russian ratfucking

It never stops, does it. Last week yet another whistleblower filed a complaint with yet another Inspector General accusing the Trump White House and Trump-appointed agency officials of yet another abuse of authority by censoring yet another report outlining ongoing attempts to interfere with the 2020 election by Russian intelligence agencies.

This time it was Brian Murphy, the Principal Deputy Under Secretary in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Before he went to work for DHS he was a Marine and an FBI agent. Not what you’d call a ‘liberal’. He was ordered “to cease any dissemination of an intelligence notification regarding Russian disinformation efforts…because it ‘made the President look bad’.” Murphy objected (because Russia was running a disinfo campaign) and complained to his superiors. He was subsequently demoted.

There are very few core principles in the Trump administration, but included in them are the need to protect Putin and to deny Russian ratfucking of the 2016 election and the upcoming 2020 election. You have to wonder why that’s so important.

Who appears to be in charge here?

In May of 2018 I suggested that Trump’s insistence that the FBI ‘infiltrated’ his 2016 president campaign in an effort to ‘spy’ on it and entrap his campaign staff into breaking the law was a matter of ignorance rather than complicity. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. I thought perhaps he simply didn’t understand that the FBI, by opening a counter-intelligence investigation into his campaign, was trying to protect him from some of his campaign staff who were in wildly inappropriate contact with Russian intelligence agents and/or Russian criminal elements. If the FBI hadn’t attempted to find out what the Russians were up to, they’d have been derelict in their duties.

What the FBI discovered was a series of attempts by Russian intelligence operatives to penetrate Trump’s campaign. Sadly, those attempts were actually welcomed by some campaign members. Not only were they eager to accept material that had clearly been stolen from Democrats by Russian intel agencies, they never considered reporting it to the FBI. Worse, when confronted by the evidence, those staffers lied about it. Lied repeatedly, and actively hampered the investigation. That’s a clear demonstration of guilt.

Who seems to be subordinate here?

By July of 2018, after the weird and horrifying Helsinki summit, I was far more willing to believe that Trump’s currying to Russia wasn’t just a matter of ignorance. I began to accept the probability that Putin had something on Trump himself — some sort of kompromat. I figured it was likely something to do with money laundering and/or criminal conspiracy rather than something personally embarrassing (like the alleged ‘pee tape’). In any event, it looked less like stupidity from inexperience and more like cooperation and complicity with Russian influence agents. I couldn’t think of any other probable explanation for his behavior at Helsinki.

By January of 2019, I was ready to accept that Trump was, in fact, a Russian intelligence asset. Not a ‘spy’; Trump lacks the emotional stability and the skill set required to be a spy. But he has a personality that makes him exceptionally vulnerable to Russian exploitation as an asset: he’s emotionally needy, he’s driven by greed and ego, he’s at least immoral if not amoral, he’s both shameless and easily insulted, he has no real sense of loyalty or patriotism, he has no qualms about cheating and assumes everybody cheats, and he’s willing and able to lie about anything. Trump is easy to manipulate.

Who is in control here?

The sad fact is, willing or not, since he took office Trump has furthered Russian interests and increased their international presence, and at the same time damaged US interests and surrendered US leadership on the world stage. He’s created a wedge between the US and NATO — to Russia’s benefit. He’s given Syria a free hand to commit war crimes — to Russia’s benefit. He’s withdrawn US influence in Iraq by abandoning the Kurds, allowing Russian troops to assume control of military bases and stations built by the US military. He’s essentially legitimized Russia’s illegal seizure of Crimea. He’s fought against and/or failed to impose sanctions against Russia despite bipartisan support in Congress. He’s refused to acknowledge, let alone act on, reports that Russia has paid the Taliban bounties to kill US troops serving in Afghanistan.

Domestically, he’s been willing to disregard the collective opinions of the US Intelligence Community on issues like Russian interference in the US election, and accepted Putin’s claim that Russia wasn’t involved. He’s not only undermined the efforts of the FBI and CIA to disrupt Russian interference, he’s appointed agency administrators who have leaned on their agencies to mute any criticism of Russia.

Who is most confident here?

I’m NOT saying Trump is run by Putin or Russian intelligence agencies. They don’t need to run him. On his own, he’s brought chaos and exacerbated existing divisions in US society. Russia helped him get elected (and are trying to help him stay in office), but after that all they had to do was stand back and let Trump be Trump. It was a low-cost, low risk, high reward black op — almost certainly the most successful and cost effective black op in modern history.

The idea that the President of the United States might be — and probably is — a Russian intelligence asset should be absurd. It should be laughable. Sadly, it’s not. The evidence keeps mounting up. It’s entirely possible — and, again, this is shocking for me to say — it’s entirely possible that if Trump is re-elected, representative democracy in the US may come to a crashing halt.

Lawdy, I hate saying that. I hate that it’s actually necessary to say it.

suckers, losers; it’s a mug’s game

Oh, come on, was anybody really shocked? Comrade Trump thinks people who join the military are suckers and losers — is that actually a surprise? Since the day he stepped into the Oval Office, Trump has shown his disregard for the military and military culture.

It’s not just that Trump dodged the draft during Vietnam; lots of rich white kids did that. I don’t hold that against him. Most draft dodgers didn’t brag about it like Trump, but that’s small beans.

No, Trump’s feelings about the military were apparent in the way he sneered at John McCain for getting ‘caught’. I mean, it doesn’t take any great skill for a fighter pilot to get shot down, but it takes character to deal with all those years as a POW. I’m okay with Trump disagreeing with McCain’s politics (I do too), and I’m okay with mocking him for being a showboat as a politician. But you don’t get to mock his suffering, especially if you’ve evaded military service yourself.

Trump’s feeling about the military was apparent in the way casually sneered at the family of Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed during a suicide attack in Iraq. In the way he forgot the name of Sgt. La David Johnson (who was killed in an insurgent attack in Niger, and whose body was left behind) in his condolence call to the widow, in the way he said this about her husband’s death: “It’s what he signed up for.” It was apparent when his Trump Foundation publicly raised money for a veterans group but failed to failed to actually give that money to the group until the New York Attorney General began an investigation into the misappropriation of the funds. It was apparent in the way he interfered (against all protocol) in the cases of at least two soldiers accused/convicted of war crimes.

Other world leaders braved the mist to honor the dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.

And, of course, his feelings about the military were apparent in 2018 when he bailed on attending a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, which holds the bodies of more than 1800 US Marines who died during the battle of Bellaeu Wood. Trump claimed the weather that day prohibited his helicopter from flying; he also said the Secret Service was reluctant to drive him the 40 miles to the cemetery for security reasons. And yet Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel were able to attend the ceremony despite the rain. So was Trump’s own Chief of Staff, John Kelly, who was driven there by his staff.

But not Trump.

Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly braved the mist to lay a wreath at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.

A year earlier, on Memorial Day in 2017. Trump accompanied Kelly, to Arlington National Cemetery, where Kelly’s son is buried. According to reports, Trump looked at the long lines of white headstones and said to Kelly, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

And there it is. That comment is perfectly on-brand for Trump, and it explains his feelings about military service. Trump views the world in purely transactional terms; he sees every interaction (at least with those outside his family) as a negotiation, an exchange in which somebody gains and somebody loses. Every interaction — what’s in it for me, what’s in it for them, and what do I need to do to come out on top?

If that is, in fact, Trump’s worldview (and I see no reason to doubt it), then of course he’d see the troops as suckers, as losers. There’s no tangible profit in serving in the military. You can make a fortune selling stuff to the military, but putting on a uniform? Following orders that could get you killed, and for a ridiculously low salary? That’s a mug’s game.

Me, I’m a mug. So were both my brothers. So was my father and many of my uncles. I don’t like playing the patriot card, but we’ve paid our dues. Which is something nobody named Trump has ever done.

EDITORIAL NOTE: We’ve got less than 60 days to the election. Do your duty. Vote. Vote early. Vote, but just vote ONCE.

trump has things on a plate

What does it say about Republicans that their new hero is an out-of-shape 17-year-old white kid who armed himself with a borrowed semi-automatic weapon that he didn’t have the training, discipline, or emotional maturity necessary to handle effectively, and who inserted himself into an intensely chaotic, emotionally charged, violent situation he lacked the experience and situational awareness to handle, and who panicked when he was overtaken by events he wasn’t prepared to deal with?

I suppose it makes some sense. I mean, these same Republicans support an out-of-shape president who doesn’t have the training, discipline, or emotional maturity to handle his office effectively, and whose lack of experience creates intensely chaotic, emotionally charged, violent situations, and who panics when faced with situations he’s not prepared to deal with.

To maintain order we need the aid of emotionally underdeveloped 17-year-old boys with guns.

Kyle Rittenhouse and Donald Trump have a lot in common. They both seem to believe they’re more competent than they actually are. They both seem to share fantasies of being heroic. They both have issues with women. And they both adore Trump. In his defense, Rittenhouse is at least willing to get his hands dirty (no, I don’t mean by shooting people; I mean Rittenhouse spent some time cleaning graffiti off a building — can you imagine Trump doing that?).

What happened in Kenosha is perfectly on-brand for Trump. He values loyalty above competence and expertise (and by ‘loyalty’ I mean ‘boot-licking’ and ‘groveling’ and ‘hero worship’). It’s hardly surprising, then, that Trump and his followers would praise a 17-year-old loyalist for picking up an AR-15 and heading to Kenosha to help ‘maintain order’ in a situation that’s confounded trained police officers. It’s not surprising that Trump, when mayors and governors refuse his unwanted offers of assistance, will encourage caravans of truck-drivers and motorcyclists to invade a community to help ‘maintain order’. Trump is less interested in results than he is in having people follow his orders, whatever they are.

This is the Bizarro world we live in. It’s a world in which Trump can tweet ‘Law and Order!‘ as he fights a subpoena to provide DNA in an alleged rape case (which, if he was innocent, would clear him). It’s a world in which Trump shouts about election fraud even as he refuses to act against a hostile foreign nation that’s actively rat-fucking the election in Trump’s favor.

Future GOP member of Congress?

If Kyle Rittenhouse doesn’t spend the next few years in prison, he’ll very likely have a successful political career with the Republican Party. This is just a guess, but I suspect Kyle is probably more articulate than the president. A few days ago, when asked by the NY Times what his plans were for a second term, Trump said,

“But so I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done, and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done.”

There you go. If you were looking for a reason to vote for Trump, now you have one. He has a plate, and that plate has things on it. One of those things is a 17-year-old boy who’s killed two people. Vote Trump 2020. MAGA.

gloom of trump

You’ve heard it a million times, often incorrectly. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. It’s the creed of the United States Post Office.

The Post Office is maybe the most democratic institution in all of These United States. You put any sort of reasonable address on an envelope, slap a fifty-five cent stamp on it, stick it in your mailbox and the Post Office will send somebody right to your house, fetch that envelope right outa your mail box, and carry it to that address, usually within one to three business days.

Delivering mail in the rain during a damn pandemic.

Don’t matter if that address is in Manhattan or Boise or some farm house outside of Broken Bow, Nebraska. Some poor carrier in Sidney, Montana has to drive a mail route nearly two hundred miles long to deliver the mail to 272 mailboxes. There are 176 folks who live along a 30-mile stretch of the Magnolia River in Alabama who get their mail delivered by boat. A native tribe, the Havasupai, who live at the bottom of the Grand Canyon get their mail after an eight-mile trip down the canyon using mules. Mules. You got a legit address, the Post Office will deliver your mail. And yeah, even if it’s raining or snowing or hot or gloomy AF.

Delivering mail by a damn mule train.

The USPS isn’t perfect, but considering the massive scale and scope of their mission they do a damned good job. Again, First Class postage is only fifty-five cents. If somebody asked me to walk the thirty feet to my mailbox in the rain in exchange for fifty-five cents, I’d tell them to piss off.

But Comrade Donald Trump is deliberately wrecking the Postal Service. Deliberately. And he’s doing it for the most corrupt reason: to make it harder for US citizens to vote during a pandemic.

He replaced the Postmaster General — Megan Brennan, a woman whose 34-year career with the USPS began as a letter carrier, who was familiar with every operation inside the USPS from personal experience — with Louis DeJoy, a man with no USPS experience at all. DeJoy is a major donor to the Trump campaign; over the last four years he and his wife have contributed more than US$2 million to the Trump campaign and other Republican causes. Trump is also considering DeJoy’s wife to be Ambassador to Canada. In her financial disclosure statement, she noted she and her husband own “between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in USPS competitors or contractors.”

Delivering mail in a damn boat on a damn river.

That’s what we call ‘a conflict of interest’. Any harm DeJoy does to the USPS not only helps Trump, it helps DeJoy’s businesses. He was obligated to divest himself of those holdings within 30 days of his appointment. Has he? We don’t know. He’s stated “I’ve done what is necessary to ensure that I am and will remain in compliance with those obligations” but I confess I find it impossible to uncritically accept the word of any Trump appointee.

Since his appointment in June, DeJoy has 1) instituted policies that deliberately slow mail delivery, 2) discontinued the practice of carriers delivering mail by the end of the day if it results in overtime, 3) informed the states they can no longer mail ballots to voters at the bulk rate of 20 cents but must pay the First Class rate of 55 cents (nearly tripling the cost of mailing ballots), 4) reassigned or displaced thirty-three senior USPS officials who have decades of experience, disrupting the chain of command, 5) instituted a hiring freeze, and 6) encouraged career USPS officials to take early retirement.

That’s just since the middle of June.

Delivering mail in a damn snowstorm.

This isn’t just Trump eroding faith in a trusted US institution, it’s deliberate sabotage of the Postal Service. It’s clearly intended to disrupt mail service as we approach an election that very likely will hinge on mail-in ballots. And Republicans in Congress will aid and abet Trump in another step toward authoritarian government.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. But Trump will.

lost at sea

The Google tells me there are around 335 cruise ships in the world. I’ve no idea if that’s a reliable figure, but would the Google lie to me? (SPOILER: yeah, it probably would, but what are you gonna do?) The Google also tells me the average number of passengers on a cruise ship is around 3000. The Google isn’t terribly helpful when it comes to average crew size, but it appears to be about a third to a half of the average number of passengers. So let’s split the difference and say the average crew size is 1250. That would make the average number of humans on a cruise ship would be around 4,250.

If that’s the case, then the MSC Divina would be THE average cruise ship. It can carry 3502 passengers and has a crew of 1388.

Glittery and glam, the MSC Divina not only offers an impressive lineup of entertainment options, but also gives cruisers a taste of Italian culture – all for bargain prices designed to compete with other party ships departing Florida’s harbors. With vibrant nightlife and special kids’ fares, MSC Divina has something to appeal to everyone.

Now, imagine if the MSC Divina sank with all hands. The entire ship, all the passengers, the captain, the deck crew, the beauticians, the pursers, the entertainers, the galley staff, the hosts and hostesses, the gift shop operators, the photographers, the fitness instructors, the housekeepers, the bartenders, the dance instructors, the stewards, the massage therapists. All of them, every single one, down with the ship, drowned. Four thousand, two hundred and fifty souls lost at sea.

Now imagine a cruise ship the size of the MSC Divina sinking with all hands every week for thirty-five weeks.

That’s what we’ve got with Covid-19 in the United States.

If 35 cruise ships sank off the US coast over the course of five months, what would we do? What we ARE doing is ignoring the professional ship builders and designers who testify under oath that Covid cruise ships aren’t safe. We have a president who not only dismisses the expertise of the ship builders, but who claims to know more about ship building than anybody else. We have a president who treats cruise ships sinking as a public relations problem. We have a president who claims he’s saved millions of people from drowning by banning Chinese cruise ships from docking in US ports.

We have state and federal government officials who have the duty and the authority to prevent passengers and crew from boarding those MSC Davinas, but for political reasons refuse to issue a DO NOT BOARD mandate. They argue that there are several cruise ships that haven’t sunk. We have state and federal officials who argue children should board the MSC Davina because they are less likely to drown. We have state and federal officials who will encourage folks not to board cruise ships, but won’t stop them. They say they trust people will act responsibly and decide for themselves not to board.

Today we’ll hit 150,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths. We’re dying here. We’re drowning. And the people whose job is to protect us claim it would be government overreach to pull up the gangplank.

EDITORIAL NOTE: I’m sure the actual MSC Divina is a grand ship, perfectly lovely, excellently staffed, and crewed by consummate professionals, as are all the ships belonging to the Mediterranean Shipping Company. This is me covering my ass.

it would have been better in náhuatl

I had very good reasons for missing Comrade Trump’s 3rd of July speech at Mt. Rushmore. First, it was a Friday evening, and I needed to watch an episode of a 2018 British cop show that streams on Acorn. Second, it was Trump giving a speech — which meant it would either be an ad-libbed hateful rant full of free-floating racism or a dreary monotonous recitation of buzzwords interrupted too frequently with adverbs and adjectives. And third, I’d rather watch an episode of a two-year-old British cop show translated into classical Náhuatl than listen to Trump give a speech.

But I read it this morning. And let me just say this: Lawdy.

At least the aircraft weren’t Russian.

The speech reads like it was written by H.P. Lovecraft, if Lovecraft had a limited vocabulary and was writing for Twitter. It was awkward at best, full of woefully clumsy and ridiculous dark images of modern American. It was profoundly paranoid.

“Our children are taught in school to hate their own country. And to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies. All perspective is removed. Every virtue is obscured. Every motive is twisted. Every fact is distorted and every flaw magnified until the history is purged.”

History, totally purged. You know, they warned us this would happen if we took pale Jeebus out of the schools and substituted many-tentacled Cthulhu.

The entire speech was deeply weird. Trump seemed to confuse the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Or maybe he thought they were the same war, it’s hard to say. He apparently thinks protesters are trying to bring down statues of Revolutionary War figures who sang a song written a century or so after they died.

“In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country and that we feel for each other. Their goal is not a better America. Their goal is to end America…. By tearing down Washington and Jefferson, these radicals would tear down the very heritage for which men gave their lives to win the Civil War. They would erase the memory that inspired those soldiers to go to their deaths, singing these words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic: ‘As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free while God is marching on.'”

Trump ended the evening by telling us that “American freedom exists for American greatness” and that our legacy has something to do with champions and monuments. Then, of course, there were fireworks.

Very pleased with himself.

This entire event was perfectly in keeping with the Trump brand. It was a hateful, divisive, political speech full of lies. It was given in a location considered sacred by the native population (who objected to the event). It was given during the worst pandemic in a century (which was exacerbated by Trump’s failure to take it seriously), with no real attempt to reduce transmission of Covid-19 by using face masks, and no real chance of any social distancing (in part because the 7500 audience seats were zip-tied together to reduce the likelihood of them becoming obstacles in case an emergency escape was necessary during, say, a wildfire). And it concluded with a fireworks display (the first in more than a decade because a long term infestation of pine beetles has turned the local Ponderosa pine population into something resembling kindling) during a period of moderate drought.

The whole thing would be comical if it weren’t real.

killed by indifference

A lot has been written about the way George Floyd was killed. I think most of what I’ve read gets the story wrong. People have called it a deliberate murder. They’ve said it was a result of racial animus. They’ve described it as a hate crime.

I don’t think that’s entirely correct. I think it was something even worse. I think it was an act of casual indifference.

I don’t know what motivated Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck. How could I? But from watching the video, my sense is that Chauvin wasn’t angry. He wasn’t scared. He didn’t feel threatened. He wasn’t nervous or alarmed or even annoyed. Chauvin, to me, seemed unconcerned, not just about what was he was doing, but also to what was taking place around him. He seemed unmoved by it all.

That’s what I saw in the video. Chauvin just didn’t care. He was unmoved by Floyd’s pleas for help. He had no concern about Floyd’s well-being. Floyd simply didn’t matter; not as a suspect in a crime, not as a citizen of Minneapolis, not as a member of the public Chauvin was sworn to protect, not even as a fellow human being. Chauvin just didn’t care.

I’ve heard folks use the phrase ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ when talking about this killing. I’m not seeing that. I’m not convinced Chauvin saw Floyd as a fellow human being, as a person with the same thoughts and passions and feelings and dreams and concerns shared by every other human being.

Elie Wiesel, a Romanian Jew who survived the Nazi Holocaust — who survived being interned in the Máramarossziget ghetto, who survived both the Auschwitz concentration camp and the death camp at Buchenwald — had this to say:

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.

Would Chauvin have done the same thing to a white person? I don’t know; maybe. Possibly. Probably, depending on the social status of the person. But it’s hard to imagine racism not playing a role in the killing. Certainly, racism was involved in the police response to the inevitable protest afterwards. We didn’t see any tear gas or rubber bullets used against any of the lockdown protesters, did we.

The face of indifference.

In the end, it comes down to callous disregard for George Floyd. Floyd just didn’t matter. His suffering didn’t matter. His pleas for help didn’t matter. His civil rights didn’t matter. His life didn’t matter. Nor do the lives of his family and friends and, in an ever expanding circle, the lives of people of color in Minneapolis, in Minnesota, in the United States.

It’s not just George Floyd who didn’t matter. Of the 100,000 American deaths from Covid-19 over the last four months, 56.5% have been non-white. Only 28% of the US population is non-white. This is no coincidence. Apply that same metric to incarceration, to wealth, to general health care, to arrest rates, to infant mortality, to employment, to just about any social criterion in the United States.

Indifference is the key to inhumanity. George Floyd was killed by indifference. He simply didn’t matter.

the bluto party

You know what? It’s time we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘anybody who is paying attention to what’s happening right now in the United States’) stopped thinking of the Republican Party as a legitimate political party — because they’ve stopped acting like one. A political party is just a collection of people who share the same general ideology and hold the same general political positions in regard to governance. The operative term there is ‘governance’. Based on their behavior, Republicans no longer believe in governance; they only believe in ruling.

Seriously. The folks who represent Republicans now have abandoned the notion that every political party should be subject to the same rules and laws. Since Trump took office, Republicans have gutted congressional oversight, they’ve perverted the advice and consent process, they’ve twisted the concept of judicial review. Worst of all, they’ve changed the executive branch from being just one of three co-equal branches of government into…well, Bluto. What Bluto wants, Republicans deliver.

In fact, Republicans have become the Bluto Party.

Bluto, if you’re not familiar with him, was Popeye’s nemesis. A loudmouthed, blustering, bully who tries to get what he wants through brute force and/or trickery. In the Popeye cartoons Bluto takes on a variety of guises — sometimes he’s a fellow sailor, but he’s also shown up as an evil professor, a wicked hypnotist, a lecherous lifeguard, a devious sheik, a generic thug.

It’s the same with modern Republicans. They take on various guises, but they all behave like Bluto. You can put Bluto in a suit and a tie, but he’s still Bluto. You can put him in a drawing room or an orchestra pit, but he’s still Bluto. You can spray him with a gentleman’s cologne, he’s still Bluto. You can dress him in judicial robes, still Bluto. There is absolutely nothing you can do to unBluto him. He’s Bluto to the bone.

“You’d better lock up your doors today.
‘Cause Abu Hassan is on his way.
Go in hiding when I come riding
from me and my forty thieves.

Your wife and children, your money too,
I’ll steal them from you before I’m through.
I’m out gunning, so start in running
from me and my forty thieves.

My gang’s the roughest,
But I’m the toughest,
and that’s no lie.
You’ve got to hand it
to this bad bandit,
because I’m a terrible guy.

Comrade Trump, of course, is the bull goose Bluto. All lesser Blutos must bow to him. He’s released the inner Bluto in every Republican in government. For example, Bluto says it’s perfectly okay to ignore subpoena if it’s issued by congressional Democrats. Bluto argues (in front of Bluto-dominated courts) that a congressional subpoena MUST have a legislative purpose. But Bluto Republicans in congress have a long (long, long, long) history of issuing subpoenas for purely investigative purposes — even when those investigations have repeatedly turned up nothing.

I’m basically saying ALL Republicans in government now are Bluto. Republicans in Congress — Bluto. Republicans in the Justice Department — mad Bluto. Republicans who’ve been place in federal courts even when rated unqualified — totally Bluto. You may say that it’s not fair to paint all Republicans with the same brush, and I suppose you’d be right. But I’m of the opinion that if they’re benefiting from Bluto Republican behavior and not calling it out, then they’re Bluto too, and just as guilty as every other Bluto.

The only comfort to be found in this is that Bluto always gets his ass kicked in the end. I mean, it works that way in the cartoons. So I’m sending spinach to Joe Biden and every other Popeye motherfucker running a campaign against Bluto.