i’m probably wrong, but…

Crime, boy, I don’t know.

I mean, c’mon. Here’s Comrade Trump, who I should remind you is the actual President of the United States, casually suggesting that a former president, Bill Clinton, was somehow responsible for having accused pedophile Jeffery Epstein murdered while he was in the custody of the United States Department of Justice. He doesn’t offer any evidence of that. He just tosses the accusation out there. Bill Clinton had Epstein killed. And he says it like it’s, you know, a bad thing.

And at the same time, here’s Comrade Trump brushing off actual evidence that Mohammad Bin Salman had Washington Post reporter Jamal Kashoggi tortured, murdered, and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, like it’s no big deal. So I’m just a tad confused here.

Murder, boy, I don’t know. You’d think if Donald Trump was okay with the murder of a respected, award-winning journalist who was a resident of the United States, then he’d probably be okay — maybe even moderately pleased — by the murder of a convicted pedophile rapist who lived part time on a private sex island. But apparently not. I just don’t know how to explain that.

I don’t want to cast aspersions or anything, but I’m beginning to wonder if Comrade Trump is being entirely consistent here. It sort of almost kinda sounds like he has a different murder standard for folks he likes. Maybe — and I’m probably entirely wrong here — but maybe he’d have been more positive about Epstein’s ‘suicide wink wink’ if he thought bin Salman (or his boy Kim Jong Un) had been behind it?

It’s beginning to sound like Trump is more interested in conspiracy theories involving his political enemies than in actual conspiracies involving his buddies. But naw, that can’t be right. Can it?

EDITORIAL NOTE: There’s a 99.95% chance that all the conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death are bullshit. Negligence and incompetence are a much more likely explanation. Though not as entertaining.

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he is who he is

Look, it’s part of the job. I know, it’s not listed as a duty in the Constitution, but when there’s a national tragedy, folks want — they expect — the president to acknowledge the tragedy with compassion. They want the president to recognize their suffering, their grief, and to share that suffering and grief to some extent. They want the president to understand what they’re experiencing.

All Comrade Trump had to do yesterday was show up and make the day about the victims and the families of the victims of the mass shootings. That’s it. He didn’t have to solve all their problems, he didn’t have to tell them everything was going to be okay, he didn’t have to promise to fix things immediately. He just had to listen, be gentle, show some respect, and actually care about what they were going through.

He couldn’t do it. As always, Trump had to make it all about himself. His grievances, the level of his support, his treatment by others, his popularity. I truly believe he can’t help it. It’s part of his personality disorder. He’s simply incapable of experiencing the world from any perspective other than his own. It would be sad — tragic, even — if he wasn’t such a hateful, malignant person.

No, that’s inaccurate; it IS sad and tragic. But I struggle to feel any compassion for him because he IS such a hateful, malignant person. It’s sad and tragic for him, but it’s really sad and tragic for the rest of us because we can’t divorce ourselves from the consequences of his personality disorder. He’s broken, and as president he’s breaking our nation.

So yesterday, instead of offering solace and comfort to the nation, Comrade Trump further inflamed passions. Instead of quietly grieving with those who are suffering, he turned the trip into what was essentially a campaign event. He mugged and smiled for the cameras, he attacked his detractors, he took selfies, he lashed out at his perceived enemies, he bragged about his popularity and how much respect he was shown, and he pouted when others failed to recognize how popular and respected he was.

I don’t think anybody actually expected Trump would accept any responsibility for fueling the hatred that revealed itself in El Paso. I don’t think anybody expected him to apologize for that, or offer to change his vitriolic tone. Nobody expected him to be suddenly Not Trump. But we hoped (some of us hoped) he’d act like a decent human being. All he had to do was say “I’m sorry for your loss, I’m sorry for your troubles, I’m so very sorry this happened to you and to your community and to our nation.” That’s all he had to do; that and stay quiet. It wouldn’t have been easy, especially knowing that a lot of folks feel he IS responsible for the hatred that manifested itself in the shootings. It wouldn’t be easy, but he’s the president. It’s not an easy job.

In the end, he couldn’t do it. He simply couldn’t meet the very minimum requirements of the job. He couldn’t put aside his own insecurities, his own resentments, his own relentless spite. Not even for the few hours he spent in public. He couldn’t do it. He doesn’t have it in himself to be decent.

He is who he is.

ADDENDUM (8-9-19) — A photo of Comrade and Mrs. Trump, who is holding a baby whose parents were killed by the Walmart gunman, was released on the FLOTUS Twitter account yesterday. It seems none of the victims still in the hospital in El Paso were willing to meet with Trump during his visit. The baby, who’d been released from the hospital, was brought back just for this photograph.

He is who he is.

ADDENDUM 2 — Also, while Comrade Trump was visiting Dayton and El Paso, ICE agents were raiding a few Mississippi chicken processing plants, detaining undocumented immigrant workers (not, coincidentally, the plant owners who hired them). It was the first day of school in Mississippi, which meant a lot of kids went to school and came home to empty houses, not knowing what happened to their parents, not knowing when/if their parents might return, not knowing where they’d get fed or sleep or…or anything. The cruelty and casual disregard for the welfare of those children is as appalling as Trump’s campaign tour of shooting victims.

ain’t nothing fake about that

A few days ago, during an informal press gaggle held just before Comrade Trump flew off to whatever rally or golf course he had on his schedule, a reporter asked him about the renewed press for impeachment. This is Trump’s response:

“You know, it’s interesting — nobody has even mentioned this question to me in so long. Until last night at the very end, it wasn’t even mentioned in the debates. People aren’t even thinking — it’s a hoax. I don’t know if you know that. You know it’s a hoax, right? So, nobody has mentioned it to me. One thing I will say that you haven’t covered: Two days ago, a highly respected judge in the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan, came out with a decision on the whole Russia hoax, and he said exactly that: it’s a hoax. You ought to read the decision. This is a decision by a judge who is highly respected — who was appointed by Bill Clinton when he was President — and he came out and he said, “It’s a hoax.” And that’s exactly what it is. This was a case brought by the Democrats against me, and nobody wants to talk about it. You know why? Because it’s fake news.”

I know this isn’t going to surprise you, but that’s not exactly what the judge said. In fact, it’s not even remotely close to what the judge said.

Here’s what happened. The Democratic National Committee sued the Russian Federation for hacking into its servers. As a result of that hack — and the Trump campaign’s cooperation in disseminating the illegally obtained information — the DNC suffered significant damages, including a “dramatic drop” in donations and a million dollars to repair and fix the cybersecurity issues. DNC staff members also suffered online harassment and death threats as a result of the leaks. The suit also included a number of defendants who were members of the Trump campaign who’d actively aided the Russian Federation in distributing the stolen material.

Judge John G. Koeltl ruled that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act prevented the DNC from suing the Russian Federation for damages in U.S. courts, even if Russia had acted illegally and damages were suffered. The judge also ruled that since the “second level participants” (the Trump campaign) didn’t aid in the actual hacking, they weren’t liable for that act. And finally, the judge ruled the Trump campaign’s distribution of the illegally obtained information was protected by the First Amendment “in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place.”

(Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

So no, the judge didn’t say Russian interference was a hoax. What he said was that Russia had committed a crime, that the Trump campaign benefited from that crime knowing it was a crime, but was protected by the First Amendment when they disseminated information obtained by that crime.

“You ought to read the decision,” Comrade Trump said. As if he’d actually read it. If he had read the decision, it’s possible — oh hell, it’s probable — he didn’t understand it. I mean, the guy is a fucking idjit; the complexities of the law are as meaningless to him as the physics of Frisbee flight are to a dog. The dog can catch the Frisbee without doing the math, and Trump can understand the suit was dismissed without understanding why. But it’s a mistake to assume the dog or Trump has any sort of grasp on the underlying mechanics that spark their behavior.

In addition to being a fucking idjit, Trump is also a fucking liar. Even if he had read the decision and understood it, he’d almost certainly would have lied about it. Because that’s what he does.

The news media knows all this. Yet because of tradition and the institutional inability to adapt, the news media will continue to ask questions of Comrade Trump, knowing his answers are essentially meaningless in terms of reality. And the news media will continue to repeat those answers as if they have meaning, when the shared reality of all legitimate news agencies is this: Trump is a fucking idjit and a fucking liar.

Ain’t nothing fake about that.

NOTE: By the way, there hasn’t been an official White House press briefing since March 11, when former Press Secretary Sarah Sanders gave an eleven minute briefing. That’s 145 days, nearly five months, without a press briefing. The current Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, hasn’t held any press briefings at all. Her salary is around US$180,000. Assuming she actually exists.

elections have consequences, sort of

Ordinary Dude: Why aren’t we impeaching Comrade Trump?
Moderate Democratic Member of Congress: I don’t think we have quite enough information to begin impeachment proceedings.
OD: Is there credible evidence that he obstructed an investigation into possible wrongdoing by him and his staff?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that he lies every day to the American people? That he lies so consistently and shamelessly that nobody can trust or rely on anything he says?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that he was elected with the aid of a hostile foreign power? That he welcomed that aid in 2016 and might do so again in 2020?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that he’s abusing his office to increase his personal wealth?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that Comrade Trump has cozied up to Mohammed bin Salman, who had a critic tortured, murdered and dismembered? And that he’s repeatedly bypassed Congress in order to sell weapons to him?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: And that’s he’s playing footsie with other leaders of hostile nations, while insulting and demeaning the leaders of friendly nations?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that he’s abused the office of the president to settle personal grievances?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that he’s used his office to consistently undermine federal law enforcement agencies and the US intelligence community?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: And doesn’t that make the US less safe?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that Trump violated campaign finance laws by paying hush money to women with whom he’s had affairs while married to his third wife?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: What about neo-Nazis and white supremicists? Is there credible evidence that he’s encouraged these groups, either openly or through example?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that he’s attacked the freedom of the press and called the news media ‘the enemy of the people’?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that he’s created policies that separate children from their asylum-seeking parents? That he’s housed both the children and their parents in appalling circumstances? That he failed to insure there’s a method for re-uniting those children with their parents? Is there credible evidence that some of those children will likely never see their parents again?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that the Trump administration is the most corrupt, most inept, most conflicted, most incompetent administration ever?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: Is there credible evidence that Trump is a racist?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…

Democrats fleeing the swarm of Republican accusations of partisanship.

OD: Don’t all these facts taken together amount to the biggest betrayal of the United States by a president in our history? And isn’t that betrayal still taking place?
MDMoC: Well, yes, but…
OD: So why aren’t we impeaching the motherfucker already?
MDMoC: Because we’re not sure impeachment is a politically wise position to take.
OD:
MDMoC: If we try to impeach, Republicans will accuse us of being partisan.
OD:
MDMoC: And even if we do impeach him, the Senate probably wouldn’t vote to convict.
OD: Jesus suffering fuck.
MDMoC: Hey, don’t blame us. You elected us, after all.

my plan to deal with dog ass republicans

I have a plan. Well, not a ‘plan’ plan, since I’m in no position to implement it. It’s more of a suggestion for a plan. Would you like to hear it? If not, then stop reading, on account of I intend to reveal my suggestion for a plan in the next paragraph.

Ready? Okay. Here it is: impeach the motherfucker already.

I know, it’s not original. And I know, you’re going to say “Greg, old sock, even if the House impeaches the motherfucker already, the dog ass Republicans in the Senate will never convict the motherfucker, so what’s the point?”

I’m glad you asked. First, stop calling me ‘old sock’. Second, the fact that the dog ass Republicans in the Senate will never vote to convict the motherfucker is actually part of the plan. Or the suggestion for the plan.

My plan suggestion for a plan, in slightly more detail, is as follows: announce right up front that we know the dog ass Republicans in the Senate are already in the bag (by ‘in the bag’ I mean ‘so devoid of patriotism and so unconcerned about democracy and governance that they’ll do whatever Comrade Trump wants’) but that it’s SO GODDAMNED IMPORTANT to publicly hold Trump accountable for his many crimes that we’re going to impeach the motherfucker already anyway. Announce right up front that we fully expect the dog ass Republicans to continue to support Trump’s criminality and enable him to fuck up representative democracy, but we still hold some truths to be self-evident, and among those truths is that the United States should NOT be run by a cruel, ignorant, narcissistic bully who is completely lacking in morals and lies as frequently — and with as much forethought — as he blinks.

If we announce right up front that we’re doing what we believe is the right thing to do even though we fully expect it to fail — not because the effort isn’t worthwhile, but because we know the game is rigged — then we have absolutely nothing to lose. And if/when the dog ass Republicans refuse to convict Trump, we can say “This is why we call them dog ass Republicans.”

So, that’s my plan. My suggestion for a plan. Whatever. What do you think? Cool, huh?

Stormy! Stormy! Stormy! Russia! Russia! Russia!

Your probably one of those snowflake liberals who think paying off porn stars to keep them from publicly stating the prensidential candidate they had sex with while he was married to his third wife (having cheated on the first two) in order to avoid a scandal before the election ought to be illegal or against the law. Hah. This is the big leagues, and if the water’s too hot, get off the bridge before it hatches.

Now it’s been confirmed that Donald J. Trump — the greatest prensident god gave the planet earth in his lifetime and much more — knew about the payments his lawyer (who, by the way, is a born liar who can’t be trusted to know when to keep his mouth shut) made to the porn star (and c’mon, who’s gonna believe a porn star, who is a slut who can’t be trusted to keep her mouth shut when she’s been paid to keep her mouth shut) even though he totally denied knowing anything about those payments. Which, okay, means Trump lied, but who wouldn’t lie to protect his wife? It’s proof of how much he loves Melanie (who is totally hot and classy in a way most women with big tits wish they could be that classy).

So there’s nothing really there, right? But the liberal maimstream limp-wristed commie media keep bringing it up and bringing it up in an effort to ‘prove’ that committing a felony to protect his hot wife ought to be against the law. They hate women.

I wanted to see what real patriots and America-loving Americans thought about this so-called “issue” so I checked in on FreeRepublic, which is as American as mayonnaise. And here’s what they said.

— So what would the crime be? It’s his money?

— is there anything illegal about paying a hooker not to tell your wife? seems like good business practice to me.

— Basically, FBI was being used to do oppo research for Hillary. Paid for with taxpayer money. While other serious crimes (like Hillary’s server, bribes delivered to her “family foundation,” etc.) weren’t investigated.

— Yup……she admitted she lied. Which makes Trump the VICTIM.

— trump better start indicting these jokers before the election rolls around, as a supporter,i am tired of not seeing hillary in jail.

— it is widely believed that Michell aka the Wookie, lived on the streets as a prostitute when she was about 17. She was saved by a Chicago pimp who realized she was too ugly to generate sales. The pimp signed a sealed affadavit that is in Chicago DA custody.

— The FBI is a branch of the Dem/Antifa party and they believe altogether too much.

— Stormy! Stormy! Stormy! Russia! Russia! Russia!

I couldn’t have said it any more better than that. Stormy! Stormy! Stormy! Russia! Russia! Russia! Why can’t the libs just accept the fact that they lost and deserve to be in the dust bin of history with all the other losers like Russia China Viet Nam and Venevuela (sp) down there in South America where all the illegal immigrants come from who are all or mostly gang members and drug deals. Or have vans with tied up women gagged in the back? Why?

The Deep State FBI should just go back where they came from so Prensident Trump can continue to make America Great Again MAGA and Keep it that way for ever until the Rapture or even after.

 

yeah, he’s lying

Comrade Donald J. Trump is a liar.

Every president has told lies. Every person on earth has told lies. We all lie. Most of our lies are social lies — lies told to lubricate social interactions. “No, the pie crust wasn’t overbaked.” “I’d love to visit, but I’m running a bit late.” “Yes, of course, I’d be happy to help.” “Please, stay as long as you’d like.”

But Trump isn’t just a social liar. He will lie about anything to anybody for any reason without any compunction and without any concern for consequences. He’s an unrepentant liar. A serial liar. An inveterate liar. Worst of all, he’s a dangerous liar. I mean that quite seriously. Trump’s repeated barrage of lies are damaging the stability of our democracy.

Yeah, he’s lying.

Back in 1978 the French writer Roger Errera interviewed Hannah Arendt for the New York Review of Books. Among the things they discussed was the role played by lying in totalitarian governments.

If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie — a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days — but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.

We are still sometimes shocked by the viciousness and cruelty of some of Comrade Trump’s lies. We’re sometimes amused by the absurdity of his lies. We’re occasionally baffled by the pointlessness of some of his lies. But it’s been a long time since we were shocked by the fact that he lies. He’s normalized lying. And increasingly, the result is exactly what Arendt said: it’s not that anybody believes most of Trump’s lies; it’s that a lot of people no longer believe anything.

In the last election we elected a Democratic House of Representatives because they told us they would act to hold Comrade Trump accountable. They haven’t. And because they haven’t, we’re less likely to believe them when they promise they will. It’s getting harder and harder to believe anything.

Yeah, he’s lying.

As Arendt said, it’s getting harder and harder to act. I’d intended to join the protest at a local detention facility last Friday. But I had company coming for a few days. Instead of inviting them to the protest, I stayed home. We cooked a meal, drank some locally brewed beer, talked, laughed, enjoyed ourselves. We did this while families seeking asylum are being separated and detained in appalling conditions.

This is how the fatigue caused by Comrade Trump’s constant lying and hate damages the nation. This is how a weary population surrenders. This is how democracy dies.

Yeah, he’s lying.

One last comment by Hannah Arendt.

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction and the distinction between true and false no longer exist.

Most of still make those distinctions. Most of us aren’t ‘ideal subjects’ for totalitarian rule. But many of us — I hope it’s not most of us — are just tired. We’re just so goddamn tired. But I truly believe we’d find our energy again IF the Democrats in the House would begin impeachment proceedings.

So today I’ll struggle to find the energy to call my member of Congress and, once again, encourage them to pressure Nancy Pelosi to do her fucking job. Democracy depends on it.