Friday, June 23, 2017

Trump in Cedar Rapids: Promising the Rubes What's All Ready Been Done, the Horror of Another Run By Hillary, and Just the Beginning of Sodomizing America

Here is what happened next. Donald Trump traveled out to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to make a speech. He did so because he's going to run for re-election in 2020 and it's never too early to campaign. Plus, quite honestly, speaking to something like 6,000 adoring fans is a drug to him. Standing at a podium in front of the wildly cheering rubes blunts the angst of misgivings far more effectively than powerful opioids. It snuffs out any glimmer of reservation about what he is doing and how he's doing it. It makes him whole again.

One of the things he told all those angry, put upon, white people was, "I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years."

The crowd went wild. People stood, cheering and clapping. Not a one of them doubted their man understood their frustrations and was willing to fight for them. Trump drank in their adulation. As always he stood surveying the room with seemingly half closed eyes, his chin jutted out in some weird, otherworldly, channeling of Benito Mussolini.

At this moment it is unclear whether Donald John Trump knows just such a law has been on the books for 20 years, or not. The raucous brown shirts in the crowd certainly didn't. In fact, given the level of ignorance in the hall when it comes to all things Washington, it is doubtful they would have believed, Bill Clinton signed the, "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act," in 1996 even if you showed them the document.

No--thanks to the right wing/alt news media which is the sole source of their knowledge when it comes to civic affairs and history, Trump's mob would have never bought it. Even if a few of them did actually know, you can bet they'd argue the The Great Liberal Cabal, makes sure the law is never enforced.

Therein lies the problem for anyone with the temerity to question Donald Trump and his vast band of ruthless, monosyllabic, fascists. Thanks to his supporter's deep conspiracy theory roots and a firm conviction America should be run by and for white Christians they wouldn't acknowledge the truth even if it kicked them in the balls.

Indeed, Trump simply makes shit up as he goes along--just as he did on the campaign last fall and in Cedar Rapids--and his base counts it all as gospel. There is no connect with reality for them, because their reality isn't actually real. It is a myth based belief system based on and fed by, outright racism, loathsome xenophobia and, faux patriotism.

That isn't to say there aren't enough sane people remaining in the republic to oust Donald Trump in 2020, because there are. Unfortunately, right now anyway, there isn't a single democrat out there who can win their votes.

Screw the alleged divisions in the republican party. Their disagreements are only about how blatant the fucking will be and who will end up making the most profit from it.

The terrible truth is it's the democrats who are suffering a void in both leadership and policy. Name one democratic proposal in the last year which has caught the imagination of anyone outside of a college student looking for a tuition free public college education? Name one democrat who can make a crowd roar to life like Donald Trump?

The left wing of the democratic party scares the bejeezus out of every American who had it drilled into them a lurch toward socialism is apocalyptic--and that's a lot of everyone born before the year 2000. The centrists on the other hand represent a squalid status quo which reeks of empty rhetoric and delivers few, if any, solutions to those who have gone from making cars to frying burgers.

There is simply no one out there who can unite these disparate wings of the democratic party, much less sway independent voters. The situation is so awful the horror of yet another Hillary Clinton run seems almost plausible. My God, you can almost hear her saying, "I tell you, Bill, the third time is the charm."

Yes, we can rail against Trump, make brutal fun of him, and accuse him of high crimes, both real and imagined, but we're stuck with the evil fucker.

And--unless democrats can find someone, anyone, who can energize uncommitted voters like he does his base, 2017 is just the beginning of what will become known in history as, The Sodomizing of America.

Trust me, I have a feel for these things.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Great Post Cinco de Mayo Spending Spree: Strangers Run Amok in Monterrey as the Bank Account Melts

Ah, technology. Where there is data, there is always some geek looking to steal it. Just ask Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. The Russians hacked into their computer files as easily as they might smash a porcelain piggy bank with a hammer. Then, before anyone could say Vladimir, all manner of confidential emails, many altered and some not, were buzzing around the internet. Shortly afterward the former Secretary of State and those of us with functioning intellects were fucked.

But, hey, that's another story which has been well documented far and wide.

What we are talking about right now began last Wednesday, or Thursday and is far more immediate and personal.

On Wednesday my wife paid for a visit to her eye doctor with her bank debit card. On Thursday she used it to pick up stamps from a machine in a U.S. Post Office lobby and later to buy some sublimely greasy grub from a local Sonic Drive-in.

At one of those three places, or in between, someone with a Bernie Madoff Super Secret Deluxe Credit Card Scanner managed to pick up her card number and expiration date without ever touching the card itself, or her.

That person, we're told, immediately sold the information over the net to some other son of a bitch who, with very little effort, copied and pasted the account number to a blank Interjet check card and a CBA, "youth credit card." Interjet is an airline serving U.S. locations, Mexico, and the Caribbean, while CBA is a bank located in Kenya.

By last Friday morning this second person, or persons were loose in Monterrey, Mexico and other points south having the time of their lives. Meanwhile our checking account was melting away like an ice cube on a hot sidewalk.

There was a cash withdraw of $200 with the Interjet card in Toluca which is west of Mexico City. Then a $30 withdraw on the CBA card in Monterrey. There was also a $30 charge to a hospital in San Pedro, which is a part of the Monterrey metro area and an $80 plus hit at a Guadalajara pharmacy.

To celebrate the treatment of what we can only hope is an extremely painful disease, or injury, plus the procurement of God knows what kind of opiates, a shopping trip to a Monterrey department store ran up a $100 tab. Finally, to top off the occasion there was lunch at a Monterrey Burger King which cost $12. Every buy was accompanied by international banking fees ranging from $6 to .37 cents. It all happened within 15 hours of the visit to the Sonic.

That's where The Screw The Howards Express stopped. It wasn't the bank who discovered the run amok fraud. Oh no. Despite previous stern warnings that if we traveled out of country without notifying them first our cards would be shut off as soon we attempted to use them, Bank of Oklahoma happily deducted every sale from our account--no questions asked. Indeed, I just happened to look online to see if a recent check had gone through and there before me was the post Cinco de Mayo spending spree happening in real time.

The desperate phone calls began immediately Friday and didn't end until this morning. The bank canceled the card at once. However it took a personal visit to a local branch and the crudest sort of threats--"Listen, I'll sic Jim Comey on your ass. The man is a professional when it comes to these things!"--before the technocrats in command of the great computer finally issued us, "provisional credits," covering the charges. The permanent refunds won't be applied until some latter day bank dick decides my wife and I didn't actually fly off to Toluca for a Thursday and Friday orgy of sex, drugs, and mariachi.

Yes, it is a brave new world. Who needs guns when you have a brain, the right sort of electronics, and the morals of Don Trump? Just swoop in, swoop out, and let the machines do the rest. Well, except eat the Whopper and fries.

Suddenly living off the grid sounds, not just appealing, but advisable. So much so a cabana on the east side of Ambergris Caye looks to be the only viable option at this time.

sic vita est


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Megyn Kelly's Father's Day Gift: Alex Jones, The King of All Conspiracies, Unleashed and Unhinged

For all you Dad's out there who have, will have, or have had first and second grade children attend a public elementary school, Megyn Kelly has a Father's Day gift for you this Sunday.

His name is Alex Jones and he is the host of his own internet and radio show called, "Info Wars." Depending on his audience he either believes the mass murder of children barely older than babies at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, 2012 didn't happen at all, or he kinda thinks it did--at least when it comes to the dead kids part.

In the first scenario the government staged everything. The children never existed and their grieving parents are, to this day, convincingly played by what's known as, "crisis actors." In the second, murderous feds actually gunned down 20 innocent kids, six school employees, and presumably Nancy Lanza, then pinned the whole thing on her son. In both cases the crime was committed to justify the disarming of American citizens.

Well we know how that plan worked out don't we. Instead of any semblance of gun control the NRA and their toadies in congress wanted teachers to start packing weapons. It became so acutely weird some even suggested students should be armed.

However, I digress.

When NBC announced they would broadcast an interview with Brother Jones some of the parents of the dead children went what is commonly referred to as ape shit.

The problem, they pointed out, is there are people living outside of mental institutions who actually believe Jones' cruel anti government phantasms. Nelba Marquez-Green, the mother of Ana Grace Marquez-Green, who was murdered by Adam Lanza, tweeted this, "Every week. 5 years later. Still harassed by truthers. You do NOT give crazy a platform. You're better than this @NBC."

She went on to post, "America promised on 12/14 to never forget. Having Alex Jones on NBC on Father's Day is not never forgetting and it's promoting the wrong thing." She predicted there would be, "an uptick of threats to us, to our families, suggestions that we're not real people, that we're crisis actors."

That's right the fuckers who follow Jones are so bat shit crazy some of them routinely call families of the victims demanding to see their children's death certificates even as they accuse them of being paid liars. A university professor in Florida did that to Leonard Pozner, the father of Noah Pozner. Another Jones aficionado, Lucy Richards went so far as to threaten Pozner's life.

She was so unrelenting authorities dragged her to jail. She pleaded guilty to making the threats and after briefly taking it on the lam was sentenced last week to five months in the joint followed by five more months of house arrest.

Pozner admitted to being a fan of Jones until his son was murdered. Now he says, "When I first lost Noah, I woke up and realized that people who spread these stories are more interested in propagating fear than getting at the truth. And the human cost of that is phenomenal."

In response to the outrage Kelly noted Jones had hosted Donald Trump on his show before the election and was praised by the candidate. In her eyes that makes him a legitimate interview subject. She explains on Twitter, "Many don't know him; our job is 2 shine a light."

It's true. Trump told the man who claims the terrorist attacks on 9-11 were an inside job and the Sandy Hook shooting was a government hit, "Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down. You will be very, very impressed, I hope. And I think we'll be speaking a lot." As I write, Alex Jones remains a staunch Don Trump supporter.

In a preview of the interview, among other things, Kelly said to him, "When you say parents faked their children's deaths, people get very angry."

Our man Alex responded with an old Russian ploy--change the subject and point out the moral failure of others. He said, "Well I know, but they don't get angry about the half million dead Iraqis from the sanctions, or they don't get mad about..."

Kelly cut him off and accused him of dodging the subject which is all fine and good, but what did she expect? After all she was dealing with a guy who moments later said, "Well here's the big one they always make fun of me. You probably want to throw this in there. Thirty years ago they began making animal-human hybrids. Isn't that the big story Megyn Kelly should be doing?"

Maybe, but then none of your fans are calling them, whoever the fuck they are and promising to perpetrate violence if they don't halt the alleged state sponsored bestiality.

Jones is now saying he wants NBC to kill the show. While appearing to be fine with the whole Homo sapien/fauna buggery thing, he is accusing Kelly of misleading him and claims the show was selectively edited in order to present--you guessed it--"fake news" to the public.

Actually the truth is it probably dawned on The King of All Conspiracies he screwed the pooch when he agreed to do the interview. To millions and millions of non-fans he is going to come across as an evil, babbling, loon with no grip on reality. To the hordes lurking on the internet he will have sold out to the main stream media and let himself be manipulated by the dark minions of the Illuminati.

Indeed, in the end, on Sunday the vaunted host of, "Info Wars," will have served, them. And to the diverse tribes of conspiracy enthusiasts out there is no greater crime.

If that is a triumph over lying rubes like Alex Jones so be it. However such a victory comes at a tragic cost. Just ask the people who not only have to live with the unimaginable pain of Sandy Hook on a daily basis, but the vile jackals who tell them their babies and loved ones never really existed, or died.

sic vita est


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jim Comey Tells Us What We Already Knew and While Some Might Fall, Donald Trump Will Walk

It was billed as the biggest public hearing/live TV event in Washington D.C. since the 1973 Watergate committee opened its investigation. The talking heads on CNN and MSNBC were absolutely giddy and those on FOX shuffled papers nervously as they grumbled about the anti-Trump hysteria gripping liberals from coast to coast. Bars who cater to lawyers, political junkies, and those gruesome individuals who love to stare at the carnage wrought by train wrecks opened early. The anticipation was such one almost expected to see Hillary Clinton sitting in the gallery, knitting furiously, while cackling, "La Guillotine, La Guillotine..."

Yes, James B. Comey was going into the dock and would be grilled, not by a bunch of crazed hacks in the House, but rather members of the Senate--the political descendents of Sam Ervin, Dan Inouye, and the rest of those who ran Dick Nixon's thugs to ground so many decades ago.

Unfortunately for those of us on the left, the smoking gun wasn't there. In fact, Comey's testimony, despite breathless over analysis by people like Chris Matthews, revealed very little the public didn't already know. The only real loser in the proceedings was Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It now appears he was a little more cozy with the Russians than he has previously admitted under oath.

Of course in the Trump campaign and subsequent administration that's just a fact of life. Almost every one these ruthless slime except, perhaps, the hard core fascist duo of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, have been exchanging body fluids with the Russians long before Donald Trump's inauguration in January.

The list goes on and on. Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, Sessions, Jared Kushner, and Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz have all been wheeling and dealing with Putin's chums and lackeys. In fact the only person close to El Don who appears to have avoided the connection is Ivanka Trump and that's only because she is hooked up with the Chinese on a clothing deal.

The Big Orange Guy took to Twitter Friday and wrote, "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication."

Not quite.

Trump is claiming vindication because when he made Comey the offer he didn't think he could refuse the FBI director told him he wasn't personally under investigation for collusion with the Russkies. In fact, at that point the only ones who were making those sort of accusations were Clinton diehards deep in the throes of convulsive denial.

When Don Trump fired Comey after hearing the director's good news he not only confirmed the suspicions of the Clinton people, he signaled to the nation--or at least to those of us who aren't run amok xenophobes--he had something terrible to hide.

No, the lurid wet dreams of leftists everywhere were left unfulfilled when Jim Comey didn't provide a spiritually orgasmic, "gotcha" moment this week. However, as the TV show blurb says, "The Truth is Out There." Special Counsel  Robert Mueller is on the job and he just announced Michael Dreeban, an all star criminal lawyer, is joining his team.

And, you don't add a guy like Mike Dreeban unless you're going to use him in a court room.

The odds are someone is going to jail before this is over. My money is on Manafort and Flynn. As for Trump, those fantasies of impeachment in the house and conviction by the senate are just that.

You'll never convince me Donald John Trump and his crew aren't as dirty as they come, but he's made a career of skating on perversely blatant scams and this is just another one. Trust me, when it comes to the Russian deal, the evil fuck is going to walk.

Bet on it.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tweets Away Once Again: Donald Trump Praises Qatar Then Tries to Bury It and the Art of Diving In Head First Without Knowing How Deep the Water is

We are friends, we've been good friends now for a long time--our relationship is extremely good. One of the things we will discuss is the purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment. It's an honor to be with you.

Donald John Trump speaking to the press and Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, leader of Qatar last month during his visit to the Middle East.

Unfortunately in the Trump universe time flies and things change rapidly, not to mention radically. In fact the pace and scope is so frantic poor goofs like Sean Spicer end up eating massive amounts of Pepto-Bismol tabs while swilling cheap gin straight from the bottle. 

Early yesterday the Saudis, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar. They were followed by the governments of Yemen and the Maldives, plus the one in Libya which controls the eastern part of the country. Their public reason was Qatar helps sponsor terrorists groups.

Not one to shy away from taking credit for practically everything, Don Trump immediately took to Twitter. He typed, "During my recent visit to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar--look."

Then, "So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism."

Yeah, well, if Qatar is such an evil enabler of terrorism why was Trump talking about selling them, lots of beautiful military equipment just a couple of weeks ago? Of course that is just the first question. The second is, why would you insult the only country in the entire region who is willing to host a major U.S. airbase--one that serves as an operational hub for B-52 bombers and is manned by over 10,000 American personnel?

The answers to such queries are obviously for Trump's people to deal with. He is more of a big picture guy who reacts not to the details of policy, foreign, or otherwise, but rather whatever shows up on a Fox News update, just as he did yesterday.

In truth, it's unclear exactly what King Salman took away from his meeting with Donald Trump. However, we do know Saudi Arabia hasn't been a big fan of Qatari foreign policy for quite a while. As far as the Saudis are concerned Qatar is far too tolerant of arch rival Iran. Egypt, on the other hand, is suspicious of its apparent chumminess with the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition Qatar created and financed the news network, Al Jazeera who served as a media cheerleader for the, "Arab Spring," movements which threatened ruling royal houses and dictators alike.

Qatar is a petro laden peninsula surrounded on three sides by water and on the fourth by Saudi Arabia. It is about a 1000 square miles smaller than Connecticut and its 313,000 citizens are outnumbered at home by 2.3 million foreign workers. Given the circumstances it shouldn't be surprising, Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani practices a Byzantine strategy which is designed primarily to ensure the survival of his monarchy rather than serving what he considers someone else's cause.

Besides, no matter what Don Trump believes or tweets Qatar isn't the only government on the Arabian Gulf who performs a precarious high wire act between the twin chasms of chaos and oblivion. Yes, for many it is a performance so routine it has become a simple fact of life. We may not like it, but we do have to acknowledge everyone does what they must in order to survive.

In the end if the Qataris react badly to our guy, he'll huff and puff and probably call them losers in yet another tweet. What he can't do though is replace Al Udeib airbase if al-Thani considers the American insults grievous enough to kick us out of his country.

But hey, these things happen. It is the price you pay when the Big Orange Dude does what he does best--lather up and dive in head first without knowing how deep the water is.

If you believe the cruel rubes who voted for him, that trait is exactly what makes Donald Trump an American messiah and the republic GREAT AGAIN.

The rest of us, however, hold a somewhat different view. It's one that features a mutant version of Elmer Gantry running wild in a big tent that reeks of pissed on sawdust and mildewed canvas.


sic vita est


Monday, May 29, 2017

A Look at Hard Numbers on Memorial Day, 2017

In the United States the last Monday in May is set aside as Memorial Day. It is a time when we the living are supposed to honor those who have died while fighting the nation's wars. It is a government sanctioned holiday, but thanks to capitalism and the greedy slugs who run it, millions of Americans are stuck working their asses off rather than meditating on the sacrifice of others. Of course, to be brutally truthful, most of us who aren't stuck behind a counter somewhere tend to pay little attention to the meaning of the day either. We just kick back and enjoy the time off.

A lot of uber patriots will tell you all the people who died in our wars did so defending freedom. While that's true in few instances, many of the conflicts the republic has engaged in didn't really have anything to do with defending freedom. Most, in fact, were fought to expand our territory at the expense of others, or defend countries run by questionable people who we deemed friendly to our political and economic interests.

Actually it gets rather complicated, not to mention baffling, when you take a look into the causes of most our wars--and there is a bunch of them to choose from. Wikipedia lists 79 different wars, or conflicts where the U.S. military took casualties. At least 23 were waged against various tribes of Native Americans. I say at least because it depends on your source and what you call a war. There are some experts out there who claim the government of the United States waged as many as 40 separate conflicts against the indigenous people of the continent.

But, let's face it, causes and motives are a matter for philosophers, historians, politicians, and other congenital liars. What we are concerned with here are hard numbers. The blood and bone statistics so to speak.

According to Wikipedia, 1,354,644 Americans troops have died in wars since 1775. The total rises significantly if an estimated 300,000 dead Confederates who fought in the Civil War are thrown in. Then there are nearly 41,000 who have been declared missing in action since WWI. Obviously there were MIAs prior to then, but The Great War was the first time anyone thought to keep track of them.

When all those numbers are put together they equal the total population of Idaho, plus about 12,000 extras from Washington, Oregon, or Montana. Take your pick.

As horrifying as our stats are however, when it comes to war casualties, the Europeans make us look like two bit shirkers. In WWI the French alone lost 1,397,800 dead. That's 43,000 more people than currently live in New Hampshire. In WWII it's estimated 10.6 million Soviet troops were killed--500,000 more human beings than now reside in North Carolina. The Germans on the other hand lost a little over 2,000,000 in WWI--everyone in New Mexico--then, two decades later suffered anywhere from 3.7 million to 4.4 million military deaths. That's equal to all the people in either Oklahoma, or Kentucky, although, to be honest, since the sons of bitches started both wars no one west of Nuremberg, or east of Potsdam really gives a shit.

Yes, I could go on, but what's the point? No one reflects on gruesome war time body counts while grilling bratwurst, or burgers on a sunny day. Why should we?

After all, for modern America war is a constant, low grade fever. We've been fighting in Afghanistan for 16 years. An American baby born the year we invaded is now driving a car and only two years away from being eligible to enlist.

Given such a reality, it is easier to shut it all out and chug a light beer from a cold, sweating can than dwell on the sacrifice and insanity, both of which are far too abundant, not to mention persistent.

Indeed, don't worry if you missed the solemn cemetery processions today. If history has taught us anything, it's that there will be more to come--a lot more.

sic vita est


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sean Hannity: The Vile Duality of the Beast

I'm not a journalist. I'm a talk show host.

Sean Hannity

At least he got that right.

Sean Patrick Hannity's bias was so intense during the last election cycle it is a wonder he didn't pull down a regular pay day from the Don Trump presidential campaign. Then again maybe he did. In the murky world of conspiracy theories where Hannity likes to dwell much of the time all things are possible. Who knows if there weren't envelopes of cash passed from Mike Flynn to the Fox News personality? After all, it's obvious Flynn has a taste for shady money transfers and serving as a bag man certainly wouldn't be beneath the former National Security Advisor.

Over the years Hannity's speculations and accusations have run the gamut from whole hearted support of the idea Barack Obama was born in Kenya, to Hillary Clinton being either desperately ill last autumn, or dead drunk. His advice to democratic operatives at the time was, "sober her up." 

Perhaps his most famous moment came when he went all in on the side of Cliven Bundy. Bundy is the Nevada rancher who was grazing his cattle on government owned land--and might still be--at tax payer expense. According to Hannity, Bundy was something of a cross between Patrick Henry and those brave lads who stood fast at the Lexington Green a couple of centuries ago. Unfortunately for Hannity, Brother Bundy proved himself to be such a vile racist he would have fit right in at a Ku Klux Klan pep rally.

The song and dance routine performed the night he had to disown the evil old reprobate remains one of the greatest moments in cable TV history. The only thing even close is Karl Rove's on air meltdown the night Obama won re-election.

Of course those things are in the past now and as always we've moved on. Over the past few weeks, Sean Hannity's attention has been focused on the murder of former Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich and what he calls, "the tin hat conspiracy theories," which claim Trump's presidential campaign had help from the Russians.

Yes, Fox's new main man has gone all in once more. The short version of the latest right wing phantasm is, Seth Rich stole all those emails and attachments from the DNC last year because he was sickened by the committee's corruption. He sent the information to a third party in the UK who handed them to WikiLeaks. In this scenario the Russkies had nothing to do with the DNC hacking and therefore are innocent of meddling in any way during the last presidential election. Tragically, Rich was found out and "liberal fascists" put out a hit on him in retribution.

One of the main purveyors of the theory is a New Zealand internet hot shot and convicted hacker who goes by the moniker, Kim Dotcom. (Hey, you can't make this shit up.) According to the Washington Post, Dotcom is suspected of trying to hack into Rich's email account as late as last week in order to plant fake archives to prove his accusations.

Rich's father, who is running his late son's Gmail account, didn't bite on suspicious email from Dotcom's website so apparently the account remains safe for now. In the meantime the Post reports, Dotcom tweeted he was going to prove Seth Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks. Hannity glommed onto the tweet and told his audience to brace themselves for a, "revelation." He went so far as to invite Mr. Dotcom onto his show so millions would hear proof of the conspiracy directly from the horse's mouth.

Then things got a bit dicey. Fox News, who had been using private investigator, Rod Wheeler as a source for its coverage of the lurid affair, realized he had gotten a good part of his information from a reporter and none of his dope could be verified. Yesterday, in the face of external criticism and what has been described as internal revulsion by some of their news staff, Fox retracted the entire story.

Hannity, being Hannity remained defiant, at least early on. He tweeted he was not Fox News, or and he wasn't retracting a God damned thing.

The same can't be said for Kim Dotcom. The Post notes he took to his website and said he wouldn't speak any further about his allegations.

Which leads us to last night, the evening Sean Hannity was going to prove to the world through Mr. Dotcom the DNC is a gang worthy of a Mario Puzo novel.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

Dotcom was, for the aforementioned reason, a no show. In his absence and in lieu of any proof of deadly criminal activity, Hannity told his viewers he'd received a, "heart felt," letter from the Rich family and he'd sent them a, "heart felt," letter in return. He went on to say that out of respect for their feelings he was going to drop the subject of Seth Rich's murder for now. That would be the respect he'd been completely devoid of until the whole alt right myth came unglued and his guest bailed on him.

In an attempt to cover his ass with the hard core Trumpers viewing the non revelation, Hannity gravely warned that democrats and the Trump hating media were pursing their crazed conspiracy theory of collusion between the campaign and Russia without a scintilla of proof. He also solemnly promised to pursue the truth with whatever means available to him.

Well, you have to say something don't you? Especially after all the rats, no matter how heavily into hallucinogens they might be, have jumped ship and left you alone on stage with your dick in your hand.

Not to worry though. Sean Hannity won't be concerned about such embarrassing moments for long. He is way beyond that now. Let's face it, when you're a right wing shill who will say anything it takes to further your world view shame is, but a fleeting shadow. Ultimately, Mr. Hannity may admit he isn't a journalist in a candid moment, but that doesn't stop him from selling his show as journalism to the angry rubes who listen and watch him.

None of us should buy that deeply twisted Hannity line and as for his perpetually outraged audience, I choose to go with Ted Koppel. He told the smarmy shit, "You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts."

What Koppel left unsaid was, Sean, you not only attract them, you feed on them. And--they feed on you.

Indeed. Such is the vile duality of the beast.

sic vita est


Friday, May 19, 2017

Fox, Breitbart, Drudge, and a Guy Named Rod Wheeler Go All Conspiracy Theory

Here we go. It took a little while for the latest iteration of right wing conspiracy craziness to gain traction, but thanks to a Washington D.C. Fox outlet, Breitbart, The Drudge Report, and a guy named Rod Wheeler we are on our way.

Early in the morning of July 10th, 2016, 27 year old Seth Rich was walking home from a bar in Washington D.C. He was a block, or so from his place in the district's Bloomingdale neighborhood. Tragically he never made it. After responding to a report of shots fired metro D.C. police found Rich on the sidewalk. His hands, knees, and face were bruised up and he'd been shot twice in the back. He died later that day at a local hospital.

Police have yet to identify a suspect, or recover the weapon. Their theory then and now is Rich was the victim of a robbery attempt gone wrong. It is a big city crime so common, one can picture it happening. He's confronted by a thug at four something in the morning on dark street in an area which had suffered a rash of muggings. He either puts up a fight, or gets beaten just because the dude, or dudes want to prove how bad they are. Then, in an attempt to escape the nightmare, Seth Rich breaks away and makes a run for it, but is gunned down from behind.

Every piece of evidence indicates Mr. Rich's death was a tragic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unless, of course, you're one of the right wing conspiracy meth heads who haunts the internet. You know, a member of that elite club of alt. journalists who claim the mass killing at Newtown, CT never took place and Hillary Clinton personally ran a child sex ring out of the back room of a Washington pizza joint.

Yes, because Seth Rich worked for the Democratic National Committee there had to be more nefarious powers at work than your average street punk. The twisted theory floating around out there goes this way. Russia didn't hack the DNC and neither did anyone else. Seth Rich, appalled by the ruthless behavior of Hillary Clinton, Donna Brazile, and John Podesta, secretly gave 44,000 plus documents to WikiLeaks via a journalist in order to expose their crimes against the nation and humanity. At some point he was identified as the mole sabotaging the democrats so he was terminated with extreme prejudice, or, as the alt. news guys like to say, assassinated.

Earlier this week former police officer turned private investigator Rod Wheeler sorta kinda agreed. He told a D.C. Fox outlet, Seth Rich had contact with WikiLeaks and the proof was on Rich's lap top which was being held by either metro D.C. police, or the FBI. He also said the local cops had been told by unknown persons to stop investigating the murder.

It didn't take but a moment for Breitbart, Fox, the Drudge Report, and the Russians to jump all over Wheeler's statements. In an instant they were screaming to high heaven Vladimir Putin had been set up and played the patsy by the gangsters at the DNC. Those lonely voices over on YouTube, who have been singing this tune for nearly a year became absolutely orgasmic.

According to a separate Fox report, Rich's laptop had been turned over to the FBI for forensic analysis within four days of his murder. The report states evidence found on the laptop proves Rich sent all the stolen documents to an American journalist living in England named, Gavin MacFadyen who routed them to WikiLeaks. MacFadyen isn't available to confirm any of this, because he's dead.

Meanwhile, it's been revealed, Wheeler who has been described by the right wing media as the Rich family's investigator doesn't even work for them. He was hired and his fees are being paid by a third party, who one source claims is Fox News contributor, Ed Butowsky. In addition, it turns out the ex cop, who is playing the part of independent investigator, is a regular Fox news source and is also a sometimes paid contributor. His main brush with fame came in 2007 when he announced to a stunned Fox host there were gangs of lesbians roaming Washington armed with pink pistols, raping young girls. Ten years later the shocking report remains, as they say, unconfirmed.

On Tuesday the Washington Examiner quoted a police source, "with knowledge of the investigation," as saying, "It (the laptop) never contained any emails related to WikiLeaks and the FBI never had it."

Later on Tuesday Wheeler began to do his version of the Hokey Pokey. He admitted he's never actually seen Rich's laptop and what's more, he has only heard of the possibility of evidence on it from a reporter he spoke to for a story. In other words, Fox reported something as fact and their only evidence is a source who got his information from--you got it--Fox.

In response to the madness, the Rich family issued a statement through a spokesperson to Business Insider which said, "We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth's murderers."

The spokesperson, Brad Bauman added, "It's sad, but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda. I think there is a special place in hell for people like that."

Even if there is it won't stop gaggles of malevolent rubes from screeching that Seth Rich was murdered by Hillary Rodham Clinton and her pals. In fact, as these words are being written, we can be sure even Gavin MacFadyen's death is being woven into the conspiracy. That's right--his lung cancer was just another black ops cover story.

Let's face it, there is no end to this delusional merry-go-round ride. That's the pristine perfection of the lunacy. To even attempt to prove these crazy fucks wrong is to become one with the conspiracy. Or, to borrow a phrase from the 1960's and warp it more than a tad, you're either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Who knew such a concept would last this long?



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The White House and the Guy Who Runs It: A Looney Tunes Cartoon Run Amok on Steroids

Is this any way to run a railroad?

The eminent scholar and philosopher, Daffy Duck.

Let's just imagine for a moment we've traveled back in time to a little over eight years ago. A man named Barack Hussein Obama has just been elected president of the United States of America. Let's also imagine all 17 agencies which make up the U.S. intelligence community are convinced the Russians interfered with the 2008 election process.

They pulled it off, at least in part, by stealing electronic documents from the Republican National Committee then feeding them to a third party. This third party then released the documents--some true, others heavily altered, and more than a few absolute bullshit--to the public in increments designed to deliver the maximum amount of damage to Mitt Romney's campaign.

Once in office Obama appoints, as his National Security Advisor, a man who not only previously received money from a Russian government entity, but turns out to have had questionable contact with the Russian Ambassador and subsequently lied about it to everyone. 

In the mean time the FBI decides to investigate the iffy goings on in order to see if there was collusion between Obama's campaign and the Russians during the election. Hey, Inspector Erskine would demand nothing less. After all, there is not only the National Security Advisor issue, but Obama's first campaign manager had received money from a vitriolic pro Russian Ukrainian politician who was so deep in Putin's bag he'd been run out of office and into exile.

Then, comes the weird part. Just over 100 days into his presidency, Barack H. Obama fires the FBI director, who is heading the investigation. He admits he did so, after couple of a lame excuses from his staff, because, as he tells an interviewer, the whole Russian connection thing is a load of crap concocted by the republicans just because they lost the election.

Finally, on the very next day after he fired the head of the FBI, Obama meets with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador in the oval office. During the meeting, which is off limits to the American press, but faithfully recorded by state controlled Russian media, he blurts out highly classified information which has been supplied by a foreign intelligence agency--one who hasn't given the U.S. permission to share the sensitive data with anyone.

Now, if all that had actually happened in 2009, exactly what could we have expected from republican leaders and millions of the right wing rank and file? I mean besides the blood thirsty mobs rampaging through the streets carrying shotguns and nooses--because that's a given.

Yes, one shudders to think.

As it is, however, we are stuck with Donald John Trump pulling this shit and all those beady eyed Make America Great Again types are just fine with it.

Trump himself doesn't even think this latest revelation is a big deal. Earlier today he ran with two tweets which put together read, "As president I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism."

Obviously El Don didn't consider the Russians might track down the location of the assets who provided the information--it's reported to have come from Israeli sources--then give it to their pals the Iranians, who, you know, really hate Jews no matter where they're at. Or that, now he's blabbing to an antagonistic power, other allies might think twice about sitting down for a latte with us, much less share whatever classified information their people have uncovered.

In the end Trump seems more concerned with who ratted out the the content of the Russian meeting than he is about the fate of an Israeli spy sweating out a dangerous extraction from Raqqa. He later tweeted,  "I have been asking Director Comey and others from the beginning of my administration to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community."

Wait. What?

First off, you silly son of a bitch, Jim Comey isn't going to find anyone because you fired him. Second, in the last few days, you've been the biggest intelligence LEAKER in Washinton.   

Good God, no wonder Dr. Duck's question is so relevant during these chaotic times. The White House has been reduced to a run amok Looney Tunes cartoon on steroids and the nation is being led by an obscene caricature of Foghorn Leghorn. 

Is it any wonder the bar is open? I didn't think so.


Friday, May 12, 2017

James Comey Goes From Villain to Saint Within Minutes as Trevor Noah Gets the Jitters

Never, in the annals of American politics has a man gone from villain to martyr so quickly.

Indeed, within minutes of his firing by Donald Trump, James Comey ceased being that evil son of a bitch who cost Hillary Clinton the presidency and became a fallen hero in the epic battle against a corrupt autocrat. It is a transmogrification the likes of which we have not seen since the Coptic Church decided Pontius Pilate deserved to be a saint.

The current craziness is so severe, if you believe, "The Daily Show," host, Trevor Noah, we are on the verge of witnessing Trump disband congress and send the 82nd Airborne into Times Square. Of course, Noah is from Africa, where such things happen with disturbing frequency, so one can understand his trepidation.

Besides, who is to say we are immune to a coup d'├ętat? After all, our man, DJT has a proven affinity for tough guys. He sent Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan a warm note of congratulations after Erdogan fixed an election which gave himself dictatorial powers. Then there is the whole vaguely nauseating bromance with Vladimir Putin, not to mention certain debts, as yet unconfirmed,  El Don may, or may not owe the Russian president.

Right now, the situation is, as they say, fluid. The narrative, especially the one coming from the White House, changes every few hours. Apparently no one in the west wing, not even Donald Trump, can come up with a plausible reason why James Comey was fired.

My personal favorite was the first excuse--that the head of the FBI was canned because of his malevolent behavior toward Hillary Rodham Clinton a week before the election. That notion was such prima facie bullshit no one saying, or hearing it was able to keep a straight face.

According to initial White House statements, Comey was fired on the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Deputy AG Robert Rosenstein. Sessions may have been okay with this explanation, despite pledging to recuse himself from any part of the investigation into a Russian-Trump campaign connection, but, if reports are true,  Rosenstein wasn't. Several news outlets have said Sessions' deputy, who allegedly authored the Clinton fiction, threatened to resign rather than take his place under the bus.

Then the big orange guy gave an interview to NBC's Lester Holt. While disparaging Comey personally--"he was a showboat, a grandstander,"--he let us know he would have fired the FBI Director no matter who recommended what. Trump went on to add the whole Russian investigation is a conspiracy of sorts concocted by the democrats who are angry they blew the election.

Well, why not? Let's face it, who among Trump supporters doesn't like a good conspiracy theory?

In the mean time the mainstream media is rife with stories about a January 27th dinner meeting between El Don and Comey. It came right after then Deputy AG, Sally Yates, told administration officials its national security advisor could be compromised by the Russkies. Trump maintains Comey asked for the meeting in order to plead for his job. In addition he claims Brother Comey told him on three different occasions, the dinner being one of them, he wasn't under investigation by the bureau.

Another version of the story, which is being reported by everyone other than FOX News, is Trump set up the dinner and twice asked Comey to pledge loyalty to him personally. Comey refused both times, but promised Mr. Trump he would always be honest with him.

The White House claims Trump, presumably because of his high ethical standards, would never ask the head of the FBI for his personal loyalty. Not only that, but scads of agents in the bureau have been calling Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders to thank Donald Trump for getting rid of the former director.

As of today there is no official explanation why disgruntled FBI agents would call the Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary--who knew the title even existed--under any circumstances. Although it could be the current Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, last seen lurking around White House shrubbery, is now permanently unavailable.

Whatever the case several media outlets are reporting FBI employees have told them James Comey was admired throughout the bureau for his honesty and integrity.

At this point in the chaos, Trump appears to be a man on the run and his White House looks to be in utter confusion. It is so bad the boss was reduced to tweeting, "As a very active president with lots of things happening it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at a podium with perfect accuracy." He added, "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future press briefings and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"

Being the perpetual adolescent bully boy he is, Trump couldn't help but also tweet, "James Comey better hope there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press."

Ahh yes, quite presidential.

Comparisons to Richard Nixon's infamous, "Saturday Night Massacre," are being made by some of the overwrought talking heads on cable news. It's nonsense, or at the very least premature. A special prosecutor hasn't been fired by the president and the top two Department of Justice officials haven't resigned because they refused to abet his crime.

No, we aren't that far gone yet, but it's easy to see we are getting there. Don Trump might be the greatest con man in the world, but he is also its worst poker player. Every time someone mentions Russia in connection with his election victory, administration,  or business life, he's immediately driven into a severe episode of delirium tremens. In other words, he displays the panicked disbelief and anger you see in an amateur after he's gone all in and had his bluff called.

Quite, honestly, what else should we expect from a man who has a third grader's knowledge of American history and the perception democracy is a great idea only so long as it lets him get away with whatever he wants?

Donald Trump's presidency is doomed not because the self proclaimed great negotiator doesn't know how to handle the press, or public. He plays them both like a drum. It's all coming unglued because in his entire adult life no one has ever told him no, then made it stick. It's a revelation he simply doesn't understand, or is willing to put up with.

And there lies the sum of Trevor Noah's fears. How will  a run amok egomaniac, who happens to be in charge of the world's deadliest military, react if a pink slip hits his inbox?

The truth is none of us, including jittery South African TV hosts, can know for sure. However, if things keep going the way they have been, the odds are distinctly in favor of us finding out.

sic vita est


Monday, May 8, 2017

We Bought the Ticket and Now We're Taking the Ride

The best thing that can be said about Donald Trump and the foul idiots who run with him is they never let themselves get hung up on one issue for too long. Yes, as we've seen so often the whole wretched bunch careens from one outrage to another with nary a pause, or scintilla of conscience.

Take Idaho republican congressman Raul Labrador. He's been in Washington for three terms now and during those six years he fought tooth and nail to get the Affordable Care Act repealed. When the still unvetted republican, "replacement plan," passed last week we can assume he was a part of the giddy crowd who gathered on the White House lawn to celebrate the victory with sausages and beer.

After the cheers subsided, the congressman goofed. He went home and held a town hall meeting to explain his vote on the bill. In response to an angry question from a constituent he said, "No one wants anybody to die. You know that line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care."

Perhaps in Raul Labrador's world they don't, but not in anyone else's. According to a 2009 study done by the American Journal of Public Health, taken before Obama Care went into effect, 45,000 Americans were dying every year because they lacked health insurance.

When news of his alternative fact hit the internet, everyone who has ever been without health care in this country--and there are a whole lot of us--had some unkind words for the representative. Within hours Mr. Labrador claimed the whole thing was a misunderstanding and his statement was, "taken out of context." What he was talking about, he said, was no one dies from a lack of emergency care because they don't have health insurance. No, they don't, but scads of people do die of things like heart disease, cancer, and a myriad of other deadly long term ailments because they aren't insured.

Sadly, as much as we'd like to, we don't have time to dwell on the representative's unique statistical knowledge, which is shared by far too many on the right. That's because, as previously stated, these twisted fucks never stay still long for either an in depth study, or a justly deserved prefrontal lobotomy.

No, today we are focusing on what former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates is saying to a senate subcommittee. Or, at least we should be.

However, as always Donald Trump, a resident of Mar-a-Lago Resort, jumped on twitter in order to head Yates off at the pass, so to speak.

This morning, hours before Yates was scheduled to appear before the subcommittee, Trump tweeted, "Ask Sally Yates under oath if she knows how classified information got into the news papers soon after she explained it to W.H. counsel."

El Don was obviously accusing Yates of being the source of infuriating leaks which started seeping out immediately after he was inaugurated. Many of the leaks roiled around former general Mike Flynn who was the newly minted National Security Advisor--the person Yates is testifying about at this very moment.

The leaks so enraged Trump he was moved to create his own alternative logic. It was a truly bizarre moment, one when reality crashed headlong into his stream of consciousness based propaganda. How else can you describe it when on the one hand the big orange guy was complaining about the media airing, "classified," information while at the same time tweeting those revelations were, "fake news?"

Flynn was sacked after 24 days. The official reason he lost his job was because he lied to Vice President, Mike Pence about conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador.

In a further effort to change the narrative, Trump sent a second tweet this morning. It read, "General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama administration, but the fake news seldom likes talking about that."

Well, Flynn got his security clearance renewed by the Obama administration, so, yeah, sort of. What Trump failed to say is Flynn was also fired by the Obama administration. In fact a report surfaced today which says during an hour and a half meeting between Trump and Obama two days after the election, the president cautioned Trump not to hire the dude. As Obama put it, "I'm not a fan of Michael Flynn." The warning didn't stop Brother Don from hiring the retired general, or now, trying to lay a degree of blame on Obama for his decision to do just that.

In the mean time, Trump operatives are telling anyone who will listen that Yates' testimony will be politically motivated and therefore tainted because she was appointed by Barack Obama to her job as Deputy A.G. They are also eager to point out she was fired because she refused to enforce Trump's immigration embargo on Muslims from so called terrorist prone nations.

Yates spent 27 years in the department of justice, the vast majority of it in the non political job of U.S. prosecutor. When she was appointed by Barack Obama as the Deputy A.G. she was confirmed by a bi-partisan senate vote of 84-12. Her decision not to enforce Trump's executive order was based  in part because, "...nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful..." In other words, it was a legal opinion which has since been validated by more than one federal court.

It doesn't matter though. Despite the anger in town hall meetings and the testimony of  Sally Yates there is no slowing The Trump Express. It's an out of control beast fueled by an inexhaustible supply of feral lies, bullshit assumptions, cruel disinformation, and boundless, fascist, enthusiasm.

Indeed, to paraphrase the late, Hunter S. Thompson, we bought the ticket and now we're taking the ride.

The problem is there doesn't appear to be a way of slowing it down, much less bringing it to a stop.

At least not yet.

sic vita est


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The New State of American Health Care

Just before this post began to be composed, the United States House of Representatives voted to replace the Affordable Care Act with their own version of national health coverage. Which is to say there won't be any for a lot of us, or if there is it will cost more per year than a membership at the Augusta National Golf Club.

This monument to cruelty and mendacious rhetoric has been expected ever since Donald Trump took office. After all republicans in the house have loathed what they derisively called Obama Care long before it ever took effect. So much so they voted to repeal the ACA over 50 times when they knew either the senate would reject their decision, or Barack Obama would veto it.

The only surprising thing is it took this long since the last inauguration to kick the ACA to the curb. We have the hard right wing of the GOP to thank for the momentary reprieve. Those bellicose wankers don't want any government involvement in the corporate health and insurance complex. Their philosophy being, "Let 'em die in the streets if they can't pay for their own health care."

This state of mind was expressed perfectly by former republican congressman turned--what else--radio talk show host, Joe Walsh. In response to an emotional monologue by late night TV star Jimmy Kimmel, which included his own experience as the father of a newborn with a life threatening heart defect, Walsh tweeted, "Why do American taxpayers have to be obligated for the health care expenses of an individual anyway?"

Hmm. Maybe out of a sense of decency to our fellow citizen and human being? Or, just because providing health care is far more gratifying than paying for another fucking bomb.

According to the radical left wing publication known as the Wall St. Journal, the bill put together and passed by republicans will allow employers to get rid of 10 specific types of health services. Among them are prescription coverage, mental health treatment, and hospitalization. In addition it will allow companies to void the limits on the amount of out of pocket expenses for their workers when they become the victims of catastrophic illness. It's a scenario which goes like this: Your spouse shows up at your place of work and the HR rep says, "Oh, don't worry, the company insurance will cover all of the cancer treatment expenses after you pay only $1,000,000."

In addition it allows states to get rid of the caps on insurance rates when it comes to pre-existing conditions. In other words, if you have a heart defect, like Kimmel's kid, you can get coverage, but could well be paying, let's say $100,000 a year, or so. That's so long as a state legislature doesn't wipe out the clause entirely, which it can now do. As a moral lesson to slackers, it also allows states to force Medicaid recipients to find a job no matter what their condition. Plus the premiums for senior citizens on fixed incomes can sky rocket unchecked just because they're old.

Yes, as Hannibal Smith used to say on TV, "I love it when a plan comes together."

Fortunately, if you're a congressman, or are on the staff of one, none of this shit applies to you. The hacks who wrote the new law know it is so horribly rotten and sadistic they intentionally left themselves an exception which allows them to keep all the Obama Care benefits no matter what parts their states kill.

That's right, as the bill is currently written, republican legislators will remain safely covered and economically protected by the very same law they have spent years raging against. News of the hypocritical loop hole broke several days ago, but instead of taking a magic marker to the existing language, a whole new bill was put together which will, in theory, close the escape hatch. The house leadership claims a vote on the additional measure will come at a later date.

No doubt, unless, of course, the media and public eventually forget about it. In that case, it's party on dudes.

Now the measure is headed to the senate where God only knows how it will mutate. Then quite probably it will go to a joint house/senate committee. Finally, if the amended law passes both houses it will end up on the desk of El Don. When it gets there the big orange guy will unabashedly tell everyone he personally created, "The best, the greatest, most incredible new health care system for America ever." Just don't ask him what it actually says, or does, because he won't have a clue, nor will he care.

Well, hey, why should he? Let's face it, details are for we the little people to suffer.

And, as everybody, except a bunch of overstuffed, jowly, blue collar racists realize, Donald John Trump is not one of us.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Latest Battle for the Heart and Soul of America

Here is what happened yesterday in the war for the heart and soul of the United States of America.

The White House Correspondents' Dinner was held last night in the ball room of some hotel in the greater Washington D.C. metro. In addition, Samantha Bee, a political satirist and comedienne, threw her own hail to the press gig which was later aired on TBS. Donald John Trump failed to attend either affair.

But then why would he? Trump hates all those journalists anyway--except some of the ones on FOX and at Breitbart. So why put up with the national media's shit when all you have to do to get some raucous love is show up at practically any hall in the land and deliver a campaign speech? Last night he cashed in on the opportunity and arrived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he rallied the troops, reassured the faithful, and condemned the unclean.

It was a vintage Trump performance delivered to a vintage Trump crowd. They cheered and booed on cue. For old times sake they even broke out into a chant of, "Lock her up, lock her up."

There wasn't a one of them there last night, or anywhere else for that matter, who isn't utterly convinced the Trump administration is doing exactly what he said they'd do. Even when actuality veers dramatically from the course set forth during the campaign last fall there is no wavering, just a never ending litany of excuses.

The Washington Post quoted a Harrisburg supporter as saying, "What he's doing now, like putting off building the wall, that's strategic. He's learning you can't go in there and boom, boom, boom get things done like a business man would. Now he sees he has to bring everyone together. I know he'll do that. I just love his honesty, how he says it's harder than he expected."

When it comes to banning Muslims from entering the country, The Oklahoman quoted a retired business man who claimed, "He's done what he said he would do and if he hasn't it's because  he's been stopped by liberal judges."

Yes, the challenges are many. However we are the real Americans. The liberal elitists don't give a shit about us, our lives, or livelihoods, but despite their efforts--our guy is going to take their names and kick their asses.

So while Samantha Bee might be hilariously on the spot when it comes to the reality of Don Trump, it's the myth of Trump and those who oppose his presidency that matters to the people who rabidly support him.

And last night their paranoia and self pity were fed a feast. In Washington members of the press and more than a few entertainment types, decked out in fabulous gowns and tuxes, spent the evening sipping fine wine and martinis as they laughed at Donald Trump. At the same time 7,000 true believers gathered in Harrisburg and cheered him wildly. According to the Post some of them waited in line nearly 13 hours for the privilege. Most of them wore tee-shirts that said things like, "Trump Strong."

Given the circumstances, who do you think won this latest battle for the heart and soul of America?

Well, as far as I'm concerned, it certainly wasn't anyone located 120 miles east south east of Harrisburg, or sitting in my living room watching it all go down.


sic vita est


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What We've Learned From the Internet Lately

Here is what we've learned from the internet lately. First, despite what the eminent diagnostic specialist, Scott Baio says it wasn't the drugs, or alcohol that killed former "Happy Days," star Erin Moran, but rather esophageal cancer.

Second, the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder is a scrappy team who can beat anyone so long as Russell Westbrook is in the game. Once he is on the bench however, OKC does a near perfect imitation of the Washington Generals--that hapless bunch who always gets thumped by the Harlem Globetrotters.

Third, VOX is reporting at least one version of the GOP's latest Affordable Care Act, "replacement bill," will allow states to gut certain provisions of the existing law. Those would be the ones protecting people from devastating insurance rate hikes when they have pre-existing conditions, or are in need of maternity and mental health care. Hey, if they can't afford the coverage on their own, screw 'em. Well, unless you're in congress, or a congressional staff member. A portion of the bill exempts senators, representatives, and their staffs from the draconian measure and allows them to keep their coverage exactly like it is right now under Obama Care.

Then we have retired general and former National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn. He was declared, "likely guilty," of breaking the law by republican congressman Jason Chaffetz. That's because he didn't tell anyone--you know, like the FBI, CIA, or NSA, much less Don Trump--he had been paid hard cash by the Russians and Turks for services rendered while advising the president elect on matters of national security.

Flynn shouldn't worry a whole bunch though. Last fall Chaffetz proved to be a man who can and will change his mind at the drop of a hat. For those of us who remember that far back the Utah representative is the guy who publicly claimed he wouldn't support Donald Trump after hearing the candidate talk about grabbing women by their pussies. At the time Chaffetz stated he couldn't look his 15 year old daughter in the eye and tell her what Trump had said. Within a week Chaffetz apparently decided he could indeed tell his kid exactly what the dirty old man told TV dude Billy Bush, because he announced he was going to vote for El Donald anyway.

And finally we come to the whole, we might be on the verge of nuclear war with North Korea thing.

For those counting, it took Donald Trump only 100 days to work himself into a foreign policy corner the likes of which none of us have witnessed since October, 1962.

If there was any doubt it was erased by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. She recently told a national TV audience, "The United States considers using military force in Korea a viable option."

Just in case Haley's warning wasn't enough, in an attempt  to intensify the pressure on the North Koreans--and leave himself even fewer non military options--Trump has called for a unique briefing of the entire U.S. Senate today at the Eisenhower Office Building. The facility is next to the White House and is home of the National Security Council. The secretaries of state, defense, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff will be there to whip the crowd into a war frenzy. Given the opportunity and his ego a special guest appearance by Mr. Trump could well be in the offing also.

The situation is desperate enough Chinese president Xi Jingping called Trump to urge restraint on the Korean peninsula. Who can blame him? Xi knows exactly how nuts Donald Trump really is. After all he was eating chocolate cake with the big orange guy when Trump calmly told him the U.S. had just lobbed nearly 60 cruise missiles into Syria.

Of course we might be worrying far too much. If I was Alex Jones--nee Bill Hicks I could speculate the get together today at the Eisenhower Building has little to do with Korea. That's right, it is simply a justified take over of the Illuminati controlled government by Donald Trump, Steve Miller, and the rest.

Yes, that's the ticket--pull a sting of epic proportions. Gather up all the slackers and obstructionists in one place, then slap 'em in irons and ready the guillotines.

Why not? What better way to prove to Kim Jong-un you're even crazier than he is. Not to mention ratings for shit like that will go straight through the roof.

Hey, it's an idea.

Unfortunately, Miller has probably thought of it already.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Carina Saunders: How We Got Here

Here is how we got here.

Depending on who you believe Carina Saunders was last seen getting into a vehicle with a man named Kenny Richards at a Taco Bell near I-40 and Rockwell Ave. in south Oklahoma City. That was at some point before her mother reported her missing on September 28th, 2011.

It's either there, or on October 8th as she was climbing into a large red pick up in the Newcastle Casino parking lot while a group of unnamed women begged her not to go. The guy who was allegedly driving the truck remains unidentified and is described only as having both arms covered with tat sleeves.

Most of her body was discovered behind a Homeland grocery store stuffed into a bag within a bag on October 13th. Her hands and feet were missing as were her clothes. Apparently the killer, or killers had tried to remove a large tattoo on her back which read, "Kween Spade." It has been speculated the murderer and or murderers were trying to conceal her identity. If they were they proved themselves to be as stupid as they were brutal. Her detached head was included in the remains and authorities simply used dental records to make an ID.

The first and most substantial mistake in the investigation came immediately. For reasons known only to themselves the Bethany Police took charge of the case. At the time the force consisted of 30 plus officers who patrolled a municipal enclave of less than 20,000 people. Up until then their main claim to fame was how ferociously they enforced the speed limits on the streets of their tiny bailiwick.

It took until July, 2012 for them to settle on two suspects. The first was Jimmy Lee Massey who was, at the time, residing in the Oklahoma County jail. According to the media Massey had been busy talking to other inmates about the Saunders killing. One alleged tidbit was he had kidnapped a woman and taken her to the scene of the murder in order to force her to witness the brutal torture and killing. The only problem was the people who claimed Massey was saying all this incriminating stuff were a bunch of convicted felons looking to get their time in the joint cut short by any means possible.

By then the scene of the crime had shifted from an apartment near the stockyards to a house on S. Harvey Avenue. Again, depending on who you believe a couple of different women were there. One claimed she left before the gruesome goings on began and another said once it started she jumped out of a window to escape.

On July 5th Luis Ruiz was also arrested in connection with the murder. Within a week the wildly lurid news a phone video of the torture and killing of Carina Saunders might exist became public knowledge. The local media went, what is usually called, ape shit. On the 23rd of July both Ruiz and Massey were charged with the crime.

Shortly afterward the Bethany cops intensified the hysteria when they claimed they had at least one confidential witness who had seen part of the video. Then, in a demonstration of their professional expertise, they leaked the woman's name to the press. It didn't take but a few minutes for alleged witnesses to start recanting their stories and, in some cases, head for parts unknown.

As of this moment the video has never been found, or verified beyond someone saying they know someone else who has seen it.

In early January 2013, as Ruiz and Massey sat in jail, a tipster told the Bethany cops he, or she overheard a conversation outside a store between unnamed people. According to the anonymous informant, Kenny Richards had supposedly driven Saunders to the scene of her death and after the awful deed was done buried her clothes and belongings. A second tip a few days later maintained Richards buried the evidence in a metal tank on his property at 504 1/2 Oakdale Dr.

Today, The Oklahoman reports a Bethany detective went to the house on Oakdale with a metal detector that month and conducted a visual search. Nothing was found and Richards name remained out of the press. He even managed to stay under the public radar when the body of a young woman was found in his living room a couple of months later. Her death was ruled a suicide.

On the 5th of February, 2013 the Bethany cops and Oklahoma County DA, David Prater had a Come to Jesus meeting. At the end of the day Bethany was off the case and it was handed to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Less than three weeks later the charges against Ruiz and Massey were dropped without prejudice.

Last week the OSBI began to dig in the back yard on Oakdale Dr. On Tuesday they announced they'd found a folding knife, a windbreaker jacket, two slip on sandals, and a shirt, all of which had been discovered underground. Lab results, they say, could take months.

Not unsurprisingly Richards is saying he is innocent of everything. He admits picking Saunders up at the Taco Bell. He also claims after the two of them, "hung out for a while," he drove her to an apartment complex at 2500 N. Rockwell and dropped her off. According to him, it was the last time he saw her. The complex is across the street and less than a block away from the field where the partial remains of Carina Saunders was found.

So there we have it. The saga of Carina Saunders is dark and twisted--a uniquely American tragedy where the bottom edge of the middle class melts into a gruesome underworld many of us would prefer to ignore. In this instance, however, the horror was so titillating we haven't been able to turn away.

Sadly, in the end, that's the only reason the OSBI is still working her case.

Think not? Just ask the parents of Alina Fitzpatrick. Their daughter's nude body was found a month after Carina Saunders' death hit the headlines. The only difference was her killers didn't display the grotesque panache Saunders' did. And, right now--six plus years later--there isn't anyone digging up back yards looking for her clothes.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Carina Saunders and the Process in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation began digging in the back lots of 504 and 504 1/2 Oakdale Dr. seven days ago. They had planned to be there for a week, but pulled out after only two days. According to them things had gone much quicker than they had anticipated.

The occasion marked the first time in nearly six years of looking for the killer, or killers of Carina Saunders anyone involved with the investigation has said such a thing.

Of course that doesn't mean the authorities are any closer to actually finding out who decided to go all "Tell Tale Heart," on Saunders in the early fall of 2011. She went missing in September and most of her was found about three weeks later.

According to reports at the time she was last seen getting into a vehicle driven by a gray haired man described to be in his 40's. Last week we found out early in the investigation a family member contended the gray haired man was Kenny Richards who lived at the Oakdale property when she was murdered.

The local media states he was accused of pimping her out. It's sort of  a round about way of saying what we've all known since the beginning of this nightmare--at 19 years of age Carina Saunders was so hooked on hard core drugs she was turning tricks in order to finance her doomed lifestyle.

Richards name was never mentioned in the early news coverage of the murder, but the police considered him sketchy enough that at some point they decided it was worth searching his place. They failed to find any evidence connecting him to the murder.

That doesn't mean there wasn't some strange and deadly shit going on down on Oakdale Dr. In late March, 2012 authorities were called to the residence by Richards. They found a young woman dead on his living room floor. Although initially the media said the police reported her body showed signs of, "obvious trauma," (which has now morphed into, "trauma to the body consistent with homicide") the death was quickly ruled a suicide. Richards claimed she had been staying there for a couple of days and was never charged.

For some of us the circumstances and police reaction sounds a tad familiar. A few months prior, teenager Alina Fitzpatrick had gone missing from a spot five, or so miles away. Her body was discovered in far east OKC some days later. She was nude, a paper gag was stuffed in her mouth, and she had suffered abrasions and bruises. After the ME ruled she had enough drugs in her system to possibly cause an overdose the cops ruled her death, "suspicious," rather than a homicide and basically walked away. Those involved with her death, like those in the Carina Saunders' murder are still out there. Perhaps  in the next day, or two they will be standing in line behind you at a local 7-11.

The OSBI announced it will release a list of the, "items," it recovered from the back yard on Oakdale Dr. later in the week. The search warrant nailed to the door of one of the houses said they were specifically looking for Carina Saunders' shoes, socks, bra, underwear, belt, T-shirt, handbag, and wallet. Left unsaid were her feet and hands which also remain missing.

All the hub bub moved Brother Richards to send three text messages to one of the local TV stations. Put together they read, "It (sic) all wrong. I told police everything I know. She was a friend of mine, I miss her too!! I have nothing more to say!."

Well, at least not without a lawyer present. And, given the track record of both the local press and cops in this affair, who can blame him? Let's face it, real facts are still precious few and far between. So much so the last television news report to come out of Oakdale Dr. quoted a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous. She said she'd heard, Richards knew who did it (killed Saunders) but wouldn't talk because he and his family had been threatened.

Yes, that's where we are at right now. The OSBI says it might take, "months," to analyze whatever it is they've found and an old, unnamed, neighbor lady says she, "heard," someone said something to someone and somehow it got to her.

Tragically, such is the nature of the process in Oklahoma City.

sic vita est


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Carina Saunders and the Houses on Oakdale Drive

The neighborhood is littered with Chinese Elms and in places heavy brush partially obscures the fronts of small aged houses--places built  before 1950. The buildings are set back from a curb-less asphalt road which is barely wide enough for two vehicles. To gaze down Oakdale Drive and around the surrounding neighborhood is to realize the area was originally part of a small rural town where back lots were large, stretching into tangled tree lines. These were yards where vegetable gardens could be planted and possibly a few animals would roam.

That was before urban sprawl stretched out, engulfed the area, then quickly deserted it as the march westward from Oklahoma City continued unabated. Apartment complexes were built nearby and then left to decay. There is one at the southeast corner of Oakdale Drive and 10th St. and another just to the east and south of 8th St.. Both are unoccupied and rotting slowly into oblivion. The grounds are fenced off, windows broken out, and breezeways poorly sealed with large pieces of plywood.

This is where the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation came yesterday. What appears to be a mobile crime lab sits on the dirt driveway of the property listed as 504 Oakdale Dr. OSBI spokesperson Jessica Brown announced to the media the bureau was there to search for evidence in the murder of Carina Saunders. Her body was found dismembered and stuffed into a duffel bag on October 13, 2011 a mile and a half away.

Along with the large black and white converted RV, Brown said investigators would employ ground penetrating radar and a back-hoe. In addition a team has been assembled which includes members of the Medical Examiner's office and archaeologists recruited from the University of Oklahoma.

Neighbors told the local media the property, which includes two small side by side homes and a stand alone garage, has been unoccupied for some time. Before then it was the residence of what authorities like to call, a person of interest. The man, Kenny Richards, reportedly was an "associate" of Saunders who was 19 at the time of her death. He is also believed to be the last person to see her alive.

It turns out the cops have searched the property before, but never with all the hardware they deployed yesterday. According to Brown, the bureau has received, "a number of tips," regarding the place.

Yeah, well a lot of people have received a number of tips when it comes to the death of Carina Saunders. One was the murder took place in a dingy flat located in an apartment complex near the stockyards. Like almost everything else connected with the grotesque crime it didn't pan out. Yesterday, Brown seemed to acknowledge the long odds the bureau faces. During an interview she said the OSBI was hoping to find some sort of evidence, but wouldn't be surprised if they came away disappointed.

Today the local CBS affiliate is reporting the OSBI has collected several items. They've been taken away for, "further processing and analysis." When questioned, Brown refused to describe any of them as, "significant."

No, significant would be the hands and feet of Carina Saunders. They weren't in the duffel bag along with the rest of her body and have never been found. Significant would also be the phone video allegedly taken of her torture and death. The rumor that such an obscenity exists has become an Oklahoma City urban legend.

The OSBI is utterly convinced the video is, indeed, out there. Last October they held a news conference offering a reward for its recovery. That would be in addition to the one already in place for information leading to the identification of the killer, or killers.

The brutal murder of Carina Saunders was so long ago it is easy to think investigators are doing nothing more than chasing ghosts with their search on Oakdale Dr. By now many of the names connected to the case have been nearly forgotten. Only a couple, like Luis Ruiz and Jimmy Massey remain recognizable to most.

Ruiz sat in the county lockup for seven months, before being released because of a lack of evidence. He sued the Bethany cops over the deal and settled out of court. Massey was already inside on other charges when the Saunders accusations came and went. Other suspected witnesses and players, such as Tia Downour, Michelle Hanshaw, Mindy Cottier, and Stephanie Howard have, for all practical purposes, disappeared in the fog of time and the never ending parade of new horrors which have come to pass.

Yes, the years move on. Carina Saunders' body was found in a field behind a Homeland Grocery store at NW 23rd and Rockwell. The building has been remodeled and the business is now known as Cash Savers. A self storage facility has been built on what was an empty sliver of land immediately west of the grocery. The makeshift cross, memorializing Carina Saunders which had been there is gone. The area behind the store where animal control officers ran across the duffel bag containing her body is inaccessible because of a large retaining wall and cyclone fence.

Perhaps the OSBI will find something in the next few days. If they do it would certainly be a refreshing change in this nearly six year cluster fuck. If they don't, as Jessica Brown said yesterday, it won't be surprising.

At this point, nothing is.

sic vita est


Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Trump Game of Thrones

The first sign of this Machiavellian bullshit came during the early days of Donald John Trump's presidential campaign, months before he was nominated. From the very beginning the entire organization and crew seemed imbued with an aura which reeked of George R. R. Martin's blood drenched soap opera, "Game of Thrones."

At this point those early, formative, days of the new realm feel so long ago it's easy to forget that before there was Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller, and even the wildly corrupt Paul Manafort, there was Corey Lewandowski.

Lewandowski signed on when Trump's entire campaign staff consisted of three, or four people. His arrival impressed the boss enough he was instantly named campaign manager. He quickly proved his worth by becoming a take no shit sort of guy--a Trumpian bully who personally manhandled members of the media and protesters alike. Trump credited him with orchestrating the primary win in New Hampshire, a victory which should have alerted us the orange guy's candidacy wasn't a joke and we should stop laughing. Despite the stunning victory, within a scant couple of months, Lewandowski was embroiled in a power struggle with Paul Manafort who had been hired in March that year. By June 2016 he was no longer associated with the Trump campaign. Manafort had won over the candidate's ear and Corey Lewandowski was nothing more than a C list panelist on cable news.

Of course, as Paul Manafort should have known, getting the job of Trump's campaign commander was much easier than keeping it. Especially with the likes of Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway around. All those ties to the Russians, which seemed to be to his advantage were--thanks in large part to the media--turned to liabilities. In August, two months after his ascent to the campaign chair, he was out the door. His fall was so complete that not long ago, during Sean Spicer's daily song and dance, the press secretary referred to Manafort's presence and input during the campaign as, "brief and minor."

Michael Flynn, on the other hand, stayed throughout the campaign and the transition despite his kid, Mike Flynn Jr. The younger Flynn was so monstrous he was fired from the transition team because of his increasingly virulent and bizarre conspiracy theory social media posts. Think about it. Just how bat shit crazy do you have to be in order for Don Trump to think your tweets are out of bounds?

Flynn the elder was jettisoned from the administration after twenty plus days on the job. Lying to Mike Pence was simply a cheap excuse to fire him. It is now obvious people on the inside considered Flynn a dangerous loose cannon and his Russian connections questionable, or worse. At least that is what we are led to believe by administration sources. After Steve Bannon was removed from the NSC principals committee yesterday, administration sources claimed Bannon's main reason for being there was to, "guide and keep watch," over Michael Flynn. In other words spy on the National Security Advisor for the president. Now that Flynn is gone there is no reason, those same sources say, for Bannon to stay on the committee. Besides, according to them, he rarely went to the meetings anyway.

As always with this bunch it gets more complicated. Today there are reports which assert the administration is lying when it says Bannon's removal from the NSC committee isn't a demotion. At least one media source contends the president's chief political strategist initially demanded to remain a member of the group and went so far as to threaten to leave the White House if he wasn't allowed to. One school of thought--and it's only a rumor, although one which makes sense in this twisted world--is that Trump has become both wary and jealous of Bannon's influence and wants to reign him in. The story goes all those jokes about, "President Bannon" in the left wing media have bruised the great and fragile ego, gotten under El Don's notoriously thin skin.

The other working theory is Trump's son in law, Jared Kushner is the one who thinks Bannon has far too much juice and pulled the strings to get him off the committee. Whichever the case it would seem the White House is beginning to resemble a 21st century version of Elsinore.    

There is more that stretches out in far flung tangents. In early January, before the inauguration, Erik Prince, the founder and former CEO of Blackwater U.S.A. set up a meeting between himself and a few selected Russians in the Seychelles. At the meeting he presented himself as an, "unofficial," representative of the Trump administration. Prince's sister is Betsy DeVos who, at the time, was the nominee to become Secretary of Education. She ended up with the job thanks to a tie breaker vote by the vice president.

Finally, word is circulating there is a move within the White House to push Kellyanne Conway out the door. Given her lack of media credibility it is easy to speculate she might have become expendable in some eyes as soon as Ivanka Trump  became her dad's, "assistant," with an office in the west wing.

Yes, right now it appears the cranks in charge are far more interested in ridding themselves of internal enemies and increasing their power rather than running the nation. I suppose that's what we get for electing a man whose concept of governing comes directly from a television reality show.

For those of you wondering, that noise you hear is any number of presidents, republican and democrat, spinning in their graves.

Ladies and gentlemen, for obvious reasons, the bar is now open.