Really out loud


As you have heard, last night the Senate voted down the umpteenth effort to kill off the ACA and several million Americans along with it.  People are celebrating, but I know they’ll just try it again, possibly as soon as next week.  McConnell and Ryan are acting as if their lives depend on it, after all; maybe someday we’ll find out why.

At this point it can’t be just a deep-seated hatred of Obama and his achievement that’s motivating them (although it is certainly one of Trump’s major motivations).  It has to be something more, and it has to be something to do with money; otherwise, why try repeatedly over a course of years — not to mention just the last several days — to push through a repeal with nothing but empty and dangerous nonsense to replace it?  Why all the secrecy?  Why induce senators to vote on something they haven’t even read?  Heck, just before the vote last night, which was minutes after the “replacement” was finally revealed, some senators said they were voting for it even though they hated it.

That.makes.no.fucking.sense unless there’s someone waving money at them, hard.  Or else, someone is threatening them.

But as I said we won’t find out what’s pushing this extreme behavior for a while, if ever.  Mensch has been chiming in with her fan-fic, crediting McCain and his buddy Graham with a sweet little patriotic conspiracy where they both voted to confirm Sessions and split their votes on the healthkill bill.  This was necessary so they wouldn’t blow their cover, and OF COURSE it’s top secret!

No.  Try again.  They are who they are — McCain is nothing if not unpredictable — and they did what they did.  I will never believe otherwise unless I hear it from their own mouths.

In the meantime, something far more illuminating has happened.  In fact there were four things:

(1) the Joint Chiefs of Staff has openly defied Trump on his new zero-tolerance policy for transgender soldiers/sailors.  It would appear that the generals are (to an extent) turning on Trump.  This is something I’ve never seen happen before in my several decades of life.

(2) Congress has passed a veto-proof extension (and, I think, a toughening) of the sanctions on Russia.  It’s on Trump’s desk right now, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s passed.  There is nothing he can do about it.  He probably doesn’t totally grasp that there’s nothing he can do about it, but he’s stuck with it.

Putin is already responding by throwing U.S. diplomats out of Russia; that’s fine because now there can be no more talk of the U.S. giving Russian compounds (on U.S. soil) back.  I predict Trump will try, anyway, simply because it’s within his control and he may see it as a way to save his considerable ass with Putin.  (No I don’t believe he’s actually done this already, but I may be wrong; if he has, he’s screwed either way.)

(3) More reps and senators are now talking openly about Trump and Russia on the floor of the House and Senate (and/or in the hallways) and refusing to be hushed.  It’s clear that what we’re hearing, they’re hearing — which means it isn’t “fake news” — and at least some of them are as fed up as we are.

(4) Lindsay Graham, for what he’s worth, is apparently cooking up a bill that will prevent Trump from dismissing Special Counsel Robert Mueller by shouting “you’re fired!” just like he used to on his TV show.  There has also been talk of a bill in the House that would prevent Trump from unilaterally starting a war, but I don’t know what happened with that.  Presidents were never supposed to be able to do that anyway; not that they haven’t — and that’s the problem, particularly with someone as desperate to cause a distraction as is Trump.

All in all it looks like the wheels are falling off, not only for Trump but for the entire Republican party.  I refuse to guess how much longer this is going to take.

I had predicted that things would start happening after June 30; it appears I wasn’t far wrong.  What’s happening now is that people are openly defying Trump and calling Congressional Republican leadership to task, and Congress itself defies Trump one day (the healthkill bill and the sanctions) and coddles him the next (money for the Mexican wall, which they previously said was dead — but it’s stupid enough where I’m sure they’ll go ahead with it anyway, magically pulling money out of their asses).

Next come actual indictments of people surrounding Trump.  There will be no impeachment; for all Congress’s recent bluster, they will not impeach Trump. As I said earlier, someone’s holding something over their heads, and whatever it is scares the hell out of them.

But some things are inevitable, and one inevitability here is that someone is going to jail for all of this, or at least part of it.  I have no idea when the actual legal action will start, but the latest rumor is “by the end of the summer.”  They just aren’t saying which summer.

 

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Fried Reality

Do you want Kool-aid with that?

Woke up unusually early this morning, slouched over to the computer, brought up Twitter…and what the hell did I find?  Louise Mensch, sometime during the night, had posted to her Patribotics blog something to the effect that the death penalty was being considered for Steve Bannon.

That should have come with a full-scale, five-alarm splarf alert.  Alas it did not, and my coffee ended up all over my computer screen.

To most people I need not explain that loathsome as he is, Bannon has not been charged with anything and no one even knows for sure if he’s being investigated, or what for if he is.  That is to say innocent until proven guilty.  That’s the way the system works.  To say he’s getting the death penalty (again, what for?) is the cyber equivalent of road rage.

All of which means that this is yet more nonsense coming from the Pied Piper of the left (actually she’s a neocon).

I have to credit the denizens of Twitter, however.  There was some chuckling, some outrage, and some shrugging for about an hour…and then they went on with their petty feuds, pontificating, and general puffery as if nothing happened.  That is to say that the death-penalty incident did nothing but make Mensch look worse than she’s already looking to a lot of people — and at this point, it’s no longer a big deal.

There has been far more discussion of Trump’s incoherent New York Times interview, and that’s as it should be.  Here we have an isolated, unhinged individual who is sick with jealousy of his predecessor, so much so that he has not bothered to study the issue of health insurance — Obama’s crowning achievement — at all (he thinks it costs $12.00 a year), and has only convinced himself that the ACA (Obamacare’s real name) is “bad.”  No definition of “bad,” just “bad.”  And so it has to go.  And if Congress won’t do it, he’ll destroy it himself.  And to the 32,000,000 people such an action would deprive of healthcare, fuck off.

He also thinks the Attorney General is his private attorney who should have told Trump before he was confirmed that he was going to recuse himself (WTF), and so forth and so on.  And it does go on and on, making less and less sense every day.  To put it bluntly, he has no fucking idea what he’s doing.

But he doesn’t really care, because the only reason he got into the Presidency to begin with was to grift.  And that he’s doing quite well, along with his family.  It begs the question, “if we can’t afford the ACA how can we afford the Trump family?”  It’s getting almost that bad.

The closer we get to the grift being revealed publicly, the more angry, agitated and acid Trump becomes — and so yesterday he insulted his Attorney General so badly that the pundits couldn’t see how Sessions could stay in the job.  Of course Sessions, who probably views Trump as his protector to some degree, announced today that he’s staying.

As long as these people are making money off the situation, and feeling somewhat protected by the Oval Office, they will stay no matter what Trump does to them.**

And then Trump was staggeringly dumb enough to accidentally reveal that Special Counsel Mueller was probably investigating the Trump family finances.  He did that by cautioning Mueller not to investigate that issue.  Today Mueller’s team announced that they are, in fact, doing that, which tells me they have been all along (Trump’s finances and those of his administration are entwined, after all; remember — Trump is a grifter and his administration a massive scam).

Someone on Twitter stated that we are not up against Russia alone, we are up against an extra-national crime organization funded by oligarchs who are looking to rob the rest of us blind and enslave us.  Yes.  Yes.  And Yes.  This whole business with Trump is nothing but a giant scam; a front.  It’s advanced money laundering, if you will.

And that brings us back to the Queen of Conspiracy, Mensch.  Some say she’s a plant.  Judging from her own words, I cannot imagine why anyone center or left would support her; she has made no secret of her neocon origins and leanings.  In fact she may be indirectly and/or unwittingly working for Trump; in a way, everyone on the far right is doing that, just as it appears independents and hard-left wingers got scammed by Jill Stein and perhaps Bernie Sanders (who may or may not have been scammed himself — more on that later).

Whatever the truth is, however, my hat’s off to Twitter for pretty much passing this Mensch nonsense by this morning and quickly moving on to the important stuff — Trump’s nonsense.  That is ultimately what will affect us all.

** another perspective entirely is that Sessions may be staying to stop Trump from firing Mueller.  Problem with that is that Sessions supposedly recused himself from the Russia investigation, so he can’t protect Mueller.  That job falls to Rosenstein.

 

How to spot fake tweets

By “fake” I mean “nonfactual” tweets.

The idea for this article came yesterday, when a lengthy tweet thread was posted by someone on Twitter who has long claimed to be
(1) some sort of religious consultant in the White House
(2) a victim of death and other threats, mostly coming from Steve Bannon but also coming from minions of Bannon who have recently been arrested (?? I haven’t heard of any arrests, have you?)
(3) a distant relative of Trump
(4) a cancer patient.

I’m neither here nor there on who this person claims to be, but I do have issues when they tweet stuff like this:

(1) Donald Jr. and Eric turned on their father last October
(2) Donald Jr. released his incriminating emails intentionally to bring his father down
(3) Ivanka is her father’s partner in crime and also “his lover,”
(4) a Rothschild is actually the reason for Putin and Trump being in power.

Okay, folks…now I get off the train.  Any time you mention “Rothschild” you lose me.  It’s been a hallmark of right and left-wing cranks for years: when all else fails, blame the Rothschilds.  I’m not saying they’re innocent, I just don’t know who the hell they are.  And unless one steps on my toe in an elevator, I don’t give a shit.  Power is, after all, given — not taken.  Trump is finding this out in real time, right in front of us, for all to see.

Ivanka’s relationship with her father is none of our business.  Nepotism is very much our business, but it is not the same thing as incest or whatever the hell the charges are.

As for Beavis and Butthead (Eric and Donald Jr.), there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that they have turned on their father, nor that they are bright enough to carry out any sort of plot.  No, the truth appears to be just this: Donald Jr. released the emails because he simply isn’t smart enough to realize that what they reveal is not only illegal, but possibly treasonous.  If it turns out otherwise, I’ll be the most shocked individual in the cosmos, and Donald Jr. will deserve a goddamn acting award for his performance as the village idiot.

All this brings me to the point: beware of what you read on Twitter.  If the writer claims membership in any sort of “club” (you know, names that sound like Anti-Trump Team A or the Elite Force or other juvenile crap like that), speaks in jargon (whether real or invented), claims military status that others have questioned, does little on Twitter but talk about how bad other twitterers are, doxxes people, invents sensational rumors (see above) especially while claiming dubious status…they probably need professional help.  And you aren’t the one to help them.

Neither believe what they say, nor pay much attention to it.  Instead, pay attention to people widely known to have expertise in their fields (Preet Bahara comes to mind).  You will get a glimpse of the truth from these people.  You will not get it from someone claiming to be hiding out from antagonists in the White House, or claiming to know a lot of unnamed sources in the IC, or God knows what else.  All you’ll be doing is wasting your time with these people.  Tune out.

 

A few things I wish we’d get straight

I just saw another of those headlines: “Here’s why Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election!”  I’ve seen numerous articles on this subject, most slamming Clinton for running a bad campaign, or the Democrats for being out of touch, etc.

It’s bullshit, people.  Stop it.  Fact is, Clinton won big and would have won bigger if there hadn’t been so much tampering going on.

Also, it’s clear that the Trump campaign colluded (not a legal term, btw) with the Russians to get Trump elected (we’ve spent the past 3 days yammering about Donald Trump Jr., haven’t we?  and how about all the bombshells before that?), and some of this collusion involved the creation and promotion of fake news, as Trump loves to call it — although in his eternal projection state, he confuses “fake news” with legit news.  We’re talking about genuine fake news here — the right-wing kind.

In fact, it’s being surmised that the Russians would not have known where to target their fake news campaign without the help of the Trump campaign.  It’s easy to see proof of this: just observe Putin, who is obviously clueless on the subjects of U.S. government and society.

Yes, this collusion is illegal, immoral, treasonous, and from the looks of Trump, fattening.  BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT HILLARY CLINTON WON THE FUCKING ELECTION.

Since the general election there have been several local/Congressional elections in which the Republicans apparently used their election-eating machine to retain seats that they otherwise would have lost.  Yet I am still seeing articles about the Democrats being out of touch, rather than articles examining just how it is that unpopular/unsuitable/unqualified/downright grotesque Republican candidates keep winning elections — never by a landslide — that they were projected to lose.  And why, why are there always stories about weird shit happening at the polls at those elections?

So that’s it.  I want to know why are we not dealing with two basic problems that led us into this debacle: a corrupt and useless Electoral College, and a vast Republican voting fraud/intimidation/disenfranchisement machine which far outstrips anything put together in decades past by Chicago’s first Mayor Daley (who did, via vote fraud, help get Kennedy elected; otherwise Watergate would have happened a decade earlier).

And I want to see some investigative journalism done about this.  Now.