“But Everyone Loves The Leader!” — Well, maybe not so much, it seems…

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

May 28th 2023


Talk to a Trump supporter for more than a few moments, and the absurdities begin to pile up like newspaper wrappings and plastic bags in a blind alley. Trump is a victim of Antifa and George Soros. The communist leftist radicals plotted for years to bring him down. America was never richer nor more powerful than it was during his presidency. Trump built the wall and solved the border crisis, only to have the Democrats destroy it. Trump cured COVID. Trump exemplifies probity, patriotism and piety. It goes on and on.

It reminds me of some of the claims I’ve heard about North Korean strongmen: they can shoot a perfect 18 in a round of golf, impregnated one thousand virgins in a single night, and lift a starving and benighted nation to glory.

I’m sure most of you have seen examples of what I call Trump Tractor Art; hagiographic images that portray Trump as a hero, a leader, even as Jesus. Some of them made it onto those ridiculous NFT ‘trading cards’ that Trump was peddling last year.

I understand they’re selling “Trump dollars” now at an inflated price that have exactly zero value. A few years ago I gifted a friend with a Trump coin, which basically resembled a fifty cent piece only the presidential seal replaced the national one, and Trump replaced Kennedy. It was a brass alloy designed to be golden, and the quality was actually surprisingly good. I paid $4.99 for it. I’m a jokester, not an idiot. I’m kinda sorry I didn’t get one for myself: it was unique amongst the trolling-for-morons marketplace of MAGAland in that it wasn’t utter garbage and was reasonably priced.

In much of the tractor art emitted by Trump sycophants, he bears an unnerving resemblance to The Homelander, arch-villain in Garth Ennis’ HBO production of The Boys. Given Trump’s personality problems, the notion of a Trump with superpowers is horrifying. Vain, brittle, narcissistic, delusional and devoid on any personal ethics or morality. I’ve wondered in the past if Garth Ennis drew some of his inspiration for The Homelander from Trump. A similar emotionally damaged human with superpowers was Alan Moore’s “Kid Miracleman” and while his physical appearance was drawn from David Bowie, his empty malevolence seemed familiar more to that of Trump’s.

Which brings me to a claim a Trump supporter made recently that stopped me in my tracks in utter disbelief. The claim was that Trump was far more popular before he decided to run for president and he sacrificed that to the howling mob of haters who opposed Trump because he was strong and noble and pure. Or something.

The thing is, a lot of people saw Trump for what he was long before he decided to run for president. His notoriety was such that he became a frequent target in such well known daily comic strips of the 1980s and 1990s as “Bloom County” and “Doonesbury.” Berkeley Breathed, the creator of Bloom County, quit mocking Trump for the simple reason that he wanted people to smile and feel better, not worse. (Reports that Trump hit him with a cease-and-desist order, while certainly plausible enough with the thin-skinned Trump, turned out to be myth.) Garry Trudeau had no such qualms, and made Trump a mainstay in his strip from the early eighties right up to this morning’s strip. He even had Trump running for president in 2000. The idea was that a man so vile and vulgar would get a rabid following but end up flaming out in scandal. This was back in the days when it was believed that rank-and-file Republicans at least possessed some of the integrity and values that they loved to inflict upon others. Then, as now, Trump was vile, he was vulgar, and he was ridden with scandal. He was a cheat, a liar, a bigot and vicious as hell in the 1980s, and everyone knew it.

Even he knew it. Shock-jock Howard Stern asked him about running for President back about that time, and he said that with his history with women and the law, he could never get elected.

Just his history in the court system revealed a man who cheated his customers and clients, didn’t pay his bills, and ran endless scams. He even had to settle on cheating a children’s cancer charity, and is forbidden from being involved in such charities in New York state. His relationship with the courts is one of using an army of lawyers to obfuscate and delay, and eventually to get away with a vast panoply of misdeeds, not through justice, but through attrition.

One of his most infamous moments came with the 1989 case of the Central Park 5. A young woman, Trisha Meili. was viciously assaulted and raped and left for dead while jogging in Central Park. The assault was so vicious that to this day she has no memory of it, having lost 80% of her blood, sustained significant brain injuries, and was left tied up to die. Suspicion immediately fell on a group of black children who had been nearby, youths aged 14 and 15 who had been hassling but not really threatening people in the park. Police coerced confessions from the bewildered kids, and Trump blew $85,000 on a full page ad that read, in part “I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer… Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will…. How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their Civil Liberties End When an Attack On Our Safety Begins!”

He wanted the death penalty brought back specifically to punish those kids. (Then, as now, he was wholly ignorant of the Constitution and its prohibition against Bills of Attainder and ex post facto enforcement of laws.) That would have been bad enough, but the totally mismatched DNA (which the NY pigs called “inconclusive”) was found to match that of a man who confessed to the crime, Matias Reyes.

That was in 2001, twelve years later. The kids, now adults, were released and several won large suits against NYC due to the massive miscarriage of justice they suffered. (Reyes never was tried for the rape and near-murder of Meili, due to the statue of limitations. Oddly, Trump didn’t weigh in on that injustice, perhaps because Reyes isn’t black.)

Now, most demagogues would be content to slither under their rocks and pretend their calls for the execution of five kids was due to bad information at the time. Not Trump. He snorted, “You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt.” Under duress, and of course, police station confessions are a favorite tool of dictators world wide. Stalin was very fond of those.

Trump likes to deflect, claiming without evidence that the kids “mugged” dozens of other people in the park at the time. He’s let it be known that he would have liked to see those five boys executed ANYWAY, regardless of whether they committed the crime or not.

So no, Trump was NOT ‘more popular’ then. He may not have been as unpopular, but that’s not quite the same thing. He was widely derided, scorned, even hated, and he gave ample cause.

We didn’t like Trump than, and we don’t like him now, and no amount of myth-building amongst his dwindling band of followers is going to change that.

Hawks and Owls — GOP continues lemming plunge

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

May 18th, 2023


I wonder which will happen first? Will the Republicans’ extremism that sometimes slops over into outright treason and fascism cost them enough votes to neuter them, or will they destroy the country first in a mindless attempt at extortion?

Of course, things aren’t going well for them. They lost two mayoral elections Tuesday, both in deep red areas, one under the purview of Ron DeSantis, and the other in the district to Lauren Boebert. Both had been considered locks for the GOP.

Speaking of Bo-bo, she’s getting divorced, and that’s already turning into a white trash rodeo, Palin-style. Maggie Armpits is also getting divorced. Family values and all that.

The GOP is clinging to George Santos because they need his vote so desperately, and the Dems gleefully maneuvered them into voting against expelling the con artist. The Republicans think they can strike back by voting to expel Adam Schiff, because two actions are always the same no matter what. Just like having Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court is exactly the same as having Thurgood Marshall.

Speaking of the “all things being equal” mentality, Armpits is whining that “white nationalism” is the same as the N word, because ‘slaveholder’ means exactly the same thing as ‘enslaved.’

Trump is claiming the Durham report proves that he tried to stop Biden from committing war crimes or something. Trump’s buddy Putin has his mercenaries firing on his own troops and he just fired the scientists who developed their hypersonic missiles because, like the jet planes under Hitler, it failed to change the course of the war. Stay in your bunker, Putie. Someone will be by shortly to scrape you up.

Then there’s the Jordan ‘hearings.’ How many courts could a kangaroo court if a kangaroo could quartz courts? The clowns in the little car are the only part that makes any sense. It seems the dawg ate Gym’s homework.

In Arizona, election and reality denier Kari Lake called her star witness, Jacqueline Onigkeit, She was supposed to establish improper verification of voter ballots. She did the exact opposite. The Arizona Republic bemusedly reported, “As a witness for the defense, Onigkeit was dynamite. The problem is, she was supposed to be the star witness for Lake.”

But of course, there is the budget blackmail that is still ongoing. Republicans are hoping Democrats will cave before they have to murder the country, and Biden doesn’t look to be in a caving mood. The crazier boobs of the Republican Party are hoping that they can stay with their tried-and-true approach to governance: Fuck things up, and leave it for the Democrats to fix. This would be more of the same, piled higher and deeper.

Racking up bills is always more enjoyable than is paying them, and for many years, Republicans have gotten away with the lie that the Dems rack up the bills. Don’t believe me? Here’s something my friend Isaac in the Weasels posted this morning: It shows that over nine out of every ten dollars in the debt is from Republican policies and misadventures. It’s only gotten worse since it began with Reagan. It also shows the Democrats tried to staunch the flow of Republican largess to the rich. Read it and weep:

Here’s a look at the budget deficit each president since Lyndon Baines Johnson inherited from his predecessor, and what the budget deficit was when he left office.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (D)
Assumed office November 1963: $5 billion deficit
Left office January 1969: $3 billion surplus
Reduced the deficit by $8 billion

Richard Nixon (R)
Assumed office January 1969: $3 billion surplus
Left office August 1974: $6 billion deficit
Increased the deficit by $9 billion

Gerald Ford (R)
Assumed office August 1974: $6 billion deficit
Left office January 1977: $54 billion deficit
Increased the deficit by $48 billion

Jimmy Carter (D)
Assumed office January 1977: $54 billion deficit
Left office January 1981: $79 billion deficit
Increased the deficit by $25 billion

Ronald Reagan (R)
Assumed office January 1981: $79 billion deficit
Left office January 1989: $153 billion deficit
Increased the deficit by $74 billion

George H.W Bush (R)
Assumed office January 1989: $153 billion deficit
Left office January 1993: $255 billion deficit
Increased the deficit by $102 billion

Bill Clinton (D)
Assumed office January 1993: $255 billion deficit
Left office January 2001: $128 billion surplus
Reduced the deficit by $383 billion

George W. Bush (R)
Assumed office January 2001: $128 billion surplus
Left office January 2009: $1.4 trillion deficit
Increased the deficit by $1.5 trillion

Barack Obama (D)
Assumed office January 2009: $1.4 trillion deficit
Left office January 2017: $665 billion deficit
Reduced the deficit by $735 billion

Donald Trump (R)
Assumed office January 2017: $665 billion deficit
Left office January 2020: $3.7 trillion deficit
Increased the deficit by $3 trillion

Joe Biden (D)
Assumed office January 2021: $3.7 trillion deficit
Fiscal year 2022: $2.775 trillion deficit
Fiscal year 2023: $1.376 trillion deficit
Reduced the deficit by $2.3 trillion (so far)

So in the past 60 years, only one Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, had a larger budget deficit in his last year in office than he inherited from his predecessor. All six Republican presidents had larger deficits in their last budgets than they were handed at the start of their term.

In other words, Republicans love to spend taxpayer money. And yet so many gullible voters have swallowed the GOP line that it’s the Democrats who are spendthrifts, the basis for McCarthy’s current threat to refuse to pay the nation’s bills — something Republicans never did as Trump was adding $8 trillion to the national debt in just four years.

Yes, the party of Trump, DeSantis, Greene, Santos, Luna, Boebert, Lake and Jordan is going to save us all for irresponsibility and financial ruin. Oh, did I say “for.” Cough. I’m aFreud I made a typo…

Let me put it as plainly and as bluntly as I possibly can: if you think the Republicans want to help you, and help the country, and the Democrats don’t, well, you’re a fucking fool.

We’re Not From the Government — And We’re Not Here to Help

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

May 6th 2023


In the wake of the latest mass shooting in Texas, Greg Abbott, putative governor of that benighted state, blamed the shooting on the government.

My comment on Facebook was “Someone notify this stupid bastard that in Texas, HE is ‘the government.’”

I drew a good response from one fellow who wrote, “That’s one of the strangest things these aholes are allowed to get away with when addressing their base; ‘It’s somebody else’s problem. Sure you elected me to fix the problems, but that still doesn’t make them my problems.’”

Well, that’s not by accident. I wrote back, “Ever since the Kochs hit on the realization that the only way they could seize power was to divorce government from the people. Thus elected Republicans would pretend that they were the freedom fighters and ‘government’ the enemy they struggled against, And as they made government less representative, less helpful, less honest, they would say, ‘See? Our self-fulfilling prophecy has come true!’ Only fools elect people to government who want to destroy government.”

Did the Founders consider this when they wrote the Constitution?

Of course they did. They recognized that in order to have a viable representative Democracy, there were two major social forces that had to be curbed and held in check: The aristocracy, and the churches. James Madison, considered the chief architect of the Constitution wrote some twenty years later, “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” While he was working on the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson, then in Paris (and an early supporter of what eventually became the French Revolution) petitioned Madison strongly for a bill of rights, one of which would include what amounted to a 100% real property estate tax in order to prevent the rise of an aristocracy like the ones he saw enslaving England and France. (Unfortunately, that one didn’t make the list.)

Churches are still churches, and no matter how well-intentioned, breed malevolent zealots. The aristocracy goes by a wide variety of names: Royalty, plutocrats, corporations, fascists, ‘captains of industry,’ and more recently, “disrupters” and “libertarians.”

Both are fueled by authoritarian impulses, and want, among other things, unswerving loyalties from the masses, a captive audience, and a complete lack of accountability.

Madison and Jefferson, along with most of the Founders, saw the twin threats to freedom for what they were, and resolved to keep them contained.

The results were mixed; many states sneaked through laws against blasphemy and enforced cruel dictates against behavior that didn’t hurt anyone. The aristocracy caused one civil war in support of slavery, the ultima thule of capitalism. They’ve crashed the economy dozens of times, including one that very nearly destroyed the country. They, too, have pushed for cruel and repressive laws, and demanded authority they neither deserved or could handle responsibly or fairly. But overall, the dream of Jefferson and Madison kept those forces of tyranny somewhat in check.

In the wake of the Great Depression and World War II, with the reputation of fascism and capitalism in ruins with the American public, the wealthy elites formed an alliance with the one authoritarian power nexus that working people didn’t instinctively recognize as an adversary: Religion. The preachers, stymied by popular skepticism toward cross-wavers in power, were quite willing to accept an allegiance with the plutocrats. The plutocrats needed help in convincing people that the government was inept, overbearing, and an enemy of the people. They knew the only effective way to do that was have their preachers teach that government is evil. They had jovial clowns like Ronald Reagan to quip, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” and to persuade people that turning over the tax revenue to the super-rich would somehow help the poor.

What they needed was some sort of high-octane moral issue. The ones that galvanized the public, such as civil rights, the environment, and education, weren’t what they had in mind. They wanted angry pitchfork wavers who wouldn’t threaten profits or strengthen the labor pool.

They hit on abortion, an issue of importance only to the type of loons who felt dancing should be a criminal offense, those, and the Catholic Church, which still hadn’t gotten over Galileo.

After that, all they needed was an extreme propaganda network that could block truth and promote lies. Enter Rush Limbaugh and Rupert Murdoch, the world’s greatest merchants of hate.

The message was a drumbeat: government bad and evil, profits and gawd good.

So when Abbott blames a mess he contributed to making on “the government,” nobody should be surprised. Republicans have spent generations working to make government weak and ineffectual, and then bitterly blaming it for not being strong and effective. Although when pressed to make government strong and effective, say through gun control laws, effective laws against monopolies and dishonest business practices, or protect the rights of minorities, they claim this would make government overbearing and tyrannical. It’s a three-card monte of a philosophy.

They want government limited to only defending their interests, and only a fool thinks the interests of billionaires or televangelists coincide in any way with the interests of the average person.

All autocracies, whether theocratic, or fascist, or (usually) both rapidly become corrupt, cruel, and detrimental to the security and safety of the society they have sought to enslave.

Need proof? Looks at the studied viciousness and cruelty of the anti-abortion freaks now that they’ve been unleashed. Look at the corrupt members of the Supreme Court that unleashed them. Look at the blossoming corruption in the financial sector, and the next coming crash.

Authoritarians are authoritarians, and waving crosses and flags doesn’t make them “more American.” They are the antithesis of what America is meant to be about. They are not your friends, they are not your protectors, and they will make your life hell if they take over, just as has happened throughout history.

America is not immune to this nonsense; they’ve just had the incredible good fortune to be guided by people who saw religion and landed wealth for the threats that they are.

Until now.



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