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.

Welcome To The Department of Tin-foil Hats

Professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos is going around touring colleges to spew more of his toxic vitriol, cash out while he can, and try to get a rise out of the kids.

Last night the students at UC Berkeley took the bait and amassed outside the student union to protest (any sane person would have advised them to just ignore the troll and let him disappear into the woods).

Sadly, the peaceful protest was interrupted by a group of hoodlums who showed up to torch some garbage cans and mess things up:

(Photo: Byron Villacis via Berkeleyside)

Before long, people were getting injured, banks were getting burned, and helicopters were flying overhead.

This morning President TicTac weighed in with a not so subtle threat against the whole university and its federal funding. Why? Who knows. The University and (by all accounts) the protesting students weren’t the ones involved in the acts of violence. But why let a good crisis go to waste?

Which brings us to the age-old question of:

Who Benefits?

The only positive outcome of this event was for El Presidente and his anti-progressive rhetoric, a few goons of dubious origin who showed up to cause a mess, and Milo Yiannopoulos (incidentally, an editor at Breitbart) and his klan clan.

The so-called Antifa group, incidentally, have had a history of bad-blood between them and local ‘fa’ groups. But why would real Anti-Fascists try to attack people who were protesting the vitriol coming out of a Breitbart fabulist. You’d think they’d happily join along.

Which brings us to the topic of historical shit-shows (aka False Flags) instigated by people to make their enemies look bad so they could advance their own cause. The progressives (and especially Berkeley students) may want to take notes.


The most notorious historical bit of fakery was, of course, the Reichstag Fire.

A much less well-known one was a little sleight-of-hand by the Italian police in 2001.

But the best documented one was the one in 1953 in Iran that brought down Mosaddeq and brought the Shah back to power (which started a whole trail of events that are still with us today).

Now let’s not for a minute compare the inconvenience of a pointless shit-stain of a human being like Milo whatsisname to such large, momentous events.

But the notion of innocuous events being subverted into violent protests which were used as an excuse to initiate larger counter-events is something that has been with us for a long-time.

As we move into a nation of permanent protesters, we should be on alert that it will be fairly easy to transform a peaceful march into a large-scale riot with relative ease. And then to use the riot to tighten the authoritarian clamps.

Organizers of such protests should ask themselves how they can preempt and prevent these types of subversions. The best tactic is open and transparent communication with the police, training for participants and volunteers, and a rapid shutdown of any bad behavior before it gets out of hand.

Last night’s event should act as a wakeup call to progressives. From now on, every organized event should be on notice. Your peaceful march can turn into a miasma of police helicopters, tear gas, and defensive back-pedalling that will completely obscure the original intent of your gathering. Be vigilant and prepared for these sorts of subversions.

And the question smart media folks should always ask before devolving into sensationalistic headlines is:

Who Benefits?

Of course, it’s easy to go to the other extreme and believe every fabulist point/counter-point of deceptions.

So let us stick to the facts and not forget that Tin Foil Hats Actually Make it Easier for the Government to Track Your Thoughts.

Who said what?


“The… press is all about lies! All they tell is lies, lies and more lies!”

“They do not even have control over themselves! Do not believe them!”

“This is unbased.”

“I have detailed information about the situation . . . which completely proves that what they allege are illusions . . . They lie every day.”

“We will push those crooks, those mercenaries back into the swamp.”

“The American people are not stupid, they are very clever.”

“I will only answer reasonable questions.”

“They are becoming hysterical. This is the result of frustration.”

“They are lying every day. They are lying always, and mainly they are lying to their public opinion.”

“Some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting.”

“We are winning!”

Shortest Presidency ever?

That ain't water
That ain’t water

Will the Walking Orange Turd even make it to the Inauguration at this point? He is likely financially underwater and unable to divest from his business holdings, financial ties with Russian mobsters and shady operators, clear evidence of Russian hacking to help elect him (after he pretty much asked them to on camera), and now blackmail from the Russian government…including an interesting report on his penchant for golden showers!

What else haven’t we seen, besides his tax returns (which will pull all the threads together)? Are we looking at President Pence on the 20th?

From the Department of Self-Brainwashing, Cont’d

It’s not just Kentucky.  In Slate, Michelle Goldberg reports on the findings of focus groups convened by Planned Parenthood:

Shortly before the election, Politico and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health surveyed voters on health care policy. One of the survey’s findings was that 48 percent of people who were planning to vote for Donald Trump supported continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood, compared with 47 percent who did not. Nevertheless, now that the election is over, stripping Planned Parenthood of federal support is a key Republican priority….

… Now bracing for an unprecedented legislative attack, Planned Parenthood wanted to know more about the intensity of its support among Trump voters and about how well these voters had understood Republican plans when they went to the polls. On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood made recordings of the 90-minute focus groups—held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Phoenix; Las Vegas; and Milwaukee—available to a group of journalists.

For opponents of Trump, the recordings make for excruciating viewing. They show how myths about Hillary Clinton’s corruption proved more influential than facts about Trump’s. “I really didn’t trust Hillary at all, and that’s why I went with Trump,” said a new mother in Harrisburg who’d been undecided until the last moment. “He’s more honest than her.” […]

… It seemed as if Trump’s lasciviousness, which Clinton hoped would disqualify Trump with women, actually worked in his favor. The focus group participants couldn’t imagine that Trump would enact a religious right agenda.He’s probably paid for a few abortions himself,” said the 58-year-old in Phoenix, eliciting a roomful of laughs.

This is exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post. Why not vote for Hillary? “I can’t trust her.”

Okay, but how can you vote for Trump, given what he’s said and promised? “Well, he doesn’t mean what he says.”

Somewhere in the afterlife, George Orwell must be thinking about how he described the proles in 1984, and wondering if he undershot the mark.

Notes from the Nascent CA Insurgency vs. Trumpism

California may not have to secede from the United States in order to lead a rebellion against the reign of President 46.1 Percent:

  • A likely Obamacare repeal?  California could pass its own insurance mandate to keep its successful state health insurance exchange operating.
  • A coming immigration crackdown? The city of Los Angeles is creating a $10 million legal defense fund for people threatened with deportation.
  • Trump as precedent for future grifter-candidates who won’t reveal their financial interests?  California may soon let voters pass an initiative to require presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to be eligible for the CA state ballot.

If they keep this up, I may have to move back…


What’s the Matter with Kentucky?

You might have caught the in-depth story in Vox this week about Obamacare enrollees in Kentucky who voted for Donald Trump, despite his (and all other Republicans’) endlessly repeated promises to repeal it at the first available opportunity.

For the TL;DR crowd, Kevin Drum at Mother Jones pulls out some of the choicest quotes:

Oller: The funny thing is, my husband said, “You know, he’s going to eliminate health care.” But he really can’t totally take it out, because everybody has to have health care. You can’t go backward….

Kliff: Did you hear him talking about repealing Obamacare in the campaign?

Oller: Yeah, he was going to get rid of it. But I found out with Trump … he says a lot of stuff. [laughs] I just think all politicians promise you everything and then we’ll see.

Kliff: Do you think if it does go away, you’ll regret your vote in any way?

Mills: I don’t know. I guess I thought that, you know, he would not do this….I was thinking that once it was made into a law that it could not be changed, but I guess it can? Yes?

What can be done about this kind of self-brainwashing?  As Drum summarizes, these folks “figured Trump was just blathering because, come on, what kind of person would take away people’s insurance?” He’s explicitly promising to ruin their lives, and they dismiss it as harmless blather.

But I’ll bet you that if you asked for their opinion of Hillary Clinton, they’d dismiss her knowledge, experience, and detailed policy proposals by saying, “There’s just something I don’t trust about her.”

There’s something deeper than political messaging going on here.