Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

(David Horsey, Seattle Times)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

Tweets Of The Day -- Through The Looking Glass

BTW -- That "small protest"?

(AFP/ Getty Images)

And, finally -- remember the MAGAbomber:

Grifter Candace Owens Gets Her Comeuppance

Far-right activist and loony opportunist Candace "Canned Ass" Owens is one of the most visible (and risible) people trying to gaslight African-Americans about the Rethuglican Party. She wants to start an exodus of African-Americans from the Democratic Party, as if she's never studied Rethug policies or heard of the "Southern strategy." As a beneficiary of the wingnut welfare system, she's the "communications director" for a conservative grift called "Turning Point USA," which sounds like a substance abuse rehab outfit, but which is funded by wealthy, white right-wing donors who want to use paid shills like Owens as a fig leaf for their racism.

In her mission to fool African-Americans into signing up with the white supremacist Rethuglican Party, Owens enlisted "jackass" Kanye "Clownye" West, whose recent "minstrel show" in the Oval Office caused renewed concern about his mental state. She had befriended West after his embrace of bigot and con man Donald "Rump" Trump, and thought she could use West's name to launch her "Blexit" campaign (get it? Blacks Exit....the Dem Party).

West may be back on his meds though, because he lashed out yesterday on Twitter, saying he was used to spread messages he didn't support (shocking!) and that he didn't give Owens permission to use his name as the designer of the Blexit logo. Owens lied that she'd ever said that West designed the logo, but just three days earlier, she had appeared at a launch of the Blexit campaign where she DID give West credit for the logo on videotape. Canned Ass is not being very can-did, but who's surprised?

New Details Emerge In Khashoggi Murder

Turkish authorities are supplying more details into the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul earlier this month by a Sawdi hit team likely sent by their Crown Prince Mohammed "Bone Saw" bin Salman.  According to Istanbul's chief prosecutor, Khashoggi was strangled upon entering the Sawdi consulate and dismembered with a bone saw. The Sawdi regime has offered multiple false explanations about Khashoggi's death, who was a regime critic, initially saying that he left the consulate despite video evidence that disproved it.

While Crown Prince Bone Saw has promised to cooperate with the Turks' investigation, that appears to be a lie. As his regime continues to stall and dissemble, the Turks are releasing evidence in pieces:
"On Wednesday, unidentified [Turkish] state sources again began dominating news coverage of the murder, saying a Saudi prosecutor who had flown to Turkey to work on the case was unhelpful. The Istanbul prosecutor’s office disclosed the new details in a statement issued soon after the Saudi official, Saud al-Mojeb, flew home after a three-day visit.....[Saudi prosecutor] Al-Mojeb wouldn’t answer some of the key questions Turkey asked, the statement said, including: Where is Khashoggi’s body? Who was the alleged local collaborator that the Saudis say took part? What do the Saudis know about who planned the murder? (our emphasis)
The recovery of Khashoggi's body could answer some questions that the Sawdis don't want answered, but eventually the truth will come out. It won't result in holding Crown Prince Bone Saw accountable, of course, given the tacit protection he has from corrupt huckster Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner, whom Bone Saw once said was in his pocket, the Trump regime overall, and complicit right-wing Likudniks and Arab beneficiaries of Bone Saw's bribes.

(photo: Crown Prince Bone Saw still stonewalling. Charles Platiau/Reuters)


The New Yorker magazine's November 5 Halloween cover:

(click on image to enlarge)

(Cover: Mark Ulriksen)

Mid-Week Troubled Waters Song

After the vile murder of worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue last Saturday, and a week of terror brought on by a fanatic's desire to bomb Trump's "enemies," and so much more, we're in troubled times. Perhaps this ageless song from Simon and Garfunkel will remind us that we're far from alone, and we have the wind at our backs and the sun in our faces. Time will heal and change will come.
When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all)
I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Trump's Latest Absurd Racist Distraction

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." 14th Amendment to the Constitution, July 9, 1868
We've read this amendment to the Constitution over and over again, and for the life of us, we don't see any exceptions to the statement that all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. are citizens. Not if you're left handed, or weigh less than 8 lbs. at birth. No exceptions.

As he faces a blue wave at the polls in 6 days, neo-fascist demagogue and pathological liar Donald "Rump" Trump is going all out to fire up the mouth-breathing, white supremacist base that gave him enough electoral votes to win. That process requires appeals to nativism and racism, and out-and-out lying (see "pre-existing conditions") as if there's no one watching. So, it was predictable that Rump's thrown birthright citizenship into his cauldron of bigotry by claiming that he'll sign an unconstitutional executive order to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate it, which is absurd and unlawful.

He has the usual, despicable accomplices in this idiotic non-starter: his lackey and soulless towel boy Mike "Dense" Pence, who is dutifully pretending there's something to look at here, and decadent Southern belle and curator of antebellum hoop skirts Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham.  Graham has said he'll introduce legislation to abolish birthright citizenship, saying:
Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship,” Graham wrote in a tweet. “I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform — and at the same time — the elimination of birthright citizenship."
Maybe it's fitting that Huckleberry, who represents white folks in South Carolina, would want to abolish birthright citizenship, since it was passed in the aftermath of the Civil War to ensure that children of former slaves would be recognized as U.S. citizens. He knows, but doesn't care, that it would take amending the Constitution to bring that abomination about, not an executive order from Rump. But an election's coming, and these sick extremists are doing everything to rile up the Trump cult and get them to the polls.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Taking On Republican Junk Health Insurance And Pre-Existing Conditions Claims

Here's a particularly effective (in our opinion) ad by a red state Democratic Senator pointing out the bullshit Republicans are peddling about health insurance:

Early Voting, Early Satisfaction

With early voting in our state, the Hackwhacker brothers have cast their ballots. If it's allowed in your states, Go.Vote. Now. And wear blue like we did. Message sent.

Pence Finds Way To Disrespect Synagogue Victims (UPDATED)

At a campaign event yesterday in Michigan, Trump's obsequious lackey and moral poseur Mike "Dense" Pence dredged up a "Jews For Jesus" character by the name of "Rabbi" Loren Jacobs to deliver a prayer for the 11 slaughtered innocent congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Jacobs is part of a messianic cult that, while supposedly Jewish, views Jesus Christ as their savior, thus not Jewish at all:
"Appearing with the vice president on Monday, Jacobs invoked 'Jesus the Messiah' and 'Savior Yeshua' — another name for Jesus — as he offered a prayer for the dead and wounded in Pittsburgh. 'God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God and Father of my Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, and my God and Father, too,' he intoned."
Dense Pence, whose lord seems to be the mango-colored shitgibbon he works for, got major blowback for his choice of Jacobs, rather than a legitimate Jewish rabbi:

UPDATE:  Oops.  Turns out Jacobs wasn't even a "rabbi" -- he was defrocked 15 years ago. Grifters just naturally attract, don't they.

FBI Asked To Investigate Republican Ratf*cking Scheme Targeting Robert Mueller

Lock them up!  Lock them up!
An alleged scheme to pay off women to fabricate sexual-assault allegations against Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been referred to the FBI for further investigation, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office told The Atlantic. “When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” the spokesman, Peter Carr, told me in an email on Tuesday. 
The special counsel’s office’s attention to this scheme—which was brought to the office by a woman claiming she herself had been offered money to make up sexual-harassment claims against Mueller—and its decision to release a rare statement about it indicates the seriousness with which the office is taking the purported scheme to discredit Mueller in the middle of an ongoing investigation. 
The special counsel’s office confirmed that the scheme was brought to its attention by several journalists who were told about it by a woman alleging  that she herself had been offered roughly $20,000 by a man claiming to work for a GOP activist named Jack Burkman “to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller.”...
The name Jack Burkman may not ring a bell, but he's a creepy Republican operative who's quite familiar with paying ladies for services rendered.  As the article points out, he's also been involved in pushing some of the most evil crackpot conspiracies over the past few years. This won't end well for him and the other ratf*ckers (Jacob Wohl? Soon- to- be- indicted Roger Stone?) involved in this smear.

Here's Burkman trying to sell the smear:

Burkman will be the sad one when the FBI cuffs him and frog marches him away. This reprehensible asshole needs some serious time in stir.

BONUSHere's more on Burkman and the scheme.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Stuart Carlson, via

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Jen Sorensen, via

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

Media Largely Ignoring Voter Suppression By Republicans

Margaret Sullivan has a timely read this morning about the media dutifully following the agenda of nitwit narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump while largely ignoring a threat to the core of our democracy:
Yes, voter suppression is alive and well in the United States. 
But Americans who rely on the broadcast news networks for their information, and they still number in the millions every night, probably don’t know about it. 
Obsessed with all things Trump — caravan invasion, anyone? — and occupied with breaking news about hurricanes and mass shootings, the networks have almost ignored voter suppression. 
With the consequential midterm elections only a week away, the near silence is deafening. [snip] 
“The network news divisions have not worked out how to cover politics without following the agenda set by President Trump,” he told me by email. “That’s not to say their coverage is pro-Trump, since they will use his agenda to present him in both a positive and negative light. But it does mean that they find it difficult to present politics as being about anything except him.” 
Since Labor Day, Tyndall told me last week, the three broadcast networks (CBS, NBC and ABC) together had done only a handful of stories — fewer than 10, all told — on threats to voting rights.
We shouldn't expect a turnaround in the media's obsession with covering every vile syllable coming out of Rump's lie hole.  As disgraced former CBS chairman Les Moonves once said of the pre- election saturation coverage of Rump, "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS." It would be hard to find a network or cable executive who didn't, and probably still doesn't, think that same way about Rump coverage.  Clearly, it's all about the money to these soulless suits.

While vigilance (and legal teams ready to square off against the suppressers) is working to keep the voting process as fair as possible in these reactionary times, expanded public awareness is needed of the efforts by Republicans to deny or discourage Americans from exercising their right to vote. That the media, through its inattention to this assault on a fundamental right, is letting Republicans get away with it is a critical abdication of their presumed role as witnesses and truth- tellers, especially in this watershed election.

As Sullivan goes on to point out, those gauzy feel- good- about- America features the network news programs show are fine,
But the unfettered right to vote is much closer to the heart of the American ideal. 
And, especially now, the growing threats to that right should be considered news of the most urgent order.
One week to go.

Arsonist Trump To Visit Pittsburgh After Massacre

After a white supremacist anti-Semitic lunatic shot and killed 11 innocent worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday morning, neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump is ignoring calls from Jewish leaders to postpone his planned visit today. Funerals for the victims are ongoing this week, and are requiring extra police security. The attempt by Rump to make himself seem the victim after weeks of his incendiary, white nationalist rhetoric about George Soros, "nationalism" and "globalists" just one week before the election is obscene in itself. To draw attention away from the mourning community and families for a political photo op is part of his despicable, malignant narcissism.

Tens of thousands of people in Pittsburgh have signed an open letter to Rump telling him to stay away, to denounce his white nationalist rhetoric and supporters, and to stop his assault on immigrants and refugees. He'll do the opposite, of course, because the bigotry and lack of empathy is deeply embedded in his DNA.

Sinema Expands Lead In AZ (UPDATED)

A new NBC News / Marist poll puts Dem Senate candidate Rep. Kyrsten Sinema ahead of Trump puppet Rep. Martha "Caravan!" McSally by 6 points, 50 to 44, her largest lead so far. McSally has been running ads lying about her position on health care, specifically protection of people with pre-existing conditions. Last week, when asked by reporters about the lie, she tried to pivot and turn to the manufactured and racist  "caravan" story. Women, independents and Latinos are accounting for Simema's surge in the polls.

UPDATE:  Also, Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum has opened up a 6- point lead over Trumpist Ron DeSantis in the crucial Governor's race.

A reminder that the only poll that counts is the one voters where go to and cast their ballots. Don't take anything for granted and get out and vote!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

The Boob Tuber

It's no secret that malignant demagogue and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump has no interest in the work of the presidency (perhaps we'd be in even worse shape if he did). He's been in his "campaign" mode for two years now, tweeting lies and bigotry, speaking before his adoring cult, and carving out many hours a day of "executive time" to goof off, sleep and watch Fux and surf right-wing internet sites where he gets his direction. That's not even taking into account his record-breaking number of days on the golf course.

After an examination of Rump's daily schedules, Politico is reporting that Rump's playtime is even more extensive than earlier thought:
President Donald Trump had about three times as much free time planned for last Tuesday as work time, according to his private schedule. The president was slated for more than nine hours of “Executive Time,” a euphemism for the unstructured time Trump spends tweeting, phoning friends and watching television. Official meetings, policy briefings and public appearances — traditionally the daily work of being president — consumed just over three hours of his day.
This remarkably lazy buffoon can't be bothered to go downstairs to the Oval Office before 11 a.m., and when he does it's often for a mundane Executive Order or proclamation signing. When it was revealed last week that Rump is still using his personal iPhone, thus compromising national security, White (Supremacist) House aides tried to reassure everyone by saying that Rump doesn't get beyond the surface in his Presidential Daily Briefings and shows no real interest in them.

Rump's only interest is how he is being covered or depicted in the media, thus the obsession with the "enemy of the people."
For Trump aides, scheduling presented a challenge from the outset. Accustomed to conducting business largely over the phone from his office in Trump Tower, the president chafed at back-to-back meetings that kept him off his phone and away from the television, according to a half dozen current and former White House aides.

The concept of “Executive Time” was Kelly’s response to the president’s complaints that he was over scheduled under his previous chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and “didn’t have any time to think,” one of those aides said.
(our emphasis)
Think? Rump reacts and attacks, he doesn't "think." That's done for him by his boob tube "advisors."

(photo: There's no brain there to pick.)

Monday Reading

As always, please go to the links for the full article/ op ed.

Adam Serwer has an excellent read on the racist hysteria generated on the far right about the migrant caravan that led directly to the horror at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday:
The Tree of Life shooter criticized Trump for not being racist or anti-Semitic enough. But with respect to the caravan, the shooter merely followed the logic of the president and his allies: He was willing to do whatever was necessary to prevent an “invasion” of Latinos planned by perfidious Jews, a treasonous attempt to seek “the destruction of American society and culture.”
The apparent spark for the worst anti-Semitic massacre in American history was a racist hoax inflamed by a U.S. president seeking to help his party win a midterm election. There is no political gesture, no public statement, and no alteration in rhetoric or behavior that will change this fact. The shooter might have found a different reason to act on a different day. But he chose to act on Saturday, and he apparently chose to act in response to a political fiction that the president himself chose to spread and that his followers chose to amplify. (our emphasis)
Leading the racist hysteria as part of that political fiction were those vicious organs of the Big Lie -- Fox "News" and Fox Business "News." Here's a snippet of Josh Marshall's take:
I managed to involve myself this weekend in a tiny eddy in the storm around the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. As you can see below, early yesterday evening I happened upon this interview on Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business News show in which a guest, Chris Farrell, claimed the migrant caravan in southern Mexico was being funded and directed by the “Soros-occupied State Department.” This is, as I explained, is straight out of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the foundational anti-Semitic tract, first circulated and perhaps authored by the Czarist secret police in the first years of the 20th century.
Here's what Marshall is referring to (video embedded in tweet):

There are National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ads still running using George Soros ("Connoisseur of Chaos") as the boogeyman responsible for the caravan and other heinous activities.  
It's an entirely unsubtle conjuration of the hoary and hateful lie that wealthy Jews are the puppet-masters of the left, because of course, decent white folk would never espouse liberal beliefs unless they were getting paid to do so. It's totally disgusting, but Republicans are waging an internal arms race to see who can plaster the most bigotry on the airwaves. Right now, the NRCC is winning.
These are lying, vicious agitprop droppings intended to divide by telling us to fear "the other" -- whether brown, black, Jewish, etc. The rotted out Republican Party is immersed in this stinking garbage. Remember that for as long as you live.  And vote, goddammit!

In a column written before the arrest of the #MAGAbomber and before the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, Leonard Pitts, Jr., writes about the key instigator of violence in America today and his cultists:
This ongoing insult of reality, this daily denigration of truth, is epidemic among Trump’s people. Unable to face what is, they live in a kingdom of lies, seek sanctuary down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories. Indeed, Trump cultists — Lou Dobbs, James Woods, Rush Limbaugh, Candace Owens and more — have already suggested the bombs were part of a Democratic plot to sway the coming election. [snip] 
Meantime, this guy, this morally deformed 72-year-old brat, had a theory of his own. After bombs were sent to people he has spent years insulting ( “low IQ,” “crooked,” “ignorant”) and to a network he has spent years condemning (”enemies of the people”), Trump tweeted that the “anger” in our society is a result of media’s “false and inaccurate reporting.” 
So in other words, if reporters would just stop challenging him, stop questioning him, stop behaving as if words have meaning and people, memories, all will be well. He probably even believes that.
But the issue here is not news media. Nor is it civility or Republicans being yelled at in restaurants. 
No, the issue is reality and the fact that it becomes no less real because you don’t acknowledge it. That’s what the Trump cult has never figured out. Reality will always have the last word. And you may run from it, but you can never escape. 
Not even down a rabbit hole, not even in a kingdom of lies.
As of this morning, the vile shitgibbon is still at it.  Surprise!

We close as usual with our recommendation to check out the excellent blog link round- up at Infidel 753. He takes care to find some really interesting items that you might otherwise never hear about. Always thought- provoking.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Ghost Nebula

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, October 25, 2018This image shows the sky around the nebula IC 63, nicknamed the Ghost Nebula. It was created from images forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The field of view is dominated by the bright star Gamma Cassiopeiae, which is having a profound influence on IC 63.

IC 63 is only one of several nebulous structures surrounding Gamma Cassiopeiae — all of which are affected by the radiation emitted by the blue-white subgiant star.

Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, Digitized Sky Survey 2
Acknowledgement: Davide de Martin

Today's Cartoons

From former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers:

Tweet Of The Day: A Moron And His Umbrella

We found several metaphors for his buffoonery here. Ours is: The umbrella represents Trump's cult followers protecting him. Trump casually abandons it while entering his well-appointed plane, leaving the umbrella upside down in the rain without a backward glance. MAGA, suckers.

Sunday Reflection: First They Came...

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller's widely-cited poem. Niemöller considered himself a "national conservative" and was an early supporter of the Nazis. He turned against them and was imprisoned in Sachenhausen and Dachau from 1938 to 1945 for his anti-Nazi activities.

Here are the innocent victims of yesterday's horrific massacre in Pittsburgh, PA:

Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland, City of Pittsburgh

Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township

Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood Borough

Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill

David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill

(Cecil and David Rosenthal are brothers)

Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg

Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg

(Bernice and Sylvan are husband and wife)

Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington, City of Pittsburgh

QOTD -- Outsourcing Propaganda

"It is no surprise that this febrile atmosphere, in which any lie can be justified if it paints the president’s opponents as traitors, would lead to violence. But what is particularly disturbing is that the propaganda that inspires this violence has been outsourced to private organizations, meaning no simple change of government by election can end it. Nowadays, even the president himself gets his daily talking points by parroting Fox News, which he believes over his own government officials. The rot is pernicious and deep, and it will inevitably lead to more violence." -- Andrew Gawthorpe, The Guardian.  As long as we have the villains in the Sinclair Broadcasting and Rupert Murdoch bullshit- spewing empires, the toxic conspiracy- driven far right web sites, the hate radio propagandists, and a rotted out political party dedicated to holding onto white/right power at any cost, we'll be in this cycle of lies, distractions and violence.


“This is a president with obvious mental and moral deficits who will say and do anything to retain power. He’s backed by a runaway ‘conservative’ media feeding his rabid base a daily dose of conspiratorial lunacy. There is no mechanism to stop Trump’s division, radicalization, and calls to arms against his enemies.”  -- former Republican strategist Rick Wilson to Political Wire (via mbouffant).

Trump's Cult And Anti-Semitism

Just one day before the massacre at the Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Anti-Defamation League published a harrowing study of the effect of social media in spreading anti-Semitic hate. The study was conducted for the ADL by Oxford scholar Samuel Woolley and presented, in part, the following findings:
"Continuing what began during the 2016 presidential election, the members of far-right extremist groups and the so-called 'Alt Right' have stepped up 'online propaganda offensives' in the runup to the upcoming midterm elections to attack and try to intimidate Jews and especially Jewish journalists..."
Exhibit A would be the despicable use of letter bomb recipient and progressive philanthropist George Soros in this anti-Semitic offensive, as demonstrated in the vile tweet by despicable weasel and Rethuglican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Reptile-CA), as noted in the post below. But he's just the tip of the garbage heap. Right-wing bots have played a major role in spreading anti-Semitic memes and lies:
"Bots have played a critical role in anti-Semitic attacks online. Nearly 30 percent of the accounts that repeatedly tweeted terms meant to denigrate Jews were judged to likely be bots, according to the analysis. These accounts made more derogatory comments about Jews on average than accounts that seemed to be from humans – 43 percent of the tweets even though they represented just 28 percent of the accounts."
And the kicker:
"The study also found that 80.26 percent of the harassing tweets used hashtags associated with those on the right side of the political spectrum. Nearly 40 percent of the tweets included #MAGA or #KAG, which supporters of President Trump use to tout his 2016 and 2020 campaign slogans. The most popular term used by Trump supporters 'by one or two orders of magnitude' was 'Soros,' referring to George Soros, the Jewish billionaire that anti-Semites use to blame for anyone who resists conservatives." (our emphasis)
Neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump encourages this spewing by his cult followers, using loaded and unsubtle language like "globalists" and "nationalists" in his rage speeches. His reference to the tiki torch-bearing neo-Nazis of Charlottesville as "very fine people" was no slip. He knows they form the hardest core of his base, who rejoiced after November 2016 by acts of vandalism against Jewish temples and cemeteries.

We. Must. Vote. Them. Out.

BONUS: Josh Marshall reminds us that Rump's closing campaign ad in 2016 was filled with anti-Semitic dog whistles.

BONUS II:  Jay Michaelson says it's time for Trump- supporting American Jews to decide which side they're on --
No amount of pro-Israel policies—no embassy in Jerusalem, no encouragement of settlements, no increased aid—outweighs the existential danger to Jews of the Trump movement’s coddling, or even overt encouragement, of anti-Semitism, racism, and nativism.  Even those Jews not motivated by solidarity with Muslims, Mexicans, the media, and others singled out by Trump for opprobrium must now recognize that we Jews, ourselves, are at risk.

The Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

Symptoms and causes:
... [A]nti-Semitic activity, including hate crimes in schools and bomb threats against Jewish institutions, has been soaring — up an unprecedented 57 percent last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League. That is the symptom. The cause is a climate in which the sentiments of white nationalists and other hate groups are no longer suppressed. 
Hate groups feel emboldened to show their faces in public, as they did when they marched last year in Charlottesville, chanting: “Jews will not replace us.” That, too, had a deadly result. But the president of the United States insisted there had been moral equivalency between the neo-Nazis and those who had shown up to protest them: “There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for the country, but there are two sides to a story.”

Given that, what cure is offered by the Very Stable Genius?

There's little question our political climate has devolved by perhaps 150 years -- particularly accelerating since this vile toad and his cretinous fans have infected the body politic.  However, that process has been underway for the past 50 years through the Republican Party as it catered more and more to the vicious smallness and grievances of a core white nationalist base, until it has become their vehicle of expression.  

The process of taking our country back begins on November 6, but cannot end there.  Violent right- wingers (call them white nationalists, alt- right or neo- Nazis too) have been playing a long game, waiting under their rocks to emerge, as Tumulty says above, once emboldened by the vile toad. The protection we need from these creatures does not involve having guns in synagogues, churches, mosques, schools or movie theaters. It involves having a political system that continually neuters and buries such creatures and their malignancy.  Going forward, it must be our life's work.

BONUS:  In a Tweet (deleted after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre), House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Reptile-CA) wanted us to know there are three wealthy Jewish Americans trying to buy the election for Democrats --

As we often say, the sickening rot runs all the way through the Republican Party. Vote. Them. Out.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Tweets Of The Day -- Sociopath

We've been watching the news all day and have yet to see any of the news media note this piece of (by now unsurprising) despicable, sociopathic behavior:

QOTD: Words

"Donald Trump has been standing at a mirror summoning a demon for the past three years. But he can honestly say he had no idea his words would summon any demon at all. He is sufficiently cretinous to see no connection between reality and the world he has been working so hard to evoke. These are magic words he uses to get people to the polls, and if the way they get to the polls is on the back of a historical monster, it is no great matter.

Here is a terrifying story: There is an ominous caravan, filled with dog whistles and nightmares. Another: We will have a tax cut by the election. Never mind that these are lies. Never mind that these are impossibilities. They are only words. Words do not matter." -- Alexandra Petri, in today's Washington Post, on the "scary stories" the rancid, self- serving monster in the White (Supremacist) House likes to tell to gullible dolts in order to achieve his purposes, regardless of the harm it does to us all.

This morning's mass shooting in Pittsburgh was perpetrated by someone who thought refugees were "invaders" "that kill our people."  Where do you suppose that idea, and Cesar Sayoc's fever dreams about "enemies of the people," came from?

Alt-Right Loon Kills At Least 8 At Pittsburgh Synagogue (UPDATED)

A gunman, identified as Robert Bowers, 46, walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, this morning shouting "All Jews must die!" then shot and killed at least 8 congregants:
Congregants near the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh were ambushed on Saturday morning by a man who opened fire with multiple weapons. According to on-scene reports, the shooter shouted “All Jews must die” as he was firing into those present. 
At 11:30 ET, news reports indicate that 8 people have died, and 12 are wounded including at least 3 police officers who responded to the shooting. First reports of the shooting came in around 10:45 ET, while the web site for the Tree of Life shows that Shabbat services began at 9:45, suggesting that the gunman may have assaulted the congregation as the service was ending. Reports indicate that four people were killed on the main floor of the synagogue. The shooter then killed more people in the basement of the synagogue. One person may have been killed outside the building.
He's a far- right,  anti- Semitic, anti- refugee crackpot:

Re HIAS --
HIAS (founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) is an American nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees.

More to come.

UPDATEHe's a white nationalist QAnon nut, of course.

UPDATE II:  The death toll is now 11.

Hack Of The Week: Van Jones

Ever since narcissistic sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump began his term, some in the media were breathlessly awaiting a normalizing "pivot" for him to be "presidential." One of the most prominent of these was CNN's Van Jones, who has been eager to establish himself as a access-obsessed, both-sides media celebrity interviewer at any cost.

His unctuous interview last Monday with Rump crime family junior partner Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner demonstrated that Jones was more interested in future access to Kushner and family than grilling him for his close connections to Sawdi Crown Prince Mohammed Bone Saw, and various Russian oligarchs and crime figures that are likely involved in Kushner's family real estate ventures. Roger Sollenberger at Paste Magazine has a really good takedown of Jones' silly, softball interview with Kushner that was initially based on the topic of prison reform (which Kushner's father might be better able to address).

Signs of Jones' desire to play the both sides song came early, with his fawning praise of Rump's address to a joint session of Congress in March, 2017, when he stated, "He became President of the United States in that moment, period," referring to Rump's acknowledgement of a SEAL widow in the gallery. Rump not only didn't "become President" at that moment, he's proven himself time and again to be incapable of that, despite Jones' attempts to normalize him and curry favor with the White (Supremacist) House. Shame.

BONUS Runner-up, David Axelrod.

(photo: Among his new friends. Mark Wilson/Getty)

Brazil About To Elect Far-Right Thug

Brazil will hold its presidential elections tomorrow in an atmosphere of political threats and violence, eerily resembling the atmosphere being created by neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump in the U.S. The Brazilian version of Rump is far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who himself survived an assassination attempt in September in the volatile politics of Brazil. Bolsonaro's rhetoric toward the left-leaning candidate and party facing him has been incendiary and extreme. He also avoids taking responsibility for the violence engaged in by his supporters:
"He says he does not condone violence carried out by his supporters, but analysts say his daily rants on social media platforms are taking a toll.

'Bolsonaro, because of his rhetoric supporting violence and the aggressive manner he has campaigned, has opened the Pandora’s box on political violence in an already extremely violent country,' said Rafael Alcadipani, a public security expert at the Getulio Vargas Foundation university in Sao Paulo.

'If people thought Brazil had extremely high levels of street violence in normal times, imagine what it will be like under a president who aggressively pushes violence among police and against political opponents?'”
 (our emphasis)
He's also taken a page from Rump's playbook in attacking Brazil's press, also using the term "fake news" to discredit negative stories about him, and to encourage attacks on them
"Brazilian investigative journalism group Abraji said since January 64 reporters who cover the campaign have been physically attacked and another 82 targeted in online hate campaigns.

By comparison, 40 U.S.-based journalists covering all topics were physically attacked during that period, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker database run by over two dozen press freedom groups."
Bolsonaro is ahead of his opponent by double digits going in to tomorrow's elections. If you thought the right-wing virus of anti-democratic violence was confined to the U.S. and parts of Europe, think again.

AARP Directs Members To Vote Against Republican Obamacare Repealers

It's never a good idea to tangle with the 38 million member American Association of Retired Persons (AARP):

Here's the link to the list of virtually all Republicans in the House and Senate who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Note to fellow seniors:  the migrants aren't comin' to getcha;  the Republicans are.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tweets Of The Day -- #MAGAbomber

Social media, ever vigilant:

And, in the "is our media learning" category, we can definitely say "nah!" (This, from one of the targets of #MAGAbomber!!):

Weekend Music Twofer

The suspected #MAGAbomber is in custody, so let's chill a little as we head into the weekend, shall we?  Baltimore's own dream pop duo Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) have a new single just out, "Lose Your Smile"/ "Alien".  We couldn't decide which one we wanted to share more, so you get both sides now (yes).  Hope you enjoy.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark)

(Matt Wuerker, Politico)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Today In Republican Depravity

Can't someone stop and think of the real victims here?  It's me and my rotted- out party!

"False flag" fetishists (a.k.a, fascist Republicans) have been pounding on the sick notion that it wasn't a Trump supporter who sent those 12 (and counting) pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, oh no!
... Bill Mitchell, a pro-Trump Twitter mainstay and radio host, was also convinced that the real target of the potential explosive devices was the political power of Republicans. 
“These ‘explosive packages’ being sent to the #Media and high profile Democrats has Soros astro-turfing written all over it so the media can paint the #GOP as ‘the dangerous mob.’ Pure BS.” Mitchell wrote. His tweet, which is still live on Twitter, has more than 2,000 retweets.
Welp, that "false flag" didn't take long to furl.  Down the memory hole you go!  Let's see if the "mainstream media" does its job and connects the dots directly from Trump's hateful fat lips to the #MAGAbomber's dimwitted ears.

Then there's this unspeakably awful asshole, who thinks the targets of the bomb attempts may have had it coming to them:
Pressed on whether Trump should be ratcheting up his attacks in light of the mail bombs, [Newt "Poot"] Gingrich replied, “I don’t think there is a direct connection between Trump and the people (inaudible). Look, the people you are talking about have been people who have been very hostile to conservatives.” 
“Very,” he added for emphasis.
Take a walk down memory lane to see how Poot wrecked politics in this country more than any other person alive.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, has some comforting thoughts on the migrant caravan:
We do not have any intention right now to shoot at people, but they will be apprehended, however.” (our emphasis)
Plans may change once we see the brown of their skins, she didn't say.

We need to put a check on these depraved things -- we need a Democratic Congress.

BREAKING: Suspect Cesar Sayoc In Custody In Bombing Attempts (UPDATED)

Let's hope they got the one that's been doing this:
Law enforcement officials have told CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz that they have arrested a man in Florida in connection with the explosive devices that have been sent to top Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump this week.
News briefing at 2:30 Eastern time.

UPDATEWow, didn't see this coming, no siree!
Authorities have towed away a white van that appears to be covered in stickers and signs featuring the GOP logo, the presidential seal, and images of Trump. There is also a large amount of text on the van, some of which seems to reproduce Trump statements or tweets.

UPDATE II:  Here are better pics of the van's stickers -- note who's in the crosshairs in some pics (click to enlarge)

UPDATE IIIThe suspect is Cesar Sayoc, 56, of south Florida.

UPDATE IV:  From Sayoc's Facebook page, a pic of him holding a "CNN sucks" sign at a Trump Florida rally --

UPDATE VFlop sweat starting to appear on Fox "News" foreheads.

UPDATE VI:  Following donnah's suggestion in the comments, there's a #MAGAbomber Twitter hashtag trending.

Geography 2018

About those scary non-white people about to surge over the border:

(click to enlarge)

If they march double-time, they could make it here by Thanksgiving! Be very, very scared.

11, 12.....

Packages similar to the ones containing pipe bombs have been found addressed to Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, bringing to 12 the number of bombs sent to critics and political opponents of neo-fascist demagogue and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump. A manhunt is underway for the bomber(s) as Federal law enforcement authorities are focusing on the massive mail distribution center in Opa-Locka, FL where some of the packages transited. There is no indication how many, if any, additional package bombs are in the mail system.

Meanwhile, right-wing provocateurs on hate radio and Fux are hatching "false flag" conspiracy theories that the terrorism is a diversion from their fabricated "caravan" scare, meant to rile up the mouthbreathers who think the Mess'cans / Middle Easterners (ISIS) are coming across the border for their wimmen / jobs / guns. They have nothing to spread but fear, hatred and ignorance, because their movement is absolutely bankrupt and heading to defeats in November.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

(David Horsey, Seattle Times)

(Jeff Stahler, via

Buh Bye For Megyn Kelly? (UPDATED)

The UK tabloid Daily Mail is reporting that multiple sources have confirmed that former Fux Channel personality Megyn "Blackface" Kelly will be terminated by NBC. Kelly infamously defended the racist practice of "blackface" makeup on her program on Tuesday, not sensitive to its racist, minstrel show history. Although she issued apologies after intense criticism from her colleagues and viewers, her show was pulled off the air this morning and tomorrow. This might be a "one off" if it weren't for Kelly's earlier comments about race that were offensive. NBC colleagues will reportedly be happy to see her exit.

Kelly is in the middle of a 3-year $69 million contract, and has reportedly engaged a law firm familiar with employment termination issues. Depending on termination clauses in her contract, this could cost NBC significantly, on top of the fact that Kelly's weekly 9 a.m. show was not pulling in ratings like her predecessors Tamron Hall and Al Roker. Is it too late to bring Tamron back?


UPDATE: It's official: she gone.

(composite: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Fux Is On The Case!

You klan take their powderful reporting to the bunk!

(h/t to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)