grip around the globe.

"Today’s Republican party has no sense at all that the judicial system is separate from the political."

This statement is voiced so passively as to not even reach the level of a yellow caution light at a school crossing as a Panzer tank division bears down on it at speed.

The time for being appalled and standing aghast at what is happening is goddamned past.

In fact, the republican party's very malignant willed agency is that the judicial system, which will be slaughtered and butchered, is the slab in the final morgue on which the thug conservative movement hopes to disfigure and dismember the corpse of the Democratic Party and liberalism and its legacy going back to 1932.
And that will be just the beginning. Remember, John Wilkes Booth is the founding father of today's republican party.

Nigel, I don't mean any of this personally toward you. Neither do I expect agreement from you.

Today's Republican Party has created a judicial system, a malignantly vengeful deep state justice system, that will place political hatred and vengeance against its enemies (they've provided a running list of their enemies for years; read it. It is legion. All but two commenters here, bc and Marty, are on it, and they skate on thin ice because their loyalties to the piece of dog shit thug are suspect as well, as in not total, despite their mouthing of his stupiditudes) at the behest of one fascist thug and in the service of enacting the totality of its policies (read that list too; they will fulfill all of it unless they are stopped now by all and every means necessary) in what was once America.

There are times in history in which the decent human instinct to hold ourselves to a higher standard than evil filth hold themselves to is a losing proposition.

This is one of them.

A word to Marty.

If in fact you actually believe that taxes are SLAVERY, and I doubt you mean that, it's just sentimental claptrap like your bullshit on these pages about the poor victimized Confederacy and the hurt feelings of the noble, traitorous enslaving South treated so badly by its conquerors.

But, I'm willing to take you at your word for the sheer absurdity of it.

So, let it be written that taxes are indeed SLAVERY. I take that to mean that the first cent of tax, of any kind, is as much slavery as the last marginal cent of tax.

I'm still paying taxes last time I looked.

Why, it's like tax slavery Jim Crow from where I sit.

I am ENSLAVED. You know what I do when someone attempts to enslave me. I fucking kill them.

What do you do? Whimper?

So send your deep state conservative tax collectors to knock on my door. Please send that stinking anti-American armed cuck Grover Norquist to my door to collect the taxes required to rent the Secret Service golf carts from the thieving, cheating, piece of dog shit whose entire life had been a mulligan bestowed on him by dupes and groveling dumbasses.

Please.

What I really look forward to is Norquist giving mouth to mouth to the baby he's drowning in the bathtub and calling on the government to protect him from ME.

I notice that as the cold, hard hand of fascism tightens its grip, vermin, who mind their own morally-neutral business most of the time, are behaving oddly, as they might before an earthquake or a meteor strike.

Rats are seeking shelter from those who are intent on fucking them.

Bugs and centipedes are skittering under my door seeking shelter from the gathering menace.

Cockroaches have abject fear in their eyes as their antennae pick up murderous vibrations on the move.

Carry on. Save yourselves.

Ham sandwiches could be our last meal.

I'll take mine with revenge served cold and deadly.

No doubt wj will have more reasonably useless words than mine about our prospects.

But maybe wj thinks he can fool them by not showing emotion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmPqOdWV3xo


https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/is-trump-stumbling-into-the-nuclear-missile-gap/

One morning we will awake to these twatted words issued from the ungrammatical thumbs of a murderer sitting on his solid gold shitter:

“Now I become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

"Why can't we use them?. It took me 90 minutes to learn everything there is to know about nuclear weapons."

46 billion dollars stolen from this slave. Will you be Spartacus, too?

Well, at least the republican party will be incinerated and vaporized as well, so it's not all downside.

if his goal is, as his campaign says, is to draw new people into the process who will replace boring old centrist Dems... well... the 'centrists' kindof kicked his ass, twice now.

What I've seen people saying/writing is that you can't expect Sanders to do nearly as well as in 2016 because the vote is split among so many more candidates. But when you consider that the moderates are splitting their votes, too, and that the other liberal, Warren, did rather poorly, the narrow win is still a disappointment, falling well short of very reasonable expectations.

For Buttigieg to come that close at the same time that his main rival, Klobuchar, did so well should be very worrisome for Sanders. That's my take.

While I'm not inclined to engage in the daily ravings, I am pretty sure I've never defined taxes as slavery. Although I've read that a few times here I believe. If I have it would require some context to remember why I said it.

For Buttigieg to come that close at the same time that his main rival, Klobuchar, did so well should be very worrisome for Sanders.

yup.

prollem is... splitting the moderate/traditional vote while the outsider rakes up plurality wins is exactly how the GOP ended up with Trump (before they all fell in deep passionate love with him anyway).

It was several months ago, Marty. You wrote it.

If cleek has time, perhaps he can find it.

The context was what it always is. Ya hates taxes.

splitting the moderate/traditional vote while the outsider rakes up plurality wins is exactly how the GOP ended up with Trump (before they all fell in deep passionate love with him anyway).

Is that a prediction of events, should Sanders get the nomination and win? :-)

Well, even here (where people actually agree with Sanders' views far more than those in Congress do) I expect folks will remain outside the cult more. Comes of too much real data from the real world.

No doubt wj will have more reasonably useless words than mine about our prospects

John, if you want to rant about how Trump (and his toady Barr**) are trashing the Justice Department, you might even find me agreeing with you. Ya just gotta pick your targets a bit. That interference on the Stone case is appalling. We can only hope the judge forces the Justice Department to explain themselves -- likely as coherently as Republican Senators on impeachment. And then goes with the original prosecutors' recommendation.

** Who'd have thought we'd reach the point of being nostalgic for Sessions? It's a reminder of how low we have fallen.

So if I pick a target, all I get is a "might".

Jeez, put some feeling into it.

The (D) vote is divided between people who are interested in more aggressive reform, and people who are interested in more moderate, incremental improvements to the status quo.

The first group splits between Sanders and Warren, the second between Butigieg and Klobuchar. Biden used to more or less own the second group, but he is just not a strong candidate this year, for whatever collection of reasons.

The (D) vote is absolutely unified in its desire to kick POTUS Trump the f*** out of the White House and then bar the door behind him. The differences between more progressive vs more moderate pale in comparison, and should do so. And, that constituency is actually a majority of the people in the country, unclear how that will play out as electoral votes.

All of the leading candidates are plausible presidents, and all of them are infinitely preferable to Trump. All of them.

In NH I figured Warren would do well, but I think Bernie just outplayed her ground game. Butigieg was strong coming out of Iowa, but Klobuchar had a great debate, so they split the moderates.

And nobody is really so strong that anyone can say where it will land. I wouldn't even count Biden out, there are some states coming up where he could do quite well and turn it around.

I don't care who is the (D) nominee. I will be perfectly happy to pull the lever for any one of them. I will have no hesitation whatsoever.

Four more years of Trump will change this country in ways that we may not recover from. We'll still have a lot of money and still have a great big freaking military, but the idea of a self-governing republic operating under rule of law will be thoroughly screwed.

If we end up with four more years of Trump based on a purely electoral advantage - i.e., without a solid popular vote majority - then the basic legitimacy of national governance is going to come into question.

So if I pick a target, all I get is a "might".

Well it rather depends on which target you pick, doesn't it? And whether you go with a scalpel or a meat ax. (Or, if you prefer, with a sniper rifle or a tactical nuke.)

I admit to a preference for dispassion, when possible. But rest assured that I can rage as much (if not as eloquently) as you on occasion.

Never bring a scalpel to a meat ax fight.

https://digbysblog.net/2020/02/the-purge-continues-elaine-mccusker-out/

No rule of law for them means me for me either.

EVERYTHING is now possible.

Can we leave innocent vermin alone for once and feed vicious malignant guilty republicans to the animals:

https://juanitajean.com/for-the-darkness-in-your-heart/

"none for me either" at 1:39

you know, goose ... gander

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/02/philippines-tell-us-to-take-a-hike/

Two bullets could solve that crisis.

How come criminally murderous despots get to fight each other and have all the fun.

I wanna play too.


The two pieces of right-wing dog shit agree on so much and model themselves after one another:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/10/world/asia/philippines-abs-cbn-franchise.html

Trump is watching this as he plans his moves to shut down CNN and the New York Times and much else in pig fucker republican America.

FOX News is the Deep State:

https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/cnn-legal-analyst-multiple-resignations-doj-fox-news-calling-shots

Kill and butcher and slaughter.

Evil can be prevented before it happens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B65iGsBrso

December 9, 2019 8:26pm "We Don't Need No Thought Control"

"Honestly, the only party that openly desires to enslave anyone is the Democrats.

Every policy is based on the government taking all the money and doling it out as they desire.

That's the closest thing to enslaving people any party gets."

Marty, you stated right there that taxes and government spending are slavery.

You might think you rounded off the sharp edges with the words "the closest thing".

The context is a lie about Democrats.

Like I said, I don't think you really meant what you wrote.

cleek had the best answer at the time. I've been sitting on my response for two months.

I'm a sovereign citizen too.

You wanna fuck with me, Sheriff?

https://digbysblog.net/2020/02/sovereign-citizens-win-big/

More:

https://crooksandliars.com/2020/02/bureau-land-management-directors-deference

Any local right-wing fuck who approaches me on federal public land will have his filthy hands full.

Just ended a brief FB back and forth with a guy I've known for 35 years. Topic was Trump firing Vindman et al, his argument was that Vindman and every other person testifying in any way negative toward Trump were just DC careerists looking to sell a book that they are going to write.

They "took their shot at the king" and "missed". The fact that they were (a) there in response to a subpoena from the House of Representatives, and (b) were under oath, was irrelevant.

I can assure you that he is a very, very intelligent person. Very. He's just got himself boxed into some weird corner so he has to tell lies, to himself and everybody else, to justify why he's there.

There is no way to make a dent in that kind of self-imposed mental blindness. People are just gonna have to figure this stuff out for themselves. Some will, some won't.

I'm not interested in shooting anybody, a la Thullen, so I'm going with ham sandwich. If the Martys and McKs of the world want to come along, fine. If they don't, fine.

Crazy reactionary nutjobs have always been with us. I'm tired of trying to have any kind of sensible conversation with them, I'm just going to try to find ways to work around them.

Trump is a crook. He is a toxic, malicious, vindictive, greedy, vulgar asshole, and has no business being POTUS. I'm not interested in debating any of that with anybody, if you don't see it already nothing I say is going to persuade you.

Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Right?

Spend money if you got it, go door to door, write postcards, blah-di-blah-blah-blah. Use the power you got and throw these farging bastages the hell out.

Trump is a crook. He is a toxic, malicious, vindictive, greedy, vulgar asshole, ...

So, one of the most transparent presidents ever. :)

I agree with you russell, for the most part.

But this: Crazy reactionary nutjobs have always been with us.

Of course. But they haven't had unmitigated and unashamed hold of all three branches of our government. Not in my lifetime. This is different from ever before, and much more dire.

I'm not interested in shooting anybody

I wouldn't know how. I have a feeling that a lot of us are going to be marching to a fate that we didn't anticipate.

He is a toxic, malicious, vindictive, greedy, vulgar asshole

More, he's an embarrassment to other toxic, malicious, vindictive, greedy, vulgar assholes. Many of them are at least competent at something. He isn't.

But they haven't had unmitigated and unashamed hold of all three branches of our government. Not in my lifetime.

2002-2004

https://juanitajean.com/sign-of-the-week/

Correction: I don’t WANT to shoot anyone. The Republican Party and its paramilitary forces among the anti-American population have threatened to shoot liberals of every race, creed and sexual persuasion and in fact have done so, and government employees, of which I was twice in my career. Their political operatives and the scum they elect run on platforms to shoot anyone who gets in the way of their malignant goals, and have been doing so for decades.

Any killing I do will be in self-defense.

All of Trump’s enemies should consider themselves the person he will shoot in the middle of Fifth Avenue, and for which he will not lose a single vote.

Try me, assholes.

“How did this idiot get to be a pundit?”

Give an idiot a pencil, a keyboard, and a microphone and the idiot becomes pundit, which I think was the founding principle of the internet as well.

Apropos of russell's 6:18, this BBC piece on how people actually change their minds:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20180622-the-surprising-reason-people-change-their-minds

Kristin Laurin of the University of British Columbia examined people’s attitudes before plastic water bottles were prohibited in San Francisco. The ban wasn’t favoured by everyone, but was introduced nonetheless. Just one day later, her team again tested public attitudes. Already, views had changed: people were less opposed. There hadn’t been time for people to change their behaviour to adjust to the practicalities of the ban. So it seemed their mindset itself had changed.

In other words, we rationalise the things we feel stuck with. It’s as though we free up brain space to get on with our lives by deciding it’s not so bad, after all. Laurin likens this to a “psychological immune system”.

We live in a retconned world. One look at the GOP should sink that home quite deeply.

I wouldn't know how

I could figure it out. I'd just rather not.

Georgia on my mind.

Here's a little something that may get JDT irate. Certainly it got me irate.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/02/11/puerto-rican-man-applied-license-georgia-officials-arrested-jailed-him-fraud/

Get jailed for fraud because you fail a knowledge test about Puerto Rico? A "knowledge test" which includes questions like who is the governor . . . for which the "right" answer is the name of a guy who left that office in 2001?!?!? Why am I put in mind of the tests that used to be used to keep black voters off the rolls?

Hey, chill, wj.

It's just white conservative anti-American confederate republican racists doing their thing.

True, we should have executed all of them when Lincoln was assassinated, but now we're stuck with them.

I can assure you that he is a very, very intelligent person. Very. He's just got himself boxed into some weird corner so he has to tell lies, to himself and everybody else, to justify why he's there.

This also describes someone I know, and love, and have known since childhood. She saw Trump (partly) for what he was at first ("an untalented, reality-TV personality"), but as soon as he won the R nomination she was all in for him. I haven't discussed it with her for a couple of years because I don't want the aggravation, but I have no reason to think her opinions and rationale (if you can call it that) are any different from those of russell's friend. It's really hard to understand...

It's really hard to understand...

fear is the mind killer

Surely, surely this cannot be true? I know we should be listening to russell's advice, and not letting ourselves be distracted by the constant and often trivial Trump noise, but surely this cannot be true?

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2020/02/trump-often-asked-reince-priebus-how-badgers-work-report.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RC_6teBS6o

Badgers should beware when a jackal and a rattlesnake talk about them.

Johnson has gone full Trump - didn't take long:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/feb/13/politics-live-cabinet-reshuffle-set-to-get-underway-live-news

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/13/sajid-javids-exit-leaves-boris-johnson-in-control-of-treasury

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/13/new-attorney-general-wanted-to-take-back-control-from-courts

trump-often-asked-reince-priebus-how-badgers-work-report

Clearly a misheard conversation, where Trump bellowed

BADGERS? BADGERS?!?! WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGERS!!

it has come to this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIyixC9NsLI

Here's a shout out to rapidly metastasizing malignant cancer cells and bullets as agents of disruptive change for the better in pigfucking republican America:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/limbaugh-spews-homophobic-drivel-about-buttigieg-after-receiving-medal-of-freedom

The doctor who deliberately fucks up Limbaugh's cancer (he faked the diagnosis to get the medal) treatment (it's not the tumors that are diseased, it's the piece of dog shit they are growing in that requires elimination) will receive the Medal of Freedom for his or her service to the country.

Please do not let Limbaugh have access to morphine to ease his pain.

Fucking horrible pain is what he deserves.

Come on, cleek. Doesn't that seem to you to be a little above Trump's intellectual level? Sure, it's a video. But there's all those words on the screen -- way more that he is usually comfortable with in a briefing.

“Trump also wanted to know if the badger had a ‘personality’ or if it was boring,” according to the authors. “An obviously enthralled president would stare at Priebus as the aide struggled for sufficiently placating answers, all the while trying to gently veer the conversation back to whether we were going to do a troop surge in Afghanistan or strip millions of Americans of health-care coverage.”

Alarming Trump mental-deterioration stuff aside, I was particularly pleased by the correction:

This post has been updated to include that badgers are friends with coyotes sometimes.

Unless the wheels come completely off (not out of the question) at some point there will be another (D) president.

Can't wait until he or she wears a tan suit.

And just think. If she's female there will be SO much more to criticize about her wardrobe -- no matter what she wears.

After all, men's clothing is so much more standardized. Wear a dark blue suit and a tie and you're probably good. (Although I note that Trump's tie has generated a certain amount of sneering. Clothing sniping isn't exclusive to Republicans.)

Warren just wears the same thing all the time: black pants, black shirt, solid-colored coat.

"Oooh! it's a RED day for Liz! Look out!"

Rather magnificent Rachel Maddow piece last night about the extreme danger to the rule of law and the democratic institutions of the USA:

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/with-the-rule-of-law-failing-under-trump-just-diagnosing-the-problem-isn-t-enough-78691397989?cid=sm_tw_maddow

If only I felt she wasn't just preaching to the converted (or to the choir, as I think you guys say).

Republican fascist filth love them some tunics.

https://digbysblog.net/2020/02/banana-republic-peel-trips-bill-barr/

I have a premonition regarding the next footwear style they are going to adopt in which to do their funny walks.

This bears watching:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-fbi-makes-a-bizarre-claim-about-pro-choice-terrorism

They are putting in place the authoritarian government infrastructure, on behalf of government-hating conservatives, to enforce the nationwide outlawing of abortion and persecute and prosecute all resistance to their regulatory junta.

They will arrest and execute all abortion providers and jail all women and possibly execute who seek successfully seek abortion.

Birth control will be next.

There is a reason Trump and big-haired evangelical men in their private rapey lives bugger their women instead of having what passes for normal sex in the Bible.

Jesus said "suffer all the children to come onto me. Hold the condoms."

In Ohio, gynecologists and obstetricians fear the new legal regime the filth are attempting to legislate, because women will die.

It will be murder and it will be avenged.

Conservatives will have to hide behind government national security to reach their ends.

Just to throw a spaniard in the works, I'm not so hot on abortion (that's what you call choice), but Roe versus Wade must stand and abortion must remain legal.

Otherwise, only republican mistresses, wives, and daughters will have access to abortion.

Here's a really cute approach to dirty tricks on the immigration front.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-trump-administrations-kafkaesque-new-way-to-thwart-visa-applications/2020/02/13/190a3862-4ea3-11ea-bf44-f5043eb3918a_story.html

I was particularly taken with the one where someone with only 3 siblings got rejected because they left blank the available space to name a 4th one. Although the one where someone who has no middle name (like me) was rejected for leaving that space blank, that hit closer to home. Apparently the desire is to have a large population whose legal middle name is None.

I wonder how long before they decide that too many folks who are being granted residence for helping the police (which is who is being targetted here) have picked up on this trick. And start rejecting them for "falsifying" their applications by claiming "None" or "N/A" as a middle name. And just think, they could apply that approach to any Federal form submitted by someone they don't like.

from wj's cite:

It’s not clear what problem this new policy was intended to solve.

Actually, it is clear. This administration doesn't want poor people, brown people, non-Christian people, or people from shit-hole countries coming here.

Brown Hindus from south Asia are maybe OK if they can code.

They are going to make it as difficult for those people to come here as they possibly can. Including by defying the law and just kicking people who actually have a legal right to be here the hell out.

The arbitrariness of this particular regulation is a feature, not a bug. If you can't figure out what the process is supposed to be, or if the process itself doesn't a lot of sense, you're that much more likely to get it wrong. Which will result in your being excluded.

They don't like poor people, brown people, non-Christian people, or people from shit-hole countries. They don't want them to come here.

Full stop.

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