Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh Is Completely Compromised

Donald Trump always brags that he picks the best people. But invariably the people he chooses have terrible judgment or are corrupt, or compromised in some way.

Almost two out of every three senior members of the Trump administration have resigned or been fired, a mere 18 months into this dumpster fire of a presidency. And most of the rest of them have serious ethical problems that will eventually get them fired (like Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross's insider trading scandals).

Even the retirement of Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy is tainted by conflicts of interest: Kennedy's son ran the real estate division of Deutsche Bank when the bank loaned Trump a billion dollars.

Now Trump's pick to replace Kennedy has his own scandal: in recent years he was as much as $200,000 in debt with three credit cards and a loan. Supposedly he accrued the debt by buying his friends' season tickets for the Nationals baseball team.

This doesn't pass the smell test. This guy makes $220,000 a year, and his wife makes $66,000. It's just not credible that someone with that background and that kind of income could get into this kind of debt buying baseball tickets for friends.

No one is that generous. Or stupid. And if he really is that stupid or generous, it is disqualifying for a seat on the Supreme Court.

No, there's more to this. My guess is that he not only has season tickets to the Nationals, but he has racked up huge gambling debts betting on his team, or some other expensive and compromising activity that Trump is trying to cover up with this bogus baseball ticket story.

This kind of debt should be a huge red flag: the FBI and the CIA would never hire someone who is so compromised, and has terrible economic judgment.

Kavanaugh has been trying to live beyond his means, with tastes and appetites that far outstrip his earning potential. He does not come from money, and the salary for a justice is not much greater than what he's making now. So Kavanaugh will likely fall right back into the same trap.

Scott Pruitt, the former EPA director, is cut from the same cloth. He resigned in total disgrace for spending outrageous amounts of money on unnecessary travel and security, using his aides and security detail to run personal errands (buying used mattresses!) and trying to extort jobs from chicken franchises and lobbying firms.

If we should learn anything from the Pruitt episode, it is that men of lesser means in the Trump administration are too easily swayed and compromised by material gains.

But that is of course why Trump picked Kavanaugh. And that is why his nomination should be rejected by the Senate.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The NRA Will Go Down With Trump

Now that Russian agent Maria Butina has been arrested for spying, I'm wondering how long it's going to be before she starts singing about the NRA taking money from Russian intelligence. We've known for years that the NRA views liberals and anyone else, quite frankly, who even mildly disagrees with them as enemies.

So, it's becoming clearer that the gun humpers have gotten into bed with Putin because they'd rather fellate their boom sticks than have allegiance to their country. I'm looking forward to the day that I thought I'd never see: NRA members arrested for spying and the organization itself dissolved for treason.

The Morning After Treason

If you want an explanation for Donald Trump's behavior yesterday in the press conference with Vladimir Putin, look no further than this video.

The people that support Donald Trump hate liberals so much that they would rather ally themselves with an enemy nation than their own countrymen.

There is now no doubt that President Trump is a traitor. He broken his oath of office and should be removed from office immediately. Whether he is denying the Russian attack on our country in 2016 out of hubris or because Putin has something on him is immaterial. Yesterday, he showed the world where his true allegiances lie.

They lie with Russia, not the United States of America.

Trump, of course, is not really the problem. It's the people that follow him. Even with Fox News yesterday blasting the president as weak, there are still people out there, like the woman in the video above, that are supporting this guy. These US citizens have been taken in by Russian foreign agents like Maria Butina (more on her later) by using their hatred of liberals as hook. They will do anything, even commit treason, to make sure that liberals don't get into power again.

As I have said many times, these people are dangerous and need to be neutralized. There may come a point when our intelligence agencies are going to have to look at Trump supporters as enemies of the state acting against our national interests.

Trump's supporters are the problem and the focus should be on them.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Trump Just Swallowed Putin’s Golden Shower

At today's press conference in Helsinki Vladimir Putin spewed a Golden Shower of denials of his country's interference in the 2016 election, and Donald Trump just swallowed it.

There have been dozens of indictments in the Russia investigation, including several guilty pleas, so there's no doubt whatsoever that the interference occurred -- the only question that remains is how closely Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russians, and whether Trump himself is compromised.

Back in June, 2016, the very same day Trump invited the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's emails, Russian operatives launched a phishing attack against Democratic officials in an attempt to hack their emails. Trump seems to think that if he commits treason in front of the entire world, couching it as a joke, it doesn't count.

If he had been joking, he would have pulled a Comey and said, "I was just joking, and I am shocked and horrified at the thought that this terrible invasion on American sovereignty might be my fault." But instead, Trump keeps parroting Putin's demonstrably false denials.

In parlance that Trump should understand: every time he says "Putin denies he had anything to do it, and I believe him," the entire world laughs at Trump.

They're not laughing because they think he believes Putin -- everyone knows Putin ordered the hacks, and they know Trump knows Putin ordered the hacks. No, they're laughing because an American president, in full view of the entire world, is giving a murderous dictator fellatio and swallowing every spurt.

Just today yet another indictment of a Russian agent was announced. This time it was Maria Butina, the honeypot who conspired with the NRA and other gun nuts.

At this point, even his die-hard supporters are acknowledging that they have a serious problem with Trump.

Trump claimed "both sides" were at fault in Russia's attempts to sway the election. Just like there were fine people on "both sides" when a neo-Nazi killed a woman in Charlottesville.

And then today Trump said, "All I can do is ask the question - my people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin he just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be but I really want to see the server but, I have confidence in both parties."

Trump doesn't see any reason why Putin would have screwed over Hillary Clinton to get Trump elected? Trump, who constantly fawns over Putin, is now best pals with Putin's other puppet, Kim Jong Un. Trump has started a trade war with China, Europe, Canada, Mexico and all our allies. Trump has cast the future of NATO -- a thorn in Putin's side -- in serious doubt. Trump has given Putin everything Putin wants on North Korea, Crimea, Ukraine, Syria, etc. Trump told the world at a press conference that he thinks the FBI, CIA, NSA and NSC are lying about Putin ordering the hacking and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

After today's performance in Helsinki, can there be any doubt that Trump is either Putin's puppet and openly conspiring with him?

The worst -- and best -- thing about Trump is that it has shown that our system of government has a serious flaw in it: the American president has too much latitude to do catastrophically stupid things when there is one-party rule.

In theory the Congress has the power to prevent Trump from making every one of the colossal errors he has made in the last year and a half. But they have abandoned their responsibility as stewards of this country's future because they're afraid of blowback from a few angry voters, or they're anxious to stop abortion, or get a business-friendly Supreme Court.

And the crazy thing is, we already knew how corrupt Trump was, even before the election: from money laundering for Russian oligarchs and the mob through his casinos and real estate deals, to his tax evasion, to his hiring illegal immigrants to do construction, to his Trump University ripoffs, to his sexual molestation of dozens of women, to illegal campaign contributions through the Trump foundation to buy off the Florida AG to get her to vacate the Trump University lawsuit in Florida, and on and on.

There are hundreds more cases like those: all corrupt, all criminal, and they have all been publicly known for decades, but somehow Trump just keeps getting away with it.

Helsinki just showed us why every voter in America should vote a straight-line Democratic ticket this fall. It's looking increasingly likely that the only thing that will protect the United States from a slow descent into a Russia-style dictatorship is a Congress run by the Democrats and impeachment proceedings.

But Republicans can short-circuit that. If they man up and impeach Trump themselves, or less embarrassingly, invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, they can regain the moral high ground and keep all the gains they've made.

And Republican voters should be okay with that. They've got what they wanted: the Supreme Court will soon be packed with conservatives who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Environmental regulations have been savaged. The wealthy have their tax cuts. And they'll have Mike Pence as president.

That last was how real Republicans held their noses and voted for a narcissistic scumbag like Trump: Pence was supposed to be the backstop. Diehard Trump voters will be angry, but they're a tiny minority of drunk, drug-addled racists and sexists who will get fed up with politics when their class clown president is ousted, and stay home on election days, continuing to collect their disability checks and watch the World Fishing Network.

Republicans should show Trump the same kind of loyalty he's shown so many people who've worked for him.

Fire his ass.

With Two Tweets, Treason...

Take a look at these two tweets from President Trump earlier this AM.

With these two tweets, Trump has effectively given up on defending this nation. We were attacked by a foreign nation in 2016 and he blames our own country.

He's a traitor. Pure and simple

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Monday, July 09, 2018

If Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987... Jonathan Chait asserts in this recent piece in the New Yorker, than I suspect that both of his SCOTUS picks will be nullified. Certainly, we have never really encountered anything like this in our history and I have zero doubt that Trump supporters and other conservatives will howl at the suggestion. Too fucking bad. This isn't politics. This isn't an overreach.

It's a recognition of reality.

This is just the kind of thinking and acting that needs to happen more on the left. We need to do the same shit the right is doing only a grander scale. If people don't believe it (regardless of whether or not it's true), say it over and over again until they do. In this case, we have the added benefit of it likely being true.

I know that many liberals are feeling like all is lost and another conservative is going to stack the court for years to come but I'm actually feeling pretty good. They've thrown in their lot with a mafia wannabe who is a traitor to this country. The GOP was effectively dead before this and after Mueller is done, there will be nothing left but the wind...

Quote of the Day (Dedicated To Right Wing Bloggers and Commenters Everywhere)

They would rather give a strident middle finger to Barack Obama, even at the expense of the air their kids breathe and the schools they attend. 

They’d prefer to “piss off Liberals,” even if their medical bills bankrupt them and businesses migrate away and natural disasters go ignored. 

Their white fragility is so tenuous, that they’ll give this President a blank check because he’s reversing any recent advances by marginalized communities whose gains they see as threats to their own. 

They’ll gladly take the bold type headline of “Trump Wins,” without caring to read the fine print where they are being hit the hardest and getting nothing trickling down.

---John Pavlovitz. 

 Sadly, sums up some of my friends and family...

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Brainwash Them At An Early Age

Here is a video that is certain to make you ill on a Saturday morning (see also: Germanys, 1930s, nationalism, fascism).

Friday, July 06, 2018

Rape Joke Attempt Turns Racist

By Any Means Necessary...

Here is President Trump's full speech from last night in Montana. I'll skip the insults of Trump for today because the snowflakes that support him take it so personally. Instead, I'm going to go right after the people that are cheering him here and around the country.

Based on what he says in this speech, it's clear to me that you are no different than the Nazi Party in Germany in the 1930's. You embrace lies, racism, insults to revered figures in our nation's history, hatred, anger, and a fear of the other. You are despicable people who have no business claiming to be American or patriotic in any way. You would rather love a man like this, in a fashion that is frighteningly similar to how North Koreans view Kim Jong Un, simply because he pushes your feels button. You are fucking pathetic.

You are enemies of this country and we are going to to take you down by any means necessary.

Will the End of Roe v. Wade Be the End of Trump?

For decades Republicans have been promising to get rid of Roe v. Wade, and ban abortion in America. But they never quite managed to do it.

Since the 1980s they have dangled a promise in front of Catholics and evangelicals: vote for us and we'll get rid of abortion! Abortion stills a beating heart! Abortion is murder!

Never mind that the death penalty also stills a beating heart, and lax guns laws kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Now, with the resignation of Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court, they seem poised to get rid of abortion.

But is it really a good idea for Donald Trump's job security to appoint a Supreme Court justice who will overturn Roe?

Everyone knows Trump is a skunk and a scumbag. Even though he denies all his crimes, his voters know he's guilty of sexually assaulting woman, tax evasion, laundering money for the Russian mob through his casinos and real estate deals, screwing over Trump University customers, yada yada yada.

But they voted for Trump anyway because they either A) don't give a damn about anything except kicking out Mexicans, and Trump hates Mexicans or B) don't give a damn about anything except abortion, and Trump promised to appoint judges who would ban abortion.

Once Trump delivers on that promise, and abortion is gone, why would any good Catholic continue to support this orange turd? He's an arrogant, selfish, amoral, twice-divorced womanizer who is unbalanced and out of control, loves palling around with dictators, and is a clear and present danger to world peace, the environment, the economy, the budget deficit, and the rule of law. And he insults the pope!

Before abortion became a hot-button issue Catholics were most among the most reliable Democratic voters. They are aligned with Democrats on immigration, the death penalty, gun control, the poor, and most every other social and economic issue. Evangelicals were essentially apolitical until Jerry Falwell trotted out abortion for them to rally around.

If abortion is outlawed, will Catholics return to the Democratic Party, and will evangelicals become apolitical again?  I hear evangelicals are getting pretty tired of being scorned for their blatant hypocrisy on Trump.

But, loyalty! His voters are so loyal! They'd stick with him if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue!

Nope. Sorry. Trump voters wanted to stick it to the man, kick over the beehive, poke the giant in the eye. Trump was entertaining, he was the class clown. When the joke gets old, and the bullying arrogance wears thin, and they're tired of losing their jobs and the high inflation due to the idiotic trade war Trump started, they will dump him. He has shown zero loyalty to the people who work for him, so why would anyone remain loyal to him once they've got what they want?

One of the leading candidates for the Supreme Court is reportedly a woman jurist, Amy Coney Barrett, who is an unabashed Catholic. Supposedly, Trump is tempted to name her to defuse Democratic attacks against her based on her sex and religion, putting a female spin on the "Clarence Thomas" maneuver.

But wouldn't it be the supreme irony if Trump nominated her to the court, she voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and was then the deciding vote in the case that tosses Trump out of office? She is a woman, after all, and has probably endured dozens of #MeToo moments at the hands of men like Trump.

Catholics and evangelicals made a deal with the devil when they voted for Trump. But they don't need to keep the devil and his demons around once they have served their purpose. Once Roe goes down, Trump and the Republicans may go down with it.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A Pattern of Systemic and Endemic Corruption

A wildfire in Pruitt's home state of Oklahoma
Scott Pruitt, who is under investigation for more than a dozen ethical violations, has just resigned from the EPA.

Pruitt treated rank and file EPA employees as enemy combatants, installing a $40,000 sound-proof telephone booth in his office so they couldn't overhear his conversations.

Those conversations were frequently with lobbyists and energy company execs who paid him off in a number of ways, including giving him a cut rate on a pricey condo in DC.

Pruitt also had his assistants and security detail do menial tasks for him on the government dime. He had his detail scour Ritz-Carlton hotels for moisturizer. He had employees try to secure a chicken filet franchise for his wife, and buy a used mattress from the Trump hotel in Washington.

This guy's judgment is abysmal. Who in their right mind would buy a used mattress from a hotel? Doesn't he know what happens on hotel mattresses?

In an administration that is larded with corrupt scumbags, Pruitt was arguably the worst. But the minute he was out the door, Trump hired another corrupt scumbag, Bill Shine. Shine was fired from his job as co-president at Fox News for the myriad sex scandals that happened on his watch.

Trump claimed he would hire the best people. But this administration has had a huge number of firings and resignations in just a year and a half: 61% of his senior staff have resigned. Clearly the Trump administration is packed with losers.

Why does Trump pick such turkeys? A number of reasons:

First and foremost, only losers will work for Trump. He treats his people like garbage, showering them with ridiculously overblown praise one moment, then stabbing them in the back and exposing them to national ridicule the next (Hey, Jeff Sessions, are your ears burning?). What self-respecting person would put up with that crap?

Second, the administration is in total chaos. Trump doesn't know anything about anything, but he thinks he can run the entire government by royal decree. Trump doesn't need any State Department employees to set policy because, he says, "I'm the only one that matters."

Third, there is no consistency or logic in the administration's policies or messaging. Trump will twit something one day ("HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II"), only to do a 180 three days later ("I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2"). How can you defend a moron like this?

It's a non-stop dumpster fire.

Fourth, Trump picks turkeys because of their corruption and baggage. Their scandals distract from his scandals.

The more we talk about Scott Pruitt and the mattress girl, or Bill Shine covering for Roger Ailes' sexual harassment, the less time we have to talk about Trump and the Russians, Trump's tax returns, Trump's sexual harassment suits, Trump's illegal use of Trump Foundation funds to buy portraits of himself and give illegal campaign contributions to the attorney general of Florida, etc., etc., because Trump's scandals are all old news.

Pruitt is the worst EPA administrator in history, but his replacement is even worse: Andrew Wheeler was a coal industry lobbyist.

Infamous for denying that climate change is happening, and that our use of fossil fuels contributes to global warming, Pruitt is leaving when all-time heat records have set around the world in the last weeks and months.

All-time high temperature readings recently occurred in Denver (105), Montreal (98), Ireland (90), Yerevan, Armenia (108), Tbilisi, Georgia (105), and Northern Siberia (90s), a full 40 degrees hotter than normal.

In Quriyat, Oman, the hottest low temperature (109) was recorded on June 28. Yeah, it never got lower than 109 degrees.

Oh, and a couple of months ago high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity burned hundreds of thousands of acres in Pruitt's home state of Oklahoma and neighboring Kansas.

Geeze, Republicans. Wake up! Your states are literally on fire and you keep supporting bozos who are setting them ablaze.

Why Compromise With The Right Doesn't Work

Space Force!

The Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

People need to understand a key difference between conservatives and liberals: Conservatives want their judges, their tax cuts and their guns and they DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHO DELIVERS IT. It could be a person who raped and murdered someone (they would call it fake news anyway). Conservatives also fucking vote.

Liberals, on the other hand, want their perfect ideological soul mate and will nit pick and hand wring while the US becomes a place where the Handmaid’s Tale is real, kids get shot in school every day and massive inequality is the order of the day. Worse, they don’t vote.

In short, conservative want it more. And that needs to change.

No SCOTUS Pick For Trump

Donald Trump should not get a SCOTUS pick as long as the Mueller investigation is going on. And if he is found guilty on any count, the Gorsuch pick should be nullified.

Consider that Trump is likely laundering money for the Russians through Deutsche Bank and worked with a foreign entity to tip the 2016 election in his favor. Such a person should not allowed to pick a judge who will render decisions on the law. Further, Trump has demonstrated on multiple occasions that he values loyalty above all else and thinks that Gorsuch and this latest pick will be on his side when (not if) things go south for him in the legal department.

I'm also wondering today about recent reports that Justice Anthony Kennedy's son, Justin Kennedy, may be connected to Trump's cash flow from Deutsche Bank. It's no wonder Mueller's investigation is taking so long. More and more information is coming to light...

More Of This, Please