Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Tweets of the Day

 

Great choices, MAGA Republicans (here and here) -- 



He was Putin's stooge first and Murdoch didn't care then -- 



Guns don't make schools safer, part infinity -- 

 


You first, you cowardly shitbird --  



Ron DeSantis wears go-go boots. Pass it on! --  


 


Russians in retreat in critical Kherson region -- 



Do you think the MAGA morons will notice the disconnect? --  

Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)

(Andy Marlette, creators.com)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Steve Benson, Arizona Mirror)

(Gary Markstein, gocomics.com)

(Dave Granlund, politicalcartoons.com)

(Rob Rogers, Tinyview.com)

(David Sipress, @dsipress)


Trump: Did Sex Trafficker "Say Anything About Me?"



One of the countless insights into the deeply sick personality of the Malignant Loser in his unofficial whisperer Maggie Haberman's new book, "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America," was his reaction to the arrest of sex trafficker and Jeffrey Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell. According to the Guardian:

"At an Oval Office meeting in July 2020, Donald Trump asked aides if Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of the financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein who had been arrested on sex trafficking charges, had named him among influential contacts she might count upon to protect her.

According to a new book by Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, Trump asked 'campaign advisers … ‘You see that article in the [New York] Post today that mentioned me?’

'He kept going, to silence. ‘She say anything about me?’  [snip]

"Consciousness of guilt" much?  

The story which seemed to worry Trump, according to Haberman, appeared in the celebrity-focused Page Six section of the New York tabloid on 4 July 2020.

It quoted Steve Hoffenberg, an Epstein associate, as saying: 'Ghislaine thought she was untouchable – that she’d be protected by the intelligence communities she and Jeffrey helped with information: the Israeli intelligence services, and Les Wexner, who has given millions to Israel; by Prince Andrew, President Clinton and even by President Trump, who was well-known to be an acquaintance of her and Epstein’s.'” (our emphasis) 

Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison last July on charges involving sex trafficking of minors. Before Epstein became notorious for grooming young girls for sex trafficking, his close friendship with sexual predator Trump was well known in New York City circles. Epstein even bragged about having introduced Trump to his third wife Melania, a former soft-core porn model.

(photo: Trump, Melania, Epstein and Maxwell. Davidoff Studios / Getty Images)

"Pro-Life" Herschel Walker Paid For Girlfriend's Abortion, Son Blasts Him



It seems Georgia Christofascist Republican Senate candidate Herschel "How Many Kids?" Walker had a bad day yesterday:

Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker has weathered crises that have leveled other campaigns and still remained within striking distance of Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock thanks to relatively unshakable support from many in the GOP base.

But the one-two punch on Monday of a Daily Beast story that accused Walker of paying for his then-girlfriend’s abortion in 2009 coupled with his adult son’s stunning attacks on his father’s candidacy may pose the greatest threat yet to the Republican’s bid.

Just weeks before the midterm election, the shocking developments have some GOP figures despondent about Walker’s chances of defeating Warnock in a November race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson said the fallout is “probably a KO” for Walker’s midterm chances. Nicole Rodden, a former Republican House contender, blamed party leaders for backing a candidate who has “cost the GOP the US Senate for a second time.”

On his family's opposition to his run:

The Republican and his allies had a more muted response toward his son Christian [of course] Walker’s claims that his father threatened to kill his family members and entered the race despite opposition from “every single one” of his relatives.  

But the Malignant Loser wanted it, so no contest.

Young Walker continues:

 

 

 

 

Some unresolved issues there.

Never underestimate the willingness of MAGA cult morons to overlook egregious character flaws in their candidates (look no further than the Malignant Loser).  Whether this "one-two" punch will be enough to sink this incompetent, lying, hypocritical, "not that smart" candidate remains to be seen.  He does check all ๐Ÿ‘† those boxes for a MAGA cult candidate, after all.

(Photo:  Herschel Walker and son Christian/ Christian Walker Twitter)


Monday, October 3, 2022

SCOTUS Rejects Pillow Case

 


 

The MeinPillow guy defamation case can proceed, says stopped- clock- is- right- twice- a -day Republican SCOTUS:

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bid to fend off a defamation lawsuit the voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems filed over his far-fetched claims about the 2020 presidential election.

The justices’ decision not to hear the case means a federal judge’s ruling in August 2021 that allowed the lawsuit to move forward remains in place. [snip]

Dominion sued Lindell and MyPillow in February 2021, claiming $1.3 billion in damages and alleging that Lindell purposely pushed the “big lie” that Trump won the 2020 election. Lindell repeatedly echoed baseless claims that Dominion’s machines manipulated vote counts to ensure that Joe Biden defeated Trump. The claims have been widely debunked. In the lawsuit, Dominion argues that Lindell knew his claims were false, while Lindell’s lawyers say he genuinely believes them.

This destructive, deluded crank thinks he's playing for time until the restoration of the Malignant Loser in the White House.  Nobody tell him!

(PhotoMeinPillow CEO Mike Lindell is running out of tricks/ Samuel Corum/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Tweets Of The Day

 

DeSantis' Wile E. Coyote identified --

 

 

Lying hypocrites can't bring themselves to help their own people --


 

 

"Worried about escalation"?!? WTF?!? -- 


 

"Crazy-proof the nation" from Christofascist nihilists --

 


Crypto-talent Kardashian runs afoul of the law --

 

 

 

What's that Musk-y smell? --

 

 

If it steps like a goose ... --

 

 

 

QOTD: Cornered Animal

 

"Trump is basically a cornered animal. He's got all these legal proceedings bearing down on him. In addition, he is losing his touch and his connection to his public, because his act has become very tiresome. That explains why Trump is embracing the QAnon conspiracy. He's doing that because of his narcissism: He's feeling attacked, and for the first time in his life, he is facing real consequences for his actions. The DOJ and other investigations have caused Trump to suffer a narcissistic injury. He is a pathological narcissist, and by going to the QAnon people he is getting attention and his need for narcissistic fuel is being somewhat satisfied. That also explains why Trump would never criticize the QAnon conspiracy cult before. He likes people who like him. That is what really matters to him. 

Trump is in a downward psychological, emotional and physical spiral. His embrace of QAnon shows how extreme his deterioration is. But here is the problem for the rest of us: Donald Trump is not going to go away immediately. He is going to try to use the electoral process, and threats of violence, to regain power and influence."  (our emphasis) -- conservative attorney and pundit George Conway, in an interview with Chauncey Vega at Salon.com, explaining the Malignant Loser's embrace of the QAnon domestic violence cult and why he will turn his serious legal problems into fuel for violence by his cult following in the coming months and more. Conway's take on the Malignant Loser's situation and the fate of the Republican / Trumpist Party is worth a read.

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon: Outrage

 

(click to enlarge)



The Lizzo Flute Affair is a perfect emblem of the far right's obsession with petty culture wars and their racist hypocrisy. They've dropped all pretenses and are going full bore with their white supremacy attacks.

Please consider supporting Tom's work by going here.

 

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

 

The good:

The military commissar of Russia's Khabarovsk region was removed from his post after half of the newly mobilised personnel were sent home as they did not meet the draft criteria, the region's governor said early on Monday.

Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two, declared by President Vladimir Putin on Sept. 21, has led to widespread discontent among officials and citizens over the way the draft has been handled, including complaints about enlistment officers sending call-up papers to clearly ineligible men.

"In 10 days, several thousand of our countrymen received summons and arrived at the military registration and enlistment offices," Mikhail Degtyarev, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia's Far East, said in a video post on the Telegram messaging app.

"About half of them we returned home as they did not meet the selection criteria for entering the military service." 
[snip]

The chaotic mobilisation of men to fight in Ukraine has also prompted thousands of fighting-age men to flee from the country to avoid a draft that was billed as enlisting those with military experience and specialities but has often appeared oblivious to service records, health, student status and even age.

Some 2,000 people have been arrested at anti-war protests in more than 30 towns and cities, and some of them promptly given call-up papers - something the Kremlin said was perfectly legal.

The bad:

Days after Hurricane Ian tore through Florida, wiping out neighborhoods and turning streets into rivers, rescue crews searching for survivors are reporting more deaths as recovery efforts continue.

Officials confirmed Ian has killed at least 76 people in Florida after it made landfall last week as a Category 4 storm, decimating coastal towns, flooding homes, collapsing roofs, flinging boats into buildings and sending cars floating. Four other people died in storm-related incidents as Ian churned into North Carolina. 

Now, as blue skies return, Floridians who took shelter while the hurricane raged have emerged to find unrecognizable communities and face the daunting task of rebuilding – many of them still without power or clean drinking water.

More than 628,000 homes, businesses and other customers in Florida still did not have power as of Sunday evening, according to PowerOutage.us. Many are without clean tap water, with well over 100 boil-water advisories in places around the state, according to Florida Health Department data.

The ugly:

Michigan has survived political inexperience, inept leadership and bad policy choices before. What makes [GQP gubernatorial candidate Tudor] Dixon and Co. uniquely dangerous are their persistent efforts to undermine the democratic institutions Michigan voters have historically relied on to expel toxic leaders and correct course when their state loses its bearings.

Dixon is among a half-dozen Republican candidates for governor and U.S. Senate who refuse to promise they will accept this November's election results as the legitimate expression of the voters' will. Like Donald Trump, who began challenging the legitimacy of absentee votes well in advance of the 2020 election, they are priming supporters to believe that whatever political setbacks await them should be attributed to rampant fraud and Democratic corruption.

The danger that skepticism about the elections will prove a self-fulfilling prophecy, destroying both party's claims to legitimacy and providing election-deniers with a renewed rationale for political violence, is not theoretical. Not to the vice president and lawmakers who ran for their lives on Jan. 6, and not to anyone who remembers how close Michigan Republicans came to disenfranchising their state's voters the last time around.

Democracy is in a fight for its life, but so is Michigan's Republican Party. The only option for those who seek to restore its credibility is to renounce the demagogues whose fictions are driving it ever deeper into the political wilderness.

That's the conclusion of the Detroit Free Press' endorsement of the Democratic ticket in Michigan -- urging voters to re- elect Democrats Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney Gen. Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The paper makes it clear it has endorsed Republicans for statewide office in about half the elections since 1998, but that this year's crop of ugly Christofascist MAGA morons was more than anyone should swallow.

 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Juxtaposing Hubble And Webb Telescope Images


(click on images to enlarge)




From NASA/ ESA, September 27, 2022This spectacular image features the spiral galaxy IC 5332, shown here in unprecedented detail thanks to observations from the Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), which is mounted on the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. IC 5332 lies over 29 million light-years from Earth, and has a diameter of roughly 66 000 light-years, making it about a third smaller than the Milky Way. It is notable for being almost perfectly face-on with respect to Earth, allowing us to admire the symmetrical sweep of its spiral arms. 

MIRI is the only Webb instrument that is sensitive to the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum (specifically in the 5 ยตm – 28 ยตm wavelength range); Webb’s other instruments all operate in the near-infrared. One of MIRI’s most remarkable features is that it operates 33 °C below the rest of the observatory at the frosty temperature of –266 °C. That means that MIRI operates in an environment only 7 °C warmer than absolute zero, which is the lowest possible temperature according to the laws of thermodynamics. MIRI requires this frigid environment in order for its highly specialised detectors to function correctly, and it has a dedicated active cooling system to ensure that its detectors are kept at the correct temperature. 

It is worth noting just how challenging it is to obtain observations in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The mid-infrared is incredibly difficult to observe from Earth as much of it is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, and heat from Earth’s atmosphere further complicates things. Hubble could not observe the mid-infrared region as its mirrors were not cool enough, meaning that infrared radiation from the mirrors themselves would have dominated any attempted observations. The extra effort made to ensure that MIRI’s detectors had the freezing environment necessary to operate properly is evident in this stunning image.

This extravagantly detailed mid-infrared image is juxtaposed here with a beautiful ultraviolet and visible-light image of the same galaxy, created using data collected by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Some differences are immediately obvious. The Hubble image shows dark regions that seem to separate the spiral arms, whereas the Webb image shows more of a continual tangle of structures that echo the spiral arms’ shape. This difference is due to the presence of dusty regions in the galaxy. Ultraviolet and visible light are far more prone to being scattered by interstellar dust than infrared light. Therefore dusty regions can be identified easily in the Hubble image as the darker regions that much of the galaxy’s ultraviolet and visible light has not been able to travel through. Those same dusty regions are no longer dark in the Webb image, however, as the mid-infrared light from the galaxy has been able to pass through them. Different stars are visible in the two images, which can be explained because certain stars shine brighter in the ultraviolet, visible and infrared regimes respectively. The images complement one another in a remarkable way, each telling us more about IC 5332’s structure and composition.

Credit:  ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-JWST and PHANGS-HST Teams

 

Your "Lizzo Playing James Madison's Flute Outrage Template"

 

 

We've noted the triggering effect that superstar Lizzo's playing of James Madison's crystal flute has caused in the professional right- wing outrage machine.

Now, Devorah Blachor has the ultimate "Template for White People Outraged Over Lizzo Playing James Madison's Flute" in McSweeney's (re-printed in full): 

I can’t believe they let Lizzo [play a flute owned by James Madison / twerk even though she’s not skinny / continue to exist as a Black woman].

I found this event [triggering / in violation of my need to only ever see thin white women on my timeline]. As someone who spends a fair bit of time yammering on about our nation’s heritage, it deeply offends me that [Lizzo seems to care about our nation’s heritage / a Black woman is now the Librarian of Congress].

Clearly this horrible event was a form of racial retribution. I know this because I believe life is a zero-sum game where [there are only winners and losers / only white people should put their lips on white people flutes / Lizzo should be as sad and lonely as my white nationalist substack subscribers].

Some people saw Lizzo playing James Madison’s flute and thought, Gee, what a nice thing that any normal person can enjoy. But this is the wrong reaction. Whenever anything happens in the world involving a prominent Black person, the correct thing to do is [immediately make it about myself / have a knee-jerk reaction I will never honestly explore / interpret it through my precious and lucrative lens of white grievance].

I don’t care if Lizzo is a [classically trained musician / popular and beloved artist / cultural icon]. Those things don’t matter to me, because when I look at Lizzo perform, all I can ever see is her [skin color / gender / body size], the three things that matter most to me when I judge a woman.

Speaking of which, what is a woman? Having given this question an unhealthy and inappropriate amount of thought, a woman is someone who should be [a virgin until she is married to a man / forced to give birth against her will / white if aquatic]. A woman is not someone who should [feel entitled to dress the way they want / dance the way they want / behave in ways that don’t please me personally].

I am absolutely qualified to make judgments on Lizzo’s performance, musical talent, and clothing choices because my only talent is [whining about white victimhood / obsessing about trans kids / podcasting about the scientific validity of Black mermaids].

James Madison is one of our most venerated forefathers, and in my anger over this Lizzo abomination, I’ve never once stopped to consider that President Madison [owned slaves / believed women didn’t deserve the right to vote / never once played his crystal flute]. And now that I’ve learned about the existence of this crystal flute, it seems very important to me that it should remain hidden away, just like [women who don’t conform to a Barbie standard of beauty / honest historical accounts about slavery and its enduring legacy / the truth behind my knee-jerk disgust response to Lizzo].

There are those who might take this event as an opportunity to celebrate the fact that Lizzo [actually cares about American history enough to tour the Library of Congress / is bringing welcome attention to the Library of Congress’s collection / is a multitalented artist and musician using her fame and powers for the good]. Me? I’m taking this opportunity to [embarrass myself, yet again, on Twitter / expose myself, yet again, as a petty and pathetic human being / enrich myself, yet again, off the dollars of people who still believe Trump “drained the swamp”].

At her Washington DC concert, Lizzo thanked the Library of Congress for preserving our history. She sparked international interest in its archival collection and inspired band kids everywhere to play their instruments with pride. What a sad episode for anyone who cares about this country. In fact, I feel quite ill. In a minute, I’m going to need [some smelling salts / to write yet another think piece about the catastrophe of wokeness / my comfort Confederate flag].

The Library of Congress should never allow someone like Lizzo to touch their archival instruments again. And that’s because [these instruments, which I’ve never given a thought to before today, are very important to me / Lizzo living her best life is something that makes me really mad / when I talk about our “heritage,” this is just code for “white people”]

The extent to which racist submorons in this country will find something for their little brains to get fried about is truly amazing.

(Photo: If this causes your sphincter to tighten, you might be a racist/ Shawn Miller, Library of Congress)


Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)


(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Ward Sutton, Minneapolis Star Tribune)


(Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune)

("Ratt," via Crooks and Liars)

(Bill Day, FloridaPolitics.com)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Ed Hall, Artizans.com)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Paul Noth, @PaulNoth)


Quotes Of The Day -- A Malignant Loser Twofer

 

"Despite great outside dangers, our greatest threats remain the sick, sinister, and evil people from within our country.  From within. You know the people I'm talking about, you see them all the time lie, disinformation, cheat, steal." -- the lying, cheating, gaslighting, and stealing Malignant Loser at a cult rally in Warren, MI, yesterday, showing that he can project as only a profoundly ignorant, sociopathic narcissist can.

____________________

“Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?  In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” -- the Malignant Loser again, on his failing media site on Friday.   Readers know well that our opinion of democracy- destroying Moscow Mitch McConnell is about as low as it gets, but somehow this "death wish" dog whistle goes over the line, as does the Malignant Loser's overtly racist reference to McConnell's Taiwan- born wife, Elaine Chao. 

All proving once again, there's no bottom for this deranged shitstain.


Sunday Reflection: The Way of Truth and Love



 

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” -- the father of Indian independence and of the non-violent protest movement Mahatma Gandhi, born on this day in 1869. Inspiring such figures as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela, Gandhi fought British colonial rule in India through advocating non-violent resistance. India gained its independence in August, 1947, and was partitioned into separate Hindu-majority (India) and Muslim-majority (Pakistan) nations. Gandhi was assassinated less than 6 months later by a Hindu extremist who objected to Gandhi's pacifism.

His teachings are the anthesis of the hubris, extremism and brutality that we see in this country, as the far-right engages in violent behavior to thwart the majority of the people, and in nations like Putin's Russia, as it conducts a war of aggression toward its neighbor Ukraine based on lies. 

 

Archives: Trump Admin. Records Still Missing

 

The National Archives, in a letter to the House Oversight Committee, says that the former Administration of the Malignant Loser hasn't turned over all Presidential records as required by the Presidential Records Act. The records involve electronic messages and emails of officials who used personal devices for public business. One such individual is former trade advisor and die-hard election conspiracist Peter Navarro, who has refused to comply with a House subpoena for his records relating to the Malignant Loser's attempt to overturn the lawful election results. Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall indicated in the letter that she would consult with the Justice Department as to further action:

"Ms. Wall wrote that the archives would consult the Justice Department about whether to 'initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed.'

'While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,' Ms. Wall wrote to Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the Oversight Committee.

Ms. Wall cited an August filing by the Justice Department to recover official email records from the personal account of Peter Navarro, a former Trump adviser. Mr. Navarro is facing charges of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

In her letter, Ms. Wall declined to say whether former President Donald J. Trump had surrendered all presidential records in his possession.

'With respect to the second issue concerning whether former President Trump has surrendered all presidential records, we respectfully refer you to the Department of Justice in light of its ongoing investigation,' she wrote."  (our emphasis)

There is an ongoing question as to whether all Presidential records, including classified documents, have been retrieved from the Malignant Loser. His staff was filmed loading boxes on a plane in May, 2021 that the Malignant Loser took to his estate in Bedminster, NJ after he was asked to turn documents over. It's time to search that site, too.