Thursday, November 15, 2018

New England Is Solid Blue


With Democrat Jared Golden's win in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, New England now has no Republican representatives in the House:


The only Republican in Congress from New England is short- timer Maine Sen. Susan "I Believe Brett Kavanaugh" Collins.

We're waiting for the final counts out West;  it will have a distinctly blue shade as well.

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)


(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)


(Matt Davies, Newsday)


(Stuart Carlson, via gocomics.com)


Today's Dystopian Round-Up


We've commiserated with our commenters over time about the firehose of outrageous, dystopian stuff flowing out of the rat- infested regime of narcissistic sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump.  You know what we're talking about.

But it seems, in the aftermath of the Democratic blue wave election last week, Rump has become ever more unhinged, as exhibited by his behavior in France, his ever- moronic tweeting, and his destructive lies about the ongoing vote counting in Florida. Of course, he's not alone in doing damage to our country's democratic institutions (see two posts immediately below).  These are just a few examples today of the dystopian rot infecting the nation.

Fraud and Fruit Loops
“The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes,” Trump told the conservative Daily Caller website. “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.” 
He also called for new national ID laws with a bizarre assertion: “If you buy a box of cereal – you have a voter ID.”  (our emphasis)
Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs is what immediately comes to mind here.

Alpha Dawg Exposed
Twenty-four hours after Melania Trump went public about her displeasure with the deputy national security adviser, the first lady's husband did her bidding and sent Mira Ricardel packing. Melania showed she knows how to play like a Trump and the President is likely none too happy about it. [snip] 
The public nature of the first lady's statement put the President in an extremely awkward position. He couldn't find a way to look strong in the face of his wife's public call for a top aide's dismissal. [snip] 
If Trump feels the victim of pressure from his wife, it's because he has created in his marriage a perfectly Trumpian dynamic. As a man who believes that life is about winners and losers, Trump has long approached every human endeavor as a desperate battle for primacy. If you are not the boss, then you are being bossed, and for him this condition is unbearably humiliating.
Rump is a bully, coward and fraud. As often as not, humiliation is a just reward.

Facebook Is No Friend
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Facebook’s lobbying operation in Washington DC had attempted to distract from growing pressure over Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election by hiring a political consultancy to target opponents. 
The consultancy, Definers Public Affairs, published dozens of negative articles about other tech companies on a “news” website that the PR firm ran in-house. 
Definers also attempted to cast Soros, a long-standing target of antisemitic conspiracy theories on the far right, as the driving force behind Facebook critics. As late as this summer, the New York Times reported, the firm was circulating documents that put Soros as “the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement”. 
At the same time, Facebook lobbied “a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as antisemitic”, the newspaper reports.  (our emphasis)
Democrats, please "invite" Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg to testify to the House.

An Exotic Ambassador
President Trump on Wednesday announced his nomination of Lana Marks, a handbag designer and Mar-a-Lago club member to be his next U.S. ambassador to South Africa. 
In a statement, the White House noted Marks's service on the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as her schooling in South Africa. Marks speaks Afrikaans and Xhosa, two of South Africa's 11 official languages, according to the release. 
CNN reported that Marks remains a member of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, noting that her daughter was married at the location. 
Marks's handbag line, CNN noted, features certain designs with skins from exotic animals, including ostriches and alligators. (our emphasis)
Mar- a- Lago, check.  Inexperienced, check.  Insensitive sociopath, check. Yep, she's in the Trumpist wheelhouse.

That's exhausting enough for one morning.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Twit Tweet, Thwap -- Li'l Marco Election Fraud Conspiracy Edition


Twit tweet:



Thwaps:


Headline Of The Year


On the Fox "News" website (no link for obvious reasons):

"Will Dems work with us, or simply put partisan politics ahead of the country?"

And who, you ask, is the author of this article/ headline?  Why none other than man- who- wrecked- the- Senate and ├╝ber- hypocrite Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell (Turd- KY).

Some of our favorite reactions:






Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)


(Tom Toles, Washington Post)


(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)


(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)


(Stuart Carlson, via gocomics.com)

"GOP Jesus"


The Bible, according to Republican evangelical hypocrites:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tweets Of The Day -- Winning Everywhere!


Le trolling, c'est magnifique!


... you know, the other one Trump didn't attend because rain was in the forecast.






And, finally, 

Adult Day Care Managers Limit Trump's Play Time



In a likely futile effort to focus narcissistic buffoon and Very Stable Genius Donald "Rump" Trump on his job, White (Supremacist) House adult care supervisor John Kelly is carving out something called "Policy Time" for Rump out of his play time tweet time Executive Time, which can be described in this way:
"CNN has reported that the president's morning 'executive time' often consisted of Trump skimming headlines, smartphone in one hand, a landline in the other and Fox and Friends blaring in the background. Politico last month reported that Trump's schedule included an increasing amount of free time, with some days having as many as nine hours of "executive time."
Rump barely reads the Presidential Daily Briefings, and relies on the clowns at the Fux Channel for his information. As bad as that sounds, we'd rather have him wolfing down cheeseburgers and KFC in his pajamas while absorbing the wisdom of Steve "Douchy" Doucy and his fellow Fox and Friends couch potatoes than getting briefed on classified matters and sharing it with our adversaries over his personal iPhone.

(photo: "Me want more Executive Time!")

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)


(Jen Sorensen, via gocomics.com)


(Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe)


(Rob Rogers, via robrogers.com)


(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

"Our Democracy Is Still Very Much In Danger"


Would- be president for life Donald "Rump" Trump and his band of villains in Georgia and Florida have been trying to short- circuit the counting (and re- counting) of ballots since election day.  As more ballots (absentee, overseas, military, provisional) are counted, margins for the Republican vote suppressors in those states have been going down.  With Georgia Republican and voter purger extraordinaire Brian Kemp desperate to stay above the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff with Democrat Stacy Abrams, odious fraudster Gov. Rick "Batboy" Scott throwing around lies about fraud while a recount is underway, and future one- term Republican Senator from Colorado Cory Gardner echoing Scott's claims that Dems were "stealing" the election, there's a coordinated Republican effort to disenfranchise voters and to try to de- legitimatize election results when Republicans are in danger of losing.  Existential threat to democracy Rump is all in on this strategy, of course.

Paul Krugman discusses how Republicans are being prepared for distrusting any election results that result in Republican losses (not that it takes much preparation):
The attempt by Trump and his party to shut down the legally mandated Florida recount with claims, based on no evidence, of large-scale voting fraud fits right into this partisan epistemology. Do Republicans really believe that there were vast numbers of fraudulent or forged ballots? Even asking that question is a category error. They don’t “really believe” anything, except that they should get what they want. Any vote count that might favor a Democrat is bad for them; therefore it’s fraudulent, no evidence needed. 
The same worldview explains Republicans’ addiction to conspiracy theories. After all, if people keep insisting on the truth of something that hurts their party, it can’t be out of respect for the facts — because in their world, there are no neutral facts. 
So the people making inconvenient assertions must be in the pay of sinister forces. In Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema won a Senate seat on the strength of late-counted ballots. Did you know that the state G.O.P. has filed a freedom of information request for information on interactions between election officials and, you guessed it, George Soros? [snip] 
What all of this means is that what’s going on in America right now isn’t politics as usual. It’s much more existential than that. You have to be truly delusional to see the Republicans’ response to their party’s midterm setback as anything but an attempted power grab by a would-be authoritarian movement, which rejects any opposition or even criticism as illegitimate. Our democracy is still very much in danger.
Paul Campos at LGM sees this as a dangerous prelude to the 2020 election (should Rump be around to run), and sketches how the attempts to de-legitimatize election results in close races this year may play out when 2020 rolls around:
(1) He loses a close election, like 2016 except the other way.  If that happens, I think there’s a good chance that he won’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the result, and he’ll do everything he can, legally and extra-legally, to stay in office. 
(2) He loses, or is obviously going to lose, by a big margin.  In this scenario, I can see things getting really crazy in the weeks running up to November 2020.  I can imagine him trying to call the whole thing off, on the grounds of some spurious national emergency, or announcing ahead of time that the election results were going to be illegitimate because of “massive voter fraud” (i.e., similar to his reaction to losing a close election, except anticipating the result and trying to delegitimize it ahead of time). 
(3) Something basically unimaginable right now (I don’t trust the show runners at all at this point). 
Ultimately I don’t think Trump is going to go gentle into that good night.  And it’s probably a good idea to start anticipating that possibility.  
Conservative Jennifer Rubin concurs:
President Trump is back in the United States — and back to attacking democracy. He tweets:

We should note that this is the talk of authoritarians; it shows contempt for the office of the president, whom the Constitution designates to “to take care” that the nation’s laws are faithfully executed. It’s also a frightful peek at what he might do in 2020 should the vote not go his way.
We all need to be prepared and not assume Trump and Trumpism will accede to losing power.  These are times very few if any of us have ever experienced before, and the stakes couldn't be any higher.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Kyrsten Sinema Wins Arizona Senate Seat For Democrats


A second Republican Senate seat just flipped to the Democrats:
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema won Arizona’s open U.S. Senate seat Monday in a race that was among the most closely watched in the nation, beating Republican Rep. Martha McSally in the battle to replace GOP Sen. Jeff Flake. 
The three-term congresswoman won after a slow vote count that dragged on for nearly a week after voters went to the polls on Nov. 6. She becomes Arizona’s first Democratic U.S. senator since 1994. Her win cemented Arizona as a swing state after years of Republican dominance.
A major, major victory for Sinema and the Democratic Party, following the win in Nevada's Senate race by Democrat Jacky Rosen over Republican incumbent Dean "Old Yeller" Heller.  Democratic women are leading the way in the West and throughout the country.

Kim Plays Trump Again



Fresh off his bad hair day tour (post below), malignant narcissist and pathological liar Donald "Rump" Trump now has to face claims that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un took him for a long ride through the park with the meter running.

Non-proliferation experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies are claiming that North Korea is hiding bases from which ballistic missiles can be launched:
The bases, which are located in “mountainous terrain, often spread out within narrow dead-end valleys,” they write, could be used to deploy mobile missile launchers, which would be extremely difficult for other nations to track and stop before the missiles could be fired.

The analysts looked specifically at the Sakkanmol Missile Operating Base, located only 84 miles from Seoul. “As of November 2018, the base is active and being reasonably well-maintained by North Korean standards,” the report noted.

North Korea dramatically improved its missile technology with provocative test launches last year. Western experts eventually concluded that Pyongyang now has the ability to hit most of the United States, although it remains unclear if it could produce a nuclear weapon small enough to fit atop a missile."
After dangerously blustering that the U.S. would strike North Korea with "fire and fury" last year, the volatile Rump warmed to Kim after an approach by South Korean diplomats last spring, leading to a photo-op summit in Singapore that was a free diplomatic gift to Kim with nothing substantive given in return to Rump:
The day after the summit, Trump wrote on Twitter that there was “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.” In public, he has largely kept this positive view of negotiations. “We’re in no rush,” he told reporters Wednesday, when asked about the prospect of a second summit with Kim, adding that the rockets and missiles “have stopped.”

The report is the latest evidence that while North Korea has indeed stopped its missile testing, it is far from dismantling its weapons facilities. Indeed, it appears to be adding to its stockpile: U.S. intelligence reports from the summer found that North Korea had begun producing new missiles at a factory, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged during Senate testimony that Pyongyang “continues to produce fissile material.
The buffoon in the Oval Office was seeking an election year "win" at the expense of serious negotiations and goals. It now appears more and more that Kim knew he was dealing with a narcissistic moron who could be flattered into making concessions that would advance North Korea's nuclear program.

(photo: "Maybe if I look more like Kim, he'll be nice to me.")

Tweets Of The (Bad Hair) Day


News ItemCadet Bone Spurs won't honor veterans today at Arlington Cemetery because... rain is in the forecast.  This, after bailing on attending a ceremony at the U.S. military cemetery at Belleau Wood over the weekend due to... drizzle.



While, at the same time,

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon


(click on image to enlarge)


(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)