Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Tweets / Xeets Of The Day

 

Thanks, Biden! --

 

 

The Malignant Loser's plans, headline- by- headline --

 

 

"Unified Reich," or banning contraception --

 

 

 


Bigoted buffoon says what --

 

 

 

The trial, summarized --


 

The Michigan MAGA meltdown --

 

 

The RNC MAGA meltdown --


 

China's complicity with war criminal Putin --

 

 

"Bring ya ass" to Minnesota πŸ˜‚  (context here) --

 

 

 

Mid-Week Song

 

Austin-based duo Hovvdy (Charlie Martin and Will Taylor) has a new self-titled album out with tracks of their indie pop slow core music. Today we have their "Every Exchange" from that album. Enjoy.

Trump Shows Hand On Contraception




In an interview with Pittsburgh's KDKA, the Malignant Loser -- always attempting to pander to his forced birth, Christofascist followers -- indicated that he's open to restrictions on contraception if he were to win a second term. From ABC News:

"Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was open to supporting regulations on contraception and that his campaign would release a policy on the issue 'very shortly,' comments that he later said were misinterpreted."

"Very shortly," like his infrastructure week or his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Continue:

"The comments, made during an interview with a Pittsburgh television station, suggested that a future Trump administration might consider imposing mandates or supporting state restrictions on such highly personal decisions as whether women can have access to birth control. During an interview with KDKA News, Trump was asked, “Do you support any restrictions on a person’s right to contraception?”

'We’re looking at that and I’m going to have a policy on that very shortly,' Trump responded, according to a video of the interview that was briefly posted online before it was supposed to air, then taken down."

The moron must have been told by his cynical aides he'd touched the third rail of reproductive choice, and that he had to take the comments back for now. But believe that if he's given a free enough hand, he'll sign laws that ban abortion nationwide and restrict contraception. He already has a compliant and corrupt Supreme Court stacked in his favor; he just needs a Congress to hand him the legislation. Forewarned is forearmed.

(photo: Too bad his father didn't practice contraception)

 

Rebalancing The Smug, Immodest, Corrupt Supreme Court

 



We have two worthwhile reads on the illegitimate Republican Supreme Court this morning. We're only posting brief extracts, so please go to the links for the full reads.

First, conservative Jill Lawrence's views on the Court have been evolving:

... Until recently I was skeptical about both term limits and Court expansion. I didn’t sense the political will for either one, and I wasn’t sure either was warranted. But since the immunity hearing, and after many rulings detached from precedent, practicality, or public opinion, I’ve had zero doubt about the need for term limits and I’m even warming up to the prospect of a thirteen-justice Court.

The point of all of this is not to pack the Court and send it screeching left, but to rebalance and stabilize an institution that has grown smug, immodest, inured to ethics abuses, and cavalier to constitutional and national concerns and freedoms—starting with whether a president who tried to stay in power despite losing an election should be tried for that before voters pass judgment on his third presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, Dan Pfeiffer writes about why the Court can be a big election issue for Democrats:

...This is the court that overturned Roe v. Wade and is helping ensure Trump avoids accountability for his crimes. They are corrupt and out of touch with mainstream American values.  [snip]

Running against a corrupt court is pushing on an open door. American faith in the Supreme Court is at an all-time low.  

 

[snip]

Making voters — especially the less politically engaged — care about the Supreme Court is difficult. To succeed, we have to explain why it matters to their lives; how the rulings of a MAGA court will restrict their freedoms and be a boon to powerful interests. The fundamental question of this election is whether Democrats can hold together the anti-MAGA majority that won elections in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022, and 2023. The best way to do that is to make this election about something bigger than a contest between two men. The Supreme Court is a perfect issue to go big.

Both Lawrence and Pfeiffer are coming at the problem from somewhat opposite ends of the political spectrum, but both agree something fairly drastic needs to be done to undo the damage wrought by packing the Court with Republican/ Federalist Society extremists, starting with the modest step of establishing ethics rules.  

Expanding the Court or establishing term limits may be aspirational to the point of fantasy, at least during this era of extremist right- wing revanchism. But, in 2024, campaigning on the real world consequences of an out- of- touch extremist Court in the lives of the average American -- e.g., losing reproductive freedom, caving to special interests like the gun lobby and industrial polluters -- can be the first step toward building a coalition for change and reform.  The lesson to be learned from the right's decades- long project to reshape the Court is that this process is a marathon, not a sprint.

(Cartoon:  Joe Heller, hellertoon.com)


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)

(John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, PA)


(R.J. Matson, CQ/ Roll Call)


(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Marian Kamensky, caglecartoons.com)

(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)

(Nick Anderson, Reform Austin News, TX)

(Dave Whamond, caglecartoons.com)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Oliver Schopf, Der Standard, Vienna)

(Carlos Amorim, Correio do Povo, Brazil)

(Jason Adam Katzenstein, @j.a.k._)


Stable Genius Businessman's Company Still Tanking

 



Ouch!  The voyage to the bottom continues for the Malignant Loser's media company:

Trump Media and Technology Group, the company affiliated with former U.S. president Donald Trump that operates Truth Social, reported $770,500 in revenue for the first quarter of 2024 and a net loss of $327.6 million... (our emphasis)

He'd bring the same business management helmsmanship to the American economy if given the chance.  Just ask the amnesiac American voter.  See also ETTD.

BONUSAre the usual foreign suspects propping up his stock's price?

(Image:  "What was that sucking sound?")

 

Tweets / Xeets Of The Day

 

Believe them the first time --


 

 


The defense rests, without the Malignant Loser testifying --

 


On Putin, the Presidency and polls -- 



Today's Republican Party gone insane, part infinity --


"Toot Toot" left a trail of livestreams for the law to follow. D'oh! -- 

 

 

Misogynist pro football kicker gets a kick in the pants -- 

 


Looney spoiler RFK, Jr., has wealthy friends in Trump's camp. Shocking!  -- 



More from the Russian regime's lie factory. It was more likely Russia.  --

 

 

Peak MAGAt expression of self-awareness -- 



Maybe they should have spent time on the brakes vs. the cameras -- 


 

 

Randy Rainbow On Trump Trial And More

 

After a months-long hiatus, four-time Emmy award nominee and singer / satirist Randy Rainbow is back with a new video skewering the Malignant Loser and his vulgar criminality. He's taken Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" and turned it into another of his satirical masterpieces. Enjoy.

"This Is America"

 



An extended quote from Paul Campos at LGM:

Here’s the lede of the ABC News story reporting on the fact that Donald Trump’s campaign posted Nazi rhetoric on his campaign web site yesterday:

"Former President Donald Trump on Monday posted a video on his social media platform that uses a language that appears to mirror that of Nazi Germany, suggesting there will be a “Unified Reich” if he wins the 2024 election."

No, it doesn’t APPEAR to mirror Nazi rhetoric, it SIMPLY DOES mirror Nazi rhetoric. Nobody else in American political history has gotten this consistently sanitizing treatment, where the candidate or elected official says something explicitly, right out in the open, and the media report it in the most equivocal way possible.

And they’ve been doing it now for nine years, including an entire presidency, and an attempted coup, and the shambolic nightmare of the Biden administration’s attempts to sort of maybe prosecute Trump for trying to overthrow the government, again right out in the open, as if that had to be “investigated” for a couple of years before we could figure out who exactly was behind the events of January 6, 2021.

Indeed, Merrick Garland’s slow-walking of the legal proceedings against Trump himself following the autogolpe is part and parcel of the same cultural phenomena that produce things like that ABC News headline.

The message in both cases is, “We’re not that kind of country.” Thus Donald Trump only appears to be a fascist, because he’s not really a fascist, because if he were really a fascist that would mean that one of the nation’s two major parties has gone fascist, which means America is on the verge of going fascist, which is impossible, because this is America, and we’re not that kind of country. And Trump only appeared to try to overthrow the government by staying in power after losing an election, because come on there’s not even a word in American for that, you have to use a Spanish word, because that’s what happens in banana republics, not in America.

“American exceptionalism” is simply denial...

Yes, we are that kind of country, it turns out.  Forty to 50 percent of the country (if you believe the polls at this moment) are ready to return the now openly fascistic Malignant Loser to office.  It doesn't much matter if those voters are in full support of that fascism (we believe a solid percentage are), or whether they're simply low- information amnesiacs (i.e., morons) who don't perform a basic task of citizenship in a democracy (i.e., being informed).  They'll march right into the voting booth and cast their ballot for the single most corrupt, incompetent, deranged, dangerous person ever to be elected President.

And, while this is happening, many of the "institutionalists" (i.e., the "non-alarmists") among us will continue to whistle past the graveyard of American freedom and democracy, because to do otherwise would be to admit that we are that kind of country.  Sic transit gloria, America.

(Photo:  Trump in Mobile, Alabama, Dec. 17, 2016 / Jim Watson, Getty Images)


Trump Trial, Barron Graduates, And More Boors

 

Jimmy Kimmel talks about the Malignant Loser's hush money trial, an imagined graduation speech for his son Barron, his trouble with a teleprompter, simple-minded boor Rep. Marjorie Taylor Traitor Greene, and Rudy "Toot Toot" getting served at his birthday party.  Stay for Aunt Chippy.

Monday, May 20, 2024

The Seeds Of Fascism Are Sprouting

 

In Texas, Christofascism has already arrived:

In this sprawling state of just over 30 million people, supposedly First Amendment-protected protests for causes like Black civil rights or against the slaughter of civilians in Gaza can, and probably will, expose you to arrest or state violence, risk your schooling or your job, or — when all else fails — leave you in danger of deadly vigilante justice. [Gov. Greg] Abbott’s pardon was the last bootheel on Texans’ right to dissent. [snip]

Everything that’s happening in Abbott’s Texas — the relentless war against liberalism and education itself, the influence of a corporate oligarchy, the surge of Christian nationalism, the war on feminism that features its strict abortion ban, and its own state military and militarized cops now deployed against its own people — is textbook fascism. The crackdown on dissent is the flame that keeps this downward spiral going. Knowing that attending a protest can expose you to legalized vigilante murder is just pouring more Texas crude on the fire...

They're still working on installing it in Ohio:

What a joke. In a pique of partisan petulance, the gerrymandered-for-life Republican supermajorities in the Ohio Statehouse have visited yet another national embarrassment on the state. “I think we’ve officially sunk lower than Alabama at this point,” Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, dryly observed about the state’s descent into autocratic hell. The latest humiliation from Columbus making headlines was entirely self-inflicted by MAGA-pandering pols. 

Our lovely legislative overlords torpedoed what should have been an easy bipartisan fix to a ballot scheduling snafu that still threatens to keep President Joe Biden off the general election ballot in Ohio. Ballot adjustment in a presidential election year is a non-issue. But Republican lawmakers decided to make it one by picking a fight and stomping their feet when things didn’t go their way. Like toddlers who need a nap. 

The straightforward legislation the GOP-controlled Ohio Senate and Ohio House blew up (for no good reason) would have remedied a problem with candidate filing deadlines in state election law that has come up before in presidential election years with Democrats and Republicans. It has typically been resolved as a bipartisan matter without incident. Until now. (Hence the Russo observation)...

In Louisiana, it's Christofascism with the emphasis on Christo:

The Louisiana legislature just passed a bill mandating the display of the Ten Commandments in all public school classrooms. And this one is very close to becoming law. Texas attempted such a thing last year, but the bill passed by the Texas Senate died in the Texas House. Similar bills were introduced in South Carolina and Utah but have not yet become laws. At the moment, however, it appears the Louisiana bill will go all the way to being signed by the governor.

Note that none of these bills differs significantly from one passed in Kentucky in 1978 and declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980. The current Supreme Court, however, seems to think a little establishment of religion never hurt anybody. James Madison, the chief author of the Bill of Rights, would no doubt disagree. The current conservative justices like to call themselves “originalists,” meaning they claim to interpret the Constitution to mean what the authors intended it to mean. But the justices can be remarkably creative in deciding what the authors meant.

The Louisiana bill mandates the text of the Ten Commandments to be used, which appears to be an abridged version of Exodus 20:1-17 from the King James Bible, with all the “thees” and “thous” intact. Just so we’re all clear, the classroom display must begin with the words “I AM the LORD thy God.” The Commandments must be printed on a poster or framed print no smaller than eleven by fourteen inches in a large, easily readable font. And it must be prominently displayed in every classroom and every building in every school in Louisiana that receives public funding, including universities...

Meanwhile, your Bootsies, Noems, Youngkins, et. al., continue their democracy demo apace, paving the way for the Second Coming of the Golden Calf/ Malignant Loser.


Tweets / Xeets Of The Day

 

Dementia Don, dictator on day one, two, three, ... --

 


... and his potential VP pick --

 


Four years ago --

 


It's "heads we win, tails you lose ... or else" --

 

 

 

Evergreen --

 

 

ETTD, Middle East edition --

 

 

 

 

Sink ships, save lives --

 

 

A day in the life ... --

 

 

 

Putin And The MAGA Cult

 






Yesterday on MSNBC, "The Daily Show" host Jordan Klepper discussed the MAGAt fascination and even adoration of Russian thug and war criminal Vladimir Putin, which was stoked by Tucker Carlson's fawning, treasonous "interview" with Putin in February.  It's no wonder that Carlson is the favorite on Russian state TV.  For his part, Klepper travels to rallies by the Malignant Loser, interviewing the ridiculous mouth breathers who attend in their MAGA regalia, and has noted their love for the Russian dictator:

I think the Tucker Carlson interview was a really important one. When we went out to these rallies in Pennsylvania and we went to one in Wisconsin as well and you ask what they thought of Moscow, more and more people pointed to the Tucker Carlson interview, ‘Putin looks like a nice guy, he seems smart, the subways look super clean.

Folks like this see Moscow, they want to think a place like that is better than [President Joe] Biden’s America and they buy into this image and it keeps getting fed over and over to them.

They like Putin being anti-woke, they like these anti-LGBTQ policies. So there’s something darker that lies underneath a lot of this. It’s folks not just being swayed by Vladimir Putin but there’s something there in the way in which he treats his citizen and controls his country that is appealing to a majority of the GOP base." (our emphasis)

Of course, the path was paved by their cult leader the Malignant Loser, who admires and emulates Putin's authoritarian policies, and who has almost certainly cooked up personal deals with Putin to develop properties in Russia to line their pockets (e.g., Trump Tower Moscow).  More analysis of the MAGA/Putin attraction here and here

(cartoon: David G. Brown, Los Angeles Sentinel)

 

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

  

(click to enlarge)




Wonder what the Malignant Loser / Don Snoreleone / Sir Snoresalot is dreaming, er, thinking as he snoozes, um, rests those beautiful, felonious, mentally disturbed eyes in court? Revenge and retribution, with some treasons likely thrown in.

His crack about being dictator "only" on "day one" will be facilitiated by the fascist blueprint "Project 2025" that will guide Trumpers in his future regime: every regulation to be shredded, every Executive Order to be rescinded, and every new Order ready to be signed on "day one."
 

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

 

The good:

The container ship that caused the deadly collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge was refloated Monday and has begun slowly moving back to port.

The Dali has remained at the collapse site since it lost power and crashed into one of the bridge’s supporting columns on March 26, killing six construction workers and snarling traffic into Baltimore Harbor.

The ship appeared to start moving shortly after 6 a.m. as crews started to maneuver it out of the wreckage. It started and stopped a few times before slowly backing away from the collapse site.

Officials said it would move at about 1 mph on the roughly 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) trip, a fraction of the speed it was traveling when it lost power and crashed into the bridge. Pieces of the bridge’s steel trusses protruded from its bow, which remained covered in concrete from the collapsed roadway.

Officials have said they plan to unload the ship’s containers and complete some short-term repairs while it’s docked in Baltimore.

Monday morning’s high tide had been expected to bring the best conditions for crews to refloat and start moving the ship, according to a statement from the Key Bridge Response Unified Command.

Several tugboats were escorting the Dali on its path to the marine terminal. The work is expected to last at least 21 hours...

Clearing thousands of tons of steel, moving the Dali, opening the channel and, subsequently, Baltimore's port in roughly 60 days is a major accomplishment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and all those who've been working tirelessly to get this major port reopened and goods flowing.  Re-building the Francis Scott Key bridge is expected to take up to 4 years.

The bad:

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, along with the country's foreign minister and others, were found dead Monday morning hours after their helicopter crashed in dense fog in a mountainous region of the country's northwest, state media reported. Raisi was 63.

The crash comes at hugely a tumultuous time for the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi, under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month. Under Raisi, Iran has enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tension with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and continued arming proxy groups in the Mideast such as Yemen's Houthi rebels and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Raisi was also in power through years of major protests against Iran's ruling Shiite Muslim theocracy, of which he was a key member, over the country's ailing economy and women's rights

All of those factors make the moment more sensitive for Tehran and the future of the country, but Iranians were quickly reassured that life would go on as it has by the country's real top power, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 

Under the Islamic republic's governing system, the president is not the ultimate decision maker, and all other government officials, along with the military and all law enforcement agencies, answer ultimately to Khamenei, who at 85 has ruled over the country since 1989.

Given that power structure, CBS News' Seyed Bathaei in Tehran said it was unlikely that Raisi's death would spark any political crisis. 

Under Iran's constitution — in place since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought the ruling Islamic clerics to power — the vice president will assume Raisi's role until new elections are held within 50 days. But only candidates approved by the ruling clerics are eligible, so there's little chance of a major change in the course of Iran's policies or politics...

Any instability in the region is bad at any time, but particularly so now during the Israel-Hamas war.  Conspiracies flourish and bad actors take the opportunity to act badly.  Meanwhile, the Iranian people will continue to suffer under their evil theocracy.

The ugly

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) vetoed bills meant to ensure access to contraceptives and close tax loopholes for Confederate heritage groups Friday night, continuing a record-breaking veto spree that also nixed measures to ban guns from psychiatric hospitals and remind parents to store weapons out of their children’s reach.

Acting on bills that the General Assembly sent back to his desk in April without his proposed amendments, Youngkin signed seven and vetoed 48, taking his veto total for the year to 201 — more than the 120 that the previous record-holder, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, issued over four years as governor.

Youngkin’s moves solidify his record as a hard-right Republican, something often obscured by the governor’s upbeat image and ability to avoid taking action on Democratic priorities until this year, Senate Majority Leader Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) said Saturday. Before Democrats assumed full control of the General Assembly in January, a Republican-held House blocked many of the Democratic-controlled Senate’s bills from reaching his desk.

“I told many people that after this session, we would find out where the governor really stood, because he’s been so opaque, trying to maintain his friendly, suburban, moderate, basketball dad image,” he said. “But now we know.”...

Yes, we've known for some time that this ambitious charlatan who presented himself as a "moderate Republican" (spoiler alert:  no such thing) was simply another in a long line of media- savvy slickers who over- populate right- wing politics in search of power.  Virginia only allows one 4- year term for its governors, but expect Glenn- with- two- n's to run for office again.  Next time, shame on voters if they get fooled again.