Politics

Honesty — Fairness — Prosperity — Progress

I've often disagreed with Republicans, but I thought we shared certain ideals and goals. One time, I even voted for one of the bastards.

That has all changed. Pursuing your policy goals is one thing, but race baiting, gerrymandering, voter suppression, attacking the press, censoring the scientific community, and straight-up lying are something else. Trump and the sleazy Republican opportunists who exploit his brainless bullshit are destroying the norms that allow democracy to function. They are betraying the democratic tradition. They are betraying America. There's no other way to say it.

I can only imagine what a real Republican would say, if there were any left.

Misfortune file

"To have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions — wow."

— General Michael Hayden, Director of NSA and CIA for George W. Bush


In 2013, when Obama proposed a military response to Assad's chemical weapon attacks, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other Republican hypocrites opposed the move. Suddenly it's 2017, and the same double-dealing scam artists need a distraction from the Russia scandal and their healthcare incompetence, so they're all for it.


"Politics sometimes rewards braggarts, and Trump is a world-class boaster. He promised a health care plan that would be 'unbelievable,' 'beautiful,' 'terrific,' 'less expensive and much better,' 'insurance for everybody.' But he's abysmal at delivering — because the basic truth is that he's an effective politician who's utterly incompetent at governing."

— Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times


A recent poll shows that Republicans are more likely to hold a negative opinion of President Obama (81%) than they are of Vladimir Putin, a warmongering tyrant who consistently opposes U.S. interests (47%).

I'm not a big Obama fan myself, but these people have lost their fucking minds.


"Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments."

— A joint assessment by the FBI, CIA, and NSA


"Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion."

— From a talk by Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate in Physics


If liberals have a defining flaw, it is our naive belief that other people are essentially reasonable, just as we aspire to be. This flaw is exemplified by recent attempts to explain the 2016 election. Was it the economy? Was our message wrong? Did we forget about our base?

No, it was just racism.

America has always harbored a seething underclass of pinheaded racist imbeciles, but Republicans like John McCain and Mitt Romney were too honorable to play that game. In 2016 the country ran out of honorable Republicans, so now we have Donald Trump.


Republican congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama argues that sea levels are rising not because of climate change, but because rocks are falling into the earth's oceans.

According to the congressman, "Now you have got less space in those oceans because the bottom is moving up".


What are Trump's business holdings in Russia? How much does he owe Russian firms and banks? Why won't he answer these questions, if he has nothing to hide?

Republicans wet their collective diaper imagining that Obama was born outside the U.S., or that he was secretly Muslim, but when confronted with a real conflict of interest, they are suddenly silent.


Despite years of Republican alarmism, and despite Trump's repeated lies about "millions of people who voted illegally", state voting officials reported only 73 'credible' allegations of voter fraud in 2016, many of those still unconfirmed.

137.7 million people voted. Is there any lie Republicans won't tell?


"I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this. I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president."

— Eliot Cohen, who served on the NSA for George W. Bush


After Justice Scalia died, Senate Republicans ignored their constitutional obligation to confirm a replacement, saying "Give the people a voice". But when the people of North Carolina elected a Democratic governor, Republican legislators voted at the last minute to limit his power.

Republicans used to espouse ideals you could almost believe in. Now they're nothing but hypocrites and liars.


More from Ian Mortimer's Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England:

"...blind horses are usually worth only about half their usual price. In case you are wondering why there are so many blind horses, it is because they have been stolen, and blinding a horse is one way to prevent it from finding its way back home or recognizing its true master."

If you think the way we treat animals today is substantially better, you are a goddamn fool.


The CIA concludes that a hostile foreign power interfered with a U.S. presidential election, but the interference was convenient for Republicans like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, so they don't want to hear about it.


Democrats won more votes for the 2012 House of Representatives, but because of Republican gerrymandering, 234 Republicans were elected — versus only 201 Democrats.


Think about the millions of hours that Americans waste on football. Now imagine a world where the same Americans spend even half that time studying history or economics, or reading a reputable news source, or doing any of the things it takes to be an effective voter.

Don't wave that goddamn flag if you're not willing to do the work.


"No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. ... When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American."

Dorothy Thompson, who interviewed Hitler and was the first American journalist expelled from Nazi Germany


What gives Vladimir Putin and his miserable third-rate country the idea that they can commit an act of war against our closest ally? A weak U.S. president, that's what.


"The panel's findings reinforce a conclusion that... should remain stunning and unacceptable to all Americans: A hostile foreign power intervened on behalf of a particular presidential candidate, who is now in the White House, and that power likely intends to meddle again. Also stunning is that, in the face of this continuing national security threat, partisanship has led many Republicans to deny the obvious and smear patriotic intelligence officials."

The Washington Post, speaking of Senate Intelligence Committee work that reiterates findings of the FBI, CIA, and NSA.


Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to require the same background checks for Trump appointees that he insisted on for Obama's Cabinet picks.

Time and time again McConnell shows himself to be the biggest hypocrite in American politics.


"The modern conservative is not even especially modern. He is engaged, on the contrary, in one of man's oldest, best financed, most applauded, and, on the whole, least successful exercises in moral philosophy. That is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

John Kenneth Galbraith


In The Washington Post, Josh Dawsey reports that:

"President Trump nixed issuing a statement that praised the heroism and life of Sen. John McCain, telling senior aides he preferred to issue a tweet before posting one Saturday night that did not include any kind words for the late Arizona Republican."

Even worse:

"McCain's popularity among Republicans has dropped as Trump has taken over the party. In a recent Fox News poll, 41 percent of Republicans said they had a favorable opinion of McCain... Trump's approval is close to 90 percent among Republicans."

That tells you everything there is to know about today's Republican Party.


In the Washington Post, Michael Gerson summarizes the career of conservative favorite Alex Jones at InfoWars:

"At various points, Jones has promoted the belief that 9/11 was an 'inside job,' that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of a pizzeria, that NASA had built a child slave colony on Mars in order to harvest blood and bone marrow, that the Oklahoma City bombing, the Boston Marathon bombing and the Sandy Hook school shooting were government 'false flag' operations, that some shooting survivors were 'crisis actors,' that 'globalists' are intent on committing genocide and that Democrats are on the verge of launching a second civil war."

There are some ridiculous and unlikable people on the left, but I've never seen anyone like that.


The flag belongs to everyone, not just veterans, but not everyone enjoys the rights and protections that it represents. That's what black football players are protesting, and that's what conservatives refuse to acknowledge, or even discuss. Instead they hide behind the flag. Conservatives aren't 'respecting' veterans when they do this, they're using veterans to distract the public from their own selfishness and racism.


"To call this past weekend in the Trump administration a garbage fire would be a disservice to garbage fires, which at least shed light and get rid of garbage."

— Alexandra Petri in The Washington Post


"Remember when a white man in Boston, spouting Trump slogans, beat up a homeless man outside a subway station? Trump responded: 'People who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.' Remember when a Trump supporter punched an African American man at a rally? Trump said that his follower 'obviously loves his country.' Remember when the alt-right provoked violence in Charlottesville? Trump pronounced some white nationalists to be 'very fine people.'"

— Michael Gerson in the Washington Post


"You know things are looking grim for President Trump when he starts tweeting about Hillary Clinton again. Monday evening he sounded trapped and wounded: 'Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech.' Well, perhaps it is because she is not president, did not hold back her tax returns, did not constantly cheer for Vladimir Putin, did not hire a host of pro-Putin flunkies and did not have aides who lied about contact with Russian officials."

— Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post


There is this idea that animals don't experience pain or unhappiness the way humans do. Well, evolution made us feel those things because they maximize our reproductive fitness. And guess what? Animals face the same evolutionary pressures.

They have similar nervous systems. They respond to injury in the same ways. What makes you think their suffering is less real than yours?


Admiral McRaven, who commanded the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, writes, in a letter to Trump:

"A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation."


Republicans specialize in Big Lies, but they enjoy telling thousands of small lies too. A nice example was displayed when Trump's first national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. In response, Trump's gutter sleaze of a lawyer went out of his way to describe Flynn as a "former Obama administration official", but, as The Guardian points out, "Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and warned Trump against hiring him".


Trump's deputy press secretary tries to spin Jeff Sessions' meeting with the Russian ambassador as "a volunteer for a campaign bumping into one at a conference where there’s... dozens of other ambassadors".

The truth turns out to be, "One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and [Kislyak] that took place in September in the senator’s office".

Funny how all of Trump's friends turn out to be complete liars.


"Nationalism always breaks its promises because nationalists hate enemies in their countries more than they hate the enemies of their countries. Millions of American conservatives proved it when they voted for Donald Trump, even though he was an open admirer of a hostile foreign power."

— Nick Cohen in The Guardian


From Ian Mortimer's Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England:

"According to the Charter of the Forest... poachers should not have their hands cut off, as in the days of King John, but loss of limb is still meted out on their animals. Thus a poacher who escapes with a fine will still see his dog lose a paw."

Another revolting proof of the cruelty innate to our species.


While there might be Trump supporters who aren't racist, there don't seem to be any racists who aren't Trump supporters.


"You have no idea how the situation of the movement and H has literally changed overnight... We've suddenly become 'acceptable' in polite society. People who would previously have given H a wide berth now suddenly have to talk with him."

— Rudolph Hess, quoted in Volker Ullrich's Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, writing about the Nazi's first large electoral success. 'H' is Adolf Hitler.


A man yells "Get out of my country" before opening fire on two Indian men, killing one. Another man says "Go back to your own country" before shooting a Sikh man in his driveway. Another attacks two bicyclists, saying "I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary... You live in Trump country now". Yet another attacks a Muslim woman at her work, saying "Trump is here now... He will get rid of all of you".

All that in the first six weeks of Trump's presidency. Those are Trump's people. That's the world they want.


What The Fuck Just Happened Today? — a brilliant daily summary of our ongoing presidential train wreck. If you care about anything at all, you should be reading this.


President Rump says "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated".

That's right, nobody knew. Nobody but Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and everyone else in this country who actually gives a shit.


It shouldn't be necessary to say this, but the Confederacy was led by traitors who made war on their own country because they wanted to practice slavery. They accomplished nothing else, they are famous for nothing else. These racists committed the greatest act of treason in U.S. history, yet Republicans think they should be celebrated. That tells you everything there is to know about the hypocrisy of modern conservatism, and its sickening indifference to racism.


As if feeding hungry children could ever be wrong, Trump's budget director says "there's no demonstrable evidence" that school meal programs increase academic performance.

Actually there is lots of evidence, but, like the rest of the Republican Party, Trump is too heartless and stupid to care.


"His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."

A Psychological Analysis of Adolf Hitler, compiled by the OSS, predecessor of the CIA