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Friday, December 15, 2017

How Batman's biggest fan could become president. (Seriously.)

As usual, so much is going on that one can barely keep track of it all. Last night, we learned that the Great Tax Bill is now in trouble. Marco Rubio has come to understand that the Mighty Fox Wurlitzer may not be enough to save a Republican senator who backs an incredibly unpopular piece of legislation.

(Added note: The bill has been rewritten to mollify Rubio. I'm betting that this trick will work and that the bill will pass.)

Meanwhile, the attacks on two FBI personnel who privately expressed a distaste for Trump continues to threaten the Mueller probe. No new facts have come out, but the right-wing propagandists keep rewording headlines to convey the impression that shocking new revelations are flying at us every day. The media barrage has worked, with more than half the population now persuaded that Mueller (a Republican) may be a Clinton-controlled Soros-bot.

The real question, which some Democrats have belatedly started to ask, is why those private emails were made public.

I'm still betting that Trump will use this ginned-up controversy as an excuse for firing Mueller. For the purposes of this post, however, let us posit that Mueller stays in place and that his probe can inflict fatal damage to Trump and Pence. What then?

In particular, what of Paul Ryan?

Ryan has signaled that he is thinking about quitting politics. At a press conference, Ryan denied -- almost under his breath -- that he has plans to go. Nevertheless, most observers think that he has formulated an exit strategy. Why? Why now?

The man is a staunch Randroid ideologue who has long sought the power to create Libertarian Utopia. Now that the Russia scandal threatens Pence as well as Trump, Paul Ryan (the third in the line of succession) actually has a shot at the presidency.

(I admit that the chances of such a thing actually happening are not great. This post is about unlikely-but-possible scenarios.)

Why would a man in his position want to head out the door now? Two possibilities:

1. Paul Ryan faces a strong challenge in his home district. The challenger is one Randy Bryce, a non-politician trade unionist laborer nicknamed "Ironstache." Although Ryan has the money and the name recognition, he simply isn't very popular, and the poll numbers aren't going his way. The Speaker of the House could experience one of the more humiliating losses in House history.

2. Ryan himself could get caught up in the Trump/Russia scandal. In June of 2016, before Russia was part of the national conversation, Ryan and others were recorded "joking" about Trump taking money from Putin. Many people think that this "joke" was not just a joke, and that Paul Ryan has always been privy to details about criminal behavior. Such foreknowledge could result in charges against Ryan. There are rumors that Russians have parked money in RNC coffers; so far, I've seen absolutely no evidence to back that notion.

(Do you know of any evidence? If so, please share!)

If the Mueller probe manages to endanger both Trump and Pence simultaneously, and if Ryan chooses that moment to declare that he is done with politics, then who becomes president of the United States?

Technically, the line of succession goes to Orrin Hatch, the president pro tempore of the Senate. Some months ago, Louise Mensch published an outlandish piece claiming that Hatch was already receiving security briefings because Trump, Pence and Ryan were doomed. That's when I stopped taking Mensch seriously.

Yet here we are, contemplating that very scenario.

Problem: Hatch, who is in his 80s, plans to retire next year. Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat, and almost certainly will win it. Does this mean that Romney has an outside chance to achieve his great dream of sleeping in the White House?

No. Romney would not inherit the title of president pro tempore of the Senate. That honor goes to the member of the majority party in the Senate who has served the longest.

We now face an issue which few thought would be an issue: Which party will be the majority after the elections of 2018? Before the Jones win in Alabama, I would have said that the Republicans had a lock on the Senate. Now, anything seems possible.

If the Republicans retain control of the Senate, the title of president pro tempore will probably fall to Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who will soon become the longest-serving Republican in the history of either house of Congress. (The current record is held by one Joseph Cannon.) If you agree with the proposition that one may fairly judge a man by his heroes, then you may be startled to learn that Cochran is a big fan of Jefferson Davis. He actually uses a desk previously owned by Davis.

If the Democrats gain control of the Senate, the president pro tempore will be Patrick Leahy of Vermont. He's the Vermont senator I like.

His hero, believe it or not, is Batman. From Wikipedia:
Leahy is a fan of comic books, and in particular the character Batman. He wrote the foreword to The Dark Knight Archives, Volume 1 (a 1992 collection of the first four Batman comic books), the preface essay for Batman: Death of Innocents (a 1996 graphic novel about the horrors of landmines), and the introduction to Green Arrow: the Archer's Quest (a single-volume collection of a six-issue story arc).

Leahy has also made several cameo appearances in Batman television episodes and films, beginning with an uncredited cameo in Batman Forever (1995).[53][54] He voiced a territorial governor in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Showdown" (1995), appeared as himself in the film Batman & Robin (1997), and appeared twice in the Dark Knight Trilogy as a Wayne Enterprises board member. In The Dark Knight (2008), he tells the Joker "We're not intimidated by thugs", to which the Joker replies, "You know, you remind me of my father. I hated my father."[55] In The Dark Knight Rises (2012), he defended the legacy of the Wayne family against attempts to usurp the company by industrialist John Daggett.[56] Leahy also appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, playing Senator Purrington, in a scene set during a Senate hearing which is subsequently destroyed by an explosion.[57]

All royalties and fees from Leahy's roles are donated to charities, primarily the Kellogg-Hubbard library in Vermont where he read comic books as a child.
Awesome. I don't need to know anything further about the guy. Leahy for President!

(Of course, the Court of Owls paid me to write that.)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"It is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear"

The Twilight movies are watchable only in the Rifftrax versions. My favorite line: "Bella! The girl that everyone in the world for some reason gives a rat's ass about."

(It's funny in context.)

That line kept flashing in my memory as I scanned this morning's news. Everyone in the world seems to give a rat's ass about this Omarosa personage, and I can't fathom why. Who the hell is she? Why was she in the White House?

I'm not really up on pop culture these days, so I'm still not sure if she's a singer or an actor or an athlete or an astronaut or a writer or the new Captain America or a sparkly vampire's girlfriend or a Kardashian or a sparkly vampire who preys on Kardashians or...  Or what? Various articles indicate that she played some role on Trump's idiotic teevee show. Is that it? Is that what got her into the White House?

Here's the part that even I can give a rat's ass about:
"I'm not going to expand on it because I still have to go back and work with these individuals, but when I have a chance to tell my story, Michael, quite a story to tell as the only African-American woman in this White House as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people. And when I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear," she said.
Wait. "Go back and work with these individuals"? What does that mean?

One thing I know about the White House is that when you're out, you are Oh You Tee OUT. Looks to me as though someone is offering her work (i.e. money) as a way of insuring that she keeps her mouth shut. If so, let's put her before a congressional committee. I bet she really is a singer.

Another point. It seems clear that she really was physically dragged out of the White House, and that the Secret Service did not do the dragging. So who, exactly, are Trump's presumably-private Praetorians?

Elsewhere: The Alabama Secretary of State has not officially called the election, which means that Roy Moore may in fact have a chance. The remaining ballots are mostly provisional and military. My understanding is that the state used every possible excuse to hand provisionals out to African Americans, which means that those ballots should help Jones. However, I am not inclined to stipulate the honesty of the SoS in that state.

Exit "cautious optimism" mode. Re-engaging "ultra-paranoia" mode.

(Ah yes. This feels more me.)

Talking Points Memo had an article discussing Omarosa's firing incident. In the comments section, people pointed out that in addition to the Secret Service, the White House has it's own police force responsible for managing the daily throng of visitors. If White House police dealt with Omarosa's antics, then many details of the story fall neatly in place.

Omarosa had a taxpayer funded salary of $179,000 a year, and nobody can explain what it was that she actually did for the last 10 1/2 months at the White House!
Back in 2000 absentee ballots supposedly from service members kept showing up after the cut off date. Of course JEB! insisted that they be counted.
I sense a similar rat tucking by the Alabama Secretary of state. Doug Jones will win but won't be certified until after the Senate votes on Trumpcut. Mitch da Hitch is off the hook.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stoned, owned and dethroned

Roger Stone is writing a book about Trump's downfall, which he (Stone) seems to think is imminent. Stone predicts that a disloyal cabinet will invoke the 25th against the current occupant of the Oval Office. It is possible that Stone is saying such things to encourage Trump to fire Kelly and to remake (yet again) this administration.

Fired! Does anyone have any explanation for the bizarre ouster of this Omarosa personage? Why was she axed? Why did she fly into a rage? What the hell was her job, exactly? Why would John Kelly allow a dispute over walk-in privileges to devolve into an absurd public spectacle? I was intrigued to learn that she claims to have a good relationship with NOI leader Louis Farrakhan. The Duginists tend to favor NOI.

Jones. Did you hear Doug Jones's speech today? Great guy. Eloquent yet not lacking the common touch. He appeals to thoughtful people of both parties, and he has proven his value to African Americans. We need someone like that on the presidential ticket in 2020.
The Daily Beast has an informative article about Omarosa's dismissal. It's multifaceted. But the basic story, is that everyone other than The Donald was sick and tired of her shit. When she was terminated, she made a mad dash for Trump's residence to try and confront him but other people stopped her.
Also Jones prosecuted the animals who blew up the church. Even the most racist Republican has to be appalled at the notion of blowing up a church and murdering little children.
From reporter April Ryan ("Newman" is Omarosa's new last name);

"everything blew up" when Kelly tried to discuss Newman's walk-in privileges and access to Trump.

Ryan reported Newman saying that "all hell will break loose" should she lose walk-in access to Trump.

"And he [Kelly] said okay ‘all hell is going to break loose’ and that’s where it all started," Ryan said.
Martin Luther King JR once said : "The arc of the boot of the universe is long, but eventually it bends towards unjust ass and kicks it"

Buh Bye Roy Moron Moore
Roy Moore and Omagrossa both getting their comeuppance in a space of 24 hours?

There may be a God after all!
I often disagree with Bill Palmer's reasoning. But he points out the contradictions between multiple statements from the White House which might be significant. There are conflicting reports regarding the role of the Secret Service in this affair. April Ryan reports that the SS stopped Omarosa from entering the White House residence. There is a report of her actually setting off the alarm system in her efforts. But the SS released a statement that their only involvement was to cancel her access pass. Palmer points out that she just got married and might want to move on to her new life. He thinks the differing accounts might indicate this craziness was a staged event to provide distraction from the Alabama fiasco.
Anon: In the first place, I'd appreciate it if you singed your comments with any nick or name. (You don't need to sign into Google or Blogger.)

Second, the theory that Trump is intentionally staging "crazy" incidents would explain much. These little dramas do have the advantage of distracting the public from the previous day's story.

But these crazy little dramas also make the Trump administration seem amateurish, surreal and exhausting. They don't make Trump look good. I can go either way with this theory.
I suggest a new acronym. BVM Black Votes Matter. The Black community turned out for Doug Jones as thanks for his prosecution of the Klan. Democrats who up until now only paid lip service to the Black community take note.
I doubt that Joseph. That is how much I loathe these jackals.
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A few morning-after thoughts

It says much about the state of our culture that we're astonished by the victory of a decent, well-qualified Dem over an accused child molester. Even before the WP first published the investigative piece which sealed Roy Moore's fate, he was considered a bizarre character -- bizarre even by Alabama standards.

This race should not have been this close. The fact that it was close must force Democrats to rethink their strategies.

In order to defeat Trump and the fascist revival, Democrats need more wins in purple and red states. In other races, Democrats won't run against accused molesters. We cannot expect the gods of politics to keep tossing Roy Moores at us.

Losers don't legislate. In many parts of the country, "progressive purists" will always lose. So we need to define areas where purity can be compromised. I propose these three:

1. Abortion. I know that the very mention of this word will set off feminists, who will no doubt want to recite a pro-abortion speech that I have heard many (MANY) times since the 1970s. Please don't bother. I already agree with every word of that speech. If women lose the right to choose abortion, the nation will suffer a great tragedy. I also strongly support Planned Parenthood.

But: As paradoxical as it may seem, a woman's right to have an abortion faced less danger back in the days when the Democratic party made room for a nearly-extinct creature called the anti-abortion Democrat. In order to comprehend this paradox, you must remember that, on this issue, the great danger comes not from Congress but from the Supreme Court. If women lose the right to choose abortion, the Court will be to blame.

A Democratic majority in the Senate means that a Republican president cannot expect an ultra-conservative zealot to sail through the confirmation hearings. A Democratic senator who opposes abortion is still likely to vote against a far-right nominee if a Democratic Senate Majority Leader says no way to that nominee. Although arms may need some twisting and horses may need to be traded, any Dem, even a rather conservative Dem, will probably hew to the party line. Probably. A Republican won't. Definitely.

I agree with those who argue that, in the days of Reagan and the Bushes, top-level Republican strategists were not serious in their opposition to abortion. The issue always helped to herd evangelicals and conservative Catholics into the polling booths; the actual abolition of abortion rights would have hurt the GOP in subsequent elections. Such was the old dynamic. I suspect that this dynamic no longer holds, and that the Bannonites have a genuine desire to see Roe reversed. If that's true, then we have all the more reason to fight like hell for a blue Senate, which means that we must support Dems who may not be our preferred shade of blue.

(As the reader may have noted, I refuse to employ the commonly-heard euphemisms "right to life" and "pro-choice." Since the word "fuck" is now heard in places where it once was considered unspeakable, why should we shiver in supernatural fear of the word "abortion"?)

2. Religion. Few things have been so destructive to the Democratic brand as the ludicrous conflation of liberalism with the neo-atheist movement. In particular, I am appalled by the growing perception (pushed by Bill Maher, Greg Proops and others) that one cannot be a proper progressive unless one embraces the "mythicist" position of the historicity of Jesus. This position is shared by no academic specialists in first century history -- even though most of these historians are not very religious, and many are agnostics and atheists. In other words, the mythicists occupy a "fringe" position analogous to that of the climate change denialists: Neither viewpoint commands any scholarly respect. Yet mythicism and progressivism have become, in the minds of many, closely related concepts.

(Bart Ehrman, who hovers between agnosticism and atheism, wrote a book explaining why every university-level religious historian does not question the fact that Jesus existed. This book infuriated many "new atheists." I recently heard a podcast in which Ehrman had to answer a mythicist assault on his credentials. Bart Ehrman teaches history at an ivy league university! Meanwhile, the primary "apostle" of mythicism is a ludicrous, fringe-dwelling dolt who writes under the cringe-inducing name of Archaya X.)

In my view, the Democratic party should welcome people of all religious faiths and all levels of faith, including the lack of religious belief. From the perspective of hard-nosed, pragmatic politics, Dems should do everything possible to encourage committed Christians to run in contests in the red states. The last Democratic presidential candidate to do well in the south was Jimmy Carter in 1976, whose "born again" Christianity seemed novel, even exotic, on the national stage in that year. (The novelty has since worn off.) Although we're very unlikely to see another 1976, I still think that southerners are more likely to vote "D" if the candidate flaunts his faith.

I am not particularly pious, and I often find religious zealots annoying -- yet I would happily support a Dem who bleeds on Easter Sunday if doing so gets us closer to the goal of turning Congress blue. The Mueller probe is in mortal peril, which means that we need real congressional investigations of Trump. Congress must go blue or fascism will triumph.

3. Guns. Personally, I favor modest regulations in this area, such as background checks and the closing of the "gun show loophole." But we must face facts: Gun control is a toxic issue in the red and purple states.

That said, even a Democrat who hews to the NRA line will be accused of favoring Total Gun Confiscation. Many rural voters believe that anyone who has a D next to his or her name is a gun-grabber. Trump successfully convinced many that Hillary Clinton would somehow rescind the Second Amendment, even though she has never voiced a desire to do so, and even though she would not have had the power to do so.

Do they still teach civics in high school? Americans are more politically engaged than ever before, yet few Americans understand how our system works.
The most important lesson is that black women are the most politically savvy, committed group of people in this country. Bernie catered to Guns owners all his political life, he wouldn't be a senator without their money. Yet it seems that doesn't hurt him one bit with progressive. Also, the Berns didn't like jones
I don't mind your not using the term "pro-life", since I find it a lot like current usage of the term "patriot", co-opted by the right wing when they don't merit it. However, you should strongly reconsider the term "pro-abortion". It needlessly puts the emphasis on one of the possible choices, when I think the important part is having the choice. Additionally, it makes it sound as though abortion is being pushed or even forced on people, and that is hardly the case. You have rightly recognized the importance of how we express ourselves. I think this choice of yours doesn't meet your own standard.
2018 will tell us if the Bernie-bros&hos learned anything. The barometer leading up will be the recognition the Justice Democrats get. Or is it Democrats for Justice, IDC. The ones wanting to get rid of Feinstein and Boxer.
You knocked it out of the park here, Joseph--well done.
I think you have misidentified the problem. Anti-abortion single issue voters simply will not be a part of the Democratic party. For those who are not, Casey for example, we can at least have a conversation about the issue. I don't think anyone is telling them they can't be Democrats. Same with religion, believe that Moses, Jesus and Mohammed actually existed and no one cares. What I, and many liberals find objectionable, are those who wrap the notion of God around themselves and then ignore the ethical teachings of religion. There are many Democrats who believe in private gun ownership, the difference being that Democrats want to be able to rationally discuss the issue. The more important thing for Democrats to do is to level with voters. Democrats, at least since FDR, have represented labor while Republicans have represented business. When labor gets too strong, there is the possibility of anarchy, but when business gets too strong there is the reality of feudalism. And with what is going on now, with Republicans representing only the obscenely rich and business, oligarchy and feudalism will be the result. The Democrats have to further explain that there is a tremendous change going on, as explained in Future Shock and we had best be prepared for it, that jobs are disappearing to robots and we had best learn had to live in a brave new world, and that the depression, which seems to be the condition of the masses, will not be cured by convincing ourselves that we are better than our fellow citizens.

Why can't democrats run against "accused child molesters"? All you need is to get some women to come forward with some unprovable but also ubfalsifiable allegations that something happened 40 years ago. That's how accusations work.
Here's a piece from a blog post I wrote in 2005:
"...Rather than bemoaning the ignorance of the Southern voter, why not give up a few trivial positions and win the majority back? Of course, what I may characterize as trivial is certainly not going to be so with everyone, but compared to the larger issues of looting the Treasury, high crimes in the White House, and the lives lost in Iraq, I certainly don't think these positions amount to much..."
Unlike some drifty types, I will not claim every liberal idea since the dawn of time began with me.
Needless to say, I agree with you said.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Jones WON??? Jones....WON!!!

This is my hat. Anyone know any good recipes?

My usual method of political prognostication is twofold: 1. Imagine the worst. 2. Watch it happen. This tactic works often but not always. As this night began, I had zero doubt that my method would prove accurate -- yet it failed. May it fail even more spectacularly in the future!

From Meghan McCain:
Suck it, Bannon
I've always liked her.

Thank you, Alabama, for not choosing the kind of man who would attend a girl scout camp just to show off his pup tent.

A dark cloud still threatens: Fox News is talking recount. I cannot fairly deny Moore's right to demand a recount, since I personally believe that recounts should be conducted frequently. Still, one shudders to think of what might happen.

Now let's see if we can talk Franken into staying!
Nice hat, Joseph.

But in all seriousness, nope, I don't know any recipes. :) But I also followed your method--I expected the worst. But when that doesn't happen, you feel an immense amount of relief.

This is very, VERY good news. Of course, the usual gang of assholes (Goodman, Bragman, et al) are whining about how a "centrist" won and how horrible it is, blah blah blah. Seriously...fuck these idiots.
About Franken
The Republican talking point about sexual harassment relating to Trump has been that people knew about it and voted for him anyway. The same strategy was repeated about Moore. Let the people of Alabama decide.
I heard a talking head say, Franken can use the same strategy to re-claim his seat.
Resign, then run for his seat and let the people re-elect him.
It could work.
Personally, I prefer for him to say, I will resign when Trump does.
I share your concern about the recount possibilities.
I will ask you about how good the eggs on your face tasted in a few days.
I have never been happier to be wrong about an election outcome. I've also never been happier to have cast a vote that truly mattered.
I'm excited, but I'm being superstitiously touching wood... It feels good to believe in the sense of basic decency winning for a change.

Moore wants a recount, but that occurs at .5%, and the split (at this point, late in the eve) is 1.5%. Yet earlier in the day, the 100% Republican AL Supreme Court overturned a ruling to save digital copies of ballots for any possible recount... did the 100% Republican AL Supreme Court just bet on the wrong scenario? Did turnout (especially of black people, and more especially of black WOMEN) actually overwhelm a "F-up the vote" attempt? Or is it something else entirely? Still, if this election isn't a plea to the DNC to support its smaller races, I don't know what is.

Still, Moore's non-concession speech ends (after some Biblin') like you might expect from a Jesus-shielded sociopath. Who knows what twist is up Steve Bannon's sleeve...

"And that’s what we’ve got to do is wait on God, and let this process play out. I know it’s late, we can’t wait and have everybody wait ‘til after 11 o’clock. Uh, but the votes are still coming in, and we’re looking at that. May God bless you, as you go on, may he give you safe journey, and thank you for coming tonight, it’s not over, and it’s gonna take some time. Thank you. Let's go home and sleep on it. We'll get up... we'll take it on the 'morrow. Thank you."

(Transcribed by a patient person on reddit. The video's worth checking out in full

Reminded of this bit of advice from W.S. Burroughs: “Never do business with a religious son-of-a-bitch. His word ain't worth a shit — not with the Good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”

Waiting with baited breath til the 'morrow, as with every hour of this Shitocracy.

Meanwhile, apparently, and irregardless of the election, Luther Strange is gonna be the sitting senator voting on the tax scam bill... and you KNOW how much the Big Red R Tribe would be howling about it were the situation reversed.

(There is precedent for Republican special-election hypocrisy in the past, natch... Could be fodder for some media retaliation against the fascist forces.)

—Mac Tonight
Mitch McConnell will use every procedural trick in the book to avoid seating Doug Jones before the tax cut reconciliation vote. Start the chant "Seat him now!".
Turn it back on Mitch da Bitch if President Obama couldn't appoint a Supreme Court justice McConnell should wait until the next session for a tax cut vote.
Alabama's Supreme Court basically burned Moore's attempt at a recount--digital voter tallies were okayed for dumping. The only credible recount would require a manual count. Alabama's Secretary of State said Moore and his folks would need to pay for that since the margin exceeds the half point spread.

LOL. Losers got to lose sometimes. Alabama did the country a big favor last night. Hallelujah!

Nice to wake up to good news and the hilarity of the Trumpster's excuse machine.

Mr. Mike:

This is true, and thankfully, Dems aren't having it. Schumer and Harris are already saying the Jones should be seated immediately. I also saw the AP report that all of a sudden, the House and Senate have agreed on a tax bill. I guess "regular order" John McCain will vote against such a rushed process? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!
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Bad things arising

Even though a Republican governor has come out in favor of Doug Jones, as has the National Review, I predict that Moore will win by six-to-eight points.

Yes, I know that the polls are all over the place. Yes, I've read Nate Silver. Silver doesn't believe that election rigging is real; I know that it is. A tweet from Greg Palast:
BREAKING: We just got a call from attorneys John Brakey and Chris Sautter from #Alabama. The State Supreme Court, without a hearing, but on the pure "ex-parte" (i.e. private) complaint of the State, "stayed" — that is, OVERTURNED THIS MORNING’S RULING TO PRESERVE ALL BALLOTS!
That's it. That's the only story that matters. The rest is noise.

The Alt Rightists possess both the intention and the means to commit fraud, and anyone who needs further proof is a dolt. Even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the state ruling -- which probably won't happen -- ballot preservation matters only if there is a recount, and recounts happen only in close races. To avoid calls for a recount, the election-riggers must make the very idea of a recount seem absurd.

That's why I forecast a fairly wide victory margin. A double-digit spread might be suspicious; five points might be too low. Naturally, the liberal sites will overflow with day-after "think" pieces blaming anything and everything other than election fraud.

By tomorrow night, we'll know if this forecast is accurate. I don't want to be right. If I end up with egg on my face, it'll be the most delicious omelette in culinary history.

Elsewhere: Rachel Maddow's show last night gave us a grim picture of the Mueller probe's future. Mueller's firing is now almost certain; Republican media is engaged in an all-out effort to destroy the investigation, and liberals are doing very little to counter the propaganda blitz. Alan Dershowitz and Newt Gingrich are now giving cover for the assault on Mueller; the Fox News attacks are relentless.

If Republican propagandists could make Americans hate football, they can make make Americans hate Mueller. The polls will soon turn against him.

There is no infrastructure in place to defend the probe. Progressive web sites have repeated the fool's mantra "Trump wouldn't dare," even though everyone knows that a cornered rat's gonna do what a cornered rat's gonna do. Liberals continue to hallucinate that Republicans in Congress will soon turn against Trump, even though no evidence backs the delusion that the right will abandon the president the moment the tax bill passes.

"Me Too" is just another word for blackmail. We now live under Putin Rules: Anyone who criticizes Dear Leader will have his sexual indiscretions (real or invented) blasted all over the internet and teevee. If the Alt Right schemers can take down Al Franken, they can take down anyone.

When (not if) Mueller is fired, any Republican who favors reinstatement will suddenly find himself pummeled by sexual abuse allegations. Communications are tapped; indiscretions are logged.

Any Republican who incurs the wrath of Dear Leader will have to deal with former girlfriends and female colleagues who will suddenly offer hair-raising stories of rape, abuse and insensitive remarks. It won't matter if these stories reflect truth or fiction or a cunning admixture. Democrats will automatically believe any accusations against a Republican (most Dems fail to understand that we need a certain number of Republicans if we want to check Trump's power), while Republicans will think whatever Fox News tells them to think. There are plenty of women who will play their assigned roles, either because they are desperate for cash or because they are vulnerable to the fate that befell Susan McDougal. Even those politicians who have managed to avoid all actual honeytraps are vulnerable to false "He grabbed my butt" allegations.

Most Americans oppose Trump. When Mueller is fired, will that majority rise up in fury and outrage, as they did when Trump took the oath? I think not. "Trump fatigue" has left us too drained to take action.

We are also paralyzed because we fear becoming the enemy. We will lose the position of moral superiority if we allow ourselves to mirror the inchoate rage that fuels the Pals of Pepe. They may engage in primitive, tribal chants of "Lock her up!" -- but we may not answer in kind. The right may show emotion; we are not permitted. No matter the provocation, we must remain unnaturally calm, even though calm people never won a revolution.

Yes, I know that there are plans for peaceful protests of Mueller's (nearly certain) firing. I support such protests, and will take part. But even peaceful protests may devolve into violence, thanks to the agents provocateurs. One shudders to think of what Antifa and the ever-dimwitted young Bernie-lovers might do.

Any acts of violence, anywhere in the country, will be used to justify brutal tactics of repression.

Protests against the firing of Mueller could provide Trump with the "Reichstag" excuse he needs to take full dictatorial control. In recent speeches, Trump has clearly signaled that he wants to reform our system of justice to rid it of alleged 'deep state' corruption. You know what that means.

Democracy itself is imperiled, yet Democrats still behave as though they are guests at a brie-and-chablis party.

Ryan Lizza is the latest to fall victim to the right's "weaponized feminism" movement. Lizza is the person who outed Randy Credico (an allegedly liberal comedian) as Roger Stone's backchannel to Wikileaks. Lizza also wrote this incredible and essential series on Roger Stone.

Need I say more? If you can't see what's going on, you're a fool.

The Lizza outrage provoked one Twitter user to opine that our new standard -- accusation equals proof -- calls to mind the Salem witch hunt. Another comment noted that the supposed "witches" at Salem received a trial, a grace granted to neither Franken nor Lizza. My response? If you've ever read about the "visionary girls" who provided evidence at those trials, you'll know the absurdity of the proposition that all females tell the truth.

The Salem story is the classic American tale, and every generation seems doomed to repeat it. We're living in Groundhog Day, starring Goody Proctor.
fyi, Charlie Baker is Massachusetts governor and not Alabama's.

Alabama's governor is Kay Ivey, and she is voting for Moore....

Bill Clinton found out the hard way how republicans operate. After going against legal experts urging a reopening of Iran-Contra Newt thanked him with Whitewater. Something lost on that fool Nancy Pelosi when she had the chance to look at how were lied into Iraq.
We are so boned.
FYI- The article you linked was about the repub Governor of Massachusetts, not Alabama, backing Jones. Unless something has changed in the last day or so, the Alabama gov is still with Moore.
Meanwhile in Europe, an explosion has put a main gas pipeline hub out of action in Austria.

A few days ago, a major oil and gas pipeline in the North Sea was shut because of a crack.

Expect power cuts across the continent.

Once an accident, twice a coincidence, three times?
b said ...
Third time?
Like the first two.
Lack of preventive maintenance to increase shareholder value.
Guys, not only did I make a huge mistake (since corrected) when I first wrote this article, I am amazed that the text was even comprehensible. I wrote during an interruption of my sleep cycle. Hours later, when I awoke the second time (after the sleep cycle's completion), I had forgotten having written the thing entirely.

For about a minute, I wondered if someone else had hacked my password and contributed to this blog. The paranoia alarms were deafening, as you might imagine.

After a certain age, one reads one's writings with a genuine sense of discovery.
Hi Joseph,

Not only does accusation=proof now, it's all that matters. Notice that even in situations where somebody is cleared, it's still reported as so and so was accused? Apparently, the A in the scarlet letter now stands for accusation rather than adultery.

And when you consider that pretty much everything has been conflated into "inappropriate behavior" and we're dealing with the type of people who argue that the classic song "Baby It's Cold Outside" is "rapey" (no, I'm not kidding) things have gotten way out of hand.

So what do you think are the chances that the Dems and others get that Trump is baiting them into investigating the sexual assault/harassment claims against them? Maybe 10%? What do you think are the chances that they get that team Trump has probably either set up some of the accusations or, more probably, have vetted them and know they can pick off the low hanging fruit and discredit the bunch of them? Maybe 1%

Speaking of weaponizing sexual assault/harassment, let's not overlook the likes former Fox folks like Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly. The idea that we're now supposed to consider Carlson a "heroine" is rather amusing and Kelly has been playing a sort of "good cop/bad cop" game with Trump for how long now? C'mon now....
Now there has been a third case: a gas leak and power outage has caused Norway to shut a gas platform.

@Mike - lack of maintenance doesn't explain how these three events have all happened at the same time, and in any case the insurers of these installations don't just accept what the owners say. Lloyds of London even has its own intelligence service.

More is afoot. It could be a very hard winter for many people in Europe and elsewhere.
Mueller has to go. See here and here.
As the Mighty Wurlitzer fires up “inappropriate behavior” hysteria, Republicans who said just this summer it’s unthinkable that Trump would fire Mueller, are now silent or on board to fire Mueller. I suspect the guardians of kompromat on Democrats, have loads of kompromat on Republicans to control them as well. Kompromat is probably why Trump picked the most corrupt unqualified Federal judges he could find and probably why a lot of the nuttier politicians got elected in the first place.
Hey Joseph,

Looks like the race is close. I will be happily proved wrong about Moore winning. We shall see.
Attempt to smear Chuck Schumer with forged document alleging sexual harassment of former staffer;
Jones pulled off a win, which I was pleasantly surprised.
It was a good day...
I don't know what to say to you Joseph, because there is just such a huge amount to say, but most importantly- there were others that were forced out on the right. You just didn't focus on them, because ????
You got me.
The resignation of Trent Franks was an amazing step in the right direction. I would be amazed if that was a seat the Dems could take over, but who knows...anything is possible. Look at what happened in Alabama. :-)
If Cheetolini can fire Mueller and get away with it, why has he not done so already?

Maybe Mueller has some sort of "deadman switch" ready to go if he is fired, or eats a polonium sandwich (hi, Vlad), which will release EVERYTHING?
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Monday, December 11, 2017


If it helps Trump, then Team Trump made it happen. In this case, I don't know how such a thing could have been engineered or encouraged or enabled. All I know is that the Franken hit switched my "UltraParanoia Mode" button into the "on" position, and I don't see it turning off soon. I predict that we will have three stories: 1. The mainstream scenario. 2. A fake conspiracy scenario peddled by Alex Jones and his nazified compatriots. 3. The hidden UltraParanoid truth, which both the Alex Jonesians and the safe-n-sane liberals will hate.
Mouth piece Sarah the Huckster says the Great White Dope's Muslim ban would have prevented this. Lies by omission, Bangladesh isn't on the Ban List.
For those keeping score, WASP gun loon shooters are in the lead for the number of dead and maimed compared to the terrorists from the Middle East.
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Sunday, December 10, 2017


I'm still too deeply enmeshed in my Franken funk to write much, but I wanted to share a preliminary bit of research with y'all. Remember Uranium One, the Canadian firm acquired by Rosatom, the Russian energy giant? The Uranium One holdings in Wyoming -- primarily a mine called Willow Creek -- were the basis of a huge, ongoing anti-Clinton smear.

Of course, as I have frequently pointed out, if Trump were truly concerned about that mine, he could have forced a divestment a long time ago. Nobody on the right ever mentions the fact. Nobody on the left mentions it either.

I just looked up the headquarters of Uranium One in Canada. They're located in a skyscraper called the Bay Adelaide at 333 Bay Street in Toronto. The building next door, at 325 Bay Street, is the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto -- the one that was renamed The Adelaide Hotel.

(This hotel also figures in the Trump/Russia scandal. If you meet someone who still believes that Der Donald has no financial ties to Putin, show 'im this.)

A short walk away (roughly one-third of a mile) is the headquarters of Energy Fuels Inc, another uranium concern. This is the parent company for Energy Fuels Resources USA, the company that got into the news recently for playing a key role in the Trump administration's decision to scale back Bears Ears National Monument.

The thought has occurred to me -- and others -- that Energy Fuels might have subterranean links to Rosatom. The two companies are (almost literally) a stone's throw apart.

So far, I've found nothing solid linking to two firms, although a few right-wing cranks seem to think that a link exists. (They also think that any such link would damage Clinton, not Trump.)

If Trump had been Uranium One's landlord, we'd have a marvelous scandal and a fine excuse for shrieking neener neener. But he's not the landlord. Trump's ownership of the building next door doesn't offer us much opportunity for neener-ing.

Still...the geographical proximity is rather intriguing, is it not? Keep an eye on this uranium stuff. Rosatom is expanding very aggressively, around the world. I suspect that something interesting may turn up in this realm.
One small note: Trump never owned the Trump tower/hotel in Toronto. It was one of those licensing deals where someone else put up the money...
The NSA captures all communications, every single one. If there was any proof that Trump was under Russian influence it would have already been leaked.
Matt, it already has been "leaked", long ago. Why do you think there is an investigation?

Joseph, how could I forget the Uranium "scandal"? Right wingers on Facebook still bring it up at every opportunity. I always reply with your suggestion, asking why Trump hasn't forced divestment. Usually don't get a response to that.....
Hey Matt, When guys spout the same stuff as Trump and Dershowitz, I wonder why they can't come up with something better (same for Alan, who's probably a paid advocate). Too much purple Kool-Aid?

Seriously, though, you are right that all international communications are recorded, and not just by NSA; there are mountains of evidence. Have to wonder why Trump and his band of morons didn't take that into consideration.

All of this will be aired in court soon enough.
"Have to wonder why Trump and his band of morons didn't take that into consideration."

Answer is right there : MORONS

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Still too angry to write

I'm still so angry I can't pay attention to politics. I KNEW what was going to happen to Franken days before the first accusation. That accusation came from a woman who, we now know, is a good friend of the Trump family, and who seems to have had subterranean links to Roger Stone.

I knew from the start that the Believe Women movement (or the Me Too) movement was an utterly cynical, non-organic creation of the Alt Right. (So is the BernieBro movement.) These right-wing manipulators knew how easy it would be to "assassinate" Democrats if liberal Americans could be persuaded that anything said by any woman was considered unassailable. I can imagine how Stone must have cackled when he visualized a country in which all Dems (but not all Repblicans) are forced to live in a society in which accusation equals proof. Lots of room for mischief there.

I wish I could spit in the face of every well-intentioned liberal and feminist who did not foresee, as I foresaw, where this thing was going and who was really pulling the strings. At this point, I despise liberals almost as much as I despise conservatives. Liberals are idiots. They keep falling for the same trickery. This degree of gullibility transcends the concept of innocence, because an innocence founded on foolishness is indistinguishable from complicity.

We must work up the courage to say aloud the words which seem, at first, to be too outrageous to utter. Some conspiracies are real. The only conspiracy theories that ever have any basis in reality are the ones which posit that liberals are the victims and reactionaries are the victimizers. The first to engage in the actual practice of conspiracy are the right-wing conspiracy theorists, such as Roger Stone and his partner Alex Jones. Liberals never conspire. The right always conspires. The right must engage in conspiracy in order to stay alive. If the right did not conspire -- to fix elections, to gerrymander, to manipulate mass psychology -- Democrats would permanently control all three branches of government.

Right now, only a despised, easily-dismissed outsider like myself would dare to say such words. We will continue to be victims until my "outisider" viewpoint becomes mainstream within the Democratic party.

What happened to Franken has happened before...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bullshit. I've always DESPISED these idiots who offer what I used to call the SIBPATZ speech -- the Standard Issue Both Parties Are The Same speech. I've long believed that the SIBPATS-spewers were all Republican ratfuckers in disguise.

For example, there was the time not long after Pelosi became Speaker when she would not mount impeachment proceedings against Dubya. Suddenly, every liberal website was flooded with people spewing the SIBPATS speech. They actually came right out and said that Democrats should vote the straight GOP line, just to show Pelosi.

I think nowadays these ratfucking operations should be obvious.

Similarly, it is quite obvious that YOU are a ratfucker, Mr. Anonyumous. I think I'm going to delete your comment, which violates one of my clearly posted rules.
Dems are chumps.
Hi Joseph--

Congratulations for having the mettle to call this Fresh Fertilizer out.

I thought you might find a recent post of mine interesting:


Dave Emory
Dave, we've had our problems in the past -- and you are dead wrong about Russia. (I found some interesting Alt Right comments about the Azov battalion a while back. Wish I could find that site; pretty illuminating, once you decipher the slightly-coded language.)

But BOY HOWDY are you right about this Me Too mess.

It was the perfect storm. I've (probably) lost a friend I've had since boyhood because I told him (a few days before Leann came forward) that this movement would soon be used to destroy Democrats. Naturally, he thought that I was defending Weinstein.

That's the kind of illogic which clouds the mind whenever society gets caught up in a hysteria.

I'm amazed you were able to write so well. I can't write with any style or even basic comprehensibility right now. I can barely type THIS. That's how pissed off I am.
There are two points in recent history that gave us the Great White Dope. First is Bill Clinton not reopening Iran-Contra, second is that fool Pelosi not investigating Bush the Lesser lying us into Iraq.
Trump's approvals are hanging in the low 30s, his hard core base. 70% think him a loon and yet Democrats still won't win in 2018 or 2020 and not because anything Rodger Stone or the ghost of Lee Atwater did.
You have to want to be gulled by the huckster for the con to work. I asked Santa for a chainsaw so I can fell the tree these fools are hugging so it lands on them.
Democrats are only successful by accident.
Oh, Roger Stone is a big part of why the Repubs will win in 2018 and 2020. Trump need only hang onto his base. Dirty tricks can make up the rest. The trickery starts now; the Republicans are targeting every Dem who poses a challenge to Bernie. They WANT to run against Bernie, because they have video of Bernie at an anti-America rally in Nicaragua. There may also be video of Bernie at a pro-Iran rally.
Hell, they don't need video of him in Nicaragua to destroy him. His pro-Castro video is enough to sink him in all fifty states and D.C. And don't forget about his writings about rape fantasies.
Pelosi has demonstrated that she's a chump with the talk about impeachment being impractical so don't bring it up. Heaven forbid the Dems show some character. Schumer's the accomplice, err, senator from Wall St. don't even get me started on friggin Feinstein. Clinton, Bill, wanted to privatize Social Security, Obama wouldn't investigate the Bush 2 admin.

We've seen decades of Roger Stone operations, no one learns a thing, except Stone, who gets smarter and more efficient. Probably a story there. I'm damn glad "Nadir" Nader seems to have gone senile and hope Bernie catches up with him quick. Talk about silence being golden.

So here we are in 2017 And the cops are thoroughly militarized and can shoot anyone they want. A huge portion of gun toting mouth breathers has been paramilitarized. Like the Fugitive Slave Law, they're trying to jam concealed carry down every throat in the country.

Oh, and the Dems can hardly say a thing while doing nothing at all. And they wonder why people are poorly motivated to vote.
Re that link upthread: Number 12 is total bullshit about Gloria Steinem. Shame on you for peddling that falsehood.
Hey Dave Emory, if you are reading this, I stopped reading your site because you go on and on about a dead Nazi and this dead Nazi's network but you can't even see a massive Russian conspiracy right in front of your nose? Don't tell me there is no evidence, the Russians have basically admitted it before lying about it and admitting it again... So spare me the no evidence bullshit. What the fuck is wrong with you dude? You can see a massive on going conspiracy with a dead Nazi but you can't see an ongoing current conspiracy involving a Russian dictator who has been running Russia for most of my entire life? WTF? Spitfire repeats the same old stories with the same old pictures day in and day out but you totally bypass the Russia story?!? It's like you are programming rather than informing these days. I used to listen to your audio recordings all the time and then the Russia thing happened and you kind of lost credibility with me. And if you don't believe in the Russia thing what the heck are you doing reading Cannonfire?
Another suggestion for Emory, Enough with the bullshit about the failures of the "progressive sector".... start talking about how Russia has infiltrated the "progressive sector" and the USA to destabilize it. Jesus Christ so much ratfucking and BULLSHIT going on with the left eating itself and dividing itself.

I wonder what it would look like if the Left actually UNITED and went after Republicans AND the Russians paying them all. I guess we will never know.


All of the governments of the world, reporters, spy agencies,etc., are all lying about Trump's Russia ties? Give me a fucking break you joker.

The news media gets it, unfortunately not our news media.
I doubt 'the Bernie bros' are a creation of the alt-right. First, they are real people on the left wing. They are easy to find, you can check out their background with an internet search. Secondly the 'Bernie bros' didn't choose that appellation. It was given to mock them.

The simple fact is that a lot of these 'Bernie bros' included women that have huge student debt that will likely never be paid back, and Bernie was promising to do something about it. To say that they are an astroturfing operation is an extraordinary claim when you consider the turnouts at Bernie rallies compared to the Clinton rallies.

Lastly, the alt-right is "woke but broke", as they say. The alt-right has very limited money and resources, its a grassroots movement, whatever else you think about it, without any money from wealthy sources.
The only way to deal with accusations like this is to take an absolutist stance of 'innocent until proven guilty', and also to reject any pressure to resign and condemn people that demand that the accused resign.

There were 19 women that accused Trump of nebulous "sexual misconduct" before the election and there were far too many people, both in the Democratic party and the GOP, accepting the allegations are true (most likely false, and not even a whiff of proof anyway). Trump has also been accused of "sexual assault", which is a legal term and for which no one claiming to be a victim has come forward, based on his comments about grabbing women by the you know what.

Look - I can see why you want to assign blame to the alt-right or GOP operative shenanigans, but you can look into the democratic party itself if you want to assign blame. When you have white male democrats being told on campus that they are not allowed to speak because they are white males, or if they are allowed to speak, must speak last (the progressive stack), this isn't a GOP plot. This is the democratic party in action.
I hope people in their anger never loose sight of how we get here. The sabotage of the election should never be forgotten or forgiven. Because if we do they won. And that's was all to them, it's a game to them.
Glad to see you and Dave Emory are still amicable. I am among those who are perplexed that he is unable to process the concept of pro-Russian Nazis. Certainly it seems paradoxical on the surface, but I would think that somebody who's spent hours interviewing Kevin Coogan on the subject of Francis Yockey would realize that things aren't always what they seem on the surface. Ah well...

Uhh Matt. Footnots, links, other sources. Would be a good idea.
That's the thing about Dave Emory... He has been researching for years and years and the only thing he offers up is a secret Nazi network which is doing all this bad shit but which he can never really dig up what's ultimately behind it.. . There are fight right networks in every western country... But the far right network that launched cyber attacks on the USA and which is easily manipulating the moron in the White House and shovelling money and influence to everyone around him IS RUSSIA AND PUTIN AND HIS OLIGARCHS and everyone seems to be able to connect the dots on this one except Fox News, Dave Emory, Glen Greenwald, Matt Taibi.. And a few others on the left. We know why Matt Taibi wont say Bad of Russia... He lived there. British, Dutch, German, American researchers and media all point out the connections and influence peddling between Putin's government and far right leaders in USA and Britain and Euro, money pouring into these far right groups from Russia .... and Emory kind of dismisses all of that.
Anon 4:51, very well said.

But though all the details of Taibbi's years in Russia will probably not be known, we do know by his admission that they involved a lot of drinking and drugs; the years of poor judgment. So now his reporting is great as long as Russian is not involved.

These folks who think that investigative evidence is going to be simply dumped out like Wikileaks do expose themselves to be stooges. The evidence becoming public happens only later. Flynn and Gates only just found out that there are 400,000 documents in the case against them. Chumps.

The problem with Emory is the low information/word ratio.
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Thursday, December 07, 2017


Franken out. Moore in.

I told you that they would go after Franken two days before the first accusation. 

"Believe women" translates to "Believe Roger Stone and James O'Keefe." This whole thing has been a right-wing ratfucking operation all along. A masterful job it was, too.

Yes, there ARE real conspiracies. The right-wing conspiracy theorists are the conspirators. The only real conspiracies are the ones against liberals. 

Unless and until Democrats get that principle into their heads, they will continue to fall victim to these operations.
Shirley Sherrod, Acorn, Al Franken... When will they learn?
This is a sad day. And it's a day that will come back to bite us in the ass. If all you need do is point a finger to facilitate a political beheading then we can expect an onslaught of accusations as we approach 2018. Dems have just given the green light to more dirty tricks. It's clear to me now that yesterday's pile on was a piece of political theater, that Franken had telegraphed his decision earlier so his colleagues could take the 'high road' of moral superiority.

You know how many votes that will garner?

Zip, nada, zilch. And for what? A momentary sugar-high because . . . we're so very righteous!

Roger Stone and his cabal must be rolling on the floor. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

I knew you were right (though hoped you weren't, of course) when you made that prediction. I felt no surprise when, two days later, the first (completely fabricated) accusations came out. It seems the right has the lefts number ("progressive" left, at least). How far we have fallen since the 90's.
This is Charlie Brown vs Lucy and the football territory. The Dems not just fell but rushed into an obvious trap. As has been said before, they have now perfectly weaponized sexual harassment. You could conduct a largely anonymous smear campaign from your couch. On top of that, they've helped start to render sexual harassment virtually meaningless and began what will probably be one heck of a backlash against the #metoo movement. This is very similar to what they did to BLM.


100%! This is a terrible precedent. We have the pristine "moral high ground" but Trump is in office, Moore's going to get elected and they STILL are going to use Franken and whomever else against us. Meanwhile we've now shown that we will throw ours to the wolves without even the hint of due process. Wonderful
Very well, Mr. Cannon; what do you suggest instead?
So, over at DU some did a Twitter search for Leann Tweeden and Donald Jr. and why it looks like they've been the best of friends going back to 2011.

Funny, how this never made it into our discussions before the Dems shit-canned their own, huh?


Here is the link to the Twitter search:‘donaldtrumpjr’%20from%3Aleeanntweeden%20&src=typd&lang=en&lang=en
The two most recent accusations against Franken were as bogus as it gets. The first was an anonymous accusation by someone pretending to be a former congressional aide who claimed Franken tried to kiss her and told her “It’s my right as an entertainer.” Anyone who believes that Franken actually said anything like that should have his head examined. Politico insists that the story was "independently confirmed" by two former colleagues of the unnamed person. Question: Did Politico actually go and independently find those colleagues? Or did this person, whoever she was, provide Politico with a couple of names? If it's the latter, I'd say Roger Stone has struck again.

The second accusation was from Tina Dupuy, who said that Franken put his hand on her waist after she asked him to pose for a picture. Dupuy also said that she doesn't even let her husband touch her in public. Forget about having "high" standards -- these are the standards of the crazy guy in the parking lot at Walgreens who screams at you for looking at him the wrong way.
That's why they hate Bill Clinton so much. A resilient and a winner not working for them. Him and his wife never let Rs defeat them. 2016 they won only because they had help from the other side.
Time to do more posts about Charles Koch and his "libertarian" ideas since he owns the vast majority of the national and state GOP officials who are now trying to push his evil agenda. He owns Mike Pence and Paul Ryan, for example.

Putin is bad enough, but we have evil right here in the good old U.S.A.
Hey Joseph,

About your Moore suspicions, Beverly Nelson says she added notes underneath Roy Moore's inscription in her yearbook, but maintains that he signed it. Does that matter in a meaningful sense in terms of who the creep Moore really is? No. Does that matter in the sense you were talking about it? Yep. The "problem" is that this wasn't explained by Nelson when it was first shown to the press (hello Allred). And of course, the rightwingnuts have jumped all over it and are now treating it as a "forgery" which is ridiculous but not surprising.
Hey Joseph,

To follow up on my previous comment...pass the fukin' vodka. Did we not tell them!!!!? Moore is in, Franken is out, #metoo will be in tatters shortly and going forward they can use the most ambiguous and anonymous sexual assault claim against us as they know we will throw whomever under the bus while they laugh in our face.
Charles Pierce
Famous Dwight D. Eisenhower Quote that perfectly sums up the situation : "Stuff is fucked yo."
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Wednesday, December 06, 2017


It seems that Al Franken will quit because some woman came forward and claimed that he grab her waist as they posed for a photo together.


In the meantime, nearly everyone now admits that Roy Moore will win in Alabama.

(The secret history of this race, I've recently read, has to do with a nuclear power plant and a weird plan -- involving Michael Flynn and the former drummer for Iron Butterfly -- to move all the world's nuclear waste to Russia. No, really.)

I'm pissed off. REALLY pissed off. I'm going to spend the rest of this evening polishing off all the vodka in the house.

Did I not warn you that MeToo was a Republican plot to ratfuck the Dems? Did I not tell you two days before the first accusation against Al Franken that Franken would be targeted?

Vodka ho!

Added note. Why didn't Bill Clinton resign when he was accused of murdering Vince Foster? Nowadays, accusation = proof. 

This is especially true when the accuser is female. Women are holy. Women must never be disputed. A woman named Janis Kaighn has filed a lawsuit claiming that Donald Trump is a Communist Illuminati mafioso. She has a vagina, closed!
Your point is well taken. Not only have the Republicans weaponized sexual assault accusations, they have trivialized them. Once holding a woman's waist is sexual assault, then sexual assault is not serious. One of the reasons Trump won was that he was perceived to be a fighter (although idiots didn't understand who he was fighting for), it is about time that Democrats started fighting. Your well reasoned articles are unfortunately counterbalanced by the inane argument that Israel is planning genocide. It is not. The Hamas Charter, however, continues to call for the murder of every Jew, everywhere.
I agree with lowercase joseph: when every act of harrassment = sexual assault then the term itself is made pointless, toothless. Which coincidentally falls right into the Trump/Republican playbook. And the Dems are self-righteously dancing to the piper's tune, again. We never fail to shoot ourselves in the foot. But at least we can claim moral superiority.


What I would like to see Franken do is stand his ground, demand a public ethic's hearing and announce he would be willing to act on whatever decision is rendered. Otherwise, people will assume the worst (he was lying all the while), and the right-wing dirty trick's department will gear up for a cheap, easy and effective way to eliminate strong Democratic voices and/or 2018 candidates because: Accusation = Resignation.

Brilliant in its own evil way.

I simply do not agree with Gillibrand (who I like overall) that all sexual harassment/assault cases are in the same bag. Al Franken is not = to Roy Moore. Al Franken is not = to the Trumpster. Al Franken is not = to Blake Farenthold or John Conyers. Adults men and women are capable of distinguishing levels of offensive behavior and/or the context of that behavior. We do not need to be reduced to Middle School students, bullies and geeks alike, hauled into the Principal's office for every infraction regardless of circumstances.

As a woman, I know what sexual harassment looks, sounds and feels like. Every woman does. But I'm old enough to know there's a difference between an unwanted, sloppy kiss and a hand up my dress. This purge-mentality is not going to help women in the long run. And it sure as hell won't help the Democratic Party.

Agree with Peggysue.

Democrats, party of the circular firing squad.

This is how the GOP, the worst political party since the National Socialists has gotten the Democrats to destroy themselves.
Though Franken's case does seem strange (I have no idea how if Franken has a history of this he never did it while he was in entertainment), I will merely point out that it's possible the Senate has more information that the public doesn't know about. I may be the contrarian here, but I think there's a reason both that the Democrats didn't make Franken or Conyers resign immediately (worried about #MeToo becoming weaponized by the right) and why they are doing it now. This doesn't mean they are doing this right, though I have to admit I'm coming around to that conclusion, but I don't think the Democrats are being naive. IOW, more will come out about Franken.
Anybody who has done child custody litigation knows that allegations of child abuse are tossed around so frequently that Judges have stopped believing them. We can only hope that this country will have the same awakening. It should be evidence, not accusations that control our decisions.
All of these Democrats coming for Al Franken's head? I guarantee you, most of them will not make an effort to call people to demand impeachment of Trump for worse than what Franken did. It is a kneejerk circular firing squad on their own members in the name of a purity test they naively think they can inact on Democratic men... A purity test that even women would fail... Ask Ass Grabber Leann Tweeden. These Democrats are not so stupid as to understand that turning every look, touch, word into sexual assault will destroy the Democrats. They are just too kneejerk spineless to come up with more rational and proper guidelines and punishments that fit the "crime"... The Republican reponse has been to own up to their child rapey Russian moleness and run with it. They don't give a fuck that you openly see this side of them. They don't care what you think of them... Republican voters approve. Meanwhile on the left, the Democratic Party Has completely fractured because women say Franken touched them on the waist, butt, etc.. No proof... and some of it from rightwing sources, but All it took to splinter the Democrats was an accusation....and any infractions from a kiss to touching someone on the waist are now full on sexual assault .. Which of course makes the phrase absolutely meaningless and gives the Republicans a way to topple any Democrat they want since Democrats have chosen such a knee jerk irrational way to deal with this.

One thing I don't get, the democratic party goes against Al in favour of women's rights and in support of them. While a group of people openly advocating that the party forgo abortion rights to attract more votes and the party go out of its way to accommodate those people. They give them more seats on the table than their numbers and commitment warrant. What am I missing here. I am beginning to think democrats were invented by Rs to make life fun for them.
Anon, I'm not sure what you mean, but if you mean what I think you mean, I don't like it. I myself have argued that the Dems ought to re-welcome the nearly-extinct creature known as the anti-abortion Democrat. If Doug Jones opposed abortion, or at least late-term abortion, he'd win in Alabama.

"Then what's the difference between Moore and Jones" asketh the progressive purist (i.e., the Republican wolf in liberal sheep's clothing).

The differences would be profound. Climate change, banking regulation, immigration, IMPEACHMENT...

And here's a fun fact. Back in the days when the Democratic party allowed for the existence of anti-abortion Democrats, abortion rights were MORE secure.

Here's another fun fact. If abortion rights are endangered, the danger will come from the Supreme Court, not the Senate. A Democratic senate is more likely to place a check on extremist Supreme Court nominees.
This may be a Progressive versus Moderate issue rather than a secret plot by the Republicans.

it's also possible that Weinstein's counter spying against those who accused him may have led him to info about others. The timing on Louis C.K., just as his movie is being released along with Kevin Spacey and his movie just weeks from being released smells like a possible Weinstein revenge.

Bottom line is Neo Conservatives could take the hit once they are viewed as the "ends justify the means" religion. Vote for Trump because he gets to select the next Supreme Court justice, Vote for Moore because even an alleged sexual predator of the under age is still better than a "liberal". I don't see how long term neo conservatives can survive such insane mantra / banter.

I don't think Dems have any inside or more information about Franken or Conyers. In Franken's case, I don't think the ethics investigation was even started yet. It's the pile on effect.
I don't know why you persist in calling it a GOP plot. If you look at Roy Moore, the GOP was more than happy to see him thrown under the bus, and I bet that a lot of people, including McConnell, would prefer that Doug win.
I also agree with Peggy Sue Also Dems had help from Sanders in the self destruct dept. Maybe we neef to step up with our own attacks and not wait for them.
You may have a point that progressives are more culpable than right wing though these days it's hard to tell the difference.

Standing up for women's right to choose shouldn't be a bargaining issue. The party decided that was one of its core values along time ago. My argument was in supporting women you can't pick and choose which you can waiver on and which you decide to stand firm on. I am not excusing Al behavior or minimizing it, I just want them to be consistent and yes brave. Besides, if we start to chip away the values of the party for political expediencies where do we stop?. Don't you think there is someone somewhere who has a similar suggestion about a different issue?
We shouldn't automatically DISbelieve women's accusations, but we must not automatically BELIEVE all women, either. There are still plenty of right-wing dirty tricksters who will lure women into making baseless accusations against liberals, and I believe that's what's been done to both Al Franken and Garrison Keillor. I want to see the evidence.

I tweeted to Al Franken (@alfranken) that he should sue the women accusing him so that we could see the evidence, and that he run for President.
One accuser was offended by being touched at the WAIST???!!!

Tell Al not to resign:

Facebook: and click Send Message.
Twitter: @SenFranken
Phone: (202) 224-5641

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Notes on Manafort, Israel, the Alt Right, Sam Seder and Jack the Ripper

What a time we live in! Whenever I take a day off from writing, a hundred weird stories drop on us.

Remember when we didn't have to spend so much time thinking about politics? Remember history, science, culture, fun, art, novels, family, pets, knocking back some rum and coke? Remember stuff like that? Nowadays, I feel guilty if I take an hour off to watch Fake or Fortune.

Trump. Trump. Trump. The name has become the drumbeat of our lives. The tympani of doom. How dare you waste minutes researching lasagna recipes? Don't you know that the apocalypse threatens? Trump...Trump....Trump....


Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a purely symbolic gesture which will lead to very real deaths. Trump claims that he favors a two-state solution, but no Palestinian will trust him now.

His purpose, I believe, is to foment war and unrest, which will in turn enable Bibi and his fellow fascists to enact their long-planned Final Solution to the Palestinian problem.

Ironically, the anti-Semites support Trump in this. The Israel-firsters and the Dugin-loving, Jew-hating nationalists have found common cause. The ultimate goal of the neo-Nazis is a relocation (forced, if necessary) of all the world's Jews to one small strip of land in the Middle East. Once there, Jews will tell themselves: "Finally! We're safe! Jews in a Jewish land!" A sigh of relief, a moment of hubris.

Then: Nukes away.

That's the end game. The whole thing is agonizingly obvious, and any Jew who can't see it coming is an idiot. The Jews who tell themselves that they have nothing to fear from the Alt Right -- that Jewish nationalists can find common ground with non-Jewish nationalists -- are committing suicide.

Paul Manafort once struck me as corrupt but intelligent. Now, I tend to think of him as merely corrupt. His bail arrangement involved millions of dollars worth of real estate, yet he stupidly defied the court's gag order by co-writing an editorial apologia. Moreover, his co-writer was a Russian linked to Russia's intelligence community.

The big question: How did the authorities find out? We've heard some interesting suggestions, but I favor the theory that the NSA is monitoring Oleg Voloshyn (the Russin in question), and that Mueller has arranged to be notified if any such intercepts touch upon his case.

Voloshyn says that he wrote the piece on his own initiative. Yeah. Right.

Deutsche Bank is the latest target of Mueller's probe. About goddamned time. Allow me to quote an earlier post:
Trump's defenders keep saying that he has nothing to do with Russian money. Trump's lawyers have been making that same claim.

However, it is well-known that one of the few banks willing to lend big money to Trump after his bankruptcies was Deutsche Bank, which was fined for a $10 billion money laundering scheme benefiting Russians. The scheme involved something called "mirror trading," described in this fine New Yorker piece.
It worked like this: between 2011 and 2015, related corporate entities in Moscow and London bought and sold identical quantities of the same stock, through Deutsche Bank’s Moscow equities desk. By this alchemy, rubles in Russia were transformed into dollars in London. The process bypassed tax officials, currency regulators, and anti-money-laundering controls.
The head of Deutsche Bank, Josef Ackermann, was forced out by the scandal. Guess where he ended up? That's right: The Bank of Cypus -- the favorite bank of Vladimir Putin and his Russian oligarch pals. He was chosen for that position by Wilbur Ross, the Trump chum who just became our Commerce secretary, and by a billionaire crony of Vladimir Putin's named Viktor Vekselburg. It seems that Putin turned against Vekselburg late last year; they've since kissed and made up.

As it happens, Vekselburg has a partner named Len Blavatnik, worth $20 billion. Although Blavatnik made his money in Russian oil, he has strong American ties -- in fact, he owns Warner Music. He also made a seven figure donation to a Super PAC controlled by Mitch McConnell -- which explains why you should not expect Mitch to show any enthusiasm for any kind of probe (either independent or congressional) which might inconvenience Trump's Russian buddies.
Finally, a word about Sam Seder, victim of a truly evil piece of trolling by Mike Cernovich, of Pizzagate ill-fame. As Wilde said: "Quotation can be slander if you gerrymander." I feel certain that Cernovich knows full well that he has slandered Seder, just as Cernovich must have known all along that Pizzagate was a lie. These far-right ghouls have no conscience whatsoever.

Sam Seder did not say that he would approve of Roman Polanski raping his daughter. In fact, Seder is quite a bit more anti-Polanski than I am. (Way I figure it, if Samantha Geimer has forgiven him, we should follow her lead.)

If MSNBC believes that Sam Seder actually thinks that talent justifies rape, then MSNBC is run by the kind of dolts who would consider A Modest Proposal to be a cookbook.

I can guess how the Cernoviches of the world would go after me, if I were considered worthy of their attention. Here's my Blogger profile:
I'm a Democrat. That means my goal is to enslave humanity beneath the spike-heel boot of Bolshevism. We, the elite, the few, shall one day rule the planet. Until then, we gather in secret, sacrificing goats, devouring newborns, studying the ancient Goetic rites, and luring unsuspecting youths into the evil and mysterious worship of the Mighty Satan. Soon, soon, all humanity shall tremble at the supernatural power of our Dark Lord, and the puling, putrid, pious partisans of the pretender from Palestine (who died because he was weak and stupid) shall be consigned to the ovens and used to feed our dogs.
Lots of material there for a Cernovichian smear-meister to work with.

We now live in a world which forbids sarcasm unless one adds the words "I'm being sarcastic," which I refuse to do. Adding that tag insults any reader with an IQ over 90 -- a category which apparently does not include the folks who run MSNBC.

It's hard for a guy like me to find his way through this new world, since I often operate in sarcasm mode.

For example, if I ever were to encounter one of those dour ultra-feminists who believe that all heterosexual sex is rape (yes, such people do exist), my first response would be to channel the Divine Marquis: "But of course I favor rape! That is why Nature, in her sublime perfection, made Man the stronger. A week without rape is like Christmas without a buche de Noel." Ideally, I would deliver this response in a YouTube video while wearing a powdered wig and speaking in zee outRAYzhus French accent.

Similarly, if I debated an NOI member who considers all white men to be the Devil, I'd wax nostalgically about my beautifully embroidered Klan robes which they won't even let me wear in public any more. If trapped by a Zombie Catholic who can't stop talking about the need to reverse Roe, I'd offer my favorite recipe for Aborted Fetus Chocolate Torte. If buttonholed by an Ayn Randroid reciting John Galt's big speech, I'd have no choice but to shout: "The individual is nothing! The collective is all! LONG LIVE THE STATE!" And if forced to converse with a cliche-spouting socialist or BernieBro...

Well, no need to continue: By now, you understand the principle. Many people derive a nearly-orgasmic joy from fear, indignation, outrage and feelings of moral superiority. Being a people-pleaser, I am happy to satisfy their emotional requirements. If, in order to enjoy your day, you need a fiend to hate, contact me at the email address above: My rates are very reasonable.

A final thought. You know how Bernard Shaw first made his reputation? In 1888, at the height of the Whitechapel murders, he wrote an article praising Jack the Ripper:
Private enterprise has succeeded where Socialism failed. Whilst we conventional Social Democrats were wasting our time on education, agitation, and organisation, some independent genius has taken the matter in hand, and by simply murdering and disembowelling four women, converted the proprietary press to an inept sort of communism. The moral is a pretty one, and the Insurrectionists, the Dynamitards, the Invincibles, and the extreme left of the Anarchist party will not be slow to draw it. "Humanity, political science, economics, and religion," they will say, "are all rot; the one argument that touches your lady and gentleman is the knife."
What would a late-Victorian-era Cernovichian smear-monger have done with that kind of ammunition? You know the answer full well. Would the brain-dead  louts at MSNBC allow a modern GBS on their airwaves? You know the answer full well.
Hi Joseph,

Watching the obvious ongoing smear job against Franken unfold is depressing but not surprising as it's predictable how easily the Democrats get rolled. Didn't we warn them how the #metoo movement was going to get weaponized against them? Didn't we warn them that conflating any accusation from he looked at me funny to he dragged me into an alley and raped me and accepting it on a "just believe", and often anonymous, basis was open to the kind of chicanery we're seeing now against Franken?

I mean they're not even trying hard anymore as we're supposed to now just believe Franken tried to kiss somebody 3 years before he became a Senator while claiming "it was his right as a celebrity" which is a shamefully obvious variation on Trump's Access Hollywood tape line.

So now in order to avoid being accused of having double standards (oh no!) we dump Franken and others while they elect Moore and others. Uh huh.

What's even more depressing is that the next stage is also predictable. We think replacing Franken et al with women will be the answer while Roger Stone et al are going to laugh and start the same type of campaigns against them when needed and since we now accept any and anonymous claims, we're going to have to boot them too when the time comes.

Gawd, I love it when Joe gets hot & bothered.

Keep on being Joe Cannon Joe.
An ethnic group too stupid to grow a tuber that sprouts on its own left in the pantry is too stupid to get sarcasm.
These are the same people who gave us Bush the Lesser.
Anon, I've said from the start that Believe Women or MeToo is a GOP op. Franken is going and Moore is gonna take his place. This latest story is inane. What sealed it for me is that unbelievable piece of dialogue. It reminded me of the Katie Johnson Complaint -- in particular, the scene in which Trump supposedly throws money at her and shouts "Get an abortion!"

Bad fiction.

Bad fiction indeed.

I think there's an intended and unintended side effect. The intended side effect is to beat Dems over the head with their good faith like when Franken apologized to Tweeden while rewarding those who brazen it out like Moore. Guess who that benefits?

The unintended side effect is that no lawyer in his/her right mind will advise a client to settle such cases going forward. Why bother since it's going to be all over social and regular media anyway and the mob will take a settlement as an admission of guilt. Just pay the lawyer and keep the plaintiff(s) in court forever.
Democrats just love to destroy each other. I Wish Al is tough enough, but...

Here's the latest Franken accusation, IN ITS ENTIRETY:

"He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice."
Taking your Pussyhat to a gun fight always a bad idea. I know someone is offended I said that... Which is precisely why Democrats don't seem to have what it takes to UNITE and put up a fight against Republicans who are not so easily bruised and scattered.

All of these women who are calling for Franken to step down? Let's see if tomorrow all of these women stand up and call for Trump's impeachment for grabbing women by the privates. I DOUBT IT.. Nancy Pelosi lacking both balls and a spine will once again cry out "Impeachment is off the table!" None of these invertebrates belong in the Senate and Congress because they are too fucking weak. When attacked by Republicans these idiots self-mutilate rather than fight back.

Rachel Maddow lacking balls and Lawrence O'Donnel a spine... (O'Donell apologizes profusely to his audience just about every night that he has a dick and pair of balls instead of a Vagina) will not focus their efforts on impeaching Trump over grabbing pussy or allegedly raping a 13 year old.. But they are ALL IN with airing anonymous unsubstantiated accusations against Al Franken??? And they will bring on plenty of women on their show calling for Al Franken to be removed for fake grabbing a rightwing plant's boobs during a comedy show and hugging women by the waist or too close to their butt cheeks? Is that it??!! Jesus Fucking Christ, people have lost their fucking minds... Essentially stupid fucking Democrats are trying to create a zero tolerance purity test in which all males can fail simply by hugging someone wrong, flirting in the office, saying something too naughty for some prude,etc. STUPID DUMB FUCKING DUMBASS DEMOCRATS.

Democrats couldn't punch their way out of a wet soggy torn paper sack.

How many times has Joe Biden hugged or touched women unasked. A LOT...there are videos all over YouTube about it. BFD. So I guess he can never run for President? Not in this climate. Then there is the whole Bill Clinton thing which if true is worse than the Al Franken thing. They give Bill the benefit of the doubt but not Al Franken? Why exactly is that? The logical reason? There is no logical reason you say??? Of course there is no logical reason. Just a stupid angry kneejerk emotional reaction.

Stupid dumb fucking Democrats always taking down their own, infighting, allowing themselves to be weakened and divided. Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest.

Democrats need to understand something... The Power Structure (The PussyGrabbers) does not cede power to victims, the passive (PussyGrabbed) .... This is playing out in the case of Roy Moore. Republicans are not ceding ground... They don't give a flying fuck if you perceive them to be a bunch of child raping Russian moles..... They simply don't care. Zero fucks to give. And if they had a fuck they wouldn't give you one anyways. And they are winning.

The Democrats on the other hand, (the majority of which seem to be fully invertebrate) are ceding ground by removing fighters like Al Franken over much more minor infractions and leaving passive non fighters like Nancy Pelosi and Schmucky Chucky who for some reason don't have it in them to want to impeach the primary PussyGrabber in the White House although the entire world sees him as a danger. Why is that?

Will Democrats ever learn? Recent events say no.
I think you are wrong about the alt-right position on this. Check out what they are saying on Twitter. There is virtual unanimity that this act by Trump displays the power of the Israel lobby, and that this will lead to needless deaths.

It's also worth pointing out that the alt-right is solidly anti-war, and has been from its inception.,

So the alt-right doesn't want to kill all Muslims in a new holocaust? Is there some other alt-right that you are talking about? If they actually were anti-war, why do they pick such hawkish bedfellows to represent them?

Exactly who do you consider to be alt-right? Lots of people are getting labeled 'alt-right' these days, including neo-conservatives like Benjamin Shapiro (this might be the person that you are thinking of, among others).

The alt-right is anti-war. The alt-right is currently the only major anti-war faction around. Have a look at the alt-right reaction to Trump's aggression in Syria.
Gus, I will add one more thing. You don't seem to understand the alt-right because you don't understand how it developed. The alt-right developed in opposition to the regime of the war criminal George W. Bush. Bush embodied a form of soulless chauvinism, picking fights in foreign countries, bombing the hell out of them, and then importing the victimized populations into the USA.
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