He Put His Foot in It Again. His Cleanup Bill Will Be Expensive — Tuesday’s Good News Roundup

Hassan Shokeir / YouTube Edelweiss 1560856851.jpg...
Hassan Shokeir / YouTube

Every left thinking person on the planet wants tRump and his merry band of thieves, liars, cheaters, pedophiles, rapists, murderers and oath breakers to be gone.  Gone as in jail.  Gone as in winked out of existence.  Gone as in never been born in the first place.  We all feel a fundamental visceral disgust with their depredations.  It’s real. It’s palpable. And it makes us impatient.

Over the last several decades we’ve been conditioned that almost every problem can be solved in 42 minutes (and 18 minutes of commercials).  We have trouble waiting a week for a 42-minute conclusion when the story arc runs too long.

In case you missed it, the impeachment of Donald tRump has already begun.  The point of all the investigations is to make his crimes public and both cripple him politically and lay the groundwork for kicking him out of office.

I regularly tag my comments with “Resist. Vote. Indict and Impeach. Convict. Imprison.”  It’s what I dearly want to see happen to the people perverting our democracy.  I don’t care about keeping the powder dry or any of the rest of the excuses.  I just want the timing to be such that we get a decent chance of getting the Senate to convict.  Yeah, I know it’s unlikely.  But why not wait for some more of the embarrassing financials to be made public?

Right now, most people aren’t really paying attention.  Saturating the news with tales of tRump’s myriad business failures, bad deals, and outright fraud will move the needle.  Stories of his money laundering, money-grubbing mendacious history will move the needle.  Digging into his Russian and Saudi financial connections will move the needle.  Hell, peeking under any of the thousands of rocks in his garden of misdeeds will move the needle.  Every new lie or stupid statement moves the needle.

Remember, impeachment is a political act.  If you want it to happen sooner go and convince a dozen of your republican neighbors that it’s time for him to go.  Go and be vocal about what a crook he is and make the case all over the countryside.  Spend the time to educate the voters before emptying the quiver.  To undo all the damage we need to take the Senate.  Dethroning McConnell is as important as jailing tRump.  Taking the Senate takes strategy.  One possible strategy is to have any votes to acquit fresh in voters minds when we get to November.

Call for his impeachment all you want.  Convince everyone he needs to go.  Just, please, don’t jump down Nancy Pelosi’s throat because she’s not moving fast enough to suit you.  We’re on the way and we’ll get there.  Don’t worry about what we are calling it right now.

Colbert was on fire last night.

and he had a special guest

On to the news.

Supremes Got Something Right

Although it was decided on technical arguments rather than the merits, it looks like the gerrymander in Virginia is no more.

Mother Jones:  Supreme Court Boosts Democrats’ Chances of Retaking Virginia Legislature

The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a challenge to Virginia’s state legislative maps, keeping in place a new map that boosts Democratic chances of retaking the Virginia House of Representatives in 2019.

In a short 5-4 decision, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that Virginia’s Republican-controlled House did not have the authority to appeal a lower-court ruling that 11 state legislative districts were racially gerrymandered by Republicans and needed to be redrawn. Neither the state senate nor the Virginia attorney general joined the appeal, making it invalid, the justices found. “One House of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process,” Ginsburg wrote. In a strange bedfellow lineup, Ginsburg was joined in the majority by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch. Justice Samuel Alito dissented, joined by John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, and Brett Kavanaugh.

Taking Back the Framing

Frank Sharry has welcome perspective and a four point plan (you’ll have to follow the link) for taking the immigration debate completely away from tRump and beating him over the head with it.  It won’t have much effect on that impenetrable, suet filled lump sitting on tRump’s shoulders, but it should make a difference in November.

USA Today:  Democrats can turn immigration into a total loser for Donald Trump in 2020 — if they dare

When President Donald Trump kicks off his reelection campaign Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, expect him to do what he does in every rally: Demonize immigrants, puff up his strongman persona, and bask in “build the wall” chants. He does so because he believes that immigration is a political winner. Many pundits agree with him.

In the world according to Trump, his 2016 campaign rode racism and xenophobia to victory. In the 2018 midterms, he doubled down, invoking caravans filled with criminals and terrorists and producing an ad so racist even Fox News wouldn’t air it. Republicans suffered the largest midterm popular-vote defeat in American history.

A wiser president would get it: His obsession with immigration fires up his core supporters but backfires badly with everyone else. Encouraged by White House whisperer Stephen Miller, Trump refuses to let up. Since the midterms, he has demanded billions for his border wall, shuttered the government for 35 days, declared a national emergency of dubious constitutionality, sent troops to the border, decapitated the Department of Homeland Security’s leadership, and threatened economic warfare to get Mexico to (pretend to?) bend the knee.

The Stephanopoulos Interview Just Keeps on Giving

That master of the derpsichord, Donaldo the Insignificant, has stepped in it, rolled in it, had vigorous sex (that is a tRumpian style extreme over-exaggeration) with it and then smeared it all over his face.  When he gives an interview to the propagandists at Fox State TV, he just appears to be a colossal idiot.  When he talks to anyone else, he moves from colossal idiot to cringe-worthy buffoon to drooling, simpering, flaming jackass and on to an acute embarrassment to everyone and everything.  His supporters should be forced to watch him be more consistently stupid than just about anyone else on the planet on a loop until they realize just how incompetent and unfit he is for the job they gave him.  Here are just three examples of his epic dumbassery from just one interview.

Wonkette:  Ex-WH Counsel Don McGahn Had No ‘Executive Privilege’ BEFORE Trump Shatteth Upon It On Live Teevee

The former White House Counsel is currently locked in a battle over his testimony with the House Judiciary Committee, and Donald Trump just pantsed him but good. Because McGahn already defied a congressional subpoena, fobbing off Chairman Jerry Nadler just a few hours before his scheduled testimony with a vaguely worded letter alluding to “Executive Branch equities.” Note that McGahn’s very good lawyer Bill Burck did not assert “executive privilege” (although he did quote the White House claiming it) since privilege has an actual, legal standard, and he will likely lose if and when he tries to assert it in court. Particularly in light of the fact that we’ve all read what he said already, assholes.

Clearly, if there was ever any privilege to McGahn’s testimony, it was already waived when the Justice Department allowed the substance of it to be published in the Mueller Report. But McGahn’s laughable claim that he can’t possibly tell Congress what he already told Robert Mueller got a lot more rancid yesterday when Donald Trump shit all over it on television.

The New Yorker:  Donald Trump and the Telltale Cough

And there was the cough. Stephanopoulos had been asking if Trump would release his tax returns and other records subpoenaed by congressional committees. The answer, basically, was no, but Trump said, “At some point, I hope they get it, because it’s a financ”—here, there was a sound of off-camera coughing—“it’s a fantastic financial statement. It’s a fantastic financial statement. And let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer.” Stephanopoulos agreed to the do-over, and fingered the cougher, Mick Mulvaney, who is Trump’s acting chief of staff. A hurried shifting of camera angles ensued, but Trump couldn’t let it go.

“If you’re going to cough, please leave the room,” the President said. “You just can’t, you just can’t cough. Boy, oh, boy.” Trump’s expression took on a hardness, as if he regarded the cough as a willful act of insubordination. He was now looking into the camera, like a television pitchman who has momentarily forgotten why anyone would want to buy what he is selling but remains convinced that they will, because they must. He continued, “I look forward to—frankly, I’d like to have people see my financial statement, because it’s phenomenal.”

One can speculate about whether Trump really has a problem with people coughing in his presence, or whether he just likes keeping his staff guessing as to what he’s going to decide the next problem is. There were, needless to say, other ways that Trump might have handled the interruption—for example, by asking if Mulvaney was O.K. As it was, Trump’s response suggested that he operates under the assumption that people do not have much reality beyond their relation to him. He may also have assumed that his flash of contempt would be edited out of the final cut.

The Hill:  Trump says he read Mueller report while claiming it said ‘no collusion’

President Trump said in a new interview that he read Robert Mueller‘s report, repeatedly claiming that the special counsel’s investigation found “no collusion” and saying it “essentially” ruled there was no obstruction.

“Oh, are you trying to say now that there was collusion, even though he said there is no collusion?” Trump replied before later stating, “George, the report said no collusion.”

“Did you read the report?” the ABC News anchor asked, prompting Trump to reply, “Yes, I did, and you should read it, too.”

“I read every word,” Stephanopoulos responded.

Da Widdle Donnie Got Some Bad News

Why don’t we just shoot the messengers,  blamestorm a bit and then lie, lie, lie and lie some more like your Rezidency depended on it.

Rolling Stone:  Trump Campaign to Fire Pollsters After Poor Polling Numbers Leaked

If the president doesn’t like reality, he just finds a new one. And that certainly seems to be the case when it comes to his pollsters. The president’s campaign has said it will fire the polling firms who conducted polls that found President Donald Trump trailing behind former vice president Joe Biden in key battleground states and then let the data leak to the media.

According to the president’s internal polling data obtained by ABC News, Biden led Trump by double digits in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden also led in Florida by seven points, and Trump held only a small lead in Texas.

Of course, the president predictably denied the poor poll results, bragging that he has “great internal polling” and telling George Stephanopoulos: “We are winning in every single state that we’ve polled. We’re winning in Texas very big. We’re winning in Ohio very big. We’re winning in Florida very big.”

Hey Mitch.  Bite Me, You Worthless Bag of Oil Slick Saturated Pig Vomit

In addition to all the other stuff (like Jon Stewart calling him out or all those bills he has to find room to bury) poor Addison has to not deal with, his sweet numikins is getting some heat.  Turns out shilling for your dad while getting a government check is high up on the list of unethical stuff you shouldn’t do.  Who knew?

CNN:  Spotlight on Elaine Chao after public appearances with family members

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao‘s public appearances with her family members who run an international shipping company have drawn condemnation from government watchdogs and House Democrats who argue Chao appears to have used her office to benefit her family.

The criticism has largely focused on the way in which Chao has associated her government office and title with her father, James S.C. Chao, the founder of the Foremost Group, a US-based shipping company with business ties to China.
During her time in the Trump administration, Elaine Chao has sat with her father for Chinese-language media interviews, appeared with him at an award ceremony and at a photoshoot listed on her schedule with him and other Foremost Group employees at the media center of the Department of Transportation, which oversees the US shipping industry.
A CNN review of Chinese media reports and other documents finds that Elaine Chao, who previously served as labor secretary during the Bush administration, has accompanied her father or sister, Angela Chao, the current CEO of Foremost Group, to more than a dozen events in China in roughly the last decade, which have included meetings with Chinese government officials.

Parts of the RWNJosphere Have Crash-Landed and Are Burning Out of Control

Angelin and the Daily Stormer took it on the chin to the tune of $4.1 million the other day.  The ongoing case against Alex Jones and Infowars is looking like a loss for another one of tRump’s “very fine people”.  It couldn’t happen to a more demented lunatic (because Jones has cornered the market on demented, senseless ranting).  Now he’s getting investigated for child porn.  Color me not surprised even a teeny, tiny bit.

The HIll:  Sandy Hook lawyers say FBI notified after receiving child porn from Alex Jones

Lawyers representing families of Sandy Hook massacre victims said in a new court filing they found child pornography in electronic files turned over to them by Infowars founder Alex Jones.

The law firm Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder said it made the discovery after Jones turned over the files in response to the families’ lawsuit against him, according to The Connecticut Post.

Swamp Talk

Finally, we have some good news about a swamp.  No, not the one on the Potomac inhabited by two-legged snakes, worms and thieves.  This one’s in North Carolina and proves that swamps without politicians(R) are very cool.

World at Large:  The Fifth Oldest Tree In The World Was Discovered In US, But It’s Not A Sequoia

In a stand of bald cypress trees on a North Carolina nature preserve, scientists discovered a tree whose leaves were tasting the moist, swampy air back when Nebuchadnezzar II was busy ascending to the throne of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

“There are surely multiple trees over 2,000-year-old trees at Black River. It’s my belief there are some approaching, if not exceeding, 3,000 years old”, says Professor David Stahle at the University of Arkansas.

Examining a sample of one great bald cypress, and applying the techniques of a discipline called dendrochronology (the study of tree rings), researchers were able to radiocarbon date the tree back 2,624 years ago, making it the fifth oldest tree in the world and the oldest in the Eastern United States.

Sign Me Up

One of the things that scares the dickens out of me is the prospect of losing my memory.  I’ve talked to people who were aware of what was happening to them and were able to articulate just how much they knew they were losing.  It is one of the cruelest of fates.  I really, really, really hope this works.

Good News Network:  After Breakthrough Trials, Alzheimer’s Vaccine That Uses the Body’s Immune System May Soon Be Tested on Humans

Behind the memory impairments, there is a perfect storm of destruction in the brain, stemming in part from accumulations of a protein called tau. Normally a stabilizing structure inside of neurons, tau can accumulate in long tangles that disrupt the ability of neurons to communicate with one another.

In groundbreaking studies at the University of New Mexico, however, researchers have developed a vaccine that could prevent the formation of the tau tangles and potentially prevent the cognitive decline typically seen in Alzheimer’s patients.

According to a paper published last week in NPJ Vaccines, the team reported it had engineered a vaccine using virus-like particles (VLPs, for short) that eliminated the tau tangles in mice that had been bred to develop symptoms like those affecting human Alzheimer’s patients.

Musical Interlude

We lost Malcolm John Rebennack back on June 6th.  Here he is, with The Band back in 1976.

Framing for Effect

One of the problems in combating the disinformation fountain spewing lies on tRump’s behalf is that we don’t own the framing.

One way to combat that is to use vehicular or structural metaphors to describe the issues.  By using a metaphor to make an argument we inherit the biases associated with the metaphor.  Since disease are generally bad, linking  Republicanism to a disease works fairly well.  If your audience buys into even one of your surface arguments, the disease metaphor surrounding it will tend to reinforce that argument and help make the other linked points more convincing.  Most tRump supporters are not sophisticated thinkers (if they were they wouldn’t be tRump supporters), so finding and exploiting the weaknesses in their belief systems is possible given the right levers.  The problem is in finding the levers.

Using an example like this might move someone with health issues:

tRump is a cancerous tumor on the body politic.  He is not the only one.  The republican party has metastasized into a systemic infection.  We must vaccinate ourselves against the creeping sickness that is embodied by today’s right wing rhetoric.

It’s not only their sycophantic pandering to the ever more capricious and idiotic whims of their wannabe dictator; it’s also the wrong-headed brain-dead policy positions on everything from climate science to voting rights.  These proponents of inhumanity and stupidity are clearly suffering from a form of political dementia.  They are dwelling so far in the past that have clearly forgotten everything that has happened since the signing of the Magna Carta.

Short Takes

A new sentence type has been identified by American grammarians.  It describes sentences praising Donald tRump’s virtues — the third person derogatory.

Calling tRump a good Christian is like calling Hitler a good Jew. (Inspired by the tRump voter in Northwestern PA who is supporting tRump because he’s a good Christian)

Don’t you wish pay-to-play meant giving the neighbor’s kids cookies to run around with your dog in the backyard?

By one notable measure, tRump is lapping the field in the run up to 2020 — falsehoods per furlong.

I really wish republicans would clean up their messes, without involving the rest of us.  They left a steaming pile of tRump on the nation’s front porch and they expect us to hose it off into the gutter while they pretend they had nothing to do with it.

War is barbaric.  tRump is moronic.  Putin is despotic.  McConnell is demonic.  tRump supporters are just plain ick.

Merrill Lynch used to be bullish on America.  Donald tRump is bullshitish.

tRump has asked the Pentagon to rename the USS McCain to the USS Bone Spurs.

tRump wants his family court to be the new American Camelot.  We can call it Camelsnot.


Quote(s) of the Day

A lot of people insisted on a wall between modern dance and ballet. I’m beginning to think that walls are very unhealthy things. — Twyla Tharp

The notion of the hero as outsider, as alien, is forget it, over, done with. It’s not about being against society anymore. It’s about standing there, holding something up. It’s not pulling away. — Twyla Tharp

It is extremely arrogant and very foolish to think that you can ever outwit your audience. — Twyla Tharp


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