President Pence? Unlikely

So, if impeachment IS a coup as Republicans say it is, well, then the primary suspect behind this illegal power grab wouldn’t be Nancy Pelosi or Adam Schiff or Hillary Clinton.

No. It would be the guy who ends up in power. That’s how coups work.

You want to call it a coup? Maybe wonder where the fuck Mike Pence has gotten to lately.

Stonekettle Station

Because Pence is implicated in Trump’s crimes, he can’t serve either. I’ve heard that scenario run down on Today, Explained, The Nine Impeachment Scenarios

Continue reading “President Pence? Unlikely”

OK Boomer

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, sky is sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money, monopoly
I’d love to change the world
But I don’t know what to do
So I’ll leave it up to you

Ten Years After

I ran across the retort OK Boomer in a podcast once. I’ve since forgotten which one it was. I’d never heard it applied to anyone until Jim confessed to his cardinal sin on Facebook. It fits perfectly. Sadly, it fits all too well when describing our current state of affairs and the despicable hand-waving that the I’ve got mine, get yours set engages in almost daily. Hand-waving designed to deflect any attachment of fault to their ill-gotten gains. I’ve done the best that I can to make the world a better place over my lifetime, and that time ain’t over yet. It ain’t over for the Boomers as a group, either. All they have to do is stand up and be the best people they can be, rather than allow the narcissists and their defenders to be the voice of their generation. If we leave it up to the millennials to fix our shit, we deserve to be disrespected with the phrase OK Boomer.

Ten Years After – I’d Love to Change the World

You want respect from the next generation? Well, then you should have left the planet in better shape than you found it. Simple as that. And we didn’t.

Stonekettle Station

I, of course, was accosted with OK Boomer as a response to this. Too bad I’m not a Boomer.

Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z Explained

Generational cohorts are defined (loosely) by birth year as the article goes into in depth. One might think that because my birth year is before 1964 that I would be considered a boomer. The Wife, who was born a few months after me, identifies as a boomer. I’m not a Boomer in any sense of the term other than birth year. I am Generation X. Solidly Generation X.

How is that? Like so many things boomers (and other average humans) believe, generational cohorts is just another thing that they have wrong, if they think that what makes up a generation is absolutely defined by the year of birth. The reason why you can’t set years and dates to separate generations is because the influences that make up the generation vary from household to household and from town to farm to city. I was the child of parents born after the start of World War II. My parents were born during the war, making them both too young to be boomers but too old to be counted as part of the Greatest Generation. I was the elder of a large family, all younger than me, so their influences were largely my influences.

The Wife was the only child of parents who fought in World War II. Her parents were of the Greatest Generation. She is a Boomer in every sense of the word, in every way the Boomer cohort is measured. Her parents stayed married, my parents divorced. Etcetera, etc, etc. You can go down the list. Everything aside from year of birth makes me a member of Generation X. I really don’t like Boomers, aside from the Wife and other RL friends. Too many self-important assholes in that group.

…aside from which, I own an electric car, I compost and recycle, and I’ve been recycling since the 70’s. I’m poor and I admit it. The OK Boomer retort does not apply to me. But thanks for thinking of me anyway.

Stormtrumping Fascist Rant

Stormtrumpers are fascists because white supremacy has always been fascist. Stormtrumpers are white supremacists because they lock brown people up in cages for being brown people. They send people out of the United States for being brown people in their white country. They don’t lock up white people and send them away. They only lock up brown people and send them away. Demonstrable white supremacy.

From the very beginning. From the day that white supremacists created the notion that you could enslave people because of their skin color, because their skin color made them inferior, they’ve been practicing fascism and they didn’t even know it. White supremacy was fascist before there even was a thing called fascism.

Count on Europeans to take something that should be hidden from view and make it into something you can organize a state around. America looks sheepish because Hitler says we inspired him, and the world fights a war over it. When the war’s over we all say “no more judging people by their ethnicity.” Except that no one meant it, and here we are right back where we were in 1939. Locking people up in cages because of where they are from and what they look like. Stealing their children.

Calling Stormtrumpers fascist is hardly a stretch. One of Trump’s early supporters did the Nazi salute and yelled “Heil Trump” (editor’s note: hell. He’s not even the only one to do it) in front of cameras, and he did it seriously, not for comedy. You can’t get more fascist than that. They are fucking fascists. Now they’re trying to tell us we can’t prosecute their self-anointed god-emperor, Trump the Orange Hate-Monkey, for the crimes he brags about committing. Brags about, daily. These people are pathetic and I have no idea why we are still allowing them to fuck up our country.

Submitted to Lewis Black’s The Rant is Due. Facebook link.

Putting Trump where he belongs.

The following is appended just to hear Lewis say “fuck you” several times.

Lewis Black – Frustrated Union of Cynical Kindreds Universal

I’d love to be a member of the Union. Thanks for offering, dear reader.

Tracking Periods in Missouri

The Missouri state health director, Dr. Randall Williams, testified at a state hearing Tuesday that he kept a spreadsheet to track the menstrual periods of women who visited Planned Parenthood, an action that one lawmaker has called on the governor to investigate.

The spreadsheet, which was made at Williams’ request by the state’s main inspector, helped to identify patients who had undergone failed abortions.

Kansas City Star, Missouri health director kept spreadsheet of Planned Parenthood patients’ periods by Crystal Thomas

It gives me no pleasure to say I told you so. Not even the ambivalence of schadenfreude. but I did tell you this would happen.

…I am slightly amused, though, reflecting on the denial of anti-abortionists who insisted that no behavior of that kind would be required to save all the lives of the unborn. It’s too bad they don’t understand how the law works, or they might have been smart enough to realize they didn’t want to go where their beliefs were taking them.

Vindman vs. Sondland

I put a lot more stock in the testimony of career military officers like Colonel Vindman than I do in some rich real estate developer who bought his way into a diplomatic position.

U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY18)
Impeachment: A Daily Podcast – ‘It’s as Bad as You Think,’ Says Congressman Inside Impeachment Hearings – October 30, 2019

…or one that bought his way into the presidency.

Who is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman? Well, here’s a few things to know. He works at the White House as a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. He heard the call on July 25 between President Trump and President Zelenskiy of Ukraine. He’s active-duty Army. And today he has testified in the impeachment inquiry underway on Capitol Hill.

NPR, Who is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman?

The twins, Alexander and Yevgeny Vindman, both ended up working for the White House under President Trump. Both Vindmans served in the U.S. Army, and both rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Each now works for the National Security Council.

Theirs is, in the abstract, the quintessential American story. Migrants who arrived from the former Soviet Union at age 3 who’ve since dedicated their lives to serving their new country. The Vindmans’ experience is a manifestation of the poem at the base of the statue: They are part of the impoverished, huddled masses seeking the chance to breathe free. They did so, deeply.

The Washington Post, The fundamentally un-American attacks on Alexander Vindman

Hamilton Anticipated an Orange Hate-Monkey

To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good. It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist # 1

I recently finished reading Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It gave me a new respect for this, the most maligned member of the group referred to as our founding fathers. Not only did he anticipate the Orange Hate-Monkey, he anticipated the disposition of the Democrats and Republicans as believing they both have the exclusive ownership of the truth.

In the last analysis, democracy isn’t just a set of institutions or shared principles, but a culture of mutual respect and civility. People must be willing to play by the rules or the best-crafted system becomes null and void, a travesty of its former self. We are now seeing on a daily basis presidential behavior that would have been unimaginable during more than two centuries of the American experiment. Not only is Trump himself on trial, but he is also testing our constitutional system to the breaking point. In his worst imaginings, however, Hamilton anticipated — at least in its general outline — the chaos and demagoguery now on display in Washington. He also helped design and defend the remedy: impeachment.

Washington Post – Ron Chernow – Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Trump is what he had in mind.

Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi

Yep. Agreed. Terrorists and dictators should be handled severely and quickly. Handled severely should be read as killed for those who, like me, need direct language. One could argue that with each step Trump takes down dictator lane, he gets one step closer to being handled severely himself. It would be smart for those around Trump to explain these facts of life to him before he goes too far.

…and if he doesn’t listen to the advice given by people concerned for his and the nations safety, we could call that suicidal behavior. Just one more reason to impeach him. Justice is served how and when it has to be. You don’t have to like it, but it remains justice in any case.

Trump did not kill Baghdadi. Delta Force did.

Facebook comments.

Due process is reserved for people who respect the process.

Justice is served in the time and place that it has to be. In the case of Saddam Hussein, who did get his trial, was subjected to due process, justice was hardly gentle. Slightly more gentle than what Gaddafi felt. You are wasting your sympathy lamenting the death of Baghdadi. Opining about the lack of due process. He’d cut your head off as soon as look at you. Not everyone deserves a fair trial. Deserters on a battlefield get a bullet in the back, if they are lucky. Terrorists, dictators and frausters like Trump take advantage of the system. They all count on most people not being willing to shoot them for their misbehavior. I’m for getting rid of the garbage when it is identified. Sometimes that means justice is brutal.

If you are sent to serve in a war, all your fellow soldiers rely on you to do your job. If you don’t do your job, their lives are at risk. The military is a machine whose parts are people. Like any machine will, the military breaks down if the parts don’t work the way they are supposed to work. If you don’t want to fight and die, then don’t go to war. Don’t sign up for the military.

I don’t spit on people who dodged the draft and were honest about it. Go to Canada. Go to jail. Ol’ BoneSpurs is the only kind of draft dodger I will spit on. The kind that made up shit to keep himself from serving. The kind that buys their way out of service, a convenience denied to the poor. Don’t skip out and pretend that you were justified in escaping your duty. You aren’t, no matter how much money you have in your pocket.

Shooting deserters in the back is not murder if that is the right thing to do. If that is what keeps the military machine running the way it is supposed to. It’s still taking another person’s life, but sometimes that has to be done. I hope to get out of life without having to kill another person. That is why I didn’t join the military. I know I can kill, I simply don’t want to anymore. Not killing would be winning the game, in my estimation. How to win the game of life, escape without taking another person’s life. Baghdadi lost that game a long, long time ago.

Pluspora comments.

NYT: The Daily, The Life and Death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
The Daily – The Life and Death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – Oct. 29, 2019

Donald Trump is a fake. Fake as in you can tell when the guy is reading off the script. He’s horrible at linking thoughts together and clearly resents being told to stay on point. But he loves watching people blow up. You can tell that just by the animation in his voice listening to him describe how Baghdadi dies to the reporters at the press conference. It is sickening.

Pluspora comment.

Stormtrumpers Take Note

I was fixing links in Caveat Emptor today and realized that I had never linked directly to the original material for this video that was referenced under the observation that Trump was a shameless self-promoter. The original content was a Huffington Post piece that was just the video running in an otherwise empty page, and Huffpo is now owned by Verizon and I’m not a fan of Verizon or their expanding empire. The link in Caveat Emptor now points to this article, through the magic of time travel. Traveling three years into the future, with the click of one link. Or, three years into the past, if you click the Caveat Emptor link. How does that happen?

Still Supporting Donald Trump? This Message Is For You – The Resistance with Keith Olbermann – Jan 5, 2017

As I was listening to the audio for the video, while re-editing the rest of the links in the article, links that went to the old blog address, I realized that this video is even more timely now. Timely, now that we are witnessing the potential genocide of the Syrian Kurds, our allies for all the years of the Syrian civil war. Our allies in our vain attempt to see the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad come to an end.

Vain because Vladimir Putin staked his reputation on Assad and vain because we allowed a dictator to take control of Turkey. A dictator that needed a scapegoat in the Kurdish minority in his own country,a minority that just happened to be taking up arms in revolution in the country next door to his. If only he had a way to get the United States to stop backing these people? Enter the easily manipulated Orange Hate-Monkey, Vladimir Putin’s favorite American president.

Trump has indeed done something irreversibly stupid now, and fixing the problem requires that we get rid of him in a hurry. It’s too bad that Republicans were too chickenshit to stand up to the bully and had to wait for a woman to put the bastard in his place. So, he’ll be impeached, and if we’re lucky he’ll be removed from office right after the Republicans get the balls to remove Moscow Mitch from his seat in the Senate. I’m afraid it will be too late for the Kurds by then though.

Yep. It is just too bad that no one was listening to Keith Olbermann three years ago. Maybe we would have been prepared if they had been.

Presidential Tax Returns Revisited.

Back in 2016 I lamented that we didn’t have Trump’s taxes.

…and I predicted at that time that we would never see his tax returns if we waited for him to release them. I was right. I was right on many counts. This is not proof that I can read minds or predict the future. It is, however, a vindication of my assertion three years ago that I knew who Donald Trump was. That he was dirty and that he was never going to reveal that dirt willingly.

This week we learned that his businesses keep at least two sets of books. One set of books that they show to the government, and one set of books that they show to the banks. There is probably a third set of books out there somewhere that contains real numbers, but that set of books they don’t show to anybody. This isn’t rocket science, this is how you do business as a con artist.

TRUMP, INC. – Never-Before-Seen Trump Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies – Oct. 16, 2019

A dozen real estate professionals told ProPublica they saw no clear explanation for multiple inconsistencies in the documents. The discrepancies are “versions of fraud,” said Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. “This kind of stuff is not OK.”

New York City’s property tax forms state that the person signing them “affirms the truth of the statements made” and that “false filings are subject to all applicable civil and criminal penalties.”

The punishments for lying to tax officials, or to lenders, can be significant, ranging from fines to criminal fraud charges. Two former Trump associates, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, are serving prison time for offenses that include falsifying tax and bank records, some of them related to real estate.

TRUMP, INC.

His tax returns will soon be a matter of public record, as they should be, given that his arguments for keeping them private are being laughed out of courtrooms across the country.

NYT – Trump Taxes: President Ordered to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A.

Not to mention the lawful request made by the House of Representatives that has been illegally stymied by the White House.

NYT – House Files Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure of Trump Tax Returns

These issues will both be represented in points in the articles of impeachment that will be recommended against Donald J. Trump. Who else he takes down with him has yet to be determined.