It’s the movie buff in me. I see classic movies playing out
in real life all the time. It struck me
this morning that we’re staring at a perverse version of Babes In Arms,
the Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney-MGM collaboration that gave us “Hey, Let’s Put
On A Show!”
Here – sample this…
See what I mean? Isn’t
it awesome how Judy & Mickey get the kids together, they “borrow” some
instruments and, using the Old Barn, they put on a damned show!
That’s exactly the movie we’re living through – except the
Trumpified version. It turns out, as the
depth and breadth of the Trump-Russia Conspiracy begins to assume real shape
and dimension, that this is a conspiracy in every sense of the word.
These are the players (some of them) and their “plays”…
Think of stolen data as a stolen bike. Everyone who
knowingly touches it, moves it, transports it, sells it or covers up its theft
is guilty of a crime. Just as a bike must
be physically transported from point A to point B, so too does stolen information. If it can’t be endlessly viewed where it is,
it has to be copied & that copy moved to someplace “safe” where it can be
viewed (by those not meant to view it remember). The criminals must transport their stolen
goods in order to benefit from them.
In the case of stolen data, the benefit would only come once
that information was transported out of the country to Russia – where the GRU
(Russian military intelligence) was tasked with analyzing the data then weaponizing
it and turning it back on America and – most importantly – individual Americans. The Russians (with Cambridge Analytica’s
help) had created a way to turn stolen voter data into fear-directed Facebook
ads that would appear right on an individual voter’s Facebook page – stoking fears
about, say, racism among Democrats that “could” induce an ambivalent African
American voter to stay home on election day rather than go out and vote for
Betsy DeVos provided the pipeline. Hey, Betsy — Lets put on a show!
ERIK PRINCE – Erik is Betsy DeVos’ brother so, already, ya know he’s corrupt. Erik founded a company called Blackwater that won big service contracts in the Iraq War theater – making them millions of dollars while they formed a private army for the benefit of their benefactors and electrocuted American service people when they showered (in Iraq) cos why not add incompetence to your resume of corruption?
WILBUR ROSS – Known as “Trump’s MOST corrupt cabinet appointee (and that’s including Ryan Zinke FFS!) had lots of corrupt dealings with Russians and their laundered money while holding a board seat at the Bank of Cypress – a place where the banking laws encourage money laundering & money launderers like Wilbur Ross.
Lots of Russian money needed to be laundered then donated to every Republican on the ticket.
Hey, Wilbur – Let’s put on a show!
PAUL MANAFORT – Gosh, GOP, why let Paul Manafort (a guy you all knew was dirtier than dirty) with Russian connections so deep he farts in Russian run your presidential nominee’s campaign. Paul had one change – ONE – to your whole freakin’ platform: Support for Ukraine and sanctions. No one “wondered” what that was all about? Perhaps no one NEEDED to wonder because you already knew.
Then there’s Mike Pence.
Paul brought Mike to the dance.
We have to ask “WHY?” Of all the
gin joints in all the world, why did Paul invite Mike into his?
Remember (it’s important) – Paul wasn’t running an honest
campaign. He was running a dirty
one. He was trying to leverage his role
as Trump’s campaign chief into forgiveness for $17 MILLION worth of debt to Oleg
Deripaska, former client & a Russian oligarch not known for his largess or forgiveness
(especially of massive debt which, also remember, Deripaska believed Manafort
was trying to skip out on). Paul was
running a very criminal enterprise.
So, ask yourself, why would a criminal want a boy scout as
Veep? Why would a criminal position a
cop right where the criminal needed to go?
Paul didn’t want anyone blowing the whistle on him – we’re all clear on
that, right? Paul wanted – NEEDED – a veep
who HE KNEW FOR A FACT was compliant and trustworthy enough to keep their big
secret SECRET: Russia was running the show.
Last point about Paul. He wasn’t flying solo. He wasn’t a lucky conman who’d figured out a
way to save his ass (and save his family – for now – from a brutal end). Paul knew that Trump was dirty and Trump knew
that Paul was dirty. Remember – no one
can put their cards on the table because then everyone would see those cards
spell treason. Though these criminals
surround themselves with other criminals, they’re entering a system with checks
and balances bent on stopping people like them.
That’s where BILL BARR fits in. Hey, Paul – Let’s put on a show!
MIKE PENCE — Mike is a sanctimonious fraud so unloved by the people of Indiana that compromising what was left of his soul to sell out to Trump and Russia was a no brainer. Mike had nowhere else to go except total corruption.
Mike’s an opportunistic con man adept at speaking
preacher-ese to the yokels who salivate like Pavolv’s dog when they hear
it. These soulless cretins wouldn’t know
Jesus if they stopped mid-way through nailing Jesus to a cross to spit in his
I betcha Paul Manafort knew lots about Mike Pence and his
deep, dark secrets. Let’s be honest –
Mike Pence’s relationship with women – and his wife – is bizarre. It’s beyond unhealthy, it’s fraudulent. Karen Pence’s nickname shouldn’t be “Mother”,
it should be “Beard”.
I wonder… when Mike eventually goes away for Life, will “Mother” change her nickname to “Available”?
STEVE BANNON – Steve’s the guru of darkness (while Stephen Miller is merely its court jester). Steve’s religious faith runs deep. His ooga-booga is better than your ooga-booga – that’s the basis for everything Steve believes. He’s so determined to save the world from YOUR ooga-booga in fact that he’s willing to torpedo the greatest experiment in human self government ever.
Steve has never stopped being philosophically connected the
Trump’s ultimate purpose – destruction of America as a Democratic Republic. Well,
to be fair, that’s not Trump’s ultimate purpose (he couldn’t give a shit – he just
wants to be richer than he already supposedly is), it’s Vladimir Putin’s.
And let’s be real – this is mostly Putin’s deal. The Saudi’s, the Chinese, the Israelis and Erdogan may be trying to horn in on it but they’re strictly back seat passengers. Putin’s joe sits in the Oval Office.
Hey, Steve — Let’s put on a show!
THE NRA – Conspiracies cannot live by bad intent alone. They need money, too, because traitors are notoriously greedy. Money always comes with strings. Don’t do what the strings want? Forget about the money. Back in the day, the NRA was primarily a gun safety organization.
Then the gun manufacturers took over. Gun sales became the point of the
exercise. The gun lobby rewrote the
second amendment in its own image and used the NRA to sell it. A gun control
amendment became an amendment justifying mass murder because how dare you come
for our guns? Putin saw a golden opening
and took it. The more guns in American
hands, the more gun violence there would be.
The more Putin pushed the “more guns more places” meme, the more divided
he could make America seem. Hell, using
the NRA, Putin has managed to create situations where stores have to beg their
customers NOT to come armed to the teeth.
That’s not normal, people. That’s screwed up.
As we’ve learned – Russia sent a very skilled agent named
Maria Butina to play the NRA. She made
the NRA a useful conduit for Russian money.
It wasn’t Russia contributing (illegally) to all those Republican
campaigns all around the country, it was THE NRA. Get it?
Russia stays within the letter of the law while raping its
Hey, NRA – Let’s put on a show!
ROGER STONE – conduit & con man. Connoisseur and creep. The man so dedicated to Richard Nixon, he got a tattoo of Nixon on his back. Former business partner of Paul Manafort and Lee Atwater (who personally started the Culture & Political War that the Right (un)declared on the Left. Roger via the weasels immediately around him (Jerome Corsi, Sam Nunberg, Randy Credico) was the conduit between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign.
Hey, Roger, let’s put on a show!
WIKILEAKS – That we EVER thought Julian Assange was a hero is a testament to our own collective failure of imagination. A guy accused of sexual assault should instantly get our collective attention. Yes, yes – we need to hear the whole story and all – but honest people face their accusers. Weasels weasel out and stink up foreign embassies.
Hey, Julian — Let’s put on a show!
THE MERCERS & CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA – Again – pipelines. But also the design. Robert Mercer’s a brilliant computer guy with a twisted political vision that’s tied to even more twisted Dominionist religious tripe. What could possibly go wrong? Rebekka is just as nuts but a little less on the spectrum. That’s what makes her dangerous.
Cambridge took a “benign” product meant to profile potential terrorists and turned it on America – using its powerful insights to gin up right wing conspiracy theorists while helping to carry out a crime – the total undermining of the United States Constitution.
Hey, Mercer’s — Let’s put on a show!
BILL BARR — Having saved the Republican Party once from the punishment it deserved (Iran-Contra) b making the crime go away & the evidence disappear, Bill Barr was perfectly positioned to be Donald Trump & the GOP’s ultimate Bag Man. So far, he’s LIED about the Mueller Report. Lied about the Whistleblower. Lied about Ukraine. Tried to seduce other governments into helping Trump in 2020. It’s all in a day’s work for Bill.
Hey, Bill — let’s put on a show!
MITCH MCCONNELL — I’ve spent plenty of time on Mitch here. Mitch is a traitor but he started his life as a mere culture warrior. Apparently Mitch loves it when people walk right up to his turtle face and scream “SODOMY” at the top of their lungs.
It brings back memories of his time in the military apparently. You’ll have to ask Mitch. Better yet — scream “SODOMY” in Moscow Mitch’s face at the top of your lungs.
Hey, Mitch — Let’s put on a show!
Vladimir Putin – For a guy running a shitty country with a
shitty economy and a shitty future, he’s done very well for himself.
The Scene – The White House Private Residence, The Bathroom
Donald Trump, his gold pajama bottoms bunched at his
cankery ankles, tries again to squeeze
blood from a stone – in this case, a turd from his bloated abused
gut. It’s slow going as usual. Donald’s mind wanders (as it does). And a meeting is called…
Donald sits at The Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. He punches the red intercom button.
DONALD – Madeleine — tell everyone to get in here! NOW!
MADELEINE – Yes, sir!
On the double!
The Oval Office door opens. In sprints IVANKA. She stands at the door – keeping it blocked
for a moment – she looks Daddy dead in the eye as only Ivanka can.\
IVANKA – Ballpark it for me.
Is it the Adderall bump?
DONALD – Could be a heart attack coming on for all I know.
IVANKA – Except you don’t have a heart, daddy.
A glance behind.
She can’t keep em out much longer.
Back to Daddy. She’s feared it
might come to this.
IVANKA – This is no time to lose your shit, old man, hear
DONALD – (taken aback) What?
IVANKA – You think Uncle Vladimir gives a shit that between your
drug intake and the syphilis you’ve got less than half a brain left? The job’s not finished. Our mission is not accomplished. (She can’t hold em back anymore). The Truth won’t set anyone we care about
She steps aside, a matador dodging a bull. DONALD, JUNIOR (JR), MIKE PENCE, BILL BARR, MIKE
POMPEO & RUDY GIULIANI shove their way in – tripping over the carpeting. They land in a massive heap. Closing the door behind her, Ivanka steps
into the room herself.
IVANKA – Get up, you idiots!
JR (from beneath the pile of bodies) – Eric couldn’t
make It! He got his head caught in the
IVANKA – I’m talking about all of you! I don’t even have balls and I can feel the heat on em. The old Trumpian shit isn’t working like it used to. They’re starting to realize that it’s shit. We need to think of something else before— (she catches herself) – before the fake news gets, you know, too fake or something.
RUDY – Honey, I don’t know how much crazier I can get. That fact that I’m still walking around with
a law license makes me want to cry. Good
thing we’re all as guilty as we are, amiright? Otherwise I might start to worry one of us
might, you know…
Rudy looks around at the others – expecting agreement. No one will meet his eyes.
IVANKA – See the problem, Uncle Rudy?
BARR – Wait a minute – I lied my double-wide ass off for you
people! I told factual lies about a
document anyone could read to PROVE I lied about it—
POMPEO – Good thing no one DID read it – otherwise we’d all
be in jail already.
RUDY – But we ARE getting away with it! That’s all that matters! We do whatever we have to do—
PENCE – Now, hold on there, Rudy – as a person of faith—
An explosion of laughter – that goes on… and on. Mike sighs.
Waits for the laughter to stop.
PENCE – All right, I get it.
I’ll shut up about that—
IVANKA – Good, ya sanctimonious prick! I’m sick of reminding you that Paul Manafort
brought you to the dance and the second anyone with two brain cells figures out
what that means, you’re even more screwed than you already are.
PENCE – It wasn’t nice of the President to throw me under
the bus like that – um, with all due respect, Mr. President, of course.
IVANKA – Trust me, numb nuts – you were already under the
bus – with tread marks all over your face.
(She looks at them all, a mob boss in training; she looks to daddy –
a mob boss losing his shit) Do you
all not get it? Do you not grasp what
the hell is happening here? Daddy is
losing his nerve!
She might as well have said Daddy was Hillary
Clinton. Suddenly all eyes are on
Donald. Donald opens his anus mouth,
ready to bluster away. Except instead of
words, ACTUAL SHIT emerges from Trump like sausage from a factory.
SMASH TO – TRUMP’S GOLDEN BATHROOM
Turns out Donald isn’t at the White House, he’s at Trump Tower — on his golden toilet. He’s been there for hours, asleep. Donald snaps to so suddenly, he loses his grip on his cell phone which falls right into the toilet bowl – SPLASH!
DONALD – Oh, shit—
Bad enough his cell phone fell into the toilet. Much worse – Donald had been productive in
the end. To get his phone back, Donald will
have to deal with his own shit.
You would think that a Great Nation deserves a great villain. Or villains even. America has villains by the bucket. It’s the word “great” that I’m bumping on…
Donald Trump is a villain. Even most of supporters think of him as a villain who’s THEIR hero. I bet most of Trump’s kids — if you read their therapist’s notes — also think daddy’s the cause of everything wrong with their lives. But for all his absolute, top-to-bottom, pound-for-pound, America-destroying villainy, you can’t look at Trump’s work product and say — honestly — “Great stuff, Donald — you’re not just a good villain, you’re a great one!”
Donald Trump is a booby prize villain. He ain’t Ernst Stavro Blofeld (James Bond’s most reliably persistent antagonist), he’s Ernst Schmo-feld. He’s the real villain’s idiot cousin.
Perhaps the reason we got the Worst Of All Possible Bond Villains is because he stands at the head of the boardroom table of the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight If Their Lives Depended On It — the Republican Party. It’s kinda transcendent when Republicans turn out to be the very women-hating, racist greedheads we always joked they were.
I don’t even have to quote certain Republican clowns. Their faces alone shout how flat out stupid they are…
I”m not making this up, am I? As Bond villains go, this crowd’s pathetic. Worse. But they’re all pikers compared to the man who leads them — the “man” who has a whole wing to himself at the Pantheon Of Bond Villain Mediocrity — Moscow Mitch McConnell.
Mitch is a burglar who steps in shit outside the house, tracks it all the way through — then all the way back home where you can find him — sitting in shit, counting the loot he stole. That’s how that Russian aluminum factory will play the more we understand what Mitch did and has done.
Mitch had to lift sanctions against Oleg Deripaska to get the $200 million to build the factory. Oleg Deripaska was sactioned because of the role HE played in STEALING ELECTION 2016 on Donald Trump’s behalf. Deripaska, remember, is an oligarch who’s very tight with Putin, has deep ties to Russian Military Intelligence, received proprietary polling data re PA/MI/WI from Paul Manafort and turned that data into weaponized Facebook ads that played on the computers of Democratic voters in — what a coincidence — PA/MI/WI. Oleg Deripaska is our enemy in every way, shape and form.
The impact on US though goes far, far beyond Mitch getting a factory that will employ 600 hard-to-employ Kentuckians. Russia now has a voice in Kentucky’s politics. They’ll EMPLOY people. They’ll pay their benefits including their health insurance. To hurt that factory in any way will be to hurt those Kentuckians. And Russia.
Another “not a” coincidence? Russia has already approached 8 other states with similar offers of similar factories. Mitch McConnell opened the door to even more Russian control of American LOCAL politics. To call Mitch McConnell a traitor would be an understatement.
But, again — this isn’t buried deep. It’s a cat turd in a sand box.
Mitch McConnell’s treachery is so out in the open the glare physically hurts. It’s that overtly stupid.
Ya know… now that I think of it — the fact that WE put up with clown car stupidity this screamingly over-the-top? Maybe we shouldn’t be laughing quite so hard…
It’s not exactly a revelation that Donald Trump is a gold-plated fraud. It shouldn’t be a revelation that Mike Pence is an equally big fraud.
I bet Mike Pence never thought twice about staying at Trump’s shitty golf property in Ireland — then flying 168 miles ffs to get to the meeting he was there to attend. Mike’s a beta dog’s beta dog. He doesn’t even have to know you. If you’re more alpha than he is (and everyone is) — Mike will do whatever you want him to no matter how humiliating.
If the Trump White House is a Rogue’s Gallery, VP Mike Pence is the Elmer Gantry character — without any of the charm or self-awareness of what a damnable con he really is. I dare you to conjure the words “hypocrite” or “sanctimonious shit” and NOT think of Mike Pence almost immediately.
There’s a way of speaking Evangelicals take on — PreacherSpeak, ya could call it. It’s got an oiliness to it — a big bright squirt of emotion but no substance beneath it so the emotion feels staged and phony. There’s a sing-songiness to it also — to distract, I suppose, from the complete & total lack of substance. And the compete & total lack of logic. It’s a vocal delivery that surfs giant waves of hubris and self-satisfaction like a pro. And if it needs to bring on the tears? Wait, wait — is that Noah I see, building another boat?
That voice sounds like this (I enter, as evidence, Pence’s speech at the 2016 Republican Convention — a classic in the annals of complete & utter bullshit). In fact, Mike took sanctimony to bold new heights in this speech. It’s still feeling puke-y and vertiginous from being up so high.
Now, to be fair to Mike (as much as it pains me), I don’t know for a fact that Mike Pence is a closeted gay man. I’ve known many over my life. It’s not fun being them. They shouldn’t have to be “them”. Everyone should be free to express what their biochemistry makes them feel. No one chooses their biochemistry — it’s a package deal. It comes with the DNA that forged us.
Religious faith and science are mutually exclusive propositions. That’s not true of spirituality, mind you. One can be spiritual and scientific without any conflicts. But religious? No. Religions (unlike spirituality) flows from religious organizations. Churches, let’s call them.
One could, in fact, follow Jesus on a spiritual level (by doing unto others) while ignoring all the church’s mythmaking and ooga-booga. I’ve pointed out in other posts that Jesus preached against the need for a “church”. A big part of Jesus’ message was “speak directly to God, the father — you don’t need the priests or the temple interceding on your behalf”. The guy who “built” churches was Paul. Paul was the one who, taking his version of Jesus out to the gentiles (who had no idea who Jesus really was or even if he really was), invented The Early Church as a series of communities spreading throughout the Roman world.
The bulk of the NT is Paul writing to those far flung communities as he invents what we now call “Christianity”.
Mike Pence is a church-goer but he ain’t going there for Jesus. FFS, the last thing Mike Pence wants to do is “DO” unto others. Nope. Mike sees religion as a way to turn others into him. Like a god.
That’s the dirty, dirty secret about the extremely religious — about every single televangelist — about Mike Pence himself. They all think THEY are “god”. Not “a” god — “God”. They may tell you that “God” (or Yahweh — that’s the god character’s actual name, “god” being his job description) speaks through them — they’re lying. No one or nothing is speaking through them. The “god” you hear spewing from their mouth parts is them, all them and nothing but them.
What makes these “gods” so much worse is that they’re all so screamingly ignorant. Why can’t these “gods” have a little knowledge in their pockets to go along with the sanctimony & judginess? I guess that would be too much to ask of men for whom sanctimony & judginess are their principle skill sets.
Hi there, ladies ‘n germs — I’m your host Chuck Todd (excuse me while I roll my eyes thoughtfully as if I was physically capable of having thoughts) —
— And welcome to another installment of “Benefit Of The Doubt — the game show where we give the benefit of the doubt to folks who we probably shouldn’t ought to give it to. But, hey — that’s what I think journalism is cos otherwise, I’d have to do research and prep for interviews! Did I say “Welcome to Benefit Of The Doubt yet? I can’t remember — I get so easily distracted.
Tonight’s panel are, first, my co-worker over at NBC News, Chris Matthews —
Chris — say something to the folks!
CHRIS: I miss Bobby Kennedy.
[While Chuck rolls his eyes thoughtfully] CHUCK: Do you think… What I mean is… What if… Is it possible that Sirhan Sirhan was aiming at someone else that night in the Ambassador Hotel kitchen?
CHRIS: No. Sirhan was Palestinian. He said he hated Bobby’s position regarding Israel. It wasn’t really a question of— Now, wait a minute, Chuck — were you playing the game without saying?
CHUCK: Guilty! I bet if I hadn’t spent the whole time rolling my eyes thoughtfully, you’d have never caught me.
CHRIS: It’s true… Umm… could ya stop now, Chuck — it’s starting to weird me out.
CHUCK: I’ll try, but — now I’m just trying to see if my bangs are straight… I wish they hadn’t left those pruning shears on my makeup table… Our other panelist tonight is CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
WOLF: Hi, everyone. I just want everyone to know that the look on my face isn’t because I’m thinking about anything, I’m doing math — I’m figuring out how long much longer I can hold onto the fart now in the chamber. Not much longer to judge from my expression, right?
CHUCK: Thanks for the heads up, Wolf. I’ll just move my chair way over here. [As Chuck moves his chair] Our first guest tonight is Climate Change.
[Polite applause as Climate Change enters and takes the seat next to Chuck’s.]
CHUCK: Welcome, Climate Change! You’re really in demand right now. I feel like we were lucky to get you as a guest.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Well, I am trying to get around — what with the book coming out and–
CHUCK: What– wait– what? You have a book coming out? Why didn’t anyone tell me?
CLIMATE CHANGE: Probably cos you can’t read.
[Chuck flashes angrily] CHUCK: What? I can read just fine. Don’t blame me cos I bore easily. Wait — are my bangs straight?
CHRIS: Please, Chuck, I’m begging ya — stop rolling your eyes! In two seconds I’m going to start hurling last year’s St. Patrick’s Day’s corned beef and cabbage. And that disagreed with me then.
WOLF: I bet the gas was intense.
CHRIS: You know it was.
CHUCK: So, Climate Change — We know… what I mean is…
CHRIS: Chuck — stop rolling your eyes–
CHUCK: I’m trying, Chris, I swear it but it’s gone a little autonomic on me. I’m not that in control of it–
CHRIS: Well, I’m not that in control of what I’m about to puke up either.
WOLF: Please stop saying “puke”, it gives me gas.
[Meanwhile, Chuck has continued rolling his eyes]. CHUCK: Are my bangs…? Is it… Would you say…What if the climate deniers are on to something?
Hey, America — Shitty Karma got ya down? Are you in a snit because rotten people keep getting away with being rotten while “the best lack all conviction” (and refuse to impeach the most impeachable potus in the history of the Republic)?
Well, stop making yourself and your re-incarnated selves cray-cray! Stop having “faith” in Karmic Payback and start making some of those Just Deserts happen because YOU wanted them to. “What’s that?” you say — “I can impact what happens to Karma? I can deliver Cosmic Justice — Moi?
Damn right ya can, Pilgrim! Introducing Kay-Tel’s new “KARMA-NATOR” — the amazing new invention that delivers actual Karmic Payback to “Those Most Deserving”…
Want to see wankers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell get the Karma they deserve NOW instead of LATER? Done!
Mitch McConnell will now come back as a toilet brush — that lives in the worst toilet stall in the whole world. How’s it feel, Mitch?
Karma, she can be quite the bitch, can’t she, Mitch! But, hey — we’re just getting started delivering Instant Karma via THE KARMA-NATOR! There are lots of deserving people. Hey, Attorney General Bill Barr — Wanna shove your head up Donald Trump’s ass? Welcome to THE KARMA-NATOR!
Boom – Mike Pence is now a condom — ready for for someone to insert their penis into. I sure hope Mike’s used to pitching instead of catching. Otherwise, this bit of Karma will need revisiting. Mike’s not supposed to like his payback.
And what about everyone’s favorite “Feckless C-Word”, Ivanka Trump — We all know she’s got Karma coming her way. Damn right she does! And Karma will be CRUEL to Ivanka. Let’s throw Ivanka in the KARMA-NATOR…!
Oh, ick — Poor, poor Ivanka — re-incarnated as her sister TIFFANY. Karma ain’t just a bitch sometimes, she’s a “MAGA”-Bitch, ain’t she…?