Thursday, September 14, 2017

No, he's just crazy

This is why I like Keith Olbermann.

Donald Trump isn't going to change. He's just crazy. He's a narcissist who cares about nothing but himself. He treats his allies as badly as he does his political enemies, because while he requires their slavish devotion, he also despises them for it.

Of course, if you object even slightly to anything he says or does, you're instantly on his shit list no matter how much you kowtowed previously. Trump demands loyalty, but he doesn't give it. He cares nothing about anything or anyone but himself.

And he has zero impulse control. Sometimes, his minders can get him, grudgingly, to read something moderately rational off the teleprompter, but it's never going to last. That always pisses him off (because the rest of the world should see how wonderful he is without all that, right?), and he's only as disciplined as a three-year-old, anyway.

It seems like most journalists either don't see that or else want to pretend that they don't. Of course, recognizing the truth about our president would be 'biased,' huh? Not that his supporters - or any Republican, really - will believe anything but what they want to believe, anyway.

That's the crazy thing. Even if a journalist bends over backward giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, that's never going to be enough. For narcissists and their supporters, it's slavish devotion or nothing.

And you can't be subtle about it, either. Remember when Trump got his cabinet together - on camera - so that each could give a little speech about how wonderful he is? Bizarre, wasn't it? But that's what Trump wants from everyone.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Anderson Cooper's response to Trump

When I was a kid, I used to wonder what it was like to see Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party rise to power in 1930s Germany. Well, I imagine that it was a lot like this, don't you think?

Look at that idiot, the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world, whining about what a victim he is. Look at those loony supporters, eagerly cheering every lie, gorging themselves on dishonesty, victimization, and bitter hatred.

And look at the Republican Party, which created this monster through decades of their "Southern strategy" of deliberately wooing white racists. Now, even treason isn't enough to really bother them. They criticize timidly, sure, but they still do everything Trump wants.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How little things have changed

Keith Olbermann calls this "the enduringly lame explanations to excuse a scandalous president," but that's too long for a title.

Art Buchwald's column was first published in 1973, but it's amazing how we're still hearing the same lame excuses for a different (and far worse) president, isn't it?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tina Fey at SNL after Charlottesville

I don't know why, but it feels good to know that other people are just as pissed off at the state of our country as I am.

Trump's four weeks

'Fake news,' huh? Yeah, I don't recommend reading the YouTube comments on this one. Hysterical Trump supporters are losing their minds. Well, what few brain cells they actually have, anyway.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Breaking crazy: Donald Trump's press conference

Though I haven't been blogging, that's not because I haven't been paying attention. And certainly, it's not because the crazy in Washington has diminished in any way. I'm just worn out, I guess - depressed and dispirited.

But I had to post this. The fact that President Dumb-as-a-Trump can't see the difference between George Washington, a guy who did everything he could to support our country, and Robert E. Lee, a guy who did everything he could to destroy it, just blows my mind.

It doesn't surprise me, though. And it doesn't surprise me that Trump continues to encourage neo-Nazis and white supremacists, either. After all, we saw that during the campaign, when he tried to avoid criticizing David Duke and the KKK. So of course that's not surprising.

Will the Republican Party succeed in destroying America before they finally destroy themselves? It's looking more and more likely, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Creationists don't build starships

I haven't been blogging lately, and that's not likely to change. But I thought I'd mention this post at Stonekettle Station. I highly recommend it.

I'm not going to blog about this myself. He says everything I could say - and better. So I'll just give you the general idea with a few brief excerpts:
These sons of bitches just can’t seem to face reality.

We didn’t know.

We hoped he'd act more presidential.

I mean, we knew Trump was an ignorant self-aggrandizing jackass with no experience in government at all, right. We knew that. We knew he was a liar, a misogynist, a con artist, an abuser, and a bully. We knew he was prone to uncontrolled rage and that there was no filter between his ego and his thumbs. We knew that. We knew all of that. Of course we did. Sure. That part was obvious. But see, we hoped – we hoped – Trump would somehow just magically become a dignified adult, suddenly imbued with reason and self-control and filled with knowledge and wisdom of how to actually run a government.

That is what they told us. That is literally what they told us. He’s just doing this to get elected. Once he’s president, you’ll see. He’ll straighten out, he’ll become…

…a unicorn.

Now, admittedly, we’re not really sure how any of that would happen, but we hoped it would.

We hoped it would.

Magical thinking.

Trump is the manifestation of all the worst aspects of modern America writ large, loud, florid, and proudly ignorant. A mindset that is shamelessly hypocritical, self-important and self-involved, wrapped in a flag waving a cross and obsessed with money at the expense of everything else, downing handfuls of Viagra not because we need it but rather for instant self gratification without effort, and a sneering dismissal of any debate that can’t be compressed into a Tweet as “Too Long; Didn’t Read.”

I’m not the first to note that Trump is what stupid people think a smart person sounds like and it doesn’t take much digging around on social media to find those who despite all evidence to the contrary still dogmatically believe in they’re going to get a unicorn...

Somewhere in the last half a century, we Americans traded Apollo moon ships for the Creation Museum and the ugly truth of the matter is that Donald Trump is a reflection of who we’ve become as a nation.

Trump is the utterly predictable result of decades of an increasingly dumber and dumber electorate. A deliberately dumber electorate, Idiocracy in action, a society that dismisses intelligence and education and experience as “elitism” while howling in drunken mirth at Honey Boo Boo and lighting their farts on fire.

Creationists don’t build starships.

Read the whole thing here. Seriously, read it!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Alex Jones

I don't know about the first part of this. How could Alex Jones be considered "charismatic"?

Or does "charismatic" mean "unethical, combined with batshit crazy" in the UK?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

President Trump, desperate for the validation of boy scouts

I haven't been posting here, but I couldn't resist this. How pathetic can the President of the United States get?

Monday, June 26, 2017

John Oliver: Vaccines

What has happened to my country? It's the 21st Century, yet we've got anti-vaxxers, global warming deniers, creationists who reject the very foundation of modern biology, and all manner of unscientific idiocy.

I know that Donald Trump is president, but are we all eager to return to the Dark Ages?

PS. I'm sorry I haven't been posting. But it's not going to get any better. Everything is just too depressing these days.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fight back at the polls

Sorry, but I don't have time to say much about this. In fact, I'm not sure what I would say. ("Elections have consequences"? But that's obvious.)

So I'm just going to copy the whole thing here (something I rarely do), and let you decide for yourselves.

Josh Marshall at TPM writes:
In the Senate right now, Republicans are making rapid progress on repealing Obamacare and forcing more than twenty million Americans off the health care coverage rolls. They’re doing it by making a mockery of almost the entire legislative process. The law they’ve written is secret, even apparently from most Republican Senators. It will remain secret until after a score is released by the CBO. Then, presumably, it will be rushed for an immediate vote before anyone has had a chance to even look at the law or what it does. President Trump will sign it. And it will be done.

This is awful. But, really, stop saying it’s awful.

There is a perhaps understandable but entirely wrongheaded reflex to shout from the rooftops how this is simply wrong, how it’s not the way to legislate in any way in the public interest, how it willfully breaks all the norms of legitimate legislative behavior. But seriously, stop.

The process isn’t the wrong. The corruption of the process is evidence of the underlying political bad act.

This kind of griping operates on the premise that broadcasting a situation in which you have zero power and acting as though your attempted shaming will produce any positive effect will have some positive effect. It won’t. Broadcasting weakness is never an effective strategy. Always choose to fight on a different ground. It looks hapless to try to shame people with acts they are carrying out openly, eagerly and happily. You look stupid. This kind of shaming operates on the unstated premise that the targets of the shaming care or are in some sense failing to grasp the extremity and inappropriateness of what they’re doing. Stated as such, this is obviously not true. It’s a feature not a bug and all that. Pretending otherwise makes you look stupid, weak and hapless. Those are never qualities that political victories are made of.

Rhetorically, politically and in the simplest terms of reality, Republicans know there is no justifying this legislation. The public has already spoken. It is overwhelmingly unpopular. They are trying to do it in the dead of night because they know that. They convict themselves by their actions. Not because those actions violate norms but because they are evidence of knowledge of the underlying wrong. They are trying to slip it past everyone, do it by stealth and have all the details secret until it’s too late. That’s a political crime, a corrupt bargain. That’s the message, with all the rhetorical color that can be added to it. Don’t say that Republicans shouldn’t feel the license to act this way. They can do it if they want and it is entirely in character. Accept their freedom do it and label it for what it is. Adjudicate it at the next election. Make that clear.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Trump picks fights with our allies

So, London suffers a terrorist attack, and Donald Trump attacks... London. (And lies while doing it, of course. But you expected that, I hope.)

Please, make it stop before the Republican Party completely destroys our country!

John Oliver: Paris Agreement

Pardon my French, but we Americans so completely fucked ourselves - and everyone else on Earth - last November!

And yes, if you were eligible to vote, but you didn't - or you voted, but not for Democratic candidates - this is your fault. If you can't accept that, if you're not willing to even recognize your mistakes, you'll keep making them.

All the bullshit rationalizations in the world won't change a thing. You have to do something. And, among other things, that means you have to vote, in every election. You have to make the effort, because when you don't, this is what continues to happen to us.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Mr. D goes to Washington: deplorables

This guy is a comedian. He's Mr. Deity. This is how bad things have gotten in my country. We can't even laugh about things like this anymore.

And Republicans are sticking with it. Well, if using racism for political advantage didn't bother you*, what would? Treason with Russia? Nah, why bother, right?

* What am I saying? Heck, using racism for political advantage is what attracted most of these people to the GOP.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Timothy Snyder "On Tyranny"

This is excellent, isn't it?

I especially liked this part:
What post-truth does is it paves the way for regime-change. If we don't have access to facts, we can't trust each other. Without trust, there's no law. Without law, there's no democracy. So, if you want to rip the heart out of a democracy directly - if you want to go right at it and kill it - what you do is you go after facts.

And that's what modern authoritarians do. Step one, you lie, yourself - all the time. Step two, you say it's your opponents and journalists who lie. Step three, everyone looks around and says, "What is truth? There is no truth." And then resistance is impossible and the game is over.

Monday, May 22, 2017

White House scandals, then and now

Funny, isn't it? Of course, the biggest 'scandal' in the eight years of Barack Obama was that he's black.

And this even minimizes the differences, given that Obama's 'scandals' took place over eight years. Trump has only been in office four months! (Yeah, it feels like so much longer, doesn't it?)

Stupid Watergate

As a roundup of the Trump administration, this is depressing as hell, isn't it? Very funny - and with a great label for these scandals ("Stupid Watergate") - but fundamentally depressing.

We did this to ourselves, and there's no easy way to get out of it now. Stupid Watergate is happening because stupid Americans gave him the election - not just those who voted Republican, but everyone (far more than those who actually voted for Trump) who couldn't be bothered to vote at all.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The truth about vaccines

He does a great job with this, doesn't he?

It's hard to believe that this bullshit is still going on, but then I posted a video about another measles outbreak just a couple of weeks ago. And we've still got Creationists, after all, even in the 21st Century.

Anti-scientific idiocy never dies, it seems.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fox News struggles to defend Trump

As you've no-doubt heard, former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been appointed as special counsel investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

He was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who then notified Donald Trump one-half hour before it was announced in the news media. Trump doesn't seem very happy about any of this.

The whole thing's a mess, and it's still critically important that Congress investigate publicly. After all, the criminal investigation by Mueller will be secretive by necessity. And there's a lot we citizens need to know that might not reach the level of an actual crime (or, at least, a crime with enough evidence to prosecute).

But, as I noted Tuesday, it's just been one scandal after another. Every day, there's something new. And I thought it was funny - though not at all surprising - how Fox News has been desperate to defend this Republican president.

I wanted to point out this article in The Atlantic, too. It's another list of the past ten days of scandals - similar to, but slightly different from, the list I posted Tuesday.

The whole thing is worth a read, it really is. But what's it all mean? Here are a few widely-scattered excerpts:
It is difficult to assess the relative danger of each of these stories, because in any normal administration any of them could consume weeks if not months of attention as the press and politicians ferreted out each loose end. In this case, each seems to be supplanted by a new self-inflicted casualty within hours. ...

Time and again, Trump’s errors have been dismissed—even, incredibly, by his own aides and defenders—as the work of a man who simply has no idea what he’s doing. He doesn’t understand the gravity of Flynn’s duplicity. He didn’t think firing James Comey would be a big deal. He didn’t intend to make a liar of his vice president; it just slipped out! Even in the case of the classified information, National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, while refusing to state that what Trump shared was classified, said the president wouldn’t have known its status either way. These repeated lapses, taken together, create a case that Trump is simply not up to the job of the presidency. ...

The president does not help his own case. While it is fashionable to compare Trump to Nixon—a comparison Trump recently seems to be courting, from his hobnobbing with Henry Kissinger to his “tapes” threat—Nixon was a far more careful, strategic operator. His lies took time, and secret tapes, to unspool. Trump, however, keeps confirming his critics’ suspicions to the entire world. When the White House insisted Trump had not fired Comey over the Russia probe, Trump said he had. When the White House rebutted the classified-info disclosure, Trump implicitly admitted it, tweeting that he had an “absolute right” to do so. Where Nixon insisted he was not a crook, Trump boasts of his crookedness 140 characters at a time. ...

In part, Trump benefits from a double standard. Because he is not a career politician and because his reputation for crassness was well-established before he ran, he received a pass for some of his actions. This is true even now. While Hillary Clinton’s careless handling of classified information was perhaps the decisive factor in her November loss, Donald Trump appears to have handled far more sensitive information far more carelessly, even if, as he says, he was within his legal rights to do so. Yet although his position is precarious he is not finished. It is much harder to remove an elected president than it is to defeat a candidate, for reasons both legal and cultural.

Again, I recommend that you read the whole article.

But the crazy thing is, none of this has stopped. Even today, TPM talks about "a small landslide of new news this morning." Yes, this morning. It's nearly impossible to keep up, isn't it?

Well, we Americans did this to ourselves, voting for an ignorant clown with a narcissistic personality disorder for president (or not bothering to vote at all, which is almost worse). And we gave control of Congress to the Republican Party, too - as we did most states (not to mention the Supreme Court).

This is a nightmare. No, it's much worse than a nightmare. At least you can wake up to escape a nightmare. We'll be living with the results of the November election for a long, long time.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Can we impeach this guy yet?

Incredible, isn't it? We can't even keep up with this stuff!

I used to think that Donald Trump was golden for political comedians, but I'm starting to feel sorry for them now. After all, every time Seth Meyers gets a monologue prepared on the latest Trump scandal, there's another scandal just minutes before he goes on air.

Yeah, Trump gave the Russians classified information - stuff so secret that it hadn't even been shared with our allies, let alone with Congress. And after having his people lie about that (National Security Advisor McMaster, who took over for disgraced General Flynn, flat-out said that the story was "false"), Trump admitted it.

That's a big deal! Both the action itself and the lying about it were big, big deals, but now, that's just... yesterday's news. Because today, we hear that Trump tried to get FBI Director James Comey - the guy he fired because, as Trump eventually admitted, of the Russia investigation - to stop the investigation into General Flynn's ties to the Russians.

Can you keep all of this straight? It seems like every day there's a new impeachable offense from our Clown in Chief. And every day, Republicans in Congress try to ignore it, or minimize it, or otherwise avoid actually doing their duty.

This might help. It's the timeline Meyers mentions in the video above:

Monday - We learned that Barack Obama had warned Trump about hiring General Flynn, the guy fired in disgrace, because of his undisclosed ties to Russia, less than a month after Trump hired him as National Security Advisor.

Tuesday - Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who's been investigating this Russia stuff.

Wednesday - Trump met with Russian diplomats, including an accused spy, in the Oval Office (giving Russian photographers access, but not the American news media).

Thursday - Trump admitted that he'd fired Comey because of the Russia investigation (after having his representatives lie about it using two other, contradictory explanations first).

Friday - Trump threatened Comey with secret tapes of their conversations (while refusing to divulge whether or not those tapes actually exist).

Saturday - The Justice Department interviews Trump-friendly replacements for Comey.

Sunday - Mothers Day. Trump was golfing.

Monday - We learned that Trump gave the Russians in that meeting highly-classified intelligence information.

Today - We learned that Trump had asked Comey to shut down the investigation into Flynn.

Thank god for the holiday, huh? This is not normal. It's excessive even by Trump standards, don't you think?

How many different ways does Trump have to attempt to obstruct justice before the Republicans who control Congress will start impeachment proceedings - or even agree that we need a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this mess?

If Barack Obama had done any of this stuff, he would have been gone months ago.