Way to go, Illinois

Here in Illinois, I know a lot of Dems (and probably more than a few Republicans) held their noses as they voted for J.B. Pritzker.  But consider this:

(1) He’s unlikely to hold up the state budget for 2 years and rack up billions of dollars in late-payment fees, trashing the state’s credit rating, while he throws a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

(2) He’s unlikely to spend 4 years and his entire re-election campaign blaming Mike Madigan (Speaker, IL House of Reps) for everything that goes wrong — and really, EVERYTHING went wrong for Rauner, including holding up the state budget for 2 years while he threw a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

(3) He’s REALLY unlikely to take 2 or 3 classes of Catholic school kids to the Vatican on the taxpayers’ dime (while holding up the state budget for 2 years while he throws a hissy fit about “financial responsibility”).

(4) He won’t, really won’t, try to reduce teachers’ pay to minimum wage and bust their union while holding up the state budget for 2 years while he throws a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

(5) If he is shocked by how differently a state is run than a business, Pritzker will keep it to himself — unlike Rauner, who whined very early in his term, “who knew that running a state and running a business were so different?”  This was while he was blaming Madigan for everything and was about to hold up the state budget for 2 years while he threw a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

All of the above are things Rauner actually did.  In the end, he beat himself with a big assist from an old-style machine Democrat (Pritzker), who after all had similar qualifications to Rauner.  Both are billionaire businessmen, so there goes Rauner’s claim to fame right there.  His only hope after Pritzker was nominated was to smear him with Blagojevich (see below); he had to know that even the nascent Republican vote-stealing machine in IL would be out of order this election after such an overwhelming display of ineptitude on his part.

I’ll add that Pritzker was not my first choice, either. Another friggin’ billionaire? Sheesh. But at least it took away Rauner’s claim about running the government like a successful businessman instead of a grifting politician.

Like I said, Pritzker’s also tainted by Blagojevich — which was the only dirt Rauner could come up with once the “successful businessman” angle was taken away. That and some voter intimidation and fraud by the Republicans cost Quinn the governor’s seat 4 years ago. But it didn’t work this time, thank God, and I think Pritzker had enough of a scare that he won’t again be pulling shit like the attempted deal with Blagojevich (who is still in prison).

All in all, even though we had to hold our noses to vote for Pritzker, he’s probably the only Dem who could have won as easily as he did, even with the Blagojevich stain. And again, even though the national media tried to portray this race as “close,” it never was. Rauner was gone the moment Pritzker won the primary and he knew it; that would not have been necessarily true with anyone else — even given Rauner’s fantastic gift for trashing himself.

Plus we got rid of the Russia twins Roskam and Hultgren in the U.S. House, hallelujah.

Not a bad night here in Illinois.

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An Interview with Trump*

*I made shit up**
**The sad part is that I didn’t have to make a lot of this shit up

Me: This office is all gold like pee-pee…jeez, why did I say that?

Trump:  There was no pee-pee!  I don’t like pee-pee!  I just shit all the time!

Kelly: (sinks into a chair in the corner; drops his head into his hands and groans softly)

Me:  So how’s your wall going?

Trump:  It’s the most beautiful wall I’ve ever seen.  Really.  The best in the whole history of the world.

Me: So it exists? (Trump nods) Who paid for it?  They should get their money back because people are still getting over the border, right?

Trump:  Mexico.  (I shake my head)  They’ll pay.  They keep sending rapists and murderers, so I had to do something.

Me:  Rapists and murderers?  Just like the Republican party?

Trump: (looks startled, then stares blankly at something over my shoulder)

Me:  Have you returned the kids to their parents yet?

Trump: I have the best brain.  (points at his head)  No toadstools!  It’s the bigliest!

Me: What?  (silence; sensing this is getting nowhere, I change the subject)  So what’s all this business with Russia?

Trump: Putin’s a nice guy! He told me I was great. I barely know him. I met him once. Russia is our great friend. He was the coffee boy, I think.

Me: Ivanka was seen hanging out with Putin’s girlfriend…

Trump: I have the biggest brain.  (points at his head)

Me: What do you think about Manafort flipping?

Trump: Covfefe. (wags finger at my notes) Delete that.  I never said that.  Who?

Me: One of the coffee boys in your campaign?  Manafort?

Trump: He was only with the campaign a few days.  I didn’t know him.  He didn’t have anything to do with Pence.  Donald Trump wanted Christie but he hired Pence.  I fired Comey so he would stop investigating Russia.  It made the Russian ambassador happy.  No wait.  Delete that.  I didn’t say that.  Fake news!  Comey was terrible.  The FBI hated him, so I got rid of him.  I didn’t fire him because of Russia.  There was no collusion.  The FBI is terrible.  There was no collusion.  The investigation is fake.

Me: Huh?  What brought all that up?

Trump: I used to sell vodka.  It was the bestliest vodka in the…Me:  We were talking about all the coffee boys in your campaign.

Trump: There were a lot of them. I didn’t know them. I think there was a guy named Flynn.

Me: Yeah, he flipped too.

Trump: Very disloyal. I knew him for years. I never saw him before. I don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s fake news from the fake news people.  They’re failing.  I’m very rich.

Me: There have been several reports that you were never actually a billionaire.

Trump:  Fake news from losers!

Me:  There are also some reports that you weren’t actually elected President.

Trump: We investigated that!  Fake news!

Me: Yes, but you were investigating supposed “voter fraud” and you stopped the investigation when it started to look like your election was fake.

Trump: No, that’s because we couldn’t find any voter fraud because of Hillary.  Obama hid it.  Russia never did anything.  There was no collusion.  It’s all fake news.

Me: So Hillary imported a lot of fake voters so that she could lose?

Trump: (nods) I have the best words.  I went to the best schools.  (points at his head)

Me: Okay, what do you think about Cohen flipping?

Trump: Third-rate lawyer! I didn’t know him very well. Very disloyal. It’s all lies and fabrications because I’m famous.

I don’t want to answer any questions about Russia.  There was no collusion.

Me: Collusion isn’t what your administration is being investigated for, because it isn’t a crime.

Trump:  There was no collusion!  Fake news from the failing news media!  I couldn’t help it if my campaign kept meeting with Russians.  They didn’t do anything wrong!  Everybody does that!

I don’t want to answer any questions about Russia.

Me: You don’t even want to talk about Mueller?

Trump: It’s a fake investigation into fake lies.  There was no collusion.  I don’t know who he is. Maybe he was the coffee boy. I’m the president! I want my lawyer Sessions to fire him, but he won’t do it. Disloyal! Stupid southerner!  I only hire the best people!  I came here to drain the swamp!

Me: How about the chaos in your administration?

Trump: Fake news! The administration is running like a well-oiled Ford Pinto.

Me: Yeah, it’s on fire…

Trump: I hire the best people.  Look at Betsy.  Lots of money in that family.  Her brother’s great.  He had nothing to do with the Seychelles meeting.  I don’t even know about it.  Ben Carson is the best person.  He’s smart, real smart.  My EPA guy hates the environment because it’s bad for business.  Smart guy!  I like him.  It’s the best administration in history.  No other administration has done anything.  The economy is way up.  Lincoln said so.

All over the country I have yuge rallies.  YUGE!

Me: How do you think you’re helping the economy?  Ford just came out and said that your tariff war has cost them millions, and farmers are enraged over the loss of soybean sales overseas.

Trump: They’re losers!  I was over in Germany and they make great cars. But they don’t make them in America and I don’t like their boss so I put a tariff on them, just like I won’t let Puerto Rico into the union because I don’t like their mayor.  Germany is bad!  We pay too much for NATO, no fair!  And I baled the farmers out.  Did you read my book? I’m great at deals!

Me:  Her name is Merkel and she’s the Chancellor, not the boss.  Wait a minute…did you just say you talk to Lincoln?

Trump: He sits on the sofa in the Oval Office and tweaks my ear.  Really rude guy, a loser.  But I’m just as great as he is.  He said my speech was better than the Gettysburger.

Oh, by the way, they have the most beautiful chocolate cake in the world at Gettysburger.

Me: Some psychic said that’s Kennedy lounging on the sofa and one of the Roosevelts tweaking your ear, and they keep telling you to quit.  But anyway…why are you promoting a dying industry, coal, when most new jobs in energy are in renewable resources?

Trump: That’s a yuge lie. Coal is going to make America great again. They buy my hats.  We can run out of wind and sunlight and birds can die from it. I have created more jobs than any president in the history of the world.  And I never start a fight with anyone in order to affect the stock market so my friends can make money.  Fake news!

Me (shaking head): Yes you do…wait a minute…birds?  Birds can also die from flying into skyscrapers too, you know…

Trump: (shrugs) Did I show you Ivanka? I’d date her if she wasn’t my daughter…(chuckles)

Me: Huh? Um…okay…didn’t she get a bunch of Chinese trademarks for her own business after she visited there on state business?

Trump: I always think bigly. I have a great brain. I have the best words.  The Chinese love me.

Me: Uh-huh.  What’s going on with you and Justin Trudeau?

Trump: I’m the best president in the history of the world. I guess he’s jealous.  He doesn’t want to meet with me.

Me: The Canadian government says no such meeting was requested.

Trump: (fidgets) I don’t cheat at golf. That’s fake news.

(I look over at Kelly, who is looking out the window wistfully)

Me: What about Kavanaugh?

Trump: He’s a great guy. All the women are liars. They like me because I’m famous and rich. They let you grab their p…Me: So how do you think Jared is doing in bringing peace to the Middle East?

Trump: Jared’s always overseas. He doesn’t work here in Washington. We’re going to build golf courses and hotels in the Middle East and Puerto Rico. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t like CNN. Obama did it.  Crooked Hillary!

Me: Do you feel Don Jr. may be in legal trouble?

Trump: I don’t know him.  Coffee boy?

Me: How about your response to the hurricanes?

Trump: Obama screwed up, and Hillary helped him. They were both on the Russian payroll. I have a big thing coming out about this, but I can’t tell you now. Lock her up!

Me: I thought you said Russia was our friend?  So why is it bad if they were on the Russian payroll?

Trump: My book sold more than Bob Woody’s book. It was all lies.

Me: When will you tell us about what Obama and Hillary did?

Trump: In a few months. When I think about it.  It’s all top secret.  I haven’t told Russia yet.

Me: Is this like your big secret to putting an end to Isis?

Trump: You know anything about Isis? I don’t. I never said that. I never said that.  There are good people on both sides.

Me: That’s what you said about Charlottesville.

Trump: (stares blankly)

Me: What is your concept of the role of the President?

Trump: I’m doing a great job. The greatest in history. No one’s laughing at me like they laughed at Obama. No one laughs at me. I’m more of a war hero than McCain.  I went to a military academy.  I’m running the government like a business. No one laughs at me. I was making a joke. They didn’t laugh. Someone put a noise on the soundtrack. It was fake news. No one laughs at me.

Me: And again, what about all this Russia and mob stuff?

Trump: (to Kelly) Kelly, tell her she’s fired.  (walks out of the room muttering “no collusion”)

Kelly: You can’t fire her, she doesn’t work for you Mr. Pre… he’s gone. (sighs) You can’t do anything with him.

(sound of ghostly chuckling coming from the couch)

 

Famous Last Words

“I don’t think Manafort will flip.”

Yeah, I said that a while back.  And then yesterday, he did just that.  And Mueller’s office’s apparent claim that they had no interest in his story suddenly turned out to be an expert bluff.

I’d hate to play Mueller at poker.

I’ll write more later about what I make of this whole situation.  Meantime, I understand Trump is tweeting about something unrelated being Obama’s fault.

Persona non grata

Been around a long time.  Can’t recall any president ever being shut out of social events and rituals.

Memes are flying that Trump has been excluded from “two funerals and a wedding,” but the truth is that he was only excluded from two funerals.  The royal wedding thing was never an issue except that Trump was stupid and churlish enough to insist on being invited (only to find himself being left to pout when he wasn’t).

Fact is that Obama wasn’t invited to Prince William’s wedding, and he wasn’t invited to Prince Harry’s wedding even though he and Harry are friends.  American presidents (and ex-presidents) are walking security headaches on top of all the security headaches already caused by a royal wedding.  So they don’t get invited, period.

So that brings us back to the funerals.  Again, I’ve seen presidents send their wives or other dignitaries to various funerals in their stead, but I’ve never seen a president be specifically excluded in the first place.

Nothing much to add here except that I’ve noted that Trump’s cult is already attacking the family of John McCain.  To that I say, “really?  What the hell is wrong with you people?  Trump hated McCain anyway — why would he even want to be at the funeral?”

Or this: “why does hearing the truth hurt you so much?”  This is, after all, what the cultists are getting their knickers in a knot about.  They are deliberately ignoring the remarkable fact that Trump was specifically excluded from the guest list.

And so I’ll leave alone that they don’t deal with the fact that their hero is all too obviously persona non grata in polite society, and stress that they prefer to deflect by taking cheap shots at the families of newly-dead people…even families of war heroes when their own hero dodged the draft 5 times in the same era.

There is, after all, very little to successfully defend in Trump – and so his cultists latch on to fantasy, and fiercely attempt to castigate whoever they perceive as hurting their dear leader.  (BTW, Trump was never mentioned by any of the speakers, so how do these cultists know the speakers’ words were about him?)

As I’ve said in other posts, there is a small portion of U.S. society who will never be able to leave the cult.  Let’s hope a few of the rest wake up.  Maybe they already have; I have very little use for polls, but a recent one states that an astounding 60% of the U.S. public disapprove of Trump.  If that percentage includes even a few former Trump-suckers, it’s a hopeful sign.

If he only had a brain

I’m sitting here wondering if you actually have to have a brain in order to get a headache.  If you don’t, there are more than a few people in D.C. who must be in agony tonight.

While clubbing the moles that kept popping up on my news feed tonight (Cohen pleads guilty to 8 charges!  Manafort found guilty on 8 counts!  Cohen implicates Trump!) I kept thinking, crap…this just keeps getting worse for Trump, doesn’t it?

But not just for Trump.  I also ran across this article, which explains that the Russian-Republican connection possibly extends all the way back to the Nixon era.  I want everyone to read this, especially if you believe the whole Trussia debacle just popped out of thin air in 2016.

This article explains so many things, not the least of which is the sudden fear and awe that Republicans seemed to hold for Trump after many of them vehemently opposed him during the campaign and right up to the convention.  Hell, Lindsay Graham was an outspoken critic until he played golf with Trump one day.  He’s been cowering ever since.  Want to know why?  Read the article.  (This article may also explain Reagan’s much-touted “success” in dissolving the Soviet Union — the truth may be that the oligarchs just had no use for the Soviet Union because they weren’t making money off of it, so they let Reagan have the win so they could have Russia and he could go down in the history books, at least temporarily, as a tough-guy hero.)

Meantime, back to Cohen and Manafort…

I don’t think Manafort will flip.  I think he will conclude that he and his family are better off with him staying in prison and silent; he’s had too many dealings with very dangerous people for him or his family to escape unharmed if he started talking.

I could be surprised; I’d like to be.  Nevertheless, the charges against him in the first trial  had little to do with Trump.  I believe the whole thing was just a warm-up to test the judicial waters and see what might happen.  Could Manafort have information that would be useful to Mueller?  I believe Mueller has said no, they don’t need him.  So maybe it’s all settled and Manafort will go quietly to rot in prison; Manafort, the guy who for years thought he was James Bond, only to find out today that he is mere cannon fodder.

The other theory is that these people believe they are bullet-proof, and Manafort is truly dumbfounded to have been convicted.  If that’s the case, all bets are off; he could do anything.  But I still doubt he’ll flip.

Cohen, on the other hand, is not only talking but is implicating Trump.  Because of Cohen, Trump is now officially an unindicted co-conspirator.  That’s the same place Nixon ended up in just before he resigned.

Will Trump resign?  I doubt it; see the “bullet proof” paragraph above.  Trump doesn’t get it.  It goes back to that brain thing I was talking about earlier.  He may have a headache and he may freak out on Twitter.  But he lacks the organ that would help him make sense of it all.

Seriously, today changed everything.  Whether it will stay changed or if we will revert to wafting aimlessly through a bottomless pit of distractions while the investigation drags on forever…well here’s the thing: we won’t know until tomorrow, or maybe the day after, or maybe the week or month after.  And that’s hell.

Going to the store now for popcorn and aspirin.

Letter to a Cultist

Dear Trump-sucker:

You probably are not reading this because (1) you don’t read, (2) this is a center/left blog, and (3) you don’t identify yourself with the word “cultist.”  But that’s okay.  You are a cultist anyway.

Your cult is that of Trump.  You are the one sitting there yelling at an NBC news broadcast about Trump’s stupid sanctions that Trump is right to start a trade war with China and all these “snowflakes” whining about being hurt financially — well too bad.  “That’s temporary.”  Yep.  That’s what you said.  I heard you.

Never mind that what you said is not backed up by fact; it’s what you want to believe.  And here’s the kicker: you desperately want me to agree with you; otherwise you would not sit there screaming at a public television set and keep looking at me, begging, “Right?  Right?”

Not only that, but I know a lot about you because you voted for Trump.  I know who you are at your very base: you are a frightened bully.  You are also limited intellectually and vacant spiritually, even if you are waving a college degree in my face to prove otherwise and you attend church every Sunday without fail.

You support Trump because you see in him a kindred spirit, and also a sort of Superman who will fix all your problems for you.  You are likely a fan of reality TV shows and professional wrestling.  You consider yourself to be a guardian of patriotism, which to you is some vague combination of flag worship and a blurry photo of the Constitution (which you have never read), coupled with a 4th of July parade and cookout.  You probably also believe in witches, ghosts, conspiracy theories, Evangelical preachers, and whatnot.  You definitely think Russia is our friend.  You have chosen to believe that the world would be safer if we armed toddlers, and school kids would be safer if they were only nicer to other school kids who might shoot them.  (Abortion = BAAAAD; School shootings = the victims’ fault!  Guns are GOOD!)

And I know that if asked, you will tell me to my face that Fox News is the only news outlet that tells the truth.  (Never mind that they admit that they’re not even a news outlet.)  In short, you are a perfect sucker for Russian propaganda, and may have actually been identified as such on Facebook.

You are also a racist POS, pure and simple.

Yes, I know all of this about you.  And I know another thing: when this finally ends, you will be left completely on your own.  No one will want to come near you.  You will be labeled toxic.

How will you respond?  Denial.  Blame.  Anger.  Confusion and butthurt.  This is how bullies behave.

Your media will spend decades spinning conspiracy theories, trying to prove that Trump was innocent…but no matter.  No one will give a flying shit about you, and you will die alone.

Have fun in hell, darling.  Meantime, fuck off; I want to watch the news.

–the worstat

 

For when it’s all over except for the thing that won’t happen

I have run out of things to talk about.  Every week brings a new scandal to the Trump administration, but yet nothing is new, so I never find anything worthy of comment.

The MSM keeps falling for it as if it were new, as does the Chicken Little squad on Facebook and Twitter, who now almost weekly declare us to be on the precipice of WWIII, a new Great Depression, or magically — after just a year and a half of Trump — so far down the rabbit hole that we won’t recover for millennia.   The latest: Trump is a dictator!  Yes, he — or rather, those who are propping him up, as he has no real power at this point — has/have enough within his/their range to do damage.  But no…he is not a dictator and won’t be unless we allow it, and that is the point here.

I’m convinced some of these CL folks are bots (think of a modern day Tokyo Rose), and of course others are depressives who are looking to share their joy, sarcastically speaking.  But it’s the rest of the Resistance that concerns me: normal people who are just worn out.

Yes, we are worn out.  More and more of my Resistance friends are taking time-outs because they just can’t handle it anymore.  When every day brings another pile of the same old bullshit, and nothing ever really changes no matter what bullshit bomb explodes, it gets old.

Mueller (our only hope until November), is taking his old sweet time as if Rome weren’t burning.  (Yes, we are burning, but is it the end of us?  No.)  It’s said that his investigation is months ahead of whatever knowledge the general public has been given, but still, it never seems to be enough.  Funny that people were talking about impeaching Obama because even his authentic birth certificate wasn’t authentic enough for them — first it was because he hadn’t released the birth certificate, then it was because he released the short form, then when he released the long form, it wasn’t written by God and handed down on the mountain.   Yet even Trump’s known Mob connections and his obvious kowtowing to Putin (yes, the two are related)…well, that’s okay with the same people.  Move along, nothing to see here.

Obviously we are dealing partially with a cult (Trump’s supporters in the general population), and with members of a crime syndicate (Trump’s politician and oligarch supporters).  That doesn’t bother me much.   The sector of the population that sucks up to Trump is a minority, and many in that minority are in that sector simply because they are ill-informed.  The rest are true brainwashed cultists and there is nothing you can do with them.  As for the politicians, they can be dealt with at the polls.  Two of them — McConnell and Ryan — could end Trump right now, but won’t.  That tells me they are in the syndicate, so they must be dispensed with legally, in November.  Ryan, in fact, has already seen the writing on the wall and has elected to retire.

So the minority — or what they threaten to do if Trump is deposed, which the MSM keeps trying to scare us with — is not the problem; it’s the effect this lengthy wait is having on the rest of us that is the problem.  As I’ve said in the past, it isn’t just Mueller investigating Trump’s ties to an extra-national crime syndicate.  Just about the entire world is investigating it.  This could be what is holding Mueller back — perhaps he’s waiting on someone else’s investigation, since this whole thing is definitely international (yes!  this is what the right-wing “deep state” yammering is about, if they’re not actually admitting that there is an extra-national crime syndicate that is controlling large parts of the world).  But still the wait has worn thin, and the accumulated damage is now too great to ignore.  People are dying.  The global economy is being jerked around by puppet strings.  The environment is being damaged for short-term financial gain.

Houston, we have a problem.

The other argument is that Mueller is waiting to have the perfect case before he takes Trump down.  I don’t buy it because Mueller has to be able to see that he is dealing with idiots.  Even a traffic ticket might be enough to take the Trump administration down at this point, just because they are so stupid that they probably couldn’t argue their way out of it without making it one hundred times worse for themselves.

That is in our favor.  I say “use it.”  I also say that if we are dealing with an administration that so easily and carelessly flouts the law — we are living in a Constitutional crisis as we speak because of that — then we need to stop dissecting whether or not a sitting president can be indicted.

Go ahead.  Try it.  At this point, let’s see what happens.  In short, do something.