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I was casting around for something new to say.  Searching for words that would resonate with everyone and help to end our shared national nightmare.  But I don’t think I can get everyone to agree with me when I don’t always agree with myself.  Politics is messy.  It’s frustrating and infuriating.  And it’s become a lot worse since one group has been playing zero-sum, my way or the highway, confrontational games.

We have to stamp out absolutism.  In the real world, issues have 20 sides and endless nuance.  In the rabid fever swamp all there is, is us and them.  It’s not politics for them.  It’s about recruiting members to their cultish pretend party.  It’s no longer about debating policy and compromising to reach viable solutions.  For most Republicans (and some Democrats) it’s about tribal membership and demonization of the opposition.

Moving forward, this level of antagonism is not tenable.  So how do we proceed?

I am an advocate of heaping scorn, derision, disdain, and ridicule on the officeholders whose raison d’être is to perpetuate conflict, while simultaneously engaging with their supporters.  If we can make the leadership look like fools that they are, while not completely alienating the rank and file, we have a shot at reaching some minds.  It’s that or wait for the actuarial tables to kick in and change the dynamics.  Sure, it’s frustrating and depressing to expose ourselves to closed minds, incoherent thoughts and the results of decades of listening to hate radio.  It’s also time-consuming to plant seeds, water them, pull the weeds, and water them some more.  But, every success is one less red hat to worry about.

I suppose we could host all-you-can-eat fried food events for tRump supporters so as to give the actuarial table thing a bit of a jump start.  Somehow, that doesn’t seem as satisfying as succeeding on the merits.  We win on the issues, nuances and all.

Stephen Colbert was back from vacation last night with a report on Donnie’s leaving the country to avoid The Late Show.

On to the news

Recapping Jared’s Cringeworthy Interview with Axios

I don’t know how he managed it, but Jared may be even more incompetent than his father-in-law.

Rolling Stone:  Jared Kushner Can’t Answer Basic Question About Trump’s Racism

This 38-year-old failed real estate developer is the man Trump has tapped to spearhead a number of crucial White House initiatives, including bringing peace to the Middle East. The task is so far above Kushner’s capacity as a dealmaker that it would be comical if it weren’t for the potentially disastrous ramifications of the president’s inept son-in-law trying broker an agreement between Israel and Palestine. The issue came up during his interview with Axios.

When Swan pressed Kushner about Palestine not trusting him or the United States, Kushner replied by essentially saying it doesn’t matter, and that though the Palestinian leadership may object to Trump moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, shutting down the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington, D.C. and cutting all aide to Palestinians, the Palestinian people are supportive. “I do believe they want to have a better life,” he said.

Kushner also said he isn’t sure if those people are capable of governing themselves without the influence of Israel. “The hope is that over time they can become capable of governing,” he managed, adding that Palestinians “need to have a fair judicial system … freedom of press, freedom of expression, tolerance for all religions.”

Wonkette:  Suck It, Libs! Jared Kushner Gives Himself A Swirly On Camera! Triggered Much?

Okay, let’s start with an easy one. If contacted by a hostile foreign power and offered help, should an American political campaign (A) Accept the meeting saying, “I love it” or (B) Call the FBI?

Haha, that’s a trick question! The answer is, quit your “Monday morning quarterbacking,” loser! Jared’s far too busy being an important businessman to possibly know who he’s taking meetings with.

Stephen weighed in on Jared as well.

Gee, Those Former tRump Advisors Just Keep on Breaking Laws (Just Like the Current Advisors)

Is there anyone too sleazy for tRump to embrace?

CNN:  Former key Mueller witness George Nader arrested on child pornography charges

George Aref Nader, who was a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, was arrested on child pornography charges Monday in New York, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

Nader was arrested upon arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport for “transporting visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years.

Slate:  Mueller (Allegedly) Found Child Porn on Phone of Lobbyist Who Set Up Trump-Russia Back Channel

George Nader, the United Arab Emirates lobbyist who set up a much-scrutinized meeting between a Trump administration emissary and an associate of Vladimir Putin’s in early 2017—and who reportedly appeared at the White House “frequently” early in Trump’s tenure to discuss Middle East policy—has been arrested and indicted on previously sealed charges of possessing child pornography, the Justice Department says. An affidavit filed by an FBI agent in April 2018, when Nader was initially charged, says 12 videos “that appear to be visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct” were discovered on an iPhone seized when he was stopped at Dulles airport in Virginia on Jan. 17, 2018 during an unnamed and “unrelated” investigation; previous reporting indicates that Nader was questioned on that day by investigators working for special counsel Robert Mueller. Nader subsequently became a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation. The DOJ says he was arrested Monday at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, whereupon the documents related to his case were unsealed.

Hanging Out with Those Crazy Brits

Looks like our plan to have the Brits keep him has already gone awry.  In a room full of putzes there is one putz who squats below all the rest.  He is the Rezident,  Putin’s puppet, the very dishonorable Donald J. tRump.

The Atlantic:  Trump’s Combative Visit With America’s Closest Ally

LONDON—Roads were closed. Flags were raised. Three days of pomp and circumstance were meticulously planned. By the time Air Force One prepared to touch down in London’s Stansted Airport Monday morning, it appeared that everything surrounding President Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain was going to plan.

Then came the tweets.

“Sadiq Khan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States,” Trump wrote of the London mayor, with whom he has shared a years-long feud, just minutes before his aircraft was due to land. He went on to compare Khan, whom he called a “stone cold loser,” to New York City Mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio—albeit “only half his height.”

Wonkette:  Trump’s UK State Visit Off To Smashing Start, Pip Pip You Betcha!

Hooray, at long last, in the third year of his presidency, Donald Trump has been granted a state visit to the United Kingdom, America’s steadfast ally, which absolutely despises him. And surprise, he’s already fucking it up! If things go like they’ve been going already — he’s only been wheels down in London for a matter of hours — it might be the most embarrassing week in American history to date.

Of course, Trump’s fuckups started before he landed, because he was very upset that the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, had taken her status as a brand new mom with a newborn as the perfect excuse to nope out of having to cavort with the trash-ass president of the United States, whom she despises. Trump called her “nasty,” because he is thin-skinned and misogynistic and has to retaliate when a woman expresses her disgust in his general direction. The Trump campaign called the reports of him calling her “nasty” FAKE NEWS on Twitter, and to prove it, they tweeted the recording of Trump calling her “nasty.”

Mother Jones:  Trump Kicks Off UK Visit by Insulting London Mayor, Complaining About TV

The battery of insults followed a scathing op-ed Khan published in the Guardian over the weekend that condemned the UK’s decision to hold the formal state visit. In it, he compared Trump to European dictators of the 1930s and ’40s. “Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat,” he wrote before calling attention to the rise of far-right groups around the world.

“That’s why it’s so un-British to be rolling out the red carpet this week for a formal state visit for a president whose divisive behaviour flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon—equality, liberty and religious freedom,” Khan continued.

A spokesperson for Khan’s office responded to Trump’s “childish insults” by saying they should be “beneath the president of the United States.”

Live feed from the Guardian

Looks like Theresa May’s fashion sense has been bottled.  Tres bien TRESemmé.

Bored Panda:  Theresa May Dresses A Lot Like Tresemmé Bottles And The 9 Comparisons Are Hilarious

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up

As a private citizen, he was notorious for stiffing suppliers and contractors.  He’s still doing it as the leader of the country.  After we impeach his sorry ass and throw him in prison, we ought to revoke his citizenship as well.  WE DESERVE BETTER.

Huffington Post:  El Paso Still Waiting For Trump Campaign To Pay $470,000 Overdue Rally Tab

The city of El Paso has sent Donald Trump’s reelection campaign an arrears notice for a $470,000 rally bill, ABC News reports. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, on the other hand, has already paid his tab to El Paso for a city event to officially launch his campaign six weeks later.

El Paso charged Donald J. Trump for President Inc. $470,000 for his “Make America Great Again” rally Feb. 11. The bill was due April 24, but the campaign hasn’t paid a dime. Some city costs incurred for Trump’s rally included $381,000 for extra police and $61,000 for fire department services.

“It shows a lack of concern for the community and the tax paying voters of El Paso,” city Rep. Alexsandra Annello told the El Paso Times. “President Trump has in many ways, over the last year, put a financial burden on this community and has yet to show us the respect we deserve. It is clear that our borderland is not a priority of the president.”

Something for You Cafeholics.

Before you go off the deep end and start mainlining the stuff — remember that thing called moderation.

Smithsonian: New Study Shows Coffee—Even 25 Cups a Day of It—Isn’t Bad for Your Heart

Coffee lovers often find a dark little cloud of doubt dogging their morning pour—coffee is so good and so life-affirming, they think, there’s no way that drinking the stuff can be good for their bodies. In particular, people have worried that imbibing several daily doses of caffeine could be hurting their arteries and hearts. A new study from the U.K., however, indicates that a little Java—or even a lot, up to 25 cups worth—does not appear to have an impact on arteries.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London, funded in part by the British Heart Foundation, looked at the artery health and coffee consumption patterns of more than 8,412 people. Each participant was categorized into one of three groups: those who drank less than one cup per day, those who had one to three cups and those who drank four to 25 cups each day. Anyone who drank more than 25 cups per day was excluded from the study, likely because they were too jittery to examine. The participants all underwent MRI scans of their hearts and infrared pulse wave tests, which examines arterial stiffness.

Previous studies seemed to indicate that drinking coffee was associated with stiffening arteries, a condition which causes stress on the heart and can lead to an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. However, after correcting for other factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, height, weight, diet, gender, ethnicity and blood pressure, the researchers found that coffee consumption did not appear to impact artery health. The research was presented today at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference.

Musical Interlude

Short Takes

The overstuffed national colostomy bag, also known as the Republican party, is over capacity.  Foul ideas and policies that stink to high heaven have been seeping out for years.  We need to elect Democratic disinfectors to clean up the mess.

Doctors have officially recognized tRumpean Unintelligible Rhetoric Derangement Syndrome as a chronic condition among his most ardent supporters.  It is characterized by the almost complete cessation of mental activity, an enormous excess of drool production and repetitive vocalizations of the nonsense syllables: NO OBB STRUCK SHUN NO CALL LOU SHUN

Hearts all over the world were saddened yesterday at the extremely poor aim demonstrated by the British ceremonial artillery brigade, when every single round missed the target.

Another newly recognized mental disorder has been reported.  A lack of imagination has resulted in the exact same acronym as the other new syndrome.  tRumpean Unhinged Rural Dingbat Syndrome is characterized by pronouncements so bizarre as to defy explanation, an unparalleled ability to confuse fact and fiction and an aversion to reading anything authored by Robert Mueller.

Congressional Republicans spend all their time building 3rd-grade science fair volcanoes and then trying to convince us they’ve discovered Krakatoa.  Usually, they forget the baking soda and don’t wait for the paper mache to dry before promoting their ridiculous half-baked conspiracy theory du jour.  Looking at you Devin Nunes Gym Jordan Bill Barr.

Trickle down is just another name for suck up.

DJT — wannabe despot, craven nepot, proven crackpot, world-class pisspot.

Teabaggers have moved beyond holistic medicine and embraced the assholistic version.

When tRump refers to himself in the 3rd person is he having and out-of-butt experience?

Today’s Quote

I dearly wish the supporters of the Orange Menace would expend the effort to actually read some of the thoughts of our ancestors.

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. — Justice William O. Douglas


Disclaimer:  Any resemblance between republican office holders and actual human beings is purely coincidental.

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