Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Modern Face of the Republican Party

These days, it's Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA), who believes:
  • Jewish space lasers cause wildfires.
  • Barack Obama is a secret Muslim,
  • Nobody gets killed in school shootings.
  • The Las Vegas shooting was a false-flag operation to promote gun control.
  • There really was a satanic child-abusing cult in the basement of a pizza parlor (which didn't have a basement).
  • Hillary Clinton took part in a satanic ritual where a girl's face was chopped off and her blood was drunk.
  • George Soros was a Nazi.
  • Jews organized the Charlottesville neo-Nazi march.
  • An airplane did not hit the Pentagon in the 9-11 attacks.
  • The Clintons had JFK, Jr. killed.
Then there is Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who is a Qanon follower.

They are the modern face of the Republican party.

Now, if that sounds unfair, recall that the far Right has been bellyaching for years that The Squad was the Democratic party. So, by their own logic, Greene and Boebert are the GOP in 2021.

(Them, and Donald Trump, who plotted a self-coup to overturn the results of the election that he lost. They are the GOP, a party that basically has no platform anymore other than Trump's whims and white grievance.)

I expect Democrats will tar all Republicans with the congresswomen from Qanon. Which may be why party registration is sliding.

Caturday

I don't know anything about this cat, other than it's objecting to something.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Word of the Day: Anocracy

Thanks to Donald Trump and his antidemocratci supporters, the United States is no longer a democracy. We are an anocracy. We've gone from being a full democracy to an anocracy in very short order.

None of this should be a surprise to anyone. All you have to do is surf a collection of blogs on the right side and you'll find ones that are advocating for secession or insurrection. What happened was that their side lost an election, bigly. Rather than sit down and figure out how they can persuade a clear majority of Americans to vote their way, the nutjobs on the far right are ranging from ways to cook the next election to yelling about how they're going to take their ball and go home.

What a bunch of spoiled children: "We lost, noooo faaaiiirrrr, whaaaa!"

There is no unity with such brats. The danger is some of them are seriously crazy. They've been fed a steady diet of lies and conspiracy theories and some of those fools have even been elected to Congress, like the lunatic who has blamed wildfires on Jewish space lasers. Or the one who allegedly was shot-calling for the 1/6/21 insurrection.

Anyone who thinks that there is any negotiating with people who are eager to cut your throat is delusional. And yes, that includes you, Mr. President. The only negotiations that should be conducted with insurrectionists are called "plea bargains".

(H/T)

Because Its Friday

Brit steam at the end of the year

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, vs. Capitol Hill Insurrection

You may recall that, in an attack on the American counsulate in Benghazi in 2012 in chich four Americans were killed, the Republicans held hearing after hearing after hearing. They did that for years, trying to find a way to pin the blame directly on Hillary Clinton, who was then the Secretary of State. At one point, she testified before the Congress; her testimony started at 9AM and ran until 10PM.

Four Americans dead in an attack on a counsulate in Libya. Oodles of hearings.

Contrast that, if you will, to the Capitol Hill Insurrection of 1/6/21. Five Americans died. Over a hundred are under arrest, with hundreds more being investigated. There are allegations that at least one member of Congress may have had a hand in the planning of the attack.

But do the Republicans want to investigate that? Not on your life, they don't. You see, it was President Trump who instigated the insurrection, after laying a foundation of months and months of lies and propaganda of how the election was going to be stolen. He culminated in demanding that his supporters march on the Capitol and "show them your strength".

And when they did just that and they stormed the Capitol, Trump watched on TV, giving it his rapt attention. Calls to him to get him to tell his flying monkeys to back off went unanswered. As his supporters erected a gallows and chanted that they were going to kill Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi, he sat watching, silently. Only when it was clear that his autogolpe hadfailed, that his goons were not going to be able to terrorize Congress into undoing the election, did he issue a tepid tweet to them to back off. Then he issued a video statement, with more claims that the election had been stolen, and then, aftet telling the insurrectionists that he loved them, he asked them to go home.

That is all undisputed by rational people.

Trump attempted a self-coup. He failed. But having failed at that, the Republicans are happily trying to sweep it all under the rug.

Let's be clear on this: The Republican party is dead. It no longer exists. It's the Trump party, now. And it will remain that until conservatives take back their party from that failed wannabee despot.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Proud Boys: The Rats Began at the Top

Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, has a past as an informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly working undercover for investigators after he was arrested in 2012, according to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters.

In the Miami hearing, a federal prosecutor, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Tarrio’s own lawyer described his undercover work and said he had helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people in various cases involving drugs, gambling and human smuggling.

Just think of the idea that one of leaders of the Proud Boys was ratting them out to the Feds. Of course, he's going to deny it. but a snitch is a snitch is a snitch.

2021 is turning out to be a fine year for MAGA-themed schadenfreude.

Speaking of that...

One of six men charged in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy, admitting that the group discussed an incredible scheme to snatch her at her lakeside vacation home and destroy a bridge to slow down police.

76 Years

Seventy six years ago, the Red Army liberated Auschwitz. The day is now marked as International Honocaust Remeberance Day.

It probably bears reminding that the Germans did not go from zero to death camps overnight. It took many, many years of discrimination, dehumanization, propaganda and hatred to turn the German people from having Jews as neighbors to studffing them into boxcars.

The same holds true for the French, where anti-semitism varied between official policy and being winked at for a very long time. The French, of course, were not the only country which embraced getting rid of Jews. There were individual acts of heroism. There were national acts of shame.

As long as there is a Jew on this planet, the nation of Denmark will be honored.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Pardon Power

It seems somewhat clear that, between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, the pardon power has been used to reward political cronies and those who had their backs in criminal matters. So I believe that the pardon power needs some tweaking.

An option would be to make a pardon revocable by Congress. it shouldn't be easy to do, but it should be made possible. What I would propose is that a pardon could be revoked within sixty days of issuance by a vote of Congress. It could be a two-thirds vote of either house of Congress or a three-fifths vote of both houses.

Of course, this would need a constitutional amendment, which probably isn't going to happen.

Dear Joshua Hawley, the Junior Senator From the State of Missouri:
Go Fuck Yourself

Hawley, poor little self-entitled snowflake that he is, complains that he's being muzzled.

First off, the inanity of his complaint is shown by the fact that he was allowed to carp about his perceived slights on the front page of a major metropolitain newspaper.

Second, for a clown who claims to be a "constitutional lawyer", hawley has no grasp whatsoever of the meaning of the First Amendment. Any company is entitled to not air his views. Nobody is forced to listen to his seditious complaints. If he's complaining that they aren't being fair to him, he can go piss all over Ronald Reagan's grave.

Third, a man who was a willing participant in Donald Trump's autogolpe, a man who connived at a blatant attempt to overturn the results of a fair election and install the loser, a man who tried to shit all over the Constitution in his fealty to a cult of personality, that guy is complaining that his rights are being violated?

Give me a fucking break. In simpler times, what Hawley did would have been the subject of a very quick trial and a very slow execution.



For him to now claim the rights of an American citizen after his gross act of sedition is laughable at best. Legal, yes. Moral, hell no.

Hawley should be shunned as though he is the carrier of a loathesome disease.

Edited to add, per a comment:

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Handcuffs Keep Clicking Shut on The Insurrectionists

A prominent activist in the Stop the Steal movement who spoke at a rally held by backers of President Donald Trump in Washington the day before the storming of the Capitol was arrested on Monday on charges that he took part in the riot.

Brandon Straka, 44, was arrested on a felony charge of interfering with police during civil disorder. The self-described founder of a movement to “walk away” from liberalism was also charged with unlawful entry into a restricted building and disorderly conduct.


Meanwhile, Marjorie Greene (QAnon-GA) has confirmed that the GOP is no longer a political party. It is a cult of personality:

Republicans seem to have decided that, for them, it is Trump über alles. Fuck their party, fuck the Constitution, fuck the law, the only thing that matters is Trump.

As it sinks in that the GOP is now in thrall to Trump, expect more and more Republican voters to bail. They will be a regional party, electing hucksters and liars, but that's it.[1] It may take time, but they've set firmluy on the path to irrelevancy.
_________________________________
1. Sarah Huckabee Sanders's motto: "I lied for Trump, I'll lie to you."

Word of the Day; 1/6/21 Ed.

Autogolpe: A coup initiated or abetted by a country's elected leader, especially in order to establish absolute control of the state.

It's otherwise known as a self-coup or an autocoup.

A self-coup, or autocoup (from the Spanish autogolpe), is a form of putsch or coup d'état in which a nation's leader, despite having come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national legislature and unlawfully assumes extraordinary powers not granted under normal circumstances. Other measures taken may include annulling the nation's constitution, suspending civil courts and having the head of government assume dictatorial powers.

That is what Trump tried to pull off, for two months of catapulting the propaganda of his big lie of election fraud, after many months of laying the groundwork for it.

Every Republican who does not move to hold Trump accountable is, therefore, an accomplice in Trump's failed autogolpe.

White Supremacist Terror Does Work


Everyone who communicates a death threat to a member of Congress should be charged to the maximum amount permissible by law. including sedition and terrorism. For that is exactly what it is, an attempt to change or alter a politician's vote by threats of violence.

The radicalization of the far right is a serious problem. So is the failure of conservatives to call them out on it.

And yes, every self-identified conservative who has spent any part of the last twenty years decrying Muslims for not doing more about the extremists in thier ranks, go take a good look in the mirror and know that what you said applies to you, in spades.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Why Republicans Should Support Impeaching and Convicting Trump

If they do not, then the door opens to indict and try sitting presidents on criminal charges.

For decades, the argument for not indicting a sitting president has been that the remedy for presidential malfeasance is impeachment and removal from office. But if inciting and orchestrating an attempted insurrection is not worthy of impeachment and removal, then what is?

What criminal acts of a president would warrant removal, if sedition is not enough? Does he have to be caught, on camera, handing over state secrets to the Russians? Strangling his wife in the Lincoln Bedroom? Raping the vice-president's dog?

If sending a mouth-foaming mob to the Capitol to kill the vice-president and to prevent the certification of an election isn't enough to warrant removal, then the impeachment provision of the Constitution, as it applies to presidents, is a dead letter.

Along other lines, I would argue that every Senator who lines up with Trump on this issue has betrayed his oath of office. Lindsey Graham is a spineless weasel, true. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are flat-out traitors, who will be remembered and condemned by history for what they did. Those three are beyond redemption, they are now and will for ever be pond scum, a stain on the Senate as an institution.

The rest of the Republicans have a chance to repair their reputations, but I fully expect that few of them will have the guts to do it. They are, almost all of them, craven cowards. Trump has their number, all right.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

French Rafale fighters on the USS G.H.W. Bush:

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Farewell, Ambassador Delenn


Babylon 5 and Lost actress Mira Furlan has died at the age of 65, her family and management have confirmed.

Furlan played Minbari Ambassador Delenn in the 1990s sci-fi TV drama, Babylon 5, and Danielle Rousseau in the noughties mystery drama, Lost.

Her family told the BBC the Croatian actress died on Wednesday due to complications with West Nile Virus.

Many of the graphics in Babylon 5 don't stand up very well, CGI was pretty much in its infancy. But the stories were powerful. Babylon 5 changed televised science fiction from self-contained episodes (or two-part episodes) to arcs that spread over more than one season and which had complex and engaging characters. Delenn was one of the most powerful of the characters in the show and Furlan played the role to the hilt.

It's almost too bad it was fiction, for sitting down to dinner with G'Kar over a plate of breen would have been delightful.

Why Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Either Drinking or Planning to Buy New Cars

The criminal defense bar is sitting their asses in butter (as my grandmother used to say):

I know that most criminals are stupid, but Jesus! These guys are redefining the term.

DoJ Goes Eating at Waffle House

Federal law enforcement officials are privately debating whether they should decline to charge some of the individuals who stormed the U.S. Capitol this month — a politically loaded proposition but one alert to the practical concern that hundreds of such cases could swamp the local courthouse.
...
Justice Department officials have promised a relentless effort to identify and arrest those who stormed the Capitol that day, but internally there is robust back-and-forth about whether charging them all is the best course of action. That debate comes at a time when officials are keenly sensitive that the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI are at stake in such decisions, given the apparent security and intelligence failures that preceded the riot, these people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss legal deliberations.

I, for one, don't care if the DoJ has to import Federal judges from across the country to try these cases. I don't care if they have to erect temporary courtrooms on the National Mall, the way that temporary office buildings were put up during the Second World War.

These clowns tried to violently subvert our government on January 6th, 2021. That point is beyond reasonable dispute. Whether it was eighty insurrectionists, eight hundred or eighty thousand, they all need to be held accountable for their actions.

Right up to those who plotted to overturn the government and those who twisted their minds with bullshit lies, including all of the propagandists who are now spreading the lie that Democrats are going to set up re-education camps for the Trumpanzees.

Catnip is Bug Repellant?

Apparently it is. That's the link to a scientific paper about it. The Times has a more readable article.

It's fascinating how these sort of things can develop.

Behind the Curve, Again

We're simply not looking for new COVID variants in this country.

“In the U.K., they sequence about 10% of the cases they see—and you want to sequence about 5% to get a good view of what’s happening in your community,” [Illumina CEO Francis deSouz] said. “Here in the U.S. currently we sequence about 0.3% of positive cases. So we’re not getting a great picture.”

Illumina makes genome-sequencing equipment, so maybe he has a dog in this fight. But still, it's pretty damn obvious that if you're not looking for something, you're not going to find it.

Which, of course, is exactly what Trump wanted, for he had this twisted belief that there wouldn't be a pandemic if nobody tested for the COVID virus. I guess maybe three hundred thousand people would have died of, what, bad vibes?

The MAGA Clowns of 1/6/21 Keep Getting Arrested

Including one jagoff who tried to flee to Switzerland.

Someone observed, somewhere else, that there is a clear disconnect between how the Feds are handling these cases and how they handle everything else. In other cases, they charge the defendants with every possible crime and then whittle it down, if need be.[1] Here, they're hitting the seditionists with minimal charges and syaing that they may tack on more charges.

Whether they are being cautious and are making arrests earlier than they otherwise would or this is evidence of implicit bias towards a bunch of white guys is open for discussion.
__________________________
1. More often, they use the additional charges as leverage in plea-bargaining.

A Fistful of Bernies





Caturday

I don't know the cat's name, but let's call it The Royal Destroyer of Furniture.



And a bonus:

Friday, January 22, 2021

Cue Rand Paul's Hissy Fit in 3....2....1....

President Joe Biden has directed law enforcement and intelligence officials in his administration to study the threat of domestic violent extremism in the United States, an undertaking being launched weeks after a mob of insurgents loyal to Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The disclosure Friday by White House press secretary Jen Psaki is a stark acknowledgment of the national security threat that officials see as posed by American extremists motivated to violence by radical ideology. The involvement of the director of national intelligence, an office created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to prevent international terrorism, suggests that American authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from extremists at home.

The Republicans had a shit fit in 2009 when there was a report about the terror threat from white supremacists, because, well, hell, that's part of their base. That became clearer during Trump's 2016 campaign and then his presidency, when white hate groups felt empowered by Trump. He damn near had to be prodded at gunpoint to denounce the Tiki Torch nazis in 2017. When his supporters invaded the Capitol in an attempt to stage a coup. Trump was watching on TV, with rapt attention. He did nothing to stop them until it was obvious that the coup had failed.

So be prepared for Republicans and self-styled conservatives to have lots of butthurt over this.

Honest, Officer, I Only Broke Into That House to Check the Expiration Dates on the Food in the Icebox!

A former veteran Houston police officer was federally charged Tuesday in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after agents said they searched his phone and found deleted selfies taken inside the building.

Houston's police chief said last week that the officer, Tam Pham, had resigned.

Pham initially told authorities during an interview Jan. 12 at his home in Richmond, Texas, that he traveled to Washington, D.C., for a business trip, according to an affidavit obtained Wednesday by NBC News. He said he briefly attended President Donald Trump's rally after having learned about it on Facebook, but he denied following the crowd to the Capitol, FBI Special Agent Amie Stemen wrote in the affidavit.

The search of his phone revealed otherwise. Agents found video of him inside the Capitol in his folder of deleted photos. Among the images were portraits of the Capitol Rotunda, a selfie inside the historic building and a photo of him posing with a statue of President Gerald R. Ford draped in a Trump 2020 flag.

The time stamp on the images and videos placed him inside the Capitol at the time of the siege, authorities said.

After investigators warned him that it was illegal to lie, Pham admitted that he joined rally attendees at the Capitol, according to the affidavit. He said he jumped barricades surrounding the building but had no intention to commit violence or vandalism, Stemen wrote.

Pham told investigators that he entered the Rotunda and remained for about 10 to 15 minutes to "look at the historical art on the walls," according to the affidavit.

Sure, because following on the heels of a mob of rioters is always the best time to scope out the art in looted buildings.

The MAGA roundup continues apace.

Because It's Friday

Another articulated locomotive is under steam!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

"He Was Raised Better"

That's what the father of a Michigan man who was arrested for assaulting Capitol Hill cops with a hockey stick had to say about his son.

I expect that the guys that the FBI can prove assaulted cops will be in stir for a goodly amount of time.

And this clown, a lawyer, was dumb enough to brag on Facebook about what he did. That got him held with no bond.

Rand Paul Self-Identifies as a White Supremacist

"If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly-veiled innuendo calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book, calling us people that don't tell the truth," he said.

If what you took away from the speech, Rand, is that you're racist and a liar, well, maybe you are. For it clear to any dispassionate observer that all of those adjectives applied to the Trump Administration.

And then there is this, which should come as no surprise to anyone with a functioning cortex:[1]

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top public health experts, signaled that he feels free to speak honestly about Covid-19 now that former President Donald Trump is out of office.

In his first news briefing since President Joe Biden was sworn in, Fauci said that the new administration was committed to being "completely transparent, open and honest," a sharp break from the Trump White House when Fauci said he often felt there would be repercussions for speaking honestly about the pandemic.

"It was very clear that there were things said, be it regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that, that really was uncomfortable because they were not based in scientific fact," Fauci told reporters of the Trump administration.

"The idea that you can get up and talk about what you know, what the evidence is, what the science is," Fauci continued, "it is somewhat of a liberating feeling."

Getting information about the pandemic that hasn't been filtered by Trumpist politruks will be a nice change. So will be opening the morning paper and not steeling oneself to read about what stupid or racist shit our previous president had done the day before.
______________________________
1. Which exempts regular viewers of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carleson, the Newsmax network, or the Onan network.

Just Going To Leave These Here; Bernie Ed









Something I Missed

Four Swedish fighter pilots were given Air Medals by the USAF in 2018 for escorting a crippled SR-71 in 1987.

Random Thoughts

Where do the QAnon believers go now? Wasn't yesterday supposed to be the "Great Awakening", when there would be a military coup, led by Donald Trump, and all leading Democratic politicians would be arrested, sent to GTMO and then executed on live TV? Well, guess what? Trump is in Florida, fuming about his loss of status as he prepares for another one of his endless rounds of golf. Right now, the QAnon crazies are as mockable as those who bought into the rapture hoax or the crap about the Mayan calendar, but not as pitiable as the Heaven's Gate adherents.

Trump's biggest worry is whether or not he can count on his Secret Service detail to fend off process servers and arrest warrants. Since he's only going to be playing at his clubs, he won't have to worry about tee times. Melania is allegedly house-hunting, as Trump's 3,000 sq.ft. quarters at Mar-a-Lago isn't apparently big enough for the both of them.

-----------------------------------

Think about this visual: When President Biden gives his first congressional address, the two congressional leaders presiding and sitting behind him (and one level up) will both be women.

-----------------------------------

Sen. Ben Sasse had a few things to say about the events of the last few weeks and how it relates to his party:

[M]y party faces a choice: We can dedicate ourselves to defending the Constitution and perpetuating our best American institutions and traditions, or we can be a party of conspiracy theories, cable-news fantasies, and the ruin that comes with them. We can be the party of Eisenhower, or the party of the conspiracist Alex Jones. We can applaud Officer Goodman or side with the mob he outwitted. We cannot do both.
....
Until last week, many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon. They can’t. The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them. Now is the time to decide what this party is about.

I suspect it won't be as clean as that, The GOP may fracture, with the loons going one way and the moderates going another. But we shall see.

----------------------------------

I've seen a few comments elsewhere that all of the security precautions were for nothing. That, of course, is balderdash. Nobody was going to take a chance of a repeat of the 1/6/21 insurrection; especially since the same seditious fools who were talking in advance of the Trumpist coup attempt were talking about doing bad shit on Inauguration Day.

Two things may have deterred them. First, the clear fact that their failed coup was not supported by an overwheming majority of the American people, as friends, family and co-workers of the insurrectionists have been turning them in with eagerness and zeal. Second, there were well over ten thousand National Gurdsmen, standing around in the cold, carrying loaded weapons and getting truly pissed off at the imbeciles whose antics made their presence necessary.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Not the Sharpest Mowers in the Shed; MAGA Ed.

A New York man has now been charged with participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection in D.C. after allegedly texting a picture and video of himself in the Capitol to his girlfriend’s brother – a special agent with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service.

Anther bright bulb:

The man allegedly seen holding the police riot shield in the widely watched video of the attack on the Capitol officer has been identified as Patrick Edward McCaughey III, a 23-year-old from New Canaan, Connecticut.
...
On Jan.16, a witness was telephonically interviewed and reported having known McCaughey since they were children, although they last saw McCaughey in person about one year ago, the complaint states.

However, according to the complaint, the witness heard from mutual friends that McCaughey attended the events at the United States Capitol and provided copies of four pictures and a short video sent by McCaughey to mutual friends. The pictures and video all appear to have been taken on a cellular phone at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.

Charges against McCaughey include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees, civil disorder, entering a restricted building or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

Yet another:

The FBI has arrested two people in South Florida in connection with the Jan. 6 breach at the U.S. Capitol, including a former Army captain who ran for the Florida State House last year.

Gabriel Augustin Garcia, a former U.S. Army captain, a 2020 candidate for the Florida State House and a reported member of the Proud Boys, was arrested in connection with the Capitol breach.
...
The complaint said Garcia posted at least two Facebook live videos on his account on Jan. 6.

I expect that the trials for a lot of these clowns will be short and sweet, if they're not smart enough to try for a plea bargain.

Meanwhile, the Proud Boys are feeling that Trump stabbed them in the back:

Proud Boys participants have complained about his willingness to leave office and said his disavowal of the Capitol rampage was an act of betrayal. And Mr. Trump, cut off on Facebook and Twitter, has been unable to talk directly to them to soothe their concerns or issue new rallying cries.

The Proud Boys’ anger toward Mr. Trump has heightened after he did nothing to help those in the group who face legal action for the Capitol violence.

These guys are really special, as in the "rides the short bus" meaning of the term. Anybody who spent any bit of time researching Trump's history would have learned that Trump eventually shafts everyone, other than maybe Ivanka. His word is worthless and anyone who stands with Trump will, sooner or later, get fucked.

So it is with the Proud Boys and the rest of the MAGA seditionists. Those fools all thought that they were doing his bidding, but when the coup failed, Trump couldn't disavow them fast enough.

The Proud Boy conspirators are likely going to end up doing some heavy time in their misguided support of a man who has thrown them all under the bus.

Sucks to be them.

Trump's Last Grift At Our Expense

In the days before he left office, then-President Donald Trump instructed that his extended family get the best security available in the world for the next six months, at no cost — the protection of the U.S. Secret Service.

According to three people briefed on the plan, Trump issued a directive to extend post-presidency Secret Service protection to 14 members of his family who were not automatically entitled to receive it.

Under federal law, Trump, his wife Melania and their 14-year-old son are the only members of his immediate family entitled to Secret Service protection after they leave office.
...
But Trump wanted every family member who had been protected by the Secret Service during his administration to be covered for another six months, according to the people familiar with his directive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe security arrangements.

That means the expensive, taxpayer-funded security will continue for his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, their three children, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his five children, his son Eric Trump and his wife Lara and his daughter Tiffany Trump.

Absent some verifiable security threat, this is pretty much more MAGA-grade bullshit; giving extra security at our expense to over a dozen members of his family, just to prop up their egos-- "ooh, lookit me, I'm important, I have a Secret Service dtail!!"

I don't expect President Biden to cancel this shit, but he should extend Trump all the courtesy that Trump gave to him, which is zip point shit.

Thanks For Nothing, Donnie


It didn't have to be this way. But Trump chose to turn pandemic mitigation measures into a culture war issue in order to further divide the country. Trump has killed more Americans than Tojo, Hitler and Mussolini, combined.

Trump's historical legacy will be bungling the pandemic and his big lies over his electoral defeat, which culminated in a self-coup attmept on January 6, 2021.

But for now:


130 minutes to go.

Meanwhile, in a conversation with friends in heavy Trump territory have noted that the Trump supporters left their signs and flags up after the election, but after January 6th, they all came down.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Not Hard to Foresee This; MAGA Terrorist Ed.

When I wrote this earlier today:

I'm somewhat surprised that RICO charges are not being brought against the organizers of the Beer-Belly Putsch, but I would not be surprised if they aren't in the offing.

I swear that I didn't know about this:

An apparent leader of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group, was arrested in Virginia on Tuesday for his alleged role in plotting to attack the Capitol.

Thomas Edward Caldwell, 65, was arrested in Virginia on several federal charges, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, after he was allegedly involved in coordinating a plan to disrupt the Jan. 6 congressional session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory. During the siege, in which thousands of MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol, five people died and dozens more were injured.

Those fools were conspiring in plain sight on reasonably open platforms. Quite a few have just had their retirement plans reconfigured.

Meanwhile, the disgusting pile of ambulatory fecal matter known as "Pharma Bro" lost another bid to get out of prison early.

Those "Good People" Who Stormed the Capitol for Trump's Putsch

Here's one:

A woman who the FBI says took a laptop belonging to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and tried to sell it to Russians has been arrested.

Here's another:

A Wylie [TX] man arrested over the weekend for going inside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 told his family he went there "to protect the country" and threatened to shoot his children if they turned him in, authorities say.

Guy Reffitt took his gun with him when they "stormed the Capitol" and recorded some of the events on his Go Pro camera that he was wearing on his helmet, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Reffitt was arrested Saturday at his Wylie home and faces federal charges of obstruction of justice and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Wylie is about 55 miles northeast of Fort Worth.

MAGA family values are akin to those of any other crime family. I'm somewhat surprised that RICO charges are not being brought against the organizers of the Beer-Belly Putsch, but I would not be surprised if they aren't in the offing. When it comes to this sort of shit, the FBI is full of grinders

Meanwhile, as more and more of his terrorist supporters are being arrested, Trump is blowing town early tomorrow morning. The timing makes sense, in a twisted way. Trump wants to make the entire trip as president, so from walking out of the soon-to-be former residence to walking into his failing golf club, he has the full presidential treatment.

Sources familiar with the planning tell ABC News [El Trumpo] wants to have a military-style sendoff from Joint Base Andrews Wednesday morning, complete with a military band and a red-carpet walk flanked by troops as he boards Air Force One for the last time, and even possibly a flyover by Air Force fighter jets.

I think this is all just fine. Like it or not, Trump's insistence on one last presidential trip will have the unintended effect of rubbing it in his face just what he's not going to have after noon tomorrow. In less than 27 hours, wherever he goes, he's going to be nothing more than just another rich asshole with a bizjet and a security detail. No motorcade, no preferential treatment from ATC.

Yep, just another rich asshole, with emphasis on the latter word.

Monday, January 18, 2021

NASA's Turd Buffers Are Doing Their Best

You can go read this press release from NASA that is trying to figure out a way to claim that a test that ran for 67 seconds instead of eight minutes is a success.

I'd snark that this is like claiming that a flight that crashed short of the runway was a success because it almost made it, but that would be unfair. By comparison, they didn't even make it out of the traffic pattern.

I would not bet heavily on the Boeing-managed SLS project continuing on.

A Short Batman Story

From Badtux.

A Sincere Message to the Republicans Who Still Think That the Election Was Stolen

First, this:

There was some dude holding up a sign yesterday outside of a statehouse that said that he'll accept the results of the election once we prove to his satisfaction that the election wasn't stolen.

Here is my message: We do not have to prove anything to you or to anyone else. The Governors or Secretaires of States of all fifty states certified the results of the elections in their states (you can see the actual certifications here). Those officials are comprised of Republicans and Democrats. Additionally, Donald Trump and his allies filed dozens of court cases. In many of them, when they got into court, they didn't allege fraud (despite their out-of-court statements) because they had no proof.

And so, they lost. Every freaking time.

We don't have to prove that the election was stolen. You do, and not with a bunch of conspiracy-theory "connect the dots" bullshit. You need actual proof, capable of being admitted into evidence, and that you do not have. For if you did, it would have been presented in one of the fifty or more cases brought by Trump and/or his allies.

We had a fair election. If you do not accept that, you really need to seek competent professional help, for there is something wrong with your head.

We won. You lost. Grow up and get over it.

And if you can't do that, then, with love, go fuck yourselves, your horses, and everyone who looks like you.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Artemis Test Fire


3 minutes to go

UPDATE: That was a lot shorter than the scheduled 8-minute burn time. Something went wrong, somewhere.

More Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Republicans are worried that a corporate backlash stirred by the deadly Capitol insurrection could crimp a vital stream of campaign cash, complicating the party’s prospects of retaking the Senate in the next election.
...
Recriminations [after the coup attempt] were swift, with more than a dozen corporate giants — including AT&T, Nike, Comcast, Dow, Marriott, Walmart and Verizon — pledging to withhold donations to Republican lawmakers who voted to reject the outcome of the election in Arizona or Pennsylvania. One of those lawmakers, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, is the new chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a post that makes him the public face of the Senate Republican fundraising efforts.

The big-bucks donors want stability, so that they can continue their programs to stomp down harder and harder on workers and poor folk. Letting the workers get the idea that they can rebel and stretch some necks means that they might get around to having the masters of the universe do the Tyburn Jig.

When Are the Republicans Going to Deal With the Violent Extremists in Their Own Ranks?

Probably sometime between "never" and "when it can be scientifically proven that Hell has frozen over".

Those of us with decent memories, like the Rude Pundit, can recall that the DHS issued a report about white extremism in 2009. But the Republicans threw a massive hissy fit over it and the Obama Administration, to their lasting shame, retracted the report.

Trump's base comprised the extremist right. His initial statements on both the Tiki-Torch Nazis of Charlottesville and the 1/6/21 insurrection showed that he agtreed with the Nazis and the Seditionists. It's only when the blowback got severe that Trump issued mealymouthed retractions each time.

Republicans, especially Ted Cruz, Josh Lawley and the rest of the Caucus of Sedition, have been pandering to the extremist base of the GOP for years. They've been telling themselves that the extremist right have been made up of good people, true Americans.

Well, now we all should know better. The Trumpist Terrorists are disloyal Americans, traitors to the Constitution. They need to be torn out of the GOP, root and branch, if that party ever has a hope of surviving. Because those people are out there and they feel empowered because they were the only mob to invade the Capitol since the Redcoats.

I'm not worried too much by statements that taking their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages away will make it harder to find them. If there are fifty guys in a secure messaging group, plotting shit, you can bet your paycheck that at least four or five are feeding intel to the FBI.

Wheels; Grinding

Prosecutors in Georgia appear increasingly likely to open a criminal investigation of President Trump over his attempts to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 election, an inquiry into offenses that would be beyond his federal pardon power.

The new Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, is already weighing whether to proceed, and among the options she is considering is the hiring of a special assistant from outside to oversee the investigation, according to people familiar with her office’s deliberations.

Since they have Trump on tape, it might not be too hard of a case to make. In one way, Trump can thank Lindsey Graham for that, because it was Graham's earlier call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that prompted Raffensperger to start recording phone calls.

Caturday

Minnie, a friend's kitten:

Friday, January 15, 2021

Roost; Chickens; Home-- Right-Wing Noise Machine Ed.

"The American Thinker" has published a letter retracting and apologizing for false statements about Dominion Voting Systems.

Buying into Trumpist conspiracy-theory bullshit has consequences, especially when the target of the lies has lawyers on speed-dial.

Going Back Over Shit

First, from 2015, a post about far-right terrorism that had this definition:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

What happened on January 6th was a terrorist strike at the heart of our government. Those who egged on the crowd, including but not limited to Donald Trump (senior and junior), Rudy Giuliani, Michael Flynn, Alex Jones, Ken Paxton are as guilty as any imam at a radical mosque.

But what I wanted to get to was reviewing a post from the day after the last election. I was wrong on quite a few things. But on the rise of Russian and Chinese influence around the globe and the rise of white nationalist hate groups, yeah, I had that right.

Because It's Friday

I haven't had anything from UP for awhile:

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Funny How Fast the Right Flipped Their Tune


These idiots don't know how to keep their mouths shut:

Prosecutors say a Delaware man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag during a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol has been arrested after authorities used the image to help identify him.

Federal prosecutors say Kevin Seefried, who was seen carrying the flag, was arrested in Delaware along with his son Hunter Seefried. Prosecutors say both entered the Senate building through a broken window.

They were charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and degradation of government property.

Court documents say the men were identified after the FBI was told by a coworker of Hunter Seefried’s that he had bragged about being in the Capitol with his father.

Most Americans (and all loyal Americans) don't look too kindly on the MAGA terrorists and their insurrection. So when one of those fools shoots off his mouth, somebody, probably someone who once took an oath to defend the Constitution, is going to ask on it.

All it takes is a phone call. It probably took the agents who took the call less than thirty minutes to verify the information and then enter the data for the arrest warrants.

Auschwitz Guy also got arrested. So has a guy who threw a fire extinguisher and hit some cops in their heads and he isn't being let out on bail.

Ford Bronco "Goat Modes"?

The new commercial for the Ford Bronco says that it has "seven available GOAT modes" to "go over any terrain" (hence the term):


This begs the question as to whether or not one of the "available GOAT Modes" is "slow-speed police chase".

Damn Kevin McCarthy and the Caucus of Sedition.
Damn Everyone Who Won't Damn Kevin McCarthy and the Caucus of Sedition
Damn Everyone Who Won't Turn on a Light and Sit Up All Night, Damning Kevin McCarthy and the Caucus of Sedition

It's funny how all those Republicans, who a week ago, were doing their level best to bring about a coup to overturn the results of the election are now calling for unity.

Yeah, sure. They were all in favor of division, ripping the country apart and destroying our democracy when they thought they might pull it off. But boy howdy, how they call for unity now that they have got their balls caught in a vise.

Sorry, no. There can be no unity, no forgiveness without there first being justice and accountability.

Trump has now released another one of his monotone hostage videos in which he condemns the people that he earlier said he loves. When you watch his mein, the way he talks, it is patently clear that Trump is mouthing words that he does not believe.

Meanwhile, there may have been some advance sabotage done before the insurrection attempt last week.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s (D-Mass.) chief of staff, Sarah Groh, said in a recent interview that panic buttons she had previously used in the congresswoman’s office had been taken out before the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
...
“Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit,” Groh said, despite noting she had previously used the buttons in that same office. Groh said in the interview that she did not know why the buttons had been removed.

There's clearly a lot more investigation that needs doing. Including Lindsey Graham.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Sedition From the Inside

Weeks before a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, right-wing activist Ali Alexander told his followers he was planning something big for Jan. 6.

Alexander, who organized the “Stop the Steal” movement, said he hatched the plan — coinciding with Congress’s vote to certify the electoral college votes — alongside three GOP lawmakers: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.), all hard-line Trump supporters.

“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Alexander said in a since-deleted video on Periscope highlighted by the Project on Government Oversight, an investigative nonprofit. The plan, he said, was to “change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”

If any one of those congressmen put a toe over the line, they should be expelled from Congress.

Hell, they should be expelled, anyway. By working to stage a protest aimed at overturning a lawful election and to install their Orange Fuhrer, they committed sedition.

Make them pay for it.

What the Hell is Wrong With Nutraloaf, or
White Privilege in Action

The public defender told Judge Deborah Fine in court Monday that [the Horned Seditious Asswipe] was on an extremely restrictive diet, perhaps for religious reasons, and had not eaten since he was taken into custody.

Judge Fine responded that information was “deeply concerning” and ordered [Asswipe's] public defender to work with the U.S. Marshal's Office on the dietary concerns.

"We will abide by the judge's order," David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona, told ABC15 Monday evening. Gonzales added that [Asswipe] will be provided food in line with a shaman's strict organic diet.

Right. The jails that I've had some passing familiarity with (when I was practicing law) would have solved the issue by putting Asswipe in isolation and giving him jail food. If he refused to eat it, they would have strapped him into a torture device known as a "compliance chair", force-fed him and then left him in the chair until he couldn't vomit the food back up. Oh, there would be a hearing on whether or not his desire for organic food was legitimate, maybe in eight weeks or so, whenever they could get on the judge's calendar.

But then again, they were used to dealing with white trash and poor minorities, not high-profile MAGA seditionists.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Wheels Are Grinding

The Justice Department and FBI have created a sedition and conspiracy task force to pursue charges against participants in the storming of the U.S. Capitol and are investigating any links to domestic or foreign instigators, officials said Tuesday.

The investigation, one of the largest ever undertaken by the department, includes counterterrorism and counterintelligence facets and has charged more than 70 individuals and identified 170 suspects to date, acting U.S. attorney Michael R. Sherwin of D.C. said. Those arrest figures are expected to increase into the hundreds, if not “exponentially.”

But Sherwin and Steven D’Antuono, head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said any impression that prosecutors have mostly charged misdemeanor Capitol trespassing and D.C. curfew offenses is misleading. They said the cases are only the beginning and that U.S. authorities are investigating everything including the plundering of congressional offices and digital devices, assaults on law enforcement officers, theft of national security and defense information, in addition to felony murder and excessive use of force.
---
“People are going to be shocked with egregious activity in the Capitol,” Sherwin said, citing video footage and witness accounts that have not been made public. “No resources of the FBI or the U.S. attorney’s office will be untapped to determine if there was command and control, how it operated and how it executed these activities.”

Anyone who had any sort of hand in this would be well-advised to get a lawyer on speedial.

There is also thought being given to using Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to bar everyone involved from ever seeking public office, which could easily include Trump and spawn of.

You seditious assholes in the Beer-Belly Putsch tried to take over our country.

Now it's our turn. Only we're going to do it by the book and when we're done, I'll bet that a fair number of you will have BoP numbers attached to your names.

Sleep tight.

We'll See Where This Goes

The FBI warned law enforcement agencies ahead of last week’s breach of the U.S. Capitol about the potential for extremist-driven violence and prosecutors are now weighing sedition charges against at least some of the Trump loyalists who stormed the building, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

But wait, there's more:

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.

And there's still more:

Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, will vote to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in inciting a deadly insurrection at the Capitol last week.

"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution," Cheney said in a statement announcing her decision.

Maybe, if there was any sign that Trump realized that he had crossed a line, they might still have his back. But Trump has shown no signs of that. McConnell and the rest of the GOP are probably worried that the people with money will stop donating if they don't take affirmative steps to get rid of Trump and that the non-Trumpist Republicans will leave.

As more arrests are made, as it becomes clearer that this was indeed an organized insurrection, the wheels may come off Trumpism as a national force. And certainly, as it may seem more likely, if their leader ends up in legal trouble for the first time in his life.

Well, Well


How Others See Us

As the butt of jokes:

People Who Are Chumps, People Who Are Not

One chump being Sen Roy Blunt (Stupid, MO)

"My personal view is that the president touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again."

Oh, please. That's being willfully blind as to Trump's nature. Every time Trump does something, Blunt and the chorus of enablers say "oh, he's learned his lesson, he won't do anything like that ever again."

Horseshit. The only lesson that Trump has ever learned in his life is that he can do whatever he wants with no consequences. Trump knows that he has completely cowed the GOP cowards, like Blunt. Trump could shoot Melania; Blunt and the rest would say "oh, he's unlikely to shoot his next wife."

Blunt and the rest of them are fucking pathetic little cowards. The only way Trump will ever learn a lesson is if he feels a set of S&W steel bracelets clapped onto his wrists.

Now, to somebody who is not a chump:

Long time readers of this blog will recall that I have had a fine regard for Belichick. But apparently, there's a line that he won't cross and Trump chalked that one on the field.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Sedition, Sedition.....SEDITION!

Randy Rainbow nails it:

RNCC Sides With Trumpist Traitors

[T]he National Republican Congressional Committee acknowledged in a statement Monday that last week’s violence at the Capitol “has no place in our democracy” but said efforts to remove Trump from office would be divisive.

“The violence we saw unfold in our nation’s capital last week has no place in our democracy,” Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said in a statement. “It was a disgusting and dangerous spectacle that ultimately cost people their lives.”

Emmer said, “We must come together to heal our nation,” but added that an effort led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to impeach Trump “will further divide us.”

That's just meaningless pap. Chris Christie has the right of it:

Trump incited an insurrection. There has to be real consequences for everyone involved. There can be no healing without justice. Otherwise, what we have will be a clear example of right-wing privilege. If a Black mob had assaulted the Capitol in the same way, the authorities would have had to hire reefer trucks to hold the bodies.

There were probably more cops at Bill Nye's March for Science than there was when the Trumpist Beer-Belly Putsch took place.

There is a corrollary to Occam's Razor that holds that one should never blame on cupidity that which can be blamed on stupidity. Either the Capitol Cops or the Segerant-At-Arms for the Capitol deliberately understaffed their forces on 1/6/21 or they were morons who paid no attention to the smoke signals.

There is now an argument being made that we should show leniency to the Trumpist mob, to go lightly on them and to make it clear to them that we are being merciful. I say: Fuck that noise. This wasn't your everyday garden-variety riot. These weren't a bunch of thugs looting package stores or burning car dealerships. These were insurrectionists, trying to overturn the results of a free and fair election. They were trying to put in their guy, who lost, because their guy has been spewing lies and baseless accusations for months on end.

They weren't trying to loot stores, they were trying to loot our country, to throw our democracy onto the ashheap.

For that, they need to be landed on with the full weight of the criminal justice system, starting with ten years for damaging a federal monument (a criminal charge advocated for by Trump).

The mercy shown to them should be the mercy that they are not being dealt with as insurrectionists once were: Dragged out into the public square and have their heads chopped off.