Saturday, July 21, 2018

Updating Godwin's Law

Does Godwin's law need to be updated? Yes, I think it does given that we live in an age with Donald Trump and his insanely irrational supporters. Thankfully, Mike Godwin himself agrees as well.

By all means cite GL if you think some Nazi comparison is baseless, needlessly inflammatory or hyperbolic. But Godwin’s Law was never meant to block us from challenging the institutionalization of cruelty or the callousness of officials who claim to be just following the law. It definitely wasn’t meant to shield our leaders from being slammed for the current fashion of pitching falsehoods as fact. These behaviors, distressing as they are, may not yet add up to a new Reich, but please forgive me for worrying that they’re the “embryonic form” of a horror we hoped we had put behind us.


The "Thought" Process of a Trump Supporter

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Putin Supplies Trump's Montenegro Talking Points

During an interview with Trump that aired Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked him why the U.S. should abide by the rules of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and defend Montenegro if it is attacked.

“Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?” Carlson asked. “Why is that?”

“I understand what you’re saying,” Trump replied. “I’ve asked the same question.”

“Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people … they have aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III.”
Now, before Helsinki Trump had never given Montenegro a single thought. Trump only asked himself that question because Montenegro is one of Putin's pet peeves: Russia engineered a failed coup in Montenegro in October 2016. American never really heard about it because it was at the height of our election campaign. That wasn't an accident.

So why Montenegro, and why now? Because of the meeting in Helsinki, where Putin fed Trump new instructions. I can just imagine how it went down:
Putin [staring intently into Trump's porcine little eyes]: Repeat after me: The people of Montenegro are very aggressive. They are arresting my spies and coup plotters and I can't have that. You don't want to start WWIII over a tiny country that nobody cares about.

Trump [porcine little eyes glazed over in hypnotic trance]: The mountain negroes are very aggressive... The mountain negroes are spies and want to start World War III... Nobody cares about mountain negroes....
The details of Putin's coup attempt in Montenegro:
In October 2016, for the day of the parliamentary election, a coup d'état was prepared by a group of persons that included leaders of the Montenegrin opposition, Serbian nationals and Russian agents; the coup was prevented. In 2017, fourteen people, including two Russian nationals and two Montenegrin opposition leaders, Andrija Mandić and Milan Knežević, were indicted for their alleged roles in the coup attempt on charges such as "preparing a conspiracy against the constitutional order and the security of Montenegro" and an "attempted terrorist act."

In June 2017, Montenegro formally became a member of NATO, an eventuality that had been supported and opposed by approximately same share of the country′s population and had triggered a promise of retaliatory actions on the part of Russia′s government.
Montenegro is a small country that was part of Yugoslavia. After Yugoslavia split up, Montenegro and Serbia formed a loose federation. In 2006 Montenegro voted for independence, splitting from Serbia, a Russian puppet state. Since independence Montenegro has aligned itself with the west, the United States and NATO. They use the euro. They want to be a free, modern democracy and not a client of Moscow.

Putin is trying to rebuild Russian hegemony country by country. In 2008 he invaded and occupied part of Georgia. In 2014 he took Crimea and has occupied the eastern part of Ukraine. He shot down an airliner heading to Amsterdam. He interfered in the Brexit vote, the American election, and in other elections all across Europe. He's already got countries like Serbia and Belorussia under his thumb, and is angry that Montenegro got away.

And in case you're wondering why a Slavic country has a name like Montenegro, it is Venetian for "black mountain." The native name of the country is Crna Gora (Црна Гора, pronounced tsrna gora), and the official language is Crnogorski, a dialect of Serbo-Croat.

It is no accident that Montenegro has become the flash point just now. Putin knows how racist and ignorant Trump and his followers are, and knows how to pull their strings. He knows they would be outraged that the United States might go to war to defend negroes. So Putin put the Montenegro bug in Trump's ear.

With the arrest of Maria Butina, it is clear that Russia is doing the same thing in the United States that they did in Montenegro: sending over agents, seducing political activists, recruiting allies in the Republican Party and the NRA.

The only difference is that the Montenegrins managed to repel the Russian coup, while the Americans just let it happen.

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).