Decompensation – Trump is at his most dangerous

May 23rd, 2019

According to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, decompensation, among other things, is “failure of defense mechanisms resulting in progressive personality disintegration.” Basically, if a person with mental illness is confronted by a reality that shatters the comforting lies with which he has cocooned himself, he shatters, both mentally and emotionally.

Donald Trump appears to be in a state of decompensation and seemingly can no longer sustain the pretense of being a functional person able to interact with others.

Yesterday was remarkable enough. In a pre-planned meltdown (and one apparently vigorously opposed by his aides) he declared that he would not be interacting with Congress on legislative negotiations at all until the investigations of himself were ended. That was astonishing.

He concluded this utter spectacle by declaring grandly, that he was “the most transparent president in history, who doesn’t do cover-ups.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the performance “jaw-dropping” and it’s pretty hard to take issue with that.

By way of example, three presidents before him have faced serious impeachment proceedings: Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. All three continued to do their jobs and even on the eve of impeachment votes, continued back-and-forths with Congress regarding major legislation. They had a job to do, and they all had the courage and character to do the job, no matter how bleak their political futures appeared.

He had already declared that investigating him was treasonous, and today he doubled down on that, declaring that James Comey, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe were the traitors he had in mind. The reporter asking him that added, “Sir, the Constitution says treason is punishable by death. You’ve accused your adversaries of treason. Who are you talking about?” Trump didn’t seem to have any problem with the inference that he would want to have those four individuals put to death.

At a rally last night, he declared that William Barr, his lickspittle and contemptible Attorney General, was “looking into” investigating Trump’s political foes.

This is Nazi dictator stuff that is happening here.

Trump’s entire world is collapsing. He is a man who not only has lived a lie, but has been an utter lie since he was about three years old. He loudly proclaimed (and presumably believed) that he was a great businessman and one of the best negotiators on Earth. In the past fortnight, a stunning investigative piece by the New York Times revealed that not only was he a poor businessman, but in terms of money lost, the worst businessman in America over a ten-year span. Despite his efforts to utterly stonewall all investigations, Congress has his bank records from Wells Fargo and TD banks; Rex Tillerson gave hours of secret testimony about his pathetic meetings with Vladimir Putin, and he is losing court case after court case, unable to even use litigation as a delaying tactic.

Imagine the thing in your life that most defines you as a person, and is something your entire self-respect and self-image relies upon. Maybe you know it’s a lie, and maybe you don’t, but suddenly, you are totally and utterly exposed in such a way that the whole world knows about it. This is far worse than dreams about no pants in school, or getting caught downloading porn of 14 year olds. This is something that utterly smashes your entire public persona.

That’s what happened to Trump.

Now, I’m not trying to present him sympathetically. His is a tawdry, sordid, vicious life in which he has coldly and even joyfully hurt and cheated many people. He was utter sociopathic scum before he became president.

He also had Nazi proclivities. During the campaign, people warned that his bedside reading material consisted of one book: “My New Order” by Adolf Hitler. He admitted to this readily enough, but claimed that it was OK because the person who loaned him the book was Jewish. (He wasn’t, and it doesn’t exactly explain why Trump would fixate on a book that, along with many of Hitler’s speeches, provided a step-by-step description of how he attained and consolidated his power.) Even without Trump’s blatantly and viciously anti-Semitic, racist, bullying and dishonest tactics, the fact that he would put in considerable amount of his time studying this particular book is deeply disturbing.

So we have a President who is a sociopath and deeply admires a murderous long-dead dictator, and has a self-evident trait of finding and wanting to kill scapegoats. His actions in the wake of Puerto Rico’s hurricane should have put us all on notice: he doesn’t mind killing people.

Now all the rest of his defenses are crumbling. He is losing court case after court case, and even some Republicans are beginning to distance themselves from Trump. One, a Michigan representative, Justin Amash, called for impeachment hearings, meaning that Trump will want to try and execute him for treason. Pelosi is openly goading him into overreacting to the point where even Congress will have to consider removing him, not through impeachment, but on 25th Amendment grounds. She called on the GOP, his cabinet and his aides to stage an intervention, the way you might with a nephew who just got popped for drunk driving for the third time.

The worst of it is that Trump has toadies in Congress such as McConnell who will do nothing to stop Trump. He has frantically populated the Justice Department and the courts with stooges, and doubtlessly hopes his two appointments to the Supreme Court might shield him. It’s horrifying to realize that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh might do just that; they never were anyone’s idea of independent and impartial jurists, and Trump loves to use the Russian tactic of kompromat; who’s to say what he has on those two? It’s unlikely he would have named either without a file with nasty personal information.

Make no mistake: facing utter personal and professional ruin, Trump is at his most dangerous. He is capable of casually horrific acts; now he has, from his perspective, unlimited reason to employ such tactics.

Brace yourselves, people: the next chapter in this story is going to be very, very ugly, and quite dangerous.

Aborting America – “Pro Life” shows its pro-death face

May 15th 2019

Imagine if some religious cult sprang up that declared that cancer was God’s way of calling his children home, and thus it was a sin to do anything to treat cancer. Thus anyone trying to eliminate cancer, including the removal of tumors, should be punished, up to 99 years in prison.

If that sounds pretty whack-a-doodle, reflect on the strange things the mainstream religions in America teach. Bible literalists have to believe such utter nonsense as the talking snake story in Genesis, the Ark story, and the sun holding still in the sky for three days. Non-literalists have to accept such oddities as virgin births, miracles, and power of prayer as being a real thing.

So having a group rising up and declaring that blastomas are an expression of God’s love and must be protected at all costs really isn’t all that far fetched.

That there is no biblical basis for such a belief is pretty irrelevant. After all, ‘God’s Will’ has been used to justify most wars, even against other Christian enemies, an unending bitter strife over mostly worthless land in the middle east, slaughter of indigenous tribes in Africa and the Americas, and even the massacre of cats in Europe (led to the plagues, that, as the rodent population exploded). Jewish and Islamic countries have (and still have) similar atrocities stemming from similar beliefs. Indeed, many of the worst elements of religious savagery in all three main faiths stem from the same source—the Mosaic Law of what Christians call the Old Testament.

But religious-based lunacy can exist independently of weird texts translated hundreds of different times that were originally written by people who didn’t know the Earth was a globe or that lobsters weren’t fish.

This leads to the abortion movement. In America, the Catholic Church always opposed abortion on grounds similar to my hypothetical pro-cancer faith; they thought all human seed was sacred, an expression of divine love, and thus it was a sin to waste seed. At various times and in various places, the church punished and even executed men for the ‘sin’ of masturbation.

When fundamentalists glommed on to the notion of stopping abortion in the wake of Roe v Wade, they brought their own brand of fundamentalist lunacy to the table. Every zygote possessed a soul and was an expression of God’s will.

Years ago, I came across a ‘public service announcement’ put out by some of the religious lunatics that featured an animation of a full-term baby being aborted, and as she (curly blonde hair and pink bow in her hair, the way most female babies are born) is dying, she’s screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Why are you doing this to me? Don’t you LOVE me?”

I laughed at the sheer absurdity of that cartoon, but here we are, 30 years later, and millions of Americans believe a truly savage blood libel spread by Republicans and Fox News that babies—real, actual babies—are being aborted after they are born because that is what Roe v Wade demands.

John Oliver had a clip of some intellectual abortion standing in the Alabama Legislature, droning on about “Baby Fetus” and even providing supposed quotes from this etymological absurdity. Two days later, Alabama passed a draconian law banning all abortion and providing life sentences to anyone performing or getting an abortion.

There’s an old saying: “People who can be persuaded to believe absurdities can be led to commit atrocities.”

It’s not even Biblical. The Bible doesn’t mention abortion, although it does condone ripping babies from the wombs of the women of vanquished foes and dashing their brains out against a rock. The New Testament has nothing to say about abortion, even though Nazareth had no shortage of midwifes who had abortifacient herbs and crude tools to physically induce abortion. Further, in many levels of society in that time and place, it wasn’t uncommon for female babies to be drowned or used to break rocks because female children were expensive and of limited use. For some reason, Jesus never did have an opinion on that.

Dressed up as a religious and moral crusade, the anti-abortion movement is neither. It doesn’t really care about “the life of a child,” as witness the fact that few if any of the people running the movement have any provisions whatsoever for the care and feeding of these involuntary children, or helping the mothers in any significant way, or otherwise assuming any responsibility.

It is, instead, a naked authoritarian power grab. It places a large segment of the female population in a precarious role where they can be effectively enslaved, either by pregnancy or the mere fear of pregnancy. If Alabama’s law is allowed to stand, the move will be on to ban birth control of all kinds. In the name of God, of course.

It’s a political movement, as well. The brownshirts of the GOP have long used the religiously insane as a handy bludgeon to enforce their more authoritarian dictates, such as enforced worship of the police and military, and to justify discrimination and segregation.

And if you take a look at the states joining the rush to knock down Roe v. Wade, with the exception of Ohio, all are in southern states with long histories of repressive authoritarians backed by the iron dictates of corrupt pastors.

It’s time to recognize the ‘pro-life’ for what it is: it’s not pro-anything. It’s anti-women, anti-choice, anti-individual, and anti-freedom. It opposes everything America stands for, including the right for every person not to have someone else’s religious dictates imposed upon them. No woman should be enslaved by some politician lying about God’s will. Nobody should have to follow the religious taboos of some church if they don’t want.

They are anti-America, and should be treated, not as voices of some god, but as enemies to American rights and freedoms.

Biden His Time – Trump’s gone fishing

May 12th, 2019

Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani called Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, “independent, brilliant and honest.” Translated from Giulianese into Realspeak, that means that Barr is a servile flunky, dull-witted, and corrupt. Translating Giuliani is pretty easy, as it turns out. Just take whatever he says and invert it. Black is actually white, up is down, and Trump is wisdom and integrity personified.

But then after about five minutes of speaking, Giuliani’s 32 kilobits of RAM is depleted, his buffer is empty, and the inadvertent truths start tumbling out. His eyes go blank, he starts sweating profusely, and Fauxnews suddenly has to go to commercial.

He is the face of an administration that exists on typos, lies and cruelty. He’s a perfect match.

So why is he yakking about the Barrbarous One, anyway?

Well, Rudy managed to get his tail in a real crack this week. He planned to travel to the Ukraine as part of a mission to dig up dirt on the present leader of the Democratic thundering herd, Joe Biden.

Well, not Joe, actually. His son, Hunter. Hunter Biden.

Now, Hunter isn’t an angel. He got popped for cocaine in 2014 and got kicked out of the Naval Reserve as a result. He also joined the board of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, owned by Mykola Zlochevsky. Burisma in general and Zlochevsky in particular have been under a dark cloud of official suspicion of corruption for years, culminating in the Serious Fraud Office of the British government seizing some $23 million in Zlochevsky’s assets.

However, doing a fraud investigation on a Ukraine company is a bit like fishing for a particular turd in a septic tank. It’s dark, and there’s nothing to make a particular turd stand out. The Crown, confronted with systematic intransigence from the Ukraine government, eventually abandoned the investigation, unlocking the assets and paying the legal bills. That removed the legal liability, but not the suspicion. To give you some idea of how bad things are in the Ukraine, Zlochevsky, president of a natural gas company, had been the Minister of Ecology under the now-exiled Viktor Yanukovych.

It’s nearly as bad in the Ukraine as it is in Trumpistan, the former United States.

It doesn’t help that Hunter has close associations with Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street outfits. That doesn’t reassure as regards his business ethics and scruples. He’s was also banging his late brother’s widow after the brother, Beau, died. He proclaimed his love publicly, but this still had a fairly high element of creepiness about it. They broke up earlier this month, just about the time Daddy announced he was running for President. Pure coincidence, I’m sure.

Since the Ukraine activities ceased, he founded a hedge fund in China called Bohai Harvest RST, and the three billion dollar fund has involvement in various unsavory activities, such as mass surveillance and harassment of Moslems in China.

So it’s not too unreasonable to have questions about the activities of Hunter Biden.

But there’s never been any evidence that Joe Biden was involved in any of this. Indeed, as this was going on, his other son, Beau, was dying of brain cancer, which ensured Joe’s attention was elsewhere.

But the Ukraine thing was four years ago. Investigations went nowhere, and that particular turd eventually decomposed.

But now this month, Giuliani planned to go to the Ukraine in hopes the present Ukraine government could dig up some dirt on Joe Biden. It’s illegal to solicit campaign interference from a foreign government, but Giuliani probably looked at Trump and figured that if the President does it, it must be legal, and blabbed his intentions to the press.

I think the poor fool was honestly amazed at the reaction he got. In any event, he hurriedly canceled the trip, blaming Democrats and, weirdly, the Ukrainians.

Well, lo and fucking behold, here comes that Lion of Liars, the Parson of Persiflage, the Trumpty of Dumpty, Captain Pissmop himself, who declares grandly that Hunter Biden’s activities in the Ukraine need to be investigated, and is ordering his Attorney General, the “independent, brilliant and honest” William Barr, to open an investigation.

Yes, four years after the fact, and long after other investigations had closed on the matter.

Trump obviously feels that nobody should be near the White House who may have solicited illegal campaign meddling from foreign governments and been involved in shady financial dealings in the countries run by such governments. Why, to Trump, such a horrible situation was totally unthinkable.

So that’s why Giuliani was suddenly calling the sluggish William Barr “independent, brilliant and honest.” He needs some cover, and having Trump’s pet oaf of an A-G throw shade at Biden by attacking his son struck him as wise and patriotic (remember to translate from Giuliani to realspeak, now).

The remarkable speed with which Trump came up with the notion of having Barr investigate Hunter Biden tells us this: Trump originally told Giuliani to go to the Ukraine and get dirt from their government on the son of the now-leading Democrat he might have to face in 2020. If Trump hadn’t already known about it, he would have done what he usually does when Rudy does something exceptionally stupid and unexpected, and just left him to twist in the wind. The fact that he overreacted so quickly tells us he’s looking to cover his own ass, at least to the extent that he’ll give Rudy enough cover that Rudy won’t panic and blow the whistle on Trump.

And we think the Ukraine is corrupt.

If I ever run into Robert Mueller, I’m going to have to ask him what bait he uses to go fishing in the Trumpistan septic tank for a particular turd.

Well, Mueller will be appearing before Congress later this month. I don’t guess he’ll have any thoughts on Hunter Biden, but he will tell us about life in Septic Washington.

There was music in the cafés at night – And revolution in the air

May 7th 2019

It’s a bit strange right now, comparing the headlines in the news with the general calm in the population at large. Trump and the Republicans are actively staging a coup against the United States, and seemingly inviting a revolt with their open sneers at the Constitution and rule of law.

But for now, people are just going about their business, outside of the cable stations and general media. Folks watched Game of Thrones the other night, and if they drew any correlations between Cersei and Trump, they didn’t speak of it. John Oliver did discuss what he calls “Stupid Watergate,” but the balance of his show was on the topic of lethal injections.

Some people are watching closely, of course. Even a majority of Americans are watching now. In the cesspools of Faux News, the viewers and readers are being assured that this is a plot against the wildly successful, patriotic and deeply Christian Donald Trump by Democrats seeking revenge for the Clinton impeachment or something. They have succeeded in making their audience so self-isolated that they can tell them anything, no matter how objectively ridiculous it is.

Just to show how insular and divorced from the mainstream this Republican cult really is, a fellow named James McDaniel set up a fake ‘right wing news’ website that featured stories of Hillary Clinton sacrificing children and Barack Obama running a secret coup from an underground bunker in Washington DC. He then promoted the site on actual right wing sites, mostly by forwarding his fake news stories.

In just two weeks, his site received a million unique visits, and hundreds of thousands of likes and shares. He said, “If I wrote about CNN being fake news and connected to ISIS, readers would agree wholeheartedly with my fabricated article. If I wrote about a black liberal or Obama supposedly saying something controversial, the response was unbridled racism and hatred. When I wrote about Hillary Clinton’s new emails that proved she was a child sacrificing maniac, people screamed for her head.”

Alarmed by the type of response he was getting, he posted a message saying everything on the site was fake, and added a disclaimer to every news story. Didn’t help. He wound up parking the page because right wingers kept right on believing the fake news stories.

So it’s not surprising that about 35% of the population has been brainwashed into supporting what amounts to open treason against the United States. But what’s going on with the rest of America?

In light of the Mueller report, in which the redacted version shows such a vast array of criminality and corruption on the part of Trump that over 700 federal prosecutors have signed a document stating that the evidence was so compelling that anyone who was not a sitting president would be facing multiple indictments right now, his popularity has actually improved somewhat, from a -16 on the aggregate polls in late January to a -10 now. Fully 78% of Republican voters believe the Mueller Report cleared Trump of any wrongdoing. Pfft! What do 700 federal prosecutors know, anyway?

Part of this response, ironically, is a tendency of people to ‘rally round the flag’; the thinking, if that’s the word for it, is that our president is under attack, and we must forget our partisan differences and defend the country. If you think that it requires a stunning level of ignorance to achieve that mindset, you are in a minority; relatively few Americans know who William Barr is, or even Mitch McConnell. These vaguely ‘support the President’ sorts take pride in “not paying attention to that political stuff” so all they know, in a dim sort of way, is that Congress and the President are having some sort of tiff, and it’s along party lines. They know who Trump is, but Jerry Nadler is just some Democratic politician they never heard of, so they side with Trump. And they are lacking the intellectual and educational tools needed to understand just how serious Trump’s defiance of the Constitution is, and how grave the consequences for them might be if he should succeed in his drive to become a dictator.

That still leaves over half the voting population of the US unaccounted for. And one of the strangest things about the coverage of all this is the utter lack of attention to what the voting public thinks about all this. Outside of the right wing sewers, media response is all but unanimous and vociferous: rule of law must be upheld, Trump must be held to account. But you can search the web in vain for reports of any outcry amongst the public. The aggregate polling sites ask if people think Mueller ‘cleared’ Trump or not, but not how the feel about what is going on. Activists sites such as MoveOn are rabid about the contempt Trump is showing for America, but not discussing actions outside of the power of the subpoena.

It’s perplexing. In just about any other country, a situation like this would result in massive rallies in every city, and talk of general strikes. Hotheads would be discussing revolution, and broadcasters would be urging calm.

Let me be clear: nobody sane wants a revolution, and I’m talking about rallies, not riots. (I don’t trust the right not to stage riots, either on their own behalf or provoking riots at rallies just for purposes of ratfucking the rest of us). But the country is in a very clear and immediate danger, and if Trump wins this, the only likely outcomes will read like the plotline from Game of Thrones. We can either move peacefully now and help save America from Trump and the Republicans, or face far less palatable options later on.

Why the ongoing silence?

Barrbarian Rhatsophy – Barr belongs in jail—next to Trump

May 2nd 2019

William Barr, career criminal and putative top cop of the country, refused to show up before the House for testimony on the Mueller report today. Some wag on the Democratic side replaced the doughy and misshapen Trump stooge with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was an improvement, insofar as the bucket of chicken at least promised to provide some content.

The Republicans, who have descended below the level of kindergarteners in trouble with the teacher, tried blaming the Democrats for Barr’s refusal to testify. One major moron in waiting, Doug Collins, a Republican of Georgia, opined that “The reason Bill Barr is not here today is because the Democrats decided they did not want him here today.”

See? It was all the Democrats fault! Why, they wanted to ask Barr questions about his contradictions and lies, and to explain why Mueller was so pissed at him. That’s all. I’m sure there were reasonable explanations.

Other Republicans blamed Hillary Clinton because they couldn’t think of anything else to say. After all, it’s not like they would ever force Clinton to testify for 11 hours in response to loaded, ideological and dishonest questions. Given the perfect fairness and civility Republicans showed, is it too much to ask that Barr be given a pass?

Perhaps the best rationale came from the perjurer-in-chief, who is of the opinion that the suspect in a criminal trial should be free to refuse to be questioned by authorities if he felt the questions might be biased against him or cause embarrassment.

OK, fair point. When the LAPD asked Charlie Manson if he stuck a fork in Sharon Tate’s belly, that showed great insensitivity and even some microaggression on the part of the police. Better a mass murderer should be allowed to run free rather than to have to deal with impolite and even overbearing police!

Only an overprivileged moron like Trump could, with his bare face hanging out, demand the right for a suspect in a criminal investigation to determine what questions he might have to answer.

And poor Donald has so many other distractions to deal with. Both his nominees to the Fed imploded over the past couple of days, one because he couldn’t handle his household finances, let alone a world economy, and the other because he was the most stupid fucking bastard this side this side of a pile of dog shit. Indeed, Trump nominees implode with such regularity and to such comic effect that it reminds you of that episode of “Russian Doll” where the protagonist dies a couple of dozen times in the space of five minutes. Or Sideshow Bob with the garden rakes.

Now that the clown rodeo has closed for the day and there’s no longer any doubt that Barr is a criminal Trump stooge, the question arises: what is congress going to do about it? Even Pelosi flat-out called Barr’s actions criminal. Dozens of Democrats want him punished: arrest or impeachment, or both.

Make it march, guys. Arrest the guy. If he quits and thus can’t be impeached, he’s still going to face criminal charges. And Trump is starting to realize that the power of the pardon is a dangerous tool, as witness the fact that even as he was schmoozing with the psychotic murderers of the NRA, and despite Vladimir Putin’s howls of outrage, he was letting Maria Butina rot in jail.

If Congress orders Barr’s arrest for contempt of Congress and perjury before Congress, Trump may not dare intervene.

In fact, Trump being Trump, he’ll probably start calling Barr weak, stupid, fat, and a host of other adjectives, and create an enemy where he had an ally. We’ve seen him do that dozens of times before, with Sessions, Cohen, Manafort, and Ryan. It’s a gift, I tell you.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is threatening to sue to prevent Mueller from testifying before Congress. Think about that: the DoJ appointed Mueller to do exactly what he did, with the intent of giving his report to Congress, and now they are suing themselves to prevent Mueller from giving his report to Congress. It’s the sort of clownery you expect from inept authoritarian regimes, whether Rufus T. Firefly or Donald J. Trump.


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