Dear American News Media: Why Do You Always Mark Republicans On A Curve?

Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign took a hit when she was cornered into showing receipts for how she would pay for getting every American health CARE. The grinding irony — this is never a question Republican candidates ever have to grapple with. How we’re gonna pay for the next Republican tax cut is always obvious — it’s coming from what’s left of the Middle Class’s hide. It’s coming from the poorest of the poor.

Maybe I’ve answered my own question already. Why doesn’t America’s news media ever hold Republican candidates (or working politicians) to the same standards of proof as they do Democratic candidates? Perhaps it’s because our MSM knows going in that Republicans never have receipts. They want everyone to take what they say as gospel truth.

For instance — that America is a “center-right country”. Perhaps the people who’ve shown up at the polls until recently (around 55% of the total electorate in 2016) leaned center-right. Historically, older people vote in larger numbers than younger people (which is a terrible reflection on us — they should be motivated to maintain our Democracy, not made deeply cynical about it!) But there’s a reason why Republicans — historically — do everything they can to suppress as much of the vote as they can: they know that when more Americans vote, they vote for Democrats.

Beto O’Rourke’s near success in taking Ted Cruz’s senate seat was an object lesson in 1) how to beat Republicans in seemingly impossible places and 2) when you get more Americans out to vote, number 1) becomes a lot more possible. That’s because America (when it actually votes) is a center-left country. Beto didn’t go after the red necks and rich shitheads who always show up to vote, he went after those who don’t normally show up (in large part because they’ve felt disenfranchised — which they were). And they were disenfranchised with purpose — to wipe out their vote — to make their NOT showing up to vote as reliable as RWers showing up. Then — the icing — we told ourselves that THIS was written in stone: just how it is.

The American public has been bamboozled by bullshit.

What conservatives and right wingers are good at is “marketing” (aka “stoking fear” — “Be Afraid” is very much the Republican Brand). They’re good at selling messages: “Americans love their health insurance” (no — they love the doctors they love & going through the insurance company is the only way to get those doctors — not the same thing). “Mission Accomplished” (no, it wasn’t — not by a long shot).

Do Republicans ever have to pay for their bullshit — or even explain it? Have you watched any of the last three years? Donald Trump has gotten away with “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy grabbing” and having his head so far up Vladimir Putin’s ass he could be Putin’s uvula. And yet — when the White House press corps gets their shot at Trump (and they get LOTS of shots), do they EVER challenge him on the obvious treachery?

No — they don’t. In fact, when they then talk to the hosts in the studio, they act as if treason, too, is just how it is now. They look at poll numbers — wondering if maybe a misinformed, disinformed & propagandized American public doesn’t care about “maintaining their Republic” anymore. Talk about shitty framing!

Our news media ask if Democrats are over-stepping — wanting to maintain The Rule Of Law and the Constitution. That’s because the news media insists that the Democrats standing up for The Rule Of Law and the Constitution is just “politics”. No. No, it isn’t. And that’s the news media’s problem. “Both Sides Do It” journalism insists on seeing everything as political. They insist that politics motivates everything.

Nothing could be further from the truth of course. Hey, look — I answered my own question again. The news media marks Republicans on a curve because they’ve bought the Republican lie — that just because Republicans do everything for calculated political reasons, the Democrats must be doing it for the same reasons too. The news media isn’t marking Republicans on a curve — they’re dropping Democrats two grades just for sitting down to take the test.

Then acting like everyone’s being graded the same.

Donald Trump Is The Poster Boy For The Banality Of Evil

Aside from all around assholery, Donald Trump is “good at” exactly nothing.

If not for Tony Schwartz’s skill as a writer, we wouldn’t see any art whatsoever in Trump’s dealings. We’d see corruption and criminality. If not for Mark Burnett inventing the character of Trump, Master Deal Maker — I doubt even Russia could have made Trump president.

As has been well-documented, Trump comes from a family of con men and petty criminals, cowards and racists, men and women incapable of forming healthy human bonds with anyone — or anything aside from money. Think Fred Trump respected his son (as Trump insists was the case)? Good luck finding any proof of it.

There’s far more evidence that Fred Trump saw Don-Don as a lost cause. A criminal saw his son as being too inept to be a “good” criminal. The best Donald Trump could ever hope to be — in his father’s eyes — was a mediocre criminal. Even Fred Trump saw how banal Donald Trump was.

The Hitlers of the world don’t arise from hell. They arise from ordinary circumstances. They’re broken, to be sure. But, aside from being broken, they’re not good at anything. They’re not educated in anything. They’re not capable of anything.

Is Trump articulate? Is he clever? Is he observant? Is he deeply knowledgeable — about his own business even? No — he’s not. He’s mediocre at best. Banal.

Trump’s no Bond Villain. Ernst Stavro Blofeld he ain’t. More like Schmoe-feld. He’s the bitch in this equation. Ask Vladimir Putin…

That’s what makes what the Republicans are doing so appalling. It’s not like they’re following a master mind off the cliff.

They’re following Donald J Trump ffs.

If they didn’t deserve it so much, I’d almost feel sorry for the Republicans. I’m quite sure I won’t feel a bit sorry when we get to the punishment phase of the proceedings.

Banality & evil will both come at a price.

What Did YOU Do In The CYBER War, Daddy?

Anyone who thinks it takes bombs and bullets to win a war is an idiot doomed to lose every war he ever fights going forward.

Please — let’s not that idiot.

Call it asymetrical war, call it cyber war. Call it anything you like. Russia is waging it against us regardless of what we call it or even whether we acknowledge that we’re under attack.

For reference — the people living at Pearl Harbor had no idea the Japanese fleet was on its way — having declared war on America in general and on them specifically that day. You don’t have to know you’re under attack to “be” under attack.

The first thing we have to do — individually — is acknowledge what’s happening to us. Being a victim of childhood sexual assault, I know how easy it can be to go all “out of body” in the face of emotional trauma. Hell, I denied what happened to me for 45 years. Not for a second did it mean it didn’t happen to me.

It only meant that I was in denial about it.

We’re under attack. This is war — World War Three, in fact (we’re not the only country Russia is assaulting after all). We know that Putin created actual plans to attack us covertly. That he’s done it (and is still doing it) isn’t the shocker; it’s all the complicity on our side of the ledger that’s shocking. Trump is a given. He’s been involved with Russian mobsters and their money for decades.

How quickly so many Republicans succumbed to Trump — that’s the shocker. Between kompromat & campaign money (illegal cos it’s Russian), the Republicans must be guilty out the wazoo to judge by their loyalty to a man so obviously guilty of the highest crimes and misdemeanors.

It’s on us to fight back every day in evey way we can. Voting will be vital of course. But so is engaging with these pirates. Silence in the face of their crimes normalizes their crimes. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass — and exhausting — having to keep up the righteous indignation. But every time we stop being righteously indignant, that’s another high crime we’re normalizing.

It’s the fact that we’re at war that turns Trump’s desperate need for cash into treason.

Make no mistake: this will get uglier than we can imagine. The republicans will refuse to own their betrayal to the bitter end.

They won’t like how that part of the Cyber War ends for them — in irons in a federal penitentiary for the rest of their lives. That’s if they’re lucky.

“Better The Shit Than This!” What Lina Wertmuller’s “Seven Beauties” Teaches Us About Integrity

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced yesterday that they were awarding Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller an honorary Oscar. She deserves an Oscar for sure — but honorary? She deserves one for a body of great work.

Wertmuller’s best known features (here in America) include “The Seduction of Mimi”, “Swept Away”, “Love & Anarchy” and “Seven Beauties”. Sex and politics figure into every Wertmuller movie. So does the male notion of “honor”. And absurdity — because male honor is frequently absurd.

In “The Seduction of Mimi”, a factory worker played by Giancarlo Giannini (Wertmuller’s go-to male lead for her best work) learns his beautiful wife’s been knocked up by another man. To defend his honor, the factory worker decides to seduce the other man’s wife. Problem is, she’s incredibly unhappy with her life and incredibly obese — not exactly an object of seduction. But, hey — honor’s honor. He does it and gains nothing but more heartache.

Giannini’s Pasqualino — his character in Seven Beauties — is even more compelled by honor. It’s WWII and Italy’s in chaos, stuck between Germany to the north and the Allies to the south, slowly battling their way up the boot. Pasqualino has seven sisters — the “Seven Beauties”. Being the sole male in the family, it’s his responsibility to guard their honor.

That’s a problem because one of the beauties is a prostitute. Pasqualino kills her pimp. The scene where Pasqualino — needing the cut the body into pieces so he can put the pieces in suitcases and dispose of them — is a comedic gem. The pimp is not a small man and even moving the body around to facilitate cutting it up is challenging — made worse by the fact that the pimp’s dead body keeps farting.

Pasquelino gets caught and sentenced to prison; he gets out of that by volunteering for the army (which is pretty much in a state of constant retreat from the Allies). When Pasquelino tries to run, he gets captured by the Germans and sent to a brutal concentration camp run by a brutal female Commandant played by Shirley Stoler.

Among the other prisoners at the camp is an Anarchist played by Fernando Rey. The Anarchist is the movie’s moral center.

Pasquelino decides that the only way he’ll survive the camp is by ingratiating himself with the Commandant — via seduction.

THAT scene also is a comedic gem. The Commandant knows exactly what “the macaroni” as she calls him is doing. She lets him.

For his efforts, he will get “rank” and “privilege” among the prisoners. But there will be requirements, too. Terrible ones.

The first? Pasquelino must personally execute his best friend there at the camp. Survival is everything to Pasquelino — and he does it. He executes his friend.

That’s enough for the Anarchist. He kills himself by deliberately drowning in the camp’s sewer trench. “Better the shit than this!”

Yeah — there’s a line in the sand. Cross it and you’ve lost your “soul” (whatever you perceive it to be). Whatever integrity you had is gone. Gone, gone, GONE.

If ever a movie spoke to our times, it’s “Seven Beauties”. The Republican Party pissed away every last drop of honor it ever had. It seduced Evil even as Evil was seducing IT.

Think about the country Republicans are hell bent on turning America into. It’s America circa 1850. With Russian overtones.

Lina Wertmuller’s Anarchist got it exactly right — “Better the shit than that!”

Republican Jesus Wasn’t “Born” Rotten, He EVOLVED That Way…

People in the media ask a lot these days — how can evangelicals stand with Donald Trump, the most corrupt, most immoral, least Jesus-like person to ever walk the planet?

It’s simple. Evangelicals & Fundamentalists don’t believe in “Jesus The Teacher”, they believe in “Jesus The Mascot”. Jesus the Maestro of Merch.

Doing unto others isn’t even taught in most churches. It’s too left wing. Too working class. But, misbehave yourself in one of a thousand different ways? They’ll “do unto you” so fast your head will spin.

True Fact: No Evangelical would recognize Jesus — even if they stopped mid-way through nailing Jesus to a cross to stop and spit in Jesus’ eye.

“Get over it” Is How Republicans Intend To Finish What They Started

Make no mistake – what the Republican Party pulled off election day 2016 was nothing less than a soft coup d’état. 

Recognizing that the nation’s demographics spelled certain political marginalization and doom, Republicans sought to impose permanent minority rule on America first by hijacking the judiciary (a mission Moscow Mitch McTreason started back when Obama was still POTUS.  Mitch did this by refusing to give Merrick Garland a hearing — and by refusing to let Obama fill most of the vacancies on the federal bench. With Trump in office, not only has Mitch scored two SCOTUS seats, he’s also jammed through horrible, deficient right wing candidates to fill all those seats Mitch previously refused to do anything about.

We were in a Constitutional Crisis the instant Trump took his oath of office while simultaneously violating it.  If swearing in a criminal – who KNOWINGLY betrayed the country even as he became its leader (under false pretense) – a criminal working for the country we’ve been at cold war with for 75 years – isn’t a Constitutional Crisis, nothing is.

Yesterday, Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (a man who takes sycophancy to staggering new lows) gave one of the most amazing news conferences of all time.  He didn’t just confess (on behalf of Trump), he waved away any outrage We The People might feel with a brusque “Get over it”.

That’s rapist-speak.  “Get over” what I’ve just done to you.  What I’m doing to you still.  “Get over it”. Get over it why?  Because YOU don’t want to talk about it – or, worse, confess?

That’s what “get over it” really means.  I did it.  So what?

A rapist mid-rape couldn’t put it better.

That soft coup d’etat was a whole other kind of rape.  That was the Constitution being raped.  And the Rule Of Law.  It was the majority getting raped by the minority.

It was Republicanism and Trumpism sizing up the American electorate like Trump and Jeffrey Epstein taking in the pretty girls they ordered up for lunch. 

And when the girls say “no”, having agreed to one thing but nothing at all like this?  “Get over it” will be how Trump responds.  I’m having it anyway.  You might as well lie back and “enjoy it”. 

As if.

WE Think Republicans Are Putting On A Crime; THEY Think They’re Putting On A “Show”

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”…

BETSY DEVOS – Never mind her task of dismantling America’s educational systems, Betsy HAD a seat at the table because she’d already paid her way there.  As we’ll learn more about – her DeVos Childrens Hospital computer network was used (knowingly) to transfer DATA PACKETS – that’s packets of STOLEN data, hacked from the DCCC (the Democratic National Committee), and several members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign

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 Hillary.

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?

Erik was part of the “Hey, look who I bumped into in a bar in the Seychelles if you believe in coincidences” bullshit that attempted to create a back channel through which information – and treason – could flow easily.  This back channel, by the way – the brain child of Steve Bannon.

Hey, Erik — Lets put on a show!

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 eye. 

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 spirit senseless.

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.

It’s incumbent on US to fix it.

Better yet — Let’s put on a show.