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

"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


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


President Dumbshit was warned about the Coronavirus in January, by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. So why didn't this asshole order more testing kits, more masks, and more ventilators?

There are only two varieties of Republican these days: liars and imbeciles. In Trump, we have one of each.


"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


"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


Here is the thing about lazy, cynical, ignorant people: if the event cancellations and stay-at-home orders actually work, the pandemic's impact will be greatly lessened, and they will say, 'See! It wasn't a big deal, the experts overreacted'. But if those same precautions don't work, the idiots will say, 'See! We did what the experts told us, and people still got sick'.

That is what you get from a country that values athletes more than it values scientists.


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.


"Trump often announces things that are not quite ready (drive-through testing). As he has done for his entire career, he makes all sorts of declarations, exaggerating the speed and scope of his plans. The Post reports, 'At a Rose Garden news conference, the president said the push to let people get tested from their own cars would involve a new Google website, available as soon as Sunday night'... But — you guessed it! — 'the plan to build a broadly available website is nowhere close.'...

Trump has neither the mental capacity nor the emotional tools to lead in a crisis. Increasingly, the best course of action seems to be to let him blather, but then hand off matters to the real adults who can correct his misstatements or take action in the real national interest."

— Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post


"'This is just my hunch,' [Trump] said as he dismissed a projection of the likely Covid-19 death rate by the World Health Organization as 'a false number'. On Thursday, he said 'I have a feeling' that New York would need far fewer ventilators than the tens of thousands the state has requested. 'You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes, they'll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they're saying can we order 30,000 ventilators?' An imbecile at the head of the US government would always be a problem. But an imbecile so narcissistic that he elevates his own stunted knowledge above the judgment of medicine and science is a calamity."

— Jonathan Freedland, in The Guardian


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.


"While punishing those who dared to tell the truth, Trump is protecting those who assist his coverup. He inveighed against the request of federal prosecutors, following normal sentencing guidelines, to give Stone a seven- to nine-year prison sentence for witness tampering and lying to Congress. Trump also attacked the judge overseeing Stone's case and the forewoman of the jury that convicted him. The Justice Department then asked for a reduced sentence. Four prosecutors resigned from the case in protest, and one quit the Justice Department."

— Max Boot in The Washington Post


"South Korea, which has a population density nearly 15 times greater [than the United States] and is next door to China, has lost a total of 259 lives to the disease. There have been days when America has lost 10 times that number. The US death toll is now approaching 90,000."

— Edward Luce, in The Financial Times


"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


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 and deprivation in the same ways. What makes you think their suffering is less real than yours?


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.


In The Guardian, after Trump's unbelievable decision to defund the World Health Organization, Martin McKee asks:

"Why undermine the organisation that is at the forefront of responding to a pandemic?... The answer is simple. In the midst of an election year, with his approval ratings falling, Trump needs to find someone else to blame....

It hardly needs to be said that Trump has justified his decision with claims that fail to withstand the most basic scrutiny. He claims that the WHO was 'severely mismanaging and covering up' the early stages of the pandemic, thereby delaying the response by the United States. Yet the WHO had warned of person-to-person transmission as early as 23 January. Six days later, his economic adviser warned of the possibility of hundreds of thousands of American deaths. Trump ignored them both."


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.


The Washington Post, reporting on Trump's pitiful coronavirus response:

"On Friday, Trump said he had instructed Vice President Pence not to reach out to governors who aren’t 'appreciative' of his administration’s efforts.

'If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,' Trump said of state leaders, such as Inslee and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, both Democrats. 'I think they should be appreciative. We’ve done a great job.'"

It will surprise no one that Trump's pettiness prevents him from serving all Americans, as he swore to do in his oath of office. In fact, that's why Republicans elected him. They wanted someone to embody their own childishness, xenophobia, and ignorance, and that's exactly what they got.


In The Washington Post, Jackson Diehl catalogs the amazing incompetence of Trump's secretary of state:

"On Wednesday, Pompeo had an opportunity to lead when foreign ministers of the Group of Seven convened by telephone. James A. Baker III, George Shultz or Madeleine Albright would have emerged with a clear statement of purpose by the world’s leading democracies — perhaps a commitment to aiding the poor nations and refugees that face devastation by the new disease.

Instead, Pompeo blocked the G-7 from issuing any communique after the other ministers sensibly refused to go along with his petty insistence that it refer to the 'Wuhan virus.' The message he sent was clear: Scoring a rhetorical point against Beijing is more important to this U.S. administration than forging a consensus with Britain, France, Germany and other close allies."


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 flag if you're too lazy to do the fucking work.


"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 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.


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 we treat animals substantially better today, you need to do some research.


"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.


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.


"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


The Guardian reports:

"Over the past three years, the Trump administration has drastically reduced a team working in China to identify global health threats like Covid-19... The initiative’s 11 CDC staffers have been cut to three people...

The administration disbanded the national security council’s directorate charged with global health and has sought to go further still, requesting budget cuts from the CDC of up to 20% for each of the past three years, only to be rebuffed by Congress."

When challenged on these idiotic decisions, President Assmouth lied, just like he always does:

"Trump said: 'We actually gave CDC more money, not less money. They said we defunded. It turned out it was more money.'"

Bullshit, just like everything else he says.


"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


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".


In The Washington Post, Dana Milbank outlines the presidential incompetence that has exacerbated the Coronavirus disaster:

"Trump depleted the government of scientific expertise and did little to heed warnings to prepare for a pandemic. He blocked Congress from conducting meaningful oversight. He repeatedly proposed cutting public health and medical research. The constant turnover and reliance on 'acting' officials eroded competence. His reckless stimulus legislation during an economic boom... left few fiscal and monetary tools to stop the ongoing economic panic. His constant stream of falsehoods misled the nation about the threat of the virus and contributed to a delayed, haphazard response. His administration badly misjudged the impact of the virus and was claiming until just a couple of weeks ago that it would require no additional government spending."


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?


"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


"Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He’s weak, and he’s ineffective. So the only way he figures that he’s going to get reelected — as sure as you’re sitting there — is to start a war with Iran."

That's Donald Trump talking about Barack Obama, if you can believe it.


"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


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."


"And it's why he reacts with such rage. He fears the truth. He fears being revealed for what he truly is. Extreme narcissists exaggerate their achievements and talents, and so Trump has spent his life building up a false image of himself — not just for others, but for himself, to protect his deeply fragile ego. He lies endlessly, not just in the way sociopaths do, which is to con others, but also to delude himself. He claims to be a 'genius,' even though he apparently can't spell, can't punctuate, can't do math and lacks geographic literacy, and even though his own appointees have privately called him a 'moron,' an 'idiot,' a 'dope,' and 'dumb.' Now, God help us, he fancies himself an expert in virology and infectious diseases."

— George Conway, in The Washington Post


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.


"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


In the The Washington Post:

"U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat...

The repeated warnings were conveyed in issues of the President’s Daily Brief, a sensitive report that is produced before dawn each day...

For weeks, the PDB... traced the virus’s spread around the globe, made clear that China was suppressing information about the contagion’s transmissibility and lethal toll...

But the alarms appear to have failed to register with the president, who routinely skips reading the PDB and has at times shown little patience for even the oral summary he takes two or three times per week..."


Liberals hate conservatives because conservatives refuse to accept reality.

Conservatives refuse to accept reality because they hate liberals.


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.


"Now this world is so arranged as to be able to maintain itself with great difficulty; but if it were a little worse, it could no longer maintain itself. Consequently a worse world, since it could not continue to exist, is absolutely impossible: thus this world itself is the worst of all possible worlds."

The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer


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".


"During the Obama years, the Republican threshold for outrage was at ground level; now it’s so high that it’s lost in space. Back then, House Republicans created a special committee and spent more than two years investigating the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Now, Republicans resist any House attempts to investigate Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus — or his handling of nearly $3 trillion in stimulus. All the House Republicans voted last week against creating a subcommittee to track federal coronavirus spending."

— Max Boot, in The Washington Post


"Trump fired [ambassador] Gordon Sondland and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for complying with a congressional subpoena and providing truthful testimony about Trump's attempts to extort Ukraine into aiding him politically. Also ousted was Vindman's brother, who did not testify...

Trump's ongoing quest for retribution has also claimed Jessie K. Liu, who was abruptly removed as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and replaced by a close aide to Attorney General William P. Barr after prosecuting Trump loyalists... Now Liu's nomination to a senior Treasury Department position has been withdrawn."

— Max Boot in The Washington Post