Thursday, August 17, 2017

America's First Fully Functioning Fascist President

BREAKING NEWS: Today a van plowed through crowds of pedestrians on a Barcelona street in an apparent terrorist attack. Early reports say 13 are dead. At this time it remains unknown if Donald J. Trump will blame, "both sides," for the violence.

Hey, it could happen. It just depends on what flavor the deadly cranks behind the wheel were. If they're Islamic terrorists Trump will be all over them. If they are fascists he might go so far as to like the sons of bitches.

He is certainly enamored with the ones here, or at least some of them. On Tuesday, during the insane circus nominally described as a press conference, El Don doled out blame for the weekend violence in Charlottesville, VA this way. "Well yes I do think there's blame. Yes, I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either."

Moments later, speaking about the pro, "Unite the Right," crowd, he said, " had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."

This observation led Fox News correspondent Shepard Smith to say on Wednesday, "So far we've been unable to find the very fine people protesting with white supremacists."

Indeed, once you've taken to the streets in solidarity with Nazis and the KKK, no matter what they're screaming about, you have tossed the moral high ground and any sort of sense of decency out the window. There is simply no cause which justifies standing with people who think the gassing of Jews, Gypsies, gays, and Slavs was a good idea. Much less a bunch of deadly rubes who spent much of their history lynching black Americans for the fun of it.

In an effort to prove the leftists in Charlottesville were behaving as savagely as the Nazis and their pals, the photo of a purported, anti fascist demonstrator clubbing a downed cop was circulated through the murky world of ultra right wing chat rooms and web sites. Today it was revealed the photo, taken by Getty Images, was shot in Athens, Greece during a 2009 anti government demonstration. The "antifa" emblem on the man's jacket had been digitally added to give the picture a semblance of authenticity.

In order to divert attention from the sticky subject of Nazis holding torch light parades on an American college campus, Herr Trump and others have begun yammering that the ultimate end to the removal of confederate memorials would be the destruction of monuments venerating George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They point out the two were also slave holders, just like Robert E. Lee and other confederate leaders.

The rebuttal many have used, quite correctly, is Washington, Jefferson and other founding fathers, while terribly flawed when it came to race, created the union known as The United States of America. On the other hand, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jackson, and James Longstreet to name a few, commanded armies in the field rebelling against that union. Their ultimate goal was to force its dissolution through military action.

There have been some in the media who have blamed Trump's romance with white nationalists on his buddy and advisor Steven Bannon. Bannon, they say, has led him to this dark place.

Well, after hearing Tuesday's unhinged rant everyone should realize that's horse shit. Trump was raised by a racist father and he clearly hasn't unlearned what the old man taught him. He considers people like David Duke and those two vicious clowns pictured holding torches while chanting stuff like "Jews won't replace us," and "blood and soil," his legitimate electorate.

Yes, he might be more subtle than the grotesque brown shirts who took to the streets of Charlottesville, but he understands their sense of victimization and belief in vast conspiracies, because, at heart, he is one of them.

It's time to face the awful truth, America. The nation has elected its first fully functioning fascist president. And--despite wishful conjecture by mainstream media analysts--his malignant base will never desert him. He really could murder someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and still get their votes. In fact, given what we've seen lately, they'd probably like him even more if he actually did.

Hopefully we won't find out for sure if that theory is true, although to be honest, these days, absolutely nothing is out of the realm of possibility.

sic vita est


Monday, August 14, 2017

The Weekend That Was: Don Careens From One Crisis to Another, the Klan and Nazis Celebrate, but The Daily Stormer Has to Look for a New Home

You can say many things about Donald John Trump, but you'll have to admit the man knows how to careen from one outrage to another without even catching his breath.

In the space of three weeks El Don has gone from denying his son did anything wrong when he hooked up with the Russians, to threatening nuclear war, and now, at least initially, he failed to blame the KKK and a bunch of Neo-Nazis for instigating violence in Charlottesville, VA.

Who says the man can't get anything done? This is a pretty impressive list of severe craziness.

On Saturday, Nazi fan boy James Fields plowed his car into a crowd of people who were denouncing a Klan/Nazi rally in Charlottesville. He managed to injure 19 and kill a woman named, Heather Heyer. Later that day, Trump said, we as a nation needed unity and he condemned, "This egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides."

He didn't explain which, "many sides," he was blaming the mayhem on, although he could have been making a veiled reference to Black Lives Matters, which Trump and the alt-right loathe and fear. What he also didn't do--after spending an entire presidential campaign screaming about Barack Obama not using the words Islam, or Islamic in connection with terrorism--was mention either the boys in the hoods, or the Nazis by name.

His failure to do so sent Andrew Anglin of the on line Nazi publication, "The Daily Stormer," into orgasmic euphoria. Anglin immediately posted on the site, "Trump's comments were good. He didn't attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us--no condemnation at all." David Duke, a former Grand HotsieTotsie of the Klan went so far as to brag that white nationalists, "...are working to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump."

After thinking the Nazis had avoided blame for Heyer's murder, The Stormer celebrated with two articles on Fields' crime. The lead of the first read, "The crashocaust will go down in history as the greatest cavalry charge of the 21st century." The second, written by Anglin, was headlined, "Heather Heyer, Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident Was a Fat Childless 32 Year Old Slut." Brother Anglin went on to explain, "A 32 year old woman without children is a burden on society and has no value."

His evaluation of the victim was so vile and repulsive GoDaddy, which maintains The Daily Stormer's web site, gave the publication 24 hours to find a new home before they shut it down forever.

Earlier today Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of pharmaceutical giant, MERK resigned from the President's American Manufacturing Council. He left because he felt the government had, "...a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

Trump being Trump simply couldn't let him go without a parting shot. He sarcastically tweeted that Frazier, who is black, "...will now have more time to lower RIP OFF DRUG PRICES."

Ah yes, quite the diplomat. But we knew that already thanks to last week's mini panic.

Later in the morning The Big Orange Guy, under duress from his own party, finally called out the Klan and the Nazis by name and threw a couple of derogatory epithets their way. Unfortunately he did so with all the enthusiasm and conviction of a 10th grader forced to recite Antony's, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen," speech to the rest of his English class.

Yes, if this weekend has taught us anything, it's that Donald Trump is either the ultimate political cynic, coldly pandering to hordes of hateful monsters he personally dismisses as idiots just because he craves their votes. Or, as I like to think, he's a barely camouflaged raging bigot hiding in plain sight.

No matter which, we're fucked.

Of course, we already knew that too.

sic vita est


Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Short Way to Start a War: Prove Who Has the Biggest Set of Balls

"I hate to say anything good about that long winded jackanapes, but he does know the short way to start a war."

Richard Widmark, as Jim Bowie talking to John Wayne, as David Crockett in Wayne's production of, "The Alamo."

Unfortunately for both characters we all know how it turned out for the defenders of the Alamo. Despite Wayne's alternative facts in the film it took the Mexican army a single infantry assault to wipe out the entire garrison.

Of course if you pit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea against the United States in an all out war, Donald Trump won't have to play the part of either man. No, a quaint skirmish in San Antonio is minor stuff compared to what we're looking at right now. Especially since El Don increasingly looks and sounds like the deranged, General Jack D. Ripper in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove."

But let's not get lost in movie trivia and lore when armageddon lurks so close by.

On Tuesday, after learning North Korea was successfully miniaturizing their nukes so they'd fit on missiles--not from U.S. Intel, but a report in the Washington Post--Trump decided he would out crazy Kim Jong-un. In an improvised television statement he told us and his stunned advisers, "North Korea best not make any further threats to the United States. They will be met by fire and fury like the world has never seen."

To make sure the North Koreans understood his message, Mr. Trump then narrowed his eyes and went on to say, "He (Kim) has been very threatening beyond a normal state. As I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen."

Later, because he simply can't stop being an amoral carnival midway barker, Trump took to Twitter and wrote, "My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before." A follow up tweet read, "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"

As we should have expected the tweets were just so much self aggrandizing bullshit. No one has done anything to, "renovate and modernize," America's nuclear arsenal during Donald Trump's first seven months in office. But then no tweet from Don Trump is complete without a bald faced lie.

In response and to prove their guy really is more nuts than ours, the North Korean military immediately threatened to plunk four missiles into the ocean within 30, or 40 miles of Guam, an American territory. The plan is set, they said, they're just waiting on Kim to stop swilling imported brandy long enough to give the okay.

Earlier today, The Big Orange Guy, shot back, so to speak, by saying, if North Korea does "anything to the U.S, or an ally things will happen to them like they never thought possible." In addition Bloomberg reports he refused to rule out a preemptive strike, by answering a question about it with, "We'll see what happens."

And there we have it, at least so far. Nuclear war now appears closer to reality than it has since October, 1962. The major difference being the two primary players then, Jack Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev, weren't idiots, or in the throes of some apocalyptic delusion. Indeed, they knew when enough was enough and how to back away from the abyss.

Such is not the case now. Today we are saddled with two run amok ego maniacs who seem willing to kill millions, if not billions of human beings, not over ideology, or religion, but just so they can prove who has the biggest set of balls.

Sweet Jesus, what a world.

Ladies and gentlemen, the bar is most definitely open.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Don Trump Plays Golf, The Boy Scouts, and The Mexican President: Lies, Lies, and More Lies

With chronic liars, they have learned to always lie, maintain the lie, lie to support the previous lies. They have learned that lying is always the best way to deal with any situation. That means winning. The game is still playing as long as they can keep lying. They have learned to avoid admitting they have lied at all costs. That means losing. It is better to, "admit," a lesser lie than admit the real lie. They have learned if they keep coming up with lies one of them will work and they are off the hook. They escape to lie another day.

Alan Hall, retired fraud investigator

You will never know what I am thinking. And those who boast most loudly that they know my thoughts, to such people I lie even more.

Adolf Hitler

All of which brings us to Donald John Trump. He is the guy who told a couple of interviewers last year, "I'm not going to have time to go play golf," and "There's just so much to be done so I don't think we'll be very big on vacations." The statements were a poke at Barack H. Obama who Trump had criticized over the course of several years because he occasionally took vacations and played golf while serving as president. Yesterday, Trump left for a 17 day idyll  at his country club in Bedminster, NJ.

According to the Washington Post, prior to this latest trip, Mr. Trump has taken 53 days off and shot 33 rounds of golf since his inauguration. In the same time span eight years ago, Barack Obama took 15 days of down time and played golf 17 times.

So who cares, right? It's not like the boss was, or is completely unavailable to make split second decisions if there is a crisis, or so far removed from Washington he can't return at a moment's notice.

No, the problem here isn't how many rounds of golf Donald Trump has played. It is his complete disregard of the pledge he made during the campaign not to do so.

Yes, yes, all politicians lie, or at least speak a language laced with half truths and tenuous qualifiers. However, after nearly seven decades on this blue ball, it is hard to come up with the name of one who lies so often, so unrelentingly, and with such arrogance that being caught in a lie means absolutely nothing to him.

Last month he made a speech to the Boy Scouts of America annual Jamboree which was deemed so inappropriate comedian Samantha Bee likened it to one which might have been delivered by Der Fuhrer to the Hitler Youth. In fact, the address was so appalling, the head of the BSA, Mike Surbaugh issued a written apology to the organization's membership and their families.

Despite the public outrage and after the letter of apology had been circulated, Trump claimed someone in the leadership of the Boy Scouts called him to say, "It was the greatest speech that was ever made to them and they were very thankful."

Executives at the Boy Scouts immediately released a statement which said they were, "unaware," of any phone calls made from them to the Chief Executive. It was a polite way of saying the dude just made that fucking shit up.

On another subject, last Monday, El Don told gathered members of the media, "The president of Mexico called...said their southern border, very few people are coming through because they know they're not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment."

The Mexican response was basically, we didn't make any stinkin' phone call.  

When confronted by the media, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, claimed both statements were not, technically, lies, even though there had never been any actual phone calls. In the case of the Boy Scouts she said, "numerous" leaders told Trump his speech was great immediately after he finished it. She didn't offer any names of those, "numerous," leaders which makes them--well--anonymous sources. You know, like the ones fueling what her employer calls fake news.

As for the Mexicans, Sanders shrugged off the glaring discrepancy by saying President Nieto made the comment to Trump during the G-20 summit which was held during the first week of July. She didn't offer any explanation as to why Trump kept the conversation secret for so long.

These are just the latest examples of Trump's willingness to make shit up as he goes along without any concern his lies will be exposed. To him being caught in a lie is of no consequence because, one--he doesn't care and, two--he never stays on the same subject for more than a few seconds.

Indeed, The Big Orange Guy doesn't pause long enough between lies for the media, or the public to focus at length, or in depth on any single grotesque falsehood. He spews them with the velocity of a machine gun across a vast array of subjects, creating a tsunami of lies which simply overwhelms those of us who try to enumerate them while mesmerizing the malignant idiots who believe he is the savior of white America.

The terrible truth is something is fundamentally wrong with the mind of Donald Trump. His emotional and intellectual development seems to have abruptly ended during his early adolescence. It has left him the same, socially insulated, spoiled rich kid--the one who has no sense of restraint, or moral culpability--that he was so many years ago.

Such a boy-man strives only to enrich himself and enhance his own celebrity. He is not worthy of the nation, or its highest office.

But here we are, stuck with the evil son of a bitch.

And we have only ourselves and Hillary Rodham Clinton to thank for it.

sic vita est


Monday, July 31, 2017

The Mooch No More

 Mike Flynn lasted a little over three weeks as Donald Trump's National Security Advisor. He was fired because he, "lied," to the Vice President about meeting with some Russians during and after the campaign.

The 24 days he worked at the White House Asylum for the Rambunctiously Insane is a full two weeks longer than Anthony Scaramucci. The Mooch was named the President's Communications Director last week only to be shown the door a couple of hours ago.

Scaramucci's arrival was accompanied by a mini purge of sorts. His presence caused Sean Spicer and an assistant to end their six month run as official mouth pieces for the administration. It also heralded, if not inspired, the Reince Priebus hit job which happened Friday in a limo parked at Joint Base Andrews. The only thing missing from that scene was Priebus pausing to buy oranges from a street vendor as the button men moved in.

Of course, Scaramucci's tenure in the West Wing will have to be accompanied by an asterisk since the fucker proved so nuts he didn't even last long enough to be officially sworn in. However, that's a detail few will remember when compared to his crazed outburst to correspondent Ryan Lizza last week. Yes, his rambling, utterly paranoid, rant was the stuff of legend. Rumors at MSNBC were that Trump heartily approved of the profanity laced tirade. Over at Fox some of the wankers on Hannity's show seemed to approve of Scaramucci's street gangster approach to suspected leakers within the administration.

Today the White House is saying El Donald didn't think The Mooch's language was appropriate so he had to be let go. Right. While it is easy to imagine Donald Trump firing someone, anyone, it is incomprehensible he'd do so because of the person's language. No, the cause of Anthony Scaramucci's political demise lies elsewhere.

In his heady first hours on the job last week, The Mooch was proud to tell everyone who would listen he didn't report to some two bit Chief of Staff, but only, The Man himself. The none too subtle message was he, Anthony Scaramucci, was Don Trump's new go to guy--he was going to take names and kick ass and no one better fuck with him while he did.


Enter retired General John F. Kelly, who was sworn in as White House Chief of Staff this morning. Kelly's first move was to have a meeting with west wing personnel, during which he told everyone in attendance they all reported to him. His second, according to sources cited by The New York Times, was to make sure Anthony Scaramucci's ass was fired.

Or maybe it was the other way around.

Well, these things happen, no matter what the order. Sometimes the true believers simply go too far in their enthusiasm. Even, Herr Hitler understood the dangers of offending the middle and upper classes, not to mention military leaders by using a gang of vulgar, unrepentant thugs to sell the program and enforce his will. It's the reason he ordered, "The Night of the Long Knives," and offed Ernst Rohm and the rest of the Brown Shirt leadership.

So now Kelly is in charge and The Big Orange Guy is telling us he'll do a cracker jack job and will be the best White House Chief of Staff in the history of the entire world. Or, at least until Donald J. Trump decides he's getting in the way of ego and criminal buffoonery. Then, as we've seen, Trump's loyalty lasts about as long as the time between his tweets.

This morning the last few words of one of those tweets were, "No chaos in the White House." If  he truly believes what he wrote then we can only imagine what Don Trump's concept of chaos actually is. .

No wonder America's allies have grown edgy. To them it must look like they are stuck on a ship commanded by Phillip Francis Queeg and the strawberries have just gone missing from the officer's mess.



Friday, July 28, 2017

The Great Dinner Leak: The Mooch Goes Off and Reince Priebus Goes Away

Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.

Anthony, "The Mooch," Scaramucci--recently appointed White House Communications Director speaking about Donald Trump's quite suddenly, former chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

A couple of things immediately came to mind after, Ryan Lizza, the chief Washington correspondent of The New Yorker reported his little phone chat with Anthony Scaramucci. The first was, where in God's name does Donald Trump find these rabid werewolves? The second; now we know why Sean Spicer quit.

Actually Scaramucci isn't officially the Communications Director yet since the sale of his company, SkyBridge Capital to a Chinese firm hasn't been finalized. Be that as it may he obviously has the boss' blessing and free reign to act even Trumpier than Trump himself.

It isn't like we should be surprised he wants to play the tough guy. The first day he reported to the White House he showed up wearing blue tinted mirror aviator sunglasses which gave him a sort of movie Mafioso/Caribbean strong man look. You know, a cross between a tall Joe Pesci and Powers Boothe's portrayal of Jim Jones in Guyana. 

Obviously that's the role Scaramucci wants to play because from the first moment forward he hasn't concerned himself in the least with communicating. Instead, he has focused entirely on ferreting out those who are leaking information to the mainstream media. Well, that and making sure any internal rivals, real, or imagined, end up sleeping with the fishes.

And, as Lizza has testified, he's none too subtle about it.

The new Communications Director went ballistic because Lizza tweeted, Scaramucci, Trump, and the First Lady, were having dinner with Fox News personality Sean Hannity and a former Fox executive named Bill Shine. An unnamed, "senior White House official," was cited as the source of the attendees names.

The Mooch was on the phone almost immediately, demanding, "Who leaked that to you?" When Lizza declined to identify the source, Scaramucci told him, "What I'm going to do is I will eliminate everyone in the coms team and we'll start over."

He continued, "I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can't help themselves. You're an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I'm asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it."

When this appeal failed, Lizza reports Scaramucci asked him, "Is it an assistant to the President?" When Lizza declined to give him a name, or a hint the third time he said, "OK, I'm going to fire every one of them and then you haven't protected anyone. So the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks."

Then, as Mac Davis once said in a movie, came the weird part. The Mooch spiraled off on a bizarre, yes, paranoid, rant. "They'll all be fired by me," he said. "I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I'll fire tomorrow. I'll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus--if you want to leak something--he'll be asked to resign very shortly. Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac." To emphasize his point Scaramucci dove into an imitation of Priebus, "Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months."

Within moments he started yammering about the publication of his financial disclosure form. Convinced Priebus had given it to the press, he said, "I've called the FBI and the Department of Justice." Going into the third person for an instant he went on to say, "The swamp will not defeat him. They're trying to resist me, but it's not going to work. I've done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they're going to have to go fuck themselves."

The financial disclosure he was talking about hadn't been leaked by Priebus, or anyone else. It is public information accessible by any twelve year old with a computer who knows where to look.

There was more of course, but why go into it all, especially the part about Steve Bannon sitting around sucking his own cock? After all, given what we know about Bannon, The Mooch probably nailed that one on the head, so to speak.

Scaramucci got the job, apparently, because Don Trump was impressed with his dogged defense of the administration on Cable news talk shows. In fact Trump is so enamored with the zeal of the new Communications Director, Scaramucci doesn't  report to the White House Chief of Staff, who had been Priebus, which is normal, but directly to El Don.

The rumor flying around MSNBC last night was that The Big Orange Guy was happy with Scaramucci's phone call to Ryan Lizza. It looks to be true since, just moments ago, Priebus' expiration date arrived. Yesterday, some hacks on Fox, after declaring leaks, as opposed to criminal incompetence, might lead to the downfall of the Trump presidency, predicted as much. Geraldo Rivera told Hannity, Reince Priebus is, "gone," and Steve Bannon is, "hanging by a thread."

That's where the discussion ended. There wasn't any speculation one way or other about whether Brother Bannon is, despite his tenuous position, continuing to self fellatiate, or not.

A week, or so ago Mr. Trump told an adoring crowd his administration is, "a well oiled machine." The problem there being so is a stock car roaring around a NASCAR track, but that doesn't stop it from careening headlong into walls and other vehicles at two hundred miles an hour if the driver doesn't know what the fuck he's doing.

Lord in heaven, how does Vladimir Putin keep a straight face these days?  


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

American Health Care: Trump Has Pen in Hand

After 7 years of talking we will soon see whether or not republicans are willing to step up to the plate. Obamacare is torturing the America people. The democrats have fooled the people long enough. Repeal, or repeal and replace. I have pen in hand.

Donald Trump on Twitter this morning.

I'm sure he does. However, as usual, Mr. Trump didn't seem to have a firm grasp on what was happening in the Senate this afternoon. The yes vote didn't immediately create a new health care law, or repeal the old one. What it did was bring any number of proposals--the house replacement bill, the senate version of it, all manner of amendments, and the issue of repeal only--to the floor of the Senate for open debate.

In short, any replacement of the Affordable Care Act remains a fog shrouded, ghoulish, target located at the end of a long and contentious road.

So, just what is the state of American health care when compared to other industrialized, rich, countries?

Well, even with the ACA it sucks.

The Commonwealth Fund, which was established in 1918, has tracked the state of medical care in 11 industrialized countries since 1980. It's latest report looks like this:

When it comes to access, affordability, and timeliness of treatment the U.S. ranks 11th out of 11 while the Netherlands is first.

In the area of health care efficiency, ie. availability of your regular Doctor, access to medical records and test results, and the effort required to deal with insurance and government paper work, the U.S. is 10th out of 11, trailed only by France.

The one place the United States does climb in the rankings is preventative care--a key benefit of the ACA--coordinated care and patient preferences. We are fifth out of 11. The U.K. is first.

Then we get to the quality of health care received by the wealthy as opposed to the poor. The U.S. is last by a huge margin.

Finally there is the bottom line. It falls under the category, health care out comes per population. In other words the death rate amenable to health care and specific diseases. The citizens of the United States of America, despite paying more per person each year for health care than the people in any of the other nations surveyed, is mired once again in 11th place.

But, hey, enough of brutal facts. Let's get to the really bad news. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the proposals put forward by the republicans which will improve any of those stats. In fact, the dreadful truth is once their plan, or non plan is finally signed into being things will get even worse.

Todays, The Oklahoman noted if the GOP health plan passes, as currently written, rural hospitals in the state, which are barely hanging on now, will collectively loose $25 million during the first year it is law.

The non partisan Congressional Budget Office projects the House version of the GOP replacement bill will cost 23 million Americans their health insurance within 10 years. The kinder Senate version will cut 22 million off from coverage. If the republicans can't get anything passed and just repeal the ACA cold turkey, the CBO says 32 million Americans will lose their health insurance.

In addition George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health and the Commonwealth Fund predicts a repeal without replacement will cost over one million people employed by the health care industry their jobs. Over the next decade one in every 20 health care worker would go unemployed.

Yes, it would seem the GOP strategy is two fold. First, make sure America's poor and those of non European descent aren't able to vote. Then, let 'em die in the streets from preventable diseases because they can't afford readily available health care.

The Big Orange Guy really isn't the problem here. He hasn't a clue when it comes to what is in, or not in any of the proposals floating around the hill. In fact, it's not even clear he understands what health insurance is. All he knows is thousands of Obamaphobes cheered when he said he'd get rid of the ACA and by God he's going to sign anything that does.

Indeed, Don Trump, in this instance the cheerleader in chief, may have a pen in hand, however, it's the congress of the United States which holds the dagger to our hearts.

And tragically, a scant few hours ago, Vice-President, Mike Pence and 50 of those ruthless bastards got together and agreed to decide exactly how and when to plunge it in.

Such is the current state of, The American Dream.

sic vita est


Friday, July 21, 2017

The Failing, Fake News Interviews Donald Trump and He Explains Government, Insurance, and French History to Us All

You can say a couple of things about Donald Trump. One, he is incapable of shutting up even when it is his best interest to do so and, two, he will never cease to invent alternative facts and histories.

On a day like this it would be easy to concentrate on the sudden departure of White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. However, let's face it, he was on his way out the door from day one. According to the New York Times, Trump wasn't sold on him from the very beginning. They're reporting, Reince Preibus had to talk the Don into hiring the guy after Trump questioned, you guessed it, Spicer's loyalty. After six months of presidential dementia, it seemed like the only reason Spicer was kept around was so the boss could periodically torment and degrade him. (Yes, you might be the only Catholic in the entourage, but no you can't meet the Pope.)

Today, Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci as the White House Director of Communications and Spicer decided he'd had enough. Not to worry though, he'll land on his feet. Even as I write there are scores of publishers dialing Mr. Spicer's number and offering him profoundly huge amounts of cash in exchange for a tell all book. Believe me, those people are pros. The bidding began the moment he left the building.

Meanwhile The Big Orange Dude sat down with the New York Times for an interview the other day. That would be the same publication Mr. Trump has repeatedly described as, "failing," and the purveyor of, "fake news."

The initial rush of left wing outrage had to do with Trump's admission he would have never hired Jeff Sessions as Attorney General if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russian investigation. Indeed, what's the use of being president if your own employees won't help you out in a pinch? Screw the ethics and legalities. Such things are for terminally weak losers. Just ask Vlad Putin.

I, on the other hand, prefer to take a look at three other tidbits Brother Trump left us with thanks to the Times. They might not be as attention grabbing, but they are just as telling, if not more so.

Perhaps in an effort to justify his canning of James Comey, Trump claimed the director of the FBI began reporting to the Justice Department only, "out of courtesy," post Richard Nixon. He assured the Times that when it comes to the FBI chain of command, "There was nothing official. There was nothing from congress." The FBI's website states its director has been answering directly to the Attorney General since the 1920s. In addition, any communication between he and the White House adheres to a strict set of guidelines and is approved by the AG, or other high ranking Justice Department officials. As we all know, the only exception to these rules was, J. Edgar Hoover who, while running the bureau, didn't answer to anyone, not even God Almighty.

On health insurance coverage, he said, "You're 21 years old, you start working and you're paying $12 per year for insurance and by the time you're 70, you get a nice plan. Here's something where you walk up and say, I want my insurance."

Beyond being completely out of touch with reality--name one 21 year old paying $12 a year for any kind of insurance--Donald Trump, the leader of the United States of America, doesn't seem to have a clue how health insurance works. Apparently he thinks your medical coverage increases over time as you pay for it, rather like whole life insurance death benefits. As for walking up to someone and saying, "I want my insurance", that is exactly what the Affordable Care Act allows millions of Americans to do.

Now, while both of those are fine examples of Trumpisms, my personal favorite was DJT's take on French history. When it comes to Napoleon Bonaparte, the Times quoted him as saying, "His one problem is he didn't go to Russia that night because he had extra curricular activities and they froze to death."


What was that? No--seriously--what the fuck did the man just say? The Times asked the author of, "Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March," Adam Zamoyski for a translation.  Without blinking, Mr. Zamoyski responded, "I can't make heads or tails of it."

Listen, no one in their right mind can. Even a third grader forced to sit through the first half of the Audrey Hepburn/Henry Fonda movie version of "War and Peace," can describe Napoleon's ill fated invasion of Russia with more eloquence, detail, and accuracy.

Which leads us to our greatest problem. Third graders don't possess the nuclear launch codes, but Donald John Trump does.

In the end, I can cope with Don Trump being an utterly amoral misogynist and venal capitalist greed head turned political opportunist. I can even deal with it when he exploits the bigotry and xenophobia which exists in the dark souls of some Americans. What I really can't stand though is his autocratic view of how the president should be kowtowed to, not just by all the branches and offices of the government, but also a free press.

Well, that and his warped versions of history which have the distinct feel of psilocybin induced hallucinations. But then, hey, that's just me.

sic vita est


Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Legislative Accomplishments of Donald John Trump and the Cult of Personality

Despite the condemnations of terrible shills like Kellyanne Conway it is easy to understand why the national media continues to be focused on the connections between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russians. Let's face it, the number of secret meetings and those involved in them continue to grow at a staggering rate. In fact at this point it is almost quicker to name a list of people in the campaign who didn't confer with Russian agents rather than those who did.

Yes, to listen to MSNBC and some of the others one can easily imagine the public outrage is tantamount to a prairie wild fire roiling out of control some where west of Tulsa and Trump's support is circling the drain.

The only problem is it's not. At least not among the Trump faithful--those hearty souls desperately hanging onto lower middle class status while fantasizing about the return of industries and jobs that have gone the way of the Dodo.

CBS took the time to visit an Indiana county fair the other day and speak with a few Trumpists. One of them was Brenda Wilson. She assured the interviewer she, "wasn't at all," bothered by the Russian disclosures. According to her, "There is nothing to it."

Then there was Fred Wilson who said, the media, "Probably should," report on what the Big Orange guy tweets early in the mornings, "But it shouldn't be the main line." He added, "The troubling thing to me is, you know, we need to get behind the president  and quit majoring in the minor things, in my opinion, and let him do the job he was elected to do."

Finally we have, Gary Rice who complained, "He's getting a lot of things done behind the scenes that the media so overshadows on the negative side that it's just making it twice as hard."

Ah there we have it. "He's getting a lot of things done behind the scenes." Our man Gary Rice echoed in a way what the many times unhinged Mrs. Conway has to say about the media. Mainly why is the press focusing on Russia instead of America?

So what has Donald Trump accomplished legislatively? Well, in his mind anyway, a lot. Late in June, El Donald said, "I will say that never has there been a president--with few exceptions, in the case of FDR he had a major depression to handle--who's passed more legislation, who's done more things than we've done."

For those keeping count some of the other, "few," presidents besides FDR include Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush.

In the face of such stats the people at a CBS affiliate, KAQY, comprised a list of Mr. Trump's legislative accomplishments a couple of weeks ago.

Over his first 163 days in office, Don Trump signed 41 bills, not counting executive orders. 15 of them rolled back Obama era rules and regulations. (Including one which prevented companies from dumping mine waste into streams. A second restricted the killing of certain wildlife in Alaska if you aren't going to eat it.)  His first action waved the waiting period required by law for a retired member of the military to become Secretary of Defense. Two authorized the naming of V.A clinics and another named a federal courthouse. Three reappointed regents to the Smithsonian Institute.

Another directed NASA to encourage young people to pursue studies in science and math while a second NASA related bill did provide the agency with its first firm budget in six years.

There were a couple which provided funding to keep the government running, probably because even he saw what happened to Ted Cruz when the little cretin inspired a shut down a few years ago. Then there was a law which further weakened background checks on gun buyers.

Another helped states block federal funds to private agencies which provide abortions while one encourages the display of American flags on National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

Of course, there are others, but none of them have to do with building a wall on the southern border, or a new  American health plan, although the republican Senate is close to passing a mutant BDSM version of the latter.

Not that he has a clue about what coverage it contains, or doesn't. It has been painfully obvious since his inauguration, Don Trump doesn't give a rat's ass about the details of the GOP's alternative to the Affordable Care Act. All he cares about is taking credit for replacing Obama Care. And, if the current Senate version utterly fucks over his base, well, he knows they'll buy into the program anyway. Why wouldn't they? They have from day one and as we've seen show no signs of deserting him now.

It's as one Tennessee woman said when asked what it would take for her not to support Donald John Trump, "I don't know what he'd have to do. I guess kill someone. Just in cold blood."

That's right, when it comes to Trump's worshippers, any media revelation, no matter how damning, simply strengthens their faith. Any failure to accomplish meaningful legislation is somehow the fault of evil democrats. This is what we get when millions believe in a messiah who has hypnotized them with Living Colour's siren song that says,

"Look in my eyes, what do you see?
I'm the cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be."

Tragically, such is the state of the American volk.

sic vita est


Monday, July 10, 2017

The Latest Adventures on the Trump Merry Go Round

...round and round and round they rode, oh what an episode..."

Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye, from the movie, "Cat Ballou."

Many things can be said about Donald Trump and the wankers he has employed in the past and does now. The foremost among them is they will lie at any time to anyone. That and their lies are so God awful transparent they are invariably exposed within weeks, if not days.

Back in March Donald Trump Jr. was saying he'd never met with any Russian on any subject prior to the election. On Saturday, Trump the Younger admitted he was involved in a pre election meeting with a Russian attorney: "It was a short introductory meeting," he said. "I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up."

The key words there being, "primarily discussed." So what got Don Jr, the future first son in law, and the campaign's chairman at the time to Trump Tower to speak with Natalia Veselnitskaya?

On Sunday we found out. According to Trump Jr. "I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign."

Ah, there we have it. It turns out the real reason Trump, Kushner, and Paul Manafort showed up that day was they believed Veselnitskaya, a Russian who is tight with the powers that be in Moscow, had dope on Hillary Clinton which would damage her politically. In this instance anyway, it turned out the promise of dirt was just a lure to get the Americans there so Veselnitskaya could talk about the defunct adoption program. When Trump and the others realized the lawyer wasn't going to provide them with any sort of credible incriminating news on Clinton the meeting ended.

So, despite all those indignant White House denials, Donald Trump Jr. just admitted senior officials within his old man's campaign, at the very least, made an attempt to collude with a connected Russian player during the election.

Not that this should come as a surprise. Mike Flynn--apparently unaware someone might be listening in on the Russian ambassador's phone calls--denied he had several conversations with Sergey Kislyak about lifting U.S. sanctions right up until the moment he was shown the door.

On two separate occasions, Jeff Sessions told senators he didn't meet with Kislyak despite having talked with him at both the GOP convention and in his office the September before the election. Sessions is now the chief law enforcement officer in the United States of America.

When Jared Kushner filled out a questionnaire to get his security clearance he initially indicated he didn't have any meetings with the treacherous Russkies. That included get togethers with Kislyak and the head of a Russian bank the media subsequently uncovered. Not to mention the one with, Veselnitskaya, Trump Jr. just blabbed about.

Meanwhile The Big Orange Guy met with Vladimir Putin one on one the other day. El Donald reported he was satisfied the Russian government didn't interfere in any way with the last U.S. election. Why? Because Vlad told him they didn't.

Trump was so impressed by Putin's stand up honesty he tweeted, "It is time to move forward in working with Russia..." Then he proposed a joint U.S.-Russian cybersecurity team be put together in order to prevent any further election hanky-panky.

The general reaction to this latest example of Brother Don's slavish devotion to all things Russian was best summed up by Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC. He tweeted the theoretical collaboration was, "...pretty close to the dumbest idea I've ever heard."

In fact the blow back on this particular light bulb moment was so severe by yesterday Trump was tweeting that even though he came up with the proposal it didn't mean he thought such a thing could happen. He finished the tweet by posting, "It can't."

Say what?

In the long history of presidential position reversals it is hard to think of one which happened quicker and is seemingly more absolute than what we just heard from Donald Trump.

Given all this overwhelming evidence, if it wasn't previously, it is now painfully obvious the upper levels of the current administration are heavily involved with drugs. Indeed, it is no longer a matter of if,  just a question of which ones. Let's face it, no one makes up the insane shit we've been hearing the past year, or acts like Don Trump and his crowd without being seriously into some awful chemical, or organic compounds. Christ, even the most depraved junkies can come up with plans, excuses, and lies  more lucid than these crazed fucks.

In the end the terrible truth is those now in charge of the republic are grotesquely weird and deeply paranoid. They are--despite their vast wealth--terminal losers desperately in need of validation from the very people they think so little of and they're willing to say and do anything to achieve it.

Tragically their crudely amateurish and vile scams are being pulled not just on the professional pols in Washington, but us as well.

And--as pointed out previously in this space--we're stuck with them.


Monday, July 3, 2017

The Declaration of Independence: The Supreme Judge of the World 1, Jesus 0

On July 2nd, 1776 a bunch of white guys representing 13 separate British colonies located in North America had a decision to make. It had taken a while to reach that moment. In fact debate about the issue at hand had been so contentious at times the entire Maryland delegation had walked out in protest a month earlier.

Totals were tabulated a tad differently in that Philadelphia hall than they are in the current American congress. Each colony, or state had a single vote, no matter how many people lived within its borders. Internal polls were taken within the delegations which ranged in number from three to seven. If a majority of say, New Jersey delegates were in favor of a proposal, New Jersey voted yea. If not, the state voted no.

The vote that day was on a resolution to sever all political ties between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain. It passed 12-0 in favor, with one abstention. The result thrilled John Adams so much he wrote his wife a letter telling her, July 2nd was destined to become a great American holiday. You know, there would be parades, NASCAR races, baseball games, kegs of beer, brats on the grill, and fireworks booming overhead at night.


On the 4th of July, after a day of heavy editing, during which, according to Wikipedia, about 25% of the text was deleted, a final draft of sorts was approved by congress and sent to the printers. On the 19th another minor change was made to reflect New York's belated yes vote, which made the passage of the Declaration of Independence truly unanimous.

For reasons that remain unclear, America quickly settled on the middle of the three dates as its Independence Day.

Since then the declaration, much like the constitution, and the bible, has been used to justify almost every political and moral argument shouted from the rooftops within these United States.

As late as a couple of months ago Donald John Trump assured the graduating class of the right wing, evangelical, Liberty University, America is a "Christian nation." He used as proof the Declaration of Independence, which he noted, referenced, "our Creator," four different times.

Yeah, well, kind of.

Actually the word Creator appears once. That would be in the preamble whose primary author was John Adams, a Unitarian who didn't believe in the Trinity. It was a piece of work so radical and inflammatory its first reading had caused the Marylanders to take their temporary walk.

In the introduction there is a mention of, "...the laws of nature and nature's God." In the conclusion, Thomas Jefferson appealed to, "the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions," and pledged the new nation would pursue its course, "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence..."

The document doesn't contain a single mention of Jesus, or Christ, or, even the term, our Savior--all of which differentiates Christianity from various other religions who worship a Deity, or Deities. In other words, while the majority American citizens at the time might have been Christian, the founding fathers, despite what Don Trump and others say, didn't specifically embrace Christianity, or any other faith. In fact they went out of their way to avoid doing just that.

But hey, a little truth has never stopped a rousing speech delivered to a mob ready to hear how righteous their history and therefore their cause is. If you want proof, just ask the Germans.

Given these circumstances one can only imagine how fast Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, and the rest are spinning in their graves right now. They may have been a flawed lot, but unlike the current resident in the White House and his minions, they relied on reason and brains, not lies, grotesque bluster, and revisionist theological propaganda to make their point and, ultimately, history.

Thank the Supreme Judge of the world they didn't.

sic vita est


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Donald Trump: Respect is For Pussies--Fear and Loathing is What Counts

"Our culture has gotten way too mean and too rough."

Future First Lady, Melania Trump--November, 2016

I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly about me. (Don't watch anymore) Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika along with Psycho Joe came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face lift. I said no!

Donald John Trump on Twitter this morning.

Yes, the man in control of the largest, most deadly, military in the world continues to prove he has the maturity, emotional stability and mental capacity of a 10 year old playground thug.

The difference, primarily, being, Donald Trump has a bunch of babbling shills working for him who attempt to explain to the world the true meanings of his early morning juvenile taunts and insults and why they happen.

Earlier today Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a Fox news commentator, the current resident of the White House, "...would not be bullied by outrageous personal attacks from the liberal media, liberal elites within the media, and Hollywood, or anyone else."

That's the ticket Sarah. Accuse everyone else of being guilty of the same crude behavior the boss constantly displays, portray him as the put upon victim, then play to the base by blaming everything on the ultimate boogie-men--the media, elites, and Hollywood. Doktor Goebbels couldn't have done it any better himself in those heady days when Herr Hitler was consolidating power.

On another front, the First Lady put her alleged campaign against cyber-bullying aside long enough to have a spokesperson issue a statement. It read, "As the First Lady has stated publicly--When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder." Of course after her husband made the initial crack about Mexico sending the U.S. their, "criminals and rapists," she said, "I don't think he insulted the Mexicans," so her judgement in this area might be considered suspect.

Others weren't as forgiving. After this morning's outburst. James Lankford, the junior republican Senator from Oklahoma said, "(The president) should model civility, honor and respect in our political rhetoric. The President's tweets today don't help our political, or national discussion and do not provide a positive role model for our national dialogue."

Lindsey Graham, R-SC said, "Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America."

One republican Senator from Nebraska was more succinct. Ben Sasse wrote, "Please, just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office."

Unfortunately for us all, normalcy and dignity are two ships that sailed as soon as Donald Trump glided down that shiny escalator to announce his candidacy so many months ago. So did civility and respect, but then neither of them ever existed in the hearts of the gruesome mobs who led his charge and remain solidly behind him. 

No, they actually like the mean-drunk, persona their man staggers around with. It is their idea of what American leadership should be. That's right, baby. Respect is for pussies--fear and loathing is what counts. 

We might as well face it. The Twitter assaults aren't going to cease. We know that. The man wakes up early and immediately downs a heavy dose of some mutant brew containing huge amounts of orange juice, caffeine, and meth. Then, before anyone can react, he grabs his phone and his thumbs begin to stab at the keys in a blur. No one can stop him. Don't you think his people would have already if they could?

Indeed--in this White House it's obvious any outright suggestion of sanity, or restraint is cause for immediate exile and everyone around El Donald knows it. They also know banishment will be followed by yet another storm of tweets accusing them of, not just disloyalty, but also lax personal hygiene and lascivious Trump envy.

Hey, that's how The Big Orange Guy rolls. And--it's what we get as long as there isn't a line he won't cross.


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