Posted by at 1:23 PM on October 15, 2016
Oct 152016

el monstruoClick to, um, enlarge.

Allen Clifton

At this point, there’s not even a shred of sane or rational logic anyone can use to defend Donald Trump.

While I don’t feel sorry for those who continue to do so, I do pity the fact that there are millions of people who are so deplorable that, even after Friday’s [Oct. 7] stunning story where he more or less said he believes he has the right to sexually assault women, they still think he should be president.

Yeah ick.  The Monster— El Monstruo— has awakened.  The past week has been an historic onslaught of karmic retribution unprecedented in American politics.  Watching a psychopathic liar rant that all his sexual assault victims are fictional, is not just attempted gaslighting;  it’s insanity on parade.

“At this point,” any rationale remaining Trump supporters have for claiming they are morally fit human beings is also out the window.

The revelation of recent events have created an unprecedented moral litmus test for all eligible voters in the United States.  No Americans can reasonably ignore the magnitude of Donald Jerk Trump‘s lack of moral fitness to hold any elected office, without violating their own moral standards.  Unless, of course, their moral standards are even lower than Donald Trump’s.  And that’s, you know, deplorable.

Read the following horrendous list of things Trump supporters must gag down to continue enabling a sexual pervert and pathological liar for the presidency of the United States.

  1.  Publicly mocked a man with disabilities. 
  2.  Publicly attacked the parents of a fallen American hero. 
  3.  Belittled POWs and the war record of Sen. John McCain. 
  4.  Lied about how much money he raised for veterans. 
  5.  Called a former Miss Universe “disgusting” and fat, telling his Twitter followers to go find her [non-existent] sex tape. 
  6.  Accused an American-born federal judge of being unfit to do his job because of his Mexican heritage. 
  7.  Has likely avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades. 
  8.  Called most Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, even though that’s not remotely factual. 
  9.  Lied about seeing “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on 9/11.
  10.  Lied about getting a letter from the NFL complaining about the debate schedule. 
  11.  Tried to exploit the death of an African American woman in Chicago to say that’s why black voters will support him. 
  12.  Found the “bright side” to tragedies because his poll numbers tend to go up. 
  13.  Settled with the Department of Justice after his company was found guilty of racially discriminating against minorities. 
  14.  Has “cheated” [committed adultery] on at least one wife. 
  15.  Was just discovered on video admitting that he not only tried to cheat on his current wife, but knowingly attempted to do so with another married woman. 
  16.  Had his first wife publicly say that he did nothing when it came to raising their children until they were old enough to talk business. 
  17.  Tweeted that women should have expected to be sexually assaulted when they mixed males and females together in the military. 
  18.  Said he wants to target [and kill] the families of terrorists. 
  19.  Stated that he wants to ban an entire religion. 
  20.  Praised a Russian president who obviously hates the U.S. and Americans. 
  21.  Encouraged the Russian government to commit espionage against Americans. 
  22.  Insinuated that another Republican’s wife was “ugly.” 
  23.  Tried to implicate another Republican’s father in JFK’s assassination. 
  24.  Sought out the help of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes after he was fired for multiple allegations he had sexually harassed women for years. 
  25.  Made Breitbart’s Steve Bannon one of his top campaign people. 
  26.  Had a former campaign manager abruptly resign after a report came out linking him to pro-Russian groups that were directly trying to undermine U.S. policy in eastern Europe. 
  27.  Ridiculed Carly Fiorina’s physical appearance. 
  28.  Has said in a public tweet climate change was “a hoax created by the Chinese” — then denied saying it. 
  29.  Was a leading conspiracy theorist when it came to the racist-driven birther conspiracies against President Obama. 
  30.  Dismissed nearly eight years of accusing the president of not being an American with a less than 30 second statement where he didn’t apologize for any of it. 
  31.  Tried to blame Hillary Clinton for his racism.  
  32.  Re-tweeted anti-African American propaganda created by a white supremacy group. 
  33.  Played dumb about knowing who former Grand Wizard of the KKK David Duke was. 
  34.  Skipped a presidential debate because he was afraid of a moderator. 
  35.  Called a husband doing things like changing diapers and helping with the children, a man “trying to be the wife.” 
  36.  Has said he wants more countries to have nuclear weapons. 
  37.  Said he can’t release his tax returns because they’re currently being audited — even though the IRS said that’s untrue. 
  38.  Feels his “star” status gives him the right to sexually assault women.
  39. Doesn’t believe rules or laws apply to him.
  40. Seems to have no concern about the consequences of his actions.
  41. Is impulsive.
  42. Shows frequent signs of recklessness.
  43. Lacks normal moral fitness.
  44. Frequently exhibits destructive levels of narcissism.
  45. Lacks self control.
  46. Lacks empathy, sympathy for others.
  47. Is manipulative to get what he wants.
  48. Cannot recognize his mistakes or apologize for them.
  49. Frequently invents outrageous lies about his supposed successes or experiences.
  50. May actually believe what he says is the truth, especially when it isn’t.* Thanks to Allen Clifton for originally compiling this list



Willard Brings A Butter Knife To Drumpf’s Gunfight

 Posted by at 6:26 PM on March 5, 2016
Mar 052016

Willard2You wouldn’t buy a used anything from this guy; but how about some advice on der Drumpf?

So the Republican Party has finally turned against Donald Drumpf, the monster it created, in an excess of self-righteous hypocrisy. It’s a classic case of what historian Ian Kershaw once described as “the sinking ship leaving the rat.” Anytime you trot out Mitt Romney to accuse someone else — literally anyone else — of being a fraud and a phony who is trying to play the American people for suckers, you have officially triggered the Historical Irony alarm.  —

Ahem.  Go, Willard:

“His promises are as worthless as a degree from Drumpf University.”

Toilet paper is toilet paper, Mittens.

“His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.”

Thank you Doctor Willard;  if anyone should know the danger of adding a stunted imagination to power, it’s you, bro.

“If Donald Drumpf’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession.”

Not to mention that thing, barbarism.

“What ever happened to Drumpf Airlines?  How about Drumpf University?  And then there’s Drumpf Magazine, and Drumpf Vodka, and Drumpf Steaks, and Drumpf Mortgage? A business genius he is not.”

This from a Derp who argued that the nation needed a “business man” to make his version of America great again. But the truth is, no one would argue that the one-term presidencies of Harding, Hoover, or even Jimmy Carter were anything close to successes.

“Donald Drumpf tells us that he is very, very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart.”

“Very very not smart.”  Well said, sir!  Well said!

“There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War, while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.”

Willard should know all about Vietnam, but— no he doesn’t.  He’s never been there, and never been in the military, either… yew.

“Now imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does.  Will you welcome that?

Ahh…  What??

Haven’t we seen before what happens when people in prominent positions fail the basic responsibility of honorable conduct?”

Yes, yes we have!  Serial liars are a plague on our political house.
Marshmallow Mittens

It was good bumper sticker advice twenty years ago when I first saw it, and it’s still good advice today:
Lobotomies For Republicans— It’s The Law.”

Let’s start with their “leaders.”


 Posted by at 9:40 AM on August 24, 2015
Aug 242015



In Mary Shelley’s classic sci-fi horror novel, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus (1818), her protagonist, the brilliant Dr. Viktor Frankenstein, allows his hubris to get the better of him by assuming the powers of the Creator. His monstrous faux human creation, without name or number in the original—let’s call him “Donald” for now– refers to himself initially as “the Adam of your labours,” and subsequently as “your fallen angel.”  Assembled from the disjointed body parts of dead humans, the good Doc’s beloved creation rebels and tries to destroy him.

Which pretty much describes Donald Trump’s relationship with the GOP establishment. His political persona is as much a creation of the political arm of the GOP, Fux News, as it is one of his own devising. Prior to the first, now infamous, 2016 Republican presidential debate, Trump was a regular weekly guest on Fux’s morning program, Fux and Friends, which gave him a long-running, high profile forum to build his political persona. A marriage made in heaven for an extreme narcissist and a cable network, both seeking maximum public attention and approval.

Behind the scenes at Fux corporate, however, trouble was brewing between Fux owner, Rupert Murdoch (an immigrant himself), who wanted to dump Trump; and its president, former Nixon communications adviser Roger Ailes, who wanted to keep him. Murdoch called Trump “wrong” and “embarrassing,” a sentiment his other propaganda organ, the Wall Street Journal, reinforced when it labeled Trump a “catastrophe.” Ailes, on the other hand, knows ratings gold when he sees it and came to Trump’s defense.

Murdoch initially prevailed, as evidenced by Fux News rising star host, Megyn Kelly’s out of the gate attack on Trump at the first GOP presidential primary debate. Megyn confronted Trump with a number of his misogynist statements over the years. Trump did his best to deflect her prosecution, resorting to another of his patented Rosie O’Donnell’ slurs, subsequently implying in a tweet that Kelly was on the rag at the time. Murdoch seemed to have gained the edge at this point, having given Trump plenty ‘nuff rope to hang himself. But when the ratings came in for the debate, which showed that the event had far surpassed the previous record for any comparable cable tv broadcast, Murdoch (now in his dotage), surrendered the playing field, proving that for the bottom line at least, Roger is good for what Ailes ya…if you’re a Fux stockholder, that is. Meanwhile, having been thrown under the corporate bus, Megyn took an extended vacation. (MSNBC, in a severe ratings funk, should hire her to replace the execrable Joe Scarborough.)

So now, it’s back to the future, with Fux once again making kissy face with Trump. And that means either accepting or rejecting his extreme proposals for immigration reform (the only policy paper his campaign has released to date), exactly the issue that the GOP establishment wants to avoid. After their resounding defeat in the 2012 presidential election, they performed an “autopsy” that found that without a much higher percentage of the Latino vote, they’ll never get the keys to the White House again. Where their last successful presidential run, the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004, mustered 40% of the Latino vote, Mitt Romney received only 27%, a 13 point drop. Attempts to produce a viable immigration reform package, perhaps the greatest concern of Hispanic voters, have failed miserably—just ask past presidential candidate John McCain and current presidential candidates Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. Unable to quell the racist, nativist sentiments of their Tea Party base, the GOP establishment decided it was better to downplay or ignore the issue altogether.  

But now that the Trumpestein monster has broken his restraints and left the table, marauding across the countryside and terrorizing the peasants (cue music: The Monster Mash...it caught on in a flash.), the GOP is forced to reanimate the issue. Which means addressing Trump’s promise to: (1) deport 11 million undocumented immigrants (and their families, whether they were born in the US or not); (2) end birthright citizenship (guaranteed by the 14th Amendment); and (3) build a really, really yooge wall (extending 2000 miles at an estimated cost of $168 billion).

Re item (1), not only does Trump want to deport Mexican rapists, murderers, and drug dealers, but also law abiding, tax paying workers and their families, whether their children were born here or not. (Estimated cost: $300 billion over 40 years.) Which brings us to item (2): the only way that he could deport children of immigrants who were born here—which he justifies by saying that, after all, he just wants to   keep families together—is to trash the 14th amendment that guarantees these citizen “Dreamers” all their constitutional rights. (estimated cost to deport the 5 million Dreamers alone: $50 billion.)  And to keep all them thar “illegals” out, he intends to build an impenetrable wall and make the Mexican government pay for it. (Herman Cain inspired alligator infested moats subject to further negotiation. But the smart money is on the author of The Art of the Deal to at least get them gators at a hefty discount if the Mexican government decides to dig in its heels and grows a bigger pair of cojones.)

None of these fantasies have even the slightest chance of becoming real without a major media blitz. But with Trumpenstein back behind the protective walls of the Fux News castle, the effort has begun. Steve Douchebag, cohost of Fox and Friends, judges Trump’s immigration plan as: “A dream list for many who have wanted immigration reform for a long time.

And Andrea Kostintina Tantaros, cohost of Fux’s The Outnumbered, defending Trump’s assault on the Fourteenth Amendment, opined: It wasn’t intended so that a bunch of Latinos could flood over the border.”

With the rupture in the wingnut Force repaired, the rest of the universe will have to content itself to sitting ‘round the campfire, roasting Frankenweenies, waiting to watch the next episode of Republicans Eating Their Own. A fitting epilogue would have Trumpenstein further his rebellion by quitting the GOP and running as an independent.    

X-Disparate Peccadillos

 Posted by at 1:55 PM on September 11, 2014
Sep 112014

DisparatePeccadillosJust click it if you can’t find your glasses.

McCain: Pallin’ Around With Terrarists?

 Posted by at 1:50 PM on June 4, 2013
Jun 042013

Jon Stewart reviews another thrilling episode of the action-adventure  series, “McCain”

Obie Grump Kanobi, as Stewart calls our favorite galavanting action star and former POW, Senator John McCain (Warmonger-Az), has never seen an international conflict where US military forces shouldn’t just stay the fuck home.

As pointed out here about McCain in Tales From The Benghazi Crypt Keeper:

Just as he has never gotten over being tortured by the North Vietnamese, manifest in his ‘bomb the hell out of ‘em’ knee-jerk response to nearly every foreign policy crisis, he will never get over losing to The Black Man in The White House.

Early in President Obama’s first term, McCain beat the war drums on Iran. During the Arab Spring, he demanded that our default response be to arm every opposition group in sight, despite the fact that many of them are Islamic fundamentalists with Al Qaeda sympathies. The strategy of “leading from behind” that operated so effectively in overthrowing Libya’s Mohamar Qadaffi, costing not a single American life, makes McCain’s wrinkled and liver spotted skin crawl right off his malformed skeleton. (That skeletal malformation was the result of a crash landing he endured after being shot down over heavily populated Hanoi by the Vietnamese during one of his 23 bombing sorties.) This is a guy who really, really enjoys the smell of napalm in the morning.

The political point being that arming anyone and everyone who mouths the word “democracy” is not necessarily a trusted ally; that weapons provided to today’s “freedom fighters” won’t be used by anti-US forces tomorrow, a  point that Stewart drives home. (See, e.g. the Muhajadeen in Afghanistan, who we armed to fight the Soviets but who later morphed into today’s Al Qaeda and Taliban.)

In the clip above, one of the vaunted Syrian rebel commanders photographed with McCain during his secret trip to Syria (designed to undermine President Obama’s cautious foreign policy?) appears to be the same guy who kidnapped 11 Shiite religious pilgrims in Lebanon. That would, of course, make him a terrorist, assuming he uses the ransom money to buy weapons.

During the 2008 presidential election, McCain’s hand chosen VP candidate, Sarah Palin, accused Obama of “pallin’ around with terrorists.” This was an apparent reference to Obama’s acquaintance with former Weather Underground co-founder, Bill Ayers, who happened to be a professor at the University of Illinois at the same time Obama was teaching law there.

McCain seems to be as oblivious to irony as he is to critical judgment. A dangerous combination for someone who seems to have an open invitation from the Sunday morning talk show “public affairs” programmers, who regularly offer him a platform from which he can inflict his warmongering bias upon their considerable audience.  

To be fair, McCain seems to be somewhat saner on domestic matters. However, when his carefully self-cultivated image as a political Maverick is seriously challenged by the extreme right wing of the GOP, as it was on the issue of immigration when it could have determined his most recent re-election to the Senate,  he will default to doing whatever it takes to maintain his political survival.

For someone who has so much invested in the legend of his own mind, the image of him as the Crypt Keeper is, well, a keeper.

Mad To The Max: Paul Ryan, Beyond Blunderdome

 Posted by at 2:45 PM on March 19, 2013
Mar 192013

Paul Ryan Beyond Blunderdome

The barn door has closed on yet another episode of CPAC’s Wingnut Woodstock, the annual conclave of conservaschism‘s most extreme proponents. (See our archives for previous entries.)

Among the 70+ speakers were the party’s last two failed GOP Veep candidates, Rep. Paul Ryan (R- Gault’s Gulch), who couldn’t be bothered to even mention his former running mate, Mitt Romney, who was also there;  and Sarah Palin (R-Alaskan Quitter), who couldn’t resist sucking up some sugar water poison from a Big Gulp and throwing some red meat to the Birthers while attacking Karl Rove:

“If these experts who keep losin’ elections and keep gettin’ rehired and gettin’ millions — if they feel that strong about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck-up or stay in the truck.”

Rand Paul, who won the presidential straw poll beating Marco Rubio, 25%-23%, also implicitly took a shot at Rove and the establishment wing of the party, calling it “stale and moss covered,” in need of a complete do-over.  Rubio took the opposite tack, saying that the party just needed better packaging, everything else is just fine… except maybe their attitude toward immigration, a word that curiously never passed his lips.  Ted Cruz responded politely to GOP’s “grey eminence” John McCain, after McCain called him a “whackobird” for supporting Paul’s 13 hour filibuster against extra-judicial targeted killings, ala drone strikes.

All told, over 70 speeches were given.  And while Donald Trump said nothing of substance, he will be remembered for making a further investment in self-parody, talking to a room full of empty chairs after tweeting enthusiastically about how the sponsors were expecting a standing room only crowd for the pleasure of his company.

Empty chairs TrumpSquint real hard and you might see Trump holding court for a handful of starstruck suckups

Noticeable for their absence were Past GOP luminaries New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Virgina Governor Bob McDonnell weren’t invited this year because they had committed the unforgivable sin of, you know, actual governance, an activity antithetical to the overriding mission of modern conservatism— the wholesale dismantling of the US government (except as it benefits the 1%).

Which brings us to the substance of Paul Ryan’s speech, his proposed 2014 budget confabulation. The zombie eyed granny starver once again tried to disguise his Ayn Randian flavored social Darwinism as deficit reduction, framing his argument as the only rational approach to a country teetering on the edge of the apocalypse:

Unless we change course, we will have a debt crisis.  Pressed for cash, the government will take the easy way out:  It will crank up the printing presses.  The final stage of this intergenerational theft will be the debasement of our currency.  Government will cheat us of our just rewards.  Our finances will collapse.  The economy will stall.  The safety net will unravel. And the most vulnerable will suffer.

But it’s not too late.  This budget provides an exit ramp from the current mess— and an entry ramp to a better future.  Unlike the President’s last budget, which never balanced, this budget achieves balance within ten years.

Washington Post and MSNBC economic policy wonk Ezra Klein comments:

These are tremendously important paragraphs. They’re emphasized a few pages later, in the first real section of the budget, which is entitled “The Debt Crisis Ahead.”  These paragraphs matter because they serve as Ryan’s justification for his budget.  They are why we need to throw 35 million people off health insurance.  They are why we need to cut deep into education and infrastructure and food stamps and housing assistance.  They are why this budget is an act of mercy rather than cruelty — because if this future is the only alternative, then this budget is painful but necessary medicine.

But it’s not.  Ryan’s nightmare scenario isn’t likely even in the absence of new policy.  A reasonable assumption of future debt is about 112 percent of GDP come 2037 — and that’s assuming the repeal of the sequester.  That’s too high for comfort, and there’s some evidence that debt at that level could harm the economy.  But there’s no evidence that it would create the kind of Mad Max-style scenario Ryan paints.

Ryan’s GOP budget takes a meat ax to the social safety net for the old, poor, and infirm, all the while sparing the military/medical/prison/financial industrial complex or any other corporate interest group from any sacrifice whatsoever. Ryan ignores deficit expanding tax expenditures that overwhelmingly favor the wealthy, which in 2009 cost the federal government a cool trillion; says nothing about eliminating tens of billions of dollars in direct taxpayer subsidies to hugely profitable industries like the oil companies and Big Ag, many of whom don’t even pay any income tax thanks to lobbyist provided loopholes; and lowers tax rates across the board, which again, overwhelmingly favors the rich. Continue reading »

Teh PIC: Philip Dick, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

 Posted by at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2013
Feb 082013

Prison Industrial ComplexPack ’em and stack ’em: Maximizing shareholder equity in the Prison Industrial Complex

I spent nearly a decade working inside the criminal justice system,  as a paralegal in a law practice that did a lot of work with juvenile offenders. I saw up front and personal how easy it is was for mixed up, hormonally crazed teenagers to mess up their lives, whether through natural rebellious instincts, peer pressure, or just making stupid decisions in general. God knows I made a few myself during what turned out to be an extended bout with aggravated puberty. But with one very minor exception, I was able to avoid the long arm of the law.

A year after I left that line of work, the young teenage son of my new lady friend got into legal trouble. She was at her wits end trying to convince him to change his behavior. So I did a little casual intervention. After I let him relate his side of the story, I chuckled (for effect), and related my recent work history. I told him how it was kids like him that made the adults in the criminal justice system happy as pigs in shit. He was their meal ticket, helped pay off their mortgages, fund their vacations and retirements. He glared at me at first, then a light slowly went off in his head. (Perhaps the image of one of his adult tormentors sunning on a beach in Maui sipping an umbrella drink helped lay down some new neural pathways in his young, still chaotically developing brain.) Shortly after that, he seemed to straighten out. He joined the military, where if he didn’t get his ass killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, probably learned a requisite amount of discipline and parlayed his service into a college education and a decent paying job.

Moral of the story: There be gold in them thar hills, in the slave mines of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). The juvenile justice system is but one rich vein to exploit. More on that particular profit center in a moment.  But first, an overview. Consider the fortunes, and the business model, of perhaps the largest player in the PIC,  Corrections Corporation of America. The following article zooms in on another key key revenue stream of the PIC, illegal immigration.

From ThinkProgress: Nearly half of all immigrants detained by federal officials are held in facilities run by private prison companies, at an average cost for each detained immigrant is $166 a night. That’s added up to massive profits for Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group and other private prison companies:

A decade ago, more than 3,300 criminal immigrants were sent to private prisons under two 10-year contracts the Federal Bureau of Prisons signed with CCA worth $760 million. Now, the agency is paying the private companies $5.1 billion to hold more than 23,000 criminal immigrants through 13 contracts of varying lengths. CCA was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2000 due to lawsuits, management problems and dwindling contracts. Last year, the company reaped $162 million in net income. Federal contracts made up 43 percent of its total revenues, in part thanks to rising immigrant detention. GEO, which cites the immigration agency as its largest client, saw its net income jump from $16.9 million to $78.6 million since 2000.

Just how did CCA effect such a dramatic turnaround? In a word, lobbying. Not just for specific contracts, but against immigration reform as a whole:

As the AP explains, these remarkable profits come in the wake of an equally remarkable lobbying campaign. In the past decade, three major private prison companies spent $45 million on campaign donations and lobbyists to push legislation at the state and federal level. At times, this money has gone to truly nefarious legislation. A 2011 report found that the private prison industry spent millions seeking to increase sentences and incarcerate more people in order to increase the industry’s profits. 30 of the 36 legislators who co-sponsored Arizona’s now mostly invalidated immigration law — which would have landed many more people in detention — received campaign contributions from private prison lobbyists or companies, including CCA and GEO. According to a report released last year, CCA spent over $900,000 on federal lobbying and GEO spent between $120,000 to $199,992 in Florida alone during a short three-month span in 2011. $450,000 went to the Republican national and congressional committees, while Democrats received less than half that number. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were also among the private prison lobby’s top benefactors.

Another major profit center for the PIC is illegal drugs.  Given that the US has  the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, some 2.3 million people (quadruple the amount from when Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980, with the proportion of federal inmates rising nearly 800% during that time); and given that some 22% are drug related, that’s a half million potential customers for the rapidly growing PIC. Breaking down the numbers reveal some salient sociological facts: 70% of the prison population are non-white; 80% of the drug related incarcerations are recreational users, i.e., not violent dealers; and an amazing 3.1% of the resident adult population are either incarcerated, on parole, or probation. (ibid)

Wanna bet where the PIC stands on legalizing  drugs? On mandatory sentencing, three strike laws, and the like? Continue reading »