Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Newt Gingrich: The Greatest Wingnut Welfare Queen of Them All

The Definer of Civilization has another shitty book out.

It is called "Understanding Trump".

It has a forward by Eric Trump.

It has a breathlessly excited blurb by Sean Hannity.

It has a glowing write-up in Breitbart the official house organ of GOP's General Directorate for the Moral Hygiene of Party Members:
Newt Gingrich: Donald Trump One of the Smartest Presidents Ever

Discussing his new book, Understanding Trump, with Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow on Monday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich explained why he believes Donald Trump is one of the smartest people ever to have served as President of the United States.

“What always surprises members of the elite is I believe he is one of three or four smartest people ever to be president,” Gingrich said, adding:
I think he’s in the same league as someone like Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt … I also think he’s one of the most energetic since Roosevelt, which is why you get these tweets at five in the morning, when he wakes up he has too much energy. I think also he has an instinct for disruption comparable to Andrew Jackson… He is constantly looking for ways to fix things, to change things, to breakthrough.

So why is The Offal That Walks Like a Man being interviewed by the once-venerable NPR as if he were a serious thinker?

Because until they are cast into Mount Doom, The Gingrich Rules are forever.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Republican God Demands Blood Sacrifices

And as headline-grabbing as they may be, America's periodic mass shootings weren't calculated, sadistic or widespread enough to slake the thirst of the Republican's God of Blood and Soil.

So now, this...

See, Republicans never really cared what was in the bill:  as long as it made Libtards sad and immiserated and terrified tens of millions of poor and working class people on the way to sickening , bankrupting or killing hundreds of thousands of them, they were gonna be cool with it.  

As I warned on this little blog of mine eight long years ago...
So now we have to chase the wingnuts through time.

We have to chase them and beat them because they are on the verge of having everything they believe in -- their entire, globally-destructive boondoggle of plutocrats and pissy sociopaths –- bookended in history for all time as a transient, tragic spasm of cultural psychosis between New Deal Classic and New Deal 2.0, which makes them more desperate than ever.

Because outside of our hopeful little, wavering campfire circle, darkness is always waiting. Always busy, circling, sniffing, hunting for a way back in.

And if we leave the agents and emissaries of darkness alone back there in the American time-line, unchallenged, rewriting our past, salting our history with their lies, then sooner that you'd believe possible they'll be back.

Raging back, skulls stuffed full of manufactured legends and synthetic grievances, hearts steeped in ignorant fury, with Limbaugh cranking at enough decibels to drown out every other sound in the Universe.

Raging back to snuff out freedom and tolerance and the hated Middle Class once and for all.
But, y'know, those emails.

And stuff.

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: 2006 Redux

I am here, girl, because I put no trust in a desert god and his mud-pit prophet. I prospered because I bowed lower than my brothers before the Egyptians, and now the Egyptians bow low before me. Joshua wanted you... Baka wanted you... but you belong to me... a gift from Rameses to His Excellency. -- Dathan the Overseer (The Ten Commandments) explains how to prosper under President Stupid

Although many historians and most Republicans deny it, once upon a time there really was a Bush Administration.  

It really was led by an ignoramus who was, in turn, manipulated by monsters.  It's president really did lose the popular vote and then take office under the sketchiest of circumstances.  It really did reel from one catastrophe to the next because its only road map was a failed ideology and the council of evil men.

And the Beltway media really did roll over for the Bush Administration.  Over and over again.  Despite overwhelming evidence that it was a rolling disaster that just kept getting worse.

And because many historians,  most Republicans and even the Teacher of the Rules of Civilization himself (h/t Heather and Blue Gal at Crooks & Liars) --

-- have labored so mightily to pretend the Failed Bush Administration never happened (and therefor cannot be used as a guide to help us find our way through the Failed Trump Administration), before proceeding I believe it is necessary to pour a wee dram from a January, 2006 cask of "Sunday Morning Comin' Down":
...when it comes to the U.S. unsheathing the saber in Iran, George Will [On "This Week...'] put a grim, angry smile on my face.

Will unpacks his wee soapbox, clambers atop it, and says, sure, we can bomb the crap out of Iran and knock it back ten years or so.

But, Will asks, “Then what?”

“That’s the question. That’s the question we didn’t ask bef…”

And in that perfect little jewel of a moment you could positively smell Karl Rove tickling the joystick that controls the high-voltage, barbed wire cock-ring that the GOP keeps wrapped around the withered sac of its pet journalists.

George unwrapped his lips from around the words he was just about to say like a man stung in the gums by a wasp the size of an Escalade. He then quickly shifted gears and began nattering on about Admiral Yamamoto telling the Japanese high command that, sure, he could attack the U.S. fleet and run wild in the Pacific for a “year and a day.”

…but “Then What?”

Of course the statement Will was verging on making before Karl the Klown jolted him back to goodthinkfulness was this:

“That’s the question. That’s the question we didn’t ask…before we invaded Iraq.”

But of course, that’s kind of a sore subject; one that the Stalinist Right has striven mightily to stomp down the ol’ Memory Hole and piss away into the mists of forgotten myth and lore.

Because, of course, people did ask that question before Dubya rolled our children into Iraq to be slaughtered behind his PNAC fantasies and petroleum dream, didn’t they George?

Millions and millions and millions of people asked that very question.

Very Loudly.

They were called Democrats, George.

And your Party called them unAmerican, remember George?

And even the Democrats who supported the invasion of Iraq –- and there were many of them -- made it very clear that they were not giving your President a blank check.

The Dem’s made it abundantly clear that there needed to be concrete, convincing evidence of an imminent threat. Evidence of WMDs delivered by inspectors on the ground. Evidence of some linkage to 9/11.

They demanded that enough troops be used to get the job done. And they insisted on a clear exit strategy.

And your President mumbled, “Yeah…Ok…whatever”, blew off every warning and caution, grabbed the keys to the car and drove it right off the fucking cliff, didn't he George?

And the Democrats who had made the epic mistake of trusting a dim little creep like George Bush to behave responsibly with the national Credit Card?

Your Party called them weak and cowardly, remember George?

Funny how you seem the effortlessly remember, oh, say, every stray stat surrounding Cal Koonce’s ERA, but can’t seem to remember these rather vitally important, life-and-death facts about your Party and President, isn’t is George?

Joe Klein thinks its “absolutely shameful” that the President keeps using national security for political gain.

Gee, Joe. Really? Wow? Who'da thunk it?

On The Chris Matthews' Show...Also a thematic rerun of last week’s twaddle.

Every single fucking question framed as “Just look what at what a muslim-whippin’ badass Bush is! How vewwy vewwy manly. Look how snugly his balls fit in my mouth.

And Holy Crap what a bunch of whiners and quibblers the Democrats are! With all their whinging and wheezing about this mysterious Constitution and 'civil liberties'.

Jeez! What a buncha brittle old women the Dems are talkin’ about the fact that the foundation stones of American Democracy are being sledgehammered to sand by that tough, musky, Hombre-In-Chief, a man who’s taint sure tastes like peppermint ice cream to me!"

What was missing was anyone uttering a discouraging word.

Last week the Bush-luvin’ pee party was at least momentarily broken up by…

Cynthia Tucker throwing a hard elbow right in the throat of the cocka-suckas on her right and left. She actually said the words, “Southern Strategy.” Spoke of the Original Republican Sin of choosing to deliberately and shamefully pander to racists. Of always swinging through the Segregationist Academy of Bob Jones University when out making the presidential campaign rounds.

Which was followed by…silence. In memory, what seems now like a million years of crickets, broken only when Andrew Sullivan announced that he thinks the President is genuine. In his heart. It is wrong and irresponsible to ascribe racists motives to Blah Blah Blah.

Cynthia Tucker didn’t say Dubya’s a racist. She didn’t say Dubya hates black people. No, Dubya hates poor people: he just sucks a lot of racist dick, uh, recreationally.

But alas, that was last week.

This time around Chris made sure no one was on the panel who would challenge him when he leaped up on the table, ripped his shirt off to reveal his Bush/Cheney ’04 pec tat and commemorative GOP nipple clamps, and screamed:

“Sure Dubya might be a liar and a dimwit, torturer and thief. But for God’s sake people: just look at the ass on that man and tell me you could say “No” to that!”

That was January, 2006.

Within a year it had become embarrassingly obvious that the Bush Administration had not only used 9/11 to lie us into the wrong war, but that they were fucking that war up very badly, and were bankrupting the country and breaking the army in the process.  This, added to all the other failures of the Bush Administration, meant that the sheer weight of ongoing Republican perfidy and incompetence could no longer be merely shrugged off or papered over or shouted down.

For one, brief moment it all became too much and suddenly a few Actual Liberals were allowed on the teevee machine!

Sure, they were paired with Both Siderist stooges like Harold Fraud Junior so that establishmentarian testicle cozies like David Gregory wouldn't get any of the career-killing Liberal stank on him, but there they were:

But soon enough Lords and Ladies of the Beltway decides they were just not, not, not going to discuss the Failed Bush Administration anymore, because any such discussion held the very real risk of leading quickly to the subject of the craven complicity of the Lords and Ladies of the Beltway.

And so, just as suddenly as they had arrived, Actual Liberals were gone.  Poof.  As if they had never existed.

Instead, the still-burning, still-bleeding history of the Failed Bush Administration was welded into an oil drum and sunk into the Potomac, while Bush Administration hacks and speechwriters -- the men and women who had crafted the words and policies that nearly destroyed this country -- were rewarded with lucrative and well-protected sinecures throughout the media.

Human hassocks like Harold Fraud Junior remained a permanent fixture in the new order because nobody can slide that entire Both Siderist kielbasa down his throat quite like Harold Fraud Junior.

Newt Gingrich was raised from the dead to became to most frequently invited guest on Meet the Press.

And Peggy Noonan's Collaborator's Prayer (which she rolled out just three months after Barack Obama was inaugurated) --
God, grant me enough gin to look the other way when artrocities are committed by my friends and benefactors,
Enough rum to actually go on teevee and say this shit in pubic,
And enough fellow media collaborators to know that I'll never have to pay a price for any of it.
-- became the Beltway's holy writ and Both Siderism became their state-within-a-state religion.

Of course in this brave new world of every act of explicit Republican barbarism and sedition being reported as "Why Won't Obama Lead?", there was no place for those of us who knew that the obvious answer to that questions was "Because Republicans are depraved motherfuckers.  Because Republicans have been depraved motherfuckers for as long as anyone can remember.  Holy shit, didn't we already settle all of this with you goofs ten minutes ago during the Bush Administration?"

And so the entire Bush Administration went down the memory hole.  The entire Republican base was allowed to re-brand itself as "independents" just in time to pour into the streets demanding the impeachment of the Kenyan Usurper.  And Liberals -- the ones who had been right about the Right all along -- were given a "Best of Luck in All Your New Endeavors!" card signed by no one and escorted out of the building.

And in no small part because the Beltway media collectively decided that it was in their financial interest  to sell the country out, look the other way and "just keep walkin'

no matter how racist or deranged or destructive the Republican Party became, we now have another, exponentially-worse Republican ignoramus in the White House who is being operated by even more lethal cabal of evil men.

So it is not it is not entirely impossible that, once again, for a brief period of time as the Failed Trump Administration burns right down to the waterline and sinks, Actual Liberals may actually be asked to step in front of the cameras once again and help explain what we are witnessing.

And my advice to them is, this time, ignore whatever Harold Fraud Junior they pair you with to insulate the themselves from your icky Liberalness, focus your attention directly on the host and go full Rustin Cohle on their ass until the ask you to leave.

Because sooner that you will believe possible, Peggy Noonan will be along once again to remind the Lords and Ladies of the Beltway to look away, look away, look away from all the unpleasantness, because "sometimes life has to be mysterious".

Behold, a Tip Jar!


aka McConnellCare
aka RyanCare
aka RepubliCare
aka WealthCare

Death of the Cool

New York Time's employee and America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual, David Brooks, spends an entire column explaining what "cool" means

No.  I'm not kidding.

How Cool Works in America Today 
The cool person is...
Then, inevitably, comes the several paragraphs of paraphrasing someone else's work.
In his entertaining book “The Origins of Cool in Postwar America,”...

Dinerstein shows that cool isn’t just a style...

It emerged specifically within African-American culture...

Cool had other social meanings...

To be cool was to be a moral realist...

In an interview, I asked Dinerstein if cool was dead...
Then, inevitably, the Blob of Mayonnaise That Walks Like A Man dives right in and starts gassily opining about That Which He Does Not Know Shit.
I started to look around to see if there might be another contemporary ethos that has replaced the cool ethos.

A better candidate is the “woke” ethos.
Jesus take the wheel.
The modern concept of woke began, as far as anybody can tell, with a 2008 song by Erykah Badu. The woke mentality became prominent in 2012 and 2013 with the Trayvon Martin case and the rise of Black Lives Matter. Embrace it or not, B.L.M. is the most complete social movement in America today, as a communal, intellectual, moral and political force.
And of course, peering from his orbital platform high above planet Earth and the lives of actual humans, the Blob of Cultural Appropriation That Walks Like A Man decides that what the whole concept of "woke" really needs is a big helping of Both Siderism.

 Because everything goes better with a big helping of Both Siderism!
The woke mentality has since been embraced on the populist right, by the conservative “normals” who are disgusted with what they see as the thorough corruption of the Republican and Democratic establishments. See Kurt Schlichter’s Townhall essay “We Must Elect Senator Kid Rock” as an example of right-wing wokedness.
It's going to be a long, long day.

Here Comes The Chopper To Chop Off Your Head

From CNBC:

Trump administration scraps Obamacare signup assistance in 18 cities
  • The Trump administration has ended Affordable Care Act contracts that brought assistance to 18 cities.
  • People will have 45 days to shop for 2018 coverage, half the time of previous years.
  • President Trump has said in multiple interviews that he would like to "let Obamacare fail."...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Senator Chuck Grassley Decides To Let Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Junior Lie With Impunity

No oath will be administered and it will all be conduced behind closed doors, presumably with unlimited life-lines permitted to let them consult with their Russian handlers.

From The Hill:
Franken: Trump Jr., Manafort need to testify under oath

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said on Sunday that Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort should testify under oath.

During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Franken was asked whether it was good enough for the two to testify behind closed doors and not under oath.

"No, that's not good enough," Franken said. "It should be under oath."

Franken said he would like to ask questions about whether they had any other meetings with the Russians. 
The comments come after lawmakers announced last week that Trump Jr. and Manafort reached a deal with the Senate Judiciary Committee to avoid appearing at a public hearing.
On the one hand, the last six months have proven beyond debate that every member of this Administration will lie at every opportunity unless they are forced into a corner and given no other choice.

On the other hand, Republicans have a long tradition of going out of their way to spare presidential administrations public embarrassment... long as that administration is Republican:

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Silly Shit Andrew Sullivan Says

This week we learned that America's most famous non-blogging gay Catholic Conservative blogger actually has been listening to us all this time.

To wit:
This was a great week for conservatism.

I know, I know. That word — as it has been reverse engineered by the modern GOP — no longer means in America what it once meant across the West, and I should probably stop pretending otherwise. I’m told repeatedly, and understandably, that my support for the long Anglo-American tradition of conservative political thought is quixotic, perverse, and largely counterproductive. Pragmatism, moderation, incrementalism, reform: These might be conservative virtues in principle, but in practice, the American right junked them years ago. I’m told I should admit that, in the current American context, I’m a de facto, Obama-loving leftist. To cheer the collapse of the brutal repeal of Obamacare has not an inkling of conservatism about it.
OK, enhance 224 to 176...
That word — as it has been reverse engineered by the modern GOP — no longer means in America what it once meant across the West, and I should probably stop pretending otherwise.
Goodness gracious, Andrew, we've been over this and over this, for years now.  Yes, we all know perfectly well that continuing to call yourself a "Conservative" decades after "Conservative" came to mean "Honorary Confederate Colonel" was a ludicrous affectation, just as well all know perfectly well why you keep that particular word front-and-center on your resume.

From me, eight long years ago:
But then again, if Mr. Sullivan simply outed himself as a Liberal, he would instantly lose his place in the food-chain, wouldn’t he? Because like that microscopic number of self-loathing black Conservatives who make their daily bread by serving the interests of the Southern Bigot Party, more than any other single factor, it was always the sheer gawking, oddballness of the brazen self-delusion inherent in being the gay champion of the Christopath Homophobe Party that put Mr. Sullivan in the spotlight.

That was what gave him his unique and lucrative cache.

After all, Liberal gay political writers are a dime a dozen, and so in a strange way we find Andrew Sullivan locked in the same kind of mortal combat over labels -- and for exactly the same reasons -- as Roy Cohn's character in "Angels In America" as he adamantly insisted -- even as he was dying of AIDS -- that he was not a "ho-mo-sex-shall".

(Not Safe For Work)

Because, Cohn reasoned, homosexuals were nobodies; losers who had zero clout and “in 15 years cannot pass a pissant anti-discrimination bill from City Council.” And since Roy Cohn could get the President of the United States (or his wife) on the phone -- could take the man he was fucking to the White House and make Ronald Reagan smile at him and shakes his hand -- it therefore followed that Roy Cohn could not possibly be a homosexual.

That unlike every other person in his position on Earth, Roy Cohn was a heterosexual man, who fucked around with guys.

Likewise, even though Mr. Sullivan now, belatedly comes to believe much of what Liberals believe and finally deigns to notice a horde of grotesque truths about his Conservative Movement about which Liberals have been sounding the alarm for 30 years, Andrew Sullivan nonetheless looks us all straight in that eye and argues that he could not possibly be some mere Liberal.

Because in Mr. Sullivan's world, "Liberal" does not refer to a political ideology, but to an impoverishing political ghetto from which no amount of "being right about everything" will permit you to achieve escape velocity. In Mr. Sullivan's world, "Liberal" is a terrible disease that afflicts losers who do not get invited to spout their views on teevee.

Mr. Sullivan regularly receives such largess, therefore he must not be a Liberal.

He instead must be the lone member be of some rare and singular new species; some miraculous form of haploid political Minotaur.

Because if he is not something spontaneously-generated and utterly sui generis, then he is just another Lefty-Come-Very-Lately, showing up at our door at 3:00 A.M., 20 years late and trailing toxic baggage behind him like a Halley Comet.

And who in the world would pay him to do his little dance then?
Mr. Sullivan then opts to cover his tracks with a quick round of Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism -- a concept I explained back in 2012 as...
Mr. Sullivan's Conservatism is identical to Mr. [David] Brooks' Moderation in that their respective ideological systems amount to little more than what is convenient and enjoyable for each man to believe at any given moment.

If Mr. Sullivan suddenly developed a taste for pineapple ice cream, within a week he would be penning columns about how "Liking Pineapple Ice Cream" is a cardinal Conservative value because of something something Edmund Burke.  If he got sick on bad Thai food, we would suddenly see a spate of columns discussing bad Thai food and how it is something that only extreme Christianists or Left Liberal would ever put in their mouths.

He is, at best, a flighty dilettante with a wealth patron and does not have the slightest fucking clue about how his adopted country works...
To be clear, while there cannot be one single, agreed-upon definition of "Conservatism" because (Wikipedia)--
There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time.
-- there is a consensus across multiple authoritative sources that, broadly speaking it kinda sorta means something like this:
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization.
Which is why, in this week's bout of Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism, it was so hilariously predictable to see Mr. Sullivan rather drastically redefining "Conservatism" into the Reasonable Middle Ground which stands between, yes, you guessed it, The Extremes on Both Sides!

Everybody take a drink!

Between those Crazed Leftist Utopians (that would be you and me) and Reactionaries (by which Mr. Sullivan apparently means "the entire Republican Party and the American Conservative Movement except for Andrew Sullivan"):
So let me explain a little why I found this past week so encouraging. It represented, in my view, the triumph of reality over ideology. And conservatism — from Burke and Hume to Hayek and Oakeshott — has always been, at its core, a critique of ideology in favor of reality. The world is as it is, the conservative argues. Any attempt to drastically overhaul it, to impose a utopian vision onto a messy, evolving human landscape will not just fail, it will likely make things worse. To pretend that the present exists for no good reason — and can be repealed or transformed in an instant — is a formula for ruin. The leftist vision of perfect “social justice” is therefore as illusory and as pernicious as the reactionary’s dream of restoring a mythical past.
Except that this is most emphatically not what is happening in this country.  

In this country, Mr. Sullivan, the terrible sin against "reality" that we Crazed Leftist Utopians committed was trying to drag the United States into some kind of health care parity with every other civilized nation on the face of the Earth.  This was the hill that most of the Democratic party was willing to die on-- that cost many elected Democrats their seats in Congress.  Pursuing the crazed, Leftist fantasy that every American should have decent, affordable health care even if we had to get there one, agonizing half-measure at a time 

And the traditional social institutions the Republican Party went to war to restore was not some fairy tale dredged up out of the "mythical past".  It was the raw and ruinous capitalism of the private insurance markets as it existed in the real world just eight short years ago.  That world of perpetually skyrocketing premiums, routine denial of coverage over a cough or a parent with imperfect genes, people dying in the street of treatable illnesses and tens of millions of Americans living one broken leg or bad diagnosis away from financial catastrophe?  That world, to the Republican Party, is a  traditional social institutions -- one they are willing to wreck the country in order to defend.  

In other words. "Conservatism" operating exactly as advertised.  

Which by now even a fellow as professionally gullible as Andrew Sullivan should stop pretending he does not understand.  

RIP John Heard

A fine little performance that you have probably never seen.

Looks Like President Stupid Got His "Vitamin" Shot This Morning

There is a brief pause in President Stupid's stream-of-consciousness as he consults with his chief of staff.

"Priebus, I'm outta my god damn special terlet paper again. How the fuck do you keep letting this happen?  This is the last warning you get asshole. Now get your useless limp dick in here and bring your commander-in-chief his special terlet paper."

President Stupid's stream-of-consciousness resumes.

Just like your Crazy Uncle Liberty, there is nothing left staggering around in the mind of this bitter old freak but stale fragments and echos of long-debunked bullshit he saw on Fox News.