Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tweet / Pic Of The Day


Gotta love those Bostonians:

Kudos to Dan Drezner for the Ken Burns-style message.

Today's Cartoon Twofer - Luckovich Edition


(click on images to enlarge)


(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Consititution)


(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Hate Radio Buffoon: "A Second Civil War" Coming



Yesterday, hate radio pustule and depraved opioid abuser Rush "Limpballs" Limbaugh attacked the anti-Nazi    counter protesters in Charlottesville, while weaving multiple anti-Semitic tropes into his tirade. Saying that the white supremacists "were not the problem,"  Limpballs blamed the violence on "people like George Soros and any other number of international financiers whose objective it is to take the United States out and down as a superpower.” He claimed the counter protesters represented an “ongoing effort to erase America by discrediting the entire premise of our culture, our history, our founding,” who "showed up in Charlottesville to create mayhem and cause hell.” Ominously, the porcine buffoon told his faithful audience that, “we are on the cusp of a second civil war.”

Limpballs has a long and ugly history of racist comments. Sadly, he has millions of angry, clueless "dittohead" followers, many of whom will take his "second civil war" comment to heart, continue to arm themselves, and act out their leader's direction in a violent way. Just wait.

BONUS:  Of course, Limpballs is only one of many mercenary crackpots pushing this seditious notion. So are Michael "Wiener" Savage (who is, not coincidentally, flogging his new book whose theme is "civil war") and the ever- porcine Alex Jones. We wonder what kind of a kickback these malicious weasels are getting from the NRA to rile up the morons and boost gun sales.

Letters We Wish We'd Written - Bearing Witness


In today's Washington Post:
Regarding the Aug. 16 front-page article “Trump again blames ‘both sides’ ”: 
I was a preschooler in Germany at the end of World War II. My generation learned the horrific history of the Nazis and how they pulled a whole country along with them. The shame and guilt continue to lie heavily on my generation. Now, as a longtime citizen of the United States, I watched in horror the events in Charlottesville. But more chilling were the words of the president. 
I can only imagine how descendants of slaves, Holocaust survivors and their descendants felt hearing the president equate those who had the courage to oppose with those who marched with the Nazi salute, the Nazi flag, torches, the Ku Klux Klan and the others Mr. Trump called “fine people” who marched along with them.  
I felt the beginning of Nazi history repeating itself. 
It is not enough for our representatives to denounce the alt-right. They must find the moral backbone to denounce those leaders, including the president, who have made excuses for the movement and its hateful ideology. They must refuse to be associated with the president’s party if it continues to value reelection chances and passage of its agenda over what is morally right and if it continues to tolerate this president, who has demonstrated that he lacks the moral authority to lead this great country. The danger is too great.
Ute O’Neal, Potomac
So far, we see very little evidence of Republican politicians willing to directly confront neo- fascist incompetent Donald "Rump" Trump, nor do we expect to see it any time soon if ever. As Brian McFadden portrays Sneaker of the House Paul "Lyin'" Ryan in the cartoon below, the only concern motivating these weasels is that they be able to shovel more of America's wealth upward as quickly as possible. No moral authority there.

Swamp Creatures: Carl Icahn Edition


The New Yorker magazine has a fascinating article (referenced briefly by Rachel Maddow last night) that looks into the dealings of billionaire investor and long-time corporate raider Carl "I Con" Icahn, who until yesterday, was an "advisor" to neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump for regulatory "reform", a euphemism for cutting regulations unpopular with corporations. What makes that particular connection galling is that Icahn -- who has long chafed under Federal regulations impacting his investments -- was more interested in boosting his profits through cutting regulations, particularly at the EPA, that were bothersome to his bottom line.

In particular, he was bleeding millions from his investment in CVR, an oil refinery in Texas, due to a requirement that ethanol be blended into their fuel or purchase "credits" from refineries that do. He wanted that requirement done away with, and he let Rump know that it was his top priority:
"Appearing on Bloomberg TV on August 16, 2016, [Icahn] vowed that Trump would put an end to 'these crazy regulations' on his first day in office. In fact, Icahn continued, he had spoken with Trump about the E.P.A. rule obliging his refiner to purchase renewable-fuel credits. If elected, Trump 'will stop that,' Icahn promised. 'That’s a hundred per cent.' Several weeks after Trump’s victory, Icahn tweeted, 'I’ve agreed to serve as a special advisor to the president on issues relating to regulatory reform.' [snip] 
In the months after the election, the stock price of CVR, Icahn’s refiner, nearly doubled—a surge that is difficult to explain without acknowledging the appointment of the company’s lead shareholder to a White House position. The rally meant a personal benefit for Icahn, at least on paper, of half a billion dollars." (emphasis added)
Icahn's brief stint as "advisor" to Rump on regulatory matters benefitted him greatly, perhaps even beyond the CVR caper. Financiers quoted in the New Yorker article joke that it was a corporate raid on Washington by Icahn, and "the cheapest takeover Carl's ever done." Drain the swamp, indeed.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Today's Cartoon - The "Resistance"


(Far) right on, (far) right on!

(click on image to enlarge)


(Brian McFadden, via Daily Kos)

Tweets Of The Day - Bye Bye Bye


Peak schadenfreude:






And...

Weekend Music Rondo


The Dave Brubeck Quartet's vanguard 1959 album "Time Out" defined "West Coast cool jazz" and was a study in unusual time signatures. "Blue Rondo à la Turk" is no exception to that and, along with "Take Five" from the same album, has become a jazz classic. Hope you enjoy (h/t Silver Spring Bureau Chief and blog musical concierge Brian):

Breaking: Steve Bannon Out! (UPDATED)




Reports are that white nationalist toad and Trump whisperer Steve "Loose Cannon" Bannon has "resigned" his position in the Trump regime. Further reporting suggests Bannon's resignation was forced. He took a page from The Mooch's "How To Get Fired" manual when he let his bizarre, Trump-undermining freak flag fly to The American Prospect magazine. Sad!

Are Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka cleaning out their cubbies yet?

Popcorn munching time!

UPDATE:  No hard feelings! (our emphasis)
The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” said Bannon Friday after confirming he was leaving the White House. “We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”
The cock crowed three times...

(Photo: Rump and Bannon in happier times.)

"Blowhard"


The New Yorker joins The Economist in vying for Cover of the Week:



("Blowhard" cover by David Plunkert)

Who's Resigning Today?


Following his hateful and clueless remarks on August 15 that put Nazi demonstrators on the same plane as anti- Nazi demonstrators in Charlottesville, neo- fascist Donald "Rump" Trump hastily folded two of his business advisory councils after it became clear their CEO members were going to resign due to Rump's moral vacuity.

Here's a pop quiz:  which was the next group to disassociate themselves from this vicious moral black hole --  Rump's Evangelical Advisory Board or members of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities?  The "religious" or the "secular"? Psssh! We know, it was a ridiculously easy quiz:

(click on image to enlarge)



(For those who have trouble viewing the letter, you can see the full text here.)

It's as true today as it was nearly 40 years ago that these direct descendants of the so- called "Moral Majority," are neither moral nor a majority. Nor are the bootlicks in the White House and Executive Branch that continue to stain themselves by not resigning from this un- American dumpster fire of a regime.

BONUS:  Mitt Romney has issued a statement calling on Rump to "acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize" for his remarks on August 15. Better late than never, but you can't put Rump's poison back in the bottle now.

Barcelona


The death toll continues to rise from the horrible terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday. As of now, 14 people are dead and more than 100 wounded as a result of a van being driven through crowds walking on the popular promenade, Las Ramblas. ISIS has claimed "credit." A number of arrests have been made, and a shootout with Spanish police in a town south of Barcelona has resulted in the deaths of several terror suspects. Barcelona thus joins other cities such as Nice, Berlin, London (twice) and, sadly, Charlottesville as the scene of an act perpetrated by a terrorist behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Today, people in Barcelona made a statement by showing up on Las Ramblas to tell the world they're not afraid of cowards who target innocent lives. From leaders around the world, expressions of horror and sympathy for the victims poured in.

Then we have this:



As Tapper notes, this egregious lie is another example of the lack of truth and moral clarity emanating from neo- fascist Donald "Rump" Trump.  It's also an example of how he'll use any lie or distortion to enflame his base, whether it's against Muslims today, or people opposing Nazis and white supremacy earlier this week.

They're desperate, and this is the van they're driving through American society.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Quote Of The Day - Fumigation




"These statues were put up in the first place to sanitize the history of the men who fought to maintain chattel slavery and the men who later re-established white supremacy in the old Confederacy. Removing them does not sanitize history. It fumigates it." -- Charles P. Pierce today on the charge that removing statues of Confederate traitors is "sanitizing history."

(Photo: fumigation of Confederate statue in Durham, NC, completed Monday; Virginia Bridges, The Herald-Sun/ AP)

BONUS I:  Infidel 753 on the "heritage" argument.

BONUS II: A plaque memorializing traitor Jefferson Davis along side a highway bearing his name  near Gold Canyon, AZ was tarred and feathered yesterday. Many, many more expressions of outrage over Confederate symbols in the days, weeks, and months ahead are needed.

(photo: Steve Krafft)

Today's Cartoons (UPDATED)


(click on images to enlarge)


(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News)


(Stuart Carlson, via gocomics.com)


(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)


(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

UPDATE: Of course, it's not just Americans who are watching. Here's the cover of this week's The Economist:

"Bibi Bomb Bomb" Follows Trump's Lead


Israeli Prime Minister Bibi "Bomb Bomb" Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud Party have consistently aligned themselves with the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party, virtually endorsing Rethug candidates for office, undermining former President Obama's Middle East policies and attempting to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal. It wasn't subtle. Bomb Bomb was celebratory when neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump won the electoral vote, and saw his close Rethuglican ties as a "win" for his Likudnik coalition.

In the aftermath of the neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Bomb Bomb could have come out immediately on the weekend and condemned the neo-Nazi anti-Semitic slogan chanting mob that committed violence. He didn't, waiting three days to see what his soulmate Rump was going to say. Think about that: someone who pompously calls himself "the prime minister of all Jews" had to see what his friend in the White (Supremacist) House was going to say first about Nazis rioting in the streets of a U.S. city. He waited until Tuesday to tweet a broad condemnation of the riot:
Perhaps more disturbing was Bomb Bomb's 26 year-old son and close advisor Yair's statement on his Facebook page that dismissed the neo-Nazi threat while claiming Black Lives Matter and the Antifa movement were the real danger:
“To put things in perspective. I'm a Jew, I'm an Israeli, the neo nazis scums in Virginia hate me and my country. But they belong to the past. Their breed is dying out. However the thugs of Antifa and BLM who hate my country (and America too in my view) just as much are getting stronger and stronger and becoming super dominant in American universities and public life.” (emphasis added)
That statement goes beyond simply assigning moral equivalence to the neo-Nazis and people protesting the neo-Nazis. That's a statement attempting to misrepresent a growing white supremacist movement in the U.S. while condemning the groups fighting the white supremacists. It speaks volumes about the Israeli right-wing's moral compromise when it comes to Rump.

BONUS: Bradley Burston at the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has a good op/ ed about "Trump vassal" Bomb Bomb's moral judgement:
This is the message of Netanyahu's silence regarding Charlottesville: I am not the prime minister of the Jewish people. I am the prime minister of all of the Jewish people who are right-wing, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian, pro-Me.