GOP is Trumped — Disintegration is snowballing

GOP is Trumped

Disintegration is snowballing

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

March 24th, 2024

There’s a “train-crash” fascination to the on-going destruction of the Republican party. The other day the House caved on the latest appropriations $1.1T bill, and Armpits Maggie promptly filed a motion to vacate, the GOP rule that allows the party to dump their own speaker at any time and for any reason. Should the vote occur, then religious nutbag Mike Johnson and his “head-of-lettuce” tenure will go the way of Kevin McCarthy. And of course, even with a unanimous party-line vote, the GOP doesn’t have enough seats to refill the position. Two hundred and eighteen votes are required from the full House, and they only have 217 seats. That will drop to 216 in April.

That’s assuming the vote is even held. However, there is a procedure called “motion to table” which allows the House to decide if a motion should reach the floor for a vote in the first place. Yes, it’s repetitive and redundant, which makes it perfect for fans of repetitive redundancy.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), who likes Mike Johnson about as much as he likes toe fungus, has an idea. A handful of Dems could vote for the motion to table, along with the large majority of Republicans, and that only needs a majority of the quorum, so at most 216 votes to pass. Mind you, they won’t be voting FOR Mike Johnson. They would simply be voting not to vote at all.

But Mike Johnson would have to make a deal. First on the agenda would be for Republicans to step aside and permit the $95b aid package to Ukraine to go through. Second would be to permit a full floor vote on the border bill that Trump scuttled a couple of weeks ago. And if it were up to me, I would add a third stipulation: shut down the Biden impeachment inquiry. Lev Parnas blew the inquiry, already a bad joke, sky-high. Johnson might actually see that as a favor, since it’s reached the point where the only people being damaged by it are Republicans. But it would mean that the House would actually have to do real work, like voting on legislation and formulating plans to move the country forward. So maybe it would not be such a gain for the GOP, unless of course they decide they need to distract from Trump rather than serve him.

Trump himself is disintegrating rapidly. His latest stunt was to boast that he had the cash to cover the real estate fraud judgment against him while at the same time insisting that he doesn’t have the assets or the ability to have the judgment underwritten. We’ll find out tomorrow how that is going to turn out. It’s not impossible that Trump could face criminal counts of fraud and perjury from this going forward.

The latest was the merger between Truth Social and Digital World Acquisition Corporation. The media are loudly braying that this merger would give Trump an on-paper valuation of three billion dollars, but in reality it will do nothing of the sort. Truth Social is a toy social network, with active membership around 850,000 and dropping. DWAC is pure smoke and mirrors, selling only memes, with their entire valuation based on the number of mouse clicks they get. Does that sound like something worth three billion dollars to you?

But Trump can’t cash out his shares for six months after the deal goes into affect. And lenders aren’t going to look at the initial IPO price and assume Trump has three billion in stock; they’re going to look six months ahead, to when Trump would have to repay their loan with interest, and see if the stock has retained even 1/6th of its value.

And it won’t. Neither company has anything tangible to offer, and I predict the IPO will be one of the most disastrous in market history—and it won’t recover. Why should it? It could lose 80% in its first day of trading, and I wouldn’t care to bet it even had penny stock status by mid October.

The latest with Trump is that his handlers are trying to keep him out of the public eye as his mental and intellectual deterioration continues to snowball. Instead, they’re releasing videos of speeches and rallies he held in 2020 and even 2016, and hoping the media won’t notice. Even American corporate media would have to take note of that, especially since the speeches would be referring to “Crooked Hillary” or talking about getting out of Afghanistan.

Further, handling Trump, even in his dotage, is a challenge. Compos Mentis or not, he’ll want to babble to live cameras about how smart he is and how everyone loves him and will vote for him to kick that wicked President “Gangly” Lincoln out of office once and for all. So he’ll be appearing on OANN and Newsmax, and posting all-caps messages on Truth Social, and Democrats will be gleefully recording and using all of them. Trump has already come out in favor of slashing Social Security and Medicare, and wants a nation-wide 15 week abortion ban, which is political suicide.

Trump wrapped up the delegates needed for this summer’s convention, making him the nominee. (Biden did the same, only much more quietly and in a more orderly fashion, and didn’t threaten to kick anyone who didn’t support him out of the party, because Biden has a functioning brain.)

But between his legal and medical problems, I’m only offering one in four odds that by election day, Trump will still be the candidate of the GOP. The party itself, to all intents and purposes, may have ceased to exist by then.

If three Republicans in the House quit or change their designation and leave the caucus, Hakeem Jeffries might well be Speaker and Democrats may control the House before they have to certify the election results, and there’s now a very good chance that may happen as the lunatic right, led by Trump, cause sane conservatives to desert the party in drove.

Say what you will, but it’s not going to be boring. Or routine. Or normal. Or even particularly sane.

And SOTU Speak…– Republican chaos makes for entertaining night

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

March 9th 2024

After last year’s State of the Union address, you might think the Republicans would have dusted the Biden boot marks off their collective asses and learned a lesson. Don’t try to heckle Biden. He’ll eat you for lunch. Did they learn?


Empty “Armpits” Greene (R-Trash) once again led the Charge of the Dim Brigade, “Half a brain, half a brain, half a brain downward!”. She showed up in full MAGA regalia, including the tacky red gimme cap. Someday I hope to figure out how acting like a nekulturny imbecile “owns the libs.” It doesn’t hold up well in my experience. The fastest way to wipe the shit eating grin off a MAGAt’s face is to point out that looking and acting like a fool doesn’t own me.

She stuffed a button in Biden’s hand that read, “Say her name, Laken Riley.” This referred to a 22 year old woman murdered by a Venezuelan national in the US without documents. Biden referred to “Lincoln Riley” in his speech, committing the gaffe of calling her accused murderer “an illegal,” a term much beloved by bigots and hatemongers. But Greene’s crusade was gaffy in and of itself: the presence of the Venezuelan wasn’t because of any Biden policy; the assailant was in the country as a result of a last-day-in-office move by Trump. Per Politico ( ) “President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he will offer Venezuelan exiles protection from deportation, a move he has considered for years but refused to do until his last full day in office. Trump is using the little-known Deferred Enforced Departure program, or DED, to offer temporary legal status to Venezuelans fleeing the humanitarian crisis brought on by Nicolás Maduro’s regime. DED, similar to Temporary Protected Status or TPS, protects recipients from deportation and allows them to get work permits. However, it is granted directly by the president instead of the Department of Homeland Security.”

It wasn’t the only time during the speech where the right exploited a grieving parent to blame Biden for something Trump did. Florida Rep. Brian Mast hit on the bright idea of inviting Steven K. Nikoui, the Gold Star father of Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, who was killed in August of 2021 by a suicide bomb during the chaotic evacuation of Americans from Kabul Airport. However, it was Trump who agreed to withdraw all troops by May 1st 2021 (he originally wanted to do it in just two weeks, by March 2020, but backed off over vociferous Pentagon objections). By the time Biden took office, 5,000 Talibani prisoners were released, and US presence reduced from 13,000 to 2,500, who were supposed to oversee the removal of all US equipment somehow. The government of Afghanistan was given no say in any of this, of course. Biden was able to get an additional three months, but it was going to be a mess anyway.

The Republicans even managed to duplicate one of last years’ missteps, booing loudly when Biden described their tax policy as “giving trillions to the rich.” Biden leaned on one elbow, grinned, and asked, “You’re saying you don’t want to do that now?”

Speaker Mike Johnson, sitting behind Biden alongside Vice President Kamela Harris, was a silent comedy show all to himself with a variety of strained smirks, purse-lipped headshakes, eye-rolls and open indecision over whether he should approve or disapprove of something Biden said. You could almost see a giant translucent Trump head, glaring orange at him, daring him to disobey any transitory whim Trump felt during the speech. Johnson looked like a bible literalist forced to audit a scientific convention on evolution. In case he felt even a moment of comfort, the clown show caucus was there to embarrass him.

How honest was Biden’s speech itself? By SOTU standards, which always involves a lot of presidential congratulatory self-back-slapping, it was really good. He shaded the truth some in some areas, but unlike his predecessor, didn’t say any flat-out lies. You can read the Politifact review here.

Oh, and George Santos showed up. There’s a loophole in Congressional rules that allows expelled and disgraced members of Congress to get seats at the SOTU. No, really. He was there. Maybe he wanted a MAGA franchise for Trump’s $400 gold sneaks. He was a good addition to GOP gravitas.

But the fun didn’t end when Biden finished the speech. He made a classic Biden open-mike gaffe on the way out, telling Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado “I told Bibi (Netanyahu), don’t repeat this, you and I are going to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting.” Even that gaffe couldn’t help the GOP, since Biden said exactly what a large and increasing number of Americans, upset by the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, have wanted to hear him say.

Then there was the Response from the kitchen of Alabama Senator Katie Britt. By the time she was done, a lot of people were expecting to hear a sudden voice over: “From New York, it’s Saturday Night Live!” I won’t go into how weird and bad the speech was—thousands of others have already done that, and the video is around. Watch it. Really. It’s a comedy gem. But she misplayed the same “blame Biden” game. She spoke of a 12 year old girl who was made a sexual prisoner and gang-raped for months on end. She said, “We wouldn’t be OK with this in some third world country. This is the United States of America.” She blamed Biden border policies, of course.

Except it didn’t happen in America. It happened in Mexico. And Biden wasn’t president during any of that; Trump was.

Well, at least she knows what country she’s in. Maybe?

CORRECTION:  The Washington Post has this to say about the rape allegations by Katie Britt:

If you were watching Britt’s speech on Thursday night, you likely would have thought she was talking about a recent victim of sex trafficking who was abused in the United States and suffered because of President Biden’s policies.

If you did, you would have been wrong. Sean Ross, Britt’s communications director, confirmed that she was talking about Karla Jacinto Romero — who has testified before Congress about being forced to work in Mexican brothels from 2004 to 2008. (A viral TikTok by journalist Jonathan Katz first revealed that Britt was speaking about Romero.) In a phone conversation and a statement, Ross disputed that Britt’s language was misleading.

Trump himself had a Truth Social meltdown. He suggested that Biden was using performance-enhancing drugs to come across as not-senile, a curious suggestion from a man often suspected to taking Adderall, especially in light of the mushrooming Trump White House drug scandal under “Doctor” Ronnie Jackson, which gave the impression of Animal House with Doonesbury’s “Uncle Duke” running the show.

Trump didn’t like Biden’s stridency, writing, “THIS IS LIKE A SHOUTING MATCH, EVERY LINE IS BEING SHOUTED.” Yes, he was complaining about someone shouting in all caps. Only Trump, am I right?

But Trump got some good news: Someone put up the $92 million surety certain to be lost when Trump makes his doomed appeal of the defamation case he lost (twice, now) to E. Jean Carroll.

Trump’s bond was guaranteed by the Federal Insurance Company — a New York-based subsidiary of the company Chubb Group LLC, which is headquartered in Switzerland. According to Elana Sulakshana at RainForest Action Network, “Chubb insures fossil fuel infrastructure in Russia that is bankrolling Putin’s war on Ukraine, oil and gas extraction off the coast of Brazil, exploratory drilling in the Arctic, and other fossil fuel projects globally.” CEO Evan Greenberg likes to talk a good environmental stance, but it’s greenwashing. He underwrites some of the filthiest fuel projects for some of the filthiest regimes. And now, apparently, he’s underwriting Trump. At least he’s only taking a small step down, right?

GOP, have faith in George Santos. You are all part of his plan. Or maybe you’re part of Putin’s Plan.

Either way, you’re screwed.

Goodbye, Super Tuesday — Who Could Hang a Game on You?

Goodbye, Super Tuesday

Who Could Hang a Game on You?

(apologies to Mick Jagger)

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

March 7th 2024

The most pointless primary season since primaries began has ground to an effective end, and oh, my gosh, can you believe this? Biden and Trump will be their respective party’s nominees! Whoa! Did you see that coming?

Well, of course you did. You’re not an idiot.

Cable channels devoted hours to covering this non-story, with on-air journalists declaring solemnly that with the polls closed just two minutes earlier, the results were “too close to call.” It was a bit like watching Walter Cronkite narrate a Popeye cartoon and pretend feverishly that Bluto was by far the leading candidate in the race, but it wasn’t over yet! It was pretty sad. Speaking of cartoons, I switched off MSNBC and watched cartoons instead. Even Steve Kornacki couldn’t wring any drama out of the vote count. The only upsets were in DC and Vermont, where Trump managed to lose to Haley. Which showed that in two corners of the country, the majority of Republicans still hold three-digit IQs.

They were glaring exceptions. Most of the polling showed that the former political party known as the Republicans have been fully subsumed by the Nutzis and Nazis. In North Carolina, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson was selected to run for governor of the state. He’s a holocaust denier, a 9/11 truther, quotes Hitler, and wants to strip gays and other gendered people of all rights. And like most of what’s left of his party, he believes humanity begins at conception and ends at birth. He’s a raving nut, not to put too fine a point on it. In Alabama, they chose “justice” Sarah Stewart on Tuesday as their nominee to lead the state Supreme Court. She was one of the judges who ruled that frozen embryos were persons. In California, Steve Garvey, who played first base for the Dodgers for many years up until about forty years ago, came in second in the Senate primary in the state’s free-for-all vote where the top two vote getters are the nominees, even if they are both from the same party—as often happens in a state where the GOP is moribund. Garvey came in second, partly from name recognition (he was a good ball player) and party because Adam Schiff and other Democrats actually PROMOTED Garvey’s campaign, reasoning that he would be easier to beat in the General than Katie Porter or Barbara Lee would be. While he only beat Garvey by a percentage point, it’s important to note that nearly all of the 34% who voted for someone else are Democrats, and probably as much as a third of Garvey’s vote came from Democrats as well. This was probably a kind of a high-water mark for the GOP, since Garvey at least is sane and not a full-blown fascist. By GOP standards, that makes him a fairly respectable candidate.

So now the real fight begins, and despite the on-going dissolution of Donald Trump, it is a serious fight, with the fate of the country at risk.

Trump, in and of himself, is a fading risk. He clearly is suffering from dementia. He only occasionally remembers who the president is, and one of the times he got it right, he wound up endorsing him instead of himself.

But there are a lot of bad actors about, and they are very willing to lie, cheat, steal and commit any fraudulent acts possible to win. The Heritage Foundation (i.e., The National Association of Zealots and Ideologues) openly flaunts its “Project 2025” which starts by eliminating civil service laws to protect Americans from the spoils system, and allows Trump to fire and replace all federal employees with his own loyalists. An Ayn Rand nightmare, it would eliminate the Departments of Commerce and Education, nearly all environmental laws, and “deploy the military for domestic law enforcement and directing the DOJ to pursue Trump adversaries.” A fascist coup, in other words.

They also promote in full the demands of the vile anti-American zealots that call themselves “Christian Nationalists,” eliminating rights to abortion or contraception, the right to be gay or other-gendered, and eliminating separation of church and state, eliminating rights for all but a small percentage of Christians.

They are spending billions through their vast propaganda network, backed by the pack of Australian Nazis who run Fox News.

Bad actors abound. The Republicans, at Trump’s behest, deliberately scrapped the immigration bill that they themselves wrote, in order to try to keep “the border crisis” a campaign issue. Fox and other minutes are having five-minutes-of-hate sessions every half hour to keep the haters and bigots stirred up.

The House Republicans have nearly all co-sponsored HR 431, which declares that personhood begins at conception and thus abortion and birth control are murder.

Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia plan to slash oil production, hoping to drive up prices which the public, at the behest of the extreme right, will blame Biden for. They already have senile stooges like Trump and Chuck Grassley declaring that Biden “slashed oil production” and so prices will rise. The fact is US domestic oil production is the highest it has been in history. Meanwhile, does anybody believe Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russian want Trump because “he will stand tall for America.” Or do they just want a moronic and treasonous dupe? Which makes more sense to you? Viktor Orbán has become a major figure in GOP circles, and I’m sure he does it because he just loves America, right?

But Republicans are liars. Remember that. What ever it is, they will lie about it. Immigrants have lower crime rates, less gun violence, and add a net $40 billion to the economy. The liars on Fox News say otherwise, of course.

It’s going to get ugly, and fast. They already busted a string of websites yesterday purporting to be local news outlets that were actually run by Russia to interfere in election coverage. That happened yesterday. Google “Florida Observer” for details.

Remember: Republicans lie, and a vote for Trump is a vote for Treason.


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