Step Aside, Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi
Never bring a milquetoast to a knife-fight.

Mueller did all the hard work for her.  Hell, Trump is begging her to impeach him.  He orders his minions to ignore Congressional subpoenas  while he and his macabre circus continue full-bore: kids remain in for-profit concentration camps, environmental protections are weakened, advanced weaponry and nuclear assistance flow to repressive regimes, enemies are emboldened, etc.

Nancy apologists argue that given that the corrupt Mitch Senate would never vote to convict, it isn’t worth the effort to impeach.  She is biding her time, they say, until she has an incontrovertible case that would somehow magically force Mitch’s hand.

Bullshit.  The only way to deal with a bully and his gang is to go on the offensive.  Barr won’t release the report?  Lock him up in contempt of Congress.  IRS instructed not to release Trump’s tax returns?  Munchkin joins Barr in the slammer.   Start impeachment now, and knowing that Mitch won’t convict, drag the process out – make sure we have a hearing daily.  In fact, start by calling in Chao, Mitch’s wife, and get their taxes while you are at it!  That shows the repugs that we mean business.

How do we deal with Trump in the meantime?  Keep him freaked out, a remarkably easy thing to do.  Get his old business manager Allen Weisellberg, and Deutsche Bank officials to testify about shady real-estate deals.  Subpoena Beavis over his Trump Tower collusion meetings.  Subpoena Ivanka over her China trademarks.  Hell, bring in Melanoma over her genius visa.

Trump will consider all these personal attacks.  If that doesn’t lead to a nervous breakdown or heart-attack, it would at least keep him at his most deranged (non-stop aggro tweeting, angry word-salad rants, etc), taking way the 10 minutes a day where he actually sits down to sign the executive orders written by his industry-hack cabinet.

We are seeing the Pelosi of the Bush years, the one who went along to get along, voting to enable Bush to invade Iraq, spy on Americans, dish out massive subsidies to Big Oil and Big Ag, and pass massive tax cuts for the rich.  She criticizes, shrugs and slow-claps while we are on the verge of or possibly in the midst of a Constitutional crisis.

She must step aside in favor someone who can do the job that needs to be done.


MAGAts vs. The Prince of Darkness

In John Carpenter’s classic movie, The Prince of Darkness,  a demonic spirit is contained in


a bottle in a church.  As it strives to escape, and bring about the end-times, it emits psychic waves that grow in power.  Initially it attracts a crowd of the mentally weak on the margins of society, that take to clustering around the church, staring and waiting for instructions.  As its power grows, it is able to wreck havoc by controlling more normal people, who commit escalating acts of violence as, under the control of the demonic spirit, they endeavor to summon the Prince of Darkness to Earth.

Similarly, the Mangled Orange Hell-beast’s unveiled calls for violence influence those on the weak-minded or crazy on the margins of society, starting with pummeling protesters at rallies, moving into shooting at or running over counter-protesters at white supremacy rallies, and now sending explosive devices to liberal politicians and journalists libeled and vilified by Trump and the Right Wing Wurlitzer of Doom.

After the attack by Omar Mateen on the gay club in Orlando in 2016, I had a discussion with a reactionary on the subject.  “Omar,” he maintained, “is an agent radicalized by Isis, recruited by their propaganda and driven to acts of violence per their agenda.”  When I asked him about other terror attacks (e.g. Dylann Roof‘s murder of an African American bible study group) he was quick to dismiss them as ‘deranged loners, not part of any organized threat to America.’

Curious in the wake of the latest bomb mailings (but before the perp was revealed) I reached out to him for his opinion.  “Ridiculous,” he stated, “clearly a false flag operation.  The timing is just too good for the Democrats, on the eve of the election, and who would be so stupid as to send dud devices to folks like Clinton or Soros who obviously have their mail screened?”

Who indeed?





A Cunning Plan…

cunning-plan-weaselBloody Prince Salman’s plan to kill a pesky journalist was foolproof!  Lure him into a Saudi consulate, bring in a team to dispatch him quickly, disburse his body parts and send in a cleaning crew.  The news story would be “Journalist Mysteriously Disappears” which would vanish instantly in the news cycle.  There was only one spanner in the works…the Turkish government had the consulate bugged.

His fiance was the first to notice that Khashoggi went into the consulate, but never came out.  No problem for Salman, Khashoggi was “not in the consulate nor in Saudi custody.”

“We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises,” he said. “The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. If they ask for that, of course, we will allow them. We have nothing to hide.”

Unsatisfied with the response, and for reasons of their own, the Turkish government endeavored to prod Salman’s memory by mentioning that they had audio tapes of Khashoggi being brutally tortured within the consulate, along with choice quotes from the consul, the killers and the doctor with the bonesaw.  They claimed, somewhat disingenuously, that they had obtained this incriminating bit of audio from a live stream broadcast from Khashoggi’s Apple Watch, which apparently had some magical features such as the ability to record conversations taking place in other rooms!

Salman and team spent the next several days staying quiet while feverishly searching for a plausible cover story, until Mango Mussolini suggested that if there was a murder, it was done by “rogue killers.”  Salman’s dad, picking up on the hint, pushed Salman aside and soon announced that Khashoggi was in fact killed, as the result of a “quarrel and brawl,” then quickly rounded up the fall-guys usual suspects  18 suspected rogue killers for an investigation.  Completely 100% not pre-meditated by Bloody Prince Salman!

Except today, video of a Khashoggi “body double” has emerged, showing another Saudi who entered the consulate dressed one way, and left the consulate wearing Khashoggi’s clothing and a fake beard.  In a tribute to Khashoggi, they cast Mustafa al-Madani who while being strikingly similar in appearance, sports a more generous crop of dark hair than the more coif-impaired victim.

“The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.”

Update: Salman called Khashoggi in the embassy moments before he was killed. An offer too good to refuse?  Also that day the consulate called Salman 4 times, and

Update, 10/23/18: …and now they may have found Khashoggi’s dismembered body in the garden of the consulate.

Not with a bang, but a whimper?

The stakes are high for the November election, not just for stopping the Republiclowns reactionary agenda, but even in learning what Mueller has uncovered.  As Darren Samuelsohn notes in Politico:

Mueller…must notify his Justice Department supervisor — currently Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — on his budgeting needs and all “significant events” made by his office, including indictments, guilty pleas and subpoenas.

When Mueller is finished, he must turn in a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” — essentially why he chose to bring charges against some people but not others. His reasoning, according to veterans of such investigations, could be as simple as “there wasn’t enough evidence” to support a winning court case.

Then, it will be up to DOJ leaders to make the politically turbo-charged decision of whether to make Mueller’s report public.

He notes that in previous investigations, one or more years transpired before reports were complete.  Bottom line, it will be up to a Democratic majority in the House to conduct a public investigation for us to see all the evidence.

The End Times are Upon Us

PatRobertson2-sawTelevangelist and fundamentalist christian holy man Pat Robertson has an unexpected advice on US Policy regarding the recent torture and brutal dismemberment of US Resident and journalist Khashoggi: ”

“For those who are screaming blood for the Saudis — look, these people are key allies…we’ve got an arms deal that everybody wanted a piece of…it’ll be a lot of jobs, a lot of money come to our coffers. It’s not something you want to blow up willy-nilly. You’ve got one journalist — who knows? Was it an interrogation? Was he assassinated? Were there rogue elements? Who did it?…You’ve got $100 billion worth of arms sales…we cannot alienate our biggest player in the Middle East”

Leafing through my tattered copy of the new testament, I only found references to Jesus healing and feeding people, driving out demons, loving neighbors and telling people to ‘turn the other cheek.’  I was also surprised to see Pat quoting Mango Mussolini’s lie about the $100B arms deal, as the ten commandments monuments that wing nut politicians are so fond of putting in state houses have an inconvenient clause related to bearing ‘false witness.’  Perhaps Pat has some hitherto unknown apocryphal gospel that lays out Jesus’ foreign policy (“Thou shalt not sanction a nation when there are jobs at stake”)?

Sadly, it isn’t just Robertson that grabbed a bonesaw to defend Prince Salman.  The Right Wing Media Wurlitzer immediately sprang to action, launching a smear campaign to paint Khashoggi as some sort of terrorist mastermind linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.  The talking points have been taken up by numerous prayer-group loving GOP politicians around the US.

Of course unlike Pat’s interpretation, all these events do appear to be in the bible, specifically the book of revelations:

And when (God) had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.  And I looked, and behold a fat orange blob: and his name that sat on him was Dotard, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with bonesaws, and with arms deals, and to incarcerate children, to giveth the fruit of the land to the rich and to fornicate with the whore of Babylon.

Startlingly accurate prophecy!  It goes on to talk about the rise of false prophets that worship the Orange Beast and “deceive many people.”


Fortunately, the book has a happy ending:

And the Orange Beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

The Siegfried State of the Union

trumpsinging The vote to release of the House Intelligence Committee’s “secret” memo (and the vote to suppress Dem committee members’ minority report. The pressure on, resignation of, and subsequent humiliation of FBI Deputy Director McCabe, and the GOP and right wing media echo chamber’s FBI/Secret Society/Conspiracy Du Jour smearing of Mueller, while Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors marches forward to a steady drumbeat….it feels operatic.  Will Trump stay ‘on script’ tonight, dutifully reading the teleprompter to media acclaim of his presidential and dignified address, or will we get the shrieking Valkyrie, calling doom upon his enemies?

More likely, given the low bar he (and his spiritual predecessor Bush) established,  he will mumble incoherently through a journeyman address, then go crazy tomorrow in the AM and tweet doom upon his enemies from the toilet.

Sadly, we’re still suffering through the Seigfried stage of the Ring Cycle, with the protagonist seemingly unstoppable, and we still have a ways to go before we watch his downfall in the Gotterdammerung, following the 2018 elections, victory of the Dems and subsequent impeachment hearings.


Weapons of Mass Murder

170813002022-34-charlottesville-white-nationalist-protest-0812-exlarge-169A popular false equivalence floated by guns nuts after every mass murder is that “X {shovels, kitchen knives, pipe wrenches, etc} can also be used to kill,” followed by the straw man “so are you saying that we must also ban X?”

This  begs the question “What is the best weapon of mass murder?”  If we are talking sheer numbers of victims, then everybody thinks Airplane and 9/11!  2,606 killed at the World Trade Center!  Clear winner, right?  Well you must consider that there were 2 planes involved, one per tower.  If we take a single airplane strike on the North Tower there were 1,402 direct victims.  But the attack required 5 terrorists, so the effective number of victims per terrorist is 280.

Bombs? Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 with a single truck bomb, fewer than the airplane reaping, although he did manage to injure an additional 600 people.

Cars & Trucks?  In 2016 Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove into a crowd in Nice, France and killed 86 (injuring 458).

Guns?  Stephen Paddock is the current leading mass killer, murdering 59 people (and injuring 527) with his legal semi-automatic rifles converted with legal bumper fire kits to full-automatic.  In line with runner-up Omar Mateen who killed 49 (and injured 58) at a nightclub in Florida in 2016.

Knives?  Not so common in gun-friendly U.S., but we have Satoshi Uematsu in Japan in 2016 who murdered 19 (and injured 25)…but keep in mind that he was stabbing disabled people.  More realistic is the recent attack in China where 10 people killed 29 (and injured 130) at a train station – the effective number of victims per killer is 3.

Shovels, pipe-wrenches, candlesticks, etc?  Seems like people have killed somebody with just about anything at one time or another…but I couldn’t find any evidence of massacres using ‘found objects’…perhaps because these things aren’t specifically designed to kill a lot of people.

In terms of price/performance, the airplane attacks were about $192/victim, McVeigh’s bomb was $30/victim, the rental truck $6/victim, and Paddock’s gun massacre $102/victim, knives $10/victim.

Post 9/11 security has made another commercial plane suicide attack unlikely, and the cost and planning are unrealistic for the lone-wolf killer.  The truck-bombing provides low cost with a high murder rate, but requires careful planning and execution to avoid ending up on a watch-list and foiled by Homeland Security.  The truck attack offers the best price performance with a significant mass-murder effect, very little planning, simple execution and limited skills required – the clear weapon of choice.  The gun attack was surprising pricey in comparison and requires basic shooting skills, but  doesn’t require much in the way of planning.

And found objects?  Pure wing-nut bullshit.






The Appalling Ignorance of Conservatives

facepalm_estatuaWonder why little aid is flowing to Puerto Rico in spite of the most devastating hurricane in its history?

A USA Today/Suffolk University poll conducted in March found that fewer than half of Americans (47%) believe that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth.  They are.

Instead, 30% of the people surveyed thought residents of the island are citizens of Puerto Rico. Another 21% just didn’t know where the people of Puerto Rico belong.

Probably the same dumbshit 30% that believes in creationism, denies human activity as the cause of current climate change, and approve of Trump.


Cartoon Patriotism of the Conservatives

c05e10accafdd608f315434b0111b489--god-jesus-jesus-christWhat do these things have in common? NFL players ‘bending the knee’ during the national anthem to protest treatment of African Americans.  Removal of Confederate statues from public areas.  Black Lives Matter.  Muslims in America.

Simple – they cause wing nut outrage.  Throw in temper tantrums from the past over happy holidays coffee cups, flag burning, taking down Confederate flags from state capitals, not wearing flag lapel pins, transgender bathrooms for kids, etc.   Strange outbursts over seemingly petty issues – a conundrum to the educated liberal?

The key is rather banal.  The wing nut world view is a 2-dimensional comic book, formed in elementary school, before the introduction of critical thinking, where God, America, Soldiers and Football are all conflated.  Don’t look for any depth …the wing nut is fixated on the symbology and ritual behavior, the perspective of the 10 year old in Sunday School.

Theirs is a religion without theology, a patriotism without civics, opinions without consequence.  The crimes, or sins for them rest not in liberalism, but in disrespecting their sacred symbols and rituals – killing their sacred cows, so to speak.  And they react like any extremist religious group whose symbols are disrespected – by lashing out angrily and sometimes violently.