Weasel Words and Treason

Here’s how to perpetuate political division (and sell more advertising space) with wishy-washy language and weasel words : “Investigators are also prying into [Glenn Simpson, Partner of Fusion GPS]’s role in compiling the Russia dossier, which was filled with some stunning but also unsubstantiated allegations.”

“Prying into?” Sounds suspicious and sneaky, when in real life his “role” was “partner” at a firm hired to do research on Donald Trump; full stop. Around 8 times out of ten, researchers at other ” firms,” including media conglomerates and federal agencies who have followed in Glenn’s footsteps, found EXACTLY THE SAME THING as Fusion GPS did — Trump’s tainted. Full stop.

The president of the United States is an asset of Russian intelligence services, whether he UNDERSTANDS that or not (he does). Permits for Trump’s proposed Moscow real estate deal were the laser pointer Putin used to toy with Trump (and now I owe an apology to cats worldwide). Putin also made sure there was a bevy of eastern European arm candy, models and pageant contestants for Donald to “grab” when he was in the vicinity. He DID marry one. She IS First Lady of the United States … correct?

A vast majority of allegations contained in the Trump dossier have been independently verified as FACT. While it’s TRUE some of those FACTS might have been “stunning” if not downright salacious, when journalists (or more likely their editors) hitch “but also unsubstantiated allegations” to Trump’s treason wagon, every racist, xenophobic, pro-Russia, anti-democratic voice in America screams “SEE?! They can’t prove he hired prostitutes to trash the presidential suite (because Barack Obama slept there) — and if we can’t see the pee-pee tape, then how do we know if ANY of it is true?”

Because of journalism. Because federal agents were listening. Because there was an FBI mole inside Trump’s campaign (from Day One). Because there are witnesses (most of them still alive). Because nothing else sounds like the truth — and you KNOW most of this stuff is absolutely true … every salacious detail. Those four little words, however, dilute and pollute the selling of our government to foreign agents and the end of the American experiment in representative democracy as we know it.

Last year at this time, the previous sentence (or perhaps the entire post) would have (and should have) been dismissed as nothing more than political hyperbole. Well, it’s a year later, isn’t it?

Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country. Full stop.

My pal, Al

I’ll just say, “Governor Franken” has an awfully nice ring to it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Working on behalf of Minnesotans in the United States Senate has been the honor of my life. I’m taking to the Senate floor to give my final speech.

Posted by U.S. Senator Al Franken on Thursday, December 21, 2017

Swiftboating the Fourth Estate

You know the truth: James O’Keefe is a slime ball “journalist” who selectively doctors ambush videos to lie about … well, everything.

He’s a conservative.

The truth is, his “Project Veritas” stunt fell flat on its face before it could stumble out of the gate; the Washington Post caught O’Keefe’s stooge in a web of lies. What did she choose to lie about? Surviving teenaged sexual assault (allegedly by Roy Moore).

You can’t shock these people; you can’t shame these people: they will say anything, or condone any behavior, as long as they think they’re going to get  a piece of the pie. They want Trump’s table scraps. These are cartoon villains from a “Bargain Bin” paperback, plotting to  steal from the ‘Widows and Orphans Fund’ right before Christmas Eve … #KillTheBill #ThePresidentIsAnAsshole Continue reading “Swiftboating the Fourth Estate”

Logic is Overrated

“It’s just, well as long as I’m an outlaw anyways… maybe I can do somethin’… maybe I can just find out somethin’, just scrounge around and maybe find out what it is that’s wrong and see if they ain’t somethin’ that can be done about it. I ain’t thought it out all clear, Ma.”

Words matter. Someone gave the president a masterfully intricate, hand-crafted collection of the best words available, all intended to promote a fallacy of relevance: argumentum ad baculum, or the “might makes right” fallacy. And just like that, Donald’s words shouldn’t matter — but they still do, because he’s POTUS.

Yes, it’s ironic that Donald Trump chose a “fallacy of relevance” to defend his failing presidency, but the consequences could be catastrophic. If you go look, you’ll see that pretty much every knife in Donald’s drawer is a fallacy of relevance, including the genetic fallacy, ad hominem, ad populum, or ad misericordiam (literally an “argument from pity”). Poor Donald. This job is HARD.

There is nothing new or particularly surprising here — conservatives have always responded to the “strict father” (do as I say) model of governance. ‘I don’t care if you love me or not, there are rules in my house. I’m sorry your brothers just opened up a six inch laceration across your scalp — it was an accident — now say you love them. We’re a family. Say it.’

Wait, what? You didn’t hear that? Well, the transcript is available for the media, pundits and others to discuss ad nauseum; I’ve done many a deep-dive into the language deployed to destabilize our democracy. But yeah — this speech was designed to put Charlottesville in the rear view mirror. ‘Families squabble. Get over it and get past it, because the men and women sitting in front of me might just lose a limb or their lives if you don’t.’ Seriously — it’s all there if you just look. Continue reading “Logic is Overrated”

Whistle Blower

On Twitter I said, “Waiting to learn which dogwhistle #PresidentBannon will have @POTUS blow next is killing me. C’mon, @realDonaldTrump, fail #ResignInDisgrace

While it’s amusing to needle the president and your conservative pals about the bloated, sick white nationalist scumbag behind Trump’s throne — what’s happening to families and neighbors as a result is tragic. We’ve always known the “R” in Republican stands for regressive — and President Bannon has dragged us all the way back to the Civil War … and it’s tearing families apart, again.

What follows is a public letter written by the father of one of those alt right, neo-nazi terrorists who invaded Charlottesville.

“My name is Pearce Tefft, and I am writing to all, with regards to my youngest son, Peter Tefft, an avowed white nationalist who has been featured in a number of local news stories over the last several months.

“On Friday night, my son traveled to Charlottesville, Va., and was interviewed by a national news outlet while marching with reported white nationalists, who allegedly went on to kill a person.

“I, along with all of his siblings and his entire family, wish to loudly repudiate my son’s vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and actions. We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home.

“I have shared my home and hearth with friends and acquaintances of every race, gender and creed. I have taught all of my children that all men and women are created equal. That we must love each other all the same.

“Evidently Peter has chosen to unlearn these lessons, much to my and his family’s heartbreak and distress. We have been silent up until now, but now we see that this was a mistake. It was the silence of good people that allowed the Nazis to flourish the first time around, and it is the silence of good people that is allowing them to flourish now.

“Peter Tefft, my son, is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer. I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home. Then and only then will I lay out the feast.

“His hateful opinions are bringing hateful rhetoric to his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews as well as his parents. Why must we be guilty by association? Again, none of his beliefs were learned at home. We do not, never have, and never will, accept his twisted worldview.

“He once joked, “The thing about us fascists is, it’s not that we don’t believe in freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want. We’ll just throw you in an oven.”

“Peter, you will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too. Please son, renounce the hate, accept and love all.”

Remember, “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts w/o wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.” — Dr. Martin Luther King

The father’s original letter posted here.

“Justice” for all …

There’s no shortage of opinion online. This is mine. I want to focus on the positive for just a moment: most of the planet agrees Nazis are evil. There really wasn’t all that much equivocation on the point, save from those who allow their personal politics to trump personal morality. From their perspective, all the so-called baby-killing, Marxist-loving, tree-hugging liberal hippies are the ones without a moral compass. There is no middle ground in America — the entire country has become a no-man’s land. Unfortunately, it is not demilitarized.

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia noted with justifiable alarm that the militia members who invaded his commonwealth were better armed than the state’s police. Every other day comes a new threat of armed insurrection if, and only if we can believe Donald Trump when he said, “We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution.”

This president has major legal issues waiting on his newly refurbished “dump” of a doorstep. His supporters say they’ll quash this legal dilemma and Trump’s possible removal from office with bullets (or, if unavailable, an automobile). There wasn’t much ambiguity in the statement Trump’s staff insisted he read — but the subtext was chilling. While he’s in charge, anyone resisting hatred and bigotry is every bit as suspect as the Nazi preaching hate, anti-government militias clutching their phallic blankets, or your basic, everyday, garden-variety bigot. Trump will pull out all the stops to make sure that citizens on the streets remain orderly — and obey.

“To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.” ‘Punch a Nazi in the face? Go to jail — I promise you — I’m going to give you the best justice … so much justice you wouldn’t believe.’ It’s a pretty carefully crafted bit of intimidation for any American still brave enough to take to the streets of their city and bar the gates against intolerance, isn’t it? “Anyone,” perhaps “from many sides,” is liable to be arrested.

On delivering justice: “We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear” sounds good. Seems clear he’s going to throw federal money and resources at local police departments (who needs another surplus tank?), further militarizing the force. Add to this toxic stew of “policy,” Trump telling cops “we’d like to get them out a lot faster, and when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, please don’t be too nice.”

Maybe it’s me. Maybe the president of the United States didn’t just say, ‘when the KKK comes KKKalling, you’d better be on your best behavior — or else!’ I believe he did. He read that statement as if he’d survived months of beatings inside the Hanoi Hilton and was dragged in front of the cameras. He couldn’t help himself, either — setting aside the small issue of standing up to Nazis and bigots — leading his remarks with an informercial starring Donald Trump’s imagined greatness at presidenting.

He buried the lede. He did it on purpose. And the official White House reaction to Charlottesville is clear: we will spare no expense to maintain order on the streets. When the Klan and the armed militia arrive in your city … don’t get your panties in a twist or Trump’s troops might have to deliver some good old-fashioned “justice” to your face — and it won’t “be too nice.” You’ve been warned.

You’re welcome.

Some people …

This image has been shopped around as a meme showing this “condom ad” which makes the US the “laughingstock of the world!”
 
Actually, it’s concept art from Platinum FMD — and it’s amazing. Somebody should definitely throw money at this idea to sell protection to a frantic nation. There’s also a version with Kim Jong-un …

Babysitter Needed, Inquire Within

The Russian government now openly refers to the “utter powerlessness” of Donald Trump, writing “hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished.” That statement by Prime Minister Medvedev is flat wrong — and meant to confuse you. The Russians don’t have a problem with Trump’s administration — they have a problem with the U.S.A.

Meanwhile China commiserates, noting POTUS “likes to tweet,” adding “emotional venting cannot become a guiding policy for solving the nuclear issue” with North Korea. You know we have a potential crisis on our hands when Kim Jong Un is the more reliably predictable actor than the president.

It seems pretty clear to me that when Trump is challenged on his lack of diplomacy, or having a feeble grasp of world affairs, or someone laughs at his lumberjack competition handshake — full frontal attack is all he knows. That’s fine contained to 140 characters or fewer — but the idiot man-child has new toys these days and requires constant adult supervision. John Kelly is the new babysitter — let’s hope he doesn’t show him how to use them.

Scientia ipsa potentia est — knowledge itself is power.

Going Nuclear

Go ahead and laugh at the double entendre, Donald, and miss the point. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time (sorry about that, Serge).

About now “Tom Joad” would take you deep inside Orwell’s memory hole, where Donald dumps facts, science, reason and compassion. TJ would tell the story of Trumplethinskin and Serge Kovaleski of the New York Times (a former WaPo reporter Trump claims changed a story to make him look bad — he didn’t).

Tom Joad 2.0 isn’t as “philosophical” as some may yearn for — but it’s by necessity. I’m not the first to note that this angry man-child of a president is literally banking on us to get bogged down in debate, bamboozled by his bullshit, as he surrounds the White House with an army of lawyers. He’s Fielding Mellish absent the bumbling charm — and with a mean streak a mile-wide. This is not normal. Continue reading “Going Nuclear”